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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

Advance 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

Review: Livewire #2

When the superpowered psiot codenamed Livewire plunged the entire country into a nationwide power outage, she made more than a few enemies – and now she’s about to meet them face to face! But these mysterious foes aren’t simply interested in bringing her to justice…no, they have other far more nefarious plans for the most wanted woman in the world…

After the events of Harbinger Wars II, which was a perfectly forgettable and very disappointing story, Livewire has emerged as perhaps one of the most fascinating characters in comics. Much like Magneto, who will do anything to protect and defend mutantkind, Livewire’s actions have blurred the line between hero and villain for the character. She may feel she’s a hero, but is she?

The first issue saw Livewire captured and drugged by a gang of soldiers, the results of which are dealt with in Livewire #2  in a slower paced but no less emotional story. I may not have been the biggest fan of the way Harbinger Wars II was told, but I am really enjoying the way that Vita Ayala is building upon Livewire after her actions in that miniseries. Ayala doesn’t let us forget that our actions have consequences, and although there’s a stereotypical guard figure in the book, even his anger at Livewire feels understandable and justifiable because of the damage she caused.

It’s an anger that’s not just expressed through the dialogue, but visually too. Raul Allen and Patricia Martin are adept and conveying the emotions of the characters through their linework and the colours used in the comic, and often provide much more of an insight to a character’s emotional state than you’d necessarily expect from a comic book. Their style isn’t one I immediately warmed to when I first came across it, but Allen and Martin are an incredibly talented duo who subvert expectations with their work; the more you see it then the more you’re going to love it. It’s deceptively simple art – there’s very little flashy effects used, and the style is stronger for it.

Despite the intelligent use of colour this issue, Livewire #2 is a book that lives in the moral grey area. It delights in making you question your point of view and your sympathies with the main character. Whether she’s a hero or a villain is still largely in the eyes of the reader, but I can’t wait to see where the creative team take us.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Livewire #1

LIVEWIRE_001_VARIANT-GLASS_BRAITHWAITE

Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable super-powered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blackout with her technopathic abilities, causing untold devastation. After choosing the few over the many, she must now outrun the government she served – and those she once called allies. With the whole world hunting her, what kind of hero will Livewire be…or will she be one at all?

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. That phrase stuck with me as I was reading this comic, for rather obvious reasons as we see, perhaps the first time, Livewire’s more human side since the events of Harbinger Wars II, and the catastrophic loss of life resulting from her effective nation-wide EMP pulse. Livewire #1 opens with several pages of soul searching in Livewire’s internal monologue as she justifies her actions, the end result of those actions, and her intentions. That Vita Ayala has  been able to give Livewire an almost sympathetic slant after all she has done recently in the Valiant Universe is no mean feat. The character’s desire to protect and save young psiots at any cost brings to mind both her mentor Toyo Harada, and one of Marvel’s most compelling villains in Magneto.

This is a fantastic way to approach a very complex character, one that could easily be viewed as Valiant’s new premier villain. It’s this angle that makes Livewire #1 so interesting to read. Although the audience knows what Livewire has done, you can’t help but feel for her as she struggles to justify her actions to herself and to her (former?) team, the Secret Weapons (if you haven’t read the four issue miniseries these characters originated from, the simply named Secret Weapons, then you’re missing out).

Livewire #1 is a very intelligent read, and Ayala has already established a book with a lot of promise going forward, but a comic is more than just excellent writing; it’s a combination of words and art. The art team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin are perhaps one of the most visually interesting and dynamic art teams I’ve ever seen in a comic book. The colours of the pages are either predominantly a pale blue, almost cold in its technical and clinical usage, or a red that has the frustration and anger palpably emanating from the panels. This is a book about cold frustration, and it shows in all the subtleties in the art.

Allen and Martin give us a powerful performance that in every way matches Ayala’s writing, and sets Valiant’s newest series up for a huge amount of success – hopefully success that will be reflected in the sales charts as well as the critical reception.

This is, frankly, a fantastic comic book. I can’t wait for the second issue (I also can’t wait to see this in print, either).

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Advanced Review: Livewire #1

LIVEWIRE_001_VARIANT-GLASS_BRAITHWAITEALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES! FOR THE FIRST TIME, LIVEWIRE TAKES CENTER STAGE!

Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable super-powered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blackout with her technopathic abilities, causing untold devastation. After choosing the few over the many, she must now outrun the government she served – and those she once called allies. With the whole world hunting her, what kind of hero will Livewire be…or will she be one at all?

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. That phrase stuck with me as I was reading this comic, for rather obvious reasons as we see, perhaps the first time, Livewire’s more human side since the events of Harbinger Wars II, and the catastrophic loss of life resulting from her effective nation-wide EMP pulse. Livewire #1 opens with several pages of soul searching in Livewire’s internal monologue as she justifies her actions, the end result of those actions, and her intentions. That Vita Ayala has  been able to give Livewire an almost sympathetic slant after all she has done recently in the Valiant Universe is no mean feat. The character’s desire to protect and save young psiots at any cost brings to mind both her mentor Toyo Harada, and one of Marvel’s most compelling villains in Magneto.

This is a fantastic way to approach a very complex character, one that could easily be viewed as Valiant’s new premier villain. It’s this angle that makes Livewire #1 so interesting to read. Although the audience knows what Livewire has done, you can’t help but feel for her as she struggles to justify her actions to herself and to her (former?) team, the Secret Weapons (if you haven’t read the four issue miniseries these characters originated from, the simply named Secret Weapons, then you’re missing out).

Livewire #1 is a very intelligent read, and Ayala has already established a book with a lot of promise going forward, but a comic is more than just excellent writing; it’s a combination of words and art. The art team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin are perhaps one of the most visually interesting and dynamic art teams I’ve ever seen in a comic book. The colours of the pages are either predominantly a pale blue, almost cold in its technical and clinical usage, or a red that has the frustration and anger palpably emanating from the panels. This is a book about cold frustration, and it shows in all the subtleties in the art.

Allen and Martin give us a powerful performance that in every way matches Ayala’s writing, and sets Valiant’s newest series up for a huge amount of success – hopefully success that will be reflected in the sales charts as well as the critical reception.

This is, frankly, a fantastic comic book. I can’t wait for the second issue (I also can’t wait to see this in print, either).

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin Letters: Saida Temofonte
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the return of Looney Tunes and DC Comics coming together for a series of one-shot specials!

Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1 is by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Pier Brito, Paul Mounts, Dave Sharpe, Joe Quinones, Sholly Fisch, Dave Alvarez, and Saida Temofonte.

Get your copy in comic shops today. 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 or TFAW

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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: 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: DC’s Young Animal Milk Wars

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the collection of the non-event, Milk Wars!

Milk Wars is by Steve Orlando, Gerard Way, Jody Houser, Cecil Castellucci, Jon Rivera, Magdalene Visaggio, Aco, Ty Templeton, Mirka Andolfo, Langdon Foss, Dale Eaglesham, Nick Derington, Sonny Liew, Tamra Bonvillain, Marissa Louise, Keiren Smith, Nick Filardi, Clem Robins, John Workman, Saida Temofonte, Todd Klein, Frank Quitely, Rian Hughes, Clay Mann, and Marissa Louise.

Get your copy in comic shops today. 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 or TFAW

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Preview: Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? #92

Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? #92

Story: Ivan Cohen
Art: Walter Carzon
Ink: Horacio Ottolini
Color: Silvana Brys
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Editor: Harvey Richards
In Shops: Apr 11, 2018
SRP: $2.99

It’s the annual Mystery-Con International – a convention honoring sleuths from all over the world – and this year, Mystery, Inc. are the guests of honor! But when the booth of some of their biggest fans is ROBBED of some valuable merchandise, our heroes have to go undercover as Mystery, Inc. cosplayers to find out whodunnit!

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