Tag Archives: mitch gerads

Preview: Female Furies #1 (of 6)

Female Furies #1 (of 6)

(W) Cecil Castellucci (A) Adriana Melo (CA) Mitch Gerads
RATED T+
In Shops: Feb 06, 2019
SRP: $3.99

All their lives the Female Furies have been raised to be the meanest, most cunning and most ruthless fighting force on all of Apokolips. So why are Granny Goodness’ girls left behind every time the men go to war? With the might of New Genesis hanging over the planet, and the Forever People making mincemeat out of Darkseid’s army, Granny thinks it’s about time that changed.

And so, Big Barda, Aurelie, Mad Harriet, Lashina, Bernadeth and Stompa set out to beat the boys at their own game. Little do they know the game is rigged-and one accidental murder could spell disaster for them all!

FEMALE FURIES is an exciting new miniseries starring some of Jack Kirby’s coolest Fourth World characters by the writer of SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL and the artist of PLASTIC MAN!

Female Furies #1 (of 6)

Preview: Batman #62

Batman #62

(W) Tom King (A/CA) Mitch Gerads
In Shops: Jan 09, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Now features the Story solicited for #61 written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads. The Eisner-winning creative team behind MISTER MIRACLE is back together as artist Mitch Gerads rejoins the Bat team for a special issue! Professor Pyg is loose in Gotham, and you know that means things are going to get weird… and bloody!

Batman #62

Preview: Mister Miracle #12

Mister Miracle #12

(W) Tom King (A) Mitch Gerads (CA) Nick Derington
In Shops: Nov 14, 2018
SRP: $3.99

It’ll be a miracle if you can get through this mind-bending conclusion with your sanity intact! After his epic battle with Darkseid, Scott Free sees life a whole new way: he’s the new Highfather of New Genesis, and he’s madly in love with his wife and child. But what if it’s all a lie? Did Mister Miracle really escape death way back in issue #1? No one really knows but Tom King and Mitch Gerads!

Review: Mister Miracle #11

If there’s one thing popular fiction has taught us by now, it’s: never make a deal with the devil! And yet Mister Miracle is still listening when Darkseid approaches him with just such a devilish proposition-if Scott sends his newborn son to Apokolips, there will be peace on New Genesis. Since when has Darkseid been famous for his honesty?! It’ll be a miracle if this doesn’t blow up in Scott’s face.

For ten issues Mister Miracle has been amazing and confounding. The mystery has been teased for all these issues with “Darkseid Is” and how this ties into DC Universe continuity and with this issue, it all becomes clear. Writer Tom King has again and again shown that he can play the long game with stories that play out over years and this is another example with an issue that just nails it in every way.

Mister Miracle #11 is the issue that had my dropping my review copy and stating “holy shit” multiple times. It’s a rollercoaster of an issue that toys with your emotions and throughout packs such a punch. I rarely vocally react to comics and this one had me reacting out loud multiple times. It’s hard to review it without spoiling things.

King has put together the penultimate issue of this series and delivered such a reveal at the end that it’ll leave you questioning the entire series and wanting to go back to the beginning to reread. This is a comic series that begs to be reread multiple times.

King also nails the emotional aspects of it all. Barda and Scott’s quandry as to what they should do with Jacob is heartwrenching and as a new father, I felt myself sucked in emotionally. Often comics are measured in how you relate to them at the time and new parents or soon to be parents (parents in general) will appreciate this one on a whole other level. There’s an emotional play that’s perfectly executed.

Mitch Gerads‘ art is exciting sticking to the usual nine panel page layouts with little variation. But, what Gerads does that’s truly impressive is take us on a visual rollercoaster. King’s story would be exciting but to see the physical toll of it all can only be delivered visually. Like the last issue, every nuanced movement tells so much as to where our heroes stand. Gerads has an impressive ability to focus on subtle body language to tell you so much more.

This is a hell of an issue and maybe the best reveal in comics in the last decade. This series has been impressive up to this point but this issue cements the maxiseries as a modern classic. With one more issue to go to explain and wrap it all up, this is the true climax that will set up an emotional finale.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads
Letterer: Clayton Cowles Cover Art: Nick Derington

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Mister Miracle #11

Mister Miracle #11

(W) Tom King (A) Mitch Gerads (CA) Nick Derington
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

If there’s one thing popular fiction has taught us by now, it’s: never make a deal with the devil! And yet Mister Miracle is still listening when Darkseid approaches him with just such a devilish proposition-if Scott sends his newborn son to Apokolips, there will be peace on New Genesis. Since when has Darkseid been famous for his honesty?! It’ll be a miracle if this doesn’t blow up in Scott’s face.

Preview: Mister Miracle #10 (of 12)

Mister Miracle #10 (of 12)

(W) Tom King (A) Mitch Gerads (CA) Nick Derington
In Shops: Aug 01, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Darkseid has put an offer on the table- something that can end the war between New Genesis and Apokolips once and for all. The stakes are high, but peace is important. Mister Miracle finds himself caught having to make a decision that won’t just change the new life he’s been building, but potentially the entirety of the universe.

SDCC 2018: DC Reveals More Details about Heroes in Crisis

There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by New York Times bestselling author Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD? How do DC’s Trinity – Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman – handle massacres and mass shootings? This September, King explores these themes in Heroes in Crisis with artists Clay Mann and Mitch Gerads.

King said the series is a parable about what this New War generation is dealing with, the millions who have fought overseas to come home and try to return to their normal lives.

At the core of Heroes in Crisis is Sanctuary, an ultra-secret space to help superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. King described the heroes walking the halls of Sanctuary — heroes like Aquaman, Superman, Lagoon Boy, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Arsenal, Batman, and more — as anonymous, wearing robes and gold masks to hide their identities from each other. In the debut issue, something goes inexplicably wrong and heroes wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects.

The story is about the failures of Sanctuary. These heroes felt safe. They had security. Then something horrible goes wrong. Is it possible to repair that? To fight that? This is a story geared towards this moment in our history.

Heroes in Crisis is about heroes who have to live through violence to save the world, and what that violence does to them. They make a sacrifice to fight the bad guys and this series is about that sacrifice.

Heroes in Crisis #1 arrives on September 26, 2018.

Review: Batman #50 is a Beautiful, Tragic Romance

If you thought that Batman and Catwoman were going to have a happy wedding with the usual supervillain attack to keep things interesting, then you’re pretty naive. On that confrontational, Batman #50 is a climactic moment in Tom King’s run on Batman, and Mikel Janin and June Chung are onboard as well to show all the romance, heartbreak, and kicking Kite-Man on the face. But the real highlight of this issue is the unleashing of some of the best living Batman and Catwoman artists to tell the love story of Bat and Cat all framed in love letters to each other. Beginning with the great Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez showing them swaddled together in a loving embrace and concluding in a pure negative space, movie poster style page from upcoming Batman artist Lee weeks, this is a wonderful encapsulation of Batman and Catwoman’s relationship done in Tom King’s signature tone poem way.

The letters that Batman and Catwoman write to each other in Batman #50 are a form of psychological probing, which makes sense because Batman is the World’s Greatest Detective and Catwoman is a skilled thief and con woman. They read people basically for a living, but are vulnerable and have huge blind spots. Especially Batman. King writes some beautiful lines where Batman and Catwoman both say that each other’s eyes is what led to their initial attraction. Batman was struck by how complex Catwoman’s eyes were, and that she could be more than a one-off animal themed villain while Catwoman realized how simple and childlike Batman’s were: pure blue. These thoughts come during Tim Sale and Paul Pope’s pages showing Catwoman in her 1990s purple costume pursuing and aggressively flirting with Batman like he’s an innocent boy and not a skilled crime fighter drawn in heroic, stealthy poses by Neal Adams and Lee Bermejo. He’s lost control and maybe has a chance to find happiness like the totally adorable page drawn by Amanda Conner of Catwoman and Batman enjoying a date at the zoo, or this issue’s sexiest moment where Mister Miracle’s Mitch Gerads shows them under a cape blanket with all the accoutrements of crime and crime fighting strewn about. Batman and Catwoman have serious chemistry, which has been boosted by King, Gerads, and Janin’s work on the current series, but are they really marriage material?

One person who shares the idea that getting married would make Batman less miserable and lose his edge is Holly Robinson, Catwoman’s long time friend, who she springs out of Arkham for one night to be her maid of honor/witness. This is a bit of a crazy plot point because the last time she appeared, Holly was fleeing the country as Batman was trying to apprehend her for 237 murders that Catwoman tried to take the fall for. The inclusion of Holly in Batman #50 makes the story a little more twist-filled than a simple case of cold feet (Eat your heart out, X-Men Gold #30), especially the final page that puts a new spin on a famous 1990s Batman storyline. As Selina’s friend, who she saved from child prostitution, Holly has been around Batman since Year One when she stabbed a less than intimidating, fake scar sporting Bruce Wayne partially leading him to choose a costume to strike fear in the heart of criminals. (As a sidenote, it’s pretty epic to see Frank Miller’s lumbering Batman on the page when Catwoman talks about how angry and graceful he was during his early crime fighting days.) But is she a pawn or a mastermind in a larger scheme?

Batman #50 seems to be an inciting incident in a larger Tom King story centered around the breaking of Batman’s heart and not his body. Batman is always surrounded by Gothic elements, like secret passages, large empty mansions, and gargoyles, so adding a doomed romance to the mix makes sense. King and Mikel Janin are working in a larger tradition of Batman getting in the way of Bruce’s happiness, and a couple of DOA romances from other mediums come to my mind. (Vicki Vale from 1989’s Batman, Andrea Beaumont in Mask of the Phantasm, Rachel Dawes in the Nolan trilogy) However, this relationship is different because King has consistently written Batman and Catwoman as equal crime fighting partners and shows this through the symmetry in the composition of their letters (Clayton Cowles’ word bubble placement is impeccable. and even similar poses in the final pinups from Greg Capullo and Weeks. Those two crazy kids had some great, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.

Batman #50 definitely will be a fanbase breaking comic book, and the spoiler-y New York Times article didn’t help matters. However, throughout his run and in homage to Batman and Catwoman’s relationship, Tom King has seeded doubts that the Bat and Cat could settle into a quiet marriage. Bruce is as comfortable with as he is in the tuxedo that Alfred said reminds him of his father. Speaking of Alfred, Mikel Janin crushes a silent sequence where Bruce asks him to be his witness, and all dialogue and narration stops for a four panel hug that segues into aforementioned dreamy page from Mitch Gerads. King and Janin pinpoint these little emotional stingers into the narrative, like Holly complimenting Catwoman’s dress or a symmetrical double page spread where Bat and Cat embrace and kiss one, unfortunately last time. The use of symmetry and formalism in the way Batman #50 is constructed hint at a couple that’s on the same page, but that’s sadly not the reality.

In Batman #50, Tom King, Mikel Janin, June Chung, and a talent group of guest artists craft the ultimate, tragic Batman love story and show the chemistry between Bat and Cat while also showing how their marriage ultimately wouldn’t work out. This definitely isn’t a big, guest star heavy special, but an intimate story of a man, who decides to work out his pain and sorrow dressed as a bat instead of finding love and peace with an enigmatic woman, who dresses like a cat.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Guest  Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, Trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Colors: June Chung Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman #50

It’s the wedding you never thought you’d see! The Batrimony is real as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are set to tie the knot in a can’t-miss, extra-length milestone issue that will reshape Gotham City. All their friends (and a few enemies?) will be party to a comic book coupling for the ages.

The build up has been coming for a while now and with Batman #50 writer Tom King answers the question as to whether Batman and Catwoman tie the knot.

The issue is done in an interesting way with what amounts to two page spreads with generally half dedicated to Batman’s preparation for the day and the other half for Catwoman’s. In between these normal panel pages, there’s full page images by some top art talent on top of which we’re presented the two’s thoughts about their meeting and what they’re about to do.

While the “will they or won’t they” has been spoiled the comic is interesting as it delves into the thought process of two individuals who are clearly nervous about tying the knot and if they do what it means.

Catwoman isn’t a hero, she’s a criminal.

Batman is a hero. He’s a hero driven by his pain.

If they were to get married, what does that mean for each of them? Can Batman be happy? These are the types of thoughts that run throughout the comic as the two characters explore their love for each other. And that’s the impressive thing, Tom King convinces you that these two love each other. By the end, you’re convinced there’s no one else for these two.

And that spoiling? Well, not quite. There’s a twist but you’ll have to read the comic yourself and go elsewhere.

The issues with the comic is the hype and a build up that doesn’t pay off. The quality of the narrative is excellent, it all just doesn’t quite live up to the lead up and the end result is rather predictable. A single panel does not make a comic and this one relies heavily on that final panel.

The art duties are mainly handled by Mikel Janin with colors by June Chung and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art is solid and there’s some fantastic page layouts. The way some of these pages are laid out is impressive with very creative visual storytelling. What’s also interesting is the use of pin-ups to tell the story as well. There was a similar thing done in Action Comics #1000 and here it sort of works. The artwork is fantastic, there’s some talent. But, it breaks up the story a bit and after a while becomes a little tedious. When the big picture comes in to focus, the choice is an interesting one and adds a poetic aspect, somewhat appropriate considering what’s happening.

This is a chapter in King’s larger story. There’s much more to come as things weave together and that final panel indicates we’ve got a hell of a lot of excitement to come. As a single issue, this one has its good and its bad but as a piece of the larger puzzle it fits like a perfectly crafted piece of the larger picture.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Pin-up Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Color: June Chung Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Mister Miracle #9

Only Scott Free could go to Apokolips…

After war comes peace. The bloody battles that waged across New Genesis and Apokolips have come to an end, and now Mister Miracle and Kalibak must sit down and discuss a truce. Can Scott Free trust the former minions of Darkseid to keep their word? Not likely, but a leader sometimes has to take a risk in service to the greater good. Perhaps the more pressing question, though, is whether Big Barda can make it through the negotiations without beating the life out of the assassin Kanto.

There’s so many instances of comics having weird timing with real world events despite their lead time in creation. We’ve seen comics timed with the mortgage crisis, Cambridge Analytica, and now a negotiation with a brutal dictator.

Written by Tom King, Mister Miracle #9 focuses on the negotiations towards peace for the forces of New Genesis and Apokolips. On one end is Scott Free and the other Kalibak negotiating.

This is the Michael Mann of comics with a focus on discussion and characters instead of a action. Every word used, every situation, every movement of a character goes deep into the situation. Every detail matters. And it’s one to read through a ponder.

It’s also odd to read as President Trump meets with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who, much like Darkseid, is a brutal leader who enslaves his people, warmongers, and has the deaths of unknown amounts on his hands. The criticism of legitimizing such a leader echoes here for the better.

Artist Mitch Gerads continues his amazing work and Gerads and King are a writer/artist combo that I hope continue for years to come. The movement of the characters, the look of an eye, the position of where they are, the framing of a scene, all enhance the storytelling and can tell the story without lettering. The use of reds throughout the comic emphasizes the blood that has been spilled up to this point.

Clayton Cowles‘ lettering is key too giving the delivery a live action performance brings to such a story. The emphasis of words, the layout of speech bubbles, every detail here too adds to the story.

While the end is a bit predictable the overall read is amazing and is a comic that blends entertainment, socio-political themes, a reflection on real world events, and drama, with a dash of philosophy. It’s an amazing issue for an already amazing series.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads Lettering: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.75 Art: 10 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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