Tag Archives: Guillem March

Comics Deserve Better Episode 19: Papaya Salad by Elisa Macellari

On the penultimate episode of Comics Deserve Better Season 2, Brian, Darci, and Logan discuss the historical fiction/biography/magical realism comic Papaya Salad by Elisa Macellari. This 2020 release is a Thai/Italian comic about Macellari’s great-uncle as he goes from rural Thailand to serving in the military in Europe on the eve of World War II and gives a unique perspective on this historical conflict. Also, there’s the usual news chatter including new Image comics by Guillem March and James Harren, upcoming books Brindille and Chef’s Kiss, and Dan Rather working on a graphic novel. There’s also a discussion of Grant Morrison doing an origin story for Atomahawk, more R-rated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and finally, an obituary for legendary cartoonist, Richard Corben. Other comics mentioned on the podcast were Homunculus, Gonzalo, Minotaar, Cry Wolf Girl, Under the Dead Oak Tree, Karmela Krimm, Phonogram: Singles Club, Ronin Island, The Picture of Everything Else, and Reckless. (Episode art by Elisa Macellari)

The Joker is on the Run in an All-New Monthly Series starting March 2021

The Joker is the most dangerous villain ever to menace Gotham City but in March 2021, the Clown Prince of Crime is taking his violence around the world. Batman writer James Tynion IV and artist Guillem March go global with The Joker’s brand of terror and mayhem in The Joker, a new monthly ongoing series from DC Comics.

After an unthinkable attack on Gotham City, the Clown Prince of Crime has become the most wanted man in the world! The Joker is doing his best to stay several steps ahead of law enforcement overseas, but Jim Gordon, facing retirement, realizes this is the last manhunt of his life and vows to track down Gotham’s worst nemesis, completing his storied career. But there are some mysterious and deadly forces that are also on the hunt for The Joker, and they’re not going to let Gordon slow them down or get in the way.

In the backup story by Tynion IV, co-writer Sam Johns, and artist Mirka Andolfo, Alexis Kaye, a.k.a. Punchline becomes the newest resident of Blackgate Penitentiary, while on the outside Harper Row resumes her role as Bluebird to prevent her brother from falling under the influence of Punchline and her beguiling brand of anarchy and chaos.

The Joker is a 40-page $4.99 monthly series debuting at comic book stores and participating digital retailers on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. The debut issue features cover art by Guillem March, with variant covers by Frank Quitely, Francesco Mattina, Riccardo Federici, and Mark Brooks.

Guillem March’s Karmen is out in March 2021 from Image Comics

Image Comics will bring the unique, lushly illustrated fantasy Karmen by bestselling writer and artist Guillem March stateside this March. Originally published by Dupuis in Belgium as a graphic novel, Karmen will be translated and introduced to U.S. audiences in single-issue periodical format, with five issues.

Karmen is a provocative story that explores grief, suicide, and redemption told as a visual feast-for-the-eyes and featuring ethereal, fantastic artwork to set the tone.

Punctuated with humor, Karmen is the story of Catalina, a recent suicide, who is taken under the wing of the strange and quirky angel, Karmen, on a journey of discovery and reflection.

Catalina’s story is packed with surprises and metaphysics, tenderness and humor. It dives deep into the topics that matter and is brought beautifully to life by the creator behind the acclaimed Monika (Titan Comics) and The Dream (Europe Comics).

Karmen #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 10.

Karmen #1

DC’s Future Post Future State Becomes Clearer as Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Swamp Thing, Teen Titans Academy, Green Lantern, Wonder Girl, and Justice League Dark Announced

Wonder Woman #770

After January and February’s Future State mini-event for DC Comics, March and beyond will see a mix of new and returning series as expected. Many of the series will feature their Future State creative teams continuing on to the series.

Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad will take over Wonder Woman with issue #770 in March. The two will be joined by interior and cover artist Travis Moore. The series will pick up after the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal which has put Wonder Woman at the center of events leading the heroes in their resistance.

Orbiting Wonder Woman will be Wonder Girl from writer and artist Joëlle Jones. That series will star Yara Flor who is getting a major push by DC as Flor will possibly be getting a television series at The CW.

A new Green Lantern series will launch written by Geoffrey Thorne with art by Tom Raney. They’re the creative team behind “The Last Lanterns” story in the Future State: Green Lantern comic.

Justice League Dark will return in March written by Ram V. who was also writing the series before its break due to the “Endless Winter” event. It will feature art by Xermanico.

Wonder Woman #770 variant

Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval will launch Teen Titans Academy. The series will focus on the launch of a Teen Titans Academy by members of the New Teen Titans. That series spins directly out of Future State: Teen Titans which tells a future tale of the academy.

With a film on its way, it’s not surprising that the Suicide Squad returns. Robbie Thompson, who will take on their story during Future State, will write the ongoing series with art by Eduardo Pansica. We can also see the DC live-action and comics aligning a bit more as Peacemaker (played by John Cena in the film) takes center stage. The character will not only be in The Suicide Squad film but is also getting his own series on HBO Max.

Swamp Thing is back courtesy of writer Ram V. and artist Mike Perkins. That duo is also the team behind the Swamp Thing Future State comic.

James Tynion IV with artist Jorge Jimenez will return to Batman and Tynion has another Batman series in the works with artist Guillem March.

Review: Batman #104

Batman #104

Mixing Batman with Saw sounds like an awesome concept. Batman #104 dances around diving into that combination as Batman, Harley Quinn, and Clownhunter have been captured by Ghost-Maker. The first story arc after “The Joker War” continues to stumble as the series fails to excite.

Batman #104 has the group capture by Ghost-Maker bouncing between that and Nightwing and Oracle discussing Bruce’s history with Ghost-Maker. Writer James Tynion IV dips his toes in what could be a very interesting concept and direction. Ghost-Maker forcing Batman to make a tough decision with Clownhunter and Harley Quin while trapped within a room. But, the issue focuses mostly on Bruce’s past with the mysterious Ghost-Maker. By the end, we have learned only a little more than we knew before.

Almost half of the comic is dedicated to the past of Bruce and the anti-hero, about six times as is needed. We already knew they trained together, so adding in a little more is fine but much of the issue sets up the relationship between the two to once again emphasize that Bruce/Batman cares. The focus feels like filler to some extent presenting a sequence extended far more than it needs to be.

Where things would get interesting is presenting Batman with an actual dilemma, one where he needs to make a difficult choice. We get that tease in what looks like the set of Saw. Pitting Batman, Clownhunter, and Harley Quinn together in the situation really emphasizes Ghost-Maker’s point. And while the basics are there, it never really gets to the interesting aspects. That’s teased for the next issue.

Things aren’t helped with the art on the issue which is inconsistent. Ryan Benjamin, Danny Miki, Bengal, and Guillem March all contribute to the issue and it’s noticeable that there’s so many hands in it. There’s a dip in details from segment to segment and at times page to page that’s distracting. While DC has gotten away with multiple artists where things aren’t an issue, Batman #104 features such a variation that it’s jarring at times. Not even the art can really save the issue.

Much like much of the Ghost-Maker arc so far, Batman #104 continues a story which has potential but never quite nails the interesting meat of it. The issues feel like a build-up to what will be a packed final issue that really lays things out. This seems to be Tynion’s pattern with his multiple arcs so far. The initial issues lay out some interesting concepts, dances around them, and the final issue lays out the theme and “conclusion” of the arc. It creates for issues where things don’t feel satisfying and as a reader we’re left with potential with little payoff.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Ryan Benjamin, Danny Miki, Bengal, Guillem March
Color: David Baron Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation:
Read

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Preview: Batman #104

Batman #104

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Bengal, Guillem March

Ghost-Maker is living up to his spectral name as Batman scours Gotham City for any trace of him…but this deadly new vigilante is going to prove a bloody point to the Dark Knight by murdering both Clownhunter and Harley Quinn. That is, unless they kill each other first!

Batman #104

Review: Batman #103

Batman #103

Batman #103 continues a rather middling new arc for the series after the mixed “Joker War”. The issue features Batman battling Ghost-Maker as we learn a little more about the two’s history. Nothing is too surprising or exciting but at the same time, there’s also nothing particularly bad about the issue. It’s a fine, somewhat forgettable read.

Writer James Tynion IV continues his Batman run with a “fight issue”. It’s interspersed with cliché and things we’ve seen so many times before. All it was missing was Ghost-Maker uttering “you have failed this city”. That’s just some of the frustration of the comic. With Ghost-Maker uttering “Bruce” every other page, you wonder who at this point doesn’t know Batman is Bruce Wayne. With Clownhunter standing there… does everyone have to know his identity?

There’s nothing particularly bad about the issue. If you enjoy fights and battles, that’s about it. Whether it’s Batman vs. Ghost-Maker or Clownhunter vs. Harley Quinn, Batman #103 delivers visuals and action over substance. There’s a bit more depth as to the history between Batman and Ghost-Maker but overall you leave the issue with little more than you began the issue with.

Where things do get a bit more fun and interesting is the mentioned Clownhunter vs. Harley Quinn. Harley is attempting to right her ship and do the hero thing again. Clownhunter though, wants his revenge. Watching the two battle it out is actually interesting as Harley mostly plays defense, laying out her vision of going legit. She also has some fun with it all analyzing Clownhunter a bit during their dance. That’s the most interesting aspect of the comic and hints at what Tynion might have been going for presenting the issue as is. We’re supposed to get a little juxtaposition between the two sets of adversaries. But, that never clicks. We generally get some nice visuals and tired cliché where Batman explains how Ghost-Maker’s actions actually hurts things.

Visually, the comic features a trio of creators, Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, and Guillem March. Along with David Baron on color and Clayton Cowles lettering, the art flows between the three with little notice of changing things up. Visually, the comic looks crisp and nice and beyond a weird positioning of Batman at the end the action as presented is interesting. Harley and Clownhunter’s dance especially stands out with its close quarters and humorous tone to it.

As I stated, Batman #103 isn’t a bad comic at all. It’s just rather boring. Much of it feels like things we’ve already seen. That can work if it’s presented in a new or interesting way. As is, we have another “anti-hero” thinking Batman’s actions haven’t worked while Batman explains he sees a bigger picture. It’s an attempt to extend some of the themes from “Joker War” but it never quite works or clicks. Instead, the comic feels like it putters about a bit never getting to the point and extended things out much longer than they should.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki, Guillem March
Color: David Baron Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Batman #103

Batman #103

Story: James Tynion IV
Art: Guillem March

Batman and Ghost-Maker go toe-to-toe to decide which of them will remain Gotham City’s hero. The city is changing faster than ever in the aftermath of “The Joker War,” and with this change comes increasing dangers as Gotham’s citizens demand that Punchline be released from prison! Plus, Harley Quinn faces certain death at the hands of Clownhunter!

Batman #103

Review: Batman #101

Batman #101

With the first two story arcs of the new direction over, Batman #101 wraps things up reiterating writer James Tynion IV‘s vision for the character and charting a new direction. While “Joker War” had its ups and downs what it clearly laid out is that Batman has failed in his mission. Gotham is really no better off and his tactics haven’t worked to have the city progress from its crime-infested corrupt roots. Batman #101 lays that all out with an exclamation point and begins to lay the groundwork as to where Gotham, and Batman, goes from here.

Tynion reiterates his vision for where he’s taking Batman. Gone will be the fancy toys that solved all his problems. In is a grittier, back to his roots take. There’s no more Alfred to fix things. There’s no more Wayne Enterprises to funnel projects through. The spotlight is on Bruce Wayne and his finances forcing him to think differently and change his operation. With Lucius Fox now in control of the Wayne fortune, Bruce and Batman need to make decisions in their future.

That goes beyond Batman, it extends to his relationships as well. Catwoman is center stage for the issue as the Bat and Cat discuss their future after the marriage that didn’t happen. There’s a lot of reflection from Bruce on multiple fronts that’ll have some interesting ramifications for the future. And there’s downright hints as what’s to come as the classic WildC.A.T.s character Grifter is introduced as Fox’s new security. What’s said and what happens will have readers excited.

The art by Guillem March is solid. Featuring color from Tomeu Morey and lettering from Clayton Cowles, there’s a lack of the destruction we’ve seen through previous arcs. Instead, there’s a dirty calm about everything. Things haven’t recovered and you can see the scars remain in the art. That’s everything from the status of the city to how Lucius looks. The art tells you the damage is still there and it’s a city recovering. Tynion sets the internal thoughts but the art team sets how Gotham and the characters are in every other way.

Batman #101 sets the stage for the next direction of Batman and Gotham. It also feels like the start of a commentary on the state of our world. Corruption is underpinning society. Those who have, or have supported, heinous acts are hiding their masks from their neighbors. It’s something we’ll likely see happen depending on who wins the November election and starting to see now. There’s a new status-quo in Gotham and Batman #101 begins our journey into that world.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Guillem March
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Batman #101

Batman #101

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Guillem March

A new day dawns in Gotham and the horrors of “The Joker War” are just being realized. A bold new direction for Batman begins as Bruce Wayne’s circumstances are forever changed. How did the Joker’s rampage affected the citizens of the city? And why does Cole Cash-a.k.a.-Grifter, now work for Lucius Fox?!

Batman #101
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