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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.