How to Dive into KING IN BLACK

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As the King in Black has come to an end, the question arises, “What’s the reading order?”, and if you want that answer you can follow this link. The main objective of this article is to try to shed some light on the different levels of this summer Event, from MUST READ – all the way to a fun inconsequential TIE-IN. Hopefully this will help you decide how much to spend (or how much more to spend).

King in Black #1

RECOMMENDED READING – This issues are suggested reading prior to King in Black
Venom by Donny Cates

MUST READ – These issues are all the Main Story and all are a big part of the King in Black
King in Black #1 – 5
Venom #31 – 34
Venom #200

Venom #31

TIE-IN SIDE STORY – These issues add depth to the world of King in Black and fill in a lot of the gaps that could not be covered in the main story. If you have a favorite character and did not see them enough on the main book, they may show up in one of these titles. These are the titles where you will see weird and fun team ups.
King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #1 – 3
King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 – 3

Planet of Symbiotes #1

ONE SHOTS – These issues are Stand Alone stories about specific characters, these stories do not directly impact the main story but they can add depth to the arc of each of the specific characters.
King in Black: Immortal Hulk
King in Black: Iron Man/Doctor Doom
King in Black: Black Knight
King in Black: Captain America
King in Black: Marauders
King in Black: Black Panther
King In Black: Wiccan and Hulkling
King In Black: Ghost Rider

King in Black: Iron Man/Doctor Doom

STAND ALONE STORY – These issues are very stand alone but tell a complete story. These stories focus on a specific group of individuals with a specific task or goal that in the larger scheme is inconsequential to the main story. This does not mean these titles are bad or not worth reading. These titles are for those looking for a complete picture. These stories also are enclosed so can be read without reading the main title. (although some knowledge of what the King in Black and Venom would be helpful.)
Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #1 – 5
King in Black: Namor #1 – 5
King In Black: Return of the Valkyries #1 – 4
King in Black: Gwenom Vs Carnage #1 – 3

Gwenom vs Carnage #1

OTHER TIE-IN – These are regular on going titles that took a small break to jump into a King In Black event. If you are a completionist, these Tie-Ins are for you
Atlantis Attacks #5
The Union #1 – 2
Black Cat #1 – 3
Spider-Woman #7 – 8
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
S.W.O.R.D. #2 – 4
Black Cat #2
Deadpool #10
Daredevil #26 – 27
Savage Avengers #17 – 18
Fantastic Four #29 – 30
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #23
Avengers #45 

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
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HOME #1 Advanced Review

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HOME #1 is a comic book published by Image Comics
Writer: Julio Anta
Artist: Anna Wieszczyk
Colorist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Home # 1 – Cover A

Home #1 by Julio Anta, Anna Wieszczyk, tells a story about a young boy and his mother trekking to America seeking asylum. The first issue tells of their trip from their country of origin, all the way to the United States. Meanwhile the narration tells of the current events, the news and some of the policies that have led to the conflict and commentary in the work.

The opening concepts were a serious tone based on current and timely real life events. Empathy is developed through the dialogue as we get to know the characters further, with lines like ”Don’t be nervous. All you have to do is tell the truth. Tell the nice men what happened to us, and why we need to come live with your aunt…” all spoken in “Spanish” per the comic notes. There are many hardships and obstacles that the characters encounter, but the idea of these events mirroring the situation of people in our country adds an extra layer to this story.

The art along with the rapid paneling really sets the pacing of the story as most of the comic is related to the trip and not so much the destination. The art feels stylized but also hopeful. The colors change in darken as the story progresses relating to the reader the upcoming issues for our characters.

Hassan’s lettering is a real driver for the severity of events, the distinction in font color for the different languages emphasizes the separation between the characters and the real life implications in the world.

This book brings all the elements together to the conclusion of the initial arc for this first issue as we are left off with the twist of the story for characters going forward. This book was not an easy read, as it is very much reflecting the current times and real life issues but it accomplishes to inform and entertain with its story.

JULIO ANTA and ANNA WIESZCZYK debut with a deeply grounded and heartfelt five-issue series that explores the real-world implications of a migrant with extraordinary powers.
Release Date: April 14, 2021
Price: $3.99
Read It Digitally: Home #1 via comiXology

Rating 4/5

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
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STRANGE ADVENTURES #8 Preview

Written by Tom King
Art by Mitch Gerards & Evan “Doc” Shaner
Letters by Clayton Cowles

Cover by Mitch Gerards
Can the Justice League Stop the Pykkts?

CHAPTER 8

“The battle against the Pykkts continues! The Justice League—including Green Lantern, Doctor Fate, Batman, the Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman—has scattered across the Earth, pushing back the marauders wherever they appear. Even Mr. Terrific takes a break from investigating Adam Strange’s alleged war crimes to land a punch or two in their stupid alien faces. But Adam Strange has made his decision: to save Rann at any price—even if that price is the Earth itself!”

This title will be available January 26th 2021 wherever DC comics are sold
32 pages – $4.99

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page

DC First Look: Future State: Superman: Worlds Of War #1

SUPERMAN: WORLDS OF WAR #1
Writer(s): Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Becky Cloonan, Brandon Easton, Michael Conrad, and Jeremy Adams
Artist(s): Mikel Janin, Valentine De Landro, Siya Oum, and Gleb Melnikov
Cover Artist(s): Mikel Janin

Cover art by Mikel Janin

Superman Worlds at War
“This monumental Future State title features four big stories! First, Clark Kent is gone, leaving a Superman-shaped hole behind. People gather in Smallville to celebrate their hero, little realizing that he is across the galaxy helping others. Superman has gone to Warworld, where he fights as a gladiator in the deadly pits of Mongul. But this is Superman we’re talking about—and his idea of a victory does not line up with the expectations of Mongul’s hordes!”

Mister Miracle Part 2
“Meanwhile, on the other side of Warworld, other agents are at work, struggling for a better life. Shilo Norman, the man known as Mister Miracle, has ridden a Boom Tube across the cosmos from Metropolis to finds himself at odds with an entire planet!”

Midnighter
“At the same time, Midnighter, the greatest fighter from Earth, is punching his way through a whole mess of trouble. He’s on the hunt for a new energy source deadlier than Kryptonite. His goal: to shut it down before it gets unleashed on an unsuspecting universe.”

Black Racer
“On top of that, the Black Racer, a girl raised in the slums of Warworld to be one of its top competitors, turns betrayal into a crusade to fight for the freedom of others like her.”

Superman: Worlds of War #1 shows the Future State of the Man of Steel in shops and digital platforms on January 19, 2021.

Will you be picking up SUPERMAN WORLDS AT WAR #1?
In Shops: January 19, 2021 (DC Tuesdays!)
$7.99 US | 64 PAGES

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page

DC First Look: Future State: Dark Detective #1

FUTURE STATE: DARK DETECTIVE #1
“Dark Detective” written by MARIKO TAMAKI art by DAN MORA
“Grifter” written by MATTHEW ROSENBERG art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO

Dark Detective #1 Covers by Dan Mora and Variant by John Paul Leon

DARK DETECTIVE
The world thought Bruce Wayne was dead. They were dead wrong! When the sinister para-military organization known as the Magistrate seizes control of Gotham City, the original Batman went big to put them down…but even the Dark Knight couldn’t predict how far this evil force would go to stop him. Now, Bruce Wayne is on the run! From Eisner Award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki and rising star artist Dan Mora, it’s the story of a Batman pushed to the brink—with nothing left to lose.
This is one of the most anticipated titles in the FUTURE STATE line.
Daniel from the Next issue Podcast

Preview Art for Dark Detective #1

GRIFTER
Grifter is back! Cole Cash is having a bad day, and that’s not going to improve when the detectives of the GCPD show up! Will a chance meeting with Luke Fox change his luck? Or is his day about to get a lot worse?
What can we expect from Grifter as he is back in Gotham?

Preview Art for the Grifter story in Dark Detective #1

Will you be picking up DARK DETECTIVE #1?
In Shops: January 12, 2021 (DC Tuesdays!)
$5.99 US | 48 PAGES
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $6.99 US

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page

Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 Review

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Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 is a comic book published by DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Yanick Paquette & Bryan Hitch
Colors by FCO Plascencia, Nathan Fairbarn & Alex Sinclair
Letters by Tom Napolitano 

Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 cover by Capullo, Glapion & Plascencia

AN ANTI-CRISIS, PART VII: A SLAP IN THE FACE 
DC’s biggest, baddest battle for control of the Multiverse! The Darkest Knight is on the verge of ending this concert once and for all, but Wonder Woman stands ready to shred the Darkest Knight. This extra-sized finale issue includes not one but two mind-blowing epilogues that lead directly into the next phase of the DC Universe—and no fan will want to miss that!! 

This will contain a bit of spoilers for anything prior to issue number seven. This issue is the culmination of the battle for the universe and the faith of everything going forward. We pick up with Wonder Woman fighting the Darkest Knight but she is not the only one, multiple battles take place across the battleground and although the story focuses on DC’s Trinity, there are many characters whose arcs come to a close in this last chapter. This battle will be settled here.

Scott Snyder‘s final symphony of Death Metal brings about the most epic fight in the history of the Multiverse. This issue is not only delivering a fantastic, bombastic story, but it’s rewarding long time readers of the comic books and those engulfed in DC continuity. This is a very emotional issue and it’s a roller coaster of a ride from the beginning, the pacing picks up as the issue ramps up to its crescendo,  and the moment when you feel all is lost Snyder’s writing picks you back up and rallies back to continue the fight until we arrive at a moment of peace and serenity.

Dark Nights: Death Metal #7

The team of Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia is a well oiled machine and this may be their best collaboration in comics to date. There are so many individual characters and the level of detail in each of them is outstanding. The panel layouts of this book are one of the most impressive parts of the full composition, not only does Capullo and the team make the reader physically turn the book as he has done in the past, but the layouts illustrate multiple events happening at the same time but it allows the reader to be clear on what is happening on each page Plascencia colors are vibrant and elevate the art and the impact at the conclusion of the event the art becomes simple and very calming The two back of stories have completely different art in our teams and this helps understand that the world is now different moving forward

This whole issue is accented and rounded off by Tom Napolitano‘s lettering. The multiple styles portrayed for each of the universes and the different characters that inhabit this issue allow the reader to have a clear distinction on the difference between them.

Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 really feels like a combination of years of storytelling and hard work on behalf of the team and DC comics. The event as a whole is an impressive showcase of both talent and the depth of the DC Multiverse and although it may not be the most “first time reader friendly” book, it is an enjoyable ride that rocks everyone’s faces off.

If you’re interested in seeing How Deep to dive into the Tie-ins of this event check out our previous article

Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 is available January 5th wherever comics are sold.

Rating 5/5

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page

What is the DC comics’ Future State Event?

In a world of comic event happening every few months. DC comics prepares to launch Future State on January 5th 2021, but if you’re a new reader or have not been reading DC comics, the question remains, “What is Future State

DC Nation Presents: Future State

Here is the official description from our peeps at Comixology.

“DC Future State spotlights the World’s Greatest Super Heroes in fresh new roles, with all-new characters taking up their iconic mantles and terrifying new Super-Villains that will push them beyond their limits. DC Future State features an incredible array of creative talent, combining award-winning writers and artists with new voices from the worlds of TV, movies, and animation. In DC Future State, the Multiverse has been saved from the brink of destruction, but the triumph of DC’s heroes has shaken loose the very fabric of time and space! The final chapter of Dark Nights: Death Metal brings new life to DC’s Multiverse, kicking off this glimpse into the unwritten worlds of DC’s future!”

a full list of all the Future State titles

Starting this January, for two months, DC comics is taking a break form their ongoing continuity and skipping ahead into the future, a Future State where we’ll see the next generation of DC heroes having adventures, before returning to the present.

Presumably if some of those short miniseries about future heroes are really popular, they may get sequels. This potential glimpse into a future timeline. DC is has assembled an amazing roster of creator so handle these stories.
It would be fair to assume that any series that is successful could be continued in the future although no official announcements have been made.

How to best pick what to read in Future State. Here is what we recommend.
1- Follow a creative team that you like even if you have never read that character or series.
2- Pick a character or family of characters (Batfamily, Superfamily, Magic etc)
3- Check out only the Anthology books, a few of the announced books are 80 page giants that contain 3 stories each, be advised those are priced at $7.99, most of the other titles range from $3.99 – $5.99
4 – If you have an unlimited budget, just get them all!!
5 – If patience is your strongest trait, wait for a collected edition or wait until the DC Infinite Service launches and they should be available to read there as part of your subscription in the next 6 months.

Let us know in the comments or twitter, which books you picked up, who are your new favorite characters and which stories you would like to see continued.

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page

Future State: The Next Batman #1 Preview

THE NEXT BATMAN, PART ONE / OUTSIDERS, PART ONE / ARKHAM KNIGHTS, PART ONE

Written by John Ridley, Brandon Thomas & Paul Jenkins
Art by Nick Derrington, Sumit Kumar, Raul Fernandez & Jack Herbert
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain, Jordie Bellaire & Gabe Eltaeb
Letters by Clayton Cowles, Steve Wands & Rob Leigh

Future State: The Next Batman #1
Future State: The Next Batman #1 cover by Ladrönn

This first Issues is comprised of three different all new stories set in the FUTURE STATE
The Next Batman
Who is the Next Batman and how will Gotham receive this new Caped Crusader?
Gotham City has always been dangerous—but now, it’s downright deadly! Following the tragedy of “A-Day,” the mayor allowed the private law enforcement group known as “the Magistrate” to take over policing so-called mask crime—and that has given rise to a new Dark Knight! What is this mysterious crime fighter’s connection to former Batman weaponeer Lucius Fox? The fight for justice has never been this dangerous!

Interior art by Derrington & Bonvillain


The Outsiders
The Outsiders are back, but they have received a very cool upgrade.
In a new tale of the Outsiders, everything in Gotham City may be under the thumb of the Magistrate—but even members of that totalitarian force know that the outskirts of town are protected by the sword of Katana!

Arkham Knights
A new force rises out of Arkham, but whose side are they on?
Ride with the Arkham Knights on their quest for freedom. Arkham Asylum has been decommissioned, and the Magistrate rules the land with an iron fist and zero tolerance. Now it’s time for the lunatics to take back their town! Follow Croc, Two-Face, Phosphorus, Zsasz, Clayface, and Astrid Arkham as the Arkham Knights raise holy hell on the occupiers of Gotham!

Three different Stories that will reshape both Gotham City and the Legacy of The Batman.
This title will be available January 5th 2021 wherever DC comics are sold

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page

Dark Nights: DEATH METAL – How far to Dive in?

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Reading time 3 minutes

Dark Nights: Death Metal is the Sequel to Dark Nights: Metal from 2017. This DC Comics event has shaped the DC Universe over the past few years and this current event promises to change it all forever.
The Main Issues of this event have been created by the team of Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, FCO Plascencia and Tom Napolitano.

DC Comics Formally Announces Dark Nights: Death Metal - The Fanboy SEO
Promotional Art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion & FCO Plascencia

These comic book events can often times have alot of supplementary tie-in comics and series. This article is not about the reading order, for that I recommend checking out this article be the great folks at How to Love Comics.
This post is our way to help you decide how deep to dive into this event.
We read all the tie-ins so you don’t have to, unless you want to.

The Main Core of the Story.
These 7 issues are the main part of the story, there is enough here in these issues for complete story, no extra reading just pure DEATH METAL
Dark Nights: Death Metal issues 1 – 7

Death Metal Issues 1 – 7

The Sounds of Death Metal!
The following issues are all one shots that although not immediately relevant to the main story, really allow the reader to understand certain events and references that the characters in the Main DEATH METAL title are experiencing. These titles could be seen as side quest that are consequential to the main story. None of these issues are an ongoing series but they directly affect our protagonists and antagonists.
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Legends of the Dark Knights
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Trinity Crisis
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Speed Metal
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Multiverse’s End
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Rise of the New God

The Coda of Doom
If you are in this deep and need more lets go on a SIDE QUEST
the issues below are part of an ongoing series and the events are directly related to DEATH METAL. The Events on this miniseries indirectly affect the characters and lead up to Death Metal issue #5
Justice League Issues 53 – 57 (2020) “DOOM METAL”
This story directly deals with the fate of the Legion of Doom during the Events of DEATH METAL. For a Full breakdown check out this article from DC Comics

Justice League #53 – 57

Turn it up to ELEVEN, and ROCK OUT
This level for the true completionists. If you are into the deep cuts these issues are for you. This is where the creators explore the backgrounds and motivations of everyone involved in the story. Explore the dark multiverse at your leisure. Although these titles do not directly impact the main story they add depth and substance.
Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Robin King
Dark Nights: Death Metal – Infinite Hours Exxxtreme!
Dark Nights: Death Metal – The Multiverse Who Laughs
Dark Nights: Death Metal – The Secret Origin
Dark Nights: Death Metal – The Last Stories of the DCU
Dark Nights: Death Metal – The Last 52: War of the Multiverses

Tie-in issues for big events are not for everyone, but this should help you decide how to spend your money and how deep to dive into Dark Nights: Death Metal
ROCK ON!!

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page


SUICIDE SQUAD #9 Review

Suicide Squad #9 is a comic book published by DC Comics. Written by Tom Taylor, art by Bruno Redondo, colors by Adriano Lucas and letters by Wes Abbott

Suicide Squad #9 Cover by Bruno Redondo

This issue, it’s the shocking death of one of the members of the Suicide Squad. They’ve seen teammates blow up and countries fall. They’ve faced down heroes and villains alike. Now the Suicide Squad has one final mission: bring down the man who enslaved them, then put a bounty on their heads when they escaped: But to finish the job, one of their members will have to DIE! 

This issue drops us into the middle of the Squad’s mission to gather some information about their target, the man who previously betrayed them. Also, we catch up with the remainder of the team as they prepare to set off. The book focuses on the intense moments as much as it does the more quiet times in which the squad can actually lay back and hang out. As the issue progresses the team has not only prepared for what could be their final mission, but also unknowingly the loss of one of their teammates. 

Taylor’s storytelling is propelled forward with a mix of genuinely dialogue, heartfelt moments, action bits and comedy. The team is quite large but it does not feel fractured as they work very well in smaller teams as well as a larger ensemble. The dialogue is very clever and captures the different personalities in the team. Although it is clear that death is impending, the issue is very upbeat, and not all about doom. The impact of the events is felt as the issue speeds towards the last few pages. 

Redondo’s art throughout the issue is light, stylized and very fitting to the action. Whether the setting be a government building or a small jungle, Redondo provides seamless transitions in the art. Lucas’ colors are vibrant as you would see in a SuperHero book, which is telling as to how the protagonists are seen in this point of view. The panels and in some pages lack of border set up the pace in each of those key moments in the story. 

Abbott’s letters are very well placed and come to light when needed in the story. The text never hinders the art. 

Suicide Squad #9 comes up with an action filled story, fun character moments and a last page reveal that makes this book an entertaining story. Long time fans as well as New readers will enjoy this issue. 

Suicide Squad #9 is available September 22nd wherever comics are sold.

RATING 4 / 5

Written by Daniel co-host of the Next Issue Podcast
@eckospider on Twitter. 
Find the bi- Weekly podcast @NextIssuePod anywhere podcasts are available.
Podcast available at Next Issue Podcast page