Breaking into comics is hard, and some publishers set up programs to help them uncover new talent. DC Comics, publisher of some of the greatest superheroes in the world, has such a program, and once a year they give space to the creators of tomorrow who made it.

New Talent Showcase 2018NEW TALENT SHOWCASE 2018 #1

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Sanya Anwar, Joey Esposito, Robert Jeffrey II, Ryan Cady, Magdalene Visaggio
Artist: Amancay Nahuelpan, Priscilla Petraites, Dominike Stanton, May Raynor, Isaac Goodhart, Aneke
Colors: Trish Mulvihill, John Rauch, Marissa Louise, John Kalisz, Cris Peter, Beth Sotelo
Letters: Gabriela Downie, Emma Kubert, Christy Sawyer, Ryan Christy, Gabriela Downie, Jay Castro
Cover: Various
Publisher:  DC Comics
Release Date: December 12, 2018
Cover Price: $7.99

Previously in NEW TALENT SHOWCASE 2018: Since 2015 DC Comics has been running a program which allows creators who are new to the industry a chance to work with professionals and learn the process of creating comics for a large publisher. This year the mentors include Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson and Scott Snyder. Some of the creators in this issue have already been seen in a DC publication, but here you get to see them present stories with some of the most iconic characters in the DC stable.

HOW DO YOU GET TO CARNEGIE HALL?

Presented in this volume are six stories, twelve pages each, from some potential star quality creators. A few of the names have seen print in the past few months, a few have upcoming projects, but all of them have gone through DC’s Talent Development Program.

Batman: Leap of Faith is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson (the upcoming Aquaman Annual) with art by Amancay Nahuelpan (Nuclear Winter Special, upcoming Mysteries of Love In Space). Here, Batman must face up to not only a failure that cost lives, but also the possibility that he will fail again in the face of the same threat. We look at the lengths to which Batman is willing to go and the consequences of when all his training falls short. Johnson writes a powerful story of trust and mistrust against a backdrop of murder as Zsasz attempts to add more scars to his collection.

Constantine: Neon Demons follows our favorite rebellious magic user as he attempts to cure his debilitating, mystically induced headache, and falls into the employee of a powerful Hong Kong real estate developer just before the Hungry Ghost Festival. Sanya Anwar (Betty & Veronica: Vixens, Wonder Woman: Earth One) writes a tale a dirty job that only gets dirtier once Constantine gets involved. Great art by Priscilla Petraites (Brilliant Trash, Dreadnought Legends) give this story some legs, and Anwar has a solid grasp on Constantine’s voice.

Catwoman: Pedigree shows Catwoman attempting to break up a group gathering strays from around Gotham with the intent of doing nefarious things with them. She did not expect to have to deal with Damian who is in search of a Pennyworth, and not the one you think! They cross paths and find themselves against the Penguin, all the while providing a surprisingly fun team-up. Joey Esposito (Footprints, Archer and Armstrong) gives Selina a nice internal dialogue, while his Damian almost makes me want to like him. Great kinetic art from Dominike Stanton (House of Whispers) rounds out a fun tale.

We find a Green Lantern in combat in a story written by Robert Jeffrey II (Route 3, Radio Free Amerika) with art by Max Raynor (Sideways, Beach Blanket Bad Guys). In John Stewart: Where There’s A Will…, John battles the Yellow Lantern known as Karu-Sil for the soul of a planet. Once peaceful, a dark influence has penetrated the planet of Talie. Now, fear and hate rule, and John must find inspiration if he is to stop it from spreading across the galaxy. Jeffrey weaves a splendid story that takes cues from our own world, while Raynor illustrates the conflict with amazing energy.

Zatanna: Sleight of Hand from Ryan Cady () and Isaac Goodhart (Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale) present us with this story of magic and blood. Answering letters sent to her father, Zantanna must put on the greatest performance of her life, or the lives of all who depend on her may be forfeit. When the audience knows the tricks, how can she hope to get by with sleight of hand? Cady’s story is one of the best Zatanna tales I have read in years, and Goodhart has a great eye for details. Encore!

Finally with, Wonder Woman: The Secret of Greek Fire, the Amazing Amazon must stop one of Darkseid’s weapons which has gone out of control, but there is a catch. He powers are gone, and she must ensure the survival of a young injured girl. Will her determination inspire the young girl to spark her own internal fire and survive, or will he challenge be too much. Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl, Cursed Comics Cavalcade) writes an inspiring tale of heart and inspiration, while Aneke (DC: Bombshells, Gotham City Garage) lays down the art that makes it a wonder.

PRACTICE, BABY, PRACTICE

There are people out there who want to break into comics and feel that maybe they will never have a chance to because of skill, location, connections, whatever. One of the great things about the DC Talent Development Program is the way it makes many of those excuses mute. The people who go through it are from all walks of life with different experiences and are located across the world. It is understood that making comics is the best way to break into comics, but the fact that DC has a program that specifically targets those people they are interested in, nurtures them and helps them on their path, is a great thing and should get more attention. These New Talent Showcases are just a way to do it. The fact that they tell a complete story within the confines of only twelve pages each is a credit to not only their talent, but also the quality of Talent Development Program itself.

Most of these stories are great; there is not really a snoozer in them. They are all action-packed, true to the characters, and executed with a professional touch that is occasionally missing from other publications. Of the six, if I was to pick two as my personal favorites, I would have to say he Constantine and the Zatanna are the ones. In the Constantine story, we see Constantine at his best, with the bad guy thinking he got over. With a flare only he can manage, Constantine takes a final jab and makes sure those who should pay to do. The Zatanna story is full of misdirection, and by introducing the solution her father had years ago, it performs a bit of misdirection that ends up satisfying the reader and making them cheer for the hero.

BOTTOM LINE: A SOLID GROUP OF STORIES AND A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE

While it does not have a framing story, this is technically an anthology, and I think by now we all know how much I love anthologies. Multiple tales, everyone satisfying, introducing you to great creators who you might have missed if you only grab a few monthly books, is well worth the price of admission. I would love to see this become a larger, more serialized title, much like the Showcase series of old. Until then, this little glimpse into the beginnings of some great creators is a great buy.

NEW TALENT SHOWCASE 2018 #1 will expose you to the latest creators, and hopefully, make you curious enough to try out some additional titles.

New Talent Showcase 2018

8.0 A Glimpse Into the Future

While it does not have a framing story, this is technically an anthology, and I think by now we all know how much I love anthologies. Multiple tales, everyone satisfying, introducing you to great creators who you might have missed if you only grab a few monthly books, is well worth the price of admission. I would love to see this become a larger, more serialized title, much like the Showcase series of old. Until then, this little glimpse into the beginnings of some great creators is a great buy.

NEW TALENT SHOWCASE 2018 #1 will expose you to the latest creators, and hopefully, make you curious enough to try out some additional titles.

  • Writing 8
  • Art 8
  • Coloring 8
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 0.1
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About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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