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Giant-Size Graphic Breakdown: It’s The Best Week Of DC Comics Releases in 2016!

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday…now let’s get back to comic books!

 

All Star Batman #5 
Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by John Romita Jr.
Published by DC Comics

This is the final chapter of the first storyline of this title. Man, what a beginning. Scott Snyder wrote one heck of a story arc, and it was a thrill to read from start to finish. Man, what a joy. He has such affection for Batman, and it shows on every page he writes.

Batman, Duke and Two-Face square off in a fight for Harvey Dent’s soul. With assassins flooding in from across the countryside, Batman learns that even his most trusted allies might choose evil over good.

I like John Romita Jr. and he does pretty decent work here. I feel as I’ve said before, this would have been a stronger story if Declan Shalvey (who drew the backups) did the art.

Romita does a capable job, but it has a few “been there, done that moments.” Still, it’s a great package overall and the ending is very satisfying.

Pick it up! A great story to end the year with!

RATING: A-

 

Batgirl #6   
Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque
Published by DC Comics

This was another nice year end surprise. I had thought last issue was Albuquerque’s last issue…but lo and behold he is the artist on this issue as well.

It’s the epilogue of the Beyond Burnside storyline and it’s very good!

On what should be a relaxing flight back home, Babs finds herself and her fellow passengers in mortal peril from…Poison Ivy?

Batgirl must get to the bottom of Ivy’s attack and save the plane if she ever wants to see home again!

The story by Larson is quite inventive. I enjoyed the little nooks and crannies of it. It shows this title has a lot of promise.

The sad thing is that she and Albuquerque are really finally getting a groove. Hopefully they can reunite on this title or on something else down the line. It’s certainly something worth thinking about.

RATING: B+

 

The Flash #13
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Neil Googe
Published by DC Comics

Another great surprise this week! The last few issues have been languishing, but this one picks right up and has one hell of a last page! I’m excited! If Williamson can keep this up, we could seriously be back on track. Exciting stuff indeed!

It’s holiday season in Central City and Barry Allen goes on a date with a brand new sweetheart. But things never go as planned for The Flash, who finds himself saddled with an unexpected wingman.

This issue is fun. The art is a tad too cartoony for me (Googe can and has done better), but hey.

The story is much much better than it has been again…so let’s keep it going! There’s no reason why not!

RATING: B+

 

Deathstroke #9 
Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Cary Nord
Published by DC Comics

How does the best DC title get even better?

You put Cary Nord on the art duties.

Holy Hannah! Nord has developed into being one of the best artists and storytellers we currently have, and he is very underrated. Here, we see him start off a new arc, and it’s damn good art.

This story is called “FOUR DAYS” part one! After Deathstroke’s family is shattered, Slade recalls the first time he and Wintergreen worked together—on a mission that changed both of their lives forever.

Priest writes another one hell of a script. And Nord of course kills it on art.

This is only a two issue arc. It’s a shame. That being said the regular art team aren’t a bunch of slouches either.

Every issue of Deathstroke this year has been amazing. Year two promises even more. I can’t wait.

RATING: A

 

Frostbite # 4 
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander
Published by DC Comics

Frostbite has been one of the neatest debuts of the current year. The story has me intrigued from page to page and issue to issue. Williamson has written one of the more interesting sci-fi comics in awhile and it’s pretty damn exciting.
V]ic has a bounty on her head, and everyone out on the ice is looking to collect. After narrowly escaping the latest attempt on her life, she and Keaton hide away in a remote cabin where the previous inhabitants died of Frostbite. Little do they know, however, that Fuego’s thugs are just about to knock on their door.

This book is well written for sure. The art is a standout here too, however.

The images that come in are gorgeous, issue to issue. I can’t get enough of them. I am loving this book. Two more issues to go, but I’m at the edge of my seat.

RATING: A

 

Dark Knight 3: The Master Race #7
Written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello
Illustrated by Andy Kubert and Frank Miller
Published by DC Comics

The miniseries that never seems to end has another issue! And it’s very good! Let’s hope it can finish sometime in 2017…I’m forgetting what is happening! Still, it’s very good!

Batman and Superman are joined together to fight against an evil that threatens to destroy our world. But Bruce Wayne appears to be dead! Will that stop Batman?

It’s an interesting twist how they get out of this. But Miller and Azzarello have a great time and have written a cool script. It’s crazy bananas nuts. But I love it. Kubert does a great job on the art too. And Miller does a great art job as always on the minicomics.

All in all, it’s great. But it would be even better if they can finish it before 2018! I want to read the whole thing together!

RATING: A-

 

Mother Panic #2 
Written by Jody Houser
Illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards
Published by DC Comics

One of the best books in the Young Animal line is this title. It’s weird, and strangely thrilling. I loved the first issue and reread it in preparation for this issue. I’m glad I did. It was pretty awesome overall.

Mother Panic is on the hunt, which means Violet Paige is out on the town, making a splash among Gotham City’s elite. But what role do missing kids play in her thirst for vengeance? And what does her target have to do with the mysterious death of her father?

One of the coolest things on this title is Edwards on the art. When he leaves, I’ll be really sad. What is going on here is very special. Houser is doing great on the scripts, but it’s the collaboration that makes it sing.

Stellar work.

RATING: A

 

Titans #6 
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Brett Booth
Published by DC Comics

This issue was damn awesome too!

Featuring a Wally West “out of time” story, this title really kicked it up a notch yet again.

I loved the entire issue. It’s fast, and it is dramatic.

And that’s all you need!

After making the ultimate sacrifice for his friends, Wally West finds himself lost in the Speed Force with no hope of return!

Has Wally’s run come to a sudden end?

Abnett writes a good tale. This arc was a fast paced, lightning fast, enjoyable read. Booth is just an artist that is awesome. The last page again is great for sure and a surprise.

I’m excited about the next arc.

RATING: B+

 

Detective Comics #947 
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez
Published by DC Comics

The Victim Syndicate storyline wraps up here and it’s another win for DC this week. This may be their best week yet, and it’s a hell of a way to finish out the year.

Has the First Victim succeeded in dividing and conquering Batman’s team?

The final attack will come from someone they’d all put their faith in…

The issue actually moves the Watchmen storyline a little farther here…and thank god. DC needs to get on that or people will lose interest.

The writing is decent and the art was great! This was overall very good.

A great last few pages again. I’m happy with where this title is going.

RATING: B+

 

Harley’s Little Black Book #5   
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Illustrated by Neal Adams
Published by DC Comics

This has been a good Harley Quinn year. And what a way to end it. Neal Adams does the art for this and it’s a send up of his famous Superman Vs Muhammad Ali issue. What great fun.

There’s not a lot to say about this except that eventually Superman fights Harley Quinn in a boxing ring and it’s a hell of a good time!

Connor and Palmiotti write a cool story, and it’s been a great year for them.

Adams does the best work he has done in years. I applaud his work here….he’s been working in the business for over fifty years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Good for him.

RATING: A-

 

Batman Beyond #3
Written by Dan Jurgens
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
Published by DC Comics

This has been a fine title thus far.

Dan Jurgens really has taken the bull by the horns with this book and ran with it. The results are pretty well fantastic. This is working very well.

Batman wades through the Jokerz gang and finally squares off against Terminal, their would-be ruler. But how much does he have left to take on this deadliest of foes?

And finally, the moment his followers have been waiting for—the comatose Joker awakens!

The art is pretty damn cool and well suited to the comic.

I love this team and the way this book is coming out.

Let’s keep it going into the new year!

RATING: B+

 

And the rest of the DC titles….


Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #11 

Written by Robert Venditti and Illustrated by Rafa Sandoval
The Bottled Light story continues…and it’s fairly dull. A shame. If they wanted to improve this title in the new year, they should get a new creative team on it.
RATING: C-

Future Quest #8   
Written by Jeff Parker and Illustrated by Ariel Olivetti
This series has been pretty good…and then they put a guest artist spot by Ariel Olivetti in this issue. They kicked it up a notch here to finish the year and I just love it. Thumbs up!
RATING: A

Clean Room #15 
Written by Gail Simone and Illustrated by Sanya Anwar
I haven’t really read this series but it’s fairly solid. The writing is good and the art decent…I will catch up with it at some point but for now, I liked what I read.
RATING: B

 

Supergirl: Being Super #1 
Written by Mariko Tamaki and Illustrated by Joelle Jones
Holy crap! This was totally awesome! I got this not expecting too much and they completely knocked it out of the park for me!! Tamaki is one of the best writers out there and Jones one of the best artists. I had no idea they were working together, let alone on this comic. Pick it up! It’s awesome!!
RATING: A

Teen Titans #3 
Written by Benjamin Percy and Illustrated by Khoi Pham
I’m not a huge fan of this title. It just feels slight in comparison to the other books being published. A rather unexciting story with okay art. Not a must buy.
RATING: C

Six Pack and Dog Welder #5
Written by Garth Ennis and Illustrated by Russ Braun
Published by DC Comics
This little series has been a lot of fun with a few laughs. Ennis knows his audience and writes towards them. The results are less than they’ve been in the last but still great fun. The art is decent as well. Worth a read.
RATING: B

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