Tag Archives: Karl Kerschl

Freeze Frame 9/11/2015

From Giant Size Little Marvel AvsX #4 by Skottie Young & Jean Francois Bealieu
From Giant Size Little Marvel AvsX #4 by Skottie Young & Jean Francois Bealieu

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Freeze Frame 8/15/2015

From Star Wars Lando #2 by Alex Maleev & Paul Mounts
From Star Wars Lando #2 by Alex Maleev & Paul Mounts

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Freeze Frame 7/10/2015

From Shutter #13 By Leila Del Duca
From Shutter #13 By Leila Del Duca

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Indubitable Issues




Dean believes this book is worthy…
cThors #1
Jason Aaron has a wonderful history of writing a story with multiple Thors. Although this is a little bit different than the early work he did on his Thor run, I’m sure it will be just as enjoyable to read. Don’t miss out on the man who was born to write Thor.

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Freeze Frame 3/27/2015

From Captain Victory & The Galactic Rangers #6 by Nathan Fox
From Captain Victory & The Galactic Rangers #6 by Nathan Fox

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Ivar, Timewalker #8 Review


by Fred Van Lente, Francis Portela, Andrew Dalhouse

The end of an epic journey for Ivar and Neela, that is quite literally centuries in the making!

At the end of Time (and Space), near the edge of a Black Hole, hovers Oblivi-1. The fortress where Neela is being held hostage by her future self as she plots to condense all of reality to nothing. Ivar gathers a motley crew together including Armstrong, Gilad, and Amelia Earhart and storms in to stop the end of everything.

One comparison that kept ringing in my mind was the episode of Doctor Who in Season 6 called “Demon’s Run”. The Doctor (himself a near immortal time-traveler with eclectic fashion sense) calls in all of his friends from past seasons for his shining moment as a hero to save his friend at her darkest moment. It’s not a criticism, just an observation that Ivar, Timewalker may be inspired by Doctor Who in this incarnation.

The art by Francis Portela (with assisted inks by Karl Kerschl) is very clean and energetic, carrying all the detail and stakes of a comic event climax but somehow bringing more to the visual narrative. Portela finds various panel structures that would be confusing and out of place in nearly all other comic series, but here, highlight the zany nature of the story.

Van Lente’s script keeps things breezy and funny throughout, with Neela constantly questioning Ivar’s foreknowledge of everything and Ivar playing it off. A big scene happens at the end, which could signify the “end” of Ivar, Timewalker. However, him being a time-traveler it is incredibly unlikely.

A fitting end to the first arc of Valiant’s Ivar, Timewalker relaunch, it has everything fans and newcomers can enjoy about an irresponsible time-traveler saving the universe.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

Gotham Academy #8 Review


Screen-Shot-2015-07-10-at-6.17.59-PMby Branden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl

 Olive’s ex-boyfriend, Kyle Mizogauchi, tries to protect her from Tristan but does she want his protection?

This is the first time I recall the series giving a moderate amount of spotlight on Kyle and it’s used well in establishing that he does care about Olive and want to protect her. While in the past it seemed he was respecting Olive’s feelings, here he sees that her new love interest is actually a Man-Bat and feels compelled to warn her. His mission forms the crux of the plot and eventually his sister Maps joins him. As they go to confront Tristan about his secret, they learn he may not be the only creature of the night at the Academy and end up having to save him. As Olive and Kyle have a tender and heartfelt talk, Olive restates that their relationship is over.

The art is on it’s usual level of excellence, making use of overlapping and broken panels to heighten the drama. There’s a lot of teen angst in this issue and the art does a good job of conveying the character’s emotions. The funeral scenes in the beginning of the book stand out as Kerschl’s talent in this issue.

All of that said, I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as the six previous ones. It’s hard to pinpoint why, Kyle has so far been a distant side-character but one that has always begged for more screen-time. Working with Maps helped to catch him up on the past events of the Academy gang and his feelings are justified in Olive and Tristan’s burgeoning relationship. I hesitate to say it’s the tone of the story, but that might be it. Aside from the scenes with Kyle and Maps, there wasn’t a sense of fun in the story. Olive seemed really resigned throughout the issue and the ending scene with her and Kyle seemed very bittersweet. None of this is meant to say the issue is bad, but I didn’t enjoy reading it as I did issue #7. The writers have found a way to deepen the series and while they may play to conventions on writing teenagers I can say from experience it holds true.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

(Note: Writing: Fair + Art: Great= Good rating.)

Gotham Academy #6 Review


by Becky Cloonen, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Keschel & Mingue Helen Chen

This issue picks up where #5 ended, with Batman fighting Killer Croc. As Olive’s friends escape, the Gotham PD surrounds the building and Croc has nowhere to run. Olive uses her Pyrokenetic powers and some fireworks to distract Batman and Croc escorts her out of the building. He tells her about his time with her Mother in Arkham Asylum, and offers help if she decides to become like her. She rejoins her friends, and turns in a book report the next day on Mille Jane Cobblepot’s diary. After Maps discovers a possible connection between the Academy and the Asylum, Olive and her friends decide to join a detective club to find more secrets tied to the school. The issue ends with Damian Wayne stealing the diary, then rejoining his father for an application interview with Principal “Hammerhead”.

The art by Karl Kerschl is strong as usual, but he is joined on art by Mingue Helen Chen for the flashback and backup story pages. Her art has a layered, painterly quality that contrasts well with Kerschl’s Manga influenced style.

This issue had a lot of heart and humor to it, which thankfully outweighed the fight scene between Batman and Croc. It’s interesting to place Batman as the villain/antagonist in a story like this, but it works well to reveal more of Olive’s backstory and her hatred of him. With Damian joining the cast, I worry about the tone of the book changing and becoming less unique. However, the creative team has done a solid job so far of carving their own stake of the DCU in this book so I remain hopeful.

A solid closer to the first arc and I can’t wait for the next issue in June.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

Gotham Academy #5 Review


byBecky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl

Olive Silverlock’s meeting with Killer Croc doesn’t go quite as you would suspect. Croc has been hiding in the abandoned buildings of the Academy and keeping an eye on Olive like he promised her mother. He runs off after Maps almost discovers him, and Olive is resolved to find him again to get more answers. She enlists her friends help in planning a heist during the school dance, then make plans to find Croc again.On the way, Olive is startled and fires a crossbow at who she thinks is Batman but is actually her new possible love-interest Tristan, in man-bat form. He reveals to be her rescuer on two separate occasions and flies off. Olive and her friends find Croc, and share a heartwarming time with him before Batman flies in to ruin everything.

The art is cute and innovative, as you should expect by now. Several times I would go back and admire how Kerschl had constructed the panels or captured the tween drama happening between the characters. The writing, pencils, and color all seem to be working in a wonderful harmony in this book.

Overall, there wasn’t a lot of actual story progress technically. However, I still had a fun time because I wasn’t expecting these characters to suit up and save Gotham. I got some fun character interaction, some great art, a few laugh out loud panels, and was happy. The reveal of Tristan saving Olive helps to fill some story questions, but that inclusion is just icing on an already delicious cake. Gotham Academy continues to be a fun, fresh read from DC and a stand-out from the rest of the Bat-books.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

Review of Gotham Academy #2



By Branden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, and Karl Kerschl

This issue manages to build on the characters that many felt indifferent to in the premier.

 The Story: Olive Silverlock is having trouble fitting in at school,  and the reasons why are slowly being revealed. Something happened to her over the summer, and she has amnesia. Which is why she has been avoiding her boyfriend Kyle, and been so short-tempered.

She has found solace in the diary of Millie Jane Coblepot, Which
leads her to discover a strange bat cult on campus. The issue ends with some interesting hints to Olive’s mother.

The Art: There is a pleasant whimsy to the art, which plays well with the drama and spooky tones that play throughout. There is a Manga feel to the book, without copying that style slavishly. I also like the unusual color palette, its feel of greens, purples, and browns but it all works.

There is still some character development needed for some of these characters, since some still seem one-demensional. A page listing all the characters would be helpful. Also, I get that it’s called “Gotham Academy” but I hope it doesn’t overdo the Batman references.

The series isn’t perfect, but its improving. It manages to stand out from every other book DC is publishs, and considering its a Bat-book that is even more impressive. I love the focus on regular characters and drama, instead of gods in long underware saving the Universe for the 1,000th time this month. If you’re looking for something different, especially for kids and/or women; this is something to keep in mind.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent