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The Flash #76 Explored & Explained

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Video provided by
@KellyOneShot518 a CBL contributor

Detective Comics #1009

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Peter J Tomasi, writer

Christain Duce, artist

Luis Guerrero, colorist

Rob Leigh, letterer 

Recap

In the previous issue, Batman is summoned to a local amusement park by The Joker where the two fight. The big reveal happens at the end of the book when The Joker falls into a river near Bolland Park and his body is never found. The epilogue shows Lex Luthor inviting another criminal, Doctor Victor Fries, to join him. This issue begins, Batman is exhausted. He’s been fighting criminals all night. Meanwhile, Deadshot receives a message to target Batman. While this happens, Alfred wakes Bruce Wayne  after another short night of sleep. They travel to Gotham National Bank headquarters and then overseas. Deadshot attacks the plane that carries Bruce Wayne and a team of CEO from Wayne Enterprise as they flew over the Pacific ocean. However, a lightning strike brings the plane down, but who survives? 

The action sequences are the highlight of this book. In particular, Deadshot’s entrance on the Wayne Enterprises plane and the eventual crash landing is spectacular! The art shows the plane breaking apart, Bruce saving cohorts, and Deadshot lingering ominously in the shadows waiting to clean up the survivors. The plane crashes mysteriously setting up a potential Batman Vs. Deadshot on a remote island. 

However, as a story, the book plods along, not making much progress. It’s clear that the writer is setting the context for a larger story. The importance of the story is lost in the larger goal of setting the board for the Year of Villains DC event. Batman is exhausted from fighting criminals and the criminals are all being summoned by Lex Luthor and armed with a unified task. The writer does not develop any additional layers and so this reads as a straightforward villain team up issue. 

The dialogue in this issue is painfully bad in parts. For example, Bruce cracks jokes during a “bored” meeting with his CEO’s. And Alfred’s responses are as old and crusty sounding as his appearance. This story would have been more interesting with a human subtext, something that would have explored Bruce’s physical or mental struggle given the stress that he’s been under. 

Hawkman #15

Written By: Robert Venditti

Pencils By: Pat Olliffe

Inks By: Tom Palmer

Colors By: Jeremiah Shipper

Letters By: Starkings and Comiccraft

Hawkman has always been one of those characters to me that isn’t interesting on his own and that needs a story where he can just be a badass. Robert Venditti’s recent run with the character has changed my entire perception of Hawkman and is shaping up to be one of my
favorites runs for a character in recent times. I love the way Venditti wrote the Green Lantern Corps in “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps,” and because of that, I gave this book a chance. Since reading the first issue when it came out, Hawkman has climbed the ranks of my
favorite DC characters and a lot of that has to do with the vulnerability in the way that Venditti writes Carter Hall. Everyone is haunted by their past and people are always trying to find ways to outgrow it. Hawkman is a character that is eternally caught in the struggle of being trapped by his past but also not having a past to call back on. He’s caught in a vicious cycle that’s filled with loneliness and suffering, yet he’s a character that preservers to fight for the good in the world and brings a healthy dose of optimism to his situations.

“Hawkman” issue 15 is on par with the rest of this series so far. We get to dive a bit deeper into the character’s history through his past relationship with the character, The Shade, but the story takes place entirely in the present. I enjoy the issues where we look deep into Carter’s past but I’m really glad we got to see his current life fleshed our a bit more this issue along with the reintroduction of the Shade who is a character that I’m not very familiar with. We continue the story of Carter’s battles with the newly improved Shadow Thief who makes for a wonderful foil to Hawkman. I love it when you have a villain that has a totally different skill set from the hero and has a different vibe to them and the way that they do things, yet The Shadow Thief and Hawkman have very similar motivations and make for great enemies.

This issue has a really cool scene with Hawkman, The Shadow Thief, and The Shade where they are locked in battle in a room full of light, and it’s one of the most unique and cleverly written things I’ve seen in a comic book in a while. Venditti wrote this issue in a great way that
keeps the feature on Hawkman and his struggles, but also in a way that introduces new audiences to The Shade and The Shadow Thief. After reading this issue, I’d like to see more of these characters, in both the story moving forward and in back issues. Venditti continues to write a really impressive story for Hawkman and he is on the way to write a character defining arc for the character. Definitely pick this issue up, even if you haven’t read an issue of Venditti’s
run yet. It’s worth it.

Die #6 Review

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Writer: Kieron Gillen

Art: Stephanie Hans

Designs by: Rian Hughes

Letters by: Clayton Cowles

Release Date: August 7th, 2019

I have never been much into D&D. Chalk it up to not having friends that were fans, subpar writing skills to create a campaign or a mother who refused to let her son play something that was, in her words, demonic. Whatever your choice the result was the same – I never experienced the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Reading the Die series really makes me regret that missed opportunity. This is another great series that makes me a bit shameful that I haven’t focused more on creator-owned books. A fantastic world that deserves consideration for television adaptation!
Gillen continues to craft a masterful story for readers. As the last issue drew to a close, we thought that our heroes were victorious and about to return home and their lives. Those hopes were quickly trampled on as two of the group – Isabelle and Chuck express their desire to stay in Die. The duo quickly teleports away, leaving the other three with their former friend, Sol – now turned into an undead Fallen. This issue opens in the aftermath of the Fall of Glass Town. Ash, Angela, and Matt are left to witness the consequences of their actions. There are several revelations in this issue, connecting back to the last time the group was in Die. I really appreciated the strides in character development that are made – especially in the case of Angela. Her mental state is one that I sympathize with, even if I never experienced the same obstacles that she has in her personal life. Angela is a very passionate and loving character, almost too much, and that is evident in her relationship with the cyber-dog Case. 
The artwork for this series…oh my goodness. I don’t know if there are words that can accurately describe what we see on the printed page. Hans’ style is absolutely amazing. I have been reading comics a long time and aside from maybe Alex Ross, I don’t think there are many artists out there that have visuals and art on this level. That’s no insult to any other artist out there. There is just something different and special with what Stephanie Hans does in this series. The pages are filled with beauty and devastation that are glorious. She puts just as much work into her characters and facial expressions as she does with the backgrounds. I especially enjoyed and appreciated the work she put into Case. There are panels that make me smile and think fondly of my own dog. You can really see the love that Case and Angela have for each other. 

This is a book that I look forward to whenever it is solicited. The world that has been created in this series is one that rivals stories from the Big Two. It makes me wonder if I am able to put together a D&D campaign with my friends that can even scratch the surface of Die. Hopefully, my mother doesn’t object again.

Sinestro Review

Written by: Mark Russell 

Art by: Yildiray Cinar 

Inks by: Julio Ferreira

Colors by: Hi-Fi

Letters by: Steve Wands

2019 has been dubbed as the year of the villain by DC comics and because of that we’ve gotten the chance to know some of the most iconic villains of all time a bit better. Often times we get a heavy emphasis on our heroes who are normally the protagonists of these stories because they are the ones that we are supposed to relate to and cheer on. That logic is sound and is usually the case, but nothing makes a good hero like a despicable but badass villain. In “Year of the Villain: Sinestro” issue 1, we get to follow the Green Lantern’s archenemy on a solo task to stop a group of world ending characters. 

Sinestro is sent on a mission by Lex Luthor to eradicate the threat of the Paragons who are giant, undefeatable creatures that destroy planets. Throughout this issue, Sinestro has to constantly evolve as a character and use his wits to find ways to advance in war against the Paragons. I’ve always loved Sinestro as a villain and I think that he’s the perfect foil to Hal Jordan. Sinestro is the type of character that is no-nonsense and goal oriented, and his motivations will always be self-motivated. This story understands that about this character and tells a really fascinating tale of Sinestro having to use his brain to to defeat his enemy. We get a look at not only Sinestro’s mind for war strategy, but we also get an insight into Sinestro’s views on life. There’s a character defining exchange that Sinestro has with someone where he says, “There is no greater, nor more common mistake in the universe than to serve someone that doesn’t serve you back.” This line is one of the best descriptors of Sinestro’s point of view as a character that I’ve read and it might give us some insight into Sinestro’s role in Lex Luthor’s Legion of Doom. 

This issue is a great insight into Sinestro as a character and is well worth reading because it finds a way to show the grey areas within Sinestro and how complex of a character he is. The art in this issue is great with a lot of great pages of scenery in space that are wall-worthy. Overall I liked this story a lot and it really reminded me of the episode of Rick and Morty, “The Ricks Must Be Crazy.” I’m glad that the Year of the Villain has worked out so far and I’m excited to see what’s to come from DC involving their antagonists. 

Deathstroke #46

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Christopher Priest, writer

Fernando Pasarin, pencils

Cam Smith, inks 

Jeremy Cox, colors

Willie Schubert, letters 

Recap

This issue begins, Jericho communicates with Red Arrow telepathically, convincing Red Arrow that his father’s death was not their fault. Meanwhile, Rose pursues Shado for the same reason: to confront Deathstroke’s killer. However, Lex Luthor interrupts Jericho’s efforts with an offer for him to have a new suit which will enhance Jericho’s powers. Jericho accepts Luthor’s suit. He uses the new suit to pursue Rose before she can harm Shado. He pulls her out of combat with Shado, after the fight was well underway. 

The story evolves through the eyes of Jericho as he experiences a series of delusions, and flashbacks. The larger topic is the pursuit of Deathstroke’s killer. The interesting part is Jericho’s attempts to shield his sister Rose by accepting blame but Rose knowing better because of how Deathstroke died. In addition, this conundrum affords Rose and Jericho an opportunity to share a sibling moment, a flashback, that reveals their common experiences and adds further emotional weight to the story. 

I was confused at times because it’s not easy to follow the different threads. However, I found the difficulty inviting and it made me want to take the time to figure things out. Specifically, I was confused whether what I was reading was the progression of the story or Jericho’s delusion. However, this storytelling style fits with the Deathstroke mystique as that character is multi-dimensional, and a master of disguises. 

The art is descriptive and captures the emotional beats of the story accurately. The panel layouts are organized, which makes the story feel fluid and well-paced. My favorite part of the art is the combat scenes between Rose and Shado. The karate is well-choreographed, and the art gives the characters a kinetic and powerful appearance. 

Final Impressions

If you ever wondered what superpowers Deathstroke possess or what his greatest attribute is, you learn about it in this issue. Deathstroke’s children suffer as they struggle to make sense, assign blame, and hold accountable the one guilty for his death. I highly recommend this story for fans of Deathstroke and the Teen Titans.  

Green Lantern #10 Review

Writer: Grant Morrison 

Artist: Liam Sharp 

Colorist: Steve Oliff 

Letterer: Tom Orzechowski 

Quest for The Cosmic Grail. He is Risen, the Mad Lantern is here, The Qwa-Man. Where we left off in the last issue, Hal discovered that the devil wizard he was fighting was none other than Abin Sur. That name is of importance because if not for Abin Sur, Hal Jordan would not be a lantern, in his death it gave birth to Hal Jordan’s journey. This isn’t the same Abin Sur, this Green Lantern is from earth 20. The flood gates are open, the Qwa-Man is a Multiversal threat. 

In classic Hal Jordan fashion, he beats the breaks off his former predecessor from a parallel earth just in time to help him stop the Mad Lantern. Where there is one there is many – The Magic Lantern, The Flashlight and the Batman Green Lantern. Yes, there is a Batman Green Lantern to also help put an end to The Qwa-man. Many more lanterns join the ranks to assist our heroes and when all is said and done they will go somewhere DC fans have not been in a long time, it’s a wild ride so hold the hell on! 

As someone who is a big Multiversity (Grant Morrison) fan, I was in absolute awe of this issue. There were so many familiar faces that I haven’t seen in years; it was truly an amazing spectacle. Make sure you take your time and focus on the art. There is about several splash pages that really make you go on a cosmic mind trip. Morrison and Sharp continue with another undefeated issue. A must read for all Multiverse and Green Lantern fans!

Justice League #29 Review

Writer:Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV

Artist: Bruno Redondo

Letterer: Tom Napolitano

Colorist:HI-FI

This week’s newest chapter of the epic cosmic adventure known as The Justice League serves mostly as a recap of writer Scott Snyder’s events starting from Dark Nights Metal, going through No Justice and the Omega Titans, through the tales of The Totality and the 7 hidden forces,and into the journey through the sixth dimension and most recently the offer that Lex Luthor has presented many of DC Comic’s greatest villains. And The best part about it, is it’s told from the perspective of Batman’s favorite Robin Jarro.

So outside of being a recap of all the major events from Scott Snyder and friends this issue also touches lightly on the many ongoing stories that have been told across the greater DC Comics landscape. Such as Aquaman’s Drowned Earth event that was also featured during this current run of the Justice League. We also briefly glimpse into the recent Flash events such as The Force Quest and Flash”s new Year One retelling as well as getting to see parts of Wonder Woman’s many battles through her own series and her events involving The Justice League Dark.

I really think Snyder did a fantastic job in this chapter by being able to quickly cover and conquer so much content in such a brief yet meaningful way, I feel like this was the perfect time to tell such a story as it offers both new readers and those who might have stepped away to regain their footing with the complex series of ongoing events to help them get back into the action going forward from here.

My personal favorite part of this story has to be the man the myth, the legend himself Jarro, who does an awesome job at retelling his own origin story from mighty space conqueror to enslaver of the universe to his ultimate sacrifice and rebirth as Batman’s favorite Robin the mighty Jarro.

I love how Snyder has turned this one off joke into such a serious and super adorable edition to the Justice League and after reading this story I’m even more excited about what’s next to come in the pages of future Justice League issues,

Ultimately I think this issue released at the perfect time and  that it serves as an excellent way to catch all of us back up to speed on all the many happenings that are transpiring across the entire Multiverse. Truly a must read issue for anyone looking to get back into the series and anyone who wants to join the fight that awaits us all as Prepetua approaches. 

Batman #76 Review

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Writer: Tom King

Pencils: Tony S. Daniel

Inks: Tony S. Daniel, Sanou Florea & Norm Rapmund

Colors: Tomeu Morey

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Things are not going well for the Dark Knight. Gotham City is under the control of Bane. The Bat Family and Justice League are unable to enter Gotham without Alfred paying the price. The government won’t interfere because in their eyes “Gotham’s peaceful and that’s all they care about”. Did I mention that Gotham is being patrolled by Thomas Wayne’s gun wielding Batman and the incredibly powerful and unstable Gotham Girl? There is a bright side though! The Bat and Cat are together again…sort of.

Tom King has done an excellent job building up to this endgame. As of right now Bane has won, and it’s not a question. This issue explores the new world order in Gotham. It’s full of amazing moments. We finally get to see what happens when a superhero enters Gotham, and that scene doesn’t disappoint. We get a look at what happens to villains who aren’t on board with Bane’s way of doing things. I won’t go into too much detail to avoid spoilers, but one of my favorite King written characters returns and the result is tragically hilarious. Tom King makes it incredibly hard to not root for Thomas Wayne and his new sidekick Gotham Girl. They are both such interesting characters and King writes them beautifully. Every great villain truly believes they are right, and it’s easy to see that they both feel that way. It’s hard to argue with their results. King also makes time in this jam-packed issue for a very emotional Bat/Cat scene and an excellent conversation between Damian Wayne and Tim Drake. These two Robins go about their business in very different ways and it makes for great back and forth between the two.

The City Of Bane couldn’t feel so real without the hard work of Tony S. Daniel, Sanou Florea, & Norm Rapmund. Daniel’s style is so perfect for Thomas Wayne and Gotham Girl. He makes them feel larger than life and is a large part of the reason it’s so easy to root for them. (Plus, glowing red eyes are badass.) This issue is great for establishing what the new rules are. Tom King has poured his heart and soul into this story and it shows in every page. For the first time in a long time I’m unsure how Batman is going to save the day. It’s an exciting time to be a reader.

The Batman Who Laughs #7 Explored & Explained

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Video provided by CBL contributor @KellyOneShot518

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