Author Archives: Ryn Fraser

About Ryn Fraser

Caribbean born college teacher with a degree in Philosophy, founder/CEO of World of Black Heroes, freelance writer and all around comic book geek. I enjoy a good book, video games, movies and most of all fatherhood. Written credits include work for Wikipedia, Comicvine, Independent comics, IGN, Gamespot, and Islandstage.net.

Benoist

Benoist

Benoist

Real Name: Unknown

Alias: Papa Bear

Publisher: Aspen MLT

Created by: Michael Turner and J. T Krul

1st appearance: Soulfire v1. #3, 2005

Nationality: American

Team Affiliations:

Legal Status:Unknown

Height: 6’5″     Weight: 240 lbs 

Eyes: Brown      Hair: Black

Relatives: Unknown

Skills and Abilities: Skilled fighter and electronic engineer.

Powers: Part Flesh, part machine. Being part machine Benoist can become one with mechanical creations and weapons, this allows him greater range and control far beyond that of any other being.

He also shares great capability with his vehicles, being able to travel and fly in unusual contraptions which only he can usually pilot. He has knowledge of almost every metal in existence, there is very little in the way of machine or armored defense that Benoist cannot build or undo. His cyborg parts also grant him superhuman strength [Soulfire Preview 2003].

After his upgrade he is now techno-organic after being infused  with magic. This allows him to fly under his own power and morph his techno parts into any shape desired he is now seemingly stronger and more durable than before [Soulfire v4, #4]

Biography

As a young man he used to work for Rainer Industries. He possessed prodigious talents in the art of making machines. He joined simply to have access to the resources necessary to test his brain but found something far more sinister. Rainer had been using him and those like him to build a weapon to enslave mankind. Unfortunately for Benoist he was discovered and caught. Taken to Rainer himself he had both arms ripped off. They they had a “falling out” which resulted in him being thrown from the 139th floor of the building [Soulffire v1 #3 and Aspen Comics Presents-Benoist]. Both legs were lost in the fall and he should have died but he was found by Gabriel a prodigy in the fields of engineering and cybernetics. Gabriel healed his mind and his body not only be crafting him new limbs but showing him that losing his limbs didn’t mean that he lost his soul [SoulFire v2 #2]. Gabe could only do so much however as Benoist fell into self loathing and drinking. It was the love pf the fairy Lyra who truly set him on his path to recovery in mind and body [Aspen Comics Presents-Benoist]. It is suggested that some time later she died [Soulfire v1#4].

The Champion

Benoist is the grand champion of the battle pit; an arena where they hold high tech competitions that are broadcast on the net, the location changes for each event to keep government censors of their back. He met Grace and company when they tried to contact Randolph Jenkins about “alternative transportation” to Hawaii. When he realized rainier was involved he joined their cause [Soulfire v1 #3].

He aided their campaign [Soulfire v1 #3-9] and saved pj’s life after his arm was severed by creating a cybernetic arm like his own for him [Soulfire v1 #10]. The two now have a mentor and student relationship [Soulfire v2 #0]. While visiting ‘the eighth continent’ the largest junkyard in the world off the coast of Australia to visit Gaberiel he ran amok of Jakobi who had taken control of the continent [Soulfire v2 #1]. When he infiltrated the complex to try and see his friend he realized that Jakobi had been keeping his mentor in a comatose state to claim leadership of the Junkyard because as his right-hand man he would be leader in his absence [Soulfire v2 #2-3]. When Pj staged a rescue attempt Jakobi tried to have him killed. Benoist escaped revealed Jakobi’s treachery and ended the threat. Upon realizing Gabe had suffered irreparable brain damage he was the one to unplug life support so he could die in peace [Soulfire v2 #4]. Alongside his friends they battled Rainer and his techno organic monsters [Soulfire v2 #5-9].

Later he participated int he battle against Onyx and met Miya [Soulfire v3. 1-8].

Upgrade

When Grace is corrupted by evil he is severely injured when saving his friends [Soulfire v4. #3]. To save his life they infused his body with Magic but it had an unexpected side effect. The Cybernetics raged with the organics and magic initially endangering his friends. After a time however the three stabilized and his wounds healed. Benoist was reborn and more power than before [Soulfire v4. #4]. He used these new abilities to aid his friends in battling the corrupted Grace and eventually freeing her [Soulfire v4. #5-8].


Lyra

Lyra

Publisher: Aspen MLT

Created by: J. T Krul and Micah Gunnel

1st appearance: Aspen Showcase- Benoist #1, 2008

Nationality: American

Legal Status:Unknown

Height: 5’5″     Weight: 150 lbs 

Eyes: Brown      Hair: Black

Relatives: Unknown

Skills and Abilities: Unknown

Powers: Lyra is a member of the Faye race and as such has insect like wings that sprout from her shoulder blades granting her flight. She also has peak human attributes in the areas of sight, smell, healing, and agility. Her other magical abilities are unknown.

Biography

 Lyra’s past is shrouded in mystery. She came to the world of man and after meeting Benoist in a bar after his limbs had been amputated [Aspen Showcase- Benoist #1, 2008]. Helping him with his recovery mentally they apparently fell in love. It is suggested by Benoist that she died at some point.


Is Mario Gully heading back to Image Comics?!

Troubled superstar creator/Artist Mario Gully aka O.M.G is back at it again and this time with Dirty Bones:

image_logo

 

New Bark City, Growlsville. This is an epic tale of a mutt by the name of Rover – an ex “Gangster” that gave up his life on the streets to embark on a quest of self discovery while standing up against the segregation between the mutts and the pedigrees. Rover quickly finds out that life in the city has changed as Dirty, the notorious “BIG DAWG”, has taken control of New Bark City by force and is now fighting a vicious turf war with Madam Kitty for ultimate power. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and no animal is safe in this adventure of romance, gangsters, tommy-guns, fast cars and flea bitten varmints! DIRTY BONES, where every dog has it’s day!

Written and illustrated by: Mario “O.M.G” Gully (comic book pro: Marvel Comics, Arcana Studios, and creator of “Ant” published by Image Comics)

Colored by: Thomas Mason (“X-Men #1 20th anniversary edition by Jim Lee”, “Guarding the Globe by Robert Kirkman (“Walking Dead”), Spawn #200 cover by Rob Liefeld (X-Force) and Todd McFarlane)

Executive Produced by: Luke Whitehead (Entertainment Manager and Founder Mixed Nation)

 

 

Mario Gully for those who may have missed out on his very interesting life came to public attention when he published ANT a superhero series about the 1/2 Black, 1/2 white girl with dreams of becoming a superhero. We enjoyed it thoroughly! In fact you can check out the review here, we gave the opening issue 4/5 stars for gorgeous art and an emotionally gripping story. Ant we should also mention was created by Mario while he was in Jail.

Recent happening had Mario avoiding jail time thanks to a judge who was a comic fan, selling ANT to Erik Larsen who now runs Image comics, having a public spat with Erik later on about a “questionable” art piece which was to be included with an issue of Ant which tied up a whole bunch of plot holes in the original run of the series, re-branding himself O.M.G, teasing Bug which he is co-creating with his eldest daughter and then launching Dirty Bones on Kickstarter.

It’s a mouthful I know, but as a fan of Mario Gully who is a seriously underrated talent I think it essential that you understand where he’s coming from. I love me an underdog story and Mario is as you’ll realize by googling him is a controversial, polarizing personality with his own thoughts and ideas about everything we actually liken him to Milestone comics Michael Davis.

A few days ago Mario posted the Image logo to his facebook profile (April 9) and while his Dirty Bones kickstarter was unsuccessful in reaching it’s goals the posting of the logo got his fans in a tizzy. When asked if Dirty Bones was coming to Image Comics he has this to say:

“I can’t say anything as of yet.”

He went on to say:

I wanna thank the Dragon for being a better man then I have ever been!

The ‘Dragon’ he mentions is clearly Erik Larsen creator of Savage Dragon and his statement also alludes to the public spat they had awhile back. Mario also doesn’t explicitly state Dirty Bones will be published by Image Comics saying he has “something he’s excited about in the pipes at Image” (April 10). On the same day a fan asks him outright if Dirty Bones will be an Image book now. On April 13 Mario responded:

We haven’t even talked to a publisher yet about this book.

I’m just finishing issue #1

That Image deal is a totally separate thing I’m doing.

Despite this however it has not stopped one website from already congratulating Mario on Dirty Bones going to Image Comics. Mario meanwhile continues to say he did not say it was happening.

Regardless of Mario Gully’s Dirty Bones project however we are quite pleased with whatever development may be brewing between himself and Image Comics, it also doesn’t hurt that himself and Erik Larsen are back on good terms. Whether the unpublished issue of  Ant ever sees the light of day or Mario drawing a new or established series for Image Comics we are happy that this talented artist will get a second chance at being the super star we know he can be!

 

More as it breaks.  


Fantastic Four #544 Review

FantasticFour#544 cover

In the aftermath of Civil War comes RECONSTRUCTION, the beginning of a stunning new era of fantastic adventure. The team has been rocked to its foundations by the controversial events of the last several months. Now Reed and Sue have announced their plans to take some time off to work out their marital problems, leaving Ben and Johnny to hold the fort. But they won’t be doing it shorthanded. Two new members join the team, Black Panther and Storm. Epoch says that the events that occurred are beyond their comprehension. The Fantastic Four make to land on her but she begs them to leave. She says their energies she’s releasing are detectible and she fears being discovered by the Herald. With that, the Silver Surfer arrives.

Summary

The Black Panther and Storm join the Fantastic Four and renovate the Baxter building to be more like home.  After a press conference they meet with Deathlok who has them investigate the mystery of Gravity’s missing body. They manage to visit the Watcher and get the information they need.

Tracking Epoch the living planet they discover she has Gravity’s body and she refuses to hand it over. A fight ensues and the Silver Surfer arrives.

The Good

Mystery- Who the hell is gravity and why is his body missing?FantasticFour#544 1

Cover-We have the ever loving blue eyed thing in the foreground, followed by the human torch with our favorite married couple Storm the mutant weather goddess and Black Panther the most dangerous man alive.

Believable- McDuffie manages to put Storm and Black Panther on the Fantastic Four and even have the costumes changed to match Black Panther’s black motif in a very natural and convincing manner. He also makes a point of having Storm reconcile her normally volatile relationship with the press by having her acknowledge that as queen she must now comport herself like a queen as she no longer has the benefit of being a mutant outlaw.

Future Portents- This issue references the watcher attending the wedding of Black Panther and Storm back in Black Panther (2005) # and also makes reference to the children they will have…….now by my calculation that would mean Sky Panther, Azari from the cartoon Avengers Next, Panther who joined the exiles, The children from the “dune like” future T’chaka who marries Luke Cage’s daughter Danielle, Twari, the unnamed son, the twins…..yeah that’s all I’m aware of so far. But me thinks there must be quite a few more that should eventually pop up!

FantasticFour#544 2Humor- Quite a few chuckle worthy moments in this one, my favorite had to be where Black Panther went into his exposition about the watcher and Storm nips it in the bud. Pity Reggie Hudlin didn’t take note that this was the proper way to write a marriage.

Black Heroes- Ladies and gentlemen I give you Storm and Black Panther the mightiest coupling in the marvel universe under a scribe whose execution is damn near perfect! Oh and Deathlok shows up too!

Art- Paul Pelletier’s art is a visual feast. Everything has a good balance of details, smoothness and cartoon aesthetic.  Storm in particular is beautiful, with full luscious lips, charming eyes and well defined African nose.  The art also manages to give all the characters even the rock like Thing very expressive facial features.

Team- McDuffie manages to lay all the personalities at his disposal very well. Storm is warm, comforting and friendly with Ben and Johnny yet very loving though not submissive to Black Panther.  Storm steals the ultimate nullifier off panel thanks to her thieving skills, Johnny is the typical hothead mess and Ben shows that he’s not the dumbest member of the team by piloting the new ship easily and also grabbing the information the tea needed from the Cycloedia Universum (the Watchers Wikipedia) while everyone else was overwhelmed. This is simply bloody good writing!

The Bad

Action- This issue is very light on the fisticuffs, which will surely prevent a great many from digging into this feast.

Thief- This was an aspect of Storm’s characterization and continuity that Hudlin all but ignored. I would have gotten a kick out of seeing how Storm got the nullifier but that probably just me.

The Ugly

Dwayne McDuffie RIP this is by far one of the most enjoyable tales that feature the Black Panther & Storm. It shows them taking over the spot of Invisible woman and Mr. Fantastic with great ease while adding their own unique flair. Overall I must say this issue is a solid 4/5

stars- 4


Morana Simmons

morana

Publisher: Image Comics

Alias: The one

Created by: David Hine and Brian Haberlin

1st appearance: Spawn #168

Nationality: American

Legal Status: Unknown

Height: 5’7    Weight: 145 lbs

Eyes: Brown      Hair: Black

Relatives:

Paternal: Henry Simmons and Alma (Ancestors) Little Richie (Uncle), Marc Simmons (Uncle), Bernard Simmons (Grandfather), Mrs. Simmons (Grandmother), Al Simmons/Spawn (Father)

Maternal: Granny Blake (Grandmother), Wanda Fitzgerald (Mother), Selma (Great Great Grandmother), Michael (Great Grandfather), Thomas Coram (Great Great Grandfather)

Siblings: Cyan Fitgerald (1/2 Sister)

Biography

Morena first appears as a shrouded figure behind Mammon [spawn #168]. She reappears still shrouded to her grandmother [Spawn #176].

Mamon reveals to Wanda and Al that when Al attacked her while she was pregnant had been his influence because he wanted their child. The perfect Hellspawn. Mammon had delivered their child and kept her for 18 years. On that day she performs a blood ceremony to consecrate her [Spawn #182].

She finally meets her biological parents Al and Wanda, she considered Mamon her true father and held her parents responsible for throwing her away those years ago. She took the Spawn symbiot from Nyx at Mammon’s behest. She then plans to storm earth and enslave mankind. As she attacks ‘Al Simmons’ her sister Cyan beckons Al to call forth the legion to kill her [Spawn #183]. She easily dispatched them and made short work of Spawn. Nyx with the help of Cyan binds Mammon and Morena thus saving all mankind [Spawn #184].


Slab

Slab1Publisher: Image Comics

Created by:  Erik Larsen

Real Name: Unknown

1st appearance: Savage Dragon #24

Nationality: Unknown

Team Affiliations: None

Legal Status: US citizen with no criminal record

Height: 5’9   (Human)     8’3 (Monster)

Weight: 190 lbs (Human)       650 lbs (Monster)

Eyes: Brown (Human)     White (Monster)

Hair: Black (Human)                 None (Monster)

Relatives: Unknown

Skills and abilities: Unknown

Powers: Superhuman strength, resistance to Injury and endurance.

Biography

Nothing is known of his past except that he tried to gain control/leadership of the ‘Vicious Circle’. During his attempted coup the superhuman Negate used his powers on Slab de-powering him and thus making him human. With his powers gone it’s assumed he was killed by the Vicious Circle [Savage Dragon #24].


New Warriors (2014) #2-3 Review

 

Newarriors2014#2

New Warriors (2014) #2

The Evolutionaries are on the war path! If it’s not human, it DIES.

What does the High Evolutionary want with Nova?

All across the world, the New Warriors come together… SEE! Sun Girl and Haechi deal with Morlocks! WITNESS! Justice and Speedball fight to save magic! CRINGE! As Scarlet Spider refuses to play well with others.

What I thought

Honestly this issue was head and shoulders better than the first for me. The action was good and while I can’t accept Kain as the Scarlet Spider or the book’s lack of Night Thrasher I can see the threads being woven together. The unified outlook that Kyle has planned is an interesting take on the Marvel Universe, quite similar to New Warriors Volume one from the 90’s. The team has potential: Clone, Demigod, Atlantean, Inhuman, Human tech user (Sun Girl) and Superhuman. All the bases are covered and the threat provided seems big enough to warrant a team made of these seemingly disparate groups joining together.

Another complaint is the lack of seeming maturity among the original New Warriors Vance Astrovic and Speedball. I thought it was a nice touch having Speedball mention Firestar who had a long running relationship with Vance and also joined the Avengers with him. She’s clearly not going to be joining this team since she just joined the Amazing X-men.

I also liked the use of the High Evolutionary as the ‘big bad’ of this opening arc. He really does need to get more usage with his range of skills and abilities.

Overall

I give this issue a 3/5 for good cast, art and a step in the right direction.

stars- 3 good

 

 

New Warriors (2014) #3 Review

New Warriors (2014) #3 Review

THE KIDS ARE ALL FIGHT!

The all-new NOVA has tea with the High Evolutionary as a world-wide genocide approaches.

Why does the High Evolutionary want to kill anything that’s not human? Is he a hero or villain? The answers are here!

PLUS! As the New Warriors gather in New York, a captured SCARLET SPIDER meets Nova, and one of them REALLY annoys the other. Guess.

What I thought

Art was good and I’m enjoying the story development. Team dynamics are starting to come into play. The New Nova and Scarlet Spider are two very different people who get on each other’s nerves instinctively. There is enough tension between Justice and Sun Girl for that to lead into a romance in the future or for her to be co-leader; of both. I enjoyed how Yost tied together all the different races into the grand scheme of the celestials in the first few pages. I could nitpick, the hell out of it but I’m going along with it because I’m curious to see where this goes. It’s also quite effective in introducing new readers to the marvel universe in general. That level of accessibility is priceless in this often convoluted and back story heavy realm of comics, kudos to Yost on that one. The art is pretty good though the cover is pretty damn bland. Still waiting for Night Thrasher to show up but seems like a moot point now.

Overall

I’m enjoying this which is a major step up for issue number one. I give this issue a 3/5

stars- 3 good


New Deathlok series coming from Marvel Comics!

So he has made his debut on Agents of SHIELD and he’s now back in a big way in Marvel’s upcoming crossover Original Sin details below:

DEATHLOK

Deathlok is back

Brevoort promised characters “old and new” will appear in Original Sins, with Alonso chiming in that a Deathlok story in the series is intented to be a “Point One” style lead-in to a future Deathlok solo series. The Deathlok story is by Nathan Edmondson and Mike Perkins, the latter Brevoort says calls Deathlok a “dream job” going back years. The story in Original Sins will re-introduce Deathlok, and his alter-ego Michael Collins, to the “core of the Marvel Universe” Alonso states.

According to Alonso, Deathlok will be one of “four to five” characters Marvel plans on launching ongoing series for out of Original Sin. Marvel also has plans for several of their currently ongoing series to feature “transformations” of its characters with the effects of this line-wide event.

 

That sounds like good news for Deathlok fans

What do you think of the return of Deathlok to comics?

More as it breaks!

Source: Newsarama


Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-man #1-3 Review

 

CataclysmULTIMATECOMICSSpiderman#1

Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-man #1

MILES MORALES learned the meaning of having great responsibility and put his costume back on after mourning the tragic death of his mother

Now he stands to lose his entire world as a cosmic threat descends on earth

Can SPIDER-MAN and his friends, CLOAK & DAGGER and SPIDER-WOMAN make a difference in the face of apocalypse?

Story- On the SHIELD Hellicarier Spiderwoman recounts recent events to Captain America and the Ultimates. Below the clouds Miles Morales snoozes in class. Elsewhere Bombshell is getting hell from her parole officer about using her powers violating the terms of her parole. She snaps at him because she used her powers for good this time. Later on Miles Morales in his Spider-man garb saves some people and gets a hug from the Police who are glad he has finally returned. Elsewhere Cloak takes Dagger to her parent’s home. She breaks down when she realizes they have left.  Cloak teleports them back to a nearby rooftop where they witness the arrival of Galactus in the city and SHIELD forces racing to intercept.

Cover- Miles Morales, Cloak and Dagger flee as Galactus imposing frame towers above them.

Emotion- The flashbacks  really helped to paint the picture of Bombshell’s past

 

 

 

Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-man #2 Review

Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-man #2 Review

The young heroes of the ULTIMATE UNIVERSE gather together to save New York from the terror of GALACTUS!!!

War time romance blooms!

A NEW hero debuts!

Story- A flashback to two years ago when New York was flooded by Magneto and his brotherhood, we find out what Dagger was up to at the time. In the present Cloak and Dagger teleport right onto Galctus’s face and start attacking. They realize they are way out of their league and instead turn their attention to evacuating the city. Miles does the same thing and quickly tries to locate his dad. His father refuses to take his help as Spider-man so he removes his mask.

Cover-This one has an all white cover with a cut out in the shape of Galactus head showing Miles Morales, Cloak and Dagger primed and ready for the attack.

This issue’s big unmasking was a treat.

 

 

Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-man #3 Review

Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-man #3 Review

The question everyone has been asking: Will Miles Morales survive CATACLYSM???

Story- With Galactus in the center of New York all hell breaks loose. Miles dad has an emotional outburst upon realizing his son is Spider-man. Before they can hash things out a plane crashes on their street. Miles helps the survivors and tells his dad to remain in the apartment until he returns. Once he swings off his father breaks down and cries. At the crash site Spider-woman, Cloak, Dagger and Bombshell show up to aid things. J Jonah Jameson is also rescued. Miles returns to his house to find his father gone. Before he can process what has happened the Ultimates contact him for aid.

 

Overall

This series  had gorgeous art from start to finish. Stunning Splash pages and characterization popping off every single page. The most powerful scenes from issue #1 were Bombshells memory as a child criminal with her mom and Dagger’s realization that her parents had just packed up and left her behind. In issue #2 the ending was the best part as Miles stands without his mask in-front of his father. The finale issue had allot of powerful moments. The confrontation between father and son and the shocked realization his dad experiences pulls at your heart springs in a way only if you’ve been here from Ultimate Comics Spider-man #1 you will truly get it. Other notable happenings was J Jonah Jameson trying to talk to Miles and then saying “When this is all over I’m going to change your life”. It’s spine tingling and tear jerking when you realize Jameson after Peter Parker died regretted everything he put Parker through. It’s the same reason he refused to disclose the Miles identity back when Venom came onto the scene (See Ultimate Comics Spider-man #16.1, Ultimate Comics Spider-man #19, Ultimate Comics Spider-man #20Ultimate Comics Spider-man #21 and eventually killed his mom (Ultimate Comics Spider-man #22).

This series manages to ease us into the Cataclysm crossover without being jarring or feeling as forced as the tragic and average United we Stand (Which ran through Ultimate Comics Spider-man #15, #16-18) which happened earlier in this run. Brian Michael Bendis delivers simply divine Characterization wrapped in great art and deep-seated emotion. I give the entire thing a 5/5

stars- 5 excellent


Stealth

 Stealth allen_white

Publisher: Studio EFX

Created by: William Satterwhite

1st appearance: Stealth webcomic, 2001; Stealth Vol 1, 2005 (print)

Nationality: American

Team Affiliations: None

Legal Status: United States citizen with no criminal record

Height: 6’1”               Weight: 175lbs

Eyes: Brown                Hair: Black

Relatives: Brenda White (Mother, newscaster), Edward White (Father/deceased, aerospace engineer), Eric White (Brother/deceased, policeman)

Skills and abilities: Near genius level intellect, above average to good athletic ability before gaining superpowers (backup quarterback on football team freshman and sophomore years)

Powers: Can move at super speeds, up to and just beyond the speed of sound. He also possesses superhuman strength and agility- capable of lifting one ton- enhanced senses, x-ray vision and a low level healing factor.

 Biography

A shy, reserved, sensitive and thoughtful young man, Allen White is one of the top students in Cleburne High senior class. One night, while caught in a storm, he was struck by lightning. Instead of dying or suffering any injury whatsoever, he began to develop superhuman abilities- superspeed, enhanced strength and senses and x-ray vision. At first, he was unsure what to do with these newfound abilities until tragedy struck and his older brother Eric, a rookie police officer, was gunned down by a drug dealer. Since then, Allen has sworn to use his abilities to battle the criminal element in Terminus City.

After a couple of “warm ups” against low level hoods, Stealth’s first major confrontation is with Shockwave, a bank robber with the ability to generate, control and manipulate electric energy. It is during this confrontation that he realizes he also has a low-level healing factor, which is pivotal he his winning the day. When he dresses up as Stealth, he adopts an entirely different persona. Whereas Allen is smart, quiet, shy and sensitive, Stealth is sarcastic, arrogant, and somewhat brutal. Stealth can best be described, and has been, as Allen’s dark side.

 

 


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