Comic Catch-Up #16

February 8, 2023

It is Wednesday, which means… new comic book day, of course. Before that though, I woke up early this morning and I had some time before I had to get up and get ready for school to read three books. We’ll start with those.

Then, I went to Comic World and Games, my comic book shop in Dubuque that I buy my books at this afternoon, picking up a potpourri of tasty comics. However, I sometimes buy some books that I did not intend to buy.

My friend Todd works at Comic World. He is one of the most knowledgeable people about comics that I have ever met, but he has a tendency to stick some books in my pull box that he thinks I may like. Sometimes the book is really great and I enjoy reading it and other times it is not a book that I like.

I always joke about Todd “forcing” me to buy these books. That is not the case, but it is fun to try and jab at him.

Well, this week, there were two books he “made” me buy. One that was in my box and one that he took me over to the new releases and said that I had to read it. I bought them both. I guess we’ll have to see what I thought about these new titles.

But first, the morning books…

Winter Guard #3. Written by Ryan Cady and drawn by Jan Bazaldna, Winter Guard #3 brought the Winter Guard, along with the rebels Red Guardian and Yelena Belova to see Dracula. Dracula aka Vlad Drakul, was to offer some vital information on the Operation Snowblind that Red Guardian and Yelena were searching for. With the Winter Guard in attendance, things get out of hand. This has been a very solid limited series and ther is one more issue to wrap things up.

Stillwater #8. “All the Time in the World“. Writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Ramon K. Perez continue to bring a tale of goodness in the small town of Stillwater. This issue gets to look at the history of Tanya and how she interacted with Ted. It was a nice detour from the main story and gave us some massive character moments.

Avengers #55. “Night of the Panther, Dawn of the Hawk“. Nighthawk becomes the newest member of the Avengers in this story featuring the Serpent Society, whose strings were being pulled from behind the scenes by Mephisto. Everyone’s favorite demon is being set up as a major Avengers antagonist moving forward and I’m fascinated. The writing is from Jason Aaron and the art is by Javier Garrón.

And now the new books….

Storm & the Brotherhood of Mutants #1. “Storm’s Seven“. This is the second official part of the Sins of Sinister storyline. The story is fine. I have never been a fan of an alternate future story, but there are some hints here that may make it more than what I expect. This is written by Al Ewing, who I have always liked- especially The Immortal Hulk- and drawn by Paco Medina. The group of mutants in the Brotherhood was interesting and Storm continues to show what a bad ass she is.

Avengers: War Across Time #2. Written by Paul Levitz with art from Alan Davis. This book brings out all of the nostalgia for the comics of the 1960s as this book is definitely in that style. Even with a group of Avengers travelling time trying to stop Kang. This is even an Avengers book that has Iron Man being a “bodyguard” for Tony Stark. Whoa! This is fun and I like the writing of the characters. Guest starring Willie Lumpkin!

Gold Goblin #4. Now that the Dark Web is done, this issue of Gold Goblin really took off. Norman Osborn continues his attempt to make up for his past sins, but things keep going astray for him. Jack O’Lantern gives Norman some new problems and Norman seemed to be struggling to maintain his cool. Written by Christopher Cantwell and drawn by Lan Medina and Rafael Pimentel.

Daredevil #8. “The Red Fist Saga Part 8“. Daredevil vs. Punisher. That is most likely enough, but er also get Frank Castle riding in on a dragon. How cool was that? Chip Zdarsky continues his epic run with the Man without Fear. Marco Checchetto’s art is sensational in this issue too.

Murderworld: Wolverine #1. Written by Jim Zub & Ray Fawkes and penciled by Carlos Nieto, this Murderworld series has been surprisingly entertaining. Especially since the book kind of does a bait and switch with their title characters. I mean, Wolverine is not in this comic. Not really. Yet, I have been intrigued and entertained by the group of character attempting to survive Arcade’s madhouse.

Secret Invasion#4. “We Got Her“. Written by Ryan North and drawn by Francesco Mobili, Secret Invasion continues as a fantastic series, really showcasing how much of a bad ass Maria Hill is, and how much of a ‘shades of grey’ character she is. She is not dealing with any of these Skrulls. The shocking end of issue #3 lead into a shocking beginning of issue #4. This has been really solid and enjoyable piece of work.

Joe Fixit #2. Written by the legendary Peter David and drawn by Yildiray Çınar. I love this book. Of course, part of the reason is that Spider-Man is a major guest star, but I have enjoyed the use of Joe Fixit and then the inclusion of Wilson Fisk. Having Fisk run into Peter Parker and not know who he was was a cool scene. This may have been my favorite book of the week.

Amazing Spider-Man #19. With the end of Dark Web, this book immediately improved. Spidey and Black Cat try to head out to take a weekend off, only to run into Mary Jane. Awkward! There was a guest creative team, with Joe Kelly as the guest writer and the trio of John Romita Jr, Scott Hanna & Marcio Menyz handling the art. If this is an example of this creative team’s work, I would love to see more of them.

Okay… finally we reach the two books that Todd made me buy…

Almighty #1. Writer and artist Edward Laroche brought a story of a future society where the world crashed down around itself into a apocalyptic future. There a re a ton of these types of books released these days. And with the success of HBO Max’s The Last of Us, we’ll probably be seeing even more. Unfortunately, there was nothing special about this. There was nothing new that made me think that there would be a new idea of what the world may be like. I mean, it was fine, but it was just unremarkable. Strike one for Todd.

Coins of Judas #1. “Same Old Song and Dance“. It was weird but about a third of the way into this book and I realized that this was basically “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo”. That was an old Scooby Doo cartoon that Scooby and Shaggy (and Scrappy) went in search of a group of ghosts that had been accidentally released. Same concept here only it is tied to the Bible and the Coins of Judas. This one was much better than the Almighty and might be worth a second look. So Todd was 1 out of 2.

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