Tag Archives: Sean Murphy

Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: March 18th, 2015

outright-geekery Logo NewNew Comics Wednesday is upon us again, and some of us here at Outright Geekery are running down the top pick on our comic stacks for this week. What are you looking forward to reading this week? Continue reading Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: March 18th, 2015

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Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: July 30th, 2014

outright-geekery Logo NewNew Comics Wednesday is upon us again, and some of us here at Outright Geekery are running down the top pick on our comic stacks for this week. What are you looking forward to reading this week? Continue reading Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: July 30th, 2014

Review: The Wake Issue #6 of 10

The Wake 6

THE WAKE #6
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by SEAN MURPHY
Cover by ANDREW ROBINSON
On sale FEBRUARY 26 • 32 pg, FC, 6 of 10, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
“My name is Leeward, and this is where my story begins…”
Our story jumps two hundred years into a flooded future where nothing is the same. The second half of THE WAKE starts here!

The first half of Scott Snyder’s The Wake was an amazing and quite different take on the horror genre. Instead of an overuse of gore and violence, Snyder used great characters, a truly eerie setting, and an army of mermen to push his tale of underwater horror forward. Not that there wasn’t a great deal of gore and violence in the first half of The Wake, but, unlike most other comic books in the horror genre, it wasn’t the driving force of the story. It was a much needed breath of fresh air for the genre, but, and Snyder promised this change, the second half of The Wake is NOT the first half of The Wake, and it was more than a bit off-putting, but didn’t really harm the entertainment value that much.

The Good

This issue begins 200 years (Yeah! Two full centuries!) after the end of issue 5. I can deal with time jumps in comic books just fine (even ones as big as this) but more than the date has changed in this title since issue #5. The Wake has always had a sci-fi feel to go along with the horror, but the horror is all but done away with in this chapter, leaving a post-apocalyptic story in its…well, in its wake. But this is not a bad thing! Snyder seamlessly bridges these two time periods in a brilliant fashion, giving readers the inside story on what the hell is actually going on, as they follow the new main character as she explores the mystery we already have the in on. The first half of The Wake becomes almost an introduction to the story being told in the second half, and it works wonderfully on so many levels. The new characters introduced in this ish are very interesting, but the whole world, now changed by the events of the first 5 issues, is depicted in a way that is immediately understood by the reader. After a 200 year time jump I figured there be a bit of confusion, but Snyder paints a very clear and very intriguing landscape, and by the end of the issue he draws on almost everything he did in the first 5 issues, yet again, setting up the final 4 issues of The Wake splendidly. What can I say about Sean Murphy’s art? The guy just gets it. His work on pencils and inks, coupled with Matt Hollingsworth on colors, is simply spectacular, and you can tell he just understands what Snyder wants everything to fell like visually. It’s truly a dream-team of creators on this title, and we’ll surely see more from this trio in the future.

The Bad

I really liked the first half of The Wake. I liked it so much, in fact, that after hearing about this radical change to the title I was more than bit scared that it just wouldn’t be the same book. And, I was right; this isn’t the same comic that it was. Worse yet, the second half is neither better nor worse than the first half at this early stage. The most redeeming part of this issue is the way everything has changed, meaning that pretty much everything fun in this book is derived from the first half of the run, which was ultimately changed to give us THIS issue. It all seems a bit counter-productive to the overall plot, and the time jump comes off as nothing more than cheap device. Or, maybe I just really loved the first half of this book, and I detest change. Either way, there was some effort required to change gears, and it was noticeable. It’s almost like reading two different comic books that revolve around the same event, and, while that definitely shows Snyder’s range, it takes some getting used to. While I tried hard to find something wrong with the artwork, I just couldn’t do it. It’s damn near perfect! I did, however, have a problem with some of the lettering in this comic, and I could barely read half of the inserts due to color matching problems. All in all, though, this was a damned good comic.

The Verdict

While there was certainly an initial shock that came along with the huge changes from issue #5 to this issue #6 of The Wake, it wasn’t enough of a change to ruin the book at all. In fact, the changes build on the events of the first half in a way that, while perhaps a bit awkward, provide a pace and method to the story-telling that I’m not sure I have seen in another comic book EVER! The book may have gone from sci-fi/horror to post-apocalyptic in one single swoop, but the transition, although a bit bumpy, did a great job of keeping the reader’s interest and being just plain old entertaining. And isn’t that what a comic should be? Snyder is telling two stories in The Wake, and issue #6 acts as an effective bridge between those two stories, and does that bridging with great story-telling and amazing art along the way.

Story: 4.5 out of 5
Art: 4.5 our of 5
Overall: 4.5 out of 5

Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: February 26th, 2014

outright-geekery profile-largeNew Comics Wednesday is upon us again, and some of us here at Outright Geekery are running down our top pick on comic stacks for this week.

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Jules: Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand #5 of 5

I’m really looking forward to the final issue of Cataclysm. It has been a really enjoyable little event over in the Ultimate Universe, and I can’t wait to see where they take the Ultimate Universe from here! What’s left of the Ultimate X-Men are now fighting the good fight. Most of Ultimate S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone. What’s left has to put an end to this. This is it. I’ve really enjoyed the way Bendis and Fiakolov handled the whole thing and I want the end. Plus, I’m a huge fan of Mark Bagely’s art, he’s pretty much Marvel Royalty. Just how do the Ultimates stop 616 Galactus for good?!

Cataclysm

CATACLYSM: THE ULTIMATES’ LAST STAND #5 (of 5)
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • MARK BAGLEY (A/C)
Variant Cover by Jorge Coehlo
THE BIGGEST ULTIMATE EVENT YET! MARVEL’S GALACTUS VS. THE ULTIMATES
• The stunning conclusion of the biggest Ultimate event ever!!!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

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Gaumer:  The Wake # 6 of 10

It seems like forever since this last came out, but the first half of The Wake was so very good that the second half is well worth the wait. A 200 hundred year time jump means plenty of surprises should be in store, and I cannot wait! Flooded wastelands? Apocalypse by Ocean? Mermaid monster cities? Whatever it is, it’ll be the top book on my stack come Wednesday afternoon.

The Wake 6

THE WAKE #6
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by SEAN MURPHY
Cover by ANDREW ROBINSON
On sale FEBRUARY 26 • 32 pg, FC, 6 of 10, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
“My name is Leeward, and this is where my story begins…”
Our story jumps two hundred years into a flooded future where nothing is the same. The second half of THE WAKE starts here!

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Taylor: Fantastic Four #1

This week brings us the relaunch of Fantastic Four, one of Marvel’s cornerstone franchises, with James Robinson and Leonard Kirk at the helm. It’s good for Marvel when their first family is in a strong book, and the FF have always been at their best when they’ve embraced a grand scope and high-flying adventure. I’m looking forward to seeing the tone of this relaunch, and hoping that it can be the start of something good.

Fantastic Four #1

FANTASTIC FOUR #1
JAMES ROBINSON (W) • LEONARD KIRK (A/C)
Variant Cover by Jerome Opeña
75th anniversary VARIANT by ALEX ROSS
75th anniversary sketch VARIANT by ALEX ROSS
Young Variant by Skottie Young
ANIMAL VARIANT By KATIE COOK
Blank Variant also available
“THE FALL OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR” PART 1
The world’s greatest comics magazine begins anew with Marvel’s First Family, the Fantastic Four! But as the brilliant MR. FANTASTIC, the compassionate INVISIBLE WOMAN, the ever lovin’ THING & the hot-headed HUMAN TORCH embark on a strange mission, they aren’t met with new beginnings, but an untimely end! As the family of cosmic explorers head towards their darkest hour, who could possibly be behind their downfall? And how is one of their oldest enemies, the sadistic dragon known as Fing-Fang-Foom involved? Prepare for the fantastic!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

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Crimson Chris: Batman/Superman #8

This title has been surprisingly awesome. Greg Pak has certainly delivered DC’s two giants of night and day in the way we actually want them to be, instead of how we expect it to be. This time around Power Girl and Huntress, the New 52’s Worlds Finest meets the O.G.’s! Let’s remember, Power Girl and Huntress are stuck here from Earth 2 so just how will they react when they come face to face with a long since dead Cousin and Father?! In only it’s eighth issue this is the title you need to catch up on! Do not miss this one!

Batman.Superman #8

BATMAN/SUPERMAN #8
Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
1:25 Steampunk variant cover by TOMMY LEE EDWARDS
On sale FEBRUARY 5 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information.
The Worlds’ Finest teams of two worlds meet at last in chapter 1 of “First Contact”! With Power Girl’s abilities on the fritz, see what happens when her long-lost cousin Superman approaches her! And a major threat returns in a way you won’t believe! Continues in this month’s WORLDS’ FINEST #8.
This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

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J. Jonah Jesse: Dead Class #2

Solid first issue no matter how many ways you cut it. It was fun, it was different from what’s being done right now. I’m really looking forward to what happens in the this issue. I love the art. Being a huge Rick Remender fan and everything he’s doing over at Marvel this indie title really looks like it’s gonna be one worth picking up. I mean, come on! Assassin Prep school? That’s just an awesome little concept as long as long as it gets handled the right way.

DeadlyGridFinal

DEADLY CLASS #2
story RICK REMENDER
art / cover WESLEY CRAIG & LEE LOUGHRIDGE
FEBRUARY 5 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50
It’s Marcus’s first day at the Kings Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts. A locker full of death threats, a schedule full of brutality, and whispers in the hallway about his mysterious past…which is fast catching up to cut out his freshly broken heart.

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Those are our picks, what’s on the top of your stack in comic shops this Wednesday?

Comix City Too!This post brought to you by Comix City Too! in Madison Tennessee, Outright Geekery’s local comic shop of choice. Check out everything coming out this week in stores here, and be sure to get out to your local comic shop.

Review: The Wake, Issue 4 of 10

THE WAKE #4The Wake Cover
Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Sean Murphy
Cover by: Sean Murphy
Page Count: 32
U.S. Price: 2.99
Release Date: Sep 25, 2013

I’m not a huge fan of horror comics. Most tend to be overly violent and full of gore simply for the sake of being overly violent and full of gore, something I find neither terrifying or a sign of good writing. Some just forget to add any sort of meaningful sense of suspense. Others put the focus on the characters, twisting the horror concept in a way that, while creative and lending to good storytelling, takes away from the overall scariness and suspense of the impending horror. While I admit many of those comics are necessarily character driven because of the long runs of these comics, Vertigo Comics’ The Wake has found a hearty balance of these negative aspects of the horror genre quite early in its relatively short run.

The Story

The Wake involves a government organization discovering a single creature living in the depths of the ocean. After gathering a team of scientists in a deep-water drilling platform to examine different aspects of the creature, the beast breaks loose from his cage and quickly goes on the warpath, sending the human characters scurrying for protection. The beast continues to hunt its captors until it ultimately escapes back to the ocean. Soon, however, the creature returns, but he is not alone. Hundreds of monster mermen begin attacking the underwater rig, adding even more problems for our group of scientists.

The Good

Writer Scott Snyder is telling a really fun horror story without putting too much stress on any one thing. Yes, there’s violence and plenty of gore, but there is nothing overtly excessive about the violence. Yes, there is a certain focus on the characters, and they are all intriguing in their own way, but the book is in no way driven by the characters. This wonderful balance affords The Wake to be a plot-driven story focused on suspense, making it reminiscent of sci-fi horror classics like Aliens, which is quite refreshing to see in a comic book. The careThe Wake Interior Snyder has taken to find and preserve this balance can be seen in the detail of his writing and the overall thrilling pace of the story. Likewise, Sean Murphy’s pencil work and Matt Hollingsworth’s touch on colors helps to sell the changing tone of the evolving moments of suspense, as well as continually cementing the pace as it shifts from one exciting scene to the next. The artists seamlessly and brilliantly take the reader from moments of thrilling escape, to moments of cautious security, to moments of calm reflection, and back again while remaining consistent throughout, while murky hues and shadowy blacks truly put the reader in the dark, crushing depths of an undersea horror story.

The Bad

Many elements of The Wake seem quite derived. The aforementioned Aliens movies, as well as flicks like The Abyss, have proved that the formula works, but The Wake seems almost too close to that formula to make it feel like something genuinely new. While this recipe may not be seen in comic books as much, there is still something very reminiscent about the story. Additionally, the character-building elements used early on in the run just don’t seem very impactful in this issue besides further developing the main character’s desire to escape her current situation, which I found quite meaningless and somewhat forced. There’s also a side-story being told that deals with ancient apocalyptic events akin with the sinking of Atlantis, but there is, as of yet, no apparent link between the two stories besides them both having to do with the ocean. Although it is only four issues into a ten issue run, the lack of insight on this component of the overall story takes away from an otherwise solid tale.

The Verdict

If you are a fan of the mainstream offering of horror/suspense comics this may not be a book for you. The Wake is certainly not the typical violent, gore-filled blood fest found in the pages of most horror comics. The focus on the story instead of stereotypical concepts sets The Wake apart from the majority of horror comics full of flesh-eating zombies and homicidal, knife-wielding maniacs. Different, however, does no always mean great, and The Wake is not without problems. While it still has six full issues to correct these flaws, I’m not convinced it will be able to hold onto its focus on story, and not adopt more of the stereotypical horror elements of other titles. I have strong faith in Scott Snyder and his impeccable track record, however, and I suggest you give The Wake a try. At worst, you’ll have a well-written, amazingly drawn and colored horror story sitting along-side similar fare. At best, you may just be getting a special twist on the horror genre rarely seen in the pages of comic books.