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Graphic Breakdown: Gotham City Magic, Monsters in Love, Swamp Thing Celebrates Winter & More!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

It’s February! One step closer to summer! Here’s this week’s books!

 

Batman #40
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Joelle Jones

Tom King has given us another wonderful issue.

I’ve really taken to his writing and it’s great to see him connecting with readers like this. I had concerns for quite awhile but all of those have been assuaged.

The team up with Batman and Wonder Woman continues here. They’ve been friends forever.

Sadly though, that may be coming to an end. And if their friendship dissolved, that might mean the end of existence.

The art here by Jones is terrific. I hope she comes back to this title or that she works on another DC book. Maybe a Superman title?

Anyway, this is great. Pick it up.

RATING: A-

 

Batman: White Knight #5
Written and Illustrated by Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy is making a modern classic. We have three issues after this one. If he doesn’t blow it in the home stretch, it’s a classic for sure. I feel good he’s going to pull it off too. This has been great.

Jack Napier’s mind is deteriorating!

Is he going to go back for his old ways as the Joker?

It’s looking likely ladies and gentlemen!! He’s also headed towards a showdown with the Batman! Things are getting exciting!

The story is phenomenal and the art is top notch. There is a car chase scene here that keeps you on your toes. Kudos to Murphy for really making this book sing.

You need this in your collection immediately. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?

RATING: A

 

Injustice 2 #19
Written by Tom Taylor 
Illustrated by Daniel Sampere

This is a grand time. You’re seriously missing out if you are not reading this.

This alternative take on the DC Universe is quite nuts and I’m loving it. The issues are shorter but the quality is high on this series.

Plastic Man has been sent to the Phantom Zone to find the Titans! He has been sent by Superman to find them!

But Plastic Man brings back somebody who shouldn’t be in this realm. And then Batman goes crazy about it.

Taylor always keeps the twists and turns coming in this series. It’s quite enjoyable. The art is suitable for this book and keeps the reader engaged.

All in all, it’s a mighty fine book indeed.

RATING: B+

 

Bane: Conquest #9
Written by Chuck Dixon
Illustrated by Graham Nolan

There’s nothing like a mindless good old fashioned Chuck Dixon slugfest to get the month started. And that’s exactly what this comic book is!

There’s nothing wrong with that at all. Sometimes, you just how to enjoy things for what they are.

Bane has declared war with Kobra! He’s going to his lair to take him down. He’s going to need an army to do it too! It’s recruitment time!

Can Bane build an army to fight Kobra?

Let’s hope!

The story is crazy and fun. The art by Nolan is still pretty awesome. Again, it feels like the 1990’s reading this book. You have to shut your brain off for this one kids. And sometimes, that’s okay.

RATING: B-

 

Superman #40
Written by James Robinson
Illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic

Well, it’s looking like the Tomasi and Gleason Superman comic books are coming to an end. It’s very sad because the books were so good. Bendis is taking over! Until then, we are treated to a story by James Robinson.

And it’s not bad! Robinson is a fine writer when he wants to be. In this issue, another planet is blowing up across the solar system!

Superman and Son go to investigate.

Then, they are confronted by an adversary. He tells Supes that apparently these people want to die! Things then get out of hand.

The art is by Viktor Bogdanovic and he’s a solid artist. This looks to be one of the final stories before the Bendis takeover but at least it doesn’t feel like filler. A decent book overall.

RATING: B

 

Deathstroke #28
Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Diogenes Neves

Well, the Defiance storyline is over.

Deathstroke is back to being the villain he was meant to be. And not a moment too soon it seems. It’s time to face off against China’s Super-Man!

That’s right! Wintergreen and the Dark Titans have abandoned him! Slade is back to his old ways! And that Super-Man better watch out! Slade Wilson is sliding downhill and all is right in the world again.

Priest makes the book darkly fun. He does a great job in making the characters interesting and the situations entertaining. The art is decent too. This is a nice new start to a great storyline.

Pick this up. It’s pretty damn enjoyable.

RATING: A-

 

Bombshells United #11
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by Stephen Byrne

I have been enjoying this book.

It’s one of those books that feels like it doesn’t get enough press. It’s been very exciting these past few issues. This is a very good time as well.

Our heroes find themselves leaving the labyrinth that they were trapped in! They have to combat Black Adam!

He seems to have been committing bad acts to the people of Spain! Can they defeat him? Or will he continue to be a jerk?

Bennett is a solid writer. She continually surprises in each and every issue. The art is decent too. Each issue has been good.

This one is as well. Give it a read!

RATING: B

 

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #4
Written by Tony Isabella
Illustrated by Clayton Henry

The Black Lightning television show is one of the best things to come on the air this past year. It all stems from writer Tony Isabella’s writing. He’s did a great job years ago and now has been doing a great job too with this series.

Black Lightning and the police have to form an unholy alliance with the White Hunter in this issue. It seems they cannot get by without him.

But the alliance is immediately strained and looks to be headed into a bad place!

The writing is strong for sure. And Henry is one of the most underrated artists in the business.

Pick this up or read the whole thing when it is completed. It’s is very good indeed.

RATING: B+

 

Swamp Thing Winter Special #1
Written by Tom King and Len Wein
Illustrated by Jason Fabok and Kelley Jones

I love Swamp Thing. I feel like there hasn’t been an amazing run on it since Alan Moore left. Maybe even Len Wein. Oh sure, there were decent ones. Brian K. Vaughn had one, as did Scott Snyder.  But there hasn’t been an amazing one. I feel If given the opportunity Tom King could knock it out of the park.

King and Fabok create an interesting tale here that is both a tribute to Wein and Bernie Wrightson but tread new ground. It’s excellent as both have a flair for the character.

DC please pay attention to the work they did here.

The best part of the book however is the tale by Len Wein and Kelley Jones. It was supposed to be a miniseries but Wein passed and we only get the first issue. But what an issue. Wein proves why he is one of the greats and it’s wonderful. Pick this up. It’s a must read.

RATING: A

 

Mother Panic/Batman Special #1
Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by Ty Templeton

This is part two is the “Milk Wars” crossover that’s raging through the Young Animal titles! It’s a typically off center story.

It’s also pretty delightful.

Gotham City is transformed! Mother Panic runs around trying to figure out what has happened!

Batman is Father Bruce and he works for the church! What the hell is going on? Mother Panic tries to solve the mystery and it’s quite nuts.

The art is the real star here. Ty Templeton is one of the greats and here he shows us why! The art is fluid and he does great stuff with Houser’s script. Pick this up. It’s quite weird and enjoyable.

RATING: B+

 

Young Monsters In Love #1
Written and Directed by Various

Well, this was a hell of a lot of fun. DC has taken it’s darker characters and made a Valentine’s Day anthology. It’s only meant to be a good time so don’t take it too seriously and you will enjoy it. I did.

For me, the best story was the Deadman story by Paul Dini and Guillem March. It’s a short but it was more affecting than the entire Deadman mini series currently going on.

The rest of the book is fun too. The stories by Jeff Lemire and Mark Russell are also standouts.

So give this a shot. It’s not bad at all and there’s a little something for everyone. It put a smile on my face for sure.

RATING: B+

 

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