Tag Archives: john layman

This week’s DC Digital First includes Titans, Scooby-Doo!, Ghosts, From Beyond the Unknown, DCeased, Harley Quinn, and more!

DC’s Digital Firsts continues with new content every day! New series Titans: Titans Together, From Beyond the Unknown, Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. and Ghosts all continue with their second issues, giving fans even more choices. And watch DC’s digital space next week for new chapters of DCeased: Hope at World’s End on Tuesday, June 30, Batman: The Adventures Continue on Thursday, July 2, and Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red on Friday, July 3!

Monday June 29

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #9

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What Lives Inside” by Jeff Parker, Sam Lofti, John Rauch, and Clayton Cowles

Superman and Lois respond to an emergency call at the mines outside of Metropolis. Can Superman save the miners from a horde of mysterious rock creatures? And where did these creatures come from?

Invasive Species” by Jeff Parker, Mike McKone, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Clayton Cowles

Brainiac unleashes a monstrous creature on the Portland airport. Can Superman stop it before it spawns and overwhelms the planet!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #9

Tuesday June 30

Batman: Gotham Nights #11

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Reunion” by Steve Orlando, Priscilla Petraites, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Ryan Christy

A face from Red Hood’s past needs his help when he’s targeted by Codename: Assassin—he just doesn’t know it yet!

One Minute After Midnight” by Marc Guggenheim, Robert Gill, Luis Guerrero, and Marshall Dillon

The clock counts down as a prisoner on death row awaits his sentence…but Nightwing and Red Hood believe there’s more to his case than meets the eye, and now they have one night to prove it!

Batman: Gotham Nights #11

Wednesday July 1

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #8

Awakening” by Louise Simonson, Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund, Adriano Lucas, and Janice Chiang
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While on an archeological dig in Peru, Diana Prince uncovers the burial chamber of the Ayar Cachi, the Incan god of Earthquakes. Her dig is interrupted by the arrival of Cheetah who wants the power of Ayar Cachi for herself!

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #8

Thursday July 2

Titans: Titans Together #2

The Bride of Blood” by Phil Hester, Scott Koblish, John Kalisz, and Marshall Dillon
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Master mercenary Deathstroke needs the Titans’ help. His daughter, Ravager, was infiltrating the demonic Church of Blood when she succumbed to the hypnotic power of its leader, Brother Blood. Red Hood believes that the plea is real…but is Deathstroke telling them the whole story?

Titans: Titans Together #2

Friday July 3

From Beyond the Unknown #2

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The Butler” by Tom Sniegoski, Eric Gapstur, Marissa Lousie, and Ferran Delgado

On Earth-A.D. (After Disaster), the world is a very different place—a postapocalyptic wasteland, full of talking animals and other strange sights. While exploring his dystopian home, Kamandi, the last living human, stumbles upon a robot butler patiently awaiting the return of his human masters, who disappeared years before. Kamandi takes pity on the loyal butler and tries to reunite him with his long-lost family…however unusual that reunion might be.

Stealth Mode” by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Hi-Fi, and Ryan Christy

In the far future of the 31st century, the super-powered teens known as the Legion of Super-Heroes protect all the citizens of the United Planets. But when Legionnaires Sun Boy and Wildfire are kidnapped, their teammates must infiltrate a mysterious ice planet to try to save their friends…and the planet!

From Beyond the Unknown #2

Saturday July 4

Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. #2

Now You See Them…” by Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela, Franco Riesco, and Saida Temofonte
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One by one, the members of the Scooby gang are disappearing! Can Scooby solve the mystery alone?

Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. #2

Sunday July 5

Ghosts #2

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The Ghost Inside” by John Layman, Andy Clarke, David Baron, and Travis Lanham

John Constantine discovers that nothing is ever what it seems, especially inside a haunted house…

Child of the Night” by Keith Giffen, Priscilla Petraites, John Rauch, and Travis Lanham

A young girl on the run finds more than she bargained for when she takes cover in a house occupied by none other than Gentleman Ghost!

Ghosts #2

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Preview: Ghosts #2

Ghosts #2

Purchase

The Ghost Inside” by John Layman, Andy Clarke, David Baron, and Travis Lanham

John Constantine discovers that nothing is ever what it seems, especially inside a haunted house…

Child of the Night” by Keith Giffen, Priscilla Petraites, John Rauch, and Travis Lanham

A young girl on the run finds more than she bargained for when she takes cover in a house occupied by none other than Gentleman Ghost!

Ghosts #2

Mars Attacks Red Sonja & All of Hyrkania in New Series!

Fans have seen them attack fin-headed cops, iconic rock bands, and fellow denizens of the red planet, but now Dynamite presents Mars Attacks Red Sonja!

John Layman and artist Fran Strukan will chronicle the untold tale of when the dastardly Martians invaded Hyrkania during the Hyborian Age. Joined by colorist Valentina Briški and letterer maestro Taylor Esposito, the team will unravel this forgotten piece of history. How do the steel and savagery of Red Sonja stand up against the advanced weaponry and science of the big-brained baddies? Only one way to find out, by reading the ACK-ing book!

The explosive first issue features a crop of covers by the coolest creators. A man very well-versed in depicting the She-Devil With a Sword is Lucio Parrillo, who highlights the menace of the Martians. Fan-favorite Dustin Nguyen uses plenty of red and his signature style, and we’re not just referring to Sonja’s hair. Arthur Suydam evokes the classic era of science fiction that birthed the Mars Attacks franchise originally. Coming a long way from having fan art featured in an issue of Red Sonja (Vol 4 #7), is Luca Strati showing off a victorious Sonja. The legendary Barry Kitson swings through with a wraparound bursting with dynamism. And last but certainly not least is an incentive variant by Alan Quah homaging the classic trading cards.

MARS ATTACKS RED SONJA #1

Review: Outer Darkness/Chew #3

Outer Darkeness/Chew #3

The new definition for something that is badass, funny, bonkers, cosmic, and just downright bizarre all at the same time is Outer Darkeness/Chew. Use it in a sentence! For example, “that new David Lynch movie is completely Outer Darkness/Chew!” Okay, there’re a few grammatical kinks to work out, but it still does the job of describing what is surely the wildest ride in comics today. The only thing it did wrong was end.

The third and last chapter of the very short crossover series embraces all of the culinary and sci-fi horror beats it had established in the previous entries to cap it all off as neatly as possible. The crew of the Charon (the spaceship housing the characters from the Outer Darkness comic) found a way to create living holograms out of the two main characters from the Chew universe, Tony Chu and Jack Colby, in order to communicate with an alien race that only speaks through food. Chu’s abilities allow him to do the same and he is successful, but then he learns he isn’t real and that he originally comes from a comic book universe.

And that’s just the premise.

This book works as a fascinating look at how the creative mind works and how well-suited comics are for letting imagination run free, crash into a tree, and then produce an unforgettable story. John Layman, Afu Chan, and Rob Guillory are all conscious of the ridiculous amounts of crazy they can bring to the comics page while never compromising the story. It’s impressive to see the rules of the two stories in this crossover—which are already self-indulgent and gleefully over the top—get broken and remade into fresh and unpredictable story threads.

Outer Darkness/Chew #3, Image Comics

Fans of Chew have a lot of Easter eggs and callbacks to look forward too, especially every time Poyo is involved. There’s an interesting twist with the mechanisms that allow the holograms to exist that brings the crossover full circle and gets the comic to speak in the voices of the two original comics simultaneously. If one felt that the first two issues might lean too heavily on Chew or vice versa, this third and last issue is where the creators get the balance between the two just right.

Afu Chan’s art captures the spirit of the Chew characters despite being drawn in the style of Outer Darkness. I did wish Rob Guillory would’ve have illustrated the Chew characters throughout the story as his cartoony designs are quite striking and so imbedded into the identity of that book. But this is a minor gripe and I know it is asking for a lot. Still, I wouldn’t have minded more Guillory pages in the crossover.

In the letter’s department, Pat Brosseau manages to infuse the text with the same energy exploding out of the panels. Demons and other creatures possess different text fonts to capture the sound or feel behind the words they impart. It adds another layer to the storytelling and it makes each page feel even more alive.

In a perfect comic book world, this crossover would be its own on-going series. The setting, the exchanges between characters, and the cast as a whole is more than enough to sustain a long-running series for years to come. Alas, it came down to three issues. Thankfully, this brief trek into crossover territory turned out to be the most fun I’ve had with a comic in a while. It makes me want to read more unusual crossover stories (perhaps one with another John Layman or Rob Guillory title? Say Leviathan or Farmhand?). Regardless, what this story brought was well worth the read and is sure to become a favorite for many, many readers.

Script: John Layman Art: Afu Chan and Rob Guillory
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: Buy and then write the creators demanding more of it!

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: The Man F#&%ed Up Time #3

Time is messed up and this is all about the man who f#&%ed it up. The Man F#&%ed Up Time #3 is packed with so much detail in the art, you’ll linger on the page to get the whole story.

Story: John Layman
Art: Karl Mostert
Color: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: John Layman

Get your copy 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.

comiXology
Zeus Comics

AfterShock 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

Exclusive Preview: The Man Who F#%&ed Up Time #4

The Man Who F#%&ed Up Time #4

Writer: John Layman 
Artist: Karl Mostert 
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe 
Letterer: John Layman 
Cover: Karl Mostert w/ Dee Cunniffe
$3.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale 07.22.20

Sean Bennett’s been racing the clock, trying desperately to repair the f#%&ed up space-time continuum and get the dreaded robotic Future Police off his back, but everything he’s done has made things worse. So, Sean simply says “f#%& it,” figuring things couldn’t get any worse, but it turns out things COULD get worse. Like, extinction of humanity worse! Whoops!  

Presenting a time-twisted sci-fi action-comedy, a butterfly effect noir, by multiple Eisner-winning writer John Layman (Chew, ELEANOR & THE EGRET) and talented newcomer Karl Mostert. Order it today…before time runs out!

The Man Who F#%&ed Up Time #4

Review: Outer Darkness/Chew #2

Outer Darkness/Chew #2

There’s no comic on the stands right now that’s having as much fun with its characters than Outer Darkness/Chew #2. This short three-issue crossover story from the minds of John Layman, Afu Chan, and Rob Guillory has reached its halfway point and it made sure every little bit of story got ramped up to 11. Oh, and it doubled down its most metafictional aspects and, well, I think they created a new type of meta in the process.

OD/C #2 sees Tony Chu and John Colby from Chew questioning the means through which they were transported to the world of Outer Darkness to speak with an alien that only communicates through food. They immediately realize that the whole “time-traveling” mumbo jumbo they got as an explanation for their presence isn’t all that genuine. And then it all goes meta.

Layman, Chan, and Guillory take this opportunity to really play around with the idea of one fiction inside another fiction and how it can essentially blow up into an entirely fresh and new kind of world-building. Tony and John realize they were brought into the spaceship, The Charon, by way of some kind of projection that extracts them from their comic book world. And by comic I mean the actual, literal comic. They even mention, and pass judgment, on its creators, Layman and Guillory.

A lot of the issue’s comedy finds itself lodged in this dynamic, with Tony trying to understand what reality is, or if it’s even something that exists for him and his friends, knowing they’re all part of a story created by Layman and Guillory. This actually serves as a good introduction to Chew, as John Colby proceeds to explain the comic’s history along with a few key details here and there. It doesn’t spoil Chew, though. But it makes a good case for diving into the comic whether you’re new to it or not.

With the knowledge of this meta mess Tony and John find themselves in comes the worry of what’ll happen once their services are no longer needed. From here, the story takes on a whole new life and the Food-Talking Alien plot takes a backseat to the fight for the meta survival of the Chewverse.

As fun and outrageous as this is, the shift did take me by surprise, with speed bump or two along the way. The change drastically shifts the balance of the story towards the Chewverse, leaving Outer Darkness a little in, well, the dark. That side of the story feels a bit underdeveloped in this second issue, especially in terms of character development. It makes me wish this crossover were an issue or two longer so that the Outer Darkness crew got some more breathing room.

Also, as much as I love Afu Chan’s art, I wish Guillory’s art also featured more in the issue, and the crossover as a whole. I hope the creative team takes advantage of the different visual styles in both series to mess around with the art in the upcoming final issue.

I did appreciate the scope of the fan service and easter eggs found in the comic. Fans of Guillory’s newest work, for instance, will have a thing or two connecting it to the stories found here and Afu Chan seems to be sneaking in pop culture references in the monster designs (with one in particular reminding me of a famous clown who was seen in theaters not too long ago). This is what I meant by world-building earlier. Each page brings something with it that connects it to the different series, and they can only go bigger. I’m thinking the next issue will double down on this.

I can honestly say I have absolutely no idea what issue #3 of OD/C is going to bring, and this makes me very happy. Despite Outer Darkness being left out a bit in this part of the story, what Layman, Chan, and Guillory have achieved here is gleefully unique and well worth the price of admission. If you buy one comic this week, make sure it’s this one.

Story: John Layman Art: Afu Chan and Rob Guillory,
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0

Recommendation: Buy and then read all of Chew

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: The Man F#&%ed Up Time #2

The title really says it all as The Man F#&%ed Up Time is about Sean, who messes up time. It’s pretty straightforward. It’s a humorous series for those that enjoy Bill & Ted and Back to the Future.

Story: John Layman
Art: Karl Mostert
Color: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: John Layman

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.

Kindle/comiXology
Zeus Comics

AfterShock 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

Outer Darkness/Chew #1 Gets a Second Printing

The highly anticipated Outer Darkness/Chew #1 crossover has sold out at the distributer level and Image and Skybound has fast-tracked a second printing (helping?) to combat the fandom hungry pains.

Tony Chu is a modern-day cop who gets psychic impressions from what he eats. Joshua Rigg is a 28th-century starship captain who flies through an outer space filled with demons, monsters, and ghosts. Sounds like a perfect recipe for a comic book crossover, don’t it? Join the fun with Outer Darkness/Chew #1.

Outer Darkness/Chew #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN208957) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 1.

Outer Darkness/Chew #1, second printing

Review: Outer Darkness/Chew #1

Outer Darkness/Chew #1

There’s something special about crossovers between non-superheroes comics. Usually, a Marvel or DC crossover comes with expectations of event-like conflicts and big action set-pieces. Creator-owned crossovers, on the other hand, tend to live and die by the strength of their characters and the culture they carry from their own comics. This is definitely the case with Outer Darkness/Chew #1, from John Layman, Afu Chan, and Rob Guillory, a coming together of sci-fi, horror, and comedy of epic proportions from two books that rival each other in terms of the sheer storytelling madness they produce.

The comic starts with the crew of the Charon (from Outer Darkness) engaging with a Cibulaxian alien ambassador that only engages in conversation over food. No external communicator can help in the situation and the chef responsible for comms meets a gleefully violent and premature end early on. The captain of the Charon, Captain Rigg, is then forced to resort to plan B: traveling in time to bring Tony Chu in, a Cibopath that can dive into the memories of the things he eats (from Chew).

Outer Darkness/Chew #1 requires prior knowledge of both series to fully appreciate. Writer John Layman, who wrote both series, basically says as much in his letter to the fans at the end of the issue, when he talks about how the book approaches the Chew parts of the book as a kind of coda to the original series (which ran for 60 issues from 2009-2016).

From the Outer Darkness side of the equation, an understanding of the concept is pretty much all you need, which is basically made up of bits from The Exorcist, Star Trek, and Event Horizon. Honestly, I would recommend reading both series as they are very good on their own and are well worth the price of admission. Maybe then come back to the crossover.

The story succeeds in making both the Chewverse and the Outer Darknessverse converge as if they were naturally meant to since their inception. It even makes it a point to recognize changes in how the characters look within the story once they crossover.

Rob Guillory, co-creator of Chew, illustrates his part of the story in the original style of the book with Afu Chan, co-creator of Outer Darkness, doing the same. When Tony Chu is brought aboard the Charon, Afu Chan takes over and the characters acknowledge the change in their looks. They are baffled by it, even.

It’s a bit of meta that builds up the crossover quite well and makes each character recognize the distance between their realities. Chew characters transition well under Chan’s pencils and they still seem like they are from another place, which adds to the clash of stories between the two universes.

Layman’s script does a good job of balancing both worlds, especially in terms of tone. Outer Darkness is a more serious tale than Chew and yet they each keep their identities intact throughout the issue. One’s humor doesn’t drown out the other’s horror. This is something that rarely manages to carry over in this type of story, but Layman pulls it off. Let’s see if it manages to sustain itself over the entire arc.

There’s a lot to like about Outer Darkness/Chew #1, especially for fans of the two series. In fact, I’d say that’s precisely the audience it’s seeking. New readers will probably struggle a bit to make everything click, but there’re still enough things going on in the story that anyone could latch onto and follow. There’s just a lot of fun to be had here, and the promise of more Cibopaths in space is always a good thing.

Script: John Layman Art: Rob Guillory and Afu Chan
Story: 9 Art: 10 Overall: Buy and then read all of Chew

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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