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Review: Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Justice League #1 is an interesting comic. There’s a lot to like about it. But, there’s also a lot to be frustrated by as well. There’s two stories and each has their strengths and weaknesses.

Joshua Williamson handles the writing duties for the first story focused on the Justice League of the future. With a new Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, The Flash, Aquawoman, and Wonder Woman, the comic gives us familiar characters but new takes. It also delivers an interesting new status quo in some ways.

In Future State: Justice League #1, the Legion of Doom has been murdered leaving the Justice League to figure out who did it. Roles aren’t quite as straightforward as one might expect changing up some of the expectations for the team. There’s also a new dynamic in that this is a team that doesn’t know each other’s identities. We’re told of some major events in the past that has lead to that but it doesn’t hamper the story. There are some hints as to what has happened but it doesn’t linger in the details. We’re absolutely left wanting more but it’s not the focus brought up over and over.

Instead, Williamson focuses on the lasting reverberations of the past and how they impact this new team. There’s a discussion if these heroes should be hampered by the ghosts of the past. That’s really interesting and I wish there was more of it. Sadly, it’s all cut short as the real villains are revealed. A group I have no connection to so I was left shrugging my shoulders.

The art by Robson Rocha is fantastic. Daniel Henriques is on ink, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. is on color, and Tom Napolitano on lettering. There’s solid page layouts and the design and look of the characters are great. The comic had me looking at the art and pages to check out the details and dissect the look of the comic. It just looks really good and has a good pacing despite much of the comic is standing around and chatting.

The comic also features a Justice League Dark story, “Prophéties“. It’s written by Ram V., with art by Marcio Takara, color by Marcelo Maiolo, and lettering by Rob Leigh. Here we’re given a different future where magic users are under attack. It’s a wasteland post-apocalyptic world where instead of a lot of what we’ve seen elsewhere, this one is more sword and sorcery. Zatanna and Bobo are attempting to figure out what has happened as they also do what they can to survive. Merlin has returned taking the magic and hunting down users and murdering them.

It’s an interesting story that has a nice blending of settings. Where it goes and what’s revealed has me wanting to find out more and see what’s next. But, it also feels like a story arc that’s a bit of a filler between bigger arcs. It’s not bad, it doesn’t quite hit the mark with its big moments.

Future State: Justice League #1 is an ok comic. It’s not bad. It’s also not exciting enough. Both stories have their moments and interesting aspects. But, the Justice League characters are a bit more interesting in their own “Future State” series. The Justice League Dark story packs a lot in but misses that punch to really make it exciting. This is one for those who really want to see more of these characters or worlds.

Story: Joshua Williamson, Ram V. Art: Robson Rocha, Marcio Takara
Ink: Daniel Henriques Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

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Review: Future State: The Next Batman #1

Future State: The Next Batman #1

With John Ridley writing the main story, there’s no way I wasn’t going to read Future State: The Next Batman #1. A new Batman in a fascist Gotham written by Ridley is a combination that’s right up my alley. And even with a high bar to cover, I was not only pleased, but excited to read the next issue and wishing we were getting more than two.

In this future Gotham, a militaristic police called The Magistrate has taken over pushing the Gotham P.D. to the side. “The Bat” and masks are outlawed and hunted down. A new Batman is in town not just stopping crime but attempting to save masks from a fate at the hand of the Magistrate.

Ridley delivers such a strong opening and familiar but different take on the character. There’s a classic Batman vibe to it all going back to the basics of a man in a costume with his grappling hook and smoke. It’s theatrical in many ways and feels like a cross of the early years of the character and Batman 1989. Ridley also spins things a bit with layers on the fascism and vigilantism. Some take Batman as an extension of a rightwing agenda as far as justice but to see him rail against an overreaching government is a nice and different spin. It makes me want to see Ridley release a maxi-series further exploring the concepts touched upon here.

The art by Nick Derington is top-notch. There are so many panels and pages that evoke classic Batman with a few paying an homage to classic imagery. Derington is joined by Tamra Bonvillain on color and Clayton Cowles on colors. The combination creates a look and feel of a “classic Batman” story and some of the modern classics that use the shadows to evoke fear and excitement for what’s to come.

Future State: The Next Batman #1 is one of the expanded “Future State” issues featuring two other stories.

Outsiders” is written by Brandon Thomas with art by Sumit Kumar, ink by Kumar and Raul Fernandez, color by Jordie Bellaire, and lettering by Steve Wands. We get to see a new crew of Outsiders as they attempt to take down The Magistrate. It’s a great extension of the world in the main story showing more of the resistance against the fascist police. There’s a lot packed into the story really setting things up and creating a world out of a dozen pages or so. It feels in a way two short stories itself but is such a strong entry that expands the world and compliments the main story. The art is fantastic as well delivering some great action.

Arkham Knights Chapter 1 Rise” is written by Paul Jenkins with art by Jack Herbert, color by Gabe Eltaeb, and lettering by Rob Leigh. Much like the other story, this one also adds a lot to this new world. The Arkham Knights is a squad of Batman villains who have come together to take on The Magistrate. There’s a Suicide Squad vibe about it but the concept and how it’s presented is really interesting. It’s the specifics of the concept that really stand out. The art too is great with updates to classic characters.

Future State: The Next Batman #1 is a winner of a comic. I wanted to read more immediately and now I want an entire series exploring this world. There’s some great concepts here and an interesting exploration of the line between justice and fascism. Where the line is drawn is a great concept to dive in to and this comic dances around it with some fantastic writing and characters. A lot is packed into the extended issue and it’s such a welcome addition to the DC and Batman mythology.

Story: John Ridley, Brandon Thomas, Paul Jenkins Art: Nick Derington, Sumit Kumar, Jack Herbert
Ink: Sumit Kumar, Raul Fernandez Color: Tamra Bonvillain, Jordie Bellaire, Gabe Eltaeb

Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Steve Wands, Rob Leigh
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Batman: Black & White #1

Batman: Black & White #1

Anthology series are always something I enjoy to read in comics. In a comic, you get varied voices and styles, getting to see what creators you might not read would do with characters. It’s also a chance to see what different creators would do in the same sandbox. That often results in a lot of variation showing how versatile comics and their characters can be. Batman: Black & White #1 kicks off a new series with one hell of a start.

Batman: Black & White #1 is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in some time. While the stories are varied and interesting, this debut issue’s art is what really stands out. There’s a common theme, beyond Batman, of artists breaking the mold delivering visuals that “break the page”.

With five stories, Batman: Black & White #1 gives us variation not just in styles but the perspectives and subjects. There’s some “traditional” Batman focused stories but others come from different perspectives. The opening for example is told from the perspective of a member of the League of Assassins.

Each story is entertaining in their own way. They are varied in pacing, tone, and focus, keeping things interesting. Some keep things more traditional in the narrative while others are presented in a more poetic style. The dialogue and types of stories alone are worth picking up the issue. But, it’s the art that really stands out in this issue.

The styles of art vary but they all have one thing in common. Each story breaks traditional page layouts and panels. The opening story uses Batman’s cape to break up the sequences, another is laid out like poem flowing across the page. Another story uses the pearls of Bruce Wayne’s mother to break up the page. In an amazing visual, art from throughout the years is laid out on page like a collage of Batman’s history. You’ll linger on every page in awe as to what’s been laid out. Every inch of the page is used and used well. Only one of the stories comes close to expected page layouts and even then, that tale delivers a lot for Batman fans in the background.

All of that is delivered in black and white.

Batman: Black & White #1 is a hell of a start to the series. It had me lingering on pages in awe of what was before me and wanting more. It shows off some amazing art and will have you longing for more of this and fewer boxes on the page. This is a fantastic issue for Batman fans and fans of beautiful art. It also creates a high bar for future issues to reach.

Story: James Tynion IV, J.H. Williams III, G. Willow Wilson, Emma Rios, Paul Dini
Art: Tradd Moore, J.H. Williams III, Greg Smallwood, Emma Rios, Andy Kubert, Dexter Soy
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Todd Klein, Clem Robins, Steve Wands, Rob Leigh
Story 8.45 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint #1

Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint

DC Comics’ Tales From the Dark Multiverse have been fun, twisted takes on infamous storylines. Some entries have been better than others. Overall, it’s been interesting to see where creators take a known story and what they can do with the premise. Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint has Bryan Hitch writing and providing pencils for the world-changing event.

In this version of Flashpoint, Barry Allen doesn’t regain his powers. This leaves the Reverse-Flash to roam this world and do with as he pleases. Hitch takes things to interesting places using the over-sized issue as best he can. Like so many previous one-shots, this is a story that could easily have been a mini-series on its own. A lot is packed into the issue. While it doesn’t deliver a punch, it does entertain, especially for those that have read the original.

While Hitch as a writer and artist can be hit or miss for me, Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint is a solid entry into that world. There’s a logical progression that Hitch takes things as we see Eobard Thawne take advantage of the situation. But, more importantly, we get a debate about the “hope” that Barry Allen represents. Barry’s “hope” created Flashpoint and Thawne points out that hope was actually selfishness. That gets juxtaposed with this version of Batman which is Thomas Wayne who lost his son Bruce in the alley and his wife breakdown after. There’s something interesting and tragic about it all as we know the damage Barry did and wonder if Thawne and Thomas will repeat his mistakes. We also get to see more of what drives Thawne and he finds a new opponent in Wayne.

Hitch’s art is solid as well. While he doesn’t quite bring the motion that so many others do on the Flash, there’s a great use of Thawne’s movement in the art. There’s also the “doom” of Flashpoint without causing the comic to be a downer. This is a drab, depressing world, but Hitch doesn’t drag the comic down by focusing too much in that. The colors of Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper instead give us oranges, reds, and yellows, that create a mood without the comic itself being moody.

Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Flashpoint does a solid job of revisiting Flashpoint and taking it in a logical direction that’s not just annihilation and war. There’s an intriguing idea behind what Bryan Hitch has created and where the story leaves it. It also creates some intriguing possibilities for the future and Thawne’s character. Like so many of the other “Tales From”, this is a “dark” world I wouldn’t mind revisiting and hope we get to see more of it.

Story: Bryan Hitch Art: Bryan Hitch
Ink: Andrew Currie, Scott Hanna Color: Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

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Discover the destiny of the DC Universe in Future State: Justice League #1 on January 12!

Welcome to DC Future State, a two-month extravaganza that reveals what lies in store for the World’s Greatest Heroes! Spinning out of the finale of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 (on sale January 5), DC Future State will take you on a journey from the near future to the end of time to witness the destinies of heroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, the Teen Titans, and so many more.

In Future State: Justice League #1witness the start of a new era for the Justice League starring Jonathan Kent as Superman, Yara Flor as Wonder Woman, Jo Mullein as Green Lantern, Andy Curry as Aquawoman, a new Flash—Jess Chambers—from the Multiverse, and [REDACTED] as Batman! Together, they protect the future, yet apart, their identities are secret even from one another—but why? When their greatest adversaries wind up murdered in an abandoned Hall of Justice, all clues point to…the Justice League! The new team’s adventures begin here!

And in a new tale of the Justice League Dark, a witch hunt across the DC Universe begins as magic users are harvested and executed—and the team is on the run! Zatanna and Detective Chimp (now possessed by Etrigan) must round up new and old teammates, including John Constantine, Ragman, and Madame Xanadu. Their mission? To battle the power-mad Crow King, Merlin, before his plans for magical domination destroy the fabric of reality. But where is Dr. Fate? And what led the team to disband in the first place? Discover the truth here!

Future State: Justice League #1 (of 2), written by Joshua Williamson with art by Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Tom Napolitano, including Future State: Justice League Dark #1 by Ram V., Marcio Takara, Marcelo Maiolo, and Rob Leigh, featuring a cover by Dan Mora and a card stock variant cover by Kael Ngu, hits shelves January 12.

Review: Dark Nights: Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme!

Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme!

Dark Nights: Death Metal has been a mixed bag of an event. Often, the one-shot tie-ins have been better than the main series. They’ve also been vital to the main story. The one-shots have filled in gaps fleshing out key moments not taking place in the main series but referenced there. Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is Lobo’s mission in the event. Hired by Lex Luthor, Lobo is tasked with obtaining Death Metal which can remake the universe. Made up of a trio of stories, Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is a flimsy one-shot. In the end, it’s a comic that’s neither exciting, interesting, or funny.

Frank Tieri kicks off the first story “Part I: The Batman Who Frags“. In a drawn out sequence, Lobo bounces between trying to drink, capture a bounty, and also tangles with the Lobo version of Batman, The Batman Who Frags. Tieri is joined by artist Tyler Kirkham, colorist Arif Prinato, and letterer Dave Sharpe. As has hampered some of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the story feels like it’s more focused on introducing the Lobo Batman than actually getting the story going. With a distraction of a bounty to bring in, some fights and events that are a bit choppy, the kick-off never quite makes sense in its narrative. Why did The Batman Who Frags show up? How did he find Lobo? It’s a segment that kicks off a series of events rather than a flowing narrative.

The second part by Becky Cloonan, artist Rags Morales, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Rob Leigh is titled “What the Frag is a Death Metal Anyway!?“. Blackhawk Island and Hawkman are at the center as Lobo tracks down the Death Metal. Again, the story devolves into a series of events than narrative as Lobo must tussle with Black Monday and then convince Hawkman to turn over the metal. An attack from the air by The Batman Who Frags feels out of the blue and not explained enough as much of what happens. It, just happens. Why would Hawkman trust Lobo? Why wouldn’t Hawkman use the power of the Death Metal himself? There are so many questions out there that just kills the narrative if one takes a moment to think about it at all.

Wrapping up the trio of stories is “Lobo Land!” from writer Sam Humphries, artist Denys Cowan, inks by Bill Sienkiewicz, colorist Chris Sotomayor, and letterer Dave Sharpe. With the Death Metal in hand Lobo does what he does best and gets distracted. Again, it adds little to the narrative and again opens up questions. Lex Luthor was able to snatch Lobo initially but doesn’t once he has the metal?

Instead, Brainiac is part of the story sent by a missing Luthor. It’s a series of jokes as Lobo changes realities creating different versions of himself in a series of one-page jokes. They’re not even long enough to nail down the joke with barely a setup. It also adds little to the story and feels more of an exit that’s created because there were pages to fill and unsure of a way to wrap up the issue for Dark Nights: Death Metal #5. What the team does evoke is classic Lobo stories and the kinetic, almost Mad Magazine-like rapid-fire jokes.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hour Exxxtreme! is just an ok tie-in. Yes, it probably tells something important that won’t be covered in the main series but it also doesn’t feature enough to stand out. It feels like something that probably could have been told in a few pages stretched out to over 30. Most of it is filler with the meat of the story featuring little explanation and a resolution that takes place in a few panels. It’s about as filler as filler gets.

Story: Frank Tieri, Becky Cloonan, Sam Humphries Art: Tyler Kirkham, Rags Morales, Denys Cowan
Ink: Bill Sienkiewicz Color: Arif Prianto, Andrew Dalhouse, Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Rob Leigh
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

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Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1

Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1

Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1 is the latest Dark Nights: Death Metal one-shot that’s better than the main story. Focusing on the hit Robin King character, we learn more about his history and his relationship with The Batman Who Laughs.

The issue is an interesting one. We dive further into this twisted version of Bruce Wayne and “Batman”. Bruce is the one who killed his parents. From there goes on a mission to take on the adult heroes and their rules. There’s a brilliance to it all and we get to see why the Robin King is so good at what he does. Like Batman, he plans, and plans a lot. But, that’s both good and bad.

Writer Peter J. Tomasi handles the main story and adds depth to the breakout character. We get a vision and a mission and it’s one that’s consistent. With distrust of adults and rules and wanting the children to rise up, Robin King has a distrust of everyone. That includes The Batman Who Laughs. With that small detail, Tomasi gives us someone who can rival that character and likely will be a thorn in his side down the road. He’s more than just another evil Batman now. The crumbs for what’s to come are sprinkled here. Like the other one-shots, Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1 is going to be a vital chapter in Dark Nights: Death Metal.

What Tomasi also does is deliver a chaotic glee about everything. Robin King has a kid-like excitement about the carnage and destruction. The attitude and actions make sense and are fun in a weird way. We see heroes murdered and there’s a bit of humor about it. That’s partially due to Tomasi’s writing but also the art by Riley Rossmo.

Rossmo is joined by Ivan Plascencia on color and Rob Leigh on lettering. Rossmo’s distinctive style with Plascencia’s colors creates a chaotic symphony of destruction visually. There’s an almost Looney Tunes feel about it all as Robin King’s joy explodes off the page. Rossmo’s character style adds to that and what could easily be gore and horror comes off as over the top humor. The glee with which the art presents Robin King too is somewhat infectious. Mixed with his at times child-like innocence, there’s a combination of a comic that’s reminiscent of 90s Bisley Lobo, a celebration of over the top destruction.

The issue also features a second story, “The Quiet Ones.” Featuring Signal, it has him going up against a new evil Batman we haven’t seen before. It too feels like a key moment that’ll have an impact down the road as the character “rights” his power and gets focus. Written by Tony Patrick with art by Daniel Sampere, color by Adriano Lucas, and lettering from Andworld Design, it’s another story that probably should be in the main comic but is relegated to this one-shot.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1 is an odd comic like many of the one-shots. It’s likely an important part of the story filling in key moments not in the main comic. There’s clearly things here that’ll have an impact down the road and play in to what’s to come. But, at the same time, I’m not sure how you would add any of this to the main series. Even adding an issue, it’s too much of a side quest focus to keep the flow of that going. It’s also far more entertaining than what we’ve seen there. It’s focus on a few characters allows them to have depth delivering a comic that feels like it’s more about the character than the gimmick. That’s something that has plagued Dark Nights: Death Metal as a whole.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King #1, like the other one-shots, stands out. If you want to learn more about Robin King, it’s out there but there’s just enough having to do with the main event, it also doesn’t stand on its own. Still, it’s an entertaining read that’s beyond insane and fun.

Story: Peter J. Tomasi, Tony Patrick Art: Riley Rossmo, Daniel Sampere
Color: Ivan Plascencia, Adriano Lucas Letterer: Rob Leigh, Andworld Design
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Batman: Three Jokers #2

Batman: Three Jokers #2

There’s a lot to like with Batman: Three Jokers #2. The first issue of this series was a bit of a mixed bag, but underneath the stilted dialogue, there’s concepts that show promise. And that might describe the entire series, a lot of interesting concepts that show promise. The execution, that’s another thing.

Written by Geoff Johns, the concept of the series is that there are multiple Jokers. It explains such varied takes on the character and why at times it feels like he can be at multiple places. Dubbed “The Criminal,” “The Comedian,” and “The Clown,” each are distinct in their style. They also seem to want to add to their ranks.

While the series revolves around these Jokers, the second issue is a bit clearer in Johns’ initial focus for the series, the trauma each has lead to. The debut issue circled around Jason Todd’s death and resurrection while the second issue dives further into the trauma of that. Todd’s experience with the Joker is played off of the experiences of both Barbara Gordon and Bruce Wayne, each having their own traumatic experiences.

And that’s actually interesting.

Johns focuses in on a trio of characters who are all attempting to recover and heal from their pasts in their own way. Some have done so better than others. And, in many ways the trio hurt each other. Batman’s cold distance from Jason upon his return only drove him further into the Red Hood persona. Jason’s adoption of that persona, which was once the Joker’s, is a hot topic.

These are all things that are worthy of a story. But, Johns depiction of it all feels cold and distant. There’s a lack of emotion in some ways that makes the result feel rather clinical. That might be due to the actual coldness of Batman, the “detective” aspects of the comic, or that it’s just written that way. But, there’s a lack of connection to the characters. We watch them deal with their pasts from a distance as readers as if watching a play going through the motions but not connecting with the audience.

Part of the emotional oddness of the comic is that it’s very much a “horror” comic. Jason Fabok‘s art, with color by Brad Anderson, is one of nightmares. Continuing a modern-Watchmen like riff in the style, the comic features the hunt for the two Jokers and a discover of failed conversions with a suffocating like attack. Add in yet more torture of Jason Todd and it’s a comic that’s just not very uplifting. The colors look beautiful but are dark with a sickly tint to everything. Batman isn’t necessarily known for a cheery style but this feels a bit gloomy even for that line of comics. Rob Leigh‘s lettering stands out especially as the lettering navigates the Joker’s moods. The lettering is what really drives those moments.

Batman: Three Jokers #2 isn’t a bad comic. There’s a lot to like. But, there’s also something stilted and cold in its execution. Where we should feel empath, we don’t. Where we should be shocked, we’re not. The issue wants to be mature but also never feels like it full grasps the adult nature of the themes and concepts explored. There’s something to say about Batman replacing Jason with more Robins. There’s a very twisted aspect to that.

There’s something to say about Jason’s path in general. There’s something to say about recovery from trauma and while we all have our own path, we still need support. All of that is there but it’s never feels like any of it is really discussed or explored, it’s all surface deep. Hopefully we get a bit more of these interesting ideas but as is, this is a series that feels like it knows what it wants to say but not how to say it.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Jason Fabok
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

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Review: Batman: Three Jokers #1

Batman: Three Jokers #1

Teased since the beginning of DC Rebirth, Batman: Three Jokers #1 begins to explore the Clown Prince of Crime and his various incarnations. The comic is an interesting one delivering a story that’s both expected and unexpected. The direction, so far, is a simple one giving us what is the simplest answer for the numerous variations on the same character. That simplicity also opens up a lot of questions distracting from the story.

Written by Geoff Johns, Batman: Three Jokers #1 reads similar to his take on Watchmen in Doomsday Clock. The writing at times feels stilted forgoing a natural flow. Jokes land with the seriousness of a doctor delivering grim news. The comic is generally joyless. But, it’s also interesting in that it attempts to answer a question no one was really asking and deliver an answer that’s not needed.

The Joker has been depicted as many things and often it’s just a force of nature. He’s chaos in human form and one that takes on whatever is needed at the time. In this concept, there are literally three Jokers. While some would consider that a spoiler, it’s something that’s been made clear for quite some time in the lead up to this debut. It takes what is a character that can morph into so many iterations and creates what is multiple and numerous distinct incarnations. While Batman can change over time, apparently his greatest rogue can not and in this being presented as is, it hurts the dynamic and connection between the two.

Where Johns makes things slightly interesting is the focus on the three Bat-family members most impacted by the Joker. Batman, Batgirl, and Jason Todd as Red Hood are the Bat-trio to take on the Joker-trio. Each of them face the Joker from their trauma. But, Johns falls into shock rather than exploration with the most surface level reading and reaction. Spoilers already abound as to what has happened but Johns takes us to the most base level of characters instead of delivering a more interesting and deeper exploration of the characters and their trauma. The answer to violence is apparently more violence.

The art by Jason Fabok with color by Brad Anderson and lettering by Rob Leigh is the most interesting thing about the comic. The design and look is solid. There’s a dark cloud that hangs over the comic giving us a proper “dark” in the Dark Night. The Jokers also differ enough from each other and update their classic designs into one style well. But, the issue’s art has similar issues the story and dialogue fall in to. There’s a stiffness to it all. Pages mostly are in nine page panels as if there’s an attempt to deliver a Watchmen visual experience. The comic could benefit from breaking the panels and delivering a more dynamic visual experience.

Batman: Three Jokers #1 isn’t bad in any way. It’s also not exciting. There’s a joyless stiffness to it. The comic takes itself a bit too seriously and comes off stilted and honestly boring. There are some interesting ideas that may flesh out as the story progresses. But, the first issue doesn’t excite me to move on. Like Doomsday Clock, it’s a story that has some interesting concepts but filters them through a filter that sucks out any of the fun and entertainment. It’s soulless. After so long of a wait, it’s hard to not get to the end and think “that’s it?”.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Jason Fabok Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

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Preview: The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10

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Bullet” by Van Jensen, David Lafuente, Paul Mounts, and Rob Leigh

It’s an all-out brawl between Reverse Flash and Flash as Barry tries to save a cop from an errant bullet. Will the Flash be fast enough to stop a bullet?

Burnout” by Dave Wielgosz, Brad Walker, Nathan Fairbairn, and Rob Leigh

Barry is running himself ragged, and his best friend Hal Jordan comes to check on him, but Flash doesn’t want the help. When the Top goes on a rampage, can the two friends put their differences aside to work together?

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10
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