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Review: Suicide Squad #2

Suicide Squad #2

I loved the debut of this latest volume of Suicide Squad. The issue did a great job of doing its own thing but also tying into what else was going on in the DC Universe. The debut issue involved Peacemaker leading a team to break out William Cobb, aka Talon, from Arkham Asylum. For those who read Batman, you’ll know there was an attack that killed most of Arkham’s inhabitants. Peacemaker and the team found themselves caught in that attack. Suicide Squad #2 keeps things moving as Peacemaker is determined to complete his mission.

Robbie Thompson keeps readers on their toes with Peacemaker focused and overwhelmed. He’s dealing with inmates and guards as he attempts to get his target back to base. There’s a solid action aspect to it but Thompson also does something interesting, you have no idea if Peacemaker will succeed. In the first issue, much of the team were killed. That opening now keeps readers on their toes not knowing who might be offed next. This is a first, I really feel like this is a team that might not make it. Beyond Peacemaker and Superboy, who knows who might die. Thompson keeps things rolling as a new team is sent to help Peacemaker in his mission.

Suicide Squad #2 is solid in that it begins the steps towards the team we see in its Future State issues. It also throws in characters both known and obscure and any can die. But, what it really does is gives us a team where there’s more than team vs. Waller. With the inclusions of Peacemaker and Superboy we have two powerhouses who are going to clash. Peacemaker sees Waller as a method to achieve his goals. Superboy is the reluctant member who wants to do things his way and keep the death toll low. Then there’s a whole bunch of other varied personalities. It’s a solid team and dynamic that’s really entertaining.

Eduardo Pansica‘s art is fantastic. There’s just fantastic action that delivers on every page and looks great. The characters are so varied yet it still looks like they belong together. Julio Ferreira‘s ink, Marcelo Maiolo‘s color and Wes Abbott‘s lettering just adds to the experience. The color and inks make the images pop at times and really takes what easily could be a dark comic but lightens it up in a way. The lettering too just adds to each character’s personality.

Suicide Squad #2 is a solid issue. It’s full of action and sets up the team dynamic well. There’s also the fact that bodies keep piling up. This is a series that you shouldn’t get too attached to characters. They’re going to die. Beyond a few specifics, everyone is on the table as far as that. This is a comic that’s just full of action and personalities with some dynamic art that brings it all together. A fantastic second issue that builds on the excitement of the first.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Eduardo Pansica
Ink: Julio Ferreira Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Nightwing #78

Nightwing #78

Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, and Adriano Lucas begin their run on Nightwing with a heart-render of a first issue that really shows what makes Dick Grayson tick as a person and a hero. It also sets up some train tracks for future developments in the title and has a cute puppy to boot. Opening with a six page flashback featuring a young Dick and Barbara Gordon, Nightwing #78 pays tribute to the character’s past, but it’s also forward-thinking as well with our protagonist getting an opportunity to improve life in Bludhaven on a larger scale than beating up Orca, Blockbuster, or whatever Metropolis or Gotham villains decide to pay a visit to his city.

Taylor and Redondo wisely sidestep yet another re-tread of Dick Grayson’s origin, but they do spend Nightwing #78 showing how trauma has shaped his life. But, instead of turning him angry or isolated like certain other heroes, Dick Grayson is all about building and maintaining relationships with the people (or animals) he comes into contact with whether he’s dressed up in his Nightwing or Robin costume or just going about his day. We see this in the flashback where he protects one of his classmates from a bully and also gets to duck and weave a little bit and knock the teeth out of the son of one of Gotham’s most corrupt insurance company owners. There’s definitely a little bit of the hero who’s not afraid to stand up against in corruption in young Dick, and Taylor and Redondo even make certain fans happy by having a young Barbara Gordon show up to help. This scene is really sweet and re-establishes the friendships Dick has with Barbara and had with Alfred Pennyworth (He helps him do the dishes!) as well as his generally altruistic attitude. He’s always ready to help out whether that’s standing up to a school bully or punching someone in a killer whale costume.

Tom Taylor structures Nightwing #78 as a study in contrasts between Dick Grayson and Melinda Zucco. Dick is the scion of two good men, Alfred Pennyworth and Bruce Wayne, while Melinda is the daughter of a corrupt murderer, Tony Zucco, who also killed Dick’s parents. She has two scenes in the book, and for now, she looks just like a pawn/yes person for the jacked up crime lord Blockbuster, who is the real power in Bludhaven and totally cool with squashing the heads of public officials that don’t play ball with him. Colorist Adriano Lucas bathes her scenes with shadow and dim light while Bruno Redondo draws Blockbuster towering over her while she takes direction from him and doesn’t even react when his henchman disposes of the old mayor’s body like a candy wrapper. However, the whole passive thing might just be an act, and Melinda’s final scene in the comic hints at a character with a thirst for revenge and finishing what her dad started. She’s definitely smarter than the old mayor.

While Melinda Zucco works within the corrupt system of Bludhaven in Nightwing #78, Dick Grayson wants to dismantle it in both big and small ways. He rescues a puppy that is being kicked around by some sadistic men while also trying to figure out how to keep the rent in his apartment complex affordable after losing access to his Wayne Enterprises funds during the events of “Joker War”. This macro/micro approach to Nightwing’s extends to how the comic is written and drawn. During action scenes, Bruno Redondo’s art is super kinetic with all kinds of speed lines and silhouettes while Tom Taylor’s narrative captions add context and look at the bigger picture of what Nightwing is trying to accomplish. We don’t just get him trying to sniff out an intruder in his apartment: Taylor gives the whole backstory behind where he has decided to live. He’s always drawing parallels throughout the events the story like Dick thinking back to how he acted after his parents passed away when his new puppy bites him.

In Nightwing #78, Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, and Adriano Lucas plot out a familiar, yet new path for Dick Grayson. He’s in Bludhaven and eventually going up against Blockbuster, but Taylor and Redondo add all kinds of lovely bits of characterization like pausing to let him finally grieve over Alfred and bond with a new puppy. From this issue, it seems that they care about Dick as a person just as much as a superhero, and they also start to craft an antagonist that is a shattered mirror of him without being cheesy and putting her in a “Dark Nightwing” costume or something. All in all, this issue is a charming read and worth checking out whether this is your first or 201st Nightwing comic

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Bruno Redondo
Colors: Adriano Lucas Letters: Wes Abbott
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Suicide Squad #1

Suicide Squad #1

With a new film on the horizon, it’s not surprising that the Suicide Squad will be a pretty key role in DC’s plans. Suicide Squad #1 delivers a new start for the team with Amanda Waller back in charge. The issue lays out her new vision and mission for a new team as the Squad attempts to break out a new member of the team from Arkham Asylum.

Writer Robbie Thompson delivers an issue that’s full of action and nails down Waller as a character. She has a mission. She has a vision. And both are just to her no matter what we might think as readers. Thompson also shakes things up delivering pushback to that mission and vision in unexpected ways. But, the bigger thing Thompson does is keep readers on their toes. There’s a body count in the issue and many of those are unexpected. Beyond Peacemaker, who will be in the new film and is getting his own spin-off television show, everyone is apparently on the table for be killed. Thompson makes that clear which makes the series interesting going forward. As long as the cast sticks to C and D-list characters, expect more bodies as characters get offed.

The art is fantastic delivering the action. Eduardo Pansica‘s pencils, Julio Ferreira‘s ink, Marcelo Maiolo‘s colors, and Wes Abbott‘s lettering is top notch. The page flip and panel placement is used really well. Both are used to either shock or show how off-kilter things are. All the while delivering the violence you’d expect from the team. The perspectives at time are fantastic as team members are killed or left behind to die. There’s just a great sense of motion, both physical and storywise.

Suicide Squad #1 also does a solid job of tying into the Batman story in Infinite Frontier #0. The issues shown in Arkham Asylum extend here showing off some of the interconnectedness we might see in the DC Universe and shined in the Batman corner of “Future State”.

Suicide Squad #1 is a solid start with a very intriguing team. Amanda Waller is back in charge and is on a mission. She doesn’t care who is killed to make that happen. Without major names, this feels like a series that anything really can happen and will keep readers on their toes to see who gets offed and how. A really solid (re)start to the series that delivers action and intrigue.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Eduardo Pansica
Ink: Julio Ferreira Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Abbott 1973 #1

The minute I finished the first Abbott book by Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivelä it became my go-to recommendation for people looking to get into comics. It still holds that position. A lot of it is due to how much like a contemporary comic it feels like, as if you were reading something that couldn’t have come out any other time, despite it being set in 1970’s Detroit while also borrowing ideas from the political thrillers and horror movies of that decade.

To say I was anxiously awaiting the first issue of its second arc is an understatement of the highest order. Following the investigations of journalist Elena Abbott—“a  detective for the people,” as the comic proclaims—feels like taking a journey through the underbelly of America’s unique version of systemic racism, a brutal trek through it with the intention of deconstructing all of it with dark magic thrown into the mix to further power the metaphors at play in the story.

Abbott 1973

The second arc seems to be operating on the same wavelength, with Abbott facing yet another supernatural threat fueled by racial animosity, only this time the powers of corruption are looking to dismantle the candidacy of a Detroit mayoral candidate poised to become the city’s first black person to take up the position.

Set in 1973, Ahmed and Kivelä keep the titular journalist from straying from her old-school investigative methods, echoing movies like All the President’s Men in terms of how it develops a sense of danger that bubbles up with each attempt at shedding light on the potential sabotage of the black mayoral candidate. Each new sliver of information dug up through her investigation raises the stakes not just for the story she’s working on but for her very own sense of safety.

Ahmed and Kivelä achieve this in the first book, which focuses on elected officials dabbling in dark magic to keep black communities in a constant state of chaos and instability, a tactic that allowed the ruling class to justify anti-black measures in the name of public safety (not to mention precious votes).

In Abbott 1973, the protagonist is now well aware of the dark influences that are trying to disrupt Detroit’s political structure while also being conscious of the fact magic and journalism have a complicated history with the public standard of veracity and reliability.

Abbott 1973

While these ideas are difficult to separate from the character and her story, Ahmed and Kivelä manage to complicate Abbott’s daily grind even more with an added focus on social notions of femininity in the public arena and in the professional workspace.

The comic dives into these obstacles through a new black character that comes into Abbott’s newspaper organization as its latest publisher, a man called Mr. Manning. This new figure of authority insists on keeping up appearances concocted by male-dominated notions of etiquette and behavior, instructing Abbott on how women should dress and behave in the workplace.

Given the story’s focus on change, and how the election of Detroit’s first black mayor stands as a plea for it, Abbott 1973 #1 looks to the country’s past to reflect on the current state of politics, be it racial or otherwise. Just how deep the comic will go to comment on this remains to be seen, but it’s well on its way to add something to the conversation (especially in the context of a very divided United States that’s growing further apart on a daily basis).

Kivelä’s art continues to favor that 1970’s grittiness prominent in that decade’s movies, deftly weaving realism with supernatural sights that carry a kind of violence to them on mere presence alone. Each character looks storied, the result of a long line of personal experiences that carry over into their overall looks.

Abbott 1973

Mattia Iacono’s colors complements the seventies vibe of the story beautifully with muted colors that make the darker elements jump out of the page even more when they manifest themselves. It creates a heaviness around the more horror-inclined sequences and can feel downright oppressive when Abbott as at the receiving end of them.

On the dark magic side of the story, Abbott 1973 is careful not to allow it to get lost in the social commentary that’s clearly in display in every page. Be it in hints of paranormal activity or outright terror, the hauntings Ahmed and Kivelä have cooked up for Abbott feel like an organic element of the story and they do their fair share of the worldbuilding. They are integral to the comic’s message and are smartly implemented.

Abbott 1973 #1 is a perfect continuation of Elena Abbott’s investigations into how magic has been taken over by racists bent on keeping America divided. Ahmed and Kivelä have one of the best characters in comics in their hands and they seem to be well aware of it. Abbott is the kind of creation one hopes becomes an industry staple, producing hundreds of stories for years to come.

Script: Saladin Ahmed Art: Sami Kivelä
Color: Mattia Iacono Letterer: Jim Campbell
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy and brush up on Detroit history


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Review: Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1

Although she made an appearance in Future State: Superman of Metropolis’ lead story, Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 checks in on the titular character’s new status quo. Kara is currently the pacifistic protector of Earth’s Moon where she protects outsiders and the disenfranchised, who have fled that violent planet for a new start. She is also estranged from the new Superman, Jonathan Kent, as well as the original one, Clark Kent. In this comic, writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Marguerite Sauvage show Kara mentoring Lynari, a metahuman with great abilities. They have speed, super-strength, shape-shifting, and power-draining powers that are displayed in a visually stunning way by Sauvage and are on the run from family members, who want the jewel that gives these abilities.

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 has many good factors. First, it’s nice to see a hero, like Kara, dedicated to non-violence and using her abilities to help make life easier for the Moon colonist, or in a last resort, for self-defense. (Of course, this rule is broken on the final page when Lynari is nabbed by her evil relatives.) Also, non-binary superheroes are rare in mainstream comics, and it’s cool to see one get to have an arc unrelated to their gender identities and also do flat out cool things like use their shapeshifting to sprout multiple arms and move rocks to make a lake for water, recreation, and other fun stuff. Finally, Sauvage has a gorgeous art style that is rooted in Magical Girl manga/anime as much as traditional superheroes, and she uses beautiful full or double-page compositions to show Lynari training with Kara and building a relationship with her.

Marguerite Sauvage’s color palette also conveys strong emotion like deep reds and blues when Lynari is sad that they weren’t praised by the inhabitants of the Moon for setting up the lake. This leads to a tense conversation with Kara where Lynari says some hurtful things about Kara not being accepted by Earth or her blood family as vertical grids of a “fly and talk” erupt into a full page energy blast. Lynari has obviously been through some tough times in their life and needs a literal safe space as their relatives are on the prowl. Sauvage uses different layouts and palettes depending on the sequence going for rigid and pastels when Lynari and Kara are enjoying each other’s company and flying around the moon and going to the grid and darker shades when there’s any kind of tension. Add her detailed backgrounds with the people on the moon having very different reactions than Lynari and Kara and creativity with Lynari’s powers (The sihouette of a dragon and Kara flying is very charming.) , and this is a story that you could follow without reading the plethora of caption boxes and dialogue.

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1

Because, yes, Kara Zor-El Superwoman is a comic that is a little bit overwritten despite Marguerite Bennett’s simple premise of Kara being in exile from Earth on the Moon and Lynari being a metahuman on the run. A lot of Bennett’s dialogue is didactic, and she includes one or two cliches about revenge, kindness, and helping others when showing Lynari helping out Kara around the Moon would get the point across. The monologue and text-heavy nature of the comic is evident from the first page when she eulogizes her deceased dog, Krypto. The fact that one of my favorite comic book canines had passed away already tugged at my heart strings, but Kara goes into great details about the moral lessons she learned from him. They are good, but basic ones like “Be kind”.

Bennett mixes these sayings with actual character-relevant captions dialogue for Kara in Kara Zor-El Superwoman as she discusses about how she was passed over for the mantle of Superman by a relative newcomer, (At least, in comics time.) and how she tries to honor the legacy of the House of El. This creates overt similarities and a natural bond between her and Lynari, who also has a destiny and long heritage that is explained in a page of exposition. Mentoring and diversifying heroes seems to be a throughline in Future State so far, either in the actual stories or in the way they’re marketed, and Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 fits this mold, especially when Lynari and Kara are training together or having tough conversations about Kara’s non-violence with Lynari’s relatives on the way. (A shock of heat vision is the answer to that.)

When Marguerite Bennett is connecting the larger themes of Kara Zor-El Superwoman to specific incidents in characters’ lives or journeys, her writing sparkles and complements Marguerite Sauvage’s magical visuals that can occasionally be dark or playful depending on the tone of the story. However, when she’s in monologue about good deeds and virtues mode, the book loses steam and feels more like beautifully drawn and colored lecture and superhero comic. However, I love how Bennett and Sauvage craft the character of Lynari, and I hope they have staying power beyond Future State with their cool powers and emotional openness although their backstory is derivative of several characters already in the DC Universe like Amethyst of Gemworld.

Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Marguerite Sauvage Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 6.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

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Movie Review: The Dark and the Wicked will settle for nothing less than your soul

There’s no other horror movie out there, this year, as sinister as The Dark and The Wicked. It’s relentless and cruel and impossible to stop watching. Director/screenwriter Bryan Bertino has put together a legitimate gauntlet of horrors in an almost micro-setting, focusing on a sister and brother duo that return to their farm home to take care of their haunted and lonely parents. Whatever’s oppressing this family takes no prisoners and is dead-set on indulging in as much evil as it can. It’s some of the scariest stuff to ever have been put on celluloid.

The Dark and The Wicked
The Dark and The Wicked

Bertino has chosen to put loneliness under the proverbial microscope with his movie. It’s mostly about the demons that such a circumstance invites and how family can be the antidote and the poison that enables it all. The small family at the core of the story have all become distant from one another. The siblings went their separate ways at one point in time and looks as if they didn’t keep in touch as they probably should’ve. Their only true connection is a bed-ridden father and an emotionally disturbed mother.

What’s impressive about this setup and how each character develops around is that none of the family’s prior history is flat out explained or dumped on the viewer through exposition. The way the siblings react to each other and speak tells you enough about the distance between them.

Keeping the story so focused on just a few characters really helps drive the point home. The farm where most everything takes place seems remote, almost devoid of motion even. Night scenes are drenched in deep shadows and the knowledge of remoteness heightens the tension. It always feels as if of some impending horror is primed and ready for torture at any given time.

Cinematographer Tristan Nyby deserves a lot of praise for this as the movie’s dread factor comes straight out of carefully selected shots that play with negative spaces and different tones of darkness. This is amplified by the film’s sound design, which refreshingly opts to interrupt silence with demonic growls and hellish sounds that few horror stories opt to indulge in.

The Dark and The Wicked
The Dark and The Wicked

Of course, this all rests on the shoulders of a tight script that wants to play up the devilry, without leaving doubt as to the source of the evil that’s invaded the family. There’s very little time spent with traditional horror tropes such as the one where the people involved spend a good portion of the movie trying to decide if the haunting is real or not. The siblings come to this conclusion fairly quick and know they have to do whatever they can to get everyone far away from their family home and its devil. Their disagreements and unresolved issues, though, is what holds them back.

Actors Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr. are exceptional in their roles as the siblings. They project the burden of family and responsibility in their body language alone and excel in presenting their characters as people that do not know how to navigate the problems they face. Their reactions to the horrors is convincing to the point one can easily relate and see themselves in their position. They transform into people that are just like us. Not special. Just ordinary with a liberally portioned side of hell.

In a way, it does remind somewhat of movies like Hereditary and The Exorcist. The evil is real, which allows the narrative to go deeper into the terror. As a result, we get a story that’s heavy and overwhelmingly oppressive at certain points. The punishment the main characters are subjected to is relentless, but it really opens up the playing field for some very intense and very scary sequences. I won’t spoil those here but get ready for horrifying stuff.

The Dark and The Wicked is also well-paced. Though it hits hard and insistently, the movie never feels lethargic and it makes good use of its hour and a half runtime with something new happening in every scene. There are no repeated instances of self-slamming doors or flickering lights. The entity likes to go straight to the hard stuff.

Bryan Bertino should have everyone itching for a hint of his next movie, whatever that may be. The direction, the writing, the performances, and the tech artistry on display is impeccable. His movie is one that continues to haunt in the days following the first watch. It’s a story that has to be endured, but the reward is an experience unlike no other.

Review: Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four

Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four

The Joker hates Nazis. He’s American, a homicidal maniac but not a traitor. The fact this was stated in Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four just cements the digital series planting a flag. The Joker gets it, why don’t you? In the fourth chapter, Andre recounts the story of the amulet’s power and the damage it can do. He also talks of the heroes who had to battle to stop it and where it’s buried.

Tom Taylor delivers a new chapter in the story that’s a parable about power and fascism. In this prequel to the popular Injustice comics and video games, the story clearly has a stance on the fact that fascism is bad. It’s a subtle mirror to our current politics with a line drawn as to which side it falls on when it comes to fascism.

The issue itself is a lot of setup focusing on the mcguffin that this arc will revolve around and how powerful it can be if it were to fall into the wrong hands. It’s a perfectly fine chapter doing exactly what it needs to in introducing us to the stakes and what might happen if the Joker reaches his goal. There’s also some nice foreshadowing of the types of “titans” that it’ll take to stop him if he does.

But, Taylor makes sure to add some humor to it all too. As mentioned above, the back and forth between Andre recounting the story and the Joker taking his stand on Nazis is a brief moment of levity. It also just draws a line that Nazis suck and there’s no siding with them.

The art by Cian Tormey is pretty solid. Along with Rain Beredo on color and lettering by Wes Abbott the art captures the setting of World War II. There’s also a tighter focus on panels with a digital first release. We don’t get massive two page spreads and instead the digital standard is used and works pretty well. The characters look solid and the characters present all have their own bit of flair so they don’t look exactly like their main DC Universe counterparts.

Overall, Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four and the first three chapters are a solid start to the series. We’re introduced to the main characters and the threat is set up in such a way that it feels like it’ll be an epic fight down the road. The comic also isn’t afraid of making some commentary about contemporary society and the state of politics. We’re in need of more stories that take a hard line that Nazis and fascism is bad and power corrupts. Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four isn’t afraid to deliver exactly that.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Cian Tormey
Color: Rain Beredo Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Young Justice #15

Young Justice #15

Young Justice versus S.T.A.R. Labs! What happens when a universe reboots right under you? Conner is about to find out! The entire Young Justice team confronts the evil genius behind S.T.A.R. Labs and the truth about Conner Kent. Young Justice #15 wraps up the current story arc while setting up what’s to come.

Conner Kent is back and the truth about how he fits into the DC Universe is revealed. Writers Brian Michael Bendis and David Walker wrap up this story arc with a fun and wild ride of a finale. Conner has been absent for years in DC, so where has he been? Bendis and Walker give us a simple answer in a way, an explanation that we’ve seen in other stories and media. It’s not a complicated reason and easy to accept and move on.

There’s a really intelligent direction about this in that it allows the reader to focus more on the interaction of the characters more. That’s where a lot of the strength of this series lays. There’s an energy and enthusiasm from the characters that’s fitting for their age. There’s also a sense of love and family that radiates from the page. You really get the sense these are heroes who are happy their friend is back, even the characters who didn’t know him. There’s lots of humor as everyone has their moment and quips fly around. It’s just a fun comic with a lot of energy.

Part of that enthusiasm is due to the art of John Timms and Scott Godlewski. Along with colors by Gabe Eltaeb and letterer Wes Abbott, there’s a lot packed in every panel. There’s a lot of characters here but it works. The fact there’s so many characters packed into the issue is a challenge, but Timms and Godlewski know exactly where to focus and where to put in some visual jokes as well. A facial expression or stance is used to tell the story and what a character might be thinking. Eltaeb’s colors pop on the page and deliver a vibe that matches the youthful exuberance of the series.

Young Justice #15 is a solid finale to the storyline delivering a simple explanation for a character’s absence. The reuniting of the team feels like the old friends back together like it should be. It ties into DC’s meta story well without shaking things up too much but also playing off of mysteries established years ago. It also sets up something to come that has been teased since this series launched. Young Justice #15 sets up an interesting team for the future bringing together the younger heroes in a large group that will hopefully rotate the members delivering something regularly new going forward. It’s a fun series that sticks to the more positive attitude of “Rebirth” and full of potential.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker Art: John Timms, Scott Godlewski
Color: Gabe Eltaeb Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read


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Review: Anti/Hero

It’s Freaky Friday superhero style! Anti/Hero is DC Comics‘ latest graphic novel for young readers and it’s also their first original characters in their new line.

Story: Kate Karyus Quinn, Demitria Lunetta
Art: Maca Gil, Sam Lotfi
Color: Sarah Stern
Letterer: Wes Abbott

Get your copy in comic shops now in bookstores now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
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Review: Cage #2

Cage #2

Bruce Willis is one of those actors whose presence onscreen is one of reassurance. He’s now known mostly for his tough-guy roles but that not has always been the case. As was shown in The Movies That Made Us, when he made Die Hard, most test screen audiences laughed at his very presence, because they remember him as the guy from the television show, Moonlighting. He would go on to make movies that straddled the line between tough-guy and comic relief, but most of his fans love his action movies.

Even Sylvester Stallone saw his bankability to put Willis in one of his Expendables movies before their offscreen tiff. One of my favorite movies by him was a period drama called Last Man Standing where he played a rogue gunman in the middle of a turf war. His character, no matter what he did, got pulled in deeper before he had no choice but to pick sides. In the second issue of Cage, our protagonist finds a bird in a hand, and looks to live up to the title of Hero for Hire.

We find Luke in a conversation with a dirty cop that knows about the case he just took and the implications that would occur if he gets close to the truth, giving him fair warning before trouble is headed his way. A warning that Luke doesn’t take heed, but looks to make money from. Soon Luke plots The Italian Mob, against the gang that controls Harlem, to the dirty cops that run the neighborhood, with none the wiser. By the issue’s end, a miscalculation by Luke leads to a vital witness being fatally shot which changes his plans completely.

Overall, an engaging issue that plays out like some of the best crime noir thrillers of yesteryear. The story by Brian Azzarello is electrifying. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, an issue in this story that ramps up the action.

Story: Brian Azzarello
Art: Richard Corben, Wes Abbott, and  Jose Villarubia
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

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