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 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #3

  • 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

The internment camp, basically the strongest moment to ring out of issue 2 of this season. As the government goes nuclear on supernatural beings in the country suddenly the walls start closing in on everyone. With Buffy standing firm to protect her friends and family it’ll be a rough ride ahead.

A House Divided dumps more problems on Buffy and the group, with new mandates from the government it’s only a matter of time before federal slayers come knocking on her door for those dearest. We see Buffy trying to micromanage the situation as much as possible and try to keep some control over what’s going down. Christos Gage paints a grim future for the group, even with their best efforts they can’t possibly keep the group going in the face of everything going on.

We see Willow take a firm stand in her beliefs after the chaos in issue 2, knowing the dangers to those who even barely met her, she makes the sacrifices she needs to. Buffy and Spike also face their own wall, given vampires aren’t a magical exemption to the rule Buffy knows they’re coming. It’s a charged issue as the group makes decisions for the best of all their futures given their climate. Rebekah Isaacs does well to pull out emotion from each character through the panels as each of them carefully set the tone with the gestures displayed. Dan Jackson does well with intensity and playing on saturation to show the mood of the world and the emotion within each character with subtle shifts in the panels.

It’s certainly not looking good, in this case the world or at least the nation might just be against Buffy now. We’ll have to wait and see what comes of all this next month.

Release date: Out Now

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

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Spike #3 A Dark Place Part 3

Script: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Paul Lee
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Cris Peter
Cover: Jenny Frison
Alternate Cover: Steve Morris
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with a flashback, Pearl (of Pearl and Nash fame) has just spent a “romantic” evening with a demon, who after their romp, thinks she needs to die. After Nash fails at rescuing her, the ever gallant Spike (joined by Dru) arrives. However, more than chivalry this is mainly just coincidence, this particular demon happens to owe Spike cash and the demon’s inevitable demise just happens to save Pearl in the process. Cut to present day where Spike, Pearl and Nash just happen to run into each other but, Spike who is running low on patience, tangles with the terrible twosome. Finally away from danger, Spike and his bug crew are joined by their new mystery gust Morgan. They set off into space to their next destination, a hell mouth. The bugs are none too happy with the new plan and they do not hesitate to let Spike know; however, Spike as captain of this boat want to stay on course. Luckily the bugs suspicions have got Spike thinking and he decides to do some investigating of his own. Spike and Morgan have a long chat and she explains who and what she is, while this puts Spike at ease the bugs are still not convinced!

I think out of all the Buffyverse titles the Spike series thus far represents the feeling and voice best. I have enjoyed all the titles but this one seems to have a lot of the elements that give you that Joss feeling and this issue is no exception. Spike is really captured amazingly and perfectly. I also really love the bugs, they have a lot of personality and really add humor and heart. I really enjoyed this issue and I think fans of all things Buffy will as well!

Release Date: October 24th, 2012

Links: Preview | Order (Digital) | Order (Print)

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

Review – Alabaster Wolves #3 of 5

Written By: Caitlín R. Kiernan
Art & Letters: Steve Lieber
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover: Greg Ruth

We last saw our favorite albino bad-ass in a bad state and about to die. In this issue Dancy seems like she’s on the losing end when she starts to tangle with that werewolf, or is she? She soon finds help in the form of an unlikely ally and Dancy is trying to figure out why she’s been saved. Things quickly become tense between Dancy and her savior as her new-found “friend” has questions that are expected to be answered. Dancy, in no position to argue because she’s still weak and recovering, obliges and we are given a glimpse into the past. Dancy’s past is just as interesting as her present and her journey leads her to trouble. She, like always, does what she needs to do and she is slowly figuring out what it all means. Now that her Angel (guide) has left her she has the daunting task of doing it all on her own, with maybe a little help from the rude crow!

Caitlín R. Kiernan is flat-out amazing. Her writing style is breathtaking and hands down some of the best I’ve read. Dancy is an amazing character layered with depth and sadness. Steve Lieber’s art is the same as Kiernan’s writing, it is beautiful and brings everything to life in a fantastic way. Each character in this comic is intriguing and the story itself very interesting. From Dancy to the crow everything works impeccably together. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, well, there’s something wrong with you, so go pick it up, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Release Date: June 20th, 2012

Links: Order Digital | Order Print | Preview

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

Review – Avengers Vs X-Men: Versus #3 (AVX)

Thing Vs. Colossus
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Ed McGuinness
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Morry Hollowell
Letters: Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne

Black Widow Vs. Magik
Writer: Christopher Yost
Pencils: Terry Dodson
Inks: Rachel Dodson
Colors: Guru eFX
Letters & Production: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Published by: Marvel Comics

*That’s a ton of credit to give just for a single comic D:

Here we are in the heat of the Phoenix Force struggle and we get two impressive battles to go through, Red Hulk vs anyone he wants and Thing Vs. Colossus and Black Widow Vs. Magik. As you might be able to guess the Red Hulk beating on anyone moving thing is getting a bit tired for me and the solution it seems by Marvel so far is to just use Thing as the scapegoat. With that said we have Thing and Black Widow trying to hold down the fort in the Blue Zone of the moon which is the only safe zone area for humans to exist without assistance.

Thing Vs. Colossus is the first battle exposed once Red Hulk punches Juggerlossus across the moon over to Thing for the next round. It’s a slugfest and an ugly one at that, we see Colossus finally get a boost in the battles and his dark side emerges in battle, that blood lust he suppresses so hard finally comes forward as he declares he is The Juggernaut. For those hoping to see a continued streak of Avengers win’s it’s 50/50, you’ll see Red Hulk play god and then it doesn’t go nearly as well for Thing as you might hope. It’s still an entertaining battle though and a nice glimpse at Colossus letting it rip.

Black Widow Vs. Magik takes over the stage for the next battle, it’s a rough spot for both characters as they engage in a ballet of warfare, Magik playing with her food while Black Widow underestimates the power of magic and spell casting. It’s a bit more amusing given Magik pops in and out of the world at will and has so many powers that haven’t even been touched upon in this series so far. Unfortunately those who see a human coming out on top will be sorely mistaken, while it’s a cool fight there was a lingering concern that it was just a way to pass the time and not so much a life or death struggle.

For those hoping to focus on just the battles Versus doesn’t disappoint and honestly it feels like one of the better balanced issues in the series so far.

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

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #3

Writers: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman
Script: Ed Brubaker
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Jim Cheung & Laura Martin
Variant Cover: Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor
Published by: Marvel Comics

There are some moments when you get a good idea, there are others where you need to factor in if you’re going up against the Phoenix Force or not. Unfortunately for Wolverine he didn’t really think his latest venture through when launching at Hope with his claws out the last time we left off. Avengers vs X-Men #3 kicks off as Wolverine regenerates his body with Spider-Man tasked with the unlucky duty of watching the process. It’s a sound example of why it’s good to give deeper consideration before just going head-on.

The Avengers have struck at Utopia, the word has gone out to the world and now Cap and Iron Man are under fire for their project gone awry. The world is watching, Hope is running loose, the Phoenix Force is charging toward Earth and Logan has his suspicions about the whole aftermath. Given all the filler last week it was hard to say what to expect this time but it seems to be rolling along without a hitch, fans of the series will see some huge leaps in this third issue of the book moving everyone closer to the bigger picture now that Hope is on the run and everyone on Earth and on other worlds are moving into pursuit.

The cliffhanger is a concentrated one, Captain America is desperate for a win here and he needs to know his team is all on the same page. Unfortunately Logan has proven he has his own agendas when he tried to take out hope so now we see a split within the ranks for this battle. It should be interesting to see how this chase pans out and where Logan ends up during this conflict, is he protecting, capturing our killing Hope in all of this?

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

Batman Incorporated #3 gets cover art, awesome shadow puppets

Batman is on the loose, showing up in the strangest of places, the cover for Batman Incorporated issue #3 highlights this as a match lets off the dark silhouette of the caped crusader. It’s a sweet piece of art, kudos to the team for coming up with it as the strong shadow is dominant but still lets focus wander.

Link: DC Comics Blog

Review – Prototype 2 #3 – The Survivors Part 1

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

Alex has set his path in the Prototype world, issue 3 moves us back to the contamination zone with 3 new souls, they’re in the heat of the infection in the Red Zone. Blackwatch is in full force and the battles on the street are life or death struggles. Conrad, Marcie and Ami Levin are the survivors hoping to make  a break from the contamination and purge zone into some level of freedom and safety from this madness. We get a dose of the marshal law holding down the zones and the lengths that anyone would go to in escaping a daily life of not knowing if there would be another day.

[spoiler show=”Show Issue 3 Spoilers” hide=”Hide Issue 3 Spoilers”]Conrad is holding hope that his wife may find his notes and her way back to his arms, writing letters along the way documenting their struggle and stress. Marcie is relatively shallow for information and Ami seems to be the most vocal about the events acting as a biblical judgement day for humanity. Blackwatch in the Red Zone puts the living at the bottom of the priority list, as ground zero it seems as if anyone found there is suspected to be infected and must be terminated without exemption. The trio is able to execute their plan to limited success, instead of total freedom they crash-land in the Yellow Zone leaving us to wait for more. These zones actually play a key role in Prototype 2 and it’s interesting to see a little about the drama within them coming forward before the launch of the game. Hopefully the story ties all of this and the character swaps together though so we can make sense of it all by the launch.[/spoiler]

 

While Jolley is able to drive an intense story even without Alex, the art shift from Diaz to Staggs is strong enough to notice, there’s almost a struggle in The Survivors. Marcie tends to shape shift throughout the book as does Ami, even Conrad has many morphing moments that break down the immersion. While the color and ink hold up under the stress it’s a hard switch to make between the two issues, hopefully there’s a chance for Staggs to rebound in the event The Survivors ends up being another 2 part installment.

Release date: March 14, 2012

Link: Prototype Digital Releases

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