November 28, 2016: Mild Mannered Reviews – Elsewhere in the DCU

Here we are at another installment of our view into the wider DCU… Lets get into!

Mild Mannered Reviews – Deathstroke #7

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Deathstroke #7

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 23, 2016

Cover date: January 2017

“The Professional” – Part 7

Writer: Christopher Priest
Breakdowns: Larry Hama
Penciller: Carlo Pagulayan
Inker: Jason Paz

Reviewed by: Keith Samra

Click to enlarge

The story so far…

Deathstroke search’s for the man who abducted his friend Wintergreen. Which leads him into the attempted murder of his daughter, and a confrontation with Batman and Robin in Gotham.

This issue…

We begin with Superman in a meeting with Adeline Kane (Deathstroke’s ex-wife). She wants Superman to take down Deathstroke. Superman not wanting any part of it, Adeline blackmails, Superman by telling him, if he doesn’t bring Deathstroke in, she will send three dozen soldiers to their death as they try to attempt at bringing him in.

Jericho puts on the Icon Suit and saves some kids from a burning building. He then meets up with his sister Rose (Ravager), and they discuss their father Slade/Deathstroke recent actions.

Slade ends up going to his home he shared with his wife Adeline. Slade and Adeline get into a physical fight. After a few rounds at each others throats, Slade gets what he came for, some answers to some burning questions. Turns out, it was Adeline that had been pulling the strings all along, and was responsible for Wintergreen’s abduction, the altercation with the Red Lion and the contract that was put out on Rose. Also she planted Richard (Luis), Roses boyfriend in her life, to get close to Rose.

Later Deathstroke raids a ship, we also see him pay a visit to Luis’ (posing as Richard, Rose’s boyfriend) mother. She doesn’t blame Slade for her stroke, but Luis does.

Hosun (Slade’s assistant in his current mission) gets txt message asking if he really knows who he’s working for. This leaves him to abandon Deathstroke mid mission. Turns out the message was sent by Jericho’s fiancé.

We end with Superman confronting Deathstroke “Slade Wilson… I’m here to bring you in”…

To be continued…

5Story – 5: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, in regards to a lot of characters I mention in these reviews, I have to say, Deathstroke is one of my absolute favorite characters in not just the DCU, but the entire comic book industry, period!

This was a very hard book to write a synopsis for. I’m still a little confused on a few plot points myself still, but I’m starting to see the larger picture in the tapestry that Christopher Priest is weaving with his writing, and it gets better and clearer with each issue.

To anyone that hasn’t read this series and wants an overview, the best way to explain it all is, that its like the movie Inception. It may be hard to follow at first, but it no doubt oozes absolute excellence in story telling and visuals.

The obvious high point this issue for me was Superman’s appearance. But I especially loved the way Priest wrote him. He nailed the essence and voice of this (Rebirth) Superman. I love the refusal to do the Governments dirty work. And the call back to Aquaman #6.

This is a great series so far. It has a very cinematic scope to it, while at the same time, it has that episodic feel to it also. It could work as a film or TV series, if it were to get adapted. Check it out if you already aren’t. It may be that sleeper hit that you are looking for or missing. Also stay tuned for the next issue, as Superman throws down with the best mercenary that the DCU houses!
5Art – 5: I’ve only ever had a passing glance at Carlo Pagulayan’s work. But I have been enjoying it very much since this series began.

The opening page is a credit to how hardworking Carlo Pagulayan is. If this ere to be a Michael Bendis comic, we would have two panels, that are constantly repeated 6 times over. Pagulayan manages to add subtle little differences in Superman’s face, making the story flow so much better, without it looking like a copy and paste job. When was the last time you read a comic that had 12 panels on the opening page?

The double page splash on pages 2 and 3 is simply awesome, of Superman towing an aircraft carrier through a storm. And Slade Wilson knocked out on the deck. My only complaint is that Superman has what appears to be slices (most likely from Deathstroke’s sword) through his suit. It was established in Action Comics recently, that Superman had Kelex make this new suit for him in the Fortress of Solitude. From that, I took that it was fashioned from Kryptonian materials. So my question is, why is able to be cut up by Deathstroke’s sword? And lets say just for arguments sake, that it is just made from normal Earth fabric, like Martha used to make for Clark. And it is the impenetrable aura that surrounds his body that keeps it from ripping, tearing and getting dirty, all the while avoiding things like bullet holes etc… Again, how is Deathstroke’s sword able to cut through it the way it has? So far there has been no indication that his sword is able to cut at an atomic level… End of rant… I apologize…

All else aside, this series has been well drawn by Carlo Pagulayan and a few other fill-ins. Really looking forward to the next issue. If the last page is any indication, the battle between Superman and Deathstroke should be a good one!

Lastly, as all of you that read any of my reviews know, I like to mention the colorists in the art section of the book. They usually are the unsung heroes, that are constantly over looked. Jeromy Cox does a fantastic job of coloring this series. As I briefly mentioned, the last page featuring Superman is quite boss. The colors give it a greater depth. Really great job!
5Cover Art – 5: I like the ambiguity of the main cover. And the subtle details that remind you of the Man of Steel suit for Superman.

The variant by Shane Davies is a nice homage to the “Death of Superman” cover of Superman #75, Deathstroke’s sword being a nice addition to the composition.
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Mild Mannered Reviews – Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #9

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Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #9

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 23, 2016

Cover date: January 2017

“Bottled Light” – Part Two

Writer: Robert Vendittit
Penciller: Rafa Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Tarragona

Reviewed by: Keith Samra

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We pick up where the last issue leaves, John, Killawog and Tomar Tu are attempting to break the mysterious barrier that has encapsulated them in. Guy Gardner turns up and makes matters worse by opening fire on the barrier, causing his blast to bounce all over the place. The Lanterns return to the ground, where Soranik is tending to the wounded, when they all discover the Starro infected Xudarian’s attempt to attack them.

Meanwhile, on the planet Nok, Ganthet and Sayd examine Hal’s ring. We find Hal Jordan in the emerald Space, a place where Lanterns end up when they sacrifice their life whilst in the service of the Green Lantern Corps. Hal calls out, only to be answered by someone he met once in his life, that changed it forever… Abin Sur.

Back on the planet Xuda, the Xudarian’s under the control of Starro spores, start smothering both Green and Yellow Lanterns, when John Stewart figures out how to stop them. He gets Lantern Rot Lop Fan to disrupt the audio frequency, which shuts the spores down. Rot Lop Fan also explains to John that the barrier that has them trapped has similar qualities to that of glass. Bringing to light to the Lanterns that it is Brainiac that has captured them, in one of his bottled cities.

Hal is told by Abin Sur that he does not belong in the Emerald Space. Whilst on Nok, Ganthet explains that there is an upheaval wracking the emotional spectrum. It is why he has summoned the torch bearer to that planet.”Kyle Rayner… Hal Jordan needs the White Lantern”…

5Story – 5: This book always delivers. Last issues cliffhanger reveal of Brainiac left you wanting more. Now here we are, and this issue, though devoid of any appearance by Brainiac, it is evident, that the Lanterns are in a world, or rather a bottled city worth of trouble!… Sorry couldn’t help myself there.

This was a fantastic issue, and a great follow up from the last. Kyle Rayner has just returned… Damn!

This series has been awesome so far, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any. I implore you, if you aren’t picking this book up already, please give it a look. It is a must for any Green Lantern fan, even a casual one.
5Art – 5: The art this issue was solid. Rafa Sandoval is a great young talent. He provides a fresh look to all these characters. His style reminds me of Ivan Reis with a mix of Steve McNiven. I would have really loved to see his take on Brainiac. It seems that Ethan Van Sciver will bring us our next look at him, as he shares the art duties on this book with Rafa Sandoval. There is a fluidity between their styles, so it’s not too jarring when they alternate. The opening splash to the reveal of Abin Sur, the art is sharp as it could be. Great work Rafa, look forward to your next issue!

Tomeu Morey takes on the colors, and this issue, just like the art, they fit the style and tone of the rotating art teams! The book looks sharp and vibrant, job well done.
5Cover Art – 5: The cover by Sandoval is great. Really in the thick of the action. Love it.The Kevin Nowlan variant is actually quite neat, but the main cover for me looks a little better.
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