The questions mount around the new school formed by the original New Teen Titans: What’s going on with Billy Batson’s access to the powers of Shazam, what dark secret is Raven’s new pupil Dane hiding, and who’s masquerading as the new Red X?
Mattel and Dark Horse Comics haveannounced Masters of the Universe: Revelation, a four-issue miniseries. Starting in July 2021, the series will serve as a prequel to the upcoming Masters of the Universe: Revelation series from Netflix and Mattel Television premiering this year.
The story arc for the new comics was conceived by the show’s executive producers Kevin Smith and Rob David, who also served as the creative director and a writer of DC Comics’ Masters of the Universe releases from 2012 – 2020, as well as show writer Tim Sheridan. Mindy Lee provides the art and color while Stjepan Sejic created the cover art for issue #1 with Dave Wilkins providing cover art for issues #2-#4. Mattel and Dark Horse will also release an issue #1 variant by Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart. Additional variant artists for subsequent issues include Bill Sienkiewicz, Walt Simonson with Laura Martin, and more.
In the comic book, following a vicious Orlax attack on his father King Randor, He-Man learns the creature is linked to the origin of the sword of power. To save Randor and put an end to the chaos, He-Man embarks on an epic journey that pits him against his longtime foes Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, and sees Teela take the reins of a powerful legacy.
The first installment of four for the Masters of the Universe: Revelation comic is currently available for pre-order and will be released July 7, 2021. Additional comic books will be released on August 11, September 9, and October 13, 2021.
“SHAZAM!” With a single magic word, the powers of six ancient gods—the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury—are placed in the hands of teenage Billy Batson, transforming him into The World’s Mightiest Mortal! A new Shazam! four-issue mini-series from Tim Sheridan and Clayton Henry, spinning out of the pages of Teen Titans Academy, arrives July 20!
Billy Batson came to Titans Academy looking for answers, but so far has kept his Shazam! identity a secret from his new classmates. Why was the rest of his adopted family cut off from the power of Shazam!? Why are his own powers becoming increasingly unreliable? What has happened to the Rock of Eternity, where is the Wizard, and who can help Billy get his powers back to normal before these mysterious events turn into a full-blown crisis?
The answers send Billy on an outrageous adventure that’ll not only change him…but have an immense impact on the school and other students on Titans Island!
Shazam! #1 (of 4) by Tim Sheridan, Clayton Henry, and Marcelo Maiolo arrives on July 20 with covers by Henry and Maiolo (main), Gary Frank and Brad Anderson (card stock variant), and Steve Lieber (1:25 card stock variant). Shazam! will retail for $3.99 US for 32 pages ($4.99 for card stock variants).
Heroes training the next generation in a school is nothing new. The X-Men was built on the concept. The Avengers have done it. There have been numerous mentor programs within the DC Universe. Now, the Teen Titans put their spin on the concept with Teen Titans Academy #1. It’s an interesting debut that sets up some of the key players while hinting at the conflict to come.
That conflict was show in DC’s Future State where we found out about the academy and the death of its students. A concept that’s also not really knew. But, that “future story” harkened back to Titans history, specially Nightwing and Red X. And that’s where a lot of the debut issue revolves around.
Writer Tim Sheridan ties what’s possibly to come with the present as the students gather to the island for the start of the school year. Beyond introducing the cast and getting the teachers some overdue interaction, the issue mainly focuses on Nightwing and Red X. This is a part of DC history I don’t know so much of the concern or interesting aspects went over my head. But, you get a sense that this wasn’t a good time and it’s an ominous thing. Sheridan gives just enough for new readers, like me, won’t feel lost or scratching their heads as to the big deal.
The story really is an introduction laying out key characters, their personalities, and powers. The original Teen Titans get time to interact and remind us of their dynamic as well. In many ways it all feels like “coming home”. It also feels familiar. There’s very much an X-Men quality to it all with the original members training the next generation. That’s not a bad thing as the formula worked very well and was a lot of fun. Teen Titans Academy #1 sets things up with a playful charm about it all also nailing down that “fun” aspect to it all.
Rafa Sandoval does an impressive job of keeping things clean on the page. There’s a lot packed in at times but the pages and panels never feel like there’s too much there. Jordie Tarragona handles the ink, with Alejandro Sanchez on color, and lettering by Rob Leigh. Together, the visuals of the comic have a bit of a light (not a bad thing) style to it all. There’s nothing dark or brooding about the art. But, there’s also something ominous about it all as well. There’s something underlying the story and the art style helps enhance that in some ways. This is the light before the dark.
Teen Titans Academy #1 is a solid start to the series. While it doesn’t go off in a bold original direction, it does deliver a solid take on the concept it uses. The new characters are interesting and the original team is great together. It’s a comic that you know there are hard times ahead but in the present, things are fun, enjoyable, and positive. There’s a charm and innocence about it, which also makes it a superhero comic that’s unique for the stands.
Welcome to Teen Titans Academy! Packed with both new, super-powered teens and numerous dark secrets, Teen Titans Academy’s student body includes Shazam; a new Australian speedster; a trio of Goth(am) teen expatriates obsessed with Batman—and one member of this first class will become the deadly Red X. Original New Teen Titans including Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg and Beast Boy take on the role of teachers and mentors for superpowered teens. Their goal: to shape the next generation of heroes.
Dark Knights: Death Metal is over and we’ve seen a possible future timeline in “Future State”. Now, DC begins to chart its path with the first crumbs teased in Infinite Frontier #0. The issue serves as a guide as to the various series and status-quo that awaits them. With a new omniverse to explore, anything is possible and the comic does its job to remind us of that.
The comic’s story is delivered in a narrative driven by two characters as our guide. It’s a spin on the classic Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Wonder Woman believes a threat is looming and wants to witness the state of things before making a major decision about her role in the DC Universe.
With Wonder Woman and Spectre as our guide, we’re taken on a tour of the characters highlighting the comics to come. The Justice League, Batman, Wonder Girl, Alan Scott, Teen Titans Academy, Superman, Green Arrow and Black Canary, Star Girl, Green Lanterns, and the Flash all get a moment to show off where things stand. All of it is good and interesting though few of what’s presented really excites. It feels like an extended teaser and preview. It takes its concept as a guidebook almost too seriously. The comic feels a bit more like the extension of the ending of Dark Knights: Death Metal where we saw many of these ideas initially teased.
But, what’s intriguing is what’s presented and doesn’t have a comic attached to them. Infinite Frontier #0 teases more than what’s already announced giving hope as to what we’ll see in July and beyond. There’s also teases through artwork of the various series DC teased at the recent ComicsPro. It’s interesting in that way that the stories feel less like the exciting first 15 minutes before the credits to get you pumped. Instead, the stories are a bit dry and more to lay out where things stand with the concepts thrown out being the hooks. The action isn’t the hook, the ideas are.
The art of the comic is solid. Each segment flows into the next and with a few exceptions, the styles work well together. There are some fantastic spreads with Wonder Woman as she talks to Spectre about what she’s witnessing. There’s a few panels and pages that’ll leave you lingering to stare at. The colors really pop on pages delivering a sense of energy that really fits the new status of the DC Universe.
Infinite Frontier #0 isn’t bad but it doesn’t quite excite. By the end of the issue I found myself more excited about concepts than the comics themselves. Very few of the segments left me wanting to immediately find out what happens next. Instead, it the comic feels like a short ashcan, teasing what’s to come with a few pages and back material to fill things out. It shows what’s to come but it never quite puts things over. Instead, it nails its role as a guide, a way to browse what DC has to offer.
Story: Brian Michael Bendis, James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Joëlle Jones, Tim Sheridan, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Joshua Williamson, Geoff Johns, Geoffrey Thorne Art: David Marquez, Jorge Jimeez, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Joëlle Jones, Stephen Byrne, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Jamal Igle, Alex Maleev, Todd Nauck, Dexter Soy, Howard Porter, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson Color: Tamra Bonvillain, Tomeu Morey, Emilio Lopez, Jordie Bellaire, Stephen Byrne, Alejandro Sanchez, Hi-Fi, Alex Sinclair, Brad Anderson Letterer: Troy Peteri Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Written by: Michael Conrad, Brian Michael Bendis, Joshua Williamson, Scott Snyder, Tim Sheridan, Joëlle Jones, Becky Cloonan Art by: Jamal Igle, Rafa Sandoval, Stephen Byrne, Joëlle Jones, Alitha Martinez, Jorge Jimenez, David Marquez, John Timms
The next phase of the DC Universe begins here! Dark Knights: Death Metal presented the darkest threats of the Multiverse. DC Future State revealed what may lie ahead. Now it’s time to look into the Infinite Frontier of the current-day DC Universe. In Gotham City, The Joker jolts citizens awake with an attack even the Dark Knight never expected. In Brazil, a young woman discovers her destiny and her connection to the Amazons. In Belle Reve, Amanda Waller plots an invasion of Arkham Asylum. In the far reaches of space, Mongul dreams of galactic domination, while the Green Lantern Corps hosts a summit of its greatest enemies. At the Hall of Justice, the League joins forces with Black Adam. Beyond the mortal world, Wonder Woman settles into a new role in the godsphere. And somewhere in the DC Universe-it’s the return of Stargirl, in an all-new tale written by Geoff Johns! This oversized, all-star issue kicks off the next great era of storytelling and excitement as top writers and artists reveal what’s next for the World’s Greatest Heroes and opens the door to some of the greatest stories of 2021.
Shazam’s soul is laid bare as he’s confronted by one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe! Revealing shocking secrets and the final fate of Billy Batson, the boy who was Earth’s Mightiest Mortal, this issue introduces a deadly new threat born from the ashes of the Teen Titans Academy: Raven!
Red X returns to the Teen Titans! The mysterious former Teen Titans Academy student joins the surviving Titans in a final fight to stop the threat unleashed by one of the school’s students. Nightwing, Raven, Crush, Shazam, Starfire, Cybeast, and Red Arrow face their demons as one of these heroes must make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world!
No one’s seen Billy Batson in years-not since the incident known as the Final Battle of Titans Island. Now leading a small band of heroes, even his allies have begun to ask who’s controlling Earth’s Mightiest Mortal. In a story set years after the events of Future State: Teen Titans, learn the truth behind the sacrifice Billy made to imprison an ultimate evil even he couldn’t destroy.