Tag Archives: dc comics

Review: He-Man Eternity War #6

He-Man - The Eternity War (2014-) 006 - covFor those that might look at Eternity War as a He-Man related comic event, they would only be partially correct.  The powers that be at Mattel have been working hand in hand with the comic creators to tell a story that is above and beyond what has come before, and in so doing has looked some of the archetypes of hero and villain.  So far it has been examined why exactly Skeletor feels the need to switch sides to being aligned with the heroes, but this issue takes on a different theme, that of the superhero and the secret identity.  The Prince Adam secret identity of He-Man has been one which has been with the hero since the onset, and helped to appeal the story to some from a storytelling standpoint.  The idea of nobility having a double life as a hero is nothing new, it comes from sources such as Zorro and the Scarlet Pimpernel, and even from Batman, but the need for the secret identity has never been examined as it has here.

The majority of this issue acts as a flash forward for the characters.  An older He-Man rules absolutely over Eternia, but as they say absolute power corrupts absolutely, and a short vignette of the actions of this are explained here.  In so doing it looks not only at the character but also at the superhero medium as a whole.  In a world where so many superheroes are super powered operatives whose identities are known, this issue helps to make the case why secret identities are still a valuable part of hero’s lives.

This may not be the most hard hitting of the issues thus far in the series, but there is much to be said for the approach of the creative team.  While earlier issues focused almost wholly on epic battles, the focus has changed drastically to being something much different.  Now the characters are examining not only who they are, but also almost breaking the fourth wall to examine some issues beyond.  Thus while this issue lacks a true hook in terms of plot development it fits neatly in the sequence of this series.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Pop Mhan
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

 

DC Mopeez are Out in August

Even your favorite DC superheroes have bad days! Introducing Funko‘s DC Mopeez line, which features characters from Batman, Superman, and Justice League!

These four and a half-inch plush figures are weighted on the bottom to retain a slouchy posture and adorable frustration.

DC Mopeez are out om shelves this August.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Fight Club 2 #1 CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Fight Club 2 #1 (Dark Horse)Fight Club is both a fantastic book and movie. When I heard a sequel was being made as a comic, I was initially apprehensive, even with it being written by Chuck Palahniuk. But, after the first issue, I’m beyond all in. The first issue is absolutely amazing, both in story and art.

Captain Canuck 2015 #1 (Chapter House Publishing) – I grew up mostly in Buffalo, right along the Canadian border. And due to that, I’ve known about Captain Canuck for a while. A new updated version? Hells yes!

Fubar: Mother Russia #2 (Alterna Comics) – The Fubar series of comics gives us a zombie twist on history. The latest volume puts us in Russia during World War II, where a zombie outbreak is causing the Russians some issues.

Material #1 (Image Comics) – A man comes home from Guantanamo Bay, irrevocably changed. An actress receives an offer that can revive her career. A boy survives a riot and becomes embedded within a revolutionary movement. A philosopher is contacted by a being that dismantles his beliefs. Ales Kot‘s latest sounds fascinating.

You Don’t Say (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf)Nate Powell‘s latest release from Top Shelf. All you need to know is it’s Nate Powell. That should be enough for you to pick this one up.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Surface Tension #1 (Titan Comics) – This new series puts a twist on the zombie/post-apocalyptic genre by taking a look at the world’s oceans and the environmental impact of our actions there.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #3 (Marvel/Disney) – This Disney adaptation is doing what the best adaptations do – remind nothing of the original material (in this case a theme park ride) while capturing the same spirit.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #3 (Archie Comics) – Archie’s darker comics have been pretty fun so far.  Sabrina is not getting as much attention but she returns here for some more dark tales of sorcery.

He-Man Eternity War #6 (DC Comics) – Fantasy and Sci-Fi meet here and produce the best in the genre at the moment.  Those with inhibitions about He-Man should let go of the past and hop in for a wild ride.

Inhumans: Attilan Rising #1 (Marvel) – There has hardly been a misstep in Marvel’s relaunch and rebranding of the Inhumans.  It continues here with a big development.

 

“Big Daddy Cool” Johnny Dellarocca

Top Pick: Convergence: Shazam #2 (DC Comics) – It’s Steampunk vs. Dieselpunk! Plus the creative team of Parker and Shaner is an unbeatable combination.

Captain Midnight #23 (Dark Horse) – One of the best monthly series out there, and it looks like it’s coming to an explosive end with issue 24!

King Flash Gordon #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – If all of the Dynamite King titles this has been the best. The creative team of Acker and Blacker has done a great job of continuing the amazing work of Parker and Shaner and have preserved the pace and fun of what went before. This has become one of favorite monthly titles.

Where Monsters Dwell #1 (Marvel) – As a Dieselpunk fan it really doesn’t get any better that flying ace The Phantom Eagle taking on monsters and dinosaurs! Sign me up!

Review: Convergence: Justice League America #2

CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #2Starring heroes from Crisis On Infinite Earths! Witness the final stand of the Detroit Justice League as they fight to survive against the Tangent Universe!

The Convergence tie-ins generally have followed a formula, heroes get whisked away, and at some point in the first issue they’re presented with the fact they must battle. The second issue is a battle, with some resolution. There are some Convergence tie-ins that break that mold a bit. Convergence: Justice League America #2 sort of breaks the mold… by following the formula.

There’s been lots of Justice Leagues, and some that just don’t get respect, they get snickers instead. Enter, the Detroit Justice League as one of those teams. Writer Fabian Nicieza uses that though. Nicieza is one of the writers I grew up reading, and here he’s taken that classic team, and updated a bit with a lot of modern dysfunction. And that, actually wanted me to see more of this. I want a dysfunctional team that are being heroes, and have something to prove. I enjoy the series that takes the D-list characters and make them a team. Here, it works, and works really well! While there might be the formulaic battle, the team interaction and personalities is what makes the series stands out.

Nicieza is helped with the art of ChrisCross who just nails it. The Tangent characters, the Detroit Justice League, they look fantastic. I love the style, and the art goes well with the story. Can we please make this an ongoing and put these two on it DC? Please?

Convergence is a bit of a hit and miss. The main series is a bit blah, and the tie-ins are hit and miss. This is one tie-in that stands out… a lot. The tie-ins might have a pretty standard formula, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something special to make it stand out, Nicieza shows just how to do that.

Story: Fabian Nicieza Art: ChrisCross
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Convergence: Green Lantern Corps #2

Convergence Green Lantern Corps #2 CoverStarring heroes from Crisis on Infinite Earths! The Green Lantern Corps is revived when Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner power up and race to take on Hercules Unbound and Anti God from the Great Disaster!

The two issues of this Convergence tie-in has mostly focused on Guy Gardner and his issues with Hal Jordan, and some things that happened to him in the past. But, here’s the thing, I read Green Lantern back in the day, I clearly either didn’t read this, or don’t remember the specifics.

Not know those specifics, it took me out of the series, because Gardner’s PTSD just doesn’t quite hit me at all. THe two issues could have dove heavy into covering the PTSD, and focused on the battles less, but this issue we get battles, including Gardner knocking out some dragon like thing with a bat. I think that really says it all. The battle to wrap up the issue goes quickly, and the possibility that team Green Lantern Corps loses

Convergence has been very hit and miss, this one is a miss for me. Ande Parks and Steve Ellis‘ art is good, but can’t save this issue. I mean seriously… he hits a dragon with a bat! Did I mention that’s while riding a motorcycle? It’s fun to look at though.

If you know the history, the issue might be better. It does take us back to a time when the Green Lantern Corps’ human members were rather dysfunctional. We don’t get enough of that though.

Story: David Gallaher Art: Ande Parks, Steve Ellis
Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Convergence: The Flash #2

Convergence-Flash-2 coverStarring heroes from Crisis on Infinite Earths! Barry Allen lashes out against the heroes of the Tangent Universe as he tries to protect Gotham City from Convergence!

The Convergence event to me has been interesting, in that the main series has stumbled, but many of the tie-in series have actually shined. This is one of the better series. The first issue’s focus was primarily on Barry Allen, and how being whisked away for Convergence affected individual’s lives. In Allen’s case he’s been away from his love for a year. Does he try to move on with his life? Does he hold out hope? It’s a touching first part.

Convergence: The Flash #2 moves beyond that and takes us into the battle portion of the event. But, here’s the problem. The loser of the Convergence battle is destroyed, along with their city. But, Barry is key in the classic DC event Crisis on Infinite Earths. If he and his city is destroyed, what does that mean for that iconic event? That’s the quandary that writer Dan Abnett tackles head on. And that’s what makes the issue stand out from the pack.

Abnett slides to the side the battle portion of the event. There’s fighting, but in the end, the victory is achieved through logic, not fists. And in doing so, Abnett gets at the heart of what makes many of the classic DC characters great, that they’re truly heroes who will sacrifice themselves to save the world. It’s an almost pure story in that way, and so refreshing from the at times dark and violent heroes that have become the norm.

Abnett’s helped by artist Federico Dallocchio who does a fine job on art, some of the best of the event. His style is very clean, and is modern, but also has a classic sensibility about it. I’d love to see most of his work after this event is through.

Overall, the two issues are a solid one with a clear vision, voice, and purpose in each issue. This isn’t just some boring battle like some of the tie-ins are. Abnett is a fantastic writer, and these two issues show off how solid he is.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Federico Dallocchio
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Heartbreak in Convergence: New Teen Titans. Or “The Rise and Fall of Dick Nightwing and the Spiders from Tamaran”

David-Bowie_Early…or the Spiders from Titans Tower. You’ve seen Grayson’s jumpsuit, right? He’s just missing a guitar.

Our latest Graphic Policy Radio podcast guest (and award winning non-comics reporter) Spencer Ackerman and I are both fans of the classic New Teen Titans series by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Upon reading the first issue of this two part book he pointed out to me that in Convergence: New Teen Titans, Cyborg and Beast Boy can EASILY be read as a couple. “In the first scene Donna Troy is writing to Terry [her husband] about how now that they’re trapped under the Dome, all the Titans except her are — her words — “paired up”? Those pairs are shown to be: Kole and Jericho; Nightwing and Starfire; and Cyborg and Beast Boy. Never once does Wolfman explicitly write Gar and Vic as lovers. But that seems to me to be the clearest acknowledgement yet that they’re a couple.”

Convergence New Teen TitansOf issue 2 Spencer wrote “Beast Boy is on the cover in non-animal form, lifting up Cyborg, who easily weighs 300 lbs. It’s obviously the power of their love that puts the strength in Gar’s arms, back and legs. There’s also a scene where Gar is shedding literally a single tear talking about how he can’t lose Vic, who’s “more than a friend.” They chicken out and have Gar add “he’s my brother,” but I don’t think I’m straining to see the queer subtext. It’s 2015, DiDio! We know Gar and Vic are lovers! We embrace it! Stop insulting us!”

I wonder if keeping queer relationships in subtext as opposed to just saying the darn words is a force of habit for Bronze Age writers. Ultimately though, I put the question to the fans: how does this relationship read to you? In this case I put this particular question to queer guys who grew up during the time of the original series. I argue that their relationship is real to the extent that you guys identify with it. “Authorial intent for serialized stories is nonsense. Shatterstar isn’t straight because Rob Liefeld tweets that he is…” quoth Spencer.

Marv Wolfman’s New Teen Titans are gloriously soapy and always have been. They’re the DC Comics version of Claremont’s New Mutants and having them back again is quite a gift. Especially with Dick Grayson’s historical retro-before-its-time Glam Rock Super Hero Jump Suit and Kole’s Studio 54-worthy lurex shimmery accordion pleats (I’d wear it). Joey’s mutton-chop sideburns are flawless.

Issue 1 of this mini series was a wonder. Nicola Scott is the perfect artist for this book — she draws elegant, expressive faces with realistic and compelling facial expressions. Unlike in most comics, no two characters’ faces are alike! Other artists, please take note. The colors by Jeromy Cox are almost flat enough for this to feel like a real bronze age book.

I feel bad poking holes in the generous gift that is the Rise and Fall of Dick Nightwing & the Spiders from Tamaran but after a promising issue 1 I had to re-read issue 2 in disbelief a few times and was left shaking my head in confusion over the plot, parts of the dialog and the total lack of a conclusion.

donnatroyyourethebestThe scenes between Kole and Joey in issue 2 are either confusing or disturbing. In issue 1 she asks Donna if Joey might be gay, Donna gives her classic big sister style advice in the most adorable way before single-tearing over her absent husband (I love you Donna, never change). But then in issue 2 Kole kisses Joey while he’s semi-conscious and Joey immediately pushes her away. Joey makes his lack of consent very clear. Then the next time they are together she turns his oil painting into a mixed media piece and they hug. What is going on?!? Kole acts as if some personal conversation had occurred in between her molesting Joey and messing with his painting and hugging him.  Maybe I’m just bad at reading his body language but I have no idea what he communicated with her in that painting scene. Did she ask for forgiveness for touching him non-consensually? Did he come out to her? Did he signal “no I don’t date people who kiss me when I’m unconscious but let’s hug and pretend things are normal?” Because either way, it must have been off panel. I ask both a rhetorical question and as a regular question: what the hell is going on?!

Schirn_Presse_Glam_Karl_Stoecker_Brian_EnoOh, the things we’ll do to read a comic with glam rock costume Dick Grayson. He’ll beat the bad guys and then play a smoking hot solo. The comic comes to an abrupt  end, even with the sound of a record skip. It’s end is bizarre and un-fulfilling even for a wacky cross-over event. I just don’t buy what passes for a relationship resolution between Kory and Dick in issue 2. Dick doesn’t trust her and he is patronizing. I suspect they’ll be making like David and Angie Bowie and splitting off camera. Maybe he’ll move to Berlin and hang out with Brian Eno and other feathered jumpsuit enthusiasts.

Spencer tapped his superior knowledge of the original series to construct the following supporting argument for a Garth and Victor relationship that precedes this continuity: “When Cyborg first gets seriously injured, Gar is shown keeping a bedside vigil and crying. Gar is constantly and loudly proclaiming his sexual desire for women in a really closet-y way, but when (during Geoff Johns’ run) Raven decides she’s into Gar, Gar finds all manner of awkward excuses to keep her away. Meanwhile, all of Vic’s attempts at relationships with women fail, often the result of him loathing himself — seemingly because he hates his quadriplegia… but, y’know, maybe he hasn’t come to terms with another aspect of himself as well.  The only times either Cyborg and Beast Boy* are shown to be happy are when they’re with one another.”

Teenage Superheroes in Love.  Unless you’re Kole. What the fuck Kole, what the fuck.

Epic. Widescreen. Hitch. Are You Ready?

Superstar comic artist Bryan Hitch is writing and drawing new tales of the world’s greatest heroes in Justice League of America, the first issue hitting shelves June 17th!

It’s massive widescreen Justice League of America action and adventure from legendary writer/artist Bryan Hitch! In the extra-sized debut issue, the League comes up against an armada of aliens heading for Earth that claims to be a peaceful religious tribe. But something sinister is lurking under the surface… Something with ties to ancient Krypton!

This amazing kick-off issue is available with seven different variant covers by Hitch, each spotlighting one of seven core members of the JLA, plus an incredible seven-panel foldout variant cover that presents all seven covers together into one giant panoramic battle scene!

All seven of the variant covers just made their debut today. Check out all seven covers below!

Are You Ready for JLA?

Wish You Were Here – Where Would Starfire Really Go For a Selfie?

Last week DC Comics released images of various giveaways that it would be releasing in June to help get fans into stores and to buy their latest release under the new 52 banner (and the first post-Convergence.)  Among tour posters for Black Canary’s music and paper masks for popular heroes was a fake postcard featuring Starfire in Key West.  There is a bit of a back story behind the postcard as Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti both have said that they like the city as well, and the fact that it is known for its overall acceptance is something which might draw her to visit there (also Key Lime Pie.)

While the story of her travel to such a place in our solar system is a nice idea, it does raise the idea of where an alien might actually want to visit.  Starfire can survive in outer space unaided, and thus there are really not that many places where she could not travel.  That having been said, what features in our solar system might be truly unique to see and to take a picture in front of?  The idea requires some speculation of course, as what we know of other planets is still pretty obscure, but with the supposition that there is a group of advanced humanoids elsewhere in the universe, there would have to be some basic assumptions.  The first is that they come from a planet which has lots of water, and a lot of land.  Such land would be broken down into all the same identifiable features that we have on Earth, and so much of the surface of the Earth would be pretty normal looking.  Even if particular vistas looked amazing, it would be similar to locations on their own world.  So too does the prevalence of gas giant planets seem to be common enough in other solar systems, at least from what we have seen.  So while Jupiter is a marvel to look at, it probably would not be particularly different than other gas giants in others solar systems.  With the normality of other astronomical and terrain features being pretty common place, what might an alien find different or interesting about the solar system?  Here are a few suggestions.

Saturn’s Rings

1190_1280x1024-wallpaper-cb1425509465When first discovered through a telescope, the rings of Saturn were visible, at least that there were there, if not of what they actually were.  Since the improvement of telescopes it has become evident that Saturn has something special, and those are its rings.  As exploration has continued of the solar system, it has been discovered that other planets also have rings, but none of them compare to Saturn.  It is theorized that Saturn rings were formed as an icy moon was either pulled apart by tidal forces or by it being pulverized in one way or another.  And so while rings on planets are common enough, such spectacular ones perhaps are not.

Mercury’s Weird Terrain

Mercury is fairly devoid of any real interesting features except for one.  Most of its surface is pock-marked by impact craters, and Mercury therefore ends up looking much like the moon.   Its lack of atmosphere has meant that meteors and asteroids which impact it are not broken up before impact, but rather strike with full force.  One such asteroid long ago struck the surface and created a giant crater, but it is not the crater itself which is of note but rather what can be found at its antipode.  The shock waves of the impact traveled through the planet’s surface and converged at the same time on the other side of the planet, creating what scientists refer to only as “weird terrain”, lacking any other explanation for it or for its creation.

A Solar Eclipse

solar-eclipseThe Earth has its share of wonders, but its large canyons, vast deserts and imposing mountain ranges would be fairly common on other planets which are are both tectonically active and which have an abundance of water.  What would be of note to those on Earth is perhaps not its own features, but that of another.  Most scientists agree that the moon is necessary for life on Earth, or at least life as we know it.  Among other reasons the moon helps the Earth maintain its tilted rotation relative to the sun, which allows the Earth to have seasons.  It would thus be a relatively safe assumptions that another planet that had life would have a moon, but our moon is special for a different reason.  Although dwarved by our sun, the moon is the same times smaller as it is in distance from the sun relative to the Earth, which under the proper conditions gives us solar or lunar eclipses.  While other suns and moons might have the conditions for complete or partial eclipses, our solar system with its near perfect match would be something to see for aliens.

The Great Barrier Reef

There are a lot of special animals around the world, and a lot that put on some pretty amazing shows.  Whatever animal life would look like on other planets though, it would be safe to assume that most of them would have some kind of a counterpart.  It would thus be possible to ungulates migrating, or some kind of silk creating creature to have its beautiful webs.  What might not be so normal is the Great Barrier Reef, and other structures built by coral.  Coral is the remainder of what was once a living animal, as the rock like body is left after the animal has died.  Other offspring build directly onto the former and although small, over time the creatures evolve into giant structures.  Although coral reefs are found through the world, there is none more impressive that the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  As a landscape feature, it might be the most unique thing which the Earth has to offer, especially if coral is something which only exists on Earth.

 

We Talk Harley’s Movie Look With Some Cosplay Experts

Recent pictures have surfaced showing Harley Quinn as she will appear in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie.  While others in the movie have created their share of controversy, whether it be the Joker’s new look or the casting choices for other characters, many feel as though it is Harley that everyone needs to get right.  We got a chance to talk to two cosplayers who have gained some recognition for their takes on Harley – Jemocha Cosplay and AwkwardGravityX.

Graphic Policy:  Are you comic fans?

Jemocha Cosplay:  I am a fan of comics! I haven’t read a ton of them but I would definitely prefer a comic over a tv show if given the option.

harley001AwkwardGravityX:  I am a fan of comics. I don’t really get to read nearly as much as I’d like and haven’t really read much of the new 52 or the Suicide Squad.

GP:  What is it about the character that is appealing to so many, even those that don’t read comics?

AGX:  I first fell in love with Harley when watching the animated series which is where she was originally created. Those who know Harley know that she was not originally one of the comic book characters. But I think what is most appealing about her is how absolutely out of her mind she is but she also has very innocent and lovable qualities about her. She can be a bad ass and adorable all at the same time.

JC:  I think Harley is appealing because of her crazy side and her super cool back story and personality, a lot like how people like Jinx from League of Legends or crazy characters and she is bad-ass and sexy, all good things!

harley002GP:  Does the fact that Harley Quinn is in Suicide Squad make the movie more appealing?

JC:  Yes! I only want to see it because Harley is my favorite of the group. I hope they do a good job with her!

AGX:  Yes, Harley is probably my favorite DC character and she hasn’t been featured in a live action film in way too long.

GP:  There are a few leaked pictures floating around the internet dealing with the new Harley from the movie.  What do you think that they got right?

AGX:  From the pictures I’ve seen about the only thing I think they’ve got right is the blonde hair and pig tails.

JC:  The design of the new Harley definitely has attitude to it, and it has been growing on me more as I’ve seen more fan art of it. It’s interesting that the Squad looks more like a gang on the streets than costumed super heros.

GP:  And what did they get wrong?

JC:  Harley looks like a badass girl in the new design, but she doesn’t look like Harley!  I would have loved if they went with the original Suicide Squad design, they did not use the black and red that everyone knows, and honestly it looks more like someone trying to cosplay Harley Quinn in their own way than what I would imagine Harley Quinn to actually look like in a movie!

kool1

Don’t expect a comic book crossover of the two.

AGX:  There’s a lot wrong I think. I feel as though they focused way too hard on sexualizing Harley and not enough on capturing her for who she is. Although her outfits do become much more revealing through the years, this costume for her is almost too much. She kind of just looks like a runaway teenager who dipped her hair in Kool-Aid and forgot to grab her pants on the way out. She doesn’t look nearly deranged enough either. I think a lot more could’ve gone into it.

GP:  What is the one thing which they really need to get right?

AGX:  What they really need to get right is Harley’s persona. Everything that is wrong with the outfit won’t matter as much if the character is played right. I feel like Harley’s character is very complex. Her essence is so dynamic which I think is what makes her most appealing. If they can get that right then that’s what matters most. So only time will tell. Judging by the looks of it though, I feel like I’m going to be disappointed.

JC:  They need to make sure she looks like a crazy villian but I am hoping they will do this with her acting in the movie! fingers crossed.

Thanks to our two contributors for taking part.  For more on their cosplay check out their AwkwardGravityX’s youtube page or JemochaCosplay’s facebook page.

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