Tag Archives: Tom Napolitano

Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal #4

Dark Nights: Death Metal #4

For so many issues, I’ve attempted to figure out what hasn’t sat well with me about Dark Nights: Death Metal. Part of my issue is that this event is clearly the latest DC “Crisis,” but it feels like the publisher is afraid to call it such. The next is that there’s very little “metal” about the comic, let alone “death metal” as it was promoted. But, it’s with Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 where I think it has clicked what hasn’t worked for me.

The comic, the event as a whole, feels like all of the weird alternative Batman figures Kenner would release for films. Arctic Batman. Toxic Sewage Batman. Urban Commando Batman. All I wanted was Batman. The comic is much like that throwing out concepts left and right without much explanation or depth beyond “they exist”. Like those 1990s toys, Dark Night: Death Metal feels like gattling gun of concepts, many of which don’t feel like they fit the “voice” or even together. Some may enjoy that but there’s a point where too little explanation or ideas too out there begin to stand out and seem a little silly.

Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 opens with a recap of what you might have missed. Yes, four issues in and it already needs to catch up readers. That’s because important events have occurred outside of the series in a few one-shots. I questioned those one-shots existing and not being part of the main story and still do. The fact they need to be recapped makes me as a reader feel like I’m not far off in that feeling. Things are desperate at this point. How do we know? Our narrator, the head of Sgt. Rock, tells us.

Writer Scott Snyder doesn’t hide what he’s going for in this issue. It’s the part of the story where things are darkest. They look bleak for our heroes with the odds against them and a chance they may lose. Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 is rather predictable like that, unfortunately. The twists, the turns, it’s all easy to see from a mile away. There’s little surprising about the issue which serves as a bridge from the previous arc to what comes next. And what comes next might be interesting. Maybe. We’ll see. So, this issue feels like a necessity to get us to the next story arc.

A lot of the issue revolves around Superboy Prime who has Wonder Woman hostage and is part of The Batman Who Laughs’ plan. Unless you’re really invested into the character, the fact so much of the comic might fall flat. It does for me. He’s a bad guy. I know he’s important in DC history. But, I have no connection to him. And that again reminds me of an issue of so many DC events like this. Unless you really know DC’s history, there’s going to be key moments or characters that just stumble. It rewards long-time readers more so than new readers and there’s a bit where that tilts too far. DC often tilts too far in the “long time reader” direction.

The art by Greg Capullo continues to be the more interesting aspect of the series. There’s a lot packed in at times and some solid switching of styles at times. Batman being torn part is one of the most interesting visual aspects of the entire series so far. Jonathan Glapion handles the ink while FCO Plascencia handles colors with Tom Napolitano on lettering. The art is good, though there’s moments that just don’t ring visually. When a key part of the plan doesn’t work the art doesn’t evoke the moment enough. The final panel reveal doesn’t have the punch it should. For every interesting thing like a world shattered, there’s something that falls flat.

Dark Nights: Death Metal #4 just generally falls flat. The comic is predictable far too often. There’s parts are non-sensical at times, a big moment being when our heroes are freed (not really a spoiler). It’s a ride though that focuses on desperation and delivering that emotion to the readers to get them interested. It’s a chapter in the bigger story and will be completely fine as such in a popcorn read sort of way. On it’s own though, it just doesn’t quite work for me.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo
Ink: Jonathan Glapion Color: FCO Plascencia Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Oni and Lion Forge Reveal its YA Spring Lineup for 2021

This spring, the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group is pleased to announce the addition of several upcoming original graphic novels—including several new middle grade and young adult projects— in spring 2021.

Lemonade Code

In January, Lemonade Code, an own voices middle-grade graphic novel from the creative team of writer Jarod Pratt and artist Jey Odin, follows a young genius desperate for cash to fund his top-secret science projects. But after starting a lemonade stand, he discovers his brand-new next door neighbor doing the same thing! Soon, an all-out war begins as both kids go head-to-head in a lemonade war, but this time the fate of the world could be at stake.

Taking place in a recognizable world to today’s young readers was important to the creators: “Lemonade Code was born from a desire for my kids to not just be able to see a future with people who look like them in it, but to also see themselves in a future that wasn’t necessarily dystopic by nature,” said Jarod Pratt. “By taking a familiar children’s story conceit—two kids with dueling lemonade stands—and setting it in a time just around the corner, it is my hope that any kid who reads it and sees themselves in the characters will also have their eyes opened to the possibilities of tomorrow and their place in it.”

The fan-favorite Catalyst Prime title, Quincredible: Quest to be the Best, returns in February 2021 from creative team Rodney Barnes, Selina Espiritu, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Tom Napolitano, and follows Quinton West after a meteor show dubbed “The Event” left him with the power of invulnerability—but no other gifts. Not the most glamorous or flashy of superpowers. But there’s more to Quin than meets the eye, and he’s willing to show the world just that. Quincredible: Quest to be the Best will be reformatted in a new trim size and featuring an updated logo and design as the series moves from single issues to graphic novels.

Quincredible: Quest to be the Best

Secrets of Camp Whatever Volume 1, the latest graphic novel from the Eisner Award-nominated creator Chris GrineMartian Ghost Centaur by Unplugged and Unpopular creator Mat Heagerty with illustrations by Steph Mided; and The Hazards of Love: Bright World, a queer Latinx webcomic-turned-graphic-novel by Stan Stanley, will be available in March 2021.

In Grine’s Secrets of Camp Whatever, there’s more than mosquitoes at this creepy summer camp, as hard-of-hearing teen Willow and friends go head-to-head with supernatural scares, and a mystery involving her family’s past at the camp begins to unfold. For creator Chris Grine, inspiration was one part summer camp, one part supernatural, and everything else his children. “My preteen daughter and her ever-changing preteen attitude became the main inspiration for several of the main characters personalities, which made it so much more personal and enjoyable to write, especially when I would think about how she might handle this place and what choices she might make when things go sideways.”

Secrets of Camp Whatever Volume 1

Martian Ghost Centaur, from Heagerty and Mided, explores coming of age for a young adult torn between leaving for college or staying in a beloved hometown that is on the brink of financial ruin—and the lengths one can go to save something they love. For Mat Heagerty, this came from taking a deep look at his own experiences. “Up until the pandemic, I’d worked for a decade in a really unique bar in San Francisco. I watched the city’s second tech boom push out so much of what made San Francisco feel like home to me. Watching the tech takeover, specifically of the Mission District, was where the story started for me.”

But for illustrator Steph Mided, it was a means of revisiting that high school transition. “[Martian Ghost Centaur] instantly took me back to my senior year of high school, where I was ready to take on the entire world, yet at the same time deeply scared about anything in my life changing.”

Martian Ghost Centaur

In Stanley’s The Hazards of Love: Bright World, Amparo, a Latinx nonbinary teen, makes a deal with a talking cat to become a better person—in part to stop their mom and abuela from worrying about them, but mostly to be worthy of dating straight-A student Iolanthe. But in a twist of fate, the cat steals their body, imprisoning Amparo in a land of terrifying flesh-hungry creatures known as Bright World.

For Stan, this was a way to bring a deeply personal project to a larger audience. “It was important for me as a queer Mexican living in NYC that this project feature a diverse Latinx and LGBTQ cast and present urban fantasy through a non-European lens. Hazards reinterprets the ‘Down the Rabbithole’ trope to reflect a queer Latinx voice, and pays homage to Mexican gothic horror films, to telenovela tropes, and to Latin-American surrealism.” Offering lush full-color illustrations, Stanley hopes The Hazards of Love: Bright World will bring the horrors of the fantasy world and the more relatable horrors of our mundane world to readers in a whole new light.

The Hazards of Love: Bright World

In Delicates, the sequel to Brenna Thummler’s best-selling graphic novel Sheets, summer’s ended and Marjorie Glatt is heading back to school, this time as part of the eighth grade in-crowd. But as she struggles to fit in with her new friends, she spends less and less time with Wendell and finds herself acting in ways that seem unlike her. Marjorie must soon come to terms with the price she pays to be accepted by the popular kids, but it might just cost her her friendship with Wendell and so much more. “Waiting for sequels is like waiting to reunite with old friends—you’re eager for that familiar comfort, yet anxious to hear of new adventures. Delicates is full of the fun, challenges, and bittersweet moments that make for the strongest of friendships, and I can’t wait for readers to return to this ghostly world!” said Brenna. Delicates will be available March 2021.

Delicates

Review: Batman: The Joker Warzone #1

Batman: The Joker Warzone #1

DC’s “Joker War” has been a bit of a mixed bag for me as an event. Some of it feels like we’ve seen it before. While it has some good moments, it also feels like it never quite commits to the chaos. What bothers me the most is that the story feels like it’s just a bridge to what comes next. It’s not a story I feel like I can pick up on its own to enjoy. Through the issues of Batman, it never quite feels like a story that is a stand-alone adventure to enjoy. That might be even more pronounced in Batman: The Joker Warzone #1. It’s a tie-in comic filled with creative talent, solid stories, art, and a few “continued in 2021”. It’s also very good.

A Serious House” opens the comic. Written by James Tynion IV with art by Guillem March, color by Tomeu Morey, and lettering by Clayton Cowles it focuses on a confrontation between the Joker and Bane. The story is fantastic with a fascinating back and forth as Joker goes over his issues with Bane and contemplates ending his life. There’s a “play” like quality about the segment and with amazing art it’s the highlight of the issue. It sets up something for 2021 which feels a bit frustrating in that it telegraphs more to come instead of surprising and hints that the Joker survives “Joker War” for that to happen.

Family Ties” features writer John Ridley, art by Olivier Coipel, color by Matt Hollingsworth, and lettering by Deron Bennett. Focused on the Fox family, the story focuses on their receiving information to unlock Bruce Wayne’s fortune. But, Ridley takes that concept and adds so much to it giving us a mini-debate about what good Bruce, and thus Batman, are doing with all of this money. Could they use the money in a better way to help people? Should it go back to Bruce. With an ending that feels ripped from the headlines, Ridley shows why he’s one of the best storytellers in any medium today.

The Symbol” is by writer Joshua Williamson, art by David LaFuente, color by Hi-Fi, and lettering by Gabriela Downie. Orphan and Spoiler are on a mission to get a Bat-symbol where they wind up fighting Hench Master. Hench Master feels like a new character whose job it is to “train” henchmen for various villains. It’s a fun story that feels like it’d fit in any Batman anthology and an entertaining fun distraction that’s a bit cheerier with some good action sequences.

Ashes of Eden” is by writer Sam Johns, art by Laura Braga, color by Antonio Fabela, and lettering by Tom Napolitano. Ivy is dealing with the destruction of Eden. The entire segment is a declaration from Ivy about where her head is at and what’s to come. It’s also another story arc that we’ll see in 2021. What’s interesting, and possibly the most controversial, is Ivy seems to reject all humans and that might include Harley. Whether I’m reading too much into it, I have no idea but the Ivy/Harley stans may get a bit angry about what’s to come for these two.

Wrapping up the comic is “Clown Hunt” by writer James Tynion IV, art by James Stokoe, and lettering by Clayton Cowles. This is our first real story about Clownhunter who has stalked the Joker’s henchman and delivered brutal justice. We don’t know much about the character but we get our first good look at Clownhunter without the mask and better sense of what the citizens of Gotham thinks about him. There’s a lot of potential for a long-term interesting addition to the world of Batman and where this one goes is exciting.

Overall, Batman: The Joker Warzone #1 is a solid one-shot. It adds some stories within “Joker War” without making them vital. There’s a bit too much left to be experienced in 2021 which emphasizes my issues with “Joker War” overall. It doesn’t feel self-contained enough. If you took those segments and left out the “too be continued,” these would be really solid on their own. Even if you’re not reading “Joker War,” there’s enough here to enjoy and worth checking out. It’s the rare event one-shot where you can ignore the actual event.

Story: James Tynion IV, John Ridley, Joshua Williamson, Sam Johns
Art: Guillem March, Olivier Coipel, David LaFuente, Laura Braga, James Stokoe
Color: Tomeu Morey, Matt Hollingsworth, Hi-Fi, Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Deron Bennett, Gabriela Downie, Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

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Preview: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Thirteen

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red (2020-) #13

Written by Patrick Schumacker
Pencils Eleonora Carlini
Inks Eleonora Carlini
Colored by Eleonora Carlini
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“Red Ink”
Harley finally gets her shot at sitting on the board of the Legion of Doom – but corporate evil-doing isn’t exactly what she expected, and neither is her new boss, Lex Luthor! Written by the co-showrunner of the hit DC Universe HARLEY QUINN animated series!

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red (2020-) #13

Review: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Thirteen

HARLEY QUINN: BLACK + WHITE + RED CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Just when you think that this series can’t get any better, this chapter drops. Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Thirteen is one of the funniest comics I’ve read in a long time. I actually laughed out loud. Multiple times. For those who don’t know. Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red is a DC Digital First anthology series. Each chapter sees a new creative team and new story. These are generally stand-alone tales with only a couple referencing other series. Through it all, we’ve seen how much the writers and artists bring to the story with so many different takes on Harley Quinn in both the narrative and the visuals.

Patrick Schumacker is the Executive Producer and a writer for the Harley Quinn animated series and he brings his talents to the digital page with this chapter. The story has Harley being recruited by the Legion of Doom and doing what she can to impress her potential new boss, Lex Luthor. What follows is a smart, humorous, touching story that’s more about “Q rating” than villainy. The Legion of Doom is plagued by leaked emails, henchmen strikes, and public perception. And with all of the references within, there’s still moments that are sweet and cute.

Schumacker adds some heart as Harley bonds with Bane who provides her with advice about her potential new job. The scene is one of subtle visual jokes but some tenderness as well. Within the villainous group there’s “decent” people it would appear and some justification of the job (dental!).

Eleonora Carlini provides the art with Tom Napolitano‘s lettering. The style is an interesting one reminding me of something but I can’t quite put my finger on it. There’s a kinetic energy about the style though. Even though much of the comic takes place around a boardroom table, there’s something that pops. The style really emphasizes Schumacker’s jokes. Napolitano’s lettering is so important as well as there’s a bit of dialogue to deliver the punchlines but at no point does it feel overwhelming.

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Thirteen delivers rapid-fire jokes. There’s just so much there for so many people. Jokes cover everything from Michael Cohen to leaked emails to the NFL to the Joker’s former tattoos. Every bit of dialogue is packed with a set up and delivery of a punchline. This is hands down my favorite chapter of the anthology series so far. It got me to laugh and keep laughing throughout with a style that departs what has come before and delivering smart, joke-filled commentary.

Story: Patrick Schumacker Art: Eleonora Carlini Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL TRINITY CRISIS #1

As a whole, I’ve been a bit mixed on Dark Nights: Death Metal. The comic tonally has been all over with gonzo ideas that don’t match its “metal pitch.” The comic also is clearly the latest “Crisis” to hit the DC Universe forgoing the classic title. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 feels like it cements this event’s place in the ongoing “Crisis” of the DC Universe and is a key issue of the event. It’s enough of a key issue one has to scratch their head and wonder why it wasn’t?

Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 picks up as the heroes of the DC Universe are freed and the plan is laid out as to what to do next. The stakes are laid out and it’s clear that a multi-pronged plan is the way to go with various teams focused on specific objectives. Wonder Woman is calling the shots this time pivoting away from Superman and Batman, who are clearly hiding something from here and predictably whatever it is will be revealed at a pivotal moment to make victory difficult or prevent an easy initial win.

Scott Snyder handles the story of this tie-in that mainly focuses on Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and their team that includes Jarro, Swamp Thing, Jonah Hex, and Harley Quinn. Their mission is to harness to “Crisis energy” of the Dark Multiverse to be used later to help spring forth a multiverse DC’s heroes will create and direct. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 is so far the strongest of all of the issues released for the event. It’s an interesting launching point for the next chapter and direction of the story that will drive DC’s future into whatever comes next.

And that’s part of the frustrating aspect of Dark Nights: Death Metal as a whole. It’s a bridge to yet another “reboot.” When Dark Nights: Metal launched, I felt that it should have been the bridge between the dark and gloomy “New 52” and the more hopeful “Rebirth.” Dark Nights: Death Metal feels like it emphasizes exactly that and is a missed opportunity to really bridge the two eras in tone and in a more coherent and clean transition.

Snyder lays out what’s at stake and the issue well. It feels like a vital chapter that should have just been a part of the main series. There’s a tenseness about it all that builds and builds well, even if the latter aspects of the comic are foreshadowed a bit too much. It’s still an intriguing chapter that really makes you wonder what’s to come in this wild ride of an event.

Francis Manapul handles the art. With colors by Ian Herring and lettering by Tom Napolitano, the comic has an energy about it that Manapul is known for. Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 delivers visuals that are both tense and have you jumping with enthusiasm like a good popcorn flick. There’s also a lot going on. The details at time are a little packed in but the team does a solid job of fitting a lot into the issue. There’s a great balance of use of panels and page layouts to also emphasize the chaotic nature of what’s going on delivering an almost claustrophobic feel for a while before exploding into the latter half.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Trinity Crisis #1 feels like the issue where this event just admits it’s the latest “Crisis” storyline for the DC Universe. It does a solid job of both diving into DC history while also leaving it open enough for new readers to enjoy. But, again, there’s a fault of the issue for not being part of the main series. It’s an odd choice. Still, this is the second recent release for Dark Nights: Death Metal that acts as a jumping on point or an explanation of what’s happening. If you’ve been following the event, it’s a must get. If you’re intrigued by what’s going on, this isn’t a bad place to start to begin the latter half.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Francis Manapul
Color: Ian Herring Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.65 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Justice League’s “Doom Metal” Crossover Begins in Justice League #53 on September 15

Justice League #53 kicks off “Doom Metal” part one of five—the Dark Nights: Death Metal tie-in that will directly impact the finale of that event! Nightwing’s on a mission to free the Legion of Doom from Perpetua’s clutches.  But to do so, he’ll need the help of none other than…Lex Luthor?! The surprises are only just beginning, as Nightwing, Lex, and a new Justice League must fight their way through an Earth twisted by the Dark Multiverse. Titans will be tested, hearts will be broken, and blood will be spilled!

“Doom Metal” begins with Nightwing discovering an assembled Justice League for the first time, years before he would become a member. Take a look at the opening scene, and get ready for more incredible Justice League action in the months to come! “Doom Metal” will also feature the first appearance of Mindhunter, a new, twisted Dark Knight who is combined with Martian Manhunter, the first appearance of Omega Knight—a Frankenstein’s Monster version of the Omega Titans from Justice League: No Justice, the longtime-coming reunion of the Teen Titans: Nightwing, Cyborg, and Starfire, and more!

Justice League #53, written by Joshua Williamson, art by Xermanico, colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr., lettering by Tom Napolitano, cover by Liam Sharp & Dave Stewart, variant cover by Ian MacDonald, hits shelves on September 15.

Justice League #53

Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL GUIDEBOOK #1

I remember “guidebooks” from back in the day. They’d be a lot of text that were more like roleplaying game supplements than comic books. And that’s what I expected with Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1. I was also really wrong about that as well. The Dark Nights: Death Metal tie-in is full of standalone stories and tales that shed more light on what has happened. It’s also a perfect guide for those that skipped “Year of the Villain” and want to catch up.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 featured five stories from various creative teams and in between it has one-page guides/sketches that I was expected more of. As with all anthologies, the quality varies in story and art but this is the rare case where everything is at least good if not great. The story subjects, tones, and focus are all different delivering insight into the event.

The main chunk of the comic is made up of the “Fall of Earth”. The story goes into detail exactly what happened. While it skips some of the lead up it’s the perfect read for those who want to know what they missed. In goes into so much detail it spoils the first three issues of Dark Nights: Death Metal as well. It’s the Cliff’s Notes version of the event and when I got to the end, I felt like I had a good grasp as to what was going on and the why. None of it was Earth-shattering (pun intended) but I feel like I have a bit more of a grasp as to what’s going on now.

The other four stories focus on various heroes and villains and where they stand.

Harley Quinn gets a spotlight as she explores the irradiated wastelands and it answers some questions as to what has happened to some villains while raising questions as well. Aquaman is the most intriguing of the stories as it shows a former King subjugated and folded to protect his people. We learn more about Wonder Woman and her jail of villains. The story is the highlight of the comic delivering an emotional punch. Wrapping it up is a story featuring Batman, Jonah Hex, and the Joker Dragon. While the overall story is the weakest of the bunch it also has some key details that will impact the main story. There’s a reason Hex was chosen by Batman and something he must do if things go sideways.

The art is pretty solid all around. The styles vary a bit but none of it varies too much from each other. It’s unique but cohesive at the same time. All of it is good across the board and each has its moments that’ll leave you lingering. With a limited amount of pages to work with, the art is key to tell the story and bring emotion.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 is a one-shot tie-in that really works. While it feels like it should have come out earlier in the event, it does a great job of acting as a starting point for those who missed the first three issues. It answers a lot of questions and also drops some key hints for the main story as well. It’s a spin-off that feels as vital as any main event issue.

Story: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Chip Zdarsky, Becky Cloonan, Vita Ayala, Christopher Priest
Art: Doug Mahnke, Khary Randolph, Becky Cloonan, Dan Panosian, Eduardo Risso
Ink: Jamie Mendoza
Color: David Baron, Emilio Lopez, Tamra Bonvillain, Luis Guerrero, Eduardo Risso
Lettering: Tom Napolitano, Dave Sharpe, Steve Wands, Ferran Delgado, Willie Schubert
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal #3

Dark Nights: Death Metal #3

Dark Nights: Death Metal #3 is an interesting issue. With its “rock” aesthetic, the issue is one that’s more about hope. It’s the moment in the story where the heroes rally and their plan is laid out for the reader. It also, much like the previous issue, isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. There’s a lot of silliness in the issue that feels like it clashes with the “death metal” title. But, is it really “death metal” in attitude? As we learn in this issue, and as expected, nope, the title has a different meaning than pitched.

Written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo, Dark Nights: Death Metal #3 has our gang of heroes rushing to Apokolips to free Superman and turn the tide of battle. As we learn, there’s much more than Superman being focused on when it comes to the plan in this issue. And that’s a good thing keeping the event from another “Trinity” focused event where Batman is the center of things. Instead, Wonder Woman has taken center stage and in her rallying speech, we can see why as she represents the hope that the heroes need.

But, the issue has a weird tonal issue. It wants to be “death metal” in its visuals but then gives us the silliness that is a giant robot, a time travel gun, yet more colors of Kryptonite, and a certain scene. It all ties into things from the past so fits. There’s nothing new, it’s a lot of winks, nods, and celebrations of what has come before. But, there’s a goofiness about it all that betrays the “hard” rock and roll style Capullo and Snyder pitched in the lead up. Spikes on a shoulder pad doesn’t create “death metal.” There’s also some big questions as to the why as far as The Batman Who Laughs’ actions. There’s some wide open aspects where you question his genius and cunning. For a ruthless Batman who has killed who knows how many, he’s left a lot of opposition alive.

Capullo’s art continues to be interesting. Much like the story, there’s a mix of attempting to deliver a serious metal look and the jokes within. Visually the comic feels like the “Rebirth” DC Universe breaking through the doom and gloom of the past. It also makes me think that this series and its previous chapter would have been the bridge from the New 52 to Rebirth that was needed. The dark seriousness transforming to the hope. In some ways visually, the comic feels like that might be the point, especially weighing in on Wonder Woman’s speech. This may be that final chapter to really transition from what was to what is. Capullo is joined by Jonathan Glapion on inks, FCO Plascencia on colors, and Tom Napolitano on lettering. As has been, everyone does a solid job and there are a certain excitement and energy about it all.

I’m still not sold on Dark Nights: Death Metal #3 and the series as a whole. I get a feeling I can see the meta at work but won’t know until the series wraps up. It really does feel like a final chapter in the New 52 aspect of the DC Universe putting the final nails in that chapter. But, there’s still issues to go and a lot of directions the series can take. While the individual issues have had a sense of entertainment, this may be a series to truly judge as a whole instead of its individual parts.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo
Ink: Jonathan Glapion Color: FCO Plascencia Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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DC Reveals this Week’s DC Digital First Releases

DC’s Digital First continues this week with another installment of Shazam: Lightning Strikes, plus the return of Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice and a new story in Superman: Man of Tomorrow! These three, plus today’s Batman: Gotham Nights featuring a story by Tom Taylor and Daniel Sampere, give fans even more choice of characters while expanding DC’s digital publishing line with original stories.

And don’t forget to watch for the fifth chapter of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red on Friday, July 24!

Monday July 20

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #12

Superman’s Day Off” by Robert Venditti, Scott Hepburn, Ian Herring, and Dave Sharpe
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Metropolis is without the Man of Steel for a day and villains are coming out of the woodwork to take advantage. Can the city stand against the many threats? And where is Supeman?!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #12

Tuesday July 21

Batman: Gotham Nights #14

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Bad News” by Tom Taylor, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Adriano Lucas, and Tom Napolitano.

Deathstroke is hired to take out the only witness to a corrupt politician’s mob ties, but his newest mark has some friends in high places…

Monster” by Frank Tieri, Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano

A surprise during a bank robbery brings back old memories for Killer Croc. But he’s not that bullied, defeated kid from the freakshow anymore…he’s something much worse.

Batman: Gotham Nights #14

Wednesday July 22

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

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Disguises” by Robert Venditti, Isaac Goodhart, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham

Harley reluctantly agrees to meet with an old roommate from med school and finds herself considering the paths not taken. Turns out, she wasn’t missing much.

The Killing” by John Layman, Cully Hamner, Dave McCaig, and Justin Birch

Huntress is on the trail of a mobster on the lam, but her mission turns into a race when another bounty hunter joins the fray. And it’s no ordinary gun for hire—it’s none other than Deathstroke!

Birds of Prey: Sirens of Justice #2

Friday July 24

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2

Purchase

On the Job!” by Louise Simonson, Bret Blevins, Chris Sotomayor, and Marshall Dillon

Pedro takes his new crossing guard responsibilities very seriously. But when disaster strikes, can he keep his Shazam Family identity a secret and keep his classmates safe?

Destroying Eugene Choi” by Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, David Baron, and Marshall Dillon

A mysterious glowing artifact proves to be the perfect power source for Eugene’s robotics project—until it grants his robot a life of its own! Now Eugene must dismantle the rogue battlebots before they destroy Fawcett High…and to do it, he’ll need the helpof his greatest rival!

Shazam: Lightning Strikes #2
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