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Posts Tagged ‘Marc Silvestri’

The Walking Dead #100

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

July 13, 2012

Title: Something to Fear Part Four

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard
Letters: Rus Wooton
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Cover Art: Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
Variant Covers: Marc Silverstri & Sunny Gho; Frank Quitely; Todd McFarlane & John Rauch; Sean Phillips; Bryan Hitch & John Rauch; Ryan Ottley & John Rauch; Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn, Charlie Adlard
Editor: Sina Grace
Publisher: Image Comics/Skybound

Let’s hear it for Robert Kirkman, shall we? Aside from a hit TV show and what will likely prove to be the highest-selling comic book of 2012, The Walking Dead is now a member of that ever-shrinking family of comic books that have lasted 100 issues or more… and this for a black-and-white character drama with no superheroes. That’s damn impressive.

Also impressive is the story we get here. Kirkman tells a great story, but he doesn’t go out of his way to make this some huge, mind-blowing, 100th-issue extravaganza. We get extra story pages here, but a lot of it is talking heads stuff. Rick and his friends are going out to take a stand against the mysterious Negal, leader of a group of survivors demanding unfair tributes from the group Rick’s people have fallen in with. Rick and company wind up in a face off with Negal, only to wind up captured, and forced into the most horrible situation a human could place them in.

There’s so much about this comic that’s impressive to me. The fact that the drama can come not from the zombies, but from the still-living, is really just the top of the iceberg to me. The fact that, after 100 issues, Kirkman can still legitimately amp up the drama regarding who will live and who will die… the fact that this issue ends with our heroes at a new low point, a point of rage and grief and pain that the reader will share… it’s remarkable that he can still do that after all this time.

Adlard pours it on this issue, turning out some of his best work. Pain, anguish… gore… he puts it all into these pages, turning out a stark look at a horrible world that’s nevertheless wonderfully entertaining to read.

This book is hard to read. But if it wasn’t, it would be worthwhile.

Rating: 9/10

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Image United #2

May 15, 2011 Leave a comment

December 25, 2009

Image United #2 (Image Comics)
By Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri & Jim Valentino

After a lackluster first issue, I was willing to give this event series one more shot before calling it quits, and I think this is pretty much going to do it. We start things off with Jim Downing, the new Spawn, facing Al Simmons, the original Spawn. Al, apparently mad with power, has decided that he’s sick of being a pawn in the game between Heaven and Hell, and he’s going to just take control of the world himself. So far, so good, but after this we get drawn into another sequence of seemingly random attacks, with villains and other heroes from the six participating creators’ personal stables brought in to fill things out, all while Youngblood sits around and debates whether they should trust Fortress. It doesn’t really amount to much, and the conflicting art styles are far more noticable this month than they were before. Image has announced a spin-off one-shot that’s going to focus on Image heroes outside of the founders’ stable (Invincible, for example), and since I’m far more interested in those characters than the ones we see here, I may pick that up. But as far as the main series goes, I don’t know if I’ll have it in me to bother with issue three.
Rating: 4/10

Image United #1

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

November 28, 2009

Image United #1 (Image Comics)
By Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri & Jim Valentino

The long-awaited collaboration between the remaining six Image founders (or even all seven, if you got the Jim Lee variant cover) finally kicks off. The strange new hero, Fortress, is having visions of himself standing side-by-side with Youngblood, Spawn, Shadowhawk, Witchblade, Cyberforce, and the Savage Dragon, facing some terrible threat. As he tries to figure out what’s happening to him, Youngblood and the Dragon team up to face Spawn’s old sparring partner, Overt-Kill, on the streets of Chicago. To be honest, I wouldn’t have even considered getting this book if it weren’t scripted by Robert Kirkman, producer of most of Image’s best titles these days. Even with his stamp, this first issue was a disappointment. I expected things to be a bit cryptic, a bit of a puzzle as to why, exactly, all this disparate heroes are being drawn together, but the story in general and Fortress himself, as the narrator, are so cryptic that I quickly finding myself losing interest. It doesn’t help that, with the exception of Shadowhawk, none of these are characters I’ve ever had any deep affection for to begin with. On the plus side, the bizarre jam-style of the artwork actually succeeds pretty well. Each of the six creators is doing the artwork for their specific characters, meaning you can see up to all six of them working on one page if all the characters are there. The styles don’t clash as much as one would expect, and while you can certainly tell that the artists change frequently, it doesn’t really hurt the story. The trouble is, there isn’t really enough story here yet to be in danger. If that doesn’t change with issue #2, I doubt I’ll be back for issue #3.
Rating: 5/10

X-Men: Messiah Complex #1

March 9, 2011 Leave a comment

October 30, 2007

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: Messiah Complex Chapter One
Rating: T+

A new mutant is born – will the X-Men get him first?

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Pencils: Marc Silvestri
Inks: Joe Weems & Marco Galli
Background Assists: Sheldon Mitchell
Colors: Frank D’Armata
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Nick Lowe
Cover Art: David Finch (Cover A); Marc Silvestri (Cover B)
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The highly-touted “first X-Men crossover in years” begins here. Since M-Day wiped out most of the mutants on Earth, no others have been born… until today. A new mutant is born, one so powerful that just his birth nearly destroys Cerebro. Seeing hope for their species, the X-Men rush off to find their new kinsman, but they aren’t the only ones who want him. The Marauders, the Purifiers and Predator X are all on his tail as well, and the trail of destruction is incredible.

For what it is, the story here isn’t bad. Considering how things have gone since M-Day, it’s easy to accept so many people rushing after the first new mutant. The scenes of destruction are particularly convincing, although one has to wonder just why this new mutant is exhibiting so much power at birth instead of at puberty like the rest of them. (I’m going to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and assume that’s a plot point that will be explained later.)

The big problems with this issue are minor glitches – Cyclops, at one point, says it has been “years” since M-Day. In real time, it’s been about two years. In Marvel Time, it’s hard to believe it’s been even one. It’s also kind of odd to suddenly hear people calling Cyclops “Slim” again after so many years. Not bad, necessarily, but odd.

Marc Silvestri’s artwork is pretty good. Emma seems to be wearing an awful lot of eyeshadow, but otherwise, it’s effective.

This isn’t a bad start, but the real test will be whether this storyline has the juice to last 13 chapters across four titles.

Rating: 6/10

X-Men: Phoenix-Warsong #4

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

December 9, 2006

Quick Rating: Fair
Rating: T+

The Phoenix takes Celeste!

Writer: Greg Pak
Pencils: Tyler Kirkham
Inks: Sal Regla & Jay Leisten
Colors: John Starr
Letters: Troy Peteri
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Cover Art: Marc Silvestri
Publisher: Marvel Comics

While not quite as good as the first X-Men: Phoenix miniseries by Greg Pak, this title has shown some interesting ideas. As the X-Men try to chase down the remaining Stepford Cuckoos, Celeste becomes engulfed in the power of the Phoenix, and only Emma Frost may hold the key to stopping her.

If there’s one thing about this comic that I’m particularly not fond of, it’s the idea that the Cuckoos are all, in essence, Emma clones. (Come on, Marvel, is more clones ever a good idea?) Once I manage to get past that little caveat, though, this is a pretty solid action issue. The mindscape battle of words between Emma, Celeste and the Phoenix itself works pretty well, and the Beast (my personal favorite X-character) gets a few chances to show off, which makes me happy. The last page is a nice setup to lead into the final issue as well.

Tyler Kirkham’s artwork is okay, but it still feels very much like he’s trying to mimic Marc Silvestri rather than trying to find a style of his own. I am happy to note, though, that he manages to give the Cuckoos relatively realistic bodies for girls their age. They aren’t bulging out like Playboy Playmates anywhere, and although some of their costuming is a little revealing, its not so much that it seems preposterous.

Overall, this has been an okay series that’s given a much-needed new direction to the whole Phoenix concept. The last issue, though, is what will determine how concretely that new direction sticks.

Rating: 6/10

Monster War TPB

June 25, 2010 Leave a comment

January 15, 2007

Quick Rating: Good

The Top Cow heroes go to war with the most famous monsters of all time.

Writers: Christopher Golden & Tom Sniegowski
Art: Joyce Chin & Victor Ishimura
Colors: Scott Kester
Letters: Troy Peteri
Series Covers: Marc Silvestri, Joseph Michael Linsner, Joyce Chin, Eric and Rick Basaldua
Cover Art: Marc Silvestri (Cover A); Joseph Michael Linsner (Cover B)
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment/Top Cow

Last year, in one of the more innovative crossover concepts I’ve seen in a while, Dynamite Entertainment pieced together a four-issue adventure utilizing properties it calls the “Classic Monsters” (Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Wolf-Men and Mr. Hyde) in a battle with four of Top Cow’s top properties, Magdelena, Tomb Raider, Witchblade and The Darkness. I’m not really a big fan of the Top Cow characters, but the concept intrigued me, so when they put out the collected edition, I decided to take a look.

Written by Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegowski with art by Joyce Chin and Victor Ishimura, the story actually comes up with a pretty organic way to draw all these disparate characters together. Magedlena has a vision that leads her to a crypt where she finds Mr. Hyde – somehow separated from Dr. Jekyll – about to resurrect the inert form of Vlad Tepes, alias Count Dracula. Her pure, sanctified blood turns out to be just the thing to give Drac a quick pick-me-up, and it begins to turn her as well.

She’s rescued by Lara Croft (the Tomb Raider) and her companion, Dr. Henry Jekyll. Jekyll and Croft had encountered each other earlier while both trailing the freed Hyde, who ventured into the Arctic circle to free Frankenstein’s monster. Now, with Magdelena turning, Lara sets out to find the Necrotic Orchid – the one herb that can reverse a vampire’s curse. The Orchid, unfortunately, is guarded by a legion of Wolf-Men.

Meanwhile, Hyde, Dracula and the Monster have made their way to New York for the last element Hyde needs for his plan – a chunk of the Witchblade. Sara Pezzini, bearer of the Witchblade, and her uneasy ally Jackie Estacado (the Darkness) are drawn into battle. The final plot is driven by a fairly logical motivation for the monsters, and showing the four heroes (or anti-hero in the case of the Darkness) in battle is actually quite exciting. The monsters even take it a step further, bringing in a dash of Cthulu at the end.

The artwork actually varies considerably. Not being particularly familiar with either artist’s style, I can’t quite tell who drew which chapters, but I can definitely tell when the changes take place. Some of the chapters are drawn with a lighter touch – more of a penciled, unfinished look, which actually works very well for the story. Other chapters are more finished, heavily inked, which is fine in and of itself, but it makes for a drastic contrast that may be distracting for some readers.

This is a pretty good horror story overall, one that works well especially if you’re a fan of the Top Cow characters. The “Classic Monsters” are fun to read about in their own right. I can’t imagine Dynamite would have worked on this crossover if there wasn’t an intention of using the Monsters elsewhere, but to the best of my knowledge, that hasn’t been done yet. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to set them up in some new horror tales, though, if a proper hero could be found to stand against their evil.

Rating: 7/10