Tag Archives: comic book recommendation

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #20

Justice League: Last Ride

by Chip ZdarskyMiguel Mendonça (Illustrator)

The Synopsis 

Once the most powerful group in the world, the Justice League was destroyed by tragedy and time, disbanding under a veil of mistrust and anger. Now, on the eve of the universe’s greatest murder trial, the League must come together one last time.

Can Superman and Batman bury the past before the cosmos’ greatest villains bury them? Learn the shocking truth about why the World’s Greatest Super Heroes disbanded in this unforgettable story by writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Miguel Mendonça!

Includes Justice League: Last Ride #1-7

The Verdict

The great divide between longtime allies and friends Superman and Batman is finally explored. The cosmic adventure sees Batman’s inner turmoil and struggles with the knowledge of the sacrifice he knew had to be made come to the surface as he clashes with Superman, whose sense of hope makes him bitter towards Batman for sacrificing a friend of theirs in the struggle against Darkseid. The drama within the fractured team and the almost apocalyptic nature of the cosmic threat facing them all make this such a brilliant story, and I highly recommend it.

Batman: Urban Legends, Vol. 1

(Batman: Urban Legends #1)

by Ben Abernathy (Editor – Series & Collected Ed), Jessica Chen (Editor – Original Series), Dave Wielgosz (Editor – Original Series), Matthew RosenbergChip ZdarskyEddy Barrows (Artist), Ryan Benjamin (Artist), Jesús Merino (Artist, Inker), Marcus To (Artist, Inker), Oclair Albert (Inker), Eber Ferreira (Inker), Julio Ferreira (Inker), Diogenes Neves (Inker), Antonio Fabela (Colorist), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Jordie Bellaire (Goodreads Author) (Cover Artist), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Cover Artist), David Finch (Cover Artist), Hicham Habchi – Pyroow (Cover Artist), Klaus Janson (Cover Artist), Annette Kwok (Cover Artist), Danny Miki (Cover Artist), Jorge Molina (Cover Artist), John Romita Jr. (Cover Artist), Alejandro Sánchez (Cover Artist), Nicola Scott (Cover Artist)

The Synopsis

Two of Gotham City’s edgiest heroes, Red Hood and Grifter, cross paths with Batman himself in this collection of stories from the new anthology series Batman: Urban Legends.

Two top comics writers, Matthew Rosenberg and Chip Zdarsky, enter the world of Gotham City with new tales of Batman, Red Hood, and Grifter in the first volume collecting stories from the thrilling new anthology series Batman: Urban Legends.

First, writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Eddy Barrows chronicle Red Hood’s investigation of a new drug in Gotham City called Cheerdrops. But this night will NOT go as planned–and as a result, he will end up back in Batman’s crosshairs!

Then, writer Matthew Rosenberg joins forces with artist Ryan Benjamin for a new tale of Cole Cash–better known as Grifter. Picking up story points from recent Batman issues, readers will learn why Cole is in Gotham to begin with. Plus, discover the truth about the mysterious organization known as HALO, and witness round two of Batman versus Grifter.

This title collects stories from Batman: Urban Legends #1-6. 

The Verdict

This gripping look into the many facets of Gotham City and its heroes, antiheroes, and villains is truly remarkable. The varying artwork styles and writing overall were a great way to introduce an anthology series into the DC Comics world, and the world of Batman and the Bat-Family is the perfect vehicle to launch this type of storytelling. The stories also seem to showcase the impact not only Batman has on everyone around him, but how he and the rest of the Bat-Family connect with one another, for better or for worst. The action and depth of character that Gotham takes on personally make it such a rich playground to explore, and the amazing cast of writers and artists did a phenomenal job of fleshing these characters out.

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Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley

(Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley #1-4)

by Amanda Conner (Author/Illustrator), Jimmy PalmiottiChad Hardin (Illustrator), Alex Sinclair (Color Artist), Paul Mounts (Color Artist), Enrica Erin Angiolini (Color Artist), John J. Hill (Letterer), Dave Sharpe (Letterer)

The Synopsis

Harley Quinn has avoided Gotham City ever since she broke up with The Joker — she found a home, and a kind of family, in Coney Island. But when she gets an offer she can’t refuse, she has no choice but to slip back into the city as quietly and quickly as she can, before anyone — especially her ex — learns she’s been there. But for Harley, as quietly as she can is plenty loud…and before she can say Holee bounty hunters, Batman, The Joker’s sicced every super-villain in the city on her pretty ombre head! And she only has one hope — it’s the only team tough enough (or crazy enough) to come to her defence — The Birds of Prey! 

The Verdict

One of the things that makes Harley Quinn such a fan-favorite character is her ability to balance humor and her surreal view of the world with the allies who get caught in her crosshairs. This story takes that all into consideration in the best way as the antihero finds herself confronting her past, facing the Joker, and deciding to take from him what he took from her and then some. Her reluctant allies prove that no matter how annoying or trouble she may bring, Harley has a quality about her that draws people in to help, and the Birds of Prey pull this narrative out so expertly. The wit and bright artwork are the perfect pairings to make this story shine so brightly.

Suicide Squad: Bad Blood

(Suicide Squad (2019) #1-11)

by Tom Taylor (Goodreads Author), Bruno Redondo (Illustrator), Daniel Sampere (Illustrator), Juan Albarrán (Illustrator), Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Wes Abbott (Letterer)

The Synopsis

The Suicide Squad are back, and deadlier than ever! The fan-favorite Injustice team of writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo reunite for an explosive new series, starring Harley Quinn and Deadshot!

Task Force X returns for its bloodiest mission yet, with a new team of unlikely villains from across the DC Universe! The Suicide Squad are assigned to neutralize a group of international super-terrorists known as the Revolutionaries–and the survivors are forced into joining the Squad! Who can Harley Quinn and Deadshot trust when their new teammates are the very people their crew was assigned to kill? This Squad might survive their next mission, but they may not survive each other–with a “team” like this, the body count starts high, and only gets higher!

Tom Taylor, the acclaimed writer of DCeased, delivers his flair for high-octane mayhem to the Suicide Squad in this new series where quite literally no one is safe. Joining Taylor is artist Bruno Redondo, his collaborator on Injustice, for a deadly new take on DC’s dysfunctional villain team.

Collects Suicide Squad #1-11. 

The Verdict

Bloody and gritty in its delivery, this story sees Task Force X take on all new heights. After years of being the personal hit squad of Amanda Waller, several of the key Squad members will find themselves facing the ultimate test. While I loved the inclusion of this new team of antiheroes known as the Revolutionaries, I absolutely loved the personal story shown of Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot. To see the desperation to be a better man and regretting his forced participation in the bloody nature of this team as he hopes to be there for his daughter added an emotional depth to a typically dark humor-filled story. The shocking twists and turns as squad members fall, and shocking villains take to rise to make this a must-read series!

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Harley Quinn, Vol. 1: No Good Deed

(Harley Quinn (2021) #1)

by Stephanie PhillipsRiley Rossmo (Illustrator), Laura Braga (Illustrator), Jay Leisten (Inker), Ivan Plascencia (Color Artist), Arif Prianto (Color Artist), AndWorld Design (Letterer)

The Synopsis 

Harley Quinn returns to Gotham City after The Joker War and has decided to turn over a new leaf and make up for the sins of her past by becoming its newest protector.

Harley Quinn here, to let everyone know that I’m starring in a brand-new graphic novel collection with a brand-new status quo. I’m coming back to Gotham City to make up for the sins of my past, and help the city recover from The Joker War!

But there’s no welcoming committee waiting for me, your favorite Maid of Mischief! And between you and me, some real creeps are working to keep the city broken. We can’t let that happen, can we?

Rising-star writer Stephanie Phillips, my new partner in crime, takes me into a bold new era with her partner in artistic crime Riley Rossmo, who I gotta say designed a real nice new costume for me. You’re not gonna wanna miss this one, folks!

Collects Harley Quinn #1-6 and Batman: Urban Legends #1 

The Verdict

Aside from the truly unique new take on Harley’s artwork and the almost Alice in Wonderland style it exudes, this comic book series does an incredible job of fueling Harley’s new pursuit as one of Gotham’s protectors. At least in her own unique way. Her hope to save former Joker gang members is a novel pursuit, as is her friendship with a new ally who is drawn along unwittingly towards her mission. Pitting Hugo Strange, another villain who showcases the psychology expert side of himself with the mad mind obsessed with another larger than life figure, against Harley as the rise of the Magistrate hits Gotham is the perfect parallel to Harley’s journey, and seeing her POV of Gotham as it wrestles with the recent years of tragedy it has endured made this a must-read story.

Death of Doctor Strange

(Death of Doctor Strange #1-5)

by Jed MackayLee Garbett (Artist)

The Synopsis

Doctor Stephen Strange is the Master of the Mystic Arts. Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. A one-man barrier protecting our world from all the nightmares, demons and warlords out there in dimensions beyond our comprehension. So what happens…when Doctor Strange is murdered? As his friends mourn — and his enemies rage at having been deprived of the killing blow — dark forces set their sights on an unprotected Earth. The Avengers…the Fantastic Four…all of our mightiest heroes are woefully out of their depth. Now, as the world’s remaining magicians race to protect our world from an unimaginable sorcerous threat, one very surprising investigator must unravel the mystery of Doctor Strange’s murder. But can he do it before his own time runs out?

COLLECTING: Death of Doctor Strange (2021) 1-5 

The Verdict

This was such a gripping and chilling Marvel read. Highlighting why Doctor Strange is such an important figure in the Marvel Universe, the shocking murder of the famed sorcerer not only features some great detective work but showcases how ill-equipped the rest of the Marvel heroes are to face demonic and magical threats. The shocking help of a powerful sorcerer of the past to help solve the mystery of Strange’s death and the exploration of how the Avengers and other heroes must grapple with the magical realms converging on Earth were visually haunting and gripping as a story. A definite must-read, especially with the horror-filled Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness hitting theaters.

The Darkhold

(The Darkhold #1-7)

by Steve OrlandoDaniel Kibblesmith (Goodreads Author), Jordie Bellaire (Goodreads Author), Ryan North (Goodreads Author), Mark Russell (Goodreads Author), Alex PaknadelCian Tormey (Illustrator), Jesus Aburtov (Color Artist), Federico Sabbatini (Illustrator), Rico Renzi (Color Artist), Claire Roe (Illustrator), Guillermo Sanna (Illustrator), Ian Herring (Color Artist), David Cutler (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator), Roberto Poggi (Illustrator), Matt Milla (Color Artist), Diogenes Neves (Illustrator), Jim Charalampidis (Color Artist), Marc Deering (Illustrator), Walden Wong (Illustrator), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

The Synopsis

DARKHOLD sees Doctor Doom unearth the ancient Darkhold, a text written by the elder god Chthon, and unintentionally opening a passageway for Chthon to return to our dimension. To stop him, the Scarlet Witch recruits five heroes-Iron Man, Wasp (Janet), Black Bolt, Spider-Man (Peter), and Blade. To enter Chthon’s dimension and fight him, the heroes must read from the Darkhold, which drives them insane.

Collects The Darkhold Alpha (2021) #1, The Darkhold: Blade (2021) #1, The Darkhold: Wasp (2021) #1, The Darkhold: Iron Man (2021) #1, The Darkhold: Black Bolt (2021) #1, The Darkhold: Spider-Man (2021) #1, The Darkhold Omega (2020) #1. 

The Verdict

Another great horror-themed Marvel read just in time for Scarlet Witch’s feature in Multiverse of Madness this weekend. The chilling look into the power of the Darkhold, a mind-melting book of a demonic elder god, will take readers on a horrifying ride as some of Marvel’s best heroes find themselves warped by the madness that sweeps them into their most terrifying forms. Seeing these heroes turned into monstrous forms of themselves and seeing Scarlet Witch facing not only them but the elder god himself made this story so engaging, and the beautiful artwork captured the terrifying transformation that these characters undergo. A definite must-read!

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America, Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez

(America (Collected Editions) #1)

by Gabby Rivera (Writer), Joe Quiñones (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

At last! Everyone’s favorite no-nonsense powerhouse, America Chavez, gets her own series! Critically acclaimed young-adult novelist Gabby Rivera and all-star artist Joe Quinones unite to shine a solo spotlight on America’s high-octane and hard-hitting adventures! She was a Young Avenger. She leads the Ultimates. And now she officially claims her place as the preeminent butt-kicker of the entire Marvel Universe! But what’s a super-powered teenager to do when she’s looking for a little personal fulfi llment? She goes to college! America just has to stop an interdimensional monster or two first and shut down a pesky alien cult that’s begun worshipping her exploits before work can begin. Then she can get on with her first assignment: a field trip to the front lines of World War II – with Captain America as her wingman!

COLLECTING: AMERICA 1-6

The Verdict

The perfect continuation of America Chavez’s story! Another great read for anyone wanting to prep for Multiverse of Madness, this story sees America at her best, fighting her way through time and space as she faces not only the past but her future. The exploration of America’s origins and the depth of her abilities made this such a great story, as was her more personal mission and look into her life, from her LGBTQ-driven romances to her friendships and yearning to connect more with the world she now lives in. A definite must-read!

Wolverine by Benjamin Percy, Vol. 1

(Wolverine by Benjamin Percy #1)

by Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author), Adam Kubert (Illustrator), Frank Martin (Color Artist), Viktor Bogdanovic (Illustrator), Matt Wilson (Color Artist)

The Synopsis

The best is back! Wolverine has been through a lot. He’s been a loner. He’s been a killer. He’s been a hero. He’s been an Avenger. He’s been to hell and back. Now, as the nation of Krakoa brings together all mutantkind, can he finally be…happy? With his family all together and safe, Logan has everything he ever wanted…and everything to lose. But he’s never been one to back down from a fight – not even a combined assault from Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth and Dr. Cornelius. Yet the fearsome Flower Cartel might have enlisted his worst and greatest foe: Wolverine himself! Writer Benjamin Percy (X-FORCE, WOLVERINE: THE LONG NIGHT) and legendary WOLVERINE artist Adam Kubert unite to put Logan at the heart of a criminal conspiracy that threatens to darken the Dawn of X!

COLLECTING: WOLVERINE (2020) 1-5 

The Verdict

This was such an inspired and captivating new chapter in the story of Wolverine. With so much of the mutant community changing thanks to the nation of Krakoa and the Dawn of X storyline, seeing Logan’s adaption to this new life while still maintaining his rough and tumble, take no prisoners approach to heroism made this such an interesting story. The inclusion of familiar faces and threats was great to see, but it was the inclusion of new characters like a CIA agent who brings a heartbreaking and emotional component to Wolverine’s new struggle that makes this story shine so brightly.

Moon Knight, Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission

(Moon Knight (2021) #1)

by Jed MackayAlessandro Cappuccio (Artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (Color Artist), Cory Petit (Letterer)

The Synopsis

The mysterious Mr. Knight has opened his Midnight Mission, his people petitioning him to shelter them from the weird and horrible. The Moon Knight stalks the rooftops and alleys marked with his crescent moon tag, bringing violence to any who would harm his flock. Marc Spector, in whichever guise he dons, is back on the streets, a renegade priest of an unworthy god. But while Khonshu languishes in prison, Moon Knight’s duty still must be observed: the protection of those who travel at night. But what happens when those he would save are turned into weapons against him? When gangs of elderly residents leave a trail of bizarre violence, Moon Knight must put his body, mind and very soul on the line to end the carnage!

COLLECTING: Moon Knight (2021) 1-6

The Verdict

With Moon Knight now officially joining the MCU, fans are determined to get as much Moon Knight as possible. This story does a great job of exploring Marc’s new purpose in the aftermath of his defeat of Khonshu, the god he’s served for years. After he was forced by the god to help defeat the Avengers and take over the world, he turned from his benefactor and helped put him away. Seeing the aftermath of that adventure and seeing Marc now back on the streets and helping the helpless was great to see. The exploration of another fist of Khonshu and the deadly arrival of a new threat made this such an engaging story. The visceral artwork and grittier nature of the character, as well as a returning face from his Avenger’s past, made this comic so unique. 

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The IDW Collection, Volume 1

(Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The IDW Collection #1)

by Kevin Eastman (Writer), Tom Waltz (Writer), Brian Lynch (Writer), Erik Burnham (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Bobby Curnow (Writer), Dan Duncan (Illustrator), Franco Urru (Illustrator), Andy Kuhn (Illustrator), Sophie Campbell (Illustrator), Valerio Schiti (Illustrator), Charles Paul Wilson III (Illustrator), Mateus Santolouco (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

IDW’s re-launch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been a hit with fans and critics alike. Now, collect the series in all-new oversized hardcovers that present the stories in recommended reading order. Collects the first 12 issues of the new ongoing series plus the Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Splinter Micro-Series one-shots spliced in between.

The Verdict

One of my favorite film series as a child was the iconic and classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle live-action films. The action, the humor, and the villains all drew me into this wild and incredible world. This collection from the IDW run of the heroes in a half-shell was able to capture the magic of those films while also crafting a somewhat more mature and gritty writing and artwork style. The origin story that the writers came up with exploring a past life’s situation as a means of exploring their natural tendencies towards heroism was great to see, and the overwhelming sense of family and belonging the themes of this series explored was amazing to see. Fun, witty, and action-packed, this is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at their best!

The Apocalypse Suite

(The Umbrella Academy #1)

by Gerard Way (Writer), Gabriel Bá (Artist), Dave Stewart (Colourist)

The Synopsis

In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.”

These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.

Collecting: The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite 1-6, as well as out-of-print short stories and an expanded sketchbook section featuring work by Gabriel Bá, James Jean, and Gerard Way.

The Verdict

I absolutely loved this first volume in the series that inspired the Netflix original series. The almost steampunk artwork style and the family tension and drama made for a fun and exhilarating read. The exploration of past memories that featured old villains the group of teen heroes faced was a welcome addition to the story that the show hadn’t focused on yet, and the fast-paced nature of the narrative kept readers on the edge of their seats throughout this volume. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #19

Harleen

(Harleen #1-3)

by Stjepan Šejić

The Synopsis

Dr. Harleen Quinzel has a theory: mental illness is a survival mechanism. As she seeks to help the broken souls of Gotham City piece together their sanity she will become the one thing she fears the most: one of them. A bold new retelling of the tragic origin of Harley Quinn told through the eyes of the only person who knows her better than anyone: Harleen.

A young psychiatrist with a potential cure for the madness that haunts Gotham City, Dr. Harleen Quinzel must prove her revolutionary theory to a skeptical establishment by delving into the disturbed minds of Arkham Asylum’s deadliest inmates. But the more time she spends with her criminally insane subjects, the closer she is drawn to one patient in particular–and the further she falls away from reality. The birth of legendary antihero Harley Quinn and the shocking origins of her twisted romance with the Joker are revealed in Harleen, a stunning new tale of love and obsession written and illustrated by renowned comics storyteller Stjepan Sejic (Aquaman: Underworld, Sunstone).

Collects: Harleen #1-3.

The Verdict

A brilliant and visceral look into the woman who became Harley Quinn. Before the madness and before the haze lifted and she ended her toxic relationship with The Joker, there was a brilliant young woman who sought to end the cycle of violence infecting particular mental health cases. The heart and emotional depths of this story are well balanced with the striking imagery and thriller elements of this more mature and heart-pounding narrative. 

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Titans: Burning Rage

by Dan JurgensScott Eaton (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Fan-favorite writer Dan Jurgens continues his popular run starring the world’s most powerful teenagers!

Paranoia rules the streets while crime-fighting couple Hawk and Dove lead ordinary citizens in an uprising against the rich–but former Doom Patrol member Mento is pulling their strings! It’s up to the Titans to try and uncover his sinister purpose and keep peace before someone gets killed!

Collects issues #1-5 of TITANS: BURNING RAGE from DC’s popular Titans Giant.

The Verdict

A fantastic look into the heart of the Teen Titans, the author did a brilliant job of crafting a narrative that redefined what family truly means and the dangers of what the feelings of being an outsider and having a crisis identity can do to a person. With great action and showing the power the team has on their own without the Justice League backing them up, this was a promising read.

Batman: The Adventures Continue, Season One

(Batman: The Adventures Continue #1-8)

by Alan BurnettPaul DiniTy Templeton (Artist), Mark Morales (Illustrator), Sean Parsons (Illustrator), Monica Kubina (Colorist), Josh Reed (Letterer)

The Synopsis

From Alan Burnett and Paul Dini, the visionary producers of Batman: The Animated Series, comes a collection of all-new stories and adventures that turn Batman’s world upside down!

Starting off with an attack on S.T.A.R. Labs in Gotham City by a giant robot that steals an entire room of the laboratory! Batman is going to have to stop it before it can cause more harm… and with Lex Luthor freshly back in Gotham, he knows where to start his search. Will Batman be able to topple the billionaire before he leaves Gotham?

Collects Batman: The Adventures Continue #1-8.

The Verdict

I grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series. The impact that had on me would influence my love of comic books and all things DC Comics for the rest of my life. From the stoic heroism of Kevin Conroy’s Batman to the sinister and chillingly captivating villainy of Mark Hamill’s Joker, this world was rife with comic book goodness. The continuation of this series was perfect and captured the tone and noir atmosphere of the show as well as the campy superhero adventuring. The artwork was stunning and the incorporation of larger DCAU elements was great to see here. A definite must-read for die-hard Batman fans.

Batman: Noël

(Batman)

by Lee BermejoJim Lee (Foreword)

The Synopsis

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BestsellerInspired by Charles Dickens’ immortal classic A Christmas Carol, BATMAN: NOEL features different interpretations of The Dark Knight, along with his enemies and allies, in different eras.

Along the way, Batman must come to terms with his past, present and future as he battles villains from the campy 1960s to dark and brooding menaces of today, while exploring what it means to be the hero that he is. Members of Batman’s supporting cast enact roles analogous to those from A Christmas Carol, with Robin, Catwoman, Superman, The Joker and more playing roles that will be familiar to anyone who knows Dickens’ original holiday tale.

The Verdict

As a longtime fan of both Batman comics and the classic Christmas Carol story, I thought this gritty and Dickinson-esque story to be quite entertaining. The perfect read for fans of iconic ghost stories meeting equally iconic comic book characters, the narrative was matched by the equally cold yet emotionally-driven artwork. For years fans of the comics have known the stoic and at first glance stone-cold demeanor of Batman, but watching the story peel back the layers of this man’s determination and cynicism was amazing to behold. A definite must-read during the holidays!

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The Joker, Vol. 1

(The Joker (2021) #1-6)

by James Tynion IVGuillem March (Illustrator), Matthew RosenbergFrancesco Francavilla (Illustrator), Arif Prianto (Colorist), Tomeu Morey (Colorist), Tom Napolitano (Letterer), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

The Synopsis

Batman: The Joker War was only the beginning!

Arkham Asylum has been attacked and all eyes are on the Joker. A mysterious benefactor hires former Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon to go on a global manhunt to catch…and possibly kill…the Clown Prince of Crime!

But nothing with the Joker is ever as easy as it seems. What Gordon finds and what the Joker wants him to see…will change his perspective on the world forever. And he’s not the only one who wants the Joker found…

Who are the wicked Sampson family? And who is Vengeance, daughter of Bane, striking fear into the world’s heart?!

Brought to you by the all-star creative team behind Batman: Their Dark Designs, James Tynion IV and Guillem March, this volume includes a special Year One flashback issue co-written with Matthew Rosenberg (Legends of the Dark Knight) and Francesco Francavilla (Batman: The Black Mirror).

Collects: The Joker #1-5, plus Joker stories from Batman #100 and Batman: The Joker War Zone.

The Verdict

As a longtime fan of stories involving the Joker, whom I consider to be one of literature’s greatest and most complex villains, it was amazing to see the approach the authors took to a series dedicated to the Joker. The man’s legacy for heinous crimes defines the narrative, focusing on those who have been pushed too far by his actions as they seek to end his life, while alluding to a deeper mystery and showing off the never-ending depths of the man’s evil. The most fascinating aspects of this series have been the close examination of whether or not the Joker is truly “insane”, or just pure evil, as well as the personal examination of Jim Gordon as a person and not just the personal link between Batman and the Police. It was an incredible story.

Superman: Year One

(Superman: Year One #1-3)

by Frank MillerJohn Romita Jr.

The Synopsis

From legendary writer Frank Miller comes a groundbreaking, definitive treatment of Superman’s classic origin story, with art by John Romita Jr.

From the collapsing spires of Krypton to the bucolic fields of Kansas, from the submerged splendors of Atlantis to the chaotic energy of the Daily Planet, the story of Clark Kent, last son of the House of El, is the stuff of legend. Now, two of comics’ greatest creators join forces to bring a bold new vision of the Man of Steel’s origin to life.

With Superman: Year One, writer Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Ronin, Sin City), and artist, John Romita Jr. (Iron Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, Kick-Ass) bring their renowned storytelling talents to bear as they reimagine the formative trials that young Clark must undergo to claim his place I our world.

As he learns to balance the grave responsibilities of his powers against their limitless possibilities, Clark must also build his humanity just like everybody else-one relationship at a time. Greater than a super-powered adventure, more powerful than a coming-of-age tale, Superman: Year One is a visceral exploration of the fundamental importance of choice in this American icon’s journey into heroism.

The Verdict

The balance of light, hope, and heroism with the mature and gritty world-building that Frank Miller has become known for over the years was felt deeply in this story. The exploration of Superman’s earliest years, from his flight from a dying Krypton to a high school experience standing up to bullies, finding young love, and more, was truly captivating. The unique changes to Superman’s origins, from his decision to join the military and train like a soldier to his experiences with an underwater society and his introduction to Batman, Wonder Woman, and the larger DC Universe, really were balanced out with the warm artwork that draws the reader into the narrative further. 

Thor by Donnny Cates, Vol. 1: The Devourer King

(Thor by Donny Cates #1)

by Donny CatesNic Klein (Artist)

The Synopsis

The prince is now a king. All Asgard lies before Thor, the God of Thunder. And after many months of war, the Ten Realms are finally at peace. But the skies above the Realm Eternal are never clear for long. The Black Winter is coming. And the God of the Storm will be powerless before it. Before him lies the Black Winter; behind, a trail of death wrought by his own hand. The God of Thunder hurtles through the cosmos, searching for the power to save Asgard and all existence. But no power in the heavens can save a god – a king – from his bloody duty. COLLECTING: THOR (2020) 1-5 

The Verdict

A brave new world emerges out of the War of the Realms! Thor is now king of Asgard, and the exploration of his psyche and his responsibilities now in the face of that new role is so fantastic to read and watch unfold. The decision-making of the hero and the awe-inspiring power he wields is matched by the much grander threats he must now face. The artwork makes readers feel drawn into an Old Norse mythological tale, while the events themselves are very cosmic and multiversal in nature (a great little nod to showing how Marvel and DC’s omniverses could be connected). A gripping and awesome must-read tale for fans of Thor!

Loki: The God Who Fell to Earth

(Loki (2019) #1-5)

by Daniel Kibblesmith (Goodreads Author), Oscar Bazaldua (Illustrations), Andy MacDonald (Illustrations), Victor Olazaba (Inker), David Curiel (Colors), Carlos López (Colors), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

Loki is…Earth’s Mightiest Hero?! After dying a grisly death in WAR OF THE REALMS, the reborn Trickster learned a valuable lesson in warmongering: Don’t get caught. But now Loki has a whole new set of responsibilities – and his brother Thor isn’t about to let him walk away from them. Restless with his new duties, Loki seeks out the advice of the closest thing Midgard has to a king – Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man! Close enough, right? But it turns out that Shell-head isn’t too happy to see Loki, on account of all that stuff he did in the past. Now the God of Mischief/Stories/Evil/Chaos has to outsmart the cleverest man on Earth – or die (again) trying. Meanwhile, could Thor be hatching a mischievous plot of his own? COLLECTING: LOKI (2019) 1-5, MATERIAL FROM WAR OF THE REALMS: OMEGA (2019) 1

The Verdict

Loki’s heroic journey is what Marvel fans have been dying to read. The most beloved and engaging villain in Marvel’s long history, the trickster is no more, and the storyteller has arrived. Seeking his own story, readers have treated to a fantastic and fresh take on a new hero’s emergence and the journey it takes to reach that role. Pitting Loki against a powerful cosmic foe and seeing his interactions with Tony Stark were both humorous and captivating, and the rich mythos blended with the colorful artwork so well. 

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Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Monster Squad

(Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-6)

by Frank J. Barbiere (Goodreads Author), Brent Schoonover (Illustrations), Al Ewing (Text), Stefano Caselli (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Hidden deep beneath Area 13 lies the clandestine headquarters of S.T.A.K.E. – a top secret division of S.H.I.E.L.D. that houses aliens, mythical beasts and all manner of extra-normals. Now, under the command of legendary soldier – and newly resurrected Life Model Decoy – Dum Dum Dugan, these monsters step out of the shadows and defend the world against threats too dangerous for normal men as the All-New, All-Different, all-too-literal Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.! COLLECTING: HOWLING COMMANDOS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. 1-5, MATERIAL FROM S.H.I.E.L.D. 9

The Verdict

A fantastic look into the supernatural and horror aspects of the Marvel Universe and how it impacts the broader Marvel Universe overall! The more muted and haunted artwork compliments the mythos-heavy storyline and exploring what it means to be a “monster” in the Marvel universe was so fascinating to read. The deep-cut villains that are explored here really make this an unusual yet powerful story to dive into.

Non-Stop Spider-Man, Vol. 1: Big Brain Play

(Non-Stop Spider-Man #1)

by Joe KellyChris Bachalo (Visual Art)

The Synopsis

Buckle up, tiger! Get ready for the most action-packed, pulse-pounding, adrenaline-pumping comic of all time! Once you read page one, panel one, Spider-Man just does not stop! A mystery at Empire State University thrusts the webslinger into a thrilling adventure that starts in uptown Manhattan and takes him around the world — pitting Spidey against Marvel villains old and new and giving you a Spider-Man adventure (and a Spider-Man) the likes of which you’ve never seen! Something terrible is happening to ESU’s students — some of New York’s brightest young minds — and to save the day this time is going to take a side of Peter Parker that neither you nor Peter thought existed. And the clock is ticking! This book is not for the faint of heart, so check with your doctor before reading!

COLLECTING: Non-Stop Spider-Man (2021) 1-5

The Verdict

A much more intimate and unique story for longtime fans of Spider-Man, the look into life for Peter as a college student and getting to see how the pressures of school or university life can impact students while paired with a superhero world and advanced tech made this such a captivating story. The bright and colorful artwork blended well with the fast-paced action, and made for a truly memorable experience, especially with the shocking villains Spidey had to face. 

Sinister War

(Amazing Spider-Man (2018) (Collected Editions) #15.5)

by Nick SpencerMark Bagley (Artist)

The Synopsis

The next amazing chapter in Nick Spencer’s shocking saga of Spider-Man — is guaranteed to get your Spidey senses tingling! We literally can’t say any more without ruining it all!

The Verdict

A truly incredible deep-dive into all things Spider-Man. The depths of Peter Parker’s heroism and strength are pushed to the limits as almost every Spider-Man foe and iteration of the Sinister Six collides in an attempt to take his life. The hunt takes an even more personal note with the final act of the villainous Kindred, as shocking revelations lead to emotional ends and new beginnings. The gripping story matched the brutal yet artful imagery used in the narrative and made for a brilliant story.

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Runaways, Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home

(Runaways (2017) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Rainbow Rowell (Goodreads Author), Kris Anka (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

GET READY TO RUN!

The “IT” book of the early 2000s with the original cast is back–Nico! Karolina! Molly! Chase! Old Lace! And, could it be…GERT?!

The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns! Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart! Did Chase and Gert’s love survive their time apart? Have Karolina and Nico’s feelings made their friendship impossible? What emotional landmines lie in wait to DESTROY the Runaways?!

COLLECTING: RUNAWAYS 1-6 

The Verdict

I was uniquely drawn to this series because out of all of Marvel’s properties, the Runaways was one of the teams I was the least familiar with. Aside from Nico, I was not familiar with the team members, and getting to see the team’s dynamic in a follow-up series was so fascinating to read. The shocking return of a long-thought-dead member packs a punch with its suddenness and heart, and the impact of her return on both her and the people she calls family is so engaging. The lighthearted dynamics between them are paired equally with their drama, and the exploration of everything from family and romance to their place in the Marvel Universe made this an incredible story to behold. 

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #18

Eternals, Vol. 1: Only Death is Eternal

(Eternals (2021) #1-6)

by Kieron GillenEsad Ribić (Art)

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: Eternals (2021) 1-6

The Verdict

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

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Heroes Reborn: America’s Mightiest Heroes

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

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

The Synopsis

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

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

The Verdict

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

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

(Avengers by Jason Aaron #8)

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: AVENGERS (2018) 39-45

The Verdict

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

Miles Morales, Vol. 1: Straight Out of Brooklyn

(Miles Morales (Collected Editions) #1)

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN 1-6

The Verdict

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

Injustice: Year Zero

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

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

The Synopsis

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

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

Collects Injustice: Year Zero #1-14.

The Verdict

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

DC Meets Looney Tunes

(DC Meets Looney Tunes)

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

The Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

The Verdict

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

Strange Adventures

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

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

The Synopsis

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

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

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

Collects Strange Adventures #1-12.

The Verdict

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

Batman Beyond, Volume 1: Escaping the Grave

(Batman Beyond (2016) #1)

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

The Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

CollectingBatman Beyond 1-5, Rebirth

The Verdict

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

Dark Nights: Death Metal

(Dark Nights: Collected Editions #2)

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

The Synopsis

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

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

The Verdict

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

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Justice League: Endless Winter

(Justice League: Endless Winter #1-9)

by Andy LanningRon MarzHoward Porter (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

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

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

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

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

The Verdict

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

DC PRIDE #1 (DC CULTURAL ANTHOLOGIES) REVIEW

DC Pride (2021-) #1 (DC Cultural Anthologies (2021-))

by Andrew WheelerSam Johns (Goodreads Author), Nicole MainesVita Ayala (Goodreads Author), Sina Grace (Goodreads Author), Danny LoreMarc AndreykoMariko TamakiSteve OrlandoJames Tynion IVTamra Bonvillain (Cover Art), Scott Williams (Cover Art), Jim Lee (Cover Art), Luciano Vecchio (Penciller), Klaus Janson (Penciller), Kevin Wada (Penciller), Travis Moore (Goodreads Author) (Penciller), Sophie Campbell (Penciller), Rachael Stott (Penciller), Skylar Patridge (Penciller), Ro Stein (Penciller), Mildred Louis (Goodreads Author) (Penciller), Kris Anka (Penciller), Nick Robles (Penciller), Brittney Williams (Penciller), David Talaski (Penciller), Amy Reeder (Penciller), Stephen Byrne (Penciller), Trung Le Nguyen (Penciller), Ted Brandt (Inker), Rex Lokus (Colorist), Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Enrica Eren Angiolini (Colorist), Marissa Louise (Colorist), Dave McCaig (Colorist), José Villarrubia (Colorist)

I am proud to share my review of the brand new collection of PRIDE inspired stories within the DC Universe, featuring some of the greatest LGBTQ DC Heroes around in the new anthology, DC Pride. 

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The Synopsis

DC Pride #1 will feature LGBTQIA+ characters from all corners of DC’s ever-expanding Universe, including cameos by fan favorites Batwoman, Renee Montoya, Alan Scott, Midnighter, Apollo, Extraño, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Constantine, and more. The DC Pride creative teams, and the characters they’re developing stories for, are:

Batwoman (Kate Kane) by James Tynion IV & Trung Le Nguyen

Poison Ivy & Harley Quinn by Mariko Tamaki & Amy Reeder

Midnighter by Steve Orlando & Stephen Byrne

Flash of Earth-11 (Jess Chambers) by Danny Lore & Lisa Sterle

Green Lantern (Alan Scott) & Obsidian by Sam Johns & Klaus Janson

Aqualad (Jackson Hyde) by Andrew Wheeler & Luciano Vecchio

Dreamer by Nicole Maines & Rachael Stott

Renee Montoya by Vita Ayala and Skylar Patridge

Pied Piper by Sina Grace, Ro Stein & Ted Brandt

Additionally, DC Pride #1 will include full-page profiles of DCTV’s LGBTQIA+ characters and the actors who play them, and fans of The CW’s Supergirl will be thrilled to see the first comic book appearance of Dreamer, a trans woman superhero, in a story written by actor Nicole Maines, who plays Nia Nal/Dreamer on Supergirl.

Rounding out the DC Pride anthology is a forward by Marc Andreyko (Love is Love), single-page pin-ups by artists Kris Anka, Sophie Campbell, Mildred Louis, Travis Moore, Nick Robles and Kevin Wada, with more surprises to come!

The Review

Some of my favorite heroes in the DC Universe are proud members of the LGBTQ community. From the incredible story of Alan Scott trying to bond with his son Obsidian in an attempt to recognize how far the world has come since the days of gay men having to hide in secret bars, to the heartfelt romance of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, and even the promise of a future league within the DC Universe that celebrates the wide range of LGBTQ heroes that the comic book company has to offer, this collection celebrates a wide range of stories and heroes that showcase not only their PRIDE but of the power and rich stories that they embody. 

However, my personal favorite story within this collection comes from the Arrowverse, which focuses on one of my favorite new heroes and favorite actresses, Dreamer, played by the lovely and incredible Nicole Maines. Her story of fighting for peace and allowing people’s dreams to become a reality was beautifully brought to life with rich artwork and a story that felt both fresh and unique to the character dynamics established in the Supergirl corner of the Arrowverse. Nia is a truly great hero to embody the future of the DC Comics universe, embodying both powerful heroics and in-depth and emotional character development, making her story feel like the future so many of us comic book fans have been waiting so long for.

The Verdict

A memorable, heartfelt, and action-packed comic book anthology comic, DC Comics’s “DC Pride” is a must-read anthology for not only PRIDE month, but for the future of DC Comics. Engaging characters and emotional storytelling make these stories both entertaining and resonate with fans around the world. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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https://www.bookbub.com/books/dc-pride-2021-1-by-andrew-wheeler-sam-johns-nicole-maines-luciano-vecchio-klaus-janson-kevin-wada

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #17

Shazam and the Seven Magic Lands

(Shazam! (2018) (Single Issues) #1-12)

by Geoff JohnsDale Eaglesham (Illustrator), Scott Kolins (Illustrator), Marco Santucci (Illustrator), Mayo “SEN” Naito (Illustrator), Max Raynor (Illustrator), Mike Atiyeh (Colorist), Rob Leigh (Letterer)

The Synopsis 

Legendary comics writer Geoff Johns continues his modern reimagining of Shazam following the hit 2019 Warner Bros. movie starring Zachary Levi.

In these stories, after a stop at the mysterious subway location of the Rock of Eternity, source of his mighty powers, Shazam and his foster siblings take a trip to a series of magical lands including the Funlands and the Wozenderlands. But these dreamlike fantasy worlds hide a nightmarish reality, as the young heroes must face the tyrannical King Kid and try to avoid being fed to hungry tigers. Collects Shazam! #1-12. 

The Verdict

The latest chapter in the world of the Shazam family takes center stage as the reimagining of the character began in the hit Warner Bros. Film Shazam starring Zachary Levi, and it is fantastic! The exploration of the fabled “Magic Lands” and the mythology of the Rock of Eternity was perfectly balanced with the complex family dynamic not only between Billy and his foster siblings but his foster parents as well. Add to this the inclusion of a figure from Billy’s past and the introduction of some powerful new foes from these new lands, including the diabolical King Kid, as well as some well-established threats from Shazam’s past, make this series a shining example of DC’s future. 

Made in China – DC Universe Rebirth

(New Super-Man #1)

by Gene Luen Yang (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Viktor Bogdanovic (Artist), Richard Friends (Inker), Dave Sharpe (Letterer)

The Synopsis

#1 New York Times best-selling author and National Book Award nominee Gene Luen Yang continues his work at DC with New Super-Man, Volume 1, a part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

An impulsive act of heroism thrusts an arrogant young man into the limelight of Shanghai as China begins to form its own Justice League of powerful heroes. As the government creates their own Superman, will they live to regret the person they’ve chosen? Rising from the ashes of Superman: The Final Days of Superman and the death of the Man of Steel, will this New Super-Man step up to the challenge, or be crushed under the weight of his hubris and inexperience?

Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born ChineseSuperman) and on-the-rise art star Viktor Bogdanovic (Batman: Arkham Knight) introduce readers to Kong Kenan, an all-new superhero who could change the world…or be the end of it, in New Super-Man, Volume 1.

CollectingNew Super-Man 1-6 

The Verdict

A truly fantastic new era of storytelling in DC Comics, a powerful new Chinese superhero is born in this first volume of The New Super-Man. Kong Kenan stands out because, unlike his American counterpart, the hero is just an average teenager with a complex family dynamic and a troubling worldview that can make him unlikable more times than not. However the comic highlights not only his rise to becoming a hero and gaining powers but his evolution as a character and person as he becomes acclimated to this world. His abrasive nature can be seen softening often in the face of injustice and heartbreak and promises a future for Kong Kenan that can make him a true force for good. Include this with Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman, and not only does the book become a narrative on Western influences on Eastern nations, but how competitive and high-stakes the governments of the world become with one another, often with their citizens caught in the crossfire on both sides. A truly great story and an excellent new cast of characters for the DC Universe.

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Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky, Vol. 1: Know Fear

(Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky #1)

by Chip ZdarskyMarco Checchetto (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Matt Murdock has clawed his way through physical therapy, but his near death experience that nearly left him crippled has left its mark on him. Reacquainted with pain and fear, the devil is back in hell’s kitchen, but is the man who returned to the rooftops the same man who fell off them? Find out, in CHIP ZDARSKY’S new era of DAREDEVIL!

COLLECTING: DAREDEVIL (2019) 1-5

The Verdict

Great use of Daredevil’s character, Marvel has taken one of their most self-critical and perpetually guilt-ridden characters to examine the concept of accountability and examination of who the true “villains” are in the world, let alone criminal “elements”. The character’s struggle with injuries and realigning his abilities as a crimefighter take a dark turn, and Matt is forced to examine how he approaches his life as a hero and protector of Hell’s Kitchen, as well as learning to find acceptance and peace after being part of some great loss. The action and morality that Daredevil has become known for is a masterful turn of events for Marvel and a much-needed story in today’s landscape. A must-read at Marvel!

King Deadpool, Vol. 1: Hail to the King

(King Deadpool #1)

by Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Chris Bachalo (Illustrations)

The Synopsis 

A new era begins for the Merc with a Mouth! Deadpool’s newest job has him going after the King of Monsters, who has claimed a new kingdom for his terrifying subjects…on Staten Island! But you know what they say, when you come at the king, you better not miss! Soon, Wade Wilson finds himself with a new role – one that leaves him neck deep in political intrigue, with major obstacles including Captain America and the monster-hunting Elsa Bloodstone in his way! Will Deadpool’s smooth charisma and deft diplomacy allow him to keep his head – or will he be royally screwed? Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown – particularly when it’s in the sights of some of the deadliest people in the Marvel Universe!

COLLECTING: DEADPOOL (2019) 1-5

The Verdict

A chilling yet still hilarious and unbelievable chapter in the world of Deadpool, readers are treated to a whole new side to the Merc as his latest job puts him in the role of becoming the King of the Monsters, who have come to State Island and made it their home as refugees. His humor and gritty fighting are a great play against the more structured and honored society that the kingdom of the monsters has crafted for itself, and the inclusion of Elsa Bloodstone in the series has paired Wade with a strong and fierce ally and foe throughout the series. 

S.W.O.R.D. by Al Ewing, Vol. 1

(S.W.O.R.D. #1)

by Al EwingValerio Schiti (Art)

The Synopsis

One giant leap for mutantkind! The new nation of Krakoa has quickly become a major force on the world stage…but why stop there? The X-Men have relaunched the Sentient World Observation & Response Directorate — a fully independent organization dealing with all things extraterrestrial on behalf of Earth. And S.W.O.R.D. is thrown right into the deep end of a planetary crisis as Krakoa battles the invading King in Black! Meanwhile, Abigail Brand prepares a deniable operation all her own. What is Protocol V — and can the Earth survive it? Then, walk a mile in the Manifold’s shoes as S.W.O.R.D.’s Quintician takes a journey across the universe — and comes face to face with a deadly enemy! And as the Quiet Council discuss the rules of murder on Krakoa, in space the killings have already begun…

COLLECTING: S.W.O.R.D. (2020) 1-6 

The Verdict

A much-needed balance of cosmic storytelling and Earth-based heroics, the new iteration of SWORD comes straight out of the events of Empyre and the new era of X-Men comics. The new team comes together to explore alien politics and protection against cosmic threats just in time for the arrival of Knull, and the balance of threats at home and off-world is highlighted when looking into the nation of Krakoa’s influence on the new SWROD program. Getting one-on-one interaction with characters like Brand and Manifold made this new series shine brightly. 

Guardians of the Galaxy by Al Ewing, Vol. 1: Then It’s Us

(Guardians of the Galaxy by Al Ewing #1)

by Al EwingJuann Cabal (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Once they were a team of misfits. Now they’re a family, and they’ve earned their peace. But the universe is not a peaceful place – and it’s only getting worse. The Great Empires are in turmoil. The rule of law is dead. And amid the chaos, the gods of Olympus have returned – harbingers of a new age of war, reborn to burn their mark on the stars themselves. Someone has to guard the galaxy – but who will accept the mission? And will they survive it?

Al Ewing (IMMORTAL HULK) and Juann Cabal (FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN) bring you in on the ground floor of a whole Marvel Universe of action and suspense!

COLLECTING: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2020) 1-5 

The Verdict

It wouldn’t be a Guardians series if there wasn’t some cosmic threat bearing down on the universe, and yet the foes thrown in their path are quite a shock to behold. From the introduction of a deadly pantheon of gods on the warpath throughout the galaxy to the shocking loss of a major character early on in the series and the introduction of not one but two new iterations of the Guardians make this series a true delight. The weight of loss hits them all hard, but the action and humor the team always brings to the table is enhanced by both members old and new and makes this new series a true must-read for all longtime Marvel fans. 

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Spider-Woman, Vol. 1: Bad Blood

(Spider-Woman (2020) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Karla PachecoPere Pérez (Art), Paulo Siqueira (Art), Jung-Geun Yoon (Cover Art)

The Synopsis

Spider-Woman is back, and she’s pulling no punches! But Jessica Drew hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. When the angry, irritable, and unwell Spider-Woman takes a simple security gig to help get back on her feet, she finds herself suddenly besieged by unknown forces out to destroy everything around her. What’s wrong with Jessica? Just how did she get this job? Who are these violent lunatics who keep trying to blow her up? What does her illness have to do with the daughter of her old nemesis Otto Vermis? And how does a shipment of black-market spiders fit in? Jessica Drew is fighting for her life while someone pulls her strings, in an explosive new adventure that takes Spider-Woman to new heights!

COLLECTING: SPIDER-WOMAN (2020) 1-5

The Verdict

I am a longtime fan of Jessica Drew, and her evolution in recent years has been great to see. The dark new road that she is forced to go down is both relatable and classic heroic storytelling at its best. Her decision to take on odd jobs to help pay for her child is something many can relate to, and yet her journey leads her to discover more haunting secrets of her past, as well as a haunting illness that threatens not only her but possibly her son as well. The further down the path she is forced to go down, the more chilling her evolution, which makes for some incredible storytelling for Jessica and her friends and allies. A must-read for longtime fans of Spider-Woman.

King in Black

(King in Black: Collected Editions)

by Donny CatesRyan Stegman (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Knull is coming, and when he arrives, everyone from the Avengers to the X-Men will learn just how unprepared they are to face off against the God of the Symbiotes. Everything in Cates and Stegman’s landmark run on VENOM has led up to this monumental story, and readers will finally witness Eddie Brock’s climatic standoff with one of Marvel’s most terrifying villains. 

The Verdict

The last couple of years’ worth of storytelling of Venom, aka Eddie Brock, have been some of Marvel’s strongest yet. The introduction of this cosmic god of the symbiotes was an inspired choice, and Knull has officially become one of Marvel’s most deadly foes in years. The shocking turn of events upon his arrival to Earth hits readers like a ton of bricks. The evolution of Eddie Brock and the introduction of a powerful new cosmic threat make this a must-read event for Marvel Comics. 

Atlantis Attacks

(Atlantis Attacks #1-5)

by Greg Pak (Goodreads Author), Ario Anindito (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

The armies of ATLANTIS face ATLAS in a showdown destined to shake allegiances and break hearts! AMADEUS CHO, SILK, WAVE, SHANG-CHI, and all the heroes of the Atlas have bonded with each other after the challenges of WAR OF THE REALMS. But when a terrible secret incurs the wrath of KING NAMOR, who’s the true friend — and who’s the true enemy? A titanic tale of love and betrayal, heroes and monsters, gods and underdogs — plus the shocking return of JIMMY WOO and the original AGENTS OF ATLAS!

COLLECTING: ATLANTIS ATTACKS (2020) 1-5

The Verdict

Namor proves once again why he is such a formidable foe in the Marvel Universe. With the weight of an entire kingdom at his back, the King of Atlantis showcases the terror of the sea against the forces of ATLAS. This team of heroes must not only contend with Namor but with a shady backer of their work, and the incredible artwork and focus on one of the most needed yet unexplored corners of the Marvel Universe makes this a truly fantastic book.

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Black Cat, Vol. 4: Queen in Black

(Black Cat by Jed Mackay #4)

by Jed Mackay

The Synopsis

Felicia Hardy is back for a classic game of cat and…symbiote? Knull’s attack on Earth interrupts the Black Cat’s latest heist, and if you know Felicia, you know that’s a problem. So the Cat and her crew aim to steal something of great value — both to Knull and to Earth’s hope of survival! But Felicia never shows up inappropriately dressed  — and a job like this requires a special kind of suit. You won’t believe it when the Black Cat gets her own Anti-Venom costume! Felicia Hardy returns to center stage in an action-packed adventure guest-starring the X-Men, Captain America and Doctor Strange! 

COLLECTING: Black Cat (2020) 1-5 

The Verdict

Felicia proves once again why she is one of Marvel’s best-underrated characters. Her balance of heroism and thievery makes her an instant hit with fans, while her command of heroism in the face of Knull’s arrival on Earth plunges her into a cosmic and magic adventure that puts her unique skills to the test. Running against Knull’s army alongside the likes of the Avengers and more of Earth’s heroes highlights the struggles of the everyday heroes in the face of this great cosmic foe. This is a must-read for any fans of Black Cat and the King in Black event. 

Villainous by Stonie Williams Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman looking to become the newest recruit into a group of superheroes discovers a dark and sinister secret, and discovers that sometimes the only way to become a true hero is to be the villain in author Stonie Williams graphic novel, “Villainous”.

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The Synopsis

Tilly, one of the newest super-powered people to join the Coalition of Heroes, is doing her best to navigate the dizzying world of superheroes. Working with her idols should be a dream come true, but when she learns the truth, Tilly’s dream quickly becomes a nightmare. Now, Tilly has to make a choice – Get in line and stand with her heroes, or take a stand and risk becoming something more… Villainous

The Review

Wow. Such a fun and engaging graphic novel, the author finds the perfect balance in the tone of the narrative immediately, settling somewhere in-between a more mild version of the Boys meet Marvel’s X-Factor and DC Comics Suicide Squad. The author does a great job of building the world early on as well as the mythos of the world of Villainous. 

The theme of the line between hero and villain is blurred or gray has been around for a long time, but the author brings a fresh voice and the illustrators bring a dynamic artwork to the pages that make this story feel fresh and original. The characters pop off the page, from the meathead hero Showdown to the hopeful hero turned forced “villain” and protagonist Tilly and even the world itself, which allows the shadowy figures behind the scenes to perpetuate the lies of the “heroes” are telling. 

The Verdict

A memorable, visually stunning, and entertaining read, author Stonie Williams and Mad Cave Studios “Villainous” is a fantastic work of comic book and graphic novel magic. The action is fast-paced and the characters are multi-layered and complex, and by the first volume’s end, the story takes a dramatic turn that sets the pace for the rest of the series. Be sure to grab your copy on May 4th, 2021!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Stonie grew up in the back of a comic book shop in Tulsa and played guitar as a teenager. Both comics and music nurtured a passion for storytelling. Now he looks to create his own stories

instagram.com/baldbeardedbard/

https://campsite.bio/baldbeardedbard

https://www.youtube.com/c/madcavestudios/featured

Snarc 2 by Bruce Olav Solheim Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

An alien adventurer from another world must come to Earth and warn them of an impending invasion from his home world in author Bruce Olav Solheim’s graphic novel, “Snarc 2”.

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The Synopsis

Welcome to Snarc 2, the continuing adventures of Snarc, our favorite intergalactic traveler, and his Cosmic Staff. Snarc must find a way to save humanity from the reptilian inhabitants of his home planet, Maron.

The Review

This was a truly entertaining read. This graphic novel captures the artistry and depth of classic comic books, with detailed character growth and brightly colored pages that really capture iconic 40’s and 50’s era comic book artwork. 

While a newcomer to the series, the author does a great job of bringing this story to life for newcomers and fans of the series alike. The author manages to tackle serious struggles such as war and climate change while also integrating the threat of his homeworld into the narrative. While protagonist Snarc and his trust sidekick, the talking Cosmic Staff, are the true heart of this story as their adventures take flight, but the introduction of Dr. Jekyll is an inspired choice into the narrative, as her role as Alien Hunter has taken her to face a growing alien threat and the alien who has come to help her. 

The Verdict

A fun, adventurous and entertaining graphic novel, author Bruce Olav Solheim’s “Snarc 2” is a must-read. The story is well developed and the artwork is both original and classic all at once. The narrative immediately draws fans in and captures the essence of iconic sci-fi stories that have come before it, from Star Trek to DC Comics’s “Adam Strange”. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Bruce Olav Solheim was born on September 3, 1958, in Seattle, Washington, to hard-working Norwegian immigrant parents, Asbjørn and Olaug Solheim. Bruce was the first person in his family to go to college. He served for six years in the US Army as a jail guard and later as a helicopter pilot. He earned his PhD in history from Bowling Green State University in 1993.

Bruce is currently a distinguished professor of history at Citrus College in Glendora, California. He also served as a Fulbright professor in 2003 at the University of Tromsø in northern Norway.

Bruce founded the Veterans Program at Citrus College and cofounded, with Manuel Martinez and Ginger De Villa-Rose, the Boots to Books transition course—the first college course in the United States designed specifically for recently returned veterans. He has published five books and has written seven plays, two of which have been produced.

Bruce is married to Ginger, the girl of his dreams, who is a professional helicopter pilot and certified flight instructor. He has been blessed with four wonderful children: Bjørn, Byron, Caitlin, and Leif. He also has a precious grandson, Liam. Bruce, his brother, and his two nephews still own the family home in Åse, Norway, two hundred miles above the Arctic Circle.

https://www.bruceolavsolheim.com/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Y89QMDX/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F57423525-snarc-2&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #15

Batman/Superman, Vol. 1: Who are the Secret Six?

(Batman/Superman (2019) #1)

by Joshua WilliamsonDavid Marquez (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Batman teams up with the Man of Steel to track down and help those who have been infected by a ravenous, mutated Joker virus. Just one problem: they don’t know who they are.

A virus is spreading, and it’s not just after innocent people, but some of our most powerful heroes as well. The biggest question isn’t why or how, but who?

The Batman Who Laughs was one of the premier villains crawling his way from the depths of the Dark Multiverse and wreaking havoc on the DC Universe. Now he has been infecting some of the biggest heroes across the world with a mutated version of the Joker virus that is coursing through him.

Cue the team-up of two of the greatest superheroes in history: Batman and Superman. They decide to work together to find out who is infected and hopefully cure them before it’s too late.

Collects: Batman/Superman (2019) #1-6.

The Verdict

Two of DC’s biggest heroes must face the might of the Dark Multiverse as the Batman Who Laughs begins to infect the heroes of the DC Universe. The shocking twists and turns as the Infected are revealed showcase the power that the new villain has, while the Infected themselves reveal the impact both heroes have had on the larger DC Universe as a whole. A great deep dive into the growing darkness plaguing the multiverse as a whole, with incredibly visceral artwork and amazing writing overall.

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Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse

(Tales from the Dark Multiverse #1-5)

by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author), Kyle HiggensJeff LovenessTim Seeley (Goodreads Author), James Tynion IVMat Groom (Goodreads Author), Javier Fernández (Illustrator), Brad Walker (Illustrator), Drew Hennessy (Illustrator), Norm Rapmund (Illustrator), Kyle Hotz (Illustrator), Dexter Vines (Illustrator), Walden Wong (Illustrator), Danny Miki (Illustrator), Aaron Lopresti (Illustrator), Matt Ryan (Illustrator), Tom Raney (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

DC has delivered some of the most influential and ground-breaking stories in comic’s history with titles such as The Killing JokeIdentity CrisisThe Death of Superman and much more. Now after the events of Dark Knights: Metal, a gateway into the Dark Multiverse has opened and its stories revealed.

Featuring top talent authors and artist, Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse is going beyond the Multiverse and diving deep into the dark with new timelines and altering the defining moments in DC history. What are the consequences if The Joker’s aim had hit James Gordon instead of Barbara? What would the DC Universe look like?

Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse is a hard cover format collecting alternating stories of the DC Universe, reprinting DC Dark Multiverse Batman: Knightfall #1, DC Dark Multiverse Death of Superman #1, DC Dark Multiverse Blackest Night #1, DC Dark Multiverse Infinite Crisis #1, DC Dark Multiverse Teen Titans: The Judas Contract #1, Batman #497, Superman #75, Blackest Night #1, Infinite Crisis #1, and Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3.

The Verdict

For years DC Comics fans have asked themselves, what would happen if the major events of the DC Multiverse had gone to the villains instead of the heroes? These stories explored in the Dark Multiverse showcase how even the smallest change could make the deadliest impacts on these events, from saving the life of a former Justice Leaguer to the death of a universe and so much more. The artwork really harkens back to the days these events were first explored, and the writing really highlights the darkness that has enveloped these worlds. A true must-read event.

Year of the Villain: The Infected (DC’s Year of the Villain

(Year of the Villain (Collected Editions))

by Marc AndreykoRobert Venditti (Goodreads Author), Sina Grace (Goodreads Author), Dennis HopelessEduardo Pansica (Artist), Pat Olliffe (Artist), Joe Bennett (Artist), Freddie E. Williams II (Artist)

The Synopsis

Following his hit mini-series, The Batman Who Laughs has forcibly enlisted six heroes of the DC Universe to become his agents, gifted with mighty powers and infected with his evil.

Year of the Villain: The Infected spins out of the hit miniseries The Batman Who Laughs and tells the tales of four superheroes who are reborn as the Infected…corrupted versions of some of DC’s greatest heroes who were gifted with extraordinary new powers–but whose souls have been blackened by the evil of the Batman Who Laughs. The heroic lives of Shazam, the Blue Beetle, Gotham City’s Commissioner Jim Gordon and former Teen Titan Donna Troy are all transformed by the Batman Who Laughs. Now they are pawns in his efforts to destroy the heroes of the DC Universe–whether they want it or not! This title collects The Infected: King Shazam! #1, The Infected: Scarab #1, The Infected: Donna Troy, Deathbringer #1 and The Infected: Gordon, the Commissioner #1.

The Verdict

It is every hero’s worst nightmare to become the very thing they loathed: a villain. Exploring the Batman Who Laughs and his reign of terror turning the heroes of the DC Universe into monstrous versions of themselves, these issues really do a great job of delving into the underlying fears and doubts these heroes have, which leads to the infection taking hold much faster within them. The artwork captures the dark descent of these heroes, and the writing really does a great job of exploring these heroes and their darker halves. 

Justice League Odyssey, Vol. 1: The Ghost Sector

(Justice League Odyssey #1)

by Joshua WilliamsonStjepan Šejić (Illustrator), Philippe Briones (Illustrator), Carmine Di Giandomenico (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

When a cosmic menace threatens worlds beyond our own in the Ghost Sector, it falls to a new Justice League team to answer the call to battle! Cyborg, Starfire, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and an out-of-his-element Azrael head to deep space inside a commandeered Brainiac Skull Ship.

Spinning out of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE comes Joshua Williamson’s amazing new series Justice League Odyssey! This ragtag team of new recruits will face threats in the deep reaches of space like no League ever before! First up? These wild-card teammates try to stop Despero from slave-trading Coluan refugees, only to discover something that nothing in the universe could have prepared them for: Darkseid…who says he’s there to help?!

Written by Joshua Williamson (The Flash) with unbelievable illustrations from Stjepan Sejic (Aquaman), Justice League Odyssey takes the World’s Greatest Super Heroes to places they’ve never been before! Collects issues #1-5.

The Verdict

A fantastic new spin-off to the Justice League team, this new series takes readers into truly uncharted territory within the larger DC Universe. The Ghost Sector brings entire civilizations lost to time and Brainiac’s actions back into the fold. The uneasy relationship between the heroes Jessica Cruz (who is the shining star of the series), Starfire, Azrael, and Cyborg makes for interesting dialogue and character developments, as does the reemergence of Darkseid. Forced to join the villain to save the Ghost Sector, the heroes must watch their backs against new and old foes alike. Amazing artwork that captures the cosmic nature of the story and wonderful writing make this an instant hit. 

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DCeased: Hope At World’s End

by Tom TaylorDustin Nguyen (Artist), Rex Lokus (Artist), Ben Oliver (Cover Artist)

The Synopsis

The Anti-Life Equation has infected over a billion people on Earth. Heroes and villains have fallen. In the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Metropolis, Superman and Wonder Woman spearhead a plan to try to stem the tide of infection, preserve and protect survivors, and develop a plan for what’s next. In the Earth’s darkest hour heroes will bring hope! 2019’s blockbuster series, DCEASED, makes its digital first debut with stories set before the fall of Earth!

The Verdict

A must-read for any fans of DCeased, the hit zombie-apocalypse DC Comics event that rocked the multiverse. Before the Trinity and most of Earth’s heroes fell, there was a fight for survival that went on behind the scenes. From the fall of anti-hero Black Adam to the last survivors of cities like Metropolis finding a safe haven and the formation of the new Trinity of Damian Wayne, Jonathan Kent, and Cassie Sandsmark, these tales really help flesh out the DCeased world and bring a lot of heart into the story. Really gritty artwork and powerful storytelling make this a great read.

Event Leviathan

(Event Leviathan #1-6)

by Brian Michael BendisAlex Maleev (Illustrations), Greg RuckaMatt FractionMarc AndreykoYanick Paquette (Illustrator), Mike Perkins (Illustrator), Steve Lieber (Illustrator), Eduardo Pansica (Illustrator), Julio Ferriera (Illustrator), Nathan Fairbairn (Colorist), Paul Mounts (Colorist), FCO Plascencia (Colorist), Joshua Reed (Letterer), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Simon Bowland (Letterer), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Tom Napolitano (letterer), Troy Peteri (Letterer)

The Synopsis

The groundbreaking creative team of bestselling author Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev reunite for a mystery thriller that will bring the DC Universe to its knees! The world’s greatest detectives race to solve the mystery of Leviathan only to discover that this time, they’re already too late. Leviathan is in control.

With startling ease, a newly dangerous and aggressive secret organization called Leviathan has returned and has been systematically wiping out all its competition. The ways of the old world no longer work. Now Leviathan is turning its sights to molding the world into its own radical vision of order. Can this new threat’s growth be stopped? Join Lois Lane as she leads Batman, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, Manhunter, the Question along with a couple of surprise sleuths in the search of the man who sits behind the cloak of Leviathan. But will whoever find him first capture him…or join him?

Brian Michael Bendis (Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, Superman, Daredevil) and Alex Maleev (Infamous Iron Man, Scarlet, Spider-Woman) weave their unique blend of crime noir to rock the DC Universe to its core in their latest masterpiece that will be talked about for years to come!

Collects Superman: Leviathan Rising #1, Event Leviathan #1-6, & DC’s Year of the Villain Special #1

The Verdict

A great way of bringing a classic whodunnit mixed with a spy thriller kind of setting into the DC Universe. Seeing heroes like Batman, Green Arrow and the Question working together as some of the best thinkers and investigators in the DC Universe as this new threat of Leviathan rises to face the might of Superman and other heroes is a comic book fan’s dream, and the impact of some of DC’s biggest organizations, from the DEO to Checkmate and even Amanda Waller herself being targeted by Leviathan makes this a truly shocking story. With great twists and turns, including the identity of Leviathan’s leader, and grim and gritty artwork make this a fantastic addition to the Year of the Villain storytelling. 

Heroes in Crisis

(Heroes in Crisis #1–9)

by Tom King (Goodreads Author), Clay Mann (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by CIA-operative turned comics writer Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD?

Welcome to Sanctuary, an ultra-secret hospital for superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. But something goes inexplicably wrong when many patients wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects: Harley Quinn and Booster Gold! It’s up to the DC Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to investigate–but can they get the job done in the face of overwhelming opposition?

Superstar comics writer and former CIA operative, Tom King (Batman, Mister Miracle) examines the potential long-lasting effects of saving the world in this groundbreaking new graphic novel with jaw-dropping art from the team of Clay Mann and Lee Weeks!

Collects Heroes in Crisis #1-9

The Verdict

A powerful and emotional read, this was an impactful story for the DC Universe. Set before the events currently rocking the multiverse, this story sees the heroes in their most vulnerable position yet. Exploring the mental health aspect of being a hero and the events they witness as they battle threat after threat was a unique approach to this story, and pitting two unlikely characters as the main suspects for the story’s big plot (the death of several heroes at this mental health facility), Booster Gold and Harley Quinn, really put a lot of emphasis on the concept of outcasts and underdogs, as the true nature of what happened at Sanctuary begins to come together and shock readers. This is what I would consider an essential DC Comics read for anyone looking for great character-driven narratives. 

Heroes in Crisis: The Price and Other Tales

(Heroes in Crisis #Companion)

by Joshua WilliamsonJulie Benson (Goodreads Author), Shawna Benson (Goodreads Author), Collin KellyJackson LanzingGuillem March (Illustrator), Rafa Sandoval (Illustrator), Javier Fernández (Illustrator), Scott Kolins (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Tom King’s event of the year – Heroes in Crisis – has rocked the DC heroes to their core. While the events at Sanctuary play out in Heroes in Crisis (now available in a collected Hard Cover edition), Batman and the Flash work together behind the scenes to solve a mystery surrounding the death of Wally West. But can they solve the case before turning on each other?

An old case has reopened, and it’s up to the DCU’s top detectives to solve it! Gotham Girl is missing, and it will take both Batman and The Flash working together to find out where she’s gone … and if she has anything to do with the horrifying events at Sanctuary.

Though old friends, the case and the disturbing events surrounding it, are tearing Batman and the Flash’s friendship apart. Both Batman and the Flash have lost their sidekicks, will they also lose each other?

Contains Batman #64-65, The Flash #64-65, Green Arrow #45 and #48-50, and The Flash Annual #2.

The Verdict

Seeing the larger ramifications for the heroes after the events of Heroes in Crisis was a remarkable narrative to get sucked into. The relationship between Batman and The Flash after what has happened was interesting to see, as they are not only two of the greatest detectives in DC Comics, but have had a mutual respect for one another over the years. Plus, the Rebirth era has seen these two characters become more connected than ever before, making this an incredible character study of the heroes. Plus, seeing Green Arrow’s reaction to losing someone close to him and his outcast status to the larger Justice League made for some interesting commentary on the League’s relationship to the universe as a whole. A definite must-read and entertaining event. 

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The End

(The End #1-6)

by Saladin Ahmed (Goodreads Author), Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Joe KellyLeah Williams (Goodreads Author), Erik LarsenAdam WarrenCarmen Carnero (Illustrations), Mike Hawthorne (Illustrations), Damion Scott (Illustrations), Filipe Andrade (Illustrations), Chamba (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Mighty Marvel heroes reach the bitter end! Steve Rogers fights for survival in a post-apocalyptic wasteland populated by hordes of Red Skulls! Captain Marvel returns after 50 years in space – but what has become of the world she once called home? Deadpool seems unkillable – but death will find a way! Doctor Strange makes his final journey home – through a cyberpunk sprawl where magic is forgotten! Miles Morales leads civilization’s last stand in the one place strong enough to survive – Brooklyn! And Venom travels the length of space and time as the last defender of life in the universe! Experience the end as your favorite heroes take their final bow!

COLLECTING: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE END, CAPTAIN MARVEL: THE END, DEADPOOL: THE END, DOCTOR STRANGE: THE END, MILES MORALES: THE END and VENOM: THE END.

The Verdict

A stunning look at possible futures for the Marvel Universe. Endings which see the last surviving heroes each faced with their own brand of apocalypse, and the heroic sacrifices they must make in order to save the world that is left. Each story feels unique and tailored for the heroes who star in each story, and this provides a perfect continuation of what iconic series like the “What If…?” stories told throughout Marvel’s history. A must-read comic book event for modern and classic Marvel enthusiasts alike!

X-Men by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 1

(X-Men (2019) #1)

by Jonathan HickmanLeinil Francis Yu (Illustrator), Gerry Alanguilan (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator), R.B. Silva (Illustrator), Matteo Buffagni (Illustrator), Sunny Gho (Colorist), Marte Gracia (Colorist)

The Synopsis

THE DAWN OF X BREAKS! The X-Men find themselves in a whole new world of possibility… and things have never been better! Jonathan Hickman (HOUSE OF X, POWERS OF X, SECRET WARS) and superstar artist Leinil Yu (NEW AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA) reveal the saga of Cyclops and his hand-picked squad of mutant powerhouses!

COLLECTING: X-MEN (2019) #1-6

The Verdict

It’s an all new era for X-Men fans. Getting to see the mutants of the Marvel Universe finally have their own nation and independence is a refreshing new sight, as is seeing Cyclops back into a leadership role. Getting to see the entire family together as well, from Jean and Scott to Cable and Rachel Summers and more, the relationships really define the new status quo of the mutant nation of Krakoa. The artwork harkens back to a late 90’s/early 2000’s style and lends itself well to the storyline being told, showcasing the fight to maintain order and peace for the growing mutant nation. A must-read!

Road to Empyre

(Empyre (Collected Editions))

by Al EwingDan SlottRobbie Thompson

The Synopsis

Get ready for EMPYRE – the cosmic saga set to rock the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the entire Marvel Universe! A mysterious murder brings together an army of heroes in the search for a killer – setting the stage for the conflicts to come! When everything suddenly changes for the Kree and Skrull empires, that leaves the Warner family from MEET THE SKRULLS out in the cold on Earth. They need to work out how this cosmic crisis affects the future of their family – and their race! And that means Mom and Dad educating their kids on just how the Kree and the Skrulls first went to war! Plus: Get all the facts on the major players in this epic event with the official handbook to EMPYRE!

COLLECTING: INCOMING (2019) 1, ROAD TO EMPYRE: THE KREE/SKRULL WAR (2020) 1, EMPYRE HANDBOOK (2020) 1

The Verdict

This collection explores the unthinkable in the Marvel Universe: a peace between the Kree and the Skrulls. Not a temporary alliance or a cease-fire, but a true end to the war, brought together by a new ruler for both people, Emperor Hulkling, the half-Kree, half-Skrull hero of Earth. Exploring the origins of the war, how it’s come to end, and the threat that has brought them together, this is a deep dive into the Marvel Universe like never before. A truly-great lead up into the Empyre saga. 

Empyre

(Empyre (Collected Editions))

by Al Ewing (Writer), Dan Slott (Writer), Valerio Schiti (Artist), Pepe Larraz (Artist), R.B. Silva (Artist), Marte Gracia (Color Artist)

The Synopsis 

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Marvel’s First Family star in an intergalactic event that threatens to reshape the Marvel Universe! Old allies make a distress call to the Avengers with news of a terrible enemy that could wipe out humanity itself. The Celestial Messiah has returned – but is Earth ready to hear his message? Meanwhile, in the most unlikely of places, the Fantastic Four witness the final conflict of the Kree/Skrull War…and a long-hidden Elder of the Universe stands revealed! With the Kree and the Skrulls united under a new emperor, their war fleet charts a course – for Earth! The Avengers are ready to fight, while the FF seek a diplomatic solution. But if the two teams can’t work together to save the day, Earth may not survive…

COLLECTING: EMPYRE: AVENGERS 0, EMPYRE: FANTASTIC FOUR 0, EMPYRE 1-6, EMPYRE EPILOGUE

The Verdict

A truly fantastic Marvel Universe cosmic event, the writers at Marvel have weaved a truly one of a kind story that not only sees the Kree and Skrull united under one banner but somehow makes a race of magic-practicing plant people feel like a true threat to the planet. The struggles of the Avengers and their allies as former allies become foes and foes become allies make this story complex and engaging, and the artwork is just beautiful. A true must-read Marvel event!

Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Re-Entry

(Captain Marvel (2019) #1)

by Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Carmen Carnero (Illustrator), Tamra Bonvillain (Colors)

The Synopsis

ALL THE STARS ALIGN AS KELLY THOMPSON AND CARMEN CARNERO TAKE ON MARVEL’S PREMIER FEMALE SUPER HERO!

As Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers has spent months in space protecting Earth from alien threats big and small, but now it’s time for Earth’s mightiest hero to come home. New York City has never looked so good. But every re-entry comes with the unexpected, and Carol is about to hit a whole lot of unexpected. It’s a fresh start and an oversized, star-studded welcome home for a hero who’s been punching the glass ceiling since the 1970s – and just in time for the first female-led film from Marvel Studios! The next 50 years of Captain Marvel starts here!

COLLECTING: CAPTAIN MARVEL 1-6

The Verdict

This is a great start to a new series featuring one of Marvel’s most powerful heroes. After years of defending Earth from cosmic threats, she is finally setting her boots back on Earth and getting ready to face the everyday threats. Her never-give-up attitude and heroics are what makes Carol such an iconic and inspirational hero for many Marvel fans, and both the artwork and story reflect this. What really shines through is that one of the early villains of this new series brings to light the struggle for women to break through and be seen as equals and not dependent on a male figure, making her fight against him all the more important. This is a new start that is not to be missed!

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Star Wars, Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes

(Star Wars (2015) #1)

by Jason AaronJohn Cassaday (Illustrations), Kieron GillenLaura MartinChris EliopoulosStuart Immonen (Illustrator), Ángel Unzueta (Illustrator), Mike Mayhew (Illustrator), Leinil Francis Yu (Illustrator), Terry Dodson (Illustrator), Jorge Molina (Illustrator), Mike Deodato (Illustrator), Salvador Larroca (Illustrator), David Marquez (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

The greatest space adventure of all returns to Marvel!

Luke Skywalker and the ragtag rebel band opposing the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory so far–the destruction of the massive Death Star. But the Empire’s not toppled yet! Join Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they fight for freedom against the evil of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor! But when a Rebel assault goes very wrong, Han and Leia will have to think fast to make their escape–while Luke finds himself face-to-face with Darth Vader! In the explosive aftermath, a humbled Luke returns to Tatooine to learn more about his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. Meanwhile, Leia and Han undertake a vital–and dangerous–secret mission. But can they succeed without Luke? Plus: the menace of Boba Fett!

COLLECTING: STAR WARS 1-6

The Verdict

Longtime Star Wars fans are going to absolutely love this series! Getting to explore the era of Star Wars lore that wasn’t seen in the films, fans are able to see the early start to Luke, Han and Leia’s alliance and missions after the events of the original film. With Luke seeking a means of mastering his Jedi skills to Leia taking a true leadership role after her father and planet’s loss, and Han struggling to be the smuggler he’s always been and the hero he was always meant to be, this series has excelled in writing and the artwork really captures the adventurous nature of George Lucas’s franchise. A must-read!

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #14

Hawkman, Vol. 1: Awakening

(Hawkman (2018) #1)

by Robert Venditti (Goodreads Author), Bryan Hitch (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Carter Hall is Hawkman, the resurrected winged warrior who’s lived a thousand lifetimes. But what happens when one of his past lives comes knocking on his door?

Spinning out of the events of Dark Nights: Metal, Carter Hall returns to the DC Universe! An explorer of the ancient and unknown, Hawkman finds himself embroiled in a long-standing mission to discover the true purpose of his many reincarnations. Carter will race around the globe trying to piece together an ancient prophecy, but will he be able to face down his own past lives lurking around every corner?

Fan favorite writer Robert Venditti (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, The Flash) is joined by industry superstar Bryan Hitch (Justice League, The Ultimates) to redefine DC’s winged wonder for a new era!

Collects Hawkman #1-6

The Verdict

An amazing deep-dive into the vast history of the DC Universe, readers will thoroughly enjoy learning just how much history Hawkman, aka Carter Hall, has lived through. The character becomes so much more complex and expands what everyone thought they knew of the DC Universe as a whole that this comic book shines a light into the vast darkness that has been plaguing the heroes in recent years. It’s a must-read for any long-time Hawkman fans. 

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Young Justice, Vol. 1: Gemworld

(Young Justice (2019) #1)

by Brian Michael BendisPatrick Gleason (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator), Emanuela Lupacchino (Illustrator), Kris Anka (Illustrator), Viktor Bogdanovic (Illustrator), Doc Shaner (Illustrator), Ray McCarthy (Illustrator), Jonathan Glapion (Illustrator), Alejandro Sanchez (Colorist), Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist), Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Chris Sotomayor (Colorist), Hi-Fi (Colorist) 

The Synopsis

Superboy! Wonder Girl! Robin! Impulse! Amethyst! All united in Young Justice! The hottest new super-team, written by award winning author Brian Michael Bendis for his new imprint Wonder Comics!

When the nightmare dimension known as Gemworld invades Metropolis, teen heroes will unite to deal with the situation–but they’re quickly shocked to discover the battle may be the key to the return of Conner Kent, a.k.a. Superboy!

This mix of fan favorites and new legacy heroes will be the center point for some of the biggest goings-on at DC! As if that weren’t enough, Brian Michael Bendis (Superman, Action Comics, Pearl) reunites with all-star artist Patrick Gleason (Superman, Action Comics, Green Lantern Corps) to bring the new heroes of DC’s Wonder Comics to life!

Aimed at providing readers with honest and innovative reading experiences, Brian Michael Bendis’ Wonder Comics is a celebration of the moments of in life when discoveries are made – when purpose and meaning are revealed and destinies are defined. Featuring the young heroes of the DC Universe as penned by all-star creative teams in exciting new adventures that will celebrate the wonders of life, love and comics.

Collects issues #1-6

The Verdict

What a bright, fun new chapter for the DC Universe. While so much of the DC Comics world has become filled with darkness as Doom threatens to consume everything, the Young Justice team showcases a connectivity and humor that few comics are capturing at the moment. The return of heroes like Bart Allen and Superboy, aka Connor Kent, was amazing to see unfold, and seeing Tim Drake take on a leadership role was amazing to see as well. Incredibly written, this is a must-read for longtime DC Comics fans. 

The Green Lantern, Vol. 1: Intergalactic Lawman

(The Green Lantern (Collected Editions) #1)

by Grant MorrisonLiam Sharp (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

Legendary writer Grant Morrison is taking Green Lantern back to his roots, exploring the popular hero’s role as the universe’s best space cop. It’s Law and Order in space as Hal Jordan encounters a mysterious alien hiding in plain sight, setting off a chain of events that will bring the Green Lantern Corps to its knees!

When Green Lantern Hal Jordan encounters an alien hiding in plain sight, it sets off a chain of events that rocks the Green Lantern Corps to its foundations. There’s an intergalactic conspiracy afoot, and a traitor within the Corps might be pulling the strings… Then, the Earth itself has vanished and been put up for auction to a buyer whose claim may be impossible to break without Hal violating the Lanterns’ most cherished rule!

With vivid new takes on the Controllers, the Darkstars, the Guardians of the Universe and many more Green Lantern enemies and allies drawn from decades of DC Comics, Morrison and Sharp spin an epic tale that ranges from Earth to the farthest reaches of space, starting in The Green Lantern: Intergalactic Lawman, collecting issues #1-6 of the new hit series!

Collects The Green Lantern #1-6.

The Verdict

A visceral, cosmic adventure that puts Hal Jordan into the role of hero and undercover cop all at once, the latest Green Lantern series focuses on one of DC’s most prolific heroes to fill out the role of Green Lantern. Highlighting Hal Jordan’s unique willpower in the face of frightening, horrifying cosmic threats, the new iterations or viewpoints of the Darkstars and the Controllers puts Hal in a truly new position within the DC Universe. 

Doomsday Clock

(Doomsday Clock #1-12)

by Geoff Johns

The Synopsis

The critically acclaimed sequel to the best-selling Watchmen written by master storytellers Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. As the Doomsday Clock ticks toward midnight the final fate of the DC Universe lies in a confrontation between Superman and Dr. Manhattan that will result in the end of everything!

The world of Watchmen collides with the DC Universe in the most shocking story in DC history! Something is amiss in the DC Universe. Following the events of DC Universe: Rebirth and Batman/The Flash: The Button, Geoff Johns (Flashpoint, Justice League, DC Universe: Rebirth) and Gary Frank (Batman: Earth One, Shazam!, DC Universe: Rebirth) reuinite to rewrite the past and future of the DC Universe in a story hailed as a masterpiece!

Seven years after the events of Watchmen, Adrian Veidt has been exposed as the murderer of millions. Now a fugitive, he has come up with a new plan to save his once-adoring world: find Dr. Manhattan. Alongside a new Rorschach and the deadly Mime and Marionette he arrives in the DC Universe and finds it on the brink of collapse. International tensions are running rampant with The Supermen Theory implicating the U.S. government in creating superhumans to maintain global dominance! But what is Dr. Manhattan doing in the DC Universe? And how is he related to the events of DC Universe: Rebirth and The Button? Our heroes will discover these answers all point to one thing. The end.

Collects issues #1-12 of the groundbreaking series

The Verdict

One of the best graphic novels of the Rebirth era, Doomsday Clock brings together the worlds of Watchmen and DC Comics in a truly brutal, gritty yet thought-provoking way. Examining the state of the world as a whole and a hero’s place within it, the story looks into how violence and mistrust can lead to downward spirals within any society, while the larger story of Dr. Manhattan showcases how the DC Universe has evolved and grown over the years and how the simplest change can have dire consequences on the future. The showdown that leads to Superman facing Dr. Manhattan is amazing to see unfold. This is a graphic novel you do not want to miss. 

Superman, Volume 1: The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth

(Superman (2018) #1)

by Brian Michael BendisIvan Reis (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Iconic creator Brian Michael Bendis finally lands writing the first superhero ever, as Clark Kent battles the alien that blew up Krypton–Rogol Zaar–in this great entry-point graphic novel, Superman Vol. 1!

The fallout from the Man of Steel graphic novel has Clark looking at the world through new eyes…with new ideas about what Superman could and should do for the city of Metropolis and the planet Earth. His first job? Getting the planet back out of the Phantom Zone!

A bold new chapter for the greatest superhero of all time and one of the greatest creators of his generation begins here, as Bendis and artist Ivan Reis begin their run on the all-new SUPERMAN! This graphic novel also serves as a sister series to Bendis’ new run beginning in Action Comics Vol. 1! Collects issues #1-6.

The Verdict

A brand new age of Superman comics, the latest chapter of Clark Kent’s life is an interesting one. Not only is he faced with protecting his adoptive home as it begins to be pulled into the terrifying Phantom Zone and facing a powerful foe in Rogol Zaar, the being responsible for Krypton’s destruction, but he must also contend with his personal life as his wife Lois finds herself in the spotlight and people begin speculating about their relationship, and his son finds himself on his own cosmic journey with a shocking ally. The artwork is incredible and the story really highlights how Superman’s world and stories really connect with the larger DC Universe often. 

Catwoman, Vol. 1: Copycats

(Catwoman (2018) #1)

by Joëlle JonesFernando Blanco (Illustrations), Laura Allred (Colorist)

The Synopsis

Coming off of the wedding of the century to Batman, Selina Kyle stars in an all-new solo series written and illustrated by Eisner Award nominee Joëlle Jones!

The wedding night’s barely over, but Catwoman’s back on the streets, this time to expose a copycat who’s pulling heists around Gotham City. As Selina cracks the whip on her former criminal cohorts, she’s attracting unwanted attention from one of Gotham’s most dangerous groups. The mob? Nope. Try the GCPD. And as if the Bat-Bride didn’t have enough problems, don’t miss the debut of an all-new villain determined to make trouble for all nine of Selina’s lives.

Fresh off of her run on Batman with superstar writer Tom King, creator Joëlle Jones writes and illustrates this dynamic new series. Collects issues #1-6.

The Verdict 

An engaging new chapter in the life of Selina Kyle, fans will be enthralled with Catwoman’s solo comic series. Seeing the character put on appearances within a new city in an effort to hide her pain at being forced to leave the man she loves behind in Gotham, Selina is confronted by a powerful criminal leader who challenges Selina’s power and assurance in any situation. Examining her skills as a master thief and a would-be hero, the comic highlights the complexity of the character and looks at her life away from the life of Batman. 

The Punisher, Vol. 1: World War Frank

(The Punisher (2018) #1)

by Matthew RosenbergSzymon Kudranski (Illustrator)

The Synopsis 

You can take the Punisher out of the War Machine… Frank Castle may no longer have the Stark-designed armor, but he has retained his newly acquired taste for “big game” criminal targets – and he’s hungry for more. But the paths to such perilous pursuits are fraught with dangers bigger than any Frank has faced before, and this lone wolf could use powerful help on his way up to the world stage. A delicate situation gets more complicated when Daredevil enters the fray – and he wants to put the Punisher down even more than Frank’s newest foes! Where can the Punisher go from here…but down? Matthew Rosenberg continues pushing the boundaries of the Punisher, now joined by acclaimed artist Riccardo Burchielli for the book that Frank-ophiles will be talking about for years to come!

COLLECTING: THE PUNISHER (2018) 1-5

The Verdict

An exciting, visceral and gritty new chapter in the life of the Punisher, Frank Castle is a man on a mission once more. Seeking redemption of his own making after being tricked into working for HYDRA, Frank finds himself hunting down not mobsters or drug dealers, but Baron Zemo and all those who work for HYDRA. Seeing the Punisher bring his own violent brand of justice to an organization like HYDRA really elevates Frank’s heroics and vigilantism as a whole. Seeing the various heroes of the Marvel universe try to bring Frank in as he causes mayhem and takes out iconic villains will engage fans greatly as the series unfolds. 

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West Coast Avengers, Vol. 1: Best Coast

(West Coast Avengers (2018) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Stefano Caselli (Illustrations), Daniele Di Nicuolo (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

The Avengers go West once again – but these ain’t your daddy’s Whackos! A bold new era begins for the mightiest heroes to ever live on the Pacifi c Coast. That means Hawkeye (your favorite one, Kate Bishop)! Hawkeye (the other one, Clint Barton)! America Chavez! Kid Omega! Gwenpool! And a guy named Fuse! Wait, what? That’s right, these are the new West Coast Avengers. And you better hope they can figure out how to save the world, and fast -because big things are headed for their part of the planet! Including the attack of the 50-foot werewoman – better known as original WCA member Tigra! The West Coast Avengers are back, and you’re going to love what comes next!

COLLECTING: WEST COAST AVENGERS 1-4, YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #6, THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #1 

The Verdict

A fun, hilarious, and action-packed new chapter in the lives of Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) and her allies, fans are going to love this limited series. The humor of characters who fans never would have imagined being on a team together, especially Quentin Quire and Gwenpool, is felt on every page of this series, and the exploration of crime and misadventures from villains on the West Coast is a unique change of pace for the Marvel heroes. The brief revival of the West Coast Avengers is a fun read that is not to be missed. 

Uncanny X-Men: X-Men Disassembled

(Uncanny X-Men (2018) #1)

by Matthew Rosenberg (Text), Ed BrissonKelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Mahmud Asrar (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

The flagship X-Men title that started it all is back — bigger and better than ever! Why is the X-Men’s newest crisis shaping up to be…their final adventure?! It all starts with a mysterious and tragic disappearance, but their investigation draws the X-Men into a much larger — and deadlier — situation! Who or what are the Four Horsemen of Salvation, and what is their connection to Nate Grey, the incredibly powerful mutant known as X-Man? Will Nate’s home dimension, the Age of Apocalypse, make its horrifying return? Or does the dawn of the Age of X-Man mean the end of the Uncanny X-Men?! It’s a statusquo- smashing story that just might leave all of mutantkind in tatters, and it will take three fan-favorite writers to deliver the mutant madness!

COLLECTING: Uncanny X-Men (2018) 1-10

The Verdict

A powerful first chapter in the latest “final stand” for the X-Men, as they face an all-powerful Nate Grey as he gets set to reshape the planet into his own image, bringing about his own brand of “peace”. As the X-Men face not only their end but all of Earth’s end as well, they will have to come together to show the world why mutants deserve equality, not hate. Yet Nate’s attacks make this mission more challenging than ever, and fans are able to see how the frustration and pain being alienated is starting to affect the X-Men. A great way to look at how the X-Men team has evolved and grown over the years. 

Mr. and Mrs. X, Vol. 1: Love and Marriage

(Mr. & Mrs. X #1)

by Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Oscar Bazaldua (Illustrator), Terry Dodson (Illustrator), David López (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

To the surprise of everyone, the Marvel Universe’s hottest couple has tied the knot! But there’s no time to enjoy wedded bliss when ROGUE and GAMBIT find themselves tasked with protecting a mysterious package that just about everyone in the galaxy is trying to steal. What secrets does this package hold that everyone from the Imperial Guard and the Starjammers to Technet and Deathbird (with an entire Shi’ar rebellion in tow!) will risk everything for?! Perhaps more importantly, is there anything worse than DEADPOOL crashing your honeymoon?

COLLECTING: MR. AND MRS. X 1-6 

The Verdict

Hilarious, action-packed, and romantic, this incredible X-Men read focuses on two of the most beloved and complicated heroes within the mutant community, Rogue and Gambit. Their on and off relationship takes new heights as they finally tie the knot, but marriage doesn’t end the complications of their life. From Deadpool making his way onto their honeymoon in space to secret X-Men missions nearly ending the marriage before it starts, this series does a fantastic job of exploring the complex nature of these two hero’s lives as well as how amazing they function as a unit together. 

Fantastic Four by Dan Slott, Vol. 1: Fourever

(Fantastic Four (2018) #1)

by Dan SlottSara Pichelli (Illustrations), Stefano Caselli (Illustrations), Nico Leon (Illustrations), Simone Bianchi (Illustrations), Skottie Young (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

The wait is over! The Thing, the Human Torch, the Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic – the fi rst four heroes of the Marvel Age of Comics -are about to be reunited! Nothing is impossible anymore. Anything can happen. It’s time. Jump in and be part of the grand return of the greatest family in the Marvel Universe! As an event occurs that will forever change the Fantastic Four, the next chapter begins in the life of Victor Von Doom. Meanwhile, Alicia Masters adopts two kittens. And no, they’re not Skrulls. They’re two normal, everyday kittens! FANTASTIC FOUR is a book about the grand, cosmic wonder of the Marvel Universe. It’s also about family and real life. And people get pets. Stop obsessing about Alicia’s kittens.

COLLECTING: FANTASTIC FOUR 1-4

The Verdict

After being apart for years after the events of Secret Wars, the Fantastic Four are back together again. As Johnny and Ben miss their friends and family, Reed and Sue are traversing the new multiverse as their son Franklin Richards helps create these new universes, while Valeria and the Future Foundation record and analyze the inhabitants of these universes. Soon the Fantastic Four are pulled back together by a powerful, multiversal threat, while Ben takes a giant step to take his relationship with Alicia to all new levels. The rebirth of the Fantastic Four’s world and their adventures throughout time and space are a welcome treat as Marvel witnesses the return of the world’s first superhero family. 

Death of the Inhumans

(Inhumans in Chronological Order #38)

by Donny CatesAriel Olivetti (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

The alien Kree are on a killing spree, leaving behind a message: Join or die. Thousands of Inhumans have already made their choice – the evidence floats bleeding in space. Attilan died screaming without its king. Now Black Bolt, monarch of the Inhumans, sets out for vengeance – and leads the last of his people to their deaths. For the Kree have a weapon of their own…one that will teach the Silent King what it truly means to be voiceless. It’s an Inhuman massacre as rising star Donny Cates and sensational artist Ariel Olivetti bring the Inhumans to the lowest point in their long and storied history – and quite possibly their last!

COLLECTING: DEATH OF INHUMANS 1-5

The Verdict

Facing their own extinction, the Inhuman survivors, including members of the Royal Family, must avenge their people as the Kree set out to destroy their long lost creations. Black Bolt is pushed to his limits and has his willpower and power set tested in more ways than one. The brutality and shocking discovery of a new enemy makes this series stand out and gives a whole new context to the mythology of the Inhumans. A must-read. 

Captain America by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Vol. 1: Winter in America

(Captain America (2018) #1)

by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Writer), Leinil Francis Yu (Illustrations), Gerry Alanguilan (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

It’s winter in America! For over 70 years, Captain America has stood in stalwart defense of our country and its people. But in the aftermath of Hydra’s takeover of the nation, Cap is a figure of controversy, carrying a tarnished shield…and a new enemy is rising! Who are they? And how do they intend to co-opt and corrupt the symbol that is Captain America? Distrusted by a nation that seems to have lost faith in him, Steve Rogers is a man out of time – and out of options! Where can a now-unsanctioned Captain America turn for aid and assistance in order to stem the rise of the cabal of influence brokers known as the Power Elite? Join acclaimed BLACK PANTHER scribe Ta-Nehisi Coates for the next chapter of Captain America’s life!

COLLECTING: CAPTAIN AMERICA 1-6, FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2018 (AVENGERS/CAPTAIN AMERICA) 1 (CAPTAIN AMERICA STORY)

The Verdict

Readers will be enthralled and engaged with this all-new chapter in the story of Captain America. Getting to see Steve Rodgers face a world now that distrusts him and his heroism after a HYDRA copy of himself tarnished his reputation by nearly destroying the world gives this new series an added element of drama that balances out the action. It is definitely a series that plays upon the state of our world as it stands now, and is a great read overall. 

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Doctor Strange by Mark Waid, Vol. 1: Across The Universe

(Doctor Strange (2018) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Mark WaidJesus Saiz (Illustrations), Javier Pina (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

The Eye of Agamotto is closed! Doctor Stephen Strange has lost his connection to the Earth’s arcane power, and he can’t wait to recover while nightmares press against the seams of our reality. Tony Stark offers a 21st-century solution: when astral travel fails, try astronautical travel. Enter Doctor Strange: Space-Explorer Supreme! New spells, allies and enemies–new and old–await Strange beyond the stars, along with corners and secrets of the Marvel Universe, seen here for the first time! Space is endless, but time is short. After years of threats, Stephen’s bill for magic use is coming due–who will come to collect?!

COLLECTING: DOCTOR STRANGE 1-5

The Verdict

Stephen Strange has been a master of mysticism for years, but now the Sorcerer Supreme is put into a whole new position as he must find magic throughout the cosmos. Seeing Stephen’s journey of discovery and the various new magical elements within the universe of Marvel Comics is a creative twist on the Doctor Strange mythos and welcome addition to the Marvel Universe.