Doctor Who The Ghost Monument Review

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Doctor Who

The Ghost Monument

Review by Paul Bowler

Following its ratings smashing premier episode, The Woman Who Fell To Earth, Series 11 of Doctor Who continues with The Ghost Monument, written by Chris Chibnall, and directed by Mark Tonderai (Gotham, Black Lightening, The Five). After being left reeling from their first adventure, the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), along with her new companions Graham (Bradley Walsh), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) must now find a way to survive on a hostile alien world as they strive to solve the uncanny mystery of the planet Desolation…

Partly filmed in South Africa, the second episode of series 11 certainly gives an added sense of awe and spectacle to the Doctor’s companion’s first trip to another plant. The BAFTA winning DNEG team responsible for this new season visual effects also continue to work their magic, and The Ghost Monument is an absolutely stunning looking episode as a result.

Jodie Whittaker continues to excel in her role as the new 13th Doctor, brimming with fun and sound advice, her incarnations traits quickly make you warm to her endearing characterization of the Time Lord. After being marooned in space at the end of the new series premier, the Doctor and her companions are soon scooped from the void by two pilots Angstorm (Susan Lynch) and Epzo (Shaun Dooley) in their old rickety spaceships taking part in an intergalactic race, but after crash-landing on the barren planet with three suns the stranded group encounter the holographic potentate Llin (Art Malik) and the Doctor is shocked to discover that the objective of the race – reaching the mythical Ghost Monument – is actually the TARDIS which has somehow become trapped out of phase on this worlds surface because of the damage it suffered.

Their quest to reach the Ghost Monument involves crossing a sea contaminated by deadly microbes, exploring some ancient ruins while stalked by sniper robots, facing the frightening cloth-like Remnants, and the eventual discover that this entire planet was used by the Stenza to create weapons of mass destruction.

There is a snappy pace to Chris Chibnal’s scrip for The Ghost Monument that really steps things up a gear for the Doctor and her companions. Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole are all excellent in their roles as Graham, Yaz and Ryan respectively, and its great to see their characters gradually adapting to the Doctor’s madcap world over the course of this adventure with only her promise to keep them alive and get them home to really bind them together – relying on their wits and getting to know each other better as a result along the way.

The subtleties in Jodie Whittaker’s performance as the quirkily fun, clever and practical new incarnation Time Lord also really begins to shine though as both she and her companions start to forge strong bonds, with subsequent events illustrating just how great they are as a team when they get caught up in the episodes powerful allegorical themes of disaster, mass-murder, and ethnic cleansing. The Ghost Monument also gives us slightly more insight to the Stenza from the first episode, especially how they used this planet to make weapons, the sniper bots provide some exciting action, and the snaking cloth-like Remnants (chillingly voiced by Ian Gelder) which emerge at night are also quite unsettling as they use their victims fears against them.

The Ghost Monument marks the debut of series 11’s fantastic new title sequence as well! Featuring a stylish amalgamation of classic and new elements the gorgeously swirly new titles complements the fresh, vibrant tone of the new series perfectly, and together with terrific new opening theme by the series new composer Segun Akinola this episode feels extra special as a result.

But that not all. After reaching the Ghost Monument, Angstorm and Epzo claim joint victory, and teleport off the planet, apparently leaving the Doctor and her companions stranded. It is here, in a particularly emotional scene for Jodie Whittaker, that the Doctor coaxes the TARDIS to materialise properly at last and we get our first look inside! While the exterior is a lovely throwback to the early Tom Baker years; I feel the interior may divide opinion somewhat, but I personally thought the new TARDIS interior was spectacular! It looks a bit like a crystalline, steam punk, version of the 9th and 10th Doctor’s TARDIS interiors, the console is covered in chunky levers, there‘s a little model TARDIS, one section of the console even dispenses custard cream biscuits, and seeing the Doctor and her companions finally enter the elusive time machine for the first time is a defining moment that really makes the 13th Doctor’s new era feel complete at last.

The Ghost Monument is a continuation of the set-up for the new series, new Doctor and new characters that began with The Woman Who Fell To Earth. Sure, the plot is a bit frenzied at times, but my only real grip was how much the story went so OTT with the sonic screwdriver – yes it’s that old pitfall of the sonic fixing / saving every situation that New Who so often falls into. However, with the episodes dash of Venusian Akido and its tantalizing reference to the “Timeless Child” I’m willing to let them off the overuse of the sonic a bit.

Along with Chris Chibnal’s strong script and Mark Tonderai’s superb direction, The Ghost Monument delivers blockbusting spectacle and action in equal measure. Jodie Whittaker and the new ensemble cast are settling into their roles nicely, all the familiar elements are now in place, and with their inaugural trip first voyage to another planet under their belt its now time for the Doctor and her companions adventurers in time and space to begin in earnest!

Images and Video Belongs BBC

Watch the trailer for the third episode of series 11, Rosa.

Here’s the new Doctor Who title sequence and new theme!

Check out the New TARDIS | Doctor Who: Series 11!

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Doctor Who The Woman Who Fell To Earth Review

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Doctor Who

The Woman Who Fell To Earth

Review by Paul Bowler

Finally, after the long months of waiting, speculation, and expectation Doctor Who is back! Series 11 kicks off with the hour-long premier episode The Woman Who Fell To Earth, written by Chris Chibnal, directed by Jamie Childs, and staring Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor, who, along with her new friends Graham (Bradley Walsh), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Ryan (Tosin Cole ) team up to face a ruthless alien threat in Sheffield.

Last time we saw her the post regenerative Doctor was sent tumbling from the TARDIS in the closing moments of Twice Upon a Time (2017). Now in the present day Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan and Graham O’Brien lives are about to change forever when a mysterious woman suddenly falls from the night sky. Can they really believe this bubbly, unpredictable stranger? She might not be able to remember her own name, but is seems she’s the only person that could be able to help solve the mysterious events unfolding around the city?

Settling into its brand new timeslot on Sunday’s with ease The Woman Who Fell To Earth begins series 11 of Doctor Who in fine style as Jodie Whittaker’s newly regenerated Doctor crashes through the roof of a stranded train to begin her adventures. She might not have the TARDIS or a even a sonic screwdriver to hand, but once the wry nods to the Time Lords new gender are out the way the 13th Doctor’s fun, and quirky persona quickly shines though as she embarks on the first of this new seasons self-contained adventures.

When people need help, I never refuse.

.Jodie Whittaker’s endearing performance instantly harnesses the quintessential Doctorishness necessary to make you wholeheartedly embrace this new incarnation of our favourite Time Lord. Jodie brings a breathless sense of heroic energy to the role that makes her Doctor feel exciting, dynamic, and fun to be around. Chris Chibnal’s clever scrip weaves all the classic tropes into the narrative for the new Doctor, everything from meeting her new friends after confronting the tentacle strewn alien probe on the train, to making a new sonic screwdriver from scratch, and the brilliant scene where she chooses her new costume all ensure that Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor instantly becomes a version of the Time Lord that fans old and new will quickly take to their hearts.

So, what of the Doctor’s new friends? Bradley Walsh is great as Graham, brining both a sense of fun and emotional depth to his role. Mandip Gill is also excellent as the resourceful Police Officer in training Yaz, as is Tosin Cole as Ryan, a warehouse worker and former school friend of Yaz’s with Dyspraxia who wants to become an engineer. Walsh’s character Graham is also married to Ryan’s gran Grace (Sharon D Clarke), making him Ryan’s step-granddad. Right from the outset Ryan’s moving opening address on his YouTube channel, along with his determination to master riding a bike with the help of Grace and Graham, movingly foreshadows the episodes underlying themes and events as the young man stumbles upon an alien travel pod and inadvertently activates it. There’s a really fun dynamic between the Doctor’s new companions as well. The banter between them and the Doctor feels very natural and warm, the characters are also instantly relatable, grounded in reality, and even at this early stage its clear they have the makings of a great TARDIS team.

While this episode does begin a little differently than expected – we’ll have to wait until the next episode to see the new title sequence and the arrangement of the brilliant new nostalgically pitched opening theme by the series’ new composer Segun Akinola finally brought together as one – once Jodie’s Doctor has had a little nap and a sprinkle of regeneration energy mid-way through the episode its time for the Time Lord to get on the case of the alien mystery in Sheffield. With Jamie Childs glossy direction Chris Chibnal’s script positively fizzes with vibrant action, with an eerie alien pod set to open at any moment, DNA bombs primed to explode, and a fearsome hunter lurking in the dark. There are slight references to the series’ past, but nothing to overload the script as has sometimes been the case in previous seasons, and I feel that this premier episode is all the more refreshing for it.

Of course you can’t have Doctor Who without scares, weird goings on, and… monsters! The 13th Doctor’s first adventure certainly has a couple of edge of the seat moments, especially with a bizarre probe and a super scary beast stalking the streets, but the reasons why this dual extraterrestrial menace is happening in Sheffield yields even more intriguing surprises for the Doctor and her friends. The special effects are really impressive as well. Its not long before the Doctor realises the probe is really weaponized bio-tech, gathering coils, used to select victims for a hunt – something which it has evidently been responsible for on Earth before – while the pod is actually a transport device for a second alien, an armor suited Stenza warrior who proves to be a rather frozen, toothy threat in more ways than one!

I’m just a traveller. Sometime I see things need fixing, I do what I can.

As the final showdown unfolds on the cranes at the construction site between the Doctor and the Stenza warrior Tzim-Sha hunting the hapless crane operator (who was also on the train with Grace and Graham when the Gathering Coils first arrived and he unwittingly became the target of the aliens hunt), the Doctor finally remembers her name as she steps up to the plate to confront the alien warrior and dispatches it with ease. It’s a brilliantly staged scene and the defining moment where Jodie Whittaker unequivocally becomes the Doctor without a shadow of a doubt.

With its showcasing of the programmes first female lead in the role of the Doctor, a brand new transmission day, and biggest regular cast since the 80’s (although I don’t see where that’s really that big a deal as there’s often been more than one person travelling with the Doctor since the series returned in 2005) Doctor Who returns feeling fresh and reinvigorated. Sure, I had some minor quibbles, I felt the incidental music got a little bit intrusive at times, sadly we didn’t get to see the TARDIS yet either, and while I don’t regard The Woman Who Fell To Earth as one of the strongest first stories for a new Doctor it was certainly one of the most contemporary and revitalising opening episodes for the rebooted series that I’ve enjoyed since 2005’s Rose.

The simplicity and fun sense of adventure in The Woman Who Fell To Earth reinforces show runner Chris Chibnal’s back to basics approach in every conceivable way, and quite possibly makes it one of the most easily accessible episode of Doctor Who ever. You really don’t need to know anything about Doctor Who to enjoy this episode. It’s the perfect jumping on point for new viewers, and there’s plenty here for long term fans to enjoy as well.

Although circumstances and thrilling adventure brought the Doctor and her new friends together, there’s also tragedy for them to contend with in the aftermath of the events in this episode. This really gave the ensemble cast their chance to shine, with powerful emotional beats that resonate long after the credits have rolled, by which time the Doctor, with the help of her friends, has programmed the remains of the Stenza transport pod to lock onto the energy trail of the TARDIS and transport her to the planet where the time machine is supposed to be. However, as the Doctor says her goodbyes she accidentally ends up transporting them all away – leaving them marooned and floating in deep space!

Right, this is going to be fun!

In short, Jodie Whittaker totally nailed it as the new Doctor! The Woman Who Fell To Earth was a fun, exciting, and emotional start to the new series of Doctor Who. So, as this first episode of the new series closes with a cliff-hanger, we are left pondering where the Doctor and her companions adventures will take them next as we are treated to a glimpse of the galaxy of stars appearing in series 11 and a tantalizing trailer for he next episode. I can’t quite remember the last time I enjoyed an episode of new Doctor Who quite this much and known next to nothing about it, or indeed the series itself, before hand, and I think that’s been the key factor in making this new series feel extra special for everyone. We really don’t know what to expect this time around as everything feel so new and different The universe is calling and it looks like we are going to be in for one fun packed ride!

Here’s the Episode Two Trailer | The Ghost Monument | Doctor Who: Series 11

And Coming Soon in Doctor Who: Series 11…

Images & Video Belongs BBC

Stunning New Aquaman Trailer Released!

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New Aquaman Extended Trailer Released!

Check out the brilliant new 5 minute trailer for Aquaman!

From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be… a king!!

Aquaman in theaters on December 21, 2018!

New Doctor Who Series 11 Trailer #2 Released!

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New Doctor Who Series 11 Trailer #2 Released!

Check out the 2nd official trailer for Doctor Who Series 11!

Wow, this is an epic looking trailer!

“I’m the Doctor, when people need help, I never refuse.”

The 13th Doctor and her friends all-new adventures begins Sunday 7th October!

First Trailer For Captain Marvel!

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First Official Trailer For Marvel Studios Captain Marvel!

Check out the first trailer for Marvel Studios Captain Marvel, it looks awesome! The films story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Mckenna Grace, Clark Gregg and Jude Law, the film will be released in theaters on March 8, 2019.

Sci-Fi Jubilee My YouTube Channel Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4

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Sci-Fi Jubilee My YouTube Channel Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4

Hello everyone and thanks for checking out my YouTube Channel! After a break to enjoy the summer, I’ve started playing Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 by Insomniac Games. Ive been really looking forward to the release of this new Spider-Man game, and I thought itd be a great game for me to stream gameplay footage for you on my YouTube Channel.

Spider-Man PS4 introduces us to Peter Parker after he’s been fighting crime in for some time. In the game Peter must find a way to balance his personal life, his day job, and his crime fighting career as Spider-Man. Now a deadly new menace is about to threaten New York City, and soon Spider-Man will face his greatest challenge!

Check out the awesome start to Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4!

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I’ve been having playing Spider-Man PS4! Insomniac Games have done an outstanding job with this game. The main storyline is an action packed adventure that deftly balances the excitement of fighting crime as Spider-Man with Peter’s life and career. The combat is acrobatic and relatively easy to master, there’s a wealth of side quests to complete, and the graphics are stunning. The web-swinging across the NYC skyline is gloriously realized as well. There’s also a brilliant photo mode; handy when you are exploring the sights – first chance I got I climbed to the top of Avengers Tower to enjoy the view!

Id also just like to take this chance to say a big thank you for supporting my blog Sci-Fi Jubilee and my YouTube Channel – especially as I haven‘t always had quite as much free time to blog or stream games recently. My YouTube Channel is such a fun and interactive part of Sci-Fi Jubilee, and thats all thanks to you! So cheers for liking and subscribing and be sure to look out for more Spider-Man PS4 videos and live streams on my YouTube Channel!

 

Batman Kings of Fear #1 Review

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Batman Kings of Fear #1

Review by Paul Bowler

Renowned artist Kelly Jones returns to the Dark Knight’s world with Batman Kings of Fear #1, the first issue in DC Comics stunning new miniseries written by former Batman editor Scott Peterson. Batman has been watching over Gotham City for many, many years, but now the Dark Knight is beginning to question the effectiveness of his relentless war on crime. Plagued by self doubt, insecurities, and personal fears that threaten to overwhelm him Batman must now face Scarecrow as he unleashes chaos in Arkham Asylum! This blockbusting new six-issue miniseries has Batman confronting the darkest challenge of his crime fighting career and portrays Scarecrow in a terrifying new way that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Batman Kings of Fear #1 kicks off in a fittingly macabre fashion as Batman takes on the Joker and stops another of his maniacal schemes. Kelly Jones striking visuals and Scott Peterson’s intense storytelling quickly immerses us in the warped schism that Batman and the Joker seem perpetually condemned to play out. Scott Peterson weaves some especially insightful and haunting dialogue into their journey to Arkham Asylum – so much so that the Clown Prince of Crime even seems to jangle the Dark Knight’s nerves at one point. Once inside Arkham the dark humour, a snarky Doctor, and the ensuing breakout of mayhem all collude to ramp up the ominous air of brooding menace that’s been closing in on Batman right from the outset.

Kelly Jones illustrated some of the most acclaimed Batman comics imagery during the 1990’s, including the brilliant Batman & Dracula trilogy – which kicked off with Red Rain back in 1991 – and many of the covers for the acclaimed Knightfall storyline where Bane broke the Bat. Esteemed writer Scott Peterson also worked as an editor on the Batman books during Knightfall and many other pivotal Bat-stories from the 90’s. Its great to see Jones and Peterson working together again like this on Batman Kings of Fear, and their shared creative vision for the Dark Knight shines through just as vividly now as when they originally worked together on the Batman books in the 90‘s. The story in Batman Kings of Fear is not connected to DC Comics current Batman storylines, but is instead set after Bruce has been the Dark Knight for many years – giving the creative team the scope to explore the core facets of the character in new and dynamically exciting ways.

Artist Kelly Jones brings all the hallmarks of his distinctly dark, horror-tinged gothic style to Batman Kings of Fear, and then some! I’ve always been a huge fan of Kelly Jones artwork, especially Jones’ portrayal of Batman as a constantly shifting shape that always seamlessly blends in with the shadows. One of the major highlights in this issue is a face-off with some of the darkest members of Batman Rogues Galley – a truly jaw dropping sequence that places you right in the heart of Batman‘s nightmarish predicament. Another nice touch with Batman Kings of Fear is that it features the Dark Knight in his classic costume – yellow oval and all! I love how Kelly Jones always renders Batman’s billowing cape in a way that gives him an almost supernatural visage, effectively making the cape and cowl as equally a distinct character in its own right. It is this, together with Michelle Madsen’s gloriously sombre color pallet that perfectly encapsulates the raw, terrifying, almost primal presence that makes Batman so uniquely special and intimidating.

The greatest threat though comes from the Scarecrow’s terrifying plot against him. Jones and Peterson’s darkly compelling story is made even more striking by having Scarecrow as the major villain of the piece, and this creative team certainly don’t look like they will shy away from brining the most frightening aspects of this creepy iconic character from Batman’s rogues gallery to the fore either.

Batman Kings of Fear #1 hurtles along at a cracking pace, the eerie atmosphere is brilliantly offsets by the spectacular visuals, and the chilling cliff-hanger rounds off this start of this superb miniseries in fine style. Kelly Jones and Scott Peterson have certainly crafted a brilliant premise here, with Scarecrow seeking to make the Dark Knight face his greatest fear, and I’ve no doubt the creative team will continue to weave their dark magic as this story unfolds. If you like your Batman classic, unburdened by recent continuity, and laced with overtones of gothic horror then Batman Kings of Fear is the Bat-Book you’ve been waiting for!

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Scott Peterson & Art and Cover: Kelly Jones

Colors: Michelle Madsen / Letters: Rob Leigh

Variant Cover: Bill Sienkiewicz

Doctor Who Series 11 Trailer Released!

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Doctor Who Series 11 Trailer Released!

 

Check out the brand new official trailer for Doctor Who Series 11 released at SDCC 2018, staring Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor! As we see in this exciting trailer the 13th Doctor will be joined in her adventures by a regular cast of new friends, including Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan, and Mandip Gill as Yasmin.

The universe is calling!

I think its a great trailer. Really looking forward to Series 11, no doubt new showrunner Chris Chibnall will have plenty of surprises in store for us, and I can’t wait to for the 13th Doctor and her friends all-new adventures in Time and Space to begin!

Images & Video Belong BBC

 

Doctor Who New Series Teaser Trailer!

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Doctor Who New Series Teaser!

The BBC has released an exclusive glimpse of the 13th Doctor and her companions this weekend at halftime during the World Cup Final.

New friends, new adventures…

The teaser is short but I’m still excited for the new series of Doctor Who!

Astonishing X-Men #13 Review

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Astonishing X-Men #13

Review by Paul Bowler.

A whole new era and X-team begins in Astonishing X-Men #13 as Alex Summer, the plasma blasting mutant known as Havok, returns to the fold. The Reavers are also back with a vengeance, and it’s up to Havok to form a new team of X-Men to stop them. However, following Alex’s recent villainous actions (because of the Red Skull’s mind-altering attack), will any of the X-Men be prepared or willing to trust Alex again?

The new creative team of writer Matthew Rosenberg (Multiple Man) and artist Greg Land (The Incredible Hulk) for Astonishing X-Men usher in this next chapter in X-history featuring Havok, Beast, Dazzler, Warpath, and Colossus. Right from the outset it quickly becomes clear that Alex’s return to the X-Men isn’t going to be all plain sailing. If anything, Alex Summers finds he’s neither use nor ornament as he inadvertently treads on the Avengers toes and gets treated like a joke by students at the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Research in New York.

Alex Summers character effectively carries the entire issue, writer Matthew Rosenberg’s witty and insightful script is packed with fast-paced action, snappy dialogue, and strong characterization throughout as we follow Alex’s attempts to get his life back on track. His viewpoint on Xavier’s dream and the X-Men’s recent interpretation of that legacy almost cause a ruckus in the classroom and inevitably leads to run in with Kitty Pryde as a result Yet, wry humour aside, Matthew Rosenberg writes Alex’s character in a way that feels far truer, flawed, and more real than ever before. There’s also the sense that Cyclops’s younger brother might finally be about to ditch that almighty chip off his shoulder and step out of his older siblings shadow at last.

Astonishing X-Men #13 also boasts great artwork from Greg Land. The Reavers and Donald Pearce are the first major villains Havoc and his team mates will have to contend with. Greg Land’s pencils and Jay Leisten’s inks complement each other extremely well, dynamic page layouts energize the fast-paced action, characters expressions convey every nuance of emotion, and color artist Frank D’Aamata subtle use of color and tone – especially during Havok’s nightmare sequence – further refine this series distinctive new look and style.

The reunion between Alex and Hank at Harvard which rounds off Until Our Hearts Stop Part 1 is without doubt the standout character moment of this issue. Not only does it establish the great dynamic between them, it also leads into an action-packed cliff-hanger ending, and there’s even a big surprise waiting just before the end too!

While this issue doesn’t bring the new team together in its entirety just yet, it’s still great to see Alex Summers return to front an X-Team – even one that’s still very much in its formative stages. The Reavers also provide a very palpable threat; Miss Sinister is another interesting addition, and the fact a third-party is pushing everyone’s buttons also adds an equally menacing quandary into the mix. I really enjoyed Astonishing X-Men #13, there‘s lots of potential here, and this new creative team together with the entirely new direction have certainly helped to reinvigorate the title and I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop from here.

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg / Pencils: Greg Land / Inks: Jay Leisten

Color Artist: Frank D’Armata / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Cover: Greg Land & Frank D’Armata