Tag Archives: joana lafuente

Preview: Smooth Criminals #7

Smooth Criminals #7

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Kiwi Smith & Kurt Lustgarten
Artist: Leisha Riddel
Colorist: Jamie Lougran, Joana Lafuente, Gonçalo Lopes
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artist: Audrey Mok
Price: $3.99

Brenda and Mia, having pulled off the ultimate heist but lost the prize, are pulled back in for one more round in the fight for the Net of Indra! It’s all or nothing as they take on Mia’s arch-nemesis from the 1960s: the nefarious, notorious, ignominious Hatch Leonard.

Smooth Criminals #7

Preview: Smooth Criminals Vol. 1 SC

Smooth Criminals Vol. 1 SC

Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Kurt Lustgarten & Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith
Artist: Leisha Riddel
Colorists: Brittany Peer, Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artist: Audrey Mok
Price: $14.99

There are certain things Brenda expects to find while hacking: money, secrets, occasional pictures of cats. She is NOT expecting to find a cryogenically frozen master thief from the 60s. 

Mia is everything Brenda is not—cool, confident, beautiful. And utterly unprepared for the digital age. Despite their differences, the two will need to team up to find out what happened to Mia—and how to pull off the heist of the century. 

Writers Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith (Legally Blonde) and Kurt Lustgarten (Misfit City) and illustrator Leisha Riddel swing into action and steal the show with this daring and hilarious caper of time-melding suspense.

Collects issues #1-4.

Smooth Criminals Vol. 1 SC

Preview: Regular Show: 25 Years Later SC

Regular Show: 25 Years Later SC

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Christopher Hastings
Artist: Anna Johnstone
Colorist: Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Mike Fiorentino
Cover Artist: JK Phan
Price: $19.99

Twenty-five years after the epic battle between Pops and Anti-Pops, Mordecai, Rigby, and the rest of their friends return to the park for a reunion! Their crazy youth is nothing but a memory…or so Mordecai and Rigby think. It’s not long before these two friends stumble across a secret fairy world, find themselves young again, and have their children stolen by Viceroy Alberich, the Fairy King. Now 25 years younger, Mordecai and Rigby must work together to reform Alberich’s miscreant children if they want their own returned to them.

Join writer Christopher Hastings (Adventure Time™, Gwenpool) and newcomer artist Anna Johnstone in the official continuation of Cartoon Network’s Emmy Award-winning Regular Show™.’

Collects the complete 6-issue series!

Regular Show: 25 Years Later SC

Preview: Steven Universe #28

Steven Universe #28

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: Terry Blas
Artist: Gabriele Bagnoli
Colorist: Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Mike Fiorentino
Cover Artists:
    Main Cover:
Missy Pena
    Preorder Cover: Francesca Perrone
Price: $3.99

When the Off Colors are trapped in a world of their own fears by an evil gem, it’s up to Lars to confront his own insecurities and rally his crew to get free!

Steven Universe #28

Review: Transformers #5

Transformers #5

Transformers #5 is an improvement on the previous four issues but still falls short of being enjoyable. Written by Brian Ruckley, the issue bounces around the various characters involved with the murder mystery as well as peals back some of what Bumblebee has been up to.

This is an issue I want to like and a series I’m attempting to enjoy. Transformers #5 though bounces around a bit too much never quite focusing enough on one plotline or character.

Ruckley delivers an issue that’s an improvement on the previous. It still falls short in entertainment. The issue is a piece of the larger narrative and in that way it is one of the strongest released so far. The structure of the issue is interesting as well delivering some scenes that feel out of place and not needed and others that feel out of order or could have benefited from not being broken up into various segments.

This is most evident in Rubble’s story. Instead of the breaks in his narrative, the issue would have been stronger focusing just on his story and building up the tension and fear better. As is, the ending feels a tad out of place and not the impact it was going for. Instead of terror and dread leading to sadness the overall delivery is that of melancholy.

The art doesn’t help matters either. A trio of artists work on the issue as they have in the past and their differing styles are standing out more. Anna Malkova, Angel Hernandez, and Sara Pitre-Durocher all would be great on their own. Together though, the styles don’t quite work anymore. At times it also doesn’t quite match the tone either. Opening pages have a more cartoon like quality which doesn’t work for Megatron’s serious nature and moment. That transition to the next segment and art style becomes more abrupt due to the mismatched nature of the start. With a bi-monthly comic, picking two artists and switching off would make for a stronger comic visually or banking issues with one artist and switching on the next arc would have been the best overall.

Transformers #5 is absolutely an improvement on the series moving the murder mystery forward and adding more political intrigue. Still, the issue’s pacing and narrative structure works against it creating an experience that again falls short of what was and what could be.

Story: Brian Ruckley Art: Anna Malkova, Angel Hernandez, Sara Pitre-Durocher
Color: Joana Lafuente Letterer: Tom B. Long
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Labyrinth: Coronation Vol. 2 HC

Labyrinth: Coronation Vol. 2 HC

Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Simon Spurrier, Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Daniel Bayliss, Irene Flores
Colorist: Dan Jackson and Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Cover Artist: Fiona Staples
Price: $24.99

As the clock ticks ever closer to the thirteenth hour, Maria struggles through the canals of the Labyrinth alongside her peculiar band of companions, wishing desperately to be reunited with her son. While she may be no closer to the Owl King’s castle, Maria begins to uncover the secrets of the Labyrinth and her own power within the walls of this magical domain. But from deep in the shadows, the Owl King watches her every move, plotting and waiting to bring her demise by any means necessary.

Collects issues #5-8

Labyrinth: Coronation Vol. 2 HC

Review: Transformers #4

Transformers #4

Prowl and Chromia are investigating the disappearance of a missing scientist in the wilds of Cybertron when a mysterious figure crosses their path. Who is he and what does he know about the disappeared scientist? And where is Bumblebee disappearing to at all odd hours?

Brainstorm is dead and the search for his killer continues. There’s also political unrest brewing. All of that is set upon the background of a forging and Brainstorm’s funeral.

Transformers #4 can be summed up with one word… dull. It slows the story down even more so taking its police procedural genre and turning it more into drama. This wouldn’t be bad if there was some emotion and excitement about it at all. Writer Brian Ruckley has taken all that has made the previous volume so interesting and sucked it out in four issues. The glimpses of a solid story before the Transformers Civil War are teased and then put to aside focusing on mentorship and a murder mystery. Its result is just a slow plodding story that you want to get to the point.

The art by Sara Pitre-Durocher, Angel Hernandez, and Andrew Griffith is as solid as always and though there’s differences in their styles none of it stands out enough to create a bump in the reading experience. Still, having one artist consistently on an issue would help the series overall.

From what was an amazing run to this, this new volume is a drag of a story facing pacing issues. The series plays out more as a drama and police procedural than anything else delivering a drab experience that’s a struggle to enjoy beyond playing spot the bot. A “Bold New Era” is exactly what it’s not.

Story: Brian Ruckley
Art: Sara Pitre-Durocher, Angel Hernandez, Andrew Griffith
Color: Joana Lafuente, Josh Burcham
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Steven Universe #27

Steven Universe #27

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint BOOM! Studios
Writer: Terry Blas
Artist: Gabriele Bagnoli
Colorist: Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Mike Fiorentino
Cover Artists:
    Main Cover:
Missy Peña
    Preorder Cover: Francesca Perrone
Price: $3.99

Steven and Connie finally get to Lars and the Off Colors, where they discover everyone is in a coma-like state. It’s up to Steven and Connie to save them, but it may be worse than it appears! Lars and each Off Color are trapped in hallucinations that show them their greatest fears and each have to overcome them to get free.

Steven Universe #27

Review: Transformers #3

Transformers #3

High above Cybertron, the planet’s inner moon unfolds to become a gigantic energon harvester, a magnificent show for Bumblebee and his new friend. Meanwhile, Megatron is assembling a new security force, but rumors abound about the new team.

I haven’t been too keen on the first two issues of this new direction for IDW Publishing‘s Transformers series but this third issue things seem to be moving into a more positive direction.

Writer Brian Ruckley has taken the series into more of a crime procedural direction with a bit of politics thrown in the background. The death of a Transformer has lead to questions like who and why with the main thrust o the series focused on that criminal investigation. That ties into Bumblebee who is mentoring a newly forged Transformer Rumble and through that we get to learn about this version of Cybertron.

I called the series “Law & Order: Cybertron” mostly because it focuses too much on that crime approach with a slow plodding investigation. It fails to really find the interesting aspect in the rise of Megatron and is Ascenticons. The fire and intelligence of this aspect of the Transformers history we saw in the previous volume is diluted so far. Instead of Megatron’s focus on philosophy, we get assassination attempts and the formation of a brute squad. It’s all choppy in the execution. A case is never made for Megatron leaving him as the empty revolutionary, the clear bad guy to Orion Pax and the Autobots. We seen the case for Megatron made before and that added layers to what was originally a simple story of good vs. bad. Hopefully Ruckley can pivot a bit in that focus and add some of the political depth.

Angel Hernandez and Cachét Whitman provide the art trading off on pages. The two differing styles are clear and though doesn’t create a huge issue with the story and series it’s more a question as to why? The two styles are very traditional in what we’ve seen and the designs are solid. The issue is one creator has more of an modern animated look and the other a more traditional comic look. The two styles are similar but the difference is there.

The issue, and series, isn’t bad there’s just a bit of depth and maturity that’s missing. The story and series is pretty basic keeping it to a whodunnit story. There’s also a bit of a feeling that some choices are done more for fanservice from the previous volume as opposed to really driving the story (ex. Elita-1’s inclusion in this issue). This issue is an improvement but this is definitely a different direction and vision than what we’ve previously seen.

Story: Brian Ruckley Art: Angel Hernandez, Cachét Whitman
Color: Joana Lafuente Letterer: Tom B. Long
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Planet Of The Apes: When Worlds Collide SC

Planet Of The Apes: When Worlds Collide SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Matt Kindt, Jeff Jensen, Dan Abnett, David Walker, Ryan Ferrier, Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Matt Smith, Jared Cullum, Carlos Magno, George Schall, Lalit Kumar Sharma, Morgan Beem
Colorists: Gabriel Cassata, Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artist: Fay Dalton with John Keaveney
Price: $14.99

In celebration of the original film’s 50th anniversary, stories from both eras of the Planet of the Apes franchise are featured together in one collection for the first time ever.

These all-new stories include the reveal of the ape who calls the remains of the Statue of Liberty home, and the first look at the world left behind following the events of War for the Planet of the Apes.

Featuring bestselling authors Matt Kindt (Grass Kings, Black Badge), Jeff Jensen (Green River Killer), and Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy), Planet of the Apes: When Worlds Collide is an unprecedented examination of the iconic franchise that fans of the original and new series will not want to miss.

Planet Of The Apes: When Worlds Collide SC
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