Sunday, January 19, 2020

I Reads You Juniors January 2020 - Update #52

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Leroy's Amazon Comics and Graphic Novels Page:

From BleedingCool:  The 100 most ordered comics ("Doomsday Clock #12) and grapic novels ("House of X'/"Powers of X" hardcover collection) of December 2019.

From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics' upcoming series, "Children of the Atom," introduces a new class of teen mutants.

COMICS TO TV - From Deadline:  "The Walking Dead: World Beyond," the second spin-off of "The Walking Dead," is scheduled to debut April 12, 2020.

From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics will republish its classic and seminal graphic novel, "God Loves, Man Kills" ("Marvel Graphic Novel #5), as a two-issue miniseries, beginning April 2020.  The original storytellers, writer Chris Claremont and artist Brent Anderson, will create a new story for the miniseries, which will act as a modern day framing device.

From Newsarama:   Former "Saturday Night Live" performer, Taran Killam, will writer the three-issue comic book miniseries, "Empyre: Spider-Man."

FILM TO COMICS - From THR:  Dark Horse Comics will adapt the late Dan O'Bannon's original screenplay for the film, "Alien" (1979) as a five-issue comic book miniseries.  They will use O'Bannon's original work, not the screenplay heavily rewritten by producers Walter Hill and David Giler.

COMICS TO TV - From Newsarama:  TNT has released a teaser trailer for its upcoming TV series, "Snowpiercer," which is based on the French comic, "The Escape," which was also adapted into an acclaimed 2013 from director Bong Joon-Ho.  "Snowpiercer" is scheduled to premiere May 31, 2020.

DC TV - From USAToday:  Daniel Lindelof has made it official that he will not work on a second seaxon of his critically acclaimed HBO series, "Watchmen."  And HBO seems unlikely to do a second season with him.

From Newsarama:  Image Comics publisher, Eric Stephenson, says that there are too many comic books being published for comic book stores to handle...

From 2000AD:  Rebellion Publishing has launched a line that will reprint important and popular Judge Dredd comics.  "Essential Judge Dredd" will launch September 2020.

MEMORIAM - From 2000AD:   Longtime British comic book letterer, Ellie deVille, died at the age of 72, Tuesday, December 24, 2019.  She was working up to the time of her death and was one of the longest serving and most prolific letterers for the venerable British comics magazine, "2000 AD."

From CBR:   2015's "Star Wars #1" was the top selling comic book of the last decade.

TRAILER - From Newsarama:  There is a new international trailer for Columbia Pictures' "Bloodshot," which based on the Valiant Comics' character.  The film is due March 13, 2020.

From TVO:  Canadian indie comics publisher, Koyama Press, is closing, so what will that mean to Canadian indie comics artists?

From FastCompany:  Manga artist are among the artists that produced poster art for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

From BleedingCool:  Leah Williams and David Baldeon will revive "X-Factor" for the second wave of "Dawn of X" comic books.

TRAILER - From YouTube:  Here is the first trailer for Sony's "Morbius," which is based on the Marvel Comics character.  The film is due July 31, 2020.

DC CINEMA - From THR:  Wildstorm's acclaimed comic book, "Ex Machina," is headed to the big screen, but reportedly under a new title, "The Great Machine."

DC CINEMA - From Variety:  "Joker" becomes the second film based on a comic book to earned a best picture Oscar nomination.  That it was of 11 nominations for the film, which include best director (Todd Phillips) and best actor (Joaquin Phoenix).  Last year, Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" earned the first best picture Oscar nomination for a comic book film.

From BleedingCool:  Popular artist David Finch may be preppring an original graphic novel that will be published by Image Comics.

DC CINEMA - From EsquireUK:  The run time on "Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)" will be 108 minutes, making it the shortest "Worlds of DC" film to date.

From Newsarama:  DC Comics Publisher, Dan DiDio, said that the company will not solicit any new "DC Black Label" titles until they are sure that the material will come out as scheduled.

MANGA TO STREAMING - From Summary:  An animated version of the manga, "Beastars," is apparently headed to Netflix this year.

From BRProud:  In Livingston Parish, a rural Louisiana parish (county), the Denham Springs-Walker branch of the Livingston Parish Library system is having its own "comic-con" on Sat., Feb. 15th, 2020.

G.I. JOE - From Newsarama:  The upcoming film, "Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins," is a reboot of the "G.I. Joe" film franchise and not a prequel to the previous two films.

DC CINEMA - From Newsarama:  FX's "Y: The Last Man" TV series has gotten a reboot with new showrunners.  The show has not, however, gone into production.

From THR:  Marvel Comics had seven of the top ten comic book releases in the American comic book Direct Market in 2019.  DC Comics had five of the top ten collected edition and graphic novel releases.

From Newsarama:  The nominations for the 2020 / 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards  have been announced.  One of the categories is "Outstanding Comic Book."  The winners will be announced March 19, 2020.

DC CINEMA - From Newsarama:  Director Andy Muschietti says that his movie based on DC Comics' character, "Flash," will be based on the comic book miniseries, "Flashpoint." but not the way fans might expect.

From THR:  BOOM! Studios will publish Ryan North and Albert Monteys' comic book adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five.  The first issue is due September 2020.

From ComicBook:  The creators of the infamous "Death Note manga, "Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, are working on a one-shot chapter to the series.  The 87-page story will appear in the Feb. 4th issues of "SQ Jump" in Japan.

From BleedingCool:  The first looks at DC Comics upcoming "5G" event and the new timeline will appear in the first three months of 2020.

DC TV - From EW:  Actor Dennis Haysbert will provide the voice of "God" in the fifth and final season of "Lucifer," which moved from Fox to streaming on Netflix.  Author and comic book writer, Neil Gaiman, provided the voice of God in Season 3 of "Lucifer."

DC CINEMA - From Newsarama:  Todd Phillip's "Joker" won two awards at the 77th Golden Globes.  One was for "actor in motion picture-drama" (Joaquin Phoenix) and the other was for "score-motion picture" (Hildur Guðnadóttir).

FOX X-MEN UNIVERSE - From YouTube:  A new "official" trailer for "The New Mutants" has arrived.  The film is due April 3, 2020.

DC CINEMA - From CBR:  Take a look at the first set photos from director Matt Reeves' "The Batman."

DC CINEMA - From Newsarama:  Laura Hudson, the former editor-in-chief of "Comics Alliance," has joined the staff of the HBO Max TV adaptation of the comic book series, "DMZ."

From Newsarama:  Rob Liefeld says that he will revive his "Prophet" comic book in time for a milestone issue, "Prophet #20."

COMICS TO FILM - From TheStage:  Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal is producing a film version of the award-winning graphic novel, "Fun Home."  Alison's Bechdel's original graphic novel has already been turned into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.

DC CINEMA - From DigitalSpy:  Director Zack Snyder says that his version of the 2016 film, "Justice League," may have more than one "Green Lantern."  Will fans ever see Snyder's version of "Justice League," after the public release of Joss Whedon's version of the film.

DC CINEMA - From YahooEntertainment:  Actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson confirms that he has started training for his DC Comics film, "Black Adam."

From BleedingCool:  Mark Millar says that he has begun writing the third series in his "Jupiter's Legacy" series, "Jupiter's Requiem."

TOY NEWS - From Newsarama:  Todd McFarlane unveils the first wave of McFarlane Toys' line of "DC Multiverse" collector figures.

From Newsarama:  Ms. Marvel has a new "living costume."

DC CINEMA - From Deadline:  Director Todd Phillips says that he and actor Joaquin Phoenix "haven't really decided" on doing a sequel to their smash hit film, "Joker."

MANGA TO GAMES - From SyFyWire:   A prototype has emerged for SEGA Genesis' cancelled game based on the legendary manga, "Akira."  The movie was originally scheduled for a 1995 debut.

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JANUARY 2020 COMICS SOLICITATIONS:
From Newsarama:  January 2020 comics solicitations from 26 publishers
From Newsarama:  Ahoy Comics for January 2020
From BleedingCool:  Amigo Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Antarctic Press for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Archie Comics for January 2020
From BleedingCool:  Black Box for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Black Mask Studios for January 2020
From BleedingCool:  BOOM! Studios for January 2020
From BleedingCool:  Dark Horse Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  DC Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Dynamite Entertainment for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Fantagraphics Books for January 2020
From Newsarama:  HarperCollins for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Humanoids for January 2020
From BleedingCool:  IDW Publishing for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Image Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Mad Cave Studios for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Oni Press for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Red 5 Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Scout Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Seven Seas Entertainment for January 2020
From BleedingCool:  Source Point Press for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Titans Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Valiant Entertainment for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Vault Comics for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Vertical Comics solicitations for January 2020
From Newsarama:  Yen Press for January 2020

FEBRUARY 2020 COMICS SOLICITATIONS:
From Newsarama:  February 2020 comics solicitations for 25 publishers
From Newsarama:  01: First Second for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Albatross Funnybook for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Action Lab Entertainment for February 2020
From Newsarama:  AfterShock Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Ahoy Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Antarctic Press for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Archie Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Black Mask Studios for February 2020
From Newsarama:  BOOM! Studios for February 2020
From BleedingCool:  Dark Horse Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  DC Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Dynamite Entertainment for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Fantagraphics Books for February 2020
From Newsarama:  IDW Publishing for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Image Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Lion Forge for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Oni Press for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Random House for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Rebellion for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Red 5 Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Scout Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Titan Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Valiant Entertainment for February 2020
From Newsarama:  Vault Comics for February 2020
From Newsarama:  VIZ Media for February 2020

MARCH 2020 COMICS SOLICITATIONS:
From Newsarama:  March 2020 comics solicitations for 23 publishers
From Newsarama:  :01 First Second for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Action Lab Entertainment for March 2020
From Newsarama:  AfterShock Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Ahoy Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Antarctic Press for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Archie Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Artists, Writer and Artisans for March 2020
From BleedingCool:  BOOM! Studios for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Dark Horse Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  DC Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Dynamite Entertainment for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Fantagraphics Book for March 2020
From BleedingCool:  IDW Publishing for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Image Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Oni Press for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Rebellion for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Scout Comics for March 2020
From BleedingCool:  Titan Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Valiant Entertainment for March 2020
From Newsarama:  Vault Comics for March 2020
From Newsarama:  VIZ Media for March 2020

APRIL 2020 COMICS SOLICITATIONS:
From Newsarama:  DC Comics for April 2020

MAY 2020 COMICS SOLICITATIONS
From Newsarama:  A full-list of titles available for "Free Comic Book Day 2020" on May 2, 2020.

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: SCOOBY-DOO, Where Are You? #101

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? No. 101
DC COMICS – @DCComics

STORY: Sholly Fisch; Robbie Busch; John Rozum;
PENCILS: Randy Elliot; Scott Jeralds; Robert Pope
INKS: Randy Elliot; Jeff Albrecht; Scott McRae
COLORS: Rock Candy; Heroic Age
LETTERS: Saida Temofonte; Mike Sellers
EDITORS: Jim Chadwick; Michael Siglain and Jeanine Schaefer (reprints)
COVER: Randy Elliot with Rock Candy
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (October 2019)

Rated “E” for “Everyone”

“Cow-nt Me Out!”

Join me, dear readers, in my continuing journey through the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? comic book series.  I renewed my subscription (for a second time) and this is the third issue I received from that renewal.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #101 opens with “Cow-nt Me Out!,” which is written by Sholly Fisch and drawn by Randy ElliotMystery Inc.Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma have been called in for a most unusual case for them – an animal haunting.  Farmer Dale and his two sons, Jedediah and Nathaniel, are being vexed by the glowing green “Ghost Cow.”  Because a corporate farm operation, “Agritech,” wants to buy Dale's farm, Fred and company think that there is more to this haunting than a rampaging “Ghost Cow.”

The second story, “Dr. Krankenstone's Monster,” is, as usual, a reprint and is written by Robbie Busch and drawn by Scott Jeralds and Jeff Albrecht.  [This story was originally published in Scooby-Doo #112 (cover date: November 2006).]  Mystery Inc. is passing through the fairy tale-like village of “Krankonia.”  They are just in time to see “Dr. Krankenstone's Monster” run away from the village after kidnapping Sylvia, a young maiden.

Mystery Inc. and the villagers chase the monster to the castle of Doktor Krankenstone, who insists that he has nothing to do with a monster... nor is he a mad scientist!  It is up to Scooby, Shaggy, and the rest of the gang to discover what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to a notorious family and the legendary monsters they supposedly created.

The third story, “Velma's Monsters of the World,” is also a reprint and is written by John Rozum and drawn by Robert Pope and Scott McRae.  [This story was originally published in Scooby-Doo #118 (cover date: May 2007) and was also reprinted in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #39 (January 2014).]  In this two-pager, Velma transports her audience to South Carolina where she introduces them to the gruesome spirit known as the “Plat-eye.”

“Cow-nt Me Out!” isn't the first time that Mystery Inc. has investigated a case involving the ghost of an animal that is rampaging through a locale.  However, there is a pair of people behind this haunting, and the story offers readers two pairs from which to choose.  I like the story because I like Scooby-Doo stories set on farms or in rural areas.

“Dr. Krankenstone's Monster” has the feel of a classic episode of a Scooby-Doo animated series, and I like the interiors of the castle as drawn by Scott Jeralds.   I have come across “Velma's Monsters of the World” as a reprint at least one other time during my subscription to this series.  It actually is a nice little nugget.

Until next time, Scooby-Dooby-Doo!

B
6 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.

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Friday, January 17, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: SPIDER-MAN: Life Story #6

SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY No. 6
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Chip Zdarsky
PENCILS: Mark Bagley
INKS: Andrew Hennessy
COLORS: Frank D'Armata
LETTERS: VC's Travis Lanham
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Akira Yoshida a.k.a. C.B. Cebulski
COVER: Chip Zdarsky
VARIANT COVER ARTIST: Paul Pope with Bruno Seelig
36pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (October 2019)

Rated  “T”

Spider-Man created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee

Chapter Six: “All My Enemies”

Spider-Man is a classic Marvel Comics superhero, perhaps the most famous and most popular Marvel character of all time.  Over the years, readers have followed the adventures of Spider-Man and his secret identity, Peter Parker, who is a teenager and high school student when readers first meet him.  Amazing Fantasy #15 (cover dated: August 1962) introduced 15-year-old Peter Parker.  He was bitten by a radioactive spider and, after gaining various fantastical abilities as a result of that bite, Peter became the Amazing Spider-Man.

Fifty-seven years have passed in the real world since that event, but Peter Parker, a fictional character, has practically always been either a teenager or a young man no older than his mid to late twenties.  What would have happened if fictional time passed the same as real time for Peter Parker?  The 15-year-old bitten by the radioactive spider would be 72-years-old in 2019 instead of being eternally young still in 2019.

Spider-Man: Life Story is a new comic book miniseries that tells the story of Peter Parker and Spider-Man in real time, depicting his life from beginning to end.  Spider-Man: Life Story is written by Chip Zdarsky; drawn by Mark Bagley (pencils) and Drew Hennessy (inks); colored by Frank D'Armata; and lettered by Travis Lanham.  “Life Story” is set against the events of the decades through which Spider-Man has lived.

Spider-Man: Life Story #6 (“All My Enemies”) opens in 2019.  There is a new generation of heroes, including a new Spider-Man, secretly a young man named Miles Morales.  Still, Peter Parker is called to be Spider-Man one more time.  He leaves his wife Mary Jane and their children, the twins:  daughter, Claire, and son, Benjy.

Peter and Miles take off into space in a Victor Von Doom spaceship and head for Tony Stark's old Space Lab.  There, they will find a device that can put a stop to Doom's technological plot against the world.  Peter believes that he must step aside for a new generation of heroes, and that he is an old man whose enemies have all died.  Peter is only partially right on one belief and dead wrong on the other.

As I wrote in my review of Spider-Man: Life Story #2, for the last two decades, especially since the beginning of Joe Quesada's reign as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics (in the year 2000), Marvel has been rebooting, re-imagining, and re-purposing the fictional histories of its comic books.  Maybe, that is a way to introduce classic story lines, story arcs, characters, concepts, etc. to a new readers.  One could say that this also allows older (and old) readers to experience the stories of the past retold to one extent or another.

Spider-Man: Life Story is neither a swipe of the fictional history and mythology of Spider-Man, nor is it a reboot or retelling.  First, Chip Zdarsky is representing the conflicts and melodramas that The Amazing Spider-Man and other Spider-Man publications depicted as the life experiences of a character who is aging in “real time.”  These are no longer just the adventures and misadventures and trial and tribulations of a young man and his superhero alter-ego who have been (mostly) no older than their mid-20s for the better part of six decades and are often eternally on the verge of graduating high school.  Zdarsky depicts Spider-Man having to face his personal obstacles and his rogue's gallery of supervillains as an aging and old man when he previously did this only as a young man.

In Spider-Man: Life Story, Zdarsky is playing with the two themes that run throughout practically every Spider-Man publication and depiction of the character in film and television – the themes of consequence and obligation.  Because of that pivotal moment in his origin story when he decided not to stop the thief that would go on to murder his beloved Uncle Ben Parker, Peter is always confronted by the consequences of his actions and inaction.  What he does or does not do in pivotal moments affects everyone around him and connected to him.

Thus, writers have always depicted Peter as having a deep sense of obligation because he has these fantastic powers, so he owes the world Spider-Man, the superhero who tries to always be here, there, and everywhere.  So, I think what Chip Zdarsky is telling us in his brilliantly conceived comic book series, Spider-Man: Life Story, is that Peter Parker will be the hero Spider-Man regardless of his age and regardless of what year it is.  For Peter and Spider-Man, time is truly neutral.

I think that artist Mark Bagley also makes Spider-Man: Life Story a classic Spider-Man comic book series for two reasons.  First, Bagley is a straight-forward graphical storyteller, illustrating fantasy as if he were a journalist conveying the history that he is witnessing.  Secondly, Bagley understands the core ideas that make Spider-Man resonate with readers and fans.

Inker Andrew Hennessy embellishes Bagley's pencil art without losing what makes it special.  Frank D'Armata colors beautifully, accentuating the story without distracting from it.  Letterer Travis Lanham seems to know exactly where to place the lettering and also how to use the lettering to convey the story's emotions, moods, and atmosphere.  I can say that Zdarsky and Bagley's storytelling would be less successful without Lanham's efforts.

Spider-Man: Life Story #6 has a shocking number of surprises that relate to Spider-Man's past conflicts, including the recent past.  The best thing that I can say about this issue is that it ends the series and also leaves me (and I suspect, many readers) really wanting more.

9.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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Thursday, January 16, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: WONDER TWINS #1

WONDER TWINS No. 1
DC COMICS – @DCComics

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Mark Russell
ART: Stephen Byrne
COLORS: Stephen Byrne
LETTERS: Dave Sharpe
EDITORS: Mike Cotton and Andy Khouri
COVER: Stephen Byrne
VARIANT COVER: Dustin Nguyen
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (April 2019)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

Wonder Twins created by Hanna-Barbera and Norman Maurer

“It Gets Weirder”

Just in case you, dear reader, do not want to read this entire review, let me say quickly that the first issue of Wonder Twins is not worth your $3.99.  It would not be a good deal even at .99¢ for a digital copy.

“The Wonder Twins” were characters that appeared in “The All-New Super Friends Hour” (September 1977 to September 1978).  Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for the ABC television network, “The All-New Super Friends Hour” had a run time of one hour and was composed of about 4 animated shorts per episode.  The Wonder Twins debuted in “The Joy Ride” segment of the debut episode of “The All-New Super-Friends Hour” (“The Brain Machine / The Joy Ride / The Invasion of the Earthors / The Whirlpool”).

On the TV series, the Wonder Twins were brother, Zan, and sister, Jayna, extraterrestrials twins from the planet, Exxor.  They had shape-shifting powers, with Zan being able to turn into inanimate things (like a bucket of water) and Jayna being able to transform into living creatures (like a camel).  Zan and Jayna were being trained as apprentice superheroes by the members of the Super Friends.  The siblings also had a pet, Gleek, a blue alien monkey.

The Wonder Twins made their comic book debut in Super Friends #7 (cover dated: October 1977).  DC Comics published a comic book version of “Super Friends,” the 1973-74 animated TV series that preceded “The All-New Super Friends Hour.”  The comic book ran for 47 issues from 1976 to 1981.

The Wonder Twins return to comics in a new series from DC Comics' young readers imprint, “Wonder Comics.”  Entitled Wonder Twins, the six-issue miniseries is written by Mark Russell; drawn and colored by Stephen Byrne; and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

Wonder Twins #1 (“It Gets Weirder”) opens at Morris High School, which extraterrestrial twins, Zan and Jayna, attend.  Their classmates know that they are aliens on Earth, and the twins have to deal with the same problems most high school teens usually confront.  Zan and Jayna are also more or less apprentices of the Justice League – in large part because of Superman.  The rest of the League, however, are wary of the twins.  Then, a troublesome, impossible villain starts causing some trouble.

I was a fan of writer Mark Russell's short-lived “DCYou” comic book series, Prez.  It was one of the best and smartest comic books that offered political and social satire recently published in the United States.  Imaginative and sharp, Prez lampooned corporate culture and interests as much as it savaged American national politics.

Wonder Twins #1 is neither sharp nor funny.  If I had to compare it to a flavor, I would say that Wonder Twins #1 is bland, even flavorless.  It is more flat and uninspired than it is of poor quality.  The art by Stephen Byrne is so monotone that it might have been produced by a clip-art generator rather than by an actual human being.  The color is... yeah, you get it... uninspired.  Even Dave Sharpe's lettering is not as sharp as usual.  And Dustin Nguyen's variant cover art is ugly.

I don't want to give Wonder Twins #1 a failing grade (an “F”) or even a “D.”  This comic book reads like filler material, something produced to revive a trademark for business purposes, so it deserves the ultimate average grade...

4 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: EXCELLENCE #1

EXCELLENCE No. 1
IMAGE COMICS/Skybound – @ImageComics @Skybound

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Brandon Thomas
ART: Khary Randolph
COLORS: Emilio Lopez
LETTERS: Deron Bennett
EDITOR: Sean Mackiewicz
COVER: Khary Randolph with Emilio Lopez
VARIANT COVER ARTIST: Emilio Lopez
36pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (May 2019)

Rated M/Mature

Excellence created by Brandon Thomas and Khary Randolph

Chapter One: “Kill the Past”

Excellence is a new comic book series from writer Brandon Thomas and artist Khary Randolph.  It is released by the Image Comics' studio, Skybound Entertainment.  The series follows a young man who is born into a secret society of magicians.  Excellence is written by Thomas; drawn by Randolph; colored by Emilio Lopez; and lettered by Deron Bennett.

Excellence #1 (“Kill the Past”) opens in Column One, New York City.  It is the day Spencer Raymond Dales is born to Raymond and Stephanie Dales.  Raymond belongs to “The Aegis,” a secret society of magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others—those with greater potential.  However, these magicians must never use their powers to better themselves.  As Spencer grows, he struggles to meet the expectations of his legacy, and he also views the system as being in need of change.  Young Spencer is committed to one truth – Excellence is real.

Calling a work of entertainment by the title, “Excellence,” is a trap.  If “Excellence” is not excellent, then, reviewers and critics will offer up snarky titles and headlines for their reviews and articles.  Those titles and headlines will basically focus on “Excellence” not being excellent.

Excellence #1 strives to be excellent.  Truthfully, it might seem to start as if it were nothing more than your average comic book, but what is presented in this first issue plays out for... excellence.  Excellence could be an awesome comic book series, and if it does not turn out to be that way, it won't be because the creative team did not try.

Excellence already has... excellent art by Khary Randolph, art that is as electric and as energetic as any comic book art out there today.  Randolph's art here is highly stylish, but the compositions and page design have a depth of storytelling.  Randolph seems to be lock-step with writer Brandon Thomas, which is a good thing, in bringing this imaginative concept to life in vivid comic book storytelling.

Emilio Lopez's colors Randolph's art with a vengeance with colors that explode off the page.  The green and blue colors here could almost blind an innocent unsuspecting reviewer like myself.  As always, Deron Bennett letters more bumps in the hump; he is a soul man of lettering.

So... Excellence is.  Past this first issue of introductions and teasing, I believe, are chapters that will offer brilliance... and continued excellence.

8 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: JUJUTSU KAISEN: Volume 1

JUJUTSU KAISEN, VOL. 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

MANGAKA: Gege Akutami
TRANSLATION: Stefan Koza
LETTERS: Snir Aharon
EDITOR: John Bae
ISBN: 978-1-9747-1002-7; paperback (December 2019); Rated “T+” for “Teen Plus”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 U.K.

Jujutsu Kaisen is the debut ongoing manga series from Gege Akutami.  It has been serialized in the Japanese manga magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump, since March 2018.  VIZ Media is publishing the series in English as a series of graphic novels under its “Shonen Jump” imprint.

Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 1 (“Ryomen Sukuna”; Chapter 1 to 7) introduces Yuji Itadori, a first year student at Sugisawa Municipal High School in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture.  Especially fast and strong, Yuji should be an athlete, perhaps a member of  the school's track-and-field team.  However, Yuji chooses to be a member of the Occult Research Club.

He and the other two members, Sasaki and Iguchi, have gotten their hands on a “sealed cursed object.”  They don't know it, but their lives are in danger.  And Yuji is about to be introduced into the world of “Jujutsu Sorcerers” and a conspiracy involving a legendary and feared demon, “Ryomen Sukura.”

[This volume includes bonus manga.]

The Jujutsu Kaisen manga is perfect for me.  Demons, man-eating demons, demon fighters, curses, cursed objects, and secret societies of warriors:  it is all right up my reading alley.  Plus, I recently had to say goodbye to the excellent but short (five-volume) series, Black Torch, from creator Tsuyoshi Takaki.  So I need a new source of hot demon action.

Jujutsu Kaisen Graphic Novel Volume 1 rushes the reader into it world of Jujutsu Sorcerers and “special-grade cursed objects.”  Vol. 1 seems to offer two volumes worth of characters, plots, settings, and internal mythology, and creator Gege Akutami makes it all of it so exciting.  Jujutsu Kaisen is like a combination battle manga and horror comic book.  The comic book offers gruesome monsters and plucky monster-fighters, featuring a goofy, but charming young hero.

Stefan Koza captures the battles and the horror and transforms them into a seamless whole with his English translation.  Letterer Snir Aharon highlights the series' surprising sense of humor without denying the edgy action and drama.  I have to recommend Jujutsu Kaisen; I think the series has only scratched the surface of what it can offer, so it should be a fun reading journey.

8.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.

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