Tag Archives: matt milla

Review: Knock Em Dead #2

Pryor Brice died…but only for a couple of seconds. He’s back now but has brought a spirit back with him.

Knock Em Dead #2 is an interesting series that delivers a little bid of horror and a little bit of dread.

Story: Eliot Rahal
Art: Mattia Monaco
Color: Matt Milla
Letterer: Taylor Esposito

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Kindle
Zeus Comics

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Review: Scout’s Honor #1

Scout's Honor #1

Post-apocalyptic stories featuring a society attempting to rebuild itself after an event have been a pretty popular genre lately. Most have been interesting but haven’t quite delivered enough new to it. Scout’s Honor #1 is the latest entry but gives a spin on the concept with some new, and rather interesting, concepts.

Years after a nuclear apocalypse, a new society has arisen based around the manual from the Ranger Scouts, a Boy Scouts-like organization. While you could go into the comic thinking it’s a fairly straightforward story involving one group fighting another, with writer David Pepose, you know you’re getting something more.

Scout’s Honor #1 presents a story that can be approached in many ways. There’s of course the simple groups clashing potential but the issue really sets up a story about faith, beliefs, and what happens when they’re shaken. This is the story about when the truth about the foundation of a society is challenged and revealed to be built on lies.

But, that by itself could be interesting but Pepose goes for a trifecta of interesting concepts. In the main character Kit, there’s also a challenge of the society itself. Kit is a young women who has disguised herself as a man so she can become a Scout. It’s a challenge of the society from another angle providing an even more intriguing series.

Luca Casalanguida‘s art along with Matt Milla‘s color, and Carlos M. Mangual‘s lettering are top notch. There’s some great details to the comic. We’re given a post-apocalyptic world but it’s not quite the broken down wasteland. There’s been some movement in rebuilding the world but Milla’s colors and Casalanguida’s design remind us of what was. The coloring delivers an eerie look, an aura of the destruction that has lead to this.

Scout’s Honor #1 is a fantastic start to the miniseries. It approaches a familiar concept but does so in different than expected ways. There’s many directions and issues that the series seems it’ll be tackling delivering much more than just another clash in a post-apocalyptic world. We’re getting a series that’ll challenge and discuss where you go when you find out your world is a lie. It’s a timely comic that we might be able to reflect on our own reality from.

Story: David Pepose Art: Luca Casalanguida
Color: Matt Milla Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: U.S.Agent #2

U.S.Agent #2

While I can see what writer Priest is going for in his take on the controversial character U.S.Agent, the series in two issues has been a mixed result. There’s concepts within that are great but there’s far too many distractions. The result has been a choppy narrative that at times doesn’t quite make sense. U.S.Agent #2 continues the frustrating series that has me longing to read other works of Priest.

U.S.Agent #2 feels like it’s serving a few too many bosses. Priest takes us to the past and back again. The second issue fleshes out John Walker’s past while also trying to deliver some sort of conflict in the present.

John Walker is an interesting character. He’s the conservative “Captain America” driven my “Red State” ideals and that includes wearing his racism and bigotry on his sleeve. But, he does stand to fight for America and what he believes. He’s the bigot that’s right part of the time, as long as your “right” is a basic understanding of American ideals.

This miniseries has attempted to flesh out Walker’s history introducing us to his sister and giving us more of his trauma. We can see the beginnings of a troubled human being and with that some sympathy. Just some. He’s truly a horrible human being. And that’s part of the issue with the series and character. There’d be a great juxtaposition in having us cheering on his justified mission but at the same time questioning his other beliefs and him as a person. He’d be a horrible person doing what’s right. But, the series is taking too long to set that out. We’re getting too much of a character to dislike and that’s about it.

There’s also issues with how the issue is generally presented. The art by Georges Jeanty is nice and improved over the first issue. But, there’s not enough definition between the past and present making it confusing at times to determine what scenes take place and when. Joined by Karl Story on ink, Matt Milla on color, and lettering by Joe Sabino, the comic is fine to look at. There’s some really solid moments. But, the art doesn’t quite hook the reader enough to justify the sub-par story. There are some details that are great to the story visually. The use of confessionals, U.S.Agent being greated by the town, these stand out. The art fits more of the comedic tone of the series but the series doesn’t quite know if it wants to be a comedy or something else.

U.S.Agent #2, like the first issue, is a bit of a letdown. The creative team is top-notch and it might be high expectations that this series feels like a letdown. It’s possible by the end it’ll all come together for something greater than its individual parts. But, it hasn’t gotten to that point yet and as individual issues, the series has been rough. There’s so much better from the creative team that’s been or being, released, it’s better to spend your time reading those instead.

Story: Priest Art: Georges Jeanty
Ink: Karl Story Color: Matt Milla Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Knock Em Dead #1

KNOCK ‘EM DEAD #1

Writer: Eliot Rahal 
Artist: Mattia Monaco 
Colorist: Matt Milla 
Letterer: Taylor Esposito 
Cover: Andy Clarke with Jose Villarrubia 
Incentive Cover: TBD
$4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale DECEMBER 2  

Sometimes you kill. Sometimes you get killed. But no matter what, everyone dies the first time they go on stage.  

Pryor Brice has always wanted to be funny. And now, he’s taken the plunge and started doing stand-up comedy. Unfortunately, his older sister – Ronan – wants her brother to stop daydreaming and focus on his future.  

Pryor is determined to succeed…the only problem is: He totally sucks at stand-up. That is…until an accident changes everything, leading both Pryor and Ronan to discover comedy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

KNOCK ‘EM DEAD is a supernatural horror about comedy, brought to you by writer Eliot Rahal (MIDNIGHT VISTA, HOT LUNCH SPECIAL) and artist Mattia Monaco. 

Knock Em Dead #1

Review: Juggernaut #3

Juggernaut #3

I’ve enjoyed Juggernaut for its first two issues. It has explored a man broken and lacking direction in so many ways. Cain Marko is shown both wanting his “fix” and also in control and trying to focus on what comes next. Juggernaut #3 continues that concept but also is sidetracked by yet another fight.

On trial for damage during a battle, Marko is again forced to confront his past. The literal destruction he has caused. If writer Fabian Nicieza focused on just this juxtaposed with his attempt to regain his power, the comic would be far stronger. Instead, the issue feels distracted a bit with a battle against Quicksand who is after D-Cel. There are some things teased for what’s to come. But, it all feels like a side quest to the more interesting main story.

Juggernaut #3 finally answers the question as to how Cain Marko is armored up again. How it happens, with the other half of the trial, creates an interesting narrative of addiction. It’s a story of obsession and the impact on those around you. There’s a lot to mine there for quality storytelling. Sadly the comic mostly dances around it all. Where depth is there for the taking, we get an issue of a fight that is rather forgettable but for a few moments that stand out.

Ron Garney‘s art stands out though. A two page spread of Juggernaut fighting Spider-Man, Juggernauts new bands of Cyttorak, and Quicksand all look great. Matt Milla‘s colors add to it all as things like the Cyttorak armor feel like they glow from the page. The panel work and use of D-Cel’s voiceover all come together for a visually interesting comic whose visuals are more memorable than the story itself.

Juggernaut #3 seems to be taking the series more into a bigger narrative and direction based on the revelations about Quicksand. The series’ strength has been the introspection by Cain over his past as well as his obsession of regaining his lost power. Unfortunately, that feels like it’s getting sidetracked. What started out a strong series might be getting distracted and lose its most interesting aspect, a main character looking for redemption and a path forward.

Story: Fabian Nicieza Art: Ron Garney
Color: Matt Milla Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: U.S.Agent #1

U.S.Agent #1

U.S. Agent has always been a bit too much of a B-lister for me to care much about. I do feel he worked best as a haywire version of Captain America, one not afraid to get his hands too bloody to save the day. I’m also a bit of a fan of Christopher Priest from his Quantum & Woody stuff and his more recent Deathstroke work. So, I wanted to see Priest’s take on the character in U.S.Agent #1.

U.S.Agent #1 is comprised of Priest’s writing style, lots of black box panels to move the reader along. Story-wise, U.S. Agent is holed up in a mining town punching out pizza deliverymen until one comes to his house and hands him a slice of his ass and sends him toppling down the stairs. Then the mystery pizza man hangs out with him and they fly off to fight some bad people.

I wanted to like this but I did not like it much at all. U.S. Agent doesn’t work as some jobber just getting beaten down by randos. Maybe I have not paid enough attention to the character history to know what’s up but this guy was Captain America’s replacement and here he just kinda sucks. And it stink because I like Priest’s work but this just felt like the scrap ideas of a bunch of better books that he’s done. I liked Georges Jeanty’s art a bit more than the writing on this book. Nothing special with the panels but his detail is solid. He deserves a better project than this.

Overall, U. S. Agent seemed quite a bit mediocre and I don’t see the appeal of a weak knock-off going on this kind of adventure. It lacked the humor and action that I expect from a Christopher Priest book. Instead of buying this, go get one of the Deathstroke trade paperbacks because that’s a better use of your money.

Story: Christopher Priest Art: Georges Jeanty
Ink: Karl Story Color: Matt Milla Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 4.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Zeus Comics

Exclusive Preview: Knock Em Dead #1

KNOCK ‘EM DEAD #1

Writer: Eliot Rahal 
Artist: Mattia Monaco 
Colorist: Matt Milla 
Letterer: Taylor Esposito 
Cover: Andy Clarke with Jose Villarrubia 
Incentive Cover: TBD
$4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale DECEMBER 2

Sometimes you kill. Sometimes you get killed. But no matter what, everyone dies the first time they go on stage.  

Pryor Brice has always wanted to be funny. And now, he’s taken the plunge and started doing stand-up comedy. Unfortunately, his older sister – Ronan – wants her brother to stop daydreaming and focus on his future.  

Pryor is determined to succeed…the only problem is: He totally sucks at stand-up. That is…until an accident changes everything, leading both Pryor and Ronan to discover comedy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

KNOCK ‘EM DEAD is a supernatural horror about comedy, brought to you by writer Eliot Rahal (MIDNIGHT VISTA, HOT LUNCH SPECIAL) and artist Mattia Monaco.

Knock Em Dead #1

Review: U.S.Agent #1

U.S.Agent #1

There’s a lot I like about U.S.Agent #1. There’s also a lot I struggled with in a mixed debut issue. John Walker is back but he’s no longer an official agent of the government. Instead, he’s a government contractor hired out to do whatever his employer wants. The conflict of this debut revolves around a small town and a conflict with a mega-corporation that has moved in. There’s a lot of potential with just that but with some twists and turns what should be a simple commentary on the state of Middle America turns into a rather muddled and confusing debut.

Written by Christopher Priest, U.S.Agent #1 has a premise that should be easy. It’s themes are an easy layup and its focus should be clear. The concept of a small town having to deal with a mega-corporation destroying their life is something that is well worth discussing. It’s a real-world event that happens over and over and there’s so much material to mine. Instead, Priest mixes in former S.H.I.E.L.D. operation centers, Walker having a partner to tag along, and kidnapping pizza boys!? Yeah, the last part is a bit over the top, even for a character such as Walker.

But, where Priest really drops the ball is Walker himself. The man is beyond bigoted and racist. As depicted, he has absolutely no redeeming qualities. He’s completely unlikeable. I’m given no reason to cheer for him in succeeding or even redeeming himself. He’s a complete asshole and at this point I would love to see him just take a bullet and get it over with.

Georges Jeanty‘s art delivers a little pep to the debut with a style that fits the more comedic tone of the debut. A lot of the art leans on to stereotypes, especially when it comes to the small town. Joined by Karl Story on ink, Matt Milla on color, and Joe Sabino on lettering, the opening few pages features individuals who live in the small town. Each is a bit too similar to each other with the same positioning of their head and even mouth and teeth that look like they’re repeated. I’m not sure if this is done on purpose to make a point or if it’s just the style. But, we’re told they’re small town folk by their hats, clothes, and the slightly dirty look to them all.

But, not all of the art is frustrating. The action has its moments and when the comic wants to play for laughs, Jeanty’s style really fits the moment and the pacing delivered with each panel plays a comedic action comedy beat. If the comic went more in that direction and stuck with it, the art might pull the comic up to a point I’m more excited about it but there’s just too much that doesn’t click in both narrative and visuals.

U.S.Agent #1 feels like it doesn’t know what it wants to be. There’s part of it that’s action/comedy starring a racist. Part of it is a spy/action story… also starring a racist. Then, there are hints there are some psychological things at play and it’s an exploration of John Walker himself. It can be any of those things and if it focused on one of them it might be really good and interesting. As presented, it comes off as a choppy debut that never quite gets its bearing or finds its voice.

Story: Christopher Priest Art: Georges Jeanty
Ink: Karl Story Color: Matt Milla Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.4 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Early Preview: Captain America #25

Captain America #25

Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art by Leonard Kirk, Michael Cho
Colors by Matt Milla
40 PGS./Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 18, 2020
SRP: $4.99

To rescue the Daughters of Liberty trapped in Madripoor, Captain America and his closest allies marshal their forces – but waiting in the wings for them is the reborn Red Skull! Plus, the debut of the all-new Agent 13!
PLUS: A second celebratory story by Michael Cho!

Captain America #25

Get an Early Look at U.S.Agent #1

U.S.Agent #1

Written by Christopher Priest
Art by Georges Jeanty
Colors by Matt Milla
32 PGS./Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 04, 2020
SRP: $3.99

CHRISTOPHER PRIEST & STEFANO LANDINI BRING BACK THE SUPER-SOLDIER YOU LOVE TO HATE!
“American Zealot” Chapter 1 of 5: John Walker, the former Super Patriot, has been stripped of his official USAgent status and is now operating as an independent government contractor protecting government covert interests. His latest protection detail draws him into a conflict between a small town and the corporate giant trying to destroy it. John acquires a new partner and new enemy along the way while being haunted by ghosts from his past and confronting challenges to his future.

U.S.Agent #1
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