Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Batman/The Shadow #5 Review



Pen-Ultimate?!?


Written by:Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando
Art by: Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia and Clem Robins
CoverPrice: $3.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017


This crossover involving two of the most iconic vigilantes in the history of pulp fiction is drawing to a close and I must say I’ve found the series intriguing and interesting rather than downright exciting. Snyder and Orlando have woven a story that acknowledges Batman’s literary debt to The Shadow, while refusing to smooth over the differences between them. Indeed, their diametrically opposed views on the killing of criminals form the thematic tension at the heart of the story that somehow needs to be resolved if the pair are to succeed in their bid to stop the Stag (along with the Joker) entering Shamba-La, the mystical paradise in which The Shadow was ‘born’. Given how last issue ended, it’s difficult to see how they can complete this particular mission. After all, it’s hard to stop crazed criminals entering a pocket paradise when you’re bleeding out on a slab. Still, this is comics. And there is going to be an issue 6. Let’s keep an open mind, eh?

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Detective Comics #963 Review


Anarchy in the Gotham

Written by: James Tynion IV and Chris Sabela
Art by: Carmen Carnero, Ulises Arreola, Kelly Fitzpatrick and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017

Last issue of Detective ended with Batman finding out that Tim Drake is indeed alive.  Instead of looking into that more, however, we get a Chris Sabela penned issue (with Story input from James Tynion) that features Stephanie Brown.  That's cool.  I love Stephanie...just not in this book, especially recently.  So, does this issue change my mind and get me back to loving gal in purple?  Let's find out...


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The Kamandi Challenge #8 Review and **SPOILERS**

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A Cult in Sheep’s Clothing

Writer: Keith Giffen 
Artist: Steve “The Dude” Rude 
Color: John Kalisz 
Lettering: Clem Robins 
Main Cover: Lee, Williams, Sinclair 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

It’s Reggie Month in this twelve-part series known as the Kamandi Challenge, and I couldn’t be gladder about it. Ambush Bug creator and Kirby-phile Keith Giffen? Creator of Nexus, Steve Rude? This should be fun. This has been a pretty cool series so far, with one or two missteps, and I’m looking forward to jumping into my review of The Kamandi Challenge #8! Jump with me!
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Manhunter Oversize Special #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

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You Can Take the Man Out of the Jungle

The Manhunter in “Bring Me a Dream” 
Story and Layouts: Keith Giffen 
Art: Mark Buckingham 
Words: Dan Didio 
Colors: Chris Sotomayor 
Letters: A Larger World’s Dave & Troy 
Etrigan the Demon in “The Demon and the Infernal Prisons” 
Storytellers: Sam Humphries & Steve Rude 
Colors: John Kalisz 
Letters: Todd Klein 
Back-ups: Jack Kirby 
Cover: Bruce Timm & Steve Buccellato 
Cover Price: $4.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Of all the Jack Kirby celebratory one-shots this month, Manhunter is the character about which I know the least. I know a little about the Golden Age version, but I don’t think I’ve ever read Kirby’s take on the character—and frankly, I know him best from that Justice Society of America arc where it turned out Mr. Terrific was the Ultra-Humanite in disguise, or whatever it was. “The Golden Age,” I think it was called? Anyhow, I don’t let my naiveté stop me from reviewing a comic book, and it shouldn’t stop you…from reading my review of Manhunter Oversize Special #1 right here!
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Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #27 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Keep Orion the Prize

Writer: Robert Vendetti 
Penciller: Rafa Sandoval 
Inker: Jordi Tarragona 
Colorist: Tomeu Morey 
Letterer: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Sandoval, Tarragona and Morey 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

It’s cool that this New Gods story landed in the middle of Jack Kirby’s birthday month, and even better that it seems relevant to the Dark Nights: Metal crossover. Plus Rafa Sandoval is drawing again? What are we waiting for, let’s dive right into my review of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #27, right now!
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The Hellblazer #13 Review and **SPOILERS**

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He Drinks to Forget

Writer: Tim Seeley 
Artist: Jesús Merino 
Colorist: Carrie Strachan 
Letterer: Sal Cipriano 
Cover: Tim Seeley with Chris Sotomayer
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Once more into the breach, this would be DC Comics’…fifth creator change over three titles, since John Constantine left the Vertigo universe in 2011? Truth be told, that’s not a bad record. But the run preceding this issue I found so abominable that I, for the first time, declined to review the final two issues. But I believe that every character can have new life breathed into it when handled by the right creator. So are Seeley and Merino those creators in question? Read my review of The Hellblazer #13 and find out!
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Flash #29 Review

Fireworks Factory

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Pop Mhan, Christian Duce, Hi-Fi and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017

I think the coolest thing about a hero getting a new powers is finding out about the new powers.  Call me old fashioned, but I can't be the only one who feels that way.  It seems that Barry has the Negative Speedforce pulsing through his veins, but for the most part, we are going to have to take his word for what that means.  The problem is...he doesn't know either!  I hope that begins to change this issue.  It has to, right?  I mean, why give Barry these new powers and then not show us what they are?  So, does Joshua Williamson give me what I want?  Let's find out...


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Suicide Squad #24 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Amanda Waller? I Never Meta

Story: Rob Williams 
Art: Agustin Padilla & Juan Ferreyra 
Color: Adriano Lucas 
Lettering: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira & Adriano Lucas 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Man, Eric and Jim excoriated the last issue of Suicide Squad on the podcast, huh? I didn’t mind so much, but I have to admit they were probably more critical of the actual story. Me, so long as I get an experience comparable to the Last Action Hero, I’m happy. Well, henceforth I demand more coherence from my comic book stories, and I’m trying out a new writing style that you can check out in my review of Suicide Squad #24, right here!
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Batgirl #14 Review and **SPOILERS**

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A Dick’s Life

Script: Hope Larson 
Pencils: Chris Wildgoose 
Inks: Jose Marzan Jr. 
Colors: Mat Lopes 
Letters: Deron Bennett 
Cover: Dan Mora 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Batgirl has been a pretty dopey book, but I have been enjoying the last few issues for their dopiness. And this issue has Nightwing making an appearance! This is sure to get awkward and goofy as hell. Let’s find out together in my review of Batgirl #14, right now!
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Harley Quinn #26 Review and **SPOILERS**

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The Murdering Mayor

Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner 
Artist: John Timms 
Colors: Alex Sinclair & HiFi 
Letters: Dave Sharpe 
Cover: Amanda Conner & Alex Sinclair 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Hmm…what the hell was happening last time? That group of assassins had Harley on the ropes and Catwoman and Poison Ivy were menaced by a helicopter or something? I wonder if we’ll even address that here. Find out in my review of Harley Quinn #26, right here!
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Teen Titans #11 Review and **SPOILERS**


Pomp and Circumsplash

Teen Titans #10

"Blood of the Manta, Finale: Son of the Seven Seas!"

Script: Benjamin Percy
Breakdowns: Phil Hester
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Inks: Trevor Scott
Colors: Jim Charalampidis
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017


This is a book I attempt to review with somewhat tempered eyes.  I've long been a fan of this franchise... and while I'd never expect any current iteration to recapture the magic of say, the Wolfman/Perez era, or the Geoff Johns era... and would do my best not to judge it using that sort of metric.  That said, however, I do expect it to at least be a fun read.

See, there are books in the DC Universe that I expect to just be a "good time" and "fun".  Books like Super Sons, and yes, books like Teen Titans.  It's unfortunate that thus far only one of those have been fun to read... hell, one of those recently had a pretty fun appearance from the Teen Titans in it...


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Mother Panic #10 Review and **SPOILERS**



Mistaken-Mistaken Identity?

Mother Panic #10
"Under the Skin, Part One"

Written By: Jody Houser
Art By: Shawn Crystal
Colors By: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters By: John Workman and Shawn Crystal
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017


Today we enter the... fourth story arc for Mother Panic!  That's a pretty big deal in light of all the (rumored and confirmed) going's on at Young Animal HQ.

Back last Fall I would have guessed this would be the first title cancelled... er, put on hiatus.  It's pretty shocking to see Violet and her curse-word-crew being the one holding firm... with no real scheduling hiccups to boot!


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Action Comics #986 Review and *SPOILERS*



Super Lex No More?


Written By: Rob Williams
Art By: Guillem March, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Let's jump back into Action Comics, where last issue we saw Superman go through the trope of accusing Lex Luthor of being up to no good because The Machinist is using technology that Lex created to control people's minds.  Too bad that Lex has been on the up and up for the most part since Forever Evil and I find myself bored to tears from using this as a means of creating drama because it just doesn't make sense anymore.  So yeah, the two Supermen work through their problems and team up to take The Machinist down, but Lex goes and gets one of those mind ticks The Machinist is using to rob people of their free will on him.......... even though it shouldn't have pierced through his force field and we ended the last issue with Lex trying to kill our Man of Steel.  Let's see what happens when DC Comics' oldest foes go at one another and see if Superman starts trusting Lex more by the end of it.  Let's check it out.
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Batman Beyond #11 Review and *SPOILERS*


Wrap Up


Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo, Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Terry McGinnis has been fighting Damian Wayne for issue after issue now and even within those issues it seems that as soon as the fight is over, it just picks right back up again.  So yeah, I'm getting kind of bored with this arc and hope that it ends strong so that I can feel that we got something out of this besides for the introduction of Damian Wayne thirty-five years from now, but I'm not holding my breath.  In the previous issue, Goliath came out to defend his master Damian Wayne, but Terry's out of control Batsuit took control of him once again and had our hero kill the Bat Dragon.  Hopefully, that was just for a cliffhanger effect because whether Terry's being controlled by the suit or not, I don't see him coming back from taking Goliath from us.  Let's jump into this issue and see what's what.  Let's check it out.
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Blue Beetle #12 Review and *SPOILERS*



Mr. Wayne Goes To El Paso


Written By: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Scott Kolins, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Now that we've got a new status quo for Jaime Reyes, what with his armor talking to him like in the good old days of the character and this kind of making Ted Kord's character redundant, I'm really hoping that this series really starts finding its footing because while I love Blue Beetle, this series really hasn't been for me.  I don't know how much we're going to get from this creative team though because they only have one more issue after this left and they might just want to tie a few threads they left dangling together before their departure.  It's all up in the air though so let's dive into this issue and see what Jaime's up to and see what the future holds for him now that Batman has come to town to see what the young hero can do.  Let's check it out.
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Nightwing: New Order #1 Review


Nightwing Beyond?

Written by: Kyle Higgins
Art by: Trevor McCarthy, Dean White and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017

I am both a huge Nightwing and Kyle Higgins fan, but when you put those two together, I get pumped up.  I enjoyed Higgins run on Nightwing in the New 52 and LOVED his inclusion of him in the Batman Beyond 2.0 book, so when I heard he was coming back to DC to write my favorite character, I couldn't wait.  So, now that it's finally here, is it any good?  Let's find out...


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Injustice 2 #20 Review

Injustice 2 #20 Review

 
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art Team: Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Rex Lokus
DC Comics
Release Date: August 22, 2017
Cover Price: $ 0.99 (Digital first)

The Kids Alright

Injustice 2 has gone out of its way to introduce all the characters, setup several intriguing story points, pulled on our damn heart strings, and now is really hitting its stride getting to action the last several issues.  We got a doozy of a cliffhanger last issue, with the ‘bad’ Batman, making it perfectly clear he was about to hit the, ‘No More Harley’, button on the brain bomb controls, taking everyone’s favorite crazy ex-girlfriend out for good, so what’s the result you ask? Join me inside to find out.

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PREVIEW: Blue Beetle #12




Written By: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Scott Kolins, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017

Guest-starring Batman! Jaime Reyes may be back in his Blue Beetle armor, but he’s still a relative novice at the superhero game. And that’s raised the attention of someone who’s been doing this a long time. See what happens when the Caped Crusader swings over to El Paso to provide some schooling.

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PREVIEW: Batman Beyond #11




Written By: Dan Jurgens
Art By: Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo, Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017

“RISE OF THE DEMON” finale! As past and present collide, Bruce Wayne witnesses the culmination of his legacy. In a shocking twist, the Demon is not Ra’s al Ghul. Can his successor be persuaded to stop his plans for worldwide destruction? Will Terry be able to overcome the destructive influence of the new Batman costume and hold on to his soul? High up on a Tibetan mountaintop, the answers will be revealed.

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PREVIEW: Action Comics #986




Written By: Rob Williams
Art By: Guillem March, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 23, 2017


“EVE OF DESTRUCTION” part two! The inhumanities of Earth put even Superman’s trust to the test as he and Lex Luthor begin to see a pattern emerging that points to Mr. Oz and his agents. When Lex confronts Mr. Oz alone, one walks away changed forever.

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PREVIEW: Teen Titans #11


Meet My Old Manta

Script: Benjamin Percy
Breakdowns: Phil Hester
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Inks: Trevor Scott
Colors: Jim Charalampidis
Letters: Corey Breen
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy & Jim Charalampidis
Variant Cover: Chad Hardin & Alex Sinclair
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

“BLOOD OF THE MANTA” part three! Everything comes crashing down when Black Manta reveals his son’s true origin, and the shock is almost too much for Jackson to bear! Meanwhile, the Teen Titans have tracked Black Manta down—but is it too little, too late? Will the Teen Titans save their new friend…or make a new enemy?

It's the ol' "Luke, I am your father" routine, I bet! Check out some preview pages below, maybe you'll see Yoda.
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PREVIEW: Mother Panic #10


Super-Soldier Nunnery, I Gather?

Written By: Jody Houser
Art By: Shawn Crystal
Colors By: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters By: John Workman and Shawn Crystal
Back-Up Writer: Jim Krueger
Back-Up Pencils: Phil Hester
Back-Up Inks: Ande Parks
Back-Up Colors: Trish Mulvihill
Back-Up Letters: Deron Bennett
Cover By: Tommy Lee Edwards
Variant Cover By: Sana Takeda
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

Back to full strength, Violet Paige hits the Gotham City party scene to dig up more clues for the people behind Gather House. What she finds is a figure from her past who she thought was long dead. Meanwhile, Violet’s allies discover something disturbing about her mother...

Hmm, something disturbing about Violet's mother, eh? How about freaking everything?? Have a look at some preview pages below! 
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PREVIEW: The Kamandi Challenge #8



A Case of Mistaken Identity

Writer: Keith Giffen 
Artist: Steve “The Dude” Rude 
Color: John Kalisz 
Lettering: Clem Robins 
Main Cover: Lee, Williams, Sinclair 
Variant Cover: Steve Rude & John Kalisz 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

After the chilling ending of the last issue, Keith Giffen and  Steve Rude transport us to a land where the Grecian sheep and the Wolf Garibaldeks are on the brink of war! Will a visit from Kamandi, now mistaken for their folk hero Odysseus/Ulysses, bring peace? Or will he bring forth an age of destruction?

When Keith Giffen gets busy on Jack Kirby, you know it's going to be wacky! Have a gander at some preview pages! 
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PREVIEW: Manhunter Oversize Special #1



A Jack Kirby Smogasbord

The Manhunter in “Bring Me a Dream” 
Story and Layouts: Keith Giffen 
Art: Mark Buckingham 
Words: Dan Didio 
Colors: Chris Sotomayor 
Letters: A Larger World’s Dave & Troy 
Etrigan the Demon in “The Demon and the Infernal Prisons” 
Storytellers: Sam Humphries & Steve Rude 
Colors: John Kalisz 
Letters: Todd Klein 
Back-ups: Jack Kirby 
Cover: Bruce Timm & Steve Buccellato 
Cover Price: $4.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

Big-game hunter and private detective Paul Kirk has marshaled his skills to fight crime as the masked vigilante known as Manhunter. But now crime has reached epidemic proportions that may push him to the limits—and draw the attention of the Golden Age heroes Sandman and Sandy! Plus: a short story featuring Etrigan the Demon by writer Sam Humphries and artist Klaus Janson and a Golden Age reprint.

Okay, I don't know a ton about Kirby's Manhunter, I know a little about Etrigan the Demon...and plus Golden Age Sandman and Sandy are in this? Seems like a heck of a comic book! Check out some preview pages below!
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PREVIEW: Suicide Squad #24



The Suicide Squads of Many Nations

Story: Rob Williams 
Art: Agustin Padilla & Juan Ferreyra 
Color: Adriano Lucas 
Lettering: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira & Adriano Lucas 
Variant Cover: Whilce Portacio & Alex Sinclair 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: August 23, 2017

“KILL YOUR DARLINGS” part four! This is it! The moment SUICIDE SQUAD has been building to since the start of Rebirth! International Suicide Squads descend upon metahuman populations around the world at Amanda Waller’s command! As the People’s astonishing endgame is laid bare, only the original Task Force X’s most dysfunctional members are left to save the world from their own dark imitators.

Um, why is Captain Boomerang on the cover? Have a look at some preview pages, maybe you'll find out!
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