Tag Archives: fco plascencia

Review: Justice League Dark #1

This week’s new comic book day has come and gone but we’re not done reviewing this week’s comics! Check out the new Justice League Dark team header up by Wonder Woman!

Justice League Dark #1 is by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Raul Fernandez, Brad Anderson, Rob Leigh, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia, Andrew Marino, Rebecca Taylor, and Marie Javins.

Get your copy in comic shops today. 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

Review: Batman #50

It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see! The Batrimony is real as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are set to tie the knot in a can’t-miss, extra-length milestone issue that will reshape Gotham City. All their friends (and a few enemies?) will be party to a comic book coupling for the ages.

The build up has been coming for a while now and with Batman #50 writer Tom King answers the question as to whether Batman and Catwoman tie the knot.

The issue is done in an interesting way with what amounts to two page spreads with generally half dedicated to Batman’s preparation for the day and the other half for Catwoman’s. In between these normal panel pages, there’s full page images by some top art talent on top of which we’re presented the two’s thoughts about their meeting and what they’re about to do.

While the “will they or won’t they” has been spoiled the comic is interesting as it delves into the thought process of two individuals who are clearly nervous about tying the knot and if they do what it means.

Catwoman isn’t a hero, she’s a criminal.

Batman is a hero. He’s a hero driven by his pain.

If they were to get married, what does that mean for each of them? Can Batman be happy? These are the types of thoughts that run throughout the comic as the two characters explore their love for each other. And that’s the impressive thing, Tom King convinces you that these two love each other. By the end, you’re convinced there’s no one else for these two.

And that spoiling? Well, not quite. There’s a twist but you’ll have to read the comic yourself and go elsewhere.

The issues with the comic is the hype and a build up that doesn’t pay off. The quality of the narrative is excellent, it all just doesn’t quite live up to the lead up and the end result is rather predictable. A single panel does not make a comic and this one relies heavily on that final panel.

The art duties are mainly handled by Mikel Janin with colors by June Chung and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art is solid and there’s some fantastic page layouts. The way some of these pages are laid out is impressive with very creative visual storytelling. What’s also interesting is the use of pin-ups to tell the story as well. There was a similar thing done in Action Comics #1000 and here it sort of works. The artwork is fantastic, there’s some talent. But, it breaks up the story a bit and after a while becomes a little tedious. When the big picture comes in to focus, the choice is an interesting one and adds a poetic aspect, somewhat appropriate considering what’s happening.

This is a chapter in King’s larger story. There’s much more to come as things weave together and that final panel indicates we’ve got a hell of a lot of excitement to come. As a single issue, this one has its good and its bad but as a piece of the larger puzzle it fits like a perfectly crafted piece of the larger picture.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Pin-up Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Color: June Chung Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Unexpected #1

Spinning out of The Dark Nights: Metal, The Unexpected #1 features obscure DC Comics heroes and villains, multiversal threats, exploding innards, and lots of violence. Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, and Steve Orlando start the story out strong by telling the origin of the new Firebrand, Janet Fals, who was a paramedic that was experimented on and given the Conflict Engine. Thanks to the Conflict Engine, she must fight every 24 hours, or she will die. It’s a cool concept and connects well to Janet’s character because she wants to help and heal people, not beat them up. However, this origin is derailed by interesting a flurry of new characters, who are then mostly killed off in the middle of the story. Luckily, Sook, Nord, and Orlando cast an almost saving throw with a theatrical villain, who may not be the biggest fish in the pond, er, dark multiverse.

By the time it finds its footing, The Unexpected strikes a balance between Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad with Greg Capullo inspired artwork as a garnish. Getting Batman colorist FCO Plascencia to go full heavy metal garish with his palette helps with this last bit, and inkers Mick Gray and Wade von Grawbadger help with the clarity of storytelling and some of the details on character designs and costumes. Sook and Nord do make a few poor blocking choices like awkward cuts being long and close up when Firebrand meets her possible girlfriend, Joy, at the hospital. Orlando’s dialogue is fun and flirty, but there is no chemistry in their body language or facial expressions. Sook and Nord also cut away from the death scenes of the two redshirt members of The Unexpected lessening the impact of a sequence that barely registers because we barely know who Viking Judge and Elligh are besides that they have cool, magic fighting things and were introduced in other comics. Subpar storytelling aside, Sook and Nord’s art styles have a kind of 1990s loose cannon, anarchic energy with better anatomy while keeping a sense of bloodthirstiness.

The Unexpected”s main issue is that Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, and Steve Orlando are unsure if it is a solo, team, or buddy book and tries out all three takes to varying success. Even if Firebrand is a relatively obscure DC hero (Janet is the 5th iteration), she has a fairly compelling origin story as an ordinary human, who tries to help people in the midst of multiple apocalypses and sci-fi experimentation. She is a fugitive from scary organizations and folks, but still works as a pro bono paramedic for the good of her conscience. Plus she’s snarky as hell, isn’t the greatest at relationships, and Sook and Nord get a real kick out of drawing her no holds barred brawls even though she is constantly trying to avoid collateral damage. This is a seed of a great story that immediately gets sidelined when the lineup of The Unexpected shows up and starts rattling cages. All three members spout exposition about their backstories and various MacGuffins while the reptilian cowboy Bad Samaritan kicks their asses. He meets his end in the issue too, but has more personality than the not so golden trio combined. At least, Neon the Unknown has the whole mystery mage vibe going for him as Orlando sets up a possible sage mentor/violent newbie dynamic for them going forward.

The Unexpected #1 is a bonkers journey into the weirder side of The Dark Nights Metal and has a potential breakout character in Firebrand plus some cool double page spreads from Ryan Sook and Cary Nord and a crackling color palette from FCO Plascencia. However, it sidelines its momentum to turn into a failed attempt at a Doom Patrol/Challengers of the Unknown time team book until someone remembered that DC was already publishing these books and course corrects into a not so dynamic duo taking on very high level threat book. The Unexpected #1 is a mixed bag of a comic, but the series itself has potential mostly thanks to Steve Orlando’s three dimensional writing of Firebrand.

Storytellers: Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, and Steve Orlando Inks: Mick Gray and Wade von Grawbadger
 Colors: FCO Plascencia Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Unexpected #1

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 new series for the New Age of Heroes!

The Unexpected #1 is by Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, Mick Gray, Wade von Grawbadger, FCO Plascencia, and Carlos M. Mangual.

Get your copy in comic shops today. 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

Review: Dark Nights Metal The Deluxe Edition

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 of Dark Nights Metal!

Dark Nights Metal The Deluxe Edition collects issues #1-6 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on June 12th. 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

Review: Dark Nights: Metal #6

All roads lead…to darkness. In the devastating and epic conclusion to DC’s cataclysmic event series, heroes from across the universe make their final charge into the unknown to battle the forces of the Dark Multiverse! Space and time, dreams and nightmares, all will collide – and what is left at the end will leave the DC Universe irrevocably changed!

This is it, the end of Dark Nights: Metal and the big question is, can writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo stick the landing? Dark Nights: Metal #6 is absolutely entertaining and it has that last act moments for this type of event that you’d expect. The moments you need to turn your brain off and just enjoy. It’s the final act of the big budget blockbuster and it’s really entertaining.

Dark Nights: Metal is really exemplified by this issue in that it both mixes the “dark” and the “hope” of the DC Universe. I said it in my review of the first issue in that it feels like a solid bridge between the “grittiness” of the New 52 and the “optimism” of Rebirth.

It’s difficult to fully review the issue in that I don’t want to spoil the fun but it’s over the top. But, where the issue stumbles, only slightly, is that it’s clearly a chapter in a bigger story and suffers slightly in that its epilogue sets up what’s next, Justice League: No Surrender, the next event. It’s a tactic that a certain other publisher used a lot with their events and it got old, quick. But, what’s teased will make long time fans excited as it touches upon a lot of DC history continuing to blend the old with the new.

Now, I said the issues is over the top and that’s partially due to Capullo’s art. Batman rides a Joker dragon! Capullo is joined by Jonathan Glapion on ink and FCO Plascencia on color and it all comes together for an epic conclusion. Visually, Capullo nails it with so much packed into every page. My only knock is his Clark and Bruce look a little too alike but I’ve noticed that with a few DC artists lately. But, when it comes to staring at panels and spreads at the utter insanity, this comic delivers and then some. Snyder and Capullo are a dream team of creators and it’s clear with this entire event series the two are in sync.

On it’s own, it’s hard to judge this individual comic but as a conclusion for the event, it’s very satisfying and then some. I found myself saying “hells yes” multiple times and smiling as the “epic” nature of it all crescendoed. There’s a solid conclusion that makes sense and also feels like it sets up a lot to come which has me, and hopefully comic readers, excited. Dark Nights: Metal has been a crazy ride and delivered what was promised, a rocking “metal” comic event.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo
Ink: Jonathan Glapion Color: FCO Plascencia
Story: 7.99 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Dark Nights: Metal #5

The Justice League faces the final extinguishing of our world, invaded on all sides by unimaginable nightmares, fueled on to the edge of oblivion only by the belief that there must be a light in the endless darkness-somewhere. But…what if there’s not?

Writer Scott Snyder has delivered a sense of desperation throughout Dark Nights: Metal and in Dark Nights: Metal #5 that is upped a few factors as the heroes struggle to find their footing.

Snyder takes his time to cover the various teams and where they’re at, whether it’s the group on Hawkworld, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or Batman and Superman. What’s interesting is most of those play out as scenes as Batman and Superman’s struggle plays throughout. While each has their own beat, it’s Batman and Superman’s struggle that really creates that sense of hope and defeat. Without that, the rest wouldn’t work. Those two character’s struggles emphasize the desperation of the whole and Snyder plays out the story so that we get emotional highs and lows. This one isn’t just about the action, it’s that excitement of success and and crushing failure rolled into one. The reader is toyed with much like our heroes and with a one-shot and one more issue to go, I have no idea how this one will end.

There’s also some rock and roll moments as heroes rise up in desperation. What I’d describe as “fuck you” moments. You’re cheering on… then you get crushed. But, even then you’re still rooting for the win.

The art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia is as fantastic as ever. The “metal” aspect is there with imagery that you’d expect to find on a cover of a rock album. What particularly stands out is the use of color and lettering. Each setting has a very unique color palette and it all works together to set the various moods for each. They enhance the location and gives the reader a better sense of the world. The lettering for this series as a whole has been fantastic but here each character, especially the corrupted Batman have a style that has you imagining what they sound like. It helps create the character, especially the menacing aspect of them.

There’s not much more to go and I have no idea how this is ending. The issue is solid in playing with the reader’s emotions and when you think things are turning for the better, you get knocked back down. It’s an emotional roller coaster with intelligent plotting that uses the various storylines to enhance each other and toy with those ups and downs. Another solid addition to the event series.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia
Story: 8.75 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Dark Nights: Metal #1

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 Dark Nights: Metal #1!

Dark Nights: Metal is by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia.

The comic is in comic book stories today.

Get your copy 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.

Dark Nights: Metal #1
Amazon or Kindle or 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.

Review: Batman #50

Batman50Batman #50 is an epic capper on the ten part “Superheavy” arc that closes out Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s almost five years on the title as Bruce Wayne returns as Batman and with the help of Jim Gordon, Duke Thomas, and even Geri Powers banishes Mr. Bloom and the people he has infected from Gotham City. In the issue, Snyder reiterates the theme of a family and  community approach to heroism that has echoed throughout his run from Batman’s mistakes in “Death of the Family”, his growing relationship with Jim Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth in “Zero Year”, and finally in “Superheavy” where it’s the aging, dying ex-police commissioner, who saves the day using the literal power of the people, and not the superhero at the peak of his powers. (This is because the dionesium that revived Batman healed all his scars and wounds from his crime fighting career in a clever bit of plotting from Snyder.)

Basically, rugged individualism gets you someone like Mr. Bloom, who in trying to make Gotham a better place for the disenfranchised, ends up literally twisting the people he wants to save. Newly energized, Batman tries to do everything himself early on in the issue, but fortunately, Gordon overrides his command, and a simple command for his “rookie” suit that was used early on in “Superheavy” ends up turning the tide. A Yanick Paquette drawn epilogue hints at a more teamwork friendly Batman working closely with the GCPD (who is being supported financially by Geri Powers) as well as training Duke Thomas as the new Robin. It will be interesting to see what the new Batman team does with this new status quo as Gotham tries to bounce back from Bloom’s attack, which crippled Gotham’s willpower and electrical power.

The art team of Capullo, inker Danny Miki, and colorist/Why hasn’t he won an Eisner extraordinaire FCO Plascencia give Batman #50 an air of bombast, horror, and triumph with a side of tragedy while Snyder furthers characterization and themes through his novelistic narration and dialogue that has been a hallmark of the series. Everyone is at the peak of their powers from an early double page spread where Batman quickly takes out some of Bloom’s goons in a hail of fire, steam, and blood as Alfred quips about him having some new wounds to stitch up even though he is fresh for now to a pretty frightening sequence where Bloom overrides the various Powers Corporation Batmen and gives them the faces of various Batman villains, including the Joker.

BatmanandDuke

But it’s not all explosions and robots as Capullo and Miki do an excellent job of showing the physical and mental punishment Jim, Julia Pennyworth, Batman, and Duke Thomas take on this long night of the soul. And their depictions of Bloom’s victims are incredibly creepy, especially when Duke finds out that his cousin Daryl is behind the program, which went horribly wrong and is a powerful conclusion to his subplot throughout “Superheavy”. This is the trauma that causes him to fight back and take the final step in his journey to become a hero and Robin in his own right. He gets to a drive a blimp too, which is cool and reminded me of when Carrie Kelly saved Batman from the Mutant gang in The Dark Knight Returns with the help of the Bat-tank. Duke is a living embodiment of what Jim Gordon says in his speech about Batman teaching the people of Gotham to save themselves and become heroes in their own right.

Batman #50 is both an action packed and a thematically resonant conclusion to the “Superheavy” arc and Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and FCO Plascencia’s Batman epic. There are a lot of moving parts and MacGuffins flying about in this double sized, definitely worth your $5.99 issue, but Snyder ties it all together through a powerful speech from Jim Gordon about the power of ordinary human beings working together to fix things, like poverty, inequality, and crime. But Batman can only be Batman, and Paquette shows this in the heartbreaking final pages as Julie Madison rebuilds the daycare center that an amnesiac Bruce Wayne built and sadly can’t be a part of any more.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, and Yanick Paquette
Colors: FCO Plascencia and Nathan Fairbarn
Story: 9 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5  Recommendation: Buy

Big Hitters #1 Debuts!

Big Hitters #1, the first issue in a new sci-fi action/adventure series from creator-owned comic book publisher, Contraband Comics, is now available for purchase in iVerse Media’s Comics Plus app for just $0.99

Created by writer Jon Goff and illustrator Travis SengausBig Hitters blends elements of noir, science fiction and action/adventure to tell the story of two government-sanctioned hitmen as they navigate the seedy underbelly of a post-war galaxy.

Big Hitters #1 is available now in the Comics Plus app, with both a FREE 11-page preview and a $0.99 26-page Standard Issue release. As an added bonus, the free preview of Big Hitters #1 includes the animated short “Gettim!,” directed and animated by series artist and co-creator, Travis Sengaus.

Joining Goff and Sengaus on the Big Hitters creative team are colorist Fco Plascencia and the master craftsmen at Richard Starking’s Comicraft lettering and design studio.

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