First Look at DC Rebirth Designs For Bizarro, Red Robin, Batman Beyond & More
I first discovered the joy of comics in 1980 when some girls on my school bus brought in their father's copies of Wendy and Richard Pini's "Elfquest" and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, I've written freelance interviews and articles for "Wizard" (going all the way back to the first issue), headed up the Small Press Expo and the Ignatz Awards, served as an Eisner judge and written reviews regularly since 1999 (first for iComics.com, then moving to my own site Read About Comics).
I moved to the Washington DC area in 1974 and have yet to leave. I design and develop training for the Federal government during the day, and I've had both fiction and non-fiction professionally published. In my spare time I train for marathons and triathlons. I've promised my friends one of these days I'll run a race dressed as the Flash.
FIRST COMIC: "Elfquest" #5
FAVORITE CHARACTER: Fone Bone, Captain Britain, Rachel Summers Grey
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G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona's "Ms. Marvel" #7 "takes advantage of a crossover to tell a smaller-scale story that echoes the event's themes."
"Stan Sakai is a master storyteller, and 'Usagi Yojimbo' #154 reminds us once again just how much of a treasure he and his works are."
Kurt Busiek and Ron Randall's "Astro City" #35 "is a reminder that the superhero genre can give us rich, interesting characters and plots."
Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Phil Jimenez and more "lay out an important path for DC's line of superhero comics to follow" in "DC Universe: Rebirth" #1.
Matt and Sharlene Kindt "build the tension quickly, and the presence of danger grows by the second" in "Dept. H" #2.
Jeff Parker, Evan "Doc" Shaner and Steve Rude's "Future Quest" #1 is "fun, has a strong sense of adventure, moves quickly and looks great."
Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar's "All-New, All-Different Avengers" #9 follows "good, old-fashioned superheroes" that "will entertain modern readers."
James Tynion and Riley Rossmo "deliver a good mix of emotional and plot beats" in "Batman" #52.
"Readers will be amazed by how thoroughly enthralling it is to read about two awful people" in Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber's "The Fix" #2.
Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Jill Thompson's "Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In" #1 "maintains a high standard of excellence."
Kelly Thompson and Ben Caldwell's "A-Force" #5 "is fun and exciting, even as there are strong character and plot hooks to keep readers coming back."
"Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart place the proverbial cherry on the top of the sundae" with "Hellboy in Hell" #9.
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky never "lose sight of everything else that's worked so well over the course of the series" in "Sex Criminals" #15.
Dan Slott and Guiseppe Camuncoli "give us a fun new take on Peter Parker and company" in "Amazing Spider-Man" #11.
Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas' "Astonishing Ant-Man" #7 "is a great point to give this title a whirl... This book is too good to let slip away."
Max Landis and Jonathan Case's "Superman: American Alien" #6 is a "strong installment in one of the best Superman stories published in quite a while."
Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez "brought a strong authorial voice to this series... and they go out on a high note" in "All-New Hawkeye" #6.
Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke "acknowledge what's happened in recent continuity... while preparing to change the status quo" in "Batman/Superman" #31.
Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk's "Mockingbird" #2 "bodes well for the series as a whole and shows the creators' versatility."
"If the story doesn't hook readers, the art surely will" in Marvel's new "Moon Knight" series from Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood & Jordie Bellaire.
In "Totally Awesome Hulk" #6, Greg Pak and Mike Choi quickly wrap up the story about the Hulk and Maddy's encounter with the Enchantress and Thor, but it feels like there could have been a lot more at play here.
In "Batgirl" #52, Brenden Fletcher, Eleonora Carlini and Minkyu Jung's wrap-up of the series feels almost like an afterthought, despite some fun cameo appearances by the "Gotham Academy" cast.
The Tri-State Science Fair goes horribly wrong in G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona's "Ms. Marvel" #7, which finds Kamala Khan and Miles Morales on opposing sides of a geek-style arms race.
In "Adventures of Supergirl" #2, Sterling Gates, Jonboy Meyers and Pop Mhan pit Kara against Vril Dox, and -- while the overall story is fun and worth reading -- some of the plotting falls into a pattern.
Stan Sakai's "Usagi Yojimbo" #154 is another done-in-one story, where Usagi's moment of kindness to a winged Komori ninja comes back to haunt him when he tries to defend a merchant from an attack.
In "Astro City" #35, Kurt Busiek and Ron Randall tell a story of legacies -- both superheroes and otherwise -- with Jack-in-the-Box at its center.
Thanks to Michael Allred and Laura Allred, "Silver Surfer" #4 looks great, but Dan Slott's story of Shalla Bal seeking revenge for the erasure of Zenn-La's culture is little more than a retread of the previous issue.
In "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10" #27, the gang splinters in the face of adversity, but -- when Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs focus on Xander and Dawn -- the comic really sings.
Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis and Phil Jimenez lay out a new manifesto for the company's line of comics in "DC Universe: Rebirth" #1, which calls for characters with more hope in their hearts.
"Dept. H" #2 gives us a glimpse of Mia's past in outer space, even as Matt Kindt plunges her and her brother Raj into the depths of the ocean for a scarily familiar mission filled with danger.
"Future Quest" #1 mashes up numerous Hanna-Barbera properties into one big adventure story, and Jeff Parker, Evan "Doc" Shaner and Steve Rude make sure to open the book up to new and old fans alike.
Harley Sinn's forces circle in Frank Tieri, Jimmy Palmiotti and Mauricet's "Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys" #2, but -- while it's nice to see a little more of the personal lives of the cast -- it also results in a slow-paced
Peter J. Tomasi, Dale Eaglesham, Scot Eaton and Wayne Faucher unleash the Super-Pretender on pre-New 52 Superman in "Action Comics" #52, but the early momentum of this storyline is fading fast.
Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley and Andrew Hennessy's "All-New X-Men" #9 plunges Beast and Kid Apocalypse into "Apocalypse Wars" via a trip through time in their most promising issue to date.
James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo and Brian Level step on board for "Batman" #52, and their story bodes well for Tynion's plans for the Dark Knight.
Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar's "All-New, All-Different Avengers" #9 follows up the Wasp story from "Free Comic Book Day: Civil War II" and gives us something that can be read on its own, and it works on both fronts.
In the deliriously fun "The Fix" #2, Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber double down on corrupt cops Roy and Mac as they do anything and everything wrong, but with ruthless efficiency.
Steve Orlando, ACO and Hugo Petrus conclude both the storyline and the series by pitting Midnighter against the Suicide Squad and Henry Bendix in "Midnighter" #12, and it's a shame to see it end.
Natalie Riess' "Space Battle Lunchtime" #1 starts of a little slowly, but what this first issue lacks in speed, it makes up for in sheer charm as a pastry chef is whisked off to an intergalactic cooking competition.
The cats reign supreme in Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Jill Thompson's "Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In," which brings readers back to Burden Hill to discover the dark and extremely dangerous secret Dymphna has been hiding.