Tag Archives: jeff lemire

Preview: Inferior Five #1 (of 12)

Inferior Five #1 (of 12)

(W) Keith Giffen, Jeff Lemire (A) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Keith Giffen, Michelle Delecki
In Shops: Sep 18, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The citizens of Dangerfield, Arizona, are beset by strange goings-on after the “Invasion” that rocked the DC Universe, but only five misfit kids seem to notice them. Can they uncover what’s happening before some sinister force collects them all? Find out in this new miniseries! And in the backup feature with story and art by Jeff Lemire, the Peacemaker is on a top-secret mission from Checkmate and Amanda Waller to find a mysterious weapon before the Russians can.

Inferior Five #1 (of 12)

Review: Berserker Unbound #2

Berserker Unbound #2

Ripped from a savage world ruled by magic and dropped at the outskirts of a modern city, feared warrior the Mongrel King is found and rescued by a homeless man who guides him through a new land with new vices and hardships in Berserker Unbound #2.

There should be little doubt by now that Jeff Lemire is one of the preeminent writers in comics. His ability to twist expectations with the way he commands a story and the dialogue used can be some of the most exciting things in a comic book – when he’s on form.

Berserker Unbound #2 seems to be a comic where Lemire isn’t on form. It’s an issue that is almost completely at odds with the one before it. Whereas Berserker Unbound #1 had some balls-to-the-wall action and more gore than a horror convention, the second issue is basically two men talking at each other. I say at each other and not to each other because neither the Mongrel King nor the newly introduced Joe Cobb has any idea what the other is saying. It makes for some interesting moments, but ultimately the comic ends in almost the same place it begins.

Or does it?

Through the course of the second issue the homeless Joe Cobb introduces the Mongrel King to life on the streets of New York City, the struggle for food, safety and shelter (and alcohol) for the most unfortunate of the city’s inhabitants, with Cobb assuming that the Mongrel King is another lost soul like himself. Conversely, the barbarian is trying to find his way home, and having no idea what Cobb is saying, is trusting him to find the wizard he needs to transport him home.

The pace of this comic is glacial in comparison to the first issue, mirroring the frustration and impatience of the title character in a world he doesn’t understand.

Mike Deodato Jr.‘s artwork captures the essence of sword and sorcery comics and book covers from the Silver Age, and he’s able to give the giant Mongrel King a subtle gracefulness to his movements that belies his size. As the issue progresses, you can see the changes in the barbarian’s posture as his new surroundings confuse and anger him further and further. But perhaps the largest key to sussing out the Mongrel King’s emotions is in the coloring of Frank Martin. Shifting colors from a vibrant hue to a muted grey and blue tone as the characters move into a setting where their individuality is swallowed by the masses; where they become one with the masses for a brief moment. Two faces in the crowd.

When it comes to any story written by Jeff Lemire, I usually find there’s a slower start to where the writer establishes his setting – that wasn’t the case last issue, and with the slower pace in Berserker Unbound #2 I can’t help but feel that this is a deliberate choice to illustrate the mundanity and hopelessness of the Mongrel King’s new situation – Lemire is the kind of writer that has a long game in mind, and I have every intention of sticking around to find out what that is.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Color: Frank Martin
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided a FREE copy for review. I’ve added this to my pull list.

Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester Explore the Horror of turning into a Tree in The Family Tree

Image Comics has announced an all-new, ongoing genre-defying series by New York Times bestselling author Jeff Lemire and critically-acclaimed artist Phil HesterThe Family Tree, which will launch this November. 

In The Family Tree, an eight-year-old girl literally begins to transform into a tree, her single mom, troubled brother, and possibly insane grandfather, embark on a bizarre and heart-wrenching odyssey across the back roads of America in a desperate search for a cure to her horrifying transformation—before it’s too late.

The farther they get from home, the more forces threaten to tear the family apart as fanatical cults, mercenaries, and tabloid Paparazzi close in, determined to destroy the girl or use her for their own ends. 

The Family Tree combines mystery, action, and Cronenbergian body horror into an epic story about the lengths a mother will go to keep her children safe in the face of an increasingly unstable world and unspeakable horrors.

The Family Tree #1 (Diamond Code SEP190021) will hit stores on Wednesday, November 13.

The Family Tree #1

Review: Berserker Unbound #1

Berserker Unbound #1

In Berserker Unbound #1, a merciless sword and sorcery warrior finds himself blasted through a wormhole to a modern-day metropolis where he must protect those around him from an evil wizard determined to send him to hell. 

There were two or three main reasons I picked this book up. One was because it was written by Jeff Lemire, one of the most exciting writers in comics today, the second was the premise of a barbarian warrior being dumped in our world in the present day really interested me and the third was simply the cover. It is wonderful. It told me everything I needed to know about the comic in all of five seconds. It’s also very indicative of the art style within the comic, as Mike Deodato Jr. provided the art for both the interior and exterior (though Dave Stewart provides the colors on the cover, with Frank Martin taking care of the interiors). I’m always happy when the interior artist also produces the cover art because it helps avoid a cover selling a book to a customer based on the art style only to have a totally different artist on the inside.

Berserker Unbound #1 opens with a fairly standard fantasy trope as the Mongrel King trudges across a barren badlands-esque landscape reminiscing over past battles and revealing his reason for the continuous fighting; his wife and daughter. Lemire crafts a compelling tale and weaves a lot of characterization into the Mongrel King during the first issue, helping him stand apart from the inevitable comparison to Conan and others of that ilk. With this being a Lemire book, my expectations were already high going into this series. Lemire took an axe to those expectations and left them bloodied in the dust. The story seems simple enough as a premise, and indeed the first issue ends pretty much where you would expect it to so there’s little surprise plotwise, but it’s how Lemire takes you to his destination – the narration, the pacing – and the way he toys with how you expect things to turn out? It’s wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful things, the artwork of Deodato Jr. is another such thing in this issue. The bleakness of the world, the savagery of the inevitable action.. everything about the artistic presentation of this book is phenomenal. Credit also should go to Martin’s coloring work, of course, which elevates the already great visuals to the next level. Colourists often get the short end of the stick when it comes to the credit they deserve. They shouldn’t. Berserker Unbound #1 is a prime example of a comic where both artists’ work elevates the book a step above anything else I’ve read so far.

When it comes to any story written by Jeff Lemire, I usually find there’s a slower start (though that doesn’t mean I’m not normally hooked within the first issue or two), but that’s not the case here. The opening salvo to this story grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and screamed: “READ ME!” So I did. And I’ll continue to read this series until it’s over.

Join me, won’t you?

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Color: Frank Martin
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided a FREE copy for review. I’ve also added this to my pull list.

SDCC 2019: Peek Into the Black Hammer-Verse

Dip your toe into the Black Hammer-verse with the Black Hammer 3 for $1and Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy from Dark Horse Comics! Explore the weird, wonderful, ever-expanding world created by acclaimed writer Jeff Lemire and veteran artist Dean Ormston.

Black Hammer 3 for $1 is a perfect intro to three great storylines in the Black Hammer–verse for just one dollar! This three-in-one anthology features the first issues of the original Black Hammer run, Sherlock Frankenstein, and Quantum Age, collected together in a 72-page discount package! Featuring art by artists Dean Ormston, David Rubín, and Wilfredo Torres, Black Hammer 3 for $1 is your one-way ticket to Spiral City and beyond! 

And if you’re already well versed in the Black Hammer-verse, then you won’t want to miss the debut of the newest hero to stalk the streets of Spiral City in Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy! Written by Black Hammer co-creator Jeff Lemire, with art by Tonci Zonjic and letters by Steve Wands, Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy is the latest installment in the ever-expanding Black Hammer-verse.

Teased in The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia, this tale of dark tragedy finds Spiral City trapped in a vicious cycle of crime, corruption, and violence. With the heart of the city at stake, a vigilante rises in Skulldigger. However, when the nefarious Grimjim escapes from prison, will Skulldigger and his ward, Skeleton Boy, be enough to save Spiral City? Be sure to find out in Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy #1.

Black Hammer 3 for $1 goes on sale November 06, 2019, and Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy #1 (of twelve) goes on sale December 11, 2019.

DC Announces Joker: Killer Smile and The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage from DC Black Label this Fall

DC is adding two more thrilling stories to its lineup this fall with the introduction of two new miniseries— Joker: Killer Smile from writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino available October 30, followed by The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage by Lemire and artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz to be released November 20.

In Joker: Killer Smile Lemire and Sorrentino will share their own interpretation of one of the darkest characters of the Batman mythos—the Joker. For years, the Joker has terrorized Gotham, facing off with Batman time and time again. But now he’s found a new adversary, one that can deliver him from the purgatory of Arkham Asylum and set his madness free once more—the very doctor tasked with treating him. As he gets his hooks deeper and deeper into the mind of his prey, Joker sets off a chain reaction of mayhem that will threaten to tear down not only Gotham City but the soul of this idealistic man, and his young family, too.

Joker: Killer Smile is a three-part story that will debut October 30, 2019, releasing every other month following.

Joker: Killer Smile

In The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage, Lemire, Cowan and Sienkiewicz launch a philosophical mystery starring Vic Sage—the Question. Building on the legacy of Dennis O’Neil and Cowan’s previous run, it begins in an early Hub City where an unsolved mystery has led to the demise of the Question—and history will soon repeat itself. Beginning in the Old West and continuing through the lawless 1930s, the answers needed to solve the problem are out of reach—and may doom the Question once again.

The faceless man who believes in absolutes will soon find himself in a world where it all blends together, and escaping this trap is the only way to set himself free.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage is a four-part story that will debut November 20, 2019, releasing every other month following.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage

Underrated: Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado (Redux)

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado

bs colorado.jpg

I wanted to revisit this book, because I’ve recently reread and still don’t think it gets the attention it deserves. This originally ran in July of 2018.

Jeff Lemire has been writing Bloodshot across various series for a long time. Longer, even, than I have been reading. Two days ago, I picked up the first volume of Bloodshot Reborn as despite reading from around the eighth issue of the series on, I had never actually read the opening to the series. The blurb on the back of this book gives you a pretty good idea of the book’s plot, but what it doesn’t do is tell you that this book is so much more than your typical superhero story.

Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit — a private contractor trafficking in violence — very well. Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving head-long into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

Picking up after the events of The Valiant (expect spoilers for that book if you haven’t read it), Colorado opens with a monologue telling you who Bloodshot was juxtaposed against images in stark contrast to who he is now. Lemire wastes no tie in showing you that a  man who was forced to kill for others has, seemingly, wasted his opportunity at a second chance for a normal life. Within a page or two, you’re hitting rock bottom with the man formerly known as Bloodshot. You can feel his guilt and shame emanating  from the paper as you turn the page, and not once do you blame him for what he’s going through.

This is a man who was broken, and who doesn’t know how to move past what he was. Who woke up from a nightmare only to understand that he was the monster, and now wears the question of whether he deserves to move on as an armour.

Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado is an origin story, of sorts, for Ray Garrison. Which means you don’t need to have read Bloodshot prior to picking up this comic (and, really, although the first series post Valiant relaunch is good, it pales in comparison to the more psychological horror take on the character that Lemire presents us with). This first volume in the series is a brilliant read; I devoured it in one sitting and immediately wanted to read more. I am a huge fan of Jeff Lemire, and think his take on the character is a vastly underrated one when looked at in the grand scheme of the comics read world.

Lemire’s take on Bloodshot is my favourite version of the character, but the opening of his story takes more from the horror genre than one would initially expect. The character’s inner turmoil is obvious and very clear to the reader as Ray Garrison struggles to discover who he is now that he’s no longer a monster; and his biggest fear, and one he must confront as the volume progresses, is that he’s nobody. Without the monster, he is a shell of a man.

Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado is a book I can’t speak highly enough of (were this a review I’d be giving it a solid 10; the art is every bit as impressive as the story), and it genuinely surprised me that I hadn’t heard much about it prior to reading it myself. Maybe that was part of the magic, that unexpected kick in the teeth, but this first volume of Bloodshot Reborn needs to find its place on your shelf – whether physical or digital.

Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Ascender Ascends to a Second Printing

The all-new fantasy series Ascender—from New York Times bestselling  writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen—is immediately being rushed back to print to keep up with customer demand.

This new adventure from the powerhouse creative team behind the bestselling, award-winning Descender, provides readers with the perfect jumping on point and requires no knowledge of the previous Descender series.

Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender, in Ascender the machines have gone away, and in their absence magic has reclaimed the universe. Now one girl must embark on an epic quest to find robotkind and its fabled boy messiah, TIM-21, before it’s too late…

Ascender #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN199358) will be available in comic shops on Wednesday, May 22. The final order cutoff deadline for comic shop retailers is Monday, April 29.

Ascender #1, second printing

Review: Ascender #1

Ascender #1

Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender‘s storyline, magic has taken the place of machinery and the rules are very different indeed… Mila, the daughter of Andy and Effie from Descender, spends her days exploring the lonely wilds of the planet Sampson and trying to stay out of the clutches of the evil disciples of the all-powerful vampire witch known only as Mother. But, like her parents, Mila doesn’t like to play by the rules, and when a certain robot pal of her dad’s shows up, nothing will ever be the same!

Ascender #1 acts as both a beginning and continuation of the epic story from writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen. The series is a continuation of the critically praised Descender though replaces the focus on technology with a focus on magic. It is fantasy to the previous volume’s sci-fi.

Though knowledge of the previous volume is helpful, the first issue is a fresh start with some references to what has come before but none of it being vital or enjoyment. It really is the best of both worlds helping create a greater tapestry of wonder but also being a way for those new to begin their journey.

The first issue is all set up, painting a new picture of a world, its politics, and the conflict within. None of what’s presented is new or fresh but it’s done in a grand tradition of fantasy that makes it magical in a sense.

That is helped by the art which is a painted beauty unlike anything else on the market. The comic, like the previous series, is a joy to look at in its design of characters, worlds, settings, and situations, done in water color like style. It’s breathtaking to look at and enjoy.

This is a flip to what has come before and the magic vs. technology set up is obvious. To see where it goes and how much it hearkens back to the first series will be interesting but if this first issue is any indication, it’s a continuation that’ll stand on its own bringing enjoyment to new readers and excitement for those who have been there since the beginning.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Dustin Nguyen Lettering: Steve Wands
Story: 8.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The World of Black Hammer Gets a Definitive Guide

If you’re a fan of the Eisner Award-winning series but have questions about the weird and wonderful world filled with Golden Age pulp heroes and alien warlords then you won’t want to miss this! Critically acclaimed writer and Black Hammer co-creator Jeff Lemire is teaming up with writer Tate Brombal to explore the colorful characters that populate the Black Hammer universe in a brand new one-shot, The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia! 

This special one-shot offers a guide to the world of Black Hammer, presenting detailed biographies of Black Hammer’s heroes, villains, and supporting characters, illustrated by a wide assortment of superstar artists, including David Rubín (Ether), Wilfredo Torres (The Quantum Age), Tyler Crook (Harrow County), Christian Ward (Invisible Kingdom), and more! The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia features colors by Dave Stewart (Hellboy, Black Hammer) and a cover by Andrea Sorrentino!

The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia goes on sale July 3, 2019.

The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia
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