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Graphic Breakdown: ‘A’ Ratings For ‘All-Star Batman’, ‘The Flash’, ‘Deathstroke’, ‘Titans’

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

I had a chance to read some excellent books this past week…let’s get cracking on them.

All Star Batman #6   
Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Jock

I love Jock. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Jock is one of the best comic book artists out there.

Every book he’s on, he’s stellar. His illustrations are always new, always fresh, always amazing. It’s amazing and here he outdoes himself.

Batman travels to Alaska to confront Mr. Freeze as he attempts to extract the world’s oldest ice core and bring humanity to a new Ice Age!

I’ll tell you: I’m not the biggest fan of Mr. Freeze.

He’s always seemed kind of lame. Here, Snyder and Jock make him lethal and awesome. He’s terribly scary here.

Snyder is doing wonderful work recently. This is no exception.  And the art by Jock is awesome. Maybe his best work. Pick this up. This is two top flight creators at the top of their game.


The Flash #14
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico

Now this is more like it!

After a lackluster last few issues, Di Giandomenico is back on the art and all is right in the world! Williamson also amps up the story here with bringing back the Flash’s Rogues.

Central City is quiet…a little too quiet. Which means one thing: the Rogues are up to something, and only The Flash can stop them!

But first Barry Allen needs to track down his classic cadre of villains, who’ve vanished in advance of their greatest plan ever.

This is the way I want my Flash comic book to be.  It’s wonderful. The art and story work in tandem and it’s quite beautiful. It’s fast, and the adventure in it is pretty damn epic. Let’s keep this going!


Deathstroke #10 
Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Cary Nord

Man, this is a series that keeps getting better and better.

The previous issue was intense and awesome and then this comes along and it’s even more intense and awesome.

I hope Cary Nord does more DC work than this…it’s just phenomenal.

Slade and Wintergreen’s covert mission takes a stunning turn when they’re asked to protect the life of a man who has murdered thousands.

Meanwhile, Dr. Villain reveals the truth about Deathstroke’s powers!

This book was one of the best debuts of last year and it’s continuing to be so in the new year.  Deathstroke ranks as one of the best books currently being published.

I can’t wait to see more.


Detective Comics #948
Written by James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by Ben Oliver

This book is one of the strong points of the DC Universe Rebirth. And while there is no Watchmen tie-in in this issue, it’s still strong nonetheless.

The writing has been great and gives us a strong first issue of a new storyline.

This special two-part interlude spotlights team leader Batwoman!

In the wake of the “Night of the Monster Men,” A.R.G.U.S. has built a secret research city around the corpse of the megamonster that collapsed in Gotham Harbor…creating Gotham City’s newest and most dangerous neighborhood, Monstertown!

The art by Ben Oliver is great! He is somebody who never could get that right book. Here, he excels. The art looks great.

This is a two part story. Pick it up. This issue was great. Let’s hope they keep on coming!


Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #6 
Written by Julie and Shawna Benson
Illustrated by Roge Antonio

This book is consistent at the very least. The writing is strong enough…but the art is kind of lackluster. I wish there was a stronger  visual style on this. Antonio isn’t bad but it doesn’t thrill me like I think this book could.

“Who Is Oracle?” conclusion! The new Oracle has put the Birds in an untenable position—do what Oracle wants, or their whole lives get made public! So how do they turn the tables?

And now that Huntress has Fenice in her sights, can she pull the trigger?

She’s never hesitated to kill before…so why now?

It was a strong enough first arc. The writing by the Bensons is the selling point here. I would read anything they wrote as they are very good.  Let’s hope the next arc picks up!


Titans #7   
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Lee Weeks

At first, I wasn’t sure I would like this issue of Titans. Brett Booth wasn’t doing the art, and I really love his stuff. Then I found out Lee Weeks was the artist and by god I perked right up. Weeks is one of the best underused artists we have…and man is this issue good.

A new threat brings Wally West face to face with the Man of Steel, and the two recognize each other as kindred souls from another world.

Plus, the Titans set up their new Tower in New York City!

The story by Abnett is really great. This is one of the destined to be a classic issues in my opinion. It’s a great story, and a kind of “time out.”

The art of course is good.  And more Watchmen clues!  One hell of a way to start off the new year!


Red Hood and The Outlaws #6 
Written by Scott Lobdell
Illustrated by Dexter Soy

This book is an unexpected joy.

Lobdell is writing a fun book, month in and month out. This is another nice story. The art by Soy is also consistent from month to month. I’m enjoying it.

This books is the “Dark Trinity” conclusion! Black Mask and Red Hood go toe-to-toe beneath One Police Plaza, while above them Bizarro and Artemis clash in a battle of titanic proportion!

The art by Dexter Soy is very good here. He’s been great on the first six issues.

The two of them are quite the team. I hope they continue.  While this book isn’t the top of the reading list it’s certainly very good. A solid B book.


Suicide Squad #9
Written by Rob Williams and Si Spurrier
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo

Finally, a half decent issue of Suicide Squad!

While the writing is nothing special, the art certainly is.

Put Riley Rossmo on anything and I’ll read it. That’s certainly the case here.

The story is a Justice League Vs Suicide Squad tie in.

It shows the history of Task Force X. It’s a fairly standard story with hardly any real surprises.

The art though? Man, it’s superb.

Rossmo has a gift for making images you have not seen before. What a great job. He should have a regular DC gig at this long . He’s certainly earned it.


And the rest….
Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5 
Written by Karl Kerschl, Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan and Illustrated by Adam Archer
The Book of Gotham holds a truth that Olive Silverlock may not be ready for. When devastating secrets are revealed, Olive’s closest allies will be seen for what they truly are, and the fate of the Academy itself may hang in the balance.  Not a bad book overall.

Earth 2 Society #20
Written by Dan Abnett and Illustrated by Vincente Cifuentes
The final fate of Earth storyline continues! This title isn’t half bad, but I get kind of lost. I should probably pick it up from the beginning. Still the story is decent and the art is good.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps  #12
Written by Robert Venditti and Illustrated by Ethan Van Sciver

I’m not a fan of this title, but the art isn’t half bad. This is the final issue of this arc…I’m still waiting for a stronger Green Lantern. Let’s hope it comes soon.


New Superman # 7 
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Illustrated by Billy Tan
This is really a great little comic. The story is pretty fun and. The art is really the selling point here. Putting Billy Tan on this comic is a great choice. Let’s keep it going!

Scooby: Apocalypse # 9 
Written by J.M Dematteis and Keith Giffen and Illustrated by Bill Reinhold and Ron Wagner
This is one of my least favorite books…mostly because the talent is so wasted. And now they have Wagner and Reinhold to bring down. Ugh. The art is good at least.

The Lost Boys #4 
Written by Tim Seeley and Illustrated by Scott Godlewski
This should have been a fun series. It’s…okay. I wish there was more going on with it. The art isn’t bad. Spend your money on something else though.

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