Wednesday, November 29, 2017

New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

In Words and Pictures

Written By: See below 
Art By: See below
Cover By: Jim Lee and Scott Williams, Matt Merhoff, Sam Lotfi, Lynne Yoshii, Lalit Sharma and Jagdish Kumar, Minkyu Jung 
Cover Price: $7.99 
On Sale Date: November 29, 2017


Hey, it’s another one of those DC Workshop dealies, where they showcase some work by all the folks involved in the recent session! Last year it was new writers paired with established artists, but this year, reflecting a change in the workshop, it’s new writers paired with new artists! And sometimes established inkers and colorists. And there’s a Scott Snyder story. But it’s still a cool exercise, and I’m sure interested to see what The New Class has to offer! Is Screech still on the cast or what? Get your red pens out and lick your thumb before turning every page of my review of DC’s New Talent Showcase 2017 #1, right here!

Explain It!

“Role Call”
Written By: Tony Patrick
Pencils By: Minkyu Jung
Inks By: Klaus Janson
Colors By: Pete Pantazis 
This story is about Jason “Red Hood” Todd training Duke “The Signal” Thomas, and just with these ten pages, this book contains 80% more of The Signal than any Batbook on the stands. It’s primarily about Jason breaking Duke’s balls in the Clayface Danger Room, with the big switcheroo being that Catwoman’s been at the controls all along. And I guess the secondary switcheroo is that she was there at Jason’s behest. Not a very inspiring story, but rendered cleanly and plotted nicely. And hey, it’s a rare chance to see The Signal, so that’s cool.

“To the Hilt”
Written By: Aaron Gillespie
Art By: Lynne Yoshi
Colors By: Beth Sotelo 
After getting exploded during a mission, Katana is separated from her Soultaker sword. This won’t do because the ghost of her husband (among other spirits) is in the blade. Against Waller’s orders, she heads back to the site of a completed mission and snatches it back from the jerk that found it. A decent concept that dragged on about two pages too long. The artwork serves the story really well, but comes across a bit stiff in places. This could work as a backup or in an Annual for sure.

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Family”
Writer: Al Letson
Artist: Siya Oum
Colorist: Cris Peter 
Count Vertigo kidnaps the family of his half-brother in order to eliminate any other claims to the throne of Vlatlava. Nightwing wades through a skyscraper full of armed thugs and Vertigo himself to save the family, all the while heeding the internalized advice of his Bat-Family, who appear as pictorial captions with their own personalities. Pretty cool gimmick. Unfortunately, the art is a little rough in places, otherwise this is a fairly nice story.

“Silent Screams”
Writer: Owl Goingback
Artist: Matt Merhoff
Colorist: Dave McCaig 
Plant life is being threatened by the ancient demon Nahemah, who sucks the life force from…well, anything that has a life force. Poison Ivy confronts the spindly little creature in a remote cabin, having eschewed offers of aid from Harley Quinn. Ultimately, however, Nahemah is defeated by fire set with a lighter given to Ivy by Harley, so there you have it. This might be the nicest-looking story in the book, which is saying something because a lot of the contributing artists are strong.

Written By: Proctor & Harrell
Pencils By: Lalit Sharma
Inks By: Jagdish Kumar
Colors By: Beth Sotelo 
After conveniently remembering a childhood trauma where he accidentally shot his brother, Eddie, Deadshot is sent to the laboratories of the evil scientist Dr. Conrad Bryenko, who has amassed an army of people joined by some kind of technological hive mind. Seems like a piece of cake, until Deadshot discovers his brother alive and unwell at the mercies of Bryenko. When Bryenko sends Eddie in his wheelchair to shoot Deadshot, at first he cannot kill his own brother…again. Then, he is able to. But with regrets. Really well-plotted and rendered story.

“The Cost of Magic”
Written By: David Accampo
Illustrated By: Sam Lotti
Colors By: John Rauch 
Kent Nelson decides to hang up the helm of Nabu because doing magic is making him feel sickly, but when a three-eyed wolf spirit shows up attacking people, he realizes that he’s stuck with the ol’ cape and gold face. Kent strikes a bargain with Nabu, to leave him looking healthy in return for less rebellious servitude. Nabu clearly holds all the cards here, but acquiesces to Nelson because he’s sick of all the whining. I love the way this story looked, it’s superbly-plotted, and reasonably entertaining besides. I’m ready for a six-issue Dr. Fate miniseries from this team, thank you.

“The Archive”
Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Ibrahim Moustafa
Colors By: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. 
Steve Trevor brings Wonder Woman into A.R.G.U.S.’ secret archive of weird weapons and other items accrued over the years. Think that big government storehouse at the end of Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark. Diana and Steve thumb through some weapons, meanwhile a giant monster sprouts from the mouth of a general and threatens to destroy Washington D.C. Wonder Woman heads off to battle it, using some weapons from the archive, and armed with the wisdom of her mother. The art has a cinematic quality that is cool, but this story seems half-finished.

Bits and Pieces:

Not an altogether bad effort by the most recent graduates of the DC Talent Workshops, but the eight-dollar cover price is pretty prohibitive to prospective buyers. This is a huge issue, but I doubt anyone would give it a second look for a price above four dollars. And that's a shame, because a few things in here deserve a gander.



  1. There's a writer named "Owl Goingback"?

  2. All around, I actually enjoyed this book, but the 8 dollar price point was a big kick in the teeth. If it was 6 bucks, no problems, but 8?! Nonsense.

    1. 8 bucks is tough for a talent workshop

    2. DC's been jacking up their prices to ridiculous levels lately on "special" issues like this one and the Halloween Special. When I see the price kick hit their ongoing books, the fat WILL be mercilessly trimmed from my pull.