Tag Archives: kieron gillen

Preview: Star Wars #45

Star Wars #45

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: David Marquez, Matthew Wilson
Editor: Jordan D. White Assistant Editor: Heather Antos
Rated T
In Shops: Mar 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The Empire takes from all of us – our freedom, our dignity, our hopes and for some, even our lives. The Rebel Alliance fights to take back our galaxy from the forces of oppression…but we need your help! Be a part of the solution – JOIN THE REBELLION TODAY!

Review: Über #1

When I first started reading about World War II, it was in the middle school, in fact, it was the fifth grade. This is where I first found out the “axis of evil” and how the United States came into the war. I also found out Nazi death camps and how they conducted their first experiments were on Black South Afrikaans. I remember, my fifth-grade teacher, told us about her grandfather who was part of the resistance in Italy under Mussolini’s reign.

The more I read, the further I got into lessor known stories and how the rest of the world was affected, by the war. This lead me to into different conspiracies and half truth that has surrounded this period, which includes how Hitler died. As many assassination attempts were made on his life by the Allies and by his own men, it makes you wonder how true the last account was. In the first issue of Über, we catch up with our protagonists, but open on said Dictator.

The issue opens on Hitler, right before he takes a cyanide pill, as he describes his tuition of being disheartened, where traitors and constant failures surround him, but one of his Generals stops him before it’s too late. We also catch up with General Sankt shortly after finding out what happened at the labs and the bloody mess that was left behind. We soon find out that Stephanie, all along, has been a British spy, working to infiltrate Hitler’s plan for the “Battleships”, by killing Schultz, the first one. By issue’s end, Siegfried meets Hitler and carries out his own version of “mass extinction”.

Overall, a great first issue, as it ramps up on the action, which make sit both gory and suspenseful. The story by Kieron Gillen is thrilling and suspense laden. The art by Caanan White is unnerving and vivid. Altogether, this issue gives you an unflinching look at war especially when superpowers are involved.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Caanan White
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Wicked + the Divine #34

Wow, there’s a lot to unpack in The Wicked + the Divine #34. Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson kick things off with an extended trip back in time to the first Pantheon where the rules are made, gods created, and children killed in the name of necessity. It’s a violent tone poem with a dying light palette from Wilson and a rhythmic grid layout from McKelvie, who depict the original Ananke and her sister with age lines from love and war. These sequence is also the proverbial face has launched a thousand fan theories. Until the final series of juxtaposed images (A comic within a comic, hmm.), nothing in the issue quite reaches the heights of WicDiv #34, and that’s okay as Gillen is engaged in a game of putting the pieces scattered across the board together for one last battle royale a la the finale of this series.

From what I’ve put together, it seems like the opening scene is a Seventh Seal chess game between Ananke and the Destroyer, or Persephone. (Minerva aka the new Ananke might be involved as well, and even if she doesn’t appear in the comic, her presence affects the present day scenes greatly.) On a metafictional level, it could also be read as Gillen and McKelvie setting up the rules, themes, and characters for their new world and then murdering their new creations in brutal full page manner with cool magical effects from Wilson. To get a little less mythical and a little more political, this conversation represents aging conservatives consumed by greed and doing whatever they can to prolong their lives and comfort at the expense of future generations. It is a fantastic sequence craft-wise especially with different effects and hues that Matthew Wilson pulls off in his color palette and acts as a creation myth for WicDiv, its own Music of the Ainur.

Most of the present is Persephone, Urdr (Who has stripped her fellow Norns of their power because she is easily the Beyonce to their Kelly and Michelle in a great gag from Gillen.), and Jon trying to sort out their current situation and by extension, the current status quo in the series. Gillen and McKelvie also use this time to let readers know a little more about the Jon, the poor erudite boy whose abilities were used and abused by his father in the ultimate stage parent move. He is fairly chilled out and erudite with dialogue like “Change is just change. It’s neither good nor bad. It simply is” that definitely needed a beat panel of Persephone and Urdr scratching their heads after it. Jon is also there to deliver the exposition about the talking god heads and Luci’s murder, and everything is all messed up and extremely awkward between Persephone and Urdr.

Kieron Gillen seems to be writing Persephone a lot like Laura in WicDiv #34 with her fangirl side all but eroded thanks to events of the series general. Unlike the situation with her and Sakhmet, Persephone is a straight shooter and tells Urdr that she thinks something is off with Minerva even if the journalist-turned-face palming, former triplicate goddess doesn’t act on this. The enclosed space has turned her more honest and kind, and McKelvie even shows a subtle trace of nostalgia on her face when she thinks about Luci being a talking head and beyond a shadow of a doubt not being a murderer. Maybe, she will end up being the flawed heroine we deserve, or maybe I’m just being a naive fan.

With a symphonic prologue, WicDiv #34 cascades to its endgame, and Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson place the series in sharp, big picture contrast before starting to unravel an overarching plot that is entering year four (Oh god, I’ve been writing about this book for almost four years.) But, along the way, they never lose sight of their flawed, well-sketched characters, or Persephone and Urdr in this case.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jamie McKelvie Colors: Matthew Wilson
Story: 7.7 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.3  Recommendation: Buy 

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Star Wars #44

Star Wars #44

(W) Kieron Gillen (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) David Marquez
Rated T
In Shops: Mar 07, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The Empire takes from all of us – our freedom, our dignity, our hopes and for some, even our lives. The Rebel Alliance fights to take back our galaxy from the forces of oppression…but we need your help! Be a part of the solution – JOIN THE REBELLION TODAY!

Review: New Mutants by Zeb Wells the Complete Collection

It’s Tuesday which means it’s new comic book day at book stores! This week we’ve got the New Mutants!

New Mutants by Zeb Wells the Complete Collection features #1-11, #15-21, Marvel Spotlight: New Mutants, and material from X-Necrosha #1 by Zeb Wells, Kieron Gillen, Dio Neves, Cam Smith, Ed Tadeo, Norman Lee, Craig Yeung, Ibraim Roberson, Paul Davidson, Chris Sotomayor, Niko Henrichon, Zachary Baldus, Jim Campbell, Kevin Sharpe, Jay Leisten, David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez, Paul Davidson, Sotocolor, Leonard Kirk, Andrew Currie, Guru-eFX, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Chris Eliopoulos, Cory Petit, Daniel Ketchum, Jake Thomas, Jody Leheup, Nick Lowe, and Jeanine Schaefer.

Get your copy. 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


Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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The Wicked + The Divine’s New Arc Will Provide Key Answers to Mysteries Surrounding the Gods

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are back at it with an all-new mind-blowing story arc of the bestselling series The Wicked + The Divine which kicks off in issue #34. It will be available in stores on Wednesday, March 7th.

This penultimate story arc to The Wicked + The Divine series will answer long-asked questions about the gods and will unveil key events from Ananke’s history in the past.

The end approaches, but it’s not too late.

The Wicked + The Divine #34 Cover A by McKelvie & Wilson (Diamond Code JAN180652), Cover B by Johnson & Spicer (Diamond JAN180653), Cover C virgin wraparound cover (Diamond JAN180654) will be available on Wednesday, March 7th. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, February 12th.

Review: The Wicked + the Divine 1923 AD Special

WicDiv1923CoverAs The Wicked + the Divine starts to round its final bend, writer Kieron Gillen and guest artist Aud Koch (America) return to the literal beginning, namely, the Pantheon of 1923 that graced the first pages of WicDiv #1. In keeping with the modernist mood of the time period, Gillen and Koch experiment and tell a 56 page Agatha Christie (Ananke may or may not be a stand-in for her.) drawing room mystery featuring all of the Pantheon members, who have all stayed alive to this point. There’s also a lighthouse. Most of the comic book is Gillen’s prose, which is purple-y, atmospheric, and channels several of the great modern writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, possibly Langston Hughes, and T.S. Eliot, who is racist and pretentious as hell. Large sections of text are broken up by fantastic art from Koch showing the murders is  better than telling us about them and end in a fine, kinetic tribute to one of the first motion pictures.

The issue is a meditation on the conflict between regression and progression, so-called high art and low art (Poetry and film in this case, and possibly by extension, prose and comics.), and there is a driving angst about the possibility of yet another world rending war that isn’t helped by Nazi with a German Expressionist aesthetic, Woden’s pronouncements. And beneath the lofty themes, it’s one hell of a murder mystery. WicDiv #1923 AD is technically a standalone story, but Gillen and Koch make it into a period piece remake of “The Faust Act”  and potentially the whole series complete with a whodunit about the exploding head murder of Lucifer as well as a framing narrative leading directly into WicDiv. It’s a multi-layered showcase for the prose stylings of Gillen and Koch’s ability to tell a visually arresting story in a few powerful panels or pages.

The extended length of the book allows Gillen and Koch more than adequate time to explore the personalities and even some of the personal journeys of the different Pantheon members. Lucifer dies fairly early, and his living form only appears in the drawing of the dramatis personae on the first page, but he’s perfectly Fitzgerald/Gatsby. Lucifer is very new money trying to impress blue bloods like Baal, who’s an American trying too hard to be British like a certain limp wristed anti-Semitic bank clerk, and Set, who gets a sharp, sexy design similar to Desire from Sandman and the prose of Virginia Woolf. He tries to be profound, but is all fluff just like Fitzgerald’s novels. But there’s nothing wrong with having a little cotton candy, now and then.


My personal favorite member of the 1923 Pantheon is Morrigan, who is obviously James Joyce with his free indirect discourse, rapid shifts from omniscient narrator to third person limited, and affinity for Guinness. Gillen uses him as a kind of loner oracle that some Pantheon members find amusing, and most find annoying. But he speaks what’s on everyone’s mind and describes everything around him in great detail letting a little truth shine in the artifice of light dancing, purple prose, and Neptune’s speech, which is the opposite of purple prose. And Koch’s drawing of his death scene is the epitome of modern art with a bleak color palette He’s too much of a wild card like modern Morrigan so Ananke had to take him off the table. This is all in the service and to ensure events run on the smooth side rather than the artsy, mass murdering side because even if she’s less of a killer than modern Ananke, the immortal Agatha Christie will do whatever it takes for the next Recurrence to occur, the Great Darkness to be staved off, and for inspiration to continue. This involves tragic sacrifices, light shows, and silent film title cards because hey, this is the Roaring Twenties, and a little party never killed anybody.

The WicDiv 1923 Special, especially the parts where Set and Baal were extolling the supremacy of poetry (And, by extension, poetry by white people.) while blasting dance and silent film aficionadoes Susanoo and Amaterasu reminded me of my second year at university, circa 2013. That was the year I switched from writing mainly poetry to mainly pop culture and to be honest, mainly comics, criticism all thanks to a professor, who enjoyed ripping student poems to shreds and uncritically banned writing “genre fiction” in our short story unit. (I included as many references to Spawn and Nintendo 64 games in my story as possible to tick her off.) In WicDiv 1923, Set and Baal are angry that the “common people” have access to art via the new medium of film and want things to go back to the good ol’ days when books were chained to desks in monasteries. (They don’t mention monks and vows of silence, but it’s implied in other words.)

This is just like the poets and reviewers of poets I knew who, for all their attempts at populism, were just writing for a small, “elite” group of other poets. But, when I write about Star Wars or Superman or even WicDiv, more people can connect to the themes and ideas in what has unfairly been called “low culture” in the past. There’s nothing wrong with making art that actually reaches people and connects to them. That’s truly how you connect and inspire people just like Amaterasu’s dancing and film, which were inspired by style and film icon, Louise Brooks. (No brooks, no bob hairstyle.)  She has a selfless, democratic approach to art while Baal and Set want to keep theirs inaccessible like the top of the lighthouse, and this is where their connection to the totalitarian Woden comes in even though they sneer at his cheap monster movies, which were super influential on modern film. Who doesn’t love German expressionism? Especially the woodcuts of Frans Masereel, who could be considered as an early comic book creator with his 1919 work Passionate Journey. Nazis should all be punched though.  This is all serves to show that art is subjective and should be for everyone and not trapped in canons and hierarchies and all those stuffy, boring old things.

In WicDiv 1923 ADKieron Gillen and Aud Koch use the setting of the 1920s and the angst of modernism and the world between the World Wars to tell a riveting murder mystery, a wonderful homage to silent film, and a kind of ars poetica for WicDiv. Koch’s ability to shift from cubism to chiaroscuro-lit expressionism and even classic compositions are unprecedented, and all her pages from this comic deserve a MoMA exhibit and eventually a retrospective. All in all, this is a comic that everyone from wannabe flappers and pretentious poets to action junkies and mystery readers can enjoy and probably spend the rest of 2018 unpacking.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Aud Koch
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy 

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Femme Magnifique Gets a New Print Through IDW’s Black Crown

Femme Magnifique, the wildly successful Kickstarter comic book anthology, is headed back to print for a beautiful softcover edition this September. It is a celebration of 50 iconic women who shattered glass ceilings and changed the course of history in the process.

Told by over 100 of the most talented creators in comics from around the world, Femme Magnifique features 3-page short stories about women from the world of music, art, politics, and science. Explored from a personal angle, the subjects of these mini-biopics include Kate BushOctavia ButlerRumiko TakahashiAda LovelaceMisty CopelandMargaret SangerMichelle ObamaUrsula K. Le GuinSally RideHarriet Tubman and more!

Femme Magnifique was conceived and co-curated by Shelly Bond and Kristy Miller & Brian Miller of Hi-Fi Colour Design. It features contributions from such comic book luminaries as Cecil Castellucci, Marguerite BennettBill SienkiewiczJen BartelMike CareyKelly Sue DeConnickTini HowardElsa CharretierTess FowlerRafael AlbuquerqueTee FranklinGilbert HernandezMing DoyleMatt WagnerJim RuggGail SimoneMags VisaggioMarguerite SauvageGerard WayPhilip BondHope NicholsonSanford GreeneSonny LiewJen HickmanMark BuckinghamPeter GrossTyler CrookDan Parent, and Kieron Gillen, among many others.

Maxing out at nearly $100,000 raised for the Kickstarter edition, earning over 240% of its initial goal, Femme Magnifique found its audience swiftly. Now, those who missed out on the first go-round can add this collection to their library packed with new bonus material including a foreword, behind-the-scenes process pages, and more.

The new paperback edition of Femme Magnifique will become available on September 4, 2018 and can now be pre-ordered using ISBN: 978-1684053209

Preview: Star Wars #43

Star Wars #43

(W) Kieron Gillen (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) David Marquez
Rated T
In Shops: Feb 07, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The battle between the Empire and the Rebellion over the Kyber mines of Jedha comes to an explosive conclusion…with help coming from the most unexpected source.


The Cosmic Ghost Rider Takes You on a Twisted Journey in Thanos Annual #1!

It’s the Cosmic Ghost Rider’s time to shine.

This April, in an all-new story, some of Marvel’s most acclaimed writers and artists join superstar team Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw to help Cosmic Ghost Rider narrate all of Thanos’ heinous exploits. And who better to guide you through such deeds than the newest twisted ally to enter the Marvel Universe?

In Thanos #15 the Rider looked into Thanos’ mind. In this annual, we get to find out about some of the horrors he found in the dark corners of it.

Joining Cates and Geoff Shaw are Kieron Gillen, Al Ewing, Ryan North, Christopher Hastings, Katie Cook, and Frazer Irving.

Don’t miss the series that Comic Watch has raved is “the Mad Titan in all his power hungry glory” – and don’t miss Thanos Annual #1 when it hits comic shops this April 25th!

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