Tag: Michael Moreci

Preview Reviews: Classic Detectives Returning to Comics

Preview Reviews: Classic Detectives Returning to Comics

We are excited to bring you this special edition of Preview Reviews.

Typically in this column we bring you advanced reviews of comics that are coming out this week. The two books we are reviewing are a little further off in release date. As we mentioned earlier in New Number Ones, this is a fairly light week on new debuts, and we decided to do something different.

Both of the books that we previewed are coming out soon, but they have something else in common. They both are led by classic detective characters that helped to shape what detective stories are meant to be. Mad Cave Studios is reviving Dick Tracy for comic books, and Tripwire Magazine’s Joel Meadows is making his comic book writing debut with a brand new Sherlock Holmes story.

Please enjoy these reviews and then be sure to check out the comics when they come out. You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books.

Also the rest of the #NewNumberOnes for the week are here.

Dick Tracy #1
Mad Cave Studios
Written by Alex Segura & Michael Moreci
Art by Geraldo Borges
Colors by Mark Englert
Creative Consultant: Chantelle Aimée Osman
Letters by Jim Campbell
Editor: Chas! Pangburn
Cover Art by Borges

Release Date: April 24, 2024

Original Solicitation:


A new era for the iconic detective starts here, from bestselling and acclaimed authors Alex Segura and Michael Moreci, as an all-new, noir-infused chapter in the Dick Tracy legacy kicks off with superstar artist Geraldo Borges.
In the aftermath of World War II, the country stands frozen–waiting for the next shoe to drop. In The City, a brutal murder draws the attention of rising star detective Dick Tracy, who soon discovers the bloodshed is just the beginning of a complicated web that threatens to ensnare everything he cares about.

Blending the classic elements of the Dick Tracy world (including his iconic villains, supporting cast, and unforgettable watch radio) with a hardboiled and realistic take, DICK TRACY #1 kicks off a fresh and modern take on the iconic detective that remains true to his rich history.

PCS Review:

One of the world’s most famous gumshoes returns to comics for the first time in six years and we are excited for it. As creative consultant Chantelle Osman stated, “This is not your grandfather’s Dick Tracy,” but that is ok with me.

The discerning eye can tell just how hard everyone involved in this project has worked to get this right, and it feels like they pulled it off. The story has a terrific pacing with short two or three page scenes that are jam packed with pertinent action. Geraldo Borges art is stunning. It feels like what should happen if you adapted Chester Gould’s original character into a 2020’s style comic book. Special recognition should be given to Jim Campbell. His lettering in this book is a masterclass in how to control the voice of a comic book.

The book is a high quality hard boiled detective story with all the earmarks that have made Dick Tracy a household name for nearly a century. We are looking forward to more and hope it maintains the high bar that issue #1 has set.

Sherlock Holmes and the Empire Builders: The Gene Genie, Vol. 1
Tripwire Comics Presents
Written by Joel Meadows
Art by Andy Bennett
Letters by Bennett
Editor Jeff Mariotte
Cover Art by Mark Chiarello

Release Date: March 6, 2024

Original Solicitation:

Tripwire launches its Tripwire Comics Presents imprint with the first volume of its Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders The Gene Genie graphic novel under two exclusive covers. Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders is an epic alternate world sci fi adventure featuring The World’s Greatest Detective as people have never seen him before.

When Watson leaves Holmes to help Crick unravel the DNA helix and finds himself in the employ of England’s most evil man, Holmes is forced to team up with an unlikely group to defeat this monstrous figure and return England to its status quo.

As well as a 64 page full-length comic story, Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders The Gene Genie Volume One will also include an 8 page colour section featuring art by the likes of Liam Sharp, Bill Sienkiewicz, Shawn Martinbrough and Barry Kitson and interviews with the series creators as well as character sketches by Bennett and script pages by the writer.

PCS Review:

This graphic novella is definitely a fun read. Joel Meadows has crafted a very interesting story and Andy Bennett delivers a compelling visual narrative in this book. The story brings a retired Sherlock Holmes back into the game and has much of the feel of classic Holmes mystery.

This first volume brings the reader through a coincidental series of events that result in a massive plot twist. We don’t want to share too much of the plot, but it is really well thought-out and executed. Meadows use of dialogue and pacing are impressive, and Bennett’s page layout and panel structures are top notch. We certainly enjoyed this story and look forward to what unfolds in Volume Two of this series.

Also, we interviewed writer Joel Meadows about this book last year, you can check out that interview here.

Preview Review for the Week of 1/18/2023: Barbaric – Hell to Pay #1

Preview Review for the Week of 1/18/2023: Barbaric – Hell to Pay #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.

This week we have a great book for you. We were able to review Barbaric: Hell to Pay #1 from Vault Comics.

You can find this book at your LCS or wherever you buy books on January 18, 2023.

Also the rest of the #NewNumberOnes for January are here.

Barbaric: Hell to Pay #1
Vault Comics
Written by Michael Moreci
Art by Nathan Gooden
Colors by Addison Duke
Letters by Jim Campbell
Cover Art by Gooden & Duke

Original Solicitation: 

Barbaric is back and headed straight to hell in an all-new arc so big and bloody, it’s getting an extra issue!

While Owen tames a dragon with an old friend, Soren and Steel cross paths with someone else from our cursed barbarian’s past…who isn’t looking nearly as friendly. Hell hath no fury like a woman stabbed through the heart by an ugly f***ing orc.

Oh, wait! Who’s carrying Axe?

PCS Review:

Hell Yeah! The Axe is Back! Listen, we love this property. This is the start of the third main arc. I think there were a couple of one-shots thrown in. If all out carnage and mayhem are things you enjoy, you will love this book. If humanity and exploring the meaning of regret, companionship, and honor are what you like to see in comics, this is the book for you.

Michael Moreci, Nathan Gooden, et al. have crafted a crazy story about a barbarous axe and the beings that surround it that just brings all kinds of emotions with it. This latest issue jumps the protagonists a few steps from where the last arc ended and ups the ante in terms of the peril that they find themselves in.

Nathan Gooden and Addison Duke work some masterful images to evoke strong emotional beats while also bringing the gore. Gooden’s panel layouts are particularly interesting and important to the flow of the story. Jim Campbell has been slaying on Barbaric from the start and keeps the high quality lettering coming in this issue.

If you are looking for a fun comic that will subtly draw you in emotionally, don’t miss this book.



Preview Reviews of the New AWA Upshot Comics: Resistance, Archangel 8, Hotell, and Red Border

Preview Reviews of the New AWA Upshot Comics: Resistance, Archangel 8, Hotell, and Red Border

Artists Writers & Artisans (AWA) is a new comic publishing company that we told you about a few weeks ago. This week they are launching their Upshot line of comics.

We have read the first four books, and I have to say they are really good. Below you will find the the solicitations and reviews for Archangel 8 #1, Hotell #1, Red Border #1, and Resistance #1.

All of these books will be available at you LCS on Wednesday March 18, 2020,


Archangel 8 #1
AWA Upshot
Written by: Michael Moreci
Art by: C.P. Smith
Colors by: Snakebite Cortez
Letters by: Sal Cipriano
Cover Art by: Jeff Dekal

Original Solicitation:

In a world beyond the sight of mortals, Heaven and Hell wage war for the souls of man­kind. Principal among God’s legion are seven archangels written about in religious texts for millennia. But there is an eighth archangel, known only from passing allusions in Apocrypha, who operates under a different code. Fighting without God’s sanction, he faces the enemy on his own terms, and shows just how bad good can be.

PCS Review:

This book has a heavy tone with a lot of shadow work. It is full of violence and mystery. The initial issue presents an interesting premise and is certainly dramatic. Michael Moreci has created a ominous story that appears to be brining biblical conflict to a modern special ops military conflict. The plot is intriguing, and C.P. Smith‘s art is powerful. The color palette used by Snakebite Cortez is excellently designed. The limited colors enhance the foreboding feeling throughout the book. Great start Continue reading “Preview Reviews of the New AWA Upshot Comics: Resistance, Archangel 8, Hotell, and Red Border”

AWA Has Released A Launch Video Ahead of Their March Debut

AWA Has Released A Launch Video Ahead of Their March Debut

Artists Writers & Artisans (AWA) is a new comic book and digital media publisher. We have been keeping tabs on this since the venture was announced last year. It is owned and operated by creators and founded by Marvel alumni Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso, along with Jon Miller, the former CEO of News Corp.

“AWA has some of the biggest names in comics and film, such as J. Michael Straczynski, Reginald Hudlin, Garth Ennis, and Frank Cho working to craft new worlds, characters, and stories for a 21st Century audience.”

This is an ambitious new comic company, and we will be covering the new books that they have coming out in the next couple of months.

In March, their first set of books include: Continue reading “AWA Has Released A Launch Video Ahead of Their March Debut”

Preview Review for the Week of 11/13/2019: Vampironica: New Blood #1

Preview Review for the Week of 11/13/2019: Vampironica: New Blood #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

A reminder for you. Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week we feature a new book from Archie Comics. It is Vampironica: New Blood #1 by Frank Tieri & Michael Moreci and Audrey Mok with Matt Herms and Jack Morelli. This book will be featured in our New Number Ones column for December. You might want to see what else we are looking forward to there.

You can find Vampironica at your LCS on December 4, 2019.

Vampironica: New Blood #1
Archie Comics
Written by Frank Tieri & Michael Moreci
Art by Audrey Mok
Colors by Matt Herms
Letters by Jack Morelli
Cover Art by Mok

Original Solicitation:

BRAND NEW SERIES! Riverdale’s own bombshell bloodsucker is back! Following the events of the Jughead the Hunger vs. Vampironica crossover, Veronica returns to her own universe, still a vampire. She’s not the same, and she knows it. And now she needs answers. But she may not be ready for what she’s about to discover!

PCS Review:

This is an excellent introduction to this series. Having never read anything in the Archie Horror world, this story was easily accessible to me. It does not explain everything that came before, but give just enough to let the reader know where the protagonist has been and the challenges she faces.

The pace and dialogue through the narrative is brisk and relatable. Tieri and Moreci do an excellent job in this first issue of presenting characters with depth and a conflict that is interesting. There are plenty of plot lines that are organically uncovered that give the story several paths to travel.

Audrey Mok’s line art is beautiful. She grabs the reader’s eye and leads it on an exciting journey through this book. Her panel designs and camera positioning are perfect for the pacing of the narrative. The style feels like it is just the right amount of rough edge to make it feel like a horror book, but still a Veronica Hodge story.

Matt Herms’ colors are sublime. The overall color theme is important to the feel of the book. His work is well thought out and expertly implemented. The lettering job by Jack Morelli should not be overlooked. The word art is truly excellent, but managing the amount of dialogue and the bubble placement is impressive.

Overall, we highly recommend this comic. It is a fun and exciting book with engaging characters and beautiful artwork.