Review: New Talent Showcase 2018 – “John Stewart: Where There’s a Will…”

by Alex McDonald
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Robert Jeffrey II

Artist: Max Raynor

Colors: John Kalisz

Letters: Ryan Christy



John Stewart arrives on the planet Talie after Yellow Lantern Karu-Sil had used the power of fear to capitalize on the planet’s weak political system. With the planet on the verge of collapse it is up to John Stewart to not only apprehend Karu-Sil but also unite the people of Talie.


Robert Jeffrey II is a writer and current EIC of BlackSci-Fi.Com, the site dedicated to science fiction and its impact on black culture. Is there a better representative from the DC Writers Workshop to take on the character of John Stewart?

Jeffrey does a stellar job of taking this wild sci-fi story and giving it some seriously human blood. While at times a little on the nose, he manages to make the planet of Talie very comparable to our Earth. This sort of speculative fiction works great with a character like John Stewart as the action takes a bit of a back seat for political introspection. It would be good to see Jeffrey given more opportunities with similar characters.

The art from Max Raynor also shows promise with a good variety of action and dialogue sequences.



With only 12 pages it would be difficult for anyone to produce a story that didn’t feel a little rushed but it is still one of the few negatives of the story. Especially towards the start Jeffrey has a lot of content to push through before the core of his story can really begin. So what happens is we have a story that rockets between locations and times in the opening pages before readers can really settle into the main portion of the story.


This is a great short story that gives Robert Jeffrey II the opportunity to highlight what John Stewart is about as well as his own writing ability. Along with fantastic artwork from the talented Max Raynor the two have created quite the relatable speculative sci-fi tale.


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