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Review: Symbiote Spider-Man

Spider-Man is back in black in this story that takes place before Spider-Man figured out his suit was a symbiote alien.

Story: Peter David
Art: Greg Land, Iban Coello
Color: Frank D’Armata
Ink: Jay Leisten
Letterer: Joe Sabino

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores on November 12! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Preview: Hulkverines #3

Hulkverines #3

(W) Greg Pak (A) Ario Anindito (CA) Greg Land, Frank D’Armata, Jay Leisten
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 24, 2019
SRP: $4.99

THREE HULKVERINES – BUT ONLY ONE WEAPON H!

Together, the Hulk’s old foe the Leader and Weapon H’s own creator, Dr. Alba, have managed to do what the Weapon X program never could: capture and transform the two greatest fighters in the Marvel Universe. And now they’re heading straight for a nuclear power plant. It’s up to Clay to stop them – but what is one Hulkverine against two? The conclusion of the clash of the century!

Hulkverines #3

Review: Symbiote Spider-Man #1

Symbiote Spider-Man #1

Everyone knows that Spider-Man’s infamous black suit would someday become the wicked web-slinger called Venom – but what happened BEFORE Peter Parker discovered the black suit’s sinister secret?

Set during the original “Black Suit Saga,” this is an all-new tale that pits the wall-crawling wonder against that most mystifying of menaces…MYSTERIO!

In case you can’t get enough Spider-Man, this comic takes you back to when Peter Parker still wore the Venom symbiote (though he didn’t yet know that’s what the suit would inevitably become). I’ve read very little comics from that era featuring Spider-Man, so I was curious to see what this series had to offer readers like myself who are largely unaware of that time in Spidey’s life beyond the basics of him getting the suit and then losing the suit.

Written by Peter David, Symbiote Spider-Man #1 features Greg Land on pencils, inks by Jay Leisten and colours by Frank D’Armata. This is a comic that delights in its place in history, with the occasional editor’s note asterisk popping up to let us know where to seek information casually referenced in the comic’s pages, as well as more than a handful of jokes riffing on Spider-Man’s past (or future at this point in his life) that even readers like me are able to have a little chuckle at.

The comic visually blends a sense of the past with modern artistic sensibilities; it’s an approach that subtly lets the reader know that this isn’t NOW, but not explicitly when the comic takes place which means we won’t focus on the strange and wonderful timeline present in comic books where a man can be in his 30’s for twenty five years. There is a slightly edgier look to Peter in this issue, which fits seeing as how he is wearing the Venom suit, but there’s still enough of the Parker charm that shines through to remind you that this is still a Spider-Man comic.

If you’re looking to read a Spidey story free from the weight of continuity that also features an upcoming movie villain, you can’t go wrong with this. Symbiote Spider-Man #1 is a great diversion to your morning (or afternoon or evening), and one that’s worth reading for new or long time fans of the character.

Story: Peter David Art: Greg Land
Inks: Jay Leisten Colours: Frank D’Armata
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Hulkverines #2

Hulkverines #2

(W) Greg Pak (A) Guiu Vilanova (CA) Greg Land, Frank D’Armata, Jay Leisten
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 27, 2019
SRP: $4.99

SLASH AND GRAB!

The Hulk is already on Weapon H’s tail – but now Wolverine is involved. And he’s got an Adamantium-laced bone to pick with Weapon H. But they’re not the only monsters coming for Clay. The Leader and Dr. Alba meet at last – and the result will transform the course of Clay’s entire life. Weapon H veteran Guiu Vilanova returns with the second installment of a classic clash in the making!

Hulkverines #2

Review: Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen The Complete Collection Vol. 1

Kieron Gillen steers the X-Men through Fear Itself, Schism, and Regenesis! Plus, Beast and Abigail Brand must save S.W.O.R.D. when Peter Gyrich stages a coup!

Collecting S.W.O.R.D. #1-5, UNCANNY X-MEN (1981) #534.1 and #535-544, X-MEN: REGENESIS and UNCANNY X-MEN (2011) #1-3.

Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Steve Sanders, Billy Tan, Carlos Pacheco, Terry Dodson, Jorge Molina, Rodney Buchemi, Ibraim Roverson, Paco Diaz, Greg Land, Jamie McKelvie
Ink: Craig Yeung, Cam Smith, Dan Green, Nathan Lee, Rachel Dodson, Roger Bonet, Walden Wong, Jorge Molina, Paco Diaz, Jay Leisten
Color: Matthew Wilson, Andres Mossa, Frank D’Armata, Justin Ponsor, Rachelle Rosenberg, Jim Charalampidis, Jorge Molina, Dommo, Rex Lokus
Letterer: Dave Lanphear, Rob Steen, Joe Caramagna

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on March 5! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Spider-Geddon

Spider-Verse united them and Spider-Geddon threatens to destroy them. The Inheritors have escaped their prison and want their revenge.

Spider-Geddon collects Spider-Geddon #0-5 and Vault of Spiders #1-2 by Christos Gage, Clayton Crain, Jed MacKay, Javier Garron, Israel Silva, Travis Lanham, Dan Slot, Jorge Molina, Carlo Barberi, Todd Nauck, Stefano Caselli, Joey Vazquez, Jay Leisten, Craig Yeung, Roberto Poggi, Jose Marzan, Jr., and David Curiel.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on February 26! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Marvel Comics Presents #1

The classic series is back! Marvel Comics Presents delivers three new stories featuring Wolverine, Namor, and Captain America.

Marvel Comics Presents #1 is by Charles Soule, Paulo Siqueira, Oren Junior, Frank D’Armata, Joe Caramagna, Greg Pak, Tomm Coker, Michael Garland, Ann Nocenti, Greg Land, and Jay Leisten.

Get your copy in comic shops on January 16! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/comiXology/Kindle

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Spider-Geddon #2

The Inheritors have made landfall and have drawn first blood. Now the Spiders have to gather their army and start their missions. But can it possibly be enough for an incredibly powerful family that eat Spider-People?

Action packed, that’s the only way to describe Spider-Geddon #2 which continues the rollercoaster from the first issue and doesn’t let up. Spider-people are dying, the Inheritors are getting more powerful and a debate how to stop them rages.

Writer Christos Gage has picked up the ball that Dan Slott set up and is running with it in an entertaining fashion. For the last few years, the Spider-Man events have really paid off and lived up to the hype and expectations and this is no exception. The sequel to Spider-Verse, it’s really using the terror of its villains to drive home how much of an uphill battle this is for the various Spider-heroes.

But, what Gage recognizes is this isn’t just Spider-Man in different costumes. These are characters who all have different ways of doing things. They all have different solutions as to how to win. They work together but don’t necessarily get along. There’s confrontation as to how to proceed. Compared to the group mind of the Inheritors, it’s interesting to explore.

The action is put on paper by artist Jorge Molina who along with Jay Leisten, Craig Yeung, and Roberto Poggi on ink and David Curiel on color deliver a comic that looks fantastic. The action is fantastic and there is a tightness that’s created through the art is a timer ticks down before an explosion. Each Spider-person looks great, it’s just top-notch art that has me as excited as the story itself.

Spider-Geddon #2 continues a fantastic event that has delivered at every step and continues Marvel’s knocking it out of the park when it comes to their Spider-Man events. Lots of action, lots of great interactions, and it goes in different directions you might not expect. It’s just fun which is exactly what I’m looking for in this type of story.

Story: Christos Gage Art: Jorge Molina
Ink: Jay Leisten, Craig Yeung, Roberto Poggi
Color: David Curiel Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Men The Wedding Special #1

Full disclaimer: for a long time, Kitty Pryde was my all time favorite Marvel superhero thanks to her awesomeness in X-Men Evolution and Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run, and there is a Marvel Legends figure of her sitting on my bookshelf right now as I write this.

Even though Kelly Thompson, Marika Cresta, and Federico Blee end up almost saving the day with a fun tale of X-Women out on the town with pretty, shiny art to match, X-Men The Wedding Special #1 is a big stinker of a “special issue.” Greg Land’s stiff art style isn’t a good fit for a raucous bachelor party, Chris Claremont can’t rekindle his old magic, and this book doesn’t really have much for long time X-Men fans who might be a little lapsed (Like yours truly.) and definitely not new or casual fans. Why are Kitty and Piotr even getting married? Maybe, the X-Men Gold  hardcore readership will find something to love here.

In the first story, Kitty Pryde’s co-creator/father of the X-Men Chris Claremont returns to Marvel with his Nightcrawler collaborator Todd Nauck and skilled colorist Rachelle Rosenberg.  However, after having Nauck re-draw Kitty’s greatest hits courtesy of John Byrne, Dave Cockrum, John Romita Jr., Alan Davis, and others, he makes the story all about Kitty’s relationships with the dead men in her life, namely, her dad, Wolverine, and some guy from a 1999 time travel miniseries called X-Men True Friends. Claremont is a still verbose prose stylist, Rosenberg is game with the bright colors of the different eras, and Nauck turns in some gorgeous dualistic compositions contrasting the triumphs and trials of Kitty Pryde’s life as an X-Man.

But there isn’t really a coherent story to channel these skills and traits into as Claremont abruptly cuts from Kitty recounting her life story and feelings about being phased through a bullet (Thank you, Joss Whedon.) to randomly talking about Wolverine and the aforementioned guy from a time travel story. Plus I guess I missed the issue of X-Men Gold where she worked as a bartender at the Hellfire Club themed branch of Coyote Ugly as Claremont and Nauck cut to this, and Nightcrawler has some great lines about faith and facing challenges. There are a few good ingredients, a few bad ones, and sadly, the story doesn’t touch on the great female friendships (and possibly romances) that Claremont set up for Kitty with Magik, Storm, and Rachel Summers among others and focused on ghostly men instead. It’s like a great slice of Chicago deep dish (Shoutout to Deerfield, Illinois resident Kitty Pryde.) that’s completely burnt to a crisp too bogged down in a continuity to have any real emotion or even nostalgia.

The second story by X-Men Gold writer Marc Guggenheim, the aforementioned Land and inker Jay Leisten, and colorist Jason Keith tells the story of Colossus’ bachelor party and except for the part where Piotr throws an anti-mutant alien monster around a casino, it’s cliched, heteronormative, and just plain bad. In keeping with his introverted nature and desire to be faithful towards Kitty after decades of breakups, reunions, and the original Secret Wars crossover, Colossus wants a chill night out and not the typical strippers/booze/brawling trifecta of a normal bachelor party. But Nightcrawler, Gambit, Iceman, and the “boyo” overusing new-look Pyro have other ideas for him including Bobby lecturing Piotr on traditional masculinity and making me glad that Sina Grace had almost exclusive creative control over him for a year. The story follows a limp, through line of getting Colossus to “lighten up”, and you have to buy a whole other comic to see how the story ends. It’s pretty terrible except for the huge smile on Nightcrawler’s face as he ushers his squad into Las Vegas and beams that there is a casino run by demons so he doesn’t have to feel weird or different while having a good time for once. Kurt is such a great character that he shines even in subpar stories like the first two in X-Men Wedding Special #1.

The final story in X-Men Wedding Special #1 is a fun, cute, grownup version of the “X-Men go to the mall” plotline as Storm, Rogue, Jean Grey, Psylocke, and others take Kitty to karaoke, which is actually “stripperoke”. However, there are both male and female strippers at the club, which Kitty is cool with. And it’s also this issue’s only nod at the bisexual subtext surrounding her since the late 1980s. In a similar way to Piotr, Kitty is introverted and more than a little Type A so the cocktail of strippers and karaoke is pretty lethal for her, and she spends most of the issue hoping for a fight.

Kitty does end up doing hand to hand combat with Callisto, who I think had a crush on Colossus, in the 1980s, and her resolves shows how much she has grown in 38 years from the X-Men’s kid sister to their leader. It also shows that artist (and star in waiting) Marika Cresta has a knack for fight sequences as well as conversation, beautiful faces, and high fashion. The bright filters used by Federico Blee and soft lighting definitely give this issue a very laidback field even if Kitty is freaking out a little bit about her wedding. The Kitty/Callisto derails the story a little bit, but Thompson and Cresta easily counterbalance with great moments like Storm rocking the karaoke stage, and Rogue and Kitty having a true heart to heart that reminded me of a more mature version of their bond in X-Men Evolution.

X-Men Wedding Special definitely lessened my faith in the marriage between Kitty and Colossus as well as heterosexual, monogamous marriage as an institution in general. Okay, maybe not completely, but the Marc Guggenheim and Greg Land story is a great example of how bachelor parties are dated and played out. However, Marika Cresta is a real find as an artist in the final story and should definitely be the main artist on one of the big X or Marvel books.

Story: Chris Claremont, Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson
Art: Todd Nauck, Greg Land with Jay Leisten, Marika Cresta
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg, Jason Keith, Federico Blee Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Hunt for Wolverine #1

Hunt for Wolverine #1

Story: Charles Soule
Art: David Marquez, Paulo Siqueira
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg, Walden Wong, Ruth Redmond
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Art: Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Laura Martin
Variant Covers: Marco Checcetto, Elizabeth Torque, Nolan Woodard, Adam Kubert, Dan Brown, Mike Deodato, Morry Hollowell
Editors: Jordan D. White, Mark Paniccia
Assistant Editors: Annalise Bissa, Christina Harringnton
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 25, 2018
SRP: $5.99

The RETURN OF WOLVERINE begins here, providing the first piece of a mystery that will leave no corner of the Marvel Universe untouched. Just as the X-Men have finally come to terms with Logan’s death, they learn a terrible secret. Old wounds will be re-opened, truths questioned, and an epic quest begun. The earliest clues to the mystery of Wolverine’s return are laid down here… who will solve it first?

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