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DCeased #1 Review

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Writer: Tom Taylor

Artists: Trevor Hairsine & Stefano Gaudiano (pp.1-6,15-26) James Harren (pp.7-14)

Colorist: Rain Beredo

Letterer: Saida Temofonte

Editor: Ben Abernathy

One of the best decisions DC Comics ever made was deciding to pick Tom Taylor to write the Injustice comic series. They let him explore the world based on the Injustice video game and tell a compelling story. It appears that DC has made another one of these fantastic decisions with DCeased. This time Taylor has been given the keys to his own version of the DC universe and I couldn’t be more excited to see what he does with it. DCeased explores what happens when a (more) twisted version of the Anti-Life equation is released on earth via the internet. It instantly infects 600 million people and turns them into crazed murderous monsters. Can the superheroes of earth band together and stop it? Can they survive the first 24 hours? We are going to find out.

This issue is paced excellently and wastes no time in explaining what the virus is and how high the stakes truly are. He makes use of a mysterious narrator throughout the book and the effect is excellent. I really enjoyed seeing this earth’s version of the Justice League. In two pages Taylor manages to plant the seed for an issue that may divide the team going forward. Tom Taylor has always been excellent at channeling the voice of the characters he’s writing and he really does an excellent job in this book. Cyborg is humorous and brave in a truly dire situation. Batman is prepared for every scenario even if that means making the unpopular choice. Superman has hope when facing impossible odds and it’s clear in this issue how much he loves his wife and son.

The lettering from Saida Temofonte in this book is very powerful tool. Throughout the book you are reading narration of the events from a mysterious person. It feels like you are reading out of an old journal and it provides hints of where the story is going.

With a book handling such a horrifying concept the art is crucial to how the story is told. Rain Beredo’s color is consistent and excellent throughout the whole issue. I particularly enjoyed James Harren’s take on Apokolips. It’s here that Harren shows us how high the stakes are and how awful this techno-virus is. Trevor Hairsine & Stefano Gaudiano do an excellent job of depicting what happens immediately when the techno-virus is released on earth. There are two panels, with Superman and Cyborg, where you truly are given the sense of horror that they are experiencing. I would love to know what Hairsine and Gaudiano thought when Taylor told them about the last two pages of this issue. They nailed it and the result is horrifying.

Tom Taylor wastes no time in this riveting first issue to make one thing abundantly clear. No one is safe and things are going to get a lot worse from here. This is going to be a wild ride and i’m terrified and excited to see what’s next.

Batman Who Laughs #4

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Color: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Release date: April 10, 2019

All hell has broken loose in the Batcave! The Batman of our world has gone to the absolute extreme this time in an effort to thwart his deadliest foe yet. Resorting to the old saying, “If you can’t beat em, join em”, Bruce willfully starts to give in to the toxin from the Joker’s heart, transforming into his own Dark-Clown hybrid in order to gain the upper hand on The Batman Who Laughs. Will this unorthodox method be just what it takes to achieve an almost impossible victory? Or has or has the most twisted version of the Dark Knight planned for this as well?

Since making his debut on the pages of The Metal, The Batman Who Laughs has greatly received by fans far and wide. Having previously brought the entire multiverse to the brink of collapse, he now sets his sights on the Batman. While he may not have an army of Evil Justice League Batmen, he does have the one-man army known as the Grim Knight at his side, and he’s proven to be quite the asset. Scott Snyder has delivered an absolutely thrilling story, that just when you think the good guy might win, the rug gets swept right out from under his feet.

The Batman and Joker’s love-hate relationship has been very well documented over the years, seeing them forced to work together to take down a common threat in The Batman Who Laughs is a fresh new
take on the rivalry, that I for one, thoroughly enjoy. The conversation between the two towards the middle could have easily been my favorite moment, especially with Bruce now suffering from some side effects from the toxin. This most unexpected tag-team might just be enough to stave off the impending doom that faces Gotham city, but I wouldn’t place your bets until after you’ve read the last page.

The creative team perfectly captures the madness. From Jock’s art, the color work, and even the lettering, they are able to present the tone of the story beautifully. Their ability to let the reader know just exactly when Bruce is losing grip on his sanity is outstanding. The Batman Who Laughs is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite mini-series, with gorgeous variants to go along with each issue. I will definitely be looking forward to the final two installments.

Batman Who Laughs #6 Review

Batman Who Laughs #6

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Jock

Colors: David Baron

Letters: Sal Cipriano

Locked in battle with the most evil version of himself while the fate of Gotham City hangs in the balance, Batman has almost entirely lost control if himself but struggles to hang on to the last of his morality. With an approximated 10% left of his blood-cells left unaffected, Bruce using every last ounce of strength has formulated a plan to overcome his dark doppelganger. Has the toxin clouded the Caped Crusaders judgement, or will this out of the box idea be just the ace in the hole our hero needs? Their confrontation is just as epic as you can imagine, and then some as we see a portion of the battle though the eyes of our hero as he fades away into insanity. Hats off to Jock and David Baron for making this point of view just about as terrifying as possible with art that would translate into a beautifully monstrous horror movie.

While the art alone makes this issue standout, its also the little details and smaller moments along the way that make this book spectacular. There’re moments like when we see The Batman Who Laughs and how he spends his leisurely time that are just downright amusing as well as unnerving, along with panels like the brokenhearted confession by Commissioner Gordon to his son James right before they enter Batman’s armory. Something else to pay close attention to, if you didn’t pick up on it in the last issue, is Batman’s internal dialogue and the difference in color used at times. If you thought this series has been twisted to this point, just wait until the final pages of this issue. With the tides of the battle turning over to one side, the book closes with one of the most shocking revelations in the entire history of Batman; one you’ll have to read to find out. With what should have been the final issue of the story, Scott Snyder has been given permission to extend the series to a 7th book and thankfully so. It may be a bittersweet ending, but the conclusion of this saga promises to be sensational one.

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!

The Green Lantern #7 Review

Writer:Grant Morrison

Art: Liam Sharp

Legendary writer Grant Morrison and All Star artist Liam Sharp deliver us another emerald jewel in the cosmic symphony that is The Green Lantern #7. Hal Jordan is dead! Or is he? In the wake of “Total Annihilation” Hal Jordan had to use every ounce of will to disarm the U-Bomb. Regardless of the cost of his own life, Hal would gladly risk it all to save the universe.

Everything comes with a cost and that price is The Emerald Sands! With Green Lantern absorbing ten to the 44th power joules ,which is about the equivalent of a supernova, Energy from the U-Bomb into his power ring along with himself, has left his ring powerless and himself stranded inside. Floating in the cold void of space is where Hal finds himself lost in the green lifeless desert that is the Emerald Sands. The Wizard Myrwhydden awaits our space cop, is he friend or foe? Only time will tell.

This issue was absolutely astounding. A poetic telling of love and death and the will it takes to live. Even when everything is stacked against you in the desert of decay that doesn’t end. Hal is more like a nomad in this story where he must find any hope of escaping. This is easily the best book on the shelves, in 20 years from now this will be the Green Lantern series your local comic book store will be recommending.

Justice League #21

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Plot: Scott Snyder & Jorge Jimenez

Words: Scott Snyder

Art: Jorge Jimenez

Colors: Alejandro Sanchez

The source wall is destroyed. Lex Luthor is reviving the dark goddess Perpetua. The multiverse is flying through the void. There is a lot going on in Scott Snyder’s Justice League book, and it’s been a wonder to behold.

The Justice League is spending time with their future selves being shown around a future that seems to good to be true. You know how that saying goes right..? I should mention that the Superman who has welcomed them with open arms into this future isn’t their Superman. The Superman we know and love is trapped in a pocket universe with fading powers, and little hope of escape.

Snyder spends this issue diving deeper into what is really going on with this idealistic version of earth. I won’t go into spoilers because this is a book that needs be experienced as the writer and artist intended. We find out the true motivations of future “Superman” and we are introduced to the World Forger. This is a character that has deep ties to the history of the DC universe and I look forward to learning more about him. If you think that Snyder has forgotten about Mr. Mxyzptlk and the other leaguers who didn’t travel to the other Earth (including the amazing Jarro). He hasn’t. That’s what I love about this story. There are so many moving pieces and Snyder navigates them with ease. He also finds time to give Batman and Future Bats (Dick Grayson) a conversation that filled my heart with joy. I really felt like the theme of this issue was the concept of “The Greater Good.” Can the League make a difficult choice if it’s for the benefit of the multiverse?

Let’s talk about the art. Jorge Jimenez is putting on a master class in this book. Everything he is doing feels so alive it could leap off of the page. There is so much emotion in his work and it that really adds to the story. You can tell that he had a lot of fun with the concept of a future version of earth. Alejandro Sanchez’s color makes everything in this book pop. It really feels like future “Superman” is glowing in this issue. This book is truly a sum of its parts. The writing, art, color, and lettering take this book to the next level.


Doomsday Clock #10 Review

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Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Gary Frank

Color: Brad Anderson

Letters: Rob Leigh

The clock is ticking slowly towards midnight. Slowly being the key word, but Doomsday Clock is worth the wait. Geoff Johns is taking his time telling this story and he’s making sure it’s exactly what he wants it to be.

Doomsday Clock #10 is a deep look into the motivations of Dr. Manhattan. I’ve always viewed this series as an intense character study of Manhattan and Superman. Superman is an alien who has found a home among humanity. Dr. Manhattan is a human who has become so detached from humanity that he’s almost an alien. Johns spends this issue walking us through the life of Carver Coleman through the eyes of Dr. Manhattan. Every page takes us to a different period in space and time. We are seeing what Manhattan has been up to in the DC universe and why he’s so focused on Superman. Johns is delivering moments that I never thought I would see in a comic book and I’m enjoying every moment. I highly recommend everyone read the issues leading up to this one. It makes for a very enjoyable reading experience.

Gary Frank and Brad Anderson are a dream team. There are some scenes with Superman and some spoilerific characters that almost brought a tear to my eye. Frank and Anderson have done an amazing job of bringing this book to life. They are recreating some of the most famous scenes in the history of the DC universe and it is an amazing sight to see. Doomsday Clock is a slow burning masterpiece in the making. The writing,art,color, and letters are some of the very best the comic world has to offer. As much as we dislike the wait between issues we should just enjoy the fact that we live in a world where a comic like this exists.

Batman #75 Review

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Writer: Tom King

Art: Tony S. Daniel and Mitch Gerads

Colors by: Tomeu Morey and Mitch Gerads

Letters by: Clayton Cowles

Release Date: July 17th, 2019

Dictionary.com defines a parallel universe as “any of a hypothetical collection of undetectable universes that are like our known universe but have branched off from our universe due to a quantum-level event. ” Of course, we comic book veterans know a thing or two about parallel universes and multiverses. That’s our bread and butter! So upon reading the first few pages of this issue, readers might be thinking that they’re reading an Elseworlds story or a story taking place on another Earth in the multiverse. I assure you…that is most certainly not the case. Everything that happens in this story is happening on Earth-Prime!

Our issue opens as many have over the years – a panel of a GCPD squad car speeding to the scene of a crime. However, this time there is one change – the occupants. The Joker and the Riddler are the ones behind the wheel and heading to the scene of a homicide as officers of the GCPD. Yes, you read that correctly. They are members of the GCPD! Not only are these insane killers working for the police and pulling their best buddy cop impression, but their commissioner is also Hugo Strange! The same Hugo Strange that is obsessed with the Dark Knight and driven to create genetic monstrosities. So where is Batman and why is he allowing this madness? Don’t worry, Strange actually requests his help in the form of the Bat-Signal. A villain requesting the help from Batman? That’s correct. It’s just not the Batman that readers know and love – it’s Thomas Wayne’s Batman from the Flashpoint Universe. Without spoiling the rest, this issue proceeds to show us the state of this new Gotham City that Bane has created. This new status quo creates more questions than answers. Where is Bruce? How much time has passed from the last issue? Does Thomas have a plan of his own or does he plan on marching to the beat of Bane’s drum? Lastly, readers are treated to a reunion that was previewed months ago – the return of Catwoman! As always, the couple argues about where they first met. I continue to take great joy in that little flirtatious tidbit that King inserts into their relationship while evil reigns supreme in Gotham and Bruce is on the verge of freezing to death.

Upon finishing this issue, I have come to the realization that I really miss Tony S. Daniel as the series regular on Batman. He has a great understanding of the world of the Dark Knight that cannot be understated. The level of detail he puts into each page is truly awesome – from the backgrounds to Two-Face’s scarred half to Flashpoint Batman’s scruffy chin. One of my favorite pages of this issue is the page where Flashpoint Batman arrives after being summoned by the Bat-Signal. The pose, the rain, the lightning. Everything on that page was perfectly done.

This oversized book also features the amazing talents of Mitch Gerads. His vivid, gritty style is perfectly suited for a Gotham controlled by the villains. Seeing his work on gruesome villains like Zsasz, Professor Pyg, and Croc is just fantastic. He brings their grotesqueness to life in ways that I don’t often see from other artists. Let’s not forget how he drew poor Harvey Bullock as a human dartboard – complete with an intense look of fear in his eyes. We can’t forget the fine work that Tomeu Morey did on the colors. There’s just the right amount of bright and dark hues that animates this dark Gotham.

This issue is my favorite since the “I Am Suicide” arc. I read it four times and still came away amazed at everything that was squeezed into this single issue. If “City of Bane” is King’s last hurrah with the Batman title, it’s off to a magnificent start. Folks, you definitely need to pick this one up…TODAY.

The Warning #5

Published by: Image

Written by Edward Laroche

Edited by Donald Hodges

Colors: Brad Simpson

Letters: Jaymes Reed

Release Date: March 20th, 2019

The Warning #5 is the most recent issue in this fresh young series, and I have to say, it has delivered from the very start. For those of you who are not familiar with The Warning Series, well first I need to tell you that missing out on this storyline is a huge mistake, but anyways to give you some background information this is a military vs unknown threat comic. Obviously, it wouldn’t be very exciting if events were peaceful, to be more blunt the military is struggling to fight back let alone even identify what is currently the world with deadly explosions and mysterious individuals. Things are not completely hopeless they do have talented and enhanced agents to fight back with. Such as Gladiator Two Six a solider who has undergone extensive upgrades and despite being close to a cyborg, he is still barely maintaining his humanity. His internal dialogue is very poetic, and it goes to show this character had so much depth and potential and I cannot wait to learn more about him.

For the most part the dialogue taking place during the series is very professional and a lot of military lingo so if you enjoy those kind of conversations then this is for you, I am extremely enjoying because if it is well done I feel so much more immersed in to the comic and I can assure it is well done. I am aware I haven’t given much information about the events taking place but that is because the comic has been keeping almost everything shrouded in mystery and because of that I was almost always anxious to get to the next page. That does not mean this is all suspense, far from it because close to every single page has been action packed with explosions, airstrikes and an ongoing dogfight that is a definite nail biter. The events of the comic are shown in a very interesting order. It is has no hesitation to take you on a visit several months in the past to give you more background information. Issue #5 continues the momentum this series has built and to say this installment is worth reading is an understatement.

The artwork for this comic continues to be impressive and will highly likely earn praise from any avid comic book reader. After reading The Warning #5 I immediately checked the date of release for The Warning #6 and was kind of disappointed it wasn’t today! Anyways actually the publication date is April 24th, 2019 so be sure write that down on your calendars!

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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.

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