Four Letter Nerd

Author - Bill Clark

4LN Saturday Morning Review: Han Solo #1

Series: Han Solo
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Mark Brooks
Colors: Sonia Oback

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Summary from Comixology: “Everyone’s favorite scoundrel gets his very own series! Han is given a top-secret undercover mission for the Rebellion- rescuing a number of informants and spies. His cover for the assignment? Only the biggest and most infamous starship race in the galaxy! You know- the race Han has dreamt of winning his entire life. Will he keep his mind on the mission? And can he manage to pull it off while keeping the lead? Best-selling author Marjorie Liu (X-MEN) comes to the Galaxy Far, Far Away along with superstar cover artist Mark Brooks (ULTIMATE X-MEN) in his return to interior art! Face it, readers- there aren’t enough scoundrels in your life!”

I’ve been fairly excited for this book.  Ever since the announcement of the new Star Wars books, I think everyone has been anxiously waiting for a new Han Solo story. After the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens I personally feel like I need to know even more than I already do about the life and times of Han Solo. Han Solo #1 does a wonderful job capturing the mood, look, and attitude of our favorite scoundrel.

Marjorie Liu does a superb job at matching the tone the original movies. The book takes place after he was awarded his money for rescuing Leia and then destroying the Death Star, which has made him one of the most wanted men in the galaxy.  This is why Han remains so reluctant to help the Rebellion again. After some convincing, Solo decides to help save three rebels under the disguise of being a pilot in the race he’s always dreamed of winning: The Dragon Void.

Mark Brooks, this books artist, is absolutely incredible. His work looks almost identical to the characters in the movie, it’s great seeing such realistic looking characters in a comic book. Brooks also does a wonderful job with his attention to details and character designs. With such a vast universe of life forms, Brooks makes each supporting and background character look truly unique and rare, which is much needed in a Star Wars book.

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If Han Solo is a character you love, or you are just looking for a new book to read, you are going to want to jump on this book. Liu and Brooks make a fantastic team, and do a wonderful job at capturing the tense and unknown feeling of watching the franchise for the first time. This is going to be one hell of a ride, and we are going to see if the Millennium Falcon will be able to run the Dragon Void as quick as it ran the Kessel Run.

Music Pairing:
John Williams, Star Wars theme.

4LN Comic Review: Titans Rebirth #1

Series: Titans Rebirth (One Shot)
Writer: Dan Abnett
Penciler: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund

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Summary from Comixology: “Friends. Teammates. Titans. Donna Troy, Arsenal, Garth, Lilith and Nightwing were all that and more until a mysterious force erased their memories, forcing them to forget what they could accomplish together. Reunited with their memories returned, the Titans must destroy the interdimensional demon that broke them apart and threatens reality itself.

THEY SAID IT: “Grayson and Donna were a couple of the characters I first worked on at DC, so it feels like a homecoming for me,” explains penciller Brett Booth. “I’m beyond happy!”

WARNING: Do NOT read this issue until after you read DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1!”

This is a book I picked up due to the recommendation of a friend, they said this was one of the best books they have read in a while, and I personally really like Dan Abnett, so I figured I would give it a try, and I’m also trying to read all the Rebirth one shots. I don’t know why DC is doing this, but all of their books are so goddamn emotional! I get it, you guys are killing it with these Rebirth books, but come on, let me have a book that doesn’t choke me up.

Take heed of this warning, if you haven’t read Rebirth #1, you need to stay away from this book, and stop reading this review, because there WILL be spoilers starting below.

Remember how in Rebirth Wally West plays a huge role with getting Flash to remember him? Remember how damn emotional and rough that was? Well, that’s just how Titans Rebirth is. This entire issue is about Wally getting The Titans to remember who he was, and in those memories, we see flashbacks to the most intimate moments between Wally and each character. The interaction between Wally and Nightwing had to be the most emotional, followed by his memories with Lilith Clay. Imagine if all the people you loved forgot you even existed, imagine a world like Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, that’s been the world that Wally West has been living in for the last few years.

Dan Abnett has been putting out superior work the last few months, with his work on Aquaman and Titan’s Hunt has been fantastic, and now that he’s bringing out favorite Titans Back, I’m just more and more excited for his work. I think DC did a great job by signing him to an exclusive deal, which is fairly rare for DC to do. Abnett is a fantastic add to their creative department and, I think with his work on just this book alone, I am unbelievably excited to see where he’s going to take this book, and I have a feeling it’s going to become a great mystery read.

I have no shame in saying that I wasn’t very familiar with the artist, Brett Booth. But after some quick research I discovered he’s worked on Spider-Man and X-Men for Marvel, and he did a bit of work with James Robinson on Justice League of America. Booth does a fantastic job of capturing the raw emotion, and the feeling of remembering something when it hits you like a dam breaking. His line work is incredibly clean, and even in the multiple fight panels, and splashes, everything is still extremely clean, and easy to follow. Which is not an easy task.

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If you are looking for a read that will put a smile on your face, and possibly even a tear in your eye, then this is the perfect book for you. The cast of characters have so much history together, and there is so much pre-existing history, but it’s still a great jumping on point for any new reader. It’s good to see Wally back, it’s good knowing that people remember him, and it’s good knowing that The Titans are going to figure out what happened, and they are going to do it together. And hopefully, Wally and Lilith will end up together…

 

Music Pairing:
Two Years by Have Mercy is really the only song I could play while I was reading this issue. It just fit perfectly. It’s about loosing the ones you love, and hoping they will remember you years later. “I had a life, and I had friends. And I miss all of them.” I think this is exactly what was racing through Wally’s mind.

4LN Review: Green Arrow #1

Series: Green Arrow
Writer:Benjamin Percy
Art & Colors: Otto Schmidt
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: 2.99

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Summary from Comixology: “THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLIVER QUEEN” Chapter One

As Oliver struggles with how he can fight “the man” when his huge fortune makes him the man, he and Black Canary uncover a deadly new threat to Seattle that cuts the Archer to the bone.

THEY SAID IT: “My touchstones are [former GA writers] Dennis O’Neil and Mike Grell, while trying to make the series my own,” says writer Benjamin Percy. “Green Arrow will be a politically and culturally relevant series. Expect stories that aim a broadhead into the zeitgeist, that are ripped from the headlines.”

This has been one of the Rebirth titles I’ve been most excited about. Green Arrow has always been a character that I’ve found interesting, but never really dove into. I read the Jeff Lemire New 52 series and absolutely loved it. So, I was pumped when DC announced Rebirth and that it would be a good starting point for new readers. Of all of the Rebirth one-shots Green Arrow has been my favorite (but damn was Titans good), except for when Black Canary calls Oliver a Social Justice Warrior… Cause you know, SJW’s are really annoying (I.E. Tumblr). But, the more I thought about it, Green Arrow has always been a SJW, and that’s what makes him interesting. He’s always dealt with social commentaries such as drugs, race, and sexual harassment which were tackled by the character in the 60’s/70’s. This is just Benjamin Percy’s way of bringing the character back to his roots, and honestly, as much as it pains me to say, I’m excited to see the SJW version of Green Arrow.

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(From Green Arrow: Rebirth #1)

What I really liked about this issue is that it reminds me a lot of Batman: Court of Owls, and I mean that in the most positive way. Green Arrow and Black Canary have stumbled upon a secret Seattle society (say that 10 times fast) which buys and sells homeless people on the black market. It’s a really cool concept and has the potential to be a very memorable story. What’s unique about this version of Ollie is we see how much he struggles, how he doesn’t have friends, and how he’s almost a lost soul. Ollie has lost a lot of things over the years, but one of the most painful things was his iconic relationship with Black Canary, but with this issue and the Rebirth special, that relationship is slowly rebuilding.

Benjamin Percy does a fantastic job at capturing the sarcastic and smart ass tone that Oliver has, but he also does a wonderful job of writing a story that’s dark and gritty (reminiscent of the Kevin Smith era for the character). Besides that, Percy does a fantastic job of pacing this issue and making sure the twist and turns surprise you like a roller coaster you’ve never been on. Like most #1 comics, this leaves off with a big cliffhanger, and it’s one of those that you just don’t want to believe (like how in the f**k is Captain America in Hydra?!?!?!?!?!).

I want to take a minute and talk about Otto Schmidt’s art. How have I never heard of this guy? He’s a perfect blend between Jock and Andrea Sorrentino and that’s a combo you don’t want to mess with. I absolutely loved his uses of orange, purple and red to blend it all into a beautiful 24 page book of art. This is truly one of the most beautiful books from Rebirth that I’ve read so far. Percy and Schmidt make a truly fantastic creative team, and I can’t wait to see the rest of this story unfold.

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Be sure to pick this comic up next time you head to your LCS, because this is not a book you are going to want to sleep on. If you hate the direction that Arrow has gone, then this needs to be your new Green Arrow fix. You wont regret it. And be sure to keep coming back this week for our Seven for Seven comic book review, seven new reviews in seven days.

Music Pairing:
This is a pretty heavy and intense read. So you are going to want to jam some heavy tunes to this read. And I can’t think of anyone better than the great Every Time I Die.

4LN Comic Review: Batman #1 (2016)

Series: Batman
Writer: Tom King
Pencils: David Finch
Inks: Matt Banning
Colors: Jordie Bellaire

Summary from Comixology: “I AM GOTHAM” Chapter One

No one has ever stopped the Caped Crusader. Not The Joker. Not Two-Face. Not even the entire Justice League. But how does Batman confront a new hero who wants to save the city from the Dark Knight?

CAN’T MISS: Superstar artist David Finch returns to Batman alongside writer Tom King for this five-part storyline.”

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I have anxiously been waiting for this book since Tom King’s announcement as the head writer for Batman. King’s work on Omega Men, Grayson, and Vision were all truly brilliant, and his first issue on Batman was one hell of a ride. The issue starts with a young boy looking out a window of an 747 airplane as it approaches it’s descent into Gotham. Meanwhile, Batman and Commissioner Gordon are having a rooftop meeting, and that’s when the issue picks up.

I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but this is seriously one of my favorite Batman issues in a while; and, that’s coming from an unabashedly biased Scott Snyder fan. You seriously need to make sure you pick this up while you are at the LCS today or tomorrow, because I’m predicting this to be a huge series, and another long run on the character.

It’s wonderful seeing David Finch back on Batman, this is where his best work shines. Finch did a fantastic job capturing the emotions between both Batman and Alfred. Besides the intimacy that Finch captured, the action scenes in this book were fantastic. There were two splash pages focusing on the new design on the suit, and they were absolutely stunning. Jordie Bellaire and David Finch seriously make on of the best artistic teams in comics. It’s hard to believe that this is the same David Finch who worked on Detective Comics and Wonder Woman (New 52). His work on those books weren’t bad, they were actually beautiful, but the art in this book is just so much more different than what we have seen form him in the past.

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I think we all expected this book to start with a bang, but I don’t think it would be as emotional as it was. It wasn’t as devastating as DC Rebirth #1, but man, this issue was still rough. There was a particularly emotional moment when Batman asked Alfred if his parents would have been proud of him. I didn’t think this issue would be THAT much of a tug on my heartstrings, but damn if it was. Besides the emotional aspect to this book, King also introduces two new characters (It’s not a spoiler, they are on the cover) and its uncertain if they are heroes, vigilantes, or villains. Either way, these new characters definitely have a certain vibe to them that makes it feel like they will be a serious threat to our beloved caped crusader.

If you are a Batman fan, Tom King fan, or just looking for a new series to get into, Batman #1 is a fantastic jumping on point. This will be a wonderful issue to pick up if you are a lifelong Batman enthusiast, or just jumping into the world of comics. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up. And, if you are in the middle Tennessee area, go pick this up from our friend Dave at The Game Cave in Hendersonville, and tell him 4LN sent you!

 

Music Pairing
I actually struggled with figuring out what music would fit this book best. Then it hit me, “I’m Not Part of Me” by Cloud Nothings really fit this book. It’s just a fun sound that has some noise rock/distortion vibes to it. So it’s easy reading music.

Donald Glover joins cast of “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

This is really exciting news for any and all Spider-Man fans. There has been an online petition, rumors, and tweets to get Donald Glover to play Miles Morales, Spider-Man from the 1610 universe, also known as the Ultimate Universe and there is a chance that all the praying will pay off.

 

Tom Holland from Civil War will be returning as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Michael Keaton starring as a  villain, Marisa Tomei as the beautiful Aunt May (Never thought I would say that..), and Zendaya as the female lead. What role will Donald Glover be playing? Well, at the moment we don’t particularly know for sure, but there is a fantastic chance that he will be the fan favorite web slinger Miles. But, typically, Miles is portrayed as a younger character, which makes him so unique and relatable for all readers that were not white.

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If you aren’t familiar with Donald Glover’s work, he was in The Martian, Community, 30 Rock, and Magic Mike XXL. He’s also extremely successful as the rapper Childish Gambino.

I for one am hoping ad banking that Donald will be on the silver screen as Miles Morales. Donald Glover has already worked as this character before, on The Ultimate Spider-Man TV show. What do you guys think? Will he play Miles or some other character? Sound off in the comments!

4LN Comic Review: Batman: Rebirth #1

Series: Batman
Writer: Tom King and Scott Snyder
Artist: Mikel Janín
Publisher: DC Comics
Page Count: 26

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Summary from Comixology: “Longtime Batman and Eisner Award-winning writer Scott Snyder co-writes with rising-star writer Tom King!”

EVIL 365: “Gotham City faces the threat of the Calendar Man!”

This is one of the Rebirth books I have been looking forward to the most. I mean, Tom King and Scott Snyder working together? What’s not to love about that? Tom King has been one of the best writers working in the industry at the moment. His work on Vision, Omega Men, and Grayson has all been critically acclaimed, and most people refer to Vision as one of the best science fiction stories in the last five to ten years. Tom King is a phenomenal writer, and this single issue proves that Batman is in great hands after the epic conclusion to the Scott/Capullo run.

There were two things that really stood out in this issue: one being Duke Thomas, and two being Calendar Man. For those of you who didn’t read the previous Batman run, Duke Thomas was a character introduced in Zero Year, and eventually became a Robin. But, this issue continues the story of Duke and his teaming up with Batman. With Duke as a new fan favorite, and people wondering what would happen to him, it’s rewarding to know that he’s in good hands and that Tom King will continue with a new chapter of his story.

Besides Duke Thomas, the other thing I felt that was remarkably well done was Calendar Man. Julian can be very “hallmark and seasonal” compared to the others in the Batman rogues gallery. The only good representation that comes to mind is his portrayal in Long Halloween. But, after reading this issue, I can definitely say that there are two great Calendar Man depictions. Sure, this is just a first issue; but, if Tom King can do a great story with a character like Julian Gregory Day, then the sky is the limit for characters such as Joker, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze.

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Mikel Janín’s art in this issue is phenomenal. It made Calendar Man feel more intimidating as a villain. It was a little sad to realize that he wasn’t staying on this book. No disrespect to David Finch, who is the main artist starting next issue, but Janín’s art really stood out to me. I would love to see more of his work in the future, but I’m looking forward to seeing Finch return to the Batman world. His work on Wonder Woman was enjoyable, and Finch does his best work while in the bat-verse.

The first issue on King’s run is a great start. Snyder’s influence is lingering, but it’s safe to say that in time, Tom King will take Batman and run with it, making it completely his own.

Music Pairing:
Time Is On My Side by the Rolling Stones because why not.

4LN Comic Review: DC Universe Rebirth #1

Series: Rebirth
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist(s): Gary Frank, Phil Jemenez, Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC
Page Count: 81
Price: $2.99

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Overview from Comixology:

It all begins here. Do not skip to the last page. Do not let a friend or message board ruin this comic for you. The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!THEY SAID IT: “Rebirth is about focusing in on the core of the character and their respective universe,” says writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. “It brings back what has been lost: the legacy of the characters, the love and the hope of the DCU!”
I have been eagerly waiting for this issue since it was announced at this years WonderCon. And, of course, it comes out while I’m on vacation in California. I couldn’t get to a shop on Wednesday, so I had to wait until Thursday. I was lucky enough to be able to check out Southern California Comics in San Diego, but unfortunately they were sold out, which I expected. So I had to resort to picking this book up digitally, and avoiding Reddit and Facebook like the plague. I haven’t had the combination of internet and free time until today (May 30th), to get around to reading this book. But goddamn am I glad I waited to read it instead of trying to rush through for a quick review. This is honestly one of my favorite single issues in a long time.DC’s New 52 had a lot of ups and also a lot of downs. People tend to shit on The New 52, but I liked it and it helped me get more into comics, so for that I’m biased towards it. But, I can already tell that Rebirth will fix the wrongs that New 52 created, and it’s paving a way into a new era for DC Comics, one that I think will bring back a lot of old readers. I think the best part of this event is, you don’t need to know 30+ years of back story to understand Rebirth, it’s a great jumping on point, and it’s easy to follow. “Obscure” characters are focused on, but the Johns does a great job of making this an easy read, and building background in just a few panels.I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Mammoth California as I read this issue, and it had me feeling so many different emotions, from pure joy to a heartbreaking sadness (I may have cried a little bit in this shop…) and everything in between. I was very skeptical of this book, and I didn’t know what to expect, but i can’t stress enough how fantastic this book was. I think one of the fantastic things about this book is you don’t need to know the previous 30 years of DC legacy, but Geoff Johns was able to work in one of the most iconic comics of all time, and it worked. It made sense. I think one of the most special things about this book is how well Johns writes internal narration. It feels like you are actually inside the mind of a character, and a lot of the times this is where a writer can truly fall flat and ruin the momentum behind a book, but Johns truly hit a grand slam (I am not calling it a f–cking “Papa Slam“). If you are skeptical of Rebirth, or if DC has previously left a bitter taste in your mouth, trust me; this book is only $2.99, 80 pages long and will restore your faith in DC.I also want to mention how beautiful the art is in this book. You can tell a lot of time was put into this book, and the several artist who worked on it really meshed well together. In my personal opinion when multiple talents work on a book, it tends to get chaotic and or messy, but with Rebirth every page flows easily into the next. And the attention to detail is incredible, and answers you might have towards the end are explained in the small details when a character visits Batman for the first time.9e373dea795b0702e022bf660b0ad551._SX640_QL80_TTD_Overall, I can not speak any higher about this book. It was a fantastic issue that will start the next chapter for DC Comics, and I think everyone should check this book out. And come on, it’s only $2.99. You can barely get a cup of coffee for that price. Do yourself a favor and grab this book on Wednesday if you didn’t last week, or click the link to Comixology at the top of this article to get it RIGHT NOW!Music Pairing:
This book has a lot of time travel in it, and I can’t think of a better sound track than Hans Zimmer’s work from Interstellar. Start with my favorite track, Mountains, and put it on shuffle. It’s a perfect pairing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Ay_iDRAbc

4LN Comic Review: Batman #51

Series: Batman
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Colorist: Danny Miki

Summary from Comixology: “Batman has battled everything from the Court of Owls to Mr. Bloom to the Joker, but how does he handle a quiet night in Gotham City…?”

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If you have read any of my Batman reviews, you know how much I loved this book, and you know how I truly loved this series. I actually had to take a break from reviewing these books after my fellow 4LN writer Stephen Andrew called me “unabashedly biased” when it comes to these books, and he’s not wrong. Still the coolest thing to happen to me while writing for Four Letter Nerd was when Snyder retweeted my article about him, he then followed me on Twitter, and the dude just seems so nice that it makes me an even bigger fan of his.

In the final issue of Snyder and Capullo’s Batman epic, we get to see how Batman handles a quiet night in Gotham. The city looses power, and Batman assumes that something terrible is about to happen, so he begins patrolling the streets trying to uncover which terrible thing(s) could be approaching. Lets be completely honest, nothing good ever happens in Gotham so Bats has every right to suspect something awful coming in the darkness.

Batman starts his night in the Batcave and heads to Arkham Asylum, similarly to how the series started in Batman #1. Following Arkham, Batman has a lead on The Court of Owls but it becomes a dead end. This is a great final issue because we see Batman return to some of the most iconic story lines of this five year Batman run. Each page seems like a throwback to every previous story arc with a hodgepodge of Batman’s rouges making small appearances.

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The art is once again top notch and I fully believe that, as time goes on, when people think back about Batman in comics, Greg Capullo will be the artist they think of. (Similar to how when we think of Spider-Man, John Romita is the first artist that comes to mind.) Capullo definitely left his mark on the flagship DC book and, in my honest opinion, it will be a very long time until someone can fill those shoes again. Capullo and Danny Miki made one of the best artistic teams in comics, and they were a perfect yin & yang to one another. Capullo with the dark and brooding artwork, and Miki with the bright and bold colors that pop off the pages. We had some of the darkest Batman stories, but the art was so vibrant and refreshing it brought a new feel to such a classic character.

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Working in a comic book shop (Comix City Too!), every Wednesday I look at our wall of new comic and try to figure out what the best comic cover is, and this week it went to Batman #51. The cover is just perfect for what the book means, Batman standing with his cape wrapped around Gotham. Batman is the shroud of protection around Gotham, Batman is the gargoyle on Wayne Tower, and Gotham is thankful for Batman. This issue ends Scott and Capullo’s run on Batman, and I just want to personally thank them for everything they have done for Batman and for being the creative team that were the helm of the most epic Batman run I have ever read. I doubt either of them will read this, but as a fanboy I just want to personally thank you. Whenever a new comic reader comes into my store Batman is the first book I recommend.

Scott Snyder will be writing All-Star Batman with art by John Romita Jr, and a slew of other fantastic artist, and Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder will return to an unnamed DC project sometime in 2017.

 

Music Pairing:

Aggressive Expansion from The Dark Knight Soundtrack

4LN Comic Review: Moon Knight #1 (2016)

Series: Moon Knight
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire

358507._SX360_QL80_TTD_Summary from Comixology: “The book you’d be insane to miss! Marc Spector (a.k.a. Moon Knight/Jake Lockley/Steven Grant) has been fighting criminals and keeping New York City safe for years…or has he? When he wakes up in an insane asylum with no powers and a lifetime’s worth of medical records, his whole identity (identities) are called into question. Something is wrong, but is that something Marc Spector himself? Jeff Lemire and rising star Greg Smallwood are calling everything you know about Moon Knight into question.”

There is only one way that I can accurately describe Moon Knight #1, and that with three simple words: “Trippy. As. F–K.” This book really makes you question everything you know about Moon Knight, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about the character to begin with. All I know about Marc Spector is what I read in Warren Ellis’ fantastic, albeit brief, run from a couple years ago. I know the basics of the character, but a lot of those core beliefs are stripped away and questioned here in the first issue of Lemire’s run, Welcome to New Egypt: Part 1 of 5.

Jeff Lemire is one of my favorite writers in the industry at the moment, and I think his weird style fits the feel of the character perfectly. I am also really looking forward to Lemire (hopefully) doing some art for this book, because not only does his writing match the style, but his art would be beautifully trippy with his character. The issue seems like a beautiful homage to “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, where Marc is stuck in a Mental Institute and is trying to escape, and one of the characters that Marc meets straight reminds me of Jack Nicholson as Mac. The deeper you get into the book, the more “confusing” it gets. I unfortunately can’t quit describe how it’s confusing without giving spoilers, but trust me, you’ll want to read this issue.

Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire make a perfect art team for this book, the colors are just fantastic. I wholeheartedly believe that Bellaire is the best colorist in comic books. Smallwood’s linework and attention to detail is just phenomenal. There are multiple pages where a lot of things are happening but it’s still so easy to tell what’s going on, and the splash page towards the end… WOW. It absolutely makes the book worth the price tag. In the summary from Comixology they call Smallwood a “rising star” and this book might have just proven why that’s true.

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If you are a fan of Moon Knight, or just looking for a new series to get into, Moon Knight #1 is the book for you. It has everything you could possibly want: Egyptian gods, mental hospitals, shock treatment, corrupt nurses, and Moon Knight just being a complete badass. $4.99 seems like a high cost for a comic, but this first issue convinced me that the series is worth it.

 

Music Pairing
Remember how I mentioned shock treatment? Well, Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment.

4LN Music Review: Into It. Over It. – Standards

Artist: Into It. Over It.
Album: Standards
Length: 12 Tracks, 41 minutes
Record Label: Triple Crown Records

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I’ll be honest, I’ve been waiting a long time to jam this album. Earlier this week they announced that it was streaming on a couple sites, but I really wanted to wait until the album dropped to fully experience it. I’m going to be real with you… I’m so glad I waited.

For those of you who are not familiar with the band Into It. Over It. it is the solo project of Evan Thomas Weiss, and Standards is the 5th release for the project. I first found Into It. Over It. in 2011 when his album PROPER was released, and this project has been one of the main acts to usher in the emo rebirth of the mid 2000’s. When I say “emo” I don’t want you to picture bands like Hawthrone Heights or My Chemical Romance because Into it. Over It. is no where near as aggressive as said acts. Evan Thomas Weiss is more similar to the sounds of Dashboard Confessional and Death Cab for Cutie. I would consider Into It. Over It. to be a great blend of emo and indie rock, so think of Dashboard Confessional and Death Cab for Cutie getting into a car crash, and the resulting sound would be the birth of Into It. Over It. (Editor’s Note: 4LN does not condone violence against mainstream Emo/Indie rock bands.)

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Standards starts with a brutally honest song, Open Casket, that ends in a wall of feedback that would leave most listeners pushing the next button, but for me, that was one of my favorite moments of the album. I’m a big fan of Noise Rock, and that feedback reminded me a lot of that genre, but it was Evan making it his own. This album seems to have a lot of Evan making things his own, because the amount of honestly is real and refreshing. The album reminds me of a slower version of We Cool? by Jeff Rosenstock because of all of the honestly and pure emotion behind every word.

The single for this album, “No EQ” is a much more upbeat and faster paced song, maybe even the most lively track on this album. This is a track about remaining true to yourself, where Evan goes into detail about how he feels out of place in todays times, and how his music taste and fashion never changes. It’s a song I think a lot of later 20something punks will be able to relate to. It may even be the realest track on the album…

The album really slows down around the 5th track, Your Lasting Image, which deals with the struggles of forgetting someone that you once loved, with the repeating line “I can’t remember your touch…” and the song goes into detail about wanting to remember someone for a way that they were. This is one of the saddest tracks on the album, which instantly means it’s my favorite.

Closer to the end of the album is the track Who You Are Does Not Equal Who You Were, and this track has a great distorted guitar sound but also extremely clear vocals. The music really builds up in this song to a major explosion of sound that will leave the listener banging their head along to, and this album is no where near a headbanger. That’s actually one of the great things about this album, Evan Thomas Weiss takes sounds from so many different genres and blends them into a truly unique sound. The vocals on this entire album are crystal clear, and this track is a great example of that. At no point will anyone have a hard time singing along to this album

I think the most special thing about Standards is that it’s not an album for just one fan base. For the most part, Evan’s target demographic is going to be late teens and early 20’s pop-punk/emo kids, but the special thing about this album is, I can see some indie-heads, soft rock, and maybe even some Noise Rock/Pop fans will really jam this album.

If you are a fan of Bayside, Death Cab for Cutie, Dashboard Confessional, or You Blew It! then you really need to jam this album. This is a great starting point for someone looking to get into the Emo Revival, and a great album to jam if you are feeling a little down, or just want to relax. Standards by Into It. Over It. is a great album for anyone looking to get into a new slower emotionally honest band.