Tag Archives: Tom Napolitano

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Review: Superman: Red and Blue #2

Superman: Red and Blue #2

I loved the debut of Superman: Red and Blue. The first issue was such a fresh take on Superman with a delivery that mixed in socio-political issues and the character’s limits and failures. Mixed with beautiful art, it was a debut that forced you to take notice. Superman: Red and Blue #2 is entertaining in its own way but falls far short of that first issue that soared.

There isn’t anything particularly bad about Superman: Red and Blue #2. There are five stories that are all entertaining in their own way. The stories vary in their focus and art style each delivering its own take on the character and his world. But, none of the stories really stand out. They’re entertaining while you read but I didn’t find the issue sticking with me in the same way as the first. It’s a case of starting out with a debut that’s almost “too good”. It’s difficult to match that level of quality.

Superman: Red and Blue #2 has its highlights. The comic debuts and opens with an interesting and emotional take on Clark’s relationship with his parents. It’s one that takes on negative perceptions about adoption and stamps them down.

An entry that pits Lex Luthor against Superman has a tinge of humor that pays homage to past stories. It’s a cute, fun story that I’d love as a backup feature in a Superman comic.

Where the comic stands out is in its varied subject matter. The anthology features stories focused on Martha Kent, Val-Zod, Lex Luthor, a random young girl, and Cyborg Superman. Each story is good in its own way and are worth reading. Superman: Red and Blue #2 is a frustrating comic in a way. All of the stories would be great as backups to a regular running series. But, as an anthology the stories are a bit too different in their subjects and topics and far too often fall into Superman battling something or they fall into predictable cheese.

Superman: Red and Blue #2 is hampered by that amazing first issue. It hasn’t stuck with me as that debut has. It’s not one that I immediately raved about to others. It’s good. It’s an entertaining read to sit back and relax to. But, it doesn’t challenge or do anything really new or interesting with an iconic character. An anthology feels like it presents a way to try something new, not something we’ve seen before.

Story: Steven T. Seagle, Chuck Brown, Dan Panosian, Stephanie Phillips, Jason Howard
Art: Duncan Rouleau, Denys Cowan, John Stanisci, Dan Panosian, Marley Zarcone, Jason Howard
Color: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Pat Brosseau, Dave Sharpe, Rob Leigh, Tom Napolitano
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

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Review: The Joker #2

The Joker #2

The Joker #2 continues the surprisingly strong debut of the series. When announced, the thought of a series focused on the Joker created a cringe reaction. Expectations of a comic was one for the edge-lord crowd. Instead, the comic focused on a worn-out force of good who’s tempted to do one last positive thing before he can truly retire. The Joker #2 continues its focus on James Gordon while also throwing in a few more factors.

James Tynion IV delivers a comic that’s more Nazi-hunter than the spandex and tights stories of Batman’s world. There’s a grounded aspect to the series that keeps the story focused and the fantastical at the minimum. At its core The Joker #2 is a man struggling to decide what to do. Should he do what probably needs to be done, kill the Joker or does he still believe in the concept of the judicial system? There’s a debate within Gordon and not just in his words but the agony on his face do we understand what he’s struggling with.

But, the issue drops so much more.

Tynion taps a little Guy Ritchie and Joe Carnahan and injects numerous other factors into Gordon’s mission. We get glimpses of the other groups and individuals who have the same mission. They all want to kill the Joker. This includes criminal organizations, enhanced individuals, and so much more. The pieces on the board are varied and should make for some entertaining and action-packed moments. It takes some of the grim nature of the comic and adds a little levity through action.

There’s also a revelation within that changes Gordon’s relationship and history with Batman and his allies. It’s something that’ll have individuals going back to re-read key moments in their interactions and what he knows. It adds a layer of trust, respect, and honor to what Gordon is doing and what he did as Police Commissioner. It also could be easily spun that it taints his relationship in some ways as well. Depends how you read into the revelation.

The art by Guillem March continues to be fantastic. With color by Arif Prianto and lettering by Tom Napolitano, the art has a style that evokes the grittier Batman comics of the 1980s. There’s also some additions to the story that creates a less dour feel to the issue. With the various groups also with a similar mission as Gordon, we get the “goofier” aspects of the story. It’s more of the costumed shenanigans that Batman deals with and while it can be action-packed it’s not so much a man trying to close that final chapter in his life and wrong his mistakes. The Joker’s scene too adds a bit of brightness and comedy that’s the trademark of the Joker. The pages are literally brighter in color an interesting contrast to what Joker is experiencing compared to others.

The comic also continues its back-up Punchline story. Tynion is joined by Sam Johns on art. Mirka Andolfo handles the art with Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color and lettering by Ariana Maher. Punchline as a whole has become a much more interesting character after “Joker War”. This story, along with her one-shot, added a lot to a character who started as a much more serious riff on Harley Quinn. We get an interesting debate on how much of her persona is real and how much is clout chasing and her influence on others. There’s some really interesting aspects to the character to explore and doing so in ways to show how others perceive her is a solid choice.

The Joker #2 is another fantastic issue. The series has begun to balance its serious tones with the lighter aspects of Batman’s world. It also sets up what should be an action-packed series going forward as the various competing groups eventually clash. It continues to surprise me forgoing the expectations I had of it and instead delivering a series that doesn’t celebrate the chaos of the Joker and instead examines the lingering damage that endures.

Story: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns Art: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo
Color: Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Ariana Maher
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Man-Bat #3

Man-Bat #3

Man-Bat has been an interesting issue through its three issues. The series has been an exploration of Kirk Langstrom and the good and bad as far as his time as Man-Bat. Kirk has lofty goals with good in mind. But, his drive has lead to nothing but disaster and heartbreak. Man-Bat #3 emphasizes that in multiple ways and leaves you feeling some sympathy for the character.

Dave Wielgosz gives us the story of a man whose heart is in the right place. Driven by his sister’s hearing impairment Kirk has focused on hearing in his career in hopes of bringing her hearing back. But, that delivers some problematic issues as it implies she’s “broken to be fixed”. His heart is there but he doesn’t consider his action’s impact on others. This issue opens with Harley Quinn talking to Kirk and Man-Bat about all of that and that he has some issues with women as a whole. It’s an interesting diagnosis and observation that weighs on the reader as the issue progresses. We see Kirk’s ex-wife and meet his sister. Each segment feels like it ties back to what Harley had to say. You feel sorry for Kirk in some ways because he’s trying to do the right thing and is talented, he just has some clear issues in the way of really helping society. There’s a tragedy to it all.

Wielgosz also uses Man-Bat #3 to start to bring together the bigger issue. The debut had the theft of a sonic weapon as its focus. We now get a better idea as to the why of it all and things get interesting due to that. And where it goes works as it also continues the focus on Kirk and his issues as well. The broader story plays into the comics’ exploration of Man-Bat and Kirk.

The art by Sumit Kumar is really good. There’s some comedy within the horror. The comic really does a great mix of things in visual tone and it all works together. Romulo Fajardo, Jr.‘s color and lettering by Tom Napolitano helps bring it all together. There’s some action, there’s some horror, there’s some comedy as well. Then there’s the heartache through it all as well. The characters really deliver when it comes to that so you can feel their sadness.

Man-Bat #3 is a great issue that really brings together the focus of the comic on Man-Bat’s tragedy and the conflict. It all works really well as well. It doesn’t feel force and it comes together in a generally natural way. It should be interesting where it all goes as we’re lead to believe that time is ticking for Man-Bat. With just a few issues left in the series, there could be a lot more tragedy to come.

Story: Dave Wielgosz Art: Sumit Kumar
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Read

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Review: The Joker #1

The Joker #1

When I first heard DC was releasing a comic focused on the Joker, I rolled my eyes. The concept of a comic with the Joker at the center didn’t appeal to me, as certain iterations of him have attracted a negative edge-lord element. Then I read The Joker #1, and quickly changed my mind. What’s presented is an updated “chase” story with some zeitgeist thrown in.

The “Joker War” is over and the Joker is on the run having left Gotham. Months later, an attack has taken place on Arkham Asylum pinned to him, though not proven it was him. Unknown elements have decided they want the Joker off the playing board and decide to turn to Jim Gordon to do exactly that.

While Joker’s name might be the title of the comic, writer James Tynion IV focuses the comic on a former cop whose nightmare still walks the Earth and haunts his dreams. This is a story about a man’s unfulfilled mission and one last opportunity to change that. While we get an update on the Joker, this is Gordon’s story so far.

And Tynion gives us an interesting flair to it. The comic feels more like Nazi hunters than a detective story. This isn’t so much INTERPOL as it is Wiesenthal. The fact Gordon is focused on taking out such an evil contributes to that, it’s rare that a character is so definitively evil. Gordon feels like the grizzled, tortured individual, who needs to put an end note to what has haunted him, and remove an evil force from society.

The art by Guillem March is solid. Guillem is joined by Arif Prianto on color and Tom Napolitano on lettering. There’s a worn vibe about the comic. Gordon feels like a tortured and weathered individual beat down to a low point and not sure what to do next. There’s a great use of visuals to dive in what haunts Gordon and where Gotham stands in the wake of the latest chaos. An opening sequence involving another officer really hammers home the drive that Gordon is experiencing toeing the line of crossing into shock value.

The Joker #1 also features a secondary story “Punchline” following up on Joker’s latest sidekick’s trial. Tynion is joined by Sam Johns on the story while Mirka Andolfo handles the art, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. is on color, and Ariana Maher handles the lettering. Much like the one-shot featuring Punchline, this chapter has a feel like it’s an examination of our current world. Punchline is the center of the alt-cult she and Joker have spawned. This is a group that rejects reality and social norms, instead bracing chaos as a finger towards others. It’s hard to not think of the MAGA-cult and alt-right when reading this and the comparing the protests to free Punchline as similar pronunciations of innocence for real-world leaders who are clearly guilty though the evidence may be flimsy. How much this story will continue to make that sort of connection will be interesting as it could be a hell of an allegory.

The Joker #1 surprised me. It’s a comic I thought could be good but wasn’t sure what we were getting. With a focus on those hunting the villain, we get a story of one last attempt at justice as opposed to something that might deify or wash a reprehensible individual. It’s a debut that shows a hell of a lot of potential for what’s to come. Hopefully it keeps its focus on the nightmares that haunt us throughout life.

Story: James Tynion IV, Sam Johns Art: Guillem March, Mirka Andolfo
Color: Arif Prianto, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Ariana Maher
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Future State-Superman/Wonder Woman #2

Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2

Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2 concludes with a story that is part classic World’s Finest, part Grant Morrison’s JLA (Think the one where Superman wrestled an angel.), and all heart. Writer Dan Watters sets up a plot with mythic stakes, namely, a race and fight against two iterations of the sun: the villainous Solaris (Aka the Tyrant Sun from Morrison’s DC One Million) and Kuat, who is the sun god of the Kamayura people from the Amazon rain forest. Wonder Woman (Yara Flor) is set to fight the god from her pantheon, and Superman (Jon Kent) is set to fight the villain from his rogue’s gallery, but Watters throws in a little switcheroo that makes the match up an extra fun combination of mythology and science, brains and brawn. Having a hero fight another hero’s bad guy is just a plain enjoyable trope, and Watters, Leila Del Duca, and Nick Filardi lean into big time with hilarious reaction shots, flashy colors, clever monologuing, and one big, damn punch.

Speaking of punching, Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2 goes for more of a problem solving than a brawling angle in Yara and Jon’s battles against Solaris and Kuat. Because Solaris’ red sun negates Jon’s ability and makes him a formidable foe despite appearing in only a few stories, they have to use their smarts instead of brute force to defeat them. This is why Watters’ plotting is more Doctor Who and less, say, Geoff Johns’ Justice League as he introduces cool gadgets, knowledge of the future, and just plain grit for his heroes to save the day. He and Del Duca also deploy the power of multi-faceted characterization in crafting Yara and Jon’s plans, and the lack of extraneous guest stars in this issues means that we really get to know them better by the end of the story.

Their opponents say that Yara isn’t strong enough to fight Solaris, and that Jon isn’t smart enough to beat Kuat in a race especially without his full powers. However, the readers know this isn’t the case with Jon demonstrating a knowledge of systems theory combined with futuristic technology to make sure a planet from an alternate dimension doesn’t get sucked into a black hole. Also, Yara is a total badass and familiar with both Greek and indigenous Brazilian mythology so she basically knows the rules of stories and get herself out of a jam. (Watters writes her as a little more mature than Joelle Jones did in Future State: Wonder Woman.)

Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2 also explores the heroic burden that Jon has set for himself as he basically says that his job as Superman is to maintain Earth and beyond’s status quo in a stirring monologue coupled with some earnest facial expressions from Del Duca. Although it’s the future, he’s the embodiment of the Protestant work ethic and is always completing some task or other throughout the comic and seems deathly scared to delegate tasks to other heroes like Yara. Speaking of Yara, she provides a lighter counter-measure to Jon and believes in things like work/life balance (See the previous issue where she took a break from superheroing to have a drink with her buddies.) and disorganized organization as she figures out why Jon is disoriented and weakened in the first pages of the issue. Filardi uses big reds and blues that visually convey blaring alarms saying, “Superman down” in the first page, but then Leila Del Duca and Dan Watters nail a comedy beat with Yara trying to tame a Headless Mule.

Even though she’s a powerful hero, Yara doesn’t take herself too seriously and gets all the good one-liners. Leila Del Duca has her pull some hilarious faces and poses like when she rolls up to Solaris and says that she’s a last minute replacement for Jon and looks like she’s taking a quick call on her Bluetooth receiver. Watters and Del Duca strike the right balance between buddy comedy and epic battles. Jon gets to be part of a cosmic chariot race with Del Duca zooming out and show the sheer scale of a race around Earth and Pluto, but he also gets to have a sheepish grin and look like your friend who just lapped you at Mario Kart. The cosmic epic-meets-quirky comedy also extends to the villains with Solaris being a “center an entire crossover around him” type while Kuat just needs to be taken down a peg and have his yellow dwarf star sized ego massaged a little bit.

Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2 wraps up what is almost the platonic ideal of a superhero team-up with Dan Watters, Leila Del Duca, and Nick Filardi telling a tale of troubleshooting on a universal scale with plenty of wit, bright colors, and heroes acting, well, like heroes. Mythology, science fiction, and a pinch of snark (Mainly Yara telling Jon that Earth could survive without him.) all come together in perfect harmony and minimal continuity baggage.

Story: Dan Watters Art: Leila Del Duca
Colors: Nick Filardi Letters: Tom Napolitano

Story: 8.6 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Man-Bat #1

Man-Bat #1

Man-Bat isn’t a character I know a lot about beyond the basics. I understand the concept of a scientist whose formula goes astray and turns him into a giant bat. There are some altruistic motivations as to why the formula was created, but it goes wrong. Instead, the scientist becomes addicted to their formula. It’s a concept played out over and over. I wasn’t sure what could be told that’d stand out, but Man-Bat #1 delivers an intriguing debut to the series that delivers a lot of potential.

Written by Dave Wielgosz, Man-Bat #1 delivers a comic that acts as a solid introduction to the character as well as the next chapter for long-time fans. Kirk Langstrom is still obsessed in his quest to perfect his formula with hopes of helping those who are hard of hearing. But, that formula still has its issues, as it has turned Langstrom into Man-Bat in the past. His obsession and focus has destroyed his relationship with Francine who is tired of watching Kirk love the formula more than her.

In the opening of Man-Bat #1 we’re hit hard with witnessing a man whose obsession has destroyed his life. This is addiction front and center creating a comic that’s an interesting allegory for those experiences. After a solid action sequence we get to the meat of the story, that after years of abuse, Langstrom is dying due to the formula. Man-Bat, his inner demon, is killing him. There’s little he can do beyond a miracle which opens up the question if he should accept his fate, fight to prevent it, or go out high… literally.

Man-Bat #1 is a not so thin look at drug addiction with the main character struggling to get literally high. We even get an enabler to the addiction in Batman who comes to a decision to no longer help Kirk in his spiral. No more excuses, Batman needs to act. It’s an interesting twist to Batman. While we often think of his role in putting individuals behind bars, here he treats Langstrom as a drug addict who should seek treatment instead of time behind bars. But, his actions have crossed a line reflecting a real-world debate between rehabilitation and incarceration.

Sumit Kumar‘s art is fantastic. Joined by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color and Tom Napolitano on lettering, the comic balances action and emotional moments. The opening is a solid drama, focused on the emotional fallout between characters. Something we experience later with Batman delivering the news to Langstrom and Kirk realizing his fate. Mixed in between is action as Man-Bat attempts to prove he can do good like Batman himself. There’s some great mimicry in images between the two characters as well enhancing the reflection of them.

Each character has an obsession, an addiction, as they pursue their goals. Batman and Man-Bat are similar in many ways. As the comic highlights, one is going down a monster driven dark path. The other journeys down a dark path full of monsters. Man-Bat #1 is a solid debut with an interesting underlying aspect to it about drug addiction. There’s a lot there and hopefully we get more of the thinly veiled story, it creates an interesting twist to the character.

Story: Dave Wielgosz Art: Sumit Kumar
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Justice League #1

Future State: Justice League #1 is an interesting comic. There’s a lot to like about it. But, there’s also a lot to be frustrated by as well. There’s two stories and each has their strengths and weaknesses.

Joshua Williamson handles the writing duties for the first story focused on the Justice League of the future. With a new Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, The Flash, Aquawoman, and Wonder Woman, the comic gives us familiar characters but new takes. It also delivers an interesting new status quo in some ways.

In Future State: Justice League #1, the Legion of Doom has been murdered leaving the Justice League to figure out who did it. Roles aren’t quite as straightforward as one might expect changing up some of the expectations for the team. There’s also a new dynamic in that this is a team that doesn’t know each other’s identities. We’re told of some major events in the past that has lead to that but it doesn’t hamper the story. There are some hints as to what has happened but it doesn’t linger in the details. We’re absolutely left wanting more but it’s not the focus brought up over and over.

Instead, Williamson focuses on the lasting reverberations of the past and how they impact this new team. There’s a discussion if these heroes should be hampered by the ghosts of the past. That’s really interesting and I wish there was more of it. Sadly, it’s all cut short as the real villains are revealed. A group I have no connection to so I was left shrugging my shoulders.

The art by Robson Rocha is fantastic. Daniel Henriques is on ink, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. is on color, and Tom Napolitano on lettering. There’s solid page layouts and the design and look of the characters are great. The comic had me looking at the art and pages to check out the details and dissect the look of the comic. It just looks really good and has a good pacing despite much of the comic is standing around and chatting.

The comic also features a Justice League Dark story, “Prophéties“. It’s written by Ram V., with art by Marcio Takara, color by Marcelo Maiolo, and lettering by Rob Leigh. Here we’re given a different future where magic users are under attack. It’s a wasteland post-apocalyptic world where instead of a lot of what we’ve seen elsewhere, this one is more sword and sorcery. Zatanna and Bobo are attempting to figure out what has happened as they also do what they can to survive. Merlin has returned taking the magic and hunting down users and murdering them.

It’s an interesting story that has a nice blending of settings. Where it goes and what’s revealed has me wanting to find out more and see what’s next. But, it also feels like a story arc that’s a bit of a filler between bigger arcs. It’s not bad, it doesn’t quite hit the mark with its big moments.

Future State: Justice League #1 is an ok comic. It’s not bad. It’s also not exciting enough. Both stories have their moments and interesting aspects. But, the Justice League characters are a bit more interesting in their own “Future State” series. The Justice League Dark story packs a lot in but misses that punch to really make it exciting. This is one for those who really want to see more of these characters or worlds.

Story: Joshua Williamson, Ram V. Art: Robson Rocha, Marcio Takara
Ink: Daniel Henriques Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

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Man-Bat’s Murderous Meltdown Begins in Man-Bat #1 this February

In the battle between man and monster…the monster’s winning! Man-Bat, a five-issue series starring the long-running Batman antagonist, debuts in February from the creative team of writer Dave Wielgosz and artist Sumit Kumar!

For years Kirk Langstrom has struggled with his monstrous alter ego Man-Bat and the serum that transformed him. But he’s finally hit rock bottom following a devastating setback, and he’s going to take out his anger on every single citizen of Gotham City. Will the combined might of Batman and the GCPD be enough to stop Langstrom once and for all? Or will this just be the start of Man-Bat’s devastation?

Take a look at the first seven pages of interior artwork from Man-Bat #1, where Man-Bat’s murderous meltdown begins!

And in the following issues, Man-Bat is on the run from the law following a horrific night of blood and mayhem on the streets of Gotham City. But the police aren’t what Kirk Langstrom’s monstrous alter ego should worry about… it’s Task Force X, better known as the Suicide Squad! To undo the damage he has caused, Man-Bat must seek a cure for the innocents he has injured, all while staying out of the deadly sights of the world’s most dangerous mercenaries!

Man-Bat #1written by Dave Wielgosz with art by Sumit Kumar, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Tom Napolitano, arrives in stores on February 2 with a main cover by Kyle Hotz and Alejandro Sánchez and a variant cover by Kevin Nowlan.

Review: Generations Shattered #1

Generations Shattered #1

Generations Shattered #1 is an interesting comic. As a standalone miniseries, the story would be quite compelling and engaging. But, with its release of “Future State”, the comic isn’t released in a vacuum. Spinning out of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the story involves a villain using the messed up time and history to shape their own. A group of heroes throughout time are gathered to save the day.

The concept of Generations Shattered #1 and where it goes would be an event miniseries I’d take a lot of interest in normally. But, it’s a bit of an oddity with the release of all of the other “Future State” comics. While they focus on possible future events, this one features a villain attempting to shape a new reality and history. Where it fits into this reshaping of the DC Universe and history is a bit of a headscratcher. While time seems to have mended as per other comics, maybe not? It’s a little unclear how this fits into what’s going on.

Written by Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, and Robert Venditti, Generations Shattered #1 brings the heroes together in an oversized first issue. Dragged out feels like a better way to describe it. The issue is mostly the heroes being gathered as time is erased as it’s being rewritten. Over 45 pages are dedicated to this creating a slow build and long way to get to the point. Other comics have done the “gathering of characters” and their introduction quicker and in a much more entertaining way.

What this does though is give a massive amount of artists to stretch their legs. Each segment is handled by a different team giving the comic a jam-session sort of feel. That could be interesting as well if any of the art really popped. There’s not bad but there’s little that’s exciting either. Still, it’s fun to see the different styles and takes on the characters from so many artists.

Generations Shattered #1 is an oddity of a comic. It’s hampered by its release along “Future State” making its story a bit confusing. The concept is quite good and entertaining, especially where it leaves things. But, it takes forever to get to the interesting part. It’s a comic I both felt like a chore to read but at the same time I want to see where it goes.

Story: Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, Robert Venditti
Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Scott Hanna, Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, Emanuela Lupacchino, Wade Von Grawbadger, Bernard Chang, Yanick Paquette, Kevin Nowlan, Dan Jurgens, Klaus Janson, Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki, Doug Braithwaite, Rags Morales, Klaus Janson, Mike Perkins
Color: Hi-Fi Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

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Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal #7

Dark Nights: Death Metal #7

And this is it, the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal and the launch of a new DC Universe. The “Crisis Event” by a different name wraps up with Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 launching into a new era where anything can happen. The results, like much of the event, are a mixed bag.

Written by Scott Snyder, the series sees one final clash between the heroes and villains of the DC Universe taking a stand against the Darkest Knight. It’s an issue filled with grand ideas and grand visuals as Wonder Woman is front and center in the battle. Snyder makes things interesting by having unexpected characters make unexpected sacrifices. It keeps readers on their toes as to what might happen next and by who.

There’s some interesting concepts about the creation of the DC Universe thrown in and the various boundaries that have existed. In a meta sense the discussion of these boundaries is the most interesting aspect. It feels like a stance as to what has hampered the various eras of DC Comics. A limitation of worlds or multiverses or worlds is all brought up. In the end though, all of it is made cannon and an infinite number of possibilities is left on the table. What’s now possible is the real lasting impact and what’s hinted at to come is the most intriguing. Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 feels like the end to a messy attempt to right the ship. DC has stated in the past they’ve wanted continuity to not matter as much and the ability to tell whatever stories they’ve wanted. Dark Nights: Death Metal creates a clearer slate to do so. It took them a while but they’re finally really there with a best of all worlds scenario.

The art of the comic is over the top as expected. Greg Capullo handles most of the duties with Jonathan Glapion inking, FCO Plascencia on color and Tom Napolitano on lettering. Yanick Paquette and Bryan Hitch also provide pencils and inks while Nathan Fairbairn and Alex Sinclair also provide colors. The art is as it has been. There’s some very solid moments worth of the big screen and other moments that just feel off. The art itself feels a bit more “death metal” than previous issues as character die or battle it out in spectacular ways but overall there’s little images that feel iconic. For such a big event, the story and art come off as a bit forgettable. What they lead to is the bigger aspect. There’s a missing of that “it” moment.

While I can’t quite recommend Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 I also can’t quite say you can skip it either. It’s a curiosity more than anything else. It’s the end to an era and leading into what’s next shaking up the status-quo for DC Comics. If you’re interested in seeing how that comes about, it’s worth checking out. If not, then this is one you can pass on.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo, Yanick Paquette, Bryan Hitch Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Ink: Jonathan Glapion, Yanick Paquette, Bryan Hitch Color: FCO Plascencia, Nathan Fairbairn, Alex Sinclair
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

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