Tag Archives: carlos m. mangual

Review: Young Justice #3

Young Justice #3

Continuity has been thrown out the window (Oops.), and Conner Kent aka Superboy is back in the pages of DC Comics as a farmer in Gemworld, who recently invaded Earth. Writer Brian Michael Bendis, artists Patrick Gleason and Viktor Bogdanovic with inker Jonathan Glapion, and colorists Alejandro Sanchez, Chris Sotomayor, and Hi-Fi give him plenty of time to reintroduce himself and banter with Impulse while the rest of the Young Justice “team” languishes in a prison. And what results in Young Justice #3 is a classic case of good characterization, disjointed plotting, and okay art. It’s definitely a middle chapter.

But, first, the good. I haven’t read any of the old Young Justice or other pre-New 52 comics in which Conner Kent and Bart Allen appeared in, but Bendis, Gleason, and Bogdanovic immediately show their friendship complete with hugs, jokes, and a little trash talk of Gemworld goons. (Comparing a bad guy to an Intergang member is always a sick DCU burn.) Gleason’s expressive art and Bendis’ overcaffeinated dialogue for Impulse has been my favorite part of Young Justice, and there’s a lot of it in this issue as he fights back against the Gemworld fighters and also comes to grips with seeing his old friend having changed so much. It’s a little difficult to process seeing your BFF transform from a black Superman t-shirt wearing teen rebel to a bearded farmer with a wife and baby.

Another decent part of this comic is when Bendis, Gleason, and Bogdanovic tell the story of how Conner Kent came to be in Gemworld. Bendis channels Ultimate Spider-Man a little bit by having the teacher’s lecture about rules and society in what I assume is a class on Lord of the Flies connect to Conner’s arc in the issue. He can fly and has super strength so what is he doing sitting in class when he could investigate some STAR Labs sketchiness.

Conner was created in a lab from Lex Luthor and Superman’s DNA so he’s not a fan of those kind of places. Gleason, Bogdanovic, and Glapion are trying to show his extreme rage and recklessness in wrecking the lab, but the facial expressions don’t match his action in these scenes. Also, Glapion tries to make his pencillers’ work look too much like Greg Capullo so switching from flashbacks to present day is a little jarring. Chris Sotomayor’s colors do highlight the otherworldly mystique of Gemworld as Conner is transported there from a mysterious room in STAR Labs. It’s a quick, simple way to discuss his whereabouts without getting caught in a continuity jam.

So, if the Superboy and Impulse parts of Young Justice #3 are entertaining, slightly mysterious, and character driven albeit with some awkward art transitions, the scenes with the rest of the team are extremely boring. Except for a splash page of Wonder Girl, Tim Drake, and the rest of Young Justice battling the Gemworld warriors, it’s mostly them just complaining while being trapped in dungeons and remarking on how weird reality is. There’s nothing much to look at, and thankfully, there is just a few pages.

With the entire team captive, Brian Michael Bendis, Patrick Gleason, and Viktor Bogdanovic do have the team in quite a pickle though, and I’m interested to see some of the flashbacks that show Conner’s life as a family man in Gemworld. And as long as it’s a good story, continuity doesn’t matter. Young Justice #3 is compelling as a Superboy solo issue, but sometimes the art doesn’t mesh and the check-in with the rest of Young Justice is either rushed or unnecessary.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Patrick Gleason and Viktor Bogdanovic
Inks: Jonathan Glapion
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez, Chris Sotomayor, and Hi-Fi
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual and Josh Reed
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC/Wonder Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Naomi #2

Naomi #2

The most startling and intriguing mystery in the DC Universe continues as Naomi searches to uncover the secrets of her own origin. What do her small town’s oversized mechanic and the last time a super-powered person appeared in her hometown have to do with the day she was adopted?

Naomi #2 continues the excellence of the first issue building on the mystery but focusing on an emotional center that really drives the comic. Written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker, Naomi isn’t a flashy series about tights and punching bad guys, instead it focuses on what appears to be an average person trying to figure out her role in a world filled with gods.

Bendis and Walker brilliantly play up Naomi’s adoption, with the use of Superman, creates a nice contrast. There’s clearly more to Naomi’s story, some seems to hinted at here. And, there’s an interesting story to be told in the differences between two adopted characters. If Naomi is the child of a hero or villain, how does her being raised differ than Superman? That seems to be the direction that Bendis and Walker are going.

The art by Jamal Campbell, with lettering by Carlos M. Mangual, is fantastic. There’s something that pops here and there’s pages that are amazing to look at. Campbell’s style just has a energy about it that fits Naomi’s story perfectly. The character designs are top notch. For a series that’s more Scooby-Doo than anything, the art is stellar with a fantastic flow and pacing.

Two issues and this series is fantastic. It’s building a mystery that I want to find out about. It’s not a chore like some reads where you just want to find out the answer, this is one that you can easily become invested in as it blends superheroics and a simple question. I want to know about Naomi’s past. The team is delivering a comic that’s all about the mystery but is filled with emotion and one of the best new characters in some time.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker Art: Jamal Campbell
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Female Furies #1

Head to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World as Granny Goodness, Big Barda, Aurelie, Mad Harriet, Lashina, Bernadeth, and Stompa look for respect from Darkseid and his Elite.

Female Furies #1 is by Cecil Castellucci, Adriana Melo, Hi-Fi, and Carlos M. Mangual.

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla Special #1

It’s a fifth week and DC again is bringing together their characters with classic Hanna-Barbera. In this issue, Magilla Gorilla is framed for murder and Nightwing must help him solve the case. Plus, a bonus story featuring Secret Squirrel.

Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla Special #1 is by Heath Corson, Tom Grummett, Tom Derenick, Cam Smith, Andy Owens, Pete Pantazis, Carlos M. Mangual, J.M. DeMatteis, Tom Mandrake, Hi-Fi, and Travis Lanham.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Exclusive Preview: Sideways #5

Sideways #5

Written by: Justin Jordan
Art by: Robert Gill
Color: John Rauch
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover by: Kenneth Rocafort
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Editor: Katie Kubert
Assistant Editor: Dave Welgosz
U.S. Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: June 13, 2018

After the devastating loss of one of the most important people in his life, Derek James tries to throw himself into being the hero Sideways to distract himself. Unfortunately, new villain the Showman has arrived to tear those wounds right back open.

Review: The Unexpected #1

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got a new series for the New Age of Heroes!

The Unexpected #1 is by Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, Mick Gray, Wade von Grawbadger, FCO Plascencia, and Carlos M. Mangual.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got Aquaman and Jabberjaw teaming up!

Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1 is by Dan Abnett, Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy, Rain Beredo, Carlos M. Mangual, Gabe Eltaeb, Joshua Middleton, Liz Erickson, Jim Chadwick and Captain Caveman story by Jeff Parker, Scott Kolins, and Dave McCaig.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Dark Days the Road to Metal

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the collection that gets you caught up for Metal!

Dark Days the Road to Metal features Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Final Crisis #6-7, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1, Batman #38-39, and Nightwing #17 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita, Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, Danny Miki, Alex SInclair, Jeremiah Skipper, Steve Wands, Grant Morrison, Doug Mahnke, J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy, Jesus Merino, Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Walden Wong, Pete Pantazis, Tony Avina, Rob Clark, Jr., Travis Lanham, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Guy Major, Jared K. Fletcher, Brad Anderson, Greg Capullo, FCO Placencia, Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas, Marilyn Patrizia, and Rian Hughes.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores May 22. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: The Immortal Men #2

“The End of Forever” part two! Following the destruction of their base of operations, the Immortal Men find themselves on the defensive! Their only hope rests with an emerging metahuman named Caden Park—but the evil Conquest has gotten to Caden first! Will the remaining few battle-ravaged Immortal Men be able to rescue their young would-be savior? And what connection do Caden’s tactile telepathic abilities have to the survival of humanity?

In The Immortal Men #2, things escalate for Caden as he runs from both his would-be protectors and the ones who want him dead. There’s a certain Terminator aspect in that way and it’s a trope that we’ve seen before. Storytellers James Tynion IV and Ryan Benjamin give us something a little different as he also uses this issue to explain the various characters and world a little more. Through the details of action or just outright dialogue, we learn more about each character, their powers, and whats’ going on. And, it’s packed with a lot of action through it all.

The art by Benjamin, inker Richard Friend, and colorist David Baron amplifies the action and really creates a frenetic pacing through the issue. As stated above it all also helps us be introduced to the various characters as we learn more about their powers and origins. Letterer Carlos M. Mangual is also important as some of the lettering actual creates a better understanding of who and what these characters are. Some have a specific style that creates greater depth and understanding of who they are. Through all of that action, the cast grows with more members of the House of Conquest. There is a sense of familiarity to characters that have come before whether on purpose or not, we’ll see. Some of the comic has a very 90s feel about it all.

The second issue sets a crazy pace as we’re introduced to more of this world and characters. There’s a lot packed in here and though the first two issues feel decompressed, they are also entertaining in what’s presented.

Story: James Tynion IV, Ryan Benjamin
Ink: Richard Friend Color: David Baron Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Nightwing #44: Working out on Chest and (throw) Back Day

*Mild spoiler whited out at the end*

I came to read this really interesting comic — Nightwing #44 “The Bleeding Edge” part one because everyone’s favorite comics PR guy Clark Bull tweeted:

Now, I tend to choose which superhero comics to read based on the writer and artist working on them rather than because of the particular characters in it. A great creative team can make anything work, yes even Deathstroke. I was previously unfamiliar with Christopher Mooneyham (pencils) and Benjamin Percy (writer), Nick Filardi (colors) and Carlos M. Mangual (letters). But as a critic who analyzes art through a feminist and queer lens I’ve developed an academic interest in Dick Grayson.

Grayson is one of the only male characters that straight male creative teams have frequently offered up to the androphilic gaze. In layperson’s terms– Nightwing is a rare character that even straight men deliberately depict with the intent to make readers find him sexy and that many readers who are attracted to men see as sexy, even before the creators came around to the idea. Meanwhile, almost every female character is drawn to appeal to the male gaze, even lesbian characters. I, as a queer person, might find some of those female characters hot too– but that is a side effect, they were not depicted with my gaze in mind.

Nightwing exists in a critically interesting space for these reasons. And if Clark tells me to watch for Discowing worthy visual tributes in Nightwing #44, sure I’ll check it out.

What I found was a comic full of early 80s visual cues– everything from John Romita Jr-esque squared-off lips and Klaus Jansen/Frank Miller gritty but pretty action filled pencils to subways with 1980’s level graphitti. Even Dick’s haircut is early 80’s compliant, and flattering (see 50% of Duran Duran).

And what is this utterly Bronze Age Nightwing doing? He’s complaining about our modern relationship with the portable internet. Which is seems in-character. He’s also using his newly modified escrima sticks exactly like Daredevil uses his batton, ricocheting it around the subway car. It even has a break in the center for grappling hook use, like Murdock’s primary mode of transportation.

Was there a rift in the multiverse through which a dimension-hopping Dick got to replicate Matt Murdock’s batton? Were Grayson’s escrima sticks always like that and I just never noticed before because the art wasn’t so similar to what I associate with my favorite old Daredevil comics? I’d never connected Daredevil and Nightwing till now despite their shared acrobatic skills and handsome figures. But maybe the brooding and emotionally damaged Matt Murdock– the Worst Boyfriend in Comics™– isn’t so different after all from the joyful and emotionally intelligent Dick Grayson — the Best Ex-Boyfriend in Comics.

Halfway into the issue we are greeted with a shirtless and unshorn Dick Grayson stretched out on the coach. I appreciate the unshorn which is especially realistic if we’re doing an 80s throwback aesthetic. His body language is open as we look down on him from above.

You know what? We deserve artist Chris Mooneyham’s Dick Grayson lying shirtless on a couch. The recognition that men can be the subject of our sexual desires and that people might want to look at them being sexy is still a pretty radical proposition in superhero comics. It was part of the recent Grayson series’ success and it is actually part of the story here.

Unlike many of the random semi nude women in comics it makes sense for Dick to be shirtless. He’s at home relaxing in a bright window while flirting with his on again off again. Grayson’s anatomy while rare, is within the range of things a body can be.  And that’s good. Physically impossible figures are honestly not sexy to me. He doesn’t have the dead-eyed objectivized look we often see on shirtless women when drawn by men. He’s clearly in thought here. Look, I like semi clothed women as much as the next person who’s sexualy attracted to women. But it shouldn’t always be women. That’s not a balanced diet and its hurting storytelling.

This art is a helpful reminder that sexy art is best served by being character driven, by having a torso that accommodates lungs and a gastrointestinal system, non-fictional muscles, and even has body hair (women have body hair too, I know this may be shocking to some men who’ve never been naked with a woman IRL). I’m not suggesting that a character needs to look like Dick does here in order to be sexy. I want to see all sorts of bodies and genders represented on the page, especially the acknowledgement that bodies that deviate from Hollywood norms are desirable too. Why are no characters drawn like Katie King or Ximena Santos from Raven the Pirate Princess in the DCU or Marvel?

Anyway….

Dick’s legendary chemistry with Barbara Gordon is in full display here — the juxtaposed panels of their phone conversation establish a visual flirtation between the two characters. They may be in different apartments talking on the phone but their eye lines across the gutters keep them flirting even more than their dialog does.

One thing I could do without is the heavy deli owner being drawn as a slob. It’s an anti-fat stereotype and below this comic’s intelligence.

Mild spoiler (highlight the text)

In the end, as with many great things of the 1980s, this story ends in body horror. I won’t say how. As a huge fan of the works of David Cronenberg I say hooray!

In conclusion Nightwing #44’s virtues include:

  • Early 1980s Daredevil aesthetics
  • Shirtless Dick Grayson drawn just for you and me
  • A villain who uses technology in creative ways
  • Light social commentary
  • An easy jumping on point for new readers of the series, like me

That’s good promise from just a single issue of a new character arc in an existing series. Sure, I’ll keep checking out Nightwing– literally and figuratively. You should too! We deserve it.PS: For an extremely thoughtful and historically centered look at the way Dick Grayson has been depicted in comics read the essential Meg Downey’s essay In Defense of Dick Grayson: Objectification, Sexuality, and Subtext.

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