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Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL TRINITY CRISIS #1

As a whole, I’ve been a bit mixed on Dark Nights: Death Metal. The comic tonally has been all over with gonzo ideas that don’t match its “metal pitch.” The comic also is clearly the latest “Crisis” to hit the DC Universe forgoing the classic title. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 feels like it cements this event’s place in the ongoing “Crisis” of the DC Universe and is a key issue of the event. It’s enough of a key issue one has to scratch their head and wonder why it wasn’t?

Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 picks up as the heroes of the DC Universe are freed and the plan is laid out as to what to do next. The stakes are laid out and it’s clear that a multi-pronged plan is the way to go with various teams focused on specific objectives. Wonder Woman is calling the shots this time pivoting away from Superman and Batman, who are clearly hiding something from here and predictably whatever it is will be revealed at a pivotal moment to make victory difficult or prevent an easy initial win.

Scott Snyder handles the story of this tie-in that mainly focuses on Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and their team that includes Jarro, Swamp Thing, Jonah Hex, and Harley Quinn. Their mission is to harness to “Crisis energy” of the Dark Multiverse to be used later to help spring forth a multiverse DC’s heroes will create and direct. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 is so far the strongest of all of the issues released for the event. It’s an interesting launching point for the next chapter and direction of the story that will drive DC’s future into whatever comes next.

And that’s part of the frustrating aspect of Dark Nights: Death Metal as a whole. It’s a bridge to yet another “reboot.” When Dark Nights: Metal launched, I felt that it should have been the bridge between the dark and gloomy “New 52” and the more hopeful “Rebirth.” Dark Nights: Death Metal feels like it emphasizes exactly that and is a missed opportunity to really bridge the two eras in tone and in a more coherent and clean transition.

Snyder lays out what’s at stake and the issue well. It feels like a vital chapter that should have just been a part of the main series. There’s a tenseness about it all that builds and builds well, even if the latter aspects of the comic are foreshadowed a bit too much. It’s still an intriguing chapter that really makes you wonder what’s to come in this wild ride of an event.

Francis Manapul handles the art. With colors by Ian Herring and lettering by Tom Napolitano, the comic has an energy about it that Manapul is known for. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 delivers visuals that are both tense and have you jumping with enthusiasm like a good popcorn flick. There’s also a lot going on. The details at time are a little packed in but the team does a solid job of fitting a lot into the issue. There’s a great balance of use of panels and page layouts to also emphasize the chaotic nature of what’s going on delivering an almost claustrophobic feel for a while before exploding into the latter half.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 feels like the issue where this event just admits it’s the latest “Crisis” storyline for the DC Universe. It does a solid job of both diving into DC history while also leaving it open enough for new readers to enjoy. But, again, there’s a fault of the issue for not being part of the main series. It’s an odd choice. Still, this is the second recent release for Dark Nights: Death Metal that acts as a jumping on point or an explanation of what’s happening. If you’ve been following the event, it’s a must get. If you’re intrigued by what’s going on, this isn’t a bad place to start to begin the latter half.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Francis Manapul
Color: Ian Herring Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.65 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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DC Reveals this Week’s DC Digital First Releases

DC’s Digital First continues this week with another installment of Shazam: Lightning Strikes, plus the return of Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice and a new story in Superman: Man of Tomorrow! These three, plus today’s Batman: Gotham Nights featuring a story by Tom Taylor and Daniel Sampere, give fans even more choice of characters while expanding DC’s digital publishing line with original stories.

And don’t forget to watch for the fifth chapter of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red on Friday, July 24!

Monday July 20

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #12

Superman’s Day Off” by Robert Venditti, Scott Hepburn, Ian Herring, and Dave Sharpe
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Metropolis is without the Man of Steel for a day and villains are coming out of the woodwork to take advantage. Can the city stand against the many threats? And where is Supeman?!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #12

Tuesday July 21

Batman: Gotham Nights #14

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Bad News” by Tom Taylor, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Adriano Lucas, and Tom Napolitano.

Deathstroke is hired to take out the only witness to a corrupt politician’s mob ties, but his newest mark has some friends in high places…

Monster” by Frank Tieri, Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano

A surprise during a bank robbery brings back old memories for Killer Croc. But he’s not that bullied, defeated kid from the freakshow anymore…he’s something much worse.

Batman: Gotham Nights #14

Wednesday July 22

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

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Disguises” by Robert Venditti, Isaac Goodhart, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham

Harley reluctantly agrees to meet with an old roommate from med school and finds herself considering the paths not taken. Turns out, she wasn’t missing much.

The Killing” by John Layman, Cully Hamner, Dave McCaig, and Justin Birch

Huntress is on the trail of a mobster on the lam, but her mission turns into a race when another bounty hunter joins the fray. And it’s no ordinary gun for hire—it’s none other than Deathstroke!

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Friday July 24

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2

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On the Job!” by Louise Simonson, Bret Blevins, Chris Sotomayor, and Marshall Dillon

Pedro takes his new crossing guard responsibilities very seriously. But when disaster strikes, can he keep his Shazam Family identity a secret and keep his classmates safe?

Destroying Eugene Choi” by Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, David Baron, and Marshall Dillon

A mysterious glowing artifact proves to be the perfect power source for Eugene’s robotics project—until it grants his robot a life of its own! Now Eugene must dismantle the rogue battlebots before they destroy Fawcett High…and to do it, he’ll need the helpof his greatest rival!

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2

ComiXology has 7 New Digital Comics For You From DC, Magnetic, Harlequin, and Yen Press

Today sees seven new digital comic releases on comiXology. You can get new comics from DC Comics, Magnetic Press, Harlequin, and Yen Press. Check out the full list here or the individual issues below!

Black Butler #166

Written by Yana Toboso
Art by Yana Toboso
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Jane wields her axe in fury when Mey-Rin refuses to betray her master…Read the next chapter of Black Butler at the same time as Japan!

Black Butler #166

Faith, Hope And Marriage

Written by Emma Goldrick
Art by Megumu Minami
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Faith decided to work as a manager at Rose Cottage, a seaside villa. However, Lady Sunny, the villa owner, only wants to talk about the wonders of marriage and doesn’t explain the job to her. Faith is not interested in marriage at all and is very suspicious of Harry, the man of the house… He keeps trying to interfere with Faith’s work. Why does the extremely attractive Harry suddenly find himself worrying about her?

Faith, Hope And Marriage

KLAW Vol. 3 #17: Panic in Detroit

Written by Antoine Ozanam
Art by Joël Jurion
Colored by Yoann Guillé
Cover by Joël Jurion
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A devastating attack on Detroit leaves the city in ruins, and Angel has to put the pieces together with the help of the mysterious Archivist. Meanwhile, the other Dizhis, both friend and foe, converge on the area one by one…

KLAW Vol. 3 #17: Panic in Detroit

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #12

Written by Robert Venditti
Pencils Scott Hepburn
Inks Scott Hepburn
Colored by Ian Herring
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Metropolis is without the Man of Steel for a day and villains are coming out of the woodwork to take advantage. Can the city stand against the many threats and where is Supeman?!

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #12

The Ballad of Yaya Vol. 6: Lost

Written by Charlotte Girard, Patrick Marty, Jean-Marie Omont
Art by Golo Zhao
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Lost and alone, with little memory of how she wound up in the winter wilderness, young Yaya must survive the cold on her own while Tuduo sets out to find her before the wicked gangster Zhu does.

The Ballad of Yaya Vol. 6: Lost

Briana Vol. 3: O’Neil Saga

Written by Ruth Ryan Langan
Art by Riho Sachimi
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Irish noblewoman Briana is a tomboy who has just left the convent where she’s been living for several years. While on the familiar road home, her party is attacked by hostile English soldiers and she is mortally wounded! Keane, a feudal lord, saves her from the brink of death. While Briana recovers in his castle, she is drawn to Keane’s kindness, but there is a loneliness that haunts him…

Briana Vol. 3: O'Neil Saga

The Royal Tutor #93

Written by Higasa Akai
Art by Higasa Akai
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At long last, Professor Heine and the princes learn the shocking truth behind Prince Eins’s crippling condition! Read the next chapter of The Royal Tutor the same day as Japan!

The Royal Tutor #93

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Review: Ghost-Spider #1

Gwen Stacy has to figure out what’s next and how to balance her life and being a superhero. But first, it’s off to college in the 616!

Story: Seanan McGuire
Art: Takeshi Myazawa
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Ghost-Spider #1

GHOST-SPIDER #1

A lot has been done to Earth-65’s Gwen Stacy to make her more than a new spin on Spider-Man. Now a dimension-hopping hero with some unique problems, the character fully stands out from the multiverse of Spider-totems. Ghost-Spider #1 kicks off the next chapter with Gwen attempting to find a somewhat normal life.

Gwen’s secret identity has been revealed on Earth-65. That leaves her having issues balancing life there. She still wants to go to school so off to Earth-616 and Empire State University.

Writer Seanan McGuire kicks off the latest series featuring the character in an issue that’s all set up. This is Gwen explaining the situation to her friends. Her dad heading back to work. Her filling out forms and being accepted to ESU. It’s rather mundane which makes the one action sequence stand out as a bit odd. There’s nothing wrong with a comic setting things up at all and the issue does that quite well. It’s also a comic that’s not all that exciting but it is a lot of fun. The concepts and direction are interesting. Gwen’s excitement is infectious. The comic works and works really well. It just doesn’t feel like a superhero comic if that’s what you’re expecting. McGuire instead delivers a comic that’s more slice of life… with some spandex.

The art by Takeshi Miyazawa is solid. There have been lots of styles when it comes to this characters’ series and this one seems to blend a few of them together. There’s a slight grittiness to it adding a little rock and roll feel to it and setting it apart from the cleaner art of other series set in Earth 616. The colors by Ian Herring have a bit of a neon feel to it without being over the top. The comic is also very dialogue heavy with a lot of banter between Ghost-Spider/Gwen and Spider-Man/Peter. Letterer Clayton Cowles fits it all in without overwhelming the art and keeping the flow of a “Spider-Man” comic.

There’s something that’s a lot of fun about Ghost-Spider #1. If you expect lots of action of a superhero comic, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, the comic delivers something a bit different. It’s a nice focus on a superhero trying to have a life with more drama than fighting. The first issue might not have tons of excitement but it has a hell of a hook. Ghost-Spider #1 is a comic to keep your eye on.

Story: Seanan McGuire Art: Takeshi Miyazawa
Color: Ian Herring Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.8 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Jim Henson’s Tale Of Sand SC

Jim Henson’s Tale Of Sand SC

Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writers:  Jim Henson, Jerry Juhl 
Artist: Ramon Perez
Colorist: Ian Herring
Letterer: Deron Bennet
Cover Artist: Ramon Perez
Price: $24.99

Tale of Sand is an Eisner Award-winning original graphic novel adaptation of an unproduced, feature-length screenplay written by Jim Henson and his frequent writing partner, Jerry Juhl.

Tale of Sand follows scruffy everyman, Mac, who wakes up in an unfamiliar town, and is chased across the desert of the American Southwest by all manners of man and beast of unimaginable proportions. Produced with the blessing of the Henson family, Tale of Sand will allow Henson fans to recognize some of the inspirations and set pieces that appeared in later Henson Company productions.

IDW’s Amber Blake, Ghost Tree, and Road of Bones all Get New Printings

IDW Publishing announces today that several key issues of indie-friendly titles Amber BlakeGhost Tree, and Road of Bones have sold out at the distributor level! To meet the demand of fans and retailers, IDW will release second printings of Amber Blake #1, Ghost Tree#2, and Road of Bones #1, as well as the third printing of Ghost Tree #1, in June 2019.

Amber Blake, written by international modeling sensation Jade Lagardére and illustrated by industry legend Butch Guice, is a four-issue thriller that shines a harsh light on international human trafficking. The titular heroine, a top recruit at a covert agency, seeks to end human slavery in all of its forms…  and sets out on an intensely personal mission to avenge those she loves.

Amber Blake #1 Second Printing
Item Code: MAR198651
On-Sale Date: 6/12/19

Ghost Tree, a four-issue miniseries written by Bobby Curnow, illustrated by Simon Gane, and colored by Ian Herring, follows a young man whose return to his ancestral Japanese home leads him to a haunted tree… and the departed souls that are drawn to it. It’s a touching story of love and loss, exploring how the past never truly stays dead.

Ghost Tree #1 Third Printing Item Code: MAR198821 On-Sale Date: 6/26/19
Ghost Tree #2 Second Printing Item Code: MAR198822 On-Sale Date: 6/26/19

Note: Both of the new Ghost Tree printings are slated to release simultaneously on June 26th with the release of Ghost Tree #3.

Road of Bones, written by Rich Douek and illustrated by Alex Cormack, is a four-issue survival tale wherein horror, history, and Russian folklore collide. The worst prison in the world – the Siberian Gulag of Kolyma – is merely the gateway to even darker terrors, as escapees stumble over hundreds of miles of frozen tundra on a descent into delirious madness.

Road of Bones #1 Second Printing Item Code: MAR198823 On-Sale Date: 6/26/19

IDW’s Ghost Tree #1 Sells Out Before its On-Sale Date and Gets a Second Printing

Ghost Tree #1

IDW Publishing announced today that Ghost Tree #1, the first chapter in an ethereal four-issue journey through the dark forests of Japan, sold out at the distributor level – well before its April 24th on-sale date! To meet the demand of fans and retailers, IDW will release a second printing of Ghost Tree #1 on May 22nd.

Written by Bobby Curnow, illustrated by Simon Gane and colored by Ian HerringGhost Tree follows Brandt, a young man who returns to his ancestral home in Japan, only to uncover a haunted tree and the departed souls – including friends and family – that are drawn to it. Brandt attempts to heal some of history’s wounds, but will he be able to find any measure of peace for himself?

Review: The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1

It’s not business as usual in Jersey City. Aliens are wreaking havoc in Kamala’s corner of the world, and they seem weirdly interested in Ms. Marvel…and her family.

It’s a brand new era for Ms. Marvel as a new creative team has taken on the character. Writer Saladin Ahmed takes over for G. Willow Wilson and right away differentiates his take with an interesting framing for the story.

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 is told from two perspectives. One is a bedtime story told by an alien to their child about the “Destined One,” who is Ms. Marvel. Ahmed though also focuses on Kamala and her attempt to balance her personal and superhero lives. What Ahmed does that’s good is that the comic acts as a really solid introduction for new readers. There’s an explanation of Kamala’s origin and sets up her world for those who might not know.

The alien aspect is an odd one that judgement is reserved to see where it all goes. The story has a lot of potential and it feels like something different but with the framing and the threat faced, plus that last page, the story is a lot of setup and mystery. That’s not bad but it’s hard to judge overall. The mystery is good. What’s presented different. But, it also feels a bit different than the more grounded expectations for the character.

The art by Minkyu Jung with ink by Juan Vlasco, color by Ian Herring, and lettering by Joe Caramagna is good. There’s some solid action sequences and they’re balanced well with the “quieter” moments of the issue. The style also continues what we’d expect from the series giving Ms. Marvel fans a consistent look. The aliens are interesting in their concept but their look isn’t anything special in that they look like things we’ve seen before elsewhere.

The issue isn’t bad but also doesn’t quite pop. There’s some solid mysteries set up and there’s more than enough to want to see where the comic goes but as is, this feels like an issue that may read better as part of a trade than on its own.

Story: Saladin Ahmed Art: Minkyu Jung
Ink: Juan Vlasco Color: Ian Herring Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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