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Review: Suicide Squad #14

Rob Williams brought the heat in this action packed issue that brings the “Burning Down the House (Hit It)” story arc to a close and starts something off even better. Williams gives us a squad in chaos that’s dealing with some of its members capture and the death of one of its own. The Squad knows they’re no heroes but, they are a team and one thing that their team of baddies gone semi good does well is revenge. The death of Hack will be avenged and now that that there are no strings on Harley, we get to see one of our favorite bad asses going hard with her infamous mallet. There was sincere joy in my heart when she whipped that thing out and headed into battle.

Suicide Squad #14 starts off with Flag and Katana confined and being held captive by Rustam and his gang of goons, including the traitor Deadshot. This issue treats us to some peak Harley savagery on her quest to find out who killed Hack and her mission to make them pay, with or without the aid of the rest of the Squad. We get to see some action, self-pity, rage, a return and some pretty hardcore violence. All of the awesomeness a comic book lover could need packed into the pages of a single issue and, it is magnificent.

Eddy Barrows and John Romita Jr., serve up some pretty well thought out lines for the pivotal issue and they feel like an extra character giving some depth and realism to the amazing tale that Williams has written. There isn’t a line wasted, a blood splatter misplaced, or a brutalized body left lacking. The facial expressions on the characters add agency to their actions and tell more than words could every say, so even when the panels are devoid of words, the images speak volumes.

This issue is a beautifully well-written end of an arc and a perfectly plotted out start of a new one. A clear line has been drawn in the sand and allegiances are solidified and destroyed. There’s a lot going on in this episode and some pretty good surprises but, one of the things that really impressed me was the degree of talent in the story telling. This is one of those issues that those who are new to the story could pick up, still know what’s going on and want to not only follow along in the next issue but, maybe play catch up just so they have something to keep them occupied while they wait, for what’ll seem like the longest two weeks ever, for the next issue.

Story: Rob Williams Art: John Romita Jr. and Eddy Barrows
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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It’s Dark Days Ahead for the DC Universe

DC Comics has announced a massive event this summer, writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV collaborate with iconic artists Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, and John Romita Jr. for Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Dark Days: The Casting #1.Spearheaded by Snyder, these new stories will reveal the dark underbelly of the DC Universe. The mysteries of THE FORGE and THE CASTING will hit shelves on June 14 and July 12, respectively, and break new ground in DC’s publishing line.

Spearheaded by Snyder, these new stories will reveal the dark underbelly of the DC Universe. The mysteries of The Forge and The Casting will hit shelves on June 14 and July 12, respectively, and break new ground in DC’s publishing line.

Snyder in the announcement says that Dark Days posits a mystery that traces all the way back to when he started on Batman. This is something that’s been hinted at over the years with Easter eggs and clues. The event ultimately leads to huge revelations about the past, present and future of the cosmology of DC. The two issues are a prelude to an event that’s been developing for years.

Visually powering this event is a master class of artists, including Kubert, Lee and Romita Jr., who will drive DC’s initiative to bring artists to the forefront of the storytelling process. Beginning with Dark Days, these writers and artists will collaborate to develop new ideas and characters, that further enriches the DC Universe.

DC has said to expect more information about the comic event at upcoming conventions like WonderCon, Fan Expo Dallas and C2E2 over the coming months.

Preview: Suicide Squad #13

Suicide Squad #13

(W) Rob Williams (A) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira (A/CA) John Romita, Richard Friend
In Shops: Mar 08, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE” part three! Shot. Stabbed. Beaten. Maimed. Brought back from the edge of death and sent out to do it all over again and again and again. This has been the life of Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot. But not anymore. The moment Suicide Squad fans never thought would come finally arrives when Deadshot achieves that which no one else has: escape! All it will cost is one of his teammates’ lives…

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

Review: Suicide Squad #12

ssquad_cv12_dsThis issue kicks off by showing us the aftermath of Amanda Waller’s shooting. Even though it’s only been two weeks it’s the comic book equivalent of who shot JR. We go from the back of an ambulance to the anarchy Rustam is causing with his prisoner release. In this part of the comic we continue the “Burning Down the House” story line and, the Suicide Squads vacation gets cut short as they are called into action to aid stopping the escape. In “Those Left Behind we find out more about the death of Waller as the whole squad is hauled in for questioning.

Rob Williams as usual tells a great story complete with intrigue, emotion and a story line that slays. He wrote both stories in this issue and made sure that they worked as stand alone stories and meshed well enough to be a part of something bigger. There’s a sense of tension and wonder present that pulls the reader in and leaves you on the edge of your seat.

John Romita Jr. gives great graphics in the “Burning Down the House” part of the story. It’s clean, detailed and, has a harshness that matches the story being told. Everything down to the facial expressions relays the dark town and comic noir style of the story. Cody Barrows doesn’t miss a beat with his art for “Those Left Behind,” it’s a different style from Romita’s but, it flows well into issue. There’s a nice vintage quality to his work, it seems nostalgic with a hint of modern.

Overall this issue was exactly what it needed to be. We got the end of one major characters life fused with a rogue former squad members evil plan coming to fruition, an act that can propel the story even further. The stories are self contained enough to stand alone at their respective short lengths but, nice to see together in one issue. There’s enough catalysts in these two stories to tell a ton of stories and keep these arcs going for many issues to come.

Story: Rob Williams Art: John Romita Jr. and Cody Barrows
Story: 9.3 Art : 8.8 Overall:9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Preview: Suicide Squad #11

Suicide Squad #11

(W) Rob Williams (A) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira (A/CA) John Romita, Richard Friend
RATED T+
In Shops: Feb 08, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE” part one! Spinning directly out of the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD! Hidden somewhere deep within, the world is a burning flame. Its light is blinding. Its heat is deadly. It’s a fire fueled by hatred, by rage and by vengeance. Used, abused and left for dead, the greatest foe the Suicide Squad has ever faced returns, more powerful than ever, to burn down the world Amanda Waller has given everything to protect.

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Review: Suicide Squad #11

ssquad_cv11_dsThe hunt for Rustam is still on and popping and Amanda Waller the Queen B of the DC universe intelligence world is taking no prisoners in her search after he made contact with her kids. The team’s mission to find the Annihilation Brigade leads them to a dead end in Tibet leading them to believe there is a mole in the squad. Recent events have Harcourt running the Task Force X while Waller is on leave after the chaos of the Maxwell Lord/Justice League showdown and the squad isn’t liking the change in command. And, before “Episode One” is over there’s one hell of a breakout at Belle Reve.

“Life Outside,” the second part of this two-part issue has Harcourt banishing Waller from mission control after she attempts to have a chat with Zod. The Squad is having a good ole time in NOLA after Harcourt grants them a night off. Boomerang is getting his party on while Harley’s attempt at getting her bad for mojo on is disrupted by Flag. Deadshot enjoys some time with his daughter I’m a heart to heart that might just break yours. And, this issue really does end with a bang that will be heard throughout the DC universe and has anyone reading this epic issue stopped dead in their tracks waiting the long two weeks in between issues to find out what happens next.

Rob Williams writing is equal parts brilliant and dread-inducing in the best possible way. Every word and caption seems well thought out and aware of the levity of the ultra dark turn the series has taken. There’s gravity in his words and he brings it to the characters words and actions, they seem to add purpose and life to the characters motivations and desires. We get two great intertwined stories and it provides a perfect turning point from light and fun carnage to some serious life-shattering reveals and the requisite Suicide Squad mayhem.

The art choices that John Romita Jr. uses in “Episode One” give the team an all new, harsher look. Even Harley gets the amped up steroid induced treatment. It’s a bit jarring but, considering the dark overtone of the events in that part of the issue it makes sense. Eddy Barrows takes over the reigns for the second story in this issue, “Life Outside” is toned down and more in line with what we are used to seeing. The two styles complement each other and in both stories, the artwork adds to the story and becomes an extra character on its own.

Overall this was a well thought out and brilliantly executed issue and it was understandable and relatable to a point that if this was your first run in with the Squad you’d be on board to tune in for future issues. It has a solid start for both new arcs and both parts end in a way that make you want to read more.

Story: Rob Williams Art: Episode One- John Romita Jr. Life Outside – Eddy Barrows
Story: 9.7 Art: 8.7 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: All-Star Batman #4

All-Star Batman #4

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Danny Miki, John Romita, Jr.
Backup Written by: Declan Shalvey
Cover by: Danny Miki, John Romita, Jr.
Variant cover by: Jock, Declan Shalvey

“My Own Worst Enemy” part four! So close and yet so far from his goal, Batman must now wrangle Two-Face out of his own assassin-filled riverboat casino before it plunges over Niagara Falls to their deaths! The Dark Knight will have to go all-in on the most deadly gamble of his life if he intends to make it out alive.

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Preview: All-Star Batman #3

All-Star Batman #3

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: John Romita, Jr., Declan Shalvey, Danny Miki
Cover by: John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki
Variant cover by: Jock, Declan Shalvey

“MY OWN WORST ENEMY” part three! Now on the run from both bounty hunters and cops, Batman and Duke must find a safe place to hide out with Two-Face before they can continue their journey to the cure. Batman might soon realize his worst nightmare: that Two-Face is right…and nowhere is safe.

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Preview: All-Star Batman #2

All-Star Batman #2

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Declan Shalvey, Danny Miki, John Romita, Jr.
Cover by: Danny Miki, John Romita, Jr.
Variant cover by: Jock, Declan Shalvey, Danny Miki, John Romita, Jr.

“My Own Worst Enemy” part 2! All aboard the train ride from hell! Batman and Two-Face continue their journey to Harvey Dent’s cure through an assassin-infested landscape. But can the Dark Knight continue his crusade across the countryside when Two Face turns one of his greatest allies against him?

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