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Review: Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1

Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1

Through the Ruins of Ravencroft miniseries, writer Frank Tieri has been adding layers to the iconic Marvel institution. The series has focused on the concept that to look towards the future one has to know the past. And, while we’ve waited for Ravencroft’s future, we get to know its mysterious past. Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1 does exactly that folding in Dracula, Loki, and more into its history.

Though an intriguing issue, this chapter is the weakest of the bunch. We learn that Dracula is involved with the asylum using it for experiments in an agreement with the United States government. The concept is an interesting one but it never quite “makes its case.” The idea of the US making shady deals during the World War II time period, there’s not enough details as to why this deal is happening. Instead, the focus is on Captain America and Bucky stumbling on the situation to free a fellow soldier. If there was more of a focus on that emotional thread or the horrors happening within, the comic would be stronger. But, the issue feels like it attempts to have both without focusing enough on either.

The inclusion of even more characters, while others are set to the side, doesn’t help matters. The inclusion and exclusion feels a bit out of left field and jarring.

The issue also looks towards the future with a twist at the end. That will have major ramifications on the upcoming series taking place in Ravencroft. One of the bigger details is what happened to Ravencroft revealing his fate.

Angel Unzueta handles the modern segments on art while Stefano Landini handles the flashbacks. Rachelle Rosenberg provides the colors. The flashback sequences are much stronger artwise for the comic. Rosenberg’s color gives the sequence a worn “old” look with a focus on a palette and style that’s a bit aged. Like past issues the art does an interesting job of throwing out some things the text doesn’t which should interest and excite hardcover Marvel fans. The art doesn’t quite deliver the horror the issue should feature. There’s never a moment where it really sinks in as to what’s being down visually. The experiments are there but it’s missing something to really punch the reader.

Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1 ends the series on a low note but like past issues it does a good job of fleshing out the history. It’s better as a piece of the miniseries and it sets up the upcoming series nicely. This is for those who have been reading up to this point but new readers might want to wait for the trade.

Story: Frank Tieri Art: Angel Unzueta, Stefano Landini
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation:
Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Get a First Look at Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. #1

Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. #1

Written by James Tynion IV and Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Chris Burnham (Damian), Marcio Takara (Jason), Dioegenes Neves (Tim), Sumit Kumar (Dick) and David LeFuente (Barbara)
Color by Adriano Lucas, Rex Lokus, and Nathan Fairbairn
Lettering by Travis Lanham and Tom Napolitano
Cover art by Lee Weeks
In Shops: Feb 12, 2020
48 pages @ $4.99

Alfred Pennyworth served the Wayne family for decades—even through the tragic loss of Bruce Wayne’s parents. His death at the hands of Bane is the only event that could possibly compare to that fateful night in Crime Alley, and it leaves Bruce at a similar crossroads. If Alfred was the glue that held the Bat-Family together, how will Batman deal with that all falling apart? And if the Caped Crusader is to be truly alone, he might either hang that cape up once and for all…or double down and carry on with this vengeful quest forever.

Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. #1, with art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Chris Burnham, Marcio Takara, Diogenes Neves, Sumit Kumar and David LaFuente, celebrates the life of one of the most important people in the history of Gotham City, while also addressing questions about what’s next for Batman without Alfred Pennyworth.

Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. #1

Review: Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth

Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth

So far, the Ruins of Ravencroft series has been interesting. Each one-shot has revealed the history of the classic Marvel location. Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth adds in some more history folding in three high-profile mutants, Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Mr. Sinister.

Taking place in 1909, Nathaniel Essex is a doctor at the facility and Victor Creed an orderly. The two are running experiments on individuals, one of which is Logan who’s lobotomized.

Writer Frank Tieri has been doing an interesting job folding in different corners of the Marvel Universe into this location. There’s clearly bigger plans for it with so much attention being focused on currently. What those plans are, are a bit unclear. Much like the previous issue, this one feels like it’ll be a bit more vital and important once the big picture is revealed.

Tieri does a good job weaving together the two time periods. The modern day exploration of the building allows us to learn more of its past. There’s a layering of new information and Marvel fans should enjoy the winks and nods to Marvel history. There’s a lot briefly touched upon that can be expanded elsewhere. There are some issues in that history in that it looks like Logan as his metal claws which should came at a later time. So, not everything is perfect but that could be an art issue.

Angel Unzueta and Guillermo Sanna handle those duties with one handling the past and the other the present. Along with Rachelle Rosenberg on color and Travis Lanham on lettering, the art is fun with this one. Even with the small Logan claws issue, there’s a lot presented in brief panels that capture Marvel history. The art delivers the hints as to what happened to expand on Tieri’s plot and dialogue. Skrull invasion, the American Revolution, and an early Ghost Rider are all shown. The art for each creates excitement to see more. The modern art delivers a creepy ambiance that fits the story creating a horror unease.

The comic is an interesting one much like the previous Ruins of Ravencroft issue. Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth brings in mutants to the story creating an even more intriguing history of the institute. There’s a lot going on here and we probably won’t know what that is until the end but right now, the exploration of Ravencroft’s history is delivering a mystery that has me intrigued.

Story: Frank Tieri Art: Angel Unzueta, Guillermo Sanna
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Ruins of Ravencroft: Carnage

Absolute Carnage is over but what’s the future of Ravencroft? This series of one-shots explore the future, and past, of the institution.

Story: Frank Tieri
Art: Angel Unzueta, Guiu Vilanova
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops! 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
TFAW
Zeus Comics

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy 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

Review: Conan: Serpent War #1

More of Robert E. Howard’s creations come to the Marvel Universe teaming up with… Moon Knight?!

Story: Jim Zub
Art: Scot Eaton, Vanesa R. Del Rey
Ink: Scott Hanna
Color: Frank D’Armata, Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops now! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy 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

Review: Conan: Serpent War #1

Conan: Serpent War #1

I don’t know Robert E. Howard’s creations all that well. Say Dark Agnes or Solomon Kane and I’ll stare at you blankly. Still, Conan: Serpent War #1 is intriguing to me on multiple levels. It’s my introduction to those characters who join Conan the Barbarian and Moon Knight for the limited series. Going into the comic I was looking to see how well it introduces those characters. I also wanted to see how Howard’s characters gel with Marvel’s Moon Knight.

Written by Jim Zub, Conan: Serpent War #1 is a decent introduction to the various characters. They’re brought together to take on an Elder God. The story revolves around a dying James Allison, another Howard creation. Allison’s visions introduce us to the various characters as Allison experiences his past lives. It’s an interesting hook that gets to the point eventually, though slowly.

There’s a lot to pack in. We need to get a good sense of the characters and what we can expect and Zub succeeds in that. By the issue’s end, I have a good sense of the main characters, their archetypes, and some of their personalities. It’s enough I want to read what comes next making the first issue feel a bit like a chapter in a story in a way. Each character’s connection to the threat is presented and the vignettes set up what’s to come. It’s not a comic to read on it’s own but the start of the adventure to come.

Zub’s use of Moon Knight works well as his connection to Egyptian mythology fits with Howard’s world and “the Serpent God.” The disconnect that has happened with Conan meeting other Marvel heroes isn’t as present here though the adventure has just begun. The mythology as folded together feels a bit like a case is being made as to why it all fits together like a dungeon master taking ideas from various modules and mixing them to their own seamless adventure.

The art sequences are broken up between two teams. Vanesa R. Del Rey and Jean Francois Beaulieu handle Allison’s sequence while Scot Eaton and Frank D’Armata handle the rest. There’s a slight disconnect in the art in the beginning as the style differences are notable but as the issue progresses it’s less noticeable. The various eras and settings work well together and the teams present each page in the dreamlike storytelling that’s presented. Travis Lanham‘s lettering stands out as so many characters have a “unique” voice when it comes to that and it all enhances the read.

The issue also features extra material to enjoy in the form of a prose story by C.L Werner. It’s the beginning of a four-part adventure featuring Solomon Kane and feels like the cherry on top of an already enjoyable read.

The issue is a good one in that it checks the marks off as an introduction to the adventure and characters. As an opening chapter, it’s a good one but as a standalone comic, it’s just ok. This may be an adventure to read in one sitting as part of a trade or all of the issues but the issue has me wanting to read what else is to come. It feels like a menagerie of heroes come together for a roleplaying game adventure.

Story: Jim Zub, C.L. Werner Art: Scot Eaton, Vanesa R. Del Rey
Ink: Scott Hanna Color: Frank D’Armata, Jean Francois Beaulieu
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: New Mutants #2

New Mutants #2

New Mutants #2 shifts the focus of the series a bit. The team is still busted by the Shi’ar but it feels less like a team comic. Instead, it feels like Roberto da Costa and the New Mutants. Much of the issue is told from his perspective. It makes sense as the mission of the New Mutants is focused on Roberto getting back his best friend in Sam Guthrie.

The comic is the Roberto show as Jonathan Hickman dives into the character and his relationship with his team. We get the loveable and entertaining arrogance on full display as he brags about his lawyers, homes, and how good looking he is. There’s a charm in Hickman’s writing which is good since it’d be so easy to make the character so unlikeable.

But, Hickman has time for other characters as well. Many of them get their moments, much of it full of humor. Out of all of the Dawn of X series, this one displays the most fun and carefree attitude of the bunch. There’s a youthful fun about it all that makes it stand out. That fun extends off the page as it’s hard to not enjoy reading the comic. The flow, style, humor, the whole package deliver an entertaining read.

The art by Rod Reis is great. With lettering by Travis Lanham, the comic features Reis’ unique style that’s hard to describe. It’s almost painted in a way and gives the series a unique design. There’s not quite as much detail as other artists but the style has a flair about it and fits a space adventure like this quite well.

New Mutants #2 continues the fun adventure. While the focus shifts a little, the comic is still all about the team and character interactions. There’s a lot of humor to the comic and everything is with a wink, smile, and a nod. There’s a charm about this series that’s infectious and makes it stand out.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Rod Reis
Letterer: Travis Lanham Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Conan 2099 #1

Travel to the year 2099 where the immortal Conan the Barbarian has to decide what to do to allow the survival of his people and take care of the voice in his head.

Story: Gerry Duggan
Art: Rogê Antônio
Color: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops now! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy 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

Review: Fantastic Four 2099

Fantastic Four 2099

Fantastic Four 2099 is an interesting comic. While part of the “2099” event, it doesn’t feel like part of any greater story. In a way the issue has more in common with The Twilight Zone than Marvel‘s 2099. 2099 Alpha teased a return to the world of 2099 celebrating 80 years of Marvel by looking 80 years in the future. While it seems like there’s some greater picture, the debut Alpha comic also was a bit disjointed feeling more like a series of teasers. This first full one-shot might have 2099 in the title but the comic itself is one you can pick up and just enjoy.

Written by Karla Pacheco the comic is an interesting one. The plot features H.E.R.B.I.E. on a mission to bring the Fantastic Four back together. From there, it’s a team origin of sorts.

While it’s interesting, it’s not until the end where the comic kicks you in the gut. It’s an unexpected ending that feels like it comes out of leftfield creating one hell of a read. It’s a story that’s worth the twist ending.

The art by Steven Cummings is decent. It evokes the 90s 2099 line a bit. Along with color by Chris Sotomayor and lettering by Travis Lanham, the visuals give a hint of the future without going over the top. The character designs are interesting but it’s H.E.R.B.I.E. that really stands out when it comes to characters and their depictions.

Fantastic Four 2099 is an interesting comic. The majority of it feels rather standard as far as a team origin. It’s rather mundane in that regard. Where it stands out is that ending which plays so well against the rest of the issue.

Story: Karla Pacheco Art: Steven Cummings
Color: Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.05 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.65 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Savage Avengers Vol. 1 City of Sickles

The Punisher, Wolverine, Elektra, Venom, Voodoo… and Conan? They’re the Savage Avengers!

Story: Gerry Duggan
Art: Mark Deodato, Jr.
Color: Frank Martin
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops now and in bookstores on Novmeber 26! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy 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

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