Column: What it means to be a Young Animal in the DCU

By: Shawn Warner

     We are now three titles into the Young Animal imprint, for those of you who may have been off planet for the past few months, Young Animal is the new Vertigo-like imprint at DC Comics under the creative guidance of visionary writer and Grant Morrison protégé, Gerard Way. Like Vertigo, young Animal is designed to be the home of books that, although very much a part of the DC continuity, these titles share a more eclectic and progressive tone, often darker and geared more to mature readers. Continue reading

Review: The Dark Knight Strikes Again

(DC Comics – 2002)

Frank Miller

Lynn Varley

Todd Klein

After the crazy success of The Dark Knight Returns, there should have been no worry about the release of a second volume in the series.  Eight years after the 1986 release, Frank Miller was back in the world of the aged and curmudgeonly Bruce Wayne, with plans to expand the universe in a way that would bring in many other DC mainstays.  Expectations were high. Continue reading

Review: The Dark Knight Returns TPB

(DC Comics and Warner Books 1986)

Story and Pencils by Frank Miller

Inks by Klaus Janson and Frank Miller

Colors and Visual Effects by Lynn Varley

Letters by John Constanza

There is no denying the effect that Frank Miller can and has had on the comic industry.  His take on Daredevil changed the way we saw the savior of Hell’s Kitchen, and in the same way he changed the way we see Batman still today. Continue reading

Review: Convergence #4

(DC Comics 2015)

Written by Jeff King

Art by Jason Paz and Stephen Segovia

I honestly thought the last issue of Convergence was the strongest chapter so far in the main story; it was far less dependent upon set-up and superfluous exposition, the pace was more energetic and the action sequences were exciting and dynamic, so things are looking up right? Wrong. Continue reading

REVIEW: Convergence #2

(DC Comics, 2015)

Written by Jeff King
Art by Jason Paz and Carlo Pagulayan
Color Artwork by Peter Steigerwald
Lettered by Travis Lanham

This issue could easily have been subtitled “A Tale of Two Batmen” as Jeff King brings the much older, weathered and chemically dependent Batman of Earth 2 and the younger, more idealistic pre-Flashpoint DCU Batman face to face in the midst of the chaos and turmoil of the Convergence event. Continue reading

REVIEW: Convergence #1

(DC Comics, 2015)

Written by Jeff King and Scott Lobdell
Art by Carlo Pagulayan
Colors by Peter Steigwald and Jason Starr

“Captivity turns to Competition” or so Telos promises in issue #1 of DC’s huge Convergence event. Coming just one week after the set-up laden zero issue, the first chapter of the event begins in very much the same manner, with a slow methodical pace and lots of necessary exposition and back story. Continue reading

Review: Hulk vs. Thanos #1

(Marvel Comics, 2015)

Writer/Pencils- Jim Starlin
Inks- Andy Smith
Colors- Frank D’Armata

At this point even the casual comic book reader is familiar with the Infinity Gauntlet, at least by name; due mostly to its alluded to inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Certainly there is no other writer more closely connected to that story and perhaps even the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe than Jim Starlin. Starlin has dedicated more of his career to Thanos than any other character; beyond the various Infinity titles Starlin has penned several one shots, minis and even an original graphic novel featuring the exploits of the Mad Titan. So with that being the case I have to wonder why the big bad purple skinned villain occupies so few pages of this introductory issue allowing Pip the Troll to all but steal the show.

The idea of this story first came to light around the time Savage Hulk was launched. Marvel teased the concept of pitting these two Goliaths against one another with Starlin at the helm which would most likely mean the story would be set in the cosmic landscape of the Marvel U. Continue reading

Review: Justice League United #7

(DC Comics, 2015)

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Pencils: Neil Edwards
Inks: Jay Leisten with Keith Champagne
Colorist: Jeromy Cox

The Infinitus Saga continues as the Justice League United fight alongside the Legion of Super-Heroes against the shape-shifter Byth to decide the fate of the young alien Ultra who could grow up to destroy the 31st century. The JLU and Legion of Super-Heroes travelled to the Moon of Ryngor in the Polaris System where Byth captured and gained control over Ultra. The innocent alien was forced to open a rift in space, unleashing a fearsome army of Wraths. Now as Byth and his allies, Black Mass, and the newly resurrected Hawkman – who is also under Byth’s influence – escaped with Ultra, the JLU and the Legion must find a way to stop Byth from taking Ultra into the rift and save the universe as the Wrath’s advance into inhabited space.

Justice League United #7 sees this time-warping intergalactic team-up between the Justice League United and the Legion of Super-Heroes really hitting its stride, as writer Jeff Lemire pulls out all the stops for this third part of The Infinitus Saga. Now the initial differences and misunderstandings between the JLU and Legion of Super-Heroes has been resolved, the battle against Byth steps up a gear as their forces unite against the shape-shifter.
Continue reading

Review: Harley Quinn – Holiday Special #1

(DC Comics, 2015)

Art by: John TimmsDarwyn Cooke
Cover by: Amanda Conner
Variant cover by: Amanda Conner
Written by: Jimmy PalmiottiAmanda Conner

It’s Christmas time! And, it’s time for all of the holiday themed TV shows, movies, and comic books. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have put together a wonderful issue of Harley Quinn as she explores the wonders of Christmas in three short stories. Remember the old Looney Tune cartoons that were broken into two or three eight minute episodes? This is the format that Harley’s Holiday Special is formatted. It is an absolutely, wonderful read and one that is filled with the right amount of jeer, cheer, and destruction.

Conner brings a very interesting twist to Harley Quinn that allows her to maintain her psychotic, pyrotechnic lifestyle, yet somehow come across as a comic book character that you almost want your child to read. The artwork by John Timms and Darwyn Cooke in this Holiday Special features both colorful and exciting. The toon-ish feel holds to the rest of the Harley Quinn New 52 stories that makes this issue a true joy to read.
Continue reading

Review: The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1

(DC Comics, 2014)

Grant Morrison- Writer
Frank Quitely- Artist

The Lemniscate, The Cassini Oval, The Devil’s Curve, The Mobius Strip, these are all names for the twisted cylinder used to represent the concept of infinity, it is also a recurring theme in what is hands down the most brilliant single issue of 2014. However, to refer to Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Pax Americana as a single issue is somewhat misleading due to the fact that it reads much more like a graphic novel; thematically as well as for sheer quantity of content, this book contains not one single superfluous panel. Morrison and his longtime collaborator Quitely have crafted a work of storytelling brilliance as well as an exploration of mathematical theorem as applied to a literary endeavor.

Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘The Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes’ #1

(DC Comics, 2014)

Written by Grant Morrison
Pencils by Chris Sprouse
Inks by Walden Wong
Color Artwork by Dave McCaig

The Multiversity: Society of Super Heroes #1: Conquerors from the Counter World

The second installment in Grant Morrison’s wildly imaginative epic journey in the Multiverse of the DCU is as entertaining and exciting as comic books get. The tone Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Constantine’ #17

(DC Comics, 2014)

Written by Ray Fawkes
Pencils by Edgar Salazar
Inks by Jay Leisten
Color Artwork by Tanya & Richard Horie
Lettering by Taylor Esposito

John Constantine has always been one of my all-time favorite characters for the simple reason that he is a consummate survivor. He’s survived every sort of occult enemy, ethereal attackers of all sorts, sizes and denominations and he has even faced the sinister Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Grayson’ #2

(DC Comics, 2014)

Written by Tim Seeley, Tom King
Artwork by Mikel Janin
Color Artwork by Jeromy Cox
Lettered by Carlos M. Mangual

Tim Seeley really has a firm grasp on Dick Grayson as a character; he knows what makes him tick, not as Robin or Nightwing or Batman but as Dick Grayson, a man on his own, fighting his own battles as part of a covert unit. Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘The Wake’ #9

(DC Comics / Vertigo, 2014)

Written by Scott Snyder
Artwork by Sean Murphy
Color Artwork by Matt Hollingsworth
Lettering by Jared K. Fletcher

The penultimate issue of The Wake opens with Leeward, now the first mate of the enigmatic Captain Mary’s crew, recording a “captain’s” log very similar to those of her numinous predecessor Lee Archer. Having convinced Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Batman’ #31

(DC Comics, 2014)

Written by Scott Snyder
Artwork by Greg Capullo
Color Artwork by FCO Plascencia
Lettering by Steve Wands

Scott Snyder has gone to great lengths to humanize Batman and in so doing he has created a flawed hero who rises above those flaws to become stronger; it is, in fact, those flaws that go on to define the hero. It could be said that Batman was born the moment Continue reading

REVIEW: ‘Forever Evil’ #7

(DC Comics, 2014)

Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by David Finch
Inks by Richard Friend
Color Artwork by Sonia Oback

The delay between issues 6 and 7 took a lot of power out of the punch that was ultimately delivered by this concluding chapter of Forever Evil, particularly where the fate of Dick Grayson is concerned. However, that being said there is still a lot to be excited about in the final act of this epic tale. Continue reading