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Giant-Size Graphic Breakdown: ‘Deathstroke’, ‘All-Star Batman’ & ‘Doom Patrol’ Lead Best of the Week!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

It’s another heck of a week for Comics! Let’s get talking about them!

ds_cv6_dsDeathstroke #6

Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz
Breakdowns by Larry Hama
Published by DC Comics

Man, this is a great run. It just gets better and better. You can tell Priest has a great story in mind for the bigger picture. It’s awesome. Each chapter is more thrilling and fun than the last.

Deathstroke’s honor is put to the test when he must help a tyrannical despot—Ja Zaki, a.k.a. The Red Lion—stop a civil war that he inadvertently caused.

The characters are first and foremost developed. Their dialogue is an easy back and forth and flows seamlessly. Everything just is hitting right issue after issue. The art has been great, too. Sure, there have been different artists, but each of them are very strong. There is a visual consistency from issue to issue. It works very well.

This is turning into a classic run. It’s just great to see a book that isn’t Batman or Superman be this top notch. This is a book to place at the top of your reading pile for sure.

RATING: A

 

asbm_cv4_dsAll-Star Batman #4

Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey
Published by DC Comics

The newest Scott Snyder Batman tale continues. It’s friggen crazy. And you can’t help but love it.

Batman and Two Face are on a road trip. This is “My Own Worst Enemy” part four! So close and yet so far from his goal, Batman must now wrangle Two-Face out of his own assassin-filled riverboat casino before it plunges over Niagara Falls to their deaths!

The Dark Knight will have to go all-in on the most deadly gamble of his life if he intends to make it out alive.

This is yet another look at Batman that we haven’t seen before.

Snyder excels at this as he always does. The art is pretty good.

Though I have to say, it’s the backup that is the stand out here. Shalvey is damn good and he should do a full issue. This is top notch stuff. Well worth the price of admission.

RATING: A

 

dtc_cv944_dsDetective Comics # 944

Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Eddy Barrows
Published by DC Comics

Dear lord, I am so glad to see Eddy Barrows doing the art here. And why wouldn’t I be? Why would anyone? Barrows really adds a great element of class for this book. Here, he proves it more than ever.

This is part two of “The Victim Syndicate” storyline. The mysterious First Victim has launched an assault on Batman and his team, forcing them to fight an enemy they know nothing about, who seems to have the support of an entire network of strange new foes!

Tynion has shown marked improvement with his writing these past two years. His stories are more full than they have ever been. And he and Barrow’s work the best on this title. A pretty good book that is only getting better.

RATING: B+

 

dpa_cv3_dsDoom Patrol # 3

Written by Gerard Way
Illustrated by Nick Derington
Published by DC Comics

Gerard Way and Nick Derington continue their wacky take on the Doom Patrol and it’s bananas with bananas on top of bananas. But that’s what makes it so charming in my opinion.

The team takes the Doom Patrol on a metaphysical mind trip that at once is delightful and also loopy. It feels like they hung out with Tori Amos and Alejandro Jodorowsky before creating each issue.

And maybe they did.

I’m waiting to see where this is all leading to? But so far I’m enjoying it.

I’m actually quite interested to see where it ends up. I’m hoping somewhere?

Because other wise it just might be a waste of time.

Still, right now it’s delightful and the art by Derington is worth the cover price alone. This is a good book. Pick it up.

RATING: A

 

fls_cv10_dsThe Flash #10

Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Felipe Watanabe
Published by DC Comics

Well, this is a disappointment. It’s not terrible by any means, but The Flash was the one title that seemed to have the most story direction…and it still kind of does…but this issue, like last month, feels almost unnecessary.

A villain from The Flash’s history returns for the first time in years when The Shade visits Central City. But what does Opal City’s master of shadow want with Barry Allen and the newly christened Kid Flash?

Williamson writes a decent enough tale. It’s just not as good as I know he is capable of. Some of it feels rather trite.

The art doesn’t help. We are veering into cartoon land here.

And that is not a good place to be.

I, for one, hope this series picks up again. It’s damn good when it’s on.

The last two issues though? Just okay.

RATING: B-

 

tlboys_cv2The Lost Boys #2

Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Scott Godlewski
Published by DC Comics

Is this comic book necessary reading?

No. Let’s start there. It’s certainly not. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some entertainment to be had. But one almost wishes it was more compelling than it is.

A new breed of female vampires are the enemy here. And Seeley does his utmost to make a story. There are some fine moments. And the art isn’t half bad.

Still, it doesn’t add up to being necessary reading.

If you’re a huge fan of the film you’ll love it.

For the rest of us (and I liked the film) it’s just more nostalgic entertainment at best.

Not horrible. But it’s not much to take with you beyond that nostalgia factor.

RATING: C

 

bgbop_cv4_dsBatgirl and The Birds Of Prey #4

Written by Julie and Shawna Benson
Illustrated by Roge Antonio
Published by DC Comics

This isn’t a bad comic. There’s just nothing thrilling going on and there are other things you can spend your money on.

It’s solidly crafted, and drawn pretty okay. There’s just nothing special that makes it rise above the current comics coming out.

“Who Is Oracle” part five! Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress come face-to-face at last with the new Oracle…and unlock a mystery they never saw coming!”

That’s what the copy reads.

Problem is by this point, there’s nothing surprising or unique happening.

It’s just a standard comic book experience.

Nothing unbelievable…though nothing terrible. And that’s why it gets a B-.

RATING: B-

 

redhoto_cv4_dsRed Hood And the Outlaws #4

Written by Scott Lobdell
Illustrated by Dexter Soy
Published by DC Comics

This was a nice surprise. And it has been all along.

Lobdell is a good writer and he infuses his scripts with passion and joy. He loves what he does, and it shows.

This was a pretty damn good story and it’s finding it’s own place in the market.

In this issue, the unimaginable has happened—Black Mask has gained control of one of the most powerful beings in the world: Bizarro!

Can the Red Hood stop him before Black Mask’s reign of terror begins?

As previously stated, the story is good.

But artist Dexter Soy has really stepped up to the plate. His art is fantastic and his talent is on the rise.

This is great. Let’s keep it coming boys!

RATING: B

mopa_cv1_dsMother Panic #1

Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards
Published by DC Comics

Jody Houser has been making quite the name for herself in Comics.
First, her series for Valiant Faith is pretty fantastic.

Next, we have this series from Gerard Way’s Young Animal line. And it’s pretty good!

We will have to see where it goes, but it’s certainly promising.

Meet Violet Paige, a celebutante with a bad attitude and a temper to match, who no one suspects of having anything lying beneath the surface of her outrageous exploits. But Violet isn’t just another bored heiress in the upper echelons of Gotham City’s elite.

Motivated by her traumatic youth, Violet seeks to exact vengeance on her privileged peers as the terrifying new vigilante known only as Mother Panic.

This is kind of like a female Batman meets Moon Knight…that’s what it reminds me of. I hate that analogy so I hope it goes deeper than that.

Tommy Lee Edwards is fantastic on art, but he’s always excellent. I like this issue a lot…I have to see where it goes but so far so good.

RATING: B+

AND THE REST…

dc1

Clean Room #13
Written by Gail Simone
Illustrated by Walter Geovani
Published by DC Comics
In this issue, we go back to the beginning to learn how Astrid was first affected after her hospitalization…through the eyes of one who cannot see what she sees: her would-be assassin and brother, Peter Mueller. I’ve never read this book but good art and looks interesting…though inaccessible for a first time reader.
RATING: B

Earth 2: Society #18
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Bruce Redondo
Published by DC Comics
This super crazy tale is so outside of my wheelhouse…yet, I kind of loved it. Redondo is a heck of an artist and this was a good time. Not something I’ll pick up regularly but I enjoyed the hell out of it.
RATING: B+

Gotham Academy: Second Semester#3
Written by Karl Kerschl, Brenden Fletcher and Becky Cloonan
Illustrated by Adam Archer
Published by DC Comics
This issue seems primarily aimed for kids. And it made me sleepy. I had a tough time getting through this story. Still, not terrible and the creators try their best.
RATING: C

hjglc_cv8_ds

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #8
Written by Robert Venditti
Illustrated by Ethan Van Sciver
Published by DC Comics
This is an series that seemingly has no passion. Yet, it feels like it should. Hal Jordan is so far removed from what I love I may have to send out a search party.
RATING: C-

New Superman #5
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic
Published by DC Comics
Reading this book feels like a chore. But I got through it…maybe they should pull it from stands and refocus it? It’s strangely dull.
RATING: C-

Scooby: Apocalypse #7
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis
Illustrated by Howard Porter
Published by DC Comics
The only positive thing about this book is the possibility that this can be recycled. In other news, when will it end? Make it stop. Horrible.
RATING: F

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