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Review: Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1

Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint

DC Comics’ Tales From the Dark Multiverse have been fun, twisted takes on infamous storylines. Some entries have been better than others. Overall, it’s been interesting to see where creators take a known story and what they can do with the premise. Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint has Bryan Hitch writing and providing pencils for the world-changing event.

In this version of Flashpoint, Barry Allen doesn’t regain his powers. This leaves the Reverse-Flash to roam this world and do with as he pleases. Hitch takes things to interesting places using the over-sized issue as best he can. Like so many previous one-shots, this is a story that could easily have been a mini-series on its own. A lot is packed into the issue. While it doesn’t deliver a punch, it does entertain, especially for those that have read the original.

While Hitch as a writer and artist can be hit or miss for me, Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint is a solid entry into that world. There’s a logical progression that Hitch takes things as we see Eobard Thawne take advantage of the situation. But, more importantly, we get a debate about the “hope” that Barry Allen represents. Barry’s “hope” created Flashpoint and Thawne points out that hope was actually selfishness. That gets juxtaposed with this version of Batman which is Thomas Wayne who lost his son Bruce in the alley and his wife breakdown after. There’s something interesting and tragic about it all as we know the damage Barry did and wonder if Thawne and Thomas will repeat his mistakes. We also get to see more of what drives Thawne and he finds a new opponent in Wayne.

Hitch’s art is solid as well. While he doesn’t quite bring the motion that so many others do on the Flash, there’s a great use of Thawne’s movement in the art. There’s also the “doom” of Flashpoint without causing the comic to be a downer. This is a drab, depressing world, but Hitch doesn’t drag the comic down by focusing too much in that. The colors of Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper instead give us oranges, reds, and yellows, that create a mood without the comic itself being moody.

Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint does a solid job of revisiting Flashpoint and taking it in a logical direction that’s not just annihilation and war. There’s an intriguing idea behind what Bryan Hitch has created and where the story leaves it. It also creates some intriguing possibilities for the future and Thawne’s character. Like so many of the other “Tales From”, this is a “dark” world I wouldn’t mind revisiting and hope we get to see more of it.

Story: Bryan Hitch Art: Bryan Hitch
Ink: Andrew Currie, Scott Hanna Color: Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Dark Days the Road to Metal

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the collection that gets you caught up for Metal!

Dark Days the Road to Metal features Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Final Crisis #6-7, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1, Batman #38-39, and Nightwing #17 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita, Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, Danny Miki, Alex SInclair, Jeremiah Skipper, Steve Wands, Grant Morrison, Doug Mahnke, J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy, Jesus Merino, Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Walden Wong, Pete Pantazis, Tony Avina, Rob Clark, Jr., Travis Lanham, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Guy Major, Jared K. Fletcher, Brad Anderson, Greg Capullo, FCO Placencia, Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas, Marilyn Patrizia, and Rian Hughes.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores May 22. 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 or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: The Immortal Men #1

There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first?

Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, and James Tynion IV have come together like Voltron for this new series which is… interesting. DC Comics’ “New Age of Heroes” promised to introduce us to the next generation of heroes giving us all new stories and new directions. The Immortal Men #1 does that to a certain extent but what’s present feels like it is a new volume of a series that has a long history and continuity. That’s both good and bad.

Having recently reread Marvel’s Eternals, I can’t help but compare the two as the concepts presented feel similar and Neil Gaiman’s take, out in trade today, presents a much more straightforward story to this first issue. Both feature a character that doesn’t know their real history/potential. Both feature beings that have shaped history. Both feature characters that for the most part immortal. This first issue even plays with “the truth” coming through dreams.

This difference between the two is the execution where Eternals feels like you’re discovering this reality along with the characters, The Immortal Men #1 feels like you’re dropped into a story arc already in progress. It explains some things but it’s not clear enough. That’s in stark contrast to the other series such as Damage, Sideways, and Curse of Brimstone which are much easier to dive in to. While those three series were fresh origin stories, this debut is more in line with The Terrifics where you might need some knowledge to truly enjoy it.

While I was a bit mixed on the story, the art is a different story. Like the story itself there’s a long list of those contributors including Benjamin and Lee, Scott Williams and Richard Friend on inks, Jeremiah Skipper and Alex Sinclair on color, and Carlos M. Mangual on lettering. There’s some great visuals though. The art is fantastic with really interesting settings and the characters look fantastic. The use of a dream state opens things up to give us some impressive visuals that’ll have you lingering to decipher it all.

Much like Caden Park, we’re thrown into things and hoping for something greater. I couldn’t help walking away feeling a bit disappointed, especially due to the fact all of the other releases for the “New Age of Heroes” have been so good. I can see what the creative team was going for, I’m just not convinced they pulled it off in one issue. As a trade, or a graphic novel, this would have read much better but as a single issue it falls a bit short in execution.

Story: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, James Tynion IV
Ink: Scott Williams, Richard Friend Color: Jeremiah Skipper, Alex Sinclair Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich Editor: Katie Kubert Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Immortal Men #1

The Immortal Men #1

Story: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, James Tynion IV
Ink: Scott Williams, Richard Friend
Color: Jeremiah Skipper, Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Editor: Katie Kubert
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
RATED T+
In Shops: Apr 11, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“THE END OF FOREVER” part one! There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first?

Preview: Harley Quinn #41

Harley Quinn #41

Story: Frank Tieri
Art: Inaki Miranda, Moritat
Color: Jeremiah Skipper
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover Art: Amanda Conner, Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover Art: Frank Cho, Sabine Rich
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Editor: Chris Conroy
Assistant Editor: Dave Wielgosz
In Shops: Apr 04, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“Angry Bird” finale! Betrayed by one of the last allies she thought she had left from Gotham City’s criminal underworld, Harley’s in a corner in her battle against the Penguin…and that’s the most dangerous place you could possibly put her! Someone’s gonna get killed here, and it ain’t Harley…

Preview: Harley Quinn #39

Harley Quinn #39

Story: Frank Tieri Art: Inaki Miranda Cover: Amanda Conner, Alex Sinclair
Color: Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Variant Cover: Frank Cho, Sabine Rich
Editor: Chris Conroy Assitant Editors: Andrew Marino, Dave Welgosz
In Shops: Mar 07, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“Angry Bird” part three! So far, Harley’s been able to take everything the Penguin threw at her in their war to keep him out of New York City-but he’s been holding one of Gotham City’s vilest villains in reserve! How will Harley keep her cool when the Penguin unleashes that frosty fiend, Mr. Freeze?

Review: Hawkman Found #1

One of DC’S greatest heroes is missing! No one has seen or heard from Carter Hall-a.k.a. Hawkman-in years. Reincarnated repeatedly since the dawn of humanity, Hawkman has spent his many lives uncovering history’s most fantastic mysteries, and now he has become one himself! Take a journey into the one of the darkest corners of the DC Universe as a mysterious man tries to piece together what happened to Hawkman, and how it all connects to the events of Dark Nights: Metal!

So far, Dark Nights: Metal has been a winner. Even the events’ tie-ins have generally been good. But, there’s been some clunkers and Hawkman Found #1 is definitely in that category.

Writer Jeff Lemire is one of the best out there currently and even his talent can’t deliver much of a reason for this tie-in to exist. Up until this, we know Carter Hall went into the Dark Multiverse and now he overseas the Forge as a twisted version. You’d think we might get how that all came about with this issue but instead we just get the story for what we already know without the details. Carter Hall went into the Dark Multiverse after the Challengers of the Unknown and now he’s this giant being. From point a to c is missing a stop at b.

Instead, this issue reads like a mirror to the horror dream issue featuring Batman a bit back. The focus here is Hall instead and his history as Hawkman, sort of. Not a whole lot is explained and maybe fans of Hawkman will appreciate more. But, I’m not one, so who knows what went over my head.

The art by Bryan Hitch is decent and there’s lots of styles of characters mixed together. There’s so good angles and snapshots of the action but like the story, the art misses the mark a bit failing to deliver that “holy shit” moment of excitement.

The story and art are pretty lackluster. It’s off. Which is very weird. Lemire is better than this and the event is better than this. Probably why this feels like such a disappointment.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Bryan Hitch
Ink: Kevin Nowlan Color: Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper Cover Art: Liam Sharp
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Suicide Squad #13

13 has always been my favorite number and Suicide Squad #13 reminded me why. Rob Williams continues the “Burning Down the House” arc on the front end of the issue. Part three of the arc is no less compelling than its predecessors, in fact, part three turns the action up to 11 and, I’m here for it. Williams gives us the Suicide Squad actually being a team. He shows us peak Harley loyalty, some wicked hacking mainframe battles we also see a Squad member confront Waller’s killer.

We get a glimpse into Rustam’s plan as he holds a couple of squad members captive and he makes all of the Squad a pretty compelling offer. This issue gives us infighting, someone’s power being revoked, and during the final battle during this comic I actually was humming the song Burning Down the House and it seemed to match perfectly with the rhythm of the fight!!

A special shout out goes to the art team on this issue! John Romita Jr. who provides a great base line for Richard Friend to lay down the ink giving us the killer visuals. Dean White and Jeremiah Skipper step in and give us a color game so strong that I forgot I was reading for a minute. The mainframe scenes alone made we want to go grab some popcorn and the before and after panels made me wish I had nachos.

“Burning Down the House” is such a beautifully crafted story, with art to match, that I really felt like I was in a movie. There was so much attention to detail, character motives, and background that I found myself getting sucked into the Squads’ world and I was happy to go on the ride.

This marks the end of this particular arc and the creative team did this story justice and actually lived up to its title.

The second half of issue Suicide Squad #13Hero or Villain” is also written by Rob Williams. Williams takes amazing care in crafting a short, sweet, poignant story that not only sets up the next full arc but breaks us of our preconceived notions of who is who. The People’s spy is revealed and a Squad member falls because of it all. Harley examines her feeling for Flag, June thinks about a future with Croc, and Hack thinks about work as they enjoy a much-needed girls’ night out. There’s a nice calm and a real moment of pure love that occurs in the second half of this issue making the ending all the more sad and powerful.

Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas provide the pop inspired visuals that brought this half of the issue to life. The intermittent bright pops of color with the hard lines shadows gives an ominous tone to the story. The artwork engages the reader and prepares us for that gut check in the final panel.

Burning Down the House 
Story: Rob Williams Art: John Romita Jr., Dean White, Richard Friend and Jeremiah Skipper
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.2

Hero or Villain 
Story: Rob Williams Art: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.3

Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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