Donovan Eilert

Donovan is a host on the comics podcast "Panel on Panels". He has mastered the art of making his co-host roll their eyes. In addition to podcasting, Donovan can be found sipping tea, playing the ukulele and daydreaming about being the first zookeeper on Mars. Full disclosure: This article was most likely read/edited by Donovan's cat Artoo.

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    An Action-Packed Crossover

    The first issue of this six-part series is brisk and action packed. And it delivers all you could hope for in a Justice LeaguePower Rangers crossover. The result is plenty of action and spectacular appearances of your favorite comics characters.

    Justice League Power Rangers #1 begins in the Power Ranger’s home and metropolis of Angel Grove. We are dropped in the action moments after a cataclysmic catastrophe has wiped Angel Grove off the face of the planet. There is a time swipe and we are brought back 36 hours where the Power Rangers are grouping up to find Alpha 5. Zack finds him and brings him back, but it’s all a trap.

    Taking on Batman

    Lord Zedd and his Putties invade the Command Center. A fight breaks out and Zack ends up teleporting Zedd away. Unfortunately he teleports them to another world. It is here on the earth in the DC Universe that Batman is mistaken for one of Zedd’s cronies. A spectacular fight breaks out between the Rangers and our Caped Crusader of Gotham.

    A major part of the story has already been set up with the destruction of Angel Grove. In future issues you can expect many unique team ups and meaningful moments between the two groups of heroes.

    Already we have the sense that Zack is going to feel guilty for all that has happened. He’ll need someone to ground him (into the earth, not confine him to his room) and what better mentors of power than the Justice League? There is a lot to look forward to in this mini-series.

    So, if you grew up with either or both of these series, you’ll love this crossover.

    DON’T MISS A MINUTE OF THE ACTION AND PRE-ORDER JUSTICE LEAGUE POWER RANGERS ISSUE #2. AND CHECK OUT ALL THE FUN VARIANT COVERS FOR ISSUE #1

    Justice League Power Rangers #1, DC Comics and Boom Studios, Released January 11, 2017, Rated T, Written by Tom Taylor, Art by Stephen Byrne, Cover by Karl Kerschl, $3.99

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    Super Teenage Struggles

    Supergirl: Being Super #1 follows Kara Danvers as she is about to celebrate her 16th birthday. Kara is like most high schoolers trying to figure out life. Kara struggles with what she’s about, what she has to offer, and where she’s headed. But amidst the teen turmoil, a catastrophe strikes her small town of Midvale.

    It’s a thrill and a delight to follow the Girl of Steel as she deals wth growing pains AND having super powers. Mariko Tamaki makes many astute observations about being a teenager. You almost forget Kara is super-powered. Kara’s able to lift a tractor, but she also gets enormous zit on picture day.

    Growing Pains

    The writing is very relatable. The story is filled with characters that are uncertain and awkward, paranoid and controlling, confident and triumphant. Supergirls’ adolescent struggles are down-to-earth and enjoyable to follow.

    Joëlle Jones creates a beautiful piece of graphic storytelling. The issue is pedestrian and familiar while simultaneously elegant and novel. Midvale High’s track uniforms are a clever visual nod to the costumes worn by Kara in previous comics. That touch lends a tinge of nostalgia without derailing the momentum of the new series. The expression that Jones brings–especially through the eyes–is rich and perfectly sculpted. Jones also has love for the disgusting (Oh, that monumental zit!) that is showcased nicely.

    Supergirl Being Super #1 sets the stage for a ferociously strong, feminine and dynamic set of characters.

    PRE-ORDER SUPERGIRL BEING SUPER #2 AND SEE HOW KARA DEALS ADOLESCENT INSECURITIES AND SUPER POWERS.

    Supergirl: Being Super #1, DC Comics, Released December 28, 2016, Written by Mariko Tamaki, Art by Joëlle Jones, $5.99.

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    Super Powers for All (Ages)

    Super Powers is a new all-ages mini series from the creators of Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures!

    Super Powers #1 follows Wonder Woman and Superman as they try and track down the kidnapped Batman. Superman helps to clean up the streets of Gotham in the during the caped crusaders absence and finds a clue that sends Wonder Woman into space. They both find the Gotham Goliath held captive by Brainiac.

    Superman releases Batman, Brainiac Captures Superman, and Wonder Woman lassos Brainiac. But, our terrific trinity discover that Brainiac is not the man behind the plan and issue one ends with quite the final sting.

    Characters With Charisma

    There are several things that really work in this opening story. The swapping of rogues galleries is a lot of fun. Superman exclaiming “Yuck! Disgusting!” when fighting Killer Croc is a good illustration of the perfectly poignant dialogue and unique situations for our heroes.

    There are well-defined characters. It’s like watching DC Comics Commedia Dell’Arte unfold on the pages. The characters are all heroic and interesting. It’s an excellent distillation of each of the characters virtues from their history in comics all these years.

    There are a lot of fun expressions and sound effects throughout the story. Every “Crush!”, “Twirl!”, and “Chop!” find their place as a helpful addition to storytelling and not as a hinderance of cheesiness.

    This book is a great introduction, not only to these characters, but to superhero comics in general. It doesn’t seem to be burdened by modern comics at all. It takes a place of wonder and amusement which lend a hand to it’s timeless feel. The pacing and action seems balanced with dialogue and exposition. It all flew by, but was so much fun to read the second and third time as well!

    PRE-ORDER SUPER POWERS #2.

    Super Powers #1, DC Comics, Released November 23, 2016, Written by Art Baltazar, Art by Franco, $2.99.

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    Take Your Hits and Get Back Up!

    Slam! #1 is about friendship. It is about falling and getting back up, self-esteem, and cat parenting. And, oh yeah, it’s about roller derby!

    Slam! is a new series from Boom! Box by Pamela Ribon (Rick and Morty) with art by Veronica Fish. Issue #1 follows two new inductees into the world of roller derby. Jennifer Chu is getting her Masters in Geology and is lonely in her extra curricular activities. Maisie Huff, who recently had her future ripped from her when her 3-year relationship ended all of a sudden, is trying to move on with her life. Both find each other and form an inseparable bond through roller derby.

    But after the Rookie Rumble, the girls are separated. They are drafted onto opposing teams. The series looks to explore if the friendship be enough to hold them together. Or if the rigor of the derby smash their relationship.

    The Bonds of Friendship Explored

    This is a story with chutzpah and tenacity. Each character and relationship, clearly defined, and exposes new sides to the roller derby world. There is a wide range of emotion in this first issue. Maisie’s depression is tangible and slows the world down. Meanwhile, Jennifer’s passion and hope kicks things back into high gear.

    Slam #1 mixes charm and whimsy with comedy as well. The issue is great about implementing exposition in unique ways. Instead of thought bubbles and narrations, at times there are charts and physical bits. These moments really let the visual storytelling shine.

    The art by Fish is dynamic. It’s also absolutely fierce and terribly adorable. The expression of movement is sharp and relatable. Because Fish is so precise with every detail, her phrasing is fluid and her emotional beats feel natural. There is a seamless transition from the gritty, intense world of derby to the quiet solitude of an apartment or warmth of a diner scene.

    GET LOW AND HIT SOMEBODY BY PRE-ORDERING SLAM #2 and SLAM #3.

    Slam #1, Boom! Studios, November 16, 2016, Written by Pamela Ribon Art by Veronica Fish, $3.99

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    Bandette Returns for More Fun

    Presto! Bandette is back and this time she is after clues to an elusive secret society filled with wisdom and riches in The House of the Green Mask. However, famed villain, The Voice is after the same thing and so he has stolen Bandette’s greatest treasure to leverage her help.

    For those unaware, Bandette is series from Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover about the greatest thief of all time. Set in Paris, Bandette is a beautiful blend of Robin Hood, The Pink Panther, The Great Muppet Caper and Tin Tin. It is a series that balances suspense and levity, genre and sincerity, cutesiness with reliability.

    Bandette graphic novels at TFAW.comThe newest volume of Bandette is as light on its feet and whimsical as ever. True moments of mystery and magic show us a new side to the Bandette oeuvre. Not tasked with the introduction of characters, you are able to spend time exploring relationships.

    Tobin excels at conversation that cracks open the hearts and minds of the ensemble to reveal deeper and more meaningful moments than can be had with straight exposition. Coover brings the script to life effortlessly. The romance is explosive, the chases are enveloping, and the humor is enchanting. There is a real love that shines through in the their work. The mastery that they bring makes this a thrilling read that will stay relevant and sought after for years to come.

    As an all-ages comic, Bandette is full of heart and encourages everyone to live life on the edge where it’s more exciting. She never second guesses her feelings. She seizes the day. She radiates passion and excitement! As a beautiful and timeless melodrama, no character is bogged down with self-doubt or loss of conviction, instead they are bursting with vitality and form a sort of Commedia dell’arte heist adventure. I would feel comfortable giving this book to anyone. Take a small break with a large candy bar and enjoy this book.

    ORDER THE NEW BANDETTE VOLUME TODAY
    SEE OTHER ALL-AGES COMICS

    Bandette Vol. 3, Dark Horse, rated 12+, Released October 12, 2016, Written by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, $11.99

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