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Preview: New Super-Man #16

New Super-Man #16

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Brent Peeples, Richard Friend (CA) Philip Tan
RATED T
In Shops: Oct 11, 2017
SRP: $3.99

“Equilibrium” part two! Kenan’s battle with the Suicide Squad ended in disaster, and when the New Super-Man of China comes to, he wakes up in…Gotham City? All-Yang’s plan to corrupt our hero and show him the true nature of China’s destiny stands revealed!

Preview: New Super-Man #15

New Super-Man #15

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Brent Peeples, Richard Friend (CA) Philip Tan
In Shops: Sep 13, 2017
SRP: $3.99

“Equilibrium” part one! A simple recon mission to gather intel on the new Super-Man of China goes pear-shaped when Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad find themselves trapped in the siege of Shanghai and must team up with the Justice League of China to defeat Emperor Super-Man!

REVIEW : THE BLACK RACER AND SHILO NORMAN SPECIAL #1

Who in their right mind wasn’t intrigued by this one when it was first announced? The Black Racer is, after all, one of the more immediately-arresting and enigmatic characters in all of Jack Kirby‘s Fourth World canon, and Shilo Norman was fondly remembered as the trusted “kid sidekick” of Mister Miracle — but given the Racer’s occupation/mission, it was pretty obvious from the outset that any story that would bring these two together would possibly, if not probably, mean that poor Shilo’s days were numbered.

And so it would seem right from the outset of Reginald Hudlin‘s script for The Black Racer And Shilo Norman Special #1, wherein Shilo, having assumed and/or inherited the Mister Miracle mantle for himself, is strapped to a missile (a hat-tip to a concept The King first utilized in Scott Free’s adventures four decades back) as part of a charity event sponsored by a casino magnate who’s an obvious stand-in for — shit, do I even need to say it? Suffice to say, we all want to see this asshole forced to fork over the cash to Shilo’s charity of choice, but the Racer appears to have other plans —

If, like me, you prefer your Kirby homages to be of the big, bold, and brash variety, then Hudlin and pencillers Denys Cowan and Ryan Benjamin, along with inkers Bill Sienkiewicz and Richard Friend, certainly deliver the goods — this is fast-paced, and decidedly high-stakes, storytelling that gives a number of terrific comics veterans who we don’t see nearly enough of anymore the chance to really flex their creative chops on some of Jack’s out-and-out coolest characters and concepts as Shilo, desperate to stay alive, finds himself not only making a quick pit stop into the world of Kamandi, but getting into an underwater tussle with none other than OMAC himself! In short, strap yourself in tight because this is one wild ride.

For all its breakneck action, though, there is also plenty of humanity at the heart of these proceedings — we get a deeper look at the Racer’s civilian alter-ego, Willie Walker, than we have at any point since his first appearance way back in New Gods #3, Shilo is both as likable and, frankly, immature (not to mention a tad bit sexist) as ever, and a genuine air of mystery and the unknown is imbued back into “The Source” in a manner that would no doubt make Kirby himself smile with appreciation. Yes, this is as much a re-hash as any and all of the other “King 100” specials, and there’s certainly nothing revolutionary about its sabotage/betrayal central plot conceit, but damn, it hits all the right notes and frankly hits them so well that I think it will have appeal to more than just the “hopeless nostalgia” crowd.

Needless to say, that’s not entirely due to the story alone although, as discussed, that’s certainly quite good — the simple fact, however, is that for a book that’s got an “art by committee” approach, this thing looks pretty damn seamless (thanks in large part to Jeromy Cox‘s vibrant and attention-grabbing colors throughout), and the Cowan/Sienkiewicz team, in particular (always a winning combination “back in the day”), appears not to have lost a step at all. This is fluid, graceful, and expressionistic stuff, rendered with obvious love for both the creations they’re playing with and, crucially, their creator. Heck, it’s borderline majestic in many instances — particular Willie Walker’s Vietnam flashbacks — and consistently dynamic and bracing from start to finish. Prepare to be thoroughly impressed indeed.

Finish it all off with three Kirby “Young Gods Of Supertown” back-up strips from New Gods #s 4, 5, and 6, respectively, and you have a comprehensively fun and entertaining spectacle with plenty of soul to both balance out and underpin all the gloriously far-out cosmic otherworldliness. I’ll be the first to admit that these DC Kirby tribute books have been a decidedly mixed bag on the whole, but The Black Racer And Shilo Norman Special #1 is definitely the best of the bunch and well worth its, fair enough, pretty steep $4.99 asking price. As The King himself used to say : “Don’t ask — just buy it!”

Story : Reginald Hudlin  Art : Denys Cowan, Ryan Benjamin, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Richard Friend

Story : 7.5  Art : 8.5  Overall : 8  Recommendation : Buy

Preview: Odyssey Of The Amazons #6

Odyssey Of The Amazons #6

(W) Kevin Grevioux (A) Don Ho, Richard Friend (A/CA) Ryan Benjamin
RATED T+
In Shops: Jun 21, 2017
SRP: $3.99

Hessia and her valiant band of Amazon warriors fight for control of the Black Sword that
will, if seized by the Jotuns, bring about Ragnarok. But the Jotuns are joined by the new and more deadly Amazon-Jotun hybrids who may be more powerful than everyone. Amazons and Valkyries battle side by side and to the death in this dramatic series conclusion.

Preview: New Super-Man Vol. 1 Made in China

New Super-Man Vol. 1 Made in China

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Richard Friend (A/CA) Viktor Bogdanovic
In Shops: Jun 21, 2017
SRP: $16.99

#1 New York Times best-selling author and National Book Award nominee Gene Luen Yang introduce readers to Kong Kenan, an all-new superhero who could change the world…or be the end of it, in these tales from issues #1-6.

DC Weekly Graphic Novel Review: New Super-Man and DC Super Hero Girls

It’s Wednesday which means new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. We’ve got one trade and one graphic novel from DC Comics.

New Super-Man Vol. 1 Made in China collecting issues #1-6 by Gene Luen Yang, Viktor Bogdanovic, and Richard Friend.

DC Super Hero Girls Vol. 3 Summer Olympus by Shea Fontana, Yancey Labat, Monica Kubina, and Janice Chiang.

Find out what the trades have in store and whether you should grab yourself a copy. You can find both in comic stores June 21 and bookstores June 27.

Get your copy now. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

New Super-Man Vol. 1 Made in China
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

DC Super Hero Girls Vol. 3 Summer Olympus
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Preview: Suicide Squad Vol. 2 Going Sane

Suicide Squad Vol. 2 Going Sane

(W) Rob Williams (A) Sean Cheeks Galloway, Stephen Byrne, Carlos D’Anda, Christian Ward, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Francesco Mattina, Jonathan Glapion, Sandra Hope, Matt Batt Banning, Richard Friend (A/CA) Jim Lee, Scott Williams
In Shops: Jun 07, 2017
SRP: $16.99

Amanda Waller needs Kryptonite, and only Lex Luthor has it! But a deal like this won’t be cheap-or easy. And soon, the dark energies of the Black Vault are driving everyone in Belle Reve Penitentiary to acts of violent, bloody madness. Everyone except Harley Quinn, who’s somehow been…cured? Plus: welcome to Evil Anonymous, the support group for super-villains in need, where no problem is too insane or homicidal. Collects SUICIDE SQUAD #5-8 and the HARLEY QUINN AND THE SUICIDE SQUAD APRIL FOOL’S SPECIAL #1!

Review: Suicide Squad #15

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It’s the end of the road for the “Burning Down the House” story arc and Rob Williams gives this intrigue-filled arc one hell of a send-off. Suicide Squad #15 has it all. An old frenemy returns, the Squad comes together to avenge one of its own, Waller’s plan is partially revealed, a family is reunited and the opening of the door for an even bigger arc with an old face and some crossover options.

Williams is nothing if not consistent, his ability to tell a gripping story or kick off a saga makes the direction he’s taking the Suicide Squad in nothing short of legend making. There is no fat in his words, set up or ultimate conclusion as he is a master at playing chess with words and always being just far enough ahead of the reader to tell a compelling story and leave you wanting more. Issue #15 is nothing short of a testament to and reminder of his talent.

John Romita, Jr., Richard Friend, Eddy Barrows and, Eber Ferreira bring their A-game when it comes to the stylized look of this issue. There’s not a line out of place and the artwork adds another layer to the story making reading this comic a popcorn worthy endeavor. Much like the writing the artwork is tight and there isn’t a line out of place or a blood splatter that is unnecessary, everything you see in the panels is crucial to not only telling the story but, moving the action along.

Williams is one of those male writers that write female characters exceptionally well, there are no cliches or pandering in his writing, just strong, in control women with agency and goals. He doesn’t use females as side notes or damsels in distress, he allows them to step out into the light and actually be an integral part of the story. He gives them a sense of autonomy from the top of the food chain Waller to the chipped prisoners Harley Quinn and Enchantress, no woman is left behind or lacking in agency. He is a master at creating characters that you have strong feelings for whether you love them or you hate them, he makes sure that the readers get attached.

This issue highlights the best of his work and the best of his art teams works, their talents combined, create a wonderful world for the Squad to exist in and do their best and their worst. Williams has the story follow a realistic tone where things aren’t black and white but, he makes sure that those shades of gray are unique and pop, bringing an added layer to the story. Suicide Squad #15 is a solid read from cover to cover and the only fault that I find in it is that it was too short but, then again Williams is a master at leaving the readers wanting more.

Story: Rob Williams Art: John Romita Jr., Richard Friend, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Exclusive Preview: Suicide Squad #15

Suicide Squad #15

Written by: Rob Williams
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Richard Friend, John Romita, Jr., Eber Ferreira
Cover by: John Romita, Jr., Richard Friend
Variant cover by: Matteo Scalera
U.S. Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: April 12, 2017

“BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE” finale! Fueled by vengeance, Harley Quinn travels to Rustam’s stronghold to take on the traitor Deadshot and his entire team of villains all by her lonesome. But help comes from a most unexpected place in this thrilling conclusion to the most shocking Suicide Squad story of the Rebirth era!

Preview: Suicide Squad #14

Suicide Squad #14

(W) Rob Williams (A) Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira (A/CA) John Romita, Richard Friend
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE” part four! Consumed by rage following the brutal murder of one of her Suicide Squad comrades, Harley Quinn goes AWOL on a one-(psychotic-)woman mission of vengeance against Rustam and his unstoppable new ally, the most dangerous foe Harley has ever faced: Deadshot.

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