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Exclusive Preview: Conan the Barbarian #20

Conan the Barbarian #20

(W) Jim Zub (A) Cory Smith (I) Roberto Poggi (C) Israel Silva (L) VC’s Travis Lanham (CA) Geoff Shaw
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Apr 07, 2021
SRP: $3.99

INTO THE WILD!
• CONAN must escape the Khitai royal guard while stalking through an uncharted land and battling the forces of nature that would see him fall!
• But is his new comrade MEIWEI everything she seems?
• And what secrets do HENG THE INSURGENT and his roving bandits hide?

Preview: Stone Star Season Two #5 (of 5)

Stone Star Season Two #5 (of 5)

Written by Jim Zub
Art by Max Dunbar
Colored by Espen Grundetjern
Cover by Max Dunbar
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Purchase

The nomadic space station called Stone Star brings gladiatorial entertainment to ports across the galaxy. Inside this gargantuan vessel of tournaments and temptations, foragers and fighters struggle to survive. A young warrior named Dail has been drawn into the ring and is trying to prove himself in the Grand Arena, but there are forces on the station determined to see him destroyed as revenge for his father’s fighting legacy.

Stone Star is an action-adventure spectacle bursting with colorful characters and pulse-pounding action! Grab your weapons, gritters, and join the fray!

Part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive digital content only available on comiXology and Kindle. Read for free as part of your subscription to comiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime. Also available for purchase via comiXology and Kindle.

Stone Star Season Two #5 (of 5)

Preview: Conan the Barbarian #19

Conan the Barbarian #19

(W) Jim Zub (A) Cory Smith (CA) Geoff Shaw
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Mar 10, 2021
SRP: $3.99

CONAN’S QUEST IN THE LAND OF THE LOTUS!
CONAN’s march to Khitai has landed him as the prisoner of the imperial guard…but it will take more than chains to keep a Cimmerian down! As Conan plans his escape, what dreaded beasts lurk in the land of Khitai, and what new dangers will impede his quest to return the TOOTH OF THE NIGHTSTAR to its rightful master? The travels of Conan the Barbarian continue with the perfect jumping-on point for new or lapsed readers! Join us as we welcome new series penciler CORY SMITH to the Hyborian Age in this epic adventure!

Conan the Barbarian #19

Preview: Stone Star Season 2 #4

Stone Star Season 2 #4

Written by Jim Zub
Art by Max Dunbar
Colored by Espen Grundetjern
Cover by Max Dunbar
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Purchase

The nomadic space station called Stone Star brings gladiatorial entertainment to ports across the galaxy. Inside this gargantuan vessel of tournaments and temptations, foragers and fighters struggle to survive. A young warrior named Dail has been drawn into the ring and is trying to prove himself in the Grand Arena, but there are forces on the station determined to see him destroyed as revenge for his father’s fighting legacy.

Stone Star is an action-adventure spectacle bursting with colorful characters and pulse-pounding action! Grab your weapons, gritters, and join the fray!

Stone Star Season 2 #4

Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides

Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides

The forces of evil are back in Baldur’s Gate and this time, they have some truly heinous stuff planned in Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides. As they try to force the plane of Avernus into the more natural world, a group of heroes will need to rise up and stop them. A group with a good balance of skills. Possibly, one with a miniature giant space hamster. Yes, Minsc and company return to Baldur’s Gate to kick butts.

I feel that there is a lot to like about Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides. It brings back Jim Zub and Max Dunbar. All the creative teams have knocked it out of the park but Zub is a bit more involved with the properties and it just shows in how these tales are delivered. Quickly, you know who is who and what they can do. We see the threat quickly and the story builds them up. But, the one thing I think that might be the most important is that when you have a cast like the one that Infernal Tides has, it’s important to craft their individual voices. Zub makes them feel like a true party and while a character like Minsc has such a strong, outstanding personality, he doesn’t drown everyone out.

Max Dunbar illustrates another great Dungeons & Dragons story. Paired with Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz, and Neil Uyetake, Infernal Tides features a lot of great character design and action sequences. I thought there was a really great 2-page splash in issue 2. As someone who has been reading these adventures since Evil At Baldur’s Gate, it’s good to have a colorist that I think is perfect for Max Dunbar’s art.

Ultimately, IDW Publishing does Dungeons & Dragons right. I’ve been really happy with all of the stories they’ve done but I do feel there’s something a bit more special, exciting and enjoyable about Jim Zub and Max Dunbar working on a tale set in Baldur’s Gate. Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides ends up as another truly enjoyable tale of Minsc and company that’s sure to keep fantasy readers enthralled.

Story: Jim Zub Art: Max Dunbar
Colors: Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz Letters: Neil Uyetake
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Dungeons & Dragons Infernal Tides

Dungeons & Dragons Infernal Tides

(W) Jim Zub (A/CA) Max Dunbar
In Shops: Feb 17, 2021
SRP: $17.99

A new D&D® campaign begins as the odyssey following the Baldur’s Gate heroes continues in this graphic novel adventure! Minsc and his friends are caught in the middle of devil-tainted corruption that has taken hold of Baldur’s Gate. Unravelling the secret of its source will take our heroes to unexpected places and threaten the sanctity of their very souls. Even if they survive this perilous journey, there will be hell to pay!

Dungeons & Dragons Infernal Tides

Enter a Marvel Universe Without the Avengers as Marvel Reveals the Heroes Reborn Titles

The Marvel Universe has been reborn! From mastermind creators Jason Aaron and Ed McGuiness comes Heroes Reborn #1, a bold new vision of the world you knew. Spinning out of their epic work on Avengers, HEROES REBORN will answer the question of what the Marvel Universe would look like if the Avengers never assembled. The exciting —and unsettling — ripple effect the Avenger’s absence has on the rest of the Marvel Universe will be explored in a series of one-shots starting in May. These essential tie-ins will reveal the history behind the new reality of your favorite heroes AND lay the groundwork for its’ unpredictable future.

At the center of the grand tapestry that is Heroes Reborn is Hyperion. The teenage Hyperion’s cosmic quests with his Shi’ar friends near their end, but none of the young heroes are ready to say farewell. A quick mission in the Negative Zone sounds like the perfect coda to a storied fellowship…but what awaits Hyperion, Gladiator and the rest is horror and agony beyond their wildest nightmares!

A the thought-provoking series tackles the mystery behind Peter Parker’s new life. Peter’s the biggest Hyperion fan in the world, and he also just happens to be chummy with his favorite hero thanks to a photography gig at the Daily Bugle! SURELY, nothing can go wrong, with his camera (and him) in the heart of the action… Right?

What does this era have in store for mutants? Years ago, Magneto and Professor X led Earth’s mutants in a final push for independence against the Squadron Supreme of America. What followed was the Squadron’s Mutant Massacre, a violent rebuttal that left mutantkind forever wounded, and Xavier dead…or so Magneto thought. Years later, Magneto discovers Xavier clinging to life in the astral plane and gathers his allies for a first-of-its-kind rescue mission to restore hope for mutantkind before it’s too late.

Without the Avengers, Marvel’s brightest young heroes have grown up with different inspirations. The Squadron Supreme of America have taken root in the hearts and minds of all, but none more so than a trio of youthful champions who call themselves the Young Squadron! Kid Spectrum (Sam Alexander), Girl Power (Kamala Khan) and the all-new Falcon (Miles Morales) are here to here to defend the world against all threats…or are they?

And finally, there’s a new team of villains on the loose and you won’t believe who’s a part of it. Natasha Romanov, Clint Barton, Scott Lang, and Victor Creed lead an assault on the Squadron. After the Civil War that split the Squadron Supreme in half, Nighthawk formed his own Squadron in Europe. But not all of Europe is okay with it. Baron Zemo has put together his own team to take them down and the Squadron doesn’t stand a chance.

Welcome to the world of Heroes Reborn. Immerse yourself in this compelling new age in the Marvel Universe when it begins in May.

HEROES REBORN: HYPERION & THE IMPERIAL GUARD #1

Written by RYAN CADY
Art by MICHELE BANDINI
Cover by CHRIS SPROUSE
On Sale 5/12/21

HEROES REBORN: HYPERION & THE IMPERIAL GUARD #1

HEROES REBORN: PETER PARKER, THE AMAZING SHUTTERBUG #1

Written by MARC BERNARDIN
Art by RAFAEL DE LATORRE
Cover by MIKE MCKONE
On Sale 5/12/21

HEROES REBORN: PETER PARKER, THE AMAZING SHUTTERBUG #1

HEROES REBORN: MAGNETO & THE MUTANT FORCE #1

Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by BERNARD CHANG
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
On Sale 5/19/21

HEROES REBORN: MAGNETO & THE MUTANT FORCE #1

HEROES REBORN: YOUNG SQUADRON #1

Written by JIM ZUB
Art by STEVEN CUMMINGS
Cover by KARL KERSCHL
On Sale 5/26/21

HEROES REBORN: YOUNG SQUADRON #1

HEROES REBORN: SIEGE SOCIETY #1

Written by CODY ZIGLAR
Art by PACO MEDINA
Cover by KEN LASHLEY
On Sale 5/26/21

HEROES REBORN: SIEGE SOCIETY #1

Review: Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #1

Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #1

Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #1 kicks off a new DC digital series, this one a current exclusive to the new DC Universe Infinite digital app. The series is pretty straightforward and something many have wanted for a long time. It’s a digital series that will release comics that have been on the shelf for a long time.

Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #1 kicks off with a story from writer Jim Zub and artist Tradd Moore featuring the Suicide Squad. The story, “Twenty-Minute Marathon” was Zub’s first script for the big two and done in 2011.

Zub and Moore deliver a simple Suicide Squad as they go on a mission to take out a target on behalf of Amanda Waller. There’s nothing complicated at all in the story. It’s a bit of the ole over the top violence with a nice dose of humor.

I love one and done comics and Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #1 is exactly that. Zub and Moore deliver a story that could be continued if he chose to or you can just enjoy it on its own as well. What’s really solid is Zub’s use of the unknown in the comic. By the end, you’ll debate what you’d do yourself if you were in Deadshot’s position. Was it the right choice? Was Waller playing and lying to him? I don’t know the right answer to the situation. Walking away from the comic like that actually feels kind of cool and refreshing.

Moore’s art is top-notch. Felipe Sobreiro provides the colors with lettering by Nate Piekos. The art is full of comedic moments and the team captures the energetic glee and craziness of it all. Even the over the top violence brings laughs as to how Moore handles the brains splattering and blood flying.

Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #1 is bookended with segments featuring Ambush Bug who introduces the concept of the comic. It’s a fun “Crypt Keeper”-like role for the character and it’d be fun to see him being used more to explain more of the history of the comic. We don’t get that here but writer Elliott Kalan, artist Mike Norton, colorist Marissa Louise, and letterer Saida Temofonte deliver some solid moments and more laughs in the issue.

As an unexpected and “free” comic on the DC Universe Infinite app, Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #1 is a solid read and start. Even when it eventually makes its way to other digital platforms and possibly print, it’s still well worth getting. We’re seeing DC realizing that digital platforms are taking the shackles off of them and opening up their ability to do releases like this. The fact they’re diving into standalone one-and-done comics is even better. It’s exactly what this platform is great at, quickly digestible content you can pick up and enjoy and escape for a little bit.

Story: Jim Zub, Elliott Kalan Art: Tradd Moore, Mike Norton
Color: Felipe Sobreiro, Marissa Louise Letterer: Nate Piekos, Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation Buy

Preview: Conan the Barbarian #18

Conan the Barbarian #18

(W) Jim Zub (A) Luca Pizzari (CA) E.M Gist
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Jan 27, 2021
SRP: $3.99

CONAN UNLEASHED!
• The Tooth of the Nightstar has warped Conan’s perception of reality, driving him to berserker madness he can’t control!
• But who will fall to his deadly blade, and how will this alter this quest for Khitai?
• You’ve never seen CONAN like this!

Conan the Barbarian #18

Review: Conan the Barbarian #17

Conan the Barbarian #17

Last time I read Conan, he was escaping the Crucible and cut down the main baddie with a sword called The Tooth Of The Northstar, a stolen weapon. Conan decided he’d return the weapon to whom it belonged. However, nothing can ever be easy for the Cimmerian. The blade has a certain control over those that wield it – Conan is no different, as he falls to the sword’s control and cleaves in twain just about every living thing that is put in front of him and unfortunately for Conan, it’s still hungry.

Jim Zub has been writing Conan The Barbarian for five issues now and I’ve really liked it a lot. I was worried once Jason Aaron left the book that I wouldn’t enjoy it but the Cimmerian is in great hands with a writer who can not only write good fantasy action but thrives in this element. Conan the Barbarian #17, depicting a possessed weapon taking control of Conan, is a pretty brutal issue and we see glimpses of the world of the sword itself. I know Zub knows the world of Dungeons And Dragons well and so often you could come across such an item. I love it. It makes Conan more than just a hack and slash character.

I’m a big fan of Robert Gill. He worked on a bunch of Valiant Entertainment books a few years back and I’d genuinely missed seeing his work. I think his art is well-suited for Conan and he just does a lot of good, violent work throughout Conan the Barbarian #17. When telling the story of a man possessed by a weapon, you are bound to have to illustrate a lot of human demise, and Gill’s work pairs well with Israel Silva’s colors. I’m hoping Gill can stay on the title for a good, long time.

This was an awesome issue and like the “Tooth Of The Northstar”, I hunger for more of this story. Do yourself a favor and get Conan the Barbarian #17.

Story: Jim Zub Art: Robert Gill
Color: Israel Silva Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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