(W) Ryan North (A) Guillermo Sanna (CA) Valerio Giangiordano RATED T+ In Shops: Oct 13, 2021 SRP: $3.99
Ryan North turns his talents to a brand-new genre! Called forth to face the dread god Chthon, Iron Man reads from the ancient ill-fated text the Darkhold… and it changes the course of his entire life. The armor that has saved him countless times is about to become a prison – one whose only escape is a fate worse than death. The brilliant comedic mind behind The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Dinosaur Comics brings you the body-horror tale of the century!!
This September, a new mystical Marvel saga begins in Darkhold Alpha #1! Written by Steve Orlando with art by Cian Tormey, this extraordinary one-shot will kick off an all-new story centered around the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom as they prevent the recently resurfaced Darkhold text from unleashing chaos on the Marvel Universe. The highly anticipated epic will be told through a series of one-shots, each centering on a different hero recruited to combat the Darkhold’s horrifying effects. Two of these mind-melting adventures will release this October: Darkhold: Iron Man #1 and Darkhold: Blade #1!
Ryan North, the brilliant mind behind The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, teams up with artist Guillermo Sanna to bring you the body-horror tale of the century in Darkhold: Iron Man! Called forth to face the dread god Chthon, Iron Man reads from the ancient ill-fated text known as the Darkhold…and it changes the course of his entire life. The armor that has saved him countless times is about to become a prison — one whose only escape is a fate worse than death.
Emmy-nominated writer Daniel Kibblesmith, known for his bold work on the Loki comic book series, and artist Federico Sabbatini will bring Marvel’s resident vampire hunter into the action in Darkhold Blade! After reading from the cursed Darkhold, Blade attempts to enter Chthon’s dimension and stop the ancient god from destroying the Multiverse. But reading the book has changed all their lives and histories…and for Blade, the consequences are far-reaching. Vampires rule the world, and he rules over them all. But there are some heroes left—and Blade is not as omniscient as he thinks.
Enter the Darkhold if you dare when this strange and terrifying saga begins this fall! Check out the covers for Darkhold: Iron Man #1 and Darkhold: Blade #1 below as well as Cian Tormey’s “defiled designs” for Iron Man and Blade. Plus, get a sneak peek at pages from Darkhold Alpha #1, on sale September 22nd!
(W) Ryan North (A) Nico Leon (CA) Mirka Andolfo Rated T In Shops: Apr 14, 2021 SRP: $3.99
• It all comes down to this! Over the course of this series, the Power Pack has been manipulated, exploited and stolen from, and YOU’VE paid to see it happen! But don’t worry, because with this issue, NOW you’ll be paying to see them SUCCEED!!! • …Unless, SOMEHOW, the problems they’ve got CAN’T be solved, not even if they team up with a guy with knives that pop out of his hands? • That’s right, Wolverine completionists, your favorite Canadian is in this issue too! Along with Jack and Katie and Julie and Alex and THRILLING EVENTS REACHING AN ULTIMATE CONCLUSION, whose details shall not be spoiled here!!! • The PACK is BACK! At least until you finish this issue. • Aww, now I just made myself sad.
(W) Ryan North (A) Nico Leon (CA) Javi Garron Rated T In Shops: Mar 03, 2021 SRP: $3.99
• Hey guys, what’s up? Jack “MASS MASTER” Power here, and I’m narrating this issue of Power Pack, so they also let me do the solicit! JULIE narrated the last issue, and we all saw how well THAT went (aw, just kidding, Julie) (…unless?), so it’s time for the big guns! Let’s master some mass in this thing!! • Anyway, bad news, Massheads – in this issue I get PLAYED by my HATERS into FIGHTING FOR MY LIFE against someone who is trying to MESS UP MY ENTIRE FAMILY, so let’s just say: Things get a little TOO real! • Also there’s a special guest star…WOLVERINE!! He’s on the cover. I tried to get them to add a red arrow to it, pointing toward him with a circle around his claws, but they said that was “clickbait,” and I said, “Lol, I know.” • And remember: Real heroes don’t forget to like (this comic) and subscribe (to this comic through their local comic book store).
(W) Ryan North (A) Nico Leon (CA) Carlos E. Gomez Rated T In Shops: Feb 10, 2021 SRP: $3.99
• The Power Pack is in over their heads (metaphorically) as their powers are (literally) about to start misbehaving and shutting down! • Only they don’t know that yet, which is what’s known to STUFFY OLD LITERATURE PROFESSORS as “dramatic irony” and known to everyone else as “oh dang, that’s some exciting and suspenseful comic soliciting!” Sophocles used it! Shakespeare used it! Now it is our turn to experience dramatic irony. • As if that weren’t enough, the Power Pack faces ANOTHER threat they never saw coming, delivered to them by special guest…TASKMASTER! • Honestly, given how badly things are going, it really seems that one or more of the Power Pack should die in this issue. DO THEY? • Heck, you’ll have to buy this (Julie-narrated!) issue to find out!
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
(W) Ryan North (A) Nico Leon (C) Rachelle Rosenberg (CA) Stefano Caselli Rated T In Shops: Dec 30, 2020 SRP: $3.99
THE PACK IN PRISON?! • Okay, so MAYBE it’s illegal for minors to fight crime in costume, dispensing vigilante justice as they see fit. MAYBE. • But not if they have a mentor! Then it’s totally fine! So now all the Pack need is an adult willing to let them do whatever they want. • It’s a voyage (or at least a two-page spread) across the Marvel Universe to find a mentor! • But what if everything doesn’t go smoothly? What if there’s CONFLICT and EVENTS? • The Power Pack faces adversity, betrayal and more in this Alex-narrated issue!
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
(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!
DC Comics has released a first look at some of their middle-grade titles being released in 2021. The graphic novels are geared towards readers ages 9-12.
The standalone stories introduce DC’s iconic characters to a whole new generation of readers. They’re accessible for new readers who are coming to comics, or DC, for the first time.
Written, Illustrated and lettered by Drew Brockington Colored by Wendy Broom On sale everywhere books are sold on May 4, 2021 MSRP: $9.99“ Pre-order: Amazon
The big city is full of Superman sightings, but here in Metropolis Grove? Every kid in this suburb knows that he’s not real…except newcomer Sonia Patel, who convinces her friends Duncan and Alex to believe! When the trio discover a mysterious cave full of Super-memorabilia, they can’t keep it to themselves, and that sets off a school year full of drama and adventure and more than a few opportunities for a newfound friendship to test its limits.
And when they finally figure out the resident of the cave is Bizarro, things get even more out of control!
The Mystery Of The Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
Written by Ryan North Illustrated and colored by Derek Charm Lettered by Wes Abbot On sale everywhere books are sold on June 1, 2021 MSRP: $9.99 Pre-Order:Amazon
After angering a number of hostile spirits in England, 13-year-old magician Johnny Constantine has to find a way out of the country. Persuading his parents to send him to America, John arrives at the Junior Success Boarding School in Salem, Massachusetts. But once there,he finds himself to be something of an outcast. And he is also convinced that his homeroom teacher really has it in for him. Worse, he’s convinced that’s she’s really a witch. Fortunately, John is able to find one kindred spirit at school with whom he’s able to form an alliance–another misfit named Anna, who also happens to have her own developing magical powers. John recruits Anna in his efforts to uncover the truth about Ms. Kayla and expose the Meanest Teacher’s real identity to the world. Joined by a friendly demon named Etrigan, these two amateur sleuths will uncover clues and stumble upon forces beyond their control in a humorous series of misadventures.
Green Arrow: Stranded
Written by Brendan Deneen Illustrated and colored by Bell Hosalla Lettered by AndWorld Design On sale everywhere books are sold on July 6, 2021 MSRP: $9.99 Pre-Order: Amazon
Following a plane crash on a deserted island, 13-year-old Oliver Queen must learn the skills he needs to survive and to protect his injured father. Ollie has always hated the idea of hunting, but his dad insisted they go on this trip with his business partner, Sebastian, and his son, Tyler. When Ollie fails to take a perfect shot, the teasing starts, and he wonders if his dad will ever be proud of him again. But just when he thought their trip couldn’t get any worse, their private jet is struck by lightning and crash lands on a deserted island. Ollie awakens to find his dad seriously injured and the other passengers nowhere in sight. If they hope to survive, he’s going to have to learn skills he’s been avoiding developing so far. He has never felt less sure of who he is…or if he will be able to hang on until help arrives.