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Review: Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1

Marvel Voices Identity #1

As a child growing up, I yearned to see myself in the entertainment I enjoyed. I remembered watching TV and movies and rarely saw an Asian face. When we did show up, we were mostly background players. Thankfully, I had Kung Fu Theater, but most of those movies came off cartoonish and were made in the 1960s and 1970s.

Fast forward to today and we are getting our first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while along the way, strides have been made across all media. We have had three Asian centered television shows to grace. We also have a boom of Asian creativity across the Diasporas that have never been seen before. On the precipice of the Shang Chi movie being released, Marvel has released the one-shot, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1, where the House Of Ideas showcase some of their greatest heroes which just so happens to be Asian.

In “What Is Vs What If”, Shang Chi is challenged by the alternate version of himself if chose not defy his father. In “That One Thing”, Jubilee visits her parents’ graves and revisits her childhood through memories. In “Jimmy Woo 1959”, Jimmy uses his genius to help an alien that almost gets killed by an Army battalion. In “Seeing Red”, Kamala Khan while visiting family helps the local hero in Karachi. In “Personal Heroes”, Wave fights a water monster in her hometown with a hero she idolizes, Bishop. In “Singular/Plural”, Silhouette agonizes over the dating scene, blaming her disability for meeting eligible men, but one encounter, leads her to realize she needs to step out of her own shadow. In “Traditional Pink Sushi”, Armor and Silver Samurai, argue over how to make sushi and eventually realizes traditions are something to be renewed. In the last story,” New York State of Mind”, Silk and Amadeus Cho gets their day off interrupted, as they get into a fight the scarecrow on top of the Statue of Liberty.

Overall, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1 is an entertaining set of stories which not only highlight these heroes but also the excellent creators. The stories by the different creators are wondrous. The art by the different artists are beautiful. Altogether, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1 is a comics which introduces readers to these heroes and these talented creators.

Story: Gene Luen Yang, Christina Strain, Maurene Goo, Greg Pak, Sabir Pirzada, Jeremy Holt, Alyssa Wong, Ken Niimura
Art: Marcus To, Sunny Gho, Jason Loo, Lynne Yoshii, Sebastian Cheng, Creees Lee, Brian Reber, Darren Shan, Mashal Ahmed, Neeraj Menon, Alti Firmansyah, Irma Kniivila, Whilce Portacio, Jay David Ramos, Ken Niimura
Story: 10 Story: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Marvel Reveals New Covers by Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1

On August 25th, Marvel will celebrate its most legendary Asian superheroes in Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1! The latest in a far-reaching lineup of one-shots designed to uplift marginalized voices and celebrate the diversity of Marvel Comics’ characters and creators, Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 will be a thrilling collection of uplifting adventures starring Shang-Chi, Jubilee, Silk, Jimmy Woo, Ms. Marvel, Wave, Silhouette, Armor, and Silver Samurai. This highly anticipated issue will also boast a series of exciting new variant covers by an all-star lineup of artists including Peach Momoko’s spellbinding take on Nico Minoru, a gorgeous depiction of Marvel’s greatest fighter by InHyuk Lee, a celebration of some of mutantkind’s greatest stars by Uncanny X-Men artist Philip Tan, and covers by Mashal Ahmed and Rian Gonzales with a main cover by Jim Cheung.

Writers include Gene Luen Yang, Christina Strain, Maurene Goo, Greg Pak, Sabir Pirzada, Alyssa Wong, Jeremy Holt, and Ken Niimura. Artists include Marcus To, Jason Loo, Lynne Yoshii, Crees Lee, Mashal Ahmed, Whilce Portacio, Alti Firmansyah, and Ken Niimura.

Check out all six covers now and visit Marvel.com for a special sneak peek at the stories that await you when Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 hits stands on August 25th!

Review: Made In Korea #3

Made in Korea #3

Made in Korea, a harrowing SF story and domestic drama, continues as Jeremy Holt and George Schall show Jesse continuing to fall in with a bad crowd at school and move apart from her loving parents. This is while her good-intentioned, yet socially inept “creator” tries to take her away from her family and return to where she was manufactured in South Korea. Made in Korea #3 is a solid middle issue and sets the table for some explosive developments and creates tension in key relationships in Jesse’s life.

Starting with an opening sequence where two of Jesse’s classmates blame the manufacturer of a BB gun instead of their own ineptitude for their lack of skill with it, Holt and Schall explore the connection between white male mediocrity and violence. Naive Jesse thinks that these guys are her friends, but they’re really just using her in a school shooting plot. Jeremy Holt nails these men’s ideology in a well-written monologue where one of them talks about being an outsider and persecuted by society. This draws a parallel to men who appropriate media, pop culture, and even history to justify their insecurities and hatred. As a women of color and artificial intelligence in a predominantly human society, Jesse faces real discrimination and is treated as an “other” by everyone from her parents, “creator, and even the teachers at her school who ask if she’s had any “technical difficulties” when she doesn’t show up for a few days.

Holt and George Schall do an excellent job of exploring racism through sci-fi metaphor and reality while also continuing to probe into the question of what it means to be human. These ideas come out through the strong storytelling of Schall’s art. They show the tension in Jesse’s family through a few powerful images like a slammed door, an angry face, or a car speeding into the night. The pink and red color palette can almost make you hear that asshole revving up his engine in the lane next to you even though it’s a one lane road, and the speed limit is 35. George Schall truly makes Jesse a conduit for the emotions of Made in Korea in bittersweet sequences like her genuinely having a good time with the bad kids from her school and howling like a wolf when her expression is usually neutral. It makes you even feel sadder that she’s being used by the folks around her.

As mentioned earlier, Made in Korea #3 falls squarely in the science fiction genre, but Holt and Schall also play with the superhero genre, especially in how a couple of the students from Jesse’s school treat her. Without mentioning the name of any popular characters, they reveal that she’s basically like Wolverine with unbreakable bones, great strength plus a knack for markmanship. However, these kids also strip the agency away from Jesse and basically play on her loneliness to use it for bad ends like robbing a military base and setting up a school shooting. Jeremy Holt strips away the “badass” from punching and shooting and focuses on the pain and loneliness as Jesse doesn’t want to hurt anyone. (It’s literally in her programming.) George Schall reinforces this by showing no joy when Jesse uses her abilities, and they even add some uncertainty in her facial expressions during the military base heist.

Jesse has great mental and physical skills, but of course, they’re exploited by humans for evil ends in Made in Korea #3 as some kids from her school prey on her loneliness and not fitting in to use her as a pawn in a school shooting. Jeremy Holt and George Schall have spent the previous two issues of Made in Korea crafting Jesse’s family dynamic and this five minutes in the future world, and this third issue starts to overturn it a little bit with the scientist that helped build her lacking the people skills to prevent a catastrophe from happening. The thread that continues to run through the series is that the people around Jesse continue to treat her as a “human in name only”, and this definitely seems like it will backfire in the back end of Made in Korea.

Story: Jeremy Holt, Eunjoo Han 
Art: George Schall, Eunjoo Han Letters: Adam Wollet
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Made in Korea #1 Heads Back to Print

The breakout hit miniseries Made in Korea by fan-favorite writer Jeremy Holt and artist George Schall has sold out completely at the distributor level. The popular debut issue is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with growing reorder activity and the reprint will feature new cover art by Schall.

In Made in Korea, readers follow Jesse, the world’s first true A.I. system, on an exciting exploration of what it means to be a family in an age when biological parenthood is no longer a reality.

Made in Korea #1, second printing (Diamond Code APR219396) and Made in Korea #2 (Diamond Code APR210312) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, June 30.

Read our review of the first issue.

Made in Korea #1, second printing

Review: Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea #1

George Schall’s cover for Made in Korea #1 has to be considered one of the best in 2021. It’s what made me stop scrolling through the list of upcoming comics I was scanning, looking for my next fix. Once I saw Jeremy Holt was involved, the writer behind Skip to the End and Southern Dog, I knew the quality of the story would match the grotesque wonders of the cover.

Made in Korea centers on a couple that’s debating whether to bring a child into their family. Thing is, the child in question is a kind of ultra-realistic android that’s programmed to behave like a real son or daughter. As is the case with technological innovation, the android kid is expensive and seemingly available only to those privileged enough to have easy access to the required funds.

The title’s manufacturing reference isn’t there for show either. The android children are actually made in Korea, which allows Holt and Schall to add an entirely different but interconnected story thread that, in this case, sees a Korean programmer trying to crack a code that could have an effect in android behavior.

Holt’s script is quite naturalistic, presenting well-rounded characters that feel genuine. Everyone is infused with personality and I appreciated how opinionated they were when commenting on the small but meaningful changes their world has gone through.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Those small details will make any fan of Phillip K. Dick proud as they build up a sci-fi world that thrives on complex subtleties without letting big ideas get too watered down in the process. There’s a delicate balance struck between character moments and big plot events that keeps things moving at a quick but measured pace.

A few pages are also borrowed from the movie Logan in terms of the comic’s worldbuilding, in which the subtle bits of sci-fi that are shown also develop the setting and the characters’ place in it. The near future of Made in Korea is a place that’s taken noticeable steps in technological evolution without making it come off as overwhelming and all-encompassing.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Holt and Schall also find the time to bring up conversations about artificial intelligence, the capacity advanced tech has to adapt and perhaps surpass humanity, and technological co-dependence. There’s even a reference to Dick’s famous novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, thrown in to establish the kind of sci-fi Made in Korea is going for.

Schell’s art perfectly captures the shine that’s often associated with certain idealized versions of the future. It’s crisp, clean, and sleek, as if the future is obsessed with keeping things in their right place, if only for appearances sake. Schell doesn’t go for the dirty, gritty sci-fi look of Blade Runner, Akira, and Brazil, where trash and rundown high-rises color the environment. Instead, he goes for visuals that contain hidden dangers buried deep within suburban standards of life.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea packs a lot into its first issue. The six-issue miniseries is ambitious and expansive, worthy of the topic it settled on. There’s something lurking in its pages that looks like it’ll blow up in later issues concerning the questions that come with adopting a child among couples that can’t conceive. Just how much that’ll figure in the story remains to be seen, but what’s here is already enough to make for an exceptional comic.

Made in Korea #1 will be released in comic shops on May 26, 2021.

Story: Jeremy Holt Art: George Schall Letters: Adam Wollet
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Recommendation: Buy and make sure your robotic appliances aren’t becoming sentient


Purchase: comiXologyZeus ComicsTFAW

GlobalComix Announces Resilience: Creators Against COVID, a Charity Anthology

Resilience: Creators Against COVID

GlobalComix has announced Resilience: Creators Against COVID. The anthology is the digital platform’s first original release. GlobalComix has teamed up with creators for original stories about perseverance and hope. 100% of the revenue will go to the creators for them to donate to causes or comic shops of their choosing.

Resilience: Creators Against COVID features 7 chapters which will be released twice a week starting on May 18.

Check out the full creative lineup below:

Persevere
Released on May 18 2021, made by
Landry Walker (Batman),
Eric Jones (Star Wars),
Taylor Esposito (Daredevil)
are donating to Fantastic Comics in Berkeley, CA

Supposed to Be
Released on May 20 2021, made by
Jamal Igle (Wonder Woman),
Jess Fleming (Outgoing)
are donating to The Trans Women of Color Collective in Bethesda, MD

The Fantastic Flame
Released on May 25 2021, made by
Alex Segura (Archie),
Chantel Acevedo (Muse Squad),
Richard Ortiz (DC Bombshells),
Ellie Wright (Black Ghost),
Taylor Esposito (Daredevil)
are donating to A&M Comics in Miami, Florida

Persian Version of Pop Culture in America
Released on May 27 2021, made by
Sina Grace (Iceman)
is donating to Secret Headquarters Comics in Los Angeles, CA

Surviving Camino Del Diablo
Released on June 1 2021, made by
Henry Barajas (Helm Graycastle),
Nicky Rodriguez (Pulse),
Gabbie Downie (Harleen)
are donating to Palabras Bilingual Bookstore in Phoenix, AZ

7 O’clock
Released on June 3 2021 by
Frank Tieri (Wolverine),
Leisha Riddel (Smooth Criminals),
Christina Rose Chua (Adventure Time)
are donating to The Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses

The Hike
Released on June 8 2021 by
Jeremy Holt (After Houdini, Made in Korea),
Chris Peterson (Dead Beats),
Gab Contreras (Witchblood)
are donating to Vinyl Fantasy in Brooklyn, New York

Janelle Asselin provided editorial management for Resilience: Creators Against COVID, a Charity Anthology while Kat Jackson provided the cover art.

Advance Review: Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea #1

George Schall’s cover for Made in Korea #1 has to be considered one of the best in 2021. It’s what made me stop scrolling through the list of upcoming comics I was scanning, looking for my next fix. Once I saw Jeremy Holt was involved, the writer behind Skip to the End and Southern Dog, I knew the quality of the story would match the grotesque wonders of the cover.

Made in Korea centers on a couple that’s debating whether to bring a child into their family. Thing is, the child in question is a kind of ultra-realistic android that’s programmed to behave like a real son or daughter. As is the case with technological innovation, the android kid is expensive and seemingly available only to those privileged enough to have easy access to the required funds.

The title’s manufacturing reference isn’t there for show either. The android children are actually made in Korea, which allows Holt and Schall to add an entirely different but interconnected story thread that, in this case, sees a Korean programmer trying to crack a code that could have an effect in android behavior.

Holt’s script is quite naturalistic, presenting well-rounded characters that feel genuine. Everyone is infused with personality and I appreciated how opinionated they were when commenting on the small but meaningful changes their world has gone through.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Those small details will make any fan of Phillip K. Dick proud as they build up a sci-fi world that thrives on complex subtleties without letting big ideas get too watered down in the process. There’s a delicate balance struck between character moments and big plot events that keeps things moving at a quick but measured pace.

A few pages are also borrowed from the movie Logan in terms of the comic’s worldbuilding, in which the subtle bits of sci-fi that are shown also develop the setting and the characters’ place in it. The near future of Made in Korea is a place that’s taken noticeable steps in technological evolution without making it come off as overwhelming and all-encompassing.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Holt and Schall also find the time to bring up conversations about artificial intelligence, the capacity advanced tech has to adapt and perhaps surpass humanity, and technological co-dependence. There’s even a reference to Dick’s famous novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, thrown in to establish the kind of sci-fi Made in Korea is going for.

Schell’s art perfectly captures the shine that’s often associated with certain idealized versions of the future. It’s crisp, clean, and sleek, as if the future is obsessed with keeping things in their right place, if only for appearances sake. Schell doesn’t go for the dirty, gritty sci-fi look of Blade Runner, Akira, and Brazil, where trash and rundown high-rises color the environment. Instead, he goes for visuals that contain hidden dangers buried deep within suburban standards of life.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea packs a lot into its first issue. The six-issue miniseries is ambitious and expansive, worthy of the topic it settled on. There’s something lurking in its pages that looks like it’ll blow up in later issues concerning the questions that come with adopting a child among couples that can’t conceive. Just how much that’ll figure in the story remains to be seen, but what’s here is already enough to make for an exceptional comic.

Made in Korea #1 will be released in comic shops on May 26, 2021.

Story: Jeremy Holt Art: George Schall Letters: Adam Wollet
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Recommendation: Buy and make sure your robotic appliances aren’t becoming sentient


Pre-Order: comiXologyZeus ComicsTFAW

Made in Korea Explores an A.I. Future

Fan-favorite writer Jeremy Holt joins breakout artist George Schall for a new science fiction story titled Made In Korea. The six issue miniseries will launch from Image Comics this May. 

Made In Korea is Alex Garland’s Ex Machina meets Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender and perfect for fans of Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn’s Alex + Ada.

In Made In Korea, readers will follow Jesse, the world’s first true A.I. system, on an exciting exploration of what it means to be a family in an age when biological parenthood is no longer a reality.

Made In Korea #1 is scheduled to hit shelves in time for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 26. 

Made In Korea #1

ComiXology Originals Announces Virtually Yours by Jeremy Holt, Elizabeth Beals, and Adam Wollet

Virtually Yours

Are you, as the saying goes, looking for love in all the wrong places?

Arriving July 14thVirtually Yours is a 100 page, full-color graphic novel from the duo of writer Jeremy Holt and artist Elizabeth Beals, with lettering by Adam Wollet. It’s the latest creator-owned release from the comiXology Originals program.

In Virtually Yours, career-minded Eva Estrella is tired of her family asking when she’s going to settle down. Why won’t they stop nagging her? New York City is a big place! Sure it’s easy to meet people, but you try finding “the one” in a city of 8 million! Besides, Eva doesn’t want a distraction from her goal of finding a dream job in journalism. So Eva joins Virtually Yours, a virtual dating app that provides all the proof of being in a relationship — without actually being in one.

And then there’s Max Kittridge. He might be a former child star, but right now he’s in the middle of a divorce and going through the motions. Max takes a gig at Virtually Yours creating, what becomes, a highly sought-after profile, making him a top performer at the company. As they navigate their current circumstances, both Eva and Max find that sometimes what you’re looking for is right in front of you.


Part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive content, Virtually Yours will be available upon release, at no additional cost, for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited, and for purchase on Kindle and comiXology. Prime Reading offers all Amazon Prime members a rotating selection of over a thousand top Kindle books, magazines, short works, comic books, children’s books, and more – all at no additional cost. Kindle Unlimited offers over 1 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and select current issues of popular magazines for just $9.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. ComiXology Unlimited now offers over 25,000 comics, graphic novels, and manga for just $5.99 a month with a 60-day free trial.

Review: Skip to the End

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got a graphic novel that mixes music and comics.

Skip to the End is by Jeremy Holt, Alex Diotto, Renzo Podesta, Adam Wollet, and Tim Daniel.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

 

Insight Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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