Posted in reviews

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

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Posted in Comic Book Roundup

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!

Posted in Comic Book Roundup, Weekly Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #13

Justice League Dark, Volume 1: The Last Age of Magic

(Justice League Dark (2018) #1)

by James Tynion IVAlvaro Martinez (Illustrations), Daniel Sampere (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

The new Justice League Dark is here! Led by Wonder Woman this team of Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Man-Bat and Detective Chimp (?) must bring the fight against all supernatural foes too big for the World’s Greatest Super Heroes!

From the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE comes writer James Tynion IV’s epic new series JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK! Earth’s magic once belonged to them. Now they want the magic back. But who exactly are they? It’s up to the new Justice League Dark to find out and stop this nightmarish new threat at all costs! After the events of NO JUSTICE, Wonder Woman guides the misfit magic mix against enemies too fantastic even for the Justice League. Plus, what awful things are coming through the Tree of Wonder? Dark days ahead…

Written by James Tynion IV (Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) with phenomenal illustrations from Alvaro Martinez (Detective Comics), this bold new graphic novel series is one of the most anticipated in years! Collects issues #1-3 and 5-6.

The Verdict

A brilliant new dive into the world of magic for DC Comics, everything fans thought they knew about this world is turned upside down. The emergence of new magical threats, as well as the rules of magic being rewritten and magic’s origins all come into play here as Wonder Woman finds herself leading a team into a world she only partially understands. Shocking betrayals and amazingly horror-themed artwork make this a must-read for DC Comics fans.

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Old Lady Harley

(Old Lady Harley #1-5)

by Frank Tieri

The Synopsis

After liberating New York City from her now-feral Gang of Harleys, poor Harley wants nothing more than to slip back into retirement in her coastal (and heavily guarded) paradise. But the Laughing Boys Gang has another idea–they’ll follow her to the ends of the Earth, to drag her back to their leader!

If you think that’s a big problem, just wait. The Joker couldn’t possibly still be alive, could he? After all … Harley killed him with her bare hands! Should she turn to President Power Girl for help? Or flee to the 51st state, Atlantis? Step into an insane vision of a future DC Universe we all better hope we don’t live to see!

In this dystopian-future tale, Harley’s quest to find out how The Joker could possibly still be alive has taken her back to their old stomping grounds, but Gotham City is very different nowadays! Nobody’s allowed on the streets without the Batman’s permission–but who is this Batman, anyway? Harley’s only choice is to return to Arkham…the Arkham Home for Criminally Insane Retirees, that is! Fancy a round of bingo with the Riddler? Or some pool aerobics with Killer Croc? Collects Harley Quinn #42 (Rebirth Series) and Old Lady Harley #1-5

The Verdict

A hilarious and gritty dystopian future for the world of DC Comics, only a zany character like Harley Quinn could appropriately bring this story to life. Seeing the state of the world in this apocalyptic world is fascinating to see, with a nation of zombies on one side and a nation led by a villain on the other, the United States is in a state of chaos, and Harley must navigate it her way to find out if the Joker has truly returned. Dark secrets and shocking revelations await for this amazing series, with fantastic artwork that is reminiscent of Mad Max. 

The Hellblazer, Volume 1: The Poison Truth

(The Hellblazer (2016) #1)

by Simon Oliver (Writer), Moritat (Artist), Andre Szymanowicz (Colourist), Sal Cipriano (Letterer)

The Synopsis

John Constantine, the hard-hearted Hellblazer returns home to London to face an impossible choice: live an immortal life bonded to a demonic curse, or shift that curse to eight million people–killing each and every one of them! What to do, what to do…

The Hellblazer is back in the first volume of the continued story of one of DC’s most iconic and long-lasting characters by writer Simon Oliver (FBP) with art by Moriat (The Spirit).

CollectingHellblazer 1-6

The Verdict

A true testament to the character of John Constantine, the fantastic gothic artwork compliments the story of one of DC Comics most fascinating magical antiheroes. The story focuses on the character’s ability to con his way out of any situation, and the consequences that come as a result. A marvelous look at the delicate balance John walks between the real world and the magical one just beneath the surface. 

The Batman Who Laughs

(The Batman Who Laughs #1–7)

by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author), James Tynion IVJock (Illustrator), Eduardo Risso (Illustrator), David Baron (Colorist)

The Synopsis

Left rattled by the events of Dark Knights: Metal, Bruce Wayne must come face to face with the ultimate evil spawned from the Dark Multiverse. One part Batman one part Joker. The Batman Who Laughs.

“A Batman who laughs is a Batman who always wins.”

The mastermind behind Dark Nights: Metal, Scott Snyder, gives you a look inside the most terrifying version of Batman ever! He and superstar artist Jock (Batman: The Black Mirror) kick off a chain of events that makes Dark Nights: Metal seem like child’s play.

The Batman Who Laughs not only survived his fight with The Joker at the end of Dark Nights: Metal, but is now enacting a sinister plan across the Multiverse–something both terrifying and oddly familiar. When Bruce Wayne realizes the only way to stop this madman is to kill him, he must consider violating the very rule Batman can’t ever break … the rule that created this insatiable villain–the Batman Who Laughs!

As Bruce begins to deduce that his current life is somehow wrong and that all the mistakes he’s made are somehow connected, the Batman Who Laughs unleashes a brand-new evil. Enter one of the most punishing Batmen of the Dark Multiverse: the Grim Knight!

Collects The Batman Who Laughs #1-7 and The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1.

The Verdict

This marks the next chapter of one of Batman’s darkest chapters. After the events of Dark Nights: Metal, Batman got a grim look at the darkest aspects of himself across the dark multiverse. However things aren’t what they seem, as the most evil of them all survived and is now haunting Batman and the DC Universe. The Batman Who Laughs is a fantastic and dark new edition to the DC Universe villains, and this story sets up several future storylines in the multiverse. 

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Thor, Vol. 1: God of Thunder Reborn

(Thor (2018) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Jason Aaron (Writer), Mike del Mundo (Illustrations), Christian Ward (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

LET SOUND THE CRY – THE GOD OF THUNDER HAS RETURNED! Thor Odinson has regained his mantle – and with it, a wild new world of trouble on his mighty hands! The artifacts of Asgard have been scattered across the Earth, and to reclaim them, Thor will have to face some ugly truths. Like the production cost on hundreds of new hammers! And the Thunder God is going to need every last one of them if he’s going to stop the unstoppable Juggernaut. Jason Aaron takes the Prince of Asgard in a whole new direction with YOUNG GUN artist Mike Del Mundo joining him at the helm! And don’t miss the latest chapter of the King Thor saga with acclaimed BLACK BOLT artist Christian Ward, as the Thor of the far future encounters an old friend who’s undergone some startling changes.

COLLECTING: THOR (2018) 1-6

The Verdict

A new era of Thor kicks off here with this original story that sees Thor and Loki on an adventure straight to Hel. With the War of the Realms nearly on them, the two brothers and adversaries must traverse Hel and find a way of stopping a fiery army hellbent on taking over the realm for themselves, all in the name of Malekith. Exploring Thor’s complex family and his path to reclaiming the mantle of Thor, this was a visually stunning and exciting read. 

Tony Stark: Iron Man, Vol. 1: Self-Made Man

(Tony Stark: Iron Man (Collected Editions) #1)

by Dan Slott (Text), Valerio Schiti (Illustrations), Gang Hyuk Lim (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

From the cusp of tomorrow’s dreams to the forefront of imagination, one man always soars on the cutting edge of adventure! You know his name. Everyone knows his name! Tony Stark is Iron Man. And Iron Man…is an idea. Always changing. Always evolving. Now Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti propel the ultimate self-made hero to new heights of inventiveness! But Tony has been holding back an enormous secret since his return, and there’s only one person on Earth he’d trust with it: James Rhodes?! This will change everything. Plus: Jocasta! Machine Man! The Gauntlet! The Wasp! The arrival of Tony Stark’s new rival…Sunset Bain! And the Manticore, the most powerful assault vehicle in the Marvel Universe! Tony Stark is Iron Man. The future is now. Strap in!

COLLECTING: TONY STARK: IRON MAN 1-5

The Verdict

Tony Stark is back! The new and improved Iron Man takes the world by storm as he adds new team members to his company and he begins his work as Iron Man once more. However his new lease on life comes with a cost, and he begins to question just how much of himself returned to the land of the living. A bustling new series that has a great focus on the tech side of the Marvel Universe, and the age old question of rights and morality for the AI heroes of the universe. 

The Immortal Hulk, Volume 1: Or is he Both?

(Immortal Hulk (Collected Editions) #1)

by Al EwingJoe Bennett

The Synopsis

THE RETURN OF BRUCE BANNER! You know Bruce Banner. He’s quiet, calm, never complains. He’s a man who believes he can use the darkest elements of his personality to do good in the world. If someone were to shoot him in the head… All he’d do is die. But the horror lives deeper. A horror that refuses to die. When night falls something other than the man gets up again. The horror is the Immortal Hulk. COLLECTING: IMMORTAL HULK 1-5, MATERIAL FROM AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER 684

The Verdict

The story of the Incredible Hulk returns to a more horror-centric story, as the Hulk gains a new persona in the Immortal Hulk. The many horror motifs are present throughout this comic, and it was refreshing to see Bruce Banner and the Hulk on the run, hitting the road much like he did in his early years. This was a fantastic first run in the new Hulk’s story.

Black Panther, Vol. 6: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, Part One

(Black Panther (2016/2018) (Collected Editions) #6)

by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Text), Daniel Acuña (Illustrations), Jen Bartel (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

A bold new direction for the Black Panther! For years, T’Challa has kept foreign invaders out of his homeland, protecting his people from everything from meddling governments to long-lost gods. Now, he will discover that Wakanda is much bigger than he ever dreamed…across the vast Multiverse lies an empire founded in T’Challa’s name! Jump on now and learn the truth behind the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda! Ta-Nehisi Coates welcomes aboard fan-favorite artist Daniel Acuña for a Black Panther story unlike any other!

COLLECTING: BLACK PANTHER (2018) 1-6

The Verdict

First and foremost, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the late and great actor and the King himself, Chadwick Boseman, aka T’Challa of the MCU. It was a devastating loss to not only Marvel fans but the world and his family. My deepest sympathies to everyone impacted by this loss.

This comic does a great job of taking Black Panther and the lore of Wakanda into a whole new direction. A great blend that puts the world of Marvel Comics into a galactic setting like no other, the story behind how T’Challa found his way into a whole other galaxy is both fascinating and engaging. This is a story not to be missed in the Marvel Universe.

Amazing Spider-Man by Nick Spencer, Vol. 1: Back to Basics

(Amazing Spider-Man (2018) #1)

by Nick Spencer (Writer), Ryan Ottley (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

An alien invasion attacks New York City and the only one who can stop it is…Spider-Man?! But that’s far from all you’ll find here – a revelation from the past puts Peter Parker’s job, relationships and whole life in jeopardy! And if even that’s not enough, you’ll see a new roommate, new love interests and a new villain!

COLLECTING: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1-5, FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2018 (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN STORY)

The Verdict

Back to Basics is an appropriate title for the brand new Spider-Man series. Peter Parker is back to his life as Spidey, and dealing with the complications as a result of it. Being framed as Wilson Fisk’s new buddy by the Mayor himself, all the heroes see Pete as a sell-out to one of New York’s worst villains. Meanwhile, Pete’s job is in jeopardy and his newest roommate is a shock even to himself. This is a great new start to one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes. 

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Venom by Donny Cates, Vol. 1: Rex

(Venom (2018) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Donny Cates (Writer), Ryan Stegman (Artist)

The Synopsis

An ancient and primordial evil has been awakened beneath the streets of New York. With it, something equally evil has been awakened in that most wicked of web-slingers: Venom! The symbiote may still be a Lethal Protector of innocents in New York, but this never-before-seen threat could possibly force Venom to relinquish everything it holds dear — including its human host, Eddie Brock! As Eddie and Venom summon the strength to defend New York against the most powerful foe they’ve ever faced, there’s one more thing standing in their way: Miles Morales, Spider-Man! Two of the hottest creators in comics today, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, join forces to deliver a Venom adventure a thousand years in the making!

COLLECTING: VENOM (2018) 1-6

The Verdict

The origin story of Venom and the Symbiotes takes a dark and cosmic turn as the true nature of this alien race is revealed. As Eddie Brock bonds with his symbiote once more, he discovers that an ancient and powerful force deriving from the Symbiote’s origins is awake, and is setting it’s sights for Earth. He must fight to stop this powerful force before everything is consumed by the coming of a dark god. A gritty and twisted new spin on the Venom mythos. 

Absolute Carnage

(Absolute Carnage (Collected Editions))

by Donny CatesRyan Stegman (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

After turning Venom’s world upside down a year ago, DONNY CATES and RYAN STEGMAN are about to put the Sinister Symbiote through hell again, only this time CARNAGE has come calling, and everyone who’s ever worn a symbiote is dead in his sights! He’s skirted the periphery of the Marvel Universe for months, but Cletus Kasady at last stands poised to make his grand return to New York in a blistering, action-packed story…and he wants to paint the town red! And there’s NOTHING anyone can do to stop it!

COLLECTING: Absolute Carnage 1-5 

The Verdict

One of Marvel’s deadliest and most terrifying crossover events in recent years was also one of its best. The development of the Venom/Carnage mythos is fascinating to see unfold, and treating the Carnage event like a more terrifying zombie apocalypse was an inspired choice. Definitely a must-read for Marvel fans. 

Occupy Avengers, Vol. 1: Taking Back Justice

(Occupy Avengers #1-4)

by David F. Walker (Writer), Carlos Pacheco (Penciler), Rafael Fonteriz (Inker), Sonia Oback (Colourist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

The Synopsis

Super heroes – they’re a privileged class. Doing what they want, when they want, and suffering no consequences. They have no regard for the ordinary people who are left behind to suffer in their wake. Who will stand up for the little guy? There is a man. If you can find him, and if he believes in your story, he and his friends will put things right. Some call him an outlaw, rebel, Robin Hood. To others, he is a hero. No powers to speak of – just skills, smarts and a burning drive to take back justice. The man’s name is Hawkeye. He doesn’t look for trouble, but trouble finds him – and he’ll quickly drag Western hero Red Wolf into it as well! It’s a shame that they’re facing certain death; they would have made a great team.

COLLECTING: Occupy Avengers 1-4 and Avengers (1963) 80-8

The Verdict

A refreshing new vision for the famed archer and classic Avenger, Hawkeye gets to hit the road and become a new kind of hero. Righting wrongs wherever he goes, he seeks to make a difference for those who have no one to fight for them, all while being haunted by his slaying of his friend Bruce Banner during the Civil War II events. It’s a great introduction for some new heroes like Red Wolf and a great new direction for Clint Barton overall. 

A-Force, Volume 1: Hypertime

(A-Force (Collected Editions) #1)

by G. Willow Wilson (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Marguerite BennettJorge Molina (Artist), Jim Cheung (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

What do you do when a sentient cosmic event rampages through Japan? ASSEMBLE A-FORCE! Marvel’s newest hero, SINGULARITY, has escaped Battleworld and found her way to the Marvel Universe! But she didn’t make the journey alone. To combat the villainous ANTIMATTER, Singularity will call upon Earth’s mightiest team of Avengers. And one thing’s for sure: They are A FORCE to be reckoned with!

CollectingA-Force 1-4, Avengers 83, A-Force 1, material from Avengers 0 

The Verdict

A fantastic new direction for some of Marvel’s most powerful female heroes. The dynamic between characters like She-Hulk and Medusa are fascinating to see unfold here, and the new hero Singularity is a great new character to include in the Marvel Universe. Beautiful artwork and a much deserved all-female heroic team make this a must-read comic. 

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Falcon: Take Flight

(Falcon (2017) #1-8)

by Rodney BarnesJosh Cassara (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

LEGACY! In the wake of SECRET EMPIRE, Sam Wilson has laid down the shield and taken to the sky once again! Reborn and recommitted, THE FALCON takes flight on a personal mission to reconnect with the American people and train his new partner THE PATRIOT. But when a gang war overtakes the streets of Chicago, Sam finds himself stuck in the middle of a situation far more dangerous than he could’ve imagined-one with its roots in an unexpected corner of the Marvel Universe! COLLECTING: FALCON 1-5

The Verdict

A brilliant follow-up to the events of Secret Empire, the personal journey of Sam Wilson and the anger he harbors for the betrayal he felt after Steve Rodgers (actually a faux-Rodgers at the time) led a HYDRA invasion. With the true Steve Rodgers returned as Captain America, Sam begins his life as Falcon once more. Introducing the character to the world of the supernatural while also showcasing the racial tension and violence in our world today made this an instant must-read for Marvel fans.

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #12

Batman: White Knight

(Batman: White Knight #1-8)

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

The Synopsis

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

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

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

COLLECTING: Batman: White Knight 1-8

The Verdict

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

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Super Sons, Volume 1: When I Grow Up

(Super Sons (Collected Editions) #1)

by Peter J. Tomasi (Contributor), Jorge Jimenez

The Synopsis

A part of DC Universe Rebirth!

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

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

Collects SUPER SONS #1-5

The Verdict

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

Legion: Trauma

(Legion #1-5)

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: LEGION 1-5 

The Verdict

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

Hunt for Wolverine

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

by Charles Soule (Goodreads Author) (Text)

The Synopsis

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

The Verdict

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

Return of Wolverine

(Return of Wolverine #1-5)

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: RETURN OF WOLVERINE 1-5

The Verdict

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

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Wolverine: Infinity Watch

(Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1-5)

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

The Synopsis

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

Collects Wolverine: Infinity Watch 1-5

The Verdict

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

Wolverine: Exit Wounds #1

(Wolverine: One-Shots)

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

The Synopsis

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

The Verdict

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

Wolverine Vs. Blade Special (2019) #1

(Wolverine: One-Shots)

by Marc GuggenheimDave Wilkins (Cover Art)

The Synopsis

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

The Verdict

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

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

(X-Men Red #1)

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

The Synopsis

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

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

The Verdict

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

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

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

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: STAR WARS: DARTH VADER 1-6

The Verdict

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

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #11

Justice League, Volume 1: The Totality

(Justice League (2018) #1)

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

The Synopsis

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

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

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

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

The Verdict

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

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Cyborg, Volume 1: The Imitation Of Life

(Cyborg (2016) #1)

by John Semper Jr. (Writer)

The Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

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

CollectingCyborg 1-6, Rebirth

The Verdict

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

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

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

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

The Synopsis

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

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

The Verdict

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

The Man of Steel

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

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

The Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

The Verdict

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

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Star Wars: Darth Maul

(Star Wars: Marvel Miniseries)

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: DARTH MAUL (2017) #1-5

The Verdict

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

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

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

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

The Synopsis

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

The Verdict

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

Cable, Volume 1: Conquest

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

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: CABLE 1-6 

The Verdict

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

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

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

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: ASTONISHING X-MEN 1-6

The Verdict

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

Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire

(Rogue & Gambit #1-5)

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

The Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: ROGUE & GAMBIT 1-5

The Verdict

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

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Blue Beetle, Vol. 1: The More Things Change

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

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

The Synopsis 

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

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

CollectingBlue Beetle 1-6, Rebirth

The Verdict

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

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #10

Iceman, Vol. 1: Thawing Out

(Iceman (2017/18) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Sina Grace (Goodreads Author), Alessandro Vitti (Illustrator), Edgar Salazar (Illustrator)

Synopsis

Bobby Drake has been in the super hero game longer than most – but what has he left behind besides a few good one-liners and a string of failed relationships? And now a younger version of himself has emerged from the timestream – and he’s more put together than Bobby ever was. He grapples with his gay identity and his family and how to build a life and legacy he can be proud of…and become the best Iceman he can be! But, whether it’s seeking his ex-girlfriend Kitty Pryde’s advice on meeting guys, or delivering his latest news to his folks, it won’t be easy – and that’s before a gang of revenge-seeking Purifiers comes calling! And, still learning to be comfortable in his own skin, Bobby will meet someone who’s perhaps too comfortable in his – the son of Wolverine himself, Daken!

COLLECTING: ICEMAN (2017) 1-5

Verdict

Great story that delves into one of the original X-Men members, and fully explores the struggles of the LGBTQ community. Bobby is a fantastic protagonist and getting to see this new side of him makes for wonderful storytelling. The blend of Bobby’s humor with his personal struggles not only coming out to his friends and family, but learning to live his life to the fullest, make this a must read X-Men tie-in title. 

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Jean Grey, Vol. 1: Nightmare Fuel

(Jean Grey (2017))

by Dennis Hopeless (Text), Víctor Ibáñez (Artist)

Synopsis

When the teenage Marvel Girl traveled through time and arrived in the present, she learned the terrible fate that befell her adult counterpart. Possessed by a cosmic entity called the Phoenix, that Jean Grey was trapped in an endless cycle of life and death. Now, determined to escape that future, young Jean sets out to write her own destiny. But when she has a premonition that the Phoenix is coming for her, she’ll have to fight tooth and nail not to become its next victim! Jean enlists the help of some of its previous hosts – but will the ultimate brain trust of Rachel Grey, Quentin Quire and Hope Summers have the answers she’s searching for? COLLECTING: JEAN GREY 1-6

Verdict

A fantastic story! Getting to see Jean coming face to face with the threat of her future repeating itself makes for a unique experience. The threat looming over her of the Phoenix coming for her brings her to the larger Marvel universe, searching for a way to prepare and fight the coming of the cosmic threat. A wonderful deep dive into a complex and beloved character. 

Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey

(Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #1-5)

by Matthew RosenbergLeinil Francis Yu (Illustrator), Carlos Pacheco (Illustrator), Ramon Rosanas (Illustrator)

Synopsis

Like a Phoenix from the ashes, she will rise! Years ago, Jean Grey died at the hands of a villainous mutant – and the X-Men mourned her. But that was then – and in the years that have passed since that shocking loss, the world has changed. Jean’s teammates have lived without her, and some have died without her. But now, when strange and mysterious events start happening all over the world, an unmistakable pattern forms, and Jean’s friends and loved ones can only come to one startling conclusion. Impossible as it seems – the one true Jean Grey is back from the dead! COLLECTING: PHOENIX RESURRECTION: THE RETURN OF JEAN GREY 1-5

Verdict

Returning one of the X-Men’s greatest characters and storylines to the modern era was a brilliant move. The story of the older Jean Grey returning to the Marvel Universe thanks to the cosmic power of rebirth from the Phoenix Force and the complex battle between Jean’s humanity and the lure of the Phoenix itself brought a powerful storyline to the forefront, one that had been teased and shown for months in the Marvel universe. A must read for X-Men fans! 

X-Men Gold, Vol. 1: Back to the Basics

(X-Men Gold (Collected Editions) #1)

by Marc GuggenheimArdian Syaf (Penciler), Cullen Bunn (Goodreads Author), Jay Leisten (Inker), Kelly Thompson (Goodreads Author), Ken Lashley (Illustrator), Chris ClaremontMike Mayhew (Illustrator) , Craig Yeung (Inker), Frank Martin (Colorist), Leah Williams (Goodreads Author), Jürgen Petz (Translator), Monty NeroAndrew Crossley (Colorist), R.B. Silva (Penciler), Cory Petit (Letterer), Adriano Di Benedetto (Inker), Various (Illustrator), Jorge Molina (Illustrator), Diego Bernard (Illustrator), Arthur Adams (Illustrator), Lan Medina (Illustrator), Thony Silas (Illustrator), Ryan Stegman (Illustrator), Michele Bandini (Illustrator), Geraldo Borges (Illustrator), David Marquez (Illustrator), Greg Land (Illustrator), Marika Cresta (Illustrator), Todd Nauck (Illustrator), Phil Noto (Illustrator), Pere Pérez (Illustrator), Alitha Martinez (Illustrator), Djibril Morissette-Phan (Illustrator)

Synopsis

In the wake of their war with the Inhumans, the X-Men are at a crossroads – where do they go from here? Luckily, one beloved X-Man has the answer to that question! Now, Xavier’s dream comes full circle as Kitty Pryde returns to lead the team into a golden future! Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Rachel Grey and Old Man Logan will renew their mission to protect a world that hates and fears them, as the next chapter in the saga of the X-Men begins! But even as the new team rises out of the ashes of IVX, a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants isn’t far behind. And when their rampage through New York City begins, there will be some surprisingly familiar faces in their ranks! Who has turned their backs on the X-Men…and why?

COLLECTING: X-MEN: GOLD 1-6, X-MEN PRIME 1

Verdict

A phenomenal new era of the X-Men begins here! The fight for equality begins anew after the devastation caused by the war between the mutants and the Inhumans. With anti-mutant sentiment on the rise, Kitty Pryde leads a new lineup of classic X-Men to fight the good fight and promote unity in a time of division. A must-read book in times where division is on the rise in our own world and unity is much needed. 

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Justice League of America, Vol. 1: The Extremists

(Justice League of America (2017) #1)

by Steve Orlando (Writer), Ivan Reis (Penciler), Joe Prado (Inker)

Synopsis

Written by rising star Steve Orlando (BATMAN, MIDNIGHTER) and illustrated by a league of superstar artists including Ivan Reis (GREEN LANTERN) and Andy MacDonald (DETECTIVE COMICS), this JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD spin-off is a JLA for a whole new era–exploding from the pages of the blockbuster DC Rebirth event!

The Justice League and the Suicide Squad—the World’s Greatest Heroes and its worst—went to war. A team unlike any other rose from the ashes.

Batman. Black Canary. Vixen. The Atom. The Ray. Killer Frost. Lobo. Some are heroes, some are villains and some exist in the gray area in between. But the Caped Crusader sees the potential in all of them to show everyday people that their superhuman guardians are just like them: capable of fighting for justice despite their flaws.

Batman had better be right, because Earth is about to be invaded by a threat from beyond our universe. The tyrant called Lord Havok and his army of Extremists are out to make the planet safe again—by destroying the free will of all its inhabitants.

Can this untested new Justice League help America fend off the Extremists’ agenda? And can the Dark Knight contain the Main Man—the living weapon of mass destruction known as Lobo?

Discover the answers in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA VOL. 1: THE EXTREMISTS! Collects issues #1-6 and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: REBIRTH #1.

Verdict

A fantastic new era of the JLA begins as Batman and Vixen build a team in the hopes of uniting the public with the superhero community. Yet the question of heroism and the limits the superhuman community need come into question when superpowered beings from another world bring dominance and violence in order to preserve peace on Earth, in the hopes they can stop the mistakes made on their own world from repeating themselves. It introduces a great new series of foes while showcasing the unique lineup of heroes that the team brings together. 

Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic

(Moon Knight (2016) #1)

by Jeff Lemire (Writer), Greg Smallwood (Illustrations)

Synopsis

Marc Spector (a.k.a. Moon Knight/Jake Lockley/Steven Grant) has been fighting criminals and keeping New York City safe for years… or has he? When he wakes up in an insane asylum with no powers and a lifetime’s worth of medical records, his whole identity (identities) are called into question. Something is wrong, but is that something Marc Spector himself? Jeff Lemire (Extraordinary X-Men) and rising star Greg Smallwood are calling everything you know about Moon Knight into question.

CollectingMoon Knight 1-5

Verdict

Expertly dives into the complex nature of the mental health system and how not only those affected by mental health struggles get the help they need, but the changes that need to be made to the mental health care system as a whole to help protect those who can’t protect themselves. In that message comes the action-fueled, mythological story of Marc Spector and Moon Knight. A brilliant read, especially with Moon Knight set to make his debut in the MCU in the coming years. 

Deadpool: Last Days of Magic #1

(Deadpool: One-Shots)

by Gerry Duggan (Goodreads Author), Scott Koblish (Illustrator), Humberto Ramos (Illustrator)

Synopsis

From the pages of Doctor Strange…the Empirikul are waging a war on magic with the goal of wiping the fantastical from the pages of existence. This concerns Deadpool, because some of his best friends are magic. As the Empirikul forces batter the defenses of the Monster Metropolis ruled by his demonic wife, Deadpool wades into battle alongside his most spell-casting-est friends. And you know the old saying “Nothing ever goes wrong in a war.” That’s a saying, right?

Verdict

Whenever Marvel fans see Deadpool, typically the storyline involves his mercenary work or collaborating with another hero and bringing his unique brand of humor and destruction along with him. Yet things always get a bit more interesting when Deadpool and the supernatural mix together. This is what this story does, bringing the world of Deadpool into the fight to preserve magic in the Marvel Universe as a new and powerful threat emerges, leading to an action packed fight for the ages that fans of Deadpool will not want to miss. 

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Suicide Squad: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

(Suicide Squad (2016) #1-2)

by Rob WilliamsJim Lee (Illustrations)

Synopsis

The Rebirth Era SUICIDE SQUAD tales are collected in hardcover for the first time ever here in SUICIDE SQUAD: THE REBIRTH DELUXE EDITION BOOK 1!

Harley Quinn. Deadshot. Killer Croc. Captain Boomerang. Enchantress. Katana.

Separately, they’re an FBI “most wanted” list come to life. Together–under the command of the iron-willed Colonel Rick Flag and the indomitable Amanda Waller–they’re one of the world’s most effective fighting forces, ideally suited for the brutal but necessary jobs that are too dirty for regular superheroes. They are the top-secret operatives of Task Force X–the Suicide Squad. And they’re about to welcome a brand-new member.

When Waller orders her team to recover an object known as the Black Vault from enemy hands, the Squad has no idea that within its opaque depths lurks the genocidal Kryptonian madman whose power and rage nearly took down Superman himself–General Zod.

Beyond the challenge of subduing its newly acquired captive, however, Task Force X faces even greater dangers from the sinister sphere that once contained him. As its dark energies begin to wreak havoc on the team’s sanity, only its craziest member, Harley Quinn, is able to resist its insidious influence. But can one newly sane psychologist single-handedly stop the madness of the Black Vault, defeat Zod and keep the Suicide Squad from living up to its name?

Red-hot writer Rob Williams and legendary artist Jim Lee unleash the insanity in SUICIDE SQUAD: REBIRTH DELUXE EDITION BOOK #1, starring the characters you love and hate from the smash-hit movie! Exploding from DC’s blockbuster Rebirth event, this deluxe hardcover collects SUICIDE SQUAD #1-8 and the one-shots SUICIDE SQUAD: REBIRTH and HARLEY QUINN AND THE SUICIDE SQUAD APRIL FOOLS’ SPECIAL, and features stories illustrated by a murderers’ row of superstar artists including Philip Tan, Jason Fabok, Ivan Reis, Gary Frank, Stephen Byrne, Carlos D’Anda, Christian Ward, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sean “Cheeks” Galloway.

Verdict

A gritty, bloody deep dive into the world of Suicide Squad for the Rebirth era. Visceral and intense in its delivery and artistic approach, the story does a great job of introducing a powerful threat that challenges the new Squad in ways they could never have imagined, and immediately highlights the real danger and ease for which this team could rotate in its roster as the story moves forward. A fantastic introduction to the Suicide Squad in DC’s Rebirth era. 

Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History

(Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #1-6)

by Paul ScheerNick Giovannetti (Artist), Gerardo Sandoval (Artist)

Synopsis

Frank Castle’s future self, once the Punisher and now the twisted Cosmic Ghost Rider, is stuck in the past! So he might as well have some fun with the origins of the Marvel Universe, right?! After going back in time once already and trying to kill Thanos as a baby, Castle has sworn off trying to alter history. But when he arrives in Earth’s past at the birth of the Fantastic Four, how can he resist jumping in on the fun? And will Cosmic Ghost Rider take up the mantle once he derails Spider-Man’s origin? With great power, there must also come total irresponsibility! Plus more drastic interventions on events you thought you knew. Take a seat and prepare to have your childhood memories destroyed!

COLLECTING: COSMIC GHOST RIDER DESTROYS MARVEL HISTORY #1-6 

Verdict

A great retelling of the history of the Marvel Universe, the story expertly brings one of Marvel’s best new characters in recent years into the grander picture of the Marvel Universe. Readers are treated to artwork and style that speaks to the eras that the Cosmic Ghost Rider becomes a part of, while changing the way events occurred that defined some characters throughout their history. Ultimately, Cosmic Ghost Rider becomes far more important to the universe than anyone could have ever guessed. A must read for all Marvel fans. 

Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain

(Mockingbird (2016) #1)

by Chelsea Cain (Goodreads Author), Kate Niemczyk (Illustrations)

Synopsis

Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bobbi Morse, the former Avenger known as Mockingbird, goes solo in her own incredible adventures! With a scientific mind and a lethal mastery of martial arts, she’s one of the most versatile, in-demand assets at Maria Hill’s disposal – that makes her ideal for investigating strange goings-on in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s own medical and recovery network. And when Lance Hunter’s undercover gig at the London Hellfire Club goes south, Mockingbird sets off, battle staves at the ready, to save him – and the Queen of England! From helping out a teen driven bonkers by her own new powers, to doing a little dog-sitting, Bobbi shows that she’s a woman of many talents as bestselling author Chelsea Cain and artist Kate Niemczyk make Mockingbird sing!

COLLECTING: MOCKINGBIRD: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50TH ANNIVERSARY 1, MOCKINGBIRD 1-5

Verdict

A fun and adventurous deep dive into one of Marvel’s more underutilized heroes, Mockingbird is a brilliant hero and spy who’s sense of humor and hold nothing back attitude make her an unstoppable force in the Marvel Universe. Fantastic artwork and brilliant storytelling make this limited series a wonderful storyline that could be expanded upon in more series in the future. A great series overall from Marvel. 

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #9

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Volume 1: Who Is Oracle?

(Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1)

by Julie Benson (Writer), Shawna Benson (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Claire Roe (Artist), Allen Passalaqua (Colourist), Steve Wands (Goodreads Author) (Letterer), Roge Antonio (Artist), Yanick Paquette (Cover Artist), Nathan Fairbairn (Cover Colourist) , Deron Bennett (Letterer)

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Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

The Birds of Prey prowl the street of Gotham once again! The sisterly, crime-fighting trio–Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress–get the band back together in the aftermath of DC Universe: Rebirth, but they’re not reconnecting for nostalgia’s sake. A mysterious new criminal operative called Oracle has declared war on Gotham. Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, and a.k.a. cyber-superhero Oracle in a previous guise, takes exception to someone smearing her legacy.

Writing duo and sisters Julie and Shawna Benson, along with breakout artist Claire Roe, reunite the femme fatale crew in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Volume 1: Who Is Oracle?!

CollectingBatgirl and the Birds of Prey 1-6, Rebirth

Verdict

A fantastic new entry in the infamous Birds of Prey team history. The introduction of Huntress onto the Rebirth era team while the mystery of who the new “Oracle” is will keep fans invested from the very beginning. The team’s dynamic and the impact each has on the city of Gotham and beyond make this a relatable story as well, as powerful female heroes are finally becoming more prevalent and showcase the power of teamwork as the streets of Gotham become more and more dangerous. A must read for the DC Rebirth era, as well as the perfect read to prepare for the upcoming Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey film. 

Star Wars: Princess Leia

(Star Wars: Marvel Miniseries)

by Mark WaidTerry Dodson (Illustrator), Rachel Dodson (Inker, Cover Art), Jordie Bellaire (Colourist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer)

Synopsis

When Princess Leia Organa was captured by the Empire, she never betrayed her convictions – even after the complete destruction of her home world, Alderaan. When her rescue came, Leia grabbed a blaster and joined the fight, escaping back to the Rebel Alliance and helping strike the biggest blow against the Empire – the destruction of the Death Star! But in the aftermath of that victory, the question remains…what is a princess without a world? As Leia comes to grips with her loss, a new mission leads her to the underground world of Sullust. The Empire is rounding up fugitive Alderaanians, and that doesn’t sit well with their Princess! But what can one woman do against the Galactic Empire? They’re about to find out! Join the galaxy’s toughest Princess on a quest to save her people and rebuild her life!

COLLECTING: PRINCESS LEIA #1-5

Verdict

A fantastic way to keep the legacy of Princess Leia going, this miniseries did a marvelous job of showcasing the strength and courage and overall hope that Leia embodied in the franchise, and why she was one of the strongest heroes of the Star Wars series. Exploring the aftermath of her homeworld’s destruction and getting to see the history and culture of her people play out was fantastic to see, and the artwork was beautifully done and used a warmth that spoke to the tone of the character herself. A must read Star Wars series. 

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Red Hood and the Outlaws, Volume 1: Dark Trinity

(Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #1)

by Scott Lobdell (Writer), Dexter Soy (Artist), Veronica Gandini (Colourist), Taylor Esposito (Letterer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (Cover Penciler), Cam Smith (Cover Inker), Dean White (Cover Colourist)

Synopsis 

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

Jason Todd, a.k.a. Redd Hood, has been many things–a Robin, dead, the Red Hood–now he’s back and he’s embracing his bad side!

With his new status as a villain, Red Hood plans to take down Gotham’s underworld from the inside. Joined by a fallen Amazon named Artemis and a half-baked Superman clone named Bizarro, this dark trinity will soon discover that the line between hero and villain is harder to discern than they might think.

CollectingRed Hood & the Outlaws 1-6

Verdict

Red Hood has always been a fascinating character, but seeing his character growth in this DC Rebirth era is great to see. The conflict of proving himself to Bruce by not killing and his desire to end crime for good play out well here, as does his new relationship with fellow outlaws Artemis and Bizarro. Each brings a unique perspective to the story while also showcasing that heroes don’t always follow a black or white moral code, but that doesn’t mean they’re not heroes. A great read with a fantastic opening villain in the narrative and a brilliant origin story to the team and Bizarro himself. 

Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time

(Black Bolt (Collected Editions) #1)

by Saladin Ahmed (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Christian Ward (Illustrator)

Synopsis

The silent king of the Inhumans stars in his first-ever solo series! But it begins with Black Bolt…imprisoned?! Where exactly is he? Why has he been jailed? And who could be powerful enough to hold the uncanny Black Bolt? The answers to both will shock you -and Black Bolt as well! For if he is to learn the truth, he must first win a fight to the death with a fellow inmate -the Absorbing Man! Award-winning science fiction writer Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon) crafts a story as trippy as it is action-packed, with truly mind-bending art from the one-and-only Christian Ward (ODY-C)!

COLLECTING: BLACK BOLT 1-6

Verdict

Definitely one of the most complex members of not only the Marvel Universe but the Inhuman Royal Family is the king, Black Bolt. Now a fallen king, Black Bolt gets a much needed spotlight as fans are treated to an exploration of the all powerful Inhuman in an all-new light. The King finds himself a prisoner, and making allies with criminals in the process, as he faces one of the most terrifying foes in the Marvel Universe, and must find his place in the universe when he can’t rely on his own powers. A fantastic read that Marvel fans will love. 

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows

(Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2015) #1-5)

by Dan Slott (Writer), Michel Fiffe (Goodreads Author), Felipe SmithMarguerite BennettJeremy Whitley (Goodreads Author), Katie CookGurihiru (Artist), Adam Kubert (Artist) , Kris Anka (Artist)

Synopsis

Not even The Amazing Spider-Man is safe from Secret Wars! In this new Marvel Universe, Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson and their daughter Annie have to scrape by to make ends meet, but they have each other…However, who is Regent and what is his nefarious plan that has already claimed Daredevil and Moon Knight? It’s a brand new world full of brand new challenges for Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man!

CollectingAmazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows 1-5 & materiel from Spider-Verse 2

Verdict

Getting the chance to explore the Marvel multiverse is always a fun time. Fans of the Marvel Comics universe know Peter Parker’s story well by now, so getting to see a world where he and Mary Jane not only married, but started a family together and became their own little super-family is a refreshing change of pace. The evolution of their daughter Annie, as well as Mary Jane becoming her own hero as well, makes the blend of family dynamics and heroics a fun journey to go on. Blend this with the evolution of a new generation of Osborn and the X-Men, and fans are given a brilliant new path to explore in the Marvel Multiverse. 

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The War of the Realms

(War of the Realms (Collected Editions))

by Jason AaronRussell Dauterman (Illustrator), Matthew Wilson (Colorist), Arthur Adams (Cover)

Synopsis

THE WAR OF THE REALMS is upon us! Malekith, king of the Dark Elves, has been conquering the Ten Realms and now has his sights set on the last one: Earth. And with armies of Frost Giants, Fire Goblins, trolls, angel warriors, Roxxon corporate soldiers, the Enchantress and the prince of lies himself, Loki, at his side, Malekith may just succeed. Asgardia is no more, Old Asgard is in ruins, and the majority of Asgardians are refugees on Earth. Now Thor and Earth’s heroes — including the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and even such unlikely allies as Venom and Punisher — are all that stand in Malekith’s way! It’s an event five years in the making as the MIGHTY THOR creative team of writer Jason Aaron, artist Russell Dauterman and colorist Matthew Wilson reunite to save the Ten Realms!

COLLECTING: WAR OF THE REALMS 1-6, WAR OF THE REALMS: OMEGA

Verdict

One of Marvel’s most explosive and brutal storylines in recent years, the crossover event sees the heroes of the Marvel Universe fighting for their lives and the lives of every realm in the universe as Malekith the King of the Dark Elves has led an army to invade and conquer all realms, and leaves Earth, or Midgard, for last. A great way to see the heroes push themselves to the limit and see many heroes grow and evolve in the face of Armageddon, not least of all Thor, who becomes something far more powerful than he could have ever thought possible. A magnificent read. 

Posted in Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #8

DC Nuclear Winter Special #1

(DC One-Shot Anthologies)

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

Synopsis

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

Verdict

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


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Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1

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

Synopsis

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

Verdict

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


Wonder Woman: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

Verdict

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


Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher

(Marvel Universe Vs. #1)

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

Synopsis

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

Verdict

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


Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine

(Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine #1-4)

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

Synopsis

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

Verdict

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


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Marvel Universe vs. the Avengers

(Marvel Universe Vs. #3)

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

Synopsis

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

Verdict

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

Posted in Book Related Blog Posts

Best Books Of 2019

Hello everyone! This is Author Anthony Avina, and today I am here to share with you all the top reads of 2019 on my website. I’ve reviewed over 160 books this year, and as we close out not only 2019 but the decade, I thought it appropriate as we head into 2020 to look back on 2019 and see what were the top books of the year. So without further adieu, here are my top picks of 2019! 


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Best YA Romance: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio 

A beautiful story from emerging author Christine Riccio about the choices we make in life, and what we would do if we could go back and change things. A story of following your dreams, living the life you want and finding love, and how hard a person is willing to fight to hold onto that dream and that love. 


Best YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy: Nexus (The Androma Sage #2) by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

This exciting concluding chapter to the Androma Saga duology was a whirlwind sci-fi adventure in the YA genre. Authors Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg did a wonderful job closing this story out, creating a universe under the forced rule of a pair of siblings that seek control, but as a young outlaw turned hero seeks to save her makeshift family and stop this threat, the siblings find they are more pawns than true rulers in this quest, and an even greater threat is set to emerge on the galaxy. A must read sci-fi adventure! 


Best Fantasy: The Second Life of Eddie Coyne by Louis K Lowy

A brilliant fantasy driven narrative from author Louis K Lowy, which showcases the downfall of a father and husband and the journey he takes to find the true meaning of life and a life well lived. Finding what matters most in life and holding onto it as the protagonist struggles to find their way back home again, this is a fantastic read for 2019. 


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Best Mystery/Crime: A Shattered Lens: A Detective Preach Everson Novel by Layton Green

If you are looking for a great murder/mystery series to sink your teeth into, then the Detective Preach Everson series is for you. Author Layton Green’s second novel is a masterpiece of the genre, expertly crafting a murder mystery that pushes the protagonist to their limit both professionally and personally. This book serves as both the perfect continuation of the series and a great book for newcomers to enjoy as well.


Best Comic Book/Graphic Novel: Spider-Geddon by Christos Gage

While there were many great comic books in 2019, and many that I still need to read, out of all the comics I read that were published this year, my all time favorite had to be Spider-Geddon. A great sequel to the epic Spider-Verse storyline, the return of the Inheritors and the imminent threat they pose to the Spider-heroes of the Marvel Multiverse make this a thrilling read. Spider-Man is an essential hero to the larger Marvel Universe, and the comic book industry as a whole, and so exploring not only his story but the story of several other spider heroes in the multiverse is always a thrill. Add the terrifying and powerful threat of the Inheritors to the mix, and this storyline makes for a wonderful read. 


Best Contemporary Romance/Fiction: If Only by Melanie Murphy 

One of my all time favorite reads of 2019, Melanie Murphy’s debut fiction novel was a brilliant novel. The characters were engaging, the fantasy element of seeing various lives if the protagonist had made different choices was a great addition to the plot and yet it didn’t overpower the overall theme and romance of the story whatsoever. Its a story many people our age can identify with and the author’s voice and tone in the novel is entertaining, engaging and refreshing to read, making this a must read of 2019. 


Best Dystopian Thriller: A Single Light (The Line Between #2) by Tosca Lee

A great ending to another brilliant duology, author Tosca Lee has created a wonderful dystopian thriller that showcases the continued struggle for survival in the face of a massive breakout. Months after surviving the events of book one, the protagonists must fight for survival in a crumbling society, and as secrets threaten to tear them apart, they must find that which makes life worth living in the face of great danger once more. A must read novel of 2019!


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Best Science Fiction: Hybrid by Rebecca Henry

My all time favorite sci-fi read of 2019, my good friend author Rebecca Henry has created a fantastic story that delves into the best aspects of the sci-fi genre. Secret government operations, powerful aliens who have influenced society, time and space travel and so much more. It’s a sci-fi fans dream read and I highly recommend reading my full review to get a sense of this amazing novel. 


Best YA Historical Fiction: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

If you are a fan of History’s Vikings or the legends of Norse Mythology mixed with historical settings then you will absolutely love Adrienne Young’s “The Girl The Sea Gave Back”. The novel is a sequel of sorts to “Sky in the Deep”, and expertly crafts a story of a young girl considered an outcast her entire life and burdened by knowledge of fate, and a young man striving to make a better life for his people years after the end of a decades long war. Its a great way of continuing the story of the original novel while focusing on new characters and a new period of time in this wonderful world the author has created. 


Best Mystery Crime Thriller: The Sixth Wicked Child (4MK Thriller #3) by J.D. Barker

The exciting final chapter in one of the best crime thrillers of the decade, author J.D. Barker’s “The Sixth Wicked Child” is the brilliant concluding story in the 4MK Trilogy. The shocking game of cat and mouse between the protagonist and 4MK is taken to new heights in this novel, as readers are forced to examine whether or not the series protagonist is the hero they’ve been led to believe, or will he turn out to be the villain all along? A twisted tale that pushes everyone to their limit, this was a phenomenal read and one of the top books of 2019 for me personally.


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Best Nonfiction: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley by Carol Es

Last but certainly not least is author Carol Es’s book “Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley”. A heartbreaking and emotional journey, this non-fiction read was one of the best of 2019, and took readers through the author’s life as well as through the harrowing journey of being caught in the midst of a cult. It’s a gritty and realistic novel that will catch the reader off guard at times, but is well worth the read. Highly recommend!