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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.

Kindle & comiXology

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

Review: Man of Steel #6

Out for a few weeks now, we do a video review of The Man of Steel #6, the finale to Brian Michael Bendis‘ miniseries that kicks off his Superman run!

Man of Steel #6 is by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Fabok, Alex Sinclair, Josh Reed, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, 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.




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

Review: Superman #1

After upending Superman’s status quo by showing the real reason why Krypton was destroyed and blasting Lois Lane and his son Jon into space, writer Brian Michael Bendis returns everything to normal in Superman #1. Not really. Bendis and majestic artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado with blockbuster colorist Alex Sinclair show that even idealistic heroes get the blues in the proper beginning to Bendis’ Superman run. There is plenty of saving the day, but also sadness over the departure of his wife and son, whose communicator is broken as well as one hell of a final page hook.

In a single image of Superman shooting off into space to find his family, Reis and Prado show that they can handle both emotions and wide screen action. Superman #1 is a comic where the Man of Steel defeats a Dominator armada before they can even come close to invading Earth and also one where Clark Kent sits alone at home and reminisces about Lex Luthor expose related pillow talk with Lois and misses convincing his son to go to school even though he can fly, has freeze breath, and heat vision. Sinclair’s colors are really what sets the tone from explosions offset by the primary colors of Superman’s costume to the bleak darkness of the Fortress of Solitude’s new location at the Bermuda Triangle and the sheer eeriness of the final pages. Blue, yellow, and red are a constant, but the amount of light that shines on the crest of the House of El varies depending on the scene. It’s like a visual thermometer for hope.

Bendis’ gift for dialogue is what helped him stand out in the comics scene for better or worse, and it serves him well as Superman has one extended, pivotal conversation with the Martian Manhunter plus a couple small, yet great interactions with the Justice League and “himself” in Superman #1. For example, in a single page, Bendis and Reis nail the humility of Clark Kent as a slightly, self-congratulatory piece about the Fortress of Solitude moving location gets deleted, and Kent decides to write something that helps someone by following up on the ongoing, still unresolved arson subplot. Journalism isn’t just a day job disguise for Superman; it’s a powerful weapon in his fight for truth and justice even if it could be tempting to use his byline at the Daily Planet as PR. Reis and Prado do a close up on Clark touching the frame of his glasses to really sell the humility.

The conversation between Superman and J’onn is probably Bendis’ strongest scene yet as a DC Comics writer. Past writers have made the fairly obvious connection between Superman being the Last Son of Krypton and Martian Manhunter as the Last Son of Mars. However, Bendis goes a little deeper and has J’onn show empathy for Superman after he found out that Krypton wasn’t destroyed by natural causes, but by the genocide of Rogol Zaar. He writes J’onn with empathy, nobility, and patience as Superman keeps interrupting their conversation to help people and then creates a little bit of a gap between them when J’onn suggests that Superman play a more active role as a world leader instead of just a superpowered volunteer firefighter. Openly placing himself as superior to humans goes against Superman’s code so he declines J’onn’s idea while still listening to him. It might seem like a good idea, but remember Injustice Gods Among Us. 

Superman #1 is a full showcase for the talents of Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis with Joe Prado, and Alex Sinclair on both a macro and micro level as they show while also show him emotionally coping with missing Lois and Jon and the loss of his Fortress of Solitude while also dealing with an extremely powerful threat connected to the events of Man of Steel. The book succeeds as both a character study and superhero blockbuster, and Bendis and Reis continue to seamlessly weave in Superman and Clark’s “co-workers” in the Justice League and Daily Planet to enhance the narrative.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Pencils: Ivan Reis Inks: Joe Prado
 Colors: Alex Sinclair Letters: Josh Reed
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Superman #1

The fallout from the Man of Steel miniseries has Clark Kent looking at the world through new eyes… with new ideas about what Superman could and should do for the city of Metropolis and the planet Earth.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis kicks off his ongoing run with Superman #1 picking up directly from the miniseries The Man of Steel. And that’s part of the issue with this number one, without reading that miniseries, you may be lost. Superman #1 doesn’t feel like a fresh start as much as the diverging point of a story split between it and Action Comics. It feels like many of the key moments of the issue directly tie into the miniseries and without knowing the details, the moments would be a bit confusing.

But, beyond the issue if this “first issue” not being easy to dive into for new readers, the comic itself delivers such a different tone and direction from the previous Rebirth run. Up to this point, Superman has been focused on action with a lot of hope and positivity. It was a perfect example of a “bright” superhero comic. This one is a somewhat brooding Superman and Clark who are left alone in Metropolis while his son and wife are off in space with Jor-El. This is both good and bad.

Bendis has a talent of delivering heart to the character and that’s where a lot of this has been focused so far, getting the character down right. You can feel the emotion, and feel bad for Clark. We’ve all been there so it’s an easy thing to relate to. But, even though I can relate to it, it’s not something that has me excited to read more of. Those brooding moments are mixed with a lot of action and this is where things get a bit better. There’s some interesting concepts like Superman having to dart off quickly to save the day. But, even then, we’re presented with one of the oddest coversations with Martian Manhunter which challenges Superman’s role but feels like such an odd thing for Martian Manhunter to say (you’ll need to read the comic, no spoilers here).

The art is pretty good with a look that feels like a mix of retro and modern. Ivan Reis is joined by Joe Prado on inks, Alex Sinclair on colors, and Josh Reed‘s lettering. There’s a good mix of the action and the sadder moments. The scenes in space and Earth flow effortlessly and don’t feel like they’re two different stories. The characters themselves all look good with some good detail. There’s also some interesting page and panel layouts. There are some small details that are a little odd as far as facial expressions, for instance when Superman rebuilds his Fortress of Solitude, his face looks kind of evil, not so happy.

There’s nothing particularly bad about Superman #1. It brings the emotional moments but delivers such a different tone from the previous creators it feels dour, a departure from the “happier” direction of Rebirth. It’s not that this direction is a bad idea, it’s the tone of it all that makes it a bit of a chore to read. The fun has been sucked out of the series. It’s not enough for me to tap out but the series has gone down a few notches in my excitement to read what’s to come.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Ivan Reis
Ink: Joe Prado Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: Josh Reed
Story: 6.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman #50

It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see! The Batrimony is real as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are set to tie the knot in a can’t-miss, extra-length milestone issue that will reshape Gotham City. All their friends (and a few enemies?) will be party to a comic book coupling for the ages.

The build up has been coming for a while now and with Batman #50 writer Tom King answers the question as to whether Batman and Catwoman tie the knot.

The issue is done in an interesting way with what amounts to two page spreads with generally half dedicated to Batman’s preparation for the day and the other half for Catwoman’s. In between these normal panel pages, there’s full page images by some top art talent on top of which we’re presented the two’s thoughts about their meeting and what they’re about to do.

While the “will they or won’t they” has been spoiled the comic is interesting as it delves into the thought process of two individuals who are clearly nervous about tying the knot and if they do what it means.

Catwoman isn’t a hero, she’s a criminal.

Batman is a hero. He’s a hero driven by his pain.

If they were to get married, what does that mean for each of them? Can Batman be happy? These are the types of thoughts that run throughout the comic as the two characters explore their love for each other. And that’s the impressive thing, Tom King convinces you that these two love each other. By the end, you’re convinced there’s no one else for these two.

And that spoiling? Well, not quite. There’s a twist but you’ll have to read the comic yourself and go elsewhere.

The issues with the comic is the hype and a build up that doesn’t pay off. The quality of the narrative is excellent, it all just doesn’t quite live up to the lead up and the end result is rather predictable. A single panel does not make a comic and this one relies heavily on that final panel.

The art duties are mainly handled by Mikel Janin with colors by June Chung and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art is solid and there’s some fantastic page layouts. The way some of these pages are laid out is impressive with very creative visual storytelling. What’s also interesting is the use of pin-ups to tell the story as well. There was a similar thing done in Action Comics #1000 and here it sort of works. The artwork is fantastic, there’s some talent. But, it breaks up the story a bit and after a while becomes a little tedious. When the big picture comes in to focus, the choice is an interesting one and adds a poetic aspect, somewhat appropriate considering what’s happening.

This is a chapter in King’s larger story. There’s much more to come as things weave together and that final panel indicates we’ve got a hell of a lot of excitement to come. As a single issue, this one has its good and its bad but as a piece of the larger puzzle it fits like a perfectly crafted piece of the larger picture.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Pin-up Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Color: June Chung Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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