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Review: Batman: Urban Legends #1

Batman: Urban Legends #1

As seen in The Lego Batman Movie, the Arkham video games, and the Batman comics of the 1990s and early 2000s, Batman’s strength is in the world and characters that he creates access to. Whether that’s his allies, villains, nooks and crannies of Gotham, or even police officers that he either works with or against, these personalities and settings are why I continue to return to the Batman side of the DC Universe. The creators of Batman: Urban Legends #1 understand this and flesh out different Batman-adjacent characters and even sometimes explore their relationship to the Dark Knight while also telling action, romance, and crime stories.

First up in this Gotham-themed anthology is the beginning of a six part Batman and Red Hood serial where Batman and his former protege-turned-killer vigilante (He’s switched to rubber bullets for the moment.) investigate a source of a hallucinatory street drug tackily called Cheerdrops. Writer Chip Zdarsky has a firm grasp on Jason Todd’s voice, including the darkness inside his soul and his hunger for justice, especially for Gotham’s beleaguered working class. Artists Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira and colorist Adriano Lucas nail the grit of the city with explosive linework and jagged layouts to go with a color palette that has had all the light sucked out of it. However, Excalibur’s Marcus To does the art in the flashbacks, which features brighter colors as well as simpler, cleaner lines with a more traditional superhero feel even though one of the scenes is set during “Under the Red Hood” when Jason Todd came back from the dead and started killing criminals.

“Batman and Red Hood” is also a study in contrasts in how two very different crime fighters deal with the same crisis. Batman is the World’s Greatest Detective and is super methodical with Barrows and Ferreria drawing him looking at the chemical makeup of Cheerdrops CSI-style, and his All-Star Superman-esque moment with a jumper is less feel-good and more evidence collection. On the other hand, Jason fights crime with his guts and heart and even admits in a wry line from Zdarsky that he’s not a great detective as he struggles to find a Cheerdrop stash house. However, he does find a boy named Tyler, and of course, Jason is great with kids and even lets him wear part of his mask while he looks for his dad in a dodgy part of Gotham. Zdarsky, Barrows, and Ferreira create something truly heartwarming between Jason Todd and Tyler.

There’s a throughline between this and the flashbacks where Batman (Portrayed as more of an action figure than man by To) struggles being a father figure to Jason, and Alfred does the job perfectly because he sees him as a human being and not an obstacle in his war on crime. Chip Zdarsky writes Alfred Pennyworth as the perfect parent to the Bat-family, who isn’t afraid to tell Batman that he’s full of shit and chooses compassion over a closed fist. And speaking of Batman, I love how Zdarsky doesn’t give him an inner monologue and depicts him more as a force of nature than a gun toting, broken man like Jason Todd, who agonizes over every decision and whose interaction with Tyler bring back memories of his mom who died of a drug overdose. Also, he’s not afraid to go a little dark, and Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira jagged layouts and emotional poses are along for the ride.

Batman: Urban Legends #1

The second story in Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an eight page Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy one-off from writer Stephanie Phillips, artist Laura Braga, and colorist Ivan Plascencia. Plascencia is this story’s secret weapon that shows the happy, hilarious times of Harley and Ivy’s first dates and the bleak current times for Harley as she has moved back to Gotham in her solo title and as a recurring character in Batman. Braga’s art is expressive and high energy for both the good times (Harley and Ivy smooching and snapping selfies) and bad times (A sudden bolt of lightning shattering their pictures), and she is a good fit for a story that isn’t centered around a heist or fight against a superhero, but a relationship. She and Phillips tap into the depth of feelings that Harley has for Ivy, and through some handy plant symbolism, they create hope for the relationship that has become very popular for fans in the past decade. “Harley and Ivy” is a nice, nearly slice of life oasis in the midst of the three other stories, which have more moving parts.

The third story in this comic is a 10 page “Outsiders” feature by Brandon Thomas, Max Dunbar, and Luis Guerrero starring Black Lightning, Katana, and an interesting take on Metamorpho. Thomas turns in kind of a mystery plot with the story starting with Black Lightning and an unseen Metamorpho in a Japanese prison before cutting to a bonkers, two page spread of a speedboat chase. Unlike the previous two stories in Batman: Urban Legends #1, Thomas and Dunbar go for a action over character focus, and honestly, I’m here for it. Dunbar uses arrows from their pursuers to act as eye-lines to follow the high speed chase, and he and Thomas have a clever moment or two up their sleeve, especially in regards to Metamorpho’s first appearance. The story isn’t particularly deep, but it has the vibe of a James Bond cold open with superpowers as Guerrero really makes Black Lightning’s abilities sizzle. Finally, Brandon Thomas’ plotting really kept me engaged with thinking about why characters were acting a certain way, and the the mini mystery box structure has me intrigued for the upcoming issue.

Batman: Urban Legends #1

Grifter is a character I didn’t really know a lot about except for some random comics like the New 52 Team 7 and JLA/WildCATs, but Matthew Rosenberg, Ryan Benjamin, and Antonio Fabela have made this anti-hero/rapscallion and his various pratfalls quite lovable and hilarious Batman: Urban Legends #1’s final story. Grifter is like that guy who bluffs at poker, but never has a good hand. And until maybe the penultimate page of the comic, he’s either screwing up or making a joke about it beginning with his mad rush towards supervillain fire during his Team 6 days with a lot of characters with familiar names from Wildstorm comics. (I’m not an expert on these characters, and you don’t have to be to enjoy the story.) Grifter uses his sense of humor to detract from his mediocre performance as Lucius Fox’s bodyguard or to avoid getting his ass kicked by Batman, but he also has a mystery side that is revealed when he has a “date” at one of Penguin’s bars. The mystery starts to really unfold towards the end of the comic, but Rosenberg hints at every time, he talks on a headset with what I assume is his older brother.

The comedy in “Grifter” isn’t just limited to Matthew Rosenberg’s delightfully smartass dialogue. It shows up a lot in Ryan Benjamin’s visuals, which range from G.I. Joe or Authority homages (When the superheroes clean up Team 6’s mess.) in the flashback to pure slapstick. For example, Grifter spills a drink at a party Lucius Fox is meeting a client at and spills a drink on a woman. In this situation, Benjamin doesn’t just show a simple facial expression, but throws in some growlixes and makes you know that she’s furious that the soaking wet guy in Converse and blue jeans is even in the same room with her. This playfulness extends to the fight between Batman and Grifter, which starts as a serious throwdown and ends up in a total cat and mouse situation with Grifter finally getting enough self-awareness to call it quits. However, their paths will cross, and you can tell that Batman understands he’s a wildcard with his connections to Lucius Fox, the criminal underworld, and probably those Wildstorm guys. All in all, Matthew Rosenberg, Ryan Benjamin, and Antonio Fabela turn in a hilarious action-comedy set in DC’s weirdest and (sometimes) dourest city and also slowly unveil what seems to be a master plan to merge the worlds of Wildstorm and Gotham.

Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an absolute win for the anthology format that DC Comics has been trying out with all of the four stories in the comic being entertaining and shedding light on a unique cast of characters. The longer stories that bookend the comic are especially noteworthy thanks to Chip Zdarsky’s pitch-perfect handle on the fascinating character of Jason Todd in “Batman and Red Hood” and Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Benjamin’s skill with verbal and visual humor in “Grifter”.

Story: Chip Zdarsky, Stephanie Phillips, Brandon Thomas, Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Marcus To, Laura Braga, Max Dunbar, Ryan Benjamin
Colors: Adriano Lucas, Ivan Plascencia, Luis Guerrero, Antonio Fabela
Letters: Becca Carey, Deron Bennett, Steve Wands, Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Red Hood #52

Red Hood #52

Written by: Shawn Martinbrough
Art by: Tony Akins

After making his dramatic return to Gotham City, Jason Todd finds himself in the middle of a turf war between a violent gang aided by Killer Croc and a new group of vigilantes dedicated to protecting his old neighborhood of the Hill. When a childhood friend is targeted for assassination by a vicious new crime lord on the rise, the Red Hood must forge an uneasy alliance with the vigilantes to save her.

Red Hood #52

Batman: Urban Legends Dives Into the World of Gotham Spotlighting, Jason Todd, Grifter, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, the Outsiders, and more

Explore the world of Gotham in a brand new anthology series, Batman: Urban Legends which launches in March 2021 from DC Comics. Batman may be the biggest name in Gotham City, but there are lots of other heroes—and villains—who will get a turn to shine in a brand-new monthly anthology series highlighting top talent and a mix of new voices making their mark on the city the Dark Knight calls home.

The first six issues are anchored by a Batman/Red Hood thriller from writer Chip Zdarsky and fan-favorite artist Eddy Barrows. Renegade vigilante Jason Todd, a.k.a. Red Hood is investigating a new and lethal drug sweeping through Gotham City. In the course of one night, this investigation will change his life forever – and put him in Batman’s crosshairs.

Future State: Grifters writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Ryan Benjamin continue from the pages of Batman #101, as gun-for-hire Cole Cash is still in Gotham, on the trail of the true motives of the Halo Corporation…and yes, Batman and Grifter go head-to-head again!

In a story set before the launch of the new ongoing Harley Quinn series, writer Stephanie Phillips and Future State: The Next Batman artist Laura Braga team up to help Harley sort out her complicated history with Poison Ivy – but first she’ll have to find her!

This debut issue also launches a three-part tale of the Outsiders, courtesy of Future State: Outsiders writer Brandon Thomas with art by Max Dunbar. This saga reunites team members Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho, but this reunion quickly turns into a confrontation with the appearance of a figure from Katana’s past!

Batman: Urban Legends #1 is a $7.99 prestige format series, debuting on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 with covers by Hicham Habchi (main), David Finch (variant), and Kael Ngu (variant).

Review: Red Hood #51

Red Hood #51

I had given up on Red Hood for a whole host of reasons. With a new creative team and direction, it felt like a good time to explore the series again. Red Hood #51 has Jason Todd returning home to Gotham City. The city is still picking up the pieces after “The Joker War”. Jason finds his old neighborhood has new vigilante protectors. And they’re fighting against those attempting to take advantage of the power vacuum.

Written by Shawn Martinbrough, Red Hood #51 packs a lot into a single issue. That’s to its detriment to an extent as nothing feels like it’s given the depth it’s needed. The comic is broken up into three distinct paths as the narrative jumps around the puzzle pieces.

All the concepts of the comic are generally great, though the end villain feels a bit laughable. The idea of neighbors coming together to protect their area is a solid next step for the Bat line of comics. Jason heading back and trying to figure out his next steps also works. The villains we’re presented feel a little comical. While there’s some things that work, there’s too many moments that come off as jokes that aren’t meant to be jokes.

But, you can see what Martinbrough is going with. Jason Tood, and this Red Hood, is being reshaped to focus on a lower level of villain, a more street level Batman. He’s being shaped into a white Luke Cage, and with that we’ll hopefully get the baggage that can come with that, gentrification being an example.

The art by Tony Akins is pretty solid. Along with Stefano Gaudiano on ink, Paul Mounts‘ colors, and lettering by Troy Peteri we’re presented with a different look at Gotham. It’s an art style that befits the focus and characters of the comic and characters. This isn’t the run down parts of Gotham nor are these the newly built. Red Hood looks like he’ll be straddling the two, an area being worked on that’s been gentrified and continues to be. We see that in the detail of the buildings are neighborhoods presented. The art tells us so much about where Red Hood fits in the Bat-family picture.

The comic isn’t bad but it feels like it attempts to pack too much in. Red Hood #51 has Jason Todd following a new direction and finding a new role for himself. There’s a lot of potential in the comic as to where it can go and the groundwork is laid out here. Unfortunately, none of it is given the time its needed to be really interested. Instead, we get Red Hood in a Luke Cage situation with over the top characters that so far don’t quite feel in place in a Red Hood comic. We’ll see where things go but as a start, this is a mixed one.

Story: Shawn Martinbrough Art: Tony Akins
Ink: Stefano Gaudiano Color: Paul Mounts Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Red Hood #51

Red Hood #51

Written by: Shawn Martinbrough
Art: Tony Akins

A new era begins for the Red Hood! With his Outlaw days behind him, Jason Todd returns home to Gotham City. While he plots what’s next for Red Hood, he tracks down a childhood friend now living in the Hill. As Gotham City reels from the effects of “The Joker War,” Jason finds himself caught in the crossfire between vigilante protectors of the historic neighborhood and a rising criminal element intent on seizing power!

Red Hood #51

Super-Articulate: DC Multiverse Killer Croc Assortment

THIS . . . is a big one. Quite simply one of the best assortments that Mattel has released since the advent of DC Multiverse, the Killer Croc wave is almost everything that you’d want out of a Batman grouping. Let’s dig in. But first: thank you to Mattel for providing us with these figures free for the purposes of review. First up . . .

Red Robin (Tim Drake): I’m glad Tim got out as Red Robin before the Drake name change. (No sir, I do not like it). DC Multiverse has done a great job getting to Rebirth characters, and I’ve been really pleased with the attention paid to the excellent Detective Comics run. I think that Red Robin looks pretty great. The RR logo is easy to read. The cape is pretty solid. Also, the staff is well done. This figure has a pretty great face sculpt, too; that’s a grim and determined expression right there. I’m kind of surprised that it took until this deep in the line to get to him, but hey, I’m happy he’s here.

Red Hood (Jason Todd): This is the figure that I struggle with the most in the assortment. I’m definitely glad that it exists, but I’m equally bummed that the pistols are sculpted into the gun belt and can’t be removed. That’s a swing and a miss. The rest of the figure itself is pretty good. I like the jacket existing as a separate piece over the torso. The Red Hood helmet sculpt is okay, but the masked Jason head is great. This particular figure has some of the best paint work in the assortment; I especially like the shininess of the helmet itself. Red Hood also comes with a few extra hands, including hands sculpted to hold guns (which is a little ironic).

Katana: I was pleasantly surprised when Katana was announced as part of this group, and I think Mattel did a fine job. The splashes of red and white on a costume that’s predominantly black make for a striking figure; I got a really good paint op on mine, as it has a sleek sheen. Katana does have an extra hand for holding her namesake weapon; that’s another well-done piece. Knowing her history in the Outsiders, I had to take a picture of her with the CW Black Lightning from two weeks back. Seeing them together makes me wish Mattel had gotten time to do Geo-Force and Halo, too. Nice work, good figure.

Batman (Dick Grayson): There’s a lot to like about this figure. First off, I loved the Morrison/Quitely/etc Batman and Robin title. Secondly, he’s sculpted differently than Bruce. You can tell that THIS Batman is different from the OTHER Batman, and that’s excellent. Another difference that’s pretty clever is the use of the cloth cape; it’s another signifier, given the predominance in plastic molded capes for Bruce. Going in that direction with the cape also echoes the way that Quitely drew him, particularly on the cover of issue #1 of that run. The figure comes with an unmasked head and a”hanging cowl” accessory that lets you mimic Dick’s appearance when he has the cowl pulled off. I like this one. It wouldn’t have been one that I would have thought of immediately, and that’s cool; it makes for a nice surprise and it’s a solid figure.

KGBeast: Holy crap; this guy’s HUGE. Originally appearing in the class “Ten Nights of the Beast” story and popping up on occasion across media (Justice League Unlimited; there by his real name in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), KGBeast has always been a favorite weird villain of mine. I feel like they got the flavor of the guy, particularly with his crazy weapon attachment. That’s just ridiculously big, and also awesome. A pair of daggers go into booth sheaths, which is a great touch. It’s just a massive and intimidating figure, and I really dig it.

Alfred: This Alfred figure is just tremendous. The basic look is terrific. It looks just like Alfred from the comics. The choice of serving tray and glass accessories is hilarious and super-appropriate; way to be on-the-nose, Mattel. This is all well and good. But the thing that pushes Alfred into the stratosphere is the fact that he’s got not one, not two, not three, but four frickin’ heads. Love the ’60s TV show? There’s the Napier head. Love the Keaton movies? Allow us to show you the Gough head. You a comic person? Comic head! And the fourth . . . the Outsider! If you don’t know who the Outsider is (short form: bad Alfred), then trust us; it’s a little complicated to get in right now. But that choice is just awesome. I love this Alfred; obviously, there have been a few over time in various lines, but I think this is the best.

Collect + Connect Killer Croc: Did I say KGBeast was big? Good Lord. Killer Croc is enormous. But even better, he’s still extremely poseable. Frequently in figures of this type, you trade that poseability for the size. Not here. Aside from the hinged jaw, you have good mobility at the joints. And the detail! The size makes it a little easier to achieve this, but this figure is a veritable explosion of scales and ridges. The texture and general weight of this figure is off the charts. Outstanding work.

As you can tell, I think that Mattel pretty much pulled out the stops this time. There are some fine figures here and I appreciate the selection. I got out the DCUC Signature Damien to pose Al and the boys for a couple of shots to mark the occasion. What about you, readers? You like this set? Tell us about it in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Toy Fair 2019: DC Collectibles Shows New Statues, Figures, and Props

Toy Fair 2019 kicks off this weekend and DC Collectibles has revealed so much including Lucha Libre superhero figures, DC Prime, and DC Engines of Chaos. On top of these new lines there’s even more statues, figures and props.

Additional collectibles debuting in 2019 include a life-size Wonder Woman shield prop measuring 22 in diameter and crafted from fiberglass and polyresin, and new statues starring Batman, Harley Quinn, Red Hood and the Huntress, among others, designed by acclaimed comic book artists Greg Capullo, Greg Horn, Frank Miller, Joëlle Jones and more.

Check them out below!

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE Statues

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS BY GREG CAPULLO 2ND EDITION

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS BY GREG CAPULLO 2ND EDITION

BATMAN BY JOE MADUREIRA

BATMAN BY JOE MADUREIRA

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE Mini Figures

MINI 7-PIECE BOX SET 4

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE Mini Figures

BAT-FAMILY Multi-Part Statue

RED HOOD

BAT-FAMILY Multi-Part Statue

DC GALLERY

WONDER WOMAN SHIELD PROP

WONDER WOMAN SHIELD PROP

HARLEY QUINN RED, WHITE & BLACK Statue

METAL HARLEY QUINN BY GREG HORN STATUE

HARLEY QUINN RED, WHITE & BLACK Statue

DC DESIGNER SERIES Statue

BATMAN BY FRANK MILLER STATUE

BATMAN BY FRANK MILLER STATUE

DC COVER GIRLS Statue

HUNTRESS BY JOËLLE JONES STATUE

HUNTRESS BY JOËLLE JONES STATUE

DARK NIGHTS: METAL BATMAN Statues

THE RED DEATH STATUE

THE RED DEATH STATUE

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS & ROBIN MINIONS DELUXE STATUE

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS & ROBIN MINIONS DELUXE STATUE

Review: Batman Prelude to the Wedding- Red Hood vs Anarky #1

In part  four of the Batman: Prelude to the Wedding series of one-shots, Tim Seeley, Javier Hernandez, Hugo Petrus, and John Kalisz show Catwoman’s bachelorette party. And Jason Todd, his “Outlaw” teammate Bizarro, and Anarky crash the party, hence, the title Red Hood vs. Anarky #1. Like he’s done with the other one-shots, Seeley finds the duality in Jason and Lonnie Machin aka Anarky. One is trying to please his adopted father Batman while the other is trying to please the Joker, who Lonnie’s single mother said was his dad to get him to shut up as a child. However, this neediness is buried beneath a rebellious and individualistic streak with Jason being the sole member of the Bat-family who regularly uses guns, and Anarky’s whole non-ideology ideology of creating chaos at every opportunity.

There is an agility and slight edgy grit to Fernandez and Petrus’ art style and Kalisz’s colors, but things never get too serious in Red Hood vs. Anarky #1 beginning with a member of Catwoman’s bachelorette saying that Nightwing is the hottest member of the Bat-family. Even though he doesn’t kill anyone (Or risk losing his 150K contract from Batman to watch out for Catwoman), there is a rugged choreography to Jason’s action scenes as he kicks the craps out of some white supremacist incels working for Anarky and dedicated to the cause of ending “male exploitation” aka strippers. Then, Seeley and Fernandez indulge in a little bit of horror when Jason threatens one of the incels with a knife, the man’s terrified face reflecting in his mask as he spins a tale of all the urban legends surrounding the Red Hood from the main villain of “Zero Year” to the proto-Joker and finally Jason’s own backstory. In a traditional superhero comic, this would be the actions of villain more than a hero, but Jason is an anti-hero facing some utter scumbags so the scene elicits some guilty fist pumping to go with the general freakiness.

Each one-shot in the Prelude to the Wedding series has had given its lead character a mini-arc in a high concept setting and concluded with a nice little epiphany like a bow on a gift wrapped present. The epiphanies haven’t been “earth shattering” reveals that lead to events and spinoff miniseries, but small moments of personal growth. For example, Jason goes from making an easy, quick buck by being the black ops guardian of Catwoman’s bachelorette party to containing the whole Anarky situation using compromise instead of all out violence so she can have a good time dancing at the old Goth club that was one of the few highlights of her sad and difficult upbringing. However, Jason hasn’t gone completely soft as evidenced by his actions towards Anarky at the end of the comic when Batman cancels his contract with him after he fails at remaining incognito around Catwoman. He’s more likely to shoot you in the head, er, kneecaps than hear a sob story about your daddy and/or mommy issues.

Surprising for a book co-starring a character named Anarky, Red Hood vs. Anarky #1 ends up being an argument for centrism and open dialogue in polarized times as evidenced by Jason’s ingenious solution of offering $300 to Anarky’s supporters’ cause if they stop fighting. But the dialogue where Bizarro (Kind of the Oracle of the Outlaws’ operation.) mentions pro-life and gun activists and anti-fascists and “militant feminists” as all sharing the some “anger” is kind of a head scratcher because that would mean Jason Todd would be donating money to the NRA and organizations that say Planned Parenthood sells baby parts. It’s a big moment for him that he stopped a mob with his words and not guns, but at what cost? Jason Todd is an opportunist and a bit of mercenary so it does make sense that he would hug the middle of the political spectrum so not as to offend any potential clients. Also, what is the boundary between being too extreme or kow-towing to immoral forces. Seeley brings up these questions between the ass kicking, one-liners, and bachelorette party/black ops mission fun.

With dashes of humor and character insights from Tim Seeley,  gorgeous costuming and fight choreography from Javier Fernandez and Hugo Petrus, and a glitzy, grimy, and just plain red color palette from John Kalisz, Red Hood vs. Anarky #1 is another successful Bat-family-centric one-shot in the run-up to Batman and Catwoman’s wedding. It even has some semi-controversial political commentary to boot.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Javier Fernandez, Hugo Petrus
 Colors: John Kalisz Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.8 Art: 8 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 9/20

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth: Recap And Review where we take a look at the comics released under DC‘s Rebirth banner and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up; the ratings are based solely on the issues released in the post-Rebirth ongoing series. More consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.

Not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often), or I really can’t bring myself to pic up the issue. If I have missed an issue, typically I won’t go looking for back issues to catch up on events – this feature is all about accessibility for new readers, after all.


Aquaman #28 You can actually go in blind here and be okay. The relevant backstory you AQM_Cv28_dsneed is sprinkled throughout the comic – often being used as a plot device. Without a recap, this is still a Friendly issue, and Aquaman remains one of DC’s top comics. 8.75/10

Batman #31 The fluctuating quality of this series is getting a little frustrating. When it’s good it’s really good, and when it’s mediocre it’s just that. The penultimate issue of the War of Jokes and Riddles which has been framed as a bedside tale from Bruce to Selina Kyle so that she can decide if she wants to marry him. Honestly at this point I’d wait a couple issue before diving into this series. There’s a new arc starting in Batman #32. Wait for that. 6/10

Batwoman #7 In the future Batman has a near militant control over part of Gotham with his Bat army. Batwoman wants to stop  him. And that has nothing to do with this issue. Thankfully, even though I missed an issue or two before the last one, there’s enough background info given via Batwoman’s thoughts to catch you up. More Friendly than not, Batwoman #7 is also  pretty solid. 7/10

Green Arrow #31 Ollie Queen and Green Lantern are in space battling a hideously scarred man in a suit of armour who just blew Hal Jordan into space with a nuke. Green Arrow is now fighting to hold his breath and to fight the scarred dude in order to stop a super secret evil cabal of villainous bankers called the Ninth Circle and their mysterious spy satellite ring from gathering the world’s secrets. As good as this is, it’s likely a touch Unfriendly even with the recap. 8/10

Green Lanterns #31 Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have been sent ten billion years in the past to help train the first seven Green Lanterns (a happy accident), Simon’s ring blew up GLS_Cv31_open_order_varand then he got four more after the four of the first Lanterns were killed by Volthoom, whom he’s currently trying to stop from destroying another planet in his desire to get home. There’s a glaring plot hole in this issue, but it’s other wise kinda Friendly. 6.5/10

Harley Quinn #28 So Harley’s running for mayor. This would be a spoiler for the issue, but it’s announced right on the cover, so is it really a spoiler at this point? Anyway after a a failed assassination attempt that left most of the assassins dead, Harley has decided to run for office. Although it’s a Friendly issue, if you’re jumping on board now then the big reveal is spoiled by the cover to the comic – whether you want to read the rest of it is up to you. 5.75/10

Justice League #29 The Justice League’s kids have come back from the future to kill them to prevent something catastrophic from happening. Future Aquaman has also come back wearing Future Cyborg’s body as armour to also stop the Justice League Kids and/or the Justice League. That probably makes no sense, and that’s because the issue is a touch Unfriendly. 6.25/10

Nightwing #29 A Dark Nights: Metal tie in. If you haven’t read that and Teen Titans #12, and don’t intend to, then ignore this. If you have, then you’ll be more up to date than I SM_Cv31_dscan make you. The comic’s pretty good though. 7/10

Superman #31 A new arc begins with this issue, and assuming you know of the two characters on the cover, it’s Friendly. 8/10

Super Sons #8 Honestly I have no idea what happened in previous issues, but I’m not overly sure why. Anyway, going off this issue alone, I was a touch lost at the beginning, but was able to piece together enough from the story itself in order to find it Friendly. 6.5/10

Trinity #13 You know what? As almost Friendly as this is, it isn’t going to rock your socks off. 5/10

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 9/13

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth: Recap And Review where we take a look at the comics released under DC‘s Rebirth banner and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up; the ratings are based solely on the issues released in the post-Rebirth ongoing series. More consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.

Not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often), or I really can’t bring myself to pic up the issue. If I have missed an issue, typically I won’t go looking for back issues to catch up on events – this feature is all about accessibility for new readers, after all.


 

DTC_Cv964_dsAction Comics #987 Look here’s the deal: this issue reveals the identity of someone who has been pulling strings and plotting machinations in the DC Universe ever since Rebirth began. So there’s a chance that, if you just picked this issue up and it’s your first one in the series, not only will you not really know quite what is going on in the wider DCU, but you won’t care. If that’s the case, while this is slightly Friendly the impact of the big reveal will be lost on you. 6/10

Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey #14 Do you remember what’s happening in this series? Because I sure don’t. While the opening had a line that had me laughing out loud for the wrong reasons “someone has to stay in Gotham to hold down the fort.” Once I’d gotten past that, however, I did quite enjoy the issue and found it quite Friendly overall. 6.75/10

Detective Comics #964 Last issue saw Spoiler, the former member of Batman’s team who quit after the “death” of Red Robin, finally joining with Anarky and seeing his underground community that, on the surface of things, looks almost like a haven. So something’s up, right? Meanwhile Clayface is working with a doctor for a cure to his condition. While this issue is a decent read, it’s unfortunately just a touch Unfriendly even with this lackluster recap. 7/10

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #28 Uh… basically the New Gods are being hunted and Hal Jordan has to find and protect Highfather. I’d give you more but I don’t know who the New Gods really are and the previous issue didn’t stick with me too well. Beyond that, this is a Friendly issue that’s also a great read. It’s a simple story that’s got a lot of heart in it. 8.25/10

HJGLC_Cv28_open_order_varJustice League Of America #14 Half of the JLA have followed  the distress signal of Ray Palmer, the original Atom, into the microverse (the plane of existence that exists beyond the microscopic level), and they’ve found that there’s a reality ending threat occurring down there. Meanwhile the other half of the team are investigating the origins of the threat from the last arc, a being that can take control/influence you through your dreams, called The Might Beyond The Mirror. The issue is pretty Fiendly, especially with another quick in character recap from Ryan Choi – the new Atom. 7/10

New Super-Man #15 I could give you a recap, but Kong Kenan does that at the beginning – and it’s just enough to make this issue Friendly (which helps as I forgot the last issue). 7.25/10

Red Hood And The Outlaws #14 I’m pretty sure Bizarro died in the last issue (hence the this issue’s title: Bizarro Reborn) and was subsequently resurrected with an incredible intellect. This issue is very Friendly. 8/10

Suicide Squad #25 Amanda Waller has been controlled by The People, a villainous group of folks hell bent on world domination or something (aren’t the all?), and is in the SSQUAD_Cv25_dsprocess of attacking the JLA. The chaotic conclusion to Kill  Your Darlings is here, and it’s pretty damn enjoyable – and Friendly to boot. 8/10

Supergirl #13 I…. honestly don’t know what’s going on here any more. It’s been awhile since I read the series, and while I harbour some disdain for using the annual as a part of an ongoing story, this issue is kinda Friendly. 6.75/10

Superwoman #14 Another series that I’ve missed for a few issues so there’ll be no recap here. While you can enjoy the issue, it’s a touch Unfriendly only in that you’re not too sure quite who everyone is and what’s going on. 6.5/10

Teen Titans #12 It’s a Dark Knights Metal tie-in, so whether you’re reading that story or not will depend on whether you enjoy this a little or a lot. Take that how you will.

Titans #15 While I genuinely don’t remember the previous issue too well, before that the Titans have been dealing with H.I.V.E. who have stolen Bumble Bee’s memories. At the same time, Wally West has a pretty bad heart condition caused by Damian Wayne in a recent Titans/Teen Titans crossover when he stopped Wally’s heart. This issue is pretty Friendly so long as you accept that there’s a couple small things that you may not get right away. 7.75/10

The Flash #30 Part one of a new arc! Do you need to know anything to jump in blind? Not at all. 7/10

Wonder Woman #30 Even though this is the fifth part of a story arc it’s oddly Friendly. Will you understand everything that’s happened this issue if you haven’t read the other four? Probably not – but this issue is written in such a way that it actually doesn’t matter. Wonder Woman #30 is a really enjoyable and fun comic. 7.5/10

 

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