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Review: The Adventures of Captain America

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got Captain America!

The Adventures of Captain America collects issues #1-4 and Captain America: The 1940s Newspaper Strips #1-3 by Fabian Nicieza, Kevin Maguire, Kevin West, Steve Carr, Josef Rubenstein, Terry Austin, Tom Christopher, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings, Barry Dutter, Mike Rockwitz, Karl Kesel, Ben Dimagmaliw, Jared K. Fletcher, Butch Guice, Rachel Pinnelas, Lauren Sankovitch, Bill Rosemann, Tom Brevoort, Tim Smith 3, Harry Go, and John Cerilli.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores March 13. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

 

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Black Gets Two Spin-Offs, Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart and Black [AF]: Widows & Orphans

Having taken the publishing industry by storm with a widely popular Kickstarter campaign for their acclaimed comic book, co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 are publishing two new titles set in the world of Black, their controversial comic that asks “in a world that already fears and hates them, what if only Black people had superpowers?” The progressive, Los Angeles-based indie publisher Black Mask Studios will publish both of these new projects in early 2018, the first of several planned Black spinoff titles.

On sale timed to Black History Month, the original graphic novel Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart introduces America’s first superhero, a black teenage girl. Though Eli Franklin’s friends and neighbors in rural Montana think of her as a typical 15-year-old, she just might be the most powerful person on the planet. The adopted daughter of a government official, Eli sets out to give America hope as its first superhero, Good Girl, but soon discovers it may take more than donning a patriotic costume to lessen societal divides. On sale in comic book stores on January 31 and in bookstores on February 13, Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart is a stand-alone YA story that updates classic superhero tropes (an adopted child manifests incredible powers of super strength, invulnerability, and flight) to tell a bold, thrilling, and timely origin story for a new generation. Artist Jennifer Johnson makes her graphic novel debut.

Following the publication of Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart, Black Mask Studios will publish the miniseries Black [AF]: Widows & Orphans starting in April. The four-issue series will reunite Black co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, with Osajyefo  writing the series and Smith illustrating it. The series highlights Anansi, one of the characters introduced in Black, and marks the first Black series to be illustrated by Smith, who designed the characters that Jamal Igle illustrated in the first Black comics.

More Black titles are in development from the co-creators and Black Mask Studios.

BLACK AF: AMERICA’S SWEETHEART
written by Kwanza Osajyefo; illustrated by Jennifer Johnson
$9.99; 80 pages; Full Color
On sale: in comic book stores on January 31 and in bookstores on February 14, 2018

BLACK [AF]: WIDOWS & ORPHANS #1
written by Kwanza Osajyefo; illustrated by TIM SMITH 3
$3.99; 32 pages; Full Color;  Mature
On Sale: April 2018

Black is Optioned for the Big Screen by Studio 8

Deadline is reporting that Studio 8 has snatched up the Kickstarter smashing indie comic series Black created by Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, written by Osajyefo, with art by Jamal Igle, covers by Khary Randolph, and published by Black Mask Studios. The plan currently is to bring the series to the big screen.

The six issue series has recently wrapped up and is about a world where only Black individuals have superpowers and a widespread global conspiracy about that knowledge pervails. The story primarily follows a young man who survives being gunned down by police and is brought into the conspiracy forcing him to decide if he’ll keep it a secret or the truth will set him free.

Osajyefo and Smith are attached as co-producers to the film, with Black Mask Studios’ Matteo Pizzolo producing.

This isn’t the first comic property for Studio 8, they aquired film options for Scout by Timothy Truman.

Review: Black #5

In the aftermath of his defection from The Project, Kareem comes face-to-face with the harsh consequences of his decision. Juncture and his team enlist Detective Waters’s help in a drastic effort to find the boy before he’s too far gone into the system – but a great threat may have nefarious designs for Kareem’s unique abilities.

In Black #5, it feels everything is finally laid out for us readers to fully understand what’s going on. Up until this point I wasn’t completely sold as to who could be trust and who couldn’t and at the end of this issue, I’m still not 100%, but there’s some interesting twists and turns throughout.

The issue focuses on Kareem and The Project also trying to figure out what happened to him. While the story at its heart isn’t completely unique (a person with great power who uncontrolled could destroy the world) what Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 bring in the story is how that type of story has a layered meaning when the skin color changes from white to black.

The strongest thing about Black isn’t so much what it’s trying to say or the overall story, but getting the reader to see how the meaning and themes of stories change when the skin color of the main character is changed. To me, that’s the thing I’m most enjoying about it and its getting me to think about the other comics I’m consuming and how a simple change of a character’s skin color can completely change the “meaning” of a scene or series. What Black also does well as shown in this issue is take the real world events and bring them into the comic. The divide in how White America and Back America are treated is brought up as well as coded wording used to dehumanize Black individuals. It’s not overtly in your face, but natural dialogue that adds to the overarching story and its themes.

The art by Jamal Igle is solid delivering black and white action (no pun intended) and the varying characters. There’s little cut and paste here (the only example is generic soldiers in armor) instead every character has a unique look and style of their own that stands out and brings them life. As always, Khary Randolph’s covers draw you in. These are some of the best, most striking covers on the shelves.

The series has had its ups and downs, but the story as a whole is amazing in its themes and what it says. Each issue feels like it adds depth when it comes to that getting the readers to think not just about the current issue, but the past ones as well. Black is an entertaining read and one that challenges the reader to think and explore beyond the page.

Story: Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3 Art: Jamal Igle Cover Art: Khary Randolph
Story: 7.85 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Preview: Black #5

BLACK #5

Created by: Kwanza Osajyefo & Tim Smith 3
Written by: Kwanza Osajyefo
Illustrated by: Jamal Igle
Cover by: Khary Randolph
In Stores: April 19

In the aftermath of his defection from The Project, Kareem comes face-to-face with the harsh consequences of his decision. Juncture and his team enlist Detective Waters’ help in a drastic effort to find the boy before he’s too far gone into the system – but a great threat may have nefarious designs for Kareem’s unique abilities.

Preview: Black #4

Black #4

Created by: Kwanza Osajyefo & Tim Smith 3
Written by: Kwanza Osajyefo
Illustrated by: Jamal Igle
Cover by: Khary Randolph
In Stores: February 8

A schism between Juncture and Kareem sets the young man on the run from the people he thought were his comrades. Traversing the depths of the Project, he searches for answers he can’t get from Juncture – will he find what he’s looking for or will his discovery put everyone in danger?

black-4-7

Preview: Black #3

BLACK #3

Written by: Kwanza Osajyefo
Designed by: Tim Smith 3
Art by: Jamal Igle
Cover by: Khary Randolph
In Stores: December 14th

In a world that already hates and fears them – what if only Black people had superpowers?

After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.

X-Men meets The Wire, BLACK’s Kickstarter blazed through Black History Month 2016 earning more than three time its funding goal.

black-3-cover-1

Listen to Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 Talk Black, Their Hit Comic Series on Demand

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

In a world that already hates and fears them – what if only Black people had superpowers?

After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.

This Monday we welcomed two of the individuals behind the comic series Black on Graphic Policy Radio. Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 will join us to talk about the series published by Black Mask Studios and which saw the second issue recently released after selling out the 22,000 copy print run of the first.

Creator and author of Black, Kwanza Osajyefo was a digital editor at both Marvel and DC Comics – best known for launching the latter’s Zuda imprint, which published series like the award-winning Bayou, High Moon, Night Owls, as well as Superton, Celadore, Black Cherry Bombshells, Bottle of Awesome, and I Rule the Night.

Co-creator and designer of Black, Tim Smith 3 (A.K.A. TS3), has been working in the comic industry for over 15 years. He created and self-published Red After the Party, and has worked on hit titles for publishers such as Marvel, Archie, and DC, just to name a few!

Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 Talk Black, Their Hit Comic Series this Monday

black-1-1In a world that already hates and fears them – what if only Black people had superpowers?

After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.

This Monday we have two of the individuals behind the comic series Black on Graphic Policy Radio. Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 will join us to talk about the series published by Black Mask Studios and which saw the second issue recently released after selling out the 22,000 copy print run of the first.

The show airs LIVE this Monday at 10pm ET.

Creator and author of Black, Kwanza Osajyefo was a digital editor at both Marvel and DC Comics – best known for launching the latter’s Zuda imprint, which published series like the award-winning Bayou, High Moon, Night Owls, as well as Superton, Celadore, Black Cherry Bombshells, Bottle of Awesome, and I Rule the Night.

Co-creator and designer of Black, Tim Smith 3 (A.K.A. TS3), has been working in the comic industry for over 15 years. He created and self-published Red After the Party, and has worked on hit titles for publishers such as Marvel, Archie, and DC, just to name a few!

We want to hear your questions! Tweet them to us @graphicpolicy and listen in live this Monday.

Listen in live this Monday.

Review: Black #2

black-2In a world that already hates and fears them – what if only Black people had superpowers?

After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.

I read Black #2 before the election results this past Tuesday and the issue’s social commentary is as relevant then as it is now. Black #2 is an example of the entertainment we need, not just because it shifts the narrative away from the white superhero, but also because it touches upon issues that we need to think about as readers. Entertainment is supposed to entertain, but it also has a role in reflecting society and challenging those who consume it. Black does exactly that and then some.

The concept is simple, that African-Americans have super powers and it’s a secret that’s been kept for some time. There’s numerous levels the comic works on and the commentary and issues it brings up are both at the surface of this issue and also a bit more subtle.

The comic as a whole has a theme about presentation and what we allow the public to see and what we don’t. It’s an interesting take on “acting white” or “code-switching” based on who you’re around. We see that in the difference of opinions within the comic of allowing the “white” world see that Black individuals have these abilities while others want to keep it quiet thinking it’ll protect them. It’s interesting and nuanced in some ways with different opinions presented and no clear answer given. It reflects very real debates going forward about conforming to a “white standard” in things. This issue takes it a step further introducing a Transgender character which further complicates the politics of it all, especially since even within the Black community there’s issues when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. Thankfully Osajyefo, Smith 3, and Igle don’t hold back displaying the ignorance of our main character. That complicated discussion, a minority within a minority within a minority, challenges the reader to reflect on their status in many ways and think about the outsiders within their own community. That’s the more subtle aspects of the comic, the discussion of identity and how we present to others.

Then there’s the in your face aspects of it.

The comic straight up deals with a lynching as the cover of the comic shows. The situation presented isn’t anything particularly new, we’ve seen it with the X-Men, but it involves a super power going off and causing damage, but also some straight up racists killing African-Americans. It’s raw, unflinching, in your face, and needed. Especially as we ponder the future of our nation (and a world) where racism is emboldened and out in the open in a way we haven’t seen in some time.

And in that way the comic itself creates an interesting duality. There’s the in your face nature of the events within (and presented in an amazing cover by Khary Randolph) and the more subtle politics behind the scene. It reflects the real world in a way that’s often missed in writing. Kudos to Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, and Jamal Igle for understanding that and making it a part of the reading experience.

While some may have been disappointed in the debut issue, I think this second issue shows this is a series that’s much smarter and deeper than it may seem. It definitely is meant to shock in some ways, but it also speaks a truth that’s rare and not sugar coated.

I enjoyed the first issue, but this second issue has me excited to see what comes next and ponder the layered nature of it all.

Story: Kwanza Osajyefo Designed: Tim Smith 3 Art: Jamal Igle
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

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