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Review: The Next Batman: Second Son #1

The Next Batman: Second Son #1

DC‘s Digital First series have been knocking it out of the park. The digital comics have been engaging, intriguing, and feel like they’re comics we might not otherwise see on the printed page. They give creators a new avenue for their voices to be heard and generally allowed them to do so without having to worry about continuity. The Next Batman: Second Son #1 kicks off the newest series that interestingly has some major ramifications for Batman’s pocket of the DC Universe.

Tim “Jace” Fox is the estranged son of billionaire Lucius Fox and man of mystery…what has the eldest son of one Gotham’s premiere families been up to for these ‘missing’ years and how does he find himself getting shot at in the jungles of Vietnam? The Next Batman: Second Son #1 kicks off a series that’ll have some repercussions and part of a dark future for Batman.

Writer John Ridley is absolutely brilliant. He’s known for so many thought-provoking releases, he’s a creator that I’ll read or so whatever he’s involved in. In “Future State” Ridley has driven Jace’s story and his role as the future Batman. The Next Batman: Second Son #1 gives us the pieces to that path and kicks things off with a James Bond-esque adventure.

Ridley doesn’t tell us a ton about the who or the why, instead of focuses on Jace’s abilities, actions, and personality. The opening chapter is the opening 15 minutes of a Bond film dropping our hero into the middle of the action without explanation. We just accept the direction and the cool and overlook what we don’t know. It’s a ride that sets the tone. By the end of the issue we get a good sense of who Jace is and what we should expect as far as the character going forward. It plants the flag as to who our protagonist is.

The art by Tony Akins, with breakdowns by Ryan Benjamin, is interesting. There’s such a fantastic sense of action in the comic that really feels like a solid Bond adventure. Mark Morales provides inks, with Rex Lokus on color, and lettering by Deron Bennett. It all comes together for a sense of cool but subtle visual details let us know that Jace is still learning. There’s one glaring issue for me in the final two panels of the digital comic as Jace returns to his apartment and finds a visitor. The panels should be flipped going Jace then visitor not visitor then Jace. That might have been an issue with my digital copy but it’s something that stands out taking the wind out of the up to that point excellent ride.

The Next Batman: Second Son #1 is an intriguing series as it looks to have some major implications for the print comics of Batman. It’s a digital series that’s going to be a “major player” and one to keep one’s eye on. Luckily, it’ll eventually make it’s way to print but this is one you won’t want spoiled for you.

Story: John Ridley Art: Tony Akins Breakdowns: Ryan Benjamin
Ink: Mark Morales Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.75 Art: 7.95 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Preview: The Next Batman: Second Son #1

The Next Batman: Second Son #1

Written by John Ridley
Pencils Tony Akins
Inks Mark Morales
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Doug Braithwaite
Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Meet Tim “Jace” Fox, estranged son of billionaire Lucius Fox and man of mystery…what has the eldest son of one Gotham’s premiere families been up to for these ‘missing’ years and how does he find himself getting shot at in the jungles of Vietnam? Learn these answers and many more as the story of the SECOND SON begins!

The Next Batman: Second Son #1

Review: DCeased: Hope at World’s End #6

DCeased: Hope at World's End #6

DCeased: Hope at World’s End has been an interesting venture for DC Comics and its DC Digital First initiative. The series has been a mix of one-shot reads and interconnected issues, though the latter is rare. DCeased: Hope at World’s End #6 feels like the first release that’s the middle of a story. It’s the middle section of an arc and with that, it’s very different than what’s come before.

The issues revolves around the stand at Jotunhueim as Black Adam and his Anti-Life forces numbering in the millions attack. It’s a desperate situation and one that you just expect the worst. There’s little hope or a clear path for those hunkered down to survive.

That feeling of desperation partially comes from what writer Tom Taylor has set up so far in the previous five issues. This is a series mixed with sorrow and hope. When things look good there’s a moment where the rug is pulled out from under you. With most of the chapters so far, there’s an “oh no” moment when you get hit in the gut with how bad things are and tragedy strikes.

This being a “middle chapter” there’s a mix of things here as well. The survivors do what they can, including trying to find help. There’s a creative moment where there’s a glimpse of hope and then things begin to collapse and you expect the worst. Taylor gives us those trope-ish moments that one might expect in a last stand (someone heads off for help but will they get back in time!?) and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s expected but also gives us some moments of true emotion from the characters.

The art by Renato Guedes is pretty solid. DCeased: Hope at World’s End #6 feels like the weakest chapter so far when it comes to the art. There’s some characters that feel off to me but they’re also characters I’m generally unaware of so I don’t know if that’s how they’re supposed to look. The characters are elongated and avian like but that could be by design. Compared to other characters it’s a bit noticeable and for those unfamiliar, it might look off. There are also some moments that should be jaw-dropping that never reach that aspect. A mountain is cleaved in two and that you’d expect a splash page for the ages but what’s shown doesn’t quite deliver. It looks good but doesn’t reach the level of great. Rex Lokus‘ colors are solid as well as Saida Temofonte‘s lettering.

DCeased: Hope at World’s End #6 isn’t bad in any way. It’s a middle chapter so not a place to start and not an issue you can pick up and dive in to. It has its roller coaster of a ride moments and leaves us awaiting the next chapter to see what happens next. As part of the larger picture, it does its job well but this isn’t a chapter that really stands on its own. As part of the series its a nice chapter and for those who have been reading, you should enjoy it. For those new to the series, there’s other places to start.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Renato Guedes
Ink: Renato Guedes Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Preview: DCeased: Hope At World’s End #5

DCeased: Hope At World’s End #5

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils Marco Failla
Inks Marco Failla
Colored by Rex Lokus
Lettered by Saida Temofonte
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Damian, Jon, and Cassie take a trip to the deadliest place on Earth—Gotham City! Damian has unfinished business in the fallen city and his best friends aren’t going to leave him to face it alone. A Trinity team-up for the ages!

DCeased: Hope At World's End #5

Review: DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Five

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Five

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Five delivers something we haven’t seen yet, actual hope. It’s such a strange issue in that you’re expecting something horrible to happen and it never does. Instead, this is an issue filled with sweet moments, humor, and catharsis.

Writer Tom Taylor shakes things up again with an issue that stands on its own pretty well. Damian is on his first mission as Batman, to find his mother. Joining him are Jonathan and Cassie, the future Superman and Wonder Woman. And in this issue we see the bond of the trio. The interactions are great and it feels like kids supporting each other as best they can.

And Taylor knows what he has with these three in this chapter. He delivers one of the funniest comedic moments in comics this year. He also focuses on the emotion of it all. Damian is given his moment to mourn the loss of his father. With that, we get to see the character for what we know he is, a little boy who puts on a tough exterior. It’s an emotional moment in multiple ways with a twist at the end that’ll put a smile on your face. No matter how “sad” the concept of this issue is, Taylor keeps it light enough to never really get you bawling. But, he nails it as far as the reader feeling empathy for Damian and what he’s experiencing.

The art by Marco Failla is solid. With color by Rex Lokus and lettering by Saida Temofonte, it doesn’t feature the foreboding nature of previous issues. Instead, it sticks to the youthful feel of the trio of heroes. The team really nails it with the visual comedy. It’s an idea that’s funny in dialogue but it’s the visuals that really nail it all and gets the chuckles, especially the small details left so that it plays throughout the issue.

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Five is a good issue that delivers some emotional moments. The downside is that we know the trio at the center of it survive to grow up which lowers the stakes. But, that’s not really the point of the issue. The point is focusing in on how this situation impacts kids. It also helps break one down a bit making the next Batman a little more human and grounded in the end.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Marco Failla
Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Preview: DCeased: Hope At World’s End #4

DCeased: Hope At World’s End #4

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils Marco Failla
Inks Marco Failla
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Yasmine Putri
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The world needs a Batman but Damian is struggling with the enormity of the mantle…can the Man of Steel help? And seeking safe haven, Suicide Squad’s Wink and The Aerie reach the fortress of Jotunheim…but is anywhere left on Earth safe from the unliving?!

DCeased: Hope At World's End (2020) #4

ComiXology Features 10 New Digital Comics for You to Check Out from DC, Marvel, and Yen Press

ComiXology has ten new digital comics and manga for you to check out today. It’s a mix of brand new releases as well as collections from DC Comics, Marvel, and Yen Press. Check out the full list of releases here or the individual releases below.

Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

Written by Andrea Shea, Tom Taylor
Pencils Isaac Goodhart, Pop Mhan
Inks Isaac Goodhart, Pop Mhan
Colored by Rex Lokus, Cris Peter
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Story 1 – Aquaman and Mera must stop Lex Luthor’s plans to drill into the ocean floor. Story 2 – Tula agrees to a Girls Night with Mera, but she quickly discovers that she and Mera have completely different ideas of what a Girls Night should be.

Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

Batman: The Adventures Continue (2020-) #6

Written by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini
Pencils Ty Templeton
Inks Ty Templeton
Colored by Monica Kubina
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Deathstroke enacts his final plan to kill the Dark Knight, luring him away from the rest of the Bat-Family. Can Batgirl and Robin deduce Deathstroke plans, or will Gotham have a new, more brutal, protector?!

Batman: The Adventures Continue (2020-) #6

Black Butler #165

Written by Yana Toboso
Art by Yana Toboso
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As Mey-Rin recalls her early days as a maid, she must now decide where her allegiances lie… Read the next chapter of Black Butler at the same time as Japan!

Black Butler #165

But I’m A Cat Person #27

Written by Erin Ptah
Art by Erin Ptah
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World Without Logos
Two ordinary graduates accidentally adopt a magical shapeshifting battle monster. Chapter 27: Backstory, bravery, and the big bad Wolf.

But I'm A Cat Person #27

D.P. 7 Classic Vol. 1

Written by Mark Gruenwald
Art by Paul Ryan
Cover by Paul Ryan
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Collects D.P.7 #1-9.

The Gru tackled the New and it’s here for you! Before his history-making work on Captain America and Quasar, Mark Gruenwald helped build the New Universe from the ground up with an outcast cast of Seven Displaced Paranormals on a quest leading them into urban legends, domestic disasters, and teen terror! Super-speed, super-strength, and superlative action from the creator of the ground-breaking Squadron Supreme miniseries! It’s an out-of-body experience you can’t miss!

D.P. 7 Classic Vol. 1

Exiles Ultimate Collection Vol. 1

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Jim Calafiore, Mike McKone
Cover by Mike McKone
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Collects Exiles (2001) #1-19.

Led by Blink, who hails from the wildly popular X-Men storyline “Age of Apocolypse,” the Exiles consist of heroes pulled from alternate times and universes who are sent to correct problems in the multiverse. Their adventures span hundreds of different worlds, setting events and characters back on their proper course — or else risk having them “blink” out of existence.

Exiles Ultimate Collection Vol. 1

Heroes For Hire Vol. 2: Ahead Of The Curve

Written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Zeb Wells
Art by Al Rio
Cover by Billy Tucci
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Collects Heroes for Hire (2006) #6-10.

Marvel’s strangest team of heroes find themselves trapped in the hull of a ship with a bomb as the Grim Reaper plans to blow up the Statue of Liberty and take the Heroes for Hire with it! But why? What nefarious plan could he have up his sleeve? He’s evil so does it matter? He has to be stopped! Also, someone dies! No kidding. As if that wasn’t enough, here comes the return of villains no one asked for! THE HORRIFIC HEADMEN have a special surprise for the hapless Humbug

Heroes For Hire Vol. 2: Ahead Of The Curve

Weapon Omega

Written by Rich Koslowski
Art by Andrea Di Vito
Cover by Mike Choi
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Collects material from Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #1-12 and Civil War: The Initiative One-Shot.

Omega Flight’s Michael Pointer (a.k.a. Guardian) faces down demons both internal and external. What is happening to him — and who is responsible?

Weapon Omega

Marvel Illustrated: Moby Dick

Written by Roy Thomas
Art by Pascal Alixe
Cover by John Watson
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Collects Moby Dick #1-6.

Melville’s seafaring masterpiece is brought to stirring life in the pages of the Marvel Illustrated line. Young sailor Ishmael signs onto the whaling ship, Pequod. Soon, he comes to question his judgment as the vessel sets sail and he meets the strange crew sailing with him. Strangest of all is the mysterious Captain Ahab, whose obsession with the great white whale who once bit off his leg may lead them all to a watery doom. It’s been called the Great American Novel. And they weren’t kidding.

Marvel Illustrated: Moby Dick

The Royal Tutor #92

Written by Higasa Akai
Art by Higasa Akai
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The unlikely group of Professor Heine, the princelings, and Count Rosenberg take off on a search of grave importance. Read the next chapter of The Royal Tutor the same day as Japan!

The Royal Tutor #92

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Preview: DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colored by Rex Lokus
Letted by Saida Temofonte
Cover by Francesco Mattina
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Wally West is the Fastest Man Alive…but will even HE be fast enough to save his city from the Anti-Life plague?! With the help of his fellow Speedsters including Impulse and Jesse Quick he’s going to give it his best shot!

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Three

Review: DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Three

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three is every bit equal to the excellent second chapter. It’s a tearjerker of a story as the focus shifts to Wally West as he decides he wants to save as many individuals in Keystone as he can.

Writer Tom Taylor has been using each issue to deliver snippets of story with in the world of DCeased. With the Anti-Life Equation spreading, Taylor uses the digital format to focus on heroes and villains and their reaction to the apocalypse they face. It’s a fantastic use of the format as each digital issue is self-contained delivering a full story with explanations as to what’s happening. Even if you haven’t read DCeased, you can still enjoy each of these issues.

Some of that enjoyment is Taylor’s focus on the emotional punch. Each chapter has had a tragic aspect about them. This isn’t a happy series but instead will get you to utter “oh no” as each issue ends.

In this third chapter, Wally West does what he can to save as many as he can in his city. He enlists Jesse Quick, Max Mercury, and Impulse in his mission. There’s also danger as each would be a devastating addition to the zombie hordes and spread of the disease. We witness their futile effort to stop the spread knowing their efforts are for naught. We also get to see the heroes rise up to the challenge delivering an emotional roller coast of an issue that ends in a bittersweet way. Taylor plays the dramatic card to the border of sappy but in the end it works in a compact punch to the gut.

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Three

Carmine Di Giandomenico delivers some fantastic art along with color by Rex Lokus and lettering by Saida Temofonte. Each character looks so fantastic and the art pops in digital format. The colors really stand out on the screen and intelligently the team uses their limited pages in the best way they can. There’s not a focus on single page splashes, instead, we get interesting page layouts that deliver a sense of motion and bristles with the energy of those running around on the page. Until that last page which gives us all the emotional feels. As it’s digital, we get mostly square panels so the team really focuses on the framing of those panels giving us scenes from interesting angles and perspectives. All of it comes together to enhance that motion is at play here.

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three helps cement this series as one of the best digital comics out there but also one of the best comics going right now. Each chapter can be enjoyed on their own while revealing bits about the bigger story. They’re also packed with emotion from joy to sadness from despair to hope. It’s an emotional ride that’s worth the money.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Kindle

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