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Review: Batman #33

Following his marriage proposal to Catwoman, Batman leaves Gotham City on a quest of renewal and redemption. As he travels and fights, he encounters members of his family-each disturbed by Batman’s journey, each ready to stand in his way, each ready to push back against Batman’s stubborn determination to evolve into something better than a superhero.

Artist Joëlle Jones joins writer Tom King for the first part of the new story arc “A Dream of Me” which sees the Bat and Cat on a journey… but to where? By the end of the issue it’s clear exactly what’s going on and makes sense considering the engagement of these two. The issue though feels like a prelude and a rather slow one at that. We get a lot of small details to examine and interpret, something King has done throughout his run, but the comic itself is generally sparse in both story and art. This is a much more dialed back issue, especially compared to last arc’s “War of Jokes and Riddles.”

What’s interesting is Jones’ art which for most of the issue is fantastic and it’s great to see her on a high profile book. Where things go a bit sideways is in her depiction of some characters, particularly the Robins. Damian, Dick, and Jason all look too much alike and it’s hard to tell them apart at times. Alfred too looks a bit different than his normal depiction which feels a bit off. But, beyond that, the art is fantastic and shows Jones should be given more high profile comics down the road.

The comic is an interesting one and in some ways continues the fantastic story King has set up but in other ways things feel like a trip. This is a prelude in every way and sets up… something that could be interesting. King has proven he can do thought provoking before and this looks like it’ll be that sort of arc. A step back but still an entertaining read.

Story: Tom King Art: Joëlle Jones
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman: The Drowned #1

As the events of Dark Nights: Metal rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can even the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of familiar figures?

DC Comics has been knocking it out of the bark with Dark Nights: Metal and with each spin-off the nightmarish Batmen from the Dark Multiverse have gained depth. Writer Dan Abnett adds depth to this Batman/Aquaman hybrid in Batman: The Drowned creating a character that has motivation, cause, a backstory, and is pretty badass. He also adds some material from his Aquaman run that creates an even more exciting read for fans of his run there.

While the motivations of The Drowned are simple, dead lover, the story itself is just full of dread that amps up as the action builds and by the end of the story, this is a villain that we have some sympathy for but also someone we don’t want to cross.

Abnett’s writing is helped by Philip Tan whose art is amazing with a use of panels that create a flow that I haven’t seen in two many comics. This isn’t a flow in the reading, this is a literal blow where a blast of water on one page feels like it’s knocking panels away on another. You can see an example of this below where the blast knocks the panels on the right away. That use of panels is a detail in the comic that enhances the storytelling.

Dark Nights feels like it’s getting better and better the more it goes on and these one-shots have helped make that the case by adding depth to each of these new villains. They’re stories that can’t fit in the main series but need to be told. Abnett and Tan deliver an issue that gives us everything we need packed into one comic. It’s a prime example that you don’t need to drag things out over multiple issues and spin-offs. This is how a comic should be and why Dark Nights: Metal is shaping up to be one of the best events in a long time.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Philip Tan Cover Art: Jason Fabok
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Batman #33

Batman #33

(W) Tom King (A/CA) Joëlle Jones
In Shops: Oct 18, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“A DREAM OF ME” part 1! Following his marriage proposal to Catwoman, Batman leaves Gotham City on a quest of renewal and redemption. As he travels and fights, he encounters members of his family-each disturbed by Batman’s journey, each ready to stand in his way, each ready to push back against Batman’s stubborn determination to evolve into something better than a superhero.

Preview: Batman: The Drowned #1

Batman: The Drowned #1

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Philip Tan (CA) Jason Fabok
In Shops: Oct 18, 2017
SRP: $3.99

As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can even the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of familiar figures? Find out in these special tie-in issues!

DC Rebirth: Recap and Review Comics Released 10/11

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth: Recap And Review where we take a look at the comics released under DC‘s Rebirth banner and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up; the ratings are based solely on the issues released in the post-Rebirth ongoing series. More consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.

Not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often), or I really can’t bring myself to pic up the issue. If I have missed an issue, typically I won’t go looking for back issues to catch up on events – this feature is all about accessibility for new readers, after all.

DTC_Cv966_dsAction Comics #989 Mr. Oz was revealed as Jor El last issue, and like all good villain fathers he want’s Clark to team up and take over the world! Or maybe not. It’s been a couple weeks since I read any comics and I don’t really remember much, which ultimately doesn’t matter – the comic is Friendly, but it’s nothing spectacular. 6.5/10

Detective Comics #966 Yeah, I got nothing for this. Wait. Maybe I do… Pretty sure Tim Drake has escaped from the prison cell that Mr. Oz was keeping him in, and in the process freed an uncomfortably familiar Batman… and Doomsday.  The issue is remarkably Friendly given the level of future/past blended time weaving magic, and is a pretty solid issue to boot. 8/10

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #30 A few issues ago in Action Comics Superman was possessed by the fear entity Parallax, but he was saved partly by Sinestro and partly by himself as he ended up trapping Parallax in a yellow ring. This issue picks up from where that story left off, and is Friendly enough for you to dive into. 6.5/10

Justice League Of America #16 After following a distress signal from Ray Palmer into the microverse, the Justice League have finally traced the signal to it’s source – and by doing so have brought the villain right back to where he needs to be. Expect an origin of sorts for the villain in this otherwise Unfriendly issue. 6.25/10

New Super Man #16 While I could give you a recap, the opening to the comic actually covers about what I remembered anyway – oddly enough, this is a Friendly comic all by its lonesome. 7/10

Ragman-1-2017Ragman #1 A miniseries starring a character that I’ve only ever seen in the Arrowverse on TV – so we’re in this blind together. The comic is Friendly enough, and not  bad read – though it has nothing to do with the Arrowverse character. 7/10

Red Hood And The Outlaws #15 Bizarro died and came back with an intellect to rival that of Batman – although it’s only a temporary thing, the Outlaws have been making the most of this and have been cleaning up Gotham City in the most effective of ways – which may or may not be a good thing where the Bat family are concerned… 7.25/10 (the issue is also Friendly).

Suicide Squad #27 If you know who the Suicide Squad are, then there’s a good chance you’ll find this Friendly7/10

Supergirl #14 Friendly comic that is essentially a one shot story where Supergirl tries to control her amplified powers (that she got a few issues ago and are more dangerous than she’d like to admit) with the help of the New Super-Man. 6.25/10

The Flash #32 There’s a recap as the issue begins that’ll get you up to speed with the relevant bits and pieces with the series… but it’s not the best comic, truth be told. 5/10

Wonder Woman #32 Hercules was murdered, and Wonder Woman is his beneficiary. Meanwhile his murderer gave Hercules’ life force to her father – Darksied! Ultimately this is a Friendly enough comic for those who have at least see Wonder Woman on the big screen. 7/10

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays 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 are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

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


Top Pick: The Mighty Thor #700 (Marvel) – I am optimistic with most things that Jason Aaron touches. He has been killing it on this title, and while some are still arguing if Thor should be a female or not, I have been loving this run. Does Jane die? How does Odinson fit into this? We are into Marvel Legacy territory now, so does that mean he returns as Thor? Or is that too easy? Either way, I can’t wait to find out.

Batman #33 (DC Comics) – Tom King is just getting done with “The Proposal” and “The War of Jokes and Riddles”, and is now joined by Joelle Jones on art to start a new arc. I cannot wait to see what Jones comes up with on art, as I love her style. I also cannot wait to see where King takes us next with the Dark Knight.

Invincible Iron Man #593 (Marvel) – Bendis catches a lot of flack, and sometimes it may be warranted, but I have actually enjoyed what he has been crafting with Riri and Doom. I am pleasantly surprised that this has become one of my most anticipated titles and plots.

Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil #1 (Dark Horse) – It’s more of the Black Hammer universe, and Lemire, oh and Rubin. These are two of my favorite creators in the medium, and I can already imagine how their styles will go together, and it excites me.

Kill or Be Killed #13 (Image Comics) – I always look forward to this incredible book. Brubaker is crafting another classic, and I cannot wait to see the ending, but I also never want it to end. That is the dilemma of awesome writing.



Top Pick: Batman: The Drowned #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been knocking it out of the park with Dark Nights: Metal and these one-shots have been introducing us to these nightmarish Batmen. This one is Batman mashed up with Aquaman and the comic itself is one of the best produced yet.

Infernoct #1 (Scout Comics) – A new series from Scout Comics is always worth grabbing and this new one should be on everyone’s buy list. This horror series is one that every fan of H.P. Lovecrraft and horror should check out and it’s perfect for this Halloween season.

Kid Lobotomy #1 (IDW Publishing/Black Crown) – I’m intrigued to see what this new imprint has. I’m expecting Vertigo and we’ll see if this can meet expectations. The series is described as Kafka meets King Lear by way of Young Frankenstein and that alone has me interest.

Normandy Gold #4 (Titan Comics) – I love me some noir and this is a brutal one in a period piece setting. Grim, grimy, gritty, and so good.

The Realm #2 (Image Comics) – This series’ first issue was fantastic, a fantasy Walking Dead and I expect it to find a following like that show. It has the potential to be the next big thing in comics.



Top Pick: Suicide Squad Rebirth Vol. 1 (DC Comics) – All of the awesome in one collected issue. The Squad doesn’t kneel before Zod and it’s amazing!

Top Pick: Black Panther Prelude #1 (Marvel) – The becoming of Black Panther is highlighted in part one of this two part story.

Batwoman #8 (DC Comics) – The “Fear and Loathing” arc continues and the 2nd installment ramps things up to 11.

Harley Quinn #30 (DC Comics) – Who doesn’t want to VOTE HARLEY!

Deadpool vs Old Man Logan #1 (Marvel) – Bring popcorn, it’s about to get real… bloody!

Review: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1

Free college tuition for Riverdale residents?! Hiram Lodge is up to his old antics, looking to build a university and strip mall over Sweetwater Swamp. However, a certain botany-loving super-villain is ready to take a stand against the entrepreneur to preserve the wetlands. Poison Ivy enlists best friend, Harley Quinn, on a trip to the one and only Riverdale where they will encounter another iconic duo—Betty and Veronica.

Being a die hard fan of both Harley and Ivy and Betty and Veronica as separate entities, I was naturally hesitant to the idea of them coming together for a crossover in Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica. I wasn’t quite sure how these two worlds could possibly work together with both of them being so different. Within mere pages, Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko put my concerns at ease, with a hilariously creative story that far surpassed my limited expectations.

Despite loving the creative storyline, I was slightly put off by the hypersexualization of the beloved high school teens of Riverdale. While some might not protest, it felt disturbing as a long time fan to go from classic wholesome kids to sex kittens with ample cleavage and unnecessary ass shots. I can understand a promiscuous Harley, as she is a notorious flirt, but to attach such a heavy male gaze for seemingly no reason for the Riverdale characters seemed a bit much.

Luckily the storyline is so fun, it’s enough to carry the overall series, and I will definitely be picking up next issue.

Story: Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko Art: Laura Braga
Story: 10 Art: 5.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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

Michael Cray Visits Anyone Comics

IMG_1260On Thursday October 12th, I made a short trip to Anyone Comics in Crown Heights Brooklyn, for the sold out release of Wildstorm/DC Comics newest title Wildstorm: Michael Cray.

This new series is part of the Wildstorm revamp, taking established Wildstorm characters and putting a new spin on them. The new line was launched with The Wild Storm, and Wildstorm: Michael Cray is the first spin-off series of the line.

For Michael Cray, the creative team sets up shop on an Earth similar to main DCU Earth-One, with our title character getting his latest assignment from a shadowy government agency. They also bring a very fresh, down to earth feel to the book, from the dialog, to the art, to the colors and letters, they make Cray a solid jumping off point filled with some interesting twists to familiar characters. The main character is a super assassin with a conscious, killing only when he deems that the person this agency wants dead needs killing.


For the award wining artist N. Steven Harris, one of the co-creators of Aztec, this was a great return to DC and introduction into the Wildstorm Universe.

It’s interesting because it’s not super people in tights, and that’s why they hired me to do the book, they wanted an artist that could tackle real life day-to-day clothing, not a superhero type artist, and it’s fun dealing with the topics that the writer wants to hit.

Cray is a dark book with a slick feel, a ton of potential and I’m glad I have it on my comic pull list.


Michael Cray
Writer – Bryan Hill
Penciler – N. Steven Harris
Inker – Dexter Vines
Colorist – Steve Buccellato
Letterer – Simon Bowland
Cover – Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/14

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.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.

Ryan C

FALCON_LEGACY_CVRThe Falcon #1 (Marvel)** – I didn’t think anything could be clumsier and more heavy-handed than Nick Spencer’s take on Sam Wilson, but new scribe Rodney Barnes is giving him a run for his money. Dour, humorless, and personality-free Sam? No thanks. I’m all for the timely and topical in my funnybooks, and generally agree with the points Barnes is making about economic disparity and lack of opportunity leading to the gang “crisis,” but I guess I prefer a subtle narrative to a heavy-handed polemic. Joshua Cassara’s art is fine, on the whole, if unexceptional, but I don’t see any particular reason being put forth to stick around for more of this. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

 Action Comics #989 (DC)** – Dan Jurgens and Viktor Bogdanovic serve up another mediocre installment of “The Oz Effect” complete with the heavily-expository dialogue and dull “continuity porn” that we’re quickly becoming used to here. The art’s fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far : clunky pages laden with backstory followed by fight, followed by crisis that hits home, followed by more clunky pages laden with backstory. Rinse and repeat as necessary. This is assembly-line stuff all the way. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #1 (DC/WildStorm)** – The surprise hit of the week, Bryan Hill (who’s been killing it on “Postal”) comes on over to “The Big Two” and makes a splash with this story (apparently plotted by Warren Ellis) that sees his protagonist taking aim at the “Earth-WS” (or whatever it’s called) version of Green Arrow. I suppose the idea of analogues to characters we’re familiar with existing on this alternate Earth is kind of an obvious tack to take, but it really works here, probably because Hill spends near-equal time filling in the blanks of both Cray’s and Ollie Queen’s pasts. Nice, clean, crisp art from N. Steven Harris adds to the overall professionalism of the package, and if this creative team remains together for the duration, this should be a very memorable 12-issue run indeed. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ragman #1 (DC)** – A confused, lackluster, and contrived “re-imagining” of a little-used but interesting character from Ray Fawkes and Inaki Miranda that sure looks cool, but reads like a lame and unnecessary “re-vamp” because, hey, that’s exactly — and all — MMIR_Cv3_open_order_varthat it is. Can’t think of any compelling reason to ride this one out for five more issues. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass


Mister Miracle #3 (DC) Tom King and Mitch Gerads make Orion one seriously disturbed individual in Mister Miracle #3 while also showing Scott pull off one of his signature escape routines in a classic, yet dream-like use of the grid layout that evokes Winsor McCay’s work. Mister Miracle is ostensibly a cosmic war comic, but King and Gerads continue to keep the focus on Scott’s emotions, fears, and his relationship with Big Barda. This, along with the delicious surrealism and formalism of Gerads’ art, is what makes this book one of DC’s most intriguing. Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Defenders #6 (Marvel) Brian Michael Bendis can still write the heck out of a street level superhero story, and his Jessica Jones is way more powerfully written in this book than her solo title. This issue is mostly table setting for the upcoming New York/Kingpin gang war, but action seems to be on the way with the appearances of characters like Wilson Fisk and Deadpool. Finally, Dave Marquez has added a grittier sensiblity to his wide screen, blockbuster art and really shines when Luke and Jessica get in the trenches and beat the crap out of Diamondback. Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read


Dark Nights: Metal #3 (DC) – What a fun and crazy event. It walks a razor-thin line between ridiculous and awesome. If you described this in an elevator pitch, or to your friends, it sounds absurd, and that’s because it is. Yet it is also the reason it is so good. It just works. I have to give props to Snyder and Capullo as a creative team, because they are proving once again they know how to write one hell of a fun, silly, and wonderful page turner. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Mister Miracle #3 (DC) – Tom King and Mitch Gerads continue to tell an interesting and dark tale of the possible mental breakdown of a classic Kirby character. Scott Free’s spiral is something that is hard to look away from, because I found myself rooting for him, and for Barda, and their desire for happiness together. They are soldiers, and Ragman-1-2017Generals, and they are being used. It’s an excellent series so far, with some shocking moments in just three issues. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ragman #1 (DC) – An interesting character that isn’t new, but has a cool look and a horror vibe that meshes well with the Halloween season. There isn’t anything groundbreaking or spectacular here, and really I would describe it as “Okay”. If you are unfamiliar with the character, I would describe it as a cross between The Mummy and Venom. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass


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 (**).

Deathbed, Motherands, “Milk Wars,” and Eternity Girl Joins DC’s Young Animal and Vertigo

The Vertigo/DC’s Young Animal panel at New York Comic Con brought interesting news for each of the imprints.

Vertigo writers John Ridley and Tim Seeley shared new details about their series, while creative teams Si Spurrier & Rachael Stott and Joshua Williamson & Riley Rossmo announced their projects being released this winter.

Motherlands, from writer Si Spurrier and artist Rachael Stott, is a sci-fi series set in a future where universe-hopping bounty hunters are the new celebrities. A spotlight-shunning hunter named Tab finds herself in a race for her greatest prize yet, but to ID her target she’ll have to work with her fiercest rival and the most famous bounty hunter of all time—her mother. The six-issue series launches January 31.

Deathbed, from writer Joshua Williamson and artist Riley Rossmo, follows a former adventurer turned recluse who has re-emerged 20 years later. When reporter Valentine Richards is hired to get his story, she soon finds herself in an insane world of violence and supernatural adventure. The six-issue series begins February 21.

Plus, the weird and popular DC’s Young Animal imprint, curated by My Chemical Romance’s frontman Gerard Way, continues to expand its list of titles and announced the remaining DC/DC’s Young Animal crossover issues. Doom Patrol artist Nick Derington discussed his work on the series, with writer Steve Orlando sharing more details for the first issue of “Milk Wars,” and new series writer Magdalene Visaggio giving an early look at her upcoming project:

Milk Wars” will mash up DC’s Young Animal with characters from the DC Universe, beginning with a Justice League/Doom Patrol Special from Orlando and Way, followed by Shade, The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special, Mother Panic/Batman Special, Cave Carson/Swamp Thing Special and Doom Patrol/Justice League Special. The weekly crossover adventure begins January 31.

Eternity Girl, the new miniseries from Eisner and GLAAD-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio and Eisner award-winning artist Sonny Liew follows Caroline Sharp, a former secret agent who can’t die. Her only solution? Destroy the universe first. This six-issues series launches March 2018 from DC’s Young Animal.

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