Category: Product Reviews

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  • Inhumans and X-Men get ready to rumble

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    After Death of X, comes Inhumans vs X-Men, this week for New Comic Book Day. Plus get a look at what’s been happening in Serenity: No Power in the Verse, and check out Black Mask’s new series No Angel. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Serenity #2
    By: Chris Roberson, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Wes Dzioba, Dan Dos Santos

    Continuing our adventures with the crew of the Serenity, we open with them at gunpoint searching for someone. What they find is way more than they bargained for. With River’s “sisters” looking for her, they’ll have to be on careful watch while trying to help Mericourt.

    Chris Roberson proves that he still has it (not like he ever lost it). With strong dialogue, it was easy to fall right back into the ‘Verse. Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, and Wes Dzioba do a great job with action in this issue. I never feel like I missed something. This issue should also serve as a way to get nerdy knitters back in action! (you’ll see when you read it) [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Climb aboard and explore the ‘Verse again.

    Inhumans vs X-Men comics at TFAW.com

    IvX #0
    By: Charles Soule, Kenneth Rocafort

    Inhumans vs X-Men #0 sets the stage for the crossover event fans have been waiting for. This issue covers the time from the ending of Death of X (be sure to catch that), and the 8 months that took place from Death of X to where the current ongoing series are. For regular X-Men readers, they’ll note there’s been a major absence of Emma Frost from the core titles post-Secret Wars, and this is the book that’s going to let you in on what she’s been up to. We also get a peek into what Beast has been up to since he also hasn’t made many appearances in the recent months.

    The bouncing back and forth between Emma Frost and Beast does a great job setting the stage for what to expect in this new crossover, as well as provides all the information new readers need before everything gets turned on its head in the coming months. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Get in on the ground floor with Inhumans vs X-Men #0

    No Angel comics at TFAW.com

    No Angel #1
    By: Eric Palicki, Adrianne Palicki, Ari Syahrazad, Amancay huelpan

    A former soldier turned FBI agent, Hannah Gregory, returns to her hometown of Tucker’s Mill, Wisconsin to investigate the murder of her father and brother. What starts out as a (not so) simple investigation, quickly turns into a supernatural mystery. That calls into question everything our Hannah knows about her family, her life, and our Earthly existence in general.

    Siblings Eric Palicki (Guardians of Infinity) and actress Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., GI JOE: Retaliation, Friday Night Lights) team up to craft a story that feels both new and personal. The art from Ari Syahrazed makes the story feel like a gritty noir. Having the character of Hannah resemble the familiar face of Adrianne helps take us into this new world. Allowing for the reader to be open for what looks to be a crazy ride. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    If you’re looking for something fresh that combines noir with…well, we’ll be finding out exactly what soon, check out No Angel #1.

    Read our full review of No Angel and get a preview of this new series.

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Super Dads

    Super Dads - A Review of Superman #10

    After escaping a time-displaced island full of dinosaurs in the previous issue, we find Superman and his son Jonathan in a much more peaceful place at the beginning of Superman #10.

    It’s Winter Break and Jon is thrilled to continue his journey to become the new Superboy. However, Jon continues to struggle with his burgeoning powers. He’s basically dealing with super-powered puberty. This is evident when he discovers his freeze breath in this issue.

    Iconic Offspring Face Off

    Jon’s life is further complicated when he is captured by Batman’s son Damian –the current Robin. The Boy Wonder doesn’t trust Jon, who has immense power and very little control of his abilities. Superman doesn’t take the kidnapping of his son very well. Batman also shows up to set his son Damian straight.

    This story is the first of a new arc for Superman. It’s called In The Name of The Father and it’s exciting to get see Batman and Superman as dads. This story really plays like two parents dealing with kids who got into a schoolyard fight. Only this fight has more heat vision and kryptonite batarangs.

    Batman and Superman can be polar opposites, and now we get the opportunity to see how their sons relate to one another. The optimism of Jon’s good-hearted farm boy contrasted with the rage and paranoia of Damian’s cold-hearted assassin makes for an engrossing plot.

    Superman #10 feels like a jumping off point for Super-Sons, the Superboy/Robin team-up book that comes out next year. These two young men will carry on the teachings of their fathers, but at the same time struggle with the burden of being the children of such icons. They will also continue to grapple with the responsibility of their own superhero identities.

    PRE-ORDER THE NEXT SUPERMAN ISSUES.

    Superman #10, DC Comics, Released November 2, 2016, Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, Art by Mick Gray and Patrick Gleason, Cover by Mick Gray and Patrick Gleason, $2.99.

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  • Thor Gets His Groove Back

    New Comic Book Day Nov 2nd

    For New Comic Book Day this week, Dark Horse Comics blows up a new issue of World of Tanks, Unworthy Thor begins, and Justice League starts a new arc “OUTBREAK.” It was hard narrowing down this week’s new releases to arrive at this week’s reviews, but that’s the job. 😉 Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, folks.

    World of Tanks #2
    By: Garth Ennis, Carlos Ezquerra, Michael Atiyeh, Isaac Hanford

    After the explosive first issue, our WWII tale of a British tank team fighting against their German counterparts gets more intriguing. The comic splits up parts between the two teams, taking viewpoints from both sides. The book does an especially good job at highlighting where each team is and what pressures await on the battlefield.

    When it comes to comics about war you can’t go wrong when Garth Ennis is writing it; this series is no exception. The artist Carlos Ezquerra has worked with Ennis before on Battlefields, so the series in in highly capable hands. With a style full of grit, you can almost feel the dirt and grim on the pages.

    This series, based around the hugely popular MMO World of Tanks, is sure to satisfy you off the screen and drag you into the trenches. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    JUMP INTO THE FIGHT WITH WORLD OF TANKS

    The Unworthy Thor comics at TFAW.com

    The Unworthy Thor #1
    By: Jason Aaron, Olivier Coipel, Matthew Wilson, Russel Dauterman, Joe Sabino

    Though the reason has yet to be revealed, Thor was deemed UNWORTHY in the pages of Original Sin. He has since relinquished the name of Thor and searches for redemption as The Unworthy Thor, and the first issue of the 5-issue miniseries is a fantastic entry–great for new readers and longtime fans of Jason Aaron’s take on the character.

    For my money, there’s no better Thor writer than Jason Aaron. Period. This series is a snapshot of the Odinson at his lowest point. He’s depressed, drinking way too much, and self-loathing. This is the equivalent of a major star getting embroiled in controversy and falling from grace.

    I’m not going to ruin the issue by revealing the events of the last few pages, but I am excited to be along for the ride for what I am calling “Thor Gets His Groove Back.”

    One last thing: I’ve gushed about Aaron’s writing (albeit not as much as I want to), but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Olivier Coipel’s art and Matthew Wilson’s colors are out of this world. I’ve come to expect a lot from these artists, and that’s because they bring it. Every. Single. Issue. Highest marks for this one, true believers. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    VISIT OUR SPECIAL THOR PAGE TODAY!

    Justice League comics at TFAW.com

    Justice League #8
    By: Bryan Hitch, Neil Edwards, Fernando Pasarin

    After the Justice League’s victory over the Kindred, the team has saved the world, and although many were spared, one innocent civilian lost their life. While various members deal with what this means, someone (or something?) hacks into the Watchtower and the Batcave, ultimately putting the entire team — and the world — in danger.

    Told from the point of view of Cyborg, Bryan Hitch does a great job of demonstrating why Victor Stone is one of the most capable and underestimated additions to the League. In a world ruled by connection-based technology, the man who has access to it all could be the greatest hero, but also the most vulnerable to corruption. Neil Edwards’ pencils do a wonderful job of highlighting the somber moments, but hits with a bang in action scenes. He’s an artist who frames shots similar to the way Hitch does in his art, making them a great collaborative team.

    Justice League #8 continues to be a great book featuring the most powerful super team in comics. Be sure to pick up this great jump on point. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE TODAY

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com

    The Wicked and the Divine #23
    By: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Kevin Wada

    Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as teenagers. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.

    The team behind critically acclaimed Young Avengers and Phonogram have taken us on a hell of a ride for the past two years in The Wicked and The Divine, and the series just keeps getting better. We were able to get our hands on a copy of the WicDiv #23, and I’m here to give you the skinny on the issue and lay out the case for why this is the best series on the shelves.

    I couldn’t think of a better case study to attest to Gillen’s talents as a writer. I’ve been a fan of The Wicked and The Divine from day one, but this issue has really amplified my love of the series. I was reminded of Marvel’s Front Line series of the past decade in that this issue gives us a different perspective of characters like The Morrigan, Baal, Amaterasu, Lucifer, and Woden. I like that the team is experimenting with these one-off issues because they make the reading experience unique. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    FIND OUT WHY WICKED AND DIVINE IS BETTER THAN ANY OTHER COMIC BOOK
    BUY WICDIV COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

    Did our review spark your interest in any of these books? Have you read previous issues? Join the conversation and share your experience with us below!

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  • Forget Superheroes, You Need an Angel

    No Angel #1 review

    Siblings Eric and Adrianne Palicki writers of No Angel

    War, death, family, and angels. This is the center of the exciting new title, No Angel, by writer Eric Palicki (Guardians of Infinity) and writer/actress Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., GI Joe: Retaliation).

    The creative pairing is a perfect fit for an original series featuring a strong female protagonist. Eric’s comics experience and Adrianne’s knack for getting inside a character’s head make for a compelling first outing.

    The story opens as the former soldier turned FBI agent, Hannah Gregory, returns to her sleepy hometown of Tucker’s Mill, Wisconsin. Her father and brother were murdered with no suspects to hold accountable. Hannah’s childhood friend and local police officer, Sean Flynn, helps her as much as he can on tracking down clues.

    When a mysterious woman tells Hannah that she may know why her family was murdered, the story gets going. Her path is filled with revelations of biblical proportion.

    No Angel comics at TFAW.comAdrianne and Eric craft a story set seemingly in the real world. Subtly introducing themes of the supernatural in a way that makes the reader question how much of this is actually happening. As this first issue unfolds, themes of homecoming and reconnecting with one’s roots emerge. Hannah is dealing with very sensitive issues related to her past.

    Hannah’s likeness is made to resemble Adrianne Palicki and this does a lot to make the story feel more personal. Newcomer penciler, Ari Syahrazed, hits the ground running, particularly in combat scenes. His style accents a gritty tone for the book that makes crime scenes and war flashbacks haunting.

    The coloring by Jean-Paul Csuka not only captures the feel of Fall, but the transition between present day and flashbacks is easy to follow just based off the color palate swaps. The art team is easily an integral part of the storytelling of this book.

    If you’re looking for a book that blends the crime genre with the supernatural, No Angel is a great pick.

    ORDER YOUR COPY OF NO ANGEL TODAY
    TAKE A PEEK INSIDE NO ANGEL #1
    SEE OTHER TITLES FROM BLACK MASK COMICS

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  • Catastrophe Looms in New Bloodshot Miniseries

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    A lot of comics come out each week on New Comic Book Day. Some are good, some are bad, and some are worse. Here are a few of our favorites from this week’s new comic book releases. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Deadpool #21
    By: Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish, Ian Doescher

    Holy Tacos! More pages?! That’s right true believers, this is not an ordinary Deadpool comic. This 60 page issue contains two stories! The first, written by Gerry Duggan, unveils Wilson’s great Christmas spirit. Also, Bob and Emily Preston make a nice cameo and Mad Cap stirs the plot for further issues. The writing team for this issue has definitely made this Deadpool more like Ryan Reynolds, and I love it!!

    The second story throws you a huge curve ball by writing in iambic pentameter. For Shakespeare fans this is great, and a fun task for avid readers of Deadpool. Ian Doescher (Of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars fame) still maintains The Merc with the Mouth’s exorbitant humor. While adding a sophisticated spin to it. I give this issue 10/10 Chimichangas, so be sure to pick up your issue today! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    GIVE INTO DEADPOOL, AND CHIMICHANGAS!

    Bloodshot USA #1
    By: Jeff Lemire, Doug Braithwaite, Kano

    Bloodshot is a super-soldier. Imbued with nanites that regenerate any and all damaged cells, blood, and bone. This also allows him to impersonate others and enabling him to interface with machinery. Once controlled by the programming of Project Rising Spirit, an elite and shadowy governmental organization, Bloodshot was their enhanced operative.

    Bloodshot USA jumps right into the action as those very same nanites have been weaponized, and now spread like a virus, infecting the populace of New York. Enter Unity, the supergroup of heroes who act as Earth’s protectors.

    Can even the great Unity do anything to stop this outbreak? When a few of the members fall victim to the virus, the prospects look weak for stemming the tide. Splendid art, and well-paced storytelling keep this one moving, and as a longtime fan of the series, I am entirely on for this ride! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    JUMP INTO BLOODSHOT BEFORE HE HITS THE BIG SCREEN

    Hellblazer #3
    By: Simon Oliver, Moritat

    John Bloody Constantine, is there any other way to say his name? Hellblazer #3 delves into what’s been hunting John as Swap Thing searches for clues as to where his love, Abby, went. Something dark, ancient, and angry is hunting our heroes.

    Simon Oliver did a great job with this issue, ensuring that if you haven’t read the previous two Rebirth issues so far, you can jump in here and be fine. Moritat and Andre Szymanowicz work well together on the art, giving us different worlds when highlighting the various environments we see in this issue.

    It’s always exciting when John is at his wits end with an unknown enemy–that’s also when he preforms best! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    FALL INTO THE WORLD OF DC’S DARK ARTS WITH HELLBLAZER

    What did you think of these books? Are you excited that the Bloodshot movie is in production? Join the conversation and let us know below!

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  • Darth Vader #25: The Force is Strong With This One

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    Marvel’s adventures of Darth Vader ends with a bang, not a whimper.

    With many loose threads hanging from the previous two years’ worth of comics, writer Kieron Gillen has his work cut out for him in the the final issue of the Darth Vader series. Vader must deal with personal and professional betrayers and a boss who is still unsure of Vader’s abilities and commitment following the destruction of the first Death Star.

    While Vader’s motivations haven’t always been clear to the reader during the run of the Star Wars: Darth Vader comic book series, it’s now apparent that the Sith master — as well Gillen –- were playing the long game. By the end of the book, Vader has masterfully dealt with his enemies and firmly established himself as the Emperor’s trusted confidant. He’s also clearly now the quintessential bad guy depicted in The Empire Strikes Back.

    In a nice bit of irony, we see Vader choke an incompetent imperial officer and put Admiral Ozzel in command of his flagship. Vader kills Ozzel himself in a scene that’s reminiscent of Episode V. Artist Salvador Larroca’s depiction of every character and setting is spot on, giving the reader the feeling of actually being in a Star Wars movie.

    We leave Vader staring into the cosmos planning for the inevitable reunion with his son, Luke Skywalker. In his imagination, he reaches out to Luke’s hand -– the very one he would sever in Cloud City -– and simply says, “Soon.”

    The oversized issue also includes a coda of sorts, where artist Max Fiumara masterfully depicts Tatooine’s Tusken raiders’ reaction to the Sith Lord. The last page is fitting, with the Sandpeople seen worshipping their enemy. It’s a feeling that many of us have once we close this chapter of Marvel’s Star Wars story.

    SEE DARTH VADER COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
    VISIT OUR SPECIAL STAR WARS SECTION

    EDITOR’S NOTE 10/21/16 (SPOILERS AHEAD):

    If wish to avoid spoilers, wait until you read Darth Vader #25 before you click the above or below links. The Star Wars Classified series has been renamed, and features a fan-favorite character from the Darth Vader series!

    JOIN THE NEW STAR WARS COMIC BOOK SERIES

    Darth Vader #25, Marvel, Released October 5, 2016, written by Kieron Gillen, art by Salvador Larroca, colors by Edgar Delgado, letters by Joe Caramagna; $5.99.

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  • Luke Cage Comes to Danny Rand’s Aid

    Power Man & Iron Fist #9

    Sweet Christmas! Marvel’s new Civil War II has officially collided with the world of Power Man & Iron Fist and the fiddle-faddle hits the fan. In Power Man & Iron Fist #8, Ulysses had a vision of Luke Cage staging a prison break to bust out his best friend Danny Rand and Captain Marvel and her future-preventing crew were on their way to bust it up.

    The newest issue of Power Man & Iron Fist hits the ground running as Power Man and his cohorts take on Carol and her squad in a huge super-powered confrontation. The action flies fast but so do the jokes, writer David Walker continues to bring a light and breezy tone to this book. Even in the large battle scenes, which are awesomely rendered by artist Sanford Greene, Walker never lets things feel too heavy. The stakes are high but the action is above all fun.

    Power Man & Iron Fist has been one of the biggest bright spots of the current Marvel lineup because it’s main focus is on the friendship between Luke and Danny. It’s one of comics’ best bromances and we see Luke’s desperation to get his friend back throughout this issue. If this were anyone else he might not have put his neck on the line so much, but Power Man needs Iron Fist and vice versa. Seeing these two reunited in this issue just makes me feel good. Their banter is one of the book’s greatest strengths.

    This is of course a tie-in with the major Marvel Civil War II event, and it’s always tricky to make these not feel forced. But this issue does a great job of folding the Civil War story in naturally. It actually enhances Luke and Danny’s story instead of feeling an intrusion. It adds greater stakes to the already engrossing struggle to break Iron Fist out of prison. This book strikes a great balance of superhero action and classic buddy humor, and I can’t recommend it enough.

    SEE ALL POWER MAN AND IRON FIST COMICS
    DISCOVER HOW THE CIVIL WAR HAS IMPACTED OTHER MARVEL BOOKS

    Power Man & Iron Fist #9, Marvel Comics, rated T+, released October 12, 2016, written by David Walker, pencils and inks by Sanford Greene & Flaviano, colors by John Rauch, letters by Clayton Cowles, cover by Sanford Greene, 3.99.

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  • Larry Trainor’s Identity Revealed

    doom-patrol-2-1

    So many questions. Where is Larry Trainor? Who is Larry Trainor? What is Larry Trainor? And WHERE is Larry Trainor?

    Doom Patrol #2 opens with a scene that re-introduces us to test pilot Larry Trainor, classic Doom Patrol’s Negative Man. In a bizarre sequence that reveals Trainor’s co-pilot to be a matryoshka nesting doll, we take a smash cut to a corner stand selling the dolls, where Trainor proceeds to start a fight with two strangely dressed passersby.

    Doom Patrol comics at TFAW.comAnother smash cut takes us to a sparsely furnished apartment, where we get another look at EMT Casey Brinke. After Brink’s bizarre day in the first of the series, Doom Patrol #1, Casey wakes to find that her roommate has completely re-assembled Robotman while she slept. Casey’s partner arrives in their EMS rig downstairs, and before Casey can process much of what’s going on, she has to leave for work. Their first patient of the day turns out to be some nut who has gone ballistic on a matryoshka stand and is lying on the pavement, screaming.

    Gerard Way’s writing style brings a unique twist to these classic characters, while the new players are strange and interesting. There are plenty of callbacks to previous incarnations of this series, but not so many that a new reader would be completely lost. While I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Doom Patrol #1, this issue stands on its own sardonic, twisted legs.

    Doom Patrol #2 Variant Cover Edtion at TFAW.com
    Doom Patrol #2 Variant Cover Will Sell Out Soon!
    Nick Derington’s artwork and Tamra Bonvillain’s color choices make this series an absolute pleasure to look at. Their collaborative choices make this series just cartoony enough to be fun, while allowing for the seriousness of some of the content.

    Doom Patrol is just one of the titles being released under the Young Animal imprint from DC Comics. If you’re looking for a new series for your pull list that stray from the beaten path, Doom Patrol will certainly fit the bill. Be sure to also check out Shade the Changing Girl, Cave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye, and Mother Panic.

    SEE ALL DOOM PATROL COMICS
    SEE OTHER BOOKS FROM DC’S YOUNG ANIMAL IMPRINT

    Doom Patrol #2, published by Young Animal, rated Mature, released October 12, 2016, written by Gerard Way, art and cover by Nick Derington, variant cover by Mike and Laura Allred, colors by Tamra Bonvillain, letters by Todd Klein, $3.19

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  • Six Reasons The Wicked And Divine Is Better Than Any Other Comic Book

    Wicked and Divine #23 comic book review at TFAW.com

    Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as teenagers. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.

    The team behind critically acclaimed Young Avengers and Phonogram have taken us on a hell of a ride for the past two years in The Wicked and The Divine, and the series just keeps getting better. We were able to get our hands on a copy of the WicDiv #23, and I’m here to give you the skinny on the issue and lay out the case for why this is the best series on the shelves.

    Keiron Gillen’s Writing

    Wicked & Divine #23 Cover B by Kevin Wada at TFAW.comThe Wicked and The Divine #23 is unique in that it is set up not as a traditional comic, but a one-off issue that reads as an issue of “Pantheon Monthly,” a magazine that has exclusive interviews with some of the series’ principal characters.

    I couldn’t think of a better case study to attest to Gillen’s talents as a writer. I’ve been a fan of The Wicked and The Divine from day one, but this issue has really amplified my love of the series. I was reminded of Marvel’s Front Line series of the past decade in that this issue gives us a different perspective of characters like The Morrigan, Baal, Amaterasu, Lucifer, and Woden. I like that the team is experimenting with these one-off issues because they make the reading experience unique.

    Diverse Set of Characters

    It’s clear that Gillen has put in a lot of effort in charting a course for the series and its characters. With a principal cast of 12 gods and several supporting characters, there’s a lot going on in this series, which has been why WicDiv has been at the top of my reading list for the past two years.

    We’re learning more about the characters each month, and The Wicked and The Divine #23 is no exception. One thing that’s struck me for awhile is that the series features one of the most diverse set of characters we’ve seen for awhile. This isn’t a reboot series where a woman or person of color steps into the titular character’s role–LGBTQ and people of color have been represented from the get-go. It’s refreshing that the WicDiv team is actively trying to create a story for everyone.

    McKelvie x Wilson = Art That is Out of This World

    Writing is only one part of the equation. With comics being a visual storytelling medium, I would argue that art is even more integral to a book’s success. To borrow a baseball term, Jamie McKelvie continues to knock the cover off of the ball–meaning that he isn’t hitting home runs, he’s hitting the art with such ferocity that you can’t help but fall in love in each panel.

    As Gillen has a firm grasp of where these characters’ stories are going, McKelvie’s character designs have been fleshed out. Each character has a unique style and attitude. That’s not to say that things are static–the art has continued to evolve with the characters as they have grown in the series, particularly in the case of Persephone. If you haven’t been reading along, I seriously suggest picking up the Wicked and Divine graphic novels so you can immerse yourself in this art.

    I’ve also been on board with Matthew Wilson’s colors from day one. Collaboration between artists and colorists (also artists, but differentiated as such for sake of clarity) happen every day. This kind of partnership, however, isn’t the norm–McKelvie’s linework and Wilson’s colors go together like fire and heat, milk and Oreos, or conjoined twins. They belong together.

    Mystery & Onions

    Wicked & Divine #23 Cover A by Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson at TFAW.comFrom the beginning, we’ve known the score: within two years’ time, these characters will die. The premise almost dares you not to read the series. The stakes are high and we never really know who’s going to go next. I was surprised at who was killed first as I really liked that character, which kind of makes Gillen the George R.R. Martin of comics.

    We’re always peeling away layers of these characters to find out more details of their motivations, past lives, or the story’s bigger picture. WicDiv represents a type of storytelling that is much more than punch this foe, foil that bad guy’s master plan.

    They’re Effing Gods

    The other thing that really resonates with me is the idea that The Wicked and The Divine expertly deals with themes of fandom, devotion, and religion–these are, after all, gods. Some people love them, others loathe them. It was really fun to read the “interview” with Woden because he is in the latter camp. He’s a racist mysogonist with an inferiority complex.

    I dig the “god” angle of the series a lot.

    It’s a Bold Series

    Like I said before, this is a bold series with a complex set of characters who are brash, powerful, and coming to terms with their fates. Each issue of The Wicked and The Divine is an opportunity for Gillen and McKelvie to yank the rug out from under us. This has happened several times so far, and WicDiv #23 provides a little perspective on the fallout of those moments.

    The team is willing to take this book and its characters to a place where other books from the big two wouldn’t be able to tackle, an that makes this one of the best books on the shelves today.

    ORDER YOUR COPY OF WICKED & DIVINE #23 NOW
    SEE WICKED & DIVINE BOOKS AT TFAW

    Have you been reading WicDiv from the beginning? What’s your favorite moment from the series so far? Are you thinking of trying out for the series for the first time? Join the conversation below.

    The Wicked and The Divine #23, Image Comics, Releases November 2, 2016, Written by Kieron Gillen, Art by Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson; $3.50

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  • Bandette Returns for More Fun

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    Presto! Bandette is back and this time she is after clues to an elusive secret society filled with wisdom and riches in The House of the Green Mask. However, famed villain, The Voice is after the same thing and so he has stolen Bandette’s greatest treasure to leverage her help.

    For those unaware, Bandette is series from Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover about the greatest thief of all time. Set in Paris, Bandette is a beautiful blend of Robin Hood, The Pink Panther, The Great Muppet Caper and Tin Tin. It is a series that balances suspense and levity, genre and sincerity, cutesiness with reliability.

    Bandette graphic novels at TFAW.comThe newest volume of Bandette is as light on its feet and whimsical as ever. True moments of mystery and magic show us a new side to the Bandette oeuvre. Not tasked with the introduction of characters, you are able to spend time exploring relationships.

    Tobin excels at conversation that cracks open the hearts and minds of the ensemble to reveal deeper and more meaningful moments than can be had with straight exposition. Coover brings the script to life effortlessly. The romance is explosive, the chases are enveloping, and the humor is enchanting. There is a real love that shines through in the their work. The mastery that they bring makes this a thrilling read that will stay relevant and sought after for years to come.

    As an all-ages comic, Bandette is full of heart and encourages everyone to live life on the edge where it’s more exciting. She never second guesses her feelings. She seizes the day. She radiates passion and excitement! As a beautiful and timeless melodrama, no character is bogged down with self-doubt or loss of conviction, instead they are bursting with vitality and form a sort of Commedia dell’arte heist adventure. I would feel comfortable giving this book to anyone. Take a small break with a large candy bar and enjoy this book.

    ORDER THE NEW BANDETTE VOLUME TODAY
    SEE OTHER ALL-AGES COMICS

    Bandette Vol. 3, Dark Horse, rated 12+, Released October 12, 2016, Written by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, $11.99

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  • Review: Champions #1: Forging a New Age of Heroes

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    Sometimes when the adults aren’t acting their age, it’s time to turn to youth for wisdom. That’s the premise for Marvel’s newest and youngest team of heroes called Champions.

    Disenchanted with the way their idols are acting in the wake of the second superhero civil war, the youngest Avengers quit the team and form their own team of idealistic do-gooders. They recruit a multicultural lineup with an android (Viv Vision), a Muslim (Ms. Marvel), an Asian (Amadeus Cho’s Hulk) and an African-American/Hispanic (Miles Morales’ Spider-Man).

    Writer Mark Waid throws in a nod to the original ’70s Champions team -– which included Hercules, Ghost Rider, and Black Widow. At one point, Ms. Marvel sarcastically asks, “Sorry, am I Hercules?” during a particularly harrowing situation.

    Waid does a good job of navigating readers through the as-of-yet untold end of Marvel’s Civil War II, by showing the youngsters’ frustration without spoiling how the war ends. At the same time, he crafts a compelling conundrum for the heroes who, like today’s police, are being constantly scrutinized thanks to the ubiquity of mobile phone videos. As the character Nova says, “It’s like everyone’s got me on video waiting for me to screw up.” By the end of the first installment, it’s that same scrutiny — as well as a stirring speech from the title’s emotional leader Ms. Marvel — that gives the group legitimacy as well as its name.

    As usual artist Humberto Ramos‘ angular drawings, particular of Ms. Marvel, are stunning. Ramos is a master of facial expressions as well, even conveying anger, fear and frustration on a masked character.

    It’s easy to see why Marvel chose to push this title first as part of its revised Marvel Now lineup. It feels relevant in every way. Hopefully Waid and team can keep up the youthful exuberance.

    JOIN THE NEW CHAMPIONS SERIES
    SEE OTHER NEW SERIES FROM MARVEL COMICS

    Champions #1, Marvel, Released October 5, 2016, Written by Mark Waid, Art by Humberto Ramos, Inks by Victor Olazaba, Color by Edgar Delgado, Lettering by Clayton Cowles; $4.99

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  • Review: He-Man/Thundercats #1: The Right Tool for the Job

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    He-Man/Thundercats #1 had to open with either He-Man thrashing Skeletor or Lion-O handing Mumm-Ra his backside. It just had to. Writers Lloyd Goldfine and Rob David decided on the latter scenario.

    After the fight, Mumm-Ra drags his broken, bleeding body to his black pyramid to be rejuvenated and convene with the Ancient Spirits of Evil. The Ancient Spirits have apparently lost their patience with Mumm-Ra’s inability to kill seven anthropomorphic cats and steal their Sword of Omens. They inform Mumm-Ra another magical sword exists. The Sword of Power, wielded by He-Man, might give Mumm-Ra the edge he needs to finally defeat the Thundercats. He’ll only need to travel through dimensions to an alternate universe and take it from the mightiest warrior in Eternia.

    Goldfine and David play heavily into nostalgia, knowing full well who their target audience is for this work. All those kids who woke up early on Saturday mornings in the 1980’s to watch nine hours of cartoons will get a kick out of this six-part series.

    While the script is heavy with callbacks to the television programs, the story is slightly more grown up than the material that was featured on those shows. There is a scene in this chapter where one of the principals gets stabbed through the chest. Nothing like that ever happened on Saturday morning.

    Freddie E. Williams II’s artwork is tight. Every panel is filled with an insane amount of detail. The characters all have impossibly hypertrophied physiques, which fit the genre perfectly. There is also some very creative use of gutters and panel frames to punctuate the action and emotion of the story.

    Reading this book, I’m actually surprised that as a kid I never noticed how similar these two properties are. Both mythos feature young, immature princes with talking pets that regularly undergo transformations into fierce warriors, wielding mystical, magical swords to fight nearly invincible evil undead heels. This crossover works on so many levels, it’s ridiculous.

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    SEE ALL HE-MAN PRODUCTS

    He-Man/Thundercats #1, DC Comics, rated T, released October 5, 2016, written by Lloyd Goldfine and Rob David, art and cover by Freddie E. Williams II, color by Jeremy Colwell, letters by Derron Bennet, $3.19

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