DC Comics has been fostering the growth of new artists and writers over the last four years, which is an exciting development for anyone interested in new voices in the comic book industry. Now it’s our chance to read what they’ve cooked up, in this six-story, 80-page giant issue. Characters covered include Catwoman, Batman, Constantine, Zatanna, and more!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The latest graduates from the DC Talent Development Workshops show off their skills by telling stories about some of DC’s greatest characters including Batman, Catwoman, John Constantine, Wonder Woman, Zatanna and more!
Why does this matter?
If you’re an avid comic book reader like me you’re going to want to get a head start on who is the next big thing in comics. This is a good place to get that insider look. Seeing as this is some of the creators’ biggest work to date many of them are looking to make a big first impression — which is always a win for us.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
There’s something great in every story within this issue. Phillip Kennedy Johnson offers up the first story with art by Amancay Nahuelpan and it’s focused on Batman. He’s being blamed by the local government for all the villains killing and creating issues in Gotham. First and foremost it’s a beautifully drawn story with some epic angles highlighting the death-defying airplane work Batman does. This story comes with an interesting message about trust that is quite solid and honestly I could see this story easily carrying a full issue.
The second story is about Constantine and is written by Sanya Anwar with art by Priscilla Petraites. The art is solid — Petraites nails the magical elements — and John Rauch’s colors add to the subdued color palette. There are some interesting ideas at work in this story, too.
The third story is by Joe Esposito with art by Dominike Stanton and this story is a pre-Batman #50 Catwoman tale. The story is light and fun and could easily fit in an animated cartoon special. Esposito plays around with the Damian/Catwoman relationship and this story almost makes you want a miniseries with the two characters as the leads.
Fourth up is a Zatanna story by Ryan Cady and Isaac Goodhart taking our magical hero to a place where her father locked away some bad monster stuff. This story comes with an excellent twist that surprised me.
Last but not least is a Wonder Woman story by Magdalene Visaggio with art by Aneke. This story hammers home the heroism and strong nature of Diana as she’s stripped of her powers and yet carries on. There’s a strong message in this story about not giving up that will stick witih people.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Not every story is perfect with a reoccurring issue being pacing; some stories are paced out well, but others seem to struggle with the lower page count to get their stories in. Exposition can be heavy here and there too and again due to the lower page count I could see that being an issue. Some art can be awkward too with a panel turning the butt of a hero too far one way or a detail in the background throwing things off. Generally speaking this is a tight book, though.
Is it good?
An enjoyable read that should excite fans of comic books. If this is the future of comics we’re in good hands with these creators.