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Giant-Size Graphic Breakdown: Now With More A’s Than Your Report Card!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown! A heck of a week of new releases! Let’s get started!!


asbm_cv3_dsAll Star Batman#3     

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

Man, Scott Snyder is good. He’s actually turning into another variation of Mark Miller with the types of art talent he is attracting. It’s easy to see why. Snyder writes a hell of a tale, one filled with things we haven’t seen in comics before. He doesn’t resort to cheap gimmicks. He writes a smart, well done story issue in and issue out no matter what he is doing.

This issue continues his collaboration with John Romita Jr. on Batman’s road trip with Two-Face. It starts off with a hell of a fight scene. It was great to see the KGB Beast and the fight that ensued.

Snyder turned this story arc into something like The Fugitive. It’s exciting, and bold.

Romita’s art takes a little getting used to on this. The better art is actually in the back-up with Shalvey. Still, Romita Jr. does pretty good with it. I have to admit I am on the edge of my seat for both tales.

This is a hell of a Batman book. I think it’s just getting started though. I heard through the grapevine Snyder will be working with Paul Pope on an upcoming art. If that’s the case, we are truly in store for great tales ahead.

For now though, this book is impressive. When it hits each month, I smile like an addict who just wants more and Scott Snyder is my dealer.



29948Briggs Land #3   

Written by Brian Wood
Illustrated by Mack Chater
Published by Dark Horse Comics

This issue finishes up the first arc of the Briggs Land saga.

Man, Brian Wood can seriously write one hell of a comic book. It’s stellar. The book is so strong you can easily see why AMC picked up this title and quick. It’s smart with good storytelling and easy to get into.

The story for this issue is the following: On a quiet highway in the predawn light, Grace encounters a true test of her empathy and her strength when she comes face to face with the worst aspects of the community she’s struggling to take back.

Grace Briggs is one of the best characters in comic books right now.

Wood specializes in unique character development. He’s a writer who has been solid for years, and is now poised to break out. Likewise for the art of Chater…he’s going to be a star.

This issue may finish up the first arc of this title, but there will be more. Hopefully a lot more. This book has tons of potential. I’ll be reading excitedly every time it hits the stands



ds_cv4_dsDeathstroke #4

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

Holy crap. This book is awesome. Christopher Priest proves month in and month out he is the best writer Slade Wilson has ever had. He has a handle on the character that respects the past. It give us something new.

This issue has Slade and his daughter, Rose, going into Gotham City for Batman’s help. Of course, being that he is Deathstroke and that she is the Ravager, you it won’t be the typical ask for help.

Priest is not afraid to be funny in these pages, and he just goes for it. I laughed quite a few times. The bit with his disguises is just genius.

And when Batman finally appears the ensuing scene is priceless.

Bennett is a great choice for this series. I liked his last issue, this one is even better. Another thumbs up for this title, the fifth issue in a row.



amvampan_cv2_prfct_bndAmerican Vampire Anthology #2

Written by Scott Snyder and Various
Illustrated by Various
Published by DC Comics

I’ve never read American Vampire. I have heard it is good. So I decided to dip into this anthology. I found it impenetrable. It really isn’t accessible to new readers but that’s not always a bad thing (especially if you have a mythology going)

Still, I gamely dipped my toes into it! And it’s not bad at all. There are various stories all involving vampires and they are fairly well written. The two by Scott Snyder fare best and it’s a hefty book. You get a lot for your money. Some stories are better than others and the book is a good (if not totally backwards way for me) to get into a series.The same holds true with the art, but still not bad overall.

This book has been on my waiting list for quite some time to do a series read. I’m intrigued enough to pick it up as soon as I can. And I will let you know when I do.



dpa_cv2_dsDoom Patrol #2

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

Gerard Way and his Young Animal imprint on DC Comics is one of the more crazy things I have seen lately.

The seeming flagship title of the bunch is Doom Patrol. I love this book. I’m just not sure what the hell is actually going on it.

Maybe if I dropped acid I would truly comprehend just the hell this book is about. It’s about the team the Doom Patrol sure, but it seems they are now stuck in a pop art world. Which isn’t a bad thing!

Way writes a strange tale that mostly gets stranger the more you think about it. I enjoy it though because it’s at least passionate.(I could do without the “whatever is going on with Niles Caulder” sections of the comic, but hey).

And Derington is a whiz at making the book pop out.

Would you like to read something that will make you see comic books differently? Well here you go. Read it and enjoy. Or let your head explode. I think Way would be happy with either.



ssquad_cv4_dsSuicide Squad #4 

Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Jim Lee and Gary Frank
Published by DC Comics

And now for the most schizophrenic comic book on the stands, Suicide Squad!

The first half of this book is pretty bad. Jim Lee looks like he rushed the art. It’s not dynamic at all. This saddens me as Lee used to be at the top of the field.

Now? It’s a snooze. The story is pretty bogus too. This book most likely would get an F if it wasn’t for the backup.

The backup with the art being done by Gary Frank is pretty damn good.

It focuses on Harley Quinn and Rick Flagg and it’s pretty gutsy. Why can’t Frank just do the whole book? He’s damn good at what he does. And Williams writes a better tale here than the main story.

I am sad this book isn’t better. It really could be. Maybe after a few missteps DC can get it right? Let’s get this book back on track! The backup proves it. But right now?



dtc_cv942_dsDetective Comics #942

Written by Steve Orlando
Story by Steve Orlando and James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Andy Macdonald
Published by DC Comics

The Night of the Monster Men storyline comes to it’s roaring conclusion! It’s been a good ride and it goes out with a bang!

Orlando has proven himself as a writer of quality books on this story. Now, he’s going to be everywhere as everyone will want a story from him. He’s nuts. But in a great way. As such, this story is nuts. But it’s so damn enjoyable you just don’t care.

The art is crazy too. I’ve enjoyed this crossover. As a whole it served as a nice distraction to the monthly Bat Titles. But I hope to see Orlando writing these characters soon. He’s certainly got a great take on them all.



fls_cv8_dsThe Flash # 8

Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Published by DC Comics

This issue shows the new Kid Flash in action! I enjoyed this issue very much again. Williamson once again crafts an interesting story. He’s got a solid nine issues under his belt now.

The art though…man, Carmine Di Giandomenico where have you been my entire life? Or at least in  the Flash’s life? His work is something else. He might be the breakout star of the DC universe.

Williamson is at an interesting crossroads right now though. He seems to have led the story to an interesting point. Now, he has to deliver the goods. Can he? Has this entire series been leading to something? Let’s hope.

Great groundwork has been laid out…for something.

What is it?

Let’s hope it’s as satisfactory as these last nine issues have been.



shrfbab_cv11The Sheriff of Babylon #11

Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Mitch Gerads
Published by DC Comics

Tom King kills it again this issue. He consistently shows what a damn fine writer he can be. This may be his masterpiece.

The story for this issue is as follows: Sofia’s meeting with the man who attacked her has taken a dangerous turn, and what was supposed to be a simple covert action has transformed into a full-blown firefight. If the battle is successful, it will put Nassir in the clear, but it could also tear the friendship between Sofia and Chris apart.

King keeps the stakes high. It is a powerful, emotional tale he is telling. Gerads kills it on the art too. Pick this series up now. People will be talking about it in the years to come.



tlboys_cv1_dsThe Lost Boys #1 

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

So Tim Seeley has been making a name for himself over at DC Comics. And he’s a pretty decent talent.

So why did he sign up for this comic, a “sequel” to the 1987 film of the same name?

Maybe Seeley is a big fan of the film like me?

Or maybe he thinks he can do something creative with it. Either way, the first issue isn’t too bad. It just feels unnecessary overall.

Still, the story is a little better than you expect. Seeley has passion and that counts for something.

And it is kinda fun to see characters you remember in new situations.

And the art is pretty good too.

The biggest problem may be just who is the audience for this book? Fans of the film? It’s pretty hard to understand if you hadn’t seen it. So it’s a nice piece of nostalgia and might get away with a good arc or two but where else can it go?

But hey, at least it’s not a remake.



bgbop_cv3_dsBatgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 

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

This book isn’t something I would normally read but I’ve been enjoying it. The Benson’s write some really strong character and the art has been pretty decent as well.

The “Who is Oracle?” Storyline continues! The dangerous new Oracle is finding that Gotham’s mobs aren’t up to the task of keeping the Birds of Prey off the scent…so send in the Snakes!

Copperhead, The Asp, Cottonmouth, and Lady Viper are the most venomous foes the Birds have ever faced.

If you’re a fan of the book pick it up. It’s just a nicely done comic book.

And if you’re not, give it a chance. Nothing to lose.



And the rest….

earth2soc_cv17_dsEarth 2 Society #17
Written by Dan Annette
Illustrated by Bruno Redondo

Published by DC Comics
I have no idea what was going on in this issue and I tried three times. Still, it looked interesting enough. If you’re a reader I think you’ll enjoy it! I’ve never read this before this and the previous issue.

Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2
Written by Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher and Karl Kersechl
Illustrated by Adam Archer
Published by DC Comics
A totally offbeat look at the DC universe. It’s an enjoyable enough comic but doesn’t have much in the way of ramifications. So it seems a bit slight.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #6
Written by Robert Venditti
llustrated by Rafe Sandoval
Published by DC Comics
Venditti’s Green Lantern books are like reading a homework assignment you are forced to read and can’t get into. He’s a fine writer but he’s just spinning his wheels at this point on this title.

New Super-Man #4   
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic
Published by DC Comics
Some people swear to me this is a great book. I just don’t see it. Maybe I’m missing something. Still, it’s not terrible and readers can find enjoyment in this different tale of a new Superman.

Unfollow #12.
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Rob Dowling
Published by DC Comics
I read all of the issues up to this as I hadn’t before. This book is totally awesome. Pick it up. Williams proves he can actually write quite well when the book isn’t Suicide Squad. A very good time!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #3
Written by Scott Lobdell
Illustrated by Dexter Soy
Published by DC Comics
Not a bad book! Lobdell keeps the writing fresh and the art is very good! A good team. Solid title. What more do you need?

Teen Titans Go #18 
Written by Sholly Fish
Illustrated by Marcelo Di Chiara
Published by DC Comics
My daughter reviewed this comic as it was more something she really likes. So here’s the review from a seven year old’s perspective: “That was awesome!”

Scooby: Apocalypse #6
Written by J. M . DeMatteis and Keith Giffen
Illustrated by Howard Porter and some other poor artists
Published by DC Comics
This book continues. Dear lord. When it’s canceled, drinks are on me. I’ll give it a D because of the poor talented people involved.

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