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Giant-Size Graphic Breakdown: Rebirth Improves With 2017

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

Happy New Year!

We have a heck of a start to the year 2017.

Let’s talk some comics, shall we?

 

Aquaman #14
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Phillipe Briones

This issue was completely awesome.

It’s the third part of “The Deluge” and man, was it unexpectedly cool. From start to finish, this is action packed. And it’s EXCITING. I read from start to finish with a smile on my face.

No sooner has Aquaman found a lead on the location of N.E.M.O.’s secret headquarters than the United States sends a team of aquatically trained super-soldiers to take out the sea king. Behold America’s Aquamarines!

The story was strong and the art was fantastic.

Briones has completely floored me. That last page is a stunner. I want to read that next issue NOW!

It’s a great thing when something surprises you like this.

Keep it up Aquaman team!

RATING: A-

 

Batman #14
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Mitch Gerads

I’m beginning to think Tom King can write any comic book but Batman.

Now this isn’t horrible. It’s certainly better than the previous issues.

However, I feel like every story there is nothing happening…no progression.

I’m unsure in this issue if he is trying to do a “mood piece?” But it works about halfway…then you realize it’s the same circle

King writes into every Batman story and you get bored.

The story takes place back in Gotham City. Batman and Catwoman confront their past and make a decision about their future that may change their city forever.

The art by Gerads is very good. He and King do work well together. I don’t mind making a more “mature” Batman…but maybe we are going too far in the other direction.

It’s a solemn Batman…and not a terribly exciting one.

RATING: B-

 

Superman #14
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Illustrated by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.

This is a great and improved book for me.

I like that Gleason isn’t doing the art and that they are handing the reins over to really great artists like Reis and others. It’s making the book strong and I love that. The Multiversity is back in this issue and I cannot get enough.

The New Super-Man of China has been taken!

The Red Son Superman of Earth-30 has been beaten! And who knows what’s happened to Sunshine Superman! Someone is collecting Supermen across the Multiverse—this looks like a job for our Kal-El as he is joined by Justice Incarnate in this multi-Earth epic!

Fun. That’s what this series has been become.

Man, is it fun.

We need more comics like this. They are doing fantastic. Very strong, indeed.

RATING: A-

 

Harley Quinn #11
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Illustrated by John Timms

Another week, another Harley Quinn comic book.

Man, they keep cranking them out. They are a lot of silly fun.

The focus on this issue would be the art of John Timms. He’s great, and  could have a real future in the comic book field.

For months now, strange reminders of Harley’s time with the Joker have been popping up in the most unexpected places…is this coincidence? Or a message?

As our tale begins, Harley is introduced to a newer, kinder Joker…and Red Tool is not happy about it!

Again, this is very decent. The art is great. And talented artists keep lining up to have some fun. It’s easy to see why.

People need a good laugh and bonkers humor. This certainly has that in spades.

RATING: B

 

Nightwing #12
Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Marcus To

This is a better issue than the previous two. Though it isn’t AMAZING, I did enjoy it.

Seeley has a capable script here and there’s a good adventure to be had.

The body count in Blüdhaven continues to rise!

Nightwing will have to team up with the Run-Offs to discover who the murderer is and clear the name of the Defacer.

But before they can even begin they cross paths with the killer, Orca, and her Whaler Gang.

There is some good art in this by Marcus To. That opening page is a true stunner.

A good issue for sure. Still could be stronger.

RATING: B

 

Shade the Changing Girl #4
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated by Marley Zarcone

Oh, I like this series. It’s a real gem.

The Young Animal imprint has been really rocking and this certainly is a bright spot in it. It’s sweet, weird, scary and utterly delightful.

There’s not a comic book like it nor will there ever be.

As Megan, the soul that Shade displaced, gets farther and farther away from Earth,

Shade is starting to find things about her new planet and her new body that she really likes. F

or instance, there’s music. And also boys. Not to mention would-be friends and her new parents.

This feeling of peace keeps the madness in check—but only temporarily. There is still the matter of that terrible night that put Megan in a coma to begin with.

The story is great and the art is wonderful. I can’t wait to read all of these issues together. That’s going to be truly something.

RATING: A-

 

The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #1
Written by Cary Bates and Greg Weisman
Illustrated by Will Conrad

This was another nice surprise. I have always liked Captain Atom but they could never get him just right.

Here, it looks like we may have a shot.

Captain Atom hasn’t been seen or heard from in years—and even if you think you know what happened to him…you’re  wrong!

But you’re not alone. To this day, no one on Earth—not even the other superheroes—has an inkling of the missing Captain Atom’s true fate.

At last, the truth is about to be revealed in a saga that transcends not only the meaning of life and death, but the limits of time and space.

It’s great to see Cary Bates writing again. This is some strong storytelling and it’s very enjoyable. The art by Conrad is well done. Strong storytelling. It’s a good comic. If they can keep it up we may be onto something here…finally.

RATING: B+

 

And the rest….

Green Lanterns #13
Written by Sam Humphries and Illustrated by Eduardo Pansica
This is another  in a string of just okay issues. I feel like this series is running on fumes. The art is decent but the story doesn’t involve me as much as I wish it would.
RATING: C

 

Scooby-Doo: Where are You? #77
Written by Ivan Cohen and Illustrated by Randy Elliot
These are very fun and not much beyond that. But that’s okay sometimes. I always like reading these. Give them a shot. It’s worth it.
RATING: B+

 

Death of Hawkman #4
Written by Marc Andreyko and Illustrated by Aaron Lopresti and Rodney Buchemi
This series has been rather unexciting. We haven’t seen a good Hawkman in years…I was hoping it would be this. It’s not.  Maybe one day soon?
RATING: C-

 

Ever After #5
Written by Dave Justus and Lilah Sturges and Illustrated by Travis G. Moore
This spinoff of Fables is fairly good! I don’t know if I could recommend it to someone who hasn’t read Fables but it’s good all the same. It’s off the cuff, and well done.
RATING: B+

 

Unfollow #15
Written by Rob Williams and Illustrated by Michael Dowling
A year has passed since the tragic events at Akira’s commune. The 140 are dying at an alarming rate, and the world is now split between Akira’s vision and Rubinstein’s. Things have changed. So has Dave. And when word comes through that Larry Ferrell may in fact be alive, he decides to revisit Ferrell’s island. The hunter is becoming the hunted.  It’s a fairly decent issue and I have to go back and read the other issues and catch up. But this is very good.
RATING: B

 

The Flintstones #7
Written by Mark Russell and Illustrated by Rick Leonardi
This is a bad story with great art. Leonardi is one of my favorites so it gets an immediate upgrade on the rating. But not that much.
RATING: C-

 

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