Tag: danny miki

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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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    Review: Batman #6 – I Can Help with the Pain

    Review Batman #6

    batman #6 coverIn Batman #5, we saw Gotham Girl give up the goods on her brother Gotham. Not only did she spill it, giving up the secret that gave her and her brother Hank their super abilities, she actually killed Gotham herself in order to save Gotham City. That’s enough to make anyone go 2007-bald-Britney crazy.

    In Batman #6, we see Claire running all over Gotham City battling such low level jobbers as Colonel Blimp and Kite Man. The trouble is, while she’s flying all over Gotham fighting crime, she is trading her life for these small victories. The deal that Gotham and Gotham Girl made takes years off her life in exchange for hours of super abilities.

    Batman is at a loss for how to help Claire deal with her grief, but knows that if he doesn’t intervene, she will be dead within a couple weeks. Batman knows all about grief, but maybe isn’t the model of emotional health when it comes to grief management. Alfred delivers the best line of the series when Batman asks him how he helped Bruce deal with his own grief.

    “…each night you leave this perfectly lovely house and go leaping off buildings dressed as a giant bat. Do you really think I helped you?”

    This issue does an excellent job wrapping up the emotional fallout from the I Am Gotham storyline. It also sets up the next story arc, Night of the Monster Men, where we’ll see Batman working with Nightwing and Batwoman in the first crossover of the Rebirth era. Hopefully we’ll also get to see Duke finally leave the Batcave.

    In case you missed it, Tom King just won the 2016 Harvey Award for Most Promising New Talent. Well deserved, sir. Congratulations!

    Batman #6, DC Comics, rated T, released September 7, 2016, written by Tom King, pencils by Ivan Reis, inks by Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, and Scott Hanna, colors by Marcelo Mailo, letters by Deron Bennett, cover by David Finch, Danny Miki, and Jordie Bellaire, variant cover by Tim Sale, $2.69

    Review by Brendan Allen

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    Review: Batman #5 – The Pirate Broke Gotham

    Review for Batman #5
    DC Universe Rebirth - Batman #5 CoverBatman #4 opened with a gory scene showing 27 men lying dead at the hands of Gotham. The weight of responsibility for the safety of Gotham City and its residents is starting to weigh on the sincere rookie. He’s realizing it will take more than superpowers to be a hero. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that Gotham and Gotham Girl have had their emotions turned sideways by Psycho Pirate.
     
    In Batman #5, Gotham decides that the city of Gotham needs to be destroyed because he can’t save it. He flies to the center of town and warns bystanders to run as his eyes begin to glow red. Batman’s on the way, but won’t make it in time, so he sends in a decoy to stall for a few minutes. Alfred arrives on the scene in the Batmobile, wearing a Batsuit. That image alone is worth the price of admission.
     
    Batman himself is no match physically for Gotham, so he has called in some reinforcements. It quickly becomes evident that even The Justice League’s combined abilities won’t cut it unless they gain some understanding of Gotham’s unique powers. The only person who can provide said insight is Gotham Girl, who is currently in the Batcave with Duke, paralyzed with irrational fear courtesy of Psycho Pirate.
     
    I am Gotham #5 is a brilliant finale to the arc. Tom King has deftly established Batman as the only hero who can bear the weight of Gotham City’s sins. Bruce Wayne is Gotham City, for better and worse. Batman #6 will serve as an epilogue to I am Gotham, and then we get to see King write Batman’s first crossover of the Rebirth era in Batman #7. The Monster Men are coming!
     
    Batman #5, DC Comics, Rated T, released August 17, 2016, written by Tom King, pencils by David Finch, inks by David Finch, Sandra Hope, Matt Banning and Scott Hanna, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by John Workman, cover by David Finch, Danny Miki, and Jordie Bellaire, variant cover by Tim Sale, $2.69
     
    Review by Brendan Allen
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    Review: All Star Batman #1 – Synder Returns, Offers Batman Twist

    All-Star Batman # by Scott Snyder at TFAW.com

    all star batman #1Of all the New 52 titles, Batman was least in need of a makeover in DC’s Rebirth. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo did such an amazing job with the Dark Knight mythos during that time that it was hard to conceive anyone else at the helm of the Batman Rebirth title. Luckily, Tom King and David Finch are killing it, and now Scott Snyder has moved on to All Star Batman. The art duties will rotate between such names as John Romita Jr., Declan Shalvey, Jock, Sean Gordon Murphy, and Tula Lotay, so that “All Star” label applies as much to the creative team as it does the villains in this series. Greg Capullo fans can look forward to a mysterious collaboration he has promised with Snyder after he finishes his current project with Mark Millar.

    Scott Snyder got the idea for a new take on Batman from a southwest road trip he took with his nine-year-old. While he had the whole trip planned out, the most fun and craziest moments they had were when the plan failed and they ended up off road. Essentially, Snyder decided to pitch a road trip where Batman would end up facing all the villains he wished he had written during his New 52 tenure.

    All Star Batman #1 cleanly establishes the plot of this new series: Batman has promised to take Harvey Dent out of Gotham and deliver him to a house where Dent believes he can rid himself of his villainous alter ego. Two-Face doesn’t want to be eliminated, so he offers a bounty equal to the fortunes of the three richest crime lords in Gotham on Batman’s head. As added incentive, Two-Face promises that if Batman is not brought down, he will reveal all of the illicit information that he has collected during his time as DA.

    Two-Face’s split personality, alternately helping and hindering Batman’s progress, makes him simultaneously interesting as a sidekick and a foil. The rotating cadre of artists keeps the individual chapters looking fresh. Batman even has a few moments of levity in the script. Wait. Batman has jokes?

    Stephen King once said, “There’s one thing I’m sure about. An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know more about this.”

    As an opening line, All Star Batman does its job in spades. I definitely want to know more about this.

    All Star Batman #1, DC Comics, released 10 August 2016, written by Scott Snyder, art by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey, inks by Danny Miki and Declan Shalvey, colors by Dean White and Jordie Bellaire, letters by Steve Wands, cover by John Romita, Danny Miki and Dean White, variant covers by Jock, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, $4.49

    Review by Brendan Allen

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    Review: Batman #3

    Review of Batman #3

    batman #3Gotham and Gotham Girl seemingly appeared out of thin air in I Am Gotham (Batman #1). Batman #3 starts to pull back the curtain on who these mystery vigilante crime fighters are and where they came from. The opening sequence is a flashback (with entirely too many “piss references”) where Batman saves a young boy and his folks from a brutal mugging. Back in storyline present, we learn the tale is being told to an incognito Bruce Wayne by Gotham & Gotham Girl’s parents. We’re following the story of the world’s greatest detective.

    Of course he figured out their secret identities. Although exactly how the pair achieved their superhuman abilities is still unclear. We only know it was expensive and it took place somewhere overseas. There’s a rabbit hole I’m sure we’ll head down eventually.

    “The Monster Men are… coming. Aren’t they…STRANGE…?”

    If you haven’t guessed by now, with the oh-so-subtle dialogue clues like the one above and two cameo appearances by none other than Dr. Hugo Strange himself, Tom King is setting us up to revisit one of the oldest storylines in Batlore, Hugo Strange and the Monster Men. King isn’t messing around with the “back to our roots” DC Rebirth concept. This story has its roots all the way back in 1940’s Batman #1.

    I am thoroughly enjoying Tom King’s take on Batman. We’re seeing more of Bruce Wayne’s sleuthing abilities and disguise expertise. The chapters haven’t been excessive in their use of action sequences, but the action is well planned and executed. The dialogue and setup is where King is really starting to shine. There are more than a couple times Mr. King effectively uses misdirection to poke at readers who have extensive knowledge of Batman and DC canon. Those are my favorite setups, where you aren’t sure you’ve been had until it becomes abundantly clear three panels (or three issues) later.

    Batman #3, DC Comics, released July 20, 2016, written by Tom King, pencils by David Finch, inks by Danny Miki, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by John Workman, cover by David Finch, Matt Banning, and Jordie Bellaire, $2.69

    Review by Brendan Allen

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    Review: Batman #2

    batman #2In case you missed Batman #1, Batman was poised to rescue the city of Gotham and passengers on board a critically disabled jet by diverting the jet into a large body of water. In the process of saving countless lives, Batman was prepared to lose his own. At the very last second, the plane slowed by an unseen force. As the nose of the plane lifted up gently, Batman mistakenly credited the assist to Superman before realizing it was someone else entirely. Two masked strangers introduced themselves as Gotham and Gotham Girl.

    Batman #2 opens with a fight between Gotham, Gotham Girl, and Solomon Grundy. This is the first good look we get at Gotham and Gotham Girl. By first appearance, the pair has Kryptonian abilities. They both levitate and fly in the manner of Clark Kent, and they also apparently have super strength. Later in the issue, we learn they also have enhanced vision and x-ray vision. The symbol they wear on their chests is even reminiscent of the Superman’s shield of The House of El.

    The fight with Grundy showcases the pair’s abilities, but also exposes a huge weakness. They haven’t been doing this hero gig for very long, and they’re green as grass. Batman is uncharacteristically trusting of the new duo. He agrees to help train them, either to make them into credible crime fighters, or so that he can keep them close for observation. The pair is extremely eager to please, which begs to question why they are so intent on getting close to Batman in the first place.

    I enjoyed the pacing of this issue better than the last. The last issue was all about establishing relationships and characters. This issue starts to move the Monster Men story arc forward, while still conveying a few important character developments. Tom King and David Finch have delivered another solid entry in the Rebirth mythos. I only hope that they are able to maintain this level of storytelling while pumping out two issues per month.

    Batman #2, DC Comics, released July 6, 2016, written by Tom King, pencils by David Finch, inks by Matt Banning and Danny Miki, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by John Workman, cover by David Finch and Jordie Bellaire, $2.69

    Review by Brendan Allen.

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    Review: Batman #51

    Batman #51Batman #51 is one of the best stories from the title since its rebirth in DC’s “New 52” launch. It is also – perhaps not coincidentally – Scott Snyder’s and Greg Capullo’s final collaboration for one of the most iconic titles in the comic universe.

    In a title as storied as Batman, epic cover art seems to come less and less frequently. The collaborative piece created by Capullo, Miki, and FCO Plascencia features the cape and cowl enveloping an oddly bright Gotham City, the Bat Signal in its sky taking the place of the iconic symbol on Batman’s chest. It’s a brilliant blend of the dark nature of the Batman character in juxtaposition to the brightening character of Gotham.

    The unspectacular nature of this story is what’s so spectacular about it. We’ve seen stories of the Dark Knight on night patrols since forever, and at its heart, this story is just that. Driving on the empty streets outside Gotham, Batman experiences a minor earthquake that knocks out power to the city. Suspecting (with undeniably good reason) that this is some form of attack, Batman visits some of the usual suspects, but the culprit is far less expected and far more revealing than you might expect.

    The art reflects the usual quality of Capullo, Miki, and Plascencia, and the narration is conducted in a Book Antiqua-ish font, which adds a nice flavor to the story, especially when the narrator is revealed. Worth picking up even if you’re not following the Dark Knight’s crusade on a regular basis.

    Batman #51, writer: SCOTT SNYDER, pencils: GREG CAPULLO, inks: DANNY MIKI, colors: FCO PLASCENCIA, letters: STEVE WANDS, cover: CAPULLO, MIKI, & PLASCENCIA.

    Review by Robb McKinney.

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