Tag: Andy Kubert

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    Dark Days: The Forge #1: The Epic Begins

    “There is a feeling you get at the beginning of an adventure…”

    Thus begins DC’s epic summer event, Metal. The prelude, Dark Days: The Forge, is the perfect introduction, and sets the stage for the magnitude of what is to come.

    Dark Days: The Forge #1

    Comics publishers often overuse the term “all-star” in their books, but in this case, it fits perfectly. DC has recruited its top talent, including writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, for this one-shot story. However, the talent doesn’t stop there, as the book also packs superstar artists Jim Lee, John Romita Jr. and Andy Kubert. Even the cast is epic, featuring Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Aquaman, Mister Miracle – even the Outsiders.

    Dark Days: The Forge #1 Will Keep You Coming Back For More

    The issue gives just enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages with anticipation. Batman has discovered a mysterious substance in the Earth’s metal. Unfortunately, no wants this information to come to light, including the Guardians of the Universe and the Immortal Men.

    As Snyder’s and Tynion’s story unfolds – from the depths of the ocean to the Batcave on the moon – the mystery deepens. What is this mysterious metal? Where did it come from, and why is Batman obsessed with it now? The artwork is stunning and dramatic, exactly what’s you’d expect from this superstar team. If that wasn’t enough to keep you coming back for more, check out the final page. This final page is beautifully rendered by Lee and will seal the deal for this event.

    That feeling you get at the beginning of an adventure? It’s glee. Pure glee for what’s to come.

    Dark Days: The Forge #1, DC Comics, Released June 14, 2017, Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV; Pencils by Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and John Romita Jr.; Inks by Scott Williams, Klaus Janson and Danny Miki; Colors by Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper; Letters by Steve Wands; $4.99.

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    Don’t Fear The Batman

    The third annual Batman Day is September 17th, and who deserves a day of celebration more than the Caped Crusader? No one. It’s hard to overstate the impact that Batman has had on comic books.

    Quite possibly the most recognizable comic book character, Batman has appeared in more than ten thousand issues to date. He’s a genius detective who dedicates his time and incredible resources to the pursuit of fighting crime in his beloved Gotham City and beyond. He’s a complex and nuanced hero, whose story has been told again and again, subtly reforming in the same way that we build myths.

    For long time fans, Batman has changed significantly over his nearly eighty-year run, and with each new capitulation, he brings exciting new storylines. But for casual fans, or for those who have never picked up a Batman comic, the call of the Bat-Signal can be intimidating. Those thousands of issues represent quite a big backlog of reading to catch up on!

    So, in honor of Batman Day, we bring to you a new reader’s guide to the very best that Batman has to offer. Below, you’ll find several titles that help a new reader to gain some insight on the Dark Knight so that you’ll become a shining star on your Batman trivia team.

    Batman: Year One

    Batman: Year One

    As the title suggests, Batman: Year One chronicles the very beginnings of Batman as he starts out to become the savior of crime-riddled Gotham. Written in 1986 by Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) — who had already gained quite a reputation by then — and drawn by Dave Mazzucchelli (Daredevil: Born Again), Year One was the reboot that everyone had been waiting for after DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths event.

    The story itself follows Batman as he struggles to gain footing as a vigilante and slowly rebuilds the entire story of the Caped Crusader. As this title was DC’s attempt at restarting Batman’s legacy, it is essential to read and a perfect starting place for a new fan. From here, you’ll know enough about the dynasty to explore even the most loose canon titles.

    Batman: The Long Halloween

    Batman: The Long Halloween

    By Jeph Loeb (Superman Batman, Fallen Son: Death Of Captain America) and Tim Sale (Hulk: Grey, Grendel), The Long Halloween is the quintessential Batman series, now collected into a beautiful graphic novel. Long heralded as one of the best Batman storylines, Long Halloween is a great starting point for new readers because it features the character at his best.

    The story unfolds as Batman hunts down an evasive serial killer who strikes Gotham on holidays, coming to critical mass at the titular Halloween. This story reminds the reader that Batman is a master detective and it artfully illustrates the relationship between Batman’s alias, Bruce Wayne, as the action unfolds before you. (Pro tip: Check out the awesome Batman Noir edition that came out in 2014. It’s absolutely beautiful and this is the exact story that’ll make you glad for investing in a nice copy.)

    Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

    Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

    Written by comic legend Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Creatures of the Night) with art by Andy Kubert (Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Flashpoint), this is an unlikely pick for new readers to the Batman saga because it takes place right after Bruce Wayne’s death. Many new readers shy away from this particular title because of its place right in the middle of a major story shift, but it’s easily one of the most critical pieces of the Batman mythos. It is the narrative answer to a recap for Batman’s extensive history, featuring appearances from every major character from the comic series’ past.

    While it is not a typical Batman story, preferring poetics and a shifting narrative, it examines the character deeply and in a way that is liable to make even the oldest Bat-fans fall in love all over again.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum

    Batman: Arkham Asylum

    Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Doom Patrol) writes and Dave McKean (Violent Cases, The Sandman) illustrates this intense and psychologically challenging series that casts a long, dark shadow on the Batman story.

    Set within the heart of the legendary Arkham Asylum, where Gotham’s most disturbed villains have started a riot, Batman must face both his classic foes and himself to save the day. Arkham Asylum has a visceral story and Dave McKean’s surreal art leaves a lasting memory of the darkness that Batman has to face during its telling.

    This comic is essential for those readers who understand the importance of well-crafted villains for heroic storylines. While we don’t recommend this title as the very first Batman story you read, it should definitely be picked up shortly afterward.

    We Are Robin Volume 1

    We Are Robin vol 1

    Even more than Batman’s villains, the Caped Crusader’s allies are hugely important to his story, and there are none more so than his perennial protégé Robin. Writer Lee Bermejo teams up with artists Rob Haynes and Khary Randolph to explore another side of the city of Gotham through the eyes of several aspiring teenaged vigilantes, who all take up the mantle of Robin.

    This series reinvents the character of Robin, placing it not as the moniker for a single side-kick that works alongside Batman, but as a call to arms for the youth of Gotham. We Are Robin is cathartic and refreshing, reminding the reader that Batman doesn’t exist in a vacuum, because his influence inspires a generation of young people to take action against the corruption that they have uncovered in their city. We Are Robin is diverse and not at all pandering, while it discusses the themes of everyday heroism that began the Batman legacy in the first place.

    Batwoman: Elegy

    Batwoman: Elegy

    Batwoman is in many ways the true successor to Batman himself, and in Batwoman: Elegy, she is at her best. Perhaps the seminal work of Batwoman’s library, Elegy also happens to be one of the best works that helped to define Gotham outside of Batman himself. While his influence is felt throughout the story, the true hero featured here is Kate Kane, an heiress who chooses to use her vast resources to better Gotham by taking on the Bat cowl.

    During an investigation into a crime-worshipping cult, Batwoman faces off with a new villain who emulates Alice in Wonderland’s title heroine with a deadly obsession. Her encounter with Alice sends catastrophic ripples through Kane’s entire life and cuts to the core of what made her become a hero in the first place.

    Acclaimed writer Greg Rucka tells this engaging, fast-paced story which is brought to life by award-winning artist J.H. Williams III’s breathtaking work. Elegy is sparkling with action, and you’ll find yourself torn between dying to read what happens next and wanting luxuriate in William’s genre-defining layouts. Most importantly, Elegy introduces new readers to Kane’s own legacy and illustrates the lasting power that the cowl wields.

    SEE THESE AND OTHER GREAT BATMAN PRODUCTS AT TFAW.COM

    So what do you think? What is your favorite Batman comic? Join the conversation and leave your suggestions in the comments or hit us up on Twitter and Instagram at @TFAW.

    Batman Day at Things From Another World


    Visit any of our four locations for Batman Day to get in on special Batman Day savings on graphic novels and more. Plus, bring the kiddos so they can participate in fun Batman Day activities.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT BATMAN DAY AT THINGS FROM ANOTHER WORLD

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    Review: Dark Knight III The Master Race #4

    dark knight dk III master race #4Any parent will tell you that all of the hard work and all of the challenges in rearing a child is well worth it. What about when your daughter is one of the most powerful beings living on planet earth? What happens when THAT kid rebels? What happens when THAT kid decides that her parents are wrong, and she decides to hang out with “the wrong crowd?”

    That is exactly the situation in which Superman finds himself in Dark Knight III The Master Race #4, with regards to his daughter Lara. She is all grown up and is one of the most super of all super-beings on this planet, if not THE most! With the Kandorian people of Krypton now seeking control of our world, Lara has chosen to take their side. Yes, this is a bit of a worldwide social-commentary that humans are not treating the earth well, but be that as it may, just because Lara and the Kandorians are multitudes stronger does not give them the right to take over our little blue planet.

    Superman is standing on the side of we humans, as will Batman, we hope, to the best of his ability, in his state of overused and overwrought body-parts. Wonder Woman has yet to join the fray, and seems hesitant to do so. Here’s hoping that she’ll side with the Boy Scout and the Bat to once again form their formidable hero trio.

    However, if Superman won’t join Quar and the rest of his Kandorian’s campaign to seize the earth and its inhabitants, and will therefore oppose them, then how WILL he fight his own daughter? Or will he? This issue addresses these questions, and more, and has me on the edge of my seat, so to speak. Apparently, things have to get worse before they can get better, and things… just… got… worse!

    While young Carrie is not Bruce Wayne’s daughter, he is definitely passing her the torch in this issue. He gives her “hope,” some sort of pill that we will soon learn about, to be sure. Plus, Bruce gives her a gift which looks to be her new costume as BATGIRL!!! As Bruce has already touted her skills and intelligence as being better than even his own, it will be more than interesting to see how she takes on the mantle of The Bat in this world ever-filled with peril and superpowered Kandorians about to knock down earth’s door and claim our castle as their own. Quar, to be more specific, is demanding that Gotham City hand over Batman in thirty-six hours or they will lay waste to the city so long protected by our beloved Bat.

    Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello’s intense story, paired with Andy Kubert’s stylized and bold artwork are quickly making this one of my favorite reads, these days. Oh, and did I mention the enclosed mini-comic titled ‘Batgirl #1,’ containing the appearance of one water-based superhero of earth? No? Well, remind me to do that, won’t you?

    Words and pictures, my friends.

    DKIII: The Master Race, Issue #4, written by Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello, pencil work by Andy Kubert. Published April 27, 2016.

    Review by Steve Oatney.

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    Review: DKIII The Master Race

    dark knight master race #3Dark Knight III: The Master Race is based upon the legendary The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, and it’s excellent, so do yourself a favor, pick it up and get on it!

    Good. Now let’s get into this, and start with a

    SPOILER ALERT!

    Ready? Okay, here’s my original headline: WAKE UP, SUPERMAN! Your daughter is no longer daddy’s little girl, and THAT may be a problem for us ALL!

    In all seriousness, both Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and The Dark Knight Strikes Again were two of the most well-read and well-loved comic stories in… well… the history of comics, I’d say. Both have been reprinted, since their original releases, so that new readers can enjoy them the same as old, not to mention the multiple movies that were made based on Miller’s vision. DKIII picks up after The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

    It has been a long time to wait to have Frank Miller’s world of the Dark Knight revisited in comics, and the storytellers are sparing no expense when it comes to strange new events and intriguing character developments. Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Brad Anderson have been working hard on delivering a powerful new story segment, and deliver they have!

    Again, SPOILERS TO FOLLOW, so beware!

    First, let’s mention the language of the DKIII books, so far. While a bit wordier than Miller’s typical works, the modern use of texting-speak is quite unique in the DKIII comics, and is likely influenced heavily by co-writer Azzarello’s difference in style. It also harkens back, a bit, to the insertion of newscaster comments within TDKR.

    The artwork shown in this issue, as well as in the two issues prior, is sequential-art storytelling at its finest. Kubert and the art-team have produced dynamic and intense pages of visual greatness. Their visuals effectively pull we viewers out of our chairs and into the vivid universe of The Dark Knight, just where we all want to be.

    The Justice League, and most specifically for this story so far, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, DC’s holy trinity, have all pulled away from their previously focused world’s spotlight as heroes. Bruce Wayne has all but stopped doing the work of the Batman, and his complex present state of aging, makes him [somewhat sad to say] seemingly NOT the focus of his own book. Rather, Superman, Wonder Woman, and their daughter are now garnering more focus.

    Superman, three years ago in the story, had gone into hibernation in his Fortress of Solitude and is now re-awakened by Bruce Wayne and his protégé Carrie Kelly in hopes of gaining the Man of Steel’s help protect against earth’s newly emerged and powerful foes. Quar and the other Kandorians, from the Kryptonian bottle-city of Kandor, are now becoming the major threat to our world. So far these villains have not been portrayed with enough depth, for my taste, and wish we could get more of an introspective view into the “why” behind their attacks and their demand that the entire human race surrender to their dominance.

    Will Lara, Superman and Wonder Woman’s now grown-up and über-powerful daughter, side with we earthlings, or with the Kandorians? Guess you’d better pick up this issue, and probably the next few, in order to find out!

    Oh, sorry, one last thing: Each of the three DKIII books, so far, has a mini-comic inserted within the comic, under the title “Dark Knight Universe Presents.” Issue one contains The Atom, two has Wonder Woman, and three has Green Lantern. All also worth checking out, but those are another set of interconnected stories to be discussed at another time.

    Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3. Story: Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello. Pencils: Andy Kubert. Inks: Klaus Janson. Colors: Brad Anderson. $5.39.

    Review by Steve Oatney.

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Poison Ivy, Star Wars Lando & Adventure Time Ice King

    This was a good week for comics fans. Not only did the big two ship some good books, but the smaller and indy publishers produced strong issues. We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. This is the second of our seven-part series of New Comic Book Day blog articles.

    SPOILER ALERT — We’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible, but they might creep in to our reviews.

    Poison Ivy Cycle of Life and Death #1
    By: Amy Chu, Clay Mann

    You know, I’ve always wondered what Dr. Pamela Isley would do if she were good for a moment. Cure some diseases, create new genetic advances, you know normal science-y stuff. It looks like that’s exactly what she starts off doing in DC’s newest limited series Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death.

    Amy Chu does a great job setting up this series, you get a clear idea of what’s been going on before this starts, and you don’t really need much more than that, and I really like that. What starts off as a run of the mill discovery for Ivy, turns into what we normally think we’d see her doing with an old friend, and ends up turning her world sideways by morning. It’s an interesting start to this 6 part series.

    It will be interesting to see where this takes Ivy. I hope that we see some more cameos. Especially from someone else in touch with “The Green” that has a limited series themselves. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Star Wars Lando TPB
    By: Charles Soule, Alex Maleev

    Star Wars fans are in for a real treat as the Star Wars Lando TPB hit this week. Collecting the 5-issue run, this book is one of my favorite SW tales of the last couple years.

    Soule and Maleev waste no time in getting Lando into trouble in this book — Lando and Lobot owe a lot of credits to some bad people, and their aim is to dig themselves out of this hole. Lando’s a con-man, a scoundrel, and a ladies man, and Soule’s grasp for the character shines through on every page. One of my favorite aspects of this book is in the small moments between the action (and there’s plenty); the banter between Lando and Lobot is crazy good.

    As always, Maleev knocks us away with his art. Getting to see more of the SW universe through his eyes is an extraordinary gift that you shouldn’t pass up. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

     	
Adventure Time Ice King comics at TFAW.com
    Adventure Time Ice King #1

    By: Emily Partridge, Pranas Naujokaitis, Natalie Andrewson

    Get ready for the brand-new Adventure Time Ice King miniseries based on the amazing ongoing Adventure Time comic from Kaboom! In this fun and exciting first issue, the Ice King is in a state of panic. Nothing can calm him — not his tubs and skins, nor his love for the art of the fridjitzu (the art of ice ninjas). He can’t even escape into his fanfiction omnibus of the Adventures of Fionna and Cake, because dun dun duuuuuuun! Gunter is missing!

    The Ice King looks everywhere he can think of but turns up empty handed. Finally he goes to Wizard City to seek help from some of his fellow wizard friends and get back his Gunty-kins. Who has taken Simon’s little friend, and who will help him in the quest to find him and bring him back home? Don’t miss this six-issue series. Pranas Naujokaitis, Emily Partirdge, and Natalie Andrewson help to bring the Ice King and his subjects to life in his first series of his very own! [Steven M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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