Tag Archives: deathblow

Grifter #12

“Last Shot”

Writer: Rob Liefeld & Frank Tieri
Pencils: Scott Clark
Inks: Dave Beaty
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Brian Smith
Cover: Rob Liefeld

(No Spoilers)

Much like a true grifter, Liefeld and Tieri have been holding this issue close to their vest. After a frustrating start to their run, they bring their first arc to a close in grand fashion. Despite all the previous complaints about their run they manage to bring it all together and give us a nice conclusion while still setting up more for future events. Finally, a Grifter issue that I really enjoyed!

So, it’s no secret that I haven’t been enjoying these last few issues of Grifter. But I will say that they have gotten progressively better and this issue is by far the best since this creative team took over. Even knowing that this was the endgame, I’m not sure I still would’ve liked the previous issues. But this ended up being one of the most enjoyable issues of the entire series so far. I even liked the cover for this one because it seems Liefeld took more time with it. Speaking of art, Scott Clark is at the top of his game again and I can see how handing over last issues’ art duties helped him spend more time here.

I also thought Tieri’s dialogue was much better here. It all seemed to flow well and I liked the inner monologue Grifter had because it added more to the scenes and gave us insight into him that we wouldn’t have otherwise. On top of all this, we get a confrontation between Grifter and Helspont. In the Wildstorm universe, I don’t think these two ever had a one-on-one fight. But the Wildstorm Grifter probably couldn’t have taken Helspont on his own like DCU Grifter apparently can. I still wish there was some consequence for Grifter using his new powers but in order to hold his own against Helspont, I can see why they’d have to amp up his power.

Even Deathblow got a little redemption as a character here because he had been taken out pretty easily last issue. So it’s nice to see Deathblow can still be a bad-ass. I’m also surprised that so many of the supporting cast are surviving some of the events in these last few issues. It’s kind of nice to have characters that are not just created for the sake of cannon fodder. It also starts to build Helspont’s entourage which is something he had in the Wildstorm universe, even if they were different characters back then.

I hope this issue is an indication of things to come. If this is a sign that Liefeld and Tieri have gotten their grove with the title, then it was worth sifting through those early issues. I also like that the end of issue has ties to other DC books (won’t spoil which one) which continues to show the inter-connectedness of the New 52. For the first time in months, I look forward to the next issue of Grifter!

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

 

Grifter #10

“Cover Me!”

Writers: Rob Liefeld & Frank Tieri
Pencils: Scott Clark
Inks: Dave Beaty
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Brian Smith
Cover: Rob Liefeld

(No Spoilers)

The second issue of Liefeld and Tieri starts off pretty weak but some interesting revelations at the end make for a much better comic. Even Clark’s art seems to be getting back to where it was before the current run started. It’s not a huge improvement but it is a step in the right direction.

After last month I was kind of dreading where this issue would take us. The first half of the comic was more of a mixed bag than the last issue. We still get some cheesy dialogue but it is sprinkled with some great action scenes. I have to say it was so cool seeing Deathblow and Grifter fighting side by side again. But as much as I liked the action, as I neared the end of the comic, I feared that might be all we get and thus would end another issue of Grifter without much direction. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Grifter’s abilities take a dramatic turn in the issue and it’s an idea I actually thought should’ve been covered with the Grifter in the old WSU. It’s hard to talk about without spoiling anything but let me say this. If you remember Grifter’s battle with Green Arrow in Grifter #4, you may remember the incident where he caught one of the arrows that was shot at him. At the time, even he mused that it would be a long time before he learned how he could do that. Other than this moment, Grifter having any abilities beyond being good with a gun had not been explored yet. I have to say I’m happy with this turn of events and I hope it signals positive change for the title.

Even Scott Clark’s art seemed to be returning to its normal awesome style. There were some weird choices in some of the shots with the line work but overall it looked better. Even the Daemonite Elite Class looked better than last issue. And I love the way he draws Cheshire! As long as Clark is drawing beautiful women I’m still on board!

I am worried a little about the next issue because I’m not impressed by the design of the new villain they’re set to fight. But I’ll reserve judgment for that until next month. It’s still by no means perfect, but I’m not as exasperated with this title as I was last month. Above all else, I’m glad Grifter survived the cut of the 3rd wave of the New 52. I hope this creative team takes this opportunity to take some chances on the title and really garner some attention to it.

6 out of 10 (Slightly Above Average)

 

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast - Episode 34

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast – Episode 34

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast - Episode 34Subscribe to the show: RSS Feed | iTunes

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Show Notes:
Welcome to another episode of Wildstorm Addiction! Our resident Wildstorm experts Joe David Soliz & Benjamin Murphy review the new DCU versions of Stormwatch #9, Voodoo #9 and Grifter #9 as well as some other Wildstorm appearances in the new DCU 52.

00:00:34  – Ben welcomes everyone to episode #34 for the month of June 2012 and gives his spoiler alerts warning. Remember, all written reviews on the website are spoiler free and usually get posted within a day of print release.

00:01:20 – Ben gives some Wildstorm related news as it pertains to the current books in the DCU.

  • We will not be discussing Ravagers #1 or The Culling crossover that led into it yet, we decided to do a separate podcast for that since it turned out to be a huge story spanning many issues across four titles.
  • DCU_Stormwatch_Vol_1_TPB(2012)We forgot to mention it last podcast, but Stormwatch Vol 1: The Dark Side TPB was released on May 23. It collects first six issues of the new Stormwatch in the DCU.
  • August sees another Wildstorm character enter DCU as Pike will face Hawkman in Savage Hawkman #12.  Helspont also returns in Grifter #12 and Deathstroke #12 presumably has more Zealot. As well as Stormwatch gracing the cover and presumably the plot of I, Vampire #12.
  • The movie Red 2 is a go for August 2, 2013.  It is the sequel to the 2010 movie starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman which was based on Warren’s Ellis’ mini-series of the same name originally published by Wildstorm.  Willis and Mirren are expected to reprise their roles with Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Byung-Hun Lee (Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe) joining the cast as well.
  • Listener email: from Rick Marsen reads, “I’ve noticed sales for both Grifter and Voodoo’s books are tanking. With these two gone, the Wildstorm/DCU merger is pretty much nearly done for and Wildstorm is one step closer to ending up where it was post the “Wildstorm relaunch” a few years ago. Liefeld on Grifter isn’t going to be helping things. is there any way to help these books to survive, at least till Liefeld leaves Grifter and Voodoo gets a creative team change?”
  • Speaking of listeners, big shout out to all our regular listeners as we had double the amount of downloads for the month of May. Thank you guys for spreading the Wildstorm love!  If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t exist!

00:07:02 – Joe reviews Stormwatch #9, released on 5/02, written by Peter Milligan with art and cover by Miguel Sepulveda. Yet another 1:25 B&W sketch variant, there have been variants since issue #5!

00:20:01 – Ben shares his thoughts for the ninth issue of Stormwatch. A great new start with writer Peter Milligan who seems to be keeping a lot of the ideas that Paul Cornell had started with this team and adding some more of his personal flare.

00:22:47 – Ben reviews Grifter #9. Released on 5/09, written by Rob Liefeld and Frank Tieri, with art by Scott Clark and cover by Rob Liefeld. The first issue by Liefeld seems to have been everything we’ve all been expecting and that wasn’t a good expectation. The first appearance of Deathblow was a welcomed addition, but I’m not convinced that adding another iconic Wildstorm character to this book is going to pull it out of the mud.

00:31:23 – Joe gives his assessment on Grifter #9, and he finally agrees with Ben! Hold your breath internet, Joe is about to say some bad things about Grifter…

00:40:32 – Joe tries to move on from the train wreck of Grifter in order to review the ninth issue of Voodoo. Released on 5/23, written by Josh Williamson with art by Sami Basri and cover by Rod Reis and Paulo Siqueira. Joe’s only small complaint about this issue is the cover, that’s a pretty good review right there. Joe also gives a nice shout-out to the crew at Comic Vine for their ad in the DCU titles this week!

00:51:41 – Ben shares his thoughts on Voodoo especially with the new direction that writer Josh Williamson is taking this title. In S S P P A A A A A A C C E E E!

00:53:24 – Ben gives an update on other Wildstorm related sighting and tie-ins from the other DCU 52 issue #9’s that have released this past month.

  • 5/02 Teen Titans Annual #1 – The Culling Part 1
  • 5/09 Demon Knights #9 – The death of Merlin (Adam One from Stormwatch). Also Etrigan’s armour was sighted in the secret “Black Room” in the New DCU 52 Free Comic Book Day give-a-way
  • 5/09 Deathstroke #9 – First appearance of the DCU version of Zealot
  • 5/09 Superboy #9 – The Culling Part 2
  • 5/09 Legion Lost #9 – The Culling Part 3
  • 5/23 Teen Titans #9 – The Culling Finale
  • 5/30 Ravagers #1 – The Culling spin-off title, starring Caitlin Fairchild!

00:56:19 – Joe gives a run-down on the upcoming books and character appearances in the new DCU relaunch. Remember, all these books are available digitally the same day as the print release at the DC section of www.comixology.com.

  • For the week of 6/06
    • STORMWATCH #10 – Welcoming the art team of IGNACIO CALERO and SEAN PARSONS as a new epic begins! HARRY TANNER returns to take on STORMWATCH! More secrets of the team’s past are revealed!
    • RED LANTERNS #10 – Welcome new artist MIGUEL SEPULVEDA, continued from last month’s STORMWATCH #9! BLEEZ and the rest of the surviving RED LANTERNS head for ZAMARON to confront the STAR SAPPHIRES about their role in the poisoning of the RED POWER LANTERN.
  • For the week of 6/13
    • GRIFTER #10 – GRIFTER faces off against the DAEMONITES alongside DEATHBLOW and CHESHIRE!
    • SUPERBOY #10 – WONDER GIRL, SOLSTICE, RED ROBIN, KID FLASH and BUNKER all guest-star in a story that connects to this month’s TEEN TITANS #10. Don’t miss SUPERBOY and WONDER GIRL, lost in an ancient world – with no adult supervision!
    • DEMON KNIGHTS #10 – Part two of “ASSAULT ON AVALON!” While searching for MERLIN (Adam One), our heroes find KING ARTHUR…both of him!
    • RAVAGERS #2 – Starring FAIRCHILD, THUNDER, LIGHTNING, RIDGE, BEAST BOY and TERRA! Trying to hide in the “real world” while on the run from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and its agents proves difficult for teen metas who stand out in a crowd! If they’re going to survive, these young heroes had better be ready to fight!
  • For the week of 6/27
    • VOODOO #10 – “DEAD CITY” begins as PRIS and the BLACK RAZORS pursue VOODOO into outer space! Is the Dead City really dead? If so, how do you explain the mutated DAEMONITES attacking from every direction?
    • TEEN TITANS #10 – THE TEEN TITANS LOST in an inner-world! What did SOLSTICE learn from the LEGION LOST team during THE CULLING? Hint: It has to do with the mystery surrounding KID FLASH’S origin! BUNKER confronts RED ROBIN about the missing SKITTER! DINOSAURS – and a new threat!

00:56:52 – Joe continues with a shout out to Chris Striker, of the Higher Authority and Stormwatch.ws websites. Remember to visit The Higher Authority’s message boards Clark’s Bar to continue the Wildstorm integration discussions amongst long time Wildstorm fans at theauthority.ws. Also big thanks to Chiclo, Sean, Jonesy, and Elveen from Only the Valiant Podcast for pimping our Helspont commercial from our show!

00:58:13 – Joe gives the contact details as shown below.

The opening music is “Universal Domain” by Dreamline which can be found at http://www.musicalley.com.

Contact info:
Joe: http://twitter.com/grifter78
Wildstorm Addiction: http://twitter.com/wildstormaddict
Post your comments for each episode on the wildstormaddiction.com!
Email us at wildstormaddiction@gmail.com.
Facebook Fan Page: Wildstorm Addiction Podcast Fan Page

Grifter #9

“This Means War!”

Writer: Rob Liefeld & Frank Tieri
Pencils: Scott Clark
Inks: Dave Beaty
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Brian Smith
Cover: Rob Liefeld

(No Spoilers)

The new creative team of Rob Liefeld with Frank Tieri as co-plotters finally makes their debut this month but unfortunately a lot of the concerns fans had about this creative team are present in this issue. This mixed in with surprisingly weak art by the normally solid Scott Clark do not make for a good beginning on this run.

Those who know me know that next to Batman, Grifter is my favorite character. I’ve also been accused of the being the cheerleader for all things Wildstorm-related and some have discounted my reviews because they think me biased. I’ll admit that I do love the Wildstorm characters and for the most part I am pretty lenient when it comes to their stories. But I have to say I was not happy with this issue of Grifter. I am a very positive person and don’t like focusing on negatives so I’ll get through them quick and then talk about what I did like about the issue.

One struggle fans have had with the Wildstorm characters being introduced into the New 52 is the “old vs. new” argument. Many of the Wildstorm characters in the New 52 are vastly different from the originals. This has turned off some but for me it has been interesting. I never expected, nor really wanted, a direct translation of the old WSU into the DCU. A lot of these characters in their old incarnation wouldn’t fit in the DCU. The DCU Grifter has been one that has been chased, beaten, and finally had his loved ones take away. In issue 8 the DCU Grifter seemed practically on the verge of suicide because all of this had transpired and it was very appropriate based on what he had experienced. The Grifter in this issue, however, talks and acts like the WSU Grifter. You’d think I’d be happy with that fact but for me it kills everything that’s been setup about the character so far. The WSU Grifter varied depending on who wrote him. Some wrote him more serious while others a tad bit goofy. I never liked the latter. Grifter’s not meant to be a wisecracker, especially not the DCU Grifter. Even though he mentions the loss of his brother, I don’t see the hurt he was dealing with last issue. To me, this is a step backwards for the character.

Also, it is good to have artist Scott Clark back but for the first time since he’s been on the series, I felt his art seemed a bit rushed in some areas. He had the previous month off so I was kind of disappointed to see this. I’ve always like Clark’s art and the fact he’s from the old Wildstorm crew adds a bit of nostalgia to the title for me. I hope this was just a temporary thing because this title needs a lot of help right now.

It was also hard to get into the story and dialogue. The story of Grifter being the Chosen One to fight against the Daemonite is a storyline that has been used countless times and just didn’t seem to fit here. Grifter was definitely setup by the Daemonites as was revealed last issue but I don’t buy this new development. Grifter was fine just being a thorn in the Daemonites side.

Finally, I will say (no spoilers because he’s on the cover) that seeing Deathblow introduced into the DCU was a nice treat. Deathblow was one of my favorite Wildstorm characters and it’s going to be fun seeing him and Grifter in a book together again. I also like the design for Cheshire. I’d never read about her in the old DCU but since we’re not getting Zealot (apparently she’s going to appear in Deathstroke), it’s cool that we’re going to have at least one ass-kicking female in this title for now.

This title was already on life-support and it really needs something unique to get people to try it. It’s frustrating as a fan because I love this character so much but it’s so hard to get people to read a book I myself am starting not to enjoy. But I am loyal and I will follow Grifter to the bitter end but I hope Leifeld and Tieri have something big up their sleeves because this title needs serious help.

5 out of 10 (Average)