Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

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. 

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #9

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

(Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1)

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

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Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

CollectingBatgirl and the Birds of Prey 1-6, Rebirth

Verdict

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

Star Wars: Princess Leia

(Star Wars: Marvel Miniseries)

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

Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: PRINCESS LEIA #1-5

Verdict

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

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Red Hood and the Outlaws, Volume 1: Dark Trinity

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

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

Synopsis 

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

CollectingRed Hood & the Outlaws 1-6

Verdict

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

Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time

(Black Bolt (Collected Editions) #1)

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

Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: BLACK BOLT 1-6

Verdict

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

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

Verdict

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

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The War of the Realms

(War of the Realms (Collected Editions))

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

Synopsis

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

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

Verdict

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

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! 

Best Books Of 2019

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


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Best YA Romance: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio 

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Best Contemporary Romance/Fiction: If Only by Melanie Murphy 

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


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

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


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Best Science Fiction: Hybrid by Rebecca Henry

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #7

Batgirl, Volume 1: Beyond Burnside

(Batgirl (2016) #1)

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

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

CollectingBatgirl 1-6

Verdict

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

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

(Old Man Logan (Collected Editions) #11)

by Ed BrissonMike Henderson (Contributor)

Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: Dead Man Logan 1-6

Verdict

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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: IRON FIST 1-5

Verdict

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

Mera: Queen of Atlantis

(Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1-6)

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Aquaman: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

CollectingAquaman 1-12, Rebirth

Verdict

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

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Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Vol. 1: Berzerker

(Old Man Logan (Collected Editions) #1)

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

Synopsis

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

CollectingOld Man Logan 1-4, Giant-Size

Verdict

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

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

(Detective Comics (2016) #1)

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

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

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

CollectingDetective Comics 934-940

Verdict

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

Green Lanterns, Vol. 1: Rage Planet

(Green Lanterns #1)

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

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

CollectingGreen Lanterns 1-6, Rebirth

Verdict

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

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Avengers: No Road Home

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

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

Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME 1-10

Verdict

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

Weekly Comic Book Roundup #5

Supergirl, Volume 1: Reign Of The Cyborg Supermen

(Supergirl (2016) #1)

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

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth! 

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

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

CollectingSupergirl 1-6, Rebirth

Verdict

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

The Flash: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Batman: Night of the Monster Men

(Batman (2016) #1.5)

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

Synopsis

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

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

Verdict

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

Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition

(Batman (2016) #3.5)

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

Synopsis

THE NEXT PIVOTAL CHAPTER OF THE DC REBIRTH!

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

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

Verdict

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

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

(Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1)

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

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth! 

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Doctor Strange: Damnation

(Doctor Strange: Damnation #1-4)

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

Synopsis

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

COLLECTING: DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION 1-4 

Verdict

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

Comic Book Round-Up #4: July 19th, 2019

Spider-Verse (Collected Edition)

by Dan Slott (Text), Christos Gage (Text), Dave Williams (Illustrator), David Hine (Goodreads Author) (Text), Paul Smith (Illustrator), Fabrice Sapolsky (Text), Gerry Conway (Text), Giuseppe Camuncoli (Illustrations)

Synopsis

Someone is working their way through the multiverse, leaving a trail of dead spiders in their wake! As the Superior Spider-Man faces this foe in the future, MC2’s Spider-Girl finds herself under attack! From 1602 to the era of Noir, from a spider-powered Gwen Stacy to the world-famous Spider-Ham, spider-themed heroes everywhere, in every world, begin to falter and fall. How can “our” Spider-Man possibly hope to survive against this unstoppable interdimensional onslaught? Guest-starring every Spider-Man ever…and then some! Spider-UK, Sp//dr, Scarlet Spiders, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man 2099…can any of them survive the arrival of Morlun?

COLLECTING: Amazing Spider-Man 7-15, Superior Spider-Man 32-33, Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy) 1 (5 page Spider-Man story), Spider-Verse 1-2, Spider-Verse Team-Up 1-3, Scarlet Spiders 1-3, Spider-Woman 1-4, Spider-Man 2099 6-8

Verdict

A strong new chapter in the Spider-Man mythos. Anything to do with the concept of the multiverse always intrigues me, and the exploration of so many different versions and iterations of a Spider hero in the Marvel Universe was evenly explored with the lore of the deadly and mysterious new villains the Inheritors. Seeing how these multiversal heroes interact with one another and the different combinations of illustration styles made this a truly engaging read, and took the Spider-Man lore into a fresh new direction that I cannot wait to explore more. 

Spider-Geddon: Edge of Spider-Geddon

(Spider-Verse (Collected Editions) #2.1)

by Jed Mackay

Synopsis 

Spider-Punk is back and better than ever. After SPIDER-VERSE, Hobie Brown was a Web-Warrior, but that didn’t mean things back in his universe were solved. The writer of the Spider-Punk story in SPIDER-VERSE is back and joined by VENOM’s Gerardo Sandoval! Spider-Punk’s Earth is under attack both on the ground and from space, meaning his responsibility seems to outweigh his power. After Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance, The Umbrella Academy) and Jake Wyatt created SP//dr back in SPIDERVERSE, she was one of the most requested heroes. With Spider-Geddon on the horizon, SP//dr is back. Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler are joining the team to bring you the next chapter in Peni Parker’s life and set the table for the Spider-Event of 2018!

COLLECTING: EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON 1-4, SUPERIOR OCTOPUS 1 

Verdict

After the events of Spider-Verse, it was hard for me to see how much further the storyline of the multiversal Spider Force could go. Yet this next chapter in the Inheritor saga was a great introduction into the deadliest chapter of the Spider-Man mythos yet. Getting to dive head first into the various worlds of the Spiders, from Hobie Brown’s Spider-Punk to the incredible new SP//dr story based on Umbrella Academy writer and My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way’s original Spider-Verse creation, giving a more tech based Spider hero the spotlight she deserves. This is a great way to jump into the action and see the buildup to Spider-Geddon’s epic story. 

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Spider-Geddon: Covert Ops

(Spider-Verse (Collected Editions) #2.2)

by Christopher J. PriestJody Houser (Goodreads Author), Paulo Siqueira (Illustrator), Andres Genolet (Illustrator)

Synopsis

KAINE & SPIDER-WOMAN lead a rough and ready crew of Spiders on a mission to save the multi-verse that will almost certainly lead to their deaths! Spiders you love and a few new ones will risk it all to stop the Inheritors from unleashing the ultimate foe! All hands are needed in the fight to defeat the Inheritors-this time for good! Meanwhile: Anya Corazon leads a hopeful team of young heroes to investigate a legend of the Spider Society that may hold the key. If science brought the Inheritors back, maybe ancient magic can

put them away. 

COLLECTING: SPIDER-FORCE 1-3, SPIDER-GIRLS 1-3 

Verdict

Getting to explore the various differences between the Spider army in this Spider-Geddon tie in was a breath of fresh air. From the deadly, hopeless situation Kaine, Jessica Drew and other Spiders find themselves in when facing the wrath of an Inheritor, to the more hopeful and emotional struggle of Anya, May and a new Spider hero who may hold the key to stopping the Inheritors once and for all, this story has many twists and turns that will both shock and excite longtime fans of the Spider-Man lore. 

Spider-Geddon

(Spider-Verse (Collected Editions) #2)

by Christos Gage (Text), Clayton Crain (Illustrations)

Synopsis 

SPIDERGEDDON IS HERE! The end of all Spiders doesn’t exclude the star of the most anticipated video game of 2018! How does he enter the Marvel Universe and what role will he play in the final chapter of SPIDER-VERSE?!

COLLECTING: SPIDER-GEDDON 0-5, SPIDER-GEDDON: VAULT OF SPIDERS 1-2

Verdict

A fantastic story in the Spider-Man lore that has been building since the first pages of Spider-Verse. The Spider-Geddon event explores many great aspects of the major Marvel Event. From Peter Parker’s fight for survival against his deadly Inheritor nemesis Morlun to the battle for leadership between Miles Morales and Otto Octavius, aka Ultimate Spider-Man and Superior Spider-Man, this story has a lot of surprises in store for longtime fans of this story. The shocking deaths, new Spider-heroes and major battles with the Inheritors will leave fans on the edge of their seat as they wait to see who will survive, and who will win. 

Batwoman, Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death

(Batwoman (2017) #1)

by Marguerite BennettJames Tynion IVSteve EptingStephanie HansRenato Arlem

Synopsis

Batwoman returns with her own series in BATWOMAN VOL. 1, as a part of DC Rebirth!

The newest chapter of Batwoman’s life begins here! Monster Venom is the hottest new bioweapon on the market…and to break up the syndicate spreading it around the world, Batwoman’s going to have to return to the place where she spent some of her darkest hours! 

With writing from Marguerite Bennett (DC BOMBSHELLS) and James Tynion IV (DETECTIVE COMICS), as well as spectacular art from Steve Epting (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER) and Ben Oliver (THE MULTIVERSITY), this new series spins directly out of the smash hit DETECTIVE COMICS series! 

BATWOMAN VOL. 1 collects issues #1-6 and the one-shot special BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1. 

Verdict

With her live-action debut set to arrive in just a few months time on the CW, Batwoman is quickly showcasing why she is one of DC Comic’s fan favorite heroes. The first chapter in her Rebirth storyline explores Kate Kane’s dark past, especially what is known as her “Lost Year”. Forced to come face to face with old allies, older foes and a new threat that threatens to tear the world apart, Kate must navigate the familiar waters of a place she once called home, and must learn to own the mistakes and pain of her past in order to overcome the threat that looms over her and the world at large. The story does an amazing job of exploring the emotional core of Batwoman as a person while also highlighting her never ending determination to never stop fighting in the face of impossible odds, which makes her such a great character and hero to explore. 

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Green Arrow, Vol. 1: The Death & Life of Oliver Queen

(Green Arrow (2016) #1)

by Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author), Otto Schmidt (Artist), Juan Ferreyra (Artist)

Synopsis 

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

By day he’s Oliver Queen, playboy socialite, CEO of Queen Industries and philanthropic do-gooder. But at night he patrols the streets of Seattle, where he champions the oppressed as a true social justice warrior. He is Green Arrow.

But how can you fight the man when you are the man? That’s the question left with Oliver after an electric, love-at-first-sight encounter with Black Canary, the superhero rock star who challenges everything he thought he knew about protecting the innocent. As if that weren’t enough, a sinister organization with ties to his nearest and dearest prepares to tear down Oliver’s financial empire, destroy his family’ s legacy and end his life.

Without fortune or friends, can Green Arrow defeat this unholy alliance of traitors? Or has death finally caught up with Oliver Queen?

Discover the shocking answers in GREEN ARROW VOL. 1: THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLIVER QUEEN, the surprise hit series from writer BENJAMIN PERCY (TEEN TITANS), gorgeously illustrated by OTTO SCHMIDT (Korvac Saga) and JUAN FERREYRA (NEW SUICIDE SQUAD) and exploding from the blockbuster DC Universe Rebirth event! Collects GREEN ARROW: REBIRTH #1 and GREEN ARROW #1-5.

Verdict

A truly strong start to the Rebirth era of Green Arrow comics. DC has done a great job of jumping feet first into the new status quo for Oliver Queen, showcasing an established if not rocky relationship with his newfound younger sister Emiko, (hiding a secret of her own), a chance meeting with the powerful hero Black Canary, and put Oliver’s convictions to the test when he must chose between the money that funds his life and his crusade as the Green Arrow and the lives closest to him. Bringing a strong new foe into the fold and exploring the darker side of DC Comic’s vigilante stories, this is a great starting off point for the new era of Green Arrow. 

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. 

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

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

Written by: Robbie Thompson (Writer),

Illustrated by: Ariel Olivetti (Artist), 

Cory Petit (Letterer), Joe Caramagna (Letterer)

Synopsis:

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

CollectingVenom: Space Knight 1-6

Verdict:

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

Venom: Space Knight Vol. 2: Enemies And Allies

Written By: Robbie Thompson (Writer), 

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

Synopsis:

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

CollectingVenom: Space Knight 7-13

Verdict

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

The Life of Captain Marvel

Written by Margaret Stohl 

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

Synopsis:

Collects The Life Of Captain Marvel #1-5.

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

Verdict: 

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

Superman, Vol. 1: Son of Superman

Written by: by Peter J. TomasiPatrick Gleason

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

Synopsis:

WE ARE KRYPTON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Teen Titans, Vol. 1: Damian Knows Best: 

Written by: Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author),

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

Synopsis: 

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

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

Whether they like it or not.

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

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

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

Verdict:

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

Justice League, Vol. 1: The Extinction Machines

Written by: by Bryan Hitch

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verdict:

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