All I want for Christmas is an excellent horror story.
Honorable Mention Highlights: November 4, 2020
Wolverine: Black, White & Blood #1
Now, before you say anything, YES, this is in fact another collection of stories about the same guy that we've all read way to many stories about already. No, there isn't anything particularly new about the book or the stories. BUT, the art is fantastic and definitely deserves heaps of praise. If you're a fan of the snikting savage, this is definitely worth the buy.
Heavy Metal Elements: Savage Circus #1
This book has so much potential... we just didn't really get to the meat of anything in this first issue. Beasts, robberies, a sleepy town with a deputy who's bad at his job - you've set up an excellent horror tale that I'd be more invested in if anything actually... happened. Also, there were some things that could have used more clarity in the middle (raise your hand if you totally didn't realize the thieves & the circus WEREN'T the same people... my bad). But still, this book even takes place at Christmas, and GOD do we love a good holiday horror tale.
Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Hush #1
At this point, we've read our fair share of these "cannon but not really" Batman stories, but this one was quite fun. There's a special place in my heart whenever Batman gets depicted as an anti-hero - not particularly good (he's killing quite a few folks here), but he's still going after an inherently bad guy. Not complaining one bit.
This book looks beautiful, and has excellent opportunities for world building and establishing an extensive lore. The only thing is... no idea what this is even about yet. Sometimes, breadcrumbs aren't quite enough to follow the story, especially when they don't use the same bread the whole time.
Heavy Metal Elements: Dark Wing #1
It's a good old fashion sci-fi story, set in a distant part of space, with humans struggling to survive and desperately hunting resources to restart the population. There's a guy with an "I have to make tough choices" attitude, not afraid to fight against the status quo and push back against the higher ranks. It's all pretty standard fair, except for the name of this book, which kept me harkening back to a certain crimefighting duck. I'm just saying.
The comic world is coming back slowly but surely.
Since the mass comic halt that started in March thanks to COVID-19, things have been a little topsy-turvy when it comes to comic titles. This week, we only had a handful of new books to mention, so we figured we'd wrap it up quickly for you here instead. Oh, and don't forget to keep an ear out for our new REEL EXTRA episode on Umbrella Academy (Season 2) coming this Wednesday!
Honorable Mention Highlights: August 12, 2020
Big Girls #1
The acclaimed artist of Trees has taken full creative control of a brand new title with very... large... ambitions. The story starts all about one very, VERY big girl and her role in keeping the survivors of the apocalypse safe. It's kitchy, a little weird, and maybe a little unsettling to be honest. I think it has definite potential, but I'm curious to see what the message is going to be all about. At this point, I haven't really figured out what Jason's trying to say.
Seven Secrets #1
Oh man, this book drops you right in the middle of the thicket and I LOVE when that happens. A world full of conspiracy, intrigue, love, romance, family - it's like James Bond meets National Treasure meets the Mummy movies from the 90's, and I am so here for it. Taylor has done an impeccable job of making me want to know more about everything, from the world to the secrets to our narrator that we haven't even met yet. This is definitely a title to pick up.
An indie-only week of recommendations!
With no DC or Marvel titles this week, we figured it might be better to let everyone celebrate the fourth with more fireworks, less frantic chatter. Instead, here's our handful of recommendations for this week's pull. Have a great holiday, folks!
Honorable Mention Highlights: July 1, 2020
Devil's Highway #1
This book kicks off with a bang - and I gotta say, holiday horror is one of my favorite genres, so to immediately get sucked in to Christmas chaos was very welcome. Setting up as a story of revenge against a daughter who lost her father, there's some definite weirdness in who did what, why they did it, and who these other mysterious players are. I'm intrigued, and it's probably my pick of the week.
All-America Comix One-shot
An interesting super hero tale from the creator of America Chavez. While high energy and full of plenty of sass, this book was solid but a bit lacking in more than just an angsty, somewhat meta take on the genre. I'd like to see more, to see where Casey would have taken Chavez of given the chance.
From the very beginning of the title, I warned y'all that we were going to be given the feels, and the ending was no exception. Emotional, sweet, I love how this book is effectively a love letter between a father and son. With only five issues, this isn't a hard read, but its certainly worth it.
The Goddamned: Virgin Brides #1
Dark and at times hard to approach, but a good read for people that like the "familiar stories told in dark ways" angle. This is chapter 2 of Jason Aaron's Goddamned series, which re-imagines biblical characters/stories in a harsh, prehistoric world. If primeval, god-fearing barbarians is your thing, this is the book for you.
It was a quiet, but quite Batman-tastic, week!
As you can tell, we unfortunately don't have an episode for you this week. Partially because of a very small pull from our local comic shop, and partially because this week was incredibly busy. Stay tuned, though - we'll be back next week! In the meantime, here's our picks for this week - let us know what you think in the comments!
Honorable Mention Highlights: June 10, 2020
Joker 80th Anniversary 100 Page Super Spectacular
A must read for Joker fans. DC really let their writers and artists flex in this one, and it gets really twisted FAST. Also, there's a joke about the Batman Damned controversy, so that's always fun.
Batman: The Adventures Continue #1
Batman: The Animated Series is a hard act to follow, considering it's cult-following status and incredible influence on the IP as a whole. While it's certainly still early and was enjoyable in its own right, the book hasn't quite shown it has legs just yet, with a relatively ho-hum plot line that felt more about character name dropping than properly building off it's predecessor. Here's to hoping issue two starts gain a little more traction.
Batman Secret Files #3
This particular edition of Secret Files focuses on the group of assassins that recently were unleashed on Batman by the Designer. It's a nice look at the challenges Batman faces, since sometimes he can seem like a character who just can't be stopped by anything. Some pretty decent fight sequences, too!
I love a book that drops you into the middle of the drama, and this book definitely does that. First you're hit with a pulpy, old-school styled hero team, then you're in modern day with a beautifully developed lead character that has nothing to do with the previous half of the book... or so we think. Beautiful art, a solid definition of the world, I am DEFINITELY here for more.
Boba's back, baby!
Honorable Mention Highlights: March 11, 2020
Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1
It's nice to see some solid, in-canon storytelling involving dat boi Boba Fett. This book feels like a Star Wars Tarantino flick and I'm all in.
Marvel's Snapshots: Sub-Mariner #1
Part of what made this really cool was the fact that it takes place right after WWII, and definitely stays true to that time period with the look, feel, and behavior of everyone featured. BUT it addresses very modern topics., like PTSD, relationships, trauma, the female experience - all in an old-fashioned style book. Such a cool dichotomy and one I'd love to see brought into more than a one-shot.
Honestly, the best parts of this story are the ideas opened up around Cable and less Cable himself. Honestly, young Cable is a bit bland for me. He's a bit too much like literally EVERY other young male hits-on-chicks-and-takes-nothing-seriously character marvel cranks out to appeal to, idk, that crowd I guess. There is some interesting stuff in this book and YOUNG Cable is by far the least of it.
If you need a good cry, Lex, no one's going to mind.
Honorable Mention Highlights: March 4, 2020
Strange Academy #1
I was expecting just another cutesy YA read, but Skottie Young knows how to put the strange in Strange Academy. Between the perfect depiction of adolescent teen male Asgardians and Dr. Strange's ridiculous pep talk, I'm feeling pretty good about this read.
Superman: Villians #1
Can every book have a section where Lex Luthor goes full 'Office Space' on a business appliance after being ridiculed, harassed and laughed at repeatedly? Because.. I really enjoyed that.
King of Nowhere #1
This book is off to a really fun start, even if it's absolutely bizarre and feels more like a fever dream than a comic. Tyler Jenkins' art is stellar and does an excellent job blurring the line between reality and a bad hallucination. It's a weird trip without the bad side effects - I'm here for it.
I'm a sucker for a good fantasy book, and this one has left me with a TON of questions. Where'd they come from? Why did they go? (Where did they come from, Cotton Eye'd Joe) What the Sam Heck is going on with this lore? They did an awesome job of laying out the plot without really telling you anything, so I look forward to #2.
The highlight of this book for me was an actual REALISTIC depiction and conversation of the relationship between Peter & MJ. Heaven forbid, superheroes have to think about finances and rent and how much they spend on web fluid (talk about great responsibility...). They really are just like us!
Man-Eaters: Tomorrow Belongs to You #1
It's less of a comic, and more of an avant garde art piece mocking misogyny. Beautifully laid it, it points to not only how awful Estro- treated women, but how utterly ridiculous the reparations are. A fitting window into some of the ridiculous stuff we put up with every day as ladies. ( - Tee)
Sue's allowed to be her own person, goshdangit.
Honorable Mention Highlights: November 27, 2019
Killadelphia #1 (Image Comics)
It's like True Detective meets Fright Night, but there's not really enough of either side for me to be completely sold yet. Admittedly, I could do with more of the vampire-side on the page, and less implied in raised eyebrows and hints. But, the characters already feel like real people, and honestly that's a really hard thing to establish in a first issue, so I'm interested to see where it goes.
Witchfinder Reign of Darkness #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
The tone of this books has me completely confused. One minute, I'm watching that extra creepy Johnny Depp flick about Jack the Ripper, the next minute I'm watching a weird Sherlock Holmes rendition where he's kind of an oblivious boob. I want to be into this, because of course, Mignola, but I'm still up in the air. This is also not the first book with this character, so I might be missing key dynamics, but I will say - supernatural Jack the Ripper is always my favorite.
Ironheart #12 (Marvel Comics)
Eve Ewing's run has finally come to a close, and while we had some substantial reveals take place, I come away from the book feeling... wanting? Ho-hum? The whole run felt like a push to remind her "Family always matters!" but... she always knew that. It doesn't really feel like a magnificent revelation. Still, having a lead of four women of color kicking ass was definitely a fun ride while it lasted.
Scream: Curse of Carnage #1 (Marvel Comics)
Honestly, this book has a bad case of the edgies. It tries really hard to be broody, with plenty of "get out of my head" talk and "no no no" shouts. The coolest bit are these weird, sludgey symbiote creatures made from like bits of fish and dead pirate skeletons. I am curious to see what the source of that is.
Venom #20 (Marvel Comics)
And like that, Donny Cates wants to bring back the Ultimate Universe. I cannot even describe how excited I am for this. This particular issue was a much better end to the Absolute Carnage arc than what we got out of Absolute Carnage #5.
Invisible Woman #5 (Marvel Comics)
Alright, here I am again, contemplating the end of a run that just felt... like an end. It was so refreshing to give Sue a run all her own, give her time to be independent, fully-fleshed out, and dynamic without her hoard of fellas to navigate the story line. But the climactic end of this book centers around a man taking away her ability to choose for herself. I don't know, it seems like a lazy way to end, but maybe I read too much into it, looking endlessly for Sue to be identified beyond Reed's wife and Franklin's mom. Guess it's back to the lab again. Sigh.
Maybe the Cat really does need the Spider.
Honorable Mention Highlights: November 13, 2019
Folklords #1 (BOOM Studios)
This is going to be one meta-tastic book! Set up like an inside out fairy tale, rarely do we see a character from a charming village decide to head out to the real world for adventure among skyscrapers and business suits. I love the concept behind this book, and I'm excited to see it start breaching the reader awareness line.
Un/Sacred #1 (Ablaze Comics)
I feel like this book would easily slide right into a Comedy Central lineup. The humor is silly and brash, the art is fun and flirty, and the story is less a rolling narrative, and more a series of cheeky vignettes all centered around 'doing the deed.' It's funny, light-hearted, but there's not a whole lot of meat in this book. - Tee
Family Tree #1 (Image Comics)
Interesting end of the world book from Jeff Lemire. Appears to have something to do with nature taking over, but all we really have is some sort of shady group of people, a strange affliction and plenty of Lemire's go-to family tension right at the center. Lots of questions but a very nice, hooking issue from the #1. - Chris
Morbius the Living Vampire #1 (Marvel Comics)
My guess is this book is feeding off of the hype of the upcoming Morbius flick featuring Jared Leto, but it doesn't really give us a lot to bite into (pun intended). Man is vampire, man looks for unvampiring serum, man maybe made a mistake. Pretty standard vamp fare considering what the book could have set up. Here's to hoping it dives a little deeper next issue. - Tee
Fallen Angels #1 (Marvel Comics)
Another solid entry in the Dawn of X line and the first one to establish the paranoia of Krakow after the twist in X-Force #1. Psylocke (Kwannon, not Betsy) feels like a new character in her own way, since she hasn't really been a character through much of the X-Men history. It's refreshing and the book feels like X-Force in tone.
Black Cat Annual #1 (Marvel Comics)
Gotta say, I think we're missing Spidey in the ongoing Black Cat run. While this book has the same goofy tone as the current run, it has so much more charm with Peter's quipiness and Cat's nostalgic flirtation. If you're not entirely feeling the current BC run, this one-shot might fill that void for you.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #50 (Marvel Comics)
It's the end of an era, fam. Doreen Green has been revealed as Squirrel Girl to the world and it's time for her to move on with her besties to the next nut to crack. To say I was emotional was an understatement; I had just really started reading comics when this book started, and I feel like it was a huge factor in me being such an active reader now. Thank you Ryan - your impact on Squirrel Girl fans cannot be denied.
Filling in the details what we didn't share on the show!
Honorable Mention Highlights: November 6, 2019
b.b. free #1 (BOOM! Studios)
"You guys know I love a good, old-fashioned YA romp with a sassy female protagonist - luckily, I wasn't disappointed! Our two leading ladies are strong, passionate, and ready to get rolling with the rest of their lives, even if Daddy-dearest has other, weirdly nefarious plans. Gabby Rivera does a great amount of world-building for a first issue and ends with a twist I don't quite know what to think about. Definitely recommend!" - Tee
Spider-Man & Venom: Double Trouble #1 (Marvel Comics)
"So, have you ever wondered what the Odd Couple would be like if Felix was a red-clad, spider-powered nerd and Oscar was possessed by an inky, alien parasite? WELL LOOK NO FURTHER! This book feels like if Cartoon Network circa 2007 made a Spider-Man series. It's fun, it's goofy, it is DEFINITELY not canon. Mariko Tamaki and Gurihiru have a good thing going here if you're looking for just a fun Spider romp." - Chris
Green Lantern Blackstars #1 (DC Comics)
"...Woof. That was the most metal book I've read in a LONG time. I didn't read the previous Grant Morrison run of Green Lantern, but I didn't feel like I was particularly out of place reading this new series (granted, I'm not sure anyone felt IN PLACE reading this book). It's dark, and weird, and there's stuff happening all over the place with people I've never heard of, and elder Gods get eaten like sushi. Be sure to throw on some Megadeth before cracking open this cover; it'll get you right in the mood." - Tee
Infected: King Shazam #1 (DC Comics)
"Holy Toledo, King Shazam is one baaaaaad Shazamma-Jamma. I really hope King Shazam becomes some sort of usable villain even after this whole Year of Villain thing wraps up. It would be cool for Billy Batson to maybe have this permanent dark side just looming in the background, ready to bubble over. Would definitely be a source of some good story-telling as he wrestles his responsibilities to his family and this monster looming in the shadows." - Chris
Future Fight Firsts Crescent & Io #1 (Marvel Comics)
"Another installment in the 'Future Fight Firsts' books detailing new members of the Agents of Atlas crew, this week we learn about the origins of Dan Bi & her awesome bear spirit guardian, Io. It's cute, fun, lighthearted, and actually does a really good job of representing the character as both young but realistically aware of her surroundings. Also, someone needs to hook me up with one of those masks - I want a big, bad, bear spirit guardian, too!" - Tee
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.