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Preview: Complete Crimson HC

Complete Crimson HC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Brian Augustyn
Artists:
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Sandra Hope, Richard Friend, Mark Irwin, Trevor Scott, Chris Elarmo
Cover Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colorists: Alex Bleyaert, Ian Hannin, Robert Ro
Letterers: Amie Grenier, Denice Park, Hurricane Bill O’Neil, Wes Abbott, Saida Temofonte, Richard Starkings, Ed Roeder, Robbie Robbins, Ryan Cline
Price: $125.00

The beloved Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man) and Brian Augustyn (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) series, Crimson, returns!

For the first time ever, experience Alex Elder’s ascension from vampire to chosen one in a comprehensive, prestigious hardcover format.

This is the book fans have been waiting for! Collects all 24 issues, Crimson: Scarlett X Blood on the Moon, and the Crimson Sourcebook.

Review: New Super-Man Vol. 1 Made in China

“Superman” is synonymous with the best a person can do and especially when they go beyond. I’ve always wondered would Superman ever really look like one of us? I know the new show Krypton, shows the planet has as many shades as Earth does, even giving the ficticious world its first black General Zod. This has been a major milestone for the character’s canon, one which mostly has shown the character and his cast a certain way. Caucasian actors have usually occupied the roles. The world has become more “woke” and so has comics leading to their onscreen portrayals to follow suit.

This is especially true in comics which has seen heroes become more aware of the consequences of their actions and the social issues affecting their readership. The advent of Ms. Marvel and Riri Williams at Marvel has shown depictions of heroes as more progressive. At DC’s house, they have been slower to progress with more recent changes like the revival of Black Lightning. This was not the only sea change in recent years at DC as Gene Luen Yang has re-imagined another young man taking over a well-established mantle in New Super-Man: Made In China.

We meet Kong Kenan, a teenager whose father is an auto mechanic and lives in Shanghai, and who unexpectedly beats back a villain through sheer luck. This catches the eye of the China’s Ministry, who gives him powers and also catches the eye of the Justice League Of China. As he gets better at his job, his heroics also catches the eye of the supervillain group, The Freedom Fighters Of China, one that looks to have their way without any “superheroes” in their way. By book’s end, the JLC wins the battle against the Freedom Fighters, but has lost someone close to him.

Overall, an excellent introduction to a superhero that never want to be but stepped regardless. The story by Gene Luen Yang is funny, relatable and emotion tinged. The art by Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend complements the story well. Altogether, a familiar cape and suit but with a different flavor all his own.

Story : Gene Luen Yang Art: Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Complete Crimson HC

Complete Crimson HC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Brian Augustyn
Artists:
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Sandra Hope, Richard Friend, Mark Irwin, Trevor Scott, Chris Elarmo
Cover Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colorists: Alex Bleyaert, Ian Hannin, Robert Ro
Letterers: Amie Grenier, Denice Park, Hurricane Bill O’Neil, Wes Abbott, Saida Temofonte, Richard Starkings, Ed Roeder, Robbie Robbins, Ryan Cline
Price: $125.00

The beloved Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man) and Brian Augustyn (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) series, Crimson, returns!

For the first time ever, experience Alex Elder’s ascension from vampire to chosen one in a comprehensive, prestigious hardcover format.

This is the book fans have been waiting for! Collects all 24 issues, Crimson: Scarlett X Blood on the Moon, and the Crimson Sourcebook.

Preview: The Immortal Men #3

The Immortal Men #3

(W) James Tynion IV (A) Ryan Benjamin, Richard Friend (CA) Jim Lee, Scott Williams
In Shops: Jun 13, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“THE END OF FOREVER” part three! The Immortal Men have risked everything to save the otherwise unremarkable teenager Caden Park. But neither Caden nor the immortal heroes who saved him know the crucial role he’s predicted to play in the upcoming war between the Immortal Men. So when the hero Reload falls into the horrifying hands of the Bloodless, Caden Park must learn the Secret History of the DC Universe, and the truth behind his family heritage – and fast-before the Batman Who Laughs has all his pawns in play!

Review: The Immortal Men #2

“The End of Forever” part two! Following the destruction of their base of operations, the Immortal Men find themselves on the defensive! Their only hope rests with an emerging metahuman named Caden Park—but the evil Conquest has gotten to Caden first! Will the remaining few battle-ravaged Immortal Men be able to rescue their young would-be savior? And what connection do Caden’s tactile telepathic abilities have to the survival of humanity?

In The Immortal Men #2, things escalate for Caden as he runs from both his would-be protectors and the ones who want him dead. There’s a certain Terminator aspect in that way and it’s a trope that we’ve seen before. Storytellers James Tynion IV and Ryan Benjamin give us something a little different as he also uses this issue to explain the various characters and world a little more. Through the details of action or just outright dialogue, we learn more about each character, their powers, and whats’ going on. And, it’s packed with a lot of action through it all.

The art by Benjamin, inker Richard Friend, and colorist David Baron amplifies the action and really creates a frenetic pacing through the issue. As stated above it all also helps us be introduced to the various characters as we learn more about their powers and origins. Letterer Carlos M. Mangual is also important as some of the lettering actual creates a better understanding of who and what these characters are. Some have a specific style that creates greater depth and understanding of who they are. Through all of that action, the cast grows with more members of the House of Conquest. There is a sense of familiarity to characters that have come before whether on purpose or not, we’ll see. Some of the comic has a very 90s feel about it all.

The second issue sets a crazy pace as we’re introduced to more of this world and characters. There’s a lot packed in here and though the first two issues feel decompressed, they are also entertaining in what’s presented.

Story: James Tynion IV, Ryan Benjamin
Ink: Richard Friend Color: David Baron Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Immortal Men #1

There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first?

Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, and James Tynion IV have come together like Voltron for this new series which is… interesting. DC Comics’ “New Age of Heroes” promised to introduce us to the next generation of heroes giving us all new stories and new directions. The Immortal Men #1 does that to a certain extent but what’s present feels like it is a new volume of a series that has a long history and continuity. That’s both good and bad.

Having recently reread Marvel’s Eternals, I can’t help but compare the two as the concepts presented feel similar and Neil Gaiman’s take, out in trade today, presents a much more straightforward story to this first issue. Both feature a character that doesn’t know their real history/potential. Both feature beings that have shaped history. Both feature characters that for the most part immortal. This first issue even plays with “the truth” coming through dreams.

This difference between the two is the execution where Eternals feels like you’re discovering this reality along with the characters, The Immortal Men #1 feels like you’re dropped into a story arc already in progress. It explains some things but it’s not clear enough. That’s in stark contrast to the other series such as Damage, Sideways, and Curse of Brimstone which are much easier to dive in to. While those three series were fresh origin stories, this debut is more in line with The Terrifics where you might need some knowledge to truly enjoy it.

While I was a bit mixed on the story, the art is a different story. Like the story itself there’s a long list of those contributors including Benjamin and Lee, Scott Williams and Richard Friend on inks, Jeremiah Skipper and Alex Sinclair on color, and Carlos M. Mangual on lettering. There’s some great visuals though. The art is fantastic with really interesting settings and the characters look fantastic. The use of a dream state opens things up to give us some impressive visuals that’ll have you lingering to decipher it all.

Much like Caden Park, we’re thrown into things and hoping for something greater. I couldn’t help walking away feeling a bit disappointed, especially due to the fact all of the other releases for the “New Age of Heroes” have been so good. I can see what the creative team was going for, I’m just not convinced they pulled it off in one issue. As a trade, or a graphic novel, this would have read much better but as a single issue it falls a bit short in execution.

Story: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, James Tynion IV
Ink: Scott Williams, Richard Friend Color: Jeremiah Skipper, Alex Sinclair Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich Editor: Katie Kubert Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Immortal Men #1

The Immortal Men #1

Story: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, James Tynion IV
Ink: Scott Williams, Richard Friend
Color: Jeremiah Skipper, Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Editor: Katie Kubert
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
RATED T+
In Shops: Apr 11, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“THE END OF FOREVER” part one! There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first?

Review: Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1

As the brutal Atlantean Civil War rages, Mera must keep the peace between the surface world and Atlantis as its newly anointed queen in exile. But when Aquaman’s brother Orm, a.k.a. Ocean Master, learns of his homeland’s fate, he’ll stop at nothing to return to Atlantis as its king and savior!

If you haven’t been reading Aquaman, you’ve been missing out one of the best comics DC is publishing. The series has mixed action with political maneuvering. Currently there’s been a change in leadership with Aquaman no leading a resistance against the despotic ruler and Mera is cut off from her people and now anointed queen.

In Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1 she’s recovering from some injuries as well as trying to figure out what to do next. That not only includes defending herself from an assassination attempt but also doing a little politicking. With his run on Aquaman, writer Dan Abnett consistently delivers comics that mix entertainment with politics and we see that continue here. Mera recovers, fights, and has to deal with the United States’ State Department in hopes of preventing the nation from intervening in the affairs of Atlantis. It’s a mix of the fantastical and the grounded and it’s never boring. Abnett also delivers a comic that’s easily picked up by a new reader. What they need to know is explained and laid out in a way that moves the story along as well. The flow of the comic is great.

The art by Lan Medina, ink by Richard Friend, and color by Veronica Gandini is fantastic with a style that’s fantastic to look at. But, most importantly the comic never makes Mera look like a sex object. She looks great, regal, strong, and vulnerable. The comic looks fantastic and doesn’t attempt to mimic the very distinct style currently running in Aquaman. The issue has to balance action and the more mundane scenes and it does that and then some. And being able to help deliver those shifts in emotion is the lettering by Simon Bowland which helps set the tone.

If you haven’t been reading Aquaman, you’re missing out and you might not appreciate this mini-series. What’s great though is to see Mera get the spotlight and it not being some blow off mini-series. Instead it’s a comic series that’s as important as the main one it spun out of and seems like it’ll be a must for those reading Aquaman.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Lan Medina Cover: Nicola Scott and Romulo Fajardo
Ink: Richard Friend Color: Veronica Gandini Lettering: Simon Bowland
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham: Editor: Alex Anton
Associate Editor: Brittany Holzherr Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1

Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Lan Medina Cover: Nicola Scott and Romulo Fajardo
Ink: Richard Friend Color: Veronica Gandini Lettering: Simon Bowland
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham: Editor: Alex Anton
Associate Editor: Brittany Holzherr Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea
In Shops: Feb 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

From the pages of AQUAMAN comes a brand-new adventure starring Mera, in her own title for the first time ever! As the brutal Atlantean Civil War rages, Mera must keep the peace between the surface world and Atlantis as its newly anointed queen in exile. But when Aquaman’s brother Orm, a.k.a. Ocean Master, learns of his homeland’s fate, he’ll stop at nothing to return to Atlantis as its king and savior!

Preview: New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #20

New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #20

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Brent Peeples, Richard Friend (CA) Philip Tan
In Shops: Feb 14, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“SEAS OF CHANGE” part one! It’s the dawn of a new era for the Justice League of China! The New Super-Man of China and his teammates have struck out on their own, and even the Ministry’s newly formed Lantern Corps is no match for this renegade force to be reckoned with! But as China’s superhero community reorganizes itself, trouble is brewing in North Korea…and from the depths emerges a new metahuman that will change everything.

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