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Archive for November, 2010

Reviewer: Frosty McKenzie

Publisher: WildStorm (DC Comics)
Writer: Ian Edginton
Artist: Davide Fabbri and Tom Mandrake
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $3.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now

As a huge fan of the recent mish mashing of genres and the surprisingly creative alternative reality twists with historical figures in the literary world, I have come to really love the Victorian Undead series that pits Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes against famous monsters (and zombies!). With Volume 2, Holmes goes up against another well-known monster that, by all means, should have and does make the perfect villain for Holmes and Doctor Watson. With Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes Vs. Dracula #1.

As expected, the story and the writing (thanks to the amazing talents of Ian Edginton) is true to the Sherlock Holmes style. This is what it would have been like if Doyle and Bram Stoker collaborated on a novel pitting both of these powerful forces together. In the first issue, a ship is braving an intense storm just off the coast of Whitby in North Yorkshire, England in the 1900s. From the deck the Captain one of one his mates sees a schooner sailing with full mast as if its crew had gone mad or simply vanished. That close to shore the ship would be smashed to pieces.

Several days later, in London just off Baker Street, a carriage carrying Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson finds itself in quite a traffic jam while the sweltering heat of a London summer seems to be bothering the poor Doctor. Holmes tells them that they are on their way to a meeting but says very little else until they arrive at the offices of a gentleman who happens to be a respected maritime insurer.

The man explains about The Demeter, the very same schooner seen with full sail heading towards certain doom. As it turns out, though, the ship was not smashed to pieces but what was discovered inside was something quite ghastly. It seems all hands were lost except for the body of the ship’s Captain who had tied himself to the wheel clutching his crucifix. The ship itself was a Russian schooner that left Varna with a most unusual cargo … crates containing soil written off for “scientific” purposes.

Taking the job, Holmes and the Doctor travel to Whitby to look into the details of the case. Their only clue is a segment of a log a crewmate wrote on that describes a most eerie sight. The crewmember swears he seen a person, perhaps a stowaway, with a gaunt face that no longer looked quite human. Meanwhile, in a gypsy camp, a woman of great power reveals to her people that this is their one and only chance to take care of the evil force already on shore.

Another clue leads Holmes to a house belonging to a known solicitor but what they find inside is ghastly as they encounter bodies of recently slaughtered people. Unfortunately, they’re not alone as they are attacked by a group of men who also seem to be looking for something or somebody. Holmes and Watson suddenly find themselves in quite a predicament.

Back in Buckingham Palace, the Queen gets a visit from her most trusted physician. You see, she is most desperate to find a cure for the hereditary affliction that the Royal bloodline suffers from and it seems that the Doctor has an answer in the form of a visitor from Transylvania who specializes in all things pertaining blood.

Oh yeah, the story definitely catches your attention in the last moments and if you read past Victorian Undead comics you know that Edgington is just getting warmed up here so this first issue is just setting things up for the inevitable confrontation between the vampire lord and England’s top sleuth. On top of that there’s Davide Fabbri’s great artwork that hasn’t failed to impress so far.

While the story is just getting started, Sherlock Holmes Vs. Dracula #1 looks to be yet another intriguing Victorian Undead comic book worthy of a glance or three. Holmes and Dracula just feel right together in the same way as Holmes taking on Jekyll and Hyde so we are certainly looking forward to more of this series as Sherlock Holmes goes vampire hunting.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: B+
A schooner finds itself back on English soil but the crew is nowhere to be found and the Captain is found dead at the wheel so a prominent maritime insurer has asked the famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to investigate. During the investigation, though, Holmes and the good Doctor are shocked to find a house filled with corpses and something else that might spell their demise. Plus, a mysterious Count pays the Queen a visit.

ART: A+
Davide Fabbri and Tom Mandrake’s art works magnificently for this series and you’ll be simply amazed by the level of detail they bring to the 1900’s England. Simply stunning work.

OVERALL: B+
Like the past Victorian Undead offering, this first issue of Sherlock Holmes Vs. Dracula is slowly building up the momentum to what is surely building up to be another dose of monster-mashing fun with a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-styled twist. We are definitely keeping an eye on this one since Edginton and Fabbri have yet to disappoint.

Review copy provided by WildStorm (DC Comics)

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Reviewer: Tia Tanaka

Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Writer: Frank Miller
Artist: Frank Miller
Genre: Graphic Novel (Softcover)
MSRP: $19.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now

In an office filled with die hard Frank Miller fans, it is hard not to ignore the fact that everyone here is excited and glad that Dark Horse Books has decided to release a third edition of Frank Miller’s Sin City books. Having read Miller’s other work I knew what to expect from Volume 2, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For but what I wasn’t expecting was the fact that it was too good to want to put down. Now I see why everyone in this office is such a big fan.

A Dame To Kill For is right up there with classic film noir movies like “Double Indemnity” or “Strangers on a Train” only with Frank Miller’s gin-soaked, blood-splattering style. It introduces us to Sin City’s other bad ass by the name of Dwight McCarthy. When we first see him, he is perched on the roof snapping photographs of a very mismatched couple. She is beautiful, curvy in all the right places and ready to please. He is short, stocky, somewhat grotesque and married but not to her.

Suddenly, things get very violent in that bedroom as the man – who comes to the conclusion that it’s better to kill her before the wife finds out about his love for this working girl – pulls out a gun. In comes Dwight to save her and take the girl back to Old Town were any man can make his dreams come true with women of exquisite beauty … for a price, of course. Secondly, he heads to his boss’s office with a roll of film. You see, Dwight is a private investigator who takes on the jobs his boss can’t do.

It isn’t until chivalrous Dwight comes back home that he gets a phone call from somebody in his past. This person has haunted him for so long and, despite his bitterness toward her, Dwight goes to meet her anyway in the already familiar smoky saloon that is Club Pecos. You see, she is Ava, the beautiful temptress that broke his heart, stepped all over it with her high heels then walked off with a man who is far more wealthy than he. Now, there she was, begging him to take her back because her wealthy husband, Damien Lord, tortures her.

At first, Dwight is cold and wants nothing to do with her but he is compelled by her beauty to the point that he just gives in and sneaks into Damien Lord’s ritzy mansion. As he keeps watch over Ava, he is quickly discovered and Lord’s trusted bodyguard, a bulldozer of a man named Manute, beats Dwight. For the most part, Lord and his men thought he was simply a pervert getting an eyeful of Ava so Dwight thinks he’s safe for the moment but when Ava pays him a visit he is ensnared by her beauty once more.

Unfortunately, a night of passion also compels Dwight to take care of Ava’s problem but first he gets help in the form of Marv, the big brutish hero of Volume 1’s The Hard Goodbye. Eager to help just because the caper involves busting some heads, Marv joins Dwight in storming Lord’s mansion and while Marv takes care of security as well as Manute, it is Dwight who beats Damien Lord to death with his fists.

Then it happens … Ava turns his gun on Dwight and pulls the trigger multiple times. Badly injured, Dwight barely escapes the encounter with his life and if it wasn’t for Marv he would have been stone dead. He tells Marv to drive him to Old Town where he calls in a favor to Gayle, one of Old Town’s beautiful working ladies.

It’s clear that Dwight and Gail have a long history together and it’s clear that she is willing to do anything for him so when the girls of Old Town wants him out it is Gail who convinces them that Dwight has saved her as well as the deadly Miho. He convinces Gail and Miho to join him in getting some good old-fashioned payback. The final chapter is just gold so I won’t be spoiling things by telling you what goes down.

Oh yeah, leave it to Frank Miller to spin a crime story this intense, bloody and ultra cool. Besides his brilliant storytelling and amazing dialogue, the art is just surreal and gorgeous. Then again, anyone who has ever picked up a comic book or graphic novel by Mr. Miller could tell you that.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is exactly the kind of work that should be sitting next to the works of Raymond Chandler of Dashiell Hammett and a comic worth buying if you didn’t get a chance to read it. Stylish, brutal and sexy, Volume 2 is a compulsive read and exactly what to expect from the Sin City series. You really can’t go wrong with purchasing this one.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A
As a private investigator, Dwight suddenly finds himself face-to-face with the woman that tore a chunk of his heart and made him suffer for it. She is Ava, a gorgeous woman who sets Dwight up to take care of her husband. When she turns on him, though, Dwight must not only recover from the aftermath of her betrayal but also set things right again in a quest for revenge.

ART: A
You just have to admire Frank Miller’s style that makes the Sin City series a visually mesmerizing treat even though it’s just black and white. You also have to love the character design, especially the more grotesque-looking ones.

OVERALL: A
A Dame To Kill For is vintage crime noir but with that wonderfully twisted and face-slamming Frank Miller touch that made Sin City such an instant classic. This story is a sexy, page-turning affair that just gets more interesting the more you read it until the finale where everything comes together beautifully. You cannot miss this volume.

Review copy provided by Dark Horse Books

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Reviewer: Frosty McKenzie

Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)
Writers: Warren Ellis, Brian J. Bolland, Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Steven T. Seagle, Peter Milligan, Bill Willingham and Bruce Jones
Artists: Phil Jimenez, Andy Lanning, Brian J. Bolland, Essad Ribic, Frank Quitely, Jim Lee, Tim Sale, Eduardo Risso, Bill Willingham, Bernie Wrightson and Timothy Bradstreet
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $7.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now

This might not be the best way to start a review but the truth is that if this first venture into the new Vertigo Resurrected line is what we can come to expect from future installments then consider me a fan already. Not only does Vertigo Resurrected #1 contain a rare Hellblazer story but it also brings together a collection of brilliant writers and talented artists to the 100-page affair. This is what true comic book dreams are made out of and believe me when I say that you will love this compilation of stories.

As I mentioned, Vertigo Resurrected #1 contains a Hellblazer story called “Shoot” I heard about but – most likely due to the subject matter – hasn’t been seen until now and it just so happens to be the first story to kick off this collection. “Shoot” deals with the touchy subject of school shootings in the United States as a woman named Penny Carnes is investigating the recent string of schoolyard shootings for the Senate Committee. As it turns out, the shooting have something in common … a mystery man who has been showing up at the scene in the aftermath of each shooting.

As it turns out, the mystery man is none other than John Constantine who Carnes finds out has a restricted file by the FBI. Then, Constantine shows up in her office and the two get into quite an interesting and controversial debate over school shooting in America and who or what is to blame. Far from a supernatural tale, “Shoot” makes some valid and sad points that makes the story utterly fascinating.

In another story, untitled “The Kapas”, we meet Sir Neville Wooldridge who happens to be the Seventh Earl of Devonshire and something of an adventurer who – along with his friends – goes on a treasure-seeking journey into Chinese Turkistan. Their trip takes them to the village of Urumqi where they witness a poor wretch being placed into a painful contraption called a Kappa as punishment for aiding a group of tourists who failed to purchase a traveling permit. Slowly, the man begins to suffer a horrible fate right before their eyes.

Then there’s a tale about a reporter named Marc Benza who works for a National Enquirer-like rag and hot on the lead of a possible alien-related cattle mutilation case. Having traveled to Arkansas to investigate, what he finds is cattle very carefully dissected with organs removed but when human bodies start showing up it becomes clear to Benza that perhaps aliens don’t have anything to do with this at all.

In “New Toys,” a soldier action figure finds himself exhausted by the never-ending wars he is subjected to by his owner and the brutality of war that has left his comrades destroyed beyond repair. Suddenly, the toy soldier finds himself in a time of peace with a Barbie doll but still suffering the effects of post-traumatic stress when things not only get stranger for him but also deadly.

Then, in a Garth Ennis story, a group of soldier buddies from the U.K. find themselves on-leave for some good old-fashioned R&R. They share a good moment on the road, chatting and showing off pictures of their tour in Iraq when one of their friends brings up an unsettling bit of business concerning each and every person in the car. Moving on, the story untitled “Diagnosis” where a young surgeon is contemplating his life and relationship with a woman he’s about to marry as a sinister thought begins to form in his mind.

In “Death of a Romantic,” a young woman takes a breakup with her boyfriend rather badly and, as a result, turns to her work writing bios. One person catches her eye by the name of Adrian Fury who was a poet and a self-proclaimed virgin because he threw himself passionately in his ideals. Suddenly, the young woman stopped moping around and gained a confidence and happiness she didn’t think was possible … until she made a discovery about Adrian.

There’s also a cute story about an elderly gentlemen who goes into a shop that specializes in renting out classic monster that range from werewolves to mummies. He quandary is that his village needs a monster but the classics aren’t going to cut it anymore since they’ve all becomes proficient vampire slayers and werewolf killers. His reasons for wanting a monster is actually very convincing as he reveals why he continues to bring monstrous threats to his village.

In the final story, a man totals his car in front of an old mansion and finds himself drawn by the beautiful owner of the house who invites him out of the rain. What the young man discovers is not only an attraction for the woman but the fact that the house once belonged to her father … a magician whose abilities were even better known than those of Houdini.

As I said, Vertigo Resurrected is what comic book dreams are made of and you’ll see why right away. Sure, there will be stories you will favor over others but as a whole they showcase the talented writing and the art that makes this one of the more eye-pleasing comic collections. Really, can you think of anything cooler than finding Jim Lee, Essad Ribic and Bill Willingham all in one book?

Whether it’s Hellblazer’s John Constantine looking into schoolyard shootings in America or a journalist investigating a series of cattle mutilations, Vertigo Resurrected #1 is an absolutely compelling and highly entertaining read that can be quite unforgettable in places. Written and drawn by a collection of top talents, the stories range from impressive to simply-too-good-to-read-just-once. Simply put: comic book fans will not be disappointed by purchasing this gem.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A+
In one story, a toy soldier experiences the horrors of being in the hands of a child while another story has an elderly gentleman considering renting a monster his small village has yet to experience. Then there’s the story of a young woman who develops an unusual romance with a dead man and, in another story, a group of soldier buddies go on a fishing trip only to make a startling discovery. There’s also a John Constantine story as well as an interesting tale about Sir Wooldridge’s expedition to Chinese Turkistan.

ART: A+
This comic contains some of the most impressive comic book artists around so there’s no shortage of great art to drool over in this collection of stories. It’s hard to pick out a favorite among these artists even if you are a fan of Jim Lee or Frank Quitely.

OVERALL: A+
Vertigo Resurrected #1 is a powerful, entertaining and oftentimes brilliant collection that not only showcases the works of these talented writers and artists but also manages to keep readers hooked. Some stories are simply great reads while others are haunting enough that you won’t forget them anytime soon. This is definitely a Must Have comic.

Review copy provided by Vertigo (DC Comics)

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Reviewer: Eden Zacarias

Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Writer: Frank Miller
Artist: Frank Miller
Genre: Graphic Novel (Softcover)
MSRP: $19.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now

“It’s the old days. The bad days. The all-or-nothing days. They’re back.”

It’s the words that Marv, a big tough guy that could only be produced in the dark recesses of Sin City, speaks as he decides that there’s no going back on his destructive warpath towards revenge for his perfect angel that was murdered right next to him in bed. It’s Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye, already in its third edition, and, yes, it’s just as good as you remembered it.

For those who missed it the first few times around or didn’t see the first movie (the sequel, they say, is on the way), Sin City is a collection of graphic novels by master comic creator Frank Miller with The Hard Goodbye being considered the first volume despite the fact that each volume doesn’t really follow a chronological order story-wise. Oh but those who do know the first story knows that Frank Miller started Sin City off with the momentum of a runaway freight train.

The Hard Goodbye tells the story of Marv, a bulldozer of a man whose face is as scarred and broken as the many men he’s busted up so when he winds up bedding a gorgeous blonde goddess named Goldie he feels like he hit the lottery. However, this happiness is short-lived when Goldie is found dead next to him. Clearly, she’s been murdered somehow but the killer was quick, silent and didn’t leave any tracks. On top of that, whoever killed Goldie called the cops and they are eager to pin the crime on him, although Marv isn’t the type of guy who will waste time explaining to the authorities that he had nothing to do with her murder.

Although he didn’t know her well (or at all, for that matter), Marv appreciated Goldie’s kindness toward a brute like him so he takes it upon himself to find out who killed her and get revenge. He drops by his parole officer for some meds (Marv tells us he sees and hears things that aren’t there) and then begins to head into Sin City worst dives for information. Actually, he tends to beat the information out of people and it seems to point him into even stranger territory.

One tip takes him to church where a priest tells him of a farm worth looking into and what Marv finds there is a sick fiend who not only manages to beat him unconscious but also reveals a cannibalistic side to the man that Marv now knows is Goldie’s murderer. Unfortunately, he finds himself locked in the psycho’s cell with his parole officer who also fell victim of the murderer and then there’s the cops that have come for Marv.

Oh, there’s more, because Marv gets hit by a car with a driver that looks suspiciously like Goldie! In his continued search to find the man who sent the psycho after Goldie and his parole officer, Marv makes another interesting discovery and makes a connection to the most unlikely source. It isn’t until he gets to Old Town when a girl finally puts the last piece of the puzzle together as Marv heads for a final showdown with the man responsible for Goldie’s murder.

I will say no more because there are plenty of surprises throughout the graphic novel that is true to the crime noir genre. Frank Miller certainly proved over the years that he is a master storyteller and a truly fantastic writer. Besides that, he is an amazing artist and the artwork for the Sin City series is stylishly unique. It’s no wonder that director Robert Rodriguez made it clear that the movie had to be shot with the same visual style.

The Hard Goodbye is Sin City’s best opening act and after you put it down you can’t help but know that if Volume 1 was this good then the other volumes will not knock you flat off your feet. Marv’s story hits you like a cold bucket of water and keeps the surprises and action going well. So if this is your first time in Sin City, you are definitely in for a real treat.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A+
When a night with a beautiful woman named Goldie ends with her murder, the big bruiser that is Marv is determined to avenge her death. Busting heads along the way to get information in a city that is infested with lowlife criminals, crooked cops and dirty politicians, Marv makes a startling discovery concerning Goldie and the man behind her murder.

ART: A
Frank Miller’s art is really something to behold and even more so in his Sin City books that use a bold black and white style that works beautifully for this noir series.

OVERALL: A+
Reading Sin City: The Hard Goodbye is not just a recommendation but Required Reading for anyone who considers themselves a comic book aficionado. Frank Miller is a God and the proof is in his hard liquor-flavored words and stylish visuals that makes the Sin City collection a literary masterpiece. If you missed it the first few times, this is your chance to own this amazing piece of work.

Review copy provided by Dark Horse Books

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Reviewer: Ian Mintz

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Cameron Stewart, Chris Burnham and Frazer Irving
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $3.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now

If you’ve read our review for the hardcover Deluxe Edition of Batman & Robin: Batman Vs. Robin then you already know how much we love this new series and the many surprises that Grant Morrison has thrown at us since then. Now, with its sixteenth issue, Batman & Robin is about to shake up the Batman universe as a chapter comes to an end and a major announcement will change everything. Oh yeah, it’s about to get even more interesting for Gotham City and beyond.

With Dick Grayson donning the Batman uniform and Bruce Wayne’s son taking up the role of Robin, the story has taken many an interesting twist and turn as the duo searched for the real Batman after his supposed death. The road was an interesting one with numerous friends and foes joining their mission … one of them being the Joker who has – strangely enough – taken the “good guy” role as the Gravedigger.

However, the more interesting turn of events comes in the form of a member of the Wayne clan, the black sheep of the family. I’m talking about Thomas Wayne, a very distant descendent of Bruce Wayne, who has prolonged his life for centuries by way of a blood ritual involving the demon known as Barbatos. Since then, Thomas has kept himself busy being bad.

Meanwhile, Gotham City is under fire by the nasty Professor Pyg in his insane pig parade and Commissioner Gordon somehow ends up wearing a dress. However, there’s something bigger than Professor Pyg at the moment and that is the return of Bruce Wayne in his Batman outfit. He shows up to back up the current Batman and his son, Damien, who has taken up the role of Robin.

Having the original Batman as backup is just what they need to as Thomas Wayne and the 99 fiends that are armed to the teeth. Still, this doesn’t stop both Batmans and Robin from giving them a battle they’ll never forget. They’re fighting against the clock, however, as there is a nuclear bomb in the Bat-Bunker left by the Joker and the faithful Wayne Manor butler, Alfred Pennyworth, is trapped in a capsule that is about to be flooded with water.

During the hectic battle, however, Dick Grayson is injured and is racing against the clock as well but it is the original Batman that gives Thomas a chase as the villain gives the Dark Knight a choice … get him or save Alfred who is happy to hear Master Bruce’s voice but the capsule he’s in is quickly filling with water. It’s no surprise what path Bruce takes as Thomas makes it out only to encounter an even more dangerous opponent who takes care of Thomas in his own sick and twisted way.

With all the enemies taken out of commission like Professor Pyg and Doctor Hurt, the return of Bruce Wayne weighs heavily on Dick Grayson and Damien. Will they be able to continue as Batman and Robin? This question is answered but in a press conference that is nothing short of overwhelming. Leave it to Grant Morrison to be the one to shake things up in Gotham City and the Batman universe. Believe me when I say that things will never be the same.

Batman & Robin #16 is one of those issues you will not forget anytime soon and by the end you will find yourself excited about the chain reaction that will ripple across the other Batman comics. Once again, the author and artists push this series forward in the best way possible. If you haven’t been reading a Batman book for awhile, you definitely need to pick this one up right away.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A
The chase for Thomas Wayne is on as the original Dark Knight returns to settle the score and help the current Batman and Robin battle the 99 fiends who are out to kill them. With Alfred in danger and Professor Pyg causing mayhem, all three jump into one of the biggest battles of their careers. In the end, a surprising confession will change everything for Batman and Robin.

ART: A+
Cameron Stewart is an artistic genius of the highest order and that fact is evident all over this book and with Chris Burnham and Frazer Irving as backup you cannot go wrong. This is a great-looking Batman series, indeed.

OVERALL: A
This is the issue where everything changes in the Batman universe so missing Batman & Robin #16 would be a big mistake. Not only does it close an interesting chapter in this already electrifying series but it also drops some major bombshells that the aftermath will be talked about for a long time to come.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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Reviewer: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Pier Gallo
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $2.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now

We said it once and we’ll gladly say it again: Jeff Lemire is one of the best things to happen to comic books in a very long time. So when we heard that the indie comics author made a jump to mainstream comics and pen the new Superboy series you can bet we were excited. As it turns out, Superboy #1 is a very good reason to get excited and just about the best bet for those who have always wanted to read a Superboy comic from the very beginning. Now is the time to jump aboard because this is Superboy at his finest.

For those who don’t know the story of Conner Kent, he isn’t a Superman clone … not exactly. You see, he is the result of a test tube experiment using the D.N.A. strains of Superman and his human nemesis, Lex Luthor. The result is a young powerhouse with the powers of the Man of Steel as well as his sense of justice, hence being given the Kent name as well as a good home with Ma Kent back in Smallville where Clark Kent was raised.

His existence, however, is what Conner is contemplating with Clark Kent’s super canine, Krypto, when the Phantom Stranger mysteriously appears. He tells Conner that Smallville will soon be plagued by a great evil that seems to be drawn by his presence and that he should be ready to fight. So Conner Kent begins to wonder if he should leave Smallville, which is something Ma Kent thinks would be a mistake. If a great evil is about to hit Smallville then the only one who can combat it is Superboy.

Just like Clark Kent did when he was young, Conner is juggling his duties as resident superhero but also his life as a High school student. He has kept himself busy with mundane farm boy chores but also keeping Smallville safe, a task that has alienated him from others … like Lori Luthor (niece of Lex Luthor) who seems to be interested in him. Somehow, his best friend, Simon Valentine, has a strange idea about him.

Then the Phantom Stranger’s warning becomes true as a parasite monster that drains the life out of whatever and whomever it touches and it is going directly after Superboy. Unfortunately, the creature attacks right in baffling moment for Conner whose conversation with Simon Valentine got interesting. Within second, Superboy and the parasite are locked in battle as the thing begins to drain him of his powers.

During the battle we learn that Superboy might have just about all the abilities as Superman but he does have an ability of his own that separates the two. He uses said ability in battle and even Krypto gets in on the action. Oh, the surprises don’t stop there as a new threat arises and a familiar face from Gotham City arrives as well.

As I said, Jeff Lemire’s contribution to Superboy is something to get excited about and it’s evident in the story and dialogue. Still, this being the first issue, the story hasn’t really taken off but it is clear that there is a lot of potential in this series. Besides the great writing, there is also some great art by Pier Gallo.

Issue #1 of Superboy is an excellent start to a Superboy series that is sure to get a lot better and we are so looking forward to the surprises that Lemire and Gallo have in store for us. Sure, the series is just beginning but we can already tell that Smallville will find itself in some interesting times that will have Superboy filling some very big shoes. Superboy fans, this is the series you need to collect.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A
Conner Kent wonders about life as the result of an experiment using the D.N.A. of two very powerful forces but, when the Phantom Stranger appears with a cryptic and vague warning, he has no doubts that he will protect Smallville as Superboy. Suddenly, the warning becomes a reality when a dangerous foe makes an appearance.

ART: A-
Pier Gallo’s art works beautifully for this series and his action sequences simply fly off the panels in the best way possible. The Raphael Albuquerque cover is downright impressive.

OVERALL: A
Superboy is off to a magnificent start with this first issue and much of it has to do with Jeff Lemire and the talented Pier Gallo. While we have yet to see the series’ true potential yet, the story definitely shows some signs of great possibilities for the characters. Consider us hooked already.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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Reviewer: Ian Mintz

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Cameron Stewart, Andy Clarke, Scott Hanna, Dustin Nguyen and Frank Quitely (Cover Art)
Genre: Graphic Novel (Hardcover)
MSRP: $24.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now

What are you willing to risk to bring back the person who is not only important to you but to the world?

This is a question that Dick Grayson, the once partner to the Dark Knight, has asked himself and quickly answered. He is willing to race across the world to bring back the man who had taken him in and raised him as his own to eventually share with him the crime fighter life. This is exactly what he does in The Deluxe Edition of Batman & Robin: Batman Vs. Robin … a fresh and unforgettable addition to the Batman saga.

Bruce Wayne is dead … or so those close to the original Batman think since Superman brought back the corpse of the Caped Crusader after Batman sacrificed himself during a mission. Since then, Dick Grayson (AKA the original Robin and Nightwing) has taken up the costume to become the new Batman and is now on a quest to bring back the man that meant so much to him. Having taken a partner who has assumed the role of Robin, the heir to the Wayne fortune as well as the crime syndicate of Al Ghul is out of commission thanks to a spinal cord injury that is being treated by his mother with the help of Wayne Manor butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

Having discovered the location of a Lazarus pit – that is said to contain a mysterious power that is able to bring the dead back to life – in England, the new Batman finds himself bringing his mentor’s remains to a coal mine that is territory to a villain who calls himself King Coal and his chimney sweep minions. Thankfully, Batman has the aid of the British heroes Knight and his sidekick named Squire. What they encounter in the mines is henchmen and their prisoner … Batwoman. Unfortunately, the Lazarus pit has a most troublesome effect on the body of the old Batman and what surfaces is an out-of-control freak. During the scuffle, something happens to Batwoman that has Batman using the Lazarus pit once again but this time it’s a success.

Returning back to Wayne manor after surgery, Damian returns to his father’s home only to find that the insane creature that was once a corpse attack him and Alfred. It’s clear to Damian that this is not his father, a fact that is startling considering the fact that Superman himself had confirmed the identity. Grayson and Batwoman arrive on time to save Damian but it’s clear that Damian doesn’t think very highly of the man that has replaced his father as Batman.

If the thing they thought was Bruce Wayne isn’t the real deal then surely Bruce must still be alive, right? So Both Batman and Robin start digging deeper and following clues that suggest that Bruce might have been transported back in time somehow. As Damian tends to his father’s business affairs by taking full control of Wayne Enterprises, Batman turns to the mysterious gravedigger known as Oberon Sexton who has a list of unusual murders of members of an exclusive club that Bruce Wayne’s parents may or may not have a connection.

The only way to find out the truth is by taking a trip to the Wayne cemetery and the complex that holds the Wayne family history that spans generations of Waynes. If Bruce is alive he might have left a message via a painting but as Batman is digging through the clues, Robin cannot control his anger towards his partner. On top of that, masked agents of the organization connected to the murders show up and Robin fights the effects of a device his mother might have implanted in his new spinal cord. Along with the aid of Oberon Sexton, Robin is able to fight off the intruders but not after Robin – controlled like a puppet by a man that Dick Grayson knows – attacks Batman.

Losing the only clue they have, both Batman and Robin confront Talia Al Ghul, Damien’s mother, and she reveals exactly what she did to her son. In a powerful scene, the son wants his mother to understand that path he chose but she had bigger plans for him. In the end, her shocking and heartbreaking response will change Damien’s life forever as the quest to find Bruce Wayne continues.

Leave it to Grant Morrison, one of comic’s most cherished and respected comic book authors, to tell a story that will make you see the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder in a different light. The story has no shortage of surprises (including the surprising identity of Oberon Sexton) and exciting team ups (Batwoman definitely needs a series of her own by Mr. Morrison as does Knight and Squire). The art is also a highlight thanks to Cameron Stewart who made Seaguy so awesome.

Batman fans, if The Deluxe Edition of Batman & Robin: Batman Vs. Robin is not among your collection then there is something seriously wrong with you. It is proof undeniable that now matter how many different Batman stories you’ve read over the past few years there is still room for the saga to expand in exciting ways that will make you glad you fell in love with comics in the first place. A Must Have for comic fans, period.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A
Determined to bring Bruce Wayne back to life, Dick Grayson takes up the cowl as the new Batman and takes the remains of his mentor to England where a chance to resurrect him leads to an unfortunate mishap that will lead Batman and the new Robin to investigate the Wayne bloodline. Meanwhile, Robin discovers something about his mother that is connected to him.

ART: A+
The art is simply stunning and that is thanks to Cameron Stewart as well as the contributions of Andy Clarke, Scott Hanna and Dustin Nguyen that make this a visually stunning series. Add some really striking cover art from Frank Quitely as well as some sketches and variant covers and you have yourself a good-looking hardcover graphic novel.

OVERALL: A
The Deluxe Edition of Batman & Robin: Batman Vs. Robin is nothing short of brilliant, mesmerizing and beautifully told. There is just something powerfully emotional about Dick Grayson willing to do whatever it takes to bring back his mentor and Damian fighting for control of his life. This is a series that should not be missed by anyone, especially if you’re a Batman fan.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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