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Graphic Breakdown: ‘All-Star Batman #1’, ‘Empress #5’, ‘Superwoman #1’ & More!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

The DC Rebirth is trucking along and we finally get some books that made me sit up and pay attention.

3106744-asbm_cv1_dsAll Star Batman #1 

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

Scott Snyder is crazy. And I love it. It shows on every page the writes. It shows on every panel even. He’s crazy all right…about making a good story we haven’t seen before and having it be the best quality he can make it.

All Star Batman fuels his craziness even more. It’s an ambitious tale and Snyder dives into it with two top notch talents in Romita Jr. and Shalvey. The price tag is $4.99 and it’s worth every penny. Snyder packs the book with narrative punch.

Snyder is finally tackling Two-Face in this book and it’s almost has the feel of a road movie. Batman is transporting Two-Face out of Gotham but a mysterious villain wants Two-Face.

Snyder crafts a great story here and it’s worth sitting up for. Romita Jr. is at the top of his game as is Shalvey. This is the best book DC Rebirth has put out. The best. If they can keep the art team and Snyder keeps the story of this quality, I daresay it’s going to be a tough book to beat. This is the book they should model the rest of the Rebirth line on. This is how it’s done.


1470814271_43f12144fba5b9a68d6cd016729ca2a2Action Comics #961 

Written by Dan Jurgens and Illustrated by Stephen Segovia
Published by DC Comics

Maybe Scott Snyder can try doing Superman again. It certainly would be better than this.

It’s hard to blame Jurgens or anyone really. It’s just hard to get into.

This is part five of Superman’s battle with Doomsday and it gets more dull.

That’s about all I can really say. I wish it had more spark to it. Sadly, there is very little to grab onto. I’ll bump this up in rating because Segovia handles the art very well, but not enough to elevate it.

I really want a good Superman tale. I wish someone would create one. This okay at best.  I want better than ok.


NSM-Cv2-ds-8581aNew Super-Man #2

Written by Gene Luen Yang and Illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic
Published by DC Comics

This book was extremely tough for the first issue but I do believe there is an audience for it. It’s just not me.

Yang is a good writer especially for younger fans. I do believe some of them might gravitate towards this book with a different take on Superman. For me, however it’s just more of the same.

This book shows the Chinese version of Superman. And again, for young readers, it might be great. For me, it is at once hard to get into and hard to hold onto anything.

Yang writes in a very simple way. So simple, in fact I feel like I just want to bypass a few pages to get to the end.

The art is fairly decent but again, it has been done for a younger sensibility and not really me.

For the younger crowd I’d recommend this. For the rest of us, I just want to be reading a better comic book. Like immediately.


The-Flash-4-666x1024The Flash #4 

Written by Joshua Williamson and Illustrated by Neil Googe
Published by DC Comics

Just like that, a better comic book comes along. This book is really great, has been really great, and will continue to be really great.

The Speed Force has activated new speedsters and chaos is following. Williamson has crafted one hell of a tale and I am involved and interested to see where it goes. Issue in, and issue out this has been the most consistent, wonderful book on the stands. I love what he has crafted. I wish only Wally West was in it, but hey there’s still time.

The art by Googe is his first issue on the series. It fits and is congruent to the issues before. I loved the way it worked. This is a good solid book on a wavy line. Pick it up and follow it. You will be rewarded on a regular basis.


WW+Cv4_dsWonder Woman #4 

Written by Greg Rucka and Illustrated by Nicola Scott
Published by DC Comics

This is part two of Wonder Woman Year One in the most confusing numbering of any title on the market. This is the better part of Rucka’s run. It’s actually accessible and for the most part it works.

We didn’t really need another Wonder Woman origin. But here we are and it’s not half bad. Rucka writes a good tale here. His characters are spot on. His work with Scott is much better than with Liam Sharp. It’s actually well paced and has a nice style to it. Scott does a great job of bringing the characters to life. The characters are nicely drawn and it has good, concise storytelling.

I like this storyline better than the other one going one. They should publish one at a time or perhaps as separate books. But this is good. Keep it going.


Deathstroke-Rebirth-1-CVDeathstroke: Rebirth #1

Written by Christopher Priest and Illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan
Published by DC Comics

Hey! I liked this book! Miracle of miracles. It’s actually hard not to like it. Deathstroke was always a favorite character growing up and I have enjoyed his solo adventures in the past.

Recently, not so much. But DC did something smart: They hired Priest as the writer.

Priest really knows how to write a good comic book.

Ever since I was a teenager, if I saw his name on a book, I knew I would be in for a solid book. He doesn’t disappoint. This is more than a solid book with tight plotting, and mart execution. I’m glad Priest is still out there.

The art is something else too. It moves the story, and is fresh and exciting. This is DC doing something right and people should pick this up… It’s a nice addition to the line. The only drawback is if you don’t really know Deathstroke you may be a little lost…but you’ll catch up. It’s worth it.


swm_cv1_dsSuperwoman #1 

Written and Illustrated by Phil Jiminez
Published by DC Comics

A superpowered Lois Lane takes the stage in this book. It’s pretty bananas. It kinda reminds me of a book from the 50s…written by Grant Morrison. Oh wait. It has one of Morrison’s old mates doing the writing and art? Here we go!

Jiminez is a talent. I’m not so sure about his writing yet, but he is a talent for sure. His art is gorgeous. I kind of wish he was doing another book but I’ll take what I can get. Like a lot of DC books where the artist writes…it’s just that as good as I feel it could be. This is fun enough but it could be better. Maybe some of these artists should just focus on one of the other. Not everyone can be Frank Miller…hell, even Frank Miller isn’t even Frank Miller anymore. I would rather a stronger book rather than a throwaway.

That’s not to say everything is bad in the book. It’s fun, moves, and has some great sequences. I just think something is missing from it. a bigger point, and a stronger story.


1470830505_54a65e118307c44b1933049595e38afaRed Hood and The Outlaws #1  

Written by Scott Lobdell and Illustrated by Dexter Soy
Published by DC Comics

Speaking of things that I wish has more of a point, comes the first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws. I’m not sure why this book exists but it does. It isn’t half bad. But I just would like to know the answer of why is this book necessary?

Well, it may not be necessary, but Lobdell is a good writer and keeps things moving. Maybe they should give him the Superman titles. He takes a book of no real importance as far as I can tell and makes something of it. He keeps things interesting and it’s a cut above a lot of the other flagship titles.

Soy is a decent artist too and the two work in tandem to create a solid book. Maybe Soy is the Superman artist we have been waiting for. Rather way, this book is fun, through and through. And hey! It’s great someone found a use for Artemis again! it was great to see her!


1-1Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #2 

Written by Robert Venditti and Illustrated by Rafa Sandoval
Published By DC Comics

This is just another dull book on the market right now. I don’t blame Venditti. He’s a good writer. The direction is pretty unfocused.

Green Lantern is a hard book to write and an even harder book to get right. Venditti had a solid run before the Rebirth. Now, he seems to be running on fumes. It just seems I have seen this story before but done better. Hal is looking for the Green Lantern Corps for they are lost and…I already lost interest.

The art is pretty okay but the book seems to be coasting. I hope they clean it up.

Otherwise, I fear Parallax is around the corner and that guy is a dickhead.


DTC-Cv938-open-order-var-2cb78Detective Comics #938 

Written By James Tynion Iv and Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez
Published by DC Comics

No writer in the history of comic book has taken as much abuse from me than James Tynion IV. Why? He’s a decent writer. A good guy. The reason? He’s my hope. We need him to step up and write better comics. So I aim to push him. Because he’s got more in him than he sometimes gives us.

Take his latest issue of Detective Comics. Part five of a story I gave up on three issues ago. Yet, here he is. Writing til the bitter end. It’s certainly a creative storyline. He writes the characters very well. It just fizzles.
Why the fizzle? The story just goes on too long and wears out it’s welcome. But I still have hope. Tynion may be the writer Batman has been waiting for. He’s not there yet.

He needs a better artist though. The art in these issues aren’t helping his cause (the first two issues were by Eddy Barrows who is very good and kept my attention.)

But come on Tynion. I know you have it in you. You have some great moments. Now write your masterpiece. I know you have it in you.


Empress-5-final-1Empress #5 

Written by Mark Millar and Illustrated by Stuart Immonen
Published by Image Comics

Well, here we are. Another issue of Empress hits the stands. And it’s another fabulous issue from Millar and Immonen. I have to say, when I first heard about it I was afraid it might be something like Saga by Vaughan and Staples. But no. Millar does what he does and makes a genre his own.

This book is about Emporia who takes her kids away from their evil father. It is science fiction, and it’s pretty out there. But the design work, the characters, and the pacing are just awesome and well though out. Millar loves the genres he writes in and it’s apparent. Everything he touches shows that love, yet examines a new aspect of said genre we may not have even considered.

The art is the best of Immonen’s career hands down. In fact, it makes me a bit mad to see how good he is here and then in some other titles previous, he is just okay. This is the kind of work I want to see from him. Keep it up.

Empress is a strong book. It’s story is awesome, funny and emotional. Millar has done it again, and I can’t wait to read them all again, collected.


1470828741_6cf2a4e222821aae45151758d5970f2aThe Flintstones #2 

Written by Mark Russell and Illustrated by Steve Pugh
Published by DC Comics

What the living hell is going on with these Hanna Barbera characters over at DC Comics? In perhaps the strangest move any comic company has done, DC has tried to update these classic characters in brand new comics. Updated! New! Edgier! With very few exceptions they have failed miserably on this.

The title for this book is “Buyer Beware!’ and never before has a comic reader be forewarned by the book itself they are about to read. It’s is dull lifeless and kind of icky. The story is pointless. The biggest crime of this book is also the biggest crime of the entire line. You have a talent like Steve Pugh drawing the book! Pugh is an excellent artist. For gods sake put him on Superman! This silly line has fantastic people working on it such as Steve Rude, Howard Porter, Keith Giffen…put these creators on books that matter not this!

Again, this line feels kind of icky. They should really take a cue from the Archie line if that is what they wanted to do or were trying to do. You can update and be creative. Or be bold. These books are neither. In fact, they all just make me feel kind of weird overall.


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