Comic Book Review – Justice League: No Justice #1 (DC Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week I picked up the first part of DC’s Justice League: No Justice mini series, the next big thing following on from Metal for the DC Universe. I dropped off Justice League a little bit after Rebirth because something about it just wasn’t clicking for me, but with writers Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson and James Tynion IV on board for this series, and art from Francis Manapul, I was certainly interested in checking this out! Colours on this issue were provided by Hi-Fi, with lettering by AndWorld Design, and cover art by Manapul.

Cover by Manapul

Following on from the Metal event, the Source Wall surrounding the universe has been destroyed. While the Green Lanterns have gone to investigate, one of the biggest villains in the DCU has wasted little time in attacking Earth – Brainiac. And he has come to warn of a far greater threat on the way, the Omega Titans, cosmic gods and world eaters that have been awoken or set in motion by the shattering of the Source Wall. And Brainiac has come to rally the heroes and villains of Earth to save his home planet of Colu and stop the Omega Titans.

No Justice kicks off pretty quickly, and while the first issue of many events like this are often full of set up and are a little bit of a slow burn, Snyder, Williamson and Tynion IV manage to set the scene while still moving the plot forward. The cast of characters is such that no one really gets much chance to shine, maybe Damian Wayne and the Martian Manhunter get a decent amount of time, and a few of the characters do feel a little out of place here, but its a nice spread overall and the set up of the plot should force some interesting team dynamics. The story itself with the Omega Titans has a lot of potential too. Think Galactus but if there was 4 of him.

Art by Manapul, Hi-Fi and AndWorld Design

Manapul’s art is very strong superhero fare in this issue. His experience in superhero comics is on full display here, juggling an array of varied characters easily with a real sense of scale to the world shaking events and some great splash panels. Hi-Fi’s colours are very vibrant, with the colourful costumes and a couple of green skinned characters so distinct it almost pops off the page.

The story is an interesting start, possibly a little impenetrable to new readers, but those familiar with the DCU, especially recent events, will get a lot out of this. The art from Manapul is very nice, and the potential for some great action sequences moving forward is very high. Check out Justice League: No Justice #1 at your local comic shop or online now!

Score: 8 Nodes out of 10

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 109 – Set Ben Affleck Free

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

This week we chat about the new Avengers Infinity War trailer, the success of Black Panther, and the lack of success of Justice League.

Screentime 1 – Jessica Jones Season 2

In part 1 of Screentime this week, Adam reviews Jessica Jones Season 2, the new Marvel Netflix series, with Rose. Pretty major spoilers from 39:45 to 51:40, so skip then if you haven’t seen it yet!

Screentime 2 – Annihilation

In part 2, Ian and Adam review Alex Garland’s Annihilation, the adaptation of the Jeff VanderMeer book with an extremely weird distribution. Not much in the way of spoilers, but if you are worried we speak about the film from 52:30 to 65:30.

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers/Jessica Jones Season 2/Batman: A Telltale Series on PS4
Ian SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard/Nothing apparently/Player Unknown Battlegrounds on iOS

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Comic Review – Batman and The Signal #1 (DC Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“So you go to electrical…. And you find a passage behind a light panel…. And you head downstairs… to your secret base and… Wait, your secret base?” – The Signal

Happy new year! We’re into 2018 now and I’m back onto the comic reviews. First up this year is Batman and The Signal Issue #1. This caught my attention due to its inclusion of Duke Thomas, who you may have spotted around some of the various Batman tie ins. It had been a while since I checked in with him and I wanted to see what DC had in store. This comic is bought to us by:

  • Story – Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick
  • Writer – Tony Patrick
  • Artist – Cully Hamner
  • Colourist – Laura Martin
  • Letterer – Deron Bennett

As with all things Batman with Scott Snyder’s name on it I opened this up with high hopes. Duke is an interesting character as well – he’s been written as a kid being shaped into ‘something different’ rather than a standard Robin or Bat-family side kick and this comic begins to explore what that will ultimately mean for Duke. He’s named himself as well now – ‘Signal’, after the Signal knights who were the first to venture out into the day during medieval times and a key point in the early plot is how he finds his place in the Bat-family proper. Even if he is something different he still has the Bat emblem on his chest.

The plot focuses around Duke beginning the journey of learning who he will end up being. This includes a new suit, an introduction to the rest of the family and his very own secret lair (as a side note, surely in both Marvel and DC there must be some secret, super highly capable super hero architects, engineers, builders, electricians and other contractors who build these damn things for them… and must have copies of all of the designs, know the locations etc…). Duke’s journey to self-discovery is a little on the nose, as he has developed meta human powers and is trying to learn where exactly they came from.

As for the art, Hamner’s work presents us with a detailed world, with over exaggerated positions and expressions during dramatic moments and combat. Martin’s colours add to the aesthetic, with the yellow of Duke’s costume jumping out of the page with how vibrant it is. Duke appears to have picked one of the least stealthy colours for his suit, but we’ll have to see how he makes it work in the issues to come. Bennett has done a solid job with the lettering. The issue is a little dialogue heavy at times (not a bad thing, there’s a lot of good stuff in there!) and Bennett works well with the space available to still allow Hamner and Martin’s work to do its thing.

Still, as far as I’m concerned the real test is how well the team drew hands? We have a very hand prominent issue, if hands are your thing, this is a good comic to see them in. For the most part they’re used to communicate body language in conversation and during individual scenes. I like what the team have done in this issue and they definitely pass this made up, arbitrary test. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

An interesting start. The team work well with a character who I could see going either way right now – someone special to find their footing as part of the Bat family or someone a little forgettable. This isn’t the fault of the team behind this comic, they did a very good job with it, but I simply did forget about Duke before I saw this issue! I think this could bring him into his own though.

Score: 8 Secretly Built Lair’s out of 10

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 103 – The Taxmans

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

This week we chat about the Avengers Infinity War trailer and the ongoing talks of Disney buying 20th Century Fox, a Quentin Tarantino Star Trek film, the Black Mirror Series 4 trailer and Detective Pikachu. Adam also sort of reviews Justice League in ‘Now Playing’ and does go into spoilers, so if you care skip from 17:00-24:00.

Screentime – The Punisher

We review the The Punisher series on Netflix, and we go light on spoilers.

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett/Justice League/Destiny 2 The Curse of Osiris DLC on PS4
Ian Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders/The Punisher on Netflix/Skyrim on Nintendo Switch and Star Wars Battlefront II on PS4

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Comic Review – Super Sons Annual #1 (DC Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Ruff Ruff” Krypto

I tend not to pick up comic annuals when they come out, but this week I was stuck for something to review, this week being a 5th week. Then I saw a cover with Krypto the Super Dog and Titus the Bat Hound on it. I had to go straight for it because both these characters are amazing. I would highly recommend the post-Rebirth arc of Superman, which features Krypto kicking ass. As for Titus the Bat Hound, while I’m less familiar with him the cover frames this issue as the interaction between Krypto and Titus in the way we’d usually see Batman and Superman (World’s Finest) or more recently Damien and Jonathan the Super Sons (of course, why its presented as a special for that series.

This comic was bought to us by:

  • Story and Words – Peter J. Tomasi
  • Penciller – Paul Pelletier
  • Inker – Cam Smith
  • Colourist – Hi-Fi
  • Letterers – Carlos M. Mangual and Travis Lanham

While we do get a fun sequence with Robin and Super Boy preventing a bank robbery, the main focus is their interaction and the way they bounce off each other. Both children presenting slightly exaggerated personalities of their fathers. What they haven’t had a chance to deal with yet though, is the series of dog-nappings taking place throughout Gotham City. Much as the boys need to rest Kypto is having none of it and flies off to bring in support. Not only are we treated to Titus the Bat Hound joining in, we also get treated to Bat Cow, Flexi the Plastic Bird and Streaky the Super Cat. As I’m sure you will have guessed, this isn’t the most serious of stories, but its bright, colourful and a hell of a lot of fun. Once Kypto takes over the story we’re getting by mostly on animal noises for dialogue, not that this takes away from the plot or the character interactions. It transpires that after the loss of Clay Critter (seemingly at the paws of the feline Red Lantern Dex-Starr) the Super-Pets were forced to disband and before they can solve the mystery of the stolen pets they need to rebuild broken bridges and bring the team back together.

With an issue less heavy on dialogue Pelletier, Smith and Hi-Fi had to be on their game with the art. Hi-Fi provides fun and vibrant colours, reminiscent of the sort of thing I remember from Saturday morning cartoons. The detail provided by Pelletier and Smith provides a huge amount of characterisation and expression for our non-human protagonists. Emotions are communicated as they try to resolve their differences and their roles in their team nice and clear.

 

 

The question is though, how well do the art team draw hands? While hands feature in the story they only do for a very limited number of pages with very few characters with any. I can’t fault the ones that are there, but only giving a 7.5/10 due to the limited number. Maybe an 8.5/10 if we count chimp hands. Unlike most comics though, it’s only fair to ask if the art team can draw paws for this one! (and hooves and bird feet…) They certainly can. Presenting us with a wide range of animals whatever appendages they possess are drawn well and look great both in and out of action. 10/10 for various animal appendage drawing skills.

Final Verdict

This is the sort of comic that helps brighten a week. It isn’t a serious story or anything revolutionary, but it’s fun and accessible and if you need something light hearted and you like your animal as well as super heroes it’s well worth a look.

Score: 9 Terrifying Bat Hounds out of 10

Comic Review – Batman: White Knight #1 (DC Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“I love Gotham” Jack Napier

Batman is bad for Gotham City, he creates criminals, causes unquantifiable amounts of property damage and makes it so much more of a dangerous place. You may have come across some of these points before (see this Episode of Cracked After Hours if you need refresher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd1sIwCLtIc ). Sometimes you have to wonder what publishers or owners of iconic heroes think of this sort of criticism, Sean Gordon Murphy at DC goes all in and actively embraces this criticism to bring us the new 8 part series – Batman: White Knight.

This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer, art and cover – Sean Murphy
  • Colours and Cover Colours – Matt Hollingsworth
  • Letters – Todd Klein

For those of you who don’t know, the premise of White Knight is simple. People realise how bad Batman is for Gotham, and the charges against him are lead by none other than his greatest nemesis – Jack Napier aka the Joker. He’s cured of his insanity and takes on Batman as Gotham’s White Knight, taking him on in obvious ways which Bats simply doesn’t see coming. The story opens with what feels like a fun tribute to Lego Batman – with the Joker trying to explore his relationship with a very reluctant Batman. The Joker is portrayed as Batman’s biggest fan, in a similar way to the outstanding Death of the Family series by Scott Snyder. The first issue largely deals with world building, setting up the key plot threads and exploring what makes this Batman the person he is (outside of the usual dead parents, Bat obsession and grumpiness etc.). DC appears to have given Murphy all of the freedom to critique the Bat and vigilantism in general, with undertones of real world polarised political debate.

Murphy took care of the art as well, this being his project and has set the bar very high across the board for himself. The art has a very cinematic feel to it, it feels like these could easily be the frames waiting to be put together for an animated film. Batman is drawn as a hugely imposing figure, there’s a particularly iconic panel early on where Batman and Jack Napier square off. The Bat comes off as monstrous, with Napier for once being calm and collected under pressure. The pale colour pallet used by Hollingsworth lends to a more down to earth feeling, where actions have consequences and people get hurt. Klein also has his work cut out for him with the lettering, there’s a lot of dialogue in parts of the issue and only so much page to fit it into. Klein manages to layout a dynamic format which keeps the reader engaged.

How do both the Dark and White Knight’s hands check out though? Hands only feature so much in this issue, in places lettering or the limited space for panels leaves them squeeze out on occasion. Where they do exist however, a large amount of impact is packed into them. I’ll have to dock a couple of points for scarcity though! 8/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

If any of you know the sort of comic I like, then it won’t come as a surprise that I really enjoyed this. I’m excited to see where Murphy goes with the plot, though unfortunately I have seen promising comics slip up before. If Murphy can keep this up though, I doubt that’ll be the case.

Score: 10 Rooms Full of Batman Memorabilia out of 10

Comic Review – Darkseid Special (DC Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“You just showed me what your concept of “loyalty” is worth” – Darkseid

For the centenary celebration of the birth of Jack Kirby DC are publishing a series of special edition comics for many of his most famous characters. Darkseid has always been one of DCs most iconic villains, on par with the likes of the Joker and Lex Luthor. What separates him from the others though – power. Of all the specials coming out this one appealed to me most. It also has a special OMAC short story and some classic stories written and drawn by Jack Kirby.

This comic was brought to us by:

  • Writer – Mark Evanier
  • Artist – Scott Kolins
  • Colourist – Dave McCaig
  • Letterer – A Larger World’s Troy Peteri

The comic is set entirely Apokolips, picking up the tale of ‘The Resistance’, three escapes who have dared deface one of the great statues of Darkseid, this is their story. Darkseid doesn’t make an appearance during the early pages of the comic, but even seeing the world through the perspective of our rebellious heroes is enough to give insight into Darkseid. His cruelty, power and inspired loyalty through fear are apparent throughout the entire landscape, environment and world of Apokolips. As the story develops, we see how Evanier manages to demonstrate both the in depth character development of each of the characters and the great, larger than life classic New Gods plot. There are cameos from the likes of Granny Goodness and the Furies who come across just as psychotic and monstrous as they have always been.

Kolins’ art perfectly communicates the dire situation on Apokolips. The pages are swamped with browns, reds and darker shades which simply makes the place look like hell under the hand of McCraig. The New Gods and Furies are larger than life and the emotion and desperation on the faces of the protagonists comes appears raw and human. Kolins and McCraig are both perfectly suited to the dark and gritty atmosphere in the comic.

The question is though, can Kolins draw hands? There are a huge variety of hands, from those which tremble in terror to the gigantic mitts of Darkseid. Kolins and McCraig do great work with what they have in this comic, though we rarely see the characters reoccur too often to see the same hands in different situations. 8/10 for hand drawing skills!

The special editions from Jack Kirby, which he both wrote and drew. They’re classic golden age comics with the surreal, larger than life story and simple, effective art. These themselves make the issue worth picking up.

Final Verdict

This is a fitting tribute to one of the most significant figures in comic book history. The story provides some unique insights to Darkseid as a character. Combined with the reprints of Kirby’s classic issues this is an issue well worth picking up

Score: 9 Parademons out of 10