Star Wars #2 – You ready to do things “Lando style”? Seriously, he really does say that in the book. Calrissian takes center stage in this one as he and Chewie head to Tatooine to try and find out if Boba Fett has delivered Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt yet. Luckily, he hasn’t but unluckily the two get taken into Jabba’s lair by bounty hunters because they’re flying the Millennium friggin’ Falcon. Note to anyone trying to secretly gather information in space: don’t fly one of the most signature ships in the galaxy into enemy territory. C’mon guys. Leia inspires the rebel forces to keep fightin’ the good fight and Luke moodily stews on missing his hand and his lightsaber. Get in on the ground floor of new Star Wars!
X-Men #5 – The escapee of the Children of the Vault makes her way back to the aforementioned vault and the X-peoples aren’t happy about it. Unfortunately, the vault is next to near impossible for “ordinary” people to traverse as time within moves at a highly accelerated pace. They assemble a very cleverly put-together team of mutants: Darwin who can adapt to anything including a butt-ton of time, X-23 who can aggressively heal just like her weird clone daddy and Synch who has the power to copy other mutant abilities. The three lead an exploratory mission inside and will hopefully come out with more info to go on for what the plot is of these post-humans.
Thor #2 – Cates continues to wow with this book as Galactus does what Galactus does best: consumes a planet with little regard for its consequences. Thor now made his herald tries to Jiminy Cricket the big purple head by saying he could at least evacuate the planet first but to no avail. Instead, Thor takes the celestial head-on in a brutal fight which leaves the G-man sporting a few less limbs. He then employs some of his new All-Father powers and sends his ravens to Sif to give word to make a rainbow bridge to his location. He evacuates the denizens of the planet but also manages to attract some galactic attention of a super fan favorite. Start this one soon folks, it’s going places FAST.
Dr. Strange Surgeon Supreme #2 – After appearing to drown at the end of the last issue, Doc Strange casts some fancy glyphs and teleports himself and a bunch of seawater to his Sanctum Machina. This is apparently a new locale where he forges magical artifacts and I’m 1000% on board. He ducks back into his day job only to find that Anthony Ludgate a.k.a. Doctor Druid has been mysteriously resurrected and is working at the hospital now too!! Why is no one cheering? He’s a former Avenger and student of the Ancient One, y’all. Wrecker starts wrecking again but this time with one of his partners: Thunderball. Another fantastic issue in this new start to Waid’s Stephen Strange.
Hawkeye Freefall #2 – The first issue of this series was fun and continues to be with its latest. Clint and Linda are attending a charity event for F.E.A.S.T. and start hanging out with Tony Stark which cues up a lot of hilarity. Aunt May takes the stage to announce the biggest donation and while Tony gets ready to go up, she calls Clint’s name which means he makes a fool of himself with his public speaking. Tony and Linda are a little confused as Clint’s kinda known as the poorest Avenger. Meanwhile, Ronin strikes again at another warehouse for the Hood but is sidetracked by Spider-Man. The two duke it out which leads to an explosion and some collateral damage. Now more heroes are knocking on Hawkeye’s door wanting to know what’s up. The twists are a-comin’ so tune in for more great turns.
X-Force #6 – I really like the set-up this book has laid out for X-Force and lucky for us in this issue we get a closer look at the more tactical side of the team: Beast and Sage. At the beginning of the story Beast likens himself to a director of an orchestra balancing the light and dark which, though it’s showing his hubris a bit, seems to be right on the money. When Black Tom Cassidy and Xavier go down to Terra Verde in Central America to sign a peace treaty. They’re interrupted however by plant-based sleeper agents who try to take down the president and his son. Lot of botanical baddies these days in the X-books…the way all this shakes out is going to reverberate soon for all the X-peoples, mark my words.
Thor #2 – As planned, Thor and Galactus have arrived at the first world that needs to be consumed to save many more. This sort of thing is Galactus’s whole bag so he readies himself to destroy this entire planet and all of it’s inhabitants. Thor, not being a complete sociopath, explains that he will take no part in the extinction of these people. He even proposes the idea of shipping them away which seems totally reasonable, but Galactus queues up his murder ray anyway. Thor calls Lady Sif for an on the fly Rainbow Bridge and safely delivers the people of Clypse to Asgard for refuge, not before knee capping Galactus for being such a jerk. Thor promises the people of Clypse they are just taking the lands energy, which is the original plan but Galactus goes rogue again. Thor is totally POed, like this is only the first planet. Is Galactus going to be a dick the whole time? Before they can hash is out, an old friend of Thor’s appears and he is there to destroy Galactus! Hopefully Thor can defuse this situation and stay on course to save Asgard!
Criminal #12 – Whew, I thought we lost Papa Lawless in that last issue. Dan, being the good guy he thinks he is, put Teeg down with salt bullets. He isn’t dead, but Jane was still taken by some man he has never met, and is trying to make sense of it all. Things take a turn for the worst and it seems that Teeg might never get these answers. This is all coming after the heist that was suppose set them up for retirement, where Jane and Teeg could get away from it all. Teeg can’t help but beat himself up. Ricky can’t stand to see his father moping about and tells him about his meeting with Dan the night before he took Jane. As you can imagine, world’s greatest dad, Teeg, reacts to this information the worst way. If you haven’t read the other books in the Criminal series I highly suggest it. These events will help shape the man Ricky grows up to be.
Hawkeye Freefall #2 – Last issue we are introduced to an impostor running around in Hawkeye’s old Ronin suit. Even his fellow Avengers were sure it was Clint, but after seeing them both in the same place at the same time, Clint’s name is cleared. The question still remains, who is this person and why have they chosen to wear Clint’s Ronin costume to do his vigilante work? The Hood is wondering what he has done to piss this guy off and how he can get ‘fake Ronin’ out of his hair. One of Hood’s stooges figures out who is behind the mask, so Ronin reveals himself. Something strange is going on here, and looks like Hawkeye is the one to blame.
Protector #1 – This issue opens with a chase for a runaway slave. The young girl is on the run as fast as her bare feet can carry her. Eventually she comes across an area in ruin and falls into an abandoned ship of some sort. Inside appears to be technology beyond the times of these people. The slave girl accidentally gets her blood on a ‘bot’ inside the craft and it comes to life. It is now her protector, needless to say, she is no longer a slave with this new killing machine by her side. What looks like a bot to me, is referred to as a demon later in the book. The gods of these people are known as Devas, and believe this machine/demon must be destroyed at any cost. The Devas are planning on destroying the entire region that houses the demon, regardless of the many innocent that will die in the process. One of those innocents, proposes the plan of luring the demon into the desert so no one is hurt. The Devas informs them, they may try, but when the time comes, where ever the demon is he will be destroyed. Now the clock begins and they have get this plan in motion. I have a sneaking suspicion the Devas are not what they appear to be, but I’ll have to wait and see!
Amazing Spider-Man Daily Bugle #1 – A Spider- Man focused around the investigative efforts of the Daily Bugle. The issue opens with different shots of the progression of the Daily Bugle building throughout the years of its operation, all the way up to current day. Inside the building, the Editor in Chief, Joseph Robertson, makes his way through the different floors of the Bugle. Robertson pulls a member of the team aside to ask them for a favor involving his niece who has recently joined the Daily Bugle. She’s tasked with finding out answers to a claim of Spider-Man’s webbing littering the streets. When she arrives to the scene you are introduced to how regular citizens think of the way Spider-Man operates. While that’s happening, a member of the team is almost killed by an unknown threat. When Robertson’s niece follows all the clues, she arrives to find a man strung upside down from webbing. Spider-Man is in this comic and has a funny interaction with The Mighty Koi Boy, but overall this issue focused on the young journalist.
Ravencroft #1 – We open with Misty Knight talking to a group of shadowy figures in an undisclosed location about the events that transpired during Absolute Carnage. Specifically, if John Jameson is fit to be serving as Ravencroft’s security consultant considering what he went through during Absolute Carnage. Were also made aware that Misty has gotten a job at Ravencroft so she can monitor the situation with a boots on the ground approach. She is having a therapeutic session with some inmates who are trying to reform when Norman Osbourne walks in and ruins the whole session. Misty gives him a piece of her mind but he tells her that it doesn’t matter what she thinks and that he will do what he damn well pleases. Then there’s a switch to Jameson who is having a conversation with an employee before he gets attacked by an inmate. After the scuffle, Misty asks Jameson why he didn’t change into Man Wolf, and she suspects it has something to do with what he experienced during Absolute Carnage. Watching from the shadows are The Unwanted, A group of mutated patients whose origins were discussed in the Ruins of Ravencroft Sabretooth, and Ruins of Ravencroft Dracula. At the end of the issue there is a meeting where Kingpin reveals who he’s hired to work at the Ravencroft Institute, and it’s truly the inmates who are running the facility.
Dr. Strange Surgeon Supreme #2 – After getting the hell beat out of him by the Wrecker with his newest weapon, a reality warping crowbar, Doctor Strange is drowning in the Hudson river. That was until he uses his sorcery powers to teleport him to his Sanctum Machina which is where he creates all his weapons and armor. After tending to the wounds, Dr. Strange resumes his duties as a surgeon and tries not to think about the Wrecker. After a chat with a friend, Dr. Strange is made aware of the location of the Wrecker – destroying buildings downtown. After confronting Wrecker, Strange is attacked by his partner Thunderball who also has a new magical weapon. A battle ensues between the three and that’s when Dr. Strange pulls out his secret weapon. Strange discovers that the two’s weapons weren’t augmented but are rather completely new magical weapons. With this being the case Dr. Strange concludes that someone is selling magical weapons that can cause catastrophic damage, But who?
Avengers of the Wasteland #1 – The issue picks up with Ant-Man flying through Nevada, haunted by memories of Doctor Doom attacking the Forge Compound. In California, the bastard son of Bruce Banner and Danielle Cage are tending to crops when a friend mentions that somebody has arrived and is asking for them by name. It’s Ant-man, and the three catch up until Doctor Doom arrives with a sizable force to take over the community they have created. The three engage in battle with Doom and his forces. After its revealed that the Doom present is a Doombot (go figure) repelling the rest of his forces is easy. The end of the issue has the team meeting up with an old ally that will lead them to the location of the real Doom, but with Doombots in play are they really who they say they are?
Marauders #6 – In these troubled and terror-filled times, it’s really great to watch a pirate captain and her pet dragon kick the shit out of a guy dressed as a Klansman. Hate Monger and X-Cutioner are sent in by Homines Verendi, a group of racist kid-billionaires, to take over Shinobi’s ship in Madripoor. While Captain Kate and her crew are trying to control the tide of battle and save the mutants, Pyro gets stabbed by X-Cutioner who had a little surprise inside his gnarly lance: Yellowjacket. The evil shrink-artist goes full Fantastic Voyage on Pyro and is currently hijacking his optic nerve to spy for HV. The crew of the Marauder split ways for a short time which leads to a disastrous result but one of the best lines ever uttered in a cape book by Captain Kate. Still the best X-book on the shelf.
Once and Future #6 – This series ends on the highest of notes but fret not (I know I did), it looks like it’s coming back! Duncan takes up the role his Gran crafted for him as Percival and brings the fight to Arthur’s castle in a big way. He takes his Gran along for the ride as she’s slowly dying, hoping to use King Arthur’s magic belt to heal her. With Excalibur in hand, the bad king’s henches are cut through easily. Other good new for the duo: this King Arthur hasn’t heard his full story yet and Duncan’s estranged mother didn’t do her homework. It’s truly a great moment when Gran spills the tea about Lancelot and his queen…the best interpretation of Arthurian legend comes to a very satisfying end!
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – New year, new #1 and it’s a great one at that! Recovering from the events that happened at the end of the last series, most of the Guardians are focused on being a family first rather than an intergalactic vigilante group. So, when Nova comes knocking because the Gods of Olympus are using and inter-dimensional temple to murder swaths of people, Gamora pretty much tells him that. Star Lord and Rocket sneak off in the middle of the night though to go help because they’re not about to let more people die. Unfortunately, Nova can’t assemble too many people to help as most barely escaped the reemergence of the Cancerverse *read more in the latest Annihilation event, true believers! * It’s up to their small squad to infiltrate Olympus and take on these rogue gods! Helluva first issue, for sure.
Batman Curse of the White Knight #6 – Sheer, utter Batman brilliance. No one is writing or drawing Gotham lore better than SGM these days. After Azrael went on a murder spree to release Joker, Batman catches up to the GTO as they’re putting out the fires. Before he heads to the old Arkham Asylum for the big showdown, Batman stops by Jason Blood’s place to get filled in on his family’s history. Admittedly, Jason Blood is sorta used in a very deus ex machina way in this book but considering he’s a cursed demon, I’ll allow it. Batman teams up with Harley (with sparks flying between the two) as Joker has kidnapped her twins. When they arrive, Joker lets loose what he saw scrawled in blood in that well we’ve heard about so much. This book’s going down as one of the GOAT Batman stories, for sure.
Excalibur #6 – Captain Britain and her coven take the fight to Otherworld after ridding London of Morgan Le Fay. As they make their conquest, they’re joined by an unsuspected old member of the coven: the mutant formerly known as Apocalypse. Apparently, members of the council get pushed to the front of the line for resurrection protocols. Apocalypse parlays with Morgan and they come to an accord: Betsy must battle her brother Brian in a death match to claim control over Otherworld. This more to this plan than it seems and the resolution is a surprising one indeed. Big things are happening in the magic X-book so jump in sooner rather than later!
Folklords #3 – Kindt’s version of a fairy tale continues to get deeper and more engrossing with its mystery in this one! Ansel gets captured by Hansel and Greta! This version of them though is, uh, pretty fucked up. After escaping the Library with some stolen books, the two find the candy house but inside is not a witchy lady but a witchy dude. This man was once a Librarian but before he can make a meal of the two, they make a meal of him. Greta quickly realizes that the candy is bad for them and stops eating it but not Hansel. The poison candy mutates him into a strong-arm simpleton so the two have cannibalizing wandering travelers ever since. Yeah, it’s bad news for Ansel but lucky for him, no good deed goes unpunished. Folklords is just continuing in its excellence so jump in before it’s too late.
I Can Sell You A Body #2 – Denny Little is a medium for hire. Recently, instead of his usual giving a widow a final goodbye and general closure for the grieving, Denny has promised to bring someone back from the dead! There are a couple problems with that. He needs to find a new body for the soul (which he hasn’t), get the soul to agree (they don’t), and since he isn’t even sure if he can, he shouldn’t have taken that mobsters money for it. So now Denny is trying to figure out how to raise the money or the dead before it’s too late. A grand gesture he made in the first issue landed him the girl of his dreams, but there couldn’t be a worse time. Denny threw away a chance to save himself to help her and now Henrietta plans on doing the same for him!
The Old Guard Force Multiplied #2 – It’s only issue two, so there are still questions left to be answered. We get the behind the scenes of a group who appear to be the protagonist vigilantes, who keep breaking women out of what I assume is your run of the mill sex trafficking, but there might be more to this story. The person in charge of our people stealing baddies is a woman who has yet to be named, but knows our troop of vigilantes (she may have even been one of them at some point). So far they have been one step ahead of the slavers, until this issue when they are caught off guard in a big way.
Wonder Woman #750 – Here we have our Princess in all her 60’s glory. Nine stories sure to fill you with nostalgia. We see Diana battle long time enemies like Ares and Cheetah, while also making new friends like Star Blossom. Traveling to Themyscira, the home of the Amazons, we even get a view into her life as a girl growing up, a lone child amongst a village of female warriors. This jumbo issue is jam packed with everything from fights to friendship, and totes worth a read!
Folklords #3 – Ansel has left his village to go on a quest. This wouldn’t be a big deal normally, but the governing body (aka the Librarians) recently banned leaving said village. To make matters even worse they only made this ban because there was speak of searching for the Folklords. The Folklords are taught to be things of evil and are always a taboo subject. So anyway, Ansel’s like fuck that and heads out to find the Folklords. So far his quest isn’t going great, and he get’s drugged and held prisoner by Hansel and Gretal in their candy torture chamber. Also, his buddy from the village/quest partner might be a total Judas. No sweat off Ansel’s back, he meet a new friend to go questing with and he is on the road again!
The Amazing Spider-Man # 38 – When an old employee of Jonah Jameson resurfaces with a lucrative offer to get him back into the starlight of news journalism, how could he turn it down? Norah then gives JJ a lesson in truth in journalism vs. engagement. Jonah Doesn’t agree and it couldn’t come at a better time since Spider-Man is involved in a bank robbery that he is committing on behalf of his sister. Meanwhile there is also a floating casino above the skies for villains allowing them to track and place bets on superhuman conflicts all around the world. The Foreigner is aboard the casino watching over the events of Spider-Man’s bank robbery. Finding it hard to believe that Spider-Man could do such a thing, Jonah sets off to get evidence that this isn’t the case. After saving Spider-Man’s life, Jonah discovers why Spider-Man did it and inadvertently makes things worse for Spider-Man. Oops.
Hell Arisen Lex Luthor Vs. The Infected #2 – Lex Luthor is trapped in his laboratory by the infected versions of Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Shazam, Donna Troy, and Hawkman. Luthor tries to persuade them all into seeing that the Batman Who Laughs is simply using them as fodder instead of showing up himself. The infected heroes don’t care for small talk and are adamant that they’re more powerful combined, and that Lex can’t possibly stop them. As Luthor reminds them he has been battling the most powerful person on the planet for years not with his own might, but with his mind. Then we get a few pages of Lex easily dispatching of them all very akin to what is seen in Justice League Doom when Vandal savage uses the weakness of the Justice League against them. After escaping His laboratory, Lex makes his way to a former employee’s house and sets up base there. He makes his way to the Hall of Justice in search of a fresh blood sample from an untainted source to find a way to reverse what the Batman Who Laughs has set in motion. Through his acquisition of an untainted blood source Luthor learns of just how far the infection has spread as well as placing him in the middle of a trap.
Folklords #3 – With Ansel having been able to sneak past the all-seeing librarians, he is able to start his quest by entering the woods. The quest takes a turn for the worse when Ansel comes face to face with the killer of the Weeping Woods. I had to do some backtracking on my end to understand what was going on as this was the first issue I read in this series and it surprisingly held my attention. The art does a really good job at developing the atmosphere of the work. When the mood is more joyous and pleasant the colors are bright. When things start to turn the other way the color pallet also begins to shift toward darker colors. All in all, this was a good issue to read and made me more interested in the story going forward.
Guardians of The Galaxy #1 – Al Ewing’s run on Guardians begins! The issue kicks off with Kree talking about a civil war that is taking place within the galaxy and worrying if the front lines will make it close to home. As the Kree talk and discuss the possibility of such a thing happening to them their home is decimated by the Reborn Zeus (guess he died). The Guardians enjoy a family dinner and take some well-deserved time off. That is until Nova shows up and explains to them everything that is currently happening in the galaxy along with Cancerverse returning (as seen in ANNIHILATION SCOURGE). The only members of the group who agree to team with Nova are Star Lord and Rocket while the others stay back. The plan slowly starts to unwind as the heroes becomes outnumbered and outmatched. Just when everything seems to be ruined, two members of the team stumble upon someone that might just give them a fighting chance in this battle. I really enjoyed Ewing’s Guardians and from the work he’s put in on Immortal Hulk, I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series.
Hellboy Winter Special 2019 – Celebrate the winter solstice with some of the best spooky short stories around! The first story centers on Hellboy chasing down the ghost of an old miser and supposes the idea that the memory of a city can be trapped as a supernatural spirit as well. Brilliant. Next up is a Poirot-like story featuring a fan-favorite from the Edward Grey stories: Sarah Jewell! Hopefully we get a chance to see more of her in the coming year. Finally, Scott Allie takes the helm for a bit to weave a story about an aging priest who in his memoirs of hunting demons makes a confession to his God. The twist at the end and thought provocation is really something that shouldn’t be missed.
Iron Man 2020 #1 – Remember that character assassination story line Secret Empire they did for Captain America? This is like that but instead of Nazis, it’s robots. Turns out the Tony Stark we’ve known in the comics for a decade was a robot artificially implanted with his consciousness. Also! Tony wasn’t the real son of his parents, his brother Arno was who is now the titular Iron Man 2020. The dead robo-Tony Stark is now for some reason leading a robot revolution with all the known Marvel robotic beings. There’s even a timeline in the back of the book that explains how Tony hasn’t been real for years and feeding lies to Arno while he kept him in an artificial sleep. Wow…just…wow…
Red Mother #2 – Another fantastic entry in a story that’s gripping me more with every issue. Awoken from her slumber, Daisy finds her lost boyfriend Luke sitting across from her in a hazy, specter-like form. He warns her that SHE is coming and disappears, probably alluding to the Red Mother (see title of the book). The next day she talks to her therapist about it not knowing if it was real or something her mind made up out of her darkest fears. She just wants to get back to her day job of making puzzles but doesn’t think she can handle it. Makes sense considering that once she leaves there her world goes red again and she sees more demons. She’s in for a different kind of puzzle as this one ends and I’m looking forward to seeing how she solves it!
Avengers #29 – Aaron continues his awesome run on Avengers in a big way in this out-of-this-world issue (they’re in space…sorry). Tony Stark, totally not a robot in the mind of this true-believer, designed something astonishingly cool so Black Widow could fight in space: her own armored suit called the War Widow and it’s bad fucking ass. She then uses to fight Silver Surfer in order to stop him from killing the new host of the Starbrand which starts to turn badly for her. Luckily Blade gets help to fight in space too from his faithful sidekick Boy-Thing in the form of a plant-suit which can take on the likes of a herald of Galactus. This is the tights and capes action we all crave and definitely makes me want to pick up the previous issues in this run as soon as I can.
The Batman’s Grave #4 – Warren Ellis Batman continues to be just a delight to read. Alfred in the hands of this maniac comes off as a pompous, sarcastic ass when he talks down to Batman and I love it. The B-Man has tracked Dr Hellfern, a bad man making bad drugs, to a penthouse apartment and when asked what he’ll do with this information Batman responds, “Wildly overcompensate.” Love it. What follows next are some beautifully well-executed fight scenes over the course of a few pages by Bryan Hitch. The mystery grows though as the doctor has been taken out but Batman’s leads have dried up. This series has been excellent so far and bombastically continues to be with this issue for sure.
Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy #2 – Turns out being the sidekick a murdering vigilante kinda sucks. The boy who will become Skeleton Boy is locked in a room below a butcher shop where he’s mercilessly trained every day in order to get what it takes to kill criminals on the streets. Meanwhile the cop who investigated the murder of his parents is called into the orphanage after it’s found that he’s run away. She already thinks it’s Skulldigger but the police chief doesn’t believe her since she’s got a grudge against the crime killer. She gets assigned to guard duty on a mayoral candidate who used to be a superhero himself and all is going well until the recently escaped Grimjim show up. Another great installment into the Black Hammer universe, Lemire is just simply on fire with these books.
The Low, Low Woods #2 – The girls are still shaken up after their loss of time at the movie theater. At least El was, Vee continues to pretend like everything is fine. You wonder how she could be so blind even after a mysterious bruise appeared on her arm, but strange things are always happening in this town. It’s easy to over look some things, but El admits her the underwear she was wearing at the theater was inside out when she returned home! Vee still refuses to believe something is going on. Hopefully the girls can work on their differences before the town destroys their friendship too.
Rising Sun #1 – Seven warriors were sent to slay a dragon in a nearby village, and they do just that. Unfortunately, Brother Jun, of the Turtle Clan is terribly injured. The remaining six take him to a local healer. You learn from their trip to the healer, these seven are working together, but they are not friends. The healer is able to aid Brother Jun (with some unconventional methods), and the seven are on the road once again. They might’ve defeated a dragon, but the next town over seems to have worse monsters waiting.
Skulldigger #2 – Skull Digger is just a vigilante trying to make the streets a safer place, and he has none of the “killing hang-ups” that afflict some of his other colleagues. On his last mission he decided to take on a young orphan apprentice. Skull Digger doesn’t mess around, he only works with the freshest orphans. So they begin Skeleton Boy’s training, but Skull knows it’s too soon to have him on the streets. While having family dinner, they watch local politician and former vigilante, Tex Reed, giving a speech (and directly calling out Skull Digger for his violence). Before Tex can finish, Grim Jim pops in to throw his hat in the race!
Red Mother #2 – Daisy is trying to recover after the horrific tragedy in the first issue. She lost her fiancé Luke and, to add injury to insult, an eye too. She is trying to get her life back to normal, and has been seeing a psychiatrist. That has been helping Daisy move on but there seems to be something supernatural at play. She keeps seeing a strange figure and her sight goes red, but after an eye injury and a traumatic event, she thinks they are symptoms. That is until she receives an unusual package…
Alien Vs Predator Thicker Than Blood #2 – Maria and her “brother” are trying to find a way to access the Predator ship to have it be separated from their own. Meanwhile, an Alien is aboard the ship and is engaged in conflict with a Predator. During the fighting, the kids sneak aboard the Predator ship and attempt to access the ship’s controls, unsuccessfully. The children figure that the only way they will be able to get the ship to grant them access is to find another Predator’s body to allow its bio metrics to authorize usage. The body they end up finding is of a mutilated Predator that still has some life left in him, and the kids try to get it to help them. Will the old saying be true, and will the enemy of my enemy be thy friend? Only the next issue will tell.
Ruins of Ravencroft Sabretooth #1 – The next issue in the Ruins of Ravencroft story line has us venturing deeper into the unknown depths of the facility to the secret laboratory hidden underneath. After the group of Kingpin, Mr. Fantastic, Misty Knight, and John Jameson discover the horrors that lurk within, the issue goes back in time to discuss more about the history of the facility, and the events surrounding it. The issue centers around the corrupt Dr. Nathaniel Essex and his less than ethical treatment of patients at the facility that includes the Mutant Wolverine. Logan is being framed for a series of murders that have taken place within the area and the one keeping watch over him being none other than the fiendish Sabretooth. After a change of heart by one of the doctors, she breaks Logan out but is thwarted by Dr. Essex and Sabretooth. The issue concludes with the characters from the present fleeing from what they’ve discovered and becoming trapped. With monsters on one side and not the greatest of allies on the other, will the downfall come from the outside or in?
Dragon Age Blue Wraith #1– The only interaction I’ve had with the Dragon Age series involve the video games that EA creates, so this was my first dive into the comic format for this franchise. This comic picks up with a caravan being raided and then protected by a group of warriors that are using it to find a certain location. After some battling, a powerful mage in the group dispatches of all the enemies with one grand move. The group then splits into two forces with the mage and an elven companion setting off to look for the mages father who has been taken by the Blue Wraith. Along their journey, they came across a dead knight in the forest and above him stood the Blue Wraith who is ready for a fight, but that won’t stop the Mage from finding her father and bringing him back home.
Rising Sun #1 – Warriors from multiple clans form a unit that specializes in protecting the land they call home from an array of different monsters. The issue starts with a battle between the warriors and a dragon that results in one of them being poisoned severely. After dispatching the dragon, the group heads to a master apothecary to help tend to their partner’s wounds. The group then heads from the apothecary to a different village only to find that the entire village has been killed. While investigating, one of the warriors is attacked by a grotesque monster. The warrior recognizes the monster and realizes that it couldn’t have been just this one that caused all this destruction and they were right. Solid first issue.
New Mutants #5 – Hickman is back behind the helm of this one! Following where the team left off in issue #2, the New Mutants in space are escorting Deathbird in secret back to the Shi’ar empire to train up their new empress. Unfortunately, Gladiator’s plan may go south as one of his alone calls in the Shi’ar Death Commandos unbeknownst to him. Their a band of seemingly ne’erdowells who happen to work in the shadows for the good of the empire. Think X-Force in space. The mission this defector sent them on? Assassinate Deathbird and kill everyone on board. Luckily, the New Mutants have just the right power set to kill them back but good. Hopefully all goes well but I’m definitely eagerly awaiting the next issue of this one.
Firefly: The Outlaw Ma Reynolds #1 – I haven’t dipped my feet too much into Greg Pak’s run on the all-too-short space western, but this issue makes me want to look closer. Mal has been captured by the Alliance and faces a pretty tough situation: track down and capture his ma or face life in prison. The problem with that being Mal is only the second best renegade outlaw in his family. His ma has hit up six banks in the last month and the Alliance is looking for her head. Along the way of the hunt, we see some of her parenting and it’s no shocker why either of them are now in their respective positions. Not one to miss for all Whedon-heads out there, especially with that ending!
X-Force #5 – Seems like this series is going to continuously try to one up itself in terms of brutality with each issue and I’m here for it. Kid Omega and Wolverine have been taken out by a merc squad infiltrating Krakoa to steal tech and hijack Krakoa’s plant gates. Domino and Forge must find a new way to fast-travel over there and take them out. Lucky for them, Black Tom Cassidy is overpowered as hell now thanks to Krakoa’s biology and sends a quick message to the most aptly named mutant ever, Gateway. Once there, Domino gets to full unload the pain they’ve caused her on these killers but will her brutality go too far? One of the best X-books continues to show why it’s on the top of the pile.
Star #1 – So, Ripley Ryan straight up sucks. Not only did she attempt to kill Carol Danvers while playing superhero but she almost took half of NYC with her while masquerading as Star. Not with a reality stone in her chest, this first issue of her run shows why she just might bee the worst person to wield it. With little to no idea of the ramifications of her actions, she goes to a super villain bar to start a fight and obliterates Loki when he tries to take back the stone for the good of the universe (plus his own personal gain most like). Then she mind controls the absolute last person who should be mind-controlled: Jessica Jones. A good read if you’re looking for an unreliable narrator and a bad egg to boot.
Excalibur #5 – The story culminating in subsequent issues takes off in a very satisfying manner in this one. After infiltrating a druid clan on the order of Apocalypse to get some magic bone-rocks, Rictor is forced to use the magical energy hidden within them in order to save Gambit. Meanwhile the rest of the team is fighting off the magical beast hordes that have escaped Otherworld through a tear in reality. Once Rictor and Gambit return, it’s revealed Apocalypse is responsible for Rogue’s coma and the big blue guy isn’t happy they come empty-handed as well. Seemingly killing Gambit, Apocalypse tries to conduct his special boy ritual but his interrupted by someone who just woke up: a pissed-as-hell Rogue. Things are getting real good in the magic X-book so catch up if you haven’t already.
Batman #86 – New year, new you, new writer, Batman. The cape crusader gets back to basics while still dealing heavily with the death of his surrogate father, Alfred. Taking advice from the late butler, he’s beginning of series of building and infrastructure improvements with his money at a gala attended by Catwoman. While Batman runs atop the rooftops, Lucius Fox is putting the finishing touches on a 3-D printing factory that makes and assembles gadgets at a moment’s notice for Batman’s crime stopping. Easily the coolest bit of Bat-tech I’ve seen in a while which he’ll need: Deathstroke’s assembled a team of baddies in a dive bar for a mysterious, nefarious purpose. A great start to Tynion’s run and a perfect jumping-on point for Bat-fans everywhere.
Mighty Morphin Power Ranger/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 – The Turtles and the Rangers have finally realized they are on the same side. That still leaves the question, why is Tommy hanging out with The Foot Clan? Despite this, the Rangers want to go help their friend and believe deep down, there is a good reason for all this. Back up is on the way, but Tommy might’ve just given Shredder all he needs to defeat the Turtles and the Rangers once and for all.
Dying is Easy #2 – Last issue, Syd Holmes found out the man he just publicly argued with (Carl Dixon) is dead, and all fingers pointed to Syd. Syd swears, when he left Carl, he was fine. This retired cop knows there are officials gunning for him at the station and some more folks in lock up that want him dead. Syd knows he needs to find the real killer, because no one else is looking and that’s the only way to walk away from this!
Daphne Byrne #1 – Daphne didn’t have many friends and was often teased, and with her father recently deceased, kids had more fuel for their fire. Daphne and her father were very close and she misses his very much. Unfortunately, her mom was having a ‘tougher’ so she couldn’t even go to her mother for wisdom/advice. One night Daphne has a very unusual dream and meets someone who claims to be her brother. She wakes up thinking it’s just her imagination until some parts of the dream, are here in real life!
Batman #86 – I wasn’t reading this series before, but a writer change is as good a time as any to pick it up! The issue begins with a meet up of antagonist and they are planning something big, under a so far unknown boss. What they don’t know is Batman is on the them and he has recruited the help of Catwoman. With the aid of Lucius from cave, Batman can complete his part of the plan no problem, but Selena is facing some complications. Apparently, they weren’t the ones calling the shots this time, and Catwoman knows something terrible is going to happen next.
Ruins of Ravencroft Carnage #1 – Following the events of Absolute Carnage, the Ravencroft Institute has been decimated and it’s now time for the structure to be rebuilt. During the reconstruction efforts, Mayor Fisk arrives to oversee work and a discovery is made that sheds a brighter light on the history of Ravencroft. The issue then goes back to the colonial era of America and provides a look into the origins of the insanity that is the Kasady lineage, and how it ties into what happened in Absolute Carnage and what is to come. The ending raised questions into what has been happening at the Ravencroft institute all these years and after reading this issue I want to know more.
Marvels X #1 – The first chapter in the Origin of the Earth-X universe was a look into how the world in this universe began its downfall. The story begins with a boy named David who is fascinated with superheroes after being told about the current events unfolding in his world through a media broadcast. After learning of what is happening in the world, some time passes and David goes from playing with toys in the living room to taking care of the surviving members of his family. After experiencing personal losses, David decides to head off on his own. Through his travels he runs into another person who is like him and the two head to New York in search of heroes, but there may not be any left.
The Amazing Spider-Man #37 – It’s just another average day in the lifeof The Amazing Spider-Man. Spider-Man goes about his normal routine until he’s given the opportunity to use the clairvoyant device to stop crimes before they happen, as a means to test the device. With the ability to stop crime before it happens, Peter is able to do some of the things he misses out on being Spider-Man. Like picking up the phone when Mary Jane calls for their date night. While Peter gets to kick back and relax, the shadowy figure that has been stalking Peter and his loved ones, Kinder, reappears and vows that he will have Peter come to terms with his greatest sins.
Venom #22 – This issue just emits Predator vibes. From the jungle location to the shirtless man with a big knife fighting an alien, you can’t help but feel like you’ve seen this before, and that’s not a bad thing. With Eddie separated from his symbiote, and his symbiote being merged with the carnage symbiote, the only things that Eddie Brock has at his disposal are a bunch of old military weapons and knowledge of the geography of the island. It’s a one-man army vs. a jungle full of infected symbiotic animals. Give Eddie Brock a hand folks, he’s going to need it.
Thor #1 – Cates comes to Thor and is taking our thunder god in an unsurprisingly cosmic direction. Oh but what a direction it is. After getting a farewell message from the Avengers as Thor ascends to kinghood, the god prepares to make a speech to his Asgardian realm. Before he can, Galactus comes crashing down from the heavens. He gives Thor a dire warning: the Great Black Winter is coming. As Galactus is the eater of worlds, this black void is the eater of universes. Thor assembles a roundtable of old Galactian heralds in order to figure out a solution, but only Silver Surfer has the answer: help Galactus eat so he can beat the void himself. Amazing things to come out of this series for sure.
Star Wars #1 – A thoroughly entertaining look into what transpires after the events of Empire Strikes Back. Luke, Leia and Lando head to a rendezvous point after just narrowly escaping Darth Vader’s clutches. Leia displays the leader in her and laws down the law with Lando, deservedly so seeing as he only just sold them out. Meanwhile, Luke is SHOOK. It’s really great to see inside his head at this moment because the movies really gloss over the turmoil finding out your dad is a genocidal madman. The Falcon’s crew steer her into an all out space battle featuring the rebel forces of Poe’s parents and an elite imperial fleet commander by an awesome new character: Commander Zahra. The intrigue set up in this one really has me asking for more because soon we’ll finally know: how’d Luke make that green saber?
X-Men #4 – Look, I know cape comics are for wearing colorful tights and punching aliens in space. That being said, it’s issues like these where the global impact of a mutants-only island being discussed at an economic summit over Wagyu steak that keeps me intrigued. The fallout from their plan is laid out before Charles, Magneto and Apocalypse while Cyclops and Gorgon play guard duty outside. They’re not at it for long as the American envoy does the most American thing ever: bring a bunch of guns to take out the people who disagree with them. Economic policy and the consequences of societal shift are discussed while fighting above and below occurs. An aggressive yet subdued issue that hammers home why the X-books are on top right now.
Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #2 – Law & Order: Gotham City continues in this dark take on the true brutality of a murdering clown. The Joker goes full Dali this time around, cutting off limbs and sewing them on to a body whose body fat was melted and twisted to create the melting clocks of the famous artist. Harley begins to track down a lead on John Kelly, a boy who was in and out of hospitals because of his abusive father Mean Mick Kelly. Mick was the Joker’s first victim and through dramatic irony shown to be the father of Joker. We finally see Joker for the first time as well as he’s as gruesomely murderous as his actions lead us to think…pick this one up if you’re looking for DC’s darker side.
Marauders #5 – The pirate mutants are the saving the seven seas and doing it with style. My second favorite omega level mutant, Bobby Drake, does his part for the environment by refreezing Antarctica to flirt with Christian Frost just a bit. Christian then unearths the reason why Iceman and Storm have stuck with Kate: they’re scared that because she can’t go through the Krakoan gates, she won’t be able to be resurrected through the protocols as well. Captain Kate herself meets with the rest of the Hellfire Club and manages to piss off Sebastian Shaw again in splendid fashion. Soon enough, the Marauder must make way to Madripoor to save Shaw’s son’s ass from the fire. Great things keep happening in this book, don’t let it fall to the wayside in the X-avalanche.
Hawkeye Freefall #1 – Rosenberg does a great job of picking up Fraction’s version of Hawkguy in this enjoyable new book. After taking out The Hood, Clint goes to watch the arraignment and bask in Robbins being sent to jail only to find out that the mayor had him pardoned. I was confused for a second myself only to remember who the mayor of NYC is right now: Kingpin. Really wished they had mentioned that in the pages though. A little later, some joker in Clint’s old Ronin costume kills a bunch of armed agents and steals an attaché case. The next morning, Bucky and Falcon show up to Clint’s brunch to ruin his omelet and accuse him of the murders. This one is a super fun read and shouldn’t be missed by anyone who cares about the purple archer.
Joker/Harley #2 – I’m really digging the vibe of this black label series. After really enjoying Harleen, I’m glad they were able to do something different with this story line. Besides the true crime feel of it all, we get some insight into Joker’s past. With the childhood this series writes for him, it would be surprising if he didn’t turn into a maniac. Harley is working with Gotham PD on an unusual string of murders and Joker comes up on the usual suspects list. The closer she gets to finding him, the closer he gets to finding her!
I Can Sell You A Body #1 – Denny Little has the ability to speak to the dead, so he thought he’d monopolize on his skills. Not only can he speak to souls that have passed, he can transfer those souls to other living beings! Despite his unique ability, business isn’t going well, and when Denny takes too long to find a mobster’s dead dad a new body, things get worse. Denny has two days to find a body or the mob will make him a soul too! In a moment of desperation, Denny even tried to put the dad’s soul into his secretary, but for some reason it didn’t work. It did something rotten to his secretary, and hopefully Denny can figure out how to solve all the problems he has caused before it is too late.
Thor #1 – Snap, this book was good AF. Thor has taken his rightful place as the King of Asgard, leaving the fight for the realms to Lady Sif (the new keeper of the Bifrost). As you can imagine, Thor misses the fighting days but he knows this is where he belongs. Thor prepares to give his big “I’m the new king and I vow to blah blah” speech to the Asgardians when Galactus comes crashing into the town center. He isn’t there to fight, he crashed in Asgard escaping a foe greater than himself, The Star Plague aka The Black Winter. Thor calls a council of allies from all across the galaxy to figure out what this all means, but it is his friend Silver Surfer who knows how to deal with the approaching doom. And this isn’t just any Silver Surfer, this is Silver Surfer Black from one of sweetest illustrated book of 2019 and he’s seen some stuff and done things!! Norrin tells Thor the only way they can defeat this destroyer of realities is with the help of Galactus the destroyer of worlds. They all agree to work together, but of course Galactus has to a dick about it. In the end we see the rise of Herald of Thunder!
Hawkeye: Freefall #1 – Clint’s got a thorn in his side and his name is Parker Robbins, a gangster with magic a magic cloak. Hawkeye decides it’s time to take down his whole operation and finally get Robbins locked up for good. Turns out Robbins has some friends in high places and is back on the street, he even gives Hawkeye a ride in his limo to gloat. He tries to move on but can’t get this crook and the crappy penal system out of his head. Good news: when Falcon and Bucky show up to give him a distraction…bad news it’s an even worse antagonist. They even think it might be Clint committing the crimes because he is wearing his old suit! They get past that and decide to work together to catch this imposter, but they quickly start to realize they are going to have to start working like a team if they hope to take this guy down.
Martian Manhunter #11 – After the intense psychic trip from the last issue the Martian Manhunter and his partner, Diane, go their separate ways to combat the evil Red Martian. While Diane battles the mind-controlled forces of the Red Martian in Middleton the Martian Manhunter goes to battle him directly. With the Manhunter having been reborn anew after coming to terms with what he had done in his past, he now feels strong enough to take down the Red Martian. However, with hundreds of thousands of years of hatred fueling him the Red Martian shows the Manhunter what his pain feels like. Only one more to go in this 12-issue maxi-series and then we will see who has the superior mind.
Avengers/Defenders Tarot #1 – A battle with a magical occult Nazi during World War 2 where Captain America transforms into the Hulk. Real, or just a false memory? After going on a mission that has similar signs to what was happening in the unknown memory, Namor begins to question what is going on. After a run in with the Avengers, Namor and the Defenders are attacked by the villain Diablo who is using a magical substance known as the Ichor. He hopes to use it to control the world and all the typical super villain things. The story had some interesting parts, but it wasn’t gripping enough for me to be anticipating the next one.
Batman Beyond #39 – This was the first Batman Beyond comic I have read, and it made me wish I had started reading from the beginning. Perhaps it was the nostalgic feeling of watching the animated series that I got while reading that made this comic feel more then what I was expecting. Right from the get-go I got to see one of the best villains in Batman Beyond and witness the new threat he has become to the new Batwoman of the future and to himself. I’m talking about Blight. Since the Radiation that he emits is becoming too much for his current form to handle, he must find a new host body and that body just might be Terry McGinnis. Didn’t think this was going to be my jumping on point when I went to read this, but I’m not mad that it is.
Doom #4 – After his trip back from the afterlife, Doom learns of the assassin who killed him, and it was Taskmaster. Upon receiving this news Doom makes his way to A.I.M to confront Taskmaster. Meanwhile in Latveria there is an effort being made to replace Doom as ruler of the country with Dimitri Fortunov, who we are told is the rightful heir to the throne. After a quick battle against both Taskmaster and a certain big-headed super villain, Doom was able to retrieve the information he needed that will bring him one step closer to finding out who framed him. A solid issue that helps plot progression of this excellent story.