Tag Archives: DC Comics

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.

DC Comics Villains Month Becomes Reality

Last week’s launch of Forever Evil and Villains Month caused nothing short of pandemonium at my local comic shop.

When I arrived at the store last Wednesday, the parking lot was packed.  I didn’t think much of it because the shop shares a parking lot with other businesses.  But this time was different.  I walked inside and there were people everywhere either holding stacks of comics or grabbing them off the shelves.  I go every week at the same time so I saw several familiar faces.  Others I had never seen before.  I got what I needed and immediately left.  I didn’t even hang around and socialize like I usually do because it was extremely busy.

I usually arrive at the shop around 10 a.m. or a few minutes after.  When I arrived this morning, the parking lot was packed.  I approached two men standing outside the shop’s door and they informed me the store had not yet opened.  As I turned to return to my truck, one of the employee’s unlocked the door.  The two men walked in behind me and seconds later, several customers barged in.

Knowing that this is the time when the owners and their employees are finishing up pulling titles for their regular customers, I began my routine of grabbing books off the shelf first and then head to the counter to collect my books from my pull box, taking caution as to not get in their way.  Well it was difficult to stick to my routine today.  People were grabbing books off the shelves and was in the way of the staff and myself.  It wasn’t the regular customers that was creating the chaos, there were a couple of people I had never seen before.  And of course the only books they were pulling were the 3-D motion covers.

One of the employee’s came over and yelled out that he was still pulling titles for customers and to give him a moment so he could finish.  Everything came to a complete halt as he and the owner finished pulling for the regulars.  The guy standing next to me began to fidget so I knew right away to keep my eyes on him.  If a book wasn’t on the shelf, then whoever had the book would return it.  This went on for a couple of minutes and most of us chuckled as we yelled out, “Not me” or “I don’t have that one” while looking through the stacks in our arms.  I was really enjoying myself at that time.  But there’s always one bad apple.

A title was called out and the guy that was fidgeting (he was also standing outside the door before the store opened) held up the book and loudly, but rudely, said that he got it off the shelf and that he should be able to have it.  The staff told him the books go to the regulars first and that it wouldn’t be fair if they didn’t get their books.

The guy immediately became loud and irate, but the staff held their ground.  As he was handing over the book, he stopped and told the staff they could have all the books and to eff it and that it was a bunch of bullsh-t.  He continued to yell as he stormed out the door, giving it a hard push.  He turned, caught the door in his hand and yelled, “I got a stack in my car from (competitor) do you want those too?”  He continued to storm off to his vehicle and sped off.

I had a feeling he was going to act out from the moment I saw him fidgeting.  So I moved to the other side of the store.  While he was clowning I sat my books on the counter, preparing myself in case he got physical with anyone.  I could feel the man standing behind me doing the same.  A few customers told me they were ready to take him down if needed.

One of the regular customers I speak to every week walked in as the guy sped out the parking lot.  He told me he could sense chaos as he walked through the door, and that he felt as if he missed something.  I told him everything that happened and he was not happy at all.  I’m glad he missed it, he probably would’ve clobbered the guy just for his aggressive behavior towards the owners and their employees.

I learned this scumbag is not a regular at the shop.  He drives around to all the local shops looking for books.  He looks for “hot” books in high-grade condition so he can buy them and put them up for sale later on that day.

I could not believe he behaved that way and the owner said that has never happened before in the shop.  There is no doubt this man already know that most, if not all, comic shops take care of their regular customers first.

The owners and staff takes care of all their customers, no matter how needy or last-minute we are.  They are always friendly and they don’t seem to mind that my never ending talkative self hangs out for at least an hour when it’s my Wednesday off from work.  Also, the shop doesn’t officially open until 11 a.m.  They always let their regular customers in early.  The non-regulars slipped in (forcefully) today.  So it came as no surprise that I, along with the other customers, were ready and willing to take him down if he would have even thought of getting physical with any of the staff.

So yeah, Villains Month became reality at Amazing Book-Store in Flint, Michigan today.  The difference?  Our Justice League (staff, customers) is not dead.  We defeated the villain, Flint The Flipper (I know it’s not a villainous name, but that’s all I could come up with)!

Thanks a lot DC Comics.  You probably didn’t know your comics would come to life huh?!

Justice League #22 Review

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Superman is a killer?  No way.  Shazam started a war?  No Way.  Should you be reading this issue, Part 1 of the Trinity War?  Yes.

Pandora is on a quest to eradicate the world of evil.  Only the purest or darkest at heart can open Pandora’s box.  She finds Superman, whom she believes is purest at heart, and shoves the box into his hands.  Instead of the curse breaking, Superman momentarily gains the third eye and attacks Pandora and Wonder Woman.

Meanwhile, Shazam has flown to Kahndaq to spread Black Adam’s ashes across the desert, despite being warned that the government has banned Americans from traveling there.  The Justice League, taking Zatanna with them for her expertise in magic, heads to Kahndaq to investigate.

The Justice League of America (JLA) also travels to Kahndaq, but to bring the Justice League back to the United States.  We learned in the first issue of JLA that each member has been secretly paired with a member of the Justice League.  Their mission is to take down the Justice League if needed.  The JLA members are hesitant about their assignments, but Colonel Steve Trevor tells them they’re under direct orders.  Of course those orders are from none other than Amanda Waller, that woman I love to hate.

The Justice League finds Shazam in Kahndaq, but he is uncooperative.  He even knocked down Superman, but he quickly learned that was a mistake.  The JLA arrives and informs the Justice League they’re escorting them out.

I am stopping my narration at this point because this is where all kinds of hell breaks loose.  It is too good for me to spoil, but I will say that some serious fighting is going on.  But unknowing to them all is that this war has been orchestrated by the Secret Society of Super Villains, led by the Outsider.

In order to appreciate the Trinity War to its’ fullest, I recommend that you read ALL of the issues in this DC Comics major crossover in the correct order (see checklist below).

I also recommend that you read Justice League beginning with the first issue if you haven’t already, so that you can become familiar with the characters in the new DC Universe.  There are also subtle hints and clues in this title leading up to the war.

This title has a mini story about Pandora and a mini series about Shazam.  I especially loved the Shazam story.  Billy Batson is a young, mouthy orphan boy that is given the powers of Shazam by a wizard.  He must defeat Black Adam, an evil antihero.

Trinity War Crossover Checklist

JULY

  • Prelude: Trinity of Sin:  Pandora #1
  • Part 1:  Justice League #22
  • Part 2:  Justice League of America #6
  • Part 3:  Justice League Dark #22
  • Tie-in:  Constantine #5
  • Tie-in:  Trinity of Sin:  Pandora #2

AUGUST 

  • Tie-In:  Trinity of Sin:  Phantom Stranger #11
  • Part 4:  Justice League of America #7
  • Tie-in:  Trinity of Sin:  Pandora #3
  • Part 5:  Justice League Dark #23
  • Part 6:  Justice League #23

I am currently reading all of these titles, except Phantom Stranger.  However I will be reading issue 11, and will continue reading the series if it grabs my attention.

Geoff Johns is the writer of this well written, fast paced, action filled, and constant page turner.  Great character interactions and Johns gets straight to the point.

I especially liked seeing Madame Xanadu in this story, and how she figured out the meaning of trinity.  Too bad she was deceived by Plastique, a member of the Secret Society.  Madame Xanadu was one of the Demon Knights, one of my favorite New 52 titles that was placed on the chopping block.  She is also in Justice League Dark, a title that is also in the crossover.

The creative art team consists of Ivan Reis, Rod Reis, Oclair Albert and Joe Prado.  Visual storytelling at its’ best.  Realistic characters, detailed facial expressions and powerful fight scenes.  I especially love the cover and the two-page spread of the battle between the Justice League and JLA.  The rich and vibrant colors bring it all to life.

I have been reading  Justice League since the first issue, and plan to continue reading this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this DC Comics New 52 title.

Pandora #1 Review

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Envy, gluttony, pride, greed, sloth, wrath, and lust. Imagine having unleashed the seven deadly sins out into the world, and not even knowing it. Then imagine getting sentenced to an eternity of pain, suffering and loneliness, and not even knowing why. That is what happened when Pandora opened the box.

Venturing out into the woods to gather berries, Pandora notices a light in the brushes. The light is coming from a skull shaped box with three eyes. Pandora picks up the box and her life drastically changes. Summoned to the Rock of Eternity for judgment, she is cursed with burning scars and must wander the world that has become full of sin. FOREVER.

Many years later, the dying wizard, Shazam, finds Pandora and tells her the Council used poor judgment and that her punishment was undeserving. Before vanishing into thin air, the wizard tells Pandora how to end the curse and rid the world of the seven deadly sins. Only the strongest or darkest of the heart can open the box. Pandora knows who the strongest at heart is, and takes off on a journey to find this person.

This New 52 title is the prequel to Trinity War, a DC Comics crossover. In this issue we learn that Pandora, Phantom Stranger and the Question are the Trinity of Sin. The sad part about it is that Pandora does not know what she did wrong.

I was surfing the web a few days ago and came across a comic I wasn’t aware of, DC ComicsThe New 52 FCBD (Free Comic Book Day) Special Edition. The story details the judgments of the Trinity of Sin as they stand before the Council at the Rock of Eternity. I now know who Phantom Stranger is, and why Question became, well, the Question. The comic is free and can be read at Comixology. I highly suggest that you read this comic.

In case you don’t know, the Trinity War is not a fight among Pandora, Phantom Stranger and Question. It is a battle among the three most powerful and dangerous teams in the DC Universe. Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark. However the war is being orchestrated by a group of super villains.

I am already enjoying this dark fantasy and supernatural series. Even after the Trinity War ends, I plan to continue reading this title.

Ray Fawkes is the writer. Great dialogue. I was sad over Pandora’s judgment, but quickly overcame that sadness when I saw Vandal Savage, one of my favorite characters from Demon Knights, a NEW 52 title that was canceled.

The creative art team consists of Daniel Sampere (pencils), Patrick Zircher (artist) and Vicente Cifuentes (inks). Excellent visual storytelling. The spread showcasing the seven deadly sins is creepy, but awesome. I hope I never find Pandora’s box because I definitely DO NOT want to be the mother of these sinful creatures.

Here is a list of the 11 Trinity War titles:

JULY

  • Prelude: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1
  • Part 1: Justice League #22
  • Part 2: Justice League of America #6
  • Part 3: Justice League Dark #22
  • Tie-in: Constantine #5
  • Tie-in: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2

AUGUST

  • Tie-In: Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger #11
  • Part 4: Justice League of America #7
  • Tie-in: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #3
  • Part 5: Justice League Dark #23
  • Part 6: Justice League #23

I am currently reading all of these titles, except Phantom Stranger. However I will be reading issue 11, and will continue reading the series if it grabs my attention.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I HIGHLY recommend this series.

Suicide Squad #21 Review

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I began reading this New 52 title with the last issue (#20) and was instantly hooked.  I had no choice, it’s dark and full of nonstop action.

Belle Reve Penitentiary is a prison for super-villains.  Select villains have a chance to reduce their sentences by participating in a government program.  Known as the Suicide Squad, the team performs deadly missions.  Tiny bombs are implanted in their necks to keep them in check.  Amanda Waller, the woman I love to hate, is Belle Reve’s director and the overseer of the Suicide Squad.  And she’s her usual conniving and manipulative self.

A riot takes place at Belle Reve and Harley Quinn appears to be at the center of it.  Although Harley Quinn is looney, she exhibits a bit of intelligence.  However I do not believe that she is the mastermind behind the attacks at the penitentiary.  Other key players in this story are Deadshot, Cheetah and James Gordon, Jr.

This story is action packed from the beginning.  The characters are funny, scary and serious all at the same time.  I definitely plan to continue reading this series to see where it’s heading.

Ales Kot is the writer.  Well written dialogue and easy to follow.  I love the character interactions, especially Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller.

Patrick Zircher is the artist and Jason Keith is the colorist.  This team did a great job on the artwork.  Lifelike characters.  I especially like the realistic facial features of Deadshot and Amanda Waller.

The only complaint I have is the look of Harley Quinn.  She is one of my favorite characters in this series, but she looks too psychotic.  I know she is mentally unstable but her appearance seems a bit exaggerated.  This is only my second issue of reading this series, so I’m sure I’ll grow on her look.  I know that I’ll appreciate her appearance more once I get more issues under my belt and learn a bit more about all the characters in the story.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I recommend Suicide Squad, a New 52 title by DC Comics.

The Green Team #1 Review

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When I learned  that Art Baltazar and Franco would be writing this series, I knew right away I had to support The Green Team, a New 52 title by DC Comics.  Or at least the first issue.

The title alone gives you an idea of the main characters, wealthy teenagers.  The Green Team is a development company led and funded by the wealthy tech guru, Commodore Murphy.  Given only a short timeframe to prepare, exhibitors are invited to Poxpo, or Pop-Up Expo at a secret location.  Guests are invited as well, but with a two-day notice.  The exhibitors are given the chance to show off their inventions to Commodore, in hopes that he funds their developments.  But we soon learn Commodore’s ulterior motive behind the Poxpos.

This story is a light read, but may appeal more to teens/young adults.  I knew the script would be well-written and easy to follow because of Baltazar and Franco’s run on Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures (two popular but canceled DC titles that my kids loved).

Although the set-up for the story is great, unless my tween wants to read the series I may not continue reading this title.  I have no complaints about the story at all.  It just does not fit my personal taste.  I may read the next issue to see where it’s heading.  I have to admit that I am curious as to what’s going to happen to Commodore and the rest of the gang.  I am especially interested in Commodore because he took a surprising turn towards the end of the story.  Thus the adventures begin.

The art team consists of IG  Guara (pencils), J.P. Mayer (inker), and Wil Quintana (colorist).  Great visual storytellers.  I have no complaints in this area.

Verdict (drum roll please)

I highly recommend Green Team for teens and young adults.  I recommend it for older readers looking for a light, but adventuresome read.