Tag Archives: denys cowan

Review: Dark Nights: Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme!

Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme!

Dark Nights: Death Metal has been a mixed bag of an event. Often, the one-shot tie-ins have been better than the main series. They’ve also been vital to the main story. The one-shots have filled in gaps fleshing out key moments not taking place in the main series but referenced there. Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is Lobo’s mission in the event. Hired by Lex Luthor, Lobo is tasked with obtaining Death Metal which can remake the universe. Made up of a trio of stories, Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is a flimsy one-shot. In the end, it’s a comic that’s neither exciting, interesting, or funny.

Frank Tieri kicks off the first story “Part I: The Batman Who Frags“. In a drawn out sequence, Lobo bounces between trying to drink, capture a bounty, and also tangles with the Lobo version of Batman, The Batman Who Frags. Tieri is joined by artist Tyler Kirkham, colorist Arif Prinato, and letterer Dave Sharpe. As has hampered some of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the story feels like it’s more focused on introducing the Lobo Batman than actually getting the story going. With a distraction of a bounty to bring in, some fights and events that are a bit choppy, the kick-off never quite makes sense in its narrative. Why did The Batman Who Frags show up? How did he find Lobo? It’s a segment that kicks off a series of events rather than a flowing narrative.

The second part by Becky Cloonan, artist Rags Morales, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Rob Leigh is titled “What the Frag is a Death Metal Anyway!?“. Blackhawk Island and Hawkman are at the center as Lobo tracks down the Death Metal. Again, the story devolves into a series of events than narrative as Lobo must tussle with Black Monday and then convince Hawkman to turn over the metal. An attack from the air by The Batman Who Frags feels out of the blue and not explained enough as much of what happens. It, just happens. Why would Hawkman trust Lobo? Why wouldn’t Hawkman use the power of the Death Metal himself? There are so many questions out there that just kills the narrative if one takes a moment to think about it at all.

Wrapping up the trio of stories is “Lobo Land!” from writer Sam Humphries, artist Denys Cowan, inks by Bill Sienkiewicz, colorist Chris Sotomayor, and letterer Dave Sharpe. With the Death Metal in hand Lobo does what he does best and gets distracted. Again, it adds little to the narrative and again opens up questions. Lex Luthor was able to snatch Lobo initially but doesn’t once he has the metal?

Instead, Brainiac is part of the story sent by a missing Luthor. It’s a series of jokes as Lobo changes realities creating different versions of himself in a series of one-page jokes. They’re not even long enough to nail down the joke with barely a setup. It also adds little to the story and feels more of an exit that’s created because there were pages to fill and unsure of a way to wrap up the issue for Dark Nights: Death Metal #5. What the team does evoke is classic Lobo stories and the kinetic, almost Mad Magazine-like rapid-fire jokes.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is just an ok tie-in. Yes, it probably tells something important that won’t be covered in the main series but it also doesn’t feature enough to stand out. It feels like something that probably could have been told in a few pages stretched out to over 30. Most of it is filler with the meat of the story featuring little explanation and a resolution that takes place in a few panels. It’s about as filler as filler gets.

Story: Frank Tieri, Becky Cloonan, Sam Humphries Art: Tyler Kirkham, Rags Morales, Denys Cowan
Ink: Bill Sienkiewicz Color: Arif Prianto, Andrew Dalhouse, Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Rob Leigh
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme #1

Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme #1

Written by: Sam Humphries, Becky Cloonan, Frank Tieri
Art by: Denys Cowan, Tyler Kirkham, Rags Morales

Pull up a chair, ya bastiches-it’s time for Uncle Lobo’s Infinite Hour! It’s your chance to let the Main Man Lobo-tomize you with familiar yet freaky stories of the DC Universe, exactly as he remembers them: with blood and guts and exxxtreme gratuitous violence! Tell yer comics guy to put you down for alllll the copies!

Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme #1

Michael B. Jordan Joins Static Shock as Producer

Static #1

DC announced during their FanDome event that Static Shock was getting the movie treatment. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that Michael B. Jordan and Outlier Society will produce the film.

Jordin joins Reginald Hudlin on the project. Outlier Society is Jordan’s Warner-based banner.

In a statement, Jordan said:

I’m proud to be a part of building a new universe centered around black superheroes; our community deserves that. Outlier Society is committed to bringing to life diverse comic book content across all platforms and we are excited to partner with Reggie and Warner Bros on this initial step.

Static is 15-year-old Virgil Hawkins who gains electromagnetic powers and becomes a costumed crusader.

Static first appeared in Static #1 in 1993 as part of the Milestone Comics imprint. Milestone was a comics imprint founded in response to the underrepresentation of minorities in comics. The comic imprinted the Dakota Verse, filled with minority superheroes and characters. Static was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. When Milestone folded, Static eventually joined the regular DC Universe.

Milestone is currently being revived by DC. Hudlin will be writing a new Static Shock digital comic series that launches in February 2021 as well as a graphic novel with art by Kyle Baker.

Static has also appeared in other media including his own animated series which ran for four seasons and 52 episodes.

The 2020 Harvey Award Winners Have Been Announced

The Harvey Awards

Ahead of the official ceremony later this week, the winners for the 2020 Harvey Awards have been announced. The award ceremony has gone virtual this year with the initial group of nominees announced in August and then the winners chosen by vote.

The 2020 winners are:

Book of the Year: Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
Digital Book of the Year: The Nib edited by Matt Bors (thenib.com)
Best Children or Young Adult Book: Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru (DC Comics)
Best Manga: Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama (Kodansha Comics)
Best International Book: Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translated by Janet Hong (Drawn and Quarterly)
Best Adaptation from a Comic Book/Graphic Novel: Watchmen by HBO, based on Watchmen (DC Comics)

The Harveys will also be inducting Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother), and the founding members of Milestone Media which includes Denys Cowan, Derek T. Dingle, Michael Davis, and the late Dwayne McDuffie into this year’s Harvey Awards Hall of Fame.

The virtual ceremony will be broadcast on October 9 at 4:50 pm as part of New York Comic Con’s Metaverse. The ceremony will be hosted by Vivek Tiwary and will feature Gene Luen Yang, Neil Gaiman, Jill Thompson, and Damon Lindelof.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Milestone Returns Today!

Following the announcement on the Milestone panel at DC FanDome: Hall of Heroes, today sees the release of the first of the classic Milestone line on digital platforms such as Comixology, Amazon Kindle, Apple, and others.

Today sees the release of Hardware: The Man in the Machine which will be followed by Icon in October.

Hardware: The Man in the Machine (2010)

Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art by Denys Cowan and J.J. Birch
$12.99
On Sale now

This first-ever HARDWARE collection introduces inventor/engineer Curt Metcalf, who begins his adventures by breaking free of his employer, businessman Edwin Alva, who refused to share the profits from Metcalf’s many creations. Discovering that Alva is tied to organized crime and learning that no law enforcement agency would touch him, Metcalf created the high-tech Hardware armor that enabled him to take on his corrupt boss.

Hardware: The Man in the Machine (2010)

Icon: A Hero’s Welcome (1999)

Written by M.D. Bright and Dwayne McDuffie
Art by M.D. Bright
$12.99
On Sale October 6

The flagship character from Milestone Comics is back in this new printing of the classic title collecting ICON #1-8. This is the title that introduced Augustus Freeman, a successful lawyer who covertly uses his alien super-powers to help those in need. But when a teenaged girl from the streets convinces him to use his abilities to inspire his people and becomes his sidekick, Rocket, the affluent Augustus embraces his true destiny and becomes Icon, the hero of Dakota.

Icon: A Hero’s Welcome (1999)

Icon Vol. 2: The Mothership Connection (2010)

Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art by M.D. Bright and Mike Gustovich
$16.99
On Sale October 13

In 1869, the life pod of an adult alien crashed in the cotton fields of the South. Discovered by a slave woman, the extraterrestrial’s genetic structure was reconfigured, and he was transformed into an African American baby. Now, over a hundred and twenty years later, Augustus Freeman is a successful lawyer who covertly uses his alien super-powers to help those in need. But when a teenaged girl from the streets convinces him to use his abilities to inspire his people, the affluent Augustus embraces his true destiny and becomes Icon, the hero of Dakota.

Icon Vol. 2: The Mothership Connection (2010)

Baltimore Comic Con Announces its First Live Panels

Go virtual for the 1st annual Baltimore Comic-Con Live this October 23-25, 2020! The convention has revealed the first of many announcements about the featured programming for their 2020 event. The virtual convention is free to everyone.

Comics Time Machine: 1985

From American Flagg! to Hey Kids! Comics!The Mighty Thor to RagnarokThe New Mutants the comic book series to The New Mutants the movie. The Vigilante to Milestone. Grab a front-row seat to a historical and hysterical comix clatch 35 years in the making between legendary upstarts Howard ChaykinDenys CowanBill Sienkiewicz, and Walter Simonson — moderated by their former 17-year-old assistant, award-winning cartoonist and creator of The Red HookDean Haspiel.

Garth Ennis Spotlight 

Joe Ryband interviews Garth Ennis about many of his triumphant stories. The BoysPunisherNick FuryWar Stories, and more.

Dave Gibbons Spotlight

An intimate look at award-winning writer/artist Dave Gibbons‘ career. From his 2000AD work on Rogue Trooper and DC work on Superman and Green Lantern to his Marvel runs on Captain America, and his creation The Originals for Vertigo, plus co-creations with Mark Millar (The Secret Service), Frank Miller (Give Me Liberty) and, of course, his iconic work co-creating Watchmen with Alan Moore.

Milestone Looks to Relaunch in February 2021

Announced at DC Fandome, Milestone will return in February 2021. In the months leading up to the relaunch of the line, DC has also announced it will be releasing Milestone’s back catalogue.

The publisher is looking beyond comics to bring their characters and materials to new frontiers like video games, podcasts, and movies.

Also announced is a new Static Shock digital-first series that will launch in February 2021. Also announced is an Icon and Rocket series by Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowen. Static Shock will be getting an original graphic novel by Kyle Baker and Reginald Hudlin as well.

Also announced that a 15-page sampler, Milestone Returns #0, as well as a selection of classic Milestone comics will be available to read for free during the 24 hours of the event.

Beyond these announcements, the panel also hinted at new characters and much more to come with the new Milestone.

Review: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3

THE QUESTION: THE DEATHS OF VIC SAGE #3

After a five-month hiatus, The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3 returns the series with an issue that would make the late Denny O’Neil proud. Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor expertly combine a 1940s film noir story with the not-so-zen cycle of death and regeneration that Charles Szasz/Vic Sage/The Question has been on over the previous three issues. The genre story with an O’Neil-esque social conscience plus growing conspiracy and mysterious ending is a winning formula to go with Cowan, Sienkiewicz, and Sotomayor’s scratchy, impressionistic visuals. Even though these scripts and maybe even pages were banked long before the current conflict between activists and the police over their murder of Black people and general abuse of power, The Question #3 fits into the zeitgeist with a sequence of corrupt Hub City cops beating striking factory workers and protecting the easy, exploitative lives of Hub’s one percenters. In the past, I may have said that Hub City symbolizes the American id, but it’s a mirror to American reality with period piece trappings like Dashiell Hammett narration, panels of old newspapers whispering about another world war and featuring Golden Age crime fighters, and lots of close-ups of alcoholic beverages. The sleazy Howard Chaykin-esque (He draws this issue’s variant cover) supporting figures add to this feeling of dirtiness and depravity.

Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor have done the 1980s urban vigilante (Watchmen, Dark Knight, the O’Neil/Cowan Question run) and Western genres in the previous two issues of The Question and dig into the noir detective story in The Question #3. It’s evident that all three artists are having fun with lots of spot blacks, eye-catching visual flourishes like the red hair of Sage’s client, Maggie Fuller, and the all-important chiarascuro lighting from desk lamps and cigarettes. The Question is stylish and filled with verbal/visual irony like when Sage monologues about getting close to solving the case while some union-busting toughs are sneaking up on him to beat him up. And though the story is set decades before The Question’s creation, the page is crammed full with signatures of the character, like smoke rings and investigation boards with string between them even if Sage is mostly unmasked for the comic’s duration.

The cherry on top is Jeff Lemire’s approach to dialogue and captions. One of things that I like about Lemire (And why Marvel, DC, Valiant etc. keep bringing him in to refresh their various intellectual properties.) is that he never gets in his own way and adapts his style to the genre or type or story that he’s writing in. This is why Black Hammer is so clever and superhero genre tour de force/world tour, and he transfers this over to The Question #3 bringing the 1940s to 2020 with the help of Willie Schubert’s typewriter lettering. His dialogue is tommy gun fast with Sage cutting to the quick of the situation until he gets knocked upside the head. But then Cowan and Sienkiewicz are there with the reminder that Sage’s mentor-in-the-shadows Richard Dragon is a martial arts master, and the tone shifts from Maltese Falcon to Enter the Dragon. They use the whole page to show Sage’s fluid fighting moves, which aren’t like your average “put up your dukes” private eye and are a good transition to get a glimpse at one of Vic Sage’s other lives/deaths.

THE QUESTION: THE DEATHS OF VIC SAGE #3

But The Question #3 isn’t merely an interesting genre exercise or visual masterclass. (The Denys Cowan/Bill Sienkiewicz pencil/ink process pages at the end make the extra money spent on this issue worth it and will look glorious in the magazine-size Black Label format.) It’s an ode to the violently socially conscious and anti-establishment of the late 1930s and early 1940s without the racial stereotypes of those Golden Age books. The plot of The Question #3 is Sage taking on basically a pro-bono missing person case, and that missing person just happens to be both a union organizer and the brother of another union organizer. Like he usually does, Sage thinks he connect everything to one big conspiracy, but with the shifting timelines and eternal corruption of the police force of Hub City, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Lemire and Cowan’s use of flashbacks isn’t confusing, but shows that there’s no simple answer to the problems that Vic Sage is facing. Because we’re still getting fucked over by corporations in 2020 like we are in the early 1940s. (If not more so thanks to a steady string of Republican and “centrist” Democrat heads of state.)

Like that infinitely memeable Alan Moore quote about conspiracies, Vic Sage’s faith that “everything is connected” as Jeff Lemire so aptly puts is a child’s blanket (Or prayer) in the face of a hurricane because, as Moore states, “the world is rudderless”. Lemire, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Chris Sotomayor show the loose and futile nature of Sage’s faith in underlying order through non-linear storytelling and a series of catastrophes to match the impressionist, scratchy art and muted palette. The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3 is the best issue of the series yet, and I’m excited to see how they put all the threads, timelines, Vic Sages, Questions, and questions in The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage‘s finale

Story: Jeff Lemire Pencils: Denys Cowan  Inks: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors: Chris Sotomayor Letters: Willie Schubert
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.3 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

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


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleTFAWZeus Comics

Preview: The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz
In Shops: Jun 17, 2020
SRP: $6.99

DC BLACK LABEL AGES 17+
It’s 1941, and Hub City is on the brink of a world war…and private eye Charlie Sage is on the brink of unraveling an enormous conspiracy! If he could just get that mysterious dame in red to talk-and keep his kneecaps intact, what with that strike-busting muscle coming up behind him-then maybe, just maybe, he can break the terrible cycle that keeps leading him back, through the ages, to his own death… 8.5″ x 10.875″

The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #3
« Older Entries