Rick And Morty Vs Dungeons & Dragons #2 DAMAGED: 8D6 combines two of the most fun endeavors for the geek counterculture that has shaken the fringes of the mainstream but is still – BURP – not quite there…or is it?
By that I mean TV’s Rick and Morty, the infamous sci-fi dynamic duo, and the role-playing game of yore, Dungeons & Dragons.
The comic book series for Rick & Morty is a perfect add-on for the show: each comic is like a raucous new episode set in a Rick and Morty continuity.
Jerry is still separated from Beth, for instance.
And Beth sees a Kobold that looks “a little like Jerry” and proceeds to go all Warrior on its ass with a soon-to-be-bloodied battle hammer!
The Rick And Morty Vs Dungeons & Dragons mini-series is truly extraordinary in that it seamlessly combines the two vastly infinite worlds of the show and game.
The attention to detail here, from the belching Rick, to the way in which Grandpa shows his horny grandson trying to learn the game to start out in Third Edition is dead-on and hilarious.
Expeditions lead to many monsters and missions and many treasures and lessons.
All is going swimmingly when Morty, who wants to be a rogue, despite Summer choosing this, is forced to be the Cleric, the party’s Healer, because as Rick says, ”no double dipping on classes, Morty. It’s a dick move.”
And then the Challenge Ratings go up from 2 to 4 to 5.
The XP Gained goes as follows:
2000, 4000, and then as Morty unlocks a chest without asking if there are traps: “Damaged: 8D6” with a “Reflex save for half damage.”
He, Beth and Summer are on fire while Rick is laughing his ass off in the background after they learned their lesson.
Summer, I mean, Winterblade, even gets a great “SNEAK ATTACK” in!
The first issue in the Rick And Morty Vs Dungeons & Dragons series talked about all of the starting rules, in detail, and had a fun set of adventures, virtual and otherwise, in it.
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.
Return of Wolverine #1: forgotten man bloodied by conspiracy, as he awakes, no longer dead, in a lab not unlike the one where Weapon X was born.
Is the return of Wolverine the birth of another type of Weapon X?
The following review of Return of Wolverine #1 contains SPOILERS for the first few pages***
Return of Wolverine 1 by Writer Charles Soule and penciler Steve McNiven, inker Jay Leisten, and colorist Laura Martin
He awakes crouched in a pool of blood, his side torn open, and his claws are glowing orange, as if heated up.
Wolverine falls with his hands down in the puddle and when he stands his claws are no longer glowing but his hands are covered in crimson.
He dons his traditional blue and yellow costume, though it is torn to shreds.
Mystery looms large for the battered Wolverine
And the best part of the Return of Wolverine #1: he has no memory of who he is . . . or where he is.
The mutant that has lived a couple of lifetimes and survived a radical weaponizing process to adhere adamantium to his skeleton, and the Weapon X process as well as his long life have often messed with his memories.
Partial amnesia has often been a part of Wolverine.
As has drinking, blackouts, and a regular cigar.
But now, in Return of Wolverine #1 we have something else entirely.
What that is yet we do not know.
There is a conspiracy afoot in the mysterious coastal base and lab, whose people are being experimented on. They know who Wolverine is . . . but he does not know who he is.
Although writer Charles Soule hinted that more of the plot will thicken in issue Return of Wolverine #2 and answer some of the questions surrounding our short, disgruntled X-man, Logan.
And that is the only commentary or description for the story on Marvel’s own site.
You have to love a good mystery, especially when it involves a years long absence from the Marvel Comic Book Universe (Old Man Logan aside).
And Wolverine died. He lost his healing abilities and died.
Now Wolverine is healing again . . . but something is off about it (read the book to find out what).
But here he is again and he appears to be perplexed, angry, confused, vulnerable, and determined in all the right ways.
Soule and penciler Steve McNiven, inker Jay Leisten, colorist Laura Martin have crafted a fantastic and impactful return of Wolverine.
A cool homage to Wolverine’s past personas is seen in the book, but will not be spoiled here, and on the variant covers from McNiven, Leisten, and Martin where one can get a favorite depiction of their anti-hero.
I had to grab a copy of the Weapon X; I love that storyline.
Get yours from your LCS – Red Shirt Comics got me – before your cover is gone forever!
“Return of Wolverine #1: Forgotten Man Bloodied By Conspiracy” was written by R.J. Huneke.
BATMAN DAMNED 1: bloody good mystery launches DC Black Label in a vivid horror-noir style spawned from writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo.
Who killed the ghastly corpse that is retrieved and found to be the Joker?
Who mortally wounded Batman? And why can’t he remember what happened?
BATMAN DAMNED 1: there is a buzz with this book!
The art by Bermejo is masterful in the bleak view of Gotham and the Dark Knight and the hyper-action sequences that flow and dance off the page, like a great swordfight.
The world, from gambling on dark street corners to bashing medical staff for an escape route, is very much alive.
And just look at Bermejo’s BATMAN DAMNED 1 cover!
I thought Jim Lee and Alex Sinclair’s pentagram-backed caped crusader, and a lot of emphasis on a particularly badass-looking cape, was stunning (and it is).
But then I saw the steam coming off of the battered cowl in Bermejo’s Batman, and I realized the lunatic-like bloody expression beneath that cowl was worn and scraped, and either grimacing or . . . smiling!
Was Batman smiling like the Joker?
The depiction of a militarized Batman by Bermejo is iconic.
The Rambo-like Bat Belt and its dangling straps with rings for hooking weapons and tech to the beaten leather-like material and the many buckles on the worn army boots give a fierce edge to the amnesiac Batman.
And the talented scribe Azzarello crafts an ingenious and twisted tale of mystery, horror, and Bat-lore that shoots from page to page, impact to impact, whether it is physical blows, or mental, or emotional ones.
His Batman has to deal with a supernatural influence, a hole in his memory, and the detective case of a lifetime.
But there are also the wrinkles and the deeply hidden crevices in the world where metaphors for Satanism and Christianity, for the Gothic towering over Gotham and the strange creatures crouching in Bruce Wayne’s past and present shadows.
The DC Black Label launch title BATMAN DAMNED 1 is incredibly enticing for the adult comic book reader with a dark side.
The oversized format is incredible to behold in and of itself.
BATMAN DAMNED 1 is ad free and chock full of gorgeously detailed and gritty oversized pages.
This book should not be approached by the faint of heart or the Puritanical among us.
Get yours from your LCS – Red Shirt Comics got me – before they are gone forever!
“BATMAN DAMNED 1: Bloody Good Mystery Launches DC Black Label” was written by R.J. Huneke
Catwoman #3: chaos, curves & puurrfect cliffhanger makes for an incredible tale from artist and writer Joëlle Jones and her team.
Catwoman #3 Has It All: Mystery, Epic Fights, A+ Style, Twists
Let’s discuss the 30-pound cat in the room (yes, my kitty, Cosmo is a big-boned boy):
The variant covers by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau have been nothing short of amazing for the entire run so far, but Catwoman #3, I mean . . . WOW!
There are few words that can describe the powerful, scintillating, and, just, stunning depiction Selina Kyle in the Joëlle Jones-designed dress that Stanley “Artgerm” Lau paints.
There is no superhero costume in view and none needed.
See for yourself.
The Catwoman #3 variant cover
Now onto the book!
If you have not read Catwoman #1 or #2 or Batman #49 or #50 there is a mild Spoiler in the following paragraph, but otherwise we are operating SPOILER-FREE today.
Coming off a heart-wrenching abandoned wedding, Selina Kyle abandons Gotham for San Francisco where a new villain’s plotted narrative grabs a hold of the opportunity to frame Catwoman for murder and subdue her to her will. And Selina finds herself in a warehouse full of Catwoman costumes and many ready to fight.
The story is growing in intensity as the still grieving Selina attempts to heal in a city gunning for her.
The writing overall, from the character arcs, the new villain, to the dialogue, to the many wrinkles, twists, and turns of the plot, is extraordinary.
Catwoman #3 further proves Joëlle Jones has so much more to add to the Catwoman mythos and we can only sit riveted waiting for more.
And that puppeteer-villain is grotesque in every way imaginable.
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!