Tag: chris bachalo

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    Millar & Capullo’s Reborn Is Just What Comics Needed

    New Comic Book Day November 16th

    Mark Millar turns his new series on its head this New Comic Book Day. Nightwing gets help with his nightmares, Doctor Strange starts a new arc, a new team of Renegades forms, and our magical cross country tour makes its first stop in Spell on Wheels. 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.

    Nightwing #9
    By: Tim Seeley, Marcio Takara

    It’s common that after story arcs end, a single story issue provides some transition from one story to the other. It’s rare though that such issues are also character defining. Nightwing provides a bit of unseen backstory on Dick Grayson–namely that he has been haunted by nightmares for some time. In an attempt to help, Superman uses Kryptonian tech to enter Nightwing’s dreams. The adventure this takes us on shows not only how important Nightwing is (as the glue of much of the DC Universe), but also how this new Superman really is the back-to-basics version of the character fans have been craving.

    Tim Seeley continues to prove his love for Nightwing. He captures the fun, but also underlying struggle the character has been having recently. It’s this kind of nuance that has always made Nightwing a compelling character. Marcio Takara’s art adds the layer of grit needed, but without this feeling like a typical dark Gotham book.

    Personally, Nightwing is not anywhere near my favorite Bat-Family character, but with how well this book is, this has consistently been one of my favorite offerings from DC’s Rebirth. The balance of well-written stories with a large helping of heart hits this old comic fan right where it counts. I highly suggest you make this a regular pull. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Reborn #2
    By: Mark Millar, Greg Capullo

    This is it folks. This is where the real journey begins. The glimpse of this realm that we received in the first issue does not prepare you for how fantastical everything is. Mark Millar, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and Fco Placencia really made something special with this issue. At first, you start to see typical tropes from this type of story but then they immediately turn that on its head!

    You get a proper explanation, a good look at the protagonist, a few great mysteries and a great segue into what I am sure will be an epic adventure full of emotion. Read on warriors! [Sean W. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN MARK MILLAR’S REBORN SERIES TODAY

    Doctor Strange #14
    By: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Al Vey, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba, Tim Townsend, Wayne Faucher, Antonio Fabela, Java Tartaglia

    The newest issue of the Doctor Strange comic book lives up to its name–Strange. Get ready to go to “all-new all-different” hell and pal around with Satana, the devil’s daughter.

    Wile the story reads like a quick scene in a larger narrative, I could see people really digging into this. Chris Bachalo’s art is whimsical and frenetic. He really shines when Strange takes on his astral form. Good stuff. Jason Aaron is taking a comical beat this issue and it’s rather fun to experience. I’ve had a lot of fun seeing Strange at his lowest, slowly dragging himself from the muck and rebuilding himself. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    SEE ALL THE NEWEST DOCTOR STRANGE COMICS & MORE

    Harbinger: Renegades #1
    By: Rafer Roberts, Darick Robertson

    A brand new #1 from the team at Valiant Entertainment. Harbinger: Renegades #1 is a new team of heroes. What looks to be fragments of the old Renegades team with some new faces. Like most team-up books, this issue sets up not only who the team will consist of, even if momentarily, but also who the villain is.

    Rafer Roberts’ writing is great; he creates a real world and gives the characters responsibilities and lives that fit within our reality more so than any other book I’ve seen lately. Darick Robertson does an amazing job with facial expressions–you really see the shock and awe in his line work. With the team just starting to come together, I’m anxiously awaiting the next issue. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Spell on Wheels #2
    By: Kate Leth, Megan Levens, Marissa Louise

    When we last left our trio of witches, they were on a road trip to get back their stolen magical items. Their first stop: Massachusetts. This issue of Spell on Wheels picks up with the gang as they meet with an old artist who purchased one of their stolen pieces. Unfortunately the package hasn’t arrived due to, you know, shipping and all. So the girls wait there until the next day for the package to arrive. Little do they know however it’s not quite that simple.

    I love the dialogue in this comic. It feels like I’m talking to a friend. Another thing I really enjoy about how Kate Leth wrote this is how strong these women are with or without magic. Next stop Connecticut! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    CHECK OUT OUR NCBD REVIEW OF SPELL ON WHEELS #1
    JOIN THIS AWESOME NEW SERIES

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

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    Review: Doctor Strange #10 — The Thing in the Cellar

    Review of Doctor Strange #10

    doctor strange #10The latest issue of Doctor Strange finds our hero in dire straits. Most of the magic in the world has been destroyed, leaving Stephen Strange to battle the vengeance-driven Empirikul with little more than a bow and arrow and his wit. Oh yeah, and a monster that Strange has been keeping in the basement of his Greenwich Village Sanctum Santorum for years.

    While facing almost certain death at the Empirikul’s hands, Strange shows an uncommon sense of gallows humor, thanks to Jason Aaron’s writing. “It’s bad enough you’re here to murder me and all my friends,” Strange tells him. “But you don’t have to be such a jerk about it.” It’s this lightheartedness that brings a sense of fun to the character, which in the past has been a bit too dour.

    While the premise of the Last Days of Magic story line pits Strange and other magic users like Brother Voodoo and the Scarlet Witch against the Empirikul, the real battle here is magic vs. science. It’s an interesting premise, with no clear winner at the end of the day.

    Aaron has been building to this moment since the new series began. He reminded us that magic has a price. We thought initially that only Strange had to pay that price. But it turns out he cheated, by transferring his pain and suffering to the monster. Strange must forge an uneasy truce with the thing in his cellar, convincing it that if the Empirikul kills Strange, the monster will never get its revenge.

    It’ll be fascinating to see the monster turn up in the future. And when it does, hopefully the good doctor will keep his sense of humor.

    Doctor Strange #10, Marvel Comics, Released Aug. 3, 2016, Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Chris Bachalo, Color by Chris Bachalo and Rain Beredo, Lettering by VC’s Cory Petit; $3.99.

    Review by Tom Smithyman

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    NCBD – Double dose of Harley, a Doctor and The Sheriff of Babylon

    NCBD reviews of Harley Quinn, Doctor Strange, Suicide Squad, and The Sheriff of Babylon

    With Suicide Squad hitting the theaters this weekend, New Comic Book Day Is give you a double dose of crazy with Suicide Squad Rebirth #1, AND Harley Quinn #1! Plus Doctor Strange concludes The Last Days of Magic arc, and we talk about an amazing crime series from The Wire writer Tom King – The Sheriff of Babylon. 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.

    Suicide Squad comics at TFAW.com

    Suicide Squad Rebirth #1
    By: Rob Williams, Philip Tan

    There is a high profile Suicide Squad movie coming out at the end of this week, and with DC’s Rebirth taking place across their publishing line, now is a hotter time than ever to reintroduce the concept of Task Force X (the Suicide Squad’s official title) and a few of those characters!

    We are given the purpose of the team – and a structure is formed for brand new readers hoping to jump on board. We get right into it, with Philip Tan’s dynamic artwork that screams action from the start.

    Whether you are headed to or from the movie and looking to check out the comic book incarnation, you won’t feel lost at all starting out fresh, right here in this very issue of Suicide Squad Rebirth [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Harley Quinn #1
    By: Amanda Conner, Chad Hardin

    Wowzah! This issue is one for the books! Wacky Harley is back at it again with chaos, a good laugh and…zombies? That’s right folks, you heard me, Zombies!

    Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor are the creative team making this beautiful series and they use every wild card they have! This issue is all what you need to know about Harley Quinn: Her origin, Her triumphs, and that she’s freakin’ crazy! With small references from the ongoing Harley Quinn comic, new readers shouldn’t be too confused.

    Now Back to the zombies, yes…zombies. Harley Quinn and Red Tool run into an unexpected encounter with the undead. Instead of asking questions, they jump straight into action. As blades and hammers are flying and smashing, Red Tool is bitten by one of the undead. Harley, whose not going to lose her friend, chops off his arm to save his life. Then she catapults him in the air! What? Why do you ask? Guess you’ll have to read Harley Quinn #1 to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk]

    Doctor Strange comics at TFAW.com

    Doctor Strange #10
    By: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Kevin Nowlan

    It’s the finale of 6-issue event Last Days of Magic. Stephen is at his end, with no magic left to help him against Imperator – who seeks to destroy all magic and leave science to rule.
    This finale felt like a great conclusion to the fight that Doctor Strange had been engulfed in. With help from fellow Marvel mystics and mages Scarlet Witch, Magik, and others. Jason Arron was able to create a creative, action-packed, arc surrounding the idea of Science vs Magic. The art is hard-edged and painterly, just as I would imagine Doctor Strange’s personality.

    If you’ve been reading The Last Days of Magic arc as I said, this is a great final issue. If you’re just jumping on board, maybe wait until the next issue of Doctor Strange as things may be a little confusing for first-time readers. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    The Sheriff of Babylon #9
    By: Tom King, Mitch Gerads, John Paul Leon

    Things start to collide as the third act starts in the 12 issue story The Sheriff of Babylon. I’ve been on board this series from the start. A crime comic smack dab in the middle of the 2004 Iraq war.

    Written by Tom King (Batman, Vision, and the hit tv series The Wire) this well paced episodic story feels like watching a 12 part tv series. Mitch Gerads (Punisher) has been leading the way in this visually stunning noir.

    I really can’t say enough good about this series. Everything feels real, as the twists come you don’t feel like they are out of left field – as if Tom King has already written out everyone’s lives and motives from the get go. The Sheriff of Babylon is only 3 issues away from finishing – and I’m not sure if I’m excited to read it, or sad that it’ll be over. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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

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    Review: Doctor Strange #8

    Review of Doctor Strange #8

    doctor strange last days of magic #8In case you haven’t been following my reviews of this wonderful comic-book series, let me catch you up… “No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry Humperdink in little less than half an hour” -Inigo Montoya. Heh, okay, so back on track… Writer Jason Aaron has put Doctor Steven Strange and every other magic-using hero on Earth are in a fight for their lives, but more importantly, they are fighting for the very existence of magic on our soon-to-be magicless world! An army called The Empirikul are moving from world to world and are eradicating magic in their wake of destruction of all things mystical.

    No worries, right? We have THE SORCERER SUPREME, Doctor Steven Strange, ready and waiting to defend Earth, and her magic, against all threats. Well, it just ain’t all that simple, now is it folks? No, it most certainly is not. The interdimensional science-based army is more than a force to be reckoned with. Over the span of the first seven issues, The Empirikul have successfully destroyed and/or defeated all of Earth’s greatest masters of magic, not to mention the mystical landmarks of our beloved planet.

    The truth is that there would be almost no one left to continue to fight the good fight (of saving Earth’s magic), if it weren’t for Monako, one of the Marvel Universe’s oldest magic-wielders. [For details, see my review of issue #7]. In short, Monako sacrificed himself in order to save Doctor Strange and several other key magic-users of Earth by teleporting them all away to an inaccessible cavern underground.

    So here we are, smack dab in the middle of the murdering of magic, and Doctor Strange, along with his now non-powered ex-wizards, are scouring the planet looking for shreds and scraps of magic anywhere they might be found. Will they find enough bits and bobs of magic to re-engage in battle against The Empirikul, in hopes of defeating them? “Outlook not so good” says the Magic 8-Ball. After Strange, Scarlet Witch, and Talisman gather a car-trunk-full of mystical artifacts, the consensus is that it is far from enough to even wage war, much less win it.

    Did I mention how exciting and harrowing it has been to watch Doctor Strange, who really is back to being just Steven Strange, using his muscles alone to get out of crises and avoid the ongoing chase of The Empirikul and their hunter-seeker Wolves with laser-beams that now shoot out of their eyes! Without magic, these usually mega-powered heroes and heroines are now just people and they are struggling for their lives. Why don’t they call The Avengers, you ask? Well, to put it simply, this is THEIR fight and no one else could do what needs to be done, plus Strange has an enormous amount of “magical debt” that really only he can repay.

    Even without their magic, our world’s ex-wizards are our best chance at saving magic from extinction, without a doubt. Though the potential of our heroes saving the day is looking more and more grim, issue after issue. It seems that there are no more secrets up his sleeve, and Doctor Strange is almost at wit’s-end. Even with his own teammate’s words of pessimism, he is not giving up.

    Meanwhile, back at Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, librarian Zelma Stanton and Wong, Strange’s monk sidekick, are in harm’s way as The Empirikul are there destroying magic throughout the house, including Strange’s library filled with not just books on magic, but housing books *of* magic on every shelf. Zelma is able to save only one book before Wong helps them escape to Tibet using a staff that allows them to teleport. Can one randomly selected book of magic be enough to help defend Earth?

    Chris Bachalo’s artwork is so perfectly matched to this wild and weird storyline and pushes me, panel after panel, to closely examine each picture speaking to me “a thousand words.” Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that the full-page cliffhanger image of the last page of the book is, well, . . . horrifying, to say the least. Well done, Chris! Now I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight.

    Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic: Part 3, written by Jason Aaron, art by Chris Bachalo. Published May 25, 2016.

    Review by Steve Oatney.

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    Review: Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic, Part 2

    doctor strange, last days of magic #2Doctor Steven Strange has been battling, and losing the battle, against Empirikul who seek to destroy the very existence of magic, everywhere. Earth has more than a few powerful magic-users in the Marvel universe, and even their combined magical-powers are seemingly no match for the science-based and science-powered Imperator and his “army” called Empirikul.

    In this issue, number seven, we are given a bit of the backstory of Empirikul, which, like many other hero and villain backstories, starts with the murders of the parents of the Imperator. On his homeworld, when he was younger, magic-users who worshipped the elder god Shuma-Gorath were killing anyone anyone practicing science there, including the Imperator’s parents.

    The tables have now turned and Empirikul is now doing the reverse in hunting down and killing magic-users. To that end, Empirikul binds Doctor Strange, Scarlett Witch, and other magic-users of Earth to trees and make preparations to burn them all alive, not unlike those accused of witchcraft in our own non-fictional history.

    An old magician named Monako appears in attempt to save the day. Monako is an old magic-user who made his first appearance in Daring Mystery Comics #1 in 1940 and who wears a stereotypical, and awesome, black top hat. While he may not have the power to eliminate the Empirikul threat, he DOES manage to teleport all of Earth’s magicians to safety. Just before doing so, he instructs them all to look for magic in “all the nooks and crannies.” Apparently *some* magic still exists, possibly nearby.

    Doctor Strange and the other magicians safe, at least temporarily, in some sort of subterranean cavern, but they have been left with no magic. Monako, unfortunately, suffers the burning-at-the-stake fate that he helped all of his friends to avoid. The noblest of self-sacrifices.

    Now underground, the remaining magicians, including Magik (Illyana Rasputin, sister of Piotr Rasputin, X-Men’s “Colossus”) have an outlook that is quite grim. With hardly a way to even get out of the cavern, they are pretty well convinced that even gathering up every scrap of magic in the world, as Monako instructed, will not be nearly enough to defeat Empirikul.

    Jason Aaron’s uniquely creative writing of this storyline has been nothing short of superb, up to this point. Furthermore, I expect that it is about to kick into high gear as we follow what intriguing weirdness is happening in Doctor Strange’s home “the Sanctum Sanctorum.” This perfect pairing with Chris Bachalo’s wildly artistic visual storytelling makes for one of the best comics to hit the shelves in years. Not that there haven’t been a lot of good comic-book stories, lately, because there HAVE, but this one is the cream of the crop. See for yourself.

    Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic: Part 2, written by Jason Aaron, art by Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend. Published April 27, 2016.

    Review by Steve Oatney.

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    Review: Doctor Strange #6

    doctor strange comic book #6CAN MAGIC BE KILLED?

    Not if DOCTOR STRANGE has anything to do with it!

    One of THE BEST new comic-book series on the market today is Marvel’s Doctor Strange by writer Jason Aaron with amazing artwork by Chris Bachalo, Kevin Nowlan, Tim Townsend, & team. Is it a must-read? I say emphatically, YES!

    Whether or not you are already familiar with Dr. Stephen Strange, the brilliant surgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme, you will surely love this wildly intriguing storyline helping whet our appetites for the impending film starring Benedict Cumberbatch in November.

    What’s going on in these Doctor Strange comics heading towards issue number seven? Well, a lot. You see [spoiler alert] the realms of magic, themselves, are being threatened by a mysterious force called “Empirikul,” who seek out masters of magic and mystical landmarks and are wiping them out, systematically! These incredibly powerful beings hate all things magical and are more than well equipped to battle and destroy magic wherever they find it… including here on Earth!

    Doctor Strange, arguably the most powerful magic-user on the planet, and likely the galaxy, fights for the very existence of magic with the help of Earth’s other formidable magic-users. Even with the assistance of Doctor Voodoo, Professor Xu, Mahatma Doom, Hellstorm, Koaz, Magik, Shaman, and Scarlet Witch, to name a few, our heroes more than have their work cut out for them.

    What’s that? Are they winning? Will they save magic from extinction? Well, you’ll have to pick up future issues in order to answer that question, but let’s just say [spoiler] that Doctor Strange has to drain the Earth itself of every last bit of magical energy, in the end of issue number six, in hopes of successfully destroying Empirikul. I’ve got my fingers crossed for our good Doctor. Do you?

    Doctor Strange #6 by Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Kevin Nowlan and Tim Townsend. Released March 9, 2016.

    Review by artist and comic book fan Steve Oatney.

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