As a child of the 1980s, I remembered watching the Incredible Hulk, which was one of Marvel’s first live action shows. As a kid, I always thought of him as a sad character. The character of Bruce Banner in the show is a fugitive scientist trying to keep his other self in check. For its time, it was a powerful character study, one that I would not appreciate until I became older.
The movies that came once Marvel decided to put one of their stalwart heroes to the forefront were a mixed bag. The movie with Eric Bana, didn’t quite deliver like fans would have wanted. While the movie with Edward Norton proved to what everyone hoped it would be. In the continuation of the masterful Ronin 5, the Hulk gets the spotlight in what is a unique exploration.
In 5 Ronin #2, we’re taken to 1600 Japan, where a young man and his uncle are looking for a monk to help them with their problem, as bandits keep raiding their village. He refuses as he has taken a vow of peace, but when the villagers try to negotiate with the bandits, things start to fall apart. He comes to their aid, and mobilizes the village against the bandits, leading to a tense standoff, one which would see the village burn. By issue’s end, then bandits are defeated, the villagers are safe and the monk returns to his quiet life in a monastery.
Overall, 5 Ronin #2 is a great issue which gives this iconic character a much deeper look. The story by Peter Milligan is fun. The art by Tomm Coker and David Aja is stunning. Altogether, a story which will remind many of Shane.
Story: Peter Milligan Art: Tomm Coker and David Aja Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Just like every fan of Marvel, I was quite excited when I s aw the trailer for What If? I even made a social media post when the series was announced, not only because it was a show I was excited for, but I personally collected all of the issues in the series of the second run in 1989. I loved how they put these very familiar characters in very different situations. Phase 4 of the MCU is all about how every choice leads down a different road.
This particular juxtaposition allows a world of possibilities which I believe will only leave fans more confounded in the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. These recent onscreen interpretations reminded me of the dearth of similar explorations within their comics. One of the most celebrated ones being Neil Gaiman’s take on the X-Men, Marvel 1602. Thankfully, Marvel has been always liberal in the exploration of their canonical characters, which lead me years ago to find their masterful 5Ronin, which puts some of their best characters in feudal Japan, starting with the X-Men’s brooding leader, Wolverine in the debut issue.
We are taken to 1600 Japan, and clans from the east and west have a standoff on the battlefield of Sekigahara and the narrator, a loyal samurai, his master falls during combat, rendering him a Ronin, left to be a sword for hire. As this samurai, who physically resembles Wolverine, is betrayed by someone who belongs to clan, who decapitates him, but weeks later, he reemerges. As his legend grows, as the “Ronin who cannot die”, but nothing is what as it seems. By issue’s end, we find out out they did not merely to belong to the same clan, but something much more, leaving fans both bewildered and entertained.
Overall, 5 Ronin #1an excellent debut issue which will have the reader wanting to put on a Kurosaka movie. The story by Peter Milligan is well researched and enthralling. The art by Tomm Coker and David Aja is beautiful. Altogether, a story which gives readers a different look at the most enigmatic hero of the X-Men.
Story: Peter Milligan Art: Tomm Coker and David Aja Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
ComiXology has eight new digital comics available for purchase right now. There’s a mix of what you can get including new digital comics from Marvel, Harlequin, and graphic novel from SelfMadeHero. Check out all of the releases here or the individual releases below.
Captain America And The Falcon: The Swine
Written by Jack Kirby Art by Jack Kirby Cover by Jack Kirby Purchase
Collects Captain America #206-214 and Annual #3-4.
The King keeps Cap’s quests coming with menaces from deep in space and deeper in the human soul! Even the evil of the Red Skull might pale before the fearsome Bio-Fanatic! Plus: Magneto and a rarely seen batch of evil mutants! Featuring the Falcon and Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Written by Garth Ennis Art by Darick Robertson Cover by Gary Frank Purchase
Collects Fury: Peacemaker #1-6.
Before he presided over S.H.I.E.L.D., before he ran with the Howling Commandos, Sgt. Nick Fury fought on the blood-stained sands of the Tunisian desert. It was there that he came face-to-face with the incomparable might of the 21st Panzer Division and its skilled warrior commander, General Stephen Barkhorn, and barely lived to tell about it. And it was there that he got a second chance at life – and revenge. In this gripping tale, Garth Ennis (GHOST RIDER, PUNISHER) and Darick Robertson (PUNISHER: BORN) offer a never-before-seen glimpse into the soul of a warrior you only think you know.
The Guardian’s Dilemma: The Steepwood Scandal
Written by Gail Whitiker Art by Chieko Hara Purchase
Schoolteacher Helen starts sweating the moment she sees Oliver, the guardian of a new student. She wonders if he remembers saving her all those years ago from her aristocratic employer’s wandering hands. Oliver remembers, all right, and can hardly believe an aristocrat’s prostitute could become a teacher! Does he dare leave his young stepsister in the care of this lewd woman?
The Maid Of Lorne
Written by Terri Brisbin Art by Kaishi Sakuya Purchase
During a revolt by the Scottish army against the king, Lara and her siblings are captured along with their father, the leader of their clan. By order of the king, Lara is forced to marry Sebastien, the king’s loyal subordinate. If she refuses, she and her family will be killed. On the verge of despair, she makes up her mind to fulfill her duty as the daughter of a clan leader. On their wedding night, Lara is terrified, but Sebastien treats her gently. She is surprised at first but ultimately follows his lead. But there is a secret behind his gentle demeanor…
Written by Steve Englehart, Justin Gray, Karl Kesel, Joe R. Lansdale, Jim McCann, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jeff Parker, Dan Slott, Fred Van Lente Art by Homs, Eduardo Barreto, Tomm Coker, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Rafa Garres, Federica Manfredi, Jimmy Palmiotti, Marshall Rogers, David Williams Cover by Eric Powell, Marshall Rogers Purchase
Collects Marvel Westerns: The Two-Gun Kid, Marvel Westerns: Western Legends, Marvel Westerns: Kid Colt And The Arizona Girl, Marvel Westerns: Strange Westerns Starring The Black Rider, And The Marvel Westerns: Outlaw Files Handbook.
Marvel’s masked men ride again in all-new tales by a posse of today’s most talented creators! It’s the raucous return of Two-Gun Kid, Hurricane, Red Wolf, the Man From Fort Rango, Kid Colt, Arizona Annie, the Black Rider, Gunhawk and more! And introducing the Philadelphia Filly and Spender! Plus: re-presenting the origin of Rawhide Kid by Jack “King” Kirby and other classic Marvel Western tales.
Punisher: Very Special Holidays
Written by Andy Diggle, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti Art by Paul Gulacy, Kyle Hotz, Mark Texeira Cover by Mark Texeira Purchase
Collects Punisher: Red X-Mas, Punisher: Bloody Valentine And Punisher: Silent Night.
Spend the holidays with the Punisher! In RED X-MAS, ’tis the season – for revenge. Following an eight-casket funeral, a group of vengeful mob widows go holiday shopping for the perfect assassin to take down the man responsible – and enlist the services of the lovely and lethal Sicilian assassin known as Suspiria! In BLOODY VALENTINE, something sparks the little black pit in Frank Castle’s chest – the one that used to be a heart! Suspiria’s back, and she wants to kiss and make up. It seems the murderous pair have a mutual enemy, an arch-villain whose pursuit will take them to Suspiria’s home turf of Rome. Can Frank withstand his partner’s charms? Does he want to? And finally, are you ready for a little holiday cheer? No? Neither is Frank Castle. In SILENT NIGHT, he’s more interested in tracking down a mob rat in the witness protection program and punishing him. But to do that, he’ll have to face his greatest foe. Hint: He’s fat, dresses in red and sports a white beard!
Shanna, The She-Devil
Written by Frank Cho Art by Frank Cho Cover by Frank Cho Purchase
Collects Shanna The She-Devil #1-7.
She’s bold, she’s beautiful, and she’s your best hope of escaping the raptors nipping at your heels. She’s Shanna, the She-Devil! Award-winning creator Frank Cho brings you Marvel’s bodacious jungle girl as you’ve never seen her before: Reborn from Nazi science gone mad to battle her genetic destiny on an island full of prehistoric horrors. Trust us, Shanna has never looked this good…or acted this bad.
Emil Zátopek is arguably the greatest Olympic champion of all time. The Czech runner’s three gold medals at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics, for the 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter, and marathon is an achievement that has never been matched. His success as a runner made him a national hero, but as a public figure, outspoken and unafraid to take a stand, he was equally impressive. Even before the Helsinki Games, Zátopek had scored a remarkable victory, successfully pressuring the Communist regime to allow his colleague Stanislav Jungwirth, who until then had been excluded on political grounds, to compete. In Zátopek, Jan Novák and Jaromír 99 trace the extraordinary life and times of the great Olympian, from his first meeting with Dana, the love of his life, to the victories that would ensure his lasting legacy.
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(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Tomm Coker Rated T+ In Shops: Jan 01, 2020 SRP: $3.99
As his homeland is invaded by foreign adversaries, DOCTOR DOOM continues to be hunted, and on his own. But his conviction strengthens as he further embraces a possible future where he becomes the savior of all humankind. In order to confront those who have set him up as a global criminal, Doom will fight his way through the doors of the spy organization A.I.M, where he’ll battle his would-be assassin TASKMASTER, and match wits with one of the biggest brains in the universe… M.O.D.O.K. Meanwhile, a forgotten and bereft hero of the past will suddenly rise on the geopolitical stage…
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site
(W) Charles Soule, Ann Nocenti, Greg Pak (A) Paulo Siqueira, Tomm Coker, More (CA) Arthur Adams, Federico Blee
In Shops: Jan 16, 2019
THE CLASSIC MARVEL SERIES RETURNS FOR MARVEL’S 80th ANNIVERSARY! Three titanic tales celebrating the first decade of Marvel stories! First – an all-new tale of the man they call the Wolverine begins in the 1940s! Then comes Captain America, the first Avenger of World War II still fighting for freedom today! And finally, the untold tale of Namor and the atom bomb!
Writer: V.E. Schwab
Artist: Andrea Olimpieri,
Colorist: Enrica Angiolini
Cover A: Claudia Ianniciello
Cover B: Tomm Coker
Cover C: Andrea Olimpieri
Cover D: Book Style Variant
Publisher: Titan Comics
32pp, $3.99, On sale October 10, 2018
The highly acclaimed fantasy series comes to comics with its original author: award-winning New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab! In a gaslamp world where magicians navigate alternate Londons, the prince of Red London pursues a dark version of his beloved city – and faces worse than exile…
Writer: Sylvain Runberg
Artist: Jose Homs
COVER A: CLAUDIA IANNICIELLO
COVER B: TOMM COKER
COVER C: NEN CHANG
COVER D: BOOK COVER
FC • 64pp • $5.99
On Sale: June 28, 2017
Facing prison time for libel, discredited journalist MIKAEL BLOMKVIST is hired by a reclusive industrialist to investigate an unresolved family disappearance. Aided by the mysterious computer hacker, LISBETH SALANDER, the two soon discover a brutal trail of murder, deception and dark secrets.