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A First Look at Batman #82 part eight of City of Bane

Batman #82

Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janín
Color by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by David Finch and Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover by Travis Charest
In Shops: Nov 06, 2019
Final Orders Due: Oct 14, 2019
SRP: $3.99

It’s “City of Bane” part eight, as Mikel Janín rejoins Tom King for the climactic chapters of the epic, sold-out storyline that’s sent Gotham spinning into chaos and tragedy! Batman and his allies wage war on the City of Bane, but an unexpected turn of events will send everyone reeling. Will there be another death in the family, or can the Dark Knight break Bane’s iron grip over Gotham City?

Review: Superman: Year One #3

Superman: Year One #3

Superman: Year One #3 wraps up the DC Black Label series with story and art by Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr. It’s a “year one” story that doesn’t really feel like “year one” at all and takes place over numerous years of Superman’s life. So, the title is the first perplexing thing about the series as well as the issue.

Superman: Year One #3 feels disjointed too. It just moves on from Clark living in Atlantis, never to really dive into that storyline again. There’s military just attacking him. Luthor just reaching out to him. Apparently a love interest in Wonder Woman. It’s all over the place with leaps in facts.

Again, it’s also not “year one.”

The comic feels a bit rushed wanting to hit certain beats like Superman questioning his battle and humanity and his meeting Batman and Wonder Woman. Whether that connects in a flowing narrative is another thing.

The art by Romita, Jr. and Miller have their styles and flair and some works and some doesn’t. In some scenes Superman’s cape is stiff as a board and positioning makes little sense. In other scenes it flows majestically and looks great. It’s just all over the place in details and comes off at times as stiff.

Superman: Year One started with promise but has slid downhill from there. While the finale isn’t quite the cringe-worthy wtf release that was the second issue, it’s also choppy enough to make you wonder if you’re missing pages. One step forward, two leaps back.

Story: Frank Miller, John Romita, Jr. Art: Frank Miller, John Romita, Jr.
Ink: Danny Miki Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: John Workman
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Review: The Batman’s Grave #1

The Batman's Grave #1

The Batman’s Grave #1 is a wonderfully minimalist, detective procedural story from Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch, Kevin Nowlan, and Alex Sinclair, but it’s also a saga of man who is obsessed with death, both his parents’, those of the cases he takes, and his own. So, it’s fitting that Ellis and Hitch open the comic on a panel of the Waynes’ graves as Alfred dutifully trims the area around Thomas and Martha Wayne’s final resting spots and Bruce’s future one before going into the action/murder mystery bits. It gives the comic a somber, thoughtful tone, but Hitch and Nowlan are always there with the big splash page, kick in the teeth, or superhero action scene while Ellis is quick with a quip like a Gotham family thinking that a copyright friendly version of It is family fare. (Maybe, it is in a city where the Joker tries to poison the water supply on a weekly basis.)

My personal favorite part of The Batman’s Grave other than Nowlan’s inking giving Hitch a more explosive, cartoon-y art style than, say, his work on Ultimates is how Warren Ellis writes Alfred. He is world weary, worldly, deeply caring, and also deeply concerned about how Batman is spending his life. Ellis gives him the voice of a million socially conscious Batman fans when he says that buying Gotham City would be better than him going around to poor neighborhoods and beating up criminals like he does in the first action scene of the comic.

But Bruce Wayne: Philanthropist would make a pretty boring comic, and Ellis knows this as he lets Hitch, Nowlan, and Sinclair loose with a cape trailing, Gotham skyline-featuring double page spread very early on and then treats us to some close-ups of Batman fighting goons, who threaten a police officer’s kid. It’s more unique than your usual superhero fight scene with Nowlan adding cool details like showing the grooves on Batman’s boot when he kicks. The extra detail doesn’t take anything away from the motion and the fact that the fight scene shows that Batman beats the shit out of people to get a small measure of catharsis in his life even if it won’t heal his neverending sadness.

However, The Batman‘s Grave is more of a psychological detective comic than an action book, and Alex Sinclair’s colors add a precision to Batman’s virtual lab where he gets into the mind of a murder victim. His investigation acts as a bit of a character study too, and Ellis, Hitch, and Nowlan give us a fairly detailed story of a man, who became overwhelmed with his job in the Gotham D.A’s office and turned to Batman as a metaphor of stability and justice. These extra character details kept me connected to the case instead of nodding like it was a Law and Order SVU rerun and also expertly set up the final page cliffhanger with Hitch and Nowlan indulging their horror side just a little bit.

The Batman’s Grave #1 is a fantastic Batman detective story and character study for both super fans and those who have only kept up with the Caped Crusader via other media or the occasional trade paperback. Bryan Hitch, Kevin Nowlan, and Alex Sinclair’s are the right blend of epic and psychologically searing while Warren Ellis’ script is sharp and momentum filled. I love the humanity that he brings to Alfred and the murder victim, Vince and kind of pity Batman after reading this one. His car is still cool though.

Story: Warren Ellis Pencils: Bryan Hitch 
Inks: Kevin Nowlan Colors: Alex Sinclair Letters: Richard Starkings
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.2 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Superman: Year One #2

Superman: Year One #2

Superman: Year One #2 takes the promising first issue and goes in a rather odd direction. Clark Kent is off to boot camp where he attempts to fit in the Navy. That could be an issue on its own but we get sidetracked into a story about Atlantis, Clark’s wooing of a mermaid, and incest. It’s an odd one.

Frank Miller delivers an interesting second issue for about half of the oversized comic but then goes off the rails. The concept of Clark having to hide his abilities while being trained by the military is an interesting one. How does someone with superheroic tendencies not stand out? That aspect of the comic is solid and intriguing. But, then there’s this Atlantis aspect…

Stationed on the coast, Clark comes across mermaids and explores the situation coming upon Atlantis and its princess. Of course she falls for him which later sets up a confrontation with her father Poseiden. The story would be standard outdated concepts of a father making relationship decisions for his daughter. But, Miller crosses a line making it clear that Poseiden wants to sleep with his daughter. The comic goes from outdated into some really creepy and vomitous territory. And at that point, took the enjoyment right out of it.

I can overlook Clark holding his breath for insane amounts of time or his ease of using his powers underwater. But a father wanting to sleep with his daughter is where I cross the line. Add in some really odd choices for dialogue boxes and you have a mess of a comic when it comes to the story.

John Romita, Jr.‘s art continues to entertain. There’s a consistency to it and the usual “sameness” to faces isn’t as present. The Atlantean designs are interesting and stand out from the standard of what we’ve seen. The ink by Danny Miki and color by Alex Sinclair stand out, especially when the setting changes to Atlantis. John Workman‘s lettering is impressive bouncing around the various dialogue boxes as the setting shifts underwater.

Superman: Year One #2 is half of a good comic but latter parts had me wanting to vomit and become too distracting. There was a right way to tell this story and this is not it.

Story: Frank Miller Art: John Romita, Jr.
Ink: Danny Miki Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: John Workman
Story: 4.0 Art: 7.8 Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Superman: Year One #1

After much anticipation, this is it! Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr.‘s Superman: Year One! Does the comic live up to expectations?

Story: Frank Miller
Art: John Romita, Jr.
Color: Alex Sinclair
Letters: John Workman

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

Amazon
Kindle & comiXology
TFAW

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Superman: Year One #1

Superman: Year One #

After much anticipation, Superman: Year One #1 has arrived. And what stands out is how conservative it is in a way. With a story and art by Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr., the debut issue both underwhelms and exceeds expectations.

Superman: Year One #1 isn’t as much a “year one” as it is a compacted look at formative moments in Clark Kent’s life. The first issue charts his escape from the doomed Krypton to his graduation from high school. The issue is a focus on the construction of his morals and belief system. It’s an attempt to make the case as to why he acts the way he does. What shaped his focus on “truth” and “justice?”

Miller and Romita, Jr. have created a very unexpected comic. While Miller’s comics in the past tend to have over the top action and a bit of grim, this first issue instead is one of doing what’s right and standing up to bullies. It’s a PSA in comic form. Debate is had between Clark and his parents as to what to do about school bullies. And that’s a lot of the focus in this issue, Clark and his friends dealing with high school bullies.

There’s a bit of Miller’s philosophy thrown in about unchecked dominance but for the most part, this could be an after-school special in a comic. The underwhelming part is, it’s not so much a “year one” as it is a “year zero” and while it sets up Clark’s moral system the story itself is rather slow and plodding. Miller also has a habit of being a bit cliche by throwing in some of the more famous catchphrases we know today. There’s also some narrative issues in the beginning with a rather muddled voice and perspective.

It’s a character study on what makes a god act human.

And that’s the underwhelming part. It’s not so much a disappointment as it is an unexpected story. For those who have read Miller’s work, especially his takes on Daredevil or his Batman, one would expect a more action focused comic with a bit more punch. Instead, this is Clark dealing with school. It’s his learning to keep his powers in check. It’s a character study on what makes a god act human.

The artwork by Romita, Jr. has never looked better. Joined by Alex Sinclair on color and John Workman with lettering, the comic has a subtlety about it. Much like the story itself, it’s muted and not over the top. Instead, a focus is on the mystery of Clark and his powers with some of his use taking place off the page and all we’re left with is the aftermath. It plays to the story and Clark attempting to hide his true nature. The character designs too are free of Romita, Jr.’s habit of having characters look a bit too similar. It’s leaps and bounds above his recent works.

The debut issue is a solid one. The negativity of Miller’s recent works is gone and instead we have a focus on the positive and justice focused nature of Superman. In it, the creators show they get their subject by delivering the building blocks that have shaped his focus on helping those in his later years. It’s an unexpected debut and one of the best in takes on Superman in recent memories.

Story: Frank Miller, John Romita, Jr. Art: John Romita, Jr.
Color: Alex Sinclair Lettering: John Workman
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Detective Comics #1000 Gets a Deluxe Hardcover Edition this June

In celebration of Batman’s 80th anniversary and the release of the landmark 1,000th issue of Detective Comics, debuting on March 27, DC will present Detective Comics #1000: The Deluxe Edition this summer.

Available in comic book stores on June 12 and other major retailers on June 18, the milestone hardcover features new stories from well-known DC talent, historical decade variants and more. With more than 160 pages of some of the top names in comics paying tribute to DC’s Caped Crusader,Detective Comics #1000: The Deluxe Edition will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.99.

This 168-page collector’s item celebrates the Dark Knight with all content from the Detective Comics #1000 periodical, including standalone short stories from an all-star collection of the top writers and artists in Batman’s recent history such as Tom King, Tony S. Daniel & Joëlle Jones, Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo, Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev, Warren Ellis & Becky Cloonan and more, including the debut of a new version of the Arkham Knight into DC canon as writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Doug Mahnke kick off a new story arc, “Medieval.”

The deluxe hardcover edition of Detective Comics #1000 will also include:

  • A new 12-page Batman story, written by Robert Venditti with art by Stephen Segovia. “Table for Two” pits Batman against a Gotham City gauntlet of his most dangerous rogues, as Two-Face unites half of the Gotham underworld to eradicate the Dark Knight once and for all. This is the first Batman story ever written by Venditti, best known for his fan-favorite run on Hal Jordan and the Green lantern Corps and most recently Hawkman, Freedom Fighters and the soon-to-be-released Six Days.
  • Tribute art celebrating Batman from popular artists Jason Fabok, Mikel Janin, as well as Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts.
  • A gallery of 32 unique retailer-exclusive variants drawn by some of the biggest names in comics and art, plus the nine decade-themed variant covers from artists such as Steve Rude, Michael Cho, Jim Steranko, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Tim Sale, Jock and Greg Capullo. 
  • The dynamic wraparound cover from the Detective Comics #1000 comic book by the fan favorite team of Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair.
Detective Comics #1000: The Deluxe Edition

Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s DC Black Label Superman: Year One is out this June

This June, legendary creators Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. will share their definitive origin story for the Man of Steel in Superman: Year One from DC Black Label. Beginning with the release of large-format periodicals in the months of June, August and October, the complete story will be available for collection in bookstores everywhere November 2019.

Superman: Year One is a coming-of-age story for the future Man of Steel, featuring a young alien-boy just trying to find his place in a new world. Faced with the need to hide his heritage and powers in order to survive, Clark will find his humanity through the grounding of the Kent family and the relationships that will define the man he will become. Told by two of the most revered voices in comics, Superman: Year One is more than a superhero story – it’s about the choices made by Clark Kent on his path to becoming a legend. It’s a testament to the importance of choosing to become a hero.

Superman: Year One #1 will be available in local comic stores on June 19, and you can see the covers for each issue and the collection below! Covers for the three issues are by John Romita, Jr., inks by Danny Miki, and colors by Alex Sinclair. The collection cover is by Frank Miller with colors by Alex Sinclair.

Superman: Year One #1
Superman: Year One #2
Superman: Year One #3
Superman: Year One Collection

New DC Giants Come to Walmart Including Tom King Writing Superman

Issue #3 of the 100-Page Superman Giant comic, along with the third issue of Justice League Giant, begins shipping to more than 3,000 Walmart stores nationwide today, with all participating stores displaying these titles by Sunday, September 9First announced in June of this year, these “100-Page GIANT” monthly titles combine new stories by top DC writers with classic tales from DC’s deep history.

The cornerstone of Superman Giant #3 is part one of the 12-chapter “Up in the Sky,” an original story by multiple Eisner Award-winner Tom King, writing his first Superman story since the poignant and heartfelt “For Tomorrow” in April’s landmark Action Comics #1000. King, along with artist Andy Kubert, inker Sandra Hope, colorist Brad Anderson and letterer Clayton Cowles, has created a classic superhero story involving the kidnapping of an Earth child from Gotham City. Featuring DC mainstays Lois Lane and Perry White, in addition to cameo appearances from Batman and Green Lantern, this 12-part tale asks the question: How far across the galaxy will the Man of Steel go to bring a single child home?

Also headed to shelves this week in the pages of Justice League Giant #3 is the first installment of Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin, Alex Sinclair and Travis Lanham’s new Wonder Woman story, “Come Back to Me.” Conner, Palmiotti, Hardin and Sinclair, having built their fanbase for years with their blockbuster monthly Harley Quinn series, reunite to showcase Diana Prince, Steve Trevor and Etta Candy and tell a story about firefighters battling a blazing wildfire in the mountains.

Review: Superman #1

Out in July, Superman #1 is the beginning of Brian Michael Bendis‘ run on the iconic character. We go over the comic to see if it takes off in flight.

Superman #1 is by Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Alex Sinclair, Josh Reed, Adam Hughes, David Mack, Jessica Chen, Michael Cotton, and Brian Cunningham.

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

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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