Tag Archives: DC Comics

Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 Review

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As a fan of John Constantine, and was a faithful reader of the cancelled New 52 Constantine and Justice League Dark series, I had no problem blindly jumping into Constantine:  The Hellblazer #1, by DC Comics.  Sadly, after reading its debut issue, I wish I hadn’t jumped in at all.

John Constantine.  Chain-smoking, witty, trickster, extremely smart and quick thinking, occult detective.  That’s the guy I looked for, but did not find.  Instead I found a guy flirting with a male bar owner (yes Constantine’s gay now), and banging Blythe, a male demon, moments later.  (I’ll be posting my diversity in comics rant soon).

Ming Doyle and James Tynion are the writers of this disappointing title.  This poorly written story is queer as queer can get.  Poor set-up, slow pacing, and very wordy about a lot of nothing.  No page turners.

Amazing artwork by Riley Rossmo.  Finely detailed characters.   Ivan Plascensia did an outstanding job with the colors.

I was bored reading Constantine:  Hellblazer #1 before I even finished it.  I was so bored and frustrated that I didn’t even want to read issue 2.  The only reason I read it was to see if the writing had improved.  I purchased both comics on the day issue 3 was released.  I’m glad that I left that one on the shelf at the store.

I didn’t get much out of this story at all.  I know that John Constantine is gay, his “ghosties” follow him whenever there’s trouble ahead (which is all the time for Constantine),  and he has to find out who’s killing off his ghosts.  I like the ghost killer premise.  Kind of like the god killer storylines.

I always say that a good story is composed of a well-written script and good visuals.  Well, this title has great artwork but is poorly scripted.

I will not continue reading this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I do not recommend Constantine:  Hellblazer by DC Comics.  I am giving this issue 1/5 stars.

Trinity of Sin #1 Review

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The Phantom Stranger, Pandora, and The Question.  The three greatest historical sinners have teamed up to save the world, or have they?  Trinity of Sin, DC Comics new ongoing monthly series, has already caught my attention with its amazing debut issue.

  • The Phantom Stranger – Traitor
  • Pandora – Opened a box and released ALL of the world’s sins and evils
  • The Question – Has no recollection of his crimes.  Memory erased by the Council of Eternity at sentencing.  The Council even erased his face!  Fueled by anger and hatred.

As a supernatural and comic book fan, I can honestly say that Trinity of Sin is a comic book worth giving a chance.  With DC Comics titles that stole my heart such as Demon Knights, Constantine, Justice League Dark, Pandora, and The Phantom Stranger, there was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t get hooked on this title.

J.M. DeMatteis is the writer.  Great script.  Perfect timing, not hard to follow.  Great character interactions.  Loads of suspense, monsters, and black magic.

The astounding visuals are provided by Yvel Guichet (pencils), Jason Gorder (inks), and Gabe Eltaeb (colors).  I have nothing but the highest of praise for this team of visual storytelling.

Take a look at the following panels from the creative art team.  I included a page from Question, Phantom Stranger and Pandora, as they each face their terrifying monsters.  Note Eltaeb’s coloring.  Beautiful, yet amazingly frightening.

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There is no doubt I will continue to read Trinity of Sin, a supernatural title that is already living up to its expectations.  If you are a fan of comic books, supernatural, magic, and entertaining stories, then you definitely need to read this new series.

Even if you are not a comic book reader, give Trinity of Sin a try anyway.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend Trinity of Sin, the new ongoing monthly comic book series by DC Comics.  I am giving this issue what it rightfully deserves, 5/5 stars.

Gotham Academy #1 Review

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Dark.  Eerie.  Creepy.  Spooky.  Strange.  Weird.  Mysterious.  Supernatural.  That is the description of Gotham Academy, a prestigious prep school located in that bizarre Gotham City.

Gotham Academy is obviously unlike any other prep school.  The campus is haunted, and some, if not most, of the students act just as strange as the teachers.  It is the beginning of the school year, and students are already being warned to stay away from the north hall.

Gotham Academy is a new, ongoing monthly teen drama comic book series by DC Comics.  This debut issue focused on two characters:

Olive Silverlock – Pretty sophomore.  Battling personal issues that we don’t know about yet.  “Nanny to Maps Mizoguchi.  Quiet and socially withdrawn.  Wants to break-up with her boyfriend, but he doesn’t know it yet.

Maps Mizoguchi – Freshman.  Overwhelmingly eager.  Outgoing personality.  Younger sister of Kyle, Olive’s boyfriend.

This strange and fun comic was written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher.  Perfect story setup.  Well-written script, very easy to follow.  Great character interactions.  I especially like the distinctive character personalities.

The outstanding visuals were provided by Karl Kerschl (artist), Geyser (colors), and Dave McCaig (colors).  I really like the character facial expressions, especially the creepy looking headmaster.  My favorite page is when Olive and Maps took a fall while Bruce Wayne was giving the school assembly’s keynote speech.  I literally laughed out loud.

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I enjoyed reading Gotham Academy.  I was actually hooked within the first few pages.  I definitely plan to continue reading this teen drama comic for at least the first couple of story arcs.

If you are looking for comics to read for teens, or just a good supernatural story with lots of strange twists, then I suggest you start reading this new title.  I found it to be a good read for all ages.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this title, so Gotham Academy #1 is getting what it deserves, 5/5 stars.

Teen Titans Go! #1 and #2 Review

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Teen Titans Go! was released a few months ago on DC Comics Digital First platform.  Although I am happy the series has now been released as print media, my children are even more excited.  We prefer print, so these two books were at the top of our comic list last week.

Both issues contain two stories each, and they are all funny and entertaining.  Dialogue is just as enjoyable as watching the cartoon itself on Cartoon Network.

The stories are well-written, and the art is superb.  The characters in the book are no different than their portrayals on television.  Robin is still controlling, Starfire is loveable, Raven is dark and gloomy, and Cyborg and Beast Boy are still best buddies who like to eat and joke around.

In the first story of Teen Titans Go! #1, Cyborg is determined to find out who keeps stealing his sandwiches out of the refrigerator.  Here are a couple of my favorite panels from the story.  Robin conducts his own investigation.

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In the second story, Robin and Beast Boy make a bet on the mini-golf course, and Beast Boy is determined to win Robin’s cape.  Cyborg instigates during the entire game.  I mentioned the superb artwork earlier.  I love the detailed facial expressions.  Check out Cyborg’s expressions as he instigates the shenanigans between Beast Boy and Robin.

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Meanwhile, Starfire and Raven are having their own adventure on the mini-golf course.  Starfire gets a little carried away while playing golf.  The two of them venture off into an arcade where Raven sees a stuffed animal she wants.

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Starfire asks Raven about the claw that’s supposed to grab the prize.  I’m not spoiling it here, you’ll just have to read it for yourself to find out what really happened.

In the first story of issue #2, Starfire signs the team up as contestants on Jump City’s Got Your Talent Right Here.  Robin opposes, but does he change his mind?

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Yes he does!

The panel of judges include one my favorite villains in the DC Universe.

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In the second story, Captain Cold blasts Robin into a block of ice.  Now the team has to come up with ways to try to free Robin.

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Sholly Fisch is the writer of this fun-filled title.  Fun character interactions, and family-friendly action/adventure.

The art team consists of Ben Bates (art, issue #1), Lea Hernandez  (art, issue #2), and Dan Hipp (cover).  Great visual storytellers.  You don’t even need text to know what’s going on in the stories.

If your kids watch Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network, then they will definitely want to read the books, as well.  Even if they’re not watching the cartoon, they will still appreciate this comic book.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this all-ages comic book.  There is no doubt that Teen Titans Go! gets  5/5 stars.

The Phantom Stranger #15 Review

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Forever Evil, DC Comics crossover event, is still going strong.  The Crime Syndicate has claimed world domination, and many lives have been lost.  Forever Evil also has a crossover event, Blight.  An 18-part mini-event, Blight’s titles include Justice League Dark, Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger, Constantine, and Trinity of Sin:  Pandora.  We’re almost at the halfway mark, as The Phantom Stranger #15 is part 7 of Blight, a dark and gruesome event that involves the supernatural forces of the DC Universe.

We first saw Blight, composed of the billions of sins and evil of the human race, in Justice League Dark #24.  At that time, humankind’s darkness had formed into a dark, giant serpent.  Now it has taken Christopher Esperanza, a young man who Stranger brought back from the afterlife, as its host.

In order for Blight to fully control its host, it needs to destroy remnants of Chris’s human existence, including his family.  The Phantom Stranger plans to free Chris and save his family, but Stranger’s Divine Presence commands him to join, and support Blight.  Stranger confronts a possessed Chris, just as he was about to bring tragedy to his entire family.  Not able to bear witness to Blight wiping out the human presence of Chris, Stranger disobeyed the Presence for the first time.  But it may be too late.  Chris revealed to Stranger that he chose Blight.  Now they are one and stronger than ever.

Meanwhile, John Constantine makes a hologram of the Sea King, in hopes of learning what terrified him before he died and nearly drove Deadman insane.  By the way, Deadman is in the Sea King’s body.  Nightmare Nurse wants to free Deadman, but Constantine refuses to let her break the spell.

Stranger, who is wounded after his fight with Blight, drops in on Constantine, Nightmare Nurse and Swamp Thing at the House of Mystery.  Nightmare Nurse uses her healing powers to help Stranger.  The story ends with Stranger running through a mirror, with the others, including Sea King (remember Deadman’s trapped inside his body) at his heels.

J.M. DeMatteis is the writer of this chilling series.  Crisp dialogue, and phenomenal character interactions throughout the book.  Although a lot of ground is covered at a rapid face, it’s not hard to follow if you’re keeping up with the crossover.  DeMatteis also did a great job with the set-up for part 8, Constantine #10.

Amazing visuals by Fernando Blanco (artist), Miguel Sepulveda (artist), Brad Anderson (colorist) and Guillem March (cover artist).  Realistic looking characters.  The colors and tones produce the ghastly feel that’s needed to experience the full effects of this book.

I began reading The Phantom Stranger with the Forever Evil Crossover.  I plan to read at least the first arc after the Blight mini-event is finished.  If I like it, then I may have to make some adjustments to my current reading list.  But so far, I am definitely enjoying this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

This title is perfect if you’re already reading the crossover.  If you have not yet read this title, then I recommend that you read back issues (before the FE crossover) to get a feel for the Phantom Stranger.  Or start with the new arc once the crossover ends.

Great story with superb art.  I’m giving this issue 5/5 stars.

Scooby-Doo Team-Up #1 Review

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Scooby-Doo has been one of my favorite cartoons since childhood, and I frequently buy the comic for my kids. When I learned the gang would be teaming-up with Batman and Robin in the debut issue, by DC Comics, I quickly thought of their team-up in the cartoon years ago. Daphne even mentions their run-in with the dynamic duo in this issue.

Scooby-Doo and the gang are on a hunt for a giant, flying bat-looking creature, when they run into Batman and Robin, who are already on its’ trail. They learn from the dynamic duo that the half-man, half-bat is Man-Bat. He is extremely dangerous because he’s more animal than human, when in bat form.

Meanwhile, the gang foils a robbery attempt by three Man-Bat imposters. In their attempt to capture a fourth imposter, the gang and the dynamic duo quickly realizes it’s the real Man-Bat. Batman and Robin have ONE vial of antidote, meaning they only have ONE shot at Man-Bat to administer it successfully.

This all-ages, easy-to-follow story was written by Sholly Fisch. Funny dialogue and character interactions. I especially liked how Robin checked Freddy for using his catchphrase!

Great artwork by Dario Brizuela. Definitely no complaints in this area. Original looking characters that I’ve loved since childhood.

I plan to buy future issues of this title for my kids, and myself of course. You can never go wrong with Scooby-Doo, one of the most beloved cartoon characters.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this title, especially for those with young children. It’s perfect for storytime.

Justice League Dark #24 Review

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The Trinity War is over and apparently, all three Justice Leagues are dead. At least that’s what readers are led to believe, especially since we haven’t seen too much of them since the arrival of the Crime Syndicate. Pandora was led to believe that if the box was opened, the world would be rid of evil for good, including the seven deadly sins. Turns out that it was all a charade orchestrated by the Secret Society. Pandora’s box is actually a portal to a parallel universe, home of the Crime Syndicate.

However a member of the Justice League Dark has survived the catastrophe, and struggles to remember how and why. John Constantine, the leader of the Justice League Dark, was saved by the House of Mystery. After regaining consciousness and recalling the events of the war, Constantine is paid a visit by numerous tiny monsters. The monsters all resemble Constantine, and one of them is even smoking a cigarette! The tiny Constantine monsters reminds me of the little Ashes in Army of Darkness. If you’ve seen that movie, then you will definitely appreciate this issue of Justice League Dark, one of the New 52 titles by DC Comics.

In case you don’t know, John Constantine is an occult detective. This magician is also a con artist who is despised by many, uses trickery to get out of dangerous situations (usually when he’s captured by enemies), likes to tell jokes and smokes constantly.

I enjoyed this issue, especially the Constantine monsters and the visit from Nightmare Nurse. But I don’t know if I can trust her. I don’t have a choice but to wait for the next issue to see if she’s truly helping Constantine, or if it’s an effect from Pandora’s box.

J.M. DeMatteis is the writer of this dark and hilarious script. I found the tours that Constantine received from the House of Mystery to be inspiring. He was given an intimate look at suffering and sin. And if you know Constantine, then you know he remains calm throughout. I like the character interactions, especially Constantine. He is suave and can talk himself out of the most dangerous situations.

Great artwork by Mikel Janin (artist and cover) and Jeromy Cox (colors). The panels with the little Constantine monsters are awesome. Funny as heck, but awesome. I read this title every month so I should have known better than to read it at night. So now I’m sitting here afraid of that giant serpent that’s composed of all the billions of sins and evils. Dark, gray tones, thunderstorm. Great visuals throughout the book.

I have been a reader and fan of dark magic since childhood, and I am enjoying Justice League Dark. I definitely plan to continue reading this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this DC Comics New 52 title.