New Comics: June 14

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What a week for comics, this week. Both Marvel and DC brought their A-games with DC being the obvious winner. Not only did they have 4 core title releases, we also got the first issue of the new Batman-focused line-wide DC event. Such an exciting week, and I can’t wait to see where things go from here.

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Recommendation for the week is absolutely 100% Dark Days: The Forge #1. The first issue, acting as a prequel to the upcoming METAL event, this was an exciting book, with a lot of mystery, and some fantastic moments. John Romita Jr’s art is some of the best in the industry, and he was on top of it here. I’m so pumped to see where this has been leading, because this event has been all sorts of mysterious, with all threads leading here.

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Marvel’s big event, Secret Empire, also had a release this week, with our heroes coming face-to-face with each other. Not by choice, but when they’re both overpowered easily by Ultron Pym inside Ultron City, his dominant personality tries to coerce them into stopping the war. The moment where Pym gives Scott Lang the cosmic cube fragment, simply because he’s the only one who sees him as a person was particularly great. The mysterious Steve Rogers in the blue mist just seems to get more mysterious as he was now joined by Bucky Barnes, and Sam Wilson. An interesting twist, that should be fun to see play out. I hope.

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Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns also saw a mystery start to unfold, though we know the answers to this one. Apparently it’s knowledge that Tomar-Tu murdered his fellow Yellow Lantern several issues ago, and now the Greens are paying the price for it. After the last arc was so severely short, I’m excited to this one play out in a bit more interesting fashion, though I expect the Kyle Rayner/Soranik narrative to play out in tragic fashion.

FLASH

The Flash continues to be such a personal, fast-moving tale, with the artwork and the thoughts inside Barry’s head doing so well to truly dig into our heads just how it feels to be a Flash. I had forgotten that Thawne remembers everything from before Flashpoint, so his interactions with Iris should be insane in the next issue. I wonder how she’ll take that knowledge? Especially with Barry bound to reveal his identity soon.

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The conclusion to Godwatch is a somber tale, with Diana fruitlessly attempting to bring Barbara Ann back from the brink. It’s satisfying to see Doctor Cale’s world implode around her. I feel sorry for her, after all she did to try to bring her daughter back, only for it to fail. But she should take comfort knowing that her daughter is not only safe, but in paradise. And she did that. But instead she’s selfish, and only cares about her daughter for her own reasons. A somber conclusion to a deep story. Now we begin with a new writer and artist.

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Basically every Superman book right now is a beautiful throwback to the 90’s with every villain just being a knock-off of Superman in some way or another. That’s not a bad thing. It’s been great fun reading these, and seeing all these characters again, with Superman being an easy standout among the Rebirth crowd.

PhE3: PlayStation Recap

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Sony’s E3 conference went about as expected, but on the other hand, it also had some insane surprises that no one would have ever expect, but they are damn sure welcome. While the majority of the show were updates to titles shown at last year’s E3, we were also given a few new projects that have been in the pipeline. Quite secretly, I might add.

Sony was absolutely a mixed bag this year. When they delivered, they delivered, but their misses were some pretty heavy missteps as far as interest. Hit the jump to check out the full rundown of the show.

Continue reading “PhE3: PlayStation Recap”

Black Panther Teaser Poster

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Marvel has surprisingly released the first teaser poster for the upcoming Black Panther film, and promised a new teaser trailer tonight, during game 4 of the NBA Finals. Black Panther is directed by Ryan Coogler, and stars Chadwick Boseman, reprising his role as T’Challa from Captain America: Civil War.

Black Panther releases on February 16th, 2018. Hit the jump to check out the full beautiful poster in all its glory.

Continue reading “Black Panther Teaser Poster”

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.

New Comic Books: May 17

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As expected, this week was filled to the brim with fantastic books, and a few unexpected surprises that filled me with absolute glee. It was a fantastic week for comics, with some of the most incredible stories coming to a close, and one-offs filled with great moments by wonderful writers and artists.

BATMAN

By far, the biggest surprise this week is Batman #23, The Brave and the Mold. A one-shot story written by Tom King, with art by Mitch Gerads (the same team we talked about earlier with Mister Miracle). I didn’t know this team-up was happening, but seeing Batman and Swamp Thing team up for an intensely personal story was fantastic.

The art was beautiful, and there were quite a few moments in this that legitimately made me smile, and chuckle to myself. It was small, and personal, and affecting at the end. It’s also my recommendation of the week, which is saying a lot this week. Lastly, a variant cover by Tim Sale also helps a lot.

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Superman has been one of the most slow-burn stories in the DC Rebirth era, as far as this main arc is concerned and it’s been intensely satisfying to see it all play out. With that said, there were a few moments in this issue that were genuinely shocking. Lois losing her leg to a rogue piece of shrapnel, and the big reveal of the townsfolk being The Elite, with the big-bad of the story being Manchester Black was great. It wasn’t completely unexpected, with the psychic story notes being so important, but it was nice to see Black used again.

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DC Comics had a huge week this week, with The Button conclusion being another massive book. With Batman and Flash hurtling through time, chasing after Thawne before he can reach his own death was incredible, and the moment in which Reverse-Flash finally reached the mysterious “God” was done so well. The instant change from malice to fear was palpable, and did a great job at completing the loop of the story.

The big mystery still at hand, though remains. After the cosmic treadmill falls apart, the two heroes start to drift apart, nearly losing themselves to time, before a voice that had been calling out to Barry tells them to say his name: Jay. Barry repeats the name, unsure of its origin, and out of the Speed Force, and time itself, runs the silver age Flash, Jay Garrick, to the rescue. Unfortunately, Barry isn’t the lightning rod he needs, and after saving them, he’s taken back to his prison. The final moments of the main story, gives us a close-up look at the button after Thawne drops it, with a familiar blue voice-over, and a familiar blue hand picking the button up.

EPILOGUE: The epilogue also gave us a few questions, showing the button floating in space, as we zoom closer and closer. Showing only the red of the bloody button. Afterwards, we zoom back out, revealing Superman’s shield. Or is it someone else’s shield?

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Marvel also did a great job of releasing some smaller, more light-hearted books this week, with Nick Fury #2, as well. If you know me, and my love of comics, you’ll know the famed Starman Vol. 2 run is my favorite of all time. James Robinson is an incredible writer, and he showed how much fun he’s having right now with the story, as well. An intensely colored spy romp, that was fun, and charming. It was purposely reminiscent of classic Bond films, and they nailed that tone, perfectly.

THOR

Mighty Thor is undoubtedly the most beautiful book in Marvel’s library right now, with Dauterman being a superstar for them in so many ways. This was no different, with his interpretation of the Phoenix Force being the star of this book. I love Jane Foster’s Thor, and her passion and relationship with Mjolnir has reinvigorated the character. Not to mention, having the hammer be the “Tempest Storm” has opened it up to so many new possibilities.

This mostly felt like a stepping stone to many other stories, with the Phoenix heading off to Jean Grey, and Thor prepping for a team up of the ages with the Odinson, and Ultimate Thor. But, as usual, it was a fun read, and the random team up with Quentin Quire was still just so unusual to me, that I couldn’t help but love it.

SECRETEMPIRE

Marvel’s flagship event also took quite a few leaps forward this week, with Secret Empire #2. To be completely honest, I’m not the biggest fan of the artwork in this series, but up until the end, I was digging the story on this. Dr. Selvig, scattering the cosmic cube shards across the world, to keep out of the reach of Hydra, and our heroes discovering how to track them and save the world? It was pretty great. Even the Darkforce New York stuff was wonderful, with Kingpin securing himself a following for after this is over, knowing full well the heroes will save the world.

They lost me at the very end. When the old “It’s not really Captain America, because there’s two Steve Rogers” thing happened. It was one of the earliest theories, and also the most basic and lazy way to fix this weird story, but that’s exactly what they’ve done. Hopefully in two weeks, we’ll get some more answers, but for now, Secret Empire remains a pretty standard Marvel event: groundbreaking and convoluted.

New Comic Books: May 3

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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.

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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.

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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.