Weekly Comic Book Roundup #3

DC Comics: Bombshells, Vol. 1: Enlisted

(DC Comics: Bombshells #1)

by Marguerite BennettMarguerite Sauvage (Illustrator), Ming Doyle (Illustrator), Laura Braga (Illustrator), Maria Laura Sanapo (Illustrator), Marc Deering (Illustrator), Stephen Mooney (Illustrator), Ted Naifeh (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator) , Garry Brown (Illustrator), Mirka Andolfo (Illustrator), Bilquis Evely (Illustrator), Sandy Jarrell (Illustrator)

Synopsis

In these stories from issues #1-6 of the hit series, learn the story behind this alternate reality where the Second World War is fought by superpowered women on the front lines and behind the scenes! It all begins with the stories of Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl.

Verdict

One of the strongest alternate reality worlds of the DC Universe. Getting to see the women of the DC Universe not only shine and showcase their heroism in their own series but to do so in a setting that was not known for recognizing strong women made this a wonderful read. In an age where feminism and equality are being fought for so strongly and women are more recognized now than ever before, it is important not to give up and relent in the face of adversity, and that is what this comic proves as it delves into the alternate lives of some of DC’s greatest heroes, from Mera and Batwoman to Zatanna and Wonder Woman herself. This is a must read for anyone who loves seeing empowered female characters take charge and fight against injustice and hatred with love, compassion and heroics like no other, and is the perfect introduction into this alternate world. 

Harley Quinn, Volume 1: Die Laughing (Harley Quinn (2016) #1)

by Amanda Conner (Writer, Artist), Jimmy Palmiotti (Writer)

Synopsis

Harley Quinn is back in this new jumping-on point Vol. 1 graphic novel from DC Rebirth!

Her name is Dr. Harleen Quinzel, better known to her friends and enemies as playful-but-deadly Harley Quinn. Her ex-boyfriend, the Joker, may be the Clown Prince of Crime, but Harley’s the Queen of Coney Island! So when a zombie apocalypse threatens her li’l seaside stretch of paradise, who else would ya call to save your butt?

In these action-packed pages, the baddest bad girl in the entire DC Universe joins forces with everyone from her gal-pal Poison Ivy to the leading lights of the New York City punk scene to take down anyone who stands between her and a good time–living, dead or undead.

The Harley Quinn powerhouse team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti joins forces with artists John Timms and Chad Hardin and draft a new beginning for DC’s craziest anti-hero in HARLEY QUINN VOL. 1: DIE LAUGHING. Collects HARLEY QUINN #1-7.

Verdict: 

It’s easy to see why Harley Quinn has quickly become DC’s most popular anti-hero, brandishing her own unique sense of whacky shenanigans and never give up attitude. With a humor and wit that definitely harkens to another comic book anti-hero (Deadpool people!), the comic book does a great job of not only providing outrageous comic book action and hilarious moments between the cast of characters, but subtly hints at the core strength of Harley Quinn being the family she has created for herself in the wake of her evil ex’s hold on her finally letting her go. It’s a great way to introduce the character into the Rebirth era and a fantastic book to jump into if you are just starting to read Harley’s stories. 

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New Avengers, Volume 1: Everything Dies

(New Avengers (2013) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Jonathan Hickman (Writer), Steve Epting (Illustrations), Rick Magyar (Illustrator), Jock (Cover Artist), Frank D’Armata (Illustrator)

Synopsis:

To prevent the collision of our universe with another, the Illuminati must reassemble…NOW!

It’s the most powerful and brilliant team in the Marvel Universe: the Black Panther, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Beast against an infinite legion of parallel realities. Armed with the six Infinity Gems, the Illuminati gather to plan for the death of everything…but their task is complicated by old wounds, lies and secret agendas. But when the Illuminati experience their first dimensional incursion, can this loose brotherhood of end times trust each other enough to use the Infinity Gems in unison? And what new member will join the group? Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting revamp The New Avengers in a multiverse-spanning saga!

CollectingNew Avengers 1-6

Verdict

A fantastic introduction into the Illuminati’s return in the Marvel Universe, and the road that leads to the inevitable Secret Wars story. The story of this group of individuals who are not only collectively the most intelligent people on Earth, but are willing to go to dark places that the other heroes aren’t in order to save their universe from utter destruction, is such an engaging and phenomenal character study of the Marvel Universe as a whole. Where do heroes draw the line and fight the impossible, and where do heroes cross the line for the betterment of their world as a whole? That is the amazingly complex question posed by this series, and combined with some gritty and intense artwork, this collection showcases a heavily mythology based storyline that will take the Illuminati members to the farthest reaches of the Marvel multiverse. A must read for any Marvel fan!

All-Star Batman, Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy 

Written by: Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author) (Writer), 

Art by: John Romita Jr. (Penciler), Danny Miki (Inker), Dean White (Colourist), Steve Wands (Goodreads Author) (Letterer), Declan Shalvey (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Colourist)

Synopsis:

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

The #1 New York Times best-selling author of Batman returns to the Dark Knight in All-Star Batman, Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy! But he’s not alone. Critically acclaimed, legendary illustrator John Romita, Jr. joins him on this epic new series!

In this new graphic novel, Batman finds himself trying to help old friend Harvey Dent…now known as the villainous Two-Face! The Dark Knight accompanies his foe on a cross-country trip to fix his scarred face and hopefully end the Two-Face identity forever. But when the former Gotham City D.A. sets his plan into motion to free himself, what deadly secrets from the past will bubble to the surface?

One of the biggest creative pairings in DC Comics history share their take on one of the greatest heroes ever in All-Star Batman, Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy!

Verdict:

This is a Batman pushed to the very edge and into the darkness like we’ve never seen him pushed before. The gritty nature of the artwork punctuates the dark nature of Batman’s battle to save the man behind the monster, Harvey Dent, as Two-Face threatens to tear Gotham apart. It’s also Batman at his lowest, as both villains and allies turn against the Dark Knight when Two-Face threatens to reveal the darkest secrets the city has to offer. When the world seems to be gunning for you, how does the Dark Knight remain vigilant in his quest? By sheer determination. The action and heart-pounding drama of the first volume in the All-Star Batman series sets the tone for the mature storytelling the caped crusader is facing going forward, and introduces a new terrifying foe that is sure to give Batman a true test of will and strength in the comics going forward. 

Shazam! Volume 1: 

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by: Gary Frank (Illustrator)

Synopsis

Young orphan Billy Batson has bounced from foster home to foster home, but he’s far from the ideal child. Brash and rude, Billy is a troubled teen that just can’t seem to find a calling. But after a fateful night on a subway car, that all will change.  

Brought to the feet of the magical wizard Shazam at the Rock of Eternity, Billy is imbued with powers beyond any mortal man. By shouting the wizard’s name–Shazam!–the young teen is mystically transformed into the powerhouse known as Captain Marvel! Now given abilities that make him Earth’s Mightiest Mortal at the utterance of a simple phrase, will Billy make the right choices and do what it takes to become a hero? Or will he succumb to the poor choices of youth–and the villainous Black Adam!

Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, the team behind the New York Times #1 best-selling graphic novel BATMAN: EARTH ONE, unite to re-invent Captain Marvel as a part of DC Comics–The New 52.  Collected here for the first time ever is the series of back-ups that ran in the pages of Johns’ critically acclaimed JUSTICE LEAGUE.

Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE #0, 21 and stories from JUSTICE LEAGUE #7-11, 14-16, 18-20.

Verdict

A fantastic companion graphic novel to the recently released film Shazam!, the comics bring the new story of Billy Bastion to life perfectly. The heartwarming and emotional story of a young foster kid who doesn’t trust anyone must learn to trust in the power of friendship and family as a new evil emerges from the depths and Billy is gifted with a fantastic power. The action is fantastic, as is the artwork. The inclusion of Black Adam gives fans a tease for where the series could go in the DCEU, and gives readers a chance to see the evolution of the character before the film was released. This is a must read DC graphic novel. 

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Dark Nights: Metal

Written by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author)

Art by: Greg Capullo (Illustrator), Jonathan Glapion (Illustrator)

Synopsis

The New York Times bestselling BATMAN writer and artist team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo re-unite in the epic event graphic novel DARK NIGHTS: METAL!

 The Dark Knight has uncovered one of the lost mysteries of the universe…one that could destroy the very fabric of the DC Universe! The dark corners of reality that have never been seen till now! The Dark Multiverse is revealed in all its devastating danger–a team of twisted, evil versions of Batman hellbent on destroying the DC Universe! 

 With appearances from heroes, villains and faces long forgotten, DARK NIGHTS: METAL will examine every choice a hero doesn’t take and every path they don’t walk, and open up worlds that are forged by nightmares. 

  Together on a single title for an outstanding fifty issues, Snyder and Capullo’s award-winning stories BATMAN VOL. 1: THE COURT OF OWLS, BATMAN VOL. 3: DEATH OF THE FAMILY and BATMAN VOL. 7: ENDGAME turned generations of Batman fans into a global horde of Batman superfans. With DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Scott and Greg will build on this strong foundation and broaden the scope of their storytelling to encompass the full expanse of the DC Universe.

 Collects DARK NIGHTS: METAL #1-6.

Verdict

The mythology of the DC Universe gets a horror based, terrifying new twist as the dark multiverse is introduced. The exploration of a multiverse made up of the fears and dark thoughts that creep through the minds of others within the normal multiverse was a genius idea, especially when focused on one of the most selfless heroes in the DC Universe: Batman. A hero who normally always has a plan, the concept of having to battle several evil versions of Batman who conquered their dark universes and have trapped Batman in the dark multiverse, it was chilling and fascinating to see the DC Heroes have to face their darkest fears and witness the near destruction of everything they held dear. From these pages one of the most terrifying new DC villains has emerged, the Batman Who Laughs. A twisted, “Jokerized” version of the Caped Crusader is a chilling thought, and sets up one of the most dangerous threats the DC universe has ever created. This is a must read for any diehard DC Comics fan, as it creates a truly memorable multiversal tale that lines up with tales such as Crisis on Infinite Earths and Final Crisis. 

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Weekly Comic-Book Roundup #1

As a writer, I am always looking towards other creative fields for inspiration. Growing up and well into adulthood now, one of my biggest sources of creative inspiration has been comic books. Whether it was all powerful heroes like Superman or everyday vigilantes like Batman, I’ve loved reading the stories of DC Comics, Marvel and more. The incredible world building, mythology and character development are part of the inspiration for me as a writer when I look to build my own fictional universes. For me and many others out there, comic books serve as the modern day version of Greek mythology, not to mention the other various mythologies of our world.

With that in mind, I want to try and start a new weekly series where I review the comics I read in that given week. Not all of these will be brand new releases. However I think comic books can stand the test of time, and I want to keep that storytelling power alive by sharing with you all what I read in the world of comics. So with that in mind, here is the first comic book roundup.

Thor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder (Thor (2014) #1)

Written by Jason Aaron

Illustrated by: Jorge Molina, Russell Dauterman 

Synopsis

Who is the Goddess of Thunder?

The secrets of Original Sin have laid low one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. The God of Thunder is unworthy, and Mjolnir lies on the moon, unable to be lifted! But when Frost Giants invade Earth, a new hand will grasp the hammer–and a mysterious woman will take up the mantle of the mighty Thor! Her identity is secret to even Odin, but she may be Earth’s only hope against the Frost Giants. Get ready for a Thor like you’ve never seen before as this all-new heroine takes Midgard by storm! Plus: The Odinson clearly doesn’t like that someone else is holding his hammer–it’s Thor vs. Thor! And Odin, desperate to see Mjolnir returned, will call on some very dangerous, very unexpected allies. It’s a bold new chapter in the storied history of Thor! 

CollectingThor 1-5

Verdict

As a longtime fan of Thor, I have to say that I personally was loving this new twist on the mythology. Already playing off the classic Norse mythology of Asgard, Odin and Thor himself, this new story showcases the god of thunder in a whole new light, as his power is bestowed onto a new hero, the goddess of thunder herself Thor. Playing with the mystery of this woman’s true identity, it allowed the Thor we know to take a hard look at himself and decide whether he was a hero without the hammer or not. Meanwhile, the narrative played well with the modern day social problems many women face. Told they can’t do the same job as a man and aren’t as powerful, the new Thor shows that she is just as worthy of Mjolnir and the power of Thor as the original Odinson, and more so than any other man in the universe. A hero in her own right, the artwork captures her raw power and the almost fantasy-like quality of classic mythology we’ve seen for ages in art. This is a must read story of female empowerment, heroism and adversity against all odds. 

Rating: 10/10

Convergence (Convergence 0-8)

Written by: Jeff King

Illustrated by: Carlo Pagulayan 

Synopsis

This is it! The entire DC Universe from the dawn of time through the New 52 stars in CONVERGENCE, an unprecedented event that brings together your favorite characters from every era and series—and none of them will ever be the same.

The evil alien intelligence known as Brainiac has stolen 50 doomed cities from throughout time and space and brought them to a place beyond the Multiverse—a sentient planet of his own design, a world with the power of a god. As heroes and villains from dozens of worlds battle each other for their very existence, it’s up to a ragtag band of warriors from a slain Earth to put an end to this threat that bends the Multiverse to its will. Reality itself hangs in the balance…

Existence comes to end and a beginning with writers JEFF KING (USA’s White Collar), SCOTT LOBDELL (SUPERMAN: DOOMED) and DAN JURGENS (BATMAN BEYOND), and artists CARLO PAGULAYAN (Incredible Hulk), STEPHEN SEGOVIA (GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS), ANDY KUBERT (DAMIAN: SON OF BATMAN) and ETHAN VAN SCIVER (GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH). Collects CONVERGENCE #0-8.

Verdict

A fantastic delve into the concept of the multiverse, DC Comics unleashed a whirlwind story of sentient planets, monstrous AI villains who sought to control, and a madman who’s quest for power nearly leads to the destruction of the multiverse. Meant to end the New 52 branding (not necessarily the stories themselves), this crossover event featured the heroes of Earth 2 as they sought allies across the other captured realities of Brainiac in hopes of returning home. The blend of stories and universes was well thought out and gave fans an opportunity to follow a group of heroes not always featured prominently such as Jay Garrick’s The Flash or the Flashpoint Batman. Now one critique I would have is if fans are unfamiliar with the New 52’S Earth 2 heroes or storyline, or the multiverse as a whole, it might be a bit confusing to follow the overall plot. Not as much time was spent exploring the character’s backstories (especially due to the sheer volume of various incarnations of characters), but overall the story still shined and laid the groundwork for the coming of the Rebirth storyline in the years to come.

Rating: 8/10

Batman, Vol. 1: I Am Gotham

(Batman (2016) #1)

Written by Tom King and Illustrated by David Finch

The Synopsis

Part of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling, all-new line of volume one graphic novels, DC Universe Rebirth!

He is Gotham City’s hero, its Dark Knight, its greatest protector. He is Batman. And he is not alone.

There are two new heroes in town-a pair of masked metahumans with the powers of Superman and a devotion to preserving all that is good about this twisted city. Calling themselves Gotham and Gotham Girl, they’ve saved Batman’s life, fought by his side and learned from his example.

But what happens if Gotham’s new guardians go bad? What if they blame the Dark Knight for the darkness that threatens to drown their city?

When sinister forces are unleashed that can warp the minds of men and make heroes into monsters, the time will come for Batman and his allies to decide once and for all: Is Gotham a force for good…or an engine of evil?

From the blockbuster DC Universe Rebirth event comes BATMAN VOL. 1: I AM GOTHAM-the beginning of an all-new saga in the life of the Dark Knight from superstars Tom King (GRAYSON) and David Finch (WONDER WOMAN), featuring an all-star cast of creators such as Scott Snyder (BATMAN: THE COURT OF OWLS), Ivan Reis (JUSTICE LEAGUE) and Mikel Janín (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK)! This great starting-point graphic novel collects BATMAN: REBIRTH #1 and BATMAN #1-6. 

The Verdict

Writer Tom King and illustrator/artist David Finch expertly bring the gritty world of Gotham to life in this first volume of Batman’s Rebirth story. Exploring the influence and inspiration that the legend of the Batman has on the citizens of Gotham, (whether it’s a young boy and girl inspired to become heroes or low-level criminals spurned into becoming deadly villains), this volume does a marvelous job of showcasing Batman’s hope for a Gotham that is always protected, even if he were no longer there. It also does a great job of showing how the most noble and heroic person is susceptible to negative influences, and could easily fall to the dark side, so to speak. It’s a haunting and poetic story of good versus evil, and the dangers that come from stepping into the role of a city’s hero. 

Rating: 10/10

Boylord Issues #1-2 by Nathan Peabody Review:

After a rather successful trip to San Francisco Comic Con, I had the pleasure of meeting several artists, writers and publishers. One such creator
was Nathan Peabody, and I was given copies of the first two issues of his growing science fiction and fantasy series, Boylord.

This comic-book series follows a young boy named Ettan, who is a part of the Utopian society of cat-like species known as pranans. His home planet
of Vareenya is millions of years old, and his people can live thousands of years. They have six pairs of DNA that give them advanced abilities,
and they are known as a force for good. Having uprooted their home planet years earlier to a more peaceful part of the galaxy, Ettan lives a
life of peace and harmless adventure. However soon Ettan finds himself thrust into a perilous adventure filled with demons, war-bound humans and
a ticket straight to hell itself. If you want to know the incredibly detailed backstory for this story, I will include a link to Boylord’s website
here: http://www.boylord.com/read-me/

The artwork is simply beautiful. While Nathan Peabody created and wrote Boylord, artist Manuela Soriani brought the vast story to visual life.
With breathtaking visuals that perfectly outline the beautiful and graceful pranans  or the gritty and visceral look of the demonic forces that
threaten young Ettan, these two issues really blend the genres of science fiction and fantasy well, and even threw in a drip of horror in for
good measure.

Overall, this is an incredible story and wonderful comic book that deserves recognition. The beautiful artwork is a perfect pairing with a strong
story that is addictive and fun to read. These first two issues are a perfect introduction into this vast galaxy that holds endless possibilities
for stories down the road, and not only should you guys pick up your copies of issues 1 & 2 of Boylord, but if you enjoy the story and want to
see more, I recommend you check out this Kickstarter campaign to continue the story and get the next chapter of this story created. Follow the
link below to support the Kickstarter campaign, and be sure to pick up your copies of Boylord by Nathan Peabody today!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/boylord/boylord-chapters-3-and-4