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Giant-Size Graphic Breakdown: Levitz and McCarthy’s ‘Doctor Fate’ Deserves a Magical ‘A’

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!!

Let’s dive right in to look at some DC releases this week!

aqm_cv11_dsAquaman #11  

Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Phillipe Briones
Published by DC Comics

This issue wasn’t half bad.

Abnett is writing a decent enough tale. It’s nothing mind blowing but it is at least entertaining enough. The characters are being developed and quite nicely at least.

Aquaman’s mission to unite the sea and surface has taken a great leap forward. But N.E.M.O.—the secret terrorist organization—has other ideas.

Black Manta deploys the agents of N.E.M.O. to provoke hostilities between Atlantis and America. The Deluge—the prophesied, all–out global war—is about to begin.

Abnett again does a great job with the characters, particularly Mera. He writes her very well and may have one of the best takes on her.

The art is passable…as I’ve said many times, the art has changed hands so many times it makes it inconsistent from issue to issue. Still, not too bad.

This is a solid enough book coming out…sometimes better than others but all around decent. If you’re an Aquaman fan, pick it up for sure. Overall not too bad.

RATING: B-

bm_cv11_dsBatman #11   

Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Mikel Janin
Published by DC Comics

The ominously title “I am Suicide” storyline continues on in this issue as Batman and a ragtag team (including Catwoman!) hunt down the Psycho Pirate and confront Bane.

And it’s a pretty nifty issue for a few reasons.

King has made a decision just how he is going to write Batman for this storyline: gruff, passive aggressive, and very monosyllabic. It’s not a bad thing,  just a take on the character. It’s effective in this issue as Batman continues on his quest.

I actually thought King’s take on Catwoman was much stronger and I loved that. He made her the character I remember: fun, devious, and deadly. It’s a very strong take.

The star of the book was supposed to be King.

It honestly has turned out to be be Janin. His art is gorgeous and only improves every issue. It makes the book soar.

This was a much stronger issue than last. Let’s hope to can keep it going, and keep it consistently good. This wasn’t bad at all.

RATING: A-

df_cv18Doctor Fate #18 

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

Holy wow. Paul Levitz and Brendan McCarthy are so damn good working together. It’s a shame it’s only for this short a time. I was looking forward to this actually after reading the last issue…then sad when it was over because it was so damn good.

This issue is the series finale. They decide to go out on a high note rather than not. They end with the best issues of the series. It’ll inevitably be relaunched but for now this is great.

Doctor Fate is captive on the world of the Dreamspinners as their threads of doom reach out to threaten Earth. Can Khalid find the power within himself to survive in a mythology not his own?

The writing is crisp and the art is great. These are two old pros at the top of their game. Read it. Love it. Enjoy it.

It’s the stuff comic book dreams are made of.

RATING: A

 

ntw_cv9_dsNightwing #9 

Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Marcio Takara
Published by DC Comics

Some issues have been better than others in the Nightwing world. This issue isn’t as good as the others have been. It feels half-hearted at best on both writing and art.

And that’s a shame.

Nightwing seems to be fighting a villain named Kobta in this book.

And I have to be honest, I got so bored I started tuning out while reading it. I wanted to like it and I just couldn’t.

The writing feels rushed and the art is just  meh. I can’t recommend this book…and I hope the next issue helps this title.

Even guest spots by Batman and Superman couldn’t save this. Meh indeed.

RATING: C –

 

sm_cv11_dsSuperman #11   

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrated by Patrick Gleason
Published by DC Comics

This is another of the DC books I feel like I should be enjoying but I’m just not. I LOVED issues 8 and 9, but then it just went back to being just okay.

And that’s this issue: just okay.

Superman and Batman are up against the ropes, and it’s up to Superboy and Robin to save the day— but can they work together long enough to get the job done?

It’s cute enough but it doesn’t add up to much more than feeling like a fill in, both in story and art.

It’s not terrible, but you find yourself wishing for much more.

I certainly did.

RATING: C+

 

raven_cv3Raven # 3 

Written by Marv Wolfman
Illustrated by Alison Borges
Published by DC Comics

Thank God for Marv Wolfman.

He’s a classic comic book writer who continually writes solid books. Time in and time out, this guy just has it. He has done it again in this issue.

San Francisco goes on high alert when a strange, glowing orb begins to consume the city itself! Can Raven save her new friends and her new home from this mysterious and powerful force?

Wolfman has developed the characters in this book so well, you knew them after the first issue. Likewise, Borges is a find, and does wonderful work here making this series look fantastic.

This is a completely accessible book. It’s strong, smart and well done. Worth the price of admission for sure.

RATING: B+

 

ssquad_cv6_dsSuicide Squad #6 

Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Jim Lee and Carlos D’Anda
Published by DC Comics

Every month I pick this title up. Every issue I hope it will be good. Every issue I am sorely disappointed.

And why?

It comes down to the story they are telling. And it’s a story that is really not at all compelling.

Another problem is that of Jim Lee. Lee, I feel, is hacking out the work.  Sure he only has to do 12 pages an issue…but they feel rushed. There’s nothing new going on in the artwork.

The first story is a bore, and the second one with a focus on Killer Croc is slightly better. The artwork is actually better on that one. As is the story.

Still, it doesn’t add up to much. And yet another issue has come and went…and it’s nothing new or too great.

Maybe next month.

RATING: C

And the rest…

rebirthGreen Lanterns #11
Written by Sam Humphries
Illustrated by Robson Rocha

Published by DC Comics
A surprising and unnerving tale about Green Lantern Frank Laminski who is a new Green Lantern…and how he becomes power mad. This was actually pretty awesome.  More please.
RATING: A-

He-Man: Thundercats #2
Written by Rob David and Lloyd Goldfine
Illustrated by Freddie Williams III
Published by DC Comics
I shouldn’t enjoy this title, but I do. It’s terrible guilty pleasure fun. But I love it. It’s like eating too much candy all at once. Freddie Williams III should Illustrate all the toys from my childhood.
RATING: B+

Trinity #3
Written by Francis Manapul
Illustrated by Clay Mann
Published by DC Comics
I honestly couldn’t figure out what this book was about. I just wasn’t interested. It felt very forced. But the art is spectacular. So I’ll give it a higher grade!
RATING: B-
lucf_cv12Lucifer # 12
Written by Holly Black
Illustrated by Lee Garnett
Published by DC Comics
Again, this is a book I have no idea what is going on. I came in too late. The story seems good and the art is pretty awesome. I need to go back and read this whole thing but for now if you read it, I think you’ll like it and if you don’t you may be lost.
RATING: B

Scooby-Doo: Where are You? #75 
Written by Sholly Fisch
Illustrated by Walter Carson
Published by DC Comics
Finally, a Scooby-Doo book you can enjoy from DC Comics!!! This was great! Nothing earth shattering but wonderful nonetheless.  Thank God.
RATING: B

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