Review – Angel Season 11 #2 – Out of The Past Part 2

  • Script: Corinna Bechko
  • Artist: Geraldo Borges
  • Colorist: Michelle Madsen
  • Cover Artist: Scott Fischer
  • Lettering: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
  • Executive Producer: Joss Whedon

Season 11 of Angel kicked off with a mess, hard disturbing flashbacks / visions, inter-dimensional infestations and the fragile balance of working with Fred / Illyria created a whirlwind of trouble in just a few pages. Angel looks to face his past as Angelus and find out where the visions are directing him, but only if things play out well with Illyria as she’s the resident time traveler.

Issue 2 drops the duo out of the vortex and back…. way back into the past. The duo (trio) must face an entirely new set of challenges including finding some shade for our resident vampire. Goals get a bit mixed and a flowing theme of past mistakes fills the story, Angel isn’t the only one lugging around some heavy baggage from their past and since he’s not the one wielding the power of time and space the journey will get a bit longer with a new detour.

The upshot for fans and new readers is the continued character development of the new group, Angel and Faith had a good run which developed their characters and now we’ll see this dynamic with Fred and Illyria come around with Angel and see how much they can get solved while working together. Given how guarded Illyria is about her past and just her presence in general there’s no doubt some good stories are awaiting readers as the group battles to tackle her past in this journey too.

Corinna Bechko has some relatively fast pacing even if unintentional for the book, with the challenges brought about by issue 2 the story passes in the blink of an eye. Part of that pacing comes by Geraldo Borges art, panel designs and direction for the read, Michelle Madsen continues to play with the temperatures to create interesting focal points and set the general mood of a given scene.

Angel Season 11 #2 continues a wild spiral of action and dark secrets and it hasn’t even touched on the original investigation yet. For fans of the series it’s worth the read as the group digs in deeper for the road ahead.

Release date: February 15, 2017
Pre-order: TFAW
Preview: Dark Horse Comics

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

Review – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #2

  • Script: Christos Gage
  • Artist: Rebekah Isaacs
  • Colorist: Dan Jackson
  • Cover Artist: Steve Morris
  • Lettering: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
  • Executive Producer: Joss Whedon

With Buffy facing an internal crisis of where she’s at in life as other celebrate new milestones and life moments, the world itself faces another crisis that has already left a dark mark on her city. There really is never time for Buffy to just get a moment, and this tension and momentum carry into issue 2 as they try to sort out a Shenlong dragon attack after a massive tsunami strike.

Tension really soars in issue 2, the entire gang is swept up in angry mobs, hate crimes and rising political problems that look to impact supernatural beings across the nation with knee-jerk legislation and actions. We see the cast split amongst themselves throughout the issue, Spike and Willow fearing for the worst while others hope to tread lighter paths in hopes the situation will not spiral out nearly as far.

Old faces cross paths and social unrest rages on as the mystery behind the dragon drives everyone to the limit without an answer. Christos Gage really plays all angles here, the cast is struggling to stomach the potential future they face and the world gets very ugly in a short amount of time. Rebekah Isaacs does well in the chapter, only some of the panels gave a slight bump in the experience as thicker ink brought about weird inconsistencies. Dan Jackson plays between muted colors and careful splashes of vibrancy to highlight the actions and moods of each panel.

Season 11 isn’t getting any easier, hopefully Buffy and the rest of the group can figure out how to keep it together.

Release date: Out Now

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

Review – Hawkeye #2

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: David Aja
Published by: Marvel Comics

Hawkeye is back, casual as ever and cool as a cucumber as he brings Kate Bishop into the picture. The young shooting ace for those unaware played a role filling in for Clint over the years. She’s back now but not as some majestic super hero or sidekick but just because she can, it’s a growing trend in this new series and a refreshing one. The thing to remember about this new Hawkeye branch is that it’s a refreshing take on character and storytelling. We’re not always going to be in a life or death situation with the galaxy at stake, when we come into Hawkeye #2 we see that as almost a sitcom introduction as their lives continue on without the reader.

The issue itself gets momentum fast, we learn about things Clint has been up to since we last saw him tackle his own landlord. We also find out why Kate is looming around the apartment reading his paper and drinking his coffee after a dramatic opening panel. The problems never stop in the city and they’re about to explore of them firsthand as an undercover duo tackles a new mystery invading New York. If you enjoyed the easy and direct dialogue of the first Hawkeye, this new one remains just as interesting and even dives into back story around Clint in his youth.

Instead of feeling like a regular action comic I can say Fraction and Aja have created a table piece in my eyes. You read Hawkeye and you don’t just get a quick slap of adventure and a hook for a new issue, instead you get an opening, body and closure to the issue that doesn’t always rely on a hook to keep you going. In theory you could stop reading right now and be perfectly satisfied. That’s how well they’ve handled it and how much of a departure it is from other books running around right now.

Carnivals, criminals, aspiring heroes and a hero all pack themselves into the short amount of pages in Hawkeye #2 and honestly I think fans should really give this series a shot because it doesn’t stop delivering good experiences.

Release Date: September 5, 2012

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

Marvel Sneak Peek: Hawkeye #2 sneak peek pages arrive

We recently reviewed Hawkeye and found it to be a refreshing shift of pace for comics and talking about the heroes we see in action so often in the Marvel world. Hawkeye #2 is already headed to shelves for its September 5, 2012 appearance where Kate Bishop joins his battles and presents a new dimension to his already troubled daily life.

Check out the gallery below, keep in mind these pages have no text yet.

Review – Hit-Girl #2 (2012)

Writer & Co-Creator: Mark Millar
Breakdowns & Co-Creator: John Romita Jr.
Finishes & Ink Washes: Tom Palmer
Colors: Dean White with Michael Kelleher
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Variant Cover: Dave Johnson
Published by: Marvel Comics

Hit-Girl issue 1 introduces a new rise in crime and the need for the hero duo to return to the streets. We see a slew of new criminals and it’s Hit-Girl who declares to Kick-Ass that a return to the streets is inevitable. In issue 2 she takes him under her wing to train him in the art of being a Super Hero and they set into the training music, well… there is no training music but you can imagine there’s something incredibly cool going on there.

As a crash course it’s a shock to see Kick-Ass really grow a pair in the issue, it does help defeat the issue of him hesitating in action situations that she’ll present. Of course this isn’t to say everything goes off without a hitch, Marcus is of course onto Mindy and dead set on her dropping her old ways to ensure they all have a happier and normal family life after all this time. Unfortunately the roofies kick in and his concerns go out the window as she sets off in full gear for a real test of all the training she’s put Dave through.

Unfortunately as well as he might do, there’s always the unexpected and in this case the old forms of absolute death came swinging through. It seems that old habits die-hard and Kick-Ass will have to adapt to her style of getting things done versus his more noble version. The clash will likely keep pushing through as Mindy attempts to battle her way into social circles to better function in her cover identity at school.

As a whole, issue 2 of Hit-Girl brings tons of action, drama, swearing and great moments of this new duo bonding as heroes and still able to bicker over the little things. On top of that, Red Mist shows his face and moves to set the spotlight on himself for this act, it’s showtime for the Super Villain movement and it looks like all chaos is about to hit the city as they find the opposing force to this push for justice and peace. Unfortunately the climax leaves one begging for the end of August to roll around to find out where this is all going.

Release Date: July 25, 2012

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

Review – Star Wars: Blood Ties #2 – Boba Fett is Dead

Script: Tom Taylor
Art: Chris Scalf
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Chris Scalf
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Boba Fett is dead and the world is starting to learn you don’t kill someone so famous and so feared without stirring up the pot, vengeance is on the move and those who tracked him down and killed him are now facing judgement. Connor Freeman is the man on the warpath and the powers that be want him not only silent but dead and gone, unfortunately the cards are in Connor’s favor and the game continues.

Part 2 is a complete twist of sorts, we find out more about this plan and about what’s going on with Connor, unfortunately while he survived this encounter he’s not entirely all himself after the attack. The masked stranger reveals himself to Connor setting off a huge flashback of the events leading into Part 1 and elaborating on everything to the point where the story is flipped on its head for what readers thought was going on. The attack path changes course though, instead of just hunting those who started this mess it goes to Blackfel taking this situation to a whole new level against the conspiring group against Fett and any supporters.

Star Wars: Blood Ties #2 is a huge elaboration over the first issue, in some ways it would have been great to know that out of the gate but it builds up the life of Connor and the stress he was going through leading into this. The art continues the painterly qualities and intense detail throughout the book and there aren’t many instances where it stumbles, the characters are handled with care and the environments are engaging. Fans of the series really need to dive into issue 2 so they can feel the full impact of this story, one can only hope they have a miracle up their sleeve to wrap this up in 2 more issues.

Release date: May 30, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

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

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #2 – Round 2

Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction
Script: Jason Aaron
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Jim Cheung & Laura Martin
Variant Cover Art: Nick Bradshaw & Marte Gracia
Published by: Marvel Comics

Avengers vs X-Men #1 left off with Cyclops blasting Captain America for wanting to take Hope Summers from the X-Men, as an estimated target for the Phoenix to reside in they’re out to make sure the Earth isn’t destroyed by the force. Given their approach in a giant flying battle ship though and loading up with their full team it was reasonable to expect a negative reaction to this attempt. With both sides gearing up for battle it’s going to get nasty really fast.

Issue 2 takes us into the heart of the battle, the stage has been set and Iron Man calls the Avengers into action as the X-Men brace for impact on their island. Taking Hope out of their hands is not an option and the team will do what it takes to protect her and potentially the future of their kind from being wiped out by outsiders in this new showdown. It’s an epic battle in the pages that follow, marriages torn apart, old friendships smashed and bodies and bones fractured all over in a super battle for the planet or Hope, it gets confusing.

The final pages of AvX #2 leave a lot of worry on the minds of the reader, as the Phoenix Force closes in Hope becomes more and more unstable, with the conflict right at her doorstep she moves from a reserved state into the forefront. She’s the biggest gun the mutant world has and she’s not going to sit idle anymore while those she knows take beatings or risk their lives for her. She knows what she has to do, and no one is going to get in the way of it once she embraces the power and puts it into action, something Logan should have thought about before picking the side he did.

Avengers vs X-Men #2 is a blast of story not just in narrative but in dialogue as well, we get a taste of what everyone is going through in this battle and that in the moment of action everyone is forced to pick a side and stand firm with it. It wasn’t the prettiest start but the line was drawn and everyone owns their decisions even if the thoughts race their minds with some doubt. The art team helps supplement this by adding extra emotion and energy to each panel, the characters showing signs of distress and frustration and pain as they slug it out across the beach. Even Iron Man in his shell shows that he’s not beyond a gesture of struggle or trauma, when Emma slams her diamond fist into his gut he’s completely lifeless for a moment. It’s an evolution from the original issues and it looks to build strong momentum as we head into the next round.

Check out the preview pages below and the cover art for more goodies on this issue.

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

Review – B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth – The Pickens Country Horror #2

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

Peters and Vaughn left us hanging as fog, vampires and the undead rise up in what was set to be a routine investigation. As trouble strikes they’re put out of the game and taken to a safe house in the middle of it all, the owner of which is a vampire conspiracy theorist researching a possible invasion scenario. Part 2 starts up without hesitation, the fog is thick and the crosses are all over with something lurking in the background, Vaughn is quiet but worried about Peters and we step into the mess from there.

Pickens Country Horror is a relentless book, even with all the experience Vaughn has the story proves once again that he’s only seen a fraction of the horrors possible in the outbreaks so far. His confidence no matter how high is knocked down as the situation with the fog and the mushrooms grows worse, it’s a bad time to be an agent of the B.P.R.D. on this mission. Unfortunately as a mini series we’re whisked through the rest of the development including the history on the vampire group at work locally and their history. It’s not to say this has been a bad installment but the closure on it really shakes the foundation as a newer reader to the series, I can only hope this isn’t the end of this arc and that it spins into something more. One thing that Mike Mignola does without trouble is develop character attachment and #2 is where you really wish this wasn’t the case because of how much whiplash fills the pages of the story.

If you’re a fan of B.P.R.D. this is a must have to your collection for the series, you have vampires, crazy supernatural fog and a crazy man telling you his end of the world conspiracy theory. If you’re a new reader, it might be a bit of rough ride to get into even if it does have a very interesting story, it just has a really rough closure that could throw off those new to the series even if the 2 issues are excellent reads. The art from Jason Latour is great, the expressions and body language don’t drop the experience while reading through it, even when going to supernatural levels the experience holds the reader in and even brings a bit of paranoia, with Dave Stewart assisting in color it’s really an immersion experience.

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Release date: April 25, 2012

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

DC Comics releases Night Force #2 Preview

Night Force hit with high energy last month, bringing tales of horror and adventure to the world. This Wednesday you can get a second dose of this chaos and walk down the seven-issue mini series as Baron Winters travels through time to figure out the mastermind behind this siege no matter what might come up. Darkness is all around and both Winters and Duffy are knee-deep in it as they investigate the threat resting in the darkness.

Check out the panels below for a preview and hold on just a few more days for the release.

Review – Prototype 2 #2 – The Anchor Part 2

Writer: Dan Jolley
Artist: Paco Diaz
Coloring: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Paco Diaz with Michael Atiyeh
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

After having his solitude broken, Alex ventures to save the ones he’s bonded with in his snowy escape. Unfortunately what he’s sought to protect might not be as pure as he thought, in fact it’s only weight to his struggle to bond with humanity after being evolved. The story loses speed in issue 2, focusing on histories and going into detail about how Alex tries to get by in these infiltration situations while going full circle on the story of everyone involved. In this issue we figure out why Alex is screwed for finding redemption in humanity, we also see the outcome of this mini plot and unfortunately while it was starting to get good we’re moving to other areas in this bridge series.

Show Issue 2 Spoilers »

Alex has his crusade cut short, learning more about Flint he realizes the man he seeks to protect is an incarnation of evil, torturing and destroying people for greed. The men he’s been disassembling in the compound are small fries compared to the retired kingpin he was residing with. The impact drives Alex over the edge and sends him on revenge directed in all ways, minus Autumn, he has to save her from the horrors that her father brought forward during his time and the corruption within him. Unfortunately Alex realizes he’s entirely too optimistic about humanity and those he thought he was close with. The dawn of judgement comes forward and few if any will escape the wrath.

The Anchor Part 2, continues vivid artwork and graphic detail in each panel, the melee assaults and action sequences drive the intensity of the story. The color and ink keep the tones limited to the moment with night sequences, explosions and wilderness teams without bleeding into a single pattern. Overall it’s a great read to grab for 99 cents especially if you’re interested in a mini-series to hold you over for the next month.

Release Date: February 29th, 2012

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