Welcome to the third installment of Sunday Reviews with JoeLovesComics, a segment on here where I talk about comics I enjoyed, and why I liked them!
This review will contain some spoilers for DC Pride #1.
DC Pride #1
I remember back in March one day scrolling through Twitter and this incredible cover (by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and gorgeous colours by Tamra Bonvillain) catching my eye.
Oh that's some dope art, I thought, immediately discounting it as some unofficial piece some fan had put together. Even going as far to think, shame this'll probably never happen. Then I actually saw the official account the tweet had been posted from and read the tweet itself.
Oh snap. This was happening. A few months wait later and wow, felt so good to finally hold it in my hands and what an awesome, brilliant and excellent read this was.
So without further ado, let's get into the individual stories themselves!
What an opening story this was!
Immediately I just went, "Wow". Not realyl sure how to put it into words, but the art is like a fairy tale, fitting perfectly with the theme of the story. The colours are absolutely beautiful, the red of Batwoman's costume and her hair is so rich and deep and contrasts perfectly with the more muted dark blue tones of the background.
Then there's the lettering. I love how again can't exactly put into words what I like about the font, but it has the exact same feel as the art. Has that "wishy washy" psychedelic feel that again along with the art makes you uneasy, like how she feels in this story like something isn't quite right. I especially like the distinction between her speech bubbles and and the circular speech bubbles of someone who you can find out the identity of for yourself.
But speaking of identity, overall this one is a really powerful story about it. This speech near the end of the story perfectly sums it up and it's filled with so much emotion and heart.
It just touches on so many things, feeling like you're "wrong" or alone. But then the liberating and amazing feeling of seeing yourself represented, finding other people like you and realising you don't have to be alone anymore.
In terms of raw emotion, this was such a brilliant choice to kick off the anthology with, as it is easily one of the strongest in the book.
Whereas the previous one was more emotional, this was just lots of fun. A little on the nose, but really enjoyable. Covered up the dialogue on the page opposite because I don't want to spoil the idea whilst still showing off the awesome art here. I just adored the art style, how it looks like a full on animation flat on the page itself. The epicness of the castle in the background against the night sky, the vibrancy and smoothness of the characters drawn here, just a joy to soak in. There's a couple of awesome action pages in this story that really show off his art that you should check out for yourself if you can.
In general, it's a really neat, simple but effective story idea. It's executed brilliantly all round, and every page of action is so fresh and vibrant and animated like I've already said, another great read.
This was the shortest story in the anthology but easily the most awesome. This was a short, punchy detective story featuring The Question (Renee Montoya). I loved how everything was utilised in this story. Every panel, every speech bubble was effective to make for an epic tale.
The art was perfect for the tone of the story, dark, gritty and then the use of bright colour every so often more properly ecenutated against the darker colours everywhere else. For example below, very dark and mysterious, with the red panels almost bursting standing out against the night sky. Not much else to say about this one, just an awesome short action packed detective story featuring some great representation like all stories in this anthology.
This story was the complete opposite, in the best way possible. It was extremely bright, vibrant, just generally off the wall wild and really just a distillation of everything Harley and Ivy. Harley spends most of the story joking around but eventually Ivy gets through to her and it leads to a beautiful and emotional heartfelt moment. Again not much else to really say here, another story that's lots of fun with lots of heart at it's centre.
Alan Scott's journey as a newly out gay man continues here and it's so great to see. I've loved the progression from the Green Lantern 80th Special, to Infinite Frontier #0 and now this. It's a beautiful and important story illustrated amazingly. The way he recalls that fateful train ride and the guy he met on it, the deeper conversation with his son about the troubles (an understatement but anyway) he went through.
This is highlighted most prominently in the panel shown to the left here, and encompasses a sentiment unfortunately seen way too often these days. With certain people on the internet using rubbish buzzwords like "forced diversity". As this panel plainly shows, there's nothing political about people simply existing. Some people make it political as a way to demonise and turn people against other people that are different to them in some way. This is probably the most powerful story in the book, besides maybe the Batwoman one, and well worth a read.
Now for something a bit lighter.
Justice League and Aquaman were two of my favourite books out of Future State, and partly because of these two. This was a Flash story bookended by a page either end brilliantly showing the adorable dynamic between these two. Also, Jess' costume is so awesome I absolutely love it, it's a great progression of the Flash costume whilst still fresh and making it their own. They're a great character and seeing them in action again was the best, I really hope this isn't the last we see of them and their dynamic with Andy. Another entry into the anthology that was lots of fun and a joy to read.
Introducing... Drummer Boy! A new plus sized character in comics is always a positive step for representation, and gay as well is even better. I really liked the art in this one, especially how the purples and greens of their costumes stood out, it really looked good to me. Like the Renee Montoya story, this was only four pages, but also I thought it did a great job of executing the idea in the short space. Loved the dynamic between Pied Piper and Drummer Boy and their inevitable team up, another story with lots to like!
Introducing for the first time in comic books... Dreamer! This was an exciting story. I loved how this really felt like it could be a clip from the show. The art style was a good balance between realistic enough that it felt like it was from the show, but also retained that natural comic book style so that a great fun story could still be told. It was action packed, the art was dynamic, and natrually as it was written by the actress who plays her in the show again the feel of the character was there. It was just genuinely awesome that she got to write the introduction of her character into comics. Especially as unfortunately there aren't many trans characters in comics, representation matters and this was a brilliantly executed way of bringing her into the universe.
Finally, to cap it all of, the first appearance of JLQ! If the Batwoman story was a perfect start to the anthology, this was a perfect end to it.
I have got to say, I loved the design of the villain of this story, lots of detail and some nice colours. This was just in general a nice warm story, it's great to see Wink and The Aerie again even if only briefly, really hope we get that Revolutionaries book one day. (Anyway, Taylor and Redondo's Suicide Squad is a talk for another time)
Yeah not much else to say I haven't already said. Gorgeous bright vibrant art in the typical Vecchio style, nice story by Wheeler showing what JLQ would have been, and time for some final thoughts.
To me this was well worth the price tag. I can understand for some people just picking this up for some good stories they might not like it or feel there's not enough substance. But as someone who loved seeing the representation in this book and was really looking forward to it, it was such an enjoyable read.
This article was written by JoeLovesComics, who you can follow over on Twitter for (albeit shorter) thoughts on comics he loves.