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Review: Marvel’s Voices #1

Marvel's Voices #1

Marvel’s Voices is an Experience, capital E. It’s the first comic I know about that adapts the concept of a podcast into a comics anthology collecting stories from black creators giving their take on the Marvel universe.

The book’s title carries over from the podcast it’s based on, which is hosted by Angélique Roché. The list of creators includes Vita Ayala, Damion Scott, Kyle Baker, Brian Stelfreeze, Roxane Gay, Method Man, Alitha Martínez, among other notable industry names. What’s interesting about the project, though, is that it embraces its multimedia roots by featuring essays from other creators accessible via Marvel’s Voices online page.

Two particular essays grabbed my attention: Regine L. Sawyer’s “Growing Up Marvel” and Karama Horne’s “The Legacy of Isaiah Bradley: The First Black Captain America.” (Disclosure: Karama and Regine have both contributed to our site – ed.)

Sawyer’s essay is about her origin story into comics through a less conventional avenue than most other stories of the kind: X-Men trading cards. I don’t want to spoil the essay because it is a fascinating and well-written story, but it is wonderful to get this look at how comics allow for multiple entry points given it’s an entire cultural package. It made me remember my card collecting days growing up, both the same X-Men cards Sawyer collected and the classic Pepsi Cards I religiously hunted down back when they came out in Puerto Rico. I still have them with me and they also helped me embrace comics.

Horne’s essay is about two comics: Truth and The Crew. Each one stands as some of Marvel’s best comic book offerings. They were subversive and hard-hitting, daring enough to give Marvel a black Captain America (in Truth), complete with an exploration of the tragic treatment black heroes get using real-life black history as the basis for the problems each character faces (which is expanded upon in The Crew).

The essay is a great and concise history of these comics, but it also serves as a lesson on visibility. That Marvel hasn’t reprinted these stories or released newer editions of the paperbacks brings up more questions than it should. I think Horne’s essay makes a strong argument as to why we need these comics back on the stands.

On the comic’s side of Marvel’s Voices, we get a strong if a bit uneven set of short stories that are personal, celebratory, and thoughtful as to why Marvel characters mean so much in the struggle for more diverse voices in the industry. Kyle Baker, for instance, produced a one-pager Ant-Man and Nick Fury story titled “Perspective,” about Fury’s problem with depth perception. It’s a quick hit but the art on display here is impressive enough to make anyone want to see Baker do more Marvel work.

Geoffrey Thorne, Khary Randolph, and Emilio López’s “Top of the Key,” on the other hand, is a one-pager on Mosaic story (a character Marvel has severely underused, in my opinion) that would’ve benefited from an additional page or two. It feels more like a setup for a larger story and we only really just get a taste of it.

Rob Markman, Damion Scott, and Dono Sánchez-Almara’s “What a Wonderful World” stands as one of the most impressive stories in the anthology as it offers a well-rounded look at a Marvel character with outstanding art and a clear message to boot. It centers on a troubled Silver Surfer, comparing Marvel’s biggest villains with humanity’s own villainy when it comes to protecting the environment. No panel was spared, no color was misplaced, and no bit of text hung without intent. Just a really good two-page story.

The best story in the book is without question “Inspiration,” by James Monroe Iglehart, Ray-Anthony Height, and Emilio López. This 4-page tale gives the radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers a much-deserved platform to contemplate his role in the grand scheme of things. The script showcases an interesting play on what a superpowered spider is supposed to be and how much of its natural instincts define its actions. It’s simply unforgettable and truly worthy of getting its own comic book series.

Marvel Voices #1 is the type of book Marvel needs to invest more on. It shows just how important it is to bring in other perspectives into this superhero universe and just how different it can all turn out to be. It speaks to the power of voices hungry for diversity in storytelling. And that, in itself, is a beautiful thing.

Writers: John Jennings, Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, David Betancourt, James Monroe Iglehart, Evan Narcisse, Vita Ayala, Regine L. Sawyer, Brian Stelfreeze, Brandon Montclare, Tatiana King Jones, Karama Horne, Kyle Baker, Roxane Gay, Yona Harvey, Don McGregor, Geoffrey Thorne, Rob Markman, Method Man, Daniel Dominguez, Charlamagne The God, David F. Walker, Chuck Brown
Art: Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, Ray-Anthony Height, Jahnoy Lindsay, Bernard Chang, Brian Stelfreeze, Natacha Bustos, Kyle Baker, Brittney L. Williams, Khary Randolph, Damion Scott, Alitha E. Martinez, JJ Kirby, Sanford Greene
Color: Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, Emilio Lopez, Marcelo Maiolo, Brian Stelfreeze, Tamra Bonvillain, Kyle Baker, Rachelle Rosenberg, Dono Sánchez-Almara, JJ Kirby, Matt Herms
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Writing: 9 Essays: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy and make sure to bag and board it.

Sanford Greene Pays Homage to My Neighbor Totoro with a Bitter Root #6 Variant

Bestselling, Eisner Award nominated artist Sanford Greene pays homage to popular Miyazaki film, My Neighbor Totoro, in forthcoming Bitter Root #6 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Greene. 

The new story arc of Bitter Root kicks off with issue #6 and will feature the work of new colorist Sofie Dodgson

In Bitter Root #6, the monster-fighting Sangerye family returns for another adventure. Loved ones once thought lost forever have returned—though the bliss of this family reunion doesn’t last for long. Cullen has changed, and everyone is concerned. But they’ll need all the help they can get, as a new threat has arrived on Earth…

The Bitter Root series takes place in the 1920s while the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing and follows the Sangerye Family. Once the greatest family of monster hunters in the world, the Sangeryes must move beyond the tragedies of the past, or be forced to sit back and watch an unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

Bitter Root #6 Cover C by Greene (Diamond Code DEC198586) will be available through Power Comics.

Bitter Root Gets a New Colorist and New Arc as it’s Developed for Film

Image Comics has announced the return of the critically acclaimed series Bitter Root this February. Nominated for multiple awards including the Eisner and the Ringo, Bitter Root is currently in development as a film from producer Ryan Coogler and Legendary. 

The new story arc of Bitter Root kicks off with issue #6 and will feature the work of new colorist Sofie Dodgson. The series is by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene.

In Bitter Root #6, the monster-fighting Sangerye family returns for another adventure. Loved ones once thought lost forever have returned—though the bliss of this family reunion doesn’t last for long. Cullen has changed, and everyone is concerned. But they’ll need all the help they can get, as a new threat has arrived on Earth…

The Bitter Root series takes place in the 1920s while the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing and follows the Sangerye Family. Once the greatest family of monster hunters in the world, the Sangeryes must move beyond the tragedies of the past, or be forced to sit back and watch an unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

Bitter Root #6 Cover A by Greene (Diamond Code DEC190073) and Bitter Root #6 Cover B by Chris Brunner [limited] (Diamond Code DEC190074) will hit stores on Wednesday, February 19.

Bitter Root #6

Chuck Brown, Prenzy, and Clayton Cowles Deliver Hand-to-Hand Combat Politics with On the Stump

Eisner-nominated writer Chuck Brown joins forces with Italian artist Prenzy and letterer Clayton Cowles to create a hyper-violent, hyper-stylized ongoing series On the Stump coming to Image Comics this February.

Each issue of the first story arc will feature a connecting variant cover by Sanford Greene.

In the On the Stump universe, history diverged in 1868 when a pivotal presidential debate turned violent. Today, elections are decided by highly publicized hand-to-hand combat in arenas called Stumps. Unfortunately, the violence doesn’t end in the ring, and powerful people can still get away with murder. Senator Jack Hammer and FBI Agent Anna Bell Lister are teaming up to bring it all down.

This February the campaign trail is paved with blood and broken bones.

On the Stump #1 Cover A by Prenzy (Diamond Code DEC190065) and On the Stump #1 Cover B by Sanford Greene (Diamond Code DEC190066) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, February 19.

On the Stump #1

Marvel’s Voices Expands Into Comics with Marvel’s Voices #1

Following last year’s debut of Marvel’s bi-weekly podcast interview series, Marvel’s Voices, Marvel expands the spotlight on some of the comic book industry’s most critically-acclaimed storytellers with Marvel’s Voices #1, written and drawn by an all-star roster of talent including Vita Ayala, Roxane Gay, Brian Stelfreeze, Method Man, and many more!

In this gripping one-shot anthology, fans will get another look at the X-Men following the events of House of X and Powers of X; the return of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur; and other stories featuring the Hulk and Wolverine, Black Panther, Killmonger, She-Hulk, Black Widow, Ant-Man, and the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Since the podcast’s launch, Marvel’s Voices has featured guests and talent from across Marvel’s comics, live-action television shows, animation, games, and celebrity fans of Marvel from entertainment and beyond. The series garnered a loyal following for its in-depth exclusive interviews by host Angélique Roché, highlighting unforgettable stories and key moments from the Marvel Universe through a wide range of unique perspectives. Marvel’s Voices will launch its new season in February 2020.

Don’t miss Marvel’s Voices #1, in stores this February!

MARVEL’S VOICES #1

MARVEL’S VOICES #1

Written by VITA AYALA, ROXANE GAY, BRIAN STELFREEZE, GEOFF THORNE, ANTHONY PIPER, KYLE BAKER, EVAN NARCISSE, METHOD MAN, ROB MARKMAN, CHUCK BROWN, and DAVID F. WALKER
Art by BRIAN STELFREEZE, ANTHONY PIPER, KYLE BAKER, SANFORD GREENE, DAMION SCOTT, RAY-ANTHONY HEIGHT, ALITHA E. MARTINEZ, NATACHA BUSTOS, and LUCIANO VECCHIO
Cover art by RYAN BENJAMIN

THE WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW!

Marvel’s acclaimed podcast series focusing on telling the stories of diverse creators and their unique perspectives becomes a one shot of brand-new adventures! The X-Men find their place in the world after declaring a new nation! Killmonger strikes! Moon Girl and Devil Dino return!

Preview: Killers #2 (of 5)

KILLERS #2 (of 5)

Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover Aby JONBOY MEYERS
Cover Bby SANFORD GREENE
Cover C by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Cover D by JOHN K. SNYDER III
Pre-Order Editionby WHILCE PORTACIO with RAYMUND LEE
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale AUGUST 28th

What’s mightier, the superninja or the rocket launcher?

Ninjas are virtually fearless, but what can cut straight to their core and make them tremble? Enter: Ninja-F!

Featuring the first appearance of the mysterious woman named Snapdragon!

KILLERS #2 (of 5)

Preview: Fallen World #2 (of 5)

FALLEN WORLD #2 (of 5)

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by ADAM POLLINA
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by SANFORD GREENE
Cover B by DECLAN SHALVEY
Cover C by NIK VIRELLA
Pre-Order Edition Cover by DIEGO YAPUR with ULISES ARREOLA
On sale June 5th, 2019
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color 

Get ready for the second thrilling chapter in Valiant’s explosive event series!

Rai’s creator and most dangerous foe has returned! The cyborg samurai faces an impossible challenge. Can he stop his greatest enemy from gaining even more power?

FALLEN WORLD #2 (of 5)

Meet Your Next Hero… Lou the Cat in Strayed

In Dark Horse’s latest series, Strayed, life is bleak. A military-industrial complex reigns over all humanity and is actively destroying distant alien worlds. But there is hope for the galaxy yet and luckily, this hero has nine lives!

The fate of the universe rests in the paws of Lou, an astral-projecting cat and his loving owner Kiara. Desperate to preserve the well-being of billions, their revolt against the status quo is a battle for love, friendship, and the soul of humanity, all brought to you from psychedelic space!

Strayed comes to you from the minds of writer and first-time comics creator Carlos Giffoni, artist and colorist Juan Doe, and letterer Matt Krotzer. They are joined by a host of talented variant cover artists: Dustin Ngyuen, Jim Mahfood, Alexis Ziritt, Matteo Scalera, and Sanford Greene.

Strayed #1 (of 5) arrives in comic shops August 14th.

Strayed #1

B. Clay Moore Talks Valiant’s Killers with an Exclusive Look at Killers #2’s Covers

With the August comic solicits being revealed, we’ve got an exclusive look at the covers for Killers #2! Writer B. Clay Moore drops some insight as to what we can expect from this new series!

But, what is Valiant’s new series Killers?

Killers spins out of the world of Ninjak! Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by the mysterious Jonin! But what does the Jonin want from them, and what do they gain out of helping him? Each of these assassins can channel their ki in different ways, granting them incredible abilities!

Killers #1 is out July 31 from Moore, artist Fernando Dagnino, colorist José Villarrubia, and letterer Jeff Powell.

We got a chance to ask Moore some questions about the new series. After that is the reveal of Killers #2‘s covers!


Graphic Policy: Based upon the early solicits, Killers clearly takes its cues from Ninja-K. Does a reader need to be familiar with that series in order to enjoy Killers?

B. Clay Moore: No, not at all. While readers of Ninja-K will be glad to see an element of that book expanded upon, this is, for all intents and purposes, ground zero for a new group of characters.

GP: There are so many possibilities and stories to tell when it comes to MI6’s Ninja Programme. What can readers expect from Killers

BCM: An expansion on the nature of those MI6 ninjas who were trained by the Jonin, for starters. Mainly, though, Killers is an example of picking up seeds from previous stories about the Ninja Programme, and watching them grow into a related but wholly separate concept. That’s a testament to the work previous creative teams have put into fleshing out a three-dimensional world for us to plunder.

GP: Killers expands upon and delves a little deeper into some former Ninja Progamme operatives; what made you decide to go with the letters you did? What makes them stand out from each other?

BCM: Editor Karl Bollers and I sort of kicked around the eras in which we figured the various Ninjas had operated, and then examined how much information had been previously revealed about each operative. In most cases, there was a lot of room to build almost from scratch, so we took that opportunity to do so. We then constructed separate sets of abilities for each character, and then mapped out what they’ve been doing since leaving the Programme. In essence, once they’ve left the Programme behind, any similarities—beyond their killer natures—are left behind, as well. 

GP: With a cast of characters to focus on, what were you looking for as far as a gateway character?

BCM: Ninja-G, who has been fleshed out the most in the Ninja-K book, was our natural choice as a gateway character. Enough had been established to give us a solid base upon which to build, and the fact that she was a seventies-era badass was also appealing. And a relationship that had been hinted at previously became the springboard with which to launch her into the story. 

GP: Other than the operatives, will we also get a little more insight into the Ninja Programme, and the lengths they went to train their operatives?

BCM: Very much so. New revelations about the nature of that training is sort of at the heart of the book, and defines not just the characters, but also their motivation for coming together.

GP: Are there any other Ninjas you would like to explore a little more in the future?

BCM: Oh, sure. Now that we’ve established some new dynamics regarding former Programme operatives, I’d love to play a part in actively inserting other Ninjas from the past into the present. There’s still a lot of unearthed potential there. 

GP: Valiant does an excellent job of balancing the individual series and their bigger picture storyline. You can enjoy a single series or the richer story of everything. How does it work as a writer thinking about those two things?

BCM: As with the last Valiant book I wrote, Savage, I try to focus on creating something new and self-contained that still slots in logically with what we already know about the Valiant Universe. And, of course, everything is written with an eye toward how the characters we’re creating might interact with other Valiant characters in the future. With that said, I think Killers will definitely provide fodder for future stories beyond this initial title. The characters introduced here could logically find themselves tangling with any of Valiant’s heavy hitters somewhere down the road.


Check out the covers for Killers #2!

Killers #2 Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Killers #2 Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Killers #2 Cover B by SANFORD GREENE
Killers #2 Cover B by SANFORD GREENE
Killers #2 Cover C by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Killers #2 Cover C by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Killers #2 Cover D by JOHN K. SNYDER
Killers #2 Cover D by JOHN K. SNYDER III

Sci-Fi Mayhem Unfolds in Fallen World #2

Savage sword fights, rampaging robot dinosaurs, and an unrelenting army of… blood soldiers?! Fallen World #2 (of 5) transports you to the ferocious world of 4002 A.D. as a cyborg samurai and an immortal fighter struggle to strike down an immensely powerful foe. How can they defeat a virtually unstoppable enemy… or are they simply delaying the inevitable?

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by ADAM POLLINA
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by SANFORD GREENE
Cover B by DECLAN SHALVEY
Cover C by NIK VIRELLA

Get ready for the second thrilling chapter in Valiant’s explosive event series! Rai’s creator and most dangerous foe has returned! The cyborg samurai faces an impossible challenge. Can he stop his greatest enemy from gaining even more power? How many more positronic dinosaurs will have to die for Rai to save the future?

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JUNE 5th

Fallen World #2
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