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Garth Ennis, Goran Sudzuka, and Miroslav Mrva Introduce us to Marjorie Finnegan, a Temporal Criminal

She’s Marjorie Finnegan. She’s a temporal criminal. What more do you need to know? 

Oh, all right then: all Marj wants to do is race up and down the time-lanes, stealing every shiny-gleamy-pretty-sparkly she can lay her hands on. But her larcenous trail from the Big Bang to the Ninety-fifth Reich has drawn the beady eye of the Temporal PD, whose number one Deputy Marshall is now hard on our heroine’s tail– and taking things extremely personally. Worse still, Marj’s worthless creep of an ex and his even scummier partner have seen an angle of their own in all this, and now intend to use her time-tech to change history for their own benefit. Marj’s only ally? A guy called Tim. And he’s just a head. 

I mean come on, what use is just a head…?

Marjorie Finnegan is from Garth Ennis, Goran Sudzuka, and Miroslav Mrva and out from AWA Studios on May 5.

Marjorie Finnegan

Review: Werewolf by Night #1

Werewolf By Night #1
Werewolf by Night

The origins of Marvel’s cult favorite Werewolf by Night, which was published in the early seventies as its own series, is a particularly interesting one when compared with the new series that just launched this year. Creators Roy Thomas, Jane Thomas, Gerry Conway, and Mike Ploog (who also illustrated Marvel’s version of Frankenstein) saw in the original comic a refreshing break from superhero stories. It was an escape into horror. The latest version of the lycanthrope, though, forgoes horror for super-heroics. So much so that it might’ve been more appropriate to call the comic Super-Werewolf by Night.

This new take on the character replaces the Transylvanian-born Jack Russell with a young man from the Hopi tribe known as Jake Gomez. He lives in a reservation with his grandmother Rora and is helped by a young woman called Molly.

The creative team of Taboo (from the Black Eyed Peas), Benjamin Jackendoff, and Scott Eaton establish these three characters as a tight unit, where the loss of one them would prove catastrophic to their own sense of identity. Granny Rora is the group’s storyteller, the source of the myths and legends that explain Jake’s relationship with his hairier side, if only metaphorically.

The story follows Jake as he protects the reservation and its surrounding area. Unfortunately for him, word of a wolf-like creature has reached certain parties that are interested in hunting the creature down. Elsewhere, an experiment gone wrong promises to shake the foundations of Jake’s life as he fights the wolf within and comes to terms with his existence.

Werewolf By Night #1
Werewolf by Night

While the story is nothing like the 1970’s version, it does borrow a lot from that decade’s more socially aware brand of comics. The new werewolf scares white hunters away from tribal lands, faces the results of an experiment gone wrong, and ultimately finds evil in the form of a giant corporation submerged in unethical practices.

While these problems are worthy of their own comic book series, they end up traversing well-trodden territory here and there doesn’t seem to be much of an intention to go the extra mile in terms of inventiveness. As a result, the comic comes off as far too simple for its own good. It’s not a particularly fresh take on the classic monster either, nor the superhero world it very much wants to be a part of.

In fact, the new superhero-like identity forced upon the werewolf seems to be more interested in incorporating the character into the larger Marvel universe rather than carving its own unique space within it. There’s space for horror in the Marvel universe and Werewolf by Night can still help make that happen, but it has to do more in the coming issues.

Werewolf By Night #1
Werewolf by Night

Scott Eaton’s art, on the other hand, does a great job at world building and produces an especially vicious werewolf design. Every scene involving the werewolf carries a ton of violence in it, albeit more figuratively than literally. There’s a force behind it that captures the sheer monstrosity that is a werewolf. Unfortunately, the wolf also has moments when he looks like he’s presenting himself as a viable option for a future Champions or Young Avengers comic. I wouldn’t mind that happening, especially because Native character are still in short supply in mainstream media, but I’d hope they make the character somewhat more unique and compelling in this regard.

The comic is not without its charm and it does have heart. There’s a chance future issues complicate things well enough to take our werewolf into uncharted territory. The first issue of Werewolf by Night is no indication of this, but there’s enough here to build on.

Story: Taboo, Benjamin Jackendoff Art: Scott Eaton
Inks: Scott Hanna Color: Miroslav Mrva
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0
Recommendation: Wait for the compendium and buy some wolfsbane while you’re at it.


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

She Could Fly Soars Into Shops in April 2019 with a Sequel

Dark Horse and Berger Books have revealed art from She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, the sequel to the acclaimed series She Could Fly, by Christopher Cantwell, co-creator/showrunner of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire series, and Martín Morazzo! Cantwell and Morazzo are joined by colorist Miroslav Mrva and letterer Clem Robins.

In She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, Luna has crash-landed back into her life after spending a year in a mental institution… but that might just mean she’s closer to the edge than she’s ever been before. After discovering clues about the Flying Woman’s missing family, Luna’s obsession reignites, threatening to unravel her fragile mind again. Meanwhile, a mysterious guru appears in the sewers of Chicago, a Russian mercenary seeks old secret technology, and the specter of violence begins to loom over everyone once more. Luna starts to wonder… will she even survive long enough to go insane?

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #1 goes on sale April 10, 2019. On March 13, 2019, fans can purchase the deluxe trade paperback of the first miniseries, She Could Fly.

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #1

Preview: She Could Fly #1

She Could Fly #1

Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist, Cover Artist: Martín Morazzo
Colorist: Miroslav Mrva
Publication Date: July 11, 2018
Price: $4.99

In Chicago, an unknown woman appears flying at speeds of 120 miles per hour and at heights reaching 2,000 feet. Then she suddenly dies in a fiery explosion mid-air. No one knows who she was, how she flew, or why. Luna, a disturbed 15-year-old girl becomes obsessed with learning everything about her while rumors and conspiracy theories roil. Will cracking the secrets of the Flying Woman’s inner life lead to the liberation from her own troubled mind?

Berger Books Announces She Could Fly in July 2018

In the lead up to C2E2, Dark Horse has revealed the next comics series installment in the Berger Books imprint! Writer Christopher Cantwell, co-creator/showrunner of AMC’s critically acclaimed Halt and Catch Fire, and artist Martín Morazzo will unite to tell the strange and poignant tale of the Flying Woman in She Could Fly. They are joined by Miroslav Mrva on color.

The extraordinary story of She Could Fly begins in Chicago, when an unknown woman, flying at speeds of 120 miles per hour and at heights reaching 2,000 feet, suddenly dies in a fiery explosion mid-air.

No one knows who she was, how she flew, or why. Some think it was a government program. Some think it was foreign surveillance. Some think it was all fake. Some are even convinced that it was a religious, transcendent experience happening on earth.

Luna Brewster, a disturbed 15-year-old girl becomes obsessed with learning everything about her while rumors and conspiracy theories roil. Will cracking the secrets of the Flying Woman’s inner life lead to the liberation from her own troubled mind?

The first issue of She Could Fly contains 32-pages of story, retails for $4.99 and goes on sale July 11, 2018.

Review: Bullseye #3

Ed Brisson knows how to kick a party off right and, jumps right into the action is the latest issue of Bullseye. The showdown at La Hacienda Motel in Columbia starts in Bullseye’s hotel room and Guillermo Sanna‘s stellar throwback art style gives us three pages of everything from punches to fingers being bitten off before we even get to the credit page. Miroslav Mrva makes sure to add enough color in the otherwise dark and depressing panels to show us the blood and the bruises and before the first full page of dialogue we are hooked enough to settle in for a rambunctious battle royal in Bullseye’s lonely motel room.

Sanna and Mrva work well together giving off a serious yin/yang vibe in each panel. The panels flow together like storyboard of a really good 80’s action flick complete with cliche’s, loads of testosterone, and even though you’re reading it, you can totally smell the sweat and blood. The colors don’t pop which is a perfect complement to the story that Brisson is telling. There’s no sense of mercy in the panels, or story and the darkness contained within the pages of this issue draw you in and keep you there for one hell of a ride.

Brisson tells a nice story that shows off all of the main player’s points of view, motives and a slight sense of vulnerability.  The characters are complex and believable, in fact, they are all so well written that there’s a moment where you forget that you’re not supposed to be rooting for the bad guy. There are no useless lines or words in any of the pages and Brisson tells a pretty good story that will have you invested in the characters and waiting for the next installment of this incredibly well-written tale.

Agent Joy and her posse of rogue former agents are still in pursuit and, Bullseye comes face to face with everything that’s waiting for him at the Zarco compound. There’s so much action packed into this issue that you’d be a fool not to read it with popcorn. It’s an intense romp through a dark underworld, with well-written characters, a villain masquerading as “hero” and, a kick-ass, take no prisoners agent out for revenge. There is no moral to the story, no political commentary just good old-fashioned senseless beautiful violence and there’s nothing wrong with that. Escapism isn’t  a bad thing in the current political climate and Bullseye #3 is nothing if not a sweet, albeit bloody, escape from the real world.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Guillermo Sanna and Miroslav Mrva
Story:8.9 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Bullseye #2

bull2017002-dc11-lrBullseye #2 is only a continuation of the Columbian Connection arc introduced in the first issue. Focusing on one story line isn’t a bad thing, the other arc is still in the back of our minds but, this issue has so much going on there isn’t a need for another storyline and we know the two arcs are intertwined. Ed Brisson tells a compelling story as we follow Bullseye on his hunt for the Black Knife Cartel to rescue his employer’s kidnapped son. Besides the killer’s on a quest to stop him, he’s also being hunted by our favorite female Fed who enlists dome rogue blacklisted CIA agents to take him down.

Brisson has Bullseye doing what he does best, being an unapologetic sadistic psycho and, then ups the ante by having his nemesis be an equally remorseless drug lord.  Zacaro, Bullseye’s target, unleashes his minions to hunt him down before he can rescue the boy. Brisson tells a story that is equal parts noir and Scarface, he keeps the characters unique in their actions and motivations. Guillermo Sanna gives us some great detail and strong lines in his near perfect old school Marvel renderings that bring back fond memories of the comics of my youth. The darkness in his drawings immediately let you know that this isn’t for kids, it’s a dark, grown-up tale. Sanna’s lines are given life and an ominous dark palette, befitting the carnage in this story by Miroslav Mrva. Their artistic talents combined transport the reader inside the story, it feels more like you’re watching a film than reading a comic book.

This issue is a wonderfully created collaboration between some very talented individuals that give the reader something to sink their teeth in to. No panel is wasted, no human character defect left unexplored, no bloodshed left covered up. Bullseye is a deep dark look into the soul of a killer, especially when the arc trajectory has him facing off against a man whose soul might just be as dark as his own. The only thing wrong with this issue is that Marvel is back to its once a month production schedule for this character and I loathe having to wait so long to see how this shakes out.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Guillermo Sanna Color: Miroslav Mrva
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

ABC News & Marvel Comics Announce Collaboration with Madaya Mom

ABC News and Marvel today announced Madaya Mom, an original digital comic detailing the harrowing true story of one family’s struggle to survive in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya. An extraordinary tale of courage and resilience, the heroic Madaya Mom shows strength in the midst of tragedy, turning an incredibly difficult situation into an opportunity to give a voice to her people.

In January 2016, ABC News profiled a family trapped inside Madaya, communicating with a mother of five through texts and phone conversations to capture the bleak outlook that she and her family faced every day. ABC News posted daily updates from the mother, detailing her descent into anger and despair as she was reduced to breaking apart their furniture for firewood and boiling leaves for food. Since Madaya has been besieged by forces loyal to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, the family has been trapped there for over 14 months and has struggled to stay alive as many starve to death in what is effectively an open-air prison.

Using her own words, ABC News and Marvel created a wholly original digital comic book and produced a graphic documentary to bring the story to life. ABC News has concealed the identity of the family for their own protection.

The digital comic was put together by reporters Xana O’Neill and Rym Momtaz, artist Dalibor Talajíc, and colorist Miroslav Mrva.

madayacover madayapg1 madayapg2

Review: Civil War II Kingpin #1

Back in 2013Civil_War_II_Kingpin_1_Ribic_Variant, I clamored for Marvel to release a Kingpin solo series, and three years later, my prayers have finally been answered in Civil War II: Kingpin #1. In this comic, writer Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home) and artist Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (Zero) use both the conflict between heroes and the fact that Ulysses, a new Inhuman, can predict crimes before they occur to craft a clever crime yarn in the shadow of yet another summer event. And speaking of shadow, this is where artist Ortiz and colorist Mat Lopes (The Wicked + the Divine) dwell as the Kingpin tries to rebuild his criminal empire in a world where superheroes can protect you’re committing a crime before it happens.

Ortiz and Lopes’ art kind of reminds me of Michael Lark’s on Daredevil in the mid-2000s when that comic was a straight-up crime book, but where Lark evokes stylish film noir, their work looks like the indie crime books at Image or Black Mask, like The Fix or Rosenberg’s own 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank albeit with a subtler approach to humor. (Kingpin is the master of condescending sass.) It’s a word of tattered newspaper and backroom deals where one false move leads to a spray of bullets. Ortiz also draws some potentially character-defining images for the Kingpin that fits his cynical attitude towards people outside the law (Superheroes) upholding the law like a powerful panel of him pressing a finger down on the star symbol on Sam Wilson’s Captain America costume that cuts to a pair of panels of Kingpin towering over the hero. Even if he is down in resources and soldiers, the Kingpin’s sheer presence can’t be discounted, and his bluffs look like threats. But a later scene of Hawkeye buying a coffee on Kingpin’s dime while he’s slumped impassively at a table shows that maybe the crime lord has lost a step when in fact he is biding and preparing to strike instead of picking fights with the Avengers’ bow and arrow guy. Ricardo Lopez Ortiz’s work in Kingpin #1 shows how important body language is to building and especially reintroducing a character in a comic.

KingpinCap

Matthew Rosenberg makes Wilson Fisk a slightly sympathetic if highly opportunistic character in Kingpin #1. In the second half of the comic, he takes on the mantle of the “bad guy fighting worst guys” as he and his all time favorite lackey Turk fight human traffickers that the superheroes have neglected. But he’s not some uber dark vigilante as this exercise in “heroism” is just Kingpin asserting his power over Janus, who has started working more morally unsavory crime jobs to make ends meet in the Civil War II era Marvel Universe. Kingpin digs up the worst of dirt on the nebbish Inhuman so his future prediction blocking ability will always be in the pocket of his organization. Up to this point, Rosenberg has portrayed Wilson Fisk as an underdog as he gets shot by C-list villain Bushwhacker, pushed around by various superheroes, and only two crime bosses show up to his meeting. But the last few pages jolt you out of sympathy and show that the Kingpin is back and is ready to reach the heights when guys named Miller, Bendis, and Brubaker were writing him.

JanusOrigin

And if the $4.99 price tag on Civil War II: Kingpin #1. scares you, wait there’s more. Rosenberg pens an origin story for Kingpin’s Inhuman sidekick Janus that is part early David Cronenberg movie, part a darker version of last year’s hilarious Secret Wars tie-in Hank Johnson, Agent of HYDRA. Janus is utterly an outcast as he can’t even do basic warehouse duty for Black Cat without getting into some Terrigen mist even though it seems like the only side effect is puking and spacing out 24/7. (Think Peter Parker after he got his powers turned to eleven without the genius intellect.) And he gets zero acknowledgment from the Inhuman community, much less Medusa or the royal family. His initial connection to the Black Cat is kind of poetic because she has bad luck powers whereas he is extremely lucky to have the ability to somehow block Ulysses’ future predicting powers. And of course, he ends up a pawn in the hands of the Kingpin, who is ready to become the ultimate war profiteer. Dalibor Talajic and Jose Marzan also create a nice continuity from Ortiz’s grimy artwork and even create a nice Steve Ditko vibe, which fits a character, who has great abilities, but is underappreciated by the world around him. Also, colorist Miroslav Mrva leaves the shadows occasionally to show the trippy, mind and body altering nature of becoming an Inhuman. Making the first issue extra sized was a smart decision from Rosenberg as Janus’ backstory is out of the way, and the main story as well as future issues can focus on the rise of Kingpin’s rebellious enterprise.

If you’d rather watch old Sopranos episodes on HBO Go instead of the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster for and are okay with a touch of Philip K. Dick to go with your turf wars, Civil War II: Kingpin #1 may be the comic for you.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Dalibor Talajic, Jose Marzan
Colors: Mat Lopes, Miroslav Mrva

Story: 8  Art: 9  Overall: 8.5  Recommendation:  Buy

Preview: Ghosted #20

Ghosted #20

Story By: Joshua Williamson
Art By: Vladimir Krstic
Art By: Goran Sudzuka
Art By: Miroslav Mrva
Cover By: Dan Panosian
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: MAR150564
Published: May 20, 2015

There’s no more cheating death…

Ghosted20_Cover

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