Tag Archives: laura martin

Preview: Firefly Legacy Edition Book Two SC

Firefly Legacy Edition Book Two SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers:  Zack Whedon, Chris Roberson
Artists: Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Stephen Byrne
Colorist: Laura Martin, Loren Kindzierski, Wes Dzioba,
Letterer: Michael Heisler,
Cover Artist: Nimit Malavia
Price: $29.99

BOOM! Studios presents the second of two Firefly Legacy Editions. Collecting all previously released Serenity comics in an all-new value-priced format, no fan can afford to miss this official follow-up to Joss Whedon’s (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) critically-acclaimed film Serenity, collected in one place for the first time!

The ‘Verse is on the brink of war, and Captain Mal and his crew are on the run from an old, unstoppable foe. With the crew scattered to the far ends of the ‘Verse, it’ll take quite a gamble to pull them back together . . . but when the chips are down, never bet against Captain Malcolm Reynolds!

Collects Leaves on the Wind #1-6, “The Warrior and the Wind” from Dark Horse FCBD 2016, and No Power in the ‘Verse #1-6.

Firefly Legacy Edition Book Two SC

Review: Return of Wolverine #4

Return of Wolverine #4

Can Logan handle the truth of what he’s done?

As the penultimate issue of the series (finally) heralding Wolverines, uh, return to the Marvel Universe, Return Of Wolverine #4 does an admirable job of setting up the conclusion, but there’s nothing here that really excites, either. It’s an example of a perfectly average – at best – book.

The story tries to have shocks, but fails. There’s a revelation that, presumably, should carry some weight, but either I’ve read far too many comics and books or it’s telegraphed early enough that any surprise is long gone by the time you finally get to it. The promise of the first issue has either been long spent or Charles Soule ran out of time while writing this. Soule is a really good writer, and has produced some top tier comics; this just isn’t one of his best.

Declan Shalvey does his best to bring the scores up, but while he’s very solid, there’s nothing here that pushes this comic into a Must Buy purely because of the art.

The comic’s plot is focused almost entirely on a conversation and the flashbacks that part of the story is told in, which leaves one with the feeling that not a whole lot occurs. Certainly the longer flashbacks were almost unnecessary when combined with the brief flashes we get earlier in the comic (personally I find the brief flashes have more of a weight than the full window into the past; less is more, after all). There’s very little inherently wrong with the comic, but it’s hard to recommend paying full price for an issue that doesn’t seem integral to the story when a quick recap blurb in the finale would sum up this issue in its entirety.

Unfortunately, it’s a comic that neither demands to be read nor garners enough of an emotional reaction in your humble reviewer to find a lot to talk about. It’s simply very okay. That’s not always a bad thing, but neither is it a particularly great thing, either. As the oft used phrase goes, “it is what it is.”

And that’s very average.

Return Of Wolverine #4 is a comic that’s far from bad, but struggles to be anything more that pretty good. At the end of the day, for the price of this comic, I expected more.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Declan Shalvey 
Colours: Laura Martin Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
 Story: 6.2 Art: 7.6 Overall: 6.6 Recommendation: Read 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 Back to Basics

It’s a new beginning for Spider-Man as Peter Parker and Spider-Man goes back to basics. No more big business and lots of money, this is sad sack Peter we know and love.

The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 Back to Basics collects issues #1-5 and Free Comic Book Day 2018 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, Laura Martin, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, and Edgar Delgado.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on December 11! 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: Return of Wolverine #3

Wolverine vs. the X-Men?! Yes, Wolverine comes into contact with the X-Men as they finally find his location and he of course is tricked into attacking. Writer Charles Soule gives us a fairly by-the-numbers issues in many aspects relying a bit much on tropes but what is presented is still intriguing.

Return of Wolverine #3 has him still on the hunt for a kidnapped child and has questions for Soteira. At the same time, the X-Men are searching for him and go after him hoping to figure out what’s going on. That leads to the good guy vs. good guy trope fight, of course due to a misunderstanding.

But, Soule presents some interesting things like the varied personalities within Wolverine that are presented much like Legion’s many. Then there’s the manipulation of Wolverine to attack the X-Men and hints that Persephone isn’t completely sure what’s going on with him. There’s enough mystery to make it interesting but as presented it feels like a chapter in the overall story as opposed to something special by itself.

Declan Shalvey takes on the art duty and it doesn’t quite work. There’s some odd panels and a grittiness is missing that should exist. Laura Martin provides colors and Joe Sabino is on lettering and overall the art is just good. The characters look a little off and many panels feel like there’s just too much space given with odd framing of everything. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t feel right for an “X” comic though. The style doesn’t fit the content and tone. But, it gets the job done.

With art that doesn’t stand out and an issue that falls a bit too much into tropes, this is one that’s best read as part of the whole in trade. It doesn’t stand out enough to really provide much to the story and like last issue feels a bit dragged out. The series feels like there’s a decompression issue for the overall arc and could stand to lose an issue to speed things up.

The overall story is still intriguing and there’s some moments here and there that stand out, add in a new X-villain and it’s not quite a story to give up on but there’s something that doesn’t quite feel special enough to justify the price of admission.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Declan Shalvey
Color: Laura Martin Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Firefly Legacy Edition Book One SC

Firefly Legacy Edition Book One SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Patton Oswalt, Brett Matthews, Jim Krueger
Artists: Will Conrad, Chris Samnee, Patric Reynolds, Fabio Moon
Colorists: Laura Martin, Dave Stewart, Michelle Madsen, Julius Ohta, Chris Peter
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Cover Artist: Nimit Malavia
Price: $29.99

BOOM! Studios presents the the first of two Firefly Legacy Editions collecting all the previously released Serenity comics for the first time under one cover in an all-new value priced format that no fan can afford to miss.

From Joss Whedon (the visionary creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), buried histories and secret identities are revealed, along with all the heist-takin’, authority-dodgin’, death-defyin’ space-cowboyin’ you’ve been missing from your life, as this ragtag crew of mercenaries, outlaws, and fugitives travel the stars in search of their next adventure in these sequels to the hit Firefly television series and Serenity film.

Collects Serenity: Those Left Behind #1-3, Serenity: Better Days #1-3, and Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale OGN.

Review: Return of Wolverine #2

Logan is alive again – let’s see if he can stay that way!

If the first issue was the 15 minutes before the credits role, Return of Wolverine #2 is the action sequence we’re thrown into right after the credits wrap up. Logan is in pursuit of the mysterious individuals that have kidnapped a kid and… that’s about it really.

Writer Charles Soule gives us a frustrating issue that is generally just one long pursuit. It’s a setting for Logan to remind us he doesn’t remember who he is, then have glimpses of someone he might know, and reveals his claws now get hot. Yes, flaming claws. That, and the particularly weird portrayal of Logan in his dialogue makes for a comic that feels like a 90s James Bond sequence than anything with Wolverine in it.

Declan Shalvey‘s art, with color by Laura Martin and lettering by VC’s Joe Sabino, can’t help the issue which is generally boring and forgettable. There’s actually not a whole lot to work with for the artistic team as a lot of the issue is on a boat pursuing another boat. But, when given opportunities to do something interesting, a mental shock a fight scene, it all is rather boring. Nothing stands out in the art or the panel layout.

The issue feels like it’s phone in. The major aspects to it is the reveal of Logan’s new claws and the ending, which I won’t revealed but isn’t Earth shattering either. It’s not bad, it’s just rather boring and feels like it’s a few pages stretched out for 22. There’s also Wolverine not really acting like Wolverine and hell, not even struggling a whole lot not remembering. We’ve seen him struggle more in this sort of situation in the past. There’s a tone in character and story that feels rather off.

There’s a lot to go so maybe this is a bump in a road but after a surprisingly good first issue, this is quite a few steps back.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Declan Shalvey
Color: Laura Martin Lettering: Joe Sabino
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2

Out now is The Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2 which collects issues #17-31 and Annual #1-2, the adventures of Doc Ock in the body of Peter Parker!

The Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2 is by Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Livesay, Edgar Delgado, Chris Eliopoulos, Jason Howard, Humberto Ramons, Javier Rodriguez, Marcos Martin, Victor Olazaba, Alvaro Lopez, Giuseppe Camuncoli, John Dell, Antonio Fabela, Terry Pallot, Alvaro Lopez, J.G. Jones, Laura Martin, Christos Gage, Will Sliney, Philip Briones, Clayton Cowles, Mike Del Mundo, Ellie Pule, Stephen Wacker, and Nick Lowe.

Get your copy in comic shops and book stores now. 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
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: Batman and the Signal

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 focus on Duke Thomas… the Signal!

Batman and the Signal collects Batman and the Signal #1-3, “Role Call” from New Talent Showcase 2017 #1, and “The Cursed Wheel” from All-Star Batman #1-4 and #6-9 by Scott Snyder, Tony Patrick, Cully Hamner, Declan Shalvey, Fracesco Francavilla, Minkyu Jung, Klaus Janson, Laura Martin, Jordie Bellaire, Pete Pantazis, Deron Bennett, Steve Wands, and Dezi Sienty.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on August 28. 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

 

DC Comics 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: The Amazing Spider-Man #1

An alien invasion hits New York City and the only one who can stop it is…Spider-Man?! But that’s far from all you’ll find here – a revelation from the past puts Peter Parker’s job, relationships, and whole life in jeopardy! And if even that’s not enough, you’ll see a new roommate, new love interests – and a new villain!

Despite by disdain for writer Nick Spencer‘s recent Secret Empire, his writing on Superior Foes of Spider-Man (which if you haven’t read, it’s excellent) had me interesting in reading his debut on Spider-Man with The Amazing Spider-Man #1. After one issue, I already long for Dan Slott. Spencer excels when he focuses on humor but it seems that’s only the case when paired with artist Steve Lieber, his partner in crime on Superior and Spencer’s Image Comics series The Fix. Here, he works with artist Ryan Ottley coming off of his impressive work on Skybound’s Invincible.

Spencer’s first focus? Stripping everything that’s left of Peter Parker really setting him up for basics and to start from scratch. He’s already lost his company but what’s left to take? Spencer finds some things and in that sense the comic is interesting. The issue is that everything is delivered in such quick, rapid, bursts, it’s hard to stay focused. Again, this feels like Spencer’s previous comedic work, but this issue shows that Lieber was a key to bringing the quick hits together into a cohesive narrative.

Ottley’s work looks good. In fact, it looks like Ottley’s previous work in that Peter and MJ look a lot like the characters from Invincible. Ottley has a distinctive style and while characters vary, there’s a familiarity of them that makes them all seem a bit too recognizable. Ottley is joined by inker Cliff Rathburn, colorist Laura Martin, and letterer Joe Caramagna. The art combined with the story creates an ADD-like experience that can’t focus and delivers a lot in a scattershot way. It looks good though, and there’s a lot thrown in there for Ottley and crew to work with as so many heroes are depicted (and since when is Black Cat a good guy again?) doing battle.

The comic sets up a lot and features a return to the more humorous Spencer but something doesn’t click like his previous work. I can only conclude it’s the art which doesn’t gell. There’s some good ideas though, and potential fun. But, when a first issue has you longing for the previous creative team, that’s not a good sign. Spencer had a goal with this issue, strip everything that Peter still has and in that sense, it succeeds in setting up what’s to come with a new direction.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Ryan Ottley
Ink: Cliff Rathburn Color: Laura Martin Lettering: Joe Caramagna
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.25 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Spider-Man #240

Trade paperback copies of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s Ultimate Spider-Man from the local public library were what got me into comics, and the first Marvel comic I ever subscribed to was Ultimate Comics Spider-Man featuring Miles Morales. So, it’s safe to say that I was rooting for Spider-Man #240  to be a fantastic ending to Bendis’ 18 years on Spider-Man and seven years writing Miles. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case even though Oscar Bazaldua is one of Marvel’s best up and coming artists and can fill a page or double page spread with action and emotion beats. Speaking of emotion, Bendis’ farewell letter at the end is more moving than anything except Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor’s final page. I’m surprised I’m saying this about a Bendis comic, but Spider-Man could have used one more issue with the return of Uncle Aaron/Helicarrier theft storyline ending in Spider-Man #240, and the next issue acting as a proper send off for Bendis’ work with Miles Morales and Spider-Man instead of this rush job/bottle episode.

After a cliched present-to-flashback sequence, Spider-Man #240 has a pretty nice fight sequence between the Champions, the new Sinister Six, and the Latverian army. Bendis and Bazaldua even make the stakes personal with both Miles and his uncle Aaron tumbling off the Helicarrier with a black and gold color palette from Laura Martin in an almost silent double page spread. But, then, it all cuts to black, and we’re back in the hospital. There’s a lot of fades to blacks and hospital scenes like Bendis was simultaneously streaming the ER and Sopranos finale while scripting his own finale. To go with this, there’s a lot of telling and not showing and a bunch of abrupt cuts in the storyline like Bendis was trying to set up a quick subplot or two at the end and didn’t resolve it.

For example, Miles is in the hospital after his battle with the Latverians because there is something up with his genetic code, but we never find out what it is even after a shoehorned Tony Stark cameo. Bendis also seems to be setting up a new path for Miles and his new writer with a connection to espionage, but cuts before the “reveal” of the Marvel Universe big shot, who wants his help. Less egregiously, he resolves a Ganke subplot with expository dialogue and hand waves the ending of the issue’s opening battle with an off panel Avengers appearance. Dialogue is still one of Bendis’ strengths, and he has a lot of fun with the banter between the Champions members (And Goldballs!) without resorting to awkward “millennial speak” like Mark Waid, but seeing Miles’ mom Rio interact with Captain America would have been way cooler than just a word balloon.

Also, Bendis and Bazaldua drop the ball when it comes to the interactions between Miles and his Uncle Aaron in Spider-Man #240, which was the through line of this final arc as Miles tries to help his uncle use his technological skill for good and not crime. Aaron disappears during the final battle and then reappears at Miles’ hospital bed in a darkly lit scene from colorist Martin. Bendis’ writing for Aaron is simple; his time with Miles over the past few days has helped him think about doing good. But then there are some really awkward visuals like a close-up of Miles utterly freaking out when Aaron touches his hand before yet another fade to black. Intentional or not, there is a dreamy quality to the hospital scenes, and it is like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Normal Again” where Buffy think she has hallucinated the past six years of her life. Thankfully, Bendis doesn’t go for “It was all a dream” cop out ending, but the hospital setting limits the type of interactions Miles can have and hamstrings the whole ending.

However, Spider-Man #240 isn’t all bad, and there is one series of scenes that made me smile. Brian Michael Bendis and Oscar Bazaldua spend a decent amount of time closing the curtain on the main constant in Bendis’ run writing Miles Morales: the friendship between Miles and Ganke. (There’s a reason that they’re the sole stars of the final Pichelli and Ponsor drawn page.) After weird medical testing talk, it’s refreshing to just listen to them talk about girls, video games, and how crazy their lives have been. After fighting supervillains and Latverians, Miles just wants to hang out and be a regular teenager. Bazaldua also includes a nice sight gag of Spider-Man (The Peter Parker one) lounging in a web hammock outside the hospital room in a great nod to Miles’ origin as taking on the dead Spider-Man’s legacy in the Ultimate Universe as well as Bendis’ 11 years of writing Peter in Ultimate Spider-Man.

Some cool flight blocking from Oscar Bazaldua, smart color shifts from Laura Martin, and every time Ganke shows up, Spider-Man #240 is an unceremonious end to Brian Michael Bendis’ time writing Miles Morales. There were some good ideas in this storyline, like the return of his “Uncle Ben figure,” Aaron Davis, but it’s squandered with start and stop subplots, and can we seriously stop with the fading to black panels. Bendis stuck the landing with Jessica Jones and Defenders as farewells to his other big Marvel creation and his work on street level and team books, but sadly strikes out in his final issue of the book that got him in the door and made him a star back in 2000.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Oscar Bazaldua Colors: Laura Martin with Matt Milla and Peter Pantazis Final Page Art: Sara Pichelli with Justin Ponsor
Story: 5  Art: 8 Overall: 5.5  Recommendation: Pass

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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