Tag Archives: rachelle rosenberg

Review: Power Pack #2

Power Pack #2

Within a few pages of Power Pack #2, I found myself laughing. The comic delivers a fun spin on the rather serious issue of kids under the age of 21 being superheroes, part of the “Outlawed” storyline running through various series. But, this one does so with intelligence and spin that fits the personality of the team.

Written by Ryan North, Power Pack #2 does a solid job of balancing being a part of an “event” storyline and having its own voice. Like the first issue, it’s folded into the story as opposed to it being an event the characters are plopped into. With the second issue opening, the team has been surrounded by C.R.A.D.L.E. who’s ready to arrest them for breaking the law. While you’d expect the confrontation to turn into a fight and then the kids running, North handles it in a very unique and interesting way. The kids show off their intelligence and attitude delivering what feels like a solid and satisfying end to the situation.

Ryan peppers the issue with laughs as the kids have to find a mentor so they can continue to do good. The comic is filled with a series of short encounters as they attempt to recruit one, each resulting in laughs. The comic is funny. Very funny. I found myself sporting a smile throughout and literally laughing out loud multiple times. There’s a cute, fun, playful sense of it all and again North has me longing for this to all continue for a long time.

North is helped by Nico Leon who handles the art and Rachelle Rosenberg who does the colors. Travis Lanham handles the lettering. The art helps nail the jokes as many are as much the visuals as they are the dialogue. The body language, the facial expressions, the lingering of a kid, it all comes together to perfect the delivery. The art and lettering as well help convey a youthful enthusiasm that makes it all really fun. That’s the big thing about this issue, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun.

Power Pack #2 is an event tie-in done right. It doesn’t get dragged down by its constraints and instead uses it to really make its characters stand out and just have fun with it. The issue tackled is a potentially serious one, a tone that doesn’t match the team. So, the creative team keeps things in the Power Pack’s court making sure they’re front and center and the event is just another storyline.

Story: Ryan North Art: Nico Leon
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Preview: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Watch the Creation of Charles Soule, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Will Sliney’s Hell to Pay live!

Bestselling author Charles Soule and artist Will Sliney will combine the immediacy and excitement of Twitch live streaming with the comics creation process, as they create their upcoming Image series Hell to Pay live for fans around the world.

The critically acclaimed Sliney, along with colorist Rachelle Rosenberg will take to Twitch live stream to draw and color the pages for Hell to Pay #1—and with Soule joining them to workshop design and story elements, it will be the first Image comic to be created live and in real-time, opening up the process for audiences on every level. Live streams will occur regularly on Sliney’s Twitch channel as well as Rosenberg’s.

The live streams documenting the creation of the upcoming adventure/fantasy series will showcase Sliney’s technique, give a sneak peek into the comic making craft, and provide fans with an opportunity to order a collectible first printing of the series—months before its official launch in Summer 2021. 

Best described as Indiana Jones meets Hellboy, this supernatural story will provide a punch of derring-do and paranormal intrigue. We follow Maia and Sebastian Stone, a married couple working as indentured servants to the mysterious Shrouded College, tasked to use various magical artifacts and abilities to track down and remove from earthly circulation six hundred and sixty-six coins of the currency used in Hell… qurrakh… aka the Devil’s Dollar. Each coin can buy the services of a demon, and they have wreaked havoc across the globe ever since a damned soul escaped Hell centuries ago with a sack of them over his shoulder. Maia and Sebastian are on the cusp of retrieving the last few coins when everything falls apart. Their planned life together, free from their debts to the Shrouded College, suddenly seems very distant indeed, and the world now hangs in the balance.

Hell to Pay #1 will be available at comic book shops in Summer 2021.

Hell to Pay #1

Review: Power Pack #1

Power Pack #1

Power Pack is a team that’s always been the “guest stars” to me. I remember reading some of their adventures when I was really young. A “special message” comic stands out, a simple public service announcement in comic form. I think the topic was staying off of drugs. It was the 1980s and that was a pretty common thing then. Then again, brushing my teeth as a topic also feels like a thing. The 80s were weird. Over the decades, my exposure has generally been limited to the characters appearing in other comics. But, after years in that role, the team is back in the spotlight with Power Pack #1. They’ve also stepped into a very different Marvel landscape.

Writer Ryan North delivers a fun start as the team is back together after their various adventures. They’re also struggling with what to do next. While there might be more enjoyment for those who have kept up with the characters, Power Pack #1 does a fantastic job of laying things out so you don’t need to. There’s references to aging up and space adventures but for this comic, those are more explanations for long-time fans than anything that impacts the story.

Instead, the story keeps things focused and simple. Through an amazing comic within a comic, new readers learn the history of the characters and team as the Power Pack struggle with whether they should tell their parents their secret. The interactions, the humor, it all comes together for a first issue that’s fun, funny, adorable, and has me wanting to come back for more and more. This feels like kids being kids at times and North nails their voices down when it comes to that.

What North also does is throw them directly into the frying pan. The “Outlawed” storyline has been a mish-mash of various series and impacts this one too. It doesn’t feel backed in at all but rather organic, something so many event tie-ins do not. “Outlawed” has underage superheroes banned unless they register and get a mentor to be trained. What’s not explained is why the Power Pack is completely unaware of the law but easily can be explained that they just don’t watch television or read the newspaper. But, no matter the reason, it works and works well for this miniseries.

The entertainment value of it all is helped by Nico Leon‘s art. Joined by Rachelle Rosenberg on color and Travis Lanham‘s lettering, the comic has a youthful look to it. There’s an style about it that fits the kids at the center of it all. The colors pop and the excitement of the character’s at times pop off of the page. There’s also an interesting use of panels with the more mundane family life framed in squares and rectangles and the action featuring more angled panels and images that break them. There’s just something very unique in how it’s all presented and the art pops.

Power Pack #1 is a fun start to the series. There’s a youthful energy about it befitting the characters and it’s hard to not smile while reading it. There’s so much to love about this first issue and it already has me hoping for more after this run is up. Power Pack #1 is exactly what comics should be, a hell of a lot of fun.

Story: Ryan North Art: Nico Leon
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.4 Overall: Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Power Pack #1 (of 5)

Power Pack #1 (of 5)

(W) Ryan North (A) Nico Leon (CA) Ryan Stegman
Rated T
In Shops: Nov 25, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Power Pack is back! Katie, Julie, Jack and Alex Power have been ssuper-heroing since they were learning to tie their own shoes. It’s been ages since they fought side by side as a family, but a special occasion – and an old grudge – is about to put the gang back together. There’s just one teeny tiny hiccup: a brand-new law restricting underage super heroes! But surely, if the fate of all New York City is at stake, the powers that be will make an exception? Keep your fingers crossed as the Power siblings fight for their right to save the world!

Power Pack #1 (of 5)

Todd Nauck and Rachelle Rosenberg’s King in Black #1 Cover Features Every Symbiote Ever!

On December 2nd, the god of symbiotes arrives in King in Black! The definitive chapter in Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s groundbreaking run on Venom, King in Black will drastically alter everything readers thought they knew about symbiotes.

In anticipation of this monumental event, every known symbiote in the Marvel Universe, many of which will play major roles in the upcoming saga, have all been brought together for the first time on an extraordinary variant cover by master artists Todd Nauck and Rachelle Rosenberg.

From the most popular like Venom and Carnage to fan favorites like Venomsaurus Rex and Anti-Venom to Knull himself, this legendary piece features each and every symbiote that’s made its mark on the Marvel Universe, making it a must-have for True Believers everywhere.

Don’t miss your chance to pick up this historic cover for yourself when King in Black #1 arrives at your local comic shop on December 2nd.

King in Black #1 Todd Nauck variant cover

Review: Empyre: Captain America #2

Empyre: Captain America #2
Empyre: Captain America #2

Phillip Kennedy Johnson gave his Captain America Empyre tie-in one of the toughest parts of any global conflict to deal with: American military policy. Ol’ Cap had his hands full in issue one trying to convince high ranking officers of providing support to the other countries of the world also fighting the Cotati. America refused, even when told they could inspire international allyship. Empyre: Captain America #2 is an exploration of that decision’s consequences.

Illustrated by Ariel Olivetti, Empyre: Captain America #2 continues to keep the bar high as a tie-in comic. It’s a great example of what these types of comics should be: short incursions into the event that can result in some fun worldbuilding mechanics. To use a music metaphor, good tie-in books can be rip-roaring guitar solos to the hit song that is the event. Johnson and Olivetti’s Empyre book is precisely that.

What makes this comic an essential read within the larger event is that its discussion on the politics of war on Earth feel epic and high stakes. Should Captain America fail at bringing together the international community to fight the Cotati as a singular force, Earth will have its hands full with an enemy that will never fall to the efforts of an individual country.

Captain America makes this point throughout. He speaks to soldiers and world leaders on the dangers of putting too much weight on heroics and not enough on the soldiers and people that are involved in every aspect of war. In one particular instance, Captain America tells a story about a Nazi ambush during World War II that incapacitated him and forced his fellow brothers in arms to take lead and salvage what they could out of the situation. Half of those soldiers died so that Captain America could live.

Empyre: Captain America #2

These types of stories help explain the comic’s focus on military action and how it can be used for good. It also falls in line with Empyre’s main story, where we see the idea of heroism clashing with the idea of practicality. Should heroes put their lives on the line when a less dangerous approach exists? What does this say about war? What should we be asking of soldiers when faced with the extreme realities of combat?

Olivetti’s art does an amazing job of showing the Cotati as a lethal invading force that is undoubtedly alien but also eerily similar to Earth’s vegetation. If the story were about our own vegetation rising up and trying to eradicate humanity, it would still work. The Cotati can infect humans with living seeds that turn them into Cotati themselves. For these sequences, Olivetti takes a very gruesome body horror approach that adds to the lethality of the invaders.

Empyre: Captain America #2 is an impressive exploration of the Cotati invasion and its forays into military policy basically hold up a mirror to America’s Army and how it could be doing more than it usually does.

Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Art: Ariel Olivetti
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0
Recommendation: It’s Captain America. Why wouldn’t you buy it?

Review: Star Wars Doctor Aphra #1

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1

The new volume of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (Which received a surprise digital release on Star Wars Day) combines the worlds of space adventure and academia into one entertaining package. The elevator pitch for Doctor Aphra is that she is Indiana Jones in space, but a queer woman of color. She also has a more dubious moral compass than Dr. Jones and is one of the best additions to the Star Wars canon since Marvel took over their comics license.

Alyssa Wong, Marika Cresta, and Rachelle Rosenberg do right by Aphra and focus on the archaeological side of her character as she teams up with a pair of female archaeologists to find the Rings of Vaale, which have great power, are cursed, and may not even exist. There’s an also an undercurrent of the conflict between intellectual curiosity and unbridled wealth in the comic’s antagonist, Tagge, a spoiled rich kid that thinks he can buy anything or anyone even an ex-tenured archaeology professor. But Doctor Aphra #1 isn’t all serious stuff. There’s also a healthy dose of gun play and intrigue to make the comic an even more enjoyable experience.

I haven’t read a Doctor Aphra comic since Kieron Gillen, her co-creator, left her solo title, but an action-packed cold open drew me into the story before the title page. Seeing Aphra in a snowtrooper disguise pulling double-crosses at Echo Base during the conclusion of the Battle of Hoth is pure fun and grounds the narrative in a time where the Empire thinks it has the Rebel Alliance on the ropes. Visually, Cresta and Rosenberg contribute smooth artwork to go with Wong’s quips, and it’s easy to follow every blaster bolt or sniper shot as well as surprise AT-AT’s. (It’s Hoth, what do you expect.)

In a bigger storytelling picture, Alyssa Wong and Marika Cresta resist the temptation to decompress and pad out scenes in Doctor Aphra #1. They provide the “great hits” of an action sequence, focusing on the coolest or most impactful moment like spending a single panel on Aphra and her crew’s flight from Hoth (Complete with speed lines.) after they spot the aforementioned AT-AT’s.

This economy of narrative extends to the quieter scenes too with Aphra, her former colleague Eustacia Okka, and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed grad student/fangirl Detta Yao laying out their character motivations and agreeing to team up to go after the Rings of Vaale in a single page. Aphra wants money, Eustacia wants her faculty position back, and Detta wants to write her dissertation and also has a kind of true believer connection to the Rings. Marika Cresta’s art is really what sells this pivotal page as she portrays Aphra as a pragmatist and poker player maneuvering to the side while she draws Detta with more open body language.

Alyssa Wong has done an excellent job crafting a core for these characters to build on throughout the series. This goes along with their distinct quirks like Aphra’s flexible approach to morality, Detta’s idealistic approach to the field of archaeology and academia in general, and Eustacia having a “TA” droid, which is this comic’s best joke. They are characters that I can really root for to accomplish their career goals and find the Rings, which will make their inevitable betrayal or moral compromise that much more painful. (This is usually the end result of running with Aphra; that or bumping into a certain Sith apprentice.)

Doctor Aphra #1 has all the hallmarks of a good Star Wars Expanded Universe story as it uses this rich world to tell an adventure story bursting with fun art from Marika Cresta and Rachelle Rosenberg and characters that are easy to connect to. Alyssa Wong also touches on deeper themes like faith and doubt and the connection between money and the academy. Fingers crossed that we see what an Outer Rim university tenure board review is like.

Story: Alyssa Wong Art: Marika Cresta
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg Letters: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.2 Art: 7.8 Overall: 8.0  Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleTFAWZeus Comics

Review: Star Wars Doctor Aphra #1

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1

The new volume of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (Which received a surprise digital release on Star Wars Day) combines the worlds of space adventure and academia into one entertaining package. The elevator pitch for Doctor Aphra is that she is Indiana Jones in space, but a queer woman of color. She also has a more dubious moral compass than Dr. Jones and is one of the best additions to the Star Wars canon since Marvel took over their comics license.

Alyssa Wong, Marika Cresta, and Rachelle Rosenberg do right by Aphra and focus on the archaeological side of her character as she teams up with a pair of female archaeologists to find the Rings of Vaale, which have great power, are cursed, and may not even exist. There’s an also an undercurrent of the conflict between intellectual curiosity and unbridled wealth in the comic’s antagonist, Tagge, a spoiled rich kid that thinks he can buy anything or anyone even an ex-tenured archaeology professor. But Doctor Aphra #1 isn’t all serious stuff. There’s also a healthy dose of gun play and intrigue to make the comic an even more enjoyable experience.

I haven’t read a Doctor Aphra comic since Kieron Gillen, her co-creator, left her solo title, but an action-packed cold open drew me into the story before the title page. Seeing Aphra in a snowtrooper disguise pulling double-crosses at Echo Base during the conclusion of the Battle of Hoth is pure fun and grounds the narrative in a time where the Empire thinks it has the Rebel Alliance on the ropes. Visually, Cresta and Rosenberg contribute smooth artwork to go with Wong’s quips, and it’s easy to follow every blaster bolt or sniper shot as well as surprise AT-AT’s. (It’s Hoth, what do you expect.)

In a bigger storytelling picture, Alyssa Wong and Marika Cresta resist the temptation to decompress and pad out scenes in Doctor Aphra #1. They provide the “great hits” of an action sequence, focusing on the coolest or most impactful moment like spending a single panel on Aphra and her crew’s flight from Hoth (Complete with speed lines.) after they spot the aforementioned AT-AT’s.

This economy of narrative extends to the quieter scenes too with Aphra, her former colleague Eustacia Okka, and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed grad student/fangirl Detta Yao laying out their character motivations and agreeing to team up to go after the Rings of Vaale in a single page. Aphra wants money, Eustacia wants her faculty position back, and Detta wants to write her dissertation and also has a kind of true believer connection to the Rings. Marika Cresta’s art is really what sells this pivotal page as she portrays Aphra as a pragmatist and poker player maneuvering to the side while she draws Detta with more open body language.

Alyssa Wong has done an excellent job crafting a core for these characters to build on throughout the series. This goes along with their distinct quirks like Aphra’s flexible approach to morality, Detta’s idealistic approach to the field of archaeology and academia in general, and Eustacia having a “TA” droid, which is this comic’s best joke. They are characters that I can really root for to accomplish their career goals and find the Rings, which will make their inevitable betrayal or moral compromise that much more painful. (This is usually the end result of running with Aphra; that or bumping into a certain Sith apprentice.)

Doctor Aphra #1 has all the hallmarks of a good Star Wars Expanded Universe story as it uses this rich world to tell an adventure story bursting with fun art from Marika Cresta and Rachelle Rosenberg and characters that are easy to connect to. Alyssa Wong also touches on deeper themes like faith and doubt and the connection between money and the academy. Fingers crossed that we see what an Outer Rim university tenure board review is like.

Story: Alyssa Wong Art: Marika Cresta
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg Letters: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.2 Art: 7.8 Overall: 8.0  Recommendation: Buy

Spy Island #1 Sells Out Before Its April Release

Spy Island #1, the Bermuda Triangle spy-mystery miniseries from the Eisner-nominated team Chelsea Cain, Lia Miternique, Elise McCall, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna sells out ahead of its on-sale date. Dark Horse Comics has announced a second printing, featuring an all-new cover by co-creator Lia Miternique.

The highly anticipated dark-humored espionage-adventure is told from the point of view of wry super spy Nora Freud, and takes place on a tropical island where surfers are more likely to be attacked by mermaids than by sharks, and cheap super villains take advantage of the deep discounts during the off-season.

Spy Island #1 arrives in your local comic shop April 1, 2020 featuring a main cover and variant cover by Lia Miternique. Dark Horse Comics will publish the new, second printing variant of issue 1, featuring an all new cover by Lia Miternique on April 8th, in order to meet the high demand from comic book stores and readers.

Spy Island #1

Review: Annihilation: Scourge

The Cancerverse has invaded the Negative Zone and Earth’s heroes must gather to stop the spread before it breaks into their own universe.

Annihilation: Scourge collects Annihilation: Scourge Alpha, Fantastic Four, Nova, Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, and Omega.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg, Michael Moreci, Christos Gage, Dan Abnett
Art: Juanan Ramirez, Cian Tomey, Ibraim Roberson, Alberto Albuquerque, Diego Olortegui, Paul Davidson, Manuel Garcia
Color: Federico Blee, Carlos Lopez, Jay David Ramos, Erick Arciniega, Matt Milla, Rachelle Rosenberg
Ink: Juan Vlasco, Cam Smith, Scott Hanna
Letterer: Cory Petit, Joe Sabino, Travis Lanham, Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 24! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/39RJ8Ey
Kindle/comiXology: https://amzn.to/38Ns29i
TFAW: https://shrsl.com/25zrw
Zeus Comics: https://www.zeuscomics.com/products/69085/annihilation-scourge-tp?tag=graphicpolicy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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