“Why do you do this to me DC… why!?” *shakes fist angrily at sky* “I mean, don’t I already buy enough of your monthly comics, trades, statues, t-shirts, action figures, posters, toys etc, without you tempting me with yet another astonishing piece of cover art on a title that isn’t even included in my mammoth monthly haul!”
Oh hi there, you may have caught me having a slight rant there… sorry about that, but you see I have just got back from my bi-monthly visit to the local comic-book emporium to pick up my staggeringly huge pile of monthly titles (I actually buy so many that whenever the shop’s proprietor sees me coming, he smiles with contented glee at the prospect of closing the shop early because I have almost wiped him out of DC merchandise… again!) Now, usually after handing over my life savings to the comic-book guy, I peruse the shelves before leaving, and what do I spot… a sensational Starfire cover on this months Teen Titans, dammit, it’s Starfire which means I am under an obligation to buy it… *sobs into wallet*
Don’t get me wrong, I really do like the Teen Titans, but I just don’t have enough money, time, or space to buy everything, so certain monthlies I have to begrudgingly let go, and Titans is one of those… yet, I love the character of Starfire so much, that I am predisposed to buy literally everything that she’s involved in. Luckily this specific Titans issue is a standalone title, a one shot story, meaning there is no need to read the previous fifteen issues to understand what in X’Hal is going on… so, phew!
The other reason, apart from the sterling cover that made me HAVE to buy this particular Titans issue, is the fact that one of her co-creators… the legendary Marv Wolfman is the writer for this issue, and ooh, it’s a doozy, believe me…
An unseen villain has taken over the citizens of San Francisco with one target in mind… Starfire! Can Kori and her teammates figure out a cure for the masses before they lose control of their minds and bodies forever? Find out in this one shot epic by the mythical Marv Wolfman!
Starfire, Teen Titans and all images are copyright: DC Comics.
Welcome, my comic collecting cohorts, to another episode of Comic Cover Of The Week, and once again we bask in the illuminating magnificence of Jenny Frison’s incredible artistic talent.
DC Comics’ Wonder Woman Rebirth series has been a revelation since its 2016 relaunch, the twice monthly title has been one of the most beautifully crafted and emotionally absorbing runs in Diana’s long and varied history. Enhancing Greg Rucka’s initial story arc were the vivacious visuals courtesy of Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott, with each and every panel a masterpiece in its own right.
Rucka’s epic “Truth and Lies” saga came to a close in issue #25 after its award winning run, with the initial team of superstar creators leaving the book to move onto other projects for DC. And though the sacred duties for guiding our favourite Amazon warrior Princess have now fallen into the capable hands of Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo, one of the original artistic architects is still onboard with the title, the fantastic Jenny Frison.
Jenny has been the variant cover artist for Wondy’s rebirth since issue #7, taking over duties from Frank Cho who sensationally quit after apparent ‘artistic differences’ with series writer Greg Rucka. Frison’s variant covers have been breathtaking, beautifully rendered paragons of artistic endeavour and this month’s issue is yet another paradigm of grandeur, and quite possibly my favourite piece from the talented artist yet.
Wonder Woman #27 continues the “Heart Of The Amazon” tale and finds someone close to Diana being the architect behind the recent attacks on her and her friends… but what has this person learned about her powers that she never even knew herself?
Wonder Woman Rebirth #27 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
The Bat, The Cat… And Wedding Bells!
Where exactly do Superheroes get married anyway?… mmmmmm, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and this week our splendiferous spotlight of excellence falls upon Batman Rebirth #24. This illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by those ceaseless composers of comic-book craft – Tom King, Danny Miki and David Finch.
Writer Tom King sure knows how to weave a compelling tale or two, it has to be said, his run on the the Rebirth Batman title has been nothing less than astonishing. His prodigious writing talents run the gamut of horror, thriller, good old fashioned heroics and comedy… narrative-wise, he really is the King (pun most definitely intended!)
Batman #24 is an emotionally charged issue from beginning through to emotive end, the Bat, the Cat and wedding bells? it’s certainly a possibility as Gotham’s grim guardian sensationally gets down on one knee to propose to the feisty feline felon known as Catwoman. So will this mean a happy denouement to the trials and tribulations of the dark and scary one’s overtly complicated and melancholic life? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, this is the Batman we’re talking about here, when has his life ever involved anything more than tragedy and vicissitude.
“Aftermath!” Gotham City is at peace… but a war is coming. Armed with the terrifying knowledge gained from the mysterious button, Batman must prepare for the coming storm by making a proposition to one of his enemies… one that may change everything for the Dark Knight and his allies.”
Batman #24 is available at your local comic book emporium right now.
The original Dark Knight Returns saga by Frank Miller was a defining moment for The Batman, Miller’s alternate take on the much loved Superhero cast the character in an even more extreme grim, gritty and violent setting, with the caped crusader himself a dour and sullen character whose inner demons continually haunt him as the weight of age and a life of brutal violence takes its toll. We follow an ageing Bruce Wayne as he struggles with these psychological demons, and attempts to hold back his rage and inefficacy through alcohol addiction and suicidal abandon of his life through varying extreme motor sports.
Miller’s classic 80’s series, alongside classics – Watchmen and V For Vendetta, shook up an atrophying comic book industry and presented a much more adult and psychologically emotional depth to Superhero comics, defining the future of the industry in a monumental way.
Miller returned to his raison d’etre in the 2001 follow up mini series The Dark Knight Strikes Again, yet, unlike its groundbreaking predecessor, this was not favourably received by fans or critics alike (myself included) the book was little more than a parody of previous events, and Miller’s artwork had taken a severe downturn in quality.
Jump forward 14 years and Dark Knight III: The Master Race debuted, the newest chapter in the alternative Batverse, and it’s been… mostly OK, I guess, unfortunately the original series was such a phenomenon that any subsequent take has fared rather badly, unable to match the originals magnificence.
That said, there have been some defining moments (mainly visual) in this ongoing series that have certainly taken the breath away from this particular Batfan, and the gorgeous Bill Sienkiewicz variant cover is one of those marvellous moments. It evokes so beautifully a man haunted by his past, a broken figure who has ultimately accepted his failing to protect the city and people he loves, yet will fight on even though it will probably mean his own demise… this image, to me, defines The Batman irrevocably, and contains more emotional substance than both the second and third chapters of the Dark Knight trilogy put together.
“Feetal’s Gizz” why didn’t anyone think of this pernicious pairing before now (OK, I admit, it didn’t even cross my mind until I saw the previews for this latest issue) but the Main Man and the Mistress of Mayhem teaming up is a match made in heaven (actually, in their particular case, Hell) That’s right my DC Comics’ loving compatriots, Harley Quinn and Lobo are together at last, and it’s as unpredictable, chaotic and crazy as you could imagine… which is great!
Now I’m sure that by now, even if you aren’t a huge fan of reading comics (tell me that ain’t so) you all know who the hellacious Harley Quinn is, but maybe you have never crossed paths with the invincible, space biking Czarnian psychotic Lobo, well never fear… the Precinct is here, and you can read up on the Main Man’s troubled history right here… phew! are you still with us after that briefly violent respite into Lobo’s malevolently malign backstory, you are!? In that case you will love this delectably dangerous duo’s teaming, and there is also icing on this deliciously depraved cake in the form of artistic auteur Simon Bisley!
British artist Simon Bisley is the person most people think of when referring to Lobo, thanks to his stellar work on the character throughout the 90’s, alongside Keith Giffen they made Lobo a household name to comic book aficionado’s across the globe. ‘It’s good to be bad’ was pretty much their mantra, and Lobo is so bad, he makes Harley seem (almost) angelic in comparison!
This book contains so much toilet humour, sexual innuendo, extreme ultra violence and offensive material that it probably shouldn’t be read by anyone… well anyone who is offended by such things, the rest of us should just dive on into a fantastically funny comic brought to us by that dynamically delightful writing duo Amanda Conner (who also drew the classic cover) and Jimmy Palmiotti, once more showing us that as far as comedic storytelling in comic books is concerned, they are the unequivocal vituosi of the art.
“Lobo’s back, the main man and Harley Quinn have a lot in common – motorcycles and mayhem for starters, so it’s long past time they found each other! This could be the start of a fraggin’ beautiful friendship… or they could destroy the planet. Or both! it can be two things!”
Harley’s Little Black Book #6 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Brought to you by – Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Simon Bisley… go and fraggin’ buy it, you don’t want Lobo to find out you didn’t!!
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover of The Week, and this week’s illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by, superlative scribe Scott Lobdell, and kingly Kenneth Rocafort. The Red Hood and the Outlaws Rebirth series has, thus far, been fantastic, Lobdell’s intense interactions between the offbeat triumvirate of Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro are definitely the highlight of the series.
Lobdell’s cracking characterisations are equally matched by Rocafort’s amazing artwork. We have been huge fans of Mr Rocafort’s peerless mastery of pen and pencil since we first discovered his work on the original 2011 Red Hood and the Outlaws series, it’s the little details he puts into each and every panel, in fact the art is so busy and complex, we do have to wonder how in Tartarus does he get the time to illustrate a complete issue, each… and every… month, the man is a machine!
This issue kicks off the “Who Is Artemis” storyline, as we catch up with our favourite band of justice seeking miscreants in a Gotham City bar, on the trail of ominous Bat-Villain, Cornelius Stirk. The majority of the comic takes place within said bar, and revolves around a conversation between Jason (Red Hood) and Artemis, as she regales her crime fighting colleague with her rather colourful history in Amazon lore.
The synergy between Jason and Artemis is ably captured by Lobdell this issue, especially Jason’s idiosyncratic personality. The quirky banter between our two leads makes for an exceptionally fun read as we explore Artemis background, and the reasons behind her (ongoing) search for the legendary Bow of Ra. And just when you think the issue couldn’t possibly get any better, we get a guest appearance from Artemis’ Amazon sister, Wonder Woman!
Red Hood and the Outlaws #8 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’ and this week’s illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by the astonishing Amanda Conner. Conner is, and always shall be one of our favourite artists here in the depths of the Precinct’s colossal comic crypts, her peerless mastery of pen and pencil is almost unmatched in the industry, her alluring artwork always oozes emotion and style, and her character’s facial expressions are worthy of the great Keith Giffen himself.
Justice League vs Suicide Squad is the first major storyline event since DC’s Rebirth relaunch, with the titular team up of the world’s greatest superheroes finally discovering the existence of Amanda Waller’s Task Force X (Suicide Squad) the government sponsored team of supervillains and disgraced superheroes who perform covert black ops missions off the radar, and are kept under control through an implanted micro explosive lodged in their brains.
Issue #3 finds the Justice League imprisoned in Belle Reve penitentiary by Amanda Waller who delights in telling the captured Leaguers of the crisis revolving around them. The Joshua Williamson penned mini-series has been a delight thus far, and the interior visuals by Jesus Merino are fantastically well realised and at times spectacular to behold. It’s also awesome to see the return of some of my very favourite villains including Maxwell Lord, Killer Frost and the Main Man himself Lobo! This really is required reading.
Justice League vs Suicide Squad is available at your local comic book emporium right now.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to new comics Wednesday, and with it comes a slew of classic covers to obsess over by some of the medium’s most illustrious illustrators. But with so many cool covers available each week how on earth do we pick just one for the honour of featuring in our weekly highlight… we don’t, because this week, you do, my celebrated comic contingents.
Before we get to the most important part, your vote, let’s take a look at our heroic hopefuls that are currently squaring up for this blistering battle-royale…
Superman #10 teams together the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder, with the Man Of Tomorrow and the Boy Of Steel in an awe inspiring adventure aptly called “In The Name Of The Father.” The cracking cover is finely wrought by Marvellous Mick Gray and perfectionist Pat Gleason.
Harley Quinn #7
Harley Quinn #7 brings a colossal conclusion to Harl’s punk rock escapades as it finds our irascible heroine, and her bandmates way too deep on their undercover assignment to take down a brutal gang of thieves and murderers, in a tale entitled “Eat To The Beat.” This illuminating issue’s cover is brought to you by the always astounding Amanda Conner.
Green Arrow #10
Green Arrow #10 follows Oliver Queen’s new Trans-Pacific Railway, an undersea vehicle that symbolises world peace, on its maiden voyage… but it seems not everyone is enamoured by Ollies olive branch to humanity as the Ninth Circle attempt to stage a high profile assassination onboard the luxury liner. Luckily Green Arrow, Black Canary and John Diggle are onboard as stowaways in a terrific tale titled “Murder On The Empire Express.” The iridescent issue cover is brought to you by jaunty Juan Ferreyra.
Bombshells #19 brings back our fave team of fighting females ‘The Batgirls’ as they take on the malevolent shadow known as The Reaper, to thwart his attempts to exact vengeance on Harvey Dent, Hugo Strange, Killer Frost and The Penguin. The cosmic cover is brought to you by the astonishing Ant Lucia.
Which of the four do you favour my fellow fanatics of fantastic fiction? cast your valiant votes below…
Presenting an extra special instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, as part of our continuing celebration of the Awesome Amazon’s 75th anniversary. A hearken back to my first ever encounter with the Themysciran Titan, way back in that glorious decade known as the 1980’s.
Ah the eighties, it was an interesting and rather revolutionary time in the UK. It had just gotten over the phenomenon that was Punk Rock, a rebellious anti-establishment movement that, really, was more about freedom of speech and giving voice to the people than it was about the music itself. I was actually way too young to appreciate the campaign for acceptance and diversity that Punk represented, but looking back on that era now, have come to realise how much Superheroes fit into the same mould as the punk rockers of the day, working outside of Government control, for the benefit of the people themselves.
I grew up in the greatest decade in the history of human kind (at least it was to me) the 1980’s. Icons from my era included such luminaries as Siouxsie and the Banshees (my all time favourite band… yes I was a Goth) ridiculously over the top action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Wesley Snipes (my personal favourite), Cynthia Rothrock and Moon Lee (my favourite female action stars.) Video Games began to really take shape, from their previous very simplistic and basic look and premise in the seventies, adding more complexity and depth in both the graphics and gameplay. But even with all these wonderful new distractions available to me, Comic-Books were still my first love, my go to for escapism and ultimate reverie.
It was the shadowy Masked Manhunter, The Batman, who initially introduced me into wonderful world of Superheroes. My first encounter with this iconic character was when I was six years of age, I was captivated by his world, so very different from my own (yet at times eerily similar.) Gotham was a terrible, seething place of corruption and murder, yet it had a redeemer, someone who swathed himself in darkness, and was scarier than even the worst denizens of this malevolent city… and yet fought for good!
The character beguiled me, and it was through him that my love of not just comics, but also literature itself began. It wasn’t until I was nine that I experienced my first foray into the legendary world of the Amazons, I knew who Wonder Woman was of course, through the occasional crossover story in ‘Batman’ and ‘Detective Comics’ but had yet to branch out fully into other realms, feeling contented in my protracted residence in Gotham City.
Wonder Woman #271 was the first time I invested heavily in a character who didn’t have a cape, a cowl and a pessimistic attitude to the world around him. In fact the two characters are literally night and day, which is why I believe that I began to love the Themysciran Titan with the same amount of reverence as I did the Dark Knight, because they were so different. She offered hope, and an optimism that The Bat just didn’t have, a figure who inspired goodness in those around her, with the strength and fortitude to fight the evils of man, yet show compassion and kindness to those deserving (and those who also were not, thus is her leniency and benevolence.)
I have always seen the two characters as my diametrically opposed halves, Batman represents my love of the darkness, gothicism (technically not a word, I know, but I like it) horror movies, the supernatural et al, and Wonder Woman has always constituted my hopes for the future, my work to forward animal rights, vegetarianism, and a general aspiration for betterment of myself and the world about me.
And onwards we go, my Amazon loving affiliates, for this might be the end of our week long celebration of 75 years of Wonder Woman, it most certainly isn’t the end of our love affair with the greatest and most important fictional female in history… here’s to another 75 years in her illuminating presence!
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’ and this week’s wonderfully wrought cover is brought to you by the fantabulous Frank Cho.
Wonder Woman Rebirth has been a rather wondrous soft reboot of DC Comics’ premier Superheroine. After nearly 75 years in print, Diana’s history has become rather convoluted, in comparison to her Trinity stablemates – Batman & Superman, the amazing Amazon’s past has been, at times, in conflict with itself. Is she the daughter of Zeus? or was she formed of clay and brought to life by a pantheon of Greek gods? These questions and many more have been asked by the fans over the last seven and a half decades of her virtual existence.
Her byzantine history is finally being definitively addressed through DC’s ‘Rebirth’ a soft reboot of their entire universe of characters, that will finally provide an answer to those many questions posed by her faithful fans.
The Rebirth series is split into two alternating titles, written by the groundbreaking Greg Rucka, with rotational art duties performed by nifty Nicola Scott and luminous Liam Sharp. Wonder Woman Rebirth expertly focuses on two halves of her life, her ongoing adventures during the modern era and her ‘Year One’ origin story.
Wonder Woman #6 finds the awesome Amazon encountering the world outside her paradise home of Themyscira for the first time, alongside her cicerone, Steve Trevor. Unable to understand the language or customs of these outsiders, Diana’s day becomes increasingly embroiled in mishap and misunderstanding.
Wonder Woman Rebirth #6 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now.
This week’s wonderfully wrought comic cover celebrates not only the absolutely astonishing artwork of Eber Ferreira & Eddy Barrows, but also the reversion of Detective Comics back to its original numbering. Detective Comics first appeared in 1937, but it was its twenty seventh issue that has become the most important of its seminal run, the first appearance of the Masked Manhunter himself – The Batman.
When DC Comics rebooted its Universe in 2011 with the ‘New 52’ they renumbered all of their issues back to #1’s. Before this back pedal of numbering, Detective had reached the almost incomparably immense issue #881, with the oncoming of DC’s recent ‘Rebirth’ which aims to reinsert the legacy of DC’s long and varied comic history, they have decided to revert the numbering of their two original and most popular comic books – Detective & Action Comics (which itself goes back to #957, tantalisingly close to issue #1,000!)
Detective Comics 934 finds the Batman attempting to bring together all of Gotham’s Guardians into one cohesive unit of crime-fighting badassery. A rebirth for the classic Bat-Family of old that sees the return of beloved characters like Stephanie Brown as the Spoiler and former Batgirl Cassandra Cain under her new identity of Orphan. Throw in the fiery haired vigilante Batwoman, wayward zealot Azrael and the Caped Crusader’s loyal sidekick Red Robin, and you end up with an almost unbeatable team of spandex clad heroes that will have the Supervillains of Gotham running for the proverbial hills!
Detective Comics will start shipping twice monthly from June 08, beginning with issue #934. Written by: James Tynion IV. Art and cover by: Eber Ferreira & Eddy Barrows. Variant cover by: Rafael Alburquerque.
Welcome, my comic collecting cohorts, to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and let me say right off the bat that the Innuendo is strong in this one… This is yet another fantastic entry into the ongoing misadventures of Ms Quinn. Red Tool (a thinly veiled parody of Deadpool, I mean look at the costume) has fallen in love with our favourite mischievous minx, and having gone to the trouble of kidnapping Harl’ and tattooing his phone number on her derriere, has now arranged a rather elaborate wedding ceremony.
Harley, of course, is none too happy about the scenario and decides that Red Tool is just that, a tool, and sets about doing what she does best – kick arse, chew gum and assault her foe with her seemingly endless array of world class wisecracks.
Yet again the amiable Amanda Conner delivers the goods, her cover illustration is, as ever, outstanding and her writing, along with her husband Jimmy Palmiotti goes above and beyond even her usual stratospheric prowess with a fantastically fun, innuendo laden issue. The interior art by John Timms is good, but I long for the days when Amanda Conner illustrated Harley’s adventures personally as, to me, she will always be the definitive artist of the Clown Princess Of Crime.
As for the antagonist Red Tool, the whole premise really is rather meta to be honest. You see Red Tool is an obvious parody of Marvel’s Deadpool, who in turn was originally created as a parody of DC’s Deathstroke, a perfect loop of satirical caricature creativity!
Harley Quinn #28 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti. Art by: John Timms. Cover by: Amanda Conner.
Once again we peruse the local comic book shelves in an attempt to pick out the greatest comic cover in a sea of masterful illustrations. And, as ever, it’s tough, with so many fantastically drawn covers appearing each and every week how on earth do you go about choosing just one? For me the choice is always easy whenever one of my favourite artists, Amanda Conner, provides the gateway image for a comic, and it also helps that she always seems to be the lead cover artist on some of my favourite characters from the DC Comics’ Universe.
And lo, what do we see before us but yet another Conner cover masterpiece, intertwined with two of DC’s greatest female protagonists, Mistress of Magic – Zatanna and everyone’s favourite Mischievous Misfit – Harley Quinn.
Harley’s bi-monthly team up book continues its successful march onwards, and this month unites her with, arguably, DC’s most powerful character Zatanna. Also along for the zany ride are Harley’s new best buddies, a cast of awesomely odd British Superheroes with fantastic names such as Big Bad Ben and The Pub Crawler (being British myself and having gone on many a pub crawl in my time – this name certainly resonates with me. But for all the beer I drank, I never gained superpowers… maybe I just need to consume more!!)
Whilst Harley accommodates her British buds from the London Legion of Superheroes, she also becomes the unwitting host to a group of ghosts, who move into Harley’s Hacienda after their haunted mansion in Coney Island is demolished. Luckily Mistress of Magic Zatanna is booked at Big Tony’s cabaret nearby and agrees to help Harley convince the ghosts to move on to the next world… what could possibly go wrong!?
Harley’s Little Black Book #3 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Interior art by: Joseph Michael Linser. Cover art by: Amanda Conner.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts, and this week’s captivating cover celebrates the 50th issue of Batgirl’s latest ongoing monthly series. Babs has gone through quite a significant change since this new series was introduced way back in the 2011 DC reboot – ‘The New 52’.
Barbara Gordon had not donned the Bat suit since the tragic events of the 1988 ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ storyline where she was shot and paralysed by the Joker. Undeterred by the event Babs became the wheelchair bound character known as the Oracle, and used her vast intellect, photographic memory and extensive knowledge of criminal networks to continue her crime-fighting career, beginning by anonymously offering her services to Amanda Waller’s Task Force X (aka – The Suicide Squad) before eventually forming the Birds of Prey team, that included lifelong friend Black Canary and The Huntress in its initial line up.
In 2011 Babs triumphantly returned as Gotham’s flame haired guardian after the company wide relaunch of its new continuity following on from the ‘Flashpoint’ mini series saga. In this new and revised version, the Killing Joke incident happened three years previously, and whilst she had still spent time in a wheelchair as the Oracle, she had regained mobility in her limbs through experimental surgery in a South African private clinic. Gail Simone, the writer tasked with bringing Babs back to the costumed avenger fold remarked that her fictional recovery was based upon real life cases of paraplegia, and instances of PTSD experienced through traumatic life events, which gave the series a more realistically grounded and emotional set up.
In 2014, Batgirl’s title underwent a minor reboot, with a new creative team brought onboard that included, Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart on writing duties, with the cool and quirky art style by the appropriately named Babs Tarr. Injecting more humour and giving the readership a somewhat lighter approach to the character, effectively enabling Babs to escape, to a certain degree, from her trauma at the hands of the Joker. This soft reboot has proven popular amongst fans, bringing Babs back in line with the fun loving masked adventurer seen previously to the Killing Joke incident.
Batgirl #50 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart. Art by: Babs Tarr, Roger Robinson, John Timms and Eleonora Carlini. Cover art by: Babs Tarr, Variant covers by: Kevin Nowlan.