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Preview: The Dreaming: Waking Hours #8

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #8

Written by: G. Willow Wilson
Art by: Nick Robles

“The Faerie King,” the next major arc of The Dreaming: Waking Hours, begins here! Heather After has a theory about just where Ruin’s lost love might be found…but the realm of Faerie is a dangerous place under the best of circumstances, and as Ruin, Heather, and Jophiel will quickly find when they cross between worlds, the circumstances there have changed quite a bit! Don’t miss this jumping-on point for the series The Hollywood Reporter calls “a contemporary version of what Gaiman had achieved with The Sandman”!

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #8

Preview: Sweet Tooth: The Return #4

Sweet Tooth: The Return #4

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Jeff Lemire

Rejoice! For at long last the tale of the Boy’s miraculous birth is revealed. A savior born of holiness and science! Truly, such a feat could only be conducted by one as holy as Father. Behold! As the stage is set for the final confrontation between man and the abhorrent hybrid beasts that walk the earth! Praise! For out of nothing Father has birthed a savior: the Boy.

Sweet Tooth: The Return #4

Preview: Rorschach #5

Rorschach #5

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Jorge Fornes

Rorschach tried to kill the leading contender to unseat President Redford, a governor by the name of Turley who has a lot to say. Turley believes the Redford people were behind the hit, but the detective investigating the case isn’t so sure. To prove Turley wrong, he has to figure out how Rorschach and Laura got so close to actually doing the job, and the answer to that might be deep in the Turley campaign itself, including the governor’s past with a masked man called the Comedian.

Rorschach #5

Preview: American Vampire 1976 #5

American Vampire 1976 #5

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Rafael Albuquerque

Skinner, Pearl, Book, and the rest of the team are finally united in their mission to stop the Beast from world domination, but the missing key to their success is protected by a council of preeminent ancestral monsters with an axe to grind. These are the progenitors of some of the world’s most iconic folkloric species, and the victims of a broken American promise. Desperate for the council’s assistance, Skinner’s crew becomes a captive audience to their tale of betrayal-but the chilling insight saps all hope of recruiting their help. With only a few days to spare before terror is unleashed, the team must convince the legends that humanity is worth preserving, and that history may still bend toward redemption.

American Vampire 1976 #5

Preview: The Dreaming: Waking Hours #7

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #7

Written by: G. Willow Wilson
Art by: Javier Rodriguez

Bleeding out in a hospital bed from a magic wound that will not heal, sorceress Heather After must swing open the gates of reality to find herself a protector…but is she prepared for the deal she’ll have to strike once she finds a champion with the dangerous power she needs? And speaking of dangerous power…what happens when Matthew the Raven catches a glimpse of one of the artifacts Heather’s been hiding away?

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #7

Preview: Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey #4

Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey #4

Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner
Art by: Amanda Conner

There was no way Harley was going to make it out of Gotham City without coming face to face with The Joker…and just as she’s taken all his money, he’s determined to take something that means even more to her! This will be the most harrowing gauntlet of Harley’s life, and she-and you-are not ready for it!

Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey #4

Review: Strange Adventures #8

Strange Adventures #8

We’ve been waiting for it for some time and Strange Adventures #8 begins to really start showing the cracks in Adam Strange’s world. The battle with the Pykkts continues on Earth. The heroes do what they can to stop the first wave before it overruns the planet and it gets impossible to stop the second wave. But, the attack reveals some of the truth that Adam Strange has been hiding and running from.

Tom King continues his interesting exploration of the horrors of war and how history is written by the winners. It’s a series that begs for a deeper exploration and examination. King, a former CIA operative, has spent time in warzones and his writing has you wondering what he experienced during this time. What experiences led to this particular writing?

The story is an interesting one as it bounces back and forth between the war on Earth and what Strange experienced on Rann. This is the issue before the big reveal as it becomes clearer that Strange has done some horrible stuff that’s being covered up.

But, there’s a underlying theme to the series as a whole, that there are no real heroes in war. Horrible things happen. Individuals make terrible decisions. People die. Crimes are committed. It’s some of what makes up war and to come out of it with a romanticized look at it all is a false narrative. We do these things to make use get past to the horrors of war. As they say, in war, there are no victors.

Despite the serious nature of the comic, King delivers some humor. Mr. Terrific and Batman attempting to interrogate a Pykkt soldier is fantastic. Batman’s attempt at the language and Mr. Terrific’s response are classic. That’s juxtaposed with how Adam Strange approaches a similar situation. That’s not so humorous.

The art by Mitch Gerads and Evan Shaner is fantastic as always. Along with lettering by Clayton Cowles, the comic visually is amazing. There’s an interesting mix of pages with only a few panels and pages packed in with nine of them. The comic changes things up as far as that but sticks mainly to traditional box layouts. It brings a stiff and proper feel to it all in some ways. But what’s really interesting is there’s a tense aspect to it all. There aren’t really horrible things within the comic but you can feel tension in every panel on every page. You’re waiting for that moment and by the time it ends, the comic delivers exactly that.

Strange Adventures #8 is the issue that launches us into the final third of the twelve issue series. It’s a sweeping story that examines wars and the mythology that spins out of them. Where the creative team takes this all should be interesting. How it will reflect on our modern times even more so.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads, Evan Shaner Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: The Other History of the DC Universe #2

The Other History of the DC Universe #2

In The Other History of the DC Universe‘s debut, writer John Ridley planted a flag with a raw, emotional, and blunt take on DC’s superhero history. The debut was not only a celebration of the history but it’s the type of reflection on it that we see today with our own real experiences. The comic didn’t examine it with rose-colored glasses, instead, it delivered a perspective and truth that stands up and feels justified. It was like a band-aid being ripped off to show a still festering wound. The Other History of the DC Universe #2 that direction with a shift of a focus to the Teen Titans.

Told from the dual perspectives of Karen Beecher-Duncan (Bumblee) and Mal Duncan, we’re taken from their early years in Metropolis through the history of their time with the Teen Titans and then Titans. I’m not personally too knowledgeable with either character, so Ridley’s take is just new history for me as a whole. Karen and Mal, like the first issue, show the white-centered team for what it was and don’t pull punches. Drama, drug use, abuse, these are some of the topics touched upon. But, it’s the second class citizen nature of Mal and Karen’s membership that really stands out.

Mal rightly comes back to the fact that as much as he was there for the team, the team was rarely there for Mal or Karen. They missed their wedding, they saw Mal as nothing more than a maintenance person, there feels like a rooted racist aspect of the team. When they initial met, the Teen Titans were hiding in one of Metropolis’ crime infested areas as if no one would care about anyone in these areas. We’re taken through the history of the Teen Titans, then Titans, as they break up and get back together, ignoring Mal and Karen throughout the years except when they could use their help.

But beyond the Titans, the comic is also an examination of the relationship of the two individuals. We get to experience their ups and downs. There’s high and lows with all of the human emotion one would expect. There’s drama throughout the education. While we’re teased the Titan’s drama, we get to experience Mal and Karen’s.

Ridley delivers what feels like a very interesting critique at DC as a whole. Not just the comics but the publisher itself. The comics feel like a graphic thesis paper on the depiction of minorities in literature and entertainment. This is a series that’s going to spur discussion for quite some time.

Like the first issue, The Other History of the DC Universe #2 has a graphic essay feel about it. Breaking from “traditional” comic layouts, the comic breaks from the usual panels that are expected. The result is a read that feels like journal entries enhanced with beautiful art. Giuseppe Camuncoli‘s layouts with Andrea Cucchi‘s finishes are impressive. The art is just amazing, along with the color from José Villarrubia and lettering by Steve Wands. There’s so much packed in with art that plays as homage to classic scenes and styles. There’s some pages that feel like they’re ripped from the original material, it all brings back memories.

The Other History of the DC Universe #2 is another fantastic and amazing issue. The series is calling out the failures of DC Comics’ history and the issues with its narratives. It’s impressive the publisher would do this at all. The fact it’s all at such a high quality is such a treat. Each issue feels like it’s a college level course in DC comic history. Time for all of us to get schooled.

Story: John Ridley Layouts: Giuseppe Camuncoli Finishes: Andrea Cucchi
Color: José Villarrubia Letterer: Steve Wands
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

The Other History of the DC Universe

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.

Batman: Black & White #2 (DC Comics) – Amazing art made the first issue stand out and we’re hoping for more of the same with the second.

Dead End Kids: The Suburban Job #1 (Source Point Press) – Three friends are brought back together when they find themselves in the crosshairs of a local drug dealer.

The Eighth Immortal #1 (Source Point Press) – And immortal must choose between protecting humanity and her own sanity.

I Survived Vol. 3 Nazi Invasion 1944 (Graphix) – In a Jewish ghetto, Max Rosen and his sister, Zena, struggle to live after their father is taken away by the Nazis.

Kaiju Score #3 (AfterShock) – Things are of course going sideways when it comes to the heist and it’s thankfully entertaining watching things go wrong.

Loot #1 (Scout Comics/Scoot) – Emily D. Jackson works for her newly retired mom in loss prevention at a big box superstore by day and turns her passion for theft into part-time treasure hunting on the side.

Nailbiter Returns #9 (Image Comics) – The series has been a fantastic “horror sequel” taking all of the tropes and expectations of being one and mixing it up. If you’re a fan of the genre, the series as a whole is worth checking out.

The Other History of the DC Universe #2 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – The first issue was jaw dropping and the second has us just as impressed. This series continues to look at the history of DC through the perspective of its minority characters. This issue, the Teen Titans.

Stake #1 (Scout Comics) – As a member of the Vampire Bounty Hunter Union, and with the help of her ancient vampiric mentor Jessamy, Angel’s out to track down the bloodthirsty monsters who destroyed her life.

Strange Academy #7 (Marvel) – The series has been a lot of fun with fantastic artwork. The danger is increasing now as we’re past the introduction and this is becoming one of Marvel’s best regular releases.

Taarna #2 (Heavy Metal) – The first issue delivered a cosmic trippy story and we’re excited to see where this series goes from here. With solid visuals and grand scope, the series feels like an homage to Jack Kirby.

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