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Bachalo, Janson, Morales, & Townsend Join Baltimore Comic-Con 2021

Baltimore Comic Con 2021

Head to the 22nd annual Baltimore Comic-Con this October 22nd-24th at the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center! The Baltimore Comic-Con is bringing comics greats Chris Bachalo, Klaus Janson, Mark Morales, and Tim Townsend to this year’s show. Purchase your tickets now online.

Chris Bachalo is internationally recognized as one of the most popular artists in the comic industry. His body of work covers a wide spectrum of genres ranging from the critically-acclaimed SandmanShade: The Changing ManDeath: The High Cost of Living, and Batman series for DC to Marvel’s Doctor StrangeUncanny X-MenThe Amazing Spider-Man, and Generation X — the first title from Marvel that was adapted into a live action film for Fox. The short story “The Wheel” written by Sandman and American Gods writer Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris featured the Death character and was inducted into the Library of Congress in 2003. It was created as part of a tribute to 9/11. His cover work for the title Hunter, The Age of Magic for DC was included as part of a New York gallery show for the Society of Illustrators. He also teamed with Stan Lee on DC’s Just Imagine… by Stan Lee, a re-imagining the DC Universe featuring Catwoman. Chris also illustrated the cover for the Hollywood Reporter celebrating Stan’s 75th birthday. He is currently working on Marvels’ flagship title, The Amazing Spider-Man. Chris also co-created two creator-owned properties. He collaborated with previous Executive Vice President of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb on the Vertigo/DC title The Witching Hour, and co-created with Ben 10’s Joe Kelly the retro-futuristic sci-fi epic, Steampunk, published by Cliffhanger/DC. In addition to his work in comics, Chris’ artwork has graced the covers of The Hollywood Reporter and PSM (PlayStation Magazine). Other clients have included Activision, Oakley, Taco Bell, Stuff magazine, Mad Magazine, Upper Deck, Disney, Neiman Marcus, EA, and Def Jam Records. He was also commissioned to do artwork that was transformed into a 50’ X 80’ mural at the Marvel/Universal theme park in Orlando, Florida.

Klaus Janson was born in 1952 in Coburg, Germany, and came to America in 1957. As a child growing up in Connecticut, he learned how to read and write the English language almost exclusively from Lois Lane and Superman comics. Even at that early age, delusions of competence overtook him and he would cut apart the comics and paste them onto paper to construct new stories. This eventually led to the notion that drawing the stories outright and preserving the comics might be a more efficient way of approaching this medium. A valuable and life saving apprenticeship with his mentor Dick Giordano encouraged him to continue. After many summers of portfolio reviews and rejections, Marvel Comics offered a part time office job applying grey tones to the black and white horror comic reprints that were glutting the market. Two things happened that would change that: Daredevil and teaching at The School of Visual Arts. Daredevil with Frank Miller in the mid-1980s was a rare opportunity for two artists to work unconstrained by the typical expectations or oversight of corporate thinking. An anomaly for mainstream publishing, Daredevil was a struggle between artistic instinct and intellect that, at its best, resulted in that perfect balance. The other step forward was teaching at The School of Visual Arts. Klaus believes that communication is the most powerful tool human beings possess. That ability to communicate can come in many forms but at its root is called storytelling. Klaus lives in New York, where he writes, draws, inks, and colors, and teaches comics.

Please note: Klaus will be appearing Saturday only at the 2021 Baltimore Comic-Con.

A longtime comics pro, Mark Morales has worked for many companies, including Image, Dark Horse, Chaos, DC Comics, and Marvel Comics, mostly as an inker. Past projects from Mark include ThorDaredevilBatmanX-MenAvengers vs. X-MenSpider-Man/Deadpool, and Astonishing X-Men. Currently, he is working on Heroes Reborn and The High Republic from Marvel Comics.

Tim Townsend has been a regular inker at Marvel Comics for the last 28 years. Having worked on most of Marvels major titles at one time or another, he’s best known for his work with pencilers such as Joe Madureira (Uncanny X-Men), Adam Kubert (Uncanny X-Men), Frank Quitely (New X-Men), Olivier Coipel (House of M), and, most notedly, Chris Bachalo with whom he has partnered for the last 22 years on most of the X-Men and Spider-Man titles. Tim is currently working with Chris on Non-Stop Spider-Man.

Tickets that are now on sale include:

  • Weekend
  • Friday only
  • Saturday only
  • Sunday only
  • VIP
  • Creator Fan Packages

As always, children 10 and under are free with a paid adult admission!

This year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Chris Bachalo (Non-Stop Spider-Man), Marty Baumann (Disney/Pixar), John Beatty (Secret Wars), Brian Michael Bendis (Action Comics), Brett Breeding (Superman), Reilly Brown (Deadpool), Chris Campana (The Adventures of Parker Reef), Castillo Studios, Howard Chaykin (Hey Kids! Comics!), Cliff Chiang (Paper Girls), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Becky Cloonan (Dark Agnes), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Katie Cook (Nothing Special), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), Vito Delsante (Stray), Todd Dezago (Perhapanauts), Garth Ennis (The Boys, Friday and Saturday only), Trish Forstner (My Little Pony), Monica Gallagher (Assassin Roommate), Kami Garcia (Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity), Mitch Gerads (Mr. Miracle), Joe Giella (Green Lantern), Gene Ha (Mae), Scott Hanna (Icon and Rocket), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), Jamal Igle (Wrong Earth), Klaus Janson (Daredevil, Saturday only), Dave Johnson (The Good Asian), Chris Kemple (Artist Alley Comics), Tom King (Batman), Joseph Michael Linsner (Red Sonja), Howard Mackie (Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance), Bob McLeod (New Mutants), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Pop Mhan (Aquaman Annual), Frank Miller (Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Saturday only), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Mark Morales (The Next Batman: Second Son), Jerry Ordway (The Power of Shazam), Richard Pace (Second Coming), Tom Palmer (Hawkman), James Pascoe (Azrael), Andrew Pepoy (Simone & Ajax), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Sinestro: Year of the Villain), Joe Quesada (Daredevil), Andy Price (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Tom Raney (Guardians of the Galaxy), Amy Reeder (Wonder Woman: Black and Gold), Afua Richardson (Omni), Andrew Robinson (Halo), Craig Rousseau (The Perhapanauts), Alex Saviuk (Web of Spider-Man), Stuart Sayger (Army of Darkness: 1979), Doc Shaner (Strange Adventures), Louise Simonson (Power Pack), Walter Simonson (Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim), Matt Slay (Equilibrium), John K. Snyder III (Killers), Joe Staton (Dick Tracy), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Paul D. Storrie (Storm Kids: Stanley’s Ghost), Tim Townsend (Non-Stop Spider-Man), Timothy Truman (Grimjack), Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Friday and Saturday only), Robert Venditti (Hawkman), Mark Waid (Dr. Strange), Emily S. Whitten (The Underfoot), Matt Wieringo (Stargate Atlantis: Gateways), Keith Williams (Thor the Worthy), Rich Woodall (Electric Black), Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan), and Thom Zahler (Love and Capes).

Review: Heroes Return #1

Heroes Return #1

Heroes Reborn has been a bumpy ride of a story. A world where no Avengers have existed and the Squadron Supreme takes the role is interesting. How the series was executed and the specifics were a bit lacking though. The story feels like there’s chunks missing in the narrative that would make the story flow a bit better. Heroes Return #1 wraps things up as the Avengers battle the Squadron Supreme and Coulson decides to get in on the fight himself. It’s a slugfest with the addition of a thin layer of story.

Written by Jason Aaron, Heroes Return #1 wraps things us and gets us back to our regularly scheduled program. It feels like the “thank god” moment where the mistake of an arc ends and we the reader know we can move on to more interesting things. The issue has the Avengers battling the Squadron Supreme and there are individual moments that stand out. Seeing the two teams battle has its interesting aspects as we see how they match up and who does what. How the Avengers handle things is the details that keeps things somewhat engaging. But, the issue, and event, just leaves so many questions out there that aren’t even touched it’s frustrating. Maybe there’s something I missed reading?

Where Aaron’s work really stands out is the Squadron Supreme itself. These are heroes we love to hate and the interaction between Hyperion and Nighthawk is actually engaging. There’s a slight sadness as they both know the world isn’t right but “it’s their world” so they fight and fight hard.

The art by Ed McGuinness works for the issue. It’s mostly a long fight and the characters look good with designs and layouts that are interesting and help bring a pop sense about it all. With ink by Mark Morales and color by Matthew Wilson it looks nice. But, there’s not a lot that really stands out as memorable. The most being the slight moments where McGuinness delivers winks and nods to the Squadron Supreme’s DC analogs.

The most interesting thing about Heroes Return #1 is where it leaves everything. There’s some specifics with the Squadron Supreme that will potentially have a big impact going forward. There’s things with Mephisto especially that will be huge. But, overall, it’s an event that feels more like its point is to get us to that finale as opposed to really telling a solid story. As a whole, it’s an event whose concept wasn’t bad, it just didn’t know how to really execute it.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Ed McGuinness
Ink: Mark Morales Color: Matthew Wilson
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Heroes Reborn #7

Heroes Reborn #7

Heroes Reborn has been an interesting event. It’s one that has shown its potential. But, that potential has never really been reached. The narrative has taken on a different delivery with a series of one-shots and a main series that’s been split. Half of the main event comic has focused on the members of the Squadron Supreme while the second half has dipped its toes into the bigger story of a world changed. This “final” issue continues that pattern. Heroes Reborn #7 has the Squadron Supreme attempting to figure out who the Avengers are while the second gives a better idea as to who is behind everything.

Delivering an event in a style that’s almost like an anthology is absolutely something different and new. But, it also has felt like not enough. Writer Jason Aaron has juggled his two tasks and done with what he could. The comic has had to build this world with a rich past and current present while also addressing the mystery before us. The mystery aspect has felt like it’s gotten shortchanged as the series has done its best “What if Marvel did DC?”. That riff on DC has been interesting and entertaining with numerous winks and nods. But, there’s something that doesn’t completely click about it all. It’s not really DC as more Earth-3 DC as the Squadron Supreme builds up a pile of bodies and we learn more of their thirst for war and destruction.

With the main event, you’d think this issue would wrap things up. Nope, it’s extended even further with the upcoming Heroes Return. That makes this seven-issue series feel even shorter in its goals. It’s the opening chapter in what will likely be dragged out further than it needs to. The issue for Heroes Reborn interestingly doesn’t seem to be the content or concept but its execution and packaging.

The art by Aaron Kuder and Ed McGuinness is solid. The comic looks great as each brings their styles to the issue. It looks great and that’s not a problem at all. Mark Morales ads his inks to McGuinness’ pencils with Dean White and Matthew Wilson handling color with Cory Petit on lettering. Everyone looks fantastic, the locations are interesting and the moments between characters flows nicely. The issue never pops though. There’s moments that should have been memorable but it never hits the reader. It could be due to the shortened storytelling pages but the imagery never stands out as epic and memorable.

Heroes Reborn #7 like the issue before both works and doesn’t. There’s some great ideas and concepts but it never quite clicks and flows. Everything feels too short and like it’s missing that moment that really hits you. The fact that it ends as just one chapter doesn’t help matters. This is another Marvel event that doesn’t hit the mark.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Aaron Kuder, Ed McGuinness
Ink: Mark Morales Color: Dean White, Matthew Wilson Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: The Next Batman: Second Son #3

What’s the secret of Jace Fox? What’s the lawsuit that’s being hinted at? What’s his “origin”? Find out in The Next Batman: Second Son #3.

Story: John Ridley
Art: Travel Foreman
Ink: Norm Rapmund, Mark Morales
Color: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Andworld Design

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Zeus Comics

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Review: Heroes Reborn #3

Heroes Reborn #3

Continuing the rather interesting split issue format of the series, Heroes Reborn #3 is the strongest issue of the main event so far. The Marvel Universe has changed. The Avengers were never formed at the Squadron Supreme has stepped into their place. The only one who remembers the world that was is Blade who’s on a mission to find out what’s going on and fix everything. Heroes Reborn #3 begins to eliminate some of the possibilities for what’s going on while also putting the focus on Blur, the speedster member of the Squadron Supreme.

Race Through the Dread Dimension” dives into Blur. And as a standalone story, it does a hell of a job in doing everything it needs to do. Impressively, we get hints as to an origin. We also get a solid idea as to who Blur is as a person and character. The answer is, an absolute ass. Writer Jason Aaron continues to use Marvel’s creations as an examination of classic DC characters, in this case, the Flash with some others thrown in. Stanley Stewart is the classic DC speedster mixed with the arrogance of Johnny Storm. He’s a character you want to punch.

The story does an excellent job of running through who Blur is as he watches television, plays on his phone, laments he’s “too fast” to do certain things, and brags about his dating. This is an arrogant person granted massive abilities and can’t sit still. Like his introduction, the story focuses on Silver Witch as she steals his soul and he attempts to get it back while racing through the Dark Dimension.

The story works far better than previous chapters as it focuses on Blur. The story feels less like a game of “see what’s different” as opposed to focusing on Blur. We get a good sense of who he is with a minimal amount of “guest stars”. There also seems to be a real focus on giving us a twisted take on The Flash. Gorilla City is replaced by Grizzly City as an example. On its own, it’s a very enjoyable story and great introduction to the character.

Federico Vicentini provides the art which does an excellent job of capturing the motion, and lack of it. With Matt Milla on art, the look of the comic is great as it attempts to mimic what really works with The Flash. It’s solid visuals to go along with a strong narrative.

The Silent Inferno“, also written by Aaron, is the real focus on the main story. Blade is organizing his team to try to fix the world. He and Captain America recruit a new member that’s unexpected. The move eliminates one of the possible causes for what’s going on and also answers some questions in how they’ll deal with the Squadron Supreme’s heavy hitters. With art by Ed McGuinness, ink by Mark Morales, and color by Matthew Wilson, the story is an interesting chapter but feels too short. What stands out is the chapter’s ability at intrigue. I was sucked in as I wanted to see where it was going, who was the focus, and what was being said. It’s a solid entry in the greater story. But, overall, it emphasizes the issues with the event, it feels like it’s being dragged out and not focused enough on the main story.

Heroes Reborn #3 is the best release so far in the event. But, like the previous issue, at times it feels like a tie-in than the main story. But, what’s presented is really good, so there’s good and bad with the release. Overall, the event is a bit frustrating in how it’s presented and the pacing but we are at least getting some solid moments within all of the distraction.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Federico Vicentini, Ed McGuinness
Color: Matt Milla, Matthew Wilson Ink: Mark Morales
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Heroes Reborn #2

Heroes Reborn #2

Heroes Reborn #2 is an intriguing comic. The second issue in the event, the issue feels more like a tie-in than the main event. Split between two stories, it definitely delivers some insight and teases the overall story but it doesn’t feel like much of a drawn. It’s both good and bad in a way.

Invaders From the Negative Zone” focuses on Hyperion delivering a bit of an origin in some ways but more showing us more about this “hero”. Writer Jason Aaron gives us a hyper-patriotic Superman who has no problem killing and whose philosophy seems to be “might makes right”. It’s an intriguing story that gives a good sense of who we’re dealing with as Hyperion must stop a jailbreak from the Negative Zone.

Like the debut, it also feels like the more interesting aspects are the other versions of characters we know in this world. Like the debut, all of that is surface deep. It drops hints and teases of a twisted world but doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail to really become interesting. Where the issue is most important is it teases Hyperion knows something isn’t right but is willing to fight to keep things as is.

Dale Keown provides the art with Carlos Magno. Magno also handles inks with Scott Hanna and Edgar Delgado is on color. The story is full of over the top visuals emphasizing the hyper-violence that Hyperion brings to the fight. Murdering villains is not an issue. Between the visuals and the dialogue, there’s also a lack of remorse in doing so. There’s some visuals that pop with memorable moments. There’s definitely a few that’ll get readers to pause. They do a solid job of emphasizing Hyperion’s brutality.

Welcome Home, Soldier” feels more like the continuation of the first issue. It features a veteran checking in on Hyperion with a reveal as to who it is towards the end. Aaron gives a decent story that has its moments but overall is too little of a movement on the main storyline. It also features some gaps in the story forcing readers to strain a bit to pieces of the puzzle together.

Ed McGuinness handles the art with Mark Morales on ink and Matthew Wilson on color. It’s a story that has some zing to it but whose visuals feel a bit like a throwback to the 70s and 80s at times. It generally looks good but doesn’t feature the memorable moments like the opening story. While the visuals also keeps its individual a mystery, it’s not too hard to guess who it is, which makes the whole reveal lack a punch.

Heroes Reborn #2 isn’t a bad comic at all. It just doesn’t feel like the “main event”. The stories feel like either slivers of an issue’s worth of storytelling or they feel like something that’d normally be relegated to a tie-in. It’s not bad at all but like the debut, it feels a bit like a throwback in some ways. Overall, not bad and will work when read all-together, but on its own, it’s a bit of ho-hum.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Dale Keown, Carlos Magno, Ed McGuinness
Ink: Scott Hanna, Carlos Magno, Mark Morales Color: Edgar Delgado, Matthew Wilson Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Heroes Reborn #1

Heroes Reborn #1

What if Marvel was DC? That’s the vibe I got from Heroes Reborn #1, the latest Marvel “event” that has Blade awaken in a world he does not know. This is a world where the Avengers never formed and existed. Instead, the Squadron Supreme has stepped in and things have progressed differently in other ways. The result is a ho-hum start that has an interesting mystery but lacks memorable excitement.

Jason Aaron continues his Avengers run with this sidequest. Heroes Reborn #1 isn’t a bad debut but it also doesn’t quite deliver a punch. Instead, we’re guided around the world by Blade as he attempts to figure out what has happened. He’s the only one, maybe, that remembers the world isn’t right. Blade, as our guide, introduces us to the various members of the Squadron Supreme and lets us know what has happened to key Avengers members like Tony Stark, Carol Danvers, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk. We also get to meet this world’s twist on classic Marvel villains. Most just feel like riffs on the combination of characters we’ve seen so many times before. Take two characters, mash them together for a whole new thing to sell.

And that’s part of the problem with the comic. It’s entire draw is to see what’s different expecting readers to be excited that Dr. Doom is mashed with the Juggernaut. The dialogue is a bit on the cheese end of things and the various introductions don’t feel like complete stories. In fact most are not. So there’s an emptiness in a way. We’re also left pondering how Blade is getting around in this strange world as he travels to see Thor or his final stop. We just accept he’s able to.

But, in a way, Aaron has a bit of a success with the comic. It hearkens back with a retro style in its dialogue and battles. It forgoes an edgy darkness for a classic pop-superhero sensibility about it. When I read the comic, I didn’t feel like I was reading a Marvel comic. Instead, the style in dialogue and look was more akin to DC. It’s an interesting stylized choice and not too surprising based on the fact the Squadron Supreme is front and center.

There’s also a lot that does work in the comic. Blade’s confrontation with Nighthawk and Thor are solid and the teases at the end is the really “meat” of the debut issue. But, it doesn’t quite feel like enough. This feels more like a “zero” issue than a solid debut issue.

Ed McGuinness‘ art is fantastic as expected. There’s some fun imagery on the pages with interesting layouts that catch the eye. With Mark Morales on ink, Matthew Wilson on color, and lettering by Cory Petit, the art pops often. There’s some rough spots, some uninspired villain designs, but like the writing there’s a bit of a throwback to the art style and some of the panels. The art does some interesting things blending “classic” comics, the 90s, and modern comics seamlessly. Page layouts are a bit more modern. Some the character design is more 90s and 00s and some of the character stances feel much older and classic. It works in a fun sort of way.

Heroes Reborn #1 is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of what works does so really well. But, there’s also a lot that feels like clunkers. There’s a mix of styles and voices in a way and it doesn’t always blend together. Some of the comic feels like a spoof of the past. Some of the comic feels like an homage. And some of the comic feels like it’s taking itself too seriously. It’s a bit mixed as to what it wants to be. But, its mystery is one that has me wanting to come back and see what’s behind all of this and more importantly, what comes after.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Ed McGuinness
Ink: Mark Morales Color: Matthew Wilson Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Infinite Frontier #0

Infinite Frontier #0

Dark Knights: Death Metal is over and we’ve seen a possible future timeline in “Future State”. Now, DC begins to chart its path with the first crumbs teased in Infinite Frontier #0. The issue serves as a guide as to the various series and status-quo that awaits them. With a new omniverse to explore, anything is possible and the comic does its job to remind us of that.

The comic’s story is delivered in a narrative driven by two characters as our guide. It’s a spin on the classic Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Wonder Woman believes a threat is looming and wants to witness the state of things before making a major decision about her role in the DC Universe.

With Wonder Woman and Spectre as our guide, we’re taken on a tour of the characters highlighting the comics to come. The Justice League, Batman, Wonder Girl, Alan Scott, Teen Titans Academy, Superman, Green Arrow and Black Canary, Star Girl, Green Lanterns, and the Flash all get a moment to show off where things stand. All of it is good and interesting though few of what’s presented really excites. It feels like an extended teaser and preview. It takes its concept as a guidebook almost too seriously. The comic feels a bit more like the extension of the ending of Dark Knights: Death Metal where we saw many of these ideas initially teased.

Infinite Frontier #0 credits

But, what’s intriguing is what’s presented and doesn’t have a comic attached to them. Infinite Frontier #0 teases more than what’s already announced giving hope as to what we’ll see in July and beyond. There’s also teases through artwork of the various series DC teased at the recent ComicsPro. It’s interesting in that way that the stories feel less like the exciting first 15 minutes before the credits to get you pumped. Instead, the stories are a bit dry and more to lay out where things stand with the concepts thrown out being the hooks. The action isn’t the hook, the ideas are.

The art of the comic is solid. Each segment flows into the next and with a few exceptions, the styles work well together. There are some fantastic spreads with Wonder Woman as she talks to Spectre about what she’s witnessing. There’s a few panels and pages that’ll leave you lingering to stare at. The colors really pop on pages delivering a sense of energy that really fits the new status of the DC Universe.

Infinite Frontier #0 isn’t bad but it doesn’t quite excite. By the end of the issue I found myself more excited about concepts than the comics themselves. Very few of the segments left me wanting to immediately find out what happens next. Instead, it the comic feels like a short ashcan, teasing what’s to come with a few pages and back material to fill things out. It shows what’s to come but it never quite puts things over. Instead, it nails its role as a guide, a way to browse what DC has to offer.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Joëlle Jones, Tim Sheridan, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Joshua Williamson, Geoff Johns, Geoffrey Thorne
Art: David Marquez, Jorge Jimeez, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Joëlle Jones, Stephen Byrne, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Jamal Igle, Alex Maleev, Todd Nauck, Dexter Soy, Howard Porter, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson
Color: Tamra Bonvillain, Tomeu Morey, Emilio Lopez, Jordie Bellaire, Stephen Byrne, Alejandro Sanchez, Hi-Fi, Alex Sinclair, Brad Anderson
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: The Next Batman: Second Son #1

The Next Batman: Second Son #1

DC‘s Digital First series have been knocking it out of the park. The digital comics have been engaging, intriguing, and feel like they’re comics we might not otherwise see on the printed page. They give creators a new avenue for their voices to be heard and generally allowed them to do so without having to worry about continuity. The Next Batman: Second Son #1 kicks off the newest series that interestingly has some major ramifications for Batman’s pocket of the DC Universe.

Tim “Jace” Fox is the estranged son of billionaire Lucius Fox and man of mystery…what has the eldest son of one Gotham’s premiere families been up to for these ‘missing’ years and how does he find himself getting shot at in the jungles of Vietnam? The Next Batman: Second Son #1 kicks off a series that’ll have some repercussions and part of a dark future for Batman.

Writer John Ridley is absolutely brilliant. He’s known for so many thought-provoking releases, he’s a creator that I’ll read or so whatever he’s involved in. In “Future State” Ridley has driven Jace’s story and his role as the future Batman. The Next Batman: Second Son #1 gives us the pieces to that path and kicks things off with a James Bond-esque adventure.

Ridley doesn’t tell us a ton about the who or the why, instead of focuses on Jace’s abilities, actions, and personality. The opening chapter is the opening 15 minutes of a Bond film dropping our hero into the middle of the action without explanation. We just accept the direction and the cool and overlook what we don’t know. It’s a ride that sets the tone. By the end of the issue we get a good sense of who Jace is and what we should expect as far as the character going forward. It plants the flag as to who our protagonist is.

The art by Tony Akins, with breakdowns by Ryan Benjamin, is interesting. There’s such a fantastic sense of action in the comic that really feels like a solid Bond adventure. Mark Morales provides inks, with Rex Lokus on color, and lettering by Deron Bennett. It all comes together for a sense of cool but subtle visual details let us know that Jace is still learning. There’s one glaring issue for me in the final two panels of the digital comic as Jace returns to his apartment and finds a visitor. The panels should be flipped going Jace then visitor not visitor then Jace. That might have been an issue with my digital copy but it’s something that stands out taking the wind out of the up to that point excellent ride.

The Next Batman: Second Son #1 is an intriguing series as it looks to have some major implications for the print comics of Batman. It’s a digital series that’s going to be a “major player” and one to keep one’s eye on. Luckily, it’ll eventually make it’s way to print but this is one you won’t want spoiled for you.

Story: John Ridley Art: Tony Akins Breakdowns: Ryan Benjamin
Ink: Mark Morales Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.75 Art: 7.95 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Preview: The Next Batman: Second Son #1

The Next Batman: Second Son #1

Written by John Ridley
Pencils Tony Akins
Inks Mark Morales
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Doug Braithwaite
Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Meet Tim “Jace” Fox, estranged son of billionaire Lucius Fox and man of mystery…what has the eldest son of one Gotham’s premiere families been up to for these ‘missing’ years and how does he find himself getting shot at in the jungles of Vietnam? Learn these answers and many more as the story of the SECOND SON begins!

The Next Batman: Second Son #1
Almost American
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