Another excellent chapter in TheRiddler Year One series. Paul Dano is doing a fantastic job writing this book. It reminds me of the good old days of Vertigo. Stevan Subic’s art is perfect for this book. Parts of this comic could’ve been pulled straight out of the Matt Reeves BATMAN film.
The Riddler Year One Chapter 3: I Know What I Must Become
We open with an envelope being left at the Gotham City Police Department. It’s addressed to The Police Commissioner in scratchy red writing and there is a USB taped to it. A question mark is penciled on the USB.
“Can barely breathe.”
“What’s this?” The desk officer objects.
“Hey man, I’m just dropping this off for a guy, y’know? Said his name was Patrick Parker…”
DC Comics has just launched a new Superman comic book series as part of their year-long “Dawn of DC” initiative. It is written by Joshua Williamson with art by Jamal Campbell. You get 32 pages of story for the higher-than-usual retail price of $4.99. (I don’t know if this price point is just for the first issue or not.) The story’s title is “Chapter One: Voices in Your Head” and the good news is Superman #1 is a great opening issue. It’s a bright, hopeful and optimistic comic book, a refreshing change from some of the more recent fare from DC Comics.
Thankfully there is only a brief nod to Superman’s origin story and we jump straight into the action. The man of steel is fighting Livewire–a villain first introduced in the Superman: The Animated Series episode “Livewire” back in 1997. During the fight, he can hear Lex Luthor’s voice advising him on how to defeat Livewire. I wasn’t quite sure how Luthor was able to see the fight from prison, probably on the Live News. But what is revealed is that Clark can listen to any voice he chooses to. As you can probably guess, Luthor’s advice is brutal and lacks any kind of compassion. Superman ignores him and the fight is quickly over.
Writer: Jeremy Adams Artist: Roger Cruz Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: January 10, 2023 Cover Price: $3.99
I’ve never read The Flash comic before, but I kept hearing how good this latest run by writer Jeremy Adams is. Words like ‘bright’, ‘fun’, ‘positive’, and ‘hopeful’ were being used in regards to this series. Also, the strong focus on family, which refreshingly delivers a very positive depiction of what we used to call the “nuclear family.” You know, husbad, wife, a couple of kids plus a pet or two. And they love and care for each other. Incredible, right?!
In the new DC Comics issue of THE JOKER: THE MAN WHO STOPPED LAUGHING issue #4, writer Matthew Rosenberg writes The Joker as being PREGNANT. In this bizarre back-up story, DC Comics writer Matthew Rosenbeg and artist Franco Francavilla conjure up a truly strange comic book story involving ZATANNA and The JOKER. It was released on January 3rd 2023 priced $5.99.
This 8-page back-up story has gone viral on social media. I had to check it out for myself and see if it was much ado about nothing or another nail in the coffin of DC Comics. Is writer Matthew Rosenberg secretly trolling the fans or is it all just a harmless joke?
I think it’s a truly strange story which wastes the brilliant talent of artist Franco Francavilla. It’s also a waste of the character Zatanna who deserves better than being dropped into this surreal story. How does this get by the DC Comics Editors? Is there anybody even checking these stories anymore? What do you think?
First off, after Jorge Jimenez’s brilliant art during the Failsafe story arc, this change in artist and art style is quite jarring. I can’t tell if it’s the pencils by Hawthorne or Bendetto’s inking, but I’m not a big fan of the overall look of the main story. There are some nice panels though, which offer some interesting perspectives.
We open with Batman lying bruised and bloody on a cobbled street. His costume’s torn and half his face is exposed. A couple steal his utility belt and there’s a reference to the drug VENOM.
Batman regains consciousness and remembers Failsafe blasting him with some kind of energy weapon. Is he in Crime Alley? Maybe not the Crime Alley he remembers.
Batman and Spawn in a crossover event? What year is this? Did we slip back in time to the nineties?
There has been a lot of hype building up to the release of this comic book. Released on Tuesday December 13th, the 48-page Batman / Spawn #1 comic will set you back $6.99. It’s published by DC Comics (Batman), not Image Comics (Spawn). I’m sure Image would’ve put it out at a cheaper price. (They have been releasing their Spawn comics for $2.99, a dollar or more cheaper than the other publishers.) Todd McFarlane writing Batman & Spawn, Greg Capullo drawing the book and McFarlane inking Capullo’s pencils. As you can imagine, a lot of comic book fans have been very excited about this release. The question is, is it any good?
My simple answer is buy it for the art. The story is okay but the art by Greg Capullo is stunning. There are some incredible double page spreads in the comic. I’ve since heard in an interview with the two creators that Todd asked Greg what he wanted to draw. Then he wrote the story around that. So it’s not like he had this great idea for a story he really wanted to tell. And it shows. The story is convoluted and requires re-reading to take everything in. It’s also a bit daft with McFarlane trying to tie-in the deaths of Batman’s parents and Spawn’s wife.
Sandman #1 introduces us to self-styled “magus” Roderick Burgess and his attempt to summon and imprison DEATH in a magical ritual held in England in 1916.
If you have been reading this blog for a while you will probably know I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN comic. It ran for 75 issues plus one Special from 1989 to 1996. I still have the original comics. I brought them over to Japan with me. I have read the comics many times and will no doubt read them again in the future. I’m particularly fond of the first half of the series and count The Doll’s House and A Season in Hell among my favourite story arcs.
With the release of the Netflix Sandman Series, I wanted to go back to the source and reread the first issue. I recorded a kind of audio-comic of Sandman issue #1“Sleep of the Just.” The first half of the video below is my summary of the first issue showing some of the gorgeous art from the comic. The second half of the video is me reading parts of Neil Gaiman’s essay on how he got the idea for the comic. It was originally published in the back of Sandman issue #4. I wanted to share it with you and anyone else who might stumble upon this page in the future. This was a labour of love.
As always, thanks for reading!
-Wakizashi, *listening to an approaching thunderstorm. Man it’s been humid today. I feel like the air is about to explode.*
Do you remember when comics were fun? I do. I enjoy most kinds of comics except for the ones that talk down to me or try to preach some unwanted message in my escapist entertainment. I’m not reading them for that. If I wanted that, I’d spend more time on Twitter or watch the mainstream news. I read comics because I grew up loving them. I read for the spectacular art and fantastic stories. I also read for the compelling characters and their heroes journeys. This might sound controversial but I read comics for fun. In my best Bill & Ted voice, “No Way!”
I appreciate fun, especially when its backed up by a compelling story. While I haven’t been exactly enamoured by the state of modern American comics, particularly the recent output from the so-called “Big Two,” I wanted to share my thoughts on a brand new mini-series from DC Comics. Jurassic League is exactly what you think it is: a Justice League of Dinosaurs. C’mon, what more do I need to say?
This is the series which has Lucius Fox’s son Tim “Jace” Fox as a black Batman who took the mantle during the Future State story-event in 2021. Batman was missing presumed dead when Jace decided to become “The Next Batman.” The character made his debut last year in a four issue mini-series also written by John Ridley. I read the first issue but it didn’t draw me in. I guess it must have sold well enough to merit this new series. (You might have heard of Luke Fox, Jace’s older brother. He became the character Batwing back in 2013.)
I reviewed issue #1 of I Am Batman on my YouTube channel back in September last year. While the art by Olivier Coipel was very good, the story didn’t really interest me and I didn’t continue with the series. I found main character Jace Fox unlikeable and wondered whether writer John Ridley was purposely trying to court controversy with his character’s attitude towards original Batman Bruce Wayne. Yet here I am six months later writing a review of issue #7. What happened? I think it was watching the new Batman (2022) movie that got me all excited and tempted me to give this series another try. It was also the cover art, to be honest. It really stood out among the new releases. What do you think of it?
After my recent rant about the terrible ComiXology Amazon update, here’s some good news from the world of American comics; well, for me anyway. Current Daredevil writer Chip Zdarsky will take over the writing duties of DC’s flagship Batman comic book from issue #125 due out in July. I like Zdarsky’s work, especially his run on Daredevil, so I’m pretty excited by this news. Joshua Williamson has been writing the comic after James Tynion’s 31-issue run ended with issue #117. Despite Williamson sharing his good wishes towards the new creative team on Twitter, you have to wonder if this was always the plan. He claims it was, despite only getting to write seven issues.