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Review: The Next Batman: Second Son #1

The Next Batman: Second Son #1

DC‘s Digital First series have been knocking it out of the park. The digital comics have been engaging, intriguing, and feel like they’re comics we might not otherwise see on the printed page. They give creators a new avenue for their voices to be heard and generally allowed them to do so without having to worry about continuity. The Next Batman: Second Son #1 kicks off the newest series that interestingly has some major ramifications for Batman’s pocket of the DC Universe.

Tim “Jace” Fox is the estranged son of billionaire Lucius Fox and man of mystery…what has the eldest son of one Gotham’s premiere families been up to for these ‘missing’ years and how does he find himself getting shot at in the jungles of Vietnam? The Next Batman: Second Son #1 kicks off a series that’ll have some repercussions and part of a dark future for Batman.

Writer John Ridley is absolutely brilliant. He’s known for so many thought-provoking releases, he’s a creator that I’ll read or so whatever he’s involved in. In “Future State” Ridley has driven Jace’s story and his role as the future Batman. The Next Batman: Second Son #1 gives us the pieces to that path and kicks things off with a James Bond-esque adventure.

Ridley doesn’t tell us a ton about the who or the why, instead of focuses on Jace’s abilities, actions, and personality. The opening chapter is the opening 15 minutes of a Bond film dropping our hero into the middle of the action without explanation. We just accept the direction and the cool and overlook what we don’t know. It’s a ride that sets the tone. By the end of the issue we get a good sense of who Jace is and what we should expect as far as the character going forward. It plants the flag as to who our protagonist is.

The art by Tony Akins, with breakdowns by Ryan Benjamin, is interesting. There’s such a fantastic sense of action in the comic that really feels like a solid Bond adventure. Mark Morales provides inks, with Rex Lokus on color, and lettering by Deron Bennett. It all comes together for a sense of cool but subtle visual details let us know that Jace is still learning. There’s one glaring issue for me in the final two panels of the digital comic as Jace returns to his apartment and finds a visitor. The panels should be flipped going Jace then visitor not visitor then Jace. That might have been an issue with my digital copy but it’s something that stands out taking the wind out of the up to that point excellent ride.

The Next Batman: Second Son #1 is an intriguing series as it looks to have some major implications for the print comics of Batman. It’s a digital series that’s going to be a “major player” and one to keep one’s eye on. Luckily, it’ll eventually make it’s way to print but this is one you won’t want spoiled for you.

Story: John Ridley Art: Tony Akins Breakdowns: Ryan Benjamin
Ink: Mark Morales Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.75 Art: 7.95 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Preview: The Next Batman: Second Son #1

The Next Batman: Second Son #1

Written by John Ridley
Pencils Tony Akins
Inks Mark Morales
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Doug Braithwaite
Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Meet Tim “Jace” Fox, estranged son of billionaire Lucius Fox and man of mystery…what has the eldest son of one Gotham’s premiere families been up to for these ‘missing’ years and how does he find himself getting shot at in the jungles of Vietnam? Learn these answers and many more as the story of the SECOND SON begins!

The Next Batman: Second Son #1

John Ridley Explores Tim Fox’s Whereabouts in The Next Batman: Second Son

Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley’s groundbreaking take on Tim Fox as The Next Batman has been a runaway hit, receiving critical acclaim from press and fans alike, as well as second printings for the first two issues of Future State: The Next Batman!

In addition to his upcoming short story in Batman: Black and White #3 (on sale February 23), DC and Ridley have more in store to expand the growing legacy of this new Dark Knight. The Next Batman: Second Son is a new miniseries, launching weekly digital chapters beginning February 23. The first three digital chapters will be collected into the debut print issue, available at comic book stores on April 6.

Now that the world knows Tim Fox is behind the mask fighting against The Magistrate in Gotham City, what’s the truth behind his origin and his connection to the current DC Universe? Featuring art by Tony Akins, Travel Foreman, and Mark Morales this miniseries answers the questions behind Tim’s estrangement from Lucius Fox and the rest of the Fox family and his evolution from a man of mystery to Gotham’s newest guardian.

On June 29, experience all of Ridley’s trailblazing work returning Tim Fox to comics in the Batman by John Ridley Deluxe Edition. This 128-page must-have hardcover collection is led by an original story by Ridley, with art by Dustin Nguyen and collects Future State: The Next Batman issues #1-#4, in addition to stories from Batman: Black and White and “Family Ties,” from Batman: The Joker War Zone #1.

Preview: Red Hood #52

Red Hood #52

Written by: Shawn Martinbrough
Art by: Tony Akins

After making his dramatic return to Gotham City, Jason Todd finds himself in the middle of a turf war between a violent gang aided by Killer Croc and a new group of vigilantes dedicated to protecting his old neighborhood of the Hill. When a childhood friend is targeted for assassination by a vicious new crime lord on the rise, the Red Hood must forge an uneasy alliance with the vigilantes to save her.

Red Hood #52

Review: Red Hood #51

Red Hood #51

I had given up on Red Hood for a whole host of reasons. With a new creative team and direction, it felt like a good time to explore the series again. Red Hood #51 has Jason Todd returning home to Gotham City. The city is still picking up the pieces after “The Joker War”. Jason finds his old neighborhood has new vigilante protectors. And they’re fighting against those attempting to take advantage of the power vacuum.

Written by Shawn Martinbrough, Red Hood #51 packs a lot into a single issue. That’s to its detriment to an extent as nothing feels like it’s given the depth it’s needed. The comic is broken up into three distinct paths as the narrative jumps around the puzzle pieces.

All the concepts of the comic are generally great, though the end villain feels a bit laughable. The idea of neighbors coming together to protect their area is a solid next step for the Bat line of comics. Jason heading back and trying to figure out his next steps also works. The villains we’re presented feel a little comical. While there’s some things that work, there’s too many moments that come off as jokes that aren’t meant to be jokes.

But, you can see what Martinbrough is going with. Jason Tood, and this Red Hood, is being reshaped to focus on a lower level of villain, a more street level Batman. He’s being shaped into a white Luke Cage, and with that we’ll hopefully get the baggage that can come with that, gentrification being an example.

The art by Tony Akins is pretty solid. Along with Stefano Gaudiano on ink, Paul Mounts‘ colors, and lettering by Troy Peteri we’re presented with a different look at Gotham. It’s an art style that befits the focus and characters of the comic and characters. This isn’t the run down parts of Gotham nor are these the newly built. Red Hood looks like he’ll be straddling the two, an area being worked on that’s been gentrified and continues to be. We see that in the detail of the buildings are neighborhoods presented. The art tells us so much about where Red Hood fits in the Bat-family picture.

The comic isn’t bad but it feels like it attempts to pack too much in. Red Hood #51 has Jason Todd following a new direction and finding a new role for himself. There’s a lot of potential in the comic as to where it can go and the groundwork is laid out here. Unfortunately, none of it is given the time its needed to be really interested. Instead, we get Red Hood in a Luke Cage situation with over the top characters that so far don’t quite feel in place in a Red Hood comic. We’ll see where things go but as a start, this is a mixed one.

Story: Shawn Martinbrough Art: Tony Akins
Ink: Stefano Gaudiano Color: Paul Mounts Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Red Hood #51

Red Hood #51

Written by: Shawn Martinbrough
Art: Tony Akins

A new era begins for the Red Hood! With his Outlaw days behind him, Jason Todd returns home to Gotham City. While he plots what’s next for Red Hood, he tracks down a childhood friend now living in the Hill. As Gotham City reels from the effects of “The Joker War,” Jason finds himself caught in the crossfire between vigilante protectors of the historic neighborhood and a rising criminal element intent on seizing power!

Red Hood #51

Heavy and Hundred Wolves Get New Release Dates from Vault Comics

Vault Comics announced that two upcoming series, Heavy and Hundred Wolves will now both be released in September 2020. Heavy #1 will now be released on September 9th, 2020, and Hundred Wolves #1 will be released on September 16th, 2020.

Heavy is co-created by writer Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan, with colors by Cris Peter, letters by Taylor Esposito, and design by Tim Daniel. Heavy is a dark, violent comedy about love and the transcendence of toxic masculinity. The story centers on Bill, who, though he may be dead, still has a job to do. Welcome to the Big Wait, where folks who don’t quite make the cut go to work off their debt. Everyone in the Wait’s got a job. Bill is a Heavy, whose job is policing the multiverse, making sure bad eggs get what’s coming to them. He’s on track to earn his Climb and reunite with the woman he loves…until he meets his new partner: the worst dude of all time. Heavy is The Punisher for neurotics; Inception for the impatient; Preacher for…well, it’s a lot like Preacher. Max Bemis and Eryk Donavan bring you a story about the existential purpose of dumb boys with big guns.

Hundred Wolves is co-created by writer Myke Cole and artist Tony Akins, with colors by Vladimir Popov, letters by Jim Campbell, and design by Tim Daniel. The Hundred Wolves are bloody-handed terrors of the steppe. Andrei and Oksana have left the Cossack band to raise their daughter on a farm they hold from the noble Count Ostoja, but the raiding life isn’t done with them. Both the Hundred Wolves and the couple’s new liege lord wish to employ their deadly skills—and neither will take no for an answer. From celebrated author Myke Cole and venerable artist Tony Akins comes a story of war and family, blending historical fiction with a touch of fantasy.

Look for Heavy #1 and Hundred Wolves #1 in the July 2020 Previews catalog.

Vault Has Announced a Local Comic Shop Gift Card Initiative. Buy a Gift Card and Get a Free Advance Comic!

In order to support local comic shop retailers in these trying times, Vault Comics has announced their LCS Gift Card Initiative. It’s simple: readers who purchase gift cards from their local comic shop will receive free, early copies of Heavy #1 by Max Bemis & Eryk Donovan, and HUNDRED WOLVES #1 by Myke Cole and Tony Akins, months ahead of release.

Vault’s LCS Gift Card Initiative has five easy steps: 

  1. Call, email, or reach out via social media to your local comic book retailer.
  2. Purchase a gift card from them for any amount.
  3. Submit any proof of purchase, along with the local comic shop you purchased your gift card, here.
  4. Vault Comics will send participants an email containing free, advanced, digital copies of HEAVY #1 by Max Bemis & Eryk Donovan, and HUNDRED WOLVES #1 by Myke Cole & Tony Akins.
  5. If you like the two issues, add them to your subscription list at your local comic shop.

Vault strongly emphasizes that participants should obey any shelter-in-place mandates that may be active in their areas. They strongly encourage participants to call, email, or reach out to their local retailers via social media to purchase these cards. Do not put anyone’s health at risk.


HEAVY #1

Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Eryk Donovan
Colorist: Cris Peter
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Designer: Tim Daniel

Bill may be dead, but he’s got a job to do.
Welcome to the Big Wait, where folks who do’t quite make the cut go to work off their debt. Everyone in the Wait’s got a job. Bill is a Heavy, whose job is policing the multiverse, making sure bad eggs get what’s coming to them. He’s on track to earn his Climb and reunite with the woman he loves… until he meets his new partner: the worst dude of all time.
Heavy is The Punisher for neurotics; Inception for the impatient; Preacher for… well, it’s a lot like Preacher. Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan bring you a story about the existential purpose of dumb boys with big guns.

HEAVY #1

HUNDRED WOLVES #1

Writer: Myke Cole
Artist: Tony Akins
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Designer: Tim Daniel

The Hundred Wolves are bloody-handed terrors of the steppe. Andrei and Oksana have left the Cossack band to raise their daughter on a farm they hold from the noble Count Ostoja, but the raiding life isn’t done with them. Both the Hundred Wolves and the couple’s new liege lord wish to employ their deadly skills-and neither will take no for an answer. From celebrated author Myke Cole (The Sacred Throne Trilogy, The Shadow Ops Trilogy) and venerable artist Tony Akins (Fables, Hellblazer, Wonder Woman) comes a story of war and family, blending historical fiction with a touch of fantasy.

HUNDRED WOLVES #1

Vault Unveils the Virtual Convention Vanguard Con, Launching Today

As part of Vault’s ongoing virtual convention, Vault Vanguard Con, the publisher announced a plethora of new online events that will take place over the next week.

First, Vault will hold a reddit AMA on the r/comics subreddit tomorrow, Thursday March 19th, from 4:00-5:00pm MST. Fans can ask the Vault team whatever questions they like and get advice on any comics-related topic under the sun. 

Then, over the next few days Vault will release a series of special videos from a wide array of Vault creators on their social media channels.

The videos from Vault creators will include:

  • BLEED THEM DRY’s Eliot Rahal
  • ENGINEWARD’s George Mann and Joe Eisma
  • HEAVY’s Max Bemis & Eryk Donovan
  • HUNDRED WOLVES’ Myke Cole and Tony Akins
  • FINGER GUNS’ Justin Richards
  • THE PLOT’s Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci
  • SERA AND THE ROYAL STARS’ Jon Tsuei
  • CULT CLASSIC: CREATURE FEATURE’s Eliot Rahal and John Bivens
  • BLACK STARS ABOVE’s Lonnie Nadler and Jenna Cha
  • NO ONE’S ROSE’s Zac Thompson & Emily

You can watch the debut video, from BLACK STARS ABOVE‘s Lonnie Nadler and Jenna Cha:

For a limited time, Vault fans can order special T-shirts featuring designs from their favorite Vault comic series, including Heathen, Finger Guns, Money Shot, The Plot, Sera and the Royal Stars, Resonant, She Said Destroy, Submerged, Friendo, Wasted Space, Queen of Bad Dreams, Black Stars Above, These Savage Shores, Fissure, Heavy, Hundred Wolves, Bleed Them Dry, and more.

Further, Vault fans can order very special limited edition Vanguard Con exclusives, including:

A deluxe, limited edition Finger Guns #1 Glitter Variant by Jen Hickman.

FINGER GUNS #1 GLITTER VARIANT

A deluxe, limited edition These Savage Shores Gold Foil Edition TPB.

These Savage Shores Gold Foil Edition TPB

Vault Announces Hundred Wolves by Myke Cole and Tony Akins

Vault Comics has announced Hundred Wolves, a historically inspired fantasy comic series co-created by award-winning novelist Myke Cole and master artist Tony Akins, with colors Vladimir Popov, letters by Jim Campbell, and designed by Tim Daniel.

Hundred Wolves is set during the Siege of Vienna in 1683. Andrei and Oksana have left the Cossack band to raise their daughter on a farm they hold from the noble Count Ostoja, but the raiding life isn’t done with them. Both the Hundred Wolves and the couple’s new liege lord wish to employ their deadly skills—and neither will take no for an answer.

The full synopsis of HUNDRED WOLVES can be found below: 

The Hundred Wolves are bloody-handed terrors of the steppe. Andrei and Oksana have left the Cossack band to raise their daughter on a farm they hold from the noble Count Ostoja, but the raiding life isn’t done with them. Both the Hundred Wolves and the couple’s new liege lord wish to employ their deadly skills—and neither will take no for an answer. From celebrated author Myke Cole (The Sacred Throne Trilogy, The Shadow Ops Trilogy) and venerable artist Tony Akins (Fables, Hellblazer, Wonder Woman) comes a story of war and family, blending historical fiction with a touch of fantasy.

Hundred Wolves #1 will hit store shelves in April 2020. The first issue will drop with a special Pulp & Paint variant cover by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel.

Hundred Wolves #1
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