Tag Archives: the flash

Review: Batman #21

Batman #21 is a strange prologue to “The Button” storyline that will connect Watchmen  to the DC Comic Universe as writer Tom King, artist Jason Fabok, and colorist Brad Anderson open the comic with Batman watching a hockey playoff game and spend most of its running time having him get the crap beaten out of him by the Reverse Flash. The beauty of Batman #21 definitely comes in its subtext more than its text as the fight between the resilient Batman and Eobard Thawne could symbolize the pain DC readers, old and new, felt during the New 52. Happiness and family are good things, but this crossover doubles down on darkness to start out even if the constant use of the smiley face button and the nine-panel grid gets a bit repetitive. Yes, we know it’s an homage to Watchmen, let’s move onto two of DC’s greatest detectives investigating a universe spanning

From his work on Justice League and Batman and Robin Eternal, Jason Fabok has demonstrated that he has the clean lines of superhero action and musculature down to a science. He can draw Batman’s jawline, The Flash/Reverse Flash’s lightning, and a double page splash without distracting from the reading experience. To this firm foundation, Fabok adds plenty of punishment as Batman is no match for The Reverse Flash, and Anderson shows that his black can barely handle Eobard’s yellow. He does use his ingenuity to get a few licks in until The Flash is back to save the day. (Or does he.) The blood flying off Batman’s body as he takes a beating from Reverse Flash reminds readers of his humanity, in light of a possible divine presence getting involved with the DC Universe.

Batman #21 is a less of a part one of an epic crossover mystery than an extended mood poem by Tom King and Jason Fabok on how dark and grisly the DC Universe has gotten. The cutting between a hockey fight and an interpersonal fight was used way back in Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amybut they take it into a melodramatic extreme with death instead of a few minutes in the penalty box. It’s also a nod to Watchmen where the seemingly unrelated pirate comic that pops up is thematically connected to the events of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel. Basically, Dr. Manhattan or characters from the Watchmen universe are going to destroy the denizens of the DC Universe. This is exhibited in the final few pages where one of the most powerful supervillains, Reverse Flash, is turned into a slavering mess.

Except Batman #21 is really just a tasty appetizer before the (hopefully) feast that is “The Button” storyline. It’s a great tapas plate, but leaves you wanting a juicy steak, like some actual Watchmen characters and not just an exercise in formalism with the nine panel grid with each panel elapsing exactly a second or teases about the Legion of Superheroes and Crisis on Infinite Earths. The presence of the Smiley Button is a constant teaser as Reverse Flash and Batman play with it and with audience expectations before ending on an slightly satisfactory cliffhanger and whetting your appetite for the next installment in The Flash.

Despite having bone breaking art from Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson, Batman #21 is more of a prologue than a part one. However, on a pure craft level, it is a wonderful demonstration of how comics can speed up or slow down time with a single minute stretched over many pages just like how Dr. Manhattan sees the world. Hopefully, King and company will continue to put their own variations on these old themes and not be content to play dive bar covers of classics past.

Story: Tom King Art: Jason Fabok Colors: Brad Anderson
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Preview: The Flash #20

The Flash #20

(W) Joshua Williamson (A) Neil Googe (CA) Carmine Di Giandomenico
In Shops: Apr 12, 2017
SRP: $2.99

The dangerous scientists of Black Hole have been stealing the bodies of dead speedsters, prompting Iris West and The Flash to go deep undercover among them! And in doing so, they discover a shocking secret: a traitor within The Flash’s inner circle!

TV Review: The Flash S3E18 Abra Kadabra

The Flash Season 2The Flash battles Earth-19 villain Abra Kadabra, who offers to tell him Savitar’s true identity if he lets him go; Gypsy tries to take Abra Kadabra for her own reasons, accidentally allowing him to escape.

The Flash has a bit of fun introducing the classic villain Abra Kadabra to the tv series. Played by David Dastmalchian who was also a Joker henchman in The Dark Knight, Jerome’s henchman in Gotham, and also in Ant-Man (Dastmalchian adds another comic property to his belt) Kadabra comes off more like a Joker in many aspects. Dastmalchian has spent so much time around crime’s crown prince, it feels like Kadabra is channeling him a little.

The story itself is pretty fun and involves Kadabra running around gathering items so that he can travel to the future, but that mission isn’t quite clear as to “why” other than his being on the run. Apparently, Kadabra murdered a bunch of people which has Gypsy on his trail too. What this entire episode is really about is the tease of what Kadabra knows.

Throughout the episode Kadabra teases Barry, and really everyone, with the knowledge he has about the future and specifically Savitar. That’s what the episode focuses on really, what will Team Flash do to find out what Kadabra knows and will they let him go to save Iris? For almost the entire episode we’re teased. That feels like the point of the episode, introduce a new villain and then continue to tease us about Savitar until Barry makes a decision as to what he’s going to do.

But, that’s not everything. Caitlin is injured leading to the turn we knew was coming, but who knows how long it’ll last and if she’s gone full-time villain. There’s some stumbles with this situation in that to save her life they need to remove her restraining necklace, but then why can’t they quickly put it back on once she’s in the clear? It’s a little odd. It’s not bad and I like Killer Frost as presented, so hopefully this will be the long term villain the series is lacking in some ways and a focus away from guest villain of the week can be moved away from.

The episode had a lot of potential but it feels like it doesn’t do enough with what it’s given. Cisco and Gypsy’s moments are too few. Barry continues to think about the future and comes up with a solution that was pretty clear for some time. A villain pops in and then goes away. It’s the show’s formula but something feels like it’s missing. Not a bad episode, but one that definitely stumbles when it attempts to run.

Overall Rating: 7.05

DC Rebirth Recap & Review: Comics Released 3/22

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth: Recap And Review where we take a look at the comics released under DC‘s Rebirth banner and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for

new readers to pick them up; the ratings are based solely on the issues released in the post-Rebirth ongoing series. More consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. Generally, the quality of an issue won’t be discussed unless it directly impacts a new reader’s enjoyment of the series.

You may notice that not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often). If I have missed an issue, typically I won’t go looking for back issues to catch up on events – this feature is all about accessibility for new readers, after all.

AC_Cv976_dsAction Comics #976 “Right now, everything is so bizarre… that it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.” I’m going to let the opening of the comic speak for the recap, but you should still check the fourth part of the Action Comics/Superman crossover out.

Batman Beyond #6 The first part of a new arc that also neatly explains the previous story in bits and pieces is, as you should expect, quite Friendly.

Batgirl #9 I… don’r remember the last issue at all, and I think I missed it completely (don’t quote me on that). That said, this week Batgirl #9 will be judged entirely on  this issue, and it’s easy to read nature makes it quite Friendly.

Deathstroke #14 Another excellent issue that is tough to follow. Although I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here, you’re better trade waiting for this otherwise Unfriendly issue.

Detective Comics #953 The attack on Gotham that has been hinted at since Detective Comics relaunched happened a couple issues ago, and Batman wasn’t as ready as he’d have liked. There’s a scene in the beginning of the comic where Jim Gordon is brought up to speed that’s a very effective, and brief, recap for the story thus far making this comic Friendly enough on it’s own.

The Flash #19 Even though the last issue only came out two weeks ago, I don’t remember too much about it beyond the fact that The Flash is stuck working with Captain Boomerang who may or may not have been on a solo Suicide Squad mission (I may be wrong, but I can’t remember and won’t go back and check). That being said this is a really good, and Friendly, comic.

HJGLC_Cv17_dsHal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #17 After the craziness of the last issue, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this issue wouldn’t be the best place to jump on board… but it’s actually really Friendly, complete with it’s own moments where it fills in the gaps for you throughout the issue.

Suicide Squad #14 Somebody killed Amanda Waller, one of her enemies turned off the Suicide Squad’s brain bombs, Deadshot turned on the Squad and Boomerang murdered somebody. None of that does justice to the story itself, but it’ll get you more or less up to speed with this barely Friendly issue.

Teen Titans #6 A new arc commences that looks like it’ll introduce a water themed hero to the team, complete with an almost forced recap about the characters and their powers, make this a Friendly comic.

Wonder Woman #19 This series has had two stories running through it in alternating issues since the beginning, and while it was fairly easy to keep track of each story when Year One was being told, because both concurrently running stories are similar enough in setting I’m having  hell of a time keeping both separate in my head. Anyway, The Truth finds Diana in an institution following a perceived mental break down, and  minotaur named Ferdinand has gone to get her out. I’m not sure whether this would be Friendly with a decent recap or not at this point.

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and WonderCon is hurtling at us. We’ll have reviews, previews and more coming at you this week.

While you wait for things to get rolling, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

ScreenCrush – ‘Zombieland’ Director Bringing ‘Archer and Armstrong’ Graphic Novel to the Big Screen – Please. Please. Please.

Fox News – Sword-carrying Joker arrested in Virginia, police say – Yes, there’s laws about masks in Virginia.

CBR – Fear the Walking Dead Showrunner Steps Down to EP – There’s a job opening folks!

ComicsAlliance – Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone Will Return for More Marvel Movies – Spoiler people!? Not really, sort of.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Did you know you get free comics with your Amazon Prime membership? – There’s some interesting stuff there.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Lifelight’s My Dear Cold Blooded King is a stylish manga drama – Free comics. Go read!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Kris Stress is drawing a comic a day chronicling the Trump presidency – More free comics. Go read!


Around the Tubes Reviews

Atomic Junk Shop – Cerebus in Hell #1 and #2

Talking Comics – The Flash #19

ICv2 – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1

The Beat – Ley Lines #9

Comic Attack – X-O Manowar #1

Come Together with the New Justice League Trailer

Watch Aquaman, the Flash, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and Batman come together to form the Justice League in this new trailer.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League is out November 2017.

Preview: The Flash #19

The Flash #19

(W) Joshua Williamson (A) Jesus Merino, Andy Owens (A/CA) Carmine Di Giandomenico
In Shops: Mar 22, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“SINS OF THE FATHER” finale! Wally’s quest for knowledge about his villainous father takes him and Barry Allen to the Australian outback and into the debt of Captain Boomerang, one of The Flash’s oldest enemies and the last person to see Wally’s father, Reverse-Flash, alive.

Unite the League, The Flash Gets a Teaser Video

Warner Bros. has released a teaser video featuring the Flash in the lead up to the release of a new trailer for this year’s Justice League film.

Justice League is in theaters November 2017.

TV Review: The Flash S3E17 Duet

The Flash Season 2Mon-El and Hank Henshaw arrive carrying a comatose Supergirl, who was attacked by the Music Meister; when the Music Meister attacks Barry, both he and Supergirl wake up in an alternate reality that they have to sing and dance their way out of.

The Flash delivers a musical episode with guest star Supergirl in an entertaining episode that has its ups and downs.

The episode carries over from this week’s Supergirl which ended with a mysterious character putting Supergirl in a trance and then heading to the Flash’s Earth. And that’s the first meh part of the episode. If you didn’t watch Supergirl you might be lost as to what’s going on and this episode does an only ok episode explaining the situation. It also doesn’t help that Mon-El who also comes over from Supergirl has been a douche lately, so it’s hard to cheer for him.

But, the focus on this episode is the musical itself which spoofs from various other musicals and shows off how much of the two casts have a musical background. Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash, Jesse L. Martin as Joe West, Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers/Supergirl, Victor Garber as Martin Stein, John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramone, and Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott all have a long history in musical theater. Then there’s guest Darren Criss as the Music Meister. That’s three Glee actors on this episode.

The songs are decent and singing not too bad. Valdes and Jordan caught me by surprise at their talent but I didn’t know their background. Gustin is a much better dancer than singer and Benoist shines as usual. Everyone has their moment and it’s cheesy fun and that’s the name of the game, fun.

The actual plot is groan-inducing mostly due to the ending which caused a massive eye roll from me. It’s almost as if the writers didn’t know how to end the episode so this is what they came up with. It also washes over how bad Mon-El is for Kara and impacts Supergirl more than it does The Flash. But, the episode ends with Gustin serenading Iris in a cute scene full of saccharin.

There’s some good and likely made fans clamoring for a musical episode happy, but when you pull back and really think about it all, the episode is all flash and little substance. Its worse crime is overlooking the caustic relationship between Kara and Mon-El fixing it with what feels like fortune cookie wisdom.

Overall Rating: 7.05

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week! We’ve got interviews, a brand new episode of Graphic Policy Radio tonight, reviews, and more lined up!

While you await all of that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Gizmodo – Famed Comic Book Artist Bernie Wrightson Dies at 68 – Out thoughts are with his friends and family.

Kotaku – Scumbags Harass Woman For Working On Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Animations – Weird how it’s always the women this happens to… utter scum doing this.

Pacific Standard – Kelly Sue DeConnick Is Building a Future for Women in Comic Books – And being awesome while doing it.

Comics Alliance – ‘Flash’ Bosses Promise No Speedster Villain in Season 4 – The Rogues… please?

ICv2 – Marvel Planning Retailer Summit – Interesting move.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: About a Bull brings Irish myth to life – Free comics. Go read!!!

The Beat – A year of free comics – Mickey Zacchilli’s Space Academy 123 – More free comics. Go read!!!


Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – Coady and the Creepies #1

Talking Comics – Trinity #7


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