***”Weekly Comic 100s” keeps it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***
By Rob Siebert
A Giant Something or Other
In response to the comic book industry being essentially stuck in limbo due to the Coronavirus pandemic, DC is releasing stories digitally that were previously exclusive to their DC Giants line. The Giants books were originally exclusive to mass market outlets, most notably Walmart. So what we’re getting here are basically re-prints.
But hey, they’re new to me. Plus, there’s some all-star talent attached to this stuff. We’ve got Brad Meltzer and Jim Lee on Batman, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti on Wonder Woman, Gail Simone on the Flash. Hey, sign me up!
I was also finally able to purchase that Superman: Villains one-shot. So I threw that in too.
TITLE: Superman: Man of Tomorrow #1
AUTHOR: Robert Venditti
ARTISTS: Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey.
DIGITAL RELEASE: April 20, 2020
Our story here is about the Parasite leeching off the city’s power grid and causing a mass blackout. In response, Superman tells the people of Metropolis to stand by one another. To share food, help find medicine for people in need, check on their neighbors, etc. Seems like a pretty poignant message right now, eh?
It’s so awesome when somebody gets Superman right. What we get here is also very accessible to new readers, and Paul Pelletier absolutely nails the art, particularly with the Parasite.
At the end of the day, this is the Superman I want to read.
TITLE: Batman: Gotham Nights #1
AUTHORS: Sal Giunta, Brad Meltzer, Larry Hama,
ARTISTS: Jim Lee, Mirko Colak, Scott Williams (Inker),
COLORISTS: Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz
LETTERERS: Chris Eliopoulos, Travis Lanham
DIGITAL RELEASE: April 21, 2020
What Sal Giunta and Brad Meltzer do with “Medal of Honor” is really special. So I’m simply going to encourage you to read it without going into things.
The Lee, Williams, and Sinclair trio give me Hush flashbacks. In a good way.
The second story follows a similar “service” theme, only with Kate Kane instead of Batman. We go back to her military days, which is unexpected but not unwelcome. But I’m sure it was a surprise for casual fans looking for Batwoman.
TITLE: Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #1
AUTHORS: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
ARTISTS: Inaki Miranda, Hi-Fi (Colors), Travis Lanham (Letterer). Cover by Conner and Alex Sinclair.
DIGITAL RELEASE: April 22, 2020
I’m not really a Harley Quinn fan. I know that’s enough to get me strung up in some circles. But I’ve almost always found her more annoying than humorous.
But with Wonder Woman as her “straight man” you get a pretty entertaining team. To their credit, they actually got me to chuckle when Harley appeared wearing what was supposed to be Amazonian armor.
Conner and Palmiotti write a hell of a Wondie. Early on, there’s an exchange between her and two security guards that I got a kick out of. Like Robert Venditti with Superman, they get her.
TITLE: Aquaman: Deep Dives #1
AUTHOR: Steve Orlando
ARTISTS: Daniel Sempere, Juan Albarran (Inker), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer). Cover by Liam Sharpe and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
DIGITAL RELEASE: April 23, 2020
“My name is Black Manta. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
That’s basically what this issue is about.
I imagine because these were (at least in theory) released to a different audience, they wanted to start on the ground floor in some of these stories. That means a lot of expository dialogue. Superman: Man of Tomorrow did that. But this one really lays the expository dialogue on thick.
Great fight between Aquaman and Black Manta, though. At the “Museum of Unnatural History.” I adore that.
Coming out of this issue I know two things.
The Flash TV show has indeed ruined Iris West for me. Not because of the actress. Because of how she’s written.
Had it come out a month or two sooner, a few less people would have gotten on those disease-infested cruise ships.
Not surprisingly, Gail Simone writes a great Flash. Gail Simone writes a great almost-anything. Together with Henry, Maiolo, and Leigh, they’ve put together one of the highlights of this DC Giants digital-first campaign.
TITLE: Superman: Villains #1
AUTHORS: Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Jody Houser
ARTISTS: Michael Gaydos, Riley Rossmo, Scott Godlewski, Bryan Hitch, Cully Hamner, Steve Lieber, Jim Mahfood.
COLORISTS: Gaydos, Ivan Plascencia, Gabe Eltaeb, Alex Sinclair, Dave McCaig, Nathan Fairbairn, Mahfood.
LETTERERS: Dave Sharpe, Clayton Cowles, Tom Napolitano, Troy Peteri, Josh Reed.
RELEASED: March 4, 2020
So here we have a bunch of villains reacting to Superman telling the world he’s Clark Kent. We hear from Toyman, Mongul, and a Joker-ized Supergirl (see Batman/Superman). We also get a story that bridges into future Superman and Action Comics storylines.
But by far the best part of the issue is a two-page Lex Luthor story, as he discovers he has 98 messages on his voicemail. And several of them (Possibly all of them?) are from the Joker. And he’s laughing. Take a wild guess at what he’s laughing at, folks…
Email Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check us out on Twitter.