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‘DC Nation #0’ (review)

DC Nation #0
Written by Tom King, Brian Michael Bendis
Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV,
Joshua Williamson
Art by Clay Mann, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez,
Jorge Jimenez, Dexter Vines, Jordie Bellaire,
Alex Sinclair, Alejandro Sanchez
Published by DC Comics
Released 5/2/18 / 25 Cents

 

Happy May! Welcome to summer 2018, and the kick off of a new season of creative excitement in the DCU. And just in time for Free Comic Book Day, DC Nation #0 hits the stands this week with a glimpse of what’s to come.

Sharing a name with the Cartoon Network’s two year-run of animated shorts featuring DC characters, DC Nation offers a showcase of short stories featuring favorite characters and top talent.

To start things off, we’re treated to three stories from the creators of some of the most anticipated runs of the summer.

By and large, it’s a good tease for what we’re in for, and a nice opportunity for the teams to show their stuff.

First up Tom King reunites with artist Clay Mann to tell a little whack of a gem featuring the Joker.

The wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle is all the buzz this year, and it seems Batman’s arch-nemesis has gotten wind of it himself. Now he’s just waiting for his invitation. King and Mann play off each other perfectly, to show what happens when the Joker includes one unlucky soul with whom to share his innermost thoughts, in a day of the demented stage-play of his life.

Humorous and also very creepy, you can’t help leave this story without wondering what exactly Tom King has in store for the wedding day. (Presuming, that is, Bruce Wayne still lives in a timeline that even has a wedding day. Good luck Booster.)

Brian Michael Bendis pens his second Superman story for the next piece up. Or maybe I should say his first Clark Kent story. Bendis has made no secret that he has plans for the Daily Planet in his upcoming Man of Steel run, and here we get our first view of what that may mean.

One of Bendis’ great strengths of course is dialogue, and not surprisingly that’s a good fit for life at the Daily Planet. The excellent pencils of Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez lends the piece a classic DC look, and the combo makes for a fine piece of comic art that bodes well for Bendis’ run. If anything, his style seems to work better with DC than it did with Marvel. This is classic Superman stuff, but of course there are new elements at play too that are both more modern, and by the look of it, more sinister.

Let’s not forget that ‘truth’ is the beginning of that classic line, “For truth, justice, and the American Way.” Heads up Supes.

And finally, there’s the Justice League.

And friends.

We’re all aware that Scott Snyder is about to take the helm of what is bound to be a mind-bending era for the Justice League, and for the next several weeks he, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson will be shaking out the status quo of the DCU with their 4-part Justice League: No Justice crossover. Featuring core members of the Titans teams, as well as a select roster of the mystical and the villainous, the Justice League is facing down a threat from beyond the edge of the known universe, that promises to change their own.

It’s hard to do a lead-in to that, so the writers have selected instead to plunk us right down into the middle of the action, with a several panel spread of each team, that serves to introduce us to the characters that comprise them, on the off-chance you’re not aware of them already. I’m not sure that’s the ideal way to promo the series, but it’s a damn good showcase, and the work of artist Jorge Jimenez here is an excellent prelude to the mayhem Francis Manapul is sure to have well in hand throughout the series. He certainly does a great job of giving us our first view of Mystery, Wonder, Wisdom and Entropy – the giant deadly cosmic gods that are one of the most creative cosmological backstories for a comics universe I’ve ever heard of.

Looking good fellas. Looking forward to more.

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