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Preview: Future State: Batman/Superman #2

Future State: Batman/Superman #2

Written by: Gene Luen Yang
Art by: Stephen Segovia, Ben Oliver

Superman has fallen deep into the Magistrate’s Kryptonite caverns, and now he’s at the mercy of a gruesomely transformed Professor Pyg! So what do animalistic body modification and caves of Kryptonite have to do with the Magistrate’s growing fascist state in Gotham City? That’s what Batman needs to find out as the race against time to save the Man of Steel nears its end! All we know for sure is that during this battle, something happened that drove a wedge between Bruce and Clark…Discover the answers in the conclusion that will rock the World’s Finest to their core!

Todd McFarlane Announces Four New Titles Building His Own Shared Comic Universe

Image Comics‘ President Todd McFarlane has announced his attempt at creating his own multi-character, interconnected comic book universe. His stated goal is to establish a shared fictional universe over time in the vein of what the other comic industry giants, Marvel, and DC Comics, have accomplished with their comic book universes.

The announcement was given by McFarlane during a first look presentation at the Direct Market Retailers at the Annual ComicsPRO Conference.

The character Spawn, created by McFarlane, will be at the forefront of the initial launch of new titles, but the long-term goal is that Spawn will become but one of many characters that will succeed not only in the comics industry but in many mediums across the globe.

McFarlane will capitalize on the twenty-eight-year success story of Spawn, which has seen sales increase between 150 to 600% from pre-pandemic orders. The Spawn title currently is a top 5 monthly selling title on the Diamond Distributors Top 100 Chart. Recently, a new release of a Spawn figure on Kickstarter set a new Kickstarter record, in its category, for raising just under $3.5 million in 30 days. That figure was also recently awarded the prestigious People’s Choice 2021 Toy of The Year (TOTY) by The Toy Association, Inc.

As part of his announcement, McFarlane announced four new titles coming out in 2021, with three of them continuing as regular monthly titles, meaning that there will be an opportunity for fans of the Spawn character and his new expanding world to get their stories from it on a weekly basis instead of just twelve times a year.

In June, in what McFarlane is calling “2021 the year of Spawn,” comic retailers will be able to order Spawn’s Universe #1. This will be a book that will set the stage with a story that will then spill out into the other new monthly titles. The first title will release in August with a book called King Spawn #1. The character Spawn will now join the rare company of stalwart characters, like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, that will have multiple monthly books for the same title character. It will also mark the first time in twenty-eight years that anyone can buy a monthly issue #1 Spawn book. It gives McFarlane hope of reaching a new generation of readers that missed out on the initial launch of the Spawn back in 1992.

In October comes the second new monthly called Gunslinger Spawn. This title character has been a huge hit among the fanbase over the past year, and each of his appearances has garnered enthusiasm at the stores and online.

Finally, there will be a new #1 team book, which will band five characters together to fight against forces too big for any of them to take on alone. That book is titled The Scorched. Spawn, Redeemer, Gunslinger, Medieval Spawn, and She-Spawn begins the group’s adventures. However, McFarlane promises a rotating cast of heroes over the coming months to keep the roster of heroes fresh. He also said that he would be bringing in new major villains into the fold, too.

To lend a creative hand on some of this expanding list of titles, McFarlane has recruited an all-star list of comic book creators such as Art Adams, Jason Shawn Alexander, Carlo Barberi, Brett Booth, J. Scott Campbell, Greg Capullo, Donny Cates, Jim Cheung, Mike del Mundo, Javier Fernandez, David Finch, Jonathan Glapion, Kevin Keane, Aleš Kot, Puppeteer Lee, Sean Lewis, Sean Gordon Murphy, Ben Oliver, Stephen Segovia, Paulo Siqueira, Marc Silvestri, Marcio Takara, and Frank Quitely, as well as others he will be announcing in the coming months.

Preview: Future State: Batman/Superman #1

Future State: Batman/Superman #1

Written by: Gene Luen Yang
Art by: Ben Oliver

Back in the early days of the Magistrate’s occupation of Gotham City, Bruce Wayne found himself pushed to the edge like never before. So calling the Man of Steel in for backup makes sense, right? Wrong. Gotham’s sinister overlords have already sprung the ultimate trap on the Last Son of Krypton…and with Kryptonian power at your command, no one can stand in your way! Plus…where on Earth did Professor Pyg get a Kryptonite scalpel? Brace yourselves, because things are going to get gross in the caverns below Gotham…

Future State: Batman/Superman #1

Review: American Carnage #9

American Carnage #9

Everything has a cost and the choices you make in life yield unknown future results. Everybody wants something. But, one doesn’t really understand until you get that something what all that it comes with. There are many analogies that are used when talking about this. The most popular being “the grass is greener on the other side”. What it really is, is called ennui.

As the reality sets in that you don’t know everything a sense of regret sets in. Then you also decide what you need to do to get what you want. Sometimes, the cost may be too much. In American Carnage #9, the final issue of the relevant series, Richard sits on the precipice of good and evil, and his next steps will show what he will do for good.

We open up on Richard warning Jennifer of the coup within her father’s organization. We also find the masked man attempting to trap Sheila, leaving him dead and, Sheila injured. Richard shows up to the Morgan Mansion when he realizes that she was part of the problem, as he kills her, knowing that is the only thing that may bring balance. By the issue‘s end, Sheila makes a fateful decision, one that leaves everyone in a different place.

Overall, American Carnage #9 is a shocking final issue that gives us a resolution. It’s an ending that won’t sit right with those looking for happy endings. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is exceptional. The art by the creative team is stunning. Altogether, a story that shows just how divided America really is.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #8

American Carnage (2018-2019) #8

The thing about plans is that they normally don’t work out the way we want them to. Sometimes it turns out better than we expected. Then there are the ones that go sideways, the worst-case scenario times ten, and we feel we underestimated the situation. Sometimes that worst-case scenario is someone dying.

When I was in the military this was more than a common occurrence. It was a fact of life. We would go into missions trying to predict every single outcome. It was practically a crapshoot. There are always unpredictable variables. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #8, Wright’s plan quickly goes awry.

We open up on Richard with the masked man as they break up a drug deal. That finds him ultimately giving Jennifer’s friend over to Sheila. We also find Sheila, with her boss George, who is trying to find out how she is getting her intel prompting him to ask for a meet with Richard. Jennifer, struggling with who her father is and who Richard is, is at a crossroads. That crossroads pushes her to make a timely decision. By the issue‘s end, Sheila reaches out to the masked man to move a piece off the chessboard.

Overall, American Carnage #8 is an astonishing entry that serves as a great penultimate issue. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is excellent. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a story that puts everything on edge in this installment.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #7

American Carnage #7

There is power in telling the stories of those afflicted by vices like drugs. I remember reading the classic Iron Man story “Demon in a Bottle” as a kid, and not quite grasping why Tony Stark struggled. That was until I saw how addiction ravaged my neighborhood and how it transformed regular human beings into shadows of themselves. Then I saw how alcoholism destroyed not only lives but families.

It is always admirable when one recovers from addiction. The road back is never easy but can be attained. What most people don’t realize is that anything can trigger them. The pain of temptation beckons them without no warning. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #7, Wright risks everything to stop one addict from falling abandon but might trigger himself in the process.

We open up on Richard meeting Jennifer at Wynn’s house where she asks him for a favor. It’s a favor which may be too much for him. We also find Sheila getting caught with Richard where she reminds him that helping Jennifer is not part of the assignment. Richard decides to help anyway but someone got to her friend first leading to another encounter with Wynn’s muscle man. By the issue‘s end, Sheila is dealing with new attention that may derail the case.

Overall, American Carnage #7 is an extraordinary issue that adds another dimension to the story. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is shining. The art by the creative team is incredible. Altogether, a story that adds a few crime noir elements to this issue.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #6

AMERICAN CARNAGE #6

Omar Epps is one of those actors, whose sheer magnetism makes for must-watch television. Everything he usually is in is well written and typically showcases his characters in a strong light. The first I remembered seeing him was in the 90s classic, Juice. It starred a burgeoning actor/rapper, named Tupac Shakur and Epps played the protagonist in that film.

Epps would go on to star in many other features. He’d occasionally work in television, as his run on House, was as long as the main star. One of my favorite movies, by him, was the severely underrated In Too Deep. He played an undercover cop, whose work would blur the lines of reality, leading him on an unexpected path. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #6, Wright is also ensnared in this criminal enterprise, and the only way he can destroy it is from within.

We open up on Morgan, espousing his philosophy to Richard, trying t show why he thinks how he does and why his organization is the future of America. We also find Richard trying to stave off any rumblings of a civil war, by carefully making those who are disgruntled, know their place. Richard eventually comes to the realization that he must cross a line that pushes the legality of the case. By the issue‘s end, Richard finally tells Jennifer, the truth, a decision that may lead to deadly consequences.

Overall, American Carnage #6 is an exceptional issue, which adds a layer of danger for our protagonist. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is brilliant. The art by the creative team is amazing. Altogether, a story that is too close to our reality, which is why this a must-read.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #5

American Carnage #5

24 is one of those shows which draws you in with its always relevant stories and how they made the stakes so real. Kiefer Sutherland’s performance was even-keeled yet pointed. Each season puts the viewer in the passenger side while evoking all the palace intrigue viewers have come to enjoy and all the action, television can put on the screen. The show’s real stars were its villains.

Each season brought its own dangers and villains, each one more insidious than the previous season. One of the most intriguing seasons was when they were fighting an insidious force within the presidency. Our heroes found a way to fight off the books and with no help. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #5, Curry’s actions catch wind of some very interested parties.

We open up on Sheila being called for a meeting with someone who just so happens to be one of Morgan’s associates, looking to cut a deal so that they could unleash their plans. We also find Richard being questioned by Morgan trying to elicit what his true intentions are. Richard reaches out to Sheila, to let her know, he is about to cross a line as it is the only way to take down Morgan. By the issue‘s end, Richard has proven himself but the line may have become blurred because of it.

Overall, American Carnage #5 is an excellent issue, which pushes our protagonists to the edge. The story by Hill is exceptional. The art by the creative team is astounding. Altogether, a story that gets even murkier.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #4

AMERICAN CARNAGE #4

Edward Norton is one of those actors whose presence on onscreen is understated but resonant. The way he underplays most of his characters makes viewing them a pleasure as he understands the story is what makes the story. Most people don’t know that he co-wrote Frida, the movie about much-heralded and immortal Frida Kahlo. One of my favorite movies by him is Rounders, a movie where he showed his vulnerability.

Where I actually found about him was in American History X. It showed how a reformed Nazi had to reckon with his past. Though the movie had some tough scenes to watch, it showed the power of redemption. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #4, Wright finally infiltrates the organization which is much like in American History X, leading to some uncomfortable truths.

We open up on Jennifer Morgan talking to the police, as the detective assigned to the case, trying to assess if this was racially motivated and why. We eventually find out that Wynn might have dissension in the ranks, as what happened to Jennifer, maybe some type of message. Richard eventually reaches out to Sheila, who implores him to agitate the situation By the issue‘s end, someone guns down Richard, as what comes next is only that more complicated

Overall, a grand issue, American Carnage #4 changes the definition of “pulse-pounding”. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is outstanding. The art by the creative team is astonishing. Altogether, a story that may mean the end for one character.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

DC Officially Announces Future State, a Two-Month Line Wide Event

DC Comics is kicking off 2021 with a look into the future with DC Future State. The rumored line-wide event has been revealed today. It kicks off in January 2021 and goes through 2021. DC Future State features a combination of monthly and twice-monthly oversize anthologies, as we well as a miniseries and one-shots,

DC Future State spotlights the World’s Greatest Super Heroes in fresh new roles, with all-new characters taking up their iconic mantles. DC Future State features an incredible array of creative talent, combining award-winning writers and artists with new voices from the worlds of TV, movies, and animation. In March 2021, the regular DC title lineup resumes, continuing existing storylines from 2020 and introducing new arcs for the year.

In DC Future State, the Multiverse has been saved from the brink of destruction, but the triumph of DC’s heroes has shaken loose the very fabric of time and space! The final chapter of Dark Nights: Death Metal (on sale January 5, 2021)  brings new life to DC’s Multiverse, kicking off this glimpse into the unwritten worlds of DC’s future!

A stellar array of writers and artists are on hand to deliver this unique look at beloved DC characters, including fan favorites such as Mariko Tamaki, Brian Michael Bendis, Gene Luen Yang, Joëlle Jones, Joshua Williamson, Nicola Scott, Cully Hamner, and John Timms, along with new voices such as award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Brandon Vietti (Young Justice), Meghan Fitzmartin (SupernaturalDC Super Hero Girls), Brandon Easton (Thundercats, Transformers: War for Cybertron), Alitha Martinez (REPRESENT! It’s A Bird!), L.L. McKinney (Nubia: Real One), Paula Sevenbergen (Stargirl), and Siya Oum (Lola XOXO), among others.

Check out below to see what the future beholds!

Batman Family

In this future, Gotham City is controlled by the Magistrate. This villainous regime has taken control of the city, now under constant surveillance. All masked vigilantes have been outlawed and Batman has been killed. But led by an all-new Batman, a new assembly of Gotham’s guardians rise to give hope to all of those who lost it!

Oversized Comics:

Future State: The Next Batman #1-4

  • The Next Batman, by John Ridley, Nick Derington and Laura Braga
  • Outsiders, by Brandon Thomas and Sumit Kumar
  • Arkham Knights, by Paul Jenkins and Jack Herbert
  • Batgirls, by Vita Ayala and Aneke
  • Gotham City Sirens, by Paula Sevenbergen and Emanuela Lupacchino

Future State: Dark Detective #1-4

  • Dark Detective, by Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora
  • Grifters, by Matthew Rosenberg and Carmine di Giandomenico
  • Red Hood, by Joshua Williamson and Giannis Milonogiannis

Monthly Miniseries:

  • Future State: Batman/Superman, by Gene Luen Yang and Ben Oliver
  • Future State: Catwoman, by Ram V and Otto Schmidt
  • Future State: Harley Quinn, by Stephanie Phillips and Simone Di Meo
  • Future State: Nightwing, by Andrew Constant and Nicola Scott
  • Future State: Robin Eternal, by Meghan Fitzmartin and Eddy Barrows
Superman Family

Due to his involvement in an international crisis happening in the near future, Clark Kent has been rejected by Earth, causing him to focus his lifesaving efforts outside his adopted home. He travels to Warworld to rise through the ranks of gladiatorial combat in order to defeat Mongul with the help of some unlikely heroes. Back in Metropolis, Clark’s son Jon has taken on the mantle of Superman. After seeing the horrors that befell Gotham, he bottles Metropolis in order to keep it safe, putting him at odds with Supergirl.

Connecting the two oversized Future State: Superman titles, Shilo Norman, the man known as Mister Miracle, finds himself caught between the city he grew up in and the battle-torn planet that could be his downfall.

Meanwhile in the Amazon rainforest, Yara Flor is chosen to be the new Wonder Woman. Years later, the new Superman and Wonder Woman join forces to save their cities in a new superhero team-up the likes of which the world has never seen.

Oversized Comics:

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1-2

  • Superman of Metropolis, by Sean Lewis and John Timms
  • The Guardian, by Sean Lewis and Cully Hamner
  • Mister Miracle, by Brandon Easton and Valentine De Landro
Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1-2

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1-4

  • Superman: Worlds of War, by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Mikel Janin
  • Midnighter, by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad and Gleb Melnikov
  • Black Racer, by Jeremy Adams and Siya Oum
  • Mister Miracle, by Brandon Easton and Valentine De Landro
Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1-4

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1-2

  • Immortal Wonder Woman, by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad and Jen Bartel
  • Nubia, by L.L. McKinney, Alitha E. Martinez and Mark Morales
Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1-2

Monthly Miniseries and One-Shots

  • Future State: House of El, by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Scott Godlewski (one-shot on sale February)
  • Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman, by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage
  • Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes, by Brian Michael Bendis and Riley Rossmo
  • Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman, by Dan Watters and Leila del Duca
  • Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex, by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh (3-issue series ending March 2021)
  • Future State: Wonder Woman, by Joëlle Jones
Justice League Family

A thread of great change runs through the Justice League heroes: a new League is built upon secret identities (even from each other), but an old and evolved enemy will use these secrets to try and overthrow the world. For the supernatural heroes of Justice League Dark, the very fabric of reality has shifted, and heroes are being hunted.

For Flash, Shazam, and the Teen Titans, it all begins when the four Riders of the Apocalypse unleash hell in a battle at Titans Academy, Barry Allen is cut off from the Speed Force, a Famine-controlled Wally West may be beyond saving, and Billy Batson makes a deal with the devil that will change Shazam forever. Off-world, John Stewart and the remaining Green Lanterns are stranded in the shadow of a dead power battery; Jackson Hyde and Andy Curry are separated across the galaxy; and Amanda Waller executes her ultimate plan with a new but terrifyingly familiar Suicide Squad on Earth-3.

At the end of time, Swamp Thing reveals its true intention, ruling supreme until a remnant of humanity launches a rebellion, and Black Adam looks to the past as the only way to save the future of the Multiverse.

Oversized Comics:

Future State: Justice League #1-2

  • Justice League, by Joshua Williamson and Robson Rocha
  • Justice League Dark, by Ram V and Marcio Takara
Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Green Lantern #1-2

  • Last Lanterns, by Geoffrey Thorne and Tom Raney
  • Tales of the Green Lantern Corps, by Josie Campbell, Ryan Cady and Ernie Altbacker, with Sami Basri and Clayton Henry
Future State: Green Lantern #1

Future State: Suicide Squad #1-2

  • Suicide Squad, by Robbie Thompson and Javi Fernandez
  • Black Adam, by Jeremy Adams and Fernando Pasarin
Future State: Suicide Squad #1

Monthly Miniseries:

  • Future State: Aquaman, by Brandon Thomas and Daniel Sampere
  • Future State: The Flash, by Brandon Vietti and Dale Eaglesham
  • Future State: Teen Titans, by Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval
  • Future State: SHAZAM!, by Tim Sheridan and Eduardo Pansica
  • Future State: Swamp Thing, by Ram V and Mike Perkins
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