Tag Archives: josh burcham

Review: Transformers: Optimus Prime #23

The battle against Unicron forces Optimus Prime’s colonist soldiers to contend with a brutal reality-they have no homes to return to. But when they make a move against Trypticon, the human-controlled home of the next generation of Cybertronians… can the end be far behind?

Transformers: Optimus Prime #23 could have been an interesting tie-in to the current “Unicron” storyline. Instead of exploring the concept of the end of the world and what you should do, the issue devolves into a typical battle due to misunderstandings. Like the “Unicron” main series, it also has no problem killing characters off, indicating the end is near in multiple ways.

Writer John Barber gives us a pretty typical story of things getting out of hand due to misunderstandings. It all escalates in expected ways and of course there’s that moment of no return. In all of those ways, the comic is pretty lackluster for what’s presented.

What’s interesting though is the exploration of the Cybertronian history and their true nature of destruction. Even though they think they protect, they destroy. It’s a cycle that seems to play out in numerous ways over and over. It’s even manifested in the character Jazz himself. Unfortunately, the protector/destructor duality is spelled out for us. Jazz reminds us multiple times in his dialogue. So, even the interesting aspects stumble in this issue. Add in those who reject Optimus and decide to attack, it all just comes together in a comic that throws a lot into the pot but doesn’t quite make the case for any of it.

The art by Priscilla Tramontano is also a let down. The G.I. Joe characters look a bit too cartoony and their style doesn’t mix well with both their vehicles and the Transformers that surround them. It feels like two different stories mashed together in that way. Tramontano’s style would work really well for a younger reader Transformers/G.I. Joe series, or if the Cybertronians had a similar flow in their style as the humans. The color by Josh Burcham is cool and reminds me of the comics from the 80s that I love so much.

The issue has an interesting idea and set up but never quite lands things. It has to spell things out for the reader or falls into a story that we’ve seen too many times before. As far as a tie-in, this issue falls flat when so many others have been so good. It feels like a wasted opportunity to explore more of the Hasbro universe before things wrap up.

Story: John Barber Art: Priscilla Tramontano
Color: Josh Burcham Letterer: Tom B. Long
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Transformers: Optimus Prime #21

With Transformers: Unicron underway the big question is how the various IDW Publishing Transformer comics will fold in to that event. Optimus is back, and so is Bumblebee, but how? Those questions aren’t answered in that event but in Transformers: Optimus Prime #21 we get a better idea of it all as well as how Shockwave is stopped and what about the Maximals.

Written by John Barber, Transformers: Optimus Prime #21 feels like it wraps some of these up a bit too quickly and the story would have been served better by adding an issue or two more to tell it. The fact the next event has already launched doesn’t help matters and it’s an issue other major comic publishers have run in to.

But, with the issue, Barber packs a lot in to it focusing on the various factions and what Shockwave’s machinations really means. There’s not just his impact on the history, but the belief system of so many. There’s a lot of dots that have been set up for years and this issue, and the arc as a whole, and things feel like they’ve come together.

The art by Kei Zama, Sara Pitre-Durocher, and Livio Ramondelli, color by Josh Burcham, and lettering by Tom B. Long is fantastic as always. The various Transformer comics always look great and this is no exception. There’s some switching in styles for Optimus and Bumblebee and the rest of the comic but it all looks fantastic.

The comic wraps things up but does feel a bit condensed and rushed in some ways. If you’ve been reading the series you’ll be happy, this is not a spot to start for new readers though. Still, for those who have read this series for a long time, it really does feel like a good pay off. The end game is coming and this is a transition for that. Here’s hoping the next big arc goes out with the bang I was expecting for this one.

 Story: John Barber Art: Kei Zama, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Livio Ramondelli
Color: Josh Burcham Letters: Tom B. Long
Story: 7.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.45 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Transformers: Optimus Prime #16

Transformers: Optimus Prime #16

Story: John Barber Art: Kei Zama Cover: Kei Zama
Color: Josh Burcham Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editor: David Mariotte

The Falling, Part 2: The arrival of Onyx Prime throws Cybertron into chaos—because he hasn’t come alone. Onyx’s treacherous companion forces Soundwave to finally make a choice: is Optimus Prime a friend… or foe?

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: The Harcourt Legacy TPB

THE HARCOURT LEGACY TPB

Writer(s): Brendan Cahill
Artist Name(s): Jason Federhenn (Art), Josh Burcham (Colors)
Cover Artist(s): Jason Federhenn and Josh Burcham
96 pgs./ T+ / FC
$11.99

Occultist Edward Harcourt is dying, and wants to pass along the secrets of magic to his grandniece, gloomy teenager Violet. All Violet wants is some harmony in her troubled family life, but Edward’s secrets may end up causing her more problems—particularly with Edward’s sister Edwina, who has her own plans for his legacy.

Collects the entire HARCOURT LEGACY story.

Preview: The Harcourt Legacy #3

THE HARCOURT LEGACY #3

Writer(s): Brendan Cahill
Artist Name(s): Jason Federhenn (Art), Josh Burcham (Colors)
Cover Artist(s): Jason Federhenn and Josh Burcham (Cover A), Jen Bartel (Cover B)
32 pgs./ T+ / FC
$3.99

Edwina’s attempt to control Edward’s legacy leaves Violet with a difficult decision to make. But even with the help of some unlikely allies, can she find the strength to do the right thing—or even figure out what the right thing is?

The conclusion of the three-issue occult family drama!

The Harcourt Legacy TPB Collects the Occult-Tinged Family Drama

Rich occultist Edward Harcourt is on his deathbed, and after a lifetime of searching, he believes he’s found the answers to true magic. Edward wants to pass along this knowledge to his grandniece Violet. His decision is a problem for his sister Edwina, who wants to keep his legacy for herself. Plus the gloomy Violet really just wants her troubled family life to improve.

The Harcourt Legacy is an occult-tinged family drama for fans of The Wicked and the Divine, The Magicians, Morning Glories, or Dead Like Me. It’s a coming-of-age story that is ultimately about family, selfishness, maturity, and where you find magic in the world. It features beautiful art and storytelling by Jason Federhenn and Josh Burcham and written by Brendan Cahill.

The Harcourt Legacy is collected in its entirety in this trade paperback, which also includes a gallery of all the individual issues’ variant covers, with art from Brendan Cahill, Cody Vrosh, and Jen Bartel.

The Harcourt Legacy TPB will be in a comic book store near you on February 28, 2018.

Preview: The Harcourt Legacy #2

THE HARCOURT LEGACY #2

Writer(s): Brendan Cahill
Artist Name(s): Jason Federhenn (Art), Josh Burcham (Colors)
Cover Artist(s): Jason Federhenn and Josh Burcham (Cover A), Cody Vrosh (Cover B)
32 pgs./ T+ / FC
$3.99

The family makes plans for the estate, and Violet tries to learn everything she can from Edward in the time they have. But Edwina may yet resort to darker means of securing the magical legacy for herself. In the midst of grief, subtle battle lines are drawn.

The second chapter in the three-issue occult family drama! Variant cover by Cody Vrosh!

Preview: The Harcourt Legacy #1

THE HARCOURT LEGACY #1

Writer(s): Brendan Cahill
Artist Name(s): Jason Federhenn (Art), Josh Burcham (Colors)
Cover Artist(s): Jason Federhenn and Josh Burcham (Cover A), Brendan Cahill (Cover B)
32 pgs./ T+ / FC
$3.99

Rich occultist Edward Harcourt lies on his deathbed. After a lifetime of searching for true magic, Edward thinks he’s found some answers, and he wants to pass them along to his grandniece, a gloomy teenager named Violet. But that may be a problem for Edward’s sister Edwina, who has her own plans for his legacy.

The self-contained three-issue occult family drama series starts here!

The Harcourt Legacy, an Occult Family Drama this November

Occultist Edward Harcourt is dying, and he wants to pass along his secrets. His intended heir is his grandniece Violet, but that’s a problem for his sister Edwina, who wants to keep his legacy for herself. As for Violet, all she wants is some harmony in her troubled family life. But when presented with the idea of a magical solution to all her problems, can Violet focus on what’s real, or will she allow herself to get lost in what might be nothing more than a flight of fancy?

The Harcourt Legacy is an occult-tinged family drama for fans of The Wicked and the Divine, The Magicians, Morning Glories, or Dead Like Me. It’s a three-issue story with a beginning middle, and end, that provides a self-contained experience. And it has a real emotional core and emphasizes character over spectacle.

It’s also the only book on the shelf in November written by Brendan Cahill and illustrated by Jason Federhenn and Josh Burcham, and it’s worth it just for the beauty, care, and rock-solid storytelling the art team brings to it.

But be warned! The Harcourt Legacy contains teen snark, heavy rock music, unanswered phone calls, a little weed smoking, and some swears.

The Harcourt Legacy #1 will be available in a comic book store near you on November 8.

Preview: Revolution: Transformers

Revolution: Transformers

Mairghread Scott, James Roberts, John Barber, Nick Roche (w) • Andrew Griffith, Naoto Tsushima, Alex Milne, Corin Howell, Kotteri, Josh Burcham (a) • Marcelo Matere (c)

The Revolution continues in The Transformers! Thundercracker and Buster save the World! A White House under siege by Dire Wraiths! Windblade on Earth! And a date with destiny for Krok, Crankcase, Fulcrum, Spinister, and Misfire! Collects The Transformers, More Than Meets The Eye, and Till All Are One Revolution One-Shots plus the 2015 Holiday Special.

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 104 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-842-7

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