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‘DC New Talent Showcase #1’ (review)

Written by Various
Illustrated by Various
Published by DC Comics

 

This year marks the third installment in the modern era of a comic series or type of comic that seemed to be more prevalent in the days of spinner racks and hard bubble gum in your sports cards.

2018’s DC New Talent Showcase #1 (how cool is it you get to be in a number 1!) is an anthology title with content from DC-groomed new writers and artists accepted to a short list of contenders each year. The backmatter in this book shows that DC has already hired some of these great creators to work on regular books, and the congratulatory tone of Sara Miller’s (Showcase Co-Editor and Talent Development Manager) introduction is one I wish to echo.

As the old saying goes, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write reviews of single issue comics”. I’ve always dreamed of seeing my name in CMYK in a real comic by the big two, and books like this almost make me think it could happen if I applied myself to the DC Talent Development Workshops. From writing to art, coloring to lettering, many people are now listed in the marquee credits of a real DC Comic and I wish to say congratulations!

The type of comic that is made up of 8, 10 or 12 page stories are among my favorites. From classic horror books to a personal favorite Marvel Comics Presents (which is coming back!) to the big celebratory DC Comics 80- or 100- Page Giants to celebrate milestones are to me a perfect exercise in storytelling. Not a whole issue, but still plenty of pages to fill with splash, action and even some horror in this book. Were I a professor of comics and not a student, this would be my assignment for a class. One comic. 12 pages. Tim Gunn voice “Make it work!”

Something of note that I appreciate of this issue before we dive in is that these new sparkling talents get to work with THE TOYS. The wonderful toys. Green Lantern. Wonder Woman. Constantine, Zatanna, The Goddamn Batman.

A way to get your foot in the door in the past would be to work on some Condiment King backup and you’d be grateful for it! With the help of experienced editors Bobbie Chase and Sara Miller along with Liz Erickson and the backing of Andy Kubert, Scott Snyder and Klaus Janson for review you get to work on the legendary DC Comics slate. And that’s just plain cool. Don’t attack me, Condiment King fans! He’s still my favorite ketchup based hero!

This is a thick book at a $7.99 price point might not find it’s way into your stack but for the price of two mediocre comics, take a chance on these folks. DC did! You’ll have to refer to the book for full credits and listings but I will say some words about each story in the book.

Batman: Leap of Faith – One of my favorite Batman stories of 2018 kicks off the book with a mid-air rescue, complete with Bats jumping on a US Senator’s plane (an anti-vigilante Senator) that has been hijacked by Zsasz. Lots of action. Batwing. Aerial acrobatics. Alfred is there somehow. Awesome story.

Constantine: Neon Demons – We’re enjoying Constantine as a series regular on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and why not introduce this necromancer to the talent showcase audience? Watch as John makes himself bleed and extracts the demon of the casino!

Catwoman: Pedigree (ft. Damian Wayne) – A Catwoman and Robin story for the decades! Classic DC team up here, as Pennyworth the cat is taken hostage by The Penguin. Set pre-break up, Catwoman is living in the house The Waynes built with an uncomfortable soon to be step-son. Catwoman doesn’t play by the rules when it comes to collecting the booty but she provides a nice surprise to the young brat in the end. I would totally buy a Catwoman and Robin series with these two. It was fun, clever and just damn fine comics.

Green Lantern: Where There’s a Will – starring John Stewart on Planet Talie that is having problems with immigration and xenophobia seeks to Make Talien Hall Great Again by enlisting the help of Yellow Lantern Karu-Sil to instill fear in the people there. Though I am not a huge GL fan, this was a great story with social relevance and some great memories John had of his mom fighting for justice in Detroit. Great stuff.

Zatanna: Sleight of Hand – As much as I wanted to write this review backwards, it’s too hard. You have to deal with my proper English! Zatanna faces a demon that her father once faced and needs to save a town in Northern Italy. This one will keep you entertained for sure!

Wonder Woman – The Secret of Greek Fire – Since I am currently 3 issues deep into the main Wonder Woman title by G. Willow Wilson, I am always curious how people deal with Diana in comics as there are many dimensions and angles you can do with her, all to the advantage of any creator I would think. In this story, Wonder Woman is depowered because of an energy blast so she must climb a mountain with an injured teen to get her to safety and medical attention. This one is great because even without powers, Wonder Woman inspires people to keep going.

Take a chance on this one for 5 great short stories in the DC house style. Great art. Not one story made me want to skip, though admittedly I went back to read Green Lantern last because it seemed wordy at the time. I regret that decision! All great! And congrats to those who made it into the issue and those other stars we haven’t seen on the page yet that we all know are out there.

Some of the artists in the book you may have already seen in Titans, Gotham City Garage, Sideways and others.

Always read the credits and follow your favorites on social media! Thats where they may post personal and independent work. Maybe you need an artist and you can start your search here.

I love everything about this book! I am looking forward to 2019’s candidates already!

 

 

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