Tag Archives: lee bermejo

Preview: Batman: Damned #2

Batman: Damned #2

(W) Brian Azzarello (A/CA) Lee Bermejo
In Shops: Dec 12, 2018
SRP: $6.99

As Batman’s descent into the madness of Gotham City’s decadent underbelly continues, he must try to exorcise some of his demons…and who better to help than the Demon, Etrigan himself. And where there’s demons, there’s also a Deadman, a Spectre, an Enchantress and a host of other supernatural friends and foes-it’s a veritable Grand Guignol!

Review: Batman: Damned #1

The Joker is dead. There is no doubt about that. But whether Batman finally snapped his scrawny neck or some other sinister force in Gotham City did the deed is still a mystery.

We’ve got a third review of this much talked about debut from DC Black Label.

Review: Batman: Damned #1 Has Gorgeous Visuals, Overwrought Narration

Batman: Damned #1 is 50 pages of glorious and sometimes creepy Lee Bermejo as well as 50 pages of John Constantine yapping about theology, heaven and hell, religious things, and the like and occasionally displaying his snarky wit courtesy of writer Brian Azzarello, who returns to the character almost two decades after being the first American to write Hellblazer in 2000. Batman: Damned has the tailor made for an elevator pitch premise of the Joker mysteriously being wounded, and Batman mysteriously having no idea what happened to him and teaming up with John Constantine to get to the bottom of things. It’s equally parts gritty and Gothic thanks to Bermejo’s art and works best when it’s reveling in its spookiness and disorienting atmosphere instead of trying to be deep or give Bruce Wayne a screwed up childhood before his parents were murdered.

At times, Azzarello and Bermejo seem to be working at counter purposes in Batman: Damned #1. The comic is filled with brilliant and sometimes shocking imagery from Bermejo and then kind of ruined with the overwrought narration from Azzarello. Brian Azzarello definitely is having a fun time writing Constantine narration, and the lettering has a nice storybook flow to it, but it undercuts the art sometimes by describing what is on the page instead of creating an interesting juxtaposition or adding layers to characterization like in Watchmen or Kingdom Come, for example. Azzarello and Bermejo do nail Constantine’s character in a single panel when he’s smoking and refers to himself as “the unreliable narrator”, which fits the non-linear, yet non-confusing nature of Batman: Damned’s plot whose supernatural elements keep it from being a cut and dried “What If Batman killed the Joker” story.

Honestly, the most unsettling part of Batman: Damned #1 are the flashbacks to Bruce’s childhood that go beyond the typical Zorro, pearls, Crime Alley, Waynes getting shot, and I’m not talking about Lee Bermejo’s creepy girl from The Ring take on The Enchantress. There’s a scene where young Bruce is out with his father Thomas and his mistress and entertaining himself by spitting off a tall building and counting, and he almost falls off the building when his dad throws a penny for his spit to “race”. A lot of orphan superhero’s parents were at least some kind of moral paragon, like Uncle Ben or Battlin’ Jack Murdock refusing to take a dive for a mob boss, but despite being super rich, Thomas Wayne doesn’t come across as a great dad or husband. Having a near death experience while your dad is cheating on your mom is definitely traumatic and adds more tragedy to the Batman mythos.

Batman: Damned #1 is at its finest when Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo go away from the theological narration and hurl the reader forward in a story about Batman being on the ropes with a gritty, supernatural tinge to it like Zatanna being a street musician or an eerie, invasive take on the body possessing Deadman. The comic’s opening sequence is a perfect example this beginning with a nine panel grid of an EKG and cutting to a full page image of Batman bleeding out before having him beat up cops, EMTS, and random passerbys while being disoriented and falling into the open arms of Alfred, er, John Constantine. There’s a real feeling of peril like the guy who has extensive notes and solutions for each Justice League member’s weaknesses has finally screwed up and could actually die or fail. It reminds me a lot of the Batman: Arkham video games when your health is dwindling, and the world is all cloudy and blood filled.

As shown in a scene where he’s crouching naked in front of a Batsuit (A page or so after the famous full frontal nudity.), Batman is definitely in pain throughout Batman: Damned #1 as he spends the entire comic trying to retrace his steps and figure out if he’s responsible for killing the Joker. Brian Azzarello’s incessant John Constantine is both parts annoying and hilarious, insightful and overbearing, but Lee Bermejo’s gorgeous image composition and aforementioned Gothic grit make the first DC Black Label book worth a read.

Story: Brian Azzarello Art: Lee Bermejo
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

Story: 6 Art: 9.5 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics/Black Label provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman: Damned #1

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 launch of DC Black Label with Batman Damned #1!

Batman Damned #1 is by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, Jared K. Fletcher, Steve Cook, Will Dennis, Maggie Howell, and Mark Doyle.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit 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
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

Preview: Batman: Damned #1

Batman Damned #1

(W) Brian Azzarello (A/CA) Lee Bermejo
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
SRP: $6.99

DC BLACK LABEL, the highly anticipated new imprint from DC Comics, starts here!
The Joker is dead.

There is no doubt about that. But whether Batman finally snapped his scrawny neck or some other sinister force in Gotham City did the deed is still a mystery.
Problem is, Batman can’t remember… and the more he digs into this labyrinthine case, the more his mind starts to doubt everything he’s uncovering.

So who better to set him straight than… John Constantine? Problem with that is as much as John loves a good mystery, he loves messing with people’s heads even more. So with John’s “help,” the pair will delve into the sordid underbelly of Gotham as they race toward the mind-blowing truth of who murdered The Joker.

BATMAN: DAMNED is a bimonthly super-natural horror story told by two of comics’ greatest modern creators-a visceral thrill-ride that proudly puts the “black” in BLACK LABEL.

Review: DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special

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 a summer special!

DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special is by:

“WORST FINEST“
A JOKER/BIZARRO STORY
Lee Bermejo – Writer
Francesco Mattina – Artist
Tom Napolitano – Letters

“HELP“
A LEX LUTHOR STORY
Jeff Loveness – Writer
David Williams – Artist
Steve Buccellato – Colors
Carlos Mangual – Letters

“CLOSE SHAVE“
A MR. FREEZE STORY
Paul Dini – Writer
John Paul Leon – Artist
Deron Bennett – Letters

“FALSE IDOLS“
A CHEETAH STORY
Vita Ayala – Writer
Amancay Nahuelpan – Artist
June Chung – Colors
Clayton Cowles – Letters

“ICY EMBRACE“
A BLACK MANTA STORY
Gabriel Hardman & Corinna Bechko – Writers
Gabriel Hardman – Artist
Matthew Wilson – Colors
Deron Bennett – Letters

“GIGANTA STRONG“
A GIGANTA STORY
Michael Moreci – Writer
Max Raynor – Artist
Paul Mounts – Colors
Dave Sharpe – Letters

“CRUEL SUMMER“
A GORILLA GRODD STORY
Tim Seeley – Writer
Minkyu Jung – Artist
John Kalisz – Colors
Tom Napolitano – Letters

“DOG DAYS OF SUMMER“
A DEATHSTROKE STORY
Shea Fontana – Writer
Carlos D’Anda – Artist
Luis Guerrero – Colors
Carlos Mangual – Letters

“PERFECT GENTLEMAN“
A PENGUIN STORY
Daniel Kibblesmith – Writer
Laura Braga – Artist
Arif Prianto – Colors
Dave Sharpe – Letters

“INDEPENDENCE“
A CRIME SYNDICATE STORY
Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing – Writers
Giuseppe Camuncoli – Pencils
Cam Smith – Inks
Tomeu Morey – Colors
Clayton Cowles – Letters

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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

Preview: DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guy Summer Special

DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guy Summer Special

(W) Paul Dini, Lee Bermejo, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, Tim Seeley, Rod Fontana (A) Carlos D’Anda, Gabriel Hardman, David Williams, Otto Schmidt
In Shops: Jul 25, 2018
SRP: $9.99

It’s summertime in the DCU and the bad guys are taking over! Beat the heat with 10 all-new stories by top comics talent starring DC’s most spectacular super-villains! In this issue, find out what Mr. Freeze does on the hottest day of the Gotham City summer! Learn what made Grodd such a bad gorilla! Then, while in a small beach town, Deathstroke gets hired for murder by the last person he’d expect! And The Joker and Bizarro team up for a truly weird summer bromance!

Review: Batman #50

It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see! The Batrimony is real as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are set to tie the knot in a can’t-miss, extra-length milestone issue that will reshape Gotham City. All their friends (and a few enemies?) will be party to a comic book coupling for the ages.

The build up has been coming for a while now and with Batman #50 writer Tom King answers the question as to whether Batman and Catwoman tie the knot.

The issue is done in an interesting way with what amounts to two page spreads with generally half dedicated to Batman’s preparation for the day and the other half for Catwoman’s. In between these normal panel pages, there’s full page images by some top art talent on top of which we’re presented the two’s thoughts about their meeting and what they’re about to do.

While the “will they or won’t they” has been spoiled the comic is interesting as it delves into the thought process of two individuals who are clearly nervous about tying the knot and if they do what it means.

Catwoman isn’t a hero, she’s a criminal.

Batman is a hero. He’s a hero driven by his pain.

If they were to get married, what does that mean for each of them? Can Batman be happy? These are the types of thoughts that run throughout the comic as the two characters explore their love for each other. And that’s the impressive thing, Tom King convinces you that these two love each other. By the end, you’re convinced there’s no one else for these two.

And that spoiling? Well, not quite. There’s a twist but you’ll have to read the comic yourself and go elsewhere.

The issues with the comic is the hype and a build up that doesn’t pay off. The quality of the narrative is excellent, it all just doesn’t quite live up to the lead up and the end result is rather predictable. A single panel does not make a comic and this one relies heavily on that final panel.

The art duties are mainly handled by Mikel Janin with colors by June Chung and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art is solid and there’s some fantastic page layouts. The way some of these pages are laid out is impressive with very creative visual storytelling. What’s also interesting is the use of pin-ups to tell the story as well. There was a similar thing done in Action Comics #1000 and here it sort of works. The artwork is fantastic, there’s some talent. But, it breaks up the story a bit and after a while becomes a little tedious. When the big picture comes in to focus, the choice is an interesting one and adds a poetic aspect, somewhat appropriate considering what’s happening.

This is a chapter in King’s larger story. There’s much more to come as things weave together and that final panel indicates we’ve got a hell of a lot of excitement to come. As a single issue, this one has its good and its bad but as a piece of the larger puzzle it fits like a perfectly crafted piece of the larger picture.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Pin-up Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Color: June Chung Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Batwoman #13

Batwoman #13

Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Fernando Blanco
Color: John Rauch Letterer: Deron Bennett
Cover Art: Dan Panosian
Variant Cover: Lee Bermejo
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich Editor: Brittany Holzherr
In Shops: Mar 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“The Fall of the House of Kane” part one! After her deadly trip around the world hunting the infamous Many Arms of Death, Batwoman returns to her childhood home in Brussels, the site of her most brutal losses and memories. As the clock begins to tick on a new cycle of violence, Kate must overcome her haunted past to prevent an attack more terrible than any before!

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