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Venom #1 Kicks Off a New Epic Era in October

Hot off the heels of Venom #200 and Extreme Carnage, this October will see the start of one of the most ambitious series in symbiote history: Venom #1! Al Ewing and Ram V have teamed up to craft a mind-bending and gut-wrenching tale of symbiosis the likes of which the Marvel Universe has never seen. Rounding out this symbiote hivemind will be legendary artist Bryan Hitch joined by Andrew Currie on inks and Alex Sinclair on colors, bringing his rich and detailed style to the Venomverse. The future of Venom lies in the hands of this mastermind team, and you won’t believe what lies ahead!

Check out Bryan Hitch’s main cover now and pick up Venom #1 when it hits stands on October 13th!

Venom #1

Review: Suicide Squad #5

Suicide Squad #5

With his spotlight in the upcoming The Suicide Squad, it was only a matter of time before we saw Bloodsport join the series. Suicide Squad #5 brings the character into the fold as he takes on a mission for Amanda Waller, one that involves the multiverse.

Bloodsport is on a mission. After a quick “origin” recap for those that don’t know the character we get into the thick of things. Hopping around the multiverse on his own, Bloodsport is looking for new recruits for Waller to join her Suicide Squad. Now on Earth-3 he has to deal with a world where all of the “heroes” are actually villains. There’s a lot of recruitment opportunities there.

Robbie Thompson does a fantastic job of taking us through Bloodsport’s thought-process as he explores a new world and explains his mission. We get a little more about his background and history and Thompson adds some small touches that add some depth to the character. What’s great is the character delivers what feels like a mix of danger, expertise, and a little off. The results are some deadpan humor that keeps the comic from being too serious.

A team delivers the art which isn’t too noticeable. Other than an opening sequence, the comic is smooth in its look and it looks good. Dexter Soy, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, and Joe Prado all provide the art. Suicide Squad #5 features some nice layouts that make Bloodsport look amazing with dynamic poses that you want to recreate with toys. Alex Sinclair‘s colors make the blues, reds, and greens pop on the page. Wes Abbott handles the surprising amount of dialogue and really makes Bloodsport’s journal unique and in his “voice”.

Suicide Squad #5 is a fantastic entry in a series that’s been entertaining the entire time. It almost stands on its own and can likely be picked up by new readers with few issues. What’s better for long-time readers is that there’s some major moments when it comes to the team’s dynamics that’ll have major implications going forward. At the end though, it left me wanting more Bloodsport.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Dexter Soy, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Joe Prado
Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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DC Reveals a First Look of The Flash #772

The Speed Force has propelled Wally West across the Multiverse, from its past to its future. Along the way, he’s experienced the whole of existence, from running with dinosaurs to escaping the Legion of Doom, to the tragedies he’s faced at Sanctuary, and even seeing his children take up the mantle of The Flash.

But after all of that, The Flash is finally home in Central City, back with his loving wife Linda, his kids Jai and Iris, and…
Looking for a job????

Hey, even speedsters gotta eat, and bill don’t pay themselves, not even in the DC Universe! But can The Flash find gainful employment in Central City with a strange cosmic artifact heading to Earth and Heat Wave going on a fiery rampage?

DC has released a first look at The Flash #772, the first chapter in “Job Hunt”. Written by Jeremy Adams, with art by Will Conrad, colors by Alex Sinclair, and lettering by Steve Wands is out on July 20, 2021. It features a main cover by Brandon Peterson and Michael Atiyeh, and a card stock variant cover by Brett Booth, Jonathan Glapion, and Alex Sinclair.

Al Ewing, Ram V., and Bryan Hitch Continue the Adventures of Venom

Following a blockbuster turn by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, Marvel’s resident master of horror, Al Ewing, and Ram V will take over the adventures of Venom — bringing the same style and sensibilities that made Immortal Hulk a smash hit. Ewing and award-winning author Ram V, a titan of terror in his own right, will work together to lend a dramatic and dangerous air to this twisted new vision of Venom! Rounding out this symbiote hivemind will be legendary artist Bryan Hitch, bringing his rich and detailed style to the Venomverse. The future of Venom lies in the hands of this mastermind team, and you won’t believe what lies ahead!

Fans can get their first glimpse at what’s in store in this year’s Free Comic Book Day title, Free Comic Book Day 2021: Spider-Man/Venom, available at participating comics shops on August 14th. Stay tuned for more information and don’t miss the next superstar era of Venom this November featuring inks by Andrew Currie and color by Alex Sinclair.

Robert Kirkman, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson Celebrate One Year of Fire Power

Superstars Robert Kirkman, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson celebrate Fire Power’s historic first anniversary with a line-up of stunning covers and a sneak peek at interior art from issue #12. This momentous issue will showcase some of the biggest names in comics lending their talents to some of Image and Skybound’s hottest covers of the year.

Everything has been leading to this moment. The Scorched Earth Clan and The Order of the Flaming Fist face off one final time! Owen Johnson has fully reentered the world he left behind and from this point on—everything changes! This extra-length issue is NOT TO BE MISSED!

Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 will be available at comic book shops and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play on Wednesday, June 2:

  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover A by Samnee & Matthew Wilson (Diamond Code APR210165) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover B by Frank Quitely (Diamond Code APR210166) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover C by Mindy Lee (Diamond Code APR210167) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover D by Tula Lotay (Diamond Code APR210168)  
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover E by Todd McFarlane & Matthew Wilson (Diamond Code APR210169) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover F by Simone Di Meo (Diamond Code APR210170) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover G by Tonci Zonjic (Diamond Code APR210171) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover H by Rob Liefeld & Marcelo Maiolo (Diamond Code APR210172) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover I by Annie Wu (Diamond Code APR210173) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover J by Erik Larsen & Matthew Wilson (Diamond Code APR210174) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover K by Khary Randolph (Diamond Code APR210175) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover L by Frank Miller & Alex Sinclair (Diamond Code APR210176) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover M Pride variant by Kira Okamoto (Diamond Code MAR219145) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover N 1:25 Copy B&W incentive variant by Frank Miller (Diamond Code MAR219146) 
  • Fire Power by Kirkman & Samnee #12 Cover O 1:25 Copy B&W incentive variant by Todd McFarlane (Diamond Code MAR219147)  

Review: Green Lantern #1

Green Lantern #1

It’s been a while since I read a Green Lantern comic. The various shifts in focus and tone turned me off and I tuned out. With “Future State” refocusing DC’s line and the expansive omniverse on the horizon, I was interested to see where this series would go. Green Lantern #1 lays out those seeds. The United Planets is forming and have convened on Oa to discuss the future order of DC’s cosmos. It’s an action-packed debut with a political focus and its results are a bit mixed.

Geoffrey Thorne puts on the ring to guide the series and its various members to the future. Green Lantern #1 is an interesting comic that has to balance a lot and does so well. It’s just what it balances is a bit mixed. The United Planets is forming to figure out the new order for the various worlds of the DC cosmos. They have convened on Oa to discuss how things will work and if Oa should become a member. It’s an interesting question that I hadn’t thought of.

Unfortunately, Thorne rushes through things skipping over what could be a very interesting debate. Oa, and the Guardians, have been the center of so many issues that have plagued the universe. It’s a legacy that’s touched upon with a few speeches but isn’t debated enough. It’s a great concept that’s only an inch deep. It also has hampered by delivery and setup that’s a bit too Star Wars prequel. Even how the various groups are set up screams the Galactic Senate. It’s an odd visual that distracts and takes what could be a very interesting direction and makes it feel a bit short in how it’s been thought out.

There’s also some hints around those against Oa joining the organization. There’s something about “freeing a heart” and what amounts to a terrorist attack but that too feels all a bit odd. It’s like there was an idea of an attack but not really how it’d play out and some quick ideas were thrown out. There’s the “science cells” which we assume are filled but instead of just freeing a bunch of criminals, the terrorist attack frees an odd being that’s soon defeated. It all fills like something had to just get filled in instead of again being fleshed out.

What really works in Tween Lantern. Thorne’s writing of this relatively new character is great and the mystery surrounding her is great. She gives a spunk and energy to the comic which otherwise might play things a bit too straight and serious. This is a breakout character who deserves the spotlight (and a solo series).

The art by Dexter Soy and Marco Santucci is good. They’re joined by Alex Sinclair on color and Rob Leigh on lettering. The look of the characters is good and there’s a lot packed in. But again, things feel a bit short. The comic has so many worlds and alien races all on Oa but the art doesn’t feel like it takes advantage. It’s also too focused at times and falls short of the “cosmopolitan” feel it should.

Green Lantern #1 has some great concepts. There’s a lot of them. But, the details don’t feel fleshed out enough. They also feel a bit rushed. The debate about Oa joining this new order feels a bit short in debate. There should be far more discussion as to whether it should happen. There’s little doubt it would. The terrorist attack and action sequences too feel a bit too neatly wrapped up. This is a comic though could easily have been two or three issues worth of material. Instead, Green Lantern #1 is a start that has great ideas but not a great execution to go along with it.

Story: Geoffrey Thorne Art: Dexter Soy, Marco Santucci
Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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DC Reveals New Details for DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration

DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration, is an incredible anthology spotlighting DC’s past, present and even future Asian superheroes, featuring some of the most dynamic Asian storytellers in and out of comics. Featuring an incredible cover by the team of DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, and colorist Alex Sinclair, this anthology includes a foreword by activist and CNN and WSJ Online contributor Jeff Yang, a selection of tribute pinups of DC’s Asian superheroes, plus an awesome variant cover featuring Cassandra Cain by artist Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.

A New Hero: Monkey Prince!
DC Festival of Heroes will treat readers to the first appearance of an all-new character, the Monkey Prince. Debuting in a story written by award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan, Batman/Superman, New Super-Man) with art by Bernard Chang (Teen Titans, Batman Beyond), Monkey Prince is inspired by the Monkey King, legendary hero of Chinese mythology and the classic tale Journey to the West. In Yang and Chang’s original 12-page story, “The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes,” Monkey Prince battles and teams up with Shazam to defeat both the evil Dr. Sivana and a Chinese deer demon spirit! To further celebrate this new superhero, the anthology will receive a special Monkey Prince 1 in 25 variant cover by Bernard Chang (check local comic book stores for availability).

Additional stories include:
“Masks” – Ram V, writer of CatwomanJustice League Dark, and The Swamp Thing, teams up with Audrey Mok, the artist of Sera and the Royal Stars, to tell a story featuring Jade Nguyen, a.k.a. Cheshire. Tying into V’s Catwoman run, Selina Kyle’s protégé Shoes has visions of being rescued as a child by Cheshire. Shoes takes these visions as a sign, donning a mask, taking the name “Cheshire Cat,” and asking Selina Kyle to train her. But is Catwoman ready to take on a sidekick?

“Sounds” – Detective Comics writer and Eisner Award winner Mariko Tamaki (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) and artist Marcus To team up to tell a story featuring Cassandra Cain, a.k.a. Batgirl. Batgirl struggles to understand words, but with her ability to read body language and uncanny fighting skills, she really doesn’t have to…until she meets someone and wishes that she had the right words—ANY words—to say to them!

“What’s in the Box?” – Cassandra Cain steps into the spotlight once more, but this time with Colin Wilkes, a.k.a. Abuse (who first appeared in Detective Comics #947, October 2008), courtesy of words and art by Dustin Nguyen. Abuse finds Batgirl sitting by a bridge, upset by a comment made by Damian Wayne.

“Dress Code” – Green Lantern Tai Pham makes his first comic book debut in this story by Green Lantern: Legacy writer Minh Lê with artist Trung Le Nguyen. Green Lantern is fighting with Arkillo, and the villain taunts him for his costume “looking like a dress.” This reminds Tai of a memory with his dead grandmother who he inherited his powers from.

“Festival of Heroes” – In a story by writer Amy Chu and artist Marcio Takara influenced by current headlines, Katana, Cyborg, and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) are asked to safeguard an Asian American and Pacific Islander community celebration against potential violence from a white supremacist group. But the heroes are quickly reminded that you don’t need capes, masks, or even special abilities to be a hero.

“Hawke & Kong” – Writer Greg Pak and artist Sumit Kumar team up on a story spotlighting the return of onetime Green Arrow Connor Hawke and Kong Kenan, also known as New Super-Man. Connor and Kenan need to do some quick thinking when a gift for Connor’s Korean aunt gets damaged in a battle with a dragon!

“Special Delivery” – Master of None writer Aniz Ansari makes his comic book debut with artist Sami Basri in this story featuring Robin (Damian Wayne). As Robin ponders about his heritage, he slowly discovers that something about this pizza place seems off…

“Kawaii Kalamity!” – Shadow of the Batgirl writer Sarah Kuhn and illustrator Victoria Ying (Diana: Princess of the Amazons) tell a story about Red Arrow’s reluctance of enjoying “kawaii” things because of people’s general assumptions of what she likes simply based on her Japanese heritage.

“Family Dinner” – Amazon juggernaut Grace Choi has to meet her girlfriend Anissa Pierce’s dad for dinner. But when your girlfriend is Thunder, that means meeting the parents is that much more stressful because her father is Black Lightning!

“Perceptible” – The Good Asian duo of Pornsak Pichetshote (writer) and Alexandre Tefenkgi (artist) tell a tale featuring The Atom (Ryan Choi) trying to defeat a microscopic robot sent from the future…to save our reality as we know it!

This 100-page commemorative anthology is a great way to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, awesome storytelling, and DC’s Super Heroes when it arrives in comic book stores and on participating digital platforms on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

Infinite Frontier Expands Into a Six-Issue Miniseries

Future State offered a glimpse of the near and far futures of DC‘s heroes and villains, But, what’s next and the CURRENT status of the DC Universe? That question was partially answered in today’s Infinite Frontier #0 which sets the stage for new stories, mysteries, and surprises.

As a result of Dark Nights: Death Metal, everything was put back where it belonged in the DC Multiverse… everything! All the damage from all the Crises was undone, and heroes long thought gone returned from whatever exile they had been in.

Infinite Frontier #0 is just the beginning!

DC has announced Infinite Frontier, a six-issue miniseries by Joshua Williamson and Xermanico. It features covers by Mitch Gerads and begins June 22. Get ready to explore more of DC’s rapidly expanding Multiverse!

In this summer event, Alan Scott, the Green Lantern from the Justice Society of America, has noticed some of his allies are still missing in action, and he’s determined to find them. There are others, though, that would rather remain hidden than explain themselves, like Roy Harper, a.k.a. Arsenal, a man who should be dead now is not. Plus, what does all this mean for the DCU’s place in the Multiverse? On opposite sides of a dimensional divide, both Barry Allen and President Superman ponder this question. Not to mention the Darkseid of it all! Or a team of Multiversal heroes called Justice Incarnate!

This brand-new event from DC has one foot in the past, but both eyes looking forward to a future that they hope will remain as bright as it seems!

Infinite Frontier #0 art by John Timms and Alex Sinclair
Interior artwork from Infinite Frontier #0 by John Timms and Alex Sinclair

Review: Crime Syndicate #1

Crime Syndicate #1

Crime Syndicate #1 takes us to Earth-3 where “evil” version of our known superheroes rule. The issue is an interesting one presenting the group it would seem before they’ve come together and instead giving us a tease of each. Some of it works and some of it doesn’t with an issue that’s a bit choppy in quality.

Written by Andy Schmidt, the comic re-introduces us to the various members. It has them plant their flags in their own ways. All of the members are horrible individuals in their own special way. This isn’t a team or “heroes” to be rooting for, Schmidt nails that aspect down. But, the tone of the comic still feels a bit “light’ for such evil individuals. There’s a pulp vibe to it in some ways with a dose of humor thrown in which feels a bit off.

Schmidt has some fun with that “pulp” aspect though referencing comics that don’t exist and haven’t happened. It delivers a wink a nod to the history all of these characters have.

But, what’s odd is that this feels a bit of an echo to the Justice League relaunch with the New 52 bringing the team together. There’s both history and newness to it all. It doesn’t pack the punch when it the Crime Syndicate was revealed years ago as to the evil that lurked in the DC Universe and sparked “Trinity War”.

The art by Kieran McKeown is ok but doesn’t quite fit the tone of the characters. With ink by Dexter Vines, color by Steve Oliff, and lettering by Rob Leigh there’s a bit of a classic feel to the art. It matches the comedic aspects of the comic but the style doesn’t quite match that “evil” and “dark” aspect of the team I was expecting. The art is a bit to bright and light to fit well with these characters.

Schmidt is also joined by Bryan Hitch, Alex Sinclair, and Leigh in an origin story for Ultraman. The back-up story is more of what I was expecting with the main story. It’s a bit darker in tone and shows more of the torture and twisted nature of these characters. Juxtaposed with the main story, the tone issues are more apparent.

Crime Syndicate #1 is a bit too much of a fresh start with an unexpected tone that doesn’t quite fit. These were brutally evil characters who were always plotting. Here we’re presented with more goofy mirror images of heroes we know. There’s potential for the series as it goes on with more interactions but as is, the comic is a bit choppy in its presentation getting them to that point.

Story: Andy Schmidt Art: Kieran McKeown, Bryan Hitch
Ink: Dexter Vines Color: Steve Oliff, Alex Sinclair Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read


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Review: Infinite Frontier #0

Infinite Frontier #0

Dark Knights: Death Metal is over and we’ve seen a possible future timeline in “Future State”. Now, DC begins to chart its path with the first crumbs teased in Infinite Frontier #0. The issue serves as a guide as to the various series and status-quo that awaits them. With a new omniverse to explore, anything is possible and the comic does its job to remind us of that.

The comic’s story is delivered in a narrative driven by two characters as our guide. It’s a spin on the classic Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Wonder Woman believes a threat is looming and wants to witness the state of things before making a major decision about her role in the DC Universe.

With Wonder Woman and Spectre as our guide, we’re taken on a tour of the characters highlighting the comics to come. The Justice League, Batman, Wonder Girl, Alan Scott, Teen Titans Academy, Superman, Green Arrow and Black Canary, Star Girl, Green Lanterns, and the Flash all get a moment to show off where things stand. All of it is good and interesting though few of what’s presented really excites. It feels like an extended teaser and preview. It takes its concept as a guidebook almost too seriously. The comic feels a bit more like the extension of the ending of Dark Knights: Death Metal where we saw many of these ideas initially teased.

Infinite Frontier #0 credits

But, what’s intriguing is what’s presented and doesn’t have a comic attached to them. Infinite Frontier #0 teases more than what’s already announced giving hope as to what we’ll see in July and beyond. There’s also teases through artwork of the various series DC teased at the recent ComicsPro. It’s interesting in that way that the stories feel less like the exciting first 15 minutes before the credits to get you pumped. Instead, the stories are a bit dry and more to lay out where things stand with the concepts thrown out being the hooks. The action isn’t the hook, the ideas are.

The art of the comic is solid. Each segment flows into the next and with a few exceptions, the styles work well together. There are some fantastic spreads with Wonder Woman as she talks to Spectre about what she’s witnessing. There’s a few panels and pages that’ll leave you lingering to stare at. The colors really pop on pages delivering a sense of energy that really fits the new status of the DC Universe.

Infinite Frontier #0 isn’t bad but it doesn’t quite excite. By the end of the issue I found myself more excited about concepts than the comics themselves. Very few of the segments left me wanting to immediately find out what happens next. Instead, it the comic feels like a short ashcan, teasing what’s to come with a few pages and back material to fill things out. It shows what’s to come but it never quite puts things over. Instead, it nails its role as a guide, a way to browse what DC has to offer.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Joëlle Jones, Tim Sheridan, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Joshua Williamson, Geoff Johns, Geoffrey Thorne
Art: David Marquez, Jorge Jimeez, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Joëlle Jones, Stephen Byrne, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Jamal Igle, Alex Maleev, Todd Nauck, Dexter Soy, Howard Porter, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson
Color: Tamra Bonvillain, Tomeu Morey, Emilio Lopez, Jordie Bellaire, Stephen Byrne, Alejandro Sanchez, Hi-Fi, Alex Sinclair, Brad Anderson
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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