Thanos #1: A look into the Mad Titan before we see his fall on screen (hopefully)! Gamora begins recounting her childhood to someone before they become overly dangerous as she puts it. The very mysterious intro leads into the unveiling of Thanos’s giant ship- a hodge-podge creation of poor construct just so it can carry bodies to planets to carve a bloody wake in the galaxies. Thanos has spent his life killing to see and feel the woman only he seems to conjure: the Lady Death. Armed with a computer that tells him his greatest threat to his reign (shoutout to Snow White!) he as of late has been taking out planets about to be converted under the rule of the Magus. Thanos does so with the help of his Butcher Squad made up of a few members of the Black Order which hopefully means we’ll see some of their origin in this series too. With a new lead they head to Zen-Whoberi, the home planet of Gamora. Thanos watches Gamora’s family get blown up on one of his monitors and notices the specter of Death floating above Gamora as she mourns. He makes planetside to dispose of her but as he’s about to, Gamora shouts over his shoulder to the figure behind him- Death herself! Apparently she can see Death too so thus starts their horrible relationship together.
Invisible Kingdom #2: Hot damn, I love this book! The quandary builds on itself from last issue, with Vess beginning to question her place in the Invisible Kingdom more and Grix hating everything to do with totally-not-anything-akin-to-a-certain-online-marketplace Lux. Grix confronts one of her managers after the crew’s dreaded discovery in their cargo hold. They manage to keep everything they know seemingly quiet from the greasy exec with a crash-landing cover story but not before he threatens custody of Grix’s little brother who lives aboard their ship. The final straw comes after leaving the planet when a freighter almost crashes into them when they don’t answer their hails. That’s enough for Grix to finally cut ties with Lux and begin a hopefully successful escape. Meanwhile Vess’s discovery of hidden accounts within her monastery have led to her to wonder if she’s in the right place. Their Mother Proxima who leads them has been funneling money into a secret account unbeknownst to anyone else. After an intense conversation where the word obedience is thrown around a lot, Vess contemplates her predicament in her quarters. It’s their she receives a distress signal from Grix’s ship and the convergence of their stories!
Queen of Bad Dreams #1: Dreams meet reality in some harsh ways in this one. This sci-fi story highlights figments- beings from dreams called figments that drop into the waking world through psychics and take on a life of their own once they do. Daher is an Inspector Judge, one of the few charged with tracking these figments down and either taking them out should they be something monstrous or helping them integrate into society if they are free-thinking, whole beings. Her and her partner who is about to retire (voted “Most Likely to Die” by myself) to the chief’s office. Apparently a figment dropped the night before from a politician’s son’s dream (voted “Most Likely to be an Asshole” by myself) and he needs the IJs to track her down. After Daher makes a stop at the halfway house for figments run by her ex-wife though, she learns that said figment has been in the waking world for over a week. The mystery only starts to deepen from there so keep an eye out for this one as it hits the shelves.
Star Trek Year Five #1: The final voyage of the USS Enterprise! The fifth year of the five year voyage begins with the crew surveying a star for analysis. This is the light part of the issue where the crew members take a break to celebrate their anniversary and say some of their most famous catchphrases. Captain Kirk excuses himself to his private quarters though to which Bones follows him with a bottle of brandy. Kirk reveals to Bones that he has been named admiral once they return home but also that Kirk himself doesn’t want to return home. Shortly after a distress signal is received from the Tholian planet Lloyd Zeta-9 so Kirk doesn’t miss a beat for the chance to drop their dumb science-y mission and boldy go. What he finds on the planet is that its hot-rock inhabitants have been blasted to freezing temperatures and killed. The landing crew finds a Tholian child alone and the captain decides to take them aboard, commencing the start of the downfall of the Enterprise’s mission…
Ascender #1: A beautiful start to the follow up to Descender. Mother lands her dragonship on Knossos to make sure the brothers Frobin and Thobin have been preparing her other dragonships properly. They tell her they captured a dead prisoner and are attempting to interrogate him through necromagic. She intervenes being crazy-dumb powerful and does the job for him. It’s revealed that the rebels have a new leader, one who is a wizard of hope and light. The dead body then bursts into light and a single robotic head is left…On Sampson, little Mila tries to do some back alley trading of furs but is caught by some of Mother’s cronies and sent back up the mountain. When he dad finds out he gives her a telling off, saying she should be grateful for their freedom. She runs out into the night telling me him that his brand of freedom is boring and sucks. As she broods under the midnight sky, a shooting star crash lands to Earth which she finds to be a ROBOTIC DOG. Not only is this guaranteed to be a comic masterpiece but it also contains a robo-dog so get in on the ground floor now!
Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #3: This one continues to surprise me with its lightheartedness considering that Millar is behind the wheel. Sharkey starts cornered by his billion dollar bounty Edra Deering but the tables are turned real quick. Her gang is wiped off the map by the opposing forces of Juda Cade’s a.k.a. Sharkey’s ex-wife. Deering escapes though and the two chase her into a nearby building. Turns out though Edra can absorb the energy thrown at her Black Panther-style and explodes, throwing the two away as Cade protects Sharkey with an energy shield. The duo then gets picked up by the local PD as bounty hunting is illegal. They’re sentenced to work on a lunar penal colony which the cop calls “bleak as shit” which is always something you love to hear from an officer of the law. Luckily Extra-Billy grew up in a family of thieves so he knows a thing or two about breaking into prison for an escape and rams Sharkey’s spaceship through the precinct to get them out of there. Now they’re on the chase for Deering following the tracker that Sharkey winged her with, hopefully this time in a bounty-happy district.
Invisible Kingdom #2– Something fishy is going down in the Invisible Kingdom. Grix, the pilot of a shipping vessel, finds his cargo crates are empty. He reports back to his bosses at Lux Industries only to be met with threats and a disregard for his concerns on the matter. Elsewhere Vess, who has recently joined a religious order called the Invisible Kingdom, is put in charge of bookkeeping. She quickly finds discrepancies to the tune of money coming in straight from Lux Industries, for what appears as no reason. This wouldn’t be a big deal if the Invisible Kingdom didn’t spend most of their days publicly denouncing Lux Industries due to their unholy greed. When Vess confronts someone in the Kingdom, she is met with disregard and the claim the Kingdom is doing good with the money. Grix tries to brush it off too, but after another ship runs him off course of his next drop off he knows something is wrong. His brother hits a distress beacon that is received by Vess. These characters are more intertwined than they know.
Queen of Bad Dreams #1 – In a world where creatures can fall out of your dreams, there as an elite organization dedicated to destroying or rehabilitating these ‘creatures’. Judge Wei is one of the best in her department. Her latest case was unusual because the dreamer claimed the ‘creature’ made a conscious decision to leave the dream and escape to the real world. After getting a tip from a rehabilitated ‘dream girl’, she finds the missing ‘creature’ at a local bar. She corners the dream, but lets her go. She has more questions for the dreamer, because stories aren’t adding up.
Ghost Tree #1 – I’m pumped for the next book in this four issue mini series. The book opens with Brandt as a child, carefree and growing up in Japan. Then flashes forward to him revisiting his childhood home in adulthood, after years in the states and a less carefree life. He is going through a breakup at home, and while looking through old photos, he takes special notice to a photo of a woman he obviously new from his time there (foreshadowing, obvi). In his youth, Brandt’s grandfather, took him out to a tree in the woods behind their home. He told Brandt to meet him there ten years after his death. As a child, Brandt agreed, but thought nothing of it. All the same, seemingly subconsciously, Brandt goes to that tree. There he sees his grandfather, and many others who have past on years before. Amazed by what he is seeing, his grandfather explains the ghost tree, and why it is so important to their family. In the same breathe, he expresses regret for ever asking Brandt to return there. Why is still to be determined. Who is that chick from the photo? Beats me, but I think she is a ghost because she is hanging out by host tree. I’m here for the next issue.
Punk Mambo #1 – Punk Mambo is a badass monster hunter in New Orleans. On first glance, she doesn’t appear to be you typical voodoo priestess, but the book starts with a battle and it’s clear she has summoning abilities. When her biggest ally/ summoned spirit is unreachable to her, she goes off to find out who could’ve done this and why. With advice from another woman with what we can only assume are similar powers (she has that typical voodoo priestess look and they obviously have a conflicted past). It’s clear Black Mambo is apprehensive of this other priestess, but is also willing to do anything for more answers. This search takes her to Haiti, where we’ll pick up next issue.
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge #1 – So last week we had a tie in comic for a book series. Now this week we have a tie in comic for a darn theme park. What a world we live in when Disney is at the helm right? For a theme park tie in comic though, this first issue isn’t too terrible though honestly. We get introduced to our small core cast of characters, set post ROTJ, who are on the hunt for some sort of relic at Black Spire Outpost, the same place people can visit when star wars land opens. They meet with an alien named Dok-Ondar who may have this special item and he regales them with a tale of none other than Han Solo getting a special item for him. And what is this item you may ask? Why none other than a little Sarlacc baby. What other wonders of information will this series bestow upon us in the coming months?!
Star Wars Vader: Dark Visions #3 – In this episode of “The various ways people perceive Darth Vader” we are introduced to a stage 5 clinger who is utterly infatuated with Vader. She works as a nurse on the Death Star and is constantly envisioning herself in various romantic situations with Vader that are drawn in a fun painterly romance novel sort of way. I can’t go into too much detail on what happens because that would spoil the fun of reading it, but this mini series continues to be one of my favorites so far.
Invisible Kingdom #2 – Love this series. G Willow Wilson has everything move at a brisk pace. The space Amazon delivery crew has to report to corporate while Vess is quickly learning that her space nunnery is not as pious as it might seem. The end of this chapter leaves our Lux crew sending out a distress signal that will have our delivery crew and Vess crossing paths in the next chapter. The art from Christian Ward is just as bright and colorful and wonderful as before. Definitely give this book a read if you haven’t yet.
Dial H for Hero #2 – This series just got wayyyyy cooler than i thought it would. Miguel is having doubts about running away and using the H-Dial, so he chucks it over a bridge to be rid of it. The only problem with that there is a network of former users called “The Thunderbolt Club” who basically crave to use the phone again like it’s some sort of drug and they are watching in the shadows to strike. One of these people just so happens to take the opportunity to dive into the waters and get the phone for himself and that’s where the magic of this issue really shines because the dude turns into a hero named “Jobu the Zonkey King” and the book basically turns into a huge Dragonball homage and it’s fantastic. It later gets a little Appleseed like and the whole thing is just terrific. I’m hoping later issues will model themselves off of other famous comic properties/styles. Great book, will def read the rest of the series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4: Things are REALLY moving forward on this new series now. It’s been two weeks since the events of the last issue and the Slayer squad has been dispatching vamps left and right. In light of all this, Giles decides to give them the night off because he believes Drusilla has something really big lined up and they need a break to steel themselves. Willow, Buffy and Xander decide to go to the movies with Willow inviting her girlfriend and Robin Wood, the dude Buffy has a crush on in their high school. This causes Xander to go into a nice guy spiral about feeling sad and alone. That is, until he gets a text from Buffy saying to meet her alone before the movies start. As he’s walking down toward their designated spot, he realizes too late that he was set up. Drusilla and Spike had taken Buffy’s phone in their last skirmish with the giant bat god and was masking Xander to get him where she needed him to be. Now right where she wants him, Drusilla’s big, bad, doom-ridden plan is starting to take shape. The last page will have some very real, lasting implications for the Buffy universe at large!
Angel #0: “Magick always starts with something pretty. Never ends that way.” A very good line from a very good comic- this Buffyverse keeps getting better and better! This one starts with the ending of this week’s Buffy through Angel’s eyes and then leads us to a flashback including a beautifully illustrated retelling of his origin (cursed by a magician after razing a village to regain his soul, thus being aware of his actions and ultimately being crushed by the weight of the lives he’s ruined). Part of his time in Los Angeles this time around was spent training a young woman named Helen whose father was devoured by a demon. The two set off after a similar demon when Angel is tipped off by his local psychic friend Fee-Fee and given a mystical amulet to help track it down. The beastie was eating the heads off homeless drug addicts and needed to be stopped. They track the demon down while he’s chasing after a woman but unfortunately Helen gets caught by its hypnotizing gaze. She’s ultimately eaten alive in brutal fashion which causes Angel to go into vamp-rage mode and rip him apart. This leads Angel to leave L.A., declaring he’ll only work alone from now on but heeding Fee-Fee’s advice to head to Sunnydale where we can all assume he won’t work alone. Don’t miss the start of this series, the Buffyverse is only going to get bigger!
Assassin Nation #2: Man. I know all the characters in this book were hired to protect the old number one assassin in the world but I am REALLY hoping this dude bites it. He is the worst but that’s also why it’s so funny. While waiting to prep for a meet-up their terrible boss-man has scheduled, the killers go around the room as spurred on by the by-the-book, straight-laced merc to talk about their first kills. Turns out he was a top sniper in the military which pegged him for the job. Trish took revenge into her own hands when even the justice system wouldn’t do it for her friend. Man of the hour and every other hour, Fuck Tarkington dropped a boulder on a man’s head when he was just a kid because he was cruel and kicked his bloodhounds every night. The Gemini twins, uh, killed their mother in childbirth. So that goes over in the group like you’d think it would. All this leads to the big meet up where things go super south super quick. Drones come down from the sky, showering the streets with explosives and taking out a few more of the assassins hired to take out their client. Now they have more of an idea who’s up to all this so the next thing on their minds is something they’re very good at: assassination.
Guardians of the Galaxy #4: With Captain Groot as interim leader, the Guardians head to the home of Rocket Raccoon on Halfworld in order to track down Gamora. She’s been scoping out the fortress Rocket’s made in order to find the weak point and take him out. After sniping Beta Ray Bill and taking him out hardcore, she falters when she sees Groot and the two talk about how terrible it is that there is such in-fighting and killing amongst Guardians at the moment. The crew goes back onto the Ryder where Quill has finally sobered up and while back in control of his ship, slaps cuffs onto Gamora. He not taking any chances on her being the reincarnation of Thanos or killing him (again). As this is all taking place Nova shows up to warn them not to find Gamora, only to find that they’ve found Gamora….and that he led the Dark Guardians who want blood to them…*sigh* this is why you call before you just show up to someone’s place. A battle then ensues of epic proportions. Both teams have heavy-hitters on them and they hit real damn hard in some fantastic panels. It all leads up to a very tense moment that you sure as hell won’t want to miss if you’re a MU cosmic fan.
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter #1: Mysterious history that needed its blanks filled drives the center of this story. In our time, a tour guide discovers a lost manuscript of Mary Shelley’s after a tourist almost falls through the floorboards of her last home in London. The manuscript plays out the events that led Shelley to lead such a horrific life in her words…it starts just after the announcement of her nuptials to Percy Shelley while the two of them were traveling the world with Lord Byron, his companion and Mary’s stepsister. After a night of revelries in Geneva, the host who promised to shelter them through the winter kicks them out after hearing that one of the guests died on their way home. He blames Mary’s group as he believes their progressive natures in terms of free love has brought curse and death upon them. That’s when Frankenstein’s assistant comes out of nowhere and offers to take them up to their castle. There they wait out the winter and prep a contest to see who can write the best horror story in their boredom. That’s when the noises from the basement of their benefactor start and Mary investigates, only to find out the fate of the man they were accused of killing with their curse. History buffs and horror fans should give this one a shot: well told and brilliantly drawn.
Daredevil #4: Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil is looking like it’s going to be a legendary one. This time Frank Castle has saved DD after his street fight with Detective. Punisher has it in his head that Daredevil is now in his line of thinking after DD accidentally beat a man to death: killing bad people is the good thing to do. What takes place then is an interesting discourse between the two where Castle makes the argument that by the numbers there are more good people left alive after he takes out the bad whereas Murdock sees the society poisoning these people and causing them to do bad, therefore they should be given a chance of redemption. Punisher has tied up someone else in the room: a low-level thug of the Owl’s gang who Castle thinks has information. To test out his philosophy, Frank lets him go to see if Daredevil’s claim that he can be good is true. After the man goes for an assault rifle, Punisher puts a bullet between his eyes and a fight breaks out between the two vigilantes. In the ensuing mayhem, Daredevil picks up a couple guns and an amazing chain of events unfolds due to his radar sense. You don’t wanna miss where this story is going.
Spider-Man Life Story #2 – Peter is still unsure whether he is wasting his great power by not fighting in the war. Unfortunately, this turmoil within is causing him to lash out at work. His boss Reed Richards isn’t tolerating the back talk, and gives him an ‘incredible’ slap to the face (it’s okay, it was different time). Things are still awkward between he and Harry after throwing his father in jail. Little does Peter know, Daddy Osborne already spilled the beans about Spider-man’s real identity and gives Harry the means to finish his master plan. Adorned in a Black Goblin suit, Harry breaks into Professor Warren’s lab. Too bad Peter was just on his way to visit Gwen, who works alongside Warren. He swings into action, Harry reveals himself and pulls of Peter’s mask, finally to unveil Osborne’s secret project with the Professor. Warren had been making clones of Norman, Peter, and Gwen. It’s obvious why Norman would want a clone of himself running around while he is incarcerated and one of Peter to finally have him working alongside him, but Warren’s unhealthy obsession with Gwen caused the last clone. Peter finally gets Harry to see the truth and he decides to destroy the lab with the clones inside, only to find out the Gwen inside the tank was the real one and he had been living with the clone. Only Peter’s clone survived the explosion, so clone Spidey and Gwen go off, assuming another identity and do happily ever after clone things I guess. Peter has lost Gwen and Harry decides to run off, so I now I suppose he and Mary Jane have to keep each other company…
Farmhand #7 – Farmhand? More like out of hand. Jedidiah seed’s have gone from a blessing to a plague. Jed is convinced the seed is safe, and contained within the lab, but after encountering a wild boar who was obviously infected and finding a field of trees planted with his seed he has to face the truth. Confused by it all, he still has faith in the good his seed is doing and continues to do transplants, despite the protesters outside. After Jed’s brother pays him a visit at the lab, Jed goes home and starts to question why he was shown the seed in the first place. Just then he is confronted by a person who is half plant, half man, who has broken into his home and clearly means business.
Little Bird #2 – Little Bird is alive once again. After being shot at the end of the last issue, this one begins with Little in some sort of in between, where her mother speaks to her, and explains her own past. When Little awakes, she finds herself running for her life once again. This time she is found by the Axe, who has joined up with the resistance. The Axe explains to Little Bird, finding him was just the beginning and they still need to formulate a plan to take down the Bishop. They journey and find the secret community of Elder’s Hope where Little Bird realizes she is more than just a girl sent to help her village, she is the key.
Ms. Marvel #2 – Kamala comes home to find her parents turned into a pile of goo. I don’t know if I’d call it luck, but after her friend Bruno runs a test, turns out they are only clones of her parents. Together they investigate, tracking down the monster that may still have her parents. Scans of alien signals, lead them to a storage garage, and an angry three headed giant. Fueled by the fear for her family, Ms. marvel has no trouble slaying the beast. Soon after, she discovers her family in a storage locker safe and sound. When she thinks the day is done, she is approached by strangely dress elders. Still on guard, she demands they explain their presence, but waits for an explanation before throwing blows. Turns out, the days events were set up by these elders to test Ms, Marvel on ‘courage, goodness, and brilliance’. They are now convinced she is the one spoken of in a prophecy on their home planet, and she is the only one who can save them from doom! Looks like Kamala is going to space
Star Wars Age of Rebellion Special – Fun OT anthology one shot where we get three stories. The first centers on everyone’s favorite robo assassin IG-88 and what makes him so good at killing people. The second story centers on Yoda prior to meeting Luke on Dagobah. And the last story, which is my favorite on the bunch, is a tragic comedy about the two best pilots in the Rebel Alliance: Biggs Darklighter and Jek Porkins. I never thought I’d empathize with Porkins, yet here I am getting hit in the feels for the dude. All three are have their own visual style to them and all enjoyable for fans of the OT series.
Star Wars Tie Fighter #1 – I do believe this is the first comic I’ve read that ties into an actual prose book, let alone one that that doesn’t even come out for another two months, but here we are. Tie Fighter centers on a group of elite TIE pilots that form Squadron 5 also known as “Shadow Wing”. After defeating some pesky Rebels on a routine mission, they are assigned a new task of escorting a downed Star Destroyer by their apparent handler known as “Grandmother”. And in some back up material, we learn one of the pilots isn’t as aligned to the ideals of the Empire as the others would hope. I enjoyed the book for focusing on the Imperial side of things which hasn’t happened too much in the NuCanon, but the issue as a whole was a little sparse and a lot of time spent setting up. I believe this mini is supposed to be 5 issues long which means issue 3 will release around the time the tie in novel, which supposedly will tell the “same” story from the Rebel side of things, comes out so I’ll be interested on how well the two cross ver. This issue also has a little excerpt from the first chapter of the novel in case anyone is interested.
Assassin Nation #2 – This series is so much fun and the best assassin comic I’ve read in a hot minute. The art is still colorfully wonderful and the writing is witty. This chapter provides some good backstory for some of our assassins AND moves the plot forward with some wild events at the end really shaking things up. At this rate, I don’t know how long this series will continue if the assassins keep getting merced at the rate they are. Again, anyone who is a fan of films like Smokin Aces or even Lock Stock would enjoy this book.
Spider-Man Life Story #2: The 70’s – This series continues to be fantastic. When it was first announced, I just thought it would be about Spider aging in “real time” through the decades and the ramifications of that, but did not realize it would be so much more. From twisting classic storylines like Gwen Stacey and her relationship to Peter, to the evolution and rise of the second Green Goblin, to incorporating other elements from the larger Marvel Universe like Peter working with Reed Richards and the Future Foundation, everything about this book is fun and not what anyone would expect. This may be the best Spider-Man story ever told no hyperbole.
The Batman Who Laughs #4: Batman can now see the pathways that the Batman Who Laughs has laid out to his plan. Literally! Turns out that weird spikey visor the bad Bats wears uses dark metal to connect to dark multiverse to see… dark things. Mostly the dark intentions of a person’s heart and how they can be influenced. After an emotional altercation with Alfred, Batman sets off on a dark trail to find the next portal from another world. Before he gets there though he sets up an ultimatum with Joker that leads them both to have a good belly laugh. Pretty funny to actually see those two connect now that Bats has a little bit of Joker venom in ‘im. Things are looking pretty grim for our pal Gordon though as the BWL leaves him with the Grim Knight. The two of them have a bit of history on his home world so GK lets Gordon go, only to hunt him down like the dog he thinks he is. Hopefully he makes it out of all this alive as the Grim Knight brings some dogs of his own to this hunt.
Journey Into Mystery #1: Thor has a new baby sister! So that means Balder has one too after he makes his return from Hel. After the War of the Realms comes to New York City, Balder’s mother sends him and Thor’s dog Thori to Oklahoma to make sure his little sister is alright during all this chaos raining down on Midgard. After teaming up with Miles Morales to make it outta NYC, the trio find Skuld the Silent Norn with Thor’s sister. She proceeds to prophesize the team which will help the help babe stay far away from the war closing in on them. Balder’s time in Hel was a long one though, so what he perceives from the prophecy is not actually what he gets (they never are though; don’t trust in prophecies, kids). Be thankful though, the team he gets is quip-heavy and hilarious too. Now the group must outrun Sindr’s forces who are hot on their trail. The god they meet along their way is going to make it very difficult though. The McElroys bring the laughs in this one, definitely a pick up for Adventure Zone and MBMBAM fans!
Symbiote Spider-Man #1: Peter David manages to keep this retelling of Spidey’s black suit chronicles fresh by flipping the perspective a little bit. Now we get a look inside the head of Quentin Beck, the man behind the fishbowl of Mysterio. After failing to convince his friend to team up with him, Beck attempts to rob a bank only to have a teller accidentally shot and killed as a result. When he goes to her gravesite to mourn her and wallow in his mistakes, Peter and Felicia Hardy spot him from across the way during a trip to remember Uncle Ben in that same graveyard. Spider-Man tracks Mysterio down afterwards and the two duke it out, only for Spider-Man to realize that Mysterio was not a threat to him as he was just in mourning. That was enough though and now the domed trickster is out to get revenge on the webcrawler. Meanwhile Black Cat spends some quality time with Aunt May in an attempt to get to know the man a little better than the spider. A great start to a cool series!
Fairlady #1: A superb first issue for this fantasy private investigator series. Once a soldier, Jenner Faulds is now what’s known a Fairman- licensed investigators in the post-war ravaged land known as The Feld (a city built in the remains of a giant magic robot). She and her feline partner take on jobs from the highest payer and search out what needs to be searched. This first story centers around the retrieval of an embezzler, Samanda, who was caught on the wrong side of their crime lord boss. Said boss wants her found and now wants to get back what’s his. Not all is as it seems though as what’s his is a bunch of valuable blue rocks which turn out to be charred human remains from battles of the horrible war. As the mystery unfolds, it looks as if Samanda may no longer be there to return to her old boss. A beautifully paneled story unfolds with an interesting take on how to display a scene while it’s being investigated. A great read for any fantasy lover out there.
Orphan Age #1: All the adults are dead! That’s what we learn in the first few pages as a Y the Last Man level death event takes place. The story flashes to 20 years later in a small town that has managed to rebound in the aftermath. It’s your basic survivalist town set up in a small commune-like way of harmony. They’re there for each other and it’s made quickly obvious through their nightly ritual of sharing which involves speaking to emotional needs that come up in their day-to-day lives. The mayor of this commune stumbles upon an outsider with a gunshot wound who they take in and tend to his wounds. Once he recovers the next day, he warns them of the New Church which had just razed the town over and is headed their way. The mayor directs his daughter who everyone calls Princess to go with completely trustable stranger to Albany where she has a plan to take care of. They’re joined by the town’s soft-spoken bard who shows her bad ass side by wiping out a few red shirt New Churchers. Their trio makes their way out as everyone behind them is slaughtered by the New Church. An interesting start to an interesting new story!
Ronin Island #2: Greg Pak’s samurai epic continues! General Sato leads the defenders of Ronin Island defenders to where the unstoppable Byōnin demons are rampaging through farmlands. Hana and Kenichi are put to the test but their rivalry cements their fighting style rather than driving them apart. Many are cut down in its defense but the biggest turn of all comes after the battle is over when the Shogun’s goodest boy Sato imprisons the leaders of Ronin Island for remaining outside the Shogun’s rule. Sato’s forces then begin a month long occupation of the island where Hana and Kenichi are forced to work under the watch of uppity samurai. The get their comeuppance though when the most horrid thing known to man comes to destroy their entire samurai platoon: horses. Not just any horses though, DEMON horses. It looks as if Hana and Kenichi will have to form a shaky alliance with the Shogun’s forces if they want to take back the lands from the Byōnin forces of nigh-unkillable evil.
Batman Who Laughs #4 – It’s growing more difficult for this universe’s Batman not to succumb to Joker’s toxin. Alfred, as always, is there to bring him back down to earth, but even Alfred fears the Bruce he once knew may never come back. Bruce realizes in order to defeat the Batman Who Laughs, he has to think like him. He even begins to wear the same visor, made of dark metal, allowing him to see as the BatWhoLaughs. Batman has to remind himself the chaos and destruction around him is from another universe, and focus on stopping more portals from opening. With Alfred’s help, they find the next portal in Black Gate. Batman accidentally slips through the portal and brings back that universe’s Bruce Wayne, only for him to be captured by who he thought was an officer. Turns out it’s a fucked up universe’s Damien. They don’t exactly say it, but he says he is his son and the book begins with some random Robin references…All awhile Commissioner Gordon is still being held captive by the BatWhoLaughs and Grim Knight. I suggest reading the Grim Knight series to really understand how much danger Gordon is in. Grim has no intention on making his misguided revenge easy either. He let’s Gordon go so he can hunt him down, but I have faith in Gordon’s resilience, this is his Gotham after all.
Ronin Island #2 – The islanders make it across the water, to the mainland, to find what the General spoke of was worse than they thought. The war they are fighting is against something unnatural. No matter how much damage is dealt, the creatures still keep coming. The General knows the only way to destroy them is with fire, unfortunately burning down all their structures and homes. When the islanders return with the survivors, the General demands they pledge allegiance to the Shogun. When the village head, Jin, refuses she is locked away along with Master Ito. This leaves the children as their only hope. All they can do now is hope they can put aside their life long rivalry to save the village.
Faithless #1 – So clearly I’ve been wasting my life not practicing the dark arts. Faith’s day, and life, is changed after literally running into Poppy in a coffee shop. This mystery women who sparks joy and an excitement that you can tell was been missing from Faith’s life. She has the courage to stand up to Poppy’s ‘obsessive’ ex, spend an otherwise uneventful day drinking beer in a pool hall, and then go back to her’s for amazing sex. Then Poppy turns into a pile of feathers, so yeah, who knows if any of that was even real! We’ll see in issue twoo00oo!
Fair Lady #1 – The concept of a complete story per issue is awesome. How many times have we been left wondering ‘what’s going to happen next?’ at the end of a cliff hanger issue. I’m excited to learn more about this universe where humans and creatures coexist. Fair Men and Fair Ladies are essentially P.I.s and it’s good to see Jenner and her partner are ‘noble and true’. When sent on a job to find a Samanda Messilis, a woman accused of stealing from her boss and running out on a loan, who they find is not what they expect. She isn’t herself anymore, she is running from this reality. Jenner takes her somewhere she will be safe from those looking for her, missing out on a hefty bounty to follow her moral compass. What or who Samanda has become is never truly explained, but I’m sure in books to come we will learn more about those escaping reality.
Faithless #1 – A dope debut. Faith is a young woman who likes to dabble in the dark arts recreationally and hang with her friends at the local coffee shop. She bumps into a mysterious woman and spills her drink on her which sets off a wild erotic/satanic chain of events that ends in a fantastic cliff hanger. The art is wonderfully done and this first issue has a great Paul Pope cover which is worth the cover price alone. Don’t sleep on this series.
Fairlady #1 – This was a surprisingly fun read for me. We are thrust into a post some sort of war sci fi/fantasy world where former soldiers have become roaming detectives called “Fairmen”. Except this book doesn’t involve a Fairman, but a the first and only FairLADY and her name is Samanda and she has a sweet giant cat partner. They live in a city that inhabits the remains of some ancient looking robot. The great thing about this issue is that it works as it’s own “episode” if you will but it drips a little bit of backstory for the world and the two main protagonists that I’m sure will be drip fed through the course of the series. The great thing is that every issue will be this procedural detective drama which is kind of nice if you don’t want to be swept up into some grand sweeping epic. Would recommend if you like POC lady fantasy detectives.
Savage Sword of Conan #4 – Hello everyone, it’s me again here to talk about how great the Conan books are. Apparently no one reads these things which is very unfortunate. Conan is that OG barbarian that everyone should know and love. Are you really into macho high fantasy if you don’t like Conan? Anywho, Koga Thun was really close to capturing Conan only it’s Conan and he didn’t let that happen. BUTTTTT Koga Thun did do one of Conan’s friends dirty and Conan is non to happy about it. It will all come to a climax next issue! I hope all of you will join me there.
Star Wars Age of Rebellion: Grand Moff Tarkin #1 – The Age of Rebellion series of one shots marches on and thankfully we are now done with the garbage prequel era stuff and into the real meat and potatoes that is the original trilogy. Of the OT characters, no one has been made into more of a bad ass in the NuCanon that ol’ Wilhuff Tarkin. Tarkin may be old, but he is 100% a savage ass gangster who doesn’t take shit from anyone and also has no remorse for anything. The dude is cold blooded and you get to witness all of that here. This is probably my favorite one shot so far
Green Lantern #6 – After last issue’s cliffhanger, the duel between Adam Strange and Green Lant- er, Blackstar Parallax kicks off the very start. I’d to take this time real quick to say it’s weird how a scientific planet like Raan has a gladiatorial arena for combat duels but I’m glad it does! After a few tense exchanges, the two square off and ten paces later Adam falls to our titular hero. Raan is reeling from its loss as Controller Mu’s absorption of the planet into its fold becomes absolute after their occupation. Amid our “hero’s” now deep infiltration, he begins to have second-thoughts after learning their true, terrible intentions…come for the parlor room scene with plenty of Morrison existential quandary!
Die #5 – Glass Town is in for a world of hurt. The party begins their plans in earnest to bring down the town and bring Sol from his ivory tower. Ash uses their Dictatorship in truly cruel ways to manipulate the inhabitants and bring their defenses down for invasion. Meanwhile, Ash’s sister Angela sneaks into the compound of the mechanical baddies seen throughout the series and whispers code into their leaders…um, auditory receptors? This distributes a command to all their forces to attack the town. Luckily before it’s ransacked by mecha-dragons and golems, the townspeople are evacuated by Isabelle the Godbinder and one of her gods of harvest. Sol arrives and calls everyone ungrateful for this adventure he’s made for everyone. Just when it looks like they may be able to return to the real world, the group does the last thing you want to do in an adventure: they split the party.
War of the Realms #1 – With a new event comes a flurry of new deaths! Malekith begins his assault on the last remaining free realm by sending dark elf assassins to take out who he perceives as the greatest threats to his sovereignty. After some major players are taken off the board, one after Malekith uses a trick out of Loki’s book, the invasion begins in earnest with trolls, giants and flaming monsters erupting from nowhere into Times Square. The Avengers are quickly clued into it by Black Panther and arrive on-scene. Frank Castle has a particularly cool moment of jumping off a building firing his guns into a frost giant but I cannot stress enough that he is only a dude with guns. Don’t jump off buildings, kids. The resulting fight is truly a comic spectacle with the main bad riding a flying white tiger as the opposing forces clash. Get in now for the comic event of the summer!
The Storyteller: Sirens #1 – A really sweet read for a softer side of storytelling. An old man begins a story about a fisherman to convince his dog not to eat as many treats. Seems messed up in theory but in execution a beautiful story emerges. The man fishes nonstop in order to earn enough money to one day buy his own caravel. This puts a strain on his relationship with both his wife and daughter as he then has no time to see them. One day in his trade he stumbles across a mermaid with an incredible song to sing. Ok, she’s totally a siren. He captures her and locks her up to make sure she will always sing for him and bring him the happiness he has longed for. This doesn’t last for long of course and his way to find happiness once more has a very touching conclusion.
Section Zero #1: Ever wanted to see a U.N. sponsored team of supernatural commandos take on mysterious phenomena? Then look no further! The team is first found scouring Cambodia after reports of a strange bug boy surface. After coming face-to-face with him and saving him from militaristic forces using their flying saucer (complete with friendly, alien teammate), they join forces with who was once their foe…the 24 Hour Bug! No, seriously, that’s what he calls himself. The newly formed team then makes their way to Australia to find the culprit behind local livestock mutilations. It’s not long before they discover the source and it’s not something you’d expect to be ripping apart sheep in the Aussie outback. Definitely reminiscent of Silver Age sci-fi books.
Marvel Action Black Panther #1: The perfect all-ages tale with enough action for everyone. The story opens with our king giving a speech to honor the opening of a mining museum after a great year of pulling vibranium from the ground. Things break bad quickly though as a purple tornado hits the area. Right on cue, a little boy can’t find his dog Barky and runs back out into the storm, forcing BP to go and save him. Not to judge but Barky is just a terrible name, kid. After the storm brings down a plane, T’Challa jumps in to save it with VIBRANIUM HULKBUSTER ARMOR. YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES. It turns out that weather isn’t acting as it should all across Wakanda so it seems that Shuri and her regal brother will have to come together and sort this all out.
Rocko’s Modern Afterlife #1 – Growing up on this show, I had a bit of nostalgia reading this. Poor Rocko, trying to keep his normal life in the midst of a zombie outbreak. Of course, the main antagonist of the show, Mr. & Mrs. Bighead are turned to zombies. While Rocko turns to a life is solitude and meditation with Spunky, Heffer is living the virtual life. Triggering us all, Heffer goes on a game streaming tangent. In their reality, Heffer is a ‘twitch’ god and is never low on rations with his fail proof methods. After a taste of reality from Rocko, Heffer decides to put down the sticks and check on his family. Big mistake, now Rocko and Filbert have to go save their friend. I’m ready for the rest of the 1-4 mini series.
Jim Henson’s Storyteller: Sirens #1 – I didn’t read the other Jim Henson stories, but I’m getting a Aesop vibe. The tale begins with Jim’s pup begging for treats. The lesson compares his need for treats to the tale of a fisherman. This fisherman hears a Siren’s song and decides to hold the creature captive so he can hear her song whenever he wants. The accessibility to song causes him to abandon his family. After his family decides to leave him, the songs don’t please him the same way. He frees the Siren and goes forth alone, when he stumbles upon his daughter singing the most beautiful song he’s ever heard in a tavern. Leaving us with the moral of fleeting joy and making sure we check out the green grass at home!
Marvel Team-Up: Spiderman & Ms. Marvel #1– I loved this issue. The fun of flipping the comic over after the first read through to get the oppose POV. I started with Ms.Marvel, in a strange city, on a field trip realizing with great power comes blah blah, but of course, the local neighborhood Spiderman isn’t too far. After their team up saves the day, Kamala Khan and Peter Parker do a full ‘freaky friday’! Oh, snap, what’s going to happen next!!
Bronze Age Boogie #1 – This first issue leaves you wanting more. Disco era lingo and style is the general vibe, but only because time travel is a big influence. The book begins in the 70s, and then goes back to a more primitive time. Apparently their were tons of ghoulish baddies in the 1500s, like dinosaurs weren’t bad enough. A Chimpanzee we meet in “present day” 70s has befriended a member of a tribe in the past. I’m left anxious for the next issue, whatever time line it is.
Bronze Age Boogie #1 – So this series is kind of all over the place, but in a fun way. Brita Constantina is the daughter of King Domnall Constantine and lives in the year 3,949 BC fighting necro monsters summoned by evil wizards. Brita speaks like she’s not supposed to be in this era the entire time and back at her camp a mysterious monkey just appears out of nowhere. All that plus a martian invasion and a 70’s character called Go Go Golem which is a very clever character name. This book even has a section where a character gives his backstory in a PROSE section. Insanity. This book is all over the place and I’m kind in for it.
Major X #1 – What a time we live in in where Rob Liefeld gets to continue to draw and write X-men related books. And boy, does Rob Liefeld have a treat for you guys. Major X, X-Istence, X-Ential so many X’s. Liefeld even found a way to shorten weird albino future alternate dimension Beast’s name from McCoy to M’Koy, which I personally read as “Mmm-Koy”. Cable has an incredible wardrobe and this book is just Liefeld at the top of his game. PLUS the CrAzY reveal at the end that will obviously change the course of X-History
Conan the Barbarian #5 – The adventures continue for Conan and this time he’s on a pirate ship of horrors! Conan takes a little treasure on a ship meant for passage only for everything to spiral out of control as usually happens with Conan. Tentacled sea monsters and zombie sharks and rats oh my. Still don’t know how these evil kids are going to fit in that has been loosely been flowing through this first arc, but each of these issues have been a great one and done adventure regardless and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.
Marvel Team Up w/ Spider Man & Ms Marvel #1– What a cute interactive lil book. Two sides of the same story starring Spidey and Ms. Marvel where they quite literally meet in the middle. Super fun/cute read that’s all ages appropriate and is wonderfully not tied into anything! Sometimes it’s nice to just read a superhero story with no baggage isn’t it?