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Review: Playboy #2


Jodie Foster is one of those actors whose body of work is so impressive and so varied, you cannot help but be constantly in awe. As she knows to navigate between genres and drill down to what drives a character. Her work behind the camera is just as impressive, imbuing characters with both vulnerability and strength and stories that actually say something. Her work in Silence Of  The Lambs has made her a pop culture icon.

Her work behind the camera in Money Monster is both socially relevant and shows the depth of her talent, as the way she envisions a scene, is so enlightening.   One of my favorite movies by her is Panic Room. The movie circled around a newly divorced woman and her diabetic daughter, who take refuge in their new house’s safe room, from a gang of robbers. In the second issue of Playboy, we find Leroy and Kitchen trapped in their own abode by a pair of hitmen.

We find Leroy telling Kitchen to hide in his panic room with their dog, fearing for his safety, as the two hitmen try their best to open the front door. As one of the assassins breaks through, Leroy finds out exactly who has put on him and why. As he finds out he has been sleeping with a married man’s wife, and the man doesn’t want Leroy to see the light of day By issue’s end, Leroy gets outmuscled but necessarily outgunned.

Overall, an exciting second issue that delivers wall to wall action. The story by Johnny O’Bryant and Corey Mikell is compelling. The art by Mikhail Sebastian is striking. Altogether, a great continuation of an entertaining story.

Story: Johnny O’Bryant and Corey Mikell Art: Mikhail Sebastian
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Sorcerority #3


There are turning points in a story where it goes form typical to intriguing. This narrative device in procedural stories becomes entrenched. There’s something new to be found in them but it does not mean there is nothing meaningful there. What usually speaks to most is the flaws the characters exhibit.

Take, for instance, Harry Potter, whose life is marred by bad family, family secrets, and awkwardness. All these elements make for a history that’s quite intriguing. This is what pulls most of us into these stories. In the third chapter of Mikhail Sebastian and George Watson’s elaborate webcomic, Sorcerority, Melanie, finds an old family relic which saves her life.

We are taken to the 1863 Civil War South Carolina, where a battle is raging on, and young Black soldier, finds a strange metal rod fall from the sky, as he holds it, he feels something powerful emanating from it. As he faces certain death, the rod empowers him to use it, unleashing an array of supernatural occurrences across the battlefield. Fast Forward to modern-day, and Melanie is trying to grasp what happened in Urban Magica while holding this powerful wand, and two strange men show up, wanting it back. By the issue’s end, Melanie’s family house is on fire, prompting to her ask why this thing is so important.

Overall, Sorcerority #3 is a thrilling chapter that opens the story to more questions. The story by Sebastian and Watson is powerful. The art is dazzling. Altogether, a story that only gets better every chapter.

Story: Mikhail Sebastian and George Watson Art: Mikhail Sebastian
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Playboy #1

Playboy #1

Viggo Mortensen is one of those actors whose ability to blend into films is what makes him so magnetic. In each of his films, he brings both a strength and tenderness to the role. Like most pop culture fans, I initially found out about him in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His portrayal of Aragorn in that film was of a reluctant hero, one that people can see in  Kit Harington’s portrayal of Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones.

It this exact archetype which he brings something so personal too, that this wasn’t the only film which he has done this. His most recent work in The Green Book which gave him such gravitas, you can’t help but admire. This can also be seen in History Of Violence, where the character’s true nature comes out in more than one instance. In the debut issue of Playboy, we find a protagonist much like the ones played by Mortensen, whose true nature only requires some gesturing

We meet Leroy Armstrong, a headstrong soldier, who is caught up in a firefight and is pinned down, being one of the only men left in his platoon, and because of his actions get kicked out of the Marines. Fast forward to the present day, where he live snow in a city called Vegas, as he enjoys civilian life, making a living as a Gigolo. He has a woman, a house, and even a roommate, his best friend, Kitchen and a dog, needless to say, his adjustment has been pretty smooth so far. By issue’s end, Leroy gets some unknown unwanted company, in the form of some men dressed in black suits and sunglasses, looking to take his head.

Overall, Playboy #1 is an interesting debut issue that introduces an intriguing protagonist. The story by Johnny O’Bryant and Corey Mikell is entertaining. The art by Mikhail Sebastian is gorgeous. Altogether, an excellent introduction to this world and these characters.

Story: Johnny O’Bryant and Corey Mikell Art: Mikhail Sebastian
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Sorcerority #2

Sorcerority #2

There’s always that glimmer of light, that moment when you understand something someone has been telling you your whole life. We rarely get to put these things together the way we would like. This is especially true coming from our parents. There’s always a level of cynicism when it comes to advise from those closest to us.

That is why there’s regret when we realize they have been telling us the right things our whole lives. This becomes what is still surprising of adults, is that most cannot concede when they are. Instead, they really should appreciate that moment, because, for most, that is when it matters. In the second chapter of Mikhail Sebastian and George Watson’s webcomic, Sorcerority, Melanie finds outs what hides in the shadows of Excursia as family secrets come to the forefront.

We find Melanie and her friends, gathering supplies for a conjuring spell, which comes up fruitless, except a broken wand with a strange engraving. Their research leads them to Urban Magica, the metropolitan section of the Magic District, to seek out Black Market magic dealers, ones whose reputations would give most, a bit of apprehension. By issue’s end, Melanie, not everything goes as planned, but Melanie finds out that some things left unexplained are better demonstrated.

Overall, a great second issue, that looks to more than add a few tones of sepia but a whole paradigm shift. The story by Sebastian and Watson is exciting and intellectual. The art is stunning. Altogether, this team is looking to show the world there is more to magic than Harry Potter.

Story: Mikhail Sebastian and George Watson Art: Mikhail Sebastian
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Arms of the Dragon #2

Arms of the Dragon #2

When it comes to action stars, not many do it as good as Sammo Hung. Many people have never heard of him but if you’re a fan of Kung Fu films you would most certainly know who he is. He’s a very good friend of Jackie Chan and has starred in many films with the international action star. In fact, they can be considered Simon Pegg and Nick Frost before there was Simon Pegg and Nick Frost but instead of the comedy genre, the whole Hong Kong film industry.

One of my favorite movies by the duo is Mr. Nice Guy where the two were at the top of their form,. They often infusing comedy in this otherwise action-packed film. The movie showcased the two best friends’ chemistry in a way that most film fans wished they collaborated more. In Noir Ceasar’s second chapter of Arms of the Dragon, much like Chan and Hung, best friends must come together to move forward.

We find Tosh’s gang shortly after killing Shou’s big brother, thankfully the police arrive, but unbeknownst to Shou, they are being paid by Tosh, leaving the family vulnerable to these predators. This forces Shou’s dad, Benji, to sign this restaurant over, but right when they thought it was over, Tosh executes Benji for what he feels is a slight. Right when Shou, thought it could not get worse, Tosh’s gang kills the rest of his family and burns their family restaurant down. By the issue’s end, Shou inherits something he would never imagine.

Overall, Arms of the Dragon #2 is a heart-wrenching chapter that will have the reader gasping. The story by Marcus Johnson and John Lawrence is powerful. The art by Chris Krady is stunning. Altogether, a story that feels as raw as any crime story.

Story: Marcus Johnson and John Lawrence Art: Chris Krady
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Xogenasys #1


One of my all-time favorite movies is Menace II Society. It’s a film which showed quite a different take on how it is to grow up Black and poor. Right before that movie came out, only a few short months before, Boyz N Da Hood and South Central told different narratives. What set Menace II Society apart from the previous two was not the optimistic conclusion but the redeeming qualities of its antagonist characters. It showed the world that Black people are not monolithic in appearance or narrative.

Life is that much messier and people are even more complicated. When you grow up in poor communities your world is a bit more skewed and grounded in reality than those with advantages. Rarely has this narrative been told in the dystopian genre. In the debut issue of Xogenasys, we find a protagonist whose circumstance is so disparate, life becomes one fight at a time.

We meet Darius Smith. Young men who live in areas like his literally fight for their lives in an online streamed fight. Raised by a single mother he looks to transfer to a different school so that he can be eligible to fight as well. His new school comes with its own set of troubles in the form of an old acquaintance who tries to rope him in illicit activities. By the issue’s end,  those activities catch up to Darius but not before an unexpected opportunity shows up and changes his life.

Overall, an excellent debut issue that gives a unique take on a well-traveled genre. The story by by Tre McIntosh and Nickolas Draper-Ivey is excellent. The art by Draper-Ivey is gorgeous. Altogether, a story you will not soon forget.

Creator: Johnny O’Bryant Story: Tre McIntosh, Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Art: Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Story: 8.8 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Try Again #1

Try Again

When it comes to hired guns, one of the most explored archetypes just so happens to be assassins. The genre has taken on an even mythical status, with the Assassins Creed franchise. You can see the archetypes’ influence in everything from ninja movies, Westerns, to even Ray Donovan. Most of these stories go, you have a lone operator whose personal life is in shambles while their professional life is what gives them satisfaction.

My favorite “lone gunmen” were the ones who didn’t say much of anything, like Boba Fett or Duke Togo. In their worlds, both protagonists’ most redeeming quality is their steadfast obedience to the job and their lack of need for distractions. In other stories, they would be boring, but in these stories, they are intriguing. In Noir Ceasar’s take on the genre, Try Again, we meet another character whose world is more complicated than they would like to admit, as we find out in the debut issue.

We meet Danielle Burroughs, an assassin, who has just been given a job, which she has some doubts about.  As she catches up with her spotter, Damien, she espouses her guilt over killing a family man, but also one of the city’s biggest crime bosses. Just when she takes out her target, there seems to be an unintended casualty from the job. By the issue’s end, Danielle finds out her guilt is not easily escaped, as a far worst fate is waiting.

Overall, a strong debut that’s a fine entry to the hitman genre. The story by the creative team is pulse-pounding. The art by Win Dolores is beautiful. Altogether a story that will grab you and won’t let you go.

Story: Will Brown, Marcus Johnson, and John Lawrence
Art: Win Dolores
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Yeahaw Blue #1

Yeahaw Blue #1

Mathew McConaughey is one of those actors whose presence on screen is both captivating and powerful. People get caught up in how striking he is but that is not what has made him who he is. He’s a true actor, whose ability to become the character is something to watch.

One of my favorite movies of his is Reign Of Fire. In the movie, he plays a dragon hunter, whose job is to kill these very creatures that have ravaged the world to the point of an apocalypse. In the debut issue of a dystopian future where monsters rule, we get Yeehaw Blue, and only a specific set of people can save the world.

We meet Reya Moonstone, who lives in Coralle, and is plagued by creatures known as Teras, whose only goal was bloodshed. As the world turned to ashes because of these beings, a sect rose, known as Rangers, who are trained to defend humankind and kill these beings every chance they get. As Reya gets reprimanded for her performance at the Valant Academy, where the Rangers get trained, her headmaster appeals to her, as he knows she misses her grandfather, a legendary Ranger. By the issue’s end, she gets kicked out of the academy, but not before a Teras attacks her outside of the school, leaving her future truly uncertain.

Overall, an interesting character that you will be more than happy to dig into, as Danielle’s life is little bit more than complicated. The story by the creative team is out of the ordinary. The art by Shay Jones is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that is more than your typical.

Story: Shay Jones, Johnny O’Bryant, Marcus Johnson and Corey Mikkell
Art: Shay Jones
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Ordinal Tempest #1

Ordinal Tempest #1

As a child of the 1980s, the decade has a clear resonance to today’s creators. Everything that has been created since has some string that leads back to some pop culture reference to that time. Take for instance, the Star Wars franchise, which has expanded since Disney’s purchase. The franchise started in the late 1970s, leading to its resonance in the 1980s and beyond. Which brings me to Steven Speilberg and his influence on creators since his entry in Hollywood.

You can look back at Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and see how he has influenced a generation of filmmakers who embrace science fiction and treat it as many book readers do, escapism. His influence can be seen in JJ Abrams’ Super 8, which had echoes of ET and that seminal film. The story of alien invasion and the power of the human spirit to fight was, and still is, timeless. Noir Ceasar has brought their own unique take on this storied canon in their debut issue of Ordinal Tempest.

We meet Fiora, an Intrepid pilot, who is carrying the body of her comrade, Drake, and soon finds herself caught in a fight with an alien. As she turns her blaster on it, she has no choice but to leave her friend, who is dealt a fatal blow, by the invader. Fast forward, Fiora gets a new assignment in the Frontlines, where she is expected to see more action and where we meet her new unit, which includes Lance, a brash young pilot, and Wende, an old friend. By the issue’s end, Fiora sees the Intrepid symbiote she will pilot, giving her high hopes of what’s to come.

Overall, an interesting story that reminds me of Robotech and blazes a trail all its own. The story by the creative team of Lawrence, Marcus Johnson, and Chris Krady is intriguing. The art by Krady is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that will have you pulling out old VHS tapes of Mecha Anime.

Story: John Lawrence, Marcus Johnson, and Chris Krady
Art: Chris Krady
Story: 9.0Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0Recommendation: Buy

Review: Degeneratez #1

Degeneratez #1

Basketball movies are a dime a dozen. One of the most recent movies which has been getting a buzz is The Wayback. It’s a movie about an alcoholic coach and his struggle to balance life and basketball, without losing at both. The movie has less do with basketball, and more to do with Ben Affleck’s character, which is also why so many people love it. The one movie before that was the basketball comedy, Uncle Drew. It was not really funny and not really fun but a valiant effort nonetheless.

One of my favorite movies period, and yes it is a movie about basketball, was Above The Rim. The movie starred the late Tupac Shakur, the late Bernie Mac, Duane Martin, and Leon.  I can for sure say it was definitely a 90s movie but it also spoke volumes to those of us who loved the sport. It showed the promise of tomorrow and the shadows of that promise when your day has come and gone. In the debut chapter of Degeneratez, we get one such protagonist whose love for the game not only lifts the young men he coaches but also a city.

We’re taken to the city of New Angeles where one young man’s friend gets caught up as a drug dealer whose future is uncertain if he falls trap to what his city offers. Enter Luther O’Nealle, a once-popular basketball player, who is semi-retired and has returned home in hopes of becoming ordinary and who just has been hired as the basketball coach for the local high school St.James High. As he sits down with the principal before his first day on the job he soon finds out the school is filled with delinquent children, some who may be his players. He also senses there’s something that is not being told about the position. By issue’s end, Luther gets more than he bargains for and a fatal end may have come for one of his players.

Overall, an excellent debut chapter of this intriguing story which is about as second chances as it is about the promise of tomorrow. The story by Johnny O’Bryant and Abraham Cuzner is well characterized and absorbing. The art by Sebas Riera is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that is relevant and is a throwback to those excellent basketball movies.

Story: Johnny O’Bryant and Abraham Cuzner Art: Sebas Riera
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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