Tag Archives: travis lanham

Review: Shang-Chi #2

Shang-Chi #2

The debut issue of Shang-Chi was fantastic. Feeling like a breath of fresh air, the first issue set a new path for the character-building off of his history but at the same time attempted to right the stereotypes and wrongs of the past. Shang-Chi #2 ups the action as Shang-Chi goes after those who attacked him in the first issue but it’s not all fighting, there’s a lot of heart as well.

Written by Gene Luen Yang, Shang-Chi #2 delivers more than the usual foot soldier then boss battle you might expect. Yang adds depth by focusing on the relationship between Shang-Chi and his younger sister Shi-Hua. We learn of their abusive upbringing and the type of child Shang-Chi was. While he might be cool, calm, and focused, now, as a child he was spoiled and troublesome. His actions put his sister in danger and as we learn lead to her current situation. It establishes not just how Shang-Chi has grown but also the friction that exists between the two. The rivalry is more than just a simple jockeying for power, there’s a somewhat relatable past that adds depth to the story.

And that’s part of the brilliance of what Yang has put together. While the series could easily be the expected “kung-fu” story of a bad guy trying to gain power, the focus on the family adds so much. While the world is fantastical, those with siblings can relate to a lot of it. We have gotten our other siblings in trouble. There is probably grudges, even a small one, over incidents from when we were kids. Even those without a sibling can relate to similar situations concerning friends. While the story is fantasy, the grudges are rooted in a reality many of us have experienced and can relate to.

The art is split between Dike Ruan and Philip Tan. One handles the flashbacks while one handles the present. Sebastian Cheng handles the colors and Travis Lanham does lettering. Though the art is split, it flows well between the two. The switch isn’t jarring and not too noticeable. There’s also some beautiful art. It’s hard to say exactly what without spoiling it by the visuals and colors pop on the page with an almost magical element about them. There’s also an interesting use of panels as the “quieter” and “calmer” moments are broken up with standard block styles and the action leans more towards angled panels and spreads. There’s also a clear influence with classic manga visual tropes without leaning in to them too much and overdoing it. It has those elements but is still very much “Marvel” in the presentation.

Shang-Chi #2 is another win for the team updating what could easily fall into stereotypes. The action is solid but it’s the more human moments that really stand out in the issue. This is an issue, and series, that realizes that the main character at the center is what’s interesting, not just action sequences. Shang-Chi matures the character and series and shows that with a little work, classic characters can feel new and fresh while still honoring what has come before.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan, Philip Tan
Color: Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Conan the Barbarian #15

Conan the Barbarian #15

I’m a bit of a Jim Zub fan and when I found out he was working on Conan, I had to grab Conan the Barbarian #15 for a review. I’ve loved what he’s done with IDW’s Dungeons & Dragons comics and Dynamite’s Pathfinder. He knows this type of fantasy world really well and I was curious to see what he brings to the Cimmerian, even if this was chapter 3 of the storyline.

Conan and his small party are trapped underground maze known as the Crucible, all for those who worship the God of Many-Deaths. Sadly, they awake to one member murdered while they all slept. As there are no answers at first to the killing, they make their way through the Crucible, dining on rats and all the other expected things that happen when trapped in a death maze. After Conan slays a great underwater beast, they find their way out of the Crucible and into an arena, where Conan will once again have to do battle to save what remains of his compatriots.

This was the third issue in the story but Zub does a splendid job with catching the reader up on what has happened earlier. The narration that accompanies this issue really sends me back to reading Conan when I was younger and it’s an element that I miss a lot with newer books. There was a couple of great action sequences inside this issue, one adorned with a pretty rad splash page. Look, it’s straight-forward and it’s not like the wheel was reinvented but I just thought this was a fun issue to read.

Let’s talk the art of Conan for a moment. Rogé António is a fine artist for this book. I liked the look of this issue very much. Not too much detail but not lacking in any areas. I’m pretty easy to please. With Israel Silva coloring his art, I thought the both of them made for a good art team. Travis Lanham deserves a lot of credit on lettering because not only is he having to work on word balloon placement but Conan has its fair share of narration boxes to place and the art isn’t obscured by anything.

I thought Conan the Barbarian #15 was an easy issue to follow and I wasn’t confused much at all picking this one up in the middle of the storyline. It brought me back to how I felt as a kid reading Conan’s adventures. I’m glad that I continue to enjoy Jim Zub’s work as much as I do. He’s an underrated writer in comics and doesn’t get the credit he deserves. With a quality art team, this issue is definitely worth a read for someone looking to venture out to something different in comics.

Story: Jim Zub Art: Rogé António
Colors: Israel Silva Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Early Review: Shang-Chi #1

Shang-Chi #1

I know I haven’t read a lot of comics featuring Shang-Chi. The most I’ve read featuring the character was when he was on an Avengers team a few years ago, and even then, he fit a slot on the team as opposed to feeling like a character. With the spotlight turning on the character with an upcoming film it was only a matter of time he’d again get his own comic series and now it’s here… I want more. Shang-Chi #1 is beyond fantastic and has me wanting to explore more of the character’s history.

As I said, I don’t know much about Shang-Chi so I walked into the first issue a pretty blank slate. I know there’s some problematic things with the character in the past but my knowledge of the specifics are limited. So, I can really only review what I’ve read. Not surprisingly Gene Luen Yang knocks the first issue out of the park delivering a story that feels like a “classic kung-fu” story but with a bit more of a modern sense.

The story revolves around the Five Weapons Society, a secret cabal once ruled by Shang-Chi’s father. Playing off the familiar concept of different “houses,” the society is shaky in its alliance and organization. When a leadership vacuum is opened things are thrown further into chaos leading to the call for Shang-Chi to return to the group and prevent its further corruption.

Yang is an amazing writer who brings his own experiences to his stories. We’ve seen his perspective numerous times before and here he infuses the story with small details that deliver an authenticity that makes it feel like more than just a “Saturday movie matinee.” The concept of the story is something we’ve seen many times before but it’s what Yang includes that makes it all come together a stand out. A discussion about Shang-Chi’s English speaking patterns or another character’s horrible Chinese are the type of things that makes the comic more than a simple martial arts adventure. It adds depth to the characters that make them feel much more real and they also subtlety takes digs into how Shang-Chi has been depicted in the past. This is a chance to do right by the character and it’s clear Yang is taking that seriously.

Dike Ruan and Philip Tan handle the art duties with one handling the segments in the past and the other in the present. The styles are similar and for me the transition between the two was seamless. The two deliver segments that flow with action that feel modern but at the some time a bit of a wink and nod to classic martial arts films. There’s a bit of infusion of manga into it and the opening especially feels like old Fist of the North Star manga I have. Sebastian Cheng handles the color while Travis Lanham does the lettering. Cheng’s colors help the transition between the two art styles and it works well delivering a slight different that plays off the “flashback” type art we sometimes see in manga. Lanham handles the “translation” aspect of the dialogue well with some slight jumps around that are interesting to see. A “ha” is outside the translated section for example. It’s a small detail but interesting to me as a reader.

Shang-Chi #1 is fantastic. It hearkens back to classic martial arts films with lots of action, lots of family drama, but also modernizes them to rely less on stereotypes and instead focus more on the characters themselves. I feel like I know more about Shang-Chi from this one issue than all of the other comics I’ve read featuring him combined. This is a comic I’ve been hyped about and it thankfully lives up to my expectations and in many ways exceeds them.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan, Philip Tan
Color: Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Marvel Zombies Resurrection #1

Marvel Zombies Resurrection #1

The zombie genre is one that comes and goes in popularity. It’s often a genre that works well as an allegory about the unease of the time. In this case, Marvel Zombies Resurrection #1 nails the zeitgeist with a release that adds layers to what could easily be a seasonal holiday fun release.

Marvel Zombies Resurrection #1 is the first issue of a limited series that’s a new take on Marvel’s popular zombie line of comics. A previous one-shot was released that was the lead up but one can dive into this debut without any issue.

Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson delivers a bit of a different take than previous Marvel Zombies volumes. Where humor and levity were the focus, this debut has a bit of a more dour tone. The comic has more in common with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road than the previous volumes of the series. And in many ways, it’s what’s needed.

Unlike previous volumes, we’re surrounded by a disease we can’t see. Many of us are parents or have protecting others on our minds. In that way, the zombie genre is ripe for a new allegorical spin reflecting on our current situation. And, that seems to be the direction Johnson is going.

The zombies have arrived and a small band of survivors that include Franklin and Valeria Richards, Peter Parker, Forge, and Moonstone are attempting to move forward. Much like the virus that haunts us currently, they’re plagued by what they don’t see around them. Zombies hunt their location while super powered ones can strike at any moment. It’s what we, and they, don’t see that builds a tension that drives the issue.

Johnson also focuses on the protector role for Spider-Man. He’s there to keep the remaining Richards children safe, as he’s promised. For a character that’s usually so joyful and full of quips, it’s a massive shift and you can feel the weight he’s dealing with. It’s a role parents find themselves in even without a real world pandemic but in the current climate, it’s hard to not reflect and compare what many of us are going through.

The serious nature of it all is enhanced by Leonard Kirk‘s art, Rachelle Rosenberg‘s colors, and Travis Lanham‘s lettering. Shadows and quick surprises keep readers on their toes. The dark color pallete enhances the depressing nature of it all. But, even with that more serious look, there’s still a lot to stop and say “cool” about. With Forge part of the team, we get awesome details like Cyclops’ head being used as a laser weapon and a nice take on a reused Sentinel.

The team nails the first issue with a nice mix of reflection, build up, and foreboding foreshadowing. It can get cliche at times, which genre stories can do, but there’s so much more here that twists what’s come before in previous volumes. While it might not feel like we need a story that reflects the current pandemic, Marvel Zombies Resurrection #1 in some ways is helpful to help center the reality we face. It creates entertainment we can relate to and in ways play out or fantasy and enhance the role many of us currently find ourselves. It’s a departure from previous volumes in tone but this newest volume of Marvel Zombies does exactly what horror and science-fiction is good at, talks about the world we find ourselves in.

Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Art: Leonard Kirk
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Purchase

Disguises” by Robert Venditti, Isaac Goodhart, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham

Harley reluctantly agrees to meet with an old roommate from med school and finds herself considering the paths not taken. Turns out, she wasn’t missing much.

The Killing” by John Layman, Cully Hamner, Dave McCaig, and Justin Birch

Huntress is on the trail of a mobster on the lam, but her mission turns into a race when another bounty hunter joins the fray. And it’s no ordinary gun for hire—it’s none other than Deathstroke!

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

DC Reveals this Week’s DC Digital First Releases

DC’s Digital First continues this week with another installment of Shazam: Lightning Strikes, plus the return of Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice and a new story in Superman: Man of Tomorrow! These three, plus today’s Batman: Gotham Nights featuring a story by Tom Taylor and Daniel Sampere, give fans even more choice of characters while expanding DC’s digital publishing line with original stories.

And don’t forget to watch for the fifth chapter of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red on Friday, July 24!

Monday July 20

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #12

Superman’s Day Off” by Robert Venditti, Scott Hepburn, Ian Herring, and Dave Sharpe
Purchase

Metropolis is without the Man of Steel for a day and villains are coming out of the woodwork to take advantage. Can the city stand against the many threats? And where is Supeman?!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #12

Tuesday July 21

Batman: Gotham Nights #14

Purchase

Bad News” by Tom Taylor, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Adriano Lucas, and Tom Napolitano.

Deathstroke is hired to take out the only witness to a corrupt politician’s mob ties, but his newest mark has some friends in high places…

Monster” by Frank Tieri, Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano

A surprise during a bank robbery brings back old memories for Killer Croc. But he’s not that bullied, defeated kid from the freakshow anymore…he’s something much worse.

Batman: Gotham Nights #14

Wednesday July 22

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Purchase

Disguises” by Robert Venditti, Isaac Goodhart, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham

Harley reluctantly agrees to meet with an old roommate from med school and finds herself considering the paths not taken. Turns out, she wasn’t missing much.

The Killing” by John Layman, Cully Hamner, Dave McCaig, and Justin Birch

Huntress is on the trail of a mobster on the lam, but her mission turns into a race when another bounty hunter joins the fray. And it’s no ordinary gun for hire—it’s none other than Deathstroke!

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Friday July 24

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2

Purchase

On the Job!” by Louise Simonson, Bret Blevins, Chris Sotomayor, and Marshall Dillon

Pedro takes his new crossing guard responsibilities very seriously. But when disaster strikes, can he keep his Shazam Family identity a secret and keep his classmates safe?

Destroying Eugene Choi” by Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, David Baron, and Marshall Dillon

A mysterious glowing artifact proves to be the perfect power source for Eugene’s robotics project—until it grants his robot a life of its own! Now Eugene must dismantle the rogue battlebots before they destroy Fawcett High…and to do it, he’ll need the helpof his greatest rival!

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2

Preview: Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9

Obsession Aggression” by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Hendry Prasetya, Hi-Fi, and Travis Lanham
Purchase

Wonder Woman’s been ambushed! After receiving a house from the will of a person she’s never met, Wonder Woman must investigate, but finds a house of horrors out to kill her! Who’s done this and can Wonder Woman survive the onslaught?

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9

This Week’s DC Digital First Includes Our Fighting Forces from Priest and Christopher Mooneyham

DC’s Digital First delivers new comics every day! New series Our Fighting Forces joins the lineup next Sunday July 12 and Flash: The Fastest Man Alive returns for another “Flash Friday” with a new issue, giving fans even more choice of characters while expanding DC’s digital publishing line with original stories. And Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red’s third chapter will hit on Friday July 10 with a story by Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez!

Monday July 6

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #10

Purchases

Pro-Lobo” by Dave Wielgosz, Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and Tom Napolitano

The Main Man himself, Lobo, has come to Earth chasing a bounty, but Superman thinks Lobo is just hurting the little creature. Will Superman put a stop to Lobo, or does the alien have other plans?

The Champion” by Michael Moreci, Thony Silas, Wil Quintana, and Clayton Cowles

Superman wakes up in chains and doesn’t know where he is. He’ll need to put the pieces together quickly if he’s to survive a brutal bout in this gladiator arena!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #10

Tuesday July 7

Batman: Gotham Nights #12

Five Little Robins” by Tim Seeley, V. Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, Andrew Dalhouse, and Troy Peteri
Purchase

Every current and former Robin has been captured by a mysterious villain! Will these distinctly different students of Batman be able to stand each other long enough to fight off a horde of their greatest enemies?

Batman: Gotham Nights #12

Wednesday July 8

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9

Obsession Aggression” by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Hendry Prasetya, Hi-Fi, and Travis Lanham
Purchase

Wonder Woman’s been ambushed! After receiving a house from the will of a person she’s never met, Wonder Woman must investigate, but finds a house of horrors out to kill her! Who’s done this and can Wonder Woman survive the onslaught?

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9

Thursday July 9

Titans: Titans Together #3

Purchase

What’s ‘Normal’” by Marc Guggenheim, Steve Pugh, Mike Spicer, and Marshall Dillon

A charismatic cult leader has been recruiting followers to join his “church,” a highly suspicious organization locked behind the walls of a private compound. For Raven, freeing this vulnerable flock is imperative…the question is, how can she save people who don’t want to be saved?

Cool and HIPAA” by Andrew Aydin, Juan Gedeon, Mike Spicer, and Marshall Dillon

When reports surface that LexCorp has gained access to confidential government health records, Raven realizes that this could mean the unmasking of countless superheroes. With Beast Boy’s help, she must infiltrate LexCorp’s private servers and destroy the information before it falls into the wrong hands.

Titans: Titans Together #3

Friday July 10

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10

Purchase

Bullet” by Van Jensen, David Lafuente, Paul Mounts, and Rob Leigh

It’s an all-out brawl between Reverse Flash and Flash as Barry tries to save a cop from an errant bullet. Will the Flash be fast enough to stop a bullet?

Burnout” by Dave Wielgosz, Brad Walker, Nathan Fairbairn, and Rob Leigh

Barry is running himself ragged, and his best friend Hal Jordan comes to check on him, but Flash doesn’t want the help. When the Top goes on a rampage, can the two friends put their differences aside to work together?

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10

Saturday July 11

Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. #3

Scooby’s Last Rep” by Scott Gross, Franco Riesco, and Saida Temofonte
Purchase

A mysterious giant is bringing chaos to a local gym. Can Scooby and the gang stop him and save the day?

Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. #3

Sunday July 12

Our Fighting Forces #1

House Call” by Priest, Christopher Mooneyham, Ivan Plascencia, and Willie Schubert (cover by Mikel Janín)

A cable news reporter embedded with a mysterious U.S. Army tactical unit tries to figure out which one of the team’s members is the immortal covert operative code-named the Unknown Soldier—and discovers much more than she bargained for!

Our Fighting Forces #1

This site 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 these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

This week’s DC Digital First includes Titans, Scooby-Doo!, Ghosts, From Beyond the Unknown, DCeased, Harley Quinn, and more!

DC’s Digital Firsts continues with new content every day! New series Titans: Titans Together, From Beyond the Unknown, Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. and Ghosts all continue with their second issues, giving fans even more choices. And watch DC’s digital space next week for new chapters of DCeased: Hope at World’s End on Tuesday, June 30, Batman: The Adventures Continue on Thursday, July 2, and Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red on Friday, July 3!

Monday June 29

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #9

Purchase

What Lives Inside” by Jeff Parker, Sam Lofti, John Rauch, and Clayton Cowles

Superman and Lois respond to an emergency call at the mines outside of Metropolis. Can Superman save the miners from a horde of mysterious rock creatures? And where did these creatures come from?

Invasive Species” by Jeff Parker, Mike McKone, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Clayton Cowles

Brainiac unleashes a monstrous creature on the Portland airport. Can Superman stop it before it spawns and overwhelms the planet!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #9

Tuesday June 30

Batman: Gotham Nights #11

Purchase

Reunion” by Steve Orlando, Priscilla Petraites, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Ryan Christy

A face from Red Hood’s past needs his help when he’s targeted by Codename: Assassin—he just doesn’t know it yet!

One Minute After Midnight” by Marc Guggenheim, Robert Gill, Luis Guerrero, and Marshall Dillon

The clock counts down as a prisoner on death row awaits his sentence…but Nightwing and Red Hood believe there’s more to his case than meets the eye, and now they have one night to prove it!

Batman: Gotham Nights #11

Wednesday July 1

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #8

Awakening” by Louise Simonson, Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund, Adriano Lucas, and Janice Chiang
Purchase

While on an archeological dig in Peru, Diana Prince uncovers the burial chamber of the Ayar Cachi, the Incan god of Earthquakes. Her dig is interrupted by the arrival of Cheetah who wants the power of Ayar Cachi for herself!

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #8

Thursday July 2

Titans: Titans Together #2

The Bride of Blood” by Phil Hester, Scott Koblish, John Kalisz, and Marshall Dillon
Purchase

Master mercenary Deathstroke needs the Titans’ help. His daughter, Ravager, was infiltrating the demonic Church of Blood when she succumbed to the hypnotic power of its leader, Brother Blood. Red Hood believes that the plea is real…but is Deathstroke telling them the whole story?

Titans: Titans Together #2

Friday July 3

From Beyond the Unknown #2

Purchase

The Butler” by Tom Sniegoski, Eric Gapstur, Marissa Lousie, and Ferran Delgado

On Earth-A.D. (After Disaster), the world is a very different place—a postapocalyptic wasteland, full of talking animals and other strange sights. While exploring his dystopian home, Kamandi, the last living human, stumbles upon a robot butler patiently awaiting the return of his human masters, who disappeared years before. Kamandi takes pity on the loyal butler and tries to reunite him with his long-lost family…however unusual that reunion might be.

Stealth Mode” by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Hi-Fi, and Ryan Christy

In the far future of the 31st century, the super-powered teens known as the Legion of Super-Heroes protect all the citizens of the United Planets. But when Legionnaires Sun Boy and Wildfire are kidnapped, their teammates must infiltrate a mysterious ice planet to try to save their friends…and the planet!

From Beyond the Unknown #2

Saturday July 4

Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. #2

Now You See Them…” by Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela, Franco Riesco, and Saida Temofonte
Purchase

One by one, the members of the Scooby gang are disappearing! Can Scooby solve the mystery alone?

Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. #2

Sunday July 5

Ghosts #2

Purchase

The Ghost Inside” by John Layman, Andy Clarke, David Baron, and Travis Lanham

John Constantine discovers that nothing is ever what it seems, especially inside a haunted house…

Child of the Night” by Keith Giffen, Priscilla Petraites, John Rauch, and Travis Lanham

A young girl on the run finds more than she bargained for when she takes cover in a house occupied by none other than Gentleman Ghost!

Ghosts #2

This site 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 these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Preview: Ghosts #2

Ghosts #2

Purchase

The Ghost Inside” by John Layman, Andy Clarke, David Baron, and Travis Lanham

John Constantine discovers that nothing is ever what it seems, especially inside a haunted house…

Child of the Night” by Keith Giffen, Priscilla Petraites, John Rauch, and Travis Lanham

A young girl on the run finds more than she bargained for when she takes cover in a house occupied by none other than Gentleman Ghost!

Ghosts #2
« Older Entries