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Review: Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1

WildHuntCoverDetective Chimp and Grant Morrison fans, rejoice! Both play pivotal roles in Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt, a one-shot that acts as the penultimate chapter of obscure DC Comic character and evil version of Batman filled “Metal” crossover. Morrison is joined by writers/DC architects Scott Snyder, James Tynion, and Joshua Williamson and a blockbuster art team of Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza, Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, and Wil Quintana to show the last stand of the multiverse against the Dark Multiverse and its metal album cover Batmen. You might want to dust off that copy of Final Crisis or at least check out the Wiki page of The Bleed before diving into this one-shot. The Batman: Red Death one-shot helps the emotional beats land.

The Wild Hunt has several gears it hits. There’s the Morrisonian multiversal technobabble that gets dropped pretty early on and thankfully is roasted by mad scientists, like T.O. Morrow and Sivana, who are apparently good guys in this crossover. This is when the book is at its least fun. However, it’s entertaining when the writers say “Screw it!” and let Porter, Jimenez, and Mahnke cut loose with super cool double page splashes that show these high (As balls.) concept in action. Some personal visual highlights include Jimenez’s manga meets speed lines pages of Raven interfacing with and then empathizing with The Bleed (Barrier between universes.) and then throwing down a kick-ass one-liner with a purple background. There’s also Porter’s ballad of Red Death, who gets a golden makeover and a little redemption in a decent homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths down to his final fate. (Maybe, you should read that comic too before taking on this one.)

The third gear of Wild Hunt, and honestly I blame Morrison for this one, is pure comics kookiness embodied by the first and final pages of the book. (I think they were drawn by Mahnke and Mendoza, but don’t quote me because his style blends well.) Morrison and Mahnke retell the origin story of Detective Chimp and gets a little metafictional by including the map from Multiversity and the sheet music from Superman’s song in Final Crisis. These panels feel like a couple of old rockers digging into their greatest hits before the last third of the comics hits, and they realize they need a new hit single to get the fans on their feet again. (In light of the event of Wild Hunt #1, this comic could be taken literally or metaphorically.)

ChimpYearOne

However, I don’t think they stick the landing and going for wacky for the sake of wackiness instead of something poignant. I do find the idea of Detective Chimp as a kind of ersatz furry Batman to be fascinating, and he gets a full Hero’s Journey in Wild Hunt #1 as he comes to grips with using the vast knowledge of the DC multiverse stored underneath his deer stalker. (The origin for his trademark headwear gave me all the feels.) He wants to be hopeful and look up in the sky, but hell is opening up at his feet. Chimp is piddling around a keyboard and trying to find a tune to save the world, and hell, he might have found it. Also, his piano playing is a nice throughline between Morrison’s work on Final Crisis and Snyder’s on Metal because a shared superhero universe is a neverending symphony of players, characters and creators both.

With searing multiversal land (and sound)scapes from Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, and Doug Mahnke; enchanting and frightening colors from Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, and Wil Quintana; and a very Grant Morrison, The Wild Hunt #1 is a decent setup to the Metal finale even though the last few pages will either make you laugh nervously or do a hard eye roll.

Story: Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV, Josh Williamson Art: Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke with Jamie Mendoza
Colors: Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Wil Quintana

Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Dark Knights Rising: Wild Hunt #1

Dark Knights Rising: Wild Hunt #1

(W) Scott Snyder, James TynionIV, Joshua Williamson, Grant Morrison (A) Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez (A/CA) Doug Mahnke
RATED T+
In Shops: Feb 14, 2018
SRP: $4.99

Continued from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL! The Dark Knights ride through the farthest reaches of the Multiverse to track down the unlikeliest of teams: The Flash, Cyborg, Raven and Detective Chimp. The mission: keep these heroes from completing their desperate quest to save all of existence! Plus, Challengers’ Mountain crackles with dark energy that will release an army of the world’s worst nightmares into the streets of Gotham City!

This one-shot also answers the question: Where are the Metal Men? And who is the latest addition to the team?
FOIL-STAMPED COVER

DC Nation #0 Gives a Sneak Peek at Some of DC’s Hottest Events for 2018

Boasting three of the most popular writers in comics, DC is getting a jump on Free Comic Book Day (May 5) to let fans in on all the excitement in store for the World’s Greatest Super Heroes. On Wednesday, May 2, DC Nation #0, a 32-page comic book, will be available at comic book retailers at a cover price of $0.25 and free via digital download. DC Nation #0 spotlights events from three of DC’s top storytellers – Scott Snyder, Tom King and Brian Michael Bendis, all best-selling, celebrated authors.

With the unbelievable conclusion to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Dark Nights: Metal paving the way for the Justice League: No Justice four-issue weekly series (with co-writers James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson and artist Francis Manapul), fans will be clamoring for more information on what kind of wild, over the top roller-coaster ride Snyder and crew have planned next; artist Jorge Jiménez joins Snyder, Tynion IV and Williamson for a preview of just how big the Justice League’s next challenge will be when Justice League: No Justice begins May 9.

In a Batman story by Tom King and artist Clay Mann, The Joker gets word about the wedding between the Bat and the Cat, and he’s not happy. With the wedding story arc reaching its climax in Batman #50 on sale July 4, The Joker will be that one wedding guest most likely to speak now and not hold his peace at all.

From the return of the trademark red trunks to the debut of superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis in the Action Comics #1000 comic book in April, the future for Superman couldn’t shine any brighter, but for fans, that’s just the tip of the super-iceberg. Bendis, along with legendary artist José Luis García-López, is also contributing an all-new story to DC Nation #0, a prelude to his highly anticipated Man of Steel weekly miniseries debuting May 30.

Fans will also get a sneak preview of DC’s new promotional magazine DC Nation. The debut issue of this free, full-sized fan magazine will be the perfect place for fans to get the latest news on what’s happening at DC, arriving at comic book retailers on June 6 and available for digital download.

Review: Dark Nights: Metal #5

The Justice League faces the final extinguishing of our world, invaded on all sides by unimaginable nightmares, fueled on to the edge of oblivion only by the belief that there must be a light in the endless darkness-somewhere. But…what if there’s not?

Writer Scott Snyder has delivered a sense of desperation throughout Dark Nights: Metal and in Dark Nights: Metal #5 that is upped a few factors as the heroes struggle to find their footing.

Snyder takes his time to cover the various teams and where they’re at, whether it’s the group on Hawkworld, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or Batman and Superman. What’s interesting is most of those play out as scenes as Batman and Superman’s struggle plays throughout. While each has their own beat, it’s Batman and Superman’s struggle that really creates that sense of hope and defeat. Without that, the rest wouldn’t work. Those two character’s struggles emphasize the desperation of the whole and Snyder plays out the story so that we get emotional highs and lows. This one isn’t just about the action, it’s that excitement of success and and crushing failure rolled into one. The reader is toyed with much like our heroes and with a one-shot and one more issue to go, I have no idea how this one will end.

There’s also some rock and roll moments as heroes rise up in desperation. What I’d describe as “fuck you” moments. You’re cheering on… then you get crushed. But, even then you’re still rooting for the win.

The art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia is as fantastic as ever. The “metal” aspect is there with imagery that you’d expect to find on a cover of a rock album. What particularly stands out is the use of color and lettering. Each setting has a very unique color palette and it all works together to set the various moods for each. They enhance the location and gives the reader a better sense of the world. The lettering for this series as a whole has been fantastic but here each character, especially the corrupted Batman have a style that has you imagining what they sound like. It helps create the character, especially the menacing aspect of them.

There’s not much more to go and I have no idea how this is ending. The issue is solid in playing with the reader’s emotions and when you think things are turning for the better, you get knocked back down. It’s an emotional roller coaster with intelligent plotting that uses the various storylines to enhance each other and toy with those ups and downs. Another solid addition to the event series.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia
Story: 8.75 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Dark Nights: Metal #5

Dark Nights: Metal #5

(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion
RATED T+
In Shops: Jan 31, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The Justice League faces the final extinguishing of our world, invaded on all sides by unimaginable nightmares, fueled on to the edge of oblivion only by the belief that there must be a light in the endless darkness-somewhere. But…what if there’s not?
FOIL-STAMPED, EMBOSSED COVER

Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, and Francis Manapul Team Up in May for Justice League: No Justice

After the conclusion of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo’s Dark Nights: Metal, the bestselling Batman talent team will shake the DC Universe to its deepest foundations and do something that even the most passionate fans will characterize as unimaginable and utterly audacious.

This event sets the stage for even more bold and daring storytelling, as Snyder, along with co-writers James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson plus all-star artist Francis Manapul take readers on an adventure that will break the very boundaries of the DC Universe in Justice League: No Justice, a four-issue weekly miniseries, beginning May 9.

In the announcement Snyder said:

We thought we knew the entire map of the DC cosmos. We thought we had explored all there was to explore. But now we know that all this time the Multiverse was nothing but a fishbowl, and now we’ve been dumped into the ocean, unleashing terrifying new threats, and wondrous new possibilities. Metal opened up channels of storytelling that Francis, James, Joshua and I are excited to explore in a big way. When we’re finished, fans will never look at the Justice League in the same way again.

In this four-issue miniseries, the super-villain Brainiac arrives on Earth with a dire warning for the Justice League: there’s a threat coming to destroy Earth, one that the heroes are ill-equipped to handle. Brainiac thinks he holds the key to victory, but it means combining members of the League with some of the most dangerous villains in the DC Universe and sending them into battle against this extinction-level menace. The stakes are at their absolute highest; if one of these teams fail. It’s game over.

Justice League: No Justice promises to deliver over-the-top blockbuster action, courtesy of artist Francis Manapul.

Manapul added in the release:

I’m laying out the biggest action of my life. The Justice League realizes that they need to expand their reach to become something bigger than they have ever been before. If you thought my work for Justice League: Darkseid War was huge, I’m taking the League to the edge of the cosmos with No Justice. Anyone who has asked for Harley Quinn, Martian Manhunter, Starfire, Zatanna, the Atom, Raven, or Doctor Fate to be in their personal Justice League will stand up and cheer.

This can’t-miss miniseries sets the stage for a “family” of Justice League titles, beginning in June, headlined by Snyder on Justice League with additional titles written by James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson and more in the coming months.

The miniseries will see teams made up of heroes and villains.

The heroes and villains will be broken up into various teams. Based on images names:

Team Mystery: Starro, Starfire, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Sinestro <- a cosmic group

Team Entropy: Beast Boy, Lobo, Batman, Lex Luthor, Deathstroke <- a brawler group

Team Wonder: Raven, Dr. Fate, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Etrigan <- a magic based group

Team Wisdom: The Atom, Harley Quinn, The Flash, Robin, Cyborg <- a science based group

Check below for covers and interior pages.

Superman’s Red Trunks Return in Action Comics #1000

The countdown as on as the momentous Action Comics #1000 draws nearer and DC Comics is pulling out all of the stops with a jam-packed, star-studded comic.

The Jim Lee-drawn cover features a new costume that integrates a variety of classic and new elements. One thing that’s immediately noticeable is the return of the Man of Steel’s iconic red trunks which have been missing since DC’s 2011 New 52 reboot. Since Rebirth, DC has been slowly moving the “new” look to the old one bit by bit.

Action Comics #1000 will feature multiple stories and creators including the DC debut of Brian Michael Bendis, his first since switching over from Marvel in an exclusive deal. Marv Wolfman will pen a story based on unpublished art by Curt Swan. Richard Donner and Geoff Johns are teaming up with artist Olivier Coipel. Other contributors include Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, Paul Dini with José Luis García-López, Tom King with Clay Mann and Jordie Bellaire; Brad Meltzer with John Cassaday and Laura Martin; Louise Simonson with Jerry Ordway; Scott Snyder with Tim Sale and more to be announced.

Action Comics #1000 hits stores on April 18.

Review: Batman and the Signal #1 (of 3)

Batman may own the night, but with new villains emerging during the day he needs an ally to defend the city when he can’t. Only one teen is up to the challenge, Duke Thomas. After months of training, he’s ready to step out of the shadow of the bat to become his own kind of hero. Meet Gotham City’s newest protector: The Signal!

While Batman and the Signal spins out of All-Star Batman and We Are Robin and says from the “pages of Metal” this series feels like it has more to do with Doomsday Clock than anything else. With a story by Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick with writing by Patrick, Batman and the Signal #1 is an interesting direction for the world of Batman.

What’s particularly interesting is that it brings the world of Meta-humans to Batman. When you think of Batman’s rogues it’s usually either psychopaths, those injured somehow, mobsters, or those turned through some scientific accident. Meta-humans aren’t usually something he deals with, let alone those in the daytime.

As we’ve learned, Duke has some power and this mini-series looks to explore that. It not only shifts things due to the Meta-human aspect but also by the fact it’s in the daytime, something that’s reiterated multiple times. Duke’s yellow costume and his protecting Gotham during the daylight hours are some of the numerous ways this issue shifts our expectations.

We also begin to see the crowds turning against Batman which is why I think this feels more of a prequel to Doomsday Clock than anything else. In that series we’ve learned that public opinion has switched. This feels like the first step in that direction.

The art by Cully Hamner is pretty solid and what’s interesting, as I mentioned above, is the different feel of the comic with it taking place in the daytime. Hamner adds small details here and there that emphasizes that aspect and presents the scenes where that’s a point well. There’s also interesting use of space in the comic. Some scenes are wide open with “the camera” pulled back creating a “safe” feel to the setting where as others the focus is much closer creating more dread.

The issue is an interesting one where I’m not sure it’s really geared towards new readers instead feeling like it’s more focused on those who care about the meta story that’s been playing out for years. We’ll see where it all goes, but the first issue makes me think this will be a key part of the puzzle for the bigger picture DC is creating.

Story: Scott Snyder, Tony Patrick Art: Cully Hamner
Story: Art: Overall: Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Dark Nights: Metal #4

The Justice League has been broken and scattered to the far corners of the DCU, each member forced to face their worst fears alone…and the fears are winning. When an unlikely ally reveals a glimmer of hope, they must seize their chance, or risk their window of opportunity closing for good!

With Dark Nights: Metal #4, things kick it to the next level as Dream returns to help guide the way for Superman and Batman. Writer Scott Snyder weaves together concepts and ideas one might not expect and pulls it off well, though this was my least favorite issue of the series so far.

Though the issue continues its rock and roll and metal ways, Snyder goes big picture meta with the interference of Dream as he steps in as a Watcher type character hoping to guide our two heroes to victory. Dream represents a meta narrative guiding the story just like his protection of the stories we experience in slumber. With those now threatened, he must step in, and it feels almost as if the stories creator himself, Snyder, is stepping in as well.

Dream himself acts as a narrator for the story, adding to the element of the fantastical in the issue. It’s an interesting narrative choice that’ll really judged in how it plays out as the series continues and eventually ends. There’s moments the choice of the inclusion of the character feels like an eldar god stepping in, something that’s common in Marvel comics though absent in recent years at that publisher. It’s DC out “Marveling” Marvel in the grander concepts (and having read some of the New Age of Heroes, that continues there) and doing it quite well.

But, what the issue does really well is set up hope. Much like DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative itself, this series has a simple theme of hope against desperation and against all odds. Though the material is darker, it still fits well in the Rebirth world and in many ways bridges the style gap between Rebirth and the New 52 initiatives.

Greg Capullo as usually rocks it in the art creating the “metal” vision Snyder has scripted. There’s something rock and roll about it all and at times the comic feels like it could be lifted from the cover of a heavy metal album. There’s some very cool visuals as the various teams head out on their missions to get Nth metal in hopes of defeating the Dark Multiverse.

There’s lots of great here and visuals and pacing are fantastic as usual. The issue is that it picks a bit from DC Universe history that if you’re not completely familiar, you feel like you’re missing out. The impact isn’t as great. It’s cool visuals, but the depth isn’t there. The concepts shine though delivering an entertaining read.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Dark Nights: Metal #4

Dark Nights: Metal #4

(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion
In Shops: Dec 20, 2017
SRP: $3.99

The Justice League has been broken and scattered to the far corners of the DCU, each member forced to face their worst fears alone…and the fears are winning. When an unlikely ally reveals a glimmer of hope, they must seize their chance, or risk their window of opportunity closing for good!

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