Sunday, September 22, 2019

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Lex Luthor #1 Review

Written by: Jason Latour

Pencils by: Bryan Hitch

Inks by: Bryan Hitch & Andrew Currie

Colors by: Tomeu Morey

Letters by: Tom Napolitano 

DC’s Year of the Villain has had its hits and misses so far, but the highlight for me has been these very personal one shot stories of random villains getting their own issues. The most important one seems to be Lex Luthor’s as he has been at the forefront of the Year of the Villain, and we finally get to read his solo story. In this issue, Lex goes on a journey through the Multiverse and interacts with several different versions of himself. I love the concept of the multiverse because of the sheer magnitude of stories that you can tell and how each one can be unique and risky without any consequences. 

It was cool to get to see the different Earth’s versions of Lex Luthor, but I’m not quite sure I understood what the point of the story was. I get that Lex wanted to interact with all of these different versions of himself and decide which ones were worthy, but I’m not sure why or if that was even his mission. That’s not to say that the issue wasn’t good or entertaining, but it just went over my head I think. The highlight of the issue was definitely the Earth where Lex was Batman, that was a unique take and a fun trip for a few pages. This whole Lex Luthor fused with Martian Manhunter situation is kind of confusing to me, and I don’t feel like any writers really understand it either, but I guess that’s the problem when you start doing weird stuff like that with characters. 

This issue is a fun one that examines Lex Luthor as a character and it’s one that shows us all the different possibilities for how someone like him could turn out. Definitely pick it up if you’re a fan of the character or if you’re just trying to keep up with the Year of the Villain, as I have a feeling that this one will end up being important down the line.

Hawkman #16 Review

Written by: Robert Venditti

Pencils by: Pat Olliffe

Inks by: Tom Palmer

Colors by: Jeremiah Shipper

Letters by: Starkings & Comicraft

Robert Venditti’s Hawkman has been a breath of fresh air in the comic book industry. For a character that is all about reliving his past, Venditti has found a way to flesh out Hawkman’s future by using his past to propel the character forward. DC comics have been caught up in trying to please fans by starting Rebirth where they returned to old continuity, but outside of a few major books there hasn’t been a whole lot done to patch up some of the holes. Venditti’s Hawkman has done a great job of doing just that for the character and paying homage to the characters best moments by taking us on journeys through the past and the future.

In issue 16 of Hawkman, we get to see the fallout from Hawkman and The Shade’s previous encounter with the Shadow Thief. Hawkman and The Shade are dealing with their previous loss and the Shadow Thief now owns their shadows. We get a good amount of time building the relationship between Carter and Swift, something that was very necessary for new readers to care about their partnership. Carter Hall has been plagued with his past this entire run, and he’s struggled with being the Hawkman that he feels the world deserves. This issue was a nice change of pace because we got to see Hall show some aggression and be a little vicious in his fight with the giant shadow dragon. That fight was really awesome and amazingly drawn by Pat Olliffe, and it serves the story instead of just being a cool action piece. 

The end of this issue sets us up for a major showdown in issue 17, and it’s one that has been building nicely. I’m super happy with Venditti’s run with this character and I’m excited to see what comes next in the story. Every character that Venditti has touched in this run has been elevated because of it, and because of that I’m excited to see where things go. 

Doomsday Clock #11 Superman vs Dr Manhattan

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Today we Explore and Explain the events of the newest chapter of Geoff John’s and Gary Frank’s Epically delayed masterpiece Doomsday Clock #11 from DC Comics.

Doomsday Clock #11

Writer: Geoff Johns

Illustrator: Gary Frank

Colorist: Brad Anderson

Letters: Rob Leigh

     The long awaited eleventh installment of the hit maxiseries, Doomsday Clock has finally made its way through the unforgiving chain of delays, and into our eager hands. Well ladies and gentlemen, let me be the first to tell you that this book was well worth the wait. The opening of this book deals heavily with the fallout of Superman rushing to the aide of an unstable Firestorm, and the incident in Red Square. Tensions rise between The US and Russia regarding the “Superman Theory” that seems to be coming to fruition thanks to one Ozymandias; and the Justice League after traveling to Mars, are still nowhere to be found. We finally get to see exactly what Ozymandias has planned since first arriving in the DC universe. With Superman and Dr. Manhattan finally meeting face to face, will Ozymandias’ sinister scheme play out according to his plan? Or will another unlikely hero emerge to save the day, along with the rest of the planet from an ultimate demise.

     One of the most compelling parts of this issue comes about halfway through, the interactions between Lex Luthor and Lois Lane. Lex having reached out to Lois brings her into one of his secret vaults, which he claims she is only the second person to ever step foot in besides himself. It is there Lex reveals to Lois that he has been monitoring abnormal chronal energy spikes for the past two years, which any avid Comic reader should know is shortly after the beginning of DC’s “Rebirth”. Its just a few short panels after that were given a second POV shot of the notorious reunion between Barry and Wally in “DC Universe: Rebirth#1”, after having lost Wally to the speed force. While at first Lex thinks these anomalies are caused from the two speedsters, he soon realizes the true source of these readings; an old photo.

   The art in this book has fit the tone of the story perfectly. Gary Frank’s grittier style matches up beautifully to a story that’s set to take place in the mid 80’s. One standout aspect of the art is Franks’ ability to capture the emotions of the characters to a tee. From the rage from the angry mobs, to Adrian Veidt’s smug arrogance, the facial expressions from this artistic team are top notch. There’s only one final issue remaining to answer the biggest question yet, what happens when Superman meets Dr. Manhattan, one on one. You won’t want to miss this penultimate chapter in the Doomsday Clock epic that’s sure to make waves for the DC universe to come. Doomsday Clock #11 hits the shelves of your local comic store September 4th, don’t miss out!

Batman vs Ra’s Al Ghul #1 Review

Written by: Neil Adams

Drawn by: Neil Adams

Colored by: Neil Adams

Letters by: Clem Robins

Neil Adams is one of the most prolific writers and artists in comic book history. His track record speaks for itself and he’s a contributor to the modern comic book canon with some of the most important characters of all time, mainly being Ra’s Al Ghul. He’s one of those writers that immediately earns your respect based off of history, and his books can sell with no knowledge of the book other than Neil Adam’s name. “Batman vs Ra’s Al Ghul” is Adams’ latest comic book, with the first part of a six issue storyline coming out today.

Overall I think that this issue is a mixed bag of quality. Adams takes on all aspects of storytelling in this series, because he is both the writer and the artist of this tale. It’s always hard to judge the first issue of a storyline without knowing what’s coming next or what the writer has planned for the rest of the story, but there is a lot that you can assume by reading the first issue. I think the artwork all throughout the issue was very good. I like Adams style of artwork and coloring, and it’s obviously very reminiscent of a time that’s been passed by in the comic book industry. 

As far as the story is concerned, I’m not very interested in what’s going on yet. The issue starts in an interesting way by thrusting us into the middle of a disaster in Gotham, and we slowly learn why this is all happening. Unfortunately, I think the actual context of the story really isn’t very interesting and it doesn’t really pick up until Deadman and Batman cross paths. Deadman is a really cool character so I’m glad that we’re getting to spend some time with him here, but I feel like the interesting parts of the story start and end with him. Batman and Ra’s have a conversation that feels kind of meandering and like it runs around in circles, and another mystery for the story that’s teased on the cover occurs at the end, but I can’t say that I was really interested with what happens next. I’ll likely keep reading to see how the story unfolds, but I can’t say that I’d recommend jumping into this story without seeing if the quality gets better or not.

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1 Review

Writer: Jody Houser

Pencils: Adriana Melo 

Inks: Mark Morales

Letters: Gabriela Downie

*This Review will contain spoilers for Heroes in Crisis!*

Rock band, Cobra Starship, once said that good girls can go bad, but this is what happens when Bad Girls Go Good.

After being killed and then resurrected (reborn?) in ‘Heroes In Crisis’ Poison Ivy is having trouble keeping her new (old?) humanoid shape and Harley Quinn is doing her best to figure out a way to help her favorite girl. However, Harley is also trying to figure out her place in the world while trying to help Ivy.

I have to admit, despite my immense love for ‘Heroes In Crisis’ I wasn’t really excited for this series. I mean I like Harley Quinn in spurts, but overall she annoys me in any series where she is the focus. However, when I do like her, 9 times out of 10 it’s when she’s interacting with Poison Ivy so I decided I should give it a try. While it wasn’t a great issue to start the mini-series it did at least set enough interesting strands up that I can see myself returning to it. I especially love the struggle that Harley is going through to find her place in the world, she isn’t sure if she is a hero or a villain and really doesn’t know which one she wants it to be. While personally I think that is a story that is about 5 years past being solved and it’s become pretty obvious the character is closer to a hero or anti-hero than villain it does create an interesting thread and examines the importance of overcoming the past and becoming more. The book also brings in a certain character to seemingly be the antagonist whom I know pretty much nothing about, but I got excited to see their presence. 

Overall, this book was a slog to get through for about three quarters and felt oddly like a Year of the Villain tie in, without ever actually paying off as one, but when it finally got to the actual introduction of the issues in the book I actually really enjoyed it and found myself not wanting it to end yet. 

DCeased: A Good Day to Die Review

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Writer: Tom Taylor

Penciled by: Laura Braga & Darick Robertson

Inks: Richard Friend, Trevor Scott & Darick Robertson

Color: Rain Beredo

Letters: Saida Temofonte

Editor: Ben Abernathy

Let me start by saying I am a hardcore Justice League International fan. Scott, Barda, Ted Kord, and Booster Gold are characters that I care deeply about. So, it should be no surprise that I was very excited (and horrified) that Tom Taylor and team decided to do a one shot dedicated to particular characters. He also made the welcome additions of Mr. Terrific and John Constantine. Mister Terrific was a great addition to this book because we could get a look at how a man of science approaches something like this threat. We also get to see what happens when that same man runs out of options that make sense. 

I truly believe that Tom Taylor is a master of suspense. At this point in the DCeased world we know that things are not going well…like at all. People everywhere are dying and heroes and villains are falling along with them. Time is running out and so is hope. With all that being said Taylor finds a way to quickly make you care deeply about the characters he’s writing. He also finds new ways to provide the reader with hope. I was on the edge of my seat while reading this issue. Hesitating to turn pages, because I was too afraid to find out what was going to happen next. Tom Taylor makes even the most horrifying things he writes fun to read and this one shot is no exception.

This book provides a glimpse into what other heroes are doing outside of the main DCeased book. It’s a great standalone story, but it also has plenty of references and new details on the main 6 issue run. The issue runs 40 pages and it’s paced beautifully. With a horror book like this the art is so important to conveying how out of control things are. There is a specific scene featuring John Constantine running that Darick Robertson knocked out of the park. It was perfect and you could see that the normally calm and cool Constantine was truly scared for his life. Laura Braga did a fantastic job bring two of my favorites (Blue Beetle & Booster Gold) to life. Even in this bleak situation Taylor and team found a way to tap into the humor these characters bring to the table.I LOVE the lettering in this book. Saida Temofonte does an amazing job telling a story with written sound effects. You can really hear the noises in your head.

This book is a love letter to this team of 6 heroes. It’s funny, scary, sad, and hopeful. It has twists that you won’t see coming and gives you an idea of how out of control things have gotten in DCeased. Tom Taylor has figured out how to make killing characters we love entertaining. Keep up the great and horrifying work Tom.

Superman #14 Legion of Superheroes Arrival

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Today we Explore & Explain the events of Superman #14 and Discuss the arrival of The Legion of Superheroes and what this means for Jonathon Kent

Batman/Superman #1 Review

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: David Marquez

Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez

Letterer: John J. Hill

   We may have seen the last of The Batman Who Laughs for now, but his torment is far from over. DC comics most recognizable heroes team-up in an effort to deal with the plan set in motion by the jokerized Batman before his eventual defeat. After finding the Batman Who Laughs’ very own twisted Batcave, they realize the magnitude of their situation. Much like BMWL planned to do to out own Bruce Wayne and the rest of Gotham, he has transformed 6 heroes into the darkest versions of themselves; leaving Batman and Superman to suspect any of their allies to be a potential threat. That’s when they’re soon confronted by the first of the six infected, and one who promises to be quite the handful, The Shazam Who Laughs!

    In the opening pages of this book we get to see a second glimpse of the beginning of the Batman Who Laughs, as he lures his Superman into the Justice League satellite just after slaughtering the rest of the League members. As somebody who was a big fan of “The Metal” I’m enjoying seeing the saga of the Dark Multiverse continue with fresh faces to take the reigns as the latest villain. Those who feared of over usage of The Batman Who Laughs shouldn’t need to worry about that in this series, as it seems that Williamson is more focused on the six infected heroes and their dark counterparts. The last panel we see commissioner Gordon add to the suspicions as a reader as to watch out for, this turn was teased during the final panel of the Batman Who laughs mini-series as we see him let out a very uncharacteristic chuckle as the duo heads off.

    The artistic team of David Marquez and Alejandro Sanchez do an outstanding job front to back! Something as simple as the tracing effect when Superman’s moving at a highspeed, to the way the colors of his costume pop in comparison to dark and gloomy Gotham, is what makes the art in this issue a cut above the rest. Even though great art graces this entire comic, my favorite panel comes towards the beginning, when we see the Justice League of BMWL’s world laid to waste in the Justice League Satellite. The detail put into that piece showcases not only the talent of the artists, but the thought they put into their work. Batman Superman is off to a terrific start, setting up the mystery of the infected while also adding plenty of action to keep the reader interested is just what I look for in a #1 issue. If you’re a fan of either of these comic titans, or a fan of a good mystery I highly recommend this book. You can find it in your local comic store as of August 28th so if you haven’t had the chance to read it, go pick it up now!

Justice League #30 Return of The Justice Society of America

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Today we Explore and Explain the events of Justice League #30 and discuss the ripple effects this story will have on the Greater DC Comics Universe.

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