Review – Orchid #9

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

Orchid, who has found strength through herself and strength through General China’s mask has rallied the poor and downtrodden to form an angry, badass army who refuses to sit idly by and allow evil dictator Tomo Wolfe to continue his calculated and inhumane exploitation of them. As the battle of all battles is about to take place, Wolfe is in search of Barrabas, who unbeknownst to Wolfe, witnessed the death of an animal by Wolfe’s command. This was the one and only stipulation that Barrabas had when he agreed to work by Wolfe’s side and I can’t wait for the fallout from Wolfe’s misstep. Meanwhile, Orchid and her (ever-growing) band of misfits get the jump on the first wave of Wolfe’s genocide army proving that a surprise attack was nothing the mindless minions were ready for. An extra treat in this issue comes in the form of the mask’s back story. We learn how it came to be, why it’s so powerful and why only certain people can wear it without being torn apart! Will Orchid and her crew make it to Wolfe and unleash justice upon him or will the bridge people be obliterated before they are able to do anything?

Wow! The story of the mask, freedom fighters, a bunch of wrongs being righted, the poor uniting and fighting back, what doesn’t Orchid have? This issue does a great job building up the tension of the upcoming war and rousing anticipation for the little guy. We also get to see a bunch of the mutated animals drawn with perfection by Scott Hepburn. The awesome feeling of unification and hope this issue arouses is astounding. Yet again, Tom Morello’s writing is on point and just simply amazing. Like every other issue in this series, this one is perfection. It is a great addition to the continuing story and I am SO excited to see what happens next!

Release Date: September 12th, 2012

Links: Order | Preview

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

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #9 (AVX)

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Jason Aaron
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: John Dell
Colors: Laura Martin w/ Larry Molinar
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Jim Cheung, Mark Morales & Justin Ponsor
Variant Covers: Adam Kubert & Justin Ponsor | Ryan Stegman & Matt Wilson
Published by: Marvel Comics

The Phoenix Four have been on a heck of a ride, yes… four. Namor lost himself in his attack on Wakanda and with that he lost the Phoenix Force which distributed itself to the others. Issue 9 leaves us looking forward though, to the continued battles of the Avengers against the growing instability of the Phoenix avatars. We join one such Avenger waking up in a bloody, beaten and blurry state trying to remember where he was, what’s going on and what he’s going to do. Unfortunately all of that is irrelevant because his opponents carry the Phoenix Force.

For those hoping to see a happier chapter come to the Avengers I can’t promise you very much. There are some moments of hope and small victories but they fail to outweigh the damage still being dealt by the X-Men. Our star really does come from the cover image though, Spider-Man has his time to genuinely shine as only he can and we see some heavy tension as he does what he feels only he can accomplish. The whole unknown of the Way of the Spider is still a bit of a mystery, from the sound of things, Parker has rattled off everything he can think of to her for inspiration but it’s not enough.

The issue wraps with just as much fire as it started with and we see the Phoenix Power channel down to just a select two. It’s a tense moment and Hope realizes even if she’s not ready to throw down, it’s far too late to be concerned about that as her own time has run out. The fight is about to get even uglier as X-Men and mutants distance themselves from this group and the Phoenix Two seem to be at polar opposites for control of their powers.

Release Date: August 1, 2012

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

First Look: Avengers Vs. X-Men #9 Jim Cheung Cover

With Avengers Vs X-Men hitting its final round in August, all rest on the shoulders of the one and only Spider-Man! Will have have enough to pull through or fall like the others before him?  Here’s and Peek at Jim Cheung Beautiful cover to Avengers Vs X-Men #9

Jim Cheung Cover

Source: Marvel.com

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #9 Apart (of me) Part Two

Script: Andrew Chambliss and Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Phil Noto Cover

This issue begins with RoboBuffy, Spike and Andrew arriving at the real Buffy’s house. They find signs of a struggle and Buffy is nowhere to be found. RoboBuffy is having trouble dealing with all of the things she has just learned about herself and that everything she believed to be true, isn’t. As Andrew bumbles along, it becomes clear that he actually did think this through and has put some safeties in place for situations such as these. They get a lead on Buffy’s whereabouts and off they go to rescue her. Meanwhile, Simone is beating and berating Buffy and is having trouble figuring out that Buffy has no idea what is happening. Buffy has no memory of Simone let alone that she is the Slayer. Spike, RoboBuffy and Andrew arrive in the vicinity of where they believe Buffy to be and they separate in an effort to find her. One of them however runs into a surprise along the way that none of them expected. While all of this search and rescue business is going down, Xander, Dawn and Detective Dowling are on their own mission. They are searching for Dowling’s on a rampage, recently zompire turned (ex) partner. Dowling is taking the loss hard and soon appears to be in over his head!

I liked this issue, I really liked the way the interactions between Spike and RoboBuffy have subtlety changed. Andrew’s explanations of why he did what he did seem genuine and it really appears that he thought he was doing the right, good thing. I really enjoyed the dialog in this issue a lot, it felt very real and believable. The art was great and both of the Buffy’s emotions were captured well. All in all it was a solid read and truthfully I was initially unhappy with the direction the story line was going. I decided to suspend snap judgments and gave it a chance and I’m happy I did. It will be very interesting to see how everything progresses from here.

Georges Jeanty Cover

Release Date: May 9th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Rating:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Wolverine and the X-Men #9 (AvX)

Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils: Chris Bachalo
Colors: Chris Bachalo
Inks: Tim Townsend, Jamie Mendoza, Al Vey
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Published by: Marvel Comics

The Phoenix Force is coming and everyone is gearing up, for Wolverine this means sucking up the past and doing his best to stop the damage he saw before from ever coming up again. As the story kicks off, Wolverine is happily recovering with Beast after their injuries over the past issues, unfortunately it’s all cancelled out as a signal comes in that Beast hoped to never hear from again. When it hits they move into action and prepare themselves and the headmasters of the school for their darkest hours to come.

The issue itself is an improvement on the back story we’ve seen lately, it goes into the timeline of AvX instead of weeks or months before the whole thing boiled down. Captain America is recruiting people to join his force to approach the X-Men to take Hope away and Wolverine and Beast are called into action by Cap. It’s still prequel material but it moves fast enough that by the end of the issue we’re into present day AvX storyline and it doesnt’ feel like a rush job at all, in fact it gives heavy insight into how the Phoenix Force impacts all the of new mutant generation as well.

The Phoenix is a mysterious power but what ties does it have to all of these new mutants, why are they reacting so strongly to the energy even so far away? There’s a lot of questions opening up in these side stories and Wolverine and the X-Men #9 has some of the most interesting bits so far, even going so far as to introduce an old acquaintance to the fold in the form of the Shi’ar who is quite familiar with the X-Men. It’s all on the line now and readers will just have to wait until the next installments roll out to see how this first impact in space goes down for Beast, Thor and others in the Secret Avengers.

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

Review – Angel & Faith #9 – Daddy Issues Part 4

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with Faith meeting with Dru and the Lorophage demon. After a fallout with her dad she no longer wants to feel the pain so she hopes to undergo some serious trauma sucking at the very sharp, pointy hands of the demon. Drusilla is more than happy to oblige. Angel has figured out where Faith has run off to and arrives to stop Dru before Faith makes what Angel sees as a huge mistake. Very soon after his arrival though, all hell breaks loose! Angel and Dru are at odds (surprise, surprise) and come to blows and while all of this is going on, Angel is pleading with Faith to change her mind. Angel quickly finds himself in a tight spot and needs help, but is Faith too far gone to jump into action?

I love this issue, it has a lot of heart and really solidifies the special bond that Angel and Faith share. The dialog is awesome and really shows what a great team they are and just how far they have come. There is one panel in particular that I thought was really great, it does a wonderful job showing how they really have each other’s backs in every situation. The art in general is great, I love Rebekah Isaac’s style and she does an amazing job capturing emotion. These last two issues really have a richness and depth that have me super excited each month and have me anxiously waiting for the next issue. I have no idea where Angel & Faith are going but I do know that I can’t wait to go there with them!

Release Date: April 25th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

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

Dale Keown Batman #9 variant cover emerges

Dale Keown cranks out the latest variant to Batman as he sets off against an army of Talons eager to destroy Gotham, there is a bit of an odd story to the cover though, DC didn’t exactly inform him what was going on in the story for that issue.

“What’s not to love about drawing the coolest character in comics?” the artist Dale Keown told THE SOURCE. “I wasn’t given any back story so I went with the action shot that would fit into just about any storyline. One of my go-to poses is to draw the character leaping out towards the reader. I hope I get to draw Batman again soon.”

Sometimes a cover doesn’t need to be dead on the topic of the story, sometimes it just needs to look badass, Keown gets it done in this cover with ease.

The crossover “Night of the Owls” that #9 will center around hasn’t kicked off just yet, it’s due to start with Batman #8 which arrives next week. Keep an eye on your local retailer or your mailbox so you can check out the new arc kicking off that will span across the franchise.

Link: DC Comics Blog

 

Review – Buffy Season 9 #1

Season 9 #1 Freefall Part 1
Release Date: September 14th 2011

Script by: Joss Whedon
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Jo Chen
25th Anniversary Cover: Georges Jeanty

The time has arrived, the season 9 opener (season 2 of the comic series and continuation of the 7 season T.V. Show) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Written by the worship worthy Joss Whedon (I swear I am impartial) and pencils by the amazing Georges Jeanty. The first issue does not disappoint. At this year’s Comic-Con, Joss said that in season 9 we would see the return of the Buffy from yesteryear and that is exactly what we get.

Buffy is no longer running squads and managing the entire Slayer universe. Instead, she is just a lost girl (superhuman vampire slaying woman) who, again is trying to find out what she is supposed to do with her life. The comic opens with Buffy in her new San Francisco apartment, complete with roommates and a party where we get to see some of the Scoobies together again (what’s left of them anyway) Jump to Buffy who is drinking and struggling to deal with her lack of direction and the aftermath of what happened at the end of Season 8. I will not get into season 8 details here as I do not want spoil anything for those who may not be caught up. The aftermath of season 8 causes Buffy’s life plan to be called into question. Even though she is still patrolling and slaying, she seems to think she needs a different direction. There are a few chuckles as she rambles (in her own Buffy way) on about what her new career should be, with a couple of nods to the old show.

All the characters are in fine form, especially a particularly snarky Spike. Throughout the season opener we see some of the nice character interaction that really makes Buffy, in whatever form it is in, special. Finally, we are introduced to the potential big bad, albeit briefly, but enough to get excited at the prospect of where this will all go. For a season opener this is pretty great and definitely builds excitement about where season 9 is heading!