Four Letter Nerd

Tag - DC Rebirth

4LN Comic Review: Green Arrow #16

Series: Green Arrow
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist and Colorist: Otto Schmidt
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Summary from comixology: “EMERALD OUTLAW” part five! Implicated in the killing of several high profile Seattleites, besieged by a murderous cabal of crooked cops and demonized by a mayoral candidate willing to tear the city apart to get what he wants, all seems lost for Green Arrow. That is, until help arrives in the form of a long-lost ally. It’s the return of Emiko Queen!

Green Arrow by Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt has easily been the most consistently great series to come out of Rebirth. Batman, Trinity, and Wonder Woman have all been awesome (in my opinion), but Green Arrow is the only one that hasn’t had a low point or an issue that I thought to myself, “This isn’t necessary…” Percey is just one of those writers that instantly captures that tone and nature of the character. Like Scott Snyder with Batman, Jason Aaron with Thor, or James Robinson with ANY Golden Age character. I honestly think Percy will easily go down as one of the best Green Arrow writers.

Since the very first issue of this series, Oliver Queen has been a Social Justice Warrior, and that had some controversy around it because even the term itself tends to be viewed, for some bizarre reason, negatively, and is often used sarcastically. But, as I said in my Green Arrow #1 review, Ollie has always, and should always, be a Social Justice Warrior. It just fits his nature. The great thing about this issue (and series) is that it tackles political issues head on and without remorse. Hell, the alternative villain, the mayor-to-be of Seattle who ran his campaign based on fear and hate, is the spitting image of Donald J. Trump. I have to give respect to Percy for guiding the story to a place so relevant to today’s topics.

When it comes to art, Otto Schmidt is one of my favorite artist working with DC Comics. The more that these guys put out, the better the work gets and it’s already fantastic work. Schmidt does a incredible job with the colors and line work on every page. In the intense fight scenes, everything is clearly defined and easy to locate. I personally love the uses of dark colors such as blues, oranges, and greens. Schmidt does a great job using the color scheme to capture the tone of the book. Along with colors, Schmidt also does a great job with the facial characteristics and body language of everyone in the book.

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As I said above, Percy and  Schmidt have done amazing things with Green Arrow, and are only 16 issues into what I hope is a very long run on the character. They have re-imagined Oliver Queen as an modern-day SJW (and it works) and they are tackling real issues in a fantasy world. If you haven’t read any of their run, you are truly missing out. The first trade just came out, and this is only the 5th issue of the Emerald Outlaw story arc. So, do yourself a favor and head down to your LCS and pick up issues 12-16 and enjoy this great series as much as I do.

 

Music Pairing:

You’ll want something fairly political and fairly heavy. And for that I recommend the great Stick To Your Guns. Check out the song No Tolerance of the EP Better Dust Than Ash. And, if you dig them, check out our interview with their drummer, George Schmitz.

4LN Comic Review: Trinity #1

Series: Trinity
Writer: Francis Manapul
Artist: Francis Manapul
Inker: Francis Manapul

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Summary from Comixology: “BETTER TOGETHER” part 1! Together again for the first time! Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The core of the World’s Greatest Heroes…but with a new Man of Steel, the bonds these three share will be tested and redefined by super-star writer/artist Francis Manapul. In this premiere issue, see the trio travel from Metropolis to Gotham City and beyond to learn what forces launched their heroic careers. But how will this journey of discovery lead them to a new threat?”

This is the series that I have been most excited for regarding the DC Rebirth comics. I was instantly sold on this book just by finding out that Francis Manapul was doing the art for the book. If you aren’t familiar with his work, then you need to pick this book up just for the art alone. For $2.99 you won’t pick up another book as beautiful as this one. For those of you not familiar with Manapul he’s known for his work on other DC books such as New 52 Flash, Justice League, and my personal favorite Batman Detective (Icarus). If you are a fan of bright colors and crisp sharp line work, then Francis Manapul is the comic book artist you’ve been looking for!

The story of Trinity could be a bit confusing for those of us not following the Superman comic at the moment. The gist of what’s going on with Superman is: He’s from a different timeline. When he ended up in this universe, he decided that he wanted to stay on the down-low. New Clark and Lois Lane have a farm in Califonia where they are raising their son who is beginning to learn that his father is Superman, and he has superhuman abilities. After knowing this, it will make reading Trinity all that much easier to understand.

I think my absolute favorite part of this book were the three full page spreads that each of our heroes received. Wonder Woman arriving on the field with a boar and her invisible jet was one of my absolute favorite scenes in this comic. I’ve always loved Cliff Chiang’s and Frank Cho’s take on Diana Prince, but after reading this issue… Francis Manapul might draw my favorite Wonder Woman. It’s just so beautiful, The Batman and Superman splashes are equally as beautiful but I think you’ll greatly appreciate seeing it for yourself instead of having me describe for to you. (See our Review of Superman #7)

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Besides the art, Manapul does a fantastic job with telling the story. This series starts with Bruce and Diana coming to the farm to talk to and get to know, Clark and Lois along with their son. Batman isn’t very trusting but Diana wants to accept them for who they are and believes in time they will become as close of allies as they were with the original Superman. Manapul also does a fantastic job writing some comedy into this book so that it’s not so rigid and series. Bruce makes a comment about Clark’s son sleeping and looking so innocent. I couldn’t help but laugh and imagine Bruce watching Damien sleep and thinking/wishing he was innocent and a typical 10-year-old. Also, Bruce Wayne in plaid is a pretty hilarious image. Along with comedy, Manapul also makes references to much older DC Comics events, and some of the very interesting style choices that Batman made in the 60’s.

Overall, if you are a fan of DC’s Superhero trinity, this is the book for you. Manapul leaves many questions when you come to the conclusion of the issue, and you are going to be coming back to find out what the answers to those questions are. And, you’ll be itching for more beautiful Francis Manapul art come next month. So, head down to your local comic shop and pick this up before you live to regret it!

Music Pairing:
One of my favorite bands in an instrumental post-rock band called Balmorhea from Austin Texas. Their album All Is Wild, All Is Silent is absolutely beautiful and matches the art in the book perfect. So, spin the opening track from that album while reading this book. It’ll be a perfect fit.

4LN Comic Review: Titans Rebirth #1

Series: Titans Rebirth (One Shot)
Writer: Dan Abnett
Penciler: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund

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Summary from Comixology: “Friends. Teammates. Titans. Donna Troy, Arsenal, Garth, Lilith and Nightwing were all that and more until a mysterious force erased their memories, forcing them to forget what they could accomplish together. Reunited with their memories returned, the Titans must destroy the interdimensional demon that broke them apart and threatens reality itself.

THEY SAID IT: “Grayson and Donna were a couple of the characters I first worked on at DC, so it feels like a homecoming for me,” explains penciller Brett Booth. “I’m beyond happy!”

WARNING: Do NOT read this issue until after you read DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1!”

This is a book I picked up due to the recommendation of a friend, they said this was one of the best books they have read in a while, and I personally really like Dan Abnett, so I figured I would give it a try, and I’m also trying to read all the Rebirth one shots. I don’t know why DC is doing this, but all of their books are so goddamn emotional! I get it, you guys are killing it with these Rebirth books, but come on, let me have a book that doesn’t choke me up.

Take heed of this warning, if you haven’t read Rebirth #1, you need to stay away from this book, and stop reading this review, because there WILL be spoilers starting below.

Remember how in Rebirth Wally West plays a huge role with getting Flash to remember him? Remember how damn emotional and rough that was? Well, that’s just how Titans Rebirth is. This entire issue is about Wally getting The Titans to remember who he was, and in those memories, we see flashbacks to the most intimate moments between Wally and each character. The interaction between Wally and Nightwing had to be the most emotional, followed by his memories with Lilith Clay. Imagine if all the people you loved forgot you even existed, imagine a world like Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, that’s been the world that Wally West has been living in for the last few years.

Dan Abnett has been putting out superior work the last few months, with his work on Aquaman and Titan’s Hunt has been fantastic, and now that he’s bringing out favorite Titans Back, I’m just more and more excited for his work. I think DC did a great job by signing him to an exclusive deal, which is fairly rare for DC to do. Abnett is a fantastic add to their creative department and, I think with his work on just this book alone, I am unbelievably excited to see where he’s going to take this book, and I have a feeling it’s going to become a great mystery read.

I have no shame in saying that I wasn’t very familiar with the artist, Brett Booth. But after some quick research I discovered he’s worked on Spider-Man and X-Men for Marvel, and he did a bit of work with James Robinson on Justice League of America. Booth does a fantastic job of capturing the raw emotion, and the feeling of remembering something when it hits you like a dam breaking. His line work is incredibly clean, and even in the multiple fight panels, and splashes, everything is still extremely clean, and easy to follow. Which is not an easy task.

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If you are looking for a read that will put a smile on your face, and possibly even a tear in your eye, then this is the perfect book for you. The cast of characters have so much history together, and there is so much pre-existing history, but it’s still a great jumping on point for any new reader. It’s good to see Wally back, it’s good knowing that people remember him, and it’s good knowing that The Titans are going to figure out what happened, and they are going to do it together. And hopefully, Wally and Lilith will end up together…

 

Music Pairing:
Two Years by Have Mercy is really the only song I could play while I was reading this issue. It just fit perfectly. It’s about loosing the ones you love, and hoping they will remember you years later. “I had a life, and I had friends. And I miss all of them.” I think this is exactly what was racing through Wally’s mind.

4LN Review: Green Arrow #1

Series: Green Arrow
Writer:Benjamin Percy
Art & Colors: Otto Schmidt
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: 2.99

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Summary from Comixology: “THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLIVER QUEEN” Chapter One

As Oliver struggles with how he can fight “the man” when his huge fortune makes him the man, he and Black Canary uncover a deadly new threat to Seattle that cuts the Archer to the bone.

THEY SAID IT: “My touchstones are [former GA writers] Dennis O’Neil and Mike Grell, while trying to make the series my own,” says writer Benjamin Percy. “Green Arrow will be a politically and culturally relevant series. Expect stories that aim a broadhead into the zeitgeist, that are ripped from the headlines.”

This has been one of the Rebirth titles I’ve been most excited about. Green Arrow has always been a character that I’ve found interesting, but never really dove into. I read the Jeff Lemire New 52 series and absolutely loved it. So, I was pumped when DC announced Rebirth and that it would be a good starting point for new readers. Of all of the Rebirth one-shots Green Arrow has been my favorite (but damn was Titans good), except for when Black Canary calls Oliver a Social Justice Warrior… Cause you know, SJW’s are really annoying (I.E. Tumblr). But, the more I thought about it, Green Arrow has always been a SJW, and that’s what makes him interesting. He’s always dealt with social commentaries such as drugs, race, and sexual harassment which were tackled by the character in the 60’s/70’s. This is just Benjamin Percy’s way of bringing the character back to his roots, and honestly, as much as it pains me to say, I’m excited to see the SJW version of Green Arrow.

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(From Green Arrow: Rebirth #1)

What I really liked about this issue is that it reminds me a lot of Batman: Court of Owls, and I mean that in the most positive way. Green Arrow and Black Canary have stumbled upon a secret Seattle society (say that 10 times fast) which buys and sells homeless people on the black market. It’s a really cool concept and has the potential to be a very memorable story. What’s unique about this version of Ollie is we see how much he struggles, how he doesn’t have friends, and how he’s almost a lost soul. Ollie has lost a lot of things over the years, but one of the most painful things was his iconic relationship with Black Canary, but with this issue and the Rebirth special, that relationship is slowly rebuilding.

Benjamin Percy does a fantastic job at capturing the sarcastic and smart ass tone that Oliver has, but he also does a wonderful job of writing a story that’s dark and gritty (reminiscent of the Kevin Smith era for the character). Besides that, Percy does a fantastic job of pacing this issue and making sure the twist and turns surprise you like a roller coaster you’ve never been on. Like most #1 comics, this leaves off with a big cliffhanger, and it’s one of those that you just don’t want to believe (like how in the f**k is Captain America in Hydra?!?!?!?!?!).

I want to take a minute and talk about Otto Schmidt’s art. How have I never heard of this guy? He’s a perfect blend between Jock and Andrea Sorrentino and that’s a combo you don’t want to mess with. I absolutely loved his uses of orange, purple and red to blend it all into a beautiful 24 page book of art. This is truly one of the most beautiful books from Rebirth that I’ve read so far. Percy and Schmidt make a truly fantastic creative team, and I can’t wait to see the rest of this story unfold.

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Be sure to pick this comic up next time you head to your LCS, because this is not a book you are going to want to sleep on. If you hate the direction that Arrow has gone, then this needs to be your new Green Arrow fix. You wont regret it. And be sure to keep coming back this week for our Seven for Seven comic book review, seven new reviews in seven days.

Music Pairing:
This is a pretty heavy and intense read. So you are going to want to jam some heavy tunes to this read. And I can’t think of anyone better than the great Every Time I Die.

4LN Comic Review: DC Universe Rebirth #1

Series: Rebirth
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist(s): Gary Frank, Phil Jemenez, Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC
Page Count: 81
Price: $2.99

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Overview from Comixology:

It all begins here. Do not skip to the last page. Do not let a friend or message board ruin this comic for you. The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!THEY SAID IT: “Rebirth is about focusing in on the core of the character and their respective universe,” says writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. “It brings back what has been lost: the legacy of the characters, the love and the hope of the DCU!”
I have been eagerly waiting for this issue since it was announced at this years WonderCon. And, of course, it comes out while I’m on vacation in California. I couldn’t get to a shop on Wednesday, so I had to wait until Thursday. I was lucky enough to be able to check out Southern California Comics in San Diego, but unfortunately they were sold out, which I expected. So I had to resort to picking this book up digitally, and avoiding Reddit and Facebook like the plague. I haven’t had the combination of internet and free time until today (May 30th), to get around to reading this book. But goddamn am I glad I waited to read it instead of trying to rush through for a quick review. This is honestly one of my favorite single issues in a long time.DC’s New 52 had a lot of ups and also a lot of downs. People tend to shit on The New 52, but I liked it and it helped me get more into comics, so for that I’m biased towards it. But, I can already tell that Rebirth will fix the wrongs that New 52 created, and it’s paving a way into a new era for DC Comics, one that I think will bring back a lot of old readers. I think the best part of this event is, you don’t need to know 30+ years of back story to understand Rebirth, it’s a great jumping on point, and it’s easy to follow. “Obscure” characters are focused on, but the Johns does a great job of making this an easy read, and building background in just a few panels.I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Mammoth California as I read this issue, and it had me feeling so many different emotions, from pure joy to a heartbreaking sadness (I may have cried a little bit in this shop…) and everything in between. I was very skeptical of this book, and I didn’t know what to expect, but i can’t stress enough how fantastic this book was. I think one of the fantastic things about this book is you don’t need to know the previous 30 years of DC legacy, but Geoff Johns was able to work in one of the most iconic comics of all time, and it worked. It made sense. I think one of the most special things about this book is how well Johns writes internal narration. It feels like you are actually inside the mind of a character, and a lot of the times this is where a writer can truly fall flat and ruin the momentum behind a book, but Johns truly hit a grand slam (I am not calling it a f–cking “Papa Slam“). If you are skeptical of Rebirth, or if DC has previously left a bitter taste in your mouth, trust me; this book is only $2.99, 80 pages long and will restore your faith in DC.I also want to mention how beautiful the art is in this book. You can tell a lot of time was put into this book, and the several artist who worked on it really meshed well together. In my personal opinion when multiple talents work on a book, it tends to get chaotic and or messy, but with Rebirth every page flows easily into the next. And the attention to detail is incredible, and answers you might have towards the end are explained in the small details when a character visits Batman for the first time.9e373dea795b0702e022bf660b0ad551._SX640_QL80_TTD_Overall, I can not speak any higher about this book. It was a fantastic issue that will start the next chapter for DC Comics, and I think everyone should check this book out. And come on, it’s only $2.99. You can barely get a cup of coffee for that price. Do yourself a favor and grab this book on Wednesday if you didn’t last week, or click the link to Comixology at the top of this article to get it RIGHT NOW!Music Pairing:
This book has a lot of time travel in it, and I can’t think of a better sound track than Hans Zimmer’s work from Interstellar. Start with my favorite track, Mountains, and put it on shuffle. It’s a perfect pairing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Ay_iDRAbc

DC Rebirth, Captain America, and Other Possible Changes To Your Favorite Comics

Warning: Spoilers Ahead. Read At Your Own Risk

This New Comic Book Day has brought about many revelations to comic readers. Apparently, Steve Rogers is, and always has been(?), an agent of Hydra (Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016-) #1) and the reason for DC Comics’ reboot (DC Universe: Rebirth (2016) #1) is explained as being the result of some villainous(?) actions by the Watchmen’s Dr. Manhattan. (Also, the Joker has really been 3 different people?) Should we really be surprised by this stuff though? I mean, pretty much nothing these two publishers have done with comics in the last few years has made much sense. There have been so many continuity inconsistencies and character changes. Nuke was dead, and then he miraculously and inexplicably… wasn’t. Falcon is Captain America. Lobo isn’t actually Lobo, Deathstroke de-aged, Jane Foster is Thor, etc. etc. (With the one exception being X-23 as the new Wolverine. That actually makes all of the sense.) It’s a wonder they don’t just come right out and say, “Yeah… we just want your money, we really don’t care about the characters or maintaining cohesive plots and stories.” Obviously, with the new Cap and Rebirth being #1 issues, there are plenty of places the stories could go and we”ll just have to see how it all plays out, but it got me to thinking… what other big changes could potentially be on the horizon for our beloved comic characters? Here are my speculations on what we might see in the future of the Marvel and DC comic book universes.

 

Galactus has been Daryl Hannah from the remake of Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman this whole time.

 

Killer Croc will discover that he actually has some alligator in his family ancestry and it will shake him to his emotional core.

 

Power Girl has actually been a drag queen all this time. (Consequently, millions of neckbeard fanboys are forced to reevaluate their sexual identity.)

 

Uncle Ben faked his death and became Uatu the Watcher (who was subsequently also murdered…)

 

Frank Castle begins seeking anger management therapy and, after finding a more fulfilling life in organized religion, decides to hang up his Punisher skull to take on a new moniker… The Youth Pastor.

 

Poison Ivy discovers that there has been a poison ivy cure for like ever and changes her name to Poison Oak. Zatanna starts to tell her that this also has a cure but is quickly stopped by Catwoman who urges her to “just let it happen.”

 

H.E.R.B.I.E., the Fantastic Four’s faithful robot… Servant? Sidekick? (Sex Toy…?), is revealed to be the driving force behind infamous government-intelligence-secrets leakers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

 

Doctor Doom forgets to renew his medical licence and is henceforth known as “Grumpy McMetalface.”

 

Aunt May, Martha Kent, Peggy Carter, and Frigga the All-Mother begin living together in a condo in Florida (yes, like the Golden Girls) and it becomes the highest and fastest selling comic book of all-time.

 

Unable to go on fighting crime due to succumbing to crippling scurvy, Batman is forced to retire and choose a replacement who can go on protecting the city of Gotham. In a delusional state, and with no one close to stop him, Bruce chooses 8 raccoons to succeed him as Batman. That’s right, just 8 raccoons in a Batsuit. One to work each arm, one to work each leg, one to work the head, and three in the torso, mostly for load bearing but also because an empty abdomen area would be a dead giveaway during fistfights. (Follow up: The raccoon’s turn out to be an even better Dark Knight than Bruce and Gotham actually becomes a city of flourishing promise for awhile, but then ultimately is brought down again because of gentrification, which, let’s be honest, not even 8 raccoons in a Batsuit can stop.

 

Now, I’m not saying that ALL of these things will happen, but it’s 100% likely that at least 90% of them will. I guess we’ll just have to keep shoveling our cash into Marvel’s and DC’s pockets until all is revealed. Now, get out to your local comic shop and pick up some comics! While we’re worshiping The Big Two with our monetary offerings, how about grabbing some indie publisher comics too! You can pick up new issues of great series like East of West, Tokyo Ghost, and Bloodshot Reborn, as well as trades for Symmetry, Ninjak, and Day Men!