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Preview: Nubia & the Amazons #2

Nubia & the Amazons #2

Written by: Vita Ayala, Stephanie Williams
Art by: Alitha Martinez

The unrest surrounding Nubia’s ascension is rising fast! The politics of her new role and responsibilities as guardian of Doom’s Doorway have led to rumblings that she isn’t quite ready to lead. How can she prove her worthiness? As any monarch on Paradise Island would…an Amazon fight club!

Nubia & the Amazons #2

Preview: Nubia & The Amazons #1

Nubia & The Amazons #1

Written by: Vita Ayala, Stephanie Williams
Art by: Alitha Martinez

After the thrilling events of Infinite Frontier, Nubia becomes queen of Themyscira, but the new title also brings challenges. With the unexpected arrival of new Amazons, our hero is forced to reckon with her past and forge a new path forward for her sisters. Little does she know, a great evil grows beneath the island and it’s up to this former guardian of Doom’s Doorway to unite her tribe before paradise is lost forever! This unforgettable miniseries from writers Vita Ayala and Stephanie Williams, along with all-star artist Alitha Martinez (Future State) brings the fan-favorite character back to the DCU for good. After Nubia, the world of the Amazons will never be the same!

Nubia & The Amazons #1

Preview: Nubia & The Amazons #1

Nubia & The Amazons #1

Written by: Vita Ayala, Stephanie Williams
Art by: Alitha Martinez

After the thrilling events of Infinite Frontier, Nubia becomes queen of Themyscira, but the new title also brings challenges. With the unexpected arrival of new Amazons, our hero is forced to reckon with her past and forge a new path forward for her sisters. Little does she know, a great evil grows beneath the island and it’s up to this former guardian of Doom’s Doorway to unite her tribe before paradise is lost forever! This unforgettable miniseries from writers Vita Ayala and Stephanie Williams, along with all-star artist Alitha Martinez (Future State) brings the fan-favorite character back to the DCU for good. After Nubia, the world of the Amazons will never be the same!

Nubia & The Amazons #1

Preview: Ninjak #3

NINJAK #3

By JEFF PARKER, JAVIER PULIDO
Cover A by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Cover B by ALITHA MARTINEZ
Pre-order Cover by ZU ORZU
On sale SEPTEMBER 15th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The critically-acclaimed team of JEFF PARKER and JAVIER PULIDO continue their globe-trotting adventure with Valiant’s top superspy… and the secret behind Ninjak’s mysterious enemies is revealed!

One look at Pulido’s pages and you’ll see why NINJAK is one of 2021’s most talked-about comics.

NINJAK #3

Preview: Ninjak #3

NINJAK #3

By JEFF PARKER, JAVIER PULIDO
Cover A by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Cover B by ALITHA MARTINEZ
Pre-order Cover by ZU ORZU
On sale SEPTEMBER 15th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The critically-acclaimed team of JEFF PARKER and JAVIER PULIDO continue their globe-trotting adventure with Valiant’s top superspy… and the secret behind Ninjak’s mysterious enemies is revealed!

One look at Pulido’s pages and you’ll see why NINJAK is one of 2021’s most talked-about comics.

NINJAK #3

Preview: Superman: Red & Blue #4

Superman: Red & Blue #4

Written by: Michael Conrad, Robert Venditti, Francis Manapul, Mark Waid
Art by: Audrey Mok, Cully Hamner, Francis Manapul, Alitha Martinez

This month our cover star Bizarro leaves the Red & Blue family by not being in a story all about his very own birthday. Which of course means we definitely have a story in here about Bizarro’s birthday, as well as four more about the Man of Steel himself, including one about a social media star who inspires a very dangerous trend in Metropolis that nearly runs Superman ragged. Also, learn the story of how Jimmy Olsen was able to take what became his very favorite picture of Superman. These fantastic tales feature some of the best writers and artists in the business, only using Superman’s special colors to make them come alive!

Superman: Red & Blue #4

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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Preview: Infinite Frontier #0

Infinite Frontier #0

Written by: Michael Conrad, Brian Michael Bendis, Joshua Williamson, Scott Snyder, Tim Sheridan, Joëlle Jones, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Jamal Igle, Rafa Sandoval, Stephen Byrne, Joëlle Jones, Alitha Martinez, Jorge Jimenez, David Marquez, John Timms

The next phase of the DC Universe begins here! Dark Knights: Death Metal presented the darkest threats of the Multiverse. DC Future State revealed what may lie ahead. Now it’s time to look into the Infinite Frontier of the current-day DC Universe. In Gotham City, The Joker jolts citizens awake with an attack even the Dark Knight never expected. In Brazil, a young woman discovers her destiny and her connection to the Amazons. In Belle Reve, Amanda Waller plots an invasion of Arkham Asylum. In the far reaches of space, Mongul dreams of galactic domination, while the Green Lantern Corps hosts a summit of its greatest enemies. At the Hall of Justice, the League joins forces with Black Adam. Beyond the mortal world, Wonder Woman settles into a new role in the godsphere. And somewhere in the DC Universe-it’s the return of Stargirl, in an all-new tale written by Geoff Johns! This oversized, all-star issue kicks off the next great era of storytelling and excitement as top writers and artists reveal what’s next for the World’s Greatest Heroes and opens the door to some of the greatest stories of 2021.

Get a Look at Marvel’s Voices: Legacy #1 with a New Trailer

Black Panther. Storm. Blade. Falcon. Ironheart. Spectrum. And so many more. Marvel’s incredible legacy of Black heroes will be celebrated tomorrow in Marvel’s Voices: Legacy #1!

Marvel’s Voices: Legacy #1 will consist of seven thrilling tales brought to life by an amazing lineup of both new and established creators. Academy Award winning screenwriter John Ridley kicks things off with a poignant look at the impact of Miles Morales. Award-winning novelist Mohale Mashigo pens an action-packed teamup of Marvel’s most promising young heroes—Ironheart, Ms. Marvel, and Shuri. Singer/songwriter Saint Bodhi shares her take on Storm in an emotional story grounded in tragedy and acceptance. Author Tochi Onyebuchi makes his Marvel Comics debut with a high-octane tale of a wild night in Madripoor starring Domino. Writer Stephanie Williams highlights family in a light-hearted Monica Rambeau story. Writer Danny Lore explores Blade’s legacy—both vampiric and heroic. Finally, Eisner Award-winning writer Nnedi Okorafor explains the importance of heroes in fights for justice and reform in an unforgettable Venom story.

Readers can get their first look at this historic one-shot in a new trailer, featuring never-before-seen artwork by an incredible collection of artists including Olivier Coipel, Valentine De Landro, Natacha Bustos, Alitha Martinez, Ken Lashley, Chris Allen, ChrisCross.

Review: Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2

The lead story in Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 deals with the actual end of the DC Universe, and it’s brilliant, poetic work from writers Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad and artist Jen Bartel. We get to see the final battle between Superman and Darkseid, and it’s epic as hell. However, it’s not the center of the narrative, which is Wonder Woman traveling the universe looking for signs of life and hope and trying to avoid the Undoing. Except for the ending and little glimmers, this whole issue is Diana staring into the abyss and trying to find purpose in a world that doesn’t need saving anymore and is truly in its death throes.

In the first issue, Jen Bartel demonstrated that she could operate on an epic scale in both linework and color palette, and this extends to Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2. Her punches have true power and weight behind them, the lasso finds the truth in the last few characters it entangles, and the contrast between light and shadow in her color palette is operatic, especially in Wonder Woman’s final moments as well as Superman and Darkseid’s. There’s a kind of glow in her trail as she flies across the void of space, past the ruins of the Daily Planet or Brainiac’s ship, that is in direct opposition of the black tendrils of the Undoing. Cloonan and Conrad don’t go deep into The Undoing’s backstory, but they’re the inevitability personified and wipe out the whole Legion of Superheroes in a single page that establishes their universe ending threat level. They’re like “The End” on the last page of a story, and the final pages of Immortal Wonder Woman #2 definitely take on a metafictional quality and set up yet another myth cycle.

Cloonan, Conrad, and Bartel definitely use the lead story of Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 to deal with weighty philosophical issues, like the purpose (or purposelessness) of life and the effects of revenge, especially when Spectre comes into the picture. The whole Ragnarok/Twilight of the Gods vibe carries through from the previous issue, but with the Undoing, not Darkseid, being responsible for the end of the universe. In the big picture, he’s just a god, not an unknowable cosmic force. These themes and ideas as well as the general scale of Jen Bartel’s visuals truly makes this story feel like it’s a kind of modern mythology instead of using gods from various pantheons as window dressing, comic relief, or public domain action figures.

However, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, and Jen Bartel don’t forget what makes these myths and legends endure, and that is these heroes’ flaws and recognizable emotions. (For example, young queer people are making Tik Toks about Achilles and Patroclus just like Alexander the Great was writing fan fiction about them two millennia ago.) Bartel does a wonderful job showing Wonder Woman’s emotions throughout the story with many close-ups of her crying, and those tears floating in space to make these panels even more tragic. She also differentiates sad tears like when she witnesses Superman’s death from happy ones like when she finds the Spectre, the last living being. However, Wonder Woman isn’t all sadness in Immortal Wonder Woman #2. There’s a lot of anger too, especially in her last fight, against the Undoing as Cloonan and Conrad’s narration reveal her last thoughts about how she’s a contradictory figure: a warrior, yet peaceful. This ties into the conclusion of the two part storyline, which is quite satisfying, primal, and touches on the nature of immortality in a very cosmological way.

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2’s second story, “Nubia”, definitely plays second fiddle to the lead story with writer L.L. McKinney continuing to cram a six issue miniseries’ amount of lore and exposition in six issues. However, she and artists Alitha Martinez and Mark Morales and colorist Emilio Lopez do show Nubia being a hero and kicking ass against the likes of Grail and Circe, who Grail has summoned to get the last artifact: Nubia’s tiara. This artifact is magical, and Grail is more into science so she needs an assist from a sorceress of her own. However, little does she know, that this crown is imbued with magic from the Yoruba goddess, Oshun, and it only strengthens Nubia. But, of course, there is a price, and Nubia still owns Aunt Nancy a favor. McKinney definitely leaves plenty of plot threads and potential supporting players and goddesses on the table for future stories.

But for most of the pages of “Nubia”, McKinney, Martinez, and Morales focus on the task at hand: a battle royale between Nubia, Grail, and Circe. Grail and Circe definitely underestimate their opponent so it’s quite vindicated when she breaks free from their control in an iconic full page image, and then throws, kicks, and punches them in a double page spread. Instead of going the stiff pinup route, Martinez and Morales use the spread to showcase Nubia’s speed and strength using borderless panels for her battle with Grail and the bordered panels for her fight against Circe. The choreography is gorgeous in this sequence as McKinney, Martinez, Morales, and Lopez are all on the same page and cut to the best moves. For example, Nubia ducks under a magic blast from Circe and switches opponents to throw Grail with her super strength before delivering a gut punch to the sorceress. Alitha Martinez’s layout choices give a real flow to the action while Mark Morales accentuates details like Nubia’s shoulder muscles when she hurls Circe into the sky, and Emilio Lopez uses bright primary colors during intense moments like when Circe and Grail struggle to take Nubia’s crown off.

Although, these characters are highly powered, the fight has a personal feel to it culminating in Nubia reinforcing the fact that she’s Wonder Woman, an Amazon warrior, and you can’t take important artifacts from her. L.L. McKinney gives Nubia some great one-liners to show that she’s becoming more confident as a hero and coming into her own as a “Guardian”. The flashback with the different gods might be a little text-heavy, but seeing Nubia break free from a villain who is literally staring her down and saying “Submit” is well worth it. But she doesn’t get a chance to celebrate in the epilogue of this story, and Martinez and Morales draw her with tense body language while setting up another potential arc down the road. I’ve really grown to enjoy Nubia’s courage and determination as well Alitha Martinez’s fight choreography, and I would definitely like to see more stories with this creative team. Having a Nubia limited or ongoing series would also give L.L. McKinney an opportunity to pace out some of her worldbuilding elements as well as her protagonist’s connection to Yoruba mythology and Akan folklore plus the magical/superheroic side of Atlanta in the DC Universe.

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 wraps up with two very different takes on the iconic DC Comics superhero. Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, and Jen Bartel tell an archetypal self-contained story of life and death, hope and despair, and finding purpose when there’s nothing to live for starring Diana Prince. Plus it really captures the range of emotions one would feel before the inevitable end of the universe. In the second story, L.L. McKinney, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, and Emilio Lopez cram in lore, exposition, multiple villains, and one kick-ass fight scene to lay the foundation for future stories featuring Nubia. It’s like a two-hour pilot screaming for a series order whereas the lead story is a beautiful elegy with career-best interior art from Jen Bartel, who masterfully depicts both the cosmic and human.

Story: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, L.L. McKinney Art: Jen Bartel, Alitha Martinez with Mark Morales
Colors: Jen Bartel, Emilio Lopez Letterer: Pat BrosseauBecca Carey
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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