Tag Archives: rick leonardi

DC Reveals More Hanna-Barbera/DC Comics Mash-Ups! Deathstroke & Yogi Bear, Green Lantern & Huckleberry Hound and More!

This October, the mash-ups get weirder and wilder when DC unleashes more crazy combinations of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes with some of Hanna-Barbera’s best-known classic cartoon characters. Each book goes on sale Wednesday, October 31 (with both a standard and variant cover), is rated T (for Teen) and carries a retail price of $4.99. These 48-page one-shots will also feature an installment of a spotlight tale featuring Hanna-Barbera’s leading super spy, Secret Squirrel, written by J.M. DeMatteis with art by Tom Mandrake.

The title lineup includes:

DEATHSTROKE/YOGI BEAR SPECIAL #1

Written by FRANK TIERI
Art by MARK TEXEIRA
cover by TYLER KIRKHAM
variant cover by PAOLO PANTALENA

In Yellowstone Park, legends speak of a spirit bear referred to as “the Yogi,” which few if any have actually encountered. Real or not, when a bear seems to have graduated from stealing picnic baskets to kidnapping actual campers, Ranger Smith decides it’s time to stop this menace—so he calls on the services of Slade Wilson—a.k.a. Deathstroke—to get the job done.

GREEN LANTERN/HUCKLEBERRY HOUND SPECIAL #1

written by MARK RUSSELL
art by RICK LEONARDI
cover by SAMI BASRI
variant cover by YASMINE PUTRI

Set against the turbulent backdrop of the early 1970s, Green Lantern and Huckleberry Hound join forces to take a stand on the issues of that era. Returning from recent duty in Vietnam, veteran Marine John Stewart—now a member of the Green Lantern Corps—contemplates what, if anything, he should do about the issues tearing his country apart. Meanwhile, Huckleberry’s comments against the Vietnam war have left him a celebrity outcast, and a visit back home to Mississippi puts him face to face with the Civil Rights Movement. What can one man—and one hound—do?

NIGHTWING/MAGILLA GORILLA SPECIAL #1

written by HEATH CORSON
art by TOM GRUMMETT
cover by MARCUS TO
variant cover by JONBOY MEYERS

When a famous Hollywood talent agent is found brutally murdered, suspicion and evidence seem to point to his most famous client, Oscar winning actor Magilla Gorilla. Dick Grayson, already in Tinseltown to meet with said agent, senses something suspicious. Donning his Nightwing costume and joining forces with the simian suspect, he’s got one night to prove that this monkey doesn’t belong in a cage.

SUPERMAN/TOP CAT SPECIAL #1

written by DAN DIDIO
art and cover by SHANE DAVIS
variant cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO

It’s Superman versus super food with Top Cat caught in the middle. While searching for his missing friend Bennie, TC uncovers a dietary danger that threatens the healthier portions of mankind, and it’s up to the Man of Steel to stop the probiotic menace of Kalien! In the salad bar, no one can hear you scream.

100 Page Giant Comics from DC Come to Walmart this Summer Starting in July with Original Stories

This summer, Walmart shoppers will find it easier to discover the lore behind their favorite DC experiences as DC Entertainment has announced that a series of “giant” monthly comics will be sold exclusively in more than 3,000 participating Walmart stores around the country.

Available for $4.99, each 100-page anthology features all-new stories written exclusively for these books by some of DC’s top creative talents, including Tom King, Dan Jurgens, Brian Michael Bendis, Andy Kubert and others. Each title will also include additional story arcs drawn from fan-favorite DC eras such as the New 52, Rebirth and the New Age of DC Heroes.

Each of the four titles – Superman Giant, Justice League of America Giant, Batman Giant, and Teen Titans Giant – will arrive in stores by July 1. Beginning in August, the Superman and Justice League of America titles will arrive in week one of each month, with the second pair, Batman and Teen Titans, arriving approximately two weeks later.

The debut title lineup includes:

SUPERMAN GIANT #1

SUPERMAN GIANT #1 features chapter one of the two-part “Endurance,” an original story written by Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Tom Derenick. The Daily Planet sends Clark Kent to Tornado Alley to do a story on the area, but when the storm hits, it turns out that this mild-mannered reporter is more helpful as Superman.

The issue also includes:

THE TERRIFICS #1­ (2018) – From this year’s New Age of Heroes and born of the events of DC’s hit series DARK NIGHTS: METAL. Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl are a team of heroes bound together by fate and united by the spirit of exploration and discovery. Together these heroes plumb the depths of the fantastic to learn what it means to become family.

GREEN LANTERN #1 (2005) – Written by best-selling writer Geoff Johns with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Carlos Pacheco, this first chapter launches the fan-favorite three-part story “No Fear,” in which Hal Jordan makes his return to the DC Universe as the Green Lantern, casting the light of justice on the darkest corners of Space Sector 2814.

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #1 (2003) – The iconic fan-favorite story arc, “Public Enemies,” returns, courtesy of writer Jeph Loeb, with artists Ed McGuinness and Tim Sale. Batman and Superman unite when President Lex Luthor accuses the Man of Steel of a crime against humanity and assembles a top-secret team of powerhouse heroes to bring Superman in by any means necessary.

September’s SUPERMAN GIANT #3 features Eisner Award-winning writer Tom King’s first return to the Man of Steel since his poignant and heartfelt tribute story, “For Tomorrow,” in the pages of ACTION COMICS #1000. Together with DC Master Class artist Andy Kubert, this powerhouse team will take readers on a new 12-part adventure titled “Up in the Sky!” When a little girl is kidnapped and taken from Earth, Superman embarks on a galaxy-spanning mission to find the perpetrators…but has to decide what lengths he will go to in order to save one life!

TEEN TITANS GIANT #1

In this original six-part Teen Titans story by Dan Jurgens with art by Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, and Jim Charalampidis, the Teen Titans’ pizza dinner is interrupted by the introduction of a new villain, the Disruptor. Teaming up with the Fearsome Five and working as an agent of H.I.V.E., he had one mission: kill the Teen Titans! The battle spills onto the streets of San Francisco, putting its citizens at risk, while H.I.V.E. uses this distraction to begin their plan for world conquest!

Additional issue #1 stories include:

SUPER SONS #1 (2017) – From DC’s smash-hit Rebirth event, writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Jorge Jimenez reintroduce the sons of Superman and Batman, Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne, in part one of “When I Grow Up.” As Robin, Damian’s more than ready to take his place at the heroes’ table and has zero plans to wait his turn. And he’s dragging Superman’s son along for the trip, whether Jon likes it or not!

SIDEWAYS #1 (2018) – Also from the New Age of Heroes, this story written by Dan DiDio with art by Kenneth Rocafort introduces fans to high schooler Derek James who, during the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, has acquired powers from the Dark Multiverse and stepped into the role of superhero! But when cracks begin to appear in the space-time continuum, he soon learns that with that much power comes even greater liability!

TEEN TITANS #1 (2003) – Written by best-selling author Geoff Johns with art by Mike McKone. Cyborg, Raven, Starfire and Beast Boy welcome in a new roster of young heroes to train to defend humanity—Wonder Girl, Impulse and a Superboy who’s been cloned from Superman’s DNA!

BATMAN GIANT #1

Batman is on the case of a missing girl in “One More Chance,” an all-new story by writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Patrick “Patch” Zircher. Batman is the world’s greatest detective, but what happens when the trail in his newest case leads him back to a place from his past that he never expected to revisit?

BATMAN GIANT #1 also includes:

BATMAN #608 (2002) – Written by Jeph Loeb with art by comics icon Jim Lee, issue #608 kicks off “Batman: Hush,” one of the most popular storylines in the Dark Knight’s fabled history. When Batman sets out to unmask the mystery character wreaking havoc in his life, he teams up with an unexpected ally (Catwoman) and finds himself facing off against not only his deadliest foes, but some of the toughest characters in the DC Universe, including Poison Ivy, Killer Croc and even Superman!

NIGHTWING #1 (2011) – From DC’s New 52, this story by writer Kyle Higgins and artist Eddy Barrows debuted a new look for Dick Grayson as he dives into a tale of murder, mystery and superhuman evil against the backdrop of Haley’s Circus, the place that started him on his path from acrobat to orphan to sidekick and ultimately superhero!

HARLEY QUINN #1 (2011) – Also from the New 52, writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Amanda Conner break Harley Quinn out of The Joker’s shadow with all the force of a giant mallet!

Beginning with BATMAN GIANT #3 in September, superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis makes his DC debut on the Dark Knight with a 12-part story, “Universe.” Batman’s run-in with the Riddler leads the Caped Crusader into a mystery that spans the globe!

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA GIANT #1

Justice League member Wonder Woman is spotlighted in “The Conversion,” an all-new story from NIGHTWING writer Tim Seeley and artists Rick Leonardi and Steve Buccellato. In this single-issue story, Wonder Woman comes face to face with Ares, god of war—who sees her as a promising new recruit!

JUSTICE LEAGUE GIANT #1 also includes:

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 (2011) – From the incomparable team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee comes this version of the League from the New 52. In this alternative spin on the union of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, superheroes are a strange and new phenomenon. The mysterious Batman discovers a dark evil that requires him to unite these reluctant heroes to protect Earth from a cosmic-level threat!

THE FLASH #1 (2011) – In this New 52 version of the Fastest Man Alive, writer Brian Buccellato and artist Francis Manapul introduce Barry Allen to a villain who not only can be everywhere at once, but is also a close friend of the Scarlet Speedster!

AQUAMAN #1 (2011) – Award-winning writer Geoff Johns and dynamic artist Ivan Reis team up on this story from the New 52! Aquaman has given up the throne of Atlantis, but the sea still has plans for Arthur Curry as a broken race of undersea creatures, the Trench, emerges from the ocean depths, bent on destroying the surface world!

In issue #2, Seeley teams up with artists Felipe Watanabe and Chris Sotomayor on “Mother’s Day,” a stand-alone story where Wonder Woman returns to Paradise Island for the first time since her exile, only to find that the Amazons – and Queen Hippolyta – have been abducted by Echidna, the mythological Mother of Monsters, with a brood of unstoppable beasts as children!

Issue #3 begins another original 12-part Wonder Woman story by HARLEY QUINN co-writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti called “Come Back to Me.” When Steve Trevor’s plane crashes on an island outside of time itself, it’s up to Wonder Woman to rescue him from this mysterious land, full of monsters, dinosaurs and some very surprising citizens.

Preview: Wonder Woman #47

Wonder Woman #47

(W) James Robinson (A) Stephen Segovia, Rick Leonardi (CA) Emanuela Lupacchino
In Shops: May 23, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“The Dark Gods” part two! Wonder Woman seeks answers from the Greek pantheon about the strange new beings barreling towards Earth – but can she convince her creators not to abandon their creation?

Preview: Aquaman #33

Aquaman #33

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Ricardo Federici, Rick Leonardi (CA) Stjepan Sejic
In Shops: Feb 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“The Crown Comes Down” finale! With Mera’s life hanging in the balance, Aquaman must find a way to bring down the Crown of Thorns! But King Rath’s forces are more resolved than ever to take down Aquaman…and time is running out before Mera pays the ultimate price!

Review: Cable: The Hellfire Hunt

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got Cable!

Cable: The Hellfire Hunt collects Cable (1993) #1 and #48-58, Cable & Machine Man Annual 1998, Machine Man & Bastion Annual 1998 and Wolverine/Cable by Michael Higgins, Joe Casey, Karl Bollers, German Garcia, Ryan Benjamin, Ed McGuinness, Rick Leonardi, Martin Egeland, Stephen Platt, and Jose Ladrönn.

Get your copy in comic shops today and bookstores on November 28. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Preview: Scooby Apocalypse #17

Scooby Apocalypse #17

(W) Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis (A) Dale Eaglesham, Rick Leonardi, Dan Green (CA) Carlos D’Anda
In Shops: Sep 13, 2017
SRP: $3.99

Now that the mega-monster has been untangled, a small army of monsters lurks around every corner waiting to destroy the gang forever. Little do they know, the greatest threat is one they can’t see. Can Scooby’s nose save the day? Then, in our backup story, Secret Squirrel embarks on his latest mission with the help of his trusted partner, Morocco Mole.

Review : The Sandman Special #1

At this point, there have been way more comic book “Sandmen” than a person can rightly count, and while the most popular remains the Neil Gaiman iteration, it owes a heavy debt — and over the course of its run makes references both tangential and concrete — to the version of the character introduced by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in 1974. Simon and Kirby had collaborated on another “Sandman” altogether around three decades previously, but the ’70s version, while short-lived, remains beloved by fans and creators alike, and so when DC announced its series of specials in celebration of The King Of Comics’ centenary, it was certain he’d be making a return appearance — and so he has.

The Sandman Special #1 is neatly divided into three distinct sections — the first story, written by consistently-busy veteran Dan Jurgens and illustrated by nowhere-near-as-consistently-busy veteran Jon Bogdanove, sees the land of dreams’ sworn protector, along with colorful and loquacious sidekicks Brute and Glob, working overtime to try to contain the extra-powerful imaginings of a precocious little boy; the second, scripted by Steve Orlando with pencils by Rick Leonardi and inks by Dan Green, sees a now-grown version of Jed, who figured prominently in both the Simon/Kirby and Gaiman series during earlier phases of his “life,” trying to make amends with his past after the death of his grandfather; and the final third is a collection of “Strange Tales Of The D.N.A. Project” back-up strips by Kirby himself that originally ran in the pages of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. That’s the particulars out of the way, then.

You already don’t need me to tell you that the final section of this $4.99 book is the best one and worth the price of admission alone (that is if you haven’t read all these short, two-page strips already), so let’s talk about the new material : the Jurgens/Bogdanove yarn is definitely the stronger of the two, and while it’s entirely predictable, that’s also the source of its strength and charm — you know who the over-active little dreamer is from the get-go (or at least you know who you want him to be), and events play out precisely as expected. Jurgens’ script is simple and efficient, and really just gets out of the way and lets Bogdanove, who treats us to some sumptuous double-page spreads (including an amazing Kirby-esque collage) have all the fun. That’s as it should be. The art style is pure homage all the way, yet delivered in a manner free of the curse that is intentional irony, thereby allowing it all to look and feel as entirely respectful as it is. Nobody’s re-inventing the wheel here or anything, but I defy you not to have an ear-to-ear grin on your face by the time it’s all said and done.

Somewhat less successful, but still not too shabby, is the Orlando/Leonardi/Green strip — it’s great to see Jed again, don’t get me wrong, but having his grandfather be a physical doppleganger for Kirby feels like a clunkier and more forced tribute than the more seamlessly-woven one delivered just a handful of pages previously. It’s okay enough in its own right, but only that — okay. Again, the art is basically what we’ll call an extended, and entirely polite, tip of the hat to The King.

On the whole, then, I admit that I had plenty of fun reading this book, and a supremely cool cover by the great Paul Pope provides the icing on the cake for this birthday tribute celebration. I paid for this comic out of pocket and didn’t feel ripped-off in the least, and I’ll look forward to reading it again when I go through all these specials in a single sitting once they’ve all been released. Of the three that have come out so far, I’d rank this one in the middle of the pack, just a notch behind Howard Chaykin‘s The Newsboy Legion And The Boy Commandos Special, but well ahead of the dull and unimaginative travesty that was Shane Davis‘ New Gods Special.

Okay, fair enough, the greatest tribute one could pay to Jack Kirby would probably be to create new and innovative characters and concepts that actually push the medium forward, but if you’re bound and determined to play the “nostalgia card,” you could do it a whole lot worse than it’s done in these pages.

Story : Dan Jugens and Steve Orlando  Art : Jon Bogdanove, Rick Leonardi, and Dan Green

Story : 7  Art : 8  Overall : 7.5  Recommendation : Buy

 

 

Preview: The Sandman Special #1

The Sandman Special #1

(W) Dan Jurgens, Steve Orlando (A) Jon Bogdanove, Rick Leonardi (CA) Paul Pope
In Shops: Aug 16, 2017
SRP: $4.99

Don’t miss two new tales starring Jack Kirby’s costumed Master of Nightmares from the 1970s. Sandman, Brute and Glob battle an onslaught of dreams so powerful that they are invading the dreams of other people! Then, a grown-up Jed Walker returns to his childhood home, only to find himself haunted by dreams from the past. This issue also includes “Strange Tales from the D.N.A. Project” from SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #142-144, 146 and 148, written and pencilled by Jack Kirby and “Turn on the Heat,” starring the Newsboy Legion, from STAR SPANGLED COMICS #27, written and illustrated by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

Review: The Sandman Special #1

SandmanSpecialCoverBetween the Sandman with the gas mask and gun and the Gothic, critically acclaimed one, there was the red and yellow superhero suit wearing Sandman created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in 1974. In a pair of stories, DC Comics creators both old and new show the imaginative potential of this superhero and his unwilling, monstrous assistants Brute and Glob. First, Dan Jurgens, Jon Bogdanove, and Madpencil tell a heartwarming story with a great twist ending about a young boy whose vivid dreams of monsters and superheroes threaten to break out of the dream world and into reality. Then, there is Steve Orlando, Rick Leonardi, Dan Green, and Steve Buccelato’s slightly wilder tale of the now adult Jed Walker, a supporting character in Sandman, battling his childhood nightmares with a cameo from basically the Grim Reaper. The comic is rounded out by a collection of two page “Strange Stories of the DNA Project” from Jack Kirby’s Fourth World stories.

What initially drew me to The Sandman Special was Jon Bogdanove’s uncanny ability to make his art look like Jack Kirby’s while using modern techniques like photo collages to show the surrealness of the young boy’s dream world.  I wish DC Comics put him on more projects. There is weight to Sandman’s throws and punches, and Madpencil cooks up an old school color palette straight out of the 1970s, like a smooth orange take on the classic Kirby krackle. Even though it has banter, punching, a sick team-up move from Sandman and Brute, and a tentacle monster that gets handily defeated, Jurgens and Bogdanove’s story is more metafictional than a straight up superhero adventure ending in a final panel that may make you cry.

Sandmaninterior

Through action and a couple heart rending Jurgens monologues towards the end, The Sandman Special looks at the important of embracing our fears and weaknesses through the dream monsters and then facing and defeating them as symbolized by the young boy’s superhero, who is an amalgamation of Kirby’s takes on Thor, Orion, and a little bit of Captain America. The battle between Sandman and the young boy’s nightmare monsters is also a wonderful tribute to Jack Kirby’s career where he would switch from drawing superheroes to monsters and vice versa from his first work at DC and Marvel in the early 1940s to his later work in the 1970s and 1980s. And sometimes monsters could be heroes, like the ever loving blue eyed Thing, which is why it’s nice to see Bogdanove homage Fantastic Four #1 in one of his panels and have the monster that Sandman fights talk and have feelings.

Unlike the lead story, which quickly establishes Sandman’s kooky status quo with a double page spread, Orlando, Leonardi, and Green rely on previous knowledge of the character of Jed Walker and his grandfather Ezra from Kirby’s Sandman. I vaguely remember Jed from the “Game of You” arc from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, but luckily the story kicks up a notch when Sandman, Brute, and Glob end up fighting the angel of death in cowboy form Psychopomp on train while looking for a dream about Jed’s grandfather to scare away his now adult nightmares.

Orlando doesn’t really establish Jed as a character except his constant nightmares and that he left his unwelcoming hometown and only returned for his grandfather’s funeral so the big emotional moment isn’t as powerful as it could be. But he does make a human connection to Jed’s nightmares, which are about the fact that he didn’t spend enough time with his grandfather while he was alive. On a more fun note, the banter between Sandman, Brute, and Glob keeps the story from getting too doom and gloom as they sneak and mess around with Psychopomp. Also, I liked that Dan Green used a grittier, inking style for Jed in the “real world” and his feelings of guilt and a cleaner one for Sandman and his more traditional punching and magic whistle blowing heroism. The design for Psychopomp is also a perfect bridge from Jack Kirby’s Sandman to Neil Gaiman’s.

The second story leans too much on previous reader knowledge, but Sandman Special is a fantastic tribute to the well-designed (Both Madpencil and Steve Buccelato make that red and yellow costume pop), filled to the brim with imagination Sandman of the 1970s. It also shows the literal power of dreams to craft limitless opportunities for storytelling

Story: Dan Jurgens, Steve Orlando Art: Jon Bogdanove, Rick Leonardi with Dan Green
Colors: Madpencil, Steve Buccelato

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Flintstones #12

The Flintstones #12

(W) Mark Russell (A) Steve Pugh (CA) Rick Leonardi, Scott Hanna
In Shops: Jun 07, 2017
SRP: $3.99

You are now leaving Bedrock! The Great Gazoo is on his way home to the stars, while Fred and company leave the Church of Gerald, and Mr. Slate leaves behind being a jerk- at least for a little while. Say good-bye to Pebbles, Bowling Ball, Philip the turtle, Fred and Barney, and the whole cast in this final issue of what critics are calling the best comic of 2016!

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