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411’s Comic Reviews: The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1, Transformers #1 More

March 22, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight

Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]!

Snowpiercer: Extinction

Preview by Steve Gustafson

Titan Comics and Statix Press are thrilled to announce Snowpiercer: Extinction, a brand-new prequel graphic novel set before the extinction incident that led to the events of the original Snowpiercer graphic novel trilogy.

Titan’s next installment in the critically-acclaimed and award-winning Snowpiercer graphic novel saga will be released in in 2019, written by Matz (Triggerman, The Assignment), with art by the original Snowpiercer graphic novel artist Jean-Marc Rochette. Debuting alongside Titan’s new graphic novel, the Snowpiercer franchise will also welcome the hotly-anticipated TV adaptation.

Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, the TV adaptation of Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival are questioned in this riveting television adaptation. The TV series, starring Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) and Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Black-ish), will air in the U.S. on TNT and internationally on Netflix (excluding China).

The series is a co-production of Tomorrow Studios (a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios) and Turner’s Studio T, along with CJ Entertainment. The series is executive produced by Tomorrow Studios’ Marty Adelstein (Hanna, Cowboy Bebop) and Becky Clements (Good Behavior, Hanna, Last Man Standing). Showrunner Graeme Manson (Orphan Black), Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange) and the original film’s Bong Joon Ho, Park Chan-wook, Lee Tae-hun and Dooho Choi are also executive producers on the series.

Shock Vol 2

Preview by Steve Gustafson

The highly anticipated follow up to the widely successful first volume of the SHOCK anthology, this oversized second volume continues to push boundaries and mix genres, inviting today’s top creative talent of both comics and prose to craft tales of the fantastic, the horrific and the bizarre.

This handsome hardcover features the talents of Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine, Garth Ennis, Cullen Bunn, Russ Braun, Marguerite Bennet, Juan Doe, Jill Thompson, Sam Kieth, Aaron Douglas, Cliff Richards, Jim Starlin, Larry Stroman, Jamal Igle, Ray Fawkes, Joe Pruett, Kevin J. Anderson, Steve Rasnic Tem, Andrei Bressan, Tony Harris, Francesco Francavilla, Darko Macan, Don Handsfield, Phil Hester, Supernatural show runner Andrew Dabb and more – with outstanding Cover art by Timothy Bradstreet!

Conceived and edited by AfterShock Publisher and Chief Creative Officer, Joe Pruett, the multiple Eisner and Harvey Award nominated editor of the classic Negative Burn anthology series.

Marilyn Manor #1

Preview by Steve Gustafson

Writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Marley Zarcone invite you to the ultimate rager at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Marilyn Manor, a four-issue creator-owned miniseries from IDW Publishing, intended for mature readers!

When the White House goes dark for 17 days in August 1981, the president’s spoiled daughter and her best friend Abe – who claims to be possessed by the spirit of Abe Lincoln – throw the party of the decade, unearthing dead historical figures and government secrets that are better off buried. Sex, drugs, séances, and secret passageways lead to time-bending mystical romps where past and present collide.

“We’ve been trying to capture the feel, the excitement, the energy of the rise of the New Romantics, of the decade that embraced excess and excitement in hugely over-the-top ways, and filled it with chaos and insanity. This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever written in the best way possible, like an apocalypse directed by John Hughes,” says co-creator/writer Magdalene Visaggio.

Uniting the red-hot Eisner-nominated talents of Visaggio (Kim & Kim) and Zarcone (Shade, the Changing Girl) for the first time, Marilyn Manor explores identity, classism, appropriation, and friendship, set just in time for the greatest pop cultural marriage to date: the debut of MTV.

“There isn’t an artist alive who could perfectly capture the style and verve of the early ’80s like Marley Zarcone,” says editor Shelly Bond. “Coupled with Irma Kniivila’s vibrant palette, Marilyn Manor is for readers who like a bit of pop art and revisionist history with their coming-of-age satire.”

Transformers #1

Review by Steve Gustafson

I’m a Transformers fan from the 80s. Comics, cartoons, toys; I was the target demographic. So when IDW made the decision to reboot the Transformers comic book franchise, it got my attention but more out of nostalgia because I’m always looking to get the rub of what made my childhood great.

Guess what? This new Transformers #1 is perfect for both new and old fans. It mixes what we know and “remember” about the Transformers but puts just the right spin on things to make the modern crowd feel comfortable. The story opens with future Optimus Prime Orion Pax and Megatron beginning to shift from friends to rivals, but in a fresh way.

Writer Brian Ruckley knows what works and what doesn’t. He lines the story and characters up for the reader but in a way that doesn’t distract in the overall picture. Bravo that he is able to find the right balance for the book for both new and old fans. That’s not an easy bridge to build but it comes off seamlessly in this book.

Angel Hernandez’s art is serviceable but doesn’t push the narrative for the issue. There were a number of points where the art could have expanded the story but was content to hold the line of what readers expected from the Transformers.

Bringing it all back, this was a solid book to push out into the market and I’d give it a solid push as a pick up.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1

Review by John Pumpernickel

How much Batman is too much Batman? You’d think that you could never get too much, but DC is insistent on pushing the limits. Mark Millar and Steve McNiven have pushed the namesake character of their four-issue miniseries Nemesis as, what if Batman was the Joker,and you’d think that was too much.

Not quite.

Everyone loves a good “”What if?” story and so far DC has been solid in providing the backdrop. This issue provides interesting tweaks to the Batman mythos without delving too far from what makes the character work.

I don’t want to ruin the issue so it makes writing a review near impossible but suffice to say that the ?Batman Who Laughs: gimmick has more miles to run that you think.

Rating: 8.0 uut of 10

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