Guardians of the Galaxy #3: The path to Gamora’s destruction has begun! Starfox’s newly assembled Dark Guardians make their first stop to see Nova, Gamora’s former lover, to beat the living hell out of him to get her location. The best part of all this was Cosmic Ghost Rider’s good cop routine he takes, being the only one who cares whether Nova dies or not. It’s nice to know that all it took for Frank Castle to mellow out was helping to destroy world upon world for hundreds of years as Galactus’s herald. Our heroes are left without a captain as Starlord tries to drink the memories away of Gamora killing him. With Quill drunk off his ass, Groot takes command of the ship to save Gamora from everyone who wants her dead. Guardians new or old are always family, even if they try to destroy the known universe…
Lazarus Risen #1: Lazarus is back and thank the world for it. Sweet, sweet Carlyle revenge is beautifully unfolded panel by panel in the issue’s start as Forever and her team help to stop a meeting between an upstart underling and their longtime rivals. The message is driven home that it’s never a good idea to cross Johanna now that she leads the family. Meanwhile at Carlyle central, Beth and James are up to their creepy science work on Forever 8. Beth crosses a huge line as Beth is want to do and even her brother/lover has to intercede after her outburst. It seems there’s much more to Beth’s cruelty than just the act though as she begins her own dubious plans in her private quarters. The issue leaves us with Forever meeting with another family’s Lazarus as Rucka’s mysterious world continues to deepen.
Invisible Kingdom #1: Space nuns and intergalactic Amazon. The first issue of Invisible Kingdom takes you in a place that even from its wildly imaginative cover you wouldn’t believe. Vess is a new recruit in the order of the Invisible Kingdom and must walk blindfolded through a busy cityscape towards her new monastery. She’s traveled galaxies to be there but receives nothing but scorn from the city’s inhabitants and even her new sisters. Luckily, the mother of the monastery sets her up with a job as bookkeeper for thousands of years of scrolls after seeing potential within her. While all this is taking place, a Lux ship (the equivalent of intergalactic Amazon) crash lands on the moon of the planet Vess now finds herself. The ship’s captain goes over the manifest and discovers someone within Lux has been using her inventory to funnel funds and so the plot thickens…very interested to see how these stories eventually intercede but in the interim the gorgeous interior makes me once again realize that I would live in any galaxy that Christian Ward draws and designs.
Meet the Skrulls #2: There’s a hint of dark clouds on the horizon for the Warners in this issue. Papa Skrull shows his true colors and boy are they terrible. The Skrull killer is closing in on his daughter Alice but he seems ambivalent as she doesn’t seem to fill the role of master infiltrator like her sister does. Meanwhile her sister Madison finds her place too good…she swipes the homecoming date her target wanted, creating a schism that will soon throw a wrench into their schemes. Mama Skrull goes full bad ass recovering documents from the lower levels of Stark Industries though- morphing into beast mode to murk some red shirt guards and clear the path for later. The true strength here is the perspective of an alien race living within humanity and degrading our shortcomings. Always a sucker for when sci-fi puts the world in a bottle like that.
Batman #67: The star of this show is Lee Weeks’ pacing. Batman discovers a masked man and a dead man on top of a building. What unfolds after that is an extended chase scene through Gotham with Batman on the heels of this masked dude who only says “Beep Beep”. Each door, pass-through, and defenestration picks up little by little and leads so effortlessly into the next. The only words in the entire issue are a bartender’s stuttered attempts to get out the Caped Crusader’s name and Batman’s summation of the case at the very end. The varying shots and angles really play into the suspense of who the mysterious man is up to his reveal. Even if you haven’t read the first 66 issues of this series (which I hadn’t) this is worth a pick-up as it’s a solid stand alone issue that fits perfectly into this year’s celebration of all things Batman.
Meet The Skrulls #2 – I have some extra Skrull sympathy after seeing Captain Marvel. I’m reading this trying to be impartial to the fact they are trying to take over Earth and infiltrating Stark industries, because they are being hunted to extinction. The dad is really making it hard though, being a super dick and all. You can’t help but feel bad for Alice/Alkss. She is going through normal high school, coming of age crap, while having to play spy. Oh, and I feel bad because she is probably about to be murdered.
Farmhand #6 – Jedidiah’s miracle seed is turning out to be more of a curse. For some reason everyone who has used the seed is now having adverse reactions. The EPA and USDA are up the farm’s butt trying to find out what’s going on after a pig is found infected. Jedidiah’s old partner is now mayor and after she drugged his daughter for who knows what reason, I’m sure she is the cause behind all this. After a day of fishing, Jed’s family is chased by and infected pig. They escape by hiding in a tree, but they realize it’s a tree from the farm that shouldn’t even survive outside. Turns out this seed issue is bigger than they thought.
Spiderman: Life Story #1 – I’m super excited about this series on concept alone. Each episode being a different decade of Spiderman. Of course beginning in the 60’s, Peter Parker is dealing with being a student, caring for Aunt Mae, and being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man kicking Norman Oswald’s butt. You also get to see the struggle in Peter of whether that’s enough in the midst of war times, seeing his friends get drafted/volunteering. Thankfully Captain America was able to give him some superhero guidance and reassurance (he has his own idea about the war).
Dark Red #1 – Chip is a vampire trying to have a normal life. Living in a small town and working the night shifts so he can stay out of the sun. He is even in a romantic and symbiotic relationship with a women who suffers from polycythemia, a rare disease that causes extra blood cells, so he doesn’t have to go hunt to feed. His life gets way more complicated after a women shows up to his trailer in only a fur coat taking about destiny.
Spider-Man Life Story: The 60’s – Great start to this series/concept. When we start off, it’s 1966 and Parker has been Spider Man for four years at this point and is attending university and Vietnam is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. I actually like how much Zdarsky ties events of the time and how Parker deals with them as Spider-Man. He sees that Iron Man is over there “helping” out and calls for Captain America to do the same and wonders if he should himself. As for the art, it’s Mark Bagley so inoffensive and gets the job done. Overall, I’m looking forward to see what else the series touches on as the decades go by.
Savage Sword of Conan #3 – KOGA THUN HAS ARRIVED! The dastardly dark wizard has finally appeared to suck Conan’s map knowledge from his mind with his snake like charms. Conan is the kind of barbarian that isn’t bothered by dumb “magic”, which is why I always roll a barbarian/warrior in RPG’s because magic is for lames.
Miles Morales Spider-Man #4 – my favorite spider man series! This issue is a nice breather between the last arc and the next with miles and friends skipping school to try and see a hip hop exhibit at a museum. Nothing exceptionally crazy happens but it’s still a fun read. Also fun is that this series is still super approachable to anyone new to spider man/miles morales and it hasn’t tied into ant crazy event yet.
Invisible Kingdom #1 – Space nuns and space Amazon deliveries culminate in one of the more promising sci fi comics of the year. Two separate tales are being woven here, both promising set-ups – I’ll be curious to see how they intersect. That art in this book is incredible with some of the more unique use of tablet/digital art iv seen since Fiona Staples and Saga. Def recommend to anyone looking for a unique sci fi book
Spider-Man: City at War #1 – If you missed out on the AMAZING Spider-Man video game on the PS4, you’re in luck! This looks to be the start of the story told in the game. The story was one of the main draws for me, and this picks it right up and makes the most of it. The best part about it, it makes a great comic. You will want to pick this up because it’s an amazing story, with new twists on old villains and a tired Spider-Man story.
Uncanny X-Men #14 – The boys are back in town! Logan and Cyclops, that is! With both of them recently revived, they are continuing their mission of knocking down the biggest baddies they ever had. First off, this feels much more like a true continuing of the series of old we all know and love. Aside from the 90’s costumes, they continue to operate in the morally right, while still being in the gray area of the law. I legitimately love the angle of the story.
While Scott died a terrorist, he’s awoken with a new goal becasue of the guilt and regret of all they he left behind in his life’s work.
Fantastic! Uncanny X-Force was good for a little while, but this is really what I’ve been wanting for a long time.
Spider-Man: Life Story #1 -What would happen if Peter actually aged from his comics origin in the 60s? Guess we are going to find out! I really wish they would keep an ongoing story like this, starting Spider-Man fresh in the 60s again. This book was great, making what was old new again. I love that it doesn’t diverge from the original story very much at all, but with a few small great twists. It actually may be the best part about the book; they took all of these elements from the 60s, like Iron Man being in Vietnam as Tony Stark’s “bodyguard” (who was on roller skates the time time, btw), and Captain America’s very recent awakening into that timeline. I’m looking forward to how they address the cliffhanger at the end, and how they continue this story, with possibly an older modern-day Peter Parker.
Wolverine: Infinity Watch #2 – Ok, now that Infinity Wars is over (thank goodness), the story we ALL wanted since Marvel’s Legacy has finally arrived! What happened to Wolverine?! We pick up where the story left off in the first issue; Loki and Logan are out looking for the people whom the infinity stones have attached themselves to. With the Chitauri’s Warbringer on a rampage to find the Time Stone to bring back his race of people, the good guys have to find a way to keep the stone (and the guy it’s attached to) safe. Just when you think it’s going to work out, it never actually does, does it? Well, I’m looking forward to finding out!
Grim Knight #1: Punisher Bats! That’s essentially what this issue investigates: what if young Bruce Wayne picked up the gun that killed his parents and took bloody vengeance into his own hands? A wonderfully paced comic ensues that laid out by Snyder and Tynion IV chronicling the batshit insanity that is a fully-armed Batman. Meticulously planned warfare against crime in this alternate world essentially leads to no crime whatsoever which ultimately leads to the Grim Knight clashing with by-the-book Jim Gordon (lawful good in any ‘verse it seems). Another well-crafted character study courtesy of the people behind Dark Nights Metal.
The Goon #1: Goon returns in hilarious fashion to the world of comics and I’m glad to have him back. The return issue had me laughing out loud as Powell’s comedic timing lands relentlessly. Not only that, but the big guy and all the townsfolk still emote so well with Powell’s unique style. The start to their new adventures sees Goon and Franky searching for a new roof over their heads with a dark, nefarious real estate agent. Real excited to see where this story goes with all the upcoming new monster-themed gangsters named in number one waiting to take down the Goon.
Assassin Nation #1: Kyle Starks brings back the action comedy he’s known for in a truly funny first issue. The top 20 assassins are gathered in one room together to guard the once greatest assassin in the world from unknown forces that want him dead. The egomaniac has the bright idea to stop the assassination with assassins which seems good in theory but bad in practice once it turns out some of those assassins he assembled were already hired to kill the jerkwad ex-hitman. Erica Henderson’s stylized visuals are a triumph here as the 20 top assassins are whittled down to a few in an all-out brawl. Gonna definitely be waiting for this one next month to see where this wild ride goes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #3: Man, is it good to have Buffy back. Especially in such an incredible series. Bellaire nails their voices completely-it’s too easy to hear all of them in your head slinging these lines. This continuation sees Buffy do battle against a giant bat creature along with Spike and Drusilla hot on her heels. Things are heating up in Sunnydale and it looks like Buffy is going to have to rely on her newfound allies to hold back all these forces who are out there to get her. Amazing how so many baddies can show up in three issues…also amazing to see Drusilla as the head-vamp-in-charge of bringing Buffy down. Can’t wait to see what plans she has in store for her!
Justice League Dark #9: The fight against the death of magic itself continues! It’s revealed by Nabu’s apprentice how the entity within the helmet of Dr. Fate orchestrated the revival of the otherkind. Pretty good for a dude with no thumbs. Also revealed are the arcanic armor parts that make up the communal groups of enslaved magicians Nabu has gathered to bring down the magical world of Myrra. After a confrontation which leaves Etrigan way worse for wear, Wonder Woman and Zatanna meet with Circe in order to see what can be done about the stone Zatanna’s father left her, possibly the McGuffin to undo all that’s been done. Unfortunately, the witch known through mythos for doing trickery is *gasp* out to trick them…things don’t look too good for magic at the moment…
Head Lopper #11: Finally! At long last! The origin of Agatha and Norgal’s companionship is revealed at its very beginning! As an old enemy starts to succumb to his wounds, the one who tied Agatha to Norgal, Norgal is forced to make a bargain with him to save Venoriah- ride out in his armor and face the hordes awaiting at the gates while leading his men. It’s a big ask, but Norgal takes on the task in stride. Meanwhile, a black bulky something seems to be amassing small animals to its inky, horrible form. Come for Head Lopper, stay for Arlen’s lady love stealing back Agatha from two inept guards! Man, Maclean can really draw some physical comedy.
Little Bird #1 – At first, this looks like a typical crusades bullshit. Power hungry dicks whipping on a native people, but then there is The Axe. A child, Little Bird, is given a map and a keepsake, and sent on a quest to find a great warrior, The Axe, who is being held captive at a facility made to keep the strongest beings, who might ruin this New Vatican’s plans (I say this because in one cell is Superman!). The Axe is freed with a bit of resistance, but nothing they couldn’t handle. Once clear of the faculty Axe explains to the girl he doesn’t plan on joining her rebellion, but before he can explain Little Bird is shot. Axe notices the watch Little Bird was carrying and shock comes over his face. We are left wondering what this keepsake means to him and will he help the rebellion. Moreover, whatever dark magic the Bishop is involved in I’m sure will be problem-some.
Grim Knight #1 – Well that was stressful. In the Grim Knight’s universe, the infamous eve when Martha and Thomas Wayne are murdered little Bruce picks up the gun and avenges his parent’s right then and there. Which takes him on the same path of travel and training, but removes all the qualms against killing. He blows up Blackgate and Arkham Asylum, and kills all the crime bosses in the city. At this point, Grim keeps the entire city under constant watch with cameras, satellites, etc. killing anyone from armed robbers to sex offenders. It gets so bad even Alfred can’t stay and watch, and even turns him into Gordon. With evidence gathered and Alfred’s statements they march up to Wayne manor and take Grim down. Now Grim ‘the No Shits Knight’ is in a universe where he has the ability to take his revenge and has captured Gordon.
Calamity Kate #1 – Maybe I’m impartial to monster hunters right now after finishing Criminal Macabre, but I’m sticking with this mini series. Kate gives that relatability of ‘generally not having your shit together’, but things appear to be getting better for Kate. She is reconnecting with estranged friends, and fulfilling her dream of being the best monster hunter there ever was. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of monsters in the town of LA, but that’s not good enough. Kate decides she is going to be the end all to monsters by slaying the source and the five most powerful monsters in existence. Kate sets off to slay the first beast, up for a rough match, she is confident all the same. To Kate and my surprise, the monster was already defeated and out of the shadows appears the conqueror. Will there be a rivalry? Will they team up? Ooohh.
Assassin Nation #1 – So this super badass assassin, famed ‘Chekhov’s Gun’ has been experiencing several attempts on his life. In attempts to put an end to this, he uses his connections to assemble the top 20 assassins. After they gather he explains he wants to hire them all to be his personal bodyguards (I guess being the number one assassin affords you the funds to pay numbers 2-20 a worth it salary 🤔). As expected in a room full of guns for hire, an enjoyable melee ensues…RIP Pendejo. After those who were done talking were taken out, ‘Mr. Gun’ stands in front of the best of the best and awaits their answer.
Assassin Nation #1 – The head of the second largest crime family hires the top 20 assassins in the world to protect him and a bloodbath ensues. Super fun book with a fairly simple premise. Art from Erica Henderson is very fitting with the style and tone of the book and the different assassins are all unique which is fairly impressive considering there are 20 of them. But there is one assassin named “Fuck Tarkington” so this book is a winner just on that alone. If anyone likes assassin/hitmen stories like Smoking Aces or Lucky Number Slevin, this book would be up your alley.
Little Bird #1 – Best book of the week hands down. The art in this book is
fantastic. The violence is gory and detailed with a lot of guts and blood and things being split in half and it all involves some crazy future North America where the US has finally developed its ultra Christian militant utopia. Little Bird is a girl who sets out on a journey to free “The Axe” from prison and help start the revolution. Meanwhile, the Vicar of Christ, head of the “New Vatican” in the United Nations of America is holding Little Birds mother prisoner. This New Vatican place is also super-weird and great with weird blood and guts baths, weird floating altar boy children, and nuns in weird floating yellow orbs. This book is great and I want to know everything that happens with all its detailed wonderful gory art. BUY
The Goon #1 – The Goon is back baby! One of the funniest adventure comics
returns to the stands with a new #1 that’s great for long time readers and also anyone who is new to the wonder that is “The Goon”. The Goon and Franky are back in their old stomping grounds and it’s almost like they never left considering the amount of gangs and hoodlums that are back up and running. Seriously, this book and series is so much fun this is the perfect opportunity to jump on board.
Age of Conan: Belit #1 – So leading up to this series I was worried considering the fact that I think only me and maybe 4 other people know who Belit is and that the series might alienate people who are not as well versed in the Conan mythos. But after reading this debut issue, I feel comfortable saying that as long as you enjoy the Conan universe, you will find this series enjoyable. Belit is the daughter of a pirate king who has been accused of some crimes he may or may not be guilty of. The only thing that matters is that it begins a chain of events that will lead Belit to take her claim as the Belit Queen of the Black Coast. Again, this series is very approachable to anyone who has no familiarity with the character. At wasn’t too fond of the art at the start, but by the end of the issue I found it fitting. Anyone who has been enjoying the recent Conan series by Marvel should check out this series. It fleshes out more of the Conan universe and wide array of characters and if they can support 15 different X-men books, surely we can have 3 Conan/Conan Universe set series.
Green Lantern 5: Hal Jordan trudges through the mucky dankness of a swamp and does battle on a vampiric planet against armies of the dead. Yes, yes, YES. This is the modernized silver age book you’ve always dreamed of. Each issue has been more ridiculous than the last and this series continues to pump out the weird in amazing ways. Peter David’s panel work makes such the perfect companion to Morrison’s quiet intrigue that you’ll catch yourself admiring the details around a panel after viewing its contents. The darker aspects of a lantern going rogue are slowly revealed as well…This one really sets the stage for an ever-expanding space cop drama that you’ll want to get in on before it gets away from you.
Die 4: It’s time for some murder-hoboin’! Ash and the gang arrive in the big city and finally make a stop at what is normally a RPG group first one- the tavern. There the revels only last a short time before more of the trauma of living in such a grimdark setting resurface and brief glimpse is given as to what shaped their malevolent game master. Each character comes to terms with scars just beneath their adventuring facades and quickly realizes how they have to bring Sol down to them-by not playing his game and changing the rules just a bit. That will teach him for railroading them so hardcore!
Meet The Skrulls 1: This one really took me by surprise. A suburban family of Skrulls has lived among us for years and once again plotting infiltration. More than plotting even, they’ve done it! The father figure is holding down a job at Stark Industries and Mom is a cleaner for dirty politicians. Their girls are set to push themselves into high school cliques of the children of movers and shakers with one exception- Alice doesn’t want to be the mean girl her sister is and even with the ability to change into whatever she wants, she can’t seem to fit in. When breaking away from the looming dynamics of an intergalactic war and a secret government organization bent on wiping them out, the first issue takes time to examine the inner workings of this alien family. That focus on the characters is what makes this book and has me so excited to see where this story goes.
Domino: Hotshots 1: From the skies a meteor crash lands in Antarctica containing a strange alien presence. It doesn’t contain a Cronenbergian plague monster though, but what seems to be a piece of the Celestials. Domino is then flagged down by none other than Black Widow herself and together they assemble a team to retrieve the piece before it infects the world with its green, glowing celestial-ness. Not everything is as it seems though as the teams’ loyalties split just as the piece is within their sights (surprising I know for a group made up of almost half international super spies). A fight with the alien entity ensues and the team must band back together to take it down. Pick this one up for Gail Simone’s unique dialogue voice and if you want to learn how to use ‘Boromir’ as a verb!
Batman #66: Holy lost loves, Batman! Selina Kyle stars in this one as she is intensely interrogated by The Question. He’s out to find the real reason why she left Bats at the altar because it’s become way too obvious that there’s something hidden away. What ensues is a deep emotional look through Catwoman’s eyes as to why Batman is the Batman and playing out scenes in which they met. The main focus here is the flow of the story which is dramatically layed out beautifully in sometimes simple images that speak volumes. This one’s a masterclass lesson in telling a lot while only showing a little. The question is also asked once more: can Bruce be Batman AND be happy?
Uncanny X-Men 13: With only a handful of mutants left on their side after having their friends and family wiped out, Cyclops and Wolverine build a list of the biggest threats that the X-Men have taken on. It’s their swan song to the world: incapacitate all their loose ends before the end of the X-Men. Things get hairy on their very first name though-Dark Beast. He’s been doing terrible experiments on the dupes of Multiple-Man and Jamie Madrox himself wants a shot at him for it. What follows is an epic clash revealing what the X-Men have to look out for down the road if they truly want to take on all these tasks. Also featuring a return to the 90s costumes of old! Always good to see Cyke in a yellow bandolier.
Ronan Island #1 – Issue one definitely leaves you wanting to know more. At the start, you think it’s going to be another tale of kids trying to be the best. The rich kid who wants to prove he “isn’t just some spoiled rich kid” and the poor kid who “doesn’t need money to have skill”. I was pleasantly surprised to not have to wait several issue for them to get over it. When a weird monster army showed up they seemed to all jump into action together, but I’m sure the feud will come up again.
Die #4 – I’m ready for it to get real in the land of Die. The last couple issues have been a little underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying it, but I’m ready for some high stakes D&D action. There has been a mostly traveling and emotional abuse. Also, is their plan to destroy the one place where people are nice to them? I hope they aren’t total d-bags and figure out how to get to Sol without destroying the city of glass.
Oberon #2 – I really wanted Oberon to be a nice fairy since he is so hot and all, as is life 🙁 I thought this was a good second issue. I’m excited to find out the importance of this little girl. She obviously has people who care for her, or at least know her importance in the mortal world. I’m curious to see what will happen when they come into play. That is as long as Bonnie isn’t murdered by this endless maze.
Morning In America #1 – Something weird is going on in this small town. Local high school students are disappearing, but what really odd is the police don’t seem to be doing anything about it. Ellen, Nancy, Veronica, and Ashley are a group of misfits/troublemakers who are known around town for the trouble they get into. A sibling of one of the missing students tries to convince Nancy he saw his sister abducted, but she isn’t buying it. After overhearing a conversation in the police station, she finds out everything she has been hearing is true, and the new factory in town could have something to do with it all. Nancy goes back to the girls and informs them she thinks they are the town’s only hope. Next issue we’ll see if they get on board with an idea that’s so out there
Star Wars Vader: Dark Visions #1 – First of all, let us all soak in that Darth Vader Death Dealer homage cover. So Dark Visions seems like it’s going to be a series of one shots all involving Vader of course but also his ripple effect on those around him. In this particular issue, a young alien boy is chilling on his planet, ready for his peoples annual migration down into the dark tunnels where they hide from a “god” that terrorizes them on the surface. In comes Vader, crashing down to their planet where he will quickly become a heroic black knight and savior to these people. Because Darth Vader isn’t really a bad guy, it’s just all about perspective.
Ronin Island #1 – Welcome to Ronin Island, where a mixed culture of Chinese/Japanese/Korean people live together surprisingly well despite history dictating otherwise. Kenichi is the son of a great samurai and Hana is a Korean orphan but both of them have passed their training exam! Just in time for a boat of a Shogun warlord who has been thought to have been dead for 30 years pulls up and demands fealty and threats of a menace tearing through the mainland. Just what is that menace? Why just your average zombie/monster horde who also decided to make an appearance to this fun island. Greg Pak seems to be having a blast making his takes on classic manga tropes with this and Mech Cadet Yu, but it has all been really enjoyable. The art by Giannis Milonogiannis is also well suited and he’s living his best life drawing the western inspired manga of his dreams. If you haven’t read his series “Old City Blues” I def recommend checking it out if you’re fans of cyberpunk/ghost in the shell/patlabor/appleseed
Conan the Barbarian #4 – This series continues to be some prime Conan. In this issue, we see Conan much later in his life when he is king and restless. I mean, how does a man who’s used to barbarianing around the world just SETTLE DOWN and do kingly stuff? He literally gets a fever because he can’t kill some stuff. So what does he do? HE BECOMES BEST FRIENDS WITH A GODDAMN LION AND THEY GO OUT ADVENTURING AT NIGHT LIKE THE BEST CRIME FIGHTING FRIENDS THEY ARE! Seriously, if you are not reading this series, you are fucking up.
Die #4 – Woo doggy, things are starting to turn for our adventurers. Our party arrives in Glass Town which is an actual town inside a glass dome shaped like a D20. Clever! It’s also the home of Sol. Hoping to eventually meet their friend, everyone takes a break and do some soul searching which ends in drinks at the local tavern and rounds of sad stories of their real lives outside of the game. When the news is delivered that Sol will actually NOT be seeing them and has instead made a challenge/game for them instead, Ash decides that maybe they can expedite things by wrecking things from the inside. And thus, we have the turning point in the arc and these next few issues are going to be very exciting and some good character exposition/background. This book continues to be one of the more beautiful on the stands but still one that I think will work best in trade format.
Captain Marvel Braver & Mightier #1: Another solid Captain Marvel first issue. I liked how it portrayed her as a down to earth person when she was interacting with the High School kids. It shows a sense of humanity in our superheroes. I actually loved the art too. I wasn’t sure I would like this series, since I am a fan of the Kelly Thompson Captain Marvel, but overall I think it was good! Could have used more info on the “new: aliens that Carol encountered though.
Buffy#2: I am in love with Buffy all over again in this new series. From her teen angst to her ever so relatable high school experiences. This issue introduced some new evils, but also a familiar face-I won’t spoil that one! I would be lying if I said Buffy’s weird dream scene wasn’t a little scary looking-Xander and Willow’s heads just hanging out and then Willow and her skinny, weird leg coming out of the locker? No thanks. Even Giles was creepy! I do hope that we get into more action here soon though, while I love learning back stories and seeing day to day life of characters, I just want to see some good old fashioned vampire slaying!
Daredevil #2: Hoollyyyy crap! Daredevil is being framed for murder and even Foggy doesn’t believe him. The cops, while they don’t trust Fisk, also don’t trust Daredevil-they too believe he did it. This is just another super solid issue by Chip Zdarsky and I couldn’t be happier with where this series is going! Twists, turns, and an ending that I definitely didn’t see coming. How did Matt not dodged that bullet? Is he really losing touch with his senses THAT much after his accident? I’m super stoked for #3 now.
Hex Wives #5: Finally!! They know about their powers!! Just in time for the big boss to show up too, to make sure everything seems “normal” and to see if the wives have discovered anything about their past. I love that this issue had a little element of suspense. The readers are obviously aware that the girls know they have some sort of powers, but also that the men are completely clueless…until they aren’t and all hell breaks loose. The ending is full of suspense too! What will they do to the men?!
Wyrd #2 – So far, so good. I’m curious to get Pitor’s full back story. This issue’s flashback shows he and his pregnant wife escaping Nazi Germany. The rest of the issue appears to be present day, where Pitor plays an immortal, no fucks, mercenary. I’m curious to see “who hurt him”.
Die Die Die 8 – When I started this series about triplets trained to be assassins, I was skeptical. Turns out, I don’t mind it. Just when you think they have George, the antagonist of the three, he slips away. Then you think the corrupt misogynistic, politician who hired George is finally paying for his actions. Only to be set free on his way to jail. It was super satisfying to watch him get his nose cut off though.
Hulkverines! – So, this was not what I expected. I picked this up thinking it was a Patch and Mr. Fix-It kind of vibe, like “Hulk and Wolverine, back at it again!”. Clayton Cortez wasn’t on my radar, making me think I need to go read Immortal Hulk. Anywho, The Leader uses his big ol’ brain to break out of prison. After infecting Cortez and turning him full mindless beast, Hulk absorbs his gamma radiation…and unfortunately the infection. Like they said, to be “clawtinued”!
Oliver #2 – I knew I would like these books after the preview Greg sent out. Oliver, based on Oliver Twist, is not raised by his parents. As the outcast/orphan boy he feels left out and that everyone dislikes him (very Naruto season one). This issue, he finds out that his parents’ union should not have happened and conceiving him should’ve been impossible. As a result, he is ‘superhuman’ abnormal strength, fast healing/regenerating, etc. After finding out the truth about his parents Oliver runs off feeling deceived, not knowing the powers at be have just been made aware of his existence are after him. Also, they did a nod to the famous “May I have some more please?” scene. Instead of a boy being for sale, it ended with Oliver overpowering a guard five times his size. That was pretty cool.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #2 – Enter every nerds crush in middle school, Spike! Oh, and also Cordelia. Solid second issue except the very end seemed weird and to come from nowhere? I dunno, maybe I just missed something.
Daredevil #2 – Detective Cole North gets to meet Wilson Fisk! What a swell guy. As for Matt Murdock, he’s really struggling with himself (again). Probably all that Catholic guilt. All he want’s to do is help the neighborhood but even the people he saves seem to be afraid of him. Also DD can’t seem to catch a break. First he gets hit by a truck and almost dies and now he gets SPOILERS. What a rough life.
Savage Sword Conan #2 – Boy oh boy, I sure do love reading these books. Conan and his shipmate go for a stroll and encounter some cultish hooligans. And what does Conan do? Well he gets real SAVAGE a beats the shit out of them with a BURNED SEVERED FOOT. After that, they journey to a town in search of that ol minds eye map and encounter a lady librarian that Conan will probably bang later because that’s how savage he is. All in all, another great issue of the worlds greatest barbarian.
Marvel Comics Presents #2 – Oooooweeee another month another anthology book. This month we have the second chapter in our demon hunting wolverine story, Mark Waid blesses us with another Fantastic Four story in which Reed Richards goes after some Russian spies during the cold war and is capped off with a rare Gorilla Man story that has Gorilla Man and Black Panther team up. And honestly, if we can get a comic that highlights characters like Gorilla Man, I’m stoked to see whatever else they decide to do short stories on.
Love Romances #1: Okay, so this was a little weird to jump headfirst into. Story one had a weird twist to it for sure. The whole time you’re thinking this dude is a robot sent to help this widow, when in fact the widow is the robot sent to help the human guy. Crazy!-but I liked it. Story two shows a man who lost his wife or girlfriend, and it’s almost as if he can see and feel her still around. He works through his feelings of loss and eventually packed up her things. I actually thought this story was adorable and the artwork was pretty cute too. The third story had awesome artwork too! Very Victorian feeling-I loved it. It was a typical Romeo and Juliet story though so kind of been there/done that, except in the end Brandon (Romeo) killed her father and saved her from a lifetime of misery being held captive in their house-her father just thought he was protecting her though. Number four was just strange. Humans switching into robot bodies to live/love forever, then getting dumped and sleeping for 200 years just to wake up in the middle of an alien invasion? Plot twist! The robot girl who dumped him is still around too, and she got so disfigured that her self esteem is low enough to take him back after 200 years. Even robots can have happy endings I guess. Overall, this whole issue was a roller coaster of strange things.
High Level #1: I loved, loved, loved the art in this issue!! Seriously stunning. I enjoyed the post-apocalyptic feel of the entire story-robots as sidekicks, drones as security. I love the carefree yet seriousness about Thirteen. She wants a life, and loves her home but she’s also a little badass who can take care of herself. She doesn’t believe in the fairytale crap that is High Level, and is an independent thinker. I could probably have lived without the creepy flesh purger though, he was a bit odd but did fit into the story I suppose. I look forward to finding out more about Minnow in the coming issues as well! Solid first issue in my opinion-a lot of back story but also a little mystery.
Black Widow #2: Natasha is back with a bang as the opening of this issue is literally her ripping the NRP watchers to shreds to save some of the girls they were with. She vows right there in the streets to track down anyone involved with No Restraints Play, even if they’re not involved in making it-paying to keep it open is a crime in her book as well. She has a hacker tracking down info on the site, which is proving that NRP is very careful about leaving any evidence behind. A strange old lady tracks Nat down and wants to show her something-it ends up being her daughter-the NRP guys had cut her hands off and now Nat is more pissed than EVER. I’m really enjoying this no-holds-back Natasha we’re seeing in this series so far. She even stated tearing through the guys gave her joy and she didn’t care what Cap would think. She’s turning Madripoor on its head, and I can’t wait to see who this chick at the end of this issue thinks she is trying to take out Black Widow.
Naomi #2: This issue starts off right in the feels where we left Naomi talking to Dee about the day she was adopted. I’m totally with her and I want to know exactly what that mechanic knows and why he knows it! Of course her adopted parents are a little upset when she starts asking these questions. I can understand why they would be, especially if they really are telling the truth and have no idea who Dee or her biological parents are. I’m really enjoying this story so far, Naomi is like a little detective-snooping around, finding info about people, and sneaking into the auto shop where she found a photo of what appears to be a woman and Dee. Is it her mother? Is Dee her father? Why was he in Iron Heights? I hate suspense! I hope there are more answers in the next issue, because I really dig this series!
Sharkey The Bounty Hunter #1 – Probably the most substantial/plot heavy book Mark Millar has put out in awhile. Even though this is going to be a Netflix show, it doesn’t read like a paper thin elaborate story board movie/show pitch like some of his other books have. Can’t wait for the Netflix show!
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3 – This series continues to be just a fun Spider-Man adventure series. No crazy events (so far) or tie ins (yet), but solid Spidey stories. This month we get a guest appearance of Captain America in a fun/weird Spider-Man/Cap/Rhino team-up. Who would have thought. I enjoy seeing Rhino attempting to be a good dude after years of being a stubborn russian who breaks stuff. Now he’s a stubborn russian who breaks stuff with a slowly growing heart. Hopefully that’s a narrative that gets picked up and elaborated on later.
Guardians of the Galaxy #2 – Solid second issue. Not real heavy on the action, but the exposition was entertaining to read. Donny Cates weaves great dialogue in the characters. Plus Starfox/Eros is doing his best Xavier impression with his lil hover chair. And it seems we have a rival group of….DARK GUARDIANS. Wowee, what will happen next
High Level #1 – In some alternate post apocalyptic Canadian future, we meet Thirteen who is just your average sewage worker who takes on odd jobs for some extra cash. After taking on one of these jobs, she gets sent to a warehouse for what she believes to be a routine pick up but ends up being some weird cyborg cult that attempts to use the flesh from her body for their own needs. After being conveniently saved by her former boyfriend who now works for the big bad security force, he asks her to take on ANOTHER job, only this one involves escorting a girl to HIGH LEVEL, a fabled place that people believe to be some sort of paradise or a place where you’re never heard from again. Enjoyable first issue with some wonderful art, if anyone is interested at a cyberpunk Lone Wolf and Cub, this book should be up your alley.
Captain Marvel #2: This issue resumes right where we left Carol in issue 1-on some crazy dystopian version of Roosevelt Island, seemingly beating the crap out of Nuclear Man. The tides turn, as they always do and he gets in a good punch, but out of nowhere Jessica, Hazmat, and Echo show up. It appears they’ve been sucked into this barrier around Roosevelt Island where time moves much faster and only women reside, with the exception of Nuclear Man, a dude named Som, and the men they assume are in the citadel where Nuclear Man resides. The girls who have been there longer have built an impressive base, but are constantly on defense against this crazy dystopian misogynist. I loved the little twists and turns this issue took up until the very end, where Carol *appears* to have been captured by one of Nuclear Man’s metal men and dubbed the bride. In comes She-Hulk to save the day, but in a pretty uneventful turn of events, she just fell to the ground and the issue ended. I loved the first issue, and this one wasn’t bad either, but I do look forward to getting more backstory on this island they’ve been taken to and why their powers seem to fade away here.
Hit-Girl #1: Kevin Smith writes this comic! So Hit-Girl is a little badass. She single handedly took out two crazy gunmen who were terrorizing a high-school and shooting innocent kids and teachers, all while reading a book about herself. She even made it through airport security with all of her weapons which is obviously a huge accomplishment by itself when normal people can’t make it through with just an iPad! She even managed to behead a dude on an airplane and walk off like it never happened. Now she’s off to Hollywood, on a trip I can only assume is so she can find out more about this movie that’s being made about her. Even though there were little to no words through this whole issue, I loved how the art told the entire story-no words needed to show how awesome she is!
Goddess Mode #3: Starting right off in the middle of Mary getting eaten by a Daemon, we see Cassandra try to take on Antimony and instead, learned a piece of her domain’s magic-she is pretty much able to stop time. With this, she was able to teleport the other oracles out of danger, and safely into her apartment. While on the walk to the Sad Dad, Mr. Benson made Mr. Brady force Cass’ telepresence into his office, but instead of being reprimanded, she was given her dad’s old job. Which is cool, except we obviously know what has happened to her father already-he’s a vegetable, so hopefully the same doesn’t happen to her. In the end, her father’s simulated cognition informs her to run. I am still absolutely in love with this artwork and story! I can’t wait to see and read more about the Oracles and Cassandra’s new job, I’m super stoked with how this series is going and I hope it continues on it’s strong path.
Wonder Twins #1: This issue was my very first Wonder Comics read, so I went into it not knowing what to expect, and it was awesome. Zan is your typical high school dude, loads of confidence and a big ego, but realistically he’s just a super awkward kid. Jayna got suckered into reading the morning announcements because her teacher thought it would bring her out of her shell, it seems she could care less though. The humor of this issue is amazing, right down to Batman and Superman’s stories from their high school days and how awkward they were. Ultimately, the two kids wound up nonchalantly defeating the villain without the help of the “adults” at all and even used their “useless” supercomputer to get the job done. What a fun little read! I look forward to learning more about the Wonder Twins as this series continues.
Avengers No Road Home 1 – This is a breath of fresh air in the Marvel universe! Join this team of mostly B-list Avengers as they come together to fend off an eternal night affecting not only Earth, but several nearby solar systems as well. I am digging this largely because Marvel is giving us a nice break from the usual here. It’s a bunch of characters we don’t see much of and they finally get a story of their own without riding the coattails of the bigger Avengers. I’m excited for the rest of this series, and I think it will bring out the best in all characters involved. Plus, Paco Medina’s art is on point AND there are no ads breaking up the story!
Goddess Mode 3 – Cyberpunk meets magical girls. This series is still going strong. Now we get to see Cassie’s powers emerge. She’s still not sure what’s going on, but the story is unfolding at the perfect pace. This is one hell of a page-turner as Cassie and her friends follow the leads to try and find out what is causing the daemons and where Antimony comes from.
Wonder Twins 1 – If you’re looking for a light-hearted, offbeat series, this is the one for you. The Wonder Twins have rarely been a dark or serious title, and this first issue is full of tongue-in-cheek writing and humor. Everything’s here from Mr. Mxyzptlk to a phenomenon known as “thunderlust” (it’s exactly what it sounds like). Pick it up. The art’s bright and colorful, and the playful writing makes a refreshing change of pace from most superhero stories.
Justice League Dark 8 – Every time I think this series is going to slow down, Tynion kicks it up into a higher gear. Zatanna and Wonder Woman are tracking down anything that will help them fend off the Otherkind. Bobo, Etrigan, and Swamp Thing try to figure out a backup plan, and Kirk delves deep into magic to free the man in the vase. But no matter what they do, the fact that Dr. Fate himself has turned against magic could mean the end for all magic in the DC Universe. Tynion is one of my favorite DC writers and he’s seriously knocking it out of the park with Justice League: Dark.
Hawkman 9 – The story arc’s flying at full speed toward its epic climax. Carter returns to Xanadu to make sense of all he’s seen over the last few issues, but the Deathbringers come calling. Carter’s the only one that can stand in their way, and it may not be enough. This series has been a treat to read so far. It’s refreshing to see all of Hawkman’s past lives tied together finally. The character has had one of the most sporadic and confusing histories in comics, and that’s saying something! So I’m glad DC gave Venditti a chance to pull it all together.
NeXt-Gen 1 – The next mini-series for the Age of X-Man is here! As you may know from Marvelous X-Men, this utopian society is not as perfect as it seems. Mindwipes and some sort of secret police force abound. Only certain characters are in the know. This series focuses on the kids, most of whom are from the Academy X/New X-Men generation. You’ll get a look at school life in this world of mutant perfection, and then things go grossly wrong. This alternate universe is fascinating, and you can bet I’m going to read every single title.
Savage Sword of Conan #1 – Some people would say we are in the “darkest timeline”, but I would disagree because the “darkest timeline” would not allow TWO CONAN SERIES A MONTH! Seriously, what a time to be alive. Everyone’s favorite barbarian has been in a shipwreck and found by slavers floating in the waters. Will Conan become a slave in the Stygian wastes? Will he forever live out his days chained down by the man? The answer is no, because Conan wasn’t born on the battlefield for nothing. He does find a treasure map with his MIND’S EYE though. Now we’ll have to read 4 more issues to find out what happens. AND YOU SHOULD BE READING BECAUSE CONAN IS THE BEST.
Wonder Twins #1 – What a delightfully enjoyable read. I chuckled on more than a few occasions. I was curious as to how this Wonder Twins book would be like and I’m glad they are not making it super serious, re-invention of the characters. The only thing missing from the book is their monkey Gleek, but there’s always issue 2. But this debut did give us the concept of “Thunderlust” which is a wonderful thing and the Wonder Twins are fun again.
Star Wars Age of Republic Count Dooku – Everyone’s favorite Sith grandpa is back in a new adventure. Dooku partners up with a space tiger Jedi for a fun romp through Sullust. Spoiler: it does not end well for one of them. I’d also like to reiterate how much the “Rule of Two” is stupid.
Young Justice #2 – This issue mostly revolved around Wonder Girl, which is fine I guess. I’m more interested in getting to know Jinny Hex and Teen Lantern but whatever, I guess I’ll just have to be patient. But seriously though, this issue just serves as mostly Wonder Girl exposition. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the whole gem world plot only gets touched on in the very beginning and the very end. Still a solid series all around even though I feel like I’m reading some weird Steven Universe crossover.
God of War #4 – This is the final issue in the 2018’s amazing God of War video game. Here at the end I’ve finally figured out why I really love this book. While it lacks REAL story depth and reason behind it, it does an amazing job at two things: First, they dive into Kratos’ inner thoughts of controlling his rage and the kind of beast it turns him into. But even better than that is when he does lose his rage, the action sequences and panels are amazing! For real, there’s not much to this story except the fighting. This isn’t a bad thing. In a comic era of deep intellectual bad guys, and complex stories with unforeseen plot twists, this is actually just what the doctor ordered.
The Flash #64 – The Price of Innocence, part 2 is fantastic. These Batman and Flash crossovers are always really awesome. The Gotham duo is surprisingly deep in their development for being such simple characters with simple motivations. Bane had disappeared after ruining Batman’s wedding, and his venom is playing a part in the bigger role here. Probably my favorite thing about Tom King’s stories is that everything that happens, always happens for a reason! This is so epic, and what the very best comic book writers do. When stories unfold as they do, it’s almost as if we find out a year later that it all was meant to happen to lead to this place here. I honestly would never guess that these very different type of story writing could come from the same person. For example, I love how in the same moment of mutual respect, you can see how different their minds are. While King did not write this story, you can tell that he and Williamson clearly are sharing the same vision and end goal. These two writers should team up more often!
Winter Soldier #3 – Last time we saw these two, Bucky had just saved this young killer from a life under the grips of being controlled by a shady organization. Bucky now helps normal people trying to get out of a life of deep crime in organizations like Hydra. In this issue there’s a lot of deep dive into RJ’s psyche with Doc Samson giving him therapy. It certainly sheds some narrative light into some of the events that take place in this book. The new guy is definitely coming into his own in this story. I love the new dynamic he and Bucky have working together. It’s almost like Cap and Bucky used to be in the war! Great delivery of the main plots and twist, perfect art for the story, it really doesn’t get much better than this. I just wish it appeared more than once a month.
Avengers: No Road Home #1 – This is very reminiscent of the weekly story “No Surrender” from last year. Obviously it’s the same characters, since it’s an Avengers title, but it’s clearly a sequel. I actually really like how it starts this with exploring dynamics between a lot of the Avengers personalities, like the back and forth between Grecian style Hercules and rude killer Rocket. Amazing job building context of the characters in the story! The world is going dark, and it’s up to the Avengers to figure it out and vanquish evil once again. But this time, It’s in OLYMPUS! It’s also of no consequence for this story if you haven’t kept up on the main Avengers title (like me!). This is definitely worth the pickup, especially if you thought the last “Infinity Wars” crossover event was as lackluster as I did. Already WAY better than that!
Daredevil #1: I was super excited to pick this up following the Man Without Fear 5-part miniseries. I feel like Chip Zdarsky did Matt Murdock’s story justice. It was an easy transition from the previous series into this one, picking up after the hospital and putting Matt back into the Daredevil costume. He’s back in the streets as one of our favorite vigilantes, but it’s made very clear that he’s struggling. The injuries he sustained from the last accident, on top of the past few years of crime fighting has taken a toll on his body making him slower, and less responsive to attacks. Overall, I enjoyed this first issue, but I definitely still can’t stand Fisk.
Female Furies #1: Coming into this issue with no background on the Furies at all, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I love seeing the strength from the girls when they are faced with blatant disregard to their skills and abilities, and the fact that they stood up for themselves. I thought the story overall though, was a little been there, done that. Girls are faced with misogynist crap, girls prove they’re better, boys don’t agree, girl cuts off guys head when he tries to do the job she was tasked with. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt though, and continue reading the series.
Girl in the Bay #1: I felt like this was a pretty solid first issue! Katherine, while on acid, fell for some random guys’ charm at a bar and decided to leave with him. She’s a high school kid so I feel like that should have been a red flag for her, but it happened. As most stories like this go, he was a bad dude and in all honesty she should have died, but now she emerged from the water thinking she survived and it was still 1969. Wrong-50 years has passed and its 2019. The weird twist is that she was actually alive the whole time and is now a grandmother. I love the mystery behind this kind of story, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of this.
Old Man Quill #1: Peter Quill is as old as a grandfather in this one, and he probably would be a grandfather by now if 50 years ago his family hadn’t died at the hands of the Universal Church of Truth. He led an attack on the church and left his planet unguarded, which allowed it to be destroyed. Now, the Guardians have come to get him back into the action after 50 years of living on his own mourning his family and he’s resistant. I can’t blame him though, nobody came to help him when he called for aid. I thought this was a good first issue, even if it is a little weird to think of a much older, grey haired Star Lord. I’m curious to see where they take this story.
Age of X-Man: Marvelous X-Men #1 – The world’s premier X-Men team gets called out to stop a massive forest fire threatening Los Angeles! This issue shows how, in this utopian society, the X-Men function as a well-oiled machine, each cog doing its part to safely protect civilians. Everything’s going great until Laura has a flashback to something she can’t understand. Suddenly, the cracks in this cult-like society start to show. This issue does a marvelous job of establishing life and the X-Men in this Age of X-Man world. It’s a stark contrast to the Age of Apocalypse — shiny and polished on the surface to mask the flaws beneath. I love these quick dives into alternate universes and I’m eager to see where the rest of these books go.
Oberon #1 – Oh now this book is awesome. I love classic fey legends, where the fairies are amoral and often terrifying. Oberon hits ALL the right notes for me. The King of the Fairies is a devilish wheeler and dealer, a master manipulator who is determined to get back on top of the fairy world at any cost. If you like Labyrinth, Sandman, or even just classic fairy mythology, pick this book up. The spite and drama is real in this play of magic and wonder.
The Girl in the Bay #1 – Kathy Sartori thought she was murdered in 1969. Fast forward to 2019 and she climbs out of the Brooklyn Bay, alive and well. Drama ensues as she struggles to find out what happened to her family and figure out why she’s alive again fifty years later. This story reminds me of Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House. It seems like a volatile family drama with supernatural trappings. In this case it seems like magic or something rather than ghosts, but the vibe feels similar. If you enjoy dramas, give this a try.
Female Furies #1 – If you liked Mr. Miracle, you might want to try a story involving his wife, Big Barda. The horror-world of Apokolips is apparently super misogynist. Granny Goodness’ Furies are never given enough credit for their skill or abilities. After suffering one abuse and humiliation after another, their leader finally decides she’s had enough and starts taking matters into her own hands. Part satire, part superhero story, this is very much a girl power kind of book.
Daredevil #1 – Zdarsky’s new Daredevil series brings a strong, quiet new start to the man without fear. In the wake of his recovery, Matt is trying to get back on his feet. Unfortunately, he’s being hampered by Mayor Fisk’s order to arrest all heroes on sight. After a close call with the law, Daredevil is still free. For now. Zdarsky is a great writer whose work effortlessly covers so many genres. I’m excited to see his take on Matt Murdock, especially now that his Spider-Man run is over. So far this seems like a natural fit, as Zdarsky perfectly captures the introspective side of Daredevil’s character, his faith, and his mission. Don’t miss it!
Daredevil #1 – My main man Chip is on DD and considering I didn’t read any of Charles Soule’s run, I didn’t feel lost. DD seems to be on this cyclical nature of being brought back down to earth/verge of death/having the shit kicked out of him at the start of every creators run it seems which is fine because it makes it easy to get into as long as you know the base tenants of daredevil-dom. Anywho, Zdarsky seems to have a good grasp on the character coming into the book and the art is solid. Daredevil is one of my preferred street level Marvel characters and he’s had pretty consistent writing for while now so I’m curious/excited to see where he takes the character.
Die #3 – Now we’ve reached the middle part of the arc where things slow down and some exposition is made. But the artwork is still beautiful! And the book is still great!
Conan the Barbarian #3 – Jason Aaron continues to SLAY with this book. These fever dream flashback stories have been a great way of getting done in one stories while also connecting them to the arc set up in the first issue. The art by Asrar continues to be wonderful to look at as well. Conan the Barbarian is the best book about barbarians on the shelf and may the dark god Set take your miserable life.
Oberon #1 – Well that was a neat twist on a classic fairy tale trope. Bonnie is a young girl being home schooled. When she is permitted to go out one evening, she encounters a strange monster and is saved by a faerie lord named Oberon. Only Oberon seems to have some serious ulterior motives for Bonnie. Even though the book seems like a story we’ve heard a million times before, it’s told pretty heavily through narrative dialogue from Oberon himself. So if anyone has watched movies like The Labyrinth and wondered what Jareth the Goblin King was thinking the whole time, this book is for you.
Batman #64 – This is the first real tie-in to the fantastic major crossover “Heroes in Crisis.” Batman and the Flash have to work together, but how can they when there’s so much secrecy and mistrust between them. Not only are they distrusting of each other, but they are worn down from the constant fighting and problems at home, with the Justice League, and now the sanctuary. These two have been some of the best friends over the years, and this is probably the most strained their relationship has ever been. With Wally dying in “Heroes,” they both have heavy guilt weighing on them. This is written with as much care and humanity as anything Tom King writes, but the very best part of this is how it all ties together, from the beginning!
Uncanny X-Men #11 – I was not a fan for a long time what they had turned Cyclops into. He went from the fearless leader of the X-Men, to anarchist tyrant and murderer of his mentor. It seems that, by returning the young X-Men back to their timeline, it has affected Scott Summers as much as returning to life did. They did a pretty good job explaining how he returned in the Annual issue, but what does he do now that the X-Men have vanished (presumed dead) and nowhere and no one to turn to? In my opinion, the best thing they could have done to breathe life into this dead franchise is bring back the two most iconic X-Men at the same exact time. They deal with grief, pain, and loneliness so differently. But in the end, they always end up right back together. Unfortunately, I don’t know that it’s going to be a good thing . . . but it will be for the series! If you fell off, this is the perfect time to jump back on with the trio (Jean, Scott, Logan) back alive again!
Daredevil #1 – The regular scheduled series is back, baby! Ol’ Matt Murdock is going through some kind of midlife crisis, much like he did in the excellent third season of the Netflix series (based on Born Again). Whatever he does during the day, he will always feel the need to return to the “Devil” at night. After going through such pain and suffering, then recovering, he’s certainly not as finesse as he was. He asks a really good question that I wish more comics would ask of their heroes: “How much longer can I do this?” It’s not just the rust and recovery that is affecting his ability. Is the past enough of a motivator for the coming fights in the future? With Fisk still the mayor of New York, he needs to be extra careful and it’s costing him a lot more than just a few bruises. With a new detective in New York hunting him down, there’s bound to be a lot more crisis.
Age of X-Man: Marvelous X-Men – In a Mutant Utopian future, the X-Men are the perfect heroes. They fight to protect everyone, and they receive praises like never before. They live in their perfect homes, where they spend their days enjoying life to its fullest . . . or so they thought. In all this perfection, the one most important thing missing is love. They no longer procreate as people do, mutant babies are grown in pods, and they live together but so separate from emotional care they need. They talk about what they have given up to achieve the great life they now have, but is that enough? As they find out, it certainly isn’t for everyone. Names from the past arise and a new threat to their utopia arise. Let’s find out who is on the winning side in this story! Excellent concept, great execution. While the X-Men stories may be lagging behind the rest of Marvel, this breathes some new life into it.
Fight Club 3 – IT’S HERE! AGHGHHGHGHGH!! FUCKING YES! It seems this new series picks up right where Fight Club 2 left us. The failed plan to destroy the world behind them and a hopeful future as a normal family in front of them. However, you can’t get rid of Tyler, that’s not how any of that works. There also seems to be either a secondary “bad guy” or maybe a new face in Tyler’s army. Regardless, old guys in black coats, collecting magical artifacts in exchange for Nazi gold is not a vibe you would normally see in a Palahniuk book. I’m super stoked to see how this plays out, how these Nazis are involved and honestly, I’m interested to see how much more damage Tyler can do.
Wyrd #1 – I’m feeling little lukewarm on this series so far. It’s a supernatural/ action genre with a super powered rogue agent as the main character. He gets hired to get the job done when others can’t. It’s not revolutionary, but it is a fun read. There’s direct nods to the Captain America super soldier experiments and Hellboy’s Baba Yaga; which in my opinion, is awesome. I’ll definitely keep my eye on this series to see where it goes.
Heroes in Crisis #5: The world now knows their superheroes are fallible. The general public is in shock and fear for their safety. However, Superman gives a really beautiful speech about mental health and what it means to be a hero, and it seems like everyone generally agrees. While that is happening, Batgirl and Harley are getting closer to the truth by beating up robots. Also, Booster and Blue Beetle are making their own headway finding answers. With only two issues left in the run, I’m excited to see where King takes us and who/ what killed Sanctuary.
Hex Wives #4: This series gets better and better as time goes on. Our sisterhood of witches have finally started realizing their potential. After Becky gets cat blood on herself, she can fly. After Damina gets her period, she can hear voices. It seems this group of house wives are onto something here. I’m stoked to see what happens next!
Age of X-Man Alpha #1 – Nate Grey created the My Hero Academia universe! No, really. Picking up off the end of X-Men: Disassembled, we have the Age of X-Man, a limited run event featuring a world of mutant harmony. Now, everyone’s a mutant! This book doesn’t have much story, but it helps build the world and drops the threads for the six upcoming mini-series. You’ll want to read this so you know what’s gonna happen in X-Books, and so you can learn about the scandalous affair between Jean and Bishop!
Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1 – This one’s a bit slower paced than your typical superhero story. Peter Cannon is the smartest and most capable man alive, having access to knowledge most people can’t imagine — and he has the genius to use it. He uses this phenomenal brilliance to stop an alien invasion and save the world yet again. We get brief a look at this world where the US, Russia, and China have banded together, but we spend much of the story having an inside look at the mind of the distant and troubled Peter Cannon. This is a slow burn start to a promising new series from Kieron Gillen and amazing artist Caspar Wijngaard.
Wyrd #1 – Meet Pitor Wyrd. He’ll give you Constantine vibes with his blond hair, foul mouth, and chain smoking. But unlike Constantine, Wyrd is invulnerable and immortal. And he’s hired by the American government to solve mysteries they can’t figure out. In this noir-metahuman story, Wyrd gets hired to investigate a mysterious occurrence that wiped out a village of 400. It’s a dark mystery with tastes of both occult and super-science. If you like Constantine or Justice League Dark, give this a try because it’s a similar story.
Mysteries of Love in Space #1 – I love these holiday anthologies. You get to see new sides of favorite characters, and you get a deeper look at characters that don’t show up as much. This one’s all about, you guessed it, love in space. All the feature characters are aliens, from Superman to Kilowog to Crush and more. Even Space Cabbie finds romance in this excellent short story collection from DC. Pick it up today, it’s well worth the price!
Flash Annual #2 – This annual bridges the gap between the recent Forces story arc and what’s coming for Barry in 2019. Godspeed shows up again! He’s targeting speedsters on behalf of a mysterious antagonist from the future. A lot of things happen here. Barry tells Iris and Wallace about Wally’s death, and we see what Impulse has been up to between Flash 50 and Young Justice 1. This fills in a lot of holes and is a great set-up for the upcoming Flash stories!
Teen Titans Annual #1 – A two-parter! As you may know, the Teen Titans have taken a darker direction. Wrongly assuming that Red Hood set them up, Damian goes after him — only to get his ass royally handed to him. Meanwhile, Red Arrow takes the rest of the team to deal with some mind-controlling jackass. You get a peek into Djinn’s head and another glimpse of how terrifying she can be under the demure outside. With Damian having broken ties with Red Hood, it looks like the Teen Titans may be on their own in their fight against the Other. But this is an exciting issue, especially for an annual!
Wyrd #1: While I do enjoy paranormal/sci-fi crime as much as the next person, I felt like this kind of story is been there, done that. I would absolutely love to see some other crazy monsters though, and I’m curious how they will develop Wyrd’s character through the series. I’ll continue to give it a chance, because I think it could be great, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s lettered by one of Hampton Roads own residents! Also, thanks for the Hellboy/Baba Yaga nod-super epic!
Fight Club 3 #1: There was so much hype around this that I had to give it a try, even though I’ve never read the previous ones. From the perspective of someone who has zero knowledge of the Fight Club stories, this first issue could seem super strange and confusing. I think it’s important though, to understand the difference between Tyler and Balthazar, and the significance of both, but I won’t spoil what I uncovered there. I feel like there is a deeper meaning in what Chuck Palahniuk has put into this issue, and I’m actually really excited to keep going forward in the series!
Hex Wives #4: I absolutely adore this series more and more every time in general, but I’m super stoked that it seems like *maybe* the girls could be starting to become self aware. All thanks to Becky chopping off Damina’s cat’s head, it’s looking like the ladies (especially Damina) are noticing that things are a little weird! They’re finally questioning why they can’t travel, or why they can’t have a group conversation without a random husband interfering, or why they can’t remember the last time they left. Plus, why else would Isadora just decide to cut herself while doing dishes? I hope Aaron’s plans get spoiled soon, and man I can’t wait to see how that plays out!
Man Without Fear #5: This is it! This is the last issue in Matt Murdock’s mini series about his accident, and it absolutely delivers. I love that he’s finally able to accept that he will always have a nagging fear, but that he knows he is stronger than it and won’t let it defeat him. He’s back to being Daredevil again, despite the pain and fear, and I couldn’t be happier! This last issue, in my opinion, is exactly what it should have been and sets the stage for what Chip Zdarsky will bring to the table in his new Daredevil series!
Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #1 – Some dude named Thunderbolt is being real stubborn about saving the earth from an alien invasion that seems to be killing everyone so a small group of heroes go to his house and try and convince him. It works. He does. Only he figures out the person behind the invasion is….wait for it…AN ALTERNATE VERSION OF HIMSELF….FROM THE FUTURE! Wowee wow wow. What a twist.
Wyrd #1 – If Constantine worked as a special agent for various governments he’d be Wyrd. I feel like individuals who deal with cryptid/occult stuff should be its own sub genre and I would read them all. This is only a 4 part mini series though, so I don’t know how much they are going to set up here as this issue def felt very one and done more or less, but we shall see.
Journey Into Unknown Worlds #1 – Another great one shot that I wish they would do more of. Two spooky stories involving things not from this earth. It’s really refreshing to read some Marvel comics that don’t involve superheroes. But please Marvel, make some of these books ongoing things.
Mysteries of Love in Space #1 – DC characters in various love scenarios across the universe in the special valentines anthology special. Watch Kilowog go on a date. Will Bizarro find love? And why does Space Cabbie not have his own series already? I would read 50 issues of Space Cabbie
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1: As someone who was never into Buffy, I didn’t really get the hype over this new comic. However, this is a standalone rebooted series. This is not continuation of the show, no parallel universes, no comic book/ tv series crossover shenanigans; this is the new Buffy in 2019. It’s an excellent entry point for new readers and die hard Buffy fans alike. This new series welcomes you with familiar characters , but the story is totally new and fresh. Plus, the art is beautiful. I’m not saying this is my favorite comic, but I’ll definitely pick it up next month.
Naomi #1: Naomi is your typical teenage girl in the middle of nowhere suburbia USA. Suddenly her boring little town isn’t so boring when Superman comes barreling through, destroying a city block. The whole town is in a tizzy over their brief 15 second Superman encounter, especially Naomi who missed it. entirely. However, with this super hero encounter, some local folklore creeps back into the town talk. Naomi seems to be the only one hell bent to figure out the truth about her quiet town. I honestly can’t wait to see where they go with this series!
Oliver #1: This is an interesting retelling of Oliver Twist based in a future dystopian England. This world was ravaged by a nuclear war causing the air to become toxic to any human. However, as we read on, this colony of men aren’t entirely what they seem. This issue is dark, mysterious , and at times, heartwarming. If you’re into retelling of classic literature, this is the series for you.
Tank Girl Action Alley #2: I’m still stoked on the new ongoing series! Tank Girl and friends are back in action, traversing the desert to hopefully save TG’s adoptive mom. This issue is jam packed with kangaroo punches, face kicks, shoot outs and monstrous desert creatures, but it’s not all fun and games. In between the fight scenes, there is a series of flashbacks about how awful her mom was growing up. Whether this is the woman TG is willing to risk it all for or not will hopefully be answered in next month’s issue. I can’t wait!
Buffy #1: I’m so excited to dive into this new Buffy Universe. I absolutely appreciated the nods to classic Buffy, but at the same time I’m so happy it’s almost a totally new slate for her and her friends, which means if you’re not very familiar with Buffy you can pick this up and still understand what is happening, while picking up on the new stories they’re establishing for her. I love the simple plot of this first issue: get in, introduce everyone, show some vamps, lay some groundwork, then cliffhanger! I already can’t wait for the next issue.
Exorsisters #4: I absolutely adore the double Kates! I love how this series always shows the two sides that all humans have-even if we all can’t have a spooky, physical copy of our “darker side” to hang out with. I love that this issue had laughs, but also showed the girls get down to business to try and figure out why these angels dropped from the sky, even if they weren’t entirely successful with that part yet. This issue left me curious as to what their mother is really up to though…and will they ever let Buzz out?!
Blossoms 666 #1 : To me, Jason and Cheryl are those siblings that you desperately want to be friends with but either secretly hate or are absolutely terrified of. Which means that when they throw a party and everyone is invited, whether out of pity or not, you should probably just go. That is, of course, only if you enjoy sacrificing your high school bully. If that’s not your thing, then follow Jughead’s lead in this issue and just stay home.
Man Without Fear #4: Can we just talk about how awful Wilson Fisk is? Also how strong willed Matt is- there’s no way I could pretend to be asleep while one of my biggest enemies, the city’s criminal kingpin, is standing over my hospital bed blabbing on and on about that one time he *almost* beat me. Matt showed incredibly self restraint, but in the end he sent Fisk right out of his room with no questions asked. I love that they showed some of their personal history in this one, and I look forward to seeing what the conclusion to this mini-series will look like.
Crypt of Shadows One Shot – In honor Marvel’s 80th anniversary, Marvel is putting out a series of genre anthology one shot comics Marvel used to put out under their various former publishing names. To kick things off, we have the spooky Crypt of Shadows and it is wonderful. A nice spooky story told in 3 parts. Writing and art are all solid and a great start to this series of one shots. I would gladly read more of these if Marvel decide they wanted to make them
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – Oh dang, a lot happened in this first issue. Groot talks again, Thanos is dead and his dead is lost somewhere infecting some host body with his memories, all of the cosmic greats show up to a meeting that gets interrupted and now Peter Quill/Star Lord has a new crew! Donny Cates hits the ground running in this book, and even though A LOT has gone on in the cosmic side of the MU recently, as someone who has read NONE of it, I didn’t feel super lost or anything but inspired to check out the past events out of curiosity which is how these things should generally go.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 – Great debut/fresh start. To anyone familiar with Buffy, they’ll feel right at home. The characters all read/sound like they should and everything is primed and and ready to twist everything you thought you knew/expected about Buffy. Also very user friendly to new Buffy fans. Just a great all around book/entry point into the series. Boom! has done a great job adapting the Whedon series and some excellent stories are ahead of us.
Oliver #1 – Oliver Twist in the future! Some sort of great war happened between England and ? where so many soldiers died that England came up with a way to mass produce cloned soldiers. Flash forward ? years later and the war seems to be over but all the clones live in some sort of clone ghetto. A woman stumbles into their camp and delivers a baby boy whom they name…..OLIVER! But there’s more to Oliver than we are lead to believe that we’ll have to wait until next issue to find out. Basically if you’re a fan of Oliver Twist….WITH A SCI FI/FUTURE DYSTOPIA TWIST than this book is for you.
Black Widow #1: Black Widow is back… kind of! She’s technically a clone with implanted memories and legally dead. But that doesn’t stop her from kicking some imposter Captain America ass. Black Widow has always been a bad bitch; she doesn’t care for the moral high ground of the Avengers and isn’t afraid to take the low road to get the job done. This is a solid first issue and I’m stoked to see where it goes!
Ironheart #2: Riri Williams is out in the streets, saving people and fighting bad dudes in between working on her gadgets. We are introduced to her A.I., Natalie, part supercomputer, part Riri’s conscious/memories. Natalie discovers that an old friend of Ri’s has been missing for a couple weeks, so Ri flies back home to Chicago to find her. After some digging, it appears this missing person case goes much deeper than originally expected; kid gangs, cult like activity and maybe even some alien criminals. I’m stoked to see how they tie these mysteries together in the next issue.
Batman Who Laughs #2: We still don’t know what Batman Who Laughs plan really is or why he’s killing a bunch of Bruce Waynes from different dimensions. Batman seems to always be a step behind, possibly due to the Anti-Joker serum he has pumping through his veins. Grim Knight gets pulled through into this dimension, and with his help, both evil batman are able to destroy Wayne Tower. Between Jock’s art and the Batman on Edgy Dark Batman fights, I will definitely read this entire series.
Man Without Fear #3: This issue centers around Matt’s physical therapy and his relationship to the Defenders. We get to see him train one on one with Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones. With each character bringing their own perspective to the sessions, everyone trying to help Matt walk again. This issue cuts back and forth between his training sessions and a memory of a villain, Foolkiller. Back in the day, they all teamed up to take down an ordinary killer who sent his victim messages 24 hrs before he kills them. As we cut back and forth between past and present, the message becomes clear, Dare Devil is afraid. And by the end of the issue, we see just how powerful his fear is.
Conan The Barbarian #2 – Another wonderful tale of swords and savagery with everyone’s favorite barbarian. Kind of a departure from the set up of the first issue but it comes back in the end. Still much to discover from this black magic children. Props to this book for including a map at the start and highlighting where the story takes place. The lands of Hyborian Age are vast and wild so it’s nice to have a frame of reference for Conan’s many adventures. Also maps are always tight.
Middlewest #3 – The journey continues for young Abel who must pay a troll toll and hopefully it’s not offering up his boys soul/hole. Abel’s father also gets some exposure as he must deal with the ramifications of being a human tornado. All in all another good chapter to Middlewest.
Marvel Comics Presents #1 – I feel like people who read these reviews are well aware of my boner for anthology comics and this is no exception. With this book, it seems like Charles Soule will be writing a long form serialized Wolverine story with two back up one shot stories in each issue. This month to kick things off, we have a Namor and Captain America back up. All three stories are enjoyable in their own right, although the Cap story is by far the weakest unless you’re really into him doing sick dirt bike jumps. The art is great for all of them and I’m hoping EVERYONE BUYS AND READS THIS BOOK SO WE CAN MORE COOL STORIES LIKE NEXT MONTH’S STORY STARRING GORILLA MAN. EMBRACE THE ANTHOLOGY FORMAT YOU HEATHENS! EUROPE AND JAPAN LOVE THEM AND SO SHOULD YOU. /endrant
Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path #1 – For all you Avatar fans out there, and I know there has to be millions of you, your cries for a comic book fleshing out this wonderful totally original sci fi universe have finally been heard more than a decade later! Good or bad, it matters not because this is all you get in terms of expanding the Avatar cannon. So mind meld your brains to the weird root things that are the panels of this book and prepare to blast off on a great space native adventure!
Black Widow #1 – As someone who is not well-versed in the Marvel Universe (yet!!), I was excited to pick this up. I love how it shows that even a strong hero has weaknesses, in this case Nat’s urge to kill. I enjoyed the hints and nods to her and Cap’s past, but I also liked that it moved on to show more about just her and her own story in Madripoor. I look forward to finding out more about the NRP site, and how far Black Widow is willing to go to put an end to it.
Goddess Mode #2 – I love this series so far! The story alone is great, but the bright artwork of real Azoth is by far one of my favorite parts about the whole thing. In this issue specifically though, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Mary’s backstory and real identity get shown, and I sincerely hope to see more of the Tall Poppie’s backstories come to life in future issues.
Man Without Fear #3 – Another issue showing a broken Matt Murdock, another issue of highlighting that Daredevil is no longer fearless…or even around anymore for that matter. His friends are even starting to catch on to what is holding him back physically and mentally at this point. Despite his insistence, I don’t believe that Matt is out of the game yet, and it’s clear that The Defenders don’t believe it either.
TMNT IDW 20/20 – To celebrate IDW Publishing’s 20 year anniversary, they have set this issue 20 years in the future. I appreciated that they DID slightly acknowledge that this means the turtles are no longer teenagers. At first it seemed like they were divided, with Donnie being an enemy prisoner and Leo basically being just an astral projection, but in the end they united with their trusty friend Pepperoni to take down one of the Utron’s many backup Technodromes and will continue to find the rest that are scattered over the world.
Invaders #1 – The MARVEL NOW Invaders series was pretty average a few years ago. It was a fairly typical story with typical heroes and villains. This new series, however, is top tier! I always feel that the best books start from the inside of a character and reflect outward struggles. This absolutely does that. This story actually started in Avengers #9, with Atlanteans killing people in an act of war. As we find out, Namor is starting a war with the surface. It’s not the typical take over the world story, but is set up with deep understandings of what these men went through in their fights in World War II. I don’t know what’s happened in Marvel, but all of their side story comics are blossoming into amazing comics, while their main crossovers suffer horribly.
Amazing Spider-Man #13– This comic wraps up the story arc about Jameson and his awards ceremony. There’s a clear divide still between Spidey and Jonah that still remains, even though they have agreed to this partnership. The thing that pulls them through all of their conflicting pasts and fights, is their mutual respect for each other’s talents. It’s heartfelt and warm, and gives a lesson everyone can take something from. The next story looks really interesting!
Return of Wolverine #4 – this book is drawn out way too far apart. The overall quality of the book benefits, but I feel like whole chunks of good material is missing from this monthly mini-series. What I want to see more of is these heat claws, rampaging Wolverine, and deep interwoven stories. This book tries to give that after the fact. While it’s an effective way in cramming all of that in one issue, it leaves you feeling hungry for more. The good news is that the next issue promises there will be, but if you love Logan and how he came back to life, then you need to read this. It has some great moments (like cutting an X-man in half!!!) but needs to push the story forward.
The Batman Who Laughs #2 – *freaking out internally* Jock and Snyder, together again at last! These are the dynamic duo that was truly missing from the Dark Knights series last year. Luckily, they’ve saved this best story to stand alone at the top. Not only are we seeing the amazingly disturbing Laughing Batman, but a new “Grim Knight” as well. Batman at war, if you will. In the last issue, Joker was killed by these two, but it was our Batman that saved him at the cost of his own safety! The toxin that has made the Laughing Batman, IS TURNING BRUCE WAYNE INTO HIMSELF! Bruce has to fight to survive against an enemy that knows him as well as he knows himself, but against his own new raging instincts. What a great concept, what a great jam-packed book.
Guest Pick From Antowan!
Batman Who Laughs #2 – Jock and Snyder continue their terrifying tale of three Bat-men in issue two of this must read miniseries.
The Batman who laughs opens up with a distraught Alfred working to save someone he would never had hope to save, the Joker! We soon see that our beloved Bruce Wayne is not doing so good himself. The issue is jam packed full of gritty, gut wrenching action that is more a kin of DC’s black label line than anything. It all accumulates into a amazing scene inside of Wayne Tower where Bruce’s world is changed forever. Will Batman be able to do what it takes to bring a end to this chaos? Or will everything he’s fought to build be ripped away from him?
5/5 Must Read!
Captain Marvel #1- Carol’s back yall! This issue starts with a bang as she and Spider-Woman get to beat up a gnarly space kraken. Carol is trying to settle back into her old life as an Avenger and pick up the pieces of her relationship with James Rhodes. Her life just started coming back together when Nuclear Man shows up and ruins everything. Even with the help of the Avengers, the situation goes from bad to worse for Captain Marvel. I’m not going to give anything away, but due to the turn of events, I am stoked for the next issue!
Gunning for Hits #1- Much like any other art industry, the music industry is 5% music, 95% business. And Martin Mills means business! As his record companies scout, he’s responsible for finding new talent to sign on. Cue Stunted Growth, a local band from Connecticut, ready to take on the world by storm. Between their negotiating of a record deal, Martin lays down the ins and outs of the 80’s music industry. By the end of this first issue, we see just why he’s so damn good at his job. Can’t wait to see where they take this series!
Web of Venom: Venom Unleashed #1- I’ll be honest, I picked up this comic because there was a cute Venom dog on the cover. That is exactly what this comic is about and it does not disappoint. With our good pup as the lead, there isn’t much dialogue in the issue. However, what it lacks in conversation, it makes up for in gory horror art.
Man Without Fear #2- I’m enjoying this miniseries of Dare Devil. The first issue dealt with Matt’s fear and pain and how they drive him to be Dare Devil and the reason to leave it behind for good. Being the Man Without Fear has led to the destruction of his body and the tragic endings of his relationships. However, even leaving the Dare Devil life behind, there is still an uphill battle for Matt; between the physical battle of recovering from his injuries, and processing the fear of just being a normal person again. Overall , this series is dope so far and I can’t wait for the next one.
Young Justice #1 – Let’s take a moment to welcome back the coolest teen superhero team ever! I’ve missed this series for years and this action-packed relaunch does not disappoint! Tim, Cassie, Bart, and Conner run into each other in the wake of a Gemworld invasion of Earth! The art is gorgeous and makes some of my favorite characters look even better. The dialogue is sharp, and the writing does a great job of introducing two new team members: Jinny Hex and Teen Lantern. A great start to a new era!
Captain Marvel #1 – Kelly Thompson has yet another incredible book on the shelves! She’s brought us a whole new Captain Marvel story full of the character and action that she’s so great with and she’s bringing in such a great ensemble. Spider-Woman, Iron Man, and Rhodey are among the many characters that appear, and the story is full of action and conflict that challenges Carol while still making her look like the badass that she is. Pick it up!
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 – So another new Spider-Man series has hit the shelves. This one was nice. That’s about all I can say right now. It’s nice. Whatever Tom Taylor is planning must be a slow burn. This issue sets up a story, but it doesn’t dangle anything juicy until the very end. The rest of the issue is pretty standard Spidey-being-a-great-guy kind of stuff.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 – On the other hand, we have Ahmed’s spectacular (heh) Miles book this week. Miles and the Rhino teamed up to find out what’s happening to some missing kids, and we get to see what Miles thinks and feels through Ahmed’s excellent internal narration. The Rhino gets a lot of development too, and we get to see a less aggressive side of him than we normally see. It’s pretty charming seeing these two very different characters working together.
Adventures of the Super Sons #6 – Jon and Damian have been all over the place in this adventure and they’re going even MORE places! They’re attacked by Rex Luthor, but quickly “rescued” by the bounty hunter Tommy Tomorrow! Can the Super Sons get themselves free? I’m sad this is only a 12-issue limited series, and I really hope to see these two team up once it ends!
Die #2 – The best D&D book on the shelves is back. This issue we get a little preview in how the character classes of “Die” work including a “Neo” which is a cyberpunk ninja with a fierce drug addiction. The artwork is still beautiful and each panel could easily blown up and framed in an art gallery. Gillen has taken classic D&D/Fantasy/RPG tropes and has twisted them in an incredibly creative way. The groups journey has officially kicked off with this issue and I can’t wait to see Gillen continues to surprise us with this wonderful world he’s cooked up.
Star Wars Age of Republic: Jango Fett – This is one of the better one shots so far simply because it ties into the prequel/SW mythos slightly instead of just being a random adventure (although still a random adventure). I’ll be more excited when they stop doing prequel era one shots and move on to Star Wars that actually matters
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 – Well what a fun team up issue. Rhino and Spidey bffs. Cute. I like that this series is very new reader friendly and the story is very basic and not some grandiose epic for the ages (at least for now). Good stuff!
The Green Lantern #3 – Earth is up for auction and the highest bidder is GOD HIMSELF! And now Hal Jordan must put him UNDER ARREST! If that doesn’t sell you on the book then I don’t know what else to say man, just like…do better i guess?
Man Without Fear #2 – Starting out with Matt in the hospital was a quick way to pull at the heartstrings, and to have Sam there believing everything was going to be fine while Matt was trying to shut it down was also super sad. When Kirsten shows up at the hospital, it kind of hints that while Matt is happy she’s there, he’s also hoping (or scared) that someone else may show up too. I loved that Matt exposes his vulnerability in this series by expressing these fears of not being Daredevil anymore to Foggy, I think it shows us that while he is and always will be Matt Murdock, he will also always be Daredevil, despite what he said to Sam about Daredevil being dead. In the end, Matt’s own fears appear to manifest as a person in his room, showing him all of his fears in the form of loved ones he has lost. I am super excited to get into the last couple of issues in this mini-series.
Martian Manhunter #2 – This issue showed us two story lines; one on J’onn J’onzz’ home planet and one on earth where J’onn was wearing the face of the human cop, John Jones . It started off showing J’onn with his wife admiring a far off planet and showing him express his dreams of traveling off-world one day. It then shows us the scene of a car accident on earth, where the face of John Jones has disappeared in the car fire. He is having flashbacks of his wife and child, while Diane is struggling to understand why the face of her friend is gone, and in his place is an alien form. She saves him from the fire, but before she gets her answers, we go back to J’onn’s home planet. I absolutely love that it shows him and his wife taking their child to the museum on their planet! It shows us how they are able to choose their dream flesh shape when they , which I thought was super neat! It then takes us back to the scene of the car fire, and right at the end as he is starting to retake the form of John Jones, he attempts to wipe Diane’s memory of seeing his true form, and she shoots him! Can’t wait to read the next issue and see what happens to J’onn and Diane.
Star Wars Age of Republic: Jango Fett #1 – Honestly, I was super apprehensive about this one, but Jango is kind of Star Wars’ coolest bounty hunter, so I gave it a shot. I was NOT disappointed, and it turned out to probably one of my favorite reads this week! Who doesn’t love to see a young Boba in training?!?! I also am a huge fan of the fact that it shows pre-clone planning and progress a couple of times throughout the issue. I also love that it showed us how Boba was trained and brought up. The parts with the other bounty hunter underestimating Boba, and believing Jango was leaving him for dead all over some credits was super satisfying for me. My only gripe is that this specific issue seemed (to me) to be more focused on Boba, when I thought I was reading about Jango. I’m not upset though, I was super into how Jango was so proud of Boba for the choices he made, and you can tell that he already knows his son’s reputation will equal his own, if not exceed it!
Gunning For Hits #1 – This music series is actually super cool to me. I loved the opening, showing the unrealistic demands from artists and their agents, and I was totally satisfied when those demands were met with cool, nonchalant confidence. You can tell the label scout is super savvy, and I love the hints at his dark past. I was a huge fan of the pages in the middle breaking down his thought process of the negotiations between himself and the band. I can’t wait for the next one, I am dying to know what this guy did in his old job!
Hex Wives #3 – WOA. I didn’t see any of that coming. Aaron Gabriel is willing to go to the extreme to keep not only his wife, but the whole neighborhood, under lock and key. The whole neighborhood is bugged with surveillance tech and an underground facility close by to keep an eye on these former witches. This issue really expands on how much control the Architects have on their slice of reality. However, it seems we’re getting closer and closer to the perfect patriarchy collapsing. I can’t wait to see it happen!
Heroes in Crisis #4 – This issue is focuses on relationships. The relationship between Batgirl and Harley; two characters always at odds, bond over the common ground of being disposable to their respectful leaders. Between Booster & Blue Beetle; they’ve always had each other in this grand scheme of super heroes, where neither of them belong. Batman and Superman’s relationship is a constant battle of morals and ethics between the two. It’s an interesting read that will pull on your heart strings.
Unnatural #6 – Leslie finally has a moment to catch her breath with her new found friends Carol & Kahl, and we get some answers about what is happening. So far, we know all the bad guys are connected and they want the mystical being living inside Leslie to be set free. Carol explains Leslie’s role in all of this and we learn what makes Kahl so special as well. But just as things seem to be picking up in pace, our protagonist is on the run again. Hopefully , the next issue has more answers.
Man Without Fear – Daredevil is taken out by a bus and is in a coma in the hospital. With Foggy keeping him company bedside, Matt is on a metaphorical journey. Whether it’s his subconscious on overdrive in the coma or an actual battle in between the realms of life and death, it isn’t really clear. It doesn’t even really matter. The underlying message is that Daredevil is a man with no fear, driven by pain. So, Pain and Fear pay him a visit in a physical form to keep him in the coma to save Matt Murdock. Overall, it’s a decent issue with some dope art. Check it out.
Batman Beyond #27 – The Joker is back, and with a vengeance! Yes, THE Joker is now in Batman Beyond. He’s mad about the Jokerz Gang and wiped most of them out, and wants to make Gotham the grimy, dark den of crime it once was. Terry’s the only one who can stop him now, and Matt is learning the hard way what it takes to be Robin. There is a lot of commentary here on what it takes to be a Robin, as both Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson argue over whether Matt can handle the job.
Champions #1 – The Champions relaunch with a much bigger cast. This series has become the new flagship teen superhero book for Marvel, and Jim Zub’s been doing a good job with the team and the character dynamics for a while. Now he has Ms. Marvel leading a global initiative of powered young heroes. There are a LOT of new characters here, so make sure to get the #1 so you know who these folks are later.
Mr & Mrs X #7 – Rogue and Gambit have been kidnapped by MOJO! Unaware of what’s happened, they go from show to show at Mojo’s whims. But when Rogue’s powers go out of control again, Mojo has to change the whole script. Kelly Thompson has been doing great with this series. Between this and West Coast Avengers, she’s gotta be one of my favorite Marvel writers right now.
Uncanny X-Men #8 – Hoo-boy, this series has a lot going on. Each issue is packed to the brim with STUFF HAPPENING. If you miss even one, you’ll miss a lot of story. We last left with the younger X-Men, led by Armor, getting trapped in the Age of Apocalypse, but soon we learn that it’s just a psychic construct created by Legion, and that they’re all trapped in Legion’s head. As Bishop and the others get ready to save the kids, they learn just how far X-Man’s powers truly reach.
Unnatural #6 – Man, this story is solid. In this issue we learn all about the origins of the Albino and how Leslie is connected to him. The stakes get higher and higher as Jones and his minions close in on Leslie and the resistance. Mirka Andolfo has nailed the storytelling all throughout this series. What started out as a metaphor has turned into a much deeper, more powerful story that is getting more exciting each page.
Wonder Woman #61 – If you’re a fan of Greek mythology and all the drama surrounding it, you need to read G Willow Wilson’s Wonder Woman. Due to Diana’s nature, her stories have always touched on Greek legends, but Wilson brought the full force of Olympian drama into Wonder Woman. Not only is Ares on the loose, but Aphrodite has appeared to make things more interesting. And while Diana and Steve are finally reunited, the war is not over. Ares is escalating, and it’s up to the couple to stop him — with Aphrodite’s help? I love all the myth and excitement wrapped up in this comic lately! I can’t wait for more!
Conan the Barbarian #1 – By Crom, what a great first issue. Jason Aaron was made to write Conan considering his early Thor had huge Conan vibes. Mahmud Asrar’s art is also perfectly suited to the book. Anyone who has never read a Conan book before will easily be able to jump in here regardless of the history of the character and old/lapsed readers will be able to jump right in and feel right at home. Conan the Barbarian is the greatest barbarian and hopefully with him being back home at Marvel, he’ll get more recognition and we can get a not completely shit new movie/tv show out of the whole thing.
Star Wars Age of Republic Obi-Wan – Anakin is still a little bitch, even in this one-shot. There are alien bird people. Obi-Wan has the patience of a saint.
Man Without Fear #1 – I’m assuming this takes place after Soules run on Daredevil which I read zero issues of, so what better than to read this mini series that will bridge the end of one run with the start of another. DD is in the hospital because I guess he got hit by a truck while saving a kid and this particular visit was I guess really traumatizing since he almost died on the operating table and is now suffering from some crazy coma fever dream battling his inner demons. Considering all everything DD has been though, that is a pretty weak ass reason to send him to the hospital but whatever, I don’t write these things. With that being said, the writing wasn’t bad. Art was good as well. I’ll be back to read the second issue because I like Daredevil.
Winter Soldier #2 – With a week that boasts new titles and continuation of the fantastic Heroes in Crisis, this book is my pick. The first issue was really good, but this makes it mark. Bucky fights a kid in the same outfit as the one he used to wear with Cap’, except this kid is killing everyone in his way . . . and he’s good at it. I’m not going to give too much away, but Bucky does the one thing I didn’t expect him to do. The writers clearly have the direction of the narrative and vision of the story in mind, which is why they can shift the action packed tone so drastically only the second book in and it work well! This is the mark of a great story. Take my word, this is going to be a top-tier book.
Heroes in Crisis #4 – Speaking of top-tier . . . Tom is the King of interpersonal stories of superheroes. Even when you figure out what happens, even when it clarifies and narrows in focus to be more coherent, it keeps throwing such believable curveballs at you to make you question everything. The overall quality of this book outmatches everything Marvel has put on shelves for years. DC really knows what it’s doing, and proves it.
Wolverine: The Long Night #1 – Based on the amazing podcast narrative, this is a non-canonical story of Logan, roaming the Northern countryside. He’s actually in this issue very little, but I doubt that remains the same from this issue on. Like any good mystery novel, they spend real quality time setting the tone and context of a murder. There’s a ton of dialogue in this, which makes sense since it was a podcast audiobook. They take their time establishing the side characters, the plot, how Logan works into all of this, and lots of fantastic world-building. This is the Windy River of Marvel’s books; great tone shift from the usual books.
Conan The Barbarian #1 – This is Jason Aaron’s crack at the longtime fantasy hero Conan. He is a prime candidate for a story like this, and he uses the great storytelling same style. He builds the lore and history of Conan, to build for a future one! This is just textbook writing from Aaron, I’m getting serious “Thor: God Butcher” vibes from this. This is practically two stories in one, worth the price of admission, and leaves you wanting more.
Aquaman #43– Our hero seems to have washed ashore on a remote island far from his home. He has no recollection of who he is or where he came from. So he’s just living the simple life within his fishing village. Things start getting weird for Andy after hauling in a huge haul of all rotten fish and a near drowning incident. It appears this village isn’t as quaint and quiet as we are led to believe. It’s an all new Aquaman written by the talented Kelly Sue DeConnick with a fantastic team of artist behind her. It’s a great start to a new run of a well known hero, I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Tank Girl Action Alley #1 -Martin and Parson are at it again with a new ongoing Tank Girl series! This series is supposed to lay the groundwork for the Tank Girl Universe and expand more on the several stories from “21st Century Tank Girl” book. If you’ve read a TG comic, you know it’s all debauchery, booze, and kangaroos in the outback of Australia; this issue is no different. Staying true to form, we follow the rag tag group of Tank Girl, Sub Girl, Jet Girl, Barney & Booga on another adventure across the wasteland for a well deserved vacation. Hijinks ensue in true TG form- shoot-outs, tanks & hilarious sub plots. If you’ve never read a TG book before, this is a great place to start.
Hardcore #1 – This comic took me by surprise. The name and cover are a bit, well, played out. But, I picked it up because I like most things Image puts out and a brand new series is always fun. Honestly, it’s a really cool concept for a spy/ action comic. The government has a secret program called “Hardcore”. Basically, they can discreetly shoot nanobots into anyone, have them take over their nervous system undetected . Highly trained assassins then enter some chamber? and can take over their nervous system remotely to carry out dangerous missions. The only drawback is if the host person dies, the controller also dies. Agent Drake is the best in the game, but after an unexpected turn of events, he’s stuck in his host body with only 72 hrs to figure out how to get back. It’s a really fun read and I’m excited for the next issue.
Middlewest #2 – This comic is SO GOOD. We still don’t really know what’s going on with Abel; he doesn’t really have a direction or understanding of who he is or where he came from. He’s just traveling across the land with his talking fox with no name. After a run in with some train dwelling cannibals, he’s saved by an old traveler who offers to give him a place to sleep for the night. On their journey to the traveler’s home, we get to see a little bit more of this fantastical world. The art for this series is just delightful and seeing some great 2 page spreads is always appreciated. Again, we’re left with more questions than answers at the end of this issue, but this series is so charming and mysterious, you won’t mind sticking around.
Klaus #1 – What a great Klaus story! Klaus has always been a fun and exciting take on Santa, and this continues Morrison’s unique vision on the lovable holiday character. In this one-shot story, Klaus and co have to save Earth from Ragnarok, but Klaus saves a lost soul along the way. It’s got everything you could want from a story about Santa. Action, adventure, strange creatures, an alien invasion, and a heartfelt resolution with a hopeful message. Add Dan Mora’s brilliant artwork and you have a perfect package. Don’t miss it!
Spider-Geddon #5 – So that was a solid end to a story that got a little messy and confusing. With at least four titles and new parts of the story weekly, the Spider-Geddon event has been intense. I’m glad to see it’s over, but in a good way. The ending is much more satisfying than a lot of Marvel events and stories recently. All the threads get tied together and it all clicks together in the end. My only major gripe is that video game Spider-Man didn’t get to say goodbye to Spider-Cop. Ah well… Make sure to read this because it is a strong ending to the Spider-Geddon story!
Teen Titans #25 – Crush’s background revealed! Well, partially. She takes Djinn on a road trip to upstate New York. Along the way we learn what Crush’s life on Earth was like, and she and Djinn grow closer as friends. It’s a good story that still leaves plenty to be revealed later. We also get to see what happened to Roundhouse during the time between sending the bomb to space and showing up at his front door. Personally, I like the Crush story better, but she’s a more interesting character to me than Roundhouse.
eXtermination #5 – This week is all about story conclusions! The long-awaited eXtermination story comes to a close and we get to see the original five FINALLY go back to their own time. This was another solid ending, and I kind of liked what Jean did to save the day in the end. There’s something at the end that I can’t explain here because spoilers, but you’re either going to love or hate the reveal.
Life of Captain Marvel #5 – This mini-series has been a great ride from start to finish. It really opens up a lot of Carol’s character and shows us more of who she is. Even without the expanded origin story, I feel like this is a deep and thoughtful look into how Carol thinks, processes things, and connects to others from Captain Mar-Vell to her mother to her own Kree heritage. If you haven’t read this series, you are missing out!
Freedom Fighters #1 – This is pretty cool. Fifty years after the fall of the original Freedom Fighters, some new ones rise in their place. There’s not a lot here except for some world/setting building, but it’ll be crucial to the rest of this book. I do particularly enjoy seeing Nazis blown up (which happens here) so I’m hoping to see a lot more of that in the rest of the series.
Hardcore #1 – So I initially thought this book was going to be meh based solely on the title and cover because I’m an uppity judgemental fuck. But after actually reading the issue, it seems like it has some potential. I mean, I should have assumed it would be decent because Andy Diggle is writing and he’s a pretty competent writer, but you never know ya know? Anywho, Drake works for the spooky government in a super advanced drone department, with “drone” being actual human hosts. The only thing is, Markus, the original guy that created the program, has a big ol’ grudge against the government for stealing his program and drake for being just the best at it/taking his place in the drone hot seat. But when Markus sabotages things at mission control, Drake is now stuck in the current host body and has 72 hours to somehow find a way out or else that’s the end of him. Talk about HARDCORE ;)!
Firefly #2 – Another solid issue that clips a long at a good pace. If any of you are Firefly fans, I strongly encourage you to check out this series. It feels like a direct continuation of the series and you’ll feel right at home.
Freedom Fighters #1 – The Nazis have won and America has been taken over and incorporated into the fatherland and it’s up to Uncle Sam and his Freedom Fighters to take it back. Come for Plastic Men SS Soldiers, stay for giant Nazi Sentinels. My only complaint is everyone says “Ratzis” far too often. Also baseball is a crime in future Nazi America because it was America’s pastime when really baseball should be a crime because it’s a boring sport.
Middlewest #2 – Another fanciful chapter in our hero’s journey where he meets a cannibal bird person and a middle aged wizard! I really enjoy that this series is becoming the fantasy midwestern child wizard hero’s journey. In a crowded magical/wizard market in terms of storytelling, making a fantastical midwest is definitely something that hasn’t been done and makes it feel fresh. Plus the artwork is still dope.
Dead Man Logan #2 – With the help of today’s Hawkeye, Logan is on a tirade, and the very things he fights to stop, he sets into motion. Old Man Logan is a stubborn old dude that won’t give up, so he feels like he has to kill Mysterio. What I love about the series so far, is that this obviously isn’t the same world that Logan comes from. He still thinks the world is going to play out like it did in his, but the pieces on the chessboard don’t all look the same as they did. I’m really looking forward to see how Mysterio’s part in this really plays out.
Middlewest #2 – Skottie Young has done a good job with writing this oddworld story. It starts off in the first issue, making you think it’s just the normal Midwest with a few fantasy touches (like the talking fox), but grows even more wild as the story goes on. The boy clearly has never been outside of his little farm town, but Young does such a great job at showing it all to you as the reader at the same time as the boy learns about the world he really lives in. He takes pieces of what a boring and dull life, living in the bland fly-over country, and turns them into meaningful and magical pieces of this story. I like this a lot, but I’m still not sure where this is going.
Klaus: Winter Special – The Snowman cries when it’s dying! I think it’s just melting dude. So, unlike previous entries in the series, Klaus has been Santa Claus for a lot longer than a few years! He’s clearly a grizzled vet, with many years of giving gifts and kicking butt. It also introduces new characters of the series, like Jack Frost and Belsnickel (Office fans will get it), and explains how they are Santa Claus different parts of the world, fighting frosty tree demons and staving off Ragnarok. It’s extra long, and worth picking up this Christmas season!
Spider-Geddon #5 – The conclusion to the series has arrived! Not to get too spoiler-y, They do a good job at wrapping up all of the tie-ins together. All-in-all, it’s a good homage to Spider-Verse. It’s not quite as long or deeply interwoven with all of the different universes, but Dan Slott’s commitment to wrapping up his run in Spider-Man is a valiant effort. About what you expect to happen does, but it’s a little more clever in the solution. If nothing else, I hope we get to see more Superior Spider-Man out of this!
Goddess Mode #1 – This comic is so beautiful. From the dingy LA neighborhood to the stark white office space scenes, artists Robbi Rodriguez slays. He really gets to flex his talents as the plot unravels. In this dystopian future, technology is hardwired into everything and is controlled by a mega corporation . They control everything from air quality to ads they project into your mind. The protagonist, Cassandra Price, works for that cooperation as some small fry, but is quickly “promoted” after hacking into god-like A.I., Azoth. She is now running errands for the Chief Security Officer when she literally stumbles into the AI. In an instant, Cassandra drops into the AI world of bright colors, crazy forms, monsters, and bad bitches to fight ’em. This comic has a slow start, but by the end I can’t wait to get my hands on the next issue.
Cthu-Louise: I picked up this comic because it has a cute little Cthulu on the front. Then within the first few pages, I was hit in the gut with the tragic life of Louise. Born from her “monster” father and human mother, she’s part tentacle monster. Her father, now a deadbeat alcoholic, and her mother, the frigid, broken, breadwinner, don’t really seem to care much for their daughter. It only gets worse as she goes off to school, to be ogled by strangers on the street and bullied by the other kids at school. Louise reaches her breaking point, and runs off to accept guidance from her sewer dwelling grandfather. There’s a few twists and turn along the way, but overall, it’s a cute comic with a feel-good ending.
Bitter Root #2– This second issue picks up right where we left off in issue one, Berg & Cullen fighting a “Jinoo” that seems to be way out of their league. We find out the masked man in Mississippi is also part of the Sangeyre family, but has a more permanent approach when dealing with the supernatural. And it seems Dr. Sylvester and MS. Knightsdale seem to have some evil scheme up their sleeve. Even though it’s only issue two, I have some high hopes for this series. The art is beautiful, the story is unique and the creators always leave you wanting more.
Batman Who Laughs #1- Although the art is fantastic, the plot to this is a little wonky. So, due to the Joker’s heart containing some type of Joker toxin, the idea of the Joker can never die. Once the Joker is dead and the toxin is released, whoever is near him will become as crazy as he is. This is how the Batman Who Laughs was created. He’s a Batman with no moral code, nothing to prove and nothing to gain. He’s a killing machine with no motive. This maniac Batman is from another dimension that somehow ended up in regular Gotham with the good Batman. Bats, Alfred & the Commissioner have no idea what this maniac wants or why he’s here. Therefore, they turn to the only person who truly understands this type of crazy, The Joker. Even if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, Jock’s artwork saves the story from its own pitfalls.
Titans #31 – KYLE RAYNER JOINS THE TEAM! Titans has always been one of my favorite Rebirth books but it’s skyrocketed to #1 because Kyle Rayner is BY FAR my favorite superhero in existence. And now he’s officially joined the team, brought them safely home, and is traveling to Unearth with them to stop the Blood Cult! This issue neatly bridges the gap between the Titans getting stranded in Drowned Earth and their next story. It also ties in a lot of what the Titans have encountered since the Source Wall broke, so it looks like this arc is on the way to getting neatly wrapped up.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 – I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. Nobody writes a character’s inner narrative like Saladin Ahmed. Now that he’s writing Miles, we get a new look into the younger Spider-Man, his thoughts, feelings, and his perception of the world. Miles is in his last year of high school now, and he’s still trying to figure out his life, both as Miles and as Spider-Man. The art is gorgeous and the story is both introspective and compelling. I’ve never liked Miles more and I’m really excited to see where Ahmed takes the character.
Magic the Gathering: Chandra #1 – Anyone who is or ever has been a fan of Magic NEEDS to read this. You see a lot of the characters in the card art and fiction, but nothing brings them to life like this comic. You’ll meet not only Chandra, but other characters like Ajani and Tibalt in a way that really fleshes out their characters, makes them more vivid and more real. Even if you’re not a Magic fan, this is a great introduction to a story of spellcasters, dimensional travel, and adventure!
Batman Who Laughs #1 – This is it! This is what we’ve all been waiting for. A showdown between the Batman Who Laughs and the Batman Who, well, doesn’t. What do you do against a person so terrifying even the Joker himself is scared? This issue revolves around Bruce not only realizing the Batman Who Laughs is back, but desperately trying to piece together the villain’s plan. And to win, Bruce has to enlist the aid of his long-time nemesis, the Joker. This story is off to a solid start, and it ends with a bang. Literally. Check it out!
Goddess Mode #1 – Wow, there is a LOT going on and it’s all good. This is part cyberpunk dystopia, part mystery/thriller, and part magical girl series. Cassie works as junior tech support for the Azoth company. She’s way smarter than her position demands, but she’s doing it anyway to help her comatose father. When Azoth experiences a major data breach, Cassie finds herself in the middle of some very unexpected circumstances. This is a really intriguing story. The art reminds me a bit of Sean Murphy, but more colorful, and there are a LOT of seeds being planted in this first issue.
Magic Order #5 – This series has been great from the start but the climax is a twist I didn’t see coming. Coipel does great art and this is definitely one of Millar’s best comics. The siblings get ready to take the fight to Madame Albany, but things are not as they seem. This is going to be a great TV show when it finally hits Netflix.
Star Wars Age of Republic Darth Maul – Darth Maul does a secret mission that he planned himself! Then he meets up with his wonderful mentor Darth Sidious who puts yet another test on him to prove his evil sithy-ness. Maul also discovers a taste for ash. MmMmMm
Magic the Gathering Chandra #1 – Fun Fact: I got an official MTG Chandra Pin when I went to PAX East for the first time like 6 years ago.
Now with that out of the way, I can tell you that if you play Magic the Gathering and have always wanted more lore behind the cards and the planeswalkers than you don’t have many options but to read this book. So read it or else be forever known in your MTG circles as an MTG Poser.
Alien 3 The Unproduced Screenplay #2 – Remember that scene in Jurassic Park where the cartoon DNA tour guide says “Dino-DNA”? Well imagine that but less cartoon DNA tour guide and more Alien DNA mixed with human DNA analysis. That all sounds very boring, but this is the second issue of a screenplay adaptation so it’s going to have to dip at some point. There’s only so many people on this space station and not all of them can die at once. Either way, each issue retcons what I remember of Alien 3 the movie and replaces it with Alien 3 the comic of the movie that never was but should have been.
Miles Morales Spider-Man #1 – Let me start off by saying that Miles Morales is the new best Spider-Man. I could be biased because we’re both Puerto Rican, but I also despise the fact that it’s almost 2019 and Aunt May is still alive. LET’S MOVE ON PEOPLE. But this was a fun lil intro to the world of Miles Morales. I like that the hook is a very simple premise of stolen robo kids and not some grandiose “the entire world/all of new york” is in peril, at least for the first arc. Really eases you in. Miles Morales forever!
The Batman Who Laughs #1 – I can’t help but gush over Jock’s awesome and unique art. I think he should have been on one of the direct tie-ins to Dark Knights: Metal, but I guess this will have to do. His creepy art (please read Wytches), and Snyder’s dark writing are always a perfect fit. If you even remotely like this new evil Joker/Batman cross-up, this is absolutely for you. Another great mystery, another great must-read story in the making.
Batman: Damned #2 – The second issue to this crazy dark-arts mashup of Azzarello’s writing and Bermejo’s art continues the story of the Joker’s death and Batman’s team-up with Constantine, Deadman, and a new surprise guest Etrigan. They actually give a great fresh take of the rhyming cool demon-dude, with a new kind of look. The art is so good, I feel like every page has all this hidden detail. I spend more time looking at the art than I do actually reading the book. The story is great, too.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 – With the long-time writer and creator of Miles, Brian Michael Bendis, now with DC writing Superman stories, a new series writer and artist has begun. I haven’t ever heard of these guys, but they do a great job. They do an excellent job at allowing Miles to monologue and direct the story by giving him a convenient journal he writes in. They dive pretty heavily into his personal life, outside of swinging around NYC. I wish they would have waited a month or two, at least, before they picked up the story right after Spider-Geddon. Marvel is pretty well known for doing this, though. Solid start for the new creative team
Hellboy: Winter Special 2018 – Last year’s Krampus issue was epic! This year, they decided to take a multi-storied approach. Each one showcases a new story at different points in time, and they do a good job at giving you everything you want, more Hellboy! Even the less action-packed stories still have all the sarcastic charm needed to make this single-issue worth it.
God of War #2 – God of War’s gaming success (game of the year!) has become a great platform for a short series. This predates the video game, so if you’re afraid of spoilers you absolutely shouldn’t be. There’s more BOI, more hand crushing and axe cleaving, and more growing bond between Kratos and Atreus. It’s a new journey with about what you would expect from a God of War story.
Special Guest Review From Antowan! @localbrainiac
Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.
– Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
Self Made is Mat Groom’s and Eduardo Ferigato new masterpiece that is a must have for any pull list.
Premise – Self Made follows our main protagonist Amala who is a soldier for the kingdom of Arcadia. However, things are not as they seem, especially when Amala who was so assured of her death survives. Soon after she meets and reluctantly teams up with Prince Brycemere. Who is a pompous, arrogant fool who refused to listen and Tomlin. Who seems to have the more level head of the two adventurers. They leave in pursuit of Teronak a dark wizard who returns every thousand years to try to control the ultimate power of Arcadia, The contradiction. It all leads up to a finale that has already solidified this comic as a must have for all comic fans.
Art – Along with a fantastic story Self Made has an equally talented artist team behind it. Eduardo Ferigato heads the team with his amazing pencilling work. His use of heavy and extreme details are brought to life by the vibrant and life-like coloring of Marcelo Costa. The artistic style pays homage to a more classic time when technology wasn’t as advanced while still maintaining a modern and digitized aesthetic. The art team is to be admire for the masterful way they bring Amala’s journey to life.
Conclusion –Self Made combines complex masterful storytelling with deep hard hitting questions in order to drag the readers into a perplexing world of fantasy and lies as our strong female character tries to make sense of it. It is for this reason that I recommend any and all comic book readers give the first issue a try to delve deep into the world of Arcadia.
10/10 must buy!
Die #1 – Oh my goodness, this comic is amazing! Starting off back in the 90’s, a group of young nerds gather around to play a dice game in the vein of D&D. Next thing they know, they get sucked into the game and fantasy world they created. Flash-forward two years, the group is found on the side of the road with one of them still missing. The story actually takes place now, roughly 25 years after they were spit out; none of the friends talk anymore, nobody is willing to discuss what they saw or did in their fantasy game, and nobody knows where their friend actually is. After an ominous gift is given to one of the players, they decide to meet up again and figure out just what happened to them and their friend. Not only is the series about D&D Jumanji, but the art is absolutely beautiful. With Stephanie Hans behind the art, this dark fantasy comic really comes to life.
Self-Made #1– Amalia Citlali ,from the kingdom of Arcadia, is not your average warrior/commoner woman. She has a knack for defying the odds. After meeting Prince Brycemere and his loyal firemancer, the three of them are off to kill Teronak, the awful wizard responsible for destruction of her people and land. Along their journey, the comic starts to glitch; scenes are repeated but choices are changed, and nobody in the story seems to notice. It gets weirder towards the end of the issue as Amalia and Brycemere take turns killing each other a bunch of times with only Brycemere realizing the loop. The end of this issue explains what is happening, but it also opens up the whole realm of possibilities for the future. I’m really excited to see where this series goes!
Laguardia #1– As the cover suggests, it is a very modern story about immigration. Sometime in the future, aliens will be fighting for equal citizenship on Earth. There are few intergalactic airports and countries on Earth that are accepting of the alien visitors. With the main focus on Nigeria as the world’s largest intergalactic airport and the point of first contact with aliens, the story starts here with Professor Nwabara running into a protest on his way to work. We come to find out his girlfriend/wife/significant other(?) Future has skipped town and is heading for New York to stay with her grandmother. Not only is she pregnant, but she also manages to cross the border with an illegal immigrant with her, a little plant called Letme Live. The narrative parallels what is going on in US in terms of the immigration policies. However, it doesn’t feel like other politically charged, social commentary that tend to go overboard on the metaphors and parallels. It does a good job balancing critique and plot.
Martian ManHunter #1– John Jones (J’onn J’onnz) is a Martian, disguised on Earth as a normal police detective , investigating murders around Colorado with his partner Diane. While investigating a crime scene, we see some of John’s abilities come through; he’s able to pick up what he calls “emotional residue” which is a combination of feelings and visuals of what happened at the crime scene. We get a bit more of background on John as well as the story cuts back and forth between his previous life on Mars and his present time on Earth. The art is fantastically done to make these cuts back and forth seem smooth and effortless, especially as his past comes back to haunt him. Regardless if you have read anything on Martian Manhunter before, you should read this.
West Coast Avengers #5 – This book has been nothing short of phenomenal every issue. It’s the perfect mix of hilarity and action. Kelly Thompson has nailed the characters and writes incredible interaction between this team of misfits. And there’s a reality film crew too! Now the team is caught in a creepy amusement park and Fuse’s sister (who has started dating America Chavez, by the way) is caught up in the action. The dialogue is sharp, the stories engrossing, and the art spectacular. This series is a must-read!
Martian Manhunter #1 – Oh man, I’ve been waiting for this and it lives up to all the hype. We get a closer look at parts of J’onn’s life on Mars and his life pretending to be a human on Earth. We see what goes on in his head, how deeply he connects to his work, the humans and Martians around, and how that empathy affects his life. DC couldn’t have picked a better writer than Steve Orlando for a Martian Manhunter story. He really nails J’onn’s voice and creates a deep and intense story about empathy, loss, and family.
Shazam #1 – It’s about time Shazam is back in comics considering he’s got a movie coming soon! This relaunch not only comes at a great time, but it’s already a great story. Billy’s a little older and he’s got his foster family involved. Those of you who read the New 52 Shazam will recognize these kids! This story promises to explore the origins of not only Billy himself, but the other kids’ powers as well, as they get ready to explore the Magiclands! I’m looking forward to this. It seems like a good story for both new and old fans of the character and the franchise. I don’t know if it will tie into the movie but it’s good to have Billy in panels again.
Self/Made #1 – This was SO COOL. You’ll meet the warrior Amala Citali as she joins part of a quest to take down an evil wizard. But strange things start happening. Time resets, periodically and something about this world is not as it seems and the story changes each time the world jumps back. You’ll get a glimpse of what’s really going on at the end and it promises to make the story even COOLER. This is a really exciting take on this kind of story. The last couple pages gave me chills and I am HOOKED.
Prodigy #1 – Professor Edison may just be the perfect man. He’s beyond genius, he can do anything, and can come up with solutions to the most complex problems with little effort, all while playing chess against ten people at once. When a mysterious phenomenon starts popping up around the world, Edison suspects an invasion… only to be approached by a CIA agent who tells him he’s right. And with the CIA involved, you know this story is going to have a lot of intrigue and deception.
Die #1 – OH MAN THIS IS SO GOOD!!! I don’t think “goth Jumanji” did it justice. It’s more like the old D&D cartoon except shit went really bad for the players. Like really bad. I want this, all of this, right now!
Die #1 – Holy crap, what an amazing first issue. I’ve never wanted a second issue to be immediately in my hands as soon as I finished the first like I have with this series. Kieron Gillen gives us the adult Jumanji story for the Dungeons & Dragons crowd that we didn’t know we needed or wanted until now. Six friends all decided to play a form of D&D way back in ’91 during a birthday party. Then they disappear for two years and when they return none of them are the same. The first issue weaves between past, present and fantasy world with FANTASTIC art by Stephanie Hans the whole way through. Each era seems to have it’s own unique “look”. The past section seems to have a lot of browns/dark colors, present seems to use a lot of greys and whites with piercing reds in certain panels, with the fantasy world, for the moment using a lot of reds/desert browns. It’s all great and this book is going to be the best. All hail before master storyteller Kieron Gillen.
Prodigy #1 – Woo! Mark Millar’s latest story boarded tv show…i mean comic! Edison Crane is a PRODIGY child who can do all sorts stuff that all of us normies can’t do like play chess with 8 people at once and jump off of a ramp across the grand canyon on a motorbike into a wooden barrel of water. He has also discovered some sort of invasion by people from an alternate earth or something. I’m sure it will be a great show on Netflix. Great art by Rafael Albuquerque. It’s Mark Millar, so I feel like at this point you should know what you’re getting into by this point.
Wizard Beach #1 – Hexley Daggert Ragbottom is a young Wizard who is upset with his father’s reluctance to solve the decline of their magic in the wizarding world so he takes it upon himself and go meet his uncle, the great and magnificent Wizard Salazar Ragbottom only to find out that Salazar, or “Sally” as he now goes by, is only the greatest at being the most lazy Wizard. He has a cohort of wizard friends like Barry Wonder, a wizard who is actually dead but his wand bring him back to life every once in awhile when it’s not flirting with other pieces of wood. Needless to say, Hex’s idea of the wizard knowledge he was planning to obtain to protect his home is slowly thrown out the window and replaced by tips on handling spice demons and grooming beards. If any of this sounds appealing to you, there is much more to chuckle at in this not so serious magical tell that I’m sure will have a heartwarming ending.
The Green Lantern #2 – Morrison continues to weave a bizarre lantern tale and this issue has a Lantern who has a Volcano for a head and a great bit, with im assuming, a very old villain named “Evil Star”. I wish Morrison’s New X-Men run was as fun as this Lantern run is so far because his New X-Men is trash. TRASH. So this review of “The Green Lantern #2” was also a hot take critique of his New X-Men. WHAT A TWIST!
Doomsday Clock #8 – this is the craziest, most insane issue yet! Almost every major DC crossover you read almost never has long lasting effects on anything. This may not, but I think that this is the spawn of a new universe that will have an impact on every other universe as well! The way they go about showing the real dangers of super-people and their actions is incredible and is sure to influence writers forever! I was pretty cool on this series at the beginning, but I’m all warmed up and ready to read more. This is a perfect time to jump onto the series.
Rick and Morty: D&D #3 – With the next season of R+M just over the horizon, this book does everything it can to satisfy that itch. As usual, Morty and the family asks for more than they should, Rick bites off more than he can chew, Jerry is hilariously incompetent even when he’s useful, breaking the 4th wall, and they figure out an incredibly creative way to work through it. This issue leans far heavier on the D&D aspect and it just makes it better! This is a perfect crossover of the two franchises and it has all the charm of both. I only wish it came out more often, there needs to be more comedy based, books coming out. With the world the way it is, it could definitely use more humor like this.
Winter Soldier #1 – I’ve always appreciated Bucky Barnes because he very rarely ever fits the mold that traditional Supes do. He’s not quite an anti-hero, but he definitely doesn’t play by the same rules as everyone else. Even when he was Captain America, he used a gun (and I’m pretty sure he killed people). He’s always kept to himself and been super covert ops kind of guy with a heavy emphasis on internal monologue (a lot like Snyder’s Batman). Kinda hard to miss a guy with a huge metal arm, though. This art style for his new title is ridiculously perfect for the story. Helping dirty cops get clean, kicking butts, taking names, etc. This first issue feels more like a major Marvel story arc, or even a new awesome IMAGE title, than a start to an ongoing series. Keep your eye on this ball, I think it may end up a home-run!
Shazam #1– the pre-teen superhero is back, just in time for major movie hype hits the public! If you’re not super familiar with Captain Marvel’s backstory, this is the perfect jumping-on point. It shows brief origin of Billy, and context to all the important why’s and how’s of the super foster team. They have a great dynamic; they act just like if the Stranger Things kids got super powers! They find out more about where their powers come from and all the cool benefits of living in a dead wizard’s home. This is a very light hearted book, and I’m looking forward to the rest.