Tag Archives: deathstroke

Around the Tubes

tws_cv1_dsIt was new comic book day yesterday. What’d you get? What’s you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – Breaking news: only 30% of the news on comics news sites is actually about comics – And we’re about 70%.

TechCrunch – Pixar offers free online lessons in storytelling via Khan Academy – This is pretty cool and if you want some storytelling tips, they are some of the best at it.

Arizona State University – The rise of graphic novels – This is a pretty cool event.

Newsarama – Coming Soon: DC Comics Commercials In Movie Theaters – About time. We pitched this idea years ago.

The Comichron – Exclusive: Comichron’s provisional Direct Market comics sales rankings and market shares for 2016 – Some interesting initial data.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Newsarama – Batwoman: Rebirth #1

Newsarama – Daredevil #17

Talking Comics – Deathstroke #12

Atomic Junk Shop – Doctor Crowe #1

Comic Attack – Horizon #8

Newsarama – The Wild Storm #1

Advertisements

Preview: Deathstroke #12

Deathstroke #12

(W) Christopher Priest (A) Joe Bennett, Mark Morales (CA) Bill Sienkiewicz
RATED T+
In Shops: Feb 08, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“Twilight” part one! What happens when the World’s Deadliest Assassin begins to go blind? A bold new tale begins here! After the Red Lion breaks Deathstroke out of prison, he maneuvers Slade into a deadly encounter with the enigmatic thief known as the Raptor, last seen in the pages of NIGHTWING.

ds_cv12_ds

Preview: Deathstroke #11

Deathstroke #11

(W) Christopher Priest (A/CA) Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz
RATED T+
In Shops: Jan 25, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“CHICAGO”! Jack Ryder, a.k.a. the Creeper, investigates a series of murders in Chicago…and comes face to face with Deathstroke, the World’s Deadliest Assassin. Christopher Priest is joined by guest artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz for an unflinching look at gun violence in America.

ds_cv11_ds

Review: Deathstroke #11

deathstroke11coverIn Deathstroke #11, writer Priest and a stellar guest art team of Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and regular colorist Jeromy Cox tackle the problem of gun violence. The story is set in Chicago, and Priest does his usual non-linear narrative thing switching from neighborhood to neighborhood and getting a variety of perspectives on how Chicago can have less homicides. Is it okay to take revenge on your killer’s children with your own gun, or the gun of a mercenary? Priest and Cowan explore this question through the specific lens of the city of Chicago in a scratchily inked (Sienkiewicz is kind of the best at this.) mystery yarn.

Deathstroke #11 is a master class in both how to tell a story that is both engaging and socially relevant in a non-preachy way and with an O. Henry twist ending. Priest’s writing gives insights into the characters of Detective Gill, the journalist Jack Ryder who has been following Deathstroke since he was responsible for a string of killings in Philadelphia, and the mysterious reverend. He focuses on ideas and characterization while letting Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz seed in visual clues about who has been killing the child killers in Chicago.

Cowan and Sienkiewicz’s artwork feels like a talented lead guitarist and rhythm guitarist trading riffs and creating a flawless wall of sound. Except nothing about the artwork of Deathstroke #11 is smooth or refined with Cowan going for gritty almost photorealism with his figures and backgrounds, and Sienkiewicz adding crosshatching and thin lines. Jeromy Cox adds splashes of red when Deathstroke makes his kills, an exclamation point in the wintry gloom. Yes, there is a lot of snow in this comic, and you can feel the subzero Chicago temperatures on almost every page. And when Creeper shows up, Cowan channels George Perez, Cox assaults our eyeballs with Christmas-like reds and greens, but the scratchy inks are still there because this is definitely not an issue of New Teen Titans.

deathstroke11interior

Creeper himself is an agent of chaos, who literally won’t die and messes with Priest’s  procedural-meets-journalism with little eruptions of violence tone. Jack Ryder is a kind of oblivious, kind of empathetic investigative journalist and keeps the narrative as the facts keep changing with victims and murderers switching, and the urban legend of Deathstroke lurking in the background. He centers the narrative until he transforms into a straight up freak hellbent on violence. This might be a bit of a logical leap, but I think that Creeper symbolizes using over-the-top violence to stop crime in the United States. Like the tanks in Ferguson after Trayvon Martin was killed, or Donald Trump tweeting about sending “the Feds” to Chicago when he was too afraid to even give a speech there while campaigning. It’s tone deaf destruction and noise like Creeper’s over the top dialogue, or George Zimmerman’s repeated 911 calls, and doesn’t even come close to helping out.

Priest and Cowan face the intersection of racism and gun usage head on in Deathstroke #11. Why are Oregon militamen who occupy a wildlife sanctuary for 41 days and leave shit, bombs, and guns behind for government employees to clean up, and a police officer who shot a 12 year old boy in Cleveland  named Tamir Rice acquitted? It’s white privilege plain and simple, and Priest echoes that in the dialogue of the mothers of the dead children in Deathstroke #11. They just want justice for their kids even if they have to spend their hard earned money on a masked assassin. Their desperate straits makes you sympathize with them even if the killings by Deathstroke in the comic are horrific like a jarring image of a fireman’s ax in a rich white man, who sent his secretary to buy his drugs in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. Vigilante justice is cathartic, yet hollow, but again Priest doesn’t go the “message route” and ends the story on an ambiguous line of dialogue to go with Cowan’s pure black and white art.

Deathstroke #11 is an intelligent, tightly plotted, and well-researched piece of vigilante fiction from Priest, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Jeromy Cox aka the comic book equivalent of the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls starting lineup  It’s worth picking up even if you don’t know your Deathstrokes from your Deadshots (Or Deadpools.) and rewards rereading.

Story: Priest Pencils: Denys Cowan Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz Colors: Jeromy Cox
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Deathstroke #10

Deathstroke #10

(W) Christopher Priest (A/CA) Cary Nord
RATED T+
In Shops: Jan 11, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“FOUR DAYS” part two! Slade and Wintergreen’s covert mission takes a stunning turn when they’re asked to protect the life of a man who has murdered thousands. Meanwhile, Dr. Villain reveals the truth about Deathstroke’s powers!

ds_cv10_ds

Review: Love is Love

loveislovefiOn June 12, 2016, a hateful man killed 49 people and wounded 53 at The Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, Florida. This was a terrible day for the LGBTQ community, and I was just plain sad. A couple weeks ago, I had celebrated getting a job and moving to a new city with a few friends at a couple gay clubs in my old home of Richmond, Virginia so a thought went through my head, “It could have been me.” Even though I am relatively privileged as a white cisgendered, relatively straight passing bisexual male, I had no queer friends in my new home to turn to and confide in after the events in Orlando. But what got me through was the queer comics and comics journalism community, and my Facebook inboxes and Twitter DM’s were filled with messages of hope and understanding. I may have felt alone in my current situation, but these beautiful people, many of whom I have never met in the flesh, got me through the tough days after the Pulse shooting.

The Love is Love comics anthology project from IDW Publishing with assistance from DC Comics, Archie Comics, Aftershock, and the Will Eisner estate gave me a similar feeling of the comics community coming together to mourn after The Pulse shooting. While reading the graphic novel, I simultaneously felt sadness and hope and remembered that despite the scandals that the comics industry has some great folks, whose excellent work appears in this comic. I enjoyed how well-represented all genders, races, sexualities, and religions were in Love is Love along with the different art styles and color palette. On a pure aesthetic level, most of the stories in Love is Love hit two of my favorite genre sweet spots: superhero and autobio, which made it a great read on both an emotional and intellectual level.

Honestly, I could write a book about the brilliant one to three page stories, poems, and pinups in Love is Love, and maybe I will one day. For the purpose of this review, I will hit on a few that affected me personally; those stories that through words, art, colors, and letters gave me comfort as I thought back to Orlando.

batwomanPaul Dini‘s Harley and Ivy story is insanely adorable and nails their romantic relationship in a nutshell with each one making compromises for the each other. For example, Harley goes vegetarian while Ivy is subjected to a Three Stooges marathon. Bill Morrison‘s art is very similar to the style of Batman: Animated Series and peppered with all kinds of background details to add to the humor. Another funny story (Albeit darker than Harley and Ivy shenanigans.) that provided some great comic relief in the midst of the emotionally headier material of Love is Love was a Deathstroke one by Taran Killam where he switches out his arsenal of guns for karate after the Pulse shooting. Gallows humor is a great way to stave off pain.

As someone whose sexuality is still not accepted by those close to me and was afraid to come out until I was 19, Love is Love‘s portrayal of homophobia is harrowing, yet all too relatable. Early, in the book, Daniel Beals and David Lafuente do a splitscreen story where two young boys see the same news coverage of The Pulse, but react in vastly different ways because of their parent’s homophobia and empathy respectively. Then, there is a nuanced story from Jeff King and Steve Pugh where a girl is sad about the shooting and wants to go to the memorial service, but her dad is uneasy about men kissing men. Later, he realizes how thoughtless he was and apologizes. I know Pugh from his superhero work on Fantastic Four and Detective Comics, and this appeal for forgiveness was just as fictional as Batman or Reed Richards in my own life.

The stories that bypassed my head and went straight to my heart strings were ones that focused on queer clubs as sanctuaries. In six pulsing panels and two pages, comics legends Grant Morrison and Jesus Merino capture the beat with alternating colors and skeletons in the background. Without a word, an image engulfed my mind and reminded me of fog lights, cute boys, and too many Long Island ice teas. In a similar vein, Emma Houxbois and Alejandra Gutierrez looked at the escapism of a queer club experience complete with cuties and the sad realities of the morning after. (Full disclosure: I worked closely with Emma on the Fantheon podcast and at the websites The Rainbow Hub and Pop Optiq and she has contributed to this site.) The comic had a soft color palette and intelligent narration while still connecting to my personal experiences and of other LGBTQ people. And it was followed by a silent comic by Brian Michael Bendis, his daughter Olivia Bendis, Michael Oeming, and Taki Soma that captured the joy and energy of a queer night club with people dancing with they wanted to and bright colors everywhere courtesy of Soma.

Many of the creators, who were from Florida, had very personal stories to share about the LGBTQ community of Orlando, which were sad and enjoyable, like Scott Snyder, who wrote a prose piece with a spot illustration by Jock about working at Disney World, and how some of the queer employees, who played various Disney characters, would invite him to a gay bar every Thursday and accept him.

Love is Love gave me an opportunity to listen to the stories of some queer comics creators that I have admired for quite some time, like James Tynion and Phil Jimenez. Tynion’s story was drawn in black and white by artist Molly Ostertag except for splotches of rainbow in the bracelet that he got as a youngster. It skips time frantically in a two page story as he comes to terms with his sexuality cutting from him spending time with his friends at Pride to facing the fact that he is a bisexual boy at an all-boy’s Catholic school. Jimenez did his comic with his writer friend David Kim and talked about how they had grown up from using codenames to show that they are dating men to being out and proud DC Comics creators. The comic is filled with snatches of conversations they had about relationships and even superhero oddities as they reflect on their friendship after the events in Orlando. Jimenez also excels at wispy, life drawing as well as superheroes, Amazons, and the Invisible College.

The queer DC Comics character that means the most to me is definitely Midnighter, and I was happy to see him featured in a couple of the Love is Love stories. The first one is by Dan DiDio and Carlos D’Anda and acts as a crash course in DC’s LGBTQ characters. It’s pretty amusing and features Midnighter and Apollo doing shots of tequila and getting on the dance floor with Batwoman as Renee Montoya snarks from the sides. The other one was my favorite story of the entire Love is Love collection from Tom Taylor, Emily Smith, and Michael Garland. Midnighter was angry after The Pulse shooting just like I was angry, and Garland punctuates his anger with a red background. He’s just punching aimlessly when Apollo shows up and says that he is not alone and will be safe with him. This kind of solidarity between queer people in the face of death and tragedy truly empowered me as Taylor makes good use of Midnighter’s vulnerable side that is the emotional center of Steve Orlando’s current work on his title.

Other highlights of Love is Love included Tom King and Mitch Gerads doing a rainbow-tinted Batman tale, Sterling Gates returning to Supergirl and writing about how she failed to save the day, married couple Amanda Seibert and Cat Staggs showing Batwoman comforting a child, whose mother died at The Pulse, and much more. There’s even a wonderful, yet vulnerable riff on Beauty and the Beast from Marguerite Bennett and Aneke where Bennett, and an LGBT-inclusive riff on DC’s old romance comics from project creator Marc Andreyko with art from George Perez, Karl Kesel, and Laura Allred.  A full list of collaborators on Love is Love can be found here, and I definitely plan on delving into their other work.

Love is Love is personal, beautiful, and tragic collection of comics that really affected me despite their being more “ally” creators than LGBTQ ones. I hope it will make the world a more loving and inclusive place even in the shadow of the election of two homophobes to the office of president and vice president.

As Batman says in King and Gerads’ story, “Today, I will get up. Today, I will face their hate… And I will again fight for my love.” Visual and verbal moments like that are why I love comics.

Story: Various Art: Various
Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Deathstroke Never Looked So Good. Courtesy of One:12 Collective

A military man, Slade Wilson was recruited into the special ops unit Team 7, where he participated in highly dangerous classified missions. There he underwent an experimental procedure that granted him enhanced speed, strength and intelligence, effectively making him the world’s greatest soldier.

Following the disbandment of Team 7, Slade became Deathstroke, a mercenary-for-hire. He quickly became known in the criminal world as the man to call when you want to make sure the job will get done. Deathstroke continuously pushes himself further and further with an unwavering focus on getting the job done no matter what it takes, no matter how ruthless, deadly or manipulative he must be. He is, without question, the world’s greatest assassin and one of the most feared people on the planet.

The One:12 Collective is releasing this new Deathstroke figure next year. It features:

  • Two (2) newly developed head portraits including:
    • Helmeted/masked portrait
    • Unmasked portrait
  • One:12 Collective body with over 30 points of articulation
  • Hand painted authentic detailing
  • Over 17cm tall
  • Six (6) interchangeable hands including
    • One (1) pair of fists (L&R)
    • One (1) pair of sword holding hands (L&R)
    • One (1) pair of gun holding hands (L&R)

COSTUME:

  • Armored collar
  • Shoulder pads with sculpted grenades
  • Chest armor
  • Abdominal plate
  • Vambraces
  • Cross body strap
  • Belt
  • Thigh holster
  • Shin armor with ankle guards

ACCESSORIES:

  • One (1) machine gun with removable clip
  • One (1) hand gun with removable clip (gun fits in thigh holster)
  • One (1) sword and sheath. Sheath attaches to the back of the cross body strap
  • One (1) One:12 Collective display base with logo
  • One (1) One:12 Collective adjustable display post

Each figure is packaged in a deluxe, collector friendly box, designed with collectors in mind there are no twist ties for easy in and out of package display.

You can pre-order the figure now.

 

 

 

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: Deathstroke #8

Deathstroke #8

(W) Christopher Priest (A) Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, Sean Parsons (CA) Aco
In Shops: Dec 14, 2016
SRP: $2.99

“THE PROFESSIONAL” part eight! It’s the Man of Steel vs. the world’s deadliest assassin in the no-holds-barred finale to the “The Professional”!

ds_cv8_ds

Preview: Deathstroke #7

Deathstroke #7

(W) Christopher Priest (A) Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz (CA) Aco
In Shops: Nov 23, 2016
SRP: $2.99

“The Professional” part seven! After Deathstroke confronts the enemy behind Wintergreen’s abduction and the attempted murder of his daughter, he soon finds himself abandoned on a suicide mission where he confronts an unbeatable foe-the Man of Steel!

ds_cv7_ds

Preview: Deathstroke #6

Deathstroke #6

Art by: Jason Paz, Carlo Pagulayan
Cover by: Aco
Variant cover by: Shane Davis
Written by: Christopher Priest

“The Professional” part six! Deathstroke’s honor is put to the test when he must help a tyrannical despot—Ja Zaki, a.k.a. The Red Lion—stop a civil war that he inadvertently caused. Plus: Enter Jericho!

ds_cv6_ds

« Older Entries