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God of Comics 2015-12-30

Culture, God Of Comics

December 29, 2015

All-New Wolverine #3All-New Wolverine #3

I really like Laura. I dig her character and I’m glad she’s stepped in to fill Logan’s absence, even if the traditional Wolverine outfit looks kinda ridiculous on her. Still, I like what they’ve done with her pretty much from the get-go, and this comic continues that trend – we’re getting stories that explore concepts of personhood and agency, and adding a little spy thriller melodrama to the mix. Her relationship with time-displaced young Angel is presented as a healthy thing here, two characters that know and trust one another. It all makes for good reading, unlike…

 

All-New X-Men #3All-New X-Men #3

… this. This is not good reading. This is not good reading because everyone but Young Time Displaced Scott feels like they’re being written out of character. All that interesting stuff between Laura and time-displaced Warren I mentioned above? Short circuited here for some trite melodrama. Also, pretty much everyone else is relegated to comic release, or forced so far outside of what they were or what you’d expect them to be as to make them unreadable. The artwork is good and there’s some really not concepts here, but slogging through the mire of this dialogue is tedious at best.

 

Batman and Robin Eternal #13Batman and Robin Eternal #13

Okay, so Bruce maybe sorta ordered himself up an heir after a young Dick Grayson kinda screwed up enough for mother to realize who Batman was. We got to see the two of them chatting and talking about murder and other things, and I’m assuming that there is a trick coming – every writer on this is too skilled not to have something up their collective sleeves. This continues to be an excellent little mystery, an even keel that is ramping things up as we return to the DCYou version of Cassandra Cain. This is fun and if you like DC Comics you should be following it.

 

Black Magick #3Black Magick #3

If you like comics, however, or incredibly strong stories with a rich history and mythology implied on every page, then you really must be reading this. It’s Greg Rucka inventing another world in which to play in, this one involving a witch who is also a cop and the politics of a centuries out coven that is running from a group of witch hunters who are now using magic, or getting someone to use magic for them. There’s a real sense of menace here, some awful and thus far unseen power that is wrecking havoc on people’s lives. It’s great stuff, is what we’re saying. Check it out.

 

Drax #2Drax #2

We told you. We told you last month that CM Punk was going to write something awesome, and he went out and wrote something awesome. Drax is the muscle for the Guardians of the Galaxy, but all of them are going off and doing their own things in their own titles. Drax, of course, gets a turn, and heads off to find and kill Thanos because that is what Drax does. His ship cuts out, stranding him on a world with Terrax, so they go to get drunk and maybe go on a crime spree so they can raise some money to fix the ship and go kill Thanos, maybe even together~! Comics are amazing.

 

Harley Quinn & Power Girl #6Harley Quinn & Power Girl #6

Jimmy Palimioti and Amanda Conner have quietly been writing one of the best runs with this character that has ever been, and one of the best titles that DC Comics has ever published. This run is part of her epic team-up with Power Girl, when the two of them went galivanting through other dimensions and saved a Seventies Disco Sex God from an alien invasion led by aliens that are against fun in all it’s forms. Having done this they now have to find a way home, which might involve Power Girl marrying the aforementioned Sex God. There are no words for this. You must experience it. Yes.

 

Jughead #3Jughead #3

Wow, this comic is weird. Like, really, really weird. Jughead is the classic character we all know in love, now updated (again) for the modern world by… not really changing very much of anything. Jughead is one of those characters that is iconic because he fits into any situation. There’s something very Zen about Jughead. He is, of course, still subject to the vicissitudes of fate, and this comic is exposing him to the horrors of crumbling personal freedoms and enforced mediocre conformity within the modern American school system. He is, however, armed with his imagination, so my money is on Jughead, but then I hate people that abuse the authority they think they have.

 

Rat Queens #14Rat Queens #14

Has there ever been a tighter fantasy comic than this one? Rat Queens hit the world at the exact best moment for itself – a high-stakes fantasy adventure starring a foul-mouthed, life-loving, all-female mercenary band. It’s given us some of the deepest characters in the medium while exploring a number of absurd and harsh realities, all while never losing sight of itself. Take Hannah, the necromancer half-elf, half-tiefling who is sometimes the voice of reason but is now getting lost in some pretty terrible family stuff that was wide-reaching implications for her world. The timing of this – right after Christmas – is magic, the sort of thing we could all use.

 

Southern Bastards #13Southern Bastards #13

One of my favorite books growing up was a science fiction novel called Illegal Aliens: some aliens land in Central Park in the mid-eighties, and an entire chapter is dedicated to explaining how the world responds. When these reactions are summarized for the UN, it’s explained as “America during Superbowl Sunday.” There is nothing more important in the American consciousness than Football, especially when you leave the trappings of civilization behind for the ever-present heat of the broken south. This is a tale of that broken south and football. This will not end well.

 

Star Wars #14Star Wars #14

Do you ever think that, perhaps, a company decides to drag something on longer than they should? Sometimes, events happen on their own, necessitated by story: that’s what appeared to be happening with Vader Down, but aside from the last few pages in the last part of this event, well, there didn’t seem to be much happening. A holding pattern. I’m not sure why – the art is good and the writing is Gillen, and even bad Gillen is better than some people’s best. Let’s see if we can get this thing back in track with the one thing we all need: Wooke Wrestling Entertainment. BAH GAWD.

 

Sunstone Vol. 4Sunstone Vol. 4

Stjepan Sejic was goofing around on hid deviantart page and accidentally created one of the best romance comics, period. Sunstone is a mature and honest look at love and knots, the absurdity of kink mingled with the trust that any healthy relationship needs to be built on, and how insecurity and a lack of communication can kill even the strongest ties: let’s be clear, love never dies, love is murdered when people aren’t clear with one another. There’s a little something in hear for everyone, and if you’re not familiar with this book you really should look into it.

 

Welcome Back #4Welcome Back #4

Imagine reincarnation. Imagine lifetime after lifetime, bound to repeat some of the same events with the same people, but imagine, too, that this is no love story. Imagine you are in a war, a war without end – born again, die again, forever and ever. Is there any room for change there? Any room to be anything other than a victim, a killer, a corpse? And if the road ahead looks like death without end, is there a point? Where does it begin? That’s what this comic seeks to answer: what fate looks like, the importance of beginnings in understanding the present and changing the future.

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644

God of Comics 2015-12-09

Culture, God Of Comics

December 8, 2015

All-New Hawkeye #2All-New Hawkeye #2

The previous version of Hawkeye is one of the better comics that Marvel has ever published – pretty much the whole run of individual issues were either top five winners or honorable mentions. This follow up is a little odd, hopping between different timelines and employing different aert styles for both, and highlighting a conflict between the Hawkeyes that feels a little forced. It’s pretty, but is a serious contrast from the previous series. Worth checking out.

 

Batman #47Batman #47

DC Comics is getting ready to deliver Bruce into the waiting arms of the Bat-God that rules him, so we’re going to be paying attention to that to watch how that plays out. Bat-gum Crisis – Jim Gordon in a hard suit – continues to be the GCPD-friendly version of Batman, and is getting in a little over his head. This is Gotham, though, so that should shock no one. These comics are, generally speaking, fun, but it’s clear the creative team is ready to do something amazing.

 

Batman and Robin Eternal #10Batman and Robin Eternal #10

It’s interesting that the limited Batman series – this and Batman Eternal – have had a stronger narrative drive than the titles they revolve around. It might be because there’s a finite story involved, one that adds to the mythos while still having a definitive beginning, middle, and end. Jason and Tim are teaming with Bane, while Dick and Harper go to meet a person that can craft personalities in people. That’s kind of horrifying, and Bruce had history with these people…

 

Batman - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

You know, I don’t even care how ridiculous this sounds. Not one whit. IDW’s TMNT is one of the strongest comics being published today, and DC Comics can do amazing Batman stories when they feel like it. This crossover starts with the Foot coming to Gotham and the TMNT following, and I’m hoping this is before Saki died because I need – I need – to see Batman take on that version of the Shredder. This can, should, and must be fantastic.

 

 

Birthright #12Birthright #12

Imagine your pre-teen child goes missing, and a year later re-appears as a hulking thirty year old warrior. That would be troubling, right? And then his very pregnant winged girlfriend – she looks like a freaking angel – shows up looking for him, saying that something has gone wrong. What would you do? How would you react? This is one of the most original fantasy stories period, a tale full of consequence and weight, and if you like fantasy at all you should read it.

 

Black Knight #2Black Knight #2

Marvel continues to push some of it’s lesser known characters in the wake of Secret Wars, so at least hat unholy quagmire has that going after it. Dane Whitman has a cursed sword that makes him powerful while devouring his morality, which makes him a perfect for a world where nonsense rules and everything is chaos. He’s finally home, in a world where he fits, so naturally the Uncanny Avengers show up to bring him home. This should be fun.

 

Catwoman #47Catwoman #47

Fuck. I should probably explain that. Catwoman evolved – out of Batman Eternal, we saw Selina grow up, saw her change and evolve and struggle with who she was becoming. It was the most interesting Catwoman has been since Dixon, Loeb, or Brubaker. It was a fascinating study of someone who thinks in terms of solitary tactics being forced to thing about groups and strategically. Now? Now, we’re back to base thievery. Given what came before, my hopes are not high.

 

Codename Baboushka - The Conclave of Death #3Codename Baboushka: The Conclave of Death #3

There’s been a boom in spy comics – Velvet, Black Widow, Lady Killer, all that sort of thing. A lot of them feature female leads, and all of them do different things with the concept: Velvet is a serious Bond movie, Black Widow a meditation on morality and cost, and Lady Killer a critique of gender roles and politics. This is very much Burn Notice, a fun send up starring someone who is very good at what she does but works for the other side. Cool beans.

 

 

Constantine The Hellblazer #7Constantine: The Hellblazer #7

This comic has managed to strike a happy medium between the old Hellblazer comics and the lighter (comparatively) Constantine comics, which folded John into the main DC continuity. It’s done so mainly through the writing talents of James Tynion IV, though the sharp art stylings also help. John is a terrible person and a worst friend, and we’ve seen him mangle old contacts left and right in this series so far, so it should be interesting to watch him try to screw over Swamp Thing.

 

The Eighth Seal #1The Eighth Seal #1

We’ve all seen this, right? And we all know what they’re referencing? The New Testament has a book called Revelations, which details the end of the world in Christic lore. There’re seven seals that need to be broken for the world to end, so an eighth seal is sort of intriguing, especially given the political back drop this book is going to have. A woman running for office sees nightmares leech into reality. Is she mad or a prophet? We look forward to finding out.

 

Giant Days #9Giant Days #9

One of the best slice of life comics we’ve ever read, this comic deals with people doing their best to live their lives while being both exceptional and ordinary. It’s what Archie aspired to be before Archie got Mark Waid writing, only this is written by the guy who wrote Scary-Go-Round and Bad Machinery, which are weird web comics about being exceptional and ordinary. Adorkable defined. Hunt it down and mount it in front of your eyes.

 

Gotham Academy #13Gotham Academy #13

DC Comics has two major Bat-things going on right now – Batman and Robin Eternal, which we covered above, and Robin War, which spins out of We Are Robin. Basically, imagine if Anonymous was a bunch of kid vigilantes who ran with a Robin motiff, and you end up with that comic. Various police incidents have led to the corrupt government making Robins colors illegal, which got one of the Robins sent to Gotham Academy, where she’ll be safe. Or not.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy #3Guardians of the Galaxy #3

Gamora returns to her team book but still hasn’t been given her own solo book when everyone else has – even the Tree gets a solo series, but the most dangerous woman in the galaxy? Nah. About eight months have passed in-world since Secret Wars was inflicted on us, and she’s returned to let us know where she stands on, well, everything. There’s a lot of everything. Quill’s a Star King, for instance, and married, and we’re in the middle of a Bendis Build and you know the climax is going to be intense.

 

Monstress #2Monstress #2

Buy this comic. Go out, grab a copy, and buy it. The first issue was one of the most beautifully horrific things we’ve ever read, a tale mired in a post-apocalyptic steam-punk Victorian utopia, where gods are created and science~! is capable of anything and also there are kaiju maybe. This took the breath of everyone in the office away last week, so to say we’re looking forward to this is an understatement. First comic we’re reading this week, and it should be yours, too.

 

Ninjak #10Ninjak #10

Shadowman was important but terrible. It assumed too much, explained too little, and introduced some important concepts to Valiant comics that have been touched on a few times since, like the Deadside. British Intelligence tried to go exploring the realm of the dead and had things go, well, poorly, and so the sole survivor of that expedition teams with Ninjak to head into the world of the dead. This should end well, perhaps strongly enough to resurrect Shadowman in the process. Fingers crossed.

 

Scarlet Witch #1Scarlet Witch #1

Here’s a character with an ill-defined set of powers who is nonetheless interesting because of who she is as a character and what she means to the Marvel Universe in general. She’s a mutant, a magician, the daughter of Magneto, an Avenger, a villain, a hero… and the best person this side of Stephen Strange or Illyana Rasputin to fix the broken magic of the Marvel Universe, and maybe even figure out why it’s broken. This is either going to be incredible or awful.

 

Snow Blind #1Snow Blind #1

This sounds like it could be fascinating – a kid in Alaska posts a picture of his dad on Facebook, because what’s the harm in that, right? Social Media FTW. Well, turns out dad is in the Witness Protection Program, and there are people looking for him and now they’ve found him and put out a hit. Dad’s got some explaining to do, the FBI goes into panic mode, and there’s a hitman coming to this sleepy little burg in the middle of nowhere. If you like noir, this is worth a look.

 

Spider-Gwen #3Spider-Gwen #3

Back in Spiderverse, the various spider-people realized that dimension hopping was a thing. Some of them kept transporters so that they can move from one dimension to another, and Gwen’s feeling a little out of sorts so she’s going to go visit Jessica Drew. No, not that one, the other one. 616 Jessica Drew, who was in a damn interesting comic before Secret Wars. You’d think Ultimate Jessica would be more interesting in this instance, but in Latour we trust.

 

Star Wars Annual #1Star Wars Annual #1

Marvel’s Star Wars comics have been some of the best comics they’ve put out in a long while – and this is saying something, considering the strength of, say, Loki, Thor, Angela, Uncanny X-Men, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Punisher… and it’s those last three this comic is going to draw on, as a deep cover agent for the Rebels has to move a host of sympathizers from the Empire as the senate is dissolved and Palpatine claims all the power. That’s a hell of a set up.

 

Tomboy #2Tomboy #2

Action Lab, what are you doing to me? First, you nabbed my attention with Exit Generation, which had me giggling and enthralled. This is more the latter than the former, as a literal magical girl gets to deal with corruption on corporate and political levels after police murder her best friend and his father to sate the greed of the oligarchy. This is, simply put, amazing comics and incredible storytelling with art like you ain’t never seen and it’s likely going to be in the top five. Again.

 

Ultimates #2Ultimates #2

Okay, this? This right here? This is awesome. Black Panther. Spectrum. Blue Marvel… the team here are all a-list powerhouses, and they’re starting off their series by approaching Galactus with intelligence and respect and a plan to actually actively fix a problem. The only thing that kept this from a top five spot last time was some weird art and pacing issues, but they’ve had a month to settle in and get everything in order. This could be incredible. Fingers crossed.

 

Unity #25Unity #25

Valiant is ending their team-book with a bang… following the events of Book of Death, the members of Unity are going their separate ways. For now, at least. But now that the team is done, some of the more secret missions of the team can be disclassified, like that time they went on mission with Quantum and Woody. Or that time Faith helped them fight United. Or Bloodshot did between Armor Hunters and the Valiant. This is gonna be a lot of fun, peoples. Read it.

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527

God of Comics 2015-12-02

Culture, God Of Comics

December 1, 2015

IXth Generation #7IXth Generation #7

Okay, get this – the actual big bad of the series was revealed eight comics ago, at the end of Aphrodite IX. Over the course of that comic we were shown the significance of the name and number, introduced to the world, and shown what was at stake. This series has shown people shirking their responsibilities and now we’ve gone from nine people to save the world to five, and if those five can’t get their shit together than the Darkness will devour all that is. That’s how you set epic level stakes. Also, Stjepan Sejic does art, and I’ll read pretty much anything he does the art for.

 

Batman and Robin Eternal #9Batman and Robin Eternal #9

Remember when Bane was an interesting character? It feels like years have passed since then… when was it? The last version of Secret Six? Something like that. Someone among the writers seems to have remembered that Bane can be great, and given this writing team that’s not surprising. I’d pick up this comic just for that, but we’re also looking at what Bruce Wayne was up to back during his first year and what his connection to Mother is… and what the process is for this organization that makes custom people. Is DC Comics about to get their very own Purple Man

 

Daredevil #1Daredevil #1

Can we all agree that the Mark Waid run was inspired, and one of the better things to happen to the character since the Brian Michael Bendis run? Yeah? Yeah. Also, the Netflix original series helped jumpstart interest in the character, and in the wake of Secret Wars that means putting Matt back in New York. Interestingly, though, Matt is now working with the District Attorney’s office in Hell’s Kitchen, which should make for an interesting change of pace. Daredevil has a lot of expectation to live up to, and it’s going to be interesting to watch where this series goes.

 

Doctor Strange #3Doctor Strange #3

Jason Aaron is writing this, which is as close to a guarantee of excellence as comics can offer. He’s a master of epic-level storytelling, and this is a character that lends itself well to that. The first couple issues of this new series have established who Strange is and what he does, what role he fills in the Marvel Universe as a whole. This issue is going to go one better than that, and get into the core of his identity by stripping him of his magic and home and forcing him to make due with an impossible situation. That sounds like the best sort of Strange story, pun certainly intended.

 

Exit Generation #3Exit Generation #3

One of the best ideas for a comic ever is happening right now and you need to be reading it…! Ninety percent of humanity leaves Earth, and the remnants find themselves living in a Utopia. One boy becomes addicted to eighties action movies and wants to be an eighties action movie hero for real, and is given the chance when ALIENS INVADE. They’ve come to eat humans because that’s how they roll, and it’s up to a handful of humans to band together, invade the alien spaceship, and punch the invaders in the face~! This is sci-fi punk rock at it’s finest, and it is amazing.

 

Extraordinary X-Men #3Extraordinary X-Men #3

The evil that is Fox has caused all mutants to become sterile. The stupid that was Secret Wars brought Old Man Logan into our more familiar reality, where his younger self is dead. The interesting writing of the Bendis Uncanny run saw time-displaced Jean Grey leave the X-Men, which lasted about a week before ashe was roped back in. Also, Storm remembers that hating Scott Summers and fighting with Rachael Grey doesn’t make for an interesting character, Iceman is Iceman, and Magik is the most interesting character in this book. Will this be good? Does Marvel care? We’ll find out together~!

 

Gotham Academy #12Gotham Academy #12

So, our favorite kids at Gotham Academy decided to go exploring while on a field trip and one of them has gone missing. Instead of, say, going to the authorities or the demon-hunting headmaster for help, they’ve decided to take care things on their own. The mystery is leading them to the ruins of Arkham Asylum, which went from asylum to demon-infested hellhole back in Batman Eternal, but apparently we’re going to get some more background on Olive’s mom, the forgotten Bat-villain known as Calamity. This is how you instill dread and stakes in kid’s comics; this is pretty much the textbook example of how you write kids comics. Pick it up.

 

Harley's Little Black Book #1Harley’s Little Black Book #1

Speaking of things to pick up, I’ll grab pretty much anything with Harley on the cover at this point. Harley’s been kicking ass in her own series and her team-up with Power Girl, which was such a good idea that DC Comics has decided to pair Harley up with other heroes and villains. We’re starting off with a bang, as Harley discovers a plot to assassinate Wonder Woman and decides she’s the only person that can possibly stop it…! Because Harley…! Zaniness will ensue, also because Harley. This is going to be bi-monthly and is almost certain to be awesome.

 

Invincible Iron Man #4Invincible Iron Man #4

I never thought I’d be saying that an Iron Man comic would be awesome, not after Civil War and everything that followed. Tony was such a failure as a hero that even Marvel decided to make him a villain, which made him even less readable. If there’s one thing that’s really worked coming out of Secret Wars, though, it’s Tony becoming a hero again. This is very much the Tony of the movies, fun to read and be around, and they’ve turned Madame Masque into an a-list villain again and that’s a great thing. Also, Mary-Jane Watson escapes the quagmire of One More Day and moves on with her life.

 

John Flood #5John Flood #5

Things we know: there is a sinister agency that did something to the title character, and robbed him of his ability to sleep. This has given him an ability to see patterns that no one else notices, one of which allowed him to see a mass murderer that was also created by that same agency. Problem: the murderer noticed and is hunting him, so John framed himself for a crime to be taken to a police station to keep himself safe. Further problem: the murderer is killing his way through the police station. John’s bodyguard and friend is going to have to get him out before death. Neat. I love this comic.

 

Nailbiter #18Nailbiter #18

And on the note of crazed killers who are more than somewhat interesting, a small town in the middle of American nowhere has just given rise to its seventeenth serial killer, and those in the best position to stop things from getting worse have been stripped of the ability to do anything by other people that think they’re doing the right thing and are being taken advantage of. This all begs the question – what would you do to fight evil? How far into the darkness would you venture, and what sort of mark would it leave on your soul? This comic is incredible. Hunt it down.

 

Prez #6Prez #6

Speaking of incredible comics, Prez is one of those titles that is probably hitting a little too close to home. It isn’t getting the attention it justly deserves, so here goes: a young woman gets voted into the American Presidency be default when the corporate ogliarchy that controls a corrupted congress fails to notice. A Bernie Sanders stand-in gets in as Vice President, and they go about trying to save a world so lost in corruption and propaganda that nothing can be controlled anymore. This comic is insane, but so are the American Presidential Primaries. Read one to understand the other.

 

Red Wolf #1Red Wolf #1

Coming fresh from the idiocy of Secret Wars… something interesting~! Okay, okay, Secret Wars itself was idiotic and unnecessary, but some of the mini-series that killed time between when that mess began and when it ended were cool, and one of them stared a Native American Sheriff in 1872 acting as the lawman over a town populated by western versions of different Marvel characters, including a mayor by the name of Wilson Fisk. It’s an okay concept that had some great writing and good art to support it, enough to grant it an on-going and it’s been awhile since the 6th Gun gave us anything new.

 

Robin War #1Robin War #1

Gotham’s been kind of a mess since Batman and the Joker killed one another. Yeah, Bruce Wayne is still kicking around, but he isn’t Batman… Jim Gordan is wearing a Bubblegum Crisis-like hardsuit and is calling himself Batman while working with the GCPD. A bunch of kids have taken to calling themselves Robin, but Damien Wayne is back and he is not happy. The other former Robins (minus Steph Brown) are also back and not impressed. Oh, and the Court of Owls is there and they might do something to make people think they’re relevant. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

 

Rowan's Ruin #3Rowan’s Ruin #3

So, there’s a girl named Katie that did a house-swap and is chilling across the pond and she disturbed a room that was never meant to be disturbed. Ghosts have ensued, and hauntings, and it hasn’t been nearly as much fun for Katie as she might have thought it would be. Her parents, meanwhile, are trying to make friends with the person that swapped houses, and that should go along just smashingly. As in, something is going to get smashed. Maybe Katie, maybe her parents. It’s a haunting fable, and these things don’t end well for anyone that isn’t a necromancer, or into necromancy.

 

Spidey #1Spidey #1

Ughhhhhhhhhh… okay. In another effort to recapture the energy and awesome of the original run of Spider-comics, Marvel is rehashing Peter Parker’s high school days again. It’s a retelling of stuff that’s been retold and retold, and, fine, whatever, I’m sure it will be fun and all and this is one of the things comics can do really well, revisit old concepts and make them relevant again. I just would rather see a comic where Peter didn’t sell his marriage to Satan, or at least a story where that actually mattered. I’d actually kill to write the latter. Just a twelve issue thing to kick start another new Spider-title for those of us that liked the marriage.

 

Star Wars #13Star Wars #13

Alright. You know how Marvel doesn’t seem to understand what to do with Spider-Man? The opposite holds true for the Star Wars comics: they know exactly what they’re doing. They took a year to show what everyone was doing between Episodes IV and V, setting the stage with entertaining tales, finally leading to their first event – Vader Down. Vader went hunting Luke and crashed on a small planet where the Rebels were training people to take down Vader, and Vader cut through them. Now, Leia gets her chance to meet Vader for the first time since Vader tortured his daughter. I am almost certain that this will make this week’s top five comics.

 

The Storyteller - Dragons #1The Storyteller: Dragons #1

So, a while back Boom Studios teamed with Jim Henson productions to give us the Storyteller, a series of tales that looked at old witchy fables and gave us some truly awesome stories to share. The second verse features more of the same, only instead of witches we get dragons. Told by a variety of writers and illustrated by a bunch of artists, this comic will look at draconic legends from around the world, starting with the Native American lore detailing the Horned Snake and the Thunderbird. This is going to be stupidly epic, so give it a look when you go comic shopping.

 

Toil & Trouble #4Toil & Trouble #4

Boom Studios continues to explore a war between the witches of MacBeth, where the three of them are engaged in a contest using the peoples of Scotland as pawns in a much larger game. Two witches stand against one another, with a third keeping the rules between them – they are family of a sort, and so much more than mere witches. There’s some awesome stuff going on here, the slow build of the first couple of issues laying the groundwork for the bloodbath we know is coming and the strange conflict between the Wyrd sisters. This is awesome stuff.

 

The Woods #18The Woods #18

This, though… this is in a league of its own. The Woods deals with a high school that was transported from earth to some other place, and everyone is trying to make due in the wake of that change. Problem is, there’s some people that are in it only for themselves and they’re making some impossibly shortsighted deals with outside powers to satisfy their own greed. There really isn’t anything else like this book on the shelves today, either in terms of emotional guy-punch writing or the insanity of the art. Pick this up; you won’t be disappointed.

 

Unfollow #2Unfollow #2

Here’s one of those ideas that you know someone, somewhere, is rich and terrible enough to find funny. A multi-billionaire is going to leave his money, evenly-split, among one hundred and forty strangers, or however many of them are still alive at the time of his death. Does this mean that some of them are going to try and kill the others? Yes. Does this mean there’s a good chance for character development, pathos, and ethical horror? You bet. This comic is unrelenting and promises to ramp things up quickly. Can anyone hold to ethics in the face of this sort of temptation?

 

X-O Manowar - Commander Trill #0X-O Manowar: Commander Trill #0

Aric of Dacia had a rough go of it, sure, but he’s the most powerful hero in the Valiant Universe because he was chosen by a god-like suit of living plant armor. You want to see someone who’s had a really rough go of it, look at the alien that would be his nemesis, Commander Trill of the alien Vine. Dude watched his god choose a member of a slave race, and a slave that he captured and crippled. He could do nothing when the God Hand came for his people and had to watch that slave save some of him. Now, he’s going to try and conquer the earth… and Aric again stands in his way. Valiant doesn’t like one-dimensional baddies, though, so expect this comic to dig deep into the layers of Trill’s psyche.

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536

God of Comics 2015-11-25

Culture, God Of Comics

November 24, 2015

All-New Wolverine #2All-New Wolverine #2

Issue one was okay. Laura’s always been a little more about the hard philosophy and question of identity than Logan was; she knows where she comes from, but she wonders what that makes her. Her journey has been one of consequence and self discovery from the very start, and her time among the Avengers Academy and All-New X-Men were echoes of that concept and her previous solo series, which, well, read the old X-23 comics. This, well, we’ll see.

 

Angela - Queen of Hel #2Angela: Queen of Hel #2

This title, on the other hand, has a very clear sense of itself. Through the auspices of Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen, she was inserted into the Marvel Universe and given history and identity. Both have been given a rich sense of lore that explains where Heven and the angels were and what’s been done to them, while also giving Angela reason to storm the very pits of Hel and claim them for herself. If you like truly epic myth-making, you need to read this.

 

Archie #4Archie #4

Finally, we might get some details on the Lipstick Incident! What was it that drove Archie and Betty apart? Can Betty and Jughead save Archie from the clutches of Veronica? Where is Reggie? Seriously, we’re four issues in and there’s been no real sign of Reggie. This month does give us Dilton and Moose, though, and I’m curious to see how this team updates the smartest man in Riverdale, especially given the chic that geeks are increasingly claiming for themselves.

 

Batman and Robin Eternal #8Batman and Robin Eternal #8

It continues. It powers on. The even comic that will evolve the whole of the Batman mythology, starring the various Robins – including Steph Brown, though she’s not a Robin here – with newcomers Harper and Cassandra Cain. Two things make this comic: one is the interplay between the Robins and their allies as try to work a case in Bruce’s absence, while the other is the sheer horror and utility of the villain, who makes custom people. Awesome stuff.

 

Black Magick #2Black Magick #2

Greg Rucka is writing an urban fantasy story. That should be enough information to get you interested in picking this up, but it probably won’t be, so… there’s a police detective working a case and she just happens to be a practicing witch, and she and her people have been doing their best to lay low from the forces that are hunting them, forces that think that the witches are evil and will not accept any other definition of them. Oh, and Nicola Scott is on art. You need this comic.

 

Darth Vader #13Darth Vader #13

So, in the first issue of Vader Down, Vader decided that he was done with this whole ‘Rebel Alliance’ thing and attacked the Rebel Alliance. By himself. He slaughtered a whole squadron with the same level of care that you might walk across a room before Luke crashed into the Dark Lord of the Sith, sending them both down to a single planet where the Rebels were training people to fight Vader. He’s still going to kill them all. This is going to be great.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy #2Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Now that Secret Wars is over, we can get back to our regularly scheduled awesome. The Guardians of the Galaxy have had some strange things happen – notably, Peter Quill got elected in-absentia and has become a literal star-lord, the new head of a galactic empire. The other Guardians – including his new wife, Kitty Pryde – are not sold on the concept and are off doing Guardian-things. It’s all pretty great, and being written by Bendis. Worth hunting down.

 

He-Man - The Eternity War #12He-Man: The Eternity War #12

Things went to hell when Hordak attacked: Skeletor claimed the power of Greyskull for himself, trapping his niece and letting his nephew try to clean up the mess. The problem is that Skeletor is a terrible person to hold any sort of power, and he’s got a good chance of ending everything that is sort of by accident… meaning Adam is going to have to step up his game and save the world, but the snake people are looking to replace him and remake the world in their image. I love comics.

 

 

Hex 11 #6Hex 11 #6

Get in on this now – humanity discovers that Ether is an actual thing, an energy force that allows them to do magic. Digital mysticism results, resulting in absolute chaos on a political and corporate level as world powers strive to claim more and more power, as power filters its way into the hands of anyone willing to claim it… though those outliers and heretics find themselves relegated to the Hex, ghettos for magical outcasts. This is awesome stuff, and you must read it.

 

Ivar, Timewalker #11Ivar, Timewalker #11

Oh, this is the comic that broke time. An immortal chrono-naut caused his own creation when the woman that he taught time travel to invented time travel, then took back his younger self to a point before she became the villain of the series. Now, there are dinosaurs in control of the Roman Empire, which is pretty much how I remember the Roman Empire about seventy million years ago. Yeah, their civilization didn’t survive, either, but it might now. This is madness.

 

Justice League 3001 #6Justice League 3001 #6

This might be the best comic coming out of DC right now. No, seriously. It’s about clones of the Justice League being recast in the future to save the future, and being drawn towards old members of the original Justice League who are immortal for reasons and reforming a team while one of the twins that cloned them also clones villains who maybe aren’t villains anymore because the clones are really genetic overlays and are working off broken information. This comic is the purest sort of lunatic gold. It’s brilliant and unexpected and does great things.

 

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1

I don’t even. Wut. A super-genius girl is made smarter when she becomes an Inhuman, which is basically a different version of mutants with a dumber name. She wants to save the world but the world doesn’t want to be saved because there are bad people out there, bad scary people. Thankfully, she’s just made friends with someone that can protect her and maybe help with her self esteem: DEVIL DINOSAUR, who is a MUTANT IMMORTAL RED TYRANNOSAURUS REX. You read comics to see shit like this. Get in on the game.

 

Ringside #1Ringside #1

Wrestling is the weirdest business there is. It’s a live-action show about an athletic competition that featuring death-defying stunts carried out in front of live audiences, pre-determined but not fake, with larger-than-life personalities that include sorcerers, demi-gods, and more. This is a comic about that, from the perspective of people involved in the strange twilight world of behind-the-scenes, whatever that means. This could be completely insane, and we’re looking forward to it.

 

Silk #1Silk #1

Of all the spider-powered people living in the Marvel Universe, Cindy Moon has had it the worst. Her family was taken from her and she was locked in a bunker for half her life, freed to kick-start an apocalypse, and then left on her own without any sort of safety net. She tried to make a go of things, but now she’s hooked up with an evil Black Cat, made that way by the Redacted Spider-Man back when that was still a thing. This was good before Secret Wars.

 

Switch #2Switch #2

Get this. Get this now. Stjepan Sejic does his own version of Witchblade, adopting the familiar characters and lore and taking them in radically different directions while still making everything, well, gorgeous. This latter bit is unsurprising given Sejic, but the story follows a young teen who picks up the ultimate weapon and is forced to become a player in the war between Darkness and Light. Take nothing for granted. Adorable chaos rules all.

 

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #52Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #52

We keep saying that this is the best iteration of the TMNT that has ever been, and it is. Are you reading it yet? Oroko Saki and Splinter had it out, and the end result is Saki is dead and Splinter rules the Foot. Mikey split and has pretty much vanished, and some factions within the foot clan are not too happy about their new leader and are just stupid enough to try and do something about it. Also, Baxter Stockman is still out there and still terrifying. This is awesome.

 

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2

Marvel’s A-list hero has – all by herself – beatn Modok, Thanos, Dr. Doom, and even Galactus. She’s the best hero in the whole of the Marvel Universe, but can even she overcome being sent back in time and erased from history? Only her best friend remembers that she exists, and her plan is to get a man Squirrel Girl has an interesting relationship with to help: no less than Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man~! But who did this? Who is responsible? The cover will not tell us, so I suppose we’re just going to have to read the comic. You should do that, too.

 

Venom - Space Knight #1Venom: Space Knight #1

Neat. Groot gets his own book. Star-Lord… Lady. Whatever. Drax. Rocket. Not Gamorra, of course, for reasons. Venom, though? The guy that just kind of started hanging out with these guys after leaving the Thunderbolts? Sure, give him a book. This might be cool, though; Venom is Flash Thompson, former bully and war hero, double-amputee granted legs and power through the symbiote, and current Earth Ambassador in galactic affairs. The other Guardian books are great, and this should be, too.

 

X-O Manowar #42X-O Manowar #42

It’s the best of all comics. No, really. If there’s one thing that Valiant Comics has been good at, it’s been expressing the idea of weight and consequence that comes with power. No one has felt that more than X-O Manowar, a space viking chosen by the god of an alien empire and made the king of those aliens, his own time dispaced people, and the modern world. Sadly, there’s conflict between the fearful and the warmongers of all three peoples, and that’s all finally coming to a head – which is going to force Aric of Dacia to do something about it. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and it makes for excellent reading.

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564

God of Comics 2015-11-18

God Of Comics

November 17, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #7Batman and Robin Eternal #7

DC Comics seems to have learned quite a lot from their time plotting Batman Eternal – this feels like a much more even ride so far, with the lows being nowhere near as bad and the story clipping along at a brisk pace. This is really Robins Eternal, as Bruce is still out of commission and Bat-tlegum Crisis hasn’t clued in yet, but we’ve gotten some shocking revelations about mother and the kids are off to investigate a criminal organization that makes designer humans. It’s a good read, and about as close to Batman: City of Crime as could be expected. Cool beans.

 

Black Knight #1Black Knight #1

Really? This guy gets his own comic series? Okay, the Black Knight is a sometimes-Avenger who wields a cursed sword. The sword makes him more powerful the more he uses it, but it drives him towards damnation as its powers grow. It’s an interesting horror or psychological device that has never been used in that way, but now that character is being warped to Weird World so maybe we’ll actually get the story that this character was designed for? I’m going to read this more out of curiosity and a love of Weird World than anything else. Fingers they be crossed.

 

Bloodshot Reborn #8Bloodshot: Reborn #8

I don’t even know what’s happening with this book anymore, and that’s not a bad thing – this was the single best action book on the shelves, but writer Jeff Lemire decided to move into action-thriller and then action-horror, showing the versatility of this concept and exploring the guts of the character. Equal parts Terminator, Dracula, and the X-Files, Bloodshot combines the best of those narratives and creates something wholly unique: a monster who became a man and now seeks to become a monster to trap the monster he was. This series is unspeakably cool, and you should read it.

 

Clean Room #2Clean Room #2

Hey, Gail Simone is writing Lovecraftian horror with a Scientology analogue, and you know what it is? If you said terrifying and awesome, than you are correct. We don’t know what the Clean Room is; those in-world that do know of it speak of it in whispers, and our protagonist, Chloe, is hunting for answers held by someone who many view as a savior. The thing is, we’re dealing with a false messiah that has a dangerous following and access to a perspective that puts everyone that might challenge her at a disadvantage. This book questions that nature of reality. Check it out.

 

Cognetic #2Cognetic #2

You know what’s fun? Starting a story off by showing how effective a character is, and then having them outplayed at every turn by someone so far above their paygrade that it makes them look… well, silly. Things did not go so well for Amie, but they worked out stellar fashion for the villain men call Blue. Now, Amie is back to less than where this story began – lacking resources burned and trust lost among colleagues. This is okay. A story with a decent enough hook, but it’ll be the next few issues that determine whether it’s going to be worth following.

 

Extraordinary X-Men #2Extraordinary X-Men #2

That was quick. Wasn’t issue one a week or two ago? Are we all that eager to put Secret Wars behind us? The short answer to that is a resounding yes, because fuck Secret Wars. The X-Men are in dire straits as all the mutants are sterile and the x-gene is no longer propagating because of Fox. Storm, eager to be a worthwhile character again following the taint Wolverine left on her in the last few years, has put together a team to make that happen. Wasn’t overly impressed with issue one, but I am curious to see where this goes and what Marvel has in mind.

 

Hacktivist #5Hacktivist #5

Read this. Read this. Do it now. Go to your comic book store or Amazon or wherever and get the first trade and then every single issue of the second volume. You’ll thank us. This is a reprint of a formerly con-exclusive cover and we’re okay with that on the basis that it gives us an excuse to bring up this series again. In essence, Alyssa Milano wanted to talk about the emergence of an information-centric economy and the real politick of of greed and corruption that is destroying our world. Like a superhero, she put together the best possible team and struck gold. You must read this.

 

Harley Quinn #22Harley Quinn #22

You get weird stuff out of the big two, sometimes. Parodies of their own stories and one another. Marvel has Deadpool, for the most part, and DC has Harley. This version of the character is insane, yes, but also incredibly bright and is past her Joker-obsession and trying to make a life for herself. Sometimes, that means making friends and helping them out. One of those friends is Sy Borgman, a retired supervillain who is having trouble with an old lover who may or may not have been impaled on a rhino. This series is batshit insane in the best possible way.

 

Huck #1Huck #1

I find Mark Millar hit-or-miss. There’s an unhealthy amount of self-loathing in some of his works, a hatred of himself and his craft and his fans that I think is born out of the fact that he writes comics. The thing is that he is impossibly talented, so even when he’s in the mire of his damage his work comes out qualitative. This sounds like Millar without the deprecation: a superhero living in a small town as an open secret finds himself being blackmailed by a reporter who discovers that he exists. This could be very interesting, and we’re looking forward to getting our mitts on it.

 

Jem and The Holograms #9Jem and The Holograms #9

Gods, but that movie was terrible. Who decided to lock down Kesha as Pizzazz and then not use her? That’s criminal, that is. That’s outrageous. Equally outrageous, but in the opposite direction, is this comic. Kelly Thompson has expanded the mythology of this series beautifully, growing her characters and taking the time to make her world make sense, at least to itself. Jem and her sisters feel like family, which is nice, and Synergy has hinted at how dangerous she might be… and with the Misfits sneaking into a house party Jerrica is throwing, things are about to get wacky.

 

Jughead #2Jughead #2

The modernization of Archie continues with Archie’s closest friend, Jughead. This version of the character is a teen who grew up rich and lost everything at a young age, which explains his name and apparent lack of money. He continues to be intelligent and tricky and maybe the single best character in comics (it’s arguable). Here, he’s having to deal with Riverdale High’s faculty being replaced by people that are mucking about with his world, and clearly do not know with whom they are mucking. Jughead’s imagination is his refuge and font of inspiration, and this is one of the better comics coming out this week. Give it a look.

 

Kanan The Last Padawan #8Kanan: The Last Padawan #8

We got the history of Kanan leading up to this point, watching as a young Padawan lost his Jedi and then learned to give up the Force. It was a tragic tale, but we’re moving even further back now – to the point where a young Caleb Dune was first taken in by a Master, and how the two of them found one another and learned from one another. It’s an interesting device that adds depth to Star Wars: Rebels, which has been the best way to kill time while waiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Do you have your ticket yet? Good. Need something to read? This is it.

 

Ms. Marvel #1Ms. Marvel #1

So, with any luck, this series is going to pick up where it left off prior to Secret Wars because here’s the thing: this comic is pretty much perfect. It’s the best young adult comic series going right now, honest and awkward and heartfelt and, most of all, important. It doesn’t talk down to its readers, it doesn’t shirk away from difficult content, and it is frank, honest, imaginative, and entertaining all at once. Better still, she’s now officially an Avenger, which has to be about the best thing ever for a geeky fangirl like her. Kamala Khan is the best thing ever and if you like fun you will like this.

 

The Mighty Thor #1The Mighty Thor #1

Marvel’s absolute king when it comes to epic level storytelling, Jason Aaron, continues to evolve the mythology of Thor. The Goddess of Thunder was revealed to be Jane Foster, which is an interesting twist: Jane is dying of late stage cancer, so when she’s not Thor she’s frail on death’s door. As Thor, she is one of the mightiest beings in the Marvel Universe, which is good considering the mess the Asgardians have made of the Ten Realms. Clever writing and beautiful art combine to make a story worthy of the best bards and one of the best comic runs Marvel has ever published.

 

Pretty Deadly #6Pretty Deadly #6

Deathface Ginny is back. The daughter of Death Himself returns with her small band of friends, having survived the encounter with her parents. Now, a new century approaches with the promise of a war larger and more brutal than anything that has come before – can Ginny, now Death Herself, handle the weight of her inheritance? Those of you that missed this the first time around might want to dive right in; this series is weird and excellent, with flowing artwork that feels wet and a meandering writing style that feels like the best parts of a vision quest.

 

Public Relations #3Public Relations #3

Nerdcouver is in the process of making some changes, but credit where credit is due: they’re the ones that turned us on to this series, and we will cover it in their absence. Why? It’s fun. A prince ran away from a magical kingdom to live in the real world, but was dragged back by co-workers and now everyone is regretting the decision. This is about making a place for yourself when you feel like you don’t belong, a slice-of-life book that went off the rails somewhere in the most entertaining way possible. Those who get it cannot explain; those who do not will not understand.

 

Rat Queens #13Rat Queens #13

The best high fantasy D&D-inspired comic ever comes back for unlucky thirteen, but who is that lack of luck for? The students at Mage University, where magic-users go to learn their craft, are having issues because the faculty is cracking down on the concept of education. The Rat Queens are involved because their resident necromancer’s dad seems to have kicked the whole thing off, and the others are looking to get drunk and get to the bottom of things. Or a maybe a glass. You know, whichever comes first. Look, it’s Rat Queens, if you’re reading this you know it’s fucking great. Recommended.

 

Red Thorn #1Red Thorn #1

We get a lot of Celtic mythology in modern fantasy. A lot of Roman and Norse and Egyptian. Some Japanese or Chinese, maybe. And, well… that’s pretty much it. Maybe some Santeria, if we’re lucky. No Sumerian, no Hindu, slivers of Meso-American and Polynesian. This comic seeks to redress some of that by going into Pictish and Scottish lore, playing with the monstrous beings that lurk under Glasgow in the modern era. A girl discovers she can make her drawings come to life as a demi-god emerges from underhill. Sounds like exactly the sort of story we like.

 

Secret Six #8Secret Six #8

Turns out some things have gone awry on the mystical side of things in the DCYou, and it’s adversely affecting the various mystical people that normally would deal with this sort of thing. The only person left that can do anything about it is Black Alice, who is a sullen traumatized teenage girl who happens to hang out with a bunch of other sullen traumatized people. Thankfully, the lot of them have a guide in the form of a literal demon, Etrigan. This should end well. For us readers, anyway; things rarely end well for the Secret Six, which is kind of the point.

 

Star Wars #12Star Wars #12

Jason Aaron, who we’ve already called Marvel’s resident master of epic scale storytelling, was given the wherewithal to tell a Star Wars story. It’s been a lot of build and expansion, showing what happened between the destruction of the Death Star in Episode IV and the attack on Hoth at the beginning of Episode V. The short answer is chaos, as Luke investigates every scrap of Jedi-lore he can find, and Leia gets caught up in Hans’ smuggling past. It’s a fun little tale that will get us from one point to the next, and it’s well worth picking up if you’re a Star Wars fan.

 

Star Wars Vader Down #1Star Wars: Vader Down #1

More Jason Aaron, this time building on the framework laid by Keiron Gillen. That’s basically saying that Michelangelo is working on something started by Leonardo da Vinci in a collaborative manner. Yeah. Following the Machiavellian machinations of the Vader comics, the Dark Lord of the Sith decides to go after the Rebel Alliance by himself. Everyone gets involved from both sides, because if there is one person (besides Palpatine) that the entire galaxy lives in terror of, it’s Vader. This is going to be awesome, and is almost a shoe-in for a top five spot. Get this.

 

Star-Lord #1Star-Lord #1

Okay, so this is about how Peter Quill basically stole his way into space, back before he was a member of the Guardians or Star-Lord. The problem with this is that it goes what we know about Quill being in space as a kid, but we trust Sam Humphries to tell his tale; the man writes a better Peter Quill than anyone else in the history of ever, though I’d much rather get more details on what Star-Lord is doing, you know, running an empire juxtaposed with what his wife is doing while guarding the galaxy. Should be fun and worth a look if you’re a GotG fan.

 

Tomboy #1Tomboy #1

We don’t look at Action Lab Comics too much, so we’re hoping this series changes that. The cover looks gorgeous, and the story sounds interesting – a young girl who spends her time playing field hockey loses her damn mind when a childhood friend is murdered. She decides that murdering the people that did the murdering is the best thing she can do, especially given the utter corruption she discovers is lurking all about her. The best part? The narrative promises to look at the deeper terrors of revenge, namely that fighting monsters can turn one into a monster. Looking forward to this.

 

Wayward #11Wayward #11

You’re reading this, right? You need to be reading this. Go buy the prior two trades, because spoilers lie ahead. The revelation of evolving divinity has recast what this comic is about, establishing who our characters are, why they have the powers they do, and what is happening all around them. Now that these characters understand who and what they are, the old gods are running for cover and trying to survive this latest celestial emergence. Spectacular artwork and a heady concept mingle with excellent characters, witty dialogue, and deceptively simple storytelling. Also, the appendix in each of these comics is worth the cover price alone. If you haven’t read this yet, fix that and do so now.

 

Welcome Back #3Welcome Back #3

We’ve seen the story where two lovers are resurrected time and again, through the ages, finding one another and falling in love all over again. Sometimes it’s effective; most times it comes across as sort of meh. This takes the basic concept and does something different with it – the two people being reincarnated are warriors, and arch-enemies on top of it. They’ve been hunting and killing one another for eons as part of a war of other immortals that are, likewise, caught up in the same conflict. Discovery and character are the hallmarks of this book, and make it well worth the read. Check it out.

 

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #1

I want to be excited by this book. I do. I love the character of the Eternal Warrior. I love the concept of him, and I love the stories it should be easy to tell with him. He’s a character full of age and gravitas, a living record of what has been and what is told bluntly. Trick of it is, Valiant has tried this twice already and failed. Admittedly, they didn’t have Robert Venditti – the man who writes the best of all comics, X-O Manowar – writing it then, and… you know, that does make a difference. I just talked myself into being excited by this book, and it might be my first read this week.

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563

God of Comics 2015-11-04

Culture, God Of Comics

November 3, 2015

Axcend #2Axcend #2

We’re starting this week out with some interesting sci-fi – the virtual world of an MMO is spilling into the real world through the power of science~!, and a popstar gets activated as the hero who can, must, and will save everything from the forces of Ruin. To do so, she’s going to have to reconcile with a gamer named Eric Morn. We missed the first issue, but we’ve heard good things and are willing to give this a shot. We’ll see if it holds its own.

 

 

Batman and Robin Eternal #5Batman and Robin Eternal #5

DC Comics is making good on the promise set by the original Batman Eternal – that of moving the mythology of the bat-comics forward. Bruce Wayne isn’t Batman anymore, and doesn’t remember being the Bat, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have people out to kill him; forces from the start of his career are hunting him, and it’s up to the various Robins, Spoiler, Harper, and CASS FREAKING CAIN to save him and solve a mystery even Batman failed to solve.

 

Doctor Strange #2Doctor Strange #2

Jason Aaron – writer of Thor, Southern Bastards, and Star Wars – gets his turn with the good Doctor. The man has an incredible ability to build mythology and intertwine that myth with impressive characters, and the first issue of this series was mind-blowingly good. This issue takes us on a tour of the strangest house in the Marvel universe, the home of the one single man that defends the whole of reality from imploding in on itself. Expect the art to be as good and wild as the writing, which makes this book a promise of quality. Read this.

 

Drax #1Drax #1

CM Punk is writing this. Some of you might know him as a wrestler, or an MMA guy, and dismiss him because of it – but you’d be making a mistake. Punk is one of the most focused, driven, and intelligent men you’re ever likely to meet, committed to the highest quality of whatever he’s working on. Dude is, quite simply, the best in the world, and I’m excited to see what that sort of dedication looks like on the printed page. Pairing him with Drax, a character also driven to ruthless extremes, sounds just about perfect. This should be great.

 

Harley Quinn & Power Girl #5Harley Quinn & Power Girl #5

This has been one of the weirdest rides you’re likely to find in comics – Harley managed to convince a partially amnesiac Power Girl that the two of them were partners, and the two of them went on a couple of different space adventures together. This is the second one, where Power Girl is helping save a literal seventies sex god who loves her from an anti-fun alien armada and… the simple mania of this narrative is one of the core strengths of the medium. If you like fun, give this a look.

 

Extraordinary X-Men #1Extraordinary X-Men #1

Another X-title. Uh-huh. Being led by Storm, which is a problem – in the wake of schism and AvX, Storm became less and less likable as a character. Her own series helped matters somewhat, but then Wolverine died and, well, that was a bit of a mess. Marvel is also determined to undermine the mutants and their importance because of a deal cut with Fox (seriously, is there anything Fox can’t ruin?) that disallows them from using mutants in the cinematic universe. I like this line-up, I like the creative team involved, but I’m leery of getting too invested.

 

The Hangman #1The Hangman #1

Part of the great Archie Experiment – another series from Archie Comics where they flirt with mature themes. Not the adolescent nonsense that some people mistake for maturity, but actual maturity: comics that question ideas of family, responsibility, consequence, and justice. This comic appears to be about the latter, with the title character haunting the unjust, an urban myth that frightens some and is laughed at by others, but only when all the lights are on. Tthe people behind this worked on Wolverine and Wolverine Max. Sounds cool.

 

Invincible Iron Man #3Invincible Iron Man #3

What the hell happened here? Iron Man has been borderline unreadable since Civil War, where the character became a villain and never looked back. Every story since has been about trying to justify Tony’s actions there or making them worse, and the idiocy that forced Secret Wars upon us finally made him an actual villain. This, though? This is Tony Stark as an actual hero, a Tony Stark that is much closer to the MCU version, and also draws upon DOOM as an ally and casts Madame Masque into the terrifying villain she should be. This is fun and exciting and cool. Check it out.

 

John Flood #4John Flood #4

It’s a comic series where insomnia gives John super powers related to insight and pattern recognition, though there are drawbacks: an inability to stay focused alternating with periods of hyper focus, wild tangential thinking, and hallucinations. Separating the good from the bad can be an issue, so John has hired someone to keep an eye on him while he tracks down a serial killer who is tied to the same source that made him who he is. We love this concept almost as much as we love the execution. This is one of our favorite comics, and we urge you to pick it up.

 

Lazarus #20Lazarus #20

This comic is about the objectivist creed taken to its illogical extreme, where ogliarchy has become the basis for a corporate nobility that dominates the rest of humanity, which they call the waste. The various noble families have just gone to war, while the patriarch of the most powerful family has been poisoned and his idiot children are plotting to do terrible things to one another, pretty much positioning themselves to lose while the unkillable clone the patriarch made to save them all does what she can to keep them all alive from the front lines. It’s also written by Greg Rucka. Read this.

 

Nailbiter #17Nailbiter #17

Another office favorite follows an investigation into a small town that have given birth to more than a dozen serial killers, and the effect that has had on the town. The title character is a serial killer that managed to get off and returned home, and was the high school lover of the town’s sheriff, but things they are going wrong in a place that doesn’t even remember what right is. This comic is breathtaking and haunting, an atmospheric nightmare that plays with expectation and its own mythology. The artwork is just as tight as the writing. You need to be reading this.

 

Ninjak #9Ninjak #9

This title finally cracked out top five comics as of last issue after a steady build in terms of narrative and character, resulting in a British Ninja who is equal parts Batman and James Bond. He grew up to be a thrillseeker and survivalist, having lived off the grounds of his family estate rather than risk the sadism of the butler living in his dead parent’s house. That rage set him apart, and was tempered by a spiritual place that caters only to the broken, refining the edges of shattered souls. We can’t wait to see where it goes next.

 

Rowan's Ruin #2Rowan’s Ruin #2

So there’s a girl named Katie that did a home swap with someone on the other side of the Atlantic for a few months. Sounds like a good plan, and she even got a big olde home out of it. Olde with an ‘e,’ just because. Of course, the home owner warned her not to do a thing, and she did the thing, and now there’s going to be haunting because that’s how this works. Several questions are raised, like the monster Katie’s unleashed: can she survive? Can she survive with her sanity intact? Will anyone around her survive? A good post-Halloween horror story is just what we need.

 

Spider-Gwen #0Spider-Gwen #0

This is so weird. I’m digging it, certainly, but it’s weird to think that this one swap would be popular. Gwen Stacy gets bitten by the spider and becomes Spider-Woman, but the divergent moment in this timeline clearly hit before that moment. Everything is different, familiar faces twisted so that they’re still recognizable but very much unique to this world. Gwen herself is a perfect analogue of Parker, given personality enough that you can understand why the two of them would have been friends. This is an origin issue, so if you’re interested you really should pick this up.

 

Star Wars #11Star Wars #11

Luke is special. He tried to be all intimidating, tried to come across as the badass Jedi, and instead got himself good and captured and shoved into a gladiatorial arena. Leia is stuck dealing with Han Solo and his insane bounty hunter bride, and Chewbacca is doing… well, he’s doing something. The comics continue to tie together what happened between Episodes IV and V, showing how the Rebellion went from their greatest victory to losing Hoth, and it’s been an interesting centerpiece for the other Marvel Star Wars comics.

 

Toil & Trouble #3Toil & Trouble #3

A retelling of Macbeth from the perspective of the witches, who are Celtic powerhouses that are sort of feuding with one another and using the mortals around them as pawns in a game being played for the soul of Scotland. There’s some interesting stuff going on here, playing with concepts of destiny and fate, and this issue promises the introduction of Lady Macbeth. For those of you that don’t remember, she’s the one that pushes Macbeth towards regicide, and helps perform the deed before losing her mind. I’m curious to see what this iteration of the story does with her.

 

UFOlogy #6UFOlogy #6

We’ve talked about the complexity of this comic before, and at length. It’s a fantastic and interesting look at two lives being touched by something extraordinary – one teen that wants to be touched by the otherworldly, and one who very much just wants to be normal. They’ve bonded over a returning alien presence that has some true weirdness crawling out of the woodwork, forcing the two of them to deal with a madness that their parents failed to handle twelve years prior. Weird and excellent and concluding with this issue.

 

Uncanny X-Men #600Uncanny X-Men #600

Brian Michael Bendis wraps up his epic run on the X-Men, concluding the run that was spoiled because some of the Avengers comics were so horrible that their characters basically became unredeemable. One of those characters? The Beast. Hank McCoy is a hypocrite and a genocidal madman who helped murder time and then blamed Scott Summers for that time the Avengers made him kill Charles Xavier. The various X-people have apparently decided to call Hank out on his shit, which is nice, and maybe someone will finally talk to Scott and give him the hug he so desperately needs. Also, the future of the X-people starts happening here. I’m curious to see what that entails.

 

Unfollow #1Unfollow #1

This sounds so freaking bizarre… it almost feels like Broken Saints or the 7th Guest. Strangers from around the globe are tied to a social media mogul’s will. He’s promised to leave everything to a hundred and forty random people, or however many of them are still alive when he dies. There’s billions of dollars at stake, a limited amount of time, and ordinary people mingled in with a group of exceptional ones. This could play out any number of ways, and I’m always down for social experiment stories. Let the mayhem begin.

 

Velvet #12Velvet #12

Another series we’ve spoken about at length in the past, Velvet is a spy thriller set in the seventies. Velvet was a top of the line secret agent who was accused of treason, and was given the choice of becoming a secretary or going to prison. She chose the former, people forgot who she was and someone framed her for treason. This time, though, she’s decided to prove her innocence. This comic is beautiful, thrilling, and everything you could possibly want from a spy movie. Almost every issue has made our weekly top five comics. We can’t recommend it enough.

 

Woods #17Woods #17

One of those comics that needs more readers. Like, all the readers. A standard high school is warped without explanation to a place that is very much not earth, and people react differently. There’s a lot of trauma and inter-personal history at play here, and some truly horrific landscapes mingled with both good and bad people, and some kids that are downright evil. This comic is one of the most imaginative and compelling stories in the medium right now, with humanity obscuring mystery. Do yourself a favor and pick this up. It’s outstanding comics.

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672

God of Comics 2015-10-28

Culture, God Of Comics

October 27, 2015

IXth Generation #6IXth Generation #6

One of the more interesting things about smaller companies, like Top Cow or Valiant, is that they can fiddle about with continuity without becoming trapped by it. Marvel and DC feel trapped so they reboot the company, whereas Top Cow takes an established mythology and adds to it. That’s what this is, the far future of the Top Cow universe, where Velocity built gods and tried to save the world by destroying humanity. Did she have ulterior motives? Yes. Here’s where they get revealed.

 

Angela - Queen of Hel #1Angela – Queen of Hel #1

Odin gets a lot of flack for being a vengeful, unthinking brute in the Marvel mythos. His wife, though? His wife is a thousand times more vicious. Odin exiled Heven and the angels at the dawn of time, but Frigga gave the souls of dead angels to Hel, to be tortured forever. Angela just discovered the truth and has descended into Hel to rescue the soul of her only friend, the angel Sera. To do so, however, she’s going to have to thwart Hel… and become Hel. Amazing.

 

Arcadia #6Arcadia #6

Here’s a social divide for you – the sick remnants of humanity cling to the physical world, while a whole other civilization has risen up, cobbled together by the uploaded consciousnesses of every other human on the planet. Thing is, they’ve built a scarcity-economics based world where rarity is literally nothing more than ones and zeroes, and the whole of humanity might die because of the short-sighted greed of a few and the complicity of the many. Poignant.

 

Batgirl #45Batgirl #45

The heart of the DCYou is this comic. There’s some people that dislike it, but the frenetic sense of fun in this book is the purest sort of joy to those that understand where this book is coming from. It’s a departure from the grimdark idiocy that characterized so much of the nu52, a counterpoint that dragged the whole of DC Comics back from the brink of madness. It’s also a total one-eighty from what came before it, so your mileage may vary. We quite like it.

 

Batman and Robin Eternal #4Batman and Robin Eternal #4

Hey, remember Batman Eternal? That was more hit than miss, an interesting weekly series that evolved the whole of the Bat-mythos. This comic is a continuation of that – Bruce Wayne no longer the Batman, but still having to deal with consequences of actions he no longer remembers. Dick has to pick up the slack with the other Robins, Tim, Jason, and Damien, while Steph, Cass, and Harper join the fun. Oh, and Catwoman figures in, because Catwoman. This is going to be awesome. Just look at the writing team.

 

Black Magick #1Black Magick #1

Hey, an urban fantasy comic with some horror and noir overtones. That’s pretty much my jam right there – Detective Rowan Black working robbery and homicide for small town PD, but also walking the fine line between illusions and divinity. Oh, and it’s being written by “I’m the best unrecognized writer in comics today,” Greg Rucka. Seriously, can he pen anything bad? No? We’ve never seen it. Also, Nicola Scott are. I’m in. This comic sounds as necessary as oxygen.

 

Blade #1Blade #1

Iron Man was great and all, but it wasn’t the first good movie that happened to be about a superhero (as opposed to a good superhero movie). The first of that lot would be Blade, a story about a vampire hunter who is also half-vampire due to some complications of birth. It was good times and a lot of fun and now Marvel is seeking to remind us how awesome Blade could be, only they’re putting a female in the lead. I’m curious, Marvel. I want this to be good. Make it so.

 

Book of Death #4Book of Death #4

So, way back in Shadowman, Valiant came straight out and said that terrible things would happen in Master Darque was left unchecked. He was stopped by Shadowman, but then Shadowman fell and Darque has been running around in the shadows, and now he’s threatening the life force of the whole planet via means of corrupting the line of Geomancers. Robert Venditti – who writes the best of all comics, X-O Manowar – caps off the terrifying event comic that has evolved and haunted the whole of the Valiant Universe.

 

The Coming of Rage #1The Coming of Rage #1

You know, I don’t even care. Wes Craven is writing this. The man behind A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Serpent and the Rainbow, Scream, the Hills Have Eyes… this is another one of those moments where I don’t care what the comic is about, the name of the writer alone is enough to get me interested. Wes Craven doing a horror comic about vampires. There. That’s it. That’s the solicit. Nothing else matters. Wes Craven. Writing a comic. Vampires. We’re in.

 

Exit Generation #2Exit Generation #2

This comic came out of nowhere and has been a massive surprise. The premise is that most of humanity leaves earth, but due to technical malfunctions get stranded out in the middle of nowhere. Meanwhile, back on earth, peace breaks out until a group of aliens come down looking to snack on the human race, and our only chance for survival is a guy who wants to be the star if an eighties action movie. Concepts like this are why you get into comics. Read this.

 

He-Man - The Eternity War #11He-Man – The Eternity War #11

Can shit get any more real? The Horde was repelled, but Skeletor took the power of Greyskull for himself, leaving Adam a broken shell of a child. Adora is missing, a captive of her uncle, and the only man that might save everything is Man-at-Arms – but he’s got problems of his own, as his opposite number among Skeletor’s goons is hunting him with all the power at his disposal, and Man-at-Arms is all alone. Only one of them is going to survive, and there are no promises left among the former Masters of the Universe.

 

Justice League 3001 #5Justice League 3001 #5

Of course Bruce left a Batman robot to defend Gotham once he was dead. Of course he did. So when the Batman clone shows up, robot Batman goes off to investigate and there’s a whole new threat coming in from another galaxy, so maybe Lois will come clean about what she’s done and how she’s infiltrated the Justice League, and someone will let her know that she’s not actually a villain? She’s bad at villain. One of the most creative and insane DC comics, and in all the best ways.

 

Kanan - The Last Padawan #7Kanan: The Last Padawan #7

I hope you’ve seen Star Wars Rebels – it’s a cute little animated show about Jedi Aladdin and the smuggler band that adopts him and then, subsequently, kicks off the Rebel Alliance by accident. A big part of that was former padawan Caleb Dune, now known as Kanan, a survivor of that time when the clones killed all the Jedi. We’ve seen the aftermath of that time, but now we see Caleb at the start, when he meets and starts working with a Jedi Master. Should be fun.

 

Manifest Destiny #18Manifest Destiny #18

Way back when, two soldiers were commissioned to go and explore a chunk of land called the Louisiana Purchase, which included, well, Louisiana. Fairly straightforward, right? Not… exactly. The lands they’re exploring here are haunted and strange, filled with plant zombies, buffalo centaurs, giant frogs and bugs, talking birds, and worse. It’s enough to drive less stalwart men mad, and it has taken a massive toll on the crew. Historical horror done right.

 

Prez #5Prez #5

Read this comic. Read it. It is one of the most honest looks at everything wrong with modern politics that you’re going to find, and it’s biting as hell in that commentary. There’s comedy and the premise is comedic – a late teen fast food worker becoming President of the United States due to money in politics and entertainment and internet culture – but it’s the implications and consequences of everything happening in the background that make this comic what it is. And what it is, is vital. Here’s something people should be reading in school, and it’s a shame this has been knocked down to six issues instead of twelve due to lack of readers. Fix that. Pick this up. It’s brilliant.

 

Spire #4Spire #4

Here’s a story that does not talk down to anyone, ever. It expects you to keep pace with the information given, offering little exposition while presenting a gloriously realized world of humanity and post-humanity, a sprawling spire that houses one of the last remaining civilizations, wherein a serial killer is on the loose and a post-human spider-girl named Shå has been given the task of hunting the damn thing down. War approaches, too, which makes everything even better. Weird and excellent.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #51Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #51

Oroko Saki is dead. Fifty issues of the looming threat of Shredder, the unstoppable powerhouse that he was, overcoming all odds and smashing through all opposition. It took Splinter tapping into lifetimes of wisdom to overcome him, but does he have the wisdom needed to take over from where Saki left off? Mutants, crime families, and gods are all coalescing towards some unknowable climax, and the bonds of family that bind the Turtles fracture under the weight of victory. This is the best version of the TMNT, ever, and you should be reading it.

 

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

Weird. Didn’t the first issue of this come out earlier this year…? Right. It did. The idiocy of Secret Wars does it’s thing yet again. Thing is, this comic was freaking awesome before the reboot, avoided Secret Wars entirely, and should be awesome now that Secret Wars is done. I don’t think Squirrel Girl was even involved, for the simple reason that she would have ended the idiot thing by herself. She’s taken down Galactus, Doom, and even Thanos all by herself. Squirrel Gril is awesome, and so is her series.

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499

God of Comics 2015-10-21

God Of Comics

October 20, 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man #2The Amazing Spider-Man #2

Peter Parker continues his quest to become a more likable Tony Stark, which would have worked well for him in the old Marvel Universe, but Tony’s pretty likable now and has Mary Jane, to boot. Maybe Peter and Tony are going to butt heads sooner rather than later? Also, apparently someone remembered Zodiac exists, so he’s going to be a major villain maybe? I can get behind that. We also get some details on the other Spiders – Silk, 2099, Woman, and maybe even Gwen. Cool. It’s something new, and that’s a good thing.

 

Batman and Robin Eternal #3Batman and Robin Eternal #3

Jason Todd meets Cassandra Cain, which might be the first time these two characters have ever interacted. I’m actually looking forward to this; last issue continued laying the ground work for what’s supposed to be a massive change for Batman as a whole. Normally, I’m a little leery about those sorts of claims, but the writing team alone is enough to make me salivate. This is one of the three comics I’m most looking forward to this week. A new Batman villain with ties to the Scarecrow and an inverted Batman called Orphan are just the icing on the cake.

 

The Beauty #3The Beauty #3

The concept starts making good with the threat of beauty – a sexually transmitted disease that makes you pretty and seemingly had no side effects, but now those infested by it are dying horribly. This is a horror-procedural, with two cops – one of whom has been mysteriously infected by the disease – looking to see what caused it to begin with, and find out what’s going on. This veers between gorgeous and troubling, disturbing and thought-provoking. It’s not quite as good as the concept, but the concept is, admittedly, awesome.

 

Black Canary #5Black Canary #5

You ever have one of those friends who, while talented, is kind of crazy and isn’t especially good at risk analysis? The former lead singer of Black Canary’s band is that friend: she kidnapped and sold a child to a sinister agency for super powers so that she can compete with Dinah, which is pretty much the height of idiocy. Dinah’s band isn’t going to take that very well, and Dinah herself is downright viciously angry about the whole thing, and so is Dinah’s ex-husband. Seems like it was a good split, but that doesn’t mean the two of them like working together. Someone’s going to pay.

 

Book of Death - The Fall of X-O Manowar #1Book of Death: The Fall of X-O Manowar #1

Alright, so Valiant did an epic little event called The Valiant which introduced a book from the future that foretold how everyone dies. We’ve gotten some excellent stories out of it, with Ninjak and Harbinger both being standouts, but now we’re turning out attention to the Best of All Comics, X-O Manowar. How does the space viking with the ultimate weapon die? What fate does his future hold? Aric of Dacia is, at present, the king of his people and protector of the earth – but where does that position ultimately lead? The second in that trinity of must-read comics this week.

 

Darth Vader #11Darth Vader #11

You have been watching the Kessel Rundown, right? From the D-Cast? It’s good times, and we’ve been talking about how good these comics are – how they’ve given Vader back his dignity and been telling an incredibly powerful story while doing it. Vader has been rebuilding his credibility and autonomy after losing a whole Death Star via secret plans, but those plans are now at risk of discovery from the official investigation he’s a part of. What will Vader do to protect and foster his own ambitions? The answer will probably be terrifying.

 

Death Head #4Death Head #4

Tis the season for good horror stories. The WWE has some of their wrestlers telling chilling tales on their YouTube Channel, Hemlock Grove season three launches Friday on Netflix, Carmilla has season zero on Thursday, and the Soska Sisters have Hellevator debuting tomorrow night. Dark Horse comics has this, a tale about slashers, small town conspiracies, bloody secrets, and murder most foul. It’s a fun and moody little fable, soaked in shadows and viscera, and it’ll get you in the mood for the season. What more could you ask for?

 

Fear and Loathing in Las VegasFear and Loathing in Las Vegas

If you don’t know who Hunter S Thompson is, you need to fix that right now. Like, right now. Get up, go to your comic store, and get this comic. Or rent the movie with Johnny Depp and Benecio del Toro. Or read the book. A sports journalist and his lawyer drive to Las Vegas on all the drugs – all of them forever – to cover a motorcycle race, and then get roped into covering the national police convention on drug offenders, all while looking for the American Dream. Thompson was the best writer of the past century, a madman who perfectly captured a time and place like no one else could. Everyone should read this book. It should be part of growing up.

 

Gotham Academy #11Gotham Academy #11

Our favorite strange children flee off into the wilds of Gotham to investigate the true condition of maybe not-dead Calamity, a Gotham villain who happens to be the mom of one of those children. They’ve got the perfect cover – there’s a tennis tournament and one of their number is involved, and that’s all they need to get where they need to be to find the answers they want… or so they think. This is Gotham, kids, and nothing is ever that simple. This is one of the comics that helped form the thematic and tonal framework for the DCYou, which is a good thing. Check it out.

 

Hacktivist #4Hacktivist #4

This is the comic that completes the holy trinity of titles I’m most looking forward to reading this week. Hacktivist the first volume is a frequent re-read around the offices, and a constant source of conversation. The second volume – of which this is the fourth issue – has been even stronger, building on the foundation of the original and improving all of it, adding in the sort of depth that drew us to this title in the first place. This is the complex tale of two friends trying to save the world, and the consequences of their actions: it is also the best comic to learn about real world events, because this serves as a primer to learn about people like Sabu, Weev, and others. Read this comic. Stay woke.

 

Invader Zim #4Invader Zim #4

Zim has done a wonderful job dis-crediting his nemesis, the Dib Child – a feat he went to great lengths to accomplish, much more than Dib required. Seriously, dude had almost no credibility beforehand. Now, though, on the wake of this triumph, the Almighty Tallest, supreme leaders of the Irken Empire, have a special mission for Zim. It is meant only for him, and Zim can never say no to the whims of the Tallest. What will this mission be? What possible task could be meant for him and him alone? Probably the funniest thing you’ll read this week.

 

Ivar, Timewalker #10Ivar, Timewalker #10

I don’t. What? Okay, imagine if the Doctor got lost and one of his companions – who, incidentally, is also the inventor of time travel – had to rescue and then teach him all about how time travel works. And then they ended up in a Roman Empire run by dinosaurs, because what else would the Roman empire be run by? Also, there are people hunting the inventor of time travel, and it might be herself, only from a future where she is evil, but now time has been broken by reasons. Amelia Earhart may or may not be involved. This comic is lunacy of the best sort, and we recommend it.

 

Journey to Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Shattered Empire #4Journey to Star Wars – The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #4

Well, the new Star Wars trailer hit. Click the link to see it for yourself. And our thoughts? Our take? That was breathtaking – we can’t wait for it to come out so we can watch it and watch it and watch it again. These comics are the canon tale of how we get from Episode VI to episode VII, and it’s being written by GREG FREAKIN’ RUCKA, who just so happens to be one of the best writers working in the business today. You’re going to want to read this. Hell, I’m going to want to read this. It’ll help us get ready for the awesome of the new movie.

 

Secret Six #7Secret Six #7

Gail Simone continues to play with the darker shades of gray with Secret Six, and it’s hard to explain why we like this comic as much as we do. It meanders, it’s slow, the pacing is strange, the characters, well, none of these characters are going to be among your favorites, and yet – and yet this comic is more than the sum of its parts. Secret Six delves into the stories of second-stringers, humanizes them and puts them in strange places. For example, Black Alice is being held responsible for a magical catastrophe, so she and her friends are going to have to fix it. Who? What? Doesn’t matter. Pick up this comic and read it. Only then will you understand.

 

The Shield #1The Shield #1

Archie Comics have been experimenting with the titles they produce. Some are excellent: the Archie reboot, Afterlife with Archie, and Jughead come to mind. Others, less so. This is a straight superhero story with a twist – a hero is reborn to defend her republic whenever it’s at risk, to fight for what is right with the spirit of revolution. This time, however, she’s come back without memory of herself, her powers, her history… without anything on which to stand. Worse, her villains are ready for her. This sounds like it could be fantastic, and I’m curious to see where this falls on a qualitative scale.

 

Weirdworld #5Weirdworld #5

The best title to come out of Secret Wars is getting an on-going series, and that is the best possible thing. This comic is the very height of madness, following a displaced barbarian king as he searches for his lost kingdom in an impossible fantasy setting ruled by Morgan le Fay, the older magical sister of one Arthur Pendragon. There’s nothing in this comic that is impossible – everything that could be, can be, and even the remotest chance of a thing is made real by the strange rules of this place. This is unbridled creativity paired with gorgeous art. Worth hunting down, says we.

 

Wolf #4Wolf #4

A werewolf polices a local supernatural community of Los Angeles with his reputation and the respect he’s earned, while protecting a maybe anti-christ and looking at the mysteries of a haunted Hollywood. This comic is one of those things that you read and become hooked by – the strange noir landscape coating the tinsel of one of America’s great cities, with looming shadows in both writing and art. This title has been a pleasant and addictive surprise, and this is the perfect season to branch out into detective-horror.

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529

God of Comics 2015-10-14

God Of Comics

October 13, 2015

Batman and Robin Eternal #2Batman and Robin Eternal #2

DC Comics is at it again, this time following up Batman Eternal with a new tale happening in a world where Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman, but some of his old ghosts are still haunting Gotham. Bruce, having planned for just about everything, has left a warning for Dick, and now it’s up to him, Harper, and CASSANDRA MOTHERFREAKING CAIN to save the day, and you might be able to tell that we’re a little excited about Cass being back. This comic also features one of the most insanely talented collections of writers in comics right now, and that first issue was insanely good. We’ll see if this can keep the quality coming.

 

Catwoman #45Catwoman #45

This iteration of Catwoman has Selina sharing the identity with her secret lover and public rival, who was the daughter of a Yakuza boss. We saw ‘was’ because Black Mask found out about the daughter and had her whole family killed, and she only just survived. Selina’s had a rough go of things since Batman Eternal , with her book feeling like a mafia story that just happens to star Catwoman, but how’s a master-thief-turned-crime-boss supposed to do in the wake of tragedy. I’m not sure, but I can’t wait to find out.

 

Chewbacca #1Chewbacca #1

I don’t get the Chewbacca love. He was an interesting side character, I guess, but I never found him all that compelling in any of the Star Wars games or movies or books. I am curious, though, to see what Marvel does with him just based on the strength of their comics thus far. The premise sees Chewie stranded on an Imperial controlled world where he has to escape, possibly while getting involved in local politics. Does anyone speak Wookie? Might be difficult if no one does.

 

 

Constantine the Hellblazer #5Constantine: The Hellblazer #5

Our favorite hedge mage con-man continues to deal with the murder of the ghosts that follow him around. You know that’s got to be troubling, especially for a guy like John – he’s used to suffered for who he is and what he does, but to have those that’ve already paid the ultimate price in his name continue to suffer? This is probably the best way to hurt him. John should figure out who’s targeting his dearly departed this week, and in the company of someone much shinier than he is. This should go over well, which is to say poorly, and that is perfect.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy #1Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Is Secret Wars over? Can we go back to reading comics we care about now and pretending the idiot crossover never happened? Peter Quill is the new emperor of a galactic empire, so Rocket gets to lead the Guardians, who now include Peter’s wife, Kitty Pryde, and Ben Grimm, who, okay, sure. I’d probably run across the galaxy to get away from Reed, too, what with his insufferable arrogance and villainous Illuminati-leanings. This was a strong series before Secret Wars, and should be stronger now.

 

 

 

 

 

Harley Quinn #21Harley Quinn #21

This is one of DC Comic’s best books, a celebration of the absurd in comics starring someone who is smart and capable enough to appreciate it. Harley’s been hired to go solve a mystery in Hollywood, which may be even crazier than she is. There’s a killer running around, and he thinks that she’s impinging on his good name and is all ‘I have a dark side,’ to which she could respond ‘Darksied? I’ve met him!’ Seriously, Harley is a nightmare who wants to be a day dream, and tries so hard to be good. Don’t push her, killer. She used to date the Joker.

 

Jem and The Holograms #8Jem and The Holograms #8

One of the best surprises out of IDW Publishing has been the absurd quality of this book. Jem and the Holograms was an exercise in flamboyant eighties glam-rock insanity, the way that Metalocalypse is for metal. The comics capture that sense of insanity perfectly, but marry it to strong characterization and a faerie-like art style that celebrates as wide a spectrum as people as the writing does. The sum becomes more than the parts, and when the parts are this good, well, you end up with something exquisite. Read these comics.

 

Journey to Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Shattered Empire #3Journey to Star Wars – the Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #3

Alright. Return of the Jedi. The Death Star explodes, the Emperor and Vader are dead, the empire should be in disarray and the Rebel Alliance should be able to take things from here, right? It’s more of a clean-up than anything serious, right? Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Palpatine has plans that seem born from concepts introduced from the Darth Vader comics link to whichever Vader Kessel Rundown has the tech sith, and here’s where the Empire rallies to lockdown the Rebel forces and claim what they thinks is theirs. Also, Greg Rucka is writing, which is a selling point in and of itself.

 

Mirror's Edge Exordium #2Mirror’s Edge: Exordium #2

This is a comic based on a video game that was about parkour couriers sparking a revolution against a fascist government run by a madman, and the secrets held by different factions vying for control among both the establishment and the insurgents. The games was driven forward by it’s sense of motion, both in the mechanics and the story, and the art has managed to capture that same sense of motion with static images while the writing stays strong. If you liked the game, check this out.

 

 

 

Ms. Marvel #19Ms. Marvel #19

One of the best comics Marvel has ever published. This series has the same energy and potential as earliy spider-Man, and it’s hard not to get excited about how excellent this book is. Here, Ms. Marvel deals with her family as the world ends all around her, as old family friends have proven false and she has come to understand her own strength, value, and worth as a hero. Maybe her family will, too? Heartfelt, powerful, and incredible. Get in on this now, because this character is going to be huge.

 

New Avengers #1New Avengers #1

Aren’t the Avengers movies great? You know, where they’re heroes? Flawed people, certainly, but doing what is best for the world, saving the planet, all that sort of thing? In the comics they’ve been terrible, typically fighting problems that they created. It got so bad that the only way to salvage their characters was to reboot the company, so maybe this time the writers leading the Avengers won’t screw things up again…? This version of the Avengers deals with Science~!, which makes me wonder why Hakweye is involved. Maybe so I’ll read the comic? Hawkeye is awesome.

 

Ninjak #8Ninjak #8

This is a comic about a British secret agent who is also a Ninja, but in the purest sense of the word. He uses disguise, trickery, and strategy to overcome his enemies, allowing him to hang out with some of the heaviest hitters in the Valiant Universe, which is saying something when the names on that list include Toyo Harada and Aric of Dacia. Here, he’s fighting and infiltrating a secret consortium of weapon dealers, and things have gone wrong. It’s fun.

 

 

 

Spider-Gwen #1Spider-Gwen #1

Marvel did this thing about a year ago called Edge of Spider-Verse, which lead up to a crossover called Spider-Verse. It was a fun little thing, really, and had some interesting ideas: the most interesting of them was a world in which Gwen Stacy got the spider-powers instead of Peter Parker, and it presented an entirely different take on familiar characters, a divergent world that looked fascinating. The internets exploded with interest, Marvel tested the waters with an actual series, and now that series continues in the wake of Secret War. We loved it before, and we imagine we’ll love it now.

 

Starfire #5Starfire #5

From the same team that’re doing Harley Quinn, we get a Starfire series that feels like the character as we knew her from the old Teen Titans cartoon, but a little bit more grown up and living on her own. The series spent a couple of issues finding a voice and setting a stage, but it feels like it’s working it’s way towards the same sort of space that Harley Quinn occupies, but coming from a very different direction – that being one of strange but indisputable quality. Worth checking out, but the vibe won’t work for everyone.

 

Switch #1Switch #1

I’ve wanted this comic since Stjepan Sejic first started doodling the concept on his DeviantArt page, and the announcement that it was coming made me salivate, and now it’s here…! This is the same genius behind Sunstone and Death Vigil, both of which were must read comics, but here he brings his quirky relationship writing and gorgeous art to a new take on the whole Witchblade saga, and it looks freaking amazing. This is the comic I’m going to be reading first this week, and I cannot urge you to give it a shot enough. This is going to be awesome.

 

Uncanny Avengers #1Uncanny Avengers #1

Ugh. More Avengers. Look, I know the X-Men are being downplayed because Fox owns the movie rights, but if you’re going to have Avengers comics can they at least be about heroes doing, I don’t know, heroic things? Maybe? This is the team composed of humans, mutants, and inhumans, so it’s basically the affirmative action section of the Avengers team. It wasn’t great before Secret Wars, and I’m not expecting much now. I’m hoping to be surprised.

 

Unity #23Unity #23

Hey, Avengers writers! I know you guys are aiming for the whole high concept and/or hard choices thing in a lot of your comics, and failing to hit that mark. Take a look at how Valiant does it – juggling a team composed of Valiant’s biggest names dealing with threats that do feel world threatening and coming up with clever solutions through clever writing. Here, an alien hominid possessed by a dormant X-O suit is broken out of prison by a living space ship and the genocidal lunatics known as the Armor Hunters… or what’s left of them. From the same writer that gave us Quantum & Woody, and the artist from X-O Manowar. This is going to be awesome.

 

The Wicked + The Divine #15The Wicked + The Divine #15

Our love of mythology is wedded to our love of good writing, and both have been in constant evidence here. Basically, this takes place in a world much like ours, except a series of gods live for two years, only to die and be resurrected in human hosts every ninety. This series keeps tabs on the first modern pantheon, the first in the era of cell phones and cameras, so that’s been interesting to watch. This issue features guest art by Stephanie Hans, too, so that should be awesome.

 

 

 

X-O Manowar #41X-O Manowar #41

This is the best of all comics. A man was given the power of a god by the deity of the people that enslaved him. He freed himself, went home but found centuries had passed – he returned to the people that had enslaved them and freed their other slaves, then protected them when they needed it and has now brought them to earth, where he is a king to his people and a protector of everyone else. Then two things happened: a worldwide conspiracy saw a chance for a profit, and a PTSD-ridden pilot attacked the alien refugees. Sound compelling? It is. This comics is the backbone and soul of the Valiant comics line, and it more than holds up its end of things. These comics are awesome.

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God of Comics 2015-09-30

God Of Comics

September 29, 2015

Archie #3Archie #3

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.

 

 

Batman Annual #4Batman Annual #4

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.

 

Bloodshot Reborn #5Bloodshot: Reborn #5

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.

 

Book of Death - The Fall of Harbinger #1Book of Death: The Fall of Harbinger #1

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.

 

Captain Canuck #5Captain Canuck #5

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.

 

Grayson Annual #2Grayson Annual #2

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.

 

Jem and The Holograms Outrageous Annual #1Jem and The Holograms Outrageous Annual #1

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.

 

 

The Mantle #5The Mantle #5

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.

 

Prince Valiant #4Prince Valiant #4

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.

 

The Sandman Overture #6The Sandman: Overture #6

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.

 

Sons of the Devil #5Sons of the Devil #5

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.

 

Steam Wars - First Empire #1Steam Wars: First Empire #1

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.

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