Tag: Batgirl

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    I Just Saw and Loved Wonder Woman — Now What?


    Wonder Woman is a success on so many levels.

    Not only is it the first film to have a female superhero in the starring role, it’s now gone on to break the box office record for a film directed by a woman. The film also single-handedly restored viewers’ faith in the DC Cinematic Universe.

    More than that, it’s given women both young and old someone to look up to. Wonder Woman is now the cultural icon she was always meant to be. She’s more than just a hero: She is female empowerment personified and a role model.

    If you’ve left the theater wanting more action, adventure, and excitement from female superheroes, you’re not alone! However, we know that navigating the world of comics is tricky business.

    That’s why at TFAW we’ve come up with 10 wondrous comics and graphic novels that both star female superheroes and act as great jumping-on points for new readers.



    Did you find a new favorite book or want to recommend something we missed? Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

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    A New Secret Warriors Team Bands Together

    Four comics reviewed this week and all are team-ups! Remember these are only a few comics that came out THIS WEEK! Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other comics. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    DON’T FORGET: SAVE ALL MONTH LONG WITH OUR WE LOVE COMIC BOOKS MAY SALE

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Supergirl #9
    By: Steve Orlando, Brian Ching, Michael Atyeh

    Escape from the Phantom Zone Part One kicks off an arc that I’ve been dying to see since Rebirth started. A Barbara Gordon and Kara Danvers team up.

    The concept is simple. The Tychotech company in National City is unveiling a new clean energy concept to the world. As Supergirl, Kara has been invited due to her attachment to the technology used. Of course, something goes wrong and the machine goes haywire sending Barbara’s friend Ben into the Phantom Zone. Naturally, Batgirl and Supergirl head into the Phantom Zone to find him and get him out.

    Writer Steve Orlando did pull off something that I didn’t see coming. The villain who turned-on the machine was Magog, who hasn’t made a ton of appearances (that I’m aware of) since Kingdom Come. Brian Ching does a good job with this world and has since Rebirth started. Michael Atyeh’s colors are perfect for any “Super” book: Nice and bright. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    MISSED OUT ON THE FIRST 6 SUPERGIRL ISSUES? PICK UP VOL 1 AND GET CAUGHT UP!

    Titans #11
    By: Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Benjamin Percy, Mike McKone

    Since the beginning of Rebirth, Titans has always stood at the center of it all thanks to Wally West, the one hero who kickstarted this whole event. With Titans #11 and the first chapter of The Lazarus Contract, Wally and the rest of his team find themselves set to change the DC Universe yet again.

    Like all great Titans stories, Titans #11 centers on Deathstroke, who seeks to bring his son back from the dead. Slade believes the key is through Wally West and time travel, which could have potentially devastating effects on the already fragile state of the universe. In particular, the last page of this comic will shake things up in a big way for both the Titans and Teen Titans.

    Titans #11 is the start of yet another exciting mini-event for DC Comics and looks to shake everything up once again. The superstar writing team of Ben Percy, Dan Abnett, and Christopher Priest are well on their way to knocking this one out of the park. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    DON’T MISS AN ISSUE OF THE LAZARUS CONTRACT!

    The Unbelievable Gwenpool #15
    By: Christopher Hastings, Myisha Haynes, Paulina Ganucheau

    Weird team-ups! Hijinks! 4th-wall breaking! It’s all here in The Unbelievable Gwenpool! This whole series is nothing but obscure adventures and breaking the 4th-wall, and no surprise, it’s been awesome.

    Gwenpool’s friend is trapped is a gem, and she’s working with Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) to help free him. Well, first she’s got to get her friend back from Ghost Rider, then save him from the dwarves that want the gem. Then, she has to somehow get him out, all while Ghost Rider does his thing and Kate Bishop a.k.a. Hawkeye, just shoots arrows.

    This is a really fun series that you can’t take seriously at all: It’s zanier than good ol’ Deadpool. Less blood and guts, but more wacky fun. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    SHE’S UNBELIEVEABLE AND NOT OF THEIR WORLD, PICK UP THE ADVENTURES OF GWENPOOL

    Secret Warriors #1
    By: Matthew Rosenberg, Javi Garron, Tradd Moore

    i>Secret Empire #1 revealed a shocking truth about the state of the Hydra-controlled world: Inhumans were being rounded up into camps. While this is only touched on briefly in that book, Secret Warriors #1 dives headfirst into the subject.

    Writer Matthew Rosenberg assembles a dream team of Inhumans for this latest incarnation of the Secret Warriors, including Ms. Marvel, Moon Girl and Quake. The comic features equal amounts mystery, suspense, drama, and action, and Rosenberg nails all of it. Artist Javi Garron does a fantastic job bringing the characters to life.

    If you’ve read the solicits for Secret Warriors, you won’t find any surprises in this book. However, if you’re following Secret Empire #1 or you’re a fan of the Inhumans, I highly recommend this book due to its strong writing and the impact it’s going to have on Secret Empire as a whole. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR INHUMANS BOOKS!

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

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    NCBD Gets Loose (Ends) With the Southern Bastards Team

    NCBD Jan 25th 2017

    It’s New Comic Book Day and we’re bringing you some great books from DC, Image, Marvel and Dark Horse! Remember these are just a few of the amazing books that came out This Week. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Loose Ends #1
    By: Jason Latour, Chris Brunner, Rico Renzi

    Similar to Jason Latour and Chris Brunner other series Southern Bastards, this southern based crime mini-series kicks off with intriguing characters. Although not out the gate the what’s going on, by then end of the issue it’s clear what’s happening. I enjoyed the pace of this issue. Set in a practically empty bar on a North Carolina night. Our cast is small, but you get this feeling that you’ve seen these people before and are watching it unfold.

    Only a 4 part series Jason writes in the back of the book that this story has taken him almost a decade to write. Chris Brunner shows us similar line work to Southern Bastards, but Rico Renzi’s colors pop out more in this series. As a lover of crime comics, I’m looking forward to seeing where this Southern Crime Romance goes. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    FIND OUT WHERE THE LOOSE ENDS GO

    Batgirl #7
    By: Hope Larson, Chris Wildgoose, Mat Lopes

    Son of Penguin Part 1 finds Barbara returning to Burnside after her trip through Asia. What she finds though is that her in the wake of her starting up Gordon Clean Energy, the neighborhood has quickly gentrified. Rent has doubled, local shops have been pushed out, and the view of the homeless situation is potentially deadly. At the center of it all, the son of Penguin, Ethan Cobblepot…who’s kinda hot.

    Hope Larson captures the new tone of the Batgirl books perfectly. She makes it feel familiar but also shows she’s not afraid to take us somewhere new. Chris Wildgoose handles the pencils and inks, and his pacing and style mix perfectly with Larson’s. Together they create an intriguing story that is not only fun but makes good social commentary on a lot of modern issues. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    ONCE AGAIN, DC PROVIDES ANOTHER ISSUE THAT’S A PERFECT JUMPING ON POINT FOR NEW READERS.

    Star Wars #27
    By: Jason Aaron, Salvador Larroca, Edgar Delgado, Stuart Immonen

    As teased in the previous issue, this issue is a story that Luke is reading from Obi-Wan’s journal, and not just that, but a story that Yoda told Obi-Wan that he’s now relaying. Yoda is responding to a distress call, only to discover a tribe of children with a very unique stone that is strong in the Force. Yoda, being the great Jedi teacher, is determined to help these kids solve the mystery of the mountain, and ultimately bring balance to the Force on the planet.

    Jason Aaron continues to weave a great Star Wars run. It’s clear that he not only wants to push the lore but also have fun with it at the same time. A strategy that has always been what makes Star Wars great. Salvador Larroca continues to show why he’s one of the consistently best and cleanest artists in the business, with visuals of Yoda that are so striking they almost feel like you’re watching a movie. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    BE ONE WITH THE FORCE AND PICK UP THIS SERIES

    Hellboy comics at TFAW.com

    Hellboy Winter Special 2017
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Scott Allie, Paul Grist, Christopher Mitten, Sebastian Fiumara, Dave Stewart, Bill Crabtree

    Packed with 3 stores from 1891, 1961 and 1979. We see different adventures of the B.P.R.D.’s earliest cases. All in connection to winter. Our first tale “The Great Blizzard” shows us how Eddie and Jewell from Rise of the Black Flame acquired a bracelet that delivers a terrible blizzard when worn. In winter 1961, our heroes are shopping for the holidays and are interrupted by a crazed Santa. Then finally in 1979 Hellboy, Liz and Abe are searching for some missing children. Finding them proves they also found something else as well.

    Hellboy Winter Special 2017 is a good read for those who are avid Hellboy readers. I’m sure there are a ton of nods to other stories that I didn’t catch, but that’s the fun of reading these issues. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    FIND ALL THE LATEST HELLBOY COMICS

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

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    Beyond Burnside continues, Captain Marvel is torn, we get introduced to a new western comic Kingsway West, Deadstroke goes on a mission through time, and we wipe our noses with Snotgirl.

    NCBD reviews for August 24th 2016

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Batgirl #2
    By: Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque

    Beyond Burnside continues as Batgirl tries to decode the cryptic words in the last issue from the mysterious Fruit Bat. Barbara’s path leads to train in mixed martial arts in an attempt to get over her past. As she takes a beating in the ring, things start heating up between her and Kai, which might be a little more than she, and Kai can handle. What Babs quickly discovers is that even her years of training and experience still can’t prepare her for what’s next.

    Hope Larson delivers another issue that balances the brains and determination Batgirl is known for, with the melodrama that makes her such a great character for all ages. Rafael Albuquerque’s art does a great job balancing each scene by being wide and dynamic during fights, but soft and fun during personal moments. Batgirl brilliantly separates itself nicely from the Earth-saving feats in the other Rebirth titles in exchange for a personal and relatable journey. If you’re looking for a fun story with a resourceful character, Batgirl #2 will treat you well! [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Captain Marvel #8
    By: Ruth Fletcher Gage, Christos Gage, Kris Anka, Andy Owens, Matt Wilson

    Carol Danvers is torn. She wholeheartedly believes that the predictive justice movement is saving lives, but she’s being questioned (by virtually everyone) at every turn. She remains committed to the cause, but the pressure is starting to get to her and the seeds of uncertainty are starting to get to her. This issue of Captain Marvel dovetails in very well with the events that have been unfolding in the pages of Civil War II as Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage prove a strong grasp of Danvers’ motivations.

    You can really feel that we’re getting dangerously close to a boiling point (as if the events in Civil War II #3 hadn’t heated things up enough), and the events that unfold in this issue only add more uncertainty for Carol and the crew. Captain Marvel #8 has some great character moments with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. Looking forward to next issue! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Kingsway West #1
    By: Greg Pak, Mirko Colak, Wil Quinta

    Greg Pak’s latest book opens with an alternate look at the United States. With the West Coast being divided mainly between Mexico and the Chinese. We’re given a bit of information in this world. Where Magic and Monsters exist alongside something called Red Gold – a mystical mineral that lives underneath the surface of the earth much like salt and gold.

    We’re introduced to our protagonist – in the same way most westerns start out – a mysterious man who is being hunted and has his hand forced into doing something he doesn’t want to do. The first issue jumps ahead several years in different spots, which isn’t a problem when setting up the environment of the story. Kingsway West #1 has the promise to be an excellent Western with magic/mystic influence. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Deathstroke comics at TFAW.com

    Deathstroke #1
    By: Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan

    This issue is great for old and new readers of the famous Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. Writer Christopher Priest makes sure to bring every angle of Deathstroke’s personality through time and captivate our interest of what the heck is going on! It seems that Slade’s partner, WinterGreen is stuck in a time loop and the president’s life is in danger. This problem has Deathstroke’s name written all over it, but where is he?! With a mix of action and snarky humor, this is a great start to the new Deathstroke series. [Darcey M. at Univseral Citywalk TFAW]

    Snotgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Snotgirl #2
    By: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung

    Lottie is a very self-obsessive person and Bryan Lee O’Malley does and excellent job showcasing that. He writes her in a way that reads as if we are reading one of her blogs – she writes her blog exactly how she thinks.

    In this second issue, we get a little more information on what is going on in Lottie’s life, from her boyfriend status to what the heck is going on with her stalker?!

    Leslie Hung again does a fantastic job with the art of this book. I really enjoy the sense of style she brings to this series. If you are missing the humor that Bryan Lee O’Malley delivers in books like like Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, then this is a series you should be reading. It’s not all about selfish fashion bloggers, she’s got bigger problems than that. Snotgirl #2 keeps the narrative running even if you try and wipe it away.
    [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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

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    When Comics Aren’t Enough: DC ICONS

    When Comics Aren't Enough - DC Icons
    DC ICONS Breakdown

    Over the past few years sales of action figures have seen a big surge. Most likely due to nostalgia, but with customers and lets be honest here adults, wanting more from their collectibles, the industry has really gotten better as a whole. Companies like Bandai or Max Factory have made a splash here in the states with figures that have 20+ points of articulation, are highly detailed and come with relevant accessories, like different heads, hands or weapons. This allows the owner to have a lot more fun with posing their figures.

    Mainly we’ve seen more US based companies like Hasbro and NECA to take on the challenge to produce articulated detailed figures. But for a long time it was a struggle to get highly detailed, well articulated figures based on DC Comics Characters. Welcome to the DC ICONS series.

    Wave 3 just recently hit our store shelves and our site and I got a chance to take a look at Harley Quinn, based on her appearance from the Batman arc, No Man’s Land. Also in the series is Superman (THE MAN OF STEEL), Atom (FOREVER EVIL Atomica deluxe set with RAY PALMER & RYAN CHOI), & Aquaman (LEGEND OF AQUAMAN).

    Harley Quinn ICONS Box

    I like that toy manufactures are leaving the days of the clamshell packaging behind them. The shape and design of the ICONS series packaging is neat. This pentagon shape is able to show the buyer everything they need to know, no matter how the store is displaying them. This is also great if you are the type of collector that leaves their toys in the package.

    Harley Quinn comes with 3 extra hands (2 left, 1 right), a comically oversized revolver with a cork in it, and her classic mallet. She is also equipped with over 21 points of articulation. Including double knee and elbow joints, a high waist joint and torso rotation. Ball joints at the shoulders and hip. In addition to the ankle joint, the feet have rotation.

    Harley Quinn ICONS series accessories

    It’s really impressive how far the figures have come in the past 5 years. From figures that only have 5-9 points of articulation, to these beasts that can do almost any pose you want.

    If you’re looking for fun, detailed figures of your favorite DC Heroes and Villains, look no further than the DC ICONS series.

    DC ICONS Breakdown

    With various characters out now and coming out soon, like Batman and Green Arrow, you can expect to see characters you may not recognize right away like Deadman or Staic Shock. Also coming out is ICONS Deluxe series that comes with more accessories, Like the Green Lantern and his various parts for fighting off Sinestro. Coming out though is Batgirl with her Bat-cycle. Based on the Babs Tarr art in Batgirl of Burnside.


    All in all the DC ICONS line is a solid line to figures – both for collecting and playing. I’m happy to see US toy lines step up their game as much as the Japaneese toy market has over the years.

    Pick up one of many DC ICONS characters new and old coming out all year long. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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    NCBD – Batgirl, Adventure Time & X-Men ’92

    With SDCC behind us, it’s back to buiness – and this week for New Comic Book Day we give you a glimpse at Batgirl, Adventure Time Comics, and X-Men ’92! Remember theses are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to like, comment and share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batgirl #1
    By: Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque

    Batgirl has left Burnside. Since Barbara Gordon returned to her post-Oracle role as Batgirl, she was forced to revisit her past a number of times. She has ventured beyond Gotham City, and will have to put the pieces of that past behind her in order to look forward.

    This future appears bright in the hands of writer Hope Larson, who weaves an excellent voice to the series that brought a sense of audio to a medium without it. Batgirl’s international sleuthing is precisely the kind of story that is refreshing in the current age teeming with talent and brave new direction for comics as a whole. Barbra has been revitalized since Burnside and continues on an inspiring path to make an exceptional character evolve further. Progressing from her past, we may be seeing a new fighting spirit – and style – emerge for Barbara Gordon. Count me in on this rebirth of Batgirl! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Adventure Time Comics #1
    By: Tony Millioire, Erin Hunting

    This series is definitely for those who are big Adventure Time fans! It’s a collection of short stories written and illustrated by some well-known names such as Art Baltazar (Itty Bitty Hellboy, Aw Yeah Titans), Katie Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) Kat Leyh (Co-writer and cover artist for Lumberjanes) and Tony Millionaire (Sock Monkey).

    Mini stories include: Finn’s grave problem of running out of toothpaste and meeting the Tooth Paste Fairy, Finn saving a beastly friend in danger, and a fun cameo from Lumpy Space Princess. This comic had me giggling the whole issue with the cute charm every Adventure Time comics must have: Quirkiness! It is a great comic for all ages and I highly recommend Adventure Time Comics to any one who needs a good laugh. [Darcey M. at

    X-Men ’92 #5
    By: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Cory Hamscher, David Nakayama

    With Scott leaving the X-Men in the last issue of X-Men ’92, he and Jean reside in Scott’s hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. While they have a joyous vacation away from all the chaos that is the X-Men, their daughter from the future, Rachel Summers, has used the Phoenix to bring them to the year 3992. In hopes of defeating Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister once again. What I really enjoyed about this issue was that it re-told “The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix” story from 1994.
    X-Men ’92 is always fun to read, especially growing up with the cartoon. Chris Sims’ writing is on par with the original series, utilizing everything that made that cartoon great.

    If you’re missing the X-Men cartoon of the ’90s or wonder what could have been if it wasn’t canceled, X-Men ’92 is here to help! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Power Man & Iron Fist, Secret Six, Tomb Raider & Birthright

    Power Man and Iron fist team up for their new ongoing series, Lara Croft returns, and Catman takes on Batgirl! We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. This is the sixth of our seven-part series of New Comic Book Day blog articles. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting too many spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again.

     	
Power Man & Iron Fist comics at TFAW.com Power Man and Iron Fist #1
    By: David Walker, Sanford Greene

    Sweet Christmas, this issue of Power Man and Iron Fist sets it off! The tone carried through each character is Baby Bear, that is to say “just right.” The art keeps it crisp like a new pair of kicks.

    Danny Rand sees the opportunity to get the band back together, Luke Cage wants to keep the situation under control, and both just want to help out a friend. Of course, nothing ever goes quite that simple for our Heroes for Hire.

    The wheels are in motion, and this initial arc is going to keep my attention. I can already see an investment in this story that I will be sticking around for the long haul. David Walker gets it! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Secret Six #11
    By: Gail Simone, Dale Eaglesham, Tom Derenick

    This issue of Secret Six represents my favorite part of Gail Simone’s writing! She has the team take the proverbial chill pill and let their human-ness spill out in this issue.

    After the Massive Magical Mayhem of the last issue, the team needs the break. However, their relaxation time is interwoven with life lessons, emotions, voices from the past, and a bit of action. With Alice, Strix, Porcelain, Ventriliquist, and Big Shot all dealing with several issues at once, you still see a real team dynamic here; almost family like. While we get a piece of every character, it is clear that the star of this issue is Strix. We are granted a nice/awful piece of her back story here.

    However, there is another star in this issue. Where is Catman? Catman is off on his own enjoying a nice walk. Enter Batgirl! Gail does a brilliant job of bringing Batgirl and Catman into the scene. In the classic Bat/Cat format, they quickly engage in the most whimsical banter and butt kickery!

    Artists Dale Eaglesham and Tom Derenick also do a great job of portraying the emotions that are pouring out of our characters’ faces in this issue. Whether it is joy, pain or anger, it is believable! With comedy, emotions and action all in tow, we also traverse into a new story arc. Get ready, things are going to get . . . violent. [Sean W. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Tomb Raider #1
    By: Mariko Tamaki, Phillip Sevy, Michael Atiyeh, Agustin Alessio

    Tomb Raider starts off with Lara doing what she does best — finding treasure. At first we’re unsure what it is she searching for, but we find out that it revolves around the “Mushroom of Immortality,” and she’s not the only one looking for it.

    This first issue of Tomb Raider II does a great job setting up what we will be reading about in the months to come. Mariko Tamaki does a fantastic job with these characters — introducing a new villain, mentor, and also the tone of the book. By the end of the issue you know exactly what you are going to get out of this series: high risk and high adventure. Phillip Sevy’s art is spot on. From action scenes to facial expressions, it’s all very clean and polished.

    This is a fantastic starting point for new readers. If you’ve only played the video games (Rise of the Tomb Raider is awesome, BTW) or just want some adventure in you pull list, you won’t be disappointed with Tomb Raider II! [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Birthright #14
    By: Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan, Adriano Lucas

    After 14 issues Birthright still one of Image Comics’ best reads. Joshua Williamson’s story is still landing in my pull every month due to the imaginative crossover of fantasy and “real world” mystery. I’ve personally never been a big fan of fantasy comics, but this book is too good to pass up.

    As Mikey and Brennon try to find a place to hide, we encounter an “old timer” who wants to know the truth about Lore an desperately seeks Mikey. While the kid’s parents are looking for them both, they encounter others who are also looking, and will do anything to get to them.

    Andrei Bressan’s inks and Adriano Lucas’ colors are both fantastic–I love that the colors just pop — even in the night scenes. They’re a really good pair, and it’s a delight to crack open a new issue each month. This has been a great book from the start and I highly recommend it. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below! Be sure to share these posts on Facebook or Twitter if you want us to continue this series of posts. 🙂

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 3 of 5 – DC Comics

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    Happy New Year from your friends at TFAW! Now that we’re in 2016, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released last year. What follows is the third in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ll be posting through January 6. Missed the earlier installments? Check out Part 1 and Part 2. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    It all started with DC Comics. Superman. Batman. Green Lantern. The Flash. These are the heroes we’ve grown up with, and the ones who epitomize what it means to be a hero. DC was dogged by critics and fans this year, but the following comics demonstrate that the publisher still puts out great books month after month.

    The Best of DC Comics (in no particular order):

    Batgirl
    By: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Babs Tarr

    I’ve got to start by giving due recognition to Gail Simone. She’s an all-star writer who made me fall in love with Barbara Gordon and her work in the New 52 was solidly in the top of the class. When I first heard that DC brought on a new creative team for Batgirl, I was upset. Really upset. That being said, I cannot recommend the Fletcher/Stewart/Tarr Batgirl series enough.

    Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher’s take on Barbara Gordon is a revelation. She’s more complicated than most of the other heroes in the DCU. She’s confident, yet vulnerable. She’s a college student, a romantic, a caring friend, a superhero. This series could serve as a great character study in college classes across the country.

    Babs Tarr’s art perfectly matches the tone of the writing, and suits Barbara’s character. It’s fresh, fun, and cute (in the best way). The redesigned Batgirl suit is modern, functional, and steps a thousand feet away from hyper-sexualized female costumes we’ve seen time and time again. Tarr has a great eye for human form and visual perspective. Her consistent attention to detail in each and every panel shows how much love she has for the book and the medium. She’s a superstar, and I’m looking forward to following her work in the coming decades. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Sandman Overture
    By: Neil Gaiman, J. H. Williams III, Dave Stewart

    Sandman is back! Neil Gaiman has returned to one of his most beloved creations with Sandman Overture. One of the most anticipated books of the last several years came to its jaw-dropping conclusion in 2015 and is now collected into a hardcover that can join the Sandman collection on your shelf. We finally learn the story leading up to the events of Sandman #1 and how Morpheus came to be in the situation we found him in all those years ago.

    Revisiting a classic story is often risky. Comparisons to the original are inevitable and it would be so easy to fall short. Fear not! This is Sandman in every way you could want. Gaiman is able to pick up and dust off his characters as if it hasn’t been over 10 years since we last saw them. Reading Sandman Overture feels like going on a strange, new adventure and visiting with old friends at the same time.

    Sandman has always been blessed with amazing artists, but J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart will blow you away! With chameleon-like ability, Williams’ style can drastically change depending on the needs of a particular scene. His pages are full of hyper-detailed, realistic panels to psychedelic landscapes (and everything in between) all set in the most unique page layouts we’ve seen all year. [Jeff B. at Portland TFAW]

    Omega Men comics at TFAW.com Omega Men
    By: Tom King, Barby Bagenda, Toby Cypress, José Marzán, Jr.

    When DC announced that Omega Men would end with the sixth issue, fans cried out for more. Even though the series had comparatively low sales numbers, DC decided to publish the rest of the 12-issue run. That was great news for fans and new readers alike, because you don’t have to be well-versed in DCU lore to read this series. It’s driven by a compelling story with characters I wasn’t fully aware of when I started reading it.

    Starting off with a death of a well-known character is definitely a way to get attention, and it doesn’t happen all that often. After breaking the neck of White Lantern Kyle Rayner, the Omega Men pose an immediate threat to the Lantern Corps. The reader is instantly drawn into the series and we find ourselves trying to figure out where this series is going next. A really great series. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Fables comics at TFAW.com

    Fables
    By: Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha

    Fables has the impossible task of living up to the stories that inspired these characters…and it does so in spades. Bill Willingham never pulled a punch in thirteen years of writing this series. Every character was filled with pathos and gravity. These were weighted characters in a fantastical setting and as a reader you couldn’t help but feel every victory, every death, every defeat. Every character had a journey, and a role within the story, and some of these played out over thirteen glorious years.

    While Willingham’s words were powerful, they were truly brought to life by his partner in crime — Mark Buckingham. He renders every emotion exquisitely. Most of the big name artists and books go for the big splash page, or action sequence and ignore the details. Not Bucky. His strength is in the real character work in each panel. Every character has their own unique expressions and the reader can’t help but feel what the characters are being put through. The rest of the creative team also made Fables truly great — Klein’s beautiful lettering, Leialoha’s inks, etc. Fables is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. No other series can compete with Fables‘ brilliant thirteen year run. Comics in 2016 is going to be a much darker place without new issues of Fables on the shelves. [Dustin K. at Universal TFAW]

    Justice League comics at TFAW.com Justice League
    By: Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Jason Fabok, Francis Mapul

    This is what superhero comics are about, and one of the biggest advantages of a shared universe. Massive threats to the entire DCU, heroes coming together to face seemingly impossible odds, epic throwdowns.

    Geoff Johns’ Justice League has been a thrill ride from day one, and this year’s Injustice League and Darkseid War have built on several years of strong storytelling. This is one of DC’s flagship titles, and they’ve put a lot of effort into pairing Johns with artists like Ivan Reis and Jason Fabok to produce one of the best books on the shelves every single month. These guys are all at the top of their game–just crack open an issue and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
    [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting two more Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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    Comic Book Reviews: Buffy, Brilliant, Batgirl & More

    Watch Video Reviews of This Week’s Comics!

    It’s time for our weekly comic book reviews. This week, we take a look at Batgirl #5, Brilliant #2, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #5, Wolverine #300, and Invincible: Get Smart TPB Vol. 15.

    Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! There are a couple of spoilers about Batgirl and Wolverine, so if you haven’t read them yet and want to be surprised, come back later!

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #5

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    The New 52 Reviews: Action Comics, Batgirl, Detective Comics & More

    We Review Every #1 Issue of The New 52!

    It’s time once again for our comics reviews of The New 52, DC Comics’ ambitious re-imagining of its entire superhero universe. This week, we review all of the September 7 titles, including Detective Comics #1, Action Comics #1, Green Arrow #1, Justice League International #1, Animal Man #1, Batgirl #1, Batwing #1, Hawk and Dove #1, Swamp Thing #1, Men of War #1, OMAC #1, Static Shock #1, and Stormwatch #1.

    Whew! It was so many comics, we actually split it up into three videos, which you can view below. MILD SPOILER ALERT! We’ll avoid any big spoilers, but we will give out a few details as we go. So were these comics Box-Worthy, Fence-Worthy, or NOT Worthy? Listen to our opinions and then post your own below.

    DC's The New 52 #1 Issues

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    Have you read any of DC’s The New 52 #1 issues yet? What did you think? Post your comments below! You can also pre-order The New 52 #2 and #3 issues now, too.

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    Gail Simone Talks Batgirl, Firestorm & Women in The New 52

    Gail Simone BatgirlComics writer Gail Simone is not afraid to speak her mind–whether on Twitter, via her comics, or through her lightning rod of a website, Women in Refrigerators, which she created in the late 1990s. Women in Refrigerators, which is how I was first “introduced” to Simone back in the day, got its name from the brutal murder of Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend, Alex DeWitt, and questioned the number of female comic book characters who were violently attacked or killed in the name of a good story. It caused an industry-wide furor. It also, according to several creators, made people rethink how they wrote for women.

    Since then, Simone has risen through the comic book industry, writing a column for Comic Book Resources, scripting Simpsons comics for Bongo, and then moving on to Deadpool and Agent X for Marvel. For the past several years, she’s been the most prominent female writer at DC Comics, helming fan-favorite runs of Wonder Woman, Secret Six, Birds of Prey, and more. Now, with The New 52, she’s also the only female writer; her new series, Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm, will (re)launch this September.

    This is hardly the only controversy generated by DC Comics’ ambitious reimagining of its superhero universe, so we asked Simone about her plans for Batgirl and Firestorm, how she feels about Barbara Gordon regaining the use of her legs, and what her stance is on the lack of female creators in the new DC Universe. Read on!

    TFAW.com: Can you tell us where Barbara is in Batgirl #1, both emotionally and physically?

    Gail Simone: Emotionally, she’s excited, a big part of her feels this is what she was meant to do. But she’s not without regrets and fears. And physically, yes, she’s a little rusty.

    Gail Simone BatgirlTFAW.com: Barbara seems to have really grown up as a woman as Oracle, and as the leader of the Birds of Prey–is it a step back to return her to the “Batgirl” role?

    GS: Oh, sure, that’s a fair position to take, but I think it makes an error in singling out one character. Nearly the entire DCU is being de-aged. Was the recent Star Trek movie taking a step back for Kirk and crew? I think it’s possible to feel both things–to miss Oracle and to love Babs as Batgirl.

    TFAW.com: Barbara has been part of a team for a long time. How will she react to being a solo act again, if that’s what’s happening?

    GS: Again, I think she can be both, she can be a Beatle and a solo act. The things that make Barbara so hugely loveable and compelling are there in both forms. As a retailer, I’m sure you know how intimidating it can be to new and returning readers to feel that there’s this wall of information that has to be understood to read a comic that catches your eyes. The relaunch is a chance to do a kind of hyper-focus on the central core, the fixative element, that makes each character.

    TFAW.com: What’s her standing with the Birds of Prey in The New 52?

    GS: I am not on that book and not in that loop. I believe she appears in an early issue, beyond that, I don’t really know.

    TFAW.com: What are Barbara’s relationships like with Bruce, Dick, and her father in The New 52?

    GS: We see her relationship with Jim right away, and the other two within the first six issues. There are some new dynamics for sure!

    Batman: The Killing JokeTFAW.com: There are a lot of fans who are upset that Barbara is no longer a paraplegic. What’s your response to that?

    GS: Again, if we focus on one character, then this looks like a deliberate attempt to anger or alienate the fans of that character. But if you move the entire DCU back, it really only makes sense to start with something closer to what they were created to be. It’s not applied completely evenly, and that upsets some people, too . . . understandably.

    I have intentionally tried not to invalidate the opinions of people who feel she should stay in a chair forever. I believe in Oracle as a role model, I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. I refuse to reduce the feelings of these people to debate points. They feel what they feel; Oracle means more to them in the chair than Barbara means to them as Batgirl.

    We do plan to address this, in several big ways, one of which is making sure that one character no longer represents almost the entire disabled community in the DCU anymore.

    TFAW.com: You’re also writing The Fury of Firestorm, with Ethan Van Sciver. How does your collaboration work?

    GS: We discuss the plot together, and I write the scripts. Ethan loves the character, and wanted to do the book with me, and the fun thing is that it’s got a massive scope that unfolds–every issue reveals more and more how huge the Firestorm protocols are to the DCU.

    TFAW.com: Having two writers working together as one is a pretty clever parallel to Firestorm himself. Was that on purpose, or a happy accident?

    GS: It’s just a collaboration we wanted to have, but we were ironically aware the entire time, that there’re some definite parallels. I’m a tree-hugging lefty and Ethan’s far more conservative . . . it’s good fun and people keep remarking that it makes the pages spark.

    Fury of Firestorm Gail SimoneTFAW.com: How is Firestorm different in The New 52? How are Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond, and their relationship with each other, different?

    GS: We really have to leave that a surprise for now . . . but it’s great fun, and the art by Yildiray Cinar is simply explosive.

    TFAW.com: Are the events of Blackest Night, such as Ronnie killing Jason’s girlfriend, still in their past?

    GS: Our Firestorm #1 is their first meeting.

    TFAW.com: When did you first hear about DC’s plans for The New 52?

    GS: Not sure of the date, but there had been some rumblings for a while. But the actual announcement to us came in secretive dribs and drabs for a bit, then woomph, was just sort of unloaded on us. I was very skeptical at first, until I started seeing some of the creative teams.

    TFAW.com: Do you think this initiative will attract a lot of new or lapsed comics readers?

    GS: Overall, considering the entire plan, yes, I do, we’re seeing large numbers of people giving the books a try.

    I understand people being mad, but I just sat down an hour ago and read some of these first issues for the first time . . . not all are to my taste, but holy crap, some are just amazing. I hate for people to miss the fun of this, so I hope they give the new books a look.

    TFAW.com: There’s been a lot of controversy about the scarcity of women creators in The New 52. As a prominent and popular female writer, what’s your take?

    Fury of Firestorm Gail SimoneGS: It’s complicated–I want the best possible writers for every job. On the other hand, with the number of talented women who have proven they can write and draw and carry a title, and are popular with readers, I was absolutely dumbfounded that in the first wave of 52 titles, there were only two female creators, and only one writer. I found that out the same day the readers did. Since female readers are one of the few growing demos in the industry, that seemed a huge mistake and I was very put out by it.

    However, I knew some things that the readers didn’t . . . I knew that some major female talents had books in the pipeline, just not in the first wave, and that several others had been approached but had to decline because of the accelerated deadlines conflicting with their previous work.

    So I knew that the picture wasn’t as skewed as it seemed, but I still feel we could have done better, and I do think we muffed the response to the question. DC, to their credit, took the criticism to heart and reached out to a lot more female creators.

    TFAW.com: I finally read the end of Secret Six, and I have to know–will we ever know what happens to everyone? A couple of characters are already part of The New 52; what about the rest?

    GS: My take on the final issues of the pre-relaunch books is, I didn’t want them to end with a huge WE ARE DONE NOW THIS IS THE END thing, I wanted to leave them with a feeling that the universe would continue, and that there are stories still out there. I think the end of S6 feels satisfying, but exactly what happens next is really up to the reader.

    We want to thank Gail Simone for taking the time to answer all of our questions! You can pre-order Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm right here on our site, or pre-order all of The New 52 #1 and #2 issues for a limited time.

    Are you excited for Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm? How do you feel about the status of women in comics–both on and “behind” the panels? Post your comments below!

    ORDER ALL OF DC’S THE NEW 52 #2 ISSUES FOR JUST $95.69 (40% OFF)

    BROWSE ALL GAIL SIMONE COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

    SEE ALL OF DC’S THE NEW 52 COMICS

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    Comic Book Reviews: Bruce Wayne The Road Home, Spike, Khan

    New Reviews of This Week’s Releases!

    KHAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN! Can you handle it? We reviewed 12 titles this week, including some comics that Batman and Star Trek fans have been dying for! Watch us review Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Batman and Robin, Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Red Robin, Star Wars Knight Errant #1, Walking Dead HC Vol. 6, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5, Spike #1, Turok: Son of Stone #1, Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Batgirl, Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Outsiders, Star Trek Khan: Ruling in Hell #1, Locke & Key Keys to the Kingdom #2, and Irredeemable #18.

    Star Trek Khan: Ruling in Hell #1

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    How did we do? Did we cover all of the comics you’re looking forward to? Post your comments below!

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