(W) Nikesh Shukla (A) Tadam Gyadu (CA) Adam Kubert Rated T In Shops: Sep 27, 2023 SRP: $3.99
RETURN OF THE LIZARD! THE LIZARD and its new terrifying ally (REDACTED) have hit SPIDER-MAN where he’s at his weakest. The wall-crawler is cornered with no hope of escape. What Spidey does next will not only seal his own fate – but the fate of all of Mumbai!
Home to some of the most memorable and thought-provoking stories in the Marvel mythos, What If? was the series where anything could happen! Now it’s back in What If…? Dark, a new series of special one-shots where the imaginations of comic creators run wild with dark twists on iconic stories! This November, Marvel welcomes back legendary writer Marv Wolfman as he teams up with artist David Cutler and Scott Hanna in What If…? Dark: Tomb of Dracula #1!
Wolfman redefined comic book horror storytelling in his groundbreaking run of The Tomb of Dracula where he introduced Dracula to the Marvel Universe and co-created Blade and the daughter of Dracula, Lilith Drake. Now decades later, he’ll revisit his mythology-molding work with a new What If…? story that asks the question, “WHAT IF…the legendary Dracula transformed BLADE the vampire slayer…into a vampire?!”
See Dracula take a bite out of Blade in Giuseppe Camuncoli’s main cover and be there when master of the craft Marv Wolfman unleashes true Marvel Comics horror in What If…? Dark: Tomb of Dracula #1 this November!
Come to the the 24th annual Baltimore Comic-Con at the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center on September 8-10, 2023. The Baltimore Comic-Con has announced the appearance of comic guests Mirka Andolfo, Scott Hanna, Tom King, Mike McKone, Andrew Pepoy, and Brian Stelfreeze in 2023. Tickets are available now on our website so attendees can avoid ticket counter lines.
Mirka Andolfo is an award-winning Italian artist and writer, appreciated for her strong female characters. Her creator-owned books (Unnatural, Mercy, Sweet Paprika, Un/Sacred) are published in more than 25 countries in the world (so far, the sales total more than 750,000 copies).
Scott Hanna is an Eisner Award-winning artist in the graphic novel industry. Scott Hanna has been drawing and inking comic books for over 30 years. His work has been published in over 1,000 comics and graphic novels, and he’s inked over 22,000 pages of comics art. At Marvel Comics, Scott’s worked on all the top characters at the company, including the Avengers, Iron Man, The X-Men, and The Hulk. He’s most known for his more than 15 year run on the Spider-Man titles. At DC Comics, he has worked on most of their major titles, including a five-year run on Detective Comics starring Batman, Green Lantern Corps, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Superman, and Teen Titans. Recently, he has worked on Venom #200, Heroes Reborn, Marvel Double Action, and X-Men Legends for Marvel, and DC Generations, Nightwing, and the Milestone books Icon and Rocket, and DUO at DC Comics. He is founder of the Arts and Fashion Institute in PA with his wife Pamela Ptak, where Scott teaches classes in sequential art, painting, drawing, and cartooning.
Ringo and Eisner Award-winning Tom King was the long-term writer of Batman at DC Comics, where he has also written Mister Miracle, Grayson, The Omega Men, DC Nation, Swamp Thing Winter Special, and has a story in Action Comics #1000, not to mention his award-winning work at Marvel on The Vision. King’s first book, A Once Crowded Sky, a postmodern super hero novel, was recognized by USA Today as one of the best Graphic Novels of the year. He was named by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the five comic creators to watch in 2015.
Hailing from England, Mike McKone‘s first published work was for DC Comics’ Justice League of America and Marvel Comics’ Punisher series. In the years since, he has illustrated almost every major character from the big two publishers, including lengthy runs on Teen Titans, Amazing Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four. Recent projects were the Avengers graphic novel, Endless Wartime and Justice League United. Now residing in the US, McKone is working on a creator-owned project while providing covers and merchandising illustrations for clients such as Marvel, DC, Dynamite, Valiant, Dorling Kindersley, and Converse.
Andrew Pepoy has worked for U.S., Canadian, British, and French publishers on hundreds of comics on such characters and titles as The Simpsons, Fables, Batman, The X-Men, Iron Man, Star Wars, Wallace & Gromit, Scooby Doo, Betty & Veronica, Lanfeust, Uncle Scrooge, and many more over the last 30 years. In 2000, Andrew redesigned Little Orphan Annie and drew the newspaper strip for the next year, and in 2005 he brought his knack for retro glamour with a modern twist to writing and drawing a revival of the classic Archie Comics character, Katy Keene. Since 1990, he has written and drawn many stories of his own Harvey Award-nominated creation, The Adventures of Simone & Ajax, which has been collected in book form by IDW and appears as a webstrip at www.simoneandajax.com, with a new series in production. Nominated several times, Andrew won an Eisner Award in 2009 and has also won an Inkwell Award and been nominated for the Harvey and Hugo Awards. He lives in Chicago. His recent work includes drawing a Dinosaucers mini-series for Lion Forge, inking the 50th Anniversary graphic novel adaptation of the The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine for Titan, inking various Simpsons comics for Bongo Comics, art for MAD Magazine, a run as guest artist on the Dick Tracy newspaper comic strip, inking Die Kitty Die for Astrocomics, and drawing covers for Doctor Who, Archie vs. Predator II, Red Sonja, Lady Death, and other titles.
Brian Stelfreeze, one of the original Gaijin Studios members, is a multi-talented artist, with experience and credits penciling, inking, coloring, painting, and even writing. His comic book covers have gained him much attention and lauding, and his run painting covers on DC Comics’ Shadow of the Bat for over 50 issues is noteworthy by itself. Brian’s creative output can be found on BOOM! Studios’ Day Men, Marvel Comics’ Black Panther, and be sure to pick up BOOM! Studios’ The Signature Art of Brian Stelfreeze to get a definitive look at the works of his publishing career.
This year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Dan Abdo (Blue, Barry & Pancakes), Arthur Adams (Longshot), Sarah Andersen (Sarah’s Scribbles), Mirka Andolfo (Sweet Paprika), Art Baltazar (Yahgz), Jeremy Bastian (Dune: House Harkonnen), Marty Baumann (Pixar artist), Carolyn Belefsky (Curls), Brian Michael Bendis (Action Comics), Jon Bogdanove (The Death of Superman), Judy Bogdanove (Steel Annual), Russ Braun (The Boys), Dan Brereton (Nocturnals), Harold Buchholz (Sweetest Beasts), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Greg Burnham (Tuskegee Heirs), Jim Calafiore (NED, Lord of the Pit), Chris Campana (Death Dealer), Joe Carabeo (Black Magic Tales), Richard Case (Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror), Castillo Studios, Howard Chaykin (Time Squared), Jo Chen (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jim Cheung (Young Avengers), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Amy Chu (KISS: The End), Chris Claremont (Uncanny X-Men), Brian Clevinger (Atomic Robo), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Katie Cook (Nothing Special), Nick Davis (Night Guardians), Deans Family (Crass Fed), Mike DeCarlo (The Simpsons, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Vito Delsante (Stray), Abby Denson (Uniquely Japan), Todd Dezago (The Perhapanauts), Derec Donovan (Adventures of Superman), Jan Duursema (Star Wars: The High Republic), Garth Ennis (The Boys), David Finch (Moon Knight), Tony Fleecs (Stray Dogs), Chris Flick (Capes and Babes), Scott Fogg (Phileas Reid Knows We’re Not Alone), Tana Ford (LaGuardia), Trish Forstner (Stray Dogs), Franco (Fae and the Moon), John Gallagher (Max Meow), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (DC Nation), Ron Garney (BZRKR), Joe Getsinger (Finding Jack Kirby in a Pile of Zinc), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!), Mike Grell (Jon Sable), Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred), Chris Gugilotti (Teen Titans Go!), Gene Ha (Mae), Laura Lee Gulledge (Page by Paige), Bob Hall (West Coast Avengers), Cully Hamner (Blue Beetle), Bo Hampton (Batman: Castle of the Bat), Brian Haberlin (Spawn), Scott Hanna (Amazing Spider-Man), Tony Harris (The Whistling Skull), Dean Haspiel (Covid Cop), Mike Hawthorne (Deadpool), Marc Hempel (Sandman), Greg Hildebrandt (Star Wars), Morry Hollowell (Old Man Logan), Jamal Igle (Superman), Mark Irwin (Green Lantern), Klaus Janson (Daredevil), Geoff Johns (Geiger), Dave Johnson (100 Bullets), Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Alien), J.G. Jones (Wanted), Kata Kane (Altar Girl), Chris Kemple (Artist Alley Comics), Tom King (The Penguin), Barry Kitson (Amazing Spider-Man), Jae Lee (Inhumans), Jeff Lemire (Black Hammer), Nate Lovett (Dungeons & Dragons), Matthew Loux (Prunella and the Cursed Skull Ring), David Mack (Kabuki), Kevin Maguire (Justice League), Tom Mandrake (Spectre), Laura Martin (Nubia: Queen of the Amazons), Mariano Brothers (Claire Lost Her Bear at the World’s Fair), Ron Marz (Green Lantern), Jason May (LEGO Club Magazine), Mike McKone (Red Goblin), Bob McLeod (New Mutants), Adriana Melo (Action Comics), Pop Mhan (Gears of War 3), Al Milgrom (Spectacular Spider-Man), Karl Moline (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mark Morales (Thor), Trevor Mueller (Re-Possessed), Sarah Myer (Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story), Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground), Jason Patterson (Blue, Barry & Pancakes), David Pepose (Savage Avengers), Andrew Pepoy (Simone & Ajax), David Petersen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen), Brandon Peterson (Uncanny X-Men), Khoi Pham (Star Wars: Darth Vader), Richard and Wendy Pini (Elfquest), Ed Piskor (Red Room: Trigger Warnings), Joe Prado (Superman), Tom Raney (Green Lantern), Afua Richardson (Omni), Christopher Ring (Seamus (the Famous)), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Peter Rostovsky (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force), Craig Rousseau (The Perhapanauts), Arsia Rozegar (Shahnameh For Kids), Steve Rude (Nexus), Jim Rugg (Hulk Grand Design), Andy Runton (Owly), Alex Saviuk (Web of Spider-Man), Stuart Sayger (The Joker), Alex Simmons (Archie), Louise Simonson (The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special), Walter Simonson (Thor), Matt Slay (Equilibrium), John K. Snyder III (Suicide Squad), Sozomaika (DC Power: A Celebration), Mark Sparacio (Omega Paradox), Joe Staton (Dick Tracy), Jim Starlin (Dreadstar), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Philip Tan (Web of Carnage), John Timms (Superman: Son of Kal-El), Peter Tomasi (Batman and Robin), Billy Tucci (Shi), Gus Vazquez (Sunfire and Big Hero Six), Emilio Velez Jr. (The Dodgeball Teens), Dexter Vines (Civil War, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Wade von Grawbadger (Justice League), Adam Wallenta (Punk Taco), Todd Webb (Mr. Toast Comics), Lee Weeks (Batman), Scott Wegener (Atomic Robo), Joey Weiser (Ghost Hog), Mark Wheatley (Skultar), Emily S. Whitten (The Underfoot), Bob Wiacek (All-New Wolverine, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Keith Williams (Thor the Worthy), Marcus Williams (Tuskegee Heirs), Rich Woodall (Electric Black), John Workman (Wild Things), Caitlin Yarsky (Black Hammer Reborn), and Thom Zahler (Love and Capes).
Now fully in the present, the Emissary has returned and his power is so far beyond Spider-Man’s abilities. The heroes may figure out a way to win, but the cost of victory will be so immense that you may hope they don’t… Amazing Spider-Man #26 delivers a finale to the story arc that ends with a thud and a clunk.
Spoiled for a week now, readers finally have a chance to see how things play out in Amazing Spider-Man #26 and none of it comes across well. Written by Zeb Wells, the sacrifice and death of a hero feels hollow for multiple reasons and when a little thought is put into it, makes little sense. The result is a comic that feels like it thinks its epic but comes off as rather shallow.
The Emissary is attempting to sacrifice MJ and has Spider-Man, Norman Osbron, and Ms. Marvel doing what they can to stop him… and a giant dragon nearby. This causes Norman to split off to stop the dragon with the help of the Fantastic Four. That part of the comic gets the short end as it feels like it’s wrapped up quickly to just wrap it up quickly. That’s almost laid out for the reader as Sue Storm tells Mr. Fantastic to shut up and just get on with his plan.
So, that leaves the real focus on Spider-Man, MJ, and Kamal and their battle. As has been spoiled for some time, Kamala sacrifices herself which somehow just makes the bad guy whither away but leaves Kamala presumably dead. Another hero who is sure to return when their television show or movie nears (hint, that’s later this year). Unfortunately the sacrifice makes absolutely no sense at all. While Kamala can shift to look like MJ, she’s unable to shift organs or her body to let the dagger just pass through her? It just feels like an abrupt way with a lack of imagination to stop the bad guy. And, the setup doesn’t help. Bad dialogue causes eye rolling throughout the comic that crescendos into this rather lazy way to end things. It’s been done far too many times and the emotional punch just isn’t there at all.
I stated when this latest volume began that I’m not a fan of John Romita Jr.‘s style. With ink by Scott Hanna, color by Marco Menyz and Erick Arciniega and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the art style especially falls short with this type of story. The blocky faces just lack an emotional aspect to them that’s needed to really drive home this sort of moment.
Overall, Amazing Spider-Man #26 might have had something had it not been spoiled but even then, the end comes off as cheap and short lived. We know Kamala will be back, it’s just a question as to when and how.
Story: Zeb Wells Art: John Romita Jr. Ink: Scott Hanna Color: Marco Menyz, Erick Arciniega Lettere: Joe Caramagna Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Jed MacKay, Danny Lore (A) Alessandro Cappuccio, Ray-Anthony Height (C) Rachelle Rosenberg (I) Le Beau Underwood, Scott Hanna (L) Cory Petit (CA) Stephen Segovia, Rachelle Rosenberg (VCA) Chris Allen and Guru-eFX, Gerardo Sandoval and David Curiel, Philip Tan and Frank D’Armata Rated T+ In Shops: Feb 01, 2023 SRP: $4.99
There’s blood on the streets as assassins work their way through a list of names containing those who once formed Moon Knight’s Shadow Cabinet. But with a number of potential targets and no idea who’s next, how can Moon Knight save his former associates? PLUS: Just in time for Black History Month, a second story in which the crescent crusader crosses paths with the Sheriff of the Vampire Nation, Blade!
(W) Greg Pak (A) Khoi Pham, Scott Hanna (CA) Dike Ruan In Shops: Oct 18, 2022 SRP: $3.99
In this climactic final issue, Kelly and David fight a war on three fronts! On one side there are malevolent immortals hungry for vengeance. On the other, Dr. Tinker, who will let those immortals rip the city apart to get his hands on Kelly and David’s nanotech. But the real war is Kelly and David’s fight with each other for control of the body they share…and their fate will, in turn, decide humanity’s!
(W) Greg Pak (A) Khoi Pham, Scott Hanna (CA) Dike Ruan In Shops: Sep 20, 2022 SRP: $3.99
When bestowed with the enormous powers of a god…do as gods do! David and Kelly flout enemies and allies alike to reveal themselves to the public and heal the sick and suffering with their nanobot technology. But inside their shared body, David and Kelly are at war for control. With a new threat on the horizon so great that even the Immortals fear it, will the bickering lovers get it together in time to save the world?
I’ll admit I tend to be hot or cold when it comes to Spider-Man. I usually pick up the series when there’s a new launch or team and read the first arc, maybe. But, I usually trail off, overwhelmed with so many choices. I’ve enjoyed storylines here and there but I rarely read or follow entire runs. I enjoyed “Beyond” realizing it was a short term arc before the “next phase” of the character began. And, it arrives with Amazing Spider-Man #1, a new start to help celebrate 60 years of the character.
Zeb Wells kicks off the new era as the writer teamed with artist John Romita Jr. making his triumphant return to the character. Unfortunately, while the comic should be an exciting celebration, it overall feels a bit disjointed and choppy at times focused more on the setup than the now.
Opening with a mysterious event, the comic skips six months later. We find that Peter is down on his luck, dodging bill collectors and generally ghosting his friends. He’s the usual sad sack but instead of the loveable loser, he comes off more as just a jerk. This isn’t the Peter we feel bad for. He’s much more of an ass making it hard to cheer for him. This is depressing Peter, not funny quippy Peter who can’t get his act together. This Peter deserves to be slapped to get his act together.
From there, it’s action, reveals, and catching up with characters as to where they are. Yes, there’s some surprises and a few characters get some growth but overall the goal feels like surprises taking advantage of the six months time skip. Answers will come but those surprises create the disjointed feel at times, like it’s a series of vignettes as opposed to a flowing narrative. But, where the comic works, it really works. A dinner with Tombstone has such great personality and is a highlight of the comic.
John Romita Jr.‘s art to me is also a bit hit-or-miss. I know individuals like his style but I’ve never been the biggest fan. With ink by Scott Hanna and color by Marcio Menyz, visually the comic is all over. It lacks the “classic” contortionist look made popular over the years and instead we get Romita’s style which at times is more baffling than the contortionist take. I think my issue with Romita’s style is that the characters look so much the same with a generally blocky head, like LEGO figures that have certain parts changed but the base remains the same. But, like the story itself, there’s some great artistic moments. They’re just spotty and few and far. If you’re a fan of Romita’s style, I’m sure your take will be much more positive but this is really a personal preference and taste.
There’s a lot to take in with Amazing Spider-Man #1. It shows a lot of potential with where the story’s going and generally feels like a new and interesting direction for the first arc at least. Hopefully, things get a bit smoother going forward as it all plays out but as a start, it’s just so-so.
Story: Zeb Wells Art: John Romita Jr. Ink: Scott Hanna Color: Marcio Menyz Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Devil’s Reign has been solid so far. The event sees Wilson Fisk’s plans all coming together as he uses his power as Mayor of New York to try to reign in Marvel’s superheroes. There’s a little bit of Dark Reign mixed with the Superhero Registration Act but all updated to reflect today’s political reality. But, even better, the tie-ins for the event have been really good as well. It feels rare that event tie-ins have been the quality that they’ve been so far. Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire #1 is an entertaining read and one that shines the spotlight on just one aspect of Fisk’s plan.
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman, Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire #1 focuses on a new team of Thunderbolts who work alongside the NYPD to maintain law and order. Of course the team is beyond dysfunction comprising of Taskmaster, Rhino, Whiplash, Electro, and Agony. It’s a varied mix of personalities and issues with an end result you know is only going to wind up with a meltdown of the team. Chapman focuses in on that dysfunction. Not only the team’s dynamic with each other but their brutal justice as well. They might hold up law and order but they’re murdering to do so. They also have no problem fighting each other as well as those that break the law.
The fact Chapman focuses on the initial villains as comical terrorists attacking a ball for its excess instead of using the money to help feed families. It plays up the comical aspects of the comic though delivers villains that feel a bit goofy and easy targets. But, they’re not really the point, it’s the death and destruction the Thunderbolts bring to resolve the issue that is.
The art is by Manuel Garcia and it’s good. Generally it plays up the over-the-top nature of the story. My gripe is Rhino who never quite looks right and at times feels flat in the visuals. Everyone else is great, just his character feels very off in almost every scene. Garcia is joined by a bunch of inkers Lorenzo Ruggiero, Scott Hanna, Livesay, Andy Owens, and Victor Nava. Dono Sánchez-Almara and Fer Sifuentes-Sujo handle the color while Joe Sabino is on lettering. The art is generally good and tries to play up the comedy of it all instead of focusing on the gore.
Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire #1 is an entertaining addition to an event that has been solid. It plays out as expected and hits the beats that are expected. It, so far, hasn’t broken any new ground but it does deliver enough entertaining moments to make it a worthy read.
Story: Clay McLeod Chapman Art: Manuel Garcia Ink: Lorenzo Ruggiero, Scott Hanna, Livesay, Andy Owens, Victor Nava Color: Dono Sánchez-Almara, Fer Sifuentes-Sujo Letterer: Joe Sabino Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Spider-Man and Marvel is celebrating its most iconic hero with a new volume of Amazing Spider-Man brought to life by two acclaimed comic book talents, Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.!
His “Shed” storyline is considered one of the best Spider-Man stories of all time, his bold work on New Warriors laid the groundwork for Civil War, and he’s currently making waves within the Spidey mythos in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN’s current “Beyond” era. Now hit writer Zeb Wells is ready to begin a new age at the helm of one of Marvel’s all-time great comic book series. Wells will be joined on Amazing Spider-Man by none other than the legend himself—John Romita Jr. The definitive Amazing Spider-Man artist made his grand return to Marvel last year specifically for this run and is back to bring Spider-Man’s world to the page with his singular, unmatched finesse. Arriving in April, Wells and Romita Jr.’s run will house all the classic elements fans love about Peter Parker, surprising new takes on your favorite Spider-Man foes, and the answer to the question that will be on everyone’s mind: WHAT DID SPIDER-MAN DO?
Peter’s on the outs with the FF. He’s on the outs with the Avengers. He’s even on the outs with Aunt May! After a terrible and mysterious incident, no one wants to see Spider-Man – except for Doctor Octopus. Ock’s on Spider-Man’s tail and the Master Planner has something truly terrible planned for when he gets his tentacles on Spidey. All that, and Tombstone makes a move that will remind readers why he’s one of Spider-Man’s most terrifying villains…
Join us for Spider-Man’s biggest year when Amazing Spider-Man #1 hits stands in April with inks by Scott Hanna and colors by Marcio Menyz.