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Review: Freedom Fighters #2

Freedom Fighters #2

The Freedom Fighters go public in present-day Nazi America! It’s been 50 years of fascist rule in the U.S. under Hitler and his heirs, and frankly, everyone’s had enough. A new Freedom Fighters team makes a very public debut in hopes of rallying the people and re-igniting the long-dormant American spirit. Phantom Lady, Black Condor, Doll Girl and Human Bomb strike a blow against the Gestapo’s Iron Police Force, but will it be enough to summon the long-lost Uncle Sam from retirement?

In reality, there’s an ominous cloud of the creeping of fascism into our lives and the rise of a far right movement across the world. For many, there’s a want to just punch these Nazis and get some of the frustration of our reality out. Freedom Fighters #2 helps in that fantasy experience as the team takes on the Nazi robot in an issue that’s all about the action and it is epic.

Writer Robert Venditi knows what the audience wants in this issue which is one giant extended fight scene picking up from the exciting ending of the first. The issue serves a few purposes, one of which is introducing us to these characters. We get to learn about their personalities and their powers through the fight. The second is, to give us hope. We, like the people witnessing the battle, get a little hope out of it all. There’s something satisfying watching Nazis get beat and done so in a rather patriotic rah-rah sort of way.

That’s delivered through the art of Eddy Barrows with ink by Eber Ferreira, color by Adriano Lucas, and lettering by Deron Bennett. The art is fantastic with amazing panels and page layouts that emphasizes the action. The explosions are big, the framing and focus of the action is dynamic. This is a big summer popcorn blockbuster on every page and it’s beyond entertaining.

There’s not a lot of rocket science to the comic. It’s action pack and the Nazis get their butts kicked. In this day, that’s about as satisfying as you need. The team mixes the high octane action with just enough rah-rah to not go too over the top into parody instead keeping the tone grounded in a retro sort of way. Fun action delivered through awesome art creates a comic that’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Story: Robert Venditi Art: Eddy Barrows
Ink: Eber Ferreira Color: Adriano Lucas Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Freedom Fighters #1

In today’s time we need good ole Nazi punching and in Freedom Fighters we’re given exactly that as we travel to Earth X where they won World War II.

The first issue of this twelve issue maxi-series is written by Robert Venditti, art by Eddy Barrows, ink by Eber Ferreira, color by Adriano Lucas, and lettering by Deron Bennett.

Get your copy in comic shops now! 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/comiXology/Kindle

DC Comics 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

Review: Freedom Fighters #1

Freedom Fighters #1

Line up for this all-new maxiseries set on Earth X, where the Nazis won World War II! Twenty years after invading and occupying America, Germany wiped out all metahuman resistance, including the original Freedom Fighters. 

Fast-forward to the present day, and a new team of Freedom Fighters emerges to challenge the Nazi occupation once again. But if they’re to have any chance of victory, they’re going to need Uncle Sam-who disappeared after his original team was killed.

Beyond one small “factual” issue of including “under God” in the pledge, Freedom Fighters #1 is a read that had me sucked in from the start. Writer Robert Venditti delivers a story of resistance in a time when real world resistance is a daily occurrence.

World War II is over and the Nazis have won leaving few heroes to continue the fight and eventually a new generation must step forward. Venditti has nailed the zeitgeist that’s currently occurring in the world with a story that’s engrossing and acknowledges the generational shift we’re seeing today. The greatest generation’s torch has been passed to a new generation who has taken up the fight against fascism in both the comic and reality. The fact Venditti recognizes this shows this will be a series that will reflect heavily upon the real world while still delivering an escapist story full of action.

The art by Eddy Barrows, ink by Eber Ferreira, color by Adriano Lucas, and lettering by Deron Bennett is top notch. There’s some fantastic scenes and use of panels and pages with scenes delivering the emotion on the page whether it’s despair, hope, and at times horror. The designs are fantastic creating something familiar but slightly different with an aesthetic that fits this alternate world without being over the top. Small details like the use of Nazi bolts in Plasstic Man adds small touches that emphasize this reality.

The issue is a fantastic start with highs and lows. There’s lots of action, hope, despair, and more hope. It’s a rollercoaster that’s both escapist and a reflection on today’s reality and what was. We’re in a real world fight against a rise of far right ideology and fascism and a second rise of Nazi beliefs. To get a comic with some good ole Nazi punching is quite welcome.

Story: Robert Venditti Art: Eddy Barrows
Ink: Eber Ferreira Color: Adriano Lucas Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Aquaman #42

Aquaman #42

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Lan Medina, Vicente Cifuentes (CA) Eduardo Pansica, Eber Ferreira
In Shops: Nov 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

A “DROWNED EARTH” tie-in story! As Aquaman and Wonder Woman race home from the Graveyard of Gods to turn the tide against the Ocean Lords, Arthur learns a stunning secret about his past! Armed with the knowledge that the Justice League may be fighting the wrong enemy, Aquaman must confront the ocean lords and learn the truth before the cosmic flood resets all life on Earth!

Preview: Detective Comics #985

Detective Comics #985

(W) Bryan Hill (A) Philippe Briones (CA) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira
In Shops: Jul 25, 2018
SRP: $2.99

Batman called Black Lightning to Gotham City for help with a specific case-but what is Batman hiding from Jefferson Pierce? It looks like he’s in touch with somebody from their mutual past, and he doesn’t want Black Lightning to know about it -and that operative might be in over their head!

Preview: Detective Comics #984

Detective Comics #984

(W) Bryan Hill (A) Miguel Mendonca (CA) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira
In Shops: Jul 11, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“On the Outside” Part two. Batman wanted Black Lightning involved in the lives of his protégés-but how involved was the Dark Knight thinking? What kind of missions will Jefferson Pierce take them on? And what, exactly, is he whispering in their ears about Batman himself?

Review: Detective Comics #981

James Tynion concludes his run on Detective Comics with smiling, hugs, and the simple refrain that maybe one should take things one day at a time instead of coming up with complex algorithms and plans for the future. His first artistic collaborators on the series, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas, return for Detective #981 and provide chilling double page spreads of possible futures and more solid ones of the present of the Bat-family. The Brother Eye/Ulysses Armstrong/future Tim Drake plot is resolved fairly quickly so that Tynion, Barrows, and Ferreira can dig deeper into the characters’ emotions and relationships and tease out the different paths that the members of Batman and Batwoman’s hero training squad follows.

Probably the most unexpected hug is the first one between Tim Drake, who has been possessed by Brother Eye technology, and Batwoman as they realize that finding a perfect algorithm to fight crime involves pushing away friends and family and giving into one’s darker nature. It’s not punching or gadgets that brings Tim back to his real self (I love how Sal Cipriano gradually “de-Brothers” his word balloons.), but Stephanie Brown’s voice on the other end telling him she loves him no matter if he’s Red Robin, a future autocratic Batman, or just Tim Drake the college student. The split screens between her and ruthlessly manipulative and pragmatic Ulysses Armstrong represents the warring side of his psyche as Tim wants to efficiently prevent crime in Gotham City and elsewhere, but the human cost is too great. Batwoman experiences almost the same thing in a potent vision of the future where she is hunting down Batman for the government and is content to let him go, but because Bruce is dying of radiation from Brother Eye, she executes a mercy killing. Even if it’s a potential future timeline, Lucas uses a full color palette and Barrows uses tighter knit panels to show the tears on Kate’s face as she puts down an aging Bruce, who has realized that Bat-symbol is a powerful force for good, but it’s not one that needs to be eternal. It’s a direct refutation to the machine set up by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy back in 2014’s Detective Comics #27 where Batman set up a way for a Batman (and Alfred) to exist in every era perpetually.

Detective Comics #981 is all about being able to love your family members, but also knowing when they need to go down their own path. Especially in the early part of Tynion’s run, Batman, Batwoman, and Red Robin have all been about control with strict training protocols and focus on efficiency and results at the expense of emotions, which caused Stephanie Brown to leave the team, poor Cassandra Cain to be estranged, and Clayface to die. The second half of this comic sets this all to rights with honest conversations, smiling, hugs, and yes, breaking up the proverbial band. Kate and Bruce share drinks at a fancy restaurant where their parents used to “parley”, and Bruce admits that the fact that she’s one of his only living relatives is why their relationship is so frustrating. Also, Kate talks about starting to figure out where she fits in this world of vigilantes and high tech paramilitarism as more of a solo act like she was back when J.H. Williams was writing her comics. But everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows because this is a book predominantly set in Gotham City so, of course, Jake Kane is listening on their entire conversation. Kate might wear the Batman symbol and have respect for Batman and her other cousin Bruce, but she doesn’t answer to him.

Even if she isn’t technically the “star” of Detective Comics #981, the short scene with Cassandra Cain and Barbara Gordon is definitely the most heartfelt as Cass moves from Wayne Manor to a room in Leslie Thompkins’ clinic where she can be a student and young woman and not just a crime fighter. In contrast with her completely face and form obscuring Orphan costume, Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira draw Cass and her surroundings as open and dynamic before slowly pivoting to this issue’s saddest moment. At the clinic, she isn’t her codename, and Barbara Gordon is “Babs”, not Batgirl. Even though the glimpse of Cassandra picking up her pre-Flashpoint mantle as Batgirl in the previous issue was glorious, it is good to see her learning how to speak and function in society as a human being and not just as a human weapon and nicely caps off the arc that James Tynion has set up for her throughout Batman and Robin Eternal and Detective Comics.

Although it features alternate timelines, crazy future tech, and of course, masked vigilantes who wear a flying rodent on their costumes, Detective Comics #981, and by extension James Tynion’s whole 47 issue run on Detective Comics, has been a family drama with Batwoman playing the badass aunt and Tim Drake as the son, who wants to please his father and also wants to do his own thing. It ends with Batman going into action alone while his surrogate family members forge a path of their own. Sure, Tim and Stephanie are investigating alternate timelines and not going to college, but Batman trusts and loves them enough to let them strike out on their own. Batman fighting crime in Gotham City is a constant, but there is room for change in that constant.

Story: James Tynion IV Pencils: Eddy Barrows
Inks: Eber Ferreira Colors: Adriano Lucas Letters: Sal Cipriano
Story: 9.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Detective Comics #981

Detective Comics #981

(W) James Tynion IV (A) Eber Ferreira (A/CA) Eddy Barrows
In Shops: May 23, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“Batmen Eternal” finale! This is it – the unbelievable conclusion of James Tynion IV’s Batman epic! It’s the last stand of the Gotham Knights, fighting a monster they helped inspire… and a destiny they won’t accept! What will become of the greatest crime-fighting team Gotham City ever saw?

Review: Dark Days the Road to Metal

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 collection that gets you caught up for Metal!

Dark Days the Road to Metal features Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Final Crisis #6-7, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1, Batman #38-39, and Nightwing #17 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita, Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, Danny Miki, Alex SInclair, Jeremiah Skipper, Steve Wands, Grant Morrison, Doug Mahnke, J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy, Jesus Merino, Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Walden Wong, Pete Pantazis, Tony Avina, Rob Clark, Jr., Travis Lanham, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Guy Major, Jared K. Fletcher, Brad Anderson, Greg Capullo, FCO Placencia, Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas, Marilyn Patrizia, and Rian Hughes.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores May 22. 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 TFAW

 

DC Comics 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: Detective Comics #978

Detective Comics #978

Story: James Tynion IV
Art: Javier Fernandez
Color: John Kalisz
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Cover: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas
Variant Cover: Rafael Albuquerque
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Editor: Chris Conroy
Assistant Editor: Dave Wielgosz
In Shops: Apr 11, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“Batmen Eternal” part three! Congratulations, Batwoman-you have an entire army at your command. So how are you going to use it?

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