Tag: Dark Horse Comics

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  • Frank Castle Takes Down a Drug Ring in Punisher #5

    NCBD featuring Punisher, Cyborg, Trinity and Aliens

    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.

    Aliens comics at TFAW.com

    Aliens: Life & Death #1
    By: Dan Abnett, Moritat, Rain Beredo, David Palumbo

    The Aliens comic book series joins the Life and Death crossover story in the shared Aliens/Predator/Prometheus universe. While we’re coming in later in the story, Aliens: Life and Death #1 doesn’t make a new reader feel like they’re late to the game. Sure, this issue drops us in the thick of the action, but isn’t that where you want to be when you’re reading a crossover? I would say yes.

    Dan Abnett’s story shines here — the pacing sucks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat as the action unfolds before you. If you’re a fan of the Aliens films, underdog stories, or bloody action and gore, this story is for you! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Trinity comics at TFAW.com

    Trinity #1
    By: Francis Manapul, Clay Mann

    Since the launch of DC’s Rebirth, a question that’s been on everyone’s mind is how the original Superman is going to fit into a world that’s not his own, and how will he interact with a Batman and Wonder Woman that were a friend and lover to their world’s now fallen Superman.

    To force the confrontation of this question, Lois invites Batman and Wonder Woman over for dinner to Superman’s surprise. What unfolds is a rekindling of friendships that never really existed as each character reminisces on things that the other has no recollection of. What we get from this is an acknowledgment that no matter what reality each character came from, at their core they’re still the same person.

    Where I think most writers would try to bring these characters back together with conflict, Francis Manapul brings them together like people, solidifying the mission statement of the Rebirth movement, that it’s about legacy, not reinvention. Combine his writing with expert art, what we get is a book that I think will be one of the key titles to follow over the coming months as the big picture of this world develops. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE NEW TRINITY SERIES TODAY!
    SEE OTHER REBIRTH ISSUES

    Cyborg comics at TFAW.com

    Cyborg #1
    By: John Semper Jr., Will Conrad

    Within Cyborg #1 we get a quick glance at what may be our main villain, an unnamed assailant that looks like a failed attempt at Cyborg. Our hero is doing what he does best, stopping Detroit’s worst from committing crimes. Afterward, his father makes him go through tedious diagnostic tests to make sure everything is working properly. While not coming out with his anger we can tell that something is wrong with Cyborg, emotionally. We find out that he his questioning his humanity and whether he has a soul. The fact that his father is struggling with these same existential questions adds a healthy dose of family drama.

    John Semper Jr. does a great job getting us up to speed with the character, who he is, his environment and how he works within it. The storyline is an old one, but one that is never tired of being explored — Am I Human?.

    Artists Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos, Scott Hanna, and Guy Major give this issue a greatly detailed issue that harkens back to the standards of superhero comics. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    LEARN MORE ABOUT CYBORG BEFORE HIS BIG SCREEN DEBUT

    Punisher comics at TFAW.com

    Punisher #5
    By: Becky Cloonan, Steve Dillon, Frank Martin
    Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire

    Becky Cloonan’s Punisher story has been intense. Frank is out to take down a drug ring being run by a mercenary outfit called Condor. He’s run into people from his past, had a run-in with a couple of D.E.A. Agents, and now it’s time for him to get to do what he does best — Punish wrongdoers.

    The Punisher #5 is a strong issue. Cloonan packs the book with some fantastic (read: violent) moments, and Steve Dillon has a chance to be realy expressive. You can see the psycho behind the eyes of the issue’s main protagonist, Face. Colorist Frank Martin knocks it out of the park — identifying light sources to inform shading, including little things like textures on walls and floors, and his use of the rich red hues from blood. I’m a fan.

    With all of the action and major revelations this issue brings, I’m SUPER excited to see where team Punisher takes us next. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    CHECK OUT EVEN MORE PUNISHER PRODUCTS

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

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  • The Legend of Zelda Lives On

    lozot

    Like many Millennials who grew up with video games, I really love The Legend of Zelda. I’ve played almost all of the games and there are not one, but two Link Nendoroid figures holding court in my living room at this very moment. I even have a Wind Waker-era Link tattooed on my arm—and I’m planning on more Zelda-themed ink in the future.

    Link from Wind Waker tattoo The story that Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka released in 1986 has grown into something I’m sure they never could have imagined it becoming. The first game was a simple fantasy about a boy named Link, a courageous Hylian, who is tasked with saving Princess Zelda. Her kingdom in the land of Hyrule has been plunged into chaos because of the evil Ganon, who invaded her lands and stole the Triforce of Power, a piece of an ancient magical artifact. In order to beat Ganon and regain order and peace, Link must undergo many trials, battles, and adventures.
    Legend of Zelda Concept Art

    Zelda Toys & Statues

    Of course, The Legend of Zelda truly is a legend now: now in its 30th year, the universe has expanded to encompass 18 video games (not counting spin-offs), an animated TV series, music (including its own original symphony), clothing, and beautiful collectibles like the Twilight Princess Link and Ganondorf statues from Dark Horse, or the incredibly sculpted Skyward Sword Link figure. For those of us who still like to play with our toys, the Nendoroid figures come with lots of different accessories, including weapons, masks, fairies, and more, which can be set in tons of different action poses.

    Zelda Comics & Art Books

    And, of course, there are countless print adaptations. There are Zelda original graphic novels, manga series that correspond with almost every video game, novels, game books, and official companion books devoted to the art, characters, and details of the games.

    In 2013, Dark Horse Comics published the international edition of The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, which was a runaway success. It was so popular that it took the number one spot on Amazon’s sales charts away from 50 Shades of Grey! It’s an amazing collection of everything you could want to know about the series, all wrapped up in a beautiful hardcover edition fit for any library. It’s full of concept art, a complete history of Hyrule, an official game chronology, and an exclusive prequel comic. This was like a crown jewel in the series’ publishing history.

    The Legend of Zelda: Art and Artifacts cover Hyrule Historia was practically an instant classic, and that’s why Dark Horse is following it up with The Legend of Zelda: Art and Artifacts in 2017. Art and Artifacts will contain over 400 pages of rare promo art, illustrations from the games, official character designs, interviews with the artists, and more.

    But 2017 still feels like a long ways away! So to tide us over until then, we can look forward to November 2, when The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time. This book is going to be AMAZING. Ocarina of Time is often referred to as a fan-favorite installment of the Zelda series, and for good reason: its memorable music, exciting action, thought-provoking puzzles, and beautiful design make it a game that holds up to our cherished memories of it. Its manga series has been equally revered, and this deluxe edition will do justice to the beloved story.
    The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time cover
    In the upcoming Ocarina of Time graphic novel, Link has to undergo a long and dangerous quest in order to find the spiritual stones that hold the key to the Triforce. Then he has to deliver them to Princess Zelda and defeat the Great King of Evil himself: Ganondorf. The stakes couldn’t be higher, because whoever controls the Triforce could easily rule the world!

    This Legendary Edition kicks off a new series of 2-in-1 releases of the 10-volume fantasy adventure. In this one, parts 1 and 2 will be contained in an oversized format, and they will feature new covers and artwork by renowned manga series creator Akira Himekawa.

    Beth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director for Perfect Square, says “The Legend of Zelda is an unforgettable and tremendously loved property among multiple generations of video games, pop culture, and manga fans. We are very excited to bring fans The Legend of Zelda in a comprehensive new way with these collectible omnibus editions.”

    Don’t miss out on this fantastic edition of the best Zelda story ever The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time! It will be out just in time for the holidays, so preorder it now and save 30% for yourself and for everyone you know who loves video games, engaging fantasy worlds, and thrilling adventure!

    SEE BEST-SELLING ZELDA PRODUCTS AT TFAW

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  • Review: Aliens: Defiance #2 – Getting the Job Done

    Review of Aliens Defiance #2

    Aliens Defiance #2 CoverIn Aliens: Defiance, Episode One: Derelict, Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks finds herself aboard a ship full of Weyland-Yutani combat androids headed toward an apparently abandoned hauler adrift in space. Her mission is to enter a code into the ship’s computer and transfer the flight recorder data to Tranquility Base: Luna. That will transfer salvage rights to Weyland-Yutani.

    Once aboard the ship, she and the synthetic soldiers discover Xenomorph infestation. Hendricks later learns from one of the synthetics, designated Davis-01, that Weyland-Yutani was fully aware of the Xenomorphs aboard the hauler. Weyland-Yutani had applied for the salvage in order to capture the creatures, weaponize them, and bring them to Earth. Davis-01 is an apparent anomaly among Weyland-Yutani synthetics who has willfully rejected his programming in favor of independent thought.

    In Aliens: Defiance, Episode 2: Kinetic, the Davises (all the synthetics are named Davis) are AWOL and have put down any synthetics who refused to go along with the new plan, to locate and destroy any remaining Xenomorphs. This puts our protagonist in the awkward and deadly situation where she must either also defy orders and go AWOL, or potentially be executed by this band of rogue androids. Zula feels like she may be able to trust Davis-01, but the other security drones have noticed the braces on her back and legs and see her as a liability. This just adds to the already palpable tension of the situation.

    The ship arrives at LV-44-40, a deep space science station that hasn’t sent any data transmissions for 7 hours. Upon approach, the crew learns that all automated systems on the station are down, but there is a large heat signature coming from one the storage bays. PFC Hendricks and Davis-01 will have to board the craft to see if the signature is coming from survivors or Xenomorphs.

    I continue to be impressed with this outstanding series. I love that Brian Wood cast aside the obvious angle, a shoot ‘em up gore fest devoid of much story, in favor of giving us real depth and character development. There is a great balance of suspense, action, and horror. The art by Tristan Jones is fantastic as usual, and Dan Jackson’s color talents bring it home.

    Aliens: Defiance #2, released May 25, 2016, script by Brian Wood, art by Tristan Jones, colors by Dan Jackson, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot, cover by Massimo Carnevale, $3.59

    Review by Brendan Allen

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  • A Total Eclipse of New Comic Book Day

    NCBD reviews featuring Cyborg, Eclipse, Daredevil and Rise of the Black Flame

    New Comic Book Day Eclipse’s us with great books. From Cyborg, and his origins to Daredevil keeping the peace in Hell’s Kitchen. Remember these are just a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. 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.

    Cyborg comics at TFAW.com

    Cyborg Rebirth #1
    By: John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier, Will Conrad

    John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier and Will Conrad’s Cyborg Rebirth #1 hits its mark as a fresh start for readers interested in the titular hero – before he hit’s the big screen in Justice League next summer.

    The first part of the comic gives a guided tour of Victor Stone’s life – leading up to becoming the cybernetic superhero – mixed with a present day brawl with an unknown robotic monstrosity. These battle scenes keep the energy going throughout the book and find time to mix in some fun superhero/villain banter: “I’ve never met data that wasn’t capable of being crunched.” Once the backstory segment is finished, Cyborg comes to a startling realization about his father and his own existence.

    We’re given new questions that’ll frame the next part of Cyborg’s journey. What kind of being is he? Is he a man with a few mechanical parts? Or is he a machine imitating a human? And what does our mysterious narrator want with him?

    FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH CYBORG TODAY [Timothy S. at TFAW.com]

    Eclipse comics at TFAW.com

    Eclipse #1
    By: Zack Kaplan, Giovanni Timpano, Betsy Gonia,
    Chrois Northrop, Troy Peteri

    Science Fiction mixed with murder. Someone is out in the day, killing people and David Baxter will have to figure it out – before he becomes a victim.

    What if solar flares caused us to live underground, away from the sun. Could we survive? Eclipse from newcomers Zack Kaplan and Giovanni Timpano give us a glimpse into what the world would look like if that was the case.

    Kaplan does a good job setting up this world quickly, so we can get right into the main plot. On a routine daylight patrol, a body is found and it isn’t there by accident. Eclipse has promise to become a very entertaining and grim look at a post-apocalyptic world that we really haven’t seen before.

    SEE ECLIPSE ISSUES AT TFAW [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Daredevil comics at TFAW.com

    Daredevil #11
    By: Charles Soule, Ron Garney, Matt Milla

    Dark Art continues as a piece of “art” has been found. Made with over 100 people’s blood, the person who found it wants to make money off of it – this is New York City after all. Our heroe’s everyday persona Matt Murdock as D.A. is asked to make sure that the show doesn’t go on.

    Before the “blood mural” can be shown a new piece is found–this time involving Inhumans. Luckily, Daredevil is en route to let this new assailant know how much he loves his work.

    Charles Soule continues to unravel this new world Matt Murdock has come back to after his move to San Fransico. Along with Artist Ron Garney, and colorist Matt Milla, this Hell’s Kitchen has gotten a lot darker. This story reminds me of the environment during Shadowland.

    DISCOVER EVEN MORE DAREDEVIL TODAY [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Rise of the Black Flame comics at TFAW.com

    Rise of the Black Flame #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Christopher Mitten, Dave Stewart, Laurence Campbell

    Here’s the setup for Rise of the Black Flame: Young girls are disappearing from the British colonized cities of Burma. The trail will lead a group of international adventurers deep into the jungle, to an ancient evil power, wielded by the bloodthirsty Cult of the Black Flame…

    The story starts off with an abduction of a young “English-born” girl. Two local police officers, the seasoned Sergeant McAllister and a young man named Sandhu, have pledged to track down the abductors.

    Their investigation takes them from Rangoon to Bangkok where the two encounter monster hunter/ghost chaser Sarah Jewell and Marie Therese Lafleur. McAllister has encountered Jewell before, and believes they are in search of the same people, so the four band together to enter the jungle for the search for the Temple of the Black Flame.

    This is a really intriguing story that’s captured my attention in a big way. Fans of the B.P.R.D. will get the most enjoyment out of Rise of the Black Flame #1, but the issue also serves as a great entry point and will undoubtedly lead newcomers down a journey that will be only be sated by continuing down the rabbit hole that is the Mignolaverse.

    ORDER THE FIRST THREE RISE OF THE BLACK FLAME ISSUES NOW [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

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

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  • Review: Predator Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens #1 – The Mega-Crossover

    Review of Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #1

    predator vs judge dredd vs alien #1We’ve seen Judge Dredd take on a Predator before. We’ve seen him take on Aliens before. Well, the ante has officially been upped. Welcome to a sci-fi geek’s wet dream: It’s Predators Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens!

    The stage for this epic showdown is set far from the walls of Mega-City One—Alabama, to be precise (and if you thought Alabama was weird now, try the dystopian future…). Dredd and his posse of Judges are motoring across the Cursed Earth wasteland in pursuit of a robotic messiah and his fanatical followers who left half a city block in ruins. After stopping at a shady desert saloon for a quick skirmish, the Judges’ chase takes them into a zone where the locals dare not tread: the Alabama Morass.

    The Morass happens to be the territory of a gang of animal-headed mutants, led by their creator, Dr. Reinstot—a sort of backwoods Dr. Moreau, if you will. Earlier in the episode, Dr. Reinstot’s cronies had captured a Predator who was trespassing on their turf. Always looking for fresh bodies on which to perform his gene-splicing experiments, Dr. Reinstot is particularly excited about this new specimen, for whom he has some special plans.

    As the Judge convoy speeds through the swampy jungle, they are unaware that their presence is being monitored by Dr. Reinstot, who is keen on adding these intruders to his experimental queue. However, right about that same time, another group of trespassers arrives. Turns out Reinstot’s prisoner left behind some sort of homing beacon before being captured—and you’ll never guess who’s coming to the party.

    With John Layman (Chew) on the script and Chris Mooneyham (Five Ghosts) on pencils, the series is in more than capable creative hands. Not to mention dutiful: If the first issue is any indication, fans of the representative franchises can rest assured of the characters being treated with the utmost reverence. And though we haven’t seen an Alien yet, we’re sure as hell going to, so strap in and get ready for a gruddamn good ‘n’ gory time!

    Predator Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens #1, Dark Horse/IDW Comics, Released July 27, 2016, Written by John Layman, Art by Chris Mooneyham, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Letters by Michael Heisler, $3.99.

    Review by James Florence.

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  • Review: Aliens: Defiance #1 — Suck It Up, Soldier!

    Review of Aliens: Defiance #1

    aliens: defiance #1Private First Class Zula Hendricks thinks she is aboard a ship full of Weyland-Yutani Corporate Security Drones (combat synthetics) solely as a mater of protocol. Weyland-Yutani has claimed salvage rights to a mass hauler adrift in space with no functioning transponder or communication. Because of the ship’s location, a Colonial Marine must board the craft with Weyland-Yutani’s androids to enter a code and transfer the craft’s flight recorder data.

    In the first pages of Aliens: Defiance, Episode 1: Derelict, we see that PFC Hendricks was severely wounded in the line of duty and required intensive reconstructive surgery to her spine, nanotherapy, and rehab to be able to even walk. The fact that she is still serving on active duty is a testament to her grit and determination. This mission is the Colonial Marines’ version of light duty until she makes a full recovery.

    The story sets up in much the way you would expect: Upon boarding the hauler, Zula discovers the ship isn’t completely devoid of life. There are no live humans aboard. There are…wait for it…Xenomorphs! As formulaic as this sounds for the franchise, with Weyland-Yutani wanting to capture and weaponize Xenomorphs and sending an unwitting crew into almost certain demise, there’s actually a very interesting and unexpected twist that sets this series apart from its predecessors.

    Brian Wood gives us honest, whole characters that make sense. PFC Zula Hendricks comes across as a very proud and determined soldier who is reticent to show any weakness at all, making her all the more determined during her lengthy recovery period. Synthetic Davis shows a range of emotion and actions that are wholly unexpected from a Weyland-Yutani synthetic.

    The art by Tristan Jones is remarkable. The set pieces are tight and claustrophobic when the crew is battling Xenomorphs, and the reader is reminded that there really is nowhere to run in open space. A hole in a suit or a crack in a helmet can be a death sentence.

    Dan Jackson gives us great filters of light and dark. The scenes on board Colonial and Weyland-Yutani ships are light, well lit, airy. The scenes aboard the doomed hauler are dark, spooky, lit in reds and yellows. I don’t think colorists get nearly enough credit for their contributions to great comics, but at least half of the setting is the color. If it isn’t right, there’s nothing scary about the best written script or the most brilliantly drawn panel.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first chapter of this twelve part series. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Aliens: Defiance, Episode 2: Kinetic.

    Aliens: Defiance #1, Dark Horse Comics, released April 27, 2016, script by Brian Wood, art by Tristan Jones, colors by Dan Jackson, lettering by Nate Piekos of Blambot, cover by Massimo Carnivale, 30th Anniversary variant cover art by Mark A. Nelson, $3.59

    Review by Brendan Allen.

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  • Beyond Burnside continues, Captain Marvel is torn, we get introduced to a new western comic Kingsway West, Deadstroke goes on a mission through time, and we wipe our noses with Snotgirl.

    NCBD reviews for August 24th 2016

    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.

    Batgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Batgirl #2
    By: Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque

    Beyond Burnside continues as Batgirl tries to decode the cryptic words in the last issue from the mysterious Fruit Bat. Barbara’s path leads to train in mixed martial arts in an attempt to get over her past. As she takes a beating in the ring, things start heating up between her and Kai, which might be a little more than she, and Kai can handle. What Babs quickly discovers is that even her years of training and experience still can’t prepare her for what’s next.

    Hope Larson delivers another issue that balances the brains and determination Batgirl is known for, with the melodrama that makes her such a great character for all ages. Rafael Albuquerque’s art does a great job balancing each scene by being wide and dynamic during fights, but soft and fun during personal moments. Batgirl brilliantly separates itself nicely from the Earth-saving feats in the other Rebirth titles in exchange for a personal and relatable journey. If you’re looking for a fun story with a resourceful character, Batgirl #2 will treat you well! [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Captain Marvel #8
    By: Ruth Fletcher Gage, Christos Gage, Kris Anka, Andy Owens, Matt Wilson

    Carol Danvers is torn. She wholeheartedly believes that the predictive justice movement is saving lives, but she’s being questioned (by virtually everyone) at every turn. She remains committed to the cause, but the pressure is starting to get to her and the seeds of uncertainty are starting to get to her. This issue of Captain Marvel dovetails in very well with the events that have been unfolding in the pages of Civil War II as Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage prove a strong grasp of Danvers’ motivations.

    You can really feel that we’re getting dangerously close to a boiling point (as if the events in Civil War II #3 hadn’t heated things up enough), and the events that unfold in this issue only add more uncertainty for Carol and the crew. Captain Marvel #8 has some great character moments with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. Looking forward to next issue! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Kingsway West #1
    By: Greg Pak, Mirko Colak, Wil Quinta

    Greg Pak’s latest book opens with an alternate look at the United States. With the West Coast being divided mainly between Mexico and the Chinese. We’re given a bit of information in this world. Where Magic and Monsters exist alongside something called Red Gold – a mystical mineral that lives underneath the surface of the earth much like salt and gold.

    We’re introduced to our protagonist – in the same way most westerns start out – a mysterious man who is being hunted and has his hand forced into doing something he doesn’t want to do. The first issue jumps ahead several years in different spots, which isn’t a problem when setting up the environment of the story. Kingsway West #1 has the promise to be an excellent Western with magic/mystic influence. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Deathstroke comics at TFAW.com

    Deathstroke #1
    By: Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan

    This issue is great for old and new readers of the famous Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. Writer Christopher Priest makes sure to bring every angle of Deathstroke’s personality through time and captivate our interest of what the heck is going on! It seems that Slade’s partner, WinterGreen is stuck in a time loop and the president’s life is in danger. This problem has Deathstroke’s name written all over it, but where is he?! With a mix of action and snarky humor, this is a great start to the new Deathstroke series. [Darcey M. at Univseral Citywalk TFAW]

    Snotgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Snotgirl #2
    By: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung

    Lottie is a very self-obsessive person and Bryan Lee O’Malley does and excellent job showcasing that. He writes her in a way that reads as if we are reading one of her blogs – she writes her blog exactly how she thinks.

    In this second issue, we get a little more information on what is going on in Lottie’s life, from her boyfriend status to what the heck is going on with her stalker?!

    Leslie Hung again does a fantastic job with the art of this book. I really enjoy the sense of style she brings to this series. If you are missing the humor that Bryan Lee O’Malley delivers in books like like Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, then this is a series you should be reading. It’s not all about selfish fashion bloggers, she’s got bigger problems than that. Snotgirl #2 keeps the narrative running even if you try and wipe it away.
    [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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  • NCBD: Supergirl and the Suicide Squad Join DC’s Rebirth

    New Comic Book Day 8/17/16

    This week brought a strong group of comics. For New Comic Book Day, we continue catch up with The Punisher and Daredevil as a conflict comes to a head, jump into the new Suicide Squad series, continue reading Jeff Lemire’s incredible Black Hammer series, and check out Supergirl’s Rebirth. Remember, these are only a few of this week’s new releases be sure to check the TFAW website to see even more. We’d love to know what you think of these books too!

    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.

    Black Hammer comics at TFAW.com

    Black Hammer #16

    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

    We last left Black Hammer with the whole team meeting up to reminisce their past lives with the hero (and their leader): the amazing Black Hammer.

    In this new issue we get to see a glimpse into the background of Gail Gibbons, aka Golden Gail, wherein she was given the gifts of the gods to fight to keep the world safe — or is it a curse? Now Gail, stuck in the body of a nine-year-old, is just trying so hard to get back the powers that she once felt burdened with. We also get to see Walky Talky and The Barbalien trying to get a probe outside the boundaries of the small town that they are trapped in. Also, we get to see a clash with one of their old foes, Doctor Sherlock Frankenstein (best name ever!).

    How will this “family” deal with all the troubles of trying to fit into the small town they’re stuck in, and what steps will they take to find their way home? Are they even in their universe, or are they in a pocket dimension? Could this be an elaborate trap by a villain from their past?

    All that, plus we still don’t know the full story of Black Hammer’s fate. I’m really looking forward to learning more in the next issue of Black Hammer. [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    Daredevil Punisher #4

    By: Charles Soule, Szymon Kudranski, Jim Charalampidis, Clayton Cowles

    Daredevil Punisher #4 completes the “Seventh Circle” story, and it’s been a great ride. DD and Punisher have worked together in the past, but they’re at odds this time over a gangster named Sergey Antonov. D.A. Matt Murdock is transferring Antonov to Texas so he can get a fair trial, but Frank Castle thinks he needs to be punished for his crimes.

    Soule wraps up the Daredevil Punisher miniseries in spectacular form, but I won’t tell you how this one ends, folks. What I will say is that it’s really great seeing how far both Daredevil and Punisher will take things, given their conflicting convictions. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Suicide Squad comics at TFAW.com

    Suicide Squad #1

    By: Rob Williams, Jim Lee

    For anyone who wants to learn more about Suicide Squad after the wonderfully fun movie, you should definitely grab a copy of Suicide Squad #1! The story starts off with Amanda Waller’s inner monologue discussing why she assembled the Suicide Squad — she believes that bad can do good, and she’s . . . well . . . somewhat right!

    The group is sent to retract a cosmic cube in space, and as the group battles motion sickness, Williams provides a flashback of how Deadshot landed right into Amanda Waller’s Task Force X. It’s a great first issue, and I can’t wait to see where this one goes. Pick this issue up before it sells out! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    Supergirl Rebirth #1 by Steve Orlando at TFAW.com

    Supergirl Rebirth #1

    By: Steve Orlando, Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, Michael Atiyeh

    Supergirl Rebirth serves as a slingshot for those unfamiliar with Supergirl’s past and her place in the DC Universe. The issue starts with a flashback that establishes a potential threat (or possibly ally).

    In the new status quo that is the DC Rebirth, Supergirl only recently crash landed on Earth (like, a few months ago recent), and the D.E.O. is trying to make sure she becomes a hero like her cousin, Kal-El. They’ve assigned full-time handlers Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers to show her the ways of this planet and act as “parents” to her alter ego, Kara Danvers.

    I anticipate good things from writer Steve Orlando; we’re already seeing strong elements of a family drama for this series and I’m excited to see how Kara adapts to Earth and comes to understand our ways.

    Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy are already a good pair, and I’m excited to see how they will continue to come together as a team. Their art is similar to that of Terry and Rachel Dodson, and I couldn’t think of higher praise than that. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

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

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  • NCBD gets scarred, beaten and saved with Black Monday Murders, Harrow County, Batman and Spider-Man

    NCBD review for Aug 10 2016

    This week for New Comic Book Day, Batman and Two-Face take a road trip, we learn about a cult that crashed the stock market, Harrow County’s Emmy finds out she has more family than she knew of, and Dead No More starts to unravel. As always these were only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. 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.

    Amazing Spider-Man comics at TFAW.com

    Amazing Spider-Man #16
    By: Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Alex Ross

    As Dead No More gears up, Amazing Spider-Man #16 lays the groundwork for what could be a pivotal moment in the Parker story. Jameson Sr. lays in a hospital bed with a genetic unknown disease. A scientist from NEW U tells the Parker and Jameson family that there is a new procedure that could work. Jay Jr. is hesitant but Peter wants to try. As Peter goes over NEW U’s research, an explosion pulls Spider-Man to a Parker Industries Plant. Spider-Man saves the day, or so it seems.

    Dan Slott has been doing an excellent job in his Amazing Spider-Man run – along with Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Marte Gracia this issue has a John Romita Sr. style that is very welcoming. As the first issue to captivate us for Dead No More, Amazing Spider-man #16 is a great start!
    [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    All-Star Batman comics at TFAW.com

    All-Star Batman #1
    By: Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr

    In this tale, which I like to consider “Gotham by Midnight (Run),” Batman is taking Two-Face on a road trip in an effort to permanently remove the fractured personality of Harvey Dent. Two-Face, on the acid-scarred hand, has other plans. Which he sets into motion offering to release all the blackmail material gained on everyone in Gotham over the years. Some surprises reveal that this dirt the Deacon of Duality has runs deep and no one is safe.

    The coloring by Dean White in this issue really adds texture and depth to the art, and Snyder’s pacing is as methodical as always. The backup story in this issue is even more compelling to me though. Having Duke (from the excellent We Are Robin) stepping into his new role training with Batman for what appears to be more of an ally than a sidekick role this time around. They set the boundary that he is not going to be Robin, but something else entirely. While also laying out the various training styles and how they resonated differently with each of Batman’s former sidekicks with color coding. Very interesting stuff that enriches the iconic Batman mythology even further.

    All-Star Batman looks to be an exciting new series from Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr, and Dead White. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Black Monday Murders #1
    By: Jonathan Hickman, Tomm Coker

    What if I told you that you could be rich but, you’ll pay in blood. Money, Power, and Magic – it’s all one in the same in The Black Monday Murders.

    Johnathan Hickman’s newest series tells a tale of altered history, where Black Tuesday (the stock market crash of 1929), was set in play because of a debt. We as a whole owed someone or something and it was time to pay. We get jumped into the present as we see a detective getting a new case that’s one of his…

    As a first issue, this really pulls you in giving you a lot of backstory and insight to this world. There are internet forum posts, history book pages, and company/family tree’s added into this oversized issue. It gives just enough information to keep you intrigued.

    I always love Tomm Coker’s art and this series is no exception. Tomm draws out panels and frames them like a cinematographer. It’s amazing.

    The Black Monday Murders is a highly recommended series for those looking for an alt-history series that dabbles in black magic and crime noir. [Sean W. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Harrow County comics at TFAW.com

    Harrow County #15
    By: Cullen Bunn, Tyler Crook

    One of the best horror comics being published today – Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County – continues to weave this terror of magic, resurrection, and fate. In issue #15, Emmy is given a deeper look at her “family.” Given a choice that will not only affect her but her home as well.

    Crook does it again with his beautiful watercolor pages. Even if you don’t care for horror, his landscapes of Harrow County are just gorgeous to look at. Cullen Bunn also has this magnificent way of crafting his story to get you to come back month after month.

    There is a reason Harrow County was nominated for Best New Series at the 2016 Eisner’s and won Best Ongoing Title at the Ghastly awards in 2015. If you haven’t been reading this series, now is a fantastic time as the Syfy channel is adapting it for a series. Pick up Harrow County you won’t be disappointed! [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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  • Review: Baltimore – The Curse Bells

    Review: Baltimore - The Curse Bells

    baltimore the curse bellsWorld War I has ended abruptly and everyone’s attention is now on the plague that’s devastated the world’s population. Worse, not only are some of the dead coming back to life, but vampires have shown up throughout Europe too, including the king of the vampires, Haigus. His nemesis is Lord Baltimore, a soldier who plods through the ravaged landscape, sworn to revenge Haigus killing his family and brutalizing his wife. The Baltimore series follows his adventures, and The Curse Bells offers some new characters and a dark twist to the tale.

    Baltimore has a new associate in this story arc, Boston Globe reporter Simon Hodge. Actually, he’s not part of the Globe any more: he started filing stories about the vampire problem and was promptly fired from the newspaper. He’s fearless, if a bit clueless, and travels with Baltimore as they encounter a cursed monastery where the nuns have been turned towards evil.

    Peeking in the window, they see an abomination poised to occur, a horrible scene led by someone we can only assume is a warlock. Who is he? What’s his story, and what the deuce is going on? There’s a witch called Blavatsky who’s central to the story (though she doesn’t show up until the latter half of the tale) and when the warlock requests a favor from her in return for him bringing her back to life, she agrees. And that favor ties into the carillon bells in the monastery, a favor so ghastly that it’ll be a great tragedy if they’re rung.

    Baltimore isn’t without other enemies, either, and readers of the series won’t be surprised when Inquisition judge André Duvic shows up to do God’s work and try to purge sinners of their evil in ways that are too graphic to even portray in the story. Baltimore’s quest is to find and kill Haigus. Duvic’s quest is to find and “cleanse” Baltimore. And the chase continues.

    baltimore the curse bells, detail

    Interestingly, Haigus is not actually in control of the monastery nor of the warlock, so when Baltimore encounters him, old hatred simmers while he tries to figure out the best way forward. Kill Haigus or stop the warlock and Blavatsky from completing their curse? There are no easy answers in the world of Lord Baltimore, but there is a great style that’s kept throughout the tale, including some remarkably chilling illustrations, and a powerful hero’s journey though a dark world that keeps the series moving forward, series after series.

    Baltimore: The Curse Bells, written by Mike Mignola, art by Christopher Golden, lettering by Ben Stenbeck. Published by Dark Horse Comics, published May 2012.

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  • Review: Wandering Island

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    wandering island vol 1Spunky loner Mikura runs Mikura Air Service, a parcel and package delivery service in the outer Japanese islands due south of Tokyo, a business she inherited from her much beloved grandfather. When she’s not flying, she’s wandering the harbor cities or trying to figure out the myths around the mysterious Is. Electriciteit, the Electric Island. The Wandering Island.

    But how can an island move around, visible one day and gone for months after? Did Grandpa really visit the island, are the sightings in his journals real, or is it all just a tall tale parents used to keep their young children in line?

    Most mysteriously, there are entries in Grandpa’s journal that post date his death!

    The mystery pulls young Mikura out of her usual habits and Mikura Air Service suffers a drop in business as she spends more and more time investigating and searching. Soon she’s forgotten to pay her power bills and with only the companionship of her cat, she’s rummaging through mountains of paperwork and keepsakes from Grandpa in the house she inherited from him.

    And it’s there that she finds… well, no spoilers!

    A classic Japanese manga tale, Wandering Island is delightful reading, right-to-left, a curious mystery and adventure tale with a strong, smart heroine who ignores local customs and does her darndest to get to the bottom of things. Be warned that this is only part 1, however, because the story definitely ends with another mystery, not a neat resolution!

    There’s also a great postscript by editor Carl Gustav Horn chock full of information about Mikura’s plane (a terrific old Fairey Swordfish from WWII) and the outer Japanese islands (some of which have a population numbered in the low hundreds), along with a background on writer and illustrator Kenji Tsuruta.

    Wandering Island, Vol. 1, written and illustrated by Kenji Tsuruta, published by Dark Horse Books, July 13, 2016.

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  • Review: Dept. H #4

    Review - Dept H #4

    Dept H #4When last we left Mia [see Dept. H #3] she’d been rescued from the deep and brought back into the research vessel, but her brother Raj had been abandoned, six miles under the surface of the ocean and with less than an hour of oxygen left. Dept. H #4 picks up the story with her attempts to convince someone else to join her in heading out and trying to find and rescue Raj before he runs out of oxygen and dies.

    But no-one is particularly interested, and while you’d expect their attention would be on the poor state of repair of the research facility itself, in fact the crew seem to mostly be sitting around, desultory and unmotivated to do much of anything. Deep sea ennui? Maybe. Fortunately Mia gets two of the crew to join her in the search, though it’s quite possible they’re more motivated by heading to the cave where the original power generated is located: If they can get that online, they can last weeks, possibly months, longer without peril. And if they find Raj along the way, that’s just a nice bonus.

    The cave has its secrets, however, and there’s also a lot of backstory in this issue, including how Roger lost his legs and no installment would be complete without Mia having some of her eidetic flashbacks to her childhood too. And what about Raj? Is Mia’s brother truly dead, another fatality of the strange goings-on in Dept. H?

    Matt and Sharlene Kindt deliver another engaging installment of this deep sea murder mystery with Dept H. #4 and while the watercolor style hasn’t grown on me, the story continues to engross, and I can’t wait to see how it’s resolved in a future issue!

    Dept H. #4, written by Matt Kindt, art by Sharlene Kindt. Published July 20, 2016 by Dark Horse Comics

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