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!
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!
Batman‘s greatest failure is on display in this super-sized milestone, Batman #25.
DC Rebirth‘s primary series about the Dark Knight, scribed by Tom King, has been mostly on a steady incline in quality. We’ve had touches of a lot of great villains throughout the run bringing in heavy favorites with the likes of Catwoman, Bane, and Scarface. Now though, the series is ready to touch on a couple cornerstones of Batman’s rogues gallery with the new arc, “The War of Jokes and Riddles.” The title should give you a couple of the unsubtle hints as to who we expect will be the Big Bads of this latest story in Batman’s seventy-six year history. However, what we’re being promised isn’t just the next Joker or Riddler scheme, the creators are going to take us back and explore one of Batman’s worst moments in his career.
Last issue featured the a major development in the life of both Bruce Wayne and his vigilante name. Will this prove to be the perfect time to go down a trip of memory lane? What is causing the Caped Crusader to hit the pause button on moving forward? What will he hope to learn and what lessons will we want to take from revisiting this part of his past?
In his own voice, Batman will be narrating this, at least first, chapter of a story meant to invoke classics like Year One and The Long Halloween. If we are indeed going back to the more formative years of Batman’s time as the protector of Gotham then that should well be cause of celebration. While it hopefully won’t be as dense on a month to month basis as Zero Year was, it will be interesting to see what new aspects of Batman’s early days that DC Comics will allow King to expose. One thing’s for sure, if it’s as good as we hope this issue will be then the bi-monthly shipping schedule will definitely make the wait bearable for the next chapter.
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.
Arguably the best part of the new Justice League of America series actually came before the book even had its first issue hit our shelves. Upon announcing the roster of the new team there were a lot of questions as to how the dynamic would work and it had promised to bring on characters that hadn’t been seen either much or at all since the New 52 continuity of DC Comics began back in the late summer of 2011. I mean, The Ray? Ryan Choi as The Atom had been teased in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 last year but hadn’t been seen or mentioned since. Vixen had been pretty much MIA and outside of a villain month one-shot, Killer Frost hadn’t been in the spotlight either. How were these characters going to get fleshed out and, more importantly, how the frack do they end up representing one of the most important teams in the DC Universe?
Now you can find out in Justice League of America: The Road To Rebirth, a collection featuring the one-shots spotlighting these very different metahumans as they’re about to be recruited for a higher purpose. DC touted this grouping as “the most diverse Justice League of America” and writer Steve Orlando has been the scribe to bring all of these combative personalities together. There’re plenty of highlights in this collection, particularly, in this reader’s opinion, the chapters on Ryan Choi becoming The Atom and The Ray’s fantastic backstory. Plus, see how Batman builds his new team with the JLA’s official Rebirth one-shot tying everything together. Sometimes, the journey’s really worth it and this is one such case.
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.