Tag Archives: jason howard

Preview: The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #3 (of 3)

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #3 (of 3)

(W) Kenny Porter (A/CA) Jason Howard
In Shops: Nov 08, 2022
SRP: $5.99

Barry has learned to control his powers and is finally starting to feel like the hero he’s always dreamed he could be. But then a showboating new villain going by the name of the Top shows up looking to test his abilities and make some cash selling his weapons after showing how they can take out the Flash! Barry will need to use every skill he’s picked up along the way if he’s going to stop this topsy-turvy terror!

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #3 (of 3)

DC announces Tales From Earth-6: A Celebration of Stan Lee!

This December, in honor of what would have been Stan Lee’s 100th birthday, DC is releasing Tales from Earth-6: A Celebration of Stan Lee, a commemorative one-shot anthology featuring new stories based on Lee’s (with film producer Michael Uslan) interpretations of core DC characters from his Just Imagine series of one-shots (2001-2002).

This 96-page Prestige format one-shot hits comic book stores and participating digital platforms on Tuesday, December 27; the anthology features 10 new stories spotlighting the Just Imagine characters from an incredible mix of celebrated comic book storytellers and new and emerging voices in comic books. In addition to a new story from Michael Uslan, this anthology includes stories written by Mark Waid, Jerry Ordway, Kenny Porter, Stephanie Williams, Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan, Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Meghan Fitzmartin, Steve Orlando, and Zac Thompson.

Story art and variant covers will be delivered by some of the best artists in comics, including Lee Weeks, Kevin Maguire, Jerry Ordway, Karl Mostert, Juan Ferreyra, Anthony Marques, Pablo M. Collar, Belén Ortega, Max Dunbar, and Hayden Sherman. In addition to a wraparound main cover by Jim Cheung, this can’t-miss issue features variant covers by Steve Beach, Riley Rossmo, Jason Howard, Kelley Jones, Ariel Colon, Kyle Hotz, Christian Ward, Clayton Henry, Jorge Corona, Belén Ortega, and Dan Panosian, plus a 1-in-25 ratio variant cover by Cully Hamner.

Underrated: The Astounding Wolf-Man Volume One

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  The Astounding Wolf-Man



atounding wolf-man.jpgBorn from Robert Kirkman‘s desire to see comic books on the rack that are easily identifiable from the cover and the title, The Astounding Wolf-Man is a comic about a werewolf superhero. The complete twenty five issue run is collected across four volumes, all published by Image. The series originally ran in the mid 2000’s, culminating with the 25th issue in 2010. The Astounding Wolf-Man mixes the supernaturally traditional horror monsters (basically werewolves and vampires) in with the traditional cape and cowl crowd in ways that you may not have necessarily encountered before within the Marvel or DC universes. Kirkman establishes the existence of the monsters long before he does the heroes, which has the effect of grounding the world in the supernatural long before we see the heroes – so while the reader is used to and has accepted the existence of werewolves, the heroes are left to question the very nature of Wolf-Man much longer into the series.

The origin of Wolf-Man is told succinctly, with Kirkman never allowing the origin to feel overly drawn out or excessive – the story is well paced from start to finish, and it all begins with the origin.

Who is the Wolf-Man?

Gary Hampton. A man who was mauled by a werewolf while out camping with his family, and chooses to use his newfound powers for good by becoming a superhero. But there are dangers with being a heroic werewolf, both the physical reactions of those he confronts, and from the reactions of those around Gary Hampton. Kirkman stays true to the horror stories that have made him famous by injecting a touch of the emotional tension from The Walking Dead as the audience witnesses Wolf-Man’s world adjust to who and what he is.

Joining Kirkman in this venture is artist Jason Howard. Howard was a relative newcomer at the time of the series publication, but has gone on to work on Super Dinosaur, also with Kirkman, and Trees with Warren Ellis. His style throughout the comic reminded me a lot of Batman: The Animated Series in how the characters had a weight to them, and their kinetic energy as they dance their often violent dance across the pages of the graphic novel. Obviously, given the nature of the titular hero, one should expect a judicious use of red ink on these pages as Wolf-Man slices his way through various opponents of varying degrees of villainy.

So the question now, is why is this underrated? Because aside from it being an incredibly fun read, I hadn’t heard of it until I saw the collection on the used shelf at my local comic shop. It turned out that the fresh take on supernatural superheroes was far more entertaining than I had initially expected, and given the fame of some of Kirkman’s other work, I was a little surprised that the twenty five issue run ofThe Astounding Wolf-Man hadn’t gained any real stream before. 

If you get a chance to read this, then do so. You’ll find an Underrated gem just waiting for you.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #15

Batman: Urban Legends #15

(W) Che Grayson, Joey Esposito, Vita Ayala, Mark Russell (A)
Serg Acuna, Jason Howard, Nikola Cizmesija, Karl Mostert (CA) Nikola Cizmesija
In Shops: May 10, 2022
SRP: $7.99

Zatanna has to save Batman’s soul! Ace the Bat-Hound must confront the source of his trauma…The Joker! Meanwhile, the night of Batman’s auction is finally here! Katana doesn’t buy what Lady Shiva is selling for a second about the new Birds of Prey, and she’s going to let her know personally. Batman has to team up with Plastic Man to save a criminal from having his life taken by the Penguin and KGBeast!

Batman: Urban Legends #15

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #15

Batman: Urban Legends #15

(W) Che Grayson, Joey Esposito, Vita Ayala, Mark Russell (A)
Serg Acuna, Jason Howard, Nikola Cizmesija, Karl Mostert (CA) Nikola Cizmesija
In Shops: May 10, 2022
SRP: $7.99

Zatanna has to save Batman’s soul! Ace the Bat-Hound must confront the source of his trauma…The Joker! Meanwhile, the night of Batman’s auction is finally here! Katana doesn’t buy what Lady Shiva is selling for a second about the new Birds of Prey, and she’s going to let her know personally. Batman has to team up with Plastic Man to save a criminal from having his life taken by the Penguin and KGBeast!

Batman: Urban Legends #15

It’s the Fastest Man Alive as The Flash Gets a Movie Prelude

This April, writer Kenny Porter and artist Ricardo López Ortiz combine the worlds of movies and comic books iThe Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, a three-issue monthly series that leads up to The Flash, the hotly anticipated action adventure from Warner Bros. Pictures.

In The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, Barry Allen’s world-saving adventure with the Justice League has driven Central City’s favorite son to become a truly skilled and inspirational Super Hero. But when a new threat by the name of Girder emerges in Central City, Barry turns to Batman for advice on training to master his powers. Under the Dark Knight’s tutelage, The Fastest Man Alive will have to find a way to defeat this metallic menace or be crushed by Girder’s strength!

This 48-page debut issue arrives in participating comic book shops and digital retailers on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, with a collection of the three-issue series available in October. Issue #1 features a main cover by Max Fiumara with a variant cover by the director of The Flash, Andy MuschiettiThe Flash arrives in theaters November 4. 2022. Issue #2 available in May will feature art by fan-favorite Juan Ferreyra, with Jason Howard providing art for the final issue in July.

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive

Review: Batman #114

Batman #114

DC’s Batman line of comics has been on a hell of a roll. Post “Future State”, the comics have had a shared focus and vision of where they’re all going while each having their own personality. Batman has been at the center of them all taking us through a build up to “Fear State” the current storyline that connects so many dots and brings so many pieces of the puzzle together. Batman #114 is an issue neck deep into the story as the two Peacekeepers battle it out and we get a clue as to how far Simon Saint will go to cover up his crimes.

James Tynion IV has hit his stride with “Fear State” delivering one of the best Batman storylines in years. Scarecrow is whipping up the people of Gotham while manipulating others to get the result he wants. It’s a giant experiment with the city as his test subjects. It’s a flip from where the story began as Simon Saint was using Scarecrow to get his Magistrate program up and running, striking fear into Gotham so its leaders would turn to Saint for protection. Now, Saint’s Peacekeepers threaten to bring it all down as Peacekeeper-01 is dose by the Scarecrow and killing Gotham citizens in his hallucination while Peacekeeper-X is tasked with stopping the rampage. Stuck in-between is Batman who can only do so much to stop everything going on.

Tynion has done an excellent job of building to this moment as the two Peacekeepers battle it out and we get to see that Saint really will do whatever it takes to gain control. But, what’s more impressive is we really get a sense that Batman is a bit outmatched. The tech Saint has brought not only has an edge but there’s so much of it that there’s little Batman can do. He can slow things down but not stop it. For once Batman is overwhelmed and it feels like it could happen and makes sense.

Batman #114 packs a lot of action with some amazing art by Jorge Jimenez. The fights are brutal. The explosions are huge. There’s so much raw emotion thrown about it’s hard to not feel it looking at the character literally frothing at the mouth. Tomeu Morey‘s colors continue to be amazing delivering a slight step towards the neon-infused Gotham of the future. Clayton Cowles‘ lettering adds so much personality to everyone, especially Scarecrow and Peacekeeper-X. Small details like that adds a lot to the reading experience.

Brandon Thomas, Jason Howard, and Clayton Cowles also deliver a back-up story featuring Clownhunter as he deals with Scarecrow himself. It’s all ok with an ending that leads us to other series. This back-up has been a bit so-so though the visuals are pretty solid. Overall, it just feels like something we’ve seen a lot before (a character tripping because they were dosed by Scarecrow) dragged out over three issues.

Batman #114 is summer blockbuster worthy. There’s a hell of a fight and a lot of surprises in the issue as the Peacekeepers battle it out in Gotham and Batman’s caught in-between it all. This is some of the best additions to the Batman myth in a long time giving opponents who feel worthy to take on Batman and his entire time and also feel grounded in many ways. Where this is going to go remains unknown but it’s a journey I’m all in for. It’s one hell of a ride so far and hoping it to continue to be.

Story: James Tynion IV, Brandon Thomas Art: Jorge Jimenez, Jason Howard
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Batman #114

Batman #114

Written by: Brandon Thomas, James Tynion IV
Art by: Jason Howard, Jorge Jimenez

Batman is racing against time to stop Gotham City from tearing itself apart as the Scarecrow’s long game is revealed. The Dark Knight has bigger problems though, as an insane Peacekeeper-01 is on a murderous rampage through the streets of Gotham! Can Peackeeper-X stop him?!

Back-Up: Clownhunter has been doused with Fear Toxin at the hands of the Scarecrow, and he is living out every anxiety, moment of pain, and heartbreak he’s ever had. Will he find his way out and resume his goal of being Gotham’s protector from clowns? Or will he succumb to Scarecrow’s greatest mind game yet?! See the end of this epic story that will change Clownhunter’s trajectory in Gotham City forever!

Batman #114

Preview: Batman #113

Batman #113

Written by: James Tynion IV, Brandon Thoma
Art by: Jason Howard, Jorge Jimenez

Ghost-Maker reveals a dark revelation about his past connection to Jonathan Crane while Batman puts together the pieces of Scarecrow’s master plan. Using the Unsanity Collective’s technology, the villain plans to detonate a “Fear Bomb” in Gotham City! Backup: Clownhunter has been dosed by the Scarecrow with a deadly fear toxin and is now traveling through his greatest nightmare of Gotham City. Will the Clownhunter center himself and strike back at Scarecrow? Or will he succumb to all his worst fears?!

Batman #113

Review: Batman #113

“Fear State” is in full swing plunging the various Batman comics into the latest storyline event. But, this event feels a bit different. There’s a self-awareness to it all that feels like its been missing for a long time. Even fatigue has set into the Batman books with one disaster after another and “Fear State” actually addresses that in many ways. In fact, it’s a setup to the plan by Scarecrow. For that alone, it makes what’s going on a bit more interesting. Batman #113 takes some steps back in the story exploring what Scarecrow’s plan is and that includes an explanation of the meta.

James Tynion IV has hit his stride with Batman as the series not just delivers an event that’s self-aware but also one that further ties into the bigger picture story that is “Future State”. Simon Saint’s plan for his police force is underway but Scarecrow has played Saint using the materials gained to run an experiment all his own. Batman #113 has Batman unsure if he’s been compromised so asks Ghost-Maker to dip into his consciousness to see what has been tampered with. It’s all very comic-book in a good way. A little silly but it works. We also learn some history, Ghost-Maker has a past with Crane, aka Scarecrow.

That revelation feels a bit forced if anything. This character who just so happens to have come back into Batman’s life just so happens to have history with the major bad and know their goal/plan. It’s a little silly and a quick way to get to that revelation. Is it a derailed moment? Not really, but it definitely takes me out what has been a very solid story up to this point. For readers, the issue is, the discussion is a reminder of things we’ve learned before and elsewhere. We know Crane’s plan if you’ve read the comics leading up to this. So, this feels like the moment where the character explains everything to the audience so new individuals can catch up. Is it needed? Maybe. Does it take those following out of the story. A little.

The art by Jorge Jimenez is fantastic. With color by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the comic looks fantastic. There’s just enough “horror” in Batman’s mind to keep up the “fear” aspect of everything. What’s been impressive is the story for the past few issues has played off of the classic visual of Scarecrow without rehashing them. They feel like an homage in some ways that way. The comic looks fantastic in every way.

We also get a back-up story featuring Clownhunter from writer Brandon Thomas, artist Jason Howard, and letterer Clayton Cowles. Generally an ok story, the entry doesn’t quite deliver enough. What’s weird is, if the chapters so far were one comic, things would be a bit better. Than serialized nature of this story feels like it’s hurting it a bit. There’s a flow that’s really solid to it all as Bao sinks into his nightmare but that only really works as the flow continues.

Batman has been an excellent series and Batman #113 does a good job giving us a slight break for new readers and laying out the challenge and what might be ahead. It’s a slight pause to the flow but it’s still not bad and does answer at least one issue, how did Scarecrow mess with Batman’s head. As a slice of the overall story, it’s solid. On it’s own, it’s a bit wobbly though.

Story: James Tynion IV, Brandon Thomas Art: Jorge Jimenez, Jason Howard
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

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