Weekly Comic Book Roundup #18

Eternals, Vol. 1: Only Death is Eternal

(Eternals (2021) #1-6)

by Kieron GillenEsad Ribić (Art)

The Synopsis

Never die…never win. What’s the point of an eternal battle? For millions of years, one hundred Eternals have roamed the Earth, secret protectors of humanity. Without them, mankind would be smears between the teeth of the demon-like Deviants. Their war has waged for all time, echoing in our myths and nightmares. But today, the Eternals face something new: change! Can they — or anyone on Earth — survive their discovery? An Eternal has been murdered by one of their own, and this may not be the last such killing. But Sersi’s number one suspect is — Thena?! Plus, titans clash in a city driven mad, as Ikaris battles Thanos! From the thought-provoking minds of Kieron Gillen (YOUNG AVENGERS, UNCANNY X-MEN) and Esad Ribić (THOR: GOD OF THUNDER, SECRET WARS) comes a new vision of the classic Marvel mythology!

COLLECTING: Eternals (2021) 1-6

The Verdict

A truly remarkable and well-crafted look into some of the most powerful figures in the Marvel Universe. The shocking death of one of their own leads to an Eternals serial killer hunt, and the shocking confrontation with Thanos will lead to an even more shocking betrayal within their group. The politics, social structure, and mythology explored within the Eternals, Deviants, and Celestials as a whole through this series was fantastic, and the artwork was visceral and thoughtful in its approach. A definite must-read for Marvel fans, especially with the film’s release for the MCU.

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Heroes Reborn: America’s Mightiest Heroes

(Heroes Reborn: America’s Mightiest Heroes #1)

by Jason AaronDale Keown (Artist), Ed McGuinness (Artist), Federico Vicentini (Artist), James Stokoe (Artist), R.M. Guéra (Artist), Erica D’Urso (Artist), Aaron Kuder (Artist)

The Synopsis

A world without Avengers! Tony Stark never built an Iron Man armor. Thor is a hard-drinking atheist who despises hammers. Wakanda is dismissed as a myth. Captain America was never found in the ice – because there were no Avengers to find him. Instead, this planet has always been protected by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: the Squadron Supreme of America! Now Hyperion, Blur, Doctor Spectrum, Power Princess and Nighthawk face an attack from some of their fiercest enemies – including Dr. Juggernaut, the Black Skull, the Silver Witch, the Goblin and Thanos with his Infinity Rings. But why is Blade the vampire hunter the one man alive who seems to remember that the entire world has somehow been…reborn? And what is the Daywalker going to do about it?

Collects Heroes Reborn (2021) #1-7, Heroes Return (2021) #1

The Verdict

Shocking, gripping, and a brilliant way of combining the magic of a Marvel What If…? storyline within the main Marvel Universe. The exploration of the history and mythos of the Marvel Version of a Dark Justice League was so awe-inspiring, and seeing the dark path Phil Coulson in the comics has taken and the growing power and influence Mephisto is building not just in the main 616 Universe, but in the Multiverse as a whole was chilling and exhilarating all at once to read. The artwork was inspired and the exploration of the characters and who they are when their heroic identities were taken away was brilliant to see. 

Avengers by Jason Aaron, Vol. 8: Enter the Phoenix

(Avengers by Jason Aaron #8)

by Jason AaronJavier Garrón (Artist), Dale Keown (Artist), Luca Maresca (Artist)

The Synopsis

The planet-burning cosmic firebird known as the Phoenix Force has returned — and the Avengers are drawn into a globe-spanning battle for ultimate power! In the distant past of One Million B.C., learn the story of one young girl whose only crime was being born with red hair…and whose destiny would change human history forever! In the present, the Phoenix Force searches the globe for a new avatar — and many of Marvel’s most powerful heroes and villains are contenders! As the battle to wield the Phoenix grows ever bloodier and more desperate, Thor leads the Avengers in a fight to contain the Phoenix Force. But the quest is complicated by the Thunder God’s mysterious connection to the cosmic firebird! Who will be the all-new Phoenix?! All will be transformed…but not all will survive!

COLLECTING: AVENGERS (2018) 39-45

The Verdict

The jaw-dropping power of the Phoenix Force arrives on Earth, and its fire burns inside the chosen heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe as they fight for a new host. As the heroes try to hold on in their fight to find a way to either contain or defeat the cosmic bird, the secret history of the Phoenix on Earth is revealed, as is the shocking origins of one classic Avenger. Meanwhile, the final battles will show either the rise of a powerful new Avenger or a dangerous new foe. The artwork has brilliant contrasts of bright and dark colors as the story unfolds, and the writers showcase the far-reaching new directions the Avengers and the Marvel Universe are taking moving forward. A must-read Avengers tale!

Miles Morales, Vol. 1: Straight Out of Brooklyn

(Miles Morales (Collected Editions) #1)

by Saladin Ahmed (Goodreads Author), Javier Garrón (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Miles Morales swings back into the spotlight! Balancing a normal life, school, friends, family and super-heroing has never been easy for Miles, but when the rampaging Rhino and a cadre of mysterious criminals start plaguing Brooklyn, things take a dark turn for the young Spider-Man! And Miles doesn’t even know the half of it yet. What mystery lurks under the surface of this newest villainous uprising? Eisner Award-winner Saladin Ahmed (BLACK BOLT) and Young Gun Javier Garrón (ANT-MAN & THE WASP) bring you the latest and greatest adventures of the coolest character in the Marvel Universe!

COLLECTING: MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN 1-6

The Verdict

I absolutely love the new storylines that this character is creating. Miles is a fantastic hero and worthy of the Spider-Man mantle. The changes to his path as a hero from Peter Parkers, from his parent’s knowledge of his heroic identity to his contrasting relationship with his criminal Uncle and more, this character really does bring the wonder and fun of the Spider-Man comics back into the modern-day. The representation that Marvel has employed in this series is incredible to see, and the artwork is sleek and modern, showcasing the future generations of heroes the Marvel Universe is developing.

Injustice: Year Zero

(Injustice: Gods Among Us – The Complete Collection #0)

by Tom Taylor (Goodreads Author), Roge Antonio (Illustrator), Cian Tormey (Illustrator), Rain Beredo (Color Artist)

The Synopsis

The beloved series INJUSTICE is back–with a prequel! INJUSTICE: YEAR ZERO!

Before Superman, Batman, or the Justice League were household heroes, there was the JSA! But when a secret begins to unravel within the JSA, will it lead to the unraveling of the heroes we know today? Is there a traitor within the ranks of our heroes? Or is someone hiding something that could ruin every DCU superhero forever? No one is safe in INJUSTICE: YEAR ZERO!

Collects Injustice: Year Zero #1-14.

The Verdict

This was such a brilliant prequel to the highly acclaimed Elseworlds series. The world of Injustice is so visceral and equally horrifying to the worlds of DCeased and Kingdom Come. The inclusion of the JSA and their influence on the modern-day Justice League heroes, as well as the new heights of the Joker’s villainy, make this such a brilliant read. The artwork really reflects the chaos and darkness that the villain brings upon the heroes, and how his influence darkens the world and its heroes as a whole. 

DC Meets Looney Tunes

(DC Meets Looney Tunes)

by Tom King (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Frank J. Barbiere (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Tony Bedard (Writer), Sam Humphries (Writer), Steve Orlando (Writer), Jimmy Palmiotti (Writer), Bill Morrison (Writer), John Floyd (Artist), Tom Grummett (Artist), Scott Hanna (Artist), Kelley Jones (Artist), Aaron Lopresti (Artist), Jerome K. Moore (Artist), Mark Texeira (Artist), Lee Weeks (Artist)

The Synopsis

DC’s iconic superheroes meet the wacky characters of Looney Tunes in some of the most surprising stories in comics in DC MEETS LOONEY TUNES!

When Elmer Fudd sets his sights on Bruce Wayne, it’s a “wabbit hunt” you’d never imagine! Prospector Yosemite Sam strikes it rich, but can circus performer Foghorn Leghorn and bounty hunter Jonah Hex keep him alive long enough to enjoy it?

Plus, Wonder Woman enlists the help of the Tasmanian Devil to save the Amazons; Lobo gets caught in the war between a mutated Road Runner and a wily super-genius of a coyote; and the last survivors of Mars fight over the fate of planet Earth! Finally, when the Legion of Super-Heroes needs help, a wrong turn at Albuquerque means the future’s survival depends on…”Super” Bugs Bunny!

Worlds collide, courtesy of some of comics’ greatest talents, among them Tom King, Lee Weeks, Jimmy Palmiotti, Mark Texeira, Tony Bedard, Bill Morrison, Kelley Jones, Steve Orlando, Sam Humphries and more!

Collects BATMAN/ELMER FUDD SPECIAL #1, JONAH HEX/YOSEMITE SAM SPECIAL #1, WONDER WOMAN/TASMANIAN DEVIL SPECIAL #1, LOBO/ROAD RUNNER SPECIAL #1, MARTIAN MANHUNTER/MARVIN THE MARTIAN SPECIAL #1 and LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES/BUGS BUNNY SPECIAL #1!

The Verdict

Such a fun and brilliant read! The authors all did a marvelous job of balancing the grim nature of the DC Universe stories with the zany fun and wackiness of the Looney Tunes Universe. Not only is this reflected in the artwork in each contrasting story, but in the character development and action, each story employs. A fun departure for each character and hero, this is not a collection readers will want to miss.

Strange Adventures

(Strange Adventures (2020-2021) #1-12)

by Tom King (Goodreads Author), Mitch Gerads (Illustrator), Evan Doc Shaner (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Bestselling writer Tom King is back with a new epic that reinvents one of DC’s classic science-fiction adventurers, Adam Strange, examining whether his actions were heroic or disgraceful.

This new science fiction epic written by bestselling author Tom King reinvents one of DC’s classic adventure characters, Adam Strange. Born on Earth and hero of the distant planet Rann, Adam Strange is famous throughout the galaxy for his bravery and honor. After leading his adopted home to victory in a great planetary war, Adam and his wife, Alanna, retire to Earth, where they are greeted with cheers, awards, and parades. But not all is as it seems, as the decisions Adam made during battles on Rann come back to haunt his family. It will take an investigation by one of the most brilliant heroes in the DC Universe, Mr. Terrific, to uncover the truth and reveal whether Adam Strange is a hero or a disgrace.

The Mister Miracle team of writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads are joined by fan-favorite artist Evan “Doc” Shaner to bring you an epic tale in the tradition of Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and DC: The New Frontier–a story of blood, war, and love that readers will be talking about for years to come.

Collects Strange Adventures #1-12.

The Verdict

This was such a fun and epic sci-fi thriller! The DC Universe delves into the grim reality of war and psychological trauma in war through the characterization of Adam Strange. The roller-coaster he and his wife go on as the heroes of Earth go from allies and friends to distrustful frenemies was such an engaging psychological thriller of a story, and the stark contrast of colors and alternating timelines in the narrative helped the pacing of the mystery this story deployed, capturing that classic noir mystery vibe the narrative was developing. Such an amazing read.

Batman Beyond, Volume 1: Escaping the Grave

(Batman Beyond (2016) #1)

by Dan Jurgens (Writer), Bernard Chang (Artist), Marcelo Maiolo (Colourist), Travis Lanham (Letterer)

The Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

Terry McGinnis takes on the Batman cowl amidst rumors that the original Joker has returned. An entire section of Gotham City has decended into the Jokerz’ hands, creating a community of clown-worshipping crazies called Jokerztown! Rising from the chaos, Terminal unifies the gang of Jokerz and he’s after the new Batman.

Written by Dan Jurgens and illustrated by Bernard Chang, the in-continuity tales of the Dark Knight of the future continue here in Batman Beyond, Volume 1: The Return!

CollectingBatman Beyond 1-5, Rebirth

The Verdict

I was such a huge fan of the Batman Beyond series growing up. This futuristic version of Gotham the comics describe takes on a whole new life, showing the aftermath of Brother Eye’s attacks and the return of the city’s heroes. As the Jokerz gang terrorizes the city, Batman must make his triumphant return and stop this growing threat. The splash of futurist technology and artwork contrasted with the grim and gritty reality that Gotham has always represented was amazing to see here, as was the contrast in Batman’s fight for justice and order against the Jokerz vision of chaos and destruction. There were enough twists and turns in this storyline to keep readers not only invested but thrilled at the return of some truly terrifying Batman villains.

Dark Nights: Death Metal

(Dark Nights: Collected Editions #2)

by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author), Greg Capullo (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Get ready for the earth-shattering encore as writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, the legendary team behind Dark Nights: Metal and Batman: Last Knight on Earth, reunite for one last tour of DC’s Dark Multiverse.

When the DC Universe is enveloped by the Dark Multiverse, the Justice League is at the mercy of the Batman Who Laughs. Humanity struggles to survive in a hellish landscape twisted beyond recognition, while Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman have all been separated and must fight to survive. Along the way, Wonder Woman roars across the horrifying Dark Multiverse landscape in the world’s most demented monster truck, with Swamp Thing riding shotgun! And when the Justice League launches its assault on New Apokolips, the team’s goal is to free Superman from his solar prison–but it all goes off the rails when they learn that the Man of Steel is gone for good thanks to the Anti-Life Equation. Collects Dark Nights: Death Metal #1-6.

The Verdict

The epic conclusion to the crisis the Batman Who Laughs has been building the DC Multiverse to for years has finally arrived. Seeing the heroes pushed to their limits and fighting with everything they have really showcased the strength and courage they represent, and the story of truth and light being the legacy these heroes leave behind as the next generation of heroes takes over was so well represented here. What was amazing was getting to see Wonder Woman take the role of leader in this fight, becoming the light itself against the Batman Who Laugh’s darkness. Their contrasting viewpoints and equal willpower made them formidable opponents, and the wild artwork and visuals of this series captured the punk and metal vibes the series represented. Such an essential and must-read series for DC Comics fans!

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Justice League: Endless Winter

(Justice League: Endless Winter #1-9)

by Andy LanningRon MarzHoward Porter (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Spanning across time, continents, and DC comics titles, a cold new threat arises at the former site of the Fortress of Solitude!

1000 years ago, a disparate group of heroes — Hippolyta, Black Adam, Swamp Thing and the Viking Prince — banded together to prevent the world from freezing at the hands of the Frost King, an exiled Norse god with the ability to control entire ecosystems. The heroes triumphed, but victory came at a terrible price, one that has been kept secret until now.

When the Justice League discovers an extinction-level storm at the former site of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, their search for answers will put them in direct conflict with the Frost King, an ancient entity who wields great power and an army of loyal soldiers. What does he want? And what’s his tie to some of the oldest heroes in the DC Universe?

Justice League: Endless Winter is a crossover event collection that includes Aquaman #66, The Flash #767, Justice League #58, Justice League Dark #29, Justice League: Endless Winter #1-2, Teen Titans: Endless Winter Special #1, Black Adam: Endless Winter Special #1, and Superman: Endless Winter Special #1.

The Verdict

A fantastic follow-up to the multiversal battle of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the series really does an incredible job of highlighting the secret history some of the DC Universe’s oldest figures and powerful foes have with one another, united against a tragic figure in the Frost King. Exploring ancient mythology and cultures, the narrative and contrasting timelines will unite the heroes and highlight how people’s judgments and misperceptions can create the monsters we so desperately fear. A memorable and fantastic series to read, especially with Winter 2021 approaching!

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