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Artifacts #1
by Laird B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2021 18:04:50

SPOILER ALERT! Reborn is the issue straight after Artifacts#13, so do not read any review because it gives away the ending and gives away the new beginning. Once I finish all 13 issues, I will return to give a proper review. My rating is low because I am not impressed with the art design. The standard for beautiful, rugged and handsome characters, are the norm for most of Top Cow comics, especially in the Witchblade Universe, so I do not like the ugly realism presented in this issue. Angelus is an example. Maybe the art resembles a 2D image belonging on a game piece that urks me? Though bad guy is creepy and cool. If the whole comic was inked black, the rating would be higher than two stars. I do know the 13 Artifact issues will be divided by different writers and artists, so this artist will receive higher ratings if the script is good. And in Reborn, it was ok for what tidbit of information the comic wanted to reveal to the reader, so the rating got one point higher than a 1 star. Reborn’s short dialogue is enough to wet my appetite to read the new beginning. But probably not. I am a believer on fantasy reality with boundaries. So I hate regurgitated storylines, with same never-ending characters. Until I finish the Artifacts series, I do not believe I will continue with this Universe, as all good things must come to an end. Shit, I still printed more than I wanted to print.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Artifacts #1
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Artifacts #0
by Laird B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2021 16:38:17

Artifacts#0 has been given a 5 star by me, because it is an origin story tying everything together we know, or need to know, about this comics story about 13 Artifacts. Most Witchblade fans will be familiar with the artifacts described (the Angelus artifact is clear cut, where Angelus#0 missed this mark of detail). But no matter, this new series is stand alone, no need to cross reference with other comics, as Artifacts gives a crash course for the new reader to the Witchblade Universe. Artifacts begins the comic with an interesting scenario: a floating trapped hot-bod, femme fatale, whose name we learn is Aphrodite a cyborg killing machine, is the last of her kind – at the moment. The story path gives us everything we need to know about the origin stories for all the artifacts attached to a primary keeper, all the while waiting for Aphrodite's captor to reveal the cyborgs fate with her role with the 13 Artifacts. With most #0 beginning intro origin starting comics, the spending budget is normally not fully invested, but with Artifacts#0, I would defend the artistry with comparing the quality on par with Top Cow premium comic series, such as Witchblade, Fathom, or Grimm Fairy Tales. The penciler may have used a marker to define outlines and borders, and the colourer may have dropped solids with no shades, but the appeal to me is the idea a person has smudged features from being submerged in liquid when viewed from outside a viewing tank, such as the globe trapping Aphrodite, and a wet look is given when person is viewed when one emerges from some type of liquid, which happens when the cyborg is dumped out of the globe trap. This origin beginning, is a great starter for Artifacts#0, it has everything to interest you to invest in the 13 comics to follow. The Magdalena teaser showcase: Who is the caped woman the church elder is giving a history lesson too, could it be Magdalena herself? The revealed assassin is a twist to misdirect the reader into believing Christ’s daughter, Magdalena, must be stopped from destroying one of the 13 Artifacts, the Spear of Destiny! Another great intro into a character involved with one of the 13 Artifacts.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Artifacts #0
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Angelus #1
by Laird B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2021 13:55:31

I liked the messy art style because it feels busy and detailed, and the haziness lends a far away visual, like this story is in a dream. This style gives the impression the artist was on a budget because the Cerberus slaying was hard to see any detail with the guardians’ death and the same with Dani chopping off the Chimera humanoid head but you don’t actually see her chop the head off. So a shortage with story panels is noticeable and to some the art could look scribbled. I did not know this comic was an expansion from the Witchblade comics, so for readers not having any clue about Witchblade, will not understand what's going on. I am familiar with Witchblade, so I understand Dani was once, more powerful, and now she is not – but still kicks butt because she now is a host for the Angelus? I think. This is the core of this comics problem; it is for Witchblade fans. I haven't read the Witchblade comics in years, and most recently have read none, so I have no clue who Dani is in the Witchblade Universe, except the Angelus comic explains Finch and Dani have both been a vessel for the Angelus, not the Witchblade. If I do not know what a Witchblade is, how will I know what an Angelus is? I get one shot story arcs from a primary comic line, like Bat Man, with separate stories for Robin, Cat Woman, even the bad guys have eventually spawned off on their own, such as Joker and Harlequinn. In the Angelus story, I am not sure I would continue following Dani because I am not a fan of Witchblade and I do not know enough to care about this character to continue reading more comics from Angelus. I am curious how the story will end with Dani and the angel bad guys, or are they demons or devils? But the lack of knowing the origin story fails to interest me because I know I would need to purchase possible out of print Witchblade comics, or Google online for background information. So Angelus fails to capture my interest because the comic is written more for fans without too much information. I picked up this comic as a Free Comic Day download I believe, mainly for the flashy hot angelic figure on the cover. And now knowing the hot character is on the fence with becoming a lesbian, Dani has lost her lustre for me; for others, they will dive in wanting to read what fence Dani chooses. Angelus has potential with all the super hero action combat Top Cow's Witchblade is known to produce, and has potential to provide sexy characters sitting on whatever fence they sit on.

NOTE: Artifact#0 explains Angelus better on one page.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Angelus #1
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Tales Of Honor: On Basilisk Station Volume 1
by Damien H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2021 20:19:39

The writer, Matt Hawkins, has a solid record for writing strong female protagonist, but, Harrington might be the most relatable. It’s nice to see a strong female lead deal with confidence (or lack thereof) in her appearance and work. She is a believable woman with real doubts and flaws, but by her actions and narration gives the reader a strong and empowering character to bond with. Tales of Honor is a beautiful comic book. The art by Jun-Geun Yoon, San-II Jeong, and Linda Sejic add so much depth and wonder that you often forget that this is a military-sci-fi-thriller but more of a space opera fantasy. Each page is filled with extreme visual details, creative ships, and mindblowing action.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales Of Honor: On Basilisk Station Volume 1
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Tales of Honor #1
by Damien H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2021 20:13:33

Free issues, starting at #0 or #1 are an excellent way to get a taste of the story, characters and the style of the comic book's authors.

Tales of Honor completely knocked the ball out of the park for me. I purchased the Tales Of Honor: On Basilisk Station Volume 1 after reading this comic.

An awesome little comic, with a well crafted storyline and a nice art style.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Honor #1
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Sunstone Volume 1
by Katriel P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2019 15:47:16

At its heart, this comic is a story about adults and relationships and finding people who care about you - and whom you care about in return. Yes, there's bondage and there's fetishwear and frank sex, but it's presented as a blend of titillation and consent - the characters are not objectified unless they want to be, in-story. They have hobbies like reading. They have desires but they also have complicated relationships and pasts. Sometimes the sex intersects with those things (such as it's clear Ally has a history with Alan from the first volume on, and it is at times awkward and the panels do a great job in accenting emotions and facial expressions, little motions we all tend to do, so it doesn't end up as "telling us" they're friends, we see it in the text and in the mannerisms depicted). Sometimes the sex doesn't. And I think, at its heart, whether a reader is into BDSM or not - there's something any adult can find relatable in this series.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sunstone Volume 1
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Death Vigil Volume 1
by Mark J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/18/2018 07:41:50

I fell in love with this, then suffered from a broken heart when I saw that there were only eight issues. The artwork is supurb, but what really made this series work was the premise, the characterization, the twists, and the humor. Top Cow, Stjepan Sejic, if you make more, I will buy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Vigil Volume 1
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Death Vigil Volume 1
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2017 04:59:02

Hidden gem! I love the art, the characters are really intriguing, and the story gathers quite steam after a few pages. Too bad no more issues will come (at least as far as I know) :( ...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Aphrodite IX #0
by Stanlei K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/17/2017 22:24:49

Very interesting start for the adventures of a lovely character. More adult content wil be wellcome.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Aphrodite IX #0
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Aphrodite IX #0
by Doug J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2016 16:25:48

Obvoously intended as a hook to lure people to buy a new series, this starter story has no substance just an example of what to expect from future artwork.

You can't sell a story without starting to tell a story and there is none of that here.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #4
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2016 14:20:20

I enjoyed the book, and like the graphic novel. Trying to read them all, but seem to be more than one version of the same story...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #4
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Tracker Volume 1 Trade
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/04/2016 20:15:22

I had a couple of sneak peeks at this volume of Tracker as the issues were being released, and I have to say it’s really nice to see it all together in one volume. The Issue 0 preview and Issue 4 just whet my appetite for what looked like a great werewolf story. As it turns out, the story is exactly what those bits and pieces promised. Alex O’Rourke is one of the best trackers in the FBI — he’s so good that his instincts are the only thing helping the FBI track down Herod, a serial killer whose vicious attacks look more animal than human. Alex gets into the middle of an attack, following a hunch that Herod will be there, and miraculously survives, recovering on the autopsy table. His girlfriend, Tory, is grateful that he survived — especially after having been called in to identify his body — but she still refuses to marry him until he gives up working in the field. Alex’s partner, Jezzie, however, is glad to see Alex back at work, well before he’s supposed to be. While most of the story is about Alex vs. Herod, the push and pull set up at the beginning of the story between Tory and Jezzie has a huge impact on Alex: does he choose the woman he loves? Or does he choose the job — and, thus, the woman who understands him. As we know from the back cover of the graphic novel, Herod is a werewolf — and, due to surviving the attack, now Alex is, too. Our werewolf expert is the ambiguous Dr. Cyril Tucker, who works for the mysterious Handel Foundation. Dr. Tucker is willing to help Alex — but he also appears to be working behind the scenes with Herod. Tucker tells Alex that the only way for Alex to be cured of lycanthropy is by obtaining some of Herod’s living blood. Alex effectively tells Tucker to shove it… but as he comes to realize that Tucker isn’t making things up, and he starts to rely more and more on his new lupine sense, Alex turns to Tucker for help. This, of course, makes the end of the story — where it’s clear that the Handel Foundation is up to all sorts of no good — a great lead in to further stories in the world. Without spoiling Alex’s struggle against both his inner beast and against Herod, I will say that the serial killer horror level amps up as the story goes on — and because Herod needs something from Alex, he targets Alex for his own personal terror. Alex has to decide how far he’ll go, and what he’ll sacrifice, to defeat Herod once and for all. There’s plenty of violence, and lots of blood in the art work, as well as detached limbs and a severed head for good measure. The artwork uses an almost sepia cast to the colors, giving it a gritty feel that works for the brutal nature of the story’s violence. Overall, Tracker works as an origin story. Alex is an appealing hero with the true potential to become an anti-hero at any point when the scales tip in favor of his inner beast. The werewolves here aren’t very wolf-like: the beast draws on strong emotions to change them into a monster, not a forest dweller who’d rather avoid humans than battle them. With a lot of kinder, gentler werewolves in urban fantasy these days, it’s nice to see a hard-core monster style werewolf; even if several of the werewolves featured in the volume aren’t monsters in the human side, they all have the potential to become so if they lose control. That story is an old one — but it hasn’t lost its appeal, and it works particularly well when the hero of the story is a law enforcer, who has to choose whether or not to throw the rules out the window. Definitely check this one out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tracker Volume 1 Trade
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Velocity #1
by Ray M. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2015 12:50:11

Engaging heroine, looks great as a regular comic found on newsstands, but quite tame for an adult title.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Velocity #1
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Sunstone Volume 1
by Kevin H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2015 13:31:12

The characters really sell this story, their flaws and the verisimilitude of their inner thoughts elevate this graphic novel from erotic titillation to the likes of Heavy Metal magazine's best stories. I cannot recommend it enough and look forward to further volumes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sunstone Volume 1
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Postal #3
by John G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/11/2015 11:59:37

Postal #3 is a solid chapter that is better if you have read the first two issues. Even so, the book flows well and will suck you in, regardless.

Eden is the sheltered community of Postal. It is a town that is created by the bad guys, for the bad guys wishing to escape their former lives and associated troubles. People mind their business. Transactions are in cash. And the FBI has its watchful eye on the place.

In the midst of it all is the mayor, who comes across kind but rules with a loaded shotgun. The only law is discretion. The only town goal is to stay off the radar of the outside world. The mayor's son is the town Postmaster, and he is the focus of this series. He falls somewhere on the autistic spectrum, but it is clear that he is routinely underestimated and disregarded. It's clear that this perception will allow some big changes to take place as his life experience expands.

The writing is smart, and the dialogue stays true to sharply developed characters. There are interesting people here, and it's clear from how they act that they all have different stories. And writer Matt Hawkins continues to make us question reality, religion, and where morals are properly placed.

The artwork is made better by some excellent coloring by Betsy Gonia, who does a solid job of relaying the mood while keeping the linework clean. You can read the book without words and know what the feel of the scene is supposed to be.

The book is worth grabbing, either to complete the mini-series run or as part of the complete trade paperback when released.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Postal #3
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