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Review: Bloodshot #10

Bloodshot #10

Bloodshot only has “One Last Shot” as the brand-new story arc starts in Bloodshot #10! Artists Brett Booth and Pedro Andreo join writer Tim Seeley for Bloodshot’s road to retribution. Who can a one-man army trust when everyone’s trying to kill him?

The last issue of Bloodshot wasn’t exactly the strongest in the series. Whereas the series has found its strength in the urgency that comes from Tim Seeley’s writing and the speed in which things happen from moment to moment, the last issue suffered from a general lack of cohesiveness as the story (and the character) jumped from location to location in an interesting use of Bloodshot’s abilities that did come across as well as it could have. Otherwise, though, the series has been a breath of excitement borne from the action movie pace of the comic; when it’s good, it’s very good.

Bloodshot #10 introduces comics fans to characters that we’ve seen in the 2020 movie with Wilfred Wigins making his on page debut, and I can’t help but read his lines Lamorne Morris’ voice – something that Seeley captures really well. Wigans’ adds a level of levity to the comic that has been missing (it’s odd, because levity and humour don’t often go hand in hand with Bloodshot, but with Seeley’s style of story telling, the combination actually works a lot better than I’d have expected after previous Bloodshot runs). It’s not all fun and games, though, as we find Bloodshot locked in a place he’ll need to escape from in order to face a new and familiar threat – without going into specifics, the escape sequence is somewhat disturbing in what it doesn’t show you. There’s also a lot of story here; I had to check a couple of times when reading the comic what page I was on, because I was convinced the comic was an oversized book

Seeley is joined by artists Brett Booth and Pedro Andrea, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe. Although Booth’s name comes ahead of Andreo’s in the credits, he’s only actually credited with a handful of pages in the comic. The reason I mention this is because Andreo’s work is really good. The Spaniard adds a visual flair to the book that’s a lot like adding parmesan cheese onto a pasta dish; it just makes an already good meal a touch better. His style also flows from the previous issue, which gives the entire series a sense of visual continuity despite having a plethora of talented artists in its ten-issue run. Andreo bolsters a solid story with his layouts and copious use of blank space amongst the action. The sequential art in this book has some spectacular moments amidst a story that slides between good and pretty good with ease.

Bloodshot #10 is a return to the series previous energy and flow, kicking off another arc that should allow new readers to hop into the series with relative ease. What isn’t captured in the recap you can figure out from exposition in the dialogue. A return to form after last issue, which is always good news for any jumping on point.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Brett Booth and Pedro Andreo
Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.2 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Bloodshot #10

BLOODSHOT #10

Written by TIM SEELEY
Art by BRETT BOOTH, PEDRO ANDREO
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by SIMON BISLEY
Cover B by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Preorder Variant Cover by SHAWN CRYSTAL
On Sale January 13th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Bloodshot only has “One Last Shot” as the brand-new story arc starts now!

Superstar artist Brett Booth and Pedro Andreo join best-selling scribe Tim Seeley for Bloodshot’s road to retribution.

Who can a one-man army trust when everyone’s trying to kill him?

BLOODSHOT #10

Fantasy Meets Chicago in Bequest from Tim Seeley, Freddie E. Williams II, Jeremy Colwell, and Marshall Dillon

BEQUEST #1

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Freddie E. Williams II
Colorist: Jeremy Colwell
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Cover: Freddie E. Williams II w/ Jeremy Colwell
Incentive cover: Tyler Walpole
$4.99 / 32 Pages / Color / On Sale 3.17.2021

Welcome to the high fantasy world of Tangea! A land where wizards and warriors battle dragons in dark dank dungeons! Where thieves pillage ancient ruins and priests answer the audible words of their great gods!

Welcome to Chicago, Illinois! Where the magical items from Tangea are being traded on the black market and are messing everything up.

Now, a group of Tangea adventurers must go undercover in our modern world to stop artifacts and monsters from falling into the wrong hands. But how will they fare in a world without wizards and warriors? A world without heroes?

From Tim Seeley (DARK RED, BRILLIANT TRASH) and Freddie E. Williams II (HeMan/ThundercatsBatman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) comes BEQUEST, a real-world fantasy tale.

Each issue of BEQUEST has 24 pages of story and art and cardboard stock covers!

BEQUEST #1

Review: Twelve Reasons To Die TP

Twelve Reasons to Die

Twelve Reasons to Die acts as the source material for the 2013 concept album of the same title by Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah, and the record’s producer/composer Adrian Younge and executive producer RZA even get story and writer credits respectively on this comic, which is finally being released as a collected edition.A pre-4 Kids Walk Into A Bank/Marvel Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon handle the brunt of the scripting though. The comic is a multi-generational crime saga in the mold of such classics like The Godfather Part II, Goodfellas, and Once Upon A Time in America with a horror spin. With the exception of the final one, each issue tells two parallel stories. The first is about the rise of African-American gangster Tony Starks (One of Ghostface Killah’s aliases.) from muscle for the DeLuca family to a kingpin in his own right, and it is drawn predominantly by artist Breno Tamura. Gus Storms handles the other story which features “crate digger” Michael Migdal looking for 9 rare records for Lucraze, the don of the DeLuca crime family, because he feels like they’re cursed and wants to destroy them.

The parallel structure of Twelve Reasons to Die allows Rosenberg, Kindlon, RZA, Tamura, Storm, colorist Jean-Paul Csuka, and the various guest artists to play with different genres, art styles, and palettes like Younge and Ghostface Killah play with different beats, instrumentation, samples, and deliveries on the album. Starks’ story is a crime saga while Migdal’s story is more horror, and both use elements from the blaxploitation genre. This really shows up in the artwork with Tamura’s work being looser with scratchy inks and Bronze Age era Ben-Day Dots while Storms’ art is softer and more grotesque with the mysterious “Ghostface Killer” lurking around the edges like something out of a bad dream waiting for the needle to drop and to bring vengeance.

The different guest artists, like Nate Powell, Joelle Jones, Edwin Huang, and Riley Rossmo, meld well with Storms and Tamura while bringing extra flair to key scenes like Starks torturing a racist DeLuca made man and framing him for having an affair with the boss’ wife, Logan (Who Starks is actually sleeping with.) or several night club and murder sequences. Csuka’s colors really tie everything together and control the mood of each sequence whether that’s the sleazy red and blue of the strip club where Starks gets his first assignment from the DeLuca (and later runs) to the pop art pink of a “masqua-rave” that Migdal goes to get one of the records from a DJ, who decides to play the record and gets devoured by ravers turned into insects. It’s a Kafka-esque acid trip that shows the decadence of the DeLuca “social club” (They’ve filed off the serial numbers of their criminal enterprises.), and of course, there’s a panel where Migdal vomits.

Twelve Reasons to Die doesn’t shy away from showing the racism that Tony Starks faces from his employers, the Delucas, who bar him from becoming a made man because of the color of his skin and hurl slurs and stereotypes at him throughout the entire comic. Starks gets passed over for the mob equivalent of a promotion even though he has killed, tortured, and general gone above and beyond the call of duty because of the color of his skin. Eventually, this causes him to band together with his colleagues from the Black community to take over the DeLucas’ turf and even have some DeLuca foot soldiers work for him. There’s a dark, cathartic glee to watching him topple an empire in twelve months that had been established 30+ years ago. (See the prologue featuring Mussolini, mainland Italy vs. Sicily, and double page map spreads.) Starks’ ruthlessness is magnetic, yet frightening as he goes from possibly negotiating with one of the DeLuca’s made men to pistol whipping him in an alley and then tying his neck to the back of a car and having him dragged. This comic definitely uses torture creatively a la “Method Man” from Wu-Tang Clan’s classic album, 36 Chambers.

Twelve Reasons to Die

However, Rosenberg, Kindlon, and RZA also take time to develop Tony Starks’ softer and more vulnerable side through his relationship with Logan, who he genuinely cares about and basically uses as a spy for the DeLucas (Although she betrays him because femme fatale trope.) and especially for his love of records. There’s a touching scene where Starks says that his only dream is to get his hands on the most “hype” records, and he uses his organized crime money to build a factory where he can press his own wax. This is why his demise in that same factory is so tragic, and his vengeance via the drop of a needle is so satisfying as the Ghostface Killer slays the men who betrayed him in new and fucked up ways, or just a single page beheading. (I guess that’s pretty messed up though.) The exception is the noble fencer Batiato, who gets an epic sword fight complete with Ghostface in samurai armor and some fun, blocky cartooning from Edwin Huang.

I haven’t really touched much about Migdal in this review, and initially he seems quite distant from sex, violence, and racism-tinged world of Tony Starks and the DeLucas. He’s just a guy with a sarcastic sense of humor, who you’d see digging through the crates at your local record store, probably every day. However, as he continues to be treated like shit by the aging DeLuca crime bosses and see more horrific things, Migdal seems more attuned to this grindhouse movie of a world even though he doesn’t lose his innocence making the high energy Chris Hunt-drawn finale have a tinge of sadness. He really just wants to get paid so he can buy more records.

Even though it has an entire restaurant of chefs in its proverbial kitchen, Twelve Reasons to Die is a damn good fusion of the crime and horror genre with a charismatic protagonist and a social conscience in the midst of all the schlock. However, it never gets preachy. For three decades, Ghostface Killah has been one of hip hop’s best storytellers, and his vision translates really well to the comic book page thanks to Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, RZA, Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Chris Hunt, Jean-Paul Csuka, and the guest artists that are the visual equivalent of that perfect drum sound or soul sample that raises a track from skippable to total earworm. Finally, and it goes without saying, but this comic pairs really well with the 12 Reasons to Die album.

Story: Ghostface Killah, Adrian Younge, C.E. Garcia
Story/Script: Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon with RZA

Art: Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Chris Hunt
Guest Art: Kyle Strahm, Joe Infurnari, Tim Seeley, Nate Powell,
Tyler Crook, Toby Cypress, Joelle Jones, Edwin Huang, Russell Roehling,
Ryan Kelly, Riley Rossmo Colors: Jean-Paul Csuka
Letters: Jim Campbell and Nic J. Shaw
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

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


Purchase: AmazoncomiXology

Steve Niles, Shannon Eric Denton, and Dan Evans Launch Monster Forge Productions

Monster Forge Productions

Steve Niles and Shannon Eric Denton have launched Monster Forge Productions, a new company focusing on horror properties. Joining them as a creative consultant is Dan Evans a former vp, creative affairs for DC Entertainment. Niles is the co-creator of the 30 Days of Night franchise and Denton is an artist and animator.

The company is a multi-platform production division that brings together Niles and Denton’s longstanding work and creator relationships focused on film, television, interactive entertainment, gaming, and merchandising. Material will be for adults and kids.

Monster Forge will parter with artists and writers to build franchises across media and appeal to audiences of all ages.

The company already has an impressive roster of talent to work with including Star Trek: Picard supervising producer Marc Bernardin, legendary toy designer James Groman (Madballs), N.W.A. co-founder Arabian Prince, BOOM! Studios co-founder and Hellboy screenwriter Andrew Cosby, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, The Grudge 3 screenwriter Brad Keene, Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley and the estate of legendary horror illustrator Bernie Wrightson, among others.

Preview: 12 Reasons to Die

12 Reasons to Die

Created by: Ghostface Killah / Executive Produced by: RZA
Written by: Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon
Illustrated by: Ronald Wimberly, Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Kyle Strahm, Joe Infurnari, Christopher Mitten, Jim Mahfood, Tim Seeley, Nate Powell, Ben Templesmith, Tyler Crook, Toby Cypress, Juan Doe, Joelle Jones, Edwin Huang, Johnnie Christmas, Russel Roehling, Ryan Kelly, Michael Walsh, Chris Hunt, Riley Rossmo, David Murdoch, Garry Brown, Johnny Ryan, Shaky Kane, Benjamin Marra, and Brian Level
Colored by: Jean-Paul Csuka
Lettered by: Jim Campbell, Nic J. Shaw
Mature / $24.99 / 180 pages

Guns. Sex. Vinyl. Revenge. Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah and RZA teamed with then young-gun writers Matthew Rosenberg (Uncanny X-Men, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank) & Patrick Kindlon (Survival Fetish, Nobody Is In Control) for this brutal tale of a dangerous crime lord’s rise and fall.

Collects issues 1-6.

12 Reasons to Die

See Creation in Action Live at Baltimore Comic Con Live

Take part in the 1st annual Baltimore Comic-Con Live, a FREE ONLINE EVENT streaming the weekend of October 23-25, 2020! Come check out retailers, exhibitors, artists alley, programming, and the Ringo Awards live! If you love art, you won’t want to miss some amazing opportunities to see its creation in action!

DRINK & DRAW: LIVE

Panelists: Dan Brereton, Becky Cloonan, Sean Forney, Sanford Greene, Megan Hutchison, Daniel Warren Johnson, Tony Parker, Tom Raney, Tim Seeley, and Ryan Stegman!
Friday, October 23, 2020 – 9pm ET / 6pm PT

Sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy a LIVE sketch hang out with the top names in comics. Seats are SOLD OUT to participate in the LIVE Drink & Draw, but the event will be broadcast LIVE and FREE to view on this website.

DRINK & DRAW: LIVE

MonsDRAWsity: Drawing Party Game

Host: Joshua Werner
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 12pm ET / 9am PT

Joshua Werner joins Source Point Press comic creators to play-test the new monster drawing party game MonsDRAWsity from Deep Water Games! Bring a marker and some paper, you can even play along from home in real time!

MonsDRAWsity: Drawing Party Game

LIFE DRAWING

Panelists: Christian Gossett & Shadia Elise
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 1pm ET / 10am PT

Wanna draw like a pro? Then draw WITH the pros! Pro artists use life-drawing models, and now YOU can, too! Model Shadia Elise of GalleryGirls.com will do four poses over the course of an hour, and EVERYONE can look in and sketch along! And artist Christian Gossett will EXPLAIN what artists get out of the process! Is it batting practice? Honing old skills? Looking to try something new? What is the model doing? And why? Join in, grab a pencil, and YOU can show off your art as well!

LIFE DRAWING

Preview: The Crow: Lethe

The Crow: Lethe

(W) Tim Seeley (A) Ilias Kyriazis (CA) Peach Momoko
In Shops: Oct 14, 2020
SRP: $17.99

Bad memories still haunt Null Narcos, but are his memories real… and does The Crow care? Null Narcos is a popular performer in the FREAK-CHIC CIRCUS SIDESHOW, able to endure horrific violence on his body without pain. But outside his nightly shows, Null is a blank slate, with only faint but disturbing memories of who he was before. When other performers begin dying mysteriously, Null is haunted by a golden-eyed stalker and begins to remember a life he’d thought long gone… a life of murder, terror, and black wings.

The Crow: Lethe

Review: Bloodshot #9

Bloodshot #9

In a world overrun with monsters, only Bloodshot can end Hell on Earth in Bloodshot #9! What does the gripping conclusion of “Burned” mean for the future of Bloodshot?

The strength of Tim Seeley‘s Bloodshot run has often been the sense of urgency of the story, and the speed in which things happen, which when brought to life by an all-star cast of artistic talent has often had the effect of throwing you into a John Wick film. The series has been relentless. A breath of excitement borne from the action movie pace of the comic; when it’s good, it’s very good. The three-part The Burned arc has taken the action-packed formula to heart and has added in some subtle elements like Godzilla sized monsters.

Oddly, despite the grand theatrics on display, Bloodshot #9 falls flatter than previous entries in the series. There’s a lack of cohesiveness to the comic that’s most evident when it tries to pull of the grand reveal/finale only to leave you wondering what happened.

Without explicitly spoiling the comic I can’t get into specifics, so skip this paragraph if you want to go in blind. Bloodshot, his nanites and Eidolon have concocted a plan to spread his consciousness over two bodies with one being active at once to allow him to move from one place to another in a breath. While I appreciate the originality of the idea, for me it felt like it was used more as a device to cut the length of the story out of necessity rather than as an exploration of what the character is capable of (with assistance from others), and because of the lack of foreshadowing the moment came off as a deus ex machina rather than a planned story beat.

Of course, the above is purely my own feelings on the comic (much like the review as a whole, honestly), and your mileage may vary.

Whether it’s the COVID related gap between the last few issues or the abrupt ending to the current arc, Seeley has a lot to contend with as he pulls plot threads from previous issues into the finale to tie them off faster than one would expect, making this comic a harder entry point for new readers than previous issues.

Seeley is joined by artists Marc Laming and Jason Masters, inker Adelso Corona, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe. All of whom combine for an aesthetic that appeals enormously to me. The style gives me a sense of nostalgia for the comic art I read growing up; it’s dynamic, clean and yet full of life and vibrancy, though the lustre may be wearing a little thin given that there seemed to be a little less flow to what was on the page in some scenes – not every one, but some of the more chaotic fight scenes with the giant monsters were a little harder to follow than fight scenes in earlier comics in the series. Whether this is due to the size of the combatants relative to each other making it harder to choreograph the battle, or the two artists working on the comic not fully jiving together, could be up for debate if the rest of the comic did have the same issues with artistic flow that are apparent in the giant monster scenes.

Bloodshot #9 aside, reading an issue of Seeley’s Bloodshot has always been a great reminder of the excitement I used to have reading comics, and while this issue doesn’t have the same nostalgic magic that previous issues have had, it is still one that’s worth reading if you’re following the series. But it won’t be the best place to start reading the series.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Marc Laming
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Marc Laming Talks Bloodshot and Giant Russian God Beasts

Bloodshot #9

In a world overrun with monsters, only Bloodshot can end Hell on Earth! Bloodshot #9 is out this week and wraps up “Burned” leaving open the future of Bloodshot!

Written by Tim Seeley, Bloodshot #9 features the art of Marc Laming and Jason Masters with colors by Andrew Dalhouse, inks by Adelso Corona, and lettering by Dave Sharpe.

We got a chance to talk to Marc Laming about the series, his “Giant Russian God Beasts” and any pressure from a series in the spotlight due to Hollywood.

Graphic Policy: How did you end up working on Bloodshot?

Marc Laming: I had previously worked for Valiant on a lot of covers and some Ninjak and Archer & Armstrong and always enjoyed working for them. I got an email from Senior Editor Lysa Hawkins when she started at Valiant asking if I would be interested in working with her and I jumped at the chance, I had no idea at the time which book it would be but Lysa had promised me action and adventure. When I eventually found out I would be doing a series of covers and then a short run on Bloodshot I was really happy as I had loved what the relaunched Valiant under Warren Simons had done with the character. I was 100% on board and with Tim Seeley writing the stories it was the icing on the cake.

GP: This Bloodshot story has given you some really interesting things to draw – how much free reign did you get when designing the looks of the characters we see at the end of Bloodshot #7

ML: It was complete free reign as Tim only gave me “Giant Russian God Beasts” as a description of the huge Kaiju – the same with the zombie soldiers and the terrorist supermen. So, I got to just go as mad as I liked. 

GP: With Wigans having a cameo in Bloodshot #9, the issue will likely get some more eyes on it and most likely become an item for collectors. Does that ever cross your mind?

ML: Hahaha it really doesn’t factor into how I approach making comics. I’m really only thinking about making the visuals and storytelling as strong as possible, anything else is a distraction.

Bloodshot #9

GP: Going that route, there are probably new eyes on the series due to the film, is that something you think about as well?

ML: It really doesn’t cross my mind for the same reasons as the last question.

GP: Last time we chatted, you talked about how previous artists on the series influenced you more than the film. With this arc wrapping up, is there an aspect you hope you planted your flag with and carries on?

ML: I hope the Valiant universe gets to have a few of those Russian God Beasts I designed roaming around – I also liked the more human Bloodshot Tim gave us, I hope that I made that work and I’d like to see that continue.

GP: I know you’ve said you’d be interested in an Eternal Warrior story…  is there anything you can tell us about a potential book that hasn’t been announced yet?

ML: Not as yet – sorry.

GP: The last time we spoke, you said that you do too much research on locations. Have you ever been to a place you’ve researched at a later date and imagined the comic taking place in real time?

ML: I’m currently drawing a book set in Paris and once we can all travel again I would really like to go visit the locations I’m drawing to see if I did them justice and I really like the idea that the locations I use the reader could actually visit too.

GP: What have you got in store for us in the near future after Bloodshot #9? Anything that you can tell us?

ML: I’m working on two long-form graphic novels right now – one is a sci fi story and the other is an espionage action-adventure romantic comedy and both have pages set in Paris… Other than that, it’s all very hush hush still.

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