Tag Archives: New 52

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.

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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.

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.

Constantine #2

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At the time of my review of Constantine #1, I wasn’t sure if I would read issue #2 or not.  Since I love magic and sorcery, I had to give it another chance.

Constantine is a magician who travels the world to search for, and collect artifacts of a dark nature to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.  He obtains the artifacts by whatever means necessary, including at the expense of the lives of the innocent.  In this storyline, Constantine is searching for Croydon’s Compass, a powerful compass with evil potential, made by a sadist wizard.  The compass was split into three pieces; needle, dial and the lens.

Constantine is not the only person searching for Croydon’s Compass.  However he is the only one with good intentions.  We met Sargon the Sorceress in the first issue.  In this issue, we meet Mister E, a blind and wicked magician.  We also meet the Spectre.

Constantine is also self-centered.  He does not appear to be affected when a life is sacrificed at his expense.  If he does, he hides it well.  He also likes to tell jokes, especially just before escaping his evil captors.  I find that very funny.

Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire are the writers.  I like Constantine’s narration throughout the story.  We know what gets him going.  We also know his fears.  I especially like when he met the Spectre.  We know he’s terrified, yet he found a way to get out of the situation.  For now.  I was even scared for a moment.  By the way, this story is full of dark magic, so prepare yourself.  Especially for the last page.

I like the artwork, especially the cover page.  But I still don’t like Sargon, the Sorceress.  I don’t look her looks, but you can definitely tell that she’s evil.  I do like that visual aspect of her.  Renato Guedes is the artist.  Marcelo Maiolo is the colorist.  Juan Jose Ryp and Brett Smith are the cover artists.

Right now, Constantine, a New 52 title by DC Comics has captured my attention.  I complained in my first review of the lack of a backstory, which made the story hard for me to follow.  But after reading this issue, I feel more comfortable with the story, so I intend to continue reading the series for now, to see where it’s going.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I recommend this DC Comics New 52 title if you like magic and sorcery.

Justice League of America #1 Review

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I originally planned to buy all 50 state variant covers for Justice League of America #1.  That’s right.  A cover for each state.  Why did I change my mind?  Because I can take the money I would have spent on all those covers that would only sit and collect dust, and buy a variety of comics.  So I’m proud to display my MICHIGAN cover!

Amanda Waller, Director of A.R.G.U.S. (secret branch of U.S. military) is passive-aggresive, and manipulative from the beginning.  She wants Col. Steve Trevor to organize and train the members of the Justice League of America (JLA).  Although Amanda says the JLA will help other super-heroes, it’s pretty clear that A.R.G.U.S. plans for the JLA to take down the Justice League. If necessary.

The issue focused on Amanda and Steve reviewing the profiles of each team member and the reasons they were chosen.

  • Katana
  • Hawkman
  • Martian Manhunter
  • Vibe
  • Stargirl
  • Catwoman
  • New Green Lantern (Simon Baz)
  • Green Arrow

How Steve Trevor plans to organize and train the team is beyond my wildest guess.  I can’t wait to see how he plans to train Katana and Hawkman.  Katana was an assassin who came to America to track down her husband’s killers.  Hawkman (he scares me, and yes I love it) is a police officer from his planet (Thanagar) that captures Thanagarian fugitives.  He also passes judgment on the fugitives.  Read the comic so you’ll know how he passes judgement.  I’m trying my best to not put in spoilers.  I’m also trying my best to get you to read this comic, because that’s what this blog is all about!

Martian Manhunter is not one to be messed with.  He’s powerful, yet mysterious.  Spooky is the word I like to use.  He pops up out of nowhere.  He also knows the true reason Steve agreed to organize the team.  But he warned that he will erase the minds of everyone in the building if Amanda Waller or any other government official makes a move against him.  Including Steve.

Can A.R.G.U.S. be trusted?  I don’t think so, especially Amanda Waller.  Steve Trevor is going to have his hands full trying to organize such a powerful and diverse group.  The team roster is established and each member of the JLA has been paired with a member of the Justice League that he/she is going to take down.  IF it comes to that.

The debut issue ended with The Secret Society being mentioned.  What’s that about?  You’ll just have to wait and see like the rest of us.

Geoff Johns grabbed my attention with this story from the beginning.  Powerful opening.  Strong dialogue throughout.  Rapid progression.  Perfect timing.  I know this series is going to be around for a very long time.

I love the artwork by David Finch.  Scenes flow flawlessly between panels.  Sonia Oback did a great job with the colors.  I especially like the dark panels.  It gives me a sense of fear and suspense.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

This is one series you definitely want to jump on.  I have no doubts about this one at all.