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Preview: Detective Comics #1043

Detective Comics #1043

Written by: Matthew Rosenberg, Mariko Tamaki
Art by: Darick Robertson, Dan Mora

Fear State grips Gotham City! When Mayor Nakano’s city hall office finds itself under siege, the only hero who can help the embattled local official is the man Nakano pledged to rid from Gotham: Batman. The top vigilante in the city must protect the man who’s fought so hard to put an end to masked heroes in an action-packed car chase that culminates in a shocking ending that’ll give readers nightmares.

Backup: Wait, how did Red Hood end up in Deb Donovan’s apartment? And what the hell gives him the right to eat all her frosted cereal? As Gotham’s troubled son and the city’s toughest reporter set out to uncover the mystery of the missing A-Day corpses, they run into more answers than they bargained for culminating in a deadly shoot out that renders Red Hood down for the count! Can Deb Donovan make it out alive to tell the tale of her harrowing adventure? And what will Red Hood’s capture mean for the Bat-Family? It all leads to next month’s terrifying new chapter in Gotham history: TASK FORCE Z!

Detective Comics #1043

Preview: Detective Comics #1042

Detective Comics #1042

Written by: Matthew Rosenberg, Mariko Tamaki
Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic

Batman rampages through the underworld of Gotham! Driven to a violent madness courtesy of the Jury’s “Vile” serum, the Dark Knight crushes bones, makes a scene, and gives costumed vigilantes in Gotham a very bad name. But will the Jury’s plan backfire? Can a violent rage-machine packed with money, weapons, and an insatiable bloodlust possibly end well for Mr. Worth and his Jury? That giant plunge from a building might be the answer… Backup: Countdown to Task Force Z: Part Two! When Red Hood shows up in your apartment, you know you’ve done something drastically wrong. Jason Todd teams up with Deb Donovan to uncover the mysterious disappearances in Gotham, and their search brings them to the missing body of Bane! Look alive because death seems to be knocking at the door…

Detective Comics #1042

Preview: Detective Comics #1041

Detective Comics #1041

Written by: Matthew Rosenberg, Mariko Tamaki
Art by: Darick Robertson, Dan Mora

As Gotham’s Dark Knight of vengeance, Batman is seen by many (mostly criminals, let’s be honest) as judge and executioner of the city’s vilest villains. Well, it’s time for him to meet the Jury! In a last-ditch effort to avenge his daughter’s death, Mr. Worth has teamed with the Penguin’s criminal empire, the Party Crashers gang, and the Falcone crime family to form the kind of villain team-up that would leave a Boy Wonder sweating in his booties. Backup: Countdown to Task Force Z: Part One! Deb Donovan is on the trail of some weird happenings in Gotham…missing bodies from the morgue…tales of shady criminal activity the likes of which Gotham has never seen…and the person trying to keep her quiet is…Batman?

Detective Comics #1041

Preview: Crush & Lobo #3

Crush & Lobo #3

Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Art by: Amancay Nahuelpan

What’s a girl supposed to say when she finally comes face to face with her murderous father in space prison? Crush better hurry up and figure it out, because all Lobo wants to talk about is…his feelings? Gross! But maybe the Main Man really did change his stripes. Maybe group therapy with the other inmates really worked. Maybe this isn’t all just some elaborate ploy Crush hasn’t quite figured out yet- Aw, c’mon. You’re not actually buying this therapy crap, are you?

Crush & Lobo #3

Review: Crush and Lobo #3

“I’m gonna kill you. If you don’t beat me to it.“- “Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers

Crush and Lobo #3 is the middle chapter of a relationship drama writ cartoonishly and cosmically large from Mariko Tamaki, Amancay Nahuelpan, and Tamra Bonvillain. In this issue, Crush arrives at a space prison and meets with Lobo aka Inmate 2981 for Parents’ Day swapping stories with a preying mantis alien, who has witnessed many acts of head eating. Their encounter starts okay, but like most things featuring the Main Man, it goes off the rail quickly. After two issues of mainly Crush (Who is an icon by the way.), we get to be spend more time with Lobo in Crush and Lobo #3, and Tamaki and Nahuelpan toy around with reader expectations by having him extol the virtues of therapy. (It’s mandatory, or you get lobotomized.)

Although Crush and Lobo #3 has the sarcastic asides and action-filled mayhem that Mariko Tamaki and Amancay Nahuelpan excel at, this issue begins a little slower and digs into the annoyance of a parent, who says they’ll improve your relationship, but keeps backsliding. Lobo wants to rebuild his relationship with Crush and even invites her to see a robot therapist at his prison to “break the cycle”, but, of course, he has ulterior motives. As evidenced in her mainstream comics work (See this week’s I Am Not Starfire for an extremely recent example.), Tamaki isn’t afraid to play around with the traditional versions of characters. But Lobo is very allergic to change: his existence basically predicates being a loud, brash chaotic son of a bitch. Mariko Tamaki walks a thin line between deconstructing Lobo and playing him utterly straight milking a lot of comedy out of his active listening to the aforementioned mantis alien. Nahuelpan’s art is almost deadpan, and Bonvillain has a palette suitable for a low lit space prison with little pops of color for the orange jumpsuits and aliens. It’s all to lure readers into a false sense of security, but the series is halfway through and is screaming for a big Lobo moment.

However, as befitting her top billing in the title, Crush, not Lobo, gets the big action sequence in Crush and Lobo #3 as Amancay Nahuelpan gets to cut loose after pages of talking heads. (He draws some fun background squabbles during Crush and Lobo’s heart to heart.) He slices and dices the page, and Tamra Bonvillain adds blues and blacks as Crush springs into combat against the prison guards, who are attacking her no apparent reason and also calling her “little girl”. This is something that Crush hates being called, and she goes berserk. I love this little moment because it gives Crush a strong motivation for her actions instead of “Oh, it’s been a few pages, let’s have a fight scene.”. Tamaki and Nahuelpan continue to portray her as utterly competent and utterly screwed as she is swarmed by more and more security guards and only figures out what the audience knows until too late. If the first issue’s breakup with Katie was rock bottom, Crush and Lobo #3 ends in a more precarious situation. Lobo is walking tall and practically begging to be drawn by Simon Bisley as he walks away from a drama-filled situation chewing on a grenade pin.

Because the focus is more on Crush and Lobo’s relationship, this issue only features one Katie flashback, and it’s when Crush missed meeting her parents. The scene is a little over a page, and Amancay Nahuelpan draws Katie and her parents in a more photorealistic style to show the difference between her normal life and Crush’s superhero/antihero shenanigans. It also shows that Crush is more comfortable doing something that she is good at (i.e. kicking ass) than having an emotionally vulnerable conversation, which is a thread that flows through Crush and Lobo #3. Until overwhelmed by sheer numbers, Crush holds her own against her opponents. You can’t say the same about her angst-filled chat with a Lobo, who is talking more like Bojack Horseman than the Main Man thanks his group therapy sessions.

Crush and Lobo #3 finally gets the two leads of the series in the same room together, and Mariko Tamaki and Amancay Nahuelpan give the two Czarnians wonderful chemistry before blowing it all to hell. The space prison is a fun setting, and this issue has plenty of humor and fisticuffs to go with the attempts at heart-to-hearts

Story: Mariko Tamaki Art: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain Letters: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Crush & Lobo #3

Crush & Lobo #3

Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Art by: Amancay Nahuelpan

What’s a girl supposed to say when she finally comes face to face with her murderous father in space prison? Crush better hurry up and figure it out, because all Lobo wants to talk about is…his feelings? Gross! But maybe the Main Man really did change his stripes. Maybe group therapy with the other inmates really worked. Maybe this isn’t all just some elaborate ploy Crush hasn’t quite figured out yet- Aw, c’mon. You’re not actually buying this therapy crap, are you?

Crush & Lobo #3

Preview: Wonder Woman: Black & Gold #2

Wonder Woman: Black & Gold #2

Written by: Rachel Smythe, Stephanie Williams, Tillie Walden, Che Grayson, Mariko Tamaki
Art by: Rachel Smythe, Ashley A. Woods, Tillie Walden, Corin Howell, Jamie McKelvie

This new, visually stunning, and all-star-packed celebration of Wonder Woman continues! Some of comics’ greatest storytellers present five beautifully bombastic tales that take Diana all over the DC Universe. First stop…the very depths of hell! Both friend and foe come along for the ride of a lifetime with guest appearances by Steve Trevor, Nubia, and the First Born. The issue concludes with a journey to a place never seen before-Wonder Woman’s dreams-as the celebration of her 80th anniversary continues!

Wonder Woman: Black & Gold #2

Preview: Detective Comics #1040

Detective Comics #1040

Story: Dan Watters, Mariko Tamaki
Art: Max Raynor, Dan Mora

When the cops brought Bruce Wayne in for questioning last month, a giant money-man with a bazooka and a mustache for days blew the place up. So what’s that mean for Gotham’s ex-favorite son? Well, it means Bruce Wayne has to spend a weekend in lockup! Can Batman’s alter ego go the weekend without getting stabbed? (I suppose to be fair, he’s stabbed on the reg as Batman anyway…) PLUS: A major Batman villain meets his death in a story that will rock the world of Gotham City in a monstrous way! Do not miss: The Night Was Killed by Dan Watters and Kyle Hotz!

Detective Comics #1040

Preview: Batman Secret Files: Huntress #1

Batman Secret Files: Huntress #1

Story: Mariko Tamaki
Art: David Lapham

Huntress returns in an all-new one-shot adventure! Gotham’s Violet Vengeance lived through a lot in the last few weeks…including her brain being invaded by a violent parasite bent on sending her on a deadly slugfest bender. Not fun, amiright? Well, Helena Bertinelli is no one to mess with and when the villainous Vile’s parasite gives her the ability to see through the eyes of his victims? You best believe she’s gonna track him down and pop an arrow in that slimeball. Look out, Batman, Huntress is on the prowl…

Batman Secret Files: Huntress #1

Preview: Detective Comics #1039

Detective Comics #1039

Written by: T. Rex, Mariko Tamaki
Art by: T. Rex, Viktor Bogdanovic

Looks like someone brought a batarang to a bazooka fight! As the explosive battle royal between Batman and Mr. Worth roars to a climax, Huntress is on the trail of the other major threat plaguing Gotham City: violence parasite Vile! By the end of this battle, one character will be dead, one avenged, and even more holding on for dear life! Do not miss this epic issue that leads directly into the Batman Secret Files: Huntress special! PLUS: In The Vile Truth, catch a glimpse into the secret origin of Detective Comics break-out villain Vile through the lens of writer/artist Tristan Jones!

Detective Comics #1039
Almost American
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