New Comic Books: October 4

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It was another great week for comics, with a few new book debuts, another Dark Knights: Metal tie-in, and more main-line DC books with Superman and Batman both seeing some great stories.

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Gotham City Garage has been a short but sweet foray into a really well-thought out alternate universe. The back-story is great, and the twist on these characters is so good. Making Harley Quinn the one who perfected the mind-control technology in Gotham is a stroke of genius for her character in this world, and having Oracle be a limo-driving sidekick to Batman is absolutely inspired.

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As expected, the cat and mouse game between Deathstroke and Superman was full of tension and high-stakes, as well as espionage perpetrated by the mercenary mastermind. Comics are an unexpected beast, and with that comes a certain uneasiness when someone’s life is threatened. With that in mind, I honestly expected at one point that maybe Lois would die, and that’s a successful writer of the highest order.

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The War of Jokes and Riddles was full of wonderful twists on Batman, that took ideas that have been there for years, and turned them on their head. The thought that the Joker is the one who has kept Batman in line during his darkest period is one that makes complete and total sense, but was never fully explored until now. And that Riddler would concoct this entire war to make the Joker laugh… it’s insane.

JL

so many great twists this week! The revelation that Sovereign was Hippolyta makes perfect sense in the context of why Diana would betray the world in the future in a sense, and why Sovereign would basically upend the world, and force it to feel her pain and loss after Diana is lost to the darkness. But wouldn’t Sovereign be attempting to stop the darkness? More questions. Hopefully we get answers.

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The Dark Knight, Dawnbreaker, seems to be the most screwed up of the bunch thus far, with each one becoming more sadistic than the last. I suppose that’s what happens when a wounded child, living in a darkened world, is given the most powerful weapon in the universe. I can’t wait to see how the Dark Knights are defeated, because they seem to be some of the most incredible foes that DC has concocted in many years.

WK

Oh, man. This is gonna be a fun book. Batman is going off the rails, and the Joker is a cured super-genius that wants to re-pay the debt the Joker owes to Gotham City. The narrative that Jack Napier, aka The Joker, presented while he was getting beat down made perfect sense, and it’s interesting to note that he was saying all this while still technically criminally insane as the Joker. This is absolutely going to be an interesting read.

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Marvel’s version of the Justice League Dark isn’t quite as epic, but it’s a great read for the month of Halloween, with some unlikely allies all being given a shot. The artwork was fun, and the story, while ridiculous and cliche already, seems right up the alley of a book like this.

PHAS

Phasma is such a charmingly devious person. It’s genuinely hard to tell whether she’s being selfish and uncaring, or genuinely wanting to help these villagers before they’re extinguished. I love her so much as a character, and actually care about her fate and her past. I’ll soak up any chance to learn more about her mysterious past.

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Suicide Squad 2 Gets a Director

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Warner Bros. has announced that, after a long and grueling search for David Ayer’s replacement, a director for Suicide Squad 2 has been found. Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant, Warrior) has been tapped to write and direct the film, with its entire cast returning.

This is actually a pretty great choice. O’Connor is a safe director, with a good eye for action and emotion. His Suicide Squad will be much more well-rounded than its predecessor was, and should genuinely be an overall much better film. We’ll just have to see it all ends up.

New Comic Books: September 6

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Not exactly an impressive week of books this week, but there were some gems throughout. Captain Phasma gets her first standalone book, and the conclusion to the Ballad of Kite Man takes the cake for book of the week. Justice League’s future-kids story is also getting pretty deep.

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A bit of an underwhelming ending to a short arc that had a lot of potential with Superman vs. Sinestro for what was essentially control of Parallax. The cool thing about this arc is the set-up for future issues of another title, with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps in the near future. It did, however, reveal the things Superman most fears, so we can expect to see a few of them, soon.

JL

This was heavy, and emotional in all the best ways. The connection these future-children have to their would be parents is so strong, and well thought out. This is some wonderful writing, and the twist that they think Wonder Woman is the villain, in which she may possibly be is interesting. There’s absolutely a lesson to be learned for young Hunter, though. That’s for sure.

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The Ballad of Kite Man has been the most heartbreaking thing I have read in a comic book in a long, long time. His tragic backstory, and making him not only a joke character, but his whole foundation that of being a joke to everyone around him… that’s genius. Gut-wrenching genius. The War of Jokes and Riddles has been an alright arc, but Kite Man has been beautiful in the most tragic of ways.

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This was so much better than it should have been. I already loved Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens, and this explanation as to her escape from Starkiller, and introduction to the incredible BB-9E were great to read. This was a fantastic expansion on a character that I really need to learn more about. Maybe I should pick up that new novel that just came out…

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The Generations line has been a lot of fun, and while I was expected another trip to the past, this trip to the “far-flung future” was a lot more refreshing for young Riri Williams. There were no stakes, just exploration and inspiration, and that kind of thing is needed from time to time.

Leo as The Joker?

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The Hollywood Reporter has been on a roll with their sources the last several weeks for the upcoming plans that Warner Bros. has for its slate of DC films, but this latest scoop is the hardest yet to believe. Sources say that Warner Bros. is hoping the Scorsese-production deal on its Joker origin film will lure Leonardo DiCaprio to the role of the Clown Prince of Crime.

The studio is going all-in with trying to make an award-worthy film, and looking for an A-List actor to pick up the role, most likely hoping to piggy-back off of The Dark Knight fame. Reports add that current-Joker, Jared Leto, is extremely unhappy with plans for there to be two Jokers, and has expressed as much with the studio and his agents.

Joker and Harley Movie Still in the Works

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After the announcement of the Multiverse Joker Origin film, the future of DC’s Joker seemed to be in limbo with Jared at the helm. However, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the Joker and Harley Quinn film that was previously rumored is still in development, with Leto and Margot Robbie set to reprise their roles as the Joker and Harley Quinn, respectively.

Additionally, it’s been confirmed that the film will take place in the Justice League timeline, placing it in the main DC Extended Universe. It’s set to be a “criminal love story,” with Crazy, Stupid, Love directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa to write and helm.

Joker Origin Movie in the Works

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Deadline is reporting that Todd Phillips (The Hangover) is set to direct a Joker origin film, with himself writing alongside Scott Silver (8 Mile). The film is to be produced by Martin Scorsese, and Philips. While Jared Leto, who previously played the Joker in Suicide Squad, is reprising the role for Suicide Squad 2, and Gotham City Sirens, the origin film is rumored to be featuring a younger actor in the role.

The Joker origin film is to be the first film under a new DC-focused banner of films at Warner Bros. that will see the popular characters in different stories, with different actors. This most likely is being setup after the announced Flashpoint film that will certainly setup the Multiverse in the DC Extended Universe.

New Comic Books: August 16

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This week was an unbelievable week for comics, made so by the first issue of DC’s massive and ridiculous event, Metal, which is shaping up to be something immensely special and fun for fans of DC Comics. On top of that, so many mainline heroes had releases, with the entire Trinity dropping books this week. Plus, the first issue of Gotham City Garage!

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This was a pretty decent issue, but didn’t quite have the stakes that previous issues in this arc did. It’ll be nice to see Diana team with her friends to take down some ridiculous-looking assassins, but it’s not exactly something we haven’t seen up to this point. Overall, a good continuation, and lead-in to where this arc is going, as it seems to be more filler than anything.

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Super-Parallax! This was a great change of pace for the Man of Steel after he’s spent the last several months fighting classic foes from his youth. Now he’s up against the entity of fear, Parallax, in a fresh story, that you don’t see very often. Superman just won’t let up with the great stories since Rebirth, and this is absolutely no different.

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There’s a lot of fun story-telling happening this week, with the origins of the Justice League’s future children coming to light. The revelation that Jessica Cruz and Barry Allen have three children together made me practically fall out of my chair, and the thought that Diana could abandon her child? There’s something strange happening there. Something that we don’t know just yet. This has been a fun story already, and a lot of mystery still remains.

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This was a somber, slow-moving issue that built up to a fantastic reveal, that Batman would be joining a side in the War of Jokes and Riddles. The nine-course dinner was a tense back-drop to the chemistry between Joker and Riddler, with Bruce Wayne in the middle, attempting to play the part of a supposed peacemaker, but in the end, offering up his alter-ego as a prize for the victor. Batman’s plans are always best-laid, and it’ll be interesting to see how this one ends.

METAL

I have been waiting for this event for months, and now, with Metal upon us, I am not disappointed. This is so ridiculous, and so fantastic. This is everything that a comic book event should be. The story is slowly already starting to make a small bit of sense, and the inclusion of so many heroes that we haven’t seen in so long really make it feel like something special. This is absolutely my recommendation for the week, because if you’re a fan of DC Comics, this is going to make you giddy.

 

THOR

I was a little worried at first when the War Thor seemed to be making quick work of the Queen of Cinders after all the fan-fare and work they put into building her into a massive force to be reckoned with, but my fears were alleviated when she basically cut him in half. I’m somewhat hoping for a Thor reunion where Volstagg reveals himself as the War Thor, and Jane reveals herself as Thor, given their history and close friendship.

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Being a digital-first story, the format for this was short, but sweet. It’s obvious this is going to be an incredibly fun Elseworlds title, and with an interesting mix of heroes and villains forming an all-female biker gang… well, that’s the beginning of a kickass story. The art is great, and the story is getting across a ton of info in such a short format. Very impressive.

Batman: The Enemy Within Full Trailer

Telltale Games has released the first full trailer for their upcoming sequel, Batman: The Enemy Within, and it gives us a better idea of what to expect from the villains of the story, both new and old. The Riddler is clearly the star here, with a more brutal take on the character, very reminiscent of the current War of Jokes and Riddles arc in the Batman comic series.

The Joker, and Amanda Waller, both seem to play prominent roles in the upcoming title, as well. Time will tell when Batman: The Enemy Within launches on August 8th.

New Comic Books: August 2

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Pretty straightforward, lackluster week of comics this week, as DC ruled with all the releases. Honestly, even in that regard, they were generally a bit underwhelming, as many of DC’s arcs seem to be in a state of flux before the big one starts in just two weeks, with Dark Knights: Metal.

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The second issue in the historical arc, celebrating America was considerably more grim than the first. I can’t say I enjoyed it as much, but I applaud the writer’s will to show the horrors of war for the what they are: horrors. Now that we’ve gotten that breather out of the way, I’m excited for the next arc to start with Superman encountering Parallax.

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The War of Jokes and Riddles has been a brutal read for Batman fans, with a younger, more inexperienced Batman, facing trial after trial, in an attempt to save his city from a never-ending battle of wits between two supervillains. This issue was especially dark, as we saw, not only what was happening in Gotham, but what Batman was willing to do to stop it. Coming within inches of murdering Deadshot to stop the five day spree that took hundreds of lives.

JL

I hadn’t read Justice League up to this point, but I figured a new arc, with future comic book children is definitely a great place to start. Stories like this are always fun, with revelations about parenthood, and great character design taking center stage. The story still seems a mystery, but given what we’ve seen so far, this should be an interesting twist on our heroes’ future.

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This was a legitimate touching tribute to the greatest to ever draw comics, Jack Kirby. The first of many Kirby specials that DC will be releasing focused on Orion, and his brother Kalibak. Two characters that haven’t been given the attention they truly deserve in recent times. This was a fun read, and the final short story, with Lonar the Wanderer, was especially great for fans of Jack Kirby.

Andrea Romano Retires

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Warner Bros. Animation casting director, Andrea Romano, has retired, after 33 years in the animation industry. Romano is best-known as one of the key people in the DC Animated Universe titles, working on everything from Batman: The Animated Series to the upcoming Young Justice: The Outsiders. She’s the one responsible for Kevin Conroy’s Batman, and Mark Hamill’s Joker. Tiny Toon Adventures, to DuckTales.

I shall miss so many aspects of this industry – particularly the people I’ve worked alongside, and all the fun that happens on both side of the glass. From the bottom of my heart, I extend my sincere gratitude to every actor, producer, director, engineer and colleague that has helped make this run so incredible.

New Comic Books: July 26

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It was a wonderful week for comics, as Marvel put out the best issue yet of Secret Empire. Meanwhile, DC continued their trend of having multiple releases each week for me. They’ve mastered their release schedule, and it makes each and every week awesome.

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It’s shocking to me just how good this book gets with each and every issue. As long as you take it with a grain of salt, and assume it’s a standalone story that will most likely not have as deep a repercussions as you think, it’s fantastic. This winding road, full of twists and turns has been great. The fight between Natasha and Castle was great, and her sacrificing herself to spare Miles’ soul was heartbreaking after all she’s done. To cap it off, the moment with Sam Wilson taking on the mantle of Captain America one last time got my heart racing.

 

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This short but sweet story for Wonder Woman has been a great read, filled with gorgeous art, and a nice palette cleanser since Rebirth started. Seeing Wonder Woman deal with smaller, more personal situations was a nice change of pace, and her love for children is something I will never get tired of seeing put on the page.

 

 

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Action Comics finally drifted from its throwback status to give us a pretty great twist, with Zod using the enemies of Superman to his own ends to free his family. Still for nefarious reasons, of course, but it was a good change of pace for the villain. The mystery of Mr. Oz and his infatuation with Jon seems to be getting deeper, and we’ll know more as Doomsday Clock approaches, which I cannot wait for.

FLASH

The most satisfying part of this story, was seeing Iris murder Eobard Thawne in the hopes that he doesn’t show up for a long while. He’s been a recurring villain to the Flash for so long, at this point, that it’s almost felt lazy, and I was glad to see him ripped from existence like that. The entire status quo of The Flash has been changed, with Iris knowing who Barry is, Reverse-Flash being dead, and now an entirely new arc about to begin. I honestly can’t wait.

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The inevitability that was the war between the Green and Yellow Lanterns came to a screeching halt. The thing that pisses me off the most? I didn’t see that John Stewart had a plan, either. Of course he did, though. That’s what he does. Imbuing the yellow rings with a green impurity? That’s such a genius writing move! It’s nostalgic, and such a great obstacle for the Sinestro Corps to overcome. Now, with Soranik going full Sinestro, it’ll be great fun to see her as a legitimate villain and enemy of the Corps.

SHADOW

This book has been so great to me. Two of my favorite characters, crossing over in a story so ridiculous that I can’t help but love it. The moment where Gordon threw back to Knightfall was great, and the dynamic between Shadow and Batman seems to shift with every page, in the most organic ways. My only issue is with Joker’s motivations throughout this, as he seems to be up to something, but I can’t quite put my finger on what.

DC Collectibles Reveals Their Upcoming Lineup

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DC Collectibles is wasting no time at this year’s SDCC, revealing their entire upcoming lineup for the year, and it’s a pretty fantastic set of collectibles. We get more looks at the upcoming Gotham City Garage, as well as Artist Alley statues, Batman: The Animated Series figures, including an epic Batcomputer playset.

DC Collectibles will also launch a new 6.75” DC Essentials line that features Rebirth character designs and the greatest range of motion ever produced by the company. The first wave of DC Essentials figures, releasing in 2018, will include Batman, the Flash, Superman and Aquaman. Wonder Woman, Deathstroke, Green Lantern and Nightwing will debut in 2019.

Hit the jump for the full gallery of new collectibles.

Continue reading “DC Collectibles Reveals Their Upcoming Lineup”

New Comic Books: July 19

NEWCOMICS

While not a jam-packed release week for new comics, everyone brought their A-Game with some fantastic stories that ran the gamut as far as what their goals really were. Ranging from tragic story, to educational fare, it was a great week for readers.

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The second installment of the War of Jokes and Riddles seemed incredibly confusing, at first. I wasn’t sure where it was going, but at the end, when all the pieces fit into place, the origin of Kite-Man had unfolded before me. The tale was tragic, and unsettling. A fitting origin to the best running joke in all of comics. If you’re a fan of Kite-Man and his ridiculous antics, I would absolutely implore you to read this, my recommendation for the week.

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The other DC book this week is on the absolute other end of the spectrum. Superman and the Kent Family decide to unwind with a nice family trip across the Continental United States, educating each other on the history of our country, and instilling the merits of kindness and good in those that they meet. Even helping a wounded veteran secure a part-time job with their kindness. It was a feel-good book that was great to read after the tragic origin of Kite-Man.

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And with that, we have our best issue of Secret Empire. Twists relating to the Hydra mole, and the shocking destruction of the resistance home-base. Alliances were shifted all over the board in this tense and emotional issue, and it made for an overall fantastic read.

THOR

My last book for the week was one I was absolutely looking forward to, as Volstagg has taken up Ultimate Mjolnir and become the War Thor. Venting his frustrations and unleashing hell on the army that made him, the War Thor laid absolute waste to the armies of Muspelheim, and it was badass in every sense of the word. With Jane Foster’s Thor inching closer to succumbing to her cancer, will we see Jane become Thor permanently?

New Comic Books: July 12

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This was just another example of the wonderful throwback that Action Comics has become. A great issue, with fun and interesting match-ups in a battle of heroes vs. villains. Zod was cold and brutal, probably the most interesting he’s been in years against Superman. Putting all the heroes, and even a few villains into the Phantom Zone should make for some interesting story-telling soon. Especially with one of those villains being Cyborg Superman, the actual mastermind behind this plan.

FLASH

We finally got back to form on the Flash, this week. Opening with a vision of the future, and Barry proving how little he’s been there for the people he loves, despite loving them more than his duty as the Flash was genius. Then, just like the Phantom Zone, Flash gets put in the Negative Speed Force! Which was also great, and spurred on Barry taking on some insane transformation into a Black Flash-esque speedster. I’m legitimately looking forward to the next issue, now.

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These prelude books have been some of the most confusing things I have read from DC in quite some time. They make sense in certain ways, with some mysteries that I’ve had coming to the forefront quite well, but it’s still such a conundrum. The build-up to that money shot at the end was so worth it. I can’t wait to see all the evil Batmen of the Dark Multiverse step through the void and tear some shit up. This event may not make much sense, but it has some serious potential to be a lot of fun.

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Wonder Woman has been another shining example of how great Rebirth is. This issue started off so personal, giving us a glimpse into Diana’s past and her thoughts, and how she handles the world of War and Destruction that she’s a part of. Then, we’re thrust into what seems like an innocuous event with friends, that quickly turns dangerous with a bomb under the table! That is grade A cliffhanger material for a comic.

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Well, that was intense. What a week for DC Comics. Not only did they have the only good books this week to read, but they were all spot-on. The alliance between the Green and Sinestro Corps has crumbled before our eyes in spectacular fashion, with Soranik scarring Kyle for the lie about Sarko, and now the murder of Romat-Ru being made public. This was an intensely emotional book for the Green Lanterns, and I’m so pumped, because it seems like it’s been a while since the Green Lantern books have been on a truly great path.

Joker: White Knight Coming This Fall

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DC Comics has unveiled a first look at the upcoming graphic novel, The Joker: White Knight. The new book sees Joker’s insanity cured, and hi begin a heroic crusade against Batman, himself. However, this crusade is a newly reformed “Jack” partnering with an equally reformed Harley Quinn, attempting to bring The Dark Knight to justice through legal means.

The line Batman rides between ‘noble vigilante’ and ‘overzealous oppressor’ will always be shifting as our own society changes.  We know the Joker is a genius, we know he’s relentless, and we know he can play the crowd, so why not make him a politician?  Frank Miller modeled him after David Bowie. Chris Nolan showed him as a controlled sociopath. I see the Joker as Don Draper.

The Joker: White Knight hits comic shop shelves on October 4. Hit the jump for a look at the full cover page, and a peek inside.

Continue reading “Joker: White Knight Coming This Fall”