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Preview: Champions #25

Champions #25

(W) Jim Zub (A) Max Dunbar (A/CA) Sean Izaakse
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
SRP: $4.99

OVERSIZED 25TH ISSUE!
Celebrate 25 issues of Champions with the start of a brand-new story and a perfect jumping-on point! Swords and sorcery beckon as our heroes travel to Weirdworld, a place where dreams can come true, but nightmares are never far away! A quest begins and sacrifices will be made…

Exclusive Preview: Champions #24

Champions #24

Story: Jim Zub
Art: Sean Izaakse
Color: Marcio Menyz, Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Sean Izaakse, Marcio Menyz
Associate Editor: Alanna Smith
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The Champions grapple with a foe that all the super-powers in the world cannot vanquish!

Weirdworld Still Needs Heroes, and the Champions Head on the Ultimate Quest

This October, Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse, and Max Dunbar are taking the Champions on the ultimate quest—one that involves an adventure beyond what could ever be imagined! But as they travel through this twisted fantasy realm, one thing becomes clear: they may never be the same…

Two of their teammates have vanished into Weirdworld and the rest of the Champions have no choice but to follow them into that ever-changing landscape. The team will be changed in profound and unexpected ways leading to something new on the horizon.

Join the quest and prepare for sacrifice, swords and sorcery as our heroes encounter the monsters and nightmares only found in Weirdworld! The three part story begins in Champions #25, coming to shops October 3rd.

Review: Champions #19

CHAMP-1Ironheart and The Unstoppable Wasp join the Champions at last! The team has grown but the mission stays the same – the Champions fight to make the world a better place for all! Writer Jim Zub (Avengers: No Surrender) and artist Sean Izaakse (Uncanny Avengers) reunite to push the Champions beyond their limits with any icy Antarctic adventure that will challenge everything they believe in! Don’t miss this first chapter of a new era of Champions – and the birth of a brand new hero!

Well, the creative team has changed. I am a huge fan of this book and have loved the ride it has taken me on.  When I heard that the team working on the book was changing, it had me worried. Not that this talent couldn’t do what they do, but worried if they could do what they do on this title. So I did my best to go into this issue open minded and see if it measured up. Short answer: no. Jim Zub does a fine enough job bringing us up to speed with the team and where they are now with their new members.  It just didn’t feel like anything exciting or page turning. The story is very generic, something we’ve all seen before and not done any differently. Same with the banter between the characters; nothing note worthy, just ok.

And Sean Izaakse’s art is fine. Some of his facial expressions look strange (especially some panels of Hulk) but that’s really the only knock I have against it. It looks ok, it’s good art. That’s all I can say.

I know I’m being pretty basic here but that’s really how this issue felt to me; basic. I know this is all going to come across as me sounding like a bitter fanboy, and ok maybe I am, but the magic is gone from the Champions. First, to get it out of the way, I hate this new Wasp (Nadia Van Dyne). There, I said it, let the hate commence. No, I didn’t read her series, but that was because what I saw of her in Avengers wasn’t enough to make me like her. I don’t have any real reason for the dislike, other then I just don’t like her. She annoys me. A lot. I am also not a fan of Ironheart joining the team. Her book I did read, or least I did when it started and stuck with it for a few issues, and it was good. I enjoyed her interaction with AI Tony Stark and how she was becoming the heir, as it were, to the Iron Man mantle. But it got old; Tony and Riri talking armor, flying off to fight a bad guy and then working on her armor in her garage. And repeat. And now here she is on this team, pretty much being the non-team player, working on her armor and being annoyed by having other people around. Then why join a team? Yes, yes, this will lead to character growth and development, but a few pages of her already just working on stuff and being annoyed by her teammates and I’ve had enough of her.

And it’s sad too, because there were other potential recruits that would have made better additions to the team, at least in my opinion. These were original characters that could have been fleshed out and added more depth to the storytelling. Red Locust, Patriot (Rayshaun Lucas), and Falcon (Joaquin Torres) are the three that really stand out to me; they had great origin stories, were new to the superhero scene and would really have fit in with the vibe and message of this book. I think the creative team missed a huge opportunity and just gave us something that was safe and that really just misses the mark.

And MAN do I miss Humberto Ramos‘ art on this book! His style was PERFECT for this title; it was youthful and bold and in your face. It really brought the energy and characters alive and it was a huge reason why I enjoyed this title so much. I really missed that in this issue.

Overall, as you might have guessed, I was underwhelmed with this new creative team and their debut issue. The story is generic with a “been there, done that” feel to it, and the art was just ok to me, with some really weird depictions of Hulk throughout. As I stated earlier, yeah I’m bitter about the talent changing on this book, but I really wanted to like this issue. I wanted great things for this title and for it to live up to it being one of my favorite books. I’m not so sure about it now. Am I giving it up? No, I won’t just let this one issue turn me off completely from a title I have raved about since issue one.  But I’m not optimistic about the direction it is going in. First impressions leave a lasting mark, and this new creative team did not leave a good one with this reader.

Story: Jim Zub  Art: Sean Izaakse  Color Artist: Marcio Menyz
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE issue for review

Preview: Champions #19

Champions #19

(W) Jim Zub (A) Sean Izaakse (CA) Stefano Caselli
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 11, 2018
SRP: $3.99

A WIDER WORLD Part 1
• IRONHEART and THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP join the Champions at last! The team has grown but the mission stays the same – the Champions fight to make the world a better place for all!
• Writer Jim Zub (AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER) and artist Sean Izaakse (UNCANNY AVENGERS) reunite to push the Champions beyond their limits with any icy Antarctic adventure that will challenge everything they believe in!
• Don’t miss this first chapter of a new era of Champions – and the birth of a brand new hero!

Preview: Actionverse Volume 1 Featuring Stray – The Rottweiller Years

ACTIONVERSE VOLUME 1 FEATURING STRAY – THE ROTTWEILER YEARS

Writer(s): Vito Delsante
Artist Name(s): Sean Izaakse, Lee Gaston, Carlos Cabaleiro and Ares Taveras (art), Wilson Ramos, Jr. and Chris O’Halloran (colors)
Cover Artist(s): Sean Izaakse and Wilson Ramos, Jr.
192 pgs./ T / FC
$14.99

Since his debut in 2015, fans have wanted to know more about Stray’s past. And now the secrets can be told! While Stray investigates the death of a young boy, he learns the assassin has a connection to the creation of the TeenAegis. What is Ingenue’s plan? And can a collection of the world’s greatest heroes stop her? Collects Stray Volume Two #1-6.

Preview: Pathfinder Vol.2: Of Tooth And Claw TP

Pathfinder Vol.2: Of Tooth And Claw TP

writer: Jim Zub
artist: Ivan Anaya, Sean Izaakse, Kevin Stokes, Jake Bilbao
cover: Carlos Lopez
FC | 216 pages | $19.99 | Teen +

COLLECTS ISSUES 7-12 + BONUS MATERIAL

When Valeros and his companions are tasked with tracking down a mysterious beast scarring the locals of Sandpoint, they find far more than they bargained for! A seemingly simple monster hunt becomes a twisted tale of danger and betrayal as the Cult of Lamashtu exacts its revenge on our iconic heroes.

With an action-packed story written by Jim Zub (Samurai Jack, Skullkickers) and lavish artwork by newcomers Sean Izaakse and Ivan Anaya, this second volume continues the thrilling adventures of the Pathfinder heroes in the richly envisioned fantasy world of Golarion. Bonus materials include over thirty-pages of encounters and world detail for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Can Stray save New York City from destroying itself?

ACTIONVERSE VOLUME 1 FEATURING STRAY – THE ROTTWEILER YEARS

Writer(s): Vito Delsante
Artist Name(s): Sean Izaakse, Lee Gaston, Carlos Cabaleiro and Ares Taveras (art), Wilson Ramos, Jr. and Chris O’Halloran (colors)
Cover Artist(s): Sean Izaakse and Wilson Ramos, Jr. 
192 pgs./ T / FC
$14.99

Since his debut in 2015, fans have wanted to know more about Stray’s past. And now the secrets can be told! While Stray investigates the death of a young boy, he learns the assassin has a connection to the creation of the TeenAegis. What is Ingenue’s plan? And can a collection of the world’s greatest heroes stop her? Collects Stray Volume Two #1-6.

Review: Avengers #682

One Avenger will gamble everything to save thousands – and the odds aren’t in his favor! The Challenger reveals his ace in the hole, and Jarvis awakens from a mysterious coma long enough to cry four chilling words: “It’s all a lie!”

At the end of last issue the Avengers received some help in the form of Hawkeye (rocking his classic costume) and Red Wolf. The battle rages in Avengers #682, the latest entry in “No Surrender,” the Marvel event that brings together the various Avengers teams.

Writers Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and Mark Waid continue the action and don’t disappoint as the action flys around. What’s interesting though is the issue’s focus on Red Wolf. A lot of the issue is from his perspective as he attempts to figure out the situation and what the best steps are to take. While everyone else uses their abilities and muscles, Red Wolf uses his brains to figure out the next steps and the logic he works through is so much a “no duh.” In fact, Red Wolf’s action and reasoning for it is so simple it really makes the rest of the Avengers seem kind of idiotic in how they’re going about things.

The art by Sean Izaakse, color by David Curiel, and lettering by Cory Petit is fantastic as usual. There’s so much packed in on every page and there’s some interesting page layouts within. But, what’s really great is throughout all of the chaos, the issue really focuses on Red Wolf. Bouncing between his past and the present his figuring things out is laid out as much through the images as it is the dialogue and captions. The art adds so much to that character in depth, it’s impressive. The lettering too also creates the vibe of the scenes and emphasizes the chaos of it all.

Another fantastic entry in the series. One that again changes the narrative style a bit focusing in on one character despite all of the chaos. This event has been delivering and is keeping us excited to see what’s next!

Story: Al Ewing, Jim Zub, Mark Waid Art: Sean Izaakse
Color: David Curiel Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit Graphic Design: Carlos Lao
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Avengers #682

Avengers #682

(W) Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub (A) Sean Izaakse (CA) Mark Brooks
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

NO SURRENDER Part 8
One Avenger will gamble everything to save thousands – and the odds aren’t in his favor! The Challenger reveals his ace in the hole, and Jarvis awakens from a mysterious coma long enough to cry four chilling words: “It’s all a lie!”

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