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Review: Infinite Frontier #2

Infinite Frontier #2

While the recent Death Metal storyline was a bit mixed in its quality, its legacy is potentially massive for the DC Universe. The event has opened up a comic universe of infinite possibilities. Characters are back and an infinite amount of worlds and universes exists. Infinite Frontier is the series that looks to explore all of those possibilities and Infinite Frontier #2 expands that a lot as it continues its investigation of the mysteries set up in the debut issue.

Written by Joshua Williamson, Infinite Frontier #2 packs a lot into the issue. There’s the mystery of the disappearance of Jade and some characters who may not have returned from the dead. There’s the new Black Lantern. Then we have Thomas Wayne’s crash landing. Finally, there’s the D.E.O. that looks like it’s getting back in business. Any one of those storylines could be an entire issue. But, Williamson balances them well delivering just enough for each to move forward in a satisfying way.

And he still delivers a hell of a shock at the end.

Infinite Frontier #2 is solid in not just putting the pieces of the storylines together but also feels like a fun tour of the DC Universe for new readers. As President Superman and Thomas Wayne examine Wayne’s appearance we get to see ship crashes on different Earths. It’s a fun tour and there’s a few that may have some massive implications. And implications is part of what this issue is about. It’s not just what’s to come but also what it means for the return of all of these characters. Which versions are back? Who hasn’t returned? All of that is thrown out making the series even more intriguing.

With so many stories and worlds, the art is handled by the trio of Paul Pelletier, Jesús Merino, and Xermánico. Norm Rapmund, Merino, and Xermánico handle the ink with Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color, and Tom Napolitano on lettering. The art works and works well. There’s little issues with the trio all handling different aspects and the art flows together. There’s also a nice build-up to the end of the issue. The surprise hits you as the issue builds. You get a sense of something coming but not exactly what. With some of what else is touched upon in the issue, there’s coming to be some waves over events.

Infinite Frontier #2 is a fun comic. It just feels like a throwback to that time that anything can happen while also building towards something. This is THE series to keep an eye on and looks to be key for the future of the DC Universe.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Paul Pelletier, Jesús Merino, Xermánico
Ink: Norm Rapmund, Jesús Merino, Xermánico Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Batman #110

Batman #110

The highlight of DC’s “Future State” was its Batman line of comics. It featured a neon Gotham under the watchful fascist eye of a new security force that has cracked down on “masks”. In the current Batman line of comics, we’re seeing the seeds of that possible future laid out and what turned Gotham from a grimy city to a futuristic fascist state. Batman #110 has Batman confronting Peacekeeper-01 and the city inching further towards its dark future after an attack on City Hall.

James Tynion IV has really come into a groove when it comes to this series. The current focus has a great mix of action, tension, and political maneuvering. It also has some small bumpy moments I have trouble getting over. The issue really comes down to Simon Saint’s plan coming into focus. The attack on City Hall and threat of Scarecrow have the Mayor forced to get into business with Saint. We, the reader, know that Saint is behind all of this creating unrest so he can gain influence and power. What the actual end goal for Saint isn’t quite clear beyond having his Magistrate program launched. Even in Future State Saint’s ultimate goal wasn’t clear beyond just being a rich asshole.

Where the issue is bumpy is Batman himself. In his battle, Peacekeeper-01 admits to everything. Batman has the evidence in a confession that Saint and Peacekeeper-01 are behind all of the current issues. So, being Batman, wouldn’t he have a way to record this and release it? It feels like when a villain confesses he probably should use that. It’s a hole I kept coming back to.

But, Tynion does a fantastic job of making Peacekeeper-01 Batman’s equal if not better in some ways in Batman #110. It feels like an actual tough fight. There are moments I’m really unsure if Batman will win and if he does, how? We’ve got a new villain who can go toe to toe with one of the best DC has to offer. And, it doesn’t feel unrealistic as to why or how. Tynion keeps it simple in some ways and it works all the better for it.

The art by Jorge Jimenez is amazing. With color by Tomeu Morey and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the action and tension is perfect. The issue blends those shocking reveals and desperate moments for a comic that ups the stakes and really moves the story forward. What’s great is that Batman’s wearing down is a slow progression. There’s no quick blow, it’s an actual fight and brawl and we get to see what Batman’s up against as that progresses. As the issue goes on, we see that slowly wear on Batman as he realizes what he’s up against and what he needs to do resulting in a breathtaking escape beautifully rendered.

The issue also continues the “Ghost-Maker” backup story also written by Tynion. It’s another fantastic entry that has me liking this new character more and more with each chapter. It features art by Richard Lopez with color by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and lettering by Clayton Cowles. Each chapter has been fantastic with villains recounting their encounter with the hero. And we get to learn more about his abilities and why he’s such a great foe. But, there’s a question building as to where this character was in “Future State” and if he could take on Peacekeeper-01?

Batman #110 ups the action and really gets the ball rolling even more. It’s a hell of an issue where the cards are laid out on the table and we can see the “fall of Gotham”. We get a villain that feels like Batman’s equal but left with questions as to how stupid people are, because it’s clear as to who’s behind everything. Still, it’s a fantastic chapter as this latest arc of Batman is one of the best in a while.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Jorge Jimenez, Richard Lopez
Color: Tomeu Morey, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: The Joker #2

The Joker #2

The Joker #2 continues the surprisingly strong debut of the series. When announced, the thought of a series focused on the Joker created a cringe reaction. Expectations of a comic was one for the edge-lord crowd. Instead, the comic focused on a worn-out force of good who’s tempted to do one last positive thing before he can truly retire. The Joker #2 continues its focus on James Gordon while also throwing in a few more factors.

James Tynion IV delivers a comic that’s more Nazi-hunter than the spandex and tights stories of Batman’s world. There’s a grounded aspect to the series that keeps the story focused and the fantastical at the minimum. At its core The Joker #2 is a man struggling to decide what to do. Should he do what probably needs to be done, kill the Joker or does he still believe in the concept of the judicial system? There’s a debate within Gordon and not just in his words but the agony on his face do we understand what he’s struggling with.

But, the issue drops so much more.

Tynion taps a little Guy Ritchie and Joe Carnahan and injects numerous other factors into Gordon’s mission. We get glimpses of the other groups and individuals who have the same mission. They all want to kill the Joker. This includes criminal organizations, enhanced individuals, and so much more. The pieces on the board are varied and should make for some entertaining and action-packed moments. It takes some of the grim nature of the comic and adds a little levity through action.

There’s also a revelation within that changes Gordon’s relationship and history with Batman and his allies. It’s something that’ll have individuals going back to re-read key moments in their interactions and what he knows. It adds a layer of trust, respect, and honor to what Gordon is doing and what he did as Police Commissioner. It also could be easily spun that it taints his relationship in some ways as well. Depends how you read into the revelation.

The art by Guillem March continues to be fantastic. With color by Arif Prianto and lettering by Tom Napolitano, the art has a style that evokes the grittier Batman comics of the 1980s. There’s also some additions to the story that creates a less dour feel to the issue. With the various groups also with a similar mission as Gordon, we get the “goofier” aspects of the story. It’s more of the costumed shenanigans that Batman deals with and while it can be action-packed it’s not so much a man trying to close that final chapter in his life and wrong his mistakes. The Joker’s scene too adds a bit of brightness and comedy that’s the trademark of the Joker. The pages are literally brighter in color an interesting contrast to what Joker is experiencing compared to others.

The comic also continues its back-up Punchline story. Tynion is joined by Sam Johns on art. Mirka Andolfo handles the art with Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color and lettering by Ariana Maher. Punchline as a whole has become a much more interesting character after “Joker War”. This story, along with her one-shot, added a lot to a character who started as a much more serious riff on Harley Quinn. We get an interesting debate on how much of her persona is real and how much is clout chasing and her influence on others. There’s some really interesting aspects to the character to explore and doing so in ways to show how others perceive her is a solid choice.

The Joker #2 is another fantastic issue. The series has begun to balance its serious tones with the lighter aspects of Batman’s world. It also sets up what should be an action-packed series going forward as the various competing groups eventually clash. It continues to surprise me forgoing the expectations I had of it and instead delivering a series that doesn’t celebrate the chaos of the Joker and instead examines the lingering damage that endures.

Story: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns Art: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo
Color: Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Ariana Maher
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Man-Bat #3

Man-Bat #3

Man-Bat has been an interesting issue through its three issues. The series has been an exploration of Kirk Langstrom and the good and bad as far as his time as Man-Bat. Kirk has lofty goals with good in mind. But, his drive has lead to nothing but disaster and heartbreak. Man-Bat #3 emphasizes that in multiple ways and leaves you feeling some sympathy for the character.

Dave Wielgosz gives us the story of a man whose heart is in the right place. Driven by his sister’s hearing impairment Kirk has focused on hearing in his career in hopes of bringing her hearing back. But, that delivers some problematic issues as it implies she’s “broken to be fixed”. His heart is there but he doesn’t consider his action’s impact on others. This issue opens with Harley Quinn talking to Kirk and Man-Bat about all of that and that he has some issues with women as a whole. It’s an interesting diagnosis and observation that weighs on the reader as the issue progresses. We see Kirk’s ex-wife and meet his sister. Each segment feels like it ties back to what Harley had to say. You feel sorry for Kirk in some ways because he’s trying to do the right thing and is talented, he just has some clear issues in the way of really helping society. There’s a tragedy to it all.

Wielgosz also uses Man-Bat #3 to start to bring together the bigger issue. The debut had the theft of a sonic weapon as its focus. We now get a better idea as to the why of it all and things get interesting due to that. And where it goes works as it also continues the focus on Kirk and his issues as well. The broader story plays into the comics’ exploration of Man-Bat and Kirk.

The art by Sumit Kumar is really good. There’s some comedy within the horror. The comic really does a great mix of things in visual tone and it all works together. Romulo Fajardo, Jr.‘s color and lettering by Tom Napolitano helps bring it all together. There’s some action, there’s some horror, there’s some comedy as well. Then there’s the heartache through it all as well. The characters really deliver when it comes to that so you can feel their sadness.

Man-Bat #3 is a great issue that really brings together the focus of the comic on Man-Bat’s tragedy and the conflict. It all works really well as well. It doesn’t feel force and it comes together in a generally natural way. It should be interesting where it all goes as we’re lead to believe that time is ticking for Man-Bat. With just a few issues left in the series, there could be a lot more tragedy to come.

Story: Dave Wielgosz Art: Sumit Kumar
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Read

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Review: Justice League #59

Justice League #59

Although the Rebirth numbering is intact, both the Justice League and Justice League Dark titles get a bit of relaunch in Justice League #59. Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, and Tamra Bonvillain bring large scale action and a sequel to Bendis, David Walker, and Jamal Campbell’s Naomi in the lead story. While in the backup “Justice League Dark” story, Ram V, Xermanico, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. tap something a little more mystical as Merlin makes his return, and John Constantine and Zatanna investigate cults and prophecies in rural New Mexico. One of these strives to be modern mythology with all of the biggest toys in the DC Universe toy box while the other one might actually succeed with its riffs on Arthurian legends, the conflict between Heaven and Hell, and the senselessness of human existence underneath it all.

Justice League #59 is a 20 page story, but it feels a lot shorter thanks to an abundance of double page spreads from artist David Marquez. He and Brian Michael Bendis throw readers right into the middle of the fray as a mysterious interdimensional invader named Brutus lands in Kahndaq and confronts its king and protector, Black Adam. This later escalates into a kind of, sort of team-up between Adam and some of the members of the Justice League, which doesn’t thrill a monarch that is more into isolation than cooperation. However, this tension only really shows up towards the end of the battle when Black Adam immediately ejects the Justice League from his land and finally towards the end of the story. Having Black Adam has a wild card is Bendis’ smartest plotting decision, and he definitely fits Green Arrow’s idea of a “dissenting voice” when Oliver talks to the other members about doing “more” as a team.

But, for the most part, this initial Justice League story is lots of punching against a villain that is generically enough called “Brutus”, and the only interesting thing about him is that he’s most likely from Naomi’s home world giving her a reason to appear in the comic beyond being a Bendis co-creation. If you’re familiar with Bendis’ run on the Superman books, there’s a Rogol Zaar vibe to him in that he’s not an interesting character except in his connections to pre-existing characters or lore. You can definitely tell that he’s going to be forgettable character when he decides to peace out in the middle of the battle through an interdimensional portal before

Justice League #59 doesn’t really much to draw readers in beyond being a kind of sequel to the excellent Naomi comic, but it does have its bright spots. David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain really embrace the wide screen nature of the book and make a middling script gorgeous with Bonvillain contributing deep blues to the bubble-shaped panels when Aquaman and his army of sharks battle Brutus. She also uses really intense red and blues to match Marquez’s speed lines as Superman and Black Adam race to grab Brutus before he disappears. This page is pretty busy, but it drives home the point that Black Adam thinks he’s beyond the Justice League and doesn’t respect Superman unlike the other heroes. (Even the edgy, cocky Green Arrow just wants Superman to agree with him.)

Justice League #59

To go along with the blockbuster visuals, Brian Michael Bendis’ writing is at its best when characters are ribbing or arguing with each other a la New Avengers. He seems to have a lot of fun with Green Arrow and Black Canary, who debate both sides of the Justice League’s current status quo and adds a little extra reverence when Superman opens his mouth. Superman also takes lead during the fight scenes, and you can tell he’s the team leader without any kind of exposition about it. We’ll see what Bendis does with them in future issues, but for now, Flash and Hawkgirl are exposition spouters while Batman just reacts to things. As the one non-powered hero during the fight scene, he may have been trying to make Batman a POV character, but few readers can react to an (ex) billionaire and genius strategist/martial artist. Thankfully, Naomi is coming soon to fill this role, and hopefully, she brings a hook too.

Ram V and Xermanico’s “Justice League Dark” doesn’t have a problem with hooks and opens with the return of Merlin to the mortal plane. If you’ve read V’s work on Future State: Justice League, then you know that his take on the mythical wizard is more nefarious than kindly, and Merlin definitely sets himself up as the Big Bad in the pages of this issue. His actions on the final pages definitely set up a need for a Justice League type of team to take him down as Xermanico’s lovely cathedral window layouts and Fajardo’s warm color palette turns bloody and scarlet. Also, V logically connects the John Constantine/Zatanna plot to Merlin’s rise through the appearance of a fan favorite character and basically shows that their mission was just a symptom of a larger disease. It’s tension and escalation all in ten pages.

However, as well as setting up a big-time enemy for this disassembled team to face, Ram V and Xermanico still find time to explore the relationship between John Constantine and Zatanna. There’s a real softness to their interactions even as Constantine does his usual con man hijinks to get them out of a bind as the narration goes slightly nihilistic and focuses on humanity’s stupidity and willingness to place their lives in religions and cults while there’s literally bigger fish to fry. I love how Constantine cares about Zatanna’s feelings after the loss of her father and the disbandment of Justice League Dark, and Xermanico shows this through a beat panel where their hands nearly touch. Constantine and Zatanna will never be a stable couple, but V and Xermanico know they have great chemistry and use it to carry this initial installment of “Justice League Dark” because while Merlin is quite metal, we need someone to root for.

Thanks to a one-dimensional baddie and the usual Brian Michael Bendis decompression issues, Justice League #59 only gets a slight recommendation for me. However, David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain’s take on DC’s A-list is truly awe-inspiring, and their Black Adam exudes power and contempt as well. Hopefully, there’s more Naomi, Green Arrow, and Black Canary in future issues and less alien punching bag. But the real reason this comic crosses the line from trade wait to a purchase is Ram V, Xermanico, and Romulo Fajardo’s “Justice League Dark” backup, which features both Arthurian legends and supernatural hijinks and has a formidable villain plus witty, yet emotionally honest writing for its leads, John Constantine and Zatanna.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, Ram V Art: David Marquez, Xermanico
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain, Romulo Fajardo Jr. Letters: Josh Reed, Rob Leigh
Story: 7.1 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: The Joker #1

The Joker #1

When I first heard DC was releasing a comic focused on the Joker, I rolled my eyes. The concept of a comic with the Joker at the center didn’t appeal to me, as certain iterations of him have attracted a negative edge-lord element. Then I read The Joker #1, and quickly changed my mind. What’s presented is an updated “chase” story with some zeitgeist thrown in.

The “Joker War” is over and the Joker is on the run having left Gotham. Months later, an attack has taken place on Arkham Asylum pinned to him, though not proven it was him. Unknown elements have decided they want the Joker off the playing board and decide to turn to Jim Gordon to do exactly that.

While Joker’s name might be the title of the comic, writer James Tynion IV focuses the comic on a former cop whose nightmare still walks the Earth and haunts his dreams. This is a story about a man’s unfulfilled mission and one last opportunity to change that. While we get an update on the Joker, this is Gordon’s story so far.

And Tynion gives us an interesting flair to it. The comic feels more like Nazi hunters than a detective story. This isn’t so much INTERPOL as it is Wiesenthal. The fact Gordon is focused on taking out such an evil contributes to that, it’s rare that a character is so definitively evil. Gordon feels like the grizzled, tortured individual, who needs to put an end note to what has haunted him, and remove an evil force from society.

The art by Guillem March is solid. Guillem is joined by Arif Prianto on color and Tom Napolitano on lettering. There’s a worn vibe about the comic. Gordon feels like a tortured and weathered individual beat down to a low point and not sure what to do next. There’s a great use of visuals to dive in what haunts Gordon and where Gotham stands in the wake of the latest chaos. An opening sequence involving another officer really hammers home the drive that Gordon is experiencing toeing the line of crossing into shock value.

The Joker #1 also features a secondary story “Punchline” following up on Joker’s latest sidekick’s trial. Tynion is joined by Sam Johns on the story while Mirka Andolfo handles the art, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. is on color, and Ariana Maher handles the lettering. Much like the one-shot featuring Punchline, this chapter has a feel like it’s an examination of our current world. Punchline is the center of the alt-cult she and Joker have spawned. This is a group that rejects reality and social norms, instead bracing chaos as a finger towards others. It’s hard to not think of the MAGA-cult and alt-right when reading this and the comparing the protests to free Punchline as similar pronunciations of innocence for real-world leaders who are clearly guilty though the evidence may be flimsy. How much this story will continue to make that sort of connection will be interesting as it could be a hell of an allegory.

The Joker #1 surprised me. It’s a comic I thought could be good but wasn’t sure what we were getting. With a focus on those hunting the villain, we get a story of one last attempt at justice as opposed to something that might deify or wash a reprehensible individual. It’s a debut that shows a hell of a lot of potential for what’s to come. Hopefully it keeps its focus on the nightmares that haunt us throughout life.

Story: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns Art: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo
Color: Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Ariana Maher
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4

Games Workshop’s world of Warhammer 40,000 comes to Marvel comics with Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar!

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 takes us to the past to show what it takes to become a Space Marine and in the present Marneus battles Chaos forces!

Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jacen Burrows
Ink: Guillermo Ortego
Color: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

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

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Review: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4

What does it take to be a Space Marine in the Warhammer 40,000 universe? Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 answers that question in a comic that focuses more on the warrior’s growth than the battle currently waging. The series has been an interesting one doing a solid job of mixing two eras for its main character Marneus Calgar. Through his battles in the present, he reflects on what it took for him to become the leader he is today. And through the past, we get to see more of the world and his difficult journey.

In the past Tacitan, now Marneus, has helped defeat a Chaos cult and is going through the trails to join the ranks of the Ultramarines Space Marine chapter. writer Kieron Gillen does an excellent job showing how difficult a task it is as the bodies pile up and Marneus goes through a torturous transformation. It’s been years since I read up on all of the specifics of the augments that go into being a Space Marine, but Gillen takes us step-by-step. It feels like an update to the rather dry spec-readouts I remember reading as a fan of the Warhammer 40K miniature game. Organs are added and training is done and through it all we get to see Marneus grow, literally.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 does an impressive job of taking what has been told so many times before and making it interesting. There’s been a lot written as to the various upgrades in Space Marines but Gillen breaks it down as to what those upgrades are, when they’re given, why they’re given, and what the gains are. He does that through Marneus’ training in the field. For new readers, some of it might be surprising as things like acid spit and the ability to gain memories through the consumption of others are presented. And it all just flows without a hint of silliness.

In the present, Marneus battles the Chaos forces. The blood flows with somewhat comedic effect. The art by Jacen Burrows works well this issue delivering an over the top experience. The training scenes, especially towards the beginning are full of chaos at times as the numbers dwindle due to death. The present battle we see heads up and bodies crushed under tanks. Whether it’s meant as a comedic spin, I don’t know. But, it’s over the top and hard to not enjoy it in that way. Java Tartaglia‘s colors deliver some of the fun in rather bright colors and Clayton Cowles‘ lettering the right touch for the calls of Chaos warriors.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 is a fun comic that feels like a nice updated take on a “field guide”. We get to see what it takes to be a Space Marine step by step. And we get a lot action in both the past and present. It works really well to educate people about this new new world and property and entertain at the same time.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jacen Burrows
Ink: Guillermo Ortego Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Man-Bat #1

Man-Bat #1

Man-Bat isn’t a character I know a lot about beyond the basics. I understand the concept of a scientist whose formula goes astray and turns him into a giant bat. There are some altruistic motivations as to why the formula was created, but it goes wrong. Instead, the scientist becomes addicted to their formula. It’s a concept played out over and over. I wasn’t sure what could be told that’d stand out, but Man-Bat #1 delivers an intriguing debut to the series that delivers a lot of potential.

Written by Dave Wielgosz, Man-Bat #1 delivers a comic that acts as a solid introduction to the character as well as the next chapter for long-time fans. Kirk Langstrom is still obsessed in his quest to perfect his formula with hopes of helping those who are hard of hearing. But, that formula still has its issues, as it has turned Langstrom into Man-Bat in the past. His obsession and focus has destroyed his relationship with Francine who is tired of watching Kirk love the formula more than her.

In the opening of Man-Bat #1 we’re hit hard with witnessing a man whose obsession has destroyed his life. This is addiction front and center creating a comic that’s an interesting allegory for those experiences. After a solid action sequence we get to the meat of the story, that after years of abuse, Langstrom is dying due to the formula. Man-Bat, his inner demon, is killing him. There’s little he can do beyond a miracle which opens up the question if he should accept his fate, fight to prevent it, or go out high… literally.

Man-Bat #1 is a not so thin look at drug addiction with the main character struggling to get literally high. We even get an enabler to the addiction in Batman who comes to a decision to no longer help Kirk in his spiral. No more excuses, Batman needs to act. It’s an interesting twist to Batman. While we often think of his role in putting individuals behind bars, here he treats Langstrom as a drug addict who should seek treatment instead of time behind bars. But, his actions have crossed a line reflecting a real-world debate between rehabilitation and incarceration.

Sumit Kumar‘s art is fantastic. Joined by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color and Tom Napolitano on lettering, the comic balances action and emotional moments. The opening is a solid drama, focused on the emotional fallout between characters. Something we experience later with Batman delivering the news to Langstrom and Kirk realizing his fate. Mixed in between is action as Man-Bat attempts to prove he can do good like Batman himself. There’s some great mimicry in images between the two characters as well enhancing the reflection of them.

Each character has an obsession, an addiction, as they pursue their goals. Batman and Man-Bat are similar in many ways. As the comic highlights, one is going down a monster driven dark path. The other journeys down a dark path full of monsters. Man-Bat #1 is a solid debut with an interesting underlying aspect to it about drug addiction. There’s a lot there and hopefully we get more of the thinly veiled story, it creates an interesting twist to the character.

Story: Dave Wielgosz Art: Sumit Kumar
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

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Exclusive Preview: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Jacen Burrows
Inker: Guillermo Ortego
Colorist: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Designer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: James Stokoe
Variant: Luke Ross, Arif Prianto; Mico Suayan, Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 03, 2021
SRP: $4.99

THE MAKING OF A SPACE MARINE!
• Young MARNEUS CALGAR has passed his Space Marine Aspirant testing…but that means the real trial is only just beginning!
• As Marneus undergoes the rigorous training, excruciating organ implantation and strenuous physical augmentation, he will have to prove that, against all odds, he has what it takes!
• And in the 41st Millennium, the assault on CALGAR ESTATES reaches a deadly climax!

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)
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