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Giant-Size Graphic Breakdown: A Week of Amazing Books

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown! It’s been a good couple of weeks for DC Comics. This week that trend continues!

Plus, check out a bunch of reviews of some fantastic lesser-known titles.

 

Doom Patrol #6
Written by Gerard Way
Illustrated by Nick Derington
Published by DC Comics

This is the flagship book in the Young Animal line. It had been plagued with a few delays. I don’t care. If the book is this good, I don’t mind waiting. And the book is that good.

Let’s start with the cover by Nick Derington. It’s beautiful. After that, you open the book up. The story inside is amazing.

This is the issue that the entire Doom Patrol come together finally as a team. It’s exciting. They band together to take out the Vectra and it’s crazy for sure. It’s also a well crafted tale.

Gerard Way is the only person Besides Grant Morrison I want to write the Doom Patrol. Believe me, that’s saying something. He and Derington have created a great first storyline.

I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

RATING: A

 

Detective Comics #955
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Marcio Takara
Published by DC Comics

Man, this League of Shadows storyline going on in Detective Comics currently is brutal to watch.

That’s a bad thing for the characters but a great thing for the readers! The storyline is action packed, exciting, and just fantastic.

Batman’s gang is beaten down. Cassandra Cain must take on the League of Shadows to help Batman and friends out of this jam they’re in.

And it’s crazy good. The fight scene in this issue may end up ranking as one of the year’s best.

Tynion writes another fine issue with some excellent art. Pick up this storyline. Detective Comics is the place to be!

RATING: A-

 

Kamandi Challenge #4
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Carlos D’Anda
Published by DC Comics

This has been an exciting series. Each issue has a new creative team picking up where the last team took us…no matter how crazy. This issue continues the fun!

Kamandi’s journey has led him to the Western Wall. It’s been quite an adventure too leading up to now.

But is Kamandi ready to face what lies on the other side of the wall?

Find out in this issue!

The writing is good and the art by D’Anda is especially good.

I’m enjoying this series very much. It’s like a jam project and everyone is having a good time on it. It translates well onto the page.

RATING: B+

 

Suicide Squad #16
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Tony S. Daniel
Published by DC Comics

Last month’s issue ended on a high note, which leads right into this current one. This is also very good and doesn’t really skip a beat.

Amanda Waller needs something from Lex Luthor.

You never really want to need anything from Lex Luthor. A battle of words and wits follows.

Meanwhile, her Suicide Squad is in Lexcorp, trying to crack open a heavily guarded safe.

Williams keeps the writing fast and breezy in this issue. The art by Daniel is great as well. It’s even inspired.

This is a well paced, well done issue.

RATING: B+

 

Mother Panic #6
Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by Shawn Crystal
Published by DC Comics

I have been enjoying this strange little book from DC. It’s nutty and weird and it feels like it shouldn’t exist.

Yet, it does and we are the better for it.

Mother Panic’s alliance with the mysterious Pretty falls apart in this issue. It’s a pretty harsh falling out too. It’s both physical and psychological.You have to read it as it’s like no other book in the marketplace.

Jody Houser has made quite a name for herself and it’s easy to see why. Here, she writes another cool script. The art is pretty decent too now that I’m used to it.

Give this book a read. It’s delightfully strange and highly original.

RATING: B+

 

The Flash #21
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Howard Porter
Published by DC Comics

Man, the cover by Jason Fabok is pretty fantastic on this issue. It sets the mood perfectly and it’s a thing of beauty. The issue itself is pretty damn fantastic too. “The Button” storyline rages on and it’s really entertainingly

This is part two of the storyline bringing us closer to the Watchmen Rebirth crossover.

The Flash and Batman try to solve the mystery of where the button in the Batcave came from. This leads to a bunch of crazy stuff…including the cosmic treadmill! The “surprise” at the end isn’t really that amazing but hey you can’t ask for everything.

The writing by Williamson is great and the art by Howard Porter is stunning. Thank god he’s off that Scooby-Doo book and is drawing this.

My recommendation? This book is excellent.

No, wait. How about this? You NEED THIS BOOK.

RATING: A

 

Supergirl: Being Super #3
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by Joelle Jones
Published by DC Comics

This miniseries is quite a gem. Tamaki is one of our best writers. She writes books that are full of emotion and invention. It’s just a classic in the making and you would be foolish not to pick this up.

Kara’s memories of being on another planet are starting to resurface. She starts to ask herself: is she really alone here on Earth?

Secrets start becoming known. Betrayals are around the corner. It’s all very cool and exciting to read.

Jones is one of the best artists to ever work on Supergirl.

The work shines with passion on each page. Pick up this series. It’s quite awesome.

RATING: A

 

Batman/The Shadow #1
Written by Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo
Published by DC Comics/Dynamite Entertainmet

Holy wow! This is bananas! Two of my favorite characters in one book! It’s written by Steve Orlando and Scott Snyder! It’s drawn by Riley Rossmo? Did Hannukah come early this year?

Maybe so. This book is utterly awesome. What’s it about?

Well, the Shadow meets Batman! What more do you need to know? It’s full of crazy energy and crazy adventures from the first page until the last of this debut issue.

Part of that craziness comes from Rossmo. His layout work and page design is second to none.

Check out that first splash page with The Shadow. I want that on a t-shirt.

My reviews?

Holy wow. Pick this one up kids. This is amazing. Well done.

RATING: A

 

Clean Room #18
Written by Gail Simone
Illustrated by Walter Geovani
Published by DC Comics

I have a confession to make: I started reading this series about two issues back cold. It’s awesome.

So this issue is the ending of “Season One.” I got about two pages in and I loved it.

And I stopped.

Why did I stop?

It’s super damn good. So I went on Amazon and I ordered the first two trades to catch up. I didn’t finish this issue yet but I will. It’s that damn good I want to read it all in its entirety.

Gail Simone is awesome. The art is awesome.

Now I’m going to read from the beginning. I’ll let you know how I like it.

RATING: A (for making me go on Amazon!)

 

Teen Titans #7
Written by Benjamin Percy
Illustrated by Khoi Pham
Published by DC Comics

I have to tell you: I’m bored with this series. It’s truly dull.

Read the other Titans book. It’s definitely superior.

This is the “The Rise of Aqualad” finale. It’s not an important read. Read it at your leisure.

I got bored on the full page and looked at the rest unenthusiastically.

The art is decent enough.

The rest?

The characters are semi-annoying, the storyline is generic and I had trouble keeping awake.

Oh well.

RATING: C-

 

Unfollow #18
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Michael Dowling
Published by DC Comics

Michael Dowling is a fantastic artist. I look at his art and know that one day he will be a superstar.

This book is pretty solid overall.

Like Clean Room I may have to start this series from the beginning.

I’m intrigued. I picked up the last three issues and I have quite enjoyed it.

Rob Williams does a great job writing this book.

Again, the art is very good.

I may go onto Amazon later and order…if I get another good deal.

RATING: B

 

Jam in the Band GN
Written and Illustrated by Robin Enrico
Published by Alternative Comics

I had never heard of this comic before I read it. There is something nice and nostalgic about the whole project. It’s really cute and I had a nice time reading it. It won’t change the world but not everything has to.

This book focuses on the rise and fall of that fictional rock band called Pitch Girl. What’s cool about it, is that the narrative doesn’t follow a traditional story path.

The whole comic is told through a montage of drama, interviews, hand held camera footage, diary pages, news reports, music videos, web chats, and punk rock flyers.

Enrico makes the whole thing interesting and smart. I did get a little bored with some of the cutesy aspects of the piece but the whole thing works pretty well. If you’re looking for something different, pick up this book. It’s pretty damn good.

RATING: B+

 

Night Owl Society #1
Written by James Venhaus
Illustrated by Pius Bak
Published by IDW Publishing

This is one of those strange, off the cuff books that really charmed me. I loved it. I thought when I first saw the title I wouldn’t but this book is a damn joy.

David is a kid who has no friends at his high school except one person.

When that person is killed by a mob boss, it sends David reeling. David gathers a group of his misfit friends from outside the school, and decided to take the mob down.

This premise is fairly wacky but writer Venhaus handles it well. The art isn’t as strong as one would hope, but it’s passable.

All in all a decent book. Read it for the story. It does grab you more than the art.

RATING: B+

 

There’s Nothing There #1
Written by Patrick Kindlon
Illustrated by Maria Llovet
Published by Black Mask Studios

Black Mask Studios had been making quite a name for itself recently with its comics line.

That trend continues here. This book is well written and it’s really nice to look at.

A well off girl named Reno Selleti goes to a strange party mostly to laugh at the people attending the party. What ends up happening is that she discovers that she’s at an occult ritual. The ritual causes her to see strange things. Then it gets completely crazy.

This is edge of your seat storytelling there. The writing is ballsy and the art is great.

Pick this up as it’s one of the better books of from an already cool line of books. Recommended.

RATING: A

 

Shirtless Bear Fighter! #1-3
Written by Jody Leheup and Sebastian Girner
Illustrated by Nil Vandrell Pallach
Published by Image Comics

Man, what a title on this book. I love it. It just…says it all. I laughed out loud when I received this book.

It didn’t disappoint either. It’s freaking awesome.

The people of Major City have a major threat of bears!

Bears are threatening the damn city.

They call upon Shirtless to take them down. So our hero has to go out and do what he does best.

What does he do best?

Punch some bears in the face.

This book is totally excellent. You have to pick it up to believe it. I wish more comics were like this.

RATING: A

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