Good way to start the week – Archie Comics does their level best to modernize their lead and the mythology surrounding him, and chose Mark Waid to do it. This was the best possible choice, as these comics have been incredible so far, establishing Archie, most of his gang, and Riverdale in the modern era. Last issue saw the introduction of Veronica Lodge, and I imagine this issue will have her making an impact. Should be fantastic.
Okay, so DC did a couple of amazing Batman stories last year, and at the end of both of them Bruce Wayne was no longer Batman. His memory of being the Dark Knight is gone, and he’s been working with orphans and concentrating on being Bruce Wayne without the trauma that drove his previous life. He seems happy, which is strange and kind of nice, but the question is can Bruce ever really escape the myth he once was? And even if he could, would we let him? This is a fascinating character study.
Valiant did a pretty great crossover last year called the Valiant. Part of that book was Bloodshot, a golem who created his own soul, losing his powers. Those powers came from nanotechnology, though, and those nanobots had to go somewhere. Since their loss, Bloodshot has been haunted by visions while his nanobots have been turning ordinary people into homicidal maniacs. This comic is a strange combination of thriller and action, and it works perfectly.
Bloodshot was built by the military industrial complex to stop one man: Toyo Harada, a psychic that is powerful enough to think himself a god. Harada has his own personal bogeyman, a kid who is just as powerful as he is but not so responsible, a kid who some thought was going to destroy the world. This comic shows the outcome of that prophecy, two beings uniquely gifted, and both blind to their own faults and the other’s virtues. This should be phenomenal.
Did everyone see the Brian Milne cosplay of this character? Click the link and you will. It’s all kinds of great. That said, this comic is one of the more important bits of commentary to happen in the modern Canadian landscape, what with the dictator that is destroying Canada from within and the subversive nature of comics themselves. There’s a gold mine of story to draw upon there, and the creative team on this book is more than good enough to do it justice.
Dick Grayson was given a secret mission by Bruce back when Bruce was still Batman, but now that Bruce isn’t Batman he’s forgotten what that mission was. Dick’s had to come to terms with that, and has been blackmailed by the intelligence agency he was pretending to work for into continuing to work for. He needs someone to talk to and Bruce isn’t available, so he’s going to talk with Uncle Clark instead. You know, Superman, who is also going through some stuff. Maybe, like heroes and friends, they can help one another? Fingers crossed.
The Holograms settle down to have a quiet night in where they can forget about their coming fame and the rivalry that’s going to define them. Instead, they’re going to be all about popcorn and in-demand movies, and we get an in-depth look at the fears that help make these characters who they are! This title has been an incredible surprise, and one of the best new comics out this year. We can’t get enough, and if you’re curious and want in this’d be a good lace to hop on.
So, this wraps up today. This comic had a strong start and just sort of stumbled from there, going nowhere and then going somewhere, and now we’re going into a finale that’ll either redeem this book or not. There’s something cool built into this, I think, some raw little detail that I keep thinking that I’m missing and hopefully will be revealed here. Regardless, someone is going to die in this comic, and something needs to happen to make me care.
I never really got Prince Valiant, but Marvel’s insistence on Secret Wars has given me time and money to burn and this sounds interesting and related. There’s a peril that is threatening the multiverse, some sort of evil that threatens all that was, is, or could be. Every possible living soul is put in peril by whatever this thing is. And the only person going to challenge it is Prince Valiant, who is riding out on horseback and armed with a sword. Sounds like a fair fight, and much more interesting than Marvel copying DC to fix the mistakes of their editorial staff and a single writer.
Everything comes to an end, even beginnings. This is a rare prequel that adds to the story that it is based on, a telling of how Dream was weakened enough to become trapped by some human magicians at the beginning of Sandman. It’s a hell of a thing, too, with the souls of stars going mad, and driving madness into the hearts of everything their light touches. Also, JH Williams III is on art duties, and there’s very few that come close to the dream imagery that man is capable of crafting. There’s nothing else like it, and that alone makes it worth reading.
An orphan with rage problems and maybe also supernatural origins he knows nothing about is finding out some of his bloodties, and how a cult has been infecting the world unnoticed for a single generation. He’s managed to escape his blood until now, but his blood has come looking for him and there’s a price for things he knows nothing about, and questions he’s only just beginning to learn how to ask. This is complex and layered, a character study of nature and nurture set against a crumbling humanity.
It’s steampunk Star Wars. What else do you want? Characters will zig where the might have sagged as an iconic story is taken in new directions, old characters and plots are re-imagined, and something cool emerges. This has a lot of possibility and potential, and we’re hoping that this title can live up to the promise.