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Advance Review: American Carnage #1

For those attending San Diego Comic-Con 2018, they got a chance to get an early copy of American Carnage #1, one of the new series that’s part of DC ComicsVertigo relaunch.

In this thrilling crime saga, disgraced FBI agent Richard Wright, who is biracial but can pass for white, goes undercover in a white supremacist group believed to be responsible for the death of a fellow agent.

Out this November, the series is by Bryan Hill, Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, Pat Brosseau, Maggie Howell, and Andy Khouri.

You can pre-order the comic now from your local comic shop now! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online.

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Review: Dark Nights Metal: Dark Knights Rising

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got a collection of the Dark Knights Metal one-shots!

Dark Nights Metal: Dark Knights Rising is by Scott Syder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Frank Tieri, Sam Humphries, Dan Abnett, Peter J. Tomasi, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Riccardo Federici, Ethan Van Sciver, Philip Tan, Tyler Kirkham, Francis Manapul, Tony S. Daniel, Danny Mini, Riley Rossmo, Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Ivan Plascencia, Rain Beredo, Jason Wright, Dean White, Arif Prianto, Tomeu Morey, Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Wil Quintana, TOm Napolitano, Clayton Cowles, Jason Fabok, and Brad Anderson.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on June 26. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: Eternals

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the Eternals!

Eternals collects issues #1-7 by Neil Gaiman, John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki, Tom Palmer, Tim Townsend, Jesse Delperdang, Klaus Janson, Matt Hollingsworth, Paul Mounts, Dean White, Todd Klein, Rick Berry, Sean Ryan, and Nick Lowe.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores April 24. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

 

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Preview: Daredevil #600

Daredevil #600

Story: Charles Soule Art: Ron Garney
Color: Matt Milla Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Dan Mora, Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Variant Covers: David Aja; Alex Ross; Frank Miller, Dean White; Daniel Acuña
Editor: Jordan D. White Assistant Editor: Annalise Bissa
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 28, 2018
SRP: $5.99

MAYOR FISK Conclusion!
OVERSIZED ANNIVERSARY ISSUE!
Daredevil can see the new mayor’s machinations coming together…but is he in time to stop them? Guest-starring both the heroes and villains of the New York City streets…this oversized anniversary issue has a surprise ending that will shake the city to its very core! Plus: a look at Foggy & Matt’s relationship over the years!

Review: The Silencer #2

The world’s deadliest assassin thought she was out…but the past won’t let her leave! Talia al Ghul’s violent disappearance has led to a mystery that could cost Honor Guest the lives of her family, and to defend those she loves, Honor must once again don the mantle of the Silencer! Seeking information from the neutral ground of the assassin’s armory, Silencer gets more than she bargained for as the most monstrous forces of the underworld descend for the kill!

The “New Age of Heroes” continues as Honor must deal with the attack on her and Talia and then attempt to go about her life. The Silencer #2 continues a fun mash-up of the familiar blending together True Lies, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and John Wick into a series that feels very unique and unlike anything DC has done before.

Creators Dan Abnett and John Romita, Jr. aren’t delivering anything new or groundbreaking here. Honor confronts the new management and wants out but is dragged back into the business. We’ve seen that. A lot. But, it’s done in a way that’s entertaining with solid art to compliment the story. Abnett and Romita do a fantastic job of balancing the action, the tension, and family life, finding a humor that connects it all.

Romita is helped on art by Sandra Hope‘s ink, Dean White and Arif Prianto‘s color, and lettering by Tom Napolitano. For the series to go from this action packed sequence to a domestic one in just a few pages, that requires some solid artwork to make it flow well. And that is exactly what happens. There’s small details like Hope’s hair being fringed and must be cut so her husband doesn’t know. A drawing by her kid. A cleanup of the bodies. It all comes together well in Romita’s distinctive style.

The Silencer is a winner blending action and humor in a familiar package that still feels fresh. While it doesn’t feel very “DC” it is entertaining and part of the “New Age of Heroes” that I’m coming back to check out and see where it takes us.

Story: Dan Abnett and John Romita Jr. Art: John Romita Jr.
Ink: Sandra Hope Color: Dean White and Arif Prianto Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Paul Kaminski Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Silencer #1

The Silencer is the story of Honor Guest (not her real name), a woman who appears to be an ordinary suburban housewife with a devoted husband and a young son. She’s also a trained assassin with the ability to create a cone of silence that disrupts sound in her immediate vicinity, a very useful ability in her line of work. After years of being free of the killing trade, someone is now after her with a vengeance.

I liked this book quite a bit. With Damage (the first book in DC’ New Age of Heroes line-up) we got a DC version of the Hulk. The Silencer is set up to be a lot more of a riff on the seminal manga Lone Wolf and Cub than anything in mainstream superhero comics. 

Your opinion of The Silencer is largely going to be based on what you think of John Romita Jr. His style tends to be pretty polarizing among fans, something that surprises me since I consider him one of the modern masters of the form. This story has Romita’s fingerprints all over it. He’s credited as a “storyteller” rather than simply an “artist” and his name comes first so I can only assume that he contributed more to the mix than just drawing what he was told. The plot and characters seem to be the sort that have always appealed to his sensibilities: tough, no nonsense types with more down to Earth power sets and a lot of very big, sometimes outlandish, guns. The action also moves like it was plotted by an artist with a pencil rather than a writer at a computer. There is a cinematic quality to the layouts, for example, that it’s almost impossible to plan out with mere words.

Romita is aided by Dan Abnett, a writer who has consistently proven himself to be one of the best working for DC or any other company. Of all of his comics that I’ve read, this is the one that hews the closest to the work that first brought him to my attention: his novels set in the grimdark universe of the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop games, particularly the Eisenhorn trilogy. Abnett has always excelled at finding the humanity behind hard edged characters who must justify some pretty extreme means with a greater good in mind. He’s great at transforming people who might otherwise come off as very hollow and uncompromising suits of cool looking armor into compelling individuals and he does so here. I knew what Honor was about after two pages of reading and that’s down to Abnett’s dialog and captions as much as Romita’s art. I thought Romita and Scott Snyder were a great team on All-Star Batman but at this rate I think Romita and Abnett might just be a better fit for each other.

Colorist Dean White and Letterer Tom Napolitano both do their jobs well but special mention has to be given to inker Sandra Hope. I don’t think Romita’s work has looked this good since he left Amazing Spider-Man in the early 2000’s. As much as I enjoyed Klaus Janson’s rougher finishes, Hope brings a quality and confidence to the pencils that really stood out for me.

If I have one criticism it’s this: The Silencer is heavily tied into the end of Grant Morrison’s Batman run (I can’t really reveal how without spoilers). While it’s not hard for longtime DC readers to follow (even those like me who haven’t read many of issues in question), I don’t think that brand new readers are well served by the level of name dropping, especially in a first issue. It’s particularly annoying given that this a brand new character. Depending on how the story develops and how the creators handle the exposition in issues to come it might not be a long term problem but as things stand now I would hesitate to recommend this to anyone without at least passing familiarity with recent Bat-history. For everyone else it gets a hearty thumbs up.

Story: John Romita Jr and Dan Abnett  Art: John Romita Jr
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

DC Reveals Covers for Batman: The Red Death and Batman: The Murder Machine

Evil versions of the Dark Knight are coming to terrorize Earth this fall! Seven one-shot comics that tie into the upcoming Dark Nights: Metal event are on the horizon, each spotlighting a different, corrupted version of Batman spawned from the Dark Multiverse.

How can the Justice League stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of themselves? Find out in these special tie-in issues, beginning September 20with Batman: The Red Death #1 by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico followed by Batman: The Murder Machine #1 by Frank Tieri and Ricardo Federici on September 27.

All seven of the Dark Nights: Metal one shots will feature covers by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson. Stay tuned for more cover reveals of Batman: The Drowned, Batman: The Merciless, Batman: The Devastator, Batman: The Dawnbreaker, and The Batman Who Laughs in the coming weeks!

Batman: The Red Death #1 cover by Jason Fabok and Dean White

Batman: The Murder Machine #1 cover by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson

 

Review: Suicide Squad #13

13 has always been my favorite number and Suicide Squad #13 reminded me why. Rob Williams continues the “Burning Down the House” arc on the front end of the issue. Part three of the arc is no less compelling than its predecessors, in fact, part three turns the action up to 11 and, I’m here for it. Williams gives us the Suicide Squad actually being a team. He shows us peak Harley loyalty, some wicked hacking mainframe battles we also see a Squad member confront Waller’s killer.

We get a glimpse into Rustam’s plan as he holds a couple of squad members captive and he makes all of the Squad a pretty compelling offer. This issue gives us infighting, someone’s power being revoked, and during the final battle during this comic I actually was humming the song Burning Down the House and it seemed to match perfectly with the rhythm of the fight!!

A special shout out goes to the art team on this issue! John Romita Jr. who provides a great base line for Richard Friend to lay down the ink giving us the killer visuals. Dean White and Jeremiah Skipper step in and give us a color game so strong that I forgot I was reading for a minute. The mainframe scenes alone made we want to go grab some popcorn and the before and after panels made me wish I had nachos.

“Burning Down the House” is such a beautifully crafted story, with art to match, that I really felt like I was in a movie. There was so much attention to detail, character motives, and background that I found myself getting sucked into the Squads’ world and I was happy to go on the ride.

This marks the end of this particular arc and the creative team did this story justice and actually lived up to its title.

The second half of issue Suicide Squad #13Hero or Villain” is also written by Rob Williams. Williams takes amazing care in crafting a short, sweet, poignant story that not only sets up the next full arc but breaks us of our preconceived notions of who is who. The People’s spy is revealed and a Squad member falls because of it all. Harley examines her feeling for Flag, June thinks about a future with Croc, and Hack thinks about work as they enjoy a much-needed girls’ night out. There’s a nice calm and a real moment of pure love that occurs in the second half of this issue making the ending all the more sad and powerful.

Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas provide the pop inspired visuals that brought this half of the issue to life. The intermittent bright pops of color with the hard lines shadows gives an ominous tone to the story. The artwork engages the reader and prepares us for that gut check in the final panel.

Burning Down the House 
Story: Rob Williams Art: John Romita Jr., Dean White, Richard Friend and Jeremiah Skipper
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.2

Hero or Villain 
Story: Rob Williams Art: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.3

Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Detective Comics #950

dtc_cv950_dsIt’s an oversized anniversary special for Detective Comics #950 this week, and what we get in this issue is a lot of setup for some upcoming arcs, some solid backstory and character development for characters that need it, and a huge revelation about all of the moving pieces Batman has set up. We learn from a flashback conversation between Batman and Red Robin in the last story, that Batman is preparing for something big. He is preparing for war. With everything this team is doing, it had seemed Batman had a bigger plan, but it was never fully revealed. Not only do we know now, that he is preparing for war, his forming of The Justice League of America, and even what Duke, Nightwing, and The Red Hood have been involved with, may be part of a much bigger plan. Could this be about the upcoming League of Shadows arc? Or something much bigger. It sounds like 2017 is going to be an exciting year for the bat-family.

This issue begins the new League of Shadows story arc. The issue is split up into three stories. The first two are larger, with the final being just a few pages. We begin with our first story, aptly named The League of Shadows. In this story, we follow Orphan, Cassandra Cain. She never says a lot in Detective Comics and is the strong silent type. She is damaged, as are many in the bat-family, including Batman, and this story spends it’s time in her head. At first I thought the telling and not showing writing style of explaining what was in Cassandra’s head was too much, but then I remembered that perhaps narration like this was needed for a silent character. James Tynion IV did a great job making me feel like I know Orphan more as a character now, and also gave her even more of an edge. She is a killer, and like other characters, Batman has taken his wing, like Spoiler, she can turn at any moment. That kind of mystery to a hero makes for a fun story. The idea that this team is hanging by a thread is the opposite to how organized and planned out Batman is, and his newly formed Justice League of America challenges that notion even more. By the end of the issue, Orphan has learned to express herself through dance, and you truly see an innocence to an otherwise masked killer. She may be on the good side, but even Cassandra herself fears herself losing control, and how far she takes her violence, even to criminals.

There is also some solid character development to Basil Karlo as not only Clayface but in his human form, and Bat-Wing. I find that Tynion writes most of his heartfelt moments when he writes about Clayface. He truly has made him a wonderful and tragic character, and I would love to see this done with more characters like that in Batman’s rogue gallery. Not all of them, as we want some villains to truly be villains, but this book has really made me sympathize with this character in a way I didn’t expect. The ending of this story sets up the upcoming League of Shadows arc for this book in an interesting way. Marcio Takara has some really nice painted art in this story, even if I am more used to Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez styles on this series, who do pencils on the second, and third story. Dean White has some fantastic color work that make Takara’s pencils shine even brighter.

In our second tale, titled Higher Powers, we get a deeper glimpse at Azrael, and Bat-Wing once again. This deals with an interesting fight against giant bat-robots and Bat-Wing asking Azrael how he defeated them as quickly as he did, as well as some solid philosophical debates and discussion on religion and faith. Azrael talking about being a man-made angel with high tech armor was interesting, and it was fun to visit the classic character in a new way. I have always thought he was a solid character, and he proves in this story he will be a great addition to the team. I feel this way about Bat-Wing as well, and while we may not get the same character depth for him that we get on Orphan, and Azrael, I still feel like I saw deeper into the cocky and witty tech genius. You can see as he worked with Basil in the first story that he truly cares about helping and curing Clayface, and here, he is truly interested in learning from Azrael, not only about his strategy, but about his blind faith. It was refreshing, and gives another layer to a character that is known just for his confidence. That is what Detective Comics does. For a team book, it really takes it’s time to develop great members of this team, and while I said they are hanging by a thread because of how broken many of them are, there are some, like Bat-Wing, that I think can keep them together. This story ends much like the previous one with something that looks to set up a future arc, with someone else being brought to life like Azrael, but only time will tell if this being will be human or completely artificial intelligence. Alvaro Martinez on pencils, Raul Fernandez on inks, and Brad Anderson on colors give some artwork that is more traditional to what you can expect in this run of Detective Comics. That isn’t a bad thing, as I have always loved what this book has done with page layouts and panels, and this story continues that fashion.

In the final and third story of the issue, we have a few pages between Red Robin and Batman in the Robin’s Nest. This is a private conversation that happened between these two heroes as the team was newly formed. Tim is very blunt with his final question to his mentor, why are you preparing for war? We don’t see an answer, but we do get the words at the bottom of the page “Dark Days Are Coming – 2017.” Could this be the big summer event we have heard Snyder is writing? I cannot wait to find out. This was a nice moment between Batman and Red Robin, and more Tim Drake in this series is always a good thing. The art in this story, is more of what you can expect like the previous story. Eddy Barrows on pencils, Eber Ferreira on inks, and Adriano Lucas on colors give some of the best panel work and layout in the entire issue, and they only have four pages to work with. As Red Robin is questioning Batman, Nightwing, Red Hood, and more are painted in the background on monitors and it gives a real sense of paranoia to what is really going on. I found myself waiting for Batman to answer and almost demand “Yeah! What are you doing Bats?”, but I am patient, and I cannot wait to see where this series takes us by the end of 2017. As I said in the opening paragraph, Tim put the pieces together that none of the things Batman is doing are accidental, and he is planning for something big. What is he so worried about? And what is coming to either Gotham City, or the world that has him juggling so many of his protégées, former enemies, and new teams? There is a reason Detective Comics is one of DC’s best books, it simply delivers.

League of Shadows Story: James Tynion IV Art: Marcio Takara Color: Dean White
Higher Powers Story: James Tynion IV Art: Alvaro Martinez
Inks: Raul Fernandez Color: Brad Anderson
The Big Picture Story: James Tynion IV Art: Eddy Barrows
Inks: Eber Ferreira Color: Adriano Lucas
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Detective Comics Celebrates #950 this February

It’s a major milestone for Detective Comics this February when issue #950 hits the shelves. From the first appearance of the World’s Greatest Detective until now, the past and present are united in one of the greatest, and longest lasting comic books in history.  A love letter to your favorite Caped Crusader, Detective Comics #950 is an extra-large issue filled with Batman Family action and will serve as a prologue to an exciting new story arc, “League of Shadows,” which begins late February from writer James Tynion IV.

The lead story puts Cassandra Cain in sharp focus, setting the stage for the next epic spring storyline, “The League of Shadows,” with art by the phenomenal Marcio Takara. There are a lot of questions left unanswered about Orphan—her past, her mind and her silence. They’re going to start answering them here, and opening up a whole new world of questions that will open up all sorts of new, exciting stories.

But that wasn’t enough. This issue celebrates this landmark with the artists who have defined the Rebirth run of Detective…all in the same single issue, for the first time. There’s a Batwing/Azrael story by Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez, which really introduces Jean-Paul Valley into the fold of the series, setting the stage for some tremendous threats emerging from his past…and a third story by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira that’s so secret DC can’t even hint at what you might find in it. It is a short that sets the stage for the next year of Batman stories, not just in Detective, but for the entire line. 

Detective Comics #950 is out February 8th.

Check out the artwork below.

Page 1 by artist Marcio Takara and Dean White

dc-950-pg-01Page 25 by Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, and Brad Anderson

dc-950-pg-25

Page 35 by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas

dc-950-pg-35

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