Tag Archives: muntsa vicente

Review: Star Wars: Vader: Dark Visions

Star Wars: Vader: Dark Visions explores the Dark Lord of the Sith from the perspective of other individuals across a galaxy far far away.

Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
Art: Paolo Villanelli, Brian Level, David Lopez, Javier Pina, Stephen Mooney, Geraldo Borges
Color: Arif Prianto, Jordan Boyd, Muntsa Vicente, Lee Loughridge, Marcio Menyz
Letterer: Joe Caramagna

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Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Star Wars: Vader – Dark Visions #3 (of 5)

Star Wars: Vader - Dark Visions #3

Darth Vader, a name that strikes fear in the hearts of countless across the galaxy…but there is one lonely heart that beats just for him. What is it like to be in love with Lord Vader? And what fate will befall one who is infatuated with the tall, dark mystery behind the mask?

Tragedy. Is there any other expectation to come of this story? Writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum has been exploring Darth Vader through the eyes of others in a galaxy far far away. The first issue delivered us a tale of hope and heroics. The second horror. The third is a love story that can only end in one way.

Star Wars: Vader – Dark Visions #3 is a story that while expected is still very entertaining focusing on a medical assistant whose role brings her in to the orbit of Darth Vader. And that proximity brings obsessions and the belief of love. While there’s an aspect to the story about spiraling obsession there’s also a a tragedy as we see Vader’s reaction to someone who thinks they love him. There’s a monster destroying its maker aspect to it all giving the story a Frankenstein like spin to it.

The art by David Lopez and Javi Pina with coloring from Munsta Vincente and letterer Joe Caramagna is interesting as it’s able to balance a horror like sensibility about it but also in a stylized way. Vader himself looks off at times with an inconsistent design but overall it’s a look that feels fresh and unique and helps with the anthology aspect of the series.

The issue is predictable in some ways and not in others delivering another issue to get you to think about Lord Vader and how those in the galaxy view him. It’s a series that with each issue shows that he’s more than has been presented and no matter how you view him, he’s an interesting part of the Star Wars myhology.

Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum Art: David Lopez, Javi Pina
Color: Muntsa Vicente Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.85 Art: 8.05 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Vault of Spiders #1

Only a Spider-Army can stop the end of the Multiverse! Meet Web-Slinger, the Spider-Man from the Wild West,. He is the Emissary from Hell, he is SUPAIDAMAN! The Spider-Man from the live-action Spider-Man show that aired in Japan in the 1970s is back. And that’s just a glimpse into the Vault of Spiders!

One of the fun things about the Spider-Man multiverse events is that they’ve delivered utterly insane Spider-Man concepts and allowed Marvel, and creators, to explore their multiverse in a controlled way. Things still have to be Spider focused but they can be a little out there. That has made those events a lot of fun and entertaining. So, I was looking forward to Vault of Spiders #1, a spin-off of the excellent Spider-Geddon and walked away, a little bummed.

Vault of Spiders #1 is an anthology so the quality of stories and art is all over the place. Some are good and others head scratching. What’s good about this issue is there really are great concepts. All are great concepts. The executions though, some were a bit lacking.

Spider-Byte and Savage Spider-Man stand out from the four stories. The first stands out for the concept and creativity, and solid costume design, while the latter due to its fantastic art and twist at the end. Both are entertaining and deliver something a little different.

The Web-Slinger, a western set story, and Final Galaxy Battle!, the Japanese take on Spider-Man each have their charms but also stumble. The western aspect is played up a lot and in some ways entertaining but with the story relying on a twist of a character as far as the bad guy, there’s a shrug of the shoulders where a reveal should shock readers. A connection there is missing. The Japanese Spider-Man, while the art is fantastic reminding me of classic manga, the story is headscratching in every way. It makes no sense. That’s part of the point, I think, but when everything else in the comic winks and nods as to their roots (Savage is straight up Tarzan), this one maybe goes a bit too far.

Vault of Spiders #1 is a bit of a let down but fun to see the various versions of Spider-Man. I’d love to see this as an ongoing with longer stories, the brevity was a hindrance. Like a lot of anthologies, there’s some good here and some bad but if you’re a Spider fan it might be worth checking out.

Prologue
Story: Jed MacKay Art/Ink: Scott Koblish
Color: Andres Mossa Lettering: VC’s Travis Lanham

The Web-Slinger
Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Javier Pulido
Color: Muntsa Vicente Lettering: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Final Galaxy Battle!
Story: Jed MacKay Art/Ink/Lettering: Sheldon Vella

Spider-Byte
Story: Nilah Magruder Art/Ink: Alberto Alburquerque
Color: Andrew Crossley Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy fore review

Barrier is Collected at Panel Syndicate

If you missed it, now’s your chance to get Barrier! Panel Syndicate has collected all five issues into a monster 190-page volume!

If you haven’t read the single issues, yet, this is the perfect way to catch up with the adventures of our kick-ass Texan woman, Liddy, and her unlikely partner, the no-nonsense undocumented Honduran immigrant, Oscar, in what’s surely got to be Donald Trump’s favorite comicbook series!

Check it out at panelsyndicate.com for whatever price you want to pay!

Review: Barrier #1

Barrier is an unconventional drama about violence, language, and illegal immigration…with a shocking sci-fi twist. Originally published on Panel Syndicate, the five issue miniseries is a deeply layered entertaining comic that will make you think.

In print for the first time by Image Comics, this first issue is a bit special. One version was released for free on Free Comic Day, but today sees the release of a special collector’s edition in a larger size to match the next four issues which will be released weekly through May. The comic features a cardstock cover, printed in the original landscape format, and is meant to be a durable work of art. You’ll need to get it as these print issues as there’s no plan to collect these issues in print.

So, the printing is special but how about the comic?

Barrier is amazing with a multilayered look at society and those things that divide us written by Brian K. Vaughan. Language, immigration, borders, class, it’s all touched upon and is as relevant today as when it was first released digitally. The story follows two individuals, Liddy, a rancher in Texas, and Oscar, an immigrant making his way to the United States from Honduras. That aspect of the story feels like it’s an even greater punch in the stomach considering the recent migrant train that has reached the border of the United States from Honduras attempting to escape violence and threats to their lives. Through the two of them we see the abuses when it comes to undocumented immigration and the story touches upon the horrors.

Presented in English and Spanish, without translation, the story at first leads you to believe the barrier is distance, or borders, and the ability to seek a better life. This alone is the material for a long comic series and one that would be emotionally heartbreaking. From there the barrier of compassion is explored with a focus on the white nationalism and racism that accompanies the Minutemen and their militant border protection. That too could be a story by itself. And going even further the story then leads you to believe the barrier is one of language as the story of Liddy and Oscar collide. Their inability to communicate due to language is a barrier. And finally there’s… well, I’ll leave that twist to the reader.

But, what especially amazes me is that the story and presentation itself is a barrier in some ways to the reader. My Spanish is near non-existent so reading Oscar’s story is a barrier in some ways to me. The same could be said for those who only speak Spanish. What’s interesting is even without knowing what is said, I still understood what was going on and that’s due to the power of the art by Marcos Martin with color by Muntsa Vicente.

And Martin’s art too is a barrier in some ways. It’s brilliant in that it can tell the story without dialogue but in a landscape it creates a small barrier for those that have traditionally read comics. Digitally I didn’t notice this as much but in a physical format, the holding of the comic in a non-traditional, Western-standard way, is in itself a small barrier in how you interact. It’s an interesting choice that enhances the story in many ways and I found myself enjoying it even more as a physical product.

Barrier is unconventional in every way exploring violence, language, and immigration in a story that weaves together in an unexpected way. Writing this review I have the hindsight of have read the entire series digitally but rereading it all this time later, I can’t help be amazed at how good this is. Now, more individuals can read what is a comic that’s as timely today as when it was first released a year ago.

Story: Brian K. Vaughan Art: Marcos Martin Color: Muntsa Vicente
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics to publish Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s miniseries Barrier

Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin, the Eisner Award-winning creative team behind The Private Eye, are reunited in Barrier, the five-issue miniseries originally published in digital format via Panel Syndicate and featuring color work by Muntsa Vicente. This May, all five issues will be available in print for the first time, exclusively from Image Comics.

Barrier is a truly unconventional drama that tackles violence, language, and illegal immigration—with a shocking sci-fi twist. Printed in its original “landscape” format and graced with gorgeous cardstock covers, each comic is meant to be a durable work of art.

Mature readers will be able to pick up the massive 50-plus-page first issue for free on Free Comic Book Day on May 5th. The following week, a special collector’s edition of the first issue will be released in a larger size to match the next four issues being released weekly throughout the rest of May.

Barrier #1 (Diamond code: MAR180571) and BARRIER #2 (Diamond code: MAR180573) hit comic book stores Wednesday, May 9th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, April 16th.

Panel Syndicate Releases Barrier #5, the Final Issue!

Panel Syndicate has announced that Barrier #5, the final installment of the series, is now available on the digital platform. Barrier is by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente.

The digital comic is an unconventional take about aliens and immigration and “about the way language can divide us, by using the (hopefully?) universal language of comics.” As with all comics on the platform it’s pay what you want. Even coming in at an impressive 48 pages of story, it’s still pay what you want as is the previous four issues.

Panel Syndicate has also announced that it will be adding even more series to their platform in addition to Private Eye, Universe!, and Blackhand Ironhead.

Vaughan also announced that starting today, 100% of whatever is earned from contributions for this or any previous issues of Barrier will go directly to Marcos, Muntsa and their family.

Barrier #4 is Out Now from Panel Syndicate. A Must Get!

As of this month, Panel Syndicate has been around four whole years and what better way to celebrate than with the newest installment of their series Barrier!

In the penultimate issue things take a horrific turn, as alien abductees Oscar and Liddy press deeper into their captors’ craft.

Barrier is a digital comic series by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente that explores immigration, and the “barriers” that keep us apart, like language.

Released through Panel Syndicate the comic is 30 pages of bilingual action for absolutely any price you think is fair. Yes, a pay what you want comic, and this is one well worth paying for.

Review: X-O Manowar #50

xo_050_cover-b_riveraFor centuries, the sacred X-O Manowar armor has stood unrivaled as the universe’s most powerful weapon. Today, will it equal Earth’s doom? An unthinkable alien race known only as The Torment has come to our world in search of the armor’s secrets. Now, they stand opposed by Aric of Dacia – former slave, noble warrior, resolute king, and current master of the armor’s near-limitless capabilities. But is one man…and one weapon…enough to repel a force capable of leveling a thousand civilizations?

Well, this is it. The finale to the 50 issue saga of Valiant‘s longest running series. I want to get one thing out of the way before we go any further: if you haven’t started reading X-O Manowar yet, then you probably don’t want to start here.

Or do you? I’ll come back to that.

The final arc of the series has flown along at a break neck pace, which is fitting given the cataclysmic nature of The Torment, the world ending threat from space. Think Galactus but somehow worse, as not only will the destroy the world, they’ll take everything you are as well; mind, body and soul. I don’t typically like to talk about spoilers for the last issue, but I’m going to, so here’s your obligatory spoiler warning here, X-O Manowar was absorbed into one The Torment. It was, as I’m sure you can imagine, a somewhat shocking moment, but with the finale of the series coming up – and no announcement as to what would happen beyond the 50th  issue – it was entirely reasonable to expect a grand sacrifice to happen.

What we got instead, and this is the first couple of pages so I’m not spoiling much for #50, is something else entirely. Aric of Dacia embarks on a very interesting journey, told using various art teams to varying degrees of success; there’s a couple pages where the art isn’t as good as the rest of the comic, but it’s only a couple of pages. And when that’s my major gripe?

The main story is divided between Aric’s tranquil scenes within the Torment and those featuring the human/Vine alliance fighting the alien space gods. The latter scenes are best described as absolute chaos, and the contrast with the pages featuring Aric is harsh and jarring. Where one is almost peaceful and exploratory, the other is a frantic fight for survival as the tentative alliance tries to defend the planet they both want to call home.

The juxtaposition is wonderful, with the alternating scenes only serving to highlight the pace of the other in much the same way as peanut butter works so well with chocolate (and also on hamburgers – the peanut butter, that is. You should try the next time you have a barbecue,). Is this the finest comic that I’ve read from Robert Venditti? Well, the writer has given us some pretty fantastic stories over the years, so I won’t answer that, but what I will say is that – amazingly – he has delivered upon the expectations I had assumed would not be met with his conclusion to Long Live The King.

And then we have three other bonus stories (well, two and a bit) to factor in. All are interesting, and worth reading, but that’s not why you want to pick this comic up. Two of them are standalone stories from various points in Aric of Dacia’s life; one takes place probably five or six issues ago, and the other… could be about the same. There’s nothing within the story to easily gauge a time frame. The third is a hint as to what’s to come.

All three are cool additions to the main story, which is worth the price of admission alone. For that reason the numeric cores below will not include the bonus stories.

X-O Manowar #50 is one of the most rewarding, and satisfying, conclusions to a comic book story arc that you’re ever likely to read. Plot threads are wrapped up, bows are tied,  the saga is over, and my jaw is firmly on the floor. Remember my earlier question of whether you should start reading X-O Manowar with the final issue? It is possible to do that and still appreciate the comic for what it is: fucking amazing.

And now for the extensive credits.
Long Live The King
Writer: Robert Venditti Pencils: Joe Bennett

Inks: Marcio Loerzer & Bellardino Brabo
Colours: Ulises Arreola
Flashback art: Cary Nord, Doug Braithwaite, Diego Bernard, Rafa Sandoval, Robert Gil, Brian Reber, Ulises Arreola & David Baron
Torment sequence: Joe Bennett, Tom Palmer, Robert De Le Torre & Dean White
Letterer: Dave Sharpe

The Two Deaths Of Gaius Maelus
Writer: Fred Van Lente Artist: Clayton Henry

Colourist: Brian Reber Letterer: Dave Sharpe

His Greatest Failure
Writer: Jody Houser Artist: Javier Pulido

Colourist: Muntsa Vicente Letterer: Dave Sharpe

The Future
Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Tomas Giorello

Colourist: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Dave Sharpe

Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

 

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review, but by the time you read this I’ll have also picked up my own copy.