Category: Matthew Klein

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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You Can’t Outrun Your Past Lives In Regression #1

Past Lives Come Back To Haunt…

Writer Cullen Bunn is no stranger to crafting stories of horror and the occult. There’s classic occultism and supernatural terror in Harrow County. Before that he began with his epic western zombie saga in The Sixth Gun, which you should absolutely read if you haven’t yet. In Regression #1 out this week, Mr. Bunn, along with his cohorts Danny Luckert and Marie Enger, will introduce us to a man whose waking life is challenged by his nightmares.

To be scared kicks up your adrenaline. And the key to scaring someone else to play on elemental fears and finding something universal to frighten with. In Regression #1, we are presented with the concept of our nightmares. Everyone has them. Everyone has had moments in a nightmare where you aren’t quite sure if you’re still asleep. In Regression #1, we find Adrian, a man who sets out to resolve the torture of his nightmares through a special type of hypnotherapy: He’s going to be regressed (hence the title), to experience his past lives and see if the psychological trauma that’s threatening his life is actually from before he was born.

The journey of his consciousness through his past lives unearth horrific visions that only worsen his situation upon being brought back to his current lifetime. The solution only made the problem worse. Unable to unsee what he’s witnessed, Adrian is drawn into a darker world of debauchery, insanity, mystery, and conspiracy. When Adrian came back from his journey through his past lives, he didn’t come home alone.  What if there is no escape from your nightmares? What if the only thing you can do is fall deeper into the horror?

We’ll find out in Regression #1.

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Time To Fight Back In Secret Warriors #1

Shhhh…These Warriors Are Being Wewry Sneaky!

Okay, now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about one of the most exciting new releases this week: Secret Warriors #1 from the grand-slam team of Matthew Rosenberg (Kingpin, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank) and Javier Garrón (Death of X, Inhuamns vs X-Men). There’s no stopping them now!

(For more about Secret Warriors #1, read our Creative Conversation with writer Matthew Rosenberg!)

Team books seem to be popping all over the place, especially with the plethora of new X-Men titles that have and are continuing to debut. Well, here’s one from the Inhumans side of things. Except this isn’t the cosmic team you see in the pages of something like Royals, no, these are the dirty dozen version. ROLL CALL: Ms. Marvel, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Karnak, and Inferno are led by former Nick Fury protege, Daisy Johnson, a.k.a. Quake! They hate Hydra and are going underground to free others like them who’re being imprisoned under this Steve Rogers fronted regime.

Say hello to the good guys and gals who are ready to fight for their rights and the rights of others like them. They will kick ass by night and fight amongst themselves by day. This isn’t a team assembled by some higher up who thought they’d be the perfect mix of powers. No, they’re all here with the same purpose but not the same motivations. Will a common goal be enough to keep Quake and Ms. Marvel from constantly butting heads? Can they thumb their noses up at the not-so-Secret Empire without getting caught? Is Devil Dinosaur about to become your all-time favorite Marvel character?

Get ready for a clash of claws, powers, and ideas about what it takes to save the world as the next generation of Inhumans arrive. The secret’s out, war has to be fought, and you won’t want to miss out on the opening salvo. Get it? Got it? Good!

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Creative Conversation With Matthew Rosenberg

Matthew Rosenberg has been a steadily rising star in comics for the last few years. After acclaimed run for his work on the gorgeous We Can Never Go Home, he broke down more doors over at Marvel with his Civil War II: Kingpin mini-series. The reception of which lead to the ongoing Kingpin series he’s currently got the fourth issue of coming out. He’s a creator who’s worked on almost every side of comics. He’s as versatile and knowledgeable a comics creator as there is and with the debuting Secret Warriors #1 coming out next week, Matthew Rosenberg will shock the world with his first team book amidst the turmoil of Secret Empire.

A former Forbidden Planet comics slinger like yours truly, we talk about the series he learned to read from, when he knew comics was going to be his way in the world, and what to expect from the mix of characters he’s getting to write in Secret Warriors!

MK: Welcome to another Creative Conversation. I am joined today by THE Matthew Rosenberg. Thanks for coming in and talking with me today, sir.

MR: Thanks for having me

MK: One of the questions that’s always fun to jump in with is, do you recall the first comic or run that stuck with you?

MR: Well the first comic I remember ever holding was an issue of Fantastic Four that my brother had. I remember carrying it around with me and just staring at the art, but having no idea what was actually going on. The first run I ever read was [Chris] Claremont’s X-Men. I basically learned to read with those books.

MK: Did you ever figure out what issue of Fantastic Four it was?

MR: No, actually. I’ve gone back and tried, but once I learned to read I was a big Fantastic Four fan, so all those blurred together in my adolescent brain.

MK: I’m in a similar boat with an issue of John Ostrander‘s Suicide Squad.

MR: Yeah. I am 99% sure it was John Byrne stuff. But who can say for sure.

MK: Well, no one can say it wasn’t John Byrne (laughs). You talked about Claremont’s X-Men run as what you learned to read on, is it safe to say that run is one that’s influenced you as a comics creator?

MR: Yeah. I think it’s safe to say that it heavily influenced me as a person. I feel like every issue I read of that book exposed me to new ideas and ways of thinking. A lot of my core beliefs go back to that run. And, obviously, my love of comics comes from there as well.

MK: That’s amazing to have that connection so early on. Did you have any other runs early on that helped you fall deeper in love with the medium?

MR: The Marvel Star Wars and GI Joe books were really important to me. I still have complete runs of both. The Mike Zeck Punisher stuff was major for me. Claremont and [Frank] Miller‘s Wolverine stuff felt insane to me in the best way. And the original TMNT was really mind blowing for me.

MK: Tell me you’ve been begging Marvel to work on a Star Wars book.

MR: Begging is a strong word. But yes. I am begging.

MK: I’d love to see you on a Boba Fett or Han Solo series.

MR: Those books have been amazing though, Jordan and Heather who edit the Marvel Star Wars line do a great job of curating it. They aren’t just letting any old riff-raff in the door, which hurts me as a creator, but makes me so happy as a fan. Yeah. There is so much I want to see. I always joke about how much I want to do a podracing comic with Daniel Warren Johnson on art. But I really want to do a podracing comic with Daniel Warren Johnson on art.

MK: I’d read it! Do you remember when you decided that you weren’t just going to be a fan anymore but that working in comics was what you wanted to do? And was writing always the path you saw for yourself?

MR: Yeah. I was working in music for a while and was just getting really burned out. I love music and hate the industry. At that point in my life, the only other thing I was really passionate about besides music was comics. They were a constant for me for almost my whole life.  So when I just couldn’t take doing music stuff anymore I started thinking more about making comics. I knew I couldn’t draw, but I wanted to be creative. My whole family are writers. My mom, my dad, my uncle, my brother. So, as much as it’s possible, writing is in my DNA. And I just sort of dove in from there, with no real idea what I was doing.

MK: You jumped in though! I mean one of the coolest things about your journey, knowing you as long as I do, is that you’ve seen a lot of different sides of comics that not every creator is familiar with. Can you talk a little bit about how you found your way in and the different aspects you’ve gotten to work on?

MR: Yeah. I’m sort of obsessive about stuff. I like to know how things work. So, I studied all aspects of comics I could. I was reading coloring guides and watching lettering tutorials, tracking down interviews with editors. But then I really wanted to know about things more hands on. I quit my day job and took a job at Forbidden Planet so I could really see how books were bought and sold. It’s so crucial for comic creators to understand their readers and their partners in retail. And it was eye opening. From there, I took a job at a few small publishers just doing whatever I could. Retail outreach. Publicity. Social media. Pre-production. Editing. I don’t ever like asking someone to do something for me, without really knowing what I am asking of them. So all of that was incredibly helpful. And it also helped me build relationships and open doors when I was ready to be making publishable work. Or semi-publishable work.

MK: I’d argue it’s all damn publishable! I mean you’ve been hitting home runs with characters like Kingpin and Rocket Raccoon, and now you’re getting your own team book in Secret Warriors, out on shelves May 10th! You’re really building a home at Marvel it feels like. How did this series come about? Did you go to Marvel with the idea for this team or was it a little more of meeting in the middle?

MR: Well thanks. I hope Marvel fans like what I’m doing. As for Secret Warriors, it’s a bit of a funny story. Wil Moss, who was my original editor on my Kingpin mini-series got put in charge of the Inhumans. I am a big Inhumans fan but a huge fan of Quake. I immediately emailed Wil to say that I had an idea for Quake that I wanted to pitch. I sent in the pitch and Wil was really enthusiastic, but he came back and said, “What if Quake was part of a team? We need a new team book.” And from there it all came together in bits and pieces. I feel really lucky because I love our cast. Ms. Marvel is bar none one of the best books at Marvel right now. Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur has been a favorite of mine since it began. Inferno is a great part of Charles Soule‘s Inhumans run. And obviously Karnak is one of the great Marvel characters. So getting all of these wildly different together it just felt like we had a chance to do something really different and not what folks expect. I’m pretty proud of it.

MK: It’s a very cool mix of characters. What are you excited and hope readers will take away from the first issue on May 10th and from the rest of the first arc?

MR: I really hope people like what we do with the characters. I tried to be really faithful to who they are and what they are about, but we are putting some of them in very new and tough situations. I love them all, and really believe in them, but I want to see them tested. And I hope fans do, too. This book is a little darker and crazier than I think people are expecting. Things are really scary in the Marvel Universe right now, and our Secret Warriors are figuring out the best way to fight back. And that’s not always easy.

MK: Team books like this are always so compelling because of the relationships between teammates. Who do you think would butt heads the most, who might be the wild card, what makes these characters the best fit for this team? If they are.

MR: Well the first part is easy. Quake and Ms. Marvel butt heads the most. Ms. Marvel is a hero through and through. She wants to inspire. She wants to lead by example. And Quake was a spy and a weapon trained by Nick Fury. She knows that sometimes you have to do things that don’t sit right with you because they have to get done. I think Moon Girl is a real wild card. She’s not a team player, per se. She’s smarter than everyone else. And she is really just a kid. As for why they are each the best fit for the team? They aren’t. That’s sort of a real point in the book. They are six characters who are thrust together because of awful circumstances. They each have their own reasons for being there, their own agendas, and their own way of doing things. It’s a stretch to call them a team.

MK: That’s awesome.That’s just juicy to think about and see how they can coexist, if they can.

MR: Yeah. I think people will be surprised at where things end up. Or not.

MK: I love you bringing up Quake being Nick Fury’s apprentice. I remember it was you in fact who got me to read Jonathan Hickman‘s run on Secret Warriors where that relationship developed.

MR: Yeah. Hickman’s Secret Warriors is one of my all-time favorite comics. The way he has Quake and Fury working together, this troubled family dynamic, is so beautiful and heartbreaking.

MK: Totally agree and now she’s kind of in the Nick Fury role herself.

MR: It is something we are going to go into as the series goes on. Fury is gone and Quake is still very new to all of this. She’s tough and capable, but she never had the chance to grow into it. Fury dropped her in the deep end.

MK: To bring things back around a little as we head into the home stretch. you talked about how your whole family are writers. Why write comics? What is about comics versus say film or T.V. or the stage that sets it apart for you as a creator?

MR: I love all types of writing. People in my family have written novels, essays, movies, T.V. shows, plays, you name it. But for me, comics has always been my love. Everything about it from the worlds and characters, to the the tactile feel of a comic, to comic shops and culture. I find it all energizing and inspiring. That’s what attracted me.

MK: Thank you for that. If you could go back, what advice would you give the Matthew Rosenberg who was just starting out?

MR: Save more money. Sell more of your stuff you don’t need

MK: Fair. Totally fair. Which creators are on your personal Mount Rushmore of Comics?

MR: Oh man. Okay. Brian Michael Bendis. Frank Miller. Brian K. Vaughan, Chris Claremont. The Hernandez Bros., Osamu Tezuka, Charles Schulz. My Mount Rushmore is bigger than the other one. Wait! I want to change my answer

MK: Do you need a lifeline?

MR: I’d put Bill Watterson over Schulz. It’s blasphemy, I know

MK: I don’t know if it’s blasphemy. Calvin & Hobbes can be read at eight and twenty-eight and fifty-eight and mean something incredibly important and different at each age.

MR: True. I think Peanuts works on that level, too, in some ways. But Calvin & Hobbes always felt more like a narrative to me. Peanuts was much more of just moments in time. Oh, and Alan Moore. I’m bad at this

MK: You’re not bad at this, you just need a bigger mountain And last but not least, if you were working in  a shop and someone came up to you saying, “I’ve never read comics before, what should I read first?” What five books would you tell them to pick up?

MR: Y: The Last Man. V For Vendetta. American Splendor. Powers. Love & Rockets.

MK: It’s a good list…It’s a good list.  Well thank you, sir, for taking the time to talk with me today. I can’t wait to read the first issue of Secret Warriors!

MR: Thanks so much for having me.

Make sure you pick up your copy of Secret Warriors #1 coming out next Wednesday, May 10th!

 

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Graphic Spotlight – Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One

We Could All Use Some Wonder In Our Lives…

Wonder Woman has been balancing two stories since it began in this DC Rebirth era. While writer Greg Rucka worked in Wonder Woman’s present-day with artist Liam Sharp over in Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Lies, he’s been telling the story of Diana Prince’s past with Nicola Scott in this tall tale, Year One.

On the one hand it’s brilliant strategy, keeping the artists fresh and the pacing even across the series. On the other hand, it’s a challenge to divide the readers’ attention with two stories told simultaneously. That’s a bit more than one might want to keep track of. Fortunately, with Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One, we can finally see the big picture that Mr. Rucka and Mrs. Scott have been making for us.

Wonder Woman’s origin story has been told and retold and told again for seeming ever. We’re all set to see a movie depicting it in theaters everywhere next month. Why does ever creator want a crack at the beginning of Diana Prince’s path to becoming Wonder Woman? Because it’s a great story that allows for writers and artists to make it their own. It’s a tale of hope and inspiration, empowerment through the embracing of one’s journey into adulthood, facing down fear to move forward in finding one’s place in the greater world. We know some of the gist from the versions that’ve come before this one: Diana Prince’s people, the Amazons, living in seclusion in Paradise, are rudely intruded upon by a crashing pilot named Steve Trevor. Trevor’s arrival is the end of their isolation as the Amazons must choose a champion of their own…one willing to sacrifice her home among her sisters to save a world she’s only ever heard of. She will be Wonder Woman and this is her first year as the world’s greatest protector.

Collects WONDER WOMAN #2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14.

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The Phoenix Is Coming For Jean Grey #1

Jean Grey’s Time is Up, Her Time Is Now!

It’s been a difficult life for Jean Grey. Well, it might be if she doesn’t find a way to change her destiny. Trapped in our present, blocked from returning to her past, she’s about to find herself fighting off her future. Jean Grey’s never had her own solo series before. With the spotlight solely on Marvel Girl in this week’s Jean Grey #1 the big question that’s going to be raised is can she avoid becoming the Phoenix, and thus turning into the Dark Phoenix that, you know, murders a planet and almost kills all the X-Men then dies repeatedly? (Yeah, I know it’s a run on sentence, so’s her character history)

Dennis Hopeless is no stranger to Jean Grey, having written young Jean’s adventures in All-New X-Men. He’s a good fit to chronicle her destiny defying mission. With fellow X-Men franchise artist in tow, Victor Ibanez, there’s a lot of possibility for a great coming of age story about denying the inevitable by the will and actions of one person. If the preview pages are to be believed, this Jean Grey is ready to strike out a bit on her own and find her place. Except just when she think she’s found some space for change, she’s set to experience a vision of the Phoenix Force finding her and fulfilling the deadly fate we’ve read for decades. Will Jean Grey only fight the future and bring about her destiny? Can she find a way to avoid all that death and dying? We can find out together this week in Jean Grey #1 and take it from there.

 

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“The Button” Unites Batmen of Two Worlds In Batman #22

A Bat-family reunion across continuity in Batman #22

We’re halfway there. “The Button” has kicked into the next gear after the events of Flash #21 last week. What began in one Batcave has traveled to another’s via cosmic treadmill. The murder of Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, is taking the two greatest detectives in the DC Universe back to the timeline that kicked off the New 52 in the first place. Yup, it’s not Groundhog’s Day, it’s just Flashpoint. You’d think Barry Allen would have learned to quit tempting fate by traveling through time. You’d be have thought WRONG. Now, with Batman and Batman and Flash coming face to face to face, what secrets will be unveiled after the tantalizing final line of last week’s Flash #21?

 

The endgame isn’t anywhere close to clear yet. However, the journey’s been entertaining so far and we’re definitely on pace for a well executed next step as the world of Watchmen inches closer to the DC Universe. There’s no question that fans’ expectations have been high and rightfully so. There’s also little doubt that this story still has a lot in store for us, dear readers. The idea’s always been a fun one to play with since the possibilities of tying the two worlds together were inextricably linked back in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. The question is: What will Batman #22 have in store for us to keep the faith that DC’s grand plan is one we can continue to trust in? There’re no shortages of stories that promise consequences across shared universes but are we truly on the edge of such a tale? There’s really only one right way to find out: Keep reading.

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Graphic Spotlight: Bloodshot USA

In Jeff Lemire we trust!

It’s rare for a writer to go back-to-back for our Graphic Spotlight but Jeff Lemire’s a rarity. Last Wednesday he returned to his roots with the intimate and epic Roughneck. This week, Jeff Lemire builds to a crescendo of his two years writing Valiant’s super soldier with Bloodshot USA.

For those of you die-hard Jeff Lemire fans who haven’t been following his run on Bloodshot Reborn, you might have been missing out on the best book he’s been crafting on a monthly basis. A treatise on violence in america within an impossible redemption tale, Bloodshot Reborn has showcased an octave of Lemire’s voice unlike anything else he’s done in his prolific career. Fortunately, any reader can pick up his biggest Bloodshot story yet.

The most dangerous virus is a weapon created by Project Rising Spirit. Now this virus has been unleashed on New York City. It can turn the frailest of civilians into an army of indestructible soldiers. This end of days pathogen is meant to destroy enemy nations from the inside out and it’s turned on a city of eight million people. It’s designed to recreate Project Rising Spirit’s crowning achievement up to this point in any man, woman, or child: Bloodshot.

Who released the virus turning millions into unstoppable killing machines? Only one person can find out the answers, Bloodshot himself. He must go on the greatest mission of his life and invade native soil in order stop a pandemic that could topple governments around the world if it escapes New York.

Jeff Lemire continues his hot streak and is joined by a top-of-his-game Doug Braithwaite to tell one of the most ambitious and high stakes story since Valiant returned to comics five years ago.  A couple things are for sure: there’ll be traffic on the tunnels, the L train won’t be running, and you’re in for one bloody hell of a good time.

Collecting BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #1-4 and BLOODSHOT REBORN #0.

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The Mystery of “The Button” Deepens In Flash #21

The Flash and Batman have the murder of the 25th century to solve in Flash #21!

Last week, DC’s follow up to their DC Universe: Rebirth #1 special kicked off in Batman #21 with the first installment of the four-parter titled, “The Button.” The titular button came out of the speed force and lodged itself into a Batcave wall. You might recognize this button as belonging to the Comedian from Alan Moore’s seminal Watchmen. It’s rather fitting, and in no way coincidental, that it’s the murder of the Comedian that kicked off the Hugo Award-winning series decades ago and another murder is what sets this adventure by DC’s two greatest detective in motion.

Yes, they killed SPOILER. After a flash of blue lightning, SPOILER, made a final claim that could have fallen deaf on the Dark Knight’s unconscious bat-ears or perhaps it will be the “Rosebud” of this entire tale. We’ll see soon enough. Of course, SPOILER wasn’t the only pre-New 52 character that showed up last week, SPOILER also made a brief cameo and you can bet SPOILER will end up being a major player in this plot as it kicks into the next gear.

One chapter and epic lenticular cover is in the books, this week we’re going to be treated to another. Will Batman and Flash be able to figure out the multiple mysteries before them? Is SPOILER dead for keeps? Will we ever get more answers than questions in a damn comic book? Jump right in, the rumoring waters are white hot.

Yeah, I’m avoiding the names, sue me. You want to know what happened? Get the comic!

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