Tag: Dark Horse Comics

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  • Review: Dept. H #3

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    Dept. H #3Matt and Sharlene Kindt continue to unfold the mystery of who killed the director of Dept. H, an undersea research facility located six miles below the surface of the ocean. Chief investigator is scientist Mia and the stakes are personal: It’s her father who was killed. Her brother Raj works on the base too, but could he be a suspect? Or is it one of the other denizens of the fishbowl that is the facility? With six miles of ocean above, it’s a sure bet no-one swam up to the airlock, popped in, caused his death, and left again.

    Issue #2 ended with Mia outside, exploring a damaged undersea cable, and sinking out of control in her ultra-deep suit. In Dept. H #3 the story opens with a flashback to Mia’s childhood where she explains to us readers that she’s always been so tenacious that she is physically unable to quit, even in a situation where her life is in danger. Obvious foreshadowing for the rest of the Dept. H. mystery!

    Taking her last gasps, she’s rescued by one of the other people from the research facility and when she’s pulled back in and recovers her wits, she realizes that someone else important is still outside, in the deeps. But who will help rescue him, particularly when Lily is busy making snarky comments to Mia about the men on the station and scientist Jerome seems to have gone completely bonkers. That’s a lot going on for a deep sea research station with less than a dozen people on board. And for that matter, what research is really happening in Dept. H?

    This issue is a fine third installment of this increasingly compelling mystery and I’m ready for #4 to come out already! After all, I have my theories about what’s transpired…

    Dept. H #3, written and illustrated by Matt Kindt and Sharlene Kindt. Published June 22, 2016.

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  • Review: Harrow County #13

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    harrow county #13Harrow County is home to all manner of creepy crawlies, ghosts, goblins, zombies, and creatures. Emmy is a pretty normal girl, who just happens to be the re-incarnation of a powerful witch who was coincidentally executed in Harrow County on the very same day Emmy was born. After the very same townsfolk who put the witch to death learn of Emmy’s connection and subsequently want her dead, Emmy must learn to control her unusual powers in order to survive.

    Harrow County #13 kicks off the new story arc The Family Tree. Emmy finds her friend Bernice in the middle of a cornfield searching for a lost boy named Clinton, who has vanished without a trace. Bernice is initially happy to see her friend, until she realizes Emmy has been using her familiar, a skinless boy, to keep an eye on her actions and whereabouts.  Tension builds between the girls, even as they come to the realization that the fields are being used as a hunting ground, and the two girls appear to be the next intended prey.

    If you haven’t been following Harrow County, this is a fine time to jump in, although after reading this chapter, you will likely want to go back and read chapters one through 12 to get all of the rich groundwork that has been laid. Cullen Bunn’s script moves fluidly through moments of seriousness, fun, confusion, and terror. The artwork by Tyler Crook is beautifully unsettling. The cliffhanger is half a dozen kinds of creepy.

    Harrow County #13, Dark Horse Comics, released June 8, 2016, written by Cullen Bunn, art, cover art, letters, and colors by Tyler Crook, $3.59

    Review by Brendan Allen

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  • NCBD: Bounty, Justice League Rebirth, Punisher, Batman 66 meets Steed and Mrs. Peel

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    Batman teams up with the Avengers? The creator of Rat Queens takes us to space, The Punisher contnues his path of destruction, and the Justice League go through a Rebirthing-all this week for New Comic Book Day. As always these are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our previous blog articles to 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.

    Bounty comics at TFAW.com

    Bounty #1
    By: Kurtis Wiebe, Mindy Lee, Leordo Olea

    Sisters Nina and Georgie steal from the rich and give to the poor, and keep some for themselves. Hey, they have to eat, too. From Rat Queens creator Kurtis Wiebe and artist Mindy Lee. Comes this Robin Hood-Esq space tale.

    This 40-page introduction really lays out the landscape for the new series. Kurtis has proven in the past he can write both funny and engaging teams with Rat Queens and this is no exception. I had a ton of fun with the sisters and their teammates. Bounty hits on elements seen in popular series like Firefly and Cowboy Bebop, but dials up the sci-fi, and futurism so that we end up with something unique, but familiar at the same time.

    If you’ve been enjoying Rat Queens this is an instant pick up. If you don’t know what Rat Queens is, well, 1) you’re missing out, and 2), this is an excellent point to blast off with an awesome new series. Don’t be the last one to the loading dock. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Justice League comics at TFAW.com

    Justice League Rebirth #1
    By: Bryan Hitch, Tony S. Daniel

    It’s a brand new day for the Justice League! After the Superman of the New 52 sacrificed his life to protect all human life, there was a void left in the Justice League. Now as they mourn the loss of their friend, they face the task of picking up the pieces.

    A large alien threat attacks, bringing together Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and rookie Green Lanterns – Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz. Our Pre-Flashpoint Superman has made his presence known to few, but he cannot help but see this threat and rush into action to help the heroes of this Earth by stepping into his former role.

    Batman is skeptical of the Kryptonian and wants to keep a close eye on him. Knowing what we do about Superman, it won’t be long until he proves himself to the team. Solid art and a well-paced story give this opening room to grow and establishes a new threat which I am sure we will be seeing more of in the future. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Punisher comics at TFAW.com

    Punisher #3
    By: Becky Cloonan, Steve Dillon, Declan Shalvey

    Previously in Punisher, Frank Castle goes up against Condor, a mob that’s manufacturing a drug called EMC which is making people stronger, faster, and immune to pain. While Punisher takes out all of Condor’s head men, This leaves the DEA to come after Frank. After all, he is killing all their evidence for their case. His next hit is Josiah, one of the makers of EMC. However, Josiah comes with a catch. A little girl strapped with explosives and a father who is ready to hit the detonator as soon as the Punisher shows up.

    I love the intense, on-edge feeling this series has been giving off so far–each issue has a fantastic fight scene. This issue thickens the plot of the story, and each issue has a fantastic fight scene. I am really intrigued to see where Becky Cloonan (writer of Southern Cross and Gotham Academy) takes this series. A definite must read for new and old fans of Punisher! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    Batman 66 Meets Steed & Mrs. Peel comics at TFAW.com

    Batman 66 Meets Steed & Mrs. Peel #1
    By: Ian Edginton, Matthew Dow Smith, Michael Allred

    Last Time on Batman 66….
    Well, I don’t know what happened last time actually, but I can tell you that this is the first time we’ve EVER seen Batman team-up with the Avengers! No, not those Avengers from Marvel, the other ones from across the pond, Boom Studios’ Steed and Mrs. Peel.

    With the Gotham Museum hosting the White Star Diamond from the Royal Family, everything looks to be fine until Catwoman appears, and she’s on the prowl for new accessories. Although Batman and Robin were too late, British Secret Intelligence agents Steed and Mrs. Peel were on the case. But could it be that something more sinister is going on? Was Catwoman behind it all? Will Steed and Peel ever be called The Avengers again? Find out next time, Same bat-time, same bat-channel!

    Overall, this was a fun issue to read for me having some history with Steed and Peel, as my father watched them when I was a kid. Ian Edginton does a good job keeping the Batman 66 series in tone with the show. It felt like watching an episode. Tied with Matthew Dow Smith’s art and Jordie Bellaire’s colors this worked exceptionally well. Great start to this six-issue mini-series. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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

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  • Sneak Peek at Briggs Land #1 and an Interview with Creator Brian Wood

    Interview with Brian Wood

    You don’t have to look very far to find someone who wants to secede from their country, to set up a tiny nation-state of their own where they can make the rules that they think make the most sense. In certain parts of the Pacific Northwest there are even regions where groups have banded together to create their own countries. Like the fictional Briggs Land, the latest creation from master storyteller Brian Wood.

    We caught up with Brian and asked him some pointed questions about Briggs Land and what he was thinking as he created this exciting new series, a story that’s already been picked up by AMC TV to make into a series!

    But first, a preview of Briggs Land #1:

    Briggs Land #1 coverGrace Briggs is a family matriarch whose husband Jim rules Briggs Land, a hundred square miles of wilderness that’s set up as another country entirely. Drive up to the gate and signs state “You are now leaving the United States”. Problem is, the head of the Briggs family, Jim Briggs, is locked up in a Federal prison with a lifetime sentence for attempted murder. He still does his best to run the family and land, but Grace is fed up and wants to take control from her husband. So she shows up to his prison and tells him the news: she’s taking over. And there ain’t nothing he can do about it.

    It’s not going smoothly, however, from the FBI agents following Grace around to the Briggs boys being unsure whom to support during this family coup. Everyone else in Briggs Land also has to decide if their loyalty is with Jim or the upstart, Grace, who has really been running the land for years anyway. The results are the last thing that propper secessionists ever want: danger from within, as is clear when there’s an incident late at night, a threat to life and limb.

    This is clearly a story in the same vein as the popular TV shows Sons of Anarchy and Justified, and indeed, AMC is working with writer Brian Wood on a TV series based on the Briggs Land story. It’s  an engrossing tale, enhanced by the flowing sketch art of Mack Chater and Lee Loughridge.

    If you want a head start on the upcoming TV series so you’ll be the expert in your circle of friends, Briggs Land #1 is a must buy beginning of a powerful and intriguing series.


    Briggs Land preview page 1TFAW: What’s the inspiration for the Briggs Land series? It’s an intriguing storyline, for sure, and quite timely!

    Brian Wood: Timely, absolutely, but its been timely for awhile, going back, for me to the 90’s, with Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City, which were my first exposures to the idea of domestic terrorism and this sort of off-the-grid secessionist culture. I should add that by terrorism I refer to Timothy McVeigh, not the Weavers.

    So that combined with the fact that in doing research for DMZ and later for Rebels, I came across a lot of material about US militia groups, hate groups, Patriots and Sovereigns, and it stuck in my head as something that would make a great series someday.

    Briggs Land preview page 2TFAW: You chose a female protagonist as the main character, wresting control of the Briggs family business and property from her husband? Love the dynamic, but what made you choose her rather than, say, one of their children to try a coup?

    Wood: An early version of this has the husband, the patriarch of the family, in control. A very Tony Soprano type of guy. Which certainly worked, but was also very typical – it read like a traditional sort of mafia story. And because of that the people I showed it to, including AMC, didn’t love it like I think they should. So after sitting with it awhile I decided to rewrite the pitch with the wife in charge, and the difference was night and day. It immediately brought forth all sorts of interesting conflicts, both in the Briggs family itself as well as the culture surrounding it, that just didn’t exist before. It made it ten times as rich and compelling, and that’s when people started to respond to it.

    Personally, it also gives me a chance to write a nuanced, complex mother character, something I have not yet done but want to.

    TFAW: What state do you have in mind as the setting? Idaho? Montana? And how does that affect the story in terms of FBI surveillance, etc.

    Briggs Land preview page 3Wood: It’s New York State, which may not initially seem like a place with a surplus of empty, rural land, but it has a tremendous amount of it. The fact its New York isn’t a primary element in the story, but it does enable us to bring in a more diverse cast simply because it’s an area far less homogeneous that say rural Idaho or Montana, which is pretty white. There’s also rust belt-esque elements upstate, such as decaying towns, abandoned mills and railways, and other things like that that let us cast this secessionist culture in not just a visually-interesting world, but an economically depressed setting that would support a large culture of disaffected types like the Briggs community.

    TFAW: Really love the art styles of Mack Chater and Lee Loughridge. How did you all come together for this new series?

    Briggs Land preview page 4Wood: I think I asked Tula Lotay for some suggestions, and Mack was one of them. I admit I had not heard of him before, as he’s new to comics (but has had a rich career in character and game design). But I found some samples that had this gritty, realistic style that seemed perfect for a crime comic, and lo and behold they were pages for a George Pelecanos comic! It was intimidating to ask him to work with me after working with someone like Pelecanos, but Mack was kind and said yes. And Lee… he’s a legend as far as I’m concerned, seeming to have worked on an endless list of amazing comics. It’s a great team. Plus Tula Lotay on covers!

    TFAW: You’ve said that the AMC TV series (congrats on that!) and the comic book published by Dark Horse will add to each other. Can you give us any hints on what we can expect?

    Wood: What I mean by that is the fact that I’m writing both the comic and the pilot at the same time, more or less, and that unique (I can’t think of another example of someone doing this) perspective allows me to step back and look at the comic from the POV of needing to adapt it, and to step away from the pilot script and look at the comic with fresh eyes, and use each of these Briggs Lands to support each other.

    Briggs Land preview page 5Maybe a better way to explain that is to say that since comics is a very finite space — only so many words in so many panels for so many pages — the show allows me to expand on characters and the world and in doing so, create an overall richer world. And the fact that the comic has no television producers laying rules down means we can get away with things in the comic we can’t put in the show.

    So at the end, for me, Briggs Land is both formats complementing each other to create an overall story that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each can stand alone, for sure, but together it’s richer.

    TFAW: In an ideal world, how many issues do you have planned for this series?

    Wood: Fifty? Maybe more? I’ve said that Briggs Land feels like DMZ in terms of it being this world that can support an endless number of stories. So it would be nice to have a nice long run like that.

    TFAW: You’ve worked with Dark Horse Comics on several other titles like The Massive, Rebels, EVE Valkyrie, and Aliens: Defiance. How has it been working with the folks over there from a creative perspective?

    Wood: I love Dark Horse (obviously). After Vertigo changed and it was no longer a publisher where I could do the sorts of books I wanted to do, I wanted to find a home that was stable and had a great support system to help these projects succeed. I can see the appeal of a publisher like Image, but I’m in this business to be a writer, not a self-publisher, or a publicist, or a sales rep, or any of that type of thing that takes away from the actual writing. There’s a team at Dark Horse that has my back, and I like that.

    TFAW: Who do you think is going to fall in love with this new series?

    Briggs Land preview page 6Wood: This is such a classic “Brian Wood” book that my regulars will absolutely find a lot to love. Like you said at the top, this is timely and relevant to mainstream current events and it doesn’t seem like that will change any time soon. This is also a crime drama, something that’s a little new for me, so there’s potential for fans of that genre to get into this. Plus the TV show element, which assuming all goes as planned, will open up a huge audience that may not be regular comics people.

    TFAW: What other books are you working on right now?

    Wood: There’s Starve and Black Road at Image. Aliens: Defiance and at least one other project for Dark Horse.

    TFAW: What comic books are you enjoying right now?

    Brian: I don’t read as many comics as I like, since my leisure reading time is consumed with research reading for my books, but when I do I tend to read titles written or drawn by friends of mine, rather than following certain characters or companies. So, Jason Aaron is someone I’ll always read, as is Greg Rucka and Warren Ellis.

    Great, thanks for the time and your thoughtful answers, Brian! We wish you the best of success with the new Briggs Land, and we’re definitely eager to see where you go with the series.

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  • Review: The Art of the Uncharted Trilogy

    Review: The Art of the Uncharted Trilogy
    Art of the Uncharted Trilogy at TFAW.com

    The Art of the Uncharted Trilogy takes you through the first 3 Uncharted games, giving you an inside look at the art process of how each game was created. It opens with a great forward by Erick Pangilinan, Naughty Dog’s art director, who talks about the chaos of creating such a drastically different game for the company. He highlights how Uncharted was quite a leap for Naughty Dog, a company known for more cartoony games like Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.

    Each game title’s development is broken down into two standard sections: Character Design and Environment. A look at Drake’s Journal is shown within the ‘Among Thieves’ portion of the book.

    This ends up essentially being the details that went into the creation of the book too, along with pages within it. (Side note: This would be an awesome replica journal to have, wouldn’t it?)

    Drake’s Fortune and Drake’s Deception include my favorite section: Unused Ideas. Here we get exactly what it says. Places, events, and gameplay concepts that didn’t make it into the final game for one reason or another. For instance, there were plans for an underwater level for the first game, but due to time and memory constraints that didn’t end up in the final title as shipped. I find it really neat to see what could have been with each of the Uncharted games.

    The Character Designs section associated with each game are also fun, especially for the first viewing of a character. As expected in the Drake’s Fortune section we get a lot of insight into how many versions of Drake himself there were before Naughty Dog settled on the one we know today. Then Lazarevic from Among Thieves, apparently whose outfit changed a lot more than he did. But as shown in the book, it’s surprising how a change in his outfit changes his mood, and how he’s perceived by players.

    Lazarevic character designs

    If you have checked out Dark Horse’s other art book, The Art of Naughty Dog, there will be some things you’ve seen before. Don’t let that stop you from getting this book, however! Here we get a much deeper look and explanation of the artwork, along with how things changed as the characters, locations and gameplay evolved in all three titles.

    For such an exciting, adventurous game, I’m really happy with the pieces that went into this book. Just being able to see the building blocks of this series is really cool. The digital paintings of environments that I’ve played through thousands of times still captures my imagination and pulls me in, ready to play just one more time.

    As such a fan of the Uncharted series of games this was an instant buy. With Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End out, along with the artbook accompanying it. I look forward to spending many hours both playing through the game, and looking at the art that accompanies it.

    The Art of The Uncharted Trilogy,192 Pages, hard cover, published by Dark Horse, April 2016.

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  • New Comic Book Day — Reviews for X-Files, Avengers, We are Robin, & Aliens

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    Another Wednesday, another set of great comics for New Comic Book Day! This week Avengers take their last stand before Civil War II, X-Files goes back to #1, We are Robin continues to amaze, and Dark Horse brings us back to the horror that is Aliens. Remember these are just a few of this week’s new releases many more came out this week. Check out our other blog articles to 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.

    Aliens: Defiance #1
    By: Brian Wood, Tristan Jones, Dan Jackson, Massimo Carnevale

    In this new chapter of the terrors that are the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, we find that they’re looking to gather the Xenomorphs and use them as weapons. They will be stopped. They must be stopped.

    Brian Wood’s story is an interesting departure from what we’ve seen before — instead of surviving, they’re going hunting. The way this issue was built seems like it would also work as a TV or movie script. With a strong foreshadow, then going back in time for an introduction to the characters and places.

    Tristan Jones and Dan Jackson do a great team up with the art and colors. I love the emotion that Tristan brings to the characters faces. You can really see disgust and fear exceptionally well in this issue. Dan’s colors give it that dark atmosphere. You can hear the gun blasts, hissing, and screaming from the Xenomorphs in your head, a true testament to the immersion you’ll get with this issue.

    Overall, if you haven’t kept up on Aliens, Predator, or Prometheus stuff, Aliens: Defiance #1 is a great to start. If you want to read more, may I suggest Fire & Stone? [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Avengers Standoff Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega #1
    By: Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuña, Angel Uzueta

    This is my favorite Standoff series yet and I will tell you why — all of the events in this issue are cinematic.

    Daniel Acuña and Angel Uzueta really nail the head on the coffin with the amazing artwork making it feel like a movie. If you are not keeping up with the Standoff series, this issue masterfully summarizes everything that has been going on.

    S.H.I.E.L.D. got ahold of a cosmic cube and made a prison that seemed like reality for most of Marvel’s cruelest villains. However, a special well-known villain figures out the fake reality and uses it to their advantage!

    This issue tackles a lot of questions we have about Steve Rogers returning as Captain America next month. It also tells us how all the Avengers from different universes work together as one.

    Grab a copy of Avengers Standoff Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega #1 today! [Darcy M. at Universal TFAW]

    We are Robin #11
    By: Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona

    We Are Robin #11 is a turning point for The Robins — or what’s left of them. With a homicidal Joker gang on the loose in Middletown High, it’s up to a few to save the many.

    Jorge Corona has this cool style that reminds me of Skottie Young’s early work on Deadpool — it works really well for this series. Corona also has a knack of making the environment interesting to explore. Don’t worry, you never feel it’s too cartoony or childish.

    Lee Bermejo, who has been on the book since the beginning, seems to have an overall arc that he’s working toward, which is always a plus when reading an ongoing series. Although I’ve only read a few issues of this the series to date, this issue made me go back and read it from the first volume. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    X-Files #1
    By: Joe Harris, Matthew Dow Smith, Menton3

    Do you still believe? After this issue, I believe something is going on. With a mass shooting at a mall, our good agents are called in for an unknown reason. Why would a shooting spree fall into the line of “X-Files”?

    Something is sticking out like a sore thumb and by the end of the issue, Mulder knows it. It wasn’t just an accident that they were sent on this case. There is something more sinister in the background; much like there always seems to be with the X-Files.

    If the mini-series that recently hit the airwaves didn’t fulfill your weekly dose of Mulder & Scully, give IDW’s X-Files a read. Something to note is that there is a handy reader’s guide for both the newer stories and the classic comics in the back of this issue. Perfect for any fan looking to explore the comic book continuity. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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

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  • New Comic Book Day — Reviews for the Fight Club 2 Finale, X-Men ’92, Saga & More

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    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. 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.

     	
Fight Club 2 comics at TFAW.com Fight Club 2 #10
    By: Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart, David Mack

    The End. With Tyler seemingly seizing control, Sebastian and all of Tyler’s followers are hunkered down with the world’s most precious art in a salt mine and the world is ending. Tyler won. We start over.

    Not quite. What happens after, is a weird twist/ex-machina, that turns the written world of Fight Club into our own. Seemly putting Palahniuk on the stand for the crime of his own creation. Fans were not liking the way things turn out to force themselves to create “a better” ending.

    It’s a great finish for Fight Club 2, a series that took on a life of its own from fans of the film and book. Chuck gives this an existential twist that really makes you think about not only the original story and what it meant, but the purpose of literature. To be free. To become something else entirely. To escape. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    X-Men ’92 #1
    By: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Alti Firmansyah, David Nakayama

    If you love the classic X-Men with mesmerizing art, then this comic is definitely the one for you! When there’s a big shakeup like the one we just had in the Marvel Universe (Marvel’s Ultimate Universe died), it’s always nice to go back to the classics.

    The series starts off with Hank McCoy’s first day of teaching and he’s already late! He finally arrives and just as he’s about to start teaching he is interrupted by Maverick bursting through the window with a frantic warning to the X-Men. Shortly after, the X-Men are fighting The People’s Protectorate. Omega Red wants top secret information that Maverick has! What information does Maverick possibly have that causes a war outside of the school?! You’ll just have to read X-Men ’92 #1 to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

     	
Aquaman comics at TFAW.com Aquaman #50
    By: Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund

    Let’s play a bit of catch-up before we jump into Aquaman #50: it has been decided that Atlantis should establish an embassy to the surface world to present land dwelling humans with a bridge between cultures, with Mera serving as the perfect public face for Atlantis in her new role as Aquawoman.

    In this issue, Aquaman must face a new mysterious force that is capable of coming through any water like a portal, whether it be a swimming pool on top of a skyscraper, a fountain in the middle of town, a puddle in the road, and this foe comes from a dark new place where we are likely to see more from in the future.

    Of course, Aquaman will do whatever he can to save the day for any threat intent on harming the innocent, and he does so with the moral compass of a great King. He’s not only regal, and willing to protect all life, but he does so without becoming hardened to the darkness of our world. Fantastic story for our hero, and this issue gives me high hopes for the future of the King of Atlantis. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Saga #35
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    In the last issue of Saga, we left off with Marco and Alana finding Prince Robot IV and Ghus (and of course Friendo) and coming up with a crazy plan to go rescue Hazel and Marco’s mother, Klara, from a Landfall prison. Meanwhile, The Will has kidnapped journalists Upsher and Doff to find the whereabouts of the person that killed The Stalk. In the midst of all that, Hazel is caught between her grandmother trying to protect her and her schoolteacher trying to break her out of the prison…

    In this new, exciting issue of Saga, we learn about the plan that Marco, Alana, and Prince Robot make as journey to find Hazel and Klara. Prince Robot wavers between helping them or turning them in to get back his former life as royalty. The Will struggles with working with his new captives get the much-needed information he needs to exact his revenge — oh, and The Stalk (who is still very dead) is egging him on to kill everyone that gets in his way. What is in store for Hazel? Will her teacher get her safely out? Will her parents be able to rescue her? Will their attempts tragically fail? You’ll find out this and much more in this amazing issue of Saga, written by the iconic Brian K. Vaughan and featuring the beautiful, one-of-a-kind art of Fiona Staples. [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

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

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  • New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Batman #50, Doctor Who, Carnage & More

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    Welcome to another installment of TFAW’s New Comic Book Day comic book reviews where we choose a few titles from amongst this week’s new releases and give you a quick review of what you can expect. 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.

     	
Batman comics at TFAW.com Batman #50
    By: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo

    Well this is it, citizens of Gotham, the penultimate chapter from the creative team that relaunched the Batman title for the New 52. Bruce Wayne has had a strenuous journey, as usual, but has remembered his true identity: Gotham’s caped crusader. Jim Gordon kept the cowl warm during the arc “Superheavy” in the bat-shaped hole left after the events of the Joker’s “Endgame,” yet now Bruce has returned in a new, while familiar batsuit.

    Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo really gave this one their all, to weave a tale that simultaneously outlines the reasons Batman has been such a lasting figure through the decades, and what drives the character, while reforming Batman in an entirely rejuvenated body. They are metaphorically able to rejuvenate the reader on a title that has already remained one of the strongest, most consistent titles since DC’s New 52 initiative that began rebuilding the whole DCU.

    There are a great deal of Batman stories that stand the test of time — of which I have been along for the ride on many of them — and though the creative team may move on to do other things after next the issue, they have left a lasting impression on the mythology of one of the greatest characters in fictional history. Before you head to your local movie theater this weekend to see Batman v Superman, be sure to check out TFAW’s great Batman and Superman products! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    The Shadow Glass #1
    By: Aly Fell

    In the first issue of the new Elizabethan-era series, Shadow Glass, series writer/artist Aly Fell aptly sets the scene for this six-issue story. We’re introduced to the story’s principal characters, including our protagonist, Rosalind (Rose).

    Rose is empathetic, confident, and curious. She also displays anachronistic behavior that defies social norms of the era. This helps us identify with her as a person who’s true to herself, and respect her for that reason. I can’t wait to see where Fell takes us next.

    As for the art, I was very impressed with the polish that Fell brings to the table. She has a good grasp on form, perspective, panel size and placement, and framing within those panels. I really like the muted color palate she’s working with. I found myself exploring the lines and textures of building interiors, and simple things in the background like foliage, ships, and towers.

    This series will be good for fans of Princeless, Locke & Key, BPRD, or Hawkeye‘s Kate Bishop. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

     	
Doctor Who comics at TFAW.com Doctor Who 4th Doctor #1
    By: Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby, Brian Williamson, Alice X Zhang

    Much like an episode of the TV show, Doctor Who 4th Doctor we catch up with The Doctor and Sarah Jane traveling the cosmos for entertainment. Of all places, they land in Victorian London. We’re introduced to the villain and plot is quickly established. Cyclops creatures kidnap Sarah Jane, and it’s up to The Doctor to save her.

    Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby do a good job of making the story feel like an episode of the TV show but playing to the strengths of the comic book medium. Brain Williamson’s depiction of both Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen is spot on.

    If you’re a fan of the Tom Baker years, Doctor Who 4th Doctor will be a great trip for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a new adventure with an unfamiliar Doctor, this will be a fun ride to take. Still can’t get over these awesome covers that Alice X. Zhang has been creating for the Doctor Who series — truly breathtaking. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Carnage #6
    By: Gerry Conway, Mike Perkins, Mike Del Mundo

    Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins perfectly create a very horrific scary movie feel to this series. In Carnage #6 we are given new scenery to kick off this new story arc.

    A 16-year-old girl named Jubulile, who is making a journey across the world. Well . . . until she bumps into an unexpected crash site. Her new passenger recovered from the scene frightens her, and makes her a little uneasy. Who could this be? Well Cletus Kasady, of course!

    He now has the Darkhold, a dead Elder God’s book of magical spells, which makes him that much stronger and crazier. This can only mean massive trouble for our Jubulile. Cletus gets angry, and turns into Carnage. She is now stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean with Carnage. What does she do? Read Carnage #6 to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

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

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  • New Comic Book Day — Reviews for MMPR #1, Green Lantern #50, Black Widow #1 & Predator #1

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    We’re back again with reviews of a few books that we really enjoyed from this week’s new releases. Check out our other New Comic Book Day blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment below or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you want us to do more of these types of reviews!

    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.

     	
Predator Life & Death comics at TFAW.com Predator: Life & Death #1
    By: Dan Abnett, Brian Thies, Rain Beredo, David Palumbo

    The next Predator/Alien/Prometheus event begins and stirs up some blood in Predator: Life & Death #1. This issue gives us a basic set we need. Where are they, why are they, and the hunt itself.

    Looks like the Wayland-Yutani Corp wants to start some more terraforming of planets but before they send their people down, they send the USMC to make sure there are no pirates already taking the planets resources (yeah, pirates–guess they learned from LV-426).

    It’s a good setup to what could be a fantastic Predator story. The pacing is good with strong characters. Brian Albert Thies’ art works very well, accompanied by Rain Beredo’s colors. I look forward to finding out more about this planet, its secrets, and why this mysterious ship is there. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Black Widow #1
    By: Chris Samnee, Mark Waid

    This is one of the best hooks for a series I have read in awhile. Black Widow #1 is packed with action and so many questions that you just have to read the rest of the series. I fell in love with the art and color scheme as how well it matches the tone of the first issue. Mark Waid is back at it again, and has ceased to disappoint me every series he creates.

    Natasha is not a character that will disappoint you in any way, shape or form. She plays by her rules, no matter what those might be. If you love espionage, action, and one of the best female spies in the Marvel universe, I highly recommend picking up this issue immediately! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

     	
Green Lantern #50 comic book review at TFAW.com Green Lantern #50
    By: Robert Venditti, Billy Tan, Juan Gimenez

    Everyone has differing ideas of when their life took a turn, and when they were their best version of themselves–able to overcome adversity despite the odds. This experience of inner conflict is regularly explored in the DCU. Hal Jordan faces himself at one of his lowest points in Green Lantern #50. This all happens because of the magic of the DC Multiverse and the return of Hal’s previous incarnation as Parallax.

    Hal has other plans and this Multiversal bleed appears to be leading him to some strange new Rebirth along with the rest of the DC Universe! If the rest of the DC titles begin to experience this change, shifting them towards something familiar yet new, the entire Rebirth initiative will be something quite tremendous to witness. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1
    By: Kyle Higgins, Hendry Prasetya, Matt Herms

    It’s been about two months since issue MMPR #0 first hit the shelves and after reading Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1, I can tell you that it’s still really good. Kyle Higgens does a great job developing the characters we grew up with in a way that feels the same as they ever were but, updated so that new readers won’t get lost in mythology.

    I really, really enjoy Hendry Prasetya’s character designs and Matt Herms’ colors. Even the small glimpse of a past foe was a really cool nod to the show. If you’re a Power Rangers fan–old or new–this is a great comic for you!

    PS: Be sure to pick up the MMPR #1 TFAW Exclusive Variant (pictured here); only 500 were produced, and they’re going fast! We teamed up with one of our Sean “Cheeks” Galloway (Hellboy Junior, WoW: Pandaria, Teen Titans Go, Wednesday Comics) for what we think is a pretty incredible cover. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

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

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  • New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Ms Marvel, Harrow County, The Flash & Jonesy

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    From new series to longtime and recent favorites, this week had a strong crop of new comics. We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. This is the fifth of our seven-part series of New Comic Book Day blog articles. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep as many spoilers under our hats as possible, but a nugget may sneak through to our reviews.

     	
Harrow County comics at TFAW.com Harrow County #9
    By: Cullen Bunn, Carla Speed McNeil, Tyler Crook

    This issue of Harrow County sees Eisner-winning creator Carla Speed McNeil (Finder, No Mercy) join the team for an issue that takes a pause from our story thus far to focus on one of my favorite characters, the Skinless Boy.

    You can see Bunn’s pacing himself in this issue, letting the story slowly unfold to reveal yet another piece of the puzzle. Even if you haven’t been following the series thus far, I recommend that you check out this issue–you won’t be disappointed. As far as art, I think Carla Speed McNeil was an inspired choice for this issue.

    While different from series artist Tyler Crook’s art, McNeil’s work is haunting in her own right. You can tell she’s been a fan of the series from the get-go, because it’s clear a lot of love went into each and every panel. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    The Flash #48
    By: Robert Venditti, Jesus Merino, Ivan Reis

    Barry Allen is brought in to a task force assembled by the Central City Police Department to bring in the Flash! As if that weren’t bad enough, the other members of the task force include the Rogues: Golden Glider, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, Trickster, and of course, Captain Cold.

    It’s going to be a hard time escaping the team that includes the alter-ego of the Fastest Man Alive. Luckily he is in a position to sabotage the efforts of his would-be captors. He’s going to need to think quickly on his feet, which wouldn’t normally seem like much of an issue for the Flash, if only he could keep traction to stay one step (or thousands) ahead. They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, but the creative team has been electrifying with this arc of The Flash. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Jonesy #1
    By: Sam Humphries, Caitlin Rose Boyle

    Jonesy seems like a typical teenage girl: She’s cute, lovable and we can all relate with her everyday struggles in high school. However, there is one little thing makes Jonesy unique from all the others . . . she’s got a wacky super power and a pet ferret!

    While dealing with the biggest event for high school, the dreaded Valentine’s Day grams, Jonesy starts to show her super-secret superpower throughout the school day. People start to catch on but she doesn’t care! She is taking charge and taking no nonsense from anybody in this issue but soon ends up finding her sole purpose is to teach her high school a lesson.

    I love how relatable and funny this issue is and it makes you wonder, what is she going to do? What’s her superpower? Well, Jumpin Jehosaphat! Better get to reading issue Jonesy #1! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

    Ms Marvel #4
    By: G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Cliff Chiang

    Life can be tough for a teenager: you have school work to get done on time, friends to keep up with, family to keep happy — and then there’s always being an Avenger. That seems to cut into all of the other time. In this issue of Ms. Marvel, Kamala has to find a way to balance her home life, school life, and trying to earn confidence from Captain America and Iron Man. No problem at all, right? Especially with some help from her friend Bruno and something he’s been working on in the science lab.

    Yet again, G. Willow Wilson continues to put her amazing and unique spin on an original character, and Nico Leon’s art adds incredible depth to the world of Ms. Marvel and everyone in it. You also read more of Ms. Marvel’s adventures in All-New All-Different Avengers, on shelves now. [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below! Be sure to share these posts on Facebook or Twitter if you want us to continue this series of posts. 🙂

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  • New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Spider-Woman, Hellboy Winter Special & Old Man Logan

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    I’ve been looking forward to this week awhile now. With the Hellboy Winter Special and Old Man Logan #1 dropping this week, we’ve had some pretty good reading at the TFAW offices and comic book shops. We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. This is the third of our seven-part series of New Comic Book Day blog articles.

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep as many spoilers under our hats as possible, but a nugget may sneak through to our reviews.

     	
Old Man Logan comics at TFAW.com Old Man Logan #1
    By: Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino

    The best description for Old Man Logan is if Marvel had a baby with Sin City. This story takes place right after the end of Marvel’s Secret Wars. With Jeff Lemire’s writing going hand in hand with Andrea Sorrentino’s art, you can definitely tell the dark tone this story gives off.

    Going through issue #1, you have just as many questions as Logan. What is happening? How is this happening? Where am I? Why did this happen?! Don’t worry true believers, your questions will be answered…on the last page. Old Man Logan is back and has found his one sole purpose in this Universe. Is it revenge? Is it Justice?! You’ll just have to read to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

    Hellboy Winter Special
    By: Mike Mignola, Tim Sale, Chris Roberson, Scott Allie, Chelsea Cain, Michael Avon Oeming, Michael Walsh, Dean Rankine, Dave Stewart

    I’ve been looking forward to the Hellboy Winter Special for some time now, and I’m happy to say that it does not disappoint. Tim Sale, folks. The living legend contributes the first of the four Mignolaverse vignettes contained in this issue. I fall in love with his art all over again all in a span of eight pages in Broken Vessels. Chris Roberson’s first ever Hellboy story, Wandering Souls, was incredible. I was captivated and am excited to see where he takes us in the months and years to come.

    Chelsea Cain & Michael Avon Oeming’s Mood Swings was a charming HB romp. Focusing on a young Liz Sherman and a bout of teenage attitude, this story put a huge grin on my face. Rounding out the issue was Dean Rankine’s fun Lobster Johnson short, Kung Pao Lobster. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Spider-Woman #3
    By: Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodríguez

    Spider-Woman isn’t your the typical superhero book since it features a very pregnant lead. The eight-month jump in time post-Secret Wars allows Hopeless to skip over the how’s and why’s of Jessica’s pregnancy. It creates a realistic sense of danger and drama for the characters but there’s a good bit of humor in the moms-to-be versus a horde of Skrulls.

    The art is the clincher for why I’ll come back. I loved Rodríguez’s stuff when he was on Daredevil, but he’s raised his game to another level. The splash pages depicting Spider Woman’s route through the space hospital are fantastic and brought to mind the trippy epicness of Jim Steranko with a definite splash of Kirby. The Kirby influence is especially strong on his depictions of the Skrulls.

    A great combo of art and story, drama and humor, with guest stars and on-point characterization, this book has me sold on coming back for more. [Dustin M. at Universal TFAW]

    Cry Havoc #1
    By: Simon Spurrier, Ryan Kelly

    Cry Havoc had me sold at “lesbian werewolves” and thankfully the contents didn’t disappoint. The moment I opened the comic I was blown away by the art and had a vast appreciation for the change in art direction throughout the comic. The changes really bring you into the moment and make for a very immersive world. One moment I feel like I’m reading Jem and the Holograms with heavy saturation and bold color choices before being transported into the world of The Walking Dead with a muted color palate to accompany the somber mood of the scene.

    This first issue is all about getting our story set up and developing our world. The refreshing and unique take on the supernatural is something I cannot wait to dive further into. It’s all well and good for every werewolf story to have common themes but I have a feeling these werewolves will be unlike anything we’ve seen in mainstream media. This comic has easily left an impression on me and I look forward to seeing this world and its characters develop further. [Megan W. at Universal TFAW]

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

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  • Comic Book Fans Crown the Best Comic of 2015

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    Over the last few weeks, we highlighted some of the best selling, most talked about series of the year for our Best Comics of 2015 posts. During a week-long voting period, fans got to weigh in and choose their favorite and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Archie vs. Predator Wins as Best Comic of 2015 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics at TFAW.com

    Congratulations to Alex de Campi, Fernando Ruiz, Rich Koslowski, Jason Millet, John Workman and the rest of the team who put in long hours to bring us such a fun series to read.

    Thank you to everyone who voted, we couldn’t have crowned the winner without you!

    If you haven’t picked up your copy of the Archie Vs. Predator HC yet, or picked up the individual issues and are looking for a really great collection to add to your book shelf, we’ve got you covered!

    ORDER YOUR COPY OF ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR TODAY
    SEE OTHER BOOKS THAT MADE IT TO OUR BEST COMICS OF 2015 LISTS

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