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Preview: Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1

(W) Steve Orlando, Frank J. Barbiere, Jim Fanning (A) Jerome K. Moore, John Loter (A/CA) Aaron Lopresti
In Shops: Jun 14, 2017
SRP: $4.99

Martian Manhunter tries to halt Marvin the Martian’s determination for world domination. J’onn is conflicted with his own Martian identity as he attempts to stop the hapless, determined Marvin from blowing Earth to bits in order to gain a clear view of Venus. And the bonus Looney Tunes backup story features DC characters written by Jim Fanning with art by John Loter!

DC Weekly Graphic Novel Review: Dark Days, Looney Tunes, Mother Panic and More

It’s Wednesday which means new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. We talk a few single comic issues from DC Comics as well as briefly go over three trades. Reviewed are:

Dark Days: The Forge #1 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, and Danny Miki.

Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1 by Sam Humphries, Tom Grummett, and Juan Manuel Ortiz.

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian #1 by Steve Orlando, Frank Barbiere, Aaron Lopresti, Jim Fannine, and John Loter.

Mother Panic Vol. 1 A Work in Progress collecting issues 1-6 by Jody Houser, Tommy Lee Edwards, and Shawn Crystal.

Nightwing Vol. 2 Back to Bludhaven collecting issues #9-15 by Tim Seeley, Marcio Takara, Minkyu Jung, and Marcus To.

Teen Titans Vol. 1 Damian Knows Best collecting Teen Titans: Rebirth #1 and #1-5 by Ben Percy, Khoi Pham, Diogenes Neves, Wade Von Grawbadger, Ruy Jose, Sean Parsons, and Jonboy Meyers

Find out what the trades have in store and whether you should grab yourself a copy. You can find both in comic stores June 14 and bookstores June 20.

Get your copy now. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Dark Days: The Forge #1
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian #1
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Mother Panic Vol. 1 A Work in Progress
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Nightwing Vol. 2 Back to Bludhaven
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Teen Titans Vol. 1 Damian Knows Best
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW


DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1

MMCoverTwo very different “Last Martians” meet in the Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian SpecialThe stately Martian Manhunter wants to protect Earth and its people while the tiny, non-superpowers-having Marvin the Martian wants to blow it up. Steve Orlando and Frank Barbiere craft a story of the battle between hope and cynicism while Aaron Lopresti, Jerome Moore, and Hi-Fi ably and hilariously adapt the cartoon physics of Marvin’s “looney” world to the DC Universe house style.

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special works as a story because Orlando and Barbiere take everything that Marvin says seriously via the character of Martian Manhunter, who is honestly the DC Universe’s ultimate straight man thanskThey also make him a total nihilist cynic, who has lost his planet and wants to destroy Earth, who he thinks is a bad little sibling because of wars, diseases, and traffic. The interplay between J’onn’s utter zen and Marvin’s complete chaos creates a lot of the issue’s conflict and comedy beginning with J’onn’s reaction to Marvin’s “form”.

However, shades of grey come to play when the humans that J’onn tries to save immediately turn on him and accuse him of being in cahoots with Marvin. For a moment, he is seduced to watch the world burn with one whiff of Marvin’s firecracker shaped plot device bomb. J’onn takes it easy on Marvin for most of the story because he is still super overjoyed to see another of his kind even though they are super different in abilities and disposition. Martian Manhunter’s physical weakness might be fire, but his real weakness is loneliness. He has to carry the hopes and memories of an entireMMinterior race in his powerful mind, and not even Superman can understand what’s he been through because Mars was destroyed when J’onn was an adult. However, even though he does the angst thing (And Martian rightfully pokes fun at this.), J’onn is one of the noblest DC superheroes, and Orlando, Barbiere, Lopresti, and Moore keep this characteristic at the forefront of the story.

Other than the novelty of seeing various Acme doodads drawn in a semi-photorealistic DC house style, Aaron Lopresti and Jerome Moore provide clean artwork that is easy to follow even when Marvin decides to wreck an entire government warehouse. Some of the explosions seem generic, but Lopresti also delivers on some majestic moments like J’onn bursting through the flames that are supposed to weaken him to defend Earth from Marvin. Even though it doesn’t go into Laura Allred category, Hi-Fi delivers some trippy space thrills like the green on the special gate that Marvin uses to travel to the Earth of the DC Universe.

As an added bonus, Jim Fanning and John Loter do backup story featuring Marvin and J’onn in the Looney Tunes art style. It’s a lighter take on Marvin that the main story, which makes sense based on the art style even though he still wants to destroy the Earth. The plot involves Oreo cookies, or Jonn’s equivalent of kryptonite, and there are even some fun “cameos” from other Looney Tunes characters.

Marvin the Martian/Martian Manhunter hits that sweet spot between serious and silly. Steve Orlando and Frank Barbiere explore the reasons behind Marvin’s cynicism and J’onn’s optimism while delivering a pretty fun superhero-meets-Saturday morning cartoon beat ’em up with a clever twist ending that is something Alan Moore would do. They also make Marvin legtimately evil. And Aaron Lopresti and Jerome Moore get the biggest laughs for drawing his tiny self in the DC house style

Story: Steve Orlando and Frank Barbiere Pencils: Aaron Lopresti Inks: Jerome Moore Colors: Hi-Fi
Backup Story: Jim Fanning Backup Art: John Loter

Story: 8.5  Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.0  Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Early Preview: Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1

Written by: Frank Barbiere, Steve Orlando
Art by: Jerome K. Moore, Aaron Lopresti
Backup Art by: John Loter
Backup Written by: Jim Fanning
Cover by: Aaron Lopresti
Variant cover by: Stephen DeStefano
U.S. Price: $4.99
On Sale Date: June 14, 2017

Martian Manhunter tries to halt Marvin the Martian’s determination for world domination. J’onn is conflicted with his own Martian identity as he attempts to stop the hapless, determined Marvin from blowing Earth to bits in order to gain a clear view of Venus. And the bonus Looney Tunes backup story features DC characters written by Jim Fanning with art by John Loter!

Crime Romance Violent Love Arrives in Paperback this May

Creators Frank J. Barbiere and Victor Santos will release the first trade paperback collection of their pulpy romance series Violent Love this May.

Oozing with style and action, Violent Love is the tale of Daisy Jane and Rock Bradley, two of the most notorious bank robbers in the American Southwest—who fell in love.

Violent Love TP Vol. 1: Stay Dangerous (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0044-6, Diamond code: MAR170849) hits comic book stores Wednesday, May 24th and bookstores Tuesday, May 30th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, April 24th.

Review: Violent Love #2

violentlove02_coveraRight from the opening pages of the first issue of Violent Love, it’s made quite apparent that this tale of eventual bank robbers and lovers Daisy Jane and Rock Bradley is greatly influenced by stories and films in the same genre; Dylan Todd’s striking designs connect with the cinematic aesthetic by having the creative team page look like it came right from the bottom of a movie poster. Though the influences aren’t even hidden all that well (Daisy seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Frank J. Barbiere and Victor Santos are definitely crafting something different and unique both in its method of storytelling and flow of visuals.

This second issue throttles forward into 1971 in New Mexico where Daisy has joined forces with a man named Charlie to rob banks. There is a great point of view splash page from the bank teller’s perspective, confronting the reader with Daisy’s green eyes, just slightly peeking out from her sunglasses, and a double-barreled shotgun held next to an open sack in her other hand. The images are paced out fast, flowing the narrative forward and knowing when to slow down and focus on the smaller, quieter moments. Santos does an excellent job at drawing attention to particular aspects within the frames, consistently utilizing the spaces effectively. violentlove2-2He also uses color, or the lack thereof, to emphasize the importance of certain objects or actions. For example, when Daisy sits in the hotel room where she and Charlie just engaged in a hot and heavy game of extracurricular activities, her entire body is black as the eye is drawn to the muddled orange/red hat in her hands. The previous frame reminds the reader of its importance to her, also using the color red to deviate from the use of green to shift in time. This in effect not only deepens the impact of these kinds of moments and objects but also elevates and accentuates Santos’s ability as a visual storyteller.

Daisy has clearly changed from the first issue, becoming more and more reckless as the rage of her father’s death drives her to find the man who committed the murder: Johnny Nails. Barbiere’s script is fast and quick-witted, gets straight to the point and doesn’t make the language too flowery; this is a crime/romance story after all. Rock is also introduced in this issue, doing his best James Dean impression, exuberating calm, cool and collected…at least for now. Daisy and Rock’s first meeting is filled with slight jabs at one another but the primary focus still remains on Daisy’s mission to find Johnny. This mission is leading Daisy into some fairly precarious places and people, setting up the next issue with a very interesting situation for her.

Story: Frank J. Barbiere Art: Victor Santos Designs: Dylan Todd
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Violent Love Is Shown Some Love and Gets a Second Printing

Image Comics has announced that the first issue of Violent Love—written by Frank Barbiere and illustrated by Victor Santos—is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with customer demand.

In Violent Love, readers meet Daisy Jane and Rock Bradley—two of the most notorious bank robbers in the American Southwest. And then they fell in love.

Violent Love #1, 2nd printing (Diamond code: SEP168902) and Violent Love #2 Cover A (Diamond code: OCT160646) and cover B (Diamond code: OCT160647) will be available on Wednesday, December 7th.


Review: Violent Love #1

violentlove01_coveraViolent Love #1 isn’t the first crime romance story we’ve seen, and it certainly won’t be the last. Over the years there’s been Bonnie and Clyde, True Romance, Natural Born Killers, and more. This book reminded me of a combination of them. It had similar themes to those films, and while it isn’t accidental, it can form an intriguing narrative. Within the first few pages of the comic, Violent Love gives us a little glimpse at the ending of the story, without giving us every detail.

The story written by Frank J Barbiere is said to be inspired by true events. It starts with a young girl named Penny visiting someone she calls Mr. Lou who appears to be her grandfather or a family friend. Mr. Lou used to be a lawman who is now older and retired living in Texas in 1987. When Penny sees the wanted ad containing the names Rock Bradley and Daisy Jane, he explains to Penny that while they were notorious crooks, they also saved his life. We then are treated to Mr. Lou telling Penny all about the dangerous couple, and how they had a very violent love.

From here the book jumps to 1969, and we get our first look at one-half of our violent couple, Daisy Jane. She is a much different person than the one we see in the wanted ad. By the end of this issue we start to see the tragedy that she goes through that sets her path to destruction in motion, or at least the end of her innocence. From waiting tables in a diner and going to college to what she is forced to witness by the end would change anyone. Even the purest of us.

Throughout the story, we also are shown Johnny Nails, who I originally thought was the man in the wanted ad and Daisy’s lover. When I went back and remembered the name Rock Bradley, I was a little happier. Johnny is a very bad man, and he just didn’t seem like a character I could sympathize with. I know that sounds odd, but there are plenty of bad villains that I enjoy, and so far in this issue, Johnny wasn’t one of them. By the end of the issue, he is a very unlikable character, and that would appear to be the point. Thankfully, it would appear that Rock is another character altogether.

I have been a fan of Victor Santos for a while, and he does a nice job with the art in this book. He has a very recognizable and distinct style, and it really stands out. The inking has thick lines, that really make the characters pop. In the violent scenes with Johnny Nails, it makes the characters blend in with the shadows for some very cool but disturbing panels.

I really want to know how Daisy and Rock fall in love, and I want to see how Daisy ends up on the wrong side of the law. I know what she went through is absolutely tragic, but I still am intrigued at what would make her turn to a life of violent crime. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and I am excited for Barbiere and Santos to answer them.

Story: Frank J Barbiere Art: Victor Santos
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Revisionist #4

the-revisionist-4-coverReeling from the events of last issue, Martin finds himself stranded in the past with no direction. When a dangerous new foe makes his presence known, Martin will be forced to protect the very targets he swore to destroy! Can Martin stop this new opponent before reality unravels?

Trippy time-traveling science fiction fun. That’s the bet way to describe The Revisionist, but especially this fourth issue. Written by Frank Barbiere, we’re starting to get into those things that make time travel stories so entertaining, the mind trip of it all. What happens as the timeline changes? Will more people get sent back to fix things or change things? That’s the type of stuff that begins to be teased here.

Bouncing between time, it’s not clear exactly what’s going on in each timeline, but it’s just a small piece of the larger time twist. That’s part of the fun of the series, is seeing those pieces come together and play out. The first three issues were just the build up that got us here. Now feels like the real story is beginning. This is the issue we get the first hints as far as the “rules” of time travel in this world. We also get a nemesis for Martin as he forges his own path. While this feels like the true beginning, you’ll still want to read the previous three issues to catch everything.

Garry Brown‘s art is solid and has a raw and dirtiness about it that feels like it fits the time periods various things are taking place in. The tech that exists has a clean style about it compared to the pasts which is a bit rougher in many ways. There’s also some solid action scenes too where a sense of motion really comes into play. It’s a great combo of story and art.

The Revisionist has been fun, really fun. I’m a fan of 80s action films and time travel stories and this comic feels like a combination of the two. The series has been getting better and better as more is added to this world and with this issue it feels like things are really taking off.

Story: Frank Barbiere Art: Garry Brown
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Read

Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE copy for review

Listen to Frank Barbiere Talk Violent Love with Graphic Policy Radio on Demand

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

The Revisionist, The Precinct, Broken World, Dejah Thoris, Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D., Lobo, Dr. Strange, Avengers World, Five Ghosts, writer Frank Barbiere has written comics for almost every major comics publisher. His comics are always high on action and fun bringing crazy ideas to the page and entertain. This Monday Barbiere joined Graphic Policy Radio to talk about his comic career and upcoming comic series Violent Love which reteams him with artist Victor Santos and out this November from Image Comics.

Barbiere is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in English & Creative Writing, as well as a Master’s in English Education.

Barbiere exploded onto the mainstream comics scene in 2013 with the indie hit Five Ghosts (Image Comics) and in his short time in the industry has worked for BOOM! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, and Marvel Comics.

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