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Review: Batman and the Signal

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the focus on Duke Thomas… the Signal!

Batman and the Signal collects Batman and the Signal #1-3, “Role Call” from New Talent Showcase 2017 #1, and “The Cursed Wheel” from All-Star Batman #1-4 and #6-9 by Scott Snyder, Tony Patrick, Cully Hamner, Declan Shalvey, Fracesco Francavilla, Minkyu Jung, Klaus Janson, Laura Martin, Jordie Bellaire, Pete Pantazis, Deron Bennett, Steve Wands, and Dezi Sienty.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on August 28. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Batman and the Signal #3

As the sun sets, chaos erupts and the Bat-Family jumps into action to help the Signal (a.k.a. Duke Thomas) against the mysterious Gnomon and his minions. While his allies keep the battle going on the streets, Duke must go above and beyond to track down the malicious man who has single-handedly caused the dangerous boom in meta-activity in the Narrows. Little does he know, Gnomon holds the key to his past and the future of heroes in Gotham City!

I like Duke Thomas as a character. What has been set up, and the potential teased, he’s a great character that really exemplifies the “light” that a sidekick is supposed to juxtapose Batman’s “dark.” The concept of a daytime vigilante to protect Gotham is something that’s long overdue. And, the introduction of metas to Batman’s rogues gallery is also long overdue. With that said, I’ve been reading Batman and the Signal with both interest and frustration.

Written by Tony Patrick, with concepts by Patrick and Scott Snyder, Batman and the Signal #3 feels like a finale that never quite delivers everything it sets up. We get a lot of teasing but never to the point. We get a lot of interesting concepts that are never fleshed out. And, it doesn’t look like we’re getting anything more in the near future. So, it’s a series that promises to set Duke up and make him his own but never quite gets to the point.

With the Narrows burning and metas running amok, Duke must face the villain behind it all while team Batman is called in to help contain the mess. There’s some references to Dark Nights: Metal but even that is just a line or two. The logo on the cover makes you feel like this should be a direct continuation but, like “The Button” we’re left with a narrative that never quite stands on its own. It launches from what came before but never quite leads us anywhere specific. And while it’s a piece of the bigger puzzle we’re never directed where we should look next for pieces. It’s frustrating in that way.

The art by Cully Hamner, with color by Laura Martin, and lettering by Deron Bennett is also just ok. While the characters look decent enough, something doesn’t click. The issue, and series, plays with that concept of light and dark, and never quite delivers on it. It’s all light with little dark. It’s an issue that was also present in Batman v Superman. There’s also a lack of spreads and moments that jump out to me. None of it looks bad, it services the story and never transcends it. The spreads are standard. The fight scenes generally average. Moments, that should be dynamic and exciting feel like a comic strip. There’s a lack of excitement much like the comic itself.

The three issues series feels like there’s something missing. It wanted to do some reveals and explore some concepts but it never makes those concepts and reveals interesting. They tend to land as standard comic tropes and in just three issues it feels like it wraps up quickly leaving us with nowhere to go next. While none of it is bad, it’s also not all that great, especially when compared to the excellent work being done in other Bat series. Duke Thomas is a character with great potential and by the end of three issues it feels like he was done a disservice.

Story: Scott Snyder, Tony Patrick Art: Cully Hamner
Color: Laura Martin Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Batman and the Signal #3 (of 3)

Batman and the Signal #3 (of 3)

(W) Scott Snyder, Tony Patrick (A/CA) Cully Hamner
In Shops: Apr 25, 2018
SRP: $3.99

As the sun sets, chaos erupts and the Bat-Family jumps into action to help the Signal (a.k.a. Duke Thomas) against the mysterious Gnomon and his minions. While his allies keep the battle going on the streets, Duke must go above and beyond to track down the malicious man who has single-handedly caused the dangerous boom in meta-activity in the Narrows. Little does he know, Gnomon holds the key to his past and the future of heroes in Gotham City!

Preview: Batman and the Signal #2 (of 3)

Batman and the Signal #2 (of 3)

(W) Scott Snyder, Tony Patrick (A/CA) Cully Hamner
RATED T+
In Shops: Feb 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

As Bruce Wayne fulfills his corporate duties at Wayne Industries, Duke Thomas (a.k.a. the Signal) embraces his role as Gotham City’s daytime protector while battling a deadly new rogues gallery. Could these teenage villains be connected to the recent metahuman population boom in the Narrows? To find out, the Signal must learn to work with a different kind of ally… the GCPD!

Review: Batman and the Signal #1 (of 3)

Batman may own the night, but with new villains emerging during the day he needs an ally to defend the city when he can’t. Only one teen is up to the challenge, Duke Thomas. After months of training, he’s ready to step out of the shadow of the bat to become his own kind of hero. Meet Gotham City’s newest protector: The Signal!

While Batman and the Signal spins out of All-Star Batman and We Are Robin and says from the “pages of Metal” this series feels like it has more to do with Doomsday Clock than anything else. With a story by Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick with writing by Patrick, Batman and the Signal #1 is an interesting direction for the world of Batman.

What’s particularly interesting is that it brings the world of Meta-humans to Batman. When you think of Batman’s rogues it’s usually either psychopaths, those injured somehow, mobsters, or those turned through some scientific accident. Meta-humans aren’t usually something he deals with, let alone those in the daytime.

As we’ve learned, Duke has some power and this mini-series looks to explore that. It not only shifts things due to the Meta-human aspect but also by the fact it’s in the daytime, something that’s reiterated multiple times. Duke’s yellow costume and his protecting Gotham during the daylight hours are some of the numerous ways this issue shifts our expectations.

We also begin to see the crowds turning against Batman which is why I think this feels more of a prequel to Doomsday Clock than anything else. In that series we’ve learned that public opinion has switched. This feels like the first step in that direction.

The art by Cully Hamner is pretty solid and what’s interesting, as I mentioned above, is the different feel of the comic with it taking place in the daytime. Hamner adds small details here and there that emphasizes that aspect and presents the scenes where that’s a point well. There’s also interesting use of space in the comic. Some scenes are wide open with “the camera” pulled back creating a “safe” feel to the setting where as others the focus is much closer creating more dread.

The issue is an interesting one where I’m not sure it’s really geared towards new readers instead feeling like it’s more focused on those who care about the meta story that’s been playing out for years. We’ll see where it all goes, but the first issue makes me think this will be a key part of the puzzle for the bigger picture DC is creating.

Story: Scott Snyder, Tony Patrick Art: Cully Hamner
Story: Art: Overall: Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: New Talent Showcase 2017

New Talent Showcase 2017

(W) David Accampo, Aaron Gillespie, Tony Patrick (A) Siya Oum, Sam Lotfi, Minkyu Jung, Lynne Yoshii, Matt Merhoff, Lalit Kumar Sharma (CA) Jim Lee, Scott Williams
In Shops: Nov 29, 2017
SRP: $7.99

The latest graduates from the DC Talent Development Workshops show off their skills in stories starring some of DC’s greatest characters. In these tales, Poison Ivy fights an ancient demon, Doctor Fate is confronted by the cost of magic, Red Hood and Duke Thomas face off in a training day simulation and so much more!

Review: New Talent Showcase 2017

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got lots of up and coming creators!

New Talent Showcase 2017 is by Scott Snyder, Al Letson, David Accampo, Aaron Gillespie, Tony Patrick, Owl Goingback, Proctor & Harrell, Siya Oum, Sam Lotfi, Minkyu Jung, Lynne Yoshii, Matt Merhoff, Lalit Kumar Sharma, Ibrahim Moustafa, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Preview: X’ed #4

X’ED #4

Written by: Tony Patrick
Illustrated by: Ayhan Hayrula, Brian Level
Colored by: Doug Garbark
Lettered by: Jim Campbell
Cover by: Chris Visions
In Stores: January 18

A staff member from the X’ED Initiative is injected into the Innerverse with the aim of retrieving and saving subliminal hitman Colin McClure from certain death. Meanwhile, Colin himself confronts the real nemesis lurking beneath a patient’s consciousness and unleashes an unconventional solution to all of her past traumas. The creative team of Tony Patrick and Ayhan Hayrula are joined by Chris Visions (Dead Letters) and Brian Level (The Mantle) for this breathtaking actioner that melds unbridled adventure with mindbending ideas.

xed-4-1

DC Announces their 2016 Writers Workshop Class

More than 1,500 applied and the DC Talent Development team has announced the eight individuals who will be participating in a 13 week Writers Workshop course lead by bestselling writer Scott Snyder.

Members of the 2016 class include Owl Goingback (Bram Stoker award winner for Crota, Sealed With A Kiss), writing partners Erica Harrell and Desirée Proctor (writers of MTV’s Happyland and The Walking Dead: Michonne for Telltale Games), Al Letson (Planetfall, Imperfect, Peabody award winner for NPR’s State of the Re:Union), David Accampo (Lost Angels, Sparrow & Crowe), Aaron Gillespie (LadyDemon, Bionic Man), Ryan K. Lindsay (Ghost Town, Negative Space), and Tony Patrick (X’ed, writer of short film Black Card).

The writers represent a diverse group of men and women and varying experience in the comic industry. All have shown talent already. Congrats to all!

 

DC’s Talent Development Workshop began in 2015 with pilot program that resulted in several participants receiving new assignments from DC editorial. The upcoming one-shot comic New Talent Showcase, set for release on November 30, features stories from writers and artists who completed the inaugural program.

dc-2016-writers-workshop-class

(via DC Comics)

Review: X’ed #3

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A tale of hitmen, corporate warfare, and assassins injected into your brain to murder your darkest memories, X’ed explodes into issue 3 evoking a high speed collision of The Invisibles and Global Frequency. In this issue, subliminal hitman Colin McClure ventures deeper into the unconscious than he’s ever dared and uncovers a secret that his corporate oversees never wanted exposed.

X’ed #3 is interesting, entertaining, mind-bending, and leaves you wanting more. When you thought this comic couldn’t get any more mind-bending, writer Tony Patrick brings in something called a mind****. Which are more like bad memories on steroids, violent mind altering steroids. Colin’s journey down someone’s mind, he finds things his employer didn’t want him to know. In parallel to this, his employer taken over by masked men, insect drones and his bosses girlfriend of sorts.

Like previous issues, the art work by Doug Garbark is gorgeous. Even subtle at times, as more memories are revealed. I will the mind**** things are creepy, subtle, and filled with intriguing  details.

Story: Tony Patrick Art: Doug Garbark
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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