Tag Archives: jeff lemire

Review: Sentient

Sentient

As powerful a behemoth the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, it cannot be understated how much it has changed the way we look at heroes. The mere reverberations that Avengers: Endgame has had on our collective consciousness is both heartbreaking and eye-opening. The movie showed the world that heroes may be superpowered but mortal. The movie killed three of the most impactful entities of the MCU to that point, leaving audiences in a gasp and many in tears.

This was not the first time the MCU had fans in tears and it probably won’t be the last. It’s the first time I remember seeing a heartfelt story onscreen was Next Avengers: Heroes Of Tomorrow.  The movie centers around the children of the Avengers in a dystopian future. It’s a world where Ultron has killed all their parents. The movie asks a very important question, “Have you prepared your children for a life without you?” Jeff Lemire and Gabriel Walta’s thought-provoking Sentient is a similar premise to that animated movie and explores that very question.

We’re taken to the USS Montgomery a ship that houses a crew and their family along with artificial intelligence, Valeria, that watches over them. Separatists dissent on the Earth colony has the Space Navy and the Montgomery sees betrayal among its own. Post tragedy, the story shifts to one of survival as the surviving children of the Montgomery must learn to function in a ship without their parents and adapt to their new situation. It’s a story of survival in the physical and emotional sense.

Sentient is a truly original science fiction story that borrows traces of Lord of the Flies and Bicentennial Man infused with the human journey to beat insurmountable odds. The story by Lemire is heartfelt, harrowing, and redemptive. The art by Walta, Wands, Fletcher, and Powell is superb. Altogether, a story that shows the answer to the question, that if you can ever prepare your children for the unthinkable and to trust that you that your nurture leads to their better natures.

Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Gabriel Walta, Steve Wands, Jared K Fletcher, and Jeff Powell
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Inferior Five #4 (of 12)

Inferior Five #4 (of 12)

(W) Keith Giffen, Jeff Lemire, Jeff Lemire (A) Keith Giffen, Michelle Delecki, Jeff Lemire (CA) Scott Koblish
In Shops: Dec 04, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Seems like old times…or does it? In the days following the Invasion, the Tasmanian Devil pulverizes a certain cosmic starfish from space (and gets pulverized in return!), while the Peacemaker streaks across Russian skies to battle the Rocket Reds! And when you see the alien monsters descend on Dangerfield, Arizona, it’ll be more like “screams like old times!”

Inferior Five #4 (of 12)

Review: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1

DC Black Label branches out from Batman, the Joker, and Harley Quinn in the gritty and trippy The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1. With a dedication to both Question’s original creator Steve Ditko and his finest writer (Up to now) Dennis O’Neil, writer Jeff Lemire, artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz, and colorist Chris Sotomayor attempt to bridge the character’s portrayals as an Objectivist, who views the world in strict black and white terms and as an Eastern philosophy-influenced fighter of systemic evils, who donned the Question mask to right wrongs that newscaster Vic Sage couldn’t. They also craft the first chapter in one hell of a mystery. It features an art style that is far from the usual capes and tights.

Bringing back artists Cowan and Sienkiewicz from The Question’s original DC Comics series was a stroke of genius. It’s what initially got me interested in this series. Sienkiewicz’s scratchy inks and Cowan’s almost journalistic portrayal of human nature roots the first half of Question in the violent, yet ripped from the headlines crime stories that characterized the original run.

The comic opens up with Question muttering something straight out of a Mr. A strip or an Ayn Rand novel and catching a Hub City councilman in a brothel with underage girls. He knocks the creep about a little bit but is mostly concerned with recording footage for Vic Sage to play on the evening news where he openly accuses Hub City mayor Wesley Fermin of being connected to organized crime that leads to a lawsuit and more trouble. The sequence sets up Sage’s very public persona and role as the gadly, or voice of truth, in Hub City. That makes it necessary for him to wear face-warping masks courtesy of his old chemistry professor, Aristotle “Tot” Rodor.

However, this dual identity isn’t so simple. Lemire and Cowan play with the different sides of Question and Vic Sage’s personalities. They show that Question’s single-minded quest for justice sometimes makes him lose the big picture. An example is the police shooting of an unarmed man while he’s following a lead about a ring that was on both the councilman’s finger and the mayor’s lawyer’s. The Question is a skilled detective but his conspiracy-driven nature can blind him to the everyday issues of his city. Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor show this visually through a wavy line, lots of black ink, and a darker color palette. It culminates in Question’s discovery of a literal abyss and some surreal imagery where you can really see the Sienkiewicz influence shine through.

Thankfully, in the second half of The Question #1, Lemire and Cowan create the context for these images. It’s a departure from the crime fiction of the comic’s first act to something more mystical. Hence, Richard Dragon shows up with insight and potty mouth one-liners. (Think the Bride’s sensei in Kill Bill sans the misogyny and xenophobia.) From a big picture perspective, the conversation between Dragon and Sage also seems like a conversation between O’Neil and Ditko. The former taking Question into more of a zen Buddhism direction while Ditko used him as the avatar of his black and white view of the world. That was passed onto his creation Mr. A and Question’s spiritual offspring, Rorschach. (The nine panel grids and the use of “Hrrm” are a nod to that fellow.)

Richard Dragon believes that souls can travel between bodies while Question just wanted to learn martial arts to kick ass and is talking to his old teacher to solve a mystery steeped in symbolism, but connected to Hub City and its corruption. To take a page out of the German philosopher Hegel‘s book, Dragon is thesis, Question is antithesis, and they are a long way from synthesis. The last few pages introduce another wrinkle in the status quo in a natural non “Oh shit, we need a cliffhanger” way. Cowan makes fantastic use of recurring metronome motif to slip readers into another world. It’s like seeing a hypnotherapist as the story shifts in genre. His solid storytelling and well-placed use of six and nine-panel grids, as well as larger layouts, doesn’t waver.

The debut is steeped in the classic O’Neil and Cowan run as well as the ideology of Ditko. Lemire, Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor make sure The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 isn’t a nostalgia-driven retread. In a current era where political corruption runs rampant, and the said corrupt don’t even try to sweep it under a rug, a character who isn’t afraid to speak truth to power is incredibly relevant. However, the Question also engages in Randian purity policing and has a primal, childish view of the world. He’s far from an inspirational figure. This is why Cowan and Sienkiewicz’s naturalistic, almost dirty art style is a good fit for the book. They and Lemire also aren’t afraid to get a little weird. I’m interested to see how they synthesize the various versions of the Question in both the spiritual and physical realms.

Story: Jeff Lemire Pencils: Denys Cowan  Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors: Chris Sotomayor Letters: Willie Schubert
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Black Label provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

(W) Jeff Lemire (A) Bill Sienkiewicz, (A/CA) Denys Cowan
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
SRP: $6.99
DC BLACK LABEL – PRESTIGE PLUS FORMAT – APPROX. 8.5″ x 10.875″

For years, Vic Sage has worn the faceless mask of the Question to clean up the streets of Hub City by sheer force of will. He knows right from wrong. He knows black from white. But what happens when he is drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the heights of Hub City power to the depths of its underground tunnels? What happens when things stop being black-and-white and start getting a little gray? And what happens when, in a secret chamber deep beneath the city, Vic Sage meets his own end…and his new beginning? Eisner-winning writer Jeff Lemire joins forces with the legendary art team of Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz to resurrect Vic Sage, only to destroy him all over again…and again…

The Question: The deaths of Vic Sage #1

DC Releases a First Look at Joker: Killer Smile #2 Out December 18

Joker: Killer Smile #2 (of 3)

Written by Jeff Lemire
Interior art and Cover by Andrea Sorrentino
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Variant Cover by Kaare Andrews
DC BLACK LABEL – PRESTIGE PLUS FORMAT – APPROX. 8.5″ x 10.875″
In Shops: Dec 18, 2019
Final Orders Due: Nov 18, 2019
SRP: $5.99

Ben Arnell promised his wife and child one thing: even though he spends his days attempting to reach the bottom of The Joker’s insanity, he would never bring that madness home. No matter how dark the work gets, he would never allow The Joker’s craziness to tear their family apart.

And in that, he failed.

The Eisner-winning creative team of Gideon Falls kick their blackhearted chronicle of The Joker’s destructive influence into high gear with an issue that turns the entire story on its head, with disastrous consequences for Dr. Arnell!

Joker: Killer Smile #2 (of 3)

Preview: Inferior Five #3 (of 12)

Inferior Five #3 (of 12)

(W) Keith Giffen, Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Keith Giffen, Michelle Delecki
In Shops: Nov 06, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The kids who don’t know they’re a team get a superhero from the ’80s to come to their aid. It’s the Tasmanian Devil… and he’s pitted against someone or something that looks an awful lot like a giant starfish! Plus, the Peacemaker’s back in action in the final showdown with the KGBeast!

Inferior Five #3 (of 12)

TKO’s Second Wave of Comics is Now Available

TKO Studios burst upon the comic book scene last December with a bold new strategy to binge-release entire miniseries in both collectors box sets and trade paperbacks. Their first wave of books included series by some of comics’ best writers and artists.

TKO has released their second wave of books. The titles include:

SENTIENT

Written by Jeff Lemire (Black Hammer) and drawn by Gabriel Walta (The Vision)

When a separatist attack kills every adult on board a colony ship in deep space, it is up to VALERIE, the on-board A.I., to help the ship’s children survive. But as they are pursued by dangerous forces, can Valerie become more than what she was programmed to be — a savior to these children? 

SENTIENT

THE BANKS

Written by Roxane Gay (Black Panther: World of Wakanda), drawn by Ming Doyle (The Kitchen), and colored by Jordie Bellaire (Redlands)

Chicago, Southside. For fifty years the women of the Banks family have been the most successful thieves in the city by following one simple rule: Get in. Get away. Get paid. Never get greedy.

THE BANKS

POUND FOR POUND

Written by Natalie Chaidez (Queen of the South), drawn by Andy Belanger (Southern Cross), and Daniela Miwa (The Fearsome Doctor Fang)

MMA fighter Dani Libra fears nothing… except for her recurring blackouts and fractured memories that obscure a bloody past. When her sister is kidnapped, Dani must shine a light on the darkness in her own mind. But can she keep her own demons at bay for long enough to save her sister?

POUND FOR POUND

EVE OF EXTINCTION

Written by Sal and Steven Simeone, drawn by Nik Virella (Deadpool) and Isaac Goodhart (Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale), and Ruth Redmond (Amazing Spider-Man)

The rain brought something. Something that changed the men. In order to reach their stranded daughter, two mothers must survive the hurricane, and the horrors it unleashed. But can they work together long enough to save their daughter in a world where all men have become monsters?

EVE OF EXTINCTION

 Each first issue of every mini-series is free to read at TKOpresents.com.

Preview: Joker: Killer Smile #1 (of 3)

Joker: Killer Smile #1 (of 3)

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Andrea Sorrentino
In Shops: Oct 30, 2019
SRP: $5.99

Everyone knows The Joker doesn’t have the most promising history with psychotherapists. In fact, no one’s even been able to diagnose him. But that doesn’t matter to the confident, world-beating Dr. Ben Arnell; he’s going to be the one to unravel this unknowable mind. There’s no way The Joker could ever get through the therapeutic walls Ben has built around himself. Right? There’s no way The Joker’s been entering his house at night…right? There’s no way The Joker has stood over his son’s bed, and put that book in his hands, the one with the, the, the…

The Eisner-nominated creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (GREEN ARROW, Gideon Falls) reunite for a psychological horror story where nothing is as it seems, your eyes can’t be trusted and Mr. Smiles is waiting behind the basement door.

Wait, who’s Mr. Smiles? Prestige Format Size 81/2 x 10.875

Joker: Killer Smile #1 (of 3)

Noir Gets a Collection Featuring Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Joëlle Jones, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon, Paul Grist and more!

Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics gets the Dark Horse hardcover treatment! Murder, passion, and criminal enterprise are reprinted in their darkest form in this new edition, directly from the most talented writers and artists in crime comics! In these eleven pitch-black noir stories, you’ll find deadly conmen and embittered detectives converging on femme fatales and accidental murderers, all presented in sharp black and white by masters of the craft.

Featuring stories by Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and many more of crime comics’ top talent! With artists such as Joëlle Jones, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon, Paul Grist, and more bringing these gritty, smoke filled stories to life.

Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics goes on sale July 22, 2020. This 120-page hardcover collection will retail for $24.99.

Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 Begins to Explore Vic Sage’s Past and Present

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

Written by Jeff Lemire
Pencils by Denys Cowan
Inks by Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors by Chris Sotomayor
Lettering by Willie Schubert
Cover by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz
Variant Cover by Jeff Lemire and Marcelo Maiolo
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
Final Orders Due: Oct 21, 2019
SRP: $6.99

The series will go through multiple time periods and explore aspects of Vic Sage’s past and present that have never been explored before. Combined with Bill Sienkiewicz’s inks and Chris Sotomayor’s deft color touch, this may be the best version of the Question yet.

–Denys Cowan

Vic Sage knows right from wrong. He knows black from white. But what happens when he is drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the heights of Hub City power to the depths of its underground tunnels? What happens when things stop being black-and-white and start getting a little gray? And what happens when, in a secret chamber deep beneath the city, Vic Sage meets his own end…and his new beginning? Legendary artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz and letterer Willie Schubert return to The Question, alongside Eisner-winning writer Jeff Lemire and colorist Chris Sotomayor, to resurrect Vic Sage, only to destroy him all over again…and again…and again….

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage will carry an Ages 17+ content descriptor (for mature readers) and will ship bimonthly in DC’s Prestige Plus format. The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 hits shelves January 15, 2020.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)
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