Friday 29 May 2020

True Believers: Annihilation - Nova #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you Nova origin realness as Richard Rider takes the mantle. Let's dive in!
I'm a fan of the Annihilation titles so Nova frequented those comics a lot but I never actually read his origins - I simply just know he exists. I love how he is like a teenage underdog which I find keeps the story relatable and grounded. I love that he will stand up to the bully and others stand up for him too which I feel like we need more in this world - to stand up to bullies. This in itself is aided in chapters (don't think I've seen this for quite some time!) in which it provides milestones for the rite of passage of Richard's journey.
I love how the doctor doesn't question Richard Rider's spasm magically levitates off the bed. I do love a maxi challenge but this is too a whole different level - wig! Not only that, but Richard also seems to have taken to his newfound powers lit-er-really to the next level by quickly grasping them within a few pages.

A character worth mentioning is Richard's beau Ginger (well, she hopes anyway) who is always there for him but forgets all that with a drop of her hat (girl, can't blame ya) after she believes that he stood her up (instead he is actually superhero-ing). You know it just shows her being human and that she isn't too polished herself which the same could be said for Richard as there is a very brief moment when his mind goes to evil and quickly turns back to good. 
I absolutely love how he questions stuff like having powers is the stuff of sci-fi when he also mentions that he lives in the same world as Spider-Man and Iron Man!

The villain of the story is Zorr who the original Nova lost his family to and he - spoiler alert - takes him down in the end so I'm guessing he just needed time to not only transfer their power to someone but to build a weapon in the meantime or it just doesn't make sense!

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Potential for a worldly adventure with cosmic proportions - count me in! Richard and I are on a first-name basis. 

True Believers: Annihilation - Nova #1 (originally printed as Nova volume 1 #1)
Marv Wolfman - concept/story/editing
John Buscema & Joe Sinnott - artists
Joe Rosen - letterer
Michele Wolfman - colourist

Wednesday 27 May 2020

True Believers: Absolute Carnage - Separation Anxiety #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing some Venom realness in that he is being imprisoned and a breakout is underway from some beings he may be familiar with. Let's dive in!
To start off, the comic feels like an internal monologue for Eddie Brock's thoughts which I love as it's a departure from the loud brashness of comics that come off the slugfest of Spider-Man comics. The thoughts are captured in short text boxes providing I would say a clear passage for the real horrors of his ways. It's cathartic in that it shows his repentance and remorse which is a very welcome change from myself (he's always really shown a level of nobleness). I love the way that the internalised thoughts foreshadow his strengths in that he's been bound up despite being separated from his Symbiote (with good reason as we later find out).
The story propels forward movingly between the apparent strong connection between Eddie and his Symbiote which for the first time that I've seen be called the "other". This connection provides Eddie with strengths to break the shackles which were nice to see that the bond wasn't just established physically but I'm guessing psionically too? This adds layers of depth to both the characters of Eddie and the Symbiote that felt natural seeing that they fused together biologically. The story is aided by Spider-Man's appearance in which Eddie accepts his past actions and wishes to redeem and rectify it, which I found was an awwww moment. There's not an Eddie Brock story without him getting naked - hubba hubba!

There's always got to be that secondary character in the form of Mr Ellis who has to get the scoop for the papers. I've already dealt with Hobbs in a Thor storyline but another one! HIs plot point is to just become a hostage.
The art style is amazing with the movements of the Symbiotes form as they take down the facility holding Eddie captive. Love the shard panels which forms the unhinged nature of Eddie's conflict but changes, when it is called for, which was an excellent touch!

Subscibe? Ummm ya!

Eddie and I are on first-name basis now x

True Believers: Absolute Carnage - Separation Anxiety #1 (originally printed as Venom: Separation Anxiety #1)
Howard Mackie - writer
Ron Randall - penciler
Sam DeLaRosa - inker
Ken Lopez - letterer
Tom Smith - colourist
Danny Fingeroth  - editor 

Friday 22 May 2020

True Believers: Absolute Carnage - Mania #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! Robertson, a person with so much to prove, investigates a strange going-on when someone calls out for help in a bunker in the middle of some antarctic. Let's dive in!
The issue is giving me The Thing-vibes as it's set in Antarctica with all-round horror elements. Not much is given away but of course, if you link the two with being a Venom comic, you can kind of guess that Symbiotes are involved. It's just a different type of alien infection you can say!

Some of the art doesn't feel right in a horror piece but it does pull it off in a strong manner especially when she finds a room where it's been totally ransacked. The expressions are very emotive and even the dog has strong emotions. I also love the extra element of the dogs barking as they sense a disturbance being more attuned to their surroundings. Saying that actually gives me the chills and there's one particular panel that just gives me the creeps. Furthermore, the question posed is of who (or what!) was truly calling out for her help at the base.
The characterisation of Robertson does feel refreshing, more so in a Marvel environment where I am so accustomed to characters, I immediately recognise. Robertson feels more grounded as she keeps it real with her emotions and finding in herself to do what's right. She characters actually been given multiple dimensions by the first half of the issue.
It ends with a true cliffhanger as the person she brings back starts convulsing. They've been infected by an alien - called it!

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There's a lot of suspense, underlying horror and humour in this issue mixed in with a likeable character in Robertson. I want to read more!

True Believers: Absolute Carnage - Mania #1 (originally printed as Venom volume 1 #1)
Daniel Way - writer
Francisco Herrera - penciler
Carlos Cuevas - inker
Studio F - colourist
Dave Sharpe - letterer
John Miesegaes - editor 
Axel Alonso - supervising editor
Marvel - publisher

Wednesday 20 May 2020

True Believers: Iron Man 2020 - Albert & Elsie-Dee #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time it's bringing a comic that is supposedly in spirit with the new Iron Man 2020 comic. Don't see how though so let's dive in!
The comic follows Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike as they slug it out with each other. They let into their animalistic natures as they let out howls and cries. This is complemented by the grainy artwork which adds on to the overall feel and unhinged action. It's pretty interesting as Sabretooth in comics is there to make Wolverine's life miserable but Lady Vengeance is constantly on his case as she so firmly believes that Wolverine has stolen her father's work. Wolverine really does have some interesting oppositions!
When I was younger, I felt that the Wolverine stories I read in the UK's Collectors' Edition in Wolverine & Gambit/Wolverine and Deadpool were something I was in tune with, so out of obligation I would get it as I was getting all the other collectors' editions. But now just reading this issue, it actually feels poetic in a surreal way.
Interestingly, they seemed to have involved time travel as a plot tool in a form of a literal tornado - it's giving me there's no place like home vibes (it does send them home). What's changed in the past seems to change the future in real-time. So many questions and I'm here for it! Another subplot is that of Donald Pierce who has a nefarious plan brewing in the background which I find does not get in the way of the main story which in fact elevates it.

Subscribe? Yes!

Would love to see what Pierce has in store for Wolverine!

True Believers: Iron Man 2020 - Albert & Elsie-Dee No 1 (originally printed as Wolverine Volume 1 #37)
Larry Hama - script
Marc Silvestri - pencils
Dan Green - inks
Pat Brosseau
Glynis Oliver - colouring
Bob Harris - editor
Tom DeFalco - editor in chief

Friday 15 May 2020

True Believers: X-Men - Bishop #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing you Bishop's first appearance with the X-Men rushing to rescue Jean Grey. Let's dive in!
Interesting to see that the issue starts off with Prof X and Forge playing chess which harkens back to the days of Fox's X-Men film franchise. I can't seem to think of any other issues that X-Men issues that have chess has chess as their centrepiece which of course has become synonymous and a metaphor for the film franchise. Just a random thought (I'm pretty sure there must be an infinite number of issues). 
It's fascinating that - spoiler alert - Jean's mind inhabits Emma Frost's but is able to attune herself psychic-ly in a way that she is able to manifest abilities out of Emma Frost's remit (her telekinesis). I can't seem to think of any other comics whereby this has ever happened. It comes as a surprise to me as well as the villain of the comic Fitzroy. There must be an X-Men issue that explores the science of this and I need to know now!

The art style is excellently drawn and I LURVE some accentuated striking dramatic backgrounds especially when the powers are being used such as when Professor X uses Cerebro, Storm's psychic abilities or Fitzroy's assimilation powers. It's really wonderful to behold!

The writing of the characters adds great excitement seeing all the X-Men properly use their powers together like pieces of a puzzle. It's a great joy to read and it totally fits as well when Storm dishes out the tasks to everyone and Angel is already one step ahead in anticipating it. I mean if they work together for so long on many of a battlefront... it just makes sense! Moreover, there are additional minor characters that are quickly disposed of by Fitzroy really shows off his unhinged personality.
The story itself is superbly put together with the battle intensifying to the end of not fully knowing which side has the upper hand. But when Fitzroy has the final say and then bam... Bishop! 

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The way that Bishop is introduced with so little words which of course forms as his titular introduction to the X-Men world is very exciting! I'm sure at the time there was a lot of mystery surrounding what the character can do so I can only see what exciting things will come off the back of this issue. 

True Believers: X-Men - Bishop #1 (originally published as Uncanny X-Men #282)
Whilce Portacio - plotter & penciler
Art Thibert - inker
John Byrne - scripter
Dana Moreshead - colourist
Tom Orzechowski - letters
Bob Harras - editor
Tom DeFalco - chief

Wednesday 13 May 2020

True Believers: Iron Man 2020 - Jocasta #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... another dollar for your comic! This time it's bringing Avengers realness. Ultron having made work on members of the Avengers wants a new bridge for himself by transferring Janet Van Dyne's consciousness in his newly created being. It's not gonna be that easy as the Avengers have something to say about that. Let us dive in!

I've actually previously read this I believe in the Panini's UK Collectors' Edition of Avengers United. The story jumps straight into the deep end with members of the Avengers already been dispatched by Ultron. The whole comic was really easy to follow without having to know the backstories or what went on before the issue but it was simple enough to jump into it (even after having reading this so many years ago).

Interestingly enough this helps with the plot and essentially the philosophy of the man behind the machine but it's turned on its head with Ultron taking the wheels on Hank. It's also interesting that Hank creates evil but in turn, Ultron creates goodness.
The standout characters would probably be Janet and Jocasta (who is actually not named in the issue) as they recoil and plead with Hank to stop with the process of transferring Janet to the metallic body. The art styling is amazing as it intensifies and mellows in different colour variations which seems synonymous in how far the transferral process is.
Of course, there would not be an Avengers entrance without the team busting through the walls in high fashion slayage. Bring on Black Panther, Thor, Iron Man and Wonder Man.

Subscribe? Yes!

It'll be interesting to see the dynamic between Hank is the rest of the team while he's been brainwashed. Take me to that next level!

True Believers: Iron Man 2020 - Jocasta No. 1 (Originally printed as Avengers #162)
James Shooter - writer
George Perez - artist
Pablo Marcos - inker
Denise Wohl - letters
Don Warfield - Colors
Archie Goodwin - editor

Friday 8 May 2020

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Absorbing Man #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! This time I'm bringing origin realness in the form of Absorbing Man as they take on Thor. Let's dive in!
It's so strange getting to know of Absorbing Man's origin as he's so interwoven in the stories I've read since my early teens. He's taken on countless Heroes, leader of the Wrecking Crew supervillain team and he's Titania's bae. I've never actually given much thought to his background much until now and oh boy, oh boy, was I not disappointed!
The characterisation of Loki is of course very on point in that they're always into their scheming ways and this is nothing no less in bringing Thor down. Loki would have been able to get away with it if wasn't for those meddling ummm... Thor!

I love that there's thought to Thor's method as he wrestles with the Absorbing Man as he thinks of his techniques rather than a straight-out duke-fest. It's wonderfully illustrated as he takes to using his powers to inadvertently deals with his obstacles. The supporting characters seem to be taking more of a forefront with Hobbs wanting the scoop (ya can't just leave it out and come looking for trouble!) and Jane (gone are the days when she is the damsel in distress).
Okay, time for Absorbing Man! There are great visuals to their abilities in that they become the material of whatever they touch (given the name - duh). I love that they just jump straight into the action after being given powers from Loki without questioning it. Two snaps to a supervillain who has ambitions! They actually have more realistic goals of becoming mayor of sorts rather than the detrimental need to take over the world.

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It provided a huge character leaps for existing and new characters rather than to take them down a root of... here's a new character - fight! 

True Believers: The Criminally Insane - Absorbing Man #1 (originally printed as Journey into Mystery volume 1 #114)
Stan Lee - writer
Jack Kirby - artist
Chic Stone - inker
Sam Rosen - letterer

Wednesday 6 May 2020

True Believers: Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary - Power Man and Iron Fist #1 (re:view)

A dollar for your comic! Luke Cage is on a rampage through Iron Fist's home to look for Misty Knight. It's not going to be that easy he will find... Let's dive in!
I don't think it was intended for a comedic opening but I sure did find it humorous that it opens up with Colleen staying over at Iron Fist's property as her place getting remodelled, but of course, Power Man busts through the wall and it would seem Iron Fist is now due for some remodelling as well. 

Anyway, there's that argument to be had if Power Man really turned full villain which was the impression Colleen was under as she has to work with the brute force of Power Man and she does make work of him... werk! It's interesting to see the dynamic as instead of having two titans thug it out. It's actually quite refreshing to have thoughts panned out their moves during a tussle and flight might just be the best option especially knowing what you're up against which is what Colleen does. 
This also applies to Misty as her thoughts are on display... come to think of it, it is a thought-focused comic as all three (Colleen, Misty and Iron Fist) uses their thoughts to compose their strategy as they know they are at no feat of Power Man's strength.

The emotions on the characters' faces are beautifully displayed from the sense of urgency from Colleen to the penultimate moment when Power Man almost rinses the air out of Iron Fist. The moment captured in his eyes was so strong that my wig flew into the next universe. 
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I feel that this layers Luke Cage's character with so much depth and continue the very mystery of what ends up with the loved ones that he so needed to capture Misty Knight for. 

True Believers: Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary - Power Man and Iron Fist # 1 (originally published as Power Man Vol 1 #48)
Chris Claremont - writer
John Byrne - Penciler
Dan Green - inker
Annette Kawecki - Letterer
Francoise Mouly - Colourist
Archie Goodwin - editor 

Friday 1 May 2020

True Believers: X-Men - Karima Shapandar, Omega Sentinal #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... a comic for your dollar! X-Men are bringing us a blended smoothie of love story/thriller and comedy as Neal Shaara tries and uncovers the mystery behind the disappearance of his brother. Let's dive in!
I vaguely remember Neal being in Xtreme X-Men many of a years ago but never really got to know him as I do now. The juxtaposition of the past and present nicely interweaves the genres of the thriller in the past and the comedy of the present which masterfully actually provides comic relief from the intense sensations that the past brings.

The comic is, of course, named after the titular character Karima Shapander who provides a thick layer of storytelling in that being taken over from a force higher than her in that her love for Neal transcends that of her ultimate demise. Breaks my heart! There is such a beautiful action sequence that becomes a repose in the middle of the comic which comes at a very nice surprise (particularly with the subdued ambient tone of the past).
The present offers great comedy genius with laugh out loud moments. I don't remember a single X-Men comic that disperses such laughter in such bursts and I'm living for it!

What I learned about the character of Neal: he's a lady's man and he has daddy

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It's been masterfully written and a blend of genres was beautifully done

True Believers: X-Men - Karima Shapandar, Omega Sentinal No 1 (originally printed as X-Men Unlimited #27)
Chris Claremont and Joe Pruett - story and script
Brett Booth and Ron Lim  - pencils
Scott Elmer, Michael Kraiger, Rich Perrotta, Cliff Rathburn, Rod Ramos and Vince Russell - Inks
Kevin Somers - colours
Sharpefont & PT - letters
Jason Liebig - edits
Bob Harras - chiefs