Category Archives: Comic reviews
Absolute Carnage #1 (Marvel Comics)
It’s coming a little later this year, but we finally have this year’s major Marvel Summer event. Instead of a threat from beyond, this time the Marvel Universe is facing a Spidey-themed threat in the form of Carnage. Powered by the evil symbiote god Knull, Cletus Kasady is making up for lost time, and in Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s opening issue of Absolute Carnage, he’s making sure that everyone will remember his name.
Life’s been strange for Eddie Brock. Well, stranger than usual. Removed from his symbiote other, Brock has to take care of his estranged son (who doesn’t know he’s his son) while staying one step ahead of the police, who are on his trail for a being set up by Cletus Kasady. This would all go a lot smoother if Eddie still had his symbiote, but unlucky for him, it’s nowhere to be found, and Kasady is getting closer and closer to Eddie. But Kasady’s not only going after Eddie, he’s also going after every single person who’s ever worn a symbiote, which is quite a lot of people.
Donny Cates has hyped this event up a lot, and so far, he’s delivering the goods. His script succinctly recaps his run on Venom, and more importantly it sets up Carnage as an even bigger threat than he already is. There’s a strong sense of dread throughout the issue, and that comes from Cates’ carefully plotting the seeds for this event throughout his Venom run. Cates’ long-game strategy is paying off beautifully so far, and I can’t wait to see what other developments spring from it.
Ryan Stegman has been hard at work on this series, and it really shows. Stegman’s art has always been impressive, but it’s increased ten-fold with this issue. Stegman’s already impressive figure work and compositions are heightened, and they really make Cates’ script stand out. While Stegman’s Eddie Brock still looks physically imposing, he has an air of sadness to him that really comes through his body language. Brock’s clearly at his lowest point, but it’s going to be great seeing Stegman give him the heroic moment he deserves.
So far Marvel’s been on a pretty good streak with their big events, and it looks like Absolute Carnage will be another slam dunk for them. While it’s easy to jump into this event cold, you’ll probably get more if you read the start of Cates and Stegman’s Venom run, which is also pretty awesome to boot. For now though, Carnage has come calling, and it’s going to be hell for Marvel’s heroes.
Coffin Bound #1 (Image Comics)
A mix of Tim Burton and Mad Max, Coffin Bound is the latest title from Image Comics, and it’s pretty weird. Focusing on Izzy, a girl who’s being chased by an unstoppable creature called the Eartheater, the Dan Watters written, Dani drawn first issue is definitely one of the weirder comics on the stands. So weird, in fact, that it’s kind of hard to explain. There’s shades of David Lynch in this comic, but also grindhouse fare like Death Proof and a little bit of Evil Dead too. It leads to a book that’s pretty hard to follow, but definitely has it’s own unique style.
Watter’s script drops you right into the center of the action, and doesn’t give you a lot of time to find your footing. While usually I’m able to catch up pretty quickly, I don’t think this was the right call for this comic. Sure, dropping your reader into a universe is a viable way to start your story, but it has to be done in a specific way. Watters’ script just makes you feel disoriented, and it never really recovered for me.
Dani’s art is pretty pitch perfect for this issue. It fits the grindhouse style perfectly, and her weird monster designs are plenty creepy. Hopefully this book, which has a lot of hype around it, will help push her career onto more high profile books, as her work has a very unique look to it that seems to be plenty malleable for other genres.
While Coffin Bound didn’t quite work for me, I have to admit that it’s cool that it plays by its own set of rules. I’m sure this book will find plenty of people to give it a shot, and plenty more of them will want to keep up with it. As for me, it was a neat little diversion that unfortunately was not for me.
Fantastic Four #12 (Marvel Comics)
Hulk vs. the Thing is one of the great rivalries in the Marvel Universe. Their throw downs are the stuff of legend, second only to when the jade giant fights Wolverine. So there’s plenty of hype around Fantastic Four #12, which features a brand new fight between the ever-lovin’ blue eyed Thing and the incredible (now immortal) Hulk. What sets Dan Slott and Sean Izaakese’s fight differently from the the others? The fact that The Thing is going to turn into Ben Grimm in about 90 minutes when the fight starts. Read the rest of this entry
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1 (DC Comics)
Batman: White Knight was a critical and commercial smash for DC and Sean Gordon Murphy, so it’s no surprise that a sequel has come along to expand this corner of the DC universe that I’ll coin the “Murphy-verse”. Unlike the original series, which put a new dynamic on the Joker/Batman relationship, Curse of the White Knight looks back into the past of the Waynes and their ties to Gotham, creating a much different story than the previous one. Read the rest of this entry
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 (DC Comics)
For being around for more than 80 years, Superman has sure been through a lot of different takes and interpretations. Throughout the decades he’s had numerous titles, and even his side characters like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen have received their own series, both of whom are currently starring in their own miniseries events right now. While Lois Lane has Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen has an even higher pedigree on the title, as none other than Hawkeye‘s Matt Fraction and The Fix‘s Steve Lieber are bringing their own very unique spin on the Man of Steel’s best pal. Read the rest of this entry
Wolverine vs Blade #1 (Marvel Comics)
Lots of times comics fall through the cracks. Whether a series is cancelled too early or it’s a one shot that’s been lost in a drawer somewhere, many times whenever there’s a comic coming out that seemingly has no real reason for being released, that’s the case. And it’s probably definitely the case for Marc Guggenheim and Dave Wilkin’s Wolverine vs Blade one shot, a comic that feels like a relic from the mid-00’s brought to today. Read the rest of this entry
Aero #1 (Marvel Comics)
Like all major events, War of the Realms set up some new characters in the hopes of giving them their own series. Unlike other events, those new characters have more things in common with popular Manga series than other comics on the shelves, and the latest series Aero, from Zhou Liefen and artist Keng, serves as a pretty intriguing start for a brand new hero in the Marvel universe. Read the rest of this entry
We’re on the other side of the Netflix/Marvel Studios partnership, and does it feel that satisfying? As someone who watched every season of every show (even Iron Fist, which got better), I can’t say that that it does. While Jessica Jones season three has been marketed as the last season for the show and the Marvel/Netflix partnership, it’s a far cry from the stellar end cap that Avengers: Endgame gave us back in April. Read the rest of this entry
Spider-Man Annual #1 (Marvel Comics)
Ever since he stole the show in Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse, everyone’s been wondering just when we’d see Spider-Ham in the pages of a Marvel comic again. Sure, he played a role in the Spider-Geddon event, but he was never the main featured character in that event. But Peter Porker has a starring role at last in the Spider-Man Annual, and he’s got a pretty stellar creative team with Jason Latour, Phil Lord, and David Lafuente helping to bring him into a brand new adventure. Read the rest of this entry
Superman: Year One #1 (DC Comics)
It seems like every few years we get another take on the Man of Steel’s origin. Sometimes it’s a part of an ongoing story line, other times it’s a passion project. But I can’t think of a Superman origin story this high a pedigree on the creative side: Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. A new spin on the early days of Superman, Superman: Year One is a brand new installment of DC’s Black Label line of titles. For a tale that’s been told hundreds of thousands of times, every time a new Superman origin is told it has to have a new twist on the story of Kal-El’s arrival on Earth. It’s just too bad that Miller and Romita’s isn’t that interesting. Read the rest of this entry
Earlier this week, Tom King and Clay Mann dropped a major reveal on their social media pages: The Phantasm, the titular villain of the fantastic Batman: Mask of the Phantasm animated feature, is coming to their new series Batman/Catwoman. While DC has yet to officially confirm this, the fact that Tom King and Clay Mann revealed this information and have kept it up on their different feeds is proof enough that she’s coming to the DC universe, and I couldn’t be more excited. Read the rest of this entry