Tag Archives: Roberto poggi

Review: The Immortal Hulk Vol. 5 Breaker of Worlds

The Hulk’s battle with Shadow Base comes to a brutal end. Gamma Flight, the Hulk, and General Fortean’s forces collide in this volume of The Immortal Hulk!

The Immortal Hulk Vol. 5 includes issues #21-25.

Story: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett, Ryan Bodenheim, Germán García
Ink: Ryan Bodenheim, Ruy José, Belardino Brabo, Marc Deering, Roberto Poggi, Germán García
Color: Paul Mounts, Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Cory Petit

Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores on December 3! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

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Review: Morbius: The Living Vampire #1

Morbius wants nothing but to cure himself. While he attempts that, who’s the mysterious person hunting him?

Story: Vita Ayala
Art: Marcelo Ferreira
Ink: Roberto Poggi
Color: Dono Sánchez-Almara
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops November 13! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

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Review: Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1

Deadpool gets tied up and tangles with Carnage in Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1. The latest entry into the “Absolute Carnage” event.

Story: Frank Tieri
Art: Marcelo Ferreira
Ink: Roberto Poggi
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Sabino

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

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Review: Absolute Carnage vs Deadpool #1

Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1

Two characters I generally dislike come together in Absolute Carnage vs Deadpool #1, an entry in the Absolute Carnage event. And even though the issue has a more comedic tone than the rest of the event’s horror, it still works and entertains. Yes, I enjoyed a comic with Deadpool and Carnage at the center of it.

Written by Frank Tieri, the issue sees Deadpool finally piss Spider-Man off enough that Spider-Man stops talking to him unless Deadpool seeks help. Off to Ravencroft Deadpool goes but unbeknownst to him, the place is the hideout for Carnage and his cult. For those that don’t know, Absolute Carnage has Carnage and his growing army attempting to get the spines of symbiote wearers to free their god. Up to this comic, the event has had a nice tinge of horror to it. Absolute Carnage vs Deadpool #1 takes a bit of a different route focusing more on Deadpool’s humor.

That humor extends to Carnage who comes off more as a laughable villain than the nightmare depicted in other issues. That’s not a bad thing but there’s absolutely a difference in tone in this comic versus all others. It makes this issue a bit of an outlier. That also makes it a breather in a rather serious and “scary” event.

What also works is Carnage and Deadpool themselves. They play off each other. With tones so diametrically opposed they somehow balance each other out and become tolerable to me.

The art by Marcelo Ferreira fits the tone of it all quite well. With ink by Robert Poggi and color by Rachelle Rosenberg the art is able to do both humor and horror. Compared to early parts of the comic, the tone of the art begins to shift as Deadpool enters the building of nightmares and continues to shift as things spin out of control. The lettering is key too. Joe Sabino nails it with a style that emphasizes the nature of Carnage and his followers.

While I’m not quite there to say you should go out and buy the comic, I do think the trade will be a lot of fun to read.

Story: Frank Tieri Art: Marcelo Ferreira
Ink: Roberto Poggi Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Vol. 1 Secrets and Rumors

Spider-Man swings in to a brand new series that keeps things a bit more grounded and local. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Vol. 1 Secrets and Rumors collects issues #1-6 of the series.

Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Juann Cabal, Yildiray Cinar, Marcelo Ferreira
Color: Nolan Woodard, Federico Blee, Jim Campbell
Ink: Douglas Franchin, Roberto Poggi
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores on July 23! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle & comiXology
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Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Messages from Midgard #13- The Four Thors

This week marks the end of both “War of the Realms” and the Messages from Midgard column. There are a few straggler tie-ins like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and an Omega issue, which I will cover in its own review, but the core miniseries plus three ancillary tie-in minis and Jason Aaron’s arcs on Thor and Avengers wrap up this week. Plus there’s a fun Superior Spider-Man story where Peter Parker and, of all people, Gwenpool, teaching Doc Ock that heroism is about saving individuals and not just trying to glory hog the whole event. That privilege is reserved for Thor, of which there are four, because its their event.


War of the Realms #6

In War of the Realms #6, Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson knuckle down to give both this event and basically Aaron’s seven year run on Thor one hell of a conclusion. It’s centered around a simple premise. If only Thor can break the magic circle and confront a Knull-infused Malekith, then why not bring four of them: Odinson, King Thor, Young Thor, and Jane Foster’s Thor, who now wields Mjolnir from the Ultimate Universe. What follows is an exercise in fighting, bickering, and true heroism while the rest of the heroes confront Laufey on Midgard.

Before digging into the fantastic things that Aaron does with both Thor and Jane Foster’s arcs, I would like to praise the visuals of Dauterman and Wilson, who really outdo themselves in issue six. Wilson’s palette is majestic and varied ranging from the eye of the storm to the clash of lightning on symbiote ooze and a snowstorm to end all snowstorms. Like the different hammers and weapons used by the Thors, Dauterman switches up his inking style to fit the scene from looser work when Malekith does anything symbiote-y to more clean polished art when Odinson forges Mjolnir anew in the eye of a storm. His attention to detail is uncanny, and he draws many epic moments like when Odinson punches his own hammer and memorable small ones like Screwbeard and Ivory Honeyshot doing their best Gimli and Legolas imitation at the end of the world.

One word that can be used to describe War of the Realms #6 is “satisfying”. Odinson has gone on a painful heroic journey that draws comparisons to the one his own father, Odin, went on to become All-Father sacrificing body parts to gain the wisdom and power to rule Asgard. There are also parallels to the journeys of Dionysus and Jesus Christ in his story as he humbles himself and suffers to save the whole world. But, lofty comparisons aside, this is really the story of a man who becomes a hero and “worthy” in spite of his flaws, which is a metaphor for most of the Marvel heroes, who have fantastic abilities and feet of clay. It is a rare sight to see such an iconic character, like Thor, grow and change over a run, and Jason Aaron has pulled this off with War of the Realms #6 being the finishing touch and earning an Overall Verdict of Buy.


War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #4

In New Agents of Atlas #4, this new pan-Asian superhero team finally gets their act together to assemble and prevent Sindr, the Fire Goblin queen from melting the polar ice caps. Greg Pak and artists Gang Hyuk Lim, Moy R, and Pop Mhan take their cues from third act of the 2012 Avengers film from Jimmy Woo playing the Nick Fury role and lying about Pele’s true nature to get the team to work together and lots of big epic splash pages of heroes doing team-up moves. However, with the exception of Brawn, Shang Chi, and the Filipina heroine Wave, I feel like I barely know these heroes so the big fight scenes look pretty, but feel like action figures in position, not characters reaching the end of their journey.

Pak, Lim, Federico Blee and the guest artists and colorists had a tall order introducing new characters and ones who had only appeared in Korean and Chinese comics as well as mobile games to a new audience. Having four issues and a big, yet underdeveloped baddie helped, but in the end, the cast of New Agents of Atlas was simply too large to get to know the new folks. Hopefully, the upcoming miniseries will take its time to develop their personalities as well as show off their cool costumes and powers. Unfortunately, New Agents of Atlas #4 earns an Overall Verdict of Pass despite its one genuinely memorable twist.


War of the Realms: Punisher #3

War of the Realms Punisher #3 features the same fantasy baddies as the rest of “War of the Realm’s” tie-ins, but Gerry Duggan, Marcelo Ferreira, Roberto Poggi, and Rachelle Rosenberg take a grittier, more violent, and at times, fatalistic approach to their story beginning with Frank Castle having guns pointed to his head by former mobsters. He gets out of this pickle pretty easily by swearing on the souls of dead wife and kids that he’ll spare the criminals once they get the civilians to safety. Most of them don’t have to worry about living as they’re immediately set upon by a squad of trolls; one of which Frank tortures in a chilling scene that makes the criminals realize that they’re not getting out of this alive too.

Duggan and Ferreira portray Frank Castle as a hardened soldier in War of the Realms Punisher #3, and his enemy is the criminal element, both mortal and otherworldly. Sure, he’ll get the civilians to safety in New Jersey, but he’ll also gun down the last criminal standing with him while the doctor he was assisting shrieks in terror. This is because Castle is as much of a monster and a force of nature as the trolls and Fire Goblins that he was gunning down or blowing up tanker trucks to stop. Duggan’s understanding of Frank Castle’s character, and that we can cheer for him to take out the bad guys and recoil at killing one in cold blood as well as the hellish visuals of Ferreira, Poggi, and Rosenberg earns War of the Realms Punisher #3 an Overall Verdict of Buy and definitely has me interested in Duggan’s upcoming Punisher Kill Krew series.


War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3

Even though it’s nice to see Cyclops, Multiple Man, and your favorite former New Mutants defending Citi Field from Frost Giants, Matthew Rosenberg, Pere Perez, and Rachelle Rosenberg’s War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men has been the weak link of the tie-in minis. Issue three is no exception with the pointless killing off of Sunspot, the repetitive dialogue of (dead in the main series) Wolfsbane’s lover Hrimhari, and a tacked on sequence with Dani Moonstar and the Valkyries even though this plot point was only touched upon at the end of issue one. It could have been a good hook for the miniseries and a through-line to the main action, but in the end, it’s too little, too late.

War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3 does have a few cool moments like Multiple Man’s dupes luring the Frost Giants into a Limbo portal, a visceral claw on claw fight between Sabretooth and Wolfsbane, and Cyclops precision sniping Frost Giants. However, these are few and far between, and after three issues, this miniseries has really done nothing to justify its existence and earns an Overall Verdict of Pass. But the silver lining is that Jonathan Hickman is coming in a month and probably all these events/pointless character deaths will be retconned.


Thor #14

Jason Aaron, Scott Hepburn, and Matthew Wilson’s story in Thor #14 covers much of the same ground as War of the Realms #6, but from the POV of Young Thor as the Fantastic Four summon him from brooding and trying to lift Mjolnir to a fight for all ten realms. I read this almost directly after War of the Realms #6, and there are obvious re-draws of Russell Dauterman’s art although Hepburn has an earthier take on the material to match the boisterous, shit-talking Young Thor. The issue also has more direct connections to the last adventure of the three Thors in Aaron’s Thor, God of Thunder series and a similar art style although Hepburn is no Simon Bisley. There’s a lot of gruffness, talk about hammers, and an indirect reference to Back to the Future along the way.

However, compared to the standalone issues about Loki, Cul Borson, and even Gorilla-Man in Aaron’s tie-in issues of Thor and Avengers, Thor #14 seems less essential because Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman portrayed Young Thor’s carelessness, brashness, and adventurous nature so well in War of the Realms #6. He does get a cool action sequence against a gnarly Hepburn-drawn Venom symbiote and  lifts Mjolnir in a moment that again proves that “worthiness” and heroism is not something bestowed externally, but internally. Most of the material in Thor #14 is covered in Realms #6, but that scene and the sheer joy that Aaron gets at writing Young Thor earns the issue an Overall Verdict of Read.


Avengers #20

Avengers #20 is yet another standalone success from Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, and Jason Keith and is a metafictional look at She-Hulk, and how she’s changed as a character in the past few years. The opening sequence is brilliant and set in side a Wakandan therapy simulation where She-Hulk looks at a pinup of the John Byrne version of her and beats up a version of her that looks like it was drawn by Javier Pulido. The comic is a narration about how she likes embracing the monster and getting to beat up enemies with her new powers instead of being sexually harassed while in costume. Unlike Bruce Banner, she enjoys the freedom of being Hulk, and McGuinness and Morales use wide panels to show the swath of destruction she causes with her bulging forearms.

Using the character of She-Hulk as a case study, Avengers #20 is also a bigger commentary about how women have to fit pre-conceived roles in the workforce (Even if that means the Avengers.) and society and get pushback whenever they’re assertive or show anger. Deadpool asking She-Hulk why she doesn’t crack jokes or break the fourth wall any more is the metafictional version of a male co-worker asking a woman why she doesn’t smile. And, on a more a geeky level, this issue also has some foreshadowing of Aaron’s future plans for the Avengers title with the help of omniscient Daredevil showing Aaron can work on both a micro and macro level. Avengers #20 is a fantastic, holistic character study of She-Hulk and her recent developments and easily earns an Overall Verdict of Buy with a side dish of allusions to Immortal Hulk.


Superior Spider-Man #8

Superior Spider-Man continues to be an underrated delight and study in ego from Christos Gage, Lan Medina, Cam Smith, and Andy Troy. Doc Ock continues to be terrible at reading the room, er, event and wants to take out Malekith all by himself with the help of the Fantastic Four and West Coast Avengers. He doesn’t want to protect New York City, but basically hack America Chavez’s portal abilities to get to what he thinks is the real action. This ends up backfiring, and he gets one hell of a dressing down from Spider-Man in the nature of heroism while Spider-Man is wearing his helmet from the Land of Giants one-shot and is immediately abandoned by his “minions” aka the West Coast Avengers.

Gage and Medina use the wide scope of “War of Realms” to tell an entertaining and at times fourth wall breaking (Thanks to Gwenpool.) story about how heroism isn’t just about defeating the final boss, but saving one person from death and danger. Having Spider-Man deliver the lecture about this topic makes sense because for the most part, he has focused on protecting his neighborhood instead of mixing it up with gods and monsters. Gage’s script is self-aware, and Medina and Smith have a classic, illustrator style approach where it is easy to follow the action even in a Southern California blizzard. For commenting on the nature of heroism, being funny as hell, and having plentiful America Chavez side eye, Superior Spider-Man #8 earns an Overall Verdict of Buy.


War of the Realms #6 was the best ending to a summer Marvel event since Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic’s Secret Wars, and it shipped on time too. One thing that these two events shared in common is that they were a culmination of two macro-stories, namely, Jason Aaron’s Thor run and Hickman’s Fantastic Four-Ultimates-Avengers/New Avengers project. The War of the Realms has been foreshadowed for years, and the early battles were fought in the pages of Mighty Thor and Thor so the event was really just icing on the cake. Sometimes, the montage of the different battles were a little insufferable, but when Aaron, Dauterman, and Wilson grabbed onto the character journeys of Odinson and Jane Foster, the book really sung. Nowhere was this more evident than in War of the Realms #6, and the spinoff I’m most excited for is Valkyrie even if I’m little disappointed that Tessa Thompson’s take on the character is nowhere in sight although Al Ewing may pluck her from somewhere in the multiverse.


Panel of the Week

Young Thor and King Thor bonding over craft beer is the cutest thing. (From War of the Realms #6, Art by Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson)

Review: War Of The Realms: Punisher #1

War Of The Realms: Punisher #1

PUNISHER: AVENGER OF MIDGARD!

The War of The Realms has brought monsters to the streets of New York City, but New York has a monster all its own…Frank Castle, A.K.A. THE PUNISHER! And he’ll be damned to Hel if he’s going to let a bunch of Ten Realms tin-pot tyrants terrorize his town. But given he’s one man against an army of monsters, Hel might soon have him! The War of Realms is about to meet Marvel’s One Man Army. Expect Punishment!

It has been a long time since I’ve bothered to read any of the spin off series that a Marvel event usually produces, but lately I’ve been on a bit of a Punisher kick (almost entirely due to the Netflix series), and so despite not having read either of the first two issues of War Of The Realms, I decided to pick this issue up.

I can honestly say that you don’t need to have read anything regarding the main series to enjoy this book because once the Punisher starts fighting giants and dark elves nothing else matters other than his surly one-liners and the explosive actions as Frank Castle shows the forces of Malekith why you don’t mess with New York and innocent lives.

There isn’t a whole lot of depth to this book, though there is an interesting scene with Frank on a bus that playing into your expectations of the Punisher. Instead, Gerry Duggan focuses on giving the reader something that we can all get behind; a really fun comic.

After decades of watching the Punisher battler monsters in human form, with War Of The Realms: Punisher #1 we’re treated to him shooting literal monsters. It’s not quite a fish out of water tale, as Frank seems more resigned to his current task than overwhelmed by the nature of the enemy he faces which leads to the previously mentioned dry one-liners.

The comic is drawn by Marcelo Ferreira with inks by Roberto Poggi and colours provided by Rachelle Rosenberg. The trio give the comic a clean style that conveys the weight and gravitas of the situation without ever coming off as cheesy (which would be an easy trap to fall into , given the nature of the story.

When it comes down to this comic, and its place in the greater arc, I assume it fits in, but seeing as how this can be read independently to the main series, there’s no real excuse for fan of the Punisher to pick this book up and enjoy the book you’re reading.

Story: Gerry Duggan Pencils: Marcelo Ferreira
Inks: Roberto Poggi Colours: Rachelle Rosenberg Letters: Cory Petit
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Messages from Midgard #3: Daredevil Rules, Punisher Drools

Wait, I thought this was an Asgard-centric event? Even though the bad guys are all elves, trolls, giants, and evil minotaur CEOs, the predominantly Big Apple-centric setting of War of the Realms #1 and #2 allows for some of Marvel’s street level vigilante to shine (Daredevil) or fall flat on their faces (Punisher). This week’s issue of War of the Realms and its tie-ins were the true definition of a mixed bag. War of the Realms #2 continued and wrapped up the big New York battle from the previous issue before spending a lot of its page count setting up various upcoming tie-ins in a pretty way from artist Russell Dauterman and colorist Matthew Wilson. Plot-wise, there’s one small surprise, and we’re finally up to the events described in last week’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl tie-in. Speaking of tie-ins, they run the gamut from the instant classic that is Thor #12 to the should have been a one-shot and the first true stinker of “War of the Realms” that is War of the Realms: Punisher #1. In the middle is War of the Realms: War Scrolls #1, which tells some entertaining side-stories about Daredevil, the Warriors Three, and Wolverine (Confession: I don’t know how he’s back from the dead.) and squanders a cult book creator reunion.

War of the Realms #2

Feeling a little nostalgic for the 1980s, writer Jason Aaron titles this story “Midgard Massacre” in homage to the “Mutant Massacre” crossover where Morlocks were killed by Reavers, and characters like Daredevil, Thor, and the Power Pack showed up in X-books. A bunch of seemingly mismatched characters show up in War of the Realms #2, but Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson’s story lacks the emotional resonance of the previous Massacre until the final page. Plus Aaron and Dauterman wring out some great moments for Jane Foster and Freya beneath the fighting/strategic retreats. Jane gets to ride Valkyrie’s horse, Aragorn, fight with a sword, and is hinted to want to become Thor again even though it would mean the return of her cancer.

So, a big pitched battle in New York between superheroes and various fantasy creatures is an objectively cool idea and a reason why I decided to do this weekly column. However, it really starts to drag in War of the Realms #2 even with gorgeous Dauterman/Wilson tapestry pages to show the Valkyries entering the battle with a heavily wounded Odin to turn the tide Wagner style. Aaron tries to do the whole Battle of Hoth, “good guys get their butts kicked and retreat to another area” plot maneuver and succeeds in getting all the heroes from point A to point B, but stumbles in the execution. They don’t lose because they’re overwhelmed by sheer numbers, but because Dr. Strange’s teleport spell malfunctioned, which is a weak plot device featuring a tangential character. We don’t even see the costs of his spells like in Bendis and Hickman’s Avengers runs.

The big plot development other than a death for a character, who is already in a grey area between life and death and is about to be swapped out with her more popular movie version, is Malekith and his forces taking over Midgard. This is told to us with word balloons instead of on-panel, or in the tie-ins, which mainly take place in New York. There’s no heroic last stand, or emotional connection, but Aaron rushes off to characters setting up the next issue or tie-in’s plot in expository dialogue with the occasional fish out of water joke like Luke Cage’s eye roll when he talks about fighting trolls in Harlem. War of the Realms #2 feels like a giant action figure battle with a slight touch of emotional resonance every time Jane Foster brandishes her sword, or when Freyja decides to lead the rescue mission to get Thor in Jotunheim. It barely gets the overall verdict of Read because of a harrowing final page, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson’s art, and because it has the seeds of potential to be a great Freyja and/or superhero buddy team-up book.

Thor #12

For better or worse, the modern character of Loki will always be defined by the way Tom Hiddleston portrayed him in the MCU films and the way Kieron Gillen wrote him in Journey into Mystery and Young Avengers doing clever plotting, world-building, and crafting a character that desperately wants to change, but can’t. These stories were often in the middle of event tie-ins, and Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo join this tradition in Thor #12, which is Journey into Mystery meets A Christmas Carol. Loki is being eaten by his own father, Laufey the Frost Giant, and wants to just die when he’s visited by his past, present-ish (Kid Loki), and future self aka Loki the NecroGod. Aaron has established the past and future selves in various flashback and flashforward stories in Thor so he can get straight to the character study part.

Thor #12 is full of “a-ha” moments beginning when Loki realizes that he basically created the villain Malekith when he orchestrated a war between the Dark Elves and trolls, and young Malekith was subjected to the trauma of constantly burning the corpses of his people into a mass grave. He and his past sins are responsible for the War of the Realms, and Del Mundo nails this moment of recognition with great facial expression work for an artist who is mostly known for his layouts and Heavy Metal approach to superhero stories. He uses a varying color palette as Loki goes from the fires of Svartalfheim to the cold of Jotunheim and finally ooey gooey stained glass of the end of all things. This issue is easily my favorite work of his since Elektra.

But Thor #12 is more than great art. Jason Aaron offers a pinpoint look into how Loki is just a man who has been lying to himself all his life about who he is and the consequences of his actions beginning with one about how his magic tutor, Eldred, would have died in a dungeon any way. This lie led to others and became Loki’s character and story that he is fated to follow even though fate, er, the Norns are off the table in Aaron’s Thor run. This self-deception coupled with a death wish persists until the end of time, or currently, in some kind of hellscape caused by being eaten by his own father. Even if you’ve sworn off “War of the Realms”, Thor #12’s overall verdict is a Read because of Mike Del Mundo’s triple threat of art styles and Jason Aaron’s razor sharp characterization of Loki that is conversation with Gillen’s work while also breaking fantastic new ground.

War of the Realms: War Scrolls #1

One of my favorite pleasures from event comics are the anthology miniseries that tell either serial or one-shot stories about fan favorite D-list characters or give up and coming creators a chance to play in a shared universe sandbox. War of the Realms: War Scrolls #1 has a good amount of this with Josh Trujillo (Dodge City) and Ricardo Lopez-Ortiz (Kingpin) doing a combo Warriors Three and Cloak and Dagger story while Ram V (Paradiso) and Cafu (Imperium) tell the story of an Asian-American teenager’s experience with Wolverine. Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones, and Rico Renzi’s return to Howard the Duck is well-drawn, if underwhelming and sophomoric. This is made up for by an intelligent, wonderful Daredevil by Jason Aaron and drawn by Andrea Sorrentino in a looser style with colors by Matthew Wilson that should have gotten its own mini and is the multi part serial of the bunch.

Jason Aaron’s Thor: The God of Thunder (Especially the “God Butcher” arc.) was as much theodicy as Viking metal space opera, and his work on the various Asgardians have touched on big questions, like faith, belief, fate, and higher powers, from a predominantly skeptical point of view. So, it’s very intriguing to see him write Marvel’s man of faith, Daredevil, who is shocked when he meets Thor and his heartbeat is steady when talking about being a god.

Plus the flashback is a chance for Sorrentino to kick it Silver Age style, Ben-Day dots and all. The present narrative features Daredevil playing the role of street level hero, protecting his neighborhood from otherworldly threats, and then getting an Asgardian upgrade that will be described in an upcoming issue of War of the Realms. It’s nice to see one of Marvel’s consistently best written and drawn heroes play a key role in an event comic, and Kingpin’s role in the story makes my mouth water. There’s also the aforementioned Andrea Sorrentino style switch up that isn’t at the cost of making his work less iconic beginning with a little Frost Giant dismemberment.

Speaking of cartooning, Trujillo, Lopez-Ortiz, and colorist Felipe Sobreiro go for lower stakes, but don’t skimp on the fun in their Warriors Three story where Hogun, Fandral, and Hildegarde have to drag an indisposed Volstagg to the Sanctum Sanctorum. There’s action, derring do, Shakespearean English type banter, and slapstick humor with a side of horror as they meet up with Cloak and Dagger and protect the ordinary citizens of New York on the way to their destination. Ram V and Cafu’s Wolverine story is in a similar vein as teens named Jae and Chris rush through the streets of New York to make it to the Sanctum Sanctorum and watch Logan’s six along the way. Cafu’s renderings are a little stiff, but Ram V truly believes in the inspirational power of superheroes even ones that are rough around the edges. His banter between Wolverine and Punisher is also deadpan funny too, which makes it all the more sad that Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones return to Howard the Duck isn’t witty, satirical, and filled with sight gags, but one long pee joke. However, War Scrolls #1’s overall verdict is still Read, and I’m very excited to see what Jason Aaron and Andrea Sorrentino do with Daredevil and Kingpin.

War of the Realms: Punisher #1

On the surface, I thought that War of the Realms: Punisher #1 and “War of the Realms” was just an excuse for Frank Castle to kill things with no moral dilemmas, and unfortunately, I was right. Writer Gerry Duggan, and capital “G” gritty artists Marcelo Ferreira and Roberto Poggi along with solid colorist Rachelle Rosenberg make the Punisher a heroic figure compared to the dark elves and fire trolls he fights and the prisoners he recruits as allies to escort patients from a hospital in Manhattan through the Lincoln Tunnel into New Jersey. Old Uncle Frank will ignore your weed stash in return for some piano wire, not take revenge on a Frost Giant to get a man out of a burning car, and even shoot a criminal in the head to show what happens if you don’t help him escort some “innocent” patients to Jersey.

The Punisher shooting elves and trolls while helping people get from New York to New Jersey with hardened criminals as allies would make a decent action-oriented one-shot. Like a high fantasy version of The Raid, but with a vigilante, not a cop. However, War of the Realms: The Punisher #1 spends almost its entire page time on Frank Castle hero worship and mowing down purely evil creatures and only sets up its premise at the very end saving the tunnel action bits for the upcoming two issues.

War of the Realms: The Punisher #1’s is drawn in a superhero house style with thicker and darker inks from Roberto Poggi and flashes of powerful colors from Rachelle Rosenberg like when a car becomes almost entirely flame. It’s the comic book equivalent of Eli Roth’s footloose and conscience free Death Wish remake with extra trolls, giants, and elves and no pesky moral grey areas. It’s no surprise that its overall verdict is Pass.

Two issues in, and Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson are still in pure action figure geek mode matching up a plethora of superheroes against fantasy races established in their work on Thor’s solo title. There are still compelling stories between the fights, obvious tie-in setups, and off panel plot developments like Aaron and Mike Del Mundo’s captivating standalone Loki story in Thor #12, Aaron and Andrea Sorrentino’s intriguing Daredevil/Kingpin serial, and Josh Trujillo and Ricardo Lopez-Ortiz’s Warriors Three short. But there are also stinkers like War of the Realms: Punisher, an ill-fated Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones Howard the Duck reunion, and hopefully not the core War of the Realms miniseries. But, hey, at least, we have a few more issues of Sorrentino drawing Daredevil.

Panel of the Week

Logan circa 2013 feels personally attacked by this panel. In all seriousness, Jason Aaron writes a great Loki (Thor #12, Art by Mike Del Mundo.)

Review: War of the Realms: The Punisher #1

The War of the Realms is raging across the Marvel Universe and come down upon on New York City. The Punisher is stepping up to defend it the only way he knows how.

War of the Realms: The Punisher #1 is by Gerry Duggan, Marcelo Ferreira, Roberto Poggi, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Cory Petit.

Get your copy in comic shops April 17th! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
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Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1

Age of X-Man X-Tremists #1

The new X-Men event “Age of X-Man” is a crossover where X-Man aka Nate Grey from the alternate Age of Apocalypse future has created a perfect world. However, this utopia is built on a commitment to individualism so everyone lives isolated by themselves, and there are no intimate relationships whether platonic, sexual, or romantic. Overtly, there is no crime or drama in this universe, but Department X featuring Blob, Psylocke, Northstar, Jubilee, Iceman, and Moneta are the covert group that makes sure this status quo is kept. Writer Leah Williams, artists Georges Jeanty and Robert Poggi, and colorist Jim Charalampidis tell their story in Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1.

Even though Department X are basically the secret police, Williams and Jeanty give X-Tremists #1 a joking tone from the get-go with Iceman roasting Jubilee for thinking a cookie sheet and wax paper are the same thing. (Why is something solid called a sheet though?) They are the class clowns of the team while Moneta is the team racist, Blob is the team dad (Complete with the bod and sayings out of a motivational book for junior high basketball coaches for it.), Northstar is aloof and too cool for school, and Psylocke just gets the job done. Despite Jeanty’s stiff art work, which is more like 1990s Mark Bagley than his work on the Buffy and Serenity comics, each Department X member has a unique personality that acts as a hook for a book about mutants, who arrest other mutants for falling in love.

Plus Georges Jeanty and Roberto Poggi’s work isn’t all bad. They nail a pair of great comedy scenes in X-Tremists #1 where Department X disdainfully completes one of Blob’s team building sayings, and Northstar stays in the car and uses his super speed to get “shotgun” before a try hard and possibly overcompensating for something, Iceman, can ice slide down to it. His and Psylocke’s deadpan expressions are hilarious, and Jim Charalamipdis adds a little burst of old school purple to her psychic daggers.

The fight scene in X-Tremists #1 is creative and well-blocked with Iceman making creative use of his powers to subdue to mutants, who have multiple offenses of engaging in an intimate relationship. One of them has the ability to transform into a rat, which creates a high energy series of panels from Jeanty and Poggi while Leah Williams throws in a wrinkle in her plot that makes the stakes different from Department X’s usual work. It will challenge the team’s ethics, and they have to choose between the mandates of their world and their empathy towards their fellow mutant. I’m interested to see which side each team member takes.

Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1 introduces a cast of six characters while Leah Williams give each of them a distinct way of speaking and seeing the world and giving the book a moral dilemma of a hook that makes you want to pick up the rest of the miniseries. Georges Jeanty and Roberto Poggi’s facial and character work are nothing to write home about, but they and Jim Charalampidis do lay out a decent fight scene. This, and NextGen #1, are my favorite Age of X-Man tie-ins so far.

Story: Leah Williams Pencils : Georges Jeanty Inks: Roberto Poggi
Colors: Jim Charalampidis Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 9.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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