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Review: DC’s Young Animal Milk Wars

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 the non-event, Milk Wars!

Milk Wars is by Steve Orlando, Gerard Way, Jody Houser, Cecil Castellucci, Jon Rivera, Magdalene Visaggio, Aco, Ty Templeton, Mirka Andolfo, Langdon Foss, Dale Eaglesham, Nick Derington, Sonny Liew, Tamra Bonvillain, Marissa Louise, Keiren Smith, Nick Filardi, Clem Robins, John Workman, Saida Temofonte, Todd Klein, Frank Quitely, Rian Hughes, Clay Mann, and Marissa Louise.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW



DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye/Swamp Thing Special #1

CaveSwampIn its penultimate chapter, “Milk Wars” gets grody and corporate as Cave Carson, his daughter Chloe, and the hockey mask wearing vigilante Wild Dog team up with Swamp Thing against brainwashed cubicle dweller types and a spot-on parody of those soulless, yet addictive Pop Vinyl figures. Jon Rivera’s scripting is a little on the nose as far as the corporate satire goes, but is more than redeemed by some funny one-liners (A guy reading his fellow co-workers name badge while beheading him takes the cake.) and the cast chemistry between Cave, Chloe, and Wild Dog.

But the best part of Cave Carson/Swamp Thing Special #1 is the interplay between Langdon Foss’ (Bucky Barnes, The Winter Soldier) art and Nick Filardi that threads together like one of Swamp Thing’s tendrils. When Swamp Thing bursts into one of one Retconn’s (Evil mind-controlling and metafictional corporation) offices and wakes up Cave and the crew from a milk induced stupor, Filardi throws up the puke green, and Foss gets grotesque with faces and various liquids. It’s very third act of Hateful Eight, but without the two hours of self-indulgent dialogue. Sometimes, epiphanies about being rat in a cage, or cubicle slave in a cave aren’t beautiful come to Jesus moments, but involve puking your guts up.

However, Foss and Filardi can do sleek and beautiful too when Cave and Chloe try to blow the office and attempt to rescue those under lactose tolerant mind control. Foss channels his inner John McTiernan and also Michael Avon Oeming’s work in the original Cave Carson comic with air vent escapades and excavations that use every inch of the CaveOffice.jpgpage and turn overcrowded cubicle space into an action playground. Filardi contributes to the tense mood with pinks and blues that are the polar opposite of the clinical off white palette he uses for the office scenes earlier in the book. Almost, every page has Ben-Day dots giving the book an old school comic gone deranged feel.

Cave Carson/Swamp Thing Special explores similar themes of conformity and corporate subservience as the other “Milk Wars” comics, but also riffs off the viscous body horror of Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben Saga of the Swamp Thing run. Swamp Thing’s first big splash page is an homage to the classic “Anatomy Lesson” story with a chopped up body emerging out of his green form. Langdon Foss’ take on Swamp Thing finds a happy medium between the sad, detailed Bissette/Totleben Swamp Thing and the more cartoonish Swampy like in the Justice League Dark animated film. It might not be as regal or easy on the eyes, but erring on the cartoon side helps when Swamp Thing starts punching office workers or emerging from a Green salad. Yeah, this is a pretty weird and great comic, and there’s even a much less sexual, but just as psychedelic allusion to Swamp Thing’s magic fruit.

On the Eternity Girl backup story front, Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew turn in their best work yet in a minimalist, yellow tinged parody of comics that break the fourth wall. Basically, when you run out of ideas or stories just tear everything down. The two pager is quite cathartic in age of reboots, reimaginings, and fresh starts and has elegant layouts and line work.

Cave Carson/Swamp Thing Special is a tiny bit office drone satire with a portion of DC “mature readers” body horror and is mostly a damn fun caper from Jon Rivera, Langdon Foss, and Nick Filardi. It’s gross, thrilling, and thought provoking (Sometimes all at once.) and provides a segue to the “Milk Wars” finale without taking up too much space from this adventure.

Story: Jon Rivera Art: Langdon Foss Colors: Nick Filardi
  Backup Story: Magdalene Visaggio Backup Art: Sonny Liew 
Story: 7.9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Young Animal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Cave Carson/Swamp Thing Special #1

Cave Carson/Swamp Thing Special #1

(W) Jonathan Rivera, Magdalene Visaggio (A) Langdon Foss, Sonny Liew (CA) Rian Hughes
In Shops: Feb 21, 2018
SRP: $4.99

“MILK WARS” part four! Swamp Thing has detected a disturbance in the Green, and his hunt for it has led him to RetCo headquarters. There he finds Cave Carson and his crew struggling against being assimilated into RetCo’s diabolical narrative. Is it possible for Swampy and Cave to destroy the organization from the inside? Plus, find out how their efforts help Eternity Girl in the final installment of her backup story!

Preview: Letter 44 #32

LETTER 44 #32

(W) Charles Soule
(A/CA) Langdon Foss
(C/CA) Dan Jackson
GENRE: Sci-fi
PRICE: $3.99

Where did the alien Builders come from? What is the source of the mysterious End that threatens the very fabric of the universe itself? At last, with four issues left in the series, get the answers to these and other fundamental questions about the Letter 44-verse… BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! Special one-shot issue illustrated by Langdon Foss (Get Jiro)!

Review: Vote Loki TPB

vote-loki-tpb“America. If I was your president I’d have the guts to lie right to your face..and you’d love it!”

In between the twitter fights, promises of wall building and genuinely terrifying calls for the other nominee to be hacked, or shot, whichever, that the actual US Election is still one month away. Three. Whole. Months. Easy to see then why we now have writer Christopher Hastings and artist Langdon Foss boldly striding into the oddly familiar political landscape of the Marvel Universe with the satirical, Vote Loki. Like Howard the Duck in ’76, the trickster god throws his horned helmet into the ring, announcing his intentions to run for leader of the free world.

With the real run up to the elections fresh in everyone’s mind you might think setting a showy, media friendly, rabble rousing Loki right in the centre of things was a bit on the nose, then you’d be right. Broad swipes at the current political climate, general mistrust of politicians and the distracting circus surrounding it all run through the entire series. However for a while this works in it’s favour drawing the obvious parallels between the two and the ridiculousness of both and for a while manages to explore new elements of what at first seems like a simple one joke satire. Part of this is that despite his good looks and sharp tongue, Hastings and Foss have made the former agent of Asgard into a secondary player in his own book. Told from Nisa’s point of view it definitely helps the story seeing it through her eyes in much the same way that Marvels gave us a glimpse of the dawn of the greatest heroes from a street level. Ultimately though it feels as if Nisa isn’t given that much development and even her speech in the rushed final issue can’t help shake the feeling that Nisa didn’t get a lot of development and much like the main story, hers just doesn’t really go anywhere interesting.

Even having a few other Marvel titles to his name it was still surprising to see Langdon Foss, whose art was part of what made his collaboration on Ales Kot’s The Surface so new and exciting. Even with the vastly different styles across their line, Vote Loki still feels like an outlier  with it’s very strong indie-creator owned feel. Foss has a unique and style and texture to his work both in terms of characters and settings that feels perfectly suited thematically for a topical, street level title like this. As with “The Surface” and it’s highly detailed and precisely inked surreal landscapes, his work is elevated when drawing the fantastical. Here it’s when the Asgardian’s showboating leads to him using his powers, floating in heroically in issue one surrounded by glowing Nordic knot work. Even when delivering a speech from his podium, Foss’ Loki has a huge and attention grabbing presence. However like the series itself it starts to get very repetitive with the same few locations and the art definitely slips towards the end of the series, with issue four looking noticeably rushed and a little lacklustre.

Vote Loki was a title I really wanted to like, especially considering the team involved, but despite a strong start in the first two issues it really burns through that initial goodwill when the third issue spins it’s wheels telling a story it had already pulled off so well in the previous issue. Once again Nisa brings evidence against Loki, which he spins through the media machine to his own advantage. Given it’s oddly rushed finale that jumps closer and closer to the election every few pages, it’s a shame it squandered the chance to let the story breathe a little or maybe a few more issues to properly flesh out it’s ideas. A fun premise that is let down by a boring repetitive plot, uneven artwork that like Loki‘s campaign never really delivers on it’s initial excitement.

Review: Vote Loki #2

vote-loki-2Loki Laufeyson is running for the political office in an apparently legitimate attempt to get elected to the White House.

Vote Loki  may not be accurately reflecting the process to elect a US President, but as a Brit living in Canada, I’m not exactly an expert on the US political system. Needless to say, if there are any factual inaccuracies on that front I’m not the man to point them out, so I’m not even going to try. What I will talk about, however, is whether the comic is a fun read, or if it’s better left on the shelf.

I picked up the first issue simply because I had, effectively, some money on a gift card, and the comic looked like the tongue-in-cheek story I wanted to read. I thoroughly enjoyed that issue and felt that there was enough of an explanation of how Loki could run for President that it didn’t feel too forced. Was it accurate? I honestly don’t know, but for me, Christopher Hastings explanations answered the questions I had (I did know that only a US born person could be elected President thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger).

Perhaps one of my favourite aspects of the first comic was the way in which Loki so effortlessly turned the media to his purposes, twisting words and, oddly enough for the God of Mischief, telling the truth. It’s a fantastic look at how the character could use his silver tongue if he were to really put his mind to it. In the Marvel Universe at least, Loki is becoming a legitimate contender for the White House, and he’s doing it all with only the slightest hint of any magic. Hastings is depicting a world where people are fed up with the half truths and lies of politicians and have turned to Loki’s strikingly honest way of openly lying to your face as the preferred alternative.

loki page.jpg

Apparently getting a beating from the Hulk can be a good thing…

It certainly makes for a very enjoyable comic, if not entirely possible; Loki being a Norse God aside, I’m unaware how feasible a campaign such as Loki’s would actually be – but I also don’t care. Vote Loki #2 was every bit as enjoyable as the first issue and is fast becoming one of my favourite comics each month. That it’s only a four issue miniseries is a shame, but I’d rather this end on a high note than have Marvel drag the story out into irrelevance and boredom.

Vote Loki #2 continues to follow journalist Nisa  Contreras, who is ultimately the true protagonist of the series, and it’s through her eyes that we witness the country getting swept up in the madness that surrounds Loki. Why wouldn’t the Avengers intervene in such a bold and drastic attempt to gain the Presidency? That’s a question answered early in this issue, and with a surprisingly logical answer: the Avengers don’t interfere in the political sphere, and Loki‘s not doing anything illegal, so there’s really nothing they can do.

This comic won’t be for everybody – and it’s certainly arguable as to whether it will hold up over time – but right now, this is an enjoyable series that’s won me over.

Story: Christopher Hastings Art: Langdon Foss Colourist: Christ Chuckry
Story: 9 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Vote Loki #1

Vote_Loki_Vol_1_1What happens when the God of Lies has his sights set on becoming the leader of the free world. But is it just another scheme? Only time will tell whether with his silver tongue and his million dollar smile will win over the voting public and convince them to put Loki in the White House. With the US Presidential election underway, Vote Loki #1 is a superb look at the electoral process viewed through the Marvel Universe, but is it worth reading if you aren’t from the United States, or familiar with the Presidential elections process?

The short answer to that is an emphatic yes.

Vote Loki #1, written by Christopher Hastings with art by Langdon Foss, is more than the cheap laugh that it initially seems. There’s also a lot that, not being from or living in the US, I’m probably missing but from what I am able to tell, Hastings is able to effectively answer some of my primary concerns, namely how can an Asgardian legally run for office in the US?

An interesting aspect of the comic is the power of suggestion – both by the media and by the trickster god himself, and it’s something that I’m incredibly interested in seeing where [writer] goes with it as the series progresses. There are already some very  interesting scenes here that will make you genuinely think about what you read in you day to day life – or at least they should.

If you’re looking for an entertaining comic that you can  have a laugh with, that you don’t need to think too much about,Vote Loki #1 will serve that purpose, and it will serve it well. But the comic shines when you’re paying attention – when you’re actively questioning what you’re reading and how it applies to things outside the Marvel Universe.

I picked up Vote Loki #1 because I had to fill a gift card, and it looked stupid enough to have a laugh with, but the comic I read is one of the best explanations of the political machine and how it intertwines with the media, and I loved every moment of it. Quite frankly this is one of the best comics I have read all month.

A question that may come up will be the longevity of the series. Will it hold up in another two years?  It’s tough to say. Vote Loki #1 is very much a comic of the moment. This moment, and it’s one you absolutely need to read.

Writer: Christopher Hastings Artist: Langdon Foss Colourist: Christ Chuckry
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Be(LIE)ve In a Brighter Marvel Universe in Vote Loki #1!

God, trickster, brother, liar, son, villain, even hero. Loki wears many faces. But now he’s aiming to wear one more – President of the United States of America! Yes, True Believer, your eyes do not deceive you! Though Loki might! The Asgardian charlatan is hitting the campaign trail this June in the highly anticipated Vote Loki #1 – coming at you from Christopher Hastings and Langdon Foss! The God of Lies has his sights set on becoming the leader of the free world. But is it just another scheme? Only time will tell. But with his silver tongue and his million dollar smile winning over the hearts of the Marvel Universe – he may end up laughing all the way to the White House! This election sure just got a whole lot more interesting. One thing is certain – a vote for Loki is a vote for truth. We promise.

VOTE LOKI #1 (APR160909)
Variant Cover by VALERIO SCHITI (APR160910)
FOC – 05/23/16, On-Sale – 06/15/16


Review: Gwenpool Special #1

gwenpool_special_1_coverShe-Hulk throws a holiday party and invites the entire Marvel U! Deadpool teams up with both Hawkeyes – Kate and Clint – to…stop a pickpocket?! Ms. Marvel takes on her most dangerous threat yet: the holiday blues! And then there’s the reason for the season(al special): GWENPOOL!

Gwenpool Special #1? Really, this is She-Hulk Special if anything in this rather odd one-shot that spins out of Howard the Duck #1 which featured the popular Gwenpool. Well, if you’re here for Gwenpool, you might be disappointed, especially since she doesn’t show up until about page 40.

These types of one-shots are interesting in that they can be good, but they tend to be really bad, and this absolutely falls in the latter. The fact that it has Gwenpool in the title, but lacks her within, screams to me cash-in and while the comic is about 60 pages (with ads), it’s $5.99 you don’t need to spend.

Featuring a group of writers and artists, the quality bounces all around as one would expect as the comic is made up of a bunch of short stories that are supposed to connect, but that never quite works out in what feels like a natural way. Some is entertaining, but most of it’s not.

The art too is all over the place with different styles and different qualities. Some works, some doesn’t, a lot of it is really bad.

As a whole, the comic feels a lot like a cash grab, especially with the fact that Gwenpool whose name is in the title is within so few of the pages. This is a comic that as a kid, I’d totally have bought only to walk away disappointed. I struggled to read it all. Don’t fall for the title, this is a comic to absolutely skip this week.

Story: Gerry Duggan, Charles Soule, Christopher Hastings, Margaret Stohl
Art: Danilo Beyruth, Langdon Foss, Gurihiru, Juan Gedeon
Story: 4 Art: 4 Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

‘Tis The Season For Your First Look at Gwenpool Special #1!

Bust out the Eggnog, hang the Mistletoe and prepare for some Marvel style holiday cheer. It’s an All-New, All-Different Marvel holiday extravaganza and it’s coming to you this December in Gwenpool Special #1! You read her first adventure in Howard the Duck #1 this week – now follow her adventures as she crashes She-Hulk’s holiday party! That’s right, Charles Soule returns to the Jade Giantess alongside artist Langdon Foss as Jennifer Walters, Angie Huang and the rest of Shulkie’s law office throw the biggest party the Marvel Universe has ever seen – and everyone is invited!

But that’s not all! Several of those partygoers have their own separate stories of holiday cheer – and you can read about them in this can’t-miss special! Gerry Duggan and Danlio Beyruth bring you a tale of two Hawkeyes and the one and only Deadpool as they team up to stop a holiday pickpocket – and try not to kill each other in the process. Then, New York Times Bestselling Black Widow: Forever Red scribe Margaret Stohl teams up artist Juan Gedeon as Kamala Khan battles her most dangerous foe yet – the holiday blues! Finally, the woman of the hour make her appearance as writer Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru bring you a new Gwenpool story! Can she adjust to her new home in the Marvel Universe without killing everyone in it?

So grab some milk and cookies and join us as the merriest creators tackle the ho-ho-ho-iest characters for a holiday special unlike any you’ve seen before.

Cover by KRIS ANKA
FOC – 11/09/15, On-Sale – 12/09/15


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