The first full week of September looks like it was the time Marvel, DC Comics, and IDW decided to release a what felt like half of the comic books on my pull list all at once. But those are the breaks a s comic book fan sometimes. So to cover all the comic books that came out this week I’m back with a round out of other comics I wasn’t able to tackle individual reviews for. This week I’ll be spotlighting Dark Knights Of Steel: Tales From The Three Kingdoms #1, Immortal X-Men #6, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #132.
And in case you may have missed them, reviews with full spoiler synopsis are live for All-Out Avengers #1, Batman #127, Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #4, The New Champion Of Shazam #2.
DARK KNIGHTS OF STEEL: TALES FROM THE THREE KINGDOMS #1
Writers: Tom Taylor, Jay Kristoff, and C.S. Pacat
Artists: Caspar Wijngaard, Sean Izaakse, and Michele Bandini
Colorists: Caspar Wijngaard, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Antonio Fabela
Right out of the gate creating a setting where the DC Universe is placed in the Game Of Thrones-like setting had plenty of potential. Tom Taylor has done a good job at showcasing that potential throughout Dark Knights Of Steel. Now with Dark Knights Of Steel: Tales From The Three Kingdoms #1 we see how the history that of this universe is just as fascinating as the current events going on in the main series.
Taylor along with Jay Kristoff and C.S. Pacat write three stories that all give us more insight on Bruce Wayne, Kal-El, and Zala Jor-El grew up together. Their dynamic along with other classic DC characters, like the Robins and Bane, that get their own Dark Knights of Steel origin show. It all helps to give a better understanding why when Kal-El and Zala Jor-El are shown doing what they do in Dark Knights of Steel you have so many questions for what is really going on. Caspar Wijngaard, Sean Izaakse, and Michele Bandini bring all these stories to life with artwork that hits on the style of this universe while making the characters and world their own to fit the tone of the story they each draw.
The one drawback from the three stories that Taylor, Kirstoff, and Pacat was that it did not live up to its title of telling stories in the different Kingdoms featured in Dark Knights of Steel. Because rather than giving time to spotlight the Kingdom of Storms and Amazonia we just get more House Of The El’s stories. And as we get deeper into this one-shot it becomes yet another Batman comic book. Given how much potential there was with the characters we know live in Kingdom of Storms and Amazonia there is now a feeling that we’ve gotten to much of the Dark Knights of Steel narrative focused on Bruce as Bat-Prince.
With another two month wait until we get a new issue of Dark Knights Of Steel this interlude one-shot, Tales From The Three Kingdoms, did well to buy give fans a chance to dive back into the world. Tales From The Three Kingdoms shows that there is a lot of potential in simply exploring the history of characters before the current events in Dark Knights Of Steel. If we get more of these hopefully Tom Taylor and company will give a chance for other characters not named Bruce Wayne to shine.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
IMMORTAL X-MEN #6
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Lucas Werneck
Colorist: David Curiel
One of the best choices that Kieron Gillen and others working on the A.X.E.: Judgement Day tie-in stories made is making them focused on one or a set number of characters. The latest developments with the Celestial Progenitor announcement has opened the door to dive into individual characters through the tie-ins. Immortal X-Men #6 shows how much potential in this type of storytelling opportunity A.X.E.: Judgement Day has presented.
For me Sebastian Shaw always works best as the scheming leader of the Hellfire Club and antagonist for our lead heroes. The shift to Sebastian Shaw being a Quiet Council member has shown me that there are other ways to keep the core of what makes Sebastian Shaw fascinating while placing him in different roles. Here we see that in especially brief bursts of an entire issue focused on him that he can drive a story. Weaving in his own history with current events adds so much more depth to who Sebastian Shaw is as a member of the Quiet Council.
A lot of the success for this story has to be given to Lucas Werneck artwork. Werneck, along with colorist David Curiel, make adjustments to what time period we are in Sebastian Shaw that neatly ties everything together. Simple things like adjusting the color palette for present and flashbacks does wonders for the story. Same goes for the type of fashion style Sebastian Shaw is shown in to really help dive into what Gillen is doing with the character writing.
While acting A.X.E.: Judgement Day tie-in Immortal X-Men #6 does a great job at exploring Sebastian Shaw character. Even if you aren’t following the latest Marvel event there is enough content here that all ties into the strong character work Kieron Gillen has been doing with this series. Add in strong artwork from Lucas Werneck and David Curiel and there is plenty for fans of Immortal X-Men to enjoy.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #132
Story Consultants: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Writer: Sophie Campbell
Artist: Pablo Tunica
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
With The Armageddon Game event right around the corner Sophie Campbell has appropriately spent time on getting all five Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ready for what is to come. It’s a different approach to building to a big event that I appreciate Campbell is showing how each of the Turtles are truly growing up. They aren’t the teenagers they’ve long been known as. And with that comes with the maturity of preparing for anything that could happen in the future.
What I continue to appreciate most about Campbell’s continued work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that there is always a focus on all five Turtles. Sure, Leonardo gets the big character arc in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #132 but that does not mean Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Jennika recede into the background. Each of them have trials that speak to who they each are as individuals that when they do successfully overcome makes them a stronger unit when they are together.
The character growth Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Jennika go through in this arc makes the dynamic they end up sharing with Oroku Saki as their trainer even more fascinating. Campbell has done an excellent job taking on the challenge of presenting Oroku Saki in a new light to fans. It made his role in the growth of our heroes that much better to see play out.
Pablo Tunica also continues to get better with every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic he has drawn. Tunica does a wonderful job bringing to life how different the trials are for each of the Turtles in this issue. It makes the big scene when the five Turtles are together and the emotion brought from what they did an even greater moment to have before The Armageddon Game begins.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #132 is another excellent issue from what is one of the best comic books on the market right now. Sophie Campbell and Pablo Tunica made the character arcs Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Jennika all go on special in their own right. Not only does this prepare the characters but also the reader for what is to come with The Armageddon Game event.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10