Tag Archives: marvel max

Review: Cage #2

Cage #2

Bruce Willis is one of those actors whose presence onscreen is one of reassurance. He’s now known mostly for his tough-guy roles but that not has always been the case. As was shown in The Movies That Made Us, when he made Die Hard, most test screen audiences laughed at his very presence, because they remember him as the guy from the television show, Moonlighting. He would go on to make movies that straddled the line between tough-guy and comic relief, but most of his fans love his action movies.

Even Sylvester Stallone saw his bankability to put Willis in one of his Expendables movies before their offscreen tiff. One of my favorite movies by him was a period drama called Last Man Standing where he played a rogue gunman in the middle of a turf war. His character, no matter what he did, got pulled in deeper before he had no choice but to pick sides. In the second issue of Cage, our protagonist finds a bird in a hand, and looks to live up to the title of Hero for Hire.

We find Luke in a conversation with a dirty cop that knows about the case he just took and the implications that would occur if he gets close to the truth, giving him fair warning before trouble is headed his way. A warning that Luke doesn’t take heed, but looks to make money from. Soon Luke plots The Italian Mob, against the gang that controls Harlem, to the dirty cops that run the neighborhood, with none the wiser. By the issue’s end, a miscalculation by Luke leads to a vital witness being fatally shot which changes his plans completely.

Overall, an engaging issue that plays out like some of the best crime noir thrillers of yesteryear. The story by Brian Azzarello is electrifying. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, an issue in this story that ramps up the action.

Story: Brian Azzarello
Art: Richard Corben, Wes Abbott, and  Jose Villarubia
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Punisher Soviet #3 (of 6)

Punisher Soviet #3 (of 6)

(W) Garth Ennis (A) Jacen Burrows (CA) Paolo Rivera
Explicit Content
In Shops: Jan 01, 2020
SRP: $3.99

• Valery Stefanovich has put himself on a collision course with The Punisher.
• The roots of this issue go back to Afghanistan in the 1980s where Valery spent time in the Russian Special Forces and some of the most horrific things you can imagine. Things that CHANGED him.
• Frank and Valery have so much in common, but that never bodes well, does it?

Punisher Soviet #3 (of 6)

Review: Cage #1

Cage #1

Long gone are the days when comics dared to be pushed their readers out of their comfort zone. The one book that still has a hold on me 20 years later, Batman: Killing Joke, was both disturbing and brilliant, but not to me at the time. It shook me to the core, it made me sick the first time I read it. It would take me several times before I got through the rough parts, before seeing just what the creators were trying to do, bring these epic superheroes into the real world.

Comics would continue to do this, several times, especially when Vertigo was in its prime and drawing talent from Great Britain. It would not be long before the House Of Ideas decided to make more adult fare, when it introduced Marvel Max, and introduce the world to Jessica Jones, a rather realistic look at what means to be a woman and a superhero. It also gave readers everywhere the edgy vision of their favorite heroes that they never got a chance to read until then. In the debut issue of one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes, we find Luke Cage hired to avenge a death in Cage, only to find a more tangled web than he ever imagined.

We find Luke at a local strip club in Harlem, where an older woman has approached him, requiring his services. Her daughter had just been killed by a stray bullet from a local gang, as vengeance she requires, knowing that the police, because it is a gang matter, will not get involved.  As Cage starts investigating, he soon finds out that the bullet was intended for a local gangster but someone hiding in plain view, may also have a hand in it, Tombstone, who is trying to pass for a legitimate businessperson. By issue’s end, he finds out that this is no normal case, and the NYPD may be in the middle of it.

Overall, a gritty version of Luke Cage, one that despite some of its problematic undertones, is also an entertaining story, The story by Brian Azzarello is appealing. The art by Richard Corben is incandescent. Altogether, if you are a fan of Luke Cage, this may be the story that gives you a whole new look at this superhero.

Story: Brian Azzarello Art: Richard Corben
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Punisher Soviet #1

Someone is killing off Russian mobsters but it’s not Frank Castle! The Punisher wants to know who and why and of course kill those mobsters himself. It’s the return of Garth Ennis writing the Punisher to the MAX!

Story: Garth Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows
Ink: Guillermo Ortego
Color: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: Rob Steen

Get your copy in comic shops November 13! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #6

Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #6

When it comes to James Bond movies, to say that the endings are nothing short of satisfying, is definitely a disservice to the theatrics connected to it. The movies that Sean Connery starred in are probably some of the most iconic movies of all time. The style and flair that he brought to every scene is what has made the character so immortal. Even George Lazenby’s foray into the character, though only lasting one movie, was probably the best in the series. Three more actors would inhabit the role but the one that has always stood out in my mind is, Sir Roger Moore.

Moore was James Bond for a good part of the 1980s, the era when I fell in love with movies. His interpretation of the character brought what is fun about spy movies, and what The Kingsmen movies can’t help but steal in the best ways possible. His best Bond movie in my mind, Octopussy, which was both funny and action-packed but showed moviegoers how to build up a story to a satisfying big bang ending. In the final issue of Shang Chi, Master Of Kung Fu-The Hellfire Apocalypse, we find Shang Chi as he confronts both his brother and father in a fight which may cost many including his, their lives.

We find Moving Shadow and Shang Chi facing off as Fu Manchu spectates in delight, as his two sons face off for the first time, testing if this fateful battle is his will. Meanwhile, Leiko, Blackjack and Clive, meetup with up Spetz and the Omega team, as they fight Fu Manchu’s men on their way off the island, as Spetz suffers his own death. Eventually, Leiko,Blackjack, Clive and what’s left of the Omega team neutralize the threat Fu Manchu was about to unleash.

Overall, the satisfying conclusion that gives diehard fans of this character what we expect from Doug Moench’s masterwork. The story by Moench is brilliant and amazing. The art by the creative team is mesmerizing. Altogether, a well-woven tale that feels as epic as the stories it was inspired from.

Story: Doug Moench
Art: Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Gulacy, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings,
and Wes Abbott
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #5

Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #5

Netflix’s venture with Marvel Studios is one of the most fruitful partnerships in modern entertainment. It’s true that DC has been making their own splash on television for a few years but comic book fans wanted more. They wanted shows that showcased more than the studios were offering. We mostly had to rely on movie offerings, from the two houses, and some offshoots like Image, i.e. Kick-Ass series.

The buzz radiated from when comic book fans first saw the television version of Matt Murdock. Then comic books fans got to see Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist onscreen soon after. It made fans more than happy. In the television version of the Avengers movies, The Defenders saw a team-up between these Heroes of New York culminating in a final big fight. In the fifth issue of Shang Chi, Master Of Kung Fu-The Hellfire Apocalypse, we find Shang Chi and Leiko in the fight of their lives.

We catch-up with Spetz and his MI-6 Omega team as they reach the shores of Fu Manchu’s island, where they are met crossfire as soon as they arrive on the beach. Meanwhile, Blackjack and Clive, reach the other end of the island, to rescue Leiko and Shang, unknowing of what lies in their way. We also find Leiko and Shang finally finding their way out, as they help the Omega team get to Fu Manchu’s lair. By issue’s end, Shang fights his way to exactly where Moving Shadow is, as they begin their final fight.

Overall, the story ramps up on the action, giving fans the penultimate issue the story requires before a satisfying conclusion. The story by Doug Moench is wonderful and remarkable. The art by the creative team is spellbinding. Altogether, this issue is a callback to the best kung fu films of the 1980s. It’s enough to make you want to pull out your old VHS tapes of Kung Fu Theatre.

Story: Doug Moench
Art: Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Gulacy, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings,
and Wes Abbott
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #4

Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #4

Denzel Washington is known most for these days, his work with Antoine Fuqua, in Training Day and The Equalizer movies. One of my favorite movies by him was Out Of Time where he starred with Eva Mendes and Sanaa Lathan. In the film, an old flame reignites something in Washington’s character while a new obsession gets him in hot water. In the fourth issue of Shang Chi, Master Of Kung Fu-The Hellfire Apocalypse, we find Shang Chi finding that his love for Leiko is still there which may lead to more trouble than he ever foresaw.

Leiko and Shang Chi are reliving their past for a short moment when Shang Chi regains some semblance of honor and gets Leiko to reveal what she found about the Mandarin’s plans. The Mandarin is in his hidden lair where we find out the full power of the weapon he created as it eviscerates everything in a nearby fishing village. Lieko’s husband is caught in the crossfire between a group of commandos that work for Reston and the Omega team. Spetz saves her husband only to imprison him. By issue’s end, Leiko and Shang reunite with Tarr and we find out exactly who Moving Shadow is.

Overall, the story gets even more exciting, giving readers a spirited tale, which keeps readers wanting more. The story by Doug Moench is delightful and impressive. The art by the creative team is entrancing. Altogether, a book that gives readers a deeper understanding of who this character is.

Story: Doug Moench
Art: Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Gulacy, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings,
and Wes Abbott
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #3

Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu #3

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was quite ahead of this time. Movie critics rarely had heralded superhero movies up until the trilogy’s release, many did Nolan’s vision. The movies did something that adaptations struggle with. It satisfied the diehard comic book fan and the regular movie watcher. It pulled from the different stories already in canon while remembering that a good story must always be told.

One of the gifts that the movies gave audiences was the introduction of Ra’s Al Ghul, a storied character, who never saw his time onscreen until Nolan used him. As the character’s influence is evident not only those movies but the Gotham television show. In the third issue of Shang Chi: Master Of Kung Fu, we find Shang Chi’s father in an omnipotent position much like Ras Al Ghul, giving our heroes an intimidating adversary to face.

We find Leiko in the middle of who is behind the Hellfire Apocalypse, and it just so happens to be Shang Chi’s father, who faked his own death so no one would be the wiser. As Shang Chi enters the lair, he is able to reach Leiko and escape only to take on a hail of gunfire, as the truth is revealed about what his father had been up to, and where this doomsday weapon may be headed. As Leiko and Shang Chi look to escape the fortress, these two must fight their way out, through the failed experiments that his father created, where they were once humans but are mindless ravaged beasts who no wonder the compound. As the two are alone, Shang realizes he still feels some sort of way about Leiko, knowing that she is married only complicates his intentions. By issue’s end, the Omega team is getting closer, someone close to Leiko and Shang has other intentions and things between the two are reignited.

Overall, the story feels like a James Bond movie that more than tilts its hat at the famous spy. The story by Doug Moench is thrilling and commanding. The art by the creative team is enchanting. Altogether,  a story that maybe Shang’s big-screen debut may aspire to.

Story: Doug Moench
Art: Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Gulacy, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings,
and Wes Abbott
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.66 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Master of Kung-Fu #2

Master of Kung-Fu #2

Bruce Lee’s influence on film cannot truly be put into words. His impact is far reaching and ineffaceable in so many ways. He was one of a kind and his mark on everyone who has seen him in action can be seen in every action movie to this day.  You can see his mark on every martial artist to grace the screen from Steven Seagal to Jean Claude Van Damme to Donnie Yen to Jet Li and to the one man who can be called his contemporary, Jackie Chan. David Carradine even referred to him as the James Dean of Martial Arts.

His first movie made in the west and probably the first commercialized worldwide martial arts film, was Enter The Dragon. The movie had some well-established American actors, like Jim Kelly, but anyone who has seen the film has no doubt in their mind, that Bruce Lee was the star. The idea of a fight amongst the greatest fighters continues to be a recycled idea since that iconic movie. In the second issue of Shang Chi, Master Of Kung Fu-The Hellfire Apocalypse, to find Leiko, he must fight his way to her.

We are in Singapore, where Chi and Reston are surrounded by a ninja clan, as Chi fights them off, Reston find escape, one that will give the way to fight another day. We are taken back to France, where we find more about the Hellfire Objective, and its mission to recruit zealous men to become part of the army of Saint Germain, the same secret operation Leiko was sent by MI-6 to investigate. They also find out about the Omega Team, lead by Morgan Spetz, who MI-6 has assembled to find Leiko. By issue’s end, another assassin looks for Chi’ while Leiko finds out that the person behind everything, is the one-person Chi is the closest to.

Overall, the story begins to get better, as we soon find out just how big of a conspiracy Leiko was looking into, making this story resemble Lee’s classic western made crossover. The story by Doug Moench is electrifying and powerful. The art by the creative team is captivating. Altogether, an exhilarating introduction to a hero which everyone will soon know.

Story: Doug Moench
Art: Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Gulacy, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings, and Wes Abbott
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Master of Kung Fu #1

Master of Kung Fu #1

With all the buzz coming from SDCC from the past few weeks, the most interesting news, as usual, came from Hall H. This is where some of the biggest news gets released and the world holds their collective breath until it does. As in previous years, this year was no disappointment. It was a sign of things to come. One of the biggest announcements to come was from Marvel and the next phase of movies that will be released over the new few years.

One of the surprise announcements, though there had been some industry buzz over the last few months, had been that Shang Chi, Master Of Kung Fu, would be making getting how own Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Most of the world doesn’t know who he is but serious comic book fans do. Much of his original story had been marred with distasteful racist stereotypes and outdated ideas. In a reboot of sorts, the original writer returned in 2002 to update the story for a new generation in the debut issue of Shang Chi, Master Of Kung Fu-The Hellfire Apocalypse.

We’re taken to France, where Agent Leiko Wu is infiltrating a crime syndicate’s fortress, one that she realizes soon enough that she just walked into a trap. We also find Shang Chi, in solitude on an island, where his meditation supernaturally syncs with Leiko, the woman he once loved, as he knows what he must do next, but his actions are interrupted by an intruder in sanctum sanctorum. We also find Leiko being tortured, as the crime organization is trying to find just how deep MI-6 is into investigating them. By issue’s end, an old friend looks for Chi’s help, while his exploits bring him to Singapore retracing Leiko’s trail.

Overall, an interesting story thus far, slow-moving, but well developed. The story by Doug Moench is exciting and intense. The art by the creative team truly stands out, simply beautiful. Altogether, an exhilarating introduction to a hero which everyone will soon know.

Story: Doug Moench
Art: Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Gulacy, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings,
and Wes Abbott
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

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