Umbrella Academy Hotel Oblivion #7: The conclusion to the latest entry into Gerard Way’s series is finally here! At lot of loose ends were tied up along with some more unraveling *in a good way*. We find out what Mom’s been up to and the new family she wants to usher Vanya into. Space Boy goes head to head with Medusa’s head as Perseus seemingly switches sides at the very last minute. Murder Magician finally owns up to his misdeeds and helps propel Rumor to find the right words. Number Five runs out of bullets and well, once again doesn’t come close to his past iterations of a man who’s lived multiple lives. Things are really going to go places in the next installment with this kind of ending, hopefully it won’t take another 10 years. Pray those MCR reunion rumors are just rumors: we need him for these comics!!!
Sonata #1: A pretty good start to a seemingly by-the-book fantasy story. The planet of Ran only comes in close proximity to the lost planet of Perdita every so often but Ran sends over colonists to Perdita to save their dying world. Sonata is one such colonist who is awesome at flying local dinosaur birds. They work with the native population of Lumani to build a better future. Unfortunately for both there are a second group of Tayans from assumedly a planet called Tayan who are both warlike and racist. They’ve built a dam to block off water from all other peoples and when they’re confronted about it they’re weirdly surprised. Hopefully their dicks are taken down brutally because that seems to be the direction they’re heading.
The Batman Who Laughs #6: Another well plotted issue with some extremely good callbacks a.k.a a Scott Snyder special. Batman has nearly gone full Joker Bats which leads to some extremely poorly thought out captions to distinguish him from the BWL. Even though it’s hard to read, the set up is great with Batman prepping for his battle with BWL and Jim Gordon and his son taking on the Grim Knight with some surprising super suits. There are some particularly cool bits hidden away in this issue as Bruce meticulously breaks down how a laugh scientifically occurs while comparing it to the break down of the city under the Batman Who Laugh’s plan. You don’t want to miss this as this series begins to wrap up with the BWL sure to be a standout villain for years to come.
Silver Surfer Black #1: Holy shit. I’m not sure I’ve read a first issue that good in a very long time. Donny Cates taps into Silver Surfer’s voice in a way that seems as if he himself has floated through cosmos endlessly filled only with remorse. Tradd Moore flexes every single bit of his artistic strength in a display that’s just plain amazing to look at. Picking up from Guardians of the Galaxy #1, the Surfer flings those gathered at Thanos’s will reading to fling them out of the black hole opened by the Black Order. As for himself, he waits for years inside said hole until he lands in a place where gods are enslaved as sentries. Needless to say, everyone should read this. No seriously, stop what you’re doing. Go read this.
Event Leviathan #1: Man, Coast City gets the short end of the stick in the DCU. It’s blown up once again owing to A.R.G.U.S.’s choice of headquarters in this confusing start to DC’s newest mystery event. Batman, Lois Lane and Green Arrow interrogate Steve Trevor in the blown out basement of said building for the entire issue. I’ve read every lead up book to this one and still the pieces didn’t seem to fall in the right order but Maleev’s art as per usual was on point. Character motivations are everywhere too as the ensuing madness over why government agencies are being wiped out, including Steve Trevor’s whose whole description of events seems to either be false or poorly interpreted by the end of the issue. Here’s hoping things come a little more into focus as the mystery seems to be going in a good direction.
The Immortal Hulk #19: Everyone excited for some gamma-themed body horror? There’s a heaping helping this time around. A-Bomb and Abomination have been combined through Fortean’s horrible government program and the worst part is no one calls them A-Bombination at all. As Hulk faces the problem head-on, Betty tries out her new gamma goodness on some awful, morally-repugnant mercenaries Fortean has stationed to kill any civilians that catch a glimpse of anything. Things break real bad when the gamma hybrid pukes its digestive fluids onto the green giant and his healing stops. Once Betty fins the fight though, is she there to help? Pick this up to find out!
Event Leviathan #1 – On the cover we see Batman, Arrow, and Question under the tagline “The Greatest Detectives Hunt Our greatest Threat”. So what more do you need to be convinced to read this? Fine. The issue opens in a totally F’d up Coast City. Batman runs into Lois Lane, who also there trying to figure out how all this happened. Next they find Steve Trevor, mega traumatized, hiding behind a crate because he saw it all go down. Then the Arrow drops in just to try out his new taser arrow. All awhile Question is lurking in the shadows, unbeknownst to them all (+5 stealth, Question). Anyway, they are all sure Talia Al Ghul is involved, but the real question is her relationship to the Leviathan…also who or what is the Leviathan. We have to wait and seeeee…..
Wailing Blade #1 – Snap, that wicked cool sword on the cover does some work this issue. That sword is welded by the “Headtaker”. We can gather the Headtaker is part town “hangman”/executioner and part mercenary. Tired of living in fear, local fighters have taken up arms in attempts to slay the Headtaker. They have him surrounded and begin their attack, but he might be more than a man after all.
The Batman Who Laughs #6 – This series has had us all on the edge of our seats. Every issue hoping good will prevail, but the Bat Who Laughs has been one step ahead of us all. While our universe’s Bruce Wayne is fighting to protect his city from a chemical attack, his brain is becoming less and less of his own. This was an enjoyable end to the series. You’ll never believe who gets the last laugh!
Bronze Age Boogie #3 – When we last left our heroes were pitted against each other. Jackson and Lynda were told if they didn’t fight to the death they would kill Brita, Jackson wanted to find a resolve, but Lynda has some issues and refuses to let Brita die. So a battle to the death it is. Until they find a gift from the near future, that teleports Brita and Lynda back to Britas timeline and family, but leaves Jackson behind with the martians. Good thing Lynda didn’t kill Jackson because he might be the key to fixing all this , but will they get back to him. Best part about this series half way through is a story about a brown bear who went into space and came back speaking English. How fun is that?! He is having a pretty rough time because he is technically government property and the treat him like crap, which is extra lame with his new found sentience and all. READ THESE BOOKS. (also don’t forget to check out the back for “Oscar Nomination The Category ‘Best Film Pitched By A Child’ ” it is great )
Silver Surfer Black #1 – Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang, what a great first issue. Marvel is very fortunate to have plucked up Donny Cates because this dude is seriously putting the company on his shoulders. This first issue is too fun and the fact that Donny Cates ….actually, I can’t say. But if you’ve been following some of Cates other series, you will be in for a treat. But let’s not forget about Tradd Moore’s FANTASTIC art. Tradd Moore perfectly suited for Silver Surfer and the cosmos itself. The color’s are amazing and expertly psychedelic. Super stoked to read the rest of this and you should be too.
Spider-Man: Life Story #4 the 90’s – This was the best version of the clone saga ever and it was only one issue. Seriously, this series is so good, I’d have the cojones to say that this could possibly be the best Spider-Man series……EVER. Also Aunt May is finally dead which I’m extremely happy about. Not because I want her dead in any sort of malicious way mind you, but like….she’s been an old lady for like 60 years. Let’s let things go. How many possible story lines involving an old aunt could we possibly have left to tell? Oh I have one, make Aunt May the new Black Cat but she doesn’t know Peter is Spider-Man and they end up kissing some how. We could call her…Black Cougar in honor of her old age. And she has to steal to afford her vitamin supplements because her social security ran up. I would def read that. Marvel please hire me.
Sonata #1 – Decent new fantasy series and I mean that in the best way. The main characters live on a planet where they are more or less stuck on and have formed a small tribe/colony. They have made nice with the natives but have discovered that another colony that thinks the natives are primitive savages has taken all their water and are not being very nice at giving it back. Mystery seeds are planted and a classic heroes journey seems to be forming. The art is different, reminds me of the more “realistic” art you see in a lot of heavy metal/euro fantasy comics, but well done. The writing and everything in this book is solid, but it’s what they do with it that will really make or break it. But if you like fantasy stuffs and the hero journey and your classic avatar “nature vs mean old colonizers” tropes then you will enjoy this book.
Darth Vader Dark Visions #5 – The last of the Vader stories and this one is near and dear to my heart. A local barkeep gets a hold of some valuable info that Darth Vader would very much like to have for himself and let me tell you, Vader does not tip very well. Couple that with some accidental hallucinogen intake while being chased through the jungle – whoa.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #5: Bellaire continues a great run on this all new Buffyverse as the “stakes” get higher. I’m so terribly sorry for that. As it turns out Xander’s vamp heel turn hasn’t fully gone through and Buffy just has to go to Anya’s secret curio shop to buy the McGu-I mean, the soul-tie stone so as to keep Xander’s being/soul anchored to the mortal plane. Dru and Spike continue to bicker as well but her plan to create an army of enthralled men seems to be moving ever closer. Kinda rooting for her. The downside to this issue is the artist change-up: some reaction shots come out meme-worthy in their bug-eyed weirdness. Doesn’t stop a good story though as I still can’t wait to see how all this shake-up plays out.
War of the Realms Journey Into Mystery #4: The book will a ton of words and a ton of creators continues to be one of the funniest on the stands. Turns out their bundle of joy they’ve been escorting across America is also packing a little demon blood in her courtesy of Surtur since her parents Odin and Freyja conceived her in the realm in-between. Doesn’t deter our heroes as they try to hide out in a henchmen convention to duck away from their pursuer. Too bad Ares is already here…come for the laughs, stay for the excellent team composition of a group you’d never expect to find together.
Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1: The return of the most goodest boy in the Marvel Universe: Cosmo the talking Russian dog! Lockjaw last issue, now Cosmo- hope they keep it up with the doggos. Cosmo is working with a mysterious cloaked figure to track down all the cosmic figures who were sucked into the black hole after the events of the first issue of the series. This leads to a series of vignettes which give a little “where are they now?” answers about some of the heavy-hitters. Nova and Quasar walk into a bar! Adam Warlock finds Gods! Darkhawk discovers his inner child! Another great entry into the cosmic comics that Donny Cates continues to groom so well.
Green Lantern #8: I think Grant Morrison accidentally sent Sharp his Buckaroo Banzai fan-fic instead of the next Green Lantern script. Seriously, things have gotten beyond weird now in his quest to reference every Silver Age comic that everyone wants to forget. The good news here is that in that quest he’s stumbled back to Green Lantern and Green Arrow teaming up to fight modern corruption. This time specifically the rapidly expanding drug market and our government’s hand in helping it grow. All this would have been fantastic what with aliens sporting chest lasers, giant horse guns and GA grounding Hal back to Earth; if the crux of it all didn’t depend on Xeen Arrow and Xeen Lantern who are stretched versions of our heroes that speak telepathically. Right…
The Incredible Hulk Last Call #1: Peter David and Dale Keown return for another tale about the jolly green giant. This one doesn’t start out too jolly though as it begins with Bruce Banner calling in to a suicide hotline on Christmas. He’s hired a mercenary to attempt to kill him and when he gives the signal, it’s lights out Hulk. What ensues is Banner talking to one of Betty Banner’s old friends who he knew worked there about the life he and Betty tried to live together and how hers was taken far too soon because of his condition. A wonderful issue that dives into moving forward after loss and forgiving your past so you can better see your future.
Thumbs #1: Man, everyone’s trying to be Black Mirror. The classic sci-fi “Should we?” question plays out further in this new series from Image. Thumbs is a kid who grew up in a trailer park seemingly devoid of adults. This is because most kids are raised by an artificial intelligence which is projected into the home to take care of their schooling and needs while their parents toil onward for society. At the same time, kids participate in a Fortnite style augmented reality game wherein if you become the best, you’re taken into an elite gaming academy. A lot of people frown on this though, as you can get reported to local authorities for playing and locked up. Weird system honestly, since it seems like they would just be able to just shut down their servers. The story kicks off in a wild direction once it begins so I’m pretty invested in seeing how this one plays out.
Criminal #5 – This new arc focuses around Dan Farraday, a private investigator who is having mixed emotions about his newest case. He was hired by a married man to find his mistress, Jane, in attempts to win her back. Dan didn’t typically take cases of men with too much money and power to accept no for an answer, but times were tough. During his hunt to track down Jane he learns more about her past, and finds himself wanting to help her more than his client. Unfortunately for Dan, Jane isn’t in a trusting mood.
Dceased #2 – Oh. Snap. Although Darkseid is an idiot, but phase one of his poorly executed plan is going well. Besides most of the world quickly being infected by this “techno virus”, it’s managed to infect two members of the Justice League. With everyone turning into murderous rage monster, the last thing we need is the loss of our heroes.
Thumbs #1 – I read the preview for Thumbs awhile back, and I’m excited we are carrying it so I can finish the series. It left off with one of those ‘super long coma. oh shit, what year it it?!’ scenarios.
Meet the Skulls #5 – This issue wraps up the Skrull mini series. I think the Captain Marvel movie created a new sense of Skrull sympathy, and the creators of these books jumped on the opportunity. Throughout this series you see the Warner family doing whatever they can to help their people. From having the children attend an Earth school to getting a job at Stark Industries, they are risking their safety for the survival of the Skrull. Like any family, the Warners have their issues, but that just ‘”humanized” them to the reader. Watching the daughters go through the struggle to fit in at school, and the parents unsure how to connect with their coming of age girls, made you realize Skrulls aren’t so different. Even when they are fighting against Earth, you can’t help but rooting for the Skrulls here.
Category Zero #1 – This universe has a different meaning for the term ‘one percent’. Here the Strix Virus infects everyone on Earth, but only one percent carry the gene that causes symptoms. These symptoms can be anything from flu-esque to strange abilities (i.e. mind control). Some of these people are sent to the Sanaxus Facility, where a cure is in the works. We are learning there are more people with this gene who are not at the facility, and are unable to control their abilities. I’m interested in seeing if any cool heroes/villains come out of all this.
Star Wars Age of Rebellion Luke Skywalker – Not my favorite of the bunch so far. Luke has to deal with Palpatine attacking his mind while he fantasizes about living a boring rural life building houses for humanity. Luke’s captain buddy def looks like the inquisitor from the Rebels show, so either that’s a race of people now or someone isn’t doing their job keeping all these things together.
Savage Avengers #2 – The savageness continues and we’re still in team building mode. We get very slight back story on Koga Thun’s number #1 best acolyte. Conan shows how much he hates wizards and how incredible his finger strength is. And even though Punisher was teased last issue, he’s more or less teased again here, and guess what? He wants to avenge his family…again. I still want to like this book simply for the fact that I have a boner for Conan and him being in the Marvel universe AND on an Avengers team is still kind of crazy to me, but this book needs to pick up the pace.
Thumbs #1 – This book reminded me of that movie “Gamer” with Gerard Butler (and Ludacris) but with kids who play Fortnite (or APEX if you like actual good battle royale games since Fortnite is for babies). Some spooky tech company gives out a video game to the young impressionable youth in this future dystopia and uses it to assess their l33t skills and picks the top players for their own little secret army. One of these players is a kid named Charley Fellows, also known as “Thumbs” which to me is a terrible nick name/gamer tag but whatever. Charley and his kid sister live in some poor trailer park where they are raised by a MOM which is some fancy AI nanny because they’re parents I guess realized they didn’t want to be parents anymore. I guess the US Government has caught wind of this private kid army and does not enjoy it very much as they consider it “treason” and send some troops to shut that shit down. Charley’s sister is taken and now he’s on a mission to get her and his gamer BFF back. Interesting premise and I’ll def read more, but what i REALLY liked is the art. Hayden Sherman has a super unique visual style using mostly grey/dark tones with various shades of red/pink to highlight certain objects/panels which makes the interior really pop. I enjoyed looking at it very much. This is only going to be a 5 issue mini series and this debut issue was entertaining enough to make me check out issue 2 for sure and maybe the rest of the series.
DCeased #2 – Dang, what a second issue. Everyone has a chance at getting killed in this series it seems, which makes it even MORE exciting. Also, tell me why these little one off events are more fun than anything DC does in their regular plain jane universe? I hope that they can low key keep this series going somehow after the main event is over, kind of like what they did with Injustice, which is the other great non main canon DC book. If you aren’t reading this book currently, you need to hop on board the zombie train.