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Review: Fantastic Four #25

Fantastic Four #25

In Fantastic Four #25, an otherworldly being of incredible power is looking for an omnipotent power than Reed Richards has locked away many, many years ago (but never mentioned). Separate, none of the Fantastic Four can stop this villain. Combined with the might of the FF and a bunch of their friends and family, they are able to defeat the bad guy and save the day.

Let’s be honest: that’s the synopsis of many Fantastic Four stories. These plot pieces make up your typical FF story. What separates the good and bad stories is how you put those pieces together. The Fantastic Four are not quite the superheroes that many others in the Marvel Universe are. They are adventurers and explorers and the bizarre and unknown are their backyard over most anyone else. So having a story where the plot isn’t exactly original, it helps that the writer puts pieces in place that makes it a bit more interesting.

Writer Dan Slott makes the FF feel like the FF.  In my opinion, there’s a lot that Slott does with these characters. Fantastic Four #25 features a strong family dynamic and the threat is certainly a deadly one. I’ve been a fan of the FF since I was a child and while I haven’t been reading it much in the last two years, the first story in the 25th issue did feel like a classic. That said, the other story in this issue, between a newly-reborn Uatu and the original Nick Fury felt a bit off and unexciting. You can’t win them all, true believers.

For being the Fantastic Four, it’s Fantastic a-whole-lot-of-people. Doom and his servant, another set of jobbers in the Baxter building, Ben’s adopted-ish kids that he has with Alicia. There’s a lot of people in the story so there’s two ways to look at it. Too many moving pieces that take away a bit of focus from Reed and Co. Or, it enhances the family dynamic, another quality of what makes the FF who they are. I personally felt it was maybe too many people for a single issue. Ben and Johnny do not contribute much to this, which was a bummer.

Holy cow! The art in Fantastic Four was pretty…fantastic? I am new to the art team of R.B. Silva and Jesus Abertov but they blew me away. They totally nail the character looks and there were some pages, like the one of Reed and Valeria working in the lab, that stood out. One thing I enjoyed visually was the scene with Reed and Valeria in the lab, totally looking like something out of the Kirby era. The action sequences stand out with both high marks in detail and panel work, not skimping on backgrounds.  Great lettering all around from Joe Caramagna. And I think it makes a huge difference on a book to have an eye-catching cover and I thought the Mark Brooks cover was top-notch.

Dan Slott has been on this book for a few years and from the few issues I’ve read of his FF run, I’ve really enjoyed it and wished that I kept up in a better fashion on it. R.B. Silva and Jesus Abertov crushed the visuals. I think for a new reader, Fantastic Four #25 would not be the most friendly issue to pick up but I do think this was a pretty good issue of Fantastic Four and definitely worth the read.

Story: Dan Slott Art: R.B. Silva, Paco Medina, Will Robson
Color: Jesus Aburtov, Marcio Menyz Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: The Immortal She-Hulk #1

The Immortal She-Hulk #1

The Immortal She-Hulk #1 is an intriguing comic. In many ways, it’s a continuation of Al Ewing‘s work on the Immortal Hulk. It dives into some of the concepts that began there and expands them further into the greater world of gamma-irradiated beings. But, what stands out is Ewing’s exploration of the superhero trope of their not staying dead and what that means.

She-Hulk has had a rough few years having died numerous times and come back each and every time. Unlike her cousin who wants to find peace in death and rages that he cannot, She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters, questions what it means. Is she really herself? Does she have a soul? Can she die? Immortality is at the center of the comic and Ewing uses concepts introduced into the Marvel Universe in the relaunched X-Men to explore that idea.

Jennifer has a sitdown with Wolverine, a character who knows about coming back from the dead. Ewing takes us through the “three deaths” of Jennifer Walters, each time revealing more about her experience, some of which she does not remember. We learn more of the rules about this “green door and space” that has played an important role in Ewing’s run in Immortal Hulk.

For those who haven’t been reading that comic, this debut might be a bit confusing. Ewing does a decent job of explaining what’s needed to know. He does so by adding nightmarish aspects with each revelation. And that’s possibly the one issue with the comic, it does rely a bit much on “Hulk history.” Characters are introduced and explained but the emotional punch from that history isn’t quite there. Most feel like we walk away with “that person is bad.” There’s never quite the fear and “oh crap” levied by each twist.

Jon Davis-Hunt‘s art gives us a nightmarish journey with a design and presentation that’s slightly off-kilter. With uneasy colors of Marcio Menyz and lettering by Cory Petit, there’s a visual “offness” to it all. The trauma and running from her nightmares is there and works really well. We see Jennifer’s unease and her questioning of it all. There’s a horror aspect to the comic but one that’s different that the nightmares that haunt her cousin Bruce. Davis-Hunt and his team have visualized trauma in some ways.

The Immortal She-Hulk #1 is a good and unexpected start. It definitely will be a hard read for some. But The Immortal She-Hulk #1 is a very different direction and take to concepts that haven’t been explored enough. While Immortal Hulk delivers the rage of these experiences, Immortal She-Hulk takes things in another direction. It’s a psychological exploration of trauma and thriller wrapped up in spandex.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Jon Davis-Hunt
Color: Marcio Menyz Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Empyre: Fantastic Four

Empyre: Fantastic Four

Marvel’s anticipated, and delayed event, Empyre draws nearer. Empyre: Fantastic Four is the prelude comic introducing the Fantastic Four into what’s to come. Much like its Avengers counterpart, the comic feels like a nice walk through the history of the key players and teases the upcoming event and its impact.

Stranded in space, the Fantastic Four are given a lift to a gambling planet where they learn of a gladiatorial combat that relives the Kree/Skrull War but the wording indicates the war is officially over. The galactic credit system has collapsed as well leading to a bartering system. It’s all tied together but the Fantastic Four must put the pieces of the puzzle together as well as figure out a way to pay for their ship repair to get home.

Written by Dan Slott, Empyre: Fantastic Four is a decent transition for the team into the event. You get a good sense of the history of the Kree/Skrull War as well as the Fantastic Four’s involvement with both. We’re also introduced to new concepts in Marvel’s cosmic landscape that fit right in and feel at home.

Slott mixes in some comedic elements and action within the pages keeping a nice pace throughout the issue. While it’s not quite as good as the Avengers lead in issue, it does a decent job overall of catching readers up and leaves them on a “what the hell is that?” cliffhanger, though without the dread like the Avengers issue.

Where things get a bit weird is the revelation of who’ battling in the arena. SPOILER: It’s two children who the Fantastic Four liberate from their oppressor. While this is overall a good thing, this, along with the Future Foundation, is making the team feel like they’re collecting wards quicker than Batman. They’re also as questionable when it comes to the kids’ safety. Still that detail provides some humorous and cute moments of interactions between the kids, the Human Torch, and the Thing.

The art by R.B. Silva and Sean Izaakse is solid work. Along with color by Marte Gracia and Marcio Menyz and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the art is really interesting with a lot of small details to tell the story. The art really plays well into the gambling world as we get a sense of the wonder and alien nature of it all but it also feels familiar. There’s a sense of excess without it being over the top and exploitation without it feeling too grimy. It feels like Vegas. Despite some of the weightier aspects of the story, the art helps keep it light too befitting the tone of the Fantastic Four.

While Empyre: Fantastic Four doesn’t quite have the excitement of Empyre: The Avengers, it does add in some more details about the current state of the cosmic Marvel Universe and how things are shifted. It’s a transition to get the team into the action without using up an issue of their main series. But, as is, this is a prelude issue that’s more interesting to read than a must get.

Story: Dan Slott Art: R.B. Silva, Sean Izaakse
Color: Marte Gracia, Marcio Menyz Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comixologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Fantastic Four Vol. 4 Thing vs. Immortal Hulk

The Thing is married and it’s time for his honeymoon! But, the Immortal Hulk has other plans!

Fantastic Four Vol. 4 Thing vs. Immortal Hulk collects issues #12-13, Fantastic Four: Yancy Street, and Fantastic Four: Negative Zone.

Story: Dan Slott, Gerry Duggan, Mike Carey, Ryan North
Art: Sean Izaakse, Greg Smallwood, Mark Bagley, Scott Hanna, Luciano Vecchio, Pere Pérez, Stefano Caselli, Steve Uly
Color: Marcio Menyz, Greg Smallwood, Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Joe Caramagna, Cory Petit

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 24! 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

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #1

Agents of Wakanda spins out of Avengers with a new team taking on issues that need a special focus.

Story: Jim Zub
Art: Lan Medina
Color: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: Joe Sabino

Get your copy in comic shops! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy 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: Star Wars: Vader: Dark Visions

Star Wars: Vader: Dark Visions explores the Dark Lord of the Sith from the perspective of other individuals across a galaxy far far away.

Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
Art: Paolo Villanelli, Brian Level, David Lopez, Javier Pina, Stephen Mooney, Geraldo Borges
Color: Arif Prianto, Jordan Boyd, Muntsa Vicente, Lee Loughridge, Marcio Menyz
Letterer: Joe Caramagna

Get your copy in comic shops and book stores! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy 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: Champions Vol. 5 Weird War One

This volume of Champions winds down as the team regroups to figure out their next steps and head to Weirdworld!? Yes, it’s superheroics mixed with fantasy in this fun adventure.

Champions Vol. 5 Weird War One collects issues #22-27 and Annual #1 by Jim Zub, Nyla Innuksuk, Kevin Libranda, Francesco Manna, Sean Izaakse, Max Dunbar, Marcus To, Marcio Menyz, Erick Arciniega, Nolan Woodard, and Jordan Boyd.

Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores on February 19! 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/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: Champions #1

It’s a new team and a new volume for the Champions! Ms. Marvel is in charge and she’s got an idea and plan to go bigger. It means more members and more adventures! But, is bigger better? Find out!

Champions #1 is by Jim Zub, Steven Cummings, Marcio Menyz, Erick Arciniega, and Clayton Cowles.

Get your copy in comic shops on January 2nd! 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/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: Champions #1

Champions #1

The Champions have gone global! The team has seen explosive growth under Ms. Marvel’s leadership, with super-powered members ready to answer the call in a dozen different countries. They’re saving people and improving lives across the planet while they inspire the next generation… but something sinister lurks beneath the surface of their expanded mission. It’s a dark secret that could destroy the team and everything they stand for!

Champions has always been an interesting series for Marvel. When it launched, it had a mission to focus more on average people and help those that the Avengers (and the like) overlook. To some extent the characters and series did that but at times things missed the mark. This first issue refocuses the series by expanding the cast and making it clear they have a global mission. This first issue continues the previous series splitting the group into three teams with three missions. Two of those three are exactly that mission focusing on every day disasters and events that impact the average person. The third is the villain fight. That last one gets the short end as the other are more of the focus. It emphasizes the focus of the comic.

But, it’s not just the mission, it’s also the team members and writer Jim Zub puts that front and center. With an expanded cast including some obscure characters, this take on the Champions feels more like the interesting aspects of the Avengers: Initiative than the previous series. There’s a lot about the personalities and interactions and that’s key with so many characters. It grounds the series but sets up easy internal conflict and clashes and here that’s important and plenty.

The art by Steven Cummings is decent. It feels like the characters and style becomes more familiar as the series moves on as the first few pages don’t quite have the quality of later ones. Cummings is helped with color by Marcio Menyz and Erick Arciniega with lettering provided by Clayton Cowles. The mix of characters is good and together they still feel cohesive in a way despite the variation in costumes. There is some great pages and panels but at the same time, there’s some misses here and there when it comes to art. But, overall, it’s really good work where the style matches the attitude of the series.

Folks who haven’t read the series before, this is an opportunity to hop on and check it out. There’s a great mix of characters, some will be the future of Marvel, and Zub and team set up a series which will be as much action as it will be interpersonal conflict. Plus there’s that ending…

Champions #1 is a solid starting point and perfect chance to check out the series in 2019.

Story: Jim Zub Art: Steven Cummings
Color: Marcio Menyz, Erick Arciniega Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.85 Art: 7.55 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Champions Vol. 4 Northern Lights

The Champions are on their latest adventure which takes them to Canada where they meet… the Master! Yes, the classic Alpha Flight villain. All that and a brand new hero, Snowguard!

Champions Vol. 4 Northern Lights collects issues #19-21 and Infinity Countdown: Champions #1-2 by Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse, Emilio Laiso, Marcio Menyz, and Andy Troy.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on November 20. 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
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

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