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Review: Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7

 Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7

For quite some time, it’s felt like the DC Universe has just barreled from one event to the next and at times multiple events going at the same time. Resolution is short with an almost immediate build to the next Crisis. It’s an endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth… but on a multiverse scale. Dark Nights lead to Dark Nights: Death Metal, which eventually lead into Dark Crisis which was really Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths. But, with so many events, things have unfortunately blended together. Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 wraps up the latest leaving us pretty much where we began.

Written by Joshua Williamson, Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 wraps things up and delivers teases and story lines yet to come. It shakes up some characters and teams but overall doesn’t feel like the world of possibilities like previous recent events. Where Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 succeeds is its focus on a few characters, Nightwing becomes much more of the center for the DC Universe that’s to come and Black Adam gets much more depth. It’s in a way a passing of a baton to the next generation of heroes and in that way succeeds in elevating some of the characters. But, as a story, it suffers from some of DC’s past mistakes. A mumbled story where things are sort of explained away, others you just go with, and in the end a status quo that’s a bit head scratching. Mostly because it doesn’t seem all that different from where things began. It was a lot of action and drama that didn’t change a whole lot. Two armies go to battle for the end result to be the same borders.

Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 doesn’t so much feel like it charts its own path going forward by shaking things up. Instead, it feels like an attempt to make sense of a bunch of threads that have been weaved in the year since Death Metal ended. An attempt to get things more focused going forward. It’s not a follow up to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, so much another sequel to recent events to get things settled that were left unanswered.

The art by Daniel Sampere, Jack Herbert, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Rafa Sandoval is really good. They’re joined by Alejandro Sanchez, Alex Guimaraes, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Matt Herms on color, and Tom Napolitano on lettering. The main story art has some solid switches between the battle raging in the real world and the battle in the mind between Nightwing and Deathstroke. Black Adam also gets his spotlight with a single page that makes the anti-hero a much more complicated hero. Overall, there’s moments that pop but few that will live on as iconic. The teases at the end too vary with the final one really delivering a punch.

At the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal, a multiverse was born of infinite possibilities. At the end of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 a new multiverse is born of infinite possibilities. The difference? I couldn’t really say. Beyond the small details, a lot of the two events feels exactly the same. While the event sends some characters and teams in new directions, overall, it was a lot of show to get us to a spot not much further than where we began.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Daniel Sampere, Jack Herbert, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Rafa Sandoval
Color: Alejandro Sanchez, Alex Guimaraes, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Matt Herms Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Zeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

It’s One Bad Day for Batman

Batman’s rogues gallery is getting the spotlight in a series of 64-page one-shot comics. Dubbed Batman – One Bad Day, they’ll tell the definitive tales of The Riddler, Two-Face, The Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Bane, Clayface, and Ra’s al Ghul!

Batman – One Bad Day: The Riddler

by Tom King & Mitch Gerads

Tom King and Mitch Gerads reunite in a new 64-page one-shot comic this August! Edward Nygma’s meticulous rules and systems go out the window when he kills seemingly at random, but Batman isn’t buying it! This tense intellectual thriller sees Batman unravel as he tries to decode the Riddler’s motivation!

Batman - One Bad Day: The Riddler

Batman – One Bad Day: Two-Face

by Mariko Tamaki, Javier Fernandez & Jordie Bellaire

Heads or Tails, when it comes to Two-Face Batman always loses! Is Harvey Dent back to save Gotham City? In a new 64-page one-shot comic this September, Mariko Tamaki and Javier Fernandez’s tragic noir Two-Face epic will flip that iconic coin…on its head?!

Batman - One Bad Day: Two-Face

Batman – One Bad Day: The Penguin

by John Ridley, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith & Arif Prianto

When the Penguin’s criminal empire is stolen by a former associate, Batman faces both Cobblepot and THE UMBRELLA MAN on the burning streets of Gotham! John Ridley and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s ONE BAD DAY one-shot arrives this October!

Batman - One Bad Day: The Penguin

Batman – One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze

by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Scalera & Dave Stewart

Save your sympathies, Batman and Robin! Years ago, Gotham City experienced a winter so icy that Mr. Freeze could live without his containment suit! Gerry Duggan and Matteo Scalera deliver a cold new take on Mr. Freeze this November!

Batman - One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze

Batman – One Bad Day: Catwoman

by G. Willow Wilson, Jamie McKelvie & Tamra Bonvillain

A brooch Selina Kyle’s mother once pawned for pennies is now part of a high-bid auction! The stakes are personal, and Catwoman will steal it back at any cost this December in G. Willow Wilson and Jamie McKelvie’s ONE BAD DAY one-shot!

Batman - One Bad Day: Catwoman

Batman – One Bad Day: Bane

by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter & Tomeu Morey

The man who broke the Bat returns for the last vengeance of Bane! See Bane’s mind, body and spirit get ravaged in a ONE BAD DAY one-shot by Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter in January 2023!

Batman - One Bad Day: Bane

Batman – One Bad Day: Clayface

by Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing, Xermanico & Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Clayface’s dream was to be famous, but Gotham’s stars don’t always shine bright! Batman chases Basil Karlo to L.A. where Clayface is killing his way to fame in Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing and Xermanico’s ONE BAD DAY February one-shot!

Batman - One Bad Day: Clayface

Batman – One Bad Day: Ra’s al Ghul

by Tom Taylor & Ivan Reis

Finally, capping off the run of one-shot issues is Tom Taylor and Ivan Reis on Ra’s al Ghul’s ONE BAD DAY story in March! You know his name, the Bat will know his wrath!

Batman - One Bad Day: Ra’s al Ghul

Review: Flashpoint Beyond #1

Flashpoint Beyond #1

I’ll admit that I was a fan of the original Flashpoint even oh so many years ago. Yes, it was grim and gritty, but the alternate world was interesting and shook up DC’s classic characters. It opened up a world of possibilities, not just in the story itself but what came after. Flashpoint Beyond #1 takes us back to the world but one slightly different.

Focusing on Thomas Wayne, he knows this isn’t quite the world he lived in. There’s subtle differences and there’s others that know this as well. With a mystery of who’s trying to stop Thomas from correcting things as well as something going on in the main DC universe, Flashpoint Beyond #1 mainly focuses on Thomas’ story.

Written by Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams, and Tim Sheridan the comic is an interesting one. There’s some aspects that are really great and then others that fall really flat.

What works well is Thomas’ story as a whole. He knows something is wrong and must deal with a world gone mad to try to solve the mystery. His “Alfred” is Oswald Cobblepot and his “Robin” is the son of Harvey Dent. The interactions with Oswald are fantastic and what’s done while Thomas is away is beyond entertaining and almost worth the read.

Where the comic falls flat is everything else. The threat of a world war feels like it’s taken out of Watchmen. It’s missing the countdown clock and nine panel pages. Then there’s what’s going on with Bruce and something with DC’s Timemasters. It doesn’t get much time and unless you know the character he’s dealing with, it has little to no impact.

The comic overall feels like it’s using concepts and plotlines that were meant for something else. With mentions of “The Button” which goes back to DC’s Rebirth, the comic comes off as the next step for “The Button”, then “Doomsday Clock”, but each is a choppy continuation of the other. With so many rumored changes of DC’s directions, it overall comes off as a comic that’s out years after it was meant to be.

The art is the highlight of the comic. Xermánico and Mikel Jani split the duties and while the styles differ, the overall visuals are solid. With Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and Jordie Bellaire on color and Rob Leigh handling lettering, there’s a nice shift in styles depending on the world. Thomas Wayne’s world is dark with a gritty dirtiness about it. Bruce’s is a bit brighter and has a more traditional look about it. The style works for the comic quite well as it makes Oswald’s moments far funnier than they should be. There’s a dark humor about it all and a lot of that is driven by the visuals.

Flashpoint Beyond #1 has a lot going for it and maybe as it goes along things come together. But, as is, the comic feels like concepts from something else reworked multiple times into this. It throws out a bit too much and it’s interesting aspects at times feel like bad background scenery. The comic feels like it’s just slightly off, which may be rather appropriate since that’s what Thomas Wayne is experiencing and attempting to investigate himself.

Story: Geoff Johns, Jeremy Adams, Tim Sheridan Art: Xermánico, Mikel Janin
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Jordie Bellaire Letter: Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Get a First Look at Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1

Shang-Chi, Kamala Khan, Wong, Mantis, and Jimmy Woo headline Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 2022. The second Marvel’s Voices anthology honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month will showcase brand new stories crafted by both emerging and established Asian and AAPI talent. Arriving on May 25, Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 2022 will feature four action-packed and heartfelt adventures set throughout the Marvel Universe plus an introduction by Isabel Hsu, Senior Manager of Creative Development at Marvel Games and exclusive interview with longtime comic book letterer and industry pioneer, Janice Chiang. Right now, fans can get their first look at all four covers and preview each of the featured stories, including:

  • Writer Pornsak Pichetshote and artist Creees Lee take Shang-Chi and Jimmy Woo on a vital mission with some unexpected surprises
  • Writer Sabir Pirzada and artist Eric Koda teams up Ms. Marvel with Shang-Chi in a story that explore these two heroes’ differences and similarities
  • Writer Jeremy Holt and artist Kei Zama spotlight the Guardians of the Galaxy’s Mantis, diving into the iconic character’s fascinating past and gearing her up for a bright future
  • Writer Emily Kim and artist Rickie Yagawa showcase the power and expertise of master of the mystic arts, Wong, in an exciting solo adventure

Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 2022 features colors by Bryan Valenza, Brian Reber, Irma Kniivila, and Sebastian Cheng. It features covers by Creees Lee and Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Jeehyung Lee, Stan Sakai and Emi Fuji, and Wooh Nayoung.

Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 2022 continues the tradition of inspiring and uplifting storytelling that truly reflects “the world outside your window.” These stories celebrate Marvel’s ongoing, ever-expanding pantheon of heroes and the vastness of all Asian, Asian American and Pacific Island cultures and identities.

Review: Deadpool: Bad Blood #1

Deadpool: Bad Blood #1

People are funny in the way that they don’t really let you know what they think of you unless they need to.  Rarely do those situations come up, and when they do, it is often tenuous.  As people are often aggrieved through micro aggressions, making whatever situation, uncomfortable. It is through these unspoken exchanges, that people often forget why they even dislike someone.

Most of these tiffs are not anything that would turn into any real conflict. Most are strong contempt towards someone off a perceived difference, one which most likely will never be confirmed. Sometimes they become more, and would lead to misfortune that you did not see coming. In Deadpool: Bad Blood #1, Wade gets some unnecessary beef with a foe who he has no idea how he offended him.

We find Wade as he just finishes a job in New York City, when Thumper comes out of nowhere beats him senseless, as nothing Deadpool could do , can slow the big man down. As Wade is at wit’s end, he seeks out Domino for help, as he tries to retrace why Thumper may be after him. This leads Domino to recall to a mission when they were on X-Force. By issue’s end, we find out this may be even more complicated than Wade believed in the first place, as he starts to regret his past mistakes.

Overall, Deadpool: Bad Blood #1 is a funny and action packed romp that shows Liefeld at his best. The story by the creative team is pure joy. The art by the creative team is masterful. Altogether, this story is why fans have always loved the Merc with a Mouth.

Story: Rob Liefeld Script: Chris Sims, Chad Bowers Art: Rob Liefeld
Ink: Rob Leifeld, Shelby Robertson, Adelso Corona, Marat Mychaels
Color: Romulo Fajardo Jr. Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/Kindle

Travel the Marvel Universe with these Variant Covers

The next Marvel Stormbreakers variant covers are here! In the latest collection of covers produced by Marvel’s class of elite artists, fans can be transported to various locations throughout the Marvel Universe. The technologically advanced Wakanda, the mysterious jungles of the Savage Land, the mean streets of Madripoor, and the quaint yet fearsome Doom-led Latveria are all brought to life in stunning postcard-style artwork by R.B. Silva, Peach Momoko, Carmen Carnero, and Natacha Bustos, four of the inaugural Marvel Stormbreakers program that was kicked off in 2020.

An evolution of Marvel’s Young Guns program, Marvel’s Stormbreakers represents the comic book industry’s most acclaimed and visionary artistic talents. Marvel Comics has been proud to uplift Carmen Carnero, R.B. Silva, Natacha Bustos, Patrick Gleason, Iban Coello, Peach Momoko, Joshua Cassara, and Juann Cabal, and while their contributions to Marvel Comics storytelling are far from over, it’s time to welcome a new generation of Stormbreakers later this year!


Review: Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons #1

This new series published under DC’s Black Label imprint takes us through the history of the Amazons from the very beginning.

Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art: Phil Jimenez
Color: Hi-Fi, Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo Jr.
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.

Zeus Comics

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Review: Robins #1

Robins #1

Take all the Robins and put them in a series together and you’ve get a pretty damn entertaining comic. Robins #1 brings together five individuals who have held the title for a debut that has some entertaining action and some reflection. What does it mean to be a Robin? Is it a good thing? It definitely puts a target on you.

Written by Tim Seeley, Robins #1 at times feels like service to fans, and that’s not a bad thing. Getting this group of characters together is going to be fun, and the comic shows exactly that. Each Robin has had such a unique personality. Each has delivered a version of the character that has been special and we can see here some of exactly that. Dick, Jason, Tim, Stephanie, and Damian have all held the same title but each of their experiences has been so different.

Seeley nails why each version of Robin has been so different and interesting. Each of these characters are larger than life in their own ways and are so different. Dick comes off as the seasoned veteran, Jason the hot head, Tim the eager prodigy, Stephanie the mixed results, and Damian the arrogant one. Robins #1 has them reflecting on their time as the hero and more importantly questioning if it was a good experience or the right experience at all. There’s something so refreshing to see these heroes question if they made the right decisions and how those decisions have impacted them. It’s different and fun in a lot of ways. We the readers have our own opinions about each of them but it’s interesting to hear what they think about their own time in the tights.

The art by Baldemar Rivas is pretty solid. Each Robin is very identifiable and the comic does a great job of balancing its action with its quieter moments. It’s great art when people sitting around a table can be as exciting as when their suited up and fighting bad guys. The color by Romulo Fajardo Jr. pops with a style that feels like it emphasizes each character in their own way with a slight anime quality about it. Steve Wands‘ lettering packs in a lot, especially when the group sits down to chat.

Robins #1 is an interesting and fun debut that fans of the characters will enjoy. It does a great job of allowing each character’s personality to really shine through showing off how truly unique each one is. This is one that leans towards the Robin fans but it’s done in a way that everyone can find something to enjoy.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Baldemar Rivas
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Steve Wands
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: The Joker #9

The Joker #9

James Gordon has been in pursuit of the Joker, funded by mysterious individuals who want the Clown Prince of Crime brought in and killed. Gordon has also had to deal with numerous other interested parties with the same interests and with a far higher likelihood to resort to violence to do that. The Joker #9 has Gordon teaming up with Vengeance, the clone daughter of Bane, to go after the Joker in the next location they think he might be.

James Tynion IV delivers an interesting issue with The Joker #9, one that opens up a massive world of possibilities. We learn there’s a bigger conspiracy going on, one involving cloning and doppelganger bodies. It’s a concept that seems somewhat farfetched, and that’s impressive for the world of Batman. While there’s a lot to like about where this issue could take not just this story but the DC Universe as a whole, there’s also something that feels a little rushed and out of leftfield. What was once a simple manhunt has turned into something greater. While that might explain some of the conspiracies and strange happenings in the DC world, it shifts the focus of the story quite a bit. It’s not longer one about a falsely accused Joker. And due to that, the issue and the series falters a bit. There’s an interesting aspect about a crime the Joker hadn’t committed yet everyone thinks he did. Some grand conspiracy involving DC’s criminals is something entirely different.

The issue does give a lot of history on Vengeance. So, if you want to get the details on the cloned daughter of Bane, this issue is for you.

Things aren’t helped by Stefano Raffaele‘s art which feels a little inconsistent in the comic. There’s moments the panels and pages look great and others where it feels a bit rushed. Characters don’t always hold up against themselves and the general look and feel of the comic can vary from one panel to the next. The look and style feels like a bunch of different creators all mashed into one. The color by Romulo Fajardo Jr. is solid giving a sickly green hue to the panels and pages at times, really nailing the tone of it all. Tom Napolitano‘s lettering also is good, especially that of the Joker whose style varies just enough to give it a unique feel that enhances the character.

Sam Johns, James Tynion IV, Rosi Kämpe, Marissa Louise, and Ariana Maher continues Punchline’s story. Leslie, Harper, and the newly protected Kelly dive deeper into Punchline’s history as we learn the fate of many of her past acquaintances. The story is interesting in that it shows Punchline’s dive into madness happened far earlier than has been depicted before but overall, it’s a piece of the very larger puzzle that’s being crafted as far as those characters. Not a lot of excitement with it but a lot of history that could become key.

The Joker #9 isn’t a bad issue but it just feels like it shifts the story far too much from the initial launch. Having various groups all trying to capture the same person could drive the series for quite a while and feels like it was just being touched as far as potential. This one issue shifts all of that in a major way. This is an issue to read because of its possible impact on the DC Universe, not necessarily because it does its story any justice.

Story: James Tynion, Sam Johns IV Art: Stefano Raffaele, Rosi Kämpe
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Marissa Louise Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Ariana Maher
Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

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

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

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