Tag Archives: dc comics

Rebirth Review: Comics Released On 7/21

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you can’t have missed DC‘s line-wide relaunch-of-sorts Rebirth. Last week we took a look at whether the comics released up until 7/13 had been new reader friendly, and proceeded to give each a simple Friendly/Unfriendly rating based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up. Although I missed a couple of issues (Detective Comics #934 and Action Comics #957), for the most part the newly relaunched series were pretty accessible to new readers – especially Action Comics despite not having read the first issue post relaunch. The Rebirth specials didn’t fair as well (although some were missed, most notably Flash Rebirth #1), but the two that were less accessible were less of a recap story than they were a standalone one shot (Batman Rebirth #1) or the events were explained better elsewhere (Justice League Rebirth #1 can be avoided if you’re reading Superman or Action Comics).

There isn’t as many comics to cover this week as we’re not playing catch up, but we’re still going to take a look at DC’s titles from a new reader’s perspective, and see just how easy it is to jump in on the titles now that the ten years of missing history the New 52 wiped out has returned.

All comics will have a Friendly/Unfriendly rating based solely on the issues released in the newly ongoing series, but the comics won’t receive an overall grade out of ten (you can find my thoughts on the overall quality of them here). That said, the quality may be commented on if it directly hampers the ease with which new readers can dive in, but only in passing.

So shall we get to this week’s Rebirth comics?


 

AQM_Cv3_open_order_var
Aquaman #3
While not my favourite comic this week, that doesn’t detract from it’s accessibility. Those who read last week’s Rebirth Review will notice that I haven’t exactly been Aquaman’s biggest fan, but I’ve been happy with how easy this series is to pick up. This issue deals with the fallout of the last two, and while reading those may help, even just starting at the third issue is still possible once you know that Something Bad happened at a certain location. The comic is  Friendly enough that you can put that together within a couple pages, which is also handy as there’s no recap page.

BGBOPREB-Cv1-ds-5de97Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey Rebirth #1
If you didn’t pay much attention to Black Canary, Batgirl/Oracl or Huntress during the New 52, this’ll be for you. As with most of the Rebirth specials this issue serves as a scene setter for the main series, although this seems more like  a first issue than a one shot comic. Still, Friendly no matter how you look at it, but this may be more of a necessity to read than the other Rebirth specials have been, and I say that after  reading less than half of the ones released up until this week because I was able to dive into the ongoing series with ease. Whether that’s the case here, I suppose we’ll find out when the first issue hits in a couple weeks.

BM_Cv3_open_order_var
Batman #3
Despite being three issues in, there is no reason that new readers wouldn’t be able to pick up this comic. Dealing with the origins of Gotham City’s newest heroes gives existing readers an extra level of understanding of just where they’re coming from and why they do what they do now, while simultaneously it also allows newer readers the opportunity get started at the 3rd issue. Tom King seems to be working on a slow build here, which is perfectly suited to a twice monthly release schedule – here’s hoping he can keep the high quality going in this Friendly comic.

Green Arrow #3
If you’ve been reading the series so far, you’ll be  fine. Otherwise, this just crosses the line into Unfriendly territory for new readers.

GLS_Cv3_dsGreen Lanterns #3
There’s an internal monologue at the beginning of this comic that will allow new readers to hop onto this series with ease, making it into one of the more Friendly comics released this week in the Rebirth issues. If you have read the first two issues, then you shouldn’t find the recap/monologue off putting at all.

Justice League #1
I had absolutely no idea what was happening here, but I think that was intentional given the cataclysmic events in the comic. I’m giving this issue the benefit of the doubt and saying it’s Friendly because I have a feeling that the confusion is a story element and not a product of excessive backstory that I’m entirely unfamiliar with.

SM_Cv3_dsSuperman #3
If you’ve been following this series since #1 then you’ll find nothing that will throw you off here; an introduction to a new character (well, new to those who haven’t read much Superman before) is well handled, providing enough detail to easily follow along with whether you’ve been reading the series since the first issue or this is the first you’ve  picked up. Still a very new reader Friendly comic, and possibly one of the best.

The Hellblazer Rebirth #1
There has to be better ways to introduce new readers to John Constantine while also giving long time fans a new single comic story, but I honestly can’t think of one (but then I’m not a person who has been reading about Constantine for any length of time, either). By the time you finish this story you’ll have a firm grasp on just what type of man John Constantine is, even if you don’t know much about what he’s done; making this Friendly comic a great introduction to the character.

 

 

Preview: Scooby Apocalypse #3

Scooby Apocalypse #3

Story By Keith Giffen, Jim Lee
Scripter J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen
Art by: Howard Porter
Cover by: Jim Lee
Variant cover by: John Paul Leon

After fleeing a monster-infested underground base, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby stumble upon a desert ghost town where they hope to catch their breath. But when night falls, they learn it’s not a ghost town after all—and the terrors that show up like to bite! Scooby Snack is about to take on a whole new meaning.

SDOAPOC_Cv3_ds

Preview: Green Arrow #3

Green Arrow #3

Written by: Benjamin Percy
Art by: Juan Ferreyra
Cover by: Juan Ferreyra
Variant cover by: Neal Adams

“THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLIVER QUEEN” Chapter Three: In #3, Green Arrow’s enemies learn he is still alive when the Emerald Archer—now Emerald Outlaw—breaks into Queen Industries to learn why his entire world has betrayed him. But the deadly assassin Shado—formerly Oliver’s ally—is dispatched to finish him before he gets too close to the shocking truth behind his fall from grace.

GA_Cv3_ds

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 7/23

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.


Alex

SM_Cv3_dsBatman #3 (DC)* Better than the last issue, honestly. I’m starting to appreciate the more human take on Batman that Tom King is giving us, and his exploration of the effect that the legend of the Dark Knight has on Gotham (the city, not the character) is getting interesting. A solid read that’s an improvement over last issue.

Superman #3 (DC)*  Something strange is happening to me; I’m becoming a Superman fan after decades of ignoring his comic series. Focusing more on Superman’s family, this series is one of the better ones to emerge from Rebirth so far.

The Hellblazer Rebirth #1 (DC)*  Awesome fun. A great one shot comic that’s highly enjoyable. Serving as a great introduction to the character, Hellblazer Rebirth  is a blast to read.

Logan


BettyandVeronica1-SDCCBetty and Veronica #1
 (Archie) Even though Adam Hughes’ pinup style artwork is delightful, Betty and Veronica #1 is far from it. His dialogue is a mix of 1950s teenage slang and modern “hip” terms as if he wasn’t sure to make the comic a period piece or a companion to Mark Waid’s trying to hard to be cool with the kids Archie series. And it seems like 70% of the comic is Archie and Jughead’s forced banter as the word balloons cover his art and the page. Betty and Veronica seem like they’re in the comic just to be attractive, and Hughes even takes a break at the end to draw them in bikinis delivering exposition for no discernable reason. He doesn’t even let them narrate their own giving that job to Jughead’s dog Hot Dog, who I liked better than a zombie. Hughes is a fine cover artist, but he really should’ve gotten someone else to write and plot Betty and Veronica #1. At least, we get Marguerite Bennett’s Josie and the Pussycats in the Fall.Overall: 2 Recommendation: Pass

Patrick

Black Hammer #1 (Dark Horse)**: Nice concept: world’s greatest heroes are stuck in a normal small farming town after saving their world ten years ago. Meanwhile, back in that world, everyone thinks they’re dead. Dean Ormiston provides a suitably dark American Gothic art style to Jeff Lemire’s script. I think Lemire could have gone further with his original Justice League analogy characters, but that’s a quibble (as is my ongoing problem with his tendency to generic dialogue). Intriguing enough to come back for more. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read.

CasanovaAcedia-06_cvrCasanova: Acedia #6 (Image)**: There’s a scene in here, only two pages long, but I kind of wish it was the entire book: just two guys with guns behind their backs hashing it out. Maybe that’s my theatrical background talking, but I’ve been feeling lately that Fraction is trying to cram too much strangeness into the plot when there is plenty, and I mean plenty of strangeness within the characters. (Also there’s the ongoing Metanauts backup, which exists for some reason) Overall: 7 (because Fabio Moon) Recommendation: Read if you’re following.

I Hate Fairyland #7 (Image)**: Another delightful installment from the sickness of Skottie Young. I love how he brings up the flaws in his own storytelling and then basically says “fluff that” and just keeps motoring on. Also hilarious: the vehicle to get from Fairyland back to Earth is a 70s van with an airbrushed wizard riding a unicorn. That runs on dragon piss. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Lazarus #23 (Image)**: This one opens with one of the best fight scenes ever. Michael Lark brings so much emotion and intensity you can practically smell the sweat. And then just as much intensity in a walk-and-talk with Carlyle and Johanna. “Nicely done, Ma’am” indeed. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Velvet #15 (Image)**: Brubaker and Epting at their peak for the conclusion of a great 70s spy/revenge tale. I think this might just be the series Steve Epting was born to draw – like, the doctor who delivered him may have been reading a bunch of Modesty Blaise comics and they were the first thing little Epting saw. The end of this kind of story is always hard to pull off, and Brubaker doesn’t quite manage it, but since close counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, I’ll take it. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Weird Detective #2 (Dark Horse)**: I liked where this occult detective story started, but this issue is a bit of a sophomore slump, grinding away a little too long in the police procedural department and not just letting the weirdness rip! Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read.

Ryan C

The Hunt #1 (Image/Shadowline)**: I went into Colin Lorimer’s new mini-series with precisely zero expectations, only knowing his work from “Burning Fields,” and was pleasantly surprised to find him adopting a unique and confident voice as both writer and artist on this Irish folk-influenced contemporary horror tale. The dialogue is crisp and authentic, the premise intriguing, the characters immediately relatable, and the artwork darkly horrific and expressive. I’m very interested to see where this one goes. Overall: 8. Recommendation: Buy

HELLB_Rebirth_Cover_1-1The Hellblazer Rebirth #1 (DC)*: Finally! John Constantine seems like John Constantine again! And he’s back in London! Sure, this issue was a bit heavy on the recapping, and the plot involving JC tricking the demon who banished him from the UK into letting him come back is paper-thin, but Simon Oliver shows a solid handle on the character immediately and Moritat’s art has that Vertigo-era flavor and style to it. Would I like it better if Constantine were taken out of the DCU “proper” and brought back to where he belongs? Of course. But this is the closest approximation to that classic “Hellblazer” look and feel that we’ve seen since he was hijacked by all that “New 52” nonsense. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

Second Sight #6 (Aftershock)*: David Hine delivers a rushed and largely unsatisfying conclusion to what’s otherwise been a fine series, and I have to wonder if things weren’t initially slated to go on a bit longer given the number of loose threads left dangling. Loved
the final-page cliffhange-style ending, though, and Alberto Ponticelli’s art is, as ever, amazing. Overall: 5. Recommendation: Buy if you’ve been following the series, pass if you haven’t

Batman #3 (DC)*: Tom King and David Finch continue to underwhelm with their introductory story arc. We finally get a little (derivative as shit, it must be said) backstory for Gotham and Gotham Girl this time out, and it’s nice to see the Matches Malone persona back for the first time in far too long, but all the Hugo Strange stuff seems to be running out of steam before it even gets started, and I don’t even care who or what the “Monster Men” are at this point. Overall: 3.5. Recommendation: Pass

Shean

Bigfoot_CoverBigfoot: Sword of the Earthman TPB (Action Lab): The myth of Bigfoot has always been treated in pop culture as one where they’re either a mystery of the week or Harry as in Harry and the Hendersons. This take is some I believe Edgar Rice Burroughs would love, as he is a strange adventurer on a distant world we know as Mars. We follow Bigfoot and his alien sidekick, Cantor, as they caught up in one scuffle after another. By volume’s end, they are not only hunted by a Mad Max type villain but an army the size of Kublai Khan, but our heroes still find a way to triumph in the eyes of hopeless danger, great book !!
Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

King Conan: Wolves Beyond the Borders TPB (Dark Horse): The Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of this rugged warrior are a must have for any action film cinephile. While the world waits for a new film , those movies always started from the viewpoint of him as a King reminiscing from his throne.This miniseries aims to answer some of those questions as we join King Conan as he is visited by an old friend who advises him of an oncoming invasion. He endeavors on a road trip to squash the invasion while I the meantime bring captured, seeing an old lover and doing some good along the way. Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy


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

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 (**).

Preview: Aquaman #3

Aquaman #3

Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Philippe Briones
Cover by: Andrew Hennessy, Bradley Walker
Variant cover by: Joshua Middleton

“THE DROWNING,” Chapter Three: In issue #3, Aquaman’s mission of peace is dealt a devastating blow when Atlantean terrorists attack the surface world in retribution for Black Manta’s deadly assault on their embassy.

AQM_Cv3_ds

Preview: Green Lanterns #3

Green Lanterns #3

Written by: Sam Humphries
Art by: Jay Leisten, Robson Rocha
Cover by: Joe Prado, Robson Rocha
Variant cover by: Emanuela Lupacchino

“RAGE PLANET” Chapter Three: In issue #3, Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz are trapped in the bloody and monstrous Rage Tower with their rings drained. Now, they must work together if they’re going to escape. Can the new protectors of Earth find common ground—or are they doomed to give in to the anger that’s growing between them?

GLS_Cv3_ds

Demo-Graphics: The Comparisons

This week I’ve been releasing demographic breakdowns of various comic related populations on Facebook. You can see what’s already posted for Marvel, DC and Indie/Small Press general Comic Fans and Facebook itself.

But here’s a nice handy post showing off those various groups compared to each other in some handy graphs.

Gender

When it comes to women, Indie/Small Press comics outperforms the general comic population and is close to matching Facebook as a whole. The largest gap between men and women is Marvel who lags far behind.

Stats Gender 7.19.16African Americans

When it comes to percentage, comics generally outperform Facebook as a whole with the general comic fandom having the highest percentage of African Americans and Marvel being second. DC lags far behind, so they have work to do.

Stats African Americans 7.19.16Asian Americans

General Comic Fans, Marvel outperform Facebook as far as Asian Americans as a percent of the population. Marvel is the leader with about 50% more than Facebook. DC Comics is about event. Interestingly Indie/Small Press lags a bit behind.

Stats Asian Americans 7.19.16Hispanics

Across the board comics has more Hispanics as part of their population compared to Facebook as a whole. Almost all outperform by about 50% and every segment is about even with the general Comic Fandom being the best.

Stats Hispanics 7.19.16Generation

Millennials appear to be more into comics than they are Facebook when it comes to percentage. This is across the board by a wide margin with Millennials flocking to DC Comics the most.

Stats Generation 7.19.16

Preview: Superman #3

Superman #3

Written by: Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Mick Gray, Patrick Gleason
Cover by: Mick Gray, Patrick Gleason
Variant cover by: Kenneth Rocafort

“THE SON OF SUPERMAN” Chapter Three: In #3, with a touch that means death, the Eradicator proves he’s a match for Superman, but his super-powered offspring may be more than anyone can handle—including the Man of Tomorrow.

SM_Cv3_ds

Preview: Batman #3

Batman #3

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Matt Banning, David Finch
Cover by: David Finch
Variant cover by: Tim Sale

“I AM GOTHAM” Chapter Three: Batman and Gotham strike out together to get to the bottom of the mysterious attacks against the city. Could this novel and headstrong new hero be everything Gotham City needs…at the cost of the Dark Knight?

BM_Cv3_ds

Preview: Supergirl #1

Supergirl #1

Writer: Steve Orlando
Artists: Brian Ching, Michael Atiyeh
On sale September 7

“REIGN OF THE CYBORG SUPERMAN” part one! Supergirl is back and working for the DEO to defend National City! As Kara Danvers, average American teenager and high school student, Supergirl must balance her life as a superhero with her new life on Earth. But some demons from her Kryptonian past are coming back to haunt her, and Kara will find herself face-to-face with her father: the sinister Cyborg Superman!

SG_Cv1

« Older Entries