Tag Archives: batman

Sam Kieth Makes Long-Awaited Return to The Outback in Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams

Batman must face the strangest adventure of his career as he meets the most bizarre hero in comics: The Maxx!

IDW Publishing and DC Comics welcome legendary artist Sam Kieth back to his first Maxx story in over a decade, teaming his greatest creation with the Dark Knight for a mind-blowing five-issue miniseries event. The first issue of Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams will debut this September with covers by Sam Kieth and Jim Lee.

When a devious new doctor at Arkham Asylum conducts unconventional forays into the human psyche, he kicks off a disastrous chain reaction by experimenting on Arkham’s newest patient: The Maxx! The city of Gotham soon begins to merge with the Outback, The Maxx’s psychedelic mental landscape. It’s up to Batman to save Gotham and all of reality… but only by joining The Maxx on a trip into the darkest depths imaginable: the twisted minds of Batman’s greatest enemies!

Preview: Batman: Sins of the Father #5

Batman: Sins of the Father #5

(W) Christos Gage (A/CA) Raffaele Ienco
In Shops: Jun 20, 2018
SRP: $2.99

The war between Deadshot and Batman hurtles toward a deadly conclusion. While Batman tries to find a way to prove Floyd Lawton and Deadshot are one and the same, Deadshot focuses his quest for vengeance on Bruce Wayne, determined to take away everything he values in life.

Review: Batman #49

Now it’s up to Catwoman to rescue her one true love. It’s the Cat vs. the Clown in one exciting showdown that sets the stage for our giant anniversary issue-and the biggest union in comics!

If there’s two villains who have really defined Batman, to me it’s the Joker and Catwoman. The former is the mirror image in a way, the chaos to the order and the latter is a spin on Batman himself (depending on the version). And the two in their different ways vie for Batman’s affection. In the lead up to the wedding of Batman and Catwoman, writer Tom King has been diving into how the Joker has been handling it and it’s become clearer and clearer in his own twisted way the Joker loves the Bat and is jealous.

Batman #49 involves the fallout from the last issue with Batman knocked out it’s Catwoman to the rescue. And while you think this is a drag out fight, that aspect is quick and vicious as the two draw blood and begin to bleed out. Much of the comic is just Catwoman and the Joker talking as they both deal with their wounds. Those wounds are so severe neither are able to do much else. This is a talky one with an interesting back and forth between the two characters as they talk about their relationship with Batman as well as with other villains. It’s fascinating and eye opening in many ways giving us a good look at the two. This is a character study in every way and you could easily see this staged in some theater somewhere.

King takes a dive into relationships here and it’s all fantastic. It gets you to think about the relationships of Batman and his rogues and what they mean to them and what role they’ve played in the Bat-verse. Here, we get two of his most intimate villains and much like Batman and Joker are opposite sides of a coin, Catwoman and the Joker are too in a way. What’s clear though is that in King’s version of Batman, the Joker needs Batman and he thinks Batman needs him. We get some motivation and we question some of his actions.

The art by Mikel Janin is solid. The story is really two individuals laying on the ground trying not to bleed to death. There’s not much more than that. Janin uses that to get us to focus on the minute details of the characters’ movements and the rubble surrounding them. Much like King’s work with Mitch Gerads, Janin uses the art to add a bit more to the delivery of dialogue. Again, you can envision this on a stage easily.

The issue is an interesting one that’ll get you to think about the relationship between the Joker and Batman and with its ending, it’ll be interesting to see the impact on both Batman and Catwoman. This is one I’ve been thinking about and the quality is solid. This isn’t a comic you pick up for the action, this is a character study of two of Batman’s greatest villains.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janin
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman Prelude to the Wedding- Red Hood vs Anarky #1

In part  four of the Batman: Prelude to the Wedding series of one-shots, Tim Seeley, Javier Hernandez, Hugo Petrus, and John Kalisz show Catwoman’s bachelorette party. And Jason Todd, his “Outlaw” teammate Bizarro, and Anarky crash the party, hence, the title Red Hood vs. Anarky #1. Like he’s done with the other one-shots, Seeley finds the duality in Jason and Lonnie Machin aka Anarky. One is trying to please his adopted father Batman while the other is trying to please the Joker, who Lonnie’s single mother said was his dad to get him to shut up as a child. However, this neediness is buried beneath a rebellious and individualistic streak with Jason being the sole member of the Bat-family who regularly uses guns, and Anarky’s whole non-ideology ideology of creating chaos at every opportunity.

There is an agility and slight edgy grit to Fernandez and Petrus’ art style and Kalisz’s colors, but things never get too serious in Red Hood vs. Anarky #1 beginning with a member of Catwoman’s bachelorette saying that Nightwing is the hottest member of the Bat-family. Even though he doesn’t kill anyone (Or risk losing his 150K contract from Batman to watch out for Catwoman), there is a rugged choreography to Jason’s action scenes as he kicks the craps out of some white supremacist incels working for Anarky and dedicated to the cause of ending “male exploitation” aka strippers. Then, Seeley and Fernandez indulge in a little bit of horror when Jason threatens one of the incels with a knife, the man’s terrified face reflecting in his mask as he spins a tale of all the urban legends surrounding the Red Hood from the main villain of “Zero Year” to the proto-Joker and finally Jason’s own backstory. In a traditional superhero comic, this would be the actions of villain more than a hero, but Jason is an anti-hero facing some utter scumbags so the scene elicits some guilty fist pumping to go with the general freakiness.

Each one-shot in the Prelude to the Wedding series has had given its lead character a mini-arc in a high concept setting and concluded with a nice little epiphany like a bow on a gift wrapped present. The epiphanies haven’t been “earth shattering” reveals that lead to events and spinoff miniseries, but small moments of personal growth. For example, Jason goes from making an easy, quick buck by being the black ops guardian of Catwoman’s bachelorette party to containing the whole Anarky situation using compromise instead of all out violence so she can have a good time dancing at the old Goth club that was one of the few highlights of her sad and difficult upbringing. However, Jason hasn’t gone completely soft as evidenced by his actions towards Anarky at the end of the comic when Batman cancels his contract with him after he fails at remaining incognito around Catwoman. He’s more likely to shoot you in the head, er, kneecaps than hear a sob story about your daddy and/or mommy issues.

Surprising for a book co-starring a character named Anarky, Red Hood vs. Anarky #1 ends up being an argument for centrism and open dialogue in polarized times as evidenced by Jason’s ingenious solution of offering $300 to Anarky’s supporters’ cause if they stop fighting. But the dialogue where Bizarro (Kind of the Oracle of the Outlaws’ operation.) mentions pro-life and gun activists and anti-fascists and “militant feminists” as all sharing the some “anger” is kind of a head scratcher because that would mean Jason Todd would be donating money to the NRA and organizations that say Planned Parenthood sells baby parts. It’s a big moment for him that he stopped a mob with his words and not guns, but at what cost? Jason Todd is an opportunist and a bit of mercenary so it does make sense that he would hug the middle of the political spectrum so not as to offend any potential clients. Also, what is the boundary between being too extreme or kow-towing to immoral forces. Seeley brings up these questions between the ass kicking, one-liners, and bachelorette party/black ops mission fun.

With dashes of humor and character insights from Tim Seeley,  gorgeous costuming and fight choreography from Javier Fernandez and Hugo Petrus, and a glitzy, grimy, and just plain red color palette from John Kalisz, Red Hood vs. Anarky #1 is another successful Bat-family-centric one-shot in the run-up to Batman and Catwoman’s wedding. It even has some semi-controversial political commentary to boot.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Javier Fernandez, Hugo Petrus
 Colors: John Kalisz Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.8 Art: 8 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Red Hood vs. Anarky #1

Batman: Prelude to the Wedding – Red Hood vs. Anarky #1

(W) Tim Seeley (A) Javi Fernandez (CA) Rafael Albuquerque
In Shops: Jun 20, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Red Hood has always been the one standing slightly apart from the rest of the Bat crew. Some see him as the Robin gone bad – which is exactly the kind of thing someone like Anarky can exploit. Now Red Hood is running security at Catwoman’s bachelorette party – and if Anarky can crash it, that could be the final straw for Jason Todd!

Preview: Batman #49

Batman #49

(W) Tom King (A/CA) Mikel Janin
In Shops: Jun 20, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“THE BEST MAN” part two! Now it’s up to Catwoman to rescue her one true love. It’s the Cat vs. the Clown in one exciting showdown that sets the stage for our giant anniversary issue-and the biggest union in comics!

Review: Man of Steel #3

While the previous issue focused on Clark Kent’s relationship to his co-workers at the Daily Planet, Brian Michael Bendis makes Man of Steel # about Kal-El’s connection to his Kryptonian heritage beginning with a tragic, nearly silent opening sequence drawn by Ryan Sook and Alex Sinclair of Rogol-Zaar wrecking the Fortress of Solitude, including the Bottle City of Kandor making its first substantial appearance in the DC Rebirth era. There’s also a Batman cameo that goes nowhere (Except for inspiring Superman to think more like a detective.), and the shadowy Jay Fabok drawn figure slowly emerges from the shadows in the Clark and Jon flashback. So, like most of this miniseries so far, it’s a visually stunning mixed bag as Bendis and Sook finally catch up to the story in Action Comics #1000 timeline-wise.

Man of Steel has been a mini filled with great artists like Ivan Reis, Jay Fabok, Evan Shaner, and Steve Rude, but Ryan Sook proves that he has the best storytelling chops of the bunch. He is equally adept at big, bombastic moments like Rogol-Zaar crashing into Earth’s orbit and the smaller, human ones like Superman politely waving to Melody while he and Batman investigate another arson in Metropolis, or Supergirl comforting her cousin while he mourns the lost Kryptonians of Kandor. The pages where Superman and Supergirl are in the Fortress is a master class in emotional progression that starts by the cousins walking around their Arctic shelter and surveying the damage before bursting into pure anguish when they see the destroyed Bottle and then flight. Then, in another double page spread, Superman uses his flight, super hearing, and X-Ray vision to check on his apartment, co-workers, and then focus on the thread at hand. Hey, Batman isn’t the only one with “detective vision”. And Sook’s few pages of action really pack a wallop with yellows and reds from Sinclair showing that Rogol Zaar packs a real physical threat to Superman.

Brian Michael Bendis’ use of Supergirl and Batman in Man of Steel #3 is a very quick study is how and how not to use guest stars in a comic book. First of all, their appearances both make logical sense. Batman is helping Superman investigate a mystery that is bothering, namely, how are all these fires happening under his practically omniscient and omnipresent nose? Because she is Kryptonian, Supergirl can hear the unique frequency of the Fortress of Solitude’s alarm and quickly sees if the place that is the last sanctuary and repository of her home culture is under attack. However, with Batman, it seems like Bendis is just checking off writing DC’s other big hero instead of using him in a meaningful way. Of course, his first line of dialogue is “I’m Batman” to slightly freaked out/fangirling Melody Moore, and then he spouts off something about patterns and something respectful about Superman because that’s the kind of relationship Bendis lets them have, which is cool. But Batman doesn’t add a set of fresh eyes to any of Man of Steel’s mysteries, including the arson, and definitely not the missing Lois and Jon one. In fact, Superman comes off as the better detective as he quickly finds and engages Rogol-Zaar after cutting a swath of destruction through the Fortress.

On the other hand, Supergirl’s guest turn adds more layers of emotional poignancy to the destruction of the Bottle City of Kandor, a place that Kara may have even remembered visiting, because she came to Earth much older than Kal-El. Her appearance in Action Comics #1000 isn’t just a random cameo, but as a friend, family member, and Kryptonian fighting against an enemy that wants to obliterate all remnants of her and Kal’s culture. Bendis and Sook lean into the Kryptonians as immigrant metaphor with the items in the Fortress of Solitude representing memories and heritage of the homeland. Even if he barely speaks in this issue and is still mostly a one dimensional force of destruction and genocide,  Bendis and Sook position Rogol-Zaar as an anti-immigrant villain. To go along with this, Kara even gets a great action moment swooping up a faltering Superman with some Sook speed lines and delivering a one-liner before the brawl begins. Rogol-Zaar thought he had to fight one last of son of Krypton, but there’s a last daughter too.

The mystery parts of Man of Steel #3 barely progress (I have a fairly obvious theory about who the mysterious attacker is in the Lois and Jon flashbacks.), but Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook hit a strong emotional beat with Superman and Supergirl’s reactions to the destruction of the Fortress of Solitude and the Bottle City of Kandor. Rogol-Zaar’s motivation is wholly tied to Krypton so this is line with his character and shows that Bendis understands Superman’s alien and human heritage. A pity that the Batman subplot went nowhere.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Ryan Sook, Jay Fabok Inks: Wade von Grawbadger
 Colors: Alex Sinclair Letters: Josh Reed
Story: 6.8 Art: 9.2 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around The Tubes

It’s a new week and we’ve got lots coming your way. To kick things off is our morning roundup of comic news from around the web in our morning roundup.

Vulture – Before He Wanted to Be a Chef, Anthony Bourdain Wanted to Draw Comic Books – For those that might not know. They are solid reads.

CNBC – The story of how comic books became public enemy No. 1 in America’s war on juvenile delinquency – For those who might not know the history.

Bitcoin News – Crypto Manga – Comic Book Series to Spread Cryptocurrency Awareness – Interesting.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman #48

Comic Mix – The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York

Talking Comics – Dazzler: X-Song #1

Batman Creators Capullo, King, Parker, Rousseau, Snyder and Tomasi at Baltimore Comic Con 2018

The Baltimore Comic-Con returns to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on September 28-30, 2018 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Tickets are now on sale. Baltimore Comic-Con is welcoming top creators of one of comics’ most iconic characters, DC Comics’ Batman, including Greg Capullo, Tom King, Jeff Parker, Craig Rousseau, Scott Snyder, and Peter Tomasi.

Greg Capullo is a self taught Illustrator, working for the past five years as artist on the New York Times best-selling, highly-acclaimed Batman series for DC Comics. He is presently co-creating the Image Comics’ book titled Reborn, along with writer Mark Millar. Prior to his Batman run, he was best known for his 80-issue run on Image Comics’ Spawn. Other popular comics work includes Marvel Comics’ X-Force and Quasar. He is also the creator of The Creech, a sci-fi/horror comic published by Image Comics. Greg has provided art for Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft, contributed lead character designs for the the award-winning HBO animated Spawn series, and was the cover artist for many popular musical groups, including Five Finger Death Punch, Korn, and Disturbed.

Ringo and Eisner Award-winning Tom King is currently the writer of Batman at DC Comics, where he has also written Mister MiracleGraysonThe Omega MenDC NationSwamp Thing Winter Special, and has a story in Action Comics #1000, not to mention his award-winning work at Marvel on The Vision. King’s first book, A Once Crowded Sky, a postmodern super hero novel, was recognized by USA Today as one of the best Graphic Novels of the year. He was named by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the five comic creators to watch in 2015.

Jeff Parker is best known for writing comic books, such as Agents of AtlasX-Men First ClassBatman ’66AquamanFuture QuestThunderbolts, and more. His career in comics started as an penciller at Malibu, where he provided art for Solitaire. For years, Parker made a living drawing stories, as well as commercial art and storyboards for TV. At the inaugural Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards, Parker’s work on Future Quest at DC Comics won the Mike Wieringo Spirit Award.

Craig Rousseau has spent his career as an artist working on numerous noteworthy titles and runs. He has spent time on DC Comics’ Batman BeyondHarley Quinn, and Impulse, Marvel’s Captain America & the Korvac SagaSpider-Man Loves Mary Jane Season 2, and Iron Man & the Iron Wars, and he can be seen lately working on DC Comics’ Batman ’66, Image Comics’ Perhapanauts: Danger Down Under, and Dynamite Entertainment’s Pathfinder: Goblins!

Scott Snyder made a huge impact on the comic industry with his ground-breaking work in DC’s New 52, writing Batman (with artist Greg Capullo) and Swamp Thing. In 2011, he received Harvey and Eisner Awards for Best New Series for his work on American Vampire. In addition to these three titles, Snyder co-wrote Talon, which spun off directly from his critically-acclaimed “Court of Owls” storyline from Batman. He is currently taking the reins of DC Comics’ Justice League, writes New Challengers, and has authored such titles as Detective ComicsThe WakeSuperman UnchainedAll-Star BatmanBatman EternalJustice League: No JusticeDC NationAction Comics #1000, and Dark Nights: Metal.

Peter Tomasi is a writer and editor best known for his work at DC Comics. He began his career in 1993, editing such titles as Green Lantern, the Batman titles, AquamanHawkman, and JSA before being promoted to Senior Editor in 2003. In 2007, Tomasi decided to move from editing to writing full-time and, in 2010, took over writing Batman and Robin with issue #20. Since the launch of the New 52, Tomasi has helmed the new volumes of both Batman and Robin and Green Lantern CorpsThe Adventures of the Super SonsAction Comics #1000Superman, and The Kamandi Challenge at DC Comics, as well as House of Penanceat Dark Horse Comics.

In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Arthur Adams (Guardians of the Galaxy), Joel Adams (Bucky O’Hare Graphic Novel Coloring Book), Neal Adams (Deadman), Zeea Adams (Neal Adams Monsters), Arantza (fantasy artist), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), Marty Baumann (Big Hero 6), June Brigman (Power Pack), Pat Broderick (Micronauts), Mark Buckingham (Scooby Apocalypse), Buzz (Superman: The Coming of the Supermen), Greg Capullo (Dark Knights: Metal), Christa Cassano (Ghetto Klown), Howard Chaykin (Captain America), Joyce Chin (All-New Wolverine), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Amy Chu (Red Sonja), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Katie Cook (Thanos Annual), Paris Cullins (WWE Superstars), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), Jose Delbo (Spongebob Comics), Vito Delsante (Midnight Tiger Stronger), Todd Dezago (Tellos), Garth Ennis (Jimmy’s Bastards, Friday and Saturday only), David Finch (Trinity), Meredith Finch (Rose), Jenny Frison (Wonder Woman), Steve Geiger (Web of Spider-Man), Joe Giella (The Flash), Tom Grummett (The New Titans, courtesy of Hero Initiatiive), Bob Hall (Squadron Supreme), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), Clinton Hobart (Disney fine artist), Jamal Igle (Molly Danger), Tony Isabella (Black Lightning), Todd Johnson (Tribe), Justin Jordan (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps), Tom King (Batman), Barry Kitson (The Flash), Alisa Kwitney (Mystik U), Leo Leibelman (Heavy Metal), Paul Levitz (Brooklyn Blood), Joseph Michael Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), Kevin Maguire (Man of Steel), Shawn Martinbrough (Shadowman), Ron Marz (Fathom Vol. 7), Ed McGuinness (Avengers), Bob McLeod (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero), Dawn McTeigue (Divinica), Adriana Melo (Plastic Man, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Frank Miller (Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of AlexanderSaturdayand Sunday only), Stuart Moore (Deadpool the Duck), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Michael Moreci (Nightwing), Denny O’Neil (DC Universe Holiday Special, courtesy of Hero Initiative), John Ostrander (Suicide Squad, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Tom Palmer (Avengers), Dan Parent (Betty & Veronica Friends Forever), Jeff Parker (Future Quest Presents), Paul Pelletier (Titans Special), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Green Lanterns), Tom Peyer (Captain Kid), Richard and Wendy Pini (Elfquest), Andy Price (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), David Proch (Quarter Moon), Tom Raney (Giantkillers), Frank Reynoso (Garbage Pail Kids: Fables, Fantasies and Farts), Afua Richardson (Black Panther: World of Wakanda), Roy Richardson (The Flash), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Craig Rousseau (Startup), Andy Runton (Owly), P. Craig Russell (Salome and Other Stories), Stuart Sayger (GI Joe: A Real American Hero vs. The Six-Million Dollar Man), Louise Simonson (Action Comics #1000), Walter Simonson (Thor), Dan Slott (Tony Stark: Iron Man), John K. Snyder (Fashion in Action), Scott Snyder (Justice LeagueSaturday only), Jim Starlin (Thanos: The Infinity SiblingsSaturday and Sunday only), Joe Staton (Dick Tracy), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Jim Steranko (Action Comics), Larry Stroman (Tribe), Rob Stull (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Peter Tomasi (Superman), David Trustman (God Slap), Sarah Trustman (The Memory Arts), Gus Vazquez (Sunfire and Big Hero Six), Rick Veitch (Rick Veitch’s The One), Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl), Mark Waid (Captain America), Larry Watts (Evil Dead 2: Cradle of the Damned); Bob Wiacek (All New Wolverine), Rich Woodall (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), and Thom Zahler (Time & Vine).

Review: Batman #48

Batman and Catwoman decide it might be better to elope rather than go through some big, stodgy wedding ceremony, but no sooner do they put their marriage on the fast track than The Joker appears! And when The Joker kidnaps the Caped Crusader, will he give his old foe a piece of his mind or bash in his brains?

After a bit of a divergence with Booster Gold and some alternate timelines, we’re back focusing on the wedding of the Bat and the Cat. But, instead of just the normal pre-wedding planning, instead we see the impact on one individual in particular, the Joker. Yes, beyond his sidekicks, Alfred, and Selina, the one character that Batman has had a relationship with (and maybe the most important) is the Joker. How does he react to the idea of Batman being married and no longer being his? By taking hostages and killing some people!

The issue is the Joker basically trying to relate to Batman in weird ways going on about his past and childhood and all wondering who Batman’s “best man” is. It’s an interesting story as it shows how sad the Joker is in some ways. Through the insanity, there’s a melancholy and you kind of want the two to just hug and have a good cry. Writer Tom King delivers a Joker that’s both frightening and one you can feel bad for.

The art by Mikel Janin is fantastic helped with colors by June Chung and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art and setting is simple, Batman and Joker in a church but the way it’s framed and how it plays out is impressive. So much of the Joker in this is his movements and facial expressions. The art too makes the action more brutal in a way focusing on it all with framed panels that forces you to focus on it all.

The team have created a comic that gives us a Joker and Batman relationship as one that can be debated for some time. The details, the actions, what’s said, can be dissected for a long time. This is what the relationship of the two is all about and we realize that it’s not Dick, Jason, Damian, or Alfred that will come between Bruce and Selina, it’s the Joker.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janin
Color: June Chung Lettering: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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