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Comic Review: Conan The Avenger #8
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Conan The Avenger #8 review
Conan The Avenger #8
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Brian Ching
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Letters by Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Cover art by John Picacio
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 26, 2014
Cover Price: $3.50

Conan The Avenger #8 is the second part in “The Damned Horde” storyline that was started last issue. Conan and a VERY mixed up army set out to rescue the sister of one of their own, who’s being held prisoner by a weirdly SOUTHERN villain. I wasn’t aware that Cimmeria had a Mason-Dixon line.

Writer Fred Van Lente delivers another solid issue of Conan. There’s a lot going on this issue, and if you haven’t read part one of this story, I suggest you do so before picking up this issue. First, because it’s awesome; and second, just so you’re up to speed on Conan and his mission, allies, enemies, and victims. This… is the fun part of the story. Where all the action is, where the plan is set into motion. Also, we get to find out a little bit more about the “bad guy” behind all this, as well as the “damsel in distress” that was introduced last issue. There’s some great classic Conan characterization in this issue. Van Lente proves that Conan is many things besides a barbarian. In fact, he’s a LOT more: strategist, leader, motivator, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Comic Review: Magnus: Robot Fighter #8
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Magnus: Robot Fighter #8 review
Magnus: Robot Fighter #8
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Cory Smith & Felipe Cunha
Colors by Mauricio Wallace
Letters by Marshall Dillion
Covers by Gabriel Hardman and Cory Smith
Magnus Logo Design by Rian Hughes
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: November 19, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Magnus: Robot Fighter #8 is a pretty important issue. Now, I do have a confession to make: I haven’t been following the title for a few months, so I was skeptical as to the level of enjoyment that I would get out of this issue. Would I be able to jump right back into the title and not be lost? Would I still care? The answer to both those questions, is a great big YES!

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Comic Review: Conan The Avenger #2
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Conan The Avenger #2 review header

Conan the Avenger #2
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Brian Ching
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Letters by Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Cover art by Killian Plunkett
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 28, 2014
Cover Price: $3.50

WOW!!!! Comics don’t get much better than Conan the Avenger #2!!! It’s got EVERYTHING you could want or hope for in a Conan comic book.

I’ve enjoyed Fred Van Lente’s books in the past a great deal, but I had no idea he had such great ideas and stories for Conan in him. This is a Conan that we don’t get to see that often. Usually he’s fighting off other barbarians, pirates, or monsters, but here we get to see him tackle the spirit world. How can he kill something that’s all ready dead? The answer will surprise you! Beyond all this awesomeness, there’s a really great story, with just enough hopelessness for the character the reader believes that this might be the adventure he doesn’t walk away from, even though we know better. The villains are believable, and that’s what made me actually get nervous for Conan a couple of times. And, Van Lente throws in some pretty great “classic Conan” moments.

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Comic Review: Magnus Robot Fighter #2
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Magnus Robot Fighter #2 cover by Gabriel Hardman

Magnus Robot Fighter #2
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Corey Smith
Colors by Mauricio Wallace
Letters by Marshall Dillion
Covers by Gabriel Hardman, Jonathon Case, Emanuela Lupacchino, Stephen Sevogia, and Ken Haeser
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 9, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

In my opinion, Magnus Robot Fighter #2 wasn’t as awesome as the first issue, making it just plain awesome instead of SUPER awesome.

Writer Fred Van Lente uses this issue mostly for world building purposes. Previously, we met Will Magnus, got to know him a little bit, and then he was whisked away to a whole different world where his job was to fight robots. In this issue, we find out more about that world, how it works, what the rules are, and why Magnus is deemed a pretty big threat by this society. In keeping with the spirit of the first issue, Van Lente includes TONS of action and some great bits of story, all the while slipping in bits and pieces of how this world functions, what the class sects are, and some general basic knowledge of what this world is about. All of these things, woven into a really smooth flowing story.

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Comic Review: Conan The Avenger #1
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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Conan The Avenger #1 Top

Conan The Avenger #1
Based on the work of Robert E. Howard
Script by Fred Van Lente
Art by Brian Ching
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Letters by Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Cover by Iain McCaig
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 23, 2014
Cover Price: $3.50

By Crom! Now this is how a Conan story should read! Conan The Avenger #1 has everything you would expect from Robert E. Howard himself. Now granted, it is based upon a synopsis Howard wrote but never completed, but the vast majority of this is original…and awesome! It isn’t just that the writing seems appropriate, it’s that it’s paired perfectly with art that reminds me of the Conan comics from decades ago. Read on my friends for more information.

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Comic Review: Magnus Robot Fighter #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Magnus Robot Fighter #1cover by Gabriel HardmanMagnus Robot Fighter #1
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Cory Smith
Colors by Mauricio Wallace
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Covers by Gabriel Hardman, Joe Bennett, Scott Wegener, Tom Fowler, and Ken Haeser
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: March 12, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Magnus Robot Fighter #1 is one of those comics where you don’t really know what’s going on. At about the halfway point, you’re bashed in the head with a totally different book, and luckily, both are amazing!!

Fred Van Lente sets up an awesome world, establishes a fantastic atmosphere, and the introductions in the book flow nicely and are very natural. Then, he punches us in the face and throws us all for a HUGE loop. But, it’s all done in a good, solid, entertaining way. This is like reading a summer big budget science fiction movie, which is exactly what this book needs. I only casually followed this book in the past, and while I found it interesting, previous series never really “grabbed” me. But this issue and series is a WHOLE different ball game.

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Comic Review: Archer & Armstrong: Archer #0
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RevN4   |  
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Archer and Armstrong: Archer #0 cover by Clayton HenryArcher & Armstrong: Archer #0
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Pere Perez
Lettered by Tom B. Long
Covers by Clayton Henry, Joe Eisma, Andy Kuhn
Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: February 5, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

I love the Archer & Armstrong title from Valiant Universe. It’s a witty, funny, exciting, odd-couple adventure that explores the relationship of two diametrically opposed companions, who still somehow remain friends.

The origin story of Archer, though, as presented in Archer & Armstrong: Archer #0… I’m not so much a fan of.

I won’t go into any spoilers here in this review, but the origin of Archer de-mystifies him. While it pulls him closer into the heart of the Valiant Universe (aiding in upcoming crossovers), it simultaneously takes away some of the very unique aspects of the title. And while Archer & Armstrong has dipped into some dark places in the past, this issue is particularly dark and disturbing.

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Valiant Entertainment Comic Solicitations For April 2014
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Dave3   |  @   |  
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Valiant Entertainment: Solicitations for April 2014

Below you’ll find the solicitations information and cover artwork for all of the Valiant Entertainment comic titles hitting stores in April of 2014, including issues for Matt Kindt’s Unity, Greg Pak’s Eternal Warrior, and more.

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Comic Review: Brain Boy #0
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Brain Boy #0 cover Ariel OlivettiBrain Boy #0
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Freddie Williams II
Colored by Ego
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover by Ariel Olivetti
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: December 11, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

Open up your mind and allow writer Fred Van Lente to introduce you to an early adventure of the trained telepath, Matt Price in Brain Boy #0. With illustrations from Freddie Williams II, this prequel issue to the new series from Dark Horse is one wild adventure filled with betrayal, espionage, and a plethora of mind control tricks.

In one of his first missions ever, Matt Price, also known as Brain Boy, is subcontracted by the secret service to help protect the president and a special package called the “football” at a world leaders summit. Able to read the thoughts of others as well as telepathically and telekinetically force them to do things against their will, Brain Boy is tasked with determining every eventual outcome in regards to the summit in order to prevent something catastrophic from occurring; however, when lethal assassins force their way onto the premises and the other secret service agents begin committing suicide, Brain Boy quickly discovers that he is not the only telepath in the vicinity — nor the world.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: Conan and The People Of The Black Circle #1
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The Iceman   |  
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Dark Horse Comics: Conan and the People of the Black Circle #1 cover by Ariel OlivettiConan and the People of the Black Circle #1
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Ariel Olivetti
Letters by Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Cover by Ariel Olivetti
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Cover Price: $3.50

Based on a couple of panels of preview art I saw, I was set to love Conan and the People of the Black Circle #1. Painted! And Ariel Olivetti’s Conan looked like a real badass. I even pulled up my online pull list to put it in this week’s basket.

But then I got my advance reading copy and with each successive page, my initial enthusiasm waned. There’s something just…missing here. It felt flat overall, lacking dynamism and fluidity, with some pages containing only three or four illustrations per. There were some compositional elements that made it seem like the characters weren’t looking/reacting to each other. It also appeared that a profile illo of the evil sorcerer was repurposed three times, and not for dramatic effect.

...continue reading »
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