Forgotten Realms – Dungeons and Dragons: Cutter <Trade Paperback> (IDW)
Written By: R.A. Salvatore & Geno Salvatore
Art By: David Baldeon
Colors By: David Garcia Cruz
Having read nearly every novel of R.A. Salvatore’s adventures that take place in the Forgotten Realms, it is a real treat to continue reading the wonderful fantasy world that has been depicted by R.A. Salvatore. Though there are many comics and omnibuses that translate the tales of Drizzt Do’ Urden from novel to graphic novel, this book is about a supporting character Khazid’hea, the sentient blood thirsty sword. For the majority of this collection there is a clear confusion as to who is leading who around, is it the half-drow female warrior or Cutter the sword. With the story being told through the well woven fantasy writing by R.A. Salvatore, there is a heavy emphases on the mystery and action that makes this story entertaining
From the outset, Doum’weille is charmed and convinced that her actions are all her idea and fault. Fleeing the scene of the incident where Doum’weille slayed her brother in contest for the birthright of the sword, there is a chase through deadly Orc terrain murderously named for its tribe Many-Arrows. All of which the half-drow assumes her idea and fault, while the intelligent artifact sows false beliefs and mistrust. The level of writing and plot development that has gone into the bloody past of Khazid’hea is novel worthy, which should not come as a shock. There is a great flow and intrigue wrapped up with some great illustrations
The panels and colors that illustrate the script do such a great job, that if there was no descriptive text to accompany it, you would get just as much enjoyment and understanding from the actions. The races of the Forgotten Realms are well done, showing their traits and personalities. The tracking and encounters that fill the pages give a good sense of the dangers of the world. This graphic novel has everything the avid ranger drow fan would enjoy, as well as having amazing writing to hook new reader. The final chapter of this graphic novel leaves an air of intrigue and attitude of mystery that leaves the future for Doum’weille and the sword up in the air.
*Review by Cory Anderson
Story: Scott Snyder
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Not wanting to let the readers ease their minds from the creepy atmosphere that’s introduced this new title, Snyder and Jock pick up their expert craftsmanship right where it left of. The disbelief of Sailor’s family over the trauma and generally creepy nature of events occurring to her, may become a problem sooner than later. After a horrifying bite, or as the doctors referred to it as a scratches and incisions, the young female lead goes to school trying to act as if everything is all right, but we know are soon teased that the shivers we just got rid of should be ready to come back.
Jock’s illustration shows the stress and terror on the faces of the characters, which is a story being told without the script of Snyder. There is a third star of this issue in the coloring. From the wounds and fresh blood to the color flairs and ominous forests, Hollingsworth does an excellent job of wowing you on each panel. All through this issue, as was the case in the first one, each panel is captivating and by the end, you just want more.
There is a great portion of the story that advances for each of the family members throughout this issue, but in the end, there are more questions that arise than are answered. October may be over, but the horror still thrives in this series. I can’t wait to read more of this story as I just keep wondering what is really going on and more importantly, why. Chit Chit Chit.
*Review by Cory Anderson
Written and Illustrated By: Matt Kyme
Colors By: Gat Melvyn
In an industry where superheroes ha e pretty much explored every origin story and every power, it can be tough to get the hook I to readers to keep interest. Matt Kyme brings a familiar power set (bulletproof, flight strength and healing) to this comic and lets that be the back drop. The focus in this superhero comic is about a teenage superhero just trying to get by in high school, again a theme that sounds familiar. All the familiarity would seem off putting but that also lets you look deeper I to the story and lessons trying to be taught.
The true writing of this issue shines when different characters are put in typical high school situations, bullying being the overall thread to the problems. As I read through the events, I almost forgot this was about a super powered teenager which is a credit to the story I was focused on. The illustrations are used to express the feelings of the characters almost perfectly for each scene. The coloring, though a little flat and missing the continuous wow factor, does a great job of separating the comic from its two parts; the super hero aspect and the daily struggle of a teenager.
Using the familiar theme and powers as the foundation for what this comic can be in future issue helps to focus on what is important, the story and all the values that should be taught. It’s tue that Bulletproof is a teenager and must learn how to be a super powered being, but he also can’t just hit the fast forward button on his life and skip the knowledge that comes with experience. Again, the writing in this comic touches on many familiar themes that have appeared since comics first started to be written and read, and Matt Kyme even breaches that subject of how to set itself apart from other comics by including a scene where this idea is poked fun at. This was enjoyable to read since it felt so familiar.
*Review by Cory Anderson
Written by: Dan Slott, Skottie Young, Robbie Thompson & Katie Cook
Art by: Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Jake Parker, Denis Medri & Katie Cook
Colors by: Edgar Delgado, Andrew Crossley, Paolo Francescutto & Heather Breckel
So this book is not what I expected. That’s not a bad thing. I assumed the book titled the same name as the massive event would be the “main” book in the event, but it’s not at all. This book is really cool and interesting to read. Like the Edge of Spider-Verse series, Spider-verse #1 is packed with six different mini stories, each showing a different spider-totem. We get to see Manga Spider-Man, then we get an awesome, never before seen Steampunk Lady Spider who is a female version of Ben Reilly named May Reilly. This was my favorite in the book! We get to see 1960’s Spider-Man drawn and written faithfully for the time in a single page story that you will gobble up faster than Morlun gobbles spider-totems. Next we see the ultra-cartoony Penelope Parker’s origin story that seems like something from Cartoon Network. Lastly we get an awesome collection of eight black and white newspaper strips that look ripped from an old set of Sunday papers.
This book is written and drawn by several different people. It would take forever to go through them all, but I feel like the objective of this book is to keep introducing people to new Spider-heroes and not just the characters but the world they live in. Dan Slott, Skottie Young and the other writers really knocked that goal out of the park. I have never read Manga Spider-Man but now that they showed me a Venom Samurai… I’m in. The art styles in this book go from every spectrum in comics. We get Manga style, then the highly detailed style we’re used to today, then 1960’s style, then super cartoon network style and back to black and white. It’s really incredible and they make it fit into the Spider-verse event perfectly! I was hoping to get a bit more development in the event, but I’ll have to wait until next week I guess. This book is just fun and if you have kids you read comics to, this book is a perfect book for that!
*Review by Everett Harn
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Russel Dauterman & Matthew Wilson
So this is an interesting book for a few reasons. First off it’s the first book we actually get to see the new Thor in. Second it offers quite a bit of insight into the Thor we all know and love. A lot of people didn’t think that this new Thor would be the same as the one we grew up with, but this book proves them wrong. When this mysterious woman picks up the Hammer of Thor she gains an almost second consciousness that takes over outwardly. She speaks like Thor and knows everything Thor does, but we find out that this is all Mjolnir’s doing. As this almost origin story continues, we get thought bubbles (which I love and we don’t see that much anymore) from this woman which are all in layman’s English. When she speaks it’s all in Old English like Thor speaks, but we get some background into her thinking and because of this, all my guesses of who this new Thor might be have been shattered like ice.
Jason Aaron is continuing Thor: God of Thunder’s story with Ice Giants, Roxxon and the Minotaur, but adds in the mystery and intrigue this new Thor brings to the table. A lot of people were guessing who the new Thor is, but hell this issue is going to jumble that topic up again. Aaron writes in such a way that really makes me want to know who this Thor is, but I have a feeling we won’t know for a long time. This book is funny and has some great panels of the new Thor figuring out her new powers. I love the look of the new Thor, so Russel Dauterman and Matthew Wilson already have my vote. Every panel she’s drawn in is electrifying and I really love it. The art hasn’t gone down in quality since Thor: God of Thunder, and that book was always in the top position for best art of the week. This book is no different. It’s incredibly fun and a great beginning to an awesome new female hero!
*Review by Everett Harn
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Gerardo Sandoval & Edgar Delgado
This book is quickly becoming something that I won’t pass up on the comic book shelves. I’ve always been curious about the original Guardians of the Galaxy and this series is satiating the hunger I have for their stories. Like I said in the review for #1, this is a Groundhog’s Day like story. This issue takes place on the second time through Geena Drake’s day. In issue #1 everyone died, well in this issue she changes that future. We get more King Peter Quill, more Gladiator, and way more Vance Astro, Martinex and crew. Geena Drake is a fun character to be inside the head of. She really grounds the book and we can all cheer for one of the last humans alive. The end of this book talks about the Sleeping Hunger, an ancient threat in the center of the galaxy that is now dormant, and the Guardians are going to wake it up. I hope to god this is Galactus. If it is, I’ll be gushing about this book next issue.
Dan Abnett still has me hooked. This book has to be the most fun book he is writing or else I need to be reading his other works. He adds more new words to the repertoire like Maxisexist, Stochastic, Sexy-sleek and THE STARK as an expletive?! Abnett also delivers an intriguing story while adding in all of these future terms that make the book feel like an old fashioned sci-fi novel. I love the feel of this book. The feel also comes with the aid of Gerardo Sandoval and Edgar Delgado. Sandoval’s drawings are incredible for what I would guess is a very sidelined book in Marvel’s roster. The art in this book is just as good as Infinity and Axis because there are some top shelf artists on here. Edgar Delgado, who also drew the Manga Spider-Man part of Spider-Verse #1, also colored this book. It really shows me he’s got a wide array of talent that doesn’t lack in either highly detailed art or manga style. This series overall seems to be heading down a path that is not only relevant to the reality crisis happening in the Marvel Multiverse, but could unexpectedly become a huge part of what is coming in the next few months. If Galactus is coming and time is in a flux, this book could change everything. You may not want to miss this!
*Review by Everett Harn
Written by: Marc Guggenheim
Pencils by: Joe Bennet
Inks by: Craig Yeung
Colors by: Jim Charalampidis
I’ve been a massive Arrow fan ever since episode one. It and it’s spin-off series The Flash are in my main the best comic book hero TV series to ever hit my screen. Any fan of the hit WB series has no doubt gone in and bought a few Green Arrow books only to find that they aren’t really the exact characters we’ve come to love on the show. Well wait no more! Arrow Season 2.5 is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a comic that takes place in between Season 2 after Oliver and team took down Slade Wilson and the new season that just started. We get to see Roy’s first outings as Speedy (and his reaction to the name) as well as more Diggle, Felicity and Ollie. This book really feels like a continuation of the Arrow universe and it’s a great read for those who enjoy the show. Now if they can just start releasing these actually in between the seasons so we have something to read while the show isn’t airing.
The writing in this book is good. Marc Guggenheim does a great job making the characters feel and sound like the characters from the show. We get Felicity being her usual self and telling Oliver he should go sleep in her bed, then realizing what she just said and much more like that. The artwork in this book leaves a bit to be desired, but it isn’t bad. For a digital first comic, the art captures the feel of the show and it’s characters. Unlike the Green Arrow series, Oliver looks and dresses up like he does in the show. The only issue I had with the art was that some of the characters didn’t resemble the actors or actresses that play them in the show. Felicity looked pretty plain, Laurel was kind of unrecognizable, but I was able to know it was her by how close they drew Detective Lance. Nitpicking aside this was a great comic. It comes out digitally every week and they are just now putting out issue #2 on paper. I think they’re up to issue #6 or so right now, so if you pick up this book and can’t wait to get more Arrow action, check out the newer issues digitally on your tablet!
*Review by Everett Harn
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Yildiray Cinar
Wow. This is a great opener to a book focusing on one of Marvel’s most beloved characters. Beginning directly after the events of AXIS #3 and the Inversion, Superior Iron Man starts with giving the gift of Extremis 3.0 to the San Fransico populace. This new form of Extremis is a techno-virus in the form of an app which makes everyone be the best “you” you can be. Immediately this causes trouble (which is a Stark trademark at this point) between those who have this new Extremis and those who don’t. Those with the app wanting the “blemishes” out of their new paradise. Stark has also built a new suit which is infused with a symbiote, of which Pepper Potts remarks, ‘That couldn’t possibly end badly.’
The art is amazing, the facial expressions and body language are wonderful. The story promises to be a great and memorable one and the cliffhanger at the end of this issue raises a lot of questions, some of which I think will be answered this coming summer. I would recommend this book to those who like Tony Stark both presently and will give those of us that remember a small reminder of how he was in the past.
*Reviewed by Tyler Pollock
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
Inker: Danny Miki
Who wins in a fight, Batman or Superman? According to Batman, for all intents and purpose answers that question. The man who prepares for everything according to past experiences and temperaments, runs into a big snafu when what he assumes as Superman’s normal rules of engagement have no limits due to a hybrid Joker toxin. Although Bruce needs the aid of his “anti-Superman” suit, of which all the gadgets and specially designed superhero weapons will wow you. When Batman against Superman is just the beginning of a comic you know your in for epicness!
Being a huge Snyder and Capullo fan (met them at Boston Comic Con and they looked to be loving the atmosphere as much as the con goers) you know that this dynamic duo has the chops to script a captivating and believable story while knocking you through a building with the art and amazing Batman vs Superman action. I love the penciling and ink in this comic so much, that I went back through a second time to observe every little detail and every little purposeful word.
Endgame may have started a while ago through the maniacal planning of the Joker, so much so that even the world’s greatest detective is caught flatfooted. The first shot, literally, of Endgame starts here, and my eyes were wide with realization, probably working out the situation just as fast as Batman did. This is a new Joker, one that has given up the cat and mouse game and has taken things to a whole new level. For example he infected the entire Justice League and took them out of commission for almost a week. I want the next installment and I want it now!
*Review by Cory Anderson
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Joelle Jones
Colors by: Nick Filardi
Rikard is headed west with revenge on his mind and the story of the demon monk, Raevil, is revealed. Brides of Helheim #2 is a mystical, supernatural thirll ride with the undead draug at its center. However, before the big guy can cut loose Kadlin has a story to tell the nosey Sigrid about the spae-women.
She goes on to tell of how Raevil taught three women his dark art and how it had corrupted them so much that the power they achieved was never enough. They soon would turn against each other while their master walked away to let them feud. And so the war of the witches had begun. One of them had been Kadlin’s mother.
It’s an intriguing tale set in the middle of the issue that adds some depth to the lore of Helheim. It’s also a provocative interlude with a beautifully rendered panel of erotica that is momentarily shocking but appropriate for the setting. Cullen Bunn writes an efficient but compelling script that draws you in and is still capable of surprising you when you least expect it.
Joelle Jones does an incredible job of pacing the two stories within the book. There isn’t a panel that is simply filler. They all make up a mosaic that ties the story together. Yes, the orgy scene was titillating but Jones’ talent knows no bounds. The angular pencil work on Rikard gives the rugged Viking a menacing and stoic look. The last action piece is especially well executed, well-choreographed brawl of blood and horror.
Brides of Helheim is just a masterfully constructed comic book that has not disappointed.
*Review by Enrique Rea
Written by: Jay Faerber
Art by: Scott Godlewski
Color by: Ron Riley
Copperhead #3 continues to be one the best sci-fi mysteries in comics and the case is about to break wide open. What started as a western in space is turning into an intriguing police drama. Clara Bronson as the newly installed sheriff is learning that she’s not entirely in control as she thought. It all leads to some surprising revelations by the end.
Jay Faerber constructs a great scene with Clara and Ishmael the “artie,” artificial humanoid who helped her son and friend out of the Badlands. She’s distrustful and angry with her weapon drawn and he reminds her that his kind are not all the same and deserve some amount of respect for fighting a war on behalf of humanity. It’s the first real counterbalance to her Type A personality that challenges her authority and sort of humbles her to a degree. It’s a great new wrinkle and character development that adds another layer to this fabulous new series. And that’s just the beginning of the issue.
The investigation of the massacre at the Sewell residence had run into a wall when Clara’s instincts reveal some new information I won’t spoil here. Faerber’s storytelling is very procedural and thorough but compelling as the investigation continues.
Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley create a feast for the eyes in panel layouts, colors and character design. You could simply get lost in the intricacies of each background and transitions from bright sun-soaked landscapes to dark, shadowy close-ups. It is an impeccable execution of story and art.
Copperhead #3 is one of the surest bets in comics and worth adding to your pull list now.
*Review by Enrique Rea