The Remnant #3 Review

The Remnant #3Writer Caleb Monroe continues his tightening of this supernatural espionage tale. The Remnant so far has managed to successfully weave in elements of different genres without any one empowering the other. Jason Bourne casts his shadow over this series, with retired CIA gent David Sacker attempting to forge a new life with his wife Sara while not being allowed to by his employers, and a new menace on the horizon.

Dropping hints about Sara’s involvement in the explosion in the first issue Monroe continues that in this penultimate issue. David is still keen to get back in the field to discover the meaning of the mysterious men around him (one of whom – John Drouin somehow saved his life), especially after disarming a bomb in his kitchen last issue. David and Sara’s disagreements reach new heights here, as David doesn’t seem to care about the danger around him, or his friend Andy, while Sara discovers a possible reason to secure the safety of their future together. As David rushes in to meet Andy, he’s met only by the ever silent Drouin and the elderly man from seen lurking in the background in the disasters of previous issues. A brief struggle ensues, showing John’s indestructibility, which looks to be questioned only moments later.

This is not a jumping on point for new readers. There’s no recap of the previous issues, but don’t let that stop you from picking up the Trade when it hits. It’s a good series, and shows BOOM!’s diversity in the market. Julian Totino Tedesco’s art is gracious, with fluidity and weight to his figures. Expressions are real and he has the best page design currently on the shelves. I’m glad BOOM! is diversifying their roster of artists, and moving away from the sketchy style they seemed to be stuck with for a while there.

It’s difficult to say much more about this title without dropping the surprises, but it’s worth paying attention to. With a great combo of spiritual themes in an action film wrapper The Remnant is a brisk mover and is paced as a one read format, rather than the typical stop and start monthly approach. Wait for the Trade and you’ll read it from cover to cover in one sitting. It’s that engrossing.

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Hexed #3 Review

Hexed #3At this point I may as well start copying and pasting my praise from my previous reviews. The penultimate issue of this mini-series retains what has made fans and critics take notice in the first place, namely tight plotting and varied visuals.

Hexed is all about Luci, a young female thief/magician who is forced to retrieve a powerful object called the carasinth for her former boss, the nasty Dietrich. Luci was successful in stealing the item last issue, in a rather gruesome, yet creative fashion and now she must face the consequences of bringing it into our reality. In this issue Luci’s current boss and mother figure, Val faces intruders in her art gallery but shows she’s far from helpless, Luci meets her ‘mother’, attempts to outrun a heap of cop cars and summons a critter from the toilet, all the while trying to stop Dietrich’s mad plans with the carasinth.

Simply put, this is a great series. Each issue has been better than the last and it’s so powerfully risen above its simple ‘sassy, yet vulnerable female magic user’ premise. Michael Alan Nelson’s skill is mostly in his great plotting. As a reader, such a thing can be easily overlooked, but in this age of decompression, where sub-plots can be stretched thin over months or years, its refreshing to see this stripped back adventure remind us how simple a comic story can be. Notice I said simple, and not basic. Hexed is an engaging series for a new reader to this glorious medium, but also jaded fanboys. You won’t find yourself struggling to remember what happened last month or trying to figure out what it all means. Characters are easily recognizable, Luci is believable and the situations are not grandiose enough so as to venture into soap opera.

With Emma Rios supplying unique art with a wild, but not distracting colour palette and organic page designs, this series is evidence of a great partnership at work. The dark humour, blood letting and action are all present and welcome, and the whole issue meshes perfectly together, with nothing appearing rushed or out of place. I look forward to the series ending next month, but hopefully it’s merely a continuation. I’m hungry for more Hexed. 

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Fabian Nicieza Interview

I interviewed Mr. Nicieza at Broken Frontier, which was great. I’ve followed his career since his  X-Men days in the mid 1990s and until his more recent titles at DC, finishing off Nightwing and Robin just before the new Batman changes everything. Nicieza has a new Azrael mini-series launching next week, focusing on a new man under the hood. Here’s a tease…

F: What similarities will this series have with the Jean-Paul Valley incarnation, and how will it differ?

FN: Similarities include: clandestine organizations looking to use an experienced soldier as their “weapon of God.” A main character who is conflicted by the lives he can save and the sins he must commit while doing so. A cool flaming sword. Differences include: a very different lead character in terms of personality, family and history. A tone that is less world-spanning and an Order of Purity that is less messianic and inscrutable and a little more “normal people thrown into an abnormal responsibility.”

Read the full interview here.

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Free Iron Man Kids Game

 

imarmoredpopper_img1Or adults too, really. If you’re bored at work, or home, check out this free Iron Man game based on the new toon from Marvel. Official press release below.

Marvel Entertainment launched a brand new online casual game today based on the upcoming “Iron Man: Armored Adventures” animated series on Nicktoons. The game, named Iron Man Armored Popper, is available to be played now at MarvelKids.com.

 Iron Man Armored Popper is a challenging, fun, puzzle type game that uses Iron Man’s repulsor beams to knock down his enemies and clear each stage in this wildly entertaining game. Defeat the likes of Mandarin, Madame Masque, Whiplash, Count Nefaria and more—and gain new powers while doing it!

Iron Man Armored Popper joins a slate of five other online casual games already launched on MarvelKids.com including Wolverine MRD Escape, Iron Man Flight Test, Hulk Central Smashdown, Iron Man Armory Assault and Hulk Bad Altitude.  All six casual games are currently available to play free of charge on MarvelKids.com.

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“Iron Man: Armored Adventures” is the second all-new animated series produced by Marvel Animation. The series is set to air on Nicktoons on April 24, 2009. It follows the widely successful “Wolverine and the X-Men” series which premiered on the Nicktoons Network in January.

Head over to MarvelKids.com and help Iron Man defend the world from evil!