Tag: brian level

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    Batman and TMNT Join Forces

    New Comic Book Day Nov 9 2016

    It’s Wednesday, and that means there are new comic book releases to talk about! Check out our other New Comic Book Day blog articles to see our thoughts on previous new releases. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

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

    Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1
    By: Matthew K. Manning, Jon Sommariva

    Combining my favorite iteration of Batman with the most fun version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures gives us the ’90s Batman Animated Series combined with the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. What we get is a great sense of nostalgia, combined with the upbeat sensibilities the Turtles are known for. So basically, a good time.

    Matthew K. Manning weaves a plot that sets our two worlds of heroes onto the same case in a way that respects Batman’s detective skills and the turtle’s penchant for always getting themselves into trouble. Jon Sommariva’s art does a great job of combining the very distinctive art styles from both worlds into one that makes it feel like they belong together. Where IDW and DC had these two comic book versions of the characters recently crossover, having the light-hearted and more commercially known versions of these two classic franchises join forces is a great breath of fresh air for the kid at heart. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Flash #10
    By: Joshua Williamson, Felipe Watanabe, Oclair Albert, Chris Sotomayor, Steve Wands, Carmine Di Giandomencio

    Heroics are hard. Having fantastic powers is great, but it doesn’t make one a hero. Barry Allen has been training Wally West how to use his powers, but The Flash #7 shows us that there’s more to heroics than simply running fast.

    Over the decades, The Flash has learned valuable lessons on how to save the people of Central City; he’s now using those years of experience and imparting wisdom upon Kid Flash. It’s as if Joshua Williamson is distilling decades worth of comics into digestible pieces for a new generation of comics fans.

    Williamson introduces two new Rogues, and this story promises to take us to places we’ve never gone before. I am excited to keep reading. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]


    Archer & Armstrong #9
    By: Rafer Roberts, Mike Norton, Brian Level

    A&A #9 serves as a jump on point for new readers. “Andromeda Estranged” kicks off a new arc that sets our heroes in a history lesson. You see, Earth and humans, they’re a strange anomaly within the universe. The “creators,” as we learn, didn’t mean for us to be created. They tried to steer us in the right direction but greed and power (as it always seems to) corrupted us.

    Valiant is known for creating good jumping-on points for new readers and this issue is no exception. Rafer Roberts has been doing an excellent job with this series. Issue #9 is no exception. Penciler Mike Norton and Colorist Allen Passalaqua within the first few pages have a visually striking style that works with the context, (thanks to Ryan Lee) a James Stokoe grit if you will. Once we’re back in our world, however, they go to a more familiar style that Archer & Armstrong fans are used to. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    WWE Then Now Forever #1
    By: Dennis Hopeless, Dan Mora, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Guillory, Rob Shamberger, Derek Fridolfs, Daniel Bayliss

    As a fan of professional wrestling growing up, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this issue from BOOM! Studios new WWE series. WWE: Then. Now. Forever #1. This is a reader’s first introduction to the new comic world that weaves in and out of actual stories from the WWE. This compilation issue collects a story by Dennis Hopeless about Seth Rollins’ rise and fall with his team, The Shield. Along with short stories featuring The New Day, Sasha Banks, and Tugboat. This issue also collects the San Diego Comic Con exclusive one-page stories featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, John Cena, The New Day, Sasha Banks, The Undertaker, and Dusty Rhodes.

    Headed up by a huge list of creators, this book takes the fandom seriously in some stories, has a whole lot of fun in others, and finds itself incredibly inspirational. The heroes, the heels, the over the top performances, and the drama that fans of professional wrestling have come to love and crave are all found here. If you’ve ever been a fan of any era of the WWE, WWE: Then. Now. Forever is a book for you. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Captain America Steve Rogers #7
    By: Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz, Joe Caramagna, Stephanie Hans

    Steve Rogers’ reality has been secretly rewritten by a sentient Cosmic Cube known as Kobik. He is now an agent of HYDRA.

    That’s all the background you need to jump aboard Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz’s Steve Rogers Captain America. Cap is no longer the bastion of freedom and morality; he’s been corrupted, and this allows Spencer to explore some important themes that his predecessors never have. Steve Rogers Captain America #7 is the start to a new arc, so now’s a good time to join along.

    Saiz’s art is expressive and emotional, particularly when it comes to depicting the book’s tyrants–the Red Skull and the bullies of 1935 that were a part of the machine that gave rise to his HYDRA regime.

    I can’t help but have optimism about the future of this comic and really, really look forward to getting our Steve Rogers back in the saddle again. [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: Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original #1 – Jax Teller prospects Sons of Anarchy

    Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original #1 at TFAW.com

    sons of anarchy redwood original #1Sons of Anarchy is a television show created by Kurt Sutter about a 1% outlaw motorcycle club operating many charters in the United States and a couple charters overseas. The mother charter and main focus of the show, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original (SAMCRO), runs guns throughout the Western United States, making enemies of rival gangs, politicians, and law enforcement. The show ran for 6 seasons, from 2008-2013.

    Jackson “Jax” Teller is first seen on the show as Vice President of SAMCRO, later President. Many of the show storylines focus around Jax trying to reconcile his personal life, the business of the club, and living up to the legacy of his father, John “JT” Teller, who founded the club and served as its first President until he was killed in a “motorcycle accident.” Much of the conflict within the club is between V.P. Jax and President Clay Morrow, who was JT’s best friend and V.P. (also, incidentally, the guy who was sleeping with JT’s old lady and had him murdered so he could marry JT’s wife and take over his club).

    Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original #1 sets up this series as a prequel to the television show, taking us back to Jax Teller’s youth. Eighteen years old and straight out of high school, Jax has decided to prospect for SAMCRO. Jax’ (Jax’s?) longtime friend Opie has gone the college route, but still hangs out at the SAMCRO clubhouse, where his father, Piney, is one of the First Nine. All the favorite characters from the TV show are present and none will be dying soon. Prequel, remember. The likenesses of Bobby “Elvis” Munson, Chibs, Tig, Clay, Piney and Clay are spot on.

    Many of the themes from the show are shown here in their infancy. Jax is torn between honoring the memory of his father and trying desperately to gain the approval of his step-dad, Clay. Opie is conflicted between fulfilling his old man’s legacy, earning with the club, and going legit with a college degree and a 9-5 job. The club’s long-standing policy to strictly run guns and stay away from illicit drugs is also put to the test.

    sons of anarchy redwood original - detail

    Fans of the show will recognize many of the show’s cast in the background of this issue, which focuses mainly on Jax, but new readers will have no problems following along. Ollie Masters consulted with Kurt Sutter before penning the script and it shows. The overall feel of the club, the clubhouse, the city of Charming, and the interaction between the characters feels very natural and true to the source material.

    Kurt Sutter’s prequel television series, The First Nine, won’t debut until at least 2017. Until then, Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original is a great place to get your SOA fix.

    Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original #1, BOOM! Studios, released August 10, 2016, written by Ollie Masters, art by Luca Pizzari, colors by Adam Metcalfe, letters by Ed Dukeshire, cover by Chris Brunner, cover colors by Rico Renzi, variant covers by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Brian Level, $3.99

    Review by Brendan Allen

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