Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #12

Batman: White Knight

(Batman: White Knight #1-8)

by Sean Gordon Murphy (Writer/Illustrator), Matt Hollingsworth (Colorist)

The Synopsis

He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the “Clown Prince of Crime” but “white knight”? Never. Until now…

Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as “Jack,” sets about trying to right his wrongs. First, he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!

Superstar writer and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS, THE WAKE) presents a seven-issue miniseries of a twisted Gotham City with a massive cast of heroes and villains that, at its heart, is a tragic story of a hero and a villain: Batman and The Joker. But which is the hero—and which the villain?

COLLECTING: Batman: White Knight 1-8

The Verdict

A truly unique Elseworld style story that sees the struggle between criminal reform and mental health come to life, Batman fans get to see a world where Jack Napier takes control of his life again, banishing the Joker persona and showing off Batman’s brutal tactics as a hero that have evolved during their war against one another. However is the Joker ever truly gone? Or is he lingering in Jack’s mind, waiting to take control once more. Getting to see the struggle of these two men and those caught in the middle is a great character study, and really gives an even more complex edge to the character of the Joker. 

Advertisements

Super Sons, Volume 1: When I Grow Up

(Super Sons (Collected Editions) #1)

by Peter J. Tomasi (Contributor), Jorge Jimenez

The Synopsis

A part of DC Universe Rebirth!

Superboy (aka Jonathan Kent) and Robin (aka Damian Wayne) make their super hero duo debut in this all-new series SUPER SONS, part of DC Rebirth.

This debut series looks at the lives of Robin and Superboy and their destiny to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, while we meet a new villain whose ascension parallels the boys’ own understanding of their powers-except that he believes it’s his right to rule over every being on the planet!

Collects SUPER SONS #1-5

The Verdict

A brilliant new era of superheroes rises in this new series. Not only is it a treat to see the sons and family of Batman and Superman living on and enduring the trials that come with being in a superhero family, but it is great to see the sons mimicking the trials and tribulations that came with Batman and Superman’s first forays into uneasy friendship. Fun, action packed and great storytelling abound in this great collection of stories!

Legion: Trauma

(Legion #1-5)

by Peter Milligan (Text), Wilfredo Torres (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

A mind-bending X-Men tale from the brains of Peter Milligan (X-STATIX, Shade the Changing Man) and Wilfredo Torres (MOON KNIGHT, BLACK PANTHER)! David Haller, the son of Professor Charles Xavier, has always had trouble containing the multiple personalities in his mind. And with each personality, comes a wild and dangerous mutant power. But now, a terrifying new personality is threatening to absorb these powers and take over David’s mind and body. In a desperate attempt to save himself, David seeks out the help of renowned young psychotherapist Hannah Jones to delve into his fractured mind and fight back this dark personality. But unknown to Legion…Dr. Jones brings her own demons with her…

COLLECTING: LEGION 1-5 

The Verdict

A truly fascinating look into the world of mental health struggles and how not only the outside world deals with those suffering from it but how those suffering from it deal with the world around them and within them. Adding this into the world of the X-Men, a group of people already facing judgment, hatred, and violence on an everyday occurrence, makes this read even more powerful as Legion seeks out help in stopping one of his alters from taking over completely. A masterful story in the larger world of the X-Men.

Hunt for Wolverine

(Hunt for Wolverine (Collected Editions) #1-4)

by Charles Soule (Goodreads Author) (Text)

The Synopsis

Wolverine is back – but where is he? Just as the X-Men have finally come to terms with Logan’s death, a terrible secret means old wounds are reopened, truths are questioned, and an epic quest begins across the Marvel Universe. But who will solve the puzzle first? Will it be Daredevil and his crack squad of investigators, including Misty Knight? Or Logan’s former fellow New Avengers, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage? Or perhaps Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike and Daken will be the ones to track him down! With mystery in Madripoor and around the globe, the return of Wolverine will keep you guessing! COLLECTING: HUNT FOR WOLVERINE 1, HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: WEAPON LOST 1-4, HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: ADAMANTIUM AGENDA 1-4, HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: CLAWS OF A KILLER 1-4, HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR 1-4, WHERE’S WOLVERINE PAGES

The Verdict

A great way to really cement Wolverine’s importance to the entire Marvel universe. Not only did he affect the X-Men, but his many enemies, the Avengers and the world as a whole. Getting to see the various perspectives of each team of investigators as they approached the search for Wolverine from so many different angles made this a truly one of a kind read. It’s a must-read for all Wolverine fans out there leading into the Modern Marvel age. 

Return of Wolverine

(Return of Wolverine #1-5)

by Charles Soule (Goodreads Author), Steve McNiven (Illustrator), Declan Shalvey (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Wolverine’s body has been missing. The entire Marvel Universe has been looking for him, because he’s a very important part of the Super Hero puzzle. And at long last, he will be found.

COLLECTING: RETURN OF WOLVERINE 1-5

The Verdict

One of Logan’s worst nightmares realized, the man known as Wolverine awakens with his memories hazy, and discovers he has been used as a weapon. As the mysterious new enemy slowly reveals themselves, Wolverine struggles as he is pitted against former allies, and before he can realize his full memories he is imprisoned and fighting to save the world from a deadly new threat once more. That’s why he’s the best at what he does. 

Advertisements

Wolverine: Infinity Watch

(Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1-5)

by Gerry Duggan (Goodreads Author), Andy MacDonald (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Logan goes cosmic! Wolverine has returned, alive and well. But hang on — didn’t he have an Infinity Stone? How did that happen?! And wasn’t he popping up all over the place for a little while? The answers are finally revealed as Logan joined forces with everyone’s favorite god of mischief, Loki Laufeyson! Wolverine is the best there is at what he does. But how good is he at protecting the universe from cosmic disaster? Will he be better or worse than Loki, the admitted lord of lies? We’re about to learn! But one thing’s for sure: Logan’s claws will come in handy against the notorious, unstoppable killing machines known as the Fraternity of Raptors!

Collects Wolverine: Infinity Watch 1-5

The Verdict

After returning back to the land of the living, Wolverine finds his return home is nothing he was expecting. Confronted by the events spiraling out of Infinity Wars, Logan finds himself presented with a mission by his future self from the end of time, and must protect one of the Infinity gems that has become a living human being imbued with its cosmic power. Faced with the merciless power of the cosmic enemies the Raptors, a destroyed X-Mansion and missing friends, Logan truly shines both as his own character and a force of nature in the Marvel universe once more.

Wolverine: Exit Wounds #1

(Wolverine: One-Shots)

by Chris ClaremontLarry HamaSam KiethRyan Stegman (Cover Art), Salvador Larroca (Artist), Scot Eaton (Artist)

The Synopsis

WOLVERINE LEGENDS, CHRIS CLAREMONT, LARRY HAMA & SAM KEITH REUNITE! He goes by many names… Patch…Weapon X…Logan…but most just call him THE WOLVERINE. Join Marvel’s greatest storytellers for three brand-new untold tales of the X-Men’s deadliest member. Blood, broads, and blades… you asked for it, bub!

The Verdict

A great look into Logan as a character more than just the weapon he was made to be. These unique stories never before seen showcase the hero’s complex, painful and emotional story from being forced to become Weapon X to his hidden past and so much more. A truly great read for Wolverine fans who can’t get enough of the character. 

Wolverine Vs. Blade Special (2019) #1

(Wolverine: One-Shots)

by Marc GuggenheimDave Wilkins (Cover Art)

The Synopsis

Two of the deadliest hunters ever to have stalked the night face off! Wolverine vs. Blade — ’nuff said!

The Verdict

Getting to see these two powerful forces of nature within the Marvel Universe not only interact, but battling one another is a Marvel fan’s dream! The action is intense, the new vampiric prophecy that brings them together is interesting and the new foe that comes into the mix heightens the intense bloodshed and intensity of these two characters. A truly wonderful and gritty read!

X-Men Red, Vol. 1: The Hate Machine

(X-Men Red #1)

by Tom Taylor (Goodreads Author), Mahmud Asrar (Illustrator), Pascal Alixe (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Jean Grey is back – with her own team of X-Men! Reborn into a world she doesn’t recognize, Jean gathers allies old and new – including Nightcrawler, Namor and the All-New Wolverine – to face an evil that threatens to tear down Xavier’s dream by any means necessary! The red squad must infiltrate a top-secret compound in order to save a mutant they’ve never met. They’ll have to avoid guards armed with high-tech guns, protestors armed with burning hate, and Sentinels armed with…even bigger and more dangerous guns than the guards. All in a day’s work for the X-Men! But as battle rages in India, the newest recruit may be the key to the whole team’s survival! Gambit finds himself caught up the intensifying global frenzy of mutant hate – but could one of Jean’s oldest friends turn foe?

COLLECTING: X-MEN RED 1-5, X-MEN RED ANNUAL 1

The Verdict

A one of a kind story that showcases the powerful character that is Jean Grey. For so long her complex nature has shown her as a powerful mutant, a founding member of the X-Men, a complex character overtaken by a powerful cosmic force, and a time-displaced hero trying to find redemption for her future self. Now the true Jean Grey is returned, and getting to see her become not only a new X-Men leader but the visionary behind a brighter mutant future is great to see. Having a new and powerful villain to match Jean’s own skill makes this an even greater read, and speaks volumes to the current climate in our world that sees too much violence and hatred towards specific groups of people. A must-read for X-Men fans!

Advertisements

Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith, Vol. 1: Imperial Machine

(Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith #1)

by Charles Soule (Goodreads Author), Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Picking up where Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith ends, follow Darth Vader as he receives his legendary red lightsaber and begins his ruthless rise! Anakin Skywalker is now more machine than man. Having lost everything once dear to him, he must forge a new future–as a Dark Lord of the Sith! Join Darth Vader as he learns the way of Darth Sidious and his newly formed Empire–the way of the dark side. And on his first mission, Vader sets his sights on a Jedi who avoided Order 66, a Master who’s long lived in seclusion–one more powerful than any he has faced before! Nobody said the path to power was going to be easy.

COLLECTING: STAR WARS: DARTH VADER 1-6

The Verdict

A great exploration of the very early days of Anakin Skywalker’s rise into the role of Darth Vader. Taking place shortly after the events that saw the Jedi Order destroyed and Anakin nearly killed at the hands of Obi Wan Kenobi, Vader becomes the frightening villain so many Star Wars fans grew up knowing him to be. The complex nature of this character’s struggles mixed with his descent into villainy shine through here, as do the early days of the Inquisitors and their training at Vader’s brutal hands. A true must-read narrative for Star Wars fans!

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #11

Justice League, Volume 1: The Totality

(Justice League (2018) #1)

by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author), Jorge JimenezJim Cheung (Illustrations), Doug Mahnke

The Synopsis

A brand-new era begins here! Comics legends Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung launch the Justice League into a cosmos-shaking mystery that will draw out their most terrible foes…in ways our heroes couldn’t possibly imagine!

The League was forced to make an impossible decision…and now its time to face the consequences! The returning Martian Manhunter struggles to protect the team from an incoming threat that will shatter the world as they know it, while a familiar face strikes out on a dark path…

Spinning out of the cataclysmic events of Dark Nights: Metal and the universe-defining No Justice, the core members of the Justice League–Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and more–are finally reunited for an adventure for the ages!

One of the most critically acclaimed authors of his generation finally scribes DC’s flagship title in Justice League Vol. 1! Collects Justice League #1-7.

The Verdict

A fantastic new era in Justice League comics, fans are going to love the return of Martian Manhunter, and the more chaotic, darker and visceral storytelling thanks to the return of the new Legion of Doom. Pushing the heroes to the limit, fans are in for a treat with breathtaking artwork, a large cast of characters, and new teammates that will bring new chemistry to the team overall. The writers do an excellent job of pushing the ever-growing mythology of the DC Multiverse as the Totality leans into an ever darker history that the heroes never realized existed before. A must-read!

Advertisements

Cyborg, Volume 1: The Imitation Of Life

(Cyborg (2016) #1)

by John Semper Jr. (Writer)

The Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

Half-man, half-machine and longtime member of the Justice League, Cyborg faces his faces a fatal systems crash over his latest indentity crisis: Is he truly more dead than alive?

Vic Stone is about to get a real-life 404 error when his father doesn’t recognize him and cybernetic implants that saved his life seem to be stripping away the last bits of his humanity. Will Cyborg’s human side win out? Or will he find out he’s really just a machine who thinks he’s a man?

From John Semper Jr., one of the minds behind the hit ’90s TV show Spider-Man: The Animated Series, comes Cyborg’s next adventure in his very own solo series!

CollectingCyborg 1-6, Rebirth

The Verdict

A well written narrative that explores a character often reserved for team-up storylines, Cyborg shines brightly as the reluctant hero who must embrace his powers, his changed life and the role he must play in his home of Detroit. With a fantastic plot growing between a long held secret of his father’s and the complex relationship Cyborg and his father have make this a one of a kind read that fans of the Rebirth era will love. 

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Communication Breakdown

(All-New Guardians of the Galaxy (Collected Editions) #1)

by Gerry Duggan (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Aaron Kuder (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

A new era of cosmic adventure begins! The Guardians of the Galaxy have taken off into space once more on their biggest and weirdest misadventures yet! Kicking things off with the boldest heist they’ve ever pulled, Star-Lord, Rocket and company blast their way through the galaxy -with the peacekeepers of the Nova Corps hot on their tail! And soon enough, they find themselves caught in a war between the Collector and the Grandmaster! Will there be any room to explain why Groot can’t grow any bigger, what Gamora is searching for, or why Drax has sworn off violence?! You bet there will – the all-new Guardians of the Galaxy has space for all your Marvel Cosmic needs!

COLLECTING: ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2017) 1-2, 4, 6, 8, 10, FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2017 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 1

The Verdict

Fun, adventurous and a great example of team building mixing with character development for the team that has become Marvel’s favorite group of A-Holes, (yes I included an MCU reference. You know you were thinking it too). Exploring the ramifications of Secret Wars on the new Marvel universe, the humor and unique artwork of this series brings the original chemistry of the Guardians into the ever-growing landscape of the universe as a whole. A great read for Marvel fans. 

The Man of Steel

(Man of Steel (2018) #1-6)

by Brian Michael BendisAlex Sinclair (Illustrator), Ivan Reis (Illustrator), Joe Prado (Illustrator), Jason Fabok (Illustrator), Evan Doc Shaner (Illustrator), Steve Rude (Illustrator), Ryan Sook (Illustrator) , Wade Von Grawbadger (Illustrator), Kevin Maguire (Illustrator), Adam Hughes (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

After revolutionizing superhero storytelling in such classic titles as Ultimate Spider-ManDaredevil and New Avengers, acclaimed comics author Brian Michael Bendis brings that same magic to the DC Universe with this explosive new Superman saga. Featuring the work of artists including Jos Luis Garca-Lpez, Ivan Reis, Jason Fabok, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Steve Rude, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire and Adam Hughes–The Man of Steel marks the beginning of an amazing new era for Superman!

A remorseless killer called Rogol Zaar has arrived on Earth, bringing wide-scale death and destruction in his wake. Only Superman and his cousin, Supergirl, stand between Zaar and the completion of his mission–the utter annihilation of the Kryptonian race.

But even as Kal-El and Kara struggle to contain this new existential threat, the world’s greatest superhero faces a completely different challenge in his adopted home city of Metropolis, where Clark Kent still lives and works–but without his wife and son.

The stage is set for a reckoning like nothing Superman has ever faced, and everything that matters to the Man of Steel hangs in the balance!

Collects The Man of Steel #1-6 and stories from DC Nation #0 and Action Comics #1000

The Verdict

A great new chapter in the world’s most iconic superhero’s story ever told. Superman’s life as a father and husband changes greatly, and not only do fans get a chance to explore what happened to change that, but they witness the emergence of a deadly new foe for Superman, Rogol Zaar. Exploring a new take on the destruction of Krypton brings about a new level of change personally for the Man of Steel, and his place in the DC Universe takes on a whole new meaning in this amazing story. 

Advertisements

Star Wars: Darth Maul

(Star Wars: Marvel Miniseries)

by Cullen Bunn (Goodreads Author), Luke Ross (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Raised on hate, fear and anger…steeped in the ways of darkness…and trained to kill! Darth Maul’s time as apprentice to Darth Sidious has long been cloaked in shadows – now at last his tale of revenge is revealed! It’s a story of rage unleashed as Darth Maul prepares for his first encounter with the hated Jedi. But when a Jedi Padawan is captured by sinister forces, why is Maul so determined to fi nd her? And what role will a band of bounty hunters, including Cad Bane and Aurra Sing, play? Get to know the galaxy’s deadliest Zabrak like never before!

COLLECTING: DARTH MAUL (2017) #1-5

The Verdict

One of the Star Wars universe’s greatest threats and a truly fan favorite character/villain, Darth Maul’s story and evolution as a character went from a one-film villain to an integral figure in the shaping of the entire modern day Star Wars universe. Getting to explore his growth into the villainous Sith he was in the Phantom Menace film to the deep seated hatred he grew to have for the Jedi overall helps showcase his character’s mindset and arc overall in the films, televisions shows and comics overall. A must read for all Maul fans. 

Weapon X, Vol. 1: Weapons of Mutant Destruction Prelude

(Weapon X (2017) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Greg Pak (Goodreads Author), Greg Land (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Decades ago, the Weapon X Program produced the deadliest mutant killers on the planet. Now, with more research, more funding and more Adamantium at its disposal, the all-new Weapon X Program isn’t just experimenting on mutants anymore…it’s eradicating them – all of them -using killer cyborgs that can hide in plain sight. Now it’s up to the uneasiest of all alliances -between Old Man Logan and his once bitter enemy Sabretooth – to hunt down the revived Weapon X program and stomp it out before it gets any stronger. They’ll need a whole lot of luck and maybe that’s where Domino comes in? But what could make Weapon X and its mysterious new director turn their sights on the Totally Awesome Hulk? The Weapons of Mutant Destruction are coming – and there will be blood! COLLECTING: WEAPON X 1-4, TOTALLY AWESOME HULK 19

The Verdict

A great story bringing together some of the best X-Men characters out of the infamous Weapon X program, fans are treated to a look at one of the toughest, most brutal fighters in the Marvel Universe. Fantastic artwork showcases the harsh reality of the team’s missions, and the dark humor that some of the team infuses into their dialogue that keeps the character interactions flowing smoothly. A great read in the modern Marvel era. 

Cable, Volume 1: Conquest

(Cable (2017) (Collected Editions) #1)

by James Robinson (Text), Carlos Pacheco (Illustrator), Ed BrissonThony Silas (Illustrator), Zac Thompson (Goodreads Author), Lonnie Nadler (Goodreads Author), Clayton Crain (Illustrator), German Peralta (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Speak softly – and carry a huge gun! Cable, everyone’s favorite time-traveling, cyborg-armed walking mutant arsenal, is embarking on a brand-new mission…with all of time in the balance! When Cable picks up the trail of a threat in the timestream, he sets off on a high speed, history-spanning chase to save reality as we know it. From prehistory to the modern day, whether it’s a six-gun duel at high noon or a sword fight high above the kingdom, Cable is the only man who can keep history from unraveling! The fate of all reality rests on his massive shoulder pads…and that’s exactly the way he likes it!

COLLECTING: CABLE 1-6 

The Verdict

Time travel is one of the oldest traditions in the X-Men portion of the Marvel Universe, and no one does it better than Cable. Getting the first adventure in this comic series to focus on Cable taking on a powerful new foe who is disrupting the time stream is a fun way of getting readers back into the complex world of Cable as a hero. The artwork is amazing and the story does a marvelous job of combing the past and the future into a seamless storyline, making for a fun read. 

Advertisements

Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 1: Life of X

(Astonishing X-Men (2017) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Charles Soule (Goodreads Author) (Text), Jim Cheung (Illustrator), Mike Deodato (Illustrator), Ed McGuinness (Illustrator), Carlos Pacheco (Illustrator), Ramon Rosanas (Illustrator), Mike del Mundo (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Charles Soule and a stellar roster of superstar artists unite to put the Astonishing back in the X-Men! An ancient evil is attacking the world’s most powerful minds. It will have them by the time you finish this sentence, and a moment later, it will have us all. A band of X-Men discovers the truth behind the threat, but is there any time left for Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Bishop, Archangel, Fantomex, Rogue and Gambit? In an action-packed X-epic, they must head to the astral plane in pursuit of…the Shadow King! But in this brain-bending mindscape, not everything is as it seems, and reality is a relative concept. Will this impromptu squad of X-Men be able to contain the chaos from spilling out into the world?

COLLECTING: ASTONISHING X-MEN 1-6

The Verdict

One of the most dangerous villains in the Marvel Universe makes a play for the Marvel Universe in this first outing of the Astonishing X-Men in the modern Marvel era. A unique collection of mutant heroes come together to face the powerful Shadow King, with the British government hot on their heels after a powerful attack in London. The rise of one of the most iconic and powerful X-Men comes full circle in this story, and introduces a new era of the X-Men universe as well. A must read. 

Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire

(Rogue & Gambit #1-5)

by Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Pere Pérez (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Everybody’s favorite X-couple is reunited! And boy, are they not happy about that… Kitty Pryde must send Rogue and Gambit on an undercover mission to find a group of kidnapped mutants. What they discover on this mission will shock them. But will it also bring them closer together…? It’s a high-stakes adventure caper that only the two hottest X-Men can deliver!

COLLECTING: ROGUE & GAMBIT 1-5

The Verdict

A fantastic character study of one of the X-Men’s most popular relationships, this series does an excellent job of delving into the history and power of the romance between Rogue and Gambit. From their first moment together and beyond, the two struggle as Rogue feels the relationship is broken beyond repair, while Gambit remains hopeful their love is stronger than the past. In the midst of this character dive comes a new mystery of disappearing mutants, a creepy retreat in paradise and experimentation gone wrong. A great mix of old school and new school artwork brings this story full circle. A must-read X-Men series!

Advertisements

Blue Beetle, Vol. 1: The More Things Change

(Blue Beetle (2016) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Keith GiffenScott Kolins (Artist, Co-Plotter), J.M. DeMatteisRomulo Fajardo Jr. (Colourist), Josh Reed (Letterer)

The Synopsis 

Bonded to the Blue Beetle Scarab, teenager Jamie Reyes has no idea what he’s doing with one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. But he’s in luck, because his predecessor–Ted Kord–is back in the DC Universe and here to serve as the young hero’s mentor! Alongside fellow teen hero Doctor Fate, this duo will have to learn how to be heroes on the fly!

Written by the legendary Keith Giffen (Legion of Super-Heroes) and illustrated by Scott Kolins (The Flash), Blue Beetle is back for a new generation as a part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

CollectingBlue Beetle 1-6, Rebirth

The Verdict

A great blending of generations of heroes, the story explores the Rebirth era origins of the mysterious Scarab that turns teen Jamie Reyes into a powerful force of nature known as the Blue Beetle, and the mentoring done by longtime hero and Justice League adjacent hero Ted Kord, aka the Blue Beetle. The contentious relationship between mentor and mentee brings the fight with the Scarab to the forefront, and the inclusion of longtime DC powerhouse Dr. Fate makes this comic filled with magic. A great DC Rebirth era series. 

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #8

DC Nuclear Winter Special #1

(DC One-Shot Anthologies)

by Dave WielgoszSteve OrlandoCollin KellyJackson LanzingPaul DiniPhil HesterMark Russell (Goodreads Author), Mairghread Scott (Goodreads Author) , Jeff LovenessTom TaylorCecil Castellucci (Goodreads Author), Tomeu Morey (Illustrator), Nathan Fairbairn (Illustrator), Trish Mulvihill (Illustrator), Dave McCaig (Illustrator), Veronica Gandini (Illustrator), Hi-Fi (Illustrator), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Illustrator), Luis Guerrero (Illustrator), Brian Buccellato (Illustrator), John Kalisz (Illustrator), Yasmine Putri (Illustrator), Yanick Paquette (Illustrator), Cam Smith (Illustrator), Jerry Ordway (Illustrator), Andrew Hennessy (Illustrator), Ande Parks (Illustrator), Dexter Soy (Illustrator), Mike Norton (Illustrator), Christian Duce (Illustrator), Amancay Nahuelpan (Illustrator), Scott Kolins (Illustrator), Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrator), Brad Walker (Illustrator)

Synopsis

The holidays are tough enough as it is, but when you’re living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (or, you know, 2018) the world can seem bleaker than ever. So do yourself a favor this holiday season, break out your best eggnog and enjoy 10 all-new stories featuring the World’s Greatest Heroes, including looks at the futures of Batman, Superman and the Flash, as well as many more denizens of the DC Universe.

Verdict

An expertly told, gritty tale with a glint of hope on the horizon as the post apocalyptic nature of these stories take on a holiday twist. Exploring the holidays throughout the DC Multiverse and how each character adapts to the holidays in these gruesome worlds was an inspired creative choice, and combined with the gritty artwork this is the perfect read for fans of the DC Universe during the holidays. 


Advertisements

Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1

by Amanda ConnerJimmy PalmiottiDarwyn Cooke (Illustrator), Mauricet (Illustrator), Brandt Peters (Illustrator), Dave McCaig (Colorist), Paul Mounts (Cover Designer)

Synopsis

A gut-busting collection of short stories featuring Harley and her special brand of holiday cheer! Can she get through Christmas dinner without blowing something up? Who will survive the war of the department-store Santas? Don’t miss this one—after all, you can’t spell “holidays” without “Harley!” (give or take a couple letters).

Verdict

A wonderful blend of humor and fun that only Harley Quinn could provide. A brilliant collection of Harley exploring the many sides of the holidays, and the way her unique mind processes the life lessons the holidays can teach us. A fun read for any comic fan during the holidays. 


Wonder Woman: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

(Wonder Woman (2016) (Single Issues) -1, 1-14)

by Greg RuckaLiam Sharp (Illustrator), Nicola Scott (Illustrator), Bilquis Evely (Illustrator)

Synopsis

The first two volumes of the NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author Greg Rucka’s return to WONDER WOMAN as a part of DC Universe Rebirth are collected here in hardcover for the first time ever!

After suffering an unimaginable loss, Diana must rebuild her mission as Earth’s ultimate protector and champion. However, in the midst of her grief, her Lasso of Truth stopped working! Start down the rabbit hole as dark secrets from Wonder Woman’s past unravel her present!

Flashing back between Year One and the current day, Greg Rucka and illustrators Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott weave together an epic of the Amazon Warrior, the likes of which have never been seen! This new deluxe edition collects WONDER WOMAN #1-14 and the WONDER WOMAN: REBIRTH one-shot.

Verdict

A brilliant new chapter in the long running history of Wonder Woman. Introducing the hero in the Rebirth era, the story focuses on two aspects of Diana’s history. The moment she joined man’s world and her impact on the world at large, and her understanding of her multiple origin stories and her mission to rescue an old friend from herself and in the process regain her true history. The artwork is reminiscent of iconic legends of Greek mythology and the story really draws the reader in, making for a great deluxe collection of issues of Wonder Woman’s Rebirth era. 


Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher

(Marvel Universe Vs. #1)

by Jonathan Maberry (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Goran Parlov (Artist)

Synopsis

The creative team of Jonathan Maberry and Goran Parlov take you on a journey into the darkest territory in this Marvel Knights series. A terrible plague has swept the Earth, turning everyone – human, hero, villain, god and monster — into sadistic cannibal predators. As Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Thing and other infected start a feeding frenzy, the world falls in a wave of insatiable violence. Now, five years later, one man hunts the wasteland that was New York City. One man stands against the hordes of monsters who hunt the night. He is the Punisher, the Last Gun on Earth. And he has an endless supply of ammunition. This oversized hardcover also comes packed with cover sketches and other choice extras. Collecting MARVEL UNIVERSE VS. THE PUNISHER #1-4.

Verdict

A powerful, gritty and surreal new chapter in the Marvel Multiverse. A universe in which most of the most noble heroes of Earth are drastically transformed into primitive, monstrous versions of their former selves, and the one man who unleashes his own monster in order to stop them. Exploring the downward spiral a virus taking Earth’s heroes would take, the volume explores the aftermath of this scenario more so than anything else, and the fight for survival for the few who didn’t get the disease. A great read for anyone who loves alternative Marvel histories. 


Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine

(Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine #1-4)

by Jonathan Maberry (Goodreads Author) (Text), Goran ParlovLaurence Campbell (Illustrations)

Synopsis

Last year The Marvel Universe vs the Punisher showed you the ruins of our world. Now witness the fall. NY Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry reveals the dark and terrible events that take us from the outbreak of a deadly plague to the beginning of the last war for planet earth. A dreadful disease begins transforming everyone -human and superhuman-into savage, nearly mindless cannibal predators. Who will protect humanity? Who will make a stand against the endless slaughter? Who has the courage to make the hardest of hard choices? One word: SNIKT!

Verdict

A fantastic continuation of this dark and gritty world. Getting the perspective of a hero who has faced death time and time again, surviving each time, as he faces a virus that not only destroys the body but the mind, transforming his friends into living monsters, is a wildly unique story. The fight for the survival of humanity and the battle against former friends and heroes who have become the enemy overnight makes this a one of a kind read, with visceral artwork that depicts the brutal new Marvel Universe in the perfect way. 


Advertisements

Marvel Universe vs. the Avengers

(Marvel Universe Vs. #3)

by Jonathan Maberry (Goodreads Author) (Text), Leandro Fernández (Illustrations)

Synopsis

In “Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher” we journeyed through the ruins of our world. In the Bram Stoker Award-nominated “Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine” we witnessed the fall. Now, Marvel presents the war. Some worlds can’t be saved…but all worlds can be avenged. Doctor Doom says that he can cure the cannibal plague that is consuming the Marvel Universe – but his price is to become Emperor of Earth. How far would you go to save the world? That’s the question the Avengers must answer! COLLECTING: Marvel Universe Vs . The Avengers 1-4

Verdict

The final stand of the Avengers in a world slowly destroying itself, this final chapter in the story of a Marvel universe ravaged by an unstoppable virus and the changes it makes in the heroes of Earth is one of a kind. The unique story of Hawkeye and his interactions with Doctor Doom as the surviving Avengers are forced to listen to the madman’s demands or face total annihilation is a fantastic concluding story to this tale. A must read for all Marvel fans! 

Posted in Comic Book Roundup, reviews

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #7

Batgirl, Volume 1: Beyond Burnside

(Batgirl (2016) #1)

by Hope Larson (Writer), Raphael Albuquerque (Artist), Dave McCaig (Colourist), Deron Bennett (Letterer)

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

Barbara Gordon looks to add a new bullet point to her already impressive Batgirl resume: travel agent. Having just (barely!) survived the Battle of Burnside and verging on an Arkham-worthy breakdown, the star pulls a Kerouac and gets on the road to find herself.

Follow Babs on her worldwide quest in Batgirl, Volume 1: Beyond Burnside, with New York Times best-selling author Hope Larson and award-winning artist Raphael Albuquerque leading the way!

CollectingBatgirl 1-6

Verdict

A strong, gripping return of everyone’s favorite tech expert and crime-fighting hero! Barbara Gordon combines the humor and wit of her day to day personality perfectly with the expert crime fighter and brilliant technical mind to create a fully rounded character fans can rally behind. Showcasing Batgirl on a journey of self-discovery leads to a run-in with an old friend and soon leads into a long road of training, romance and self-realization that is somewhat reminiscent of the journey Batman himself took in the years before he returned to become the dark knight of Gotham. It is a fantastic start to Batgirl’s Rebirth era storylines. 

Advertisements

Dead Man Logan, Vol. 1: Sins of the Father

(Old Man Logan (Collected Editions) #11)

by Ed BrissonMike Henderson (Contributor)

Synopsis

The writing’s been on the wall for months now…Old Man Logan is dying. And he ain’t going to get better this time. Sick from the Adamantium coating his skeleton, Logan’s search for a cure has led to nothing but dead ends. But for once, he’s actually trying to leave this world with some unfinished business. Can Logan take his last breath without slaughtering the X-Men again? Not if Mysterio has anything to say about it! The villain means to set in motion the mutant massacre at the crux of Old Man Logan’s apocalyptic future timeline. But is someone pulling Mysterio’s strings? The master of illusion’s newest benefactors will surprise you…and Logan!

COLLECTING: Dead Man Logan 1-6

Verdict

One of Marvel’s greatest characters developed over the last decade, Old Man Logan’s final chapter in his long life is a great story to be told. The story of a hero facing the final end he’s waited for for so long is beautifully written and executed, showcasing not only his mission to prevent the war he lived through from ever happening again, but the long road of acceptance that comes to those facing the end of their lives. A powerful hero like Logan deserves a final story worthy of the person behind the hero, and this first story arc in that final chapter is incredibly well written and engaging. A must read for any die-hard Marvel and specially X-Men fans out there! 

Iron Fist, Vol. 1: The Trial of the Seven Masters

(Iron Fist (2017) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Ed Brisson (Writer), Mike Perkins (Illustrator), Jeff Dekal (Illustrator)

Synopsis

The mystical city of K’un-Lun lies in ruins. The chi that fuels Danny Rand’s power is wavering. Can there be any future for the Iron Fist? Danny must push himself to the breaking point, finding rivals against whom he can prove his worth. But a bigger battle than he can handle may have just found him: On a mysterious island stand seven deadly kung fu masters. Can Danny run a gauntlet through all of them and regain his place in the world? As the game of death begins, the Iron Fist is in for the fights of his life – against the Serpent, the Wolf and more! As a dark history is revealed, the war for the chi of K’un-Lun is about to get very bloody!

COLLECTING: IRON FIST 1-5

Verdict

Visually stunning and amazingly written, this chapter in Danny Rand’s story is fantastic to see unfold. The artwork reminds readers of a gritty, classic martial arts film playing out on the pages before them, while the story expertly showcases Danny’s introduction to a whole new story in the K’un-Lun mythology, as well as the Iron Fist, as he tries to regain his power and return to the city he failed to protect when they needed him most. A blend of Danny’s humor in battle with his inner power and resolve make this a phenomenal chapter in the Iron Fist saga. 

Mera: Queen of Atlantis

(Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1-6)

by Dan Abnett (Goodreads Author), Lan Medina (Illustrations), Veronica Gandini (Illustrator), Nicola Scott (Illustrator), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Illustrator), Richard Friend (Illustrator), Norm Rapmund (Illustrator)

Synopsis

From the pages of Aquaman comes a brand-new adventure starring Mera, in her own title for the first time ever!

As the brutal Atlantean Civil War rages, Mera must keep the peace between the surface world and Atlantis as its newly anointed queen in exile. But when Aquaman’s brother Orm, a.k.a. Ocean Master, learns of his homeland’s fate, he feels he must return to Atlantis as its king and savior! But Orm is now torn between his duty to Atlantis and his love for his new surface family–and both he and Mera will clash over the futures they choose to fight for!

From the critically acclaimed author Dan Abnett (Aquaman) and Eisner Award-winning artist Lan Medina (Fables), Atlantis gets a new ruler in Mera: Queen of Atlantis! Collects #1-6.

Verdict

One of the best Mera-driven stories in DC Comics, this series does an amazing job of exploring the life, history and power of one of DC Comics most underrated heroes, Mera, Queen of Atlantis. Her blend of strength and resolve for her people and her limitless love for Arthur make her such a well rounded character and hero, and her journey to reclaim her power and her throne are amazing to see unfold. Even more, the complex nature of Ocean Master, aka Orm, and his interactions not only with Mera but the family he began to make on the surface world are great to see unfold, making for some amazing character development. A fantastic new chapter in the Atlantis history of DC Comics. 

Aquaman: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

(Aquaman (2016) (Single Issues) -1, 1-12)

by Dan Abnett (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Brad Walker (Artist), Phillipe Briones (Artist), Scot Eaton (Artist)

Synopsis

The first two volumes of Aquaman as a part of DC UniverseRebirth are collected here in hardcover for the first time ever!

Aquaman, the King of Atlantis, has never found a true home in either of the worlds that he was born of. In his undersea realm, Aquaman is both king and outsider. And on the surface world, he’s a hero and an outcast.

In this brand new series by fan-favorite writer Dan Abnett (Titans Hunt) and all-star pencillers Brad Walker (Sinestro), Phillipe Briones and Scot Eaton, the King of Atlantis attempts to broker a peace between Atlantis and the surface. But this noble quest might force Aquaman to finally choose whether to live his life above the waves, or below them. Plus, Black Manta makes his bloody return and seeks to destroy everything and everyone Aquaman loves!

CollectingAquaman 1-12, Rebirth

Verdict

This deluxe, double volume chapter in Aquaman’s Rebirth era is a great addition to the DC Universe in the Rebirth era. Not only does the story do a great job of exploring the rich mythology, culture and political intrigue of both Atlantis and it’s association with the surface world, but the story itself reflects the political upheaval that comes from nations like the United States interacting with a relatively unknown or mysterious nation that has yet to immerse itself into the United Nations. The fear and mistrust that comes from a nation of great power interacting with the larger world is a great concept, especially when that nation is the mythological Atlantis with a Justice Leaguer for a King and untold power at their fingertips. This is a wonderful start to Aquaman’s Rebirth storyline. 

Advertisements

Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Vol. 1: Berzerker

(Old Man Logan (Collected Editions) #1)

by Jeff Lemire (Writer), Andrea Sorrentino (Illustrations)

Synopsis

Fifty years from now, Logan – the man who no longer calls himself Wolverine – will have endured many atrocities: The Marvel Universe’s villains will have banded together and rid the world of its heroes. Logan’s closest friend, Hawkeye, will have been murdered in cold blood right before his eyes. And driven mad by the same radiation that gave him his superhuman strength, Bruce Banner will have fathered a family of hillbilly Hulks…that eventually went on to slaughter Logan’s wife and two children. But now, in the present, Old Man Logan wakes up to discover himself in a world before these atrocities, before the Wasteland. And he’s going to seize this opportunity and change history to ensure that his future never comes to pass…

CollectingOld Man Logan 1-4, Giant-Size

Verdict

A fantastic new chapter in the life of one of Marvel’s oldest, most complex heroes and mutants to ever live, Wolverine. Now known as Old Man Logan, this man from an alternate world and future where he lost everything and the world was destroyed by the villains of the Marvel Universe, this story does an excellent job of shifting back and forth between Logan’s history and past with the present day 616 Marvel Universe. The struggle for a former hero desperate to change the past and save those he loves takes an interesting turn as Logan slowly discovers not everything is the same as it was in his future, and the heroes of the Marvel Universe discover a man broken by the past and fighting to save the future. It’s a wonderful character study of Logan and his mindset after enduring more pain than any Marvel hero thought possible, making this a must read Marvel comic. 

Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 1: Rise of the Batmen

(Detective Comics (2016) #1)

by James Tynion IV (Writer), Eddy Barrows (Artist), Alvaro Martinez (Penciler), Raúl Fernandez (Inker), Brad Anderson (Colourist), Marilyn Patrizio (Letterer)

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

Detective Comics is back! Follow the adventures of Batman, the world’s greatest…teacher?!

The Dark Knight and series co-star Batwoman team up to take new protégés Red Robin, Spoiler and the villainous Clayface under their leathery wings! The only problem is, neither new super-instructor knows exactly what they’re in for as the attempt to train these would-be heroes before a mysterious army takes Gotham for themselves.

From the new creative team of writer James Tynion (Batman/TMNT) and artist Eddy Barrows (Martian Manhunter), Detective Comics brings back the characters you know and love and thrusts them into dangerous, new adventures!

CollectingDetective Comics 934-940

Verdict

A fantastic new chapter in the Batman saga. The biggest draw of this story is the character developments and interactions between the team Batman and Batwoman are creating. Getting to see each character introduced and fleshed out is amazing to see. One of the biggest shocks was seeing the beginning of the redemption arc for Clayface, and how each of these heroes interacts with one another. From Batman and Batwoman’s heart to heart and the beginning of their partnership, to the evolution of Tim Drake’s Red Robin and the shocking conclusion that left fans and the team reeling emotionally, this was a brilliant first chapter in the new Batman Rebirth era. 

Green Lanterns, Vol. 1: Rage Planet

(Green Lanterns #1)

by Sam Humphries (Writer), Ethan Van Sciver (Artist), Jason Wright (Colourist), Travis Lanham (Letterer), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Ed Benes (Artist), Tom Derenick (Penciler), Robson Rocha (Penciler) , Jack Herbert (Artist), Neil Edwards (Penciler), Tom Palmer (Inker), Jay Leisten (Inker), Keith Champagne (Inker), Rob Hunter (Inker), Mark Irwin (Inker), Vincente Cifuentes (Inker), Marc Deering (Inker), Blond (Colourist), Geoff Johns (Writer)

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

New Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz debut a new era of emerald greatness, tackling the universe’s toughest beat: Earth. These rookie Lanterns promised to protect others in brightest day or blackest night, but as the “Red Planet” begins to rise, the duo finds themselves confronted with an unimaginable threat from Bleez and the Red Lanterns!

Rising star writer Sam Humphries (Planet HulkStarlord) and artist Robson Rocha (Earth 2: Worlds EndBirds of Prey) put on the rings with Green Lanterns, Volume 1: Rage Planet!

CollectingGreen Lanterns 1-6, Rebirth

Verdict

A fantastic new chapter in the Green Lantern saga, especially moving into the Rebirth era. Giving Hal Jordan his own comic series to run gives room for the two newest and perhaps most diverse and engaging Green Lanterns to make a name for themselves. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz being partnered together to patrol Earth and the sector it resides in is a brilliant move storytelling wise. Each character is relatable in this modern age, between the cruel reality of Baz’s culture making him a target in modern day America to Jessica’s anxiety and internal struggles conflicting with her heroic nature as a Green Lantern make for amazing storytelling and character arcs in this series. Then making the Red Lantern Corps the hero’s first major foe as their partnership is just beginning was amazing to see, as was the shocking powers Simon Baz unleashed in the first chapter, making this a must read for any longtime Green Lantern fans. 

Advertisements

Avengers: No Road Home

(Avengers (2018) (Collected Editions) #3.5)

by Mark WaidAl EwingJim Zub (Goodreads Author), Paco Medina (Illustrations), Sean Izaakse (Illustrations)

Synopsis

The team that brought you AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER re-unite for an all-new weekly AVENGERS adventure! Night has fallen across the universe. Now seven Avengers – and one new addition – journey forth to bring back the light. But when the threat they face has destroyed even the Gods…will anyone make it home?

COLLECTING: AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME 1-10

Verdict

A fantastic story! One of the more unusual, fun and engaging heroic teams in Marvel Comics, this group of heroes are bought together to battle a threat unlike anything they’d ever seen. Traveling between worlds, times and events, getting to see heroes like Scarlet Witch, Hercules and Vision shine brightly as they are pushed to their limits of loss and must fight to keep the world and the light of the universe from being snuffed out. A great character study and deep dive into the mythology of the hero Hercules and the gods themselves, this is a fun, exhilarating and engaging read for Marvel fans! 

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #6

Nightwing: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1 (Nightwing (2016) (Single Issues) -1, 1-15)

by Tim Seeley (Goodreads Author),

 Javier Fernández (Illustrations)

Synopsis

Back in blue, the latest hit NIGHTWING series is now collected in hardcover in NIGHTWING: THE REBIRTH DELUXE EDITION BOOK 1!

Dick Grayson is his name. Heroism is his one true calling. To heed that call, he’s worn many faces. He was the first Robin and a replacement Batman, a superspy and a dead man walking. But the greatest of the masks he’s worn into battle against evil is the one he created himself–the one he’s just won a hard-fought battle to take back.

He’s Nightwing. And he’s returned to reclaim the streets of the cities he loves.

From Gotham City to his adopted home of Bludhaven, Nightwing is taking the war on crime personally–and he’s taking it right to the enemy. The all-powerful Court of Owls and their rogue agent Raptor. The old foes out for his blood and the new serial killer framing him for crimes he didn’t commit. Even his mentor, the Dark Knight, and his longtime love interest Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, won’t stand in his way.

Now more than ever, the night belongs to Nightwing!

Discover the start of an all-new saga in the life of one of comics’ greatest heroes in NIGHTWING: THE REBIRTH DELUXE EDITION BOOK ONE, from the creative team of Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Marcus To and Chris Sotomayor–exploding from the pages of the blockbuster DC: UNIVERSE REBIRTH event! Collects NIGHTWING: REBIRTH #1 and NIGHTWING #1-15.

Verdict

One of the few heroes who worked under Batman’s wing and managed to secure his own path to being a hero himself is Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing. The Rebirth era solidifies his push to identify himself as his own hero apart from his mentor and friend, Batman. The incredibly unique distinction in combat styles and approach, mixed with a creative new storytelling arc introducing new villains, iconic heroes and the reintroduction of the iconic city of Bludhaven into the DC Rebirth era make this first deluxe collection of the Nightwing series a must read. It has great character arcs, great artwork and a deep dive into the DC Universe as a whole.

Teen Titans, Volume 2: The Rise of Aqualad

(Teen Titans (2016) (Collected Editions) #2)

by Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author), Khoi Pham

Synopsis

The Teen Titans are settling into their new lives in Titans Tower in San Francisco…even if answering to Damian Wayne takes a lot of getting used to. But Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire and Kid Flash soon have a lot more than an overbearing Robin to worry about—a prison breakout has led to a string of disappearances, and some of them hit close to home.

Now, to rescue the kidnapped, the Titans will have to go toe-to-fin with King Shark, and the Titans are out of their depth…literally!

But a new teen hero named Jackson Hyde has seen the Titans in action, and he’s headed to Titans Tower to try to join the team. Will Aqualad be enough to turn the tide for the Teen Titans…or will the mystery of his powers unleash an even deadlier threat on the team?

Writer Benjamin Percy and artist Khoi Pham continue the DC Rebirth adventures of the heroes of tomorrow, today in TEEN TITANS Vol. 2! Collects TEEN TITANS #6-7, #9-11.

Verdict

A fantastic next chapter in the Teen Titans Rebirth era. Exploring more of Damian Wayne’s leadership skills and introducing Aqualad into the DC Rebirth era, it was refreshing to see an LGBTQ character like Aqualad not only get his spotlight in the series, but have a fantastic character arc that explored the real life struggles of meeting a wayward parent and dealing with the heartbreaking consequences of not being accepted. Exploring his relationship with his shocking villainous parent will keep readers engaged throughout this exciting new chapter in the team’s history.

Titans, Vol. 1: The Return of Wally West

(Titans (2016) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Dan Abnett (Goodreads Author) (Writer),

 Brett Booth (Penciler), 

Norm Rapmund (Inker),

 Andrew Dalhouse (Colourist),

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

Wally West is back in the DCU and he’s once again teamed up with former teen heroes and fan-favorite characters like Nightwing, Donna Troy, Arsenal and more!

Spinning directly out of the events of DC Universe: Rebirth, this new band of Titans are on a quest to find out the truth behind the earth-shattering, universe-changing revelations that Wally ushered in in his return to the world he thought he’d lost. Wally, Donna, Arsenal, Garth, Lilith and Nightwing are on the hunt for the mysterious force that erased their memories, forcing them to forget what they could accomplish together. Reunited with their memories returned, the Titans must destroy the interdimensional demon that broke them apart and threatens reality itself.

CollectingTitans 1-6, Rebirth 

Verdict

A great way to bring back the original Titans lineup and merge the past with the Rebirth era of storytelling for DC Comics. Seeing these friends interact and have their memories come flooding back as a beloved fan favorite character returns to the DC Universe is fantastic storytelling at its finest. The artwork is incredible, and the group dynamic is what really draws the reader in with the core members reuniting and finding what made the group the powerful team they originally were to begin with. A must read for anyone who is a fan of the Rebirth era.

Justice League: No Justice

(Justice League: No Justice #1-4)

by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author), Joshua Williamson

Synopsis

The creative team of Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV and Francis Manapul unleash new super-teams in Justice League: No Justice.

The events of Dark Nights: Metal have transformed the universe in ways both wonderful and terrifying…and unleashed four ancient entities with the power to destroy it all.

Mystery. Wonder. Wisdom. Entropy. These four forces govern all of existence, and now the godlike beings who embody them have awakened. All life is in jeopardy, and the only chance the superheroes of Earth have to stop the unthinkable lies in new alliances…the likes of which have never been seen before!

Superman, Starfire and Martian Manhunter search for the secrets of the cosmos in Team Mystery!

Batman, Beast Boy and Deathstroke battle chaos itself as Team Entropy!

Wonder Woman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon unlock bizarre alien technologies with Team Wonder!

And the Flash, Cyborg and Harley Quinn learn the astonishing truths of Team Wisdom!

Can these amazing new Justice Leagues stick together to stop universal annihilation? Some heroes will not live long enough to find out…

Collects issues #1-4 and stories from DC Nation #0. 

Verdict

A brilliant crossover event that pushes the boundaries of the known DC Universe into directions fans will not see coming. Returning an iconic villain like Brainiac and flipping the script when it is revealed he is not the biggest threat to the universe this time around, the story has a fantastic set of character arcs that see Brainiac separate heroes and villains alike into unusual groupings to battle monstrous and devastating entities unleashed from the Source Wall’s crack in previous storylines. Seeing these heroes and villains interactions make for great mythology and character buildup, and the side story being told back on Earth between Amanda Waller and Oliver Queen leads to a shocking conclusion for the DC Universe. 

Deathstroke, Vol. 1: The Professional

(Deathstroke (2016) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Christopher J. Priest (Writer), Carlo Pagulayan (Penciler), Jason Paz (Inker), Larry Hama (Breakdowns), Joe Bennett (Penciler), James Bennett (Illustrator), Mark Morales (Inker), Belardino Brabo (Inker) , Jeromy Cox (Colourist), Cary Nord (Illustrator), Denys Cowan (Illustrator), Willie Schubert (Letterer), Bill Sienkiewicz (Illustrator), Norm Rapmund (Illustrator), Diogenes Neves (Illustrator)

Synopsis

Deathstroke may be one of the most hardened anti-heroes in the DC Universe, but there’s no cutting corners when it comes to contract killing, especially when your family is on the hit list!

Confronted by his own troubled past and challenged to reinvent himself before he loses everything and everyone in his life, Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, finds himself and those he values most in the crosshairs–stalked by an unseen enemy.

CollectingDeathstroke 1-5, Rebirth

Verdict

Definitely one of the grittiest comics of the Rebirth era, the first story arc of Slade Wilson’s very own comic series showcases why he is one of the most ruthless and dangerous mercenaries in the world. A man with his own “unique” code, the story does a great job of thoroughly exploring the anti-hero/villain’s past and bringing out the complex family dynamic he has created amongst himself, his ex and his children, especially Rose, who finds herself more of an outsider than most in the Wilson family being a daughter from another woman Slade met. It highlights the complex family drama and mind games within the Wilson family and shows how even the most powerful heroes of the DC Universe should be wary of Slade Wilson, as few who have ever managed to go up against Deathstroke have survived for long. 

Justice League: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

(Justice League Rebirth: Deluxe Editions #1)

by Bryan HitchTony Daniel (Illustrator)

Synopsis 

The first two volumes of Justice League as a part of DC Universe: Rebirth are collected here in hardcover for the first time ever!

Spinning directly out of the events of DC Universe: Rebirth, a new day dawns for the Justice League as they welcome a slew of new members into their ranks. The question remains though: can the world’s greatest superheroes trust these new recruits? And will the members of League be able to come together against an ancient evil that threatens to reclaim not just the world, but the entire universe!?

Masterful storytelling, epic action and unbelievable art come together in Justice League from best-selling comic book writer Bryan Hitch (JLA) and superstar artist Tony S. Daniel (BatmanDetective Comics).

CollectingJustice League 1-12, Rebirth

Verdict

The first deluxe collection of the Rebirth era of Justice League was fascinating and enthralling. From new recruits into the League to the interesting relationship of the New 52 heroes merging into the Rebirth era and meeting the Pre-Flashpoint Superman, who has emerged and introduced himself to the world after the previous Superman’s fall. The powerful forces that are introduced showcase the need for this new and powerful roster of heroes to join together, learn to trust one another and fight off threats that could tear the universe apart forever. From grand cosmic tales to intimate stories of loss and grief fueling a threat against the JL, these first twelve issues are a great way to jump into the series. 

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad

(Suicide Squad (2016) #2.5)

by Joshua Williamson (Writer), Rob Williams (Writer), Tim Seeley (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Jason Fabok (Artist), Tony S. Daniel (Artist), Riley Rossmo (Artist), Giuseppe Cafaro (Artist), Christian Duce (Artist) , Carlos D’Anda (Artist), Jesús Merino (Penciler), Andy Owens (Inker), Fernando Pasarín (Artist), Robinson Rocha (Artist), Howard Porter (Artist)

Synopsis

The day that Amanda Waller has long dreaded has finally come to pass: the Justice League has discovered the existence of Task Force X! America’s paragons of truth & justice won’t take well to a government-sponsored team of black ops super-villains (with bombs implanted in their heads), but before the Justice League can shut down the Suicide Squad, a bigger problem looms: another deadly strike team is lurking in the shadows, one that could expose dark secrets throughout the DC Universe, with ties to the hidden truths of DC UniverseRebirth. Longtime enemies such as Batman & Deadshot, the Flash & Boomerang, & Wonder Woman & Harley Quinn will have to put aside their differences when an evil threat once thought lost to the DC Universe makes their return.

CollectingJustice League vs. Suicide Squad 1-6, Justice League 12-13, Suicide Squad 8-10

Verdict

This is a gritty tale in the story of the Justice League as the more grueling world of the Suicide Squad envelopes the team and a threat beyond anything either team could imagine emerges to take over the world. As the JL seeks to bring the criminals of the Suicide Squad back to prison and justice, the Squad fights to maintain their fight and right to stay on the team they’ve been forced on, all while under the orders of ruthless leader Amanda Waller. However the deeper threat of a group of villains so dangerous they had to be hidden away from the world and the one man dangerous enough to release them takes center stage quickly, and forces each team to determine whether they should fight one another, or join forces to stop this even greater threat. 

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #5

Supergirl, Volume 1: Reign Of The Cyborg Supermen

(Supergirl (2016) #1)

by Steve Orlando (Writer), Brian Ching (Artist), Emanuela Lupacchino (Penciler), Ray McCarthy (Inker), Michael Atiyeh (Colourist), Steve Wands (Goodreads Author) (Letterer)

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth! 

Supergirl moves to National City! As Kara Danvers, average American teenager and high school student, Supergirl must balance her life as a superhero with her new life on Earth. But some demons from her Kryptonian past are coming back to haunt her, and Kara will find herself face-to-face with her father: the sinister Cyborg Superman!

Critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando (Midnighter) comes a new beginning for Kara Zor-El in Supergirl, Volume 1, Reign Of The Cyborg Super-Men a new series that is sure to appeal to fans of the TV series!

CollectingSupergirl 1-6, Rebirth

Verdict

A well written intro to the new story of Kara Zor-El, the first volume of Supergirl’s Rebirth era kicked off with a major story arc like no other. With her father now running around as the Cyborg Superman, Kara’s inner conflict between the family she loves and misses dearly clashes with her love for Earth and the people she has sworn to protect. The emotional component to a major threat facing the Woman of Steel makes this a compelling story, and the artwork is vibrant and shifts in tone at the moments that will make the most impact to the story, making this a truly engaging story. Incorporating aspects of Supergirl’s television run in the Arrowverse, this is a must read comic for any longtime Supergirl fans. 

The Flash: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

(The Flash (2016) (Collected Editions) #1-2)

by Joshua Williamson (Writer), Carmine Di Gianmenico (Illustrations), Neil Googe (Illustrations)

Synopsis

The creative team of Joshua Williamson and artists Carmine Di Giandomenico and Neil Googe proudly present THE FLASH: THE REBIRTH COLLECTION—DELUXE EDITION BOOK ONE! Exploding from the pages of the blockbuster DC Universe Rebirth event, this hardcover collects the first two paperback volumes of the acclaimed series together in one volume for the first time!

 The Speed Force that fuels the incredible powers he uses as the Flash has been unleashed upon the unsuspecting citizens of Central City, creating an entire army of speedsters. Even if the Flash trains a new team of metahuman crime-fighters—a true “speed force”—will it be enough to combat criminals who have the same godlike powers?

 Plus, when Kid Flash decides to prove his abilities to Barry by investigating reports of a strange creature made of shadows in downtown Central City, he finds himself in a whole world of trouble…literally! Suddenly, Flash, Kid Flash and Iris West all become trapped in the Shadowlands of Flash’s old nemesis turned ally the Shade—only the Shade is no longer in control of his own shadows.

 Includes THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1 and THE FLASH #1-13!

Verdict

Possibly one of the strongest opening chapters for one of the DC Heroes in the Rebirth Era. The Flash not only utilizes the introduction of the Rebirth era’s most promising mystery, (the individual responsible for changing the timeline), and bringing the original Wally West back into the DC Universe, but also the first volume of Barry Allen’s Rebirth story brings new speedsters into the mix. Some rise to become heroes both in Central City and worldwide, while others become some of the DC Universe’s next great speedster threats. A big full of emotion, betrayal, love and secrets, this is a master class in storytelling and one of the best entries of the Rebirth era yet.

Batman: Night of the Monster Men

(Batman (2016) #1.5)

by Steve Orlando (Writer), Tom King (Goodreads Author) (Consultant), Tim Seeley (Goodreads Author) (Consultant), James Tynion IV (Consultant), Riley Rossmo (Artist), Ivan Plascencia (Colourist), Deron Bennett (Letterer)

Synopsis

The first crossover of the “Rebirth” era is here! As a huge storm approaches Gotham City, Batman, Batwoman and Nightwing try and prepare for the worst, but nothing can prepare them for enormous monsters rampaging through the streets! Batman will need all of his allies to unite in order to stop these mad science monsters from tearing their city apart! Will the Dark Knight, Batwoman, Nightwing, Robin, Spoiler, Orphan and Clayface be enough? And who is the mastermind behind it all?

Collects BATMAN #7-8, NIGHTWING #5-6 and DETECTIVE COMICS #941-942. 

Verdict

Probably the strongest way to kickstart the first crossover of the Rebirth era, DC brings the Bat family and new allies to the forefront as a battle is waged on multiple fronts. While one of the deadliest storms in years to hit Gotham forces the citizens to seek higher ground, Hugo Strange makes his villainous return as he unleashes the Monster Men, grotesque monsters made up of the bodies of victims left in the morgue. With the power to infect others and create more monsters, Batman and his allies must fight to not only help Gotham survive, but stop the monster plague working its way through the city. With allies targeted and possibly turned, Batman is pushed to the limits and learns how important teamwork truly is in this strong crossover event. 

Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition

(Batman (2016) #3.5)

by Joshua Williamson (Contributor), Tom King (Goodreads Author), Jason Fabok (Illustrator), Howard Porter (Illustrator)

Synopsis

THE NEXT PIVOTAL CHAPTER OF THE DC REBIRTH!

An unseen force has been manipulating our world. The only clue they left behind is a strange bloodstained yellow button. Where did it come from? Who left it here? The button could easily be the most important object in not just our world, but in every world – which is why the Reverse-Flash will kill to possess it!

In BATMAN/THE FLASH: THE BUTTON, all-star creative team Joshua Williamson, Tom King, Jason Fabok and Howard Porter answer the critical question poised at the start of Rebirth: Who’s been watching the DC Universe? Collecting BATMAN #21-22 and THE FLASH #21-22, the road to DOOMSDAY CLOCK begins here!

Verdict

One of the best crossovers of the Rebirth era has to be The Batman and The Flash in “The Button”. Diving head first into the mystery of the smiley face button found embedded into Batman’s wall in the Batcave, the mystery becomes deadlier as Eobard Thawne is awakened, his memories of the Flashpoint returning and his mission for revenge drawing him to Batman’s headquarters. The attack shockingly ends with Eobard running into the Speed Force to find the power responsible for disrupting the natural order of things, only to come back in a shocking way. The mystery takes the two heroes into the Speed Force, where Batman must confront a shocking figure and The Flash fights to determine who has been messing with the DC Universe as a whole. It is a stellar arc that brings two of DC’s most popular heroes together in a rare treat for fans. 

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Vol. 1: Sinestro’s Law

(Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1)

by Robert Venditti (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Ethan Van Sciver (Artist), Rafa Sandoval (Penciler), Jordi Tarragona (Inker), Tomeu Morey (Colourist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Jason Wright (Colourist)

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth! 

Hal Jordan is about to go from the head of the Green Lantern Corps to an army of one. Jordan’s long, illustrious–and tumultuous–tenure with the Corps takes several hairpin turns. At lightspeed. Toward a black hole. In a blender!

For starters, the Green Lantern Corps has disappeared, and now Sinestro’s own Corps enforces his uniquely brutal brand of law and order in the universe. As a result, Jordan has no ring to sling, or Sector 2814 (a.k.a. Earth) to protect. (So more of the usual for Hal!) 

Green Lantern veteran Robert Venditti teams up with Rafa Sandoval and Ethan Van Sciver to pilot Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps, Vol. 1: Sinestro’s Law!

CollectingHal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps 1-7, Rebirth 

Verdict

A fantastic start to the Rebirth era of the Green Lantern Corps. Not only does it return Hal Jordan to the spotlight as the most powerful and heroic of the Green Lanterns, but it doubles down on his potential as he develops a new power that even shocks the remaining Guardians. With a slew of galaxies in fear as the Sinestro Corps establishes themselves as the supreme law, Hal must face the might of Sinestro in a major battle to show the universe that the power of will and hope is far stronger than fear. Featuring the fate of the rest of the Green Lantern Corps and a new era in the Corps’ history, this is a must read for any GL fan! 

Doctor Strange: Damnation

(Doctor Strange: Damnation #1-4)

by Donny CatesNick SpencerRod Reis (Illustrator), Szymon Kudranski (Illustrator)

Synopsis

The city of sin gets its biggest sinner yet. When Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during SECRET EMPIRE, he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, MEPHISTO! The devilish villain takes the city for himself and sets his sights on the rest of the world. It’s going to take heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat him, but there’s nothing simple about fighting the lord of Hell. Who escapes alive, who escapes undead and who doesn’t escape at all? DAMNATION is going out in a blaze of glory, and you GOTTA see who gets burned!

COLLECTING: DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION 1-4 

Verdict

The Marvel Universe was left reeling after the shocking and controversial events of Secret Empire. With the heroes left scrambling to return the publics trust in them, Doctor Strange feels compelled to bring life back into the world, and does the unthinkable: brings Las Vegas back to life, along with everyone in it. However things don’t go as planned, (as they rarely do for Stephen Strange), and not only does he become imprisoned by the evil Mephisto, but the Avengers who come to his aid become pawns in the demonic villain’s game with the Sorcerer Supreme as well. That leaves Stephen’s friend Wong to gather the worlds best supernatural fighters and morally flexible heroes to gather in an unprecedented way, showing a new kind of team that is pushed to the limits and takes readers through some surprising twists and turns they won’t see coming. A truly must read event for longtime Dr. Strange and Marvel fans. 

Posted in reviews

Weekly Comic Book Round-Up #2: April 2nd, 2019

Venom: Space Knight, Vol. 1: Agent of the Cosmos

Written by: Robbie Thompson (Writer),

Illustrated by: Ariel Olivetti (Artist), 

Cory Petit (Letterer), Joe Caramagna (Letterer)

Synopsis:

Flash Thompson is many things. Soldier. Veteran. Double amputee. Guardian of the Galaxy. Host to a powerful yet newly tamed alien symbiote. Now Flash is tasked with being an intergalactic ambassador of Earth and an Agent of the Cosmos! Join Flash for high adventure in deep space as he swashbuckles his way across the universe! But as Venom travels the galaxy, helping the helpless and punishing the violent, he will go from Guardian to gladiator when he’s made to fight in an alien arena. And when facing an emergency on a planet of volcanoes, how can he serve as a Space Knight when his symbiote suit of armor is afraid of fire? And when an enemy seeks to corrupt the symbiote, will this mark the return of the big bad Venom?

CollectingVenom: Space Knight 1-6

Verdict:

While casual fans will more than likely know the story of Eddie Brock and his villain/antihero story as Venom. However modern day fans will love this story that brings Flash Thompson’s time with the Venom symbiote into the forefront, showcasing the character’s potential for heroism in a whole new light. Delving more into the mythology surrounding the symbiotes, otherwise known as Klyntar, the first volume of this series brings Agent Venom’s space adventures to a whole new platform. Heeding a natural call to help those in distress across the galaxy, Venom soon learns that not only are there others like him in the universe, but there are those seeking to use Venom as a weapon, and both Flash and Venom must use their symbiotic nature to stop this new galactic threat before it’s too late. Fantastic artwork and a great new story make Venom shine brightly in the Marvel universe once more. 

Venom: Space Knight Vol. 2: Enemies And Allies

Written By: Robbie Thompson (Writer), 

Illustrated By: Ariel Olivetti (Artist), Kim Jacinto (Artist), R.B. Silva (Artist), Ario Anindito (Artist), Java Tartaglia (Colourist), Andrew Crossley (Colourist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer) ,Gerardo Sandoval (Artist), Dono Sánchez Almara(Colourist)

Synopsis:

Venom’s new career as an Agent of the Cosmos continues with the hunt for Black October! Flash Thompson has been learning quickly on the job as a space knight in symbiote armor, helping the hopeless and impressing the oppressed across the galaxy. He’s even picked up a few new friends along the way, like sad cyborg 803, serpent-tressed Iqa, and mercenary panda Pik Rollo! But even they might not be enough to stop what’s coming. A fearsome new foe has set sights on the Agents of the Cosmos, and that means Flash’s training is about to get intensive. The reinvention of Venom continues!

CollectingVenom: Space Knight 7-13

Verdict

After the galactic battle that brought Venom into the Agent of the Cosmos ranks, the saga of Venom takes a whole new turn. The amazing storytelling here delves into Venom’s nature as a whole, exploring the darkness that consumed the symbiote early on in its life and showcasing Flash’s heroism and dedication to his symbiotic friend. Exploring the psychology of the symbiote and Flash brings this story to life in a whole new way. Plus, fans will love to see the brief crossover into the Civil War II Marvel storyline and highlights the deep animosity between the symbiote and everyone’s favorite web-slinger Peter Parker. A truly must read for any fan of Venom and a great ending to the Space Knight story for the character. 

The Life of Captain Marvel

Written by Margaret Stohl 

Illustrated by: Carlos Pacheco (Illustrator), Marguerite Sauvage (Illustrator), Artgerm (Illustrator)

Synopsis:

Collects The Life Of Captain Marvel #1-5.

She’s one of the mightiest heroes not just on Earth but in the entire galaxy! Now learn exactly how Carol Danvers became the woman she is — the Avenger she is — in the definitive origin of Captain Marvel! When sudden, crippling anxiety attacks sideline Carol in the middle of a fight, she finds herself reliving memories of a life she thought was far behind her. You can’t outrun where you’re from — and sometimes, you have to go home again. But while Carol takes a temporary leave from duty to unravel her past, trouble comes looking for her. A weapon has been unleashed, and Carol’s sleepy coastal town is about to become the center of its world. But there are skeletons in Captain Marvel’s closet — and what she discovers will change her entire life!

Verdict: 

A fantastic new chapter in the story of Carol Danvers, one of Marvel Comics greatest heroes. Author Margaret Stohl brilliantly brings the new era of Captain Marvel to life, showcasing the superb writing talent that saw Black Widow regain her spot in the limelight with the Black Widow YA novel series. Delving into Carol’s family history with her alcoholic father, and the strained relationship with her brother and mother, was a great way of showcasing Carol’s humanity and the person behind the costume. The shocking twists and turns in Carol’s family history sheds a whole new light on the hero, and will leave fans on the edge of their seat as the new era of Captain Marvel begins. A great story and perfect read as Marvel’s Captain Marvel continues to dominate the box office. 

Superman, Vol. 1: Son of Superman

Written by: by Peter J. TomasiPatrick Gleason

Illustrated by: Doug Mahnke (Artist), Jorge Jimenez (Artist)

Synopsis:

WE ARE KRYPTON

Part of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling, all-new line of volume one graphic novels, DC Universe Rebirth!

When the Man of Steel died defending his adopted home, it seemed that the spirit of truth and justice he represented was extinguished forever. But watching from the sidelines was another Superman-older, wiser, more experienced-with his wife, Lois Lane, and their son, Jonathan Kent.

Now this refugee from a vanished universe is stepping out of the shadows, ready to assume the mantle of his fallen counterpart and take to the skies once more as Earth’s greatest hero.

But he is not the only survivor of Krypton to make the journey to this reality.

The machine mind known as the Eradicator is on the trail of the House of El, and its hardwired directive to protect the Kryptonian genome permits no consideration for any other forms of life-not even those that share Kal-El’s blood.

Can the son of Superman harness his newly emerging powers in time to resist the annihilation of his humanity? Or will he be reborn into a new Krypton forged from the ashes of his mother’s world?

Exploding out of DC’s blockbuster Rebirth event, SUPERMAN VOL. 1: SON OF SUPERMAN marks the beginning of a new era for the Man of Tomorrow and a great jumping-on point for new fans-brought to you by acclaimed storytellers Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, Jorge Jimenez, Mick Gray, Jaime Mendoza, John Kalisz, Will Quintana and Alejandro Sanchez! Collects issues #1-6 and the SUPERMAN: REBIRTH one-shot.

Verdict

A truly fresh and original addition to the Superman saga. Brilliant storytelling showcases a world mourning the loss of its original Superman, and reintroduces comic book fans to the original Superman as he makes his debut in the Rebirth era. Showcasing the Superman we all knew years ago adapting to this new world while still trying to be a good husband and father is a unique way of bringing the story of Kal-El to life once more. From the deceased Superman’s allies trying to understand who the “new” Superman is and what is intentions are, to foes of the past showcasing the harsh nature of the former Krypton, this is a one of a kind story that really does a great job of kicking off the new era of Superman. The artwork brilliantly captures the non-stop action and heart-pounding drama as Superman fights to protect his family from a brutal threat that is both old and new. Truly great storytelling and Superman at his best. A must read narrative for longtime Superman fans. 

Teen Titans, Vol. 1: Damian Knows Best: 

Written by: Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author),

Illustrated by:  Khoi Pham (Artist), Jonboy Meyers (Artist), Diogenes Neves (Artist)

Synopsis: 

Exploding from the blockbuster DC Rebirth event, it’s an action-packed new spin on one of the most famous superhero teams of all time, from writer Benjamin Percy (GREEN ARROW) and a titanic team of talented artists including Jonboy Meyers (Spawn), Diogenes Neves (GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS) and Khoi Pham (The Mighty Avengers) comes TEEN TITANS VOL. 1: DAMIAN KNOWS BEST.

His father is the world’s greatest detective. His grandfather is the world’s deadliest terrorist. He is Damian Wayne, a.k.a. Robin, Son of Batman-and he now commands the Teen Titans.

Whether they like it or not.

When Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Kid Flash answer this brash new Boy Wonder’s call for help, they find themselves on the front lines of a war between Damian and his immortal grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul. The entire League of Assassins and the elite Demon’s Fist are prepared to move against these young heroes, all to claim Robin for their own. And if these new Titans are toppled, so be it.

The stakes are crystal clear: if they win, they live. If they lose, Robin will join the forces of evil-and the rest of them are history. But with Damian in charge, sometimes death doesn’t look so bad…

It’s a culture clash for the ages in TEEN TITANS VOL. 1: DAMIAN KNOWS BEST. Collects TEEN TITANS #1-5 and TEEN TITANS: REBIRTH #1. 

Verdict:

This is a fantastic new take on the Teen Titans saga. The dual nature of Damian Wayne shines brightly in this story as his years of training and experience clashes with the need to define himself and the desire for something most kids take for granted: friendship. The artwork is brilliant, capturing the bright nature of the team versus the dark reality they find themselves in. While this is the team’s origin story in the Rebirth era, this first volume is definitely Damian Wayne’s spotlight, and begins a new era of the Teen Titans that fans will definitely love. The writing is fast paced and challenges the reader to define friendship, identity and family, a great direction to take this series. This is definitely a must read for any Teen Titans or DC Comics fan. 

Justice League, Vol. 1: The Extinction Machines

Written by: by Bryan Hitch

Illustrated by: Tony S. Daniel (Artist), Sandu Florea (Artist)

Synopsis:

Part of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling, all-new line of volume one graphic novels, DC Universe Rebirth!

Superman has fallen. The Man of Steel died protecting his adopted home, leaving his allies in the Justice League to fight on without him-and leaving the older, wiser Superman of a vanished universe to pick up the torch.

But to Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the League, this new “Superman” is a stranger. And just like Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, the rookie Green Lanterns left by Hal Jordan to guard the globe in his absence, the replacement Superman has a lot to prove.

He’d better do it quickly. Because a godlike threat unlike any the League has ever fought is coming. Vast engines of destruction are about to be unleashed, remaking the planete s surface and forging its people into living weapons.

They are the extinction machines. And it will take every member of the Justice League to shut them down…

Comics superstars Bryan Hitch (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA) and Tony S. Daniel (SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN) join forces to launch a bold new era for comics’ greatest superhero team in JUSTICE LEAGUE VOL. 1: THE EXTINCTION MACHINES-exploding from the blockbuster DC Universe Rebirth event! Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE #1-5 as well as the JUSTICE LEAGUE: REBIRTH one-shot.

Verdict:

A story that holds no punches, readers are thrust into a world where one Superman has died, and the Justice League struggles not only with whether or not to trust the new Superman amongst them, but faces a catastrophic crisis as millions of people around the world are consumed by an unstoppable force of a cosmic scale, and the world threatens to tear itself apart. With some of the hero’s powers suddenly failing them and the team scrambling to find a way to stop this destructive force of nature, trust will have to be earned quickly and the team will have to recover from their loss before it’s too late. The artwork is eye catching and beautiful, and the story begins a new era for the Justice League that teases a looming threat and brings new heroes into the fold. A fun, gritty and fantastic read for Justice League fans. 

Posted in Comic Book Roundup, reviews

Weekly Comic-Book Roundup #1

As a writer, I am always looking towards other creative fields for inspiration. Growing up and well into adulthood now, one of my biggest sources of creative inspiration has been comic books. Whether it was all powerful heroes like Superman or everyday vigilantes like Batman, I’ve loved reading the stories of DC Comics, Marvel and more. The incredible world building, mythology and character development are part of the inspiration for me as a writer when I look to build my own fictional universes. For me and many others out there, comic books serve as the modern day version of Greek mythology, not to mention the other various mythologies of our world.

With that in mind, I want to try and start a new weekly series where I review the comics I read in that given week. Not all of these will be brand new releases. However I think comic books can stand the test of time, and I want to keep that storytelling power alive by sharing with you all what I read in the world of comics. So with that in mind, here is the first comic book roundup.

Thor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder (Thor (2014) #1)

Written by Jason Aaron

Illustrated by: Jorge Molina, Russell Dauterman 

Synopsis

Who is the Goddess of Thunder?

The secrets of Original Sin have laid low one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. The God of Thunder is unworthy, and Mjolnir lies on the moon, unable to be lifted! But when Frost Giants invade Earth, a new hand will grasp the hammer–and a mysterious woman will take up the mantle of the mighty Thor! Her identity is secret to even Odin, but she may be Earth’s only hope against the Frost Giants. Get ready for a Thor like you’ve never seen before as this all-new heroine takes Midgard by storm! Plus: The Odinson clearly doesn’t like that someone else is holding his hammer–it’s Thor vs. Thor! And Odin, desperate to see Mjolnir returned, will call on some very dangerous, very unexpected allies. It’s a bold new chapter in the storied history of Thor! 

CollectingThor 1-5

Verdict

As a longtime fan of Thor, I have to say that I personally was loving this new twist on the mythology. Already playing off the classic Norse mythology of Asgard, Odin and Thor himself, this new story showcases the god of thunder in a whole new light, as his power is bestowed onto a new hero, the goddess of thunder herself Thor. Playing with the mystery of this woman’s true identity, it allowed the Thor we know to take a hard look at himself and decide whether he was a hero without the hammer or not. Meanwhile, the narrative played well with the modern day social problems many women face. Told they can’t do the same job as a man and aren’t as powerful, the new Thor shows that she is just as worthy of Mjolnir and the power of Thor as the original Odinson, and more so than any other man in the universe. A hero in her own right, the artwork captures her raw power and the almost fantasy-like quality of classic mythology we’ve seen for ages in art. This is a must read story of female empowerment, heroism and adversity against all odds. 

Rating: 10/10

Convergence (Convergence 0-8)

Written by: Jeff King

Illustrated by: Carlo Pagulayan 

Synopsis

This is it! The entire DC Universe from the dawn of time through the New 52 stars in CONVERGENCE, an unprecedented event that brings together your favorite characters from every era and series—and none of them will ever be the same.

The evil alien intelligence known as Brainiac has stolen 50 doomed cities from throughout time and space and brought them to a place beyond the Multiverse—a sentient planet of his own design, a world with the power of a god. As heroes and villains from dozens of worlds battle each other for their very existence, it’s up to a ragtag band of warriors from a slain Earth to put an end to this threat that bends the Multiverse to its will. Reality itself hangs in the balance…

Existence comes to end and a beginning with writers JEFF KING (USA’s White Collar), SCOTT LOBDELL (SUPERMAN: DOOMED) and DAN JURGENS (BATMAN BEYOND), and artists CARLO PAGULAYAN (Incredible Hulk), STEPHEN SEGOVIA (GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS), ANDY KUBERT (DAMIAN: SON OF BATMAN) and ETHAN VAN SCIVER (GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH). Collects CONVERGENCE #0-8.

Verdict

A fantastic delve into the concept of the multiverse, DC Comics unleashed a whirlwind story of sentient planets, monstrous AI villains who sought to control, and a madman who’s quest for power nearly leads to the destruction of the multiverse. Meant to end the New 52 branding (not necessarily the stories themselves), this crossover event featured the heroes of Earth 2 as they sought allies across the other captured realities of Brainiac in hopes of returning home. The blend of stories and universes was well thought out and gave fans an opportunity to follow a group of heroes not always featured prominently such as Jay Garrick’s The Flash or the Flashpoint Batman. Now one critique I would have is if fans are unfamiliar with the New 52’S Earth 2 heroes or storyline, or the multiverse as a whole, it might be a bit confusing to follow the overall plot. Not as much time was spent exploring the character’s backstories (especially due to the sheer volume of various incarnations of characters), but overall the story still shined and laid the groundwork for the coming of the Rebirth storyline in the years to come.

Rating: 8/10

Batman, Vol. 1: I Am Gotham

(Batman (2016) #1)

Written by Tom King and Illustrated by David Finch

The Synopsis

Part of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling, all-new line of volume one graphic novels, DC Universe Rebirth!

He is Gotham City’s hero, its Dark Knight, its greatest protector. He is Batman. And he is not alone.

There are two new heroes in town-a pair of masked metahumans with the powers of Superman and a devotion to preserving all that is good about this twisted city. Calling themselves Gotham and Gotham Girl, they’ve saved Batman’s life, fought by his side and learned from his example.

But what happens if Gotham’s new guardians go bad? What if they blame the Dark Knight for the darkness that threatens to drown their city?

When sinister forces are unleashed that can warp the minds of men and make heroes into monsters, the time will come for Batman and his allies to decide once and for all: Is Gotham a force for good…or an engine of evil?

From the blockbuster DC Universe Rebirth event comes BATMAN VOL. 1: I AM GOTHAM-the beginning of an all-new saga in the life of the Dark Knight from superstars Tom King (GRAYSON) and David Finch (WONDER WOMAN), featuring an all-star cast of creators such as Scott Snyder (BATMAN: THE COURT OF OWLS), Ivan Reis (JUSTICE LEAGUE) and Mikel Janín (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK)! This great starting-point graphic novel collects BATMAN: REBIRTH #1 and BATMAN #1-6. 

The Verdict

Writer Tom King and illustrator/artist David Finch expertly bring the gritty world of Gotham to life in this first volume of Batman’s Rebirth story. Exploring the influence and inspiration that the legend of the Batman has on the citizens of Gotham, (whether it’s a young boy and girl inspired to become heroes or low-level criminals spurned into becoming deadly villains), this volume does a marvelous job of showcasing Batman’s hope for a Gotham that is always protected, even if he were no longer there. It also does a great job of showing how the most noble and heroic person is susceptible to negative influences, and could easily fall to the dark side, so to speak. It’s a haunting and poetic story of good versus evil, and the dangers that come from stepping into the role of a city’s hero. 

Rating: 10/10

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Travis Smith

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I got into writing about superheroes and philosophy after reading an article by Adam Barkman published in Comment magazine. I could give that a try, I thought. Why not? Barkman looked at superheroes from a “mythological” point of view; I would prefer to look at them from a somewhat more human perspective. When I discovered an article by Jonathan V. Last in The Weekly Standard that I disagreed with I took it as an opportunity to respond. Last argued for the timeliness of the Christopher Nolan trilogy of Batman films; I argued that Spider-Man was a better hero for our times, in commemoration of what was then the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man’s first appearance. Little did I know that this one article would lead to an entire book on the subject.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

University professors are asked to find ways to engage in the public dissemination of knowledge. Most of our research is written for an academic audience. How does someone like myself take what I study and teach in the history of political philosophy and make it relevant for a wider audience? Well, if Plato can discuss the popular heroes of his time, whose adventures are depicted in the epic poems of Homer, then why can’t I look into superheroes, whose stories have become popularized lately in so many feature films? I look at them to find out what they might teach us about ourselves and our ideals—who we imagine ourselves to be at our best, or who we would become if only we could be better than we are?

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I’d point to the value of thinking critically about the things we happen to enjoy, and the possibility of thinking critically about ourselves in the process. This is something we can do even with respect to our amusements—the music we like, the TV shows we binge on, the athletes we admire, the vloggers we subscribe to. Focusing on questions of ethics when doing so leads us to wonder: How does thinking about the character of this or that person, whether real or fictional, help me to better understand the worldview and motivations of people similar to them—whether that’s someone I’ve encountered in my private life, or public figures like politicians, leading professionals, or outspoken celebrities? What answers to life’s problems do they represent, and should we heed them? What does whether I like or dislike some particular person or character tell me about myself?

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

In the classroom, I draw on a lot of examples from popular culture in order to make old ideas and arguments seem relevant and familiar to my students. With respect to superhero stories in particular, I’ve read plenty of comic books over the years and re-watched the movies based on them more than enough. I put that hobby to use in Superhero Ethics.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would like to know why Tony Stark doesn’t share his most advanced technologies with everyone—whether they want him to or not. Why not save people from ever needing saving again through upgrades and alterations to the human condition? Not that I would want him to—but I don’t really understand why he doesn’t. That said, I’d be concerned that by pushing him on it I might inadvertently convince him to give it a try, or else stop playing the hero entirely. Either way, better to keep my mouth shut, really. The most interesting line of dialogue to me in Avengers: Infinity War occurs when Thanos tells Iron Man, “You are not the only one cursed with knowledge.” In Superhero Ethics I argue that Tony Stark willfully refrains from drawing the furthermost consequences of his views regarding human nature and our place in the cosmos—including, ultimately, that he himself is insignificant. He struggles with a nagging suspicion that his pride—which is substantial—is vanity, and all of his efforts and sacrifices are offered in vain.

I’d also like to hear Wolverine explain his fascination with Japan. I think it’s because culturally, feudal Japan is practically the exact opposite of present-day Canada. We can be glad that imperial Japan at its worst was ended non-fictionally and still romanticize traditional Japanese society in fiction as representing honor-based society at its best. Still, I’d like to hear Logan’s perspective on it over a few bottles of beer, hoping he’ll call me “bub” at least once—and that I’ll be able to sneak out the back door of the dive bar before the inevitable brawl gets underway.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Personally, I avoid using social media. I worry that it’s an engine of incivility.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Read. A lot. Read a lot of good books. Even books you imagine you’ll dislike by authors you expect to disagree with. For starters, read about Achilles sulking in his tent in the Iliad if you haven’t already. Also, learn to take criticism well, and be your own harshest critic. Reread everything you write, out loud, and ask yourself if it actually says what you want it to say in the best possible way. Always be revising but recognize that your words will never be perfect. Nothing that you decide today is good enough for now will seem good enough later in retrospect—and that’s okay.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Some people have asked me whether I’ll write about Superheroine Ethics next. Or perhaps Supervillain Ethics. What about something fandom-adjacent, like Pro Wrestling Ethics? Within this genre, I haven’t decided yet. As a professor of political theory, I intend to publish more on the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, including pieces informed by my analyses of superhero stories, on subjects such as bravery, magic, and the imagination. I’m convinced that Thomas Hobbes himself thinks he’s like a superhero or something.

Bonus/Fun Questions:

Who was your favorite superhero growing up?

On Saturday morning cartoons, I liked Green Lantern best, mainly because of Sinestro. As a teen, I connected most with Rogue. For over a dozen years now though, Ms./Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) has been my favorite. I await her feature film debut in 2019 with great anticipation.

Do you prefer Marvel or DC? Or do you find them to be on equal footing overall?

When I wrote Superhero Ethics, I didn’t just focus on my favorite characters. I wanted the book to be accessible to casual fans and a general readership. I didn’t want it to be accessible only to those of us who have read a hundred thousand comic books. My book might give the impression that I prefer Marvel, but my analyses weren’t decided by my subjective preferences. I tried to give more generous readings to characters who interest me less and be tougher on characters I like most. Speaking personally, I am a fan of both universe’s characters. I started reading comic books as a pre-teen at the time of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and DC successfully persuaded me to disregard the pre-Crisis multiverse as no longer relevant and too confusing and supposedly unsophisticated. As I have gotten older, however, I have discovered how fantastic Silver Age Superman, Flash, Legion, and Earth-Two stories are. I have also enjoyed exploring DC’s western and war genre comics, too, such as Jonah Hex and Haunted Tank.

Which non-Marvel or -DC hero do you think would fit into the ethical discussion of superheroes? 

Sailor Moon and The Tick were favorites of mine when I was young. Captain Planet probably deserves some critical analysis, too, but I don’t think I could sit through enough episodes to assess the character fully.

If you were to create your own hero based on the ethical discussions raised in your book, what would that hero’s name be, what powers would they have (if any), and what villain/threat would they face to mirror the challenges of our world?

I already have a hero in my wife. [Awwww!] Putting up with me and my hobbies has got to be challenge enough. And who knows what kind of villainy I’d be up to if she wasn’t always asking me, “What are you doing?!?” I try to keep in mind how Aristotle would have told Ajax to listen to Tecmessa.

Thank you, Anthony, for the opportunity to discuss Superhero Ethics with you. I’m glad that you enjoyed the book!

About the Author:
Smith_Travis
Travis Smith is the author of Superhero Ethics (Templeton Press). He received his PhD from Harvard University and is associate professor of political science at Concordia University. He has been collecting comic books since he bought Uncanny X-Men #207 with his allowance in 1986. His writing has appeared in the Weekly Standard and Convivium Magazine. For more information, please visit https://www.templetonpress.org/books/superhero-ethics

Get 50% Off Loads of New Reads at the First-Ever Barnes & Noble Book Haul Blowout!