Tag Archives: suicide squad

Weekly Comic Book Roundup 22

Deathstroke Inc. Vol. 1 HC

(Deathstroke Inc. #1-7)

by Joshua WilliamsonHoward Porter (Artist), Paolo Pantalena (Artist), Stephen Segovia (Artist), Trevor Hairsine (Artist), Hi-Fi (Colorist), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Colorist), Rain Beredo (Colorist), Steve Wands (Goodreads Author) (Letterer)

The Synopsis

DC’s deadliest assassin gets a major upgrade, a new mission, and a new partner…Black Canary? Slade Wilson joins a secret organization to take down the biggest villain!

After suffering too many losses, Slade Wilson decides it’s time for a change. When he’s enlisted to work with an ages-old secret organization called T.R.U.S.T. who want to take down the heavy-hitter villains, he’s all in. They’ll supply him with an all-new team and resources for his new mission into the depths of the weirdest parts of the DCU, including a new partner…Black Canary! Wait what?!

What kind of missions does T.R.U.S.T. have in mind for Slade? How about heading into deep space and stop Cyborg Superman from spreading his consciousness to every machine in the Multiverse! But as they battle the dangers of space, Black Canary begins to uncover the truth about T.R.U.S.T and exactly why they want to control Deathstroke… Maybe T.R.U.S.T. isn’t so trustworthy after all.

This volume collects Deathstroke Inc. #1-7 and a story from Batman: Urban Legends #6.

The Verdict

The clash of different personalities in this unique new team makes added depth to the new direction that the writers are taking Deathstroke as a character. The exploration of Slade as a person and how he defines himself really did a great job of showcasing the fight for his own identity. The determination and ruthless nature of his fighting skills paired well with Black Canary’s own skills, and yet the clash of her optimism and morality with his “do whatever needs to be done” mindset made for such an interesting character dynamic between them. A definite must-read for longtime Deathstroke fans, and a fresh new direction in the DC Universe.

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The Swamp Thing, Volume 1: Becoming

(The Swamp Thing (2021) #1-4)

by Ram V.Mike Perkins (Illustrator), Mike Spicer (Color Artist), June Chung (Color Artist), Aditya Bidikar (Letterer)

The Synopsis

Swamp Thing returns in a new series that stars Levi Kamei as the next Guardian of the Green!

Unable to control his transformation into the monstrous Swamp Thing, Levi is thrust into the harsh, unforgiving mystery of grisly murders committed by a supernatural desert legend. Levi must revisit past events in his homeland of India and face the deadly reality of a ravenous new villain in order to comprehend what he is truly, and horrifyingly, becoming. A new era of global action and horror blossoms here, and Swamp Thing will be at the root of it!

Collects Future State: Swamp Thing #1-2 and Swamp Thing #1-4 

The Verdict

I love this new direction for the iconic DC Comics character. Levi is a heartwarming and heartbreaking new host for the Avatar of the Green, and the artwork and narrative do an excellent job of highlighting both Levi’s unique culture and backstory with the horror and gritty reality of Swamp Thing titles throughout the company’s history. The juxtaposition of the harsh desert landscape introduced in the early chapters of this new series with the beauty of the Green was great to see on the page, and having Levi as the new host allows readers to get new glimpses into the mythos surrounding the Green itself. A definite must-read for longtime Swamp Thing fans. 

Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Give Peace a Chance

(Suicide Squad (2021) (Single Issues) #1-6)

by Robbie ThompsonEduardo Pansica (Illustrator), Julio Ferreira (Illustrator), Dexter Soy (Illustrator), Joe Prado (Illustrator), Marcelo Maiolo (Color Artist), Alex Sinclair (Color Artist), Wes Abbott (Letterer)

The Synopsis

The Suicide Squad enters a brand-new era as they encounter fresh foes and threats at every turn!

All hell breaks loose for the squad! With all new do-badders they don’t only have to worry about surviving their next mission…they have to survive each other! This volume collects the most daring tales of the antiheroes as the DC Universe spins out in the aftermath of Future State!

Collecting Future State: Suicide Squad #1-2 and Suicide Squad #1-6.

The Verdict

As a longtime fan of the Suicide Squad titles, I loved this new direction the team and series are taking. The new concepts introduced with these new characters and members of the squad were fantastic to see, and the mysteries were so intriguing to dive into. From Amanda Waller’s powerful new endgame to the divide between her and Rick Flagg and the way Waller was able to gain control of Superboy all drove this new team led by the new fan-favorite character Peacemaker. The bright and intense artwork really kept me invested in this story as it evolved, and the chemistry of this new team was unique enough to make the title feel fresh and alive on the page. A must-read new direction for the squad!

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Future State: Gotham Vol. 1

(Future State: Gotham #1-7)

by Joshua WilliamsonDennis Culver (Goodreads Author), Giannis Milonogiannis (Illustrator), Nikola Cizmesija (Illustrator), Troy Peteri (Letterer)

The Synopsis

The event that was DC Future State continues in this graphic novel collection starring the Red Hood and the entire Bat-Family.

Disaster strikes Gotham City, and all evidence points to the Next Batman! Red Hood must choose justice over his family and allies when the corrupt Magistrate enlists him to bring in the new Batman dead or alive! Featuring the entire cast from the popular Future State Batman titles, this story line kicks off the next chapter in this forbidding world of tomorrow, and does so in brilliant, monochromatic storytelling! This black-and-white collection will showcase the brutal world that’s around the corner in Future State Gotham!

Includes stories from Future State: Dark Detective #2 and #4, plus Future State: Gotham #1–7. 

The Verdict

As the present-day DC Universe attempts to curtail some of the darker futures seen during the Future State event, this title takes readers back into the grim world of Gotham’s Future State, following Jason Todd when he is once again alone and separated from his Bat family. As he works to protect Gotham from the threats looming over them, the powerful hand of the Magistrate he now works for threatens the freedoms and lives of both heroes and villains alike. The gritty future the story depicts reflects beautifully in the black and white artwork that brings these futuristic versions of iconic characters to life. A great title in DC’s Future State line.

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red

(Harley Quinn Black + White + Red #1-14)

The Synopsis

Harvey Award nominated and one of the crown jewels of the DC library is the inimitable BATMAN: BLACK & WHITE – innovative short tales of the Caped Crusader, told purely in primal black and white ink. Unfortunately, now Harley Quinn wants in on the action…and she’s got her red pen, and some NOTES.

For the first time in print, 19 short tales of Gotham City’s craziest clown princess are presented in nothing but black, white, and bold splashes of red. See how Harley’s story unfolds in worlds beyond the DC Universe, in the alternate timelines of Batman: White Knight, Harleen, and the Harley Quinn animated series! Witness her darkest hours and her happiest moments! Behold a-wait a second, did she just…win an underground rap battle?!

An incredible array of talent from across the comics industry have put their reputations in jeopardy to bring you these stories. So show a little gratitude, will ya?

This volume collects Harley Quinn Black + White + Red Digital Chapters #1-17 in print for the first time-along with two all-new, never-before seen stories by writer David Mandel (Veep) and artist Adam Hughes; and Harley’s co-creator, writer Paul Dini, with legendary Batman: The Animated Series artist Kevin Altieri!

Collects Harley Quinn Black + White + Red 1-19

The Verdict

While there are so many authors and artists in this collection it would be impossible to stop and name them all, each one of these amazing creators did an incredible job of crafting unique moments in Harley Quinn’s history and bringing them to life on the page. The action, humor, and special connection Harley has to the greater DC Universe are felt profoundly in these stories, and the titles each reflect a different side of Harley’s personality and mindset that makes her character so unique. The short story/anthology aspect of this collection makes for such an entertaining and captivating new direction for this fan-favorite character. A definite must-read for Harley Quinn fans!

Crush and Lobo

(Crush & Lobo #1-8)

by Mariko TamakiAmancay Nahuelpan (Illustrator), Tamra Bonvillain (Color Artist), Nick Filardi (Color Artist), Ariana Maher (Letterer)

The Synopsis

The thrilling and chaotic fan-favorite miniseries from Detective Comics dream team Mariko Tamaki and Amancay Nahuelpan collected for the first time! In case anyone was wondering, Crush is doing just fine, actually. Sure, she effectively quit being a Teen Titan. And okay, her relationship with her girlfriend, Katie, is kind of on the rocks, if you want to get all technical about it. Oh, and she recently found out her dad, Lobo, is in space jail. But that’s cool, because he’s the worst. Okay, so maybe Crush has some stuff. But that doesn’t mean she’s gonna do anything

Collects Crush and Lobo #1-8 

The Verdict

I loved this title, as it gave the classic insanity and madness that Lobo is known for, while also doing an excellent job of diving more into the mindset and backstory of his daughter and new fan-favorite Titan character, Crush. The LGBTQ romance storyline that weaves so naturally into her interstellar adventure to confront her father makes this story so engaging, and the gritty conflict between father and daughter promises to keep the DC Universe more dangerous and zanier than anyone would ever imagine. A brilliant title in DC’s new lineup. 

X-Corp by Tini Howard, Vol. 1

(X-Corp #1-5)

by Tini HowardAlberto Foche (Illustrator), Valentine De Landro (Illustrator), Sunny Gho (Color Artist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Jason Loo

The Synopsis

Krakoa is for closers! The deals have been made. Mutantkind is safe on its new island nation. As the Reign of X continues, what are the wants of the mutants who have everything? Leading the charge is X-Corporation, headed by CXOs Monet St. Croix and Warren Worthington — a duo as cutthroat and ruthless in the boardroom as they are on the battlefield. But X-Corp needs more than just its figureheads. And as Monet sets out to staff their team with some of the brightest and most devious mutant minds available, Warren finds himself in a tense meeting with one of Krakoa’s first allies, who wants to know the truth: on Angel’s wings, will X-Corp crash or soar?

COLLECTING: X-Corp (2021) 1-5

The Verdict

The development of Marvel’s new age of mutants as the nation of Krakoa came to be formed has been the comic book publisher’s crowning achievement in the current Marvel Multiverse. The exploration of the nation’s various teams and assets has been so fun to read, and this comic was no different. The blend of business meets corporate espionage was a welcome new addition to the mutant’s evolving storyline in the Marvel Universe, and the chaos that erupts from both Monet’s cutthroat moves and Warren’s brilliant mind for business relationships adds both action and depth to the growing story that is Krakoa. 

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X-Men: X of Swords

(X-Men: X of Swords #1-22)

by Jonathan HickmanGerry Duggan (Goodreads Author), Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author), Tini HowardLeah Williams (Goodreads Author), Vita Ayala (Goodreads Author), Zeb WellsEd BrissonLeinil Francis Yu (Illustrations), Matteo Lolli (Illustrations), Joshua Cassara (Illustrations), Pepe Larraz (Illustrations), Carlos Gómez (Illustrations), Viktor Bogdanovic (Illustrations), Carmen Carnero (Illustrations), Rod Reis (Illustrations), Phil Noto (Illustrations), R.B. Silva (Illustrations), Mahmud Asrar (Illustrations), Stefano Caselli (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

A tower. A mission. A gathering of armies. Swords will be drawn in the first epic crossover of the astonishing Dawn of X! Wolverine, the X-Men, Cable, X-Force, Excalibur, X-Factor, the New Mutants, the Marauders, the Hellions and the rest of Krakoa’s residents will all feel the effects — but which ten mutants will wield the blades? Weapons both new and familiar are drawn from their scabbards as the X-Men prepare to do mythic battle against a truly daunting foe! Jonathan Hickman and his fellow visionary creators — who have painstakingly put all the pieces into place during Dawn of X — join forces to smash the board!

Collects: X of Swords: Creation (2020) #1, X of Swords: Stasis (2020) #1, X of Swords: Destruction (2020) #1, X-Men (2019) #12-15, Excalibur (2019) #13-15, Marauders (2019) #13-15, X-Force (2019) #13-14, New Mutants (2019) #13, Wolverine (2020) #6-7, Cable (2020) #5-6, Hellions (2020) #5-6, X-Factor (2020) #4.

The Verdict

This was one of Marvel’s best X-Men crossover series in recent years. The exploration of Apocalypse’s history and the war-driven world of Arakko was such a brilliant new direction to take the mutants now that they are formed into their own nation. The multi-world tournament showcases the brutal history of the mutants and the fight for survival that so many have had to face over the years. The action, mythos, and world-building took the mutants to all new heights, and the shocking conclusion will see one major change to one of the nation’s most vital mutants. A Must-read!  

Hellions, Vol. 1

(Hellions (2020) #1)

by Zeb WellsStephen Segovia (Illustrations)

The Synopsis

Bad is the new good! When the new nation of Krakoa opened its doors to all mutants and forgave all past crimes, its leaders knew that they’d have to accept some of their worst foes into the fold…but they didn’t plan for what to do with them. Not to worry – Mister Sinister has plans for the troublemakers. Meet his new Hellions: Scalphunter, Wild Child, Empath, Nanny, Orphan-Maker, Psylocke…and Havok?! Under Sinister’s direction, they are sure to become productive members of mutant society…and the new mutant team that you’re going to hate to love! Though right now the Hellions can barely keep from killing one another, let alone find a way to fit into Krakoan society. Of course, that might be just what Mister Sinister is counting on when he sends them to clean up his messes…

COLLECTING: HELLIONS (2020) 1-4 

The Verdict

The Marvel Universe’s answer to the DC Comics team Suicide Squad just got another contender with a mutant twist! The twisted and chilling nature of some of Marvel’s deadliest and most damaged mutants leads one team to form in an attempt to find a place for these misfits in their nation before they are forced into Krakoa’s prison deep in the bowels of the island. Between Psylocke’s morality and Sinister’s devious nature keeping the team torn in two, and the emotional exploration of each team member’s unique psyche, this was a brilliant new direction for Marvel’s mutant nation. 

New Mutants by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 1

(New Mutants (2019) #1)

by Jonathan HickmanRod Reis (Illustrator)

The Synopsis

The new generation claims the dawn! The classic New Mutants — Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Karma, Magik and Cypher — get together with new friends Chamber and Mondo for a new mission…tracking down their teammate Cannonball! Hitching a ride into outer space with the Starjammers, the New Mutants soon find themselves in trouble and on trial for crimes against the Shi’ar Empire! But when Deathbird returns and throws the Empire into turmoil, the New Mutants’ happy reunion soon becomes a complicated struggle for galactic freedom! Who will claim the Shi’ar throne? It’s a star-spanning adventure from the mind of X-visionary Jonathan Hickman!

COLLECTING: NEW MUTANTS (2019) #1-2, 5, 7 

The Verdict

Marvel’s next generation of mutant heroes finally reunites on the island nation of Krakoa just in time for a space-faring adventure. The unique stories told in this narrative showcase the New Mutants unique chemistry together, and the writers find a great balance of intimate character growth for several characters, (Wolfsbane, Mirage, and Magik to name a few), and space-shattering action. A truly brilliant story.

X-Force, Vol. 1

(X-Force (2019) #1)

by Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author), Joshua Cassara (Illustrator), Stephen Segovia (Illustrator), Dean White (Colorist), GURU-eFX (Colorist)

The Synopsis

X-Force is the CIA of the mutant world–one half intelligence branch, one half special ops. Beat, Jean Grey and Sage are on one side. In a perfect world, there would be no need for an X-Force. We’re not there…yet.

COLLECTING: X-FORCE (2019) 1-6

The Verdict

The black-ops team of the Marvel Mutants was a brilliant addition to the nation of Krakoa. The cold, calculating mind of team leader Beast showcases the evolution that some of Marvel’s OG mutants have undergone. Jean’s morality clashes with Hank often, and Wolverine’s clash with Kid Omega on the ground makes for both humorous and bloody action scenes. The introduction of this secret society of mutant-hating powerful humans makes for a great foil and need for X-Force. 

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Marauders, Vol. 1

(Marauders (2019) #1)

by Gerry Duggan (Goodreads Author), Matteo Lolli (Illustrator), Michele Bandini (Illustrator), Lucas Werneck (Illustrator), Mario Del Pennino (Illustrator), Federico Blee (Colorist), Erick Arciniega (Colorist)

The Synopsis

Ahoy, muties – the X-Men sail at dawn! Mutantkind has begun a glorious new era on Krakoa, but some nations’ human authorities are preventing mutants from escaping to this new homeland. Which is where Captain Kate Pryde and her high-seas allies come in! Funded by Emma Frost and the Hellfire Trading Company, Kate and her crew of Storm, Pyro, Bishop and Iceman sail the seven seas to liberate their fellow mutants – as the Marauders! But the real cutthroats are back home in the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle, where Sebastian Shaw has recruited a new Black Bishop to aid in his machinations against the Club’s two queens. As tensions rise, Kate’s crew finds itself caught in the dead center of the Battle of Madripoor! Can the Marauders avoid being made to walk the plank?

COLLECTING: MARAUDERS #1-6 

The Verdict

Kate Pryde shines brightly in this new series. The comic does an excellent job of diving into the black market work and missionary work that Krakoa undertakes to protect mutants and help their allies around the world. The intricacy of the Hellfire Trading Company and Emma Frost’s manipulations to secure her seat of power lead to some great tension with Sebastian Shaw, and the story also highlights some of the sexism that exists in Shaw as he tries to assert his dominance in the company. Yet it was Kate’s humor and heart that shone the brightest, as she fought to find the answer to her inability to resurrect herself on Krakoa. A truly beautiful comic series for the mutant nation. 

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 #6

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

by Tim Seeley (Goodreads Author),

 Javier Fernández (Illustrations)

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

Now more than ever, the night belongs to Nightwing!

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

Verdict

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

Teen Titans, Volume 2: The Rise of Aqualad

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

by Benjamin Percy (Goodreads Author), Khoi Pham

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Titans, Vol. 1: The Return of Wally West

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

by Dan Abnett (Goodreads Author) (Writer),

 Brett Booth (Penciler), 

Norm Rapmund (Inker),

 Andrew Dalhouse (Colourist),

Synopsis

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

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

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

CollectingTitans 1-6, Rebirth 

Verdict

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

Justice League: No Justice

(Justice League: No Justice #1-4)

by Scott Snyder (Goodreads Author), Joshua Williamson

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verdict

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

Deathstroke, Vol. 1: The Professional

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

CollectingDeathstroke 1-5, Rebirth

Verdict

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

Justice League: Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1

(Justice League Rebirth: Deluxe Editions #1)

by Bryan HitchTony Daniel (Illustrator)

Synopsis 

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

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

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

CollectingJustice League 1-12, Rebirth

Verdict

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

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad

(Suicide Squad (2016) #2.5)

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

Synopsis

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

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

Verdict

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

anthonyonrequest:

It’s Good to Be Bad:

Why Suicide Squad Excels and Why the Criticism Is Unfounded

*SPOILER Warning* (This review contains some spoilers, in an effort to explain my personal opinion towards this film)

DC’s most anticipated film has finally arrived! Suicide Squad is in theaters, and despite critic reviews panning the film, the blockbuster is set to light up the box office. Better yet, the reviews from general audiences are much more favorable and showcase the excellent power of the star-studded cast.

In the film, Amanda Waller creates a task force made up of the most dangerous criminals in the world to combat threats from the growing metahuman community. Things quickly spiral out of control and the task force must find a way to work together to stop a world shattering evil.

First, I have to say, I love this film. The music, the comic book lore and the incredible cast are all the driving force behind the fantastic film. David Ayer did a marvelous job of bringing his signature gritty filmmaking and the fun, adventure quality of the comic books. So much of this film felt like it was lifted from the pages of the comics themselves, and the performances from Will Smith’s Deadshot, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Jared Leto’s Joker and Jay Hernandez El Diablo all were fantastic. Perhaps the most frightening character in the film was the cold hearted Amanda Waller, brought to life beautifully by Viola Davis. Her cool demeanor and tough exterior made her the most dangerous villain in the film, which is saying something.

Now in order to dive into my opinions on the film, some spoilers will be discussed. Turn away now if you don’t want to know….

Still here? Ok, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Now the problems I saw “critics” complaining about were the plot, main villain and amount of backstory per character. I had no issues with any of these things, and I’m going to explain why.

The plot was not a wholly original one, yet it worked. The film was not intended to be about the plot, but rather a character study. It was about the characters and their ability (or inability) to work together. The villain of the film turns out to be The Enchantress, an ancient evil witch that possesses June Moon, whom team leader Rick Flagg falls in love with. The Enchantress releases her brother, Incubus, and together they begin building a machine to destroy the human race and take over the world. I love that they added the romance between Flagg and Moon, bc it gave a new depth and motivation to two characters that otherwise may have come across as cold or simple, not complex.

The biggest complaint is that this is an overplayed plot device. To that I have two points. 1, it’s a villain team up comic book movie, so of course the threat is going to be on a global scale. 2, the villain isn’t an overcomplicated one. It’s an evil that wants world domination, and that’s a good thing. While I love Marvel films, they have only had one or two villains I actually like (Loki and Red Skull). The hit Marvel film this summer, Civil War, had no villain to write home about. He was a revenge seeking ex soldier who used old Hydra files to tear the heroes apart, but he didn’t exude a clear and present danger in the film.

The Enchantress is finally a true villain that lives up to her comic book namesake. She’s feral, ruthless and even gets physically involved in the final battle. She was a fantastic first villain in this series, and Cara Delevingne did a wonderful job of bringing her to life.

What I appreciate about DC comics films is the gritty, dark world the films create. I like variety in my films, and while I’m a huge Marvel fan, DC has always been a darker toned comic company, and I like seeing a difference between the two companies playing out on film. The dark, often funny yet emotional tone of this film really kept me entertained.

Finally, the backstory for each character was perfect. It was just enough to keep the audience interested and leave us wanting more from them in future films. If each character was given a 15-20 backstory, the film would be five hours long. Plus, the inclusion of Batman, The Flash and The Joker as background characters was a great call. They added just enough to the film to keep the audience interested and eager to see them more in the future. The Joker was a part of Harley’s character growth, and Leto’s performance has left me excited for more of him in the larger DC universe.

Overall, Suicide Squad was an A+ film. The critics seem to not understand comic book movies, and seem to not have the ability to just enjoy a film for what it is anymore. This isn’t an “Oscar” worthy film, but it’s fantastic nonetheless. I loved the blend of science fiction, real world grit and magic, because that’s what DC Comics has always been about. This is a work of art that I will see over and over again, and I’m so excited for the future of DC films. Be sure to see the film for yourself now if you haven’t yet, and if you did let me know what you thought in the comments below!

@suicidesquadsource
@rockonrequest

Check out my review of Suicide Squad on my official blog over on On Request Magazine!