Looking back on last month’s article, I came to the realization that I tend to add more books to a list than I’m actually able to read and, in may cases, afford. There are only so many hours left at the end of the day to tackle my pull list, and, while they are a passion, comic books are not my only hobby. On top of that, I’ve been reading a lot more “older” stuff lately. This list will be more realistic, conservative towards what I think I’ll actually read. If I get to more, great! I’d love to read every good book out there.
After an almost three year hiatus (the last post came out on 4/30/14), I’ve decided to bring back my column “The Haul.” At its inception, I vowed to write something once a week. Not only did that not happen then, but I will not even pretend to make that claim again today. However, what I can promise is to pop in at least once a month for this new endeavor. When “The Haul” first debuted, it was meant as a place where I could talk about whatever was on my mind that week in the world of comics. Having that freedom was nice, but this next iteration will have better specified boundaries. By dropping a lens over this column, I can provide a clearer focus on what it is readers can expect.
By James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira & Adriano Lucas
What is the phrase? No good deed goes unpunished? This idea has echoed through superhero comics when characters are forced to confront the question of whether their actions cause more harm than help. Do their righteous actions save lives or simply invite more crazies to come out from under the shadows? Would the citizens of urban centers such as Gotham City be safer without such a tantalizing target as Batman patrolling the rooftops? James Tynion IV is not the first Bat-scribe to dive into this dilemma, but he has found a way to reengage the subject in a compelling manner. Ably aided by Eddy Barrows’ fantastic art, Tynion continues to bring new life to Detective Comics.
The weather might suggest otherwise, but December has arrived and with it the inevitable year’s end lists. Luckily, at Nothing But Comics, we’re quite fond of year’s end lists. Our first group Top Ten will arrive tomorrow, but first I offer up my annual look back at some of the most memorable character from 2016.
All entries are listed alphabetically. For simplicity sake, characters without code names are listed by first name.
Cosmo & I (Pat) hit the artists alley floor to talk to comics creators in their own words about their work, their process, their inspiration and more. This episode features James Tynion IV, David Walker, Sanford Greene, Jill Thompson, Al Ewing & Ryan North. Click below for the audio more info on the interviews.
DC has rebooted once again and were covering it every week in our comic convo’s. Here is week two on Wonder Woman, The Flash & Aquaman Rebirth #1 along with Action Comics #957 & Detective Comics #934 Continue reading Comic Convo: DC Rebirth Week Two
Writer James Tynion IV of Batman, Batman & Robin Eternal, Batman/TMNT, Constantine The Hellblazer, The Woods & Ufology will be launching a new series at Boom! Studios with artist Ryan Sigh of Adventure Time Fiona & Cake Card Wars, Munchkin & Regular Show titled The Backstagers. More details at NY Times
Like Marvel comics has had before them, today I’m taking a look at the new DC Comics Rebirth lineup of titles announced last weekend. DC Comics attempted to reboot in the summer of 2011 with their New 52 initiative. Though initially successful, readers quickly tired of the redundant writing & art styles that was often overtly in your face with little substance and dated concepts, while creative talent left the books in droves over accusations of overreaching editorial mandates. In 2015, the publisher began walking away from the concept; first with their Convergence event whose story was used to reestablish the Multiverse and then the DC You initiative, a sincere attempt to diversify the style and creative talent on their line of books. In spite of some really great comics, DC You failed to reestablish the publisher’s already shrinking market share while the one two punch of Star Wars & Secret Wars allowed chief competitor Marvel Comics to dominate the direct market. During WonderCon 2016, DC Comics announced another new initiative with a relaunch of the publishers comics with new #1’s and creative teams for their series of titles. Some look great, some of the creators brought in during DC You have leveled up, some familiar faces are sticking around, some new writers have been brought into the fold and some comics vet’s are returning after years away from the publisher. Some books look great, some have potential, some look kind of bland and some look like hot garbage. Will divide the contenders from the pretenders with Yay, Mayhaps or Nay. As always, remember that not even all of the creative teams have been announced let alone all the possible series so this lineup is subject to change.
In Batwoman Rebirth #1, the debut issue of the series manages to avoid many of the pitfalls that befell previous Rebirth one shots by focusing on the character’s unique identity politics.
Batwoman feels like a comic that DC is going all out on with an all-star creative team of James Tynion IV, Marguerite Bennett, Steve Epting and Jeremy Cox. Having recently co-starred with Batman in Tynion’s highly popular and effective Detective Comics run, the series Rebirth issue follows a familiar formula in exploring the character’s past up to the launch of the new series. But Batwoman Rebirth also far exceeds what we’ve seen from most of the Rebirth one shots by focusing on the real world ramification of the characters past trauma on the current state of the protagonist.
To be specific, Batwoman Rebirth points towards the murder of Kate Kane’s mother & twin sister combined with her being dishonorably discharged from the US Military because of her sexuality as catalyst event in the life of the character that eventually leads to her taking on the mantle of Batwoman. Tynion & Bennett approach those events and their fallout with a deft touch that’s even more impressive when considering the limited real estate that’s afforded to them from a single issue. In spite of those limitations, the writers cut to the heart of the matter immediately and then build out the rest of the issue based on that. Artist Steve Epting & colorist Jeremy Cox maintain a staunch realism to their style that serves the books grounded story and dark setting. The art doesn’t go much beyond meeting expectations for the creators, but that in and of itself is pretty enjoyable. While less expressive then Eptings most recent work on Velvet, it’s a promising direction for the book and it’s thematic overtones for the series as a whole.
Overall, Batwoman Rebirth is a stellar debut and quite easily the most successful of the Rebirth one shots for the emotional resonance of it’s thematics. It’s a big picture examination of the charachter that feels incredibly personal. If the ongoing series can match the punch of it’s Rebirth issue, DC should have another distinctive hit for their superhero line of comics.
By James Tynion IV, Marcio Takara, Alvaro Martinez, Eddy Barrows, Dean White, Brad Anderson, Adriano Lucas, Raul Fernandez & Eber Ferreira
Last week Detective Comics released their milestone 950th issue. However, instead of using the occasion to focus on Batman or one of the title’s other central characters, such as Batwoman, writer James Tynion IV choses to put the spotlight on figures who have not been prominently featured in his run so far. While Orphan and Azrael have functioned well within Tynion’s excellently executed group dynamics, they have not been given the same amount of attention as Spoiler or Red Robin. Tynion rectifies that situation with his anniversary issue.