Category: Comics

Batman #27: When A Batman Goes To War

Part three of Tom King’s operatic, “The War of Jokes and Riddles” arrives! Last issue had all of Gotham City’s rogues choosing sides. Joker and Riddler proved their alliance to break the Bat was doomed to start. The generals recruited their commanders. Lines were crossed and many died. Batman was reduced to a keeper of the dead’s names. Now, in Batman #27, Batman must fight back against the forces of two men who think themselves demi-Gods. Will the Dark Knight gain ground on the battlefield? Who’s the new player promised by DC’s solicits to become “the pivotal key to [this war’s] potential resolution”?

You have to hand it to the King and Janin, they aren’t going for a quiet little side story. The word operatic seems fitting for the size and tone of this lost tale. From Bruce Wayne’s narration back in the twenty-fifth issue, we know there won’t be a happy ending. The test of a good story is to know exactly what will happen and still be riveted. In great storytelling, the march towards the climax and resolution is arguably more important. Execution is everything and execution has been on point in ever sense of the word.

Challenging readers by taking on two of the most iconic villains in all of comics is a dangerous task for any creator. King and Janin are willing to rise and meet the challenge(s). Will it satisfy every Batman, Joker, and Riddler fan? No. Comic readers have a sense of ownership of the characters they lose themselves in. Especially after coming off such winning depictions by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the newest creative’s teams willingness to play with these toys seems downright deranged. And yet…?

War is here. Battle lines are drawn. The battlefield is all of Gotham City. No loved ones are safe. The protector of the common good is no longer the true enemy. He has become a side note. Is this truly a Batman story? Who cares when it’s this good? Bring on the next helping of bloody jokes and broken riddles.

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Only Astonishing X-Men Can Save Us!

It’s July and there’s still one more new X-Men title to go. This one promises to be astonishing. Charles Soule is bringing us Astonishing X-Men #1 to our shelves this week. While there have been several other team books featuring Marvel’s Merry Mutants, this is the grand finale. Resurrxion began in the spring and the movement to rebuild the mutant corner of the Marvel Universe reaches its peak temperature in the middle of summer. Minds will be blown, cities threatened, old enemies return, and the cast is epic.

Charles Soule is a prolific comics creator. The writer’s no stranger to the X-Men or to major X-Men events. Architecting Death of X that showcased the fall of one of the original of Xavier’s team (RIP Cyclops) he then intensified his scope. Inhumans Vs. X-Men set the new status quo. With this event, Charles Soule made the space for the Resurrxion initiative. Almost ten titles later, the landscape for the X-Men is drastically changing. Mr. Soule is launching the final X-title and here’s hoping the best has been saved for last.

Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Bishop, Archangel, Fantomex, Rogue, and Gambit will attempt to save a world that fears mutants. How many comics is Old Man Logan in now anyway? Sidebar, sorry. Teamwork is not really on the menu. Rather, this is grouping of characters is going to be a “cast” according to the scribe. They battle an ancient evil targeting the world’s most powerful minds. Where’s Professor X when you need him? If only Emma Frost hadn’t gone cray-cray. Betsy Brandt feels like the natural focal point to kick things off. Expect a lot of epic and blockbuster action from Jim Cheung.

Will the final place of the X-Men in the Marvel Universe be solidified? Are there more X books coming? Can we finally stop having to get another number one issue with Old Man Logan in it? The House of Ideas has teed them up, now can the Astonishing X-Men deliver?

 

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Dark Days: The Casting Gets Jokerized!

For all you Joker fans out there, congratulations. With “The War of Jokes and Riddles” going on over in the primary Batman series scripted by Tom King, the Clown Prince of crime is getting a bigger spotlight. This time he’s not just playing with old Batsy. No, now the Joker is playing a part in a mystery of the entire DC Multiverse in Dark Days: The Casting #1.

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo brought the Joker to new heights with stories including “Death of the Family” and “Endgame.” Snyder and his protege, James Tynion IV made a major reveal of the Joker being (SPOILERS!) deep in the bowels of the batcave at the end of Dark Days: The Forge #1. Now, getting to play with one of his favorite toys, what carnage will Snyder wreak on the wider DC landscape. There’s nothing the Man Who Laughs like to do more than destroy the Dark Knight. All of the teasers are promising Batman’s carefully laid plans that we got hints of last month will be burned to dust by the next surprise attack of the Joker.

DC’s self-proclaimed “master class” of artists, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, and John Romita Jr. return for this next installment leading up to Dark Knights: Metal. By the by, not knocking these three men as masters but they aren’t students or old timers past their prime (feel free to argue in the comments section). Major revelations are coming and Batman’s allies are low on trust for him. With three of the most acclaimed and beloved artists teaming with two of the best writers at DC, the mysteries will only deepen.

How will Hawkman’s warning have consequences for the heroes today? Will Duke and Green Lantern be able to look past Batman’s betrayal and guard the newest threat to the entire multiverse? And, man, this we still have the main even to come! Summer’s heating up with a smile.

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Spider-Men II Brings Answers To Miles Morales Mystery!

Marvel is finally making good on its tease from five years ago. Five years, in comic book terms that’s not the craziest amount of time to wait for a payoff. Spider-Men II #1 is fixing to answer the question from its previous series: Who is the Miles Morales of the Marvel Universe? Brian Michael Bendis is back helming this sequel bringing together the Spider-Men you know and love.

In 2012, Marvel did what they’d sworn to never do: crafted a crossover featuring characters from the Ultimate and 616 worlds. The Peter Parker, Amazing Spider-Man merry Marvelers have been reading since the swinging sixties journeyed to a world where he’d been killed. His replacement in the Ultimate Universe? Miles Morales. A kid with powers and the Spider-Man mantle who was in need of some guidance from Peter. They had a heck of a time. Fans and critics raved over the event. At the end of Spider-Men, Peter came home and looked up Miles in his world. The reaction on his face has taunted Spidey fans for five years. Now, with Miles Morales of the Ultimate Universe permanently calling the post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe home, we will learn what shocked Peter Parker. And, according to solicits, “…that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Bendis will be joined again by Sara Pichelli. This team has helmed some of Miles’ greatest adventures to date. The fan-favorite neighborhood Spider-Man is going to team up with Peter once again for what should be a gorgeous looking journey.

This sequel was a certainty. Hence, Spider-Men II. With the first storied team-up taking place in the Ultimate Universe it only made sense this follow up would take place in Peter’s homeworld. The question we’re going to have to weigh is, “Has it been worth the wait?” The Marvel Universe is a very different place. Miles and Peter’s relationship has been completely overhauled. Will Spider-Men II be able to do what Marvel has struggled with its events of recent years: Deliver!

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Graphic Spotlight- Planetary: Book One

There’s a tier of comic book writers who nearly transcend the art form. They push boundaries and break new ground. These writers have names like Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Frank Miller, and Warren Ellis. Warren Ellis has several momentous series. Transmetropolitan is a fiery near sci-fi war cry. With a blunt edge that series is torturously and tumultuously cuts you with its biting satire and unforgettable lead character. Without a doubt, Transmetropolitan is a book that continues to stand the test of time and will most likely pass it forever. However, while one masterpiece is enough to put his thumbprint in the annals of comics, arguably Warren Ellis’ best written series is Planetary. And now you can pick up an ultimate sized collection of his more recent magnum opus.

Hence this new packaging of the classic sci-fi stories featuring a team of mystery archaeologists. A love letter from Edward Rice Burroughs to Isaac Asimov and all points in between, Planetary is a must read. Follow the team lead by Elijah Snow, a hundred year-old man with secrets beyond his memory. Then there’s Jakita Wagner, an extremely powerful but painfully bored woman. And their bond becomes a web you won’t want to escape from. To fill out their trinity is the drummer, a man who can communicate with machines.

Driven to tracking down evidence of superhuman activity, mind-bending adventures await you. Uncover a World War 2 supercomputer that can access alternate universe. Be sent to a lost island of monsters. Outrun a ghostly spirit of vengeance. And that’s just the appetizer to a feast for science fiction die-hards. Piece by piece the larger puzzle becomes clearer with each episodic installment of Warren Ellis’ mystery. Just when you think you’ve got the answers, he changes the questions. 

John Cassady puts forth the crowning work of his career (apologies to all you Joss Whedon Astonishin X-Men fans…NOT!). Multiple worlds and alternate histories come to life as three extraordinary people battle literal and figurative demons. And with this gut punch combo of art and character, this is storytelling at its finest. Pick it up. And if you haven’t read it in a while, PICK IT UP AGAIN!

Collects Planetary #1-14, the Planetary Sneak Peek and Planetary/The Authority: RULING THE WORLD #1.

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Here Comes the Spider-Man. Again.

Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Every eight or nine months or so, the Spider-Man film franchise is rebooted from scratch to the absolute delight of everyone everywhere, without exception. Spider-Man: Homecoming is the latest installment, and wow does it look spectacular. If you’re anything like me, and we’ll assume you are so we can keep talking about Spider-Man, all the recent buzz has given you an insatiable itch for all things Webhead. But you don’t want one of those boring stories with just one Spider-Man; moderation is for Ant-Man fans. You want to indulge. We feel the same way, dear reader, and with that in mind we’ve put together a list of some of the most indulgent Spider-Man books in recent memory.

Spider-Island: There have been many, many crescendos during Dan Slott’s tenure on Amazing Spider-Man, but this book was the first. In it, the entire population of Manhattan is infected with a virus that grants them spider powers, giving them the perfect simulation of what it’s like to be Spider-Man. And by that, I mean things go great, and then they go terrible and life becomes a dumpster fire. Slott uses this premise as an opportunity to examine Spidey’s value as hero. What makes Peter Parker unique in a world full of people just like him? It’s a great dissection of the character’s relationship with the city he serves, and at times it becomes less of a Spider-Man story and more of a New York story. It takes full advantage of all Manhattan has to offer in terms of backdrop, and uses several major landmarks as prominent set pieces. One sequence features nearly every New York superhero charging into a colossal battle that tears its way through our very own Union Square Park, which I kind of remember now that I think about it. But perhaps the most compelling selling point I can present you with for this book is that starting in the first issue, Spider-Man learns and practices martial arts. If Spider-Man doing karate isn’t everything you’ve been waiting your entire life for, then you are lying, because yes it is, liar.

You’ve probably already gathered as much, but this book has a pretty blatant recurring motif, and that motif is spiders. Spidey has spawned a number of offshoot spider-themed allies over the years: Venom, Madame Webb, Araña, and the like. There’s a whole catalogue of characters to pull from, and just about all of them make an appearance here. And I haven’t even mentioned all the human-spider hybrid monsters! If you are at all arachnophobic, you might want to sit this one out. Also, that spider on your leg is huge.

Longtime readers will be interested to learn that Spider-Island technically serves as a belated follow-up to a story from Paul Jenkins’ stint on the character in the early 2000’s. But if you’ve been out of the loop, rest assured; it’s greatly rewarding for some, safe to read for all.

Spider-Men: When Spider-Man accidentally fell through a hole in time and space to the Ultimate Universe, I bet he was dreading the inevitable confrontation he would have to have with his alternate, Ultimate self. Those are always so awkward. Luckily, that universe’s Peter Parker died tragically in the prime of his young life. Phew! Instead, he bumped into the new kid. Enter Miles Morales, the plucky young man who stepped into the tight, webbed booties when the world needed him most. Miles has become a Marvel mainstay in recent years, with a close relationship to Peter Parker, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was a fresh-faced newcomer still learning to swing the proverbial ropes. This was not only the first ever crossover between the main and Ultimate Marvel universes, but it also saw Miles meet his hero and role model for the very first time. Spoiler: he handled it way better than I would have.

Drawn to stylish perfection by Sara Pichelli, Spider-Men is a genuine blast from beginning to end, and is guaranteed to give any fan of the Ultimate Universe a huge kick. That goes especially for fans of the original Ultimate Spider-Man who were heartbroken to see him go. This mini-series offers a lot touching and cathartic moments, as Peter is confronted by a cast of his supporting characters from a world that lost him too soon. Web yourself a hanky, kids–this one’s a tear-jerker.

Spider-Verse: Which alternate universe Spider-Man do you enjoy the most? Is it Spider-Girl of MC2? Spider-Man 2099? Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham? There’s a lot, so it’s always been hard for fans to agree on which is best. But it’ll probably be a little easier now, considering your favorite one was just eaten alive. Yes, you are right to gasp. Someone is traversing the multiverse in search of sweet, delicious Spider-Mans, and they are not picky. It’s going to take the combined might of every Spider-Man in existence to put an end to this sinister smorgasbord. Every. Single. One.

Taking every Spider-Man you’ve ever heard of (and some you haven’t) and squeezing them all onto the same page is obviously impossible, and you will giggle like a child when you see this book do it anyway. Spider-Verse is as big and grand a Spidey story as we will ever get, and when “grand” and “Spider-Man” are your two descriptors, there’s only one hero you can turn to: Olivier Coipel. If there’s anyone out there that still thinks Coipel could manage to draw an image of this character that isn’t gorgeous, this book will put that suspicion in its grave like the twitching carcass of your favorite Spider-Man. He can’t. It’s the one thing he’s unable to do, and believe me, here he is given every opportunity to try — Pig Spider-Man! Wolf Spider-Man! Vampire! Zombie! British! Skip’s wandering eye, that’s a lot of Spider-Mans. Dan Slott is back at the helm for this one, and for anyone who enjoyed his Superior Spider-Man run, there’s a character whose prominent inclusion here you are sure to appreciate. Not possible? I’ll say it again: Every. Single. One.
Renew Your Vows: It’s been ten years, and many of us are still giving the side glance at Marvel’s decision to have Peter Parker pawn off his and Mary Jane’s marriage like a baseball card. To Satan. Really it was just Mephisto, but I couldn’t type that name and pinch the bridge of my nose at the same time. It was kind of criminal, but I think we would all do well to just let it go at this point. Or not; if Spider-Man has taught us anything, it’s what can happen when we let criminals go. Wait–Uncle Lance! NOOOO!

In response to a decade’s worth of quivering lower lips, Marvel has released an ongoing title that answers the question: what if Peter and Mary Jane had stayed together? And had a child? And all three of them fought crime together as an Amazing Spider-Family? The more observant among you will note that that was three questions, but I assure you, genius reader, that the answers to all of them are incredibly endearing. Seeing Spidey embrace his role as a full-fledged family man presents a dynamic that writers have been afraid to tackle for decades, but now we finally know it’s a formula that can work. Vows is such a fun world to play in, and considering it’s basically a “what-if” story, the Marvel Universe it inhabits is surprisingly conventional and free from all the more recent convolutions that have been plaguing the main Marvel U. Volume one is out now, and all it will cost you are your cherished memories of a loved one.

No, it’s $15.99.

The Complete Clone Saga Epic: Mullets! Mullets! Mullets! You didn’t need to use your spider-sense to see this one coming, and even if you had, it wouldn’t have saved you. Read by many and beloved by one (me), the (very) 90’s Clone Saga is a thrilling, winding epic the likes of which has never been matched, before or since! I kid you not, there is no tale in all of fiction as elaborate and convoluted as this one. It’s such a long, involved portion of the character’s history that I get to genuinely say that no Spider-Man collection is complete without it. For years, an editorial battle for Spider-Man’s soul raged on behind the scenes, the bloody results of which are now being lovingly republished into these comprehensive collections.

Peter Parker’s life is collapsing all around him. All his loved ones have either died or revealed themselves to be killer robots, which is always a shame. And then his wife left him, presumably just to see the look on his face. At this, his lowest point, he finds himself face-to-face with the absolute last people he wants to see–Peter Parker, Peter Parker and Peter Parker! This was either the work of someone who hates Spider-Man, or someone who really, really likes him. But no one disliked superheroes in the 90’s more than themselves, so when our hero is confronted with a book club’s worth of himself, it doesn’t take long for things to get ugly.

Clone Saga was a story that more than once pushed the limits of Spider-Man’s sanity, as it will yours, and I can guarantee that you will never, ever predict what the next issue holds. Unless your prediction was ‘more clones,’ in which case you just spoiled the beginning, middle, and end. It was a constant revolving door for all his greatest rogues, and saw the introductions of fan-favorites like Ben Reilly and Kaine, characters that endure to this day (specifically in the pages of Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy and Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider)! Peter Parker may not quite be one of a kind anymore, but The Clone Saga most certainly is.

Read and see for yourself, true believers

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Graphic Spotlight – Monstress Vol. 2

After a monstrously long hiatus (see what I did there?), the next exciting act of MONSTRESS is here! This beautiful and bewitching series returns with the stakes ever higher and harder choices for the flawed and beloved characters. MONSTRESS is a feast for our eyes and quenches our brain’s thirst for personally epic storytelling. Maika is possessed by the God Monstrum, y’all! Things are not okay and now we can see if they ever will be.

MONSTRESS is a breakout hit for Image Comics. Tackling themes including racism, sexism, weakness, and classism, the series is powerful. I mean that in every sense of the word. Sana Takeda’s art is addictive. The series has walked an incredibly fine line between western comics and manga. Takeda pulls off the brilliant balancing act with engrossing images and heartrending visual storytelling. Thus, a series that is mesmerizing enough to stare at let alone read more than once. You want to look at it all the time. Takeda and writer Marjorie Liu take us back into the crisis of Maika and expands the world with her supporting cast, Kippa and Ren.

While Maika is being a…monster (I can’t help myself), Ren and Kippa journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past. But what they find will be dangers to her future. Welcome back to this alternate world where the subtext is explicit and delicious. Maika’s quest to revenge her mother’s murder will take new twists and turns. This world where the lower class is food and fuel for the upper crust will have new secrets to uncover. Where will this hero’s journey take us next? Most likely someplace pretty freakin’ dark. Without a doubt, it will be somewhere we’ll be hooked to look at. The conclusion is that Maika’s story will probably not end quite how we think it will. And whatever end we find at the end of this trade is going to be too captivating to unsee.

Collects Monstress #7-12

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Deadpool Kills Every Marvel Hero Again!

Deadpool is going to kill every Marvel character EVER! Wait, didn’t we already read that story? Yeah, we did. It was called DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. And it was awesome and epic and, um, other words that equate to awesome and epic. Well, it looks like the ol’ Merc With The Mouth is going to kill everyone and everything all over again. Encore, baby! Hence the explicit “Again” in the title of DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN #1.

There are no do-overs in life. And yet in comics? Oh, hell yeah. Because who doesn’t like a reboot, retcon, or retelling? Therefore we always love the elseworld and “what if” stories. Doing it all over again, with some fun new wrinkles thrown into the story you think you know, can be fun! Since there are only seven basic plots then Deadpool killing all your faves was bound to get a redux treatment. At least it’s with the same creators that brought you the original.

Yup, this new shiny polished reimagining of the “classic” is brought to by the same trigger-happy writer and artist. Cullen Bunn, who’s writing of the fourth-wall breaking mutant has been some of the most fan-favorite of the last decade is going to rewrite Deadpool’s violent outbreak. Dalibor Talajic is also back to put on a display of all the gory details. Thus, we’re all in good hands! How is this all different from the last time that the chimichanga lovin’ assassin killed the Marvel Universe?

The creators have stated that this is a “different time.” Are we in a parallel world? Maybe we’re not even part of the Marvel multiverse. We’ll certainly get to find out starting this Wednesday. Any bets on which Marvel heavy gets taken out first? Spider-Man? Wolverine? Cable? And what’s the spread on how Deadpool wastes folks? I dare say, let the dead pool begin…again!

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Batman #26 Escalates Into War

Batman’s greatest defeat is beginning to take shape. Last issue we saw the beginning of Bruce Wayne’s confession. Now, the terrible war he could not stop is about to escalate. After the shocking alliance in part one, just what will two of the Dark Knight’s greatest foes do next? And how many lives will be in the balance?

The War of Jokes and Riddles” had a heck of a kickoff. The Riddler and The Joker are united. They have one goal: End the pointy-eared vigilante’s existence. It’s the only way they’ll laugh and riddle again. To do so, they’re about to take their feud to the next level. When the other villains in Gotham City are forced to choose sides no one will get out unscathed. Whose side will you be on? And will their be unexpected casualties in the crossfire? Bats is going to have to push himself beyond limits to keep civilians out of harm’s way.

Most definitely the core Batman title has been on an upswing. Each new story arc seems to be raising the bar for Tom King and his cadre of artists. Due to that, what began with a solid start has grown into a must-read saga.When a new creative team takes over on a title, there are questions. “Will this be the same character as I think of him?” “Is the next adventure be as good as the last?” “Can the book look the same or cooler?” Needless to say, following Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Tom King and David Finch needed to have good answers.

King’s Batman is arguably more human. Therefore, he doesn’t deny that he has emotions. He isn’t insensitive to others’. Hence there’s almost something romantic in this exploration of the seventy-eight year-old character. That’s far from a bad thing. To see a new side of an older character is often rewarding. How the change effects him for the long-term when King and crew move on will be the real barometer of success.

One thing’s for certain, the creator’s Riddler and Joker have been exciting. This next chapter is chocked full of devastating potential.

 

 

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Wonder Woman’s Odyssey Reaches It’s Apex!

Wonder Woman is currently destroying the standards for a female led superhero at the box office. The momentum behind the Amazonian princess is at a peak. This week, Greg Rucka and Bilquis Evely, look to have a major tentpole moment of their own in Wonder Woman #25. Everything Rucka has crafted with his top tier artists, Liam Sharp, Nicola Scott, and Evely, is coming to a head. Everything that began in “The Lies,” “Year One”, and that has continued with “The Truth” and “Godwatch” is going to be tied up in this extra-sized anniversary issue.

Her Rebirth has been something pretty extraordinary to behold. In the waning moths of the New 52 era, Themyscira’s greatest living import had been on rough times both critically and commercially in comic shops. After a resurgence for the first couple of years under the creative guide of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, fans had been leaving her on the shelf. Like so many titles though, the new initiative from DC ended up being a benefit to the characters, comic shops, and comic book readers. Except Wonder Woman has been unique even in the way she came charging back to the forefront of DC.

With a twice-monthly publishing schedule now, Mr. Rucka devised a way to keep his superstar artists fresh by having two stories in alternating issues. “The Lies” and “The Truth” have rolled out in the even numbered installments while the odds belonged to “Year One” and “Godwatch.” It was ambitious, to say the least. It did pose a challenge though: Would readers be able to keep up with both stories? Would it confuse consumers? How would they relate to one another. At long last, even though it’s not quite as long since, again, the book comes out twice a month, we’re going to see how everything comes to a close with what has been promised as an incredible finale. One of Wonder Woman’s most beloved creators is saying, “Goodbye”, and this issue will be the defining moment in his celebrated return to her adventures.

Will this final issue be the payoff we WW fans have been waiting for? Find out tomorrow!

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Venom-Verse Ramps Up This Week!

EDGE of VENOM-VERSE starts here!

It began as a series of variant covers and grew from there. Marvel released twenty-six Venom inspired variant covers in March of this year. Maybe the success of the initiative surprised them. Somebody over in the offices there thought, “Hey, fans really like these covers, is there a world with all of these Venomized characters we can play with?” Or maybe they had this idea in their head all along and were waiting for the fans response. Either way, Marvel has another event coming to us this summer and Edge of Venom-Verse #1 from Matthew Rosenberg and Roland Boschi is the beginning of the runway.

The Edge of Venom-Verse will be similar to the Edge of Spider-Verse series a couple years back (because anything Spidey can do, Venom can do better!). Each one-shot will showcase another character in a slightly altered reality that is attached to everyone’s favorite alien symbiote. For the House of Ideas’ first trick, X-23!

The story begins familiar enough. A young female clone of Wolverine is being cryogenically cooked up and is designated X-23. However, when she ends up crossing paths with a strange alien symbiote during her escape from The Facility, she makes a bond of a kind she didn’t bargain for. Now, with the symbiote influencing her every thought and driving her to madness will she be able to fight it or will they become Venom? It might be a dull story if she doesn’t but you never know. There might be a curveball thrown in.

Let’s all be honest, we really just want to see X-23 pop some claws looking like she’s going to bite some crook in half. Part of the appeal of Venom is, besides looking super cool, it unleashes your inner rage. No filters pop up anywhere. An X-23 with a symbiote assisted berserker rage? Yes, please.

 

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Crosswind #1 Takes Deadly Twists And Turns

Crosswind #1 is the Freaky Friday from Hell.

Fan-favorite creators Gail Simone and Cat Staggs are bringing you a new creator-owned series from Image Comics. It’s a deadly body swapping story involving a Chicago hitman and a Seatlle housewife. It sounds like an eighties sitcom put through the Cinemax lens (you never watched Banshee or Strike Back? Get to it!). There’re some high hopes that this will be a mind-bending hit from the home of the most critically acclaimed creators looking for some more editorial control over their content. For fans of sci-fi crime and mistaken identity stories that Hitchcock would have salivated over, this might be the new read you didn’t know you were missing.

The kind of story Crosswind is offering hinges on execution. In general, the best chance we have of figuring out if the execution will be excellent are the preview pages and the creators. It’s no secret that there are about five hundred comics that come out every month. That’s a lot of paper competing for the credits in your wallet. There has to be something to entice you that this series above a lot of others is going to be worth what you’ve worked hard for and will be a treat for that effort.

Gail Simone last hit us with Clean Room. It was a rather dark turn from a writer known for giving levity in even the most dire circumstances her characters go through. It was a critical home run for Vertigo, a publisher that was in need of a few of those at the time. Cat Staggs has been a cover hitmaker for a few years and has been growing more confident in her interior work. Her covers for the Wonder Woman ’77 story made Lynda Carter fans squeal and her Orphan Black work was the best part of the series. She’s been a highlight for every project she’s touched thus far. There’s a real chance of a new dynamic duo on the creator-owned scene.

Crosswind has a familiar hook, two intriguing respected creators, and the fact that they’re about to unleash their vision as they see fit on our shelves. Could be a fun ride filled with a lot of barrel rolls.

 

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Spider-Man’s Spectacular New Series

Spider-Man gets back to basics!

Over the last couple of years Peter Parker has undergone a makeover of sorts. He hasn’t been the only Spider-Man web slinging around the city. He’s also now the head of a global company called Parker Industries. It’s a little different from the bullied nerd in science class or the photographer scraping together enough to make ends meet. Peter Parker, in a lot of ways, has had a lot of luck going for him once he got his mind and body back as his own. Indeed, the Superior Spider-Man did a lot for Pete and he’s been reaping the benefits of it ever since. This hasn’t been your traditional friendly neighborhood wallcrawler.

Now, from the mind that brought you the recent Howard The Duck romp comes a back to basics approach to ol’ webhead. Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert are a dream team. They’re here to show you that Peter Parker’s as much of a lovable loser as he always was. Even if he’s winning on paper with a high-rise in Manhattan, that doesn’t mean he’s not got the soul of the Spider-Man we all grew up with. Now, this isn’t going to replace the main Amazing ongoing series. Instead, think of Spectacular as a sister series.

Finally, Peter will be back patrolling the neighborhood, grabbing a bite with Johnny Storm, maybe a classic team-up, and dealing with complex romantic debacles. There’ll be old fan favorite foes and some new ones who’ll be looking to build a place amongst the classics. And it’s Chip Zdarsky, so, you know, banter will abound. We gotta have a snarky Spidey!

If you’ve longing for a slightly more familiar status quo for Peter Parker, here’s your new favorite of the three ongoing series with the title, well, you know, in them. As much as things change, some things will always stay the same. Oh, and get your copy signed in-store by the creators tomorrow!

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Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert Spectacular Spider-Man Launch Signing at Forbidden Planet NYC

Head to Forbidden Planet NYC on Wednesday June 21st when our signing guests will be Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Howard the Duck) and Adam Kubert (Superman: Last Son, Avengers vs X-Men) to celebrate the release of their new comic Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #1!

Fans are also welcome to bring up three items from their personal collection in addition to any books purchased from Forbidden Planet NYC on the day of our event. There will also be representatives of the CGC on hand if collectors wish to have comics processed through them.

The festivities kick off at 6:00pm. Hope to see you here!

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Graphic Spotlight – Motor Crush Vol. 1

Her name is Domino Swift and you’re going to want to hang on for the ride.

Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr were a beloved terrific trio on their popular run of Batgirl. When the Rebirth era of DC Comics was announced and creative teams were being rolled out, these three were noticeably absent. Many readers were wondering where they were going and why did they leave? Turns out, they went to the land of Image Comics, where creators go to unleash their imaginations. What came out of them? Domino Swift and the extreme vivid world of Motor Crush!

Domino Swift’s story is one of badass battles. Except her battles are ones of extreme sports, painful secrets, and addiction. She’s addicted to a new drug known as Crush. She’s addicted to winning. She’s addicted to the possibility of losing and all that entails. She’s battling demons oftentimes can be beaten, you can only do your best to stay ahead of.

Motor Crush is sci-fi action adventure in a world built on adrenaline and filled with characters who are racing against for themselves, each other and who see life is a race that can either never be won or has to be won. The trophy? The finish line? The fame and fortune? Come find out what it all really means.

Oftentimes after working on major properties, creators are looking for an outlet to bring out stories they can’t tell for anyone else but themselves. Image has proven to be the home for creator-owned work. Fletcher, Stewart, and Tarr came to the land of the creator-owned with a world that felt like was revving to get out of them. A lot of the praise from critics and readers alike have gone to the artist. Babs Tarr is the star of the book, as she tackles some of the most daunting challenges in the comic book medium and makes it look effortless but elegant. Her style is now very often imitated but she’s been in rare form on this series.

If you’re looking for a vibrant, violent, and vigorous turbo boost to your reading pile then pick up Motor Crush.

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