(W) Chip Zdarsky, Donny Cates, Ram V. (A) Ram V., More (CA) Marco Checchetto (VCA) Kyle Hotz Parental Advisory In Shops: Apr 21, 2021 SRP: $4.99
• The symbiotic slaughterfest continues, in the second installment of the stomach-churning study of ultraviolence called CARNAGE: BLACK, WHITE & BLOOD! • FIRST! The DAREDEVIL team of Chip Zdarsky & Marco Checchetto lends their brutal sensibilities to an eye-popping story pitting Carnage against THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN as you’ve never seen before! • THEN! Al Ewing, who’s brought a nigh-unthinkable level of body horror to the world of the IMMORTAL HULK, lends his terrifying talents to a tale – and if you thought his HULK stuff looked painful, you ain’t ready for what he’s done with Carnage! • BUT WAIT! Because you readers out there in Mighty Marveldom deserve the best, we’ve brought comics heavyweight RAM V aboard for a story sure to make your skin crawl!
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!
(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Pasqual Ferry (CA) Phil Noto Rated T+ In Shops: Apr 14, 2021 SRP: $4.99
WHAT IF PETER PARKER BECAME VENOM? Peter Parker once put on an alien suit that nearly destroyed his life – but what if he’d never taken it off? Ignoring every warning, Spidey embraces the dark symbiote! Haunted by terrible nightmares and exhausted by an endless barrage of bad guys, Peter can’t seem to catch a break these days. So when the Hobgoblin attacks, he finds a hero at the end of his rope…and vulnerable to new dark impulses. Spider-Man is about to change his rules – but is it truly Peter who is in charge? Creative powerhouses Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth bring you a terrifying tale of a Peter Parker possessed and on the edge!
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!
The Silver Coin #1by Eisner Award winning creative team Michael Walsh and Chip Zdarsky has sold out instantly upon release at the distributor level and is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with demand. This second printing will feature new cover artwork by Walsh.
Each issue of Silver Coin will tell a tale of terror in a shared supernatural world interwoven with common characters and overlapping stories. The series begins in 1978 with a failing rock band whose fortune suddenly changes when they find the mysterious Silver Coin. Little do they know that fame comes with a cost, and a curse is always hungry.
Subsequent issues of The Silver Coin will showcase the talents of Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, and Jeff Lemire.
The Silver Coin #1, second printing (Diamond Code FEB219272) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 5.
The Silver Coin #1 kicks off a new horror anthology revolving around… a silver coin. Taking place in 1978, The Silver Coin #1 follows a down on their luck rock band. With disco the popular music of the time, their sound doesn’t go over and they linger. Then, the guitarist finds a coin in a box which he uses as a pick for his playing. This small coin changes everything and soon they’re packing the house. But, like every good horror story, there’s a catch.
“The Ticket” is written by Chip Zdarsky who captures some tragic magic in his story. The characters aren’t likable but you still feel empathy for them. Things aren’t going well and despite the work, the band is lingering. This is something that so many of us experience in different ways. But, disco isn’t totally to blame for that and Zdarsky gives us enough friction that the eventual issues that arise aren’t surprising or come out of left field. He delivers an escalation to the finale that’s logical steps but nonetheless tragic.
Michael Walsh handles multiple roles providing the art, colors, and lettering. All of it is solid and Walsh’s style fits the rock and roll focus of the issue. There’s a grittiness to it that really fits the subject. But, it’s the subtle things that Walsh includes in his art that stand out. There are subtle hints at the tragedy to come as the story progresses that only adds to the sad tale. It’s these small details that really help build the horror vibe of it all. There’s also a focus on the story’s characters that really works. The art doesn’t play gotcha with unnecessary scares in the art. What it does is subtle and overall enhances the story.
The Silver Coin #1 is a solid start to an interesting anthology. The end I expect leads in to what’s next and has me wanting to read more. This series might work a bit better as graphic novel or trade but as presented it has you wanting to find out what happens next but also appreciate its one and done nature.
Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Michael Walsh Color: Michael Walsh Letterer: Michael Walsh Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
A fascinating retelling of the Spider-Man mythos set in real time, 2019’s Spider-Man: Life Story was a smash hit with fans and critics. This August, writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Mark Bagley will return with a new tale set in this amazing saga in Spider-Man: Life Story Annual #1!
Just like the original series, this special issue will offer a thought-provoking retrospective of the entire history of Spider-Man as if he had aged in real time since his 1962 debut, reframing Spider-Man’s greatest adventures, his tragic romance with Gwen Stacy, and his most iconic villains against the backdrop of key moments from each decade. And now, readers will see Spider-Man’s groundbreaking history told from a different point of view…
J. Jonah Jameson will do whatever it takes to make the world see that Spider-Man is nothing but a threat and a menace. Will the decades of his obsession bear fruit for Jonah … or be his destruction? Find out in Spider-Man: Life Story Annual #1 when it hits stands on August 4th! And stay tuned for information on the all-new Spider-Man: Life Story Hardcover collecting the entire series plus this exciting new entry, coming later this year.
Written by: Karl Kerschl, Becky Cloonan, Daniel Warren Johnson, Joshua Williamson, Chip Zdarsky Art by: Terry Dodson, Daniel Warren Johnson, Riley Rossmo, Nick Bradshaw
Gotham City’s past, present and future all come together to haunt the Dark Knight in exhilarating new stories from some of comics’ most noted luminaries as Batman Black & White continues!
• Eisner Award-winning writer Chip Zdarsky (Daredevil, Stillwater) and fan-favorite artist Nick Bradshaw (Wolverine & the X-Men, Spidey) team up for a story that brings Poison Ivy to the front door of Wayne Manor to demand ecological responsibility from Bruce Wayne!
• Superstar writer Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Batman/Superman, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad) pairs with superstar artist Riley Rossmo (Harley Quinn, Dark Nights: Death Metal: Robin King, Martian Manhunter) for a horrific night in Gotham as a new villain emerges, as seen through the eyes of Batman himself.
• Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Becky Cloonan (Wonder Woman, Gotham Academy) concocts a murder mystery for Batman to solve set at a circus, featuring art by legendary artist Terry Dodson (Wonder Woman, X-Men, Adventureman).
• Red-hot cartoonist Daniel Warren Johnson puts Batman at the mercy of Two-Face. Batman will have to remember the words of Alfred Pennyworth if he’s going to make it through this ordeal alive.
• Karl Kerschl, artist of Gotham Academy, writes and draws a tale of Batman investigating the occult mysteries of Gotham City’s past with his new Robin…Gotham Academy’s Maps Mizoguchi?!
Out on June 8, Batman: Urban Legends #4 features Grifter, Red Hood, Tim Drake, Luke Fox, and a story by Batwoman‘s Camrus Johnson.
The comic features:
The Penultimate chapter of the Grifter story is here! Grifter’s walking a deadly line between Lucius Fox and HALO’s plan…can he survive the endgame? Oh, and yeah, now Superman is after him!
As old wounds threaten to Sabotage Batman and Red Hood’s investigation into the Cheerdrop drug turning Gotham City upside down they run afoul of Gotham’s coldest criminal MR. FREEZE! And the force behind the Cheerdrops will be banking on the former dynamic duo’s demise…
TIM DRAKE has returned to the streets of Gotham City and is seeking a new purpose, but what he finds is a string of young adult kidnappings committed by someone known only as “The Chaos Monster” will Tim be able to get to the root of the kidnappings or will he fall prey to them? Critically acclaimed Future State Robin Eternal writer Meghan Fitzmartin returns to tell this Tim Drake story with rising star artist Belén Ortega
Acclaimed creator and actor Camrus Johnson writes an action-packed story featuring Luke Fox—the character he portrays on The CW’s hit television series BATWOMAN!
Batman: Urban Legends #4 will feature stories and art by Chip Zdarsky, Meghan Fitzmartin, Matthew Rosenberg, Camrus Johnson, Eddy Barrows, Belén Ortega, Ryan Benjamin, Marcus To, Eber Ferriera, and more, with a cover Jorge Molina and variant covers by Dustin Nguyen and Irvin Rodrigues.
As seen in TheLego 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 MarcusTo 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.
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.
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