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The Flash #74: Chapter 5, Year One

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Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter, storytellers

Howard Port, artist

Hi-Fi, colors

Steve Wands, letters

Recap

In the previous issue, Iris pursues a story the murder of John Banks, which leads her to a confrontation with members of The Rogues. One of the members, Clive Yorkin, fires a shot meant for Iris but hits The Flash. Later, Iris stands outside Barry’s apartment bearing her heart to him. He’s busy pulling the bullet out of his chest. This issue begins, The Turtle returns from the future with the future Flash in chains. Iris is concerned that The Turtle was previous behind bars. She leaves to find answers at Iron Heights. Meanwhile, The Flash squares off against his ageless foe, The Turtle, and we’re reminded of how many of The Flash’s key stories are time-travel-related.

When Iris leaves to visit Iron Heights it triggers an important exchange between Barry and Iris. Barry exclaims, “It’s too dangerous!” Iris retorts, “People deserve to know the truth.” The conversation informs the reader about what Iris stands for, her mantra, and why she is a reporter. When she leaves she states, “If you stand still..the crazy will come for you.” This statement serves to motivate The Flash to take initiative and also to recall the message he received from his mother as a child, “That’s my Barry, always hopeful.” Despite the failures from his past of his fears about the future, The Flash will move forward, with hope.  

Transitioning, it’s important to note that The Turtle was one of the main enemies of Jay Garrick during the 1940’s. When King Turtle says “My eternal foe,” in this issue it makes sense if your know that history. The story would have benefitted from a brief call back reminding readers who The Turtle is and how he has been connected to The Flash universe for a long time. Furthermore, The Turtle exclaims, “You and I have done this battle over the eons.” As a stand-alone, the statement makes rationale sense given The Year One story but it feels unearned. New readers might wonder where has The Turtle been?  

Howard Porter’s art is the strength of this issue, once again. For example, a full panel shows the initial confrontation between King Turtle and The Flash. The uniqueness of the panel has to due with perspective; Barry is pictured, upside down, and the viewer looks over him with The Turtle in the background.  Another series of panels shows Barry standing before a square entrance with Central City in view. Barry gets smaller and smaller with each succeeding panel. The imagery tells a thousand words. Barry feels inadequate for the task, a tiny person facing a colossal foe.

Overall = 9/10

Final Impressions

This issue is emotionally hard-hitting and satisfying because The Flash follows his mother’s words of encouragement. He is courageous and runs toward the battle but will he succeed? I can hardly wait to see how The Flash out-duels King Turtle and his minions in the next issue!

Batman #74 Explored & Explained.

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Video provided by
@KellyOneShot518 a CBL contributor

Superman #13 Review

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Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Penciler: Brandon Peterson and Ivan Reis

Inker: Joe Prado

Colors: Alex Sinclair

Letterer: Dave Sharpe

Release Date: July 10th, 2019

Think you know the history of Krypton and its destruction? Jor-El pleading with the Science Council. His plans to save the planet or at the very least, most of the Kryptonian race. The failure of those plans, ending with the survival of only one son of Krypton. Do you think you know the entire story? Think again. To paraphrase one of my favorite characters from a certain HBO show: “You know nothing.” That’s what Bendis has brought to the table – the secret history of Krypton and its destruction.

The issue opens with Jor-El dealing with the Science Council’s dismissal as he tries to convey the message of the upcoming global apocalypse. Not one to take no for an answer, he decides to reach out to a secret council of galactic governments – Oa, Rann, Tamaran, and Thanagar among them. This council reminds me of the Quintessence from Kingdom Come or even the Illuminati that appears in the books of another publisher (wink wink). Jor-El doesn’t get the help he desperately needed, but he does get a veiled threat in the form of a name – Rogol Zaar. For readers, this creates more questions than answers. What connection do Jor-El and this secret council have with Rogol Zaar? How does it relate to the timeline of events that we saw in Man of Steel? I’m not going to reveal much else of what happens in this issue so I recommend picking up a copy today.

The art duties were split between series regulars Ivan Reis and Brandon Peterson. I don’t think I need to sing the praises of Reis’ work any more than I already have in previous reviews. Readers can take one look at the cover to see how great his Superman is. The background is very busy, but my eyes are immediately drawn to the Man of Steel. The level of detail along with the colorwork is just amazing. I consider this my favorite cover of this current series. Now, Brandon Peterson has the majority of art responsibilities for the interior pages. I’m not well-versed in his work outside of Superman, much to my shame. His panels with the secret council are fantastic. There’s something unique about his style that I can’t quite put to words. It might be due to the fact that he colors his own work. Whatever it is…I am a huge fan of it.

This issue was a nice look into Bendis’ new history of Krypton, one that blends well with the classic origin of Superman. The story since the Man of Steel has been mysterious and a bit mercurial. It’s good to see some light shed on what Bendis plans to bring to us. I for one, am looking forward to future issues and the completion of this story.

Adventures of the Super Sons #12

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Peter J. Tomasi, writer

Scott Godlewski, pencils & inks

Protobunker, colors

Rob Leigh, letters

Recap

In the previous issue, The Super Sons continued their fight against Rex and his gang of neophyte alien villains. Rex gets the upper hand, and he gains control of The Hypercube.  He traps Damian and Jonathan in a Nowhere Dimension and then threatens to expedite his plans to overthrow Earth and all other galaxies. In the final issue of this 12-issue maxiseries The Super Sons meet the living essence of The Hypercube, “The Cube.” The Cube has been in existence as a bystander since the beginning. It created Rex and his kid-gang of villains to be a part of a story; however, Rex quickly went rogue and became evil. Super Boy and Robin obtain help from The Cube to escape the Nowhere Dimension and defeat Rex. 

The charm of this series has always been the relationship between Damian and Jonathan. Damian is a snarky know-it-all, which makes him assume the worst in people. Jonathan is overpowered and naive, which makes him overlook their vulnerabilities. Together, they are a wonderful and interesting team. This final issue highlighted these dynamics perfectly. Super-Boy’s desire to protect humanity leads him to ask The Cube to bring The Puppeteer back to life (see issue #1 of this series). Damian’s knowledge of tech and organized thinking leads to their escape from The Hypercube. 

Another strength of the series is the pace and creativity of the story. The art supports the pacing of the exposition and has been strong throughout. This issue had several highlights.  The escape from The Hypercube highlights a dynamic panel that pictures Robin and Super-Boy bounding through an energy blast. Later, the depiction of the hand-to-hand combat between the Super-Sons and Rex is exciting and builds on the emotion of the reader. I was especially satisfied with the sidekick Damian lands to the head of Rex during the sequence. 

Final Impressions

This series has been a frolicking, romp-through-space adventure for the Super-Sons. In this final issue, Tomasi builds in a narrative that both ties up the loose ends in this series and sets up the potential for future stories. I highly recommend this issue and the entire series for fans of Jonathan and Damian.

Who is going to be the new Batman writer for 2020?

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Video provided by
@JUICEfromtheBOX a CBL partner

At the end of 2019 we will see Tom King leave the main Batman title but it leaves the question. Who will write the next cape crusader next?

PODCAST LINK: https://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/b/5/3/b533…

I’m your host Juice Wayne and BATfromtheBOX is a channel that will cover Comic, Movies, Shows, Games, and anything else that is related to The Dark Knight! I want to become your #1 source for Batman content on youtube.

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Justice League #27 Explored & Explained

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Video provided by
@KellyOneShot518 a CBL contributor

DCeased #3 Review

Writer: Tom Taylor

Pencils: Trevor Hairsine

Inker: Stefano Gaudiano

Colors: Rain Beredo

Letter: Saida Temofonte

Release date: 7/3/19

Tom Taylor and company are back with the latest installment of this year’s most terrifying comic, DCeased. This issue opens by answering the cliffhanger from the previous issue and one that may surprise many, but after first succumbing to the Anti Life equation, Batman is now dead. Alfred being the one to put him down with a shotgun blast to the heart at point blank range. I’m not sure if this was Tom’s intentions, but I took that as a bit of foreshadowing for the rest of the issue.

We’re quickly reminded of just how vast the threat of the new Anti-Life equation is when were taken to Atlantis. We learn that the virus can now travel though blood of the infected, even worse is that blood is coursing through the ocean, infecting all in its path. Zombie Sharks have never been a more chilling thought, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a panel as grotesque yet beautiful as when (Redacted) tore their own face apart. One moment that does come close though is when we see an Anti-Life Clayface rampaging through the streets.

The Story does an amazing job showcasing Superman’s emotional weaknesses. He could easily overpower a city full of zombies if needed, but you get to see him dealing with people who are close to him that adds a psychological anchor. This is greatly highlighted as Clark makes his way to his hometown of Smallville. As we see Clark approaching the basement door we all know what’s inside, this doesn’t make the reveal any easier to digest.

Overall this is an amazing book. The artistic team does a great job highlighting the fact that this is a horror comic by making each zombified character as monstrous as one could imagine. Anything can happen in this Elseworld story, and Taylor never gives you the impression that anybody is safe. One last thing I’ll add is how badass the newest Green Lantern Dinah Lance is, and I can’t wait to see her go all out. DCeased #3 comes out July 3rd so don’t miss out! Grab yourself one of the beautiful horror variant covers that come along with it.

The Green Lantern #9 Review

Writer: Grant Morrison 

Artist: Liam Sharp 

Colorist: Steve Oliff 

Letterer: Tom Orzechowski 

Hal Jordan is in a fight for his life! A demon wizard from a faraway universe is ready to end him. Things aren’t always what they seem, Sir Hal is fighting tooth and nail with the Green Lantern who goes by the name AH-BAH-NAZURR. Hal, fully decked out in emerald armor bearing a sword and shield in hand looking like a true Knight in the cosmic court. Instead of enjoying his vacation Hal is flying around on dragons on a planet (Athmoora) that hates him and is quickly draining his power ring.

A cosmic threat is on the rise wiping through the multiverse and their best and strongest super heroes. Who will stop this plague that is coming for multiple universes? I absolutely love what Grant and Liam are doing in this epic Green Lantern run, more so in this issue with some great characters from Morrison’s comic book past grace these beautiful pages.

I love how this issue is essentially two stories colliding into one, it really raises the stakes and paints the picture that is the QWA-MAN! It will take an army to stop him! This book continues to be the best book on the shelves. Morrison and Sharp leave nothing on the table, A mix of a maddening story-line, witty dialogue and masterful art. This issue is absolutely a must read and can’t be missed!

Superman Up in the Sky Review

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Writer: Tom King

Penciler: Andy Kubert

Inker: Sandra Hope

Colorist: Brad Anderson

Letters: Clayton Cowles

In June Tom King sent the following tweet: “My whole life I thought Superman would be a labor to write. Turns out it’s a joy. He just does the right thing, and you follow the thread.” King perfectly sums up what his Superman story is. It follows Superman on his quest to do the right thing. No matter how far away that may take him. I’ve been following this book since it’s initial release through the Walmart superhero giant issues. This issue combines the first two parts in Kings 12 part story.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s perfect for new readers and for die-hard Superman fans. It has all the characters you know and love and it really is a joy to read. People may think that King only deals in dark and heavy subject matter, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He easily taps into the kindness and heart of the character, Superman. Throughout this first issue you can see the love Superman has for planet earth and the respect King has for the big blue boy scout.

Andy Kubert does phenomenal work on this book from front to back. He makes Superman seem so relatable, while also making him powerful at the same time. Throughout this issue we get to see many different characters and environments from the world of DC. Kubert nails every moment. The reason Kubert’s art connects so well is due to the other members of the art team. Sandra Hope is truly one of the best inkers in the business and this book is a testament to that fact. If you want to see examples of her amazing work on this book I suggest you head to her YouTube channel to check out some examples. There is one video in particular where she is working on Superman’s cape and it is mesmerizing. The final piece that really ties all of this artistic talent together is Brad Anderson. Brad’s color in this book is absolutely flawless. Superman’s costume looks so bright and clean that it leaps off the page.

Tom King always has brilliant artists surrounding his work and this book is no exception. Another staple of Tom King’s work is that there is plenty of (brilliant) dialogue to go around. Clayton Cowles does an excellent job blending the lettering into this book. It doesn’t take away from anything happening on the page and really adds to the reading experience. Tom King has Superman on a mission to do the right thing and I am happy to be along for the ride.

Justice League #27 Review

Writer:James Tynion IV

Pencils:Javier Fernandez & Bruno Redondo

Colors:Hi-Fi

Confronted, captured, and forced to relive his worst memories, Martian Manhunter struggles to see what’s truly at play here. That is until a trusted friend and former spy makes a dramatic entrance to rescue her leader and stop a mad scientist from building an army of Apex Predators.

Meanwhile as the Martian and the Thanagarian fight to stop the rise of the machines we see the Justice League team up with the World Forger to find one of his brothers in hopes that together they will be enough to battle Prepetua and redeem our Multiverse, before the arrival of the Judges of The Source. If that isn’t enough to entice you I don’t know what it. Well I guess there’s also the surprise offer made from the most unlikely of people, but what does this mean and will it lead us to Justice or Doom?

Justice League 27 is just like the previous issue being handled by the more than capable writing of James Tynion the fourth. If you didn’t know that going into this read than I wouldn’t blame you, especially since a lot of what is discussed in this story links in several elements from Scott Snyder’s last big epic story Dark Nights Metal. It even brings back a character who appeared in Metal but we really weren’t told why he was in Metal and I think his appearance here is that very reason. Which shows us just how much long term planning must be going on behind the scenes with James and Scott, something I truly appreciate as a reader.

Dark Nights Metal isn’t the only post Crisis event that’s mentioned in this story as we also get a very quick and pretty cool recap of several Crisis events from DC Comic’s long and rich history told to us by some of the players who were integral to those stories just as they are likely to play a big role in this grand tale to come. My favorite part about this moment is seeing the reaction of the Justice League who don’t all fully remember these events due to the tempering of the timeline that has been messed with from these Crisis’s, Barry’s Flashpoint and Dr Manhattan’s meddling of time and even if they are just small details in this story, I was very glad to see them here.

My only issue with this book is the inconsistency of the artwork which is being handled by two artists and I’m not sure if that is the reason we see so much change throughout the pages on how the characters are drawn, and how little focus and detail is here. I can say that sadly this took away from my overall view of this book which is unfortunate because I know both artists are great and are capable of delivering so much more. I would like to point out that there were several pieces of art that I did really enjoy and I thought that there was still plenty of good panels here especially the action scenes that felt like they had more time to be worked on and it showed.

Ultimately I really enjoyed the brief story we were giving here as it had plenty of big and small moments that all pieced together what is becoming another all time great in the making and I for one cannot wait to see what this creative team has planned for us and to see what this offer could mean going forward for the Justice League.

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