Tag Archives: emotion

Punk Rock Jesus #2: Comic Book Heaven

Punk Rock Jesus #2

Vertigo Comics

Story and Art By: Sean Murphy

Only two issues in and I can already say that this has the makings to be one of the best titles of the year. Last issue set all the characters into play and left a pretty crazy cliffhanger to boot. This issue starts six months after and immediately sets the tone by showing the New American Christians or N.A.C leading a protest and possible siege of the island and boat that the show takes place on. For as many fans the reality show has gained there are just as many people who are ready to end the life of the child and mother.It’s a heavy concept that Sean Murphy tells fearlessly.

While the main character may be the little boy from last issue who’s grown up as a hired mercenary, each other supporting character feels fleshed out as well. These are complex characters that feel real and are well-defined in this world. Murphy is slowly easing every character into the foreground and it makes for an exciting read.Put simply you care for these people.

I can’t say enough about Sean Murphy’s art. His work has always been amazing but he takes advantage of the black and white format to really show off his skills. He has a gritty style but can easily show a range of emotions. He draws everything from a smirking producer to a crying mother who feels helpless in this issue and manages to drive whatever emotion he wants you to experience through his art. Each page is full of detail and his work here never feel stale due to the fact that he seems to constantly experiment with layouts and perspectives from page to page.

Amazing single page from issue 2 of Punk Rock Jesus

A single event sets the action and story in motion half way through the book. That feels like a significant moment in a book that’s only two issues in. Iit will be interesting to see where Murphy takes his huge supporting cast of characters from here for the four remaining issues.  Punk Rock Jesus is a high concept book told incredibly well. This is a story that resonates with me as soon as I finish each issue and makes you think about what the world would be like if this were to happen. It’s a great story that’s made better by the great character work and art. It’s a great example that comics don’t always have to be about superheroes and horror to be great and a book everyone should pay attention to.

Review Score: 9.5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Spider-Men #3 An “Event Book” Done Right

Spider-Men #3

Story By: Brian Michael Bendis

Art By: Sara Pichelli

After an introductory issue that created the set up for 616 Peter Parker arriving in the Ultimate Universe  we finally learn that 616 Mysterio is behind everything. Issue 3 starts with Mysterio on the attack as his Avatar convince bot Peter and Miles that every Spider Villain has come t destroy them. Its a fun and intense battle that continues to show case both Spidermen extremely well. Brian Michael Bendis also continues to do a great job separating Miles and Peter from one another giving them their own voice as the fight everyone from Carnage to Miles Uncle this issue.

Peter has seen Mysterio do this type of thing before and distracts Mysterio long enough for Miles to put the hurt on Mysterio’s Avatar which backfires and knocks our 2 heroes out long enough for Mysterio to make his escape.

Sara Pichelli’s art continues to be one of the biggest selling points. She is just as important to the story. Giving both Miles and Peter their own signature moves. The action never feels choppy or out-of-place and it never once feels odd seeing Villains from Marvel’s 616 world next to their Ultimate counterparts. Their were several moments where I just stared at her pages in awe at the level of detail she packs into each panel. Sara’s always been able to draw a great action scene but its the closing pages that really surprised me. Pichelli captures emotion is such a great way that you cant help but match the same look she gives to Peter at the end of this issue.

Miles and Peter battle Mysterio in the earlier pages of Spidermen #3

Miles is woken up by The Ultimates after the fight but Peter is no where to be found. All of this leads up to the final pages I spoke of earlier. I must say that any Spidey fan is going to be shocked at the ending of this issue. I know I was legitimately saddened. I also cant wait to read the next issue to see how this all plays out for Peter.

Event books are a necessary evil in the comic world. I have to say I’m extremely impressed at the high level of quality being brought to this series. It does exactly what an event book is supposed to do. After reading this series I’m genuinely interested more now in both characters then i was prior to reading Spidermen. Also this Event Book seems to have implications that will last for both Peter and Miles in futures issues of their respective books. If you haven’t picked up this book yet give it a try its only five issues long and has done a great job so far convincing me that the Marvel world is big enough for two Spidermen.

Review Score 8.5/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow Me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Review: Harbinger #2 – Slow down a minute

Writer: Joshua Dysart
Pencils: Khari Evans & Lewis LaRosa
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: 7/11/2012

The hunt for Peter Stanchek intensifies after an epic battle with Pittsburgh S.W.A.T forces him to use his powers out in the open. Now he faces the most difficult decision of his life. Continue to put his friends in harm’s way…or abandon them for the safety of Toyo Harada’s Harbinger Foundation?

Story: 8/10 • Artwork: 8.5/10 • Overall 8.3/10
After an insane first issue I was pumped for issue two of Harbinger. What happens when you wait a month for a book that you’re hyped for? It never meets your expectations. The second issue took a long time to get where it was going without a lot of emotion. Peter Stancheck has to make a decision at the end of this issue and there doesn’t seem to be as much weight to his answer. If Joshua Dysart developed the characters for a couple more issues Peter’s decision could have had some serious weight to it. Also, battle lines were drawn in the first issue and they felt brushed aside in the second.

What seem like fluid layout design in the first issue was very awkward in the second. This was supposed to be Peter’s first big battle. He destroyed everything but no one page or panel had me nerd-out. All the action seemed to follow the dialogue instead of matching or leading. This delay made it hard to realize that Peter was causing the destruction. I know that Peter is using his mind and we can’t see inside his head but there has to be a better way to tell the story. Peter is losing control but the reader doesn’t understand why because the issue doesn’t visually show it and Peter doesn’t communicate it with his dialogue.

The plot-line and mystery progressed well in this issue but I wanted more. I know that Dysart has this grand world that he wants to show us but my only advice would be to slow down and develop characters so that when an emotional moment happens, it means something.

What is awesome about this issue is if you add a few editor tweaks to it, you have a great issue. Which means issue three will knock your socks off.

Follow Matthew Sardo on twitter @comicavult

Irredeemable #37 (8.5/10) Waid goes out with a smile

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Issue: Irredeemble #37
Mark Waid
Pencils: Diego Barreto
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Release Date: May

THE FINAL ISSUE OF MARK WAID’S SEMINAL SUPERHERO SERIES! Can the Plutonian, seemingly IRREDEEMABLE, find his salvation? What is the true definition of a hero? And can a world, ravaged by loss and carnage, ever believe in such an idea again? The stunning, breathtaking conclusion to Mark Waid’s Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated superhero saga. DO NOT MISS THIS FINAL ISSUE OF A MASTER WRITER’S TOUR DE FORCE!

Story: 9.5/10 • Artwork: 7.5/10 • Overall 8.5/1o
How does one wrap-up an idea that is as big and bold as Irredeemable in one issue, hero to villain, you don’t try! What Mark Waid does is execute a plan that was in place since 2009. If you read Waid’s introduction from Irredeemable #1 he talks about “Kingdon Come” and “Empire” are just two-parts of a trilogy of superhero philosophy. Irredeemable #37 is about connecting all those ideas and coming full circle.

A finale issue should bring closure to a series and give you hope for the future. In a very obvious way Waid wraps up the book and gives the reader a smile with the last page. The first half of the issue is a very generic superhero story, WE HAVE TO SAVE THE WORLD! The second half is divide into parts, the wrap-up and the look to the future. The wrap-up is organic and not forced. Waid gives the reader a complete story and huge philosophical nut to chew on for the rest of the day.

As an eternal kid at heart that loves super heroes and what they stand for, the last two pages gave me the biggest smile in the world. The Irredeemable storyline is complete and I look forward to Waid’s next philosophical super hero tale.

Diego Barreto’s artwork is solid but nothing ground breaking. The splashed page worked really well to convey emotion and the magnitude of the situation. What didn’t work was the color of the book, it was too bright. If you compare the last issue to the first issue it is extremely bright. A darker tone would have worked better. What would have taking the book over the top is if the book progressively went from dark to light.