X-Men Red #1 (Marvel Comics)
Now that Jean Grey is back in the land of the living, it’s time for her to rejoin the X-Men. But Jean’s not joining just any team of mutants. She’s forming her own group of X-Men, and getting her very own title with X-Men Red, the latest in the “color coded” X-Men teams. With Tom Taylor on writing duties and Mahmud Asrar on the art, Marvel’s betting that Red will be a pretty sizeable hit with readers, and I gotta say, after reading this first issue, I think it will be too. Read the rest of this entry
Mister Miracle #6 (DC Comics)
I mentioned in my review of the first issue of Mister Miracle how the Tom King and Mitch Gerads series could do the impossible and give me a solid introduction to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga, but now six issues in (and a few Kirby trades later), I can easily say that was definitely the case. Simply put, this is one of the best series currently on the market. As the final issue of the first arc of the miniseries, Mister Miracle #6 has much of the same charm as you’d expect from King and Gerads by now, but there’s also some pretty major surprises and reveals as well. Read the rest of this entry
Mister Miracle #1 (DC Comics)
This may sound blasphemous to some, but I’ve never been able to quite crack the New Gods. While I like Darkseid and Mr. Miracle and have read the major aspects of Jack Kirby’s saga, there’s always been some part of them that just seemed too weird to me, so I’ve largely missed out on a huge chunk of necessary comic book lore. But with Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle, that’s definitely going to change. This opening issue is not only another notch in the awesome body of work from these two creators; it’s also the thing that finally clicked with me when it comes to the New Gods. Read the rest of this entry
Batman #25 (DC Comics)
Tom King’s run on Batman has been pretty stellar so far. From introducing new heroes Gotham and Gotham Girl, to showcasing one of the bloodiest Batman vs. Bane fights in years, to Batman proposing to Catwoman, King has pretty much solidified his place as one of the best writers to work on the character. But with the latest arc, “The War of Jokes and Riddles”, he may have outdone himself. There’s a fair amount of hype surrounding this issue, and amazingly the Mikel Janin drawn issue exceeded my expectations. While you won’t get any definite resolution to Batman’s proposal to Catwoman at the end of the last issue, Batman #25 is still one of the best issues in King’s run. Read the rest of this entry
X-Men Gold #1 (Marvel Comics)
At long last, the X-Men have returned to their rightful place as a premiere Marvel team. Our first look at the new “ResurrXion” direction of the X-Men was glimpsed in the X-Men Prime special last week, but now we’ve got the official start of X-Men Gold, the team that features long time favorites like Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Kitty Pryde, and Old Man Logan. Gold is being set up as the flagship book for the X-Men going forward, and writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Ardian Syaf definitely have a clear vision for the mutants going forward, one that’s more in the super hero mode than recent takes on the characters. 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.
Spidey 2099 swings into his own comic series thanks to Peter David and artist Will Sliney in Spider-Man 2099 #1! Still stuck in our time period after his appearance in Superior Spider-Man, Miguel O’Hara has to navigate our world and find a way back to his time period without disrupting the natural flow of events.
This opening issue finds Miguel (under the guise of Mike O’Mara) continuing to acclimate himself to our modern world, which in this issue involves getting an apartment. Watching Miguel try and keep the fact that he’s from the future was pretty fun in this scene, but I have no recollection of Tempest the cleaning woman ever appearing in any of the past Spidey 2099 scenes that were in Superior Spider-Man. She probably did show up, but I don’t remember it all (honestly I wouldn’t even be bringing it up if Miguel didn’t mention meeting her throughout the comic). Read the rest of this entry
The Mad Titan gets his own Annual sized issue, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a current series to connect it to. Thanos Annual brings the purple-skinned madman’s creator Jim Starlin back to the writing table, as well as artist Ron Lim. What follows isn’t a book that features Thanos taking on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but a rather talky book that explains the many adventures that Thanos has gone through…as told to Thanos.
Let me back up here. Thanos Annual takes place shortly after the Mad Titan loses control of the Cosmic Cube (which happened waaaaay back in 1974 in Captain Marvel #33). Severely beaten, Thanos is found by his henchman and brought back to his ship, when suddenly he’s transported to Hell and confronted by Mephisto. Before the broken and battered Thanos is about to be destroyed by Marvel’s devil, the Infinity Gauntlet era Thanos arrives and saves his past self. Apparently Thanos has decided to use the time gem while he has control over it to learn of the various timelines and possible futures around him. Acting as an “avatar” of the real Thanos, the ghostly apparition has appeared in the past to discover the mystery of why Thanos has no memory of what happened to him after losing the Cosmic Cube.
Still with me? Good, cause we’re almost done. Read the rest of this entry