Review – Malefic #5

  • Writer: Dan Schaffer
  • Artist: David Miller
  • Lettering: Chris Crank
  • Published by: 1First Comics

Normally I have a quirky intro here talking about the prior issue, I’m still at a loss, I mean it’s not like I’ve had time to reflect on that issue but that’s cold, actually in the immortal words of Ice-T, it’s cold McDonalds. Doctor Freust had some ups and downs, in her latest encounter with inmate eleven she had her mental wellbeing crushed without mercy.

Issue 5 brings in psychic remnants, mind reading, walks of shame, ultra experimental tinkering, and shattered dreams. We learn of new inmates, inmates we didn’t even know existed, and watch inmate eleven run the show on our dear Doctor Freust as she attempts to navigate a massive blow to her credibility and respect among the inmates and get her head back in the game. It’s a tricky situation but she does her best to survive another day in a hellish environment. Unfortunately just as she thinks she has a handle on things, a new challenger/ patient/inmate is set to arrive while the prison is in chaos.

Dan Schaffer spends a bit of time trying to piece together Doctor Freust, we see a shaken and eager doctor move to vindicate herself after being toyed with by inmate eleven. It’s not easy to rebound from a heavy mind game, let alone one created by supernatural psychic power. If she has the skills to continue though is entirely in the air, she’s eager but that might compromise her ability to get the job done.

David Miller steps up to the plate with this latest featured inmate, we see a range of emotion as confusion and reality set in, the lines between a self-made world and the facts create turmoil and rash outbursts that are well expressed on the pages. The character details certainly stand out and bring some added depth to the page.

Overall issue 5 of Malefic keeps the story rolling, it doesn’t just leave Doctor Freust as a fumbling mess hiding from herself and trying to escape. Instead, she tries to rise to meet the challenges ahead even if that means dealing with patients she could mentally shatter in the process.

Link: Order (Digital)

Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – Avengers vs X-Men #5 (AVX)

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

So we’re a bit late to the AVX party on this one but we’ve been following the series so far and wanted to continue at least with some coverage of the latest happenings after that 3 week break that Marvel took.

We’re back on the Moon and Hope is merging with the Phoenix, the Avengers and X-Men are clashing on the moon and it’s about to go down in a bad way. Hope is feeling the limits of this event she’s prepared so hard for and no amount of training and preparation she attempted is providing much help right now. Regardless of this bad situation, everyone is battling out their own personal pursuits on the surface as the apocalypse itself sets in.

Avengers vs X-Men #5 dives into the dilemma that is Hope’s mind, she’s torn on what it is she’s exactly doing anymore, the force is too strong and she has no idea on how to tangle with this cosmic bird trying to overwhelm her. Instead of embracing it like the warrior pictured through all of this lead-in, she’s still the scared girl and now she’s trying to get away.

The issue  is one of the strongest yet, we see a bit of everything in the pages of issue 5 including where this whole story goes once the Phoenix Force and Hope have their difficulty in bonding. Many have had an issue with the Avengers beating down every X-Men member they see but that will not be the case anymore, honestly everyone on the Avengers just died a little inside. Balance issues with Red Hulk dominating everything that gets in his way and so on seem flipped for the next arc.

I’ve been hoping for a brighter side to this story for the X-Men side, I don’t know if that’s exactly what happened in this issue. Some fans will of course be cheering because of the cool new attire and powers but at the same time it could very well mean doomsday is just around the corner for Earth yet again with 5 avatars full of stupid amounts of power. I can say I’m really looking forward to seeing where this whole twist goes in issue #6.

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

Review – Prototype 2 #5 – The Labyrinth Part 1

Writer: Dan Jolley
Pencils: Victor Drujiniu
Inks: Jonas Trindade
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Victor Drujiniu, Jonas Trindade and Michael Atiyeh
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

The final chapter of Prototype 2 is here and we get a peek at the main character behind it all, Sergeant James Heller, a man who on patrol blanked out and found himself deep underground and subject to a new series of tests. This final installment closes out the gates before launching into the campaign of Prototype 2 this week, with no time to spare lets jump in and see what Dan Jolley has written for our last adventure in this connecting series.

Heller finds himself in a mysterious complex, the details are vague but one thing is clear. He’s on his own and his memories and wishes will be the only thing that drives him forward to survive this experience. Unfortunately much of the story rests on the actual survival instinct within his cell and his resourcefulness within this scenario over all else, flashing between his time with his family and present day. It’s a short burst at 12 pages but at 99 cents one would be hard pressed to demand more from it right now. For those hoping to see this as a critical connection point between the game and the story it’s hard to pitch this one, unlike the first two storylines, this doesn’t do very much to outline about Blackwatch, the city or the active story.

As an instlalment it’s much weaker than the previous books in the series, one has to hope that part of of the Labyrinth helps elaborate this story a bit more and makes it enjoyable as a connection. As it stands it’s relatively lacking in comparison to the rest of the saga so far.

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

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #5 Preview goes up

DC has a treat up their sleeve today for fans, the preview of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #5 is ready to roll with a cover and 3 pages of tease. With only 2 issues left they’re in a hurry to wrap this up for the fans and give it a strong finish. We see a flashback in the preview helping explain how Colleen came into the mix and what drove her commitment T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Wii Moss had this to say on the issue itself and how they’re handling this section specifically.

 “For such a key, character-driven moment, we needed someone like Michael Choi, an artist who handles the subtle nuances of facial expressions beautifully. Check out this preview (colored by Michael as well!) to see what I mean, then make sure to pick up the issue to read the rest — trust me, you don’t want to miss the ending of this issue!”

The expressions are solid, page 2 highlights that specifically in the preview teaser. Also included in issue #5 is the debut of the Undersea Agent backup story created by Michael Uslan and Trevor McCarthy. The new arc will span the rest of the  T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents miniseries. Check out the panels below to get a brief glimpse of what issue 5 is packing.