Tag Archives: spectrum

Review: The Ultimates 2 #1

ultimates21-coverIn Ultimates 2 #1, writer Al Ewing, artist Travel Foreman, and colorist Dan Brown depart from the petty in-fighting that dominated the book thanks to Civil War II and return the Ultimates to their initial purposes as a team of intelligent powerhouses who solve cosmic scale problems proactively. The comic starts macro with a bird’s eye view of chained Eternity and goes micro as it focuses on the tense relationships between Blue Marvel and Spectrum and Captain Marvel and Black Panther for the brunt of the book before the team reassembles in a logical, yet epic way as the double page spreads from Foreman fly.

Since the beginning of Ultimates‘, Dan Brown has been a major ingredient in the comic’s success from his depictions of the multiversity as a slightly trippy and overwhelming place that would make Jack Kirby smile  to the different energy attacks that the characters use. His colors have given the book an extra level of grandeur, and he plays an even bigger role in Ultimates 2 #1 in matching Travel Foreman stride for stride as the artist goes from sketchy and slightly cartoonish to photorealistic from panel to panel. This might make it seem that Ultimates 2 has inconsistent art, but Foreman has a purpose behind the difference in his figures. He’s like a cinematographer who uses different camera filters to shoot varied and interesting scenes. For example, he draws Captain Marvel and Black Panther with lighter lines and more cartooning when they’re pretending to be on an awkward online date to avoid suspicion as they talk about possibly reforming the Ultimates. However, Foreman goes full photorealistic and Brown puts on a hearty helping of black and silver when Black Panther responds to Captain Marvel’s claim that he would do anything for Wakanda.

It’s a visual representation of the “I Am Wakanda” moment  as well as yet another example of what is sort of becoming a signature of Travel Foreman. In Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man, he used nearly photographic flashbacks of Uncle Ben, the robber, and Aunt May to show how much loss affected Spider-Man as a hero in a ultimates2interiorpivotal moment. In Ultimates 2, he uses a fierce panther behind T’challa to show how much the legacy of ancestors means to him, and how his destiny is wrapped up in his state. But he still sees the bigger picture, and Brown opens up his palette with reds and golds as Galactus reassembles the Ultimates to fight the binder of Eternity as the issue comes to its conclusion.

Along with somehow reassembling the Ultimates and setting up Ultimates 2′s premise of Eternity being bound, Ewing spends a lot of time looking into the relationship between Blue Marvel and Spectrum. His usually clinical, scientific dialogue for Blue Marvel has taken on a new romantic angle as he has really fallen for Spectrum. Also, a good way to connect with your partner is to share their interests, and Blue Marvel takes this to a new level by trying to give himself Spectrum’s cosmic perception through light waves to himself. Superpowers have been used as a metaphor for everything from racial discrimination to puberty, but Ewing is more creative and uses Blue Marvel’s attempt to replicate Spectrum’s light powers to both show how he is trying to see the world from her perspective and also share something in common. It also connects nicely to seeing Eternity in pain bridging plot and character nicely.

Ultimates 2 #1 is a slow burn start to Al Ewing and Travel Foreman’s cosmic story of redemption as former baddies Galactus and Anti-Man lead the fight against a nefarious force that threatens to destroy the multiverse, timestream, and basically everything. But even though the comic’s scope is massive (And Dan Brown’s color palette is intoxicating.), they don’t neglect the individual personalities of the Ultimates’ members and their relationships between the double page tapestries of nearly omnipotent beings in pain. (Poor Eternity!)

Story: Al Ewing Art: Travel Foreman Colors: Dan Brown
Story: 8 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Con Man’s Spectrum #1

spectrum #1 coverThe survivors of a brutal alien invasion converge on the last military base on Earth. Ambushed and outgunned, pilot Cash Wayne and Captain James Raaker have to figure out how to escape in a spaceship no one has ever flown! Firefly stars Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion explore the world of “Spectrum,” the cancelled-too-soon show-within-a-show from their hit web series, Con Man!

Ok, let me start with saying I’ve yet to watch Con Man, so the whole concept of this comic series is unknown to me. I know it’s a “Firefly” like series, but the specifics aren’t one I have. Whether that’s good or bad I can’t say, but what I can say is… I really enjoyed this first issue.

I’m not a fan of Firefly (feel free to beat me up in the comments), so going into reading Con Man’s Spectrum #1 I was a bit hesitant as to what I was going to find. The first issue is entertaining. It throws you quickly into the action and this world and as the main characters learn what’s going on, we the readers do as well. Things aren’t laid out easily for the reader forcing us to pay attention to get the details. It’s clear writers PJ Haarsma and Alan Tudyk have things down, though. The comic is well-paced, entertaining, and most importantly fun.

The art by Sarah Stone and Jason Johnson is awesome. I’ve liked Stone’s style for a while and it continues here with a look that I can only describe as “Western manga influenced.” If you like the series cover, the interior is just as good, this isn’t a bait and switch that can happen too often. The only knock I’ll say is that some of the panels are dark and with the coloring, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on, but that adds to the atmosphere of the chaos going on. So maybe it was done on purpose?

Can a comic get me to check out a television show? It looks like it because I want to now see what Con Man is all about. This comic was fun and entertaining and I’m definitely coming back for more.

Story: PJ Haarsma, Alan Tudyk Art: Jason Johnson, Sarah Stone
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Spectrum #0

SPECTRUM #0

by PJ Haarsma & Alan Tudyk, illo. by Sarah Stone
Pages: 32
Format: Comic Book
SRP: FREE
Publisher: Automatic Publishing
Distributor: Diamond Comic Distributors
Issue #0
Pub Date: May 7, 2016
Item Code: JAN160018

Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion present Spectrum, a page-turning sci-fi adventure from the record-breaking web series, Con Man!

After a vicious attack from an alien invading force devastates the globe, the survivors converge on the last military base on Earth. Ambushed and outgunned, pilot Cash Wayne and Captain James Raaker have to figure out how to escape in the Spectrum, a spaceship no one has ever flown! And escape is just the start of the trouble, at least according to Raaker’s prophetic dreams. His ship of beleaguered refugees might be the last hope for a mysterious presence known as The Scion who’s fighting a war that Earth has already lost.

Spectrum_00-Cover

Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion Launch Spectrum Comic Book

Spectrum_01-CoverWhen Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion crowd-funded their hit web series Con Man last April, the sci-fi fan-favorite actors struck a chord: a 735%-funded campaign at $3.2M that quickly became the largest crowd-funded web series in history. Now, the record-breaking duo are lending this magic to a comic book series. Spectrum, based on the show-within-a-show featured in Con Man, debuts on Free Comic Book Day next May at comic book stores nationwide.

Con Man, which starred Fillion and Tudyk as actors from a canceled cult sci-fi show, was a comedic look at the wild world of fandom and conventions. Spectrum will tell the story that launched their careers. In the comic, a vicious attack from an alien invading force devastates the globe, but the prophetic dreams of Captain James Raaker warn that the suffering has just started. Humanity’s last hope is escape in an untested spaceship built by a madman.

The four-issue series from Automatic Publishing will be written by Tudyk and novelist/producer PJ Haarsma with artwork by Sarah Stone and overseen by Shel Dorf Award-winning editor Shannon Eric Denton. The Free Comic Book Day offering is not a sampler or a preview, but the actual first issue of the series.

The first season of Con Man is now available on Vimeo, and centers on Wray Nerely (Tudyk), who has struggled to find his big break following the untimely cancellation of Spectrum, while his friend Jack Moore (Fillion) has become a major celebrity. Jack enjoys the life of an A-lister while Wray tours the sci-fi circuit as a guest of conventions, comic book stores, and pop culture events. The show explores the crazy (and real) behind-the-scenes antics in the world of fandom.