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Preview: Batman #115

Batman #115

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan, James Tynion IV
Art by: Bengal, Jorge Corona, Jorge Jimenez

Batman and Miracle Molly are all that stands between Gotham City and absolute insanity! But an unhinged Simon Saint brings all the resources of the Magistrate to bear on the Dark Knight…is victory at hand for the Scarecrow? Back-Up: Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown have each other’s backs no matter what-even if it means punching some Magistrate soldier butt, and putting an even bigger target on their backs. Meanwhile, a mysterious Anti-Oracle character finally makes contact directly with Babs and has a few things to say about the unethical nature of Oracle’s powers, and what they think should be done about it.

Batman #115

Reilly Brown, Becky Cloonan, Gene Ha, Jim Shooter, Robert Venditti, and Kelly Yates Head to Baltimore Comic Con

The return of the Baltimore Comic-Con occurs October 22-24, 2021 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor. The Baltimore Comic-Con welcomes comic superstars Reilly Brown, Becky Cloonan, Gene Ha, Jim Shooter, Robert Venditti, and Kelly Yates to the 2021 event. Get your tickets now and avoid waiting in additional lines upon your arrival!

New Jersey native Reilly Brown is a best-selling comic book artist and writer for Marvel and DC Comics, known for bringing a sense of character and personality to the projects on which he works, balancing a combination of light-hearted humor with fast paced superhero action. These talents have been on full display in the pages of Amazing Spider-ManIncredible HerculesBatman/Fortnite, and many other comics, perhaps most notably Deadpool, Marvel’s infamous, rapid-healing merc-with-a-mouth! He is also a pioneer in digital storytelling, utilizing new ways of making comics for tablets and smart phones with his creator-owned series Power Play, as well as several stories for Marvel, including Deadpool: The GauntletSlapstick, and several others. Reilly currently works with Fabian Nicieza on their creator-owned series Outrage, which can be found on Line Webtoon.

Becky Cloonan began her career making minicomics as part of the Meathaus collective. Since then, she’s gone on to write and draw on titles like Dark AgnesConan the BarbarianThe PunisherTrue Lives of the Fabulous KilljoysGotham AcademyDetective Comics, and Batman, and working on creator-owned books like Southern Cross and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories, By Chance or Providence. When she’s not making comics, she illustrates album art, and gig and movie posters for My Chemical Romance, Black Sabbath, Adult Swim, and Mondo. She enjoys old movies, true crime podcasts, and still tries to self-publish new minicomics when she can. Becky currently lives in Austin with her partner Michael, two weird cats, and a couple dozen plants.

Four-time Eisner winner Gene Ha is known for his art on Fables and on Alan Moore’s Top 10. He currently writes and draws Mae from Oni Press. It’s the story of Mae Fortell, a girl who follows her long missing sister Abbie to a world of mad science and mystery. Gene lives outside Chicago in Berwyn, IL with his lovely wife Lisa. Learn more at http://www.geneha.com/.

Jim Shooter started writing Superman and other titles for DC Comics at the age of 13 in 1965. He worked his way through high school writing stories, laying out pages and designing covers. He was hired by Marvel Comics in 1976 as associate editor and in 1978 became Editor in Chief. He introduced benefits, royalties, and other incentives for creators that attracted a legion of phenomenal talents who, under his oversight, authored a decade of brilliant creativity and unparalleled success. Jim wrote several notable series, including the Avengers and Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. He also headed up the creative teams that developed G.I. Joe and Transformers. Jim went on to found Voyager Communications in 1989, where he was the CEO and President. He also served as Editor in Chief, principal creator, head writer, and occasional artist for the highly acclaimed comics published under the VALIANT imprint, which included Magnus Robot FighterSolar Man of the AtomHarbingerX-O ManowarUNITY, and more.

Robert Venditti is a New York Times best-selling author whose characters and concepts have been adapted to film, television, and video games. He has written the monthly comic book series HawkmanJustice League, and Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps for DC Comics, X-O Manowar and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior for Valiant Entertainment, and the graphic novel Six Days, inspired by the story of his uncle’s participation in D-Day. His current projects include Superman ’78Tankers, and a whole lot of things for Bad Idea.

Kelly Yates is an illustrator best known for his work on Doctor Who comics for both Titan and IDW Publishing. His artwork also inspired the My Hero Academia and Doctor Who Kawaii TITANS toy line. In addition, his writes and illustrates the creator-owned books Amber Atoms and MonstHer.


2021 GUESTS

Guests for the show include: Tom Akel (Stan Lee’s Backchannel, courtesy of Rocketship Entertainment), Chris Bachalo (Non-Stop Spider-Man), Art Baltazar (Big Alien Moon Crush), John Beatty (Secret Wars), Carolyn Belefski (Curls), Ziggy Blumenthal (Operation Pajama Pants), Russ Braun (The Boys), Brett Breeding (Superman), Reilly Brown (Deadpool), Greg Burnham (Tuskegee Heirs), Jim Calafiore (Welcome to Megalopolis), Chris Campana (The Adventures of Parker Reef), Castillo Studios, Cliff Chiang (Paper Girls), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Becky Cloonan (Dark Agnes), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Steve Conte (Action Figure Kingdom), Katie Cook (Nothing Special), Jamie Cosley (Light Side), Kevin Cuffe (Metalshark Bro), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), J. Robert Deans (Crass Fed), John Dell (Lobo, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Vito Delsante (Stray), Todd Dezago (Perhapanauts), Jason Douglas (Parallel, courtesy of Source Point Press), Charles C. Dowd (Lilith Dark), Ryan Dunlavey (M.O.D.O.K. Reign Delay), Garth Ennis (The Boys, Friday and Saturday only), Trish Forstner (My Little Pony), Franco (The Ghost, The Owl), Bob Frantz (Metalshark Bro), John Gallagher (Max Meow: Cat Crusader), Kami Garcia (Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity), Mitch Gerads (Mr. Miracle), Joe Giella (Green Lantern), Mike Gold (Green Arrow), Michael Golden (Micronauts), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!), Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred), Gene Ha (Mae), Scott Hanna (Icon and Rocket), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), Glenn Hauman (They Keep Killing Glenn), Mike Hawthorne (Happiness Will Follow), Marc Hempel (The Sandman), Jamal Igle (Wrong Earth), Klaus Janson (Daredevil, Saturday only), Dave Johnson (The Good wiAsian), Chris Kemple (Artist Alley Comics), Karl Kesel (Impossible Jones), Tom King (Batman), Scott Koblish (Deadpool, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Leeanne M. Krecic (Let’s Play, courtesy of Rocketship Entertainment), Robert Lemieux (Life in the Comics), Joseph Michael Linsner (Red Sonja), Kevin Maguire (Justice League), Dirk Manning (Buried But Not Dead, courtesy of Source Point Press), Chris Mariano (Claire Lost Her Bear At The World’s Fair), Mark Mariano (Far Out Firehouse), Whitney Matheson (Pandemix: Quarantine Comics in the Age of ‘Rona), Ian McGinty (Adventure Time), Bob McLeod (New Mutants), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Pop Mhan (Aquaman Annual), Karl Moline (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mark Morales (The Next Batman: Second Son), Trevor Mueller (Albert the Alien), Josh Neufeld (A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge), Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground), Jerry Ordway (The Power of Shazam), James Pascoe (Azrael), Andrew Pepoy (Simone & Ajax), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Khoi Pham (Star Wars: Crimson Reign), Andy Price (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Christopher Priest (Black Panther, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Joe Quesada (Daredevil), Tom Raney (Guardians of the Galaxy), Amy Reeder (Wonder Woman: Black and Gold), Afua Richardson (Omni), Andrew Robinson (Halo), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Jennifer Rouse (Frankenstein Mobster), Craig Rousseau (The Perhapanauts), Alex Saviuk (Web of Spider-Man), Stuart Sayger (Army of Darkness: 1979), Gregg Schigiel (SpongeBob Comics), Chris Schweizer (The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton), Doc Shaner (Strange Adventures), Jim Shooter (Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars), Matt Slay (Equilibrium), Mika Song (Donut Feed the Squirrels), Joe Staton (Dick Tracy), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Paul D. Storrie (Storm Kids: Stanley’s Ghost), Arthur Suydam (Merc with a Mouth), Martha Thomases (Dakota North), Peter Tomasi (Batman and Robin), Ben Towle (Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat), Tim Townsend (Non-Stop Spider-Man), Billy Tucci (Shi), Fred Van Lente (Action Philosophers), Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Friday and Saturday only), Emilio Velez Jr. (The Dodgeball Teens), Robert Venditti (Hawkman), Mark Wheatley (Songs of Giants), Emily S. Whitten (The Underfoot), Matt Wieringo (Stargate Atlantis: Gateways), Keith Williams (Thor the Worthy), Marcus Williams (Tuskegee Heirs), Renee Witterstaetter (Guardians of the Galaxy), Javier Cruz Winnik (Puerto Rico Strong), Rich Woodall (Electric Black), Kelly Yates (Doctor Who), and Thom Zahler (Love and Capes).

Preview: Wonder Woman #780

Wonder Woman #780

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Steve Pugh, Travis G. Moore

After the events of Death Metal, Diana finally makes it back from her unforgettable odyssey through the Sphere of the Gods! Has the world moved on without her? This special oversize story paves the way to an exciting new future for the greatest hero of them all!

Wonder Woman #780

NYCC 2021: Z2 Comics Reveals Exclusive Prints, Madballs, and More!

Z2 Comics is making noise going into this year’s New York Comic Con and is featuring a slew of items for fans to pick up exclusively at the show! In partnership with American Musical Supply, fans will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet some of the biggest names behind Z2’s 2021 publishing lineup and supported by exclusive items available only at the convention, while supplies last!

Available for $30, Z2 will offer exclusive limited edition prints featuring Anthrax and Public Enemy as well as a special NYCC Z2 Comics print from Vasilis Lolos.

 Anthrax and Public Enemy print

Two special CZARFACE exclusive prints from David Mack and Andres Esparza will be available for the same price, and each limited to 200.

Finally, Z2 is proud to offer an additional print featuring art by Chuck D himself, immortalizing his legendary collaboration of “Bring the Noise” with Anthrax, limited to 200 and all only available at booth #3100! All prints will retail on site for $35 each.

Chuck D print

Additionally, Z2 will offer two special vinyl picture discs previously only available as part of super deluxe bundles. Fans can grab Anthrax’s classic 1987 album Among the Living with cover art by JG Jones and featuring Greg Nicotero’s original zombie “Not Man” design, or Dio’s 1983 landmark album Holy Diver, with exclusive art by Becky Cloonan, each retailing for $30.

Finally, Z2 will for the first time offer the Anthrax zombie “Not Man” Madball, as designed by special effects legend Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), previously only available as part of the strictly limited super deluxe edition of the Anthrax Among the Living graphic novel, in EXTREMELY LIMITED quantities for $25, with a limit of one per customer per day.

Z2’s full NYCC schedule of events is below:
11 am -12 pm: Chris Miskiewicz (Grateful Dead: Origins, This is Where We Fall)
1-2 pm: Mikey Way and Shaun Simon (Electric Century)
3:30 pm: Z2 Comics Presents: The Graphic Album w/Mikey WaySpencer Charnas and more! (Room 1A21)
5-6 pm: Spencer Charnas (Ice Nine Kills: Inked in Blood)
6-7 pm: Seamus “Esoteric” Ryan of CZARFACE, and David Mack
 
12-1 pm: Chuck D of Public Enemy (Apocalypse 91: The Revolution Never Sleeps)
1-2 pm: Seamus “Esoteric” Ryan of CZARFACE
2-3 pm: Joey BelladonnaFrank BelloCharlie BenanteJon Donais, and Scott Ian of Anthrax
3:30 pm: Z2 Comics Presents: Bring the Noise w/Chuck D and Anthrax (Room 1A21)
6pm: Chuck D & Anthrax

Preview: Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Written by: Jordie Bellaire, Amy Reeder, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad
Art by: José L. García López, Amy Reeder, Paulina Ganucheau, Jim Cheung

Put on your tiaras and prepare your indestructible bracelets! DC is inviting you to join us for a one-of-a-kind special showcasing Wonder Woman’s past, present, and future to celebrate the legacy she has created and those she will continue to inspire with her adventures for years to come. This oversize super spectacular features work from some of the very best in the comic industry along with bright young stars ready to share the spotlight with Diana. You won’t want to miss these new stories that capture timeless messages of hope and empowerment presented together in this gorgeous keepsake issue!

Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Preview: Wonder Woman #779

Wonder Woman #779

Written by: Jordie Bellaire, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Paulina Ganucheau, Travis G. Moore

All good things must end! Janus’s murderous rampage through the Multiverse leads Diana and her allies to a place in between worlds where Wonder Woman will come face to face with her darkest fear…a future without her in it! Plus, in our tale set years ago, Princess Diana’s quest for truth comes to a thrilling conclusion!

Wonder Woman #779

Preview: Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Michael Avon Oeming

The big finish to the adventure starting all the way back in the conclusion of Future State: Superman: Worlds of War. Midnighter traveled into the future to help get himself out of a jam, only to swap places with his future self. Now, the Midnighter from the future finds himself trapped in a paradox, working his way back to his onetime present to swap places again. Don’t worry if you’re confused-so is he! The key to this whole thing is Andrej Trojan, the nefarious industrialist who tried using Superman’s mission on Warworld to his own end. Midnighter has been carrying Trojan’s robotic skull with him, hunting for the 2021 iteration of the man, and shutting his whole company down before any of this trouble even starts. Finishing the serial, which runs in the back of Action Comics, this time-travel escapade also leads into Superman and the Authority!

Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Review: Midnighter Annual 2021

Midnighter Annual

After a series of short backups in Action Comics, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Michael Avon Oeming, and Taki Soma get to wrap up their time travel/action movie/love story/techno-thriller/body horror saga in Midnighter Annual. It’s a good time and Midnighter, Apollo, and Shilo Norman aka Mister Miracle have throuple-like chemistry as they escape from various explosions, killer robots, and try to figure out the mechanics of the whole time loop deal and make sure organic life isn’t extinct while cracking jokes and having heart to hearts. However, Oeming and Soma’s very un-house style-like art and colors are what make this arc such a great read.

Visually, Midnighter Annual isn’t a DC Comic nor a Wildstorm comic: it’s a Michael Oeming and Taki Soma comic. Their power-packed style with a side of flat colors and slight psychedelic elements is front and center in the book from the first action sequence where Midnighter, Apollo, and Shilo fight off Andrej Trojan’s drones/cultists and remember that Midnighter can teleport anywhere. (He didn’t do this in previous issues because it led to Shilo’s death in multiple timelines.) Oeming’s gift for cartooning brings out the different personalities of the lead characters. This ranges from Apollo casually using his godlike abilities to protect the man he loves to Midnighter relishing in each goon he takes out and Shilo stressing out and quipping like standup comic having an anxiety attack to deal with how out of his depth he is. Although their faces (Except for Apollo and Trojan) are hidden by masks, Michael Avon Oeming makes their faces super expressive in his signature style.

Plus Midnighter always perceiving himself wearing a mask (Until the end when we get in true paradox mode.) is the perfect for his visual. It reminds me of a Steve Orlando interview from 2015 where he talks about Midnighter only knows fighting and doesn’t know basic stuff like if he likes the taste of bagels or going to the movies. To get the job done and break the time loop, Midnighter must compartmentalize, and there’s no time for opening up or sharing your feelings even with the man who loves him most, Apollo. Midnighter and Apollo share many embraces and sweet moments across this double-sized comic, but Midnighter never lets him in on the secret that Trojan is literally in his head until nearly the end of the issue. Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad make fun of this with cheeky, innuendo-laden dialogue about threesomes, but you can tell in Oeming’s art and use of negative space that this lack of disclosure has created a rift between this iconic power couple.

However, Apollo isn’t just an all-powerful foil for Midnighter in Midnighter Annual. He gets to have his own personality and reactions to situations including a triple dose of pettiness and being over it all. When Andrej Trojan’s chief scientist releases sarin gas to take out Midnighter and company, Apollo shields them from the poison and backhands his henchmen like he’s swatting flies. Even though he is full of emotional depth, Apollo is basically a god in this comic as Midnighter alludes to a pinpoint line of dialogue from Cloonan and Conrad. He can make gold sparks come out of his hands, and Taki Soma uses a brighter color palette whenever he jumps into action. Part of what Midnighter and Apollo a great couple is their love, passion, and chemistry despite their differences in personality, and Midnighter Annual definitely doesn’t shy away from those.

I think that this is the part of the review where I have to confess that I’m not the biggest fan of time travel-driven stories. However, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, and Michael Avon Oeming through dialogue and visuals show that they’re more focused on Midnighter’s journey than the nitty gritty of time travel mechanics a la a much weirder (and less incestuous) Back to the Future. In a chilling scene with dark background colors and a nine panel grid layout from Oeming, Midnighter is offered a release from the stress of time loops and stopping the world’s extinction from Trojan, but that would be a total cop out for a guy who was beating baddies to death with a hammer a few issues of Action Comics ago. Between juggling multiple timelines, taking a copious amount of notes, and doing strange things to protect Shilo and Apollo, you know he’s not going to take the easy way out and leans into that complexity.

Even though it’s a non-stop action thrill ride with a garish color palette from Taki Soma and uniquely kinetic art from Michael Avon Oeming that’s an argument against house styles, Midnighter Annual is another installment in the beautiful love story between Midnighter and Apollo, but with some very trippy obstacles. Add in the everyman vibe of Shilo Norman plus the sense of humor in Conrad and Cloonan’s script, and this is is the flashy conclusion to this Midnighter arc that his fans deserve while cementing Andrej Trojan as a memorable member of his rogues gallery as he tries to avoid the thing that closes all of our loops, er, lives aka death.

Story: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan Art: Michael Avon Oeming
Colors: Taki Soma Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 7.9 Art: 9.0 Overall:8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics TFAW

Preview: Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Michael Avon Oeming

The big finish to the adventure starting all the way back in the conclusion of Future State: Superman: Worlds of War. Midnighter traveled into the future to help get himself out of a jam, only to swap places with his future self. Now, the Midnighter from the future finds himself trapped in a paradox, working his way back to his onetime present to swap places again. Don’t worry if you’re confused-so is he! The key to this whole thing is Andrej Trojan, the nefarious industrialist who tried using Superman’s mission on Warworld to his own end. Midnighter has been carrying Trojan’s robotic skull with him, hunting for the 2021 iteration of the man, and shutting his whole company down before any of this trouble even starts. Finishing the serial, which runs in the back of Action Comics, this time-travel escapade also leads into Superman and the Authority!

Midnighter 2021 Annual #1
Almost American
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