Green Lantern 80th Anniversary Special – Such a great read for anyone who’s a fan of the Green Lantern mythos. More so than the other 80 anniversary books this year, this one felt more special as it could focus on all the characters who have made up the Corps and not simply different angles of the same person. There’s a story for everyone in here, including particularly great ones about Lanterns Cruz and Baz by Mariko Tamaki and Sina Grace respectively. The standout to me though was Denny O’Neil’s last story involving Hal and Oliver Queen reflecting on Walden by Thoreau. It talked of the escalating violence of their superhero work has to constantly be evaluated and changed through their actions, ending on Thoreau’s quote, “Things do not change; we change.” RIP Denny and thank you for all the stories.
Bleed Them Dry #1 – An interesting story is a little misleading by the cover. I wouldn’t call this a “ninja” vampire tale as much of a detective one. The issue starts off as your typical 80’s odd couple cop story, this time the pair being a human (Detective Halloway) and a vampire (Atticus Black, ugh). The setting is the real head turner: Japan in the year 3333. Kinda why the ninja part felt poorly derivative without there being ninjas in it…They play off the year very well with beautiful sci-fi backgrounds and news stories talking of the starving children on the coastlines of Arizona. The crux of the plot is that there is a vampire slayer slaying vampires around the city of Asylum and the detectives have to find a way to stop them. The twist at the end is definitely going to have me coming back for more.
Thor #5 – Alright, I’m loving this book but Coates has GOT to stop putting “god” in front of words and thinking it’s all good. There is a bit where the narrator says “chills ran down his god-spine” No. Just no. Continuing from previous issues, Galactus and Thor begin their fight against the darkness of the Black Winter in the middle of space. Thor is sucked into the blackness while light years away Lady Sif must watch on and do nothing. This promotion of hers to All-Seeing has been fantastic and coupled with Beta Ray to speak of the missteps of Thor made for a great read. The revelation at the end of this one is far-reaching and genius so DO NOT miss it.
That Texas Blood #1 – A tale of a small county sheriff that at times shows the cruel darkness of humanity and at others the hopeful light that can be found as well. Sheriff Joe wakes up on his 75th birthday to what seems like another ho-drum day. His wife sends him on a mission to retrieve a casserole dish so she can fix him dinner. She also constantly talks to him on his CB radio all day. It’s a cute dynamic that plays out well until he falls asleep and is haunted by visions of his predecessor murdered by his brother. Things get much darker after that, even just the act of retrieving the dish…A fantastic slow burn of a read that sticks with you well after you’re finished.
That Texas Blood #1 – After doing some research, finding out Jacob Phillips is Sean Phillips’ son, it made so much sense. This book gave such a similar feel to the many crime books I’ve read, and loved by Sean Phillips. I don’t want to under value this book, but I couldn’t help but get excited about the new book, Pulp, coming out soon by Phillips Sr. & Brubaker while reading (the preview in the back helped)! This issue focuses around a small Texas town that clearly hasn’t seen any major action in awhile. Their white haired Sheriff who talks to his wife threw his police radio, shows they don’t typically need to keep the lines free. The biggest case on Sheriff Joe’s lap, is going to retrieve a loaned casserole dish from a neighbor for his birthday dinner that evening. Don’t get me wrong, we might not have seen it yet, but you can tell Joe has seen some things while on the force and still has grit in his old age. He might have to dig some of that up, when a domestic violence case turns into a suicide right before his eyes!
Sleeping Beauties #1 – Several stories are at play, and they all seem to point to magic. Authorities are investigating an illness that is so far unexplained and untreatable. It’s a sort of a sleep paralysis that is rapidly, and only affecting women. The weirdest part of this coma state women keep getting found in, is the organic web-like growth coming off the infected. While authorities try to get to the bottom of that, a lone shoeless girl decides to take down a meth lab (very unapologetically I might add). The local police take her in while investigating the giant meth lab fire, but with an outbreak already in the local women’s prison, that is the last place anyone wants to be. Maybe whatever gave this vigilante her strength to beat down two methy dudes will help break this magical slumber!
Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #2 – Harley finally made it back to Gotham. After the Defeo crime organization burned down one of her hotels in Brooklyn she wants revenge, and a bit of compensation. She doesn’t get the warmest welcome from Detective Montoya, who doesn’t want Quinn to bring her usual chaos to her city. The police are closing in on Defeo, and they don’t need Harley getting in their way. The police loosen up when she gives up all of Joker’s secret hideouts, and with nowhere to run, he is caught and taken to Arkham. Harley has quite a few enemies in this town, but The Birds of Prey are still flocking together. While the police are nabbing Joker, Harley and her element bending friend, Atlee, go to hit him where it really hurts! They break into his vault and clear it out. Too bad that vault was also protecting valuables belonging to other criminals in Gotham, and too bad Joker is headed to Arkham full of his shady bank’s customers. So far this trip to Gotham has been a success for Harley, but she doesn’t know Joker has a plan to get his money (and her) back!
Batman: The Smile Killer #1 – This Book written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Andrea Sorrentino is a true mind bender for both us as the reader and the Dark Knight himself. This is a psychological thriller with a story that is beautifully executed. The art in here changes from bright and colorful to dark and dreary as the story switches perspectives from a young Bruce Wayne to a hardened Batman. The story takes us through some thought-provoking territory as the life of Bruce Wayne is thrown into disarray and he struggles with the idea of his life not being what he believes it to be. If you are looking for a story that will leave you wanting more then look no further.
Batman #93 – The conclusion to “Their Dark Designs” storyline. Batman vs. The Designer, Harley vs. Punchline, the past vs. the future. Batman has put the pieces together and has figured out just who The Designer is, but does it matter? Harley and Catwoman attempt to disrupt the grand design, but is that by their own doing, or was it all part of the plan? Will the actions of the past be the downfall for the criminals of Gotham, or will they springboard the Dark Knight into perhaps his toughest battle yet? This newest issue may have the answers you’ve been looking for, but don’t be surprised to have more questions once you finish reading.
Dead Body Road: Bad Blood #1 – This book was awesome. From beginning to end I was enthralled, and every time I turned the page I was excited to see what was going to happen next. This is apparently the second series for the Dead Body Road franchise, and it is marvelous. A strong female lead who doesn’t take any shit runs a bar, trying to live a normal life. That doesn’t stop her past from catching up to her, and when her brother does something to attract the attention of some unsavory individuals, she will have to embrace her former life to save him. I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds.
Wynd #1 – If you’re looking for a beautiful fantasy adventure to lift your spirits these days, Tynion IV has you covered with this stellar first issue. Wynd is a small-time barkeep working behind the scenes to serve the engineers of Pipetown. Unfortunately, he has to stay behind the scenes lest someone sees his pointy ears and learns of the outlawed magic in his blood. When his adoptive mother learns that the Bandaged Man, a mercenary responsible for hunting down those with magic, she tries to find Wynd to protect him. Little does she know he’s on top of the building, spying on the hot son of the royal gardener during his morning run. That hot son’s name? Thorn Cherrywood. That name should clue you in that this is very much a fantasy and also very much a fantastic read. Pick this up with my highest recommendation!
Strange Adventures #2 – Tom King shines best when able to take his time with a slow burn mini-series (see Mister Miracle) and this follow up issue really shows that in spades. Batman recruits Mr. Terrific to investigate the claims made in Adam Strange’s book after the mysterious death of the man last issue. Mr. T thinks it has to do with the way he personally lost his wife and calls out Batman by saying, “You’re a manipulative fuck, Bruce Wayne.” Gotta love it. The story of this issue is told in cross sections of Mr. Terrific finding a copy of the book, going through his normal routine while being quizzed by his T-balls and snippets of Adam Strange on a desert mission in Raan. A truly well-done story that’s already setting itself up for one helluva twist.
Family Tree #6 – Though this series had a major flash forward last issue, we jump back to 1997 where Grampa Judd has been taken captured by the people who want to murder all the people turning into trees. It turns out this militant group is being led by a woman who had to murder her own father because he himself was turning. Don’t give her too much sympathy though as it was very gratifying to watch Judd sock her in the face. They were also attempting to steal Pup and have him replace one of their member’s hands? No answers here and only more questions arise but in a Lemire story that’s always a good thing. Grab this issue and the first volume for a damn good read about the end times.
Wonder Woman Dead Earth #3 – God I love this series. Daniel Warren Johnson has captured the grit and grime of the apocalypse in every issue thus far and this one is no exception. Disillusioned by humans after she learns they nuked her homeland, Diana sets off to seek aid from the one person who was always there to help: Superman. The journey to the Fortress of Solitude isn’t as bad as it normally would be thanks to a Pegasus and the help of her newfound ally, Cheetah. Things look grim though on the approach as she fins the mounds of dead outside the doors of the Fortress, all those who were waiting for them to open and bring back their savior. They do open for Wonder Woman but what awaits inside is another revelation that you just have to read to believe.
A Man Among Ye #1 – Stephanie Philips is great at historical fiction, that I know after reading Butcher of Paris about Marcel Petiot. So when I saw her name on a book about Anne Bonny, I knew I had to read it. The story begins with the pillaging and burning of a British ship, which is the start to any good pirate tale. The pirates leading the charge were Anne Bonny and “Calico Jack” Rackham, and as one would assume, some crew members weren’t too pleased about taking orders from a lady. They need to get over that quickly because authorities know pirates are in the area and are hunting their ship! To add another distraction to the mix, they found a child stowaway, and some of the crew think roughing him up should be the evening’s entertainment. Anne disagrees and has no problem giving these guys a taste of their own medicine. Anne then figures out the child’s secret and who knows what other commonalities they’ll find as they continue to explore the Caribbean.
Strange Tales #2 – Adam Strange has returned to earth, and everyone wants to hear his story. So he writes a tell-all and soon Adam Strange is a beloved, household name. That is until a man, very publicly, calls out Strange and the wrong doings he might’ve done while in space. When that man comes up dead, even more people are now weary of Strange. Unsure how to save his reputation, Strange asks Batman to investigate and clear his name. Batman doesn’t know if he can be impartial of someone he has fought beside, and asks Michael “Mister Terrific” Holt to take the case. Holt’s genius level intellect makes him the perfect man for the job, and he finds holes in Adams story before they even meet.
Wynd #1 – In Pipetown, magic is a big no-no. Humans only. So no spells, no mystical plants, and definitely no magical races. That’s what makes the magical boy, Wynd’s situation so unique. He lives among the humans in secret and hides features that would give him away. Wynd just wants to live a normal life, and so far, so good. That is until Bandage Man, a legendary magic hunter, comes into town. His very presence puts Wynd on edge, but he was called here by the King and it probably has nothing to do with Wynd. Meanwhile in the castle, there is a dangerous plot in the making involving the prince.
Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 – Turdburgers, invisible chainsaws, and a Batman that’s a T-Rex. All insanely wild and what you might expect in the newest outing by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. There is so much happening in this story that’s its hard to wrap your head around it at first. It certainly doesn’t make it any less enjoyable as you are thrown into this world where Wonder Woman rules the underworld, Batman commands an undead army, and some guy name Rock comes up with the weirdest metaphors. We also get to see some characters that don’t get thrown into the mix too often and will be interesting to see how much further the story will take them. If you read Dark Nights: Metal, then this is a good choice, especially if you are interested in this “Metal” universe that only seems to be expanding.
Wonder Woman Dead Earth #3 – Wonder Woman abandons the residence of New Hope after the revelation that the world (as well as her Amazon sisters) were victims of the sins of man. Wonder Woman partners with Cheetah to journey in search of the one man who could possibly help this already dead Earth. With her mother and fellow mutated Amazon sisters hot on their trail, Wonder Woman must decide which world she wants to be a part of – the one she left behind to fight for man, or the men themselves that doomed her family. A solid continuation of this amazing story that puts Wonder Woman in the driver’s seat as she navigates the apocalypse.
Superman #22 – For so long, the planets of the galaxy have been seemingly in the path of destruction or harm by threats that could utterly destroy them. This is why Superman has chosen to be the representative of Earth, for the dream of having a United Planets organization. Not everyone is happy that Superman has taken it on himself to be the figurehead for Earth, and many agencies have questions as to what this will mean for the planet and more specifically the FBI. With questions also come statements, and the one to which both Superman and Lois Lane adhere could be more of a problem then either of them realizes.
Adventureman #1 – Fraction is back on his own IP and if this first issue in any indication, we’re going to see this incredibly realized world for a long time. Coming straight from the pages of an old pulp novel, Adevntureman and his team of international adventurers begin the book fighting back the forces of Baron Bizarre. Seemingly defeated at his hands, we as readers find that this is merely a story our protagonist Claire is reading to her young son Tommy. Or is it? Events unfold in the tiny bookshop of Claire’s that make it seem like the world of Adventureman novels might just be the hidden history of Claire’s world. A hilarious and quippy issue as expected from Matt Fraction that hits all the right beats at all the right times.
Decorum #2 – Leave it to Hickman to make the main baddie of this book God or otherwise The Singularity Formerly Known As God. Some background is provided in this great world-building adventure as the Ship of Celestial Mothers attempts to rejuvenate the cycle of the universe. They must continually run from the Church of Singularity who wishes to stop them so all fall under the heel of their God. Meanwhile in the story we know from last issue, the elegantly mannered Mrs. Morley has tea with her husband and offers to school the intrepid courier she met in the ways of assassination. The weird wonderfulness of this world continues to expand, and I am here for all of it.
Something Is Killing the Children #7 – The bodies of the children mutilated by the monster killed by Erica are finally uncovered but it leaves more questions than answers for the people of the town. Unfortunately, without the acceptance of the supernatural happening around them, no one will be left satisfied with the explanation of, “Maybe it was a bear?” Erica Slaughter and her cool-ass name continue on in the forests to track down the babies of the monster to prevent them from killing again. There she runs into another member of her monster-killing order with some crumbs of its secret history thrown about. Another fantastic installment of this incredible horror story so catch up with the first volume that just came out if you happened to sleep on it. Fix that SOON!
Excalibur #10 – This series is really hitting its stride as air raids from Krakoa seemingly hit the British Isles causing rampant anti-mutants sentiments to arise from all over. British special forces are hunting down mutants in the streets and Excalibur struggles to help save them all. Luckily, Captain Kate and a flying pirate ship come to lend them a hand. As they fight to protect mutants and humans alike form the chaos, the question arises whether all this is even real. That’s in part thanks to Betsy’s brother, the reality-warping Omega level mutant and asshole king of Otherworld. Not too mention, there’s a pretty fantastic costume change for the entire team at the end of this one. The ripples of this book are going to ring through to all the X-books so if you aren’t caught up, come pick up #1-9 off our shelves!Manage
Faithless II #1 – Faith is trying to adjust to her new life as an upcoming star, as Poppy’s dad has been introducing her to the who’s who of the art world. The pressure is starting to get to her, and with Poppy away, she is having a major artistic block. Besides missing Poppy, Faith can’t stop thinking about her old life. She doesn’t believe she can face her old friends after how she’s treated them (directly and indirectly). Lucky for Faith, Poppy’s friend, Solomon, is staying at the loft to help her work out some of her issues. It’s like a dam opens up and inspiration is able to flow from her to the paper! (P.S. per usual, the erotica cover is hot af.)
Adventureman #1 – Claire just wants a bit of normalcy in her life. She lives with her dad, her son, and six of her sisters who have a wealth of talents between them. Although they haven’t gone into detail yet, you can tell they’ve all seen some action. Now Claire runs a book store and gets her excitement from pages. When a mysterious woman comes by to drop of a book to Claire, their exchange is less than normal. The book is full of information about “Adventureman”, whose fictitious tales she reads to her son before bed. Claire thought it was all a bit odd, but new Claire is over investigating odd. She hits the hay for a good night’s rest, but someone or something is coming to bug her in the night.
Rick and Morty Go to Hell #1 – As we’ve watched/read the adventures of Rick and Morty, we’ve seen them make some pretty fucked up choices. From freezing high school kids to death, to destroying realities (and subsequently abandoning them), one could say there are more than enough reasons Rick and Morty should go to hell. So when the family shows up at what appears to be Beelzebub’s door, everyone in the family is sure this is their fate for going along with Rick’s crap. But Rick is a man of science and refuses to believe this is actually hell. So he ventures in deeper to get some answers, deep into the circle of hell!
Nightwing #71 – Ric Grayson needs to learn how to care for himself. With his headaches getting worse and still not fully aware of the man he once was, you’d think he learn to take some time off so that he could figure things out. However, crime never stops so how can the protector of Blüdhaven? With Ric out serving justice, the clown prince of crime stops for a little drink, and to offer a helping hand to our identity sick hero. With his memories in disarray and the Joker holding the power to restore those memories, will Ric finally become Dick again? Or will there be a new prince of crime let loose?
Batman The Adventure Continues #1 – Reading this brought me back to my early childhood. The voices of Kevin Conroy, Clancy Brown, and Tim Daly flowing through my head as the pages presented me with the art style from the legendary series. There are some nods to previous events in the animated series but if you aren’t familiar with it, not to worry, as it’s really easy to understand all that’s happening. If you are or were ever a fan of the show then the comic will be right up your alley.
Joker 80th Anniversary Special – Ever Since word of a Joker 80th anniversary issue would be coming out I have been eagerly anticipating its arrival. The Joker might be the most famous villain in comics and has been causing chaos for the caped crusader and others for 80 long, chaotic years. Who can forget the iconic Joker fish or when he beat Jason Todd to death (at the request of the general public),or when he cut his face off only to have it stapled back on. 100 pages putting the spotlight on the jester of genocide. ‘Nuff said.
Far Sector #6 – The best Green Lantern comic ever continues to get better in its latest installment and putting its finger on the pulse of the world. Jo is still reeling from Councilman Marth ordering the City-Everlasting’s defense force to fire on peacefully protesting citizens. While debating all this, the man himself comes over to apologize and announce that’s he’s resigning as a chairman for the council. According to Marth he now sides with those seeking to give emotions back to the citizens and will announce so with his resignation right before the formal referendum. Fingers crossed it all works out but judging from what Jo discovered at the end of this issue, it’s gonna be much tougher.
Nailbiter Returns #1 – Proving that sometimes a lull in between series isn’t always bad, Nailbiter Returns goes big in this first issue and creates an engrossing story that even readers new to the series can enjoy. Alice is a college student growing up in a town known for infamous serial killers with crazy gimmicks called the Buckaroo Butchers. Her dad, the Nailbiter, happened to be one of them. After a confrontation with one of his victim’s family at a local bar, Alice heads home to find a bathroom full of blood and her mother missing. Luckily, a past acquaintance in the FBI happens to come into town the next day but brings with him a new worry: someone is attempting to remake the Butchers. A helluva read for sure, crime fans don’t wanna miss out.
John Constantine Hellblazer #6 – Man oh man. Spurrier just has a knack for writing supernatural so perfectly and Constantine has not sounded better in years because of it. This month’s story is a slow burn and gives more insight into Noah’s mother’s accident and why he himself is the mute sidekick of J.C. On his mother’s coma ward, a ghost full of massive hatred is walking the corridors and consuming the souls of those deemed not British enough. All fans of the Tories need not apply for this one as it’s a brutal and well-deserved takedown of their ideology. Couple that with narrative captions similar to early Hellblazer and you’ve got yourself a horror masterpiece once again.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch #1 – Kelly Thompson continues to put a fun, fresh swing on Sabrina with her newest series starting straight from the last. As Sabrina tries to undo a Wendigo curse placed on her friends Radka and Ren, her time-splitting catches up to her. It’s not easy being a witch and juggling school along with it, a lesson that’s taking her a little too long to figure out. Not to mention she’s having trouble by being pulled in two romantic directions by Harvey and Ren. To take her mind off all this, she discovers a secret witch club run by her new friend Della and a magic card game only witches play. Unfortunately, her good times with family and friends may be dampened by a shocking revelation…read this one for a not-so-sinister but still-damn-spooky Sabrina story!
Nailbiter Returns #1 – The Nailbiter series was a horror that really knew how to make the reader squirm. The town of Buckaroo, Oregon was known as the serial killer capital of the world. Dozens of spree murderers were born in Buckaroo, all with their own unique manner of killing. One of those crazy killers, was Edward “Nailbiter” Warren who enjoyed munching on the freshly grown nails of his victims (🤮). He might’ve been a wack job but it takes one to know one, so the police had Warren help them get to the bottom of their towns bad luck. Turns out there was a supernatural cause behind all these killers. In the end, they believed they’d gotten rid of all the serial killers, everything is great, and Warren gets naughty with a detective (you’ll have to read Nailbiter to see how that all plays out). Now here we are, decades later and the police find someone who shouldn’t be in Buckaroo or even alive. Detectives can’t help but wonder, was everything they went through for nothing and how will they save Buckaroo for good this time?!
The Red Mother #5 – Everyone should be reading this! Concerned you waited too long and won’t be able to find the back issues? Have no fear, we have the graphic novel with the first four! It starts with Daisy and her fiancé getting attacked in the park. Her fiancé is missing and Daisy is left with severe eye injuries along with depression because how could you not? Oh and a ghoul did I mention the ghoul? Daisy can’t shake the thing. Everything will be fine one minute, and the next her vision goes red and the figure appears. Doctors can’t explain it and dismiss it as psychosomatic. Daisy knows she isn’t going crazy and after a showdown with the monster she believes it’s gone for good, but this monster might not be her enemy after all.
Birds of Prey #1 – Harley gets released from her duties as a Suicide Squad member and is set free on “good behavior”, and has decided to turn over a new leaf. Part of that is her quitting Joker for good and deciding to be a crime fighter (she is adamant about both of those things). Per usual, trouble finds her when she comes across a new cartel moving into Gotham. She isn’t the only one keeping an eye on these guys. After being tipped off by Gotham PD, Huntress runs into Harley following the cartel. It takes some convincing, but Huntress trusts Harley and they call on Black Canary to take this cartel down once and for all. Harley, Huntress, and Black Canary (with some police help) finally have the cartel cornered, but like I said, trouble finds Harley. The Joker arrives to take back his girl, dead or alive, and the main cartel three end up escaping in the chaos. Harley goes after them alone and does a pretty awesome job crime stopping until Joker catches up to her. Harley has some hard choices if she wants to live the hero life, but can she really change with Joker around?
Batman/Superman #9 – A body on the shore and a supervillain on the loose. Just another day in Gotham city. At least, it would be if the villain were one of Batman’s usual playmates. Instead, he has to deal with one of Superman’s own headaches right in the heart of Gotham. But could this menace just be looking for a little help? While Bats is doing his thing in the city, two beat cops stumble into a cave looking for answers about this body that washed ashore and looks to have been experimented on. What they find is one giant, hulking problem. Unbeknownst to the two heroes, a threat is looming below Gotham that intends to have explosive consequences.
Catwoman 80th Anniversary Special – She’s one of pop culture’s most recognizable anti-heroes as well as being a feminist icon. This comic is a celebration of 80 years worth of heartbreaking and thievery that Catwoman has given us since her first appearance way back In Batman #1, in the spring of 1940. Featuring some of the industry’s top names, this 100-page tribute features ten stories that are sure to delight fans of the character. Selina Kyle is one tough cat and if you don’t want her to get her claws on you then you should pick up this book.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: EVERY GENERATION #1 – Three different stories with three different heroines and three different art styles. The main story involves Buffy trying to close Hellmouth in Sunnydale and in the process engages in battle with someone called the Hellmother. The other two stories are supplementary pieces that features characters of different time periods and provides a look at some of the things these women did in their respective times. From the Philippines to Dublin there are all sorts of demonic entities that threaten our safety and there is only one who can stop them, The Slayer.