JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1 AND MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Ice Cream Man #9 Cover ICE CREAM MAN #9/ Written by W. MAXWELL PRINCE/ Art by MARTIN MORAZZO/ Colors by CHRIS O’HALLORAN/ Letters by GOOD OLD NEON/ Published by IMAGE COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

In 2018, we were introduced to Ice Cream Man – the horrific yet entertaining creation of W. Maxwell Prince and Martin Morazzo. In it, stories are weaved of twisted realities, dark fantasies, deadly bugs, and of course…ice cream. One was beginning to wonder what exactly was going on in this world, especially with the sudden arrival of a gunslinger out to stop the Ice Cream Man.

In this, the first issue of 2019, we get a glimpse into the gunslinger’s motivation and it’s quite an unexpected one. I do not want to give away too much here because this is a backstory that we not only needed, but it’s an amazing backstory that reveals why things are the way they are in this comic’s universe.

What I will say is that the amazing artwork and creepy storytelling from earlier issues is still present, and in some cases, even creepier than before. While this revelation could have backfired, it only adds to the terror. This Image Comics’ offering remains one of the best horror comics in years.

5-5

 

Justice League Annual #1 CoverJUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1/ Story by SCOTT SNYDER & JAMES TYNION IV/ Script by JAMES TYNION IV/Pencils by DANIEL SAMPERE/ Inks by JUAN ALBARRAN/ Colors by ADRIANO LUCAS/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The Source Wall is still broken and the end of the Multiverse is nigh! Thankfully, the Titans have come up with a plan that will require the combined might of the Justice League, the New Gods of New Genesis and the Green Lantern Corps. Unfortunately, Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom have a new recruit who holds the key to thwarting the plan and capitalizing on the continuing entropy of reality…

The only thing I dislike about Justice League Annual #1 is the fact that this creative team isn’t working together on a regular basis. Granted, I am biased as a fan of Daniel Sampere and Juan Albarran’s work together since the early days of Injustice: Gods Among Us, but their continued partnership produces incomparable artwork, particularly with Adriano Lucas’ colors. And what praiseworthy things can I say about Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV’s writing and plotting that I haven’t already said before? This issue is a prime example of why this is the greatest run on Justice League since Grant Morrison’s twenty years ago.

5-5

 

The Flash Annual #2 CoverTHE FLASH ANNUAL #2/ Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by SCOTT KOLINS/ Colors by LUIS GUERRERO/ Letters by WES ABBOTT/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

With Wally West dead and his killer still on the loose, Barry Allen is itching for a fight. Godspeed is ready to give it to him, but who is the mysterious new power working with Barry’s former friend? And who is the weird kid with the big feet watching all this play out, who is more confused than usual?

Would that this issue had come out before Young Justice #1, so that book might have made a little more sense! Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), Joshua Williamson injects more heart into Bart Allen’s character in one scene of this comic than you’ll see in other series where he exists only as comic relief. A shame, as Impulse really deserves better. Ignoring that, this is a solid issue with great artwork (Kolins is the definitive Flash artist for a reason) that sets a solid foundation for the series moving forward and sets up a new enemy for Barry Allen to face once next month’s crossover with Batman is over.

5-5

 

Wonder Woman #63 CoverWONDER WOMAN #63/ Written by G. WILLOW WILSON/ Pencils by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO/ Inks by RAY MCCARTHY/ Colors by ROMULO FARJARDO JR./ Letters by PAT BROSSEAU/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Life is difficult for immigrants to America. It’s even more difficult when you’re not human. This slice of life issue follows the problems a faun, a flying horse and a Minotaur encounter trying to get along in modern times, even with Wonder Woman on their side.

G. Willow Wilson spins a wonderful one-shot here, in which superheroics are replaced with slapstick to brilliant effect. Yet there’s also a sweet side to this story I shan’t spoil. Suffice it to say there’s a lot here to leave you smiling. Beautifully illustrated by Emanuela Lupacchino (who should have been drawing Wonder Woman years ago) and Ray McCarthy, the book looks amazing as well as being a solid read. If you haven’t given this new run on Wonder Woman a chance, this is the perfect issue to start with.

5-5

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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