Tag Archives: Comics

Preview: Blue Beetle #7

Blue Beetle #7

(W) Keith Giffen (A/CA) Scott Kolins
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $2.99

Missing families! Kids with superpowers! Mystical beings arriving in El Paso! Who or what has been behind the strange doings in Jaime Reyes’ hometown is about to be revealed. It’s a force so powerful that Dr. Fate has no choice but to team up with Blue Beetle – even though he still suspects that the Beetle might have some connection to the evil entity they must battle.

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Preview: Suicide Squad #14

Suicide Squad #14

(W) Rob Williams (A) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira (A/CA) John Romita, Richard Friend
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE” part four! Consumed by rage following the brutal murder of one of her Suicide Squad comrades, Harley Quinn goes AWOL on a one-(psychotic-)woman mission of vengeance against Rustam and his unstoppable new ally, the most dangerous foe Harley has ever faced: Deadshot.

Preview: Wonder Woman #19

Wonder Woman #19

(W) Greg Rucka (A/CA) Liam Sharp
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“The Truth” part three! Diana, Steve and Etta come face-to-face with their newest foes – the deadly group known as Poison! But what do they have to do with the plot to unravel Wonder Woman’s life?

Preview: Batman Beyond #6

Batman Beyond #6

(W) Dan Jurgens (A/CA) Bernard Chang
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“RISE OF THE DEMON” part one! A new world power that no one anticipated or recognizes is reengineering large swaths of the planet in the aftermath of Brother Eye’s destruction. Batman is drawn into this tale of global conquest after a violent visit from his old foe, Curaré. His only chance of success hinges on an old friend joining him in the fight that looms ahead.

Preview: Batgirl #9

Batgirl #9

(W) Hope Larson (A) Jonathan Lam (A/CA) Chris Wildgoose
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“SON OF THE PENGUIN” part three! Meeting your boyfriend’s parents is always stressful. But when by “parents” you mean “the Penguin” and by “meeting” you mean “punching in the face”… well then, you must be Batgirl! Babs gets to the bottom of Penguin’s involvement in Burnside and decides once and for all if Ethan is a hero or a villain.

Review: Suicide Squad #14

Rob Williams brought the heat in this action packed issue that brings the “Burning Down the House (Hit It)” story arc to a close and starts something off even better. Williams gives us a squad in chaos that’s dealing with some of its members capture and the death of one of its own. The Squad knows they’re no heroes but, they are a team and one thing that their team of baddies gone semi good does well is revenge. The death of Hack will be avenged and now that that there are no strings on Harley, we get to see one of our favorite bad asses going hard with her infamous mallet. There was sincere joy in my heart when she whipped that thing out and headed into battle.

Suicide Squad #14 starts off with Flag and Katana confined and being held captive by Rustam and his gang of goons, including the traitor Deadshot. This issue treats us to some peak Harley savagery on her quest to find out who killed Hack and her mission to make them pay, with or without the aid of the rest of the Squad. We get to see some action, self-pity, rage, a return and some pretty hardcore violence. All of the awesomeness a comic book lover could need packed into the pages of a single issue and, it is magnificent.

Eddy Barrows and John Romita Jr., serve up some pretty well thought out lines for the pivotal issue and they feel like an extra character giving some depth and realism to the amazing tale that Williams has written. There isn’t a line wasted, a blood splatter misplaced, or a brutalized body left lacking. The facial expressions on the characters add agency to their actions and tell more than words could every say, so even when the panels are devoid of words, the images speak volumes.

This issue is a beautifully well-written end of an arc and a perfectly plotted out start of a new one. A clear line has been drawn in the sand and allegiances are solidified and destroyed. There’s a lot going on in this episode and some pretty good surprises but, one of the things that really impressed me was the degree of talent in the story telling. This is one of those issues that those who are new to the story could pick up, still know what’s going on and want to not only follow along in the next issue but, maybe play catch up just so they have something to keep them occupied while they wait, for what’ll seem like the longest two weeks ever, for the next issue.

Story: Rob Williams Art: John Romita Jr. and Eddy Barrows
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Mother Panic #5

MotherPanicCoverMother Panic #5 is chock full of information about Violet Paige’s backstory that writer Jody Houser seeds between stake-outs, surreal and sad conversations with her mentally unstable mother, and a night at the club to keep up appearances. Houser, artist Shawn Crystal, and colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu create a blunt contrast between Mother Panic and her new ally Pretty where she wants to take out Gather House in as few moves and words as possible while Pretty waxes poetic and quotes Lewis Carroll. The main plot inches forward, but at the end of the issue, readers will have a fuller understanding of the pain that motivates Violet Paige to become Mother Panic as well as her moral code.

In his art, Crystal melds twisted, belongs-in-a-Tim Burton film figures (Especially Pretty.) with iconic layout choices like a juxtaposition of a deer in Violet’s rifle scope when she hunted with her dad and a child sleeping in the house that she is infiltrating. Violet will do anything and kill anyone who gets in the way of her revenge on the Gather House, which tortured her and made her into a Weapon X-like lab rat under the guise of her brother sending her to boarding school. But she draws the line at killing kids, which would make her no worse than Mother Patrick and the other doctors, nuns, and teachers, who were responsible for a childhood and adolescence full of torment. This is why they pop up as sharp toothed monsters in her flashbacks, which are almost always red courtesy of Beaulieu. Mother Panic truly has some demons that need exorcising.

Along with flashbacks and a botched team-up with Pretty, Mother Panic #5 has several MotherPanicInteriorscenes of conversation between Violet and her mother. Houser’s dialogue is stylish and full of Shakespearean and Carroll-eque non sequiturs, but the bond between mother daughter shows in Crystal’s body language for them. Violet is always unmasked when she talks with her mom and looks uneasy around her constantly trying to read and play along with her moods as she goes from anger to delirium and all the places in between. However, she also uses these chats with her mom to air out some deep emotions she has like a gnawing feeling of loneliness as Violet has no friends just a mission. Sure, she sleeps with both women and men, but only to get information on her next target or keep up her image as a vapid, hard partying socialite. Without her mom, Violet would be alone with her revenge.

Writer Jim Krueger and artists Phil Hester, Ande Parks, and Trish Mulvihill “Gotham Radio” backup story takes a turn for the compelling with the appearance of a fan favorite DC Comics, whose reveals is like slowly unwrapping your favorite Christmas present. Hester’s clean art and Krueger’s sometimes deadpan comedic dialogue give the story a laidback feel until it takes a turn for the dark (and awesome) at the end. A Batman-free Gotham detective story is definitely a treat, and I look forward to reading this mystery/commentary on vigilante justice and media alarmism in one sitting when it is all finished.

Jody Houser, Shawn Crystal, and Jean-Francois Beaulieu put Violet Paige’s ultraviolent crusade in psychologically scarring context in Mother Panic #5, which will make you want to give Mother Panic a hug before she pushes you off her and tells you to “Fuck off” before disappearing into Gotham’s dark night.

Story: Jody Houser Art: Shawn Crystal Colors: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

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

Review: Doom Patrol #5

doompatrol5aMINOR SPOILERS BELOW.

I can’t remember the last time that a comic was this bat #$%@ crazy, yet I begged for more. Doom Patrol #5 is a great example of what happens when talented creators double down on the ridiculous, and make something cohesive and beautiful within its own crazy world. I say creators because, a lot of the time, writers get more credit than artists, and with this book, it would be a crime to not treat Gerard Way and Nick Derington as equal powerhouses. Now that may be true with most comics, as the artist deserves a ton of credit since they are doing so much of the work we see on the page, but this comic marries the art and writing better than most in the entire medium.

The way Derington draws these books amazes me even more with each issue. It isn’t simply because of his super original yet instantly recognizable style, it’s because he brings them to life with every panel. The characters in this book are so zany, and feel right in line with past Doom Patrol comics. He draws  Cliff Steele punching Torminox in an iconic ode to Cap punching Hitler. It is beautiful. The entire book is filled with great moments that pop off the page and flow from panel to panel in a way not all comic books do. I am amazed that Derington finishes these issues (yes there have been some delays), but I can see why because they are packed with detail, are constantly changing locations, characters, tone, and sometimes even style. All while continuing to keep the charm that he brings to this series. Again, he is just as important as Way to this book, if not more. Tamra Bonvillain, while having one of the coolest names in comics, also colors the hell out of this comic. They bring these characters right off of the page with bright and deep tones that marry Derington’s artwork perfectly. The two work as a perfect tandem, and make each other’s work that much better.

Way nails these characters in the same way Morrison did. The tone is fun, fast, and ridiculous, and I couldn’t stop reading and flipping the page in anticipation of what would happen next, or to see if these characters that I love were okay. It takes a good writer to make me feel about characters like Robotman, The Negative Man, Casey, Ricardo, Flex, and Danny, but I do. That isn’t to say they aren’t great characters, but that I am completely buying into them as people, and that’s crazy, well because this book shouldn’t feel real. It’s nuts, but in a good way. Again, there have been some real good Doom Patrol runs, but this series so far has blown me away. I hope these two stay together on this book for a long time. There are a ton of moments that if you blink you may miss them that seem to set up things down the road. I actually went back through the issue for a second time and found things I hadn’t noticed. Whether those be details written in the background, or a moment that hints at a future cover that may or may not have to do with an awesome cat, they add to what makes this book great.

I would recommend Doom Patrol to anyone looking for something off the beaten path. Have superhero fatigue? Looking for something to make you laugh or smile? Do you want a comic that captures the heart of the wacky old comics, while bringing something new to the table? Then this book is for you. I pull Doom Patrol every month, so I put my money where my mouth is on this review. I love this weird little book, and it is just getting more fun, and wonderfully silly with each issue.

Story: Gerard Way Art: Nick Derington Color: Tamra Bonvillain
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Young Animal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Action Comics #976

As this epic tale wraps up, Superman’s life is drastically changed…and that’s all we are saying for now – except that you won’t want to miss it!

DC Comics’ Rebirth event is interesting in that it isn’t a reboot and it doesn’t jettison everything that’s come before. Instead, it’s a merging of what came before the New 52 and the New 52 itself. Superman was a bit interesting case to this new world. In a storyline that began in Convergence and then carried over into the mini-series Superman: Lois and Clark, the Pre-52 Superman was brought into the New 52 world along with his wife Lois and their son Jonathan. Then, the New 52 Superman crumbled with his powers splintering off. So, short version, we had a displaced Superman and Lois attempting to fill in the lives of their New 52 versions. It made for some good comedy and drama at some points, but it eventually was going to wear out.

Superman Reborn” seems to have resolved that eventual problem along with some big revelations like who the imposter Clark Kent is. Playing out through Action Comics and Superman, the story has a mystery villain reveal (that it was Mister Mxyzptlk as Clark Kent all along) that has Superman and Lois forgetting their son Jonathan in a board game like obstacle course. What’s interesting is that the story takes fans through a lot of the history of Superman and Lois, it’s a best hits sort of way.

But…. SPOILER… by the end of the story, it’s true, it’s all true. The life of the pre-52 Superman has seemingly been merged into that of his New 52 counterpart. No more hiding, no more Clark Kent and Clark White. It’s all in continuity, the history is there. This storyline solves a lot of issues that were lining up for the character as well as put Superman’s alter-ego back in the bottle and the White’s no longer have to hide. It wraps things up in a nice little bow.

But, it’s not just this merging of two worlds that works, the story also ties in the bigger mystery that’s permeating throughout the DC Universe. Mister Mxyzptlk continues to reference a more powerful being, who we assume is the mysterious Oz, who then looks upon the Red Planet, the home of Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. It brings so much together and does so in a pretty smooth way. That plotting and writing is impressive.

The art by Doug Mahnke is fantastic. This entire story has featured top notch visuals that twist and turn and overall the Superman line of comics features the most consistent and solid art of the DC comic series. There’s some really cool visuals and the art is as solid as the writing. The way the world crumbles during the battle and the subtle visual changes clue in the reader as to what’s happening and by the end you’ll find yourself going back to check everything out.

I’m blown away by the story which I can only describe as super. A fantastic ending that shows DC Comics has got a great grasp of mixing the old with the new. This is a model in how to pull it off and doing so in a fun and exciting way.

Story: Dan Jurgens Art: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Jaime Mendoza, Christian Alamy, Trevor Scott
Colors: Wil Quintana Letters: Rob Leigh
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.40 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Detective Comics #953

Detective Comics #953

(W) James Tynion IV (A) Christian Duce (CA) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“League Of Shadows” part four! Help arrives from a surprising – and unwanted – source… one of Batman’s greatest foes!

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