Once and Future #1: Gillen has been the name to beat in terms of fantasy stories as of late and that fact is proven once again with this well-honed first issue. Teaming up with Mora after his run on Buffy, Gillen sets up a brilliant modern follow up to the Once and Future King with some excellent added twists. After his bad date is saved from the fire by a call from his grandmother’s nursing home, Kit goes to check on his ever-tricky grandma and make sure she gets back to the home safe after her latest escape. Little does he know though that granny used to a supernatural killing badass who scares off a beastie of the same caliber once he finds her. The two are taken in a quest to stop murders that are suddenly popping up in England and save the realm from the one who supposedly saved it before. An excellent start to a thrilling new series.
Powers of X #2: It seems House of X and Powers of X are actually one big mega-series as this one takes place assuming the reader’s knowledge of Moira’s mutant powers in HoX #2. The Year 10 story highlights the current control Xavier has over the mutant populace, to an alarming and radical degree. Year 100 places the mutant crown on the head of someone no one wants in control but also someone everyone could expect if they’ve read an X-book before. The conversational language here is beautiful, poetic and unrealistic in its eloquence but appreciated all the same. Then there’s the Year 1000…things are becoming very, VERY esoteric in that storyline to the point where its message is at the same time too simplistic and lost in the weeds. Loving this series issue by issue but wowie is the 1000 story in the clouds.
Reaver #2: Justin Jordan’s swords and sorcery suicide squad is back! The team sets off on their way to stop the Escalene in their sacrificial rites. They stop for the night though as they approach a bone tree per the advise of Rekala. While resting, their wardens trail off into a bizarre meditation while the captive fighters weigh the outcome of their mission. During this time, a band of warriors known as Swordlions attack their campsite in the middle of the night and bad-assery ensues. Rekala literally ate a dude’s face while Thes, the silent warden, cleft people in a bunch of different ways. Styrian snuck off on his own during the battle and given the repulsiveness with which people have talked about his crimes, I hope it doesn’t go in a horrible, dark direction as it seems now. Wanting more of this story as soon as it comes out which is always a good sign for a fantasy tale.
White Trees #1: Hooo boy, Zdarsky and his collaborators Anka and Wilson do some flexing with this one. Krylos is a disgraced warrior who has only tended his farm since but is drawn back to battle with his war buddies. Their children have run off together and into the arms of the enemy so the trio must venture into their territory in order to rescue their runaway kids. Even after decades, Krylos is haunted by the loss of his son’s mother and it shows in both his demeanor and flashbacks of his parenthood. His friends no longer believe in him after his abandonment of the cause but are willing to fight with him to rescue their daughter who ran off as well. Rich, advanced themes in both sexuality and loss are handled superbly throughout with vibrant, colorful scenes to drive them forward. Just a damn good book, plain and simple.
Second Coming #2: Russell continues to astound with this series, fresh with new parables and the philosophical need for peace. It turns out those alien robots Sunstar was punching last issue were actually just humans in robot suits and the fallout from that leaves him questioning whether he’s worthy to help Jesus or even to have his powers. God comes down to check in and give the ailing superhero some advice about having god-like power with the mind of a man. The revelations that come out of this shine a not-too-pleasant light on the pursuit of power and the inherent toxic masculinity found in most superhero tropes. As with every Russell story the thematic load is woven well into the story and makes you question the society you find yourself in.
Silver Surfer Black #3: Just give Tradd Moore every art award in the history of man and be done with it. This book is utterly gorgeous and creates story flow in ways never seen before. We’re given glimpses of the Surfer’s past as Norrin and the destroyer that came for his planet (looking exactly as he does now). After parlaying with Ego and landing on its surface, the Surfer realizes something is going very wrong, very fast. Ego explains that something crash-landed into itself and is slowly killing it from the inside out. Once the living planet promises the Surfer some of its power in exchange for his help, the silver guy turns his board to a drill to fight off the planetary immune system. What’s inside though is going to set his adventures fighting Knull to the side for a bit and possibly have extreme implications for Time itself.
Wailing Blade #3 – Last issue Tychon’s plan to rescue his father, was going pretty well. That was until the Bone Breaker showed up. Tychon now has the Wailing Blade and plans to take on the role temporarily in order to get closer to his father. Tychon is training, and even getting help from the former Wailing Blade’s servant (the group doesn’t if they can trust him quite yet). The Bone Breaker is another local executioner and wants to claim the bounty on Tychon’s father’s head. Thus ruining the rescue mission. It is decided the two will face off in combat, and winner gets the job. This issue ends on a major cliffhanger, and we won’t know if the Wailing Blade will be passed on once again.
Silver Surfer Black #3 – Well, snap! Another amazing issue full of amazing art work, and continuing an engaging storyline. Our Silver friend is losing a bit of his luster. After a rough battle with Knull, he has to be rescued by planet Ego. Ego isn’t doing so hot these days either after a recent penetration of his core. Silver Surfer knows Ego can be a great ally against Knull, and is willing to enter the planet to remove the foreign object causing Ego such pain. The risk of dealing with Ego’s planetary self defense system is hard enough, but that doesn’t compare to the galactic devastation that could be caused by what’s inside.
Ghosted in LA #2 – Daphne is having a great time with her new ghost pals (it’s the live ones that are causing all the trouble). In the last issue, Daphne’s boyfriend dumped her which has left her in a pretty emotional state and across the country feeling pretty alone. She meets a new guy and he is kind of a turd, but she ignores those facts because she is lonely. She brings him back to her place, and the ghosts have to assist her in kicking him out. They explain to her that other humans can’t come around because they can be bad news for the house mates. The issue closes with Daphne’s ex showing up, we’ll see what he has to say for himself next issue. (I love young adult drama).
The White Trees #1 – The kingdom is on the brink of war and whenever that happens Sir Krylos the Bold, Sir Scotiar of Blacksand, and Sir Bahvlan the Swift are called. Time had past and not all these men have the fight still in them. Nevertheless, when they hear Krylos and Bahvlan’s son and daughter have been taken the group bands together once again. The two were together on a lover’s get away unbeknownst to their parents, adding more mystery to their plate. The missing girl is also Scotiar’s ‘step daughter’ I don’t know the marriage/adoption laws in this world, but he is dating Bahvlan and she’s his biological daughter, so yeah. Also they totally are doing the co parenting thing along with her mother (who totally ships Scotiar and Bhavlan’s relationship and is super nice to Scotiar, but still has normal divorced people quips for Bhavlan). I’m pretty pumped for the next issue. I mean, they have to fight a forest who tried to orgy them! It’s awesome so far and there are penises inside.
Once & Future #1 – Kieron Gillen brings his gifts to Boom! for the first time with a unique spin on King Arthur. Excalibur’s scabbard has been stolen and a grandma escapes from her nursing home and drags her grandson along with her to find it all because of the Arthurian open ended prophecy of King Arthur returning in Britain’s darkest hour. 5 dollars says he returns as a zombie king with his zombie knights of the round table. Don Mora provides exceptional art and I plan on finishing reading The Once and Future King so I can kind more references.
The White Trees #1 – Chip Zdarsky weaves a tale of fatherhood/parenting in two parts set in a fantasy land. Krylos is a former war hardened vet who has taken to farming. Dahvlan and Scotiar are fellow and former comrades in arms who are also partners/lovers. Kyrlos’s and Dahvlan’s children have both run off together and apparently been captured and now together they must work to find them. Krylos has absolutely seen some shit and is dealing with some deep trauma of losing his wife and now daughter. Not only is all that happening, but we get multiple panels of some uncut dongs and a sick spirit/ghost orgy. So hold onto your butts, it’s going to be a wild ride and I’m excited for issue 2 and also sad this series is only two issues. Perhaps Zdarsky will euro format this book and release periodic two part tales.
Conan the Barbarian Exodus #1 – A beautiful wordless* issue shows off Esad Ribics sick sequential art skills. In this one shot we get to see a young Conan venture off from Cimmeria into the wilds of the Hyborian Age and battle nature for survival while striking fear into the animal kingdom. He does a lot of jumping off of high ledges and climbing and even discovers his first civilization that’s not his own. *There is some dialogue but it is not much and also in a foreign language that your mind will not be able to comprehend.
Silver Surfer Black #3 – Boiiiiiii if Donny Cates (and especially Tradd Moore) ain’t killing it on this book. Our Boy Norrin has been kept safe by Ego the living planet who bestows words of wisdom upon him. Silver Surfer then asks Ego if he can do him a lil favor and help him kill Knull but come to find out Ego has some space cancer or something that needs curing. So Surfer becomes an on the fly space doctor and dives right into him to cure it on the agreement that Ego helps out afterwards. AND BOY, WHAT WE FIND OUT THAT’S CAUSING EGO’S PAIN. *insert your favorite shocked gif*
House of X #2: I’m kind of freaking out right now with how revolutionary of a book Hickman is crafting. Every retcon and minor incongruity that’s happened in X-Men books over the years can now be attributed to Moira MacTaggert and her hidden mutant ability. I won’t go too much into it here because it’s one of those revelations that has to be experienced but she essentially goes through the same stretch of time multiple times, allowing for revisions and alterations in her pursuit of perfection that cause not just ripples but waves across the fabric of the mutant/human relationship. Astoundingly well-written, fully realized through incredible art by Larraz; JUST READ IT ALREADY!!!
Doom Patrol Weight of the Worlds #2: Robotman is back! In, uh, a very depressing way. After failing at life as a normal fleshy human, he is “rescued” by his friends and goes back to being merely a brain trapped in a metal cage. Keeg does make some upgrades to his new body though which will come in handy later down the road. Negative Man also struggles with his new existence and the great amount of positive energy now in his life thanks to Hank the therapy dog. Can he maintain negative energy while positivity starts to consume his being? While this starts to pop off, Doom Patrol is called away to stop the divorce of planets and the other heavenly bodies caught up in their astronomical spat. The universe can be saved by cuddling, believe it!
Die #6: Die is back, earlier than expected! After Chuck and Izzy’s departure, the remaining trio must work out how to escape Glass Town through the New Prussia blockade surrounding the city. They need to recover enough Fair gold to power Angela and her robodog Chase’s cyberninja abilities and sneak their way through. Unfortunately, the cost to keep running her dog is taking a toll and it’s been weeks with little progress to show. Angela must confront her mistakes in the real world and Die itself in order to see the way through and escape their game prison. Not only another excellent adventure installment but also a critical look at game development itself and the backlash it has on its creators.
No One Left to Fight #2: The quirky DBZ makes its sharp turn in its own territory! Vale, Timor and Krysta start to head out on their journey to relive Vale’s glory days but first must cut a path through the masses of Vale’s adoring fans. Along the way, they stop at their old master Harga’s home where she is looked after by their old friend, Winda. She has an UBER crush on Vale still after all these years. Timor throws out more fighting words during their stay though because of his jealousy of Vale which sets off Vale’s “what could have been” vision again. Sitterson does an extremely good job of analyzing the connections between these characters and the astonishingly bright art style of Ossio really pulls everything together.
Lois Lane #2: It’s wild to think that the events talked about in this series via snippets of overheard background television are the actual events of our world with name changes. There’s even at potshot at The View with DC’s version, The Perspective. Rucka does a brilliant job of splicing these current events into Lois’s book while highlighting the constant struggle of a journalist in times like these. Not only that, the action remains solid with Montoya investigating the strange events surrounding the death of Russian journalist Mariska Voronova. Lois finally sets up an interview with one of the big wig’s pulling Washington’s strings but will the truth finally get out? More questions revealed as Lois fights the good fight alongside the Question in this one.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #7: Dark Willow is upon us! According to my fiancé (and most Buffy fans, apparently) Dark Willow marked a low point for the television series script-wise so I’m happy to say that once again Bellaire has flexed her writing abilities and brought out a helluva book. Willow is consumed with the weight of giving up half her soul to save Xander’s life and seems to be living through a haze. Then at the witching hour after days of torment, she finally sleeps and is taken into a dream-like world by the darkest parts of herself. Lopez really shines here with expert paneling to move sequences along. It’s a grim look at the sacrifices we must make everyday to keep those closest to us safe and the weight we must bear by doing so. Redemption for Dark Willow (as a concept) at last!
Agents of Atlas #1 – This issue begins with Brawn, Silk, Luna Snow, and Wave trying to lure a dragon, in attempts to return it to it’s realm. That’s where they meet Isaac Ikeda, who claims to be the Protector of Pan, and is here to slay the dragon. The Atlas team just wants to subdue the beast and return it to it’s home, but Ikeda is too quick. He slays the beast and disappears before the team can even ask more questions. This is the least of their worries this issue. A mysterious light appears in the sky and can be seen all over earth. Before the Agents can do any investigating, their questions are answered with a live broadcast. Mike Nguyen (‘chair and chief creative officer of Big Nguyen Company’) is on screens across the world explaining the light and how it will change travel as we know it. Nguyen doesn’t give the world much choice, but it seems like a good idea with no harm done…that’s until the dragons show up.
Savage Avengers #4 – Last time we get to see Kulan Gath’s plan play out and Jhoatun Lau was risen. So far our gang of misfits are working together just fine. Elektra seems to be keeping the gang in line this issue, but I predict this group full of Chiefs and the leader roll will rotate. So we have a demon who gets bigger with everything he eats, who just teleported into the city with the goal of mass destruction. Conan and Wolverine have been attacking this thing head on, keeping it distracted, but the other team members need to figure out how to get him down for good.
Coffin Bound #1 – Izzy wakes to find a vulture watching her sleep. Even though this isn’t your typical vulture, the omen is still the same. The vulture showed up because the Earth Eater is after Izzy, which means she is bound to death. This gives Izzy the great idea to ‘unlive’. The plan here is to erase her existence from earth. I guess real world criminals go off the grid pretty often so it’s not the weirdest plan. Izzy first step in clearing herself from existence is to visit an oracle named Cassandra in order to repay a debt. Izzy and the vulture are off together on this journey, but with Earth Eater’s ability to talk to the ground I’m not really sure how long until he finds them.
House of X #2 – Here we learn all about the life and deaths of Moira Kinross MacTaggert. We’ve long been familiar with Moira since Uncanny X-Men and her unique powers. Moira’s power is reincarnation, although we learn there are limits to this power. Another quirk that makes her special is the fact she is untraceable by traditional mutant detection devices. Here we see how Moira’s influence effects this new world. We see her, reincarnation after reincarnation, and watch her battle with different ideals. Watching her go from hating her mutant abilities and creating a cure for mutations, to fighting beside Professor X and Magneto, and finally helping Charlie create the utopia that we visited in the last issue.
Berserker Unbound #1 – Jeff Lemire sets us up with a simple premise of what a Conan the Barbarian type figure getting magically transported to the modern world. Our hero discovers his family and village slain and via dark magics, gets dumped in what looks like New York and discovered by a nice homeless man. Fairly light issue with mostly set up, but since it’s Jeff Lemire I will absolutely read the rest as I feel like it’s safe to assume it won’t be as classically tropey as one might assume.
House of X #2 – Get to know the many lives of Moira MacTaggert and learn how she may be the most important mutant in the x-men universe now and shape the future of the X-Men themselves. This is a definite upgrade to being Xavier’s sometimes love interest. There’s even a handy dandy chart so you too can track the events that shaped one of Moira’s multiple lifetimes. Who knows that will happen in issue 3 now!?
Sea of Stars #2 – This issue we get to focus a little more background on pops and see him make attempts to track down Kadyn. The last few pages follow Kadyn and leave on a cliffhanger of a new mysterious player entering the scene with a neat looking pet. All in all, an enjoyable second issue that reads like comfort food.
Space Bandits #2 – Mark Millar delivers another enjoyable quickly paced second issue that leaves no time for exposition because this book has things to do and only 4 more issues to do it with. Female leads are tight though.