Tag Archives: dc

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 6/14

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. Generally, the quality of an issue won’t be discussed unless it directly impacts a new reader’s enjoyment of the series.

You may notice that not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often). 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.


AC_Cv981_dsAction Comics #981 Superman’s greatest enemies are teaming up to destroy him. The Eradictor and Cyborg Superman have just freed General Zod, and Superman has been caught in an unpenetrable darkness called the black vault where he’s face to face with his failures… oddly a Friendly comic.

Dark Days: The Forge #1 Technically a first issue, this comic pulls heavily from the end of Scott Snyder’s run in the New 52, and beyond into DC’s past. I feel as though I’m missing something here, but I’m pretty sure I’m not – for a brand spanking new fan this may not be too accessible, but if you’re willing to let the mystery unfold for you then it is Friendly.

Detective Comics #958 The first part of a new story that is an entirely new jumping on point. The only relevant bit if you’re utterly unaware as to the happenings in this comic is that Batman has a team in Gotham (he seems to have a lot of teams lately), and Clayface is on it. It’s a Friendly issue.

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #22 A new story, Fracture, starts up here, and it’s as Friendly a place as any to start.

Justice League Of America #8 I really don’t enjoy reading this series all that often… but this is a Friendly place to start, assuming you’re aware of the line up. And funnily enough, it’s not a bad place to start, either.

NSM_Cv12_dsNew Super-Man #12 A relatively Unfriendly place to start, but an enjoyable comic nonetheless. The issue has some pretty interesting revelations regarding the New Super-Man’s past, Wonder-Woman’s past… and really a lot of things to reward those who have been with the series for a few issues (or are reading in trade).

Red Hood And The Outlaws #11 So here’s the thing: this is a Friendly comic because of Red Hood’s narration. I couldn’t remember any of the previous issue (at least not enough to give you a recap), but was able to enjoy this nonetheless.

Suicide Squad #19 Unless you’re reading this because it’s a tie-in to the Action Comics story currently running through that series, then this is an Unfriendly issue that new readers will really struggle to follow along with if you want to follow a plot… but this is a greatly entertaining comic nonetheless.

Superwoman #11 This is actually the second part of a new story, and I clearly missed the first part. Lana Lang’s powers somehow returned after they vanished (it’s explained later in the issue), making this issue quite Friendly, despite my utter lack of a recap.

The Flash #24 Barry actually gives a pretty decent recap of the the first part of the story himself during his internal monologue, and the rest you can piece together easily enough yourself as this Friendly issue progresses.

Titans #12 If you give the comic time to breath, this is a Friendly issue that doesn’t need a recap. You can piece together the bit of info you need for the issue to make sense from the included dialogue, and anything you can’t isn’t that relevant just yet.

Wonder Woman #24  The finale of a twelve issue story may not be ideal to start with, and I don’t want to ruin the story because it’s worth reading…  so I won’t. But, oddly, this is somewhat Friendly.

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Underrated: Batman ’66

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Batman ’66.


I’m sure you’re aware by now that Adam West passed away last week after a brief battle with leukemia at the age of 88. His death got me thinking about the impact of the show, and the steps it made back in the 60’s that we may over look today in light of the darker direction Batman has taken since. To that extent here are, in my opinion at least, five things about the show that we may overlook – if you think I’ve missed something, you’re right, but I’ll be revisiting this in the future.

  • Adam West’s deadpan delivery.
    I could list so many brilliant one liners that came from Adam West, or I could send you to this page, but two of my favourites are:
    “I wish we could help you, citizen, but we’re just a couple of ordinary crime-fighters going about our mundane business.”
    “Robin: “Where’d you get a live fish, Batman?”
    Batman: “The true crime-fighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin.”
    Out of context, I find them even funnier.
  • Pow! Bop! Biff! batman-and-robin-opening-credit2
    The on-screen sound effects were fantastic when we first saw them, and they’ve rightly earned their place in pop culture today. So what are they doing here? It’s the secondary function they served that impressed me the most; by appearing on the screen just before a hit connected, it allowed the actors to be a little safer when fighting each other as they didn’t run the risk of getting a fist to the face. Plus it was one of the best opening credits in any TV show (I still think that it holds up)
  • The show’s influence on the comics.
    I don’t mean the obvious way the tone of the comics changed as a result of the series influence (granted some may not think that was a good thing), but rather the way that the show cemented certain characters as Batman’s core rogues gallery at a time when they weren’t as prevalent in the comics. The Riddler appeared on the television show for the first time in a decade’s absence from the comics, as did Catwoman and Mr. Freeze. Geekscape has an interesting article if you’d like to read more on this.1966+Adam+West+Car.jpg
  • The Batmobile
    Seriously, look at this thing. This is still a fantastic car to this day (you’d drive it. You know you would), but it kick started fandom’s love of having an awesome Batmobile. Do you remember what the Batmobile looked like before the TV show? No. Because it wasn’t that cool.
  • Bill Finger’s last Batman story
    Batman co-creator Bill Finger co-wrote the two part episode “The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes / The Clock King Gets Crowned” for the second season of the show, which aired October 12–13, 1966. It was the last time he wrote a story featuring his creation.
  • The cast
    Would the show have worked without Adam West? Maybe. But when you look at the way he carried himself on the show, his delivery and his physique (he had said numerous times that he didn’t need rubber molding, that was “all Adam West”) then you couldn’t have asked for a better man to have a lasting cultural impact as the Batman. In the past 60 years, no other actor has been viewed in such a synonymous way with the role of the caped crusader (the cynical ones will be saying “well that’s because he didn’t do much else!” And to those I show a swift middle finger. West is a legend). But Adam West wasn’t the only star of the show; I don’t remember a character played by a bad actor on the show. Yes, some of  them may have hammed it up a little, but that’s what the show demanded of them and holy cow did they deliver.

I could go on about this show for days, but this article is due out in half an hour, and I should probably make sure it’s not late.

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 6/7

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. Generally, the quality of an issue won’t be discussed unless it directly impacts a new reader’s enjoyment of the series.

You may notice that not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often). 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.


 

BM_Cv24_dsAquaman 24 Arthur Curry has been, or is in the process of being, deposed as King of Atlantis (you should get that from the cover) by an anti-humanity king who seeks to turn away from Arthur’s dream of peaceful coexistence with the surface. Strangely, a Friendly comic despite the deeply political feel.

Batman #24 You’ve probably heard about the twist ending to this comic already (I won’t tell you what it is, but if you’ve heard then you don’t need to read the comic), but if you haven’t then the journey to the end is pretty Friendly. We get to see some familiar faces, some interesting throwback to dialogue from earlier issues, but this is essentially an open door to the series.

Cyborg #13 I have no idea what’s happening here.

Deathstroke #20 Basically Deathstroke quit being Deathstroke because he failed at saving somebody. It’s worth reading The Lazarus Contract to learn more and then coming back to this otherwise Friendly comic.

Green Arrow #24 So… while this has been a REALLY good story, this isn’t the best place to jump on, even though it’s barely Friendly, without knowing more details than I can provide here in a brief recap, this will read like a cheesy twenty some page yarn.

GLS_Cv24_dsGreen Lanterns #24 Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are being trained by Kyle Raynor and Guy Gardner. It’s not going well, but this is a pretty Friendly comic in it’s own right.

Justice League #22 A more or less standalone story that’s Friendly, if unremarkable.

Nightwing #22 A new arc kicks off here, and as far as things go when you’re twenty odd issues in you’ll find this Friendly without any recap needed. The few things you may be confused about have to do with Dick Grayson volunteering at a support group for ex-villains.

Superman #24 I have no idea what the hell is going on here.  I think that Superman’s rural home town has secretly been an alien base of some kind and he’s been blissfully unaware of it. It’s an Unfriendly comic if you haven’t read any of this series before.

Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor #1 It’s an interesting one-shot (I assume it’s a one shot), and a very Friendly look into “Wonder Woman’s boyfriend” Steve Trevor.

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 5/31

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. Generally, the quality of an issue won’t be discussed unless it directly impacts a new reader’s enjoyment of the series.

You may notice that not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often). 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.


 

This week we’ve only got four releases, three of which are annuals. Before I read the comics, I’m hoping that this will be a very Friendly week.

WWANN-Cv1The Flash #23
After the recently concluded The Button arc with Batman (it was really good and worth tracking down – there’s a minor spoiler at the beginning of this issue for something that happens relatively early in the series; a certain villain’s death), the 23rd issue of The Flash kicks off a new arc that sees the Scarlet Speedster teaming up with Green Lantern.  It’s a Friendly enough comic that has Barry being a little too mopey for his own good. It may be accessible for new readers… but it’s not that great, either.

Teen Titans Special (or Annual) #1 Basically Deathstroke has Kid Flash’s super speed and wants to travel back in time to save his son. This special concludes the multi series crossover while still giving you enough action and bits of humour to make the enjoyable for new and old readers. It’ Friendly, but only just.

Trinity Annual #1 Following on from issue seven, which  I genuinely  don’t remember, this annual is a fun diversion that will take you on a quick story that you’re able to enjoy regardless of whether you read previous issues. Despite essentially serving as a longer regular issue, this is a Friendly annual.

Wonder Woman Annual #This Friendly annual is exactly what you should be looking for in a comic book annual; a perfect introduction to the character through a series of short stories collected in an anthology – there isn’t a bad one here.

 

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 5/24

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. Generally, the quality of an issue won’t be discussed unless it directly impacts a new reader’s enjoyment of the series.

You may notice that not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often). 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.


 

Before I start this week, I wanted to disclaim that since I last read the series below I went on vacation for two weeks and made an effort to not think about comics. What this means is that I can’t really remember any of the details of those comics right now… so any recap will be vague at best, unless it comes back to me as I read the comic, and because I’m a bit miffed at myself for forgetting everything I may be a bit, uh, snarky.

AC_Cv980_dsAction Comic #980 A bunch of Superman’s villains are teaming up to kill him. This Friendly issue actually has a bit of exposition at the beginning to explain their motivations.

Batgirl #11 Uh… so Batgirl’s ex, and Penguin’s son turned evil (surprise!) and now he’s trying to kill Penguin or something. I honestly don’t know. It’s an okay comic, but an Unfriendly place to begin.

Batman Beyond #8 From what I remember, which isn’t much, Ra’s Al Ghul is back (or is he?!) in Batman’s life. We haven’t seen his face beneath the mask, so we could be looking at his heir; whomever that may be. Oh, and Terry is currently wearing a prototype Batsuit that for some reason he shouldn’t be. Batman, some former League of Assassins person named Curare and Barbara Gordon have just fought of the League, and we find them in the aftermath in the Friendly comic.

Blue Beetle #9 I got nothing on this. Or at least, I thought I didn’t. There’s some kind of alien invasion, Jamie Reyes has lost his scarab and so he’s wearing Ted Kord’s old costume. Surprisingly, it’s Friendly.

Deathstroke #19 Slade Wilson wants to go back in time to fix his relationship with he deceased son, so he’s stolen Kid Flash’s super spead. The issue is kinda Friendly, which is unusual for this series.

DTC_Cv957_dsDetective Comics #957 After Tim Drake’s death, Spoiler left Batman’s team. This Friendly issue fills us in on what she’s been doing since.

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #21 The time traveler Rip Hunter has come back in time to prevent the Green Lantern Corps from being eliminated from a future threat that uses Green constructs of some kind from Hal’s old gauntlet (because apparently he had one) that was dug up in the future… it probably sounds ridiculous, but it’s not. It’s just not the most friendly place to start. Unfriendly.

Justice League Of America #7 This is a surprisingly Friendly comic with little to no recap needed. You’re able to just dive in and enjoy it – and I say that as both someone who doesn’t like this series, and as someone who has forgotten the previous issues.

Suicide Squad #18 So General Zod has been forced into being a member of the Suicide Squad after being retrieved from a Siberian prison. If you’re not too worried about the rest of the plot this an enjoyably Friendly comic.

Wonder Woman #23 I’ll be honest – I have a hard enough time following this series when I do remember what’s going on. This issue concludes one of the two stories running concurrently in alternating issues in the series, so maybe wait for the trade to read this story, and jump on board in a future issue. Another Unfriendly one.

 

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 5/27

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

Underwinter_03-1Ringside #10 (Image)** – This series is so up-and-down — on the rare occasions when a new issue actually comes out — that it’s difficult to know where to even begin, much less what to expect. Joe Keatinge delivers a middling script this time that does move the narrative forward, albeit not in the most convincing way possible, while Nick Barber’s art continue to — how can I put this kindly? — go off the rails. Overall: 3.5  Recommendation: Pass.

Underwinter #3  (Image)**– I’d been doing a reasonably good job of following what Ray Fawkes was doing with this series (never the easiest of tasks) to date, but with this issue he completely lost me. It’s frankly becoming impossible to tell what’s happening in the here and now and what’s some sort of “waking dream” or “vivid memory,” and while in the right hands that can be equal parts disconcerting and exciting, for all his practice at it in prior efforts like “Intersect,” it’s still not something that Fawkes knows how to successfully pull off. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass

Mother Panic #7 (DC/Young Animal)** – Jody Houser kicks off a new storyline with the great John Paul Leon joining on art, and the results are frankly astounding — far more coherent and absorbing than recent issues, with some scenes that pack a real emotional wallop and draw obvious parallels to the story of a young Bruce Wayne. Throw in an intriguing new villain and further revelations about our erstwhile anti-heroine’s own mysterious background, and what you’ve got is one superb comic. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Action Comics # 980 (DC)** – Dan Jurgens and Patch Zircher continue their entirely competent but just as entirely uninspiring take on Superman’s adventures with an issue that shows the newly-minted Superman Revenge Squad going about the task of trying to break General Zod out of Belle Reve prison while the Kent family moves closer to ditching Hamilton County in favor of a return to Metropolis — a development that doesn’t thrill me in the least. Not a bad comic by any means, but not an especially good one, either. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Patrick

titan5The Old Guard #4 (Image)** – Leandro Fernandez’s art is just blowing me away. The guy draws the hell out of every single moment and his storytelling and body language are knockout. Greg Rucka ably gives us enough emotional material to make the action sequences dramatically as well as physically brutal. Guys, if you’re not doing anything afterwards, I’d buy a straight-up war anthology book from you. Any time, any place. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Titan #5 (Study Group)** – One of my favourite series comes to an epic conclusion. François Vigneault’s drawing is really sneaky, and his style hits a high note here. While it looks very cartoony up front, it is actually all business: his characters are bloodied, scarred, bruised, bumped, bandaged, sweaty, and totally intense. Meanwhile, his backgrounds are detailed but – unlike in classic ligne claire – not just architecturally rendered and clean. Everything is lived-in, everything is beat-up and not only used but in use. For some, cartooniness can be a way to cut corners: in Titan it’s a way to show them. Never mind that the writing is also top-notch, dealing with a revolution-in-space genre that makes no bones about problems of race, class, economic exploitation, sex, and the political uses of violence. Go out of your way and get these. They’ve just been collected in French translation, but are still looking for a home in English. Get on this, internet! Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Victor LaValle’s Destroyer #1 (Boom!) – I’m kind of a sucker for a good Frankenstein story, so I was curious about this. The snarkyish rundown: Frankenstein’s monster, who’s been living in the Antarctic, tries to save a whale, which brings him back into contact with civilization and a shadowy government agency that’s been looking for him. They then go looking for a scientist, who’s holed herself up in Montana to bring her dead son back to life. Said scientist goes out drinking in a sweater and jeans, but changes into a skirt and heels to do Science. This story makes little sense (the inciting incident is ridiculous and so very long) and Dietrich Smith’s drawing is okay, but only that. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Skip



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 (**).

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 5/3

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. Generally, the quality of an issue won’t be discussed unless it directly impacts a new reader’s enjoyment of the series.

You may notice that not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often). 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.


AQM_Cv22_dsAquaman #22 If people get scared around this odd new water (called H2.0) then they become crazy water monsters. There’s a bit more to it, but at this point Aquaman and Mera trying to get back to a secluded science island, so that a group of scientists and marines (who can shape shift into anthromophic sea creatures) aren’t massacred. Amazingly, that’s a Friendly recap for you.

Bane Conquest #1 The first issue of a Bane solo series? Oh yes. If you have the slightest idea who Bane is, and honestly I’d be surprised if you didn’t, then this is a Friendly place for you to start the series. Especially since it’s the first issue in the series.

Batman #22 So Unfriendly, but so good.

Cyborg #12  is Friendly enough, I guess, but it isn’t great…

Deathstroke #18 It’s been awhile since I’ve remembered the previous issue of this series (indeed I think I missed #17), so it’s kinda hard to keep track of the myriad plot threads – and I’ve read previous issues. You might be okay to start here,  but I’m leaning toward this being Unfriendly.

GLS_Cv22_dsGreen Arrow #22 Green Arrow has hit rock bottom. His company has been taken from him, Oliver Queen has been declared dead, and he’s living in a giant tree house in the woods. On top of that Seattle is currently in the midst of a giant terrorist attack. The blanks are filled in throughout the issue, which makes this happily Friendly.

Green Lanterns #22 A new arc started in this issue, and we find Earth’s Green Lanterns hurtling toward OA. Despite the lack of background as to how the Lanterns got into space (and why they were called) the issue is Friendly.

Justice League #20 Another series that has a Part One this week, and so long as you know who the League are, then you’ll be fine. Friendly.

Nightwing #20 Another brilliant issue that isn’t the best place to start reading the series, which makes it a touch Unfriendly, but the conclusion is just wonderful.

Superman #22 There’s a pretty solid recap from Lois Lane’s point of view that actually gives you more than I can remember about the previous issues. For that reason, I’m calling this Friendly, even though there will be a moment or two that’ll throw you off here and there (I’d tell you what happened to Superman and the others, but I don’t remember).

 

Underrated: The Watchmen Movie

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The Zack Snyder directed Watchmen movie.



 

With the upcoming crossover taking place in issues of Batman and The Flash, coupled with the news that there would be an R-Rated animated version of the comic coming soon, I thought it was an ideal time to turn back and have another look at Zack Snyder’s adaptation. I’ll try and keep this as spoiler free as possible for those who haven’t read the comics or seen the movie – but honestly if you haven’t read the comic at this point, then why the hell not?

When talking about the movie, there are three different versions of the same flick that I’ll be referring too: the Theatrical Cut which was 162 minutes in length, the Directors Cut coming in at 186 minutes, and the Ultimate Cut which clocks in at 215 minutes. The Theatrical Cut is the version that everybody saw first in the cinema, and for a great may people it is the only version they have seen. It has been a long time since I watched that version, but I can recall when watching it that it was a good movie, but it wasn’t as great as it could be. Watchmen‘s director, Zack Snyder, had a very tough task ahead of him when he was charged with bringing Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s miniseries to the silver screen. Watchmen has been hailed by many people as one of the greatest graphic novels of all time; it’s a story that is near and dear to the hearts many a comic fan. Adapting the full story, and doing it well enough to meet the expectation of thousands of comic fans whilst at the same time appealing to those non-comic fans who had never read Watchmen, would have been nigh on impossible; even the Ultimate Cut is still missing at least two entire plot lines from the original comics, and that comes in at three and a half hours.

Although what was released to theaters was still a very good movie; the casting choices were fantastic (Jackie Earle Haley’s Rorschach was more than I could have ever hoped for), and the choices that were made when writing the script kept the movie as faithful to the source material as possible. Indeed, many scenes in the movie reflect certain panels almost exactly. The change to the ending I understand; to have the original  ending included, without adding perhaps an extra thirty minutes of screen time to build the subplot that would be needed to have the ending from the comics make sense, would have taken away from the story as a whole. The movie’s ending worked very well for what it was, and while ultimately the same result was achieved, it was done so in a more believable method for cinema audiences. It wasn’t the same as the comics, no, but the movies are a different medium than the comics and face more constraints in terms of run time and budget. The version released to theaters was version of the movie that the studio, producers and directors felt was best suited to a theatrical release.

But when Watchmen was initially released, it wasn’t complete. It was a good movie, and the story told was coherent enough (especially for those of us who were familiar with the comics), but it did feel like something was missing.

That something missing largely disappeared wen the Directors Cut was released; the additional forty plus minutes of footage that really added to the film, and thanks to the extra run time it told a story that echoed the source material more than the Theatrical Cut did. Glimpses of one of the missing subplots were shown, and the movie felt much more complete; but when the Ultimate Cut was released which included the previously separately released animated Tales Of The Black Freighter woven into the extended Directors Cut, well then the movie took shape. The Ultimate Cut is still flawed, but it’s as great an adaptation as we can ever expect.

Unfortunately, however, the Ultimate Cut hasn’t been seen by as many people as the Theatrical Cut, which is a shame because the Ultimate Cut is as faithful a movie adaptation as we’ll ever see, and stands head and shoulder above the Theatrical Cut in terms of quality. Watchmen was a movie that had huge expectations heaped upon it, and when it appeared theatrically it never quite lived up to those expectations, the Ultimate Cut comes very, very close; although the Ultimate Cut is an outstanding movie, it has done little to elevate Watchmen‘s stature in terms of being talked about as a great movie; making this a surprisingly underrated gem.

 

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 4/8

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

NTW_Cv18_open_order_varBatman #20 (DC) Well I Am Bane is finally over. That’s a good thing. The comic… meh. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Iron Fist #2 (Marvel) I was not a huge fan of the first issue, but I came back for #2 because I’m enjoying the Netflix show… and I’m kinda glad that I did. Definitely an upward curve from the first issue for me, although the comic is basically one long kung fu fight. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Nightwing #18 (DC) For as much as I hated Batman #20, I loved this issue. From the interplay between Dick and Damian, and the way the comic effortlessly brings back the vibe od their Batman and Robin run… Tim Seeley is writing the best biweekly Bat-book right now. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

X-Men Gold #1 (Marvel) Huh. Well, I’m surprised. This was in every way a throwback to the way I remembered the X-Men being – not that the same characters are in the book, but the themes are the same, and there’s some great down time… this is a helluva promising start. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Little Archie #1 (Archie Comics) It’s super adorable to see Art Baltazar’s fun crayon art style take on the Archie gang in Little Archie #1. This is definitely a throwback to classic Archie comics with wacky hijinks, Jughead’s crown hat, and Archie’s “R” sweater all Riverdale #1_FernandezVarmaking appearance. Some of the gags are overlong, but Baltazar and Franco throw in some clever references to Afterlife with Archie, and the fact that adults are pretty much useless in Riverdale. This comic is definitely geared to a younger audience, but is worth a read if you’re missing old school Archie. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Riverdale #1 (Archie Comics) Joe Eisma’s stylish artwork breathes some life into a couple lightweight stories about “Hell Week” for Riverdale High’s cheerleading and football teams. Writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Will Ewing, Michael Grassi roll every high school “prank” cliche into one comic book from near death experiences to streaking and of course, stealing an object from the rival school. Archie’s story centers around him helping out Moose, who I don’t think he’s spoken to the whole season while the Betty story is stronger because it focuses on her bond with Veronica. Seriously, Season 1 of Riverdale isn’t over, and they’re already coming up with an Expanded Universe in the comics. There really isn’t much of a sandbox to work with. Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Jughead #14 (Archie Comics) Unfortunately, Ryan North’s time writing the coolest of teens is over. But he goes out it the comic book equivalent of the dankest of all memes skewering Internet culture in a joke dense way. And along the way, North and artist Derek Charm (Who is staying on the book) shore up the friendship between Betty and Jughead, roast Archie, and craft the most intimidating Veronica yet. This comic is worth picking up for the double page spread of Jughead becoming various overused Internet memes alone and its quirky self-aware take on the Archie mythos will definitely be missed as a new creative team takes over. (Hopefully, Veronica will still have a “hunk budget”.) Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

RockCandyMountain_01-1Batman #20 (DC)**  So that’s “I Am Bane,” huh? A fist-fight that Batman wins with a well-timed head-butt (whoops, spoilers). Issue after issue of buildup for — this? Tom King and David Finch have really bottomed out on this book; time for some new blood. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass.

Rock Candy Mountain #1 (Image)**  Kyle Starks is a superb cartoonist whose work has always reminded me more than a bit of the legendary James Sturm, and Sturm himself would, I think, be more than pleased to see his “spiritual successor” turn his keen artistic eye toward early-20th century “hobo culture.” Amazingly well-drawn and written with a real ear for dialogue authenticity, this is indie comics at their best, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Eleanor & The Egret #1 (Aftershock)**  John Layman is a natural to write this off-kilter historical art-heist “caper,” and Sam Kieth’s art is as sumptuous as ever. Top it off with lush colors from Ronda Pattison, and you’ve got a winner that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. My only gripe is that the story is a bit on the slight side, but on the whole this was a joy to both read and look at. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Flintstones #10 (DC)**  Mark Russell and Steve Pugh can do no wrong with this book in my opinion, and it looks as though we’re going to get the series’ first (and, sadly, only) multi-part story spread over the last few issues here. The Trump comparisons are getting more obvious than ever with Bedrock’s inept, stupid mayor, which is a ton of fun, but there’s some serious heartbreak in these pages too as a beloved member of the cast meets his end. Yes, this comic will make you laugh — it always does — but don’t be too surprised if you shed a tear this time around as well. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

america2America #2 (Marvel) I will keep this one to a few words:funny, meta and nothing like it in the Marvel Universe. We catch up with America after she punches Hitler. Definitely a different voice at Marvel that not only is entertaining but woke. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #1 (Marvel) There’s something truly wondrous about when adaptations get the story right in the minds of its most rabid fans. This is exactly what happened when the minds at Marvel decided to tackle the first spinoff from the Star Wars universe, as this captures all the moments that the were spoken about in online fodder about the missing moments. What makes it even more authentic, is the blessing of the director and the screenwriter. The most pivotal scene to me that they cut out is the crisis of conscience that Gail Erso undergoes and what he entrusts Bodhi with, makes you understand why Bodhi was so committed to meeting Saw Gerrera. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Spider-Man /Deadpool #16 (Marvel) This book get funnier with every issue. This time we follow this crazy duo to Latvia to battle Shiklah. So they recruit Dracula into the fight but with some ribbing of him and his human slave. By issue’s end, a fight between both forces ensues. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

 

 



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 (**).

DC Rebirth Recap & Review: Comics Released 3/22

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. Generally, the quality of an issue won’t be discussed unless it directly impacts a new reader’s enjoyment of the series.

You may notice that not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often). 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.


AC_Cv976_dsAction Comics #976 “Right now, everything is so bizarre… that it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.” I’m going to let the opening of the comic speak for the recap, but you should still check the fourth part of the Action Comics/Superman crossover out.

Batman Beyond #6 The first part of a new arc that also neatly explains the previous story in bits and pieces is, as you should expect, quite Friendly.

Batgirl #9 I… don’r remember the last issue at all, and I think I missed it completely (don’t quote me on that). That said, this week Batgirl #9 will be judged entirely on  this issue, and it’s easy to read nature makes it quite Friendly.

Deathstroke #14 Another excellent issue that is tough to follow. Although I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here, you’re better trade waiting for this otherwise Unfriendly issue.

Detective Comics #953 The attack on Gotham that has been hinted at since Detective Comics relaunched happened a couple issues ago, and Batman wasn’t as ready as he’d have liked. There’s a scene in the beginning of the comic where Jim Gordon is brought up to speed that’s a very effective, and brief, recap for the story thus far making this comic Friendly enough on it’s own.

The Flash #19 Even though the last issue only came out two weeks ago, I don’t remember too much about it beyond the fact that The Flash is stuck working with Captain Boomerang who may or may not have been on a solo Suicide Squad mission (I may be wrong, but I can’t remember and won’t go back and check). That being said this is a really good, and Friendly, comic.

HJGLC_Cv17_dsHal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #17 After the craziness of the last issue, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this issue wouldn’t be the best place to jump on board… but it’s actually really Friendly, complete with it’s own moments where it fills in the gaps for you throughout the issue.

Suicide Squad #14 Somebody killed Amanda Waller, one of her enemies turned off the Suicide Squad’s brain bombs, Deadshot turned on the Squad and Boomerang murdered somebody. None of that does justice to the story itself, but it’ll get you more or less up to speed with this barely Friendly issue.

Teen Titans #6 A new arc commences that looks like it’ll introduce a water themed hero to the team, complete with an almost forced recap about the characters and their powers, make this a Friendly comic.

Wonder Woman #19 This series has had two stories running through it in alternating issues since the beginning, and while it was fairly easy to keep track of each story when Year One was being told, because both concurrently running stories are similar enough in setting I’m having  hell of a time keeping both separate in my head. Anyway, The Truth finds Diana in an institution following a perceived mental break down, and  minotaur named Ferdinand has gone to get her out. I’m not sure whether this would be Friendly with a decent recap or not at this point.

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