DC Extreme: Exploring Extreme Justice #0: Hello 90’s!

Extreme Justice #0 Cover

Extreme Justice is the oddest duck of the Justice League franchise. Starting in 1995, Captain Atom led a new Justice League made up of Blue Beetle, Booster Gold,  Amazing Man, and Maxima. In my research online on Extreme Justice they’re dedicated to being a more proactive team than the other Justice League teams at the time. Now if you’re wondering why the team is called Extreme Justice, it’s partially for the premise but also for the art style. Now many people with this comic take the route of snark with the 90’s art style. Growing up in this period of extreme 90’s art I find I have an odd appreciation for the art of the period. I’ve never read this before and it’s been in my curiosity pile for years. Since I’ve never read this, this should be a lot of fun. Surprises me that this somehow slipped by me back in the day. Prepare yourselves for a trip to a different time as we journey to the realm of the mid 90’s with Extreme Justice #0.

Welcome to DC Extreme with Extreme Justice #0!

Extreme Justice #0 Splash Page

Copyright: DC Comics, Writer: Dan Vado, Pencils: Marc Campos, Inker: Ken Branch, Colored by: Lee Loughridge, Letterer: Kevin Cunningham

Here’s the deal with Extreme Justice #0, you get no explanation as to how the team comes together. If you’re also wondering why this is #0, it came out during the Zero Hour event, which is a story for another day. Dan Vado doesn’t fill you in on anything involving how the team came together in the first place which threw me off initially. Now you understand why I did some research in understanding this team more. Extreme Justice came out of the Judgement Day crossover that happened in the Justice League titles. You don’t get to know why Captain Atom brought them together or what happened in Judgement day at all. You are thrown right into this and off to the races.

The lack of any explanation for the team makes the issue jarring at first. There’s a nuclear missile strike about to launch from the Rocky Mountains targeting Russia. As this is building you get a massive splash page introducing our heroes to the world. No explanation about the Extreme Justice team but I can’t deny that the splash page is wicked. The gritted teeth poses are on overdrive here outside of whatever pose Maxima is doing. The flying things that Blue Beetle and Amazing Man have are cool too and that can’t be denied.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for cool flying devices.

A lot of Dan Vado’s writing is actually not too bad here, it’s a little spastic and all over the place but readable. There’s fun banter with Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle being who he is and Vado has a good grasp on his character. Amazing-Man is someone I’m not as familiar with but his power to absorb energy is handy in a battle and used to good effect. Booster Gold gets a small moment, Maxima gets a moment, and then Captain Atom is power personified. Marc Campos goes mental with his art on Captain Atom, Vado wanted the audience to know he was powerful and Campos does that well art wise. The opening fight shows the power level of the team, outside of Blue Beetle who is the intelligence and fun of the team. It shows that Vado enjoys writing Ted Kord.

Dan Vado writes a strong Ted Kord and is one of the best parts of Extreme Justice thus far.

Extreme Justice #0 Captain Atom

Copyright: DC Comics

There’s a couple stories brewing already here, one with a mysterious figure and one with Ronnie Raymond (Firestorm) dealing with Leukemia. I know the Ronnie Raymond story sorts itself out down the way but I will be interested to see what this builds into. The same way with this mysterious figure that’s hanging out in the background. Marc Campos does good work in the Raymond bit as Campos dials it down and I like it. The headquarters of Mount Thunder that’s being built up is a fun idea and the story that’s happening in the next issue has my attention. The character of Mister Synge that was introduced as my attention and sounds like an entertaining villain.

Now for the rest of the art here, Ken Branch is a good inker for Marc Campos as the strong lines here helped the art immensely. It’s got some issues with spastic layouts here and there but Vado did craft a good story and Lee Loughridge’s coloring was nice, weird at points within Mount Thunder but nice. The art in the 90’s books is something people like to rip into but this has issues but it’s overall decent, not perfect but decent. Always remember, the 90’s were a strange and fascinating time for comic books.

If you have any feedback you’d like to give me as I go through Extreme Justice please do fire me a line! Either on my @GeekWhoLanded twitter or leave a comment below. Still working through the kinks how I will cover Extreme Justice as this goes forward. I’m planning on covering the entire series from start to finish. In any case thanks for reading and till next time, stay Extreme.

Same DC Extreme Time, Same DC Extreme Channel.

 

Wes Reads Supergirl: Rebirth #1: Welcome Back Kara!

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 Cover

Copyright DC Comics and Cover by Emanuela Lupacchino and Michael Atiyeh

Let’s start this out by saying this, I’m a huge fan of the Supergirl TV series that starts its second season on the CW this Fall. With that admission out of the way I have to say, in the New 52 I felt Supergirl was a character that suffered a lot during that period. Deathstroke had a rough time of it too in the New 52 with Supergirl in the same boat. With DC Rebirth we get Supergirl: Rebirth #1 setting up the new status quo pushing Supergirl forward for her new ongoing. Steve Orlando has high praise as a writer from me with his work on Midnighter from DC in particular. With him in charge of Supergirl, my hopes were high for this series. Being a fan of the TV series and knowing the quirky history of Supergirl, this could have gone either way for me. With the comic now here and in my hands, now I start my thought process. How did it go? Did it live up to my expectations? What does the future hold for me and did I end up liking this comic? All this and more to be revealed as I dive into Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Supergirl DC Rebirth Title Panel

Copyright: DC Comics

In the art of playing my hand too early here I have to admit, I liked this book a lot. Any series that gives me Cameron Chase on a regular basis is off to a good start. Of course I am getting ahead of myself as the new series does establish Kara working for the D.E.O. as Supergirl like the TV show. The series starts her off in a different direction, she’s powerless to start out with and she’s having to rebuild from that. If any series sets the tone for DC Rebirth, Supergirl: Rebirth is one such series. This feels like a reboot of the character and that’s not a bad thing either. You get a look at her old home of Argo City as a framing point for the story proper. Even better her origin story is told in a fluid way that feels natural and organic to the story.

What does this journey hold for Supergirl?

Supergirl DC Rebirth Spaceship

Copyright: DC Comics, Writer: Steve Orlando, Penciller: Emanuela Lupacchino, Inker: Ray McCarthy, Colorist: Michael Atiyeh, Letterer: Steve Wands

The supporting cast gets a nice setup too, my early mention of Cameron Chase as director of the D.E.O and Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers as her foster parents on Earth. That’s how you use the material of the TV series and use it to make your comic that much better. Even better that Cameron Chase gets to be the awesome character I’ve loved ever since her ongoing series. I like that Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers get established as strong characters too, the supporting cast is well fleshed out by the end of the issue. The Argo City framing device I mention sets up many things to come in this series, at least for this story arc. The personality of Kara Danvers shines through as she’s a 16 year old girl learning how to adapt to Earth and looking forward to what happens from here. She works for the D.E.O. and is game to see where this goes and you can’t help but like her by the end of the issue. This is a great example of the best of DC Rebirth as to how to make a character better.

An excellent supporting cast with a strong lead will get you everywhere.

Supergirl: Rebirth already has strong character work with a great story and how does the art fare? The art team is up to the task and fit this comic brilliantly. Steve Orlando gave his art team plenty to work with here. Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, and Michael Atiyeh are a phenomenal team to have on this. Lupacchino’s pencils are dynamic, energetic, and expressive as anything I’ve seen before. There’s one scene in particular that’s a standout for me, the double spread of Supergirl coming out from the Sun and back at full power. That perfect expression, the bold lines of McCarthy’s inks, and the blazing hot colors from Michael Atiyeh, make Supergirl come to life here.  The Kryptonian Werewolf fight is a blast to watch too but Orlando’s way of expressing Supergirl’s soul shines with Lupacchino’s pencils. It’s a beautifully colored book too, Atiyeh makes use of bright and bold eye popping colors to show that above all, this book will be one about optimism. It’s an exciting time indeed to have a book like this shine art wise along with brilliant writing.

If you’re hesitant about buying Supergirl: Rebirth, don’t be. This comic is a great way for new readers to get to know Supergirl. It merges aspects of the TV and Comic worlds together to make a great comic book series in the process. I am looking forward to the upcoming Supergirl #1 even more than before. If this is any indication of what we’re in for with the series itself, we’re in for a great adventure.

Wes Reads Deathstroke: Rebirth #1: Christopher Priest Returns to DC!

Deathstroke Rebirth #1 Cover

Copyright: DC Comics with Cover by ACO and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

In the New 52, DC had a tough time with an ongoing for one character in particular, Deathstroke. At his core Deathstroke is a tough character to build an ongoing around as by nature, he’s not easy to connect with. Yet with the right set up, Slade Wilson as Deathstroke can be a compelling read. I remember when the DC Rebirth announcements hit and Christopher Priest on Deathstroke surprised me. Deathstroke became a comic for me personally to get excited about because if this character is where Priest returns to an ongoing series, this has got to be good. Quietly I’ve been awaiting this comic and I’ve been waiting to see what Priest has in store for us as readers. I am surprised that they’re doing a Rebirth rather than going into a #1 but from reading this issue, I can see why a Rebirth issue was needed here. So does Priest have the magic touch once more to get readers hooked into Deathstroke? Well there’s only one way to find out, let’s dive into Deathstroke: Rebirth #1 and go back into the brutal world of Slade Wilson once more.

Deathstroke Rebirth Title Deathstroke the Professional

Copyright: DC Comics, Letterer: Willie Schubert

First off with Deathstroke: Rebirth #1, you can tell that this is a Christopher Priest comic from the get go. The black box with white text giving you the slightest hint of what you’re in for is that instant sign that this is a Priest book. You see Slade Wilson being a Dad, an awful Dad at points, but a Dad nonetheless. On the other hand you see Slade as Deathstroke and what mission he’s on right now. You get many sides of the character, Mercenary, Dad, and altogether a complete character study of sorts. Best part about Deathstroke: Rebirth is you don’t need to know that much about Deathstroke going into this. Priest is making a point to show all the sides of Slade Wilson and how he operates. For every moment that Slade has that second where he might not be so terrible, he immediately becomes terrible again. Slade Wilson is not a good person and Priest doesn’t shy away from that. Priest is starting off his run on Deathstroke by doing some amazing character work with him from the start. There’s a lot of action and intensity here but the character work here is top notch.

deathstroke-rebirth-dc-comics-priest-pagulayan-battle

Copyright: DC Comics Art Team: Pencils: Carlo Pagulayan, Inks: Jason Paz, Colorist: Jeromy Cox

You get a slow intro to Slade Wilson’s supporting cast in the book too, mostly Hosun his tech support, eventually Slade’s Kids, and another character I won’t mention because of spoilers. This isn’t a slow burn book by any means, yet Priest is making it clear, Deathstroke is the major focus and everything else is forming around him. This isn’t a light book either, some humorous moments yet but this book is dark without a doubt. Which shows in the art of the series, Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, and Jeromy Cox, make for a powerhouse art team here. It’s realistic, and tough as nails art and I like it. Pagulayan has a style fit for Slade’s world, it’s tough and suited for the fluid action scenes here. Paz’s inks add a tight line to the work, giving extra emphasis to Pagulayan’s art making it that much stronger. Jeromy Cox’s colors are muted for this, this is not a bright and shiny world that we’re in here and the colors show it. I would say the brightest coloring in the comic is the desert as Slade Wilson is talking to his current employer in the bright desert but the horrors around him are shaded in hushed and dark tones. The art for this series fits the character and sets the mood for darker things to come.

Deathstroke: Rebirth sets up Slade Wilson as a genuine bad guy and that’s amazing. No gimmicks, nothing fancy, just Slade Wilson being Slade Wilson. This is a back to basics for Slade Wilson and it’s been sorely needed. Now this may not be a series everyone will end up digging, this isn’t a light read by any means but it is good reading for sure if you’re into it. It adds more than a couple cool ideas into Slade’s world and I can’t help but like that. If you’re a big Deathstroke fan or just want a good tough action series, look no further than Deathstroke: Rebirth.