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Nocterra #6 Gets Variant Covers and Wraps up the First Arc with a Bang!

Image Comics has revealed three thrilling, over-the-top variants featuring art by Emanuela Lupacchino, Tony S. Daniel and Marcelo Maiolo, and Mirka Andolfo for the forthcoming Nocterra #6 by Scott Synder and Tony S. Daniel. This issue will wrap up the first story arc with a bang and rev readers up for more.

You’ve seen the calm…now it’s time for the storm in Nocterra #6. Having previously unearthed a shocking revelation, Val must prepare for battle before she loses the paradise that she’s risked so much to find.

Nocterra #6 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, August 18:

  • Cover A Daniel & Morey – Diamond Code JUN210236
  • Cover B Lupacchino & Dave McCaig – Diamond Code JUN210237
  • Cover C Daniel & Maiolo – Diamond Code JUN210238
  • Cover D 1:25 copy incentive Andolfo – Diamond Code MAY219397

Review: Marvel Voices Pride #1

Marvel Voices Pride #1

In honor of Pride Month, Marvel Comics dropped a big 84 pages one-shot celebrating both its LGBTQ+ creators and characters. Beginning with a story from Luciano Vecchio that’s not sure if it’s telling the story of queer characters in the Marvel Universe from an in-universe or more of a real-world documentary perspective, Marvel Voices Pride #1 sputters with a story that basically says aliens and shapeshifters brought the idea of being non-binary, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming to this world followed by a text-heavy Allan Heinberg/Jim Cheung Young Avengers reunion. However, it catches its footing with a cute Karolina Dean/Nico Minoru story, and for the most part, it provides a wide spectrum of LGBTQ+ representation with a special focus on the mutant/X-Men side of the Marvel Universe, who have acted as a mostly metaphorical representation to queer fans like myself. However, it’s nice to see characters like Anole, Prodigy, Destiny, Karma, and Jessie Drake get the spotlight along with more prominently featured cis male gay characters like Northstar (His coming out story in Alpha Flight #106 is reprinted at the end) and Iceman. But fans of non-mutant/Runaways/Wiccan and Hulkling characters may be disappointed as characters like Angela, Sera, Hercules, and America Chavez don’t appear except in small cameo roles.

Marvel Voices Pride #1 kicks off with a journey through the LGBTQ+ history of the Marvel Universe from writer/artist Luciano Vecchio. Even though many of his adult characters look like teens, Vecchio has a beautiful art style and color palette. However, my issue with this first story isn’t the form, but the content. As mentioned earlier, this introductory story isn’t sure if it’s being told from the perspective of the real world or Earth-616 even though it’s narrated by Prodigy. It also has a very self-congratulatory, back-patting tone, especially for a company that recently cancelled a book starring many of its queer characters (X-Factor) and mentions characters like Angela and Sera that haven’t been barely heard or seen from since getting their own title in 2015. Even though Vecchio is a queer creator, there’s big “ally” energy in this first story with a heterosexual character, Captain America getting the spotlight, and the implication that non-binary identities came from aliens and shapeshifters. He does successfully lay out what ended up being a thesis for the anthology, which is the connection between mutants and queer identity.

This story is followed by a one page Young Avengers creator reunion as Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, and Marcelo Maiolo chronicle Hulking and Wiccan’s wedding vows. Heinberg’s writing is tender, but this feels like more of a prose piece than a comic. Heinberg and Cheung’s inclusion seems like more stunt-casting to get older queer Marvel fans interested in the one-shot rather than being any kind of substantial addition to their work on Young Avengers. However, Marvel Voices: Pride rights the ship (Pun fully intended.) in its next story featuring two members of Marvel’s other prominent 2000s teen superhero team, the Runaways. Mariko Tamaki, Kris Anka, and Tamra Bonvillain turns in three pages of sweet glances, chatter, and a super adorable kiss as Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean think about what they would tell people if they asked how they met. The long line out of the venue reminded me of the pre-pandemic days when I would wait in line for hours to get a good spot to see artists like Carly Rae Jepsen and Robyn with my fellow queer folks, and Bonvillain’s summery color palette matches Anka’s skill with facial expressions. This story is like the cherry on top of the sundae that he helped build when he was the artist on Runaways and finally put Karolina and Nico in a relationship together.

The next story in Marvel Voices Pride is the first one to feature a trans protagonist, Dr. Charlene McGowan from Immortal Hulk. The plot of Lilah Sturges, Derek Charm, and Brittany Peer is about some “hilarious” misunderstandings when Lady Daredevil aka the artist formerly known as Elektra Natchios and some Z-list, rapping supervillains raid McGowan’s lab when they think she’s producing mutant growth hormone when when she’s actually working on a way to get trans women’s bodies to produce progesterone without taking pills. What follows is Trans 101 with a little bit of ass kicking courtesy Charm, who is in his Bronze Age element with the cheesy costumes and dark shadows. However, other than the fact that’s she a scientist who sometimes makes jokes, we don’t learn anything about Dr. McGowan except that she’s surprisingly cool with microaggressions from A-List Marvel heroes. Kudos to Marvel Voices‘ editorial for getting a trans writer in Sturges to pen this story, but the whole thing feels reductive and geared towards fanboys who know every member of Daredevil or Hulk’s rogues gallery and have never interacted with a transgender person.

Marvel Voices Pride #1

In contrast, Leah Williams, Jan Bazaldua, and Erick Arciniega re-introduce Marvel’s first transgender character, the mutant Jessie Drake in a thrilling manner as she appears in her first comic in 27 years. However, Black Cat is the protagonist of this story and is tracking down Steel Raven, a villain who’s been impersonating her, pulling some sloppy heists, and ruining her reputation. Williams’ quippy writing style works well for the fast-paced short story as Black Cat and Jessie meet, flirt, and figure out their next move in catching Steel Raven. Bazaldua plays with space and transforms what would normally be your run of the mill villain warehouse into something more surreal. She and Williams do succeed in building a connection between Jessie and Black Cat as well as showing off Jesse’s empathy-based abilities, but this is just a teaser for a bigger cat and mouse game. Hopefully, there’s room for more batting of eyes, power showcasing, and insight into the character of Jessie Drake, both in her own series or in Black Cat’s current ongoing, which has been a sneaky good read.

Continuing this positive trend is Crystal Frasier, Jethro Morales, and Rachelle Rosenberg telling a wonderful She-Hulk and Titania. But there’s a twist as Jennifer Walters doesn’t appear, but Jennifer Harris, who was inspired by her to come out as trans and cosplay her at a copyright friendly version of New York Comic Con. As someone who came out as bi around the same time Prodigy did in Young Avengers or when Iceman came out as gay in All-New X-Men, I can definitely connect to the inspirational power of fictional characters like Jennifer did with She-Hulk. She and Titania also have some nice banter, and Frasier and Morales also remind readers that She-Hulk was the original fourth wall breaker with some jokes and exploding layouts.

After the She-Hulk story is probably my favorite story of Marvel Voices Pride #1, which is a Prodigy and Speed one from Kieron Gillen, Jen Hickman, and Brittany Peer as Gillen returns to both the X-Men and Young Avengers franchises. The dialogue between Speed and Prodigy sparkles, and Hickman shows off their chops as a storyteller working in eating pizza, stealing glances at Colossus, and empathizing with Kitty Pryde as Prodigy basically tells his bisexual origin story. His story also acts as a critique of how the mutant books have been good about metaphorical queer representation, but not actual queer representation. This is timely because the book that Prodigy was a main cast member in is getting cancelled. However, this is really a lovely story full of hilarious and insightful writing from Kieron Gillen and pitch-perfect images and comedic timing from Hickman as Speed teases Prodigy for having a crush on Colossus when he ran with the New Mutants. Prodigy is true overthinking, chaos bisexual representation, and I’m personally glad to see him get a spotlight in this story even if it’s only a few pages long.

The anthology takes a break from comics for a bit and features an interview with Christian Cooper, one of the first queer editors at Marvel, and he talks about his experiences at the company and the impact comics have had on his life. After this, there’s a timeline of big LGBTQ+ moments in Marvel Comics. It’s followed up with a cute Anole story from Terry Blas, the wonderful Paulina Ganucheau, and Kendall Goode. Blas connects the idea of Krakoa being a mutant utopia to things like Pride, and the ability to unwind at the Green Lagoon with folks who understand your struggles being the goal of all this hard work and fighting. However, it’s not all big metaphors as he and Ganucheau probe into Anole’s body issues leading to him not wanting to date along with his friendship with Jonas Graymalkin. It all ends on a fabulous final page, and this story is worth checking out for Ganucheau and Goode’s soft, colorful takes on the different mutants.

Sticking with the mutant theme, Anthony Oliveira, Javier Garron, and David Curiel go all in with the mutant as gay metaphor in an Iceman story set during the time period of the original five X-Men. They play on the fact that Magneto was played by a gay man in four of the X-Men films and find a real connection between Bobby and Magneto, who takes a break from the missiles to provide a listening ear to this young man struggling with his identity. Oliveira writes Iceman as having a crush on Angel, and Garron nails the longing glances that he throws at the majestic mutant that turn into words when Magneto sits down to chat with him. They take the subtext (For example, Bobby not being interested in Jean Grey when she joins the team.) of these Silver Age text and transform them into glorious text while also showing off the sweeter side of Magneto, a man who would one day break down when he realized that his crusade almost led to the death of an innocent child, Kitty Pryde.

This story is followed up by one focusing on the relationship between Northstar and his husband, Kyle Jinadu from writer/artist J.J. Kirby. It’s touching to see what Northstar is like away from the cameras and public, and what Kyle loves about them. However, Kirby’s 1990s-style artwork with modern, digital coloring is a mismatch for the story, and I spent most of the time wondering why Northstar looked like a vampire or a block of ice instead of the events of the story. Luckily, the misstep is remedied by a thrilling riff on Sherlock Holmes vs. Professor Moriarty from Tini Howard, Samantha Dodge, and Brittany Peer featuring Mystique and Destiny. The story is adventurous filled with wits matching, chess games, and lover’s embraces and shows how iconic a couple these two are while also showing what a big deal it was for them to be open with their love in a time period where being queer got you thrown in jail. Plus it’s a reminder that queer people have always existed in history. (Or fiction.)

Vita Ayala, Joanna Estep, Brittney Williams, and Brittany Peer continue the theme of both mutants and queer women in a Karma story set during the Hellfire Gala after party where Magik gives her a pep talk to dance (and maybe even smooch) Elle, who as far as I can tell is a new, queer mutant created for this anthology. Karma truly gets the spotlight this story and gets to work out some of her issues with her powers and emotions as she’s afraid that if she asks Elle out that she’ll use her abilities to mess with her free will. However, this doesn’t happen, and we get to see a mutant who has been screwed over so many times be happy for once and get the girl in a beautiful sequence from Ayala, Estep, Williams, and Peer.

Marvel Voices Pride #1

The final story in Marvel Voices Pride #1 again shows that Steve Orlando is perfect for writing violent, queer characters with a sensitive side as he and Claudia Aguirre tell the story of Daken and Somnus, a new character who can make one night seem like a life time together. He used this power on Daken back in the day during a one night stand and then ended up living a long life without him even though he didn’t divulge his oneiromantic mutant abilities to everyone. However, Krakoa and its resurrection protocols are all about second chances, and Daken gives him one in this story. As well as digging deep into Daken’s emotions, Orlando and Aguirre also use this story to remind readers of queer elders, who because of society’s hate, never came out or came out later in life, and this is what makes Somnus’ second chance so special. Also, his abilities are pretty cool and bring a little Vertigo into the X-Books.

Marvel Voices Pride #1 is definitely an up and down ride. Some of the stories mishandle nonbinary and gender nonconforming identities (Also, there are no nonbinary lead characters in this anthology.) or seem to pander heavily to allies while others have issues with their art or storytelling style. (Northstar/Kyle, Wiccan/Hulkling) But, for the most part, it’s nice to see queer creators and queer characters get the spotlight for once instead of being hidden behind things like the mutant metaphor, which is usually Marvel editorial’s approach. Time will tell if we see them beyond this anthology, but most of the creators in Marvel Voices Pride work on books in Marvel’s main line or have had consistent success at other companies or even television in Allan Heinberg’s case so, at least, that’s something they have going for them.

Story: Luciano Vecchio, Allan Heinberg, Mariko Tamaki, Lilah Sturges, Leah Williams,
Crystal Frasier, Kieron Gillen, Terry Blas, Anthony Oliveira, J.J. Kirby, Tini Howard, Vita Ayala, Steve Orlando
Art: Luciano Vecchio, Jim Cheung, Kris Anka, Derek Charm, Jan Bazaldua,
Jethro Morales, Jen Hickman, Paulina Ganucheau, Javier Garron, J.J. Kirby, Samantha Dodge, Joanna Estep with Brittney Williams, Claudia Aguirre, Jacopo Camagni
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo, Tamra Bonvillain, Brittany Peer,
Erick Arciniega, Rachelle Rosenberg, Kendall Goode, David Curiel
Letters: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1

Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1

(W) Kieron Gillen, More (A) Javi Garron, More (CA) Luciano Vecchio
88 pages/ONE-SHOT/Rated T+
In Shops: Jun 23, 2021
SRP: $9.99

MARVEL CELEBRATES LGBTQ+ CHARACTERS & CREATORS WITH A RAINBOW-POWERED SPECIAL!
Marvel Comics is proud to present its first ever queer-centered anthology! Ring in Pride Month with an amazing assembly of writers and artists from all walks of life. Wiccan and Hulkling! Iceman! Mystique and Destiny! Karma! Akihiro! Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean! Celebrate these and so many more legendary characters from across the Marvel archive! New and fan-favorite creators tell their Pride stories – stories of inspiration and empowerment, stories that illustrate “the world outside your window” in full color. Plus, some of Marvel’s biggest LGBTQ+ moments get a special reprinting. Don’t miss an extraordinary new chapter in Marvel history!

Marvel's Voices: Pride #1

Robert Kirkman, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson Celebrate One Year of Fire Power

Superstars Robert Kirkman, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson celebrate Fire Power’s historic first anniversary with a line-up of stunning covers and a sneak peek at interior art from issue #12. This momentous issue will showcase some of the biggest names in comics lending their talents to some of Image and Skybound’s hottest covers of the year. 

Everything has been leading to this moment. The Scorched Earth Clan and The Order of the Flaming Fist face off one final time! Owen Johnson has fully reentered the world he left behind and from this point on—everything changes! This extra-length issue is NOT TO BE MISSED! 

Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 will be available at comic book shops and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play on Wednesday, June 2: 

  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover A by Samnee & Matthew Wilson (Diamond Code APR210165) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover B by Frank Quitely (Diamond Code APR210166) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover C by Mindy Lee (Diamond Code APR210167) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover D by Tula Lotay (Diamond Code APR210168)  
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover E by Todd McFarlane & Matthew Wilson (Diamond Code APR210169) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover F by Simone Di Meo (Diamond Code APR210170) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover G by Tonci Zonjic (Diamond Code APR210171) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover H by Rob Liefeld & Marcelo Maiolo (Diamond Code APR210172) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover I by Annie Wu (Diamond Code APR210173) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover J by Erik Larsen & Matthew Wilson (Diamond Code APR210174) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover K by Khary Randolph (Diamond Code APR210175) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover L by Frank Miller & Alex Sinclair (Diamond Code APR210176) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover M Pride variant by Kira Okamoto (Diamond Code MAR219145) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover N 1:25 Copy B&W incentive variant by Frank Miller (Diamond Code MAR219146) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover O 1:25 Copy B&W incentive variant by Todd McFarlane (Diamond Code MAR219147)  

Shazam! Arrives in July from Tim Sheridan, Clayton Henry, and Marcelo Maiolo

“SHAZAM!” With a single magic word, the powers of six ancient gods—the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury—are placed in the hands of teenage Billy Batson, transforming him into The World’s Mightiest Mortal! A new Shazam! four-issue mini-series from Tim Sheridan and Clayton Henry, spinning out of the pages of Teen Titans Academy, arrives July 20!

Billy Batson came to Titans Academy looking for answers, but so far has kept his Shazam! identity a secret from his new classmates. Why was the rest of his adopted family cut off from the power of Shazam!? Why are his own powers becoming increasingly unreliable? What has happened to the Rock of Eternity, where is the Wizard, and who can help Billy get his powers back to normal before these mysterious events turn into a full-blown crisis?

The answers send Billy on an outrageous adventure that’ll not only change him…but have an immense impact on the school and other students on Titans Island!

Shazam! #1 (of 4) by Tim Sheridan, Clayton Henry, and Marcelo Maiolo arrives on July 20 with covers by Henry and Maiolo (main), Gary Frank and Brad Anderson (card stock variant), and Steve Lieber (1:25 card stock variant). Shazam! will retail for $3.99 US for 32 pages ($4.99 for card stock variants).

Review: Suicide Squad #2

Suicide Squad #2

I loved the debut of this latest volume of Suicide Squad. The issue did a great job of doing its own thing but also tying into what else was going on in the DC Universe. The debut issue involved Peacemaker leading a team to break out William Cobb, aka Talon, from Arkham Asylum. For those who read Batman, you’ll know there was an attack that killed most of Arkham’s inhabitants. Peacemaker and the team found themselves caught in that attack. Suicide Squad #2 keeps things moving as Peacemaker is determined to complete his mission.

Robbie Thompson keeps readers on their toes with Peacemaker focused and overwhelmed. He’s dealing with inmates and guards as he attempts to get his target back to base. There’s a solid action aspect to it but Thompson also does something interesting, you have no idea if Peacemaker will succeed. In the first issue, much of the team were killed. That opening now keeps readers on their toes not knowing who might be offed next. This is a first, I really feel like this is a team that might not make it. Beyond Peacemaker and Superboy, who knows who might die. Thompson keeps things rolling as a new team is sent to help Peacemaker in his mission.

Suicide Squad #2 is solid in that it begins the steps towards the team we see in its Future State issues. It also throws in characters both known and obscure and any can die. But, what it really does is gives us a team where there’s more than team vs. Waller. With the inclusions of Peacemaker and Superboy we have two powerhouses who are going to clash. Peacemaker sees Waller as a method to achieve his goals. Superboy is the reluctant member who wants to do things his way and keep the death toll low. Then there’s a whole bunch of other varied personalities. It’s a solid team and dynamic that’s really entertaining.

Eduardo Pansica‘s art is fantastic. There’s just fantastic action that delivers on every page and looks great. The characters are so varied yet it still looks like they belong together. Julio Ferreira‘s ink, Marcelo Maiolo‘s color and Wes Abbott‘s lettering just adds to the experience. The color and inks make the images pop at times and really takes what easily could be a dark comic but lightens it up in a way. The lettering too just adds to each character’s personality.

Suicide Squad #2 is a solid issue. It’s full of action and sets up the team dynamic well. There’s also the fact that bodies keep piling up. This is a series that you shouldn’t get too attached to characters. They’re going to die. Beyond a few specifics, everyone is on the table as far as that. This is a comic that’s just full of action and personalities with some dynamic art that brings it all together. A fantastic second issue that builds on the excitement of the first.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Eduardo Pansica
Ink: Julio Ferreira Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Children of the Atom #1

Children of the Atom #1

After a lot of anticipation and some head-scratching, Children of the Atom #1 is here and it’s not quite what’s expected. The story revolves around a teenage group of heroes whose looks and powers seem close to classic X-Men. But, while this starts off as “Junior X-Men”, the end delivers an unexpected twist.

Written by Vita Ayala, there’s been a lot of mystery behind Children of the Atom #1. That surface focus feels like it’s helped the series creating expectations that are off. This isn’t New X-Men the New Class, it’s something different. Ayala introduces us to Cherub, Marvel Guy, Cyclops-Lass, Gimmick, and Daycrawler, the group of heroes at the center of the story. We’re thrown into battle with them, quickly learning their powers and personalities. And, for the most part, the debut issue feels like a weird riff on the X-Men. Like bad toy knock-offs, the characters remind us of the originals but are a bit off.

Ayala, brings it all together though. These are kids who know the X-Men and idolize them in some ways, so of course they’re going to riff on them with their looks and even names. Why their powers are similar is generally unknown and part of the mystery.

But Ayala doesn’t leave it just focused on the kids. She brings in a moral debate to the story as well. With underage heroes “outlawed” and little training, there’s a debate if there’s a moral imperative to bring them to Krakoa to train. Jena Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, and Storm debate the various positions as to what to do and what they should do. It’s an interesting discussion that frames things in ways that makes the comic more than young heroes trying to figure things out. It also questions what’s the role of Krakoa towards new mutants not on the island.

Bernard Chang handles the art are generally nails it. Marcelo Maiolo handles the color with Travis Lanham on lettering and Tom Muller on design. The comic looks great with the character designs top notch. There are some issues during the battle where some of the action isn’t as clear with too much being covered. It took me re-reading those pages a few times to make it clearer as to what was going on. The comic has a nice youthful energy about it that fits its young cast and you can feel some of the emotional ups and downs of the comic through the art.

Children of the Atom #1 is a solid debut that’s not quite what’s expected. While it might seem like “Junior X-Men”, there’s something else going on that’s not clear as of yet. It delivers a bit of mystery in what originally seemed like a pretty straightforward adventure.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Bernard Chang
Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Travis Lanham Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.05 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Nocterra Lights Up Stores with a Sell-Out

No other release on shelves could hold a candle to Wednesday’s mania for Nocterra #1 by award-winning, bestselling writer Scott Snyder and bestselling writer and artist Tony S. Daniel. The highly anticipated debut issue sold out instantly at the distributor level and ignited a reorder firestorm prompting Image Comics to rush the Nocterra #1 back to print. 

This second printing will feature new cover artwork by Daniel with colors by Marcelo Maiolo.

Ten years after the world is plunged into an everlasting night that turns all living creatures into monstrous shades, the only way to survive is to stay close to artificial light. Here Nocterra introduces Valentina “Val” Riggs, a skilled ferryman who transports people and goods along deadly unlit roads with her heavily illuminated eighteen wheeler.

The shaded world of Nocterra was first introduced through the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign which ran in October 2020 and offered backers a stab at highly collectable editions of Nocterra content including special prints, a hardcover, and behind-the-scenes process work. The campaign wrapped with hundreds of thousands raised by supporters ready and eager for the story proper to begin.

Nocterra #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN219075) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 31. 

Nocterra #1 Glow in the Dark variant (Diamond Code JAN210020) will also be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 17.

Read our review of the first issue.

Nocterra #1, second printing

Review: Suicide Squad #1

Suicide Squad #1

With a new film on the horizon, it’s not surprising that the Suicide Squad will be a pretty key role in DC’s plans. Suicide Squad #1 delivers a new start for the team with Amanda Waller back in charge. The issue lays out her new vision and mission for a new team as the Squad attempts to break out a new member of the team from Arkham Asylum.

Writer Robbie Thompson delivers an issue that’s full of action and nails down Waller as a character. She has a mission. She has a vision. And both are just to her no matter what we might think as readers. Thompson also shakes things up delivering pushback to that mission and vision in unexpected ways. But, the bigger thing Thompson does is keep readers on their toes. There’s a body count in the issue and many of those are unexpected. Beyond Peacemaker, who will be in the new film and is getting his own spin-off television show, everyone is apparently on the table for be killed. Thompson makes that clear which makes the series interesting going forward. As long as the cast sticks to C and D-list characters, expect more bodies as characters get offed.

The art is fantastic delivering the action. Eduardo Pansica‘s pencils, Julio Ferreira‘s ink, Marcelo Maiolo‘s colors, and Wes Abbott‘s lettering is top notch. The page flip and panel placement is used really well. Both are used to either shock or show how off-kilter things are. All the while delivering the violence you’d expect from the team. The perspectives at time are fantastic as team members are killed or left behind to die. There’s just a great sense of motion, both physical and storywise.

Suicide Squad #1 also does a solid job of tying into the Batman story in Infinite Frontier #0. The issues shown in Arkham Asylum extend here showing off some of the interconnectedness we might see in the DC Universe and shined in the Batman corner of “Future State”.

Suicide Squad #1 is a solid start with a very intriguing team. Amanda Waller is back in charge and is on a mission. She doesn’t care who is killed to make that happen. Without major names, this feels like a series that anything really can happen and will keep readers on their toes to see who gets offed and how. A really solid (re)start to the series that delivers action and intrigue.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Eduardo Pansica
Ink: Julio Ferreira Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Justice League #1 is an interesting comic. There’s a lot to like about it. But, there’s also a lot to be frustrated by as well. There’s two stories and each has their strengths and weaknesses.

Joshua Williamson handles the writing duties for the first story focused on the Justice League of the future. With a new Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, The Flash, Aquawoman, and Wonder Woman, the comic gives us familiar characters but new takes. It also delivers an interesting new status quo in some ways.

In Future State: Justice League #1, the Legion of Doom has been murdered leaving the Justice League to figure out who did it. Roles aren’t quite as straightforward as one might expect changing up some of the expectations for the team. There’s also a new dynamic in that this is a team that doesn’t know each other’s identities. We’re told of some major events in the past that has lead to that but it doesn’t hamper the story. There are some hints as to what has happened but it doesn’t linger in the details. We’re absolutely left wanting more but it’s not the focus brought up over and over.

Instead, Williamson focuses on the lasting reverberations of the past and how they impact this new team. There’s a discussion if these heroes should be hampered by the ghosts of the past. That’s really interesting and I wish there was more of it. Sadly, it’s all cut short as the real villains are revealed. A group I have no connection to so I was left shrugging my shoulders.

The art by Robson Rocha is fantastic. Daniel Henriques is on ink, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. is on color, and Tom Napolitano on lettering. There’s solid page layouts and the design and look of the characters are great. The comic had me looking at the art and pages to check out the details and dissect the look of the comic. It just looks really good and has a good pacing despite much of the comic is standing around and chatting.

The comic also features a Justice League Dark story, “Prophéties“. It’s written by Ram V., with art by Marcio Takara, color by Marcelo Maiolo, and lettering by Rob Leigh. Here we’re given a different future where magic users are under attack. It’s a wasteland post-apocalyptic world where instead of a lot of what we’ve seen elsewhere, this one is more sword and sorcery. Zatanna and Bobo are attempting to figure out what has happened as they also do what they can to survive. Merlin has returned taking the magic and hunting down users and murdering them.

It’s an interesting story that has a nice blending of settings. Where it goes and what’s revealed has me wanting to find out more and see what’s next. But, it also feels like a story arc that’s a bit of a filler between bigger arcs. It’s not bad, it doesn’t quite hit the mark with its big moments.

Future State: Justice League #1 is an ok comic. It’s not bad. It’s also not exciting enough. Both stories have their moments and interesting aspects. But, the Justice League characters are a bit more interesting in their own “Future State” series. The Justice League Dark story packs a lot in but misses that punch to really make it exciting. This is one for those who really want to see more of these characters or worlds.

Story: Joshua Williamson, Ram V. Art: Robson Rocha, Marcio Takara
Ink: Daniel Henriques Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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