Tag Archives: miguel mendonca

Preview: Batman #134

Batman #134

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Mike Hawthorne, Miguel Mendonca
In Shops: Apr 04, 2023
SRP: $4.99

It’s all-out war as only Batman stands between Red Mask and a Gotham City full of bodies! How much is the Dark Knight willing to sacrifice to save this city?

Batman #134

Batman #134 continues a frustrating arc

Batman #134

It’s all-out war as only Batman stands between Red Mask and a Gotham City full of bodies! How much is the Dark Knight willing to sacrifice to save this city? Batman #134 has Batman confronting the Red Mask and revealing who it is underneath! And… it’s rather underwhelming.

Written Chip Zdarksy, the latest story, “The Bat-Man of Gotham” has been a step back in quality and definitely not up to the quality we’ve seen from Zdarsky in the past. Bruce is in another world where Gotham is ruled by the Red Mask who uses individuals for experiments and rules through terror. There’s so much potential hinted and teased but at every moment, it feels like the comic has played things safe, not pushing the story far enough or delivering any surprises.

Red Mask is exactly who you think it is. The reason for everything is rather thin. Where things go, we’ve seen it before. It’s an odd story that feels… off. Make the Red Mask someone unexpected! Make the reason something intriguing that can come back in the future! Make the villains Batman faces more than just versions we know with Venom. None of it really challenges the readers and it all feels like things we’ve seen before.

The visuals can be interesting at times. Mike Hawthorne has the look of the world down which feels like Gotham but something slightly different. It isn’t quite steampunk/dieselpunk but it feels like there’s some roots there in design. With ink by Adriano Di Benedetto, color by Tomeu Morey, and lettering by Clayton Cowles, it all visually is interesting in its own ways.

The issue also continues Robins adventure in part four of “The Toy Box.” He’s on a mission to try to find Bruce in the multiverse. Written by Zdarsky, it features art by Miguel Mendonca, color by Roman Stevens, and lettering by Cowles. The story has been intriguing in some ways but like the main story feels like we’ve seen it before. “Bruce lost on the timestream/multiverse and we’re going to find him” feels like a previous plot (pretty sure it was). Here Tim is even sidetracked in his trek for no explainable reason other than to stretch out the story. It’s… a distraction in some ways. I still think if this was the main story and Bruce’s was the backup it’d all be much more interesting.

As a whole, Batman #134 isn’t bad. The story arc isn’t bad. It just doesn’t feel fresh and interesting and feels like something we’ve seen a few times before. There’s little that’s surprising at all from a villain reveal that is exactly who you think it is to obstacles that surmount to character we know + venom. There was a lot of potential here to do something different, instead, it’s played out as expected so far.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Mike Hawthorne, Migeul Mendonca
Ink: Adriano Di Benedetto Color: Tomeu Morey, Roman Stevens Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Preview: Batman #134

Batman #134

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Mike Hawthorne, Miguel Mendonca
In Shops: Apr 04, 2023
SRP: $4.99

It’s all-out war as only Batman stands between Red Mask and a Gotham City full of bodies! How much is the Dark Knight willing to sacrifice to save this city?

Batman #134

Batman #133 teases a lot

Batman #133

Everyone goes insane eventually. And then they belong to the terrifying Red Mask! Batman #133 continues “The Bat-Man of Gotham” as Bruce begins to wage his battle against this city gone mad in a new spin on Batman.

Overall, I haven’t been much of a fan of this storyline. In the main attraction, Bruce is in this alternate world where Gotham is controlled by Red Mask. Then, in the back-up, Tim is searching for Batman attempting to bring him home.

Together, the two stories work and work well, but writer Chip Zdarsky overall delivers a story that feels like we’ve seen over and over. All that changes are the details. Here, the hints of who the Red Mask might be is the most intriguing aspect of it all, as we see the character use some powers against Selina which tied to what Bruce discovers as he exhumes a body, teases the villain’s identity.

And, as I said, that’s the most interesting aspect. Bruce debuts as this world’s Batman and is given some help to stop Red Mask, but overall, the comic feels like it’s a video game tie-in more than the main Batman title. It doesn’t feel like anything particularly new or different. Give us a peaceful world where Batman isn’t needed and let us watch Bruce lose his mind, that’s something that’s new and hasn’t been done before.

The art by Mike Hawthorne is good. The action is fine but the color by Tomeu Morey pops in certain moments. Hawthorne is joined by Adriano Di Benedetto on ink and lettering by Clayton Cowles and the detail and design of the world is more interesting than anything else. Batman’s makeshift costume, the buildings of Gotham, the story they tell stands out more than the paces Bruce and Batman are put through. There’s almost a tiredness about it all, a city and reality that wears on the people living it.

Zdarsky also gives us the attempt to get Bruce back in the third part of “The Toy Box.” Miguel Mendonca provides the art with Roman Stevens on color and Cowles on lettering. Overall, the story is ok. It’s a little rushed as Tim Drake is in the world of Toyman attempting to not just capture the villain but also rescue the individuals kidnapped by him. It’s a quest as opposed to a story, delivering scant details, though it’d all be worth to expand it further as it’s actually interesting and somewhat horrific.

Batman #133 has solidified my thoughts on this arc, the main story and back-up are flipped. The comic should feature Tim and Jon Kent’s attempt to find and rescue Bruce as the main draw. A story of a “rescue” of Bruce from an actual ideal world could have been a bit more interesting than Bruce again finding he needs to don the cowl in an alternate world to dispense justice. Overall, an entertaining, though overall ho-hum arc so far.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Mike Hawthorne, Miguel Mendonca
Ink: Adriano Di Benedetto Color: Tomeu Morey, Roman Stevens Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Zeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Batman #132 continues Bruce’s “what if” adventure

Batman #132

Batman #131 kicked off the latest story arc where Bruce/Batman was transported to another Earth and Gotham where Batman doesn’t exist. The city is walled off, a fascist nightmare where the police are jacked up on Venom and Arkham Asylum seems to run the place. Batman #132 continues that direction as Bruce attempts to get his bearings, get home, and overall decide what to do. It’s that last part that feels a bit odd overall in an arc that so far is rather meh.

Written by Chip Zdarsky, Batman #132 delivers an interesting Gotham where the entire city feels like it’s part of Arkham in some ways. The most minor infraction will have you picked up by the police who themselves are juiced up and out of their minds. That concept of the entire city corrupted in this way is an interesting direction in theme, it extends and literally builds walls around the main Gotham which can be debated has similar problems. This alternative Gotham is the one we know on Venom. And that’s partially what’s odd about the issue and arc. Bruce is having a lot of issues getting his bearings and in some cases stepped in to right wrongs but this issue feels like a drawn out “origin”. By the end it’s clear before he leaves Bruce will don a mask as this world’s version of Batman and attempt to topple those who oppress. But, that means he made a decision and isn’t driven by justice like it feels like he should be. Why was there even a moment of decision here at all? It just doesn’t feel quite in character for him to see this injustice and just want to peace out and get home without helping first.

The issue also falls into a “villain reveal” issue as it progresses. More and more familiar characters are added with little explanation as to why they have shown up, making the cameos feel a little odd and jarring. They feel thrown in for the hell of it as opposed to really driving the story. It’s a distraction that’s not needed to drive the story.

The art by Mike Hawthorne is good. Joined by Adriano Di Benedeotto on ink, color by Tomeu Morey, and lettering by Clayton Cowles the world feels like a twisted version of the Gotham we know. It’s not so over the top to feel distracting, instead the team has gone with one that feels like it’s out of a bad dream. Slightly different, slightly horrific. The anticipation really is what this world’s Batman will look like and based on what Hawthorne and the team have shown so far, the designs for all of the heroes to come should be intriguing.

The issue continues its backup story as Robin and Superman (the Jon version) attempt to find Bruce. This has them dealing with Toyman whose weapon may be a key to finding where Bruce was sent. It’s all an interesting aspect to the main story and its strength is its heart. Written by Zdarsky with art by Miguel Mendonca, color by Roman Stevens, and lettering by Cowles, it’s Tim Drake’s quieter moments with his boyfriend that stand out.

Batman #132 isn’t a bad issue and the arc so far is ok. It feels a bit like a filler arc until the next big story. There’s a lot here that could be interesting but it doesn’t totally commit to its underlying themes that would make it truly stand out. Hopefully, this is one whose whole is stronger than its individual parts.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Mike Hawthorne, Miguel Mendonca
Ink: Adriano Di Benedetto Color: Tomeu Morey, Roman Stevens Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Zeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Preview: Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1

Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1

Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Max Raynor, Miguel Mendonça, Will Conrad, Brandon Peterson

It has all led to this: the final battle between Superman and Mongul, and between the Authority and Mongul’s Unmade Champions! The identity of the hooded stranger has been revealed, uncovering a shocking betrayal that threatens to crush Superman’s rebellion forever! But as the fate of Warworld relies on Superman, the last chance to return his powers now lies with Natasha and John Henry Irons. From the visionary creative team of Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Brandon Peterson, and Will Conrad, empires fall and rise and the fourth world is reborn in this jaw-dropping final chapter!

Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1

Preview: Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1

Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1

Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Max Raynor, Miguel Mendonça, Will Conrad, Brandon Peterson

It has all led to this: the final battle between Superman and Mongul, and between the Authority and Mongul’s Unmade Champions! The identity of the hooded stranger has been revealed, uncovering a shocking betrayal that threatens to crush Superman’s rebellion forever! But as the fate of Warworld relies on Superman, the last chance to return his powers now lies with Natasha and John Henry Irons. From the visionary creative team of Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Brandon Peterson, and Will Conrad, empires fall and rise and the fourth world is reborn in this jaw-dropping final chapter!

Superman: Warworld Apocalypse #1

Preview: Action Comics #1040

Action Comics #1040

(W) Philip Kennedy Johnson, Shawn Aldridge
(A) Miguel Mendonca, Adriana Melo

Superman has become a force to be reckoned with inside Warworld’s arena, and Mongul questions his decision to keep his enemies alive. As Superman’s new Phaelosian ally Kryl-Ux teaches him new ways to fight without powers, he starts to win Warzoons over to his cause…but someone within his inner circle finds their allegiances tested. Meanwhile, the elusive Midnighter uses his talents to find the missing members of the Authority.

Action Comics #1040

Preview: Action Comics #1038

Action Comics #1038

Written by: Shawn Aldridge, Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Daniel Sampere, Adriana Melo, Miguel Mendonça

“The Warworld Saga,” part three. Everything changes! After the heart-stopping events of Action Comics #1037, Superman and the surviving members of the Authority see a side of Warworld they never knew existed. In the lower catacombs, Superman finds another survivor of the lost Phaelosian race of Krypton, a scientist turned enslaved gladiator with much to teach Superman of his new home, including how to survive…and maybe, in time, how to escape. Meanwhile, Superman’s quest to turn the hordes of Warworld against their masters begins.

Action Comics #1038

Preview: Action Comics #1038

Action Comics #1038

Written by: Shawn Aldridge, Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Daniel Sampere, Adriana Melo, Miguel Mendonça

“The Warworld Saga,” part three. Everything changes! After the heart-stopping events of Action Comics #1037, Superman and the surviving members of the Authority see a side of Warworld they never knew existed. In the lower catacombs, Superman finds another survivor of the lost Phaelosian race of Krypton, a scientist turned enslaved gladiator with much to teach Superman of his new home, including how to survive…and maybe, in time, how to escape. Meanwhile, Superman’s quest to turn the hordes of Warworld against their masters begins.

Action Comics #1038
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