Monthly Archives: January 2021

They Do Need Those Stinkin’ Badges

Scout’s Honor #1
“The Seven Laws of Doctor Jefferson Hancock”
Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Luca Casalanguida
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover artists: Andy Clarke (regular)/Maan ouse (variant)
Editor: Christina Harrington
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Price: $4.99 US

Smaller publishers appear to be enjoying some growth in support in the last year or two, which is always encouraging, as this is the territory that fosters more comics outside the dominant super-hero genre. And it serves as the training and proving ground for new talents. Unfortunately, the boom in the marketplace outside of Marvel and DC titles appears driven, at least in part, by value speculation. Mind you, there’s some logic to it, since these comics are ordered in lower numbers than their mainstream counterparts. But what’s really important is whether these books pay off in terms of storytelling, both visually and conceptually. The high concept here – the notion of Scouting as the basis of a paramilitary peacekeeping organization in a post-apocalyptic future – is an interesting one. As I read the issue, though, despite the novel premise, the plot beats felt a bit predictable. It’s a fun, action-packed story that explores a patriarchal, exclusionary organization even in a far-flung future, but the twists the writer tries to weave into the story felt more like straight lines.

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Future Tense

The Next Batman #1

“The Next Batman”
Writer: John Ridley
Artist: Nick Derington
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Ben Abernathy

“Future State: Outsiders”
Writer: Brandon Thomas
Pencils: Sumit Kumar
Inks: Sumit Kumar & Raul Fernandez
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Steve Wands
Editor: Dave Wielgosz

“Future State: Arkham Knights – Chapter One: Rise”
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Artist: Jack Herbert
Colors: Sabe Eltaeb
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Paul Kaminski

Cover artists: Ladronn (regular)/Olivier Coipel & J. Scott Campbell (variants)
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $7.99 US

Despite the two-month duration of its “Future State” branding event, DC has managed to generate a lot of interest and hype in this slate of new, fresh takes on its familiar properties, and if The Next Batman is any indication, it could prove to be a creative success as well. The writers deliver a trio of accessible stories with novel interpretations of iconic names. All three stories are set in Gotham, and it seems greater collaboration among the editors overseeing these stories could have made for more consistent depictions of a dystopian Gotham City, each of the segments entertained. If this book (and others in the “Future State” line) proves to be a commercial success, I suspect we’ll see more of this future backdrop in the months and even years to come.

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