X-Men #1

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X-Men #1

“Pax Krakoa”

Writer”  Jonathan Hickman

Artist:  Leinil Francis Yu

Cover Art:  Leinil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho

After the two connected X-series Power of X and The House of X concluded, the X-Men were ready to start on their new adventures in the new world.  A sanctuary land known as Krakoa where all mutants are welcome has become their new home and allowed them a new grasp on life.

This first issue focuses on the Summers clan and their family get-together on the moon.  There are some other storylines that are sprinkled into the book, especially the strange arrival of a new character who was “born out of time.”  This female character was interesting and I found that I wanted to know more about her.  Unfortunately, she was on two pages.

We are also introduced to what appears to be a group of new villains on their way to make the X-Men’s lives troublesome once again, but I am having trouble caring much about them since I really do not know who they are.

Honestly, I find this whole new take on the mutants to be fairly meh.  I have trouble with potential stakes since, if anyone dies, they can just be reborn again with all of their memories.  It is like the old “nobody truly dies in comics” taken to the nth degree.

There were some good moments in the book, especially a conversation between Rachel and Hepzibah about the spikes on her clothing.

The whole thing with this new version of the X-Men is that everything feels off.  That may be by design, in which case I may have revisit this at some point, but the whole Krakoa stuff with the cult-like situation is just creepy.

And fact is, with all due respect, I have not been a fan of the art in this book so far.  Hopefully it picks up.

I’m not sure how I feel about the X-Men.  I had cut the ties with the mutants prior to the House of X and Powers of X, and I cannot see any way I am buying the plethora of X-books that will be coming out over the next couple of months, but there are some potential here that could turn into more than what is here now.  We’ll see…

tryit

 

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Something is Killing the Children#2

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Something is Killing the Children #2

“The Angel of Archer’s Peak Part Two”

Writer:  James Tynion IV

Artist:  Werther Dell’Edera

Cover Art:  Werther Dell’Edera

A few weeks ago, I was at my comic shop, Comic World and Games.  I had some time so I was hanging out reading some of the weekly pull list.  I have really enjoyed the opportunities that I have had to just sit at the shop and read the comics.

I was getting ready to leave when Ben, the owner, asked me if I had seen this new book called Something is Killing the Children?  Since it was from the company called Boom!, my answer was no.  I don’t go outside Marvel much (though the last few weeks I have expanded some into DC).

He said they had several first printings of this book and I had to read it.  His description of it as a horror comic intrigued me and, when they offered it to me to read without a promise to buy, I could not refuse.  So I sat back down and read it.

Man it was great.

I would have written about it when I first read it (I, of course, then purchased the first printing copy I had read), but it had been out for awhile so I decided to add it to the pull list and wait for number two.

Number Two came out today.  Time to rave.

This second issue was every bit as great as the first one.  It tells the story of the murders of kids in the small town of Archer’s Peak.  The survivors bring back stories of monsters that seem to fantastic to be believed.

However, the mysterious woman named Erica Slaughter has arrived and joined forces with one of the kids who had survived, James, to try and stop what is happening.

The story has been slowly building over the first two issues, so much that I am still not sure what is going on, and I love that.

GLAAD Award-winning author James Tynion IV (The Woods, Batman) and artist Werther Dell’Edera (Briggs Land) are the creative force behind this hot new series and I have been completely engaged by them.  I love the unconventional look of the art in this series because it fits right in with the story that is being told.  The cover for issue two is just astounding.

After two issues, this book has flown up to the top of my anticipated read list ahead of most of the other books I read.  The fact that I have an issue #1 first printing and now an issue #2 which has sold out at the distributor level before its debut on October 16, 2019 at comics shops.

I know there are great comics being created outside of the big two, and this is one of the best examples going.  Get on this train before it is too late.  This is a fabulous comic book.

ReadIt

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Doctor Doom#1

DOCTOR DOOM #1

Doctor Doom #1

“Pottersville”

Writer:  Christopher Cantwell

Artist:  Salvador Larroca

Cover Art:  Guru-eFX

Okay, this one was great.

I have always been a big fan of Doctor Doom and I really enjoyed this issue.  I was not expecting this to be a political thriller, but I thought it was a awesome way to go.  I was intrigued by the way Doom was shown and how he reacted to the situations around him.  And then with the big surprise of “Who attacked the moon” (you’ll understand if you read it), the book took another twist.

I am not sure that Doom would react the way he did in this book, but I am willing to let that slide.

However, Doom with the TV news host “Steve”… that was perfect.

This issue kept me on my toes.  There were some fun cameos from characters that we have not seen for awhile.

Behind the scenes of the political world in Latveria and the series set as a world conflict, Doctor Doom with a connection with Kang, and a mystery to boot.

I loved this issue.

ReadIt

DOCTOR DOOM #1

Year of the Villain: The Joker #1

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Year of the Villain: The Joker#1

Writer:  John Carpenter & Anthony Burch

Artist:  Philip Tan

Cover Art:  Tan & Ramos

I wonder why there were so many comics this week featuring the Joker?  Hm.

The first Wednesday after the release of the new movie, Joker, which made $96 million dollars its opening weekend, saw several comics featuring the Clown Prince of Crime.

It’s good business by DC to give the people what they want.  I mean, I am not a DC guy, but I purchased a couple of those Joker books this week because I was interested once again in the character.

Then, I was also intrigued by the name on the cover.  John Carpenter credited as one of the writers on this comic is a major reason why I grabbed this off the stand.  Plus, the fact that it is a one-shot and does not require any further commitment was a selling point.

However, with all of those pluses, I thought the book was okay at best.

It is a Joker story with a henchman who escaped with Joker.  Joker dresses up as Batman and makes this guy Robin and then goes around Gotham causing chaos.  I was only somewhat interested in the story.  The art is very solid from Philip Tan and the inking done by Marc Deering, Danny Miki, Jonathan Glapion and Tan.  It looks good.

There is a great cameo from the Condiment King.

That was really about it.  I mean … it was fine.  Honestly though, with John Carpenter’s name on the cover, I expected more.  That reminds me of when RL Stein wrote that Man-Thing series that was, at best, average.  This is like that.

Itsfine

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Contagion#1

CONTAGION #1 (OF 5)

Contagion #1

Writer:  Ed Brisson

Artist: Roge Antonio

Cover Art:   Juan Jose Ryp & Jesus Aburtov

The Marvel Universe has a new contagion that has been released in this new limited series, affecting heroes and villains, and turning them into mindless zombie-like creatures.

In issue one, we see the Fantastic Four get involved with a group of infected Moloids who had been attacking kids on Yancy Street.

Meanwhile, we are not sure where this has come from or how it arrived in the underground of Yancy Street.  There does seem to be some connection to K’un-L’un because the book starts out there and we end up with Danny Rand.

I have heard the rumors of this book being closed to DCeased, but, since I did not read that book, it is a critique that did not bother me.

I did not love the book, but it was fine.  I enjoyed reading it and I have enough questions to continue reading it.  I hope it becomes as fascinating as it could be.

tryit

CONTAGION #1 (OF 5)

Strikeforce#1

STRIKEFORCE #1

Strikeforce #1

Writer:  Tini Howard

Artist:  German Peralta

Cover Art:  Andrea Sorrentino & Dean White

I looked at the line-up of the new Marvel series called Strikeforce and I liked what I saw.  I have always been a fan of Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman, Bucky Barnes’ Winter Soldier and Monica Rambeau’s Spectrum.  Angela and Blade are characters that have had their moments for me as well.

However, this issue fell flat for me.

I did not find anything in the book to be interesting after involvement of the Avengers (even though they used the feral She-Hulk, which I hate).

After the group were framed to make it look as if they had been involved in attempting to steal several vials of some of the world’s “most virulent diseases,” Blade led the whole group on a mission to fight some kind of shape shifters that can only shift into people they kidnap.

I did not like the art.  I did not like the story.  Most of the characters fell into the background of the story.   This was not a well developed team concept in the book.

It felt very much like Savage Avengers, except that Savage Avengers slowly built its roster of characters over several issues.  Venom did not show up until several issues. This feels as if they tossed the whole group together for some reason and did not worry much about any character development.

This is going to be a Marvel comic that I am going to skip happily.

disappointing

STRIKEFORCE #1

Harleen Book One

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Harleen Book One

Writer: Stjepan Šejić

Artist:  Stjepan Šejić

Cover Art:  Stjepan Šejić

I have said before that I do not buy much from DC.  It is not that I dislike their characters, but there just is something about how they tell a story that makes me want to Make Marvel Mine.  However, I am not opposed to reading some DC, if it were the right book.

My comic shop owner Ben told me today that Harleen was his favorite book this week and that, if this was was DC Black Label would be, he was in.  I have always enjoyed Harley Quinn and I considered picking it up.

I have been very uninspired by Superman Year One, the previous DC Black Label book.  The first issue was, at best, okay, and the most recent one was below average.  This did not inspire confidence.

So when I sat down to read Book One of Harleen, I was really not sure what to expect.

This was a really great book.

A reimagining of the “love” story between Harley and Joker was at the center of the book, but it also showed how a respected young psychiatrist, slowly fell for the wrong man, that would lead her down the path of psychosis.

However, the book does not rush the story.  It slowly develops the character of Dr. Harleen Quinzel and gives us a looking inside the mind of who would become the sidekick to Joker.  She knew how the appearance of the murderous clown affected her, but she was determined to not give up on what she wanted.  Yet, maybe she did not realize exactly what it was she was wanting.

The art by Stjepan Šejić is beautiful and the cover is downright striking.  The book interweaves Harley into the world of Gotham, rubbing her shoulder with such figures as Harvey Dent, Lucius Fox and Hugo Strange.

Ben was right.  This was a really great book and I am glad that I took the time to read it.

ReadIt

 

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House of X #5

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House of X #5

“Society”

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist:  Pepe Larraz

Cover Art:  Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia

Okay… I am not sure how I feel about this issue… or where Jonathan Hickman is taking the X-Men.

Simple fact… as I read House of X #5, I could not get out of my head the idea that this is a cult and that these are not the mutants I grew up reading.

As revelation continued through the book, I was just shocked.  I enjoyed the story, but is this how the X-Men are going to be moving forward?  I’m not sure how I feel about that.

And Charles Xavier feels like a villain right now.

Maybe I am wrong and I am misjudging the book, but I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around what is happening.  Accepting that this is the new status quo.

I have not made a final decision if I am sticking with the X-men titles after the end of this dual limited series arc, but I am still holding my final opinions back.  I just am not sure if how to feel.

I have to say, that scene where the populace of Krakoa showed up to chant “MUTANT” at the “returning” heroes… just not what I expected.

WTF

 

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Absolute Carnage#3

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Absolute Carnage #3

Writer:  Donny Cates

Artist:  Ryan Stegman

Cover Art:  Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer & Frank Martin

Wow.  This issue kicked back into high gear after, what I considered, a bit of a drop off for issue two.  The debut issue of this limited series was engaging and completely thrilling.  However, issue two felt like a mix of the other books connected to this story.  Issue three came out kicking though, making me very excited about where Absolute Carnage is heading.

Perhaps it is the use of Spider-Man again that helped raise issue three.  Plus, we had Cap, Wolverine, Thing and Bruce Banner as well.

I’m kind of ashamed that I did not see what was going to to happen.  I mean, they foreshadowed it several times in the book and yet, when the last few pages happened, I was totally thrown for a loop.

No spoilers here.  Just suffice it to say that I am very excited for issue #4.

There are some great moments between the Venom symbiote and Eddie Brock with their internal monologues.  They are definitely two distinct characters in this book and that makes the whole thing more fascinating.

excelsior

 

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Spider-Man#1

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Spider-Man#1

“Bloodline”

Writer:  JJ Abrams & Henry Abrams

Artist:  Sara Pichelli

Cover Art:  Dave Stewart

Being a huge fan of LOST, I was very excited when I found out that J.J Abrams would be writing a limited series featuring Spider-Man.  Seeing it on the stands today was quite the thrill.  I love Spider-Man and I could not wait to see what JJ had in mind.

As I started to read the book, I realized that this would be a story involving a possible future.  An Elsewhere type book that looks at Spider-Man after a tragic event in his life.

My enthusiasm is dampened.

While I love Spider-Man, I am never much of a fan of alternate histories.  I like my Spider-Man stories to take place in continuity of the Marvel Universe.  And this is certainly not in continuity.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I continued to read the book with my expectations now lowered considerably.

I will say that I did like the book as I read it even if I dismissed it as nothing more than just another Spider-verse story of an alternate reality Spidey with little stakes.  I enjoyed where the story went and I am looking forward to reading the rest.

I will say, one of the more intriguing aspects of the story was what had happened to Peter Parker and how he seemed lost.  I had several questions about him.

There is also a brand new villain called Cadaverous (though that name leaves a bit to be desired).  I do like the touch that we get from Cadaverous and I do want to know more about him.

The art fit the story very well, as Sarah Pichelli provides some real memorable scenes.

Overall, I enjoyed this book even though it is not something that will matter in the long run.  I hope the series will maintain the excellence it started with.

ReadIt

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King Thor#1

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King Thor #1

Chapter One:  Twilight of the Thunder God

Writer:  Jason Aaron

Artist: Esad Ribic

Cover Art:  Esad Ribic

The final run of Jason Aaron’s Thor arc of nearly seven years is starting with the new issue of King Thor#1 (although this is technically not a new series.  It’s legacy number is #723 so it is considered the continuation of Thor, which is not currently being created).

Not only is this Aaron’s final run, but he is reunited with Esad Ribic, who worked with Aaron in the early parts of the epic run.

We are now in the future and we are featuring a knock down, drag out battle between the older King Thor and Loki the All-Butcher, in the way the brothers are destined to go.

However, I have to say, that I am so loving the new Loki series written by Daniel Kibblesmith, that I was having a hard time seeing Loki in this futuristic manner, and that was a problem with the book for me.  Still, I am able to get past that because this version of Loki feels different than the one in Kibblesmith’s book.

The story also features the Girls of Thunder, returning from their roles in the previous storyline involving King Thor.  It’s funny that these ladies are involved at the Hall of All-Knowing, and so was Loki in the new Loki#3 issue out this same week.  Coincidence?

The King Thor-Loki battle had a bunch of twists and turns and ends with a final page that is just epic if you have followed Jason Aaron’s Thor run.

I have a feeling this may be some of the best Thor we have seen in a while and I am looking forward to seeing how Aaron wraps this whole thing up.

Awesomeness

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Web of Black Widow #1

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Web of Black Widow #1

Writer: Jody Houser

Artist:  Stephen Mooney

Cover Art:  Junggeun Yoon

A new Black Widow series arrived this week and it was a great start.  The series threw Natasha into the fire immediately, under cover and infiltrating a party where her old friend Tony Stark was attending.

By the way, Tony Stark has suddenly become the 2019 version of Punisher/Spidey/Wolverine as he is guest starring in practically every book Marvel has put out.  Just off the top of my head, besides the books he regularly stars in such as Tony Stark: Iron Man and Avengers, he was guest starring in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, The Magnificent Ms. Marvel, Ironheart, Captain America, The Invaders, Loki, Captain Marvel… are there more?  Could be.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the spy drama of the Black Widow.  Told as a noir, the series really worked with flashbacks and some stunning art.

I feel this is similar to the recent Invisible Woman series, as the series features a more down to earth battle and is a more personal, character-driven tale.  It kept me intrigued the whole issue and makes me really look forward to where they plan on taking the character.

ReadIt

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The Immortal Hulk #23

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The Immortal Hulk #23

The Face of the Enemy

Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Joe Bennett

Cover Art:  Alex Ross

One of the most consistent of the Marvel Comics over the last two years, The Immortal Hulk from Al Ewing continues to be a thrill-a-page and ends again in issue #23 with a final page that causes our jaw to drop.

Who knew that turning the Hulk into a horror monster and placing him in downright frightening situations would be so epic?  Any time this comic has a new issue due, it is one of the first, if not the first, comic I read that week.  It rarely lets me down.

Al Ewing has quickly become a personal favorite of mine and he provides such a flair to the book that this run of Hulk rivals the very best runs on the character over the years, from Peter David to Greg Pak.

This comic really feels like it is building to something big, and with The Immortal Hulk #25 on the radar for October, a double sized issue as well, things look to be really become huge for the immortal one.

Oh, and shout out to Puck in this issue.  He shows that he is a true kick ass.

Another magnificent issue from Ewing/Bennett.  The Alex Ross covers continue to make this book all the more special.

excelsior

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Batman/Superman #1

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Batman/Superman #1

Who are the Secret Six? Part One

Writer:  Joshua Williamson

Artist:  David Marquez

Cover Art:  Leinil Yu & Tomeu Morey

Once again, I am a Marvel fan.  I prefer the characters and the style of the comics.  That does not mean that I dislike DC, but there is only so many comics that I can buy in a month.  I liked the Lois Lane#1, but decided against continuing that series.

However, Batman/Superman#1 is a different case.

This was outstanding.

I really liked the idea of the Batman Who Laughs.  This was my introduction to that character, even though I know he appeared in another series.  The ideas here were just not what I was expecting.

And the shocking ending literally made me gasp.  I really loved it.  Go read it.  It is a shock for sure.

The best part of the book so far was the interaction between Bruce and Clark.  The way they placed them as opposites sides of the same coin set the stage for a strong narrative.

My copy is the variant cover, which is a lovely piece of art from Leinil Yu and Tomeu Morey.

Can’t wait to see where this goes from here.

Awesomeness

 

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Spider-Man: Life Story

LifeStory

Spider-Man: Life Story #1-6

Writer: Chip Zdarsky

Artist: Mark Bagley

Cover Art; Chip Zdarsky

I am a huge Spider-Man fan.  He is my favorite fictional character from anywhere…not just comic books but movies, TV, literature…everything.  So there is a pretty good chance that if you put out a Spider-Man book that I’ll get it.

When you add that it is being written by Chip Zdarsky, who I have become a huge fan of recently- especially his transcendent Peter Parker#310, and is drawn from one of my favorite Spidey artist ever, Mark Bagley, then you know that I am in.  Just take my money.

However,looking through the new release comics coming up that week at Marvel.com, I saw that Spider-Man: Life Story #2 was due to be released… and I had not gotten number one yet!  So I made sure that I had #2 on my pull list and my comic shop found me a copy of number one.  I also missed out on number three.

It was strange that this was happening.  So I made a decision.  I was quite behind on my reading and there was a pretty large pile of book I needed to get through.  I decided that I would hold off on Life Story until after I got all six issues of the limited series.  I would sit down and read them all together.  It became something to look forward to.

It was tough too because the cover art on each one, which I know now was done by Chip Zdarsky too, really was attractive and beautiful.  It made putting this series aside all the more challenging, but I continued to do it.

This week, Spider-Man: Life Story#6 was released.  This morning, I sat down with all six issues and read through it.

Actually, it was probably a good thing that I did it the way I did because I did not know that this story was a alternate/non-continuity version of the Spider-Man mythos.  If I had known that, it may have affected my desire to buy the series.  I am typically not a fan of the alternate reality stories that tell the heroes tale in a different manner.  I like What If? but other than that, I have never gravitated to these types of series.  Even things like X-Men: Age of Apocalypse never did it for me.

And this was basically What If Time Moved for Spider-Man Like It Does in the Real World?  Peter Parker gets bitten by the radioactive spider in issue one in 1962 and the final issue takes place in 2019.  Peter Parker ages, people die and the world changes.  I did not know that at the start.

Issue one was very fascinating as it dealt with the Vietnam War and Peter’s sense of responsibility directed towards it.  They dealt with Flash Thompson’s enlistment and how Peter wondered if he should be using his powers in the wake of the war.  I thought it was well done (although some of the sixties dialogue, aka ‘bread’ etc, was distracting), but I did not realize until the very end, with the cameo of Captain America, that this series was going in a different direction.  And it wasn’t for sure until the beginning of issue #2 when Peter was talking to the grave of Flash that the series was going to take the world of Spider-Man, and the Marvel Universe, into a whole new world.

Life Story takes Peter through most of his most major storylines: from the Green Goblin to the Clone Saga to Secret Wars to Kraven’s Last Stand to Civil War.  Each one had parts that were recognizable but were adjusted for the current timeline.

I will say that there were some moments in the middle of the series that Peter Parker felt as if it was not really Peter Parker.  I understand that the events around him may have changed him some, but, even doing these kind of series, you need to keep the core part of the character recognizable and Life Story threatened to take Peter too far off the line.  However, it was able to navigate the problems well and made it through showing the key components to the character of Peter Parker.

Issue six was a classic Spider-Man story of responsibility and sacrifice, showing that the heart of this character is the same no matter what has happened to him over his lifetime.  It was a beautiful conclusion to a series that, at times, I thought felt inconsistent.  Perhaps it was more that I was afraid that the different developments was going to turn Peter Parker into someone who I did not know. There were some moments when it felt as if Peter might step over the edge, whether it be with his family or with his enemies, but Peter always pulled himself back before he turned into someone unrecognizable.  I was thankful for that.

The series is remarkably written and drawn, but that should not come as a surprise with the masters that were behind Life Story.  Chip Zdarsky is quickly becoming a personal favorite and his covers were breathtaking.  Mark Bagley’s Peter is iconic and he does not disappoint here either.

Spider-Man is the best hero in the Marvel Universe and it is awesome when a series comes along that helps highlight that.  Tony Stark specifically tells Spidey (and Cap) that “you two are the best of us” and I agree completely.

Awesomeness

LifeStory