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

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

Tales From the Pull List (Jul. 27th): A New Hope (Larson)

Hello Revuers. This week marks another big victory for the DC Rebirth initiative. Once again I found my pull dominated by DC comics. I counted and I have purchased more DC comics in the last two month than I did all of last year. What has changed with this initiative? There’s hope. Well that, and the comics have been consistently good across the board. I haven’t read a single title that I didn’t like. This week I have three to review. A bit of a light week for me.

 

Pick of the Week

Batgirl #1: What I disliked most about the New 52 was the grit and darkness. With rebirth there’s hope figuratively, and in the case of Batgirl literally. New writer Hope Larson brings with her a freshness to Barbara and a new direction for the character and title. While the previous volume of Batgirl (worth a read) was set in Burnside, this volume has Batgirl gallivanting across Japan on what she thinks is a vacation. But as we all know, superheros don’t have vacations. Barbara runs into her old childhood friend Kai, when she discovers that he is her roommate at the Hostel she is staying at (what a coincidence). Kai asks Barbara what she is doing in Japan and we learn it’s to meet a childhood hero of hers named Fruit Bat. Fruit Bat was a Japanese superhero from the 20’s who is still alive and lives in Japan with her son. Fruit Bat was Barbara’s idol and she is determined to find and meet her. Barbara and Kai do just that (after a series of hi-jinks and comedic situations). However, upon meeting Fruit Bat a stranger attacks Kai ask vaguely for the “formula”. Batgirl intervene and defends Kai, but she is too slow. The assailant would have gotten away if not for the 104 year old Fruit Bat who proves that she still has the moves. Blocking a thrown ninja star and causing the villain to flee. After the skirmish Fruit Bat collapses and Batgirl rushes to her side. Fruit Bat states that Batgirl needs to let go of her past and find a new teacher. This leads Batgirl to…..MMA? We will find out in the next issue. The creative team is rounded out by artist Rafael Albuquerque and color artist Dave McCaig. The artists bring a creative shift from the previous volume of Batgirl, allowing this new volume to shine in it’s uniqueness. The art from Albuquerque is fantastic, helping the reader gather a real sense of emotion from the facial expressions and creating a sense of motion with great line work. The color from Dave McCaig is high contrast, with many panels featuring bright backgrounds behind earth tone figures. This causes the characters to pop and adds a sense of motion to the art. Rating 8.5/10

 

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The Flash #3: This issue features the emergence of many speedsters in Central City. Not all of them want to be good, as the issue tells us. In fact some want to use their new found powers selfishly. The Flash struggles with what to do with all the new speedsters in the city, as he feels responsible for creating them. As he finds out that the speed force storm that created all the new speedsters was drawn to Central City by him. At the end of the issue we are introduced to a new villain named Godspeed. Who almost August, The Flash’s new sidekick. Unlike all the other new speedsters, Godspeed appears to have some control over his powers. Implying that perhaps these powers aren’t new to him. This issue saw some character development for Wally West and a cameo by Iris West. It also showed August learning and adapting to his powers. The most interesting aspect of the issue though was how much The Flash enjoys being a mentor and enjoys teaching others how to use the Speedforce. With the introduction of more speedsters this role for Barry, mentor and teacher, really solidifies him as the main character of this book.  Rating: 8/10

Nightwing #1: This issue opens up with Nightwing completing a mission for a international version of the Court of Owls. In the Nightwing Rebirth issue we learned that this new court of owls had manipulated Nightwing into working for them by threatening to kill Robin via a bomb that they had implanted into his head. What the Court doesn’t know is that Nightwing was able to remove the bomb, and now is only pretending to work for them in order to learn more about their organization and bring them down from the inside. In this issue we learn that the Court of Owls is unhappy with the results that Nightwing has had the last few missions and have acquired a partner for him. A mysterious new character named Raptor. Nightwing goes to the designated meeting place planning to tell Raptor that he has no interest in a partner, but is promptly beat down by this new character. At the end of the issue Raptor tells Nightwing that everything Batman had taught him was wrong, and that he needed a new mentor. Overall the issue was quick paced and intriguing. Rating:8/10

 

 

-Andrew

Pick of the Week (Jul. 20th): Justice League #1

Justice League #1

Writer: Bryan Hitch

Pencils: Tony S. Daniel

Inks: Sandu Florea

Colorist: Tomeu Morey

Justice League #1 marks the beginning of the new Justice League after the events of Rebirth. This reiteration of the Justice League has many of it’s usual staples: Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern(s), Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash. While this team may have familiar elements to previous incarnations, there are some slight differences. For example the Justice League now has two lanterns, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, instead of just one. Another noticeable absence is the new (old) superman. The New 52 Superman died in the events leading up to Rebirth and his old pre-New 52 was found alive in the current timeline (if you think that’s confusing well…..you are right). However, Batman does not trust this new superman and has chosen to keep him at arms length distance for now. I am sure though that the events that transpired in this issue will lead to the Justice League accepting Superman back into the fold.

The issue opens up with Wonder Woman on what was supposed to be a peace keeping mission fighting rebels in Russia who ambushed her. Things quickly escalate as the ground rumbles in a massive earth quake that destroys Wonder Woman’s attackers. The Rebels blame Wonder Woman for the earthquake but it becomes clear that it did not originate with her. We then read a news report that states that the same thing has happened all across the globe. With all of Earths fault lines activating at once the Justice League is tasked with keeping civilian casualties to a minimum. The team is spread across the globe with the Lanterns in Asia, Cyborg in New York, Wonder Woman in Russia, Batman in Gotham(where else?) and The Flash on the West Coast of America. Just when it appears that the League has everything under control-ish, the civilians (and the dead? Maybe?) around them begin spouting philosophical speeches and attacking the League. They say that the heroes of this world have stolen their powers and that they are false Gods. They warn them that The Kindred are coming. While the League attempt to fight off the zombies(? maybe), Batman discovers that an alien ship has crash landed in Gotham and with it strange insect creatures that are attacking any humans within striking distance. While the league may be the most powerful beings on the planet are they a match against natural disasters and The Kindred? We will have to wait until next time to find out.

While the plot is interesting and well paced, it’s the art that really shines in this issue. The art team of Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea really bring the action in this issue. Moving from panel to panel at almost break neck speed. Keeping the reader entertained and breathless with frantic action and beautiful splash pages. The splash page featuring The Flash is a beautiful feat of art. In what is a busy two pages Daniel and Florea use panel arrangement to guide the readers eye and help the reader follow what’s happening. The color art by Tomeu Morey is spectacular. He uses a lot of earth tones to ground the scene and bright contrasting colors to make the heroes stand out above the scene. Really making the pop. The shading work he did during the subway scene with Cyborg helped add depth to what could have been a very flat scene. All in all Justice League #1 is a great soft reboot to DC’s signature team and another fantastic addition to the already stellar Rebirth initiative at DC. Below are the two covers this title shipped with.

Rating: 9/10

 

-Andrew

 

Tales From the Pull List (07/14/2016): Here in a Flash

Hello Revuers it’s time for another edition of Tales From the Pull List. This week I’m posting a day late because I was not able to pic up my books until today. Overall a solid week with Rebirth continuing to impress over at DC. I currently have 5 titles on pre-order from DC comics, which is way higher than I have ever had on a pull list from them before. Another oddity about this weeks pull is I had no Marvel titles on my list. Usually my list is dominated by Marvel titles but this week they are completely absent. Looking ahead that changes next week. Enough about next week though, let’s take a look at this weeks pull list.

 

Pick of the Week

The Flash #2: This weeks continuation of The Flash by Joshua Williamson (writer), Carmine Di Giandomenico (artist), and Ivan Plascencia (Colorist) gives us our first glimpse of Central City’s newest speedster. In the last issue we were reintroduced to Detective August Heart, a friend of Barry’s, who at the end of the issue was struck by lightening (much like a certain Scarlet Speedster). In this issue we see Detective Heart learning how to use his powers with help from Barry. This also serves as a way to familiarize new Flash readers to some of Barry’s powers without having to slow the story down by going through a list of his powers (remember this is technically a reboot so being only the second issue they needed a way to showcase some of Barry’s powers). We see Wind Vortexes, Phasing, creating a tornado, and of course running. After the training montage we get our first glimpse of our new Kid Flash, young Wally West (not to be confused with old Wally West). We also get introduced to Iris in this issue. The middle of the issue serves as a philosophical debate with the morality of what the speedster can do and what they should do being questioned. Barry begins to wonder why the speed force chose to make more speedsters and what it means for his future. At the end of the issue there’s a surprise that I won’t ruin for you. Just go buy the book! The story by Williamson is fast paced and intriguing. The premise of what speedsters can do versus what they should do is also an interesting concept to explore. The art team of Giandomenico and Plascencia deliver a beautiful issue full of lightening and burst of color. If you only buy one book this week, this should be it. Rating: 9/10

 

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The Wicked + The Divine #21: This third story arc continues with a bang. Finally the lines are crossed between the “good” Gods and the “bad” Gods (good being relative). The good Gods with Persephone to lead them charge into Ananke’s fortress to save a fellow God from being a sacrificial lamb. The excellent story telling continues fueled by the best creative team in the business: Kieron Gillen (writer), Jamie McKelvie (artist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer). Plus this issues features Woden using his Valkyries to create a giant energy sword wielding robot. Rating: 8/10

Horizon #1: A story about an alien crash landing on earth paves the way for a story that is unpredictable and exciting. The team of writer Brandon Thomas, Artist Juan Gedeon, and Colorist Frank Martin deliver an interesting and unique story of alien invasion of earth. Or is that what it really is?  Rating 7/10

Batman Detective Comics #936: How exciting is it to be back to the original lettering for Detective Comics? With a release date of twice a month, they could presumably reach issue 1000 by 2019. This issue focuses on Batwoman, and Batwoman fighting her inner demons in order to lead the team. We discover who is behind the new team hunting the bat team, and learn some of Batwoman’s backstory. All in all a solid issue. Rating 7/10

 

-Andrew