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Marvel Reveals its Free Comic Book Day Releases

Free Comic Book Day 2021 will be celebrated at your local comic shop on August 14th, and this year Marvel will release two comics, each containing two separate stories. These exciting tales will provide perfect entry points for new readers to the thrilling ongoing sagas of the Avengers, Spider-Man, Venom, and the Hulk and give comic fans their first glimpse at the exciting new eras for their favorite characters. These issues will shape the Marvel Universe as we know it with direct connections to the year’s biggest upcoming storylines.

Crafted by some of Marvel Universe’s chief architects including Jason Aaron and Chip Zdarsky and many more surprises and featuring art by superstars like Marvel’s Stormbreaker Iban Coello and Greg Smallwood, Free Comic Book Day 2021: Avengers/Hulk and Free Comic Book Day 2021: Spider-Man/Venom will be must-have for fans. They feature covers by Ryan Ottley and Patrick Gleason. Don’t miss your chance to pick up these extraordinary one-shots when they arrive at your local comic shop on August 14th. Check out both covers below and stay tuned for more information, including full creative teams.

Preview: Marvel #6 (of 6)

Marvel #6 (of 6)

(W) Alex Ross, More (A) More (A/CA) Alex Ross
Rated T
In Shops: Mar 17, 2021
SRP: $4.99

The overarching story of Doctor Strange’s battle with Nightmare concludes in spectacular fashion as illustrated by Alex Ross and Mitch O’Connell! And before that, Nick Fury battles a conspiracy to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. courtesy of Greg Smallwood, and the Silver Surfer returns to a dead Earth thanks to Lee Bermejo! It’s the best-looking release you’ll see all month!

Marvel #6 (of 6)

Marvel Celebrates 80 Years of Captain America with a Giant-Sized Tribute

In March 1941, comic book legends Jack Kirby and Joe Simon introduced the world to Steve Rogers in the historic Captain America Comics #1, and a pop culture icon was born. Marvel will honor their tremendous contribution to the comic book industry with Captain America Tribute #1, a giant-sized special celebrating the character’s 80th anniversary.

Captain America Tribute #1 will feature a cadre of Marvel’s best artists redrawing and modernizing Captain America’s first appearance, Captain America Comics #1, as well as his genre-defining reintroduction to the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Avengers #4. See the Star-Spangled Avenger’s extraordinary origin, his first battle against the Red Skull, and his Silver Age debut where he emerges from suspended animation to live on as a Star-Spangled Avenger like never before as your favorite artists reimagine these classic tales for a new age. These definitive comic book stories will be presented in an all-new way in a star-studded special that will delight long-time True Believers and the current generation of Marvel fans!

This unparalleled undertaking will include artwork by John Cassaday, Marguerite Sauvage, David Lapham, Declan Shalvey, Pere Pérez, Salvador Larroca, Leinil Francis Yu, Valerio Schiti, Carlos Pacheco, Inhyuk Lee, Kei Zama, Sara Pichelli, Jesús Saiz, Kim Jacinto, Adam Kubert, Federico Vicentini, Mahmud Asrar, Jim Cheung, Terry Dodson, Joe Bennett, Alex Ross, Steve Epting, Adam Hughes, Stephanie Hans, Javier Garrón, Alitha E. Martinez, Elena Casagrande, Paco Medina, Daniel Acuña, Chris Samnee, Butch Guice, Rachael Stott, Pepe Larraz, Greg Smallwood, Greg Land, Ray-Anthony Height, Mark Bagley, and Marvel’s Stormbreakers including Peach Momoko, Juann Cabal, Carmen Carnero, R.B. Silva, Joshua Cassara, Natacha Bustos, Iban Coello, and Patrick Gleason! And with a cover by Steve McNiven.

For 80 years, Captain America’s adventures have entertained fans of all ages around the world. Don’t miss today’s top talent pay homage to Captain America’s most legendary stories when Captain America Tribute #1 hits stands this coming March!

Captain America Tribute #1

Review: Batman: Black & White #1

Batman: Black & White #1

Anthology series are always something I enjoy to read in comics. In a comic, you get varied voices and styles, getting to see what creators you might not read would do with characters. It’s also a chance to see what different creators would do in the same sandbox. That often results in a lot of variation showing how versatile comics and their characters can be. Batman: Black & White #1 kicks off a new series with one hell of a start.

Batman: Black & White #1 is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in some time. While the stories are varied and interesting, this debut issue’s art is what really stands out. There’s a common theme, beyond Batman, of artists breaking the mold delivering visuals that “break the page”.

With five stories, Batman: Black & White #1 gives us variation not just in styles but the perspectives and subjects. There’s some “traditional” Batman focused stories but others come from different perspectives. The opening for example is told from the perspective of a member of the League of Assassins.

Each story is entertaining in their own way. They are varied in pacing, tone, and focus, keeping things interesting. Some keep things more traditional in the narrative while others are presented in a more poetic style. The dialogue and types of stories alone are worth picking up the issue. But, it’s the art that really stands out in this issue.

The styles of art vary but they all have one thing in common. Each story breaks traditional page layouts and panels. The opening story uses Batman’s cape to break up the sequences, another is laid out like poem flowing across the page. Another story uses the pearls of Bruce Wayne’s mother to break up the page. In an amazing visual, art from throughout the years is laid out on page like a collage of Batman’s history. You’ll linger on every page in awe as to what’s been laid out. Every inch of the page is used and used well. Only one of the stories comes close to expected page layouts and even then, that tale delivers a lot for Batman fans in the background.

All of that is delivered in black and white.

Batman: Black & White #1 is a hell of a start to the series. It had me lingering on pages in awe of what was before me and wanting more. It shows off some amazing art and will have you longing for more of this and fewer boxes on the page. This is a fantastic issue for Batman fans and fans of beautiful art. It also creates a high bar for future issues to reach.

Story: James Tynion IV, J.H. Williams III, G. Willow Wilson, Emma Rios, Paul Dini
Art: Tradd Moore, J.H. Williams III, Greg Smallwood, Emma Rios, Andy Kubert, Dexter Soy
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Todd Klein, Clem Robins, Steve Wands, Rob Leigh
Story 8.45 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Batman: Black & White #1

Batman: Black & White #1

Written by: J.H. Williams III, Paul Dini, G. Willow Wilson, Emma Rios
Art by: J.H. Williams III, Andy Kubert, Greg Smallwood, Emma Rios, Tradd Moore

The iconic anthology series returns with a brand-new slate of comics’ most exciting and innovative storytellers to explore the Batman mythos in stark black-and-white! In this debut issue: • James Tynion IV and Tradd Moore explore the world of Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins • J.H. Williams III returns to DC Comics for a trip through the Dark Knight’s history • Emma Rios explores the eternal struggle of the Dark Knight • Paul Dini and Andy Kubert pit Batman against an infestation of ninja Man-Bats in the Batcave • G. Willow Wilson and Greg Smallwood portray Batman in his strangest standoff ever with Killer Croc With a lineup this strong and a cover by legendary Batman artist Greg Capullo, you won’t want to miss the start of this tremendous collection of Batman tales by some of comics’ top creators!

Batman: Black & White #1

Review: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Fourteen

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Fourteen

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red has been an excellent example of where digital comics, and especially digital firsts, are going when it comes to comic publishers. An anthology series from DC Comics, each week has seen a new stand-alone chapter from a different creative team. They have varied in tone with both the story and the art. The DC Digital First series has shown off the creativity of comics and how much the teams bring to it. Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Fourteen, “Fixer-Upper” is the latest chapter and an interesting one in many ways.

Written by Jordie Bellaire, Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Fourteen has Harley Quinn following the Joker’s clues to an ending that’s unknown. Through her puzzle quest, she reflects upon her relationship. Unfortunately, the abusive relationship between Harley and the Joker has been a plot point all too often explored in this anthology series. But, that doesn’t mean the comic is bad in any way.

Instead, Bellaire gives us a really self-reflection. Harley goes through Joker’s motions exploring her relationship and history with him. Not only does she contemplate her position, she also reflects on why the Joker is drawn to her. This creates a very interesting read and by the comic’s end, a place of empowerment. The comic feels like a “journey” for Harley in the physical and emotional sense. We get her logic as she explores the whys of her dance with an abusive other. It’s all presented in an almost puzzle form as Harley unlocks what’s ahead of her in numerous ways.

Greg Smallwood handles the art duty with Becca Carey on lettering. There’s a horror aspect to the comic as she explores a rundown house and its surrounding areas. It’s also a rather fitting setting, a metaphor of her experiences with the abusive Joker. What’s also interesting is the focus on Harley. This isn’t a comic full of crazy action sequences. Instead we get tight panels with clear focusing on how the art reflects the narrative. A close-up of Harley’s face adds to her contemplation. The highlighting of a deranged letter reflecting on the Joker’s thoughts about his on-again off-again significant other. A dropped letter begins the process of Harley moving on with her life. Each panel is deliberate and thought out in its presentation.

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Fourteen is an interesting entry in the anthology series. While the exploration of Harley’s relationship with the Joker is a little tiring, the details of this take stand out. It’s a digital comics that feels like every aspect has been really thought about in how it ties into and tells the story and Harley’s journey. It’s the type of story where you’d debate the details in English class. While it doesn’t tread new ground it’s also a solidly executed story.

Story: Jordie Bellaire Art: Greg Smallwood Letterer: Becca Carey
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

ComiXology Has 4 New Digital Comics Including new Harley Quinn!

ComiXology has four new digital comics today from Yen Press, Harlequin, and DC Comics. You can get them all right now or check out the individual issues below!

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red (2020-) #14

Written by Jordie Bellaire
Pencils Greg Smallwood
Inks Greg Smallwood
Colored by Greg Smallwood
Purchase

“Harley’s Six”
Harley has to assemble a crack squad of elite burglars for the heist of a lifetime… but when you ask Harley to put together a team, the results tend to be… unpredictable? Yeah, let’s go with unpredictable.

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red (2020-) #14

Goblin Slayer #52

Written by Kumo Kagyu
Art by Noboru Kannatuki, Kousuke Kurose
Purchase

This series is rated Adults Only DISCLAIMER: graphic sexuality gore Goblin Slayer’s party flees down the snowy mountain, pursued by a horde of berserk goblins. Goblin Slayer says he has a plan to deal with them, but will their few remaining weapons and spells last long enough for him to carry it out…? Read the next chapter of Goblin Slayer at the same time as Japan!

Goblin Slayer #52

Hinowa ga CRUSH! #34

Written by Takahiro
Art by Strelka
Purchase

This series is rated Adults Only DISCLAIMER: graphic sexuality Akame finally joins the battle! Will she be able to turn the tide? Read the next chapter of Hinowa ga CRUSH! at the same time as Japan!

Hinowa ga CRUSH! #34

Treacherous Longings

Written by Anne Mather
Art by Sachiyo
Purchase

Julia is an actress who abruptly departed from the silver screen, as well as society, ten years ago. Quinn, a reporter, tracks her down on an island in the Caribbean to negotiate her appearing onscreen for an interview. There is one thing he has not been able to forget since she disappeared all those years ago: the love the two had shared when they were young. As soon as he arrives on the island, he is shocked to see her with a child. But why did she disappear all those years ago? Julia reveals the child she’s with is her son and that she left to start a new life with someone else…

Treacherous Longings

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Preview: DC Cybernetic Summer #1

DC Cybernetic Summer #1

Written by: Liz Erickson, Max Bemis, Heath Corson, Stephanie Nicole Phillips, Joshua Williamson, Andrew Constant, Steve Orlando, Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman, Stuart Moore, Che Grayson
Art by: Paul Pelletier, Nicola Scott, Gabriel Hardman, Scott Koblish, Leila del Duca, Marguerite Sauvage, Greg Smallwood, Cully Hamner, Nik Virella, Darko Lafuente

Rub some sunscreen on your circuits, because DC’s favorite cyborgs are hitting the beach in DC Cybernetic Summer on July 28! In this sizzling summertime anthology special, Harley Quinn and Sy Borgman conquer a truly titanic water slide, Cyborg, Superman, and Cyborg Superman find it difficult to have a conversation, much less a fight, and Batman tries everything to escape a summer cookout—even taking on the omnipotent Brother Eye and his newly infectious O.M.A.C.s!

And it’s not just the cyborgs hitting the surf! Flashes from across the multiverse gather for a race to claim the fastest Flash in the multiverse! Mercury Flash from Earth-44 is out to win it all this year, the only person standing in his way is…Barry Allen! And Red Tornado’s on a camping trip with his wife Kathy and his daughter Traya, but he’s distracted by Justice League matters! When a threat emerges, will Red Tornado be able to protect his family?

All these and more sunburnt stories that are worth getting sand in your motherboard for!

DC Cybernetic Summer #1

Preview: Empyre: Savage Avengers #1

Empyre: Savage Avengers #1

(W) Gerry Duggan (A/CA) Greg Smallwood
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 29, 2020
SRP: $4.99

In South America, Conan finds himself enslaved – which is typically bad news for those attempting to do the enslaving! But these enslavers come from beyond the stars, and they’ve got a singular and grisly end in store for the Cimmerian – one that only Venom can help him avoid!

Empyre: Savage Avengers #1

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