Saturday, August 24, 2019

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Teen Titans #32 Review

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Adam Glass, writer

Bernard Chang, art

Marcelo Maiolo, color

Rob Leigh, letters

Recap

In the previous issue, Lobo learns that he has a daughter, Crush, who’s a part of The Teen Titans. Lobo pursues Crush, which puts him in conflict with The Teen Titans. After fighting The Teen Titans, he engages in a brutal fight with the daughter he never knew. This issue begins, the Teen Titans regroup after Lobo’s attack. They make plans to ensure that the second conflict turns out different. Lobo attacks, but this time Crush has a weapon that evens the playing field. The epilogue shows and encounter between Lex Luther and Lobo setting up future conflicts with The Teen Titans.  

The last issue ends with a conflict, Lobo versus his daughter. Crush’s anger is understandable; absent, playboy for a father returns unannounced. Lobo’s reaction cements his place as a creep. I was disappointed that the daughter-father story was not explored further or in a different way. There are enough deadbeat daddy and angry daughter stories, we didn’t really need another one.

The art fits the tone of the book and supports the emotional themes around anger, fear, and revenge. However, there were not very many memorable panels. One panel, shows Lobo in the forefront pushing up with The Teen Titans behind him. The picture highlights the position Lobo was forced to take throughout this conflict: The Teen Titans found higher ground due to superior planning and Crush’s Obelus. 

What’s made clear is that Crush and The Teen Titans are resourceful and, given enough time and planning, they can face off against almost anyone in the DC Universe. An epilogue at the end of the issue makes it clear that Lobo and another major villain are coming after The Teen Titans. I am excited about this challenge and how the team will respond. 

Overall = 7.5/10

Final Impressions

If epic, bloody, and violent battles are your thing you’ll love this issue. While the year of the villain looms large, The Teen Titans have already been tested and taken to their limits. I am excited to see how this team responds to their next villain challenger.

Aquaman #50 Review

Writer: Kelly DeConnick 

Artist: Robson Rocha & Eduardo Pansica 

Colorist: Sunny Gho 

Letterer: Clayton Cowles 

In the wake of Mother Shark, Arthur is finally made whole. Almost. In the last issue we saw the big reveal, Mera Queen of Atlantis, is with child a true heir to the throne. With Arthur at an absolute loss for words, only fears rise to the back of his mind – will he be a good father? Will he do what his mother never could? Put the child first or be at mercy of the throne? 

A tale of wonder grows upon us as Arthur returns to Amnesty Bay. His home that he has been gone away for, for so long. This issue starts with a history lesson about the first light house in Amnesty Bay, constructed by Captain Maurer, after his crippling guilt for crashing his ship and killing his crew (definitely the makings for a villainous origin story). Arthur arrives with his old God clan while being greeted by another God who he’s very familiar with. 

This story is growing very political with all the issues Queen Mera must face to rule her kingdom correctly. Has she finally found a suitor? The title is on the cover so it is no mystery, Black Manta has returned! The murderous arch nemesis who was thought to be sacrificed along with Arthur in Drowned Earth is back and he’s meeting with an old friend. This book was beautifully written and full of emotion – a must read for all Aquaman fans.

Hit-Girl Season 2 Issue 5: Hit Girl in Hong Kong Review

Written By: Daniel Way 

Art By: Goran Parlov

Coloring By: Giada Marchisio

Lettering By: Clem Robins

Release Date: June 19, 2019

Pack your bags, and make sure you bring a bullet proof vest because it’s time for Hit-Girl to hit the road yet again! After taking down the Hollywood bigwigs wanting to put her story on the big screen, and cash in on the idea of overly violent adolescent girl with access to a gun collection that would put a small army to shame, Hit-Girl travels to Hong Kong in search of a mob of human traffickers, money laundering, and massacres across the continent.

Going into this comic the entirety of my knowledge on the Hit-Girl character and the world she inhabits was from the Kick-Ass movies. I had always told myself that I would get around to reading the comics because I really did like the idea of the character, but for one reason or another I never did. So I decided to dive head first…I have to say, my interest is piqued. This story takes into account that no matter how long the comic has been going and how long it has been since the movie there is a chance that the reader doesn’t know much more about the world and the character than what is shown in the movies (even though they’re not the same continuity) and it keeps itself self contained. For that, as someone who jumped in right here I am appreciative. However, based on the titles of each arch following this same format, and the lack of any reference (seemingly) to any story progression that came from those arcs I can see how the way it’s done can also get a bit monotonous for someone that reads the book consistently. 

The story for the book is very simple and straightforward. Hit-Girl is on her way to Hong Kong to track down and kill the leader of a mob responsible for trafficking, laundering, and massacres across Asia. But we’re never really given a reason why she is targeting this mob in particular, or how she suddenly knows where they are. In fact, outside of a quick one or two panel text box explanation we’re not really told anything about the mob. We’re told more about the history of their base mansion than we are about them. We’re also not given much explanation as to how Hit-Girl gets into the mansion. I mean we’re shown literally how she did, but it isn’t satisfying and left me with more questions than answers about something that I shouldn’t be focusing on at all. Despite its simplicity there are a few beats in the story that were interesting. For instance there is a scene where Hit-Girl is standing in a room getting everything set up and it’s implied that Big Daddy had left something there for her that is like a worst case scenario tactic. I think that was the most characteristics that were given to the Mob and it wasn’t even really connected.

The only person on the creative team whom I recognized is Daniel Way, from the little I’ve read I think this was probably the most different, to the point that I didn’t realize it was Daniel Way writing it until I went back through a second time and saw his name on the credits page. A few times in the issue, Way slows down the pacing enough to put in something that reminds you that Mindy is just a little girl and since Big Daddy died she is more or less alone in the world. I think that is when the book shines the most. The art is probably the strongest point in the book as it really does it’s job both helping slow down the story and put you in the mindset of Hit-Girl when she is most vulnerable, and also showing the fighting and kill scenes.

Overall, As someone with basically no knowledge of the characters and even less of the world Hit-Girl Season Two Issue 5 did a good enough job to make me interested to check out the next issue. However, it does suffer from moving too fast for its own good sometimes and not letting things breathe or be fully rounded. It is the first issue in the arc though so I’m okay with those flaws as long as they are something that gets worked on in the next few issues. It’s worth checking out, but not necessarily a huge priority that needs to jump to the very top of the read list.

Until next time; Keep being Spectacular, Keep being Amazing, but most importantly…Keep being a Legionnaire. 

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.

Social Media: Twitch: JUICEfromtheBOX

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INSTAGRAM: JUICEfromtheBOX

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.

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