Tag Archives: the skeptics

Review: The Skeptics #4

skeptics4coverWriter Tini Howard, artist Devaki Neogi, and colorist Jen Hickman bring their Cold War con artist alternate history romance comic to a close in Skeptics #4. Mary and Max, who don’t actually have superpowers, and Evgenia and Vasily, who actually do, have hatched an ingenious plan to stop World War III by pretending to not have them and make it one big misunderstanding. It’s a clever, bloodless plan that shows that sometimes cooperation and using one’s wits can win a battle or at the very least a skirmish against brute force, which is President Nelson Rockefeller’s nuclear option idea. Skeptics #4 abounds with love and friendship, especially for this dark time in history, but it’s all bittersweet in the end because sadly four bright young people can’t end the Cold War.

Skeptics #4 has a bit of cold open set in a Washington DC night club where Max is teaching Vasily how to use his power for card tricks, and Max and Evgenia are working a similar con with two boys and their wallets. It’s all set up to make Evgenia and Vasily’s abilities look fake (The opposite of what Max and Mary did earlier in the series where they pretended to have actual powers.), but they also have a good time. Hickman’s colors are downright groovy with a continuous stream of red and yellow in the background while the stylish characters drawn by Neogi chat and listen to some “far out” tunes. But she is back to a neutral palette when the police show up for Mary and Max, who are held and detained illegally because the Rockefeller regime just cares about staying in power and not constitutional rights. (This kind of thinking can be seen in the US’ current administration and its terrible Muslim ban executive order.)

groovystyles

The meat of Skeptics #4’s plot is taken up in Evgenia and Vasily working with Dr. Santaclara to rescue Mary and Max and prevent a nuclear strike, but Howard still finds time to show that they are a hell of a romantic pairing. In the past four issues, the proper and scientific Mary and the churlish, rogue Max have rubbed off each other with Mary learning how to use trickery to get her way, and Max being open with his feelings. Neogi still gives a laidback demeanor as he smokes and relaxes while hanging on his prison bars, but then calls Mary the “loveliest person [he’s] ever met” in a payoff that is more pleasing than any elaborate prison escape scene. This shared bond can be found on a more platonic level as Evgenia and Vasily are overjoyed to strike up a friendship with Mary and Max, and the multiple hugs and little hearts over their heads show their feelings.

Skeptics has been an exciting, twisting and turning Cold War thriller, but what will make me remember it fondly are the personalities and quirks of the characters created by Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi. From Dr. Santaclara’s passion and inability to sit still to Max’s charming glimpses and flirty one-liners to Mary’s determination to break both gender and race barriers in her field and amazing fashion sense, I could have definitely spent more than a miniseries with this cast and seen more of this 1960s alternate history world, which eerily mirrors our own reality in 2017 with both times having underqualified billionaire princelings sitting in the Oval Office.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Devaki Neogi Colors: Jen Hickman
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Skeptics #4

The Skeptics #4

Written by: Tini Howard
Illustrated by: Devaki Neogi
Colored by: Jen Hickman
Lettered by: Aditya Bidikar
In Stores: February 22

“GOD ONLY KNOWS.” This is it. There are fingers on red buttons on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and it’s up to our teens to save the day.

When everyone stops believing, is it truly better to live free… Or die?

the-skeptics-4-1

Preview: The Skeptics #3

THE SKEPTICS #3

Written by: Tini Howard
Illustrated by: Devaki Neogi
Colored by: Jen Hickman
Lettered by: Aditya Bidikar
In Stores: January 11

“BREAK ON THROUGH.” So much talk about protecting the future, and no one even asks the kids who will be living in it. Max and Mary take Evgenia and Vasily out into the real world, with some help from a few clever disguises. Plans and bonds are made. If you want the world saved, sometimes you’ve gotta do it yourself.

the-skeptics-3-1

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

southernbastards16_coverartbWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Alex

Top Pick: Voracious: Feeding Time #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Is anybody surprised by this? I mean… it’s not like I make a secret of the fact I absolutely love this series.

Ninjak #23 (Valiant) – Another unsurprising pick – there is usually always at least one Valiant book on my pull list each week, and I’ve been looking forward to this arc based entirely on the return of Master Darque (according to the name of the story, anyway).

All-Star Batman #6 (DC Comics) – Scott Snyder is still the best current writer of Batman, and for me this series exemplifies that.

Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #2 (Marvel) – A team-up that makes no sense? Sure. But the first issue was actually solid, and just because the team up makes no sense on paper doesn’t mean it won’t kick ass as a story.

 

Joe

Top Pick: Southern Bastards #16 (Image Comics) – Big Boss BBQ is back, and I cannot wait! After the last tense issue we got, I am so excited to see what happens with Roberta and Boss. This is one of the best books out there, and we didn’t get enough from Aaron and Latour in 2016.

God Country #1 (Image Comics) – A new series from Donny Cates with some awesome looking art by Geoff Shaw. I cannot wait to see what this is all about. From the teases of pages Cates has shared on social media alone, I am pumped.

The Mighty Thor #15 (Marvel) – The big war is coming! This cover by Dauterman is so beautiful. No shock there. This is one of Marvel’s best and most consistent series also by Jason Aaron, and with The Unworthy Thor soon ending, I cannot wait to see where they go with Jane, Odinson, Loki and more!

Inhumans vs. X-Men #2 (Marvel) – I didn’t think I would be typing this ever when I finished Death of X, but #1 was really solid. I hope that trend continues since Lemire and Soule are both highly capable. Also it reminds me I miss Roccafort on Ultimates.

Green Valley #4 (Skybound) – Wow what a crazy twist from that “wizard” in the last issue. There seems to be a bigger and crazier story from Landis going on here, and I hope this issue gives us some more weird awesome stuff. This is a miniseries, but it will run 9 issues, and I have enjoyed all of them so far.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Libby’s Dad (Retrofit Comics) – An absolutely fantastic indie/small press comic that focuses on teenage girls gossiping about one of their fathers. It’s an interesting comic and then you get to the end with its twist that makes your gut sink. So fantastic.

Red Dog #2 (451 Media Group) – A sci-fi series focused on a boy on a mining colony and the aliens that they have to deal with. The first issue was a solid read and I’m expecting this one to be just as entertaining. If you like sci-fi, you should check this one out.

The Rift #1 (Red 5 Comics) – A pilot is pulled through time and if he’s not sent back in time it spells disaster. A cool time travel story with some nice swerves.

The Skeptics #3 (Black Mask Studios) – Cold War fun that’s as entertaining as it is cool and stylish.

Invisible Republic #14 (Image Comics) – A reporter trying to get to the heart of the story behind a revolution and the fallout from his discoveries. The story feels even more appropriate today.

 

Shay

Pick of the Week: Justice League of America: Vixen #1 (DC Comics) – Mari McCabe is giving me life in the backstory bonanza and I am here for all of it!!!

Justice League vs Suicide Squad #4 (DC Comics) – I need to know how this all shakes out and what Amanda has gotten everyone into this time!

Motor Crush #2 (Image Comics) – Domino Swift may very well be my dreamland spirit animal and I love it!

Jessica Jones #4 (Marvel) – Jess wants to protect her family from pure evil by pushing them away and we all know how that usually turns out.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

inhumans_vs__x_men__0Wednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Joe

Top Pick: Seven to Eternity #3 (Image) – The first two issues told a lot of story in such a short time. More comics could learn from this. The first issue set up the legacy of the family name and the big bad, and the second introduced us to him and then a whole new band of characters. Let’s see what Remender has planned for the third issue! So far this series has been awesome.IVX #0 (Marvel) – Death of X did not fully satisfy me, but the surprise ending did. Let’s hope this series is a lot better, as it is leading us into the new Inhuman and X-Men titles coming this spring. I am hopeful that Lemire and Soule come through big here for this event and get people excited for what’s to come.

IVX #0 (Marvel) – Death of X did not fully satisfy me, but the surprise ending did. Let’s hope this series is a lot better, as it is leading us into the new Inhuman and X-Men titles coming this spring. I am hopeful that Lemire and Soule come through big here for this event and get people excited for what’s to come.

Great Lakes Avengers #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was so fun and goofy, and I loved it. The art by Robson is fantastic, and the jokes by Gorman worked well. The entire premise is ridiculous and it just makes it better. This isn’t even a b level team of Marvel heroes, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable of a premise. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for something light and fun.

Batman Annual #1 (DC Comics) – DC is bringing in all of the bat writers on the annual. I usually don’t get very excited for annuals, but I am for both this and Superman hitting the same day. This book will have Snyder, King, Dini, Orlando, and Scott Wilson writing with Riley Rossmo and Neal Adams on art. I am hyped!

saga40-01-covSaga #40 (Image) – If you haven’t read Saga yet, please go start. This is what is arguably the best comic out today. I am eager to see where Vaughn and Staples takes us this issue, as we follow these incredible characters on their wild adventures. This book can make you laugh, cry, and smile all in one issue.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Savage #1 (Valiant) – I can sum up why this is awesome in three words: Tarzan meets dinosaurs. It also looks savagely brilliant.

Batman Annual #1 (DC Comics) – Paul Dini and Scott Snyder writing Batman all in one book? Sounds ideal.

Conan The Slayer #5 (Dark Horse) – A consistent story that not enough people are talking about. If you’re a fan of sword and sorcery then you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Old Man Logan #14 (Marvel) – It’s been awhile since I enjoyed a solo Wolverine series as much as I have been enjoying this. A new arc starts this issue, and I’m pretty excited to dig in.

Revolution #5 (IDW Publishing) – A left field surprise for me; I can’t wait to see how this epic crossover ends.

 

Brett

copra_round_four_cover_bergen_streetCOPRA Round Four (Bergen Street Press) – If you haven’t been reading Michel Fiffe’s series you’re missing out on some of the best comics out there. The indie series is collected here in the fourth trade and it’s worth every penny. The series is best described as an indie Suicide Squad and it’s absolutely awesome. This is the only series I buy single issues and the trades.

Fish Eye #1 (Scout Comics) – The publisher has been putting out some fantastic comics and this new series is well worth checking out. The concept is about a cop who is on a reality show whose ratings are slipping and he has to protect his family from a group of killers. Sounds interesting!

The Skeptics #2 (Black Mask Studios) – The first issue was solid taking place during the Cold War and featuring con-men pretending to be psychics to fool the US government. It’s a crazy concept but the style and characters have me coming back and been looking forward to this one.

Inhumans vs X-Men #0 (Marvel) – I’m a sucker for Marvel’s events and this first issue is pretty solid. It catches up new readers while also setting up some new stuff as well.

The Revisionist #6 (Aftershock Comics) – Time traveling entertainment and I seriously have no idea where it’s all going. With an 80s action film flair, this is one to read from the beginning, it’s so good.

Around the Tubes

tt_cv1_dsIt’s a new week and we’ve got lots of interviews, reviews, and more coming up! Plus, there’s Doctor Strange opening this coming weekend! While you await all of that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBR – Correction: Fandom is Broken – Agree? Disagree?

Vancouver Sun – Police recover stolen comic books including the rare Fantastic Four: Issue No. 1 – Good to hear these have been recovered.

The Washington Post – Online bullying may have cost the comic-book industry its next great female voice – And someone who could bring in prose readers.

France 24 – Paris attacks survivor recounts night of horror in ‘My Bataclan’ graphic novel – Didn’t know about this one at all. Could be an interesting read.

CBR – 15 Stereotype-Inspired Comic Book Characters And How They Were “Fixed” – Some interesting comic history.

ICv2 – Hot Topic Acquires Her Universe – Not sure if this is a good thing or not.

Fusion – How Doctor Strange went from being a racist Asian caricature to a magical white savior – Some good comic history.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Bloodshot U.S.A. #1

Talking Comics – Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1

Atomic Junk Shop – Don’t Look

Comic Atack – The Few and Cursed #1

Talking Comics – Serenity: No Power in the Verse #1

Talking Comics – The Skeptics #1

Talking Comics – Teen Titans #1

Talking Comics – Unleash #1

Listen to Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi Talk The Skeptics on Demand

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

On this episode of Graphic Policy Radio Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi join us to talk about their brand new comic book series The Skeptics from Black Mask Studios.

The Skeptics is a stylish, political adventure about a pair of hip, clever teens who fool the world into believing they have superpowers. It is the 1960s. The Russians have the A-bomb, the H-bomb, and now the most terrifying weapon of all: a pair of psychically superpowered young people. Terrified and desperate, the US top brass scours from coast to coast in search of psychic Americans. Enter Dr. Isobel Santaclara, an eccentric illusionist and grifter who has recruited two teenagers and trained them to trick the US government, the Russians, and the whole world into believing they are dangerous psychics. The Skeptics is a pre-punk period piece, a sort of honest, unfuzzy, non-nostalgic look at the Cold War in DC.

Writer Tini Howard debuted as a contributor to the hugely successful Kickstarter The Secret Loves Of Geek Girls and was a winner of the Top Cow Talent Hunt before co-creating The Skeptics. She is also currently killing it on Power Rangers: Pink, Magdalena, & she is 1/3 of the Black Mask Witches.

Artist Devaki Neogi is a self-taught illustrator with a background in fashion who rose to power when she crushed it on the mini-series Curb Stomp. She joined the Black Mask Family with her beloved Kim & Kim covers before co-creating The Skeptics.

Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi Talk The Skeptics LIVE Tonight

the-skeptics-1-7On this episode of Graphic Policy Radio Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi join us to talk about their brand new comic book series The Skeptics from Black Mask Studios.

The show airs LIVE this Tuesday at 10pm ET.

The Skeptics is a stylish, political adventure about a pair of hip, clever teens who fool the world into believing they have superpowers. It is the 1960s. The Russians have the A-bomb, the H-bomb, and now the most terrifying weapon of all: a pair of psychically superpowered young people. Terrified and desperate, the US top brass scours from coast to coast in search of psychic Americans. Enter Dr. Isobel Santaclara, an eccentric illusionist and grifter who has recruited two teenagers and trained them to trick the US government, the Russians, and the whole world into believing they are dangerous psychics. The Skeptics is a pre-punk period piece, a sort of honest, unfuzzy, non-nostalgic look at the Cold War in DC.

Writer Tini Howard debuted as a contributor to the hugely successful Kickstarter The Secret Loves Of Geek Girls and was a winner of the Top Cow Talent Hunt before co-creating The Skeptics. She is also currently killing it on Power Rangers: Pink, Magdalena, & she is 1/3 of the Black Mask Witches.

Artist Devaki Neogi is a self-taught illustrator with a background in fashion who rose to power when she crushed it on the mini-series Curb Stomp. She joined the Black Mask Family with her beloved Kim & Kim covers before co-creating The Skeptics.

We’ll discuss all that and more on this brand new episode. We want to hear from you! Tweet us your questions @graphicpolicy.

Listen in as the show airs live tonight.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

vision__12Wednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Joe

Top Pick: The Vision #12 (Marvel) – All good things come to an end, and so bad things. The Vision isn’t a bad book, it’s a phenomenal one, but it does contain a lot of bad things. Heartbreaking things. Tom King has been a machine on this book to use that pun, and has written a fantastic modern day Shakespearean tragedy. This series was something truly special at Marvel, and everyone should see how this ends.

Seven To Eternity #2 (Image Comics) – I loved the first issue of this dark fantasy story by Remender and Opena. It set a high bar for the series and really got me excited to see where it will go next, especially with Remender’s usual gut punches and twists that he does better than anyone in the business.

Saga #39 (Image Comics) – It’s Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples creating one of the best epics we’ve seen in years.  I love this book, and it’s always at the top of my read pile. Even when there is sad moments, the series does a good job of giving you hope. You should be reading this book.

Detective Comics #943 (DC Comics) – Now that the Night of the Monster Men is over, we can get back to the focused awesome stories this book has been telling. Tynion has been so good on this book, and we still have some unanswered questions from the issue before monster men, but I doubt we get answers just yet. Either way, I love this book and what they’ve been doing with the other members of the bat family.

Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special (DC Comics) – A large sized comic with a bunch of different writers and artists dedicated to Wonder Woman? Yes please! I’ve loved the different takes on Wonder Woman and especially what Greg Rucka is doing with the character, but it is always great to get different perspectives on such an icon.

 

Alex

bsusa_001_cover-b_braithwaiteTop Pick: Bloodshot USA #1 (Valiant) – Are we surprised that I’m looking forward to a Valiant comic? We shouldn’t be. Nanite infested plague of killers? Check. A gang of Bloodshots from across the last 70 years? Check. Ninjak? Check. It’s going to be awesome.

Conan The Slayer #4 (Dark Horse) – If you’ve ever read any of Robert E. Howard’s original novels, then you’ll find a sense of familiarity in Cullen Bunn’s narrative. The art is also beautiful, atmospheric and brutal.

Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook #3 (Titan Comics) – We’ve all got our mental picture of Sherlock Holmes as a brilliant, yet  socially awkward fellow. Imagine, then, what an equally brilliant and less socially awkward Holmes would be like (hint: awesome).

Moebius Library: The World Of Edena (Dark Horse) – Be prepared to experience some of the best sequential art you’re ever likely to read.

 

Brett

VIGILANTE_Cvr_colors-BTop Pick: Vigilante: Southland #1 (DC Comics) – The Vigilante is updated with a new name behind the mask and this one looks to take on some of today’s social issues. I’ve really been looking forward to this one since it was announced as it hopefully gives us a more relevant take on the classic character.

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1 (Marvel) – Marvel is pushing Doctor Strange with a bunch of series now and pushing the character and the magic aspect of the Marvel Universe into its own special corner. I’m intrigued in seeing how this series stands out and what comes out of it.

The Skeptics #1 (Black Mask Studios) – It’s the 60s and the Russians have the A-bomb, the H-bomb, and a pair of superpowered young people. The US needs a weapon and get their own, except it’s all a trick. The concept sounds amazing. It’s the Cold War in DC, how can I not dig it?

Teen Titans #1 (DC Comics) – Damian leading the Teen Titans? The concept just sounds like fun in a watching a trainwreck sort of way. His attitude plus what I’d consider the Teen Titans’ positive attitude should make for some fun times. Out of all of the Rebirth titles, this one has me really excited to check out.

Transformers: Revolution #1 (IDW Publishing) – I love me some Transformers and to see them brought into a world with so many other properties is really cool. But, I want to see how their bigger world and story folds in and hopefully none of it loses momentum.

Preview: The Skeptics #1

The Skeptics #1

Written by: Tini Howard
Art by: Devaki Neogi
Colored by: Jen Hickman
Lettered by: Aditya Bidikar
Cover by: Devaki Neogi
In Stores: Oct 26, 2016

It is the 1960s. The Soviets have the A bomb, the H bomb, and now the most terrifying weapon of all: a pair of psychically superpowered teens.

Terrified and desperate, the US top brass scours from coast to coast in search of psychic Americans.

Enter Dr. Isobel Santaclara, an eccentric illusionist and grifter who has recruited two teenagers and trained them to trick the US government, the Russians, and the whole world into believing they are dangerous psychics.

the-skeptics-1-7

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