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Preview: Champions #8

Champions #8

(W) Danny Lore (A) Luciano Vecchio (CA) Toni Infante
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 14, 2021
SRP: $3.99

A protest against Kamala’s Law goes south when Roxxon uses its app to lure the crowd into a trap. Can the Champions save the protestors without exposing the Champions’ moles within Roxxon? And can they figure out Roxxon’s true endgame in time to stop it, or is it already too late?

Champions #8

Vault Announces World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw, a Vampire: The Masquerade Event

Vault Comics has announced World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw, a multi-property World of Darkness event that spins out of Vault’s smash hit Vampire: The Masquerade comic book series. In World of Darkness, there is more lurking in the shadows than just vampires, and this event will shine a light on just what else hides in the night.

The World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw event will be told by a murderers row of the best comic creators working today. The series is written by Jim ZubTim SeeleyBlake HowardTini Howard, and Danny Lore, drawn by Julius Ohta, colored by Addison Duke, lettered by Deron Bennett, and designed by Tim Daniel. The series will feature covers from legendary horror artists Aaron Campbell and Joshua Hixson.

In World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw, Cecily Bain has become everything she never wanted as The Prince of the Twin Cities. But her rule over a fractured, backbiting vampire court is interrupted by an intruder—something big, hairy, and full of teeth. For over a century, werewolves of the Twin Cities have protected their blessed places from threats both physical and spiritual. When vampires under Cecily rule move in on one of these precious sites, it’s a declaration of war, one that Tyrell ‘the Stainless’ Stinar and his ferocious pack will avenge at any cost.

The three-issue event will launch in September 2021. Making the series even tastier for fans of Vampire: The Masquerade, each issue of World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw will include exclusive gaming material for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition of the tabletop RPG from Renegade Game Studios, allowing players to actually play the events of the series in their own games.

Review: DC Pride #1

DC Pride #1

In honor of Pride Month, DC Comics dropped DC Pride #1, an 80 page anthology featuring short stories with LGBTQ+ characters by mainly LGBTQ+ creators. In addition to the stories, there’s an introduction by prominent gay comics writer Marc Andreyko (Manhunter, Love is Love) and pinups by some of the best LGBTQ+ artists (and artists period) like Sophie Campbell, Nick Robles, and Kevin Wada. The overall tone of the anthology is celebratory, but one story definitely made me tear up. I really enjoyed how DC Pride touched all corners of the LGBTQ umbrella and its exploration of how our differences make us stronger and really hope that one day all the characters featured in the book can have their own comic.

After the aforementioned introduction by Andreyko and a vibrant pinup of queer Teen Titans Aqualad, Bunker, Traci-13, and Crush from Travis Moore, DC Pride #1 leads off with a Batwoman story from James Tynion and Trung Le Nguyen. It starts with a look back at Kate Kane’s childhood, and how she didn’t conform to traditional gender roles and desires beginning with the games she would play with her sister Beth (Now the supervillain Alice) where they would pretend to be dolls complete with makeup, frilly dresses, and the accoutrements of traditional femininity. There’s almost a fairy tale cadence to both Tynion’s writing and Nguyen’s art as Kate grows up, finds love in the arms of a variety of women, and forges an identity as the superhero, Batwoman. Trung Le Nguyen’s flat reds and blacks punctuate these changes while James Tynion’s script takes a macro-level to the theme of pride as they show a montage of various queer heroes in the DC Universe fighting their battles and being themselves. This opening story is a fine encapsulation of Batwoman’s character journey and also is an ode to embracing queerness and gender conformity in a heteronormative world. Plus Nguyen’s story book style applied to superhero comics is a real visual treat.

estrano and midnighter

The next story was one of my favorites as Steve Orlando returns to Midnighter (kind of) and Extraño as the magician regales John Constantine with a tale of a night out with the violent vigilante. Orlando and artist Stephen Byrne’s story is pure fanservice and adventure in the best way with iconic visual and verbal moments like Midnighter punching a Nazi vampire’s head off and John Constantine flirting with Extraño at a bar and totally being open to a threesome with Extraño and his werewolf husband. This story is mostly made up of fun things like one-liners, magic, and mayhem. However, Steve Orlando digs a little deeper with his script and commentates on how queer history is rewritten by bigoted historians with lovers becoming relatives (Like in the original Sailor Moon English dub) or “pals” as Midnighter and Extraño fight the aforementioned vampire to stop him from casting a spell that makes people think the mythological heroes Achilles and Patroclus were cousins, not lovers. This is a very real issue, and it’s vindicating to watch Midnighter and Extraño kick the asses of those who would straight-wash history in a thrilling, beautiful way thanks to Orlando’s witty script and Byrne’s power-packed visuals.

The third story in DC Pride is a noir-tinged saga of dark alleys, fisticuffs, and political activism starring Renee Montoya aka The Question from Vita Ayala, Skylar Partridge, and Jose Villarrubia. The plot is fairly straightforward with the Question tracking down missing defense attorney and city council candidate Valeria Johnson. Partridge and Villarrubia bring the dark shadows, atmosphere, and flat background colors when Montoya puts the fear of her into some loutishly heterosexual goons. I love how Skylar Partridge uses inset panels to show Montoya’s speed and skill and match Ayala’s snappy narrative captions. The whole story looks gorgeous, and there’s also a hint of budding romance between Renee Montoya and Valeria Johnson as the latter isn’t just a do-gooder damsel in distress. It definitely feels like a backdoor pilot for a Renee Montoya Question series, and I would love to see more of this creative team fleshing her and her relationship with Valeria out.

The Question story is followed by a hilarious and touching Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy story from Mariko Tamaki, Amy Reeder, and Marissa Louise. Basically, this anti-heroic duo stop a plant monster from going on a rampage (After giving it several cute pet names.) and talk about their relationship. Underneath Louise’s candy-meets-body horror palette and Reeder’s memorable facial expressions and high-wire layouts, they chat about going from the “will they, won’t they” stage to the moving in and starting a life stage. Tamaki’s script is peppered with jokes (Including a classic lesbian U-Haul one.), but she also once and for all shows that Harley and Ivy are a well-matched, occasionally wacky queer couple, and that they’ve brought a lot of support and laughs into each other’s lives. Also, Harley’s hammer should always have a Kirby face on it.

Alan Scott and Obsidian

Full disclosure: Sam Johns, Klaus Janson, and Dave McCaig’s Alan Scott and Obsidian story was the one that made me cry. At brunch with Obsidian and his partner, the Golden Age Green Lantern opens up to his estranged son and tells him that Obsidian’s confidence to live as an out gay man encouraged him to finally come out and be his full, true self to the world. Janson uses nine panel grids, Ben-Day dots, and a command of 1940s fashion to show Alan’s secret romance with a train conductor named Jimmy and also walk down memory lane when being gay was a crime and gay bars were shuttered and didn’t have liquor licenses. As well as expanding on Alan Scott coming out in the main DC continuity in Infinite Frontier, this story is an homage to queer elders and their struggles in a world where they could be jailed or even killed holding someone of the same gender’s hand in public. It’s a beautiful intergenerational story and really made me fall in love with Alan Scott as a character even more. He’s the queer grandpa I never had.

The sixth story in DC Pride #1is a fast-moving, romantic story from Danny Lore, Lisa Sterle, and Enrica Erin Angiolini about Jess Chambers (Future State Flash) getting ready for their date with Andy Curry aka Aquawoman. This pair had fantastic chemistry in Future State: Justice League, and it’s nice to see a story centered around their relationship that also riffs on the classic Flash tropes of lateness, Rogues, and legacy. As Jess faces off against Reflek, who was trained by Mirror Master, Sterle and Angiolini get play with different panel shapes simulating the speedster trying to break free from a hall of mirrors while trying to get their outfit, makeup, and gift together. Also, it’s refreshing to see a story featuring a nonbinary character not be all about their gender identity, but focus on action and relationships like any other Flash story. Andy and Jess have a nice thing going, and like many of the other characters who appear in this anthology, I hope to see more of them, their impeccable fashion senses, and cool superpowers in future DC titles.

DC Pride #1 returns to the intergenerational queerness well in a Pied Piper story from Sina Grace, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt. They introduce a new character, Drummer Boy, who is inspired by Pied Piper to create mind-controlling beats so that he can take money from rich fat cats and save Central City’s gayborhood from gentrification, which is a very real problem in real life today. Drummer Boy calling out Pied Piper’s photo ops and not taking direct action since he’s been rich and famous is something that could be directed at many LGBTQ+ celebrities like Ru Paul, who literally uses his wealth to destroy the Earth. This issue creates a real fantasy in which LGBTQ+ celebrities help their community instead of palling around with war criminals at NFL games while Grace gets in some licks about being smart with one’s direct action and abilities when Pied Piper points out that if Drummer Boy steals money off rich people’s credit cards that they’ll just contest the charges. Drummer Boy has a real activist streak as a hero, and I love the energy that Stein and Brandt visually bring to his powers as well as not making him look like the average Ken-doll superhero body type.

The penultimate story in DC Pride #1introduces the transgender superhero Dreamer, who first appeared in the Supergirl television show, to the comics in a story written by Nicole Maines (Who played Dreamer in the show) and with art by Rachael Stott and Enrica Erin Angolini. Dreamer’s debut is a slice of story as she rushes to clean up a League of Shadows cell before rushing off to date night with Brainiac 5. Maines’ script has a cheery, humorous tone with a hilarious final panel, and Dreamer makes a lot of quips to go with Stott’s acrobatic fight choreography that is still good at showing motion even though her art style is more photorealistic. There’s a big feeling of wanting to get the fights over with so that Dreamer can spend time with the man she loves, and this story could honestly be one big metaphor for work/life balance. Dreamer makes her mark with charm and wholesomeness in the story, and her oneiromantic abilities have real visual flair.

Jackson Hyde

DC Pride #1 wraps up with a superhero spin on a big damn Pride parade with Andrew Wheeler, Luciano Vecchio, and Rex Lokus chronicling Aqualad’s first Pride since coming out with his new friend (and Extraño’s apprentice) Syl. Lokus’ colors match the tone of the story from bright and triumphant to dark and dreary as Eclipso has everyone at Pride airing out their worst thoughts and finally triumphant again with a group of DC’s LGBTQ+ superheroes led by Extraño saving the day and being the true, queer selves in the process. This story is a true victory lap, but Wheeler spends a little time in Aqualad’s head as he takes in the sights and sounds of Pride and also grapples with not wanting to be like his father, the villainous Black Manta. Even though everyone feels isolated and alone when targeted by Eclipso, there is actually a large, vibrant LGBTQ+ community of heroes in the DC Universe and hopefully they show up in stories beyond this anthology, which has honestly been a recurring theme as I read through the stories in DC Pride #1.

DC Pride #1 is a fantastic showcase not just for DC Comics’ LGBTQ+ characters, but the company’s LGBTQ+ creators too as they capture a range of relationships, feelings, sexualities, and gender identities. There’s a lot of focus on established romantic relationships, but some of the stories explore activism, community, and the Midnighter/Extrano/John Constantine is a straight up adventure yarn. I enjoyed seeing myself and my queer siblings uplifted in this comic and hope DC can do something more ongoing with these characters, situations, and especially creators.

Story: James Tynion IV, Steve Orlando, Vita Ayala, Mariko Tamaki
Sam Johns, Danny Lore, Sina Grace, Nicole Maines, Andrew Wheeler
Art: Trung Le Nguyen, Stephen Byrne, Skylar Partridge, Amy Reeder, Klaus Janson
Lisa Sterle, Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, Rachael Stott, Luciano Vecchio
Colors: Jose Villarrubia, Marissa Louise, Dave McCaig, Enrica Erin Angiolini, Rex Lokus
Letters: Aditya Bidikar, Josh Reed, Ariana Maher, Tom Napolitano, Becca Carey, Steve Wands
Story: 9.8 Art: 10 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: DC Pride #1

DC Pride #1

Written by: Steve Orlando, Mariko Tamaki, Marc Andreyko, Danny Lore
Art by: Trung Le Nguyen, Stephen Byrne, Amy Reeder, Lisa Sterle

DC celebrates Pride Month with nine all-new stories starring fan-favorite LGBTQIA+ characters Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Midnighter, Extraño, Batwoman, Aqualad, Alan Scott, Obsidian, Future State Flash, Renee Montoya, Pied Piper, and many more! This anthology will also feature:

-The thrilling introduction of new hero DREAMER in the DCU (as seen on The CW’s Supergirl)!

-A pinup gallery with art by Travis Moore, Kris Anka, Kevin Wada, Sophie Campbell, Nick Robles, and more!

-Six exciting new profiles of DCTV’s LGBTQIA+ characters and the actors who play them!

DC Pride #1

King Grimlock Reigns in August and Shattered Glass Begins

IDW Publishing’s line of Transformers comic books will rule the summer… so proclaims King Grimlock! Debuting in August, two new miniseries, Transformers: King Grimlock and Transformers: Shattered Glass, will thrill lifelong Transformers fans and newcomers to the franchise. Additionally, new story arcs will appear in IDW’s monthly series Transformers and Transformers: Beast Wars.

Transformers: King Grimlock

Written by Steve Orlando with art by Agustin Padilla and colors by Jeremy ColwellKing Grimlock is a five-issue miniseries that casts one of the most iconic Transformers characters into a world of fantastical beasts and magical powers!

In a savage world where the strong rule with sword and iron, the Dinobot Grimlock finds a new opportunity to prove he’s the strongest there is… but as Grimlock and the human barbarian Arko will learn, sometimes brute strength isn’t enough.

Cary Nord, the Eisner Award-winning artist of Conan the Barbarian, provides the perfect cover artwork to fit Transformers: King Grimlock’s high fantasy theme, illustrating issue #1’s Cover A. Additional cover variants will be available for retailers and fans to enjoy, including Cover B by series artist Agustin Padilla, and a Retailer Incentive Edition featuring art by Mateus Santolouco.

Transformers: Shattered Glass

Everything you thought you knew about Cybertronian lore will be turned inside out with Transformers: Shattered Glass, an all-new five-issue miniseries written by Danny Lore, illustrated by fan-favorite Transformers artists Guido Guidi, and Dan Khanna, and colored by John-Paul Bove.

In a parallel universe, a war raged across the cosmos from Cybertron to Earth… a war between Decepticon laborers-turned-freedom fighters and the power-hungry Autobot autocrats. Many kilocycles after the blue planet was devastated and the Decepticons were brought to heel, the evil Autobot bodyscrapper named Blurr hunts a new bounty… one who holds a piece of information that could reignite the war!

Three cover variants will be available from comic shops for Transformers: Shattered Glass #1: Cover A by Alex Milne, Cover B by series artist Dan Khanna, and a Retailer Incentive Edition by Sara Pitre-Durocher.

Transformers: Shattered Glass

Transformers #34, by writer Brian Ruckley and artist Anna Malkova, kicks off the new “Sea of Rust” storyline in IDW’s critically acclaimed comics continuity of Cybertron in its earliest days of war! Megatron has learned that his former mentor, Termagax, holds a key artifact that could tip the scales of the war firmly in the Decepticons’ favor, eliminating the Autobots once and for all. The first order of business, however, is running Termagax down! Issue #34 features Cover A by Winston Chan, Cover B by Susan Margevich, and a Retailer Incentive Cover by Andrew Griffith.

Transformers: Beast Wars #7, by writer Erik Burnham and artist Winston Chan, launches a new story arc entitled “Pod.” Regrouping after their first explosive battle, the Maximals and Predacons are alerted to the descent of a new protoform pod… and its sole inhabitant, Blackarachnia! Whose side will this mysterious newcomer take? Issue #7 features Cover A by Fico Ossio, Cover B by Ed Pirrie, and a Retailer Incentive Cover by Gavin Guidry.

Preview: Champions #7

Champions #7

(W) Danny Lore (A) Luciano Vecchio (CA) Toni Infante
Rated T+
In Shops: May 19, 2021
SRP: $3.99

CHANGE THE WORLD!
THE KAMALA CON!
The Champions are playing dirty to beat Roxxon at their own game – including implanting two of their own as interns to take down the corporation from within. But in order to earn the trust of their cutthroat Roxxon supervisors, they’ll have to deliver an unwilling spokesperson: Kamala Khan.
Will Ms. Marvel agree to become the face of a company and a law that she hates, or is it too high a price to pay for victory?

Champions #7

Hasbro Reveals Shattered Glass Megatron with Exclusive Shattered Glass #2 Variant Cover by Casey W. Coller

While it hasn’t officially been announced by IDW Publishing, Hasbro has been teasing details of the upcoming Transformers: Shattered Glass comic miniseries through its toy tie-ins.

Shattered Glass is an alternate take on the Transformers world where the Decepticons are good and Autobots evil. A popular setting, we’re finally getting an official comic series and toys to go along with it. So far, Hasbro has revealed Blurr and now a new take on Megatron!

The Shattered Glass Collection Voyager Megatron figure stands at 7″ tall. It converts between robot and Cybertronian spaceship mode in 18 steps. It’s Megatron, so of course, it comes with Fusion Cannon, sword, and shield. The figure also features detachable Energon wings in robot mode.

The Shattered Glass comic series is five issues and being written by Danny Lore with art by Guido Guidi. Shattered Glass #2 features a variant cover by Casey W. Coller that’s only available with the Megatron figure.

The figure is available for pre-order now for $29.99 plus shipping and will be released on October 1.

Preview: Champions #6

Champions #6

(W) Danny Lore (A) Luciano Vecchio (CA) Toni Infante
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 21, 2021
SRP: $3.99

“KILLER APP” STARTS HERE!
The Champions tried fighting fair. Now it’s time to fight dirty. A sinister corporation is cheating the system to try to keep Kamala’s Law on the books, so the Champions infiltrate the company to take it down from the inside. But the company’s wildly popular app is already turning public perception against teen super heroes. Can the Champions wage war on a trend? And how dirty will their hands get before it’s over? Danny Lore (CAPTAIN AMERICA: KING IN BLACK, IRONHEART 2020) and Luciano Vecchio (IRONHEART) take the reins of a daring new era of Champions!

Champions #6

Transformers Shattered Glass is Coming to Comics from IDW and Hasbro

Transformers Shattered Glass

During the recent Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest, Hasbro revealed a new Transformers figure set in the “Shattered Glass” universe. “Shattered Glass” is a fan-favorite world that takes us to an inverse done so well in other properties where the bad guys are good and good guys are bad. The next figure being released is Blurr.

Announced with the toy was a new comic series Shattered Glass being published by IDW Publishing. The comic will be written by Danny Lore with art by Guido Guidi.

While the exact details are being held tight, the miniseries consists of five issues, each from the perspective of one character. Each character will be released with a special variant cover issue of the comic. Which characters are coming are unknown but one will be released each month from Hasbro alongside an issue from the series.

From the Blurr announcement:

The figures also comes with a brand-new comic book, IDW Shattered Glass Issue #1Shattered Glass isn’t your average TRANSFORMERS tale… “Shards”is the story of the ongoing battle between the power-hungry AUTOBOT autocrats and the freedom-fighting DECEPTICON laborers. And in issue #1, many kilocycles after the Cybertronian War has destroyed Earth, BLURR, an evil AUTOBOT Seeker, hunts down STARSCREAM, a DECEPTICON explorer who holds a piece of information that could reignite the war. Fans can join author Danny Lore(James Bond, King in Black: Captain America, Champions) and artist Guido Guidi (Optimus Prime: First Strike) in exploring this fractured alternate universe just before it shatters

Discover a universe that shatters everything you know about the Transformers robots…an upside-down world where the bad guys are good, and the good guys are bad. Welcome to Shattered Glass, an alternate universe where the heroic DECEPTICONS battle the evil AUTOBOTS. Fans can explore this topsy-turvy reality with the TRANSFORMERS Shattered Glass Collection, featuring classic characters with a twist! Look for other Shattered Glass figures to build the ultimate alternate universe collection

With Blurr comes the first issue and with that figure set to be released in September, we’re assuming that’s when the series wil launch too. IDW will have more information in May about the miniseries and we’ll have updates as they’re available.

You can order Blurr with the variant cover of the first issue of Shattered Glass now from Hasbro Pulse.

Transformers Shattered Glass Blurr

Preview: Champions #5

Champions #5

(W) Eve Ewing, Danny Lore (A) Bob Quinn, Luciano Vecchio (CA) Toni Infante
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 17, 2021
SRP: $3.99

The Champions are done running. The time to stand up and fight is here. But can they win when an entire government is aligned against them? And if they can’t….where do the Marvel Universe’s next generation of heroes go from here?

Champions #5
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