Powers of X #1: Yeah, this whole “Hickman running all of the X-Men titles” thing is going to work out real, real well. This particular entry gives us a look at the state of Xavier’s plan for the X-Men at its inception, 10 years into it (modern Marvel time), 100 years after and 1000 after that. It’s an ambitious idea to tell four stories at once and is pulled off relatively well, with the two stories about its inception and 10 years down the line being shorter for obvious reasons. There is a great deal of depth given to mutant genetic transference and Mr. Sinister’s role in crafting the militant mutants that appear in the 100 years story, including stand-out newcomer Rasputin. The intricacies of specific allele combinations on gene sites made the science nerd in me swoon. The number of moving parts this book sets up, culminating in a veiled reference to the cyclical nature of their struggle at the end of the book, highlight the sheer grandeur this storyline hopes to elicit and I look forward to the next installment of it in House of X #2 next week.
Batman: The Last Knight on Earth #2: Wow. Talking about grand scales, the amount of time Snyder must have contemplated on the number of ways the DCU would have collapsed must be astronomical in scale. Seriously, in this issue alone he lays out at least 7 ways it happened in a slightly different way than before. The mystery of the boy in the alley is touched on at the beginning and quickly switches the narrative back to the post-apocalyptic future. The overarching narrator of the Joker’s head is back, this time talking A LOT more than before. There is a lot of telling what the landscape and sights they see are as Batman takes him through the wastes rather than showing the audience what it looks like which is a shame. I know the art load would have been enormous but it sucks to be shown a picture of Batman hand-gliding while five different landscapes are described in captions around him in a visual medium. That being said, Capullo’s art thrills as usual as Bats and Joker find out the true story of what happened to Superman and Luthor as the world chose darkness.
The Batman Who Laughs #7: The six-issue series so good it got a seventh issue! Man oh man, am I glad it did. The series wraps up in an extremely satisfying fashion thanks to a crisp Snyder script and the best line work Jock has done on the series to date. Our Batman has lost his grip after the Joker venom takes full control of him and he dukes it out with the titular Joker Batman. Meanwhile, Gordon learns bringing along his murderous son who he mistrusts wasn’t a great idea in a situation that required trust. A particularly cool revelation about the persona Bruce Wayne has created for himself comes about as well from his hours of meditation he spent looking into the lives of all the Bruce Waynes from the dark dimension and how they strayed from his choices. He might well be the worst version of himself in how he broke himself to mold into Batman. Some wild speculation by Snyder that I believe pays off in droves.
Goon #5: The funniest funny book continues! I know you Powell-heads are confused: Goon #5 came out this month instead of Goon #4 which is a little on the weird side. Don’t fret though! The man himself has said that since both were one-off stories, the order does not matter and we’re free to enjoy its hilarity right now. Another weird note: Powell does not draw this one but Brett Parson does a FANTASTIC job. This week, the Goon takes on a microbrewery giving out devil hooch to turn the port citizens into mindless zombies who will only drink their brand, Beelzebooze. The potshot at microbreweries is a seriously hilarious one. With Franky captured, the Goon has to march to their front door and save his bud from their malicious clutches.
Angel #3: Another entertaining, if not cryptic, installment in the Buffyverse. The demon inhabiting the girl attacking Angel last issue is quickly dispatched with a water gun before Angel saves Winifred from the asylum. As he does, flashes and memories of his life as Angelus with the slayer he turned come to him unbidden as he asks them to go away. Then they travel back to Angel’s house which is…weird. They were in Sunnydale and then later that night they’re back in LA at Angel’s. Regardless, they end up there as Lilith reappears to give Angel visions of the future in cryptic rhyme as mainstays of biblical lore are required to do. Winifred reveals the secret to the demon is all one and zeroes, giving Angel his key gateway to take down the digital demon once and for all.
Thanos #4: Thanos struggles to maintain control of his mother-ship once again in this issue. At its start, we finally see two small figures and realize that this entire time Gamora has been relaying this story to them as they travel to Halfworld. This is only two pages but a new development as the story continues. The butcher squadron managed to sneak Gamora off in one of three ships, in order to confuse Thanos as to which one Gamora was on so he couldn’t blow them all up. Gamora, ever the deadly genius, activates one of her robotic arms to ping the signal back to her purple daddy so he can destroy the other two ships. Once back, butcher squad leads the mutinous prisoner to the brig, not noticing Gamora as she hears every part of their plan…things are gonna break wild next issue for sure.
Batman: Last Knight On Earth #2 – Last we left Batman he was headed out into the unknown, with Jokers chatty head in tow. With most heroes already dead and Wonder Woman refusing to aid him, he is alone in this new and dangerous world. Finally he finds a familiar face, even though they were enemies in the past. Batman doesn’t get time to rest though, Omega and his minions are out on the hunt for him and any other resistance. A couple of those minions are Bane and Scarecrow, who have been souped up by Omega. Just in the nick of time, an old friends decides to help and give this world another shot. The book closes with Bruce running into another ally, and you will start to feel a ting of hope for our lone knight in this cursed world.
The Batman Who Laughs #7 – They must’ve realized how awesome this series was after issue four, because they changed it from a six to a seven part mini series. Here we are at the end. Continuing from Dark Knight Metal, we are in a world where we get to meet Batmans from different dimensions. Unfortunately, they aren’t as noble as our caped crusader, and the worst of the bunch is the Batman Who Laughs(BWL). The BWL is here to take over this world, and infect everyone with his Joker toxin. He quickly infects our Bruce and we get to watch him combating this toxin with will alone. The trouble our Bruce is having is that the BWL knows all his secrets and tricks. Also, he isn’t the only unwanted Bat in town, we also have the Grim Knight (who also got an issue!). In Grim’s universe he is a Batman with no rules (very Thomas Wayne via Flashpoint). He is helping the BWL because he has a bone to pick with Commissioner Gordon. In his universe they aren’t the chums they are here, and our Gordon has to pay the price for his cosmic counter part. Dealing with a killer Gordon only knew one person who could help figure out his motives, and that was his incarcerated son, James Jr.. As a sociopathic serial killer, JJ and his dad have a pretty complicated relationship, but they have to work together here (all awhile, Gordon has to wonder if JJ will revert back to his murderous ways). This series will definitely keep you on your toes. We get to watch some hot Bruce on Bruce action, and you don’t know until the very end who will come out on top!
Manor Black #1 – Looks like it’s spooky scary sorcery time! This issue begins with a van of people being chased, and by who or what we don’t know yet. The van wrecks, which leads to the introduction of the local police department. They come to investigate the wreckage, where they find the van burnt and four people dead inside. They elude to the fact this is a small town sheriff department, and this is the most action they’ve seen in a long time. Small town or not, the officer who is investing the scene can tell this wasn’t just an accident. Things only get stranger when they are back at the station. On the other side of town Roman Black has a tough decision to make. He is getting older, and as a powerful sorcerer, he needs to pick a successor. His son, Reggie, is eager to be that for him, but Roman knows the magnitude of this responsibility and wants to make the right choice. We can tell Reggie is disappointed by this, but he has no choice but to do his best to prove himself. Later in the evening Roman can’t help but notice a girl being chased near his property line. The people chasing her are attacking her with magic and the girl looks to be out of time. That’s when Roman jumps in and warns the attackers he is magic too and this isn’t a fight they can win. They saunter off with ‘you will rue the day’ attitudes, but Roman seems unfazed. Now we have teacher in search of a student with a new young sorcerer in his manor. Maybe this is who he has been looking for all along.
Knight Temporal #1 – Auguste is on the hunt for an evil sorcerer by the name of Gaspard. He and a band of men on horse back were right on his heels, when he disappeared into a cursed forest. The other men refuse to enter, because no one has ever returned from those woods. Auguste can’t stop now, and this is the closest he has been to catching Gaspard. He enters the woods on foot because even the horses refuse to go. Once inside he loses Gaspard’s trail, but meets Jane Foole (major flighty forest nymph vibes). She tells him she can help him find Gaspard. We gather that this journey together isn’t easy or short. With flash back to different decades, we know the two will travel with each on the hunt for Gaspard. He even runs into someone he saved from Gaspard decades before, and the old man can’t believe Auguste hasn’t aged at all. There maybe trouble greater than Gaspard right under Auguste‘s nose. The twist at the end will have you eager for the next issue!
Powers of X #1 – This is so cool I can’t even fully comprehend everything that’s going on. Most of this book takes place in some sort of far off mutant future and Hickman is Hickman’ing the fuck out of this book and we are given even MOAR charts and graphs chronicling Mr. Sinister’s future mutant breeding/cloning program and Chimera’s and Khennils and how many surviving mutants there are in the far off future because I guess it’s not the X-Men if they aren’t all about to die all the time. I don’t know a lot of the characters introduced in this book, so I don’t know how many of them are new or I’m just ignorant on a massive amount of X-Lore, but I’m giving everything a pass considering this is the first issue of the second half of this series. Things are def bouncing off of House of X and I’m sure as both series progress everything will become clear. In Hickman I trust.
Death’s Head #1 – I remember way back when in the 90’s I bought a Death’s Head II comic and it blew my mind because I had no idea what was going on or who Death’s Head II was but it looked amazing, This is not Death’s Head II sadly. This is Death’s Head though and I guess there are multiple versions. Death”s Head Prime is a robo bounty hunter that worked for Yondu until he became a diesel smelling obsolete model and gets dumped in New York, destined to be a bad ass looking amp for a band, Wiccan and Hulking surprisingly appear and Wiccan has a weird robo secret. Cool first issue with some solid art and hopefully I’ll get to see more of my precious childhood Death’s Head II
Manor Black #1 – The spooky duo of Cullen Bunn and Tyler Cook reunite for another spooky adventure. A speeding car swerves out of the way of a mysterious bandaged man only to crash off the side of the road. An old man in a manor house is having trouble with his blood magic ritual and communes with his dead relatives in a basement over a successor. Mysterious fires in perfect circles and spontaneous combustion! All the elements you need to lay the crumbs to some good spooks. Great first issue and fantastic art again. Cullen Bunn does real good with the horror stuffs. How does he do it?
Conan the Barbarian #8 – Conan the Barbarian returns home to the frozen wastes of Cimmeria bearing gifts for his family and friends from his worldly travels, only to find everyone is possessed and ready to kill him, even his sweet precious grandmother. Come to find out Thoth Amon is behind it all, what a surprise. But Amon’s plans get ruined as usual and he finds out the Crimson Witch is the one destined to kill Conan so maybe there will be a sweet villain vs villain battle at the end of this incredibly long arc.
House of X #1- The new era of X-Men is here and with Hickman’s guidance this is going to be a historic one. Ambassadors of the world come specially invited to Krakoa expected to be greeted by the mutants’ new sovereign Xavier but are instead met by Magneto. Together they go over Xavier’s plan for the world as he has crafted a unique sanctuary with the help of the mutant island Krakoa that involves gates leading from every part of the world. Not only that, he has created a new mutant language with the help of Cypher to better promote their culture. He’s even gone so far as to create wonder drugs to give to humanity in an attempt to let them keep their mutant isolationist ways. There are already cracks in this plan as you can imagine, one involving a space station with mutant racists and the proven ability to wipe out mutants. A phenomenal start to what will be a phenomenal run.
Justice League Dark #13- After the harrowing back-to-back events that almost wiped magic from their plane, it only makes sense that this would be a somewhat subdued interstitial issue. Though this is light on action, it’s not one you’ll want to miss to better understand the intricacies of DC magic. Dr. Fate and John Constantine get minor redactions and additions to their origins, retold in beautiful styles with Fate’s retelling emulating silver age grandeur and John’s looking line for line like it was done by Ridgway on the OG Hellblazer books. Gaps filled and secrets revealed, some with devastating consequences for what’s to come down the line. Not only that, the JLD team is tied into DC’s Year of the Villain with this one in a very exciting way. Can’t wait to see how things shake out after this one.
Ascender #4- Man, I could look at Dustin Nguyen’s watercolors all day. This issue is once again exceptionally beautiful and slowly moving to its main narrative. The start sees Mother hastened off planet to visit the captured leader of the resistance who was leading a supply caravan from the remains of Niyrata. There also seems to be a guest appearance of an old character who is locked away in a room within Mother’s own bedroom but speculation wouldn’t be smart at this time. Meanwhile, Andy and Mila make a daring escape from dragons on the back of a giant, flying sea turtle in order to find Telsa and make it off planet. It’s really amazing how a techno-book has quickly become a magical, fantasy story and I can’t wait to see what other directions this story evolves into.
Invisible Kingdom #5- Grix’s tiny rogue Lux crew comes face-to-face with the military might of Lux corporate and stares down the very big barrels of its star destroyer. The action that ensues in this space dogfight is incredibly well done with panels trailing a moving ship’s trajectory in order to show the scenes from its interior. I don’t think my dumb words do it justice, it’s just something you have to see to believe. With their backs up against the wall, the ragtag team decides to unload all the information that Vess has gathered about the inner workings of her religion and its dark ties to Lux. The problem is, once the world finds out the truth what will anyone do with it? Very interested to see the new direction this book takes after its revelation, if only to see a direction where us in the real world can go.
Guardians of the Galaxy #7- Ah, the Universal Church of Truth. Nothing quite like a giant galactic megachurch using its followers to power its own nefarious misdeeds. Weird how so many of my picks involve space church this week…After a giant UCoT ship from the future appears in intergalactic space, the Nova Corps investigates only to be wiped out in an instant by some sort of mind control force. The GotG, meanwhile, are chilling on what amounts to be a Las Vegas-esque planet after saving the known universe. They’re ripped away from it after receiving a message from J’son, Starlord’s dad, who is using his troops to help the now decimated Nova Corps take on the Universal Church of Truth. The Guardians ready up but is there force really gonna be enough to take on faith of this magnitude? I really, really hope so.
Lazarus Risen #2– Another incredible story from the wreckage of capitalist society by to you by Mr. Greg Rucka. Forever meets with the D’Souza Lazarus and Murray’s Lazarus, her former flame Joacim, aboard a derelict ship to do some crazy-ass battlin’. Seriously. Lark’s ability to perfectly capture martial movement is highlighted beyond belief in these panels, some of them surpassing his previous fight sequences which were already some of the best in the biz. While Forever is fighting for her life, Marisol has to come to terms with the fact that the program she’s run so many young girls through is slowly killing and destroying the next iteration in the Carlyle Lazarus program. This is two creators at the top of their game tackling some of society’s heaviest subjects. I will always recommend anyone to jump into the world of Lazarus.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1: I am super pumped about this series. During the White Knight run, we watched Jack Napier turn the entire city of Gotham against Batman. We got to watch a couple of Harley’s go at it, it was great. Eventually the Joker regained control and Jack was no more. This book picks up in a world that isn’t so sure they need a masked vigilante. Bruce is having doubts himself after learning how politicians are using his good deeds for financial gain. Hopefully he doesn’t hang up the cowl too soon, because Joker has broken out of prison and has something major up his sleeve.
Sword Master #1– This issue opens with Lin Lie awaking from an unusual nightmare. He has been having them since his father went missing on an archaeological trip, and Lin knows it can’t be a coincidence. The last thing his father gave him was a sword from one of his trips and Lin believes it’s the key to finding him. Lin tracks down the men who were last with his father to get more information about the site. Lin goes home immediately and begins to pack to head to see what he can find there. Before he can leave there is a knock at the door, and it’s pretty eerie delivery man who claims to have a package from his father. We’ll have to read the next issue to find out what secrets this package holds and if it will be a clue to his fathers disappearance.
Drawing Blood #3 – EVERYONE READ THIS COMIC!! You can’t help but feel like Kevin Eastman is putting himself on the pages of these books. The main character is a co-creator of comic about a samurai animal troupe (sound familiar?). The series started with Bookman finding out his mentor in the industry killed himself. This issue we go to the funeral. Later he finds out he committed suicide by chopping off is drawing hand and bleeding out. Bookman doesn’t have time to properly mourn because his mentor’s bookie has come to him to pay is outstanding debt after his death. Tune in and watch Bookman mourn, write a play, struggle to get this money together, get followed by a film crew, and drink himself silly!
Wailing Blade #2 – The Headtaker is finally slain! Tychon is out to save his father, and not even the legendary Headtaker could stand in his way. Their journey isn’t over quite yet. Tychon now welds the Headtaker’s sword and mask in order to disguise himself. With a hostage in tow to direct them along the way, the troupe thinks they are in good shape. Little do they know, there is someone just as bad as Headtaker waiting for them.
History of the Marvel Universe #1 – Well this was fun and an eye opening insight into how cuckoo bananas the marvel universe is. Mark Waid does a solid job condensing the insane amount of celestial/universe beings that formed the MU and streamlines it to the best he can in 32 pages. Luckily at the end of the book there are many many annotations to help expand on all the nouns being thrown around and brief mentions of beings like “The Abstracts”, “Eon”, and “Proginators”. The art is great with classic Jack Kirby throw back tones.
House of X #1 – IT’S HERE! Hickman’s re-invention of the X-Men is upon us and it is wonderful and full on Hickman. There’s charts and graphs and info pages. Xavier and Magneto are BFF’s again and trying to make Krakoa a nice little mutant island nation again. As someone who hasn’t read an X book in YEARS, I didn’t feel to lost. I’m sure there are some things I’m missing, but this issue was mostly set up and I’m fine with it. With House of X and Powers of X being the sole X Books for the next few months and interconnecting, I’m sure all will be fine and set things up for the future of the X-Men and I am here for it. Hickman is going to make the X-Men fun again.
Batman Curse of the White Knight #1 – Batman White Knight was the best Batman book of the last ten years, YEA I SAID IT. SUCK IT SCOTT SNYDER AND TOM KING. And this debut issue of the second series is a fantastic follow up. Jack Napier is back in Joker mode and plotting something dubious deep on the bowels of Arkham Asylum. Batman is still reeling from realizing that maybe he is part of the problem and Jean Paul aka Azrael makes an appearance. Sean Murphy obviously kills it in this book and writes the most enjoyable Batman with his trademark amazing artwork with many lines and angled bodies and faces and fantastic colors by Hollingsworth. If you haven’t read White Knight, I implore you to pick it up and then also pick this up. It’s all so good.
Crucified #2 – we meet The Christ’s collection of his 12 disciples and they all have a background of being not great people. Some sex happens in exchange for shady dealings and the plot advances awfully slowly and ends rather abruptly. This book needs to pick up the pace ASAP
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1: Fraction is BACK. Even better news, his new book oozes with comedy and perfect silver age wackiness. It takes an inspired start showing how deeply rooted the Olsen family is in Metropolis by flashing back to how his great-great-great-grandsomething originally found the lodestone payout which started the city. Then in the modern day as his brother Julian Olsen fights to restore an old monument, Jimmy drops from outer space while turning into a giant turtle and ends up destroying it. Utter comic book perfection. The issue descends into discussions of insurance plans the Daily Planet has specifically to cover Olsen and where his new assignment takes him after the turtle fallout. Exactly what I hoped for from beginning to end, I’m excited to go deeper into this series.
Silver Surfer Black #2: Marvel cosmic is getting ever brighter with each installment of this series that comes out. Man oh man, Tradd Moore’s art is just a tour de force of psychedelic space and stars coupled with an engaging internal monologue from Cates. Norrin Radd finds himself in the clutches of Knull, the originator of symbiotes everywhere. The interesting thing is that these two have a history from millennia ago, with Knull trying to devour him as the herald realized this was not an actual planet that could be devoured by Galactus. A voice calls out to the Surfer as he remembers this and guides him away from Knull in a daring escape but the jury’s out as to whether or not it was a safer destination. Seriously, I challenge you to show me a more beautiful book right now, Moore is just flexing at this point with such spectacular imagery.
Collapser #1: Gerard Way brings his brother Mikey into his Young Animal imprint with Collapser #1. Liam is just a kind orderly at a retirement home who DJs in his free time and unknowingly is the son of a galactic superhero with a black hole in her chest. After she dies, her black hole is delivered to her son to take up the powers that entails. Unfortunately, they also lead him to blow his big chance at DJ stardom and get sucked into a dark negaverse of which he doesn’t understand for days. It’s a very interesting if standard start to a series like this but I think what shines the most is the driving captions Liam comes up with. They really capture the ever-building anxiety he has and drives the plot forward which will be the main draw of this book: how this dude as a character steps up to the plate.
Sera and the Royal Stars #1: High fantasy with a few added twists and very well-told: I like it. I like it a lot. The story starts with Sera leading her siblings and troops on the battlefield against her evil uncle’s forces to stop them from taking the throne from her father. She then passes out and has a vision of the god Mitra telling her she must embark on a quest or else the celestial lights will go out forever. The visions happen for a second time and she unceremoniously tells Mitra to fuck off before the god tells her that her cooperation is not only unnecessary but expected. Forced to save the world, Sera then embarks on her grand quest. The unwillingness of the hero to work for the gods is very interesting so I’m hoping this gorgeous book really takes us places soon.
Excellence #3: Ever closer we move to catching up to the scenes we’ve been shown early on in this book. After the fallout with the Overseer last issue, Spencer now leads a hit squad of mages who round up all the rogue agents of Aegis who use magic against the best wishes of the organization. The position comes with labels of traitor from his community and watching magic stripped from his brothers because of rules Spencer doesn’t believe in. The hidden “positive” of the job is stealing contraband wands so he can help his grandmother without alerting the Aegis. Slowly working to his goal, everything comes crashing down when he has to track down one last man: Aaron, his friend/rival whose life was ruined because of Spencer’s mistake. The heavy-hitting force of this book isn’t stopping yet as the narrative really begins to take off. This book is the perfect mirror to hold up to society in this day and age, hopefully with more people understanding what is meant by its reflection.
Fairlady #4: YES, THANK THE GODS. Honestly y’all, I was real worried about this book as I didn’t like the last issue so much. This one comes barreling out of the gates though as the best issue of the series to date. Jenner his hired by a mysterious rich benefactor to track down the last page of a rare mystery novel and reveal who the murderer in the book actually was. This takes her to a small bookshop run by a simple shop-keep just trying to recollect all the stories that the war tried to remove from history. After turning up nothing, she heads out to The Library; an institution set up for the rich and famous to peruse and run by a dick-ish tentacle monster with too many eyes. Turns out they’ve been having a problem with a miscreant ripping out the last page of the very book Jenner was after. The mystery bubbles up well and once again concludes inside the issue, this time with some fascinating looks inside the head and methods of Jenner Faulds the Fairlady. Just a cool fantasy private investigating story that needs to be read.
Collapser #1 – Liam James is such a nice guy, if anyone deserves a black hole inside them, it’s Liam. A nursing home attendant by day, and a wanna-be DJ by night, he is always putting others first and rarely has time for himself. So when he gets a package from his estranged mother’s will he doesn’t even have time to open it. What’s inside the box, and soon to be inside of Liam, will change his uneventful life style. Things are already shaken up when Liam is attacked by a stranger who wants to destroy the black hole inside him!
Assassin Nation #5 – This series has been full of gratuitous violence and good times. It begins with a crime boss hiring a train of assassins to protect him. Turns out, things aren’t what they seem when the top killers are getting picked off left and right. This jam packed mini series is wrapped up in five issues and left us with a glimpse of a possible new arc.
Silver Surfer Black #2 – Silver Surfer is having a pretty bad trip this issue. Equating in great art for us, but a terrible time him. Our metallic pal faces off against the Krull in this issue, and we learn this isn’t the first time either. He leaves each time victorious, but I’d hardly say he left unscathed. After, Silver Surfer is lead to the living planet, Ego. I’m sure he has something nefarious up his sleeves. How many planets does he have to fight? Is that what space is like…just mean planets? Beats me, but I hope we see Beta Ray Bill again.
Faithless #4 – Faith is still dealing with the loss of her friend Ava. Who would’ve known king of the DILFs would be so helpful with her dealing with this loss. He takes her out showing her the beauty in life and death. After getting the second degree from his colleagues, Faith heads home to find one of her friends hasn’t been taking Ava’s death well at all. He makes a pretty aggressive sexual advance towards Faith, but she chalks it up to him mourning and being wasted. He doesn’t know much about her current beaux, but by the end of the issue he’ll get the gist of how he handles disrespect. What’s going to happen when Poppy returns? Will jealousy ensue or will it end like PornHub searches with similar family dynamics? We’ll have to wait for the next issue!!
Blade Runner 2019 #1 – Aahna Ashina is our blade runner for this series living in the mean streets of LA. After completing a job, she gets forced to sign on to another and track down the daughter of a Tyrell (gasp). The story is pretty slow to pick up with lots of jibber jabber. Art is alright, but regardless, if you like the world of Blade Runner you’ll probably enjoy this considering the fact that there is not much in terms of extra Blade Runner material.
Faithless #4 – Faith is falling for the old guy sex demon. Poor Faith. Meanwhile Daddy Dilf over here brings Faith to some very weird and very unique interview for high paying customers art purposes. AND THEN, AND THIS IS THE BEST PART, there’s a WILD monster thing that shows up and it is amazing and i can’t go into detail here because it would ruin the surprise but man, Azzarello really knows how to do some twisty turns in this series.
Silver Surfer Black #2 – Surfer gets into a bit of a tussle with Knul, who would really like to turn him into his symbiote man servant. But Norrin hears a voice guiding him threw the void and we get a nice little cosmic surprise for all those who love giant space bodies. Tradd Moore’s art continues to be cosmically perfect and the series itself continues to be a trippy fun ride.
Spider-Man Life Story #5 The 00’s – The penultimate issue of this wonderful series kicks off with Morlun battling Clone Parker the year I graduated high school (06). Then we get a great condensed version of Civil War and the Spider-Man event involving Morlun. Only one more issue is left to tie everything up and I’m very excited to see how it all ends. Best Spider-Man story in a long long time
Spider-Man Life Story #5 – Chip Zdarsky is doing what no other Spider-Man writer has done since the era this issue was written about; telling a unique story! Which is absolutely “amazing” considering every bit of this series is placed in the setting of the most popular Spider-Man and Marvel material in the 2000’s. What makes this story unique is the realism of what Peter and his family has gone through as if he actually grew up with the times. Interweaving all the ideas of Civil War, The Others, and the Clone Saga with an adult father and CEO Spider-Man really makes every other ASM story that reuses old assets look basic. On one hand, I love everything Spider-Man. On the other, I wish we could get entire runs on each decade rather than a single issue. Next one is the 2010s, and I can’t wait!
Batman #75 – City of Bane begins now! This is the ultimate culmination of every Tom King story written since he began. One thing I love about King, he does what only the BEST writers do: he makes every issue, every side-plot and story line relevant in the end. Snyder implemented this with New 52, but not nearly as successfully as Tommy Boy does. But City of Bane’s first issue grabs you immediately by flipping the entire world upside down, and proceeds to leave you craving more. The best part is the brutality that makes you almost root for the bad guys! Who even is the bad guy? What is even happening? All I know is that when we find out, it is going to be a story for the ages. Top-notch writing.
Jimmy Olsen #1 – What does Superman’s biggest fan and supporter have to show us that he couldn’t in a mainline series? What Matt Fraction does best: Style! Metropolis is a huge city that has almost always been simply what it is portrayed to be. Fraction takes his writing style to the unexplored territory of DC city streets and personifies it in the form of Jimmy Olsen; the most underrated reporter at the Daily Planet. What is also unique about this issue is the storytelling process. Every few pages a new story pops up to place Jimmy in a new situation, but somehow it all ties together gracefully. A must read for anyone who loves a little backstory and charm to their DC Universe (Wait… more than just Metropolis, whaaat?)
Silver Surfer: Black #2 – Let me ask you a question: Have you read issue 1 yet? Why not?! Did you see that Donny Cates is writing it? Did you see the unique art style? When was the last time you read a good Silver Surfer book? Well, my friends, this is what you’ve been waiting for! While Silver Surfer is synonymous with Galactus, this is very much his own story. Coming out of the story of Thanos’ will and testament reading in the Guardians of the Galaxy storyline, it really gives you a glimpse into his humanity and real power that is derived from it! Very unique story bits. It’s like Iron Fist: The Living Weapon and Black Bolt’s Hard Time arcs had a baby, and it was a weirdly stunning baby that sang Sinatra and beat up bad guys with style! It’s beautiful and well timed to be different from everything else on the shelf right now. Please read this, you won’t be disappointed.
Critical Role Vox Machina Origins Series II #1: Alright, yes, that name is a mouthful but when the comic features our main man Grog that bit don’t matter too much. Everyone’s favorite Goliath takes center stage in another installment of their origin stories. The party does battle with a giant black ooze baby to start things off and once the beast is bested they head back into town to quaff some ales as adventuring parties do. During the night, Grog sees visions of his father which lead him to abandon his friends. Worried as he didn’t drink as much as he normally does, the gang sets off in the morning to find their missing buddy and thus the adventure begins. Little things make this issue outshine the actual D&D comics easily as Matt Mercer injects just enough game elements to satisfy any fantasy fan.
Reaver #1: Holy swords and sorcery, y’all; it’s not often so many excellent fantasy titles come out in the same week. Justin Jordan, the man who brought you Luther Strode, is back with an exceptionally brutal and good fantasy tale. Control over the continent of Madaras is being fought hard by two warring sides, one having the disgusting notion the bleed its prisoners dry in a sacrificial rite in order to see what the other side is up to. Said side is trying to put a stop to it by sending in their own Suicide Squad/Dirty Dozen (depending on your generation). The characters in the group are definitely interesting but the stand-out hit is definitely Rekala who needs to be protected at all costs. She’s too good. Pick up if you’ve been digging Marvel’s current Conan-definitely a magical fantasy world in the same vein.
Batman Universe #1: Wow! Bendis working on Batman is a godsend for me, especially since I picked it up for Nick Derington’s art since I’m such a Doom Patrol fanboy. A fantastic first issue re-collected for your LCS. The book begins with an amazing first-person sequence of Batman operating the Batmobile and grappling up a building. He gets into the building while talking to Alfred around other people (a carry-through joke of the issue) only to find that it’s swarming with people dressed as the Riddler. The actual Riddler tries to make off with a Fabergé egg but just as he’s apprehended, Bats is tazed hard and left until the cops arrive. The B-man is forced to track down his only lead: the egg’s donor who happens to be Jonah Hex’s descendant. Expect this book to go places fast because as I said, it’s a helluva superhero tale.
Second Coming #1: This book is just amazing. Mark Russell delivers his normal heavy-hitting storytelling in a phenomenally well-done book. The story starts by going through the many adventures of God in the creation of the planet and of Jesus’s time on Earth. The dark nature of humanity is set against the comic relief of God being kind of an asshole and it fits really well (as Jesus points out, He did craft us in his image). Then the meat of the story happens: a superhero stand-in for Supes, Sunstar, wants to start a family with his significant other but is having some difficulty being not of this world. God then sends down Jesus to learn the ropes from him, not knowing that Jesus is mostly going to be the one doing the teaching. This is Grade A social commentary and satire from one of the industry’s best so DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS BOOK.
Giant Size X-Statix #1: The team is back! Well, some of them. After their gruesome last mission, X-Statix tries to crawl back to relevancy in the modern world for a new audience and fandom. Unfortunately, the daughter of U-Go Girl wants nothing of the life that claimed her mother’s life (who she thought was her sister…yeeeeesh) and instead wants to be an engineer. Bad news for her- it’s not just the good guys who need a teleporter but also a group of nefarious ne’er-do-wells. While she tries to dip, Doop and Dead Girl assemble a new generation of heroes to earn ratings on their pay-per-view channel. Come for Mike Allred’s psychedelic art and style, stay for Doop!
Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! #1: Jeff Lemire is crafting another beautiful look into the minds of superheroes with this one. The lost hero team of Abraham, Gail, Barbalien and Lady Dragonfly finally get to leave the farm they’ve been trapped on! Only to find themselves trapped somewhere else…the DCU. A magical man appears before them wanting to by their farm only to transport them through time and space. Wackily, the same thing happens to the Justice League while they’re fighting Starro. That’s where the real payoff lies: the Justice League playing the roles of their Black Hammer counterparts on the farm. What I’d say is a “normal first issue” for a series that’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
Reaver #1 – Who doesn’t love a band of misfits? The Reaver gang was brought together in a very Suicide Squad-esque fashion. Six prisoners, most on death row, are given the opportunity to earn redemption and maybe even freedom. Colonel Travvos is the one giving orders, but it was another prisoner named Marris who came up with the idea (I think Marris has ulterior motives). You can already tell this team is going to have their fair share of internal conflicts. When you team up a war traitor who turned sides on the battle field, and the man who deserted in fear of him you are bound to cause discourse. Just to add more plausible deniability, the Colonel doesn’t aid them in their escape, and the groups first test leaves quite a few dead guards in their wake. Not everyone is on board with the senseless violence, and are trying to figure out how to bring honor to this band of crooks.
Ghosted in L.A. #1 – Daphine is excited about starting her first year of college in a new state. Not only is she ready for some fun in the sun, her boyfriend lives there, too. Unfortunately, things don’t go as she expected. Her dorm mate is a jerk, her boyfriend breaks up with her, and she got into a huge fight with her bestie back home so she has no one to talk to about any of this. Daphine finally finds a group of people who are kind to her, and it looks like she is in for a scary good time.
Criminal #6 – I’ll never cease to be amazed at the universe Brubaker and Phillips create in the Criminal series. All though we were introduced to the Lawless clan years ago, this story focuses on the father, Teeg. Here we watch him fall for Jane, and their time spent together. Last issue we meet Jane while following Dan Farraday, a private investigator hired by her ex. Little do we know last issue, when Dan is ambushed, the mystery man is Teeg Lawless. Even just watching Jane from afar, he falls as head over heels for her as Teeg. Jane and Teeg are planning on making a big score to keep supporting their carefree life style, but having an infatuated PI on their tail will make things difficult.
Unearthed #1 – The folks in this story are dealing with one of the grossest epidemics I’ve ever seen. Whatever this disease is, it cause the body to bloat and morph into a disgusting person blob. Oh, and for some reason they are all dripping 🤷🏾♀️. As you can accept with any outbreak the government has sent in their best to find a cure (heck, they don’t even know the source). So we get to get to follow that group of an aggressive muscles guys and scientists. So far we know the outbreak is infecting the Americas, and our team ends up in Mexico. They end up spelunking for answers and find guerrilla solders, a giant green monster, and a door that shouldn’t be there. Of course, they go in but we’ll have to wait until next issue to see what they find!!
Criminal: Bad Weekend – My Love for all things Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips knows no bounds. Aside from the very perfect Sleeper series from Wildstorm, Criminal is their best work. All of the Criminal stories are strong, but Bad Weekend is one of their best. Set in the world of professional comic books and conventions with tons of references to real life creators and properties for those paying attention. We follow Hal Crane, a once great artist and his former protege, Jacob as they set out to “retrieve” some of Hal’s old original artwork. “Hal’s weekend takes us on a dark ride through the secret history of a medium that’s always been haunted by crooks, swindlers, and desperate dreamers.” Don’t miss this book – all of our copies are signed by the entire creative team!
Doom Patrol Weight of the Worlds #1: DOOM PATROL IS BACK. Yes, my boy Gerard is back in the saddle writing the weirdest super team there is in another insane direction. After the events of Doom Patrol #11, Robotman is now…Human-man? I don’t know, Cliff’s back in his flesh body and catching up with family members after being gone a while and things go as badly as they can go. The issue then catches up with each Doom Patrol member in turn and brings you up to speed in case you haven’t been following the series. The team sets off to an Orbian planet to stop the ruthless reign of an intergalactic fitness juggernaut. While they do battle, Cliff does battle against the greatest enemy he’s met in a while: his mother’s guilt. Equal parts funny and sad, this is Doom Patrol where they need to be and the perfect jumping on point for new readers.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #6: Man, I really hope the first week of the month always has my two favorite books. Buffy and Willow travel deep into the forest next to Sunnydale to retrieve the soul-tie and stop Xander’s vampirification. Things begin to get a little out of hand though when Robin makes a surprise appearance after the duo does battle with some beetles. As Willow points out, it’s a very weird thing for him to have been able to find them but the talk stops there as a demon fins them in her lair…Bellaire continues to prove that she has these character voices down with a particularly well-crafted monologue by Giles. Please jump into the current Buffyverse, it’s honestly starting to outshine its original source material.
Green Lantern #9: Holy stacking mulitverses, Morrison! Things start kicking off in the newest GL brought to you by rampant eternity destruction. The issue kicks off with an entire squadron of superheroes with bad names being utterly annihilated by what can best be described as an immense lightning demon. This connects to the end of the book, so hold until the ending for that one. The central story is that Hal takes a vacation on the planet Athmoora where knights and wizards fight and his ring doesn’t work well…why, WHY, would you vacation there if it’s one of the few places in the universe your power set doesn’t work? It makes for a good story nonetheless and the surprise ending sets up some pretty grand thing to come.
No One Left to Fight #1: What if Goku had a mid-life crisis and was a pretty mediocre to bad friend? That’s the question this series looks to answer subbing in that wildly popular licensed character for Vale. Vale meets up with his married battle buddies of a long time ago, Krysta (Bulma) and Timor (Vegeta) in order to go to the site where he bested the greatest villain the universe has known and saved everyone. Essentially Timor holds all this against him while he and Krysta are at odds as to whether or not they should help Vale relive his glory days. On top of all this, Vale seems to be having visions of realities that never happened because he beat this baddie. An interesting character study coupled with gorgeously bright art ensure I’ll be reading this one to the end.
Lois Lane #1: Greg fuckin’ Rucka. No one working in the industry today has a better finger on the pulse of the current political climate and can turn that into a story adjacently about superheroes. This is world class comic making and a giant middle finger to all those who say comics aren’t political. Lois begins working on a piece for the Daily Planet about “tender care camps” that the current administration is undergoing. While turning in the piece, she learns from her chief that a Russian journalist has been killed over her cache of information. She hands the whereabouts to the Question to track down while Lois Lane herself tears a Sarah Sanders stand-in a new one at a press conference. Read this book for a quality take on the horrible crisis currently going on in our country.
Sea of Stars #1: Jason Aaron hits another home run of a book. This one is about a space trucker who takes his son on a long galaxy haul to transport the contents of an old museum. Kadyn is only nine years old and his father couldn’t find a babysitter so they’re stuck in a space freighter for a week. Or they would be, if not for a giant space whale Kraken which cracks their ship and sends the two and the museum contents everywhere. When things seem at their most dire, Kadyn grabs one of the artifacts and a giant flash of light appears. Things start to go in a wild direction after that….as with all of Aaron’s greatest stories, the central characters drive this one as both Kadyn and his father are struggling after the loss of Kadyn’s mother. Another powerhouse of a book by one of the industry’s best, don’t miss out.
Aero #1 – In this issue you meet Lei Ling, the mild mannered architect. It was a pretty slow start to the series, but I think they really wanted us to get to know the person ‘behind the mask’. Ling loves her home of Shanghai, and takes great honor in defending it. Nevertheless, with heroes on TV daily who are fighting crime across the globe she wonders if she should be doing more. Aero’s basically an air bender, but we don’t get to see the magnitude of her abilities here. TBH, I enjoyed the Aero & Wave snippet in the back more.
Savage Avengers #3 – I’ve been pumped after every issue so far and we are only on three! In this issue we finally see the gang all together. Some members have had run-ins in the past, so that helps getting this gang of avengers to assemble. Best team up so far is going to have to go to Conan, fighting off bad guys by waving around Wolverine’s unconscious body. Whether they want to or not, they are going to have to work together better than that if they are going to defeat the Sorcerer Supreme!!
DCeased #3 – Things just keep getting worse and worse for the Justice League, and subsequently, the rest of the world. The last issue ended with Alfred about to put Batman down like rabid dog, and the Lantern ring being passed on once again.We also now know the virus can pass through blood in water, so watch out for Aquaman. I’m enjoying the heck out of this series, but I honestly have no idea how our heroes are going to make it out of this…
Sea of Stars #1 – Kadyn’s dad picked the wrong day to bring your son to work. While transporting antique cargo, the ship is attacked and torn to shreds. The small family is separated in space. Lucky for them, Kadyn was bored before the wreck and playing in the cargo bay. Something he touched granted him the ability to survive in the elements of space and communicate with alien beings. Who knows what other sweet skills Kadyn picked up. Although Kadyn is safe, his father doesn’t know that, and won’t stop until he is reunited with his son.
Space Bandits #1 – This week I’v been blessed by reading the latest Mark Millar book, whom I love with all my heart. This book has been given a weird 80’s theme, at least for a quarter of the book. The story starts out on a space cruise ship called the Lionel Richie and in the next scene we are on some planet with a “Molly Ringwald” district. Why? I don’t know. That’s Mark Millar for you I guess. The story is about two bad ass space bandits for lack of a better term who get fucked over by their male partners in both senses of the word. The art is from Matteo Scalera is wonderful as you’d expect. Will make a great T.V. show/movie one day on Netflix. Great job Mark Millar, you are truly a master of your craft.
Lois Lane #1 – Greg Rucka is one of the masters of “super hero” noir/crime and he continues to shine in this debut issue. Even as a non fan of anything really Superman related, I knew that this would be something different and worth reading. Lois Lane razzles and dazzles with her expert reporting and finds out that a colleague was been murdered in Russia so she sends her pal The Question to investigate. Meanwhile, Lois Lane publishes her next big piece and it’s pretty obvious a call to our current real world problems of migrant kids in camps and the government profiteering off said camps, filled with a wonderful Sarah Huckabee stand-in and everything, so DC MAGA readers beware, you will probably be triggered. The art from Mike Perkins is very similar to Rucka’s other DC crime/noir collaborator Michael Lark and is very fitting. Wonderful first issue, will read the rest of the series.
Sea of Stars #1 – Jason Aaron debut’s his first all ages book and it’s real cute. A space trucker has taken his 9 year old son on the road with him for a week long job. In classical road trip fashion, the son is EXTREMELY bored and goes wandering around the ship. Whilst doing this, some wild space creature attacks and destroys the ship, separating the two. Kadyn, our child star, also meets a weird space monkey and weird space dolphin thing and I’m sure they’ll quickly become best friends and help shepherd him through his journey through the stars to reunite with his dad. A heart warming space father and son story the whole family can love.
Star Wars Target Vader #1 – As anyone who reads these things knows, I will literally read every Star Wars comic ever. But not all Star Wars comics are great, most of them are just middling. Target Vader on the other hand, seems to have the potential to be really fun. An organization known as “The Secret Hand” has taken out a hit on Darth Vader and recruited a team of bounty hunters including our lead, and Star Wars version of Kano from Mortal Kombat, Beilert lol) Valance and special guest appearance by everyone’s favorite bandaged bounty hunter DENGAR. But this book seems to have the potential to be real fun and I hope our main dude sticks around and does not get killed by Vader because he’s half robo face is neat.