Strange Adventures #1 (DC Comics)
The dynamic duo of Tom King and Mitch Gerads are back with Strange Adventures, a new miniseries event that looks at the life of another smaller DC hero: Adam Strange. With secondary artist Evan “Doc” Shaner along for the ride, King and Gerads’ new series feels exactly like the spiritual sequel to their stunning Mister Miracle series, and like that series, is a must read for comic fans. Read the rest of this entry
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (Marvel Comics)
You can’t keep the Guardians of the Galaxy down, and that’s pretty apparent with the comic side of the team, which has another new #1 (their fourth by my count) that has a new creative team, a new roster of heroes, and a new threat. The Al Ewing and Juann Cabal series is intending to be just as grand and epic as the previous run from Donny Cates, but as it stands right now, it’s simply too soon to get all that excited about another crack on the team that will probably be rebooted in about twenty issues. Read the rest of this entry
Batman #86 (DC Comics)
After a genre defining (and patience testing) run from Tom King, the mainline Batman series is going back to basics in an effort to boost the sales back to their previous numbers. DC made a lot of waves with their controversial decision to cut King’s run short by fifteen issues, but in bringing in writer James Tynion IV and artist Tony S Daniel to usher us into Batman #100, they bring in a sense of familiarity to Bruce Wayne and his allies that is both comforting and little on the safe side. Read the rest of this entry
West Coast Avengers #1 (Marvel Comics)
With the Avengers getting a brand new relaunch, it was only a matter of time for their West Coast counterparts to make a return. While this sister team typically featured Avengers mainstays like Hawkeye and Iron Man, it was always a little sillier than the main team, and that’s a tone that’s still apparent with West Coast Avengers #1, the brand new start from writer Kelly Thompson and artist Stefano Caselli. Despite featuring a team of relatively new characters, West Coast Avengers #1 is still really charming, even though the team features Gwenpool, easily my least favorite new character Marvel has introduced. Read the rest of this entry
Venom #1 (Marvel Comics)
The Marvel relaunch train is gearing up, and after last week’s Avengers #1, we’ve now got the Lethal Protector himself, Venom, getting a brand new shiny #1. But like Earth’s Mightiest Heroes before him, the appeal of the creative team helps offset any quibbles one would have over the renumbering. Rising star Donny Cates is at the writing table, and Marvel artist supreme Ryan Stegman is handling the art, which means that we’re in for a very different, and very cool, new take on Venom. Read the rest of this entry
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1 (of 6) (DC Comics/IDW)
The original Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover was a massive success for DC and IDW, so it’s only natural that the two publishers would want to make a sequel. Bringing back original writer James Tynion IV and artist Freddie Williams II, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II is a welcome return to the worlds of these two mega franchises, but like the original series, it does take a little while to get the plot moving. Read the rest of this entry
Marvel Legacy #1 (Marvel Comics)
Well, it’s finally here. After the usual Marvel hype, Marvel Legacy has released, and with it, the promise that the Marvel Universe will “never be the same again”. With waning interest in their books and major events like Secret Empire, Marvel’s “non-Rebirth” launch is being met with a lot of anticipation and skepticism, and as someone who’s been getting more and more tired of Marvel’s hype and promotions every week, I have to admit that the Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic Marvel Legacy #1 actually has piqued my interest in a way that Marvel hasn’t done in a very long time. Read the rest of this entry
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 (of 6) (DC Comics/IDW)
It’s safe to say with this final issue that Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been one of the strangest intercompany crossovers in the history of the Dark Knight’s career. It’s featured the Dark Knight eat pizza with four oversized turtles, and battle a Bane that has been transformed into a Mastodon. But at the same time, James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II’s miniseries has a ton of heart, and nails what makes both Batman and the Ninja Turtles so beloved by many. It’s that heart that helps elevate this awesome, but rushed, finale.
This issue finds Batman and Robin finally squaring off with Ra’s Al Ghul and Shredder. With an army of Foot Clan and League of Assassin ninjas, as well as the mutagen infected members of Batman’s rogues gallery, the fight isn’t in Batman’s favor. Lucky for him, the Turtles and Splinter arrive to help even the odds, leading to some spectacularly geeky moments, like Michelangelo facing off with a Polar Bear version of Mr. Freeze and Batman and Shredder having an absolutely devastating fight. Of course, as awesome as the fights are, they cut into the other motivation of the series: getting the Turtles back to their dimension before their mutagen reverts. Tynion’s script has to rush into getting the Turtles back home, and that’s the flaw with this issue.
Actually, it’s the flaw of this miniseries as a whole. The relationship between the Turtles and Batman comes very quickly, and the villains’ master plan is never really that well established. In the end, there’s simply too much ground for Tynion to cover in this miniseries, so much so that I’m surprised it was kept to only six issues. Eight, nine, or even ten would have given Tynion plenty of time to have the Turtles and Batman form a more believable bond, and it would’ve also fleshed out Shredder and Ra’s plan more.
More issues in this series would’ve also given Freddie Williams II time to hone his style. While he started off as a better Turtles artist than a Batman one, by this issue Williams has finally hit his stride and delivers some truly awesome panels. There are still a few weird panels and poses here and there, but it’s nice to see Williams deliver on the potential he showed in the first issue.
While Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ final issue is a little rushed, this is still the best crossover of the year so far. For all of the weak moments, Tynion and Williams really nail the characterizations of all the players involved, and deliver some of the coolest moments in comics this year. While there wasn’t as much time for this miniseries to cover, as much as it wanted to, I have no doubt that we’ll hear of a sequel coming soon.
Vision #7 (Marvel Comics)
Tom King’s Vision series has been one of the strangest All New All Different Marvel titles. Telling the story of the synthetic android that creates a family and moves to the suburbs, it’s part family drama, part psychological thriller. And it’s pretty damn spectacular. The latest issue focuses on the Vision’s long history with Scarlet Witch, and touches on different moments throughout their relationship.
Tom King creates an interesting look into just how the Vision has gotten to the point of creating his own family, something that, as this issue reveals, he and Wanda Maximoff had not only done, but had a huge blow out argument over. King brings out the stages of being in a relationship beautifully here. There’s the initial infatuation, the first fight, the heartbreak of breaking up, and the coming to terms with the relationship you have. It’s all done so well that you’ll forget that the two lovebirds are a woman and a robot.
Michael Walsh fills in for series regular artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and while Walsh’s style is very similar to Walta’s, he offers a lot more detail in his environments and faces. Not only that, Walsh effortlessly mixes up his character designs to show the passage of time in Vision and Scarlet Witch’s relationship. You get a ton of different eras of Avengers in this issue, and Walsh depicts them wonderfully.
I was hesitant on the Vision at first, and it’s admittedly a VERY slow burn, but Tom King is doing things in this book that defy expectations. Vision is taking a look into what it’s like to actually be this character, and brings up a lot of interesting questions about the Vision. Since this new storyline is building up to a confrontation that’s been hinted at since the beginning of the series, I don’t recommend starting here. But I highly recommend that you seek out the first collection when it hits. It’s guaranteed to be unlike anything else you’re reading.
X-Men ’92 #1 (Marvel Comics)
The 90’s X-Men cartoon holds a special place in my heart. It was one of my first introductions to the X-Men and their place in the Marvel universe. The Secret Wars miniseries from the summer was a pretty big success, so it’s not surprising that Marvel would expand upon it with a new ongoing series. What is surprising is that I found this starting issue from Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, and Alti Firmansyah to be much more entertaining the opening issue of the previous mini series. Read the rest of this entry