Tag Archives: paul levitz

Review: The Visitor #4

The Visitor #4

How many people would you kill to change the world? The Visitor continues to strike from the shadows, but what kind of change is he killing to create? The Visitor #4 dives into this very question.

I was a touch let down last issue. There didn’t really seem to be a lot of plot furtherance between the second and third issue. The art remained pretty consistent. There’s a lot more to get your teeth into this issue. Thankfully, as we learn more about the Visitor we can start to piece together what his mission entails. The end goal is still a little murky, which leaves me wondering whether the title character is the antagonist. There was a little more light given on which side the Visitor falls this week. It’s this grey area that I’m both thoroughly enjoying and at the same time unsure of, if I’m honest.

But it’s the uncertainty that’s so much fun about this book.

With the The Visitor #4 we’re given a good look into the who of the Visitor, and a solid glance more of why the Visitor has come back in time to kill some scientists, but the exact details of what the Visitor is trying to prevent from happening remains elusive still.

The Visitor #4 is written by Paul Levitz and features artist MJ Kim, colorist Ulises Arreola, and letterer Simon Bowland. I previously wrote that “[the comic] follows the titular character as he’s trying to eliminate something that the Japanese scientists he’s hunting are working on and the UN Security agent Dauber assigned to protect them. Levitz keeps things entirely believable when the scientists keep frustrating Dauber’s efforts to keep them safe by insisting on their secrecy as they all underestimate the Visitor.” It’s still true. I’m leaving it here because I don’t need to update the summary from the second to the third issue. Or the third to the fourth, really.

I enjoyed this issue more than the previous two; further information on the backstory to the Visitor was very welcome, as was some clarification as to his more than human qualities. The art of Kim with Arreola’s coloring is stronger this issue than the last; the action was kinetic fast and exciting. Watching the Visitor escape helicopters was a joy as the artistic team’s work would have made for an excellent live action sequence.

After the slight slump of the previous issue, The Visitor #4 restores my faith in the series. It’s still not the best thing I’ve read this week, but I sure enjoyed the book. It’s a fun science fiction romp that touches on various different aspects of the question: what would you do to change the future? In the case of the Visitor, murder isn’t out of the question. So whatever he’s trying to change must be something big – and I’m really curious as to what that is.

Story: Paul Levitz Art: MJ Kim
Color: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Visitor #4 (of 6)

THE VISITOR #4 (of 6)

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by SIMON BOWLAND
Cover A by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover B by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Cover C by NETHO DIAZ
Preorder Cover by TONCI ZONJIC

How many people would you kill to change the world?
The Visitor continues to strike from the shadows, but what kind of change is he killing to create?

THE VISITOR #4 (of 6)

Review: The Visitor #3

The Visitor #3

The Visitor’s origin revealed in The Visitor #3!?

As the unkillable assassin continues hunting his targets, the fate of the future begins to come into focus.

I really wanted to love The Visitor #3 because the first two issues were fun reads. This is as well, but less so than the first. If I’m honest, the plot feels like it’s dragging its feel here; we had a few pages revealing some backstory for the Visitor, and aside from the scenes showing what the Visitor is capable of, the rest seems a rehash of most of the previous conversations had between the same characters that effectively boils down to “we’re so smart doing this [unrevealed] thing right under their noses! We have to stay here [inexplicably] so protect us!”

I’m ready to know a little more about anything and everything within this story. There’s more treading water than furthering the plot beyond what we’ve already seen in the past two issues.

The Visitor #3 is written by Paul Levitz and features artist MJ Kim, colorist Ulises Arreola, and letterer Simon Bowland. I previously wrote that “[the comic] follows the titular character as he’s trying to eliminate something that the Japanese scientists he’s hunting are working on and the UN Security agent Dauber assigned to protect them. Levitz keeps things entirely believable when the scientists keep frustrating Dauber’s efforts to keep them safe by insisting on their secrecy as they all underestimate the Visitor.” It’s still true. I’m leaving it here because I don’t need to update the summary from the second to the third issue.

I still enjoyed the issue. The backstory to the Visitor was certainly interesting. The art of Kim with Arreola’s coloring is for the most part very solid. I say for the most part because there were hiccups that aren’t worth highlighting. The way the pair capture the fluidity of the Visitor’s movements amidst the flying bullets seems effortless. The art really stands out when you notice how the other characters seem to struggle to catch the Visitor. It’s very much showing the excellence by focusing on the mundane.

Despite my misgivings about the shallowness of the plot, this was still a very enjoyable book. I’d be lying if I said The Visitor #3 is a bad comic. It’s just not as good as the first two issues in the series. Hopefully, it’s the weakest of the series, because if this is as bad as The Visitor gets then I’d consider this a solid miniseries that’s well worth picking up.

Needless to say, where the plot falls a little in The Visitor #3 the comic is still a strong entry in the series. The art remains top notch. There’s enough here that you won’t feel robbed when it comes to the plot progression. It just feels like the comic is longer than it needs to be.

Story: Paul Levitz Art: MJ Kim
Color: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Visitor #3 (of 6)

THE VISITOR #3 (of 6)

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by SIMON BOWLAND
Cover A by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover B by ALAN QUAH
Cover C by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
Pre-Order Edition Cover by ADAM POLLINA
On sale FEBRUARY 19 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The Visitor’s origin revealed!?

As the unkillable assassin continues hunting his targets, the fate of the future begins to come into focus.

THE VISITOR #3 (of 6)

Review: The Visitor #2

The Visitor #2

Chaos strikes the Big Apple as The Visitor targets a group of revolutionary international scientists in The Visitor #2!

After having read two issues in the series I’m still not sure if the Visitor is the protagonist or antagonist. To be honest I’m really enjoying that side of the comic. Leaving the title character with an air of mystique regarding his motivations, and whether we want him stopped or not, is a refreshing change of pace. It also adds to the re-readability of the comic. Once you know what the Visitor is trying to do, what he’s trying to stop, it’ll add another layer to the comic’s story. A story that beings to reveal more layers in the back half of the second issue.

The Visitor #2 penned by Paul Levitz follows the titular character as he’s trying to eliminate something that the Japanese scientists he’s hunting are working on and the UN Security agent Dauber assigned to protect them. Levitz keeps things entirely believable when the scientists keep frustrating Dauber’s efforts to keep them safe by insisting on their secrecy as they all underestimate the Visitor.

I feel like Levitz has something to say here regarding our own assumptions of government agencies, the police or any other group of people who are supposed to protect us – but can only do so much when they only have half, or less, of the full picture. I could be wrong, of course, but it’s an interesting subtext within the comic that I’m enjoying.

It’s one more thing that’s got me wanting to come back to the comic next month.

Over the course of this book, from the first page to the last, MJ Kim‘s artwork is great. There’s controlled energy where there needs to be and a quiet stillness in certain parts. It’s often through Kim’s artwork that we get most of our insights on the Visitor’s character, several pages before Levitz starts to peel back the layers. Kim’s body language, the way the Visitor hangs his head or the shape of his hands will speak to you in ways you won’t necessarily expect until you read the following pages and you realize that nothing is quite as surprising because Kim’s geared you up for it. But the revelations are never spoiled because of the art, merely enhanced by it.

Whenever it comes to introducing a new character who shares the name of a much older one like the Visitor, there’s always the fine line to walk between homage and facsimile. Levitz has balanced the character on the knife’s edge. For those who have read and are familiar with the 90’s character then you’ll find a little bit of the old character still within the new, but there’s already more than enough here for the new Visitor to stand alone as his own person.

Of course, if you never read the original, then the above is a moot point, and all you need to worry about is that this is a cracking yarn from start to finish.

Story: Paul Levitz Art: MJ Kim
Color: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Visitor #2 (of 6)

THE VISITOR #2 (of 6)

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by SIMON BOWLAND
Cover A by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover B by JON DAVIS-HUNT
Cover C by BECCA CAREY
Preorder Edition Cover by JEREMY HAUN
On sale JANUARY 22 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Chaos strikes the Big Apple as The Visitor targets a group of revolutionary international scientists!

THE VISITOR #2 (of 6)

Paul Levitz and Simon Fraser Explore Life After Death in Unfinished Business

From comics legend, New York Times Best-Selling Graphic Books writer and Eisner Award Hall of Fame inductee Paul Levitz and artist Simon Fraser comes Unfinished Business, a tantalizing original graphic novel of dark mystery and magical realism that examines the relationship between science and society through the lenses of multiple religions.

A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar . . . a would-be lead-in to an amusing anecdote were it not for the three being dead. But this is no zombie apocalypse. The clerics have a bit of unfinished business tied to their demise that heaven needs them to address, if they can. But what is the reward for unraveling the riddle of their deaths—is it life, afterlife, or oblivion? Maybe they can ask the smiling bartender, who just might be…?

Unfinished Business goes on sale in comic shops June 10, 2020, and in bookstores on June 23, 2020.

Unfinished Business

Review: The Visitor #1

The Visitor #1

Unstoppable. Untraceable. Unkillable. This is how he changes the world…
Who is the Visitor? Why are the leaders of the world terrified of him? And will they live long enough to find out? It all kicks off in The Visitor #1.

It’s ironic in some ways, but I’ve just started trying to track down the original Visitor series published in the late 90’s, long before Valiant relaunched its universe in 2012. That Visitor, who obviously shares a name with this one and little else (that we’ve been told, anyway) was an alien from the far reaches of space who was trying to help Make Things Better on Earth. Although his identity was revealed eventually, on the off chance that the same beat will be revisited here. I think it’s unlikely, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. If you really want to know, you’re reading this on a device with Google…

The Visitor #1 barely features the title character, showing him primarily in shadows or a hooded trench coat, instead it focuses on a group of scientists with dubious motivations as they try to deploy and/or test a new technology that may or may not improve the lives of the general populace.

Paul Levitz deliberately leaves the Visitor a mystery in his own book, giving him precious little screen time as the story unfolds. It’s an interesting choice to focus less on the title character and more on those whose lives he’s disrupting, but it certainly sets the stage for the moment that we’re able to glean some more information about the character – who he is and what his motivations are – that will hopefully start coming out next issue.

If nothing else, it’s already got me hooked.

Speaking of hooks, MJ Kim‘s artwork is on point in this comic. New York is always a fun city for comics, and the skyscrapers in the background are lovingly rendered. Kim’s panel layout suits this story wonderfully, and combined with the coloring work of Diego Rodriguez, well then you’ve got a brilliant looking book with some fantastic story pacing.

You don’t need to be super familiar with the original Visitor (actually, you don’t even need to know there was an original Visitor), or even the start of what promises to be a thrilling ride.

Story: Paul Levitz Art: MJ Kim
Color: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Visitor #1 (of 6)

THE VISITOR #1 (of 6)

Written by PAUL LEVITZ
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by SIMON BOWLAND
Cover A by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover B by RAÚL ALLÉN
Cover C by MICHAEL WALSH
Preorder Edition Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Blank Cover Also Available
On sale DECEMBER 18 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Unstoppable. Untraceable. Unkillable. This is how he changes the world…
Who is the Visitor? Why are the leaders of the world terrified of him? And will they live long enough to find out?

THE VISITOR #1 (of 6)

The Visitor arrives in the Valiant Universe this December courtesy of Paul Levitz and MJ Kim

Who is the Visitor and why are the leaders of the world terrified of him? This December, industry icon and Eisner Hall of Famer Paul Levitz and Russ Manning Award-nominated artist MJ Kim unleash The Visitor from Valiant Entertainment!

The Visitor #1 (of 5), the first chapter of the jaw-dropping limited series, goes on sale December 18th, 2019, featuring colors by Diego Rodriguez, letters by Simon Bowland, and covers by Amilcar PinnaRaùl AllénMichael Walsh, and Kenneth Rocafort.

The Visitor
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