Tag Archives: jose villarubia

Review: Cage #2

Cage #2

Bruce Willis is one of those actors whose presence onscreen is one of reassurance. He’s now known mostly for his tough-guy roles but that not has always been the case. As was shown in The Movies That Made Us, when he made Die Hard, most test screen audiences laughed at his very presence, because they remember him as the guy from the television show, Moonlighting. He would go on to make movies that straddled the line between tough-guy and comic relief, but most of his fans love his action movies.

Even Sylvester Stallone saw his bankability to put Willis in one of his Expendables movies before their offscreen tiff. One of my favorite movies by him was a period drama called Last Man Standing where he played a rogue gunman in the middle of a turf war. His character, no matter what he did, got pulled in deeper before he had no choice but to pick sides. In the second issue of Cage, our protagonist finds a bird in a hand, and looks to live up to the title of Hero for Hire.

We find Luke in a conversation with a dirty cop that knows about the case he just took and the implications that would occur if he gets close to the truth, giving him fair warning before trouble is headed his way. A warning that Luke doesn’t take heed, but looks to make money from. Soon Luke plots The Italian Mob, against the gang that controls Harlem, to the dirty cops that run the neighborhood, with none the wiser. By the issue’s end, a miscalculation by Luke leads to a vital witness being fatally shot which changes his plans completely.

Overall, an engaging issue that plays out like some of the best crime noir thrillers of yesteryear. The story by Brian Azzarello is electrifying. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, an issue in this story that ramps up the action.

Story: Brian Azzarello
Art: Richard Corben, Wes Abbott, and  Jose Villarubia
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Punk Mambo #1

PUNK MAMBO #1 (of 5)

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by ADAM GORHAM
Colors by JOSE VILLARRUBIA
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by DAN BRERETON
Cover B by ZU ORZU
Cover C by CRIS DELARA
Punk Variant Cover by DAN BRERETON
Pre-order Edition Cover by ADAM GORHAM 
Blank Cover Also Available
On sale
 April 24th, 2019
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color

New characters, new digs, same Punk attitude! 

From writer Cullen Bunn (Venom) and artist Adam Gorham (New Mutants: Dead Souls) comes this hilariously horrifying tale. Punk Mambo is a hard-living voodoo priestess who grew up in London, then relocated to Louisiana’s Bayou Country. Now, she’s a mystical mercenary for hire. In her first-ever solo series, Punk Mambo investigates a series of abductions in the New Orleans gutter punk scene, stumbling upon a deadlier mystery that takes her to the haunted shores of Haiti.

PUNK MAMBO #1

City of Others Gets a Tenth Anniversary Edition

Ten years ago, Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson joined forces to create a comics series like no other! Dark Horse is celebrating the tenth anniversary of City of Others with a deluxe oversized hardcover edition colored by Jose Villarubia.

Stosh Bludowski, known simply as “Blud,” is a natural born killer with no human emotion other than rage. Blud spent years making a comfortable living as a contract killer until the day he runs across two targets who won’t die. As a grotesque mystery begins to unfold around him, the remorseless killer confronts a reality he could never imagine, and is invited to decide once and for all . . . is he human, or is he Other?

Collecting all four issues of the original comics series, City of Others: Tenth Anniversary Edition HC goes on sale June 5, 2019.

Review: Batman #50

It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see! The Batrimony is real as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are set to tie the knot in a can’t-miss, extra-length milestone issue that will reshape Gotham City. All their friends (and a few enemies?) will be party to a comic book coupling for the ages.

The build up has been coming for a while now and with Batman #50 writer Tom King answers the question as to whether Batman and Catwoman tie the knot.

The issue is done in an interesting way with what amounts to two page spreads with generally half dedicated to Batman’s preparation for the day and the other half for Catwoman’s. In between these normal panel pages, there’s full page images by some top art talent on top of which we’re presented the two’s thoughts about their meeting and what they’re about to do.

While the “will they or won’t they” has been spoiled the comic is interesting as it delves into the thought process of two individuals who are clearly nervous about tying the knot and if they do what it means.

Catwoman isn’t a hero, she’s a criminal.

Batman is a hero. He’s a hero driven by his pain.

If they were to get married, what does that mean for each of them? Can Batman be happy? These are the types of thoughts that run throughout the comic as the two characters explore their love for each other. And that’s the impressive thing, Tom King convinces you that these two love each other. By the end, you’re convinced there’s no one else for these two.

And that spoiling? Well, not quite. There’s a twist but you’ll have to read the comic yourself and go elsewhere.

The issues with the comic is the hype and a build up that doesn’t pay off. The quality of the narrative is excellent, it all just doesn’t quite live up to the lead up and the end result is rather predictable. A single panel does not make a comic and this one relies heavily on that final panel.

The art duties are mainly handled by Mikel Janin with colors by June Chung and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art is solid and there’s some fantastic page layouts. The way some of these pages are laid out is impressive with very creative visual storytelling. What’s also interesting is the use of pin-ups to tell the story as well. There was a similar thing done in Action Comics #1000 and here it sort of works. The artwork is fantastic, there’s some talent. But, it breaks up the story a bit and after a while becomes a little tedious. When the big picture comes in to focus, the choice is an interesting one and adds a poetic aspect, somewhat appropriate considering what’s happening.

This is a chapter in King’s larger story. There’s much more to come as things weave together and that final panel indicates we’ve got a hell of a lot of excitement to come. As a single issue, this one has its good and its bad but as a piece of the larger puzzle it fits like a perfectly crafted piece of the larger picture.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Pin-up Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Color: June Chung Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Sword Daughter, a New Ongoing Comic Series From Dark Horse Comics

This summer, writer Brian Wood, artist Mack Chater and Dark Horse Comics will unleash the new ongoing comic book series Sword Daughter, a Viking revenge saga unlike any other. The co-creators of the acclaimed Briggs Land, along with colorist Jose Villarubia, letterer Nate Piekos, and cover artist Greg Smallwood, are creating a raw and violent story that is a testament to the power of redemption and the resiliency of family, and a visually stunning tribute to samurai cinema.

In Sword Daughter, the Forty Swords arrive at night and, under the cover of darkness, murder an entire village. Only two people survive the slaughter: the infant Elsbeth and her grief-stricken father, Dag. Setting off on a revenge quest that will span the width of Viking Age Europe, they find the key to repairing their damaged relationship lies in the swords they carry.

Each oversized issue of the first story arc of Sword Daughter by Wood, Chater, colorist Jose Villarubia and letterer Nate Piekos features 28 story pages, covers by Greg Smallwood and variant covers by co-creator Chater. Sword Daughter #1 debuts on June 6, 2018.

Preview: Betty & Veronica #3

BETTY & VERONICA BY ADAM HUGHES #3

Script: Adam Hughes
Art: Adam Hughes, José Villarubia, Jack Morelli
Cover: Adam Hughes
Variant Covers: Adam Hughes, Bengal, David Mack, Paolo Rivera
On Sale Date: 6/14
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

All Heck breaks loose in Riverdale as the final act of BETTY VERSUS VERONICA reaches its combustible conclusion! The streets of Riverdale run red under the rockets’ red glare and no one will ever be the same!

“Betty vs. Veronica” concludes June 14th in Betty & Veronica #3 by Adam Hughes!

BETTY & VERONICA BY ADAM HUGHES #3

Script: Adam Hughes
Art: Adam Hughes, Jose Villarubia, Jack Morelli
Cover: Adam Hughes
Variant Covers: Adam Hughes, Bengal, David Mack, Paolo Rivera
On Sale Date: 6/14
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

All Heck breaks loose in Riverdale as the final act of BETTY VERSUS VERONICA reaches its combustible conclusion! The streets of Riverdale run red under the rockets’ red glare and no one will ever be the same!

Review: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2

deadman_2Deadman: Dark Mansion of Love #2 begins nice and slow with Deadman and Adelia, a ghost who haunts Glencourt Mansion, getting to know each other and even musing on the philosophical nature of death and the fact that they are trapped in the house. But Sarah Vaughn’s plot ends in utter chaos and darkness as she turns the haunted house genre on its head. In Deadman #2, the ghosts are trapped, and the humans are free… for now. But Vaughn, artist Lan Medina, and colorist Jose Villarubia don’t lose sight of the character relationships that make this more than just a Gothic romance as protagonist Berenice struggles with her relationship to her boyfriend Nathan and her possible romance with Sam while Deadman and Adelia bond beautifully in the story’s first half.

Medina’s art in Deadman #2 is both lush and haunting depending on the color that Villarubia decides to use, but his design for Adelia is always freaky. She is a woman, who was probably murdered by her new husband and forced to live in the place where she died, and something gives me the chills about her. Adelia is like a ghost from Crimson Peak while Deadman is more friendly and charming despite the fact that he possesses other people’s bodies and has huge existential crises about what comes after death. They are both Berenice’s secret as she and Nathan grow apart while he spends all his time writing his book instead of with her.  On the surface, he gives off a workaholic vibe, but Medina adds some Gothic touches to him by having his workspace be a locked study. And in the Gothic tradition when something is locked, you don’t want to open it.

One thing that I have really enjoyed about Deadman as a series so far is how, dare I say it, normal Berenice acts in response to the spectres and horrors surrounding her. She acts like an intelligent human being with a head on her shoulders instead of like some kind of pearls clutching Gothic heroine or a Final Girl. Instead of exploring Glencourt willy-nilly, she goes into town to research the house, Adelia, and Adelia’s husband, who she deduces murdered her. But even in the library stacks, she still has a poet’s side and talks about old history books and records are basically a series of tragedies. Also, out in town, she reconciles with deadmaninteriorSam and almost thinks about kissing them as Medina and Villarrubia’s art goes from the idyllic small English town to the shadow filled beauty of the opening pages. Somehow, Sam and Berenice are caught up in this tragic romance, and this is true physically as well once the shadows return at the end of the issue. Vaughn and Medina even foreshadow this on the first page she appears as the stack of old letters she is going through kind of resembles a magical circle like she’s having a seance.

It’s kind of depressing that she is spending more time with words written by dead people (Plus ghosts.) than her real, flesh and blood partner. She can’t even confide in him about the fact she can see Deadman and Adelia. Berenice and Nathan’s relationship lacks the rush of romance of hers with Sam and Deadman’s with Adelia so his marriage proposal falls hollow at the end. However, the effect of putting a ring on her hand triggers some insane dark magic and ensures that the closing issue of this miniseries will be its most Gothic yet with the interplay of helpful spirits (Deadman), vengeful and sympathetic spirits (Adelia), mortals, and scary spirits.

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden #2 is a suitably haunting follow-up to its flawless first issue, and Lan Medina and Jose Villarrubia give Deadman and Adelia some real chemistry in the first half with their play of red, black, and ghostly white in the dark environs of Glencourt Mansion. Splitting the book between Deadman and Berenice’s narration continues to be a clever device from Sarah Vaughn as both characters do some soul searching. Deadman #2 is filled with thoughtfulness and reflection on love, death, and tragedy that erupts into a full-out horror comic by the time you turn the final page.

Story: Sarah Vaughn Art: Lan Medina with Phil Hester Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Archie #1

ARCHIE #1

Script: Mark Waid
Art: Fiona Staples, Andre Szymanowicz with Jen Vaughn, Jack Morelli
Regular Cover: Fiona Staples
SDCC Exclusive Covers: Fiona Staples
Variant Covers: J. Scott Campbell, Colleen Coover, Tania del Rio, Joe Eisma, Francesco Francavilla, Genevieve F.T., Michael Gaydos, Sanford Greene, Robert Hack & Steve Downer, Dean Haspiel, David Mack, Moritat, Mike Norton, Jerry Ordway & Jose Villarubia, Ramon K. Perez, Ron Salas, Greg Scott & Steve Downer, T. Rex & Andre Szymanowicz, Brittney Williams, Chip Zdarsky
Blank Sketch Cover Also Available
On Sale Date: 7/8
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

COMIC SUPERSTARS MARK WAID AND FIONA STAPLES REIMAGINE AN ICON! Change is coming to Riverdale in this can’t-miss kick-off to Archie’s new ongoing series! Familiar faces return in new and unexpected ways in this must-have #1 issue! As the new school year approaches, you’d think Archie Andrews would be looking forward to classes and fun—but nothing is as it seems in the little town of Riverdale. But is this a one-off or a sign of bigger changes awaiting for America’s favorite teens—and the entire town? Find out in this exciting and remarkable first issue!

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Dark Circle Comics Joins Free Comic Book Day 2015

Saturday, May 2nd is Free Comic Book Day across North America and the world – a day where participating comic shops give away comic books to anyone coming into their stores.

Archie Comics – a Gold Sponsor of the event – is proud to announce one of their offerings: FCBD Dark Circle Comics! Get a sneak peek at the new three all-new series coming from Dark Circle Comics!

THE BLACK HOOD! THE FOX! THE SHIELD!

Get in on the ground floor of Dark Circle Comics and experience the cinematic and creator-driven reinventions of these iconic properties. Who is the new Shield? How did the Black Hood come to be? Can things get more unpredictable for The Fox? Learn the secrets of the Dark Circle universe from the creators themselves via sneak peeks at the new series, creator interviews and a first glance at the next Dark Circle series – all held together by an eye-popping cover from Afterlife with Archie artist Francesco Francavilla!

Script: Duane Swierczynski, Mark Waid, Dean Haspiel, Adam Christopher, Chuck Wendig and more
Art: Michael Gaydos, Dean Haspiel, David Williams, Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick, John Workman, Jose Villarubia and more
Cover: Francesco Francavilla

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