Tag: Brian Wood

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    Creator Spotlight: Becky Cloonan

    Connect with Becky:

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


    A Brief History of Becky Cloonan

    Becky Cloonan is an award-winning comics writer and artist. Born in 1980 in Pisa, Italy, Cloonan is best-known as the first female artists to draw the main Batman title for DC Comics.

    After attending New York’s School of Visual Arts, she was part of the Meathaus collective. She subsequently collaborated with Brian Wood on Channel Zero: Jennie One in 2003.

    Cloonan’s manga-influenced style has served her well. Her first solo graphic novel, East Coast Rising: Volume 1, was released by Tokyopop in 2006. That title marked Cloonan’s third Eisner Award nomination in 2007 (Best New Series).

    Her work on the 2004 twelve-issue comics series Demo was also nominated for two Eisner Awards in 2005 (Best Limited Series and Best Single Issue or One-Shot)

    She did the art for the series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, written by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon. Cloonan also co-created and did cover art and stories for DC’s  Gotham Academy. Other works from Cloonan include Flight, Nebuli, American Virgin.

     

    In addition, in 2015, she was voted #3 of the top 50 female comics artists of all-time. She was also one of only two creators to make the list as both writer and artist. And she was voted #14 among all-time top writers.

    OTHER NOTABLE WORKS

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    The Revolution Continues in Rebels

    Rebels: A Well Regulated Militia was released in 2015 to tell the story of Seth and Mercy Abbott. Set in 1775 colonial America, the series followed the newlyweds through the War of Independence. Seth was a volunteer in the militia who helped birth a nation.

    Rebels: These Free and Independent States
    Rebels: These Free and Independent States

    Rebels: These Free and Independent States #1 picks up the story in 1794. Seth and Mercy’s son, John, has come of age. The boy is a savant who knows everything there is to know about ships and seafaring. He can readily identify any ship by silhouette alone, but has difficulty with social situations.

    Barbary Pirates, George III, Birth of the US Navy

    This is a historical period that saw danger to the fledgling Union from the Barbary Coast, Britain, and political infighting. In the midst of all this uncertainty, the Abbotts must decide what will be best for their odd son.

    Writer Brian Wood (Aliens: Defiance, The Massive, Northlanders) transitions easily from the end of the first season into the beginning of season two. However, readers who haven’t read Militia won’t have any trouble jumping in with Independent States.

    Wood’s script brings emotion and realism to stories that most people have at least a conceptual knowledge of. It can often be difficult to envision history as actual events with living humans who have feelings and relationships. While Wood makes it clear in his disclaimer that his characters never actually existed, they fit beautifully into historical context and give faces to an important era in American history.

    You don’t have to be a history buff in order to enjoy Rebels. While the period details will appeal to history buffs, there is plenty of meat on the bone for action adventure fans.

    FOLLOW JOHN ABBOTT’S HISTORIC ADVENTURE AND PRE-ORDER REBELS: THESE FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES #2

    Rebels: These Free and Independent States #1 (of 5), Dark Horse Comics, Release Date March 22, 2017, Written by Brian Wood, Art by Andrea Mutti, Colors by Lauren Affe, Letters by Jared K. Fletcher, Cover by Matt Taylor, $3.99

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    Marvel’s Guardians Are Grounded on Earth

    New Comic Book Day December 14th 2016

    Our Guardians of the Galaxy get grounded, Spider-Man tries to get back normal in the wake of Civil War II, and Briggs Land heats up. All in this week’s New Comic Book Day. Remember, these are only a small batch of this week’s amazing New Releases! 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.

    Spider-Man #10
    By: Brian Michael Bendis, Nico Leon, Sara Pichelli

    Set after the events of Civil War II, Miles meets up with his friends to tell them about what happened in Washington D.C. While this issue is rehashing things we’ll see in the last 2 issues of Civil War II, it does so from Miles’ perspective, giving us insight ultimately into why Miles decided to confront the vision the Inhumans had for him.

    This issue is equal parts revealing and heart-breaking. Brian Michael Bendis continues to do a great job of setting this Spider-Man apart from his predecessor, making him a unique gem in the modern Marvel Universe. Nico Leon paces this issue wonderfully by providing clear distinction between the flashbacks and present story, not sacrificing a moment of drama in exchange for the exposition.

    If you have been picking up Civil War II, Spider-Man #10 is a great companion issue. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN MILES MORALES IN THE PAGES OF SPIDER-MAN

    Guardians of the Galaxy #15
    By: Brian Michael Bendis, Kevin Maguire

    Spinning out of the events of Civil War II, the Guardians of the Galaxy have a blown up their ship, and are now stranded on Earth. This new story arc, Grounded, will be following each member of the team while they redefine themselves given their current situation. This issue is focused on ex-Fantastic Four member, Ben Grimm (aka The Thing).

    Ben is approached early on by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Maria Hill. She makes him an offer that’s pretty tough to refuse. Before Ben signs up though, he needs to see the current state of the world. This issue lets the reader see how things have changed, but mostly how this really isn’t the world he remembers.

    Brian Michael Bendis provides a very definitive voice for The Thing, hitting all the comedic beats, but providing the subtle shame Ben feels for his physical condition. Long time Guardians artist, Valerio Schiti gives us some very dynamic pages, which is amazing considering how it’s a much more personal story. Overall, a great jump-on point for people interested in joining the Guardians of the Galaxy. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    VISIT OUR SPECIAL GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY PAGE

    Briggs Land #4
    By: Brian Wood, Mack Chater, Lee Loughridge, Tula Lotay

    After reading Briggs Land #4, I can tell why AMC wants this as a show. It’s compelling and controversial. Caleb Briggs wants to take over a local store but buying it seems to be more trouble than he originally planned. The owner, Mr. Hillson, wants to keep the business in the family and Caleb won’t stand for it. We see how far he’ll go to intimidate Mr. Hillson into falling in line.

    Brian Wood is masterful at dialogue. In some panels, you really get a sense of time when people are talking. Those long pauses and stare downs that happen when two people don’t agree are particularly wonderful. Mack Chater and Lee Loughridge show that even without Brian Wood’s dialogue they can pull off the same emotion. Briggs Land is yet again proving to be top-tier comics. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    SEE ALL BRIGGS LAND COMICS

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

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    Review: Aliens: Defiance #4 – Gonna Get Yourself Killed

    Review of Alines Defiance #4

    aliens defiance #4 reviewIn Aliens: Defiance, Episode 3: Mutiny, we see a second mutiny aboard the Europa. While Davis-01 is tending to Hendricks’ injuries, the rest of the Davises forgo their new mission and reactivate the Europa’s “nearfield.” Weyland-Yutani uses the ship’s local network to remotely reprogram the synthetics and issues the directive to kill Hendricks and Davis-01 and to return to the original mission.

    In Aliens: Defiance, Episode 4: Casualties, we learn that the only two survivors of this second mutiny are Davis-01 and PFC Hendricks. When Weyland-Yutani transmitted new orders for the Davises via the nearfield network, personal communications for Hendricks were also transmitted.

    A couple official messages confirm what Hendricks already suspects, she’s been tried in absentia and has been found AWOL. There’s also a message from Hendricks’ personal doctor, claiming there’s a loophole that would allow Hendricks to return to Lunar Base: Tranquility as a medical patient and not face any of her criminal sentence.

    Hendricks must decide who to trust, and quickly. Dr. Emi Yang offers an attractive option, if it isn’t a ploy on behalf of the Colonial Marines to trap Hendricks should she step foot back on Lunar Base: Tranquility. Davis-01 may not be all he seems. He claims to have reprogrammed himself to be completely immune to the influence of Weyland-Yutani, but his actions when he’s alone suggest that may not be the case.

    This is possibly the most interesting chapter yet, and there are no (living) Xenomorphs to be found. Brian Wood serves up a lot more of Zula Hendricks’ backstory in Episode 4. We get to see the battle where Zula sustained her injury, the awful way she was treated by her superiors after being the sole survivor of her first firefight, and the weight of her survivor’s guilt. The issue is a little heavy on exposition and light on action, but it feels like a natural transition. We got to know our protagonist a little in the first three chapters, but this chapter really sets the hook and makes us care about her.

    Aliens: Defiance, Episode 4: Casualties, Dark Horse Comics, released August 31, 2016, written by Brian Wood, art by Tony Brescini, colors by Dan Jackson, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot, cover by Massimo Carnevale, $3.59

    Review by Brendan Allen.

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    Review: Aliens: Defiance #3 — For the Sake of Humanity

    aliens - defiance #3“No weakness. No mercy. No hesitation. Go twice as hard, Hendricks. Three times as hard. Then they’ll respect you.”

    PFC Zula Hendricks’ mantra has gotten her through battles in the past, fighting through barriers of sex and race. Now, she’s using the same mindset to overcome a new kind of discrimination. She is desperately trying to get the Davises to see her as an asset instead of a liability, to look past her humanity and disability. She has started making some traction, but her heroics at the end of the last chapter have left her bruised and broken.

    Aliens: Defiance, Episode 3: Mutiny opens with Davis 1 tending to Zula’s injuries. During this exchange, we gain insight into how the current situation is even possible. There is a local network on board the Europa called a “nearfield” that keeps all the synthetics synched with Weyland-Yutani. Davis 1 disabled the system, allowing independent thought among the drones. He also made modifications to his own system that would block directives from the nearfield should it be reactivated.

    The rest of the Davises have decided this charade has gone on long enough and reactivate the nearfield to receive orders from Weyland-Yutani. The new directive is simple. Weyland-Yutani orders the loyal synthetics to get control of the ship, kill Hendricks, kill any remaining rogue Davis units (Davis 1), and to continue broadcasting the ship’s current location.

    Brian Wood has left me impressed yet again with his choices that stray from the formula in order to deliver a fresh, exciting tale. There are no shortcuts or cheap pops in this series thus far. We’re a quarter through the 12-issue run of this title and we are still getting deep character development and unexpected plot twists.

    Aliens: Defiance, Episode 3: Mutiny, Dark Horse Comics, August 17, 2016, script by Brian Wood, art by Riccardo Burchielli, colors by Dan Jackson, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot, cover by Massimo Carnevale, $3.59

    Review by Brendan Allen.

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

    Review of Aliens Defiance #2

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Review by Brendan Allen

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

    Review of Aliens: Defiance #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Review by Brendan Allen.

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

    Interview with Brian Wood

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

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

    But first, a preview of Briggs Land #1:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TFAW: What comic books are you enjoying right now?

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

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

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    Free Comic Book Day – Review of Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64

    serenity firefly fcbdI definitely count myself as a Browncoat, a faithful and earnest fan of the terrific and too-short lived Joss Whedon TV series Firefly, and so it was with some trepidation that I cracked open the Free Comic Book Day Serenity story. Would they get the feel and the dialog right, or would it be just some derivative junk that should never have seen the light of day? Turns out that the Serenity story “The Warrior and the Wind” told in this New Comic Book Day issue is really, really good. Really good. Like “go find this issue Browncoats!” good.

    In the story, Zoe and Wash have a little baby, Emma, and it’s up to Auntie River to tell her a story and help her go to sleep while the rest of the team are off on a job. The story is about Emma’s parents and how they met, Warrior (Zoe) and The Wind (Wash), though told in a very fanciful, suitable for a little tyke fashion. The artwork by Stephan Byrne is notable in this regard because it switches between two styles, a more anima-esque, childish style for the fairy tale, and a very different, more typical comic style for the opening and close of the story. And it’s terrifically effective.

    The second story in this jam packed comic is “The Mirror” from Hellboy and, again, the artwork, this time from Richard Corben, is notable for its nostalgic, almost pointillist style. It’s terrific! The story’s a bit light, to put it nicely, but is still entertaining! And the third story is “Extravehicular” from Aliens: Defiance and while it’s the most cinematic of the three stylistically, it’s also the least satisfying, ending with a bit of a cliffhanger. Still, any chance to return to the Alien universe is a good thing.

    Serenity “The Warrior and the Wind”, story by Chris Roberson, art by Stephen Byrne. Hellboy “The Mirror”, story by Mike Mignola, art by Richard Corben. Aliens: Defiance “Extravehicular”, story by Brian Wood, art by Tristan Jones.

    Review by Dave Taylor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Comic Book Reviews: The Massive, Spider-Men, Before Watchmen Silk Spectre

    Watch Video Reviews of This Week’s Comics!

    Hey guys and gals! We’re coming at you with comic book reviews of The Massive #1, Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1, Spider-Men #1, and the Deluxe Angel Statue that just arrived this week.

    Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! We try not to go into too much detail in our reviews, but occasionally a spoiler slips through!

    The Massive #1

    SEE ALL OF THIS WEEK’S COMICS AND MORE

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    We’ve made it simple to share this video on Facebook and other social media outlets with the social networking buttons near the title. If you wouldn’t mind doing us a solid and sharing this video with your friends, we’d be eternally grateful. What should we review next week? Post your comments below and we’ll see what we can do!

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    Brian Wood’s New Comic Series–The Massive–Begins in June

    Check out Brian Wood's new series, The Massive, at TFAW.com. With Brian Wood’s critically acclaimed series–DMZ and Northlanders–nearing their finales, the multiple Eisner and Harvey-Award nominated creator is embarking on his next story, The Massive.

    At the end of the world, the story begins. In a post-war, post-crash, post-disaster, post-everything world, the Kapital scours the earth’s oceans for its mysteriously missing sistership, The Massive. Captain Callum Israel and his crew will come up against pirates, rebels, murderers, and thieves as they struggle to remain noble toward their cause. How can you help save a planet that’s already doomed?

    We’re really jazzed about Wood’s newest endeavor, so we’ve included the first issue in this month’s Featured Discounts, saving you 35% off the cover price thru 4/30! Check this one out!

    ORDER THE MASSIVE #1 TODAY!

    SIGN UP FOR A MASSIVE SERIES SUBSCRIPTION

    Have you reading DMZ or Northlanders? Are you psyched for Wood’s new series? Let us know below.

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