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Review: Suicide Squad #2

Suicide Squad #2

I loved the debut of this latest volume of Suicide Squad. The issue did a great job of doing its own thing but also tying into what else was going on in the DC Universe. The debut issue involved Peacemaker leading a team to break out William Cobb, aka Talon, from Arkham Asylum. For those who read Batman, you’ll know there was an attack that killed most of Arkham’s inhabitants. Peacemaker and the team found themselves caught in that attack. Suicide Squad #2 keeps things moving as Peacemaker is determined to complete his mission.

Robbie Thompson keeps readers on their toes with Peacemaker focused and overwhelmed. He’s dealing with inmates and guards as he attempts to get his target back to base. There’s a solid action aspect to it but Thompson also does something interesting, you have no idea if Peacemaker will succeed. In the first issue, much of the team were killed. That opening now keeps readers on their toes not knowing who might be offed next. This is a first, I really feel like this is a team that might not make it. Beyond Peacemaker and Superboy, who knows who might die. Thompson keeps things rolling as a new team is sent to help Peacemaker in his mission.

Suicide Squad #2 is solid in that it begins the steps towards the team we see in its Future State issues. It also throws in characters both known and obscure and any can die. But, what it really does is gives us a team where there’s more than team vs. Waller. With the inclusions of Peacemaker and Superboy we have two powerhouses who are going to clash. Peacemaker sees Waller as a method to achieve his goals. Superboy is the reluctant member who wants to do things his way and keep the death toll low. Then there’s a whole bunch of other varied personalities. It’s a solid team and dynamic that’s really entertaining.

Eduardo Pansica‘s art is fantastic. There’s just fantastic action that delivers on every page and looks great. The characters are so varied yet it still looks like they belong together. Julio Ferreira‘s ink, Marcelo Maiolo‘s color and Wes Abbott‘s lettering just adds to the experience. The color and inks make the images pop at times and really takes what easily could be a dark comic but lightens it up in a way. The lettering too just adds to each character’s personality.

Suicide Squad #2 is a solid issue. It’s full of action and sets up the team dynamic well. There’s also the fact that bodies keep piling up. This is a series that you shouldn’t get too attached to characters. They’re going to die. Beyond a few specifics, everyone is on the table as far as that. This is a comic that’s just full of action and personalities with some dynamic art that brings it all together. A fantastic second issue that builds on the excitement of the first.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Eduardo Pansica
Ink: Julio Ferreira Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Children of the Atom #1

Children of the Atom #1

After a lot of anticipation and some head-scratching, Children of the Atom #1 is here and it’s not quite what’s expected. The story revolves around a teenage group of heroes whose looks and powers seem close to classic X-Men. But, while this starts off as “Junior X-Men”, the end delivers an unexpected twist.

Written by Vita Ayala, there’s been a lot of mystery behind Children of the Atom #1. That surface focus feels like it’s helped the series creating expectations that are off. This isn’t New X-Men the New Class, it’s something different. Ayala introduces us to Cherub, Marvel Guy, Cyclops-Lass, Gimmick, and Daycrawler, the group of heroes at the center of the story. We’re thrown into battle with them, quickly learning their powers and personalities. And, for the most part, the debut issue feels like a weird riff on the X-Men. Like bad toy knock-offs, the characters remind us of the originals but are a bit off.

Ayala, brings it all together though. These are kids who know the X-Men and idolize them in some ways, so of course they’re going to riff on them with their looks and even names. Why their powers are similar is generally unknown and part of the mystery.

But Ayala doesn’t leave it just focused on the kids. She brings in a moral debate to the story as well. With underage heroes “outlawed” and little training, there’s a debate if there’s a moral imperative to bring them to Krakoa to train. Jena Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, and Storm debate the various positions as to what to do and what they should do. It’s an interesting discussion that frames things in ways that makes the comic more than young heroes trying to figure things out. It also questions what’s the role of Krakoa towards new mutants not on the island.

Bernard Chang handles the art are generally nails it. Marcelo Maiolo handles the color with Travis Lanham on lettering and Tom Muller on design. The comic looks great with the character designs top notch. There are some issues during the battle where some of the action isn’t as clear with too much being covered. It took me re-reading those pages a few times to make it clearer as to what was going on. The comic has a nice youthful energy about it that fits its young cast and you can feel some of the emotional ups and downs of the comic through the art.

Children of the Atom #1 is a solid debut that’s not quite what’s expected. While it might seem like “Junior X-Men”, there’s something else going on that’s not clear as of yet. It delivers a bit of mystery in what originally seemed like a pretty straightforward adventure.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Bernard Chang
Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Travis Lanham Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.05 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Nocterra Lights Up Stores with a Sell-Out

No other release on shelves could hold a candle to Wednesday’s mania for Nocterra #1 by award-winning, bestselling writer Scott Snyder and bestselling writer and artist Tony S. Daniel. The highly anticipated debut issue sold out instantly at the distributor level and ignited a reorder firestorm prompting Image Comics to rush the Nocterra #1 back to print.

This second printing will feature new cover artwork by Daniel with colors by Marcelo Maiolo.

Ten years after the world is plunged into an everlasting night that turns all living creatures into monstrous shades, the only way to survive is to stay close to artificial light. Here Nocterra introduces Valentina “Val” Riggs, a skilled ferryman who transports people and goods along deadly unlit roads with her heavily illuminated eighteen wheeler.

The shaded world of Nocterra was first introduced through the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign which ran in October 2020 and offered backers a stab at highly collectable editions of Nocterra content including special prints, a hardcover, and behind-the-scenes process work. The campaign wrapped with hundreds of thousands raised by supporters ready and eager for the story proper to begin.

Nocterra #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN219075) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 31.

Nocterra #1 Glow in the Dark variant (Diamond Code JAN210020) will also be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 17.

Read our review of the first issue.

Nocterra #1, second printing

Review: Suicide Squad #1

Suicide Squad #1

With a new film on the horizon, it’s not surprising that the Suicide Squad will be a pretty key role in DC’s plans. Suicide Squad #1 delivers a new start for the team with Amanda Waller back in charge. The issue lays out her new vision and mission for a new team as the Squad attempts to break out a new member of the team from Arkham Asylum.

Writer Robbie Thompson delivers an issue that’s full of action and nails down Waller as a character. She has a mission. She has a vision. And both are just to her no matter what we might think as readers. Thompson also shakes things up delivering pushback to that mission and vision in unexpected ways. But, the bigger thing Thompson does is keep readers on their toes. There’s a body count in the issue and many of those are unexpected. Beyond Peacemaker, who will be in the new film and is getting his own spin-off television show, everyone is apparently on the table for be killed. Thompson makes that clear which makes the series interesting going forward. As long as the cast sticks to C and D-list characters, expect more bodies as characters get offed.

The art is fantastic delivering the action. Eduardo Pansica‘s pencils, Julio Ferreira‘s ink, Marcelo Maiolo‘s colors, and Wes Abbott‘s lettering is top notch. The page flip and panel placement is used really well. Both are used to either shock or show how off-kilter things are. All the while delivering the violence you’d expect from the team. The perspectives at time are fantastic as team members are killed or left behind to die. There’s just a great sense of motion, both physical and storywise.

Suicide Squad #1 also does a solid job of tying into the Batman story in Infinite Frontier #0. The issues shown in Arkham Asylum extend here showing off some of the interconnectedness we might see in the DC Universe and shined in the Batman corner of “Future State”.

Suicide Squad #1 is a solid start with a very intriguing team. Amanda Waller is back in charge and is on a mission. She doesn’t care who is killed to make that happen. Without major names, this feels like a series that anything really can happen and will keep readers on their toes to see who gets offed and how. A really solid (re)start to the series that delivers action and intrigue.

Story: Robbie Thompson Art: Eduardo Pansica
Ink: Julio Ferreira Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Justice League #1 is an interesting comic. There’s a lot to like about it. But, there’s also a lot to be frustrated by as well. There’s two stories and each has their strengths and weaknesses.

Joshua Williamson handles the writing duties for the first story focused on the Justice League of the future. With a new Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, The Flash, Aquawoman, and Wonder Woman, the comic gives us familiar characters but new takes. It also delivers an interesting new status quo in some ways.

In Future State: Justice League #1, the Legion of Doom has been murdered leaving the Justice League to figure out who did it. Roles aren’t quite as straightforward as one might expect changing up some of the expectations for the team. There’s also a new dynamic in that this is a team that doesn’t know each other’s identities. We’re told of some major events in the past that has lead to that but it doesn’t hamper the story. There are some hints as to what has happened but it doesn’t linger in the details. We’re absolutely left wanting more but it’s not the focus brought up over and over.

Instead, Williamson focuses on the lasting reverberations of the past and how they impact this new team. There’s a discussion if these heroes should be hampered by the ghosts of the past. That’s really interesting and I wish there was more of it. Sadly, it’s all cut short as the real villains are revealed. A group I have no connection to so I was left shrugging my shoulders.

The art by Robson Rocha is fantastic. Daniel Henriques is on ink, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. is on color, and Tom Napolitano on lettering. There’s solid page layouts and the design and look of the characters are great. The comic had me looking at the art and pages to check out the details and dissect the look of the comic. It just looks really good and has a good pacing despite much of the comic is standing around and chatting.

The comic also features a Justice League Dark story, “Prophéties“. It’s written by Ram V., with art by Marcio Takara, color by Marcelo Maiolo, and lettering by Rob Leigh. Here we’re given a different future where magic users are under attack. It’s a wasteland post-apocalyptic world where instead of a lot of what we’ve seen elsewhere, this one is more sword and sorcery. Zatanna and Bobo are attempting to figure out what has happened as they also do what they can to survive. Merlin has returned taking the magic and hunting down users and murdering them.

It’s an interesting story that has a nice blending of settings. Where it goes and what’s revealed has me wanting to find out more and see what’s next. But, it also feels like a story arc that’s a bit of a filler between bigger arcs. It’s not bad, it doesn’t quite hit the mark with its big moments.

Future State: Justice League #1 is an ok comic. It’s not bad. It’s also not exciting enough. Both stories have their moments and interesting aspects. But, the Justice League characters are a bit more interesting in their own “Future State” series. The Justice League Dark story packs a lot in but misses that punch to really make it exciting. This is one for those who really want to see more of these characters or worlds.

Story: Joshua Williamson, Ram V. Art: Robson Rocha, Marcio Takara
Ink: Daniel Henriques Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Future State: Green Lantern #1

Future State: Green Lantern #1

Future State has been delivering a fascinating look at possible futures of the DC Universe. While some have provided pretty smooth transitions, others have left too many questions. The world these comics exist in themselves are a distraction. Future State: Green Lantern #1 is one of those issues. In this future, the Green Lantern battery appears to be no more, and the Lanterns a shell of what they were. Why? Who knows. But, it’s a question that’ll be in the back of your head while you read the comic.

Geoffrey Thorne delivers an interesting story of a siege and last stand. John Stewart is leading a band of Lanterns as they protect a planet under siege. Their goal is to get survivors off the planet and slow the tide of attack. Coming out so soon after the events of January 6, it’s an odd comic as it’s hard to read it and not think of the officers who stood against the attacking crowds.

Thorne gives us a valiant issue. Future State: Green Lantern #1 presents the Lanterns as heroes who put their own lives on the line even when the odds are against them. There’s no fancy rings to wield, it’s just guns and swords to hold off the evil they face. And, some give their lives in doing so. Thorne delivers emotion and trauma as the odds diminish and you’re left not knowing if Stewart and team will walk away.

I sort of like Tom Raney’s art. With color by Mike Atiyeh and lettering by Andworld Design, it’s more of a personal thing for me. There’s a slight cartoonish style to the comic that doesn’t quite click for me. But there’s some great moments and I really like the design of the characters. Raney gives us the emotional hits and a good look at Stewart’s reactions. But, the art doesn’t quite click with the drama. As a sci-fi comic, the style works really well but here it doesn’t nail the emotional moments.

The comic features a second tale, “The Taking of Sector 0123“. Written by Ryan Cady with art by Sami Basri, colors by Hi-Fi, and lettering by Dave Sharpe, it’s a solid story featuring Jessica Cruz. Some of Sinestro’s Yellow Lantern Corp have headed to a Green Lantern station with an intention of taking it over. All that’s left to stop them is Cruz without her power ring. What takes place is a story we’ve seen many times before. It’s Die Hard and numerous other films of that sort but it works. It works really well. That ending though! It’s the strongest of the three stories within.

The third story, “Book of Guy“, is really humorous as Guy Gardner is stuck on a world after his Ring’s power gives out. Written by Ernie Altabacker with art by Clayton Henry, color by Marcelo Maiolo, and lettering by Steve Wands, the story is entertaining and cute, a solid back-up story. It’s funny and definitely had me laughing by the end.

Future State: Green Lantern #1 isn’t a bad issue at all but it dances the history of the DC Universe up to this point. It’s hard to not keep wondering what problem hit the Green Lanterns. Why are things like the way they are. It left me wanting to learn about that more than what was presented. That’s good in a way but also a bit frustrating as well.

Story: Geoffrey Thorne, Ryan Cady, Ernie Altabacker Art: Tom Raney, Sami Basri, Clayton Henry
Color: Mike Atiyeh, Hi-Fi, Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Andworld Design, Dave Sharpe, Steve Wands
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Discover the destiny of the DC Universe in Future State: Justice League #1 on January 12!

Welcome to DC Future State, a two-month extravaganza that reveals what lies in store for the World’s Greatest Heroes! Spinning out of the finale of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 (on sale January 5), DC Future State will take you on a journey from the near future to the end of time to witness the destinies of heroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, the Teen Titans, and so many more.

In Future State: Justice League #1witness the start of a new era for the Justice League starring Jonathan Kent as Superman, Yara Flor as Wonder Woman, Jo Mullein as Green Lantern, Andy Curry as Aquawoman, a new Flash—Jess Chambers—from the Multiverse, and [REDACTED] as Batman! Together, they protect the future, yet apart, their identities are secret even from one another—but why? When their greatest adversaries wind up murdered in an abandoned Hall of Justice, all clues point to…the Justice League! The new team’s adventures begin here!

And in a new tale of the Justice League Dark, a witch hunt across the DC Universe begins as magic users are harvested and executed—and the team is on the run! Zatanna and Detective Chimp (now possessed by Etrigan) must round up new and old teammates, including John Constantine, Ragman, and Madame Xanadu. Their mission? To battle the power-mad Crow King, Merlin, before his plans for magical domination destroy the fabric of reality. But where is Dr. Fate? And what led the team to disband in the first place? Discover the truth here!

Future State: Justice League #1 (of 2), written by Joshua Williamson with art by Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Tom Napolitano, including Future State: Justice League Dark #1 by Ram V., Marcio Takara, Marcelo Maiolo, and Rob Leigh, featuring a cover by Dan Mora and a card stock variant cover by Kael Ngu, hits shelves January 12.

Find out About the Children of the Atom in January 2021

The mystery surrounding Children of the Atom will finally be answered when the previously announced series by writer Vita Ayala and artist Bernard Chang debuts this January. As the latest title to explore the new era of mutantkind following Jonathan Hickman’s House of X, Children of the Atom will introduce a brand-new team of young X-Men characters. Inspired by their favorite mutants, these gifted youngsters will keep both the X-Men and fans guessing about who they are and where they came from. More than just mere sidekicks, the cast of Children of the Atom will have a major impact on the world of the X-Men when they burst onto the scene next year!

Children of the Atom #1 is written by Ayala with art by Chang, colors by Marcelo Maiolo, and a cover by R.B. Silva and Jesus Arburtov.

Discover the mystery for yourself when Children of the Atom #1 hits stands in January!

CHILDREN OF THE ATOM #1

Exclusive Preview: Animosity #28

Animosity #28

Writer: MARGUERITE BENNETT
Artist: ELTON THOMASI
Colorist: ROB SCHWAGER
Letterer: TAYLOR ESPOSITO
Cover: RAFAEL DE LATORRE w/MARCELO MAIOLO

In the aftermath of the fever-plague in the New Holy Texan Empire, Sandor and Jesse flee across the desert to rest, and face the truth at last. From creator/writer Marguerite Bennett (INSEXTS, DC Comics Bombshells, Batwoman) with artwork by Elton Thomasi.

Animosity #28

ComiXology has New Flash and Harlequin Romance Manga Digital Comics for You Today

ComiXology currently has seven new comics you can get now digitally. New today is The Flash: Fastest Man Alive from DC Comics, a few Harlequin manga, and more. Check out what’s available at your fingertips below.

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #5

Written by Gail Simone
Pencils Clayton Henry
Inks Clayton Henry
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
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It’s a race through all of time as the Flash tries to get the upper hand against Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash!  Thawne is faster and more ruthless than Barry, but if Barry can stay just a step ahead of him, maybe the Flash can stop his terrible reign. Will time be on the Scarlet Speedster’s side?!

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #5

Bound To The Sicilian’S Bed

Written by Sharon Kendrick
Art by Keiko Okamoto
Purchase

Nicole, a simple cleaning lady, married billionaire Rocco, but despite their modern-day Cinderella story, their marriage did not last long. After Nicole’s miscarriage, Rocco’s attitude toward her suddenly changed and he began neglecting her for work, so she left. Years later, Rocco tracks her down to work out the terms of their divorce.

Rocco demands they make a public appearance as a couple to seal one of his business deals before going through with the divorce. Nicole accepts the terms, not knowing their little act would rekindle an unwanted passion…

Bound To The Sicilian'S Bed

Diamond In The Rough

Written by Diana Palmer
Art by Kaoru Ohash
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For struggling Sassy, John, who’s just moved to her small town, is like a real-life Prince Charming. Not only does he help her out as she works hard at a small feed store, he also rescues her when she’s attacked by her menacing manager. With a sick mother and a young sister to support, Sassy has no time for love. But she can’t stop her feelings for handsome, reliable John. Little does she know that he’s really a famous billionaire from a world that’s completely beyond her reach…

Diamond In The Rough

Her Forgotten Lover’s Heir

Written by Annie West
Art by Ikuko Koda
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After being injured from a run-in with a purse snatcher, Molly wakes up in a hospital bed with amnesia. A breathtakingly gorgeous man watches over her with a concerned expression. He introduces himself as her husband, Pietro, and says that Molly is pregnant with his child! While her memories are still missing, Molly lives a privileged life in his penthouse. However, her unease only grows. If they really are married, then why does Pietro sleep in a different room? When she discovers the reason, Pietro’s reaction leaves Molly at a loss for words…

Her Forgotten Lover's Heir

Long-Lost Wife?

Written by Barbara Faith
Art by Takako Hashimoto
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Annabel wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory after a cruiser explosion! A strange man is sitting by her bedside and tells her, “My name is Luis Miguel, and I’m your husband.” Although she isn’t sure if he’s really her husband, she leaves the hospital with him and joins him on his boat. Despite her misgivings, Annabel can’t deny the growing attraction she feels for him during their voyage!

Long-Lost Wife?

Merger By Matrimony

Written by Cathy Williams
Art by Erio Hori
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When Destiny suddenly inherits everything from her uncle, she leaves her home in the Panama jungle and heads to the big city of London. There she meets Callum, a man trying to purchase her uncle’s company. He’s handsome, but pushy. Callum invites her out to a nice dinner, but his arrogance and worldliness leave her on edge. Destiny knows she’s not as alluring as a woman from the city and she’s always been told she’s too tall. So why, then, does he act like he’s into her?

Merger by Matrimony

The Ordinary Princess

Written by Liz Fielding
Art by Keiko Okamoto
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Laura is a reporter whose drive to help those in need keeps causing her to miss her scoops. With her job on the line, she goes after a big story, looking for a scandal about Xander, the crown prince of Montorino! Luckily, she manages to slip into his official residence and approach him. But her nature once again gets in the way and spoils her plan…
The next day, as Laura sulks in dejection, who should appear at her doorstep but Prince Xander!

The Ordinary Princess

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