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Preview: MPLS Sound

MPLS Sound

(W) Joseph Illidge, Hannibal Tabu (A) Meredith Laxton (CA) Jen Bartel
In Shops: Apr 14, 2021
SRP: $19.99

Theresa Booker was hardly the first singer-songwriter to be inspired by His Royal Badness-but she was the most determined.

Minneapolis, 1982. Dozens of young bands, playing day and night in bars and clubs across the city, dream of being noticed by the musical genius Prince, revered as a guru and a powerbroker. But when Theresa and her band, Starchild, are offered the opportunity of a lifetime-to be taken in and mentored by their idol-they soon find that there’s a dark side to fame and fortune that could turn their dream into a nightmare.

MPLS Sound is the ultimate love letter to the legendary Minneapolis funk-rock sound of the 1980s.

MPLS Sound

Get a Look at Abbott: 1973 #4 from Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivelä, Mattia Iacono, and Jim Campbell

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at Abbott: 1973 #4, the latest issue of the new series from writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Sami Kivelä, with colorist Mattia Iacono and letterer Jim Campbell. This new five-issue series returns to the Hugo Award-nominated world of Abbott, as the eponymous unstoppable reporter tackles a new corruption taking over Detroit in 1973 and the supernatural threat behind it, available on April 28, 2021.

Elena has assembled a force of unlikely allies to mount an important rescue mission – but with vengeful gangsters and the deadly Umbra closing in, this is a fight they may not be able to win. The secret to victory may lie with one of Elena’s old friends – and the dark truth behind the Umbra’s return.

Abbott: 1973 #4 features cover art by Taj Tenfold, Raúl Allén, and Jen Bartel.

Wonder Woman Black & Gold Launches with Covers by Jen Bartel, Ramona Fradon, Yanick Paquette, and Joshua Middleton, and Killer Creative Lineup

Just in time for Wonder Woman’s 80th anniversary, DC Comics is launching a new six-issue anthology series starring the Amazon Princess embellished in the color of her famous lasso, Wonder Woman: Black & Gold. You won’t want to miss celebrating the woman who inspires us all…and that’s the truth!

Kicking things off, John Arcudi and Ryan Sook re-unite to show us the grace immortality grants a hero. Becky Cloonan weaves a spine-tingling tale of Diana’s most precious weapon against the darkness. Then Amy Reeder takes us back to the Golden Age for a fun romp co-starring Etta Candy. AJ Mendez Brooks and Ming Doyle travel to Themyscira for a tense family reunion. And finally, Nadia Shammas and Morgan Beem show us a story of Diana’s past failures come to haunt her.

Wonder Woman Black & Gold #1, written by John Arcudi, Becky Cloonan, Amy Reeder, AJ Mendez Brooks, and Nadia Shamas with art by Ryan Sook, Becky Cloonan, Amy Reeder, Ming Doyle, and Morgan Beem, arrives on June 22 (40 pages for $5.99) with covers by Jen Bartel, Ramona Fradon, Yanick Paquette, and Joshua Middleton!

Exclusive Preview: Iron Man #7

Iron Man #7

(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) CAFU (CA) Alex Ross (VCA) Jen Bartel, Michael Cho
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 17, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Iron Man and his small band of allies go interstellar as they pursue Korvac to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, even as the villainous android intellect tries to telepathically lure Hellcat and Tony toward his bizarre utopian visions. But after an unexpected left turn leaves Iron Man on a remote and uncharted planet, Korvac might take the opportunity to blow Shellhead’s vulnerable friends out of the stars once and for all.

Iron Man #7

DC Announces DC Pride Anthology and Crush & Lobo

DC has announced new releases coming to store shelves in June. DC Pride is an 80-page anthology comic featuring LGBTQIA+ characters from across the DC Universe. Crush & Lobo is a new eight-issue miniseries written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Amancay NahuelpanCrush & Lobo will launch on June 1 and DC Pride will publish on June 8. DC will also publish a series of nine Pride-themed variant covers in June, showcasing DC’s top characters as realized by the comic book industry’s leading artists.

DC Pride #1 will feature LGBTQIA+ characters from all corners of DC’s ever-expanding Universe, including cameos by fan favorites Batwoman, Renee Montoya, Alan Scott, Midnighter, Apollo, Extraño, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Constantine, and more. The DCPride creative teams, and the characters they’re developing stories for, are:

  • Batwoman (Kate Kane) by James Tynion IV & Trung Le Nguyen
  • Poison Ivy & Harley Quinn by Mariko Tamaki & Amy Reeder
  • Midnighter by Steve Orlando & Stephen Byrne
  • Flash of Earth-11 (Jess Chambers) by Danny Lore & Lisa Sterle
  • Green Lantern (Alan Scott) & Obsidian by Sam Johns & Klaus Janson
  • Aqualad (Jackson Hyde) by Andrew Wheeler & Luciano Vecchio
  • Dreamer by Nicole Maines & Rachel Stott
  • Renee Montoya by Vita Ayala and Skylar Patridge
  • Pied Piper by Sina Grace, Ro Stein & Ted Brandt

Additionally, DC Pride #1 will include full-page profiles of DCTV’s LGBTQIA+ characters and the actors who play them, and fans of The CW’s Supergirl will be thrilled to see the first comic book appearance of Dreamer, a trans woman superhero, in a story written by actor Nicole Maines, who plays Nia Nal/Dreamer on Supergirl.

Rounding out the DC Pride anthology is a forward by Marc Andreyko (Love is Love), single-page pin-ups by artists Kris Anka, Sophie Campbell, Mildred Louis, Travis Moore, Nick Robles, and Kevin Wada, with more surprises to come! The DC Pride #1 cover is by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Tamra Bonvillain.

DC Pride #1

DC will also release a series of Pride themed variant covers showcasing DC’s leading characters through the month of June, giving fans the opportunity to purchase comics featuring covers with Batman, Harley, Ivy, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more, all by cutting-edge comic book artists!

  • Batman #109 Pride variant cover by Jen Bartel
  • Crush & Lobo #1 Pride variant cover by Yoshi Yoshitani
  • DC Pride #1 Pride variant cover by Jen Bartel
  • Harley Quinn #4 Pride variant cover by Kris Anka
  • Nightwing #81 Pride variant cover by Travis G. Moore
  • Superman #32 Pride variant cover by David Talaski
  • Teen Titans Academy #4 Pride variant cover by Stephen Byrne
  • Wonder Girl #2 Pride variant cover by Kevin Wada
  • Wonder Woman #774 Pride variant cover by Paulina Ganucheau

Crush & Lobo spins out of the pages of Teen Titans Academy, and will debut with a cover by Kris Anka, a Pride variant cover by Yoshi Yoshitani, a 1:25 ratio variant by Christian Ward, plus an exclusive Dan Hipp team variant for participating retailers. In this new eight-issue miniseries publishing between June 2021 and January 2022, Crush, daughter of the Czarnian bounty hunter Lobo, is in full-on self-destruct mode! After rage-quitting the Teen Titans and blowing up her relationship with her girlfriend Katie, Crush decides it’s time to finally confront her father in space jail and get her baggage sorted before she wrecks everything. Like father, like daughter?

DC will also publish GLAAD Media Award-nominated Suicide Squad: Bad Blood by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo on April 27, DC’s gothic LGBTQIA+ romance Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger and Sara Kipin on June 1, and Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani’s highly anticipated YA graphic novel, I Am Not Starfirewill publish on July 27 as part of the publisher’s overall Pride plans in 2021. Lois Lane by Greg Rucka and Mike PerkinsFar Sector by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell and You Brought Me The Ocean by Alex Sánchez and Julie Maroh have also been nominated for GLAAD Media Awards in 2021!

Review: Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2

The lead story in Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 deals with the actual end of the DC Universe, and it’s brilliant, poetic work from writers Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad and artist Jen Bartel. We get to see the final battle between Superman and Darkseid, and it’s epic as hell. However, it’s not the center of the narrative, which is Wonder Woman traveling the universe looking for signs of life and hope and trying to avoid the Undoing. Except for the ending and little glimmers, this whole issue is Diana staring into the abyss and trying to find purpose in a world that doesn’t need saving anymore and is truly in its death throes.

In the first issue, Jen Bartel demonstrated that she could operate on an epic scale in both linework and color palette, and this extends to Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2. Her punches have true power and weight behind them, the lasso finds the truth in the last few characters it entangles, and the contrast between light and shadow in her color palette is operatic, especially in Wonder Woman’s final moments as well as Superman and Darkseid’s. There’s a kind of glow in her trail as she flies across the void of space, past the ruins of the Daily Planet or Brainiac’s ship, that is in direct opposition of the black tendrils of the Undoing. Cloonan and Conrad don’t go deep into The Undoing’s backstory, but they’re the inevitability personified and wipe out the whole Legion of Superheroes in a single page that establishes their universe ending threat level. They’re like “The End” on the last page of a story, and the final pages of Immortal Wonder Woman #2 definitely take on a metafictional quality and set up yet another myth cycle.

Cloonan, Conrad, and Bartel definitely use the lead story of Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 to deal with weighty philosophical issues, like the purpose (or purposelessness) of life and the effects of revenge, especially when Spectre comes into the picture. The whole Ragnarok/Twilight of the Gods vibe carries through from the previous issue, but with the Undoing, not Darkseid, being responsible for the end of the universe. In the big picture, he’s just a god, not an unknowable cosmic force. These themes and ideas as well as the general scale of Jen Bartel’s visuals truly makes this story feel like it’s a kind of modern mythology instead of using gods from various pantheons as window dressing, comic relief, or public domain action figures.

However, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, and Jen Bartel don’t forget what makes these myths and legends endure, and that is these heroes’ flaws and recognizable emotions. (For example, young queer people are making Tik Toks about Achilles and Patroclus just like Alexander the Great was writing fan fiction about them two millennia ago.) Bartel does a wonderful job showing Wonder Woman’s emotions throughout the story with many close-ups of her crying, and those tears floating in space to make these panels even more tragic. She also differentiates sad tears like when she witnesses Superman’s death from happy ones like when she finds the Spectre, the last living being. However, Wonder Woman isn’t all sadness in Immortal Wonder Woman #2. There’s a lot of anger too, especially in her last fight, against the Undoing as Cloonan and Conrad’s narration reveal her last thoughts about how she’s a contradictory figure: a warrior, yet peaceful. This ties into the conclusion of the two part storyline, which is quite satisfying, primal, and touches on the nature of immortality in a very cosmological way.

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2’s second story, “Nubia”, definitely plays second fiddle to the lead story with writer L.L. McKinney continuing to cram a six issue miniseries’ amount of lore and exposition in six issues. However, she and artists Alitha Martinez and Mark Morales and colorist Emilio Lopez do show Nubia being a hero and kicking ass against the likes of Grail and Circe, who Grail has summoned to get the last artifact: Nubia’s tiara. This artifact is magical, and Grail is more into science so she needs an assist from a sorceress of her own. However, little does she know, that this crown is imbued with magic from the Yoruba goddess, Oshun, and it only strengthens Nubia. But, of course, there is a price, and Nubia still owns Aunt Nancy a favor. McKinney definitely leaves plenty of plot threads and potential supporting players and goddesses on the table for future stories.

But for most of the pages of “Nubia”, McKinney, Martinez, and Morales focus on the task at hand: a battle royale between Nubia, Grail, and Circe. Grail and Circe definitely underestimate their opponent so it’s quite vindicated when she breaks free from their control in an iconic full page image, and then throws, kicks, and punches them in a double page spread. Instead of going the stiff pinup route, Martinez and Morales use the spread to showcase Nubia’s speed and strength using borderless panels for her battle with Grail and the bordered panels for her fight against Circe. The choreography is gorgeous in this sequence as McKinney, Martinez, Morales, and Lopez are all on the same page and cut to the best moves. For example, Nubia ducks under a magic blast from Circe and switches opponents to throw Grail with her super strength before delivering a gut punch to the sorceress. Alitha Martinez’s layout choices give a real flow to the action while Mark Morales accentuates details like Nubia’s shoulder muscles when she hurls Circe into the sky, and Emilio Lopez uses bright primary colors during intense moments like when Circe and Grail struggle to take Nubia’s crown off.

Although, these characters are highly powered, the fight has a personal feel to it culminating in Nubia reinforcing the fact that she’s Wonder Woman, an Amazon warrior, and you can’t take important artifacts from her. L.L. McKinney gives Nubia some great one-liners to show that she’s becoming more confident as a hero and coming into her own as a “Guardian”. The flashback with the different gods might be a little text-heavy, but seeing Nubia break free from a villain who is literally staring her down and saying “Submit” is well worth it. But she doesn’t get a chance to celebrate in the epilogue of this story, and Martinez and Morales draw her with tense body language while setting up another potential arc down the road. I’ve really grown to enjoy Nubia’s courage and determination as well Alitha Martinez’s fight choreography, and I would definitely like to see more stories with this creative team. Having a Nubia limited or ongoing series would also give L.L. McKinney an opportunity to pace out some of her worldbuilding elements as well as her protagonist’s connection to Yoruba mythology and Akan folklore plus the magical/superheroic side of Atlanta in the DC Universe.

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 wraps up with two very different takes on the iconic DC Comics superhero. Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, and Jen Bartel tell an archetypal self-contained story of life and death, hope and despair, and finding purpose when there’s nothing to live for starring Diana Prince. Plus it really captures the range of emotions one would feel before the inevitable end of the universe. In the second story, L.L. McKinney, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, and Emilio Lopez cram in lore, exposition, multiple villains, and one kick-ass fight scene to lay the foundation for future stories featuring Nubia. It’s like a two-hour pilot screaming for a series order whereas the lead story is a beautiful elegy with career-best interior art from Jen Bartel, who masterfully depicts both the cosmic and human.

Story: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, L.L. McKinney Art: Jen Bartel, Alitha Martinez with Mark Morales
Colors: Jen Bartel, Emilio Lopez Letterer: Pat BrosseauBecca Carey
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2

Written by: L.L. McKinney, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Alitha Martinez, Jen Bartel

The Undoing is here. Superman couldn’t stop it. Darkseid couldn’t stop it. Only Diana Prince is left to hold back the being that could spell the complete disintegration of the cosmos. But will even she be powerful enough for the task? Meanwhile, in another future, Nubia’s attempts to stop the theft of ancient artifacts have led her to an even bigger conspiracy, and an even bigger foe. Circe is up to her old tricks, even after all these years-and she has an offer that Nubia will find hard to refuse.

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2

DC Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration

This May, grab your favorite boba, pull a chair up to the dim sum table, and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration, DC’s newest comic book anthology debuting May 11, 2021.

The 96-page one-shot issue will commemorate DC’s rich roster of Asian and Asian American characters, presenting new tales by some of the most lauded storytellers in comics. Ram V— the current Catwoman series writer—will at last unveil the long-seeded mystery behind Shoes in an action-packed tale that follows the character as she becomes Catwoman’s protégé, revealing her real name, secret origin, and who her mother is. Eisner Award-winning author Mariko Tamaki will continue her work on the Batman mythos and present an original Cassandra Cain story, marking the author’s first time taking on DC’s iconic Asian Batgirl. Joining these stories, Minh —the acclaimed writer behind the smash-hit middle-grade graphic novel Green Lantern: Legacy—will team with artist Trung Le Nguyen (author and artist of The Magic Fish) for an all-new story featuring Vietnamese American Tai Pham, DC’s newest Green Lantern co-created by Lê and Green Lantern: Legacy artist Andie Tong. This anthology marks Nguyen’s first work with DC.

For the main event, New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan) and artist Bernard Chang will collaborate on a very special story fit for this celebratory month. Stay tuned for more details!

Additional stories and portraits will star iconic DC characters Katana, Lady Shiva, the Atom, and New Super-Man, among others, and will be written and drawn by fan-favorite writers and artists such as Francis Manapul, Greg Pak, Alyssa Wong, Marcio Takara, Sumit Kumar, Amy Chu, Dustin Nguyen, Cliff Chiang, Jen Bartel, Gurihiru and many more.

See below for the official description and full list of collaborators announced today and above for cover art by Jim Lee with Alex Sinclair. DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration hits stores and online retailers everywhere comics are sold on May 11, 2021.

DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration

Written by Gene Luen Yang, Mariko Tamaki, Minh Lê, Ram V, Greg Pak, Dustin Nguyen, Amy Chu, Alyssa Wong, and friends!
Drawn by Bernard Chang, Marcio Takara, Dustin Nguyen, Trung Le Nguyen, Francis Manapul, Marcus To, Sean Chen, Sumit Kumar, and others!
Portraits by Chiff Chiang, Jim Cheung, Jae Lee, Jen Bartel, Kevin Wada, Philip Tan, Gurihiru, and more!
Cover by Jim Lee with Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
On Sale 5/11/21
MSRP: $9.99

Grab your favorite boba and pull a chair up to the dim sum table as we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with all your favorite Asian DC characters, old and new! Join Cassandra Cain, Katana, Green Lantern Tai Pham, the Atom, Dana Tan (a.k.a. Batman Beyond), Red Arrow, Lady Shiva, Damian Wayne and the al Ghul clan, New Super-Man, and more as we present new tales of these characters from their thrilling history! Plus, Cheshire Cat’s relationship to Cheshire is revealed as Shoes asks Selina Kyle to take her under her wing as Catgirl. And that’s just the start!

DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration

Marvel Reveals More Jen Bartel Women’s History Month Covers featuring Spider-Woman, Black Cat, Shuri, and Demon Rider!

Debuting next month, Jen Bartel’s Women’s History Month variant covers have already captivated fans with their incredible depictions of Marvel’s most popular female heroes. Now, check out the remaining four covers in this extraordinary collection that will adorn issues of your favorite ongoing series throughout March. In the Eisner award-winning artist’s signature style, Black Cat, Spider-Woman, Shuri, and Kushala AKA the Demon Rider are stylishly showcased in original designs inspired by the year of their creation.

Celebrate Women’s History Month by collecting all eight covers when they debut next month!

  • AVENGERS #43 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL
  • IRON MAN #7 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210678)
  • SPIDER-WOMAN #10 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210658)
  • BLACK PANTHER #24 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210682)
  • BLACK CAT #4 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210661)
  • KING IN BLACK: GHOST RIDER #1 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210531)
  • SILK #1 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210610)
  • X-MEN #19 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210629)

Marvel Honors Women’s History Month with Stylish Variant Covers by Jen Bartel

In honor of Women’s History Month, the women of Marvel will be celebrated in an all-new variant cover collection by superstar artist Jen Bartel. The Eisner award-winning artist has crafted eight gorgeous covers that will adorn issues of your favorite ongoing series throughout March. These stunning pieces of artwork will depict Marvel’s most popular female heroes in Bartel’s signature style and showcase why she’s one of today’s bestselling cover artists.

Serving incredible fashion inspired by the year of their creation, Marvel’s leading ladies have never looked better. She-Hulk rocks her best 1980s power suit, the timeless Patsy Walker puts her claws away for a chic dress, the always glamorous Emma Frost is dripping in diamonds, and Silk puts a modern spin on the traditional. And there’s even more brilliant Women’s History Month Variant Covers by Jen Bartel coming your way, including ones featuring Black Cat, Shuri, and Spider-Woman!

  • AVENGERS #43 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210675)
  • BLACK CAT #4 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210661)
  • BLACK PANTHER #24 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210682)
  • IRON MAN #7 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210678)
  • KING IN BLACK: GHOST RIDER #1 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210531)
  • SILK #1 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210610)
  • SPIDER-WOMAN #10 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210658)
  • X-MEN #19 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH VARIANT COVER by JEN BARTEL (JAN210629)
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