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Giant Size Graphic Breakdown: A Most Excellent Week of Releases

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown. This week for comic books was truly excellent. No time to waste, let’s go!

ad-book1_cvr(A.D.) After Death: Book One 

Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Jeff Lemire
Published by Images Comics

I loved this book. Scott Snyder has written a book that is so freaking cool, I want to read the rest. Like now. Make it happen. This was supposed to be a graphic novel. I wish it was so I could read it all at once.

This is a tough book to quantify or even sum up. But I will try. Sometime after the cure for death has been found, one man tries to find what comes next. It’s a heady concept for a book but Snyder makes it sing. It is smart and unique.

Snyder is one of the few writers out there who will push himself to make something he hasn’t before. He isn’t afraid to fail. He pushed himself into a new realm here. It’s good. Intelligent. And literary.

Lemire hasn’t been this good since…maybe ever. He creates a hell of a look for this book. Give this a shot. And good on the two of them for pushing themselves to create something like nothing else out there.

RATING: A+

 

aqm_cv8_dsAquaman #8 

Written by Dan Abnett 
Illustrated by Scot Eaton
Published by DC Comics

I think DC should just settle on one artist for this book. I know Brad Walker loves the character but his output, while great, is not very frequent.

Consider Scot Eaton! The man who shows up and does a capable job, time in and time out. This book needs consistency as it hardly has any artistically this entire run.

The story isn’t half bad. It just doesn’t feel important. I loved issue six. I keep hoping for more of that.

Abnett is proving to be a good writer for these titles, both on here and Titans. I didn’t think he had it in him. He does and I’m glad to be proven wrong.

Not too shabby.

RATING: B-

 

deadmanDeadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 

Written by Sarah Vaughn
Illustrated by Lan Medina
Published by DC Comics

Where the heck did this title come from?

I love Deadman! And I love romance comics! And I love horror! Sarah Wright blends this all together for one hell of a great comic book.

A woman moves into a mansion with her husband. She can see ghosts but does not tell anyone. Deadman arrives at the house as he’s been called there.

And fun ensues.

This is so well written I cannot contain myself. Sarah Vaughn, you have written one of the best of the year.

I love this title. And Lan Medina kills it on art. KILLS IT. Not going to lie I read this twice. It’s awesome. Creepy. And just wonderful.

Deadman is one of those characters that, when done right, is stunning. This is stunning. I’m only sad it’s a limited series.

RATING: A+

 

bm_cv8_dsBatman #8 

Written by Steve Orlando
Story by Tom King and Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo
Published by DC Comics

“Night of the Monster Men” is just cool.

I love the art on this by Rossmo. The story by Orlando is wacky. I can’t wait to read it all together.

The design work here impresses especially as does the fast paces no-nonsense story.

Orlando will be a special writer coming up, mark my words.

Looking for a fun Batman Family tale?

Pick this up.

Well done entertaining thrills through and through.

RATING: B

 

tdohkm_cv1_dsDeath of Hawkman #1

Written by Marc Andreyko
Illustrated by Aaron Lopresti
Published by DC Comics

Hawkman and Adam Strange are two heroes that DC can’t seem to get right.

Maybe this mini-series will do it! Maybe not!

It’s hard to tell from the first issue. It’s not a badly written story at all. It just doesn’t pick up as quickly as one would hope. But I refuse to give up on Andreyko! He seems to have a story in mind so let’s see what he’s got.

The art is better than most of Lopresti’s usual artwork. Some panels are truly beautiful to look at.

The biggest problem this title may face is the fact that Hawkman has died so many times it’s hard to take seriously.

Still, let’s give it a chance!

RATING: B-

 

stcg_cv1_dsShade The Changing Girl #1 

Written by Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated by Marley Zarcone
Published by DC Comics

I’m not sure I understood just what the hell I read here, but I am damned fascinated by it.

I felt that way about the original series. So maybe that’s a good thing?

The Young Animal imprint continues to be fascinatingly weird. And that’s good! The story feels delightfully wonky.

Again, I can’t put it into words what the hell is happening, but that’s okay. I want to see where it goes.

Zarcone is awesome on the art. It’s delightfully pop and weird and strangely sad.

Pick this book up. You may not know what is going on but guessing is half the fun.

This isn’t a comic you read…It’s a comic you experience.

RATING: A

ga_cv8_dsGreen Arrow # 8 

Written by Benjamin Percy
Illustrated by Otto Schmidt
Published by DC Comics

Well, this issue was better than the last few. But honestly, this animated art is starting to wear on me.

I want gritty with my Green Arrow.  Not an animated look.  Still the story is pretty good.

Oliver and Black Canary are the focus of this tale called Island of Scars. The writing serves it’s purpose but maybe this title needs a Rebirth again? I wish there was more to write about but it was just standard.

I want Percy to give me his “Ultimate Green Arrow” tale.

We haven’t seen that yet. And I feel we may be getting farther away from that with each passing issue.

RATING:  C+

hmtc_cv01aHe-Man and Thundercats #1

Written by Rob David and Lloyd Goldfine
Illustrated by Freddie Williams III
Published by DC Comics

In other “Why the hell not?” news comes this title.

I guess if Batman can crossover with the Ninja Turtles anything is possible. I hated myself for liking this so much.

Yes. It’s truly badly written. But I loved every second of it. My 7 year old self would have pissed himself with this title. And pissed himself again.

Freddie Williams III is the one to draw this.

He is so good at these crossovers. Sometimes you just have to enjoy yourself. This is one of those times.

Why the hell not indeed.

RATING: B+

 

27860Chimichanga: Sorrow of the World’s Worst Face #1

Written By Eric Powell
Illustrated by Stephanie Buscema
Published by Dark Horse Comics

I should preface this by saying I didn’t read the previous Chimchanga series.

But the new one is pretty delightful! I am going to track down the previous issues and give them a read.

I’m not sure I got everything going on, but it sees to be about the adventures of a bearded girl in Winkle’s Traveling Circus. It is offbeat for sure.

Powell writes quite like nobody else.

I have always loved Buscema’s art. I love that she is still working. Her art is so cool.

Give this a try. It’s certainly in a class all it’s own.

RATING: B+

 

sm_cv8_dsSuperman #8 

Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Illustrated by Doug Manhke
Published by DC Comics.

I sort of ragged on the Superman titles for a bit as they started off in Rebirth as some of the worst the line had to offer.

They slowly got better.

And now this; what I consider to be one of the best single issues of any comic book of the year.

The premise is simple. Superman, son Jonathan and Krypto gets transported to an island. Turns out they land on Dinosaur Island.

And then comes the nod. The nod to DC’s New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke and it’s so subtle and well done you can’t help but get emotional.

The story is crisp and the art is wonderful. I recommend picking this book up. Read it for yourself. A winner through and through.

RATING: A
AND THE REST:

gls_cv8_ds
Green Lanterns #8 
Written by Sam Humphries 
Illustrated by Ed Benes
Published by DC Comics
I liked this issue. I was lukewarm, on the previous seven but this one is super cool. It’s a Halloween issue. I thought this series may be canceled soon. Maybe not? Good story and art.
RATING: B+

Harley Quinn #5
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Illustrated by John Timms
Published by DC Comics.
I said it before and I’ll say it again: If you are a fan of Harley Quinn you’ll love this title. And it’s a good time. If you are not move on now.
RATING: B

Justice League #6 
Written by Bryan Hitch 
Illustrated by Matthew Clark and Tom Derenick
Published by DC Comics
State of Fear begins here! It’s better than the previous arc and starts off strong. I hope this title continues like this. The first five issues were bland. This one?
RATING: B

Nightwing #6
Written by Steve Orlando 
Story by Tom King and Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Roge Antonio

Published by DC Comics
“Night of the Monster Men” rages on! More Fun! More excitement! I love this crossover. It’s well done.
RATING: B

Flintstones #4 
Written by Mark Russell 
Illustrated by Steve Pugh
Published by DC Comics
I feel bad giving this an F. The people behind it seemed to have been working really hard on this. So I’ll give it a D-.  It’s just unbearable however.
RATING: D-

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