Xmen: Dark Phoenix (Spoiler) Review by Wale C. Dev

So I saw Dark Phoenix on Wednesday.

I did not hate it. I had a good time at parts. But for the most part, my head was in my hands. There will be many negatives in the review that follows, but understand that when we get to the positive, it is a pretty big one.

Before I move along, I think it’s worth mentioning that this movie was written by Simon Kinberg, who wrote the brilliant Days Of Future Past. However, he did not write Logan, First Class, Deadpool, or Deadpool 2.

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(Picture: Simon Kinberg)
And he also wrote X3: The Last Stand (uuuh……) and Apocalypse (Yikes!!!)

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Keeping the above in mind makes it easier to understand why the movie ended up the way it did. If you leave the movie scratching your head and wondering why it felt, to an extent, like a do-over of The Last Stand, your answer is right there: it should be no surprise why elements that were introduced by that movie are carried forward here, even as the film tries to incorporate more elements from the original Phoenix saga. Elements such as Jean’s repressed family history, the return to the family house and its’ relevance to the plot as the location for a major conflict, the tug-of-war over Jean between her two mentors, the inadvertent destruction of a beloved mentor figure, and so forth.

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Clearly, someone doesn’t agree that his ideas were a problem the first time around….and in my opinion, this is where the movie’s biggest problems originate.

Dark Phoenix attempts to re-tell the story that was told in X3: The Last Stand, in the alternate world of X-Men:First Class. The skeleton of the story is similar, but it makes a few key adjustments in order to move things closer to the comic book arc that inspired it in the first place. An alien race is introduced, and the Phoenix is recast as a cosmic force and not the manifestation of Jean’s repressed self.

It’s very clear that someone worked very hard to keep the plot tight. And it shows: the movie constantly course corrects as it moves along, trying to keep potential runaway story threads from going haywire. A few rough edges do remain, such as the fact that the (amazing) train sequence was even allowed to happen at all, but the true issues with the movie are those that come from the fact that this is clearly two competing movies fighting for dominance.

For example, why does the head alien bizarrely confess her plans to Xavier during the first “hug battle” scene? (Perhaps because Xavier himself is completely out of the loop regarding a potential alien invasion up to that point) Why does the head alien even bother to send her soldiers after the train when she could literally just walk in and take everyone out, before the X-men and Jean are even loaded onto it? Why do we waste so much time on Jean’s repressed childhood and her relationship with her father when it has nothing to do with the Phoenix force itself? In the end, if Jean’s repressed childhood only serves one purpose: which is to turn her into a lunatic once the Phoenix force finds her- what is the meaning of the bizarre punchline at the end of the movie where a discussion about emotions comes completely out of nowhere?

So unfortunately, the movie’s plot, while kept as tight as it could be, didn’t achieve much in the way of creating weight for the action scenes. Speaking of which, It took a long time to get going with said action, but when it started it was fast, bloody and extremely violent.

I’m going to give this movie all the kudos for its action scenes right here. This movie had incredible action. In fact, it’s almost surprising how good it is. It’s cut fast, characters do smart things, powers are combined rapidly, and the X-men are incredibly competent and skillful. Their opponents rise to the challenge, and Magneto absolutely does not disappoint. The special effects are brilliant, and the characters fight with verve and emotion.

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It almost feels like another movie when the action begins! Which is why, unfortunately, the fact that the plot fails to establish any sort of stakes for the action hurts so much more. This alone wouldn’t have been too much of a problem if the movie didn’t also have problems with dialogue.

My God was the dialogue terrible. It was cringeworthy nonsense that for the most part sounded like plot-advancing filler…no heart or conversation to it, just people repeating cliche’d phrases that in many cases didn’t really fit in context. I mean for fucks sake “when I lose control, bad things happen” or “you hurt people, how did you stop?”

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It’s heartbreaking to see some amazing actors having to struggle through some of the worst dialogue known to comic book movies….I really felt for J-Law as she phoned in a bizarre scene where she suggested that the X-men should be called the X-women. Terrible dialogue was combined with bizarre departures from character such as Cyclops dropping random F-bombs, the X-men and magneto acting like football hooligans and yobs on the streets, itching for a fight, Beast going for murderous revenge when not neccesary and suddenly changing his mind, and other bizarre flipflops on the parts of Xavier and Magneto as the plot demanded it.

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It was also quite bizarre the way the population went from treating the X-Men like heroes to vilifying them in such a short time, especially given the recent history of this particular universe, with apocalypse and whatnot….

And this brings me to the single largest problem with the movie: Sophie Turner.

She. is. Incredibly. Miscast.

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And to explain how horrifically miscast she is would take another article. She is beyond terrible in the role, and brings the movie down around herself.

In the end? It was not garbage. It was not terrible. But it struggled to have a point to exist. And while the action was entertaining, the dark and somber nature of the movie meant that the weight the action needed, wasn’t really there. It was fast, it was visceral, but the only real stakes were a creeping fear that X-Men might die for no reason. (Which, to be fair, worked for me the first time around) Once you watch the movie once and know who lives and who dies, I doubt the lack of additional stakes will warrant a re-watch.

Final score: Above Mediocre. Will watch it again once, then maybe fast-forward it on home video to the excellent action sequences.

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Review Written by Wale C. Dev (Admin, http://www.comicsmeltdown.com)

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Nommo Awards Releases Comic Nominations!!

The Nommo Awards recognise works of speculative fiction by Africans.  That means science fiction, fantasy, stories of magic and traditional belief, alternative histories, horror and strange stuff that might not fit in anywhere else.The 2019 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans has announced the shortlists for the Nommo Awards in all four categories – novel, novella, short story and comics/graphic novels.

From our point of view, this is simply awesome!.

For this year Nommo released their 2019 nomination list but, like always, comics come first for us.

Find the list of nominated comics below:
The Nommo Award nominees for Best Comic/Graphic Novel: (shortlisted works in alphabetical order) :
1. Akissi: Tales of Mischief Marguerite by Abouet and Mathieu Sapin
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2. Black Panther: Long Live the King by Nnedi Okorafor, Andre Araujo, Mario Del Pennino, Tana Ford
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3. Eru Tobe by Max Ezeogu, Oze Ezeogu
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4.Kwezi by Loyiso Mkize, Clyde Beech and Mohale Mashigo
Karmzah Farida Bedwei and Ravi Allotey
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5.Malika Warrior Queen Part Two by Roye Okupe, Chima Kalu
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6.Rovik by Yvonne Wanyoike, Kendi Mberia, Salim Busuru
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7.Shaka Rising by Luke Molver
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8.Shuri by Nnedi Okorafor, Leonardo Romero
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9.Tatashe by Cassandra Mark, Tobe Max Ezeogu
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10.Under the Sun by Austine Osas, Abiodun Awodele, Yusuf Temitope
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Wow!!!, such great comics and graphic novels above!!

 

The shortlisted works in the other categories are:

The Ilube Nommo Awards for Best Speculative Novel

(the shortlisted titles in alphabetical order)

Children of Blood and Bone Tomi Adeyemi

Empty Monsters Cat Hellisen

Freshwater Akwaeke Emezi

Knucklebone Nehama Brodie

A Spy in Time  Imraan Coovadia

The Strange Masha du Toit

The Nommo Award for Best Speculative Novella

(shortlisted works in alphabetical order)

 Binti: The Night Masquerade Nnedi Okorafor

The Firebird Nerine Dorman

Hard Mary Sofia Samatar

Neid-Fire by Caldon Mull

The Nommo Award for Best Speculative Short Story

(shortlisted works in alphabetical order)

‘Brand New Ways (to lose you over and over and over again)’ Blaize Kaye

‘The Girl who Stared at Mars’ Cristy Zinn

‘The Luminal Frontier’ Biram Mboob

‘Memento Mori’ by Tiah Marie Beautement

‘Njuzu’ T. L. Huchu

‘Origami Angels’ Derek Lubangakene

‘The Witching Hour’ Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald

The roughly 170 members of the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) nominated works for the Awards long list and short lists.  They will now have a three-month period to read the works and vote for the winners of the Awards.

The short-listed works must be speculative fiction created by Africans and published in calendar year 2018. The winners of the Ilube Nommo Award and the Comic/Graphic Novel award receive UD$ 1000.00.  The winners of the novella and short story awards receive US$ 500.00.  The ASFS thanks its patron Tom Ilube, CBE for his generosity.

The ASFS was founded in 2015. The creation of the Nommo Awards was announced at the Ake Festival in Abeokuta in November 2016.  The winners will be announced at the Ake Festival in Lagos Nigeria in November.

For interviews with shortlisted authors or more information about the Awards or the ASFS, email info@africansfs.com

Or visit their website

www.africansfs.com

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What do you think about the nominated comics and other categories?

Let us know!!

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Visionary #2 Review: Visionary Bleeds Coolness!!! by Patrick Agusi

Comics Meltdown Review of Visionary #2

Published by Comic Republic

Created by Akintoba Kalejaye

Written by Akintoba Kalejaye

Line Art by Stanley Obende

Colours by Tobe Max Ezeogu

Cover by Ozo Ezeogu

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“Child, it seems you can see me?”, asks the spirit. And instantly I knew I was sold. Yes, I have seen you. And I have noticed you very well. 006

Visionary issue 2 is the third installment in a tale that looks keen on becoming one of Africa’s strongest titles in the comics scene. I would not deny.

When I initially leafed through this issue, I was a bit miffed to realize that there was little to be seen of Sango, the fan favorite who I am sure everyone that picked this up was looking forward to see. What we got instead was more Danmole, the young lad who has a past (and a connection to the thunder god) that is certainly pivotal to the plot.

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And boy!, am I glad that I was miffed! With less focus on Sango, we are thrown right behind Danmole (and his family), who with this issue, has rightfully grown into a strong character of his own! Apart from his intriguing history and heritage, Danmole sets the ball rolling for the advancement of the plot, and his easily likeable personality is enough to leave you–by the time you are done–wondering about the unique circumstances that the trio (him, his sister and his grandma) have found themselves in.

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This here is a solid protagonist after my heart! The Pros? Great lines and colors. Tiger grandma!!! A villain who practical screams “Nigerian!”. The suit with the native touch to it enhanced his swoleness. And I would be giving a half point to my rating for his originality alone.

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The narrative, also, is easily the best part of this issue. It is consistent with prior releases. And it flows smoothly, from page to page, trusting itself to do so without stumbling. The Yoruba language also seems to bring a certain life to the tale, and you would never think you are reading some story about a bald hero, or some medieval swordsman who has been unlucky since birth. This is blatantly Visionary. And it is proud to uphold its own identity.

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The magic system (though not much has been shown on that yet) is also a positive allure. And watching Sango walk towards the battlefield, lost in his own musings was also a thing of great awe! (Seriously, the Yoruba thunder god bleeds coolness every time he appears in page).

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Cons? Alas, it ended too quickly! Which was my major problem with this book. I wanted to lose myself in the visionary world for a little bit longer. There was also a scene–a splash page, I think–where the proper sequence of reading was a bit difficult to decipher. It did not hurt it much as this was during a fight scene, but it is worth calling to notice.

All in all, I think this is one of the better comic releases from Nigeria this year. 4.5/5.

Hopefully, the wait up to the next issue will be a lot less and it might be a little bulkier. Kudos to the team that worked on this.

I have read Visionary #2. Have you?

Read the recently released Visionary #2 here:

Website: http://www.thecomicrepublic.com/readvisionary.html

Mobile: http://m.thecomicrepublic.com/VISIONARYhome.html

For plot Coherence, If you have not read #0 & #1 please do so.

Make sure to let us know what you think!

Review Written by Patrick Agusi (Writer, Comic Fan)

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Catch Comic Republic on their Website for more great books.

38424423_2260950967266621_3488218351564488704_o

http://www.thecomicrepublic.com

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Comic Connect Wants you!!!

Admin Announcement!
Formal Invitation From Comic Connect:
Hey Meltdown, What’s going on with everyone?
We as a group stand invited to the Comic Connect happening on the 17th of November, 2018 (Next week Saturday). We will be extending this invitation to all our sister groups, Naija gakure and Anime Exchange Groups!
Comic Connect Invitation
The Meltdown will have its own booth and session!
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This is the part where we show up as Fans of Comic Books. The Part where we put our money where our mouth is. Frankly, this is a big deal for us as it is the first time any convention is making this big a deal about the fans or The Meltdown group.
The Session is going to be a Debate Session where the fans and The Meltdown will do a comparative analysis between African Heroes & Their Foreign Counterparts, an all out argument session (a poll will be put on our social media for Topic) and the way forward for African Comics.
Honestly, it does not get better than this. We, as fans are being given a rare opportunity to plot the course of History and make our voices heard…clearly!
A live announcement will be happening a 2.30pm WAT .
Let us know your thoughts!
Comic Connect Will be happening on the 17th of November, 2018 at Freedom Park, Lagos.
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Lagos Comic Con Moves to Remedy The Situation.

Hey Guys,

Finally, there is a reprise and progress on OluGbenga Lawal issue that was brought to the group’s attention.

A week ago, one of ours came to the group with news that was both disturbing and unfair. In a characteristic response, the members of the group rallied together and roared against those that reside in the clouds.

Our voices were heard. Our voices compelled positive change.

According to the documents and excerpts we have received, the money has not been fully repaid, but the legal framework is in place to compel payment. For this, we can say kudos to the organizers of LCC at the very least for stepping up to the plate.

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This said, the ADMIN have resolved that we will not reverse our decision or take a step back until this situation is completely resolved. It is our hope that LCC will be honorable in seeing this through. When this is done, we are prepared to review our decision based off the prevailing situation at that instance.

Honestly, we are sure that the actions of the members of this group in collaboration with the ADMIN has changed the Comics industry for the better. People will definitely be more conscientious in dealing with other…at least in this Industry.

Honestly, you guys are superheroes! and we the ADMIN have never been prouder of all of you and this group.

We thank everyone for their support and for their conscience.

ADMIN.
The Anime Exchange
The Comics Meltdown
Naijagakure.

Trust is the basis for growth.

Hey Comics Meltdown Group,

Yesterday, one of our members Mr. Gbenga Lawal brought a situation to our notice.

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In his post, he alleged that the Convener of Lagos Comic Con, Mr. Ayodele Elegba Scammed him of 3 million Naira. He further pleaded for our help to compel Mr. Elegba to return his money and publicize this issue .

Seeing the serious nature of his claims, the admin of the Comics Meltdown, Naijagakure and Anime Exchange investigated his claims. Further to this, Mr Lawal thereto notified us/provided documentary evidence for his claims and we premise our findings on his documents.

We considered his claims purely on their merit since it seems that Mr. Ayodele Elegba is not ready or willing to take our request for a response from him seriously. It is noteworthy that, if or/and when we are able to confirm from Ayodele Elegba or we have information that is sufficient to change our finding and decision, we will change our stance immediately.

To reach a decision we examined:
– Emails between both partiesLCC evid 1
– Contract(s)
– Financial statements (or lack thereof)

We established the following:
-1. Mr Lawal wanted to organize his own Comic Con (Abuja Comic Con). He went to Mr Elegba for advise upon which Mr Elegba advised him to invest his funds into Lagos Comic Con(LCC) so that he would have more funds for his own event.
-2. Mr. Elegba via a document known as “FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS AND BUDGET FOR LAGOS COMIC CON 2018” assured Mr. Lawal that the LCC would return “N16,900,000 total profit after invested cost” of which “N5,070,000” would be his own return. In Mr. Elegba’s word in the email and document he said “However i must say this is just a forecast and we could make more than this and God forbid maybe a little less”. This email made his ensuing action very confusing.
-3. Mr. Elegba and Mr. Lawal signed an MOU which made the amount invested by Mr. Lawal a nonrefundable investment. Mr. Lawal notes here that he signed the MOU with little Legal Advice purely out of trust of Mr. Elegba’s standing in the industry.
-4. The LCC 18 happened and after Mr. Elegba notified Mr Lawal that his investment of 3 million was gone and he forwarded N150,000 to Mr. Lawal as his cut of the profit. Mr. Elegba did not show his bank records or actual books to Mr. Lawal to support his claims. He instead forwarded some word documents typed by his hands of expenditure and profits.

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Our Reasoning:
Before we give our decision on this contingency as The Admin of the Comics Meltdown Group, we must say we find this situation completely unacceptable and abhorrent. Merely going through the documents forwarded by Mr. Lawal, there were several discrepancies in the Contract, in the documentation, that clearly point to intent to outsmart Mr. Lawal from the get-go.

While we will say, Mr. Elegba’s actions are perfectly Legal as far as the contract goes, his refusal to share his bank records with an investor to support his claims, his recent statements (recanted by Mr. Lawal) of “the money is gone” which differ from his initial assurances compels us to believe that there is more to this than meets the eye.

His actions of refusing to share proper documentation of the convention’s earnings, discrepancies in his estimates all point to a dearth of ethics.

Notably, earlier, members of the group, Mr Dapo Olasiyan and Shamsudeen Idris noted that despite Mr. Elegba receiving money for the Cosplay competition for LCC 17 in full, he refused to pay the sum to the winners till September 2018. A year plus after he received said sum in full and from the conclusion of the event.

We will not be part of this way of doing things.

Our decision:
The Nigerian Comics Industry is budding and cannot afford incidents like what has happened. Trust is the basis for growth and if dishonesty like this is allowed to thrive, then we are only headed for disaster both as an Industry and as fans.

We are fully aware that we are merely Admin of an online group, lacking any real power of law and do not conduct ourselves as such, but, we are at liberty to determine who has access to our forum and use such as means of furthering their own agenda. We act in respect of this understanding of the extent of our authority.

We are merely a group that loves Superheroes…

…we should emulate the superheroes we believe in…

This could have happened to any of us. To trust is not err EVER, but to seek to take without returns or transparency at the very least is wrong.

The actions by the conveners of the LCC are wrong in their entirety. The are immoral without a doubt and they lack honour. They show an abject lack of apathy or basic understanding of honour. As such, we decide;

-The Lagos Comic Con and All related to them are hereby blacklisted from all our forums.
-The Lagos Comic Con and All related to them are disallowed from using our forums in any way or manner.

Our decision is clear and without any ambiguities and will be posted across all our forums.

We clearly believe that behavior like this will severely stunt the growth of the Nigerian Comics Industry both Nationally and internationally. It is therefore imperative that this matter not be kept private in any manner. We, Nigerian comics fans do not support this type of behavior, this much must be clear to the world.

In this vein, we plead and advise that all forum members who finds such actions abhorrent and morally unacceptable should do what they feel they can to spread the word to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else

We hope Mr. Lawal recoups his money and We hope all who intend to have ANY dealing or know anyone who would have such intention of dealing with Lagos comic con and of its agents will stand advised on their (LCC’s) way of doing business.

Signed.
Comics Meltdown Admin.
Naijagakure Admin
Anime Exchange Admin.

Cc
@comicrepublic
@Kbscomics
@Icsstudios
@pedastudios

Metalla #2 Review: Metalla Makes you feel like you are holding a piece of glass! by Patrick Aguisi

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Metalla the 13th is one of those titles that makes you feel like you are holding on to a piece of glass. On one hand, the glass dazzles when hit by the light, and you can see a reflection of yourself and all of the worries that plague you on its enthralling surface. On the other, the edges of the glass have not been dulled, and the slightest misstep in handling can result to fractures that would forever ruin the worth of the piece you hold.

And this is the best way to describe Metalla. So far, the story has been intriguing (no seriously, it hits a 10/10 on the intrigue-o-meter), with the potential to become MUCH more. The title tries to take you through a narrative that most Nigerians are already conscious of– stuff that we are ever ready whine and gripe about amongst ourselves, but are often hesitant to speak about in the presence of outsiders.

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You can tell it is a story with an intent to be gritty. I got that much from the first installment. Metalla #2 continues in this form, and it sets up a series of events that have ridiculous potential to be story-telling gold…. As if the designs of the characters in the book (Metalla themselves) were not awesome enough already.

I like what I am seeing. However, like the piece of glass, if handled poorly, the un-dulled edges would cut the reader and the story-telling might fall apart and shatter. The book chooses to utilize a non-linear narrative. And you can tell that we are currently still in the set-up phase, so it is incredibly hard to judge at the moment.

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As a standalone title, Metalla #2 is good. Some great scenes. Nice artwork. Nothing too noteworthy about the story in this issue. When looked at, however, as the second part of a broader narrative, of which I know the writer to be very capable of (judging by his past works), Metalla #2 springs to life as an important cog in the wheel, one which we would be sure to return to most often down the line, as events that have been set in motion begin to fall into place.

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I rate it at a 3.5/5. Incredible book, but best read with the issues that would be sure to follow.

The Metalla characters and design get an 8/10. I honestly cannot help but study their form in each page. This is one book that will remain on my shelf (or desktop) for a while to come.

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I have read Metalla #2. Have you?

Read the recently released Metalla #2 here:
– Web: http://www.thecomicrepublic.com/web/viewer.html…
– Mobile: http://m.thecomicrepublic.com/web/viewer.html

Download #2: http://www.thecomicrepublic.com/metalla.html#

For plot Coherence, If you have not read #1 please do so here:
– Web: http://www.thecomicrepublic.com/web/viewer.html
– Mobile: http://m.thecomicrepublic.com/web/viewer.html

Download #1: http://www.thecomicrepublic.com/METALLA/Metala_The_13th_2.cbz

Make sure to let us know what you think!

Review Written by Patrick Agusi (Writer, Comic Fan)

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Catch Comic Republic on their Website for more great books.

38424423_2260950967266621_3488218351564488704_o

http://www.thecomicrepublic.com

Metalla #2 is coming!!!

When you are aggrieved
It is hard to tell where justice leaves off
and vengeance begins.
Metalla Issue II
Coming this Wednesday to
www.thecomicrepublic.com
Join the conversation
Follow CR social media channels:
www.facebook.com/comicrepublic
Instagram: @comicrepublicmedia
Instagram: @republicnationng
Twitter: @comicrepublicng
Snapchat: ComicRepublic
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#ComicRepublic #African #Superheroes#AfricanSuperheroes #Superheroes #FreeComics#CreateDisruptRepeat #QualityComicBooks#AfricanBooks #Heroes4theRepublic #4therepublic#Metalla

 

Review of Beatz 3: The Rhythm Hits a Crescendo! by Patrick Agusi

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Comics Meltdown Review of Beatz #3

Published by Comic Republic

Created by Jide Martin

Written by Akintoba Kalejaye

Line Art by Yusuf Adeleye

Colours by Franklin Ikechukwu

I have always maintained that Beatz is one of the best titles currently being published by Comic Republic, and this chapter does everything to reinforce that belief.

While it is always fun to see new heroes with unique power-sets, it is equally just as boring to read about powers-sets rather than people. Many upcoming comic titles try to lure you in with “what the hero can do”, rather than tell a story of “who the hero is”. Beatz does not fall into this trap, and the comic so far, has been about the enigma “Dj Sose” and the things that drive him, as much as it is about his incredible abilities and the manner in which he uses them. Kudos to the writer for that.

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So what are the things that Beatz #3 does right?

First off, kudos to Adeleye for the lines. There is something gritty and “naijalistic” about the art in Beatz that I do not see in many comics from the region. Facial expressions are tough, lines are sharp and suitably defined. The anatomy of Jade Waziri is… ahem. The colors are incredible. Dialogue is short and precise, and actions always speak louder than words in this title.

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The plot seems to be opening up to something much bigger, and it seems our villain from the last issue is actually a bigger force than most readers would realize.

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The events in this issue were rather character-driven, and I honestly love where things are going with Sose’s characterization.016

The bad?

Lagos seems to have a bit too many thugs who seem fond of mugging/beating people up in alleys in broad-daylight. You would wonder where they keep getting their confidence from. Especially with all the superheroes running around. The narration in this issue was also a little too self-indulgent at times. Some parts would have done with more clarity. .

Beatz #3 is a solid instalment in an already solid series and the next issue promises to be more electrifying than anything we have seen so far.

4/5 stars. And no. I am not padding.

Please read Beats #3 here:

http://www.thecomicrepublic.com/web/viewer.html?file=Beatz_3_2018_web.pdf

Download CBR of Beatz #3 here:

http://www.thecomicrepublic.com/BEATZ/BEATZ_3_2018_september_COMIC_REPUBLIC.cbz

Make sure to let us know what you think!

Review Written by Patrick Agusi (Writer, Comic Fan)

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Catch Comic Republic on their Website for more great books.

38424423_2260950967266621_3488218351564488704_o

http://www.thecomicrepublic.com