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Review: Livewire #10

Livewire #10

Amanda McKee—a.k.a. technopath psiot “Livewire”—fights to clear her name in Livewire #10.

But when she teams up with a politician to repair her image and make herself a hero again…

…Will the public be able to forgive her?

Valiant‘s Livewire #10 is written by Vita Ayala and features Tana Ford‘s artistic talents, and Kelly Fitzpatrick‘s colors. It continues the campaign to change the psiot’s public image at the behest of a Senate hopeful and his campaign manager. Is everything really as straight forward as it seems? Or is there an ulterior motive for somebody to want to improve Livewire’s image?

Well, as with all things politics, I’m sure you can guess the answer. Ayala has created a story arc that has the potential to write a scathing commentary. It skewers the way we interact with media and how we’re manipulated by others into thinking a certain way. It’s got the potential to be a fantastic way to approach the subject through the eyes of a disgraced hero. That makes this a story that I’m really interested in, especially given the current climate.

Livewire’s reputation at this point is… well it isn’t exactly great. If you were to liken it to another comic universe, you’d be thinking Magneto at his absolute worst – she is responsible for the deaths of a lot of innocent people, after all. But did the results of her actions justify the reasons? Can she be redeemed? I don’t know, but I’m really enjoying Ayala’s exploration of what it means to be a hero to some and a villain to others. The writer’s willingness to embrace the moral ambiguity of the title character is really exciting, and is going to provide some brilliant social commentary.

Once again, despite the strength of the story, Ford’s art doesn’t do it for me. I’m not a huge fan of the thicker lines used in the comic; I’m aware it’s a stylistic preference, but the boldness of the lines takes away from energy in the story. Ford has a great sense of page construction and sequential story telling, balancing Ayala’s script pretty well.

I’m still in a strange place with the art and the writing; on one hand I want to like the art, but I’m not there yet (there are certainly positives to it, but Ford and Fitzpatrick don’t compliment each other as well as other pairings have in the series), and on the other I’m really intrigued by the story. Your mileage will obviously vary, but for my money (because I will also buy this book), this comic is still well worth buying.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Tana Ford
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 9.1 Art: 7.3 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Betty & Veronica: Senior Year

BETTY & VERONICA SENIOR YEAR (TP)

Script: Jamie L. Rotante
Art: Sandra Lanz, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Sandra Lanz
978-1-68255-791-4
$14.99 US/$16.99 CAN
6 5/8 x 10 3/16”
144 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 9/11

Rising stars Jamie Lee Rotante (Betty & Veronica: Vixens) and artist Sandra Lanz (Star Trek: Waypoint) take Betty and Veronica where they’ve never gone before–their senior year of high school! Only one school year stands between them and freedom, but when the two BFFs think they’ll be attending the same college in the fall find out that their plans have changed, their senior year—and their friendship—is put to the test!

BETTY & VERONICA SENIOR YEAR

Preview: Livewire #10

LIVEWIRE #10

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by TANA FORD
Colors by KELLY FITZPATRICK
Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE
Cover A by STACEY LEE
Cover B by KATIE COOK
Cover C by IRENE KOH
Pre-Order Edition by ELSA CHARRETIER
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale SEPTEMBER 11th

Amanda McKee—a.k.a. technopath psiot “Livewire”—fights to clear her name.

But when she teams up with a politician to repair her image and make herself a hero again…

…Will the public be able to forgive her?

LIVEWIRE #10

Review: Livewire #9

Livewire #9

In Livewire #9, wanted fugitive Livewire has been on the run for months from the authorities for shutting down the country’s power in an effort to protect people gifted with powers.

Valiant‘s Livewire #9, written by Vita Ayala and featuring Tana Ford‘s artistic talents, and Kelly Fitzpatrick opens a new arc. It finds Livewire as the target of a campaign manager who wants to improve her image. It’s a story arc that has the potential to write a scathing commentary of the way we interact with media. Based on the first issue, Ayala seems more than ready to talk about that. That makes this a comic that I’m really interested in, especially given the current climate.

What’s interesting about a campaign manager looking to improve Livewire’s public perception is that we’re going to see how the media and the public will react to Livewire as the campaign manager manipulates the information available – and how it will be done.

We’ve seen what Livewire has done and why she’s viewed as a terrorist by the public. If you don’t know, she intentionally caused a nationwide blackout for several days as a reaction to the murders of young psiots. In so doing she caused the deaths of those who relied on the nations electrical grid. We’ve also become familiar with how Livewire feels about her actions.

Perhaps one of my favorite things about this series is how Vita Ayala has yet to explicitly cast Livewire as a hero in her own book, and that’s what makes the newest arc in the series so interesting; do you see the title character as a hero, a villain or something in between? Ayala is able to challenge our views on what makes a hero a hero without ever really coming out clearly on either side of things.

One thing is for certain, though; under Ayala’s deft hand Amanda McKee has become one of the most interesting characters in comics.

Unfortunately, despite a strong showing from Ayala, Ford seems a little inconsistent with the visuals in the comic. Art, obviously is very subjective. You might read this book and think it’s great. If you do, I’m pleased for you. But for me the comic felt like it lacked a certain polish in more places than not. One of the early scenes in the comic involves a fight. There’s three panels that don’t flow as well as they could have. A different choice in the choreography, a left hand instead of a right hand, would have made a world of difference. Unfortunately, this was early enough in the comic. That took me out just enough to pay attention to the art with a harsher critical eye.

My feelings on the art and the writing live in an odd dichotomy; I’m not a huge fan of one and love the other. This leaves me to think about the product as a whole, and overall it’s still a very strong one.

Livewire has been one of Valiant’s better series over the last few months. It’s one that has been gaining momentum in the quality department. So it can afford a stumble or two without and loss of faith from yours truly. Really, this stumble is entirely down to arguably the most subjective aspect of the comic. Ayala’s willingness to play with the superhero tropes whilst continuing to write a compelling story should not be missed.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Tana Ford
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 9.1 Art: 7.1 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Livewire #9

LIVEWIRE #9 (New Arc!)

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by TANA FORD
Colors by KELLY FITZPATRICK
Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE
Cover A by STACEY LEE
Cover B by RAÚL ALLÉN
Cover C by KRIS ANKA
Pre-Order Edition by JEN BARTEL
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale AUGUST 21st

“Hero” begins here!

Wanted fugitive Livewire has been on the run for months from the authorities for shutting down the country’s power in an effort to protect people gifted with powers.

Will a shocking offer to go public pull Livewire into a political spotlight?

LIVEWIRE #9

Teens of two worlds unite in this early preview of Archie Vs. Predator 2 #2!

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #2 (of 5)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Variant Covers: Howard Chaykin, Bill Galvan, Rebekah Isaacs, Greg Smallwood, Michael Walsh
On Sale Date: 8/28
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S

Our trios (new and old) are getting to know each other better—like Classic Betty and Veronica discovering that the newer versions of themselves actually AREN’T both trying to win over Archie’s affections. There’s a lot to take in in this brave, new world, but they’ve got a more pressing issue to deal with: Predator-Archie is quickly turning back into a Predator, and time is running out. Fortunately, the Riverdale Halloween Dance may be just the cover the gang(s) need.

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #2 (of 5)

Review: Archie vs Predator 2 #1

Archie vs. Predator 2 #1

Archie vs Predator 2 #1 feels like it picks up directly from the first miniseries which ran back in 2015. The time-lapse between the two doesn’t help. The first issue leaves you in the lurch with what happened and what the surviving characters are talking about.

Written by Alex de Campi, who wrote the original crossover, the first issue’s an interesting set up. It unfortunately relies a bit too much on the first volume. The previous volume had the Predator being changed into an Archie lookalike. Without that knowledge, the jokes are a bit over a new reader’s head and the story itself a little confusing. Then there’s discussion about it being a story and being “canceled.” It all feels meta and a bit too insider. There’s something there but it feels like a continuation of what happened previously. That’s opposed to a new volume anyone can pick up and read.

Still, de Campi leaves the issue in a particularly interesting spot in with an ending that has me intrigued as to where this volume is going. Unfortunately what’s presented will be more interesting to those who have read the previous volume.

The art by Robert Hack is a draw mixing in Archie’s classic look with death and destruction. What stands out is the Predator/Archie and the amount of “physical” humor presented. The lack of verbal communication forces Predator/Archie to rely on symbols (props to letterer Jack Morelli) and physical movement to get the point across. Kelly Fitzpatrick‘s color to mixes in the classic Archie feel with a more gritty world.

Archie vs Predator 2 #1 is an interesting continuation of the first go-around but too many references to what happened without enough explanation hamper the enjoyment for new readers. Still, the ending of the first issue indicates that may not be as much of a problem in future issues, it’s just a question if you can get through this first one.

Story: Alex de Campi Art: Robert Hack
Color: Kelly Fitzpatrick Letterer: Jack Morelli
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Archie vs. Predator 2 #1 (of 5)

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #1 (OF 5)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Variant Covers: Rick Burchett, Derek Charm, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Parent, Billy Tucci
On Sale Date: 7/24
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Betty, Veronica, and Predator-Archie have been left in the wreckage of their town, all their friends dead. Normally, they’d just go down Memory Lane and get home again where everything’s okay, but that’s no longer an option. It isn’t until they find an undamaged car and drive it down a different road where they can finally return to Riverdale—but their hometown feels different. And it’s made even more bizarre when they come face-to-face with a few people they’d never expect: themselves. Only different, newer versions. Little do they know, Predators on Mars are watching them—planning their next attack.

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #1

Check in with the (married) gang in this advance preview of Archie The Married Life: 10th Anniversary #1!

ARCHIE THE MARRIED LIFE: 10th ANNIVERSARY #1 (of 6)

Script: Michael Uslan
Art: Dan Parent, J. Bone, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Dan Parent
Variant Covers: J. Bone, Francesco Francavilla, Robert Hack with Kelly Fitzpatrick, Aaron Lopresti
On Sale Date: 8/7
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Ten years later, a landmark moment in Archie Comics history is being revisited! ARCHIE: THE MARRIED LIFE 10th ANNIVERSARY is a sequel to the headline-making 2009 “Archie wedding” storyline. The original story written by Michael Uslan answered Riverdale’s longest-running question: will Archie marry Betty or Veronica? Fans were treated to two alternate worlds that explored each possibility and Uslan’s sequel picks up both stories ten years later. See how much life has changed for Archie, his family, and the rest of Riverdale in this new and exciting mini-series!

Survivors strike back in this early preview of Archie vs. Predator 2 #1!

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #1 (of 5)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Variant Covers: Rick Burchett, Derek Charm, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Parent, Billy Tucci
On Sale Date: 7/24
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Betty, Veronica, and Predator-Archie have been left in the wreckage of their town, all their friends dead. Normally, they’d just go down Memory Lane and get home again where everything’s okay, but that’s no longer an option. It isn’t until they find an undamaged car and drive it down a different road where they can finally return to Riverdale—but their hometown feels different. And it’s made even more bizarre when they come face-to-face with a few people they’d never expect: themselves. Only different, newer versions. Little do they know, Predators on Mars are watching them—planning their next attack.

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