Tag Archives: willie schubert

sacredsix Expands Christopher Priest’s Vampirella Universe!

Discover sacredsix, a new ongoing series this May as Christopher Priest expands his take on the wider Vampirella universe.

Enter: a tale of two towns in rural Georgia. One is Ashthorne, an impoverished farming town with a deadly secret. Otherwise known as “Vampire Valley,” most of its citizens are vampires and sundry other ghouls, though not by choice or blood. These once-human victims are now shunned by society in the open but live peacefully and just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace. Meanwhile, the bright and shiny Sacred is a recently “manufactured” community lorded over by staunch conservatives for the express purpose of oppressing and ultimately destroying Ashthorne’s residents. This tension will escalate as the series progresses, and instigate the arrival of the group of heroines…

Priest’s new take on the Draculina character, real name Victory, is joined by fellow Vampi vixens Pantha, Nyx, and the surprise inclusion of fellow conflicted vampire Chastity, of Chaos! fame. Led by Lilith of Drakulon, the Cersei Lannister of space vampires and recruited by her son DRAGO, mayor of Ashthorne. The sixth and final core member will be a surprise… The one and only Vampirella will make some appearances as well. These women will go undercover in the exclusive rarified air of Sacred as students and fight against injustice by night against The Six.

In a thematic mashup of True Blood and Sons of Anarchy, sacredsix is a multifaceted morality play and tale of two cities examining the conflict between human and inhuman, science and magic, agnosticism and faith, war and peace. Good and evil can be found all around, often coexisting. With this cast of complex characters with ever-shifting allegiances, anything can happen.

Christopher Priest is joined by artist Gabriel Ibarra, colorist Mohan and letters from longtime Priest collaborator Willie Schubert.

Jae Lee will be doing interior pages for this series across the first five issues – a special sequence weaved into the main story recounting Pantha’s newly revamped origin story. Pantha is now fully feline by default and can transform into a human woman, rather than vice versa.

A Who’s Who of top cover artists are tagging in for the big debut issue and subsequent ones. Jae Lee leads the pack. One of the hottest cover artists today, Lucio Parrillo, focuses on Chastity, Draculina and Nyx. With fans skyrocketing her career and garnering acclaim for her Vampirella covers, Meghan Hetrick is a natural addition. Rod Reis captures the power and sensuality of these women with a rooftop lineup. While the incredibly talented and versatile José Ladrönn chips in. An incentive cover from Joseph Michael Linsner showcases the women in schoolgirl outfits, and an Icon Incentive remasters definitive Pantha artist Mark Texeira’s cover from Vampirella (2001) #8.

sacredsix

Review: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2

Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor explore yet another “life” of The Question in The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2. The issue is mainly set in Hub City during the 1880s aka the Wild West. However, this isn’t some John Wayne redux. It probes deep into the racial violence that characterized this time period in the United States. The protagonist, Charlie (who later becomes the Western version of the Question) deals with the guilt of his actions during the Comanche War.

Sotomayor uses plenty of reds and blacks in his palette to contribute to the book’s bleak tone. It complements Sienkiewicz’s scratchy inks. I went back and glanced at The Question #1, and Cowan’s art style is utterly different. Empty spaces, bursts of violence, and shamanistic quests for meaning contrast with non-stop media commentary in the previous issue. Cowan still uses plenty of grids in the comic. However, their purpose seems to be to slow down and focus on pivotal moments in the story. An example is Charlie talking to some witch figure about a primal conflict between good and evil or his friend, Booker, about to be hung in a racially motivated, kangaroo court and not to simulate TV or smartphone screens. Cowan’s storytelling is impeccable. It’s easy to follow the action on the page while mentally trying to pull together Lemire’s reincarnation-driven plot.

The themes of rigid, Randian objectivism versus a more fluid zen Buddhist ideology continue in The Question #2. Lemire and Cowan have traded out philosophizing for gunslinging. (Lemire writes Charlie as super-reflective though.) For all its hallucinations and “deep” observations, the plot of the comic is about a man, who has done bad, making up for it by doing some good. It’s a white hat shooting a black hat, someone more tolerantly minded pitted against a racist.

The traditional Western with a bit of political commentary baked-in part of The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 resonated with me stronger than the part of the story where he’s seen as more of an archetypal figure. Yes, it’s a great plot device on Jeff Lemire’s part. It allows Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor depict the Question and his ideology in different eras. However, it’s not as memorable as Charlie riding back to his old town in the twilight reminiscing on his genocidal past and how he is going to avenge a good man and his wife. The process page in the back of the comic shows how much black spot inking Sienkiewicz added to Cowan’s pencils. Chris Sotomayor’s rusty palette show that Charlie’s return isn’t triumphant, but a reckoning. He wants to kill the devil and find peace.

Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor use the creative freedom of the Black Label imprint to tell what is a damn fine dark Western with some mystical elements. They show how shitty the 1880s were with a loose, gruesome approach to the violence instead of something more stylized. In the bigger picture of the miniseries, it digs into Charlie/Vic/The Question’s identity a little bit more setting upcoming ideas and revelations as Lemire and Cowan continues to jump eras in both plot and visuals.

Story: Jeff Lemire Pencils: Denys Cowan  Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors: Chris Sotomayor Letters: Willie Schubert
Story: 7.8 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Black Label provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1

DC Black Label branches out from Batman, the Joker, and Harley Quinn in the gritty and trippy The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1. With a dedication to both Question’s original creator Steve Ditko and his finest writer (Up to now) Dennis O’Neil, writer Jeff Lemire, artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz, and colorist Chris Sotomayor attempt to bridge the character’s portrayals as an Objectivist, who views the world in strict black and white terms and as an Eastern philosophy-influenced fighter of systemic evils, who donned the Question mask to right wrongs that newscaster Vic Sage couldn’t. They also craft the first chapter in one hell of a mystery. It features an art style that is far from the usual capes and tights.

Bringing back artists Cowan and Sienkiewicz from The Question’s original DC Comics series was a stroke of genius. It’s what initially got me interested in this series. Sienkiewicz’s scratchy inks and Cowan’s almost journalistic portrayal of human nature roots the first half of Question in the violent, yet ripped from the headlines crime stories that characterized the original run.

The comic opens up with Question muttering something straight out of a Mr. A strip or an Ayn Rand novel and catching a Hub City councilman in a brothel with underage girls. He knocks the creep about a little bit but is mostly concerned with recording footage for Vic Sage to play on the evening news where he openly accuses Hub City mayor Wesley Fermin of being connected to organized crime that leads to a lawsuit and more trouble. The sequence sets up Sage’s very public persona and role as the gadly, or voice of truth, in Hub City. That makes it necessary for him to wear face-warping masks courtesy of his old chemistry professor, Aristotle “Tot” Rodor.

However, this dual identity isn’t so simple. Lemire and Cowan play with the different sides of Question and Vic Sage’s personalities. They show that Question’s single-minded quest for justice sometimes makes him lose the big picture. An example is the police shooting of an unarmed man while he’s following a lead about a ring that was on both the councilman’s finger and the mayor’s lawyer’s. The Question is a skilled detective but his conspiracy-driven nature can blind him to the everyday issues of his city. Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor show this visually through a wavy line, lots of black ink, and a darker color palette. It culminates in Question’s discovery of a literal abyss and some surreal imagery where you can really see the Sienkiewicz influence shine through.

Thankfully, in the second half of The Question #1, Lemire and Cowan create the context for these images. It’s a departure from the crime fiction of the comic’s first act to something more mystical. Hence, Richard Dragon shows up with insight and potty mouth one-liners. (Think the Bride’s sensei in Kill Bill sans the misogyny and xenophobia.) From a big picture perspective, the conversation between Dragon and Sage also seems like a conversation between O’Neil and Ditko. The former taking Question into more of a zen Buddhism direction while Ditko used him as the avatar of his black and white view of the world. That was passed onto his creation Mr. A and Question’s spiritual offspring, Rorschach. (The nine panel grids and the use of “Hrrm” are a nod to that fellow.)

Richard Dragon believes that souls can travel between bodies while Question just wanted to learn martial arts to kick ass and is talking to his old teacher to solve a mystery steeped in symbolism, but connected to Hub City and its corruption. To take a page out of the German philosopher Hegel‘s book, Dragon is thesis, Question is antithesis, and they are a long way from synthesis. The last few pages introduce another wrinkle in the status quo in a natural non “Oh shit, we need a cliffhanger” way. Cowan makes fantastic use of recurring metronome motif to slip readers into another world. It’s like seeing a hypnotherapist as the story shifts in genre. His solid storytelling and well-placed use of six and nine-panel grids, as well as larger layouts, doesn’t waver.

The debut is steeped in the classic O’Neil and Cowan run as well as the ideology of Ditko. Lemire, Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor make sure The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 isn’t a nostalgia-driven retread. In a current era where political corruption runs rampant, and the said corrupt don’t even try to sweep it under a rug, a character who isn’t afraid to speak truth to power is incredibly relevant. However, the Question also engages in Randian purity policing and has a primal, childish view of the world. He’s far from an inspirational figure. This is why Cowan and Sienkiewicz’s naturalistic, almost dirty art style is a good fit for the book. They and Lemire also aren’t afraid to get a little weird. I’m interested to see how they synthesize the various versions of the Question in both the spiritual and physical realms.

Story: Jeff Lemire Pencils: Denys Cowan  Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors: Chris Sotomayor Letters: Willie Schubert
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Black Label provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 Begins to Explore Vic Sage’s Past and Present

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

Written by Jeff Lemire
Pencils by Denys Cowan
Inks by Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors by Chris Sotomayor
Lettering by Willie Schubert
Cover by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz
Variant Cover by Jeff Lemire and Marcelo Maiolo
In Shops: Nov 20, 2019
Final Orders Due: Oct 21, 2019
SRP: $6.99

The series will go through multiple time periods and explore aspects of Vic Sage’s past and present that have never been explored before. Combined with Bill Sienkiewicz’s inks and Chris Sotomayor’s deft color touch, this may be the best version of the Question yet.

–Denys Cowan

Vic Sage knows right from wrong. He knows black from white. But what happens when he is drawn into a conspiracy that reaches from the heights of Hub City power to the depths of its underground tunnels? What happens when things stop being black-and-white and start getting a little gray? And what happens when, in a secret chamber deep beneath the city, Vic Sage meets his own end…and his new beginning? Legendary artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz and letterer Willie Schubert return to The Question, alongside Eisner-winning writer Jeff Lemire and colorist Chris Sotomayor, to resurrect Vic Sage, only to destroy him all over again…and again…and again….

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage will carry an Ages 17+ content descriptor (for mature readers) and will ship bimonthly in DC’s Prestige Plus format. The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #2 hits shelves January 15, 2020.

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 (of 4)

Preview: Secrets of Sinister House #1

Secrets of Sinister House #1

(W) Paul Dini, Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Scavone, Bryan Hill, Dan Watters, Others (A) Rafael Albuquerque, Cian Tormey, Jorge Fornes, Others (CA) John Romita, Bill Sienkiewicz
In Shops: Oct 09, 2019
SRP: $9.99

Witness what hides within the Sinister House-the DCU’s most horrific secrets and mysteries! Travel alongside Harley Quinn, John Constantine, Detective Chimp, Zatanna, the Atom and others as they face this macabre devastation firsthand! And in the bowels of this dark mansion…we return to the world of the legendary Red Rain to meet once again with the dreaded vampire Batman. Don’t miss this year’s DC Halloween special-because if you do, it’ll haunt you!

Secrets of Sinister House #1

Review: Secrets of Sinister House #1

Celebrate the Halloween season with this anthology of spooky tales featuring DC’s superheroes and villains!

Story: Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Scavone, Robbie Thompson, Dan Watters, John Layman, Paul Dini, Che Grayson, Diego Lucero Lopez, Bryan Edward Hill
Art: Rafael Albuquerque, Tom Raney, Sumit Kumar, Jorge Fornes, Cian Tormey, Miguel Mendonca, Phil Hester, Alessandro Vitti
Color: Dave McCaig, Hi-Fi, John Kalisz, Jordie Bellaire, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Bill Crabtree, Jeromy Cox, Adriano Lucas
Ink: Ande Parks
Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh, Troy Peteri, Steve Wands, Travis Lanham, Dave Sharpe, Andworld Design, Willie Schubert

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.

Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Dynamite Celebrates 50 Years of Vampirella with a New Series from Christopher Priest

Vampirella is back in a new ongoing series by a blockbuster creative team, to celebrate her milestone birthday! Issue #1 will be on sale the same day and date as the iconic first magazine from 1969, and also coinciding with the first day of San Diego Comic Con’s 50th convention!

Following a Free Comic Book Day #0 issue shrouded in mystery, Vampirella is celebrating her big banner 50th Gold Anniversary in July 2019! And a new series is exactly what she and her fans need to celebrate this milestone! The one and only fan-favorite and critically acclaimed writer Christopher Priest is bringing his trademark literary and inventive stylings to one of the most influential, beloved female characters in comic books. Don’t miss the debut of his run in Vampirella FCBD #0 on Saturday May 4th!

Joining Priest on art (and colors!) is Ergün Gündüz. The well renowned Turkish talent is sure to impress fans around the world with his unique style. Lettering will be handled by the talented Willie Schubert. This experienced creative team will bring their all to the Scion of Drakulon’s new tales.

The history-making series will feature cover after cover from the greatest artists today. For the first issue, fans can choose a wraparound cover featuring Vampi in a way only Frank Cho could render her, incorporating his recent acclaimed ballpoint pen techniques. Or pick up a cover from the peerless Alex Ross. While Joe Jusko steps up to bat as another classic painter in the industry known for his work on Vampi and so many other titles. Guillem March marks his first work at Dynamite with a jaw dropping cover. A blockbuster Women of Dynamite title is not complete without a talented cosplayer, with Erica Fett kicking things off for #1. A real treat for longtime Vampi fans is Adam Hughes recreating his own cover in an homage to 1992’s Vampirella #1 for an incentive variant. Going back even more old school, fans of the beautiful Warren era and the Spanish masters will be overjoyed to learn of a limited edition Sanjulian variant!

Vampirella #1

Review: Deathstroke #30 – Deathstroke vs. Batman part 1

When Batman discovers a mysterious package containing DNA test results proving that he is not Damian Wayne’s biological father, the Dark Knight sets his sights on his son’s true father-Deathstroke! But Damian Wayne can’t really be Slade Wilson’s son-can he? And who sent the package-and why? The ultimate custody battle ensues as the World’s Greatest Detective and the World’s Deadliest Assassin clash in this instant classic!

It’s always noteworthy when Deathstroke and Batman cross paths, it’s a special event when the writer is master scribe Christopher Priest.

In Deathstroke #30, the first issue of this six part arc, Priest uses a Venn diagram with genius effect, breaking the characters down he’s able to intertwine their worlds by connecting then through their aides de camp, the relationships with their son’s and past histories with Talia Al Ghul.

The art team of Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, and Jeromy Cox take Priest’s hot script and turn in slick art filled with action and cool shots of the two badasses going at it. And as nice as the action is, I really enjoyed the moody Batman doing his detective scenes the most.

My one criticism of this issue is it felt more like a Bat book, which makes me wonder why he hasn’t written one of the main Bat titles before. All in all a great start to a great read, buy it, I’ll be adding it to my pull list.

Story: Christopher Priest Art: Carlo Pagulayan
Inks: Jason Paz Color: Jeromy Cox Letterer: Willie Schubert
Cover: Lee Weeks & Brad Anderson
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham Editor: Alex Antone Assistant Editor: Dave Wielgosz

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Heartbreakers #8

Heartbreakers #8

Writers: Script: Anina Bennett; story: Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan
Pencilers: Paul Guinan, Todd Herman
Inker: Paul Guinan
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Price: $0.99
Pages: 10
Rating: 15+

The last two clones of Professor Sorenson, Queenie and Delta, must make their way back to Earth after surviving the destruction of their hideout on Saturn’s moon. This episode ends the black-and-white DHP run of Heartbreakers, and leads into the action-packed color miniseries that comes next!

Heartbreakers_08-1

Preview: Heartbreakers #6

Heartbreakers #6

writers: Script: Anina Bennett; story: Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan
Artist: Paul Guinan
Letterer: Willie Schubert
Price: $0.99
Pages: 8
Rating: 15+

Outnumbered and outgunned by Biovoc’s attacking troops, the Heartbreakers can’t allow Professor Sorenson’s genetic research to fall into enemy hands–even if that requires the ultimate sacrifice. This shocking conclusion to the series’ second story arc drew astonished letters from readers when first published.

Heartbreakers_06-1

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