Pull Box: May 22 & 29

Leviathan remains one of the biggest mysteries running in the DC Universe, right now, and the way it’s been setup consistently throughout multiple books has been so damn fantastic. Now, it’s all coming to a head with Event Leviathan next month. We’ll get all the answers. The truth about who’s Leviathan, and who isn’t. That’s giving me goosebumps just thinking about it.

That was mind-boggling in so many ways. Doomsday Clock just opened the door for such amazing story-telling opportunities. The Metaverse! Superman has always been the centerpoint of it all, and using him in this way is so fantastic. It’s genius, and I’m so absurdly excited for what comes next.

Astrid Arkham certainly has a most destined origin story. The daughter of the Arkham Family, and the one person the inmates of the Asylum would happily give their lives for. Hidden under the nose of Batman as she watched and trained herself to best him. She is Batman’s antithesis, and most certainly an interesting new addition to the mythos.

A great annual issue bringing back an old villain with a new face. It’s always good to see some of the Batman’s lesser known villains used in these circumstances, though I hope that one day they’ll use the Phantasm in something like this. It would have been amazing to see the Phantasm used in the modern day Gotham that DC has built.

I love the chemistry that Lunella, aka Moon Girl, has with every single member of the Fantastic Four. She’s a fantastic character with her own mythos that meshes so well with Marvel’s First Family. On top of that, I’m waiting for the inevitability this is something throwing Franklin Richards back into overpowered God-mode, because that is honestly where he shines best.

Mordru naturally wants nothing to do with the Lords of Order, or the Otherkind. Both of which seem to be mad with power, and ready to destroy the world at any moment. But, once again, crafty Jason Blood, now an old man with Etrigan burned away from his soul, has a plan to stall Doctor Fate and his siblings. Does he know that Zatanna and Wonder Woman are the new Lords of Chaos?

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo cemented their status as one of the greatest creative teams in all of comic books years ago, but this is some next level stuff. Even after Dark Knights: METAL, this still manages to feel fresh and new. This is already one of 2019’s most must-read stories, and it’s only a single issue in.

There are still so many mysteries when it comes to Leviathan and their plan, moving forward. All this mega-sized issue did was open even more boxes of questions. Talia Al-Ghul no longer runs Leviathan, so who does? It’s nice to see the rest of the Justice League finally getting involved, helping this story feel even more larger than life than it was already was.

Since switching creative teams, The Terrifics has gotten somehow even better. The art is better, and the story is fun and interesting. There’s been a lot of “virtual game” stories in comics lately, but thus far, I’ve been far more vested in the trials and tribulations of Plastic Man, and his rag-tag group of friends. Though, I suppose I’m a little biased.

With only one issue of The Silencer left, sadly, it was nice to see Honor nearly get her happy ending. Defeating her “sister,” Smoke, and saving her family from the danger that Talia presented at the time. My only hope is that in the future we see more of Honor Guest. Particularly as Leviathan becomes more of a threat throughout the greater DC Universe.

To see The Flash like this is so damn refreshing. For months on end, he has been so pessimistic and down on himself, but now with this new origin he’s back to his old self. While he’s doubting things a bit, it’s to be expected. But Old Man Barry is ever the optimist, and it’s exactly where The Flash should be.

While the ending to Heroes in Crisis didn’t quite have the impact I thought it would, nor the reverberations through the greater DC Universe, it still accomplished exactly what it needed to do. Where Wally goes from here, on his journey to find the wife and kids he lost after Doctor Manhattan is the question. While Superman is the centerpoint of the Metaverse, Wally West is its engine, ensuring things continue to move forward.

I can’t say I was expecting Overman to be a Cyborg Overman during the time they’ve been building him up. It was an awesome twist that really shakes things up moving forward. Maybe the real Overman will return, changed by what he’s seen in the Universe? Maybe he’s even Superman, now. Discovering his Kryptonian heritage and embracing it? There’s a lot of interesting paths, now.

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Pull Box: April 24

A new creative team, a new arc, and a new villain, all in a single issue of The Terrifics. That makes for a great issue after the long-winded arc we just finished up. Hopefully, this one moves along at a more brisk pace. Despite having some of my favorite heroes, and undoubtedly the best chemistry, things just flow better when the story is pushed into overdrive with these characters.

The way that Marvel has successfully built the slaughtering of the Valkyries into an event that could shift the entire war has been more than surprising. They’re usually not the greatest at event books anymore, always going for shock value and cheap surprises more than anything, but this has been brilliant. Continuing the amazing story that has been War of the Realms, even the X-Men have been pushed into this massive story, making it feel even bigger than before.

Undercover Superman is a pretty great Superman, but I’m not entirely sure why he would give up the ghost of his undercover identity being Superman so quickly. Even with a man he could barely trust to begin with. Now, Lois is missing and Leviathan is still moving three steps at a time, with Talia personally taking out the head of the D.E.O., Bones, after he survived the attack. This Leviathan business has been fantastic.

My biggest question going into this arc is who the identity of the comic book version of Arkham Knight is going to be. Will it still be Jason Todd, as in the video game? Or someone new and surprising? It seems we’ll find out sooner, rather than later as he’s already revealed his identity to Damian in a bid to win his support over Batman. Additionally, Knight already has the fealty of many of Batman’s rogues, making him even more dangerous to the Bat-Family.

Doctor Doom has been defeated once again, with a slight hint at an eventual romance for Johnny Storm, who absolutely deserves to be happy given everything he has gone through these last few years. Now that this arc has ended, the Fantastic Four can get involved in the War of the Realms, and I will be happy when that happens. They’re involvement in an event always pushed things further, and this is quite the battle the Earth is dealing with.

Uncle Sam is back, but unfortunately, so is Overman. This Elseworlds tale has been great, interpreted for modern readers in a way that really helps it stand out, yet still mesh with the greater DC Universe. I only hope that they eventually factor into something meaningful. This is an interesting team, with a cool dynamic, and that nostalgia factor for comic book fans that makes me want to keep reading. Plus, evil Superman is always a plus.

The Trickster’s greatest trick actually worked. He beat the Flash at his own game, getting away with the Rogues and all of the money they stole. Even ruining Warden Wolfe, which has been a long time coming, to be honest. Everything he set out to do, he succeeded in. That’s a nice change of pace. Now, a new force user has arrived, one who wields the Still Force, sending Flash to his past inside his own mind, with hints of Jay Garrick being shown. I’m very much excited for what happens next.

That was fantastic. With the time inconsistencies on Wally West’s body, it instantly made him a suspect in all of this, but to think he was not only the killer, but the mastermind behind everything that has happened is insane. He’s a smart kid who was forced off the deep end after not only losing everything he loved, but not even remembering it happened. Upon that realization, just as it would anyone… it broke him.

The War with the Otherkind has been moving along at a steady pace, but with the Lords of Order interjecting themselves as the true harbingers of doom in all this, one has to wonder if the Otherkind are still the real threat. Circe has things in play, manipulating events from the sidelines, while Constantine has been revealed as an underling of Zatara, working from the shadows to manipulate Zatanna into following her Father’s footsteps. This is layered storytelling at its best, that’s for sure.

It was obvious it was all leading to this, but with The Silencer wrapping up soon, this should lead into some interesting threads across the DC Universe. Leviathan is set to become far more than just a big-bad, with their takeover of the world in full swing across several other books. Where Honor Guest fits into that equation is the biggest mystery of all, at least for me.

Pull Box: March 27

This was exactly what it needed to be. 1,000 issues of the hero that has become iconic to people across the planet. The caped crusader. The dark knight. The world’s greatest detective. The Batman. Each of these stories were fantastic, though a few were particularly great. Ending the issue on the comic book introduction of the Arkham Knight was fitting. It left off once again leaving us all wanting more. And it will continue that way for another 80 years. Happy Birthday, Batman.

That was a twist I did not see coming. Of course, Harley couldn’t kill Booster, even though she saw Booster kill Poison Ivy, who also wasn’t dead, thanks to Wally. But, Wally killed himself? Took his own life? Maybe? This is intensely confusing with twists and turns all over the place, creating a fantastic story that I cannot stop reading. Can it be the next issue already?

This Leviathan story is yet another example of just how fantastic DC is at telling stories. There are so many layers and mysteries in play here. Amanda Waller is the most untrustworthy person in all of comics, and she’s inside the Fortress of Solitude while every single secret organization on the planet is targeted one at a time by a single mystery culprint with super advanced technology. This is getting good.

What a way to start this reboot. Inspired by an act of kindness from Superman, a young boy lives his life looking to push himself to his limits and feel the rush of being saved by Superman once again. Now he has the power of the H-Dial, which is mysteriously calling out to several seemingly random heroes. I’m not entirely sure, but something certainly seems up here, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Maybe The Trickster has a bigger plan than I was expecting. Brainwashing and infecting the entire city with some sort of Happy drug that forces them to be better people, even against their will is quite a trick. But is it only a distraction from the true threats? Zoom? The forces scattered across the world? Unless this is all linked, somehow? I suppose we’ll know more soon.

Honor is dead-set on making this ruse work, no matter the cost to her humanity. Whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Now that may have cost her, as she’s unleashed her “sister.” A telephatic, smoke-phasing mutant that immediately dispatched their “brother,” moments after he was set up to be a stone-cold killer. Pretty fantastic way to really set the tone for a new villain.

After numerous attacks, the Freedom Fighters have successfully revived Uncle Sam, and the Nazis seem to be on the run, with the exception of the crazy son of the Fuhrer. Who seems to be on a whole other level of crazy from everyone else. I’m still not sure of the dynamic between these new Freedom Fighters, and the old, but I’m sure it will be explained more as time passes.

This was already a fairly interesting story with loads of additions to the lore and continuity of Shazam! and his magicla abilities and past. But that ending just threw an entire wrench into the mix that makes things a million times more exciting. Black Adam is there, and he knows about the Seven Lands of Magic! He knows their danger, and their true reason for being closed. But what could that reason be?

It would make sense that amongst the many gods and villains the fall of Olympus hurtled towards Earth, some legendary weapons would be among them. The kinds of weapons bestowed upon heroes of Greek mythology. The sort that Wonder Woman could totally use at the moment while she’s fighting false-Titans alongside Giganta, one of her oldest enemies. This is a crazy arc, but I’m enjoying it.

That was a long arc to finally get this team rolling but it was totally worth it. Not to mention the ending was way more than any of us deserved. Not only did Mr. Terrific, one of the most deserving heroes in the DC Universe, find his wife across the Multiverse, but now they’re on a team together. Both happy to see the other. That’s quite the happy ending that you don’t normally get in stories, and it’s nice to see it.

Pull Box: February 27

This entire time, this arc that has been an insane roller coaster of recollection and remembrance for Bruce’s upbringing and road to Batman… was a simulation. Created by Bruce to kill himself, every year on his birthday, he uses it to hone his skills and evolve. Getting better each and every year. That’s a level of dedication that I didn’t think Batman was capable of, but yet again he has shown why he’s the baddest dude in the DC Universe. The ending, with Batman’s goal of Absolute Zero becoming known gave me goosebumps, and the Epilogue was charming. Fantastic end to a fantastic arc.

This was such an incredibly masterful setup for the future of the DC Universe. So many of DC’s biggest stories have centered around the relationship between the Batman and The Flash, because the chemistry there is so real that they just make a great team. With the events of Heroes in Crisis becoming a focal point, as that mystery deepens and the big event for the year starts to unfold, The Year of the Villain, expect things to start to ramp up with mysteries and twists all over the place.

So, first off, all this time Amanda Waller has known the identity of Superman. That’s quite a crazy thing to think of, but she does understand his importance, as well as just how powerful he is. Not to mention calling down the wrath of the Justice League isn’t sometime she would like to do. But the threat of Leviathan, which seems to grow each and every week has forced her hand. Now, Sam Lam is possibly dead, just days after learning the truth about Superman and possibly re-thinking his stance. Attack after attack is happening, and things are getting pretty crazy, now.

Sneaky sneaky Honor Guest, manipulating Talia and playing along with her charade. It’s a clever plan, but she needs to make sure she plays it just right. Talia is wildly intelligent, and twice as dangerous. Add on the tech that her family discovered in the backyard, what looks like a laser shield of sorts and you have quite a predicament on her hands. The closer they get to the truth, the more danger they’ll be in with Leviathan as they become more and more of a threat across the DC Universe proper.

The pace of this issue seemed incredibly slow, but it was still yet another fun throwback to the days of comic books old. Mr. Terrific discovering his wife alive on another Earth, with the exact same circumstances as himself was quite the lucky break. I just hope that this ends up being a bit of a happy ending for the team. With that being said, I’m ready for the team to move on from Doc Dread and his Dreadfuls. That villain seems to have made his mark, and I would love for the team to take on some new threats.

This book really pulls no punches. Bringing out the darkest and dirtiest the world has to offer to show how truly terrible that future could have been. Thankfully, the Freedom Fighters seem like a competent team, prepared for many contingencies when it comes to their enemy. The evil German Plastic Man is still the most horrifying thing ever, and he just seems to get more and more creepy. I can only imagine how creepy he’ll be when he starts fighting again.

It was pretty obvious that King Kid had some tricks up his sleeve, but I wasn’t exactly exepcting it all to rush to the surface as soon as he saw them as Champions, turning into adults. The Seven Lands are of course still mysterious, but it seems we’re going to learn more about them pretty quickly given the next issue. I honestly wish we would have seen more on Mr. Mind and Doctor Sivana in this issue, though, as that cliffhanger last month was fantastic.

Doom’s trick was finally revealed… at least part of it. He plans to harness the power of Galactus as an endless energy source. That’s a bit old school of an idea for a villain like Doom to concoct, leading me to believe there’s a little more at play here. The confusion that Reed had on his face when Victor revealed the “Good Galactus” and Johnny and Ben backed him up was pretty priceless. I would certainly like more moments like that in upcoming issues of this Fantastic Four revival.

A slow-paced, emotional issue based around the caveman Gnarkk and Harley Quinn, finally give us a better idea of what happened here. Harley broke into Sanctuary to help Poison Ivy, and get help from Ivy. They’re friends, and lovers, that’s what they do. Meanwhile, Booster Gold, who has been on a considerable decline in the last two years, has finally snapped, and laid waste to everyone there. But, there’s still the mystery as to why this Wally was older than he should have been. Still, there are questions unanswered.

I’m starting to get fairly bored with this story, as it’s pretty convoluted and a bit ridiculous. Even for comic books. But, seeing them address the events of Justice League, with the Source Wall being torn down, and all of the New Gods being killed was certainly worth it. Darkseid was protected in the Ghost Sector, but how much longer can he keep the danger away?

That lawsuit business sure seemed to last a long time, didn’t it? That strangeness aside, it makes perfect sense and reassures the character of Veronica Cale that through all of this, all she wants is her daughter back. She spent years attempting to save her daughter, and when she finally does, she has to leave her behind in Themyscira. Now, with Themyscira destroyed through the paradox of Ares’ death, she’s lost, alongside the other inhabitants of the Amazon homeland. With the help of Aphrodite, Diana starts a new quest, and a fascinating new arc that could have some big repercussions in the future.

Pull Box: January 16

A new villain! Or is she a hero? Victorious and her purpose is still up in the air, but she is most certainly a tool for one of Doctor Doom’s many schemes. This one saw her act as a lure for Galactus, most likely as some sort of display of power for Latveria, though he doesn’t exactly need it. It’s nice to see the team back in action together, though. It’s also much appreciated that they didn’t forget the history between Franklin Richards and Galactus, one of my favorite pairings from Marvel in many years.

This lead-up to Detective Comics #1000 is so fascinating. It’s such a strange mystery, with all of Batman’s past on display. His origin, being picked apart by a ruthless creature that knows his story as well as he, himself, knows it. It’s still unclear, but if I had to wager a guess, this is most likely a returning Clayface, who vanished to keep Cassandra safe after he was manipulated and turned into a weapon against Gotham City. Perhaps he blames Batman for all that’s happened to him? We’ll find out soon enough.

The Deathbringers have returned. But that’s the least important thing that happened this issue. Carter Hall slipped through time to a Krypton on the brink of destruction, meeting his past self, Catar-Ol, as he witnesses the death of his world. The realizations about Kal-El and Kara, and their past interactions with each other were beautiful in a way, connecting those characters in a way that feels fresh and new. One of the best things this book has done from the start is manipulate the past of the DC Universe in such effortless ways, and it’s fantastic.

That slight detour that Wonder Woman’s arc took us on has diverted back to the Otherkind, and it immediately picked up. The Otherkind are invading Earth and its realms at an alarming rate, taking root in the tales and whispered stories of the Magical World. Unknowingly, Man-Bat is helping spread the word, as he’s the odd man out in all of this. The rookie to the world of demons and evil… naive to its many nuances. The addition of S.H.A.D.E. and the numerous magical heroes and villains across the DC Universe is adding so much flavor to these books, and I love it.

As per usual, no one listened to Superman when the time was right, and now they’re all just realizing that, yes, Jor-El is a crazy person who has manipulated things for years in his own favor. I’m honestly a little sad about the Jonathan Kent time-skip thing because he was actually an endearing kid-hero, who was fun to read and actually believable in his wonder and amazement at everything. Hopefully the new Jonathan, albeit older and more serious is still a good read.

This was considerably better than the first issue, but only slightly. It took forever to get moving, and something about the story just doesn’t sit right with me. It feels off, and uninteresting for a Batman story. Even with The Batman Who Laughs, and The Grim Knight, two interesting parallel versions of Batman at its disposal, it uses them sparingly, going for spectacle and attempts at mystery. I’ll give it one more issue to wow me, and we’ll see what happens.

Gemini finally makes their move, manipulating Psych, who was manipulating Flash for Gemini. It sounds way more confusing than it really was. It’s interesting how these new Force Users are so adept at using their powers. They’re skilled in the way that Flash is skilled with the Speed Force, as if they’re meant to have these powers, and they’ve finally found their proper host. Now, in the next issue, it looks like we’ll get a full breakdown of the history of speed force, and these new forces themselves. That could change Flash comics forever, if it’s done well enough.

A bit of an anticlimactic ending to an otherwise fantastic arc, this did exactly what it needed to do. It put Ares down, while also putting him on a quest to find Athena and the other Gods, who seem to be scattered to the winds. Aphrodite is now with Diana, who seems lost in all the confusion of the Greek Pantheon ascending to the Earthly plain once again. I think that soon enough we’ll be heading back to Themyscira. With the Gods in the winds, perhaps the whole world will be heading to Themyscira soon enough?

Pull Box: December 26

NEWCOMICSFF

It’s the day after Christmas, and there’s only one major comic book release this week. It just so happens to be a fantastic, extra-large wedding special for the Fantastic Four. A series of stories that pulls it all together in touching fashion, including a trip back to the origin of the First Family, albeit with a strange twist that may get called upon in the future. The real star here, though, was the wedding itself. With Reed revealing that he had created a Time Displacement Device to stop time around the ceremony while the inevitable shenanigans happened. This time involving Galactus, which was called back just earlier in the issue! Pretty great story-telling, admittedly.

Pull Box: November 28

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AC
I’m not entirely sure how I never put it together. Clever writing, I suppose, with Miss Goode being on the hunt for kryptonite and looking her own ways to “protect” herself from Superman. Not attacking Batman to out herself. She’s immensely smart in this instance, with some fantastic foresight into keeping her identity safe, even from the readers, apparently. That was a fantastic, well-done twist if I had ever read one.
DE
The finale for Drowned Earth somehow managed to end on a high note, with a much more concise thread than I thought it would. Seeing all the fish League members was fun, but seeing Superman in a pirate jacket and eye patch was easily the best part. Particularly the eye patch, adorned with an S. I could see that look moving into the future, as well. But, I’m sure it won’t. Now with the Legion of Doom in possession of the totality, we’ll certainly get back to the main story now, as well.
DC
That was a fun, light-hearted arc, that brought Batman nearly back together with a friend he had lost to ages ago. The joy that they shared in the “Game” of it all was infectious, and even made me smile. The fact that the Fireflies were given the option to leave, and took it, and Two-Face didn’t even blame them? That was the best part, showing some great self-awareness in its writing.
WINTER
I love seeing the DC heroes in the future. The Kal Kent story was particularly great. It was a bit confusing at first, but once it came together, it was wonderful. Not to mention the fact that Damian Wayne becoming an immortal Batman after killing his Father is essentially canon at this point with how many times it’s popped up in these future books.
HIC
Surprisingly, and yet also not, it looks like Harley Quinn was the attacker on Sanctuary, after all. But why? Why would she attack all of these innocent heroes that are all just trying to heal? Booster Gold is so beyond messed up and confused. Lagoon Boy is tragic, and scarred by what’s happened in his life, and Wally West has easily the most sad story in all of DC Comics, currently. Remembering his entire past life, and the loss of his children, he has no way to cope with the loss of two people that never existed on this world. That’s truly heartbreaking.
JLO
This story is moving so slow, with little to no answers being given each issue, though we are only 3 issues in. The biggest mystery, of course, is why Darkseid is so invested in their success. Even posing a lowly refugee medic to heal Starfire and ensure she’s able to fight alongside them. It’s interesting, and those mysteries will certainly keep me coming back.
FL
The beautiful retcon that happened in this issue about Gorilla City and its roles in regards to the four forces, specifically the Sage Force, was great. A smooth change that just slid perfectly into place without sacrificing any history of the Gorillas, and even furthered the story along. Now, we know we’re searching for 3 other heroes, and we quickly met our first: Fuerza, avatar of the Strength Force, clearly. This should be interesting.
SIL
Talia’s arrogance truly knows no bounds, as she thinks after all this time of endangering Honor Guest and her family, the Silencer, she would bend to her will and be pleased that Leviathan is back. Despite her constant pleas to leave her out of it. That she didn’t want to be back in that life. I hope that Honor kicks her ass in the next issue, and does what has to be done to get back to her family, and let them know that she’s safe.
TER
This was easily the best issue yet of The Terrifics. Fantastic art, great battle, with fantastic story-telling. This was wonderful, and really set the bar for the series moving forward. The shot of Mr. Terrific walking away with his mask blacked out aws particularly awesome, and I hope this artist sticks with them moving forward. He really brought things forward, and made the book far more dynamic.
WW
This new arc for Wonder Woman is certainly a strange one. At first, Ares seemed changed… for 2 pages. Now, he does the exact same thing he used to do, except his purpose is twisted and misguided. Then there’s the mythological creatures that have all been dumped into this world, and no one is sure why. Kidnapping Steve, and taking him to their mysterious leader? Who could she be?
FF
And with that, the Fantastic Four are officially back. While the Baxter Building has come and gone through numerous owners since they left, I think it’s even more fitting that they’re now at #4 Yancy Street. The street has such significance for the team, ever since their inception, and it’s a wonderful callback to their long and storied history to have things play out like this. Additionally the Fantastic Four have always been more level-headed than their peers, and the way they handled The Fantastix is certainly no different.
2INONE
The final issue of Marvel 2-in-One! I was surprised when it continued past the debut of the new Fantastic Four series, but I’m glad it was allowed to go on a bit longer. Tie up loose ends with Johnny and dealing with everyone betraying him. The fate of Rachna Koul and her sister. Just small details that were left upended the last several issues. And, sure enough… there they were. All addressed, and tied neatly into a little bow. A solid ending for a solid book.
MMPR
This is quickly becoming yet another fantastic addition to the Power Rangers mythos. The freedom that the medium of comics allows, letting us see Rangers from various teams together in times of need, and even introducing new Rangers and new world. It’s pretty great. Also, that ending was fantastic, and really made me excited for the next issue, with the Solar Ranger, as she’s now being called, charging the other Rangers for a fight.

Pull Box: October 31

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2IN1
The Fantastic Four are back together. But, before that, Ben Grimm rightfully so had some grievances with his best friend and closest confidant. The questions that Ben had for Reed throughout this entire issue were all valid, but it still seems wrong to me that, at the end of it all, Reed left them behind to try make Victor Von Doom, of all people, a better person. I hope that Reed has learned a lesson through all of this… that the Fantastic Four are truly stronger together. Not just as a team, but as characters.
SF
I honestly had no idea what to expect from this book, but it turned out to be yet another fantastic collection of short Batman stories. Always a delight to read, they touch upon many of the failures of Batman, and really bring him back to being a normal person in a suit… albeit an extremely talented and intelligent normal person. This was definitely worth the read for any fan of Batman.
WH
This was one hell of a fantastic event, that worked perfect for Halloween and setting up Wonder Woman as more of a magical force in the Justice League than before. Not only did it deepen her understanding of magic, but it also set up two major conflicts for the awesome team, with Circe manipulating them the entire time, and the Otherkind now being unleashed upon Olympus. Both of those are going to make for some awesome reading in the near future.
TER
The first Terrifics Annual, of many I hope, was pretty great. Another collection of short stories, one of them was even fairly spooky for Halloween, as well as some back story, and tragic origins. We learned the history of the Tom Strong message, and even the origin of Java, who was recently outed as Doctor Dread, making his story all the more ominous in this instance.
DE
This event is interesting, but something about Aquaman and Atlantis has always felt off to me. The stakes don’t feel as high as Witching Hour, and the villains aren’t as interesting. The most interesting thing happening here was the addition of Black Manta as a Legion of Doom representative that’s betrayed the Earth to the aquatic invaders. Maybe as it continues, it’ll get a little more interesting, but I won’t be holding my breath. Zing.

HIC
In two issues, Heroes in Crisis has managed to humanize damn near every hero and villain in the DC Universe in a way I’ve never seen before. With the exception of Booster Gold, who has continuously been made out to be a psychopath in many respects. This is just another example, and the mystery of who killed all of the heroes at Sanctuary seems to be quite a conundrum, because they’ve done so little to show the murder itself, but followed multiple possible murderers. I actually wish I could read this entire run right now, because I’m that curious.

Pull Box: September 12

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FF
Franklin Richards is probably one of the coolest characters that Marvel has in their back pocket, but it’s most certainly he started to grow up, and become what we all really want him to. With that said, seeing where Reed, Sue, and the Future Foundation have been all the time was charming, and the sudden threat was built up wonderfully. Then the sudden twist with the arrival of everyone who has been a member of the Fantastic Four as their “extended family…” that was genius.
DC
Batman has quite the nose for trouble. He decides to latch on to a simple murder case to take his mind off things, and it turns out to be an elaborate plot for the return of Kobra in Gotham City. He either suspected something was amiss, or just has some sort of crazy luck. Either way, it’s interesting that this “ordinary man” that was murdered has an instense connection to Kobra, as if they were afraid of him, and what he knew. A good start to this new arc, that’s for sure.
HM
The adventures and memories in this Hawkman book have been so fantastic. The exchange Carter and Katar Hol was great, and the reveal of the next clue was fun. Each clue takes him further down a path, and now the path has lead him to the Microverse, with the Atom. This feels just like old times, with Ray Palmer and Carter Hall tackling a case together, exploring new worlds, and just being great friends. I’m actually excited for the next issue.
PM
That issue made far more sense than previous issues, and it even explained the story up to this point. There were some incredibly awkward transitions to be found, though, as well as some excellent reveals. The kidnapping was faked, but the Cabal is real, manipulating the Agent so that no one believes her about their existence. A pretty crafty story, and one that’s considerably better now that things are a bit less nonsensical.
FL
It is legitimately frustrating how horribly stubborn Barry Allen is. He goes up and down so often about what he wants for his life, that he just has no idea. If he wants to be with Iris, he needs to step up and stop being such a selfish child about everything that goes wrong. He’s a hero, with complications, and Iris understands that, particularly now that she has her pre-52 memories again. But, that ending was nuts! The original Trickster is back! After years of being dead, James Jesse is back! That should make things a little more interesting here.SM
The revelation that the Earth’s sudden appearance in the Phantom Zone was little more than an accident by S.T.A.R. Labs was somehow one of the best storytelling tools I’ve seen a comic book writer use in some time. It was subdued, and showed human error. It wasn’t a malicious villain set out to ruin Superman, or destroy the Earth. Just human error. But, now our heroes have quite the problem to address, and only Superman knows the extent of just how bad things are about to get, now that Rogol Zaar has aligned himself with the armies of the Phantom Zone.
WW
Political intrigue mixed with flashes and manipulation of a rarely used Wonder Woman villain? This is the kind of stories that I like to see happening. This is a fresh take, with Diana walking a tight rope of side-switching and shaky decisions. Artemis made the wrong choice, for the right reasons, but we’ll see where that gets her when she’s brought face to face with the Princess of Themyscira.

Pull Box: August 29

NEWCOMICS

It’s an intensely small week for comic books this week, with only one book making it into rotation for the Pull Box. But, if you’re looking for some more recommendations, definitely check out the DC Universe crossover with Looney Tunes that hit this week for some surprisingly good story-telling.comics
This was an incredibly sub-par issue of Marvel 2-in-One until the end. Ben and Johnny without their powers, bickering until a crisis brings them back together, and then nearly getting killed. But the surprise? The arrival of the real Susan Storm. Ben and Johnny’s powers were restored because of her arrival, but how does that link up to the first issue of Fantastic Four? This timeline is a little confusing, so I’m hoping it gets resolved, soon.

Pull Box: August 8

NEWCOMICS

DC
This issue seemed short, but it was awesome. Everything got a chance to shine in some way. Batman, as usual, was a step ahead of everyone. Orphan showed her worth. Black Lightning proved he was fit to lead the team. Barbara even got a chance to show off her Oracle side, though she seems to be drifting away from Bruce, rebelling the way Dick did many years ago. I wonder if anything of will come of that, though…
GL
That was an incredible ending! I love when Hal just becomes Pure Will, because it’s such a dramatic visual. And it set up so many new stories. Carol Ferris is finally back, returning Hal to his status quo. New ring-slingers are coming into the fold, which will give us plenty of new characters. On top of that, Hammond disappeared as the God-Brain, and things are just moving forward in a great way, now.
HM
I love seeing Carter Hall interact with the various reincarnations he’s experienced over the years. While his costume is the same now, as it almost always has been, so many of these names are familiar. Hawkman has a rich history that’s never fully been explored, until now, and making it the backdrop of a fun, adventury story, was the best decision DC made for this book.
PM
There is quite the mystery happening here, and Plastic Man almost doesn’t seem like the right man for the job for this. But, he’s so damn fun to read that it really doesn’t matter. There’s also plenty of good messages going on in this book, with the little girl who hasn’t decided she’s a girl, and the team of ladies helping Eel O’Brien solve the murder case. It’s been a solid book so far, and with it now halfway to finished, hopefully they can stick the landing and make this an overall great book.
FL
This book is so much lighter without Barry’s brooding over whether or not he should tell Iris. Mirroring the show, it’s just much more delightful with her knowing his secret. On top of that, I feel like there’s going to be a big reveal about Commander Cold is, his real name, I mean. Then with the new Forces at work, things should get pretty crazy the next few weeks, which The Flash really needed to freshen up.
SM
This gave us absolutely no answers, but it did give us a bit more character developmenton Rogol Zaar, and a moved the story forward, with the Justice League falling down one by one from the Phantom Zone. Most likely their weaker genetics not meant for the insane conditions in the Zone. It’s interesting, though, that Rogol Zaar wouldn’t take on Superman one-on-one again, though. Choosing to seek out an army to invade the world instead. But, with him not being the one to move the Earth… who did?
WW
This is the beginning of what looks like it will be an interesting arc for Wonder Woman. Characters she doesn’t usually interact with, and a new, otherworldly villain. It’s always fun to see Diana interact with the Gods, representing the connection that she has that most other DC heroes, don’t. It presents new opportunities and interesting ideas, and this is no different.
FF
It’s nice to see Marvel’s First Family finally coming back. It was only a matter of time that that emptiness became a hindrance for the House of Ideas, and now that Marvel has regained the film rights to the Fantastic Four, things can finally get back to the way they’re supposed to be around here. That was a great start, and the moment with Ben and Alicia made me smile and get goosebumps. It’s about damn time.

Pull Box: July 25

NEWCOMICS

MAR
It made sense to focus more on a de-powered Ben and Johnny, rather than the escaped Doom and the doctor that’s lead them all the way here. Now that the cat’s out of the bag about the rest of Marvel’s First Family, they can focus on the eventual surprise reveal, that the family has returned and tracked their friends, restoring their powers after they’re in the same universe.
AC
It’s nice to have Action Comics back, and the focus put on what’s happening with these fires. It’s also nice to see Superman fighting a new villain, The Red Cloud, after all of the throwback villains we’ve been seeing the last couple of years in Superman stories. It should be fun to see how this all plays out with so many new characters to focus on, so many side-stories to worry about in the life of Clark Kent.
DC
That reveal for the true identity of Karma seemed incredibly anti-climactic. It would make sense that Batman, of all people, could piece together a fragment of his own memory from a single detail. He’s Batman. Of course he can. But it still seemed a bit boring. That Karma is focusing on the Bat Family is a bit more interesting, as the team that Batman has formed has become such an important factor in his motions the last couple of years. How will they factor moving forward?
DOOM
We finally got a backstory about Marionette and Mime. Two of the mysterious characters in this one-off story. Though, we still don’t quite know how Mime’s abilities work exactly. We at least now know their relationship. Now, they’ve also captured the Comedian, after he laid waste to villains below the streets of Gotham, and the Joker has decided to tag along with our two mystery characters. That is a partnership sure to cause some serious violence and trouble.
GL
John Stewart’s plans are always the best to witness unfold. They’re so elaborate and subtle, they nearly always catch his opponent off-guard, and it’s great. This was no different, with the Darkstars falling right into his trap, and removing a key piece from their arsenal: their teleportation. Without it, the untrained Darkstars are ripe for the ass-kicking, as there’s no way Tomar-Tu could hope to best the Greatest Green Lantern in a one-on-one fight.
JLD
I’ve been so excited for these Justice League spin-offs and this absolutely did not disappoint. Wonder Woman leading a magic-based Justice League with Swamp Thing, Bobo the Detective Chimp, Zatanna, and Man-Bat? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read and it absolutely works. I’ll read anything with Swamp Thing, especially when he’s working with the Justice League, so this is going to be quite a ride.
FL
Wally West is the Flash that many of us grew up with. He was the Flash of the 90’s, and is regarded by many as the best Flash. He’s the real Fastest Man Alive, and the most punished character is all of comics. Erased from existence, then brought back with no memories, only to discover an entire family, and entire past has been erased from existence. It’s the most tragic story in all of comics, right now.
SIL
I really have no idea why I love this book so much. It reminds me of the books that got me into comics so long ago, like Spawn, Youngblood, WildCATS, etc. It’s great. The villains and seamless backstory are great, and Honor, aka The Silencer is a fantastic new character addition to the DC Universe. I would love to see her mixing it up more with the wider universe after her story follows through with its arc.
TER
That was a wildly confusing story. A new villain was introduced, and then immediately revealed himself, while the heroes dealt with even more confusing things happening to each of them. I’m not entirely sure where this is going with the Tom Strong thing, but it’s implied that the Terrifics were transported to another dimension? Right? Maybe? I haven’t been this confused since the beginning of Mister Miracle, and that managed to find its footing, so hopefully this will, too.
WW
I do enjoy these personal stories of Wonder Woman, her enemies, and her unending love for all life. It’s one of the things that makes Diana so great. She takes a different approach from the other heroes, and despite being a member of the Trinity still finds time to visit those she believes are worthy of redemption. To better them, and their lives, despite anything they could have done. It’s truly inspiring.

Marvel’s Return of the Fantastic Four Trailer Drops

Marvel Comics has released a new trailer detailing the return of the First Family, the Fantastic Four, this August. The new Fantastic Four series is written by Dan Slott with art by Sara Pichelli and covers by Esad Ribic.

“Celebrate the Fantastic Four with a view into their past and a look towards the future, from their debut in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s classic 1961 issue to their much-anticipated return in August’s upcoming new series from Dan Slott (Amazing Spider-Man, Silver Surfer), Sara Pichelli (Spider-Man: Miles Morales), and Esad Ribic (Infamous Iron Man, Marvel Legacy, Secret Wars)!”

Hit the jump for a look at the cover to issue #1, and our first look at Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm, together again in all new costumes.

Continue reading “Marvel’s Return of the Fantastic Four Trailer Drops”

Pull Box: March 14

NEWCOMICS

AC
That was the absolute best way to reintroduce newer readers to General Sam Lane and his tensions with Superman, while also creating a new arc involving Hank Henshaw and the inevitability of the corruption of Superman’s Kryptonian technology. I’m not sure where that story is going, but it’s sure to blow up in Superman’s face in some crazy way.
DC
There are so many moving pieces to the story taking place in Detective Comics right now, but like a game of chess, each piece is vital to the endgame, and it’s looking to be a great story. Batwoman and the Colony, the fall of the Knights Program and Batman’s unraveling trust, Tim’s interactions with Ulysses Armstrong. These are all leading to something bigger, and better, and it will be fun to see where it leads.
GL
The thought of Zod and his family playing possum against the Green Lantern Corps, and then just absolutely laying waste to an entire squad of Lanterns is insane. That was one of the most brutal beatdowns I have ever seen a Green Lantern endure, and seeing Zod and Hal Jordan fight each other at full strength is going to be quite the sight.
MM
That was easily the most somber and straightforward issue of Mister Miracle, and it was a joy to read. I’m honestly hoping that this is all, in some way, canon, and Jacob being a New God becomes a thing that affects other books in some way. The back-story for Barda and Scott was nice, and the way they named their son was fitting, given their history together. Definitely a beautiful read.
FL
This is easily one of the best stories Flash has had since Rebirth started. Grodd is a believable villain with a great plan, full of twists and turns. Each time we think the Flash Family might have gained the upper hand, it was still always part of his plan. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this arc, because it’s sure to be a good one.
WW
The new, more powerful, Jason is definitely an intriguing player in all of this. Given the hint of the Greek Pantheon from the past, it’s probably going to be the Old Gods that gave Jason his newfound abilities and golden armor, but it’s still too hard to tell at this point. The biggest takeaway from here? Darkseid is getting desperate, and invading A.R.G.U.S. headquarters seems like a hell of a risky thing to do.
MAR
Now that is how you introduce a kick-ass multiverse-trekking story. Such an interesting plot, with one of the most insane multiversal twists I have ever seen. Doom becoming Galactus and swallowing the entire universe?! That is anime level crazy, and I absolutely love it. It’s stories like this that make me miss the Fantastic Four.

New Comic Books: February 14

NEWCOMICS

WW
This was a fantastic issue that not only solidifed a new, impressively brutal rogue for Wonder Woman, but also built several future stories for the Amazon Warrior. The crazed doctor studying Silver Swan, and the mysterious portal that stole away Jason. It seems that Diana has an interesting rest of the year in place, and I’m looking forward to where it goes. Particularly the Darkseid aspect of all of this.
fl
It would make sense that the first moment that Barry has without his powers, he would jump at the chance to have a normal life. Almost immediately passing the mantle of The Flash back to Wally West, who hasn’t been the go-to Flash in well over a decade. It was also refreshing to see Grodd as a legitimate threat to the Flash, and Central City, which The Flash hasn’t truly had in quite some time. The Rogues are fun, but they’re never really a believable threat… Grodd comes in, and in two issues he’s beaten The Flash. Impressive.
SWW
This was the least interesting of the Young Animal crossovers from a story perspective, but from a design perspective this was an absolute marvel. The small hints of Diana’s real form in the Wonder Wife world were subtle, but phenomenal. I particularly liked the shot of Diana’s shadow that revealed her true form, but featured her red star on her tiara. That was an incredibly beautiful shot, and absolutely worth reading for that alone.
SWS
It’s shocking to me how fun all of these new Post-Metal heroes have been. Each book has been so different from the last, with some genuinely interesting and charming introductions for these new heroes. My hope is that they last, because DC has done a fantastic job of building them up to be a big deal, with some great issue 1’s to follow suit.
GL
First off, Kyle Rayner’s costume with Hal’s ring is so legit. That’s one of the coolest costumes Kyle has ever worn, which is saying something. Second, Zod has quite a plan here, luring the Corps to a planet that contains ore that can pierce constructs. I wonder what it is about this planet’s ore that makes it so unique? Lastly, Hal’s sacrifice to get Kyle off-world to get help is why he’s one of my favorite superheroes.
DC
The death of Basil aka Clayface was made so much more tragic by the real loss felt by Cassandra. That was a beautiful relationship that, in my opinion, felt so natural somehow. Her sadness just leapt off the page, and it made it perfect. Even Batwoman’s indifference and uncaring for how she just murdered a friend was apparent. She never flinched, and never once wavered in her decision. The war between her and the Bat-family will certainly be something to keep an eye on.
DM
Neal Adams’ Deadman remains one of DC’s most batshit insane reads, and while things seem to be making more and more sense, it’s still difficult to follow. Boston Brand is being used by Ra’s Al Ghul, and his family is the tool that’s manipulating him. A lost brother, taken by the League, that enjoys his time there, and a family, knowing too well his destiny. It’s getting interesting.
WH
This was both immensely confusing, and horrifyingly entertaining. I’ll read anything with Detectiv Chimp in it, and the hope that the heroes have finally defeated one of the Dark Knights is great. But, once again, it was all just part of the plan. They’ve mapped out everything. Every outcome that the heroes could try, they’ve figured out and countered against it from the very beginning. There’s one last issue of Metal left, so let’s keep it firing on all cylinders.
AC
Admittedly, I feel as if this story has nearly run its course. The Booster Gold plot has been interesting, but it’s starting to drag a bit for me. Vice-versa, the Lois Lane rescuing her Father side-plot has been far more entertaining. Sam Lane hasn’t been a presence in the Superman books for years, and it’s nice to see him back in the fold in any capacity. Hopefully the next issue will start to wrap things up, and take us forward.
2N1
I just started reading this after I remembered that Fantastic Four bits of Marvel Legacy were fantastic, and this is immediately a really good read. The Fantastic Four have always been some of Marvel’s best stories, and this is no different, even with an incomplete family. Also, the “post-credits” scene with Wolverine and Hydro-Man was pretty great.