Tag Archives: comic book

Review: Hoax Hunter’s #1 (4.5/5)

Issues: Hoax Hunter’s #1
Writers: Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley
Artist: Axel Medellin, Tim Seeley (c)
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: July 2011
Price: $2.99

“The acclaimed backup begins its own series! A rash of mass animal deaths leads the Hoax Hunters to the Louisiana bayou. What they find is a mystery that harkens to Jack’s past – and a dangerous cryptid bent on revenge!”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
There are three things that one can do to easily win me over with a comic book. One of those things is to have the story take place in the Louisiana swamps, and guess what issue did that, Hoax Hunters #1. Spinning out of the back up stories in Hack/Slash, and then being collected into issue #0, we join the team as they embark to solve a mystery in the swamp. No this is not like Scooby Doo, it is better. I openly welcome artist Axel Medellin into the family because he nailed this issue. His panels were consistent and he created one of the most GORE-Geous swamp monsters I have ever seen. Moreci and Seeley are on top of their game with this issue. If you missed the #0 issue you don’t have to worry, because they cover some good back story here. They also move forward with great pacing and some killer mystery that is left to unfold. Hoax Hunters is simply put, a fun read that plays with monster mythos. Hell I could easily just call this the baby of Scooby Doo and Proof. A great first issue and there is still more to come, I mean come on, let’s get to the carnival already!

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to know more about Hoax Hunters please go to http://www.imagecomics.com/

AvsX – Just went Highlander on us!

Marvel Comics Monday afternoon released a teaser image for Act 3 of the Avengers vs. X-Men mega event. The image has the tag-line of “There can be only one!” The major problem with this is it is a complete rip-off from the “Highlander” franchise but maybe Disney bought that too! Well, we look forward to more original ideas coming from Marvel in the coming weeks.

Avengers Vs. X-Men – Act 3 Begins: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!

This August, the comic book event of the year – Avengers VS. X-Men – reaches critical mass as Earth’s Mightiest make their last stand against the Phoenix Force. But when the Phoenix Force yearns for a single host, who will it choose? There can only be one! Act Three kicks off in Avengers Vs. X-Men #9, hitting comic shops, the Marvel Comics app, and Marvel Digital Comic Shop this August.

Which team will reign supreme? Join the conversation on Twitter with #AvX!

For more on Avengers VS X-Men, please visit http://avx.marvel.com

Written by JASON AARON
Penciled by ADAM KUBERT
FOC – 7/9/2012, On Sale – 8/1/2012

This is WAR: Punisher War Zone revealed

Marvel Comics Friday afternoon released a fifth “This is WAR” teaser image. This teaser brings all the images together for a Punisher War Zone reboot or comic book event. According to the teaser “This is WAR” locks and loads in October. All will be revealed at the Amazing Spider-Man panel on Sunday, July 15th at 12:30PM PST, during Comic Con International 2012 according to Marvel Comics.

Gore #6 – Review

Issue: Gore #6
Writer: Alex Crippa
Artist: Emilio Laiso
Colors: Alessia Nocera
Publisher: GG Studio
Release Date: June 2012
Price: $2.99

“Demons invade the Carnival at Venice. These horrible nightmare-reflections of beloved fairytale characters are determined to tear a hole from their twisted world to ours. Demon Hunter Gabriel must force the demoness Cinderella, monster Little Mermaid, and countless others back through the portal before the last night of Carnival – else no one will live happily ever after!”

Dying Breath: 4.5 out of 5
Once upon a time there was a comic book that took your typical Fairy Tale characters and turned them into horrible killing machines, welcome to Gore. This series kind of reminds me of a video game, in that every issue has a “boss” battle, or in comic terms, a bad ass mother $&^#% fight scene! The artwork by Laiso and Nocera in this issue is fantastic, but you can probably tell that from the cover. They really won me over with the decapitation scene, but that is to be expected. The panels are always consistent and the pages shine. This is just a GORE-Geous book (that is the first time that ever worked on 3 levels)! The story in this issue is paced just right. Yes you get a great action scene, but you also get a lot of build taking place. This is the middle of the series and I can tell things are about to take a really good turn. The dialogue though does have one or two moments of confusion, but you have to keep in mind that this is being translated, so that can happen. Overall this issue just adds more great depth to this amazing series. I wish I could go back and review each and every single issue, so you have to take my word for it. There have been some great death scenes in these issues that need to be seen by horror fan eyes. I can easily recommend this book for all fans of horror.

Artwork: 5.0 out of 5 • Story: 4.5 out of 5

If you would like to buy or know more about Gore you can find it at http://www.ggstudiodesign.com

Local Collective 44 FLOOD introduces its First Kickstarter Project TOME

Based out of Chicago 44FLOOD is a new concept created by Artists MENTON3 , Kasra Ghanbari, Ben Templesmith and Nicholas Idell owner of Alleycat Comics. Ive been fortunate enough to meet and engage all 4 of the members who make up the collective 44 FLOOD over the last year. Through my various meetings with them for the site I have had the opportunity to stop by their Art Studio and get know each member and feel fortunate enough to consider them a friend of mine.

Their first project they are rolling out on Kickstarter is called TOME. Below is the press release as well as info about the Project

TOME is an annual anthology in an oversized format showcasing world-class artists as they explore a single theme using the comic book, painting, and music mediums. And by oversized we’re talking big, around 11×17″ and 180 pages! That size will let you experience art and sequential storytelling in a way that would be almost impossible outside of standing in front of the original work itself.

This year’s TOME will focus on the theme of VAMPIRISM. Modern popular culture has shown us all kinds of depictions of vampires, from the silly to the subdued. The artists in TOME will each take 3-5 pages to explore what we think is a unique and relevant take on vampirism as a whole, including the misuse of power and the objectification and exploitation of others. And at the conclusion of each artist’s contribution, they’ll have a one-page interview conducted by another artist to continue their artistic exploration.

You can find out more information on their Kickstarter as well as another video about the project and additional footage of their limited print at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/44flood/tome-0

And Follow 44FLOOD on Twitter and Facebook below

Mike DeVivo
Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots



Tales from the Water Cooler #66

Welcome to Tales From the Water Cooler!

Join Infinite Speech, Decapitated Dan, and the Southern Sensation each week as they gather around the water cooler of stories to talk about comics

Listen in as this week as the guys are joined by the the Comic Book Clergyman to talk about gay characters in comics. Then stay tuned for the picks of the week Daredevil #13, X-Factor #236, Locke & Key Clockworks #6 and Saga #3.

All that and more can be found here, each week on Tales From the Water Cooler!

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Tales from the Water Cooler: Episode #66.



Secret Avengers #27 Captain Marvel Goes on the attack

Secret Avengers #27

Story By: Rick Remender

Art By: Renato Guedes

Rick Remender and Renato Guedes tie in to Avengers vs X-Men could stand as a solid event story on it own. Chances are if you’ve looked at any comic book sites you’ve seen that Remender has brought back the original Captain Mar-Vell  to current continuity to be the Kree and the Supreme Intelligences Champion once more.

After the teams run in last issue with the Phoenix Force they are left battered and damaged and Captain Marvel uses his ties to The Protector and Ms. Marvel to take the remaining Avengers down. While the reasons and motivations for Mar-Vell’s turn back to the Kree are a mystery Remender does a fine job giving the reader definitie misdirection with  Mar-Vell as he explains his last moments to the reader. If anyone has read Jim Starlin’s fantastic Death Of Captain Marvel story you know that his recollection of his death is way different from how it originally played out.

As always Remender does a great job establishing touching moments between character on the team. Whether it’s a quiet moment between Thor and Captain Britain or something more comical between War Machine , Valkyrie and the always sarcastic Beast Remender’s dialogue never disappoints.

Renato Guedes amazing recreation of the final pages from The Death of Captain Marvel

Another area that never disappoints is Renato Guedes artwork. From the opening pages of art showing Mar-Vell on his deathbed as Thanos smiles. Following those pages Guedes throws countless beautiful pages of art at the reader. I love his attention to facial expressions and character work. With the exception of his design of Beast everything he does is on point from start to finish.

Remender and Guede’s have the rare opportunity to create a tie in story that’s has more impact than A vs. X itself. I have had more fun reading these last two issues of Secret Avengers than i have Avengers Vs X-Men and that’s largely due to Remender’s love for character development and his ability to take an older character and make him feel fresh and relevant again. Remender continues to demonstrate why hes one of the most talented writers working today and Id gladly take another team book from him to read in between the wait for Secret Avengers and Uncanny X Force. I can’t wait for the next issue.

Review Score: 8/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Review: Deadpool #54 – Deadpool is Dead, Long Live Deadpool

Deadpool #54
Writer: Daniel Way
Art: Ale Garza [Penciler], Sean Parsons [Inker], Dommo Sanchez Amara [Colorist]

Deadpool finally gets what he wanted, but does he still want it and is it too late to go back?

After setting off a massive goose chase for a serum that could allegedly negate mutant powers, Deadpool is finally “cured” of his healing factor–but not before some of the most dangerous people in the world find out that he was always aware that the serum only works on him. The serum, as it turns out, is made from DNA samples taken from a lock of Wade’s childhood hair. It even has some unexpected side-effects that are likely to have a huge impact on the character going forward–but I won’t spoil that here.

By altering the character in several ways, Daniel Way has shown his willingness to take a risk and step outside of the traditional Deadpool formula. Deadpool’s new status quo makes a ton of new stories possible, which will hopefully (I’ve got my fingers crossed) allow Daniel Way to stay on the book for another 50 issues.

Despite what certain people around here have to say about me never having anything bad to say about Deadpool, I stand by my belief that this book has been one of the most consistently fun, leave-your-brain-at-the-door reads on my pull list since I started picking it up four years ago. For anyone willing to put aside their “everything should be super serious and full of meaning” comic book elitism, now is as good a time as any to jump on.

STORY: 9/10
ART: 9/10

Review: Mega Man #12 – Welcome to the Darkside Mega Man

Mega Man #12

Story By: Ian Flynn

Art By: Ben Bates

Review Score : 8.5/10

Issue twelve marks the end of the third arc in the Archie Comics series . Dr. Wily has reprogrammed Mega Man as his servant and Dr. Light sends his Light Brigade out to go save Mega Man and take down Wily in the process. I’ve always been a huge fan of Mega Man since I was a kid and I have to say I’m really enjoying Flynn’s work on this series with the original 8 Robot Masters from Mega Man 1. They all continue to have their own unique voice and Flynn’s managed to make you care about more characters than just Megaman himself. I laughed to myself a few times reading this issue . Whether it was Ice Man and Oil Man hiding behind Gutsman arguing over which one of them would have to take a shot at the Robo Dragon , or Gutsman hating Cut Man’s terrible puns and one liners there’s enough characterization here to make a compelling case for these 8 robots to have their own book.

Flynn manages to nail all story beats from Wily’s Castle in Mega Man 2 . Every Boss makes it on the page and  drawn with awesome detail by Ben Bates. His style has really grown on me though it definitely helps seeing his artwork improve month after month. Characters pop off the page and the action moves very fast from page to page but you never feel confused by whats happening . This is a great looking cartoon in comic book form. Oh and special mention must go to the cover which is a straight homage to Mega Man 2’s Euro cover for the Nintendo even down to the Spaziante logo at the bottom in that old school Nintendo font.

I definitely didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did . However I’m going to go even further and say this arc has been the best yet and I hope this quality continues its positive trend. If you’re looking for a fun book you and a young one can read or if you’re a  fan of the character you definitely should be picking this book up .  It’s really a nice example of how the video game medium and comics can benefit one another.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Review: Secret #1 – Teeth, With Which To Eat – Terrorist Dentistry

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Ryan Bodenheim
Published by Image

Standing in the line we’re aberrations
Defects in a defect’s mirror
And we’ve been here all the time real fixations
Hidden deep in the furor-
What we do is secret-secret!

We’re influential guys for the D.C.C.
We can lie so perfect
And we’ve got a party line to every call
It’s a very short circuit-
What we do is secret-secret!

– The Germs “What We Do Is Secret”

secret01_coverHome invasion. Corporate Espionage. A shooting in London. Security firm blackmail. It’s not exactly a recipe for a whizz-bang sellout first issue for a comic book. Yet here we are. Secret is off to the presses for a second printing and comics are flying off the shelf. So how does it all stand up and work?

Actually Secret is rather sublime. There’s a grand sense of power, conspiracy, government and corporate mis-deeds reflecting the age that we live in. It’s engaging in the way that it throws you off in to the deep end, to see if you can swim in the sharks. It’s the world of Michael Clayton, but with a high-priced security firm instead of a fixer. Just as you figure it all out Hickman throws a bit of a curveball at the end. It’s a small reveal, a quick glimpse at the big picture. There’s something more than just a corporate bleed-out happening. There’s something evil about all of this. They pulled out a man’s tooth and kept it and planned to do something sinister. I immediately think of voodoo or genetic manipulation, but it could all very well be symbolic. Maybe they pulled out his fake cyanide-filled tooth so he can’t kill himself. That could point to some rather nasty business. Anyways, it’s always hard to figure out what to make of clues like this with a first issue, it’s a big speculation dart-board at this point.. Just have to wait and see if the diabolical dentistry amounts to anything substantially disturbing.

 Secret is not without its faults however. For one, I can’t remember anybody’s name in the comic. I mean yes, I’m bad with names, but still… you need to be able to identify a character in order to feel something about them and the story. And I guess that’s the other thing. I could care less about any of the characters. The little details that brings a character to life and give them personality just aren’t there. Not yet anyways, I just don’t know them enough to form any kind of connection. I supposed we’re meant to feel sympathetic with the victim of the home invasion. He didn’t really have a “Save-the-Cat” moment where he earned it though, and frankly seemed kind of whinny and pathetic. The Security Firms goons have more fire and spark than him. They are shitheads, but at least have some kind of grit and interest. Mr. White Suit probably has some problems with violence and self-control and that could prove to be interesting. However Hickman is going to have dig deep and to get me to invest in a story about corporate douche-bags. Either a next level crazy plot (of which he is definitely capable of pulling off) or some serious character development is needed to keep me around.

Bodenheim draws an elegant Secret. He uses a modern thin line and adds depth and shadow in the coloring, in somewhat cell-shaded style. A reduced palette with two or three colors per page enhance the graphic designed nature of this book and makes it pop in a unique way. It reminds me a little of Frank Miller’s select coloring choices in his Sin City series. In this case it seems less symbolic and used more for a moody and psychological lighting effect. If you take a look at a movie like Blood Simple and you’ll get what I’m talking about. The tone and the intention of a scene are revealed in the colors used and the way it was lit. I haven’t seen Bodenheim’s previous work on A Red Mass From Mars, but his characters expressions kick ass here. The are very believable and the suit that gets his house invaded, you can see the agony and fear in his eyes. It takes a special kind of artist to pull that off . Well done sir. If there’s any weakness to his work I’d say that maybe the characters are too similar in facial appearance. Perhaps that’s why I’m having a hard time telling them apart. Of maybe that’s part of the theme ala’ American Psycho. Who do you trust when everyone is cookie-cutter clone with flimsy ethics?

There’s a lot of intrigue and mystery going on in this first set-up issue. It’ll be interesting to see if it veers off into super-science or stays in the land of conspiracy and lawfirm action. If Hickman pulls this off we could see a whole new wave Grisham-like comics popping up. As far as I know it hasn’t really been done before so I’m on board check out the first few issues at least, as this one was definitely worth my time.


Story 7.5
Art. 7.5

Jerry Nelson

Follow me on twitter and tell me what you think @the_hellhounds

Ed Brubaker Image Expo interview – Dennis Leary, noir and tragedy

The Comic Vault was able to catch up with Ed Brubaker on Day 2 of the Image Expo. We were able to get to the origin of why Brubaker is so good at writing noir books. There was an interesting discussion about a Captain Stacy – Dennis Leary comic book at a spin-off from the new Amazing Spider-Man film. Then there was an awkward silence when Brubaker returned a text message. There is a slight reference to the splash-pages of early Image comics and the lack of writing. Brubaker also gave us an update on Captain America and the immediate directions it’s going. One little fun fact is Brubaker can not write in a hotel, he needs to be at home. This explained why he was only at the Image Expo for about 24 hours.

Phonogram Creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie Tease possible followup

Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie struck creative gold when they launched their series Phonogram  for Image Comics. The first Series Rue Britania focused on the idea that Music is magic and introduced us to the world of phonomancers. It was highly acclaimed and led to both creators creating a follow-up book titled The Singles Club . Matt Wilson came on to do colors for the series which was a limited run focusing on a wide group of characters some phonomancers, others not who all went to the same club.

Gillen and Mckelvie have since went on to work for Marvel . Gillen working on Journey Into Mystery and Uncanny X-Men while Mckelvie is wrapping up art duties for the  X-Men season 1 Hardcover. The creators had always wanted to continue working on their Phonogram series but it was cut short . Now just before the Image Expo this awesome and simple message has been released giving fans of Phonogram something to smile about.

This just became one of my most anticipated titles of 2012

Obviously there is a direct reference to the title Track from Daft Punk . Gillen has said that the track itself had a lot to do with the inspiration for the series .  What does it all mean ? Maybe its a reference to another Phonogram series, it could be focusing on dance music and electronica . Or are they creating a Daft Punk comic book? At this point what I’m most happy about is that Image is giving these two amazing creators the freedom to blow my mind again. What are your thoughts ?

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Spider-Man will prove that the world is flat (Ends Of The Earth)

Marvel Comics released the teaser flyer for Amazing Spider-Man #682, part one of the “Ends of the Earth” storyline written by Dan Slott with art by Stefano Caselli. Amazing Spider-Man #682 will be in your local comic book on April 21, 2012.

They’ll Go To The Ends Of The Earth To Find You In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!

The next big Spider-Man epic begins in Amazing Spider-Man #682, part one of Ends Of The Earth, by Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli! The Sinister Six, led by the vengeful Doctor Octopus, is back and they’re looking for revenge! Can Spider-Man & Earth’s Mightiest save the world before Doc Ock’s explosive endgame is revealed? Find in Amazing Spider-Man #682 hitting comic shops and the Marvel Comics app this March!

Join the conversation on Twitter with #SpiderMan.

4-page preview: Swamp Thing #6 The Rot is winning

DC Comics Tuesday afternoon released a four-page preview of Swamp Thing #6 written by Scott Snyder with art by Yanick Paquette. Swamp Thing #6 will be in your local comic book on February 1st, 2012.

Swamp Thing (2011) #6
Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Yanick Paquette.

The Rot is winning, and its necropolis in the American desert is nearly complete. With Abigail Arcane all but lost to its power and the herald of Sethe risen, Alec Holland will bitterly regret trying to flee his destiny as Swamp Thing… but even if he wanted to do the right thing, it’s too late now!

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Web Reef 2012: Online Comic Convention this weekend? WTF!

This press release came across my email today from Web Reef 2012. Web Reef stands for “Web comics, readers and fans.” The online conventions starts on February 3rd at noon and ends on February 5th at 11:59 P.M. EST. They currently have five events scheduled with the most prominent being “Crash Course to Podcasting.” Web Reef also has live chat, video conference rooms and chat rooms.

Does an online convention interest you?

PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA — Webcomics creators, readers and fans are invited to an online meetup this weekend. WEBReeF stands for “WEBcomics, Readers and Fans” and aims to behave much like a “virtual comic convention.”

The event offers 100% free registration and allows attendees the ability to attend virtual panels, Q&A sessions and drawing demonstrations via a variety of video conferencing and social media tools. An “artists alley” is available on the site’s forums, where small press artists are encouraged to post links to their portfolios and merchandise.

Comic book and webcomics creators are encouraged to attend, but the event is open to the public with the hope of bringing in readers and casual fans as well. This is the first such meetup and another is planned for later this year.

The event officially kicks off Friday, February 3, 2012 at 12 Noon EST and ends at the stroke of midnight on Monday, February 6, 2012. If you are interested in hosting a panel of your own, space is still available. Please use the provided contact form on the ‘Events Schedule’ page.

On the web: http://WEBReeF.net

This WEBReeF event is sponsored by Clownfish Media and currently hosted by the Shadowbinders webcomic (http://www.shadowbinders.com)


Moon Knight #9 Review – Moon Knight Goes on a Hellride.

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Alex Maleev
Colors by: Matt Hollingsworth
Lettering by: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover by: Alex Maleev

Moon-Knight_9Bendis’s reboot of Moon Knight is a off-beat superhero book that is hard to nail-down. You can draw some similarities to Image’s 2009 Cowboy  Ninja Viking (a comic by A.J. Lieberman and Riley Rossmo), but it doesn’t get much beyond surface detail. Marc Spector (aka Moon Knight) and Duncan both have 3 personalities. While Duncan had a cowboy, ninja, and viking running around his head; Spector has Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. The personalities in Moon Knight speak with color coded speech balloons (Capt. America is blue, Spider-Man is Red, Wolverine is Yellow), akin to how Cowboy Ninja Viking had their icons (a katana for the ninja, a gun for the cowboy, and an axe for the viking). However that’s where the likeness ends as each series varies in plot, tone, and complexity. Those comparisons aside, Moon Knight is unlike any comic I have read.

The plot is new-school noir with a dash of Sybil and a Hollywood twist. Marc Spector moves to LA to work on some TV show about his adventures as Moon Knight called “Legends of the Khonshu”. On one of his patrols as Moon Knight he intercepts the delivery of a Ultron robot body (a seed for the upcoming Ultron War?) and decides to try to find the kingpin of LA and shut him down. He’s losing his shit and seeing things. Visions of Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine show up to give him advice along the way. Spector teams up with Daredevil’s ex-girlfriend Echo, and ex-SHIELD agent Buck Lime as his R&D weapons guy (like Q from James Bond) as he fumbles around LA’s underworld. While the plot may seem like standard comic book fare, it’s really the nuanced decompressed approach that Bendis takes to the narrative that makes this a worthwhile read. He takes Moon Knight, a long-lost character that basically nobody cares about anymore, and gives him some real depth, personality and charm. Marc Spector is a flawed hero, arguably one of the most flawed ones in the Marvel Universe because of his history with schizophrenia, demon possession, multiple personalities and blood lust. Bendis makes small moments matter. He brings out the more humanistic qualities of Moon Knights faults. The kind of thing a reader can connect to. Spector is an eccentric outsider that’s self-conscious about being a d-listed super hero. He’s brash and makes hasty decisions leaving him prone to easy mistakes. He tries to be a cad, like Tony Stark, but just ends up kind of being a crappy flirt and having a lot more heart than you’d think. He’s kind of funny in a pathetic sort of way. In short, Marc Spector fails more than he succeeds, and is a lovable loser trying to redeem himself and pull out of a downward spiral. He’s that crazy underdog that you can’t help rooting for.

Last issue we learned that Count Nefaria (an old X-men and Avengers villain) turns out to be the LA kingpin and are left with a cliffhanger showdown. Issue 9 opens with a B-Story flashback to a scene with Buck Lime from a week ago. Marc basically tell’s him that he wants weapons like Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine (a shield, web-shooters, and claws). The whole issue cross-cuts between the B-story of how his weapons get engineered and the present battle with Count Nefaria. He uses these weapons to narrowly escape powerful attacks and throw Nefaria off his game. Meanwhile, Marc Spector’s personalities start to bicker and fight as combat between Nefaria, Moon Knight, and Echo intensifies. Captain America think he should call in the Avengers and get out of there, Spider-Man is smart ass about the whole affair, and Wolverine just wants to kill Nefaria. The issues climaxes with a critical injury and Spector’s mind going haywire. Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine fight to the death inside his head and he begins to unravel. Just as things start to really get interesting it concludes with one mother of a cliffhanger. I was left a bit gobsmacked by it to tell you the truth, but am reluctant to spoil it. This is the strength of decompressed storytelling. By the building up small scenes and cross-cutting with action like an editor you can really drive the narrative to a dizzying climax and make it feel as if you just watched a crucial episode of a TV show. Like the episode right before a season finale. The only thing I think we are missing from Bendis is perhaps some big set-piece that really screams Los Angeles. How about a fight scene at Mann’s Chinese Theater where Moon Knight can’t tell between the dressed-up characters and his visions. Or Explosions on Hollywood & Vine; Spector having duel in the Viper Room; A chase scene through a full crowd at Venice Beach; An escape through the LA River. You get the idea. Moon Knight is in LA, let’s fuck it up.

Alex Maleev’s art on this is very textural, almost like something you would see coming out of a figure drawing class. There’s a rough, expressionistic and somewhat scratchy quality to his inked brush work, which contrast to some of the smooth fine lines that are penned in the background. He doesn’t shy away from logotypes or typesetting in signage, giving credibility to even the most mundane scene. Also I got to say that I like that Maleev got away from the heavy use of photo references like he was using on Spiderwoman. He relied on it so much that they gave credit to the model he used for Jessica Drew and it distracted format he content of the story. It’s still apparent that references are used, but they are much more loosely interpreted. Matt Hollingsworth, who also worked with Maleev on Spiderwoman, colors in a way that pops off the page and makes LA feel like the neon-soaked broken playground that it is. It’s the coloring that really sets the mood and atmosphere for the comic. This issue is more about the night and royal blue tones are used in the same way the movie Heat was color graded with cool tones for night. Hollingsworth helps the separation that Maleev creates between the layers of foreground and background, and knockouts the inked lines where appropriate with a color overlay. Special effects radiate subtly, and are not overly photoshopped. The panels are richer for it. The cover, which is all Maleev, is striking in its color and design. It’s a blue-man Spector with yellow eyes, tearing through his Moon Knight cloak on a textured painted background. It’s stark design that possibly alludes to Spector shedding some of the baggage of his personalities.

Bendis puts Moon Knight on overdrive and sends his ass over-the-edge. Whether he lands or even come out the other side is up in the air. Literally anything could happen. That’s what great about this series. It’s an unpredictable wild ride with a fractured super-hero that’s falling apart. This series was a slow-burn to start with and now it finally has the momentum and interest to be truly great. I’m hooked and somehow I care about Moon Knight now. Making Spector vulnerable and crazy worked. He’s a good guy and I hope he pull his shit together. I’m curious to see what happens next.

Story: 8.5
Art: 7.5

Jerry Nelson

Follow me on twitter and tell me what you think @the_hellhounds


Amazing Spider-Man movie update: Lizard photo

Comicbookmovie.com found this photo at spidermedia.ru a Russian comic book website. There is no source for the photo, so it could be a fake after the Pez dispenser image was released.

This what the spidermedia.com had in their post “Here it is, the concept art of our dreams: Lizard (Lizard) from the movie “The New Spider-Man” (Amazing Spider-Man).” This was also the Google translation from Russian.

Directed by Marc Webb, Amazing Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Denis Leary, Chris Zylka, Campbell Scott, C. Thomas Howell, Julianne Nicholson and Annie Parisse. The film opens July 3, 2012 in 3D.

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

Some words about time and timing.

by John Velousis

Hello! Hopefully, you’ve seen and read our “Best-Of” column. If not, here’s a link. I’d like to point out that, in that article, all of our wonderful recommendations from this fantastic year in comics now have links so that you can buy the stuff we’re talking about – sometimes digitally, sometimes from Amazon, sometimes a bit of each. If you haven’t heard yet (from me) that I’m very close to shameless, well, now you have! Please enjoy your Black Friday shopping! Ach – BLACK FRIDAY! Black is the color of death. Black is also the color of a hole – an absence. You know what else is a hole? DEBT. The day’s name is THE closest that the collective United States of America comes to brutal self-awareness. Gotta give it props for THAT, anyway. Oh, but I do ramble on. Happy shopping, really.

You're preaching to the choir, buddy. Supergod #5. Writer: Warren Ellis, Illustrator: Garrie Gastonay, Inks: Rhoald Marcellius, Color: Digikore Studios

Perceptive readers will note that 2011 isn’t over yet. Hence, our list is NOT “The Best Comics of 2011” – look at the long, odd title I gave the thing. Elsewhere, I have said that our site “stakes its claim as the Golden Globes of the [comic book reviewing] field” by announcing our awards-like stuff first. I’ve also called our timing “a deliberate, calculated Dick Move that I orchestrated just so we’d be first.” While there’s a germ of truth in each of these statements, I’m writing THIS present article to tell you that I’m mostly joking when I say those things.

Bulletproof Coffin #6 - Story & Words: David Hine, Story & Art: Shaky Kane

The Golden Globe Awards, if you don’t know, are movie awards whose televised ceremonies generally are the third-most watched awards shows every year. (The first two are at the link, okay?) This is kind of nuts, because they are decided upon by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which has (per that Wikipedia article!) 93 members at present. Their decisions upon winners are available for purchase, it seems, but at least they’ve abandoned their original practice of figuring out winners based upon whether the winner was willing to attend their televised award ceremony. The biggest reason for their ratings success, though, is that they both announce their nominations and then show the winners before the AMPAS does so with the Oscars.

Here at the Comics Vault, our decisions are not for sale – yet! – and we are infinitely more qualified than the HFPA to announce What Is Truth in our art criticism. Why? Because they are all paid for their opinions, as professional jounalists. We, on the other hand, perform our task pro bono. We do it for love!

The Return of Bruce Wayne #6. Writer: Grant Morrison, Penciler: Lee Garbett, Inker: Alejandro Sicat, Colorist: Guy Major, Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher

As for the timing, one may very well ask, “Why now?” Or perhaps, “Are you really saying that your period of review is gonna be from the third Wednesday of November through the second one in November the next year every year? Are you nuts? Is that your deal? You’re nuts?” Well, we arereally saying that, yes. And no I am not crazy, that’s not my deal, not really.

Oh, behave! Knight and Squire #2. Writer: Paul Cornell, Artist: Jimmy Broxton, Colorist: Guy Major

As for “Why now?” The reason is because, why NOT now? We are free, you know. ALL of us, all human beings, in SOME sense are truly free, insofar as where no rules exist, we may make our own. That is what we here at The Comics Vault have done. We reject the idea that we must obey the arbitrarily chosen first day of the Julian and Gregorian Calendars. We are no more bound to start and end at that date than we are to spend it observing The Feast of the Circumcision. We are art critics! Capital-A Art is fearless; it doesn’t bolster rules, it bends rules to its whim. We would be UNFIT to render judgment upon the pieces of this medium were we to aspire to any less.

Oh, just plop down like you own the joint! GOD! From a story in DC Universe Legacies #8. Writer: Len Wein, Artist: Frank Quitely, Colorist: Peter Doherty, Letterer: Rob Leigh

Now, to be frank, none of the writers here knew in MAY of this year – let alone November of 2010 – that we would be blogging about comics right now. So, yeah, there’s a good likelihood that we missed some awesome thing that shipped in December of 2010 – in fact, this whole article is illustrated with some of my favorite stuff from the last two months of 2010. Well, next year, we’ll do better. And if we want to, we will reject the sun itself and start observing 26-hour days. Because we are free, and that, my friend, is how we roll. Thank you for visiting us here, and as Tony Stark would say, keep coming back!

Review: The Walking Dead #90

The Walking Dead 90 Cover

The Walking Dead #90
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard

“We Are The Walking Dead!”- Rick Grimes, Issue #24

They must be, cause there sure aren’t any zombies to be found in this issue. Usually, I wouldn’t be okay with such madness, if it had been in any other zombie medium. But with Kirkman at the helm, you’re sure to get a great character pieces.

This issue, like always, follows directly after the cliffhanger of the previous book.  Which in comparison to dozens of other past issues, this one is fairly light. The community, that Rick and company resides in, are beginning to fear them as they’ve shown a heavy dose of violence (competence) to recent life-or-death situations. As our gang is well oiled in almost every post-apocalyptic scenario imaginable (note to self *Not Possible.) this sheltered community fears they’re abrasive-ness and their will to survive in any given situation. They’re the alpha dogs and of course Rick nails the point in. The whole time Rick spouts a speech, stating that he doesn’t want to kill anyone that came before him, but he wants to protect everyone, while holding a gun dead to the face of the communities instigator. Don’t get me wrong, I believed every word that Rick said, just someone should have pulled him aside and said: “This is kinda why they fear us”.

As I’ve said before, there is not one zombie to be found in this entire issue; so kudos to Robert Kirkman for scene after scene of progressive character development. Like I’ve said in past reviews, I can’t help but get excited when I know the writer of a comic has passion and is excited as well to work on a project. This goes doubly for Kirkman as he is the creator and writer since the beginning of this series. So every character feels completely genuine to me. I never doubt if Rick is acting out of character, or if Carl is jumping in front of the wrong bullet. Some issues can get redundant, with minimal characterization. But then you get issues like this one and you can’t help but fall in love all over again. I can only hope that when Kirkman is finished, that Image Comics allows him to put the series to a close… and we’ll always have the television show which has endless material to play in and if you’re not watching AMC’s The Walking Dead, shame on you.

Charlie Adlards art is what we’ve seen issue in and issue out. He hits all the emotional beats, as he’s greatly improved drawing proportionate faces, which adds to weight of the drama. Though I’d say his backgrounds have taken a slight hit from the latter; but with great dialogue, the focus on the close-ups proved effective throughout the book.

This issue ends with yet another cliffhanger; not of terrifying proportions, but on the note of love. A love I’ve been dying to see come to pass! Cause again, with Kirkman at the helm, it just feels right.

Story: 9.5
Art: 8.5

And to send you all off, check out what my boyfriend bought me this weekend:

Rick Grimes B&W Variant - McFarlane Figures

That’s right, be jealous. =]

Follow me on Twitter @ddsuperbatnix

Real life Spider-Man wedding photo

My wedding photos have just arrived!

We had an amazing photographer, Dan Chen from chennergy.com. Dan is a huge fan of comics and  he was really excited to work at Architectural Artifacts in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. My wedding to Margo was on September 10, 2011 (9,10,11).

Dan and I are huge comic book nerds so there is no way possible that we weren’t going to try to recreate the cover to Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. Margo was a great sport and that is why I married her.

To see the rest of our wedding photos and the amazing work of Dan Chen click here: chennergy.com/blog

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault