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
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Full disclosure: My email account may also be a time machine. Allow me to explain. When I saw the email from Lionforge with the opportunity to review this graphic novel, I thought it sounded like a very interesting read. Before I started reading this it, I did a little Google research. I discovered that Quincredible Volume 1 was already released in 2019. According to the publisher, the book I had the opportunity to review is due out on February 24th of next year. So, I’m not sure if my email has allowed me to travel to the past or if this is a second printing of this series’ first story arc or the first time this arc has been released as a trade paperback. In any case, if you don’t have access to a time machine of your own, missed this title the first time around, or are like me and have never heard of it before, now’s your chance to enter the world of Quincredible. (Note: The first volume gets a reprinting in a new trim-sized format for 2021 – Ed)
The first arc of this series, written by Rodney Barnes, is entitled, “Quest to be the Best.” After a meteor shower rained down on his Louisiana Parish, Quin woke up to find he’d gained the superpower of invulnerability. Unfortunately, he’s still just a lightweight teenager, and this power doesn’t seem to do him much good. Quin compensates for his lack of strength by outsmarting the criminals he faces by outmaneuvering them or catching them in traps. Although there were some things I liked about the first volume of this series, I wasn’t blown away by the storytelling.
There were of course a few high points. For one, Quin’s positive relationship with his father is front and center. Considering how many heroes either don’t have parents or don’t see eye to eye with them, this was a nice touch. I also found it very interesting, not to mention another nice change of pace, that it’s the smartest girl in school Quinn hopes will notice him one day and not the hottest, as is so often the case. The designs of the superhero’s costumes are cool, but many of them seemed almost too futuristic. Aside from this being a story featuring people with superpowers, everything else felt really grounded. Even with superpowers, Quinn leads an ordinary life. The book explores themes and events that occur in the real world every day. The one exception being that there just happen to be superheroes in the world of Quincredible as well. So the high tech looking costumes felt out of place, especially for a bunch of basically independent New Orleans superheroes.
In fact, I’m just going to come out and say it, this title would be better if it weren’t about superheroes at all. Take out the superpower aspects, and give me a black teenager who wants to make a difference in his community, so he uses his intelligence and elaborate traps to help the police fight crime. That’s what I would have liked to see out of Quincredible. Instead, his invulnerability often feels like an afterthought and most of the best moments in this first volume are all about Quin and his beliefs or relationships. None of which are made better when his superpower is factored into the equation. The invulnerability just seems unnecessary and I feel like it gets in the way of the storytelling. By the third time Quin took a laser blast and was unschathed, the gimmick got really old.
The synergy between illustrator Selina Espiritu and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick is obvious on every page. I loved the use of shadow as it really helped convey depth and perspective. If left to stand on their own, both the colors and line work would come off looking flat. Luckily, Espiritu and Fitzpatrick’s talents complement each other and elevate the artwork in Quincredible. Espiritu also does a great job of conveying motion throughout the book, keeping the still images from looking overtly static.
I assume this series is geared for a young adult audience, but with that being said, I found the dialogue to be too simple and juvenile. I read quite a bit of YA genre fiction, and it doesn’t have to be watered down to be relatable and entertaining to readers of all ages. Diversity and representation are always good, especially in comic books, but I found Quincredible’s story to be kind of boring. The characters are relatable and fun to root for, but the plot and dialogue were underwhelming. There are a few creative touches in regard to the writing, but overall, the story doesn’t really stand out. The artwork isn’t mind-blowing, but it is of good quality and technically well done. The artwork does keep the story visually interesting and helps sell an otherwise bland narrative.
The volume Lionforge provided me to review is solicited for release on 2-23-2021.
Story: Rodney Barnes Art: Selina Espiritu Color: Kelly Fitzpatrick Letterer: Tom Napolitano Story: 4.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read
Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
I haven’t been the biggest fan of Dark Nights: Death Metal. The event as a whole has been uneven with an inconsistent voice. In an “anything can happen” sense, the comic has been fun for its insanity. That could have been part of the point and concept. As it begins to wrap up, we begin to get the big hits and moments. The heroes rally to take on the Darkest Knight and his nightmare worlds in their last stand. Dark Nights: Death Metal #6 is a combination of the night before the final battle in Les Miserable and Steve Rogers saying “I can do this all day”. The heroes rally to take on the forces against them as Wonder Woman attempts to succeed in her mission.
Writer Scott Snyder puts together an interesting mix of over the top imagery and touching moments in an issue that has a focus of that “last stand”. While gods battle above them, the remaining heroes and villains of Earth draw the line against the nightmare Batman gunning for them. Where Snyder hits it is his “grouping” of heroes putting an emphasis that these are families. While they may oppose each other at times, there’s something touching seeing the various pockets of the DC Universe standing together. Heroes and villains taking a stand of survival knowing their battle is likely a lost one with the slimmest of chances of success. Those moments are far too short but they deliver some heart to the bombastic issue that also sees a fight at a cosmic scale.
Part of the fun of the comic is its over the top visuals. Greg Capullo continues to deliver events on a grand scale. Characters are packed into pages or deities battle it out in space. Dark Nights: Death Metal #6, and the series as a whole, is one that’s very much a “show”. The comic seems to love going over the top in its imagery knowing its popcorn level of entertainment. This isn’t one about body language or facial expressions, this is about massive battles and tons of characters. Capullo is joined by Jonathan Glapion on ink and FCO Plascencia on color.
Tom Napolitano handles the lettering which stands out with such characters as Jarro. The slightly different lettering brings character to “Batman’s son”. The series as a whole has been gonzo in its designs bringing to the page some of the craziest ideas DC has presented in years and doing it all with the glee of a kid playing with their toys.
While Dark Nights: Death Metal #6 hasn’t won me over on the event, it does have its moments. There’s some of those that bring the good schmaltz. There’s far more that are popcorn worthy summer blockbuster visuals. It’s a turn off your brain and enjoy the ride of a comic and at times that’s a good thing.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo Ink: Jonathan Glapion Color: FCO Plascencia Letterer: Tom Napolitano Story: 7.0 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Welcome to DC Future State, a two-month extravaganza that reveals what lies in store for the World’s Greatest Heroes! Spinning out of the finale of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 (on sale January 5), DC Future State will take you on a journey from the near future to the end of time to witness the destinies of heroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, the Teen Titans, and so many more.
In Future State: Justice League #1, witness the start of a new era for the Justice League starring Jonathan Kent as Superman, Yara Flor as Wonder Woman, Jo Mullein as Green Lantern, Andy Curry as Aquawoman, a new Flash—Jess Chambers—from the Multiverse, and [REDACTED] as Batman! Together, they protect the future, yet apart, their identities are secret even from one another—but why? When their greatest adversaries wind up murdered in an abandoned Hall of Justice, all clues point to…the Justice League! The new team’s adventures begin here!
And in a new tale of the Justice League Dark, a witch hunt across the DC Universe begins as magic users are harvested and executed—and the team is on the run! Zatanna and Detective Chimp (now possessed by Etrigan) must round up new and old teammates, including John Constantine, Ragman, and Madame Xanadu. Their mission? To battle the power-mad Crow King, Merlin, before his plans for magical domination destroy the fabric of reality. But where is Dr. Fate? And what led the team to disband in the first place? Discover the truth here!
Future State: Justice League #1 (of 2), written by Joshua Williamson with art by Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Tom Napolitano, including Future State:Justice League Dark #1 by Ram V., Marcio Takara, Marcelo Maiolo, and Rob Leigh, featuring a cover by Dan Mora and a card stock variant cover by Kael Ngu, hits shelves January 12.
There’s a point in recent DC events for me where the story becomes too much insider knowledge of DC Comic history. They often can feel like one needs a Ph.D. in DC Continuity to truly understand what’s going on. While Dark Nights: Death Metal #5 doesn’t quite cross that line, it comes right up to it.
Written by Scott Snyder, Dark Nights: Death Metal #5 has the heroes desperately attempting to save the day. The Batman Who Laughs has ascended to god-hood level battling Perpetua for the future of the multiverse. The remaining heroes are ants witnessing giants step around them battling at a cosmic level. But, there’s always hope as a plan is hatched in an attempt to turn the tide and defeat evil.
The event has been full of discussions of “Crisis Energy” weaving in DC’s history of multiverse shattering events. This issue introduces “Anti-Crisis Energy”, a concept when typed out feels a little silly. X hasn’t worked so its opposite will work is the general idea. Presented by Lex Luthor, the heroes are tasked with missions to either drain The Batman Who Laughs energy or seek out a solution to save the multiverse. Dark Nights: Death Metal #5 for one comic generally stops being a spot the different versions of Batman, and instead focuses on the heroes getting together for their final stand.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #5 does bring some reveals as Batman and Superman finally come clean to what’s been hinted for some time. Neither of the revelations are surprising and what they mean for their future is unknown. What the comic does do is focus the event again around Wonder Woman, seeking truth to shine the light of hope. We get some rousing speeches and those “pop” moments of heroes looking at impossible tasks but the issue really is another launching point for what comes next. It’s the “explanation” of how the heroes will win, something that feels like it’s been done a few times already in the event.
Greg Capullo‘s art continues to be the draw of the series. Along with Jonathan Glapion in ink, FCO Plascencia on color, and lettering by Tom Napolitano, there’s some very cool visuals that’ll leave you lingering on the page. Capullo can hit the beat of Snyder’s writing and the two show off their connection of writer and artist that has been built over so many years. And while there’s a few solid moments, the product overall also feels a little forgettable. There’s a lack of iconic imagery so far. It looks great but five minutes later there’s little you really want to go back and look at.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #5 is a fine chapter to the overall event and improved on previous issues. There’s more of a consistent voice from the issue. It knows what it is a bit more. The mix of gonzo, comedy, epic, horror, and superheroes is shrunk down to be more focused on the epic superhero event. It continues an overall frustrating event. It’s clear that this is the vessel by which DC will land the path set out by “Rebirth” but whose tone screams New 52. It wants to create new things and concepts but also is beholden to DC of the past. It’s an event whose chapters have been lesser than the whole, an example being one-shots better than the main series. Much like DC continuity, it’s a bit mixed for everyone. At this point, it feels like an end of the journey and I more want to see where it goes and what’s next than the details of the event itself.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capullo Ink: Jonathan Glapion Color: FCO Plascencia Letterer: Tom Napolitano Story: 6.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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
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.
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.
Secrets of Camp Whatever Volume 1, the latest graphic novel from the Eisner Award-nominated creator Chris Grine; Martian 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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Written by Patrick Schumacker Pencils Eleonora Carlini Inks Eleonora Carlini Colored by Eleonora Carlini Purchase
“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!