Tag Archives: andy kubert

It’s Dark Days Ahead for the DC Universe

DC Comics has announced a massive event this summer, writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV collaborate with iconic artists Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, and John Romita Jr. for Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Dark Days: The Casting #1.Spearheaded by Snyder, these new stories will reveal the dark underbelly of the DC Universe. The mysteries of THE FORGE and THE CASTING will hit shelves on June 14 and July 12, respectively, and break new ground in DC’s publishing line.

Spearheaded by Snyder, these new stories will reveal the dark underbelly of the DC Universe. The mysteries of The Forge and The Casting will hit shelves on June 14 and July 12, respectively, and break new ground in DC’s publishing line.

Snyder in the announcement says that Dark Days posits a mystery that traces all the way back to when he started on Batman. This is something that’s been hinted at over the years with Easter eggs and clues. The event ultimately leads to huge revelations about the past, present and future of the cosmology of DC. The two issues are a prelude to an event that’s been developing for years.

Visually powering this event is a master class of artists, including Kubert, Lee and Romita Jr., who will drive DC’s initiative to bring artists to the forefront of the storytelling process. Beginning with Dark Days, these writers and artists will collaborate to develop new ideas and characters, that further enriches the DC Universe.

DC has said to expect more information about the comic event at upcoming conventions like WonderCon, Fan Expo Dallas and C2E2 over the coming months.

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Retro Review: Wolverine: Rahne Of Terra

Wolverine_Rahne_of_Terra_Vol_1_1.jpgFirst published in August of 1991 (according to the legal bit in the back cover), the last time I read Wolverine: Rahne Of Terror must have been nearly twenty years ago in an old British reprint comic called Wolverine Unleashed (Issues #24-26), so when I found it for $3 at my LCS a couple weeks ago I jumped at the chance to read it again. You can’t really go wrong getting a 64-page story for three bucks, I thought, and I remembered enjoying it when I last read the story. Of course yesterday I saw the comic in the dollar bin, but what can you do?

Now despite this being labeled as a Wolverine comic, the story focuses more on Rhane Sinclair and the New Mutants than it does the title character. While it was probably a useful tactic aimed at pushing the New Mutants using Wolverine’s name at the time – though how successful it was at the time,  I’ll never know because I don’t care enough to research sales numbers from that time right now.

Aside from focusing on the New Mutants Rahne Of Terra positions Wolverine as the villain thanks to the age old mind control trick, and places him at the mercy of an evil wizard who has pulled Wolverine into an alternate dimension that echoes medieval Europe in order to murder a few people. The story isn’t one of Peter David‘s best, but it’s still an enjoyable diversion for a half hour or so. Andy Kubert‘s art holds up surprisingly well, although some of the hair styles and costume choices have a very 90’s feel, the alternate universe nature of the story mitigates the aesthetically aging moments.

Although this story doesn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped it would after twenty years, it’s still worth reading if you come across it in a dollar bin, but it may not be worth deliberately going out to look for it.

Story: Peter David Pencils/Inks: Andy Kubert
Colours: Sherilyn Van Vaulkenberg
Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Preview: Superwoman #7

Superwoman #7

(W) Phil Jimenez (A) Phil Jimenez, Matt Santorelli, Jackson Herbert (CA) Andy Kubert
RATED T
In Shops: Feb 08, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“WHO KILLED SUPERWOMAN?” finale! The battle between Ultra Woman and Superwoman proves too much for either to bear, as Lena Luthor’s dream of surpassing her brother Lex and asserting total domination over Metropolis starts to vanish before her eyes. Only one solution remains: make sure Superwoman dies-for good this time! Don’t skip to this issue’s shocker ending!

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DC is Accepting Applications for its 2017 Artists Workshop

DC Entertainment has announced that it is kicking off their 2017 Artists Workshop program today and is now accepting applications through March 1. The DC Writers Workshop will begin accepting online applications on March 1 through March 31.

DC’s Talent Development Workshops are led by an all-star talent line-up including Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, Klaus Janson and Andy Kubert. The series of workshops are designed to give access and a voice to new and prospective talent, providing an opportunity to showcase their work following intensive DC workshop sessions.

Competitive candidates that apply for the Artists Workshop will have an established portfolio of sequential art. For the artists selected via the online submission process, the Workshop will provide the knowledge and exposure required to help cross the threshold into the competitive world of comic book publishing. Chosen artists will be asked to complete art assignments that will be critiqued by several top DC Artists. If the artists achieve the level of work required for the course they will then be invited to a two-week, intensive workshop at DCE’s Burbank offices.

The 2017 Writers Workshop was developed by DC with bestselling writer Scott Snyder. For selected candidates, the 2017 DC Writers Workshop will run in the summer/fall as an online real-time, weekly interactive seminar, for thirteen consecutive weeks. Each seminar will teach a new skill essential for surviving and excelling in this highly competitive field.

Upon completion of the program, DCE’s Talent Development group will ensure successful participants are considered for positions on current DC titles.

dc-workshop

Review: Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6

dktmr_cv6_ds-1We’re a few issues away from the end of this intense mini-series and Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6 doesn’t disappoint or slow down the story train one bit. When things left off we the team was giving it all they had, all hell was breaking loose and, there was sense of urgency and anything goes mayhem in the Batcave and beyond its walls. Members of the team were falling seemingly as soon as they showed up for their cameo.

The rise of Quar and the rest of the aliens hell bent on earth domination, is upon us and no matter what the heroes of Gotham and the adjoining cities throw at the onslaught of baddies, the war is far from over. But, this time around the humans are ready to join in the fight en masse and there is still hope. Superman is still rocking his Kryponite proof suit and Batgirl/Catwoman/Batman is ready to give it all she’s got, even if it costs her her life.

Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello give us one hell of a story. There’s war, behind the scenes plotting and, a humanity taking a stand of sorts. It’s a compelling read with a load of action, some sadness and , a whole lot of sacrifice and love. Miller and Azarello deal with the complexity of the characters by showing them in all possible emotions and states. They showcase the strength of the fallen, the loyalty of those who remain standing and, the fight of those affected by the fall out not yet ready to kneel.

Andy Kubert‘s art adds another layer to the story. His artwork matches the tone of the story and the pace of the fight. There is so much attention to detail and there is no line wasted.

Overall issue #6 was a perfect read, it propelled the fight and current story arc forward. As a stand alone issue it’s still solid and stands up but, as part of the whole it is a perfect piece as this storyline winds down. With a few more issues to go before the end of this series, this issue gives us something to look forward to and, a team to root for when everything comes to an end.

Story: Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello Art: Andy Kubert
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Dark Knight III: The Master Race # 6

dktmr_cv6_ds-1“Blame it on the Kryptonite rain”

So where to get started on this one? Well, admittedly to me Frank Miller‘s original The Dark Knight Returns is the greatest comic book ever created. However after reaching that pinnacle he has never seemed to quite get back there. With each and every project announced that ties into this world I get my hopes up, waiting for a flash of greatness. Then each time, well let’s just say it’s how Cleveland Browns must feel every season.

This time around the story had a great opening first issue and I thought finally we are getting back to the spirit of my favorite Batman tale. Well after the very cool cliffhanger with Carrie Kelly aka Robin, aka Catgirl, aka Batman, it shortly fizzled out. The mystery of whether Bruce was dead (after all he’s like a billion in this series now) and Carrie was truly carrying on in his stead was very intriguing.

Fast forward to this issue. What we have is a surreal scene with the Kandorians (formally a peaceful people, now all monstrous warlords, seriously not one good one) falling from the sky as a result of Batman’s acid Kryptonite rain attack. Yes you heard me, acid Kryptonite rain. Believe me, the explanation is beyond ridiculous. It does look cool though.

So now we have Batman and Superman (Shaped in armor that looks like himself) ready for a cosmic show down. At least Bruce seemed to have raided Ben Affleck’s closet and got his armor back. Don’t worry if the odds seemed good enough they are now joined by Bargirl, the latest neon alias of Carrie Kelly.

The issue from there is just one big throw down with the Kandorians versus the norms. Oh and to boot Superman’s daughter Lara is fighting to bring down Earth too. It’s pretty abundant that Frank Miller has horrible disdain for the character of Superman since he tortures him and bastardizes him every chance he gets. No one does cranky Ol’ Bruce better than Miller though.

The remainder of the issue is a smash up brawl ending in a very weird cliffhanger that is reminiscent of the original The Dark Knight Returns story. With a few more issues to go, will they have the guts to actually go through with that cliffhanger, or is it total view bait and switch? At this point it’s truly hard to care one way or another as the story has been all over the place. If the prior issues were written better it would have much more of the punch it needed but as it is, the twist just misses the mark.

With a few chapters left, I’m not quite sure this book can do the turnaround it needs. On the plus side Andy Kubert is putting out some tremendous eye porn and has the feel down perfect, just doesn’t get to shine like it should due to the hack writing. Of course, as a Batman completist,  I will see this one to the end. However, I’m sure this will be my last stop in Millerville for quite some time.

Story: Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello Art: Andy Kubert
Story: 5 Art: 8 Score: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Early Preview: Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6

Written by: Brian Azzarello, Frank Miller
Art by: Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert
Cover by: Andy Kubert
Variant cover by: Greg Tocchini, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Klaus Janson, Frank Miller

Is Gotham City ready for a new Batgirl?!

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Review: The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5

Dark Knight III The Master Race #5 coverBatman and Robin prepare for war with the Master Race, and an ally returns from an unlikely place… Things are looking grim for Batman, Gotham, and the people of Earth. But, like so many Batman stories before, Batman has a plan.

The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5 is an interesting comic in that it has some cool moments, but there’s an emotional connection that just isn’t present. It goes through the motion as it builds towards its final page, but for me the reader, it’s just not enough to get me to say “fuck yeah.”

That lack of connection has plagued this third part of Frank Miller‘s Dark Knight trilogy. It’s an improvement over the second chapter, but so far there hasn’t quite been enough new or different to get me really jazzed. This is just an average comic.

The writing is interesting and how the issue progresses is nicely paced, but that special something is just missing for me. Even in that final panel, the reveal is just there. Miller and writer Brian Azzarello are going through the motions but missing that spark.

The art by Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson continues to be some of the best aspects of this series. The two evoke a style that’s reminiscent of what came before. What little cool factor there is exists due to these two’s art and what they present on the page.

Not sure what else there really is to say. The comic isn’t bad, it’s just not as good as it should be. It lacks that something special that existed in the first volume and was clearly missing in the second. It’s very readable and in some aspects entertaining, but modern classic, this one isn’t.

Story: Brian Azzarello, Frank Miller Art: Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert
Story: 6.95 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.1 Recommendation: Read

Review: Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4

DKIII Master Race #4The Master Race will rise. Cities will fall. Bruce Wayne is dead. What will the heroes of the world do to save it?

DC Comics‘ big event, Dark Knight III: The Master Race has been interesting and this fourth issue continues what is a series that’s been big on ideas and themes and thin on some of their execution.

The latest issue dives into the battle between Superman and the Master Race of Kryptonians hellbent on taking over Earth. The issue feels a bit choppy right off the bat as if there was a slight skip between the last issue and this one. And for the most part the issue is a straight up fight between the zealot Kryptonians and Superman with Batman and the world at large watching on.

The issue has some very interesting ideas such as threats by terrorists, the impotence of not acting while an execution takes place, and surrendering your way of life to appease terrorists.

All of those things are interesting themes and topics worthy to explore and the one issue presents them all without much exploration. So, going by that, it all feels rather thin. The series written by Brian Azzarello and Frank Miller begin with a bit more of an exploration of some of these topics, but this issue and the previous one feel more like the setup before the giant climactic battle takes place. I hope we’ll see actual discussion, even for just a few panels, or hell one speech by Batman.

The art by Klaus Janson and Andy Kubert is as solid as it has been as I’d expect. Years later the comic feels right at home with its predecessors and the action feels brutal on the page. If you’re a fan of the art of the previous volumes, you’ll dig the continuation.

The series is about what I expected and continues its big on concepts, low on exploration of those concepts. But, that leaves a story that the readers can debate with each other and themselves. Honestly I expected a voice and perspective that hasn’t quite played out as I expected. A comic you can debate is a success in many ways, and I continue to look forward to see what’s to come.

Story: Brian Azzarello, Frank Miller Art: Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert
Story: 7 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.1 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3

DK3 #3 CoverThe hardest thing for Batman is to admit his greatest strength: He’s just one man, and sometimes he needs help. With so much at stake, will he turn to help of the Super variety?

The Dark Knight III: The Master Race has been an interesting series for me so far. In the first two issues, and even a bit in this third one, we’ve seen flashes of classic Frank Miller, who is helped by Brian Azzarello on writing duties. While the first issue especially felt a lot like the original, this latest issue instead feels more like one particular work of Miller’s more recent years, Holy Terror. And it’s the similarities where I go back and forth on this issue and even writing this review, of mixed emotion.

For those not in the know, the last issue saw the freeing of Kryptonians trapped in the glass city of Kandor and it turns out those freed are religious zealots bent on taking over the world. That’s about what you need to know really, and you might guess where I’m going from here.

Holy Terror came out in 2011 and was filled with Islamaphobic dribble straight from Miller. The story was rumored to be originally a Batman tale that had the Caped Crusader going up against Al-Qaeda, and when rejected Miller reworked it. You can see the Batman influences as the main character is strikingly similar and “Catwoman” even makes an appearance. Knowing Miller’s views expressed in that graphic novel and elsewhere influences my reading of this latest issue.

The Kryptonian religious zealots can be read as stand ins for Islamic Jihadists down to their subjugation of the world under their religious dogma, use of suicide bombers, and some of the general wording. While Batman vs Al-Qaeda was rejected, Miller may have gotten his wish to have Batman fight Islam, only with a slightly more allegorical and veiled spin on it. For a series that began with a statement on police brutality, the shift in tone is noticeable and a bit fascinating. While I thought the series was going on way, it has shifted instead to be focused more on the rise of ISIS (a genie let out of a bottle), their rise to rule a geographic space, their fanatical devotion, and death cult world view that includes self sacrifice to achieve their murderous ways. The parallels are obvious and clear.

And when it comes to that, I’m not sure how I feel or what I think. Is it bad? Is it good? Is it somewhere in between? With one issue, it’s hard to say, but the issue is blunt with little nuance, and that’s where I think it fails the most. The bad guy’s motivation isn’t clear other than religious extremism. It doesn’t give us the reader anything new to think about other than a cartoonish simplified take of what Miller thinks ISIS is.

The art is the style we’ve come to expect where Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Geof Darrow mimic a classic style that I personally enjoy. To me, it’s a style I’d have expected out of the British pulp adventures of the 80s and one that it’s much rarer to see today.

It’s hard to say if I had no idea of Miller’s ideological leanings how my views of this issue might have changed, but even without that knowledge it’s clear Miller’s focused on the rise of Al-Qaeda’s more insane offshoot ISIS now. I can’t judge the whole tale since there’s much to go, but this issue is a huge shift from the first two in its tone and what it’s trying to say. It’s one I expected considering how the last issue ended, but I clearly still wasn’t prepared for.

Story: Brian Azzarello, Frank Miller Art: Geof Darrow, Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert
Story: 7 Art: 8.2 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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