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Archive for the ‘Comic Book Review’ Category

The Wake#1

Reviewed By: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Sean Murphy
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Inker: Sean Murphy
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $2.99 USA
Rating: M (Mature)
Release Date: Available Now
I’m a real sucker for the Discover Channel and, most especially, the specials they have on the mysteries that both space and the depths of the ocean might hold. One special in specific caught my interest since it blended fantasy with possibility in a way that one might believe in the existence of mermaids because – let’s face it – what do we really know what lurks in the deep?

With the first issue of a ten-part mini-series, talented scribe Scott Snyder and the equally gifted Sean Murphy spins a yarn that plays to the mysteries of the ocean. We are introduced to an agile young woman who hang glides into a city nearly submerged in water to meet up with a rather curious dolphin when she realizes that a giant wave is headed her way.

Fast-forward 200 years earlier in a Washington harbor as we meet a very different woman by the name of Doctor Lee Archer who is not only tracking a whale but also chatting with her son via Skype. It isn’t until a chopper lands nearby that Dr. Archer finds – to her disappointment – Agent Astor Cruz of the Department of Homeland Security. It is clear from her reaction that the two had met before and that it wasn’t a very favorable meeting as far as Archer is concerned.

No matter what words had been exchanged in the past, Agent Cruz comes with a mystery that Archer just cannot ignore and it comes in the form of a recording of a most unusual sound that would intrigue any cetologist. It’s clear to her that the sound didn’t come from a whale or any other inhabitant of the sea she has heard before but the sound is somewhat familiar to her nonetheless and Agent Cruz knows it.

Archer accepts Cruz’ offer to come with him to a base where she will help the Department of Homeland Security in deciphering the sound but only because he promises her to remedy to problems in her life. She quickly discovers that she was not the only one dragged into this mystery as we also meet Doctor Marin who is professor of folklore and mythology at Brown University as well as the author of a book on mysteries of the ocean. There’s also an unusual man named Meeks and Bob Wainwright from the very organization that fired her a while back.

It also becomes clear that each member of this team has been convinced to accept this job under different circumstances. Not given a chance to protest because they board a new kind of submarine able to make a quick descent into the deep, the team of specialists find themselves on an underwater oil rig just in time to witness an attack on a crew worker. Archer also comes face-to-face with something she did not expect whatsoever.

Scott Snyder opens up a mystery that is already shaping out to be intriguing enough that you will find yourself wanting more by the end of this issue. While the idea doesn’t seem completely original, Snyder has yet to disappoint when it comes to telling a story that is both deep and filled with rich characters you actually care about.

Then there’s the artwork from Sean Murphy who continues to bring us his own eye-catching style that has made his work on American Vampire or his own book, Punk Rock Jesus, such a visually appealing body of work. We just can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in this series.

The Wake #1 is the type of book that will grab a hold of you immediately and keep your attention until the very last panel. While the premise, from what we can see from this first issue, isn’t completely original, as a fan of both Snyder and Murphy, I can only imagine that these two creative forces have plenty of surprises up their sleeve. Guess what, folks? The Wake is one series you will not want to miss and neither will we.

 

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A-
While out in the ocean tracking a whale, a brilliant cetologist named Doctor Lee Archer is approached by an agent straight from the Department of Homeland Security who requires her skills to identify a most unusual sound that came from the depths of the sea. Reluctantly accepting the offer, Dr. Archer finds herself in a submarine heading towards an underwater base and an ancient mystery.

ART: A
Sean Murphy’s body of work has been an impressive one that makes every graphic novel or comic book really stand out and if this sounds like too high a praise to give an artist then you really haven’t been acquainted with his work. The Wake will be one good-looking series.

OVERALL: A-
Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy offer an intriguing beginning to a story that is slowly unraveling before our eyes and, so far, it does not disappoint in the very least. The credit, of course, goes to Snyder who is a master storyteller and Murphy whose visuals manage to say more with one panel than a word balloon filled with text. Where the story will take us is a mystery but one we would happily follow.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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BatmanandRobin#18

Reviewed By: Eden Zacarias

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorist: John Kalisz
Inker: Mick Gray
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $3.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

CR Editor's Choice Award

Grumpy, cocky and undeniably talented, Damian Wayne was a lot of things but the role that helped shape him into something other than a failed instrument of destruction that Talia al Ghul meant him to be was as Robin. So it was fitting that the Bruce Wayne’s offspring met his fate by the hand of the terror group led by his mother as the Boy Wonder in the pages of Batman Incorporated.

The loss of not one but two Robins (see the “Death in the Family” story arc) is painful, indeed, but this is different. This is the loss of a child that Bruce Wayne had taken under his wing to become a better man that would inherit the Wayne name and do it justice. Together, both men began to change as Batman’s family expanded for the better.

What would have become of Bruce Wayne with more time spent with Damian? Well, we’ll never know now but it becomes clear in Batman and Robin #18 that the impact of the loss of Damian Wayne suddenly hits Bruce hard enough that it is felt by anyone who picks up this unforgettable and touching issue.

Before I begin to describe the story, I must mention that there is not one caption or word balloon to be found in this issue. The only real words found throughout the pages of this issue come in the end in the form of a letter that Damian left behind for his father to find. However, words aren’t really needed to convey the emotional impact and this is thanks to artist Patrick Gleason who – along with Mick Gray and John Kalisz – manages to display more than enough emotion to make you pick up a box of Kleenex.

In the darkness of his mansion, Bruce Wayne finds himself numb and obviously not still mentally taking in the absence of a youthful presence that has become a big part of his life. In another room in the mansion, Alfred breaks down at the sight of an unfinished portrait of the Bat Family. Meanwhile, Bruce encounters Damian’s sketchbook showcasing a talent he kept to himself.

Then the shock that comes with the realization that a loved one is no longer among the living sets in as Bruce sees Damian everywhere whether it’s zipping down the pole that leads straight down to the Bat Cave or inside the Batmobile. The only way to quiet this ghost is to go out at the Dark Knight and he does exactly that as he hits the streets of Gotham.

And Batman hits the streets of Gotham in a way that truly brings terror into the eyes of the criminal element that also includes familiar Bat foes. He strikes hard and without mercy and as the night comes to an end we can see that the rage building up inside him exploded in an unusually violent manner.

In the end, back in the Bat Cave, that rage is replaced by something else as Bruce finds a letter that Damian had written before he set out that fateful day to meet his end at the hands of Leviathan. The words are so beautiful and touching that – I swear – it will have you shedding tears again. This is the moment that will change Bruce Wayne forever.

Whatever your opinion of Damian Wayne was you have to admit that he made a very interesting Robin and, in this reviewer’s opinion, was one of the better Boy Wonders whether he was fighting crime alongside Dick Grayson or his own father. He will be missed and it is already showing in the pages of other Bat titles but how it will affect this particular title remains to be seen.

Batman and Robin #18 is a brilliant and emotional issue that, without even a word of dialogue, displays the psychological impact of the loss of a family member. Bruce Wayne goes through a number of emotions in one night whether it’s disbelief, rage and finally acceptance in a way that makes this such a powerful issue. Tomasi and Gleason have given us a masterpiece and an issue of Batman and Robin you need to pick up right away.
COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A+
In the wake of the violent death of his son, Damian Wayne, Bruce finds himself dealing with the loss the only way he knows how … assuming the role of the Dark Knight and taking out Gotham’s trash in the most brutal way possible.

ART: A
In an issue that is told entirely through visual means, Patrick Gleason’s pencils masterfully convey emotion in a way that will utterly break your heart with nearly every panel. With the help of John Kalisz and Mick Gray, you will not help but find yourself pleased by the artwork.

OVERALL: A+
No words are uttered in Batman and Robin #18 and none is needed as it so easily speaks volumes of what Damian Wayne really meant to the man the Boy Wonder had come to call Father. Without a doubt, this issue should have come with tissue paper because it is guaranteed to break your heart and make you shed a tear or two. Damian Wayne, you will be missed.
Review copy provided by DC Comics

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Batman #17

Reviewed By: Eden Zacarias

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $3.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

Without spoiling the surprises or the “big reveal” that the conclusion of a decent story arc helmed, of course, by the brilliant Scott Snyder and talented artist Greg Capullo, I’ll go into the reasons why the Death in the Family is an enjoyable albeit not a game-changing story arc. With Batman #17, the story closes in a deliciously twisted and entertaining manner that only a villain like the Joker could bring to table in the Death of the Family storyline.

Even before The New 52 event, Batman and the Joker have had a long history that has seen these two opponents clashing in a battle that is both physical and psychological. The relationship between them runs deeper than any wound inflicted by their confrontations. However, this time might seem a little different as the Joker has turned his attention on the ones that the Dark Knight has come to see as his “family.” We all know that when the Clown Prince of Crime sets his sights on his latest victims he goes to great lengths to make sure the punchline of his twisted joke kills.

So what happens in Batman #17 is the outcome of the Joker’s killer joke as he unveils to Batman his psychotic version of a family dinner. Tied back in their seats with bloody bandages covering their faces are Bruce‘s extended Bat-family who had fallen prey to the Joker who tells Batman that if he got out of his seat it would trigger an incendiary trap that would prove fatal to the dinner guests who have been doused with gasoline.

Oh yeah, there’s also a diabolically twisted version of Alfred Pennyworth who was affected by a new kind of toxin the Joker has discovered and – to his maniacal glee – has used to transform the Wayne Estate’s butler into a freaky man-servant for the Joker. Leave it to Greg Capullo to turn Alfred into a demented-looking and menacing version of the kindly father-figure.

As I said in the beginning of the review, I will not spoil what happens but I will say that Batman manages to break free and chase the Joker in the confines of the Bat Cave only to come face-to-face with his old foe. Yes, physical blows are given and taken but the real damage comes in a psychological manner that finds the Joker facing the truth about not only himself but Batman as well.

The result is a fascinating verbal exchange that Scott Snyder conceives that makes this issue worth picking up alone. Sure, it doesn’t reveal anything too shocking and those expecting Batman to expose the Joker’s true identity will be disappointed. The words spoken here does reveal something even more important, which leads up to an even more intriguing final bit that Bruce mentions to Alfred.

I should also say that Snyder’s Joker is absolutely sick and twisted and we get that with this story as well as this final issue.

As a fan of Scott Snyder’s work, I found the last issue of this story arc to simply entertain without doing anything that will leave Batman fans completely surprised. I didn’t expect anyone to die, of course, but I wish there was more to the ending than what the epilogue exposes. How could it all lead up to a confrontation we have seen many times before in other Batman titles?

Of course, it’s hard to complain when the best parts of the story are complimented by Greg Capullo’s pencils. Without a doubt, he easily makes every page a visual delight that will have you staring at each panel, especially the scenes during the dinner that involve a freaky kitten and the Joker’s new toxin. Even the Joker’s gruesome face-mask is awesome. We tend to praise Capullo’s work often on this site and if you pick up this book you will see exactly why he’s such a fan favorite.

Batman #17 is a truly entertaining and the verbal sparring by Batman and the Joker is worth the price of admission alone. Will the finale of this story blow you away with a game-changing event or even end with a horrific death? No, but what it will do is give Batman fans yet another story arc that has Batman and the Joker redefining the relationship between them and why the Caped Crusader can’t come to kill his foe. It’s a good story well worth picking up.


COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: B+
In this final chapter of a most interesting saga, the Joker reveals his utterly twisted final plan in the form of a not-so-inviting family dinner with all the players in great danger. However, it is Batman who turns the tables on the Clown Prince of Crime in an unforgettable confrontation that speaks volumes of their relationship.

ART: A+
Batman fans rejoiced the fact that Greg Capullo is working on this title and the result is a Batman book that is easily the most spectacular-looking visuals. With flawless coloring by Plascencia and perfect inking by Glapion and we have a book you won’t stop staring at from start to finish.

OVERALL: B+
An engaging conclusion to the Death of the Family event, Batman #17 says a lot about the relationship between a hero and his family as well as the villain whose connection to said hero is a deep one. While a part of me wishes the story ended differently, it’s hard to complain when the rest of the story is this compelling and way too much fun despite not doing anything too dramatic. Batman fans, you do not want to miss this story arc.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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GreenArrow #17

Reviewed By: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Colorist: Andrea Sorrentino and Hi-Fi
Inker: Andrea Sorrentino
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $2.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

Admittedly, I have been looking forward to The New 52 version of Green Arrow. In fact, I was optimistic that he would finally get a series that showcases his strengths and weaknesses in a way that would breathe new life to this familiar hero. We’re talking a series with a fresh new start worthy of DC Comic’s crime fighting archer and member of the Justice League.

Sadly, Green Arrow’s new beginning fell short in many ways but devoted fans (like myself) held on in hopes that the series would eventually get better. Then came the announcement that the series would get a new creative team that would finally turn things around for the better and this was good news indeed. With  “Sweet Tooth” author Jeff Lemire penning the story and Andrea Sorrentino handling the art, this new team takes aim but does it hit the target?

Before I answer that question, let’s get to Green Arrow #17’s actual story that begins in a scorching wasteland. A lone figure comes into frame and it is clear it is none other than Oliver Queen who informs us that he has lost everything. We fast-forward three weeks earlier as Oliver pushes his way into Queen Industries’ main offices looking for Emerson … than man who currently runs Queen’s family business.

As it turns out, Queen Industries has been sold to a rival corporation and Ollie is obviously angry with Emerson who allowed this to happen. Emerson has been expecting Oliver to show up and points to the fact that Ollie is nothing more than a man-child who needs to realize his true potential. In fact, he seems to know something else … something that points to Oliver Queen’s real destiny.

However, before Emerson can go into details, he is brought down by an arrow that seems to be familiar to Oliver. Suddenly, Emerson goes flinging out the window as security officers enter to find Oliver Queen standing over said window. This looks suspicious and Oliver knows it as he has no choice but to fight his way out of the building. His only real choice is to get to Q-Core to get to his gear and costume only for the unthinkable to happen to the only two friends he has left.

Thankfully, he is able to turn to a safe house where he not only manages to get to his gear but is also confronted by a mystery attacker who seems to know who he is as well as his secret identity. As a twist of fate, the attacker also happens to be a talented archer who happens to possess all of the Green Arrow’s various arrow attachments and his bow.

Introduced as Komodo, the villain archer is a worthy adversary who is a step ahead of the Green Arrow and is far more skilled in combat than Ollie. The battle quickly turns one-sided but when things are about to go really sour for our hero a mystery man jumps into the battle. This newcomer also seems to know the Green Arrow as well as the truth of Oliver Queen’s real destiny.

Jeff Lemire opens up new possibilities that point to a new direction that actually works despite the hero-loses-all-to-discover-his-true-potential-to-regain-what-he-lost theme. It’s been done before and in the pages of a Green Arrow book to boot but Lemire has always been the kind of writer who never fails to surprise his readers. His talents clearly make this issue an interesting read that gives Green Arrow fans hope that things can only get better with Lemire at the helm.

As far as the artwork is concerned, Andrea Sorrentino (whose work in “I, Vampire” gave it its exceptional visual style) finally makes Oliver Queen and his alter ego look natural. Sure, I miss the moustache but at least he doesn’t look like a macho version of Justin Beiber like in the first issue. Sorrentino’s artistic style is both unique and gorgeous with perfect coloring and realistic expressions on the faces of the characters. Whatever happens, Sorrentino should officially stay on as Green Arrow’s main artist.

In my opinion, Green Arrow #17 is the series’ actual new beginning as the new team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino aim high and hits the target just right. While the theme has been done before, knowing Jeff Lemire we can come to expect exciting developments with each new issue and adding Sorrentino’s artwork we have ourselves a Green Arrow book we should have gotten in the first place. This is a real Must Have for any Green Arrow fans.


COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: B+
Without a moment’s notice, Oliver Queen’s life is about to take a most interesting yet disastrous turn as a mysterious attacker targets Queen and his alter ego, the Green Arrow. As he loses everything and those he had called allies, the Green Arrow comes face-to-face with a new foe who seems to know all about him.

ART: A
Andrea Sorrentino’s art is expressive, unique and brings us a Green Arrow who is fit for the modern age  and whose physical presence feels far more real than past versions. Without a doubt, Sorrentino’s talents will not go unnoticed by Green Arrow fans and comic book collectors everywhere.

OVERALL: B+
With Jeff Lemire handling the story and Andrea Sorrentino bringing his distinctive visuals to this book, Green Arrow is just starting to get  interesting and – as we can see from this 17th issue – push our hero into familiar if not promising territory. For those who lost faith in this series, rejoice, this new direction is shaping out to be exactly what the Green Arrow deserves.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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Reviewed By: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jim Lee
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Inker: Scott Williams
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $3.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

Leave it to Geoff Johns to keep us intrigued as he slowly peels off the layers of a mystery foe while even more slowly bringing a band of heroes closer together to become the legendary team known as the Justice League. As we can see from Justice League #3, more members of the team meet for the first time and another is finally born as the real story has yet to begin. All we know right now is that The New 52 is really looking to be the best thing to happen to the Justice League in a long time.

As it was hinted in the last issue, the United States government and its military has become aware of another superhuman only this one has come from a mysterious island the government would like to find. Instead, what the world gets is a young and spirited young woman named Diana whose comes from the mythical race known as the Amazons. Not knowing quite what to make of her, the military has kept her in a base trying to understand why this young woman eagerly wants to fight for justice with a swing of her sword and her magical lasso.

We find out that the rest of the world knows about her now thanks to her attacks on criminals out in public. She has gotten so much exposure that the media has dubbed her Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, not everyone has embraced Wonder Woman’s existence since everyone from concerned citizens to religious fanatics sees her as something of a threat.

Still, this does not stop Wonder Woman from leaving the compound to fight evil as her liaison of this world, Colonel Trevor, finds out that she smashed her way out of the building to look for the creature reported to be attacking innocent civilians. Out in the street, people fear and loathe her … except for a child whose innocent wonder in the Amazonian reveals Wonder Woman’s own astonishment of this world. Everything from ice cream to rock and roll seem delightful and new to her.

As fate would have it, though, Wonder Woman does encounter the winged creature she head about in the news back in the military compound. It doesn’t turn out to be what she thought but judging by the sight of it we can see that it is actually another of the alien invaders showing up throughout the world.

Meanwhile, the Green Lantern, Batman, Superman and The Flash find themselves fighting off the wave of enemy invaders that suddenly appeared. It is The Flash who hears that similar attacks are going on around the world and there are reports that the invaders are taking humans with them. The four do a great job of fighting off the invaders together as we catch a glimpse of their future using teamwork in battle.

Not too far away, Doctor Stone is cradling the badly injured body of his son who has suffered a direct blast that has left his son incredibly disfigured. Realizing that the blast is eating away the flesh, the Doctor convinces his only surviving staff to help carry his son into a room with untested experimental nanite technology. While everyone else protests using said untested technology, the good doctor does not want to lose his only son and begins the procedure that would transform a young high school student into something else. What happens next is something you really must see for yourself.

While watching Victor Stone’s transformation is nail-bitingly intense, the biggest fan moment just so happens to be Wonder Woman joining in the fray involving the other heroes. Better yet is The Flash and The Green Lantern’s reaction to Wonder Woman. Just seeing the five heroes fighting side-by-side simply makes up for the slightly slower and less action-packed pace. We are also given a tease of the next hero that will cross their paths as well.

As I said before, Geoff Johns just keeps us intrigued and wanting more and this is no different. Add the continued brilliant visuals brought to us by Jim Lee as well as colorist Alex Sinclair and inker Scott Williams as we continue to have a great looking series. This Wonder Woman, by the way, looks absolutely stunning.

Justice League #3 wins big points for an interesting re-introduction to Wonder Woman to a world where heroes are not embraced as automatic saviors. Again, the pacing is slow but hardly a turn off seeing as Geoff Johns excels in keeping us intrigued and – let’s face it – excited by the potential of his story and what we could expect from future issues. This one still has us just as jazzed as the monumental first issue.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: B+
As reports come from all around the world about invaders attacking major cities, a younger and more powerful Amazonian warrior the public calls Wonder Woman sets out to defend her new home. Eager for a fight, Wonder Woman happens to come across another band of familiar heroes fighting nearby. Meanwhile, Doctor Stone turns to an untested technology to save Victor’s life.

ART: A+
Jim Lee keeps outdoing himself with every issue of Justice League as we can clearly see from this third issue. Once again, the action looks hot but it’s Lee’s version of a younger and feistier Wonder Woman that steals the show. Well, that and the surprise at the end of the story.

OVERALL: B+
While Green Lantern and Batman’s new companions continue to take on the alien invaders, Justice League #3 will be best remembered as the best re-introduction of Wonder Woman to the Justice League roster. While the introduction slows the action down, it is the new Wonder Woman and the procedure that will transform Vic Stone into Cyborg that makes this issue a Must Have.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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Reviewed By: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jim Lee
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Inker: Scott Williams
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $4.99 USA (Digital Copy included)
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

It’s official … The New 52 was not only a success in terms of sales but also as a major turning point for the entire DC Universe and its iconic list of characters. Among all of the impressive titles that were given a reboot, it is the Justice League series that must assemble the big guns that include Superman and Wonder Woman in a new beginning that started off interesting enough. Justice League #2 re-introduces us to a familiar hero who is not very happy to meet the Dark Knight and his new friend called the Green Lantern.

The entire DC Universe has changed in a dramatic way that in the first issue of Justice League, the Green Lantern wasn’t even sure if Batman was real. As the Green Lantern finds Batman, he’s in the middle of pursing an alien intruder while evading the bullets of Gotham City’s finest who do not see him as a hero. Banding together to face off against the alien in the sewers, it perishes during the confrontation leaving only a mystery in the form of a strange cube and a name … Darkseid.

Figuring the only person who might know anything about alien business is an alien who made the city of Metropolis his home, the Green Lantern and Batman head to the City of Tomorrow only to find that the Man of Steel is in no mood for visitors. In fact, he attacks them the minute they step foot in Metropolis. Meanwhile, not too far away, a rising football star named Vic Stone is disappointed that his father didn’t make it to one of the biggest games of his life.

As we can see from Justice League #2, though, Batman and the Green Lantern have their hands full with an enraged Superman who will not even listen to reason. Batman has already used just about every device on his utility belt to calm him down while the Green Lantern was sent flying after being hit by Superman. It seems that Superman was attacked by a similar alien. On top of that, both heroes are carrying around a similar cube so the Man of Steel assumes they are with the aliens.

Seeing no other choice, Hal Jordan dials a very familiar face from Central City to lend a hand. It’s very clear – judging by their lively banter – that both Hal and Barry Allen (better know to us as The Flash) having not just met in person but has developed a friendship. Barry still works in the crime lab and is good at what he does but – with the entire crime lab unit focusing its attention on The Flash – he feels that the department is losing track of what is actually more important. Since super humans are still considered a threat, the Green Lantern made Central City aware of The Flash’s existence.

The Flash’s arrival on the scene turns the tables on the one-sided fight as he zips around Superman but it’s certainly not enough. However, they finally manage to calm Superman down enough that the Man of Steel is comfortable enough to take them to his base of operation that isn’t what it seems. As they wonder what to do about the alien cube it activates.

Meanwhile, Vic Stone, having visited his father in his lab, is given a not so warm reception from his father who purposely did not show up at his son’s game. Despite the fact that he knows his father thinks football is a waste of time, he wanted his father there for obvious reasons but Doctor Stone is not one to win Father of the Year. Then, something happens that will change everything for Vic Stone. For those who have been wondering how he will be transformed into our favorite Cyborg, baby, this is but the beginning.

Geoff Johns and Jim Lee continues to make the story flow flawlessly whether it’s Lee’s gorgeous artwork of Johns’ great storytelling style. I love the friendly camaraderie between Hal Jordan and Barry Allen … both who recognize that Bruce Wayne is a tool and Superman is actually something of a jerk who has yet to know his true role.

Justice League #2 takes its time building up the formation of a team of heroes but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy a great story that just keeps getting better. With Superman and The Flash finally joining Batman and The Green Lantern, this story is just getting started and you can bet we will definitely keep an eye on even more so when this issue hints at the existence of Wonder Woman.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: A-
The Green Lantern and Batman finally find Superman but the Man of Steel is enraged after a visit from the alien invaders and attacks both heroes. Seeing no other choice but to call for back-up, the Green Lantern calls none other than The Flash to help them out. Meanwhile, Vic Stone visits his father in the lab when the alien cubes Doctor Stone was studying changes his son’s life forever.

ART: A+
Once again, Jim Lee does not fail to make his work stand out and – thanks to Alex Sinclair and Scott Williams – each panel look awesome. The cover for this second issue is definitive proof of that. The Sketchbook section at the end is also a wonderful addition, especially since this is a new beginning with updated costumes.

OVERALL: A-
While the series has yet to kick into high gear, Justice League #2 still continues to make the introduction and formation of the Justice League just as enticing as the first issue. So Superman and Batman don’t come off as too likeable, Geoff Johns does make them interesting enough to gives us a very different beginning to what will surely be a Justice League worth watching.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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Reviewed By: Emma Coverdale

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Colorist: John Kalisz
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $2.99 USA
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

Gotham City … you just have to love a city so far from grace that it needs a man dressed up like a bat to save it from a collection of freaks and criminally insane foes. Among the number of Gotham’s Most Wanted is the Penguin yet what do we really know about him or his past? Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 is a character study of a very dangerous man who – up until now – reveals a troubled childhood that is but the tip of the iceberg.

Born into the world as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot to a mother who so affectionately calls him a beautiful boy despite the fact that the physicians that helped deliver the infant see the obvious physical abnormalities, the only real warmth came from the infant’s mother. While the mother only sees the beauty in her child, the father is another story altogether as one look at his son has him dropping the baby! Oswald’s father doesn’t even want his infant son on his bed, coldly pushing the baby aside to be intimate with his wife.

Unfortunately, after that, Oswald’s early childhood is something of a nightmare for a boy born with an unusual beak-like nose and short stature. He was isolated by his “normal” brothers who did not want to play with him and all his classmates seem to consider him a disgusting freak. Naturally, he was bullied in the most awful of ways as he eventually grew angry and vengeful. How could he not when friends and family would do unpleasant things to him?

It is through these quick peeks into his early childhood that we come to understand how Oswald Cobblepot grew up to become the Penguin. When we see him, it is the Penguin we all know as he has put together a party for an unknown investor. The Penguin immediately recognizes that people respect him out of fear. He is indeed a mean-looking man who is now use to getting what he wants with the snap of a finger or simply just a glance in the right direction.

He’s the type of man who lives in both his business worlds at the same time. Sure, he sets up cool events, one of which will feature a certain Irish rock band. However, the way he gets this famous rock band to attend is dirty. During the party, he takes care of his criminal endeavors.

Oh, he is indeed a man to fear as we can see when a young man bumps into him and quickly insults Oswald without even turning around to see who he bumped into. When the young man realizes who he had offended, the Penguin very calmly and casually has said young man come back up to his office just so he could tell him all the nasty things he had his thugs do to the young man’s family. Oh yeah, money brings the power to do things like this as the Penguin thinks.

On top of that, we get a glance at the Penguin’s relationship with his mother now as he has a group of thugs violently take a rare necklace from an heiress just so he could give it to his mother. He’s clearly very affectionate towards his mother, taking care of her himself in such a delicate that should have been endearing but is just creepy. In the end, the Penguin gets a visit from the Dark Knight himself.

Gregg Hurwitz pens an excellent first issue to this short series and keeps our interest as he paints a picture of painful memories that haunt a man who has turned to wealth and power to create a person you must fear and respect. Then there’s Szymon Kudranski’s art that stands out beautifully just like the cover itself.

Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 is a revealing and intriguing look at a character we thought we knew well through all the Batman titles. While this is but the first issue in this five-part series, it already reveals a troubled past that has led Oswald Cobblepot down a criminal road. We just can’t wait to see more of his past in the next issues of this well-told story.

COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN

STORY: B+
A glance into the birth and childhood of Oswald Cobblepot shows us that life dealt him a very bad hand since his appearance has alienated him from friends and family. It is because of this that he has become the Penguin, a man with money who is vicious enough to ruin a man’s life just for giving him the wrong glance. He is a man who cares for his elderly mother and willing to give her an heirloom taken from the corpse of a known Gotham socialite.

ART: A
Szymon Kudranski’s artwork and John Kalisz’ coloring compliment each another to the point of making this a comic that looks really damn good and the cover is simply stunning. The Penguin never looked this good or menacing.

OVERALL: B+
Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #1 is the start of a fascinating and beautifully crafted character study and this is just the first issue of this five-part series. As we get a deeper look at Oswald Cobblepot’s birth and upbringing, we come to understand what led him to become one of Batman’s most interesting foes. We wish all the other Batman villains got the same treatment in the near future.

Review copy provided by DC Comics

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