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Review: Judas

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the collection of Judas!

Judas collects issues 1-4 by Jeff Loveness, Jakub Rebelka, and Colin Bell.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores on September 4. 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/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Preview: Judas SC

Judas SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Artist: Jakub Rebelka
Cover Artist: Jakub Rebelka
Letterer: Colin Bell
Price: $14.99

  • Emmy and WGA Award-nominated writer Jeff Loveness (Marvel’s Nova) presents an exploration of the classical biblical character, perfect for fans of Preacher and The Goddamned.
  • Judas Iscariot journeys through life and death, grappling with his place in “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” and how much of his part was preordained. In a religion built on redemption and forgiveness, one man had to sacrifice himself for everyone…and it wasn’t Jesus.

Preview: Judas #4 (of 4)

Judas #4 (of 4)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Artist: Jakub Rebelka
Letterer: Colin Bell
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Jakub Rebelka
Unlocked Retailer Variant: Jeremy A. Bastian
Price: $3.99

With the fate of all of life and the afterlife hanging in the balance, Judas performs an intervention on Jesus in the pits of Hell.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Pick: Detective Comics #974 (DC Comics) – I have loved this comic since DC Rebirth. Tynion has been fantastic on it, and the team dynamic has never felt stale. There has been new characters brought in, old characters brought back, and the inclusion of Clayface has been wonderful. This issue deals with the fallout from the giant clay monster hulking out (claying out?) again, and losing control.

Action Comics #997 (DC Comics) – The arc with Booster and Supes has been really fun, and we are getting so close to #1000! I am excited to how Jurgens ends this arc on the series before Bendis steps in, as it has been a really great series since Rebirth, much like Detective.

Sideways #1 (DC Comics) – This is another book in the new line of heroes DC is introducing. The character design looks really cool, and the premise is interesting. I make no guarantees as I still need to read it soon, but a new #1 can always be fun, and if it isn’t you’re out just a few bucks on taking a chance on a new series.

Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1 (DC Comics) – DC’s Metal event has been a really fun and wild ride. This book deals with the Dark Knights/Evil Batmen from other dimensions. I have high hopes for this book, though I do hope these villains and this tale won’t start dragging on and really delivers as it has so far.

Old Man Logan #35 (Marvel) – Another fantastic and overlooked series that has been consistently great, even after Lemire left and Brisson took over. Grab this if you’re in for a nostalgia fix for old school Wolverine, Silver Samarui, and The Hand. It’s great!

Brett

Top Pick: Avengers #680 (Marvel) – “No Surrender” has been a blast so far as far as events living up to the hype and delivering despite a weekly delivery. That new issue every week has been part of the success as we don’t have to wait too long for each issue which has been filled with eye catching moments. No idea where this is all going, but I’m along for the ride.

Catalyst Prime Accell #8 (Lion Forge Comics) – Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime universe has delivered on its promise of diverse titles, creators, and characters. This version of their speedster has been lots of fun delivering laughs and amazing visuals.

Ghost Money #7 (Lion Forge Comics) – A series that’s completely under the radar. Basically, someone made a lot of money off of 9/11 (true fact) and this series is about those dollars. Where did it all go? Lots of political intrigue and politics. Very interesting series that’s like no other.

Judas #3 (BOOM! Studios) – And another original series… this one is about Judas after the whole betrayal thing. It’ll get you thinking about religion in a very different way.

Star Wars: Thrawn #1 (Marvel) – The book series now comes to comics as we learn more about the legend.

 

Jon

Death of Love #1 (Image Comics) –  After a weekend when almost everyone seemed to be talking about Comics Gate, Indie Mafia hit man Justin Jordan drops a great response to MRAs, misogynists and nice guys everywhere.

Preview: Judas #3 (of 4)

Judas #3 (of 4)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Artist: Jakub Rebelka
Letterer: Colin Bell
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Jakub Rebelka
Unlocked Retailer Variant: Jeremy A. Bastian
Price: $3.99

Judas confronts Jesus in the pits of Hell.

Review: Judas #2

Judas comes face-to-face with Satan, and the Great Adversary begins to win him over.

The second issue of Judas is here and writer Jeff Loveness and artist Jakub Rebelka take us through the afterlife delivering lots of philosophical things to muse on about fate, destiny, predestination, and how that all applies to religion.

What are Judas’ and Jesus’ role in the bigger picture? That’s what this issue debates as Judas is confronted by Satan. Satan takes him through the history of the Bible explaining that everyone in the many stories needs a villain and Judas is Jesus’. That’s his role and it stinks. Every villain has a role to play and that includes Satan. We’re taken through the major stories and it’s provides an interesting perspective of the Bible and its various parables.

Rebelka’s art is fascinating blending a religious aspect of it all with a tinge of horror as well. The depiction of the various well known characters is interesting and Satan in particular is a new take and design I haven’t seen before. It feels like Hellraiser run visually through the Church.

The issue is a solid one that ups the amount of stuff to think about. By the end, you may be rethinking the Bible and the various villains within. Judas has turned into a hell of a thinker and a fascinating comic to think about what it has to say not just about religion but our role in the world. Judas #2 leaves you with a lot to ruminate on by the end.

Story: Jeff Loveness Art: Jakub Rebelka
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Judas #2

Judas #2

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Artist: Jakub Rebelka
Cover Artist: Jakub Rebelka
Price: $3.99

Judas comes face-to-face with Satan, and the Great Adversary begins to win him over.

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and we’re heading towards the end of the year but not slowing down! We’ve still got lots going on including interviews, reviews, and more! Stay tuned!

While you wait, here’s news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Hindustan Times – Beyond Borders: How two American universities are competing to build the biggest collection of Indian comic books in the world – This is really cool and would be awesome to see the collection.

The Beat – Report: The SCAD Scam – If you’re thinking of going there, best to do your research.

The Comichron – DC’s Doomsday Clock helps make November 2017 second best month of year; GN orders grow – For those that like the horse race.

 

Reviews

Flickering Myth – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest: Millennium #1

Talking Comics – Judas #1

Review: Judas #1

Judas_001_A_MainJudas Iscariot journeys through life and death, grappling with his place in “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” and how much of his part was preordained. In a religion built on redemption and forgiveness, one man had to sacrifice himself for everyone…and it wasn’t Jesus.

Any story that takes on the subject matter that this comic is presenting runs the risk of being drowned by people refusing to read it, or reacting before they’ve read it, which robs the story of its chance to be given a fair critical chance. Although one could argue that the very nature of the subject matter can leave it ripe for just such a reaction. The preview text of the comic was interesting enough, so I figured  I’d give the Boom Studios  published comic a shot.

Written by Jeff Loveness, and featuring art from Jakub Rebelka, Judas #1 is an ambitious comic. You’ll notice that the issue is comprised almost entirely of an internal monologue from the man in the title, which gives the comic a feeling more like an illustrated novel than a traditional comic book. It’s dangerously close to being a pretentious way to utilize the medium, but as the comic never quite crosses that line it remains an introspective look into one of the most reviled men in history (or fiction, depending on where you stand).Judas_001_PRESS_5

The combination of the art and the lack of specific speech bubbles work strongly in the comic’s favour, elevating what could easily be a controversial story people read because they want an opinion on it into a comic you should read as an example of what comics are capable of doing. There’s a level of promise here that belies the “pretty good” feeling I had while reading the issue, even though I enjoyed the comic; indeed, it was upon further reflection (and a second read through) that Judas began to open up to me as being more than just a comic courting controversy simply for telling a story that, frankly, has no reason not to be told.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, and assuming you’re at least passingly familiar with who Judas is (as in he’s the dude who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, which led to the Crucifixion), then you’ll be able to appreciate the comic’s study of the man who sold out Jesus, and the effect that act (whether preordained or not) had on him. Is this a man deserving of forgiveness, or redemption? Has he been unfairly judged by people in the two thousand odd years since the betrayal? I’m looking forward to seeing how the series handles these questions in the coming issues.

Story: Jeff Loveness Art: Jakub Rebelka
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Jeff Loveness and Jakub Rebelka Talk Judas Iscariot’s Journey Through Life and Death in Judas

Judas Iscariot journeys through life and death, grappling with his place in “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” and how much of his part was preordained. In a religion built on redemption and forgiveness, one man had to sacrifice himself for everyone…and it wasn’t Jesus.

Writer and Jeff Loveness and artist Jakub Rebelka present a new take on Judas in the new limited series Judas being published by BOOM! Studios. Judas #1 comes to shelves December 13, 2017.

We got a chance to talk to Jeff and Jakub about the new series and whether they were worried about any backlash.

Graphic Policy: Where did the idea for Judas come from and why a comic?

Jeff Loveness: I know this sounds cliche, but it was an idea I bolted up with really late at night. That never, never happens. But I couldn’t shake the image of Judas Iscariot waking up in Hell, realizing how truly lost he is. I couldn’t stop thinking of all the conflicting emotions he’d feel. Guilt, terror and shame… but then he’d grow into rage, and spite towards Christ… maybe even thinking of revenge. The spiritual battle within Judas felt so compelling to me.

And then I started piecing together a narrative from things I love: Hieronymus Bosch Hellscapes. Pilgrim’s Progress. What Dreams May Come. The concept of Pre-Destination vs. the Christian notion of limitless love and forgiveness. It all started to blend into a personal, tragic spiritual epic. Can you find a way to redeem yourself, even from within the pits of Hell? Should you even want to? When you’re that deep in despair, is grace even worth the fight?

At first I was envisioning this as a one-act play, but… I don’t write plays, and that probably would’ve been terrible. It seemed like it could only be a comic once the visuals started coming to my head. Comics give you such a wild canvas, and Jakub Rebelka, as you’ll see, is knocking it out of the park.

There’s also something to be said for the visual nature of Religious stories. For hundreds of years, paintings and murals and frescoes were the primary way some people knew these stories. It’s been interesting to lean back, strip down the dialogue, and embrace the visual grandeur of the narrative.

GP: Jakub, how’d you come to join the Judas series?

Jakub Rebelka: Eric Harburn [BOOM! Studios editor] invited me to make concepts for few characters. Working on those concepts, I knew I had to draw this book.

GP: The coloring for the comic is really interesting, sticking to basic colors, with each page and section feeling like it has a palette. Where’d that decision come from?

JR: I did the concept for hell in cold blue because it is a cold and empty space.We decided to give each location a leading colour.

GP: How much of this comic is researched on real Biblical text as far as story and design?

JL: All of it. I had to exorcise all my Bible knowledge somehow. I wanted this to feel adjacent to a Bible story… but darkly inverted in some way. The horrific underbelly of Christian myth.

I love setting a story firmly within Hell. There’s a bit of Dante’s Inferno, it’s inescapable when dealing with the subject, but I wanted to make Hell a lonelier place. An emptier place. I wanted it to feel cold, like the absolute end of potential. You are tortured by your own worthlessness. We’ve seen fire and red devils and stuff like that… so I wanted to take us into a more personal space, where you have nothing but time to reflect upon your failures with no hope of escaping them.

GP: When I read the first issue, the characters stood out in the fact they’re not white. With parts of the story taking place in the Middle East, it feels like you’ve recognized that and are making sure to reflect that in the art. Is that the case?

JR: Working with BOOM! Studios is always a team effort. Credit for this idea goes to Eric- the black halo around Judas’ head was his suggestion.We wanted to make the characters more believable. My style of drawing is far from being realistic but colour can make huge difference and tell a story as well.

GP: When it comes to that depiction and the fact you’re telling a story about Judas, do you worry about being protested?

JL: Haha. I feel Christians have enough on their plates to deal with in the world right now, but if they wanna trade some Bible verses with me, I’ll be in the Orange Julius in the Topanga Mall Court, waiting for them. I say they should deal with that Roy Moore guy before attacking a comic about Judas Iscariot in Hell… but it’s up to them.

Also, I would ask them to read all 4 issues. You guys will have to let me know if we succeed, but I … kinda feel it’s not blasphemous. I feel it lines up pretty well with Christian doctrine. It both exposes the hypocrisies and flaws latent within it AND makes a compelling case for why this story, flaws and all, has stood the test of time for 2000 years. There’s something undeniably noble and beautiful about it, even if we aren’t the heroes of the story.

I love The Brothers Karamavoz by Dostoyevsky. I think that book gives the best defense, and attack against, Christianity that I’ve ever read- and all within a 100 pages or so. I am not Dostoyevsky. I write comic books about talking space-trees. But I was inspired by how you can show the agony and ecstasy of both experiences.

JR: Not really – its’ just a story. Nobody here wants to offend anyone.

GP: The first issue really seems to play with the concept that Judas’ role was preordained. Where’d that idea come from for the comic?

JL: The Bible itself. Jesus said “Woe to he who betrays the Son of Man. It would be better if he had never been born.” That’s a… pretty harsh thing to say about your friend who was born to betray you. I always felt sorry for Judas growing up. All of this seemed bigger than he was. And he never had a choice to do anything but this. And nobody cared what happened to him afterwards. I wanted to begin Judas’ story right where it usually ends.

GP: With so many different interpretations of Christianity, how’d you settle on which to tackle for this series?

JL: Good point. Christianity has so many interpretations and denominations, and it’s unfair to lump it all together. But I tried taking the story we all know from the 4 canonical Gospels- and going from there. Gnostic Gospels and extra books are always fun, but I wanted to make a statement about the overall, macro-story, not the fringe or niche elements.

GP: Have you thought about taking on other religious stories in comics?

JL: I feel it’s hard to write a Western-style story without some Christianity peppering itself in somewhere. At the moment, this is my only specific religious story… but I dunno. World Reader was full of meandering cosmic space-theology… which is by far my favorite kind of mythology. Everything I write, be it a comic or a TV show, seems to have a youth pastor with a goatee in there somewhere. I will never be free of him.

GP: What else do you have on tap that folks can check out?

JL: I’ve written Groot and Nova for Marvel, along with a 3 part Spider-Man/Captain America/Inhumans crossover that I like, and a couple little Marvel things beyond that. My very first original sci-fi comic, World Reader, just came out in paperback. There’s some similar, Judas-y themes in that.

There are a few TV things in the works I can’t announce yet… but uh… follow me on Twitter and that’ll probably come out soon: @JeffLoveness.

You can check out Miracle Workers, out on TBS next year. Or just watch… any episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live from the last 6 years. Or just hunt me down in the Topanga Mall Orange Julius. I will be waiting.

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