Tag Archives: raul allen

Preview: The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #5 (of 6)

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TOYO HARADA #5 (of 6)

Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by CAFU, KANO
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by BUTCH GUICE
Cover B by RAÚL ALLÉN
Cover C by JACK HERBERT
$4.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On sale JULY 17th

Toyo Harada is dead! 

The long-lost secret of Harada’s estranged son revealed! Harada’s final allies stand strong as they protect their master’s vision!

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TOYO HARADA #5 (of 6)

Underrated: Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado (Redux)

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado


bs colorado.jpg

I wanted to revisit this book, because I’ve recently reread and still don’t think it gets the attention it deserves. This originally ran in July of 2018.

Jeff Lemire has been writing Bloodshot across various series for a long time. Longer, even, than I have been reading. Two days ago, I picked up the first volume of Bloodshot Reborn as despite reading from around the eighth issue of the series on, I had never actually read the opening to the series. The blurb on the back of this book gives you a pretty good idea of the book’s plot, but what it doesn’t do is tell you that this book is so much more than your typical superhero story.

Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit — a private contractor trafficking in violence — very well. Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving head-long into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

Picking up after the events of The Valiant (expect spoilers for that book if you haven’t read it), Colorado opens with a monologue telling you who Bloodshot was juxtaposed against images in stark contrast to who he is now. Lemire wastes no tie in showing you that a  man who was forced to kill for others has, seemingly, wasted his opportunity at a second chance for a normal life. Within a page or two, you’re hitting rock bottom with the man formerly known as Bloodshot. You can feel his guilt and shame emanating  from the paper as you turn the page, and not once do you blame him for what he’s going through.

This is a man who was broken, and who doesn’t know how to move past what he was. Who woke up from a nightmare only to understand that he was the monster, and now wears the question of whether he deserves to move on as an armour.

Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado is an origin story, of sorts, for Ray Garrison. Which means you don’t need to have read Bloodshot prior to picking up this comic (and, really, although the first series post Valiant relaunch is good, it pales in comparison to the more psychological horror take on the character that Lemire presents us with). This first volume in the series is a brilliant read; I devoured it in one sitting and immediately wanted to read more. I am a huge fan of Jeff Lemire, and think his take on the character is a vastly underrated one when looked at in the grand scheme of the comics read world.

Lemire’s take on Bloodshot is my favourite version of the character, but the opening of his story takes more from the horror genre than one would initially expect. The character’s inner turmoil is obvious and very clear to the reader as Ray Garrison struggles to discover who he is now that he’s no longer a monster; and his biggest fear, and one he must confront as the volume progresses, is that he’s nobody. Without the monster, he is a shell of a man.

Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado is a book I can’t speak highly enough of (were this a review I’d be giving it a solid 10; the art is every bit as impressive as the story), and it genuinely surprised me that I hadn’t heard much about it prior to reading it myself. Maybe that was part of the magic, that unexpected kick in the teeth, but this first volume of Bloodshot Reborn needs to find its place on your shelf – whether physical or digital.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Preview: Livewire Vol. 1: Fugitive TPB

LIVEWIRE VOL. 1: FUGITIVE TPB

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLEN, PATRICIA MARTÍN, SCOTT KOBLISH
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ 
Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE
Cover by ADAM POLLINA
On sale April 24th, 2019 
$9.99 | 112 pgs. | T+ | Full Color

For the first time, Livewire takes center stage!

Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable superpowered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blackout, causing untold devastation. With the whole world hunting her, what kind of hero will Livewire be…or will she be one at all? As with all Valiant Vol. 1 trade paperbacks, this is being offered at the special introductory price of $9.99.

Collects LIVEWIRE #1–4.

LIVEWIRE VOL. 1: FUGITIVE

Preview: Coda #11

Coda #11

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Matías Bergara
Colorist: Michael Doig
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Cover Artist:
    Main Cover: Matías Bergara
    Intermix Cover: Raúl Allén
Price: $3.99

As the armies of Dryfleet, Thundervale, and Ridgetown converge, the former bard Hum may be the only thing standing in the way of a new apocalypse.

Coda #11

Preview: Xena: Warrior Princess (2019) #1

Xena: Warrior Princess (2019) #1

writer: Vita Ayala
artist: Olympia Sweetman
covers: David Mack (A), Emanuela Lupacchino (B), Erica Henderson (C), Paulina Ganucheau (D), Raul Allen & Patricia Martin (E)
David Mack (RI-Virgin), Emanuela Lupacchino (RI-B/W), Erica Henderson (RI-Virgin), Paulina Ganucheau (RI-Virgin), Raul Allen & Patricia Martin (RI-Virgin)
FC | 32 pages | Action/Adventure | $3.99 | Teen+

In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings…a land in turmoil called out for a hero! She was XENA, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle! In this all-new series, writer VITA AYALA (Black Panther, Shuri, Wonder Woman, The Wilds) and OLYMPIA SWEETMAN throw Xena and her companion Gabrielle headfirst into a mysterious adventure. Can Xena discover the secrets of a village full of super-strong children, before jealous and petty GODS get involved?

Xena: Warrior Princess (2019) #1

Review: Livewire #4

Livewire #4

No friends, no teammates, no mentor…and soon, no hope!

Once, Livewire dreamed of devoting herself to the betterment of humankind. Now, her most steadfastly held ideals are about to be tested like never before as she struggles to stay alive in the clutches of a fearsome new foe! But who is the mysterious psiot mercenary hunting her…and more importantly, who do they work for?

After Livewire effectively turned off the electricity for pretty much the entire United States, Livewire #4 finally has our hero (or villain depending on which way you’re looking at it) acknowledging her actions during a fight scene that lasts the full issue, interspersed with flashbacks to highlight certain parts of the dialogue.

This is an issue that left me with mixed feelings; on one hand it had to happen so we could move on to the next phase of Livewire’s story, but on the other it fell a little flat after the previous issues.

Possibly because the fight scene was against a character I’m not familiar with other than his appearances in this series (whether that’s because I don’t remember him or he was only recently introduced I don’t know). It’s difficult to feel any real emotional weight with the confrontation that hadn’t already been played upon last issue, and so consequently the comic left me wanting more.

Raul Allen,and Patricia Martin are nothing if not consistent. The pair have a distinctive and very unique style to their work that brings the script to life. The focus on the chip in Livewire’s head builds to a wonderful visual payoff, and leads in to the culmination of the arc as a whole. The artistic team are on top form once again, remaining deliciously consistent in the quality as they veer from super detailed backgrounds to panels with a blank background that highlights the action within – especially with the focus on the bright blue items/things within the comic’s pages.

Livewire #4 takes a bit of a stumble along the way, but it’s still worth reading. So far, this book is the exception to the rule when it comes to the quality of the series, and as such I’m hopeful for a return to form with the next issue.

Story: Vita Ayala
Art: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 6.5 Art: 8.3 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Livewire #4

LIVEWIRE #4

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN & PATRICIA MARTÍN
Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE
Cover A by ADAM POLLINA
Cover B by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY
B/W Cover C by ADAM POLLINA
Pre-order Variant Cover by PAULINA GANUCHEAU
On sale March 13, 2019 

No friends, no teammates, no mentor…and soon, no hope!

Once, Livewire dreamed of devoting herself to the betterment of humankind. Now, her most steadfastly held ideals are about to be tested like never before as she struggles to stay alive in the clutches of a fearsome new foe! But who is the mysterious psiot mercenary hunting her…and more importantly, who do they work for?

Advance Preview: Livewire #4

LIVEWIRE #4

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN & PATRICIA MARTÍN
Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE
Cover A by ADAM POLLINA
Cover B by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY
B/W Variant Cover by ADAM POLLINA

No friends, no teammates, no mentor…and soon, no hope!

Once, Livewire dreamed of devoting herself to the betterment of humankind. Now, her most steadfastly held ideals are about to be tested like never before as she struggles to stay alive in the clutches of a fearsome new foe! But who is the mysterious psiot mercenary hunting her…and more importantly, who do they work for?

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale MARCH 13th

LIVEWIRE #4

Review: Livewire #3

On the run!

Livewire #3

Fleeing from more than just the law, Livewire’s about to find out whether she has the strength to survive on her own in a world that hates and fears her, with only her memories of better days to rely on…but if she’s not careful, even those can be snatched away by the mercenary hunting her down!

Livewire#3 deals much more directly with Livewire’s recent past, and how she perceives and justifies her turning off the power to the US.

After escaping the people who captured and implanted a power nullifier of some kind in her brain, Amanda McKee faces a threat from her past in the form of a character I genuinely don’t remember, but could easily have featured in a prior series (I didn’t look it up because it wasn’t relevant to me – everything I needed to know about the character and their relationship with Livewire was provided in this comic).

Although there’s a lot to unpack within this comic, the events within its pages probably happen over the course of minutes rather than hours, giving Livewire #3 a frenetic pace with a very minimal cast of characters. This gives the comic a very intimate feel, which although quite at odds with the previous issue, is still every bit as intense. Vita Ayala reinforces Livewire’s capabilities with her powers diminished whilst simultaneously through the use of interspersed flashbacks they flesh out the other focal point of the comic.

Raul Allen, Patricia Martin and Scott Koblish bring an easily identifiable colour scheme; there’s a slight difference in colour hue between the flashbacks and the present that enables you to easily differentiate between the two periods. The artistic team are on top form once again, remaining deliciously consistent in the quality as they veer from super detailed backgrounds to panels with a blank background that highlights the action within.

Livewire #3 is another strong comic in a series that’s focusing on one of Valiant’s, indeed all of comics, more complex characters; we’re three issues in now and I still don’t know whether I’d consider Livewire a hero or villain. It’s this ambiguity and Ayala’s ability to stay in the moral murkiness that’s such a strong point for this series, and why this book is firmly lodged on my pull list.

Story: Vita Ayala
Art: Raul Allen, Patricia Martin and Scott Koblish
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Livewire #3

LIVEWIRE #3

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN & PATRICIA MARTÍN
Cover A by ADAM POLLINA
Cover B by KOI TURNBULL
B/W Variant Cover by ADAM POLLINA
On sale February 13, 2019

On the run!

Fleeing from more than just the law, Livewire’s about to find out whether she has the strength to survive on her own in a world that hates and fears her, with only her memories of better days to rely on…but if she’s not careful, even those can be snatched away by the mercenary hunting her down!

LIVEWIRE #3
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