Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Justice League Dark #11 - Review

In “The Black Room: Part Three” we jump back into the cliffhanger we were left with last time when Felix Faust was about to take control of The Black Room – a secret government storage facility that contains the world's most dangerous magic relics. As John Constantine and the JLD show up to thwart Faust's plans and retrieve the map to the all-powerful Books of Magic, an old ally is being recruited to stop Constantine from becoming mad with power. But there's an even more sinister plot unfolding, as a member of the JLD isn't who they seem to be.

This issue is much more action-packed than the last issue, and it's neither a good or bad thing, but it's definitely fun to read. I liked the inclusion of the House of Mystery in the last issue, and the magical artifacts in this one are really fun. The story is moving along at a good pace, and we get to spend more time with the core members of the JLD. The only drawback is that we haven't spent much time with Dr. Mist or Black Orchid, but that might be on purpose (no spoilers, I promise).

From the beginning I've said that I'm all for the premise of this book. I'm a huge Constantine fan and I love all of the magic and dark characters that the DC Universe has to offer. Jeff Lemire's new take took a little to get off the ground, but on the whole I think it's really worth checking out.

The one thing I would say to fans of Hellblazer is that this is definitely not the Vertigo Comics version of Constantine. He's a much more action/adventure version of the character, but it's interesting to see him in a different light. He's still the magical con artist that we know and love, but he's not afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to throwing punches. I do prefer to see him use his wits to get out of jams, but the regular Hellblazer title still pulls that off in spades.

Between this book, Swamp Thing and Animal Man, I'm rooting for the dark corner of the DC Universe to thrive for years to come. If anything it's making me more excited to go back and read old issues of all of those series, including House of Mystery and Sandman.

RATING: 8/10

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Punk Rock Jesus #1 - Review

When I picked up my stack of comics this week, I thought it was going to be tough to pick one that would end up being my favorite. I had an issue of just about all my favorite series this week due to rescheduling, but I was completely surprised when something new won me over.

I’ve been excited for the release of Punk Rock Jesus since I found out about it at C2E2 this year. Now, after reading the first issue, I know that the wait was worth the anticipation.

Punk Rock Jesus is the story of Chris, a publicized clone of Jesus Christ lined up to be the star of a new reality show for a corporation. Behind the public good intentions of cloning Christ into the world, shady characters and dark dealings are filling every crack of the island that the show is set on.

Trust me, the last page is enough to solidify that statement.

Written and drawn by Sean Murphy, each page is presented on newspaper prints that make it feel all the grittier. The black and white color scheme is just what the doctor ordered, and Murphy spares no expense in storytelling or the backgrounds in panels. Murphy's artwork is some of the most original I've seen in comics, and this is an example of him going all the way with it.

The characters are full of emotion, the pacing is incredible, and the first issue sucks you right into the world that Murphy has built around young Chris. It’s the kind of series you can hand to people who don’t enjoy mainstream comics to get them into the medium.

This issue is the first of six in a limited series, and is available now in print and digital. I suggest getting it anyway you can if you enjoy stories about political intrigue, religious debate, and a character with the odds stacked against him.

RATING: 9.5/10

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Deadlands Vol. 1 - Dead Man's Hand - Pre-Order


Visionary Comics is proud to announce a Convention and mail-order exclusive limited edition of Deadlands Volume 1: Dead Man’s Hand, the trade collection of the original one-shots from Image Comics.  The series is based on the popular roleplaying game from Pinnacle Entertainment. This edition is available ONLY through pre-order. 

The collection features stories by creators like David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Lee Moder, Ron Marz, Bart Sears, Jeff Mariotte, Brook Turner, Michael Atiyeh, Ale Aragon and C. Edward Sellner. Stories include a mad scientist, a mute bounty hunter, Raven’s vengeful daughter, and even Billy the Kid.

This exclusive new edition will also feature two new short stories by Deadlands creators Matthew Cutter and Shane Hensley as well as new gaming content and other surprise features!

The collection is available for pre-order at and is 15 dollars for a 120+-page full-color, digest trade. The pre-order options include picking up the book at Gen-Con or the Baltimore Comic-Con, or having the pre-ordered book delivered directly to your door. This edition is an exclusive, and a full trade will be sold through the Direct Market at a later date.

The link to pre-order Deadlands for pick-up is:

And the link for home delivery is:

Order Deadline is July 31st for this edition. This will be an extremely limited edition so order yours today!

About Visionary Comics Studio: After debuting in 2006, Visionary Comics Studio is now one of the most popular, up and coming creative production studios and the largest digital exclusive publisher. By providing freelance talent representation, setting up projects for print publication, and through VCS’ own digital publishing line, VCS has worked with and provided services for just about every major comic publisher. For more information, go to our web site:

For interviews or review copies email our Vice-President of Marketing Chris Mccay at -

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Punisher #13 - Review

I’ve always been a sucker for the setup of a heist or sneaking mission on a boat during a fancy party. This issue finds Frank Castle and Rachel Alves sneak on board a large yacht during a secret auction of Marvel Universe goodies. Castle has a tight plan in place, but his real problem is keeping Alves’ emotions in check.

The Punisher in this new run is one that reminds me of Snake from Metal Gear Solid. He’s resourceful, always focused on the mission, but underneath genuinely cares about people keeping their innocence. The pairing of Castle and Alves, which sounds like a TV cop drama, gives the long-running character a new dynamic that’s really engrossing.

The artwork by Mico Suayan is very subtle, but detailed. It felt like an episode of a TV show, and not in a way that cheapens the comic book storytelling medium. It sucked me in and made me want more and more panels inside this issue.

Without rattling on too much about how fun this issue is, I’ll just leave it with a high recommendation that Punisher fans or fans of heist movies would love this story.

RATING: 7.5/10

Earth 2 #3 - Review

Alan Scott takes the mantle of Green Lantern in this new issue of Earth 2 and it couldn’t be more different than the original universe. Without going into too many spoilers, some of the elements of The Green from Swamp Thing are used in a new way to bestow the powers of imagination onto Scott. The result of which also brings a classic villain back in a bold new way with a much more updated look.

Aside from the Scott storyline, we also get a peak into the new direction Jay Garrick is going with his life after being given the powers of Mercury. Another character enters the stage and sets up a new relationship with Garrick.

James Robinson is a writer who excels at writing the Golden Age characters. His new takes on Green Lantern and Flash in this alternate universe are thought out and very entertaining. A world without Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman can still be a world of wonder and heroes, and Robinson is proving that with this series.

The one drawback I would have to say with this issue is that the cover depicts a more suit of armor styled Green lantern outfit, while inside it’s more of the classic skin tight affair. It still looks fitting to the style of costumes on this alternate Earth, but it made me a little nostalgic for the Kingdom Come armor that Scott wore.

Despite that one personal detail, I really enjoyed this issue. This series has gotten me way more excited than some of the regular titles, and I think it’s the kind of shake up that the DC Universe needed. Scott is a character who was begging to be elaborated on, and it will be thrilling to see him take the mantle as Earth’s protector.

This isn’t the best issue out of the series so far, but it is really enjoyable and sets up the promise of big things to come.

RATING: 7/10

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man - Movie Review

Why I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man

When the original Spider-Man movie was released in 2002, I went crazy over it. Spider-Man was one of my favorite heroes growing up and it was a thrill to see him in live-action on the silver screen. I can remember buying a poster and a copy of the soundtrack as soon as we left the local movie theater.

Sadly, just like that soundtrack, the movie doesn’t hold up after a few more viewings.

It had heart, it had some of the classic elements of Spider-Man’s story, but there was something missing. Actually, after seeing The Amazing Spider-Man, the new rebooted version of the movie franchise, I can say that a few things missing.

What the original film and its sequels lacked was the character interactions that the new film nails from the get go. Not only does Andrew Garfield play a much more charismatic Peter Parker, but you actually care about what happens to him.

The original films were much more plot-based. Spider-Man has to get from here, to here, and then fight this bad guy. This new film gives Parker the time to breathe and a much deeper character history. We get Parker the scientist and not just Parker the nerd.

Emma Stone also gives us a reason to love this new incarnation of the web-slinger. I’ve always been a bigger Gwen Stacy fan than Mary Jane Watson fan, because Stacy and Parker actually have things in common. Not only is Stacy a character who can hold her own in a scientific debate, Stone plays her as a headstrong girl who isn’t afraid to be just as heroic as Spider-Man.

It’s not a perfect movie. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. There are a couple of little gaffs that I noticed, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. When it comes to superhero movies, people should relax on the logic problems. It’s a movie about someone with super powers that fights crime and a giant lizard, we can assume that Oscorp has canisters of liquid nitrogen lying around.

And speaking of The Lizard, he was a great choice as a villain for this movie. Rhys Ifans was a great Doctor Connors, and I never found his monster counterpart goofy or played out.

Comic purists might complain that it was the Green Goblin that defined Gwen and her father in the comics, but The Lizard makes more sense as a first villain. Both are created by similar means in genetic splicing, and it’s an element that the first series of movies ignored. With a continuous thread to create villains, instead of random chance encounters, it gives the movie universe it’s own rules and avenues to explore.

The bottom line is that I had a ton of fun at this movie. It’s definitely one that I plan on seeing again in the theater, as well as buying on Blu-Ray when it gets released. This is the Spider-Man movie I’ve been waiting for. I just hope other people feel the same way.

RATING: 8.5/10