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Preview: Crime Syndicate #4

Crime Syndicate #4

Written by: Andy Schmidt
Art by: Bryan Hitch, Kieran McKeown

The world has been saved by the…Crime Syndicate?! With the Starro invaders vanquished, what’s next for Earth-3’s most notorious saviors? Can loose cannons Emerald Knight, Quick, and Atomica keep their cool? Will Ultraman accept Superwoman and Owlman’s tantalizing offer? And what is Alexander Luthor plotting as all these metahuman menaces run amok? Here’s the REAL question of the month: Which heroes will join the LEGION OF JUSTICE? In this issue’s backup story, witness the origin of the Emerald Knight, illustrated by superstar artist Bryan Hitch!

Crime Syndicate #4

Preview: Crime Syndicate #3

Crime Syndicate #3

Written by: Andy Schmidt
Art by: Bryan Hitch, Kieran McKeown

With the Crime Syndicate’s forces combined for the first time, seeds are sown to change the world forever. But before that can happen, Ultraman, Superia, Johnny Quick, Atomica, and Emerald Knight must survive a final battle with the biggest Starro of them all-and each other! Plus: Earth-3’s Alexander Luthor makes his debut! Question of the month: On Earth-3, are Starros friends or foes? And in the backup story, witness the origin of Superwoman in tale illustrated by superstar artist Bryan Hitch!

Crime Syndicate #3

Preview: Crime Syndicate #2

Crime Syndicate #2

Written by: Andy Schmidt
Art by: Bryan Hitch, Kieran McKeown

With Starro ravaging the planet and controlling superheroes and villains alike, the fate of the world rests in the hands of Ultraman, Superia, and Owlman-in other words, win or lose, humanity is doomed! Question of the month: What famous Gotham foes are held in Owlman’s cave? Plus, in the backup story, witness the origin of Owlman in a tale illustrated by superstar artist Bryan Hitch!

Crime Syndicate #2

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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Preview: Crime Syndicate #1

Crime Syndicate #1

Written by: Andy Schmidt
Art by: Bryan Hitch, Kieran McKeown

Spinning out of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the Multiverse is reborn-and Earth-3 with it! In this six-issue miniseries, witness the true origins of the malevolent makers of mayhem known as the Crime Syndicate as a common foe unites them! But how long can alliances last between villains like these? Also in this issue, it’s the origin of Ultraman in our special backup story drawn by superstar artist Bryan Hitch!

Crime Syndicate #1

Preview: Generations Forged #1

Generations Forged #1

Written by: Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, Robert Venditti
Art by: Bryan Hitch, Dan Jurgens, Mike Perkins, Bernard Chang

Dispersed through time by the villain Dominus, our ragtag team of generational heroes-featuring 1939 Batman, Kamandi, Superboy, Steel, Starfire, Sinestro, Booster Gold, and Dr. Light-must find a way to restore the timeline…and what they ultimately discover is something far, far greater. You’ll have to read it to believe it as time dies…and generations rise!

Generations Forged #1

Review: Generations Shattered #1

Generations Shattered #1

Generations Shattered #1 is an interesting comic. As a standalone miniseries, the story would be quite compelling and engaging. But, with its release of “Future State”, the comic isn’t released in a vacuum. Spinning out of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the story involves a villain using the messed up time and history to shape their own. A group of heroes throughout time are gathered to save the day.

The concept of Generations Shattered #1 and where it goes would be an event miniseries I’d take a lot of interest in normally. But, it’s a bit of an oddity with the release of all of the other “Future State” comics. While they focus on possible future events, this one features a villain attempting to shape a new reality and history. Where it fits into this reshaping of the DC Universe and history is a bit of a headscratcher. While time seems to have mended as per other comics, maybe not? It’s a little unclear how this fits into what’s going on.

Written by Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, and Robert Venditti, Generations Shattered #1 brings the heroes together in an oversized first issue. Dragged out feels like a better way to describe it. The issue is mostly the heroes being gathered as time is erased as it’s being rewritten. Over 45 pages are dedicated to this creating a slow build and long way to get to the point. Other comics have done the “gathering of characters” and their introduction quicker and in a much more entertaining way.

What this does though is give a massive amount of artists to stretch their legs. Each segment is handled by a different team giving the comic a jam-session sort of feel. That could be interesting as well if any of the art really popped. There’s not bad but there’s little that’s exciting either. Still, it’s fun to see the different styles and takes on the characters from so many artists.

Generations Shattered #1 is an oddity of a comic. It’s hampered by its release along “Future State” making its story a bit confusing. The concept is quite good and entertaining, especially where it leaves things. But, it takes forever to get to the interesting part. It’s a comic I both felt like a chore to read but at the same time I want to see where it goes.

Story: Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, Robert Venditti
Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Scott Hanna, Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, Emanuela Lupacchino, Wade Von Grawbadger, Bernard Chang, Yanick Paquette, Kevin Nowlan, Dan Jurgens, Klaus Janson, Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki, Doug Braithwaite, Rags Morales, Klaus Janson, Mike Perkins
Color: Hi-Fi Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Generations Shattered #1

Generations Shattered #1

Written by: Andy Schmidt, Robert Venditti, Dan Jurgens
Art by: Paul Pelletier, Kevin Nowlan, Fernando Pasarin

A threat of cosmic proportion to DC’s newest (and oldest) universe compels one of the most unusual groups of heroes ever assembled to take on the most mysterious foe they have ever encountered. What started in Detective Comics #1027 explodes out of Dark Nights: Death Metal to tell the story of the generations-spanning history of the DC Universe! Join the original Batman, Kamandi, Starfire, Sinestro, Booster Gold, Dr. Light, Steel, and Sinestro in their quest to save the universe before time runs out…

Generations Shattered #1

DC’s Crime Syndicate Return in March 2021!

A paranoid titan (Ultraman), a narcissist (Super Woman), a nihilist (Owlman), a broken moral compass (Power Ring/Emerald Knight), a sociopath (Johnny Quick) and a sadist (Atomica). Does the world stand a chance?

Spoiler alert: No. No, it does not. Writer Andy Schmidt and artist Kieran McKeown will launch DC’s new Crime Syndicate mini-series on March 2 to tell the origin of the evil Justice League from Earth-3!

Spinning out of the pages of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the DC Multiverse is reborn, and with it a new Earth-3! Witness the true origins of the malevolent makers of mayhem known as the Crime Syndicate as a common foe unites them! But how long can alliances last between villains like these?

Also in this debut issue, witness the origin of Ultraman in a special backup story drawn by super-star artist Bryan Hitch!

Crime Syndicate by Andy Schmidt and Kieran McKeown is a six-issue mini-series debuting on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, with a cover by Jim Cheung and a variant cover by Skan.

Crime Syndicate

Diversity Comic Con Focuses its Programming for Aspiring Comic Writers and Artists

Diversity Comic Con

What happens when you let educators run a comic con? It becomes as much about learning something new as much as it’s about celebrating comics. This year’s Diversity Comic Con at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is featuring a slew of programming for creators who want to get into the comics industry. The convention has gone virtual and is completely accessible from anywhere on Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17.

On Friday, the team behind Bone, Captain Underpants, and Smile from Scholastic Graphix will be talking about young adult and children’s books. Phil Falco (art director), Meagan Peace (editor), and Jonah Newman (editor/writer) will share their work and insights into this rapidly booming market and how a creator can target their work towards it.

On Saturday, a panel discussion called “Using Current Events as Inspiration” will include Kiku Hughes (First Second), LL McKinney (DC Comics), Alex Sanchez (DC Comics), and moderated by Andrea Colvin (Little Brown Books). Creators will talk about how the latest news like COVID and politics can influence comics and perhaps how comics can influence readers.

Another big draw will be the Friday panel on “Breaking into Hollywood” Featuring Alex Segura (Archie Comics), Shanty Hermayn (Trese – Netflix), Vivek Tiwary (Producer of The Fifth Beatle), Robert Scull (Nickelodeon) and moderated by Gamal Hennessy (Entertainment attorney formerly of Marvel Comics).

There will also be Q & As with Shawn Martinbrough (Batman/Black Panther), Mika Song (Donut Feed the Squirrels), and Christian Cooper and Alitha Martinez (Represent: It’s a Bird!) both from DC Comics, who will be talking about the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

This year’s theme is “Black Stories Matter” bringing to the forefront today’s social justice issues. as embodied in the panel discussion “On being Marginalized in Comics” with Amy Chu, Regine Sawyer, and Omar Mirza. Another timely topic will be the talk on “The Impact of COVID 19 on the Comics Industry” with Heidi Macdonald, Andy Schmidt, John Siuntres, Stanford Carpenter, and Gina Gagliano.

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