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Milestone Returns and Truth & Justice are Today’s New Digital Release Highlights

There’s four new digital comic relases on comiXology. Get new comics from Harlequin and DC Comics. You can get shopping now or check out the individual releases below.

Milestone Returns (2021-) #0

Written by Reginald Hudlin
Pencils ChrisCross, Denys Cowan, Jim Lee
Inks Juan Castro, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Bill Sienkiewicz
Colored by Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Denys Cowan
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At long last – the return of the legendary Milestone Comics imprint has kicked into high gear! This jumping-on point one-shot features twenty-four all-new pages chronicling the events of the Big Bang – the police-brutality protest gone wrong that changed the face of the city of Dakota forever, by unleashing a wave of superpowers across its population! As the world watches, a bullied teenager will become the hero known as STATIC… a framed scientist will go on the run as the superweapon HARDWARE… and a stranded alien will meet an ambitious young woman who will transform his life, and remake the pair as the all-powerful ICON & ROCKET!

Also included is the 17-page primer story originally released during the world-famous DC FanDome event, further expanding on our heroes’ origins and where they’re going next… and setting up an entire world of allies, enemies, and surprises!

The original Milestone changed the face of superhero comics forever, introducing the industry to a wave of Black talent who still shape the conversation… and the new Milestone intends to raise the bar! Get on board here!

Milestone Returns (2021-) #0

Truth & Justice (2021-) #8

Written by Danny Lore
Pencils Ray-Anthony Height, Adriana Melo
Inks Ray-Anthony Height, Joe Prado
Colored by Wil Quintana
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Save Yourself Part 2 – John Constantine and Papa Midnite have a long and strained relationship with each other and their past is about to catch up with them!

Truth & Justice (2021-) #8

Act Of Betrayal

Written by Sara Craven
Art by Miho Tomoi
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Laura, a chef, is hurriedly cooking a lunch to entertain her uncle’s business client and soon discovers that the client’s new president is her ex-husband, Jason. How did an unsuccessful artist become the president of a big company? When the memories of his betrayal and her ill-fated marriage come back to haunt her, Laura flees. But her uncle pleads with her to forget about the past for the sake of his troubled business. Is there more to the story of her tragic marriage than Laura is aware of?

Act Of Betrayal

Ttrahison

Written by Charlotte Lamb
Art by Kuremi Hazama
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Elle se réveille dans une magnifique maison en bord de mer, un homme qu’elle n’a jamais vu est endormi juste à côté d’elle ! Elle n’arrive pas à se souvenir comment elle a pu atterrir ici et elle réalise peu à peu qu’elle a perdu la mémoire. Alors qu’elle prend conscience de son malheur, l’homme à ses côtés lui explique qu’il est Muir Igram, le propriétaire de l’hôtel dans lequel elle se trouve, et qu’il souhaitait l’aider quand il l’a vue allongée sur la plage, inconsciente. Acceptant son aide, elle travaille pour lui en tant que secrétaire, mais au fur et à mesure, elle commence à se dire qu’elle ne retrouvera peut-être plus jamais la mémoire…

Ttrahison

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Review: Dark Nights: Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme!

Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme!

Dark Nights: Death Metal has been a mixed bag of an event. Often, the one-shot tie-ins have been better than the main series. They’ve also been vital to the main story. The one-shots have filled in gaps fleshing out key moments not taking place in the main series but referenced there. Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is Lobo’s mission in the event. Hired by Lex Luthor, Lobo is tasked with obtaining Death Metal which can remake the universe. Made up of a trio of stories, Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is a flimsy one-shot. In the end, it’s a comic that’s neither exciting, interesting, or funny.

Frank Tieri kicks off the first story “Part I: The Batman Who Frags“. In a drawn out sequence, Lobo bounces between trying to drink, capture a bounty, and also tangles with the Lobo version of Batman, The Batman Who Frags. Tieri is joined by artist Tyler Kirkham, colorist Arif Prinato, and letterer Dave Sharpe. As has hampered some of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the story feels like it’s more focused on introducing the Lobo Batman than actually getting the story going. With a distraction of a bounty to bring in, some fights and events that are a bit choppy, the kick-off never quite makes sense in its narrative. Why did The Batman Who Frags show up? How did he find Lobo? It’s a segment that kicks off a series of events rather than a flowing narrative.

The second part by Becky Cloonan, artist Rags Morales, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Rob Leigh is titled “What the Frag is a Death Metal Anyway!?“. Blackhawk Island and Hawkman are at the center as Lobo tracks down the Death Metal. Again, the story devolves into a series of events than narrative as Lobo must tussle with Black Monday and then convince Hawkman to turn over the metal. An attack from the air by The Batman Who Frags feels out of the blue and not explained enough as much of what happens. It, just happens. Why would Hawkman trust Lobo? Why wouldn’t Hawkman use the power of the Death Metal himself? There are so many questions out there that just kills the narrative if one takes a moment to think about it at all.

Wrapping up the trio of stories is “Lobo Land!” from writer Sam Humphries, artist Denys Cowan, inks by Bill Sienkiewicz, colorist Chris Sotomayor, and letterer Dave Sharpe. With the Death Metal in hand Lobo does what he does best and gets distracted. Again, it adds little to the narrative and again opens up questions. Lex Luthor was able to snatch Lobo initially but doesn’t once he has the metal?

Instead, Brainiac is part of the story sent by a missing Luthor. It’s a series of jokes as Lobo changes realities creating different versions of himself in a series of one-page jokes. They’re not even long enough to nail down the joke with barely a setup. It also adds little to the story and feels more of an exit that’s created because there were pages to fill and unsure of a way to wrap up the issue for Dark Nights: Death Metal #5. What the team does evoke is classic Lobo stories and the kinetic, almost Mad Magazine-like rapid-fire jokes.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is just an ok tie-in. Yes, it probably tells something important that won’t be covered in the main series but it also doesn’t feature enough to stand out. It feels like something that probably could have been told in a few pages stretched out to over 30. Most of it is filler with the meat of the story featuring little explanation and a resolution that takes place in a few panels. It’s about as filler as filler gets.

Story: Frank Tieri, Becky Cloonan, Sam Humphries Art: Tyler Kirkham, Rags Morales, Denys Cowan
Ink: Bill Sienkiewicz Color: Arif Prianto, Andrew Dalhouse, Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Rob Leigh
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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CANCELED: Comic Creators Come Together to Raise Money for Biden for President on Thursday, October 22

Unfortunately, the event has been canceled. You can still donate to Biden for President and, with less than two weeks to go, there’s still time to volunteer and help get out the vote.


Avengers Assemble!!! Wait, that’s another fundraiser. This Thursday, October 22, comic creators are coming together for a “Virtual Comic Panel” to raise money to benefit Joe Biden for President’s Victory Fund.

The panel will be moderated by Bob Harrison and features Mark Waid, Ron Marz, Greg Pak, Peter Krause, Heather Antos, Chris Sotomayor, Jamal Igle, David Gallaher, Andrew Dalhouse, Bekah Caden, Rich Douek, Richard Clark, Pete Pantazis, Steve Orlando, Cullen Bunn, and Alex Sanchez.

It features panelists from across the comic creation process.

The event takes place October 22 at 6pm EDT/3pm PDT.

The event has five donation tiers ranging from $50 general admission tickets to a $5,600 VIP level that includes a one-on-one video chat with a panel guest, writing critique or portfolio review.

Video conferencing details will be sent to all confirmed participants 24-48 hours prior to the event. Reasonable accommodations, such as closed captioning, will be available at request after RSVP.

ComiXology Delivers 4 New Digital Comics from DC Comics and Harlequin

ComiXology has four new digital comics for you today! Harlequin has two romance manga and DC has two new DC Digital First comics! Get them now or check out the individual issues below!

Callaghan’s Bride

Written by Diana Palmer
Art by Nanao Hidaka
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On the huge Texas ranch that’s run by the Hart brothers, Tess can’t understand why the second oldest brother, Callaghan, is always so cold to her. But it takes only one act of kindness from him to make her fall in love. One day, the two end up sharing a surprising and passionate kiss. So why does the much older Callaghan still keep pushing her away?

Callaghan's Bride

Luc’s Revenge

Written by Catherine George
Art by Maoko Nagasaki
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One day, Portia, a real estate agent, receives a call. It’s a request to see Turret House. As soon as she hears that, she feels light-headed. It’s the one place she never wants to visit ever again. When she arrives there, a sexy man with a smile on his face is waiting for her…

Luc's Revenge

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red #5

Written by Riley Rossmo
Pencils Riley Rossmo
Inks Riley Rossmo
Colored by Riley Rossmo
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“The Life and Death of Harley Quinn”
It’s the history of the life, the universe, and everything as told by HARLEY QUINN! From the big bang all the way to the end of the world! This one has got it all! Spaceships, parades, prison breaks, copious amounts of costume changes and most importantly: Harley, Harley, and more Harley!

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red #5

Shazam!: Lightning Strikes #2

Written by Phil Hester, Louise Simonson
Pencils Bret Blevins, Eric Gapstur
Inks Bret Blevins, Eric Gapstur
Colored by David Baron, Chris Sotomayor
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Story 1 – Pedro takes his new crossing guard responsibilities very seriously. But when disaster strikes, can he keep his Shazam Family identity a secret and keep his classmates safe?

 Story 2 – A mysterious glowing artifact proves to be the perfect power source for Eugene’s robotics project—until it grants his robot a life of its own! Now Eugene must dismantle the rogue battlebots before they destroy Fawcett High…and to do it, he’ll need the helpof his greatest rival!

Shazam!: Lightning Strikes #2

Preview: Shazam!: Lightning Strikes #2

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2

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On the Job!” by Louise Simonson, Bret Blevins, Chris Sotomayor, and Marshall Dillon

Pedro takes his new crossing guard responsibilities very seriously. But when disaster strikes, can he keep his Shazam Family identity a secret and keep his classmates safe?

Destroying Eugene Choi” by Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, David Baron, and Marshall Dillon

A mysterious glowing artifact proves to be the perfect power source for Eugene’s robotics project—until it grants his robot a life of its own! Now Eugene must dismantle the rogue battlebots before they destroy Fawcett High…and to do it, he’ll need the helpof his greatest rival!

Shazam!: Lightning Strikes #2

Preview: Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

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Disguises” by Robert Venditti, Isaac Goodhart, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham

Harley reluctantly agrees to meet with an old roommate from med school and finds herself considering the paths not taken. Turns out, she wasn’t missing much.

The Killing” by John Layman, Cully Hamner, Dave McCaig, and Justin Birch

Huntress is on the trail of a mobster on the lam, but her mission turns into a race when another bounty hunter joins the fray. And it’s no ordinary gun for hire—it’s none other than Deathstroke!

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

DC Reveals this Week’s DC Digital First Releases

DC’s Digital First continues this week with another installment of Shazam: Lightning Strikes, plus the return of Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice and a new story in Superman: Man of Tomorrow! These three, plus today’s Batman: Gotham Nights featuring a story by Tom Taylor and Daniel Sampere, give fans even more choice of characters while expanding DC’s digital publishing line with original stories.

And don’t forget to watch for the fifth chapter of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red on Friday, July 24!

Monday July 20

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #12

Superman’s Day Off” by Robert Venditti, Scott Hepburn, Ian Herring, and Dave Sharpe
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Metropolis is without the Man of Steel for a day and villains are coming out of the woodwork to take advantage. Can the city stand against the many threats? And where is Supeman?!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #12

Tuesday July 21

Batman: Gotham Nights #14

Purchase

Bad News” by Tom Taylor, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Adriano Lucas, and Tom Napolitano.

Deathstroke is hired to take out the only witness to a corrupt politician’s mob ties, but his newest mark has some friends in high places…

Monster” by Frank Tieri, Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano

A surprise during a bank robbery brings back old memories for Killer Croc. But he’s not that bullied, defeated kid from the freakshow anymore…he’s something much worse.

Batman: Gotham Nights #14

Wednesday July 22

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Purchase

Disguises” by Robert Venditti, Isaac Goodhart, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham

Harley reluctantly agrees to meet with an old roommate from med school and finds herself considering the paths not taken. Turns out, she wasn’t missing much.

The Killing” by John Layman, Cully Hamner, Dave McCaig, and Justin Birch

Huntress is on the trail of a mobster on the lam, but her mission turns into a race when another bounty hunter joins the fray. And it’s no ordinary gun for hire—it’s none other than Deathstroke!

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Friday July 24

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2

Purchase

On the Job!” by Louise Simonson, Bret Blevins, Chris Sotomayor, and Marshall Dillon

Pedro takes his new crossing guard responsibilities very seriously. But when disaster strikes, can he keep his Shazam Family identity a secret and keep his classmates safe?

Destroying Eugene Choi” by Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, David Baron, and Marshall Dillon

A mysterious glowing artifact proves to be the perfect power source for Eugene’s robotics project—until it grants his robot a life of its own! Now Eugene must dismantle the rogue battlebots before they destroy Fawcett High…and to do it, he’ll need the helpof his greatest rival!

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2

Review: Acursian #2

Acursian

As a longtime fan of Wonder Woman, I was glad to see the live-action interpretation on the big screen. I had heard of the last attempt at a TV show, which excited me because of who played her but disappointed once the script leaked online. Most people my age group remember the after school reruns of the show that Linda Carter starred in. Then there was her part in Superfriends, which gave her a bit of dimension that wasn’t on the live-action show.

Then I saw the animated movie done in 2009, which the most current movie, borrows heavily from. That was the hero that I grew up reading in comic books. The first time I saw Themiscyra it was everything I imagined it would be and more. In the second chapter of Acursian, we find a bit of the mythology which shares some powerful roots much like Wonder Woman and the Amazons.

We are taken to the Isle of Shadows where the witches reside as well as every young witch in this world. As we meet some young witches, Effie, Ceillech, Connell, and Bregon, one who will be queen one day, as they play with their pets as we find out that they hold powerful talismans which controls the passage of time. As Bregon goes on a hunt with his hunting dog, a terrible accident occurs, leaving him to use the dagger of time to bring her back but at a terrible cost. By issue’s end, in modern-day, the dagger of time, has wreaked havoc, causing Charlie’s father to take drastic measures.

Overall, an exciting issue which ups the ante. The story by the creative team is awesome. The art by the creative team is incandescent. Altogether, a story which ratchets up the action, every single time.

Story: John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Erika Lewis Art: Beni Lobel and Tommy Lee Edwards
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Acursian #1

ACURSIAN #1

The power of karma cannot ever be understated. One can look at it as fate, where one can control their destiny up to a point. You can do everything right and it can still go wrong at the end. One such impressive and sorrowful exposition of this concept is in the season finale of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

Throughout the first season of the show, we find the protagonist using her newfound gift to solve the problems of those closest to her and strangers. This, of course, changed in the season finale when she could not do anything to help her father’s ultimate demise, something she knew was coming and had to accept no matter what she did, sometimes bad things happen to good people. In the debut issue of Acursian, we find a protagonist who has a made life until he gets cursed with an old Celtic legend.

We open on three birds who we find out are actually old Celtic witches, who ascend on Charlie Stewart, a successful lawyer after a late night/early morning tryst. The witches looking at his charmed existence decides to change everything through a curse. We find out the night before, in Chicago, his father, Jock, awakened a Celtic god, unleashing an unparalleled evil. By the issue’s end, a series of unfortunate events leads him to question everything.

Overall, an engaging debut issue which this team masterfully crafts. The story by John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Erika Lewis is thrilling. The pencils by Beni Lobel and design by Tommy Lee Edwards is luminous. Altogether, a story which pushes boundaries and adds to the canon of fine storytelling.

Story: John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Erika Lewis Art: Beni Lobel and Tommy Lee Edwards
Color: Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3

THE QUESTION: THE DEATHS OF VIC SAGE #3

After a five-month hiatus, The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3 returns the series with an issue that would make the late Denny O’Neil proud. Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor expertly combine a 1940s film noir story with the not-so-zen cycle of death and regeneration that Charles Szasz/Vic Sage/The Question has been on over the previous three issues. The genre story with an O’Neil-esque social conscience plus growing conspiracy and mysterious ending is a winning formula to go with Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor’s scratchy, impressionistic visuals. Even though these scripts and maybe even pages were banked long before the current conflict between activists and the police over their murder of Black people and general abuse of power, The Question #3 fits into the zeitgeist with a sequence of corrupt Hub City cops beating striking factory workers and protecting the easy, exploitative lives of Hub’s one percenters. In the past, I may have said that Hub City symbolizes the American id, but it’s a mirror to American reality with period piece trappings like Dashiell Hammett narration, panels of old newspapers whispering about another world war and featuring Golden Age crime fighters, and lots of close-ups of alcoholic beverages. The sleazy Howard Chaykin-esque (He draws this issue’s variant cover) supporting figures add to this feeling of dirtiness and depravity.

Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor have done the 1980s urban vigilante (Watchmen, Dark Knight, the O’Neil/Cowan Question run) and Western genres in the previous two issues of The Question and dig into the noir detective story in The Question #3. It’s evident that all three artists are having fun with lots of spot blacks, eye-catching visual flourishes like the red hair of Sage’s client, Maggie Fuller, and the all-important chiarascuro lighting from desk lamps and cigarettes. The Question is stylish and filled with verbal/visual irony like when Sage monologues about getting close to solving the case while some union-busting toughs are sneaking up on him to beat him up. And though the story is set decades before The Question’s creation, the page is crammed full with signatures of the character, like smoke rings and investigation boards with string between them even if Sage is mostly unmasked for the comic’s duration.

The cherry on top is Jeff Lemire’s approach to dialogue and captions. One of things that I like about Lemire (And why Marvel, DC, Valiant etc. keep bringing him in to refresh their various intellectual properties.) is that he never gets in his own way and adapts his style to the genre or type or story that he’s writing in. This is why Black Hammer is so clever and superhero genre tour de force/world tour, and he transfers this over to The Question #3 bringing the 1940s to 2020 with the help of Willie Schubert’s typewriter lettering. His dialogue is tommy gun fast with Sage cutting to the quick of the situation until he gets knocked upside the head. But then Cowan and Sienkiewicz are there with the reminder that Sage’s mentor-in-the-shadows Richard Dragon is a martial arts master, and the tone shifts from Maltese Falcon to Enter the Dragon. They use the whole page to show Sage’s fluid fighting moves, which aren’t like your average “put up your dukes” private eye and are a good transition to get a glimpse at one of Vic Sage’s other lives/deaths.

THE QUESTION: THE DEATHS OF VIC SAGE #3

But The Question #3 isn’t merely an interesting genre exercise or visual masterclass. (The Denys Cowan/Bill Sienkiewicz pencil/ink process pages at the end make the extra money spent on this issue worth it and will look glorious in the magazine-size Black Label format.) It’s an ode to the violently socially conscious and anti-establishment of the late 1930s and early 1940s without the racial stereotypes of those Golden Age books. The plot of The Question #3 is Sage taking on basically a pro-bono missing person case, and that missing person just happens to be both a union organizer and the brother of another union organizer. Like he usually does, Sage thinks he connect everything to one big conspiracy, but with the shifting timelines and eternal corruption of the police force of Hub City, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Lemire and Cowan’s use of flashbacks isn’t confusing, but shows that there’s no simple answer to the problems that Vic Sage is facing. Because we’re still getting fucked over by corporations in 2020 like we are in the early 1940s. (If not more so thanks to a steady string of Republican and “centrist” Democrat heads of state.)

Like that infinitely memeable Alan Moore quote about conspiracies, Vic Sage’s faith that “everything is connected” as Jeff Lemire so aptly puts is a child’s blanket (Or prayer) in the face of a hurricane because, as Moore states, “the world is rudderless”. Lemire, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor show the loose and futile nature of Sage’s faith in underlying order through non-linear storytelling and a series of catastrophes to match the impressionist, scratchy art and muted palette. The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3 is the best issue of the series yet, and I’m excited to see how they put all the threads, timelines, Vic Sages, Questions, and questions in The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage‘s finale

Story: Jeff Lemire Pencils: Denys Cowan  Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors: Chris Sotomayor Letters: Willie Schubert
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.3 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

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


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