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Review: Psi-Lords #8

Psi-Lords #8

Our cosmic heroes face a terrible choice… as one of the Quartet pays the ultimate price in Psi-Lords #8!

Psi-Lords #8 is the final issue (for now, hopefully) of this eight-issue run that may or may not have ended before it’s time. A shame, because this was a great read across each issue.

So what’s the series about? It opens up with four humans in a prison of sorts. As they come to awareness, they’ve seemingly have lost all sense of themselves. They discover they have superpowers and escaped with the help of a mysterious stranger. They find themselves among some pacifist cat-like aliens and defended them against another alien, a Widower, by killing him. Somehow they gain the incredible team name of The Astro Friends. Now, they’re about to face the consequences of those actions in what they assume to be a court of law. That basically amounts to a trial by combat. They fight for control of the asteroid hurtling toward the Earth that also happens to be the prison of a potentially horrific space god.

Psi-Lords #8 dedicates almost the entire comic to whether the Astro Friends are able to complete the mission they were sent on prior to losing their memory. That’s to divert the asteroid from hitting Earth in a cataclysmic event. Fred Van Lente wraps the story up in such a way that unless you’re specifically told that Psi-Lords was to be an ongoing series, you’d always have expected it to end as an eight-issue mini. Maybe I’m wrong, and it was always going to be a mini, but regardless Van Lente’s pacing is perfectly balanced. He’s able to add weight to the story that despite us knowing the outcome, there isn’t any less tension. Yes, we know Earth will (more than likely) be saved, but how and at what cost?

Throughout the series, much has been made about the lack of memory for the Astro Friends. Van Lente caps that thread off with a question I’ve been pondering since finishing the story; is who you were indicative of who you are? The Astro Friends probably aren’t the same people they were when they left Earth. They’re able to forge an entirely new path for themselves. I think the question is every bit as potent in the real world as it is in comics. I’m not going to delve into the question here, because it’s neither the time nor the place, but any time a comic leaves me with a thought that lingers like that, I know I’ll be reading it several times.

At this point, it should come as no surprise that Renato Guedes‘ art is simply stunning. This is another visual delight spread across the surprisingly colorful vastness of space. This comic never once feels like you’re not getting your money’s worth from the art alone.

Psi-Lords #8 has the task of closing out the series after eight issues whilst still leaving enough for readers to want more. That makes it feel more like the end of the second chapter to an as yet untold story than an actual ending. It does leave off at a satisfying place, which is all I can hope for in a series that ended earlier than I hoped it would.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Renato Guedes Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Psi-Lords #8

PSI-LORDS #8

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by RENATO GUEDES
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by KANO
Cover B by STACEY LEE
Cover C by ZU ORZU
Preorder Cover by SCOTT FORBES
On sale JANUARY 8 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Our cosmic heroes face a terrible choice… as one of the Quartet pays the ultimate price!

PSI-LORDS #8

Review: Psi-Lords #7

Psi-Lords #7

Normally this part I’d put the preview text to give you an idea as to the content of Psi-Lords #7. The preview text for this comic is a pretty giant single line spoiler. I’m not overly fond of pasting that here. Text like that tends to either draw you in or turn you away. For me, it’d be a turn off if I was interested in the book and saw something like that. So, I’ll leave it out this month. 

That said, the preview text isn’t the comic, and you’re not here to read a 500-word rant about spoilers.

Psi-Lords #7 marks the first time in the series that we see a tie-in to the rest of the Valiant universe. The comic guest stars arguably the flagship character of the Valiant Universe; X-O Manowar. C(contrary to my rant on spoilers above, this is revealed on the first page.

Four humans come to awareness on an asteroid/alien planet. They discover they have superpowers and escaped with the help of a mysterious stranger. They find themselves among some pacifist cat-like aliens and defended them against another alien, a Widower, by killing him. Somehow they gain the incredible team name of The Astro Friends. Now, they’re about to face the consequences of those actions in what they assume to be a court of law – of some kind, which basically amounts to a trail by combat as they fight for control of the asteroid hurtling toward the Earth.

Psi-Lords #7 splits time between Earth and space, which has the effect of adding gravitas to the story we haven’t really seen before as the weight of the Astro Friends potential failure is a lot more immediate than it ever has been before. It’s a story with weight all of a sudden, one that has veered away from the exploratory early issues as the characters discover who they are and what they can do. Fred Van Lente is a brilliant writer and shows how well he can balance multiple plates in the air whilst giving ample storytime to each in a way that doesn’t diminish from the impact of the two settings.

Renato Guedes is, once again, simply stunning here. After seven issues, the artist has never missed a beat in demonstrating why he’s one of the best in the business. This is an absolute visual masterpiece.

Psi-Lords #7 is another awesome comic book; a story that builds upon the previous issues without ever overburdening new readers – a delicate place to balance any story, but Van Lente has found the sweet spot here. Psi-Lords has captured me in a way I never expected it too; but when you’ve got a comic that’s as exemplary as this, that should come as no surprise.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Renato Guedes Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Psi-Lords #7

Psi-Lords #7

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by RENATO GUEDES
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by ARIEL OLIVETTI
Cover B by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Cover C by JUAN DOE
Preorder Edition Cover by SCOTT FORBES
On sale DECEMBER 4 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

By the end of this issue…SOMEONE WILL DIE!

Psi-Lords #7

Review: Psi-Lords #6

Psi-Lords #6

Witness a cosmic trial by combat… your monthly dose of surreal sci-fi fun has landed in Psi-Lords #6!

The above text, part of the preview/selling point within the review email is actually remarkably accurate. Not the first half, specifically, but the latter; “your monthly dose of surreal sci-fi fun” is perhaps the best way to describe this book in a seven-word sound bite. It doesn’t quite do the book justice, but then that is arguably a positive thing for those who pick the book up.

I never really know where to start when talking about Psi-Lords. Do I start with the admission that it took me a couple of issues to fully get into the series? Do I start with how much I’ve been enjoying the series? All of it since I reread the earlier comics with new eyes. Do I start with how I can’t quite believe how good the art is in each and every issue?

Or do I start with a summary of the previous arc if you’re a new reader and want to jump on as the next chapter begins?

I think I’ll do that.

Four humans come to awareness on an asteroid/alien planet. They discover they have superpowers and escaped with the help of a mysterious stranger. They find themselves among some pacifist cat-like aliens and defended them against another alien, a Widower, by killing him. Somehow they gain the incredible team name of The Astro Friends. Now, they’re about to face the consequences of those actions in what they assume to be a court of law – of some kind.

The plot of Psi-Lords #6 feels a lot less like the procedural crime drama of the previous issue. It’s more in keeping with a Game Of Thrones-style trial by combat. It’s this free flowing ability of Fred Van Lente to transcend genres with each issue whilst keeping the story rooted in sci fi elements. Although the comic has a higher intensity than the previous issue, there’s still time to further the development of several characters within the action. Van Lente teases out the revelations about the four Astro Friends slowly yet meaningfully amidst the action – I’m not going to say that this is his best work yet, but I’d certainly rank it pretty high.

Of course, credit for the quality of this comic also deserves to be heaped upon the visuals. Renato Guedes is simply stunning here (again). Six issues in, and the artist has never missed a beat. This is an absolute visual masterpiece.

Psi-Lords #6 is an awesome comic book; a story that builds upon the previous five issues without ever overburdening new readers – a delicate place to balance any story, but Van Lente has found the sweet spot here. Psi-Lords has captured me in a way I never expected it too; but when you’ve got a comic that’s as exemplary as this, that should come as no surprise.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Renato Guedes Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Psi-Lords #6

PSI-LORDS #6

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by RENATO GUEDES
Cover A by ROD REIS
Cover B by AMILCAR PINNA
Cover C by RAÚL ALLÉN
On sale NOVEMBER 13 | 32 pages | $3.99 US | T+

“If you love great sci-fi action, a good mystery and/or beautiful art, this book is basically all you need wrapped up in a tidy little package.” – Comic Watch

Witness a cosmic trial by combat… your monthly dose of surreal sci-fi fun has landed!

PSI-LORDS #6

Review: Psi-Lords #5

Psi-Lords #5

RISE UP! Can our space prisoners overthrow their alien captors in Psi-Lords #5?

The new story, “Conquest” starts here. But who will be conquered? Prison riots, secrets revealed, brand-new baddies, and more await the brave who read this.

I never really know where to start when talking about Psi-Lords. Do I start with the admission that it took me a couple of issues to fully get into the series? Do I start with how much I’ve been enjoying the series? All of it since I reread the earlier comics with new eyes. Do I start with how I can’t quite believe how good the art is in each and every issue?

Or do I start with a summary of the previous arc if you’re a new reader and want to jump on as the next chapter begins?

I think I’ll do that.

Four humans come to awareness on an asteroid/alien planet. They discover they have superpowers and escaped with the help of a mysterious stranger. They find themselves among some pacifist cat-like aliens and defended them against another alien, a Widower, by killing him. Somehow they gain the incredible team name of The Astro Friends. Now, they’re about to face the consequences of those actions.

The plot of Psi-Lords #5 feels a lot like a procedural crime drama with sci fi elements included more than a typical sci fi comic. It has moments of explosiveness, but for the most part feels like a much slower comic that allows Fred Van Lente‘s dialogue to enrich the characterizations of the four Astro Friends. The four human astronauts are essentially blank canvases, each one remembering different parts of their previous lives at some point, but never quite enough to discover who they are – only their initial mission; stop the asteroid colliding with Earth.

Where this comic truly shines, is with the visuals. Renato Guedes is simply stunning here. From the vast galactic visuals to the close up shots of the human faces as they react to the world around them. Frankly, even five issues in, I’m still stunned that we’re getting a comic that looks this good.

Psi-Lords #5 is an interesting read; a captivating story that serves as a bridge from one arc to the other surrounded by some utterly stunning visuals make for a must read comic for me. Which I find surprising because I usually steer away from comics set in space because they never quite grab me the same way as a comic set in the past or present day. And yet, this has found its way to becoming one of the most anticipated books on my pull list.

Go figure.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Renato Guedes Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Psi-Lords #5

PSI-LORDS #5

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by RENATO GUEDES
Cover A by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
Cover B by AL BARRIONUEVO
Cover C by RAÚL ALLÉN
Pre-Order Edition Cover by SCOTT FORBES
$3.99 | 32 pages | T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 16th

RISE UP! Can our space prisoners overthrow their alien captors?

The new story, “Conquest” starts here. But who will be conquered? Prison riots, secrets revealed, brand-new baddies, and more await the brave who read this.

PSI-LORDS #5

Review: Psi-Lords #4

Psi-Lords #4

Are the Psi-Lords real? Or are they just a myth? Get a first glimpse at the world beyond our own in Psi-Lords #4!

After suffering a dramatic loss, the cosmic Quartet continues on with their mission to honor the memory of a fallen ally.

The ultimate enemy revealed!

It was the third issue that sold me on this series after having some misgivings early on. Now I wonder what the hell I was smoking when reading the first couple issues that made me not enjoy them as much as I did after rereading them earlier this week. The answer is nothing, by the way – nor was I drinking anything. With the issue, Fred Van Lente reminded me why I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. The man knows what he’s doing. It’s far better to trust him than to dismiss a series under his direction after only an issue or two.

But where this comic truly blew me away was in the art. The first panel is one of the most detailed images I’ve seen in a comic. Honestly, it set the bar incredibly high, and Renato Guedes never once stumbles.

The art style in the comic sits perfectly alongside the story. Guedes brings to life the fantastical science fiction elements of Van Lente’s story with exquisite detail. The style that pays homage to the sci-fi movie posters in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s something to behold.

Van Lente blends story exposition into the comic effortlessly with a pace that left me wondering if the comic was at once too short and not long enough. There’s a lot of story in this issue, but I didn’t get enough to satisfy my need to keep reading… I can only see that as a good sign at this point, given how unsure I was after the first issue. The time spent getting to know the characters last issue lends additional weight to the events of Psi-Lords #4. That means that Van Lente can bring a solid action sequence back to the story. Which further means that Guedes can really let loose.

Psi-Lords #4 was easily the best issue so far, finally establishing this series as a sci-fi epic.

Story: Fred Van Lente
Art: Renato Guedes Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Psi-Lords #4

PSI-LORDS #4

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by RENATO GUEDES
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by RAHZZAH
Cover B by MICHAEL WALSH
Cover C by TULA LOTAY
Pre-Order Edition by PAULINA GANUCHEAU
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale SEPTEMBER 18th

Are the Psi-Lords real? Or are they just a myth? Get a first glimpse at the world beyond our own!

After suffering a dramatic loss, the cosmic Quartet continues on with their mission to honor the memory of a fallen ally.

The ultimate enemy revealed!

PSI-LORDS #4
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