Review: Pathfinder

I seldom read and rarely enjoy graphic novel adaptations of movies, but Pathfinder is a visual feast from artist Christopher Shy and writer Laeta Kalogridis that is far superior to the film itself.

When director Marcus Nispel contacted artist Christopher Shy and expressed his interest in a film depicting a war between Vikings and Native Americans, Shy began to produce seemingly endless pages of concept art.  So much concept art in fact, that they used all of it to produce the graphic novel adaptation.

Review: The Death and Return of Superman

The Death and Return of Superman, the omnibus edition, is a colossal masterpiece from the collective minds of Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern, and Gerard Jones. In 746 detailed pages, it deals directly with what it would take to kill a hero, what the world would be like without that hero, and what it would take to bring a hero back to life.

Returning to Splash Panel

Splash Panel is a graphic novel review blog created by Khaled Abou Alfa way back in November of 2005. As a long-time collector of graphic novels, I was lucky enough to be asked to be the first staff writer, and it was a blast. Unfortunately, burn-out set in and I stopped contributing reviews about a year later. Looking back, I’ve recognized the cause of the burn-out, and thought that it would be worth sharing for future reference.

Splash Panel is unique to the graphic novel review scene due to the fact that we don’t publish negative reviews. If we didn’t enjoy reading it, why would you want to read our review? If we reviewed it, we enjoyed it, end of story. What did this have to do with the burn-out? It’s quite simple, really. I reviewed my favorite graphic novel first, eventually followed by my second, and so on. You always hear that phrase about not playing your best hand first, but sure enough I did. Given that we never post negative reviews on Splash Panel, I immediately set a hurdle that I may never pass.

For some reason, this weighed heavily on my ability to write further reviews. The comic industry has changed and perfect graphic novels are few and far between. How do you positively review something without drawing attention to its faults? The point is that most review sites deal with this every day. You can’t expect perfection from everything, so don’t avoid reviewing something just becomes it doesn’t measure up to your standard of perfection.

From now, starting with Spider-Man: The Other, you can expect to see more reviews on Splash Panel. Not only reviews of perfect graphic novels, but reviews of simply entertaining graphic novels as well. As always, no negative reviews will be posted on Splash Panel, but I’m sure that I’ll be sharing a few here just for your enjoyment.

Review: Spider-Man: The Other

Spider-Man: The Other is not your typical comic book death and rebirth story. It’s an immense tale worthy of most high-caliber television series. Woven by writers Peter David, Reginald Hudlin, and J. Michael Straczynski, and illustrated by Mike Wieringo, Pat Lee, and Mike Deodato, Jr., The Other is not without its faults, but it is an in-depth experience not to be missed by any Spider-Man fan.

Review: Spider-Man: Reign

Spider-Man: Reign, from writer and artist Kaare Andrews, is a powerful and emotional journey through the tortured mind of Peter Parker as he enters the last years of his life and begins to confront everything that he has ever cared for and lost.

Review: Transformers / G.I. Joe

Transformers / G.I. Joe is not just another Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover, but rather a dark and war-torn recreation of the Transformers and G.I. Joe universes in tandem by writer John Ney Rieber and artist Jae Lee. In the twentieth century’s darkest year, a world at war will find itself caught in the middle of a titanic alien conflict that has lain dormant for the last four million years.

Review: Secret War

Secret War, a masterpiece by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Gabriele Dell’Otto, is the best graphic novel ever produced by Marvel Comics. Blinded by diplomacy and arrogance, the United States government refuses to acknowledge the imminent danger as a foreign threat continues to grow. How far will one man go to defend his country? The decisions made, and their consequences, will forever change one of Marvel’s most iconic legends.

Review: Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi is an adventurous and thought-provoking “What if?” tale by writer Adam Gallardo and artists Ryan Benjamin, Dan Norton, and Juvaun Kirby. It begins in tandem with the original Return of the Jedi script, but when a rescue mission goes terribly wrong, history is forever altered.

Review: Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back is an adventurous and thought-provoking “What if?” tale by writer Dave Land and artist Davidé Fabbri. It begins in tandem with the original The Empire Strikes Back script, but when a hero of the Rebellion dies before he can fulfill his destiny, history is forever altered.

Review: Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope

Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope is an adventurous and thought-provoking “What if?” tale by writer Chris Warner and artists Drew Johnson and Al Rio. It begins in tandem with the original A New Hope script, but when a key opportunity for the Rebellion is lost, history is forever altered.