Tag: Dark Horse Comics

Latest stories

  • 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!

    Please follow and like us:
  • 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!

    Please follow and like us:
  • 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!

    Please follow and like us:
  • 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.

    Please follow and like us:
  • Review: Wandering Island

    23131

    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.

    Please follow and like us:
  • 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

    Please follow and like us:
  • Review: Dept. H #3

    22875

    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.

    Please follow and like us:
  • Review: Harrow County #13

    22861

    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

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

    NCBD76

    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!

    Please follow and like us:
  • 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.

    Please follow and like us:
  • 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.

    Please follow and like us:
  • New Comic Book Day — Reviews for X-Files, Avengers, We are Robin, & Aliens

    22194

    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!

    Please follow and like us: