Tag Archives: shang-chi

Exclusive Preview: Shang-Chi #5 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #5 (of 5)

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Dike Ruan, Philip Tan (CA) Marcus To (VCA) Iban Coello, Skottie Young
Rated T+
In Shops: Jan 27, 2021
SRP: $3.99

THE GRAND FINALE!
• SISTER HAMMER launches her final attack on the Western world with her army of vampires!
• Will SHANG-CHI and his family be able to stop her?
• And will Shang-Chi finally accept the destiny laid out by his father?

Shang-Chi #5 (of 5)

Brett’s Favorite Comics of 2020 and a Reflection on the Past Year

The Recount #1

It feels weird writing a “best of” list for the past year since it’s been so difficult for so many. Writer Ron Marz Tweeted something like any comic that helped to get you through it is a favorite, and deep down I agree with that. It’s been a rough year for so many and it’s one where the comic industry was forced to mature and face reality in many ways.

Things shifted for everyone.

Publishers canceled projects, shifted schedules, and looked to go directly to the consumer. Creators looked for new ways to earn money and also go directly to the consumer. Stores were forced to market more taking to video, email, and social media to keep customers aware of the latest offerings and remind them of classics they might have missed. Some stores didn’t make it through the year. Others expanded. New ones joined the industry. Consumers had more choices than ever before that made it easier to escape the world burning around them and find enjoyment in make-believe worlds where justice prevails in the end.

In the end, though 2020 looked bleak, it left the comic industry as a whole stronger than ever before.

It feels weird doing this “best of” but at the same time I feel like I want to “honor” and spotlight the comics that got me through the year and had me excited to read the next issues. This is what I’ve read so if you don’t see something mentioned it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just might not have read it. Sorry, I can’t read everything (there was a massive glut in webcomics and manga for me).

So, in a bit different spin I’ve split this list into three sections.

  1. Comics where I’ve only read one issue so far, because that’s what’s been released, but am excited to see what comes in the new year.
  2. Comics I enjoyed each month and are kind of a “silver medal” for me. I wanted to acknowledge them but also didn’t want this to be an overwhelming essay. They’ll get more of a nod when I do a video of this.
  3. The ones I was excited to read each month or had an impact on me. These are the ones that go into my regular suggestions of comics to read down the road. The art, the stories, the presentation, they’re all at that “top of the game” level.

All of these are listed in no particular order (hell it’ll probably just be in alphabetical). Enough with the rambling… lets get on with some comics!

2020 gave us one, here’s ones I’m excited to read their second issues in 2021!

  • Batman: Black & White #1 – The first issue had some solid stories but it’s the art that really stood out. It was mind-blowing and one of the best comics visually released this year. Almost every story broke away from standard panels and was just amazing to look at. I have no idea if future issues will be like this but here’s hoping.
  • Black Cat #1 – The last volume was a lot of fun to read and this first issue continued that. Despite being a King in Black tie-in, the issue kept the focus on what Black Cat does best, steal things as everything collapses around her. There’s just a certain style and attitude that the creative team nails with this. It was a fun debut that you could just sit back, laugh while reading, and enjoy.
  • M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #1 – Marvel’s trying to make M.O.D.O.K. a thing. It’s kind of been his year between an upcoming HULU series, a popular miniature in Marvel: Crisis Protocol, and this comic. The first issue had me laughing and I’m hoping that continues.
  • The Other History of the DC Universe #1 – John Ridley is one of my favorite creators out there. His work in film and television have blown me away. It looks like DC has given him the opportunity to deliver a brutally honest take about the DC Universe from the perspective of people of color and the first issue is one of the best things I read all year. I can’t wait until the second and this man should be allowed to do whatever he wants.
  • The Recount #1 – The issue hit a bit close to reality. The President is a crook and assassinated and there’s an uprising to purge the country of everyone who supported him, from the Vice President down to voters. It was a hell of an opening issue and one that was chilling in so many ways.
Shang-Chi #1

Comics to check out…

These were all great reads and should go on your reading pile. These are ones I made sure to read every month and jumped at reading as soon as they crossed my desk. They’ll all get more love in my video version of this.

The comics that really stood out for the year.

All of these comics were ones that kept me thinking well after I read them and I’d be happy to read them again. Many are still ongoing while others have wrapped up their runs. Each stands out in its own special way.

Ginseng Roots #3
  • Black Widow – Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Jordie Bellaire, and Cory Petit are the main creators on what’s been released so far and every issue has been amazing. Black Widow has been captured and brainwashed into believing a domestic life is real and hers. There’s been a great mix of humor, action, in this spy thriller and it’s sure to ramp up now based on the latest issue’s final moments. This is a great mix of storytelling and visual coolness.
  • Dead Day – Man, I really want this to be done as a television series and absolutely need more comics. Ryan Parrot, Evgeniy Bornyakov, Juancho!, and Charles Pritchett deliver a masterclass in world-building. Not only do they deliver an interesting story but have crafted a bigger world. For one night, the dead return, and while the comic really told the story of one family, each issue fleshed out enough of what this event’s impact would be elsewhere to get you to think and imagine.
  • Far Sector – N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell, and Deron Bennett have breathed a breath of fresh air into the Green Lanterns with this series. We’re taken to an alien world where a new Lantern named Jo must solve a murder which takes her deep into a corrupt society. It does what science fiction does best, explore our real world. The visuals are stunning as well in what is a comic that’s timely capturing the current zeitgeist.
  • Ginseng Roots – Craig Thompson explores his childhood in what’s one of the most original comics this year. In a small format and with minimal colors, the comic tells us the history of ginseng and Thompson’s childhood.
  • Harley Quinn Black + White + Red – DC really shook things up this year and one way was a greater focus on digital releases. This series was an anthology that delivered a different creative team with every chapter. We got to see over a dozen different takes on Harley Quinn each of which was entertaining. If you want to see how much the creators matter when it comes to the storytelling, here you go. This is also a perfect example of where digital comics should be going from major publishers.
  • Kill a Man – This story focused on a gay man’s battles within the world of MMA was an updated take on the Rocky formula and done so well. You can come at it as a fan of MMA, as someone who’s LGBTQ, both, or just wanting good storytelling. Emotional with great action, it’s a home run from the team of Steve Orlando, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Al Morgan, and Jim Campbell.
  • Superman Smashes the Klan – The miniseries was collected and it’s amazing. Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru, and Janice Chiang deliver a comic that captures the heart of Superman. Based on the groundbreaking radio play where Superman takes on the KKK, this comic is amazing in every aspect, from the story to the visuals. Add in some extra material from Yang about his own experiences and it becomes a comic everyone should read and one that helps define Superman in one of his best depictions ever.
  • Vlad Dracul – Matteo Strukul, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Joel Rodriguez tell us the story about the very real Vlad, the inspiration for Dracula. I learned a hell of a lot and would love to see more comics like this. It’s a crazy read that can be enjoyed for the history and education and/or the brutal story itself that would fit any fantasy world.
  • We Live – The first issue was perfection and got me to choke up. Each subsequent issue has built upon the world. In this story humanity is almost over but a mysterious entity from space will save 5,000 children but first they must get to extraction points. This is a few kids’ stories and their journey of survival. By Inaki Miranda, Roy Miranda, Eva De La Cruz, and Dave Sharpe each issue is visually amazing plus there’s some awesome bonus music you can listen to while reading.
  • Yasmeen – Talk about an emotional gut-punch with each issue. Saif A. Ahmed, Fabiana Mascolo, and Robin Jones tell the story of Yasmeen who was captured and tortured by Isis and her attempt to deal with the PTSD while settling after in the United States. Just an amazing blend of storytelling and real recent history.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

THE RED #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Ever: The Way Out (Abstract Studios) – Terry Moore shifts to graphic novels and while we love his serialized comics, a complete story has us excited. This one about prophecies and fallen angels has us very intrigued.

I Walk With Monsters #1 (Vault Comics) – A story about the monsters within as a woman runs into the man who took away her brother.

Kaiju Score #1 (AfterShock) – It’s the most dangerous heist ever attempted. Four desperate criminals are going all in on a once-in-a-lifetime chance to steal millions in art and turn their miserable lives around. The catch? They have to pull it off under the nose of a one thousand-ton Kaiju.

Nailbiter Returns #7 (Image Comics) – The series has been a blast as its had fun with horror tropes keeping readers on their toes and delivering laughs.

The Other History of the DC Universe #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – The first issue is absolutely brilliant as the talented John Ridley explores the DC Universe through the viewpoint of its minority characters.

Paris 2119 (Magnetic Press) – Instantaneous teleportation has altered almost every facet of human civilization but that progress has a price. The sci-fi/cyberpunk story has us intrigued.

Power Pack #1 (Marvel) – The Power Pack is back! But, with a law restricting underage superheroes, will they be able to continue to save the day?

The Red #1 (Heavy Metal Virus) – A single government runs the world after a nuclear war and content deemed emotionally dangerous is prohibited. A group of musicians discovers they’re the key to overthrowing the totalitarian government.

Science Comics: Rocks & Minerals (First Second) – Fun for kids and adults, this series are great graphic novels to learn about their topics.

Shang-Chi #3 (Marvel) – The first two issues have been fantastic as the team has reworked a problematic character. It’s full of action and adding so much depth to the character’s history.

Undiscovered Country #10 (Image Comics) – The series has kept us guessing as to what will happen next. The fact we’re constantly surprised is a good thing.

Yasmeen #4 (Scout Comics) – One of the best comics to come out this year, it’s been heartbreaking every issue.

The Witcher: Fading Memories #1 (Dark Horse) – If you’re a fan of the show, check out the new series!

X-O Manowar #2 (Valiant) – The series has been an interesting look at modern superheroes so far as X-O Manowar attempts to figure out his place in the world. The second issue really focuses on what the impact of superheroes would be in a real-world setting.

Preview: Shang-Chi #3 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #3 (of 5)

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Dike Ruan (A/CA) Philip Tan
32 PGS./Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 25, 2020
SRP: $3.99

DEADLY FAMILY REUNION!
Shang-Chi gets to know the family he never knew he had…
But which of his siblings can he trust, and which are trying to kill him?
Plus, witness the horrifying origin of Shang-Chi’s father!

Shang-Chi #3 (of 5)

Brother Sabre is Unleashed on the Shang-Chi #2 Second Printing Cover

The new era of Shang-Chi is now underway! Written by award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and drawn by artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan, each issue has been packed with startling revelations and pulse-pounding action scenes, and Marvel is excited to announce that the second issue will be getting a second printing!

Shang-Chi’s brand-new series has debuted new core elements that will define the character’s mythology moving forward — including his long lost family! Among those introduced is Brother Sabre, who takes the spotlight on the second printing variant covers of Shang-Chi #2. A fiercely devoted member of the Five Weapons Society, Brother Sabre uses his trademark nine-ring sabre to defend his newfound brother from their power-hungry sibling, Sister Hammer!

Check out Shang-Chi’s powerful new ally in all his glory on Ben Su’s explosive second printing variant cover and on Dike Ruan’s second printing design variant, perfect additions to fans who collected Su and Ruan’s Shang-Chi #1 second printing covers. Pick them up at your local comic shop on December 30th!

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


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Giga #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

The Department of Truth #2 (Image Comics) – The conspiracy thriller continues and with it feeling like every crazy idea is being accepted as reality today, the series feels like it straddles between satire and reality.

Giga #1 (Vault Comics) – This is what happens when the mechs stop fighting. The series has already sold out of its first printing and will be a hot item this week at comic shops.

Legacy of Mandrake the Magician #1 (Red 5 Comics) – The classic character gets an update and we’re excited to check it out.

Nailbiter Returns #6 (Image Comics) – The series has been an amazing sendup of horror films and the last issue shifted things a bit in its tone and focus. We’re excited to check out more and see where this adventure takes us next.

Power Rangers: Sins of the Future (BOOM! Studios) – A brand new graphic novel set after the events of Power Rangers: Time Force. Based on the traffic we’re getting, this one might be under the radar and under-ordered.

Shang-Chi #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic with a solid mix of action and down to Earth moments. It’s a great re-introduction of the character with a focus on updating him for modern times but not losing so much of what makes the character great.

Strange Academy #4 (Marvel) – Such a fun series. If you want kids learning to control their magical powers at a school, this is one to check out!

Sympathy for No Devils #1 (AfterShock) – Murder, mystery, monsters, and magic. A brutal murder of the world’s largest Colossal and it needs to be solved. We’re intrigued by the series as it sounds like magic meets cops mystery.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 (IDW Publishing) – One of the most anticipated comics of the year, it’s already sold out and has over 130,000 copies ordered! One turtle remains and he’s on a mission of revenge.

Undiscovered Country #9 (Image Comics) – Anything can happen with this series that has kept us on our toes with every issue. It’s an America cut off from the world and now divided into numerous strange territories, each a commentary on today’s reality.

Victoria and Nora: A Gotham Love Story (DC Comics) – A new graphic novel about a young Victor Fries meeting Nora Kumar. It’s a tragic tale about living life to the fullest and what it truly means to love…and to let go. These graphic novels from DC have been amazing so far and this one has us really excited to read it.

Preview: Shang-Chi #2 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #2 (of 5)

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Dike Ruan (A/CA) Philip Tan
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 28, 2020
SRP: $3.99

THE HITS KEEP ON COMING!
Shang-Chi may have finally met his match in the form of this strange new assailant, Sister Hammer – BUT WHO IS SHE REALLY? Find out in this shocking reunion!

Shang-Chi #2 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #1 Gets a Second Printing with New Covers by Benajmin Su and Dike Ruan

After Shang-Chi returned last month in a brand-new series written by award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and drawn by artists Dike Ruan and Philip Tan, Marvel has announced that the debut issue of this new era will get a second printing!

The action-packed Shang-Chi #1 introduced readers to the mysterious Five Weapons Society, a group of elite warriors who hold devastating truths about Shang-Chi’s past and future, including Shang-Chi’s newest enemy, Sister Hammer! Fans can check out Shang-Chi’s long lost sister on Benjamin Su’s eye-catching second printing variant cover and on series artist Dike Ruan’s second printing sketch variant, on sale November 4th!

« Older Entries