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Preview: Batman #115

Batman #115

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan, James Tynion IV
Art by: Bengal, Jorge Corona, Jorge Jimenez

Batman and Miracle Molly are all that stands between Gotham City and absolute insanity! But an unhinged Simon Saint brings all the resources of the Magistrate to bear on the Dark Knight…is victory at hand for the Scarecrow? Back-Up: Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown have each other’s backs no matter what-even if it means punching some Magistrate soldier butt, and putting an even bigger target on their backs. Meanwhile, a mysterious Anti-Oracle character finally makes contact directly with Babs and has a few things to say about the unethical nature of Oracle’s powers, and what they think should be done about it.

Batman #115

Preview: Wonder Woman #780

Wonder Woman #780

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Steve Pugh, Travis G. Moore

After the events of Death Metal, Diana finally makes it back from her unforgettable odyssey through the Sphere of the Gods! Has the world moved on without her? This special oversize story paves the way to an exciting new future for the greatest hero of them all!

Wonder Woman #780

Preview: Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Written by: Jordie Bellaire, Amy Reeder, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad
Art by: José L. García López, Amy Reeder, Paulina Ganucheau, Jim Cheung

Put on your tiaras and prepare your indestructible bracelets! DC is inviting you to join us for a one-of-a-kind special showcasing Wonder Woman’s past, present, and future to celebrate the legacy she has created and those she will continue to inspire with her adventures for years to come. This oversize super spectacular features work from some of the very best in the comic industry along with bright young stars ready to share the spotlight with Diana. You won’t want to miss these new stories that capture timeless messages of hope and empowerment presented together in this gorgeous keepsake issue!

Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Preview: Wonder Woman #779

Wonder Woman #779

Written by: Jordie Bellaire, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Paulina Ganucheau, Travis G. Moore

All good things must end! Janus’s murderous rampage through the Multiverse leads Diana and her allies to a place in between worlds where Wonder Woman will come face to face with her darkest fear…a future without her in it! Plus, in our tale set years ago, Princess Diana’s quest for truth comes to a thrilling conclusion!

Wonder Woman #779

Preview: Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Michael Avon Oeming

The big finish to the adventure starting all the way back in the conclusion of Future State: Superman: Worlds of War. Midnighter traveled into the future to help get himself out of a jam, only to swap places with his future self. Now, the Midnighter from the future finds himself trapped in a paradox, working his way back to his onetime present to swap places again. Don’t worry if you’re confused-so is he! The key to this whole thing is Andrej Trojan, the nefarious industrialist who tried using Superman’s mission on Warworld to his own end. Midnighter has been carrying Trojan’s robotic skull with him, hunting for the 2021 iteration of the man, and shutting his whole company down before any of this trouble even starts. Finishing the serial, which runs in the back of Action Comics, this time-travel escapade also leads into Superman and the Authority!

Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Review: Midnighter Annual 2021

Midnighter Annual

After a series of short backups in Action Comics, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Michael Avon Oeming, and Taki Soma get to wrap up their time travel/action movie/love story/techno-thriller/body horror saga in Midnighter Annual. It’s a good time and Midnighter, Apollo, and Shilo Norman aka Mister Miracle have throuple-like chemistry as they escape from various explosions, killer robots, and try to figure out the mechanics of the whole time loop deal and make sure organic life isn’t extinct while cracking jokes and having heart to hearts. However, Oeming and Soma’s very un-house style-like art and colors are what make this arc such a great read.

Visually, Midnighter Annual isn’t a DC Comic nor a Wildstorm comic: it’s a Michael Oeming and Taki Soma comic. Their power-packed style with a side of flat colors and slight psychedelic elements is front and center in the book from the first action sequence where Midnighter, Apollo, and Shilo fight off Andrej Trojan’s drones/cultists and remember that Midnighter can teleport anywhere. (He didn’t do this in previous issues because it led to Shilo’s death in multiple timelines.) Oeming’s gift for cartooning brings out the different personalities of the lead characters. This ranges from Apollo casually using his godlike abilities to protect the man he loves to Midnighter relishing in each goon he takes out and Shilo stressing out and quipping like standup comic having an anxiety attack to deal with how out of his depth he is. Although their faces (Except for Apollo and Trojan) are hidden by masks, Michael Avon Oeming makes their faces super expressive in his signature style.

Plus Midnighter always perceiving himself wearing a mask (Until the end when we get in true paradox mode.) is the perfect for his visual. It reminds me of a Steve Orlando interview from 2015 where he talks about Midnighter only knows fighting and doesn’t know basic stuff like if he likes the taste of bagels or going to the movies. To get the job done and break the time loop, Midnighter must compartmentalize, and there’s no time for opening up or sharing your feelings even with the man who loves him most, Apollo. Midnighter and Apollo share many embraces and sweet moments across this double-sized comic, but Midnighter never lets him in on the secret that Trojan is literally in his head until nearly the end of the issue. Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad make fun of this with cheeky, innuendo-laden dialogue about threesomes, but you can tell in Oeming’s art and use of negative space that this lack of disclosure has created a rift between this iconic power couple.

However, Apollo isn’t just an all-powerful foil for Midnighter in Midnighter Annual. He gets to have his own personality and reactions to situations including a triple dose of pettiness and being over it all. When Andrej Trojan’s chief scientist releases sarin gas to take out Midnighter and company, Apollo shields them from the poison and backhands his henchmen like he’s swatting flies. Even though he is full of emotional depth, Apollo is basically a god in this comic as Midnighter alludes to a pinpoint line of dialogue from Cloonan and Conrad. He can make gold sparks come out of his hands, and Taki Soma uses a brighter color palette whenever he jumps into action. Part of what Midnighter and Apollo a great couple is their love, passion, and chemistry despite their differences in personality, and Midnighter Annual definitely doesn’t shy away from those.

I think that this is the part of the review where I have to confess that I’m not the biggest fan of time travel-driven stories. However, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, and Michael Avon Oeming through dialogue and visuals show that they’re more focused on Midnighter’s journey than the nitty gritty of time travel mechanics a la a much weirder (and less incestuous) Back to the Future. In a chilling scene with dark background colors and a nine panel grid layout from Oeming, Midnighter is offered a release from the stress of time loops and stopping the world’s extinction from Trojan, but that would be a total cop out for a guy who was beating baddies to death with a hammer a few issues of Action Comics ago. Between juggling multiple timelines, taking a copious amount of notes, and doing strange things to protect Shilo and Apollo, you know he’s not going to take the easy way out and leans into that complexity.

Even though it’s a non-stop action thrill ride with a garish color palette from Taki Soma and uniquely kinetic art from Michael Avon Oeming that’s an argument against house styles, Midnighter Annual is another installment in the beautiful love story between Midnighter and Apollo, but with some very trippy obstacles. Add in the everyman vibe of Shilo Norman plus the sense of humor in Conrad and Cloonan’s script, and this is is the flashy conclusion to this Midnighter arc that his fans deserve while cementing Andrej Trojan as a memorable member of his rogues gallery as he tries to avoid the thing that closes all of our loops, er, lives aka death.

Story: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan Art: Michael Avon Oeming
Colors: Taki Soma Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 7.9 Art: 9.0 Overall:8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics TFAW

Preview: Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Michael Avon Oeming

The big finish to the adventure starting all the way back in the conclusion of Future State: Superman: Worlds of War. Midnighter traveled into the future to help get himself out of a jam, only to swap places with his future self. Now, the Midnighter from the future finds himself trapped in a paradox, working his way back to his onetime present to swap places again. Don’t worry if you’re confused-so is he! The key to this whole thing is Andrej Trojan, the nefarious industrialist who tried using Superman’s mission on Warworld to his own end. Midnighter has been carrying Trojan’s robotic skull with him, hunting for the 2021 iteration of the man, and shutting his whole company down before any of this trouble even starts. Finishing the serial, which runs in the back of Action Comics, this time-travel escapade also leads into Superman and the Authority!

Midnighter 2021 Annual #1

Preview: Wonder Woman #778

Wonder Woman #778

Written by: Jordie Bellaire, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Paulina Ganucheau, Travis G. Moore

Hot on the trail of Janus, Diana and her allies embark on a whirlwind adventure through the entire map of the Multiverse! Phantom Zone, Fifth Dimension, and Gemworld…oh my! Like the future, Janus’s path through space and time is unpredictable. Will Wonder Woman ever catch her? Or could this be the end of everything as we know it?! The tale behind Paradise Island’s creation continues as Hippolyta’s greatest regret is revealed. Can Diana forgive her mother for the past? And what does this revelation mean for the future of the Amazons?

Wonder Woman #778

Preview: Action Comics #1034

Action Comics #1034

Written by: Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Christian Duce, Michael Avon Oeming

The Warzoons make their way to the doorstep of the Fortress of Solitude and only Lois Lane and the alien girl Thao-La are there to defend it. That’s because Superman is halfway around the world trying to stop the U.S. from declaring war on Atlantis. The Man of Steel must make a tough choice, and odds are, no one walks away happy. Elsewhere in Metropolis, Midnighter moves closer to the center of Trojan’s empire in the penultimate chapter of his back-up adventure. The story finishes later this month with the Midnighter 2021 Annual.

Action Comics #1034

Preview: Wonder Woman #777

Wonder Woman #777

Written by: Jordie Bellaire, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Paulina Ganucheau, Emanuela Lupacchino

Wonder Woman learns the hard way that fairies are never to be trusted when her promised trip home takes a sharp left turn in the Multiverse! Welcome to Earth-11, headquarters of the Justice Guild. In this alternate version of Diana’s Earth, the Amazons of Themyscira imposed their law on the entire world, and the course of history was changed forever! Sounds like a dream afterlife for our hero, but Janus has somehow managed to poison this paradise. Dane of Elysium, a.k.a. Wonder Man, is on a violent rampage, and it’s now up to Wonder Woman to bring him in and clear her name! Back on Earth-0, Young Diana learns the real story behind the creation of Paradise Island and the price paid for freedom. Will she ever trust the elders again? Or are the lies too much for the princess to handle?

Wonder Woman #777
Almost American
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