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Review: Future State: Dark Detective #1

Future State: Dark Detective #1

Out of all of the various aspects of DC’s Future State so far, the place Gotham’s in has been the most intriguing. It’s a police state ruled by “The Magistrate”, an organization that hunts down masked individuals to bring order to the city. It’s a literal police state where the jackbooted militarized force patrols the streets to bring order. We’ve seen a new Batman and Harley Quinn’s place among other stories, but, where’s Bruce Wayne? Future State: Dark Detective #1 begins to answer that question with one of two stories.

Writer Mariko Tamaki brings us the main event, what happened to Bruce Wayne. The Magistrate is good and is able to do what so many have tried, “kill” Batman. But, like so many before, Batman’s not really dead and now underground figuring out what to do next. With Batman dead, Bruce Wayne too is dead. The duo wander a Gotham that’s unfamiliar and dangerous. It’s a neon city that feels like something out of an anime as opposed to the dark and grimy Gotham of the past.

Future State: Dark Detective #1 delivers an interesting Batman and Bruce Wayne. Stripped of his toys and money, Wayne is on the run and underground. It’s a city he doesn’t recognize and one where he’s unsure of what to do and where to go. But, he’s Bruce Wayne, he’s the Batman. When he witnesses a crime, he suits up back into action which puts him on the run from The Magistrate again. Injured and battered, this isn’t the Batman we’re used to, there’s an actual feeling he might fail and lose.

Part of that dread is due to the art of Dan Mora. Joined by Jordie Bellaire on color and Aditya Bidikar on lettering, the art shows the pain of Bruce’s battle. Juxtaposed with the bright lights of Gotham, you can see a beaten down Bruce, one who’s struggling. From the way he moves, to the look on his face, the details to show Bruce’s struggles are fantastic. There’s also the bright lights of the city which really pop. There’s such some great details here that really make the city stand out as a character by itself. This is a Gotham I want to explore and see more of.

There’s a second tale, “Future Past” focused on Grifter. Written by Matthew Rosenberg with art by Carmine Di Giamdomenico, color by Antonio Fabela, and lettering by Andworld Design, it’s a fairly straightforward story that also adds depth to this new Gotham. With Gotham under a police state, Grifter is playing it low, trying to not bring attention to himself but that doesn’t mean he’s not being hunted by the Magistrate. He comes across Luke Fox and from there it’s a race to get out of Gotham. The story is one we’ve seen but it adds depth to Gotham and allows us to see another slice of the big picture that’s playing out through multiple series. It’s an entertaining story full of personality and action and shows that Grifter should be front and center in his own series.

Future State: Dark Detective #1 is an entertaining comic. It works better as part of the puzzle through multiple series in Future State. On its own though, it still delivers a comic you can sit back and enjoy. The art shines as it powers two stories that are similar in some ways and tell us so much about this new reality. So far, this is a Gotham and world I want to see more of it after this mini-event ends.

Story: Mariko Tamaki, Matthew Rosenberg Art: Dan Mora, Carmine Di Giandomenico
Color: Jordie Bellaire, Antonio Fabela Letterer: Aditya Bidikar, Andworld Design
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.65 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Wolverine #8

Wolverine #8

Wolverine #8 celebrates 350 issues of Wolverine in solo adventures and for such a big number, the issue is rather… normal. Marvel has apparently decided to play things a bit conservative with an issue that’s pretty much a normal issue. There’s not a bunch of guest creators doing short stories or celebrating creators of the past. Instead, Wolverine #8 is a solid jumping-on point for those who haven’t been reading the series and want to check it out.

Writer Benjamin Percy, artist Adam Kubert, and colorist Antonio Fabela kick things off with a story featuring Wolverine and CIA operative Jeff Bannister. “War Stories” features the two soldiers sharing some of the scars they carry with them. It’s a solid opening and sets up things down the road but an entire issue of just this could have been an amazing anniversary issue.

There’s some real emotion and pain danced around with the opening and a full issue could have really delivered an amazing end to the year. The idea of these two soldiers sharing their pain and haunted past could make for a very interesting read. Mix it in with the very real world issue of PTSD in our soldiers and there’s potential magic. This would have been a very interesting way to “celebrate” 350 issues.

Wolverine #8‘s main story, also written by Percy, is a bit more traditional as Wolverine is tasked to continue the battle against Xeno and others attacking various facilities. In this case, the path leads him back to his Team X partner Maverick, a character whose use over the years has been rather mixed. It’s a pretty standard story but it at least delivers a jumping-on point for new readers. Most is explained and done well enough that you don’t feel like you’re missing anything.

Percy is joined by artist Viktor Bogdanovic and colorist Matthew Wilson. Along with letterer Cory Petit, the art is solid though feels a bit reserved in some ways. This isn’t a story with flashy splash pages or really panel breaking layouts. The panels are mostly boxes and the images are kept within. It’s an odd artistic choice in that the art looks good but it’s also not splashy.

For an anniversary issue, Wolverine #8 feels pretty average as far as issues. It’s a good issue and a good starting point for readers but this isn’t one that really celebrates anything. It seems to do that by just telling a solid and entertaining story.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Adam Kubert, Viktor Bogdanovic
Color: Antonio Fabela, Matthew Wilson Letterer/Production: Cory Petit Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Batman: The Joker Warzone #1

Batman: The Joker Warzone #1

DC’s “Joker War” has been a bit of a mixed bag for me as an event. Some of it feels like we’ve seen it before. While it has some good moments, it also feels like it never quite commits to the chaos. What bothers me the most is that the story feels like it’s just a bridge to what comes next. It’s not a story I feel like I can pick up on its own to enjoy. Through the issues of Batman, it never quite feels like a story that is a stand-alone adventure to enjoy. That might be even more pronounced in Batman: The Joker Warzone #1. It’s a tie-in comic filled with creative talent, solid stories, art, and a few “continued in 2021”. It’s also very good.

A Serious House” opens the comic. Written by James Tynion IV with art by Guillem March, color by Tomeu Morey, and lettering by Clayton Cowles it focuses on a confrontation between the Joker and Bane. The story is fantastic with a fascinating back and forth as Joker goes over his issues with Bane and contemplates ending his life. There’s a “play” like quality about the segment and with amazing art it’s the highlight of the issue. It sets up something for 2021 which feels a bit frustrating in that it telegraphs more to come instead of surprising and hints that the Joker survives “Joker War” for that to happen.

Family Ties” features writer John Ridley, art by Olivier Coipel, color by Matt Hollingsworth, and lettering by Deron Bennett. Focused on the Fox family, the story focuses on their receiving information to unlock Bruce Wayne’s fortune. But, Ridley takes that concept and adds so much to it giving us a mini-debate about what good Bruce, and thus Batman, are doing with all of this money. Could they use the money in a better way to help people? Should it go back to Bruce. With an ending that feels ripped from the headlines, Ridley shows why he’s one of the best storytellers in any medium today.

The Symbol” is by writer Joshua Williamson, art by David LaFuente, color by Hi-Fi, and lettering by Gabriela Downie. Orphan and Spoiler are on a mission to get a Bat-symbol where they wind up fighting Hench Master. Hench Master feels like a new character whose job it is to “train” henchmen for various villains. It’s a fun story that feels like it’d fit in any Batman anthology and an entertaining fun distraction that’s a bit cheerier with some good action sequences.

Ashes of Eden” is by writer Sam Johns, art by Laura Braga, color by Antonio Fabela, and lettering by Tom Napolitano. Ivy is dealing with the destruction of Eden. The entire segment is a declaration from Ivy about where her head is at and what’s to come. It’s also another story arc that we’ll see in 2021. What’s interesting, and possibly the most controversial, is Ivy seems to reject all humans and that might include Harley. Whether I’m reading too much into it, I have no idea but the Ivy/Harley stans may get a bit angry about what’s to come for these two.

Wrapping up the comic is “Clown Hunt” by writer James Tynion IV, art by James Stokoe, and lettering by Clayton Cowles. This is our first real story about Clownhunter who has stalked the Joker’s henchman and delivered brutal justice. We don’t know much about the character but we get our first good look at Clownhunter without the mask and better sense of what the citizens of Gotham thinks about him. There’s a lot of potential for a long-term interesting addition to the world of Batman and where this one goes is exciting.

Overall, Batman: The Joker Warzone #1 is a solid one-shot. It adds some stories within “Joker War” without making them vital. There’s a bit too much left to be experienced in 2021 which emphasizes my issues with “Joker War” overall. It doesn’t feel self-contained enough. If you took those segments and left out the “too be continued,” these would be really solid on their own. Even if you’re not reading “Joker War,” there’s enough here to enjoy and worth checking out. It’s the rare event one-shot where you can ignore the actual event.

Story: James Tynion IV, John Ridley, Joshua Williamson, Sam Johns
Art: Guillem March, Olivier Coipel, David LaFuente, Laura Braga, James Stokoe
Color: Tomeu Morey, Matt Hollingsworth, Hi-Fi, Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Deron Bennett, Gabriela Downie, Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Thanos: Zero Sanctuary

We know Thanos raised Gamora, but how did a little girl from a peaceful world become one of the deadliest people in the galaxy? Find out in Thanos: Zero Sanctuary which collects the six issue series.

Story: Tini Howard
Art: Ariel Olivetti
Color: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Joe Caramagna

Get your copy in comic shops now and on book shops on December 10! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

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Review: Thanos #1

Thanos #1

Thanos is Dead! Executed by the deadliest assassin in the galaxy…his daughter, Gamora. But before their relationship came to a bloody end, how did it begin?

We’ve gotten hints at how the relationship between Gamora and Thanos began but Thanos #1 explores that filling in the gaps and giving us a more definitive answer.

Written by Tini Howard, the issue is told as a tale by Gamora to unknown parties. It begins before her encounter and abduction by Thanos following the Mad Titan’s erratic quest. The history shown is one for Marvel die-hards and in some ways retcons who was around at the time (I think) but everything works well in the narrative that really emphasizes Thanos and Gamora’s story as one over decades.

There’s an emphasis on Thanos’ crew and his behavior and slipping into obsession with Death. There’s familiar characters who have become modern fan favorites (the retcon) and this series seems to explain their evolution along Thanos’ side. The issue is a build up to the meeting with Gamora and has an intriguing twist as to why this young girl was spared.

The art by Ariel Olivetti with color by Antonio Fabela and lettering by Joe Caramagna is good. There’s something that’s a bit throwback to it all feeling a bit more like the older classic Starlin cosmic tales. It definitely doesn’t feel like Olivetti’s work, which isn’t a bad thing, and the retro look adds to the charm of it all.

The comic is a solid one for those interested in these characters or invested in the cosmic side of the Marvel universe. It brings in some classic elements and shows us something new in the history of Thanos and Gamora. While it might not be a must get, it’s absolutely worth checking out for those invested in the history of the Marvel universe or the decades of cosmic tales weaved together in an epic tale of tragedy.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Ariel Olivetti
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #1

What happens when you have the Cosmic Ghost Rider recount Marvel history “Drunk History” style? You get Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #1 by Paul Scheer, Nick Giovannetti, Gerardo Sandoval, Victor Nava, Antonio Fabela, and Travis Lanham.

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

Amazon

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: The Punisher Vol. 1 World War Frank

The Secret Empire is over and Frank Castle wants revenge on Hydra (and criminals in general).

The Punisher Vol. 1 World War Frank collects issues #1-5 by Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski, Antonio Fabela, and Cory Petit.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on March 5! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
TFAW

Marvel 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: The Punisher #8

The Punisher #8

I wish I could say that I’ve been a long standing fan of the Punisher, that I’ve followed his adventures through the years and that my Punisher collection is numerous and vast. But I can’t. I’ve read maybe half a dozen Punisher comics in my life that didn’t involve a crossover of some kind or another (usually with Wolverine),and after having devoured season two of the Netflix adaptation in two days, I was excited to get started with the current arc.

Frank Castle is in jail in a Hydra controlled country where he is waiting for his execution date by killing the odd Hydra guard and accepting a brutal beating meant for a nun.

The Punisher #8 tells the story of the inmates’ attempt at a jailbreak, and Castle leading the plan. Why would he help criminals escape prison? A good question with a surprisingly simple answer that you’ll find within the comic’s pages. The process and planning for the escape has Frank’s narration over the step-by-step actions and it works really well as a story device. Although I can’t honestly compare the few issues of this series to other Punisher comics, it’s every bit as good as the others I have read; Matthew Rosenberg‘s story puts Frank in a relative new (to me at least) situation where you get to see how capable and deadly a man he really is.

Given the comic’s setting, the art is suitably grim and gloomy. The Punisher frequently comes across as the most menacing person on the page (as he should), and the audience is reminded several times why he frequently runs afoul of the other Marvel heroes; Frank Castle is not a nice man. He’s only just on the side of not-a-villain, and watching the occasional moments where the hero/good man shines through is often more jarring than watching him shove a stun baton down a guards throat before turning it on (last issue, if you’re wondering).

I can’t judge this as a Punisher fan, but as a fan of the show who wants to read Punisher comics, this was an excellent place for me to start getting into the character’s comics. It doesn’t hurt that this would be a really interesting story regardless of the lead character, but that it stars Frank Castle is the cherry on top of the sundae. The next issue can’t come soon enough.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Colourist: Antonio Fabela Letter: VC’s Cory Petit 
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Cosmic Ghost Rider: Baby Thanos Must Die

Really, the title says everything you need to know about this series. It’s utterly insane as the cosmic infused version of Ghost Rider aka Frank Castle aka the Punisher decides he can change Thanos’ destiny.

Cosmic Ghost Rider: Baby Thanos Must Die collects issues #1-5 and material from Thanos Legacy #1 by Donny Cates, Dylan Burnett, Brian Level, Antonio Fabela, and Jordan Boyd.

Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores February 5! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/comiXology/Kindle: https://amzn.to/2RZUznY

Marvel 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: The Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2

Out now is The Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2 which collects issues #17-31 and Annual #1-2, the adventures of Doc Ock in the body of Peter Parker!

The Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2 is by Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Livesay, Edgar Delgado, Chris Eliopoulos, Jason Howard, Humberto Ramons, Javier Rodriguez, Marcos Martin, Victor Olazaba, Alvaro Lopez, Giuseppe Camuncoli, John Dell, Antonio Fabela, Terry Pallot, Alvaro Lopez, J.G. Jones, Laura Martin, Christos Gage, Will Sliney, Philip Briones, Clayton Cowles, Mike Del Mundo, Ellie Pule, Stephen Wacker, and Nick Lowe.

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

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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