New Comic Books: June 21

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This week was immensely short on new comics, but it made up for it with two fantastic titles that were both satisfying, heartbreaking, and shocking. One from each major publisher this week ensures it’s a pretty even race, and for once, I’m recommending a Marvel title for the week.

THOR

My book of the week is Mighty Thor #20, which sees the representatives of the Congress of Worlds, head to the land of dwarves, where light elf refugees have made home. This issue focuses heavily on Volstagg, for good reason. After a Muspelheim attack on the refugees leaves the team separated, Volstagg attempts to rescue some children, but gets lost. They get attacked, and before his very eyes, the flames of Muspelheim turn the kids to ash. The others find him, naked, and bathed in the only thing that can quell Muspelhaim flame: Fire Goblin blood. At the end of the issue, the Ultimate Mjolnir is shown, calling out to Volstagg, as he grabs it, and becomes the War Thor! Volstagg is the War Thor! I’m not sure why none of us saw this coming, but man, it was satisfying to see Volstagg get his due.

SUPERMAN

Another satisfying book this week, with the Manchester Black and the Elite arc coming to a close. Superboy defeats Black, and sends his consciousness into a cow, which is fantastic. Not only that, but we see Jon fly, and everything seems to actually work itself into a happy ending. Overall, this was a great throwback arc for the big blue boy scout, and I hope to see more like it in the future.

Dark Nights Metal Preview

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The upcoming DC solicitations have revealed some pretty epic things in the near future for the line-wide DC event, Dark Nights: METAL. DC Comics has revealed that seven “corrupted versions of Batman spawned from the Dark Multiverse” will descend on the DC Universe this September. Hit the jump to check out some mysterious teasers of these seven Batmen.

METAL is the final Batman event from acclaimed writer Scott Snyder and artist collaborator Greg Capullo. The story till take threads placed by the team the last several years, and use them to delve into the true history of the Joker, and the roots of many of DC’s Crisis events that have shaped it the last several decades.

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New Comic Books: May 31

NEWCOMICS

Another slower week for comic releases as we start to approach San Diego Comic-Con, and many of the large event releases throughout August. It was a great week for reading, at least, as what books there were, were fantastic. Great twists, charming origin stories, and some absolutely mind-boggling art this week.

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Naturally, my recommendation for this week, is Wonder Woman Annual #1 – which consists of a series of short stories about Diana of Themyscira. The first is, by far, the most charming. We’re back to the moment Diana revealed herself to the world, and Supermand and Batman quickly take notice. Both attempt to spy on her at the military base, and much to their dismay, she instead finds them, in a fantastic scene. The art and characterization in this story alone is what made this my recommendation for the week.

The other few stories are hit and miss, with the kaiju story being particularly a hit, with beautiful artwork, and a small, personal story about Diana rescuing the child of a giant monster.

FLASH

Now that The Button has concluded, we’re suddenly back to a more personal Flash story, as a surprise visit from Multiplex, after a surprise visit from Hal Jordan, after a surprise party all happens with 4 pages. The entire fight, Barry is struggling in his head about whether to tell Iris the truth about who he is. It’s a rare moment, to stay so strictly in a heroes head, and it makes the story feel incredibly personal to Barry Allen and his struggle.

The real takeaway here, though, is the final page. After getting Iris back home safe, Wally opens the door, and lo and behold… the Reverse Flash. Eobard Thawne. Already back from the dead. That somewhat takes away from the power of the Button event doesn’t it?

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The only Marvel read this week is the 3rd installment of the primary Secret Empire event, which is pulling no punches, at this point. Steve Rogers is going back and forth between save Supreme Leader, and caring politician like a light switch, while the heroes bicker and split in an attempt to save the day. We saw much more of the mysterious other Steve Rogers, who I’m going to call it now, is navigating his own head. The blue glow of the world they’re in closely resembles that of the Cosmic Cube, and I could see that twist happening.

My favorite moment in this book came at the end, though. Fred Myers, aka Boomerang, had started his own restaurant, and facilitated a meeting between Black Widow and Maria Hill. Late that night, he steps into the bathroom to reveal a landmine. Finally, in a shocking, but totally-makes-sense twist, the Punisher reveals himself to have aligned with Hydra. Proudly hailing, with a Hydra/Punisher skull variant adorned across his chest.

K-2SO Prequel Comic Announced

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I mean, Cassian is there as well, but that doesn’t really matter, does it? Marvel has announced a one-shot prequel comic book that will explore the initial meeting between the sarcastic droid, and his brave Captain. The book will take place before Cassian reprograms K-2SO, and will lead into the events of Rogue One.

Rogue One: Cassian & K-2SO, written by Duane Swierczynski with art from Fernando Blanco, will hit shelves in August (so many books in August). Hit the jump to see the cover in full.

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The Witcher Getting a Netflix Series

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The last several years, The Witcher has been one of the most consistently great franchises at delivering an unforgettable experience in the world of gaming. Based on a series of novels by Polish novelist Andrzej Sapkowski, the series is now moving to the silver screen.

Visual effects company Platige Image S.A., creators of many of the Witcher’s more elaborate CG sequences in marketing, has picked up the title, with Netflix distributing. It will be an English-language drama, executive produced by Sean Daniel (The Mummy) and Jason Brown (The Expanse). Hit the jump for the full press release on the title.

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New Comic Books: May 10

NEWCOMICS

It is a remarkably slow week this week, for comics. No major events moved forward, and even the largest mainstream canon book we were given was a flashback, that did little more than give a bit more character development between Wonder Woman and Veronica Cale.

Next week is looking at being a massive week, so I suppose this is simply the calm before the storm as far as that’s concerned.

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The only major release this week in mainstream continuity, we get a look at the first meeting between Wonder Woman, and Veronica Cale. Diana has gone full-celebrity, and attends a fundraiser, where even richer celebrities can bid to take her out for a night on the town. A fun moment where Bruce Wayne, and Lex Luthor is then interrupted by Ms. Cale, who outbits them by almost $10 million. She then cleverly uses the date as a means of tricking Diana into “protecting” her, and using the Lasso of Truth’s frequency in an attempt to find the location of Themyscira.

It’s a clever ruse, that does wonders for the character of Veronica Cale, and showing how resourceful and cunning she can be when given time to plan, and execute. However, after the moment, when Diana reveals she knows more about Cale than she originally let on, it immediately gives the power back to Wonder Woman, showing she’s not a fool when it comes to those she interacts with. All in all, it was a solid issue that did little more than develop characters and their relationship further.

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The only other release this week, we start a new arc with Scott Snyder’s All-Star Batman, titled The First Ally. It looks like we’re finally getting an Alfred-centric story, revolving around the storied butler’s history during the punk rock era in London. We’re also getting pirates, Hush, and a crazy red herring called The Genesis Engine. All of this, proving that Scott Snyder can make virtually anything work in comics given the right amount of care.

A fun read, with gorgeous artwork, and all the ridiculous ideas that make comic books such a wonderful medium, All-Star Batman is Scott Snyder at his very best. The book takes some twists and turns, and appears to be heading toward introducing a new villain, which given Snyder’s history, is most certainly a skill he has perfected.

RECOMMENDED.

New Comic Books: May 3

NEWCOMICS

This week is a bit smaller week in terms of the number of books to read, but there are some pretty major books that were released this week. Major events in both publishers were pushed forward, with Marvel surprisingly doing a great job with their latest, Secret Empire, at least in terms of originality.

With that in mind, let’s get this short but sweet rundown rolling!

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We’re going to get the big one out of the way here, because Secret Empire is shockingly good. Really good. Like, really, really good. After Captain America’s history is re-written by the Cosmic Cube to have secretly been an agent of Hydra all along, Steve Rogers slowly and methodically takes the reins of the entire world. Manipulating defense agencies, and his fellow Avengers. Captain Marvel is trapped outside an impenetrable shield around Earth, along with the rest of Alpha Flight Initiative.

However, our story follows a small resistance band, led by Hawkeye, and the AI of Tony Stark. It’s a surprisingly personal story that does a great job of showing just how quickly Hydra was able to take the world with Rogers at the helm. Throughout the title, we’re shown glimpses of Captain America still being a good man at heart, albeit a man who works for a terrorist organization. It’s definitely worth a read, even if you’re like me, and generally hate Marvel’s events. They’re usually convoluted, and just not well-written, but something felt different about this one, and I would definitely recommend it.

BATMAN

The other major event being pushed forward, DC’s The Button,  was also on display this week, with the Flash and Batman being taken by the cosmic treadmill to the world of Flashpoint, which is being mysterious held aloft by an unknown presence. Batman confronts his father, Thomas Wayne, the Flashpoint Batman, and the two fight together, reminiscing about Bruce’s childhood while fighting off the goons of Aquaman and Wonder Woman of that alternate history.

I was expecting a lot more revelation from this book, but instead, the status quo is just reset again. They arrive on Flashpoint, which is still standing. Then, whatever is holding the universe together begins to unravel. Thomas Wayne opts to stay behind after Flash fixes the treadmill, but gifts his son with one last piece of advice. Don’t Be Batman. Words that will most likely reverberate through the mind of Bruce Wayne, sparking something in the future. After they get the treadmill working, they find Thawne, running through time with the Button still in his hand – a point before he is killed by the mysterious god.

I honestly feel like this could have been done in a different way. Unless the encounter with Thomas Wayne was a set-up for something bigger. They could’ve just jumped on the treadmill, and just watched time unravel around them, catching up to Thawne and the button from the start. It seemed counter-intuitive, but I’m still incredibly vested in this story, and can’t wait for next week.

SUPE

The other DC title I’m reading this week is much more personal. The town that Lois and Clark live with their son, Jon, is starting to fall apart at the seams. Many of the residents are revealing themselves to be not at all what they seem, and Lois is on her own. Superman, Jon, Batman, and Damian have all disappeared, and after Lois is confronted by the townspeople, she breaks out her souvenir from the moon: the Hellbat gauntlet, and proceeds to kick-ass as only Lois could.

This story is so immensely interesting, and it’s been such a slow burn in so many ways. Superman is easily the strongest book in the Rebirth lineup, with both it and Action Comics being great reads, with a ton of revelations about the universe itself.