Review – Avengers vs X-Men #8 (AVX)

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: John Dell
Colors: Laura Martin, Larry Molikar
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: Jim Cheung, Justin Ponsor
Variant Cover Art: Jerdme Opena, Justin Ponsor
Published by: Marvel Comics

We left the story off with a raged out Namor headed for vengeance in Wakanda, the Avengers were hiding out in the city hoping to figure out a solution to prepare Hope to help battle the Phoenix Five and the Phoenix Force itself. Unfortunately where things go in issue 8, well it’ll raise the urgency and also send the Avengers running for cover in the process, Namor isn’t the coolest head in the Phoenix Five and we get a dose of that in this issue.

Given the constant run-in events with Scarlet Witch it was a given there would be a breaking point for tolerance on why they didn’t try to take her out with a greater strike. Namor with his temper issues was the first to reach that fallout point and after getting a tip he waged full-scale war with some of his army from Atlantis on Wakanda against the Avengers in a pure rage for their defiance to this new order in the world. The act itself is huge but the battle is even larger, leaving the Avengers beaten and doubtful and making huge power balance shifts for the Phoenix Five.

Major changes do hit this issue, we see a Phoenix avatar step back and we see something long coming for Red Hulk as well, as I’ve stressed before I honestly felt he was completely boosted above reason in power and this brings the story back down to earth a bit.

With this arc drawing to a close soon one has to wonder what else they’ll pull out of the box for this series, Hope is clearly training to tackle the Phoenix Force, there are new developments about the power distribution among those chosen and we see a new factor from the mutants come into play. To top it all off we haven’t even seen all the side story elements play out yet either. Bendis and crew better have some really good twists up their sleeve to keep this whole thing running until the final act.

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

Review – Orchid #8

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Massimo Carnevale
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Published By: Dark Horse

Orchid is having a difficult (to say the least) time dealing with all of the losses that have been piling up at her feet and chances are she hasn’t seen the last death of someone she cares about. As Orchid and her crew are trying to escape from Tomo Wolfe’s thugs, an unlikely hero emerges to save them. After a grunt reports to Wolfe that his prisoners have escaped, Wolfe decides to take extreme measures. It becomes clear very quickly that Wolfe is not your run-of-the-mill bad guy, he’s much more than that, he is pure evil. A man with no heart or conscience whatsoever, the scariest kind who will stop at nothing to “win.” Orchid, Simon and Anzio realize that they are soon going to be outnumbered and that death is imminent. Orchid’s heart and mind seem to have lost all of their fight, that is, until a stunning and game changing revelation takes place!

Beyond brilliant. If ever there were a perfect comic, this would be it. There is so much heart and inspiration on each page, it’s impossible to not become fully immersed in the story and the characters. Orchid
is finally coming into her own and she’s taking the downtrodden and wounded with her. Tom Morello’s writing is heartfelt and flawless. Scott Hepburn’s art is amazingly beautiful. All the pain and emotion is captured with precision and beauty. Massimo Carnevale’s cover is stunning and sets the tone for the entire issue. Everything about this comic is top-notch and REQUIRED reading. If you still haven’t read any issues (seriously?!? This is issue #8?) then you are really missing out on something special and different from anything else out there!

Release Date: July 4th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

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

Review – Batman #8 – Night of the Owls Begins!

Writer: Scott Snyder, James T Tynion IV
Pencils: Greg Capullo, Rafael Albuquerque
Inks: Jonathan Glapion, Rafael Albuquerque
Colors: FCO Plascencia, Greg Capullo, Nathan Fairbairn
Letters: Comicraft
Cover art: Capullo and FCO Plascencia
Variant Cover: Jason Fabok and Peter Steigerwald

The Night of the Owls is here, it’s a battle for Gotham unlike any other and it’s a fight not only for justice but for the freedom of the city from this dark society underneath it all. A change is about to hit Gotham and it could send the entire city into a collapse, unfortunately as we reach issue 8, it’s far too late to worry about such things as they’re at the front door ready to make their first example out of Bruce Wayne.

Batman #8 is a violent ride for Bruce as his eyes still fight recovery and he shrouds himself in the darkness that he knows so well from his life as Batman. The Owls are making their move and Batman sits at the top of the list, the plan is simple, take down those who shape the city and it will be only up to the Owls to change the course of progress to their own desires and will. The battle doesn’t go down without a fight and soon the plan expands, everyone they know, support and work with is in immediate danger and it’ll take the entire allied force to give a shred of hope in this takeover.

Scott Snyder helps weave together an intense story, Bruce is vulnerable and unprepared and must rely on those around him to help protect the city he’s given so much of his life to. The Owls are not only strong but they carry huge numbers and are beyond the average thug in how they execute attacks and move. An organized lethal group of criminals with a common goal that work as a unit, you really can’t come up with something that provides more potential damage to a character who so often thrives on his own.

If you plan to follow Night of Owl’s you’ll need to stay tuned to multiple books in the series to catch the whole experience, they’ll be on the move to try to save nearly 40 individuals from their wrath. In the meantime lets hope that all the stockpiling and creations that Bruce has created pay off in this fight as he’ll need everything he can get against these killers.

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

Sweet sweet variant art for The Shade #8 arrives

The Shade is heading into part 2 of the 3 part Times past series to learn more about The Shade, today we have cover art highlighting some of that goodness. While we could leave it at just that we also managed to find a clip of commentary from DC on the upcoming issue as he ventures into France.

“Darwyn Cooke did a beautiful job with the first one in issue #4, and Gene Ha will bring it all home with #12. And for #8, the one-of-a-kind Jill Thompson made room in her busy schedule not only to draw the issue, but also to provide this sweet variant cover. Brilliantly colored by Trish Mulvihill, it depicts The Shade mid-battle with a demon over the very soul of Paris in 1901! But hey, don’t fret too much — does The Shade look worried to you?”

James Robinson writes up issue #8 and Jill Thompson knocks out the art for the book. Expect the next chapter of this back story to arrive on May 16th.

DC gives previews of Superboy #8 and Saucer Country #2

DC has some goodies for the fans today, first look previews of Superboy #8 and Saucer country are now available.

Superboy #8
 

The story acts as a prelude to the crossover that DC has been talking about for the past few conventions now, Teen Titans, Legion Lost and The Ravagers are all coming to a head in this new event. The book works to help tie all of these groups together before this new arc kicks off.

   

Saucer Country #2

Arcadia Alvarado is back, the Presidential hopeful telling tales of abduction is running full steam into issue #2 as staff and trusted friends get wind of the tale and the warning of a full invasion coming their way. Is this the best idea around? Probably not, but we’ll see how well her people can keep a secret and if this ultimately damages her future campaign plans.

   

Link: DC Comics Blog

DC Cover shots for Aquaman #8 and The Flash #8

Covers tend to have the job of selling the comic for a new potential fan and also gaining attention in general. Today we have 2 covers from DC for The Flash #8 and Aquaman #8, both seem to go different ways for the approach and they’re equally interesting in their approach.

First up… The Flash #8, it’s a variant work by Bernard Chang, the approach taking on a comic panel appeal with less emphasis into a heavy graphic influence or even a more painterly direction. It’s actually a distracting panel as the speed and energy draw attention over to the flash instead of the more cartoonish head of the person he’s approaching. As the artist reveals, this was only one of many ideas that was pitched.

Before starting on the drawing, I need to decide whether I want to take a more story-centric or graphic design approach to the cover. I’m equally a fan of both directions, but in this case, opted for the “scene out of the story.” I then pulled up some images of athletes running and sprinting, trying to generate some inspiration and understanding details to capturing figures in motion.

I sent three rough concepts to series editor Brian Cunningham, one featuring The Flash being flipped upside down, another with turbine’s winds tearing his uniform off, and the third an iconic shot of The Flash charging at the villain with winds and debris surrounding them.

Unfortunately there are no rough sketches running around on these variants, it would have been great to see the other two even in rough form, unfortunately they’re lost to the vault or possibly a comic convention booth to be shown at a later time, hopefully it’s something that can be shared though.

Aquaman #8 follows up from there, Ivan Reis taking charge with the lead cover for the new storyline of “The Others” which starts off this week in #7, unfortunately it doesn’t tell much more. The graphic cover has Aquaman getting taken apart by an aggressive crew the likes of which we haven’t seen before. If this is any indication of how the story will start to spiral it would be best to catch issue 7 as soon as possible to see what rests ahead for the water one.

Link: DC Comics News

Section 8: Prejudice PAX East Contest

Section 8 is just around the corner from being released, with that said the company is going all out to promote the game this weekend at PAX East 2011 with live demos on the floor and prizes for all those willing to get a taste of the new shooter from TimeGate Studios.

For those who can’t make it across the country to the sold out convention, it’s possible to still come out a winner with the “Upgrade your gaming with Prejudice” contest on the Section 8 site. [link] Drop in your name address and why you deserve this crazy setup and you might get lucky and walk away with a 360, 42″ LCD, 4 controllers, 4 headsets and of course a copy of Section 8: Prejudice

Anyone looking for some Section 8 goodies to tide them over until the release might find interest in the new premium theme or picture pack on XBL that just landed.