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Giant Size Graphic Breakdown: Top Marks for ‘Astro City’, ‘Deathstroke’, ‘Detective’

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

This was a hell of a week for Comics! Let’s get started with the reviews!

 

Astro City #42
Written by Kurt Busiek
Illustrated by Matthew Clark

What is going on in Astro City? A whole ton it’s turning out. This used to be one of my favorite comic books month to month in the 90’s and then my interest sort of faded away. Last issue was great and this issue continues on that trend. I liked this issue a lot and it’s picking up steam.

This issue is a bit like Robinson Crusoe…it’s the story of Mister Manta stranded on an island. This issue has him struggling to gather the strength to leave the island. Busiek writes a very human tale that is at once commanding and touching.

Matthew Clark is a great fit for this series and a rather underused artist. His style fits the story beautifully and I loved every panel.

Good story, great art, and a good comic book overall. What more can you ask for?

RATING: A-

 

Deathstroke #14
Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Joe Bennett

Part three of the Twilight storyline!

Man, I can’t get enough of this title. The characters here are great, the action is exciting and clear, and the pacing is second to none. This is a comic book series I love and rave about each time it comes out.

Slade Wilson takes on a job from the US Naval Intelligence in this storyline to have charges dropped on him. It’s a smart storyline Priest has come up with and reminds me in pacing of a Bourne movie.

It’s also nice that he adds a new Power Girl as well, with a new character that is well done overall.

The art is awesome too. Anyone looking for good storytelling should look here. This was one of the best books of 2016…now it’s looking like it may also be one of the best books of 2017.

RATING: A

 

Detective Comics #952
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Christian Duce

This issue is off the hook nuts! And I love off the hook nuts!

James Tynion IV is making Detective Comics the place to be, and his League of Shadows storyline is awesome thus far!

The villainous group The League of Shadows is causing havoc through Gotham.

And man, it’s a blast watching their destructive ways.

Batman and his team have to fight them. The battle that follows is pretty damn great.

The art by Duce is very good. The action scenes are great and the flow of the issue is well done. It’s exciting to read.

And that is something to be appreciated.

RATING: A-

 

The Flash #18
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Jesus Merino

The Flash gets a new storyline with this issue called Sins of the Father. Williamson is on a hot streak again and this issue is damn good as well.

In this issue, Wally West starts to track down secrets of his father Daniel West, otherwise known as the Reverse Flash.

What’s great about this issue it shows Wally West the way he should be. It’s Wally how you remember him and it’s super good.

Merino does a great job on the art. We don’t see him enough and he works great on this title. The first five pages are some of the best of the entire Rebirth relaunch.

Pick it up! It’s revving up again and you want to be reading this when the Watchmen crossover hits!

RATING: B+

 

Mother Panic #4
Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by Shawn Crystal

This is another great issue from Jody Houser. That woman can write! It’s probably one of the more stranger reads currently on the stands but I love every second of it. It’s the best entry of the Young Animal line for me.

Violet Paige (aka Mother Panic) is one of the strangest characters in comics presently. She’s like reverse Batman. In this issue she goes up against the mysterious Pretty…and he may be her enemy. The entire issuer is weird but I could not look away.

Shawn Crystal takes over the art chores in this issue. Honestly, I liked Tommy Lee Edwards better as he was more suited to Houser’s scripts. Crystal has a LOT of energy in his artwork and reminds me of a young Todd McFarlane and that’s all well and good…but all the mood Edwards established is gone.

Still, the script is mighty fine and the whole issue is enjoyable. Pick it up. Houser certainly makes it worth it.

RATING: B

 

Titans #9
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Brett Booth

This book is a thrill. I just enjoy picking it up and reading through it each month. There’s just an energy that Brett Booth’s art has to it that is contagious. More than any other DC title this book is like a sugar rush.

The storyline Made in Manhattan continues in this issue. The Titans battle the Fearsome Five. The Fearsome Five have a new member…called Bumblebee.

It’s sounds stupid I know. Yet the art and the story make this whole thing compelling. Nightwing and Wally West (there he is again) also do a bit of sleuthing in this issue and it’s like old times.

I feel reading all these Titans issue that it’s leading to something big. That’s due to the strong writing by Abnett.

Every issue is a thrill ride.

And the characterizations of each character are how I love them. Let’s keep this up.  This is how I like my Titans.

RATING: B+

 

The Lost Boys #6
Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Scott Godlewski

Man, what a wasted opportunity. This “sequel” to the film The Lost Boys is a well drawn disappointment from start to finish. This issue, is the finish. And not a moment too soon. I thought the concept was pretty good but the execution was just okay.

The heroes in this issue have their final confrontation with the Blood Belles! And its less than thrilling.

For an issue that tells us it’ll have plenty of blood it doesn’t have a drop.

Tim Seeley is a decent writer and he drops the ball here. It’s for the hardcore fan only, which I can’t imagine there are many left at this point. If you have nothing else to do, then maybe pick up this series. But know in advance…its toothless and lacks any bite.

And yes, I’ve been saving that one for awhile.

RATING: C

 

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #8
Written by Julie and Shawna Benson
Illustrated by Roge Antonio

Nightwing is guest starring in this storyline! Between all the appearances he and Wally West are currently putting in, those two must be exhausted! This issue is the start of the Blackbird storyline and it’s a good issue. Not great, but good.

I think that’s what bothers me about this book. It’s always just “good.” Not great, but good. And here it is again. I think the Bensons are talented writers. I just wish they would step this up to make it a “must read.” I think they can. I challenge them to.

Anyway, someone hurts Nightwing in this issue and it’s up to the ladies over at the Birds of Prey to help him out. He better recover…he’s got more guest starring to do.

Antonio is decent on the art. He gets better with each book he does.

So this is a B book. Again. I want it t be an A.

RATING: B

 

Scooby Apocalypse #11
Written by J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen
Illustrated by Dale Eaglesham

I decided to give this book a full review. Dale Eaglesham is on the title. I like his art. His art is very good here. How bad can it be?

Turns out it’s even worse than it’s ever been.

The gang is trying to track down and find Velma. And then I just watched and read as my childhood got pooped on by this story.

The talent behind this issue are really some of my favorites. I love them all. But maybe they have lost their minds.

They can do better than this. And they should.

Don’t waste your money.

Unless you want to visit this graveyard where talent goes to die.

RATING: F

 

And the rest….

Earth 2 Society #22
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Vicente Cifuentes
I say it month in and month out…I need to pick this book up from the beginning. I love these characters and I love this creative team. The story is involving. That’s it…someone get me these books and I’m doing it this summer…this book is very good.
RATING: B+

 

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps # 16.
Written by Robert Venditti
Illustrated by Rafa Sandoval
I have no idea with these Green Lantern titles these days. I can just about look at the art and then I move on. This is just dull through and through.
RATING: D

 

New Superman #9
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic
This book is a nice surprise and I’m enjoying it. I may go back and read it from the beginning. Yang is a good writer and this book is interesting.
RATING: B

 

Gotham Academy: Second Semester #7
Written by Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan and Karl Kerschl
Illustrated by Adam Archer and Msassyk
I’ve lost interest in this title. It’s getting too cutesy for my taste and should have been a miniseries. As of now I’m just bored by it.
RATING: C

 

Red Hood And The Outlaws #8
Written by Scott Lobdell
Illustrated by Kenneth Rocafort
This book is pretty damn cool. I love what Lobdell has created here and the character of the Red Hood shines. The art is great in this issue too. The “Who is Artemis?” storyline kicks off with a bang. Well worth your time.
RATING: B+

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