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Graphic Breakdown: Holiday Releases Hit The High Marks

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

This is the Wednesday before Christmas! It’s also the last day of Hannukah! Let’s talk about some books you can read over the holidays starting with the week’s biggest release.

Dark Knights: Metal #4
Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Greg Capullo

After Doomsday Clock, this is DC’s biggest hit of the year.

And why shouldn’t it be?

It features a good story by Scott Snyder. It’s got Greg Capullo giving us some of the best artwork of his career. And it’s got a crazy whacked out storyline that you can’t help but love. What’s better than that?

It’s also has a ton of creativity. This book has the Justice League in turmoil and scattered all over the place. Every single one of them has to deal with their worst fears all alone. Can they find their way out of it? Or will they succumb to the fear? They have an ally it seems. But can this “ally” be trusted to help?

Snyder writes a tale with twists and turns and it’s fascinating to see where it goes. You can’t predict it because the story is so out there. And I love that.

Capullo takes the story and translates it well. That means the art is kind of berserk, too. And I love it.

Pick this up! It’s awesome and once you start reading, I guarantee you won’t be able to stop.

RATING: A

 

Batman #37
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Clay Mann

Another writer that has just had a tremendous year is Tom King.

This issue is the ending of the two-parter called “Superfriends.” Tom King mastered Batman. Now, he’s showing his strength writing another character with Superman.

The Dark Knight is engaged!

He didn’t tell his best friend, Superman.

Superman is hurt by this.

This leads to the two of them doing something neither one of them wanted to do: go on a double date with both of their loves. It makes for a comical and fun adventure.

King knows not just how to write the men. He excels at writing strong women as well.

The art by Mann is incredibly strong.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: put this guy on a Batbook. Immediately.

RATING: A

 

Aquaman #31
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Riccardo Federici

Man, what a great comic book.

Dan Abnett and Riccardo Federici make for one hell of a creative team.

The previous storyline with the Stjepan Sejic art was so spectacular that I eagerly awaited each issue like a little kid. Here, they keep the magic of the comic alive with strong writing and a new artist.

This is part one of the storyline “Take Back The Throne.” In it, Arthur joins up with Dolphin, Mera and that villainous Vulko to rally up the citizens of Atlantis.

Why?

To take back the throne from that fool! That’s why! But others may have their eyes on the throne as well.

Federici is just awesome. I hope he has a lengthy run on this title. Or hell, put this guy on Superman if Sejic returns. Kudos to whoever put this team together. They are tops.

RATING: A

 

The Wild Storm #10
Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by Jon Davis-Hunt

I have been loving this book as well. Warren Ellis writing a book is always a good time.

Here, he takes these old Wildstorm characters and spins one hell of a compelling narrative.

The WildCAT and Jackie King at IO are planning some elaborate schemes.

One heist could save the entire world. Yay!

One heist could utterly destroy it. Boo.

Will either of them survive these heists? Or are they really in for it?

Ellis keeps you guessing and he writes this story unlike any you’ve read with both dialogue and action.

Jon Davis-Hunt is one of the more exciting artists in comics right now. His art here is his best work. He keeps Ellis’s storyline alive and vibrant. I love his art. The whole package just sings. Pick this up. But start at the first issue for the complete picture.

RATING: A

 

Injustice 2 #16
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Mike Miller and Tom Derenick

I never thought I would be a fan of this title.

I totally am now after giving it a chance. You should too. It’s like a drug.

Tom Taylor is one hell of a writer and he knows how to keep me on the edge of my seat issue after issue.

This issue continues last issue’s storyline of trying to break Wonder Wonder from her prison!

It’s full of some twists I didn’t see coming and I loved that.

Plus, there is a short Flash story at the end that was like a great after dinner mint.

Taylor is the best writer you may not have heard of. The art is varied on these books but it’s always solid. The same can be said for this issue. Pick this up. Give it a chance. You may surprise yourself.

RATING: B+

 

Bombshells United #8
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by Mirka Andolfo

This is another book that has been a pleasant surprise this year.

Marguerite Bennett writes an enjoyable tale here, and it’s been strong from the very beginning. I have been enjoying it very much.

This issue focuses on Batwoman.

She decides to leave Gotham behind, much to her chagrin. She decides to join the war in Spain and fight. The reason she does this is because she is in turmoil. I love the human aspect Bennett brings to this character. It’s nuanced and wonderful.

The art this time around isn’t as strong as some of the previous issues.

Still, the story is so strong, you almost look past it. Pick this up. It deserves a bigger audience.

RATING: B+

 

Future Quest Presents #5
Written by Phil Hester
Illustrated by Steve Rude

This is the first of a three part adventure featuring Birdman as the focus.

It’s written by Phil Hester who isn’t my favorite writer. I love his art but his writing has always left me cold. Here, he does better than he has in the past. It could be that.

Or it could be the beautiful Steve Rude art that graces this issue.

A group of ancient gods are headed to Inter-Nation to destroy everything in their path. They would love for Birdman to join them. But of course, he’s going to fight them. He joins with his companion, Avenger, to fight them and to also find out who is behind their appearance.

So, the art. I have loved Steve Rude’s work since I first saw it on Nexus. I love it here even more.

He is the consummate superhero artist and I love his work beyond compare. Pick this up. It’s damn enjoyable.

RATING: B+

 

Superman #37
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Illustrated by Jorge Jimenez

This is how I like my Superman.

Tomasi and Gleason are the best writers Clark and gang have had in years.

They take Superman and give him a real spin. They make him human and give the title humor. They also make an adventurous story.

This is the first part of a crossover with the Super Sons and The Teen Titans.

In it, the Batman of Tomorrow comes to the present time to issue a warning. The warning is that Superboy is going to cause the deaths of a lot of people. But Superman will do anything to protect his son.

This leads to one hell of a conflict! The drama is at an all time high. There is also the feeling that this may lead to real changes.

The art is okay. I’m not a huge Jorge Jimenez fan but he does okay here. Pick this up. It’s very good indeed.

RATING: A-

 

Super Sons #11
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrated by Ryan Benjamin

This is part two of the storyline continued from Superman #37.

Tomasi writes a nice second part of the story for sure, and it’s very strong work.

Robin is the one defending Superboy in this issue. He is trying to protect him from the Batman of Tomorrow. That Batman is crazy and will go to extreme lengths to get this Superboy.

The art is great! I love Ryan Benjamin. I said in the previous review that this could lead to some serious changes and cements that theory even more.

Pick it up. It’s very good.

RATING: B+

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