Review – Malefic #8

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Hot on the heels of an asylum revolt, mass death and new adventures in persona extraction and development we return to dear Doctor Freust. Inmate Eleven has had a fun time playing real mind games using telepathy and other means of terror to inflict trauma. Not one to sit out a fight, Freust rises to the challenge, spinning with new ideas for this last bout as Malefic draws to a close.

The final issue packs a punch, Freust has to face her greatest fears and overcome the one patient that has eluded her. How does one fight the devil when mortal concepts and creations have failed? When facing what appears as pure evil, where is the line? Is there even a line? It’s a thing with this issue, and eventually one has to weigh the greater good or at least a good nights rest vs the eternal torture that would otherwise follow.

Dan Schaffer wraps up a very disturbing season of Malefic with a bang, bringing Freust to the top of her game, showing her personality shift to finally shine in this pit. She’s seen thugs and violence, danced with psychic combatants, and poked into the minds of every inmate there only to take a few stabs at fixing things. She’s battle-hardened at this point, each challenge meant to break her very being but instead making her let go of that past life, piece by piece.

David Miller shines in the final pages of this series or at least this first volume. Bringing everything to life with intense gestures, contorted bodies, and expression, the rage and action filling the pages. Looks of dread and terror dominating with intense contrast, with so much going on and the stakes at their highest, Miller brings it home for Malefic. For those following Freust’s doll experiment, there’s no shortage of high-quality gesture and feedback. The final showdown pages with Freust and Eleven are priceless, the darkness wraps around the pages and brings these characters to their prime.

Malefic isn’t for everyone, but for those looking to explore supernatural challenges that completely break the norm it’s a must read series. For those on a budget, the whole series is also wrapped in a single volume option now. It’s next level macabre with horrors and moments that make it a thrill through the pages to see what happens next and how bad things can keep getting.

For those looking to find the perfect little horror comic for that one special someone, this should do it. Really, it’s damaging in a beautiful way.

Link: Order (Digital) | Volume 1 (Issues 1 – 8)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

Review – Malefic #7

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Overdue a bit, but finishing out the coverage round of Malefic for the holidays as it’s a unique entry into the field of superheroes and fantasy tales out there. Reviews date back to the first issue and a summary will follow after the review of issue 8 goes live next. For now, a bit of chaos as we revisit Doctor Freust in the den of madness, indulging in her darkest desire as all hell prepares to break loose.

With Grayson entering the fray we see the doctor facing that which sent her into this hotel of damnation. While basic impulse and logic would steer one away from such madness, the good doctor ignores that and runs head-on into her encounter with Grayson, knowing full well about the abilities within. The doctor finds herself lost to the moment as inmate eleven stirs the pot, teasing about inevitable destruction and murder. It’s not long before the situation goes sideways and we find Doctor Freust rushing to action.

It’s a tense series of moments within the asylum, setting up Freust to see the fruits of her labor with experiments on the inmates and still tackling new challenges as everything burns around her. Fortunately, that moment of passion and her lapse in judgment fades and she’s able to reassess her situation and tackle the few small battles that come at her. Unfortunately, wits only get her so far before she’s facing down the larger and more violent members of the facility.

Miller helps create balances of tension and emotion within the pages of issue 7. Dealing with battles of persona, ultra-violence, and Freusts responses to the wild issues raging within is certainly a challenge. Topping that off, Grayson gets a spectacular display of insanity under the diagnostic specs that really drives home how sick of a guy she was dealing with.

While readers do see a loss in issue 7, it’s almost inevitable with a challenge of that size and a comic as dark as this. Happy endings in Malefic are more of a myth and sign of deeper delusion than a reality there. With only one issue left, it’s hard to imagine how Dan Schaffer wraps this chaotic whirlwind up.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Malefic #6

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Fresh off a complete meltdown from inmate eleven we join Doctor Freust we step into issue 6 of Malefic. Our doctor isn’t holding up well from these mental traumas, while she claims to be strong enough to withstand them, reality would say otherwise. Things pick up in the prison yard and carry on as the staff attempts to resume a regular schedule.

It’s a triple-header of insanity, Doctor Freust struggles to show her attachment to reality while treating Hollywood horrors with equally wild solutions, bringing back inmates from the dead, reviewing normalcy on an insane mind and dancing with the devil and their latest friend. While not an extended issue it certainly packs so many bits to push the story along.

Doctor Freust falls deeper into experimentation and fringe science to solve problems with the inmates, going so far as to throw some under the bus simply for data logging and observation. It’s an interesting twist of the character, someone who resisted, teased and now has jumped completely into the world her father created all while losing herself to the madness within the prison. As she corrupts under the power of inmate eleven so much of her original character starts to vanish and we get this darker figure that keeps evolving with the story.

The art in issue 6 is on par minus a highlight with one of our famous inmates who has an extremely detailed panel to herself. There are some horror highlights as well but this inmate genuinely gets treatment that stands apart from the rest of the book while retaining the format style so that it doesn’t completely detract from the experience. David Miller puts in some intense pencil work and it doesn’t go unnoticed here.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Malefic #5

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Normally I have a quirky intro here talking about the prior issue, I’m still at a loss, I mean it’s not like I’ve had time to reflect on that issue but that’s cold, actually in the immortal words of Ice-T, it’s cold McDonalds. Doctor Freust had some ups and downs, in her latest encounter with inmate eleven she had her mental wellbeing crushed without mercy.

Issue 5 brings in psychic remnants, mind reading, walks of shame, ultra experimental tinkering, and shattered dreams. We learn of new inmates, inmates we didn’t even know existed, and watch inmate eleven run the show on our dear Doctor Freust as she attempts to navigate a massive blow to her credibility and respect among the inmates and get her head back in the game. It’s a tricky situation but she does her best to survive another day in a hellish environment. Unfortunately just as she thinks she has a handle on things, a new challenger/ patient/inmate is set to arrive while the prison is in chaos.

Dan Schaffer spends a bit of time trying to piece together Doctor Freust, we see a shaken and eager doctor move to vindicate herself after being toyed with by inmate eleven. It’s not easy to rebound from a heavy mind game, let alone one created by supernatural psychic power. If she has the skills to continue though is entirely in the air, she’s eager but that might compromise her ability to get the job done.

David Miller steps up to the plate with this latest featured inmate, we see a range of emotion as confusion and reality set in, the lines between a self-made world and the facts create turmoil and rash outbursts that are well expressed on the pages. The character details certainly stand out and bring some added depth to the page.

Overall issue 5 of Malefic keeps the story rolling, it doesn’t just leave Doctor Freust as a fumbling mess hiding from herself and trying to escape. Instead, she tries to rise to meet the challenges ahead even if that means dealing with patients she could mentally shatter in the process.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Malefic #4

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

After experiencing a high note, Doctor Freust gets the wind knocked out of her sails as inmate eleven discloses she’s unleashed a threat insane the building. With a murderer on the loose, it’s going to get rough in a hurry. Good fortune only lasts so long in that place.

Issue 4 heads right into the mess and takes little time to unveil the latest star of the issue. While shaken, Doctor Freust still has her wits and confidence going on and faces off with an inmate atop the building. It’s an interesting exchange with a sign that our Doctor is leaving bits of her reluctance behind and instead embracing the madness her father pioneered. Unfortunately, chaos was still alive and well throughout the facility leaving Doctor Freust to navigate the maze inmate eleven was working on.

Seeing inmate eleven resume the mind f… un with the Doctor is a strange series of encounters, we learn that anything Doctor Freust thought she figured out about eleven is completely wrong. While some inmates are easily decoded and sedated, eleven is completely on another level and that message is delivered with shocking clarity and so little mercy to Freust and the readers as well.

The art throughout issue 4 is on par with the series so far, conveying emotion through gestures, body position and other accents. Readers learn new workings of the building and the landscape surrounding it. While it feels confined, it’s actually a wider experience of what the world in Malefic has to offer, at least within that limited landscape.

I take my hat off to Dan Schaffer and David Miller, that closing section genuinely had me take a long pause.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

Review – Malefic #3

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Malefic gave a dose of the inmates in the last issue, showing some of the more paranormal skills and oddities surrounding the asylum. Doctor Freust learned a bit more about herself as well, practical approaches and being dismissive of the powers that exist are an easy way to meet her end. As we enter the third installment of the series, things pick up as our dear Doctor starts to enter her stride and takes a new approach with open eyes to the inmates that surround her.

Conventional approaches take on a new twist, Doctor Freust starts to feel at home with the mad science of her father mixed along with her own blend of psychology. It’s a new vibe in the storyline for issue 3 and a welcome shift since no one likes seeing the protagonist get beaten physically and mentally throughout a series. The high note brings new twists to the inmates and their situation, instead of an atmosphere of chaos and defeat it’s a little glimmer of hope that some sense can be made of this mess.

David Miller continues to draw out a unique atmosphere within Malefic, creating interesting reactionary facial expressions while dabbling in some wildly erratic bodily gestures. The story actually gets wildly detailed in ways one wouldn’t expect while reading the issue and it’s interesting to see it executed upon when so many would venture away or sidebar the imagery. Malefic takes chances and explores things outside of normal convention and it does it with a control that ensures it’ll work for the read.

Overall the third installment changes the pace, explores some new behaviors and depth of the inmates and gives us a little more insight into what’s going on with Doctor Freust as she attempts to not end up as a splatter on the wall.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

Review – Malefic #2

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Malefic left readers off with a bit of trauma, our dear new Doctor Freust took a walk into the supernatural, viewing largely that which could not be unseen. After a brief encounter with Inmate Eleven, things went south in a hurry. Issue 2 picks up from there as our dear doctor takes another stab at life in the throne atop a madhouse.

We see relationships develop along with the staff and some new faces step into the scene, notably the introduction of Eric who plays tour guide into the facility as new inmates are interviewed during these rounds. Doctor Freust does her best to balance the reality she knows against this new world of powers and insanity. If her best is enough to survive is another story, with inmates that make a lifestyle out of obliterating others it’ll take a mix of that knowledge with a side of madness to stay a step ahead.

The story direction for issue 2 falls into a bit of chaos, Doctor Freust is losing the training wheels and going head-on into what this place is really about. Coming to realize she’ll need to be constantly on her toes and even then coming to terms with the fact that some of these inmates are a million leagues above her at this point. She’s not incompetent but there’s definitely a chip that’s going to do more harm than good with this class of company.

Dan Schaffer brings an eclectic mix of art and story to this second installment, moments, moods, and happenings all fall into sync across the pages as Doctor Freust bounces from confidence to confusion and into the depths of madness. It’s a solid continuation of the first issue, building on that pacing while retaining the mix of thriller and horror storyline.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Malefic #1

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Stories of insanity always have their own surprises and twists, Malefic is an interesting and modern take on such a tale. A young aspiring doctor, a past tarnished with a bit of shame, cannibalism and a dash of attempted murder. This is the life of our Doctor Freust in Malefic, it’s ugly, gritty and fascinating at once as the young doctor kicks off their debut issue right in the lion’s den without a second thought.

This first issue is a casual introduction that slowly drags Doctor Freust and readers deeper and deeper as events unfold. Having a lead with no issue about bearing it all in their back story with no issue is a welcoming, they know what happened, what it did and they’re not paralyzed by it. It’s just the larger machine and inmates of the facility that do manage that state later on once Doctor Freust realizes what her father was really up to and buried in.

Complimenting this intricate story are pages of art from David Miller, delivering expressionistic styling throughout. From the first pages of Doctor Freust talking in her cell to cannibalistic seductive murder, faces and gestures in these pages are creative and expressive giving life to each scenario. We get a detailed grand picture of the facility, the dark halls and chambers within it and a bit of extreme detail when it comes to inmate habits. But it all acts as a support to the story and the atmosphere of Malefic, even more so when adding in the Diagnostic Spectacles which are just an interesting twist on the real inner demons waiting to make their way out later in the series.

Malefic #1 delivers a bit of everything out of the gate, interesting back story, a horrifying granny figure, devastating loss, an asylum to end all asylums, super-secret religious organizations and more. It’s just packaged so well and delivered in the right portions that it makes for an interesting read especially as we stroll into Halloween season. Can it get much worse for Doctor Freust? Undoubtedly and it most likely will which is a good hook for readers looking for something to tickle/scar their brains.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

EMPIRE: UNITED WE STAND Trailer!

It’s been building for months, across a bevy of titles! It’s time to stand together against Hydra and the forces of evil, but how can the heroes of the Marvel Universe cope with this shattering betrayal by the most trusted figure among them? And what will this mean for the world?

It’s the story that has shocked the world. Captain America is an Agent of Hydra?! Now – superstar creators Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuna, Steve McNiven, Andrea Sorrentino, Rod Reis, Leinil Yu, and more, bring you the most ground shaking Marvel saga ever – SECRET EMPIRE! Available now in comic stores everywhere, Marvel is pleased to present a special trailer devoted to the devastating first arc of this blockbuster series!

As Hydra’s tentacles tighten around the world, Steve Rogers’ seemingly full proof plan for global domination begins. Can the heroes of the Marvel Universe find the cracks within the foundation of Hydra’s control or will they ultimately succumb to the power of one of their most trusted allies?

Review – X-Men Gold #2 (2017)

  • Writer: Marc Guggenheim
  • Artist: Ardian Syaf
  • Colorist: Frank Martin
  • Cover Artists: Ardian Syaf

The issue starts off with the X-Men battling it out with Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the X-Men seem to have the fight in hand but Prestige informs the others the brotherhood members have been manipulated mentally, the person behind this Mesmero, a mutant who uses Hyper-Hypnosis.

Nightcrawler unintentionally teleports Old Man Logan and himself to Mesmero’s location, the fighting between the two groups causes the arrival of Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. Captain America warns Kitty Pryde about the increase of negative attention from reporter Lydia Nance and her Anti-Mutant cause.

As for Logan and Nightcrawler, they were capture. Mesmero kept Old man logan and forced Nightcrawler to use his teleport powers until exhaustion. Meanwhile Kitty and Prestige follow up on lead at Gracie Mansion in New York city. The Brotherhood has taken the Mayor, a detective name Elizabeth Kim confronts the two of them about an interview the Brotherhood release. The video features them holding the mayor captive and declaring war on humans, reporter Lydia Nance uses the video to her advantage, she hints at a need of segregation between mutants and humans.

We jump back to Mesmero and Logan, it seems as if Mesmero was trying to interrogate Logan. Instead Logan mocks Mesmero for thinking he can interrogate him, so Logan breaks himself free and takes out Mesmero along with some of the other Brotherhood members. A potential plot twist comes when Prestige uses Cerebro and realizes that Mesmero wasn’t the one who help the brotherhood by protecting their minds, but whoever did is strong enough shield themselves from Cerebro. Issue ends with Logan calling Kitty about some information she’ll need.

Conclusion: They mystery behind the Psi shields on the minds of the brotherhood is interesting, as well as Lydia Nance potentially being the main antagonist, theirs clearly something big in the works and i’m guess the next couple issues we will find out what.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★☆