Friday, May 31, 2019

Review: STAR WARS: Age of Republic - Qui-Gon Jinn #1

STAR WARS: AGE OF REPUBLIC – QUI-GON JINN No. 1
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Jody Houser
PENCILS: Cory Smith
INKS: Walden Wong
COLORS: Java Tartaglia
LETTERS: VC's Travis Lanham
EDITOR: Mark Paniccia
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Akira Yoshida a.k.a. C.B. Cebulski
COVER: Paolo Rivera
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Cory Smith with Romulo Fajardo, Jr.; Giuseppe Camuncoli with Elia Bonetti; Mike McKone with Guru-eFX
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (February 2019)

Rated T

“Balance”

Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi Knight, was one of the breakout characters in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.  He was killed in that movie, but his presence was a fixture in later films and animated television series, directly and indirectly.

Marvel Comics is currently publishing a new Star Wars maxi-series project that comprises three books:  Star Wars: Age of Republic, Star Wars: Age of Rebellion, and Star Wars: Age of Resistance.  This project will span 30 issues in total (reportedly), with each issue spotlighting one hero or villain from one of three particular Star Wars eras:  Republic (prequel trilogy), Rebellion (original trilogy), and Resistance (sequel trilogy).

Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1 (“Balance”) was the first release (December 2018) in the nine-issue Age of Republic series.  It is written by Jody Houser; drawn by Cory Smith (pencils) and Walden Wong (inks); colored by Java Tartaglia; and lettered by Travis Lanham.  The story is set sometime before the events depicted in The Phantom Menace.

The story entitled “Balance,” opens on the planet of “Bri'n.”  Qui-Gon was trying to negotiate a peace between Mistress Th'er, the “Priestess of the Wood,” who wants to save the trees of the planet and the “Metal Clan,” who want to cut down the trees.  Ultimately, Qui-Gon and his padewan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, have to take Th'er back to Coruscant, much to her chagrin.

Troubled by what happened on Bri'n, Qui-Gon has a philosophical discussion with Master Yoda of the Jedi Council.  The result of this conversation is that Qui-Gon seeks a place where he can commune with the Force, but only the Force will decide this place of communion.

Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1 is a nice read.  Perhaps, here, writer Jody Houser is offering a tale that is a little stronger than the one she offers in Star Wars: Age of Republic – Darth Maul #1.  “Balance,” with its refusal to offer concrete answers, seems to personify the Qui-Gon of The Phantom Menace, a Jedi conflicted about the state of things concerning and surrounding the Jedi.

Artist Cory Smith is certainly a good Star Wars comic book artist.  The environments, characters, costumed, ships, etc.:  Smith illustrations here are convincing, and Walden Wong's inking makes Smith's pencils seem solid.  That is good thing in a story that can be a bit dreamy and ethereal in places.  Java Tartaglia's coloring is quite good, especially on the Bri'n scenes and in the “dream” sequence.  Travis Lanham keeps his lettering unobtrusive, but he tells the story in an effective manner while his lettering seems to blend into the scenery of the story.

I would like more of Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1.  In fact, like all the Age of Republic comic books, this one especially should be a double issue.

7 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, May 30, 2019

I Reads You Juniors May 2019 - Update #82

Support Leroy on Patreon.

Leroy's Amazon Comics and Graphic Novels Page:

From Newsarama:  Two of IDW's founder, Ted Adams and Robbie Robbins, have founded a new publishing venture, Clover Press.  The new company will publish graphic novels, art books, prose books, "and other works."

From Newsarama:  An estimated 1.35 million people attended Free Comic Book Day 2019, which was held on Saturday, May 4th.

From ScreenRant:  Director James Gunn says that Disney/Marvel and Warner Bros./DC Comics are not built to make a movie that is as (relatively) small as "Brightburn," which Gunn produced.

From Variety:  Keya Morgan, the former business manager of the late Stan Lee, was arrested in Arizona on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department.  Morgan is facing several "elder abuse" charges related to Lee.

From BleedingCool:  Veteran comics scribe Howard Mackie says that his pay-per-hour rate is better at Zenescope Entertainment than it was at DC Comics.

From BleedingCool:  Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr.'s "Superman: Year One" is apparently in continuity with Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns."

From Newsarama:  Writer Tom King is leaving "Batman" for a new title, "Batman/Catwoman" title in 2020... And people wonder why the Direct Market is going to shit.

From THR:  Taika Waititi is directing a live-action version of the classic manga, Akira, which will open in theaters May 21, 2012.  The manga's creator, Katsuhiro Otoma, directed an anime version of his manga that was released in 1988.

From Nippon:  The British Museum in London will hold the world's largest exhibition of manga outside Japan, beginning Thursday, May 23rd through Aug. 26, 2019.

From Marketplace:  Did you know that the Federal Reserve produces comic books?

From CBR:  Marvel Entertainment is partnering with the United States Golf Association (USGA) to produce exclusive gold education products aimed at junior golfers.  The partnership begins with a printed and digital comic book that features numerous Marvel superheroes teaching readers the basics of playing golf, as well as the etiquette of the game.

From Newsarama:  Writer Tom King is apparently leaving his gig writing "Batman" by the end of the year, which will be short of his planned 100-issue run.

From Newsarama:  Dynamite Entertainment contests the use of the trademark "Atlas Comics" related to the recent Paramount film deal.

MEMORIAM - From Newsarama:  Colorist Justin Ponsor died at the age of 42, Saturday, May 18, 2019.  Much of his outpus has been for Marvel Comics, and this week's "Avengers #19" will be his final credit.

From Newsarama:  Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and longtime Spawn artist, Greg Capullo, will produce interior art for the landmark Spawn #300.  Capullo last drew interior art for Spawn #100.  McFarlane has not drawn interior art for Spawn since 1995.

From Newsarama:  Marvel Entertainment signs a deal with the Chinese company "NetEase" to develop Marvel characters into games, comics, and TV series for the Chinese market.

From Newsarama:  DC Comics August 2019 comics solicitations - cover gallery.

From Deadline:  Paramount Pictures makes a movie into superhero films with a deal that involves the old Atlas/Seaboard line of superhero characters.  [I am not clear on what characters are owned by the current iteration of Atlas, which is called SP Media Group.]

From Variety:  Lindsey Beer and James Wan have signed on as executive producers for the upcoming Mark Millar Netflix series “The Magic Order,” which is based on his 2018-19 comic book miniseries.

From HollywoodLife:  Actress Raven-Symone ("Raven's Home") will provide the voice of Valkyrie in the Disney XD animated series, "Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout."

From YahooEntertainment:  Robert Pattison, best known for playing the brooding vampire, Edward Cullen in the "Twilight" film series, is the new Batman/Bruce Wayne, according to an exclusive story by "Variety."  Nicholas Hoult, who has been played "The Beast/Hank McCoy" in the "X-Men" film series since 2011, was apparently a finalist.

From Newsarama:  "Fantastic Four: Yancy Street #1" is apparently the first in a series of "Fantastic Four" one-shots.

From Newsarama:  Writer Warren Ellis and artist Ramon Villalobos will revive Wildstorm's "WildCATS," beginning in August with a new #1 issue.

From BleedingCool:  Here are seven preview pages of Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr.'s "Superman: Year One."

From BleedingCool:  Neal Adams will write and draw a new six-issue mini-series, "Batman Vs. Ra’s Al Ghul," as part of DC Comics' "Year of the Villain" initiative.  Adams co-created Ra’s al Ghul, a classic Batman villain.

From Newsarama:  Koyama Press announces its Fall 2019/Winter 2020 line-up of trade paperbacks.

From Newsarama:  Writer Louise Simonson and artist June Brigman will return to the comic book they created in the 1980s, "Power Pack."  They will produce a new Power Pack one-shot comic book set in the original series' continuity, "Power Pack: Grow Up #1."

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X-MEN:
From ComicBook:  Jonathan Hickman talks about "House of X" and "Powers of X" (pronounced "Powers of Ten") and the restart of the X-Men line.

From Newsarama:  Marvel to cancel and then, relaunch entire X-Men line... agin.

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From Newsarama:   Stan Lee's former manager, Keya Morgan, has been charged with five counts of elder abuse in Los Angeles Superior Court.  Lee, who died in November 2018, is known for his time as a writer and editor at Marvel Comics when he co-created some of the most popular comic book characters ever created.

From Newsarama:  The designs that renowned fantasy and concept artist, William Stout, produced for the 1987 "Masters of the Universe" film, will now become a line of action figures.

From ComicBook:  NBA star Donovan Mitchell, nicknamed "Spida," has a new Spider-Man themed sneaker set to come out with "Spider-Man: Far From Home."  He gave a pair to Spide-Man star, Tom Holland.

From BBC:  A look at John Brunner's Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel, "Stand on Zanzibar" (1968).

From Newsarama:  Lerner's Fall 2019 comic book solicitations

From BleedingCool:  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Neil Gaiman are among the contributors to "Marvel Comics #1000."

From BleedingCool:  Marvel Comics announces "Marvel Comics #1000," a comic book with 80 one-page stories to celebrate its 80th anniversary.

-------------------------------------
From THR:  Oni Press, the small press comic book and graphic novel publishers, is merging with Lion Forge Comics.

From Forbes:  What the Oni Press-Lion Forge Comics merger means for the comic book industry.

From ComicsBeat:  More on the aftermath of the Oni Press/Lion Forge Comics merger.

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From Newsarama:  Marvel plans some kind of "exclusive announcement" on Friday, April 10th.

From Newsarama:  Dark Horse signs a "first look" deal with Netflix

From GoodEReader:  This article says that webtoons are starting to overshadow digital manga.

From BookRiot:  In cast you need it: a reader's guide to the manga, "Naruto."

From Newsarama:  Writer Joe Hill and artist Mike Allred are working on a secret project for Marvel Comics.

From Newsarama:  Two comic book characters will get TV series on TheCW during the 2019-20 television season.  They are "Batwoman" (starring actress Ruby Rose) and "Katy Keene" (a "Riverdale" spinoff).

From Newsarama:  Disney has officially moved the 20th Century Fox-produced "New Mutants" from August 7 2019 to April 3, 2020.

From BleedingCool:  Jamie Delano ("Hellblazer") is looking for a publisher for his "2020 Visions" book collection.  The book is based on Delano's comic book series of the same name that was originally published in 1997 and 1998 by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.

From BleedingCool:  Steve Englehart is determined to bring you "Batman: Dark Detective III" one way or another.

From BleedingCool:  Roy Thomas, perhaps the most famous writer of "Conan" comic books, will join British comic book legend, Alan Davis, to produce a prequel comic book to the classic Conan tale, "People of the Black Circle."

From Newsarama:  Patrick Gleason, known for his work for DC Comics for the last several years, is moving to Marvel Comics.

From Newsarama:  May 25th, 2019 will be "Denny O'Neil Day" in Phoenix, Arizona.

From ANN:  Yōichi Takahashi, creator of the "Captain Tsubasa" manga, will appear in conversation at the British Museum on Friday May 24.

From Kotaku:  The "Game of Thrones" television series has the same problem the "Fullmetal Alchemist" anime had.

From ANN:  Yen Press licenses four new manga titles and two new light novels.  They are scheduled for publication between November 2019 and April 2020.

From Previews:  Marvel provided a launch trailer for its new series, "Savage Avengers."

From Newsarama:  Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski teases the next million-selling comic books.

From Newsarama:  Baker & Taylor, a distributor of graphic novels to comic book shops and bookstores, is closing its retail business.

From ComicBook:  Writer-director James Gunn, the man behind Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" films, is directing "The Suicide Squad," based on the DC Comics series.  He says his favorite Suicide Squad stories are the one written by John Ostrander in 1987.

From PostandCourier:  The University of South Carolina recently received a comic collection worth about $2.5 million.  It is 180,000 copies including the first appearance of key Silver Age heroes.

From Previews:  DC Comics updates the contents of "Crisis On Infinite Earths HC Box Set" (November 6, 2019).  This box will include 14 hardcover books and retail at $500.

From Variety:  Actor Gabriel Luna who played the "Ghost Rider" in the ABC series, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," will play the character in the just announced Hulu series, but this will be a different version of the character.

From BleedingCool:  IDW Media Holdings has raised $13.8 million of its $22.5 million goal in the first round of funding.

From Newsarama:  Hulu will have TV series based on Marvel characters, "Ghost Rider" and Helstrom."

From EyeonDesign:  Julian Glander talks about his new book, "3D Sweeties."

From YorkDailyRecord:  "The Avengers" effect: Have local comic book shops benefited from decade of Marvel films?

From Vimeo:  "A Warren Ellis Production" production card / bumper.

From RogerStrunk:  Strunk talks about his process creating a production card for Warren Ellis.

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MAY 2019 COMICS SOLICITATIONS:
From Newsarama:   All publishers' solicitations link in one place.
From Newsarama:  AC Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  AfterShock Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Ahoy Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Alterna Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Archie Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Black Mask Studios for May 2019
From Newsarama:  BOOM! Studios for May 2019
From BleedingCool:  Dark Horse Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  DC Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Dynamite Entertainment for May 2019
From Newsarama:  IDW Publishing for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Image Comics for May 2019
From BleedingCool:  Keenspot Entertainment for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Kevin Eastman Studios for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Lion Forge Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Mad Cave Studios for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Oni Press for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Rebellion/2000 AD for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Scout Comics for May 2019
From BleedingCool:  Source Point Press for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Vault Comics for May 2019
From Newsarama:  VIZ Media for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Yen Press for May 2019
From Newsarama:  Zenescope Entertainment for May 2019

JUNE 2019 COMICS SOLICITATIONS:
From Newsarama:  June 2019 comic book publisher solicitations for June 2019
From Newsarama:  AC Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  AfterShock Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Ahoy Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Albatross Funnybooks for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Alterna Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  American Mythology for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Antarctic Press for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Archie Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Aspen Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Black Mask Studios for June 2019
From Newsarama:  BOOM! Studios for June 2019
From Newsarama:  DC Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Dynamite Entertainment for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Hero Tomorrow for June 2019
From Newsarama:  IDW Publishing for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Image Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Mad Cave Studios for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Scout Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Valiant Entertainment for June 2019
From Newsarama:  Vault Comics for June 2019
From Newsarama:  VIZMedia for June 2019

JULY 2019 COMICS SOLICITATIONS:
From Newsarama:  July 2019 comics solicitations for all publishers on one page.
From Newsarama:  AC Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Action Lab Entertainment for July 2019
From Newsarama:  AfterShock Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Ahoy Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Albatross Funnybooks for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Alterna Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  American Mythology for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Antarctic Press for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Archie Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Aspen Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  BOOM! Studios for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Dark Horse Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  DC Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Dynamite Entertainment for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Hero Tomorrow for July 2019
From Newsarama:  IDW Publishing for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Image Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Mad Cave Studios for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Nobrow Press for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Oni Press for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Papercutz for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Titan Comics for July 2019
From Newsarama:  Valiant Entertainment for July 2019
From Newsarama:  VIZMedia for July 2019

AUGUST 2019 COMICS SOLICITATIONS:
From Newsarama:  AC Comics for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Ahoy Comics for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Antarctic Press for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Archie Comics for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Aspen Comics for August 2019
From Newsarama:  BOOM! Studios for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Dark Horse Comics for August 2019
From Newsarama:  DC Comics for August 2019
From Newsarama:  IDW Publishing for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Marvel Comics for August 2019
From BleedingCool:  Oni Press for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Scout Comics for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Vault Comics for August 2019
From Newsarama:  VIZ Media for August 2019
From Newsarama:  Yen Press for August 2019


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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review: STAR WARS: Age of Republic - Darth Maul #1

STAR WARS: AGE OF REPUBLIC – DARTH MAUL No. 1
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Jody Houser
ART: Luke Ross
COLORS: Java Tartaglia
LETTERS: VC's Travis Lanham
EDITOR: Mark Paniccia
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Akira Yoshida a.k.a. C.B. Cebulski
COVER: Paolo Rivera
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Luke Ross with Nolan Woodard; Mike McKone with Guru-eFX
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (February 2019)

Rated T

“Ash”

Darth Maul was a breakout character in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.  Although he was seemingly killed off in that movie, he returned in the animated series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and was a major recurring character in a second animated series, “Star Wars Rebels.”  He even makes a surprise appearance at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Marvel Comics is currently publishing a new Star Wars maxi-series project that comprises three books:  Star Wars: Age of Republic, Star Wars: Age of Rebellion, and Star Wars: Age of Resistance.  This project will span 30 issues in total, with each issue spotlighting one hero or villain from one of three particular Star Wars eras:  Republic (prequel trilogy), Rebellion (original trilogy), and Resistance (sequel trilogy).

Star Wars: Age of Republic – Darth Maul #1 (“Ash”) is the second comic book in the nine-issue Age of Republic series.  It is written by Jody Houser; drawn by Luke Ross; colored by Java Tartaglia; and lettered by Travis Lanham.

The story opens on Coruscant, the “Lower Levels.”  Darth Maul, still seething with hate and itching to fight the Jedi, has found a new target, Zek Peiro.  Is the highly-regarded thief really worth Maul's efforts?  Will a trip to Malachor help the Sith apprentice learn patience, if patience is really something a Sith should have?

Illustrator Luke Ross was the artist of Marvel's 2017 Darth Maul miniseries, so it is nice to see his work in this Age of Republic Darth Maul comic book.  Writer Jody Houser offers what is essential two plots, each of which would make for a nice standalone comic book story.

The problem is that Star Wars: Age of Republic – Darth Maul #1, with its $3.99 cover price, offers only twenty pages of story.  American comic book publishers either don't get it or think that they can get away with charging $3.99 for a comic book with only twenty pages of story.  Thus, far they have, but there are signs that they have not gotten away with it by much and may not get away with it much longer.  Basically, the price of a comic book has increased while the page count has gone down.  This would be tolerable if those twenty pages offered an outstanding story.

“Ash” is not at all bad, but it is more a brief interlude in the (mis)adventures of Darth Maul than it is an actual fully-realized Darth Maul story.  Anyone who read the Darth Maul miniseries will realize that here Houser merely revisits familiar Darth Maul themes and conflicts.  There is nothing new here – at least nothing new that is worth $3.99.

Star Wars: Age of Republic – Darth Maul #1 was originally published in December 2018, and I ignored it then.  Something told me that it was not worth the price or effort to read it.  The latter is not entirely true, as this comic book is nicely written, and the art is good.  No, it is not worth the cover price.

6 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, May 28, 2019

Review: JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: Part 4 - Diamond is Unbreakable Volume 1

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 4 – DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE, VOL. 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

MANGAKA: Hirohiko Araki
TRANSLATION: Nathan A. Collins
LETTERS: Mark McMurray
EDITOR: David Brothers
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0652-5; hardcover (May 2019); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
378pp, B&W with some color, $19.99 U.S., $26.99 CAN, £12.99 U.K.

VIZ Media has been publishing the legendary Shonen Jump manga, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, in English since 2015.  VIZ's edition, the first in English, is comprised of deluxe edition, hardcover, graphic novels with color pages and new cover art and is released under the “Shonen Jump” imprint.  Created by Hirohiko Araki, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a multi-generational tale that centers on the heroic Joestar family and their never-ending battle against evil.

Thus far, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has been published in four arcs/series:  “Phantom Blood” (Part 1), “Battle Tendency” (Part 2), and “Stardust Crusaders” (Part 3).  The new arc, “Diamond is Unbreakable” (Part 4) is set in 1999.  It continues the focus on members and descendants of the Joestar family and their battle against the “Stand users,” and the power known as “Stand,” which is an entity that is psychically generated by its creator.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 – Diamond is Unbreakable, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 18) opens in the small Japanese city of Morioh, where there are a surprisingly large number of killings and disappearances.  In April 1999, 28-year-old Jotaro Kujo arrives in town, searching for a young man named Josuke Higashikata, who is the secret love child of his grandfather, Joseph Joestar.

Jotaro meets 16-year-old Josuke and his schoolmate, 15-year-old Koichi Hirose.  During a confrontation, Jotaro is shocked to discover that Josuke possesses a Stand.  Now, the sons of the Joestar family must team-up to investigate the town's proliferation of unusual Stands, including a serial killer and a pair of brothers.

[This volume includes “Author's Comments.”]

It has been a year since I last read a volume of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga.  VIZ Media recently sent me a review copy of the first graphic novel in the “Diamond is Unbreakable” series.  Now, I am reminded of how much I like this manga that is a mixture of period action-adventure, horror, and occult-history.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 – Diamond is Unbreakable Graphic Novel Volume 1 mixes horror and action, frequent elements in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series.  So far, however, there is none of the period drama and occult-history that also marks this series.  Diamond is Unbreakable offers a lot of battle manga via the Stands, but creator Hirohiko Araki also delves into the characters.  He makes you care what happens to them, even to some of the bad guys.

I think the draw of Diamond is Unbreakable may be the weirdo Stands, but I think that this arc may prove to offer some unique character drama and some delightfully oddball characters.  Vol. 1 makes sure the new series is off to a good start.

A
9 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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Monday, May 27, 2019

BOOM! Studios from Diamond Distributors for May 29, 2019

BOOM! STUDIOS

MAR191293    CODA #12 (OF 12) MAIN & MIX    $3.99
JAN191368    GRAND ABYSS HOTEL ORIGINAL GN HC (MR)    $24.99
MAR191299    LUMBERJANES SOMEWHERE GREEN #1 CVR A MAIN    $7.99
MAR191300    LUMBERJANES SOMEWHERE GREEN #1 CVR B FISH VAR    $7.99
MAR198758    MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #39 FOC MERCADO VAR    $3.99
MAR191280    MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #39 MAIN    $3.99
MAR191281    MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #39 PREORDER GIBSON VAR    $3.99
FEB191276    SMOOTH CRIMINALS #6 (OF 12)    $3.99
MAR191314    STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #28 MAIN PENA CVR    $3.99
MAR191315    STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #28 PREORDER PERRONE VAR    $3.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 29, 2019

DARK HORSE COMICS

MAR190353    BAD LUCK CHUCK #3 (OF 4)    $3.99
JAN190470    DEATH ORB TP VOL 01    $19.99
JAN190459    DEPT H OMNIBUS TP VOL 01    $24.99
MAR190285    FIGHT CLUB 3 #5 CVR A MACK (MR)    $3.99
MAR190286    FIGHT CLUB 3 #5 CVR B FEGREDO (MR)    $3.99
JAN190446    GOD OF WAR TP    $17.99
JAN190469    GRUNT HC ART AND UNPUBLISHED COMICS OF JAMES STOKOE    $39.99
MAR190344    HELLBOY VS LOBSTER JOHNSON RING OF DEATH    $3.99
DEC180370    MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 #6 CVR A NAUCK    $3.99
DEC180371    MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 #6 CVR B VANCE    $3.99
JAN190472    PROS AND (COMIC) CONS TP    $19.99
MAR190270    STRANGER THINGS SIX #1 CVR A BRICLOT    $3.99
MAR190271    STRANGER THINGS SIX #1 CVR B LAMBERT    $3.99
MAR190272    STRANGER THINGS SIX #1 CVR C MACK    $3.99
MAR190273    STRANGER THINGS SIX #1 CVR D SATTERFIELD PHOTO    $3.99
AUG180391    WITCHER III WILD HUNT GERALT IN BATH STATUETTE    $79.99

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 29, 201+9

DC COMICS

NOV180600    BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE WHITE KNIGHT JOKER BY MURPHY    $80.00
MAR190458    BATMAN LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #1 (OF 3) (MR)    $5.99
MAR190459    BATMAN LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #1 (OF 3) VAR ED (MR)    $5.99
MAR190500    CATWOMAN ANNUAL #1    $4.99
APR190003    DC PREVIEWS #14 JUNE 2019 EXTRAS    $PI
JAN190555    DC SUPER HERO GIRLS SPACED OUT TP    $9.99
MAR190505    DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #2    $4.99
MAR190475    DOG DAYS OF SUMMER #1    $9.99
JAN190585    DOOMSDAY CLOCK #10 (OF 12)    $4.99
JAN190586    DOOMSDAY CLOCK #10 (OF 12) VAR ED    $4.99
FEB190572    FLASH BY MARK WAID TP BOOK 06    $29.99
FEB190577    GREEN LANTERNS TP VOL 09 EVILS MIGHT    $19.99
NOV180599    HARLEY QUINN RED WHITE & BLACK STATUE BY FRANK CHO    $80.00
MAR190476    HEROES IN CRISIS #9 (OF 9)    $3.99
MAR190477    HEROES IN CRISIS #9 (OF 9) VAR ED    $3.99
FEB190592    LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT MICHAEL GOLDEN HC    $29.99
FEB190599    RAVEN DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS TP VOL 02    $16.99
FEB190605    SHAZAM THE WORLDS MIGHTIEST MORTAL HC VOL 01    $49.99
MAR190478    SUPERMAN LEVIATHAN RISING SPECIAL #1    $9.99
MAR190555    WILD STORM #23    $3.99

Dynamite Entertainment from Diamond Distributors for May 29, 2019

DYNAMITE

MAR191139    PETER CANNON THUNDERBOLT #5 CVR A WADA    $3.99
MAR191140    PETER CANNON THUNDERBOLT #5 CVR B GANUCHEAU    $3.99
MAR191141    PETER CANNON THUNDERBOLT #5 CVR C WIJNGAARD    $3.99

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for May 29, 2019

IDW PUBLISHING

FEB190717    AMBER BLAKE #3 GUICE    $3.99
MAR190689    DICK TRACY FOREVER #2 CVR A OEMING    $3.99
FEB190743    FOUR SISTERS TP VOL 02 HORTENSE    $19.99
FEB190727    JUDGE DREDD TOXIC TP    $15.99
DEC180795    LIFE ON THE MOON HC    $39.99
MAR190633    MARVEL ACTION CLASSICS SPIDER-MAN TWO IN ONE #1 SCHERBERGER    $4.99
FEB190676    MY LITTLE PONY NIGHTMARE KNIGHTS TP    $17.99
MAR190663    MY LITTLE PONY SPIRIT OF THE FOREST #1 (OF 3) CVR A HICKEY (    $3.99
MAR190664    MY LITTLE PONY SPIRIT OF THE FOREST #1 (OF 3) CVR B FLEECS (    $3.99
MAR190746    PUNKS NOT DEAD LONDON CALLING #4 SIMMONDS    $3.99
NOV180675    STAR TREK TNG HC MISSIONS CONTINUE    $59.99
MAR190721    STAR TREK YEAR FIVE #2 CVR A THOMPSON    $3.99
MAR190698    TMNT ONGOING #94 CVR A WACHTER    $3.99
MAR190699    TMNT ONGOING #94 CVR B EASTMAN    $3.99
MAR190701    TMNT URBAN LEGENDS #13 CVR A FOSCO    $3.99
MAR190702    TMNT URBAN LEGENDS #13 CVR B FOSCO & LARSEN    $3.99
MAR190715    TRANSFORMERS #6 CVR A LAWRENCE    $3.99
MAR190716    TRANSFORMERS #6 CVR B MCGUIRE SMITH    $3.99
MAR190676    UNCLE SCROOGE #45 GERVASIO    $4.99

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 29, 2019

IMAGE COMICS

MAR190195    ASCENDER #2 (MR)    $3.99
JAN190396    BLACK MAGICK HAWTHORNE CAT T/S XXL    $26.99
NOV180107    BLACK SCIENCE #40 CVR A SCALERA (MR)    $3.99
NOV180108    BLACK SCIENCE #40 CVR B LAROSA (MR)    $3.99
MAR198647    DIE #4 3RD PTG (MR)    $3.99
MAR198649    LITTLE BIRD #1 (OF 5) 3RD PTG (MR)    $3.99
MAR190110    PARADOX GIRL TP VOL 01    $19.99
MAR190127    SAGA DLX ED HC VOL 03 (MR)    $49.99
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MAR190250    SPAWN #297 CVR C B&W VAR MCFARLANE & MATTINA    $2.99
MAR198752    WALKING DEAD #191 2ND PTG (MR)    $3.99
JAN190403    WITCHBLADE GAUNTLET PIN    $10.00

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 29, 2019

MARVEL COMICS

MAR190938    AGE OF X-MAN X-TREMISTS #4 (OF 5)    $3.99
MAR198501    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #19.HU 2ND PTG BACHALO VAR    $3.99
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MAR198728    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #252 FACSIMILE EDITION NEW PTG    $3.99
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MAR198502    DAREDEVIL #4 2ND PTG CHECCHETTO VAR    $3.99
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Comics, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for May 29, 2019

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

MAR192001    ACHILLES INC #2 (MR)    $3.99
FEB191769    ALL TIME COMICS SEASON ONE TP    $24.99
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Friday, May 24, 2019

I Reads You Review: SCOOBY-DOO, Where Are You? #97

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? No. 97
DC COMICS – @DCComics

STORY: Sholly Fisch; Darryl Taylor Kravitz; Scott Peterson
PENCILS: Walter Carzon; Karen Matchete; Scott Neely
INKS: Horacio Ottolini; Karen Matchete; Scott Neely
COLORS: Silvana Brys; Heroic Age
LETTERS: Saida Temofonte; Randy Gentile; Travis Lanham
EDITOR: Harvey Richards; Michael Siglain
COVER: Walter Carzon and Horacio Ottolini with Sylvana Brys
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (April 2019)

Rated “E” for “Everyone”

“The Gang's All Here”

I am continuing my journey through the renewal of my subscription to the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? comic book series.  Join me, will you?  A few months ago, I received the twelfth and final issue of that renewed subscription.  I recently renewed for a second time, but it may be two months before I receive the first issue of my third subscription.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #97 opens with “The Gang's All Here” (written by Sholly Fisch and drawn by Walter Carzon and Horacio Ottolini).  Mystery Inc.Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma have stopped by the “Thirteenth National Bank” to withdraw some cash so that they can buy gas for the Mystery Machine.  While there, however, the ghosts of infamous bank robbers, Connie and Floyd and Ron Derringer rob the bank.  But why do ghosts want to rob a bank?

This issue has two reprint stories.  The first is “The Freeloading Ghost” (written by Daryl Taylor Kravitz and drawn by Karen Matchete). [It was originally published in Scooby-Doo #127 (cover dated February 2008) and was also reprinted recently in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #94 (cover dated October 2018).]  As the story opens, Mystery Inc. has just solved “The Mystery of the Crystal Key Ghosts.”  Part of the process of solving the case meant that those “annoying kids” and their dog had to exorcise the ghosts haunting the creepy mansion that was at the epicenter of the mystery.  Well, one of those ghosts is still around, and he wants a new home...

The second reprint story is “UFO-No!” (written by Scott Peterson and drawn by Scott Neely).  [It was originally published in Scooby-Doo #109 (August 2006).]  The story opens at night with the Mystery Machine traveling through some spooky woods.  Mystery Inc. is lost!  However, they follow a UFO to a stadium where singer “Pitty Swords” is in concert with “Jason Woodriver.”  Those meddling kids arrive just in time to solve a new mystery.  Why would a UFO steal Pitty's custom-made tiara?

“The Gang's All Here” is a weak story, although the art is nice.  I also have to admit that I like seeing the Mystery Inc. kids engaged in something domestic like going to the bank to withdraw some cash.  “UFO-No!” would make a good scenario for one of those direct-to-DVD Scooby-Doo movies, but it barely registers as a comic book story.

I have no idea why “The Freeloading Ghost” has been reprinted half a year after it was last reprinted.  This is actually the third time I have encountered that story.  It was also reprinted in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #45 (cover dated: July 2014).  I wonder if that story was ever revisited, as the story ends with a ghost promising that Scooby-Doo has not seen the last of him.

See you... when my next subscription begins.

C+
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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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: DETECTIVE COMICS #1000

DETECTIVE COMICS No. 1000
DC COMICS – @DCComics

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

EDITORS: Chris Conroy and Dave Wielgosz
COVER: Jim Lee and Scott Williams with Alex Sinclair
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Steve Rude; Bruce Timm; Michael Cho; Jim Steranko; Bernie Wrightson with Alex Sinclair; Frank Miller with Alex Sinclair; Tim Sale with Brennen Wagner; Jock; Greg Capullo with FCO Plascencia
MISC. ART: Mikel Janin; Jason Fabok with Brad Anderson; Amanda Conner with Paul Mounts;
96pp, Color, $9.99 U.S. (May 2019)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger

Detective Comics is an American comic book series published by DC Comics, and it is the longest continuously published comic book periodical in the United States, according to the Guinness World Records.  Its first issue, Detective Comics #1 (cover dated:  March 1937), was published by Detective Comics, Inc., a forerunner of DC Comics.  Detective Comics is best known as the comic book series in which Batman/Bruce Wayne first appeared, in Detective Comics #27 (cover dated:  May 1939).

The first volume of Detective Comics was published from 1937 to 2011 (for 881 issues).  Then, as part of “The New 52” initiative, the series was relaunched in the fall of 2011 with a new Detective Comics #1 (cover dated:  November 2011).  In 2016, after 52 issues of “The New 52” run, Detective Comics reverted to what would have been its original numbering if it had not been relaunched – with Detective Comics #934 (cover dated:  Early August 2016).

March 30, 2019 marked the 80th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman.  Although Detective Comics #27's cover date is May 1937, it apparently debuted for sale March 30, 1939.  Just in time for this Bat-birthday is the arrival of Detective Comics #1000.

To celebrate, Detective Comics #1000 is an anthology (which the series originally was) featuring ten short stories created by an “all-star” list of comic book creators.  It also features a twelve-page preview of Detective Comics #1001 and has three pin-up illustrations.

For this review of Detective Comics #1000, I'll offer a few comments one each story:

“Batman's Longest Case”
STORY: Scott Snyder
PENCILS: Greg Capullo
INKS: Jonathan Glapion
COLORS: FCO Plascencia
LETTERS: Tom Napolitano

Snyder and Capullo have been THE rock star Batman creative team of this decade, but this story, introducing another of Snyder's contrived secret societies, is a misfire.

“Manufacture for Use”
STORY: Kevin Smith
PENCILS: Jim Lee
INKS: Scott Williams
COLORS: Alex Sinclair
LETTERS: Todd Klein

I think this is the first story I have ever read this is about the gun that killed Bruce Wayne's parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne.  I like this slightly imaginative slash inventive tale from filmmaker and sometimes comic book writer, Kevin Smith.  The art is standard Jim Lee Batman art – not Lee's best work, obviously.  The coloring by Alex Sinclair is gorgeous though.

“The Legend of Knute Brody”
STORY: Paul Dini
PENCILS: Dustin Nguyen
INKS: Derek Fridolfs
COLORS: John Kalisz
LETTERS: Steve Wands

This is another good idea turned poorly executed Paul Dini story from Paul Dini.  However, this story has the best Dustin Nguyen art I have seen in quite awhile; maybe Derek Fridolfs' inking helped.  John Kalisz colors are also nice.

“The Batman's Design”
STORY: Warren Ellis
ART: Becky Cloonan
COLORS: Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS: Simon Bowland

The art team of Becky Cloonan and colorist Jordie Belliare produce some attractive art for this story.  Warren Ellis offers a thoughtful examination of how young men can end up as violent, remorseless criminals.  Ellis also presents a rather screwy, oddball version of what mercy from Batman looks like.  This is a nice story.

“Return to Crime Alley”
STORY: Denny O'Neil
ART: Steve Epting
COLORS: Elizabeth Breitweiser
LETTERS: Andworld Design

If any writer deserved to have a spot in Detective Comics #1000, it is classic Batman writer, Denny O'Neil.  His offering for this anniversary comic book features a Batman supporting character, Leslie Thompkins, that O'Neil created with artist Dick Giordano.  This is a powerful, powerful tale starring the one of the few characters who can give both Batman and Bruce Wayne pause.  Steve Epting's beautiful illustrations, Elizabeth Breitweiser's watercolor-like hues, and Andworld Design's lettering make this the best story in Detective Comics #1000.

“Heretic”
STORY: Christopher Priest
ART: Neal Adams
COLORS: Dave Stewart
LETTERS: Willie Schubert

The second best story in Detective Comics #1000, “Heretic,” features art by one of the greatest Batman artists of all time, Neal Adams.  It is set in the world of Ra's al Ghul, a character that Adams had a hand in creating.  Christopher Priest offers a potent tale about the fate of those become ensnared in both Batman and al Ghul's sphere of existence.

“I Know”
STORY: Brian Michael Bendis
ART/COLORS: Alex Maleev
LETTERS: Josh Reed

Okay.  The third best tale in this comic book is Bendis and Maleev's “I Know,” which depicts a confrontation between an aged Bruce Wayne and The Penguin.  This is an edgy tale with a Film-Noir feel, and I really like Maleev's design of each page.

“The Last Crime in Gotham”
STORY: Geoff Johns
ART: Kelley Jones
COLORS: Michelle Madsen
LETTERS: Rob Leigh

This is a nice tale by Johns and Jones.  This isn't Jones' best Batman work, but it is nice, and it is made all the better by Michelle Madsen's (as usual) gorgeous coloring.

“The Precedent”
STORY: James Tynion IV
PENCILS: Alvaro Martinez-Bueno
INKS: Raul Fernandez
COLORS: Brad Anderson
LETTERS: Sal Cipriano

This is a nice, sentimental tale about the importance of Dick Grayson/Robin to Bruce Wayne/Batman.  The art team, the colorist, and the letterer turn in some pretty art.  Brad Anderson's colors are practically radiant.

“Batman's Greatest Case”
STORY: Tom King
ART: Tony S. Daniel and Joëlle Jones
COLORS: Tomeu Morey
LETTERS: Clayton Cowles

Meh.

“Medieval”
STORY: Peter J. Tomasi
PENCILS: Doug Mahnke
INKS: Jaime Mendoza and Doug Mahnke
COLORS: David Baron
LETTERS: Rob Leigh

This is story is basically twelve pages of filler exposition, but the art, colors, and letters are eye-catching.  “Medieval” also offers the preview of a big character debut that is supposed to happen in Detective Comics #1001.

Detective Comics #1000 is, by my estimation, better than last year's Action Comics #1000, which was apparently the bestselling comic book of 2018.  I think many of the creative teams in Detective Comics #1000 are better at capturing the history and characteristics of Batman and his supporting cast, than their Action Comics #1000 equals were with Superman, even if the Batman teams largely fail to tell stories that convey the mystique of Batman.

It took a little over eighty-two years for Detective Comics to get to one thousand issues, so many of the Batman writers, artists, and editors who established the character are deceased.  The shame of it is that many of the people who really deserve to contribute to Detective Comics #1000 are long gone from the world of the living, that includes Batman creators, artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger (arguably the greatest Batman writer of all time).

I would replace most of the artists in Detective Comics #1000 with such late luminaries as Carmine Infantino (one of the most important Batman artists of all time), Jim Aparo, Bob Brown, Gene Colan, Sheldon Moldoff, Don Newton, Marshall Rogers, and Dick Sprang, to name a few.  I would brush away almost all the writers who actually appear in this comic book for a number of Batman writers who are deceased, such as John Broome, Gardner Fox, and Frank Robbins, to name a few.

There are quite a few living Batman creators who should have stories here:  writers Mike W. Barr, Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart (a frickin' crime that he is not included here, really) Doug Moench, Grant Morrison, and artists Brian Bolland and Alan Davis, to name a few.  Frank Miller provides a variant cover for Detective Comics #1000, but...  Also, Alan Moore...

But I have learned to take what I get... even when there could be better.  Detective Comics #1000 will be the high-water mark for one-thousandth issues until some other titles reaches a thousandth issue.  Oh, well.

7 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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