Tagged: Comics

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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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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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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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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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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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 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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Clone Call In Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1

Heeeeeeee’s Baaaaaaack!

Yes, that’s right you’re reading this correctly, THE Ben Reilly is web-slinging is his way into an all-new ongoing series, Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1. One of the most polarizing characters in the history of comic books is starting a new chapter where his fate will hang in a balancing act between the hero he aspires to become again versus the villain his flaws led him to recently being. Can this unhinged clone of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man find his way back onto the righteous path?

After the events of The Clone Conspiracy, most all of us readers thought that Ben Reilly has met his maker for the umpteenth time. Turns out….psych! Ben’s back but sure as heck doesn’t have it all together. Haunted by warring parts of his psyche, Ben is torn between finding his way back to the days when he wanted to be the best hero out there and falling back into his recently resurrecting ways. Far from home, this new old Scarlet Spider is going to have a lot on his plate right from the get-go.

Peter David‘s no stranger to dealing with characters that have, um, identity issues. See his entire run on X-Factor for more. Nor is he a stranger to the Spider-Man corner of the Marvel Universe (Spider-Man 2099, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Death of Jean Dewolff). Now, though, Peter David has set himself up with the task of crafting the character journey for a man who’s talking to the manifestation of his hoodied hero former self on one shoulder and the masked villain he’s running from being on the other shoulder. With all the voices he hears in his head, not all comfort him or understand, will Peter David be able to lead Ben Reilly back into the hearts of the public and the readers? Well, not if Kaine kills him first!

Welcome to Sin City, Ben Reilly. What are the odds you make it out alive? Find out this week in Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #1.

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Marvel’s Endgame Begins in Secret Empire #0

The Marvel Universe’ Hostile Takeover Begins in Secret Empire #0

Now, for fans of the House of Ideas, this week is the start of a hotly debated event. There’s a lot of heat in the discussions for many reasons, but one started a while back in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, where it was revealed that “Old Reliable” himself is in fact an undercover agent of Hydra. A lot of readers were left shaking their fists while others were scratching their heads.

From there, the nature of Steve’s history having been altered by the Red Skull tweaking with a cosmic cube filled in some back story but the path to Cap and Hydra’s endgame was unclear. Like DC did with their DC Universe: Rebirth #1 one-shot, Marvel used a tentpole release to further build the foundation for this company altering event. As the dust settled on Civil War II, Steve Rogers was appointed the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and thanks to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Act, he now has more authority than any director before him (sorry, Nick Fury!).

Meanwhile, Cap’s been orchestrating a Chitauri invasion of Earth which, based on the preview pages released, looks like will be a focal point in Secret Empire #0. Add in the death of Jack Flag, the trial of Maria Hill, and the dispatching of the Red Skull in his series’ last issue, and Steve Rogers is set to run the table all in the name of Hydra. Who can stop, arguably, the former greatest and most beloved hero in the history of the Marvel Universe? Apparently, it’s going to take everybody!

Rumors run rampant about what Marvel’s status quo will be after the Secret Empire’s saga is done. Will Steve Rogers be returned to the good ole Captain America he once was? So soon after the casualties from Civil War II, could other beloved characters be sacrificed or terminated with extreme prejudice? Will Ulysses’ vision of Hydra’s dark reign over the world come true? Or will this lead to something even more game changing than even Secret Wars did less than two years ago? Is their Rebirth or a “New 52” style reboot?

The journey to all of our answers will begin in this special zero issue from Steve Rogers scribe Nick Spencer and artists Daniel Acuña and Rod Reiss. Marvel fans, are, you rrrrrrrrready?

 

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Marvel’s Past Matters in Black Panther & The Crew #1

The Crew returns as Black Panther’s world expands to Harlem in this new series!

Ta-Nehisi Coates has been building up an unstoppable force in Black Panther’s ever growing corner of the Marvel Comics Universe. After selling 300,000 copies of Black Panther #1 last year, a second book was launched by Coates, Roxann Gay, and poet Yona Harvey in Black Panther World of Wakanda. Now, Coates and Harvey are going to put a new twist on a little known but much beloved concept from  Marvel’s past in Black Panther & The Crew #1 this week.

It’s a book reflecting the issues of today and connecting them also to issues from Marvel’s past. The book begins with an activist dying in police custody. T’Challa assembles his team of Luke Cage, Storm, Misty Knight, and Manifold to investigate what really happened in Harlem. Coates has made it clear that he lived in Harlem for seven years and there’s a lot of love for the neighborhood being put into this book. Now, it’s comics, so nothing will be as it first appears but what is certain are the powerhouses involved in crafting a story that showcases the bonds betweens wounds of the past creating scars in the present. We’ll see a group of heroes that have histories of saving both the streets and the world challenged in new ways they haven’t quite experienced before.

Make no bones about it, this book is a must-read first issue. Well? What are you doing still reading this? Go grab it off the shelf right now!

 

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