Tag: Kieron Gillen

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    Star Wars: Screaming Citadel (One Shot): In Space No One Can Hear Your Lightsaber

    Marvel’s latest Star Wars crossover unites two unlikely characters, Luke Skywalker and Doctor Aphra. It’s a combination that probably shouldn’t work, but somehow does under the skillful pen of writer Kieron Gillen. More importantly, the Screaming Citadel one shot helps to fill in some of the gaps in Luke Skywalker’s path to becoming a Jedi Knight.

    Star Wars Screaming Citadel (One Shot)
    Despite their different allegiances, the characters need each other. Luke feels the Force, but has no real training to become a Jedi. Aphra wants to unlock the power in an artifact she recovered. The irony of the situation isn’t lost on Gillen. After a grueling cantina fight (Luke can’t seem to avoid them), he accuses Aphra of being evil. “Evil is a very strong word,” she replies.

    Aphra convinces Luke to accompany her to the Screaming Citadel to unlock the mystery of her artifact – and to get him the training he desperately needs. However, the price the pair has to pay for that knowledge is could end up being too high.

    Screaming Citadel Is Star Wars At Its Best

    Artist Marco Checchetto gets to play with lots of Star Wars toys in this premiere issue. Checchetto has no problem drawing Wookies, Twi’leks, Toydarians, and even a Gungun (though hopefully not Jar Jar Binks). Our favorite characters, including Leia and Luke, are easily recognizable, right down to the smirk on Han Solo’s face.

    Despite the dire circumstances, Gillen keeps the mood light with his irreverent characters, including Doctor Aphra and her two droids. Where R2-D2 and C-3PO frequently save the heroes lives, Aphra’s abominations gleefully plot the torture of everyone they meet. Aphra herself is a welcome change to the Star Wars universe – think of a female Han Solo with even more selfish motives.

    “Two people and a Wookie versus a bar?” she says. “That’s what I call the start of a great weekend.”

    It’s also the start of a great series.

    Like the first issue? We’ve got the issues you need to continue the story!

    Star Wars: Screaming Citadel #1, Marvel Comics, Released May 10, 2017; Written by Kieron Gillen; Art by Marco Checchetto; Colors by Andres Mossa; Lettering by VC’s Joe Caramanga; $4.99.

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    Thor Gets His Groove Back

    New Comic Book Day Nov 2nd

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

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

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

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

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

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

    JUMP INTO THE FIGHT WITH WORLD OF TANKS

    The Unworthy Thor comics at TFAW.com

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

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

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

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

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

    VISIT OUR SPECIAL THOR PAGE TODAY!

    Justice League comics at TFAW.com

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

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

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

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

    JOIN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE TODAY

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    JOIN THE NEW STAR WARS COMIC BOOK SERIES

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

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

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

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

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

    Keiron Gillen’s Writing

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

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

    Diverse Set of Characters

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

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

    McKelvie x Wilson = Art That is Out of This World

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

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

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

    Mystery & Onions

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

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

    They’re Effing Gods

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

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

    It’s a Bold Series

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

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

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

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

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

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    Review: Darth Vader #24 — Vader Strikes Back

    Review of Darth Vader #24

    Darth Vader #24As Marvel’s Darth Vader series draws to an end with this penultimate issue, our anti-hero finds himself at the mercy of the traitorous scientist Cylo, who has managed to shut down the cybernetic suit that keeps the former Anakin Skywalker alive.

    Facing death, Vader spends much of this issue reliving his disastrous lightsaber battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi, which led to Vader’s imprisonment in the suit. This is one of the few times in the new series that refers back to the prequels. But even if you hated Episodes 1 through 3, you’ll appreciate the conflict rising with the Dark Lord of the Sith.

    In many ways, Vader’s true fight is not with Cylo, but with the young Jedi he used to be. By the end of the issue, any vestiges of Anakin are banished (at least until Return of the Jedi).

    While light on text, the issue shines a spotlight on artist Salvador Larroca’s drawings. The book makes good use of full pages to reimagine the lightsaber battle on the volcanic planet of Mustafar. Anakin’s rage is just as obvious thanks to the talents of Larroca and writer Kieron Gillen, as it was from the feature film.

    With only one issue left, Gillen and team have a lot to wrap up. When they do, it will be with a bigger badder Vader.

    Darth Vader #24, Marvel Comics, Released August 10, 2016, Written by Kieron Gillen, Art by Salvador Larroca, Color by Edgar Delgado, Lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna; $3.99.

    Review by Tom Smithyman

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    Review: Darth Vader #22

    Review of Darth Vader #22

    darth vader #22When we last left Darth Vader, he was left to deal with a monster from the original Star Wars trilogy – the dreaded Rancor. Lured into a trap by the traitor Cylo, Vader must deal with biomechanically enhanced Rancor – a similar beast that Luke Skywalker had to defeat in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi.

    Darth Vader #22’s fundamental conflict, though, pits religion versus science. Can Cylo pawn Tulon Voidgazer’s Rancor defeat Vader and his reliance on the Force? It echoes the classic scene from Episode IV, when Admiral Motti challenges Vader’s “sorcerer’s ways,” right before Vader uses the Force to choke him. This time, though, the Rancor uses science to stymie Vader’s Force choke. But since this is a series with a Force user as the main character, you can probably figure out how things turn out.

    The series, which is coming to an end with issue #25, has been a high point for the Marvel titles, which were re-introduced in 2015 (and now considered canon). Faced with the embarrassment of losing the Death Star at the battle of Yavin, Vader has scheming to get back into the good graces of the Emperor.

    Familiar faces like the Rancor hearken back to what we loved about the movies. And unique characters like the murderous droids Triple-Zero and Beetee have turned our expectations on their head. There’s no doing things for the good of the Rebellion here. These droids love to murder humanoids.

    With only three issues left in the series, we’re left with a cliffhanger. We know that Vader will survive, but the seeing him deal with new characters and situations make us wish for just a little bit more Force in our lives.

    Darth Vader #22, Marvel Comics, Released June 29, 2016, Written by Kieron Gillen, Art by Salvador Larroca, Color by Edgar Delgado, Lettering by VC’s Joe Caramagna; $3.99.

    Review by Tom Smithyman

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 4 of 5 – Image Comics

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    Now that we’re firmly in the new year, and the effects from the champagne have worn off, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released last year. What follows is the fourth in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ll be posting through January 6. Missed the earlier installments? Check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Superheroes are all well and good, but if you want to dig your teeth into something with a little more meat, creator-owned series are where it’s at. With series for virtually any taste, Image Comics really pushed hard in 2015 to draw us in and captivate us.

    The Best of Image Comics (in no particular order):

    Rat Queens
    By: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Stjepan Šejić, Roc Upchurch

    Looking for a fantasy comic that is different than all the others? Like, WAY different? Good. Pick up Rat Queens. This book has all the classic high-adventure elements you would expect and so much more. Led by a cast of strong female characters, each issue is violent and vulgar but also has more heart than most series on the stands. Similarly, each of the four Rat Queens are fully realized, complex characters. They feel like real people, which is something many series seem to struggle with.

    But who are the Rat Queens? Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty are a raucous, drunken, crass group of mercenaries and your new best friends. They are the Dungeons and Dragons party you wish you had. This book is a fantastic ride that you should hop on as soon as possible to see for yourself! So many people have thanked us for bringing them on board this series. [Jeff B. at Portland TFAW]

    Birthright
    By: Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan

    After their youngest boy Mikey goes missing in the woods, the Rhodes family is torn apart. A year passes and someone shows up that looks like Conan knowing a little too much about the disappearance of little Mikey.

    If you haven’t picked up Birthright by Joshua Williamson (Ghosted, Nailbiter, Illuminati) you are sorely missing out. One of Image’s best series continues this past year as we figure out about what happened to Mikey, and what could happen to our world.

    I don’t read a ton of fantasy comics, but this one got me hooked from issue one. I’ve introduced this book to people who don’t typically read comics and comics fans who don’t really like fantasy series, and they’ve all come back and told me that they can’t stop reading this book. It’s wholly engrossing and transcends genres.

    The first two volumes are available for order, and I can tell you the series has only gotten better with time. I can’t wait to see where Joshua Williamson takes us next. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Bitch Planet comics at TFAW.com Bitch Planet
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV, Cris Peter, Clayton Cowles, Rian Hughes, Lauren McCubbin

    Taking a page from the sexploitation flicks of the ’60s and ’70s and borrowing from the best that the sci-fi genre has to offer, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet is one of the best comic book series on the shelves right now. DeConick knows how to tell a violent, gripping story with gravitas, and is particularly talented when it comes to writing complex characters.

    This series is all about power. The power we give up to others. The internal strength that one can tap in to. Societal power that forces us into different roles. Bitch Planet more than a comic book at this point. The team has expertly created a movement of Non-Compliance, and I can’t wait to see where they lead us. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Fables comics at TFAW.com

    Saga
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    What more can be said of perhaps the best series out there? If the shelf full of awards Saga has won, it’s constant presence bestseller lists, or the series’ amazing reviews hasn’t convinced you to check it, out this blog won’t either. But seriously, go read Saga. Like, right now. We’ll wait… finished it yet? All caught up? Good. It’s awesome right?!

    What other series blends fantasy and science fiction so seamlessly? What other series has such visionary art? What other series possesses the sheer charm of Saga? Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples come together and make a truly unique universe. It’s a crazy one, filled with robot royalty, magic using satyr people, dragons, living spaceships and GHUS! Oh and intergalactic space wrestling. Can’t forget that.

    With all this insanity it’s easy to forget the best part of the series — the characters. This creative team’s real success is how endearing these characters are, even the “villains”. Nearly every issue has an incredibly compelling cliffhanger that has us readers on an emotional rollercoaster. And just like the intergalactic space wrestling, we live and die with these characters every issue. [Dustin K. at Universal TFAW]

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com The Wicked & The Divine
    By: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, ‎Matt Wilson

    Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie sucked me in, and I’ve been waiting with baited breath for each and every issue of The Wicked and The Divine, or WicDiv for short. There’s a huge cast of characters to follow, and Gillen’s world-building ability rivals J.R.R. Tolkein and George R.R. Martin.The series centers around two themes: Death and Fame.

    The twelve (or possibly 13?) Gods are reincarnated on Earth every 90 years to to fight the world’s darkness, but the kicker is that they only have two years–after that, they’re dead. Fame is also a strong theme in the series. These Gods are both famous and infamous. Adored and revered. Hated and envied.Fantastic story aside, I swoon every time I crack open the newest issue.

    McKelvie is a wickedly talented storyteller in his own right, with panel construction and linework that consistently has me taking a moment to think about what I’ve just seen. This series is also evidence that Matt Wilson is one of the best colorists in the industry. I can’t get enough of this series. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting our final Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 2 of 5 – Marvel

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    As we look forward to the new year, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released in 2015. What follows is the second in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ll be posting through January 6. Missed Part 1? Check it out here. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Marvel Comics is home to Jessica Jones, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, and a host of other amazing characters. With millions of fans worldwide and decades of quality storytelling under its belt, the publisher is the largest comic book company in the United States.

    The Best of Marvel Comics (in no particular order):

    Silver Surfer
    By: Dan Slott, Michael Allred, Laura Allred, Joe Sabino

    The new Silver Surfer series by Dan Slott, Michael Allred, and Laura Allred has been a complete delight. I’ve been in love with this series from day one. You tell me that the Allreds are working on an ongoing story and I’m on board, but add in Dan Slott’s characteristic wit and you know you’re in for a great ride.

    The aspect of this series that really shines is that Slott grounds the cosmos-spanning series by pairing Norrin Radd with a loveable companion, Earth’s Dawn Greenwood. We get to discover the universe alongside Dawn, and marvel at the enormous power of the Surfer. Slott gives us exactly what we want in the form of Galactus, and as tensions rise, we see the greatness of his storytelling — but you’ll have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about.

    Like I said, the Allreds are tremendously talented, and I couldn’t think of a better artistic pairing that would result in a light-hearted, fun series. If you’re a fan of Doctor Who, trust me when I say you’ll LOVE this series. Lucky for us, a new story begins in January when Slott, Allred & Allred take us on a new/continuing journey. [Josh C.]

    Daredevil
    By: Mark Waid & Chris Samnee, Charles Soule & Ron Garney

    This was a big year for Daredevil, what with the series debut back in April, and the end of Mark Waid & Chris Samnee’s amazing 58 issue run. Then to top it off we had the return of Daredevil just last month after Marvel’s Secret Wars crossover event with Charles Soule and Ron Garney as the new creative team.

    I started reading Daredevil on a regular basis with Mark Waid’s run. It’s got that great edgy darkness in the writing that is just enough to please Miller fans. Yet, tied with Samnee’s pulp style visuals, it keeps the story from being all dark all the time. Charles Soule’ comics hint at the darkness found in the Daredevil television show and nods Brubaker/Benids runs. We’re only 2 issues in so far but it’s still got me begging for more. Ron Garney’s art is definitely more in line with the Alex Maleev/Micheal Lark style, and I dig it. [Martin M.]

    Star Wars comics at TFAW.com Star Wars and Vader
    By: Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, Stuart Immonen, Simone Bianchi, Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca

    2015 saw the beginning of a new era for Star Wars comics and Marvel exploded out of the gates with superstar talents Jason Aaron and John Cassaday. This ongoing series follows the exploits of Luke Skywalker in the aftermath of his destruction of the Death Star. The whole gang joins him as the Rebel Alliance continues to fight against the Galactic Empire! With a classic mix of action and lighthearted moments, this story feels like Star Wars in every way.

    As the year went on, the hits kept coming with A-list artists Stuart Immonen and Simone Bianchi going the book. Bringing Mike Mayhew and Leinil Francis Yu on deck for 2016 (and it doesn’t look like Jason Aaron is going anywhere!) make it clear that Marvel is keeping Star Wars filled with top talent for the foreseeable future!

    There are two sides to every story. And fans have always wanted to see the story from Darth Vader’s perspective. Well, Marvel’s got them covered with a story line from the Sith Lord’s viewpoint in the ongoing Darth Vader comic book series. It’s the entire galaxy against Vader until he makes some unlikely allies who absolutely steal the show: Doctor Aphra and her droids! These are the sadistic yet charming villains that Kieron Gillen was born to write and one look at Salvador Larroca’s art will have you rooting for the bad guys! [Jeff B.]

    Mighty Thor comics at TFAW.com

    Thor
    By: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, Jorge Molina, Joe Sabino

    You’d be hard-pressed to find a better comic book than Jason Aaron & Russell Dauterman’s Thor and Mighty Thor. Talk about heroics–Aaron expertly weaves the story of Jane Foster (Thor’s ex-girlfriend) as the new Mighty Thor.

    She’s been in the hero business ever since Marvel’s Original Sin, but the team really dialed things up this year. Foster’s cancer has gotten worse, and Thor’s old enemies have started attacking in earnest. In the face of all of this, her grace and bravery shines through.

    I’m really excited to see Russell Dauterman’s art each month. He’s a relative newcomer on the comics scene, but it feels like he and Aaron have been working together for decades. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself enamored with Dauterman’s depiction of facial expressions, the flow of lightning, and little pieces of Earth and flesh flying through the air. A truly magical series. [Josh C.]

    Spider-Gwen comics at TFAW.com Spider-Gwen
    By: Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez

    One of the hottest new characters actually spun out of Marvel’s Spider-Verse crossover (see what we did there?). When you get down to it, Spider-Gwen is a retelling of Spider-Man. Except that Gwen Stacy, got bit by the radioactive spider.

    What I really enjoy and connect with here is that it’s the same Parker-humor that we all love but coming from someone that we’ve all missed. I instantly connect with the character due to her strong ties in Spider-Man lore, while still being curious about her Earth (Earth-65 if you follow that sort of thing).

    One of my favorite moments came during Spider-Verse when Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man (Peter Parker of Earth-616) meet, there is this quick but very emotional panel that really pulled on my heart strings.

    This alternate Earth is one that is rich with past Marvel lore and new events that you’ve just got to discover. If you’re looking something old, new, but maybe not red and blue, you’ll want to pick this book up. [Martin M.]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting four more Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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    June Product Review Contest Winners Announced

    FF #8 review at TFAW.comYou guys have once again out done yourselves by sending in so many wonderful product reviews to choose from last month, it was nigh impossible to pick just three of you for this month’s picks. However, after reading through the hundreds and hundreds of great reviews, we have hand picked three of our favorites as part of our monthly Product Review Contest. Below, you’ll find out who won from June’s Product Reviews. $25 TFAW gift certificates are on the way to the folks who posted them.

    Paco from Tucson, AZ stopped by with his five star review of Matt Fraction and Mike Allred’s FF #8 from Marvel Comics:

    To quote text from a word balloon on page four of issue #8: “Wow. Never a dull moment with those guys.” — Those guys, of course, being Antman, Medusa, She-Hulk and Ms. Thing. And there IS never a dull moment in this fun and subtly 1970s-infused comic book that manages to sneak in a serious blast from the distant pop culture past with the line, Thing rings, do your thing! Fun times.

    Superior Spider-Man #31 review at TFAW.comOur second winner is Ash from Houston, TX. He had this to say about the Wicked & Divine #1:

    I first picked out this book because the cover looked interesting, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It definitely opens the door for some interesting stories to be told, and although the story in this issue is a bit predictable, the way the writers tell it makes me excited for future issues.

    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #17 review at TFAW.comLast but not least, Kevin from Golden, CO wrote a review for Strain – The Fall Part 1 Volume 3 TPB that we had to share:

    Great item excited for the next one. The rest of the story is also awesome. It also follows the books pretty well. I read the books before I got the graphic novels and I enjoyed them very much. Vol. 3 is just as good as Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. If you have these you must get Vol. 3. The color, drawings, and lettering is very good. Also, the story moves along at a great pace. Very well worth having. Get it and enjoy!

    Thanks so much to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to get (or what to avoid) next.

    Remember, you don’t have to write a novel to win. Product reviews can be short and sweet, or highly detailed — as long as they help other customers, that’s what we’re looking for. So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors sort out the “HOT” from the “NOT”! Who knows, you may be one of next month’s winners.

    HOW TO SUBMIT A PRODUCT REVIEW:
    It’s simple! Just visit any product page and look for this:

    Click on it and our product review form will appear in a popup. Just fill out the pertinent information and submit your review, and you’re done! We’ll take a look at your review and get it up on the product page soon thereafter!

    There’s also a really easy way for you to call up everything you’ve ever ordered from us and review it. Simply log in to your account and go into the Order History Section. Next to each item, you’ll see a “Review it!” link.

    Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

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