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Review: Superman: Red and Blue #1

Superman: Red and Blue #1

I’ll admit it, Superman isn’t the most exciting character to me. I find he’s one that runs hot or cold with little in-between. There’s been great stories and great runs but he’s generally not a character I get excited to read about. But, I love anthologies. So, getting to sit down with Superman: Red and Blue #1 to see what such varied creators would do had me intrigued. And, I was not disappointed. This is another homerun of an anthology for DC Comics, and one the delivers an emotional punch.

Superman: Red and Blue #1 features such varied talent as John Ridley, Brandon Easton, Wes Craig, Dan Watters, and Marguerite Bennett on writing. Clayton Henry, Steve Lieber, Wes Craig, Jill Thompson, and Dani provide the art. Jordie Bellaire, Ron Chan handle some of the colors, while Dave Sharpe, Clayton Cowles, and Troy Peteri handle the lettering. I wanted to give the creators behind this their due because it’s a hell of an anthology. Every story is fantastic. The art is top-notch. The colors are used amazingly well, and the lettering is tight. This is a comic that knocks it out of the park.

But, what surprised me the most about Superman: Red and Blue #1 is how much it got to me. It’s stories made me think and delivered a bit of a punch. It’s impressive. Really impressive. DC has let their creators do what they do and it appears without fear. The stories range from lessons about childhood friendship, to condemnations of capitalism. There’s a story that tackles the failures of DC’s heroes (like Superman) from stopping the drug trade making them complicit in the deaths due to it. And, there’s a story of inspiration. Each story has highs and lows and are so unique with something to say about the character or what he represents. It’s an inspiring and thought-provoking comic.

Superman: Red and Blue #1 continues DC’s sparsely colored comics focused on red and blue like the title says. There’s also whites, blacks, and some gray thrown in but the various stories look beautiful and varied in their styles. There’s also a brilliant comic focused on colors themselves delivering a dive into what each represents.

The anthology is an inspiring endeavor and sets up such a high bar for what’s to follow. I went in knowing Superman: Red and Blue #1 was full of talent but how daring some of these stories are was not expected. To finish reading some of them a little choked up was

Story: John Ridley, Brandon Easton, Wes Craig, Dan Watters, Marguerite Bennett
Art: Clayton Henry, Steve Lieber, Wes Craig, Jill Thompson, Dani
Color: Jordie Bellaire, Ron Chan
Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Clayton Cowles, Troy Peteri
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Superman: Red & Blue #1

Superman: Red & Blue #1

Written by: Marguerite Bennett, Dan Watters, Wes Craig, Brandon Easton, John Ridley
Art by: Jill Thompson, Wes Craig, Steve Lieber, Clayton Henry

This new series presents fresh new visions of the Man of Steel in his two signature colors of red and blue! Around the world, everyone knows that when they see a red and blue streak in the sky, it’s not a bird…it’s not a plane…it’s Superman.

To start things off, Academy Award-winning writer of Future State: The Next Batman John Ridley joins artist Clayton Henry (Batman/Superman) to tell a story of Clark Kent as he confronts a villain who still haunts him, in a story that shows what Superman can mean to a whole country. Then, Brandon Easton (DC Future State’s “Mister Miracle”) and Steve Lieber (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen) take readers to the streets of Metropolis to show how one hero can mean so much to an individual in pain. Plus, writer/artist Wes Craig (Deadly Class) tells a tale of Superman’s early days and the man who inspired him to become the hero he is today! And Marguerite Bennett (Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman) and artist Jill Thompson give us a tale of teenage Clark Kent, while Dan Watters and Dani, the team behind Coffin Bound, bring us an outlandish fable about what happens when all colors are stolen!

Superman: Red & Blue #1

Preview: Transformers Vol. 3 All Fall Down

Transformers Vol. 3 All Fall Down

(W) Brian Ruckley, Sam Maggs, Brandon Easton (A) Anna Malkova, Bethany McGuire-Smith, Umi Miyao (CA) Cryssy Cheung
In Shops: Mar 03, 2021
SRP: $49.99

The bold new vision of the Transformers universe that will excite longtime fans and new readers alike continues!

Crisis! The tether holding Cybertron’s inner moon to the planet has fallen and hundreds of lives have been lost. As the rubble is sorted through, the Ascenticons are on the move, hoping to leverage the situation and the lives lost in their favor. Meanwhile, the Rise, now under Megatron’s command, attempt to hide some of their most vicious members, but putting a bunch of killers in a single transport is never a good idea.

Plus, in response to the crisis at home, the Reversionist faction has fled Cybertron and the teachings of their leader have convinced them that the only way to return is to trigger Cybertron’s rebirth. But when the decision comes to Gauge, the youngest Cybertronian, will she spare the planet? And far away from Cybertron, Ultra Magnus has his own problems-namely, a group of sinister mercenaries on the hunt for Cybertronian artifacts.

Collects Transformers #19-24 and Transformers: Galaxies #7-12.

Transformers Vol. 3 All Fall Down

Preview: Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2

Written by: Jeremy Adams, Brandon Easton, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Michael Avon Oeming, Siya Oum, Gleb Melnikov, Valentine De Landro, Mikel Janin

Meet the rising champion of the gladiatorial pits of Warworld: Superman! The Man of Steel is still down in the pits duking it out with Mongul’s hordes and working his way up to the big boss himself. But since it’s Superman, there has to be more to this than a simple determination to win the title belt, right? Yes, because he’s also got Midnighter out there on a mission to chase down a dangerous new power source…but the man standing in his way is all too familiar.

Plus, the Black Racer smashes her way to freedom and Mister Miracle, now trapped on Warworld himself, has to find his way back to the bottle city of Metropolis—and his only mode of transportation is a busted Boom Tube!

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2

Legends of the Dark Knight Returns in a Brand New Series

Debuting in 1989, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight put Batman in the hands of some of the most talented writers and artists in comics, such as Denny O’Neil, Grant Morrison, Ed Hannigan, Mike W. Barr, Doug Moench, José Luis Garcia-López, Klaus Janson, and others. Their efforts yielded unforgettable story arcs for comic book fans, such as “Shaman,” “Prey,” which redefined the evil and twisted Dr. Hugo Strange, “Gothic,” and “Venom,” the story that introduced the dangerous super steroid to a Santa Prisca prison inmate who would later be known as Bane.

On April 2, this influential anthology returns as a new DC Digital First series, Legends of the Dark Knight. Stories will be released digitally as 10-page weekly “chapters,” with two digital chapters making one print issue; issue #1 arrives in comic book stores on May 18Legends of the Dark Knight will serve as a place for both well-known and up-and-coming creative talent to tell new, evergreen stories, appealing to a wide variety of fans, all based on one of the most beloved and enduring characters in popular culture.

Legends of the Dark Knight kicks off with a six-part weekly/three-issue monthly tale, written and illustrated by Darick Robertson, with colors by Diego Rodriguez and letters by Simon Bowland. In “Bad Night, Good Knight,” a new player has arrived on the scene in Gotham City and is selling deadly chemicals to the worst villains in town: Mr. Freeze, the Penguin, and even The Joker! It’s up to Batman to stop the villains, track down the supplier, and save Gotham City from not only his most vicious foes, but this new mystery villain.

Future stories will showcase the talents of writers Stephanie Phillips, Becky Cloonan, Brandon Thomas, Matthew Rosenberg, Brandon Easton, Che Grayson, and comics writing newcomer Yedoye Travis.

Contributing artists include Cian Tormey, Giannis Milonogiannis, Karl Mostert, Max Dunbar, Dike Ruan, Belén Ortega, and Nina Vakueva.

The series debut issue features a dynamic cover by Robertson, with a card stock variant cover by David Marquez, 1:25 ratio variant cover by Riccardo Federici, and a special “teams” variant cover by Francesco Francavilla available to retailers ordering more than 250 copies. At the series digital launch on March 28, each digital chapter sells for $.99 on all participating digital platforms. Each 32-page monthly issue sells for $3.99, with the card stock variant priced at $4.99.

Shilo Norman Escapes from Future State to Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom in May

Currently, writer Brandon Easton and artist Valentine De Landro are guiding Mister Miracle (Shilo Norman) through the terrors of Warworld in Future State: Superman: Worlds at War. Easton and artist Fico Ossio return Shilo to the present DC universe and reveal his journey to becoming the “Super Escape Artist” of tomorrow, in Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom. The six-issue monthly miniseries from DC begins on May 4.

The “Mister Miracle” show used to be the hottest ticket in town, whether you caught him onstage escaping from perilous traps or spotted him on the streets of Metropolis taking out bad guys. What Shilo Norman forgot is the first rule of both show business and being a superhero: always leave them wanting more. Now it’s time to start showing the world what a miracle man can really do.

Showbiz/superhero rule #2: Timing is everything. There’s a new performer in town who wants to knock Mister Miracle off his pedestal and stake a claim to his famous moniker! Can Shilo break free of this trap?

The debut 32-page issue of this miniseries features a stunning cover by Yanick Paquette, with a card stock variant cover by Valentine De Landro. Each issue sells for $3.99, with the card stock variant at $4.99.

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom

Preview: Future State: Superman of Metropolis #2

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #2

Written by: Brandon Easton, Sean Lewis
Art by: Valentine De Landro, Cully Hamner, John Timms

Braincells, the advanced offshoot of the diabolical Brainiac, continues to lure Jonathan Kent down the wrong path-but things go from bad to this can’t get any worse when it appears it has also taken some manner of control over Supergirl! If the Kryptonians clash, nothing will be able to protect the bottled city of Metropolis! Meanwhile, inside the bottle itself, the Guardian is doing everything he can to stop the city from destroying itself from within, while Mister Miracle has discovered the trail of a strange signal that he doesn’t realize will take him to Warworld.

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #2

Preview: Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1

Written by: Jeremy Adams, Brandon Easton, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Siya Oum, Mikel Janin, Gleb Melnikov, Valentine De Landro

This monumental Future State title features four big stories! First, Clark Kent is gone, leaving a Superman-shaped hole behind. People gather in Smallville to celebrate their hero, little realizing that he is across the galaxy helping others. Superman has gone to Warworld, where he fights as a gladiator in the deadly pits of Mongul. But this is Superman we’re talking about-and his idea of a victory does not line up with the expectations of Mongul’s hordes! Meanwhile, on the other side of Warworld, other agents are at work, struggling for a better life. Shilo Norman, the man known as Mister Miracle, has ridden a Boom Tube across the cosmos from Metropolis to finds himself at odds with an entire planet! At the same time, Midnighter, the greatest fighter from Earth, is punching his way through a whole mess of trouble. He’s on the hunt for a new energy source deadlier than Kryptonite. His goal: to shut it down before it gets unleashed on an unsuspecting universe. On top of that, the Black Racer, a girl raised in the slums of Warworld to be one of its top competitors, turns betrayal into a crusade to fight for the freedom of others like her.

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1

Review: Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1

One of the extended “Future State” issues, Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 takes us to a future Metropolis protected by a new Superman, Jonathan Kent. His father is off somewhere (we’ll get that in another story) and it’s up to Jon to fill in the gap. Joining him is Supergirl who spends the issue mostly as an obstacle for this new Superman to battle.

In this Metropolis a tech company has low-jacked individuals with technology built from Brainiac. In the story, the villain, Brain Cells, are using the people for something leaving Jonathan to make a difficult decision to save the city and its people and attempt to not escalate things further. Which of course escalates things.

Writer Sean Lewis gives us a nice take on the character and world putting Jonathan in a difficult situation. The idea of a fairly new hero who’s not getting it right is a good spin to it all. It’s a hero who makes mistakes and whose decisions might have good intentions but the process to get there isn’t the best. It’s a hero who isn’t quite trusted, a rookie who makes mistakes. This is a Superman who has powers and fumbles something can ponder what would likely happen if any of us were to gain similar powers with similar responsibilites. It’s easier to relate to the character in this way.

The art by John Timms with color by Gabe Eltaeb, and lettering by Dave Sharpe is fantastic. The designs are really interesting though at times it takes a bit to make out exactly what everything is. There is a dynamic aspect to it all though and the battles and confrontations are full of excitement and tension. Sharpe’s lettering especially stands out with his take on Brain Cells’ unique world balloons. It’s a small detail that adds so much to the character.

The issue features so much more…

The Metropolis Menagerie” is written by Brandon Easton with art by Valentine de Landro, colors by Marissa Louise, and lettering by Sharpe. Shilo Norman is Mister Miracle in a fairly straightforward tale of a hero battling against odds and their powered suit failing. There’s something rather interesting and charming about it all. There’s a pulp sense about it all with the concept feeling like it’s something out of the era of Flash Gordon.

“The Guardian in Future State” is also written by Lewis with art by Cully Hamner and Michael Avon Oeming, color by Laura Martin, and lettering by AndWorld Design. We get to see a bit of a different aspect to the main story. The story focuses on The Guardian and some of the impact of Jonathan/Superman’s decision. It’s an interesting idea of having a shorter story that ties into the main one but I wish it was a bit clearer this was the case and maybe have taken a slightly different aspect with it all. I’m trying to not spoil it but showing more of the impact of Jonathan’s decision or the moments after would have possibly made for a more engaging story. The use of Hamner and Oeming is also a noticeable shift as the two style don’t quite match enough creating a jarring experience for the reader.

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 is a decent read but doesn’t quite have the excitement I was hoping for. As an arc for an ongoing series, it’d all be very interesting but as a two issue story it feels like we’re dropped into something well underway.

Story: Sean Lewis, Brandon Easton Art: John Timms, Valentine de Landro, Cully Hamner, Michael Avon Oeming
Color: Gabe Eltaeb, Marissa Louise, Laura Martin Letter: Dave Sharpe, AndWorld Design
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1

Written by: Brandon Easton, Sean Lewis
Art by: Valentine De Landro, Cully Hamner, John Timms, Michael Avon Oeming

Before leaving for parts unknown, Clark Kent entrusted Earth’s safety to his son. Now, Jonathan Kent is Superman! Top priority for this new Superman: to protect Metropolis. When a new version of Brainiac attacks, Jon takes drastic measures-which result in the Bottle City of Metropolis! But watch out, Jon, because Supergirl is on her way, and she is not happy with your decision. Meanwhile, in the new bottle city, a new hero has risen. Jake Jordan, the former Manhattan Guardian, came to the City of Tomorrow to start over. But he’s not the only one who wants a new beginning. An anarchist calling herself Honest Mary sees this time of trouble as an opportunity for rebirth-and she’ll tear down the entire city to prove her point. Does Jake have what it takes to save his new home from disasters both inside and out of the bottle? Superman’s former pal Jimmy Olsen is going to make sure he does! Finally, the current Mister Miracle, Shilo Norman, is also in the bottle, and he’s looking for a way out! He’d better be careful, though, or he may end up someplace unexpected. It’s a story that continues in Superman: Worlds of War #1!

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1
Almost American
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