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Graphic Breakdown: Fifth Week Magic

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

It’s the fifth Wednesday of the month and that usually means the selection is slim. But that doesn’t mean the quality isn’t there! Let’s check out this week’s books!

 

Astro City #50
Written by Kurt Busiek
Illustrated by Brent Anderson

Kurt Busiek has stuck with writing Astro City for over 20 years.

Yet, his creation may be seeing some of the top stories he has ever produced. Busiek writes a fascinating tale here which is also highly emotional.

Michael Tenicek is a widower who has lost his wife during what can only be described as a “chronal cataclysm.” He takes it upon himself to meet others like him. He does and we hear their stories and they are wrenching.

Busiek knows how to connect on a human level like none other.

The art is great and compliments the story completely. This a a spiritual sequel to “The Nearness Of You” which is one of the best Astro City stories ever. Pick this up. It’s a landmark issue.

RATING: A

 

Dark Knights: Metal #5
Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Greg Capullo

So Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo may need some shark repellent.

Why?

I’m starting to believe they have jumped the shark with their latest DC universe tale and I’m worried that they might get bit. Let me be clear: I’m enjoying it. But it’s totally wacky and out of it’s mind.

Our world is being invaded on all sides! The evil league of Batmen or whatever they are called are inflicting the planet with evil nightmares! Hawkman is out of control!

Only the Justice League can stop them. But can they?

Snyder is an inventive, clever man. The ideas in this are great. The execution lacks complete subtlety. The art by Capullo follows suit.

Again, he’s intensely creative but there is no nuance here. And that’s a shame because before this their ideas had a purpose. This just seems they wanted to go nuts. And so they have!

I’m enjoying it but I know it can be so much more.

RATING: B

 

Deathstroke Annual #1
Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Denys Cowan

This was an unexpected delight this week. I had no idea it was being released, but man was it great.

Christopher Priest has done wonderful things writing this title and this issue follows suit.

Team Defiance has been pushed to the edge! One of their team members has been killed!

Who is to blame?

Deathstroke, of course!

Will this end Slade’s career as a hero? This is the finale of the Defiance storyline!

The story is great! The art by Denys Cowan is absolutely wonderful! Cowan has always been one of my favorites and here he excels!

Pick this up! It ends a really great storyline and sets up the next one perfectly! I loved it.

RATING: A

 

Flash Annual #1
Written Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Christian Duce

Oh my god! This was awesome too!

This Annual is the “Flash War” prelude and it’s damn exciting! Joshua Williamson really knows what he’s doing on his title and now he takes it up a notch!

This issue stars the classic Wally West. He is conflicted on whether to tell Iris West he is alive!

He needs the Flash’s help on this one!

But Wally’s old love, Magenta, needs his help. This leads to a ton of conflicts and craziness!

The art on this is great too.

Seriously, I’m so excited about the Flash War that I can’t wait for the rest of the storyline.

Pick this up. It’s a great beginning to what looks like an amazing storyline!

RATING: A

 

Harley Quinn #36
Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Inaki Miranda
Published by DC Comics

This is the second part of the “Man-Batter Up!” storyline. It’s not bad. I enjoy Tieri’s writing for the most part.

The only problem I have is that most Harley Quinn comics blend together for me.

This issue features the Man-Bat!

Harley Quinn crosses paths with him. Even worse, she gets juiced up on the Man-Bat serum making her have the powers of Man-Bat. It’s a serviceable story.

The art by Miranda is the best part here. It’s expressive and puts a smile on your face.

Pick this up if you’re a fan. It’s not Earth-shattering by any means, but it’s a decent enough comic book.

RATING: B

 

 

JLA/Doom Patrol Special #1
Written by Steve Orlando and Gerard Way
Illustrated by Aco

The Young Animal line collides with the DC Universe line.

It’s being billed as a “different kind of crossover.”

It certainly starts off that way with this tale written by the mighty Steve Orlando and Gerard Way.

The Doom Patrol discovers an inter-dimensional corporation called RetCo has been stealing storylines and repackaging them for new markets.

They get touched and start to feel the effects. It leads them down a crazy path towards the JLA and the the hero the Milkman Man.

Yup, it’s pretty crazy.

It’s also pretty smart. The story moves very well. The art for this first chapter of “Milk Wars” is also very damn good.

Pick this up. It’s a great start to a really cool storyline.

RATING: A-

 

Silencer #1
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by John Romita Jr.

This is a beautiful new start to a new title.

Dan Abnett has been knocking it out of the park writing comic books these days. This is yet another feather in his cap!

The Silencer is one of the most deadly assassins in the DC Universe! Nobody has heard of her though!

She hangs out with the likes of Talia Al Ghul. Yet, who is she?

Well, now she’s trying to live a normal life. A normal family with a normal house.

We all know it won’t last long.

And it doesn’t.

Once it all goes to hell for her, it really goes to hell!

There are a lot of nice touches in this comic. The reason Honor Guest (Silencer’s real name) cuts her hair is one. I love that moment.

The art by John Romita Jr. is excellent as usual. Pick it up! It’s a great start to a cool new comic book!

RATING: A-

 

Motherlands #1
Written by Simon Spurrier
Illustrated by Rachael Stott

This brand new limited series is written by Simon Spurrier. I got hooked on this from the very first five pages and now I can’t wait to see where it goes. It’s a strong and crazy debut and I recommend picking it up.

It’s the near future!

There is a new breed of super criminals. They are getting hunted down by bounty hunters. The bounty hunter are the biggest celebrities in this world.

Tab, one such bounty hunter, is after her greatest prize yet. But to get to the prize, she has to work with her greatest enemy!

The art for this is quite good. I have been waiting for Stott to come aboard a series. This is her chance to shine and she does in this first issue.

Pick this up. It’s quite excellent.

RATING: B+

 

Mystik U #2
Written by Alisa Kwitney
Illustrated by Mike Norton

I have always liked Alisa Kwitney as a writer. She writes solid stories with a ton of depth.

So, it’s with glee that I read this book. I’m glad to report she’s still got it and this was an utter delight!

Classes are in full swing at Mystik U!

Zatanna is there and she’s a celebrity. This issue focused on her decision to rush with the sorority and what future choices she has to make in her relationship with Faust. This issue explores that balance.

The story is well done like I said before. The art is a little cartoony for me but it isn’t bad. I just prefer things that feel a little more grounded.

It’s a decent book though overall and I can’t wait to see how it ends next issue!

RATING: B

 

Detective Comics Annual #1
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Eber Ferreira and Eddy Barrows

DC sure didn’t skimp on the quality for the annuals since Rebirth. The annuals have had some fantastic talent involved.

I’m not a fan of the way Tynion writes Batman. However, I love the way he handles Clayface…

It’s really fortunate then that this issue focuses on the origin of Clayface! It even shows his first encounter with Batman!

Watch as actor Basil Karol has an accident that turns him into a monster!

The story is well done. The art is pretty well suited for it as well. This really is a nice annual.

Keep them coming, DC! You’re doing a great job!

RATING: B+

 

 

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