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Review: War of the Realms Omega #1

War of the Realms Omega #1

War of the Realms: Omega #1 is not so much a full epilogue story to the “War of the Realms” event as a tasting menu for the various spinoffs that come after it. Kudos to Marvel for putting these in their own comic instead of stepping on Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson’s literal thunder as they hit the high point of Aaron’s Thor epic. With one last omniscient conversation between Daredevil and Heimdall as a framing narrative, Omega #1 tells the story of Jane Foster, Loki, and Punisher while setting up Jane Foster Valkyrie #1, Loki #1, and Punisher Kill Krew #1.

Even if it’s mostly just a conversation between Daredevil and Heimdall, the framing narrative of Omega #1 is a fantastic conclusion to Daredevil’s struggles with godhood that Jason Aaron penned in War Scrolls. It’s also reunion of one of my favorite recent Daredevil art teams of Ron Garney and Matt Milla, who transform the look of their framing narrative from fantasy to street level as Daredevil goes from talking about gods, prayers, and Valhalla to stopping a mugger with the help of some Yggdrasil forged fighting sticks. Aaron also brings up some interesting ideas like Daredevil’s guilt about his own faith and beliefs making him a good God of Fear that protected Midgard in their direst need. It connects to his recent writing of Thor that the best god isn’t one that fights for the mantle, but acknowledges the responsibility that is thrust upon him.

The first story in Omega #1 features Jane Foster and the Valkyries in a morgue where she hopes to help find them some peace and is written by Aaron and Al Ewing with art from Cafu and Jesus Aburtov. Jane interacts with Lisa, who used to date the superhero America Chavez, and they both can empathize on what it’s like to be connected to someone with so much power and be ordinary. It’s a nice human interaction before a beautiful transformation sequence where Jane takes on the responsibility of reopening Valhalla and finding rest for the Asgardians. Cafu’s art is clean and photorealistic, but not too stiff while Aburtov’s colors are bright, glossy, but a little sad. Jane played a major role in “War of the Realms”, and it’ll be nice to see her as headliner for a little bit in her own series that looks to continue to play on Aaron’s themes of faith and belief that he has explored throughout his Thor comics.

On the more mischievous side, there is a story starring Loki and his undersized Frost Giant buddy Drrf from Daniel Kibblesmith, Oscar Bazaldua, and David Curiel. As evidenced by his work on Valiant High, Lockjaw, and Deadpool vs. Black Panther, Kibblesmith excels at combining comics continuity with funny and genuinely heartfelt moments. And there are a few of those in this short story as Loki takes a young Frost Giant under his wing after he spots the little guy using a stew pot lid as a sled. Bazaldua’s cartoon-y style visuals are a good fit for this book and capture Loki’s every smirk and glint of mischief in his eye. He earned the role of king of Frost Giants by killing his father, but it will be difficult to keep the respect of this murderous and cannibalistic realm. However, adding Drrf to the equation keeps the tone of the story light and not super serious in a Game of Thrones kind of way.

The final Omega #1 short story is a Punisher one, from Gerry Duggan and the fantastic Juan Ferreyra that shows that the War of the Realms never really ended for one person: Frank Castle. Castle is barbecuing stray Helhounds with a flamethrower, breaking up Asgardian revelry with semi-automatic gun fire, and making sure the inhabitants of Midgard don’t loot in the post-War chaos. His mission of vengeance towards criminals has expanded from mortals to fantasy beings thanks to the losses suffered by the people, and especially the children of New York, during the War. However, the real star of the Punisher story isn’t the brooding revenge or monster becomes monster hunter narrative book, but Ferreyra’s art, which he colors himself and has a Steve Dillon meets Heavy Metal vibe. The combination of melodramatic dialogue and captions and over the top violence is a winner.

War of the Realms Omega #1 accomplished what it set out do, which is to pique my interest in the upcoming Jane Foster, Loki, and Punisher comic book series that are spinning out of the event. The artists for these books are especially well-cast, and Cafu’s beautiful take on Jane Foster’s transformation from mortal to Valkyrie was the highlight of this entire one-shot. Also, Juan Ferreyra is such an underrated artist, and I’m excited to see his take on creative fantasy monster executions.

Story: Jason Aaron, Al Ewing, Daniel Kibblesmith, Gerry Duggan
 Art: Ron Garney, Cafu, Oscar Bazaldua, Juan Ferreyra
 Colors: Matt Milla, Jesus Aburtov, David Curiel
Letters: Joe Sabino, Clayton Cowles, Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Venom #16

Venom #16

Venom #16 does a fantastic job of bridging the gap between the recently ended event “War of the Realms” and upcoming “Absolute Carnage.”

Writer Donny Cates uses the issue to focus on the recent revelation that Eddie Brock is a father. Cates has done an amazing job at adding depth to the character. This issue is a prime example of that.

Eddie doesn’t have access to his symbiote anymore and he has to take care of his newly discovered son. But, that involves money, something Eddie doesn’t have. And, with his son getting sick, Eddie also needs medicine, or at last soup. While he used to have the means to solve those issues, he now has to take another route. That means trying to get a job.

The story is such a simple concept that shows Eddie as a proctor. It also has us questioning who was the bad guy, him or the symbiote. Did one corrupt the other? It also makes his actions as a hero more believable as we get to see him care for his kid.

Cates focuses on that while also teasing the upcoming storyline “Absolute Carnage.” He delivers a creepy storyline that’s brutal in scary in so many ways. We see Eddie do what he has to provide and protect the innocents, even without Venom to help. It creates a character that is multifaceted and more well-rounded.

The art by Juan Gedeon and colorist Jesus Aburtov for Venom #16 is on the nose. It brings a grittiness to the story that fits the tone perfectly. There’s a caring innocence that slowly devolves as Eddie falls deeper into his mission and goal. The detail Gedeon makes sure to add of the bumps and bruises helps you feel that more sorry for Eddie and what he has to do.

Venom continues to be one of Marvel’s best series out there. It has added depth to a character who up to this point lacked any. Venom, and Eddie Brock, has finally gone from a Spider-Man who eats people, to a character you can empathize with. Cates has made me care about the character for the first time and put together an amazing focus on character, action, and big picture storytelling.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Juan Gedeon
Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Venom #16

With the War of the Realms over, Eddie Brock attempts to move on with his life as Absolute Carnage is right around the corner. An excellent issue bridging the two storylines.

Story: Donny Cates
Art: Juan Gedeon
Color: Jesus Aburtov
Letters: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops starting July 10! 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 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

Review: X-Force #9

X-Force #9

X-Force is in a tough place attempted to fight Stryfe’s forces and also rescue Kid Cable! X-Force #9 delivers the penultimate chapter in Ed Brisson epic X-storyline.

Brisson has been weaving a solid follow up to his Extermination storyline taking us further into the world of Kid Cable as well as the fate of Rachel Summers. For longtime readers of the X-Universe, the jump to the future has been fun giving us a further glimpse as to what’s to come.

Brisson brings the humor in X-Force #9. It’s been a highlight of his run as he mixes violence with laughs. From Boom Boom punching a frozen enemy to Shatterstar trying not to kill anyone, there’s enough to enjoy the action. It’ll all put a smile on one’s face. Humor really seems to be Brisson’s focus with this series. Every character has their moment to deliver something that’ll get you to laugh. It’s a throwback in many ways to action films of the 80s with their quips to make it all a bit more “cool.”

The art in the issue improves with just one artist focused on the action. Dylan Burnett is joined by Jesus Aburtov on color and Cory Petit on lettering. The result is a more consistent look to the comic removing a problem present from the previous issue. The art still has its very stylized look which some might not like. But, the style adds to the humor of the series delivering over the top action.

X-Force #9 delivers as it not only has Domino and her team taking the fight to Stryfe but also Rachel stepping up in a major way. The end of the issue should have X-fans excited to see what comes next and where Brisson is taking his contribution to X-Men history.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Dylan Burnett
Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Force Vol. 1 Sins of the Past

Kid Cable is out there and X-Force wants answers. Domino, Cannonball, Shatterstar, Boom-Boom, and Warpath are on his trail to get them. Then there’ Deathlok too!?

X-Force Vol. 1 Sins of the Past collects issues #1-5.

Story: Ed Brisson
Art: Dylan Burnett, Juanan Ramírez, Damian Couceiro
Color: Jesus Aburtov, Brian Reber
Letterer: Cory Petit

Get your copy in comic shops nowand book stores in June 11! 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

Review: X-Force #8

X-Force #8

In X-Force #8, the team heads to the future! What type of future is it?

There’s a lot I’ve liked about writer Ed Brisson‘s run on X-Force. X-Force #8 features the expected fun interaction of the team and action you’d want. But, the art hurts Brisson’s rollercoaster ride.

The team gets to the future and with time travel being the focus, the fun confusion you’d expect is all present. It’s all the set up for a battle between X-Force and the Mutant Liberation Army which is pretty solid as far as action. There’s also the suffering of Kid Cable and his out of control techno-virus. That too is revisited a bit with some interesting results that has me wanting to see where it goes.

All of that would be great and fun but inconsistent art drags it down.

Dylan Burnett handles the art with Jesus Aburtov on colors and Cory Petit lettering. Normally, I’ve enjoyed the art on the series. It’s different with a Samurai Jack feel about it. That style made the comic stand out in a good way. But, this issue, things go off the rails a bit and now the art stands out… but in a not so good way. I have no idea where the blame lies but there’s some serious issues with lines and inking.

The first few pages with Aliya and Kid Cable have Aliya looking like she’s cell shaded. The thick black lines are a distraction as the style is so different than the rest of the comic. Look at the detail of Kid Cable’s virus for example. The thin lines versus Aliya’s thick in panels next to each other create an early distraction. That carries over for the rest of the comic where that difference isn’t as present.

While the issue is just one piece of the puzzle, it’s an issue that stands out for the inconsistent art. Thankfully Brisson continues to deliver the action and fun dialogue, a nice distraction that has me coming back for the next issue.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Dylan Burnett
Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Force #7

X-Force #7

Stryfe comes face-to-face with Kid Cable!

Kid Cable has been captured by Stryfe and is back in the future where he’s being tortured to reveal the location of his clan. In the present, X-Force fumbles to build a time machine to go get Kid Cable.

X-Force #7 by writer Ed Brisson is an interesting one as very little happens and a lot happens as well. When it comes to the X-Force team, we get to see their personalities come out a bit more as they wait for their next move. In the future, we see Kid Cable tortured and his virus unleashed, Stryfe being his usual inferiority complex, and also the issue of Rachel Summers is dealt with as well. The issue sets up a lot but it also feels like it’s drawn out and rather slow. As a piece of the bigger story it’s important but on its own, it doesn’t really stand.

The art by Dylan Burnett and Damian Couceiro, with color by Jesus Aburtov and letterer Joe Caramagna continues the unique style of the series. There’s a cartoon element to it that works with X-Force. The future scenes with Kid Cable being consumed by his virus is a bit more mixed, especially the depiction of Cable who at times lacks detail enough to make it stand out.

The issue is a piece of the puzzle that readers of the series will enjoy but it’s absolutely not a place to start. This is an issue that can be skipped if need be but has enough to make it worth the read for fans of the series.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Dylan Burnett, Damian Couceiro
Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.70 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Force #5

X-Force #5

Before Extermination and before X-Force…young Nathan Summers was a mutant messiah warrior fighting against an apocalyptic future. But he wasn’t supposed to arrive in our time until well into adulthood…so what happened?

Why did Kid Cable go on a mission to send back the original X-Men? Why did he kill his older self? Writer Ed Brisson reveals what lead up to his mission to right the timeline.

At the end of X-Force #4, Stryfe and his Mutant Liberation Army arrived to stop Kid Cable and this issue is the revelation of what got us to that point and the battle with X-Force in X-Force #5. It’s an interesting issue as it jumps around in time and with the reader’s possible knowledge of Stryfe, creates a whole new page for that character and Cable. Is everything as black and white, good and bad, as it seems? Brisson leaves us with some questions as far as that and it’s not as clear as to whether Stryfe is truly the bad guy here.

The art by Damian Couceiro with color by Jesus Aburtov and lettering by Cory Petit is good continuing the unique style of the series. There’s some interesting horror aspects thrown into the future aspect of the series as the time storm changes reality. It’s a solid emphasis on that confusion and the torture as characters blink out of existence or fuse together. It could maybe have been played up a bit more but as is, the tone of those scenes are set really well.

The issue is an interesting one as it gives us some of the “why” as far as Kid Cable’s mission but also leaves open some questions as to whether he’s truly in the right as far as it. It’s also nice that Brisson is delivering a new take on Stryfe as well as the two characters go together and it feels like too long since we’ve gotten a good take on the modern classic villain.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Damian Couceiro
Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 7.85 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Force #4

X-Force #4

Ahab has returned to exterminate X-Force! What twisted scheme is Ahab conducting that has attracted the attention of X-Force? The team has begun to put the pieces together, but will they figure it out in time to stop mass genocide?

The first story arc has wound down but the heat has turned up high in X-Force #4. Writer Ed Brisson delivers an action packed issue that’s full of ups and downs for the team and an ending that’ll have folks buzzing.

What Brisson does that’s excellent is keep up reveals throughout the issue as we learn what Kid Cable is up to but that hints at something else creating a greater mystery. And, he does it with the action and humor we’ve come to expect from the previous three issues. There’s also over the top moments that just ups the fun of it all.

That over the top fun is helped by artist Dylan Burnett who with Jesus Aburtov‘s color and Cory Petit‘s lettering provides a style that’s perfect for Brisson’s narrative. There’s an aspect to the story that’s hyperbolic in a way and is an example of bigger being better. The upgrades some characters get is just fun in a silly way that only comics can deliver and the moments and beats delivered by Brisson are nailed through the art.

The issue is the end of the first arc but what it sets up will reverberate for some time. The end will get folks talking and has me so excited to see what comes next and what the team have up their sleeve. X-Force has always been about over the top action and this series delivers that and then some.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Dylan Burnett
Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 7.95 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Avengers: No Road Home #1

AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1 COMIC REVIEW – Herky Jerky

Night has fallen across the universe. Now seven Avengers — and one new addition — journey forth to bring back the light. But when the threat they face has destroyed even the gods… will anyone make it home?

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