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Wonder Woman, Titans, Swamp Thing, and The Flash Get Giant at Walmart

DC announced today that it’s expanding its line of comics currently exclusive to Walmart. The publisher is increasing the slate of 100-Page Giant comics from four to six. In addition, two titles from the original lineup will be re-titled and renumbered as #1 issues. All titles, including the Superman 100-Page Giant featuring Tom King with Andy Kubert and the Batman 100-Page Giant featuring Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derington, will arrive in participating U.S. Walmart retail stores by Sunday, February 17.

Additions to the lineup include the Swamp Thing 100-Page Giant #1 and The Flash 100-Page Giant #1. As with the other Walmart titles, each book will retail at $4.99 and combine new original stories with “flashback” content from popular DC story eras such as DC Rebirth, the New Age of Heroes and the New 52.

The debut issue of the Swamp Thing 100-Page Giant includes an original story, “Desert of Ash,” written by Tim Seeley, with art by Mike Perkins. This 12-page tale features Swamp Thing and his witch companion Briar as they face the pyromaniac Char Man, who possesses the ability to control flames, a power granted by the elemental spirits of fire itself. Issues #2 and #3 feature “Bog of Blood,” a two-parter by Seeley with art by Joëlle Jones, which introduces a terrifying and potentially supernatural slasher stalking the swamps of Louisiana.

This 100-page spectacular also includes fan-favorite stories from DC’s New 52 period, including Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman, and Dan Green’s “The Hunt,” from Animal Man, in addition to “Raise Dem Bones,” from the New 52 Swamp Thing by writer Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette, plus “Death in a Small Town,” featuring Detective Chimp and Shadowpact.

Swamp Thing 100-Page Giant

The Flash 100-Page Giant #1 features an all-new tale of the Scarlet Speedster, written by Gail Simone with art by Clayton Henry. In the 12-part arc “Glass Houses,” Barry Allen is dedicated to keeping the streets of Central City safe as the Fastest Man Alive. But when his old foe Mirror Master shows up looking to cause trouble, it’s up to the Flash to stop him. This book also debuts classic tales of the New 52 version of the Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, in addition to the spacefaring adventures of Adam Strange from 2004 by Andy Diggle and Pasqual Ferry, plus the classic New 52 “rebirth” of the World’s Mightiest Mortal, Shazam, from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

The Flash 100-Page Giant #1

Both the Justice League of America and Teen Titans Giants will retain their same contents but continue with new cover titles and will be renumbered with #1 issues. The Justice League of America 100-Page Giant becomes Wonder Woman 100-Page Giant #1, continuing the original Wonder Woman story by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti ,Tom Derenick, and Chad Hardin, with “flashback” stories from Geoff Johns’ New 52 Justice League and Aquaman, plus 2006’s “Who Is Wonder Woman?” by Allan Heinberg, Rachel Dodson, and Terry Dodson.

Wonder Woman 100-Page Giant #1

The Teen Titans 100-Page Giant continues as Titans 100-Page Giant #1, with writer Dan Jurgens continuing his original story with art by Scot Eaton and Wayne Faucher. In addition, the book will continue the ongoing reprint stories from Geoff Johns and Tom Grummett’s Teen Titans from 2004, Peter Tomasi’s Super Sons from 2017’s DC Rebirth and Kenneth Rocafort, Dan DiDio, and Max Raynor’s Sideways from the New Age of Heroes.

Titans 100-Page Giant #1

Each 100-page comic sells for $4.99 and are available in more than 3,000 participating Walmart retailers in the United States.

Batwoman Starring Ruby Rose Gets a Pilot Order by The CW

Batwoman

It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise but The CW has given a pilot order for a new show starring Ruby Rose as Batwoman. The show will be guided by DC TV czar Greg Berlanti and being penned by Caroline Dries. David Nutter will direct the episode. Berlanti, Dries, Nutter, Sarah Schechter, and Geoff Johns are exec producers.

Batwoman/Kate Kane debuted on the Arrowverse group of shows and their crossover event “Elseworlds.” Green Arrow and the Flash were forced to travel to Gotham in hopes of figuring out what was messing with reality. There, they meet Kate. In this version, Batman is missing (and a myth) and Kate has stepped in to fill the void. The event was a trial to see the reaction, which was overwhelmingly positive.

The character is described as an out lesbian and highly trained fighter who has no problem speaking her mind. With Batman missing, she’s forced into life as a crime-fighter when Gotham is overrun by chaos. She must “overcome her own demons” before she can save the city.

There have been numerous versions of the character who debuted in 1956 for DC Comics.

Review: Doomsday Clock #8

Things are spiraling out of control in the latest issue of Doomsday Clock with an issue that feels like it has skipped a bit from the previous one. Doomsday Clock #8 is by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Brad Anderson, Rob Leigh, and Amie Brockway-Metcalf.

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Review: Shazam #1

Teenager turned super-hero Billy Batson struggles to balance school and superheroics! (Guess which one is more fun?) But when Shazam unlocks a shocking secret deep within the Rock of Eternity, it challenges everything he knows about the worlds of magic and his family’s future as its champions!

Potential. That’s the word that sticks out the most after reading Shazam #1 which as presented is a lot of setup and some humor and that’s about it. How this classic character fits in the Rebirth world is a bit of a mystery but the Marvel, I mean Shazam family is back. There’s so jokes, winks, and nods, as to the previous naming of the characters but this first issue is the set up the series is more than just Shazam, Mary, and the rest are along for the ride as well. How? Well, that’s not really explained but again, this is an issue that’s set up.

The potential is all in the character interactions. Writer Geoff Johns focuses on that dynamic and out of everything, how a group of kids with superpowers interacts has a lot of potential to be a lot of fun. When we see that in the comic, it absolutely is. But, beyond a robbery and some exploration of the Rock of Eternity, the comic is fairly thin on excitement or anything of interest.

Dale Eaglesham‘s art though is interesting to look at with a classic New 52/90s look to it that you’ll either like or hate. While something more stylish and unique would have been interesting, the art is crisp with color from Mike Atiyeh. There are some good small details like the robbers’ masks and some looks flashed here and there but overall, the style is one we’ve seen a lot of.

Where art does stand out is a backup story focused on Mary with art by Mayo “Sen” Naito. The story provides the origin of Mary as far as the family and the art has a manga influence with a young adult bent. It’s fantastic art and makes me want to see Naito’s style on some of DC’s Zoom and Ink imprint releases.

There’s nothing particularly bad about this first issue. There’s also nothing that’s all that exciting either. The series is going to rely on the interaction of the kids and how much Johns goes down the Harry Potter direction it feels like he’s heading. Again, there’s potential which has me interested in at least checking out more issues.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Dale Eaglesham, Mayo “Sen” Naito
Color: Mike Atiyeh Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Doomsday Clock #8

Things are spiraling out of control in the latest issue of Doomsday Clock with an issue that feels like it has skipped a bit from the previous one. It feels like forever since the last issue came out and while that one featured a confrontation with Dr. Manhattan, this issue is the likely setup for what was foretold in the previous.

Firestorm heads to Russia for some unknown reason where an accident happens causing tensions to rise and the world to inch closer to war. Does this sound familiar? It should as it’s basically the plot of the first Watchmen story in this case a nuclear exchange is replaced with a metahuman battle.

With a two and a half month lag between Doomsday Clock #8 and the previous issue, the story feels a bit disjointed almost as if parts are from an entirely different comic. What’s presented here is intriguing but also feels like going from 0 to 60 in a second. Things ramp up, but it’s a quick escalation and in some ways feels a bit rushed.

Writer Geoff Johns is putting together an interesting narrative weaving in a distrust of the government and metahumans but this latest issue at times feels like an entirely different story from what’s come before. It’s almost like Johns himself took a break between issues and is forced to continue the story with only a slight memory of the previous issue. While that previous issue was a shot in the arm in a good way, this issue is a few steps back delivering an entry that on its own feels disjointed and a part of another story altogether. Part of that is this issue having little connection with the previous’ confrontation and revelations.

The art by Gary Frank is pretty solid and the draw here. While generally fantastic there’s a few panels that are close ups of characters that feel a bit off as far as character and design. The pages stick to the formula that has worked for the series so far an emulates what was previously done in Watchmen.

The issue is an interesting one and could be a story on its own. The issue however suffers from delays, as the event as a whole has, with months between books giving just enough time to forget what happened. In this case that gap makes this feel like a whole other story. Doomsday Clock continues to frustrate in ways delivering a compelling story but doing so in a way that feels like it’s being stretched out and not for the better. Still, there’s the mystery, and the comic book fan wants to see how this one plays out.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Gary Frank
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Shazam #1

Shazam #1

(W) Geoff Johns (A/CA) Dale Eaglesham
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
SRP: $4.99

The superstar team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham reunite to launch the first all-new SHAZAM! monthly title set in the DC Universe in almost 20 years! (What took you guys so long?!)

Teenager turned super-hero Billy Batson struggles to balance school and superheroics! (Guess which one is more fun?) But when Shazam unlocks a shocking secret deep within the Rock of Eternity, it challenges everything he knows about the worlds of magic and his family’s future as its champions! Also, witness the bizarre team-up of Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind as they set off to build a society all their own! Don’t miss the start of an epic run in the making as “Shazam and the Seven Realms” begins!

TV Review: Titans S1E2 Hawk and Dove

DC UniverseDC Entertainment‘s new digital service, is here and with it the promise of original programming, the first of which is TitansTitans is a live action adaptation of the classic characters and team that debuts October 12. The first season consists of 12 episodes with new ones debuting weekly.

Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.

We’ve got an early look and is the wait worth it? Find out! You can read the review of the first episode here.

Positives

As this episode alludes to, we get to meet the lovesick duo of Hawk and Dove. The pair feels more like Bonnie and Clyde than the squeaky-clean version fans grew up reading in comic books. This episode also brings the new streaming service and current flagship show its first sex scene. It’s not played out graphically but you won’t see this scene on any of Berlanti’s shows streaming on the CW.

We also see how though Dick is no longer part of the Bat Family he’s not afraid to request assistance, seeking help from the other who raised him. We find out how far back the duo has a history with Robin, one that is more muddied than one expected.

Hawk, in this version, is less likable while Dove is much more flawed, but affable nonetheless. Also, in what might be look like a swipe is more like and, is several characters fandom for Game Of Thrones, making them more relatable to the viewer, thus more visceral.

In the episode a family of killers is hunting one of our protagonists. It gives the show its first big bad. Another landmark for this show, is that this is the first time we see a superhero kill some bad guys, as this show already has more blood splatters than all of the DC shows combined. And that’s only in its second episode.

The whole thing wraps up with a major cliffhanger. One that will definitely shock viewers instantly.

Negatives

None

Verdict

This is one to definitely watch as it lets the viewer know more about these characters and how even superheroes can get their love lives messy like the rest of us.


Director: Brad Anderson
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, and Akiva Goldsman
Starring: Brendon Thwaites, Liza Colon-Zayas, Teagan Croft, Anna Diop, Mina Kelly, Jarreth J.Merz, Ryan Potter, Alan Ritchson,

TV Review: Titans S1E1 Titans

DC Universe, DC Entertainment‘s new digital service, is here and with it the promise of original programming, the first of which is Titans. Titans is a live action adaptation of the classic characters and team that debuts October 12. The first season consists of 12 episodes with new ones debuting weekly.

Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.

We’ve got an early look and is the wait worth it? Find out!

Positives

One of the first things that you get about Titans is how dark it is, the mood that is set somewhere between the tones of the DCEU movies and Netflix’s Marvel shows, something that pulls you in right away and is quite a pleasant surprise. As even the Netflix Marvel shows restraint in certain aspects, this  show doesn’t as was seen and heard in the show’s first trailer, from a scene in Episode 1 X 01, where Robin/Nightwing verbally disavows Batman in the most straightforward way, something fans thought they would never hear from the character, and as can be seen throughout the first episode he explains the fallout to his partner and how it ha temporarily swore off having a partner because of what happened between Bruce and Dick. The majority of the show focuses on Raven, as we get a good backstory about her , as we see her relationship with her mother, played by the prolific Sherilyn Fenn,  and how she ends up meeting Dick, through an iconic comic book scene .  As in this version, which is much more faithful to the origin story in the comic book, is also being hunted, which at first looks like a child sex trafficking ring but eventually is seen to be a group of zealots who sees her only as the daughter of Trigon.  We also get to meet Starfire, where she wakes up with no memory of how she got there and who she is , as well as why she is dressed the way she is. This part makes sense once you find out what capacity Cory Anders is before she used her powers in this version.  As was seen online in social media, the instances of backlash, regarding Diop’s race and later her look, which as I have seen in this pilot episode, was gravely premature and downright abhorrent. In what is the last ten minutes of the episode, we see out first glimpse of Beast Boy, , which I feel will pay off in the second episode. As far as the special effects, Raven, Starfire and Beast Boy uses their powers to what fans can rejoice, as all three characters in this episode, are quite formidable and the CGI used showcases it perfectly.

Negatives

None as the truth is the DCEU movies can take some notes from DC’s first unfiltered not family friendly show, as I feel this show captures the grit is sought to add to these characters onscreen canon.

Verdict

Watch as this first episode pulls no punches.


Director: Brad Anderson
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, and Akiva Goldsman
Starring: Brendon Thwaites,  Liza Colon-Zayas, Teagan Croft, Anna Diop, Mina Kelly, Jarreth J. Merz, Ryan Potter, Alan Ritchson,

Review: Doomsday Clock #7

In this chapter, the truth behind Dr. Manhattan’s curiosity with the DC Universe is revealed as the planet teeters on the edge of the Super-War.

The original Watchmen was both brilliant and frustrating. It’s a prime example of the whole being much greater than the individual parts. Add in delays in the release and things got frustrating.

It feels like a long time since the last issue and Doomsday Clock #7 repeats history in numerous ways. After a delay, we have an issue that’s vital but also frustrating in how cryptic it is.

Adrien’s search for Dr. Manhattan is a success bringing together so many pieces of the puzzle and we learn what Manhattan has been doing… sort of. With dots being connected, we learn of some of the history that’s been changed and changed again. Writer Geoff Johns weaves together interesting aspects of DC history bringing in some fascinating releases into continuity including a rather obscure Green Lantern story. In that stroke of a pen he also writes out some continuity as well. It all muddles up the DC Universe making it both fascinating and frustrating. And it accomplishes… well I’m not sure as we still have quite a few issues to go.

But, the delay, the greater being whole isn’t everything. The issue again mimics its original source in pacing, page layout, and tone. In some ways it succeeds. In some way it feels like a cheap imitation. This is only one sliver of the greater story and each issue feels like they’re becoming more difficult to measure on their own as each becomes more intertwined into what has come before and what is to come. What it does do is foreshadow what is a possible explosive finale again creating a head scratching puzzle whose picture will become clearer when things end.

Gary Frank works with Johns’ script delivering pages that hearken back to the original material. The art is generally good but the limitation of 9 panels to a page in some instances hampers the visual aspects of it all. It’s unknown if this is a problem for just the digital edition but it’s just difficult to tell exactly what’s going on in points of the story. It’s unlike previous issues and a little frustrating.

The issue is an interesting one as it throws so much out there but with that it feels muddled and a bit too unfocused. It also goes too far in trying to be an homage to the original material which restricts the storytelling. As a piece of a puzzle, it’s good. On its own, it’s a bit of a mess. We’ll see where this all goes but on its own, this one is a a bit of a enigma.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Gary Frank
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Third Giant Batman and Teen Titans is Out Soon at Walmart

On the heels of Tom King and Andy Kubert’s debut in the exclusive-to-Walmart Superman 100-page Giant #3, Batman fans of all stripes will get their own dose of superstar talent as issue #3 of the Batman 100-page Giant ships to stores, featuring part one of an original 12-part story, “Batman Universe,” written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nick Derington.

Along with colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Josh Reed, Bendis and Derington weave a tale that leads Batman on a wild goose chase spanning the DC universe, tracking down a mysterious artifact that contains the literal key to evolution. But Vandal Savage has his own plans for this artifact and the Dark Knight will have his hands full in stopping the evil immortal before he gains control of both the key and humanity as well.

The Batman Giant also includes chapters from the iconic Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee story Batman: Hush, as well as Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows’ “Welcome to Gotham,” and Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Chad Hardin’s “Hot in the City,” from the New 52 Nightwing and Harley Quinn.

Arriving with the Batman Giant is issue #3 of the Teen Titans Giant, featuring “Enter… The Disruptor,” a new chapter of the original six-part Teen Titans story by Dan Jurgens and Scot Eaton, plus more from from Geoff Johns’ version of the Teen Titans from The New 52 (with art by Mike McKone), Peter J. Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez’ Super Sons from Rebirth and New Age of Heroes Sideways, by Kenneth Rocafort, Dan DiDio, and Justin Jordan.

Each 100-page Giant sells for $4.99 and should arrive at all participating Walmart locations throughout North America by Sunday, September 23.

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