Cover 3 Review 10/10: comic con creator spy showdown breaks out amidst the most unlikely of scenarios, and Max Fields is swept up in the direst of consequences.
Should Max have ever agreed to moonlight for the CIA, however simple his role or staunch his patriotism?
Cover 3 crafts a deeply impactful conglomeration of art forms to flesh out the resonating characters masterfully.
Cover 3 from Jinxworld is Created by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack, with Essad Sinns’ Art by Bill Sienkiewicz, Digital Coloring by Zu Orzu, and Lettering by Carlos M. Mangual, and a noir-esque Variant Cover by Nick Derington.
The following review of Cover 3 contains SPOILERS***** for the series.
We know from Cover issue #2 (read about it here, folks) that Max is tied to a chair and beaten for information by fellow comic creator Essad Sinns.
And yet the next book starts off with Max’s own comic, Ninja Sword Odyssey.
The son of the samurai-turned-ninja has his own story and it is progressing in the wake of his father’s death.
The words ring home: ‘In the night, we wore our cover.’
The young ninja learns the art of the brush, just as Max learns the art of the cover.
And then the story pivots drastically.
To space . . .
Cover 3 is edited, like Pulp Fiction, for gut-wrenching suspense.
An incredible dive into Max’s next project reveals an astronaut floating above a vibrantly water-colored planet who receives horrible, life changing news.
And then Essad is tearing into Max’s work, calling it ‘shit’ and hurling art pages across the room.
Max is tied to a chair, and his captor is menacing.
Yet the two peers rank on each other’s work, and it even touches a nerve in the interrogator, as he self-consciously asks if Max still likes ‘[his] painting.’
The scene is fantastically built within slate and black shadows, humor and intense danger, with an Ian Fleming-like feel.
When Essad wants to know what Max did next, he relays an awful experience.
On a blind date Max’s colors gradually fade, with his interest in the woman seated with him.
She cannot see, or take seriously, the beautiful connection between fans who want to ‘live in the skin of their favorite character . . . in the real world.’
And perhaps worse than that, she does not care that Max is moved by his own fans’ cosplay.
The comic book creator and fan boy (or fan girl) quips add enough true-to-life hilarity to give a touching account of the connection between artists and their appreciators.
And the painfully funny art of explaining to people with 9-5 jobs that artists working from home still work every day is all too true.
And it acts as further comedic relief (as many great thrillers need) amidst the damnable predicament.
Max is still caught and tied to a chair.
The reader needs to take a breath amidst the espionage intensity and the overbearing present condition that Max finds himself in.
We meet Julia as she greets Max at a comic convention in France.
She pushes Max to get to know Essad.
And Essad is not buying it.
The chair is knocked over and the beating commences.
Make no mistake, the realistic perspectives of the comic book creators, of the passionate fans, and the operatives, like Julia, drive this tale, like an Aston Martin DB5 furling bullets and speeding on.
Max’s art, past and present, combined with Essad Sinns’, is intertwined within Bendis and Mack’s tale so that it has significant impact on the protagonist and reflects emotions, actions, foreshadowing, and suspense.
The artwork, from panel to panel, page to page, speech-bubble to speech-bubble, forms a riveting and poignant experience.
Go grab this book at your LCS before it sells out! I have never seen a story told in this medium like this before.
POWKABAM Score For COVER 3 = 10/10
“Cover 3 Review 10/10: Comic Con Creator Spy Showdown” was written by R.J. Huneke.
Superman #5’s remorseless Zod hits home, and in such an impactful way it changes everything.
Superman #5 is all about the entrance of Zod!
The following article may contain *****Spoilers from The Man Of Steel – Superman #1 – Superman #5.
Whether in Richard Donner’s Superman II cinematic cut, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, or the decades of comic book takes and Superman canon, the infamous name of Zod rings bold and loudly.
Zod the once-celebrated general of Krypton, Zod whose failed coup banished him from the planet he cared so zealously for to the Phantom Zone, Zod whose warrior-like philosophy oft crossed into barbaric territory, while remaining an extremely intelligent leader who inspired the adoption of his maniacal methods.
Superman #5 offers up a conflicted and unpredictable Zod.
As in many great stories, a good villain is a character with growth, in his past, present, and future.
The same holds true for Zod as he enters the Rogul Zaar fray.
In Superman #5: The Unity Saga Pt. 5, writer Brian Michael Bendis, penciler Ivan Reis, colorist Alex Sinclair, inkers Joe Prado and Oclair Albert, letterist Josh Reed, take a fascinating storyline with sensational visuals to deliver an epic twist that will have far reaching consequences for Superman.
And the variant cover by Adam Hughes is simply fantastic and a new favorite of mine!
The classic image of Supes taking the blasts of lightning across his chest and proclaiming: “It Still Tickles” against the black background is remarkable.
This issue starts with a nightmare … Zod’s nightmare.
It is actually a recurring vision of a unified Krypton reborn on Jakuul and the House of El set to ally with the House of Zod before an inky black invasion from the sky blasts Zod’s family to bloody bits.
It ends with Rogul Zaar leering over a bruised and battered General Zod, while Superman lies unconscious or dead nearby.
The General awakes, and he has a family.
And then his son informs him that earth is missing.
As we re-enter the Phantom Zone, Zaar and his army of miscreants have torn up superman’s costume and bloodied his mouth.
This is eerily reminiscent of when Doomsday first started to take control during the colossal fight that would end in Supes and Clark Kent’s demise.
Rarely, do I remember Superman profusely bleeding, and never before Doomsday – please chime in here with comments, Eager Readers – especially in the first thirty or forty years or so of his history.
And rarer still is Superman’s impenetrable skin damaged enough that cuts him and results in profuse bleeding.
So, silly as it may sound, on page eight of this book I am extremely concerned for Superman.
He is leaning on a rock to stay upright, as crimson trickles down his arm, his leg, and spouts from his mess of a mouth.
Zod lands on the newly revitalized earth and forces Atom to use the Phantom Zone projector on him.
General Zod has willingly banished himself back to the Phantom Zone, with little hope to return to his family, especially based on his visions.
Zaar waits for the fleeing Superman to return.
And Superman allows himself to become enraged and ready to kill.
He knows he can destroy Zaar and the entire Phantom Zone if he really wants to.
Ma and Pa Kent appear to him briefly, almost like Jor-El in the Fortress of Solitude, to give him advice.
Here Bendis delivers a touching scene that tugs at the heart-strings.
“If tests were easy . . .” says Ma Kent.
“. . . They wouldn’t be tests,” says Pa Kent.
Superman has achieved his goal: he sacrificed himself to save earth and in so doing forever imprisoned Zaar.
It will surely mean death, because Superman will not become enraged enough to kill Zaar, not even for revenge.
But Zod will.
Zod is still consumed by revenge and hate.
He arrives, blasts the creature, and lands saying:
“I. Am. ZOD.”
The fight of the century just got even bigger and a new, unified Krypton may be at stake.
“Superman #5’s Remorseless Zod Hits Home” was written by R.J. Huneke; pick up your copy now at your local comic shop, like Red Shirt Comics.
COVER #2 reveals secret Comic-Spy world’s long history, and it is far more extensive and intense than you would expect.
Two issues in, the Jinxworld series COVER, created by David Mack and Brian Michael Bendis, is an absolute gem.
Simply put: COVER #2 is a smart web of a spy thriller!
Max Field could not possibly imagine that his life as a successful comic creator would make for the perfect cover, as the CIA and US intelligence community seek to monitor some very chaotic areas of the world in an extraordinary manner: with a paintbrush rather than a gun . . . at least for now.
Max’s CIA recruiter, Julia, is a big fan of the art form and seems to exude a coy attraction for the creator of Ninja Spy Odyssey.
But she is also an extremely intelligent agent with great wherewithal for societies and, in particular, for managing people.
The writing and story pick up at a great pace.
And COVER’s riveting narrative is told with a menagerie of art styles that feed into and off of each other powerfully.
If you are familiar with David Mack’s work, you know that his unique vision features all manner of mediums in a way that is all his own, and for COVER he dares to tread further and further into new territory.
The colors by Zu Orzu are impactful and essential to the plot as it is revealed on the pages.
Mack and writer Brian Bendis’ words are realistic, tight and effective, and the letters from Carlos M. Mangual provide punch to the right annunciations making for a life-like experience.
The stakes are monumental in COVER #2 . . . right out of the gate.
The art spurred by emotion goes from heavily inked sections emitting fierce emotion and brilliant themes of color that shift to vivid watercolor reminiscing.
Max even seems to lose detail on the page when he is confused and indecisive.
The following look at COVER #2 will have *SPOILERS*
To start, the issue features an all black panel and one ominous line: “Do you think you were the first?”
An impassive face talks of “Nazi hunters, magicians”, and people who he is grouping in with Max as being missing for over forty years.
And out of the blackness there is Max tied to a chair making quips at the interrogator who is a fellow creator that he recognizes, named Essad Sinns.
How did Max go from dinner with Julie the fan and CIA recruiter to being beaten and threatened by a fellow creator turned intelligence op?
That is a question that will need to be explored as the series progresses.
We do seem to get Max squirming in the face of a large knife and spilling his recent history with Julia at the Istanbul comic convention where he is cooperative in gifting Julia’s bugged Limited-Edition Ninja Sword Odyssey pendant to the President of Turkey.
Max’s character was at first reluctant to even stand next to Julia as she surprised him at the airport, incognito.
And his trepidation and symbolic feeling of being lost and unsure of his role in the world is reflected in the pages of his comic book that he creates and are featured via an artist’s silhouette and then stark water color panels telling the tale of the ninja’s son.
As Max has issues with his own father that could be considered hairy and unsettled, the father-son pairing in Max’s comic have a reflective, though far different message.
The son’s teacher was his father.
The father’s teacher left him a tsuba without a sword, and it was this teacher who taught the father how to survive.
One day the father promises he will give his son the sword to fill it.
And he instructs on the new world: the days of the samurai are being replaced with a “new kind of war. Of secrecy and information. Of subtlety.” and the ninja conducts their battles “in between the lines.” [COVER #2]
The making of a sword and the making of a person fulfilling a vital role in the world come across poignantly.
COVER #2’s coming of age sword sequence is marvelous.
When Max starts to get actively involved and inquisitive, the vague visuals from the start of the book become more vivid with bright watercolors and detailed looks at Julia who he is trying to measure up.
She has built quite a relationship with Max, and slips from her diplomatic mask to get personal and rant about the importance of books being lost in today’s world.
The words and art closing COVER #2 have a meaningful message and are incredibly moving.
Rarely does art and writing and storytelling get across such a powerful message in so short a space and do it so personally and beautifully.
Emanating some of Ray Bradbury from Fahrenheit 451, and much more, Julia reveals herself to be the only reader she knows and is even looked down upon for it.
Ignorance in the world, she states, can be solved through the sharing of story.
It is touching and remarkable.
And then Max is back to the present, and gray tones, and is being beaten to a pulp.
COVER #2 is an amazing piece of standalone art.
It is inspiring.
Get this book, in both incredible covers, A by David Mack and B by Bill Sienkiewicz, at your local comic store (Red Shirt anyone) STAT!
When does Issue #3 come out?
“COVER #2 Reveals Secret Comic-Spy World’s Long History” was written byR.J. Huneke.
Cover #1, from powerhouse creators Bendis and Mack, is ingenuity and incredulity at its best!
Blast off into a whole new territory of comic book creation complete with comic artist humor, scintillating spies /slash/ love interests, and a much more creative CIA recruitment process than this writer previously suspected possible.
Cover #1 is fresh and page-turningly addictive
The art, from character building that is good enough to feel their very bones, to the sharp dialogue, to the insanely surreal artwork that echoes feeling, suspense and often transcends panels, is fresh and page-turningly addictive.
Cover #1 from Jinxworld by writer Brian Bendis, artist David Mack and colorist Zu Orzu truly captures the imagination of James Bond fans, artists, and comic con fans alike.
Both covers are so rad!
Both covers of issue #1, by David Mack and the variant by Zu Orzu, have readers floored.
Each encompasses the main characters Max and Julia in stark silhouettes filled with words.
These point to secrecy in the CIA and a nearly subliminal and powerful new dynamic between the recruiter and artist.
The colors in the book itself (and on the covers) by Zu Orzu bring amazing tones where pieces of color and story significance jump out at the reader.
And the father-son samurai flashbacks are absolutely gorgeous.
The father-son dynamic for Max is something that must be of extra importance to the character and must be further explored in the series.
The premise is fairly simple at the onset: a talented comic book creator, Max, who travels a lot to showcase his craft meets a fan of his, Julia, who purchases some of his original artwork and coyly states that she follows him online.
It is likely not a chance encounter.
We will not spoil anything.
But comic book creators can make for the perfect cover as operatives in an ever-volatile world where intelligence and counter-intelligence operatives tread dangerously.
Artist David Mack has worked with the US Embassy to volunteer his art and mentoring to help youths across the globe after all.
He certainly has insight and perspective and has been collaborating with writer Brian Michael Bendis to birth Cover for years now.
Cover #1 is the launch of another creator-owned gem from Jinxworld
Cover #1 is the launch of another creator-owned gem from Jinxworld and with an award-winning team like Bendis and Mack at the top of their games, not to mention artist Zu Orzu’s accentuating colors, readers are hungry for Cover #2!
Jessica Jones creators Bendis + Gaydos’ Pearl intrigues readers, as the duo’s newest heroine brings grit and a steady hand to the tattoo parlor and the Yakuza gang wars surrounding San Francisco.
Pearl #1 introduces us to the young woman, her Iriguci spider tattoo, and her very capable gunshot.
The vivid and poignant illustrations form a neo-noir San Francisco befitting of Pearl, and the motorcycle scenes storm across the pages blisteringly.
Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos once created a new character in Jessica Jones (in the pages of ALIAS), the brash female P.I. with super strength and super alcohol tolerance.
And their newest unwilling participant in a ruptured feud is another fictional personage one cannot get enough of.
Pearl is wary, sexy, and her instincts are sharp!
The dialogue, timely placed motorcycle VRROOMMM’s (and other cutting sound effects) and a storyline of mysterious relationships, both new and old, that envelop Pearl’s life make for writing that utterly absorbs the reader.
Pearl #1 introduces us to a world of effervescent color and feeling.
Pearl is a young tattoo artist tied to the city’s age-old feud by some act from her past.
Her night out with a girlfriend leads to a young man, named Rick, who notices a rare and revered tattoo artist’s work on her wrist.
He promises he is not hitting on her, but he too is a tattoo artist and a connoisseur drinking in her Iriguci spider, comparing it to the Mona Lisa.
And so, egged on by her friend, Pearl engages with Rick and his friends up until the second that he shows off his own work, a piece of a Yakuza tattoo on his buddy’s back.
Pearl tries to walk away.
But the bikes are already gunning through the air, the bullets flying.
She takes a shot to the arm, but fires her own semi-automatic handgun and the aim is true, killing gang members and saving Rick’s life.
The act holds consequences.
She is further tied to another gangster, Mr. Miike, a tattoo artist bearing his own Yakuza portraits.
Her steady hand is to be used to do more than needle ink.
Pearl is more useful, valuable, to him now.
Can she murder the man she just saved outright?
Can Pearl kill Rick when she finds him in her place and he is flirting, offering what seems to be thank you sex for her saving his life?
The tattoo artist Pearl has a history, a conflicted present, and a dangerous future.
The Pearl creator-owned series is off to a brilliant start!
Death of Superman in ominous Man Of Steel 5 cover, alone, had me.
The Brian Michael Bendis Superman mini-series, his first book in his D.C. Comics run, is enveloping, surprising and terribly suspenseful in its first 5 of 6 issues. But that Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Alex Sinclair The Man Of Steel 5 cover wrenched at my heart, just as Dan Jurgens’ cover of Superman 75 “The Death Of Superman” did as a kid so many years ago.
Lois cradling Superman in his torn duds, fallen among his seemingly dead enemy, Doomsday, with a tattered red cape flapping in the wind like an American flag gone through a battlefield is iconic.
And this homage in The Man of Steel 5 alludes to rubble and a looming death for Superman and possibly for many others too.
SPOILER ALERT (for Death Of Superman homage in The Man Of Steel issues 1-5)****
Rogul Zaar has been said to have destroyed Krypton, after all, and he is not happy that the son of Jor El escaped his ‘cleansing’ of the universe from the ‘plague’ of the Kryptonian ways.
And so as he, this new menacing and mysterious zealot – though his past as a defender of the universes adds a lot more to his character than mere obsession – mops the proverbial floor with Superman and Supergirl in Metropolis, we learn to fear him.
But at the start of Bendis’ fifth part of the tale, a giant eye peers down at the last Kryptonian city, Kandor.
It is evil.
It is murderous.
And it brings death.
This is right before Rogul Zaar destroys the city of Kandor and its entire people.
Superman and Supergirl are devastated that their promise to un-shrink the last living city of their home planet is dead.
The brilliant artwork in this issue, done by Adam Hughes, Jason Fabok, and Alex Sinclair, is poignant in its depiction of the fury of the battles, the concerned faces realizing the stakes, the ominous flashback, and the ferocity of the situation.
But with Superman’s true home, earth as his major concern, and thus a disadvantage to his human concern f, he takes the heavyweight title fight to space.
And while the Justice League gathers in Metropolis, Zaar goes toe-to-toe with Supes and eventually succeeds in burying him, unconscious, within the surface of the moon.
Wow, this villain is powerful!
The flashbacks of Clark Kent, Lois, and their son Jon speaking to Jor El, who comes from who knows where, to take the descendant of El on a tour of the galaxies is key.
It seems Lois may have either gone with their son, or just outright walked out on Clark who may have changed his mind and let their child go off-planet.
The human element of Clark and Superman, written by Bendis, is again remarkable.