Weekly Comic Features: March 2023
Did we mention we're moving?
You may have noticed that we haven't been posting so much lately. It's not because we don't love you (and if you thought that, it might be something to bring up with your therapist...), but because we're going through a big cross-state move and it is taking up a LOT of our time. So apologies for the delay, but here are a good grouping of comics you may have missed in March!
The Forged #1 (w: Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann, a: Mike Henderson)
Publisher: Image Comics
Apparently, at some point over the last year or so, Greg Rucka nd Eric Trautmann sat down and played some Warhammer 40k. During their tournament, they were like "Hey, what if this but... sexy?" And then The Forged was born.
Or so I assume.
Though the "40k but easier on the eyes" analogy does hold up, issue one does a nice bit of world building to separate itself. Sure, the similarities run deep: An empire ruled over by an eternal empress/emperor, genetically modified soldiers in hulking battle armor, massive space ship travelling vast distances in a dark universe, the blending of magic and sci-fi. I would definitely be SHOCKED to hear the Rucka DIDN'T take inspiration from 40k. That said, Rucka and Trautmann bring a fun spin by amping up the cleanliness, brightness and general beauty of the universe they're building. The empire in this tale feels a bit softer than the hardened, gothic Empire of the Grim Dark. Moreover, we don't yet know the extent of the Empire's outlook on the rest of the universe. Are they harsh colonisers? Are they staunch genetic fascists? Are they bringing peace and technology to the planets of their system? We don't yet know, but the characters we see definitely show an Empire that, while dealing with some class struggles within, seems to be prospering.
It's a cool book. It's actiony and tickles anyone who is a fan of the "Space Marine" trope, a la Doom or the Alien franchise. It's sexy and beautifully inked. The backing material provides a good bit of world-building in that typical Rucka/Lazarus style. There's mystery, there's blood, there's action. It's fun.
Etheres One Shot (w: Anas Abdulhak, a: Dennis Menheere)
Publisher: Source Point Press
If Source Point put out more stuff like this, I would be WAY more interested in them as a publisher.
First, I should start by saying this book is poetry. It is narrated poetically, which I know is not for everyone. It is at times a little disjunct in rhythm and at times the rhyme scheme is a bit forced, but it is overall well executed poetic narration. It didn't take me out of it and in fact, I believe it elevated the mystery of the book.
This book is beautiful. It's a gorgeous, bite-sized romp through a mysterious magical world with a narrator carrying a heavy burden. I won't postulate too much on what I believe this book is about, as I believe this is one of those stories that can be whatever people need it to be, but there are some heavy topics on display. Our narrator has a history of trauma, loss, potential abuse and perhaps has even been the abuser themselves. We follow along as they experience various trials, all while hounded by a strange creature whose intentions are obscured. As they attempt each trial, they are plagued by visions of the life they once had. This epic journey is beautifully painted, swirling in a soft dance across each page. It's a tragic book elegantly presented.
Read this one with an open mind. Feel how it affects you and see what your takeaways are. I believe this could be an important read for the right people.
Ambassadors #1 (w: Mark Millar, a: Frank Quitely)
Publisher: Image Comics
I'll start by saying, Jupiter's Legacy is one of my favorite series ever and is one of the reasons I got back into comics about a decade ago. So, I'm a bit biased. Just getting that out of the way.
HOLY CRAP THIS BOOK IS AMAZING
Enough gushing, let me explain.
Ambassadors takes place in a world where governments of almost every nation have spent decades trying to develop super-people. They tried radiation, gene therapy, evolutionary stimulation, and various other fudge sciencey whatnots. In comes Choon-He Chung, the (self-proclaimed but probably true) smartest woman in the world and brilliant tech mogul, who has successfully downloaded her conciousness into a super-powered body, despite being locked up in prison. She comes to the world with an offer: She wants to be Willy Wonka but with superpowers. She wants to give powers to the most deserving - not the ultra rich, not governments. She wants to find the best people to join her team and act as ambassadors for their home countries. Meanwhile, out in the wild we meet a man in South Africa who can crush people with his mind and a superpowered, Scottish ape of some kind who like beer, runs fast and is telekentic.
What I love so much about Mark Millar's superhero stories is how chaotic they are. When you're hanging out in a Marvel or DC Universe, every supe has one power, or a variety of powers, all centered around a central focus (i.e. telekinesis AND telepathy). In Jupiter's Legacy and now also in Amabassadors, Millar creates a world where a superhero can fly and also lift things with their mind and also shoot lazers from their toes and also turn any potato chip flavor into BBQ. His superheroes are so grand and ultra-powerful that it helps to sell the overall message of them honestly being a bit bleak and unchained. I've always loved content that explores what it's like living in a super world as much as the lives of super people themselves. How scary and chaotic would it be knowing that Superman exists? What happens the day he's no match for something, or even worse the day he decides he's had enough. The Boys does a really fun job of this, and Jupiter's Legacy touched on it a smidge but mostly focused on the inner turmoil of super world. I'm hoping this book builds up Millar and Quitely's brand of ultra-super, bombastic individuals and lets us see what a day in the life of a normal person or a government official or an insurance agent would be like.
Really cool book. I'm super glad to have another comic coming from this team.
Dead Romans #1 (w: Fred Kennedy, a: Nick Marinkovich)
Publisher: Image Comics
You guys know I love a good historial fiction, and honestly a time period that doesn't get enough love is the Roman Empire NOT surrounding the emperors. This tale takes place in Germanic land as Romans and tribes come to fight. We see a love story blooming between Arminius, a Germanic prince moonlighting as a Roman soldier, and the beautiful slave Honoria, who belongs to a high-ranking Roman official. Whoops, looks like Arminius wants a queen, and he's got his sights set on Honoria - whether she wants the job or not.
While this book absolutely begins to play out like a Diana Gabaldon novel, what I really find myself drawn in by is the promise of a woman being put into cornered scenarios and fighting back. Does she love Arminius? Maybe. Has he absolutely betrayed her people? Oh, you're darn tootin'. And she's got something to say about that.
It's a period peace with love and betrayal and violence and political intrigue and I'm IN. Let's go, book two! I'm ready.
It's Jeff! #1 (w: Kelly Thompson, a: G. Gurihiru)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Sweet landshark-lovin' Christmas, this is maybe the cutest book ever made. Marvel decided to compile the adorable adventures of Jeff the Landshark from their Marvel Unlimited "Infinity Comics" series into a one shot all about Jeff being cute and doing cute things and navigating cute scenarios.
Ever wanted to see Jeff sled down a mountain on Captain America's shield? ✔️
Ever wondered how Jeff might handle a super hot summer day with his super friends? ✔️
Ever wish you could experience Thanksgiving dinner with Jeff and the Avengers fam? ✔️
Seriously, I was squee-ing the entire book, laughing out loud, aww-ing up a storm...
I need more Jeff in my life. We ALL need more Jeff in our lives.
Is Marvel actually going to shake things up this time?
Weekly Pull Highlights: June 24, 2020
What a week in comics! Brand new Marvel throwing us into the deep end of the new Empyre event, incredible new indie comics putting genres on their side, and a super sweet compilation all about the joys of your local comic shop. The world might be crazy, but comics keep us grounded, folks. Let's get into it!
Horror tropes and some not-so-tropey horror.
Weekly Pull Highlights: May 27, 2020
It's beginning to look a lot like new comics in here! From new beginnings, to quality endings, we've got everything from Star Wars, to alien planets, to potential reboots galore. Things are finally starting to feel a little more business as usual, but we still hope you're safe and sound. Join us for more, NEW, Cover B!
Powered Gaming - Marvel Champions
A game that's fun, challenging, but not punishing.
Time for another gaming review to help you get through stay-at-home! These week we're talking about the cooperative card game game, Marvel Champions; a surprisingly balanced, easy-to-learn living card game featuring your favorite Marvel heroes. Even if you're not into the big-name card games (like your Magics or Yu-Gi-Ohs), this is an excellent option if you're looking to kill an hour or so.
Miles really is the better Spider-Man.
Weekly Pull Highlights: January 8, 2020
A whole lot of books on the shelf, but not a ton of "Oh man, this is the best book ever!" type of titles. Plus, Tee is awfully salty about the direction of Star #1 (in a good way) and Ruins of Ravencroft Carnage (in a not as good way). Oh well, you listen to us for the opinions, right? (We're so sorry.)
All hail (a more nuanced and complex) Doom!
Honorable Mention Highlights: December 11, 2019
Doom 2099 #1 (Marvel Comics)
I have really been enjoying the more considerate depictions of Doom lately; yeah, he's a bad guy, but now he's a bad guy with DEPTH. This one shot was no different, plus it rocks house with a great twist at the end that I should have seen coming, even if I didn't. Props to you, Chip.
Harley Quinn's Villain of the Year #1 (DC Comics)
An awards ceremony issue where the winners we're actually voted on by readers. Honestly, this was super fun and I wish DC would do this every year. I don't know about you, but I actually voted on the various categories and it was cool seeing how my votes measured up compared to the winners.
Captain Marvel #13 (Marvel Comics)
Yeah, so, CALLED IT. Ain't nobody dead (I guess?), and of course she's not REALLY evil. But I love that Kelly brings back characters from previous books she's written, and does so unapologetically. This book felt like a nice return to form, so even though I CALLED IT, I'm looking forward to the next issue.
Hack/Slash 15th Anniversary Special #1 (Image Comics)
Nothing too fancy, but a nice reflection on the series if you've been a fan for a long while like I have. Tim Seeley does make a promise of something new to come, so I hope he follows through with that and gives us some more of Cassie Hack in the future.
Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
This book is trying too hard to be noir, filling in the "she walked into my office, and I knew I was done for" private eye monologue with a gruff guy's tale about falling for a vampire. Unfortunately, the only character I seem to really care about is our quiet, ghoulish partner-slash-protagonist's-friend, and he just wandered into the darkness. So, there's that.
Even when infected with Carnage, a cat is still a cat.
Honorable Mention Highlights: November 20, 2019
Hazel & Cha-Cha Save Christmas #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Well, that was a festive romp through the 'Umbrella Academy' universe! Admittedly, not a whole lot goes on in this book, but if you like the irreverent feeling of the original series, or if you're a fan of Hazel & Cha-Cha's antics, you won't be disappointed.
Badass #1 (Arctic Press Comics)
There's a lot of subtle world building in this book without wading slowly through all the nuance of a whole new universe. A cool play on the "what happens if we have heroes with god-like abilities around," it's an interesting view to see things from the humans who may or may not match up.
Heartbeat #1 (BOOM! Studios)
This book was... a LOT. Like, wowzer. Incredibly dramatic, incredibly dark, but also incredibly stereotypical in the strangest "coming-of-age" sort of way. A girl goes to a school above her economic class, is bullied, lives a hard and frustrated life... and walks in on a dude eating the popular girl's heart. Not sure I'll be picking up issue two, but it was definitely an experience.
Absolute Carnage Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics)
The part with Carnage seems sort of superfluous in this book, but gosh-darn it if I don't love watching Carol interact with Goose. That alien cat is one of my favorite things to get popularity in Marvel right now. It's also probably one of the best depictions of what it's like to have a cat that I've seen in quite some time. I think my cats could be possessed by Carnage, but that could just be my reasoning of why they keep attacking my Christmas tree.
Don't forget to be ungrateful today!
Weekly Pull Highlights: November 20, 2019
Ready to feel sentimental? Preparing for Thanksgiving, we dive headfirst into the sweet and funny Olympia, by father/son duo Curt & Tony Pires. But with family gatherings come (un)friendly debates, so we wade into the morally ambiguous new Black Label title, "The Question: the Deaths of Vic Sage." Finally, just like your favorite holiday recipe, we cover the enjoyable, if not exactly what you were expecting, new run of Deadpool by Kelly Thompson. Happy Turkey Day!
Remember that livestream we mentioned?
We'll be doing a 24-Hour livestream for charity with our gaming group TinkTinkGames on November 30th starting at 4pm EST. Join us for gaming, hilarity, and a decent into madness as we get further and further into sleep debt. All proceeds from the event will be benefitting The UFHealth Shands Children's Hospital and the Children's Miracle Network. Consider donating on our fundraiser page here. You can watch our stream on Twitch, too - just look for TinkTinkGames!
Thanks for supporting us and helping us make a difference this holiday season!
And that's the way they became the Summers Bunch!
Weekly Pull Highlights: October 16, 2019
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming! This week Chris covers all sorts of new titles, including the return of 'The Mask' and the much-anticipated X-Men #1. Meanwhile, Tee faces her comic demons with a whole slew of unsatisfying titles and the imminent fear of disappointing Kelly Thompson (seriously, still love you, girl). Oh, and we'll be on vacation next week - so be sure to check the blog for your weekly comic update instead!
No flerken' technical difficulties will stop Cover B!
Weekly Pull Highlights: August 23, 2019
Technical difficulties can't keep us down! Join us as we discuss the pending divorce between Marvel and Sony, and watch helplessly as poor Peter Tingles cries in between his two unwavering parent-folks! We also talk comics, including a couple titles about cats, a couple titles about serial killers, and more updates on the Powers of X series (didn't we just read one of those?)!
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.