Category Archives: Featured

iReview :: JUSTICE LEAGUE #14

It’s a new day for the Justice League and just as quickly as it begins a new threat hangs in the planet’s orbit and renders the team inert! The league find themselves at a crossroads asking whether or not their days as Earth’s greatest heroes are over!

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It’s been a bit of a challenge for the Earth’s Most Powerful Heroes of late. The Justice League has entered into some of their most tenuous exploits of late and although time-tested, this latest incarnation of the group still has a lot left to prove — especially to one another. The metal has hardly cooled on the team that was forged at the onset of the latest multiverse reboot when Darkseid and his armies invaded! The original seven realizing their extreme potential for greatness, pooled their resources and accepted the responsibility of becoming the planet’s ultimate defenders, but hardly coalesced immediately as a single force.

In fact, several factions in the group proved detrimental to their early exploits, forcing Batman to work diligently behind the scenes to keep tabs on his teammates. This was of great import when Aquaman ultimately lost footing as the monarch of his realm and Atlantis attacked, a war of great consequence eventually brought together the three factions of the Justice League which lead to their imprisonment when the league’s evil doppelgängers the Crime Syndicate took over the world. Eventually our heroes prevailed, but at great consequences and nearly lost it all again when they found themselves at the center of a conflict between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor!

As the dust settled on the team, Batman ever the most cautious one among them, cited the potential danger in their ranks when their own Man of Steel met his fate and had been replaced by a Superman from an alternate earth/alternate existence who’s agenda wasn’t entirely on the up and up. Before the league could figure out the mystery surrounding their new ally, they found themselves in an unlikely alliance with perhaps the most dangerous individuals on the planet Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad. The two formidable forces united in an effort to bring down an even bigger threat to the multiverse Maxwell Lord.

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Now licking their wounds and pulling themselves together, the league find themselves once again mobilizing against a new menace that has entered into Earth’s atmosphere, a planet-sized weapon of mass destruction that has taken them out and buried them — with one shot! Justice League #14 written by Bryan Hitch who assumed the mantle of the title after Geoff Johns concluded his historic run, is a welcome pause from the chaos the team had been recently facing. In light of the latest publishing rebrand “Rebirth” continues to examine the legacy of our favorite DC Comics characters, the Justice League not being exception.

Trapped miles underground and confined to a space with limited air, the members of the Justice League are in fight for their lives and suddenly are succumbed by self-doubt. Considering everything they’ve recently faced together they realize how little trust exists between them. Superman confronts Batman as questions about each other’s loyalty is raised, the rookie Green Lanterns — Simon and Jessica — feel they are simply out of their league, even though both have proven themselves time and again. It’s an interesting and very humanize look at a group that hasn’t really gelled, but in this moment, trapped together must find confidence within themselves and each other.

Justice League #14 – “Regroup” written by Bryan Hitch with additional inks by Daniel Henriques is a refreshingly paced narrative that takes a look at the league from a very different perspective. The dangers they’ve faced have lead them to this moment and will define them as the “Rebirth” storyline continues to unfold.

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DC Comics JUSTICE LEAGUE vs. SUICIDE SQUAD #1

The hottest teams in comics are about to class against a common enemy bent on either the annihilation of everything that is or dedicated to saving the world!

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They’ve been branded the “worst heroes” on the block but the Suicide Squad continues to gain momentum and increase their popularity especially after the release of their first high stakes blockbuster feature this past summer. The recent retooling of this group of expendables which include among their ranks Harley Quinn (right now the most wanted character in comics), the marksman Deadshot, Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang has moved them center stage, not only guaranteeing them a hit comic series, but a sequel film and headlining franchises of their own!

Surely the big guns including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash can glean some credibility from all the attention these bad-asses are getting (especially after making some film cameos). It’s no wonder that DC Comics has decided on correlating the timing of this very special team-up Justice League vs. Suicide Squad with the release of the “Extended Cut” of the film on Blu-ray and Digital HD. The six-issue weekly series helmed by Joshua Williamson with art from a team of the business’ biggest names launched this week.

Most recently the Batman assembled his own group of malcontents in effort to extract the Psycho Pirate from the dangerous grip of his arch enemy Bane in the “I Am Suicide” arc that was published in the bi-weekly Batman title. That storyline planted the Dark Knight right in the crosshairs of Amanda Waller, the lead administrator in charge of the covert organization Task Force X. Batman and Waller have always had a sensitively tender spot for one another, but it appears that the Caped Crusader is not in-line with her subversive use of known felons as fodder.

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The team-up to end all team-ups! DC Comics two most popular team books league up to take on a common foe in JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #1.

When the story began in last week’s Suicide Squad #8 (by Rob Williams with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Francesco Mattina) the prelude introduced a longtime comic book favorite that has experienced a resurgence thanks to the popularity of The Flash television series on The CW. Caitlin Snow, the Killer Frost was seen joining the residents of Belle Reve and by extension, the Suicide Squad. Other iterations of the character have crept into the current DC Comics mythology but this iteration of the character is heading for bigger and brighter tomorrows.

In the release of this week’s JLvSS #1 Batman exposes to the league Waller’s pet project and the potential threat that the Suicide Squad presents. Series writer Joshua Williamson (who is also commandeering the current highly successful run of The Flash) said about the team-up event: “My goal with Justice League vs. Suicide Squad was to give readers a crossover that felt like a big blockbuster summer movie, but also a lot of strong character moments between two teams that should not and will not get along.” Inspired by the bombastic sensibility of the big screen, fans can expect the action to match their expectations.

The initial arc will reintroduce into the Post-Rebirth continuity a modern-day classic villain that everyone has always loved to hate. Maxwell Lord returns and appears to be constituting a lethal force of baddies for himself, with one goal: take down Amanda Waller! If what you’re looking for is an all-out action brawl, then you’ve come to the right place! Justice League vs. Suicide Squad the 6-issue series takes off Dec. 21st and will dominate into the first month of 2017 with additional crossover stories appearing in Justice League #12 and #13 and Suicide Squad #9 with an epilogue to appear in Suicide Squad #10.

 

iReview :: SUPERGIRL #204 – “Survivors”

The Maid of Might finds herself in an underground arena fighting for her life before a high-stakes audience!

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One of the greatest tricks introduced into the genre-show has been the element of a mythology. It started with daytime soap operas which pioneered the idea of serialized and extending storylines, and was perfected with the advent of perhaps the most popular television series in the line, a little known primetime behemoth called The X-Files. Chris Carter’s exploration of the supernatural and paranormal against the backdrop of an investigational drama incited by conspiracy, led to a string of similar inspired genre shows.

With the DC TV Universe continuing to expand into primetime and dominating the 8 o’clock hour on The CW, the series creators have capitalized on more than 75 years of already established mythology published in the pages of DC Comics. With the move of Supergirl now siting alongside the other Berlanti Productions based on the DC Comics characters all on the same network, a pattern is beginning to emerge to establish a synchronous narrative that weaves a tapestry and is based on a long established legacy.

Supergirl starring Melissa Benoist as the Maid of Might is among the best examples of how that legacy is leading to a very innovative story that is evolving beautifully and continues to surprise. The fourth episode of the show’s sophomore season entitled “Survivors” is picking things up very easily from the initial thread introduced at the top of the season which is examining the presence of aliens on earth. Kara teamed-up with her famous cousin, and the world’s greatest hero Superman (played by guest-star Taylor Hoechlin) in the season’s opener.

The threat of CADMUS a scientific think tank dedicated to containing and controlling the alien presence on Earth is at the epicenter of the xenophobia that is coming to light since Supergirl made her identity public and chose a similar path inspired by Superman to protect National City from any danger. Since then National City has become a hub of sorts for all interstellar despots and refugees, some hide in plain site while others in the shadows, others still have been discovered to frequent a dive bar tended to by Ms. Martian (new series regular Sharon Leal).

J’onn J’onzz the Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) is intrigued by the discovery of the last living daughter of Mars and he confronts M’gann (or “Megan”) about her existence on Earth and how she escaped the genocide inflicted on their planet by the White Martian. Experiencing survivors remorse M’gann rejects J’onn’s offer to mentally bond. Instead we learn that Ms. Martian is actually taking part in an underground fight club run by the elite criminal mastermind Veronica Sinclair (guest-star Dichen Lachman) calling herself Roulette.

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Supergirl — “Survivors” — Pictured: Dichen Lachman as Roulette – Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

To appeal to the insatiable interest of the socially elite in National City, Roulette is running high-stakes gladiatorial combats pitting extra-terrestrials against one another for the pleasure of her wealthy audience. When someone dies in Roulette’s arena, the loser is discarded like yesterday’s trash. Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) of the NCPD has been collaborating with DEO agent Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) and when a body turns up the two go undercover to learn more about Roulette’s cage fights.

J’onn is disappointed to learn that under the name of Ms. Martian M’gann has been competing as one of Roulette’s star attractions, and when the two find themselves facing each other death, J’onn refuses to kill M’gann. The two are confronted by the arena’s greatest combatant Draaga (played by John De Santis) and the two are joined by Supergirl, who learns about the alien’s weakness from Mon-El (new series regular Chris Wood) the refugee from Daxam, a sister world to Krypton that shared the planet’s fate.

Now on Earth, Mon-El is learning to fit in. Kara decides to take on the responsibility of mentoring Mon-El, especially since it will in some way fulfill her original destiny to protect her cousin Kal-El, who grow up without her guidance to become Superman. The two agree that the time to put aside the differences of their people and learn to depend on each other since they both have so much in common. Mon-El is grateful for Kara’s help and looks forward to proving himself as capable a hero as Supergirl.

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The episode capitalizes on how comfortable and familiar the characters are becoming with one another and scores very high to continue to establish its unique brand against the tapestry of its predecessors. The complexities of a world, a culture that is coming to terms with its place in a universal community that accepts there are visitors here from other planets, is moving into the spotlight on Supergirl. The series growing cast of supporting players, including Maggie Sawyer and Mon-El are also well crafted additions that easily expand on the character drama.

At the conclusion of the episode J’onn visits M’gann and apologizes for having come on so strong and hopes that the two, the last of their kind, can become close friends. M’gann agrees that she is also open to a fresh start. After J’onn leaves, M’gann reveals her true origins — that she is in fact not a Green Martian like J’onn, but a White Martian — the treacherous species that exacted a genocide on J’onn’s people! This plot twist will undoubtedly develop over the course of the season, and may or may not lead to the revelatory moment that makes Ms. Martian a hero in her own right.

“Survivors” is told from the perspectives of Mon-El and M’gann — both are outsiders trying to fit in and learn to survive any way that they can. By comparison their paramours Supergirl and J’onn are proving that they have a purpose, as the last of their kind, they stand as heroes and examples of the best hope for a cooperative between Earth and its interstellar kindred.

Supergirl • Episode #204 — “Survivors” directed by James Bamford and James Marshall written by Paula Yoo & Eric Carrosco. (Original Airdate: October 31, 2016)

Suiting Up for BATMAN DAY 2016

In celebration of the third annual love fest for everyone’s favorite Caped Crusader, DC Comics offers some special discounted ebooks that take us through every decade of The Batman and revisit some of his greatest story arcs.

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BATMAN DAY has become quite the “thing”! It began 3 years ago when DC Comics and its fans came together all across the world to honor the Dark Knight Detective on his 75th Anniversary. No one could have imagined that Batman, an icon that has transcended the medium that launched him into the center of popular culture. Batman has starred on television, in Saturday morning cartoons, and has especially made an impact as a cinematic sensation.

DC Comics has now taken the love of this character very seriously and created an inclusive experience for the fans and dubbed it Batman Day! On September 17 from coast to coast there will be several events all honoring the Batman. DC Comics will also give fans an added treat and with very special pricing on two of its most popular and definitive Batman titles. Fan-Favorites Batman Vol. 7: Endgame and Batman Adventures Vol. 1 will be available on Batman Day for $3.99.

Leading up to the “Big Bat Day” DC Comics is offering up to 75% off some of its best Batman titles representative of the Batman through the ages. From September 13 – 19 take the “Road to Batman Day” and check out some greatest moments in Batman’s history. Batman collected editions on sale include Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: The Complete Hush and more featuring the rest of the Batman Family including Nightwing, Robin and Batgirl.

Revisit the Golden Age of the Caped Crusader with Detective Comics #27 the first appearance of the Batman, and travel through each era with Batman in The Brave and the Bold (Silver Age) and Detective Comics (Bronze Age). Relive Batman: Year One and A Death in the Family and more. 100 digital comics and 15-eBooks will be available for a special price during the giant “Road to Batman Day” sale.

The following digital retailers will be participating in the “Road to Batman Day” and the BATMAN DAY sale: readdcentertainment.com, the DC Comics iOS and Android apps, comiXology, Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble NOOK.

DC Comics INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR FIVE concludes and Writer Brian Buccellato Tips the Scales of War

Justice must be preserved! But in a world where Superman rules with an iron fist, Batman is the only thing standing between law and order. Series writer Brian Buccellato sheds some light on the series climatic finale!

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Finally! This is one showdown that’s been a long time coming! Gaming enthusiast have reason to rejoice as the adventure series Injustice: Gods Among Us draws to an epic climax. The narrative established by the hit fighting video game experience was first introduced as a DC Comics Digital First Series by Tom Taylor in 2013 and Year One immediately soared to the top of the New York Times list of Bestselling Series following it’s publication as a compilation. In this alter-verse Superman is driven to the brink when the Joker is responsible for the death of his beloved Lois Lane and their unborn child.

In a moment of unrivaled rage, driven to revenge the Man of Steel murders the Clown Prince of Crime, effectively ending the criminal’s reign of chaos, but setting Superman down a path to restore order to the planet under his own rule. What follows are a series of events that pit Batman against his longtime ally, and forces the heroes of the DC universe to choose sides. Every year since the power struggle as escalated, but now in Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five the war will soon come to a crashing end!

Comics legend Brian Buccellato the writer behind the runaway success The Flash during “The New 52” relaunch is responsible for the closing arc in this iconic battle between Superman and Batman, and the entirety of the DC Comics Universe!

How exactly did the writer come into the pen this project? We asked him: “I think it was because Tom Taylor (Injustice’s original scribe), got really busy,” Buccellato half-joked. “I really loved the series. I think one of the saddest decisions he [Taylor] had to make was giving it up midway through Year Three.” Buccellato took up the reins during the second act of Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three inducting the magical forces of the DC universe, leading to an unlikely alliance against the supernatural might of otherworldly menaces. “My relationship with DC opened the door for me to come onboard.”

When Brian continued on with the series into Year Four the stakes only got higher, and the arc included a showdown between Superman and the actual pantheon of mythic Gods, when Zeus intervenes from Mount Olympus and Batman strikes a deal with Ares, God of War that put Wonder Woman in the middle of it all. “Superheroes obviously resonate with our society; just look at all the superhero films,” Brian offered. “We all love people that have great power and do great things with them. In comics we can dream and live vicariously through our heroes.”

The one-long established unique turn in the Injustice mythology is the advent of Superman as a self-proclaimed protector, a monarch, lording over the planet Earth. It’s a very dramatic portrait of a hero that has long inspired hope in his more than 75 years in popular culture. “Injustice is a very specific world,” Brian insists, “and the choices that Superman makes are driven by the destruction of Metropolis and the death of his child and the murder of his wife.” It’s an all-encompassing grief that consumes Superman. “And that’s the genesis of the this story.”

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A preview panel from Chapter 39 of INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR FIVE by series writer Brian Buccellato for DC Comics.

The story Buccellato has been tasked with telling with Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five is centered around this version of Superman and the events around the “wrong call” that leads him to kill the Joker for the greater good, but at a great personal loss. “His descent into darkness comes from there.” The war between the two sides, now comes spiraling down to this final act! And as if things couldn’t have gotten any more complicated, Tom Taylor returned at the conclusion of Year Four with a story that put all the DC super villains imprisoned by Superman back in play!

As the conflict in Year Five reached a fever pitch, which saw the Flash finally coming to odds with Superman, and a new Nightwing rising in the ranks, Batman and his team of insurgents have all but been depleted leading the Dark Knight and Lex Luthor to make a desperate bid for evening the odds. “It’s always fun to do these ‘elseworld’ versions of these characters,” Buccellato said. “Whenever you get a chance to veer left or right, it opens up an opportunity that perhaps isn’t there if you’re writing the mainstream version of that character.”

In the Injustice storyline Lex Luthor plays both sides of the coin, and has aligned himself with Batman in a plan revealed in this week’s Chapter 39 of Year Five that may finally bring an end to Superman’s tyranny. “Lex Luthor is playing both sides,” Buccellato reveals. It’s a strategy that is lifted right from the game play as devoted gamers well know. “The game did a really great job of putting a unique twist on characters, and all these setups and pay-offs that we can explore [in the comic] more deeply.”

As for the writer’s own favored side in the conflict, Buccellato unabashedly reveals: “Batman is right. You just can’t go around murdering people — it’s just not good.” The way that Buccellato sees it, in Injustice Batman has compromised himself in a lot of ways and admittedly the character may not be proud of some of the things he may have done, but “There’s the one line Batman will not cross, and the one that Superman — in his other versions never crosses,” but as Injustice careens to its finale, hands down Buccellato is on the side of the Dark Knight.

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Batman enlists the help of Lex Luthor in his final efforts to stop the reign of Superman in the final chapters of INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR FIVE.

With the final chapter looming, the Injustice: Gods Among Us epic will conclude with Chapter 40  the final episode of Year Five will hit the digital market on 9/20, Brian Buccellato is confident that already “We know how this story ends,” he said. “There’s always room to create more story especially if you devote the creativity to it.”

The anticipation (of course) for the fighting game’s follow-up is also very high! Injustice 2 was recently announced and will continue the battle where Injustice: Gods Among Us left off.

 

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five races to a close this month. The next chapters will be available for download Tuesday via the DC Comics App, Readdcentertainment.com, iBooks, comiXology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store, Nook Store, and iVerse ComicsPlus.

DC COMICS Are HOT This Summer!

It looks like DC Comics publishing is experiencing a “rebirth”! Rousing sales over the summer months have resulted in record-shattering sales for the comics imprint which relaunched most of its titles over the season as part of a brand new initiative to return the brand to its greatness.

In an announcement released yesterday the publishing powerhouse confirmed that it has shipped over 12 million comic books this summer, with eleven issues topping 200,000, more than 60 issues exceeded 100,000 and 21 titles went back to print multiple times.

It would appear to confirm that the nostalgically motivated “Rebirth” — not-a-reboot — that was introduced as a marketing effort to re-institutionalize legacy elements that had been missing from the books since the previous imprint relaunch “The New 52” has been enthusiastically embraced by fans. The initial book written by Geoff Johns, DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 intended to address a lot of those legacy misgivings, was a blockbuster hit on the newsstands!

DC followed the special one-shot with an all-new lineup of stories, restarting many of its more popular titles at #1 including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman which have also begun to ship twice a monthly, giving the creatives a broad brush by which to work intricate storylines that place the heroes back into their proper legacy context. That is none more evident than in The Flash which brought the missing favorite character Wally West back from oblivion.

The relaunch has also given two DC flagship titles the unprecedented opportunity to resume their original legacy numbering. Action Comics featuring Superman resumed with #957 and Detective Comics starring Batman picked up at #934. “This is the biggest story in comics publishing right now — fan and retailer demand for these books is at an all-time high,” said John Cunningham, DC’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Marketing. “This summer we’ve sold more issues over 100,000 units than we did in all of 2015.”

This bodes well for the publishing giant and for fans, especially the purist who were eager to see a return to greatness for the DC Comics characters, something that many fans felt was lost at the onset of “The New 52” reboot. “Hope, optimism and legacy are integral to the epic, universe-spanning stories that define what a ‘DC’ superhero is to me. As is building on the foundation of all the amazing writers and artists, as well as, characters that have been part of DC’s history and celebrating it,” said Geoff Johns, President and Chief Creative Officer, DC Entertainment.

With the digital market also moving in, many fans have turned to downloading their books using the DC Comics reader app for iPad by ComiXology as an option to keep their shelves open for the collected editions of some favorites. DC confirmed that major “Rebirth” arcs will be available as soon as early 2017.

For more news and recent developments visit www.dccomics.com.