New Mutants #5 – Hickman is back behind the helm of this one! Following where the team left off in issue #2, the New Mutants in space are escorting Deathbird in secret back to the Shi’ar empire to train up their new empress. Unfortunately, Gladiator’s plan may go south as one of his alone calls in the Shi’ar Death Commandos unbeknownst to him. Their a band of seemingly ne’erdowells who happen to work in the shadows for the good of the empire. Think X-Force in space. The mission this defector sent them on? Assassinate Deathbird and kill everyone on board. Luckily, the New Mutants have just the right power set to kill them back but good. Hopefully all goes well but I’m definitely eagerly awaiting the next issue of this one.
Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds #1 – I haven’t dipped my feet too much into Greg Pak’s run on the all-too-short space western, but this issue makes me want to look closer. Mal has been captured by the Alliance and faces a pretty tough situation: track down and capture his ma or face life in prison. The problem with that being Mal is only the second best renegade outlaw in his family. His ma has hit up six banks in the last month and the Alliance is looking for her head. Along the way of the hunt, we see some of her parenting and it’s no shocker why either of them are now in their respective positions. Not one to miss for all Whedon-heads out there, especially with that ending!
X-Force #5 – Seems like this series is going to continuously try to one up itself in terms of brutality with each issue and I’m here for it. Kid Omega and Wolverine have been taken out by a merc squad infiltrating Krakoa to steal tech and hijack Krakoa’s plant gates. Domino and Forge must find a new way to fast-travel over there and take them out. Lucky for them, Black Tom Cassidy is overpowered as hell now thanks to Krakoa’s biology and sends a quick message to the most aptly named mutant ever, Gateway. Once there, Domino gets to full unload the pain they’ve caused her on these killers but will her brutality go too far? One of the best X-books continues to show why it’s on the top of the pile.
Star #1 – So, Ripley Ryan straight up sucks. Not only did she attempt to kill Carol Danvers while playing superhero but she almost took half of NYC with her while masquerading as Star. Not with a reality stone in her chest, this first issue of her run shows why she just might bee the worst person to wield it. With little to no idea of the ramifications of her actions, she goes to a super villain bar to start a fight and obliterates Loki when he tries to take back the stone for the good of the universe (plus his own personal gain most like). Then she mind controls the absolute last person who should be mind-controlled: Jessica Jones. A good read if you’re looking for an unreliable narrator and a bad egg to boot.
Excalibur #5 – The story culminating in subsequent issues takes off in a very satisfying manner in this one. After infiltrating a druid clan on the order of Apocalypse to get some magic bone-rocks, Rictor is forced to use the magical energy hidden within them in order to save Gambit. Meanwhile the rest of the team is fighting off the magical beast hordes that have escaped Otherworld through a tear in reality. Once Rictor and Gambit return, it’s revealed Apocalypse is responsible for Rogue’s coma and the big blue guy isn’t happy they come empty-handed as well. Seemingly killing Gambit, Apocalypse tries to conduct his special boy ritual but his interrupted by someone who just woke up: a pissed-as-hell Rogue. Things are getting real good in the magic X-book so catch up if you haven’t already.
Batman #86 – New year, new you, new writer, Batman. The cape crusader gets back to basics while still dealing heavily with the death of his surrogate father, Alfred. Taking advice from the late butler, he’s beginning of series of building and infrastructure improvements with his money at a gala attended by Catwoman. While Batman runs atop the rooftops, Lucius Fox is putting the finishing touches on a 3-D printing factory that makes and assembles gadgets at a moment’s notice for Batman’s crime stopping. Easily the coolest bit of Bat-tech I’ve seen in a while which he’ll need: Deathstroke’s assembled a team of baddies in a dive bar for a mysterious, nefarious purpose. A great start to Tynion’s run and a perfect jumping-on point for Bat-fans everywhere.
Mighty Morphin Power Ranger/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 – The Turtles and the Rangers have finally realized they are on the same side. That still leaves the question, why is Tommy hanging out with The Foot Clan? Despite this, the Rangers want to go help their friend and believe deep down, there is a good reason for all this. Back up is on the way, but Tommy might’ve just given Shredder all he needs to defeat the Turtles and the Rangers once and for all.
Dying is Easy #2 – Last issue, Syd Holmes found out the man he just publicly argued with (Carl Dixon) is dead, and all fingers pointed to Syd. Syd swears, when he left Carl, he was fine. This retired cop knows there are officials gunning for him at the station and some more folks in lock up that want him dead. Syd knows he needs to find the real killer, because no one else is looking and that’s the only way to walk away from this!
Daphne Byrne #1 – Daphne didn’t have many friends and was often teased, and with her father recently deceased, kids had more fuel for their fire. Daphne and her father were very close and she misses his very much. Unfortunately, her mom was having a ‘tougher’ so she couldn’t even go to her mother for wisdom/advice. One night Daphne has a very unusual dream and meets someone who claims to be her brother. She wakes up thinking it’s just her imagination until some parts of the dream, are here in real life!
Batman #86 – I wasn’t reading this series before, but a writer change is as good a time as any to pick it up! The issue begins with a meet up of antagonist and they are planning something big, under a so far unknown boss. What they don’t know is Batman is on the them and he has recruited the help of Catwoman. With the aid of Lucius from cave, Batman can complete his part of the plan no problem, but Selena is facing some complications. Apparently, they weren’t the ones calling the shots this time, and Catwoman knows something terrible is going to happen next.
Ruins of Ravencroft Carnage #1 – Following the events of Absolute Carnage, the Ravencroft Institute has been decimated and it’s now time for the structure to be rebuilt. During the reconstruction efforts, Mayor Fisk arrives to oversee work and a discovery is made that sheds a brighter light on the history of Ravencroft. The issue then goes back to the colonial era of America and provides a look into the origins of the insanity that is the Kasady lineage, and how it ties into what happened in Absolute Carnage and what is to come. The ending raised questions into what has been happening at the Ravencroft institute all these years and after reading this issue I want to know more.
Marvels X #1 – The first chapter in the Origin of the Earth-X universe was a look into how the world in this universe began its downfall. The story begins with a boy named David who is fascinated with superheroes after being told about the current events unfolding in his world through a media broadcast. After learning of what is happening in the world, some time passes and David goes from playing with toys in the living room to taking care of the surviving members of his family. After experiencing personal losses, David decides to head off on his own. Through his travels he runs into another person who is like him and the two head to New York in search of heroes, but there may not be any left.
The Amazing Spider-Man #37 – It’s just another average day in the lifeof The Amazing Spider-Man. Spider-Man goes about his normal routine until he’s given the opportunity to use the clairvoyant device to stop crimes before they happen, as a means to test the device. With the ability to stop crime before it happens, Peter is able to do some of the things he misses out on being Spider-Man. Like picking up the phone when Mary Jane calls for their date night. While Peter gets to kick back and relax, the shadowy figure that has been stalking Peter and his loved ones, Kinder, reappears and vows that he will have Peter come to terms with his greatest sins.
Venom #22 – This issue just emits Predator vibes. From the jungle location to the shirtless man with a big knife fighting an alien, you can’t help but feel like you’ve seen this before, and that’s not a bad thing. With Eddie separated from his symbiote, and his symbiote being merged with the carnage symbiote, the only things that Eddie Brock has at his disposal are a bunch of old military weapons and knowledge of the geography of the island. It’s a one-man army vs. a jungle full of infected symbiotic animals. Give Eddie Brock a hand folks, he’s going to need it.
Thor #1 – Cates comes to Thor and is taking our thunder god in an unsurprisingly cosmic direction. Oh but what a direction it is. After getting a farewell message from the Avengers as Thor ascends to kinghood, the god prepares to make a speech to his Asgardian realm. Before he can, Galactus comes crashing down from the heavens. He gives Thor a dire warning: the Great Black Winter is coming. As Galactus is the eater of worlds, this black void is the eater of universes. Thor assembles a roundtable of old Galactian heralds in order to figure out a solution, but only Silver Surfer has the answer: help Galactus eat so he can beat the void himself. Amazing things to come out of this series for sure.
Star Wars #1 – A thoroughly entertaining look into what transpires after the events of Empire Strikes Back. Luke, Leia and Lando head to a rendezvous point after just narrowly escaping Darth Vader’s clutches. Leia displays the leader in her and laws down the law with Lando, deservedly so seeing as he only just sold them out. Meanwhile, Luke is SHOOK. It’s really great to see inside his head at this moment because the movies really gloss over the turmoil finding out your dad is a genocidal madman. The Falcon’s crew steer her into an all out space battle featuring the rebel forces of Poe’s parents and an elite imperial fleet commander by an awesome new character: Commander Zahra. The intrigue set up in this one really has me asking for more because soon we’ll finally know: how’d Luke make that green saber?
X-Men #4 – Look, I know cape comics are for wearing colorful tights and punching aliens in space. That being said, it’s issues like these where the global impact of a mutants-only island being discussed at an economic summit over Wagyu steak that keeps me intrigued. The fallout from their plan is laid out before Charles, Magneto and Apocalypse while Cyclops and Gorgon play guard duty outside. They’re not at it for long as the American envoy does the most American thing ever: bring a bunch of guns to take out the people who disagree with them. Economic policy and the consequences of societal shift are discussed while fighting above and below occurs. An aggressive yet subdued issue that hammers home why the X-books are on top right now.
Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #2 – Law & Order: Gotham City continues in this dark take on the true brutality of a murdering clown. The Joker goes full Dali this time around, cutting off limbs and sewing them on to a body whose body fat was melted and twisted to create the melting clocks of the famous artist. Harley begins to track down a lead on John Kelly, a boy who was in and out of hospitals because of his abusive father Mean Mick Kelly. Mick was the Joker’s first victim and through dramatic irony shown to be the father of Joker. We finally see Joker for the first time as well as he’s as gruesomely murderous as his actions lead us to think…pick this one up if you’re looking for DC’s darker side.
Marauders #5 – The pirate mutants are the saving the seven seas and doing it with style. My second favorite omega level mutant, Bobby Drake, does his part for the environment by refreezing Antarctica to flirt with Christian Frost just a bit. Christian then unearths the reason why Iceman and Storm have stuck with Kate: they’re scared that because she can’t go through the Krakoan gates, she won’t be able to be resurrected through the protocols as well. Captain Kate herself meets with the rest of the Hellfire Club and manages to piss off Sebastian Shaw again in splendid fashion. Soon enough, the Marauder must make way to Madripoor to save Shaw’s son’s ass from the fire. Great things keep happening in this book, don’t let it fall to the wayside in the X-avalanche.
Hawkeye Freefall #1 – Rosenberg does a great job of picking up Fraction’s version of Hawkguy in this enjoyable new book. After taking out The Hood, Clint goes to watch the arraignment and bask in Robbins being sent to jail only to find out that the mayor had him pardoned. I was confused for a second myself only to remember who the mayor of NYC is right now: Kingpin. Really wished they had mentioned that in the pages though. A little later, some joker in Clint’s old Ronin costume kills a bunch of armed agents and steals an attaché case. The next morning, Bucky and Falcon show up to Clint’s brunch to ruin his omelet and accuse him of the murders. This one is a super fun read and shouldn’t be missed by anyone who cares about the purple archer.
Joker/Harley #2 – I’m really digging the vibe of this black label series. After really enjoying Harleen, I’m glad they were able to do something different with this story line. Besides the true crime feel of it all, we get some insight into Joker’s past. With the childhood this series writes for him, it would be surprising if he didn’t turn into a maniac. Harley is working with Gotham PD on an unusual string of murders and Joker comes up on the usual suspects list. The closer she gets to finding him, the closer he gets to finding her!
I Can Sell You A Body #1 – Denny Little has the ability to speak to the dead, so he thought he’d monopolize on his skills. Not only can he speak to souls that have passed, he can transfer those souls to other living beings! Despite his unique ability, business isn’t going well, and when Denny takes too long to find a mobster’s dead dad a new body, things get worse. Denny has two days to find a body or the mob will make him a soul too! In a moment of desperation, Denny even tried to put the dad’s soul into his secretary, but for some reason it didn’t work. It did something rotten to his secretary, and hopefully Denny can figure out how to solve all the problems he has caused before it is too late.
Thor #1 – Snap, this book was good AF. Thor has taken his rightful place as the King of Asgard, leaving the fight for the realms to Lady Sif (the new keeper of the Bifrost). As you can imagine, Thor misses the fighting days but he knows this is where he belongs. Thor prepares to give his big “I’m the new king and I vow to blah blah” speech to the Asgardians when Galactus comes crashing into the town center. He isn’t there to fight, he crashed in Asgard escaping a foe greater than himself, The Star Plague aka The Black Winter. Thor calls a council of allies from all across the galaxy to figure out what this all means, but it is his friend Silver Surfer who knows how to deal with the approaching doom. And this isn’t just any Silver Surfer, this is Silver Surfer Black from one of sweetest illustrated book of 2019 and he’s seen some stuff and done things!! Norrin tells Thor the only way they can defeat this destroyer of realities is with the help of Galactus the destroyer of worlds. They all agree to work together, but of course Galactus has to a dick about it. In the end we see the rise of Herald of Thunder!
Hawkeye: Freefall #1 – Clint’s got a thorn in his side and his name is Parker Robbins, a gangster with magic a magic cloak. Hawkeye decides it’s time to take down his whole operation and finally get Robbins locked up for good. Turns out Robbins has some friends in high places and is back on the street, he even gives Hawkeye a ride in his limo to gloat. He tries to move on but can’t get this crook and the crappy penal system out of his head. Good news: when Falcon and Bucky show up to give him a distraction…bad news it’s an even worse antagonist. They even think it might be Clint committing the crimes because he is wearing his old suit! They get past that and decide to work together to catch this imposter, but they quickly start to realize they are going to have to start working like a team if they hope to take this guy down.
Martian Manhunter #11 – After the intense psychic trip from the last issue the Martian Manhunter and his partner, Diane, go their separate ways to combat the evil Red Martian. While Diane battles the mind-controlled forces of the Red Martian in Middleton the Martian Manhunter goes to battle him directly. With the Manhunter having been reborn anew after coming to terms with what he had done in his past, he now feels strong enough to take down the Red Martian. However, with hundreds of thousands of years of hatred fueling him the Red Martian shows the Manhunter what his pain feels like. Only one more to go in this 12-issue maxi-series and then we will see who has the superior mind.
Avengers/Defenders Tarot #1 – A battle with a magical occult Nazi during World War 2 where Captain America transforms into the Hulk. Real, or just a false memory? After going on a mission that has similar signs to what was happening in the unknown memory, Namor begins to question what is going on. After a run in with the Avengers, Namor and the Defenders are attacked by the villain Diablo who is using a magical substance known as the Ichor. He hopes to use it to control the world and all the typical super villain things. The story had some interesting parts, but it wasn’t gripping enough for me to be anticipating the next one.
Batman Beyond #39 – This was the first Batman Beyond comic I have read, and it made me wish I had started reading from the beginning. Perhaps it was the nostalgic feeling of watching the animated series that I got while reading that made this comic feel more then what I was expecting. Right from the get-go I got to see one of the best villains in Batman Beyond and witness the new threat he has become to the new Batwoman of the future and to himself. I’m talking about Blight. Since the Radiation that he emits is becoming too much for his current form to handle, he must find a new host body and that body just might be Terry McGinnis. Didn’t think this was going to be my jumping on point when I went to read this, but I’m not mad that it is.
Doom #4 – After his trip back from the afterlife, Doom learns of the assassin who killed him, and it was Taskmaster. Upon receiving this news Doom makes his way to A.I.M to confront Taskmaster. Meanwhile in Latveria there is an effort being made to replace Doom as ruler of the country with Dimitri Fortunov, who we are told is the rightful heir to the throne. After a quick battle against both Taskmaster and a certain big-headed super villain, Doom was able to retrieve the information he needed that will bring him one step closer to finding out who framed him. A solid issue that helps plot progression of this excellent story.