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Graphic Breakdown: ‘Batman/The Shadow’: “One of The Best of The Year”

Welcome to Graphic Breakdown!

Summer is around the corner! Let’s talk about some comics currently on stands!

 

Deathstroke #19
Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan

This issue made me a bit sad. It’s still a great issue, don’t get me wrong. It’s part of the “Lazarus Contract” storyline currently raging through the Titans books. It’s a good issue, but I just rather this book not be part of a crossover. It’s too unique a book to be a part of that.

The Titans in this issue basically are trying to stop Slade from destroying the world. Can they succeed? Or will Slade inadvertently destroy everything?

There are some great action sequences in this issue. The opening sequence with the Flash and Slade running at super speed is one of the coolest scenes this year.

Priest keeps the action and story flowing throughout. This book still should be by itself, apart from the Titans books. Oh well. It’ll return to that format soon.

RATING: B+

 

Detective Comics #957
Written by James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by Carmen Carnero

This issue is the true definition of the term “fill-in issue.”

After a spectacular few months over at Detective Comics, Tynion and gang needed a break apparently. It’s forgivable but it doesn’t make for great comics.

This issue focuses on The Spoiler. She battles against a generic baddie named The Wrath. There’s nothing too interesting as she works up to facing off with him. There’s a lot that is uninteresting in here in truth.

It’s a very generic issue basically. The writing isn’t very defined. The story moves at a standard pace and there is nothing new and exciting going on here.

The artwork isn’t that good either. Okay, let’s move on. Get them next month, guys!

I know you have it in you.

RATING: C

 

Suicide Squad #18
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Tony S. Daniel

This is the issue that Zoe goes nuts. That’s the best way I can describe it.

The Suicide Squad have to turn around and rein this psychopath in. He has some crazy ideas for this world.

Those ideas are pretty bananas. Williams does a good job here of showing just how mad Zod is.

He also does a good job of facing the Suicide Squad against him. They really are going on a Suicide mission here and it’s kind of cool.

The art by Daniel is fantastic for what’s going on. Daniel gives the art great pacing and it’s truly dynamic. This is a good issue indeed. I wish they kept every issue at this pace.

RATING: B+

 

Kamandi Challenge #5
Written by Bill Willingham
Illustrated by Ivan Reis

This book keeps trucking along with a new creative team each month picking up from the previous months creative team. It’s thrilling to read.

I’ve said it before that I’m not the biggest Kamandi fan, but this is something truly cool.

In this issue, Kamandi meets a tiger detective who provides him with some clues of where his parents might be. It’s a well written issue that focuses on character. It’s enjoyable and it’s a little deeper than the previous issues have been.

The art by Reis is truly stunning. There is passion and detail on every page. You can almost smell and breathe in the environments he creates.

This is a good issue in a solid series. Pick this up. It deserves to be read.

RATING: B+

 

Mother Panic #7|
Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by John Paul Leon

Jody Houser is one of the best new talents to emerge in the last few years. She’s a great writer and writes some of the more original comic books on the stands. This is a great example of that.

A person that Mother Panic saved is having problems again.This leads to a really nicely written issue that focuses on her character.

Mother Panic has to look deep inside herself to determine just what her place in the world is.

Meanwhile, has Batman taken an interest in her?

The art here is okay. I miss Tommy Lee Edwards on the art. John Paul Leon has never been one of my favorites. He’s the third artist in seven issues and he’s radically different from the other two.

So, while the character is well written and consistent, the art isn’t. It makes it a difficult and frustrating read at times. A consistent artist may help this book be a break out hit as well.

RATING: B

 

Batman Beyond #8
Written by Dan Jurgens
Illustrated by Bernard Chang

It’s another fine issue over at Batman Beyond!

This is a title that has been damn enjoyable the last seven issues and this one is no different. Kudos to Dan Jurgens for keeping the book fun and adventurous.

Terry has to travel to Tibet to rescue Bruce Wayne from the League of Assassins. He finally gets to meet Ra’s Al Ghul in this issue. The meeting is quite eventful as well.

There is a cool surprise at the end of the book. I didn’t even see it coming. I even thought to myself: “Damn that was clever!”

The story was great and the art by Chang was good. The story and excitement were both high.

An underrated book in DC’s Rebirth line.

RATING: B+

 

Batgirl #11
Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Chris Wildgoose

Chris Wildgoose really has kept this book steamrolling along. He has an energy to his art we haven’t seen in a while. The work is fast paced, and well composed. The action scenes are exciting to say the least. He also makes talking scenes very exciting to look at as well.

This is the finale to the “Son of Penguin” storyline.

Hope Larson does a really great job writing this title here. The last two pages were horrifying to me. I don’t want to spoil it, but look at he ambulance scene. That’s good writing right there.

This is a solid book. While there may be some that are better, it’s entertaining none the less.

Give it a shot and pick it up.

RATING: B

 

Batman/The Shadow #2
Written by Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo

I loved the first issue of this series. I’m happy to report that I loved the second issue of the series just as much, If not more. There is a classic story going on here and I can’t get enough of it.

In this second issue, The Shadow must convince Batman of his innocence so they can team up against The Stag! It’s a simple premise but it’s done so well. The opening fight between Batman and the Shadow gave me goosebumps. It’s super cool.

Riley Rossmo has taken these two characters and updated their looks with his art style. It’s full of verve and crazy energy. It works wonderfully. He takes the script and makes some amazing art in tandem with it.

Pick this up. It’s one of the best of the year.

RATING: A

 

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