Far Sector #1 – Hells yeah, another Young Animal title this time with a mind-bending murder mystery! Making her debut, Lantern Sojourner Mullein has been assigned to the farthest sector in the 3600 under the Corps’ protection, the City Everlasting. Established centuries ago by three alien races called the Trilogy, the City Everlasting features a unique way to curb crime and violence: the elimination of emotion entirely from its inhabitants. Unfortunately cracks in the system are starting to show as the first murder in centuries has happened right under all their noses. Now Jo must navigate stone-faced bureaucracy in order to gather the smallest of leads. Lantern Mullein’s narration throughout the book is spot on and kept me moving through it easily- I seriously can not wait until we get more of this heady sci-fi story next month.
X-Men #2 – What seemed like a fun romp at the beginning of this book quickly turned to the deeper aspects of Powers of X seamlessly. Leave it to Hickman. An island appeared off the coast of Krakoa and the mutant paradise, for some reason, is moving toward it. After recon turns up saying the unknown island is teeming with monsters, Cyclops decides to take his kids on a little hunting expedition. As it turns out, the island is Arrako, the land mass that once was a part of Krakoa until the two separated. Deep within the island it houses the gate to the Otherworld where daemons and monstrous beings are now escaping. Turns out some more people may have some insight into it…and the breadcrumbs for further X-stories continue to pile up well.
Family Tree #1 – I know I used similar phrasing in my last review but leave it to Lemire to make a story about an infectious tree disease an enticing horror thriller. Loretta is a single mother working a shit job at a grocery store in Lowell, Maine to support her two kids. She’s called out of work to pick up her son from high school after he gets caught with a bit of pot on him. Normal small town stuff, that is until her daughter starts slowly turning into a tree. As the trio rushes to take her to the hospital it seems the town is going into full apocalypse mode as a car rams them and a mob tries to take her daughter away from her. It’s a damn strong start to what’s sure to be another page turner from masters of their craft.
Fallen Angels #1 – Another X-book with another great X-hook. Fallen Angels focuses on Kwannon, a character who we’ve all seen before but never heard before. Trapped behind the psyche of Betsy Braddock after she tried to kill her all those years ago, Kwannon/Psylocke is trying to find herself in an unfamiliar land where people think they know her. Still trying to adjust, she receives a telepathic message from an unknown voice telling her to track down and kill Apoth. This Apoth is creating a digital drug that infects the mind and causes it to want to kill everything around the user. Yeah, totally sounds like a good trip. She teams up with X-23 to track down all these unknowns, only to find the true depravity of Apoth. Some truly poetic verbiage awaits you in these pages courtesy of Bryan Hill.
Folklords #1 – Mind MGMT is one of my all-time favorite titles so I’m stoked as hell to see Matt Kindt’s take on a fantasy world. And damn, was I not disappointed. Ansel is like any other escapist like ourselves except flipped: he lives in a fantasy world but dreams of a modern society such as ours. In his village, at the age of eighteen everyone must announce a glorious quest to go on in order to discover who they truly are. Ansel tells his friends in secret the day before that he wants to find the Folklords and on the day where everyone goes in front of the village to announce their mission, his friend Archer goes first and steals his thunder by claiming it as his! Unfortunately for the both Archer is detained after he says this and the ones in charge of the set up, the Librarians, declare that no one can go out on their own and all quests will now be assigned. There’s some serious disinformation going on and now is the perfect time to explore the consequences of not disseminating information.
Punisher Soviet #1 – I’m not usually one for a guns-blazin’ book but hot damn, am I one for a well-crafted narrative. Ennis kills it big time with another look at the Punisher as he decides to punish a Russian mobster by the name of Prochenko. Someone hit one of his storehouses and made it look like the Punisher’s work so Frank decides to get ahead in this circumstance and go after the one in charge. There’s a lot of people talking around Castle which I loved along with his heavy narration on how he directed low-level henches where he wanted them to go in order to take them out. There’s also a brilliantly orchestrated interrogation scene, albeit kinda fucked up, that leads Castle to where he needs to go. An obvious must read for Punisher fans and anyone who enjoys a tight script.
Folklords #1 – Time for a good old fashion coming of age quest! Ansel lives in a quiet village where human, gnomes, ogres, and other mystical creatures live in peace. On every young person’s 18th year, they must go anon a quest of their choosing. Ansel has skipped past the normal ‘giant in beanstalk’ routine and decided to find the Folklords! When he tells his friends they think it’s a crazy idea, mostly because they are said to be evil things and probably not even real. When another person, Archer, announced that as his quest the leaders of the village, The Librarians, shut the idea down immediately, and canceled all out of village quests for that year!! No one quite understands why it’s such a touchy subject, but that’s not going to stop these two. Despite being forbidden and threatened with death, the Ansel and Archer set out to find the Folklords!
Unsacred #1 – Do you like smut? Are you less than religous? Well, do I have a book for you! Damiano is a young demon looking for a ‘good’ time when he meets Angelina, an angel, at a rock show. Years later they are still together, Damiano desperate to get in her pants and Angelina being oblivious and insisting they wait on marriage. The book reads as a series of mini stories, so you get to laugh at the ridiculous irony of their situation. With every page you end up feeling bad for this douchey demon who’s balls go from red to blue.
Black Star Above #1 – Eulalie still lives at home with her parents, who are barely scrapping by, couple that with having to tend for her ailing grandfather, there is a ton of weight on her shoulders. She loves her family and knows how important her role is to them. Still, when her father tells her he has arranged for her to be wed for financial gain and status, all she can do is think of ways to get out of it. Later she travels to town on errands when she is propositioned by a stranger. He wants her to deliver a package for a large sum of money. It’s a deal she can’t pass, besides the need for the funds she is well versed with the woods in this area so what’s the harm? She agrees but as she sets forth on her journey she realizes she isn’t alone in these woods, and she grows suspicious of this easy delivery.
Fallen Angels #1 – So beside the content, I was pumped about this book for the cover. As I’m sure most of you have noticed, all the first X book’s that sprung from the House/Powers series have had the ‘every mutant variant’. So when lined up, they create a one big picture depicting every mutant in some incarnation or another. This was the last of six, and I know, it is super cool.
Family Tree #1 – I’ve always been a big Lemire fan – this guy has a serious work ethic! His newest comic from Image puts his writing talents to use with veteran artist Phil Hester. This end of the world story has some of that Sweet Tooth feel, but is fresh enough to stand on its own. Single mom Loretta is living that 9-5 life trying to support two kids and maybe get by. She’s got a brat of a teenage son who’s always in trouble and a sweet little girl named Meg, who’s beginning to manifest some very strange physical symptoms. Strange old men, guns for hire and some serious mystery make for a fast-paced first issue.
Punisher: Soviet #1 – Garth Ennis’ Punisher is THE DEFINITIVE Punisher. No one else gets it, although Jason Aaron came extremely close. Ennis is back writing Frank and it’s like he never missed a beat. The Punisher Max version of Frank is exceedingly brutal, as are the supporting cast. When someone sneaks in on Frank’s turf, taking out Russians with Punisher-like efficiency, it puts Frank on the hunt. Frank searches for the Russian crime boss and so many people die along the way, you guys! Backed.
Batman’s Grave #2 – The legendary team of Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch reunite for a Batman story! I always enjoy out of continuity Batman stuff, especially focusing more on the Detective aspect of Batman’s persona. Ennis writes for the long game and this issue is no exception. Batman almost get’s his ass kicked in this issue as well – solid.
Folklords #1 – Matt Kindt is a treasure. This was a great comic! The art from Matt Smith was terrific as well. Ansel dresses like…us. But he lives in a world of fantasy – elves, gnomes, trolls etc. He has dreams of our world, and in a quest to find more, seeks out the elusive Folklords against the wishes of the local thought police. One of the strongest debut issues in a minute!
X-Force #1 – The X-books keep comin’ and they keep comin’ in fresh as hell. In recent years, X-Force has been little more than a group of assassins who murdered wherever Cyclops pointed. Lucky for us this new team further incorporates intelligence gathering and espionage into their brand. The book opens to Domino cutting into a meeting of powerful racists who are planning a raid on Krakoa. Later we see how the early warning system of security works on Krakoa thanks to Black Tom Cassidy’s floral alarm systems. Brief glimpses are given to other characters as well but in more of a cursory check-in until the big raid happens. Oh boy though is the raid a doozy. Death may be inconsequential now but a failure of protection of this magnitude is going to cause quite a bit of waves for the X-verse in coming months.
Undiscovered Country #1 –This new first issue sets up an engrossing alt-future that throws a lots of spaghetti at the wall with American imagery sandwiched in. Soule and Snyder seem to be setting up an ankle-gnawing story to cut down the current political climate and the ramifications that true isolationism would have on the world. With America having left the geopolitical scene over 30 years ago, the rest of the world finds itself in the midst of a plague and warring economic factions attempting to fill the void left by the USA. Dr. Graves, her estranged brother and a team of red-shirt experts have been tasked on visiting the country after the first received message from it in decades promises a cure for the deadly plague. Things break weird when they enter though with a Mad Max/Mortal Engines type gang shooting them out of the sky and devouring them with bison. Definitely need more to go on with this one but it was still a damn good page-turner.
New Mutants #1 – Yes, the intricate details of Krakoan sovereignty are extremely interesting and its depth is engaging but sometimes you just need a book about 20-something mutants cheating space pirates out of their Kentucky bourbon. This book came out of nowhere with its gorgeous art and just plain fun storyline. The team is back after their many deaths and mostly just want to party. Realizing their friend Sam a.k.a. Cannonball is out in the deep reaches of Shi’ar space with his new family, the New Mutants hitch a ride with the Starjammers to surprise their friend. After a trying ride for the Starjammers, things break bad after a space heist gone wrong. Things are probably going to break even badder for them soon but pick this one up for a lighter side of the Dawn of X.
Legion of Superheroes #1 – Full disclosure: I have never read a Legion book before. Luckily this was my first one as the panel art from Sook flows so well from page to page with the number of characters. Hooooo boy, there are a lot of characters too. Bendis was perfect for writing this as he’s always made one person talking sound like four. The conversational dialogue Superboy has in his orientation into the far future is hilarious and light as well. A huge reveal in this one too: Superman’s best friend is…Lois. Don’t worry, it got the mushy groans from the other Legionnaires that it deserved. The central conflict of this one amounts to the Legionnaires stealing back Aquaman’s trident from the Horraz in an attempt to bring back the oceans to Planet Earth. I don’t think that’s how his trident works, but it’s worth a shot!
Strange Skies Over East Berlin #2 – First contact has been made! Uh, somewhat. After the government cronies lock up the bunker with the alien object and soldiers, the electrical energy from the unknown object creeps to everyone and infects their minds. The lead woman in charge orders everyone to shoot those trying to leave which ends up being literally all the soldiers. Something about the energy causes people to relieve both their greatest accomplishments and their perceived greatest tragedies. All who see it go insane, including our spy hero who dashes to the comm center to alert his English handlers. He’s freaking out that the spy hunter trapped in the bunker will discover him but something worse does: the electrical energy of the alien being given form. A damn good historical horror thriller, indeed.
Lois Lane #5 – This book continues to be a remarkable counter-voice to constant attacks on journalism we hear everyday. At the beginning of this issue, a stranger on a plane comments to Lois about how many journalists have been killed this year and a half (102) and that six of those deaths took place in America. That’s not a false statistic, that’s real world facts. There’s also a fascinating scene where Lane breaks down how different information is sourced to a potential source from within the White House. It’s really great stuff to see clearly on a page in our current climate. From a comic story standpoint, the Question also has a fantastically sequenced fight scene as crafted by Perkins in the hunt for Lois Lane’s attempted shooter. An incredibly engaging story that shouldn’t be missed.
Wild Strawberries At The World’s End – Te-Su returns to the village he grew up in after the news of an old friend, Ji-Ah’s, funeral. Upon returning home he runs into old friends and learns her death was a suicide. He and most people close to Ji-Ah can’t help but wonder would things be different if they’d done more. Te-Su discovers there is more going on in this small town than what meets the eye, and Ji-Ah’s death is not what everyone believes it to be.
b.b. free #1 – B.b. is a confident, carefree girl from the swamps of Florida. It’s almost time for her to have her Freedom Fifteen, which I assume is some cross between a Quinceanera and Rumspringa. All she wants to do for her big coming of age is start a radio station with her BFF, but her dad can’t quite let his baby girl leave the nest. B.b. assumes it’s the typical overprotective dad thing, but we know her dad is hiding a something. B.b. catches her dad rummaging through her things and confronts him, and I think she will get the answers she seeks plus more next issue!
Dead Eyes #2 – Martin’s wife’s medical bills are stacking up, so he puts on the dead eyes mask once again. After being retired for so long, he reaches out to an old ‘friend’ and surprisingly he is up for the job. Unfortunately, their heist doesn’t go as planned, and people get hurt, which is not Dead Eye’s M.O. Worse than that his face is back on TV, and unbeknownst to Martin, someone is on the hunt to kill the man with the dead eyes.
Infected: King Shazam #1 – I’m sure you guys are reading Batman/Superman, but don’t forget to read the side issues! Here we get to see Billy’s youthful angst turn into uncontrolled, murderous rage. He decides to find people worthy of the Batman Who Laugh’s infection, and he decides to go after gods (literally). Sadly, King Shazam can’t even be stopped by things of the heavens, but his sister Mary decides to intervene. Still, things aren’t looking so good…
X-Force #1 – The debut mutant strike force book doesn’t quite set up it’s strike force just yet, but it does have a neat premise that includes a secret society of mutant haters that wear masks because that’s how you know your group is really nefarious. Art on this book is really enjoyable that uses a lot of color while also being dark to match the tone the series is trying to present giving me heavy uncanny x force vibes. Only issue is the ending cliffhanger is something that I know won’t stick so it’s not something I was incredibly shocked by, but such is the way of monthly comics.
New Mutants #1 – Fallen Angels hasn’t come out yet, but I feel safe to say that this is hands down my favorite new X-related book (of the initial six) hands down. First of all, the art on this series in simply incredible and I’d say the best art in a current marvel monthly out now. Not only that, but this book is exactly what I want in a team X book; a group of young mutants going on wild adventures (in space). The writing is great and clever and funny and just all around enjoyable. Not only that, but we get a heavy dose of the Star Jammers who never get enough page presence. But man, the art on this. It’s so good I’m upset I have to wait a few weeks for the next issue to drop.