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Graphic Breakdown: 2017 Ends and 2018 Begins With Excellent ‘Doomsday Clock’, ‘Batman’, ‘Deathstroke’, ‘White Knight’, ‘Creature of The Knight’, ‘Kamandi’ & More!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

Today we finish off 2017 and start 2018 with a bang!

We have over 20 books to review today and no time to waste!

Here we go!

 

Doomsday Clock #2
Written by Geoff Johns
Illustrated by Gary Frank


2018 starts off here! This is an unbelievably great issue!

I don’t know how much I can say without giving anything away. Just go buy this issue and read it immediately!

So the Watchmen characters have crossed over into the DC Universe.

This much is certain.

In this issue we start to see some of the interactions. And let me tell you, they are somewhat mind blowing. I loved the first issue and all.

This one starts out kind of slow.

By the end of it, I was floored. The last ten pages are just some of the best comic book storytelling I’ve seen in a long time.

Geoff Johns is pulling off the seemingly impossible thus far. He is writing at a level we have not seen from him before. It’s astonishing. There were a few moments that made me applaud. Gary Frank does the same. He does the best work of his career at a level we have not seen from him. Pick this up. Like now.

RATING: A+

Batman #38
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Travis Moore

Tom King has really kicked this title into high gear.

This issue is titled “The Origin of Bruce Wayne.” It’s another fine tale and King sets the stage for another fine year of comic book storytelling.

This issue focuses on a boy named Mattie who is forced to relive the tragedy of what happened to Bruce Wayne.

You know, the classic comic book origin of Batman?

The creative team puts the poor kid through the same wringer and it’s up to Batman to solve this horrible crime.

King pushes his writing even further than usual in this issue. He’s always trying new things and it’s great. The art by Moore is superb as well. I haven’t seen much of his work but now I look forward to more in the future. He’s very talented. Pick this up. It’s really damn good.

RATING: A



Batman: White Knight #4
Written and Illustrated by Sean Murphy


Sean Murphy is awesome.

So far, this series has been fantastic and in this issue he ups the ante. I’ve always loved him as an artist. I’ve even liked his writing before. His writing here though is the best of his career, hands down.

Jack Napier is planning on running for the councilman position of the neighborhood of Backport. Yet, Mayor Hill is trying to make him look bad. He may be “cured” but the Mayor doesn’t want him around. So Jack Napier decides to do a big show to get the position he wants.

The art is as strong as the writing. Murphy does killer work here on the art. I can’t believe how much he packs into every single panel.

This is classic work in the making. Pick it up now.

RATING: A



Batman and The Signal #1
Written by Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick
Illustrated by Cully Hamner


Duke Thomas finally takes the spotlight in this pretty decent first issue written by Scott Snyder and newcomer Tony Patrick.

They start the issue off on the right track and I’m interested to see where this might be leading.

Batman rules the night. This much is certain.

But there are new villains that are appearing during the day that he can’t get to.

Gotham needs somebody and that somebody it turns out is Duke Thomas as the Signal.

Cully Hamner is an artist who is always solid but never had a defining work. He’s worked on all of these great characters and he never had a true classic as far as I can remember. He’s solid so I hope that this book might be that work.

RATING: B+

Batman Beyond #15
Written by Dan Jurgens 
Illustrated by Phil Hester


I really love that there is a Batman Beyond title. It was such a great concept and it’s great that these characters are being used again. It brings a smile to my face every month I get to read it.

This is part two of the storyline entitled “The Long Payback.”

Batman has to fight against The Royal Flush Gang in it. That’s just the beginning though.

There is someone behind the scenes making Terry’s villains go against him.
 The story is a really good time.

Jurgens excels on the writing here more than anything he’s done in recent years. The art by Hester is a surprise. It’s a nice solid issue. Lend it support!

RATING: B



Batman: Creature of the Night #2
Written by Kurt Busiek
Illustrated by John Paul

This is another Batman limited series that is quite good.

I really love the way Busiek handles Batman. It’s a great take. You can tell by the writing how much he respects Batman. It’s a solid take on the dark knight detective.

Young Bruce Wainwright is starting to feel more and more powerful. He starts to be more like Batman. But Batman is just a comic book character in this universe. What exactly is happening?

The story is damn intriguing. The art by Leon is excellent too. This is finally a book he will be remembered for. Pick this up. This take is something special indeed.

RATING: A

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #3
Written by Tony Isabella
Illustrated by Clayton Henry

This series continues along with another fine issue.

Tony Isabella dumped previous continuity and it’s turning out to be totally worth it. He has a handle on his character and this universe like none other. This is another very well done chapter in the series.
 There has been another shooting.

Two kids are on the run and one of them has an alien super weapon. Black Lightning is trying to track them down. But can he get to them first?

Or will they fall into the hands of the police or possibly someone evil?

Clayton Henry is a really solid artist. He draws very concise images that move the story along perfectly. This is a nice take on the character. I’m excited to see where it might end up.

RATING: B



The Flash #36
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Scott McDaniel


Ah, Joshua Williamson. He is definitely one of my favorite writers on this character. I actually sat recently and read all the issues he’s written up until this point. His work is executed well, and it really benefits reading it all in one sitting.

This is the first part of the storyline “A Cold Day In Hell.”

One of the Flash’s rogue gallery is murdered in prison(guess which one!) Barry Allen tosses himself deeply in the case. He’s also trying to get over some things in his personal life as well. Can he rise above it all?

The characterization of Barry Allen is great here. He has a personality and a purpose and Williamson really has him down.

The art by McDaniel isn’t my favorite but it didn’t interfere with my enjoyment. Pick this up. It’s a good start to a new year on this title!

RATING: B+

Bombshells United #9
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by Siya Oum


This has been a really special and unique book. Marguerite Bennett is a great writer and she keeps things really moving here. This issue also has a great artist working on it named Siya Oum.

Talia gives Batwoman and Renee a tour towards the Lazarus Pit.

Their little vacation is cut short however when everyone discovers that Cheetah has beaten them there!

This leads to a hell of a conflict and a fight!

There are some good twists in this storyline. Bennett just writes a nice story and it’s compelling. Oum is an amazing artist and keeps the story moving.

Together, they are a good creative team here. Pick this up. It’s definitely an underrated book.

RATING: B+

Deathstroke #27
Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Diogenes Neves

What can I say about Christopher Priest that I haven’t said before?

He’s an incredible storyteller. He’s always done solid work. Here, he may in fact being writing the book of his career.

This issue is the second part of the storyline “The Fall of Slade.”

Jericho is trying to get to Deathstroke so he can save his father from his ex. His ex is the dastardly Dr. Ikon.

Will he make it in time?

Or will Slade be taken out of the game and killed?

Find out here!

Neves is an excellent artist for this series and has really proven himself. The art works great with the writing. I’m excited about what’s coming for this series. I’m sure whatever it is, that it’s something great indeed.
RATING: A-

Detective Comics #971
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Miguel Mendonca

I don’t know if it’s just me but Tynion’s work on this title is starting to feel a little watered down. It was good for a little bit and now it just feels almost redundant. I hope it picks up as we head to the big 1000th issue.

This is the third part of the storyline “Fall Of The Batmen!”

The Victim Syndicate is making their move against the team. They are facing a crossroads.

And there is a big “betrayal!” The betrayal is not very surprising, nor very compelling.

The art by Mendonca is a bright spot. He brings a verve to the art that I really like. It’s cool. I wish I felt that way about the story.

Let’s hope the next storyline is better.

RATING: B-

Teen Titans #15
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Illustrated by Ed Benes and Jorge Jimenez


This was a pretty awesome book. I loved this chapter of the “Super Sons of Tomorrow” storyline. Tomasi and Gleason are fantastic writers and they really are making a satisfying crossover.

The opening page of the issue had me hooked. It showed Titans Tower burning. I was automatically digging it.

Then, we get to the characters. Tim Drake is trying to prevent a terrible future.

Meanwhile, he is also becoming darker as he tries to save the day and the future as the Teen Titans fight the Super Sons of Tomorrow.

The art is pretty good on this. The only thing is that it’s a little inconsistent when it switches artists mid-stream.

Still, there are a lot of cool sequences by Benes and Jimenez.
So the final verdict?

Pick this up. It’s a good chapter in an awesome storyline.

RATING: B+

Suicide Squad #32
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Scot Eaton


“The Secret History of Task Force X” wraps up its storyline here!

In it, the team fight against this demonic, dinosaur looking thing.

All right! In for a penny, in few a pound! Let the lunacy of this issue commence!
The fate of the entire world is in the balance!

The Suicide Squad has to fight against the beast called Red Wave. But they can’t stop fighting amongst themselves.

Can they come to terms with each other?

Can they defeat the beast?

Find out here!

The writing is a little sloppy by Williams. But whatever. I am just having a good time with the sheer lunacy of it all. The art isn’t that great by Eaton either.

Somehow. I still enjoyed my usual trip to this comic book world. It’s bananas.

RATING: B-

The Kamandi Challenge #12
Written by Gail Simone and Paul Levitz
Illustrated by Ryan Sook and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

I loved this series. This was a hell of an event. A new creative team each issue picking up from the cliffhanger of the previous issue.

What’s better than that? And most of them were damn awesome. This one certainly is as well.

The fate of Kamandi’s parents has been revealed!

Kamandi now has one last obstacle in his path. He has to find a way for humans and animals to co-exist peacefully. Or the planet might actually be destroyed. Can he do it?

The main story is perfect. It’s wonderful written by Simone. The art by Sook is great, too.

The bonus tale by Paul Levitz (it was supposed to be the late Len Wein) is wonderfully written and the art by Garcia- Lopez is tops.

Pick this up. It’s a stunning end to a great series.

RATING: A

The American Way #5
Written by John Ridley
Illustrated by Georges Jeanty


John Ridley is a fantastic writer. This is the penultimate chapter here. I haven’t heard a lot of chatter about this series. People should be talking about it. It’s quite excellent.

The American has discovered that there is a new superhuman out there. He decides to confront this superhuman. The young man is not too pleased that a “hero” he considers a government stooge is talking to him. Time to fight!

Meanwhile, Amber Waves may be causing more trouble behind the scenes.

Ridley has created a hell of a book with some well developed characters. The art is pretty damn good too.

I can’t wait to see how this story ends in the next issue. I’ll also be sad that it’ll be gone.

RATING: A

Hawkman Found #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Bryan Hitch


This boasts one of the best creative teams I have ever seen on Hawkman. I’m sad it’s for just this one book.

Jeff Lemire one of my favorite writers in the field and this is just another feather in his cap.

Hawkman has been missing! Nobody has seen the guy in years! Where is Carter Hall?

We found out in this issue. It turns out, his disappearance is related to the events in DC Comics Metal storyline.

Lemire gives us a solid story here with a ton of information in one issue. Yet, it’s not overwhelming and easy to pick up on.

The art by Hitch is excellent. I have sorely missed his art over the last few years and he is perfect for Hawkman.

Even better, he is inked here by the incomparable Kevin Nowlan. It’s super awesome. Pick this up. It’s quite excellent.

RATING: A

The Ruff and Reddy Show #3
Written by Howard Chaykin
Illustrated by Mac Rey


It’s tough to beat Howard Chaykin for me.

If I see his name on a title, I pick it up immediately. I have to. I just love his viewpoint and love his art. For this series, he just writes it. But you can definitely see his style all over the book.

Ruff and Reddy are trying to just do their show. They are not prepared for the amount of craziness they encounter. There is backstabbing. There is jealously and self destruction.

And that’s just on a Monday!

Chaykin keeps the book lively as he always does.
The art by Rey is equally engrossing. This is a great little series which I wasn’t too sure about. Now I look forward to seeing it month after month.

RATING: B+

Superman #38
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Illustrated by Sergio Davila

Oh, wow! I had no idea the finale of the “Super Sons of Tomorrow” would be this good! What we have here is a nice concluding chapter to the storyline.

Tomasi and Gleason have kept it consistent and here they end on a high note.

The Batman of Tomorrow brings in the Titans of Tomorrow to come do battle with the Titans of today.

Meanwhile, the life of Superman’s son is in jeopardy! While this is happening we get some characters in I didn’t expect. One of them is none other than Bart Allen!

The story is great. The art by Davila is top notch. Pick this one up. And read the storyline as a whole.

It’s pretty damn sweet and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of missing out.

RATING: A-

Injustice 2 #17
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Bruce Redondo


I love this book with a passion.

The only downside is that every issue is shorter than a regular comic book. That’s okay. Tom Taylor is brave and writes with passion.

He likes to take classic characters and spin them on their heads.

Harley Quinn takes Lucy to meet Harley’s sister. This leads Harley into conflict with the dastardly Poison Ivy.

Meanwhile, Gorilla Grodd and Solovar are getting mad over Ra’s al Ghul’s plans. Things are heating up!

The art is very cool on this series. You almost feel like you are in another world. Pick this up.

I say it time and again, this series is amazing. Give it a shot!

RATING: B+

Gotham City Garage #6
Written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Illustrated by Carmen Carnero


I’ve been enjoying this comic book very much. It’s another alternative take on the Batman universe. And make no mistake: it’s out of its mind!

You need to read this comic book!

There literally is no better explanation than to say all hell breaks loose in this particular issue. There’s crazy fighting and there’s even more crazy fighting.

In the midst of it all, things really change for our characters.
The writing is sharp and the art is good.

This would be a nice reading companions to reading Injustice 2.

Give it a shot. It is quite fun.

RATING: B+

Imaginary Fiends #2
Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Stephen Molnar


Vertigo Comics used to be some of my favorite books on the market. My interest in the line has waned over the past few years. It has become a watered down line in a lot of respects. It used to be cutting edge. Now we get titles like this.

Don’t get me wrong. This title is not horrible. It focuses on Melba. She is an agent on her first case trying to figure out a series of child disappearances.

Melba also sees an evil fiend named Polly Peachpit.

And then it was at that point I lost interest, sadly.

Seeley isn’t my favorite writer. I feel he has great concepts but doesn’t always follow through in the actual scripting. The art is pretty decent however. I wish it were better. Maybe it’ll improve.

But until it does, this just feels like a lesser title in what used to be a great line of comics.

RATING: C+

 

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