Tag Archives: mike benson

Cain is a neo-noir tale of a blind hitman operating in the gritty world filled with crime and violence

Dark Horse teams up with film legend Walter Hill and award-winning television and comic writer Mike Benson to present Cain, a thrilling neo-noir tale of a blind hitman operating in the gritty world filled with crime and violence. Hill and Benson are joined by interior artist Beni R. Lobel, colorist Jordi Escuin Llorach and letterer Frank Cvetkovic, with Lobel also providing the cover art for this original graphic novel.

Meet Cain, born blind, but with a unique ability to sense the world around him. Raised from birth by a rogue CIA agent, he’s grown into a borderline alcoholic and sex addict who travels the globe, living off the grid and taking out gangsters, deviants, and corrupt politicians—all while engaging in his own hedonistic pursuits as a hitman. 

Cain is a thrilling and mysterious neo-noir tale of a blind professional hitman, operating within a relentless underworld environment of criminal violence, sex, betrayal, and death.

CAIN:  Once you’re in the dark – I’m the boss.

Cain will arrive in bookstores November 28, 2023 and in comic shops November 29, 2023. The 88-paged trade paperback is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at your local comic book shop and bookstore and will retail for $19.99.


Review: Luke Cage Noir

Luke Cage Noir

The first time I heard about Chester Himes was not in a bookstore but in the movies. When most kids were only into climbing the high school hierarchy or finding themselves I was a fan of cinema. To give you an idea of how much a cinephile I was, I used to read Premiere magazine religiously when it was in publication strictly because I loved movies and everything about them. One of those movies that I watched in high school was A Rage In Harlem.

The movie revolved around a gangster’s moll (Robin Givens) who flees to Harlem with a trunk of gold and has every greedy hand looking for her. I was completely enthralled with the movie, and that is when I found out that it was based on a book by Chester Himes. That lead me to rest of his books. This story gave me and the rest of its audience a view of the world during that time which involved people that looked like me. In Luke Cage Noir we get a different look at the titular character one that thrives in the Jazz Age.

We meet Luke, shortly after he gets out of jail , as he returns to Harlem , with the world fully aware of his powers, he reaches out to old friend ,Stryker, and gets hired by a rich businessman to find out who killed his wife in Harlem.  Which leads Cage to his old nemesis, Tombstone, and to his old moll, Josephine, who faked her ow death and has been in hiding since he went to jail. As he digs deeper into why Josephine went into hiding and who killed the rich man’s wife, he finds out that old cohort and his nemesis have plenty to hide ad were looking to double cross him. By book’s end, the motive behind the rich man’s wife was that her pregnancy would have exposed a deep secret, one that is both shocking and speaks to today’s issues.

Overall, an exciting comic which very much lives in that age. It’s further amplified with the echoes of Walter Mosley’s Devil In A Blue Dress. The story by Mike Benson and Adam Glass is entertaining, action packed and seeping with intrigue. The art by Shawn Martinborough and Tim Bradstreet is captivating. Altogether, a story that the reader will have the reader searching for Donald Goines and Chester Himes in their local bookstore.

Story: Mike Benson and Adam Glass
Art: Shawn Martinborough and Tim Bradstreet
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: BRIK #2

BRIK-#2-MARKETING_Preview-1From SupernaturalsAdam Glass and EntouragesMichael Benson comes the second installment of Oni PressBRIK. While the first issue built up sympathy for the characters , mainly the series “hero” 12-year-old Drew, issue #2 trades in on that relationship and pushes the story along getting the reader ready for the exciting twists to come in issue #3.

Drew has had a lot going on in the beginning of his heroes tale, abandoned by his dad, his grandfather’s death, mobsters after “safety” money and a crush on a classmate. Issue #2 shows the aftermath of all of the information we got from issue #1.

The issue picks up after Drew’s vanishing act following the obvious murder of his grandfather. The sudden death leaves him with questions about the validity of the stories his grandpa told him and the mysterious tattoo on his grandfather’s body. He finds himself at a local shop trying to get one of his grandfather’s friends, a Kabbalist named Sera, to translate the ink. When he doesn’t get the help he thinks he needs he goes back to his life, angry and disenchanted.

After bumping into his crush, Chase, he gets third wheeled by a school bully who’s been “filling in for him,” while he was dealing with his grief. He finds himself almost about to get beat up when one of the mobsters trying to shake his family down shows up and scares the bully off. But, since no good deed goes unpunished that seemingly helpful interaction turns into a veiled threat. Unfortunately, Drew’s day doesn’t get any better when his mom informs him, after some buttering up quality time, that they might be moving to Seattle.

Things aren’t going so well for the kid and you really feel for him, he’s losing everything, his safety, his dad, his grandpa and, now his home. Help comes in the form of a late night visit from Sera, who is also leaving him, when she shows up with a translation of his grandpa’s tattoo. Stuck with a never-ending stream of heartache Drew only has one choice, try to build the Golem his grandpa told him about.

This issue is really emotional and well written. It draws you in with every turn of the page and makes you feel invested in the story, the characters and how it’s all going to turn out. You find yourself rooting for Drew and hoping that he gets some sweet sweet revenge, or at least a friend that he can trust.

The art work is really nice, it’s kind of retro and calls back to old school Daredevil comics, where you got to see some of the grit that NY had to offer back in the 80’s, it really adds to the story. There’s also lots of shout outs and undertones of old school Marvel comic books where things were not as sleek and stylized as they are now.

The creators admitted to a darker Spider-Man being part of their inspiration, which means that in upcoming issues, Drew’s story can go either way. The first two issues set this arc up so that you could see it going in any direction, Drew could be Spidey, Carnage or Venom and that makes it a really interesting read. There’s something very edge of your seat about becoming invested in a character and not knowing if you’re rooting for a hero or a potential villain. But, I’m all in and really looking forward to the ride and seeing how the story plays out.

As a stand alone issue, BRIK #2 is a complete mini story and, a really good read. Full disclosure, I started with this issue and without having read issue #1, finished it feeling connected and invested. I then purchased issue #1 and read it and after the sinking feeling in my stomach for Drew and his family wore off, found myself a fan.

Story: Mike Benson, Adam Glass Art: Harwinder Singh
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

ONI PRESS provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Brik #1

BRIK-#1-MARKETING_Preview-1Drew is a bullied kid in the Yonkers neighborhood of New York City whose family faces encroaching violence from Russian gangsters. Before his beloved grandfather is killed in an attempt to muscle the family out of the neighborhood, he’s able to pass down to Drew the story of a mysterious but dangerous protector who helped their people during other troubled times. When Drew finds his grandfather kept the secret to creating a golem, is it worth the risk to summon this supernatural avenger to take on the all-too-human darkness swallowing his world?

Brik is an urban fantasy tale of power and morality from writers Adam Glass & Mike Benson, amazing new illustrator Harwinder Singh, and colorist Gonzalo Duarte!

Brik is part modern fairy-tale, part coming of age, with a touch of ancient mysticism. The first issue also creates a sense of history, as Drew’s grandfather tells him how he learned of the Golem’s existence along with the secret of its creation. I’m curious to see how this story continues given the moral dilemma Drew has facing him. Does he bring about a dangerous weapon or let the Russian gangsters violence take over his home? Thus the morality tale of the Golem plays out with this new spin on the classic myth.

The artwork is realistic without managing to be overdone. It manages to capture the urban strife and the historical aspects of the story.

The comic focuses a lot more on the present than the past that does leave one wondering how much Drew’s grandfather actually knew. I’m curious to see if more of the grandfather’s past is brought about as the series continues.

Story: Mike Benson, Adam Glass Art: Harwinder Singh
Story: 8.5  Art: 9 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Shang-Chi Strikes in Your First Look at Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1!

This May, the Master of Kung-Fu returns for an all-new limited series full of murder, mystery and martial arts in Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1 – from the creative team of Mike Benson and Tan Eng Huat! A highly trained MI-6 agent has been murdered in cold blood. One with deep, personal ties to Shang-Chi’s past. As he journey’s to England to pay his respects, the Marvel Universe’s most impressive hand-to-hand combatant will learn that not all is as it seems. And if he’s not careful –he’ll be next! Familiar faces and new enemies lie around every twist and turn, as Shang-Chi makes his lone stand against the dangerous un known. High-octane espionage and bone-crunching kung-fu collide this May in Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1!

DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG-FU #1 (of 4) (MAR140663)
Written by MIKE BENSON
FOC – 04/21/14, On-Sale – 05/14/14


Shang-Chi Strikes This May in Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1!

This May, the Master of Kung-Fu returns for an all-new limited series full of murder, mystery and martial arts in  Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1! – from the creative team of Mike Benson and Tan Eng Huat!

Hero. Teacher. Agent. Avenger. Shang-Chi has been many things. But this time, Marvel Universe’s most impressive hand-to-hand combatant is only one – vengeful! A highly trained MI-6 agent has been murdered in cold blood. One with deep ties to Shang-Chi’s past. As he journey’s to England to pay his respects, he’ll learn not all is as it seems. And if he’s not careful, he’s going to be the next body to drop!

Old friends and new enemies lie around each and every turn. And Shang-Chi stands alone against scored of deadly foes. Don’t miss a minute of the action when espionage and kung-fu collide this May in Shang-Chi Strikes this May in Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #1!

Written by MIKE BENSON


Catching Up on Reviews, Part 5 — Avengers Academy and Captain America

Avengers Academy #9 (Marvel) – I love the storyline here where Finesse might turn out to be the daughter of the Taskmaster, one of my favorite Marvel anti-heroes these days. Less well-done are the parts of the issue dealing with Tigra expelling Academy members for assaulting the Hood. The art isn’t particularly great, either.

Story: 7 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.75

Avengers Academy #10 (Marvel) – Sean Chen’s art is a step up from the previous issue and the storyline where Leech comes to give Hazmat a day as a normal kid is great. The best part of the issue is Speedball’s growth as a character and the burying of some of his Stamford demons, which is a long time coming.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

Avengers Academy #11 (Marvel) – Christos Gage writes a good connection to Avengers past by bringing back Korvac for this story arc. I’m a little annoyed at the flood of Thor movie tie-ins, though this one takes a different route than most. Tom Raney’s art is good, but not spectacular.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Avengers Academy #12 (Marvel) – There are moments of very strong writing here. The concept of bringing the future selves of the Academy students back to inhabit their present bodies so they can beat Korvac is an awesome device. The story is also fleshed out by one character showing a glaring weakness and two others showing a surprising vulnerability.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

Avengers Academy #13 (Marvel) – I guess I get what they were going after with the idea of the “Superhero Prom” for the students, having an issue that focuses more on the characters and the lighter side of their lives instead of action, I’m just not sure how well it works in this case.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Avengers Academy #14 (Marvel) – I love the way the new incarnation of the Sinister Six is being used and this is another good appearance for them. It’s good to learn more about Dr. Octopus’s character than we have learned in the past, he’s on the verge of being a little over-exposed lately, but certainly not in Deadpool, Spidey or Wolverine territory.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Avengers Academy #14.1 (Marvel) – Ruby is one of the dumbest characters in Marvel history and her presence here detracts from what is otherwise a really good story, focusing on one of the characters who didn’t join the Academy and his tempting offer to the would-be heroes.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.75

Avengers Academy #15 (Marvel) – This is Tom Raney’s best art yet and the Fear Itself tie-in works better than most of the others. This story also does a good job of tying in recent themes from the Academy books to Fear Itself, something a lot of the other tie-ins have failed to do.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

Avengers Academy Giant-Size #1 (Marvel) – Cartoonish art (which isn’t my taste at all) and a retread Arcade storyline with only a few interesting elements makes this issue a waste.

Story: 6.5 Art: 6 Overall: 6.25

Captain America #615.1 (Marvel) – Mitch Breitweiser’s art isn’t my favorite, it seems he has a real problem making people’s faces look realistic (even comic realistic). Other than that, Ed Brubaker’s tale is action-packed and compelling, even if, once again, it relies a bit much on World War II elements in telling the tale of Steve Rogers.

Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8

Captain America #616 (Marvel) – This massive 70th anniversary issue is packed with stories, most of the well-told. The best is probably Brubaker and Mike Deodato’s Winter Soldier gulag tale, the worst is the Mike Benson and Paul Grist Baron Blood/Captain Ameica used to be a vampire story.

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Captain America #617 (Marvel) – The continuation of the story of Bucky being put into a Russian gulag is entertaining and action-packed, but I read it after I knew Bucky’s eventual fate already, so I wonder how effective it is considering that context.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #618 (Marvel) – The different artists used here vary greatly in quality, but the overall ongoing story is still a compelling one that has an impact on the future of Marvel comics, so it’s well worth the read.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #619 (Marvel) – The art from the gulag section is still the best in the issue, and it takes chances and mostly succeeds. The overall storyline comes to what appears to be a satisfying end.

Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75

Captain America #1 (Marvel) – Ah, the good-old Marvel pointless renumbering trick. The worst part about that for this issue is that this really isn’t good enough to be a first issue. It doesn’t break any new ground with the character and simply rehashes things we already know while mixing in a few newly-retconned storylines that don’t let us know anything new about Cap. It is good, I guess, to see Steve Rogers fully as Cap again, but you’d think that for a first issue, they would’ve had more of a point than what this issue has.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Your First Look At The Future of Captain America!

Official Press Release

Your First Look At The Future of CAPTAIN AMERICA!

The future of Captain America hangs in the balance as Marvel celebrates the Sentinel of Liberty’s 70th anniversary in Captain America #616! No fan can miss this giant-sized celebration featuring a star-studded cast of comics’ greatest creators coming together to tell amazing Captain America stories! Following the shocking conclusion of the Trial of Captain America, Eisner Award-winner Ed Brubaker teams up with superstar artists Mike Deodato, Ed McGuinness and Travis Charest to send the Sentinel of Liberty in a shocking new direction. With Bucky in a Russian jail after being taken prisoner for his actions as the Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers must race to uncover the international conspiracy to set his ex-partner free. Daunting decisions need to be made and the choices Steve makes will have dire consequences for them both!

Join comics legend Howard Chaykin as Captain America foils a nasty Nazi plot in the days before he’s lost in ice. Then see how Marvel’s super soldier grapples with a modern day maniac with genocidal aspirations courtesy of Frank Tieri and Paul Azaceta! Next the fan favorite creative team of Mike Benson and Paul Grist recount Cap’s untold moments in the darkest days of World War II as a vampire?! And when France is under siege from Nazi occupation, Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel and Pepe Larraz pair Captain America up with the heroic Union Jack! But will their combined might be enough to hold them back in time for Allied forces to arrive? Finally, Cullen Bunn and Jason Latour send Cap to unearth a deep-seated secret right in America’s heartland that has been buried for decades and is definitely not ready to be unearthed!

From the Invaders to the Secret Avengers, the Marvel Universe will be turning out in full to witness Captain America’s boldest leap into action yet this March, only in Captain America #616!





Rated T+ …$4.99

FOC-2/28/11, On-Sale-3/23/11

Captain America #616 Cover Read more

Celebrate Captain America’s 70th Anniversary This March!

Official Press Release

Celebrate Captain America’s 70th Anniversary This March!

This March, Marvel celebrates the historic 70th anniversary of an American icon, Captain America! Celebrate this milestone for the Sentinel of Liberty all month long with top-notch stories from Marvel’s top creators! Kicking off the anniversary month is Captain America And Falcon #1, the first of five great one-shots starring Captain America and featuring Falcon, Crossbones, the Secret Avengers, Peggy Carter and Batroc! Not only will each of these pivotal stories feature Captain America and those who have made him the man he is today, but they’re loaded with excellent bonus content! Fans also can’t miss out on the limited edition print of all of these five one-shot covers connecting by red-hot artist Greg Tocchini.

Then, for fans who aren’t up to speed on Ed Brubaker’s critically acclaimed epic run on Captain America, find out where the future of Captain America is headed in a special Marvel Point One issue – Captain America #615.1 – great for new readers! Steve Rogers makes a decision on who will be the new Captain America that no fan can miss!

Once you’re all caught up, you’ll be all ready for the supersized anniversary issue, Captain America #616, from the megastar creative team of Ed Brubaker, Howard Chaykin, Butch Guice and so many more! And that’s not all because all month long because no Captain America fan can miss out on special 70th Anniversary Variants featuring Captain America throughout the ages alongside Marvel’s greatest heroes by some of Marvel’s top artists! For 70 years, Captain America has fought for truth, justice and the American Way, and Marvel can think of no better way to pay homage to this iconic hero!






Gatefold Cover by GREG TOCCHINI

Rated T+ …$3.99

FOC – 2/7/11, On Sale – 3/2/11

CAPTAIN AMERICA #615.1 (JAN110702)

Written by ED BRUBAKER



Rated T+ …$2.99

FOC – 2/14/11, On Sale – 3/9/11





Rated T+ …$4.99

FOC – 2/28, On Sale – 3/23/11

Captain America 70th AnniversaryCaptain America #615.1 CoverCaptain America #616 CoverCaptain America One Shots

Preview – Your New Look At Deadpool: Pulp #1!

Official Press Release

Your New Look At Deadpool: Pulp #1!

Marvel is pleased to present your new look at Deadpool: Pulp #1, from fan-favorite writers Mike Benson and Adam Glass along with rising star artist Laurence Campbell. Deadpool is the CIA’s deadliest agent. He’s also certifiably insane. But Wade Wilson is also the only one capable of hunting down a rogue CIA agent and recovering the stolen nuclear suitcase she’s carrying before she hands it over to America’s enemies. Who is this femme fatale and why has she turned traitor?  And is Deadpool crazy enough to survive or will he become trapped in a web of international intrigue? Find out in Deadpool: Pulp #1!




Cover by JAE LEE

Parental Advisory …$3.99

FOC – 8/12/10, On-Sale – 9/1/10

Deadpool: Pulp #1 COVER Read more