Review: DC: Silent Tales #1

“Hammer Time”; “Long Play”; “Bugs!”; “Mr. Crowley”; “Gotham Gothic”; “Suckers!”
Writer and Artist: Gustavo Duarte
Review by Eric Lee

DC: Silent Tales is a charming collection of off-beat short stories by Gustavo Duarte, that really highlights the fun of the DC universe.

Each story of Silent Tales offers a fun, ecliptic look at DC characters as they do typical superhero/super villain shenanigans to just chilling and listening to records. Each tale is played for laughs, are 8 pages long, and have zero dialogue.

They’re set up essentially like longer newspaper strips. There’s a set-up, a fake-out or two, and then the final punchline. The writing’s simple, but since Duarte does a great job informing the characters’ personalities, it really shines through.

Silent Storytelling

Incidentally, Duarte pulls double duty by writing and illustrating the stories. His art is so charming and attractive. He has a cartoony style that’s simple, but so appealing. It really allows the readers to focus more on the characters’ expressions or body language. So much is told with Superman’s nonchalant stance or Zatanna’s smile. Since the issue’s completely silent, it also gives him an opportunity to stretch his visual storytelling muscles, which are fantastic. The panels are all easy to read and evoke a surprising amount of emotion.

Of all the stories, perhaps the strangest or slightly misplaced one is “Suckers!”, starring Lobo. Prior to this tale, all the others are fun, non-sequiturs, but Lobo’s is filled with stabbings, beheadings, and all the typical Lobo-style violence you can think of. Granted, the violence is all inflicted upon Nazi vampires, but it’s all still a little jarring. Nothing that takes enjoyment away from the story’s ultimate punchline, but it is a warning for some younger readers.

Conclusion

DC: Silent Tales is perhaps one of the most fun, charming one-shots in a long time. It does some surprisingly adept character writing and always delivers a good punchline. This book is highly recommended for both new DC fans or long-time readers.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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