Pick of the week: Aug. 31st: Justice League of America #9

Justice League of America #9

Writer/Pencils: Bryan Hitch

Inks: Daniel Henriques

Colorist: Alex Sinclair

Justice League of America (not to be confused with the current Bryan Hitch Justice League) picks up where it left off in the New 52. The reader is viewing three separate timelines at one. Past Rao on Krypton, the Flash at the Stones of Eternity (brought there after fighting the Parasite from issue 1), and the present where the Justice League of America stands over a presumably dead Superman. In the Flash timeline we see the tone going berserk “singing” that “they” have arrived. The Flash and Co. are confused as to who they are speaking of. At that time Rao arrives on the scene to announce that the Stones of Eternity have arrived, and that both sets of stones are now communicating w2ith each other. In the past timeline of Rao on Krypton, we see a Green Lantern who is being held prisoner by time traveling future Rao. Time traveling future Rao has somehow disconnected the Green Lantern from his power ring. Rao that lived during that pat timeline (keep’em straight come on) is on Green Lantern’s side after he has a philosophy battle with time traveling future Rao. Past Rao realizes the evil that he ha become. However, past Rao is powerless to stop time traveling future Rao. Past Rao explains to Green Lantern, that future Rao has had centuries more time with the stone of life and there fore they are under his control and granting him power that past Rao can not match. Past Rao encourages Green Lantern, who is distraught about what he can do, by telling him that “single drops of water can erode mountains”. This gives Green Lantern hope to keep fighting against Rao’s power and attempt to reconnect with his ring. In the present timeline we see Diana trying, unsuccessfully, to revive superman The rest of the league tells her it’s time to give up but Diana refuses to let Superman die. In her last effort she strikes Superman with the lightning bolt of Zeus, trying to jump start his heart. The result is……Successful (Surprise!). Superman stirs and asks where Rao went. Its then the time traveling Rao emerges with……..Well I’ll let you read that for yourself. I will say though that the surprise twist at the end of the issue provides a threat that the reader can actually believe will be a threat to the Justice League.

The idea of telling the story in three different timelines could have been disastrous. As it’s almost like its’ trying to get the reader confused. However, Bryan Hitch handles that delicate tasks beautifully. He manages to craft the story telling on three levels and bring it all back around by the end of the issue. I am really excited that he is continuing this series even with the Rebirth reboot. Hitch is an excellent story teller and this issue just cements that for me. The character work between part Rao and Green Lantern is especially stunning as he manages to humanize a character who out God’s Superman himself.It’s also nice to know that thy have something resembling a coney dog on Krypton:

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The dialogue when the Justice League themselves talk is the only real weak point. As I feel it was supposed to come off as funny, but rather just seemed corny.

The art for the issue was very good. I think having Daniel Henriques take over the inks has helped with the completion of the issues and has freed up some extra time for Bryan Hitch to work on the script. The colors by Alex Sinclair are most excellent. The palette used by Sinclair for world build helps carry the story forward and helps the reader keep the three timelines separate from one another. The colors used to convey energy, such as the lightning coming off of the stones of the electricity springing from Zeus’ bolt, feels real and powerful.

Overall, this issue is solid with very minimal problems. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and will be saddened by its’ absence in my pull list. If you haven’t read any of it I’d highly recommended you remedy that. In the gallery below is all of the covers the issue shipped with.

Rating: 8/10

-Andrew

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New Comic Book Day Top 5: Aug. 31st

Hello Revuers! It’s time for another installment of New Comic Book Day Top 5. In this segment we look at our top 5 most anticipated titles that are coming out tomorrow. All of the titles we are about to list we highly recommend you check out! Let’s dive right in:

5: Justice League #9

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Now before you get all confused, this is a continuation of the JLA story author Bryan Hitch started during the New52. It is not the Justice League from DC Rebirth. In this title Bryan Hitch does both the script and the art. Making this book feel very cohesive. Honestly before Rebirth this title was the only DC title I consistently had on my pull list. It’s nice to see that DC is letting Bryan Hitch take this series to fruition as he had set up a very interesting antagonist in Rao. This i a title I would recommend you pick up if you love great story telling.

 

4: Tokyo Ghost #10

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Tokyo Ghost is an examination of what it means to be human in a world dominated by instant gratification and television screens. It asks the question “What will we become”? Written by Rick Remender with art from Sean Murphy, Tokyo Ghost i a special comic. It takes a much more critical look at our future than most comic book series’ and paints a not so pretty future. Speaking of paints, The picture of the cover above is actually the variant cover done by Dustin Nguyen. I included it because I think it’s one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen.

 

3: Spider-Gwen #11

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This series from Jaston Latour, Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi has been a stable on my pull list ever since Edge of Spider-verse 2. The world that Latour, Rodriguez and Renzi get to play in is so fresh and interesting to me. Much like the Ultimate world was in the beginning, Spider-gwen’s world is up for re-imaging. Want an African-American women as Captain America? Well now we can have that. The possibilities are endless. There is a reason why everyone fell in love with Spider-Gwen, and if you ever read even one issue, you will understand.

 

2: Future Quest #4

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Future Quest from Jeff Parker, Aaron Lopresti and Steve Rude is easily the best of the Hanna-Barbera reboots. A fun thrill ride Future Quest delivers all the action, dinosaurs, cavemen and team ups you could ask for. In this issue the team races the forces of F.E.A.R. to find a source of magnificent power. Who will reach it first? You’ll have to read to find out.

 

1: Monty the Dinosaur #1

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Coming in at the top spot this week is Monty the Dinosaur #1. Published on Action Labs and brought to us by the creative talents of Bob Frantz (writer) and Jean Franco (Art), Monty the Dinosaur is a tale a dinosaur (surprise) who after living in secret for a long time, reveals himself to Sophie, a loving 10 year old girl who try’s to see the good in people, or in this case a dinosaur. I’ll admit that I am a sucker for cute things, and this seems like the cutest title in recent memory. I love the premise of this story and the artwork looks incredible. I can not wait to pick this title up.

 

So there you have it, our most anticipated books that are coming out tomorrow. Did your most anticipated books make the cut? Tell us in the comments below. We would also love to see you list of most anticipated comics!

 

-Andrew

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Recommended Reading: Descender Vol. 1: Tin Stars

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Your personal opinion may differ (that’s how these things tend to go), but for my money, Jeff Lemire is the most important comic book writer of the past 10 years. There are certainly few writers as prolific as Lemire. I honestly don’t know how the man does it. Not only does he consistently put out great books, but it seems as though he has written for nearly everyone. Since 2009s Essex County, Lemire has written for Top Shelf, Vertigo, DC, Marvel, Image, Valiant, and later this year, he will be publishing a new graphic novel with Simon & Schuster. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, he draws most of his books too.

I could easily do a whole year’s worth of posts on Jeff Lemire, and I guarantee his name will pop up a few more times before the year is out, but for the uninitiated, Descender is a great place to start. First off, the book is ongoing (#15 comes out next month), so you can get in on the ground floor, so to speak. And second, it has its feet planted on the borders of what Lemire does best. It’s a showcase of both Lemire’s singular creativity (it’s a creator-owned title put out by Image) and his ability to collaborate (the book was created with, and is illustrated beautifully by Dustin Nguyen).

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Let’s start with that collaboration. Having read many of the books which Jeff Lemire both writes and draws, I regard his voice and visual style as two sides of the same coin. His thick, almost sloppy lines give a visual texture to his worlds which is inextricable from the storytelling that holds them up. It can be jarring to read a Lemire book without his signature visuals. But Nguyen has an entirely different range and skillset. Within the first few pages of the book, he has to depict a shimmering city of the future, a world-sized world-destroying robot, a deserted mining colony, and the end of the world (sort of). The book moves at a rapid-fire pace, but Nguyen grounds it through his sensitive and meticulous depiction of the world. I did not intend my second Recommended Reading column to share this distinction with the first, but Descender, like Harrow County, is water-colored. It works to beautiful effect here. The range of light and dark, the softness of some faces, the hardened crags of others – the choice of watercolor brings a humanity to the far-off universe of Descender. It calls to mind the enigmatic covers of 50s and 60s sci-fi paperbacks. More importantly, it brings an essential humanity to its protagonist.

The book centers around Tim-21, the boy who is not a boy. In fact, he is a robot, and we learn, after the prologue, that he is one of the last of his kind. He has been asleep for ten years. In that time, giant robots appeared out of nowhere, reaped destruction, and then disappeared, sending the United Galactic Council into complete disarray. Tim-21 may be the key to defending the galaxy and that’s where Dr. Quon comes in. You see, he created the Tim series of child companions – a huge leap forward in robotics – and it turns out there may be some connection between the mysterious Harvesters (those world-sized, world-destroying robots) and the Tims.

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I won’t go too much further on plot –one of the pleasures of the book is the amount of twists and turns the narrative takes – but the book is filled with wonderful, classically Lemire-ian characters. A dog-robot. A Hulk-like killer mining robot. An bulbous, wannabe surgeon, space-king. And whole bands of miscreants and ruffians. The book ponders what it means to be alive, to be human, and what we owe the things we create. Lemire and Nguyen also turn an eye toward the past, how we learn from it, or don’t, and explore the self-destructive limits of ambition and fear.

You could start with any of Jeff Lemire’s books, but let me humbly suggest that you dip your toe into Descender. Volume 1 and 2 are available in trade paperback now with Volume 3 arriving at the end of this year.

 

-Ian

Covers of the Week: Aug. 24th

Hello Revuers. Welcome to another edition of Covers of the week. I hope you are enjoying this segment so far. If you are (or aren’t) let us know in the comments below. Thank you! Without further ado let’s jump right in.

 

My favorite cover of the week is Batgirl #2

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This has been the week of Batgirl here at Deja.Revue, first Batgirl #2 was the most anticipated book of the week. Then it was the Pick of the week. Now it’s our regular cover of the week thanks to the spectacular work of Rafael Albuquerque. I love the striking bright colors and the facial expression on Batgirl’s face. The shaping of the figures really conveys a sense of movement and action. The series its self is wonderful and I highly recommend it. I recommend you check out our review of issue 2!

 

My favorite variant cover of the week is Detective Comics #939

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It’s a clean sweep this week for Rafael Albuquerque, whose variant cover for Detective Comics #939 is a true beauty. The silhouette of Batman and Robin with the batcave in the foreground is a work of art. The coloring used is spot on as well as the muted blues really highlight the fantastic artwork by Rafael. The series its self is very interesting Batman family team up that I would highly recommend. Rafael really impressed me this week with his cover work

 

Was your favorite cover on the list? If not tell me what your favorite of the week was in the comment section below!

 

-Andrew

 

Pick of the week (Aug. 24th): Batgirl #2

Batgirl #2

Writer: Hope Larson

Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

Color Art: Dave McCaig

Batgilr #2 was my most looked forward to book of the week in the first ever New Comic Book Day Top 5, and it did not disappoint. Picking up where last issue left off we find Batgirl in Singapore chasing down a purple drone that’s making it’s getaway. Batgirl wonders if this drone is on a secret mission to gather information about her and her traveling partner Kai (whom Batgirl has history with). It turns out that the drone is nothing as Batgirl follows it back to it’s base and it turns out to be operated by a simple pervert. Not quite what Batgirl expected. During the chase scene Batgirl repeats the mantra that the Fruit Bat told her “You can’t see the future when the past is standing in your way”. This comes in to play later in the issue. Batgirl then uses her photographic memory to replay the fight she had with the killer schoolgirl from the previous issue. After playing through that memory a few times she notices a detail that she had previously missed. A tattoo that translates into “pupil” or “student”. Batgirl then wonders what the tattoo means.The following morning she has an awkward and clumsy discussion with Kai, who she realizes she is starting to have feelings for. This leads to one of my favorite pieces of inner dialogue I’ve ever read in a Batgirl comic. The dialogue is Batgirl questioning herself in a vulnerable way, and ending with her saying she needs to see a therapist in a half joking manner. The way Larson writes Batgirl is interesting because there are several moment where we see the vulnerable young adult that Batgirl is, but we also see that even though she is vulnerable (like all of us in the world) that doesn’t make her weak. She doesn’t succumb to the vulnerability, instead she uses it to keep herself grounded and not lose her identity as Barbara Gordon completely to Batgirl.

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In the first issue the whole reason why Batgirl want’s to go to Singapore is to try out for a MMA group called Adapt. Upon inquiring about working out with Adapt she is first mistaken for a ring girl and then informed that they no longer accept female fighters. After her discussion with the receptionist she is told about a different gym that would train her that is owned by a women named May Hao who, we learn, lived in Gotham up until recently when she returned to Singapore. May promptly accepts to train Batgirl and even sets up a fight for the following Friday between her and MMA Wen Lu from China. This acceptance of Batgirl and setting up of a fight for her seems to easy to me. Combine that with the fact that May used to live in Gotham and something smells fishy here. during the fight Batgirl seems to have an upper hand but (gasp) Wen has a tattoo on her arm that matched the one on the Killer school girls arm, noticing this Batgirl is distracted and knocked out by Wen. I fell like there is more to May than meets the eye. Maybe May is the teacher of these students, or maybe she knows more about Batgirl’s secret mission than she is letting on.

Now at the beginning of the review I told you what Batgirl kept repeating from her meeting with the Fruit Bat “”You can’t see the future when the past is standing in your way”, well while Batgirl is training for her fight there is also a montage of a romantic involvement with Kai. While Batgirl is interested in him she is confused as to why. She doesn’t know if it’s because she has a past with him or if it’s because he’s changed. Throughout the issue he trys to show Batgirl how much he’s changed by taking her on a romantic dip in a high rise pool, and telling her he has a real job. The romance of the night won over and Batgirl gave him a kiss. A kiss that she immediately regretted.  All of this just confuses Batgirl more and more. I’d tell you what happened but I don’t want to spoil it for you. So go buy this comic and read it for yourself.

The art in this issue is excellent Albuquerque continues the stylistic elements from issue one. with backgrounds lacking somewhat in detail adding to the over all style of the book. Albuquerque is fantastic at conveying a sense of movement with his characters. During the fighting montage especially. The punches leap off the page and really make you feel like the are moving. Albuquerque often draws close up on faces in order to draw out emotion from their facial expressions. This issue was very successful in that regard. The color art work by Dave McCaig was superb a well. McCaig continued to use solid color backgrounds to help make the figures pop. This technique works especially well during action sequences. McCaig also uses different palettes to evoke a sense of time to the pages. For instance in the scenes set in morning, he uses a lot of greens and blues to convey a sense of beginning. During the romantic rooftop pool scene it’s set in the evening and palettes witches to a more yellow, orange and brown palette to make it appear as though the characters are being bathed in the last light of day.

Overall this issue just works on so many levels. The whole creative team is really jelling well and because of this they have been able to create something that has the potential of being very, very special. Below I have included the two covers the title shipped with.

Rating: 9/10

-Andrew

New Comic Book Day Top 5

Hello Revuers, time for a new segment.  In this segment we will be looking at the top 5 comic books I’m excited about that are coming out on New Comic Book Day. If you aren’t reading these books then do you even comic? Let’s get started:

 

5: Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #9

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I love this series from Marvel. Kate Leth was a perfect choice to write this series, and Brittany Williams is on art. Color art is provided by Megan Wilson. I have had this series on my pull list since the beginning. Leth, Williams and Wilson provide a cut backdrop for a seriously kick butt character. It’s this juxtaposition between cute and kick butt-ness (is that a word?) that I really love about this series.

 

4: Titans #2

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In issue #1 we learned a little bit about the events directly following DC Rebirth. This makes sense as Wally West is the cog that made DC Rebirth’s machine run. Hopefully in the second issue we get a better picture of where DC is taking Rebirth. The new costume design for several of the characters is spot on. Especially Wally West.Since in Rebirth they are keeping the new New 52 Wally West, old Wally West needed a costume upgrade, and boy did he get one.

 

3: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Annual #1

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The new Power Rangers series from Boom! comics has been a joy. As a fan of the original series (and Space, and Turbo, and…..well you get the idea) this comic really captures the way that the TV show made me feel. The writing and art for this annual looks amazing from what I’ve seen. The issue itself features several short story’s, in typical annual form. If the cover art is any indication we should be getting hyped for it.

 

2: Flash #5

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‘Lightning Strikes Twice’ part five! Joshua Williamson’s Flash series has been fantastic so far, running circles (sorry) around it’s competition every two weeks it’s released. I have really enjoyed Barry in a mentor/teaching role. It seems to really suit him, and it makes sense that he would transition to that role as the have a young Wally West and an older Wally West. Because of that Barry’s role needs to change out of necessity of his character and out of necessity for older Wally West’s character. The new villain Godspeed is genuinely menacing and his character design is breath taking. I was worried that the fast pace (sorry again) of the releases of this series would cause quality to drop, but it has remained high.

 

1: Batgirl #2

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Batgirl #1 was a fun start to the soft reboot. Hope Larsen brought her own take on Batgirl and took her away from Burnside. This was a smart move on Larsen’s part, a it allows here to put her own stamp in the character. Issue 1 also introduced some exciting new individuals into Batgirl’s life. The art was fantastic, especially the color art by Dave McCaig. I consider myself a color art enthusiast and that issue did not disappoint. If you don’t have this series on your pull list you need to rectify that situation immediately.

 

What comics are on your Pull List? Tell us in the comment section below. We’d love to hear what our followers are reading!

 

-Andrew