Raven: Daughter of Darkness #10
Written by: Marv Wolfman
Art by: Pop Mhan
Cover by: Ashley Witter
U.S. Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: November 28, 2018
Baron Winters has assembled the new Night Force, and the reluctant Raven is in its ranks! But the Shadow-Riders have immediately drawn first blood—one of the team has been slain at their hands!
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #9 (of 12)
(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Pop Mhan (CA) Julian Totino Tedesco
In Shops: Oct 24, 2018
The hunt for the young arcanes gathers steam! Before they can bond as a team and find their strengths, Raven and Baron Winters’ new, young Night Force may be ground to dust under the hooves of the Shadow-Riders!
Welcome back to Around the DC Universe, Graphic Policy’s regular examination of the best and worst content on DC Entertainment’s premier streaming service.
For the next few weeks DC Universe will be expanding their selection of issues from the original run of The New Teen Titans (1980) by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in the lead up to the premier of the Titans TV series (the first episode drops October 12th). DC is being cagey about how long issues will remain on the service so my recommendation is to read them as soon as possible because they are really good. Wolfman’s writing, while somewhat dated, holds up better than any of his contemporaries (with the possible exception of Chris Claremont) and Perez’s art improves with every issue reaching towards the pinnacle of his artistic achievement. It’s one of the best books of its era and a masterclass in the form that today’s creators can still draw upon for inspiration. Of particular note is issue #8 (“A Day in the Life”) a nice character piece that fleshes out the series three original creations (Starfire, Cyborg and Raven) and brings them closer to the characters we’ve come to know and love.
Movies and TV
Last week I warned you away from Superman: Doomsday and now I am happy to report that this year’s The Death of Superman is a much more successful adaptation of the original source material (which is still available to read). I love how the creators tied the escalation of the Lois and Clark romance into the fight between Superman and Doomsday. When Lois tells Clark that she loves him for the first time right before he sacrifices himself to save her and Metropolis I was moved to tears. The buildup to the climactic battle is great and the fight itself is even more epic than the one captured in the comics due to better staging and the fact that they used a much more iconic Justice League to really drive home how much of a threat Doomsday really was. The funeral sequence feels a little protracted but it is a nice coda and serves to really whet the appetite for Reign of the Supermen set to be released next year.
I know I’m a bit late to the party here but with the long awaited third season promised to drop soon I decided that it was past time to catch up on Young Justice. I really enjoy how they handle the broader DC Universe, pulling in odd little deep cuts here and there. They are fun easter eggs if you’re familiar with what’s being referenced but not completely confusing if you don’t. If I have one criticism it’s that in the early episodes they tend to focus on obscure D-list villains in favor of more potent antagonists but this problem seems to be resolving about half way through the series with appearances by Lex Luthor, Ras Al Ghul and the Joker.
Green Arrow is a really difficult character to get right. Thus far the best presentation I’ve seen is The CW’s Arrow but Kevin Smith’s 2000 comic book run is a close second. In Quiver, Oliver Queen returns from the dead with amnesia. He believes that he’s just back from some hard travel with his friend Green Lantern Hal Jordan but years have passed and the world has changed. Regardless of what you may think of his movies Smith knows how to write comics well: his sense of action is flawless and his dialog pithy and on point. Phil Hester’s art is hit or miss for me but his simple sense of style works well here and is a nice complement to Smith’s wordplay. I can’t unequivocally recommend this book since there is some non-explicit sexual situations involving a young girl that some might find triggering (especially given recent events) and a supporting character who is pretending to be a fairly cringeworthy trope but if these are not deal breakers for you the storytelling is of a quality that it is worth reading. Available on DC Universe in Green Arrow (2000-) #1-10.
If you are looking for something a bit more modern there are several arcs available from Geoff Johns’ 2007 Action Comics run with Superman director Richard Donner. In Escape From Bizarro World (with artist Eric Powell) Superman must save Pa Kent from his imperfect clone and a planet full of his offspring (including a Bizarro Justice League). Braniac (with artist Gary Frank) tells the story of the first true confrontation between Superman and one of his arch foes, the evil alien mastermind from the planet Colu. While Johns’ brand of decompressed storytelling isn’t for everyone, this is a case where it works fairly well. It’s an interesting run as the writers seem to be intent on adding elements of both the pre-Crisis comics continuity and the Christopher Reeve Superman films into the stripped-down framework previously established by John Byrne in his 1987 reboot. These stories actually read better taken outside the context of the character’s broader continuity adrift as they are adrift between major periods of the Superman canon. The tone of Braniac may also feel familiar to those who are following Mark Andreyko and Kevin Maguire’s current run on Supergirl making for interesting comparisons between the two. Available on DC Universe in Action Comics (1938-) #855-857 and #866-870.
At New York Comic Con 2018, DC Comics publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee hosted a “Meet the Publishers” panel to kick off the show. There was lots of news including the launch of DC Primal Age. DiDio made reference to a recent interview on DC Daily where he talked about finding some old sketches and designs for a 1980s-era comic and toy line called Primal Age. With an announcement by Funko of a new retro-style barbarian fantasy-themed action figure line called DC Primal Age, Dan had to confess that the interview he did was part of a larger stunt and there was never a comic planned.
However, the joke was on Dan when DC writing icon Marv Wolfman took the stage. Wolfman spoke with Dan and Jim about his plans to write a comic book based on this new line of toys by Funko, with art provided by Scott Koblish. Titled DC Primal Age, Wolfman revealed initial details about his story, explaining the mythos behind the toy line and how it will be rooted in the sword and sorcery genre, reminiscent of DC comics like Warlord and Hercules Unbound. In addition, the DC Primal Age comic will also include several short stories featuring DC characters rendered in the style of Funko’s new action figure line.
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #8
(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Pop Mhan (CA) Cully Hamner
In Shops: Sep 26, 2018
The mystical manhunters known only as the Shadow Riders want the young arcanes surrounding Raven for their next prey. And they are all too successful: one of them dies! Introducing…the beginning of a brand-new Night Force.
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #7
(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Pop Mhan (CA) Philip Tan
In Shops: Aug 22, 2018
A band of mysterious assassins have the supernatural heroes of the DC Universe in their crosshairs! Who is behind it? Baron Winters recruits a very reluctant Raven to find out…and to stop them! But can he convince her to join his all-new Night Force?
Titan Comics and Blizzard Entertainment have announced an all-new comic book series set in the universe of the critically acclaimed and genre-defining action role-playing game series Diablo.
Written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by Piotr Kowalski, Diablo will launch with a four-part miniseries in 2018. The comics will follow a group of zealous scholars and crusaders as they discover the true origins of humanity. Will their faith survive these shocking revelations?
Set in the dark and demon-infested world of Sanctuary, the Diablo game series invites players to face down the infernal hordes of the Burning Hells—and rewards them for their efforts with piles and piles of epic loot. Diablo III, the current installment, set a record for fastest-selling PC game, with over 3.5 million copies sold in the first day of its release, and more than 30 million sold to date. Diablo III is available for Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One platforms.
Character sketches by Piotr Kowalski
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #6
(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Pop Mhan (CA) Guillem March
In Shops: Jun 27, 2018
Are Raven and her mother, Arella, truly dead? Can Baron Winters do nothing but watch helplessly as Trigon wins at last?
(W) Mary Wolfman (A/CA) Dale Eaglesham
In Shops: Jun 06, 2018
With a covert spy leading Cyborg and his Giant Robots away from their secure base, the formerly secret location of Chikushu Island is revealed and the Dojo is attacked and destroyed. The only hope Cyborg has to regenerate his downed Giant Robots will also rob him of his own powers… which is exactly what Mekkan-X intends.
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #5
(W) Marv Wolfman (A) Pop Mhan (CA) Yanick Paquette
In Shops: May 30, 2018
Raven and her mother, Arella, have been captured…and now they are being used to open a portal to bring Trigon to Earth, with the intention of spawning an army of perfect warriors!