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Giant-Size Graphic Breakdown: ‘Deathstroke’ Earns an A+ As The Best of The Week

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown and it’s Wednesday and thank god it’s here!

Let’s forget all our troubles, forget about Negan on The Walking Dead, and let’s talk comic books instead, shall we?


bg_cv4_dsBatgirl #4

Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque
Published by DC Comics

Hope Larson’s first arc as writer on this title rages on.

It’s a halfway decent debut. I think however I would be bored with it however if it wasn’t for the spectacular art by Albuquerque.

Albuquerque is at the top of his game. The art flows so beautifully that it’s actually better than the story demands.

Even a simple conversation is so well drafted you can’t help but gorge your eyes on each and every panel.

But you take the art away, and it doesn’t seem all that important or special…which is a shame. Maybe the next arc will kick up the story higher. We shall see.

Still, this isn’t a bad overall read. One wishes it was just a little more special. Maybe the next arc it will be.



bmb_cv1_dsBatman Beyond # 1

Written by Dan Jurgens
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
Published by DC Comics

Well, we are back in the world of Batman Beyond and Terry McGinnis and I’m having a blast there.

The future is bright and wacky in this title. It’s so crazy, you can’t help but love it.
The Joker (or a future version of the Joker) is terrorizing Gotham with his army.

But is it the real Joker? Inspired by the possible return of their role model, the Jokerz have taken over an entire section of Gotham City and are determined to wreak havoc in the still-rebuilding city.

While Batman battles chaos on the streets, his friend Dana is at the mercy of the new leader of the now-unified gang.

The writing is off the wall and the art is pretty decent.

The last page made me smile for sure. If they can link this to the Rebirth line, it could be fairly cool. A good issue….keep them coming.



ds_cv5_dsDeathstroke #5

Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Joe Bennett
Published by DC Comics

This was awesome! Priest knocks it out of the park again with this issue, arguably his best thus far. Funny, dark and thrilling, this book soars every month and then some. It’s only getting better.

The issue has Batman with Deathstroke’s daughter facing off and also Damian (Robin) facing off against Deathstroke. And it’s a battle of wits that actually feels smart. Man, there are some zingers in this book that made me jump in my seat.

Congratulations to Christopher Priest for writing the most vital book on the stands. Priest actually puts most other writers to shame with how fully formed his scripts are.
The art was awesome too.

This is a book I’ll reread once I get through the first 12 issues.

It’s that good. This is the top book DC has going for it now. Awesome beyond words.



dtc_cv943_dsDetective Comics #943

Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez
Published by DC Comics

This was a solid book. I’ll tell you though: when someone besides Eddy Barrows does the art I’m less than impressed.

Still, Martinez and his artwork aren’t half bad…but Barrow’s makes me sit up.

This is part one of “The Victim Syndicate” storyline.

Batman can’t save everyone—innocent people sometimes fall in the war against evil that he’s declared in Gotham. But what happens when those victims start to fight back…and they don’t only blame the criminals who shattered their lives?

Batman’s never faced an enemy like this, and his team may find themselves questioning everything they know about what heroes do.

A solid story and solid artwork. Not bad overall.

If this was Barrows doing the art? It would have been amazing. Still, a pretty decent read.



ssquad_cv5_dsSuicide Squad #5

Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Jim Lee and Stephen Byrne
Published by DC Comics

I actually disliked both stories in this issue. Usually I at least like the backup. Here, both stories fall flat.

The first story arc on this title was very underwritten.

Williams responded by overwriting this issue. If he got paid by the word in fact, he might be a millionaire.

It’s funny, you want to care about these characters yet you can’t. You don’t even come close.

Jim Lee delivers the most stiff looking art since the beginning of his career.

It’s got about as much energy in it as me after working 16 hours. I know he can do better. So it greatly disappoints me.

Byrne does ok on art in the backup yet this issue is just overwrought. I hope this turns around. Everyone involved can do better.



fls_cv9_dsThe Flash #9

Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Jorge Corona.
Published by DC Comics

This book was a disappointment for one specific reason. The story is very good. The issue has amazing story beats in fact.

But that art is wayyyyy too cartoony. It’s the same problem I’m having with Green Arrow….and it’s hurting the book. I should say that previous issues had some really great art.

Corona’s art took me out of the experience. I wish it didn’t because it’s an otherwise good tale.

Wally West meets Wally West (One Earth meets the other) and it’s pretty cool. It could have been an A. Heck, they even talk about the events in Rebirth that we know are leading to the Watchmen. It’s a good story.

But comics are a medium of writing and art working together.

Here, they do not. Still, every title deserves an issue off now and again. It’ll get better, I know it.



frost_cv2Frostbite # 2

Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander
Published by DC Comics

This is a title where the art and story work in tandem fantastically…and it’s also written by Joshua Williamson! And it’s great! They work so well in harmony you can’t take your eyes off it.

The start of their journey did not go exactly as planned, but Keaton made a deal to get Vic to Alcatraz safely, and nothing will dissuade her from carrying out her contract. With their main transport knocked out, and roving gangs looking to block their path, Keaton and crew are going to have to get clever if they’re going to stay alive.

This is Vertigo’s biggest hit in a while. It works and you can’t wait to read all the issues when it’s finished to know exactly what this team had in store all along. A great read and I look forward to picking up each issue and just loving it.



tt_cv1_dsTeen Titans #1

Written by Benjamin Percy
Illustrated by Jonboy Meyers
Published by DC Comics

Apparently Benjamin Percy can only write comics with artwork that is illustrated like it’s animation.

And it sadly takes me right out of it. I understand these are comics and we should accept different styles but I can’t get past this and Green Arrow and the artwork.

These are the Teen Titans led by the Damian Wayne Robin.

Now that Damian has “summoned” the Teen Titans, the tyrannical teen reveals his master plan!

But a great evil from Damian’s past is lurking around the corner, ready to strike at the team’s newest leader and destroy the new Teen Titans before they even begin!

This is not a bad story.

The art just plummeted it for me. I hear Meyers left due to creative differences. Maybe that’s for the best.



tns_cv4_dsTeen Titans # 4

Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Brett Booth
Published by DC Comics

On the flip side is this fantastic title.

Man, the energy is fast and furious on this one.

Brett Booth infused this issue with passion and heart. And it’s literally just one big battle scene…but it’s got so much in it.

The Return of Wally West rages on as the Titans fight Abra Kadabra!

Abnett writes a fun enough story. But Booth takes the issue and makes it a total funhouse. It’s a blast from start to finish.

This is the Titans book for me.

Fast. Enjoyable. Emotional.

And a general great time.



df_cv17Doctor Fate #17

Written by Paul Levitz
Illustrated by Brendan McCarthy.
Published by DC Comics

I said it before and I’ll say it again: I have no idea what the hell Doctor Fate is really about; but I loved this issue.

Levitz is a classic, formidable writer who has always been consistently good over the years.

The real reason to pick this up though is his collaboration with Brendan McCarthy.

McCarthy is one of the all time greats. You can’t ask for a better artist on this tire. He actually fits with the strange story on this. I loved it.

I still had no idea what the hell was going on, but that’s more on me. It’s a visually dynamic comic book with a good story.

And sometimes that’s enough.



And the rest…



Future Quest #6
Written by Jeff Parker
Illustrated by Evan Shaner, Ron Randall, Craig Rousseau
Published by DC Comics
The only real fun comic book coming out of the Hanna Barbera line from DC. Parker writes a good story and the art is good. Pick it up.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7
Written by Robert Venditti 
Illustrated by Rafa Sandoval
Published by DC Comics
This book is running on fumes. Please do something with this. The characters are being wasted.

Six Pack and Dog Welder #3
Written by Garth Ennis
Illustrated by Russ Braun
Published by DC Comics
This is turning into great fun. Ennis has lost some of his luster of the years but this still works enough. It’s a good time.

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