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DC and Harlequin Make up Today’s New Digital Releases

There’s four new digital releases today on comiXology. Get two from DC and two from Harlequin now!

Legends of the Dark Knight (2021-) #15

Written by Che Grayson
Pencils Belén Ortega
Inks Belén Ortega
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez

THE GHOST AND THE KNIGHT! THe Ghost Dogs, a new band of thieves, have been stealing from some of Gotham’s most profitable businesses. Batman will track them down and come face-to-face with their leader GHOST, who will show him a side of Gotham City he was woefully uninformed about. From the rising star creative team of Che Grayson and Belén Ortega!

Legends of the Dark Knight (2021-) #15

Truth & Justice (2021-) #19

Written by Preeti Chhibber
Pencils Lalit Kumar Sharma
Inks Lalit Kumar Sharma
Colored by Wendy Broome
Cover by Hi-Fi, Jay Anacleto

Zatanna finds herself trapped in a dream world. How did she get there and how can she possibly get out without her magical powers?

Truth & Justice (2021-) #19

Les pièges du désir

Written by Jessica Steele
Art by Ayumu Aso

Un an après avoir perdu son mari dans un tragique accident le lendemain des noces, Josy culpabilise toujours autant. Sa vie est rythmée par les tâches ménagères diverses et par les injonctions de son père abusif. Un jour, Dacre, le cousin de son défunt mari, lui rend visite. Ce gentleman raffiné l’invite à venir dans sa villa en France pour prendre un nouveau départ. Son regard doux et attentionné fait battre le cœur de Josy, mais elle sait qu’elle ne peut s’éprendre de lui. En son for intérieur, elle se dit qu’elle n’a plus le droit de tomber amoureuse, car si son mari est mort… c’est de sa faute !

Les pièges du désir

No Gentleman

Written by Kate Walker
Art by Shioko Mizuki

Ryan is said to be one of the best portrait painters in England. But for Anna, he’s a nightmare. Anna and Ryan were once two young lovers living in an impoverished town—until Anna fled one day. She changed her identity and found success in London, even getting engaged to a man from the upper class. But fate pushes Ryan and Anna back together again when they cross paths at a party. With his knowledge of her past, what could he have in store for her?

No Gentleman

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Review: Usagi Yojimbo #17

Usagi Yojimbo #17

Usagi Yojimbo #17 features part two of “Tengu War”. The comic opens with Usagi and his former sensei Sojobu are surrounded by the Tengu. The big fight happens and while Usagi can hold his own, Nozomi appears to help turn the tide in Usagi’s favor. However, she has her own issues with Usagi, who she refuses to see as an equal until he proves himself in combat against one of her companions. Eventually, cooler heads prevail with a bit of wisdom.

It might not be flashy and Stan Sakai’s artistic style might not be for everyone but it’s what Usagi Yojimbo has always been and Sakai has always kept things looking the same. I know longtime colorist Tom Luth retired but with Hi-Fi Design handling that part, I  had no problems with the colors. Usagi is a pretty wonderful character. He’s just been fleshed out so much by Sakai over the years and I feel like his behavior just seems so natural and it’s something that I feel sets him apart from so many characters. As a character full of wisdom, it seemed proper that when put into the situation of proving himself to Nozomi, he refused to kill his combatant and successfully pleaded for said combatant’s life, as they’d need every sword available for the Tengu. And while I appreciate the action inside the pages, I just feel like Usagi’s character is tops.

Overall, Usagi Yojimbo #17 is another enjoyable issue of Usagi Yojimbo. Honestly, I have been reading UY off and on for so many years and feel like it just doesn’t skip a beat and has maintained a quality form of storytelling. As part of a 3-issue story, this chapter doesn’t feel like the slow part in the story and had a lot of good action and storytelling. I feel confident in stating that Usagi Yojimbo is one of the best books I read each month and Usagi Yojimbo #17 is no different.

Story: Stan Sakai Art: Stan Sakai
Letterer: Stan Sakai Color: Hi-Fi Design
Story: 8.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 7.0

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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ComiXology Features 7 New Releases Including New Challenge of the Super Sons and Inferior Five!

It’s a new week and comiXology is kicking it off with seven new releases. Get new comics from DC, Magnetic Press, and Harlequin. Get shopping now or check out the individual issues below.

Batman Univers Vol. 1

Written by Collectif
Art by Collectif

10-Page Preview!
10-Page Preview!
“Scott SNYDER et Greg CAPULLO ouvrent une nouvelle ère pour Gotham avec l’arrivée d’un Chevalier Noir totalement différent ! Les hommes de Bullock s’acclimatent à ce nouveau venu, par Francis MANAPUL, Brian BUCCELLATO et Fernando BLANCO ! Dans une toute nouvelle série, Damian Wayne parcourt le monde à la recherche de ses racines, par Patrick GLEASON ! Une nouvelle ennemie électrique pour Batgirl, par Cameron STEWART, Brenden FLETCHER et Babs TARR ! Et la Matrone prend les rênes de Spyral, l’organisation où enquête Dick Grayson, par Tim SEELEY, Tom KING et Mikel JANIN ! (contient les épisodes US BATMAN #41, ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN #1, DETECTIVE COMICS #41, BATGIRL #41, GRAYSON #9, ainsi que toutes les SNEAK PEEK des séries)”

Batman Univers Vol. 1

Brindille Vol. 1 #2

Written by Frédéric Brrémaud
Art by Frédéric Brrémaud
Cover by Frédéric Brrémaud

The village is empty — they’ve abandoned the mysterious girl rescued from the fire. Now, with no friends and no ideas where to go, she wanders the woods, where she quickly finds a new friend — and apparent guardian angel — a wolf who will help her uncover her past!

Brindille Vol. 1 #2

Challenge of the Super Sons (2020-) #10

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils Evan Stanley
Inks Evan Stanley
Colored by Luis Guerrero

Journey back with us once more through the mists of time to uncover the secrets of the Doom Scroll! Picking up where we left off in Chapter 5, Superboy and Robin have been rescued from the clutches of some truly wicked spells by their new ally, Rora. As Rora rushes to help the boys return to the present, their pursuers close in and prepare for attack – and Vandal Savage and Felix Faust are one deadly duo that mean BUSINESS.

Challenge of the Super Sons (2020-) #10

Hard Melody Vol. 1 #2

Written by Lu Ming
Art by Lu Ming
Cover by Lu Ming

Part two of Lu Ming’s tale of Rock-and-Roll dreams shattered by reality. A barfight wakes the trio from their numb lives and suddenly the future seems bright and full of possibility again. But reality has a way of stepping up its game when challenged by fantasy…

Hard Melody Vol. 1 #2

L’amante du rebelle.

Written by Jennifer Lewis
Art by Nayuna Sakurano

Alicia s’inquiétait d’être encore vierge à 26 ans. La cause en était un grand frère hyperprotecteur qui l’avait élevée à la place de leurs parents après la mort de ceux-ci. Il fallait à Alicia trouver le garçon parfait, capable de le convaincre. Le prince charmant de ses rêves, Rick Jones, apparait alors ! Beau, riche, prévenant, Rick, est le partenaire idéal à qui donner sa virginité. Alicia en tombe complètement amoureuse, sans savoir qu’il lui cache quelque chose…

L'amante du rebelle.

Almost Perfect

Written by Judy Duarte
Art by Taki Inase

Maggie, a pediatrician, invited her childhood friend, Jake, to her hospital’s reception party. It’s been fifteen years since she last saw him, and he’s become a stunning cowboy who catches everyone’s eye when he walks into a room. Is he really the same skinny Jake I once knew? That’s when her ex-husband walked in with his new fiancée. Maggie asked Jake to act like her boyfriend in an attempt to make her ex-husband jealous. Jake listened to her wishes and told her he’d play the best lover ever and kissed her…!

Almost Perfect

Inferior Five (2019-) #5

Written by Keith Giffen, Jeff Lemire
Pencils Keith Giffen, Jeff Lemire
Inks Michelle Delecki, Jeff Lemire
Colored by Hi-Fi, Jose Villarrubia
Cover by Hi-Fi, Michelle Delecki, Keith Giffen, Howard Porter

The danger under Dangerfield: the young heroes have discovered a relic from the Invasion interred deep beneath their horrifying hometown, but will they be as irresponsible with it as they have with everything else? Plus, the Peacemaker arrives on the scene to keep them from hurting themselves and planet Earth!

Inferior Five (2019-) #5

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Review: Infinite Frontier #0

Infinite Frontier #0

Dark Knights: Death Metal is over and we’ve seen a possible future timeline in “Future State”. Now, DC begins to chart its path with the first crumbs teased in Infinite Frontier #0. The issue serves as a guide as to the various series and status-quo that awaits them. With a new omniverse to explore, anything is possible and the comic does its job to remind us of that.

The comic’s story is delivered in a narrative driven by two characters as our guide. It’s a spin on the classic Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Wonder Woman believes a threat is looming and wants to witness the state of things before making a major decision about her role in the DC Universe.

With Wonder Woman and Spectre as our guide, we’re taken on a tour of the characters highlighting the comics to come. The Justice League, Batman, Wonder Girl, Alan Scott, Teen Titans Academy, Superman, Green Arrow and Black Canary, Star Girl, Green Lanterns, and the Flash all get a moment to show off where things stand. All of it is good and interesting though few of what’s presented really excites. It feels like an extended teaser and preview. It takes its concept as a guidebook almost too seriously. The comic feels a bit more like the extension of the ending of Dark Knights: Death Metal where we saw many of these ideas initially teased.

Infinite Frontier #0 credits

But, what’s intriguing is what’s presented and doesn’t have a comic attached to them. Infinite Frontier #0 teases more than what’s already announced giving hope as to what we’ll see in July and beyond. There’s also teases through artwork of the various series DC teased at the recent ComicsPro. It’s interesting in that way that the stories feel less like the exciting first 15 minutes before the credits to get you pumped. Instead, the stories are a bit dry and more to lay out where things stand with the concepts thrown out being the hooks. The action isn’t the hook, the ideas are.

The art of the comic is solid. Each segment flows into the next and with a few exceptions, the styles work well together. There are some fantastic spreads with Wonder Woman as she talks to Spectre about what she’s witnessing. There’s a few panels and pages that’ll leave you lingering to stare at. The colors really pop on pages delivering a sense of energy that really fits the new status of the DC Universe.

Infinite Frontier #0 isn’t bad but it doesn’t quite excite. By the end of the issue I found myself more excited about concepts than the comics themselves. Very few of the segments left me wanting to immediately find out what happens next. Instead, it the comic feels like a short ashcan, teasing what’s to come with a few pages and back material to fill things out. It shows what’s to come but it never quite puts things over. Instead, it nails its role as a guide, a way to browse what DC has to offer.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Joëlle Jones, Tim Sheridan, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Joshua Williamson, Geoff Johns, Geoffrey Thorne
Art: David Marquez, Jorge Jimeez, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Joëlle Jones, Stephen Byrne, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Jamal Igle, Alex Maleev, Todd Nauck, Dexter Soy, Howard Porter, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson
Color: Tamra Bonvillain, Tomeu Morey, Emilio Lopez, Jordie Bellaire, Stephen Byrne, Alejandro Sanchez, Hi-Fi, Alex Sinclair, Brad Anderson
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Future State: Green Lantern #1

Future State: Green Lantern #1

Future State has been delivering a fascinating look at possible futures of the DC Universe. While some have provided pretty smooth transitions, others have left too many questions. The world these comics exist in themselves are a distraction. Future State: Green Lantern #1 is one of those issues. In this future, the Green Lantern battery appears to be no more, and the Lanterns a shell of what they were. Why? Who knows. But, it’s a question that’ll be in the back of your head while you read the comic.

Geoffrey Thorne delivers an interesting story of a siege and last stand. John Stewart is leading a band of Lanterns as they protect a planet under siege. Their goal is to get survivors off the planet and slow the tide of attack. Coming out so soon after the events of January 6, it’s an odd comic as it’s hard to read it and not think of the officers who stood against the attacking crowds.

Thorne gives us a valiant issue. Future State: Green Lantern #1 presents the Lanterns as heroes who put their own lives on the line even when the odds are against them. There’s no fancy rings to wield, it’s just guns and swords to hold off the evil they face. And, some give their lives in doing so. Thorne delivers emotion and trauma as the odds diminish and you’re left not knowing if Stewart and team will walk away.

I sort of like Tom Raney’s art. With color by Mike Atiyeh and lettering by Andworld Design, it’s more of a personal thing for me. There’s a slight cartoonish style to the comic that doesn’t quite click for me. But there’s some great moments and I really like the design of the characters. Raney gives us the emotional hits and a good look at Stewart’s reactions. But, the art doesn’t quite click with the drama. As a sci-fi comic, the style works really well but here it doesn’t nail the emotional moments.

The comic features a second tale, “The Taking of Sector 0123“. Written by Ryan Cady with art by Sami Basri, colors by Hi-Fi, and lettering by Dave Sharpe, it’s a solid story featuring Jessica Cruz. Some of Sinestro’s Yellow Lantern Corp have headed to a Green Lantern station with an intention of taking it over. All that’s left to stop them is Cruz without her power ring. What takes place is a story we’ve seen many times before. It’s Die Hard and numerous other films of that sort but it works. It works really well. That ending though! It’s the strongest of the three stories within.

The third story, “Book of Guy“, is really humorous as Guy Gardner is stuck on a world after his Ring’s power gives out. Written by Ernie Altabacker with art by Clayton Henry, color by Marcelo Maiolo, and lettering by Steve Wands, the story is entertaining and cute, a solid back-up story. It’s funny and definitely had me laughing by the end.

Future State: Green Lantern #1 isn’t a bad issue at all but it dances the history of the DC Universe up to this point. It’s hard to not keep wondering what problem hit the Green Lanterns. Why are things like the way they are. It left me wanting to learn about that more than what was presented. That’s good in a way but also a bit frustrating as well.

Story: Geoffrey Thorne, Ryan Cady, Ernie Altabacker Art: Tom Raney, Sami Basri, Clayton Henry
Color: Mike Atiyeh, Hi-Fi, Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Andworld Design, Dave Sharpe, Steve Wands
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Generations Shattered #1

Generations Shattered #1

Generations Shattered #1 is an interesting comic. As a standalone miniseries, the story would be quite compelling and engaging. But, with its release of “Future State”, the comic isn’t released in a vacuum. Spinning out of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the story involves a villain using the messed up time and history to shape their own. A group of heroes throughout time are gathered to save the day.

The concept of Generations Shattered #1 and where it goes would be an event miniseries I’d take a lot of interest in normally. But, it’s a bit of an oddity with the release of all of the other “Future State” comics. While they focus on possible future events, this one features a villain attempting to shape a new reality and history. Where it fits into this reshaping of the DC Universe and history is a bit of a headscratcher. While time seems to have mended as per other comics, maybe not? It’s a little unclear how this fits into what’s going on.

Written by Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, and Robert Venditti, Generations Shattered #1 brings the heroes together in an oversized first issue. Dragged out feels like a better way to describe it. The issue is mostly the heroes being gathered as time is erased as it’s being rewritten. Over 45 pages are dedicated to this creating a slow build and long way to get to the point. Other comics have done the “gathering of characters” and their introduction quicker and in a much more entertaining way.

What this does though is give a massive amount of artists to stretch their legs. Each segment is handled by a different team giving the comic a jam-session sort of feel. That could be interesting as well if any of the art really popped. There’s not bad but there’s little that’s exciting either. Still, it’s fun to see the different styles and takes on the characters from so many artists.

Generations Shattered #1 is an oddity of a comic. It’s hampered by its release along “Future State” making its story a bit confusing. The concept is quite good and entertaining, especially where it leaves things. But, it takes forever to get to the interesting part. It’s a comic I both felt like a chore to read but at the same time I want to see where it goes.

Story: Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, Robert Venditti
Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Scott Hanna, Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, Emanuela Lupacchino, Wade Von Grawbadger, Bernard Chang, Yanick Paquette, Kevin Nowlan, Dan Jurgens, Klaus Janson, Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki, Doug Braithwaite, Rags Morales, Klaus Janson, Mike Perkins
Color: Hi-Fi Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

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Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal The Multiverse That Laughs #1

Dark Nights: Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs

I’ve been vocal in my mixed feelings about Dark Nights: Death Metal. The main event has been mixed in quality and the one-shots, while they used to stand out, are now fumbling themselves. Dark Nights: Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs is another stumble presenting four stories with few standing out and most being forgettable.

Dark Nights: Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs opens with an introduction introducing the scary stories to follow. Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson, the intro isn’t so much Cryptkeeper as it’s a tease. Juan Gedeon handles the art, Mike Spicer color, and Troy Peteri the lettering and the art is solidly entertaining. But, the tales the Robin Kings aren’t what’s presented, and sadly what is, is far less interesting. A nice introduction to lay out the concept of the comic but it actually hurts what’s really could have been accomplished with some text on the first page.

Patton Oswalt, Sanford Greene, David Baron, and Josh Reed to a twisted take on Zsasz in “Feeding the Beast”. Sadly, the story itself doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at all. It feels like interesting ideas chopped together without a strong narrative. To say it’s a frustrating start is an understatement and the issue stumbles from there.

The Super-Pets get the spotlight in “The Super-Threats“. Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, the story is a Super-Pets spin on DCeased. Krypto returns from space to find a planet ravaged and all that remains are the Super-Pets. It’s a nice horror short story packed in well and filled with a little bit of humor to make it different and stand out from DCeased. Chad Hardin‘s art with color by Enrica Eren Angiolini‘s color is solid as the animals are filled with emotion as the story unfolds. There’s a slight coloring issue when one infected creature is described as having yellow eyes and red teeth and neither being present. Lettering by Carlos M. Mangual really stands out with the unique speech bubbles that makes the story really fun.

In “Hard-Traveled“, Earth has been taken over by Hal Jordon who’s used his power to bring order to the planet. Standing in his way is Green Arrow. Saladin Ahmed‘s story is interesting in concept but sadly doesn’t get enough pages to really stand out. But, it’s a comic I’d love to read. What does stand out is Scot Eaton‘s art. With Norm Rapmund on ink and Hi-Fi on color, the story builds to a Rocky vs. Apollo ending.

Much like the story leading into it, “The Fear Index” also suffers from not enough pages. Steel has to deal with a planet that has been enveloped by Scarecrow’s toxin. It’s a great idea that we’re mostly teased with. Written by Brandon Thomas, the story itself is the trailer for a film we want to see more of. The art by Thomas Mandrake is solid. With color by Sian Mandrake, it comes off as the twisted fear-induced visions you’d expect. It’s not the over the top trip that has been done before but it’s presented as unsettled. That’s helped by Deron Bennett‘s lettering which enhances the hallucinations from the fear toxin. It emphasizes the situation and world.

There are some things to like about Dark Nights: Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs. The idea of an anthology telling stories in this twisted world has potential but few are given the space they’re needed to really be interesting. Instead, they all fall short as teases for something far more entertaining. Both the Green Arrow and Steel stories are worthy of their own one-shots and an entire line could be done like the other Dark Multiverse one-shots releases. But, as is, there’s not a lot here to get excited about.

Story: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Patton Oswalt, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Saladin Ahmed, Brandon Thomas
Art: Juan Gedeon, Sanford Greene, Chad Hardin, Scot Eaton, Thomas Mandrake
Color: Mike Spicer, David Baron, Enrica Eren Angiolini, Sian Mandrake, Hi-Fi
Ink: Norm Rapmund
Letterer: Troy Peteri, Josh Reed, Carlos M. Mangual, Deron Bennett
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

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Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God

Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God

Dark Nights: Death Metal has been an interesting event so far. The “Crisis” by another name has had a main series and story that has bounced around in tone. Then, there’s been a series of tie-in one-shots. They’ve been both key in the storytelling and far superior to the main series. Each of those one-shots is pretty important to the story. They don’t quite stand on their own but also are not easily woven into the main series. Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God is another example of that. It feels like it introduces really important aspects to the main story but would be difficult to work into the series.

Written by James Tynion IV, Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God focuses on the battle between the new version of The Batman Who Laughs and Perpetua. It’s occurring on a cosmic scale with the two hurling planets at each other, a concept both awe-inspiring visually and a bit silly at the same time.

The comic though is more focused on Chronicler, a new character to me, whose role is to… watch. Yes, Chronicler is DC”s version of Uatu, Marvel’s Watcher. Its role is to travel the omniverse gathering stories of various realities and their history. With this reality on the brink of destruction, the Chronicler is going to do the same with this universe.

The concept presented is an interesting one with a slight twist more focused on the meta aspect of a storyteller watching a story. The Chronicler becomes obsessed that a reality with such rich stories feels unfinished and so travels around gathering more information. We as readers learn more about the history of the DC Universe and the current situation. In a way Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God acts as another entry to try to make sense of the current event.

What it does do is add another layer to the already complicated history of DC Crisis events adding in the Omniverse to the Multiverse. It also might be a hint as to what’s to come once Dark Nights: Death Metal is over. It again points to a “new DC universe” driven by this event, one that may return to the classic good vs. evil tropes of classic DC stories.

The art is amazing at times. Jesus Merino is joined by Vicenete Cifuentes on ink and Ulises Arreola on color. The imagery as Chronicler makes his way through the galaxy is just jaw-dropping at times. It’s titans battling in a cosmic way and delivers visuals I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. Chronicler himself feels like a mix of DC’s history with aspects of classic and modern design mixed together. There’s also some great use of panels and splash pages to really emphasize the epic and titanic nature of what’s happening.

A back-up story takes us to The Bleed where a ship of survivors needs to figure out what to do next. Written by Bryan Edward Hill, the segment has the remaining Green Lanterns unsure of their next move. They know time is not on their side and they’ll eventually be destroyed if they stick to their path. Much like the main story, it too leaves you hanging with whatever to come in another issue elsewhere. It also feels like a segment that couldn’t be fit into the main series, so had to be added somewhere.

With art by Nik Virella, color by Hi-Fi, and lettering by Andworld Design, it’s a decent chapter. The art team is able to mix the desperation the survivors feel with that moment when they decide to fight. While it doesn’t quite hit the level of inspirational, the characters and designs are interesting. It too leaves the reader wanting to see what’s next though this finishes with a more curious “end.”

Dark Nights: Death Metal Rise of the New God is an interesting comic. It has a lot of concepts that could work really well. But, as a comic, it doesn’t stand on its own. It feels like a chapter in the event that without the event, it’d make no sense. As is, it’s inclusion is head-scratching until we read more of what’s to come. It’s a setup of things, clearly, but until that pays off, what’s presented can be a bit confusing and mixed. It has concepts without payoff and new ideas that until this issue hasn’t played into Dark Nights: Death Metal.

Unlike other one-shots, this is one you will likely need to continue to read the event to enjoy. But, if DC is willing to step out into the Omniverse as this comic hints, it’s a sign of some exciting things to come when this event is finally over.

Story: James Tynion IV, Bryan Edward Hill Art: Jesus Merino, Nik Virella
Ink: Vicente Cifuentes Color: Ulises Arreola, Hi-Fi Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.35 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

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Review: Batman: The Joker Warzone #1

Batman: The Joker Warzone #1

DC’s “Joker War” has been a bit of a mixed bag for me as an event. Some of it feels like we’ve seen it before. While it has some good moments, it also feels like it never quite commits to the chaos. What bothers me the most is that the story feels like it’s just a bridge to what comes next. It’s not a story I feel like I can pick up on its own to enjoy. Through the issues of Batman, it never quite feels like a story that is a stand-alone adventure to enjoy. That might be even more pronounced in Batman: The Joker Warzone #1. It’s a tie-in comic filled with creative talent, solid stories, art, and a few “continued in 2021”. It’s also very good.

A Serious House” opens the comic. Written by James Tynion IV with art by Guillem March, color by Tomeu Morey, and lettering by Clayton Cowles it focuses on a confrontation between the Joker and Bane. The story is fantastic with a fascinating back and forth as Joker goes over his issues with Bane and contemplates ending his life. There’s a “play” like quality about the segment and with amazing art it’s the highlight of the issue. It sets up something for 2021 which feels a bit frustrating in that it telegraphs more to come instead of surprising and hints that the Joker survives “Joker War” for that to happen.

Family Ties” features writer John Ridley, art by Olivier Coipel, color by Matt Hollingsworth, and lettering by Deron Bennett. Focused on the Fox family, the story focuses on their receiving information to unlock Bruce Wayne’s fortune. But, Ridley takes that concept and adds so much to it giving us a mini-debate about what good Bruce, and thus Batman, are doing with all of this money. Could they use the money in a better way to help people? Should it go back to Bruce. With an ending that feels ripped from the headlines, Ridley shows why he’s one of the best storytellers in any medium today.

The Symbol” is by writer Joshua Williamson, art by David LaFuente, color by Hi-Fi, and lettering by Gabriela Downie. Orphan and Spoiler are on a mission to get a Bat-symbol where they wind up fighting Hench Master. Hench Master feels like a new character whose job it is to “train” henchmen for various villains. It’s a fun story that feels like it’d fit in any Batman anthology and an entertaining fun distraction that’s a bit cheerier with some good action sequences.

Ashes of Eden” is by writer Sam Johns, art by Laura Braga, color by Antonio Fabela, and lettering by Tom Napolitano. Ivy is dealing with the destruction of Eden. The entire segment is a declaration from Ivy about where her head is at and what’s to come. It’s also another story arc that we’ll see in 2021. What’s interesting, and possibly the most controversial, is Ivy seems to reject all humans and that might include Harley. Whether I’m reading too much into it, I have no idea but the Ivy/Harley stans may get a bit angry about what’s to come for these two.

Wrapping up the comic is “Clown Hunt” by writer James Tynion IV, art by James Stokoe, and lettering by Clayton Cowles. This is our first real story about Clownhunter who has stalked the Joker’s henchman and delivered brutal justice. We don’t know much about the character but we get our first good look at Clownhunter without the mask and better sense of what the citizens of Gotham thinks about him. There’s a lot of potential for a long-term interesting addition to the world of Batman and where this one goes is exciting.

Overall, Batman: The Joker Warzone #1 is a solid one-shot. It adds some stories within “Joker War” without making them vital. There’s a bit too much left to be experienced in 2021 which emphasizes my issues with “Joker War” overall. It doesn’t feel self-contained enough. If you took those segments and left out the “too be continued,” these would be really solid on their own. Even if you’re not reading “Joker War,” there’s enough here to enjoy and worth checking out. It’s the rare event one-shot where you can ignore the actual event.

Story: James Tynion IV, John Ridley, Joshua Williamson, Sam Johns
Art: Guillem March, Olivier Coipel, David LaFuente, Laura Braga, James Stokoe
Color: Tomeu Morey, Matt Hollingsworth, Hi-Fi, Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Deron Bennett, Gabriela Downie, Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9

Obsession Aggression” by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Hendry Prasetya, Hi-Fi, and Travis Lanham

Wonder Woman’s been ambushed! After receiving a house from the will of a person she’s never met, Wonder Woman must investigate, but finds a house of horrors out to kill her! Who’s done this and can Wonder Woman survive the onslaught?

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9
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