Tag Archives: Comics

Review: DCeased: Dead Planet #1

DCeased: Dead Planet #1

When it comes to the DCeased storyline, DC Comics has been nailing the concept. They’ve done well to add to the story as opposed to giving us follow-ups that feel like they’re just an attempt to cash in on the idea. We’ve gotten the excellent DCeased: Hope at World’s End digital series and the latest, DCeased: Dead Planet #1, which kicks off the latest volume.

Five years have passed since the events of DCeased. The survivors of Earth have found a new home on a new planet, Earth-2 and have begun to build a new society. A Justice League has formed to protect what remains not just from the threat they escaped but others they face. Cyborg, decapitated but alive, sends out a distress call which the remaining heroes hear and decide to investigate.

Lets get the bad of DCeased: Dead Planet #1 out of the way. The comic is predictable and foreshadows things WAY too much. In that way it plays with tropes, cliches, and genres but doesn’t offer anything really new there. While some of it might be surprising as to when it happens, none of it is surprising at all.

What’s good is, Tom Taylor delivers a solid comic that while it’s familiar in plot, does it really well. While the original DCeased felt like Taylor’s play on the zombie genre, DCeased: Dead Planet #1 feels more like it riffs of science fiction. The issue seems to take its inspiration from films like Alien and Aliens more so than Romero. It’s an interesting direction for the first issue that’s unexpected and quite welcome in many ways. We see that we’re going to get something different instead of “another zombie story.” That alone raises the entertainment of the issue which otherwise wears a bit too much on its sleeve.

The art by Trevor Hairsine delivers. With ink by Gigi Baldassini and Stefano Gaudiano, color by Rain Beredo, and lettering by Saida Temofonte, the look of the comic captures that shift from horror/zombie to sci-fi/tense. What the team captures really well is the time that has passed. Characters look older and more worn down. The two worlds feel like they’re struggling in multiple ways. It’s small choices that are solid and some really interesting scenes that deliver some emotional punch over the cliches.

And that’s the issue with the comic. It’s really entertaining and an excellent follow up to everything that has come before. The problem is too much of what happens is choreographed. The latter parts of the comic are predictable and aren’t surprising at all as they’re all foreshadowed at some point. But, it’s still a fun read and is a shift from the expected take on the zombie genre. If only it kept a bit more of its secrets and delivered real surprises.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Trevor Hairsine
Ink: Gigi Baldassini, Stefano Gaudiano Color: Rain Beredo Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.15 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Batman #94

Batman #94

With the previous arc over, Batman #94 acts as a bridge to the highly anticipated “Joker War” storyline. It’s an interesting issue that’s a bit cliche. The story really emphasizes how much the previous arc was really a setup of what’s to come. Written by James Tynion IV, Batman #94 feels like Tynion’s attempt to give us his own iconic moment. We don’t get Batman realizing he must strike terror in the heart of villains. Instead, we get a take that falls a bit flat.

Tynion takes us to the past as Bruce Wayne seeks out a teacher to help him become a greater detective. It’s an interesting beginning as it ties in a bit with the concept of the Designer whose arc just ended. Baker is another mentor for the character, one who’s “the world’s greatest detective.” With the name Baker, it’s not hard to figure out the inspiration for the character. It’s an interesting concept. The concept plays nicely into the previous arc and whose purpose is about the present and future.

Tynion is laying the seeds for his vision of Batman. In this case his statement is the character has been too cerebral and in doing so has missed things like the Joker’s latest move. It’s a line in the sand that is emphasized at the end that what we’ll see going forward is an evolution of Batman. This is a character who has relied on others like Alfred and Lucious Fox. With all of that failing, we’re going to get something that’s different in the months to come. This is a character who is both alone and also surrounded by friends and allies. Exactly what that is should be interesting but this issue lays out the vulnerabilities and faults of Batman as is.

It’s also that cliche of the hero confronting the villain over the phone. It’s a parlay of words that points us to the clash ahead and unfortunately feels like a waste of concept in this bridge to “Joker War.”

The art by Guillem March and Rafael Albuquerque is pretty good. There’s a clear difference in the styles that’s noticeable and does stand out. It’s not quite enough to derail the visuals but it’s a small bump in what has been a visually intriguing run. The color by David Baron and lettering by Clayton Cowles helps tie things together. The big letdown in the visuals is we never quite get the full picture of just how beaten and bruised Batman is. The man is clearly hurting and we’re told so multiple times but visually the character never really feels more than “bruised” while we’re to believe he could collapse or worse any minute. The physical toll is never sold visually.

The issue is an ok one and a step back in what has been a good run so far. The issue feels like it’s full of cliches and tropes that never quite standout. Add in plotlines it feels like we’ve seen before. There’s also groan-worthy moments that just feel like shallow attempts to recreate previous magic. Add in a lack of exciting visuals, the comic is a forgettable bridge to “Joke War.” Batman #94 isn’t a bad read at all but it also lacks the excitement or interesting ideas that Tynion has entertained us with so far.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Guillem March, Rafael Albuquerque
Color: David Baron Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Ash & Thorn #2

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Ash & Thorn #2 (AHOY Comics) – The first issue introduced us to an unlikely champion of Earth. The series seems to be having fun with expectations and tropes from that genre with a nice mix of humor to it.

DCeased: Dead Planet #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been doing some top-notch work when it comes to this pocket of stories and this return to the world is full of dread and heartbreak… and that’s just the first issue!

Eat and Love Yourself (BOOM! Studios) – Magic chocolate allows a young woman to revisit her past. The concept sounds really intriguing and creative.

Eight-Lane Runaways (Fantagraphics) – A new graphic novel about the world of running with a magical twist. We’re still not quite sure what this one’s about but the cover and description text has us wanting to find out more.

Empyre: Fantastic Four #0 (Marvel) – The first zero issue to come out of this anticipated event was solid and we’re excited to see what else is to come. What went from a shrug is now very intriguing.

Ginseng Roots #5 (Uncivilized Books) – One of the best comics out right now, Craig Thompson explores growing up in the world of ginseng.

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics (Ten Speed Press) – Tom Scioli’s biography of the great Jack Kirby.

Join the Future #3 (AfterShock) – This future western explores the idea of modernization and the exploitation that comes with it.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – The twist of the first issue was predictable but we really want to see where this noir/mystery goes.

Quantum & Woody #4 (Valiant) – The first three issues have been a whole lot of fun and we’re expecting the same from this finale.

Strange Academy #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was a lot of fun and we’ve been looking forward to seeing more of the series. Think young magic users at a school set in the Marvel universe.

ComiXology Has Nearly 100 Digital Comics For you Today

Elephantmen 2261

Tuesday is the new Wednesday, though Wednesday is still Wednesday, when it comes to new comics! ComiXology has you covered today with nearly 100 new comics for you to check out! See them all right now or check out the individual issues below.

Andrews McMeel

Coamix Inc.

comiXology Original

DC Comics

Fantagraphics

Batman #94

Harlequin

Humanoids

Kodansha

Nihonbungeisha

Papercutz

Printemps Publishing

Scholastic Graphix

Seven Seas

VIZ Media

Yen Press

Preview: The Green Lantern Season Two #5

The Green Lantern Season Two #5

Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Liam Sharp

In the latest issue of this 12-part miniseries, Green Lantern Hal Jordan must test the limits of his ring’s capabilities when he must take down two ruthless killers, each with the powers of Superman! Defying the will of the New Guardians, Hal finally finds his fugitive alien murderers: the deadly husband/wife team of Hyperman and Hyperwoman-but the consequences will be devastating! These super-spouses have already murdered one GL who tried to thwart their lust for cosmic power…and they won’t hesitate to do it again!

The Green Lantern Season Two #5

Preview: Batman #94

Batman #94

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Rafael Albuquerque, Guillem March

The Designer’s machinations have left Batman’s life in tatters! Gotham City’s ambitious rebuilding has skittered to a halt as new powers are rising to shape its destiny—and Batman is powerless to stop them! With no Alfred or Bat-Family to lean on, the Dark Knight stands alone against the ascendance of his greatest adversary!

Batman #94

Preview: The Terrifics #28

The Terrifics #28

Written by: Gene Luen Yang
Art: Sergio Davila

Simon Stagg is dead! After the cataclysmic events of last issue, the line of succession in the house of Stagg has fallen to the Terrifics’ ally Sapphire…or has it? Who is Sebastian Stagg, and what on Earth is he doing with the Parasite at his side? It’s science versus money as the Terrifics battle for the fate of the future!

The Terrifics #28

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 7/4

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Joe Hesh

Batman The Adventures Continue #7 (DC Digital) Now this is more like it! After the last few snoozefest issues finally we have something new. Really love how Azrael is introduced as an ally rather than a foe. His Azrael non Batman design rocks too. It is very reminiscent of the Phantasm design which I dig a lot. Also love the mock title cards that are homage to the original Batman The Animated Series. That is such a nice touch. Ty Templeton does such a great job keeping the characters on model and this issue was good to just have Bruce and Alfred at work without being bogged down by the rest of the fam. Seeing Catwoman show up too was such a joy. The animated series always seemed to get the Batman/Catwoman relationship right. Lot happened in this issue and we still have Jason Todd waiting in the wings. I am looking forward to what’s next. I got that old Bat feeling back! Mr. Dini and Mr. Burnett, don’t let me down! Score: 9 Verdict: Buy

Logan

The Boys: Dear Becky #2 (Dynamite) – The Boys: Dear Becky #2 is a marked improvement from the first issue with Garth Ennis and Russ Braun with silly dialogue galore and darkly, hilarious parodies of Thor and the Thunderbolts. However, they go deeper than these broad satires of megacorporations, superheroes as IP, and British tabloids and look at the addiction to violence that Butcher experiences in the past and Hughie does in the present day. These are men who have found good women, but maybe don’t deserve them with both Annie and Becky staying off-panel. Braun’s art in this issue really caught my eye as he goes from Butcher torturing a Thor-expy in a crematorium burner to using somber lighting and sober facial expressions for Hughie and Butcher to express their feelings. The comic The Boys just might work in 2020… Overall: 8 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

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