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Review: Savage #4

Savage #4

Mad geniuses Max Bemis and Nate Stockman bring their first Savage adventure to a mayhem-filled finale in Savage #4.

It’s an all-out brawl to save our dimension from Project Bizaree’s evil quest to become one with the Faraway. And only Savage can save us. Or he’ll die trying.

After my uncertainty on how to take Savage #3, Savage #4 didn’t do anything to sway me. Max Bemis packs a lot of story into the comic and has done for the series as a whole, but in this issue, it’s more a quantity over quality. A lot happens in the comic, and consequently, there’s a frantic pace to the storytelling, and perhaps because of that things start to fray a little. As the series has progressed Bemis has leaned further into the absurdist comedy that was speckled into the first issue so that by the end of the fourth I’m not entirely sure what I’ve read.

The things I was excited about in the first issue, such as how Bemis was using Savage to talk about how humanity is still brutal to each other but in a more refined way, have given way to a B-movie about dinosaur snipers attacking London for reasons that seem to boil down to a mad scientist wanting to get to another dimension and needs Savage’s blood… I don’t honestly know. The lack of response from either G.A.T.E. or the government I assume is because of the speed of the attack, but it’s never really explained or brought up why London expects a teenager with a penchant for using bones as weapons to save the day. It was somewhere around this point that I realized I had gone from really enjoying the series to quietly waiting for it to be over.

That said, despite the story stumbling, Nathan Stockman, Triona Farrel and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou give you something very exciting to look at (and ultimately gave me a reason to keep reading). The artist, colourist and letterer come together to give life to Bemis words in the most unapologetically energetic way, embracing the chaos of the story admirably. Their work is worth the price of admission if you’ve already picked up the first three issues, as the trio continue to deliver.

Once again, I’m going to quote myself from the review of Savage #2, because it’s still true.

Nathan Stockman, Triona Farrell, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou round out the creative team for Savage #2 as artist, colorist, and letterer respectively. Otsmane-Elhaou’s work is noticeably good in this issue, which is a rare feat for a comics’ lettering to stand out in a positive way, with his liberal use of colored fonts and upper and lower case becoming more than just a method to convey Bemis’ words. This book is an example of lettering as its own art form, a comic to show those who claim that anybody can throw words onto a page, which although that is a true statement, the same is also true; anybody can write a story or draw a picture – but there’s a difference between my pictures and Nathan Stockman’s pictures). Stockman’s art is great; there’s a very punky feeling to the comic, at times evoking Pushead’s art style, but almost consistently embodying the rebellious nature of the title character.

Review: Savage #2

Savage #4 has some fantastic visual elements, but the story has shrugged off its early promise and leaves us with a whimper. A shame, because I was hoping we’d see more depth from the series after the first issue, but that never happened. If you haven’t read the series yet and are trade waiting, then go into it knowing that you’ll be reading a popcorn sci-fi B-movie story and you’ll probably find something to enjoy; if nothing else, the comic’s visuals are very consistent throughout and add a lot to the insanity of the story’s events.

This isn’t a terrible series, but it was one of Valliant’s rare misfires.

Story: Max Bemis Art: Nathan Stockman
Colours: Trionna Farrell Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 5.8 Art: 8.4 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read (for the art)

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – TFAW

New Marvel, BOOM!, Image, AfterShock, Iron Circus, and More are Available Now on comIXology

Heroes Reborn #2

Today’s new comic book day! ComiXology has you covered for your digital comic needs with over 130 new releases available right now. Get shopping or check out the new releases by the publisher below.

Ablaze

AfterShock

Archie Comics

AWA Studios

Behemoth

BOOM! Studios

Caliber Comics

comiXology Submit

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DC Thomson

Drawn & Quarterly

Dynamite Entertainment

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Humanoids

IDW Publishing

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Iron Circus Comics

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Oni Press

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Titan Comics

Valiant Entertainment

Vault Comics

Yen Press

Zenescope


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Preview: Savage #4

SAVAGE #4

Written by MAX BEMIS
Art by NATHAN STOCKMAN
Colors by TRIONA FARRELL
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by MARCUS TO
Cover B by PAULINA GANUCHEAU
Preorder Variant Cover by PEACH MOMOKO
On sale MAY 12th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Mad geniuses Max Bemis (Worst X-Man Ever) and Nate Stockman (Spidey) bring their first Savage adventure to a mayhem-filled finale.

It’s an all-out brawl to save our dimension from Project Bizaree’s evil quest to become one with the Faraway. And only Savage can save us. Or he’ll die trying.

SAVAGE #4

Dive into the world of Shadowman with the Valiant Shadowman Sale!

Valiant has launched a new Shadowman series and the first issue was fantastic. But, who is Shadowman? You’re in luck in that you can catch up and read what you might have missed with the Valiant Shadowman Sale!

The sale features 16 releases and you can save up to 70% on the releases.

Get shopping now because the sale ends Thursday, May 13.

Shadwoman

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.

Dive into the world of Shadowman with the Valiant Shadowman Sale!

Valiant has launched a new Shadowman series and the first issue was fantastic. But, who is Shadowman? You’re in luck in that you can catch up and read what you might have missed with the Valiant Shadowman Sale!

The sale features 16 releases and you can save up to 70% on the releases.

Get shopping now because the sale ends Thursday, May 13.

Shadwoman

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.

Dive into the world of Shadowman with the Valiant Shadowman Sale!

Valiant has launched a new Shadowman series and the first issue was fantastic. But, who is Shadowman? You’re in luck in that you can catch up and read what you might have missed with the Valiant Shadowman Sale!

The sale features 16 releases and you can save up to 70% on the releases.

Get shopping now because the sale ends Thursday, May 13.

Shadwoman

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.

Read Ninjak #1’s First Seven Pages by Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido

Valiant Entertainment’s top superspy is stepping out of the shadows…

From Ringo Award-winning writer Jeff Parker and artist Javier PulidoNinjak #1 follows Colin King, aka Ninjak, as the secret operative is on the run after the identity of every MI6 agent is exposed. Now, Colin must embark on a global adventure to evade the deadly people who have him in their sights…

Ninjak #1 by writer Jeff Parker, artist Javier Pulido, and letterer Dave Sharpe goes on sale July 14th, 2021, and features covers by David Nakayama, Caspar WijngaardDamion Scott, Ibrahim Moustafa, and Javier Pulido.

Check out the first seven pages from the upcoming series, below.

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 05/02/2021

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Robin #1 (DC)– Joshua Williamson and “Big” Gleb Melnikov team up to kick off Damian Wayne’s new solo series as he fights to be a part of the League of Lazarus aka Mortal Kombat (Not vs.) DC Universe edition. Because it’s a tournament arc, there’s a couple expertly choreographed fights from Melnikov, but we also get to see his flaws, arrogance, and how much he misses Alfred and how much the Bat-family cares for him. Williamson and Gleb Melnikov create a new character who cuts through his bullshit and is a real challenge for him, and I’m excited to see more of them going forward. It’s been ages since a proper Robin solo title, and this one is the perfect fusion of Bat-family and shonen manga. (Melnikov even creates an in-universe manga.) Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Cable #10 (Marvel)– Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto continue to build up the return of old man Cable to help fight Stryfe storyline, but that plot mainly stays on the backburner for some father/son bonding between Kid Cable and Cyclops. The Arrakii mutants have been causing trouble in a London pub, and they break it up in a showcase of cool powers, tender love, and loathing of one’s past self. The Stryfe plotline has gotten a little elongated and timey wimey for its own good (See the one scene with old Cable), but I enjoyed the tension between what Cyclops wants for his son and what Kid Cable wants for basically his future. Overall: 7.4 Verdict: Read

New Mutants #17 (Marvel)– Vita Ayala continues to keep lots of plates spinning plot-wise and explores the nooks and crannies of Krakoa while Rod Reis brings the kick-ass, and in Otherworld’s case trippy visuals in New Mutants #17. Ayala is the master of the check-in as they resolve Mirage and Karma’s journey to Otherworld and see what some of the younger mutants are experimenting with, have Anole talk about not being able to pass as human, and have Wolfsbane confide in Shadow King. (Uh oh) The data pages act as a kind of verbal check-in. Reis goes all out with different textures, palettes, layouts, and even plays with perspective to show the danger, adventure, and magic of Otherworld, and although this storyline seems to have wrapped, I would like to see more of his take on it. New Mutants has a pretty big cast, but Ayala always take time to showcase individuals’ perspectives on the mutant experience and what Krakoa is like, which is why I keep reading it. Overall: 7.9 Verdict: Buy

Destiny, NY #2 (Black Mask Studios)– Destiny, NY #2 is like an emotionally mature and queer as hell continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a New York setting from Pat Shand and Manuel Preitano. Preitano brings clean, beautiful lines to his present day art and grey scale fuzziness as our protagonist Logan tells her current fling, Lilith, about how mundane saving the world was. And, of course, Lilith is the ultimate evil in the universe, and there are wheels in motion to take her down. However, what makes Destiny, NY a good read is how attuned Shand and Manuel Preitano are to their characters’ emotions with an extended sequence of Logan being told by her ex that she has narcissistic personality disorder that turns into a giant argument and makes you really feel for this book’s protagonist. Destiny, NY #2 has the right blend of slice of life, supernatural intrigue, and relatable and charismatic characters, and I definitely look forward to future issues at Pat Shand and Preitano are only scratching the surface of this complex, urban fantasy world. Overall: 8.8 Verdict: Buy

Shadowman #1 (Valiant)– Shadowman #1 boasts gruesome, eye-catching art from Jon Davis-Hunt, and that alone makes it worth checking out as he, writer Cullen Bunn, and colorist Jordie Bellaire go deep into a world where the barrier between our world and the supernatural is quite thin. This comic introduces Jack Boniface and his loa-derived powers in an exciting way as he teams up with his frenemy Baron Samedi to investigate an Eyes Wide Shut death cult. Bunn takes a heavy touch with the narration, but he and Davis-Hunt use this first issue to show Shadowman in action rather than going blow by blow about his lore and backstory. They also use the Deadside as a source of monthly monsters and create a little bit of intrigue for upcoming issues while Shadowman banishes blood eating locusts from our plane of existence. As seen on his work on Clean Room, Jon Davis-Hunt is a gifted storyteller who isn’t afraid to gaze into the abyss of human depravity, and these talents make him well-suited for Shadowman #1, which is one of the best looking superhero books of 2021. Hopefully, less of the issue will be covered by frankly repetitive text boxes. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Witchblood #2 (Vault)– Witchblood #2 is a big improvement from its previous issue, but I don’t think I’m in love with this fantasy Western as much as the rest of the comics Internet seems to be. I do enjoy Matthew Erman’s southern fried dialogue, Gab Contreras’ candy color palette, and Lisa Sterle’s general aesthetic for the series. It has a sense of humor featuring vampires who have feelings about country music and get into crystals, but I feel like all the reasons I should care about plot developments are happening off panel. Witchblood is a cute, sassy comic, but it hasn’t found its footing yet. Overall: 7.4 Verdict: Read

Brett

Teen TItans Academy (DC Comics) – There’s some solid twists and turns in the issue, especially the ending. The series is doing a good job of introducing the students while building a mystery. There’s some drama, and it’s evenly split between the students and teachers. This feels like a nice successor to classic X-Men stories. Overall Rating: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Black Widow #2 (Marvel) – Fantastic visuals and action-packed story. After a hell of an opening story arc, this issue kicks off the next one and is able to keep up with the high bar and high expectations. There’s a solid setup of a villain for Black Widow to take on but it’s the visuals and fun attitude that really pop in this issue. A great starting point and those already reading will be more than happy. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Shadowman #1 (Valiant) – The debut issue is fantastic with a solid mix of horror and action and some great visuals. I actually felt bad about a demon! The series is a solid introduction to the character and I think universal praise from the GP team says it all. Overall Rating: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Review: Shadowman #1

Shadowman #1

Jack Boniface is Shadowman, a powerful protector who keeps humanity safe from the demons that claw at the fabric of our reality. In Shadowman #1, the forces of darkness are awakening and they are hungry for life. Will Shadowman be able to save us all, or will the darkness devour the world as we know it?

I initially read this book in preparation for an interview a couple weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking about it pretty consistently ever since.

If I had written this review then, you’d have seen me raving about the comic, saying things like how amazing it was. I would have said that Jon Davis-Hunt‘s artwork is everything I didn’t know I needed in a Shadowman comic, just as Cullen Bunn‘s writing is everything I had hoped it would be and more. It may have sounded hyperbolic, but it would have at least started out with honest intentions.

Eventually, I’d have gone on to say how one of my favourite aspects of the comic was in how it told an almost complete story that made me question who the real monster was (and honestly, I’m still not entirely sure). Bunn’s story is, appropriately enough, steeped in the grey shades of morality. There’s no real clear cut villain in the comic, though there’s a lot of people you wouldn’t be upset to see at the wrong end of Shadowman’s fists, and so watching the title character navigate his way through the events of the comic with compassion and humanity only reinforces what you’re seeing on the page as being tragic.

Davis-Hunt’s artwork is brilliant on its own, but his heavy inks are given spectacular life by Jordie Bellaire‘s use of colour, who contributes an underrated and unstated character to the pages; the judicious use of deep blues and greys in the slower scenes juxtapose with the reds used during the more frantic set pieces to a wonderous effect. I didn’t notice how much Bellaire’s contributions to the comic influenced my speed of reading.

The fact of the matter is, had I written this review when I first read it, I’d have been gushing about the book. I’d have pointed out that Shadowman was always a character I struggled to get into because I’ve never been as drawn to the mystical side of things (it’s why I could relate to Ninjak so much during the Rapture miniseries), and yet I really love his story. It’s an odd dichotomy where I like the idea of Shadowman, but haven’t yet found a story that defines the character for me. The more I think about this comic, and the more I read it, I’m beginning to think that this has the potential of becoming THE Shadowman comic for me.

Of course, I didn’t write the review immediately after reading Shadowman #1 the first time and have allowed the book to sit in my mind for weeks as I reread the pdf every couple of days to work out whether a horror book (something that I usually don’t find myself as drawn to) really is one of my Must Read books to have come out this year.

The answer is an unequivocal yes. Shadowman #1 is an absolute fucking triumph of a comic. It was absolutely worth the wait.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Pre-order: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

ComiXology Has Your New Comic Needs Covered with Marvel, Image, BOOM!, AfterShock, and More

The Marvels #1

Today’s new comic book day and comiXology has your digital comic needs covered. There are over 50 new comics available right now on the platform. You can check out the comics by the publisher below or get shopping now.

AAM-Markosia

Ablaze

AfterShock

American Mythology Productions

Antarctic Press

Archie Comics

AWA Studios

BOOM! Studios

Caliber Comics

Comicraft

comiXology Submit

Dark Horse

DC Thomson

Dynamite Entertainment

Harlequin

Heavy Metal

Hermes Press

IDW Publishing

Image Comics

Marvel

Papercutz

Valiant Entertainment

Vault Comics

Zenescope


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.

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