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Preview: Justice League #61

Justice League #61

Written by: Ram V., Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Xermanico, David Marquez

The new Justice League is trapped on a world devastated by a super-powered war, and Brutus hungers for a new home of his own-our Earth! With their powers gone haywire, the League must fight their way out of a post apocalyptic Thunderdome of depravity and desperation. On the run with Batman, Naomi learns more dark secrets of her birth world’s broken legacy, while Hawkgirl and Black Canary battle through the henchmen trenches. But where are Superman and Black Adam, and what kind of trouble is Aquaman in? (Hint: it’s bad.) And in the Justice League Dark story, Ragman joins the hunt! Zatanna, Constantine, Etrigan, and Detective Chimp hit the books-literally-in a possessed library, as Merlin’s plan takes shape before them…and spells doom for the universe.

Justice League #61

Preview: Justice League #60

Justice League #60

Written by: Ram V., Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Xermanico, David Marquez

Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Aquaman and Hawkgirl join forces with Black Adam to fight an all-new world conqueror! But how do they stop the unstoppable power known as Brutus? Enter new mega-power sensation Naomi, who comes face to face with the League and brings along Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons for a blockbuster battle for the ages—with a last-page cliffhanger that will leave everyone guessing what’s next!

And in the backup tale, the new Justice League meets the new Justice League Dark, and the demon Etrigan calls the team to action—but Batman has other plans. This team needs a leader, but what twisted secret prevents Zatanna from stepping forward? Plus, Ragman makes a startling discovery—one that may cost his life!

Justice League #60

Review: Justice League #59

Justice League #59

Although the Rebirth numbering is intact, both the Justice League and Justice League Dark titles get a bit of relaunch in Justice League #59. Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, and Tamra Bonvillain bring large scale action and a sequel to Bendis, David Walker, and Jamal Campbell’s Naomi in the lead story. While in the backup “Justice League Dark” story, Ram V, Xermanico, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. tap something a little more mystical as Merlin makes his return, and John Constantine and Zatanna investigate cults and prophecies in rural New Mexico. One of these strives to be modern mythology with all of the biggest toys in the DC Universe toy box while the other one might actually succeed with its riffs on Arthurian legends, the conflict between Heaven and Hell, and the senselessness of human existence underneath it all.

Justice League #59 is a 20 page story, but it feels a lot shorter thanks to an abundance of double page spreads from artist David Marquez. He and Brian Michael Bendis throw readers right into the middle of the fray as a mysterious interdimensional invader named Brutus lands in Kahndaq and confronts its king and protector, Black Adam. This later escalates into a kind of, sort of team-up between Adam and some of the members of the Justice League, which doesn’t thrill a monarch that is more into isolation than cooperation. However, this tension only really shows up towards the end of the battle when Black Adam immediately ejects the Justice League from his land and finally towards the end of the story. Having Black Adam has a wild card is Bendis’ smartest plotting decision, and he definitely fits Green Arrow’s idea of a “dissenting voice” when Oliver talks to the other members about doing “more” as a team.

But, for the most part, this initial Justice League story is lots of punching against a villain that is generically enough called “Brutus”, and the only interesting thing about him is that he’s most likely from Naomi’s home world giving her a reason to appear in the comic beyond being a Bendis co-creation. If you’re familiar with Bendis’ run on the Superman books, there’s a Rogol Zaar vibe to him in that he’s not an interesting character except in his connections to pre-existing characters or lore. You can definitely tell that he’s going to be forgettable character when he decides to peace out in the middle of the battle through an interdimensional portal before

Justice League #59 doesn’t really much to draw readers in beyond being a kind of sequel to the excellent Naomi comic, but it does have its bright spots. David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain really embrace the wide screen nature of the book and make a middling script gorgeous with Bonvillain contributing deep blues to the bubble-shaped panels when Aquaman and his army of sharks battle Brutus. She also uses really intense red and blues to match Marquez’s speed lines as Superman and Black Adam race to grab Brutus before he disappears. This page is pretty busy, but it drives home the point that Black Adam thinks he’s beyond the Justice League and doesn’t respect Superman unlike the other heroes. (Even the edgy, cocky Green Arrow just wants Superman to agree with him.)

Justice League #59

To go along with the blockbuster visuals, Brian Michael Bendis’ writing is at its best when characters are ribbing or arguing with each other a la New Avengers. He seems to have a lot of fun with Green Arrow and Black Canary, who debate both sides of the Justice League’s current status quo and adds a little extra reverence when Superman opens his mouth. Superman also takes lead during the fight scenes, and you can tell he’s the team leader without any kind of exposition about it. We’ll see what Bendis does with them in future issues, but for now, Flash and Hawkgirl are exposition spouters while Batman just reacts to things. As the one non-powered hero during the fight scene, he may have been trying to make Batman a POV character, but few readers can react to an (ex) billionaire and genius strategist/martial artist. Thankfully, Naomi is coming soon to fill this role, and hopefully, she brings a hook too.

Ram V and Xermanico’s “Justice League Dark” doesn’t have a problem with hooks and opens with the return of Merlin to the mortal plane. If you’ve read V’s work on Future State: Justice League, then you know that his take on the mythical wizard is more nefarious than kindly, and Merlin definitely sets himself up as the Big Bad in the pages of this issue. His actions on the final pages definitely set up a need for a Justice League type of team to take him down as Xermanico’s lovely cathedral window layouts and Fajardo’s warm color palette turns bloody and scarlet. Also, V logically connects the John Constantine/Zatanna plot to Merlin’s rise through the appearance of a fan favorite character and basically shows that their mission was just a symptom of a larger disease. It’s tension and escalation all in ten pages.

However, as well as setting up a big-time enemy for this disassembled team to face, Ram V and Xermanico still find time to explore the relationship between John Constantine and Zatanna. There’s a real softness to their interactions even as Constantine does his usual con man hijinks to get them out of a bind as the narration goes slightly nihilistic and focuses on humanity’s stupidity and willingness to place their lives in religions and cults while there’s literally bigger fish to fry. I love how Constantine cares about Zatanna’s feelings after the loss of her father and the disbandment of Justice League Dark, and Xermanico shows this through a beat panel where their hands nearly touch. Constantine and Zatanna will never be a stable couple, but V and Xermanico know they have great chemistry and use it to carry this initial installment of “Justice League Dark” because while Merlin is quite metal, we need someone to root for.

Thanks to a one-dimensional baddie and the usual Brian Michael Bendis decompression issues, Justice League #59 only gets a slight recommendation for me. However, David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain’s take on DC’s A-list is truly awe-inspiring, and their Black Adam exudes power and contempt as well. Hopefully, there’s more Naomi, Green Arrow, and Black Canary in future issues and less alien punching bag. But the real reason this comic crosses the line from trade wait to a purchase is Ram V, Xermanico, and Romulo Fajardo’s “Justice League Dark” backup, which features both Arthurian legends and supernatural hijinks and has a formidable villain plus witty, yet emotionally honest writing for its leads, John Constantine and Zatanna.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, Ram V Art: David Marquez, Xermanico
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain, Romulo Fajardo Jr. Letters: Josh Reed, Rob Leigh
Story: 7.1 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Justice League #59

Justice League #59

Written by: Ram V., Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Xermanico, David Marquez

Writer Brian Michael Bendis reunites with artist David Marquez (Miles Morales, Iron Man, Batman/Superman) for a new, star-studded Justice League featuring Superman, Batman, the Flash, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, Hippolyta, new DC powerhouse Naomi, and…is that Black Adam?! Superman is leading the charge to reinvent the Justice League, and at the same time, a new, cosmic-powered threat arrives from Naomi’s homeworld to rule the Earth!

And in the backup story, dark days lie ahead for the new Justice League Dark. Zatanna and John Constantine take a road trip, only to discover horror around the bend as a friend-and sometime foe is reborn in fire! A legend is destroyed, and another takes a terrible turn, as Merlin reveals the beginning of a new, blood-drenched plot for all humankind. So begins writer Ram V’s new journey into the abyss with the Justice League Dark and artist Xermanico!

Justice League #59

Infinite Frontier Expands Into a Six-Issue Miniseries

Future State offered a glimpse of the near and far futures of DC‘s heroes and villains, But, what’s next and the CURRENT status of the DC Universe? That question was partially answered in today’s Infinite Frontier #0 which sets the stage for new stories, mysteries, and surprises.

As a result of Dark Nights: Death Metal, everything was put back where it belonged in the DC Multiverse… everything! All the damage from all the Crises was undone, and heroes long thought gone returned from whatever exile they had been in.

Infinite Frontier #0 is just the beginning!

DC has announced Infinite Frontier, a six-issue miniseries by Joshua Williamson and Xermanico. It features covers by Mitch Gerads and begins June 22. Get ready to explore more of DC’s rapidly expanding Multiverse!

In this summer event, Alan Scott, the Green Lantern from the Justice Society of America, has noticed some of his allies are still missing in action, and he’s determined to find them. There are others, though, that would rather remain hidden than explain themselves, like Roy Harper, a.k.a. Arsenal, a man who should be dead now is not. Plus, what does all this mean for the DCU’s place in the Multiverse? On opposite sides of a dimensional divide, both Barry Allen and President Superman ponder this question. Not to mention the Darkseid of it all! Or a team of Multiversal heroes called Justice Incarnate!

This brand-new event from DC has one foot in the past, but both eyes looking forward to a future that they hope will remain as bright as it seems!

Infinite Frontier #0 art by John Timms and Alex Sinclair
Interior artwork from Infinite Frontier #0 by John Timms and Alex Sinclair

Preview: Justice League #58

Justice League #58

Written by: Andy Lanning, Ron Marz
Art by: Xermanico, Marco Santucci

“Endless Winter” chapter five! In this turning point issue, the Justice League is scattered across the snow-covered globe, trying to stave off the frozen doom, leaving Green Lantern John Stewart to stand alone. At the Hall of Justice, he begins to piece together clues that could help turn the icy tide that threatens to overwhelm them all. But then an unexpected visitor arrives on cue: the Frost King himself! In the past, however, Queen Hippolyta, Swamp Thing, and Viking Prince witness a terrible decision made by Black Adam-one that will haunt them forever.

Justice League #58

DC’s Future Post Future State Becomes Clearer as Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Swamp Thing, Teen Titans Academy, Green Lantern, Wonder Girl, and Justice League Dark Announced

Wonder Woman #770

After January and February’s Future State mini-event for DC Comics, March and beyond will see a mix of new and returning series as expected. Many of the series will feature their Future State creative teams continuing on to the series.

Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad will take over Wonder Woman with issue #770 in March. The two will be joined by interior and cover artist Travis Moore. The series will pick up after the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal which has put Wonder Woman at the center of events leading the heroes in their resistance.

Orbiting Wonder Woman will be Wonder Girl from writer and artist Joëlle Jones. That series will star Yara Flor who is getting a major push by DC as Flor will possibly be getting a television series at The CW.

A new Green Lantern series will launch written by Geoffrey Thorne with art by Tom Raney. They’re the creative team behind “The Last Lanterns” story in the Future State: Green Lantern comic.

Justice League Dark will return in March written by Ram V. who was also writing the series before its break due to the “Endless Winter” event. It will feature art by Xermanico.

Wonder Woman #770 variant

Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval will launch Teen Titans Academy. The series will focus on the launch of a Teen Titans Academy by members of the New Teen Titans. That series spins directly out of Future State: Teen Titans which tells a future tale of the academy.

With a film on its way, it’s not surprising that the Suicide Squad returns. Robbie Thompson, who will take on their story during Future State, will write the ongoing series with art by Eduardo Pansica. We can also see the DC live-action and comics aligning a bit more as Peacemaker (played by John Cena in the film) takes center stage. The character will not only be in The Suicide Squad film but is also getting his own series on HBO Max.

Swamp Thing is back courtesy of writer Ram V. and artist Mike Perkins. That duo is also the team behind the Swamp Thing Future State comic.

James Tynion IV with artist Jorge Jimenez will return to Batman and Tynion has another Batman series in the works with artist Guillem March.

Preview: Justice League #57

Justice League #57

Story: Joshua Williamson
Art: Xermanico

“Doom Metal” part five of five! The Legion of Doom has been freed-and now they’re turning on their saviors-the Justice League! Teeth will gnash, knuckles will be bared, and Lex Luthor will make a decision that shocks everyone, including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The ending of this epic story leads directly into Dark Nights: Death Metal #5!

Justice League #57

Preview: Justice League #53

Justice League #53

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Xermanico

“Doom Metal” part one of five-the Dark Nights: Death Metal tie-in that will directly impact the finale of that event! Nightwing’s on a mission to free the Legion of Doom from Perpetua’s clutches. But to do so, he’ll need the help of none other than…Lex Luthor?! The surprises are only just beginning, as Nightwing, Lex, and a new Justice League must fight their way through an Earth twisted by the Dark Multiverse. Titans will be tested, hearts will be broken, and blood will be spilled!

Justice League #53

The Justice League Faces An “Endless Winter” This December!

This December, the Justice League learns firsthand the meaning of “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” in Justice League: Endless Winter, a nine-issue event taking place throughout the month of December.

1000 years ago, a disparate group of heroes – Hippolyta, Black Adam, Swamp Thing and the Viking Prince – banded together to prevent the world from freezing at the hands of the Frost King, an exiled Norse god with the ability to control entire ecosystems. The heroes triumphed, but victory came at a terrible price, one that has been kept secret until now.

Justice League: Endless Winter spans a total of nine titles, all co-written by Ron Marz and Andy Lanning.

The title lineup for Justice League: Endless Winter includes:

Justice League: Endless Winter #1 (on sale December 1) with art by Howard Porter and Marco Santucci and cover by Mikel Janin

Justice League: Endless Winter #1

The Flash #767 (on sale December 8) with art from Clayton Henry and Marco Santucci and cover by Clayton Henry

The Flash #767

Superman: Endless Winter Special #1 (on sale December 8), art by Phil HesterAnde Parks, and Marco Santucci and cover by Francis Manapul

Superman: Endless Winter Special #1

Aquaman #66 (on sale December 15), with art by Miguel Mendonça and Marco Santucci and cover by Mike McKone

Aquaman #66

Justice League #58 (on December 15), art by Xermanico and Marco Santucci, with cover by Francis Manapul

Justice League #58

Teen Titans: Endless Winter Special #1 (on sale December 15), featuring art by Jesus Merino and Marco Santucci, and cover by Bernard Chang

Teen Titans: Endless Winter Special #1

Justice League Dark #29 (on sale December 22), art by Amancay Nahuelpan and Marco Santucci, cover by Kyle Hotz

Justice League Dark #29

Black Adam: Endless Winter Special #1 (December 22), art by Brandon Peterson and Marco Santucci, featuring cover by Dale Eaglesham

Black Adam: Endless Winter Special #1

Justice League: Endless Winter Special #2 (December 29), with art by Howard Porter, Carmine Di Giandomenico and Marco Santucci, and cover by Mikel Janin

Justice League: Endless Winter Special #2

The action all begins on December 1 with Justice League: Endless Winter #1.

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