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Graphic Breakdown: ‘Dark Days: The Forge’ Shines Brightest

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

A nice week for comics over at the DC line…let’s start talking about them!

 

The Flash #24
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Carmine di Giandomenico

The Flash teams up with the Hal Jordan Green Lantern in this issue as part of a crossover. I generally don’t like crossovers lately between titles but I did enjoy this issue. Why? Because, we haven’t really seen these two characters team up in the Rebirth line yet. It’s enjoyable and reminds me of old school DC.

Green Lantern finds the Flash and recruits him for a task only he can accomplish. The interactions between the two are the selling point of this issue. Williamson has the characters down pat. The dialogue between the two is written very well…almost like coming home. I almost wish Williamson would write an ongoing team up comic starring the two.

This issue also has the return of di Giandomenico on art. Nobody does the Flash like him. He also draws Green Lantern pretty good as well. He’s a star.

This is a good issue overall, and the crossover, if they keep up the quality, could be stellar.

RATING: B+

 

Bug: The Adventures of the Forager #2
Written by Lee Allred and James Harvey
Illustrated by Mike Allred

This is an enjoyable read. I’ve been reading it as I’m a huge fan of Mike Allred. Every so often he takes these odd DC characters and creates a cool comic book out of it. This is the case here. I almost hate reading these in chapters because I want to read the whole thing. It’s that cool.

Bug goes back in time here to fight against the villain General Electric. General Electric has his army of robots there and Bug is looking for a way to stop him. Sandman, Sandy, Blue Beetle and The Losers are already out in the snow trying to fight the robots. Then, things get even more crazy.

This is a wild comic. There is nothing else like this. The writing is crazy but it’s compelling. The art is awesome as always. I love Allred’s take on every character he draws. This is a good comic and I’m looking forward to reading the whole thing.

RATING: B+

 

Detective Comics #958
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez

Oh boy. Azrael is back in comics. Now he has made Gotham City his home again. Azrael is one of my least favorite characters in the DC Universe. There’s really not much of a reason for his existence. That’s what makes Tynion’s writing so exceptional.

In just a few pages, Tynion makes Azrael a real character.

I’m in admiration for what he does here. The Order of St. Dumas have found him again, and hey have decided to unleash a crazy new evil he must combat.

Like I said, the writing is excellent here.

The art isn’t as good as what we’ve had (I miss Eddy Barrows) but it’s decent enough. This is the start of the “Intelligence” storyline. I look forward to seeing where it goes.

RATING: B+

 

Dark Days: The Forge #1
Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV 
Illustrated by Jim Lee, John Romita Jr. and Andy Kubert

This is the start of James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder’s epic new series over at DC! Let me just get it out of the way and say it’s completely awesome! I’m never sure what to expect from Snyder alone but this is something completely excellent. Kudos to Mr. Snyder and Mr. Tynion for knocking it out of the park yet again!

The DC heroes are suspected that Batman hasn’t been that upfront with them. What has Batman done?

Well, it’s got to be pretty nuts. This storyline will span generations and go through the entire multiverse.

This is a dark title. Snyder and Tynion waste no time showing us the grime. The characters and their motivations are clearly defined.

From Batman to Flash to Mister Miracle, the writers have a clear sense of each character. It’s awesome.

The art is pretty cool too. The three artists really have a handle on things. It’s dynamic. The last page of this gave me chills. More please.

RATING: A-

 

Titans #12
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Ken Rocafort

The Titans have been going strong for 11 issues. The 12th issue is no different. Dan Abnett writes this comic book with passion and I loved this issue.

I love it when a supergroup questions a traitor in the midst. That’s what happens in this issue and it’s super cool. Omen gets word there will be a traitor in the team in the Titans roster. It’s a looming threat it seems. The tension is certainly palpable and it’s great.

The interactions of the groups though is where Abnett excels. I especially love how he handles Roy Harper. He has a very emotional scene in this issue that hits home.

The art by Rocafort is stunning. I think he is so underrated. I love this book month in and month out. Pick it up and catch up if you haven’t already!

RATING: A-

 

Suicide Squad #19
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Neil Edwards

Suicide Squad is one the most schizophrenic comics out there. One month it’s pretty good. Other months, it’s a complete disaster. This month is one of the better ones.

This is the finale of the “Earthlings On Fire!” Storyline. It’s out of its mind crazy. I loved every second of it. General Zod has broken free of Amanda Waller’s command! He aims to control the dimension of the Black Vault! The Suicide Squad has to bring him down. But can they?

Folks, this issue is bananas. Maybe the most crazy issue of anything this year. It’s not Shakespeare but it’s damn fun. Williams does a great job writing this. Edwards excels on the art. I enjoyed every second of it.

Williams should just write the book like this all the time: Out of its mind and full of ideas.

RATING: A

 

Red Hood and the Outlaws #11
Written by Scott Lobdell
Illustrated by Dexter Soy

The storyline “Who is Artemis?” Comes to its raging conclusion here. It’s a good overall issue. Red Hood and the Outlaws has been a solid title in the Rebirth line.  That’s because of the quality writing of Scott Lobdell, as well as the consistently great artwork of Dexter Soy.

Artemis, in this issue, is given a choice. Lead an army to destroy or country or side with Red Hood and his gang.

This issue is full of emotion. I love when you can feel something for the characters, and Lobdell makes it happen. The characters and their emotions read true.

The art by Soy is great. He’s one of the more underrated artists DC has. This is a good read. It’s one of the better books that features an array of great, well developed characters.

RATING: B+

 

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1
Written by Steve Orlando and Various
Illustrated by Aaron Lopresti and Various

This is fantastically funny. So, in this issue, the Martian Manhunter is the hero trying to stop the Looney Tunes character Marvin the Martian from his plans of world domination.

Apparently, Marvin the Martian wants to blow up the Earth like he always does in the cartoon. Yes, he wants a clear view of Venus. So, it’s up to J’onn J’onzz to stop this cretin. Along the way, J’onn has questions about his identity, and his personal Martian heritage.

Folks, this is a hell of a comic book. It’s funny without being annoying, and it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Orlando writes one heck of a story and it’s some of his top work. Lopresti isn’t my favorite artists but he does a capable job here. Overall, the main story and the backups are very good. Worth picking up for sure.

RATING: A-

 

Legion of Superheroes/Bugs Bunny Special #1
Written by San Humphries and Juan Ortiz
Illustrated by Tom Grummett and Various

So, this was a pretty stupid comic book. It was funny, but completely stupid. Apparently, the Legion Of Superheroes always thought they took their inspiration from Superboy. But what if they made a mistake?

What if they took their inspiration instead….from Bugs Bunny?

This is the premise of this book. It’s a good time. There are some scenes I was rolling laughing from. This may be Humphries best work as well. I’m not a big fan of his but he does well here.

The art is decent enough. Grummett is an industry vet and he does a good job. Pick this up if you can. It’s worth it.

RATING: B+

 

New Super-Man #12
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Illustrated by Phillip Tan

New Super-Man has picked up in the last few issues. It’s been a heck of a ride. It’s not a book at the top of my reading list but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. Yang writes likable characters that a comic fan of any age can relate to.

In this issue, New Super-Man teams up with the Justice League of China to face off against a looming threat of Dr. Omen. They team up to take Shanghai back from his villainous plans. It’s a light breezy read, and Yang does a nice job keeping it interesting.

The art by Tan is fantastic. He has a nice visual flair that grabs you. It’s full of energy and excitement.

Overall, another good issue in a book I wrote off ten issues back.

RATING: B

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