Marvel shares Avengers vs X-Men VS #1 preview pages

Looking for an early glimpse of AvX #1 instead of #2? Well here we are and it’s a showdown in a big way with Iron Man and Magneto, some of the classic super giants in the Marvel Universe.

How will Tony stack up in the Iron Man suit vs Magneto the master of magnetism? There’s only one way to find out and that’s when Avengers vs X-Men #1 arrives. Check out the preview pages below for a taste of what this battle is bringing to the table and a surprise extra battle teaser.

Link: Marvel News

B.P.R.D. kicks off 2nd Twitter chat next week

Are you a B.P.R.D. fan, would you like to get into a large group chat with fellow fans and Dark Horse team members next week? Check out Twitter on March 29th using the #BPRD hash tag to kick off the fan chat at 4PM Pacific. Fans will share their fellow agents, moments and storylines with each other but more specifically it will be a chance to give input on The Pickens Country Horror which we reviewed last week.

To keep yourself in the loop don’t forget to add @theBPRD and check #BPRD often for updates. You might find yourself walking off with a digital copy of The Long Death #2 for joining the fun. (Requires 3 tweets using the hashtag #BPRD)

 

Review – B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth – The Pickens Country Horror #1

Story: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Art: Jason Latour
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins
Cover Art: Becky Cloonan and Dave Stewart
Variant Cover: Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

You never know what can happen in the B.P.R.D. world, you know even less when you throw in mysterious fog and crazy people in toxic areas of the south. The Pickens Country Horror is a side story bringing in toxic lands and hazards to the B.P.R.D. crew,  Peters and Vaughn travel down South to find out about missing humans but the story twists into something more and then it keeps twisting until reaching sufficient levels of crazy and potential doom.

We get a glimpse of a country family sensitive to light and with a unique guest residing with them, their background gets even worse as the younger ones explore the wilderness they stumble upon the undead. While Peters and Vaughn see this as a waste of time for specimen gathering it’s just the start of a 200-year-old mess waiting to unearth itself in the midst of absolute chaos already hitting the globe. Vampires, supernatural gas, paranoid conspiracy authors and more are packed into this 2 part series and there’s some health drama for good measure.

Fans of the series will no doubt have a good fast paced run through this wild chase with the duo, the speed and detail of the story makes it easy to see this arc wrapping up nicely in issue 2 or opening a solid gateway from there. The art is simple but dark, the colors are slightly muted and the gestures convey the energy of each moment allowing readers to draw their own scenes in their mind. When going into details like the Professors house it goes into even more eerie feelings as the walls scattered with crosses tell the paranoia and possibly justified fears and theories held within the house.

Release date: March 28, 2012

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

Review – Prototype 2 #1 – The Anchor Part 1

Writer: Dan Jolley
Artist: Paco Diaz
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Paco Diaz with Michael Atiyeh
Designer: David Nestelle
Assistant Editor: Brendan Wright
Editor: Dave Marshall
Publisher: Mike Richardson
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Twelve months since the events of Prototype we step into a mid-story to connect the past arc to the future game, it’s a confusing time for Alex Mercer but we get a taste of the struggle he’s been trying to cope with since the release of the Blacklight virus in New York. Savior to the city or not for stopping a nuclear blast he’s at odds with the massive destruction he unleashed getting there with untold numbers of slayings.

Alex takes us into Part 1 of The Anchor to share his take on the events since then, a search for himself or what he could even call himself as he wanders the world hoping to reconnect with the human race again. Unfortunately he finds more questions than answers and his own resolution comes into question, why is he driving so hard to attach himself to this world and what does this help or support actually do to help these people? His travels bring questions of greed and self-preservation over the love of neighbors, friends or a community, that even in the worst of cases he still fails to see that redemption he desires from the humans to gather together and rise up as one.

All is not lost for Alex, as the title indicates, there is some hope. In seclusion he finds a new take on life that drives him back to that hope for restarting his life again without all the blood on his hands that he had grown accustomed to. Unfortunately fate could not be so kind to allow for such things and it all starts to go south, Alex finds that even in the most removed locations the corruption still finds a way to reach him in some form as those that he now holds dear face threats and extermination.

As a digital release the book is short, 14 pages including the cover work leave a lot to be desired given the shifts from Prototype to Prototype 2, the art is solid and detailed but the plot development doesn’t have time to move so casually. When hitting the final page I had to double-check to be sure that was really all there was in this first chapter, for 99 cents it is hard to hold such a thing against it, the only gripe would be the end of the issue hitting like a brick wall as the pace quickens once again. Fortunately the series is on a 2 week release schedule to keep everyone glued in for more.

Release date: February 15, 2012

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

Review: Knights of the Old Republic – War #1

Script: John Jackson Miller
Pencils: Andrea Mutti
Inks: Pierluigi Baldassini
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Benjamin Carre
Variant Cover Art: Dave Wilkins
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Benjamin Carré cover

Star Wars: The Old Republic is here, it’s rampaging through the world and few have managed to avoid it. To continue on that timeline we have a special treat with a review of Knights of the Old Republic – War (KOTOR), a favorite for many gaming enthusiasts before Bioware went huge with Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

KOTOR – War takes us to the Mandalorian Wars setting up a critical point in the Jedi timeline when the Republic is making a call for help and the council is seeking to stay neutral to their current situation. Readers drop into the possibly familiar seat of Zayne Carrick, an unlucky draftee who sits split on where he’s been and where his future might be. As war rages forward with the Republic, one can see the layers of misdirection and deception unfolding in this new story and the twists to come. It’s a solid introduction into this 5 part series, one can’t help but feel it’s just too short, as soon as it finds a rhythm the chapter is over and leaves the reader hanging for more. John Jackson Miller manages to capture the heart of the saga while developing this unique character torn apart by their past and the war they’ve been forced into. With Jedi’s, Mandalorians and the Republic all at odd’s and betrayal coming from every angle it’s hard to imagine this going along peacefully, it’s going to be a wild ride so hold on tight.

The art of the book is crisp and clean, only a few panels had slightly obscure body form, the most prominent being Zayne, in his first panel his rib cage seems to break forward for no reason. Outside of this moment there are no other prominent instances that stand out, the character races stay true to their form as seen in the past movies and books. Andrea Mutti goes to great lengths to develop a unique cast throughout the pages while giving each a flavor of personality as they change expressions, locations and build a sense of familiarity in this new world even as it’s destroyed section by section. Pierluigi Baldassini and Michael Atiyeh follow that momentum up by delivering clean and detailed panels with a wide gaumut of color, Zayne’s lightsaber is a great example of it in use.

Dave Wilkins cover

As a continuation off of Knights of the Old Republic it’s refreshing that anyone can jump into this book and feel comfortable in the story. I do admit I need to catch up on Zayne’s past exploits, Miller is very forgiving in his writing to those who have just joined his storyline which makes it a recommendation for anyone looking to expand or rejoin the Star Wars comic universe after being brought back into the fold with the release of SWTOR.

Release Date: January 11, 2012  | Pre-order from TFAW

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

Review – The Strain #1

Story: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Script: David Lapham
Art: Mike Huddleston
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Clem Robins
Cover: Mike Huddleston
Variant Cover: Steve Morris
Published By: Dark Horse

Mike Huddleston Cover

The Strain begins with an old world grandma (Bubbeh) telling her young grandson a story about a legendary nobleman named Jusef Sardu.  While the story is short, it’s detailed and extremely moving.  A story of a gentle giant who was never accepted by his father because of his physical ailments even though he was a kind-hearted good person.  Due to circumstances, the town’s peoples perceptions of Jusef change in a negative way and rather than being revered, he became feared. Cut to present day, a dad, Ephraim, and his son, Zack trying to enjoy their every other weekend visit.  Video games, junk food and jokes are soon cut short as Ephraim’s work (the CDC) is demanding he get to work on an emergency that has just occurred at the airport.  The details are sketchy and no one knows what’s going on in this plane.  The plane went radio silent shortly after landing and everyone fears a terrorist attack has occurred.  Ephraim and the crew do their best to ascertain what’s happening, but as they finally board the plane the odd scene only leaves them (and the reader) with more questions.

Steve Morris Cover

This comic was awesome, the ending was perfect.  Everything in The Strain was top notch from the dialog to the art.  David Lapham’s dialog really makes you feel like you know these characters and more importantly, care about them.  Mike Huddleston’s art captures the emotions of the characters brilliantly.  I think it’s easy to see that I loved The Strain and absolutely cannot wait for the next issue.  If the rest of the issues continue in this fashion I think it’s safe to say I will be reading and raving about The Strain for a long time to come!

Release date: December 14, 2011

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