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Preview: Young Monsters in Love #1

Young Monsters in Love #1

(W) Paul Dini, James Robinson, Jeff Lemire, Steve Orlando, Mark Russell, Kyle Higgins, Alisa Kwitney, Phil Hester (A) Guillem March, Frazer Irving (A/CA) Kelley Jones
In Shops: Feb 07, 2018
SRP: $9.99

It’s hard being a monster… and even harder being a monster in love. Sparks will fly and hearts will be broken when the ghouls and ghosts of the DC Universe assemble to bring you the Valentine’s Day Special that no one saw coming!

Review: Young Monsters In Love # 1

Here’s my pitch for Young Monsters in Love #2:

After a comic book company cuts down Poison Ivy’s favorite trees to make terrible Valentine’s Day special about their most popular supernatural characters in romantic situations, Ivy reanimates all the print copies as zombies to horribly murder everyone foolish enough to buy it.

This was originally supposed to be a short review but the depths of hatred inspired in me by reading the book cannot be easily contained within a mere paragraph or two.

Young Monsters in Love is one of the worst comics DC has ever published in it’s 80+ year history, ranking right alongside the original Super Sons stories from the mid seventies and All-Star Batman and Robin. Reading this book felt like a chore for the first sixty pages and like torture for the last twenty.

What you get for your $7.99 cover price is a selection of vignettes (I hesitate to call them stories) in which a variety of DC’s darker characters feel the tug of love at whatever passes for their heartstrings. It’s a solid concept and one that should have yielded a decent comic, especially considering the amount of talent DC assigned to it (far too many names to list). This is more like a box of cut rate,  dollar store Valentine’s Day cards featuring off-brand monster cereal mascots. It’s a cynical cash grab with as much earnest affection behind it as a box of chocolates purchased from CVS at the last minute because you forgot your anniversary.

The biggest problem here is the format. 80 pages is a lot of space, enough for four regular issues in fact. Yet most of the stories are simply too short. Some of them could have been worthwhile had they been given a little more room to breathe. The characters, as depicted here, are at best a vague motivation and wrapped up in a thinly veiled conceit of supernatural horror. They never quite develop as people and fail to establish the emotional connection essential to all good love stories. If you’re not already a fan there is no real reason for you to become one. Staring at a blank sheet of bristol board is more compelling than most of this stuff. 

The worst of the bunch are “Pieces of Me” a Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. story by Tim Seeley and Giuseppe Camuncoli and “The Dead Can Dance” a Raven story written by Colin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with art by Javier Fernandez. The idea of a man (Frankenstein) pining for his ex-wife, who is now in love with another woman, should have been retired along with Friends and I can’t believe that a story in which the resolution of the plot requires a teenage female superhero (Raven)  to dance with a male ghost against her wishes is being published in 2018 of all years. In both cases what’s meant to be poignant comes off as tone deaf and creepy. 

The best story and the only one worth the paper it’s printed on is “Be My Valentine” by Paul Dini and Guillem March. This surprised me as Dini’s comics are hit or miss, I’ve never cared much for March’s faux manga style and the star character (Deadman) is someone I usually find at least mildly irritating if not downright annoying. Nonetheless this is a great story, a true diamond buried in a giant pile of turds. Deadman saves a little kid from being hit by a train and uncovers a case of bullying in the classroom which he puts right with a sense of compassion not usually found in the genre. Dini’s script recalls the holiday special issues of old and March feels like he’s channeling a bit of Neal Adams, the best artist to ever draw a Deadman story, to good effect. It’s a true classic and one of the best things I’ve ever read in a DC comic but sadly it doesn’t come close to justifying paying almost eight dollars for the rest of this garbage. Hopefully it gets reprinted in a better book.

I love DC’s supernatural characters so I was really expecting Young Monsters In Love to be a fun book. What it is instead is a collection of what amounts to back-up features that are as lacking in purpose as they are in heart. Oh and the story teased by the cover about Swamp Thing and Frankenstein’s bride? That never happens. For shame DC. For shame.

Story: Paul Dini, James Robinson, Jeff Lemire, Steve Orlando, Mark Russell, Kyle Higgins, Alisa Kwitney, Phil Hester, Tim Seeley, Mairghread Scott
Art: Guillem March, Frazer Irving, Kelley Jones, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Bryan Hitch, Javier Fernandez, Nic Klein, Stephanie Hans, Mirko Colak, John McCrea

Story: 0.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Cosmic Ghost Rider Takes You on a Twisted Journey in Thanos Annual #1!

It’s the Cosmic Ghost Rider’s time to shine.

This April, in an all-new story, some of Marvel’s most acclaimed writers and artists join superstar team Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw to help Cosmic Ghost Rider narrate all of Thanos’ heinous exploits. And who better to guide you through such deeds than the newest twisted ally to enter the Marvel Universe?

In Thanos #15 the Rider looked into Thanos’ mind. In this annual, we get to find out about some of the horrors he found in the dark corners of it.

Joining Cates and Geoff Shaw are Kieron Gillen, Al Ewing, Ryan North, Christopher Hastings, Katie Cook, and Frazer Irving.

Don’t miss the series that Comic Watch has raved is “the Mad Titan in all his power hungry glory” – and don’t miss Thanos Annual #1 when it hits comic shops this April 25th!

Get Multiple Scoops with Ice Cream Man Starting this January from Image

Writer W. Maxwell Prince teams up with artist Martín Morazzo and colorist Chris O’Halloran for Ice Cream Man, a genre-defying series of disparate one-shots arriving this January.

Gather round the neighborhood ice cream truck for these tales of sorrow, wonder, and redemption. Each installment features its own cast of strange characters, dealing with their own special sundae of suffering. And on the periphery of all of them, like the twinkly music of his colorful truck, is the Ice Cream Man—a weaver of stories, a purveyor of sweet treats. Friend. Foe. God. Demon. The man who, with a snap of his fingers—lickety split!—can change the course of your life forever.

Chocolate, vanilla, existential horror, drug addiction, musical fantasy…there’s a flavor for everyone’s misery.

Ice Cream Man #1, Cover A by series artists Morazzo and O’Halloran (Diamond code: NOV170652) and Cover B by Frazer Irving (Diamond code: NOV170653), hits comic book stores Wednesday, January 17th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, December 25th.

Preview: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2017 Annual

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Kyle Higgins, Tom Taylor, Jamal Campbell, Caitlin Kittredge, and Trey Moore
Artists: Goñi Montes, Dan Mora, Jamal Campbell, Da Jung Lee, and Frazer Irving
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Goñi Montes
Incentive Cover: Dan Mora
Acetate Incentive Cover: George Caltsoudas
Price: $7.99

The future of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers starts here as Tommy makes a choice that will have huge consequences for the team; Black Power Rangers from across parallel dimensions meet to face off against a deadly foe; and all-new secret origins revealed!

Preview: WWE #4

WWE #4

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Serg Acuña
Cover Artists:
Main Cover A: Dan Mora
“Now” Enzo Amore & Big Cass Incentive Cover B: Marco D’Alfonso
“Then” Chris Jericho Incentive Cover C: Jorge Corona
“Forever” Sting Incentive Cover D: Frazer Irving
Unlockable Action Figure Variant Cover E: Adam Riches
Unlockable Royal Rumble Variant Cover F: Brent Schoonover
Unlockable Tag Team Championship Title Belt Foil Variant Cover G: Scott Newman
Price: $3.99

Seth wants a title match against Roman at Extreme Rules, but The Authority isn’t sold that Rollins is still what’s “best for business.” No matter—Seth is willing to break all the rules to regain his spot at the top.

Preview: Uncanny Inhumans #20

Uncanny Inhumans #20

(W) Charles Soule (A) Ario Anindito, Lee Garbett (CA) Frazer Irving, Scott Wilson
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $4.99
INHUMANS VS. X-MEN TIE-IN!

Maximus the Mad has recreated the recipe for Terrigen Crystals, and can end the mutant-Inhuman war with a single stroke. He can finally be a hero! Or maybe he won’t do anything like that at all. Everything changes for the Inhumans as Charles Soule brings his landmark three-year run on Inhumans titles to an end with this extra-sized story.

Preview: Uncanny Inhumans #18

Uncanny Inhumans #18

(W) Charles Soule (A) Aaron Kim Jacinto (CA) Frazer Irving
Rated T
In Shops: Jan 18, 2017
SRP: $3.99

INHUMANS VS. X-MEN TIE-IN!

The Inhumans are at war with the X-Men, and right now, the X-Men seem to have the upper hand. It’s during perilous times like these that heroes prove their mettle. Unfortunately for the Inhuman race, their usual heroes have been captured. So who’s the only hope of salvation? Why, Maximus the Mad, of course!

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Preview: WWE: Then. Now. Forever. #1

WWE: Then. Now. Forever. #1

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Dennis Hopeless, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Schamberger, Derek Fridolfs
Artists: Dan Mora, Rob Schamberger, Rob Guillory, Daniel Bayliss, Derek Fridolfs
Cover Artists:
Main “Now” Cover A – Dean Ambrose: Dan Mora
“Then” Intermix B – Stone Cold Steve Austin: Eric Powell
Main “Now” Cover C – Roman Reigns: Dan Mora
“Then” Intermix D – The Rock: Juan Doe
Main “Now” Cover E – Seth Rollins: Dan Mora
“Then” Intermix F – Triple H: Matías Bergara
“Forever” Incentive G – Undertaker: Frazer Irving
Price: $3.99

Building off the buzz from the partnership announcement prior to San Diego Comic-Con 2016, WWE: Then. Now. Forever. #1 delivers authentic Sports Entertainment featuring WWE Superstars to comic readers!

This oversized issue contains the WWE San Diego Comic-Con 2016 one-page comics along with a wealth of new content, celebrating the versatility and diversity of WWE throughout its various eras.

Includes the 20-page story “The Breaking of the Shield” by Dennis Hopeless and Dan Mora, where Seth Rollins chose to betray his brothers Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns at the behest of Triple H and the Authority; a short story featuring The New Day by Ross Thibodeaux and Rob Guillory; a Sasha Banks story by Rob Schamberger; and a Tugboat short by Derek Fridolfs.

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Preview: Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Artist Tribute HC

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Artist Tribute HC

Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Artists: Michael Allred, Mark Buckingham, Jonathan Case, Katie Cook, Benjamin Dewey, Cory Godbey, Gustavo Duarte, Faith Erin Hicks, Mike Huddleston, Frazer Irving, Rebekah Isaacs, Joëlle Jones, Roger Langridge, Tula Lotay, David Mack, Dave McKean, Steve Morris, Dustin Nguyen, Ramón K. Pérez, Eric Powell, Aaron Renier, Jeff Stokely, Craig Thompson, Jill Thompson, and more!
Cover Artist: Steve Morris
Price: $24.99

In the 30 years since its original release in 1986, Jim Henson’s timeless fantasy film Labyrinth has captured the minds and imaginations of authors, artists, filmmakers, and fans across the world.

In honor of the film’s 30th anniversary, return to the world of Labyrinth and see the beloved characters, imaginative locations, and unforgettable moments as realized by a collection of uniquely original artistic voices in an unprecedented celebration.

Features illustrations and testimonials from comics luminaries and newcomers alike, including: Michael Allred, Joëlle Jones, David Mack, Gustavo Duarte, Ramón K. Pérez, Dustin Nguyen, Mike Huddleston, Jill Thompson, Mark Buckingham, Tula Lotay, Faith Erin Hicks, and many, many more.

labyrinth_artisttribute_hc_cover

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