Category Archives: Reviews

Comics in Color Returns: Shaft #2 Review



I haven’t done this in a while so forgive me if I’m rusty.  This week I picked up the second issue of the comic book adaptation of Ernest Tidyman’s no-nonsense black detective Shaft after reading one of the most solid first issues I’ve ever read. So between the pursuits of my own creative interests I decided to take some time out to write this review, which should tell you something.


The story starts with young John Shaft, having barely escaped Harlem with his life, applying for a job at the National Security and Investigations in which he was responsible for catching shoplifters. After a particularly easy bust he ends up on a date with Ms. Arletha Havens — don’t worry she’s not a shoplifter. What begins is a bit of whirlwind romance that ends with two men breaking into Arletha’s apartment while John is there looking for her friend. After a quick tussle and deliberation, John is forced to accompany one of the men while the other holds Arletha at gunpoint. This leads Shaft to a trip uptown to the last place he ever wanted to see again and directly into death’s maw — actually it’s a Mexican standoff, in which he is the only survivor.  Upon getting back to Arletha’s house he learns that the game their assailants were playing at is bigger than he and Arletha thought.

After a strong first issue Shaft follows up with a heavy right cross of a second. Attempting to get his life back in order after his ordeal in Harlem, trouble seems to follow John wherever he rests his head. Writer David F. Walker pulls no punches in this issue and continues to deliver a hard-hitting detective story that serves as a far departure from the way people now view the John Shaft character — mainly as a relic of an era of black film that now seems satirical.

This story is not only engaging but extremely well-told and I wouldn’t be surprised if Walker was soon getting calls from Marvel and DC to write for the characters of color they’re going to be pushing soon (namely Cyborg and Black Panther).

Bilquis Evely does a great job handling pencils and inks, giving the characters depth of character and expression that fits the tone, while Daniela Miwa does a great job of creating a look that is undoubtedly classic with the colors.

Now I want to talk about the cover by Sanford Greene,which would be cover C for those of you who are checking. This is is very powerful statement to make in a comic during the current racial and political climate. The image is of Shaft putting his hands up and saying “Don’t shoot.” harkening to the gun violence perpetrated on black males by police across the country. Whoever suggested this cover has guts and earns my respect, I’d also like to shout out whoever okayed it because I can only imagine what comic book fans think about social issues.  If this is a view of what’s to come for this series then I’m buying the singles and the trade.

Comics in Color Week 6: Horror in the Hood Editon

Once again it’s on Comics in Color. Week 6 is in full effect and this time I’m bringing you something from the darker side of the street. Here cosmic terror looms just beyond concrete in the ghetto of the mind, where killers come back to catch bodies from beyond the grave and madness lurks in every alleyway. Tonight, folks, we’re bringing you Comics in Color: Horror in the Hood Edition

Diskordia: Feels like Falling #1

(Andrew Blackman) 3.5 stars This story starts with our main character, Jackal — a strange youth with odd dreadlocks and a callous deanor — purchasing a prescription from his local street pharmacist. These meds will serve to quiet the “chicken voices” in his head which are playing like the music to the background of his thoughts. After the obligatory beat down from school bullies that comes with the dyed hair and plaid pants life, he alienates a young woman named Penelope who attpts to be a balm in his strange world of narcotics and routine bullying. After insulting his way up the school’s chain of command, Jackal takes a much-needed trip to the bathroom, where he is confronted by a strange young woman and becomes privy to a murder. After that a number of strange occurrences lead him to an island on a sea of blood ruled by a naked girl with an octopus on her head, thus concluding issue one.

I appreciate this comic’s attempt at psychological horror on a wide scale, where the audience is led to question the protagonist’s sanity but can’t discount the idea that the mindbending events he may have experienced have led him to his starting point in the story. I loved that Jackal was British among American teenagers but never seemed out of place. His “crazy guy” dialogue with his tormentors, as well as his narration of the scenario,  was priceless. While the art worked well enough for the story, it could have been better, or at least more polished in certain sections; for example, Jackal’s opening sequence with Squid Girl looked fine, but as the walls of reality began to crumble in the later portions, the art quality seed to wane a bit.

I’ll admit that the scariest portion of the story is imagining yourself in Jackal’s position, losing your sanity — something I myself have feared for a long time. The murder was less terrifying and the other scary tropes only seed to serve as a larger indicator for mental decay. I enjoyed  this comic and will enjoy seeing what becomes of our main characters and their minds in future stories. You can pick Diskordia up at Comixology.

Leave on the Light  #1 

(Bradley Golden / Tolen Tino /  Chris Allen) 3.5 stars I’ve been reading Second Sight Comics for several months, since I found out their main genre was horror. Some of their titles need work in the art department but they always se to craft pretty terrifying scenarios.

Leave on the Light #1 starts out with a little girl and her mother being butchered by a large man with tattoos, then jumps to Detective Marshall who has encountered this style of brutal murder before. The killer was executed months prior, so either there is a copycat killer or the original is killing from beyond the grave. The last panel of this issue is a cliffhanger, to be sure, and unlike in some horror stories where we know that several people are off the chopping block, everyone might be fair game here. This is the best installment I have read by Second Sight since I discovered them. The art is crisp, professional and scary, while the tone rinded me of True Detective meets Homicide: Life on the Street. That’s a tone which was set perfectly by the characters’ no-nonsense and on-edge dialogue.

The only problem I have with this comic is the pacing, I feel things could have been worked a little slower so we could get a feel for Marshall’s history and why a seemingly hardboiled cop would be so shaken by the type of murder he’s seen before. Our ghostly killer looks frightening enough but a little too much like what people would make up as the description for a serial killer of this kind instead of something new and innovative. That brings me to the last problem I have with this issue. If the killer’s face had not been shown, the horror element of the story could be drawn out further; therefore, it could be anyone and thus would be unknown. Using this technique, the story may have taken on a more sinister and frightening turn in a medium where it’s hard to frighten people.

The last page left me in a state of suspense since it’s not clear which characters are important to story progression, besides Marshall himself. Issue two of this needs to be out soon so I can find out who gets butchered next. Check out Second Sight Studios for more details on its release.

Comics in Color Week 6: Sword and Soul Edition

Welcome back to the world of vibrant hues, where comic books are strewn with a myriad of shades and gradients. Where our protagonist is more likely to have a fresh high top fade as opposed to flowing golden hair.

Welcome to a world where fur- and leather-clad warriors of the north are replaced with smooth southern soldiers wearing colorful flowing robes. This is comics in color fam and this week we explore the fantasy realms with a slightly darker shade in the Sword and Soul edition.

Dusu #1

(Sebastian A. Jones & Christopher Garner /  James C. Webster / Joshua Cozine)

4 stars

When I was a yougin I would wake up early on Sundays to catch Conan: The Adventurer, a cartoon chronicling the adventures of the Hyperborean hero as a young man. I loved watching hours of sword and sorcery action and adventure, so when I picked up Dusu it was as if someone had hit the reset button on my childhood love of fantastic realms.

Dusu is the story of a young man of the same name, who was found by the Galemren, an elven tribe that shares characteristics with various nomadic tribes in Africa. He is a human and as such isn’t really welcomed  by many of the fair folk. But the shepherd God Powisienne, deity of these particular elves, has marked our boy Dusu as a major player in the coming future. This doesn’t stop his adopted brother Waso from trying to embarrass or kill him every chance he gets. Things get interesting when Dusu claims the life of an attacking wolf, thus provoking the ire of the Lord of Wolves — who has long been insane. The end of this issue introduces a new direction to Dusu’s life, one that was inevitable but also unexpected and leaves his future uncertain.

I enjoyed quite a bit about this comic. I was finally seeing a high fantasy comic where the people of color weren’t disfigured and diseased orcs. Jones, Garner and Webster also took into account that the customs and traditions of various non-European cultures make for great mythbuilding.

The most noticeable success of this comic is the art. Stranger Comics as a company has prided itself on its beautifully painted fantasy work in the vein of Frazetta and Kelly. From the glowing rituals of the Galemren to the exhilarating hunt of Dusu and his brothers, this comic is something to behold. I will most definitely be doing a review of this series in the future so keep your eyes peeled and pick up a copy at Stranger Comics

The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer #1

(Sebastian A. Jones / Peter Bergting / Troy Peteri)

3.5 stars

Our second trip takes us to another section of Stranger Comics, where we accompany The Stranger on a boat ride from beyond the veil. As he travels to the town of Oasis, we learn that he was once not only a citizen but the town’s ruler, commanding Oasis with an iron fist at first, but his wife and daughter began to soften his heart. This did not stay the hand of those remembering his cruelty, nor stop them from butchering his family. Now back from a shallow grave, he travels to the town with only seven days left to finish his business and collect seven souls to grant his freedom, or be pursued by a mysterious warden.

Here we have another link in the chain of a world called Asunda. Sebastian Jones flies solo on this mystery, weaving what looks to be a blood-soaked tale of revenge – a story that may play into a wider world event.

The thing I like about this comic is the show of callousness of the main character. This isn’t some plucky hero with quick wit and a heart of gold. This is a bastard who has had the few good parts of him slaughtered. As soon as he enters the town, he sees a man is getting strung up simply for wanting to leave. Instead of helping him, our man ignores the ple’s of the man’s sister and asks the executioners for the location of his quarry, the Blacksmith, whom he then beheads.

The art, as with all Stranger Comics, is superb — with a perfect blend of shadow and silhouette that sets the tone. There is a also a cameo from another character, who seems to be either featured or mentioned in two other books in the world of Asunda, which was a nice treat.

My only problem with the book was that it seemed too brief. I felt like there was more that could have been shown without giving too much of the story away. I also would have liked to have seen a little bit more connection between the town of Oasis and any other outside territories — maybe a map to give us perspective. But as this seems to be the first book in the universe, that defect can be overlooked.  

This book seems to be the linchpin to the Asunda universe, as the Stranger is mentioned in Dusu as well. If that means that this signifies the beginning of crossovers and the like, well I do love good world-building.

You also can pick this comic up at Stranger Comics


Comics in Color week 5: Teenage Wasteland edition

Hey folks and welcome once again to the show that never ends. This week I have two comics which I hope will catch your eye and your sense of nostalgia wiith stories about super-secret teenage spies and bullied high schoolers with god like powers. Prepare for action, adventure and a whole lotta angst this week.

Ajala #1

(Robert Garrett / N. Steven Harris / Beni Olea / Brian McGee)

 3.5 stars

Ajala is the story of a teenage girl who was drafted into the CSC, or Community Spirit Center, after discovering her mother’s involvement in the organization.

The CSC trains special operatives to uphold the protection, prosperity and growth of low-income neighborhoods, mainly where people of color are concerned. After carelessness during a routine patrol leads her to get a black eye, Ajala attempts to convince her parents on the virtues of not going to school with a shiner. After losing that battle, she heads to school sporting a nice pair of Ray-Bans as rumors fly about what actually happened to her. We meet several of her friends just as they are all confronted by two young ladies who may prove to be major or minor foils, based on events that happen just before the issue ends.

The casual tone of this comic made it an easy and enjoyable read from Robert Garrett. Ajala’s thoughts,communicated as conversations with her parents and as her narration during the fight were smooth and organic. Our girl has personality in spades,  which I why I was a bit let down that very little happened in this issue. It feels more like a primer than a full first issue. I would have loved to see more of Ajala’s skills and possibly some of the larger threats that the CSC as a whole might face. If there had been more of that,  this would’ve felt like a fuller issue.

N. Steven Harris’ art, as always, is superb — with great, polished linework befitting of this veteran artist. Olea and McGee do a great job of creating beautiful color tones, which add a bright quality without being loud and off putting. I really appreciated the organic quality of storytelling and dialogue in this issue, I believed that Ajala was a teenage girl going through the stages of life while attempting to honor her mother’s legacy.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of our plucky heroine. You can pick up this comic in digital format here or in print here.

Route 3

(Robert Jeffery II /  Sean Damien Hill / Ann Siri / Khari J. Samson)


Being a nerd in high school is never looked well upon, especially if you’re a black teenager who is expected to be cool, stylish and charming. Sean Anderson is one such teen. Along with being mocked, Sean also has to deal with recent passing of his mother, who was the only person who actually embraced his love of nerd culture. Now living with his stern father and confrontational older brother, Sean has adopted apathy as a defense mechanism. This threatens to alienate him from even his best friend Ricardo, but also seems to afford him a date with the equally nerdy Samantha.

Sean, however, has a strange destiny — one illustrated in the opening pages of Route 3 — a destiny to be wrought with power and violence. All of this starts when a hit is placed on his head for reasons unknown — at least for the moment — but those reasons will nonetheless change the face of his world indefinitely.

I enjoyed a number of things about this comic, mainly the issue of nerdiness or awkwardness and its opposition to the idea of what is considered black behavior. It also resonates with me on the issues of losing a parent early as I myself recently lost my father, and can relate to Sean’s apathy toward the world and anger at his own feelings towards the event.

The art, while leaving something to be desired, captures expression expertly. I can see the anger and anguish in Sean’s face when he talks to Ricardo about losing his mother, I believe it. So even though this is not Marvel Now level art but it does a good job of storytelling.

What I would have like to see more of is how Sean’s peers react to him directly as opposed to indirectly as concerns his personality. I want more of this Sean Anderson who seems like a better version of Miles Morales — in that his personality seems more developed in one issue that Miles’ is in three years–  and heir to Virgil Hawkins aka Static in terms of mannerism.

You can pick up your copy here. 

Advance Review: ‘MPH’ is starting to get really good with issue #2


I first started writing about Mark Millar’s MPH in April here when its advertising made me question the comic’s racial sensitivity. Since then I have eased up on my position on the book but have vowed to keep reviewing the series to make sure that my assumptions were mostly unfounded.

This issue starts off with Rosa’s brother “Baseball” holding something down (In this case guns) for an area gang called King Nitty. Here we get a real life talk about why some young men and women join gangs. Our homie Roscoe is out of jail and heads out to deliver some well needed pay back to Hal, the man who set him up. After an impressive display of speed, intellect and creativity Roscoe gets even in spades. He meets up with Rosa and Chevy to show them his newfound power and allow them to join him in a crime spree that aims to change the American landscape and class system in Millarworld — potentially forever. The last page of the comic hints at an organization that has been watching for super-humans since the first appearance of the mysterious speedster who tore through the shopping mall in issue one.

This issue was much better than issue one for several reasons. Firstly we got a better glimpse of Roscoe’s newfound power in action and the ways in which his speed works. Duncan Fegredo does a great job of illustrating these split-second scenes without losing the reader in the process.

Secondly, and maybe more importantly, I must now take this time to give credit where credit is due: Millar’s vision of what should be done to change the American class landscape is quite refreshing and I am extremely surprised this level of social commentary from the Kick-Ass writer. Rosa and her aunt’s discussion about Baseball joining up with a gang– that being a mode of survival for himself and many youths (mainly those of color)  in America’s inner cities — was intriguing.

What’s, more her aunt’s response about Rosa’s brother dying to protect his gang’s turf can be seen as a symptom of generational poverty. The discussion between Chevy and Rosa about how the city lacks even basic working street lights is another discussion in which Millar subtly casts doubts on the American dream.

Roscoe’s planned revenge on the banks that helped cause the country’s recession will most likely throw more shade at the country’s ideologies and manner of governing as a whole. I’m slowly starting to understand this series — or at least get an idea of what it’s about and I’ll stick around until it’s over to see if it doesn’t teach us something about ourselves and the country.

Comics in Color Week 3

This week I’m gonna provide you with a buffet of black comics from horror to historical fiction, to sate your pallet and expand your options.

One Nation: Safe House

Written by Jason Reeves, art by Deon De Lange & Luis Guerrero

133 Art gives us military-grade superheroics with this “found footage” installment of the sure-to-be epic series. Here we’re behind the eyes of a camera as it changes hands during the Gulf War. Panels are done in a sort of Cloverfield style, complete with shaky frames and abrupt jump cuts. I was surprised that this could be done well in a comic and it reminds me of Brian Michael Bendis’ use of individual character interviews in the New Avengers, which come straight from reality TV.

I liked this issue quite a bit because the “found footage” format makes for great mythbuilding material. If you want to create an air of mystery around a hero who wants to remain anonymous, it makes sense to have him capturing footage of himself, similar to how Batman used to confiscate any footage of himself.

The art remains top-notch even in this format — not losing a step — and the colors are still entirely complementary to the pencils. Check this out at 133 and keep an eye out for this imprint.

Orison vol. 1

Written by Bradley Golden, art by Matt Santorelli, lettering by Chris Allen

3 stars

I love H.P. Lovecraft-style horror, so when I picked up a copy of Orison I was presently surprised at the remote mountain setting because that reminded me of At the Mountains of Madness and John Carpenter’s The Thing.

This comic opens with a team of mountain climbers excavating a frozen cavern only to lose radio contact with their base camp. A gruesome blood bath and the hunt for answers follow.

The story starts off fast-paced but makes the mistake of slowing down for the sake of establishing characters. I love character development more than any element of storytelling; however, the scenes chosen to do that take the reader outside of the original story.

The art in the first half the comic seems purposefully unpleasing and grotesque — similar to the first issue of Sandman — in order to establish the horror tone of the comic. The next two chapters switch to a more mainstream style which works for the continuation of the issue but could have been better.

What I enjoy about this comic is the tone set in the first chapter, I wasn’t completely scared but the element of suspense was definitely present. You can pick this comic up at Second Sight Studios

Sons of Fate Vol. 1

Written, created, illustrated and lettered by Jean-Paul Deshong

3.5 stars

Very few people know this about me, but when I was young I wanted to be a Samurai. I purchased a Shinai, studied Kendo and read the Hagakure, so I was overjoyed to see this comic, about an African boy who becomes a samurai, called Sons of Fate.

The story opens up with a group of samurai retainers fending off bandits before a shipwreck occurs that kills all but one of them. This lone survivor washes up on the shores of Nigeria in west Africa, where a young boy drags him to shore. From here the scene jumps to the samurai’s family back in Japan, where his son practices to follow in his father’s footsteps. The son shows some resentment towards the absent patriarch though he knows his father’s duty is first to their country and then to his family. Throughout the story the samurai trains the child who saved his life in the way of the sword until they are parted and the boy has to go out into the world.

This comic reminded me of the story reminded me of the manga Color of Rage, which features a black samurai as the main character, and another manga called Knights.

What I liked about this comic was how well-researched the code of Bushido and Samurai traditions were, there were little things here like preparedness for death that let me know some study went into this. The problem I had was that the Nigerian people in the story, who are of the Yoruba clan, seemed as if they
had no fighting culture of their own. That simply isn’t true.

The art isn’t amazing but I always have respect for a creator who does everything on his own.

You can pick this up this comic at



Review: ‘M.P.H.’: Shock and awe seems to be Millar’s cup of tea

Last month Mark Millar and Image Comics released a promo for the upcoming Millarworld story MPH. I took the advertising to task because it appeared racially insensitive, as I mistook the main character for a black male, and for that I have to excuse myself.

I wasn’t wrong on the part of racial insensitivity as the main character was indeed a man of color, a Latino gent by the name of Roscoe Rodriguez. Most of my issue stemmed from the way the comic was presented, which reminds me of South Central, where a man involved in illegal activity is sent to jail and those he thought were his friends attempt to usurp his life.This past week I picked up the first issue of the comic to see if I was right on any of my other assumptions.


The issues actually starts up where Kick Ass 2 left off, literally the last scene in the comic, with a man tearing down a stretch of forest at insane speeds. He blasts through a mall and completely wrecks the spot before being caught by the cops. We jump to the present where our homie Roscoe is getting a job from a dealer he frequently does drops for. It is here that he gets set up or knocked by the feds and is sent to jail for a lengthy bid.

It is here that we learn he was set up by the same man who has been “employing” him so long, all because he wants to sleep with Roscoe’s girlfriend.  After Roscoe finds out and is thrown into a spiral of depression, he is given a new drug by his cellmate, which gives him a seizure — or so we think — as his world is sped up to the point where everything else has stopped. This is where the story begins and hopefully where things will get clearer.

Okay so the part you’ve all been waiting for: did I love it or hate it? Was I right? Was it racist or do I have to eat a nice steaming plate of my own words?

MPH had aspects of what I’d assumed I’d see in a story like this, I expected to see drugs and jail cells. What I didn’t expect to see was a main character who has a corkboard with his hopes and dreams pasted on it, but it makes sense in relation to Millar’s view of the American Dream. I didn’t find anything that was overtly offensive about the comic itself as compared to the marketing. Even the color choices for the initial promos were misleading.

That being said, this book wasn’t impressive at all, I expected to see something in terms of plot or storytelling mechanics that made me go “wow, that’s new or didn’t see that coming”  –something like what Grant Morrison did on Batman and Robin, an addiction passed through illness. Everytime I hear about a Millarworld story it’s spoken about as if it will change the game in some way and while Kick Ass did seem to help inspire everyday people to dress up in costumes to report crimes,  it didn’t do much except adapt well to movies and shock people.

Shock and awe seems to be Millar’s cup of tea, but it makes me fear for this book in terms of what kind of shock treatment he will use this time (we don’t need another gang rape or anything like that at all) I am thankful that the book wasn’t offensive like I expected it to be but I’m not terribly excited to read any further. However I will do so, to monitor how the series progresses.


Advance Review: ‘Invincible’ #111 leaves Ra’Chaun’s jaw on the floor

Robert Kirkman has been one of my favorite writers for a good long while. This is mainly due to the fact that Invincible is Spider-Man with Dick Grayson’s attitude and Superman’s powers (minus heat vision and cold breath). It’s a book that deals with both real life and fictional calamities in brutal detail. Last issue dealt with the concept of female on male rape and lit up the internet for a bit. This issue presents another of those fictional calamities at a breakneck pace. At its end I was left with my jaw to the floor.
This issue picks up where that last traumatic issue left off, with Mark in a crater, naked after having been violated by Anissa. Recalling the past couple issues and realizing that Robot/Rex plans to make good on his plot to take over the world, Mark rushes to the headquarters of Cecil Steadman — who is essentially the Invincible Universe’s Nick Fury — only to have their convo cut short, very literally when Robot busts in and lets loose his plan. Robot then hits Mark where he lives, attacking his girlfriend/baby’s mother Atom Eve (did I mention that last issue she broke up with him and asked him to not worry about the baby?). At the end of the issue we’re left with a sorrowful cliffhanger, that will make any fan anxious for next issue.
Kirkman and Ottley have gone on record saying that they don’t hate Mark /Invincible, so one would have to wonder what they do to a character they do hate. The things that Mark Grayson has been through in the last two issues would make Peter Parker commit suicide. The character has been put through most every wringer you could imagine and still continues to fight on.
One sore spot I had was a scene with Mark and Eve where she is essentially used as a torture device against him, or is brutalized so that he can do something heroic. That is something that surprised me. One thing that seems to be a bit of a common occurrence in the IU is the savagery exhibited by the hero-turned-villain. Nolan, Mark’s dad, nearly killed his son during his heel turn, and now Robot, a man who has helped save the world with his inventions, can kill one of his most trusted allies in cold blood and maim the girlfriend of one of his best friends.
On the art side of things Ottley delivers like the milkman — on time and straight fresh. If you’ve been reading Invincible up to this point you enjoy his art as much as any fan, I liked the new suit design that was done for Robot and the view of his armory.
If this is the shape of things to come then I hope the series starts coming out more frequently because I cannot wait for this journey. There were so many WTF moments in this issue that didn’t feel like shock value. Instead they seem like a preview of what’s to come and I welcome it.


Comics in Color Week 2

Once again it’s on.

I have to apologize for the hiatus, I know it’s been a long time and I left you without a dope book to read. That changes with the second (sort of) week of Comics in Color.  This week I’ve got some more superpowered goodness minus the capes and tights, as well as some technological swagger jacking. 

For the patriotic sort, take a look at One Nation”#1 (Jason Revees / Alverne Ball / Luis Guerrero / John Ruben Milton; 133 Studios) Described as “Superman meets the Hurt Locker”, One Nation tells the story of Deacon, a soldier fighting in the Iraq War in 1991. After being pinned down in a firefight, he is forced to reveal powers that he promised his parents he’d keep hidden in order to save the lives of his squad. What follows is the opening salvo in a superhero arms race that will shape the world for years to come.

The great thing about this book is the substance that it presents. Without spoiling the story, the first time Deacon meets his parents is more real than any Ma and Pa Kent iteration I’ve ever read. The implications of how his parents raised him can also be seen as an audit on how society forces parents to raise black boys, fearing the world outside and being worried about unjust persecution. There is also a bit of universe building at work here as we find out the end of the issue that Deacon is only the first public superhuman in his world and that there are a lot more with very specific purposes to be revealed later.  

Check One Nation out at the author's website.


One Nation


Secondly, for you sci-fi heads out there Check out Tech Watch  #1 (Radi Lewis / Ernesto Vicente / Mike Borromeo; Chameleon Creations): Weaving the story of Isaiah — who is what would happen if Tony Stark was Suge Knight — and his successful attempts at hostile takeovers of technology firms smaller than his own, the first issue opens up with his organization Tech Watch running up in the office of one Dr. Lyons and literally picking his brain clean via memory imaging technology. This results in the good doctor's death, but where advance technology is concerned nothing is permanent and the ghosts of conquest come back to haunt our protagonist.

What I like about this book is that the main character makes himself so unlikable. The plot brings to mind Eminem and Royce da 5’9’s Bad meets Evil, because you really can’t tell who the good guy is. The concept of the Techwatch is a cool one; almost like what might’ve happened if Tony Stark never got that shrapnel lodged in his heart and became more aggressive in his acquisition of other people’s companies. The tech in the story is cool, imaginative and exactly what you would need for hostile takeover, a very hostile takeover.

So if you’re in the mood for a sci-fi thriller look no further than Tech Watch. You can pick this comic up in on their website.


Team-Up Review: ‘Veil’ # 2′: Who, or what, is Veil?

John Yohe: 

The plot-driving question remains: Who, or what, is Veil? While Dante and Veil re-group in a downtown New York diner, writer Greg Rucka introduces some new characters: Cormac, who seems to be an occultist-for-hire, and his hirer, Mr. Scarborough, some kind of bigwig corporate church leader. What exactly Scarborough wants also remains a mystery at this point, though it involves human sacrifice. And Veil.

Veil #2

Meanwhile, those rats that I thought might have just been creepy decoration in Veil #1 seem to be a little more intelligent than normal, but whether they’re choosing sides or are just tools or carriers for dark magic is yet another question. What other writer gets away with leaving his readers questioning? Other writers might have been pouring on the exposition in dialogue or captions by now, but Rucka knows how to make his readers curious, and leave them that way, willingly.

Toni Fejzula’s artwork remains awesome. He does the colors too, and his whole style is like neon lights on a early morning after it rains. Once again he sets the mood on the first page with some dialogue free panels, telling, even sort of recapping, the story through pure images. Though fair warning: this is, in part, a horror story, and seems to be building towards some gruesomeness in upcoming issues.

Veil #2
Your local comic book dealer will still have Veil #1 in stock. People who have already read it won’t need this review. Grab them both, and enjoy. Check out Rucka’s Lazarus  series, from Image, while you’re at it.

—John Yohe

Ra’Chaun Rogers:

Last month I took a look at Greg Rucka’s Veil, a dark odyssey of a young woman through the seedy underbelly of human nature. I enjoyed the book immensely and when I saw that issue 2 was out I had to take a look at it.

Veil #2
This issue we start with body bags and breakfast. The men whom Veil made kill themselves are being bagged up like lunch, while Veil and Dante attempt to eat. As Dante nervously orders Veil waffles from an all night diner, she asks him more questions and rhymes less. After the cops come into the diner Dante begins sweating like a glass of ice water in 90 degree weather. This is made worse when Veil begins screaming that he’s hurting her.

After the police cuff him and a rather dishonest officer corners Veil in an alley, we get another glimpse of her strange powers. Later we meet two men, Cormac and Scarborough, who seem to be related to our heroine’s mysterious appearance and learn that the former is packing some serious magical heat. After the aforementioned magician throws his weight around, he has a group of rats search for Veil.

This issue was a good follow-up from the first issue, to be sure. I am still trying to ascertain Dante’s intentions toward Veil or what Veil wants from him after she says “I thought you liked me.” Dante’s reaction throughout the entire book is exactly the reaction any black man, who is sitting at a diner with a white girl, who has just killed three people and has the cops after her…fully bugging out.

Veil #2
I, of course, am wondering why Veil acted so strangely toward Dante and whether or not it was somewhat of signal of his true intentions since Veil seems to know things innately .I almost wish the scene with Scarborough and Cormack didn’t happen, I say that because it gives me too much of a clue as to what is going to transpire.

The summoning scene reminds me of DC‘s Simon Dark, which isn’t bad because I enjoyed the beginning of the series, but I would’ve preferred to just let the journey between Dante and Veil to continue uninterrupted then reveal her possible origins a little later. The art was on point as with last issue and Fejzula’s visual storytelling keeps the tone of the book, with drab colors and eyes that convey intent and emotion.

I continue to look forward to this book and what happens next. I wonder if Dante and Veil will get back together and how their dynamic will be perceived by the world. A gun toting black man traveling with a seemingly helpless and amnesic white woman seems like the set-up for a Patrice O<’Neil joke but in this case it works