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Advance Review: Superior Spider-Man #1

Spider-Geddon is over and Doc Ock/Spidey is back home and trying to be the best Spider-Man he can be! We review this restart of a new take on this redone character!

Superior Spider-Man #1 is by Christos Gage, Mike Hawthorne, Wade Von Grawbadger, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles.

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores December 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

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

Review: Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 9 Worldwide

This is it, Dan Slott‘s epic run on The Amazing Spider-Man comes to an end and is collected here. It’s one last battle between Spider-Man and Green Goblin!

Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 9 Worldwide collects issues #797-801 by Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Marte Garcia, Nck Bradshaw, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Marcos Martin, and Munsta Vicente.

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores December 24th! 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

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

Review: The Superior Octopus #1

Doc Ock has set up shop as San Francisco’s protector, but you won’t believe his methods. Some of Otto Octavius’s new super hero strategies may make Spider-Man regret letting him free, but the good doctor swears that he’s the SUPERIOR OCTOPUS!

I really enjoyed Dan Slott’s run of Doc Ock taking over the body of Peter Parker. Even the eventual spin of Doc Ock getting a younger clone body had potential. Then there was Hydra and logically for the character it made sense in many ways. This comic though… something is off.

Written by Christos Gage, The Superior Octopus is written with dialogue that’s painful to read. Gone is Slott’s take on a character trying to be a younger person. Instead we’ve got Doc Ock trying to sound like a hero with moments that are cringeworthy to read.

A scene actually has Ock saying:

“I am a force for good, while you are tin-plated would-be despots.”

Now, I know he’s not going to be the best when it comes to relatable dialogue but this is bad, even for him. While trying to get a speech pattern that could be the classic villain, the comic treads a bit too much into cheese.

The concepts within are solid as Gage sets up a personal life outside of being a superhero, dealing with Hydra, and continuing how he thinks being a superhero should be. It’s all great in that sense. The flow though is a bit of a chore to read and one that just isn’t all that enjoyable. Great ideas, bad execution.

The art by Mike Hawthorn is ok. There’s nothing too flashy or exciting and there’s some opportunity for that if he wanted. We get battles that are interesting to watch but the character design lacks a certain detail and polish. Octavious out of costume looks off with a large head and hair that’s a bit too stiff. There’s just a polish to it all that’s missing.

There’s a back-up story from Jed McKay and art by Mark Bagley that ties into the upcoming Spider-Geddon storyline which is the best thing about the comic. It answers some questions and plays into Ock’s arrogance and self-centered aspects.

For a comic that I was sure I was going to enjoy, I’m walking away wishing I spent the time reading something else. It just misses as far as story and dialogue and the art is pretty average. There’s nothing superior at all to it except it setting up the world it will revolve around. For a title that was a sure win it’s a hell of a miss.

Story: Christos Gage, Jed McKay Art: Mike Hawthorn, Mark Bagley
Ink: Wade von Grawbadger, Craig Yeung
Color: Jordie Bellaire, Dono Sãnchez-Almara & Protobunker

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Story: 4.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Unexpected #1

Spinning out of The Dark Nights: Metal, The Unexpected #1 features obscure DC Comics heroes and villains, multiversal threats, exploding innards, and lots of violence. Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, and Steve Orlando start the story out strong by telling the origin of the new Firebrand, Janet Fals, who was a paramedic that was experimented on and given the Conflict Engine. Thanks to the Conflict Engine, she must fight every 24 hours, or she will die. It’s a cool concept and connects well to Janet’s character because she wants to help and heal people, not beat them up. However, this origin is derailed by interesting a flurry of new characters, who are then mostly killed off in the middle of the story. Luckily, Sook, Nord, and Orlando cast an almost saving throw with a theatrical villain, who may not be the biggest fish in the pond, er, dark multiverse.

By the time it finds its footing, The Unexpected strikes a balance between Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad with Greg Capullo inspired artwork as a garnish. Getting Batman colorist FCO Plascencia to go full heavy metal garish with his palette helps with this last bit, and inkers Mick Gray and Wade von Grawbadger help with the clarity of storytelling and some of the details on character designs and costumes. Sook and Nord do make a few poor blocking choices like awkward cuts being long and close up when Firebrand meets her possible girlfriend, Joy, at the hospital. Orlando’s dialogue is fun and flirty, but there is no chemistry in their body language or facial expressions. Sook and Nord also cut away from the death scenes of the two redshirt members of The Unexpected lessening the impact of a sequence that barely registers because we barely know who Viking Judge and Elligh are besides that they have cool, magic fighting things and were introduced in other comics. Subpar storytelling aside, Sook and Nord’s art styles have a kind of 1990s loose cannon, anarchic energy with better anatomy while keeping a sense of bloodthirstiness.

The Unexpected”s main issue is that Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, and Steve Orlando are unsure if it is a solo, team, or buddy book and tries out all three takes to varying success. Even if Firebrand is a relatively obscure DC hero (Janet is the 5th iteration), she has a fairly compelling origin story as an ordinary human, who tries to help people in the midst of multiple apocalypses and sci-fi experimentation. She is a fugitive from scary organizations and folks, but still works as a pro bono paramedic for the good of her conscience. Plus she’s snarky as hell, isn’t the greatest at relationships, and Sook and Nord get a real kick out of drawing her no holds barred brawls even though she is constantly trying to avoid collateral damage. This is a seed of a great story that immediately gets sidelined when the lineup of The Unexpected shows up and starts rattling cages. All three members spout exposition about their backstories and various MacGuffins while the reptilian cowboy Bad Samaritan kicks their asses. He meets his end in the issue too, but has more personality than the not so golden trio combined. At least, Neon the Unknown has the whole mystery mage vibe going for him as Orlando sets up a possible sage mentor/violent newbie dynamic for them going forward.

The Unexpected #1 is a bonkers journey into the weirder side of The Dark Nights Metal and has a potential breakout character in Firebrand plus some cool double page spreads from Ryan Sook and Cary Nord and a crackling color palette from FCO Plascencia. However, it sidelines its momentum to turn into a failed attempt at a Doom Patrol/Challengers of the Unknown time team book until someone remembered that DC was already publishing these books and course corrects into a not so dynamic duo taking on very high level threat book. The Unexpected #1 is a mixed bag of a comic, but the series itself has potential mostly thanks to Steve Orlando’s three dimensional writing of Firebrand.

Storytellers: Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, and Steve Orlando Inks: Mick Gray and Wade von Grawbadger
 Colors: FCO Plascencia Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Unexpected #1

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 a new series for the New Age of Heroes!

The Unexpected #1 is by Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, Mick Gray, Wade von Grawbadger, FCO Plascencia, and Carlos M. Mangual.

Get your copy in comic shops today. 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 TFAW

 

DC Comics 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

Preview: Amazing Spider-Man #798

Amazing Spider-Man #798

Story: Dan Slott
Art: Stuart Immonen
Ink: Wade von Grawbadger
Color: Marte Garcia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Alex Ross
Young Guns Variant: Javier Garrón, Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Connecting Variant: Humberto Ramos, Edgar Delgado
Venom 30th Anniversary Variant: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Editor: Nick Lowe
Associate Editor: Devin Lewis
Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman
Rated T
In Shops: Apr 04, 2018
SRP: $3.99

GO DOWN SWINGING Part 2
• Dan Slott’s final SPIDER-MAN story continues!
• The GREEN GOBLIN HAS RETURNED – and he’s exacting his ultimate revenge not only on SPIDER-MAN, but on everyone the wall-crawler loves!
• Norman Osborn’s offering NO QUARTER, an ultimatum that threatens to finish PETER PARKER once and for all!

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #797

spidey797

*Warning Spoilers Below*

Well here we are, and the clock is on for the first part of “Go Down Swinging.” After ten years Spidey scribe extraordinaire, Dan Slott‘s time is wrapping up on the ol’ web head. I was so pumped to read this issue as the solicits billed this as “The last battle between Spidey and The Green Goblin”. Now as a long time reader, I know this is likely untrue but still there is nothing in that sentence that I don’t like. The Green Goblin happens to be my all time favorite Spider-Man villain and is in top contention for my favorite comic book villain of all time. I have thoroughly enjoyed the many incarnations of Norman Osborn, from Green Goblin, to Iron Patriot, Director Osborn of H.A.M.M.E.R, The Goblin King and now the latest greatest moniker: The Red Goblin.

Opening this book from the cover gave me that feeling I was about to read something of tremendous magnitude. It’s the same feeling I got when I have read every great Spidey/Goblin encounter from Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #39 & #40 and Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) 121 & 122 and Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #75 and countless others. Nothing says big fight feel more than a clash between Peter Parker and Norman Osborn. To say I was excited is an understatement. (It might also helped that I received my Mezco Spider-Man quite recently, so my Spidey-Sense is at an all time high) Right away I noticed the opening panel of Stormin’ Norman (remember when Spidey called him that?) appearing to be in a hideaway of sorts in an all too familiar position of bragging about his conquest over his hapless foe. (Jeez I am full of retro speak today) Now at the beginning of the issue we don’t actually see who Ol’ Normie is talking to, but if you pay close attention to the dialogue before the end of the issue you will have figured it out. He does make his intentions crystal clear though. He is going to end Spider-Man once and for all.

From the opening scene we then transition to the apartment of comics most famous redhead: Mary Jane Watson where she is um, busy with Mr. Lucky himself: Peter Parker. In between the physical they reminisce of old times and then the mood gets a bit more sullen where once again MJ realizes she cannot be committed to Peter as he will always be Spider-Man. More so she would never want him to stop being Spider-Man as the guilt would destroy him if something happens because of his focus on her instead of the lives he saves. She tells him she will always love him but she wants more. So instead she opts that they stay friends and then tells him to leave out the window as it is easier to explain since she is Tony Starks’ right hand woman now if Spidey dropped by instead of Peter. (Talk about ouch!) Peter of course obliges and then he is on his merry way. Now normally this kind of scene wouldn’t make me bat an eye, but the emphasis and emotion they presented it in makes me think Peter might have been saying goodbye for the last time. I hope that I am wrong but we all know how much writers like offing Spidey’s woman pals.

I want to take the time to illustrate a point here about the illustrator’s wonderful work on this scene. I have been a big fan of Stuart Immonen ever since he drew Superman in the mid 90’s. I also have his entire run on Ultimate Spider-Man (After Mark Bagley) all bias aside I feel like we are getting his best work here. Mary Jane and Peter look absolutely fantastic and the magnificent colors by Marte Gracia just make this pop off the page. Amazing work all around. There have been countless artists who have worked on Spider-Man over the years (John Romita Sr., John Romita Jr. Mark Bagley, Sal Buscema, just a few of my faves) but I think Stuart Immonen draws one of the best contemporary Spider-Man’s around. His lines and panels have such life in them. I absolutely love his rendition of Norman Osborn as it is top notch stuff. I feel like he put so much “A game” in this issue that by the end of the arc we are going to view a classic.

Enough gushing about the pretty pictures I can also blab on about the words, where after a few lackluster issues the past couple months, Dan Slott is back in rare form. The menace he puts in Norman’s dialogue really drives it home. Norman is smarmy, confident, and ruthless. Finally we have the full Norman back! To me one of the highlights of the issue was where Norman’s captive was taunting him saying “You physically can’t turn into the Green Goblin now. You’re a nobody. A Nothing. “Normal Osborn.”  It was here I figured out who the ID of the captive was. This was clever dialogue and the type of classic remark this character would make in defiance. Unbeknownst to the captor though, the Carnage Symbiote which has now bonded to Norman, removed the blocks that didn’t allow him to access his Goblin persona and Normie is now more dangerous than ever. Moments like this show why Dan Slott is my favorite writer on Spider-Man and I will sorely miss him. There are other moments that stand out like the showdown between Phil Urich, the would be “Goblin King” and Norman but I won’t ruin that here. Also for those wondering, yes Norman does indeed Goblin-Suit Up.

Bottom line, the issue was a delectable appetizer for what will no doubt be a delicious main course. To bring back the echoes of comic editors of yesteryear, “If you only read one Spidey – Story this year, this is it!” It has everything you can want in a big time Spider-Man tale. (Dan Slott also wrote Big Time Spider-Man just fyi) This comic has already been flying off the shelves and pre-orders and it is very easy to see why. I loved it and it will only get better. The only bad thing is the wait till the next issue arrives. My final thought, screw getting a Marty McFly hover board some day, I want my damn Goblin Glider!

Catch you next time True Readers!

PS: That Alex Ross cover art thwips!

Story: Dan Slott Art: Stuart Immonen Ink: Wade Von Grawbadger
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: VC’s Joe Carmagna
Story: 9  Art: 9.5  Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Must Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Teen Titans #9

Teen Titans #9

(W) Ben Percy (A) Wade Von Grawbadger (A/CA) Khoi Pham
RATED T
In Shops: Jun 28, 2017
SRP: $3.99

“Blood of the Manta” part one! Still dealing with the consequences of “The Lazarus Contract,” Kid Flash’s status with the team is challenged by Damian…and the Teen Titans will never be the same. Meanwhile, Aqualad learns more about his powers and the truth about his lineage is revealed!

DC Weekly Graphic Novel Review: Dark Days, Looney Tunes, Mother Panic and More

It’s Wednesday which means new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. We talk a few single comic issues from DC Comics as well as briefly go over three trades. Reviewed are:

Dark Days: The Forge #1 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, and Danny Miki.

Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1 by Sam Humphries, Tom Grummett, and Juan Manuel Ortiz.

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian #1 by Steve Orlando, Frank Barbiere, Aaron Lopresti, Jim Fannine, and John Loter.

Mother Panic Vol. 1 A Work in Progress collecting issues 1-6 by Jody Houser, Tommy Lee Edwards, and Shawn Crystal.

Nightwing Vol. 2 Back to Bludhaven collecting issues #9-15 by Tim Seeley, Marcio Takara, Minkyu Jung, and Marcus To.

Teen Titans Vol. 1 Damian Knows Best collecting Teen Titans: Rebirth #1 and #1-5 by Ben Percy, Khoi Pham, Diogenes Neves, Wade Von Grawbadger, Ruy Jose, Sean Parsons, and Jonboy Meyers

Find out what the trades have in store and whether you should grab yourself a copy. You can find both in comic stores June 14 and bookstores June 20.

Get your copy 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.

Dark Days: The Forge #1
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian #1
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Mother Panic Vol. 1 A Work in Progress
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Nightwing Vol. 2 Back to Bludhaven
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Teen Titans Vol. 1 Damian Knows Best
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics 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.

Preview: Teen Titans Vol. 1 Damian Knows Best

Teen Titans Vol. 1 Damian Knows Best

(W) Ben Percy (A) Khoi Pham, Diogenes Neves, Wade Von Grawbadger, Ruy Jose, Sean Parsons (A/CA) Jonboy Meyers
In Shops: Jun 14, 2017
SRP: $16.99

The Teen Titans are further apart than ever before…until Damian Wayne recruits Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and the new Kid Flash to join him in a fight against his own grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul! Collects issues #1-5 and TEEN TITANS: REBIRTH #1.

Almost American
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