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Review: Spider-Man #1

J.J. Abrams and his son Henry Abrams take on Spider-Man!

Story: J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams
Art: Sara Pichelli
Color: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Ink: Elisabetta D’Amico

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Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Spider-Man #1

Spider-Man #1

I went into reading Spider-Man #1 trying to know as little as possible. I’m glad I did as I came out of it not only surprised but immediately wanting to see what’s next.

Written by the father/son duo of J.J. Abrams and Henry Abrams, the comic is a “new” but familiar take on Spider-Man.

Not set in continuity, I think, the comic has shocking moments that’ll catch you off guard if you’re like me and avoiding spoilers as much as possible.

But, to give a review as to why this comic is so good, we have to go the spoiler route.

A father and son duo are telling a story about a father a son. In this version of Spider-Man, MJ has been murdered during a battle. Twelve years later and we find out Peter and MJ had a son, Ben. Ben lives with Aunt May as Peter is a bit of an absentee father. Ben also has the spirit of justice as his father and some of his father’s abilities. From there, the story is pretty clear.

What the Abrams do is explore a relationship they have. It’s unknown how much of their own life they’ve poured into this but the inclusion of Henry Abrams as a co-writer feels vital as it brings a sense of authenticity. This isn’t a story told from a father’s perspective but both father and son.

Yes, the comic has another fridging which gets old but it’s difficult to explore the aspect the comic seems to be doing without it.

The art Sara Pichelli is fantastic. The ink by Elisabetta D’Amico, the coloring of Dave Stewart, and lettering by Joe Caramagna all come together for a hell of a visual treat. There’s a slight shift in style as the comic jumps ahead which helps with the break. It also sets up an art style that feels rare in comics these day. There’s an almost water color aspect to it all. It just looks beautiful.

I figured the comic would be entertaining but this goes beyond that. This may be the surprise of the week.

Story: J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams Art: Sara Pichelli
Ink: Elisabetta D’Amico Color: Dave Stewart Letters: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.65 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Shatterstar #1

Shatterstar #1

(W) Tim Seeley (A) Carlos Villa, Gerardo Sandoval (CA) Yasmine Putri
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
SRP: $3.99

A gladiator, a warrior, a hero…the man called Shatterstar has been many things, but one thing he’s always been is deadly. He’s not a man you want to cross or you’ll learn that fact all too well. Walk back into the darkness with Shatterstar.

Review: Champions #18

CHAMP-1The new order changeth! After a series of tragic setbacks and shakeups, the Champions are faced with a grim decision – is it finally time to disband and give up the fight?

As I’m sure our regular readers have seen on this site, I am a huge fan of this book.  Right from issue one this book hit the ground running and gave us a great team of heroes who wanted to go out and change the world. They didn’t want to just go out and stop the bad guys, they wanted to spread their message around; make everyone a Champion.  The last few issues, however, have been dealing with problems more close to home. Mark Waid wraps things up in this issue, and really makes this personal for the team and gets them back on track with their mission statement; make everyone the hero; a champion. As past issues have done, this one really highlights the bond of this team, the founding members anyway, but also does a good job of bringing in the latest recruits, really showing us that the Champions and their cause are here to stay. I’d be lying if I didn’t say i wasn’t a little hesitant to see which new recruits stick around; I have been with this team from the start, and they have a dynamic and connection that a new member can easily throw out of whack. But, they have done a good job introducing these new members and how they interact with the originals, so I’m hoping the transition will be smooth and the book doesn’t suffer.

And as usual, Humberto Ramos is nothing but stellar with the art in this issue, and the book as a whole.  This is combined with colorist Edgar Delgado and inker Victor Olazaba. I have long said that Ramos was the best choice for this book and I stand by that statement now. His style is absolutely perfect for a youthful group of superheroes with every page showing emotion and action and just really bringing the narrative to life. Of course, the colors and ink work play in connection with this, but this team has been nothing but excellent, bringing life to these characters issue after issue.

As I’m sure you can tell, I loved this issue. It brought the current story arc to a close and reaffirmed the strong bond this team has for each other. Yes, there is a change to the team line up and as much as I am sorry to see one character leave, and I am excited to see where this team goes next. But not only is the team line up changing in the book, but the creative team on this book is changing as well. And that has me nervous. Jim Zub will be taking over the writing duties while Sean Izaakse will be taking over the art. Waid and Ramos have really given life to this book, and I can only hope that once the torch is passed, Champions is still as great as it has been. I’ll remain cautiously optimistic and stay excited to see where this book goes next.

Story: Mark Waid  Art: Humberto Ramos
Ink: Victor Olazaba Color: Edgar Delgado
Story: 9.0  Art: 9.0  Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE issue for review

Review: Black Panther and The Crew #1

BlackPantherCrew.jpgEven though most of Black Panther and The Crew #1 is spent in the Harlem of the 1950s and Black Panther doesn’t even show up, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ thoughts and ideas squarely fit in 2017. (Also, a team of black vigilantes beating up mafiosos in 1954 is pretty awesome.) An activist named Ezra Keith was arrested after protesting gentrification and ended up dead in police custody, and Misty Knight must investigate his murder while coming to terms with being a “good cop” in a world where brutality and cover ups are the norm. The twist is that Keith was Lynx, the leader of that earlier mentioned vigilante team, and Coates, artists Butch Guice and Scott Hanna, and colorist Dan Brown are off to tell a Harlem superhero/crime yarn that spans decades.

Coates does a little point/counterpoint with his writing of Misty Knight and Blue with Misty being more sympathetic towards police officers while Blue leans more towards the protesters’ POV. They end up somehow making a great team. I like how open he was about Misty’s bias because she is a police detective herself even though the presence of the fascist Robocop wannabe Americops makes the veteran superhero’s defense of the system come across as naive. She even starts by pulling her punches against the Americops when they confront her and Blue for missing their curfew before Guice and Hanna show her kicking ass in a flurry of sparks and kicks ass like the Daughter of Dragon that we know she is.

Misty’s sympathetic point of view towards the police comes off better in a scene where she talks to a correction officer who is badly and doesn’t appeal to some idealistic view of justice, but just doing his job well. Guice and Hanna do a great job blocking panels having Misty move closer to the guard because they both understand the tough reality of fighting for justice and keeping a job to pay the bills when corruption is everywhere. She comes off better as the constantly questioning detective than being aTheCrewInterior mouthpiece for respectability politics or a borderline “Blue Lives Matter” advocate. (There’s a scene where she says that police need more credit for making Harlem a better place.) It seems like her becoming an active part of resisting society’s corruption will be part of her arc in Black Panther and The Crew as she interacts with characters like Blue and the other superheroes set to appear in this comic.

Butch Guice and Scott Hanna’s art in Black Panther and The Crew #1 is pretty fantastic at seamlessly transitioning from the past to present Harlem and showing character’s emotions in a more effective way than Ta-Nehisi Coates’ bombardment of caption boxes. The examples of their skill are numerous from Misty rolling her eyes about a police cover-up to an intense expression from Blue’s friend Ava-Jean that nails his passion for his justice even though he barely appears in the comic. And their drawings of the 1954 members of The Crew are just pure fun and old school superhero nostalgia with Coates’ captions feeling like Stan Lee’s carnival barker act, but cooler.

Other than Ta-Nehisi Coates’ characterization of Misty Knight, Black Panther and the Crew #1 is a knock-out combination of a generation-spanning murder mystery, ripped from the headlines thoughts about police brutality and capitalist systems,  and eventually superhero team-up action. It’s worth thumbing or clicking through again just for Butch Guice and Scott Hanna’s gift with faces and action choreography alone.

Story: Ta-Nehisi Coates Pencils: Butch Guice Inks: Scott Hanna Colors: Dan Brown
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Doctor Strange/The Punisher: Magic Bullets #2

Doctor Strange/The Punisher: Magic Bullets #2

(W) John Barber (A) Andrea Broccardo, Jason Muhr (CA) Michael Walsh
Rated T+
In Shops: Jan 11, 2017
SRP: $4.99

Doctor Strange and Punisher are up to their necks in mafia demons! Has the time finally come for Strange to adopt Punisher’s lethal ways? Or is it time for the Punisher to use some magic?


Marvel Entertainment To Produce An Exclusive Variant To Celebrate Exhibiting At WonderCon For The First Time

Official Press Release

Marvel Entertainment To Produce An Exclusive Variant To Celebrate Exhibiting At WonderCon For The First Time

Marvel is proud to announce that to commemorate their first appearance as an exhibitor at WonderCon, they will be producing an exclusive Uncanny X-Men #534 WonderCon variant! Featuring some of the most popular X-Men, this beautiful cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, created specifically for this San Francisco-based convention, will only be available for sale at the Marvel Booth (#801) while supplies last!

Marvel will be arriving in full force at WonderCon in San Francisco, April 1-3, with a big booth (#801), wide array of panels, can’t-miss announcements, giveaways and more! This is the first time that the House of Ideas is exhibiting at the convention and we’re breaking out the big news and big guests!

Meet all your favorite Marvel celebrities at the Marvel Booth (#801)– like Joe Quesada, Axel Alonso, Jeph Loeb, Marko Djurdjevic, Jason Aaron, Rick Remender, Giuseppe Camuncoli and more— and don’t miss the ­Marvel: Welcome To The X-Men and Marvel: Cup o’ Joe panels for some major announcements about the future of Marvel’s most popular characters, along with the Marvel Television: Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes & Marvel Anime panel for a sneak peek at the hottest Super Hero animation of 2011.

“Being from San Francisco, I am ecstatic about how strong Marvel’s presence will be at WonderCon this year,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel’s Editor-In-Chief. “And with San Francisco now the adopted hometown of the X-Men, it just made perfect sense to create a variant for this show which celebrated the city and its achievements.”

Uncanny X-Men #534 WonderCon Variant