Tag: steve wands

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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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    Tommy Can You Hear Me?

    Taking on a tale as complex as the new Royal City could spell disaster. But Jeff Lemire makes it look easy in Royal City #1. He has a practiced hand telling such complicated stories as Sweet Tooth, Essex County and Moon Knight. And he makes this new undertaking seem effortless.

    Royal City #1 (Variant Cover)
    Royal City #1 (Variant Cover)

    Taking on double duty in writing and illustrating, Lemire methodically introduces us to the Pike family. There’s the elderly Peter and Patti, who are having marital issues. Author Pat who is having trouble batting out his next novel. Daughter Tara, who is struggling to reshape the titular city–and make a fortune in the process. And Richard, who finds solace from life at the bottom of a bottle.

    Then There’s Tommy

    Tommy, the youngest son, appears in different forms–a young boy, a drinking buddy, a long-forgotten voice on the radio. He is whatever his family needs him to be. While it’s easy to guess Tommy’s real fate, the revelation is no less of a gut punch.

    Royal City itself is a character. And plays a significant role in the book. Royal City is a sleepy town of 45,000. Many of the characters are looking to escape the town. Or at least they think they are. More than likely, we’ll eventually learn they are trying to escape their own poor life choices. Lemire hasn’t taken us there yet. But when he does, we’ll be waiting.

    With his other acclaimed projects like Descender and A.D., Lemire is clearly at the top of his game. Between his colored pencils and his even more colorful words, Royal City is already among his best works.

    SEE WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE BLACK-SHEEP OF THE PIKE FAMILY. PRE-ORDER ROYAL CITY #2

    Royal City #1, Image Comics, Released March 1, 2017, Written and Art by Jeff Lemire, Lettering by Steve Wands; $4.99.

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    Batman and TMNT Join Forces

    New Comic Book Day Nov 9 2016

    It’s Wednesday, and that means there are new comic book releases to talk about! Check out our other New Comic Book Day blog articles to see our thoughts on previous new releases. 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.

    Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1
    By: Matthew K. Manning, Jon Sommariva

    Combining my favorite iteration of Batman with the most fun version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures gives us the ’90s Batman Animated Series combined with the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. What we get is a great sense of nostalgia, combined with the upbeat sensibilities the Turtles are known for. So basically, a good time.

    Matthew K. Manning weaves a plot that sets our two worlds of heroes onto the same case in a way that respects Batman’s detective skills and the turtle’s penchant for always getting themselves into trouble. Jon Sommariva’s art does a great job of combining the very distinctive art styles from both worlds into one that makes it feel like they belong together. Where IDW and DC had these two comic book versions of the characters recently crossover, having the light-hearted and more commercially known versions of these two classic franchises join forces is a great breath of fresh air for the kid at heart. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    PICK UP THE COMIC INSPIRED BY YOUR TOY BATTLES
    VISIT OUR SPECIAL BATMAN PAGE
    VISIT OUR SPECIAL TMNT PAGE

    Flash #10
    By: Joshua Williamson, Felipe Watanabe, Oclair Albert, Chris Sotomayor, Steve Wands, Carmine Di Giandomencio

    Heroics are hard. Having fantastic powers is great, but it doesn’t make one a hero. Barry Allen has been training Wally West how to use his powers, but The Flash #7 shows us that there’s more to heroics than simply running fast.

    Over the decades, The Flash has learned valuable lessons on how to save the people of Central City; he’s now using those years of experience and imparting wisdom upon Kid Flash. It’s as if Joshua Williamson is distilling decades worth of comics into digestible pieces for a new generation of comics fans.

    Williamson introduces two new Rogues, and this story promises to take us to places we’ve never gone before. I am excited to keep reading. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    PICK UP THIS ISSUE OF THE FLASH & DISCOVER OTHER GREAT FLASH BOOKS

    Archer & Armstrong #9
    By: Rafer Roberts, Mike Norton, Brian Level

    A&A #9 serves as a jump on point for new readers. “Andromeda Estranged” kicks off a new arc that sets our heroes in a history lesson. You see, Earth and humans, they’re a strange anomaly within the universe. The “creators,” as we learn, didn’t mean for us to be created. They tried to steer us in the right direction but greed and power (as it always seems to) corrupted us.

    Valiant is known for creating good jumping-on points for new readers and this issue is no exception. Rafer Roberts has been doing an excellent job with this series. Issue #9 is no exception. Penciler Mike Norton and Colorist Allen Passalaqua within the first few pages have a visually striking style that works with the context, (thanks to Ryan Lee) a James Stokoe grit if you will. Once we’re back in our world, however, they go to a more familiar style that Archer & Armstrong fans are used to. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    GRAB THIS BUDDY COP COMEDY FROM VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT!

    WWE Then Now Forever #1
    By: Dennis Hopeless, Dan Mora, Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Guillory, Rob Shamberger, Derek Fridolfs, Daniel Bayliss

    As a fan of professional wrestling growing up, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this issue from BOOM! Studios new WWE series. WWE: Then. Now. Forever #1. This is a reader’s first introduction to the new comic world that weaves in and out of actual stories from the WWE. This compilation issue collects a story by Dennis Hopeless about Seth Rollins’ rise and fall with his team, The Shield. Along with short stories featuring The New Day, Sasha Banks, and Tugboat. This issue also collects the San Diego Comic Con exclusive one-page stories featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, John Cena, The New Day, Sasha Banks, The Undertaker, and Dusty Rhodes.

    Headed up by a huge list of creators, this book takes the fandom seriously in some stories, has a whole lot of fun in others, and finds itself incredibly inspirational. The heroes, the heels, the over the top performances, and the drama that fans of professional wrestling have come to love and crave are all found here. If you’ve ever been a fan of any era of the WWE, WWE: Then. Now. Forever is a book for you. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    DON’T TAP OUT GRAB WWE: THEN. NOW. FOREVER TODAY!

    Captain America Steve Rogers #7
    By: Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz, Joe Caramagna, Stephanie Hans

    Steve Rogers’ reality has been secretly rewritten by a sentient Cosmic Cube known as Kobik. He is now an agent of HYDRA.

    That’s all the background you need to jump aboard Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz’s Steve Rogers Captain America. Cap is no longer the bastion of freedom and morality; he’s been corrupted, and this allows Spencer to explore some important themes that his predecessors never have. Steve Rogers Captain America #7 is the start to a new arc, so now’s a good time to join along.

    Saiz’s art is expressive and emotional, particularly when it comes to depicting the book’s tyrants–the Red Skull and the bullies of 1935 that were a part of the machine that gave rise to his HYDRA regime.

    I can’t help but have optimism about the future of this comic and really, really look forward to getting our Steve Rogers back in the saddle again. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    VISIT OUR CAPTAIN AMERICA PAGE

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

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    There’s a New Batman in Town!

    NCBD Sept 28th

    It’s our favorite time of the week, and that means we’ve got another installment of New Comic Book Day for you! 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.

    Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes comics at TFAW.com

    Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #1
    By: Tim Seeley, David Walker, Fernando Dagnino, Sandra Molina, Duncan Fegredo

    In a change of events from the end of Beneath the Planet of the Apes film, Cornelius and Zira travel back in time to 1901 West Africa instead of 1970’s North America. Here they found a young Tarzan and raised him as their own along with their son, Milo. When the Ape King Kerchak is abducted by hunters, Tarzan and family rush to his rescue, only to place themselves in further danger.

    Writers Tim Seeley and David Walker prove to not only be fans of both Planet of the Apes and Tarzan but both imaginative in finding a loophole in bringing these two worlds together in a way that honors both franchises. All while creating a new exciting direction. Fernando Dagnino’s pencils perfectly capture the feel of both worlds, and dynamically crafts action sequences worthy of the characters. If you’re looking for a fresh new take on classic stories, Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes is a must read. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    ORDER TARZAN ON THE PLANET OF THE APES COMICS TODAY

    Batman Beyond comics at TFAW.com

    Batman Beyond Rebirth #1
    By: Dan Jurgens, Ryan Sook, Tony Avina, Jeremey Lawson

    Terry McGinnis is back from the dead, and he may not be the only one. Batman Beyond Rebirth #1 gets you up to speed if you’ve never watched the animated television series or read any of the Batman Beyond comics. With a quick recap of Terry’s Batman origin pulled straight from the cartoon, the issue also gives us some insight on what has happened to Terry’s world while he was gone.

    The main story we get from Batman Beyond Rebirth #1 is that Neo-Gotham’s “Jokerz” gang is up to something much bigger than they have ever done in the past, and Terry needs to figure what that plan is before it’s brought to life.

    Dan Jurgens does a great job setting up what is sure to be an exciting first arc in the Rebirth of Batman Beyond. I always loved how the Batman Beyond series took inspiration from past Batman stories. You can see elements from all over Bat-Lore. It’s almost as if history repeats itself.

    Ryan Sook, Jeremy Lawson, and Tony Avina all do a great job with the hard lines and neon colors of Neo-Gotham. Even if you didn’t watch the show or read previous Batman Beyond comic books, you should jump on this schway series! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    SEE MORE BATMAN BEYOND COMICS

    Extraordinary X-Men comics at TFAW.com

    Extraordinary X-Men #14
    By: Jeff Lemire, Victor Ibanez, Humberto Ramos

    Still dealing with the aftermath of their recent encounter with Apocalypse, the X-Men are all now split dealing with different issues. Iceman and Nightcrawler encounter Colossus who’s now transformed by Apocalypse. Forge is left with Apocalypse as he tries to find a way to reverse what happened to Colossus. Storm and Magik look for their missing student, Sapna. Finally, Logan and Jean Grey share some quiet moments being away from their in-danger teammates.

    Jeff Lemire splits the group expertly. With so many things happening simultaneously, it can often feel like nothing is really happening, but Lemire is able to keep all these scenes focused on the big picture of the main story, with all of them being meaningful with character defining moments. The art from Victor Ibanez is incredibly expressive. Just the way he draws subtle emotions on Apocalypse’s face is enough to haunt me. Once again, Extraordinary X-Men proves to be one of the most exciting books published by Marvel. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    SEE EVEN MORE X-MEN PRODUCTS AT TFAW

    Flash comics at TFAW.com

    Flash #14
    By: Joshua Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia, Steve Wands

    [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Epic. That’s my summation of this issue (and Joshua Williamson’s story thus far). My heart is beating fast. We now know the identity of Godspeed, and it makes things more tragic. After a quick battle against Godspeed in the first four pages of The Flash #7, Barry has to flee the fight so he can recover from a pretty hefty beat-down.

    A few consistent themes exist over the course of The Flash‘s run:

    • timing — being in the wrong/right place at the wrong/right time, or being fast enough to save somebody
    • addiction — the Speed Force has proven especially addictive to villians
    • yearning to right past wrongs

    Williamson expertly weaves these elements together in this issue — he’s crafting a story that is tense and exciting. This story matters; it has emotional weight that you can feel. I’m especially intrigued by how I identify with Godspeed, whose intentions are actually kind of pure. It comes down to how this person is willing to compromise to get to those ends that makes them a villain.

    If you’re just catching up with the story, this will be a fun issue that will quickly grab your attention and spark your love for this character, the writing chops of Josh Williamson, and the awesome artwork that Carmine Di Giandomencio and Ivan Plascencia are putting on the page. Di Giandomencio is laying down some really great stuff — it’s clear he’s studied how to depict movement in this medium, and it’s paying off in spades in this issue. Plascencia’s colors are gorgeous, especially when it comes to depicting the Speed Force. Just outstanding work all around. #TeamFlash [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    HURRY OVER TO OUR FLASH THEME PAGE

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

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    Walking in a Winter Wasteland with Frostbite #1

    frostbite #1 review

    frostbite #1 coverThe year is…well, it’s unclear what year it is. All we’re told is it’s been more than half a century since the Earth’s temperature dropped, leaving once-balmy regions like Los Angeles steeped in sub-zero conditions. Welcome to the world of Frostbite, the new Vertigo comic book series from Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Nailbiter, Birthright) and Jason Shawn Alexander (Empty Zone, The Secret).

    To survive amid the severe change of climate, most people have congregated in large cities, resulting in over-crowding, rampant crime…you know, the standard state of affairs in dystopian urbania. What’s more, the chilly conditions have brought about a new disease known as “frostbite,” an apparently contagious ailment that causes the infected to freeze from the inside out.

    Frostbite #1 Preview at TFAW.comFollowing an ominous introduction, we are introduced to a small team of transporters (smugglers?), headed by the female protagonist, Keaton. Readying for their next long haul, the group is approached by a pair of doctors, father and daughter, who are seeking transport from L.A. to Alcatraz Island. The pair’s quality attire makes Keaton question why they’d want to hitch a ride with a hauler rig, but she ultimately agrees. Her suspicions are substantiated when the team is suddenly attacked by a unit of assassins, under orders from the sinister and mysterious crime boss known simply as “Fuego.”

    The artwork culminates in a stunning minimalism that nicely fits the simple, yet stark reality the story is set within.

    Turns out these doctors have something Fuego wants, and are willing to kill to obtain it. Now, without supplies or means of transportation, Keaton and her team must find a way to get their precious human cargo to Alcatraz before Fuego catches up with them.

    Frostbite #1 Preview at TFAW.comIn both concept and execution, this book rides the current zeitgeist of female-fronted dystopian sci-fi. Every element here feels familiar, like someone combined the best elements of Mad Max: Fury Road, Judge Dredd, and Snowpiercer.

    As intriguing as the story itself is, where this book really shines is in the artwork. Artist Jason Shawn Alexander’s scratchy, shadowy inking is great to look at, especially when he zooms in on a character’s face and amps up the detail. Even better is the watercolor work by Luis NCT, which relies on a spare color spectrum (basically blue, orange, red, and brown), and every few pages features a really cool ink spatter effect. Altogether, the artwork culminates in a stunning minimalism that nicely fits the simple, yet stark reality the story is set within.

    Frostbite #1 Preview at TFAW.comI look forward to seeing what the creative team does with the premise going forward.

    Frostbite #1, Vertigo Comics, Released Sept 28, 2016, Written by Joshua Williamson, Art by Jason Shawn Alexander, Colors by Luis NCT, Letters by Steve Wands.

    Review by James Florence.

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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 #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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