Review – Deadpool #9 (Marvel Comics)

Time To Handle Things The Deadpool Way in Deadpool #9

It isn’t every day that Deadpool can face an enemy that is a genuine threat. Not to him, at any rate. Yet that is precisely the sort of situation that he has found himself in, in Deadpool #9. Get ready for things to get crazy.

Deadpool has thrown his lot in with Elsa Bloodstone, all in the hope of helping to save the day. And just maybe get the girl. That is, right up until he learned that she had set him up. Now the real question is, how far is he willing to go, given what has just happened?

While he’s busy dealing with this mess, his loyal monsters are dealing with a new mystery of their own- one that appears to be a slow-growing but equally dangerous case. Only time will tell how bad things are going to get here.

Writing

Deadpool #9 dives right into the action. Which, given that we’re talking about Deadpool, is not that much of a surprise. He’s stuck in a brutal battle, one against a somewhat scary (and kind of gross) monster.

Kelly Thompson once again has nailed that balance between drama and humor. There’s a very real sense of concern for Deadpool, as well as all of those he’s protecting (especially sweet Jeff the Land Shark). There’s also that touch of classic Deadpool humor. And perhaps a tad of the gross nature that comes with constantly being cut up and dismembered.

While Deadpool and Elsa worked hard to steal the spotlight for this issue, the many secondary characters running around demanded attention. Some were cute; some were funny (and some were both – looking at you, Jeff). It’s another element that helped to ground the plot.

One of the things I love about Kelly Thompson’s writing is how she always seems to seamlessly weave the following plot well ahead of time. Granted, at the moment, Deadpool has no idea what is coming for him, but that is half the fun.

Art

As fun as the writing is for Deadpool #9, the artwork is even more impressive. Gerardo Sandoval (pencils), Victor Nava (inks), Chris Sotomayor (colors), and VC’s Joe Sabino (letters) all went above and beyond for this issue.

The monster is horrifying and larger than life. That’s not all that new in the world of Marvel. What is new is how the beast is portrayed. She doesn’t ever seem to fit in a single panel, and the texture on her skin (scales? Whatever) is borderline hypnotizing.

It’s also reasonably pointed, given that she’s not the only one showcasing those particular colors and designs. It’s a clever way of showing what is happening, even while also telling the readers its truth. Together, it works to increase the impact of it all.

Conclusion

Deadpool #9 is another frantic and fun issue about the merc with a mouth. This issue has a little bit of everything – action, drama, romance, Jeff, comedy, and more. It makes for a great and memorable lead. All while setting up for whatever adventure is going to be next.

There’s no doubt in my mind, this latest run of Deadpool is proving to be one of my favorites yet. Now to sit down and wait for the next installment.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Bone Parish #9 (Boom! Studios)

Bone Parish #9 Explores the Age-Old Adage: Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

Bone Parish is, without a doubt, one of the darker series available right now. But it’s also intricate and surprisingly subtle in the way it handles all of the secondary plots in the series. The Winters family business isn’t new, but it sure does have a unique spin on it. And that’s what keeps it interesting – and part of what makes the series so dark.

Bone Parish #9 was surprising for many reasons, but that just made for a better read. They’re progressing with the story, but the direction is not the obvious one, and I have to respect that. While this series came off as somewhat blunt and brutal (but in a good way), it’s becoming more and more clear that there is so much more going on beneath the surface.

Writing

Bone Parish #9 is quite possibly one of my favorite issues in the series so far. Okay, the top two or three is probably more accurate. The series has started to settle in, and that means we can finally start digging deeper into all the elements already introduced. From the family business to family dynamics, I want to read it all.

Cullen Bunn did a great job with this issue. He wrote the issue so that it bounced back and forth between two points in time. But the reason for the bouncing created a nearly seamless ebb and flow. It was really clever. And, of course, it further added to the intrigue of what was going on.

I absolutely love the twist that was revealed in this issue. It was one of those moments where you just sit there going, ‘wait, did they just say what I think they said?’ That alone is a great find, but then to be able to look back and have it make sense? I couldn’t ask for more.

The secondary plot in this issue helped keep things moving and also provided outlets for more of the graphic elements the series is becoming so well known for. I think it’ll end up becoming something larger in the long run – I do not see any room for wasted storytelling opportunities here.

Art

I’ve enjoyed the art style from Bone Parish since day 1, and with good reason. The series hasn’t been afraid to be graphic when needed – which is a requirement for this plot. It also has a great sense of style. The aesthetics of the style are so appealing and a perfect match for what we’re being told.

Bone Parish #9 had a lot to accomplish here. Jonas Scharf and Alex Guimaraes had to draw two points in time and have them be immediately clear which was which. There was never a point where they flat out informed us that it was a flashback. But it wasn’t needed either.

The grotesque images in this issue were exceptionally well done – they could have fit into any crime drama out there, even with the personal flair and thrown into the mix. The color palette is also worth commenting on – blending darker tones with brighter moments, both matching what was happening at the time. It’s a hard mix, but they managed it here.

Conclusion

Bone Parish #9 managed to up the ante in ways that I did not expect. They’re turning the plot inward, but it’s making everything significantly more complex. The result is a fascinating plot that has plenty of room for exploring – and I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to that moment.

This issue was one of the obligatory setting up issues. They still managed to make it an interesting read and even managed to fit in many of the elements we’ve expected. And it’s all surely going to lead to something bigger and more dramatic. Something I’m personally excited to see.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Deadpool #8 (Marvel Comics)

Deadpool #8: Love and War

The one and only Deadpool is looking to save the day and create a little mayhem in the process. That sounds pretty normal for him, all things considered. Yet Deadpool #8 is anything but the usual affair for this hero.

Or should we be calling him King Deadpool? He might have a fit if he’s titled incorrectly. After all, he worked hard (sort of) to get that title. More importantly, he’s worked pretty hard to maintain that title and to earn the respect of his people (monsters).

The irony, of course, is that he is currently away from his people and his island. All in the hopes of saving a small village and the woman he may or may not be completely falling for (hey, it wouldn’t be the first time).

Writing

There is no such thing as a slow start. Not in Deadpool #8, at any rate. This issue picks right up where the last one left off. That is to say, in the middle of the action, with Deadpool very much in need of doing his job.

Kelly Thompson has created a fascinating narrative here. It’s tempting to say that there’s an easy answer or solution, but that would be an injustice to the characters involved. Instead, Deadpool is forced to navigate a surprisingly complex situation. We all know how much he loves complications.

It’s quite fascinating and a little bit entertaining to see him do so. Despite those heavier tones, there is certainly plenty of humor to be found within this issue. That humor runs the gambit, from the classical humor known to his character to more nuanced moments.

All of which create a highly entertaining issue. The different themes and tones work well to balance the other out. All while setting the scene for the next issue, where we’re probably going to see even more fighting. It’s Deadpool; you’ve got to expect some fighting!

Art

The artwork inside Deadpool #8 may just be some of the best of the series. So far, at any rate. I am fully anticipating more fun surprises from this creative team, and who can blame me there? Gerardo Sandoval (art/inks), Victor Nava (inks), Chris Sotomayor (colors), VC’s Joe Sabino (letters) all have been working together on this project.

Their work is paying off. The action is detailed and graphic, but in a way that is well-suited to Deadpool. More than that, it does feel like there’s something at stake during this fight—both for personal reasons and thanks to the bigger picture.

There are at least a dozen new characters portrayed within this issue, and they are oddly cherubic, even when they possibly shouldn’t be. It’s a nice juxtaposition to the evil that is trying to destroy them all, that is for certain.

The colors are bold and bright, much like the leading character himself. All of which is made more noticeable by the darker color palette of the monsters they’re facing. Deadpool’s bright red outfit really does pop against the swarm of darkness. Talk about cover image material.

Conclusion

Deadpool #8 is a surprising issue, full of action, and so much more. It’s the more that is surprising, in this case. His character is being pushed to all-new levels in this plot arc, which is starting to show.

There are so many questions left to be answered about what has been done, which will make the wait for Deadpool #9 a bit painful. But it’s going to be worth it. I just know it.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Bone Parish Vol. 1 (Boom! Studios)

Bone Parish Vol. 1 Is Ready to Take Over Your Bookshelves

Bone Parish Vol. 1 is a thrilling new story about crime, horror, and drugs. But it’s more disturbing than you could ever imagine. It’s been described as a necromancer horror series, and there isn’t a more accurate description out there.

The series follows one family as they create and perfect a new drug to sell on the streets. Unfortunately, the key ingredient is unique and more than a little bit horrifying. Together they’ll have to face off against others than want a share in the business, all while dealing with some disturbing family issues.

Writing

Bone Parish comes from the mind of Cullen Bunn, and if I wasn’t so enthralled with the plot, I’d be asking some questions. The series is dark and horrifying, but it also has many other elements to keep the series going.

Strong themes are running through the undercurrent of this series; trying to keep the business within the family, dominance struggles, guilt, loss, grief, they all came along for the ride in Bone Parish.

I’ve seen series that tried to hit this balance between fascination and horror. But I’ve never seen one that hit it so dead-on before. The tones of this series make it worth reading. The plot itself is a strong one, with multiple subplots to carry things along.

I went into this volume not knowing what to expect, but I ended up being blown away by the intensity of it all. It was bone-chilling and subtle and not afraid to explore the darker themes of family loyalty and drug running.

Art

Bone Parish Vol. 1 is visually striking. Its darker color palette perfectly matches the darker tones of the series. The cover images and the introduction panels, in particular, are eye-catching. Jones Scharf was the illustrator for the series, while Alex Guimaraes provided the coloring.

Together these two manage to capture the story being told. Everything from the more obvious notes, such as the story’s tone, to the more subtle ones. Each character introduced has their own personal plot, and the artists managed to weave in some iconic symbolism whenever possible to really pull it all together.

There were a lot of clear influences in the artwork here. You can see elements of folklore strewn about, and it has a grounding effect on the series. It makes the world, and thus the characters and plot, feel more real.

The artists had to find a clever way of showing us different…side effects of the drug. Some of them were obvious, but others had to be more subtle. The plot needed to be able to surprise us at points, so that balance was vital. The solution they came up with was creative, and I think, quite effective.

Conclusion

Bone Parish Vol. 1 is a strong introduction to the series. It’ll leave you chilled to the bone and wishing for more. This may be a series that, on the outside, looks like it’ll only run for a short time, but I think it has the potential to become something more.

This series was unlike anything I had ever read before. It was uncommon and had perfectly balanced tones of horror to carry the series along. Knowing what was going on behind the scenes only added to the weight of the series. This is a series worth checking out and following.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Deadpool #7 (Marvel Comics)

How to Break Hearts in Deadpool #7

Deadpool #7 has one of the best (and most entertaining) comic covers in recent times. It embodies everything that makes Deadpool what it is. It raises a question on how literal the imagery portrayed is.

Deadpool has been through a lot of changes since this new series began. He became king of the monsters. More impressively, he’s held onto that title. He has a new shark friend (named Jeff the Land Shark), and there’s even potentially a new love interest in his life.

Not to mention the constants expected in Deadpool’s life. The chaos, the fighting, the banter. You know, the usual. That’s still there and in spades. He just has a bit more drama than usual, which is quite the feat.

Writing

Kelly Thompson has done it again. Deadpool #7 is both chaos-fueled and yet so full of surprises. Everything from the introduction to the conclusion is full of twists, surprises, and so much more (this is Deadpool we’re talking about).

This issue of Deadpool is entertaining for a variety of reasons. There’s that strong sense of foreshadowing; there’s also that classic Deadpool humor. Then there are the dozens of moments, and little details are strewn about.

Personally, the details make the issue for me. It adds new height to the series, laying the groundwork and slowly building together to create something else. Here, Thompson’s writing style really does shine through.

Deadpool #7 quickly bounces from one dominant emotion to the next. There’s action, there’s humor, there’s danger, and there’s suspense. And don’t forget about adorable; Jeff, the Land Shark, also makes an appearance (thank goodness).

In short, this issue had a little bit of everything, in just the right proportions. It made for a thrilling read. Though waiting a month to see what happens next might prove to be painful.

Art

I’m just going to say it; the artwork in Deadpool #7 is divine. Gerardo Sandoval (artist), Victor Nava (inks), Gerardo Sandoval (inks), Chris Sotomayor (colors), and VC’s Joe Sabino (letters) all did an amazing job with this issue.

The art style itself is an absolute highlight of this issue. It also seems to change, depending on the scene. Dreams, storytelling modes, and other elements seem to alter it significantly, which is actually perfect.

The colors are bright and dynamic and being a Deadpool series, that is saying something. There’s no fear of color on these pages. However, one can find creative use of contrast on more than one occasion.

Everything told, this is a memorable issue. I fell in love with the art style on these pages. I would do anything to see this creative team become the standard team for Deadpool because their work together is everything.

Conclusion

Deadpool #7 is an action and chaos-fueled addition to Deadpool’s series but in the best of ways. Along with plenty of battles and banter, there’s still room for drama and surprises. That final revelation at the end of this issue will leave readers eagerly waiting for Deadpool #8.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review: Crowded #12 (Image Comics)

Cultists, Loyalty, and Tension in Crowded #12

It’s safe to say that Vita and Charlie have been having a rough go of it. That is a fact that will not change for Crowded #12. After all, we’re talking about a woman who has an ever-increasing sum available to the person that kills her and the bodyguard hired to protect her.

This is a world where technology has hit new levels, and along with it has come several new types of social media and crowdfunding. For example, do you hate your neighbor? Start a Reapr campaign to take care of it.

Unfortunately, Charlie’s life isn’t that simple. She wasn’t (simply) a lousy neighbor, so the people who crowdfunded her death are much higher in number and have much deeper pockets. That leaves Vita constantly fighting to stay ahead and keep their charge alive.

Writing

Crowded #12 was such a unique and brilliant reading experience. Christopher Sebela delivered something new and exciting here, from start to finish. It was exactly what fans have been hoping for. No, it was even more than that.

The perspective shown in the first part of this issue was completely unexpected. Yet it worked, adding layers to the depth and tension of what is occurring. It also added a hefty layer of foreshadowing for later. Something that might not have been possible with any other storytelling style, at least, not without a massive break in the show versus tell department.

The growing tension between Charlie and Vita has been evident since the first issue. Yet Sebela has grown their relationship in unexpected yet organic ways. That being said, Crowded #12 has done so much both to and for their relationship, providing a sense of organic drama.

Honestly though? The best part about this issue is just how painfully human Vita read. This character has a lot of flaws, and yet they are arguably a better person than almost any other character we’ve seen. There’s an important lesson to take from that.

Art

If you’re looking for an issue with lots of creative artwork, then be sure to check out Crowded #12. Everything from cerebral scenes to clever color palettes is utilized to make this issue feel larger than life. And it shows.

Ro Stein and Ted Brandt were the lead artists, providing us the sometimes tense, sometimes comical foundation for this issue. The characters in this series have huge personalities, but that fact wouldn’t shine nearly so brightly if not for the artwork. It felt like their emotions were more apparent than ever in this issue, and I loved it.

Triona Farrell provided the colors, and they did a fantastic job. The color palette, in the beginning, made it immediately clear who’s perspective we saw from. It sold it in an instant and really brought the whole concept home. Likewise, the more tech-oriented scenes were clean and bright, which is perfect.

Finally, Cardinal Rae was the letterer for this issue, and they had so much to work with here. We’re talking about multiple monologues, viewpoints, and foreshadowing to fit in the pages. Yet, they did so with finesse.

Conclusion

Crowded #12 was a fantastic and highly entertaining reading experience. One that kept me on the edge of my seat while reading, and I sincerely hope that I’m not the only one. It was full of drama and tension, naturally. But it also went a long way in reminding us of the humanity and past of the characters we’ve come to love. And don’t forget all of that foreshadowing dropped at the end of the issue!

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Deadpool #6 (Marvel Comics)

How Deadpool Stirs The Pot in Deadpool #6

Have you ever wondered how characters like Deadpool are reacting to all of the changes in X-Men? Well, you need wonder no more. For Deadpool #6 is about to answer that question – and about a dozen more. In the most insane ways possible, of course.

This issue is also delightfully full of Jeff the Land Shark moments, so if you love him half as much as I do, you’re going to love everything that goes down in this issue. Even (or especially) the quirkier parts.

King Deadpool has had a lot on his hands lately, but apparently not enough to keep him distracted from Krakoa. And everything that is happening there—or not happening there, depending on how you want to look at it.

Writing

Kelly Thompson does know how to write an issue that has the perfect balance of drama and humor, doesn’t she? Deadpool #6 is a genuinely hilarious read, full of funny Deadpool moments, cute Jeff moments (of course), and some shockingly well-made points.

All of which combine to make for another exciting read from this quirky king. Admittedly, that does mean that there’s quite a lot going on in this issue. That isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean you should keep your eyes open.

I loved the half-dozen moments that Jeff was allowed to shine during. It felt like the most he’s gotten, possibly ever. Is this the start of a trend? Though there is plenty of plot to support those super cute moments, the implications can get a bit heavy. It suddenly explains all of those adorable moments.

Other than Jeff, this is an issue full of fourth-wall-breaking moments and a few great points made both by and to Deadpool, which sounds about right. This is Deadpool we’re talking about!

The ending is one of those full-stop cliffhangers. It’s going to be a long month waiting to see what’s happening there. Yet, at least we can’t deny the fact that it is going to hold our attention. So there’s that.

Art

You can tell that the artists behind Deadpool #6 had a little bit of fun here. It certainly reads like an enjoyable issue. Then again, that might just be my bias shining through—either way.

Kevin Libranda was the lead artist and is responsible for the dozen iconic scenes found within these pages. The characters are full of expression, not to mention the sheer number that appeared upon these pages (remember: X-Men).

Chris Sotomayor provided the coloring, and that is another highlight worth talking about. The colors are bold and bright, which is basically what you’d expect from Deadpool. Yet there are scenes that it stands out more in, such as that one panel that went with a bold silhouette.

Finally, VC’s Joe Sabino provided the lettering, and he unsurprisingly did a fantastic job here as well. As I mentioned above, a lot is going on in this issue. Yet not a single page feels cramped, not even the ones where Deadpool goes off on quite the tirade.

Conclusion

Deadpool #6 is a busy issue, but not in a bad way. There’s plenty of elements for various fans to enjoy, from the action to the drama, and so much more. It’s an issue that quickly bounces between intense and fun, showing off some impressive writing skills.

Thanks to that cliffhanger, I will be counting down the days until the next issue. Realistically though, I would have been looking forward to it anyway.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Crowded #11 (Image Comics)

The Girl Who Cried Wolf in Crowded #11

Protecting anybody in a world where Reapr campaigns exist is a job easier said than done—but protecting a woman who constantly lies and hides the truth of her actions? That’s a whole new set of trouble, as evidenced in Crowded #11.

Charlie is full of secrets – including, but not limited to, the reason why the campaign on her life has gotten such enormous funding. That makes Vita’s job a lot more complicated. One would think that if the goal was to stay alive, Charlie would be better about telling the truth. But you’d be wrong.

Crowded has been a thrilling and entertaining read from the start. This is a world in which social media and online accessibility are kings, and that comes with the good and the bad. There is plenty of evil in this series, as Vita and Charlie run for their lives. Well, Charlie’s life, at least.

Writing

Crowded #11 was a shockingly emotional read, as each of our two main characters desperately searches for grounding and understanding. Vita has plenty of reasons not to trust Charlie. Meanwhile, Charlie made the mistake of allowing herself to catch feelings. That’s a bit of a rat’s nest right there – and that’s before taking into account everything else going on.

Christopher Sebela has done a delightful job of writing such an entertaining and enthralling series. I really do mean it when I say that this has been a favorite of mine and a highlight each month it comes out.

This issue is no exception, as it provides an amusing read, all while increasing the anxiety and concern revolving around their situation. This issue also offered some new information, as well as a fascinating flip on the norm. It’s perfect and oddly karmic if slightly anxiety-inducing for those of us reading along. But that just makes it all the more worth reading.

There is so much wit and charm to be found in this issue, and okay, there’s more than a fair share of bickering as well. But once again, that’s all in the name of entertainment – and is basically a given for this odd couple. It sure will be interesting to see how they get out of this mess.

Art

Crowded #11 features a ton of dynamic and exciting artwork. A missile silo may not sound like the prettiest of settings, and realistically it isn’t. But it does allow for some creative portrayals of space and forces us to focus on the characters and all of their issues.

This is perhaps the most emotionally honest we’ve seen Charlie (which isn’t saying much) and the freest we’ve seen Vita (which is saying something), and that is a striking thing to behold. The artistic team did a brilliant job showcasing these changes, with their expressions being open to read and enjoy.

Ro Stein and Ted Brandt were the lead artists for this issue, working alongside Triona Farrell for colors and Cardinal Rae for lettering. Together you can tell that they had a bit of fun while also providing us with several dynamic scenes worth talking about.

Conclusion

Crowded #11 was a dynamic and charming read, one that pitted our two leading characters against one another, all while forcing them very far out of their element. The twists and turns in this series have been both highly engaging and unpredictable – and worth checking out. I personally can’t wait to see what happens next.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

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