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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)

Red Shift Has Humanity Seeking a New World to Survive

Every decade so far we’ve been able to work together and pool our scant available resources to send an explorer into space. Every time we pin our hopes and dreams on these voyages. That one of these Voyagers might return with news of a new world. But none have ever come back. And now we are out of time. Mars is out of water and on the brink of civil war. We have one last chance but its a long shot. Our best Astronaut suffers PTSD. We’re counting on him to bring back news of air, water, life. If not, this is our last stand. On this cold, breathless, desolate planet.

Red Shift is a new comic series from writer Himkar Tak, artist Brent David McKee, and colorist Sebastian Cheng. It’s out this winter from Scout Comics. You can order the Ashcan now.

Red Shift

Early Review: Shang-Chi #1

Shang-Chi #1

I know I haven’t read a lot of comics featuring Shang-Chi. The most I’ve read featuring the character was when he was on an Avengers team a few years ago, and even then, he fit a slot on the team as opposed to feeling like a character. With the spotlight turning on the character with an upcoming film it was only a matter of time he’d again get his own comic series and now it’s here… I want more. Shang-Chi #1 is beyond fantastic and has me wanting to explore more of the character’s history.

As I said, I don’t know much about Shang-Chi so I walked into the first issue a pretty blank slate. I know there’s some problematic things with the character in the past but my knowledge of the specifics are limited. So, I can really only review what I’ve read. Not surprisingly Gene Luen Yang knocks the first issue out of the park delivering a story that feels like a “classic kung-fu” story but with a bit more of a modern sense.

The story revolves around the Five Weapons Society, a secret cabal once ruled by Shang-Chi’s father. Playing off the familiar concept of different “houses,” the society is shaky in its alliance and organization. When a leadership vacuum is opened things are thrown further into chaos leading to the call for Shang-Chi to return to the group and prevent its further corruption.

Yang is an amazing writer who brings his own experiences to his stories. We’ve seen his perspective numerous times before and here he infuses the story with small details that deliver an authenticity that makes it feel like more than just a “Saturday movie matinee.” The concept of the story is something we’ve seen many times before but it’s what Yang includes that makes it all come together a stand out. A discussion about Shang-Chi’s English speaking patterns or another character’s horrible Chinese are the type of things that makes the comic more than a simple martial arts adventure. It adds depth to the characters that make them feel much more real and they also subtlety takes digs into how Shang-Chi has been depicted in the past. This is a chance to do right by the character and it’s clear Yang is taking that seriously.

Dike Ruan and Philip Tan handle the art duties with one handling the segments in the past and the other in the present. The styles are similar and for me the transition between the two was seamless. The two deliver segments that flow with action that feel modern but at the some time a bit of a wink and nod to classic martial arts films. There’s a bit of infusion of manga into it and the opening especially feels like old Fist of the North Star manga I have. Sebastian Cheng handles the color while Travis Lanham does the lettering. Cheng’s colors help the transition between the two art styles and it works well delivering a slight different that plays off the “flashback” type art we sometimes see in manga. Lanham handles the “translation” aspect of the dialogue well with some slight jumps around that are interesting to see. A “ha” is outside the translated section for example. It’s a small detail but interesting to me as a reader.

Shang-Chi #1 is fantastic. It hearkens back to classic martial arts films with lots of action, lots of family drama, but also modernizes them to rely less on stereotypes and instead focus more on the characters themselves. I feel like I know more about Shang-Chi from this one issue than all of the other comics I’ve read featuring him combined. This is a comic I’ve been hyped about and it thankfully lives up to my expectations and in many ways exceeds them.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan, Philip Tan
Color: Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Transformers: Unicron #4

Unicron sets his sights on Earth… but is anyone left to defend it?

The end nears. Transformers: Unicron is THE story bringing together years of plotlines together. With references to G.I. Joe, Visionaries, the comic reads like concepts explored too little. Written by John Barber, the event brings the doombringer Unicron into the Transformers universe as part of a plan by Shockwave to rule all. With the Transformer colonies destroyed, Unicron has set its focus on Cybertron. And, with the results of this issue, it’s clear that we may be looking at the end of what we’ve known about IDW’s Transformers or the end of IDW’s run of Transformers.

There’s death. Lots of death. There’s destruction. Lots of destruction. Characters we love are killed off and everything is on the table as to what goes. It feels like everything is by end.

The issue is crammed packed with so much, much of it feels like cut scenes of a movie giving us 30 second bites as to what’s going on. Those cut scenes still give opportunity for heroes to be that and for fans to mourn their loss. Barber, along with art by Alex Milne, color from Sebastian Cheng and David Garcia Cruz, and lettering by Tom B. Long, are delivering a cinematic event. It’s an update on the classic animated film incorporating the Hasbro Universe concepts. Some of that isn’t given enough to shine with so much thrown at us.

The art is jawdropping with scenes that evoke my memory of Unicron raking his hand across Cybertron so many years ago. There’s lots here, lots packed in, and the artistic team pulls it off giving nothing short shrift.

The back-up story features the Micronauts and it’s ok, an bonus to the main feast. It’s ending of a “thanks to all of you” has me wondering if the Hasbro Universe’s time at IDW is up? That simple line along with the epic changes happening within the main story point to nothing being the same.

The comic continues an epic event that lives up the promise and shows you can do big budget popcorn event comics and make them work. The team taps into the emotion of it all giving us deaths that feel heroic and remind us “till all are one.”

Story: John Barber Art: Alex Milne
Color: Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz Letterer: Tom B. Long
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Transformers Face Their Greatest Enemy Ever in this Summer’s Event Series Transformers: Unicron

The fate of all worlds are at stake, as the world-eating menace Unicron has set his sights on Cybertron, home of the Transformers robots, and next in line… EARTH! In what’s being descried as a “grand finale to the past 12 years of Transformers comics,” IDW Publishing has announced Transformers: Unicron. The event series arrives this July and will bring about the end of the Transformers universe as we know it. As Optimus Prime gathers his defense against this monstrous threat, it might be too little too late.

Veteran TRANSFORMERS creators John Barber and Alex Milne are joined by colorist Sebastian Cheng to tell the epic conclusion to the current Transformers comic book universe.

In the announcement Barber said:

Transformers: Unicron is a culmination of the years of Transformers comics I’ve been a part of… and the conclusion of one of the longest continued narrative in Transformers history. This is a story of heroism in the face of impossible odds; of a reckoning for an entire universe. I couldn’t be luckier than to have Alex [Milne] right here with me on this—if you know Alex, you know nobody puts more into the Transformers than he does, and nowhere before has he drawn drama, action, and pathos at this scale. Tying it all together is the incredible palette of Sebastian Cheng. We’ve never held back before on our Transformers comics, but this time we’re pushing ourselves—and each other—harder than ever.

Transformers mainstays from the past 12 years will be providing variant covers for the series, including Andrew GriffithNick Roche, and many more. Additionally, legendary comic artist Bill Sienkiewicz will be reinterpreting his classic cover to Transformers #1 as a special variant, along with a new cover by Francesco Francavilla.

The action kicks off on Free Comic Book Day, May 5th, with the #0 issue by the series creative; available for free at comic shops across the country. Don’t miss the world-ending first chapter of the summer’s cataclysmic event!

Preview: The Lost Fleet: Corsair #5

THE LOST FLEET: CORSAIR #5

​Writer: Jack Campbell
Artist: Andre Siregar, Sebastian Cheng
​Cover A: Alex Ronald
Cover B: Wraparound Variant​
​Publisher: Titan Comics
FC – $3.99 – On sale: ​January 10, 2018

​FINAL ISSUE!

It’s a battle in space and on two worlds when the Tigres and the Alliance Marines attack a prison camp to rescue their lost comrades – and get past a Syndic fleet! On Kane, the Syndic attack brings terror and misery – will Michael Geary’s alliance with Destina Aragon hold and give the beleagured world some small hope of rescue?

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