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 #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 #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.