Category: Comics

The Dark Universe Is Built In Dark Days: The Forge #1

The Path To DC’s Biggest Event of 2017 Begins in Dark Days: The Forge #1.

The Dark Multiverse begins here! No, not the Dark Universe that few people in North America went to see this past weekend in The Mummy (much love to Tom Cruise and Sophia Boutella), we’re talking about the one that’s being charted by Scott Snyder. Along with his trusty protege, James Tynion IV, Dark Days: The Forge #1 is our first step towards exploring new corners of the multiverse that no one’s ever touched on before. Personally, I’m a big fan of the multiverse. I’ve always loved the Esleworld stories and when it was established that they could technically all coexist simultaneously, I was onboard. The multiverse has been one of the greatest assets to DC Comics in its existence and now we get to see Snyder and Tynion flex their muscles by blowing our minds with new takes on the pantheon of DC heroes.

We’ve been told it’ll begin with Aquaman, The Flash, and other heroes suspecting that Batman’s hiding a dark secret that could put the entire multiverse at risk. Now, Bats does keep secrets from his fellow heroes. This is well-trodden territory. But the scope is intriguing. Does this have something to dow with the story of the three Jokers we’ve been teased since the Darkseid War? Which legendary DC hero’s origin is going to get blown up as we know it? The possibilities might just be limitless!

Plus, can we look at the all-star list of artist? Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, and John Romita Jr. are all onboard this issue. That’s a heck of a line-up. When you think of blockbuster universe altering and expanding stories, those three creators might come to mind as talents that can handle the pressure to deliver something epic.

There’s no doubt this is going to be a massive story but it also has been promising to be a lot of fun. Time to get the multiversal party started this week.

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Marvel’s Netflix Heroes Unite In The Defenders #1

The streets of the Marvel Universe have never been safer…right?

So, nobody is surprised that this book is here, right? I mean, we all know that coming later this summer is the next Marvel Netflix TV series called The Defenders. So, of course the House of Ideas is going to release a comic book with the same title and line-up as the show. It’s just good marketing. If you’re psyched for the upcoming small screen offerings then don’t you want to get a sneak peek months early? Thus, Defenders #1 coming out this week on shelves.

Hey, that’s not a knock against Marvel. Putting Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones is not a bad (or new) idea. This is a street level team of heroes who are going to, well, defend the streets against a threat from their pasts who has become something greater than they can presumably beat up on their own. Can this team of TV stars/ex (current) Avengers find a way to coexist in this latest status quo shift at Marvel? It’s been an interesting time for all of these characters in their own solo series, it’s could be a lot of fun to see how they do, or don’t, mix when forced to suit up side by side at this moment in their journeys.

Plus, check out the big name on the credits (couldn’t quite get my “Pulp Fiction” reference to work but I tried!). Brian Michael Bendis has a long history with the majority of these characters. He took the ball from Kevin Smith and ran circles around him with one of the greatest runs of Daredevil EVER. Bendis also created Jessica Jones in Alias and is the current scribe on her self-titled series. He also brought Luke Cage to the forefront through Alias and his seminal New Avengers run. The only one I’m not sure he’s written much for is really Iron Fist, aside from supporting appearances in the aforementioned books that y’all need to read if you haven’t read.

This has mass market appeal written all over it. The juiciness is to see what kind of writing’s inside it or if, like another recently repurposed team moniker (Black Panther & The Crew), the writing will soon be on the wall.

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Graphic Spotlight – Justice League Of America: The Road To Rebirth

Say hello to the NEW Justice League of America!

Arguably the best part of the new Justice League of America series actually came before the book even had its first issue hit our shelves. Upon announcing the roster of the new team there were a lot of questions as to how the dynamic would work and it had promised to bring on characters that hadn’t been seen either much or at all since the New 52 continuity of DC Comics began back in the late summer of 2011. I mean, The Ray? Ryan Choi as The Atom had been teased in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 last year but hadn’t been seen or mentioned since. Vixen had been pretty much MIA and outside of a villain month one-shot, Killer Frost hadn’t been in the spotlight either. How were these characters going to get fleshed out and, more importantly, how the frack do they end up representing one of the most important teams in the DC Universe?

Now you can find out in Justice League of America: The Road To Rebirth, a collection featuring the one-shots spotlighting these very different metahumans as they’re about to be recruited for a higher purpose. DC touted this grouping as “the most diverse Justice League of America” and writer Steve Orlando has been the scribe to bring all of these combative personalities together. There’re plenty of highlights in this collection, particularly, in this reader’s opinion, the chapters on Ryan Choi becoming The Atom and The Ray’s fantastic backstory. Plus, see how Batman builds his new team with the JLA’s official Rebirth one-shot tying everything together. Sometimes, the journey’s really worth it and this is one such case.

Collects Justice League Of America: Rebirth #1, Justice League Of America: Killer Frost #1, Justice League Of America: The Ray #1, Justice League Of America: The Atom #1 and Justice League Of America: Vixen #1

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The Greatest Sith Rises in Star Wars Darth Vader #1

Anakin Skywalker is dead, long live Darth Vader!

Star Wars Darth Vader #1 marks the return of an ongoing series featuring, one can argue, for the baddest ass character that was, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away . After Kieron Gillen‘s fantastic series depicting Darth Vader’s journey between Episode Four and Episode Five, Charles Soule is taking us back to the beginning of Darth Vader’s journey. Many of us fans are hoping that when we look back on it, we’ll be able to refer to this series unofficially as Darth Vader: Year One.

The Clone Wars are over. The Jedi are dead. Palpatine has become Emperor, able to mold the galaxy to his vision with the ways of the dark side. Anakin Skywalker was seduced by the dark side of the Force and is to become Palpatine’s apprentice after betraying the Jedi in order to save his wife. But his deal was for nought as he discovers her fate upon waking after being left for dead by his former mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Now, more machine than man, he is confronted with a new path, the way of Darth Sidious, and en route to becoming the most fearsome villain of all time.

If you’ve seen any of the preview pages that have been released you know that the comic will open right where Episode Three leaves off. Actually, it’s going to open with one of the most iconic, if not one of the most controversial, moments of the enitre prequel trilogy. Will the journey to becoming Darth Vader be as riveting as we hope? Will there be any former Star Wars EU elements brought back into the new Marvel overseen continuity? What surprises does Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli have in store for us? Only one way to find out. Fortunately, we can start the discovery process this week in Star Wars Darth Vader #1.

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The End Is Here For DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #9

Is the world beyond saving in DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #9?

It’s the end of the world as we know it and Batman feels fine…Well, he’s feeling like his old self again since having his youth and health restored by a Lazarus pit bath. Superman’s really just the most helpful best friend/former enemy a rodent-inspired vigilante can have. The Amazons have barely survived a brutal battle with the Kandorians, who have now turned themselves into living weapons and are ready to destroy a world they may no longer be able to subdue. Carrie Kelly is officially the next Batgirl. The Atom claims he has discovered a way to put the Kandorian genie back into the bottle he opened. Lara El is at a crossroads of whether she’ll finally come aid her parents or join in the genocide with the Kryptonians, who she feels closest to after an entire life of feeling separated from the rest of the world. Can Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and what allies remain upright save the world one more time or will the fanatical Kandorian army led by Quar prove the world is beyond salvation?

It’s time for the final battle. The old guard must stand again and bring about a remnant of an age of heroes though they’re morals and means have somewhat darkened in Frank Miller‘s dystopian vision of a future.

Pick up the final chapter of this third part of the Dark Knight Saga as Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, and Klaus Janson close it out with what’s sure to be some king of big bang. We thought we’d only get eight issues of this event series and here we are treated to an extra helping, lets see how fulfilling it is.

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History Has Its Eyes on Cable #1

Well, well, well, look what the timestream dragged in in Cable #1.

There’s a bit of 90’s nostalgia happening in the X-Men corner of the universe lately at Marvel. I mean, Rob Liefeld came back to work on one of his most iconic creations with the graphic novel Deadpool: Bad Blood. The original fab five X-Men are embarking on classic-tinged adventures in X-Men Blue. Jubilee is leading a new Generation X. The A-list mutants are galavanting around in new takes on Chris Claremont inspired romps in X-Men Gold. And now one of the greatest, most 90’s characters of the 90’s is getting his own solo series again in Cable #1.

It’s been a few years since Deadpool’s straight man and the former leader of X-Force had his own series all to himself. This time it looks to be something of a Whovian mission wherein Cable will be hopping all over different eras of time to tackle a new threat to the timestream. It’s a high-speed, history-spanning chase to save all of reality. We’ve been promised by Marvel in solicits that he’ll be visiting prehistory (Cable vs. Velociraptors?), modern day (Cable and Deadpool Reunion Tour ’17?), maybe a six-gun duel at high noon (Cable as Kurt Russell in “Tombstone”?), and even teases of a high-tech sword fight in an ancient land (he’s got enough pockets, surely one of them has a high-tech sword for all occasions).

Can cable stop time from unraveling? Well, he’s done it before, surely he can do it again! Will we get some cool cameos and crazy “What If” scenarios? For issue one I think you’ll want to saddle up and get ready to knock over some saloon doors. Cable’s fixing to get medieval on somebody in the Old West. Let’s ride!

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Graphic Spotlight: Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch

It’s about damn time!

Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro captured lightning in a bottle with their series Bitch Planet and after way too much waiting, we’re finally able to dive into the second part of their spectacular opus in the making, Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch.

Bitch planet has been accused of being a vehicle for roaring feminism. Whether it is or isn’t are for the critics, I’m not a critic in this article, I just get to tell you the cool stuff coming out. What Bitch Planet does offer is a world where being noncompliant to what’s acceptable, in some cases and extreme while in others mundane, gets you imprisoned. Your choices, genetics, nature, and nurture can all get you labeled “NC” and shipped off to a place like the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost #2. In that case, we’re talking about getting jailed in the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. But how did the world begin going down this path? How did emotions and our DNA become punishable offenses? The answers are coming in this second volume. We’re going to be getting some of the first clues to the history of the world as we know it. Plus, we meet President Bitch!

There are some comic book series that tend to transcend the medium and have an impact on readers that spark something revolutionary in them. Based on a lot of you who come into Forbidden Planet that’ve been asking for this book, there’s plenty of evidence to support Bitch Planet being deemed as such a series. Sure, there might be some flashier space family adventures out there but there’s room in our hearts for more than one great book. Make a place in yours and on your bookshelf for this one.

Collects BITCH PLANET #6-10

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Get Ready For Diana’s Close-Up With The Wonder Woman Annual #1

Behold the Wonders in Wonder Woman Annual #1

Just in time for the release of her own solo big screen adventure comes an oversized annual issue for Diana of Themyscira. In tribute to the might Amazon princess, DC is giving us a helping of not one, not two, not three, but four stories from various creative teams including Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott, who’ve been working on the “Year One” storyline since DC Rebirth began. Here’s a rundown of the wondrous tales we’ll be getting…

First up, the aforementioned Greg Ruck and Nicola Scott, who’ve been crafting Diana’s early days for the DC Rebirth era have a follow to their seminal Year One storyline. It’s the Rebirth of the DC Trinity! That’s right, the first time Batman and Superman meet Wonder Woman. Hopefully neither the Big Blue Boy Scout or the Billionaire Playboy utters the line, “I thought she was with you.”

Next up, Diana goes on a mission of mercy to the nation of Markovia. It reads like a straightforward and classic moral conundrum that’s right up Wonder Woman’s alley. King Shark is about to be executed for a crime that he’s innocent of (one of the few, one imagines). Former Forbidden Planeteer Vita Ayala pens and artist Claire Roe brings the visual badassery.

In the third story, an old ally of Steve Trevor’s has summoned Wonder Woman to his village to save it from his cursed monster form. This story written by Michael Moreci with art by Stephanie Hans is going to be monstrous, in a good way!

Then in the finale, Wonder Woman must aide A.R.G.U.S. in taking down a Kaiju monster that’s coming to America. Wonder Woman vs Godzilla? Not quite so cut and dry. Once she comes into contact with the creature, Wonder Woman may be tempted to switch sides. This potential smackdown comes from writers Collin Kelly and Jackson with art by superstar David Lafuente.

Get ready to bow down before you plunk down your hard earned dollars for a ticket to, just maybe, the most talked about movie of the summer (sorry, Webhead but you’ve had like five movies in ten years).

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A Story Three Decades In The Making In Venom #150

Eddie Brock’s Got That Old Familiar Feeling in Venom #150

Venom’s solo series turns 150 this week (although checking the math on how you get to 150 is quite the arithmetic aerobic exercise). With such a milestone for one of the most fan beloved Spider-Man villains of all time, Marvel is going all out with variants galore and most importantly for all of you, dear readers, is that Eddie Brock is back bonded with the Venom symbiote. That’s right, the first, most famous, and some fans may argue the best Venom has returned to web-slinging around New York city again.

It’s been a big year for Venom. Sony’s announced that the solo film is back on and progressing through development. Heck, they even have signed on Tom Hardy to star and Zombieland director,Ruben Fleischer, to helm the project. Eddie Brock is back in the symbiote’s saddle again. Why not throw a big party to reinvigorate one of the great Marvel villains (sometimes anti-hero) and it looks like the House of Ideas is going to do it in pretty grand style.

This will be an anniversary issue with what Marvel’s claiming to be “an oversized and brutal main story” plus there will be  a back up feature from fan-favorite creators David Micheline and Ron Lim. There are still questions out there about how the symbiote parted ways with Flash Thompson, or Agent Venom, and what is to come now that the original Venom, Eddie Brock. Well, this might be a good place to start looking for the answers to some of the most important questions for Venom that have been plaguing fans for too long.

 

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Graphic Spotlight – Moonshine Vol. 1

The team that brought you 100 Bullets is back with southern roots!

I’m a crime guy. There are certain contemporary writers that when their name is on a new crime book, I’m on the hook. Brian Azzarello is one of them. If you haven’t read 100 Bullets, what’s the matter with you? He and Eduardo Risso created a masterpiece for every fan of the genre to enjoy forever. Now, they’re back with a new story and under a new publishing banner.

Moonshine Vol. 1 is a collection of what we hope is merely the beginning of this epic prohibition era southern gothic noir. It’s a hardcore crime book about gangsters with a layer of horror on top. Moonshine is about Lou Pirlo, a “city-slick ‘torpedo'” that’s been sent from the Big Apple, New York City, to get a deal done with the best moonshiner in West Virginia. That moonshiner’s name is Hiram Holt and in this era where liquor could get you sent to prison, Hiram Holt is a king over a kingdom of his own making. Lou thinks he’ll take this country bumpkin for everything he has but Lou’s going to learn, in a real painful way, that Hiram Holt will do whatever it takes to protect his boozy operation and a bloody Holt family secret.

Do you like 100 Bullets? Do you like Southern Bastards? Do you like creators like Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, or David Lapham? Then you have zero excuses, especially at the reasonable price of $9.99 not to pick up this exciting new story from one of the most iconic comic book teams of the modern age.

Collects Issues 1-6

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And Then There’s Baby Groot Being Adorable In I Am Groot #1

Just Give Baby Groot Your Cash Already!

I Am Groot #1 is as close to a cheat as Marvel can get. I mean, come on, it’s Baby Freakin’ Groot. Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Based on the box office receipts, the odds are you have. So, yeah, you get the idea and you know how stupidly cute this little guy is. And you’ve got a kid or niece or nephew or little cousin that you’re going to want this for. Does the story even matter? Is anyone going to do more than stare at the images of the baby sprite that constantly refers to himself in the third person? Probably not. But hey, here’s a little something for you to claim to care about…

It’s a case of lost in translation for the teensy weensy heavy hitter of the Guardians of the Galaxy. When the team gets caught in a wormhole, their cutest and most difficult to communicate member gets stranded on an unfamiliar planet. Separated billions of light-years away, Baby Groot has found himself among strange creatures and societies who can’t understand his, unique, way of speaking. Without his friends or a way to effectively figure out what he needs to do to be reunited with them, Baby Groot will need to find a way to get to the center of this world if there’s to be any hope. It’s sure to be an adorable action adventure story with everyone’s favorite Guardian. Don’t believe me? You stopped reading after the headline. Seriously, I could say anything right now and you wouldn’t even know it. For example, CENSORED died in CENSORED #2. See, nothing…Darn it, I’m buying three copies. I mean look at him, he’s too cute. Stupid Marvel…

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Time To Put A Cap On “The Button” In Flash #22

Time For The Pay Off In Flash #22?

After being delayed one week (not bad when you consider the track record for DC Comics and Marvel’s bigger arcs that stretch across several issues) the, hopefully, grand finale of “The Button” is going to hit the shelves running this week. We’ll have one final lenticular cover that will leave fans of the JSA and legacy characters from the DC Universe salivating. Plus we’ll get to see if DC’s two greatest detectives can solve this timey-wimey murder mystery. And of course we’ll have to figure out if the resolution was worth creating the problem in the first place.

After seeing father and son Batmen unite in Batman #22, the Flash and our Batman are back running through the Speed Force as the Flashpoint timeline is wiped out in there wake, something we’d all thought had already happened but it turns out some powerful entity (paging Dr. Manhattan?) has been keeping together. As they race through the Speed Force still seeking answers to the murder of Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, they encounter…Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash! The not quite dead yet speedster villain provided some tantalizing clues and is surely onto the scene at the end of Batman #21 that kicked off this whole storyline but where are we being led to?

Hopes are high as this has been a damn good jolt for Batman and Flash, if not thus far the be-all end-all storyline full of reveals a lot of readers have been clamoring for since DC Universe: Rebirth #1. Expect at least one big reveal and possibly in this week’s final chapter. At least, that’s what I’m expecting!

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Mutant Misfits Unite In Generation X #1

Not All Mutants Are Created Equal In Generation X #1

Another week, another X-Men title launches as part of the Resurrxion initiative from Marvel. We’ve seen classic line-ups in X-Men Blue, a Kitty Pryde veteran A-Team in X-Men Gold, and a wholly chaotic elite killing squad come together in Weapon X. Now, we get the next grouping of Marvel’s Merry Mutants lead by former Gen-Xer turned vampire mom Jubilee in Generation X #1.

While the jocks and all-stars are out fighting sentinels and new takes on familiar foes over in those aforementioned titles, there’s still a group of mutants at the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach that are left out of the glory. These are the misfits akin to some of the characters in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run. These the mutants who maybe shouldn’t be seen trying to tackle on world threats or simply aren’t up to it yet. This is the remedial class that Jubilee is one of the instructors for and it’s her job to help them navigate a world that hates and fears them.

With a line-up like Quentin Quire, Eye-Boy, Benjamin Deeds, Bling, Nature Girl and new character named Nathanial Carver, this isn’t so much of an underdog story but more of a Runaways meets Breakfast Club type of chronicle. Writer Christina Strain has made it clear that these lovable losers won’t need to venture far off campus, away from Central Park, or even outside of New York City for trouble to find them. The trouble is sometimes just surviving from one day to the next.

If you’re looking for outcasts who don’t belong and want a story that’s determined to be a bit more self-contained, less ambitious in plot but shooting for the moon in character building, then this is your team.

 

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Graphic Spotlight – Deadpool: Bad Blood

Daddy’s home…

Deadpool: Bad Blood is the Merc With A Mouth’s very first original graphic novel! After taking Hollywood by storm last year it’s time for everybody’s favorite crazy, fourth-wall breaking, healing factored, assassin with a heart of gold to takeover this new territory. Who better than to break this new ground than Deadpool’s co-creator Rob Liefeld. Yup, that’s not a typo and I’ll repeat it just to be on the safe side: Deadpool’s co-creator Rob Liefeld is back to do pencils and inks on this brand new Wade Wilson whacky ride.

Some said it would never happen to have Rob Liefeld back on a big project like this at the House of Ideas. However, the saying of “never say never” becomes truer with every day and every new announcement from the Big 2. Yes, he’s back, weird looking feet and massive muscles and all! Get ready for a bloody nostalgia trip as Liefeld and writers Chris Sims and Chad Bower take you through what looks to be a callback to the classic crazy shenanigans of everyone’s favorite overexposed mutant.

The plot? Does it matter? Fine, we’ll cover it. It seems to revolve around a new enemy named Thumper who keeps showing up and beating the retcons out of Deadpool. What is Deadpool’s connection to this new deadly enemy? Why does he keep getting his butt beaten like he owes Thumper two weeks worth of lunch money? What role will Domino, Cable, and Shatterstar have to play in all of this? Will Ryan Reynolds provide the voiceover for Audible when the time comes and what amazing viral message will he undoubtedly produce us to enjoy? We’ll find out this week as Marvel’s deadliest assassin (self-proclaimed of course) gets the OGN treatment.

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Graphic Spotlight: Atomic Blonde

Blondes do have more fun…guns help, too.

Oni Press re-releases a gem of an espionage thriller, Atomic Blonde, that you need to stop and gawk at for a few minutes this week. Yeah, that’s Charlize Theron on the cover, there’s a new movie coming out that’s got a badass trailer for it. But that’s all window dressing to get your eyes to stop on this title and appreciate what’s before you. If you’re a crime and spy genre enthusiast like me then you need to pay bloody attention.

It’s November 1989. The Berlin Wall is getting ready to fall. MI6 spy Lorraine Broughton has been sent to Berlin to investigate the death of another agent and track down a list that would reveal the names of every operative working there. Lorraine’s returned from the formerly titled coldest city of the Cold War to tell her tale and what she has to say is shocking.

Double crosses, assassinations gone wrong, bodies popping up where they shouldn’t be and enough twists to knot you into a pretzel layer this spy thriller. If you’re looking for a straight up adrenaline rush that’ll make James Bond blush and Jason Bourne want to forget everything all over again, congrats because this is the read you’ve been wanting. It’s not about reinventing the wheel of what makes a great spy thriller, sometimes it’s a treat to experience an excellent execution of the basics, with some twists of course. Why are you still reading this? Don’t you see Charlize Theron’s on the cover? Pick it up or face the wrath of Furiosa!

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