Umbrella Academy #6: Hotel Oblivion has lost all its residents! After Perseus frees the prisoners of Hargreeves’s moon rehab, the foes of the Umbrella Academy unleash crime upon the city. Perseus then decides it’s his birthright to bring light to the world and prove his father was just in his criminal activity. Luckily it’s quickly proven he’s Perseus and not Prometheus as he’s dispatched by the hell he set free. The family meets at the hospital to be by Séance’s bedside where Number 5 attempts an intervention. All this is cut short by the cacophony of crime outside though. Spaceboy engages in hand-to-hand combat with the most powerful being on the planet in a gorgeously illustrated action sequence (thank the gods for Bá). Perseus then reemerges to deal with those meddling superheroes once and for all…
Detective Comics #1000: There’s no better tribute to Bats than a superbly layed-out comic. When professionals get together for a comic jam celebrating undoubtedly the biggest superhero ever, they create something great like this. Short, reflective stories run the issue into places expected but with enough curves as to keep the pages turning. The shorts range from Batman’s intent, great crime mysteries, a hilarious story of a bumbling henchman, the reason he’s the king of prep time and even a cliffhanger that aids itself to the next chapter of the Batfamily. All-in-all this is the best sort of tribute for such a monumental issue and the perfect way to celebrate 80 years of Batman.
Daredevil #3: Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil continues in splendid fashion. The story is opened with Mayor Kingpin speaking to ballroom and then departing to see DD’s capture. Really sucks to see him in a position of power but I guess thew allegory would be ham-handed if he were president. Detective North finally corners the Man Without Fear only for Daredevil to just barely escape through his fingers. During Murdock’s flight, we get the internal monologue of North as he chases after him. I hope we get this sense of dueling ideologues throughout the rest of this story as both sides in this situation are just. Once Daredevil is cornered by North once again, the two end up in fisticuffs in a circle of cops unwilling to bring down DD as he’s helped so many throughout the years. The culmination of this is something you don’t want to miss as the cliffhanger will have all True Believers wanting more!
Sabrina the Teenage Witch #1: What a great first issue! Beautiful art by Veronica Fish coupled with a genuinely funny and sweet script from Kelly Thompson makes this worth a pick-up for anyone who wants a little more magic in their life. Sabrina starts her first day at Greendale High and meets not only the stereotypical teen story character beats (mean girl, awkward bff and inevitable love triangle) but also a monster bent on her impending doom! With lots of spellcasting along the way, it seems like this issue is heading in a direction to where it will be a perfect blend of class Sabrina with her recently acquired dark side from other adaptations. Anyone looking for magical mistakes and high school drama should get started on this now as this story is definitely going to take off.
GLOW #1: Off the screen and onto the page! Perfectly at that too. This first issue is hilarious and sets the foundation for a great story arc. The ladies are heading to the Reseda Wrestlefest but thanks to a budget snafu from bad sponsors they have to raise the 75 bucks needed to stay there themselves. Nothing worse than paying to work…what ensues is a hilarious collection of vignettes of how all the wrestlers earn their quick cash in order to make the trip. From busking, pot brownies, pet detecting and trivia contests; they all come up with the scratch and make their way there. What they thought was an exhibition turns into a match between two leagues, one they’re not sure they can come out on top of with their particular brand of wrestling. A really great start to a comedy heavy-hitter!
Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #2: Another solid issue backed up by Simone Bianchi’s incredible art. With Extra Billy now in tow, Sharkey begins his hunt for Edra Deering in earnest and the billion dollar bounty on her head. He soon finds, like anyone ever, that having a kid on a road trip sucks real hard. After stopping by in what seems to be a deserted area Sharkey turns on his weird, meditative power of being able to find anyone by thinking about them. Kind of a broken power for a bounty hunter but he does seem like a slacker. His kid sidekick gives inevitably captured though and the duo is then saved by Sharkey’s biggest rival, Big H. After offering to team up and split the big bounty, Sharkey shows his first badassery of the series by taking out Big H and all his team single-handedly. Now comes tracking down Deering which should be a cinch for him but happens if she tracks him down first?
Sabrina The Teenage Witch #1 – Same Sabrina we all know with Aunts showing her the wizarding way, a grumpy Salem the cat, and high school shenanigans. Sabrina finds out the Wendigo that attacked her is actually two students at her school. We’ll see how she handles that next issue.
Sharkey #2 – Sharkey and Extra-Billy are off to get this bounty. Unfortunately, with two billion kodona over Edra Deering head, they aren’t the only ones. After being a run in with Big H, a show boating bounty hunter, Sharkey is a tad off his game. That’s when Edra ends up finding him.
Prisoner X #1 – Lucas Bishop has been locked away in a mutant prison and temporarily stripped of his powers. Things are shaping up to not be what they seem in the facility. His memories are disjointed, as if the people he meets in jail, are people he’s met before. Bishop, a former X-Men, runs into Beast who is another inmate. Bishop has a bit of a flash back and remembers he and Beast are friends, but its too late. The guards break up a fight between them and send everyone to separate quarters before Bishop can get any answers. My bet is on some outside force trying to lock up X-Men for good.
Glow #1 – This was a fun read. So, it looks like a gang of girls are working as local wrestlers. It seems they are more on the glam side of it though. When the opportunity arises, the troop manager signs them up for a popular wresting tournament. Some of the girls don’t even think they deserve to be among the seasoned vets that will be there. They all hustle up the cash the go. Upon arrival and laying eyes on their opponents, the girls begin to think they bit off more than they can chew.
Dial H for Hero #1 – The “Wonder Comics” imprint continues to impress with fun superhero stories with the first issue of Dial H. Our hero, Miguel, had a run in once upon a time with Superman and ever since then he’s been trying to catch that rush with varying extreme activities. Nothing seems to quite come close to that until the day he attempts a sick jump over a canyon that goes exactly as you’d expect and on his way down, a mysterious rotary phone appears and an equally mysterious voice tells him to dial H if he wants to survive. In doing so, various DC characters like Lobo and Alfred get feel a signal in their head. What this means, we’ll have to see. But Miguel does transform into the great temporary hero “Monster Truck” and gets in contact with said mysterious voice known as “The Operator”. Who is he? What does it all mean? Well we have the rest of the mini to find out. I’ve always enjoyed past iterations of this book/concept and this one is no different. The fact that this is a mini series will help for the story to be tighter without worry of cancellation like previous versions of the book and the art is well done and consistent with the rest of the Wonder Comics imprint. A fun read for anyone who wants their superhero books less serious and dire.
Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #2 – I have to commend Mr. Millar for writing a second issue of a series of his that has consistent plot progression and doesn’t feel like it’s just filling space. It’s almost like he had an actual detailed story in mind for this series and not just an empty pitch for Netflix. Anywho, Sharkey gets annoyed by the kid he’s supposed to be helping and classic “reluctant caretaker who isn’t used to kids/annoying kid” antics take place. I think the most impressive moment was when Sharkey kicked a laser blast back at the person who shot it. I thought I’d seen everything, but Mark Millar continues to be an idea man. Well done.
Star Wars Vader: Dark Visions #2 – If he first issue dealt with a naive person seeing Vader as a mythical hero, this issue is the polar opposite. Commander Tylux is the captain of the Star Destroyer Bellicose and when he’s told that Vader will soon be coming on board the ship to retrieve a captured spy he doesn’t have, Tylux’s mind flashes back to his first encounter with Vader when we walked into a room of generals that Vader unceremoniously choked to death. With this haunting nightmare in his mind, Tylux ignores all reason to capture this Rebel spy to avoid a similar fate. Loved the concept for this chapter and the art was equally fun. So far this has been my favorite Star Wars mini Marvel has put out so far and I’m hopeful the rest of the series will be as creative in shaping the man and the myth that is Vader.
Daredevil #3 – Zdarsky’s DD run continues to be some real edge of your seat stuff. This chapter, DD gets into a fist fight with a cop in the middle of the street surrounded by a bunch of other police/witnesses all while DD has a bullet lodged in him. Great cliffhanger ending with a surprise guest appearance that has me eager for issue 4. Art continues to be great and I’d even like to give a special mention to the covers this series has had so far because those have also been wonderful to look at. One of the best looking books on the stands
Guardians of the Galaxy #3: The path to Gamora’s destruction has begun! Starfox’s newly assembled Dark Guardians make their first stop to see Nova, Gamora’s former lover, to beat the living hell out of him to get her location. The best part of all this was Cosmic Ghost Rider’s good cop routine he takes, being the only one who cares whether Nova dies or not. It’s nice to know that all it took for Frank Castle to mellow out was helping to destroy world upon world for hundreds of years as Galactus’s herald. Our heroes are left without a captain as Starlord tries to drink the memories away of Gamora killing him. With Quill drunk off his ass, Groot takes command of the ship to save Gamora from everyone who wants her dead. Guardians new or old are always family, even if they try to destroy the known universe…
Lazarus Risen #1: Lazarus is back and thank the world for it. Sweet, sweet Carlyle revenge is beautifully unfolded panel by panel in the issue’s start as Forever and her team help to stop a meeting between an upstart underling and their longtime rivals. The message is driven home that it’s never a good idea to cross Johanna now that she leads the family. Meanwhile at Carlyle central, Beth and James are up to their creepy science work on Forever 8. Beth crosses a huge line as Beth is want to do and even her brother/lover has to intercede after her outburst. It seems there’s much more to Beth’s cruelty than just the act though as she begins her own dubious plans in her private quarters. The issue leaves us with Forever meeting with another family’s Lazarus as Rucka’s mysterious world continues to deepen.
Invisible Kingdom #1: Space nuns and intergalactic Amazon. The first issue of Invisible Kingdom takes you in a place that even from its wildly imaginative cover you wouldn’t believe. Vess is a new recruit in the order of the Invisible Kingdom and must walk blindfolded through a busy cityscape towards her new monastery. She’s traveled galaxies to be there but receives nothing but scorn from the city’s inhabitants and even her new sisters. Luckily, the mother of the monastery sets her up with a job as bookkeeper for thousands of years of scrolls after seeing potential within her. While all this is taking place, a Lux ship (the equivalent of intergalactic Amazon) crash lands on the moon of the planet Vess now finds herself. The ship’s captain goes over the manifest and discovers someone within Lux has been using her inventory to funnel funds and so the plot thickens…very interested to see how these stories eventually intercede but in the interim the gorgeous interior makes me once again realize that I would live in any galaxy that Christian Ward draws and designs.
Meet the Skrulls #2: There’s a hint of dark clouds on the horizon for the Warners in this issue. Papa Skrull shows his true colors and boy are they terrible. The Skrull killer is closing in on his daughter Alice but he seems ambivalent as she doesn’t seem to fill the role of master infiltrator like her sister does. Meanwhile her sister Madison finds her place too good…she swipes the homecoming date her target wanted, creating a schism that will soon throw a wrench into their schemes. Mama Skrull goes full bad ass recovering documents from the lower levels of Stark Industries though- morphing into beast mode to murk some red shirt guards and clear the path for later. The true strength here is the perspective of an alien race living within humanity and degrading our shortcomings. Always a sucker for when sci-fi puts the world in a bottle like that.
Batman #67: The star of this show is Lee Weeks’ pacing. Batman discovers a masked man and a dead man on top of a building. What unfolds after that is an extended chase scene through Gotham with Batman on the heels of this masked dude who only says “Beep Beep”. Each door, pass-through, and defenestration picks up little by little and leads so effortlessly into the next. The only words in the entire issue are a bartender’s stuttered attempts to get out the Caped Crusader’s name and Batman’s summation of the case at the very end. The varying shots and angles really play into the suspense of who the mysterious man is up to his reveal. Even if you haven’t read the first 66 issues of this series (which I hadn’t) this is worth a pick-up as it’s a solid stand alone issue that fits perfectly into this year’s celebration of all things Batman.
Meet The Skrulls #2 – I have some extra Skrull sympathy after seeing Captain Marvel. I’m reading this trying to be impartial to the fact they are trying to take over Earth and infiltrating Stark industries, because they are being hunted to extinction. The dad is really making it hard though, being a super dick and all. You can’t help but feel bad for Alice/Alkss. She is going through normal high school, coming of age crap, while having to play spy. Oh, and I feel bad because she is probably about to be murdered.
Farmhand #6 – Jedidiah’s miracle seed is turning out to be more of a curse. For some reason everyone who has used the seed is now having adverse reactions. The EPA and USDA are up the farm’s butt trying to find out what’s going on after a pig is found infected. Jedidiah’s old partner is now mayor and after she drugged his daughter for who knows what reason, I’m sure she is the cause behind all this. After a day of fishing, Jed’s family is chased by and infected pig. They escape by hiding in a tree, but they realize it’s a tree from the farm that shouldn’t even survive outside. Turns out this seed issue is bigger than they thought.
Spiderman: Life Story #1 – I’m super excited about this series on concept alone. Each episode being a different decade of Spiderman. Of course beginning in the 60’s, Peter Parker is dealing with being a student, caring for Aunt Mae, and being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man kicking Norman Oswald’s butt. You also get to see the struggle in Peter of whether that’s enough in the midst of war times, seeing his friends get drafted/volunteering. Thankfully Captain America was able to give him some superhero guidance and reassurance (he has his own idea about the war).
Dark Red #1 – Chip is a vampire trying to have a normal life. Living in a small town and working the night shifts so he can stay out of the sun. He is even in a romantic and symbiotic relationship with a women who suffers from polycythemia, a rare disease that causes extra blood cells, so he doesn’t have to go hunt to feed. His life gets way more complicated after a women shows up to his trailer in only a fur coat taking about destiny.
Spider-Man Life Story: The 60’s – Great start to this series/concept. When we start off, it’s 1966 and Parker has been Spider Man for four years at this point and is attending university and Vietnam is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. I actually like how much Zdarsky ties events of the time and how Parker deals with them as Spider-Man. He sees that Iron Man is over there “helping” out and calls for Captain America to do the same and wonders if he should himself. As for the art, it’s Mark Bagley so inoffensive and gets the job done. Overall, I’m looking forward to see what else the series touches on as the decades go by.
Savage Sword of Conan #3 – KOGA THUN HAS ARRIVED! The dastardly dark wizard has finally appeared to suck Conan’s map knowledge from his mind with his snake like charms. Conan is the kind of barbarian that isn’t bothered by dumb “magic”, which is why I always roll a barbarian/warrior in RPG’s because magic is for lames.
Miles Morales Spider-Man #4 – my favorite spider man series! This issue is a nice breather between the last arc and the next with miles and friends skipping school to try and see a hip hop exhibit at a museum. Nothing exceptionally crazy happens but it’s still a fun read. Also fun is that this series is still super approachable to anyone new to spider man/miles morales and it hasn’t tied into ant crazy event yet.
Invisible Kingdom #1 – Space nuns and space Amazon deliveries culminate in one of the more promising sci fi comics of the year. Two separate tales are being woven here, both promising set-ups – I’ll be curious to see how they intersect. That art in this book is incredible with some of the more unique use of tablet/digital art iv seen since Fiona Staples and Saga. Def recommend to anyone looking for a unique sci fi book
Spider-Man: City at War #1 – If you missed out on the AMAZING Spider-Man video game on the PS4, you’re in luck! This looks to be the start of the story told in the game. The story was one of the main draws for me, and this picks it right up and makes the most of it. The best part about it, it makes a great comic. You will want to pick this up because it’s an amazing story, with new twists on old villains and a tired Spider-Man story.
Uncanny X-Men #14 – The boys are back in town! Logan and Cyclops, that is! With both of them recently revived, they are continuing their mission of knocking down the biggest baddies they ever had. First off, this feels much more like a true continuing of the series of old we all know and love. Aside from the 90’s costumes, they continue to operate in the morally right, while still being in the gray area of the law. I legitimately love the angle of the story.
While Scott died a terrorist, he’s awoken with a new goal becasue of the guilt and regret of all they he left behind in his life’s work.
Fantastic! Uncanny X-Force was good for a little while, but this is really what I’ve been wanting for a long time.
Spider-Man: Life Story #1 -What would happen if Peter actually aged from his comics origin in the 60s? Guess we are going to find out! I really wish they would keep an ongoing story like this, starting Spider-Man fresh in the 60s again. This book was great, making what was old new again. I love that it doesn’t diverge from the original story very much at all, but with a few small great twists. It actually may be the best part about the book; they took all of these elements from the 60s, like Iron Man being in Vietnam as Tony Stark’s “bodyguard” (who was on roller skates the time time, btw), and Captain America’s very recent awakening into that timeline. I’m looking forward to how they address the cliffhanger at the end, and how they continue this story, with possibly an older modern-day Peter Parker.
Wolverine: Infinity Watch #2 – Ok, now that Infinity Wars is over (thank goodness), the story we ALL wanted since Marvel’s Legacy has finally arrived! What happened to Wolverine?! We pick up where the story left off in the first issue; Loki and Logan are out looking for the people whom the infinity stones have attached themselves to. With the Chitauri’s Warbringer on a rampage to find the Time Stone to bring back his race of people, the good guys have to find a way to keep the stone (and the guy it’s attached to) safe. Just when you think it’s going to work out, it never actually does, does it? Well, I’m looking forward to finding out!
Grim Knight #1: Punisher Bats! That’s essentially what this issue investigates: what if young Bruce Wayne picked up the gun that killed his parents and took bloody vengeance into his own hands? A wonderfully paced comic ensues that laid out by Snyder and Tynion IV chronicling the batshit insanity that is a fully-armed Batman. Meticulously planned warfare against crime in this alternate world essentially leads to no crime whatsoever which ultimately leads to the Grim Knight clashing with by-the-book Jim Gordon (lawful good in any ‘verse it seems). Another well-crafted character study courtesy of the people behind Dark Nights Metal.
The Goon #1: Goon returns in hilarious fashion to the world of comics and I’m glad to have him back. The return issue had me laughing out loud as Powell’s comedic timing lands relentlessly. Not only that, but the big guy and all the townsfolk still emote so well with Powell’s unique style. The start to their new adventures sees Goon and Franky searching for a new roof over their heads with a dark, nefarious real estate agent. Real excited to see where this story goes with all the upcoming new monster-themed gangsters named in number one waiting to take down the Goon.
Assassin Nation #1: Kyle Starks brings back the action comedy he’s known for in a truly funny first issue. The top 20 assassins are gathered in one room together to guard the once greatest assassin in the world from unknown forces that want him dead. The egomaniac has the bright idea to stop the assassination with assassins which seems good in theory but bad in practice once it turns out some of those assassins he assembled were already hired to kill the jerkwad ex-hitman. Erica Henderson’s stylized visuals are a triumph here as the 20 top assassins are whittled down to a few in an all-out brawl. Gonna definitely be waiting for this one next month to see where this wild ride goes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #3: Man, is it good to have Buffy back. Especially in such an incredible series. Bellaire nails their voices completely-it’s too easy to hear all of them in your head slinging these lines. This continuation sees Buffy do battle against a giant bat creature along with Spike and Drusilla hot on her heels. Things are heating up in Sunnydale and it looks like Buffy is going to have to rely on her newfound allies to hold back all these forces who are out there to get her. Amazing how so many baddies can show up in three issues…also amazing to see Drusilla as the head-vamp-in-charge of bringing Buffy down. Can’t wait to see what plans she has in store for her!
Justice League Dark #9: The fight against the death of magic itself continues! It’s revealed by Nabu’s apprentice how the entity within the helmet of Dr. Fate orchestrated the revival of the otherkind. Pretty good for a dude with no thumbs. Also revealed are the arcanic armor parts that make up the communal groups of enslaved magicians Nabu has gathered to bring down the magical world of Myrra. After a confrontation which leaves Etrigan way worse for wear, Wonder Woman and Zatanna meet with Circe in order to see what can be done about the stone Zatanna’s father left her, possibly the McGuffin to undo all that’s been done. Unfortunately, the witch known through mythos for doing trickery is *gasp* out to trick them…things don’t look too good for magic at the moment…
Head Lopper #11: Finally! At long last! The origin of Agatha and Norgal’s companionship is revealed at its very beginning! As an old enemy starts to succumb to his wounds, the one who tied Agatha to Norgal, Norgal is forced to make a bargain with him to save Venoriah- ride out in his armor and face the hordes awaiting at the gates while leading his men. It’s a big ask, but Norgal takes on the task in stride. Meanwhile, a black bulky something seems to be amassing small animals to its inky, horrible form. Come for Head Lopper, stay for Arlen’s lady love stealing back Agatha from two inept guards! Man, Maclean can really draw some physical comedy.
Little Bird #1 – At first, this looks like a typical crusades bullshit. Power hungry dicks whipping on a native people, but then there is The Axe. A child, Little Bird, is given a map and a keepsake, and sent on a quest to find a great warrior, The Axe, who is being held captive at a facility made to keep the strongest beings, who might ruin this New Vatican’s plans (I say this because in one cell is Superman!). The Axe is freed with a bit of resistance, but nothing they couldn’t handle. Once clear of the faculty Axe explains to the girl he doesn’t plan on joining her rebellion, but before he can explain Little Bird is shot. Axe notices the watch Little Bird was carrying and shock comes over his face. We are left wondering what this keepsake means to him and will he help the rebellion. Moreover, whatever dark magic the Bishop is involved in I’m sure will be problem-some.
Grim Knight #1 – Well that was stressful. In the Grim Knight’s universe, the infamous eve when Martha and Thomas Wayne are murdered little Bruce picks up the gun and avenges his parent’s right then and there. Which takes him on the same path of travel and training, but removes all the qualms against killing. He blows up Blackgate and Arkham Asylum, and kills all the crime bosses in the city. At this point, Grim keeps the entire city under constant watch with cameras, satellites, etc. killing anyone from armed robbers to sex offenders. It gets so bad even Alfred can’t stay and watch, and even turns him into Gordon. With evidence gathered and Alfred’s statements they march up to Wayne manor and take Grim down. Now Grim ‘the No Shits Knight’ is in a universe where he has the ability to take his revenge and has captured Gordon.
Calamity Kate #1 – Maybe I’m impartial to monster hunters right now after finishing Criminal Macabre, but I’m sticking with this mini series. Kate gives that relatability of ‘generally not having your shit together’, but things appear to be getting better for Kate. She is reconnecting with estranged friends, and fulfilling her dream of being the best monster hunter there ever was. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of monsters in the town of LA, but that’s not good enough. Kate decides she is going to be the end all to monsters by slaying the source and the five most powerful monsters in existence. Kate sets off to slay the first beast, up for a rough match, she is confident all the same. To Kate and my surprise, the monster was already defeated and out of the shadows appears the conqueror. Will there be a rivalry? Will they team up? Ooohh.
Assassin Nation #1 – So this super badass assassin, famed ‘Chekhov’s Gun’ has been experiencing several attempts on his life. In attempts to put an end to this, he uses his connections to assemble the top 20 assassins. After they gather he explains he wants to hire them all to be his personal bodyguards (I guess being the number one assassin affords you the funds to pay numbers 2-20 a worth it salary ?). As expected in a room full of guns for hire, an enjoyable melee ensues…RIP Pendejo. After those who were done talking were taken out, ‘Mr. Gun’ stands in front of the best of the best and awaits their answer.
Assassin Nation #1 – The head of the second largest crime family hires the top 20 assassins in the world to protect him and a bloodbath ensues. Super fun book with a fairly simple premise. Art from Erica Henderson is very fitting with the style and tone of the book and the different assassins are all unique which is fairly impressive considering there are 20 of them. But there is one assassin named “Fuck Tarkington” so this book is a winner just on that alone. If anyone likes assassin/hitmen stories like Smoking Aces or Lucky Number Slevin, this book would be up your alley.
Little Bird #1 – Best book of the week hands down. The art in this book is
fantastic. The violence is gory and detailed with a lot of guts and blood and things being split in half and it all involves some crazy future North America where the US has finally developed its ultra Christian militant utopia. Little Bird is a girl who sets out on a journey to free “The Axe” from prison and help start the revolution. Meanwhile, the Vicar of Christ, head of the “New Vatican” in the United Nations of America is holding Little Birds mother prisoner. This New Vatican place is also super-weird and great with weird blood and guts baths, weird floating altar boy children, and nuns in weird floating yellow orbs. This book is great and I want to know everything that happens with all its detailed wonderful gory art. BUY
The Goon #1 – The Goon is back baby! One of the funniest adventure comics
returns to the stands with a new #1 that’s great for long time readers and also anyone who is new to the wonder that is “The Goon”. The Goon and Franky are back in their old stomping grounds and it’s almost like they never left considering the amount of gangs and hoodlums that are back up and running. Seriously, this book and series is so much fun this is the perfect opportunity to jump on board.
Age of Conan: Belit #1 – So leading up to this series I was worried considering the fact that I think only me and maybe 4 other people know who Belit is and that the series might alienate people who are not as well versed in the Conan mythos. But after reading this debut issue, I feel comfortable saying that as long as you enjoy the Conan universe, you will find this series enjoyable. Belit is the daughter of a pirate king who has been accused of some crimes he may or may not be guilty of. The only thing that matters is that it begins a chain of events that will lead Belit to take her claim as the Belit Queen of the Black Coast. Again, this series is very approachable to anyone who has no familiarity with the character. At wasn’t too fond of the art at the start, but by the end of the issue I found it fitting. Anyone who has been enjoying the recent Conan series by Marvel should check out this series. It fleshes out more of the Conan universe and wide array of characters and if they can support 15 different X-men books, surely we can have 3 Conan/Conan Universe set series.
Green Lantern 5: Hal Jordan trudges through the mucky dankness of a swamp and does battle on a vampiric planet against armies of the dead. Yes, yes, YES. This is the modernized silver age book you’ve always dreamed of. Each issue has been more ridiculous than the last and this series continues to pump out the weird in amazing ways. Peter David’s panel work makes such the perfect companion to Morrison’s quiet intrigue that you’ll catch yourself admiring the details around a panel after viewing its contents. The darker aspects of a lantern going rogue are slowly revealed as well…This one really sets the stage for an ever-expanding space cop drama that you’ll want to get in on before it gets away from you.
Die 4: It’s time for some murder-hoboin’! Ash and the gang arrive in the big city and finally make a stop at what is normally a RPG group first one- the tavern. There the revels only last a short time before more of the trauma of living in such a grimdark setting resurface and brief glimpse is given as to what shaped their malevolent game master. Each character comes to terms with scars just beneath their adventuring facades and quickly realizes how they have to bring Sol down to them-by not playing his game and changing the rules just a bit. That will teach him for railroading them so hardcore!
Meet The Skrulls 1: This one really took me by surprise. A suburban family of Skrulls has lived among us for years and once again plotting infiltration. More than plotting even, they’ve done it! The father figure is holding down a job at Stark Industries and Mom is a cleaner for dirty politicians. Their girls are set to push themselves into high school cliques of the children of movers and shakers with one exception- Alice doesn’t want to be the mean girl her sister is and even with the ability to change into whatever she wants, she can’t seem to fit in. When breaking away from the looming dynamics of an intergalactic war and a secret government organization bent on wiping them out, the first issue takes time to examine the inner workings of this alien family. That focus on the characters is what makes this book and has me so excited to see where this story goes.
Domino: Hotshots 1: From the skies a meteor crash lands in Antarctica containing a strange alien presence. It doesn’t contain a Cronenbergian plague monster though, but what seems to be a piece of the Celestials. Domino is then flagged down by none other than Black Widow herself and together they assemble a team to retrieve the piece before it infects the world with its green, glowing celestial-ness. Not everything is as it seems though as the teams’ loyalties split just as the piece is within their sights (surprising I know for a group made up of almost half international super spies). A fight with the alien entity ensues and the team must band back together to take it down. Pick this one up for Gail Simone’s unique dialogue voice and if you want to learn how to use ‘Boromir’ as a verb!
Batman #66: Holy lost loves, Batman! Selina Kyle stars in this one as she is intensely interrogated by The Question. He’s out to find the real reason why she left Bats at the altar because it’s become way too obvious that there’s something hidden away. What ensues is a deep emotional look through Catwoman’s eyes as to why Batman is the Batman and playing out scenes in which they met. The main focus here is the flow of the story which is dramatically layed out beautifully in sometimes simple images that speak volumes. This one’s a masterclass lesson in telling a lot while only showing a little. The question is also asked once more: can Bruce be Batman AND be happy?
Uncanny X-Men 13: With only a handful of mutants left on their side after having their friends and family wiped out, Cyclops and Wolverine build a list of the biggest threats that the X-Men have taken on. It’s their swan song to the world: incapacitate all their loose ends before the end of the X-Men. Things get hairy on their very first name though-Dark Beast. He’s been doing terrible experiments on the dupes of Multiple-Man and Jamie Madrox himself wants a shot at him for it. What follows is an epic clash revealing what the X-Men have to look out for down the road if they truly want to take on all these tasks. Also featuring a return to the 90s costumes of old! Always good to see Cyke in a yellow bandolier.
Ronan Island #1 – Issue one definitely leaves you wanting to know more. At the start, you think it’s going to be another tale of kids trying to be the best. The rich kid who wants to prove he “isn’t just some spoiled rich kid” and the poor kid who “doesn’t need money to have skill”. I was pleasantly surprised to not have to wait several issue for them to get over it. When a weird monster army showed up they seemed to all jump into action together, but I’m sure the feud will come up again.
Die #4 – I’m ready for it to get real in the land of Die. The last couple issues have been a little underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying it, but I’m ready for some high stakes D&D action. There has been a mostly traveling and emotional abuse. Also, is their plan to destroy the one place where people are nice to them? I hope they aren’t total d-bags and figure out how to get to Sol without destroying the city of glass.
Oberon #2 – I really wanted Oberon to be a nice fairy since he is so hot and all, as is life 🙁 I thought this was a good second issue. I’m excited to find out the importance of this little girl. She obviously has people who care for her, or at least know her importance in the mortal world. I’m curious to see what will happen when they come into play. That is as long as Bonnie isn’t murdered by this endless maze.
Morning In America #1 – Something weird is going on in this small town. Local high school students are disappearing, but what really odd is the police don’t seem to be doing anything about it. Ellen, Nancy, Veronica, and Ashley are a group of misfits/troublemakers who are known around town for the trouble they get into. A sibling of one of the missing students tries to convince Nancy he saw his sister abducted, but she isn’t buying it. After overhearing a conversation in the police station, she finds out everything she has been hearing is true, and the new factory in town could have something to do with it all. Nancy goes back to the girls and informs them she thinks they are the town’s only hope. Next issue we’ll see if they get on board with an idea that’s so out there
Star Wars Vader: Dark Visions #1 – First of all, let us all soak in that Darth Vader Death Dealer homage cover. So Dark Visions seems like it’s going to be a series of one shots all involving Vader of course but also his ripple effect on those around him. In this particular issue, a young alien boy is chilling on his planet, ready for his peoples annual migration down into the dark tunnels where they hide from a “god” that terrorizes them on the surface. In comes Vader, crashing down to their planet where he will quickly become a heroic black knight and savior to these people. Because Darth Vader isn’t really a bad guy, it’s just all about perspective.
Ronin Island #1 – Welcome to Ronin Island, where a mixed culture of Chinese/Japanese/Korean people live together surprisingly well despite history dictating otherwise. Kenichi is the son of a great samurai and Hana is a Korean orphan but both of them have passed their training exam! Just in time for a boat of a Shogun warlord who has been thought to have been dead for 30 years pulls up and demands fealty and threats of a menace tearing through the mainland. Just what is that menace? Why just your average zombie/monster horde who also decided to make an appearance to this fun island. Greg Pak seems to be having a blast making his takes on classic manga tropes with this and Mech Cadet Yu, but it has all been really enjoyable. The art by Giannis Milonogiannis is also well suited and he’s living his best life drawing the western inspired manga of his dreams. If you haven’t read his series “Old City Blues” I def recommend checking it out if you’re fans of cyberpunk/ghost in the shell/patlabor/appleseed
Conan the Barbarian #4 – This series continues to be some prime Conan. In this issue, we see Conan much later in his life when he is king and restless. I mean, how does a man who’s used to barbarianing around the world just SETTLE DOWN and do kingly stuff? He literally gets a fever because he can’t kill some stuff. So what does he do? HE BECOMES BEST FRIENDS WITH A GODDAMN LION AND THEY GO OUT ADVENTURING AT NIGHT LIKE THE BEST CRIME FIGHTING FRIENDS THEY ARE! Seriously, if you are not reading this series, you are fucking up.
Die #4 – Woo doggy, things are starting to turn for our adventurers. Our party arrives in Glass Town which is an actual town inside a glass dome shaped like a D20. Clever! It’s also the home of Sol. Hoping to eventually meet their friend, everyone takes a break and do some soul searching which ends in drinks at the local tavern and rounds of sad stories of their real lives outside of the game. When the news is delivered that Sol will actually NOT be seeing them and has instead made a challenge/game for them instead, Ash decides that maybe they can expedite things by wrecking things from the inside. And thus, we have the turning point in the arc and these next few issues are going to be very exciting and some good character exposition/background. This book continues to be one of the more beautiful on the stands but still one that I think will work best in trade format.