Tag Archives: Brian Buccellato

Review: Future’s End Detective Comics #1

Review: Future’s End Detective Comics #1

Written by Brian Buccellato

Art by Scott Hepburn, Cliff Richards, Fabrizio Fiorentino, Brian Buccellato, and Lee Loughridge

Batman and the Riddler are teaming up? What craziness is in this Future’s End one-shot? Not the good kind. That I can tell you right now. Continue reading Review: Future’s End Detective Comics #1

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Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: July 9th, 2014

outright-geekery Logo NewNew Comics Wednesday is upon us again, and some of us here at Outright Geekery are running down the top pick on our comic stacks for this week. What are you looking forward to reading this week?


Jules: Death Vigil #1

STJEPAN SEJIC! Easily one of my favorite artist of Witchblade is back with a brand new miniseries on Image! Gifted? Join the Death Vigil in their ongoing war against the ever-growing power of the Primordial Enemy! The only catch is you have to die first. Become a corporeal immortal Death Knight and obtain reality-altering weaponry in the never-ending battle between good and evil. I’m intrigued and ready to pick it up are you?

Death Vigil 1

DEATH VIGIL #1 (of 8)
story / art / cover: STJEPAN SEJIC
JULY 9 / 48 PAGES / FC / T+ / $3.99
Forty pages of story and art in this contemporary fantasy adventure series written and painted by STJEPAN SEJIC. Gifted? Join the Death Vigil in their ongoing war against the ever-growing power of the Primordial Enemy! The only catch is you have to die first. Become a corporeal immortal Death Knight and obtain reality-altering weaponry in the never-ending battle between good and evil.


Taylor: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm #1 (or Original Sins 5.1 or whatever)

As an unabashed fan of Thor, I’ve got a keen interest in this story, which aims to introduce a fairly major change to the status quo. Introducing Angela as Thor’s sister could be either a great or a terrible idea, and this initial story will go a long way in determining which. In any event, I have a great deal of trust in Jason Aaron, and Al Ewing has been solid on the Loki book, so it’ll be interesting to see how this collaboration works out.

Original Sin 5.1

THOR & LOKI: THE TENTH REALM #1 (of 5)
Writers: Jason Aaron/Al Ewing
Artist: Simone Bianchi

• Thanks to the events of ORIGINAL SIN, the deepest secret of the Nine Realms is revealed… a Tenth Realm!

• Thor and Loki embark on a quest to discover this strange new world — and the sister Thor never knew he had… Angela!

• But can Loki be trusted? And will brother and sister murder each other before the truth comes out?


Christian: Detective Comics #33

With Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato on this title I knew the art was going to be amazing, but it’s truly surprising that the Icarus story-arc in the current run of Detective Comics is just a wonderful Batman story. With all the Bat-family showing up in Batman Eternal, and Batman proper being a tale of old, I’m really happy that there’s still a Batman book that just stars Batman in a fun adventure.

Detective Comics 33

DETECTIVE COMICS #33
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
BATMAN 75 variant cover
1:25 variant cover by TONY MOORE
On sale JULY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
In “Icarus” part four, Batman must contend with a gang war between The Squid and the Kings of the Sun before it consumes all of Gotham City! But can even the World’s Greatest Detective defuse a blood feud that’s about to go nuclear?


Gaumer: All-New X-Men #29

It’s a light week for me, but there are still plenty of gems in my stack. Despite great potential in Original Sin #5.1 and amazing art in Detective Comics #33, I’m most looking forward to the siege of the New Xavier School continue in All-New X-Men. Bendis is teetering on the brink of a cliff of time-traveling tropes, and whether he makes it across or falls off the edge, it’s going to be interesting.

All-New X-Men 29

ALL-NEW X-MEN #29
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (WRITER)
STUART IMMONEN (ARTIST)
Issue #29 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ARTIST VARIANT ALSO AVAILABLE
• Past, present and future collide as the Future Brotherhood exacts their final judgment on the All-New X-Men.
• Plus, Angel takes control!
32 PGS. Rated T …$3.99


Those are our picks, what’s on the top of your stack this Wednesday?

Comix City Too!This post brought to you by Comix City Too! in Madison Tennessee, Outright Geekery’s local comic shop of choice. Check out everything coming out this week in stores here, and be sure to get out to your local comic shop.

Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: June 11th, 2014

outright-geekery Logo NewNew Comics Wednesday is upon us again, and some of us here at Outright Geekery are running down the top pick on our comic stacks for this week. What are you looking forward to reading this week?

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Jules: Real Heroes #3

Made famous as the original Ultimate artist, Bryan Hitch is now writing and penciling this title. Imagine Galaxy Quest with superheroes! The stars of the Olympians, after the screening of their second film, are transported to another dimension where the heroes they play on film are real. And since the real Olympians have been murdered they have to pretend to be them until the can help to achieve peace. The first two issues are absolutely spectacular looking, Hitch’s designs are stellar, and with his honest story telling this title has been a solid read. I can’t wait to pick this one up.

Real Heroes 3

REAL HEROES #3
story / art / cover: BRYAN HITCH
MAY 28 / 32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $3.99

Lost and alone in a world they only knew as fiction, the cast of The Olympians movies are beginning to realize things aren’t easy when fantasy is made reality. The dangers are all too real and it might mean their deaths when Brainchild and Brute come to defeat the world’s greatest heroes.

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Taylor: New Avengers #19

The current story arch of New Avengers crosses an important threshold this week as our protagonists are finally forced to face a team of genuine heroes, with both groups’ worlds hanging in the balance. This book has been skating around the dilemma of making an impossible choice for a long time; will the MU’s defenders finally be forced to do the unthinkable? Hopefully, we’re about to find out.

New Avengers 19

JONATHAN HICKMAN (WRITER) • VALERIO SCHITI (ARTIST)
Cover by DUSTIN WEAVER
• It’s the battle you didn’t know you wanted to see—until now! As the New Avengers take on the combined power of the Great Society—and only a single parallel Earth can survive!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

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Christian: Detective Comics #32

There’s lots of Bat-goodness hitting the DC side of new comic shelves this week, and Batman Eternal, BatgirlBirds of Prey, and the rest should be good, but I just can’t wait for the amazing art and surprisingly great story Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are gifting readers within the pages of Detective Comics #32. A new drug has hit the streets of Gotham, and a new villain for Batman to deal with along with it.

Detective Comics 32

DETECTIVE COMICS #32
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
DC Collectibles Bombshells variant cover by ANT LUCIA
1:25 Variant cover by JOE QUINONES
On sale JUNE 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The next great Batman murder-mystery continues to unfold in “Icarus” part three, brought to you by the acclaimed creative team of THE FLASH! Batman is caught in the clutches of the crime boss known as “The Squid” as he digs deeper into a whodunit for the ages!
This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

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Gaumer: Figment #1

Yeah, Figment #1. I’m not a huge fan of the character, or the idea of Marvel even doing a Disney book like this, but I’m looking forward to Figment #1 for one reason and one reason only: Jim Zub. I’m a big fan of his work on the zany fantasy Skullkickers, a book that has a unique style all its very own, and I can’t wait to see what he brings as he takes on a Marvel title. Yeah, it may be a book starring an obscure Disney character, but Zub is definitely a writer to keep an eye on.

Figment #1

FIGMENT #1 (OF 5)
JIM ZUB (WRITER) • FILIPE ANDRADE (ARTIST)
Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
Imagineer Variant Cover by TOM MORRIS
FIGMENT DISNEY VARIANT COVER ALSO AVAILABLE
THE NEXT DISNEY ADVENTURE IS HERE – STARRING ONE OF DISNEY’S MOST IMAGINATIVE CHARACTERS!
• Dive into a steampunk fantasy story exploring the never-before-revealed origin of the inventor known as Dreamfinder, and how one little spark of inspiration created a dragon called Figment.
• What is the Academy Scientifica-Lucidus? Who is Blarion Mercurial? What is the Integrated Mesmonic Spark Convertor? Find out as we give a Marvel spin to Epcot® Theme Park’s mind-expanding attraction, Journey Into Imagination!
• Brought to you by the acclaimed and uniquely talented team of Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and Filipe Andrade (CAPTAIN MARVEL)!
Elements based on Figment © Disney
32 PGS./All Ages …$3.99

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Those are our picks, what’s on the top of your stack this Wednesday?

Comix City Too!This post brought to you by Comix City Too! in Madison Tennessee, Outright Geekery’s local comic shop of choice. Check out everything coming out this week in stores here, and be sure to get out to your local comic shop.

Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: May 7th, 2014

outright-geekery Logo NewNew Comics Wednesday is upon us again, and some of us here at Outright Geekery are running down the top pick on our comic stacks for this week.

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Jules: Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man #1

Brian Michael Bendis has been delivering a Spider-Man tale for my generation since it’s inception at the tail end of the 90’s. This recent reboot comes at a solid time in the Ultimate Universe as the rebuild after 616 Galactus destroyed New Jersey. Now a member the fresh, young Ultimates, how will Miles Morales continue his life and the legacy of Peter Parker the original Ultimate Spider-Man? I’m ready to pick this one up!

Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man 1

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (WRITER) • DAVE MARQUEZ (ARTIST)
Variant Cover by FIONA STAPLES
Variant Cover by Brandon Peterson
PART ONE OF THE BIGGEST SPIDER-MAN STORY OF THE YEAR “REVIVAL”!
• MILES is back in action with a new status quo and a new outlook on life!
• A BIG BIG BIG villain from PETER PARKER’s past is alive and well and about to turn New York upside down!
• The last page will have ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN fans SCREAMING!
• This issue can’t be missed!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

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Taylor: She-Hulk #4

She-Hulk has been the most pleasant surprise of the year for me, and I’m looking forward to this new issue. With the promise of a showdown with Dr Doom, it’ll be interesting to see how Charles Soule keeps up his blend of super-heroics and legal intrigue. Should be fun!

She-Hulk 4

SHE-HULK #4
CHARLES SOULE (WRITER) • JAVIER PULIDO (ARTIST)
Cover by KEVIN P. WADA
• Jen’s new client Kristoff Vernard has been kidnapped by his dad, DOCTOR DOOM!
• What does fellow lawyer (and recently outted Man Without Fear) MATT MURDOCK know about it?
• It’s an international jailbreak, She-Hulk Style, as Charles Soule (INHUMANITY) and Javier Pulido (HAWKEYE) take us to Latverian soil!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

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Christian: Detective Comics #31

Another week, another issue of Batman, but this time it’s not Eternal or vs. Bane, it’s the tour de force of art known as Detective Comics by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato. The job this dynamic duo did on The Flash was special, but the seeing them work on the Bat last ish was an amazing thing to behold. Can’t wait to get into this comic come Wednesday!

Detective Comics 31
DETECTIVE COMICS #31
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
1:25 BATMAN ‘66 variant cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
On sale MAY 7 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for details.
Death comes to Wayne Manor – and the number one suspect is Bruce Wayne! In order to solve this mystery, Batman’s investigations will lead him to the mysterious man known as Sumo!

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Gaumer: The New 52 – Futures End #1

Yes this is just a really big What If? sort of book, yes it’s a weekly investment, and yes I wish they’d punctuate better (of maybe it’s a bunch of futures ending??), but the FCBD #0 issue of this series really got me going, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Batman Beyond travels back in the day to stop Brother Eye from putting the Borg on the entire DCU. This one is going to be fun!

Futures End

THE NEW 52 – FUTURES END #1
Written by KEITH GIFFEN, DAN JURGENS, BRIAN AZZARELLO and JEFF LEMIRE
Art by PATRICK ZIRCHER
Cover by RYAN SOOK
1:50 Variant cover by JOHN ROMITA, JR. and KLAUS JANSON
On sale MAY 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
Five years from now, the DC Universe is reeling from a war with another Earth, leaving the world unprepared for an approaching evil that threatens to destroy the future. Can a time-traveling Batman Beyond help a massive cast of the DCU’s finest avert the impending apocalypse? Find out in this new weekly series that will forever alter the direction of The New 52! In this debut issue of The New 52’s weekly series, Batman Beyond arrives five years later! Grifter turns against humanity! And a Justice League member DIES!

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Jesse: Nailbiter #1

Image Comics has been hitting the shelves really hard with number 1’s lately, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The publisher adores topics and stories that the Big 2 won’t touch with a 10-foot pole, and my pick this week is a testament to that fact. Serial killers solving crimes isn’t anything new, but when Scott Snyder says something is a great idea, you listen and listen hard.

Nailbiter 1

NAILBITER #1
story: JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art / cover: MIKE HENDERSON
MAY 7 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $2.99
JOSHUA WILLIAMSON & MIKE HENDERSON deliver a mystery that mixes Twin Peaks with the horror of Se7en!
Buckaroo, Oregon has given birth to sixteen of the vilest serial killers in the world. An obsessed FBI profiler investigating the town has suddenly gone missing, and now an NSA Agent must work with the notorious serial killer Edward “Nailbiter” Warren to find his friend and solve the mystery of “Where do serial killers come from?”
“If Josh died I wish he’d leave NAILBITER to me in his will so I could say it was my idea.” — Scott Snyder (SEVERED, Batman, American Vampire)

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Those are our picks, what’s on the top of your stack this Wednesday?

Comix City Too!This post brought to you by Comix City Too! in Madison Tennessee, Outright Geekery’s local comic shop of choice. Check out everything coming out this week in stores here, and be sure to get out to your local comic shop.

Review: Detective Comics #30

Detective Comics #30

DETECTIVE COMICS #30
Written by BRIAN BUCCELLATO and FRANCIS MANAPUL
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
On sale APRIL 2
32 pg
$3.99 US
RATED T

Way back when DC Comics first unleashed The New 52 upon the comic community I tried a lot of books that I otherwise may not have even looked twice at. This was one of the compelling aspects of the entire relaunch, and although I missed out on quite a bit of greatness, picked up some garbage that was quickly dropped, and have had my fair share of cancellation disappointments, I found some gems that I otherwise never would have picked up. The most noteworthy of this bunch was The Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato. While the story in this team’s previous work was never outstanding, the work on art was always a tour de force of brilliance, and I expected the same with the team’s latest offering, Detective Comics. Although the story in this ish is starting better than anything I saw in The Flash, this team still isn’t quite there when it comes to writing, but thankfully the art is so damned good it doesn’t really matter.

The Good

As I previously mentioned, the art in this title is amazing. Manapul and Bccellato are artists at heart, and it comes through in spades on each and every panel. From the single panel shots to the full page spreads, the emotion, design, and consistency are beautifully sculpted in wonderfully detailed fashion. The tour de force of artistic talent that was THE defining quality of The Flash remains the shining facet of this gem a of comic, although the story was fairly entertaining. Characters and villains were introduced very nicely, the plot threads being spun are kind of interesting even at this early stage, and the writers really seem to have a firm handle on The New 52 version of Batman, but the story was by no means perfect.

The Bad

Although the washed-out watercolors used in this ish aren’t usually my cup of tea, I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the art whatsoever. The watercolors worked for me! The story, however, is another story. Although it’s a well-told tale of the Batman, it is a Batman story we’ve read at least a hundred time before. Bruce Wayne makes business deal; Batman stops criminal gang; the two worlds cross paths. Yeah, that again! Maybe things will become a bit less derivative later, but, in a Batman book living in a world full of “different” Batman books, it very well may not. Although the characters used to “retell” this story are depicted well, they just aren’t really all that compelling to begin with, leaving me questioning some of the overall creative choices that were made. That DOES kind of make the story compelling in it’s own unique way, and I kind of want to see where/when/if these odd choices come into play, but not enough to for this writing to swing the book one way or another.

The Verdict

Manapul and Buccellato have delivered another beautiful piece of comic book art, but their story, while adequate, just doesn’t live up to the same quality. They’ve certainly got a much better handle on Batman than they had on The Flash, but this early start to this team’s brand new run on Detective Comics stumbles quite a bit in the writing out of the gate. It’s not a complete wash, though, and the writing is good enough to keep me interested, but I’d come back for that art every time, even with half as good a story.

Writing: 2.5 Out of 5
Art: 5 Out of 5
Overall: 4 Out of 5

Geeks’ Picks for New Comics: April 2nd, 2014

outright-geekery profile-largeNew Comics Wednesday is upon us again, and some of us here at Outright Geekery are running down our top pick on comic stacks for this week.

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Jules: Inhuman #1

Charles Soule is running a hot hand in a dice game and I’m really looking forward to his next roll. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Inhumans, Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee really provided one of the best tellings of Marvel’s Strangest Family! In the wake of Inhumanity which seems almost forgotten now here stands the old and new Inhumans after the fall of Attilan. All that aside Joe Madureira’s art is solid and it’s gonna rad for this title!

Inhuman

INHUMAN #1
CHARLES SOULE – W
JOE MADUREIRA  – A/C
Variant Cover by Humberto Ramos
VARIANT Cover by J. Scott Campbell
VARIANT Cover by Milo Manara
Design VARIANT by JOE MADUREIRA
Blank Cover Variant Also Available
RESOLICITATION!
The newest super heroes of the Marvel Universe are born! A cloud of Terrigen mist is moving around the world turning regular people into Inhumans with amazing powers. But not everyone thinks this is a good thing. Discover the secret history of the Marvel Universe and get in at the ground floor of the next big Marvel franchise!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

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Gaumer: Detective Comics #30

This is the one I’ve been waiting for! The creative team that made The Flash one of my favorite monthly titles is back, on a Batman book, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I have no idea what the story is going to be about, and I don’t really care. I’m getting this for simple reason: Mind-blowing art! That’s what gave The Flash so much appeal for so many months, and I’m hoping beyond hope that the creative team follows through on this title. It’s on the top of my stack this week.

Detective Comics 30

DETECTIVE COMICS #30
Written by BRIAN BUCCELLATO and FRANCIS MANAPUL
Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
1:25 MAD Variant cover
On sale APRIL 2 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for details.
A bold new direction for DETECTIVE COMICS as THE FLASH creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelato take over the creative reins! Batman finds himself knee-deep in a new mystery involving a deadly new narcotic that has hit the streets of Gotham City.

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Taylor: Black Widow #5

This issue brings us a first in the relaunched series as we finally have a continuing story arc to read through. The art on this book has been a feast for the eyes every month, and I’m glad that the story is finally getting a chance to lay out some roots. Here’s hoping!

Black Widow 5

BLACK WIDOW #5
NATHAN EDMONDSON – W • Phil NOTO – A/C
• Paris, London, Montenegro. Natasha is in a race against time, under the shadow of the hammer…
• A dark plot threatens Europe, and even SHIELD doesn’t know who’s behind it…
• With nowhere to turn for answers, Natasha has no choice but to ask THE RAVEN for help…
32 PGS./Rated T+ …3.99

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Bonus Picks

Ultimate Spider-Man #200

Brian Michael Bendis hits a milestone with this issue, having been the only writer on this title since it first launched in the late 90s. Alongside side just about every artist who has graced the title! This is a really step forward in the continuation of the Ultimate legacy as the current Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales stands with the friends and family of the fallen Peter Parker as they take a serious look back at the life of the first Ultimate Spider-Man. Something I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Ultimate Spider-Man 200

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #200
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS – W
DAVE MARQUEZ, MARK BAGLEY, MARK BROOKS, STUART IMMONEN AND DAVID LAFUENTE – A
Cover A BY MARK BAGLEY
Cover B BY DAVID MARQUEZ
• The world mourns on the anniversary of Peter Parker’s death
• A gathering of Spidey’s friends and foes reveal some shocking truths about Peter and his world
• One of the biggest surprise endings of the year!
48 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+ …$4.99

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Those are our picks, what’s on the top of your stack in comic shops this Wednesday?

Comix City Too!This post brought to you by Comix City Too! in Madison Tennessee, Outright Geekery’s local comic shop of choice. Check out everything coming out this week in stores here, and be sure to get out to your local comic shop.

Previews Issue 305: February 2014 for April 2014

Batman LegacySpiderman

Whether you call it the Comic Shop’s Catalogue or the Best Bathroom Reading in the World, the monthly edition of Previews is just as much a part of my regular geek reading as the comics it solicits. Outright Geekery takes a look into the near future (no TARDIS required) as we touch on some of the highlights of this month’s Previews.

Marvel Comics

Original SinThe House of Ideas Summer 2014 event du jour is Original Sin and the whole thing kicks off in April with a #0 issue. I don’t like Summer events, I’m not particularly excited about the plot of The Watcher being murdered, and I detest #0 issues, especially for events. Not something I’m looking forward to, but it’s going to be huge. Marvel is pushing it hard but there comes a point where you just have to skip an event or two, and Original Sin is one I will be skipping. What I won’t be skipping is another new beginning for a fan-favorite.

One Spider-Man ends and another begins…again! Peter Parker is back, and the Superior Spider-Man is gone. Dan Slott has told a really fun and different kind of story with Superior Spider-Man and I have to admit I’m going to miss it when it’s gone. While I’m still not sold that yet another big change for Spider-Man won’t ultimately be more of the same, Amazing Spider-Man #1 relaunching in April has been a very long time coming.

There’s a lot of #1’s dropping this month as part of All-New Marvel NOW! and as part of What If Age of Ultronthe Ultimate line’s latest in a string of reboots, but I wanted to put a focus on a series of What If? titles dropping throughout the month, What If? Age of Ultron. Seeing as how the entire concept of the “real” Age of Ultron event was all about alternate realities brought on by time-travel, it’s entirely possible that each of these alternate versions of the story ACTUALLY took place in some other universe. It’s all quite mind-boggling and gives me a headache whenever I try to think about it, but Age of Ultron started a chain of events that will culminate in something big happening years down the road. They probably aren’t mandatory reading, but the experience may have a nice payoff down the road. Keep an eye out for this one to not suck as bad as you think it may.

DC Comics

The postForever Evil fallout hits the DCU and there’s almost too many books to list. I guess they really did mean FOREVER when they said Forever Evil.

Aquaman and The OthersThe fans asked for it and DC listened! Aquaman and The Others is an actual thing, and it hits shelves on April 2nd. Aquaman is the joke turned superstar, and it shows as he gets his very own team-book full of some truly intriguing characters. If only Wednesday fell on 1st, because the joke isn’t on ole Fishface anymore, it’s on us, the readers, and, unfortunately, our wallets. Dan Jurgens is on writing duties, and I have full faith he’ll do a great job, and Lan Medina’s pencils shined on Fables, so I am really stoked to see what they bring to a team and a backstory that Geoff Johns really only hinted at in the Aquaman book proper. Make room on your pull-lists, geeks! This is going to be a good one.

While the announcement of a 4-issue Batman weekly series, Batman: Eternal, hitting stores throughout the month is big news, I’m way more excited to see that my favorite Flash creative team in the whole wide world will be taking over duties on Detective Comics starting with issue #30. Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul made Flash a go-to book for me each and every month, and I’m excited to see them wave their wands and pull the trick off again.

I’ll throw an extra one in here for DC because their Vertigo Press line has a great little book that they are releasing quarterly called, beleive it or not, Vertigo Quarterly. The first issue, dropping all the way on April 30th, includes 11+ creators including Jock, James Tynion IV, and Fabian Moon, and promises to tell stories revolving around the color blue, as the name of the ish, Cyan #1, suggests. At $7.99 for 80 pages it’s a hell of a deal. Look out for it.

Image Comics

New from Image this month is Southern Bastards issue #1 from Jason Aaron as he rejoins his Scalped partner Jason Latour for some Southern Fired Stereotypes. Should be fun, and I’m a fan of Aaron’s work. Might give this a chance.

Issue #111 of Invincible, the long running superhero title from The Walking Dead writer and all-around punching bag, Robert Kirkman, promises big changes. Well, it’s about damn time Kirkman! Invincible has been getting worse by the month when it comes out on time. It’s good to see much need attention going to a book that has been slipping.

Shutter 1Finally from Image Comics, comes Shutter #1 by writer Joe Keatinge. Never heard of him? Well, there’s really no reason that you should have, but he’s gotten some work on other Indie press and he’s writing the aforementioned What If: Age of Ultron title from Marvel, and I just have a really good feeling about this guy. The book promises to be “Indiana Jones for the 21st Century” but I’m not letting that turn me off from what my gut tells me is going to be a cool introduction to a writer with a ton of promise. Leila del Luca is on art, and while I have even less experience with her work that I do the writer, but I’m still grabbing this title when it drops April 9th.

Indie Press

Caliban 1Garth Ennis continues his reign of terror over at Avatar Press with the new sci-fi/horror Caliban, and it’s sure to be a gore-fest. Interstellar disaster and an unplanned rendezvous with an alien spacecraft brings a new kind of fear to the crew of the Caliban. It’s gonna be scary, I’m pretty excited!

Takeoff hit Batman ’66 writer Jeff Parker brings the past back to life with Flash Gordon #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. This is the perfect sort of book for Parker, and if his style with this storied character is anything like his Batman ’66 work this will be one to look out for.

Merch

Nova Corps T-Shirt

I’ve seen tons of superhero t-shirts in my day but it’s nice to see the Nova Corps getting some love. Nova himself is always getting his likeness plastered on a lunchbox or something, but I like to see the whole team getting some attention.

Green Dragon Dagger

No toy collection would be complete without this replica Green Power Ranger Dragon Dagger from the original Power Rangers show. Light and sound effects are built-in, but, sorry, it’s not an actual musical instrument. Still, I’d love to have one on display in the Geek Den.

Kill Bill Minimates

In their attempt to include each and every license under their umbrella of miniature toy figure domination, MiniMates brings us the 10th Anniversary Box Set of Kill Bill MiniMates, House of Blue Leaves. Pretty cool.

That’s it for Previews this month. Pick one up at your local comics shop, or check them out here,  and share your favs in the comments!

All-In Review: The Flash, Volume 4

Flash_ 1 Cover

DC Comics New 52 revamp hit the scene in 2011 with a completely new take on some of the best characters in comics. While there were many surefire winners among the bunch before a single New 52 comic landed on store shelves, many more started out needing to prove themselves to readers. A noteworthy member of the latter group was The Flash, and it was difficult to really get an idea of how good the title would be in this brave New 52 world because the creators given the title were, in a word, untested. Writers/Artists Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato may have shown some chops on art in other DC books, and writing prowess on some Indie offerings, but taking the reins of one of the most well-known and beloved characters in all of comics is a different animal altogether. Without a doubt, however, The Flash quickly became one of the standout books in all of the New 52, and, with Manapul and Buccellato leaving the book with issue 25, it’s a good time to take a look at the entire Manapul/Buccellato run (pun intended) on The Flash, and, man, was it a great ride!

The GoodThe Flash Intro

The art on this title was some of the best stuff DC was putting out from month to month. Francis Manapul’s work on pencils was consistently a tour de force.While the title pages of each and every issue offer brilliant examples of just how good the art on this title was, Manapul’s sketches spotlight just how amazing a job these two did. The Flash Title Page The Flash Francis Manapul SketchThese creators simply understood The Flash on every level. The speed of the character screams off of each and every page, and, really, isn’t that what we want from this character? Not only was the art always on point, but the line-up of Flash characters was bountiful and simultaneously gave long-time Flash fanboys exactly what they expected out of a Flash comic, while giving brand-new readers an easy to handle, spot-on concise, entry into the life of Barry Allen. We got great glimpses of Barry’s troubled past, and the fire that burns inside him that keeps him fighting for justice. We got a whole lot of the Flash-family, and most of the motley crew of friends and villains were highlighted. But best of all, we got to see some great takes on some tried and true (some may say “tired and overused”) aspects of the character’s life, and new spins on powers and the Speed Force itself made for some great story-telling.

The Bad

The Flash Grodd While the creators certainly put the focus on art, and although the stories told were not in any way terrible, there was always a feeling that the stories being told were lacking in some way. Perhaps it had to do with so much being thrown into the title over the two years Manapul and Buccellato were on the book, as they included not only Captain Cold but his entire team of Rogues, Gorilla Grodd, and Reverse Flash among others, but also built much of the story around Barry’s pals, like Iris, Patty, and others. They spent so much time including as many Flash characters as possible that the stories built around those characters suffered. Yeah, we got all those characters that we so wanted to see, but we never really got the full story behind those characters. I would have loved to see less characters and more stories The Flash Reverse Flashabout those characters. This direction taken by the creators suggests they used the introduction of timeless characters to The New 52 Flash-verse as a crutch to help carry the title in lieu of actually building a more solid story. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing Grodd, Reverse Flash, Iris, Patty and the rest of the characters associated with The Flash, but I honestly would have liked to see them do more.

The Verdict

While this run may not go down as one of the most eventful runs of The Flash, it will definitely go down as one of the best, if not THE best, work on art Flash has ever seen. Surely that’s because the art team was also doing the writing on the title, and the art was the first and foremost responsibility of the creative team, and, while that story doesn’t live up to expectations, the art more than makes up for any failings in that department. This run on The Flash is a feast for the eyes, which is the primary draw for this book. Now that this team has been replaced by a more traditional writer/artist team the “art before story” method of creating will surely change, so, if you’re looking for a better Flash story, you may want to wait. But, if you are looking for the hands-down best work on art Flash has ever seen you should pick up this run in trades. The story utilizes enough characters and story ideas to keep a reader interested and informed, but even if this run didn’t have a single word balloon or word of text, it would still be a fantastic addition to any comic book lovers collection just because the work on art is that damned good. While it may not go down as one of the best Flash stories in even recent memory, the first two years of The Flash Volume 4 will go down as some of the best artwork in the history of the character.