DEADPOOL #7 hits your local comic book store on May 31st, but thanks to Marvel Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has an exclusive four-page preview for you!
About the issue: TO KILL THE KILLER OR BE KILLED!
What does a trained killer do when trained killers try to kill them? Naturally, they try to kill those trained killers first. That’s right – the hunter becomes the hunted and then becomes the hunter again because, duh, he’s Deadpool, killing is his answer to most problems.
The issue is by writer Alyssa Wong and artist Luigi Zagaria, with colors by Matt Milla, and letters by Joe Sabino. The main cover is by Martín Cóccolo and Neeraj Menon, and the book’s design is by Tom Muller.
Check out the DEADPOOL #7 preview below:
Are you reading the current DEADPOOL run? Sound off in the comments below!
GREEN ARROW #2 hits your local comic book store this week from DC Comics. The creative team is firing on all cylinders, and I’m so excited to see where this series is going. The combination of Joshua Williamson’s uses narration to place the reader in the story and Sean Izaakse’s aggressive panel design creates a heart-pounding series, and the third issue can’t get here soon enough. GREEN ARROW is the type of book that reminds me why I love comic books. Check out my review below.
FYI – the first issue is a great entry point for new readers. The extensive cast and grand concepts are introduced in a way that guides newbies without belittling passionate fans. GREEN ARROW #2 is written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Sean Izaakse, Romulo Fajardo Jr. drops the colors, and you will read Troy Peteri’s letter work.
About the issue: FAR FROM HOME
Green Arrow is alive…but where the hell is he?! That’s what Roy Harper and Black Canary want to know, and their search takes them into the bowels of Belle Reve. But they’d better hurry—the stranded Oliver Queen and another lost member of the Green Arrow family are both being hunted by a brand-new villain called…Troublemaker.
The premise is simple: read one comic every day for the entire year. It seems like a simple task but there is no way that I read 365 comics last year, even if you count the individual issues in collections. So, this year, I am committing myself to this reading challenge, in the hope that I can broaden my reading habits and fully engage with my favorite hobby again.
I’m behind on my writing. Not my reading, I’ve easily read 7 comics this week but I have stumbled in my writing. There are two reasons for this (outside of the usual ‘busy with life’ reasons) and they both relate to comics that have garnered strong reactions from readers.
My plan this week, and for the next couple of weeks, was to pick a year and read some of my comics that were published in that year. For no particular reason (that matters) I picked 1987 for this week and started the week off with some Spider-Man comics, you can see my takes below, and then moved onto issue 9 of Watchmen.
Issue 9 is The Darkness of Mere Being and sees Doctor Manhatten travel to Mars to have a chat with Laurie. Some secrets are revealed, pieces of the puzzle start to fall into palace, and the doomsday clock hands move one step closer to midnight.
The problem is, what do you say about Watchmen? Everyone knows that it is one of the most influential American comic books ever published. Even if you are not a fan of the comic itself, you can’t deny that it had a major impact on comic storytelling and the publishing industry. When it was released it changed the way that a lot of people looked at comics and the stories that you could tell, especially in the superhero genre. Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins used the tropes of superhero comics, and North American comics in general, to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Each issue was something special and you can see the influence even on today’s creators. However, through the packaging as a graphic novel, the comic also changed the way that publishers sold their comics and contracted their creators. There is plenty written about the ongoing quarrel between Moore and DC comics, or to be fair, the whole comic industry. There are numerous podcasts and journal articles about the different aspects of Watchmen and it’s everlasting influence.
So, what more can you say? And is it fair to write two to three hundred words about one issue and unintentionally marginalize such an important comic? Maybe, later in the year, I can look at the series as a whole and in more depth, but this week trying to write about it clogged me up and pushed me away from my keyboard.
As a bit of light relief I thought I’d read The Amazing Spider-Man #25 because I have seen a lot of chatter about it and that it is an important issue in the series. Full disclosure: I haven’t really read any new Spider-Man comics in over a decade. I pretty much used the One More Day story line to get out, as I had already dropped most Marvel comics after the Civil War event. With that in mind, it might explain my reaction to #25. I thought it was.. Okay. The story was fine, well written, but not really original material where alternate dimensions are concerned. The fact I grew up with Doctor Who, Star Trek and, more pertinent to this comparison, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, means that I’ve seen all of this before. I guess that the shock elements come from the direct relation to Peter Parker and Mary Jane but (again, emphasizing that I’ve not read the title in years) since when were Peter and MJ a thing again? I thought the comic and the readers had moved on from this? So, there is clearly something going on that none Spider-Man fans are not a party to.
Which is fine, but the difference between the two comics, The Amazing Spider-Man #25 and Watchmen #9 is that the former will be pretty much forgotten, even by Spider-Man fans, in a few years whereas the latter is still a much discussed part of comics history and popular culture.
Trying to write about these two comics has been difficult as I didn’t feel as though I could find anything worthwhile or new to say about either of them. Hopefully, next week I can get my teeth into the comics a bit more. Although, I’m already regretting selecting an issue of the Sandman..
Comic Number 134: The Amazing Spider-Man: Giant Sized Annual #21
I couldn’t read comics from 1987 and not read some Spider-Man, and obviously the biggest story of the year is Peter and MJ’s wedding. Jim Shooter and David Michelinie play the will-they-won’t-they game throughout most of the issue. The readers gets to read Peter’s inner thoughts as he swings through New York, meeting his friends, and allowing doubt to creep in. Nothing major can happen in his life without him revisiting the worst parts of his past. It is something that we can all relate to.
On top of that, MJ’s journey to the wedding day is fueled by parties and another man trying to woo her away. Her lifestyle is contrasted against Peters, and it looks as though the two are incompatible, However, Shooter and Michelinie concentrate on the two characters, their relationship with each other, and their connections through friends and family. The comic is quite lite on super-heroics despite the cover promising a large hero versus villain stand off.
This is an enthralling read and is exactly why I love this period in Spider-Man history; it’s all about the soap opera.
Comic Number 135: Web of Spider-Man #25
“Beware the Stalker from Beyond the Stars”, because he brings a rather underwhelming story.
This issue sees Peter Parker in his black costume run around the city after an alien who is searching for a super powerful weapon. It has some adventure and the ludicrousness of the plot can almost be forgiven for the tongue in cheek script and commitment by artist Vince Colletta.
This comic feels like it is introducing something more spectacular, as if the brief foray into Spider-Man’s life is the precursor to a much larger story line. But, as far as I am aware, nothing ever came of the alien characters and their intergalactic struggle. Perhaps they turned up in some Guardians of the Galaxy comics or something, who knows?
(according to a quick internet search, they were never seen again. Opportunity wasted? In this case, I think not)
Comic Number 136: The Amazing Spider-Man #289
The cover of this special double-sized issue promises the shocking unmasking of The Hobgoblin! Inside, it starts with the fallout from Ned Leeds’ death and the Kingpin faces down one of his foes, while there is an assassin out roaming and Flash Thompson has reached rock bottom. How can it not be exciting?
I don’t know but somehow, Peter David (Writer), Alan Kupperburg, and Tom Morgan (artists) make it an extremely humdrum affair. Compelling scenes, deftly drawn, lead to nothing or the excitement is killed in an instant by overwritten inner dialogue. The worst part of this comic is Spider-Man’s inner voice and his constant reminder to the audience that he is Peter Parker or Spider-Man and he’s not having a good day. The plot is convoluted and reads as if it had been planned by several people who never met each other or even had a conversation. There are moments of brilliance in the artwork but the black hole that is the Hobgoblins face does the opposite of what it is meant to: he is not a terrifying figure to be feared in this comic, he’s a cartoonish Halloween costume.
It might seem that I am being a bit harsh but the reason is that this issue of Amazing Spider-Man is such a disappointment. It promises so much and, being a big fan of the Hobgoblin, I really want to be excited by this. But I can’t. It took me three sittings to read it. Three!
I know from reading about the character that there have always been problems with the Hobgoblin. Different writers and editors have had their own thoughts about who he is and what he stands for. Often Editorials have dictated the course of the story and new writers re-imagined previous incarnations and story lines in a series of mini-retcons. Issue 289 reads like a writer trying to rearrange known facts about characters to prove something new and surprising. It doesn’t work in these pages and hampers what should have been a great comic.
Comic Number 137: Watchmen #9
See the introduction above.
Comic Number 138: The Amazing Spider-Man #25 (legacy 919)
Again, see above.
Comic Number 139: The ‘Nam #13
This comic is a wonderful companion piece to the first issue that I read last week. A mere 13 issues in and Ed Marks is ready to go back to the world. He counts down his days as he welcomes new recruits to his platoon and spends his final few days out in the jungle or holed up at the military camp.
This issue contains deliberate comparisons to the first issue and writer Doug Murray does a wonderful job of showing the reader how much Ed has grown over the last year. Scenes in this issue mirror scenes from the first issue but here Ed has become the relaxed soldier, unperturbed by the violence around him. He has become accustomed to his life as a soldier and the war in Vietnam. There are some scenes that are a little bit questionable, such as a drunken Ed being coerced into visiting a Vietnamese prostitute and having no recollection of it the following morning, but this helps to emphasize the main theme in this comic: acclimatization.
The ‘Nam continued for 71 issues after this one but in some ways this is a good place to finish the series. It has told the story of one young man’s experience of war and the effect it has upon him. There is a satisfactory ending in this issue, one that makes a call back to the opening panels of issue one. It has a sense of closure. The fact it continued is great, but for me, I can read the first 13 issues and experience a full story.
Comic Number 140: Ewoks #1
This is another Marvel UK publication, reprinting American comics in a magazine format. Written by David Manak and drawn by Warren Kremer and Jon D’Agostino, this is a child friendly adventure of the month style comic. The artwork and layouts are simple and direct working perfectly for the audience it is aimed at. It’s like the younger sister of the Star Wars comic, or the My Little Pony of George Lucas’ world.
And, when it was released, I loved it.
Reading them today takes me back. They play on my sense of nostalgia and remind me of how I experienced the Star Wars movies when they were released: as a child. I didn’t grow into the massive Star Wars fan but there is still a small part of my childhood that will be eternally linked to the franchise, and it is because of the Ewoks and Droids comics.
This week did not go to plan, reading wise. Although I did manage to read 6 out of 7 comics from 1987. One thing that has become clear is that reading comics is an emotional pastime. It is easy to get wrapped up in the nostalgia of comics and slip into a mindset of older means better. But the truth is, just like music and movies, in fact any media, the majority of the comics produced won’t be remembered passed the generations that grew up on them. And only a select few will reach the heady heights of becoming considered a work of Art. The best thing to do is read what you enjoy reading, keep what you will enjoy reading again, and don’t presume to tell anyone else what they should read and enjoy.
IN HELL WE FIGHT! #1 hits your local comic shop on June 7 from Image Comics; this is a fun, insane series that put a smile on my face, which is extremely weird since all the main characters are in Hell. Check out the video below for my full review.
The book is written by John Layman with art by JOK and an assist on colors from MEY.
About the series: Life in Hell ain’t easy. Demons try to torture you for all eternity. Monsters want to eat you. There’s a stunning lack of reliable indoor plumbing. And it’s almost impossible to get ice cream. At least, until today, when three condemned teens and their annoying tagalong demon frenemy embark on a daring scheme to hijack a demon lord’s delivery truck. What happens next will take them on an epic journey across the underworld, an infernal excursion of non-stop excitement, danger, and adventure.
This is a video I’ve wanted to make for a long time, but I’m still emotionally scarred from the NBC Special, The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults hosted by Geraldo Rivera. As we approach the 40th anniversary of that insane event, I probably should get over my fears and go bargain-hunting for comics at Ollie’s. What’s the worst that could happen?
If you want to see this series continue, make sure to comment, and I will find more grab bags of goodness.
Ever since Mike Mignola began ushering in other artists to take on his signature creation, Hellboy comics have never stuck to a single artistic look. Each artist brought to work on Mignola’s shared universe of comics has been given a great deal of freedom in interpreting his characters. Though the artists that get chosen for Hellboy have certainly changed. Mignola once used his influence to work with cartoonists he grew up admiring, like Richard Corben or John Severin. Over time, he’s shifted to highlighting rising young stars. Like Rachele Aragno. Or in this case, Jesse Lonergan. An artist who’s been getting a fair amount of buzz through recent works like Hedra or Planet Paradise. Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea#1 by writer Mike Mignola, artist Jesse Lonergan, and letterer Clem Robins, acts as a great showcase for Lonergan’s unique talents.
About Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1:
Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1 opens in 1883, with the titular Miss Truesdale in conversation with the Queen of the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra. The Brotherhood is a long-active secret Victorian occultist society, with deeply held beliefs in all sorts of supernatural phenomena. One of their strongest beliefs is in reincarnation. This belief is how a woman rose to the highest position of the Brotherhood, the members believing her to be the reincarnation of their founder. Miss Truesdale is not so lucky. For being a shy, unassuming young woman, the men of the Brotherhood have been treating her poorly. But the Queen confides in her that the two of them met in a previous life, in the mythical ancient city of Hyperborea. Though not in the city’s glory days. They met during its long decline, under the shadow of a violent gladiator tournament. And it turns out Miss Truesdale’s past life might not be as shy as her current self.
There’s a lot of ground to cover in setting up both two different time periods and reincarnated lives, but Mignola keeps a healthy ebb and flow throughout the issue. An exposition-heavy first few pages makes way for several of silent action. Then, after explaining the circumstances of the past, the characters of the present react in relative silence. For all the lore that the issue has to juggle, the thoughts and feelings of the characters are expressed with the simple directness of a fable. But the depths and details of each feeling are trusted to the reader, shown through subtle expressions or blank, black panels.
That reliance on expressions and pages of silent action means a lot falls on Lonergan’s shoulders. Thankfully, he’s more than up to the task. One of Lonergan’s most celebrated works, Hedra, mixed a simple style and limited color palette with dense, experimental layouts. Miss Truesdale still showcases some unusual page layouts — mainly in the action scenes — but its more straightforward storytelling and the bigger panels put more focus on expressions and body language. Much like with the writing’s “less is more” approach, Lonergan draws a great deal of expression out of simple linework. Truesdale’s face is often reduced down to dots for eyes, a curved line for a nose, and arched lips. And while the backgrounds will often drop out to put more focus on the characters, the ones we do get help establish a great sense of place. The Queen’s room in Paris and Truesdale’s place in London both feel of the time period, but Lonergan shows the differences between both effectively. The Queen’s room of reclining couches, plush furniture and wide windows is a far cry from Truesdale’s cramped space of bookshelves, desks, and knick-knacks.
The coloring helps fill the wide open spaces throughout the comic with its speckled texture. The typical flat coloring style of the Mingolaverse is abandoned for spaces where different shades of the same color are applied in blocky splotches. It gives character and interest to the art, especially when it leans on single, overpowering colors to aid the storytelling — like the near-uniform brown of Truesdale’s mundane apartment in contrast to the bright reds and yellows of the past.
Letterer Clem Robins is the main visual holdover from other Mignolaverse comics, keeping his rounded, clear block lettering. The text wavers with emotion during the gladiator tournament and shrinks during quiet moments to leave wide expanses of white in the word balloons. Clarity is the name of the game here, but with subtle shifts to highlight emotion.
Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #1 keeps true to Mignola’s long running love of classic pulp and the Victorian occult, but filtered through the vision of an incredibly promising up-and-comer. People who’ve kept up with the Mignolaverse will find more of what they like here, but will hopefully be inspired to check out more of Lonergan’s work, too. And if you like Lonergan but don’t know your Heliopic Brotherhood from your Oannes Society, just know that despite all the lore, the core of the story lies in simple, straightforward emotion. It’s out today from Dark Horse, so make sure to check it out.
EXTREME VENOMVERSE #2 hits your local comic book store on May 24th, but thanks to Marvel Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has an exclusive five-page preview for you!
About the issue: More VENOMOUS symbiotes enter the fray! The summer of symbiotes continues to weave its tendrils through the Marvel multiverse as even more never-before-seen Venoms bear their fangs for the very first time!
VENOM scribe Al Ewing and artist Vincenzo Carrat? (MARY JANE & BLACK CAT) unite to tell a purrfect tale about your favorite cat burglar and a certain heist she may have pulled on Marvel’s First Family!
Revisit MARVEL: 1602, with Clay McLeod Chapman and Paul Davidson, as they introduce the creepiest Venom EVER!
David Pepose and Ken Lashley introduce you to what we’re calling the L.M.V.: LIFE-MODEL VENOM! Cyborg Spider-Man, eat your heart out!
The issue features three stories: the first is by Al Ewing, Vincenzo Carratù, and Federico Blee; the second is by David Pepose, Ken Lashley, and Ceci de la Cruz; the third is by Clay McLeod Chapman, Paul Davidson, and Alex Guimarães. All three stories are lettered by Joe Sabino, and the main cover is by Leinil Francis Yu and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Check out the EXTREME VENOMVERSE #2 preview below:
Are you picking up EXTREME VENOMVERSE? Sound off in the comments!
You’d be hard pressed to find a show that did more for the comic book world than X-MenThe Animated Series. This show brought a whole new group of readers into comic shops as they clamored to read about their favorite mutants. Marvel has capitalized on this before as a battle world during Johnathan Hickman’s Secret Wars, as well as a spin off series following the event. This new series focuses on the recent House of X story line that Hickman also wrote. Seeing these events play out in the style of the animated series should please fans of the show and fans of House of X.
One of the biggest challenges that Steve Foxe has to face while writing this series is capturing the feel of the original animated show and blending it with the recent House of X story. Foxe starts us off right in the middle of the big battle between mutants and the sentinels. This is a condensed series, so it’s acceptable, but it does lose some of the ground work and nuance that Hickman did in House of X. Foxe does a great job of giving us the characters that we know and love. Cyclops takes charge, Wolverine is an impulsive wild card and Rogue is sassy. Foxe succeeds in making this series just different enough so we don’t know what is going to happen. There are new characters, like Psylocke. The Five are also different and Foxe uses characters who were present in the animated show. Foxe changes the story enough to give us some surprises and some different elements from the Hickman series.
The pencils by Salva Espin are crucial to this book. He had the task of making this series look like the animated show. Espin succeeds in giving us look that is similar to the cartoon, but still feels modernized. Espin also inserts a little homage to the Dark Phoenix Saga as Scott and Jean have a panel where they are fighting off Sentinels. Espin excels at keeping the look and feel of the show while also updating the design a little. The mutants are wearing new battle outfits that have green on their limbs. Little touches like this show Espin putting a little creative design and style on this series.
The colors by Israel Silva needed to match the color scheme from the animated show perfectly to be effective. Silva accomplishes this task with ease. The colors are slightly modernized and not quite as vibrant, but they do feel familiar. Gorgeous reds and blues dominate the backgrounds as the mutants battle for their lives. Silva makes sure that when a mutant unleashes their power it demands your attention. An optic blast or a kinetic charge light up the page. Silva succeeds in capturing the glory of the cartoon while also changing enough to please modern readers.
Joe Sabino is on letters this issue and he does a phenomenal job. He’s most effective on his constant sound effects. When an explosion happens, there is a large “THOOOM” that is layered on the bottom of the page. Storm blasting several sentinels gives us a transparent “KRAKABOOM” that looks and feels like lightning. I would have liked to see a “ZAP” or two when Cyclops unleashed an optic blast, but Sabino lays so many sound effects down, missing a few isn’t a big gripe.
X-Men ’92 House of XCII is a worthy addition to the X-Men ’92 cannon. Steve Foxe has managed to blend two worlds together to satisfy fans of both stories. The art matches up very well to the show. This series is off to a blazing hot start and is in great hands. X-Men’92 Hous of XCII is available at a comic shop near you!
If we were going to rattle off Spider-Man’s biggest rival, surely the Green Goblin’s name would come up. Spider’s have always had problems with goblins. Hobgoblin, Demogoblin, Red Goblin, Green Goblin. It seems like every few years a new goblin comes along to wreak havoc on Spider-Man’s life. Amazing Spider-Man #90 gives us a battle between the Goblin Queen and Peter Parker. If you’ve been waiting for Peter to step back into the spider suit, today is your lucky day. Patrick Gleason is the writer of this issue. He’s joined by Mark Bagley on pencils, Bryan Valenza, Dijjo Lima and Andrew Crossley on colors and Joe Caramagna on letters.
Amazing Spider-Man has had several writers filling in on the title since Nick Spencer left. For this story arc, Patrick Gleason takes on the writing duties. Gleason is lucky enough to be writing both Peter and Ben in action sequences this week. At this point Peter is no longer in a hospital bed and has donned his costume again to take on Queen Goblin. Gleason uses this issue to show us how heroic Peter actually is. Even though he’s not ready for battle and still injured, he risks his life to save Black cat and fight Queen Goblin. While this is going on, Gleason builds on the mistrust between Ben and Beyond. After sending Queen Goblin after Janine, Ben has finally had enough of Beyond’s antics. Gleason has Ben turn off his locator and officially hide from Beyond. This is a big step for Ben. He’s been going back and forth on whether he should end his relationship with Beyond due to them being shady. Gleason gives us an issue of Spider-Man where characters overcome their inadequacies and doubts. Whether it’s standing up to an evil corporation or digging deep to help your friends, this issue works because Gleason lets heroes be heroic.
The pencils this issue are handled by Mark Bagley. Having Mark Bagley on this book is a trip down memory lane. His pencils on Ultimate Spider-Man are legendary. One of the things Bagley does so well this issue are his scenic backgrounds. As Ben swings Janine past a bridge early on in the issue, Bagley draws the huge bridge in the background perfectly. We see a burning building in between the wires on the bridge and smoke in the air. Action sequences are easy on the eyes as the panel structure is easy to navigate. Bagley still has a distinct style that resonates with Spider fans. issues like this one continue to show he’s one of the best.
There are a few colorists on this issue, but the majority is handled by Bryan Valenza. The colors for this issue have great contrast in the first few pages. Valenza has to have many dark colors due to the night sky and the smoke from the fire. Valenza allows Ben’s red on his spider suit to pop out as a vibrant color on a dark image. Around the middle of the book, the colorist changes. The colors get lighter and the colors Peter’s spider suit looks a little harder. There almost seems to be a texture to the colors as he swings Queen Goblin with a web. Although different colorists are used for this issue, the change in style isn’t so different that it takes you out of the issue.
The letters by Joe Caramagna contribute in many ways, but none more important than seeing the classic “Thwip” as Spidey shoots his web. As Queen Goblin uses her Goblin’s Gaze, Caramagna enlarges the world bubble to emphasize the importance of her power. These are all nice touches put on an issue by a true professional.
Amazing Spider-Man #90 is an issue that has some good character moments while also moving the plot forward. Gleason is putting our heroes in a position to finally give Beyond what they deserve. Any fan of this series has been waiting for this moment, and Gleason is delivering. Amazing Spider-Man #90 is out at a comic shop near you.
In the world of Spider-Man, the goblins are one of the biggest pains in the ass. Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Red Goblin; it just never seems to end. What’s different about this particular iteration of the Red Goblin is that it’s Norman Osborn’s grandson Normie. He’s attempting to do the right thing, but the dilemma lies in the fact that the symbiote is more violent than a 12 year old boy. Alex Paknadel handles the writing for this issue. He’s responsible for giving us all the internal drama going on within little Normie. Joining him on this adventure are Jan Bazaldua on pencils, David Curiel on colors and Joe Caramagna on letters.
This is a surprising issue in terms of depth for a super hero comic book. There are pages early in the book dealing with flashbacks to when Normie was younger. Paknadel shows us Norman and Normie riding the subway together. This is an interesting scene because the Osborn’s have an endless supply of money and never nee to be on the subway in New York. Norman, an eviler man at the time, uses this to show Normie what the enemy looks like. It’s a clear cut case of classism and elitism. This is used in the story as Normie fights for his life in the sewers to rescue his Pop-Pop. Paknadel also does a great job of reminding the reader that Normie is still just a child. He makes mistakes and constantly tries to be optimistic, even when he’s getting pummeled. Paknadel also hammers home the relationship between Norman and Normie. Even though Norman has done terrible things to his grandson, Normie still loves him and would do anything for him. This issue is littered with undertones and deeper problems that people face in society. Kudos to Alex Paknadel for turning in an amazing book.
The pencils for this issue needed to be slick with a tone of creepiness. Jan Bazaldua pulls this off wonderfully. In the early pages of the book, while Normie and Norman ride the subway, Norman essentially tells Normie that they are better than the poor people in society. As this conversation happens, Bazaldua draws a creepy Green Goblin behind Norman. The image is eerie and is used to remind us who Norman used to be. The design for Phil Urich is also scary in it’s own right. I understand this is a book about goblins, but something about his look is unnerving. Bazaldua draws a worn down mask with sharp teeth. Bazaldua’s style works well for the spooky side of the book, but it also shows off his talent for drawing large battle scenes. As the Red Goblin fights to save his Pop-Pop, Bazaldua draws him getting pummeled by a barrage of thugs. The pencils are clean and crisp and we don’t lose detail with such a large group in the panel.
The colors by David Curiel are important for this issue. He has to keep the tone for the pencils that Bazaldua puts down. Curiel is successful in doing this. Panels with close ups of Phil Urich are dark and have a lot of shading, especially around his face. When Normie has a vision with his symbiote, Curiel has the entire page with a reddish hue. This is effective to show readers that this is a dream like sequence, but it also works because the red is the color of his symbiote. One of the things Curiel does the best this issue is that he makes this entire issue seem dark. Even in pages where Normie’s mother is talking to the principal, the mood and atmosphere are dark and rainy. These little touches made by the writer and artists help set the tone for everything to leap off the page and get the reader in the mood of the book.
The letters by Joe Caramagna play a large part in the story. Caramagna has to use different word balloons, red serrated balloons, when Normie is talking as the Red Goblin. This works well and allows the reader to see that the goblin has a different tone and voice when he’s suited up. The sound effects flow in this issue. Caramagna “SWIKK” as pumpkin bombs fly at enemies. There is a nice transparent “BOOOMMMM” as a bomb explodes forcing the villains to run. Perhaps my favorite effect is when Normie’s mother talks to the principal at Normie’s school. She scratches her nails into the wood of the desk she sits at. Caramagna puts a little “KRRRrkk” right above her nails. This shows that she isn’t messing around and the whole family is dangerous.
Red Goblin #3 is another exciting issue in a series that has exceeded expectations. Alex Paknadel touches on real life issues from class discrepancy to young kids growing up too fast. This series has more depth than other books on the shelf. Red Goblin #3 is available at a comic shop near you!