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Review: Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1

Although she made an appearance in Future State: Superman of Metropolis’ lead story, Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 checks in on the titular character’s new status quo. Kara is currently the pacifistic protector of Earth’s Moon where she protects outsiders and the disenfranchised, who have fled that violent planet for a new start. She is also estranged from the new Superman, Jonathan Kent, as well as the original one, Clark Kent. In this comic, writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Marguerite Sauvage show Kara mentoring Lynari, a metahuman with great abilities. They have speed, super-strength, shape-shifting, and power-draining powers that are displayed in a visually stunning way by Sauvage and are on the run from family members, who want the jewel that gives these abilities.

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 has many good factors. First, it’s nice to see a hero, like Kara, dedicated to non-violence and using her abilities to help make life easier for the Moon colonist, or in a last resort, for self-defense. (Of course, this rule is broken on the final page when Lynari is nabbed by her evil relatives.) Also, non-binary superheroes are rare in mainstream comics, and it’s cool to see one get to have an arc unrelated to their gender identities and also do flat out cool things like use their shapeshifting to sprout multiple arms and move rocks to make a lake for water, recreation, and other fun stuff. Finally, Sauvage has a gorgeous art style that is rooted in Magical Girl manga/anime as much as traditional superheroes, and she uses beautiful full or double-page compositions to show Lynari training with Kara and building a relationship with her.

Marguerite Sauvage’s color palette also conveys strong emotion like deep reds and blues when Lynari is sad that they weren’t praised by the inhabitants of the Moon for setting up the lake. This leads to a tense conversation with Kara where Lynari says some hurtful things about Kara not being accepted by Earth or her blood family as vertical grids of a “fly and talk” erupt into a full page energy blast. Lynari has obviously been through some tough times in their life and needs a literal safe space as their relatives are on the prowl. Sauvage uses different layouts and palettes depending on the sequence going for rigid and pastels when Lynari and Kara are enjoying each other’s company and flying around the moon and going to the grid and darker shades when there’s any kind of tension. Add her detailed backgrounds with the people on the moon having very different reactions than Lynari and Kara and creativity with Lynari’s powers (The sihouette of a dragon and Kara flying is very charming.) , and this is a story that you could follow without reading the plethora of caption boxes and dialogue.

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1

Because, yes, Kara Zor-El Superwoman is a comic that is a little bit overwritten despite Marguerite Bennett’s simple premise of Kara being in exile from Earth on the Moon and Lynari being a metahuman on the run. A lot of Bennett’s dialogue is didactic, and she includes one or two cliches about revenge, kindness, and helping others when showing Lynari helping out Kara around the Moon would get the point across. The monologue and text-heavy nature of the comic is evident from the first page when she eulogizes her deceased dog, Krypto. The fact that one of my favorite comic book canines had passed away already tugged at my heart strings, but Kara goes into great details about the moral lessons she learned from him. They are good, but basic ones like “Be kind”.

Bennett mixes these sayings with actual character-relevant captions dialogue for Kara in Kara Zor-El Superwoman as she discusses about how she was passed over for the mantle of Superman by a relative newcomer, (At least, in comics time.) and how she tries to honor the legacy of the House of El. This creates overt similarities and a natural bond between her and Lynari, who also has a destiny and long heritage that is explained in a page of exposition. Mentoring and diversifying heroes seems to be a throughline in Future State so far, either in the actual stories or in the way they’re marketed, and Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 fits this mold, especially when Lynari and Kara are training together or having tough conversations about Kara’s non-violence with Lynari’s relatives on the way. (A shock of heat vision is the answer to that.)

When Marguerite Bennett is connecting the larger themes of Kara Zor-El Superwoman to specific incidents in characters’ lives or journeys, her writing sparkles and complements Marguerite Sauvage’s magical visuals that can occasionally be dark or playful depending on the tone of the story. However, when she’s in monologue about good deeds and virtues mode, the book loses steam and feels more like beautifully drawn and colored lecture and superhero comic. However, I love how Bennett and Sauvage craft the character of Lynari, and I hope they have staying power beyond Future State with their cool powers and emotional openness although their backstory is derivative of several characters already in the DC Universe like Amethyst of Gemworld.

Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Marguerite Sauvage Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 6.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo take on Nightwing Starting March 2021

Nightwing, with Batgirl by his side, returns to Blüdhaven in March 2021 when Nightwing #78, by new New York Times-bestselling creative team Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo, hits comic book shelves! Dick Grayson is back after DC’s Future State event—and his drive to keep Blüdhaven safe has never been stronger!

In Taylor and Redondo’s Nightwing run, Blüdhaven has elected a new mayor with the last name Zucco, which can’t be good for DC’s first sidekick and former Robin—but is it good for Blüdhaven? When Nightwing enlists Batgirl’s help in investigating the politician bearing the same name as the man who murdered his parents, she unearths details that will shock and fundamentally change the hero.

And appearing in the first issue of Taylor and Redondo’s new Nightwing comic is a potential new sidekick for Dick Grayson—a three-legged puppy that he shields from harm in Blüdhaven’s alleys! Will Nightwing adopt this nameless mutt? And will she warm fan’s hearts as fast as Nightwing kicks her tormentor’s butts? Meet her for the first time on March 16 in Nightwing #78!

Nightwing #78, written by Tom Taylor with art and cover by Bruno Redondo, color by Adriano Lucas, lettering by Wes Abbott, edited by Jessica Chen, featuring a variant cover by Skan, takes Nightwing to the next stage of his evolution as a hero!

DC Reveals Cover of Dear Super-Villains Graphic Novel and a Surprise for DC Kids FanDome

DC has revealed the cover for the highly anticipated Dear Super-Villains middle grade graphic novel by author Michael Northrop and artist Gustavo DuarteDear Super-Villains is the sequel to Michael Northrop and Gustavo Duarte’s smash hit Dear Justice League that debuted in 2019 and is perfect for readers 8-12.

While Dear Justice League featured the world’s greatest Super Heroes answering fan mail from young fans, Dear Super-Villains features the Legion of Doom answering questions from curious kids.

Fans wanting to gear up for the sequel can tune into DC Kids FanDome at DCkidsfandome.com on September 12 where the entire Dear Justice League graphic novel will be available to read for free via the DC Kids comics reader for 24 hours only.

Peek inside the lives of DC’s infamous rogues in DEAR SUPER-VILLAINS, the sequel to DEAR JUSTICE LEAGUE, where curious kids write to notorious scoundrels, asking them about life on the dark side.

How did Gorilla Grodd get so smart? Did Harley Quinn ever try a career in comedy? Why does Catwoman always lose to Batman? 

Each chapter highlights members of the Legion of Doom in a sympathetic way that is relatable to kids. But look closely and you may notice the baddies are up to something big! Will the Justice League show up in time to stop them? You’ll have to write in to the Tip-line of Evil to find out!

Dear Super-Villains is written by Michael Northrop with art by Gustavo Duarte, lettering by Wes Abbott, and colors by Cris Peter. It goes on sale April 6, 2021.

Dear Super-Villains

Review: Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four

Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four

The Joker hates Nazis. He’s American, a homicidal maniac but not a traitor. The fact this was stated in Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four just cements the digital series planting a flag. The Joker gets it, why don’t you? In the fourth chapter, Andre recounts the story of the amulet’s power and the damage it can do. He also talks of the heroes who had to battle to stop it and where it’s buried.

Tom Taylor delivers a new chapter in the story that’s a parable about power and fascism. In this prequel to the popular Injustice comics and video games, the story clearly has a stance on the fact that fascism is bad. It’s a subtle mirror to our current politics with a line drawn as to which side it falls on when it comes to fascism.

The issue itself is a lot of setup focusing on the mcguffin that this arc will revolve around and how powerful it can be if it were to fall into the wrong hands. It’s a perfectly fine chapter doing exactly what it needs to in introducing us to the stakes and what might happen if the Joker reaches his goal. There’s also some nice foreshadowing of the types of “titans” that it’ll take to stop him if he does.

But, Taylor makes sure to add some humor to it all too. As mentioned above, the back and forth between Andre recounting the story and the Joker taking his stand on Nazis is a brief moment of levity. It also just draws a line that Nazis suck and there’s no siding with them.

The art by Cian Tormey is pretty solid. Along with Rain Beredo on color and lettering by Wes Abbott the art captures the setting of World War II. There’s also a tighter focus on panels with a digital first release. We don’t get massive two page spreads and instead the digital standard is used and works pretty well. The characters look solid and the characters present all have their own bit of flair so they don’t look exactly like their main DC Universe counterparts.

Overall, Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four and the first three chapters are a solid start to the series. We’re introduced to the main characters and the threat is set up in such a way that it feels like it’ll be an epic fight down the road. The comic also isn’t afraid of making some commentary about contemporary society and the state of politics. We’re in need of more stories that take a hard line that Nazis and fascism is bad and power corrupts. Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four isn’t afraid to deliver exactly that.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Cian Tormey
Color: Rain Beredo Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Injustice: Year Zero Chapter One

Injustice: Year Zero Chapter One

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils Roge Antonio
Inks Roge Antonio
Colored by Rain Beredo
Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
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The Justice League throw a celebration honoring the heroes who came before them—the JSA! Batman finds himself in an unexpected spar with Wild Cat for old time’s sake while Wonder Woman, Alan Scott and the Spectre contemplate their actions in WWII. Meanwhile, Joker finds exactly who he’s looking for that will come back to haunt the JSA.

Injustice: Year Zero is Here

DC has launched its newest Digital First series, Injustice: Year Zero! Publishing twice monthly and spanning 14 chapters, the first three chapters are available to read immediately as a bundle for $2.49 when purchased at readDC and comixology.com, or individually for $0.99 on all participating digital platforms!

Injustice: Year Zero returns fans to the world of DC’s bestselling Injustice: Gods Among Us; back to a time before Superman punched the Joker through the heart and became the fascist ruler of Injustice!

Taylor’s prequel story in Injustice: Year Zero, “Fall of the Old Gods,” focuses the action around the Justice League and the discovery of how their predecessors covertly fought within WWII to bring down a tyrant. When the Joker finds a way to control DC’s Super Heroes, he uses his leverage to sabotage the Justice League—and the JSA—from the inside!

Injustice: Year Zero Chapters One through Three, written by Tom Taylor with Rogê Antônio, Cian Tormey, Rain Beredo, and Wes Abbott on art, are available for purchase now on participating digital platforms, including readdc.com, Comixology, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and more. Injustice: Year Zero Chapter Four will publish on Tuesday August 18.

Injustice: Year Zero cover art is by Julian Totino Tedesco.

Injustice: Year Zero Chapter One

Review: Young Justice #15

Young Justice #15

Young Justice versus S.T.A.R. Labs! What happens when a universe reboots right under you? Conner is about to find out! The entire Young Justice team confronts the evil genius behind S.T.A.R. Labs and the truth about Conner Kent. Young Justice #15 wraps up the current story arc while setting up what’s to come.

Conner Kent is back and the truth about how he fits into the DC Universe is revealed. Writers Brian Michael Bendis and David Walker wrap up this story arc with a fun and wild ride of a finale. Conner has been absent for years in DC, so where has he been? Bendis and Walker give us a simple answer in a way, an explanation that we’ve seen in other stories and media. It’s not a complicated reason and easy to accept and move on.

There’s a really intelligent direction about this in that it allows the reader to focus more on the interaction of the characters more. That’s where a lot of the strength of this series lays. There’s an energy and enthusiasm from the characters that’s fitting for their age. There’s also a sense of love and family that radiates from the page. You really get the sense these are heroes who are happy their friend is back, even the characters who didn’t know him. There’s lots of humor as everyone has their moment and quips fly around. It’s just a fun comic with a lot of energy.

Part of that enthusiasm is due to the art of John Timms and Scott Godlewski. Along with colors by Gabe Eltaeb and letterer Wes Abbott, there’s a lot packed in every panel. There’s a lot of characters here but it works. The fact there’s so many characters packed into the issue is a challenge, but Timms and Godlewski know exactly where to focus and where to put in some visual jokes as well. A facial expression or stance is used to tell the story and what a character might be thinking. Eltaeb’s colors pop on the page and deliver a vibe that matches the youthful exuberance of the series.

Young Justice #15 is a solid finale to the storyline delivering a simple explanation for a character’s absence. The reuniting of the team feels like the old friends back together like it should be. It ties into DC’s meta story well without shaking things up too much but also playing off of mysteries established years ago. It also sets up something to come that has been teased since this series launched. Young Justice #15 sets up an interesting team for the future bringing together the younger heroes in a large group that will hopefully rotate the members delivering something regularly new going forward. It’s a fun series that sticks to the more positive attitude of “Rebirth” and full of potential.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker Art: John Timms, Scott Godlewski
Color: Gabe Eltaeb Letterer: Wes Abbott
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read


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Preview: Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

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Screaming Sea” by Tom Taylor, Pop Mhan, Rex Lokus, and Wes Abbott

Aquaman and Mera must stop Lex Luthor’s plans to drill into the ocean floor.

Girls’ Night Out” by Andrea Shea, Isaac Goodhart, Cris Peter, and Ryan Christy

Tula agrees to a Girls Night with Mera, but she quickly discovers that she and Mera have completely different ideas of what a Girls Night should be.

Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

Check Out this Week’s New DC Digital Firsts! Superman and Wonder Woman Return!

Superman and Wonder Woman return in this week’s DC Digital First comics. Check out below for all of the new releases you’ll find this week!

Monday June 15

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #7

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Viral” by Dave Wielgosz, Yasmine Putri, Tom Derenick, and Clayton Cowles

Jimmy Olsen quits the Daily Planet and joins up with a new hero in Metropolis, Soar. But Superman’s not quite sure the ViewTube superhero’s intentions are good.

The Wrath of Wioska” by Dave Wielgosz, Miguel Mendonça, David Baron and Clayton Cowles

Superman’s in need of training to better control his powers and protect humanity, but will Wioska, a former member of Darkseid’s army on Apokolips, give him the best guidance?

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #7

Tuesday June 16

Batman: Gotham Nights #9

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A Flip of the Coin” by Frank Tieri, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, Hi-Fi, and Troy Peteri

Locked up in Arkham Asylum, Two-Face dreams of a better life—one with a white picket fence far away from Gotham City and Batman. He’s got the perfect plan, and it’s all within his grasp…as long as his coin flip turns up heads.

Joker’s Wild” aka “Wha’cha Got in the Trunk?” by Mark Russell, Christopher Mooneyham, David Baron, and Ferran Delgado

There’s a story that’s made its way around Gotham City’s comedy scene for years, the legend of a struggling young comic who finally snapped under the pressure of making it big. But who can say what really happened? No one knows for sure…

Batman: Gotham Nights #9

Wednesday June 17

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #6

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Gundra the Great” by Jeff Parker, Aneke, Hi-Fi, and Travis Lanham

Wonder  Woman  responds  to  a  distress  call  in  a  tiny  village  and  discovers a displaced Valkyrie from Asgard, but is she friend…or foe?!

Wolf Cubs” by Steve Pugh, Marguerite Sauvage, and Travis Lanham

It’s the Eighties, and greed is good for those that already have it all. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor hunt down the reckless mastermind who makes the ultimate power move…the theft of Diana’s golden lasso!

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #6

Thursday June 18

Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

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Screaming Sea” by Tom Taylor, Pop Mhan, Rex Lokus, and Wes Abbott

Aquaman and Mera must stop Lex Luthor’s plans to drill into the ocean floor.

Girls’ Night Out” by Andrea Shea, Isaac Goodhart, Cris Peter, and Ryan Christy

Tula agrees to a Girls Night with Mera, but she quickly discovers that she and Mera have completely different ideas of what a Girls Night should be.

Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

Friday June 19

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #9

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Just a Reflection” by Michael Moreci, Sam Lotfi, John Rauch, and Rob Leigh

The Flash is going to be late for a date with Iris if he can’t beat Mirror Master quickly. Can the Flash stop Mirror Master after he gives Flash’s darkest fears physical for?

Ghosts of the Speed Force” by Jay Baruchel, Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and Rob Leigh

Barry’s been having nightmares lately where a voice from Speed Force calls out to him. After a speedster dies, they become one with the Speed Force, but is it possible for them to come back out?

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #9

Saturday June 20

Teen Titans Go! Booyah #4

Spam I Am” by Sholly Fisch, Philip Murphy, Marcelo DiChiara, Franco Riesco, and Tom Napolitano
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When a delicious icy treat extinguishes Cyborg’s internal firewall, he’s taken over by offers for spray-on hair, Scandinavian princes, and not-at-all fake Latvian jewelry! To save him, the Titans learn the only way to fight spam is with SPAM!

Teen Titans Go! Booyah #4

Sunday June 21

Swamp Thing: New Roots #9

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Kind” by Andrew Constant, Tom Mandrake, Hi-Fi and Jimmy B.

Deep in the bayou,  Swamp Thing continues to follow the fifolet, despite not knowing the mysterious spirit’s ultimate destination. On his way he encounters a strange and powerful girl locked away in the swamp, with magical friends and a monster at her door.

The Bayou Bluebird War” by Phil Hester, Tom Mandrake, Hi-Fi, and Dave Sharpe

Come one, come all, and watch as the terrifying Swamp Thing attempts to rescue a young boy from the spellbinding snare of a cursed circus!

Swamp Thing: New Roots #9

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Preview: Aquaman: Deep Dives #8

Aquaman: Deep Dives #8

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Breathless” by Marv Wolfman, Pop Mhan, Tony Aviña, and Wes Abbott

The terror group Scorpio attempts to capture and dissect Aquaman in an effort to create superhuman soldiers!

Whale Watch” by Cecil Castellucci, Pop Mhan, Rex Lokus, and Wes Abbott

While escorting a pod of whales to safety, Aquaman and Mera discuss starting a family of their own, but their conversation is cut short when naval sonar tests disorient the pod, causing the whales to attack naval ships, and forcing Aquaman, Mera, and the Navy officers to save the pod before they hurt anyone.

Aquaman: Deep Dives #8
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