Tag Archives: graphic novel

Comic Book Roundup #21

Superman: Red and Blue

The Synopsis

The Man of Steel Stars in DC’s New Superman: Red & Blue anthology mini-series!

In the spirit of DC’s iconic Eisner Award-winning Batman: Black & White anthology series, DC proudly announces Superman: Red & Blue, a new anthology mini-series presenting fresh new takes on the Man of Steel.

Around the world, everyone knows that when they see a red and blue streak in the sky, it’s not a bird…it’s not a plane…it’s Superman!

Academy Award-winning writer of DC Future State: The Next Batman John Ridley joins artist Clayton Henry (Batman/Superman) to tell a story of Clark Kent as he confronts a villain who still haunts him, in a story that shows what Superman can mean to a whole country.

Brandon Easton (DC Future State’s Mister Miracle) and Steve Lieber (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen) take readers to the streets of Metropolis to show how one hero can mean so much to an individual in pain.

Writer/artist Wes Craig (Deadly Class) tells a tale of Superman’s early days and the man who inspired him to become the hero he is today!

Marguerite Bennett (DC Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman) and artist Jill Thompson (The Sandman, Black Orchid) give us a tale of teenage Clark Kent, while Dan Watters and Dani, the team behind Coffin Bound, bring us an outlandish fable about what happens when all colors are stolen!

This collection includes Superman Red & Blue #1-6

The Verdict

I absolutely loved this anthology series. The authors and artists who presented this wide range of different interpretations of the iconic hero did a great job of not only showing individuality and creativity with their work but of showcasing the unique characteristics that make Superman the hero that he is. The humanity that he shows through his heroics and his care for everyone, from the child being bullied on the playground to the inter-dimensional imp plaguing his world and beyond, is what makes Superman so great, and that heart shines through in these stories.

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Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol. 1: The Truth

The Synopsis 

A new Man of Steel for a new era! Jonathan Kent dons his father’s cape as the 21st century Superman in this new series, from the bestselling writer of DCeased and Injustice!

Jonathan Kent has experienced a lot in his young life. He’s fought evil with Robin, traveled across galaxies with his Kryptonian grandfather, and lived in the future with the Legion of Super-Heroes, who were intent on training him for the day his father could no longer be Superman.

There is a hole in the Legion’s history that prevents Jon from knowing exactly when that will happen, but all signs point to it being very soon. It’s time for the son to wear his father’s cape and continue the never-ending battle as a symbol of hope for his home planet.

But can Jon be Superman and still have a normal life? The son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane will learn the hard way as he heads to college and combats the dangers of the modern world.

Superstar writer Tom Taylor (DCeased, Injustice) teams with visionary artist John Timms (Future State: Superman of Metropolis) to tell the saga of the 21st century Superman!

This volume collects Superman: Son of Kal-El #1-6.

The Verdict

I loved this new direction for the Superman comics. After years of getting to see Clark Kent’s journey, watching him pass the baton of Earth’s protector to his son was such a brilliant move on DC’s part. The duality of Jon’s story was great to watch in this comic. Firstly, the journey to discovering his path as Superman, from living in his father’s shadow to trying to live up to the ideal the mantle has had for years, was really heartfelt to watch, as was his struggle once his father left on his galactic journey of his own. Yet it was introducing Jon’s exploration of his sexuality and showcasing a new type of Superman, as well as his new relationship, that made him an instant icon that I cannot wait to read more about. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend this comic series!

Teen Titans Academy, Vol. 1: X Marks His Spot

The Synopsis

The original New Teen Titans have reteamed and formed the Titans Academy to teach the next generation of superpowered teens …if the students can survive the training.

Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Donna Troy are the teachers at the school and will pass along their knowledge to the young recruits looking to learn how to use their powers to reach their full potential.

Meet the student body – a new Australian Speedster who runs on prosthetics, a trio of Batman obsessed Goth kids from Gotham, a teen expatriate from Gorilla City and a kid who’s possibly the anti-Christ.

Plus, Billy Batson has enrolled to master his powers as Shazam!

But the big mystery is the which member of this first class is the mysterious Red X.

Fans of any era of the Teen Titans will love this new graphic novel collection that continues the legacy.

Collecting Teen Titans Academy #1-5, Suicide Squad #3, Teen Titans Academy Yearbook #1

The Verdict

I was so invested in this series. I’ve been a longtime fan of the Teen Titans, and this new direction showing the Titans becoming teachers and instructors gave serious Xavier Academy vibes from Marvel. The new class of heroes and the mysteries surrounding them were so engaging, and the return of some shocking characters, both heroes and villains alike, will have fans on the edge of their seats. Yet it is the tie into the Future State storyline teased previously about the apocalypse that had me hooked, as I’m interested to see if the heroes can prevent that horrible future from coming to life. The artwork perfectly contrasted the bright heroes and the dark and gritty future that they are fighting to avoid. A must-read! 

Batman: The Detective

The Synopsis

An epic tale begins that will take Batman on a harrowing, action-packed European adventure in a new miniseries by superstar creators Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert!

A horrific tragedy in the United Kingdom sends a very personal and deadly message to the Dark Knight–one that will draw Batman out of Gotham City to investigate! From the moment he lands in Europe, Batman will face a difficult investigation and unheard-of adversaries and find the assistance of a partner once more–all in the hunt for the villain known as Equilibrium! New villains! New allies! A thrilling overseas adventure begins for the Dark Knight!

As Batman’s pursuit goes on, the mystery around the organization known as Equilibrium deepens! Just who are these enigmatic villains, and why are they out to erase the Dark Knight’s legacy? And how does Henri Ducard play into all this–can this face from Bruce Wayne’s past be the key to it all?

Collects Batman: The Detective #1-6.

The Verdict

After getting so many adventures of Batman and his crusade in Gotham, getting to see Bruce Wayne and his influence as the caped crusader on a global scale was so engaging to read. The idea of confronting villains of our own making and the past catching up to us is always one of the most interesting story devices in comic books, and this gritty story does a great job of blending the international mystery genre with murder mysteries. A definite must-read! 

Batman: Reptilian

The Synopsis

What strikes fear into the hearts of those who terrorize Gotham? It used to be Batman, but something far more frightening stalks the shadows-and it’s after Gotham’s villains, leaving a trail of carnage through the underworld. Now, with Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, and many more left bloodied and broken in its wake, Batman opens the case on this mysterious reptilian menace and finds himself vexed by one very important question: What on Earth is it? Collects Batman: Reptilian #1-6.

The Verdict

One of the strangest, most bizarre Batman series to date, and yet I loved it. A very dark, grittier version of the dark knight than we know, the story is a great juxtaposition of the almost animalistic nature of the crime itself, as well as the ruthless nature that Batman himself can go to if he allowed himself to stop caring altogether. If Batman were to become a creature feature, this would be that story! A brilliant departure from the typical Batman lore, and the almost abstract horror artwork style really kept the reader invested. 

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Mister Miracle

The Synopsis

No prison can hold him. No trap can contain him. He is Scott Free, the worldwide celebrity sensation known as Mister Miracle, and he is the greatest escape artist who ever lived. But can he pull off the ultimate trick–and escape death itself?

Something has gone horribly wrong with the perfect life that Scott and his wife Big Barda have made for themselves on Earth. With war raging between their homeworlds of Apokolips and New Genesis, Scott’s cruel adoptive father, Darkseid, seems to have finally found the Anti-Life Equation–the weapon that will give him total victory.

As the mountains of bodies on both sides grow ever higher, only Mister Miracle can stop the slaughter and restore peace. But the terrible power of the Anti-Life Equation may already be at work in his own mind, warping his reality and shattering the fragile happiness he’s found with the woman he loves.

Is death the trap that’s been waiting for him all along? Or is it life itself? And what price will Scott Free have to pay to learn the answer?

Eisner Award winners Tom King and Mitch Gerads present a bold new vision of one of Jack Kirby’s greatest creations with Mister Miracle–powerful, intimate and utterly unique, this modern comics classic will challenge everything you know about super-heroism!

Collects Mister Miracle #1-12.

The Verdict

I loved this series! The exploration of Mister Miracle as a person and his family life with Big Barda was amazing to behold, and the way that family life mirrored the ruthless nature of Apocalypse and the relentless war between Apocalypse and New Genesis was so fascinating to read. The writing style very much reminded me of another recent run of DC Comics graphic novel, Strange Adventures. The grim war that delves into the complex dynamics of Scott Free and his role in the battle against Darkseid is an incredible story to delve into. A definite must-read!

Justice League Infinity

The Synopsis

Return to the world of the beloved Justice League Unlimited animated series with all-new comic book adventures!

From the producer of Justice League Unlimited James Tucker and animated series writer J.M. DeMatteis comes all-new adventures starring the World’s Greatest Heroes!

There is a being wandering the universe searching for its true purpose, but what it finds out one the furthest edges of the cosmos will change not just our universe, but multiple universes! Across the globe, people begin disappearing, replaced with different but similar individuals. So where is Superman and who is his evil counterpart–the monstrous Overman?

In order to get to the bottom of what’s happening, the Justice League will need to first take down the new villain! And what horrors are revealed in the twisted mirror room?!

In the tradition of Batman: The Adventures Continue, this series returns to the world of the fan-favorite Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series, presenting fresh stories starring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter!

This volume collects Justice League Infinity #1-7.

The Verdict

As a longtime fan of the original Batman, Superman, and Justice League animated series universe, I was so happy to see this comic book series coming to life. Finally introducing the multiverse concept to this animated series was an inspired choice, introducing everything from the Vandal Savage-led Nazi world housing a Nazi-version of Superman, a world in which Darkseid married a certain Amazonian hero, and so much more. The artwork matched the original animation perfectly, and the rich story expanded the already engaging world that the shows had already left behind, leaving me wanting a new animated series to pick up where this comic series leaves off. A must-read for longtime JLU fans! 

Dark Ages

The Synopsis

This is what the Watcher has been watching for. A danger older than the Earth threatens everything. And for once, the heroes who have saved the planet time and again find themselves almost completely powerless in the face of it. X-Men and Avengers will assemble. Spider-people and the Fantastic Four will come together. Heroes for Hire will fight alongside Champions. But none of it will be enough. The lights are about to go out. The world outside our window…is about to end. Nothing can prepare you for an all-new saga of the Marvel Universe as you’ve never seen it before — from acclaimed talents Tom Taylor and Iban Coello!

COLLECTING: Dark Ages (2021) 1-6

The Verdict

This was such a brilliant dystopian What If…? series from Marvel. The exploration of a Marvel universe without power or electricity was an inspired choice, given how high-tech the Marvel universe and its heroes has always been. The devastation and loss from the initial event drives home the dangerous world the heroes have inherited, and the cast of villains who band together in the wake of this event will have Marvel fans eager to see how the heroes will respond. The modern artwork brings the deadly world to life in a visceral way, and with everyone at risk and no one safe, this is one series fans won’t want to miss. A definite must-read for Marvel fans!

Strange Academy: First Class

The Synopsis

The Marvel Universe’s first school for sorcerers throws open its doors! The world has mysteriously changed in such an alarming way that Doctor Strange has finally done what he has avoided for decades – established an academy for the Mystic Arts! Young people from around the world with an aptitude for magic are brought together in New Orleans to study under Stephen Strange, Brother Voodoo, the Ancient One, the Scarlet Witch, Magik, Daimon Hellstrom and all your favorite Marvel mages. But with so many new and deadly magical menaces lurking out there, is the Academy too little too late?! School’s in session – and it’s going to be spellbinding!

COLLECTING: STRANGE ACADEMY (2020) 1-6

The Verdict

With magic has always been such a prominent component of the Marvel universe, the exploration of the next generation of Marvel magic wielders was an inspired choice for a brand new series. Having an academy opened by Doctor Strange but featuring other prominent magic users such as Doctor Voodoo and others was such a nice touch. Each new student’s backstory and history are so engaging, and I love the story explored through Doyle, the son of Dormammu, who is plagued by nightmares of the role he has been told he will play in the future prophecy involving his father’s grand designs. It was a fun, creative, and world-expanding series! 

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Champions, Vol. 1: Outlawed

The Synopsis

In the wake of a devastating tragedy, the United States passes a law outlawing teenage super heroes! The crackdown has begun, and the lives of Marvel’s next generation will never be the same again. This new law goes against everything that Ms. Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man founded the Champions for…and they know that the world still needs heroes. They won’t go down without a fight! But as a group of teen vigilantes gathers to plan their next move, the task force called CRADLE is hot on their trail – and there’s a spy in their midst! As protests break out across Chicago, the Champions risk their freedom to restore order – but why has Chicago’s hometown hero Ironheart abandoned the Champions?

COLLECTING: OUTLAWED (2020) 1, CHAMPIONS (2020) 1-5

The Verdict

This was such a fascinating and engaging series. The Champions have quickly become a fan favorite new teen superhero team, and the complex nature of their dynamics has made them a much sought-after hero group. The exploration of the themes this story introduces mirror past stories like Civil War and Civil War II, but add a unique twist. The idea of teen or children superheroes has always been complex, given their age and the understanding of the consequences of their actions. Yet the other side of the coin is the exploration of their rights and the need to address these teens in a non-confrontational way and to ensure they share the same rights as adults, making this such a complex storyline that I loved delving into. Mix that with bright artwork and action-packed storylines and you have a must-read series!

Magnificent Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: Destined

The Synopsis

Ms. Marvel is back – and she’s magnificent! But there’s no such thing as business as usual in Jersey City. Aliens are wreaking havoc in Kamala’s corner of the world, and they seem weirdly interested in Ms. Marvel…and her family! Kamala is about to face a devastating loss – but with an alien invasion ravaging her neighborhood, she’s not going to have much time to grieve. Even if Kamala saves her hometown, will her life ever be the same? And what’s all this business about a “Chosen One”? Eisner Award-winner Saladin Ahmed (BLACK BOLT, EXILES) and rising star Minkyu Jung take the reins of one of Marvel’s most beloved new characters, with the shocking start of an all-new era!

COLLECTING: MAGNIFICENT MS. MARVEL #1-6

The Verdict

The exploration of Kamala’s home life and her connection to her parents has never been stronger than in this series. The galactic nature of the beginning of her journey, as well as the emotional aspects of her journey of learning of a devastating health crisis amongst her family, kept the story both grounded and out of this world (pun intended). The culture and importance of Kamala Khan’s heroics have never been needed more, and the warm artwork reflects that perfectly in the story. A definite must-read!

House of X/Powers of X

The Synopsis

Mutants are the future, and the future begins now! Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (INFINITY, SECRET WARS) takes the reigns of the X-Men universe with artists Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva to change the way you look at every X-Men story. HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X intertwine to reveal the secret past, present, future, and far future of Mutantkind! It all starts when Charles Xavier reveals his new masterplan for Mutantkind, one that will bring mutants out of the shadow of humanity and into the light.

COLLECTING: House of X 1-6, Powers of X 1-6

The Verdict

I am in love with the new direction the X-Men side of Marvel is taking. The establishment of a successful nation of mutants, as well as the secret history of Moira MacTaggart as a mutant herself, were too amazing to read. The alternating timelines gave a brilliant glimpse into the past, present, and future of mutant-kind, and showed both the highs and lows of life where mutants could finally feel free and equal. Seeing mutants who became enemies long ago coming together was such an intriguing idea, and seeing the Marvel universe’s reactions to this new power rising in the world was so brilliantly captured. A definite must-read for longtime mutant and Marvel fans! 

Deadpool by Skottie Young, Vol. 1: Mercin’ Hard for the Money

The Synopsis

Deadpool is back to mercin’ for a living! It’s been a while since Wade Wilson has struggled to make ends meet, but things are tough all over. While Deadpool tries to get his humble mercenary-for-hire business back off the ground, a catastrophic threat so unfathomably huge – so mind-breakingly cataclysmic that it defies description – is heading toward Earth, and there’s only one person who can stop it! Oh no, wait…it’s not Deadpool, is it? Oh, %$@#. It’s Deadpool. Good thing he has a plan. But what happens when things take a turn for the weird – Weirdworld, that is? Find out as Wade ventures into a realm of monsters, sorceresses, Man-Things…and romance? Is this part of the plan?! Hop back on board the Deadpool train as Skottie Young and Nic Klein reinvent the Merc with a Mouth!

COLLECTING: DEADPOOL (2018) 1-6

The Verdict

This was a truly incredible and masterful story to bring readers back into the twisted mind of Deadpool. Getting back to basics and showcasing the merc’s return as a…well, as a merc, was great to read. Being able to read the Avenger’s connection to his arc and how he views their dialogue and interactions was great to see, as was the use of Negasonic Teenage Warhead as his intern of sorts. The action and hilarious storylines were well developed, as were the character’s typical fourth-wall-breaking quips. An iconic yet still fan favorite must-read series! 

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Marvel Zombies

The Synopsis

On an Earth shockingly similar to the Marvel Universe’s, an alien virus has mutated all of the world’s greatest super heroes into flesh-eating monsters! It took them only hours to destroy life as we know it – but what happens when they run out of humans to eat?

The Verdict

Throwing this back to an iconic and beloved What If…? series, as a longtime horror fan, this was the perfect Marvel comic series for me. The grim and horrific nature of the Marvel universe in this series shows the depth of horror that the heroes sink into when this virus corrupts them completely. The brutality and violence that overcomes them highlight not only the scare factor this series bring but just how powerful of a threat the heroes could be if they were to ever be turned, showing the dark side of heroism in the Marvel universe. A definite must-read for any Marvel Comics fan!

Doctor Jekyll: Alien Hunter by Bruce Olav Solheim Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman following in her father’s footsteps as an investigator of extraterrestrial life finds herself delving into the realities of life and death in author Bruce Olav Solheim’s “Doctor Jekyll: Alien Hunter.” 

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The Synopsis

Dr. Jekyll Alien Hunter chronicles the adventures of Henna Jekyll, a professor who is following in her father’s footsteps in researching extraterrestrials. Her research takes her around the world where she discovers the hazy boundaries between life and death, and reality and dream.

The Review

This was a fun and fascinating read! The author did an incredible job of crafting a narrative that brought the intrigue of the study of the paranormal and UFO-related activity in our world with the emotional and impactful study of relationships and how we connect with one another. As a paranormal investigator and enthusiast myself, I was floored by how much the author delved into the interconnectivity that seems to exist between various fields of study (cryptozoology, paranormal, Ufology, spirituality, etc), and how much detail the author was able to incorporate into the narrative in a very natural way.

Yet it was the characters that made the heart of this graphic novel shine so brightly. The emotional connection made between Henna’s search for answers and her late father and mother was something so many people will be able to connect with. The emotional concept that this mystery and intrigue that exists when talking about the paranormal makes this story so engaging, as it allows readers to recognize it isn’t always about proving the truth to others, but instead knowing your own truth and understanding every answer we find, more and more questions will arise, and that’s ok. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, entertaining, and gripping, author Bruce Olav Solheim’s “Doctor Jekyll: Alien Hunter” is a must-read sci-fi meets paranormal graphic novel! The beautiful artwork from illustrator Julia Kazanowska and the amount of depth that was achieved narratively in such a short span of time made for a compelling and riveting read that cannot be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Bruce Olav Solheim was born on September 3, 1958, in Seattle, Washington, to hard-working Norwegian immigrant parents, Asbjørn and Olaug Solheim. Bruce was the first person in his family to go to college. He served for six years in the US Army as a jail guard and later as a helicopter pilot. He earned his PhD in history from Bowling Green State University in 1993.

Bruce is currently a distinguished professor of history at Citrus College in Glendora, California. He also served as a Fulbright professor in 2003 at the University of Tromsø in northern Norway.

Bruce founded the Veterans Program at Citrus College and cofounded, with Manuel Martinez and Ginger De Villa-Rose, the Boots to Books transition course—the first college course in the United States designed specifically for recently returned veterans. He has published five books and has written seven plays, two of which have been produced.

Bruce is married to Ginger, the girl of his dreams, who is a professional helicopter pilot and certified flight instructor. He has been blessed with four wonderful children: Bjørn, Byron, Caitlin, and Leif. He also has a precious grandson, Liam. Bruce, his brother, and his two nephews still own the family home in Åse, Norway, two hundred miles above the Arctic Circle.

https://www.bruceolavsolheim.com/

Interview with Author Andrew D. Daily

1: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I never grew up with an interest in writing, books, or television. Writing always came naturally to me, and I always got A’s on my high school reports despite struggling with ADHD and dyslexia. I loved to play with words and implement them in rap and songwriting. Eventually, I gave up on music because I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted in that artform. It wasn’t until watching television’s Lost and Breaking Bad that I found an interest in writing television. The serialized style of those shows made me aware of what was possible. After studying the craft, I gave it a try. Seventeen scripts and eight years later, I’m now pitching shows to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Max, etc.

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2: What inspired you to write your book?

La Entrada was initially written as a television pilot to get in front of a leading Mexican production company. I believe it was my fourteenth script, and I was frustrated at the time with script after script dying without anything to show for it. I thought this one would be better as a graphic novel and decided to connect with an artist to show my work to friends and family.

3: What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope that readers are inspired to face disappointment with perseverance. Mirna and Carlos have both been overlooked and experienced hope deferred, but they keep chasing their desires. In future books, we will see how that works out for them in unexpected ways.

4: What drew you into this particular genre?

This genre is one that I hadn’t tried to tackle in the past. I wanted to try something new while starting from a grounded place. I’m excited to lean heavier into the genre in the next book as we explore what is beyond the portal. 

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5: If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’m curious to know more about the pain of Mirna’s younger years. How has her upbringing led her to a relegated position in society? I would also like to ask Loisha what happened to her that she feels the need to maintain loyalty to the President.

6: What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Instagram has been huge for me. I have a production Instagram where I post all the pages from La Entrada, but my personal account has been most helpful. My friends that I grew up with and former Home Depot co-workers have come through for me. I’m honored by the outpouring of support. Pinterest is also helpful for me to promote the artists that I work with at the same time as my writing.

7: What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Read, study, and write. I have countless friends who claim they want to be writers but never write. I also have many friends who write but don’t study their craft, and their books or scripts fall flat. You have to know why you are doing what you are doing, regardless of how naturally talented you are.

8: What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Reality television is my primary form of income currently. I’m about to return to Shark Tank as the primary production manager. I’ll oversee logistics, personnel, and finances for the show. I hope to make some time soon to finish the next La Entrada graphic novel. Also, I have a couple of shows that I’m pitching. I’m looking for a production company to partner with on a political drama and a YA mystery. Who knows where the future will lead? I’m just enjoying the process.

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About the Author

Andrew is a television writer, producer, and production manager living in Los Angeles, CA.

Shark Tank on ABC was his first big break in TV as an art department production assistant. He was quickly spotted for his administrative skills and found mentors in production management, where he climbed the ranks. The unscripted shows he has worked on include Miss Universe, Paradise Hotel, The Voice, and The Grammy’s. He has also worked on several scripted shows, including Blunt Talk, Dr. Ken, and Insecure, as well as digital content when he co-launched The Rock’s YouTube channel as a line producer and writer.

For its three-night live presentation, Andrew co-wrote O Little Town of Bloomington, a Christmas musical that sold out the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, CA.

Before transitioning to full-time writing, he developed his craft by breaking down scripts minute-by-minute and writing over twenty pilots of his own. He created several Graphic Novels, including La Entrada, available through Amazon.

Follow him on Instagram: @dailyman

https://www.hawthorneent.com/

La Estrada: Season One-Episode 1 by Andrew D. Daily (Illustrated by Alex Vede) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A mysterious portal leads to a missing child, and a mother who must work against powerful politicians and untold dangers to find her child before it is too late in author Andrew D. Daily’s “La Estrada: Season One-Episode 1”. 

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The Synopsis

La Entrada – Season One, Episode One is the first graphic novel of this epic series.

A child disappears when an other-worldly portal forms outside of Mexico City. To find him, his mother must partner with a renegade professor and face the politicians that stand in their way. The mysteries of La Entrada will shake their existence and alter the comforts of civilization.

This experimental graphic novel emulates television through black and white storyboard artwork. From the intense mind of Andrew D. Daily and brilliant digital illustrator Alex Vede, we are introduced to the beginning of a power clash not seen since the conquistador invasion of 1519.

The Review

This was such a fantastic and entertaining graphic novel. The author did a marvelous job of finding a way of translating an episode of television into graphic novel form. The rich culture and settings of this story felt vibrant and alive on the page, and the story flowed just as smoothly as an hour-long drama. The striking contrast of the sci-fi/paranormal elements of the overarching plot with the more twisted and nefarious plots of political corruption made the narrative come to life on the page. 

The heart of this story came down to character development. The interwoven stories of the people caught in this maelstrom of mystery and intrigue made the larger plot of suspenseful drama that much more emotionally investing. From a mother desperate to find her missing son to a professor shunned by his community for outlandish ideas and two political rivals sparring over who is to become the next Presidente of Mexico amidst this powerful and unexplainable event, each subplot revealed characters that could immediately carry this “show”. 

The Verdict

Memorable, heartfelt, and engaging as a story, author Andrew D. Daily’s “La Entrada: Season One-Episode One” is a must-read graphic novel. The television landscape of this story and the artwork’s amazing capture of this style of storytelling from artist Alex Vede is a brilliant combination, and the heart and passion for which these characters bring this narrative to life were fantastic to read. A story deserving of a television narrative, the shocking twists and turns in the story, as well as the shocking final pages of this growing mystery, made this one graphic novel readers are not going to want to miss. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Andrew is a television writer, producer, and production manager living in Los Angeles, CA.

Shark Tank on ABC was his first big break in TV as an art department production assistant. He was quickly spotted for his administrative skills and found mentors in production management, where he climbed the ranks. The unscripted shows he has worked on include Miss Universe, Paradise Hotel, The Voice, and The Grammy’s. He has also worked on several scripted shows, including Blunt Talk, Dr. Ken, and Insecure, as well as digital content when he co-launched The Rock’s YouTube channel as a line producer and writer.

For its three-night live presentation, Andrew co-wrote O Little Town of Bloomington, a Christmas musical that sold out the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, CA.

Before transitioning to full-time writing, he developed his craft by breaking down scripts minute-by-minute and writing over twenty pilots of his own. He created several Graphic Novels, including La Entrada, available through Amazon.

Follow him on Instagram: @dailyman

https://www.hawthorneent.com/

The Nice House on the Lake, Vol. 1 by  James Tynion IV, Álvaro Martínez Bueno (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Goodreads Author) (Colorist) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A sudden invitation to a good friend’s house turns into a nightmare in author James Tynion IV’s “The Nice House on the Lake, Vol.1”,  the latest horror series from DC Comics.

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The Synopsis

With Something Is Killing the Children and The Department of Truth, James Tynion IV has changed the face of horror in modern comics—now get ready for his most ambitious story yet, alongside his Detective Comics partner Álvaro Martínez Bueno!

Everyone who was invited to the house knows Walter—well, they know him a little, anyway. Some met him in childhood; some met him months ago. And Walter’s always been a little…off.

But after the hardest year of their lives, nobody was going to turn down Walter’s invitation to an astonishingly beautiful house in the woods, overlooking an enormous sylvan lake. It’s beautiful, it’s opulent, it’s private—so a week of putting up with Walter’s weird little schemes and nicknames in exchange for the vacation of a lifetime? Why not?

All of them were at that moment in their lives when they could feel themselves pulling away from their other friends; wouldn’t a chance to reconnect be…nice? In The Nice House on the Lake, the overriding anxieties of the 21st century get a terrifying new face—and it might just be the face of the person you once trusted most.

Collects The Nice House on the Lake #1-6. 

The Review

This was such a beautifully balanced and thought-provoking read. The author and artist found the perfect harmony with one another, capturing the tone and settings of both the main event and the narrative futures that each character’s arc opens the chapter with. The striking contrasts between the grim horror of the events happening outside of the Lake House and the mind-bending science fiction happening within the home and its surroundings will captivate and send chills down readers’ spines. 

The mystery and character growth really shine through here. The mystery surrounding Walter and his origins are what draws the cast of characters into the narrative, to begin with, eager to learn why their caring and powerful friend has drawn them together on the eve of such a cataclysmic event. The examination of who these people were on the outside of the Lake House and the growing fears they each face play into the greater theme of isolation and the anxiety many are facing in this new era in our own world.

The Verdict

A breathtaking, artistically striking, and truly entertaining read, author James Tynion IV’s “The Nice House on the Lake, Vol. 1” is a must-read narrative, and leaves us wanting more. The brilliant artwork and captivating story will keep readers on the edge of their seat, and make for a heart-pounding and thoughtful story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Prior to his first professional work, Tynion was a student of Scott Snyder’s at Sarah Lawrence College. A few years later, he worked as for Vertigo as Fables editor Shelly Bond’s intern. In late 2011, with DC deciding to give Batman (written by Snyder) a back up feature, Tynion was brought in by request of Snyder to script the back ups he had plotted. Tynion would later do the same with the Batman Annual #1, which was also co-plotted by Snyder. Beginning in September 2012, with DC’s 0 issue month for the New 52, Tynion will be writing Talon, with art by Guillem March. In early 2013 it was announced that he’d take over writing duties for Red Hood and the Outlaws in April.

Tynion is also currently one of the writers in a rotating team in the weekly Batman Eternal series.

https://jamestynioniv.substack.com/

https://tinyonion.squarespace.com/

Mister Miracle: The Great Escape by Varian Johnson  (Illustrated by Daniel Isles) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young man eager to escape the hellscape of Apokolips must contend with his loyalty to his friends, a promise to protect someone close to his mentor, and a growing bond with one of his school’s deadliest warriors in author Varian Johnson and illustrator Daniel Isles’s “Mister Miracle: The Great Escape”, the latest graphic novel from DC Comics.

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The Synopsis

Falling in love was never part of the escape plan.

Scott Free is a student at the Goodness Academy, on the planet Apokolips, ruled by Lord Darkseid. Sounds pretty cool, right? Wrong. Scott Free wants nothing more than to leave Apokolips for planet Earth; the only problem is that no one has ever left Apokolips of their own free will…or alive.

Scott Free has a plan, a foolproof plan, a plan that his found family depends on for their own freedom. But that plan never involved falling in love with the head of the Female Furies, Big Barda-the one person tasked with ensuring he never escapes.

From the Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of The Parker Inheritance, Varian Johnson, and afrofuturist artist Daniel Isles (DirtyRobot) comes the story of an escape plan that will take a miracle to pull off. Lucky for Scott, everyone calls him MISTER MIRACLE! Okay, fine, no one calls him that…yet.

The Review

This was such a powerful and fantastic read for both DC fans and YA fans alike. The exploration of one of DC Comics most hostile and chilling settings and the hierarchy that resides on the planet was such a refreshing change of pace, and focusing on a love story that is rarely shown in the grand scheme of things in the multiverse was amazing to watch unfold, especially in a YA setting. Apokolips proved to be the perfect fictional world to explore class systems and racism as a whole, showing that while those such as Prince Kalibak and Darkseid themselves look down upon everyone, even those that serve them have others to look down upon, and highlights the damage and hatred that kind of mindset can bring about in others.

The characters were the true heart of the narrative. Scott is the perfect YA hero here, giving readers a personal perspective of life in Granny Goodness’s orphanage, an iconic DC location in comics, and showing how he and Barda met and fell in love in a fresh and socially relevant way was amazing to read. The diversity and action balanced well with one another, and the deep-cut DC Comics characters and locations will have DC fans thrilled. 

The Verdict

A memorable, fresh, and entertaining YA and DC Comics graphic novel, author Varian Johnson and Daniel Isles’s “Mister Miracle: The Great Escape” is a must-read graphic novel and the perfect start to DC Comics’ 2022 schedule. The action, the muted tones in the art to highlight the despair that comes from a life on Apokolips, and fantastic character growth made this a brilliant read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Varian Johnson is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including The Parker Inheritance, which won both Coretta Scott King Author Honor and Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor awards; The Great Greene Heist, an ALA Notable Children’s book and Kirkus Reviews Best Book; and the graphic novel Twins, illustrated by Shannon Wright, an NPR Best Book.

Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is honored to now be a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.

https://varianjohnson.com/

BRZRKR, Volume 1 (BRZRKR #1-4) by Keanu Reeves (Writer), Matt Kindt (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Ron Garney (Illustrator), Bill Crabtree (Colorist), Clem Robins (Letterer), Rafael Grampá (Cover)

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An immortal man who has known nothing but war and death all of his existence seeks a means of making himself mortal, and goes on a journey to discover more of his past in author Matt Kindt and debut comic book writer and acclaimed actor Keanu Reeves’s “BRZRKR”, the first volume in the new action series from BOOM STUDIOS!

The Synopsis

Keanu Reeves makes his comic book writing debut alongside New York Times bestselling co-writer Matt Kindt and acclaimed artist Ron Garney in a brutally violent new series about one immortal warrior’s fight through the ages.

A WAR WITH NO END. The man known only as B. is half-mortal and half-God, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity. But after wandering the world for centuries, the Berzerker may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, B. will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

Keanu Reeves makes his comic book writing debut alongside New York Times bestselling co-writer Matt Kindt (FolklordsGrass Kings) and legendary artist Ron Garney (Captain AmericaThe Amazing Spider-Man) in a brutally violent new series about one immortal warrior’s fight through the ages.

Collects: BRZRKR #1-4. 

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The Review

What a truly entertaining and mesmerizing graphic novel. The tone that the authors captured here felt like taking the biggest deep-dives into Marvel and DC’s biggest and grittiest action thriller series and ramping it up to ten notches. The balance found between the intensity of the action sequences and the in-depth character growth was so perfect in this story, and while the artwork (which was so visceral and amazing to see) was definitely raw and intense, the violence spoke to the themes of power corrupting those who wield it and the damage it does to the people or “living weapons” that are wielded by those in power.

The characters were the true driving force behind this narrative. The protagonist, known at the beginning of this story simply as B, was such an engaging character to discover. If someone were to blend Marvel’s Wolverine with DC Comic’s Vandal Savage and inject a hint of magic and action-movie style, they would get B. The interesting character study allows readers to see the brutality that he is born into and that which he causes, and yet the trauma that comes with being used time and time again as nothing more than a weapon, speaking to whether morality and choice are something we are born with or something that must be fought for.

The Verdict

A truly immersive, hauntingly entertaining, and gripping graphic novel, author Matt Kindt and Keanu Reeves’s “BRZRKR” is a must-read story in 2021. The perfect read for those who are looking to find comics outside of the mainstream studios and find a true action experience that fuses mythology, history, and chilling looks into the nature of war as a whole, this narrative ends on an interesting cliffhanger that will continue to draw readers into this universe. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

Matt Kindt is a Harvey Award-winning and NYT Best-Selling writer and artist of comics and graphic novels. His work includes MIND MGMT, BRZRKR (with Keanu Reeves), Bang!, Eniac, Revolver, 3 Story, Super Spy, 2 Sisters, and Pistolwhip. He has been nominated for four Eisner Awards and three Harvey Awards (and won once). His work has been published in French, Spanish, Italian, and German. The author lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife and Dept H. collaborator, the colorist and artist Sharlene Kindt.

Matt has been making comics all his life and has been doing it full-time as a “real” job since 2003. Seriously…he has the best job ever.

You can follow Matt below where he stays active on all social media platforms.

Keanu Reeves: Actor, Director, Writer

Snowlands: A Blood Moon (Snowlands Book One) by Morr Meroz Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Three unlikely allies come together as missing animals and the dangers of the Snowlands bring the trio to the trail of a magical being who can help bring answers to the trials facing the animals of the wilderness in author Morr Meroz’s “Snowlands: A Blood Moon”, the first in the Snowlands series.

The Synopsis

A brand-new, full-color graphic novel series for animal fantasy fans that delivers a daring adventure and a mysterious threat that has animals–prey and predator alike–disappearing.

An orphaned white wolf cub exiled from her pack.
A lone snow leopard searching for her missing cub.
A bumbling young Pallas’s cat who can’t hold a tune.

In the midst of a brutal winter in the unforgiving Snowlands the mountain sheep begin to go missing. Without their primary food source, the wolf pack faces starvation and blame falls on Feba, an orphaned wolf cub whose white fur the elders see as a bad omen.

When pack leaders vote to banish Feba, and perhaps worse, she runs off into the icy wilderness just as the other wolf cubs go missing. Lost in the treacherous mountains, Feba stumbles upon Usha, a snow leopard searching for her missing cub. While Usha wants nothing more than to continue her journey alone, she grudgingly allows Feba and a skittish young wild cat, Batu, to follow her. 

With a snowy trail full of deadly obstacles ahead, the unlikely trio sets out to find the Seeress, a magical being Usha hopes can find her missing son. Each step takes Usha, Feba, and Batu deeper into danger where they encounter other creatures–some helpful, some deceitful–and uncover a widespread peril in the mountains, the fate of the missing cubs, and what having a family truly means.

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The Review

What a truly breathtaking and beautiful graphic novel! The author and artist both found such a great harmonic balance between the harsh, cold, yet stunning visuals of the snowy mountains and the vast array of creatures, and the emotional depth of the storytelling overall. The theme of family and what truly defines family is so deeply felt in the characters and their arcs in this narrative, and the exploration of what isolation can do to us all and how others are always nearby if we allow ourselves to open up to the possibilities of not being alone just shined through the narrative perfectly.

The characters were so well done in this story. The artwork and focus on animals as main characters made this feel like it would be a story geared more towards children only, but there are some very mature and heartbreaking storylines that will appeal to older readers as well. The bonds these characters make with one another and the twist on the main opposing force behind the disappearances and deaths on this mountainside will really draw readers into this narrative wholeheartedly. 

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, haunting, and entertaining winter read, author Morr Meroz’s “The Snowlands: A Blood Moon” is a must-read graphic novel of 2021. Such an incredibly moving and emotional story pairs so well with the cold yet strikingly beautiful artwork that brings this narrative to life, and readers will be eager to see what this author and creator come up with next. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder or grab your copy of this amazing read on December 7th, 2021!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Morr Meroz is the founder of Bloop Animation, one of the most popular animation training websites. He has written, directed, and animated three short films, including his thesis film at the School of Visual Arts, where he received a bachelor’s degree in computer arts. His screenplay for Snowlands has been produced as a graphic novel. He lives with his family in New York City.

https://www.facebook.com/thesnowlandscompany

Fly by Night by Tara O’Connor Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young girl must return to her old hometown after her twin sister goes missing, and while clues begin to point towards a supernatural entity being the culprit, a much more sinister threat looms in the shadows in author Tara O’Connor’s “Fly by Night”.

The Synopsis 

In this environmental-thriller graphic novel with a supernatural twist, Dee must find out what happened to her missing twin. An amazing mystery filled with strange creatures, high school drama, and family, this darkly illustrated book shows us that monsters are all around us.

There are monsters in the woods.

While out searching desperately for her missing sister, Dee discovers something isn’t quite right in the woods. She is soon in a battle to save the pinelands, and she is finding more questions than answers. 

As time goes on, the only thing Dee knows for sure is that there are monsters among us. But they aren’t who we should be afraid of…

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The Review

This was such a moving and entertaining read. Equal parts mythology and crime thriller, this graphic novel really did a great job of finding a natural balance between the supernatural elements of the story and the more emotional and heartbreaking realities of the disappearance of a loved one. As an avid fan and admirer of cryptozoology and cryptids overall, it was so interesting to see the author’s take on the Jersey Devil lore and to reshape it into showing the subtle nature of what “monsters” really are in this world.

The emotional character study that this graphic novel makes is so the core of the theme and narrative of this graphic novel. Dee’s struggles as she pursues answers to the disappearance of the twin sister she regrets not talking to more and delving into her struggles with her parent’s divorce, the environmental fight she takes on, and the grim reality of what happened to her sister overall, will immediately draw the reader in and what I think the author does so beautifully here is create a story that finds representation for so many different readers out there.

The Verdict

An original, engaging, and heartfelt read, author Tara O’Connor’s “Fly by Night” is a must-read graphic novel of 2021. The stark nature of the story’s narrative and the amazing artwork somehow drawing a fantastic contrast to the unknowable nature of the universe as a whole made this story shine brightly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Tara is a cartoonist currently residing in the New Jersey wilderness. When she’s not drawing comics, she’s teaching them. She drinks way too much tea and coffee, and on any given day there’s a 90% chance that every meal she had was cereal. 

http://www.taraocomics.com/