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Graphic Breakdown: ‘The American Way’ and ‘Batman’ Shine Among Other Excellent Releases

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

We are getting closer to spring! Here are this week’s books!

 

The American Way: Those Above and Those Below #6
Written by John Ridley
Illustrated by Georges Jeanty

Man, this was a fantastic sequel to a fantastic series. I cannot recommend this enough. There hasn’t been a lot of press on it, but go seek it out. It’s what good comic book storytelling is made of.

The American has to make a choice!

It’s very simple: He can either fight his enemy or join him.

It’s a tough moral decision and the answer was very surprising! I never knew where this series was going and it ends on a high note.

Ridley does a fantastic job writing this comic. I enjoy that he loves the medium and it shows. The art by Jeanty is top notch. Pick this up and read it. Then read it again. It’s a comic book worth your time.

RATING: A

 

Batman #41
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Mikel Janin

Mikel Janin is back! I have a great love for his art and he doesn’t disappoint on this series. I’m glad he and King still work together. They have a good synergy that just works for Batman.

In this issue, Poison Ivy has gone nuts!

She is trying to take over all of the vegetation on the entire planet!

Batman and Catwoman have decided to fight against her! But do they stand a chance?

King has a great handle on the story and characters. And the art again is great. Janin’s version of Ivy may be my favorite.

Pick this up. I can honesty say I have been enjoying this book very much as it’s now just clicking.

RATING: A

 

Aquaman #33
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Riccardo Federici

This is the finale of the storyline “The Crown Comes Down!”

Dan Abnett has been cooking right along on this title and it’s been great. This issue is a satisfying conclusion to the latest storyline.

Aquaman is trying to find a way to take down the Crown of Thorns. But King Rath isn’t having any of it! In fact, he’s even more resolved than ever to make Aquaman’s life miserable.

All this, and Mera’s life is in the balance here!

The art is good on this issue as well, but I do quite miss Stjepan Sejic. He did the cover at least. Still, this book is much better than its ever been and I have been enjoying it very much.

RATING: B+

 

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 #4
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Freddie Williams II

Man, is this comic book silly.

I read it each month when I am ready to shut my brain off. By god, this series REALLY makes me shut my brain off.

But that’s okay. It needs it once in a while.

Bane, Bebop, Rocksteady, and the entire Foot Clan are all hopped up on Venom. You know, the drug that makes Bane big and strong?

Then Splinter cuts in and gets captured by Bane.

Donatello forms a plan, but Batman doesn’t like it.

This issue is everywhere!

But that’s okay!

As long as you just read it for pleasure you’ll be fine.

The art is something else though. Williams has such a great take on both the Turtles and Batman. I wish he would take on one of those titles with a better writer.

Who knows what great things might come of it?

RATING: B

 

Future Quest Presents #7
Written by Phil Hester
Illustrated by Steve Rude

This is a great little book that nobody is really looking at.

It features a lot of the old Hanna Barbera characters and it takes them into new places. I’m enjoying it very much for sure.

This issue focuses on Birdman.

He has faced a lot of threats in his career. But now he must face the hardest thing he has ever had: being a father!

Birdman fights Mentok who is an old foe to rescue the son he never knew existed.

The writing by Hester is great. He really does push himself to new heights and it pays off here. The art is by Steve “The Dude” Rude.

What else do I need to say? It’s fantastic!

Pick this up for a good issue in a solid series.

RATING: B+

 

Damage #2
Written by Robert Venditti
Illustrated by Tony S. Daniel

My god, is there a lot of destruction in this book.

And that’s a good thing!

Nobody does destruction quite like Tony S. Daniel. The art in this book is massively awesome. The story isn’t half bad either.

This issue has Damage being hunted by the Suicide Squad.

He is also being hunted by Colonel Jonas.

Who will get to him first?

And what is Jonas planning to do with Damage?

The story by Venditti is a little thin, but it’s enjoyable. It does feel like its leading towards something though so I can forgive it. Overall it’s pretty good. Pick it up and give it a read!

RATING: B+

 

Batman and The Signal #2
Written by Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick
Illustrated by Cully Hamner

The first issue of this series was a very fun book.

I enjoy the character of The Signal so it was natural I would like it.

The second issue follows the first and its a nicely crafted issue as well.

Duke Thomas has taken over the day activities of the Batman Squad, leaving Bruce Wayne the ability to fulfill his duties at Wayne Enterprises. There is a new rogues gallery out there. A mystery has formed. The Signal is trying solve it. So he teams up with none other than the GCPD to figure it out.

I hope this series takes off for one reason only: Cully Hamner. I hope he finally becomes more popular than he is. He’s a solid artist and has been for years.

Pick this up and support a good story as well as Hamner.

RATING: B+

 

Injustice 2 #20
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Daniel Sampere

I love this book. It’s wacky and pretty out there, but man is it daring.

This issue is quite a good read. Tom Taylor is the best writer you never heard of and his writing is quite excellent.

In this issue, Batman rushes to help a fallen comrade!

Amazo, meanwhile, fights Zod!

A sacrifice must be made for the greater good! But both of these things can lead to another hero from the past rising up again!

The story moves at a good clip and I was never bored.

The art is pretty awesome as well and compliments the story quite nicely.

Pick this up. It’s a damn good story every time and you never quite know where it’s going to lead to.

RATING: B+

 

Super Sons #13
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrated by Carlo Barberi

This title definitely deserves a look if you haven’t checked it out yet.

Tomasi writes consistently good stories and this issue continues that trend. I have been enjoying it very much thus far.

Talia al Ghul comes back for her son Damian in this issue.

Because of this, Superboy finds out a lot about Damian’s murderous past. It may even cause the Super Sons to break apart!

Then someone they know may be Talia’s next victim!

The stakes are high!

Things move fast in this issue and that’s a testament to Tomasi’s strong writing. The art is decent as well. Give this a shot! It’s a good series overall.

RATING: B+

 

Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye/
Swamp Thing Special #1

Written by Jon Rivera
Illustrated by Langdon Foss

The crossover specials between Gerard Way’s curated line and the regular DC line have all been fun to read. This special continues in that trend. The “Milk Wars” storyline continues on here!

Swamp Thing has found a disturbance in the Green.

This leads him to the RetCo corporation.

At RetCo, he sees Cave Carson and his gang fighting to get out.

Can he help them? Or is everybody doomed?

Find out here!

Rivera is a good writer. He keeps the action going and the dialogue sharp. The art is pretty good here as well.

Pick this issue up and any of these specials. They really are a unique thing in this marketplace.

RATING: B+

 

Superman #41
Written by James Robinson
Illustrated by Ed Benes

We are in a weird spot right now on this title. Bendis is coming, so we are basically left with a fill-in storyline.

Luckily, it’s James Robinson writing it so the story is actually fairly decent.

Superman and Superboy are teamed up in this issue. They are battling against alien extremists. The alien’s world is being destroyed so the Super-team has to basically save them for themselves.

Robinson does a great job making the story hopeful and it stuck with me.

The art by Benes is pretty damn good as well. He makes it vibrant and the colors by Dinai Ribeiro are especially good.

Overall, it’s a nice story that doesn’t feel unnecessary. And that’s a good thing indeed.

RATING: B+

 

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