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Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God

Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God

Dark Nights: Death Metal has been an interesting event so far. The “Crisis” by another name has had a main series and story that has bounced around in tone. Then, there’s been a series of tie-in one-shots. They’ve been both key in the storytelling and far superior to the main series. Each of those one-shots is pretty important to the story. They don’t quite stand on their own but also are not easily woven into the main series. Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God is another example of that. It feels like it introduces really important aspects to the main story but would be difficult to work into the series.

Written by James Tynion IV, Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God focuses on the battle between the new version of The Batman Who Laughs and Perpetua. It’s occurring on a cosmic scale with the two hurling planets at each other, a concept both awe-inspiring visually and a bit silly at the same time.

The comic though is more focused on Chronicler, a new character to me, whose role is to… watch. Yes, Chronicler is DC”s version of Uatu, Marvel’s Watcher. Its role is to travel the omniverse gathering stories of various realities and their history. With this reality on the brink of destruction, the Chronicler is going to do the same with this universe.

The concept presented is an interesting one with a slight twist more focused on the meta aspect of a storyteller watching a story. The Chronicler becomes obsessed that a reality with such rich stories feels unfinished and so travels around gathering more information. We as readers learn more about the history of the DC Universe and the current situation. In a way Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God acts as another entry to try to make sense of the current event.

What it does do is add another layer to the already complicated history of DC Crisis events adding in the Omniverse to the Multiverse. It also might be a hint as to what’s to come once Dark Nights: Death Metal is over. It again points to a “new DC universe” driven by this event, one that may return to the classic good vs. evil tropes of classic DC stories.

The art is amazing at times. Jesus Merino is joined by Vicenete Cifuentes on ink and Ulises Arreola on color. The imagery as Chronicler makes his way through the galaxy is just jaw-dropping at times. It’s titans battling in a cosmic way and delivers visuals I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. Chronicler himself feels like a mix of DC’s history with aspects of classic and modern design mixed together. There’s also some great use of panels and splash pages to really emphasize the epic and titanic nature of what’s happening.

A back-up story takes us to The Bleed where a ship of survivors needs to figure out what to do next. Written by Bryan Edward Hill, the segment has the remaining Green Lanterns unsure of their next move. They know time is not on their side and they’ll eventually be destroyed if they stick to their path. Much like the main story, it too leaves you hanging with whatever to come in another issue elsewhere. It also feels like a segment that couldn’t be fit into the main series, so had to be added somewhere.

With art by Nik Virella, color by Hi-Fi, and lettering by Andworld Design, it’s a decent chapter. The art team is able to mix the desperation the survivors feel with that moment when they decide to fight. While it doesn’t quite hit the level of inspirational, the characters and designs are interesting. It too leaves the reader wanting to see what’s next though this finishes with a more curious “end.”

Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God is an interesting comic. It has a lot of concepts that could work really well. But, as a comic, it doesn’t stand on its own. It feels like a chapter in the event that without the event, it’d make no sense. As is, it’s inclusion is head-scratching until we read more of what’s to come. It’s a setup of things, clearly, but until that pays off, what’s presented can be a bit confusing and mixed. It has concepts without payoff and new ideas that until this issue hasn’t played into Dark Nights: Death Metal.

Unlike other one-shots, this is one you will likely need to continue to read the event to enjoy. But, if DC is willing to step out into the Omniverse as this comic hints, it’s a sign of some exciting things to come when this event is finally over.

Story: James Tynion IV, Bryan Edward Hill Art: Jesus Merino, Nik Virella
Ink: Vicente Cifuentes Color: Ulises Arreola, Hi-Fi Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.35 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: 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

Preview: Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God #1

Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God #1

Written by: James Tynion IV, Bryan Edward Hill
Art by: Jesús Merino

Batman. Always. Wins. This irrevocable truth resonates to the very heart of Perpetua’s battle with the Batman Who Laughs…and when her ally reveals his absolute nature, she will upend this mantra and destroy the last planet. His planet. But that’s not enough…and the mother of all creation must wonder, if power lies in destruction, why would she ever stop? But that’s the thing about truth…when it turns to fact, there’s no disputing its godlike reverence…and so enters the Darkest Knight. Featuring a backup story that spins out of the cliffhanger from Dark Nights: Death Metal Multiverse’s End #1.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God #1

Big Names are Coming to the Free Baltimore Comic-Con Live

Take advantage of the 1st annual Baltimore Comic-Con Live, a FREE ONLINE EVENT streaming the weekend of October 23-25, 2020! Come check out retailers, exhibitors, artists alley, programming, and the Ringo Awards live! The free virtual convention also features a slew of programming that fans won’t want to miss!

ARTISTS, WRITERS & ARTISANS: Creative Inspirations for Winter 2020 Line Up

Panelists: Axel Alonso, Cullen Bunn, Kaare Andrews, Nelson Blake II, Ethan Sacks and Dalibor Talajic
Host: John Siuntres
Friday, October 23, 2020 – 5pm ET / 2pm PT

Creators AWA Studios Discuss Their Creative Inspirations for Winter 2020 Line Up: AWA Studios’ Axel Alonso has given creators the support they need to create the stories that need to be told. These stories range from graphic journalism, the NBC Syndicated webcomic turned graphic novel, COVID Chronicles by Ethan Sacks and Dalibor Talajic to E-Ratic, a teenage superhero found in The Resistance universe by Kaare Andrews, and Byte-Sized, a Transformers-meets-Pixar story that will warm the hearts of the entire family by Cullen Bunn and Nelson Blake II. Find out what inspired the creators and why they brought their passion to AWA Studios.

Cullen Bunn


Panelists: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Host: TBD
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 1pm ET / 10am PT

Join us for an exclusive interview with writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson on DC Comic’s Future StateHouse of El,  Superman: Worlds of War, and more!!!

Superman: Worlds of War


Panelists: Ross Richie (Founder) & Filip Sablik (President)
Host: Robert Meyer Burnett
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 2pm ET / 11am PT

With the 1.5 million dollar success of their Kickstarter campaign for Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR comic, BOOM! Studios has made some game-changing decisions in the way they publish. Join BOOM’s CEO and Founder Ross Richie and President Filip Sablik in conversation with Robert Meyer Burnett discussing their ground breaking strategies for the present and Future of BOOM!

BOOM! Studios


Panelists: Ryan Stegman, Becky Cloonan, Matthew Rosenberg, Ed Brisson, Phillip K. Johnson
Host: Amy Dallen
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 5pm ET / 2pm PT

Some of the top names in Marvel Comics (Ryan StegmanBecky CloonanMatthew RosenbergEd Brisson, and Phillip K. Johnson) sit down with Amy Dallen to discuss everything going on in the House of Ideas.

Matthew Rosenberg

BITTER ROOT: Creator Spotlight

Panelists: David Walker, Chuck Brown and Sanford Greene
Host: Shelly Bond
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 5pm ET / 2pm PT

The men behind the runaway success of the year. An exploration of The Harlem Renaissance, through the actions of a family of supernatural monster hunters. Starring the creative team of David WalkerChuck Brown, and Sanford Greene.


Panelists: Tom King and Cecil Castellucci
Host: Robert Meyer Burnett
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 7pm ET / 4pm PT

Writers Tom King (Mister MiracleRorschach) and Cecil Castellucci (Female Furies) discuss their reinterpretations of Jack Kirby’s strangest creations.

Tom King


Panelists: Mark Waid and Tom Brevoort
Host: Mark Waid
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 8pm ET / 5pm PT

Take a deep dive into the wonderful world of Marvel Comics with two of its biggest names.

Mark Waid


Panelists: Tom King, Joelle Jones, Bryan Hill, and Cecil Castellucci
Host: Amy Dallen
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 9pm ET / 6pm PT

Join Tom KingCecil CastellucciJoelle Jones, and Bryan Hill talking about playing in the alleyways of Gotham City with the Bat Family.

Cecil Castellucci

POWERS: 20th Anniversary Reunion

Panelists: Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming
Host: John Siuntres
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 11pm ET / 8pm PT

Join Powers creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming as they take a look back at 20 Years of Powers.

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


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

Review: American Carnage #3


There is that point in most procedural stories, where there is the line of no return. In the show The Shield, it was an often slippery slope for Vic Mackey and his crew. They not only chased after real criminals but they partook in criminal activities. This led to some close calls and the eventual arrest of this group. It showed that when one does not have remorse they have never really understood morality in the first place.

In the very first episode, they got rid of the very character who could have exposed them. This is where they solidified themselves as something quite different than anything else on the television landscape. It is was that line that Vic Mackey never had a problem crossing that most of us would not. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #3, Wright is on the crux of that point of no return.

We open on Wright right as the gang was about to kill a random black Man they found on the street, which due to unforeseen events, becomes messy, leading Wright to kill the man to deescalate the situation. We also find out in a flashback, that Wright during psych evaluation, was questioned about his racial identity and  how we would use it as motivation during this particular assignment. Before he could get his bearings, a masked man shows up to take an uncompromising picture of Richard, which can blow his cover and something the Neo Nazi group may be using as leverage. By Issue‘s end, someone looks to kill Morgan’s daughter, making the whole case even more bizarre.

Overall, American Carnage #3 is a great issue that delivers the story its twist. The issue by Bryan Edward Hill is excellent. The art by the creative team is stunning. Altogether, a story that up the stakes for its protagonist.

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 #2

American Carnage #2

Lawrence Fishburne is one of those actors whose presence onscreen gets you right away. Far from the fact that he is magnetic; the tenor of his voice makes him a force to be reckoned with. This is why I was excited to hear that he’ll be narrating the upcoming Audible adaptation of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Though these days, he is known more for Black-Ish, he got his start in bit roles for Spike Lee.

Those roles led to bigger roles, one of which was Deep Cover. That film’s is a brilliant procedural movie and an equally excellent character study. There was a point in the story where he had to prove his “worthiness,” a scene which showed Fishburne at his most commanding up to that point. In the second issue of brilliantly crafted American Carnage, Wright must prove his fealty to the Neo Nazis he is infiltrating.

We open on Wright at a party with Neo-Nazis , as he realizes this where he may be able to break the case. While Morgan’s daughter, Jennifer, steps into a conversation, where we find out those larger players are in the game, ones with more power and more legitimacy than Wynn Morgan ever dreamt of. Eventually, someone tries Richard, and he is more than happy to punch a Nazi.  By the issue‘s end, his initiation begins where his morals will be tested.

Overall, a great second issue, that insinuates the reader even deeper. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is first-rate. The art by the creative team is gorgeous Altogether, a sobering looks at a world that hate spawns.

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

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle

Preview: Batman & The Outsiders #17

Batman & The Outsiders #17

Written by: Bryan Hill
Art by: Marcio Takara

Series finale! The war with Ra’s al Ghul reaches its end, and none of the Outsiders will ever be the same. And none of them might ever be a team again! Did Batman choose the wrong allies to assemble to fight Ra’s? Or did those allies make a mistake in believing in Batman? The critically acclaimed series comes to its end!

Batman & The Outsiders #17

Warner Bros. Acquires Black to Adapt for Film


Studio 8 has announced that Warner Bros. has acquired Black, the comic series co-created by Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3. Original artists and writers of the comic and its spinoffs include Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph, Jennifer Johnson, Vita Ayala, and Liana Kangas.

Bryan Edward Hill, who is a comic creator as well is a producer on DC’s Titans, wrote the script for the film.

In 2017 Studio 8 announced they had obtained the rights to the film with Seith Mann having originally been hired to write the script for the film in 2018.

The original Black comic series focused on Kareem Jenkins who survives being gunned down by police and joins an underground group of black superheroes learning about the world conspiracy that hides the revelations that black individuals have superpowers.

The series debuted with a teaser campaign at New York Comic Con in 2015 and went on to a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 that raised almost $92,000 from 2,775 backers. Since then, it’s resulted in numerous spin-off series featuring numerous writers and artists creating its own comic universe. The series was eventually released through comic publisher Black Mask Studios. A follow-up series, White, was Kickstarted in 2019 and went on to raise a little over $47,000 from 1,420 individuals. That series has seen release delays due to COVID.

Jeff Robinov, Guy Danella, and John Graham will produce from Studio 8 with Black Mask Studio’s Matteo Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz to serve as producer and executive producer. Osajyefo and Smith are co-producers as well. The team is currently searching for a director.

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