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Review: Redshift #3

Humanity is struggling and must find a new home to survive. This is the story of the person sent to save them.

Story: H.S. Tak
Art: Brent McKee
Color: Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Joel Rodriguez

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Scout Comics
Zeus Comics


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

Review: Redshift #1

Humanity is struggling and must find a new home to survive. This is the story of the person sent to save them.

Story: H.S. Tak
Art: Brent McKee
Color: Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Joel Rodriguez

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Scout Comics
Zeus Comics


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

Review: Redshift #2

Humanity is struggling and must find a new home to survive. This is the story of the person sent to save them.

Story: H.S. Tak
Art: Brent McKee
Color: Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Joel Rodriguez

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Scout Comics
Zeus Comics


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

Review: Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1

Marvel Voices Identity #1

As a child growing up, I yearned to see myself in the entertainment I enjoyed. I remembered watching TV and movies and rarely saw an Asian face. When we did show up, we were mostly background players. Thankfully, I had Kung Fu Theater, but most of those movies came off cartoonish and were made in the 1960s and 1970s.

Fast forward to today and we are getting our first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while along the way, strides have been made across all media. We have had three Asian centered television shows to grace. We also have a boom of Asian creativity across the Diasporas that have never been seen before. On the precipice of the Shang Chi movie being released, Marvel has released the one-shot, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1, where the House Of Ideas showcase some of their greatest heroes which just so happens to be Asian.

In “What Is Vs What If”, Shang Chi is challenged by the alternate version of himself if chose not defy his father. In “That One Thing”, Jubilee visits her parents’ graves and revisits her childhood through memories. In “Jimmy Woo 1959”, Jimmy uses his genius to help an alien that almost gets killed by an Army battalion. In “Seeing Red”, Kamala Khan while visiting family helps the local hero in Karachi. In “Personal Heroes”, Wave fights a water monster in her hometown with a hero she idolizes, Bishop. In “Singular/Plural”, Silhouette agonizes over the dating scene, blaming her disability for meeting eligible men, but one encounter, leads her to realize she needs to step out of her own shadow. In “Traditional Pink Sushi”, Armor and Silver Samurai, argue over how to make sushi and eventually realizes traditions are something to be renewed. In the last story,” New York State of Mind”, Silk and Amadeus Cho gets their day off interrupted, as they get into a fight the scarecrow on top of the Statue of Liberty.

Overall, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1 is an entertaining set of stories which not only highlight these heroes but also the excellent creators. The stories by the different creators are wondrous. The art by the different artists are beautiful. Altogether, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1 is a comics which introduces readers to these heroes and these talented creators.

Story: Gene Luen Yang, Christina Strain, Maurene Goo, Greg Pak, Sabir Pirzada, Jeremy Holt, Alyssa Wong, Ken Niimura
Art: Marcus To, Sunny Gho, Jason Loo, Lynne Yoshii, Sebastian Cheng, Creees Lee, Brian Reber, Darren Shan, Mashal Ahmed, Neeraj Menon, Alti Firmansyah, Irma Kniivila, Whilce Portacio, Jay David Ramos, Ken Niimura
Story: 10 Story: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Superman and the Authority #2

Superman and the Authority #2

Superman and Manchester Black assemble the new Authority squad in Superman and the Authority #2, and the issue goes about the ol’ recruitment drive issue in a creative way while still leaving time for plenty of interactions between the Man of Steel and his predominantly fans turned teammates. Grant Morrison structures this comic in a really engaging way collaborating four artists and four colorists to tell a frame story featuring Superman, Manchester Black, and their new teammates (Mikel Janin and Jordie Bellaire), a Natasha “Steel” Irons solo adventure (Fico Ossio and Sebastian Cheng), an Apollo and Midnighter team-up (Evan Cagle and Dave Stewart), and a June Moone aka Enchantress spookfest (Travel Foreman and Alex Sinclair). Each of these small units of story allow Morrison and the artists to play in different genres and flesh out each member of The Authority while building to a bigger whole.

The Grant Morrison-penned banter between Manchester Black and Superman along with the clean lines of Janin and strong colors tie together the disparate art styles and sub-stories of Superman and the Authority #2. This older Superman is vulnerable and self-aware about it taking Black’s snipes about his power set reduction in stride while quipping about being “a samurai in autumn” and not caring if he has to take a spaceship (That’s quite cool) everywhere instead of flying. He also is straight up revered by his teammates with Natasha Irons joining the team simply because he’s on it, and Midnighter using the Authority team membership as his anniversary present for Apollo, who breaks his usual reticence and gushes about how Superman was an inspiration to him. (Even if he’s a bit more violent than the Man of Steel.) June Moone gets the last story, and the team doesn’t really interact with her that much, but almost silently, Superman’s silhouette acts as a figure of hope in the middle of the utter hopelessness of the Hilltop Sanitorium.

Natasha Irons gets the first short story, and Morrison, Ossio, and Cheng craft a story that in a previous age might be called cyberpunk. Basically, her and her uncle, John Henry Irons’ Metropolis headquarters has been overrun by sentient Internet beings endangering their operations as well as their city and the whole world. Grant Morrison and Fico Ossio take a literal approach to the enemies they fight, such as trolls, “eternal edgelords”, and of course, plain ol’ misinformation that continues to take the world especially in a world ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. (If you’re reading this review and haven’t been vaccinated, please get the vaccine.) Sebastian Cheng’s garish color palette as Irons battles the racist, sexist slime of the Internet feels like you’re in the middle of a flame war, and Ossio overwhelms the page with figures. However, Steel is no damsel in distress and uses her empathy and intelligence to deal with the threat and prove that she’s a worthy successor to Superman as hero of Metropolis and will fill the tech role (Think Angela Spica in the original Authority) well.

As a known Midnighter fan, of course, the second sub-story from Grant Morrison, Cagle, and Stewart is my favorite as Midnighter and Apollo bicker like an old married couple while trying to save some psychic kids that are being trafficked in a very high tech, body horror kind of way. Evan Cagle and Dave Stewart’s art showcases the dark badass nature of Midnighter with sweeping shadows and minimalist imagery in panels like guns falling or bloods dripping to just show how in control of the situation he is. However, there’s a bit of the hiccup in the action, and this gives Apollo a chance to play hero and then murder children with his yellow glow getting a little sadder. The atomic sheen that Stewart gives Apollo gives Morrison a chance to do some political commentary via Superman and Manchester Black about “idealistic liberals” and basically how a Democrat was responsible for dropping the only atom bombs in history. It’s a fitting observation as leftists and progressives become increasingly disgruntled with a party that won’t do squat while it has control of the legislative and executive departments and negotiates with a party that was responsible for and tolerated a right wing insurrection. Personally, Midnighter and Apollo have a fun, flirtatious dynamic, but their good intentions (Saving Middle Eastern children) turned downright genocidal is a spot-on metaphor for American foreign policy as well as the failure of “liberal” ideals.

Finally, the June Moone story is for fans of Grant Morrison’s work on Arkham Asylum and is a little bit like a less gory, easier to follow Nameless. Travel Foreman and Alex Sinclair’s visuals are suitably atmospheric with plenty of dark shadows and corridors plus a mainly monochromatic palette with hints of red. It’s a Lovecraftian psychodrama as June Moone’s boyfriend has been having an affair with the Enchantress and wants to unleash her tonight with the help of an elder, purple god. After the science fiction and superheroics of the majority of Superman and the Authority #2, Morrison, Foreman, and Sinclair capture hopelessness in a house with the door held slightly ajar in the end. Out of the Authority team members, Enchantress is the least traditionally heroic, but every Authority squad needs a shaman or wizard type figure, and she’s a powerhouse on that account. But first the team will have to play Orpheus to her Eurydice.

Superman and the Authority #2 is a master class in how to assemble a superhero team in the space of a single issue. Grant Morrison, Mikel Janin, Fico Ossio, Evan Cagle, and Travel Foreman seamlessly combine multi-genre short stories with a thematically rich overarching narrative of an aging Superman and a chaotic Manchester Black trying to do this superhero thing the right way. (No genocides, please!) I can’t wait to see this merry band fight through Hell, and Apollo fangirl over (hot dad) Superman some more!

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Mikel Janin, Fico Ossio, Evan Cagle, Travel Foreman
Colors: Jordie Bellaire, Sebastian Cheng, Dave Stewart, Alex Sinclair Letters: Steve Wands
Story: 8.6 Art: 9.2 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Get Lost in Space with the Survivalist Astronaut Drama Redshift

Out this May 19th from award-winning filmmaker HS Tak, artist Brent David McKee, with colors from Sebastian Cheng, Redshift is an inspired and worthy evolution to Science Fiction epics that spend less time with Aliens and more time questioning what if the Human race faced extinction in the next 100 years? The result in this first issue is a brilliantly flawless science fiction drama where the biggest danger lies in the arrogance of man and in the cold void of space.

In this science fiction inspired comic where the human race sits on the precipice of total extinction, our protagonist Hellender Drake, is reluctantly recruited on a mission by the same organisation responsible for his own mother’s death.

Redshift is survivalism in space and Hellender Drake will do anything he can to ensure the human race lives on. Even at the cost of his own morality.

Redshift is the type of space astronaut adventure which will challenge every fibre of your being. Both as a reader and as a soon to be converted new fan.

REDSHIFT

Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides

Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides

The forces of evil are back in Baldur’s Gate and this time, they have some truly heinous stuff planned in Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides. As they try to force the plane of Avernus into the more natural world, a group of heroes will need to rise up and stop them. A group with a good balance of skills. Possibly, one with a miniature giant space hamster. Yes, Minsc and company return to Baldur’s Gate to kick butts.

I feel that there is a lot to like about Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides. It brings back Jim Zub and Max Dunbar. All the creative teams have knocked it out of the park but Zub is a bit more involved with the properties and it just shows in how these tales are delivered. Quickly, you know who is who and what they can do. We see the threat quickly and the story builds them up. But, the one thing I think that might be the most important is that when you have a cast like the one that Infernal Tides has, it’s important to craft their individual voices. Zub makes them feel like a true party and while a character like Minsc has such a strong, outstanding personality, he doesn’t drown everyone out.

Max Dunbar illustrates another great Dungeons & Dragons story. Paired with Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz, and Neil Uyetake, Infernal Tides features a lot of great character design and action sequences. I thought there was a really great 2-page splash in issue 2. As someone who has been reading these adventures since Evil At Baldur’s Gate, it’s good to have a colorist that I think is perfect for Max Dunbar’s art.

Ultimately, IDW Publishing does Dungeons & Dragons right. I’ve been really happy with all of the stories they’ve done but I do feel there’s something a bit more special, exciting and enjoyable about Jim Zub and Max Dunbar working on a tale set in Baldur’s Gate. Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides ends up as another truly enjoyable tale of Minsc and company that’s sure to keep fantasy readers enthralled.

Story: Jim Zub Art: Max Dunbar
Colors: Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz Letters: Neil Uyetake
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Shang-Chi #5

Shang-Chi #5

Shang-Chi has revitalized the character and brought what was a troublesome past into modern times. With a new movie on the horizon, Marvel has put their trust into a creative team to update the character. That team has done so while also honoring the roots of the character as well. Shang-Chi #5 wraps up the first volume of this new direction while planting the seeds for much more to come.

Writer Gene Luen Yang delivers a solid finale as Shang-Chi and his newly found allies battle his sister who has attacked London. The motivations for the attack are rather thin but really, the action and visuals are more the point. There’s a lot to overlook in the comic as far as story. But, it’s the type of thing where you don’t ask too many questions and just roll with it. There’s things that aren’t quite explained and some plot points dropped but it’s a comic you can just pick up and enjoy without thinking too much.

With Shang-Chi #5, it feels like Yang has taken inspiration from zombie/disaster films mixed with a martial arts flavor. There’s some good action and beautiful art to go with it but it’s the big picture and motions that matter more than the small details.

The art, provided by Dike Ruan and Philip Tan, is top notch as it has been for the series. Sebastian Cheng‘s colors give the comic an amazing look overall that pops off the page. The art team does a fantastic job of mixing emotion and action. You get a sense of the exhaustion the characters experience and some of the trauma experienced. Travis Lanham‘s lettering too adds a punch to it all really bringing the art and dialogue together. Visually, the comic is top-notch stuff.

Shang-Chi #5 wraps up this chapter of the new direction for Shang-Chi but sets up what’s to come. The team has done a great job of resetting the character and delivering a fantastic groundwork to launch many more stories to come. There’s a lot of potential here and it should be interesting to see where this goes and the impact on the rest of the Marvel Universe. Overall, a solid story that’s worth checking out.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan, Philip Tan
Color: Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.85 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Shang-Chi #2

Shang-Chi #2

The debut issue of Shang-Chi was fantastic. Feeling like a breath of fresh air, the first issue set a new path for the character-building off of his history but at the same time attempted to right the stereotypes and wrongs of the past. Shang-Chi #2 ups the action as Shang-Chi goes after those who attacked him in the first issue but it’s not all fighting, there’s a lot of heart as well.

Written by Gene Luen Yang, Shang-Chi #2 delivers more than the usual foot soldier then boss battle you might expect. Yang adds depth by focusing on the relationship between Shang-Chi and his younger sister Shi-Hua. We learn of their abusive upbringing and the type of child Shang-Chi was. While he might be cool, calm, and focused, now, as a child he was spoiled and troublesome. His actions put his sister in danger and as we learn lead to her current situation. It establishes not just how Shang-Chi has grown but also the friction that exists between the two. The rivalry is more than just a simple jockeying for power, there’s a somewhat relatable past that adds depth to the story.

And that’s part of the brilliance of what Yang has put together. While the series could easily be the expected “kung-fu” story of a bad guy trying to gain power, the focus on the family adds so much. While the world is fantastical, those with siblings can relate to a lot of it. We have gotten our other siblings in trouble. There is probably grudges, even a small one, over incidents from when we were kids. Even those without a sibling can relate to similar situations concerning friends. While the story is fantasy, the grudges are rooted in a reality many of us have experienced and can relate to.

The art is split between Dike Ruan and Philip Tan. One handles the flashbacks while one handles the present. Sebastian Cheng handles the colors and Travis Lanham does lettering. Though the art is split, it flows well between the two. The switch isn’t jarring and not too noticeable. There’s also some beautiful art. It’s hard to say exactly what without spoiling it by the visuals and colors pop on the page with an almost magical element about them. There’s also an interesting use of panels as the “quieter” and “calmer” moments are broken up with standard block styles and the action leans more towards angled panels and spreads. There’s also a clear influence with classic manga visual tropes without leaning in to them too much and overdoing it. It has those elements but is still very much “Marvel” in the presentation.

Shang-Chi #2 is another win for the team updating what could easily fall into stereotypes. The action is solid but it’s the more human moments that really stand out in the issue. This is an issue, and series, that realizes that the main character at the center is what’s interesting, not just action sequences. Shang-Chi matures the character and series and shows that with a little work, classic characters can feel new and fresh while still honoring what has come before.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan, Philip Tan
Color: Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Knull’s Takeover Begins with King in Black #1 Variant Covers

On December 2nd, Knull’s conquest of the Marvel Universe kicks off in King in Black #1, the latest chapter in Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s redefining run on Venom. In anticipation of the arrival of the Gods of Symbiotes, some of Marvel’s most popular artists have delivered outstanding variant covers showcasing this terrifying new villain and the chaos he’s set to unleash.

See heroes from all corners of the Marvel Universe stand together against Knull’s army of symbiote dragons in Leinil Francis Yu’s action-packed cover, brace yourself as Knull enters the battlefield in Superlog’s haunting cover, and get a look at Knull depicted in the iconic style of Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Peach Momoko’s on her variant cover. You can also check out Phillip Tan’s Launch variant cover, showing even more Marvel heroes joining the fray, and a special tattoo variant cover by tattoo artist and illustrator Ian Bederman.

Check them out below and prepare yourselves for Knull’s long-dreaded invasion when King in Black #1 hits stands on December 2nd!

  • KING IN BLACK #1 VARIANT COVER by LEINIL FRANCIS YU with colors by SUNNY GHO (OCT200499)
  • KING IN BLACK #1 VARIANT COVER by SUPERLOG (OCT200507)
  • KING IN BLACK #1 VARIANT COVER by PEACH MOMOKO (OCT200506)
  • KING IN BLACK #1 LAUNCH VARIANT COVER by PHILLIP TAN with colors by SEBASTIAN CHENG (OCT200502)
  • KING IN BLACK #1 TATOO VARIANT COVER by IAN BEDERMAN (OCT200505)
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