Tag Archives: zenescope

Review: The Watcher #1

The Watcher #1

As a fan of horror movies, it can be difficult to find a film that is both good narrative-wise and in relation to entertainment value. The movies that usually stay with you re the ones that are completely plausible. Take, for instance, the plot of The Purge. A film series and television show which answers a very real question concerning overpopulation. Then there’s Hostel, a story based on actual acts that take place in Thailand.

Then there’s entertainment that “feels real,” but is less so because it deals with the supernatural.  Take, for instance, the 2004 movie Sightings-Heartland Ghost starring Nia Long and Beau Bridges. The film crew on the show Sightings filmed a demon possession. It was an event that would forever change the film crew and the family that was being haunted. The debut issue of The Watcher features a story much like that film unspools and is one of the best “jump scares” I have ever read.

We open on a young woman who’s seemingly asleep having nightmares. The dream becomes too much, as every night it feels even more real. We’re taken to Saint Michael’s High School, in East Point, Massachusetts, where we find our protagonist, Erica, beginning at her fifth school in so many years. Her acclimation to her new surroundings has its own bumps in the roads. Finding friends is easy but someone she can trust is more difficult. The series spirals into the introduction of a brutal killer whose targets seem more than coincidental.

Overall, The Watcher #1 is a story that mixes coming of age tropes with supernatural and horror elements. That changes the paradigm on the genre. The story by Ralph Tedesco and Victoria Rau is horrifying, smart, and exciting. The art by the creative team is stunning. Altogether, a story that looks to make the reader jumps out of their socks and does it exceedingly well.

Story: Ralph Tedesco and Victoria Rau
Art: Carlos M. Mangual, Julius Abrera, Fran Gamboa,
and J.C.Ruiz
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Black Knight Vol. 1

The Black Knight Vol. 1

When it comes to superheroes, there is none more tragic or complicated than Daredevil. As the titular character and his real-life alter ego, Matt Murdock, is both dark and magnetic. His need to do good in the world as a lawyer outweighed his need to make money like most. His thirst for justice is what made him Daredevil, ensuring no miscarriage of justice was not answered.

This need is what makes him such a compelling character. This is also what makes him such a unique character in the Marvel Universe and what draws him to Frank Castle as their dark recesses usually aligned. I always wondered other than his heightened senses and super strength, what if he had powers that would make him invincible? In the first volume of The Black Knight, we find a hero like Matt Murdock but with mystical powers.

We meet Peyton Parks, a defense lawyer in New York City and the Black Knight, a mystical defender who received her powers from a book of fables. As she I the midst of stopping a mob hit by the Russian mafia in a courtroom,  as the man she is defending in court, Nikolai,   has some powerful enemies as he is testifying against his own crime syndicate and her guilt for letting her father die in prison has made her superimpose his memory on every client she has.  Her appearance as The Black Knight, prompts her client’s former organization to reach out to a family member with some special gifts, Ursa. This also brings Sirin, the rival crime syndicate’s sadistic hitwoman, whose thirst for revenge for Nikolai killing her brother. Soon, Peyton finds out just why everyone is out to kill Nikolai, including the prison warden.

Overall, an interesting story that gives the world a complex female action hero, one who doesn’t always do the right thing. The story by Terry Kavanagh is action packed and well developed. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, one of the more interesting protagonists in the Grimm Universe finally gets her due.

Story: Terry Kavanagh
Art: Sergio Anno, Saida Temofonte,
and Robby Bevard
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Dragonsblood #1

Dragonsblood #1

The films of Mathew McConaughey can definitely be a mixed bag, as not all his films are great. Some of his movies are just plain dumb fun like Failure To Launch. As the movie played into his personality and what makes him charming. Then there are movies like Dallas Buyers Club which was essentially two pronged, as it showed his serious side and talked about a serious underserved issue. Then there those movies which are pretty horrible like The Beach Bum which made no sense and felt like a waste of time.

Then there are those movies that depending on who you talk to, will either gets an enthusiastic thumbs up or have someone say it was no good at all. One of those movies for me was How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, as it was both funny and rewatchable. Another one of those movies that I personally enjoyed was Reign Of Fire, a postapocalyptic movie where we live in a world where humans live in fear of dragons. In the debut issue of Dragonsblood, we meet the last dragon slayer in a mighty family line, as he must rise against his family’s ancient foe.

We meet Sigurd, of the Volsung clan, as he gives the reader a rundown of how his family got decimated. As he searches a dragon’s lair, for Fafnir, the dragon responsible for the deaths of many of his family, he is reminded of those he lost as their corpses scattered through the catacomb. As he begins his battle with Fafnir, t was all but certain he had met his doom, as the weapon he brought was not enough. By issue’s end, he finally defeats the dragon that killed his family, but is fate lies ahead, one that no one including him sees coming.

Overall, a thrilling debut issue that shows how important legacy is and correcting past wrongs can be. The story by Nick Bermel is heartfelt and action packed. The art by the creative team is alluring and vivid. Altogether, a story which shows that there is more to stories about dragon than fire and ice.

Story: Nick Bermel Art: Jason Muhr and Maxflan Araujo
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Revenge of Wonderland

Revenge of Wonderland

Recently, I went back home to the place where my father was from and where I was raised for a portion of my adolescent years. The thing is, the time between when I was last there and when I recently went had been 30 years. As with most places and people you have not seen in a while, it’s not quite the same. In some instances, it definitely is completely different and when you realize that, is when you typically grasp that you have changed as well.

I know certainly this is what I think of when I go back home to New York. I loved my upbringing, my friends, and my family, but really cannot see living there again. What happens when a place you love, is not what you remembered? In the first volume of Revenge Of Wonderland we find out what happens to a place which has turned into the total opposite of what it was originally conceived as.

WE meet Callie and Violet Liddle, a mother and daughter who share more than blood as Violet suffered a similar strange ordeal as her mother, Callie. As Callie ruled as the White Queen in Wonderland for many years until an uneasy truce made her step down. As things change, so has Wonderland, and so has that truce, which has forced the Liddles to come back to bout for the land they once fought for. As we catch up with the Liddles, enjoying their normal lives back on Earth. As Callie meets an obsessive fangirl of her books, whose fixation becomes dangerous for all, opening a door back to Wonderland and trouble headed the Liddles way, in the form of the Duchess. As there is even more trouble as mysterious murders, sightings of large purple cats and child disappearances causes Violet to investigate what is causing all these things and what is their connection to Wonderland. This catches the Duchess’s attention, leading her to unleash the Clubs, her dangerous faceless underlings, who take Violet, which leads Callie back to Wonderland to save her daughter. As we find about the Duchess and how became who she was, as she was not always evil. We also find out about our other villain, one even more insidious, Mr.Monarch, a serial killer who has been trapping members of his community one by one. By book’s end, Callie and Violet battle the Duchess, but eventually win her over by showing how love is stronger than hate, and though their lives go back to normal fr now, a worst foe has been awakened.

Overall, an interesting and well told story that injects the reader in to this magical world and does alternate universes right. The story by Raven Gregory is lavish, comprehensive, and action packed. The art by the creative team is utterly elegant and intense. Altogether, an excellent story which more comic book fans should know.

Story: Raven Gregory Art: Allan Otero, Grostieta, and Maxflan Araujo
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Hellchild: Blood Money #1

Hellchild: Blood Money #1

For anyone who watches Richard Madden’s work, you know he’s one up and coming actor. Most people got introduced to him through Game Of Thrones where he played the heroically tragic Robb Stark, a flawed leader whose bad decisions caught up with him ultimately. Lucky for him, his fate did not go the way of most television actors, in fact, he’s done a few films and starred in a few more shows each one possessing a stellar story. One of his first ones was Medici where he played the oft mentioned bankers for the Vatican, in a rather captivating tale.

Another story that put him front and center was The Bodyguard. In the story he played David Budd, a British Secret Service agent charged with guarding the UK Home Secretary. He protected someone who everyone disliked and had people looking to kill them at every turn. In the debut issue of Hellchild: Blood Money our protagonist while working as a hired gun gets pulled into a wasp nest of pandemonium.

We are taken to the Hollywood Hills in California where Jake, the son of a powerful politician has made a life changing mistake, one that could end life as he knows it. His father’s head of security decides to hire Jessica Blackstone, aka Hellchild, a bodyguard with some otherworldly talents. Meanwhile, the two girls Jake killed worked for a powerful gangster, somebody who wants to be paid for what considered his property.

Overall, an action-packed debut issue that plays into the bigger Grimm Fairytales Universe while setting itself apart at the same time. The story by Ralph Tedesco, Joe Brusha, and Dave Franchini is fun, gory and pulse pounding. The art by Butch Mapa, Taylor Esposito, and Dijjo is magnificent. Altogether, an exceptional debut that deftly blends crime thrillers and genre shows.

Story: Ralph Tedesco, Joe Brusha and Dave Franchini
Art: Butch Mapa, Taylor Esposito and Dijjo
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Gretel #1

Gretel #1

There is something about broken-hearted superheroes which keep fans coming back for more. Take for instance, the newest program on DC Universe, Doom Patrol. The show is made up of protagonists with very complicated backstories, all of them heart wrenching. It’s the reason people have watched the Showtime show Ray Donovan. They love difficult people they can identify with. It’s even true with music videos as anyone who has seen Alicia Keys’ Dreaming With a Broken Heart, can see in its few minutes, a story of a hero who cannot love.

As human beings often offer empathy through art, each of these stories offer something indelible to their audiences.  What tethers the last Avengers movie together so well is how attached we were to each character who became part of Thanos’ act to diminish existence of half of its population.  Many of us who know the story and anyone who has seen the trailer know this is what drives the remaining heroes forward. In the debut issue of Zenescope‘s new seriesGretel, we get one such protagonist whose powers are put to the test by revisiting some painful history.

Gretel #1 introduces us to a new corner of Zenescope’s Grimm Universe and serves as a solid introduction to the character. It’s a twist on the classic tale following Gretel, who must deal with the tragic events involving her brother and a maniacal witch. She is now cursed with a life that’ll span centuries.

She now also has the gift of premonition which has shown her the end of the world.

Overall, an exceptional debut issue that tells a very different take on a well-known character. The story by Ben Meares is action packed, scary, and solid. The art by Allan Otero and Ceci De La Cruz is vivid and elegant. Altogether, a pulse pounding introduction that shows writers everywhere how to write a great backstory.

Story: Ben Meares Art: Allan Otero and Ceci De La Cruz
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

C2E2 2019: Zenescope Announces their Plans including Panels and Guests

Comic book and graphic novel publisher, Zenescope Entertainment, has announced its plans for Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo 2019. The convention will run March 22nd-24th, 2019 and will be located in the South Building at McCormick Place, in downtown Chicago. Zenescope will be at booth #609 during the convention.

Among the comic books, graphic novels, box collections, and various merchandise available at Zenescope’s booth, the company will also debut three separate C2E2 Exclusive Comics with cover artwork by popular artists: Elias Chatzoudis and Paul Green. These exclusive comic book issues are all limited editions, ranging from 75 to 500 total copies.

Zenescope’s Sela Mathers (Snow White) statue, which was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, will be available in limited quantities. In collaboration with Silver Fox Collectibles, a prototype of Zenescope’s new Belle statute will be showcased at the booth. The first in a series with Silver Fox, the high-end collectible is 1:4 in scale, stands around 24-inches tall, and features an interchangeable masked or unmasked Belle head, along with a sword, axe, and hand pistol.The first 100 pre-orders will receive a signed art print by the statue artist, Igor Vitorino. Pre-orders are now open.

On Sunday March 24th, 2019, Zenescope will also be hosting a panel discussion titled, “The Future is Grim(m): Celebration of Dark Fantasy in Pop Culture” at 10:45 AM in Room #S405A. Host, Christopher Samson, and panelists, Alé Garza, Anthony Spay, Michael Dolce, Jason Metcalf, and Nick Bermel will discuss the identifying features of the dark fantasy genre, its history, notable and significant works, and its future.

Zenescope C2E2 2019

Advance Review: Gretel #1

Gretel #1

There is something about broken-hearted superheroes which keep fans coming back for more. Take for instance, the newest program on DC Universe, Doom Patrol. The show is made up of protagonists with very complicated backstories, all of them heart wrenching. It’s the reason people have watched the Showtime show Ray Donovan. They love difficult people they can identify with. It’s even true with music videos as anyone who has seen Alicia Keys’ Dreaming With a Broken Heart, can see in its few minutes, a story of a hero who cannot love.

As human beings often offer empathy through art, each of these stories offer something indelible to their audiences.  What tethers the last Avengers movie together so well is how attached we were to each character who became part of Thanos’ act to diminish existence of half of its population.  Many of us who know the story and anyone who has seen the trailer know this is what drives the remaining heroes forward. In the debut issue of Zenescope‘s new seriesGretel, we get one such protagonist whose powers are put to the test by revisiting some painful history.

Gretel #1 introduces us to a new corner of Zenescope’s Grimm Universe and serves as a solid introduction to the character. It’s a twist on the classic tale following Gretel, who must deal with the tragic events involving her brother and a maniacal witch. She is now cursed with a life that’ll span centuries.

She now also has the gift of premonition which has shown her the end of the world.

Overall, an exceptional debut issue that tells a very different take on a well-known character. The story by Ben Meares is action packed, scary, and solid. The art by Allan Otero and Ceci De La Cruz is vivid and elegant. Altogether, a pulse pounding introduction that shows writers everywhere how to write a great backstory.

Story: Ben Meares Art: Allan Otero and Ceci De La Cruz
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Robyn Hood: Outlaw #2

Robyn Hood: Outlaw #2

As someone who loves stories, I remember watching a television show on PBS called American Family. It starred many of my favorite actors including Edward James Olmos, Constance Marie, and Esai Morales. The plot revolved head of the household Jess Gonzalez, an average father who’s forced to fight everyday troubles following the death of his loving wife Berta. Their beloved daughter Nina has recently graduated from law school and decides to work for Legal Services on behalf of immigrant rights, even though Jess does not agree with her decision. The rest of the Gonzalez family just try to go with the flow but they find their own problems down the road. Sadly, it lasted only two seasons but it still was one of the best shows that represented Latinos at the time.

One of the burgeoning actors to emerge from the show was Kate del Castillo. She played a classical dancer who falls in love with Esai Morales’s character. She would go on to become one of the biggest stars from the show even starring in two different programs for Netflix, one of them being Ingobernable. In the second issue of Robyn Hood: Outlaw, we find our hero looking for shelter much like Del Castillo’ character did in that Netflix show.

In Robyn Hood: Outlaw #2, we find Robyn escaping police capture with the help of a new allie, whose powers are still a mystery to herself and Locksley. Robyn eventually catches up with Gengrich who is laid up in the hospital, where we find she also has been poisoned, confirming Robyn’s belief that this was a power grab. Soon the police find her, and she must find refuge in order to give her enough time to figure who is trying to frame her. By issue’s end, her new ally introduces her to the Underground where it seems it will change her world.

Overall, another action-packed issue which delves even deeper into Robyn’s world, one where at every turn it might be your last. The story by Howard Mackie is well developed and engaging. The art by Juan Rodriguez is gorgeous. Altogether, an interesting issue which should recruit more fans to this book.

Story: Howard Mackie Art: Juan Rodriguez
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Grimm Fairy Tales: Day of the Dead Vol. 1

Grimm Fairy Tales: Day of the Dead Vol. 1

Humankind in one form or the other has always been obsessed with the dead. With the pain of the loss of loved ones writers have explored how one would bring back those we have lost?  Shows like The Returned pondered what would people do if friends and family who died returned to the living? Often, these stories would espouse the dangers of having these beings return and how they were not the same people.

Then there are stories like the award-winning animated film Coco. The movie actually explored a world where our dead loved ones lived. I often wondered after watching the movie how would it be if someone had the power to raise the dead? In Grimm Fairy Tales Day Of The Dead from writers Dawn Marquez and Joe Brusha, a new hero has this very power but some shadowy organizations are looking to use her gifts for evil purposes.

We are taken to New Orleans, where one unfortunate young lady is mystically taken to a graveyard, where she is sacrificed for a villain to gain powers. We are also introduced to Mary Medina, who is haunted by her powers and is looking for any distraction to lead her away from her worries.  She soon finds that though something was calling her to New Orleans, it wasn’t her talisman, as an evil energy has breached the city limits and are trying to steal her powers. As she makes a new ally, one whose unique powers are enough to save her but raises even more questions, on why these two even met in the first place. By book’s end, Mary and her new friend’s bond is stronger than ever, they have temporarily stopped the evil alliance, but also may have played into exactly what this treacherous group had been planning all along.

Overall, a well-developed story heaped high with excellent characters and even better story execution. Marquez and Brusha are at the top of their game with this series’ story. The art by the creative team is utterly gorgeous. Altogether, a marvelous tale that shows heroes can be from any walk of life.

Story: Joe Brusha and Dawn Marquez
Art: Dawn Marquez, Erick Arciniega, Robby Bevard, Jorge Cortes and Marco Lesko
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

« Older Entries