Superman: Year One #3 wraps up the DC Black Label series with story and art by Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr. It’s a “year one” story that doesn’t really feel like “year one” at all and takes place over numerous years of Superman’s life. So, the title is the first perplexing thing about the series as well as the issue.
Superman: Year One #3 feels disjointed too. It just moves on from Clark living in Atlantis, never to really dive into that storyline again. There’s military just attacking him. Luthor just reaching out to him. Apparently a love interest in Wonder Woman. It’s all over the place with leaps in facts.
Again, it’s also not “year one.”
The comic feels a bit rushed wanting to hit certain beats like Superman questioning his battle and humanity and his meeting Batman and Wonder Woman. Whether that connects in a flowing narrative is another thing.
The art by Romita, Jr. and Miller have their styles and flair and some works and some doesn’t. In some scenes Superman’s cape is stiff as a board and positioning makes little sense. In other scenes it flows majestically and looks great. It’s just all over the place in details and comes off at times as stiff.
Superman: Year One started with promise but has slid downhill from there. While the finale isn’t quite the cringe-worthy wtf release that was the second issue, it’s also choppy enough to make you wonder if you’re missing pages. One step forward, two leaps back.
Story: Frank Miller, John Romita, Jr. Art: Frank Miller, John Romita, Jr. Ink: Danny Miki Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: John Workman Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass
(W) Frank Miller (A) John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki (CA) Frank Miller In Shops: Oct 16, 2019 SRP: $7.99
It’s the jaw-dropping conclusion to Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s blockbuster reimagining of Superman’s origin! In this final chapter, Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis, the city where he will fulfill his heroic destiny. Witness the first meeting between Superman and Lois Lane, the beginnings of Clark Kent’s career at the Daily Planet, and the birth of his rivalry with Lex Luthor. But when The Joker arrives on the scene, the Man of Steel must enlist the help of his two strange new friends: Wonder Woman and Batman!
(W) Tom King (A/CA) John Romita, Klaus Janson In Shops: Oct 16, 2019 SRP: $3.99
It’s time for the big showdown. Batman is calling Bane out. But is the Dark Knight Detective ready to take on the foe who broke him worse than any other that came before? And what else stands in Batman’s way, to put an obstacle between him and his enemy? Tread lightly, Batman, because not only do the lives of your son and trusted friends hang in the balance, but your entire home could collapse on top of you!
(W) Tom King (A/CA) John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson In Shops: Oct 02, 2019 SRP: $3.99
The bad guys thought they had it made with Bane in control, but with Batman back in Gotham they’ll be reminded what justice feels like… and how it hurts when it hits you in the face. With Catwoman at his side, the Caped Crusader is looking to take down Bane’s army and reclaim his city. But what happens when old allies like Gotham Girl also stand in his way? The legendary art team of John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson join BATMAN for two action-packed issues that will rock Gotham City to its foundation.
Written by Paul Jenkins (Inhumans, Batman: The Dark Knight) Art by Inaki Miranda (Catwoman) Colors by Hi-Fi Cover art by John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson (DKIII) In Shops: Oct 23, 2019 Final Orders Due: Sep 30, 2019 SRP: $4.99
Black Adams enters the “Year of the Villain” fray in Black Adam: Year of the Villain #1! Spinning out of the events of Batman/Superman, Shazam! invades Black Adam’s kingdom. His plan? To turn it into a playground for its new ruler, Billy Batson! What happens when an Apex Lex-powered Black Adam faces off against a Batman Who Laughs-infected Shazam!?
Superman: Year One #2 takes the promising first issue and goes in a rather odd direction. Clark Kent is off to boot camp where he attempts to fit in the Navy. That could be an issue on its own but we get sidetracked into a story about Atlantis, Clark’s wooing of a mermaid, and incest. It’s an odd one.
Frank Miller delivers an interesting second issue for about half of the oversized comic but then goes off the rails. The concept of Clark having to hide his abilities while being trained by the military is an interesting one. How does someone with superheroic tendencies not stand out? That aspect of the comic is solid and intriguing. But, then there’s this Atlantis aspect…
Stationed on the coast, Clark comes across mermaids and explores the situation coming upon Atlantis and its princess. Of course she falls for him which later sets up a confrontation with her father Poseiden. The story would be standard outdated concepts of a father making relationship decisions for his daughter. But, Miller crosses a line making it clear that Poseiden wants to sleep with his daughter. The comic goes from outdated into some really creepy and vomitous territory. And at that point, took the enjoyment right out of it.
I can overlook Clark holding his breath for insane amounts of time or his ease of using his powers underwater. But a father wanting to sleep with his daughter is where I cross the line. Add in some really odd choices for dialogue boxes and you have a mess of a comic when it comes to the story.
John Romita, Jr.‘s art continues to entertain. There’s a consistency to it and the usual “sameness” to faces isn’t as present. The Atlantean designs are interesting and stand out from the standard of what we’ve seen. The ink by Danny Miki and color by Alex Sinclair stand out, especially when the setting changes to Atlantis. John Workman‘s lettering is impressive bouncing around the various dialogue boxes as the setting shifts underwater.
Superman: Year One #2 is half of a good comic but latter parts had me wanting to vomit and become too distracting. There was a right way to tell this story and this is not it.
Story: Frank Miller Art: John Romita, Jr. Ink: Danny Miki Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: John Workman Story: 4.0 Art: 7.8 Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Frank Miller (A) Danny Miki, John Romita Jr. (CA) Frank Miller In Shops: Aug 21, 2019 SRP: $7.99
Clark Kent’s journey of self-discovery continues in the second installment of Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s remarkable reimagining of Superman’s origin story. This chapter takes young Clark to the Pacific coast and beyond, as he discovers a place as sensational as he is…Atlantis! There he meets new people, finds love, clashes with gargantuan beasts and discovers the man he’s meant to be.
Following up on 2017’s DC House of Horror #1 and 2018’s Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1, witness what hides within 2019’s Secrets of Sinister House #1—revealing the DCU’s most horrific secrets and mysteries! In this new prestige-format 80-page one-shot special featuring a cover by John Romita Jr. and Bill Sienkiewicz, travel alongside Harley Quinn, John Constantine, Detective Chimp, Zatanna, the Atom and others as they face this macabre devastation first hand! And in the bowels of this dark mansion…we return to the world of the legendary Red Rain to meet once again with the dreaded vampire Batman.
Secrets of Sinister House will feature a Vampire Batman short (from the classic Batman & Dracula: Red Rain) written by Rafael Scavone and Rafael Albuquerque with art by Rafael Albuquerque, a Constantine story written by Bryan Hill with art by Alessandro Vitti, Paul Dini writing an 10-page Harley Quinn and Zatanna short with art by Cian Tormey, a creepy bit on The Atom written by Dan Watters with art by Sumit Kumar, an incredible Justice League Dark story written by Robbie Thompson with art by Tom Raney, and a classic haunted house short story, “House of the Dead,” written by Jon Layman with art by Jorge Fornes. Those are only a few of the tales within, but if they’re not enough to get you screaming, what is still to be revealed will stop you dead in your tracks!
Don’t miss this year’s DC Halloween Special—because if you do, it’ll haunt you! Look for the 80-page Secrets of Sinister House #1 on October 2, 2019.
(W) Dan Abnett (A) V Kenneth Marion, Sandu Florea (CA) John Romita Jr, Sandra Hope RATED T+ FINAL ISSUE In Shops: Jun 26, 2019 SRP: $3.99
Honor Guest was the greatest assassin you’ve never heard of-but now the secret is out. In the month since Smoke’s devastating attack, the Silencer is on the lam from Leviathan and trying to piece her family life back together, and this is a challenge unlike any Honor has faced before. Will Honor’s past continue to plague her, or has she at last earned a peaceful respite from her life of murder and mayhem?
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