Batman All-star volume 1
Collects issues 1-5
Writer: Scott Snyder (New 52 Batman, Wytches)
Artist: John Romita Jr. (Amazing Spider-Man, Kick-Ass)
Reviewed by: Peter (Produce Pete) McNeely
All-star DC comics (which no longer exists) was an imprint of DC comics which brought together some of the best writers and artists to create new stories using DC’s most popular characters. The main differences between previous All-star titles and All-star Batman is that All-star Batman’s stories are part of the current DC universe continuity. The series features the ever so popular writer Scott Snyder with a rotating cast of well known artists.
Scott Snyder is at it again with the help of John Romita Jr.. Together these two create one hell of a rollercoaster ride that jumps between the present and the past. The story, titled MY OWN WORST ENEMY, has Batman fighting his way across the state (498 miles to be exact) to cure Harvey Dent of Two-Face. Early into the story we find out that Two-Face has put out an open contract on Batman to try and stop him from reaching a house (we learn about this house later on) containing the cure. As the story progresses Batman’s relationship with Harvey Dent is explored, through multiple flashbacks, revealing the childhood interactions these two characters share. Even with over a dozen different villains trying to stop him, Batman with the help of Robin (Duke Thomas) and a few other members of the Bat family, prevail (SURPRISE!).
I really enjoyed the art in this book. It flows beautifully from panel to panel and does a good job of creating an obvious transition from past to present. There is a panel of Batman standing in a field, cape blowing in the wind, which is so simple yet still portrays Batman’s perseverance. Although, of all the characters in this book I would have to say that Two-face is drawn the best. The details of the scaring on his face are outstanding and the use of showing one side of the face to show who is in control is very well done. The colours used are not your typical dark Batman colours. They are brighter and more vibrant making the characters pop out from the background.
Even though at its core this is a very typical Batman story I still enjoyed reading this book. Snyder just knows how to write a good Batman story and John Romita Jr. backs it up with some wonderful art. The book (and I’m sure the rest of the series) will scratch that Scott Snyder Batman itch lingering since the end of his run on Batman New 52. The only unfortunate thing about this series is that the artist changes every story arc, something I am not the biggest fan of. If you can get past this I would recommend hopping onto the series. If you can’t get passed that issue I would still recommend picking up All-Star Batman volume 1 as it is sure to be an entertaining read.
All-Star Batman volume 1 was provided to us for review by Penguin Random House Canada.
Review by: Matt Larose
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones
DC Universe has now reached an end of an era with the New 52 wrapping up and entering the new phase of comics titled Rebirth. Everyone is beginning their relaunches starting at issue #0 and moving quite quickly into trade paperback format, today I get the privilege of reviewing one of the first with Aquaman. A lot of people give Aquaman grief mainly because they see him as the typical under water guy who talks to fish, sorry folks but if you actually took the time to read his books before passing judgements you’d realize that you’d be pretty wrong, I would know because I used to be one of those people. I started my journey with Aquaman while working at a local comic shop and got dared to try and read volume 1 from the New 52 storyline, my coworker at the time was and will always be an Aquaman fan so I took the dare. Man was I ever glad to be wrong because it was an amazing read and an incredible run for Aquaman. But now that that run is over with we get to start over, not going to lie, I’m quite excited to see where this title goes.
We begin this new tale exactly where the last volume of New 52 leaves off, Aquaman and Mera are pretty much trying to create peace between our society and Atlantis, who knew this task would be tricky, right? Not only do they find trouble with the surface world but there are a lot of citizens of Atlantis, even terrorist groups, that totally disagree with Aquaman when it comes to peace. It was interesting to see the differences and similarities between both cultures over this touchy subject. Differences were obviously how the world was treating the oceans as well as how society in general should be, but similarities in how both societies hated each other but also in how they both wanted change. To say that a lot of opinions were being thrown around would be a total understatement, but that’s what made this story interesting.
One thing I enjoy about relaunches in comics is the fact that characters get brought back in big ways, for this storyline one of my favourite villains was brought back and I couldn’t have been happier, that’s right folks one of our big baddies is back and goes by the name Black Manta! Now for those reading this and not knowing anything about this title or this particular character in general do not fear because in this story you get a brief history on both Aquaman and Black Manta and as to why they are hated foes, and I got to tell you it’s a pretty interesting tale to read. I loved seeing this character returning to the title, I find that Black Manta is a key player whenever telling any tale from Aquaman, he may have a ridiculous costume (depending on the artist) but he is a great villain and deserves some respect for that.
Story wise, it felt like I was watching an episode of a TV series, seeing as how i had just previously finished the last volume of the New 52 run. This volume pretty much picks up the pieces of the previous story line and just starts a new one. The ending of the book didn’t feel like much of an ending but that’s what I found intriguing. The way this volume ended made me want to read the next volume immediately because it didn’t have that finishing touch to it.
Now here’s my favourite part of this review, the art. In this volume we had artists Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones. I enjoyed the art in this book very much it’s just for me I get pretty picky, I like when a story stays with one artist in general. I found the work of Scot Eaton to be what was needed in this book, detailed enough with facial expressions and not over detailing on say hair or Aquaman’s armour or clothing. Not to mention the covers for this book were very well done by Brad Walker, my favourite one being the issue with the cover of just Aquaman’s hands in handcuffs.
All in all I would have to say that this was a great story from beginning to end and that Aquaman does deserve a lot more respect than what he gets from the typical comic fan. He’s not just the guy who talks to fish, trust me if you read this book you get to see him go toe to toe with a big gun and he says a lot to them that makes you respect the man just a little bit more. So I say unto you good reader, find volume 1 of Aquaman and have a look see and maybe, just maybe you’ll break that chain of Aquaman hate like I did.
Written by Stephen Hopkins
Our copy of Scooby Apocalypse was provided to us for review by Penguin Random House Canada.
Scooby Apocalypse Volume 1
Published by DC Comics
I always found that Scooby Doo was kind of a hard pill to swallow, like, where does the gang get their money from? Why are there so many abandoned, haunted amusement parks? Why even keep Shaggy around? He literally doesn’t do anything but be scared and eat questionable food. So when I found out about Scooby Apocalypse I just had to see where they were going with it, and zoinks did they ever go for it.
Scooby Apocalypse brings us a new origin story for the crew of the Mystery Machine and gives each member of the gang a new background to work from. Daphne is a guerrilla journalist with Freddy playing her man slave/camera man, Velma is a high ranking scientist at a giant multinational corporation, Shaggy, a bearded hipster dog trainer, and of course Scooby Doo, the failed product of a government smart dog program.
The expository issues cover all the introductions and tell us how Velma has essentially helped in bringing about the end of the world, and ends up recruiting the rest of the gang to help her stop it… Which is weird because she’s a scientist, and she picked a journalist obsessed with ratings and getting her own show, her subservient cameraman, and a hip dog trainer and his rejected science project buddy to assist her. Smort!
As things progress we see the gang get back into the swing of things as the story jumps forward into full on apocalyptic mayhem, how they went from rag tag group of random people to armoured monster combatants is a bit of a mystery but hey, there’s a talking dog that wears a saiyan scouter to send people emoji’s so… let’s not worry about logistics here. We get plenty of familiar Scooby tropes throughout the book and even a reimagined mystery machine, replacing the old psychedelic VW bus with an Armored LAV. This book is for fun people, not anyone who wants to sneer at a lack of respect for the source material.
The art is well done for the most part with everyone looking more or less like themselves and keeping to the familiar colour schemes of each character, Velma is definitely the least changed character, while Shaggy is just…. Well he’s hipster Shaggy. Hipster Shaggy might be Produce Pete’s new nickname… Scooby is handled well for the most part as well and Freddy is as forgettable as ever (in a good way).
All in all, this is a very fun read and a good use of these classic characters, the story is as sound as literally any other Scooby Doo story and it’s pretty to look at, although some panels are a little too busy for my liking. The amazing “after credits issue” included at the end of this book will definitely get a few people excited about the return of a much beloved character from the show. If you’re like me and you like Scooby Doo and apocalyptic tales, then Scooby Apocalypse might just scratch an itch for you.
Future Quest vol. 1 Review
By: Ryan Arden
Would like to start by thanking Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with the chance to read Future Quest vol. 1.
Future Quest vol. 1 is a interesting and exciting introduction to the world that these classic cartoon characters exist in. I wasn’t familiar with most of the characters featured in this story. I knew who some of them were through pop-culture references and shows like Space Ghost: Coast to Coast (not the best background). Nevertheless I thought it was a fun story, and I was filled with nostalgia for the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons that I am familiar with and grew up watching on Saturday mornings like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Scooby Doo.
Vortexes are opening up all over the globe and bringing different times and dimensions together. While out looking for more of these vortexes for Dr. Quest, his sons Jonny and Hadji run into F.E.A.R who are also looking into these anomalies as well. With the coming of this vortex we also get introduced to Space Ghost, who appears to have been ripped away from something big. Though we only get a small glimpse of him with the other characters, we get to see something bigger might be coming. This is an exciting chapter and introduction to these characters as they come together to face impending danger.
This was a great introduction to the characters and this collection of classic universes that are being thrust together. Jeff Parker does a great job fleshing out the world in a way that won’t leave you wondering who’s who, or feeling overwhelmed with exposition and unnecessary details. The story is exciting, fun, and, easy to follow. At times it felt a little too light hearted, but the sense of danger isn’t completely lost. The storytelling is nicely complemented by the art of Evan Shaner who does a good job making this story come to life. The character designs are very clean and nostalgic.
If you were a fan of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons, or want to start something new to jump right into, this might be a good choice for you. There’s plenty to get lost with and enjoy, especially if you have an itch for nostalgia. There are only a few moments or characters that came up just a little short for me, those being The Herculoids and The Impossibles introductions that didn’t click for me. However that didn’t take me out of the story. I would recommend Future Quest vol. 1 if any of those points hit for you. I know i’m looking forward to reading more.
By Jarrett Heale.
Thanks to @penguinrandom house Canada, I got my hands on an advance copy of DC’s Deathstroke Vol. 1: The Professional (Rebirth). I’ve always been intrigued by the character and was really looking forward to new material; the New 52 run had it’s ups and downs. The new creative team includes Christopher Priest and Carlo Pagulayan.
This story is a great in-roads to Deathstroke and his daughter the Ravager, not to mention other ties to his past. Though the plot feels a little too familiar, the incredible artwork and unpredictable twists keeps you turning pages.
Overall, as an aside (not related to this book specifically), I’ve learned that I’d had issues connecting with the character, but still enjoy the right stories. His motivation is unclear to me given that he kills for money, but already seems to have so much of it. It was nice to get a glimpse into his inner circle and see more of what makes him tick.
In our second Reeducation Through Reading SPOILERcast episode, we finally get into Batman: Hush as promised early on in our usual podcast. Meagan guest-hosts with Arden, Hopkins, Jarrett, Matt, and Pete! (more…)
In most cases of binge consumption, there is a necessity to purge the superfluous – something that simply does not apply when it comes to Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix. Though I’m not sure I would (or could) have been in danger of an overdose, there are certainly very serious withdrawal symptoms surfacing on day one of having no new episodes to watch…
A Brief Recap of Season One
The first season of Daredevil served several important purposes which can be easily overlooked. Other than the obvious origin stories for both the titular character (portrayed by Charlie Cox) and his foremost adversary Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio), it also serves to introduce avid fans and new viewers alike to the on-screen world of “Marvel Knights” – the darker, more adult-themed side of Marvel Comics. Unbeknownst to most viewers when the series started (or in many cases even by the end of the first season), it’s also the first chapter in what will become The Defenders; a team comprised of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. (more…)
Volume one of Black Lines, called “Dodgy Pills” (released September 2015), is a creepy leer into the darker corners of the human condition. While purposefully uncomfortable at times, this read is as addictive as the pills the characters take. (more…)
What’s up Superfriends?
I don’t get to talk about games nearly as much as I would like to on the show, so I figured I’d get my fill by posting about my #1 hobby, nay, obsession here on the site. Maybe one day we’ll be able to have a dedicated gaming show from the Den… One day…
So to kick things off, I want to tell you guys about my experiences with Tom Clancy’s The Division, which came out just last week. (more…)
Recorded 2016-02-12. We give spoiler-free Deadpool reviews, get a little into Batman: Hush, and talk about other recommended comic book reads. Featuring Arden, Hopkins, Jarrett, Matt, and Pete.