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Review: Shadowman #4

The Shadowman series culminates in issue four with astounding action sequences and more than a little intrigue to whet your appetite. Let’s just say this book has it all!

The battle in the Deadside continues as Shadowman realizes that he is not only there to save Alyssa. He is there to battle Mr.Twist to the death as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Not only would he lose Alyssa to the hands of nefarious soul draining ghouls if he loses, he would become the catalyst for Master Darque to roam the world once more!

The writing abilities of Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher have become synonymous with pure adrenaline! Shadowman is a constant barrage to the senses both visually and conceptually, each issue leaves you breathless! Issue four is the pinnacle of all out action layered with deep intrigue and heaps of emotional duress. A fledgling hero with untested powers is all that stands between the tyrannical return of unfettered madness to the world and certain death — of course there will be emotional duress! But this book isn’t all about the action, Jordan and Zircher have begun to flesh out Shadowman as a character, his lack of trust in himself, his acceptance of his new found powers and his bond with Alyssa are all explored here. It gives the reader a much needed look at Jack Boniface as a person dealing with all the strange predicaments he now finds himself in, especially taking on the mantle of Shadowman! 

Patrick Zircher’s art is overtly majestic, exuding pure excitement from every page! Every diminutive detail has been scrutinized, highly rendered to the finest detail and executed flawlessly, creating a book filled with 32 pages of masterpieces! For my four dollars, there has been no other book that I can say has been continually this visually stunning in recent months. Completely stunning!

Valiant has been putting out some amazing books since their debut last year and Shadowman has been one of the best! You owe it to yourself to dive into the Deadside, you only have your soul to lose!

 

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DC Comics Cancels 6 Titles and Shifts Creative Teams

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DC Comics Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras and Editorial Director Bobbie Chase announced that six books will be cancelled as well as the shift of a bunch of creative teams.

Savage Hawkman, Team 7, Fury of Firestorm, Ravegers, Sword and Sorcery, and Deathstroke are all axed.

Over at CBR, Harras and Chase announced the following with new art:

Hawkman will be seen a lot in Justice League of America

• There are further plans for Deathstroke

• Justin Jordan moves over to Superboy

• Christy Marx goes to Birds of Prey

• Amethyst will be seen in Justice League Dark again

• New Young Justice titles are coming

• New Annuals: Batman: The Dark KnightCatwoman, Earth 2, Red Hood and The Outlaws

Red Hood Annual is being written by James Tynion

• Michael Alan Nelson takes over Supergirl

• Francis Portela returns to art chores on Legion Of Super-Heroes (Keith Giffen recently bailed reportedly to due editorial differences)

• Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti take over Batwing

(art credits: Batman: The Dark Knight Annual: Alex Maleev; Earth 2 Annual: Andy Kubert, Catwoman Annual: Emanuela Lupacchino; Batwing: Ken Lashley; LOSH: George Perez; Superboy: Ken Lashley; Supergirl: Emanuela Lupacchino; Red Hood Annual: Ken Lashley) 

  

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Adventures Of Superman Digital Announced; With Classic Costume

Hot on the heels of the popular digital Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight comic, DC Comics has announced Adventures of Superman.

Similar to The Dark Knight, it will be a continuity free series and be an anthology of stories with a plethora of creators attached.

Eventually it will get the print treatment as well.

IGN has it that the digital series will debut April 29th with the first two stories by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston with art by Chris Sprous and Karl Story. The third chapter will feature a Lex Luthor story by Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee.

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are also part of the contributors along with the following:

• Ed Benes

• Mitch Breitweiser

• Giuseppe Camuncoli

• Nathan Edmondson

• Joshua Hale Fialkov

Christos N. Gage

• Marc Guggenheim

• Justin Jordan

• Matt Kindt

• JT Krul

• Max Landis

• David Lapham

• Jeff Lemire

• Michael Avon Oeming

• Riley Rossmo

• Stephen Segovia

• Bruce Timm

• Marcus To

Marv Wolfman

Here is the Chris Samnee variant for the first issue where we see the classic tights. Who knows? Maybe Zack Snyder has Ma Kent sew up a pair for Clark in the Man of Steel.

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Advanced Review: Shadowman #3

Shadowman must dive into the belly of the beast and survive the hollow coldness of the Deadside. It’s not the battle he must wage there but the decisions he makes that will forever change the course of his life. Can he be content living as just Jack or does he need to become Shadowman in order to truly live?

Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher meld their wildly imaginative writing talents to bring to you a story of discovery and sacrifice that will solidify Shadowman as one of the best books of 2013! Between the fever pitch action, the soul searching drama and the off the wall circumstances our characters find themselves in, there is something to please every fan no matter what their favorite genre is. 

Shadowman is a timeless tale of self discovery where the roads to our future are paved with bricks from our past. But what if the past is unknown to us and our future is strewn with things that are too strange to be real, things that cannot be conceived by the minds of mortal men. Who can take us where we need to be, who can show us who we can become? And, what if the answers to those questions are mired in shadow, where even a flicker of truth is scarier than not knowing at all? These are the questions posed by Jordan and Zircher each month. These are the ideas and plot threads that make Shadowman such a compelling read that never falters to deliver it’s promise of excellence. It is the protagonist’s sheer uncertainty about his actions in the face of horrendous odds that anchors us in our seats, breathlessly awaiting the turn of the next page!

Shadowman may be freezing in the Deadside but things are just heating up in Jordan and Zircher’s tale. This is the issue that will bring everything to a head, creating a scattered front against Mr. Twist and his master. Decisions will be made, friends may fall and the past emerges from the ether. This is a quintessential read for this week! Only one book is worthy of having the moniker “Superior” — Shadowman!

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Review: Shadowman #2

The second book under the “Shadowman” moniker is actually a first real look at the rest of the cast of the book. While Jack Boniface takes a backseat this issue, we get to understand the “hows” and “whys” of almost all the other characters — including the nefarious Mr. Twist! 

Beginning with one of the best first pages I have read in a long time, Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher have created a slow-burn issue that answers some gnawing questions while dredging up even more. It is a focus on the history of the characters that will direct and “misdirect’ the actions of Jack Boniface for the future. A well thought out character piece that not only furthers the initial story revealed in issue one, but also helps to solidify the “world” of Shadowman for the readers. The cast of characters are so intrinsic to each other that it only makes sense to delve into their motivations at such an early start to the series and this writing duo does it flawlessly!

While the story may burst with action and intrigue, Patrick Zircher’s true contribution to this book is his gorgeous art! From squirming demon slugs to a “little person” with a firearm, Zircher makes this book absolutely come alive on the page. It is thoroughly en”gross”ing and utterly entrancing to gaze upon the images on every page, he is a true talent no matter which hat he may be wearing at the time! Just check out this interior panel to understand exactly what I mean: 

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Shadowman #2 is a shining star in an already brilliant Valiant Universe! It is no matter if you were a fan of the previous incarnations, with but a single issue of Jordan and Zircher’s collaboration — you will become one now!

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Advanced Review: The Legend of Luther Strode #1

It has been five years since Luther Strode decided to read “The Hercules Method” and his world was torn completely apart. His mother and his best friend were brutally murdered and by the final page, he is left utterly alone to dwell with what he has become. 

But now, Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore have brought there “bogeyman” for evildoers back into the spotlight — creating a morbidly solemn character that transcends the moniker of hero, for that of Legend! Uttering not a single word throughout the book, Luther fits his new moniker well. He is only seen in glimpses and shadow, dishing out devastating punishment with the swiftness of Mercury, leaving no one left to oppose the hand of justice! But as the criminal element of the tri-state area converge to deal with Luther, a single person might just hold the key to his downfall!

Continuing from the fan-favorite mini-series, The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, The Legend of Luther Strode #1 brings more of the gory glory that you have come to expect! But as with the first series, this one does not just rely on the utterly ridiculous violence to capture your attention. There is a heart and soul to this tale that completely engrosses the reader into Luther’s horrific world and, most importantly, into the broken man that is Luther himself. He literally has nothing! He is a man with a single room, a bucket to wash off the residue of shattered criminals from his large frame and a wall to remember those he has destroyed. His scarred body is a reflection of his even more scarred psyche, creating the question for the reader, “Why does he even do this anymore?” after seeing his solemnity. But does anyone ever ask the hero why do they stand up to those who do wrong? No, those questions are always asked of the villains! But, in this series, the villains thought process is clearly explained. They want to see if the “Legend” is true, does the bogeyman REALLY exist? Apparently, no one ever told them not to poke a beehive with a stick, it will only result in you getting stung!

This issue is even more over the top than the first series! A gory, slaughterfest of amazing art and story that will enthrall you with it’s quick pace and utter insanity! A bevy of brutality that is held up by the understructure of fantastic characterization! Tradd Moore’s volatile art will overwhelm the senses, but it is Jordan’s glimpse of humanity beneath it all that will keep you enthralled for the next installment! Bring a mop and a raincoat, folks, this one’s going to be messy!

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Advanced Review: Shadowman #1

The most anticipated book since the initial rebirth of the Valiant Universe hits stands this week! But is all the hype surrounding the return of Shadowman truly worth it? 

While other companies may rely on movie marketing to propel their fanbase, Valiant has dedicated itself to acquiring the best creative talents in the business and teaming them with the hottest characters of the nineties. These precise pairings have created some of the best “new” comics on the shelves, and in turn, established a whirlwind of excitement throughout the comics industry!

Now, Valiant has brought back one of the most popular characters they have ever created — Shadowman! 

This debut issue is not only as enigmatic and outstanding as the originals, it is also a very heart felt homage by both Patrick Zircher and Justin Jordan. Taking the base roots of the original character and mixing them with their own creative seed, this superb duo has crafted a tale that pays tribute to what Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart and David Lapham did and in the same breath — surpasses it!

Jack Boniface is still the main character for this “new and improved” version, but he is slightly different from what fans will remember. Gone is the long flowing mane of tangled hair and the saxophone is nowhere to be seen, but this younger version doesn’t require the iconic look, he has something far better at his disposal — the creative team!

Jordan and Zircher have created an engrossing look at the world of magic and mayhem in the Valiant Universe. This is an aspect that has been missing from the “Summer of Valiant” and it is a welcome change. Fans of the original series will no doubt recognize some of the old haunts and especially the diabolical Master Darque, but it is the changes that truly make this book an instant fan favorite. From the explosive opening sequence where demons swirl around every corner to the eventual rise of the new Shadowman, you are enthralled by every aspect of this book! The intrigue of Jack’s parents past and the creation of the sadistic Mr. Twist alone are enough to have you on the edge of your seat. But, it is the character of Jack himself that will hold sway over you throughout the book! Jack is a “lost soul” who has filled his life acquiring skills in order to make himself useful in a world that he was left alone in. He is vulnerable and yet, strong willed enough to survive on his own, never knowing the truth about his parents nor the talisman he wears around his neck. And when something horrific befalls him, is it his attackers that are the the true threat or is it the voice calling to him from the shadows that will bring his downfall?

This book will draw you in and ensnare you in the horrifically brutal world that Jordan and Zircher have created. It is fresh and rich in characterization, a book that is easy to get into and extremely hard to put down! Nothing outshines the pure talent that drives this book!

On a personal note, I must thank both Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher for handling this book with such reverence and scope. Shadowman was always my favorite Valiant character and I am proud to say that he is once again! Thank you both for an amazing book and especially for putting the original mask in the museum scene — classy!

So, to answer the original question — is Shadowman worth all the hype? Most definitely! Add this one to your collection and hold on tight, the Valiant Universe is about to get the doors blown off! 

Be bold, be daring, be — Valiant!

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JMS Writing Valiant Comics Shadowman Movie

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2523:]]Valiant Entertainment and the producer of The Mummy, Sean Daniel, have struck a deal with J. Michael Straczynksi to bring Shadowman to the big screen.

Deadline has the news in that Valiant, Daniel and JMS are teaming up for a Shadowman live-action film, with JMS writing the script.

Shadowman is a popular comic book character from the ‘90s and is being rebooted by Valiant Comics this November by writer Justin Jordan.

Shadowman is a character who lives in a unique world that mixes the modern world with that which is most ancient within us,” Straczynski tells Deadline. “The New Orleans vibe and history, and the struggle to find a balance with the personality within him, is a perfect dramatic vehicle. We’ve already finished the outline and there’s a lot of action, much of it unique to what Shadowman can do…but at the core of it, there’s a strong character, world and mythology that can be explored across multiple subsequent films. This is gonna be fun.”

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New “Luther Strode” From Image Comics This December

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From Image Comics this December will see a new Luther Strode title from Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore.

Legend of Luther Strode will be released December 5th; the following solicit and cover have been released:

Luther Strode lives.

Five years after losing everything, Luther has become more than a nightmare for the evil men in his city… he has become a legend. But somebody is hunting the bogeyman, and he has dangerous allies that Luther will never expect. Luther Strode lives; but for how long?

The sequel to 2011’s breakout hit begins here!

Luther Stode is a Cosmic Book News favorite; we spoke with Jordan briefly at last year’s NYCC and got some autographs. 

I know our very own Chris “DOC” Bushley will be excited by this news as he loved the first series, calling it “one of the best of the year” and “one of the coolest new books to be released.”

And I agree!

Justin Jordan is also behind the upcoming DC Comics book Team 7 as well as Valiant Comics’s Shadowman.

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Shadowman Valiant Comics Interview With Justin Jordan

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2523:]]Cosmic Book News knew that eventually
Justin Jordan would be a household name.

We first happened upon the writer with his hit Image Comics series, The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, with our own Chris Bushley describing the book as “enthralling, action-packed, intriguing, gory and sickly sweet.”

We then met Jordan at last year’s New York Comic Con and briefly spoke about the series as well as snagging some autographed Luthor Strode issues.

So it came to no surprise when it was announced that Jordan had been picked up by Valiant Comics for the new Shadowman and by DC Comics for October’s Team 7.

This November sees Jordan paired with superstar artist Patrick Zircher. Known for his work on Marvel Comics’ Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and New Warriors, Zircher now brings his own talents to Shadowman.

We caught up with Jordan via e-mail to talk about the new Shadowman, about the following preview pages that were released and more.

Cosmic Book News: Were you a fan of the original?
 
Justin Jordan: I was. Shadowman originally came along when I was a teenager, and the whole Valiant Universe was sort of a revelation. They were telling stories differently than what I’d been reading before, and Shadowman was particularly interesting to me because it was a more street level, Batman or Daredevil type character.
 
Cosmic Book News: Valiant has launched four titles already, can you tell us how you became involved with Shadowman, and is there a reason why Valiant decided to go ahead with Shadowman as their next book?
 
Justin Jordan: Well, Warren Simons, the Executive Editor, liked Luther Strode, so I sent him pitches on a variety of stuff. Fortunately for me, Patrick also liked Luther, and when he talked to Warren he mentioned me, and it all sort of took off from there. I can’t say why Valiant went with Shadowman as their next book, but I suspect that it’s because Shadowman was one of the characters fans were really chomping at the bit to see. 
 
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2524:]]Cosmic Book News: From the press release we see that Shadowman is Jack Boniface, what can you say in regards to this Jack versus the original?
 
Justin Jordan: In terms of his personality, he’s actually not too different. His life is different, and his powers are fairly different, but I think fans are going to recognize our Jack. 
 
Cosmic Book News: Speaking of Shadowman’s powers, will magic and voodoo play a large role? And this Shadowman will have different or new powers?
 
Justin Jordan: Yup. Yup to all of them. Magic and voodoo play a pretty big role although in the case of voodoo, not necessarily in the way you might be expecting. But the book does introduce magic into the Valiant Universe, and I think we’ve done it in a way that fits the general Valiant tone. I definitely think it’s cool but I may be very slightly biased.
 
Cosmic Book News: While this Shadowman is Jack, in the preview pages he does seem to resemble Michael LeRoi. Was that intentional?
 
Justin Jordan: Well, you’ll need to read the first issue to get more of what’s going on in those first few pages. Having said that, we do draw some stuff from the LeRoi version of the character, which is one of the advantages of doing a reboot like this; we have a lot of cool stuff to draw from.
 
Cosmic Book News: Can we get your take on Jack being Shadowman? Will there be an inner, or even an outer conflict as a result of him taking up the mantle of Shadowman. Furthermore, does he have a choice in the matter? 
 
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2525:]]Justin Jordan: There’s definitely conflict. When we first meet Jack, he’s been looking for his past, and in the first issue, he finds it. Unfortunately, it’s not what he wanted or expected. It’s not that he doesn’t want to be Shadowman, it’s that he has no idea something like that even existed, and when the mantle is thrust on him, he doesn’t know how to react.
 
Which is what the first arc is about, more or less; Jack deciding how to handle this situation that he’s been thrown into without warning. 
 
Cosmic Book News: Can you take us through the preview pages? Right out of the gate we see the first issue is jam-packed with action and excitement. Can you give us a hint of what is taking place? 
 
Justin Jordan: Hmmmm, how to talk about that without spoiling too much. Those first five pages? They’re very, very important. What happens there sets in motion a lot of what happens in Shadowman as we go forward. So expect what happens there to echo through the series.
 
Cosmic Book News: And that may be Master Darque in the preview pages as well, what can you tell us about his relationship to Jack in the series?
 
Justin Jordan: That is indeed Master Darque. He’s the big bad of the series, although in ways that might be a bit different than you’d expect. But Master Darque and the Shadowman are tied together very, very tightly in a story that goes back centuries. 
 
Cosmic Book News: Will Shadowman interact with any of the other Valiant characters?
 
Justin Jordan: Yup. I mean, there’s not much point of being in a shared universe if you don’t, you know, share. We’ll definitely be interacting with the rest of the Valiant Universe.
 
Cosmic Book News: Sounds good! Thanks for your time, Justin.
 
Shadowman” #1 hits in November and be sure to follow Valiant Comics on Facebook and Twitter.
 

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Review: The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #6 (of 6)

This is the end of one of the coolest new books to be released from the Image stable in a long time! Jordan and Moore created something that was an all out gore filled slugfest! But the brutality of the book would have meant nothing if Jordan had not made us care so much about these characters right from the start! It was a true character piece that made you ponder just how a semi-introverted teenager would deal with the sudden onset of certain “talents.” But the best aspect, is how Jordan built a great cast of secondary characters that are as critical to the story as Luther Strode himself, sometimes even more so! The flesh rending and complete carnage that assaults you throughout, is just icing on the cake!

The series finale has Luther finally go toe to toe with the Librarian, not only for the life of his mother, but for the very humanity of Luther himself! What ensues, is one of the most insanely grotesque battles that I have ever seen in a comic series! At least Felipe Sobreiro only had to spend money on red paint this month! The tragic end of this tale will leave you thinking about how far things have spiraled out of control. A young man only wanted to be able to protect his mother from an abusive husband, what happens to him is horrific and shocking. Does the loss of our loved ones define who we will become or is it the sheer loss of our own humanity that will make us strive to be more than we ever were before? Either way, Luther will transcend all that he was at the beginning of this tale six issues ago! 

I will miss this book immensely, not just for the pure adrenaline rush of the over the top violence, but for the finely crafted characters as well. It will be tough knowing that I won’t be able to sit down each month with Pete and Petra and especially Luther, but I am thankful just to have met them in the first place!  I had the pleasure of meeting both Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore at last year’s NYCC, and these two complete opposite geniuses, will undoubtedly have more coming to us in the future about a certain Mr. Strode. But until October comes, and we can get our hands on The Legend of Luther Strode, just pull up a cozy chair and dive into a great medley of chaotic fun brought to you in the iconic Image way!

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The Strange Talent of Luther Strode – T-Shirts! Now Available!

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Have you been itching for more merchandise from some of the indie comics out there on the newsstands? Search no more! The Strange Talent of Luther Strode from Image Comics has been a big success for writer Justin Jordan and artist Tradd Moore, and now you can celebrate the book with these great t-shirts.

The shirts are available for purchase through spreadshirt.com and utilize five different designs, come in all sizes, and you can even pick between women’s and men’s styled shirts. They’re printed on heavy weight shirts for extra durability and comfort.

The first of two main designs features a portrait of Luther Strode standing menacingly with two bloodied fists on a red t-shirt, joined with the book’s logo above his head. The other main design is book’s iconic logo, which is available in a variety of colors on white, black, and red shirts. Both of these designs are very iconic and would look great on any comic book fan.

If you’re a fan of The Strange Talent of Luther Strode and want to show your support to the creators then you’ve got to pick one of these up. You can find the shirts at http://lutherstrode.spreadshirt.com.

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Advanced Review: The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #5

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode has proved itself over and over again with every issue that it isn’t afraid to take risks. In this issue we see nothing but incredible risk taking and, dare I say it, beautiful violence. With goons holding his crush Petra hostage, Luther jumps into action in the fight scene we saw glimpses of in the first issue. But, back home, The Librarian terrorizes the most important people in Luther’s life with dire consequences.

This issue’s story was a slug-fest, but of the best caliber. The entire series has been leading up to the moment when Luther would finally snap and give in to the dark powers that he’s been developing. Instead of leaping right into the hero role or fighting evil, Luther has been slowly building toward what his approach to having great power is going to be. When he breaks loose from his morals and takes charge of the situation it feels authentic because readers have taken that same journey with him.

There’s also some wonderful subtle character development with Petra that I’ve been curious about since the first time she was introduced.  Luther was a kid who had to deal with parental abuse from his father while he was growing up. The development of his body and powers was helping him cope with that, but there were strange signs that Petra might have been going through a similar situation. A dark joke that Petra makes while being interrogated supplies the information subtlety and uses it to build character instead of turning it into an after school special. It’s wonderfully executed and was one of my favorite parts of the book.

The artwork in this issue by Moore was full of life. The carnage was the best you could hope for as Luther fought his way through a room full of low-lives and thugs. There were certain “I can’t believe that just happened” moments that happened to characters that struck with even more power from the execution used in the layouts and art choices. There are a couple of very juicy moments of action that I’d love to go into detail about, but I feel like I would be ruining the story. I can say that the cover for this issue was iconic and just as powerful as the story. I’ll throw my hat in the ring for suggesting that it be turned into a poster, not to mention all of the great pin-ups included with this issue.

To wrap this review up with a nice little bow on top of it, don’t make this an issue you just read the review about and then wait around for the trade to get your hands on it. Go and pick it up and experience it with everyone else who will be grabbing it off the shelves this coming Wednesday. It’s building up to a climax that will most likely shape the character and the direction of upcoming stories, and you don’t want to be the only person left out of the loop on this title.

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Advanced Review: The Strange Talents of Luthor Strode #1 (of 6)

In a week that will see a plethora of second issues hit the shelves of your local comic shop, thanks to a certain reboot, make sure you are on the lookout for one of the few number ones. The Strange Talents of Luthor Strode makes an explosive debut this week, and if you are ready …

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