Pull Box: June 13

NEWCOMICS

THOR
This was a great way to get back to basics with The God of Thunder. Now that Jane Foster is no longer Thor, the Odinson must prove himself worthy once again, and he must do this all the while trying to rebuild a destroyed Asgardia. The moment where Juggernaut revealed himself as a the avatar of a God to fight the God of Thunder was fantastic. Cain Marko seems to have really supplanted himself in the face of pop culture lately, and it’s pretty great.
21
The Council of Reeds has returned with a more personal task to complete: No More Dooms. Victor is given yet another task to redeem himself in the face of his rival, and once more he fails the test. I want to hope that this quest with Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm would help show him the his virtue even more, but it looks like it may end up with the opposite effect. The big thing here? His memory revealed that Reed and Sue are still alive, with their children, traversing the cosmos.
BG
This one had less repercussions than the other Prelude to the Wedding books, but it was still a fun read. Batgirl has proven herself time and time again in the face of adversity, being easily the best of the Bat-Family. But, the big takeaway is the reveal that Harley Quinn is looking for the Joker during his pre-wedding rampage. Probably in an effort to stop him from ruining her friend, Catwoman’s big day. But, who knows?
GL
There were some great revelations and unity happening in this book. Just like Wonder Woman wearing Element X in Dark Knights: Metal created the New Gods, Hal Jordan wearing it created the Darkstars. Both wishes made on a darkened universe that were twisted and warped. It’s a fantastic way of pulling things together and unifying the universe, Post-Metal. Also, the personal story of Guy and his Father, being saved by Arkillo in a show of friendship was great. Those two have real chemistry, and it elevates the book even more when they’re together.
MM
As this series has gone on, it’s gotten less confusing, and more charming. Showing more of the mundane work that goes into Wars between planets full of Gods. Like peace summits, and small moments. It was amazing to see Kalibak pull out a pair of glasses because he needs to see the terms. It was a bit predictable in the end, with Jacob Free, the son of Big Barda and Mister Miracle, being the biggest bargaining chip, though not one that they put on the table.
HM
Hawkman has always been one of the richer characters as far as lore is concerned. His past allows him to work in more mythical things, like the introduction of Gorilla City into the history of the Earth, trade-routes and such. Not to mention the reveal of a Kryptonian Hawkman, as well as a Hawkman from the planet Rann, and the confirmation that the Thanagarian Hawkman was one and the same. All through reincarnation. With the history of DC Comics at its feet, this should be a fun read.
PM
Yes! Oh man, it’s so nice to have Eel O’Brian back in his own solo story. Plastic Man is one of the best heroes in all of comic books, and I missed his plucky humor so much. He’s so nonsensical. It was smart to re-tell his origin story for newer fans as he’s a bit older of a character who hasn’t been explored much in the last 20 years. But, now he’s back! And I could not be happier about it. On top of that, Gail Simone was a perfect choice to write the character.
FL
And the race is on! I can’t help but side with Wally West on this one. Barry Allen has lost things, but he always still remembers those pains, and exactly how they were taken from him. Wally’s children, his entire past, was taken from him and he never even knew it. That was Barry’s fault. It’s tragic that this is happening, but things are building to quite the head in the world of The Flash.
MOS
This was some seriously heartbreaking writing. Kandor has been a mainstay in Superman lore for years, and its destruction – the murder of millions of Kryptonians trapped in a bottle for centuries is simply tragic. And it showed. The loss that Superman and Supergirl felt was real, and their anger and panic showed on the page. That was the masterful writing we’ve been looking out for with Bendis and he finally broke it out here.
ww
First off, Jason seemed to fit in pretty well with the rest of the Justice League. I could very well see him filling in for Diana on a Justice League International team, or something along those lines. Next, King Best is one of the most throwback villains I have seen in quite some time. He’s massive, styled like the 60’s villains of old, and honestly already quite the delight of a villain. This is a great new rogue for Wonder Woman if he manages to stick around.

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New Comic Books: October 4

NEWCOMICS

It was another great week for comics, with a few new book debuts, another Dark Knights: Metal tie-in, and more main-line DC books with Superman and Batman both seeing some great stories.

GCG

Gotham City Garage has been a short but sweet foray into a really well-thought out alternate universe. The back-story is great, and the twist on these characters is so good. Making Harley Quinn the one who perfected the mind-control technology in Gotham is a stroke of genius for her character in this world, and having Oracle be a limo-driving sidekick to Batman is absolutely inspired.

SM

As expected, the cat and mouse game between Deathstroke and Superman was full of tension and high-stakes, as well as espionage perpetrated by the mercenary mastermind. Comics are an unexpected beast, and with that comes a certain uneasiness when someone’s life is threatened. With that in mind, I honestly expected at one point that maybe Lois would die, and that’s a successful writer of the highest order.

BM

The War of Jokes and Riddles was full of wonderful twists on Batman, that took ideas that have been there for years, and turned them on their head. The thought that the Joker is the one who has kept Batman in line during his darkest period is one that makes complete and total sense, but was never fully explored until now. And that Riddler would concoct this entire war to make the Joker laugh… it’s insane.

JL

so many great twists this week! The revelation that Sovereign was Hippolyta makes perfect sense in the context of why Diana would betray the world in the future in a sense, and why Sovereign would basically upend the world, and force it to feel her pain and loss after Diana is lost to the darkness. But wouldn’t Sovereign be attempting to stop the darkness? More questions. Hopefully we get answers.

DB

The Dark Knight, Dawnbreaker, seems to be the most screwed up of the bunch thus far, with each one becoming more sadistic than the last. I suppose that’s what happens when a wounded child, living in a darkened world, is given the most powerful weapon in the universe. I can’t wait to see how the Dark Knights are defeated, because they seem to be some of the most incredible foes that DC has concocted in many years.

WK

Oh, man. This is gonna be a fun book. Batman is going off the rails, and the Joker is a cured super-genius that wants to re-pay the debt the Joker owes to Gotham City. The narrative that Jack Napier, aka The Joker, presented while he was getting beat down made perfect sense, and it’s interesting to note that he was saying all this while still technically criminally insane as the Joker. This is absolutely going to be an interesting read.

SV

Marvel’s version of the Justice League Dark isn’t quite as epic, but it’s a great read for the month of Halloween, with some unlikely allies all being given a shot. The artwork was fun, and the story, while ridiculous and cliche already, seems right up the alley of a book like this.

PHAS

Phasma is such a charmingly devious person. It’s genuinely hard to tell whether she’s being selfish and uncaring, or genuinely wanting to help these villagers before they’re extinguished. I love her so much as a character, and actually care about her fate and her past. I’ll soak up any chance to learn more about her mysterious past.

New Comic Books: September 13

NEWCOMICS

What a hell of a week for comic books! Metal, Secret Empire, the identity of Mr. Oz, Flash, Wonder Woman… and with all that, Hal Jordan still takes the cake with his delightfully fun race through space. Mister Miracle continued its wildly confusing run, and Darkseid was a baby, used as a gun! I love comic books.

WW
This was a fun filler-arc, but at the end of the day it was clearly just a filler arc. There were no real lessons learned, or any serious revelations. The only major thing to come out of this, is the possibility of a new enemy organization being built up by Dr. Revere and the now-power-addicted soldiers. The next arc, Children of the Gods, is what we’ve been waiting for the last several weeks, and this should be pretty great.

METAL
Greg Capullo’s art is so next-level that he can elevate any story. Even one as confusing as this. I’m hoping things come together in a way that makes sense. It’s impressive how well Snyder laid the groundwork of the mantling, and how important Bruce’s time-traveling adventure after Final Crisis was. The Dark Knights look horrifying, and seeing them in the DC Universe is going to be a hell of a ride.

TT
The first Metal tie-in was a great amount of fun. Having Damian get his ass handed to him so decisively, but still being able to use his intelligence was a nice consolation for the kid, and the interesting team-up was a good mix. This should be a fun read for the next couple of months, as Metal gets in full swing.

SE
I’m genuinely glad that they gave us a final resolution, at least in some ways, as to the fate of Hydra Cap. I genuinely hope he doesn’t become a main-stay in Marvel, though. While he was interesting in Secret Empire, I can easily see him quickly becoming more of a nuisance, and red herring in Marvel’s writing. Some of the other fall-out is interesting, as well. Nick Fury selecting Frank Castle, while making up for his sins. Black Widow faking her own death. It should be fun to see how the heroes move forward from this.

FLASH
Bloodwork is a pretty broken villain, with such a ridiculous power that he seems like he could take on the entire Justice League. However, this was a pretty solid case for Barry to solve, and hopefully it starts to lead him back on the path to removing the Negative Speed Force from his system. I feel like the Negative Speed Force has somewhat run its course, but at the same time, we haven’t fully explored the exact powers that it’s given to Barry.

GL
Somehow, whenever an issue of Green Lantern involves Hal Jordan interacting with his Dad in some strange, cosmic way, it always makes for a fantastic issue. This was no different. The Fall of the New Gods arc has been some of the best in comic books, right now, and it’s showing no sign of letting up. I’m excited to see where it goes next, with Hal out-running Omega Beams in the vacuum of space, the Highfather in the back seat.

CM
Another delightfully retro addition to the short but sweet Generations line. These great, standalone stories have been some of the best Marvel has put out in years. It’s possible that this Legacy thing might work out for them, if it ends up being anything like how wonderful this has been to read. It also made me miss Mar-Vell, strangely enough. However, Carol Danvers is a fantastic Captain Marvel. Maybe bring back Captain Kree?

AC
We’ve been waiting for the true name of Mr. Oz for so long, but it somehow fell almost flat for me. It wasn’t a surprise, as I had figured out several months ago that the logical conclusion was Jor-El, and the back-drop of his revealing himself felt too forced. I feel as if Superman had dealt with far worse, and seen far worse than was presented to him here. Perhaps when we learn more about what Jor-El has been up to, it will piece together in better ways. Regardless, it’s at least nice to have a mystery solved.

MM
Such a mystery taking place in this book! Who do you trust? Who’s lying? Who’s telling the truth? It’s such an interesting spin on such tragic and troubled characters, that come from such a fantastical life. The war between New Genesis and Apokolips is being manipulated, but by who? Tom King and Mitch Gerad are so far above the rest of the indsutry right now, that it’s absurd.

 

New Comic Books: September 6

NEWCOMICS

Not exactly an impressive week of books this week, but there were some gems throughout. Captain Phasma gets her first standalone book, and the conclusion to the Ballad of Kite Man takes the cake for book of the week. Justice League’s future-kids story is also getting pretty deep.

SM

A bit of an underwhelming ending to a short arc that had a lot of potential with Superman vs. Sinestro for what was essentially control of Parallax. The cool thing about this arc is the set-up for future issues of another title, with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps in the near future. It did, however, reveal the things Superman most fears, so we can expect to see a few of them, soon.

JL

This was heavy, and emotional in all the best ways. The connection these future-children have to their would be parents is so strong, and well thought out. This is some wonderful writing, and the twist that they think Wonder Woman is the villain, in which she may possibly be is interesting. There’s absolutely a lesson to be learned for young Hunter, though. That’s for sure.

BM

The Ballad of Kite Man has been the most heartbreaking thing I have read in a comic book in a long, long time. His tragic backstory, and making him not only a joke character, but his whole foundation that of being a joke to everyone around him… that’s genius. Gut-wrenching genius. The War of Jokes and Riddles has been an alright arc, but Kite Man has been beautiful in the most tragic of ways.

CP

This was so much better than it should have been. I already loved Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens, and this explanation as to her escape from Starkiller, and introduction to the incredible BB-9E were great to read. This was a fantastic expansion on a character that I really need to learn more about. Maybe I should pick up that new novel that just came out…

IM

The Generations line has been a lot of fun, and while I was expected another trip to the past, this trip to the “far-flung future” was a lot more refreshing for young Riri Williams. There were no stakes, just exploration and inspiration, and that kind of thing is needed from time to time.

New Comic Books: August 16

NEWCOMICS

This week was an unbelievable week for comics, made so by the first issue of DC’s massive and ridiculous event, Metal, which is shaping up to be something immensely special and fun for fans of DC Comics. On top of that, so many mainline heroes had releases, with the entire Trinity dropping books this week. Plus, the first issue of Gotham City Garage!

WW

This was a pretty decent issue, but didn’t quite have the stakes that previous issues in this arc did. It’ll be nice to see Diana team with her friends to take down some ridiculous-looking assassins, but it’s not exactly something we haven’t seen up to this point. Overall, a good continuation, and lead-in to where this arc is going, as it seems to be more filler than anything.

SM

Super-Parallax! This was a great change of pace for the Man of Steel after he’s spent the last several months fighting classic foes from his youth. Now he’s up against the entity of fear, Parallax, in a fresh story, that you don’t see very often. Superman just won’t let up with the great stories since Rebirth, and this is absolutely no different.

JL

There’s a lot of fun story-telling happening this week, with the origins of the Justice League’s future children coming to light. The revelation that Jessica Cruz and Barry Allen have three children together made me practically fall out of my chair, and the thought that Diana could abandon her child? There’s something strange happening there. Something that we don’t know just yet. This has been a fun story already, and a lot of mystery still remains.

BM

This was a somber, slow-moving issue that built up to a fantastic reveal, that Batman would be joining a side in the War of Jokes and Riddles. The nine-course dinner was a tense back-drop to the chemistry between Joker and Riddler, with Bruce Wayne in the middle, attempting to play the part of a supposed peacemaker, but in the end, offering up his alter-ego as a prize for the victor. Batman’s plans are always best-laid, and it’ll be interesting to see how this one ends.

METAL

I have been waiting for this event for months, and now, with Metal upon us, I am not disappointed. This is so ridiculous, and so fantastic. This is everything that a comic book event should be. The story is slowly already starting to make a small bit of sense, and the inclusion of so many heroes that we haven’t seen in so long really make it feel like something special. This is absolutely my recommendation for the week, because if you’re a fan of DC Comics, this is going to make you giddy.

 

THOR

I was a little worried at first when the War Thor seemed to be making quick work of the Queen of Cinders after all the fan-fare and work they put into building her into a massive force to be reckoned with, but my fears were alleviated when she basically cut him in half. I’m somewhat hoping for a Thor reunion where Volstagg reveals himself as the War Thor, and Jane reveals herself as Thor, given their history and close friendship.

GCG

Being a digital-first story, the format for this was short, but sweet. It’s obvious this is going to be an incredibly fun Elseworlds title, and with an interesting mix of heroes and villains forming an all-female biker gang… well, that’s the beginning of a kickass story. The art is great, and the story is getting across a ton of info in such a short format. Very impressive.

Batman: The Enemy Within Full Trailer

Telltale Games has released the first full trailer for their upcoming sequel, Batman: The Enemy Within, and it gives us a better idea of what to expect from the villains of the story, both new and old. The Riddler is clearly the star here, with a more brutal take on the character, very reminiscent of the current War of Jokes and Riddles arc in the Batman comic series.

The Joker, and Amanda Waller, both seem to play prominent roles in the upcoming title, as well. Time will tell when Batman: The Enemy Within launches on August 8th.

New Comic Books: August 2

NEWCOMICS

Pretty straightforward, lackluster week of comics this week, as DC ruled with all the releases. Honestly, even in that regard, they were generally a bit underwhelming, as many of DC’s arcs seem to be in a state of flux before the big one starts in just two weeks, with Dark Knights: Metal.

SM

The second issue in the historical arc, celebrating America was considerably more grim than the first. I can’t say I enjoyed it as much, but I applaud the writer’s will to show the horrors of war for the what they are: horrors. Now that we’ve gotten that breather out of the way, I’m excited for the next arc to start with Superman encountering Parallax.

BM

The War of Jokes and Riddles has been a brutal read for Batman fans, with a younger, more inexperienced Batman, facing trial after trial, in an attempt to save his city from a never-ending battle of wits between two supervillains. This issue was especially dark, as we saw, not only what was happening in Gotham, but what Batman was willing to do to stop it. Coming within inches of murdering Deadshot to stop the five day spree that took hundreds of lives.

JL

I hadn’t read Justice League up to this point, but I figured a new arc, with future comic book children is definitely a great place to start. Stories like this are always fun, with revelations about parenthood, and great character design taking center stage. The story still seems a mystery, but given what we’ve seen so far, this should be an interesting twist on our heroes’ future.

NG

This was a legitimate touching tribute to the greatest to ever draw comics, Jack Kirby. The first of many Kirby specials that DC will be releasing focused on Orion, and his brother Kalibak. Two characters that haven’t been given the attention they truly deserve in recent times. This was a fun read, and the final short story, with Lonar the Wanderer, was especially great for fans of Jack Kirby.

New Comic Books: July 19

NEWCOMICS

While not a jam-packed release week for new comics, everyone brought their A-Game with some fantastic stories that ran the gamut as far as what their goals really were. Ranging from tragic story, to educational fare, it was a great week for readers.

BAT

The second installment of the War of Jokes and Riddles seemed incredibly confusing, at first. I wasn’t sure where it was going, but at the end, when all the pieces fit into place, the origin of Kite-Man had unfolded before me. The tale was tragic, and unsettling. A fitting origin to the best running joke in all of comics. If you’re a fan of Kite-Man and his ridiculous antics, I would absolutely implore you to read this, my recommendation for the week.

superman

The other DC book this week is on the absolute other end of the spectrum. Superman and the Kent Family decide to unwind with a nice family trip across the Continental United States, educating each other on the history of our country, and instilling the merits of kindness and good in those that they meet. Even helping a wounded veteran secure a part-time job with their kindness. It was a feel-good book that was great to read after the tragic origin of Kite-Man.

SE

And with that, we have our best issue of Secret Empire. Twists relating to the Hydra mole, and the shocking destruction of the resistance home-base. Alliances were shifted all over the board in this tense and emotional issue, and it made for an overall fantastic read.

THOR

My last book for the week was one I was absolutely looking forward to, as Volstagg has taken up Ultimate Mjolnir and become the War Thor. Venting his frustrations and unleashing hell on the army that made him, the War Thor laid absolute waste to the armies of Muspelheim, and it was badass in every sense of the word. With Jane Foster’s Thor inching closer to succumbing to her cancer, will we see Jane become Thor permanently?

New Comic Books: July 5

NEWCOMICS

Last week was such a massive week for comics, that it’s only natural this week would feature next to nothing. Marvel had no major reads this week, and DC only featured 2 of the Trinity in their solo books. Simple week, with admittedly some lackluster stories going on, as things start to wind up in anticipation of the rest of the summer.

BM

My recommendation for the week, Batman #26, continued the prelude to the War of Jokes and Riddles, as Bruce talks about the mysterious event in more detail, and recounts it to Selina Kyle. The Riddler and Joker have concluded they both want to kill the Batman, but can’t allow the other to do so, and as such, have started recruiting the other rogues to their sides, leaving dead in their wake. It’s a somber, slow-moving story that is clearly building up to a head. It will be interesting to see where it leads to the rest of the summer.

SM

Likewise, we have the polar opposite in Superman #26, as Clark remembers his experience as a child with Jonathan Kent teaching him to make better decisions instinctively, and Clark attempting to learn to do the same with Jon. This one had few interesting quirks about it, and showed a realistic take on trying to reason with your children as a parent. Especially, I would imagine, if they can do what Jon can, and have Damian Wayne as a, quote-unquote, friend. It’s worth reading if only to see the continued growth of Jonathan Kent, who is quickly turning into a fantastic new character for the Rebirth series.