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Marvel Comics Review: Avengers: No Road Home #1

It’a an all-new weekly Avengers event, Avengers: No Road Home! Night has fallen across the universe and seven Avengers, plus one more, need to bring back the light!

Avengers: No Road Home #1 is by Al Ewing, Mark Waid, Jim Zub, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov, and Cory Petit.

Get your copy in comic shops on February 13! 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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: Avengers: No Surrender

A hyped up weekly comic event that delivered?! That’s Avengers: No Surrender which brought together the various Avengers teams for a story that could only be told in comics… it’s that epic!

Avengers: No Surrender collects Avengers #675-#690 by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub, Pepe Larraz, David Curiel, Kim Jacinto, Mike Perkins, Stefano Caselli, Sean Izaakse, Paco Medina, Joe Bennett, Juan Vlasco, Ruy Jose, and Cory Petit.

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores December 31! 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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: Shatterstar #1

A gladiator, a warrior, a hero…the man called Shatterstar has been many things, but one thing he’s always been is deadly. He’s not a man you want to cross or you’ll learn that fact all too well. Walk back into the darkness with Shatterstar.

Shatterstar was never really a character I cared for. He always felt like too much of a mash-up of everything else going on in the 90s. Over the years, the character has gotten more interesting and a bit more of a personality to stand out. Now, in his own limited series, writer Tim Seeley is delivering a character and a situation I want to learn more about.

Shatterstar has been many things and now he’s a landlord. Yes, he’s decided to settle and owns a building that he rents out to other beings stuck from other dimensions and timelines. The concept is so brilliant, it’s something I want to see be a series on its own. Don’t give me villains, give me the dysfunction of this building. But, we have to have villains and they eventually come.

Seeley does an excellent job in this first issue doing two primary things. First, he delivers an intro to Shatterstar for new readers and adding a little something for long time fans. This is a character we can care about more as he’s now just a guy trying to live his life. We can relate to him a bit more. The second is setting up the rather interesting characters of his building. Stakes are now built in for us to care about even more so. The comic devolves a bit into what I disliked in the 90s, but there’s more than enough interesting things and humor to make this a first issue that has me wanting to come back for more.

The art by Carlos Villa and Gerardo Sandoval is solid. One handles the present and the other the past. It’s two distinct styles that stand out from each other. They’re joined by Juan Vlasco on inks, Carlos Lopez on colors, and lettering by VC’s Cory Petit. The two styles really work to differentiate the time and in a way enhance the mood of each setting. Having either style be it for the comic wouldn’t work at all as each has their own goal of delivering humor or action. The fact that the colors and inks work for both, the same creators, is very cool and helps make the art feel a bit more consistent that way.

The first issue is a solid one that delivers a lot of humor. There were times I had a smile on my face and it gets me to want to check out the second issue. I worry that we’re going to get more action than humor going forward but Seeley delivers a start that has me wanted an ongoing series from the cast of characters we get to know all too briefly.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Carlos Villa, Gerardo Sandoval Cover Art: Yasmine Putri
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Carlos Lopez Lettering: Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Avengers #687

Avengers #687

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub
Art: Paco Medina
Ink: Juan Vlasco
Color: Jesus Aburtov, Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks
Variant Covers: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story & Marcio Menyz, Jamal Campbell
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 04, 2018
SRP: $3.99

THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES!
NO SURRENDER Part 13
The Avengers confront the traitor in their midst – but as the Earth begins to fall apart around them, their greatest enemy may be their best chance at survival.

Review: Avengers #686

As Wonder Man struggles to get through to the Hulk, the Black Order attacks Avengers HQ! The grand cosmic game comes to its shocking conclusion – but the war for Earth is just beginning!

I’ll admit, I thought last issue slipped a little as it focused on a lot of punching and not much else. Avengers #686, part 12 of “No Surrender,” corrects that and then some.

Written by Jim Zub, Mark Waid, and Al Ewing, the issue focuses on Wonder Man’s attempt to reason with the Hulk. What’s revealed though feels like a Hulk we’ve never seen. And, that revelation is scarier than anything presented last issue. Gone is the thoughtless machine of destruction. Now it’s clear this is a being full of rage, one full aware of what it’s doing, with a clear agenda and reasoning. Hulk has been many things and presented in so many ways but what we see here feels frightening and had me pause to say, “oh shit.”

Where the last issue was a giant action sequence, this is the portion that adds some depth to it all as we see things from Simon, aka Wonder Man’s perspective. Zub, Waid, and Ewing have done an excellent job in this series shaking things up when it comes to the narrative. This isn’t an event about punching things. Where you think an issue might be that, it turns out to be presented in a different way. The trio regularly change the narrative and in doing so keep the storytelling fresh and interesting.

The art by Paco Medina, with ink by Juan Vlasco, and color by Jesus Aburtov is fantastic. The Hulk feels intimidating in his size and strength compared to everyone else. And, while it’d be easy to go over the top in the destruction, things feel focused here. What’s even bigger is the perspective of Simon. You can see the fear and his working through the situation on his face. The artistic team does a solid job of presenting the various emotions Simon goes through. And through his realization of the horror, we experience it too. The lettering by Cory Petit enhances that emotion with emphasis on key words.

Just when you think things might have fallen into brainless punching, the series event series has no problem showing it can shake things up. Here we get a depth to the destruction and fighting that’s unexpected and through subtle moments we also get different perspectives. A wonderful issue that continues the excellent narrative that’s been weaved. “No Surrender’ is proof that big events can work and is one of the most unexpected positive surprises of the year so far.

Story: Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Al Ewing
Art: Paco Medina Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks Variant Cover: Dale Keown, Jason Keith
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Avengers #686

Avengers #686

Story: Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Al Ewing
Art: Paco Medina Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks Variant Cover: Dale Keown, Jason Keith
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

NO SURRENDER Part 12
THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES!
As Wonder Man struggles to get through to the Hulk, the Black Order attacks Avengers HQ! The grand cosmic game comes to its shocking conclusion – but the war for Earth is just beginning!

Review: Avengers #685

The Avengers are in the fight of their lives trying to end the Hulk’s rampage, but nothing can stop the unstoppable. And when an Avenger betrays the team, can the rest of the heroes hope to survive?

Brutal is the best way to describe Avengers #685 which has the team fighting a rampaging Hulk. In his way is Rulk with a little help from some armor. Writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub create scenes and a flow that not only make feel like taking on the Hulk is an impossible task but also the results are devastating without crossing the line of killing someone. They make their point without going over the top and falling into traps that take the readers out of the story and paints things into a corner.

It’s an interesting issue with the team focused on this one obstacle but at the same time things also feel a little stretched out as Voyager decides what to do.

If this were a film, this would be a few minutes in a 2 hour length. It’s a small snippet that has the entire issue dedicated to it. There’s good in that it reintroduces the Hulk and makes his defeat seem impossible but it also stretches things out a bit too.

What’s really nice though is how the issue ends. Through all of the fists and destruction, there may be another way.

And all of that brutality is rendered beautifully by Paco Medina with ink by Juan Vlasco and color by Jesus Aburtov. There’s some fantastic sequences and quite a few that had me lingering on the page to soak in the battle and what was happening. There’s also some solid use of panels and page spreads. Add in lettering by Cory Petit that adds to that feeling desperation and chaos and you have an issue where the art and story match up so well.

As I said, if this were a movie, it’d be a sequence that was just a few minutes. But, visually we’d have our jaws dropped and shocked as to where things go. In comic form though, it feels a little drawn out but there’s some great dramatic effect. As part of the greater “No Surrender” storyline, it all feels great and adds to the epic nature of it all. This Avengers story continues to impress.

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Paco Medina
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks
Variant Cover: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Avengers #685

Avengers #685

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Paco Medina
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Mark Brooks
Variant Cover: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

NO SURRENDER Part 11
THE AVENGERS WEEKLY EPIC CONTINUES!
The Avengers are in the fight of their lives trying to end the Hulk’s rampage, but nothing can stop the unstoppable. And when an Avenger betrays the team, can the rest of the heroes hope to survive?

Review: Avengers #683

Jarvis’ life hangs by a thread. Only by voyaging into Jarvis’ mind can the Beast save him – but what terrible secret is lurking inside the memory of the Avengers’ loyal butler?

If you haven’t been reading “No Surrender,” you’ve been missing out on one of the best Avengers stories in year. The action has been excellent, the art amazing, and character interaction top notch. Writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub have been balancing that action with some great character moments packing in so much into the series.

Avengers #683 focuses on one of the plot threads, Jarvis’ battle with the strange disease that’s attacking him. Beast and the Wasp do what they can to save him and there’s some fantastic moments, especially from the new Wasp, Nadia, who stands up in a way that’s beyond heroic and what being a superhero is all about.

Again, the writers shift the story up a bit taking us away from the titanic battles elsewhere to give us this more focused issues. Instead of dozens of character we get a half dozen. Instead of wide open battlefields, we get the confines of a hospital (and Jarvis’ brain). It’s this shift of the narrative that has prevented this event from being one giant fight scene.

The issue too has a big reveal that I’ve been waiting for and has been hinted at, especially in this issue… no spoilers here!

That reveal is first hinted at the art and for those paying attention, they’ll pick up on the twist towards the end of the issue. The art by Paco Madina, with ink by Juan Vlasco, color by Jesus Aburtov, and lettering from Cory Petit, helps deliver the excitement of the issue. The issue really is a build up to that reveal and the art is a big driver of that. There’s so many hints there and for the eagle eyed, they’ll pick up on what’s been hinted at for a few issues now.

That reveal too throws into questions some of the statements from previous issues. Who’s the mysterious game piece that’s been off the board? Is it the Hulk who know is returning? Or, is it the twist at this issue’s end? We’ll find out soon (yay weekly!) but this series has been a fantastic ride that has kept readers on their toes and is constantly playing with expectations. This is a perfect example of what events should strive to be.

Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Paco Medina Cover: Mark Brooks
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Jesus Aburtov Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Graphic Design: Carlos Lao Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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