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 #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 #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 Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #6

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

by Tim Seeley (Goodreads Author),

 Javier Fernández (Illustrations)

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

Now more than ever, the night belongs to Nightwing!

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

Verdict

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

Teen Titans, Volume 2: The Rise of Aqualad

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

by Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author), Khoi Pham

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Titans, Vol. 1: The Return of Wally West

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

by Dan Abnett (Goodreads Author) (Writer),

 Brett Booth (Penciler), 

Norm Rapmund (Inker),

 Andrew Dalhouse (Colourist),

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

CollectingTitans 1-6, Rebirth 

Verdict

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

Justice League: No Justice

(Justice League: No Justice #1-4)

by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author), Joshua Williamson

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Deathstroke, Vol. 1: The Professional

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

CollectingDeathstroke 1-5, Rebirth

Verdict

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

Justice League: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

(Justice League Rebirth: Deluxe Editions #1)

by Bryan HitchTony Daniel (Illustrator)

Synopsis 

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

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

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

CollectingJustice League 1-12, Rebirth

Verdict

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

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad

(Suicide Squad (2016) #2.5)

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

Synopsis

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

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

Verdict

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

Posted in reviews, Weekly Comic Book Roundup

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #3

DC Comics: Bombshells, Vol. 1: Enlisted

(DC Comics: Bombshells #1)

by Marguerite BennettMarguerite Sauvage (Illustrator), Ming Doyle (Illustrator), Laura Braga (Illustrator), Maria Laura Sanapo (Illustrator), Marc Deering (Illustrator), Stephen Mooney (Illustrator), Ted Naifeh (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator) , Garry Brown (Illustrator), Mirka Andolfo (Illustrator), Bilquis Evely (Illustrator), Sandy Jarrell (Illustrator)

Synopsis

In these stories from issues #1-6 of the hit series, learn the story behind this alternate reality where the Second World War is fought by superpowered women on the front lines and behind the scenes! It all begins with the stories of Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl.

Verdict

One of the strongest alternate reality worlds of the DC Universe. Getting to see the women of the DC Universe not only shine and showcase their heroism in their own series but to do so in a setting that was not known for recognizing strong women made this a wonderful read. In an age where feminism and equality are being fought for so strongly and women are more recognized now than ever before, it is important not to give up and relent in the face of adversity, and that is what this comic proves as it delves into the alternate lives of some of DC’s greatest heroes, from Mera and Batwoman to Zatanna and Wonder Woman herself. This is a must read for anyone who loves seeing empowered female characters take charge and fight against injustice and hatred with love, compassion and heroics like no other, and is the perfect introduction into this alternate world. 

Harley Quinn, Volume 1: Die Laughing (Harley Quinn (2016) #1)

by Amanda Conner (Writer, Artist), Jimmy Palmiotti (Writer)

Synopsis

Harley Quinn is back in this new jumping-on point Vol. 1 graphic novel from DC Rebirth!

Her name is Dr. Harleen Quinzel, better known to her friends and enemies as playful-but-deadly Harley Quinn. Her ex-boyfriend, the Joker, may be the Clown Prince of Crime, but Harley’s the Queen of Coney Island! So when a zombie apocalypse threatens her li’l seaside stretch of paradise, who else would ya call to save your butt?

In these action-packed pages, the baddest bad girl in the entire DC Universe joins forces with everyone from her gal-pal Poison Ivy to the leading lights of the New York City punk scene to take down anyone who stands between her and a good time–living, dead or undead.

The Harley Quinn powerhouse team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti joins forces with artists John Timms and Chad Hardin and draft a new beginning for DC’s craziest anti-hero in HARLEY QUINN VOL. 1: DIE LAUGHING. Collects HARLEY QUINN #1-7.

Verdict: 

It’s easy to see why Harley Quinn has quickly become DC’s most popular anti-hero, brandishing her own unique sense of whacky shenanigans and never give up attitude. With a humor and wit that definitely harkens to another comic book anti-hero (Deadpool people!), the comic book does a great job of not only providing outrageous comic book action and hilarious moments between the cast of characters, but subtly hints at the core strength of Harley Quinn being the family she has created for herself in the wake of her evil ex’s hold on her finally letting her go. It’s a great way to introduce the character into the Rebirth era and a fantastic book to jump into if you are just starting to read Harley’s stories. 

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New Avengers, Volume 1: Everything Dies

(New Avengers (2013) (Collected Editions) #1)

by Jonathan Hickman (Writer), Steve Epting (Illustrations), Rick Magyar (Illustrator), Jock (Cover Artist), Frank D’Armata (Illustrator)

Synopsis:

To prevent the collision of our universe with another, the Illuminati must reassemble…NOW!

It’s the most powerful and brilliant team in the Marvel Universe: the Black Panther, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Beast against an infinite legion of parallel realities. Armed with the six Infinity Gems, the Illuminati gather to plan for the death of everything…but their task is complicated by old wounds, lies and secret agendas. But when the Illuminati experience their first dimensional incursion, can this loose brotherhood of end times trust each other enough to use the Infinity Gems in unison? And what new member will join the group? Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting revamp The New Avengers in a multiverse-spanning saga!

CollectingNew Avengers 1-6

Verdict

A fantastic introduction into the Illuminati’s return in the Marvel Universe, and the road that leads to the inevitable Secret Wars story. The story of this group of individuals who are not only collectively the most intelligent people on Earth, but are willing to go to dark places that the other heroes aren’t in order to save their universe from utter destruction, is such an engaging and phenomenal character study of the Marvel Universe as a whole. Where do heroes draw the line and fight the impossible, and where do heroes cross the line for the betterment of their world as a whole? That is the amazingly complex question posed by this series, and combined with some gritty and intense artwork, this collection showcases a heavily mythology based storyline that will take the Illuminati members to the farthest reaches of the Marvel multiverse. A must read for any Marvel fan!

All-Star Batman, Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy 

Written by: Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author) (Writer), 

Art by: John Romita Jr. (Penciler), Danny Miki (Inker), Dean White (Colourist), Steve Wands (Goodreads Author) (Letterer), Declan Shalvey (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Colourist)

Synopsis:

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

The #1 New York Times best-selling author of Batman returns to the Dark Knight in All-Star Batman, Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy! But he’s not alone. Critically acclaimed, legendary illustrator John Romita, Jr. joins him on this epic new series!

In this new graphic novel, Batman finds himself trying to help old friend Harvey Dent…now known as the villainous Two-Face! The Dark Knight accompanies his foe on a cross-country trip to fix his scarred face and hopefully end the Two-Face identity forever. But when the former Gotham City D.A. sets his plan into motion to free himself, what deadly secrets from the past will bubble to the surface?

One of the biggest creative pairings in DC Comics history share their take on one of the greatest heroes ever in All-Star Batman, Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy!

Verdict:

This is a Batman pushed to the very edge and into the darkness like we’ve never seen him pushed before. The gritty nature of the artwork punctuates the dark nature of Batman’s battle to save the man behind the monster, Harvey Dent, as Two-Face threatens to tear Gotham apart. It’s also Batman at his lowest, as both villains and allies turn against the Dark Knight when Two-Face threatens to reveal the darkest secrets the city has to offer. When the world seems to be gunning for you, how does the Dark Knight remain vigilant in his quest? By sheer determination. The action and heart-pounding drama of the first volume in the All-Star Batman series sets the tone for the mature storytelling the caped crusader is facing going forward, and introduces a new terrifying foe that is sure to give Batman a true test of will and strength in the comics going forward. 

Shazam! Volume 1: 

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by: Gary Frank (Illustrator)

Synopsis

Young orphan Billy Batson has bounced from foster home to foster home, but he’s far from the ideal child. Brash and rude, Billy is a troubled teen that just can’t seem to find a calling. But after a fateful night on a subway car, that all will change.  

Brought to the feet of the magical wizard Shazam at the Rock of Eternity, Billy is imbued with powers beyond any mortal man. By shouting the wizard’s name–Shazam!–the young teen is mystically transformed into the powerhouse known as Captain Marvel! Now given abilities that make him Earth’s Mightiest Mortal at the utterance of a simple phrase, will Billy make the right choices and do what it takes to become a hero? Or will he succumb to the poor choices of youth–and the villainous Black Adam!

Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, the team behind the New York Times #1 best-selling graphic novel BATMAN: EARTH ONE, unite to re-invent Captain Marvel as a part of DC Comics–The New 52.  Collected here for the first time ever is the series of back-ups that ran in the pages of Johns’ critically acclaimed JUSTICE LEAGUE.

Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE #0, 21 and stories from JUSTICE LEAGUE #7-11, 14-16, 18-20.

Verdict

A fantastic companion graphic novel to the recently released film Shazam!, the comics bring the new story of Billy Bastion to life perfectly. The heartwarming and emotional story of a young foster kid who doesn’t trust anyone must learn to trust in the power of friendship and family as a new evil emerges from the depths and Billy is gifted with a fantastic power. The action is fantastic, as is the artwork. The inclusion of Black Adam gives fans a tease for where the series could go in the DCEU, and gives readers a chance to see the evolution of the character before the film was released. This is a must read DC graphic novel. 

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Dark Nights: Metal

Written by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author)

Art by: Greg Capullo (Illustrator), Jonathan Glapion (Illustrator)

Synopsis

The New York Times bestselling BATMAN writer and artist team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo re-unite in the epic event graphic novel DARK NIGHTS: METAL!

 The Dark Knight has uncovered one of the lost mysteries of the universe…one that could destroy the very fabric of the DC Universe! The dark corners of reality that have never been seen till now! The Dark Multiverse is revealed in all its devastating danger–a team of twisted, evil versions of Batman hellbent on destroying the DC Universe! 

 With appearances from heroes, villains and faces long forgotten, DARK NIGHTS: METAL will examine every choice a hero doesn’t take and every path they don’t walk, and open up worlds that are forged by nightmares. 

  Together on a single title for an outstanding fifty issues, Snyder and Capullo’s award-winning stories BATMAN VOL. 1: THE COURT OF OWLS, BATMAN VOL. 3: DEATH OF THE FAMILY and BATMAN VOL. 7: ENDGAME turned generations of Batman fans into a global horde of Batman superfans. With DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Scott and Greg will build on this strong foundation and broaden the scope of their storytelling to encompass the full expanse of the DC Universe.

 Collects DARK NIGHTS: METAL #1-6.

Verdict

The mythology of the DC Universe gets a horror based, terrifying new twist as the dark multiverse is introduced. The exploration of a multiverse made up of the fears and dark thoughts that creep through the minds of others within the normal multiverse was a genius idea, especially when focused on one of the most selfless heroes in the DC Universe: Batman. A hero who normally always has a plan, the concept of having to battle several evil versions of Batman who conquered their dark universes and have trapped Batman in the dark multiverse, it was chilling and fascinating to see the DC Heroes have to face their darkest fears and witness the near destruction of everything they held dear. From these pages one of the most terrifying new DC villains has emerged, the Batman Who Laughs. A twisted, “Jokerized” version of the Caped Crusader is a chilling thought, and sets up one of the most dangerous threats the DC universe has ever created. This is a must read for any diehard DC Comics fan, as it creates a truly memorable multiversal tale that lines up with tales such as Crisis on Infinite Earths and Final Crisis.