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Review: The Joker #2

The Joker #2

The Joker #2 continues the surprisingly strong debut of the series. When announced, the thought of a series focused on the Joker created a cringe reaction. Expectations of a comic was one for the edge-lord crowd. Instead, the comic focused on a worn-out force of good who’s tempted to do one last positive thing before he can truly retire. The Joker #2 continues its focus on James Gordon while also throwing in a few more factors.

James Tynion IV delivers a comic that’s more Nazi-hunter than the spandex and tights stories of Batman’s world. There’s a grounded aspect to the series that keeps the story focused and the fantastical at the minimum. At its core The Joker #2 is a man struggling to decide what to do. Should he do what probably needs to be done, kill the Joker or does he still believe in the concept of the judicial system? There’s a debate within Gordon and not just in his words but the agony on his face do we understand what he’s struggling with.

But, the issue drops so much more.

Tynion taps a little Guy Ritchie and Joe Carnahan and injects numerous other factors into Gordon’s mission. We get glimpses of the other groups and individuals who have the same mission. They all want to kill the Joker. This includes criminal organizations, enhanced individuals, and so much more. The pieces on the board are varied and should make for some entertaining and action-packed moments. It takes some of the grim nature of the comic and adds a little levity through action.

There’s also a revelation within that changes Gordon’s relationship and history with Batman and his allies. It’s something that’ll have individuals going back to re-read key moments in their interactions and what he knows. It adds a layer of trust, respect, and honor to what Gordon is doing and what he did as Police Commissioner. It also could be easily spun that it taints his relationship in some ways as well. Depends how you read into the revelation.

The art by Guillem March continues to be fantastic. With color by Arif Prianto and lettering by Tom Napolitano, the art has a style that evokes the grittier Batman comics of the 1980s. There’s also some additions to the story that creates a less dour feel to the issue. With the various groups also with a similar mission as Gordon, we get the “goofier” aspects of the story. It’s more of the costumed shenanigans that Batman deals with and while it can be action-packed it’s not so much a man trying to close that final chapter in his life and wrong his mistakes. The Joker’s scene too adds a bit of brightness and comedy that’s the trademark of the Joker. The pages are literally brighter in color an interesting contrast to what Joker is experiencing compared to others.

The comic also continues its back-up Punchline story. Tynion is joined by Sam Johns on art. Mirka Andolfo handles the art with Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color and lettering by Ariana Maher. Punchline as a whole has become a much more interesting character after “Joker War”. This story, along with her one-shot, added a lot to a character who started as a much more serious riff on Harley Quinn. We get an interesting debate on how much of her persona is real and how much is clout chasing and her influence on others. There’s some really interesting aspects to the character to explore and doing so in ways to show how others perceive her is a solid choice.

The Joker #2 is another fantastic issue. The series has begun to balance its serious tones with the lighter aspects of Batman’s world. It also sets up what should be an action-packed series going forward as the various competing groups eventually clash. It continues to surprise me forgoing the expectations I had of it and instead delivering a series that doesn’t celebrate the chaos of the Joker and instead examines the lingering damage that endures.

Story: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns Art: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo
Color: Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Ariana Maher
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Power Pack #5 (of 5)

Power Pack #5 (of 5)

(W) Ryan North (A) Nico Leon (CA) Mirka Andolfo
Rated T
In Shops: Apr 14, 2021
SRP: $3.99

• It all comes down to this! Over the course of this series, the Power Pack has been manipulated, exploited and stolen from, and YOU’VE paid to see it happen! But don’t worry, because with this issue, NOW you’ll be paying to see them SUCCEED!!!
• …Unless, SOMEHOW, the problems they’ve got CAN’T be solved, not even if they team up with a guy with knives that pop out of his hands?
• That’s right, Wolverine completionists, your favorite Canadian is in this issue too! Along with Jack and Katie and Julie and Alex and THRILLING EVENTS REACHING AN ULTIMATE CONCLUSION, whose details shall not be spoiled here!!!
• The PACK is BACK! At least until you finish this issue.
• Aww, now I just made myself sad.

Power Pack #5 (of 5)

Preview: The Joker #2

The Joker #2

Written by: Sam Johns, James Tynion IV
Art by: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo

As the dust settles on Arkham Asylum and tragic recent events, The Joker is the most wanted man in the world-and powerful forces are lining up around the globe to hunt him…but where exactly is the Clown Prince of Crime? Jim Gordon, facing his twilight years haunted by the madman, knows where to start the hunt, and he’s been given the go-ahead to pursue him…but will he be willing to pay the price? And what shocking revelation will Gordon stun Batman with before he departs? And in the backup story, within the walls of Blackgate Penitentiary, Punchline has become the target of the Queen of Spades from the Royal Flush Gang. It’ll take everything Punchline has just to survive, while on the outside, Bluebird digs deeper into Punchline’s horrific past!

The Joker #2

The Justice League and RWBY Join Forces this April

Rooster Teeth and DC join forces once again, this time to combine the worlds of their popular anime/manga series with the World’s Greatest Super Heroes in RWBY/Justice League! RWBY/Justice League will be released in print as a monthly seven-issue series launching Tuesday, April 27. For fans wanting to jump into the story a few weeks before print issues arrive, four digital chapters of RWBY/Justice League debuted digitally this week, with new digital chapters publishing weekly on Tuesdays.

Written by Marguerite Bennett and featuring art by Aneke, Stephanie Pepper, and Emanuela Lupacchino, this seven-issue monthly miniseries brings Team RWBY face to face with DC’s paragons of justice!

RWBY/Justice League introduces fans of manga and superheroes to the Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince of Remnant, fighting with Team RWBY. A new Grimm is running rampant across the island of Patch, and Ruby and Yang must team up with a young red and blue-clad farm boy to stop it! Meanwhile, Blake meets a mysterious woman who’s suddenly appeared on Menagerie, but her purpose for being there remains a secret. And why does she act like she hasn’t been around modern society?

Featuring stunning covers and character designs by Mirka Andolfo and a card stock variant cover by Simone Di Meo, this unique team up is sure to be a hit with fans of superheroes and manga alike!

RWBY/Justice League

Magic #1 Taps Matteo Scalera for a Cover

BOOM! Studios has revealed today the main cover by acclaimed artist Matteo Scalera with colors by Moreno Dinisio for Magic #1, the premiere issue of the new original comic book series from acclaimed writer Jed MacKay, artist Ig Guara, colorist Arianna Consonni, and letterer Ed Dukeshire, perfect for new readers and long time fans, available on April 7, 2021.

Across the vast Multiverse, those gifted with a “spark” can tap into the raw power of Magic and travel across realms — they are Planeswalkers. When coordinated assassination attempts on Guildmasters Ral Zarek, Vraska, and Kaya rock the city of Ravnica and leave Jace Beleren’s life hanging in the balance, a fuse is lit that threatens not just these three Guilds, but the entire plane of Ravnica. Now these three must covertly infiltrate the wild plane of Zendikar and form a tenuous alliance to uncover why the targets of the assassins have all been Planeswalkers. . . which will lead them straight to one of the most enigmatic characters in Magic history!

Magic #1 features variant cover art by series artist Guara, InHyuk Lee, and Junggeun Yoon, and a set of Hidden Planeswalker variant covers by artists Miguel Mercado, Taj Tenfold, and Magdalena Pagowska featuring fan favorite characters Liliana Vess, Kaya the Ghost Assassin, and Sorin Markov. 

Fans can also pre-order the Magic Pack, a limited edition Collector’s Set of Magic #1 covers, featuring an exclusive Magic Pack variant by artist Mirka Andolfo, along with the Magic #1 main cover by Scalera, a randomly inserted Hidden Planeswalker variant cover, and the Black blank sketch cover, available in April 2021.

Far Sector #11 Delivers the Penultimate Issue, on Sale April 6

FAR SECTOR #11

Written by N.K. JEMISIN
Art and cover by JAMAL CAMPBELL
Variant cover by MIRKA ANDOLFO
ON SALE 4/6/21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 11 OF 12 | FC
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+

Sojourner “Jo” Mullein is completing her first tour of duty as a rookie Green Lantern in the City Enduring, courtesy of Hugo award-winning writer N.K. Jemisin and fan favorite artist Jamal Campbell, and DC has your first look at what’s upcoming in issue #11 (on sale April 6)!

Everything is coming to a boil as we lay the groundwork for the Far Sector finale in this, penultimate issue!

Riots are breaking out across the City Enduring as its citizens realize that there are political shenanigans disrupting their way of life and subverting the will of the people. To quell this unrest, @BlazeofGlory is threatening to unleash a terrible weapon upon her own people. Jo has to race against the ticking clock of a Green Lantern ring that is rapidly losing power to bypass the city’s entire defense forces and stop this attack from above.

FAR SECTOR #11

Review: The Joker #1

The Joker #1

When I first heard DC was releasing a comic focused on the Joker, I rolled my eyes. The concept of a comic with the Joker at the center didn’t appeal to me, as certain iterations of him have attracted a negative edge-lord element. Then I read The Joker #1, and quickly changed my mind. What’s presented is an updated “chase” story with some zeitgeist thrown in.

The “Joker War” is over and the Joker is on the run having left Gotham. Months later, an attack has taken place on Arkham Asylum pinned to him, though not proven it was him. Unknown elements have decided they want the Joker off the playing board and decide to turn to Jim Gordon to do exactly that.

While Joker’s name might be the title of the comic, writer James Tynion IV focuses the comic on a former cop whose nightmare still walks the Earth and haunts his dreams. This is a story about a man’s unfulfilled mission and one last opportunity to change that. While we get an update on the Joker, this is Gordon’s story so far.

And Tynion gives us an interesting flair to it. The comic feels more like Nazi hunters than a detective story. This isn’t so much INTERPOL as it is Wiesenthal. The fact Gordon is focused on taking out such an evil contributes to that, it’s rare that a character is so definitively evil. Gordon feels like the grizzled, tortured individual, who needs to put an end note to what has haunted him, and remove an evil force from society.

The art by Guillem March is solid. Guillem is joined by Arif Prianto on color and Tom Napolitano on lettering. There’s a worn vibe about the comic. Gordon feels like a tortured and weathered individual beat down to a low point and not sure what to do next. There’s a great use of visuals to dive in what haunts Gordon and where Gotham stands in the wake of the latest chaos. An opening sequence involving another officer really hammers home the drive that Gordon is experiencing toeing the line of crossing into shock value.

The Joker #1 also features a secondary story “Punchline” following up on Joker’s latest sidekick’s trial. Tynion is joined by Sam Johns on the story while Mirka Andolfo handles the art, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. is on color, and Ariana Maher handles the lettering. Much like the one-shot featuring Punchline, this chapter has a feel like it’s an examination of our current world. Punchline is the center of the alt-cult she and Joker have spawned. This is a group that rejects reality and social norms, instead bracing chaos as a finger towards others. It’s hard to not think of the MAGA-cult and alt-right when reading this and the comparing the protests to free Punchline as similar pronunciations of innocence for real-world leaders who are clearly guilty though the evidence may be flimsy. How much this story will continue to make that sort of connection will be interesting as it could be a hell of an allegory.

The Joker #1 surprised me. It’s a comic I thought could be good but wasn’t sure what we were getting. With a focus on those hunting the villain, we get a story of one last attempt at justice as opposed to something that might deify or wash a reprehensible individual. It’s a debut that shows a hell of a lot of potential for what’s to come. Hopefully it keeps its focus on the nightmares that haunt us throughout life.

Story: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns Art: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo
Color: Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Ariana Maher
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: The Joker #1

The Joker #1

Written by: Sam Johns
Art by: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo

Following the events of Infinite Frontier #1, the Joker is the most wanted man in the world! But the Clown Prince of Crime is several steps ahead of law enforcement—and he’s on the run overseas. James Gordon, facing retirement, realizes this is the manhunt of his life and the last piece of a storied career…but what mysterious and deadly forces are also in pursuit of the Joker?

And in the backup story, following the events of the smash hit Punchline #1, DC’s most controversial new villain navigates the infrastructure of Blackgate Penitentiary. While on the outside, Harper Row takes up the mantle of Bluebird to stop her brother from falling under Punchline’s influence.

The Joker #1

BOOM! Studios Announces Surprise Magic #1 Ashcan for March 2021

BOOM! Studios has revealed today a brand new first look at Magic #1, the premiere issue of -the new original comic book series from acclaimed writer Jed MacKay, artist Ig Guara, colorist Arianna Consonni, and letterer Ed Dukeshire, perfect for new readers and long–time fans, available on April 7, 2021.

In response to the enthusiastic support and overwhelming demand from retailers and fans, BOOM! Studios will provide each qualifying store with one copy of a surprise ashcan that previews the first issue and includes exclusive backmatter, available in stores on March 10, 2021.

Across the vast Multiverse, those gifted with a “spark” can tap into the raw power of Magic and travel across realms — they are Planeswalkers. When coordinated assassination attempts on Guildmasters Ral Zarek, Vraska, and Kaya rock the city of Ravnica and leave Jace Beleren’s life hanging in the balance, a fuse is lit that threatens not just these three Guilds, but the entire plane of Ravnica. Now these three must covertly infiltrate the wild plane of Zendikar and form a tenuous alliance to uncover why the targets of the assassins have all been Planeswalkers. . . which will lead them straight to one of the most enigmatic characters in Magic history!

Magic #1 features main cover art by acclaimed artist Matteo Scalera as well as variant cover art by Guara, InHyuk Lee, and Junggeun Yoon, and a set of Hidden Planeswalker variant covers by artists Miguel Mercado, Taj Tenfold, and Magdalena Pagowska featuring fan-favorite characters Liliana Vess, Kaya the Ghost Assassin, and Sorin Markov.

Fans can also pre-order the Magic Pack, a limited–edition Collector’s Set of Magic #1 covers, featuring an exclusive Magic Pack variant by artist Mirka Andolfo, along with the Magic #1 main cover by Scalera, a randomly inserted Hidden Planeswalker variant cover, and the Black blank sketch cover, available in April 2021.

Magic #1

Preview: The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #18

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #18

(W) Saladin Ahmed (A) Minkyu Jung (CA) Mirka Andolfo
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 24, 2021
SRP: $4.99

A celebration of 75 issues of MS. MARVEL!
• SALADIN AHMED and MINKYU JUNG wrap their acclaimed run with an oversized final issue!
• It’s the night of the Coles Academic homecoming dance and all of Kamala’s friend and family dramas are coming to a head.
• Even worse, this party has an uninvited guest: STORMRANGER is back and more lethal than ever!
• With AMULET’s help, MS. MARVEL defends everything that’s dear to her – but will her best be enough against such relentless enemy?

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #18
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