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Graphic Breakdown: Giving Thanks for ‘Doom Patrol’, ‘Imaginary Fiends’, ‘Batman Annual’, ‘Kamandi’ & More!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

Happy Holiday! It’s almost Turkey Day!

Before we eat let’s talk about some comics!

Flash #35
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Pop Mhan

Joshua Williamson has done an amazing job writing this comic book these past two years. This latest storyline featuring the Negative Flash has been great! Williamson has taken this title and put it in a direction we have not seen before.

Part two of the “Black Hole” arc, this issue is perfect for Thanksgiving. The Flash has to deal with the damage he has done his family, his friends and his city. He has to find a way to make it right.

It’s compelling and a strangely great issue leading into the holiday.

The art has been a little over the place the last few months on the title. It hasn’t been terrible, but stylistically it hasn’t always gelled from one storyline to another.

That being said, Mhan does a good job here telling this story. Pick up this book.

It’s been a consistently great read month to month.

RATING: B+

 

Doom Patrol #9
Written by Gerard Way
Illustrated by Nick Derington

Gerard Way is a wonderfully nutty comic book writer. His first eight issues of Doom Patrol have been great. He has taken everything I love about the Doom Patrol and puts a fresh spin on it. It’s been a trippy, fun experience.

Reality starts to transform for the team! Everything is going nuts! Yet, Way keeps it grounded and somehow emotional.

This isn’t just a comic book you read. It’s a comic book you experience and I’m in love with the experience.

The art by Derington is spot on. He’s one of the best talents out there. He works so well with Way, it’s uncanny.

The only thing that is tough is the long delay between issues. Still, it’s worth it when it comes out. Pick this up. It’s downright excellent.

RATING: A

 

Detective Comics #969
Written by James Tynion IV 
Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez

Tynion has been doing a decent job over here at Detective Comics. He has brought together a bigger team of Batmen and has been working with them.

Seeing Batman work with others has been a bit of fun. It’s been a good time.

The team however has fallen on a bit of hard times. That’s too bad. They might not be able to keep it.

Even worse, Batman’s enemies are learning from him.

How do? Well, they decided to form a super team of their very own!

Tynion is clearly having a lot of fun here. The art is okay but passable. This is heating up to the big one (Detective Comics #1000) Its a good start to a new storyline.

RATING: B

 

Kamandi Challenge #11
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Walter Simonson

I have a confession to make: I love Walter Simonson’s work.

His artwork really is something. He’s been around the comic book industry for over 40 years. The remarkable thing, his work is actually getting better. It’s great to see him on this title in this penultimate issue.

Picking up from last month’s creative team, Kamandi is thrown into the depths of outer space. His spaceship is headed to the dreaded Tek-Moon!

Kamandi has to decide between finding his parents and escaping his captors for good. Can he make the decision and become a man finally?

The story by Williams is appropriately wacky. The art is the most compelling part of it all though. Pick this up.

Simonson makes it worth it and it’s quite an accomplishment.

RATING: A

 

Suicide Squad #30
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda

This is part four of the storyline “The Secret History Of Task Force X!” This tells the grand story of the Force coming up against their first threat.

Williams keeps the writing wacky as usual. If you’re in the mood for wacky and nutty then this is for you!

The first threat they ever faced was a dastardly creature known as the Red Wave. This Red Wave character has the ability to turn the entire planet into a flaming ball of ash! Harley Quinn is headed right for it too!

Deadshot was planning on trying to warn her but he’s got his hands full fighting an weirdo army!

The story is a wild time. The art isn’t that great. I wish it were stronger as it didn’t draw me in as much as I wanted. Pick it up if you like. It’s entertaining enough, but not as good as recent issues.

RATING: B-

 

Batman: Creature of the Night Book One
Written by Kurt Busiek
Illustrated by John Paul Leon

During the 1990’s, Kurt Busiek’s career started really taking off with Marvels. He had a way of showing a comic book universe from a unique perspective. It made him a sought after writer.

That fun continues here with this title. Busiek is at this top of his game here and it’s impressive.

This book focuses on a young main named Bruce Wainwright. Bruce’s parents were killed years back. He is starting to feel a power growing inside him.

The thing is, Batman in this universe is just a comic book character. So where will young Bruce put his energy?

Somebody FINALLY found a project worthy of John Paul Leon’s talents. His art is put to wonderful use here.

Pick it up. This could indeed be a sleeper hit.

RATING: B+

 

Ruff and Reddy Show #2
Written by Howard Chaykin
Illustrated by Mac Rey

Ruff and Reddy used to be famous! But their star has fallen badly. They are doing poorly.

Chaykin takes these two characters and writes the hell out of them in typical Chaykin style. They are has-beens and he has a lot of fun with them.

Ruff and Reddy travel through the convention circuit. They go through the pitfalls and Chaykin keeps it lively throughout.

They hit rock bottom. A comeback, however, is in order.

The art is perfectly suited for this book. Rey had a nice way of telling a story panel to panel.

Pick this up. It’s very enjoyable for sure.

RATING: B+

 

Gotham City Garage #4
Written by Jackson Lanzing
Illustrated by Aneke
Published by DC Comics

This is one the alternative take on the Batman mythos. If you are looking for something a little more off the cuff then this is the title for you.

This has been interesting to say the least.

Harley Quinn has returned to the Garden. The reason is because she had a mind control project and she wants to see it come to fruition.

Time to watch the place burn down! But Batman and Batgirl are back in town too…to try to take her down.

But can they?

The story by Lanzing is bonkers for sure. But it’s engaging. The art works well for this story. It moves it along at a crisp pace. Pick this up. It’s a different look at the DC Universe that works well.

RATING: B+

 

Batman Beyond #14
Written by Dan Jurgens
Illustrated by Bernard Chang

This is a start of a brand new storyline! What fun!

Dan Jurgens has been doing some of the best writing work of his career on this title and it’s been a joy to read. This issue continues that trend.

After the events of the Demon business, Terry and Bruce return to Gotham City. And great news! Terry has a new Batsuit. I have to admit, the new Suit is pretty damn sweet.

A familiar foe however surfaces and trouble is coming Terry’s way.

The art by Chang is wonderful for this title. He keeps the pace moving and you want to turn each page.

Jurgens and Chang have taken Terry and made him something more than just a cartoon. They made him human.

RATING: B

 

New Talent Showcase 2017 #1
Written and Illustrated by Various

This book is put together to spotlight writers and artists coming out from the DC Talent Development Workshops.

It’s great that DC does that as there are definitely some up and coming creators and one definite star.

This book has a great mix of characters. The one that stood out for me was the John Constantine story. Adam Smith writes a good tale here. It’s short but there is so much that could be explored from it.

That makes me call out Siya Oum. Oum has been making the rounds at DC. This story though you can see the star. It’s shining for sure. Oum is an artist that you will be seeing more of.

The rest are a mixed bag. The Wonder Woman story is decent as is the Harley Quinn story (written by Joelle Jones) Give it a shot. Some of the future contributors to comics are seen here!

RATING: B

 

Imaginary Fiends #1
Written by Tim Seeley

Illustrated by Stephen Molnar

This freaky comic book actually works pretty well. It’s tough to do horror in comic books and make it great. Seeley seems to have found the way. Here, he takes some risks and it pays off in spaces.

A young ten year old girl named Brinke Calle was found in the woods covered in blood. She only said the words “Polly Peachpit.” Her best friend Melba tried to kill her because she said Polly Peachpit told her to it.

Years later, Melba is visited in prison by an FBI agent. The agent needs help with another case. And Melba needs to prove her innocence.

I haven’t been the biggest fan of Seeley recently, but here he just kills it.

The writing is fast and taut and intelligent. The art is great too. Pick this up.

I hadn’t heard of this up until now but I’m looking forward to the next issue.

RATING: A-

 

Astro City #49
Written by Kurt Busiek
Illustrated by Brent Eric Anderson

This series has been picking up a little steam lately.

Busiek has always been a strong writer. Lately though, he’s been amping it up. I’ve been enjoying it as much as I did when I was a teenager.

The Resistor is the star of this issue. He’s making headlines all over the nations. People are up in arms about the Resistor! One reporter is determined to find out the real story. She also is on the path to finding her missing father.

This story has a twist that I didn’t see coming. That happens so rarely that I must commend it.

Anderson is the artist I love most drawing this series. This is a great issue and I recommend it.

RATING: A-

 

Batman Annual #2
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Lee Weeks and Michael Lark

Well, this is an event. Tom King and Lee Weeks, the team behind this year’s Batman/Elmer Fudd special are reunited here. I was so excited to read this as I had no idea this was happening. Let me tell you, it doesn’t disappoint.

This is a story about Batman and Catwoman first meeting. It sets the stage for everything to follow.

I have to say, you need to read this.

Batman and Catwoman have a great dynamic here and King has a ball writing this. It’s good.

Lee Weeks is one of my favorite artists in the field. His storytelling here is top notch. There is also Michael Lark doing some art here. It’s tremendous.

Pick this up. This is a classic in the making. The creative team has made another story well worth your time.

RATING: A

 

Aquaman Annual #1
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Illustrated by Max Fiumara
Published by DC Comics

I wasn’t expecting much from this Annual, but I was proven wrong.

The story by Phillip Kennedy Johnson is perfect. I don’t think I heard this name before. But he’s a very strong writer.

Aquaman has his dream come true here!

It was a dream of unity between the surface and the sea. You know it’s not going to last though. The dream may crumble quicker then they think however as forces come into play they weren’t expecting.

The art by Max Fiumara is great. I loved him on Abe Sapien and here he soars as well. Pick this up.

It’s a solid book that certainly surprised me and there nothing better than that.

RATING: B+

 

Injustice 2 Annual #1
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Marco Santucci

I discovered the Injustice comics for myself this year and man are some of them fantastic. I’ve noticed it’s usually when Tom Taylor is the one who does the writing. Lucky us, he is the one who has written this annual. It’s a good strong issue.

Ever since Superman was overthrown (like I said, READ THIS BOOK), Wonder Woman has been trapped on Themyscira. It’s a hard thing for her.

It turns out she really loved Superman and couldn’t reach him. Taylor makes the most out of every page. The characters and motivations are believable.

The art is good here. Some of the Injustice books are hit or miss.

Looking for something different?

Head into this book for sure. It’s a dark story but it’s accessible. And that’s a good thing.

RATING: B+

 

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