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Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #3

Batman: Urban Legends #3

Written by: Matthew Rosenberg, Brandon Thomas, Che Grayson, Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Marcus To, Alberto Alburquerque, Eddy Barrows, Jesús Merino

• The mystery around Cole Cash and HALO deepens as Batman takes a more active role investigating the man known as Grifter. But other villains in Gotham have begun to notice what Grifter is up to, and they’re about to attempt an assassination! How long can the unlikely team-up between this Dynamic Duo last? • The Outsiders epic reaches its end with the return of three iconic Outsiders: Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho, all reunited to face down Katana’s mother-in-law! This finale will change the makeup of the Outsiders forever and set them on a new trajectory in the DC Universe! • Red Hood and Batman fight over what they should do with the child who is now orphaned as a result of Red Hood’s temper. While they place the child temporarily under the care of Leslie Thompkins, she debates if she’s doing the right thing. Is she just looking after another Robin in training?

Batman: Urban Legends #3

Image and Skybound Launches Skybound X, a Weekly Series featuring New Stories with Rick Grimes and the First Appearance of Clementine

Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment will launch a five-issue, limited comic book series, Skybound X. This exciting comic event will feature iconic characters such as The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes, Telltale’s The Walking Dead’s Clementine, and more Skybound favorites. Heavy hitter creators including Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, Tillie Walden, Donny Cates, Joshua Williamson, Chip Zdarsky, James Harren, and Daniel Warren Johnson will contribute stories from the best Skybound series past, present, and future.

Each oversized, weekly issue will kick off with a chapter from “Rick Grimes 2000“, a story originally introduced in the back of The Walking Dead issue 75 and reuniting the Invincible team Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley. In addition, all-new series with brand new comic book characters will debut throughout. The first new comic book character featured will be Clementine, the star of the bestselling video game Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Skybound X will also include new stories from the worlds of Assassin Nation, Excellence, and Manifest Destiny.

Skybound X will be available at comic book shops and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play, starting with issue #1 on Wednesday, July 7, 2021:

SKYBOUND X #1
STORY: ROBERT KIRKMAN, TILLE WALDEN, JAMES HARREN & CHRIS DINGESS 
ART: RYAN OTTLEY, TILLIE WALDEN, JAMES HARREN & MATTHEW ROBERTS 
COVER A: RYAN OTTLEY (Diamond Code MAY210037)
COVER B: JAMES HARREN (Diamond Code MAY210038)
COVER C: TILLIE WALDEN (Diamond Code MAY210039)
COVER D: CHARLIE ADLARD (Diamond Code MAY210040)
COVER E: BLANK SKETCH COVER (Diamond Code MAY210041)
JULY 7 / 52 PAGES / FULL COLOR / M / $4.99

Celebrate a sensational 10 years of Skybound with a cavalcade of your favorite creators for all-new stories of your favorite series past, present and future! Each issue of this oversized, weekly series will kick off with a new chapter of a serialized THE WALKING DEAD story—RICK GRIMES 2000—by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley!  

In addition, we’ll be debuting all-new series and characters every issue, starting with the First Appearance of the most requested WALKING DEAD character of all-time: Clementine, star of the bestselling Telltale’s The Walking Dead video game series! 

Did we mention new ULTRAMEGA and MANIFEST DESTINY stories?! If you want to know what to expect in Skybound’s next 10 years, it all starts here!  

SKYBOUND X #2 
STORY: ROBERT KIRKMAN, CHIP ZDARKSKY, DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON, IRMA KNIIVILA & TRI VUONG 
ART: RYAN OTTLEY, RAMON K. PEREZ, DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON, TRI VUONG & IRMA KNIIVILA 
COVER A: CLIFF RATHBURN (Diamond Code MAY210042)
COVER B: ANDREI BRESSAN (Diamond Code MAY210043)
COVER C: TRI VUONG & IRMA KNIIVILA (Diamond Code MAY210044)
JULY 14 / 44 PAGES / FULL COLOR / M / $4.99

The second chapter of the wildest WALKING DEAD story ever–RICK GRIMES 2000! Plus, the debut of a major new STILLWATER character, a rip-roaring MURDER FALCON throwdown, and the First Appearance of EVERYDAY HERO MACHINE BOY! 

SKYBOUND X #3 
STORY: ROBERT KIRKMAN, JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, KYLE STARKS 
ART: RYAN OTTLEY, ANDREI BRESSAN, ERICA HENDERSON, CORY WALKER 
COVER A: ARTHUR ADAMS (Diamond Code MAY210045)
COVER B: CORY WALKER (Diamond Code MAY210046)
COVER C: ERICA HENDERSON (Diamond Code MAY210047)
COVER D: DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON (Diamond Code MAY210048)
JULY 21 / 44 PAGES / FULL COLOR / M / $4.99

The third chapter of RICK GRIMES 2000! Plus, a surprising coda to the BIRTHRIGHT saga, a spotlight on ASSASSIN NATION fan-favorite, F*ck Tarkington, and the latest installment of the greatest genius canine adventurer, SCIENCE DOG! 

SKYBOUND X #4 
STORY: ROBERT KIRKMAN, DONNY CATES, BRANDON THOMAS, MAIRGHRED SCOTT 
ART: RYAN OTTLEY, LISANDRO ESTHERREN, KHARY RANDOLPH, PABLO TUNICA 
COVER A: CHARLIE ADLARD (Diamond Code MAY210049)
COVER B: KHARY RANDOLPH (Diamond Code MAY210050)
COVER C: PABLO TUNICA (Diamond Code MAY210051)
JULY 28 / 44 PAGES / FULL COLOR / M / $4.99

The fourth chapter of RICK GRIMES 2000! Plus, new REDNECK and EXCELLENCE stories, and the First Appearance of SEA SERPENT’S HEIR!  

SKYBOUND X #5 
STORY: ROBERT KIRKMAN, KYLE STARKS & SEAN MACKIEWICZ 
ART: RYAN OTTLEY, JASON HOWARD, CHRIS SCHWEIZER & NIKO WALTER 
COVER A: DAVID FINCH (Diamond Code MAY210052)
COVER B: CHRIS SCHWEIZER (Diamond Code MAY210053)
COVER C: JASON HOWARD (Diamond Code MAY210054)
AUGUST 4 / 44 PAGES / FULL COLOR / M / $4.99

RICK GRIMES 2000 concludes! Plus, new THE SIX SIDEKICKS OF TRIGGER KEATON and GASOLINA stories! ALSO, something COMPLETELY NEW from ROBERT KIRKMAN & JASON HOWARD! SECRETS!

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #2

Batman: Urban Legends #2

Written by: Matthew Rosenberg, Brandon Thomas, Cecil Castellucci, Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Ryan Benjamin, Marguerite Sauvage, Max Dunbar, Eddy Barrows
Cover by: Hicham Habchi

The new Batman anthology series continues! In part two of Chip Zdarsky and Eddy Barrows’s epic Batman/Red Hood story, Jason Todd has taken a man’s life, and now his mission is to keep the dead man’s young son safe. But Batman plans to take down Jason before he can make another mistake. Then, in chapter two of Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Benjamin’s senses-shattering tale, Cole Cash earns his pay as personal bodyguard to billionaire Lucius Fox, but what led him to Gotham in the first place? How does the mysterious HALO Corporation play into it all? And which Bat-Family character does he have an unfortunate meeting with in this chapter? And in part two of Brandon Thomas and Max Dunbar’s epic Outsiders story, see Katana’s perspective on what brought the Outsiders to Japan, who wants her dead, and what her ultimate punishment will be for no longer having her husband’s spirit in the Soultaker sword. Plus, Barbara Gordon has identified a citywide system hack from a foe she faced before as Batgirl…but this time around, Babs may have found a way to defeat her for good as Oracle!

Batman: Urban Legends #2

Celebrate 80 Years of Green Arrow With the Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular

Time to dust off your Boxing Glove arrow, fire up the Arrowcar and join DC in celebrating eight decades of emerald excellence! On June 29, the Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 brings together some of comics’ greatest storytellers to pay tribute to Green Arrow’s legacy and the heroes and villains that have fought aside and against him.

Since his first appearance in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941, Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Green Arrow has been one of the premier (and loudest) characters in the DCU, always at the forefront of where the superhero genre is headed as the eternal champion of the underdog. This over-sized anniversary issue follows in those footsteps, combining an all-star line-up of Green Arrow storytelling legends such as Mike Grell, Jeff Lemire, Phil Hester, Otto Schmidt, Ben Percy, Tom Taylor, and Devin Grayson alongside new Green Arrow contributors, including Stephanie Phillips, Mariko Tamaki, Ram V, Vita Ayala, Nicola Scott, Chris Mitten, Laura Braga, Max Fiumara, Brandon Thomas, and others to pay homage not just to the Battling Bowman, but Ollie’s partner-in-crime fighting Black Canary, Connor Hawke, Arsenal, Red Arrow, Speedy, Onomatopoeia, Count Vertigo and more!

Featuring a breathtaking cover by Detective Comics artist Dan Mora, this can’t- miss collectible will also feature an incredible selection of “decade” variant covers, courtesy of some of the best artists in the business:

  • 1940’s Variant: Michael Cho
  • 1950’s Variant: Daniel Warren Johnson
  • 1960’s Variant: Neal Adams
  • 1970’s Variant: Derrick Chew
  • 1980’s Variant: Gary Frank
  • 1990’s Variant: Howard Porter
  • 2000’s Variant: Jen Bartel
  • 2010’s Variant: Simone Di Meo

See what the past, present and future have in store for Green Arrow his allies and his enemies when the Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular arrives in comic book stores and on participating digital platforms on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 for $9.99.

Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular

Review: Batman: Urban Legends #1

Batman: Urban Legends #1

As seen in The Lego Batman Movie, the Arkham video games, and the Batman comics of the 1990s and early 2000s, Batman’s strength is in the world and characters that he creates access to. Whether that’s his allies, villains, nooks and crannies of Gotham, or even police officers that he either works with or against, these personalities and settings are why I continue to return to the Batman side of the DC Universe. The creators of Batman: Urban Legends #1 understand this and flesh out different Batman-adjacent characters and even sometimes explore their relationship to the Dark Knight while also telling action, romance, and crime stories.

First up in this Gotham-themed anthology is the beginning of a six part Batman and Red Hood serial where Batman and his former protege-turned-killer vigilante (He’s switched to rubber bullets for the moment.) investigate a source of a hallucinatory street drug tackily called Cheerdrops. Writer Chip Zdarsky has a firm grasp on Jason Todd’s voice, including the darkness inside his soul and his hunger for justice, especially for Gotham’s beleaguered working class. Artists Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira and colorist Adriano Lucas nail the grit of the city with explosive linework and jagged layouts to go with a color palette that has had all the light sucked out of it. However, Excalibur’s Marcus To does the art in the flashbacks, which features brighter colors as well as simpler, cleaner lines with a more traditional superhero feel even though one of the scenes is set during “Under the Red Hood” when Jason Todd came back from the dead and started killing criminals.

“Batman and Red Hood” is also a study in contrasts in how two very different crime fighters deal with the same crisis. Batman is the World’s Greatest Detective and is super methodical with Barrows and Ferreria drawing him looking at the chemical makeup of Cheerdrops CSI-style, and his All-Star Superman-esque moment with a jumper is less feel-good and more evidence collection. On the other hand, Jason fights crime with his guts and heart and even admits in a wry line from Zdarsky that he’s not a great detective as he struggles to find a Cheerdrop stash house. However, he does find a boy named Tyler, and of course, Jason is great with kids and even lets him wear part of his mask while he looks for his dad in a dodgy part of Gotham. Zdarsky, Barrows, and Ferreira create something truly heartwarming between Jason Todd and Tyler.

There’s a throughline between this and the flashbacks where Batman (Portrayed as more of an action figure than man by To) struggles being a father figure to Jason, and Alfred does the job perfectly because he sees him as a human being and not an obstacle in his war on crime. Chip Zdarsky writes Alfred Pennyworth as the perfect parent to the Bat-family, who isn’t afraid to tell Batman that he’s full of shit and chooses compassion over a closed fist. And speaking of Batman, I love how Zdarsky doesn’t give him an inner monologue and depicts him more as a force of nature than a gun toting, broken man like Jason Todd, who agonizes over every decision and whose interaction with Tyler bring back memories of his mom who died of a drug overdose. Also, he’s not afraid to go a little dark, and Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira jagged layouts and emotional poses are along for the ride.

Batman: Urban Legends #1

The second story in Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an eight page Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy one-off from writer Stephanie Phillips, artist Laura Braga, and colorist Ivan Plascencia. Plascencia is this story’s secret weapon that shows the happy, hilarious times of Harley and Ivy’s first dates and the bleak current times for Harley as she has moved back to Gotham in her solo title and as a recurring character in Batman. Braga’s art is expressive and high energy for both the good times (Harley and Ivy smooching and snapping selfies) and bad times (A sudden bolt of lightning shattering their pictures), and she is a good fit for a story that isn’t centered around a heist or fight against a superhero, but a relationship. She and Phillips tap into the depth of feelings that Harley has for Ivy, and through some handy plant symbolism, they create hope for the relationship that has become very popular for fans in the past decade. “Harley and Ivy” is a nice, nearly slice of life oasis in the midst of the three other stories, which have more moving parts.

The third story in this comic is a 10 page “Outsiders” feature by Brandon Thomas, Max Dunbar, and Luis Guerrero starring Black Lightning, Katana, and an interesting take on Metamorpho. Thomas turns in kind of a mystery plot with the story starting with Black Lightning and an unseen Metamorpho in a Japanese prison before cutting to a bonkers, two page spread of a speedboat chase. Unlike the previous two stories in Batman: Urban Legends #1, Thomas and Dunbar go for a action over character focus, and honestly, I’m here for it. Dunbar uses arrows from their pursuers to act as eye-lines to follow the high speed chase, and he and Thomas have a clever moment or two up their sleeve, especially in regards to Metamorpho’s first appearance. The story isn’t particularly deep, but it has the vibe of a James Bond cold open with superpowers as Guerrero really makes Black Lightning’s abilities sizzle. Finally, Brandon Thomas’ plotting really kept me engaged with thinking about why characters were acting a certain way, and the the mini mystery box structure has me intrigued for the upcoming issue.

Batman: Urban Legends #1

Grifter is a character I didn’t really know a lot about except for some random comics like the New 52 Team 7 and JLA/WildCATs, but Matthew Rosenberg, Ryan Benjamin, and Antonio Fabela have made this anti-hero/rapscallion and his various pratfalls quite lovable and hilarious Batman: Urban Legends #1’s final story. Grifter is like that guy who bluffs at poker, but never has a good hand. And until maybe the penultimate page of the comic, he’s either screwing up or making a joke about it beginning with his mad rush towards supervillain fire during his Team 6 days with a lot of characters with familiar names from Wildstorm comics. (I’m not an expert on these characters, and you don’t have to be to enjoy the story.) Grifter uses his sense of humor to detract from his mediocre performance as Lucius Fox’s bodyguard or to avoid getting his ass kicked by Batman, but he also has a mystery side that is revealed when he has a “date” at one of Penguin’s bars. The mystery starts to really unfold towards the end of the comic, but Rosenberg hints at every time, he talks on a headset with what I assume is his older brother.

The comedy in “Grifter” isn’t just limited to Matthew Rosenberg’s delightfully smartass dialogue. It shows up a lot in Ryan Benjamin’s visuals, which range from G.I. Joe or Authority homages (When the superheroes clean up Team 6’s mess.) in the flashback to pure slapstick. For example, Grifter spills a drink at a party Lucius Fox is meeting a client at and spills a drink on a woman. In this situation, Benjamin doesn’t just show a simple facial expression, but throws in some growlixes and makes you know that she’s furious that the soaking wet guy in Converse and blue jeans is even in the same room with her. This playfulness extends to the fight between Batman and Grifter, which starts as a serious throwdown and ends up in a total cat and mouse situation with Grifter finally getting enough self-awareness to call it quits. However, their paths will cross, and you can tell that Batman understands he’s a wildcard with his connections to Lucius Fox, the criminal underworld, and probably those Wildstorm guys. All in all, Matthew Rosenberg, Ryan Benjamin, and Antonio Fabela turn in a hilarious action-comedy set in DC’s weirdest and (sometimes) dourest city and also slowly unveil what seems to be a master plan to merge the worlds of Wildstorm and Gotham.

Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an absolute win for the anthology format that DC Comics has been trying out with all of the four stories in the comic being entertaining and shedding light on a unique cast of characters. The longer stories that bookend the comic are especially noteworthy thanks to Chip Zdarsky’s pitch-perfect handle on the fascinating character of Jason Todd in “Batman and Red Hood” and Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Benjamin’s skill with verbal and visual humor in “Grifter”.

Story: Chip Zdarsky, Stephanie Phillips, Brandon Thomas, Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Marcus To, Laura Braga, Max Dunbar, Ryan Benjamin
Colors: Adriano Lucas, Ivan Plascencia, Luis Guerrero, Antonio Fabela
Letters: Becca Carey, Deron Bennett, Steve Wands, Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #1

Batman: Urban Legends #1

Written by: Brandon Thomas, Stephanie Nicole Phillips, Matthew Rosenberg, Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Laura Braga, Ryan Benjamin, Marcus To

Batman may be the biggest name in Gotham City, but there are lots of other heroes—and villains—who will get a turn to shine in Batman: Urban Legends, a brand-new monthly series tying into the biggest events in Gotham City. The series begins with these can’t-miss tales:

– Superstar writer Chip Zdarsky enters the world of Gotham City with celebrated Detective Comics and DC Future State: Robin Eternal artist Eddy Barrows for a six-part story chronicling Red Hood’s investigation of a new drug sweeping through Gotham. It’s a night that will change his life forever—and put him in Batman’s crosshairs.

– Writer of the DC Future State “Grifters” story Matthew Rosenberg picks up where he left off, continuing from the pages of Batman #101! Superstar artist Ryan Benjamin joins the team as we learn why Cole Cash is in Gotham in a tale that hints at what Halo might be…and we also get Batman vs. Grifter-round two!

– New Harley Quinn writer Stephanie Phillips and DC Future State: The Next Batman artist Laura Braga join forces for a Harley tale set just before the launch of her new series. Harley’s determined to sort out her history with Poison Ivy—but first, she’ll have to find her!

– Coming off the DC Future State “Outsiders” tale, writer Brandon Thomas begins a three-part saga reuniting Black Lightning, Katana and Metamorpho. But this reunion quickly turns into a confrontation with a figure from Katana’s past, in a story drawn by fan-favorite artist Max Dunbar (Champions, Dungeons and Dragons, Judge Dredd)!

Batman: Urban Legends #1

The Creative Teams for Static, Icon & Rocket, and Hardware Relaunches Revealed

DC has kept it pretty quiet as far as the creative teams behind the Milestone relaunch but we now know who will be handling the first three series.

What’s interesting also is the use of “season” to describe the release, a change from the traditional “volume”. Season is a much easier concept for non-regular comics readers to understand as it shifts the understanding of releases more towards television releases indicating DC may have a much wider audience in mind when it comes to marketing the relaunch of Milestone.

The new series creative teams and debut dates are:

Hardware

Written by Brandon Thomas
Art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz
Covers by Mateus Mahanini
Debuting August 15, 2021

Static

Written by Vita Ayala
Art by ChrisCross and Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Covers by Khary Randolph
Debuting April 11, 2021

Icon and Rocket

Written by Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills
Art by Doug Braithwaite
Covers by Taurin Clarke
Debuting June 27, 2021

Review: Sympathy For No Devils #5

Sympathy For No Devils #5 wraps up the series as the various strings come together. How well does it close the case? Find out!

Story: Brandon Thomas
Art: Lee Ferguson
Color: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: Simon Bowland

Get your copy 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.

Kindle
comiXology
Zeus Comics

AfterShock Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Excellence Book One’s Kickstarter Exclusive Has Launched

Action/fantasy series Excellence: Book One is available on Kickstarter now!

From Brandon Thomas and Khary Randolph, Excellence: Book One is a deluxe hardcover of the Skybound and Image comic book series, available exclusively through Kickstarter. The special edition encompasses the first nine issues of the magic series, with additional never-before seen content.

The special edition encompasses the first nine issues of the magic series, with additional never-before seen content. The Kickstarter also has ultra-rare tiers, including the opportunity to be drawn into a future issue of Excellence.

Excellence: Book One is the first release from Skybound Signature, a line of graphic novels debuting on Kickstarter.

Preview: Future State: Aquaman #2

Future State: Aquaman #2

Written by: Brandon Thomas
Art by: Daniel Sampere

Andy Curry, daughter of Arthur and Mera, has had a pretty terrible month. Jackson Hyde, a.k.a. Aquaman, won’t stop calling her Aqualass when she’s told him a thousand times it’s Aquawoman. She’s manifested a new power that scares the absolute hell out of her. Oh, and she and Jackson just got ripped apart in the midst of a cosmic space ocean and she can’t find him anywhere! For the first time in her 14 years, Andy’s all alone-and it’s gonna take her wits, her will, and every single lesson Jackson ever taught her to survive.

Future State: Aquaman #2
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