Tag Archives: livewire

Review: Livewire #3

On the run!

Livewire #3

Fleeing from more than just the law, Livewire’s about to find out whether she has the strength to survive on her own in a world that hates and fears her, with only her memories of better days to rely on…but if she’s not careful, even those can be snatched away by the mercenary hunting her down!

Livewire#3 deals much more directly with Livewire’s recent past, and how she perceives and justifies her turning off the power to the US.

After escaping the people who captured and implanted a power nullifier of some kind in her brain, Amanda McKee faces a threat from her past in the form of a character I genuinely don’t remember, but could easily have featured in a prior series (I didn’t look it up because it wasn’t relevant to me – everything I needed to know about the character and their relationship with Livewire was provided in this comic).

Although there’s a lot to unpack within this comic, the events within its pages probably happen over the course of minutes rather than hours, giving Livewire #3 a frenetic pace with a very minimal cast of characters. This gives the comic a very intimate feel, which although quite at odds with the previous issue, is still every bit as intense. Vita Ayala reinforces Livewire’s capabilities with her powers diminished whilst simultaneously through the use of interspersed flashbacks they flesh out the other focal point of the comic.

Raul Allen, Patricia Martin and Scott Koblish bring an easily identifiable colour scheme; there’s a slight difference in colour hue between the flashbacks and the present that enables you to easily differentiate between the two periods. The artistic team are on top form once again, remaining deliciously consistent in the quality as they veer from super detailed backgrounds to panels with a blank background that highlights the action within.

Livewire #3 is another strong comic in a series that’s focusing on one of Valiant’s, indeed all of comics, more complex characters; we’re three issues in now and I still don’t know whether I’d consider Livewire a hero or villain. It’s this ambiguity and Ayala’s ability to stay in the moral murkiness that’s such a strong point for this series, and why this book is firmly lodged on my pull list.

Story: Vita Ayala
Art: Raul Allen, Patricia Martin and Scott Koblish
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Livewire #3

LIVEWIRE #3

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN & PATRICIA MARTÍN
Cover A by ADAM POLLINA
Cover B by KOI TURNBULL
B/W Variant Cover by ADAM POLLINA
On sale February 13, 2019

On the run!

Fleeing from more than just the law, Livewire’s about to find out whether she has the strength to survive on her own in a world that hates and fears her, with only her memories of better days to rely on…but if she’s not careful, even those can be snatched away by the mercenary hunting her down!

LIVEWIRE #3

Advance Review: Livewire #3

On the run!

Livewire #3

Fleeing from more than just the law, Livewire’s about to find out whether she has the strength to survive on her own in a world that hates and fears her, with only her memories of better days to rely on…but if she’s not careful, even those can be snatched away by the mercenary hunting her down!

Livewire#3 deals much more directly with Livewire’s recent past, and how she perceives and justifies her turning off the power to the US.

After escaping the people who captured and implanted a power nullifier of some kind in her brain, Amanda McKee faces a threat from her past in the form of a character I genuinely don’t remember, but could easily have featured in a prior series (I didn’t look it up because it wasn’t relevant to me – everything I needed to know about the character and their relationship with Livewire was provided in this comic).

Although there’s a lot to unpack within this comic, the events within its pages probably happen over the course of minutes rather than hours, giving Livewire #3 a frenetic pace with a very minimal cast of characters. This gives the comic a very intimate feel, which although quite at odds with the previous issue, is still every bit as intense. Vita Ayala reinforces Livewire’s capabilities with her powers diminished whilst simultaneously through the use of interspersed flashbacks they flesh out the other focal point of the comic.

Raul Allen, Patricia Martin and Scott Koblish bring an easily identifiable colour scheme; there’s a slight difference in colour hue between the flashbacks and the present that enables you to easily differentiate between the two periods. The artistic team are on top form once again, remaining deliciously consistent in the quality as they veer from super detailed backgrounds to panels with a blank background that highlights the action within.

Livewire #3 is another strong comic in a series that’s focusing on one of Valiant’s, indeed all of comics, more complex characters; we’re three issues in now and I still don’t know whether I’d consider Livewire a hero or villain. It’s this ambiguity and Ayala’s ability to stay in the moral murkiness that’s such a strong point for this series, and why this book is firmly lodged on my pull list.

Story: Vita Ayala
Art: Raul Allen, Patricia Martin and Scott Koblish
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Vita Ayala and Heather Antos Talk Livewire Plus an Exclusive Look at Livewire #5

Livewire #5

Livewire #5 kicks off a brand new story arc “Guardian.” Investigating the disappearance of a young psiot girl, Livewire stumbles upon Omen’s answer to the psiot “problem,” a facility where young psiots are taken and taught to control their powers. Is this facility the safe haven Livewire’s dreamed of or is there something more sinister to this sanctuary?

Featuring art by Kano and covers by Kenneth Rocafort, Will Conrad, and Grey Williamson, the comic is written by Vita Ayala and edited by Heather Antos.

We got a chance to ask Vita and Heather a few questions about the series, who Livewire is to them, and what it’s like to work with a character and world that’s so fresh.

Livewire #5 is out in stores April 10, 2019.

Graphic Policy: If you could sum up Livewire in a half dozen words, which words would you use?

Vita Ayala: Brilliant. Strong. Powerful. Empathetic. She can be gentle and kid, but she’s not the one to mess with.

Heather Antos: Fearless. Curious. Driven. Proud. Amanda is an extremely intelligent woman, with a passion for protecting those she feels responsible for. Unfortunately, like any of us, sometimes she makes mistakes. And sometimes, like any of us, it takes a good hard look in the mirror before she realizes that she could, in fact, have made the wrong call, despite the best of intentions.

GP: Comics have some very noteworthy villains who can have some very sympathetic motives; Magneto and Toyo Harada immediately spring to mind as villains of circumstance (and the story) rather than being outright evil. Livewire deals with Livewire’s actions in Harbinger Wars II, and how she’s viewed more as a villain now than a hero. What approach do you take when writing a (perceived within the universe) villain as a hero?

VA: For me, the saying that no one is the villain of their own story is very much accurate here. Part of making a character sympathetic is to align readers with them. I think that, for me, one way to do that effectively (and quickly) is to present the world through Amanda’s viewpoint. Not literally through her eyes, but figuratively. We are her, and we know the WHY of her actions and motivations like they are our own.

GP: Heather, you’ve worked on some really well-established properties. What might be different for someone in your role working with a relatively new character and series?

HA: When working on high-profile properties and characters, publishers have the luxury of a pre-established fanbase for their books. New characters don’t have that same privilege of years of loving and adoring fans. But that’s what makes creating new characters and new worlds such a fun and unique challenge! It’s all about how we can make characters like Livewire interesting and relatable to a new audience. How do we, as readers, see ourselves in Livewire? How can we get people to love to love her, as well as love to hate her? How do we make her HUMAN?

GP: What got you to come back to comics and Valiant?

HA: Technically, I never left! You can see my work on Image comics like Redlands, Injection, and Bitter Root. However, when I first met with Publisher Fred Pierce and Senior Editorial Director Robert Meyers about joining the Valiant team full-time, I was intrigued with the idea of creating new characters and titles in an already established universe. The Valiant Universe is still so young and fresh and there’s so much here ready to explore. I can’t wait until you see what we’ve been cooking up!

GP: In preparation for this, I had read the script for issue 5. This is the first comic script I’ve ever read, so I’m curious about how many changes do you find you typically make to the script during the creation process of the comic? It must be exciting seeing your vision come to life at the artist’s hands?

VA: Some scripts go through some pretty intense overhauls, so there are minor tweaks and adjustments in the dialogue phase. It depends on the goal of the issue, I think. Issue #5 may have some real changes in the dialogue, but the art is already on the way. I remember rewriting issue #1 three or four times, then going back and tweaking it a few more times after that (and then doing more tweaking in the lettering stage).

There is no way to really describe the awe I feel when I get to see the art for the first (or fifth, or one hundredth) time! There are usually things that are different from the script, so there is that thrill of newness – which, whatever I had in mind always pales in comparison. To see the story come to life in the hands of such incredible collaborators is a blessing, every single time.

GP: Phoebe Daniels seems like a very interesting character; where did she come from? Was she created because of the story, or did the story form because of her?

VA: We wanted to tell a story about self-control, coming off of her realizing her mistakes during Harbinger Wars II. We wanted to put Amanda in a situation where she couldn’t just snap her fingers and make everything better. We wanted to pit Amanda against an enemy that seemed – on the face of things – to have the same motivations as her. We also wanted a character who could almost remind Amanda of herself during her most vulnerable time. So I guess in a real way, it was a little of both?

GP: I LOVED the idea of the between panel art in the early pages, which leads me to my next question. You seem very open to allowing your artists room to create and do their thing; how important is it for you to give freedom to your collaborators?

VA: It is VERY important to me. I try and stay out of an artist’s way as much as possible, unless I have a very specific thing I want to convey (like with the art between the panels), and even then, ultimately it is up to them if they want to incorporate it. I trust my collaborators WAY more than I trust myself – I can’t draw! They have a much better sense of what will work with their style.

I think that the more freedom artists have, the more of themselves they can put into a project – and comics are a VISUAL medium. The artists (line and color, and lettering, too) are the ones that spend the most time with the book, so it makes sense to want them to feel as much ownership of it as humanly possible. I am happy to adjust any text that will appear on page to that – and usually, I end up cutting a lot of on-page text because the art says it better than my words ever could.

GP: As an editor what different approaches might you take working in the Valiant universe than your previous roles?

HA: As an editor, I’ve always seen my job as handling all the outside bullshit so that my team of writers and artists only have to focus on what it is they do best: create great stories. Whether with Marvel or Image or Valiant, that vision and responsibility hasn’t changed. It’s an insanely exciting time to be a creator at Valiant – there is an endless universe of new ground just waiting to be built upon. And I’m just here to help them do it.

GP: Thanks so much for chatting!

Livewire #5

Around the Tubes

Blossoms 666 #1

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d you all get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web!

NBC2 News – Holy handcuffs! Arrest made in $1.4 million comics heist – Good.

The Beat – Rumiko Takahashi wins the Grand Prix at Angoulême! – Woo hoo!

Reviews

Newsarama – Blossoms 666 #1
The Beat –
Coyotes Vol. 2
Comic Attack –
Livewire #2
ICv2 –
Nyankees Vol. 1
Newsarama –
Oliver #1

Review: Livewire #2

When the superpowered psiot codenamed Livewire plunged the entire country into a nationwide power outage, she made more than a few enemies – and now she’s about to meet them face to face! But these mysterious foes aren’t simply interested in bringing her to justice…no, they have other far more nefarious plans for the most wanted woman in the world…

After the events of Harbinger Wars II, which was a perfectly forgettable and very disappointing story, Livewire has emerged as perhaps one of the most fascinating characters in comics. Much like Magneto, who will do anything to protect and defend mutantkind, Livewire’s actions have blurred the line between hero and villain for the character. She may feel she’s a hero, but is she?

The first issue saw Livewire captured and drugged by a gang of soldiers, the results of which are dealt with in Livewire #2  in a slower paced but no less emotional story. I may not have been the biggest fan of the way Harbinger Wars II was told, but I am really enjoying the way that Vita Ayala is building upon Livewire after her actions in that miniseries. Ayala doesn’t let us forget that our actions have consequences, and although there’s a stereotypical guard figure in the book, even his anger at Livewire feels understandable and justifiable because of the damage she caused.

It’s an anger that’s not just expressed through the dialogue, but visually too. Raul Allen and Patricia Martin are adept and conveying the emotions of the characters through their linework and the colours used in the comic, and often provide much more of an insight to a character’s emotional state than you’d necessarily expect from a comic book. Their style isn’t one I immediately warmed to when I first came across it, but Allen and Martin are an incredibly talented duo who subvert expectations with their work; the more you see it then the more you’re going to love it. It’s deceptively simple art – there’s very little flashy effects used, and the style is stronger for it.

Despite the intelligent use of colour this issue, Livewire #2 is a book that lives in the moral grey area. It delights in making you question your point of view and your sympathies with the main character. Whether she’s a hero or a villain is still largely in the eyes of the reader, but I can’t wait to see where the creative team take us.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Livewire #2

LIVEWIRE #2

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN, PATRICIA MARTÍN
Cover A by ADAM POLLINA
Cover B by MEGAN HUTCHISON
B&W cover by ADAM POLLINA

Powerless!

When the superpowered psiot codenamed Livewire plunged the entire country into a nationwide power outage, she made more than a few enemies – and now she’s about to meet them face to face! But these mysterious foes aren’t simply interested in bringing her to justice…no, they have other far more nefarious plans for the most wanted woman in the world…

Dazzling writer Vita Ayala (The WildsSubmerged) and unforgettable art team Raúl Allén (WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR) and Patricia Martín (SECRET WEAPONS) back Amanda McKee into a corner as the most anticipated ongoing series of 2019 rages onward!

LIVEWIRE #2
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