Tag Archives: marv wolfman

Preview: Cyborg #22

Cyborg #22

(W) Mary Wolfman (A/CA) Sam Lotfi
In Shops: May 02, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“My name is Nijiro Jin, born of flesh and blood, but now encased in steel. I have become N-Jin, who seeks to discard the final traces of frail humanity to become Mekkan-X, the Man-God who will soon wield the power infinite.”

“All that stands in my way is the construct they call Cyborg. It is for that reason alone that he must regretfully die.”

Introducing Mekkan-X, born in the waning days of the 19th century, who has targeted for destruction not only the Robo Dojo school of giant robot makers, but Vic Stone as well.

Preview: Raven: Daughter of Darkness #4

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #4

(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Pop Mhan (CA) Yanick Paquette
In Shops: Apr 25, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The super-powered experimental progeny of 2MorrowTek have awakened and broken free of their corporate masters – and their next target is Raven! And she must die, or Trigon’s forces will capture her to learn how to enable Trigon to have another… daughter of darkness!

Review: Action Comics #1000 Captures Superman’s Inspirational Power

In Action Comics #1000, an all-star team of writers, artists, and colorists try and for the most part succeed at getting to the heart of Superman. Some stories touch on different eras of history from his time in the 1930s as a non-flying, slumlord buster and the Mort Weisinger Silver Age sci-fi kookiness to classic comics like Kingdom Come. Others look at his relationships with his parents, wife/co-worker Lois Lane, and his arch-nemesis Lex Luthor. One story even looks far in the future of the DC Universe while another acts as a semi-controversial prologue to Brian Michael Bendis’ upcoming Man of Steel miniseries and his runs on Action Comics and Superman.

To give each story the attention it needs, I will do a short review of each one and score it at the end of the paragraph. A final aggregated score  will conclude this (hopefully not that long) “80 page giant” review.

Action Comics #1000 opens with one hell of a curtain call from writer/penciler Dan Jurgens, inker Norm Rapmund, and colorist Hi-Fi that acts as a victory lap for Jurgens’ DC Rebirth run on Action Comics and his tireless work turning Superman from the edgy, armor wearing New 52 version to his classic role as a heroic hope bringer and a family man too. The story is simple. Metropolis is holding a Superman celebration day, but Superman doesn’t want their praise and adulation and wants to keep saving the day. However, through a little trickery from Lois and the Justice League, he ends up getting his moment in the sun. Jurgens’ writing cuts to the core of Superman and his positivity with a small-time Metropolis criminal named Benning talking about how he got him a job after prison so he wouldn’t keep relapsing and running with different supervillains. His art is a little old school, but that’s not a bad thing, and Rapmund’s inking helps make the crowd shots sharp in a story that shows Superman’s bond with the citizens of Metropolis and the superhero community while not neglecting the family elements that have been a big part of the Rebirth era of Superman. There really wouldn’t be a superhero genre without him.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.8

The next story “Neverending Battle” from the Superman creative team of Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Alejandro Sanchez is a tiny bit philosophical, somewhat historical, and definitely epic as a story only done in full page spreads. It’s about Vandal Savage weaponizing Hypertime to trap Superman in his own history so he can’t get back to Jon and Lois to celebrate his birthday. Tomasi’s writing is a little corny at times with adages like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “History repeats itself”, but Gleason and Sanchez’s glorious visuals and the through-line of Superman consistently overcoming great odds wins out just like Superman over Vandal Savage. The first spreads are the most iconic with Golden Age Era Superman punching out gangsters, stopping locomotives, and throwing tanks around with Tomasi commentating on the simplistic, good vs. evil nature of these early stories. But he and Gleason aren’t afraid to get vulnerable with a poignant homage to the scene in The Dark Knight Returns where Superman is weakened after stopping a nuclear explosion that blocks out the sun or a page where he’s trapped in the Phantom Zone. However, despite cunning and powerful enemies and occasionally death itself, nothing will stop Superman from being a hero or spending time with his loved ones on his birthday. Gleason has a strong handle on the moral clarity and goodness behind Superman’s strength and I look forward to his upcoming work as the main Action Comics artist.

Story: 8.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.3

The third story “An Enemy Within” with a script from Marv Wolfman, Butch Guice and Kurt Schaffenberger inking over recently discovered Curt Swan, and colors by Hi-Fi straddles a thin line between optimism and naivete and definitely falls on the naive side. Superman is too busy fighting Brainiac in Japan so he relies on Maggie Sawyer and the Metropolis PD to take out a mind controlled teacher, who is holding his students hostage. There is an opportunity to address social issues, like school shooting, gun control, police violence, and even homelessness in a scene towards the end, but Wolfman, Swan, and Guice gloss over these issues with a simplistic “humanity is good and will save themselves” mantra and use the mind control plot device to cover their asses. Honestly, your enjoyment of this story will depend on how much you believe in the idea of original sin or your tolerance level for after school specials. Guice’s inks bring an interesting grit to Swan’s usually clean, bright pencils, and honestly, the best part of the story is a solemn Superman pinup at the end inked by the late Schaffenberger.

Story: 4.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 5.5

Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Olivier Coipel, and Alejandro Sanchez turn in a stoic, 1930s era Superman story about a small time crook named Butch who gets his car beat up when trying to fight Superman. It’s probably the car from the cover of Action Comics #1. Johns and Donner’s take on Superman is a little rougher and little more stern, but he has a solid moral compass and cares for humanity as shown by his empathy towards Butch, who lost his dad in combat during World War I. Coipel’s art is wonderfully rough hewn and is like Norman Rockwell’s work without the sentimentality, and he even plays the “It’s a bird, it’s a plane…” line for sardonic, silent comedy. His Superman commands the page and is someone who you would listen to and definitely take seriously. He doesn’t smile either. But the ending of “The Car” has an earned happiness and is a little spark of light in a cynical world. Johns and Donner really get that heroism is about the little things and not flying the world backwards or time travel shenanigans.

Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.8

Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Dave McCaig tell a quiet, yet time spanning story about the relationship between Superman and Lex Luthor, and how Superman chooses to see the good even in his worst enemy. The story starts intense with shadow wreathed art and dark colors from Albuquerque and McCaig as Luthor has assembled some powerful MacGuffins to take out Superman. But he’s actually just star gazing at the Smallville Planetarium? Albuquerque’s art is sharper and sadder after that with a nostalgic orange palette from McCaig as Lex tells Superman that the planetarium was an escape from bad weather and his abusive parents. They seamlessly blend past and present as it’s revealed that a young Clark Kent gave Lex’s space laser a little boost and saved his life. Snyder uses this anecdote/flashback sequence to hold out hope for a time when “maybe” the cycle of hero and villain will be broken between Superman and Lex Luthor as the story fades to black.

Story: 9.6 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.7

Tom King makes a case for winning back to back Eisners for Best Short Story in his, Clay Mann, and Jordie Bellaire’s contribution to Action #1000, “Of Tomorrow”. It’s a tone poem about Superman’s last day on Earth as he says goodbye to Ma and Pa Kent one last time as the Earth is engulfed in the sun with flames and winds that are reminiscent of the last days of Krypton. King writes Superman as an old man wrestling with his past and legacy, wishing he could save more people, and being supremely proud of his wife and son. And it gets deep at the end when he reflects on his father’s blend of science and faith. Mann captures each tiny, beautiful moment in his artwork as he makes art with his strength, tears, and freeze breath: a frozen statuette of Jonathan and Martha Kent like the one of Jor-El and Lara-El in the Fortress of Solitude. Bellaire goes for Earth tones in her colors as Superman immerses himself in his adopted planet before flying off forever. He loves his parents, he loves Earth, but he realizes that all planets die and all story ends. (Except for his comic book for now.)

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Two veteran comics creators Louise Simonson and Jerry Ordway show they still have a lot in the tank in their “Five Minutes” story with colorist Dave McCaig that expertly intertwines Superman’s life as a superhero and Clark Kent’s life as a journalist in five minutes. Simonson’s narration shows that both Clark and Superman’s “powers” come in handy in different situation as Superman is able to dart from a train accident to a hold up and finally to save the city from an asteroid just like Clark is able to write a story and get it in under deadline. It’s a quick, zippy read with a lot of heart and a kind of cheesy “twist” ending, but Simonson and Ordway show how much passion Superman/Clark Kent has for both saving people and reporting. He is precise, efficient, and knows when to fly to next crisis just like a writer juggling different projects. Plus there’s a Bibbo Bibbowski cameo, which will be a treat for Superman fans of the 80s and 90s.

Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.3

Paul Dini, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Kevin Nowlan, and Trish Mulvihill turn in a cheeky homage to Superman’s history, Garcia-Lopez’s ability to skillfully render almost every DC Comics hero and villain, and most of all, Mr. Mxyzptlk. Mxyzptlk has the ability to wipe out Superman from the existence in the blink of an eye, but he’s more of a prankster than a coldblooded villain and enjoys toying with him instead. Dini, Garcia-Lopez, and Nowlan also provide a little meta-commentary on how stories involving superheroes in comics never seem to end even after they’re killed off or have passed their mantle to sidekicks or legacy heroes. Probably, because they’re too much fun. This story’s kryptonite is Dini indulging his sleazy side towards the end, but the energy and humanity of Garcia-Lopez’s figures and Mulvihill’s heroic colors more than make up for it.

Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0

In a much darker story than the previous one, “Faster than a Speeding Bullet” happens in a very short span of time as Superman tries to stop a domestic abuser from shooting his girlfriend, Lila, in the head. Artist John Cassaday tells the story in a series of freeze frames as you can see the strain of Superman flying to stop the bullet, and the red, yellow, and blue of Laura Martin’s colors as his chances increase. Brad Meltzer starts incredibly dark in his script with Superman running calculations in his head that he won’t be able to save Lila and ends with Superman admitting that he is inspired by humanity as much as they are inspired by him. “Faster than a Speeding Bullet” is a taut, mini-thriller that also captures Superman’s essence and the strength of his and the people he inspire’s resolves.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

The final story in Action Comics #1000 is Brian Michael Bendis’ DC debut with Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair doing the art. Lee and Williams definitely put the “action” in Action Comics, and most of the story is a third act of Man of Steel fight sequence with collateral damage galore as new giant sword wielding alien conqueror villain Rogol Zaar crashes all over Metropolis and tries to kill the last two Kryptonians on Earth. Yes, Supergirl has a cameo in this comic and is there to get her ass kicked as much as Superman. Bendis’ writing is quippy as ever and doesn’t really pair well with the disaster movie feel of Lee and Williams’ art. He seems to be going for an “Avengers Disassembled” type of throughline in his approach to Superman by physically breaking him down and also taking shots at his past. Yes, the final page of Action Comics #1000 is a huge retcon for Superman’s character, and hopefully, Bendis has the reasoning and great story to back it up, or Rogol Zaar might just be a Mongul knock-off with a cooler sword.

Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0

 

Story: Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi, Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Louise Simonson, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Brian Michael Bendis  Art: Dan Jurgens with Norm Rapmund, Patrick Gleason, Curt Swan with Butch Guice and Kurt Schaffenberger, Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Clay Mann, Jerry Ordway, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez with Kevin Nowlan, John Cassaday, Jim Lee with Scott Williams  Colors:  Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Dave McCaig, Jordie Bellaire, Trish Mulvihill, Laura Martin, Alex Sinclair
Story: 8.2 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Action Comics #1000

Celebrate 1000 issues of Action Comics with an all-star lineup of top talent as they pay tribute to the comic that started it all! From today’s explosive action to a previously unpublished tale illustrated by the legendary Curt Swan to the Man of Tomorrow’s future-this very special, oversized issue presents the best of the best in Superman stories!

Action Comics #1000 feels like an end, a beginning, and a celebration of a landmark moment, one thousand issues and almost 80 years of Superman. The issue is full of some top notch talent with numerous stories of varied style and quality. All of it though is entertaining in some way.

The issue opens up with writer Dan Jurgens‘ finale to his latest run with “From the City That Has Everything.” It’s clear from his latest run (and all his Superman material) that he loves the character and this story which features art by Jurgens, ink by Norm Rapmund, color from Hi-Fi and letters by Rob Leigh, is that recognition as Metropolis honors the Man of Steel. It’s a cheesy story but one that is so in a way that a speech from someone honoring someone else might be. Touching and a fine way for Jurgens to wrap up his run.

The second story is a really cool one that weaves a story out of what is essentially pin-ups. It’s a great way to include such a thing in a comic without it just being images. I hope we see more of this and the art is from a who’s who of creators. It involves Superman going through time and gives a way for artists to take advantage to take us readers through Superman’s history, some of his key moments, and different artistic styles we’ve seen. It’s an utterly brilliant story and presentation and a highlight of the celebration.

Marv Wolfman and Curt Swan team up for “An Enemy Within” which feels like a bit of a retro story in both pacing and art. While not bad it’s an interesting reminder of how much storytelling has changed over the years. I don’t want to give too much away but the story has some nice twists involving a hostage situation.

“The Game” sees Superman and Lex Luthor match wits in a game of chess. Paul Levitz and Neal Adams team up for the story and it’s interesting and one you can probably debate about the deeper meaning. It’d be nice to see this story in a longer form as there’s a lot to work but with just a few pages we don’t get a lot of depth, just fun twists that feel like they’re from the 80s and an homage to an Adams classic moment.

Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, and Olivier Coipel come together for “The Car” which has a criminal recounting how his car was destroyed by a mysterious flying man. The art is fantastic and I think some of my favorite work by Coipel who seems to be channeling Frank Quitely. It’s such a simple story but one that really digs into what makes Superman super.

“The Fifth Season” sees Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque come together as Superman and Lex Luthor come together in Smallvill. It’s an interesting story that again explores the relationship of the two characters. Particularly it focuses on Luthor being oblivious to the good that Superman does that he doesn’t acknowledge or is even aware of. It’s another story that can be debated as far as its deeper meaning and themes.

“Of Tomorrow” is Tom King, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, and John Workman having Superman revisit Earth one last time before it’s consumed by the sun. It’s a reminder of the loss of the character and a deeply touching entry.

Louise Simonson and Jerry Ordway come together for “Five Minutes” which reminds us that Superman has a few jobs, hero and reporter (as well as husband and father). It’s a fun story that plays on the speed of the character and that how he can some times mess up one job due to the other. A funny ending that gave me a chuckle.

“Actionland!” has Paul Dini and José Luis García-Lopez focus on our favorite imp who has it out for Superman. It’s the odd story of the bunch with the focus on the villain but is a reminder that like Superman, some of them have infinite power that they hold back due to… something.

Writer Brad Meltzer and artist John Cassaday honor Christopher Reeve with “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” that has Superman racing to prevent a gun going off and killing a woman. It’s a fantastic story and I had no idea how it’d resolve. Again though, it’s a reminder of some of the things that makes Superman great and boils the character down to his goodness and how he inspires and is inspired.

“The Truth” is Brian Michael Bendis‘ DC debut with art by Jim Lee and what is supposed to lead into the miniseries The Man of Steel which kicks off Bendis’ run. Out of all of the stories, this is the low point of the issue honestly. Maybe it’s the hype but there’s a new baddie who’s out to kill Kryptonians and while Metropolis is getting destroy two civilians are focused on Superman’s underwear? It’s very Bendis and while funny, especially with Lee on art, it doesn’t quite work and honestly lowered my excitement for what he has coming.

There’s a lot packed in here and something for everyone. No matter the era of your enjoyment there’s a story that fits it and this is really a comic that has an amazing amount of talent. It’s truly a celebration of such an iconic character and for the celebration alone it’s a purchase. At times, comics like this are a let down, but this is the exception with every story entertaining in some way and a few that shine. It’s the rare oversized celebration comic that lives up to the occasion.

Story: Dan Jurgens, Peter J. Tomasi, Marv Wolfman, Paul Levitz, Neal Adams, Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Louise Simonson, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Dan Jurgens, Patrick Gleason, Curt Swan, Neal Adams, Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Clay Mann, Jerry Ordway, José Luis García-Lopez, John Cassaday, Jim Lee
Ink: Norm Rapmund, Butch Guice, Kurt Schaffenberger, Kevin Nowlan, Scott Williams
Color: Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Dave McGaig, Jordie Bellaire, Trish Mulvihill, Laura Martin, Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh, Tom Napolitano, Dave Sharpe, Nick Napolitano, John Workman, Carlos M. Mangual, Josh Reed, Chris Euopoulos, Cory Petit
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Cyborg #21

Cyborg #21

Story: Marv Wolfman
Art: Tom Derenick, Scott Kolins
Color: Wil Quintana
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover Art: Dale Eaglesham, Ivan Nunes
Variant Cover: Carlos D’Anda, Luis Guerrero
Group Editor: Jim Chadwick
Editor: Harvey Richards
In Shops: Apr 04, 2018
SRP: $3.99

In the DC Universe, Cyborg is the most technical advanced being on the planet-or so we thought. Introducing Mother Box 2.0: Robo-Dojo! Unlike Cyborg, these robots are piloted by the government’s best, brightest, and most loyal soldiers. Super Heroes just got a major upgrade produced, developed and financed by S.T.A.R. Labs.

Preview: Raven: Daughter of Darkness #3

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #3

(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Pop Mhan (CA) Yanick Paquette
In Shops: Mar 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Raven, struggling to stop Baron Winters, falls victim to his power and finds herself trapped in 1906 San Francisco in the middle of the great earthquake.

Preview: Raven: Daughter of Darkness #2

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #2

Story: Marv Wolfman Art: Pop Mhan Cover: Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn
Color: Lovern Kindzierski Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Group Editor: Marie Javins Assistant Editor: Michael McCalister Faceless Adversary: Joey Cavalieri
In Shops: Feb 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Trigon attacks! Raven must defend herself from her own father! The balance between good and evil is upset, and Baron Winters predicts Raven will die! Is she beyond the help of the Night Force?

Lost Siegel And Shuster Superman Story To Be Published in New Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman Hardcover Book

A new hardcover book, Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman, is being published by DC Entertainment as part of its celebration of the one-thousandth issue of Action Comics—the longest continually published comic book of its kind in history, the series that introduced Superman to the world and the title that launched the superhero genre. The collection features a series of essays and iconic Superman stories edited by former DC Publisher Paul Levitz. Most notably, the book includes a never before published 12-page story from original Superman writer Jerry Siegel with art by the Joe Shuster Studio titled “Too Many Heroes.”

The 384-page hardcover book will cost $29.99 and hit store shelves on April 19. Highlights and key Superman stories in this collection include:

  • A new cover by legendary artist and DC Publisher Jim Lee
  • Text pieces including: an editor’s note by Paul Levitz, a tribute to Action Comics by Laura Siegel Larson (daughter of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel), an introduction by Jules Feiffer, plus essays by Tom DeHaven (“It’s Superman!”), David Hajdu (“The Ten-Cent Plague”), Larry Tye (“Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero”) and Gene Luen Yang (Superman, New Super-Man and the National Book Award finalist “American Born Chinese”)
  • “The Coming of Superman,” from Action Comics #1, written by Jerry Siegel with art by Joe Shuster
  • “Revolution in San Monte,” from Action Comics #2, written by Jerry Siegel with art by Joe Shuster
  • “The Terrible Toyman!,” from Action Comics #64, written by Don Cameron with art by Ed Dobrotka and George Roussos, featuring the debut of Toyman
  • “The Super-Key to Fort Superman,” from Action Comics #241, written by Jerry Coleman with art by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye, featuring the first appearance of the Fortress of Solitude
  • “The Super-Duel in Space,” from Action Comics #242, written by Otto Binder with art by Al Plastino, featuring the debut of Brainiac
  • “The Supergirl from Krypton!,” from Action Comics #252, written by Otto Binder with art by Al Plastino, featuring the debut of Supergirl
  • “The World’s Greatest Heroine!,” from Action Comics #285, written by Jerry Siegel with art by Jim Mooney
  • “The Superman Super-Spectacular!,” from Action Comics #309, written by Edmond Hamilton with art by Curt Swan and George Klein, featuring an appearance by President John F. Kennedy
  • “Superman Takes a Wife,” from Action Comics #484, written by Cary Bates with art by Curt Swan and Joe Giella
  • “If Superman Didn’t Exist…” from Action Comics #554, written by Marv Wolfman with art by Gil Kane
  • “The Game,” a new original story written by Paul Levitz with art by Neal Adams
  • “Squatter,” from Action Comics #584, written by John Byrne with art by Byrne and Dick Giordano
  • “Ma Kent’s Photo Album,” from Action Comics #655, written by Roger Stern with art by Kerry Gammill and Dennis Janke
  • “Secrets in the Night,” from Action Comics #662, written by Roger Stern with art by Bob McLeod
  • “A Hero’s Journey,” from Action Comics #800, written by Joe Kelly with art by Pasqual Ferry, Duncan Rouleau, Lee Bermejo and others
  • “The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape,” from Action Comics #0, written by Grant Morrison with art by Ben Oliver
  • “The Mystery of the Freight Train Robberies,” from Action Comics #1, written by Fred Guardineer with art by Guardineer, featuring the debut of Zatara
  • “The Origin of the Vigilante,” from Action Comics #42, written by Mort Weisinger with art by Mort Meskin, featuring the debut of the Vigilante
  • “The Assassin-Express Contract!,” from Action Comics #419, written by Len Wein with art by Carmine Infantino and Dick Giordano, featuring the debut of the Human Target

Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman is just part of DC’s Superman celebration, with the seminal Action Comics #1000 also released in April and a series of Superman-themed variant covers and even more to come.

Preview: Teen Titans #16

Teen Titans #16

(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Tom Derenick, Trevor Scott (CA) Sami Basri, Jessica Kholinne
RATED T
In Shops: Jan 24, 2018
SRP: $3.99

An unseen villain has taken over the citizens of San Francisco with one target in mind…Starfire! Can Kory and her teammates figure out a cure for the masses before they lose control of their minds and bodies forever? Find out in this one-shot epic written by comics legend Marv Wolfman!

Preview: Raven: Daughter of Darkness #1

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #1

(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Pop Mhan (CA) Yanick Paquette
RATED T
In Shops: Jan 24, 2018
SRP: $3.99

In this all-new miniseries, Raven faces a new, otherworldly menace that is all too grounded in reality. Plus, Raven’s personal life is in an uproar as her mother and aunt struggle for the soul of a Titan! It’s up to Baron Winters of the Night Force to intercede on her behalf as she embarks on the adventure called “The Girls With the Anime Eyes”!

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