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.
It's a Monster Mash, and maybe even a graveyard smash.
Lucky #1 (w: Tim Seeley, a: Troy Dongarra)
Publisher: Keenspot Entertainment
Tim Seeley returns to his "edgy girl in a skirt kicking monster ass" roots this time with a unique superhero angle. The book follows Lucky, a super-powered cat girl (maybe) with the ability to borrow luck from those around her. She began as part of a super team called the Super Beasts, which included Dracula Man, a ghost, a Frankenstein's monster-kinda guy, and like a rock lady. Anyway, Lucky didn't last long on the team since her ability resulted in her comrades having increasingly frequent stints of bad luck. Eventually, the team disbanded and went their separate ways.
For Lucky, this meant barely scraping by as a delivery driver. For Dracula Man, this meant becoming mayor. Super duper fair.
After a routine attempted mugging, Lucky eventually uncovers a corrupt political plot and begins her journey to thwart it, all building to her comeback as an official solo superhero. It's a fun romp with an incredibly cartoony art style. The whole adventure is set in a world comprised entirely of Halloween-y/monster-y people (a la Halloweentown in Nightmare Before Christmas, but mixed with more urban sprawl and less Tim Burton). For fans of Tim Seeley, this will be a refreshing story as his roots in Hack / Slash are easily apparent. It's quirky, it's angsty, it's a little silly. It was an overall good time.
Zombicide Day One #1 (w: Luca Enoch, Stefano Vietti, a: Alessio Moroni, Marco Itri)
Publisher: Source Point Press
Is this the best zombie apocalypse story ever told? No, not really. It's fairly run of the mill, pretty straight forward. However, what it lacks in nuance, it makes up for in being just darn fun. Maybe I'm biased out of my love for the Zombicide board game, but gosh dang it, I love me a zombie story that features a diverse cast each with unique abilities. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is the "large fries" of the comics available this week: it isn't going to sustain you, and yeah, sure there are healthier choices, but it is definitely going to be an enjoyable experience.
When getting hit by a train means joining an IRL dungeon crawl...
Heart Eyes #1 (w: Dennis Hopeless, a: Victor Ibanez)
Publisher: Vault Comics
Lupe is a fascinating character. A person who is fearless, not out of a hardness or rigid attitude toward things, but more out of a general lack of fear through innocence and kindness. This book isn't perfect and I honestly debated talking about it, since the first half felt a bit bland and samey to some other books. However, I really just find Lupe to be very interesting. The subtle hints to her backstory and what may have shaped her into the hyper-positive creature she is leave me wanting for more. On top of that, Victor Ibanez's art and Addison Duke's colors are hauntingly beautiful. The book itself is a post-apocalyptic story set in a world ravaged by huge, Lovecraftian beasties. Again, it doesn't really break a lot of new ground, but it is weirdly cute, so it's worth picking up and trying it on.
Minor Threats #1 (w: Patton Oswalt, Jordan Blum, a: Scott Hepburn)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
This is definitely a book for those looking to scratch that "The Boys" itch. I hate to make such a direct comparison, but it's honestly hard not to. That said, this is less of a story taking inspiration from "The Boys" and more a story sitting down at "The Boys" dinner table and grabbing some mashed potatoes without asking. It's fresh, unique and alive in it's own right.
Minor Threats takes place at a very interesting point in a superhero universe: The moment where stories get dark. We've seen it happen in Marvel and DC, the moment that the playful, single issue romps of do-goodery turn into epic, sprawling stories of death, darkness, and betrayal. Heroes that were once stalwart icons of truth, justice and looking good in spandex become damaged, broken and in need of a positive parental figure. The nexus is where this book lives, at the point where a villain pushes things too far, forgetting the rhythms and patterns they are supposed to follow and stretches the heroes into desperation. For a book coming out of the mind of Patton Oswalt, this is not a comedy as much as a dark look at what it's like being the lowest on the hierarchy when your entire universe shifts for the worse.
Minor Threats follows Frankie, a former villain named plaything and sidekick to her mother, the Toy Queen. Having been in and out of jail, Frankie is done with that life. She has a daughter, a parole officer and the desire to move on into legitimacy. After getting out of prison, she gets a job as a bartender at the Lower Lair, a bar for villains to congregate in order to unwind, hatch new plans and lick their wounds. It is here where Frankie both experiences her universe change and also decides to ride the tide of that change in a bold and dangerous way. Oswalt and Blum have crafted a familiar world, albeit with new characters and unique terms for things we all know, while moving the focus way, WAY down from the galaxy-spanning, world-punching heroes we're used to watching. The audience finds themselves in the gutter with the D-listers, just struggling to survive and make it to that next page. With Scott Hepburns sharp and grimy lines and Ian Herring's use of extreme contrast in colors, we are taken on a dumpster dive of broken, downtrodden and probably pretty smelly villains who are damned-determined to take their lives back. Hope they survive the experience.
,META: Metalinguistics Crime Division #1 (w: Marcelo Sarava, a: Andre Freitas)
Publisher: Scout Comics
This book has one dude without facial hair. That's not a criticism or anything, I just found it interesting.
Anyway, the story is pretty cool. It's like Crossover in reverse, to some extent. It also opens with a guy torturing a cartoon cat as an interrogation. Funny, funny stuff.
The META Division deals with things going meta. Seems to be focused on fictional characters milling about in the world and committing crimes. First the cartoon cat, then a character from a play. Eventually, they end up in the world of comics after an artist is killed. The story mainly follows the artist's brother-in-law, a failed writer who hustles writing classes and gets swept up in the weird world of meta murder. As the book goes on, we find out that Alan may have more of a tie to comics than initially led on.
It's a fun setup for a story. As part of Scout's "Nonstop" line, it will be issue one and then graphic novel, so shouldn't be long before you can take in all the mystery of the story. Art wise, it's fine. Nothing really exceptional and the one-note fair styling of both the male and female characters just felt like an odd choice: all dudes have black hair and beards (except one who has a mustache and one who has no facial hair) while the ladies both have basically the same hairstyle, just one is blonde and the other is red. It seems nitpicky, but it honestly just made things feel a bit boring. Maybe there's a story reason for it, who knows.
Little Red Ronin #1 (w: Garrett Gunn, a: Kit Wallis)
Publisher: Source Point Press
Wasn't it just a week or two ago that we had an adorable pupper running around being a heckin mean samurai? Well, this week we have a fluffy, fighting twist on Little Red Riding Hood. Confused? Don't be, it's not as strange as it seems. We're immediately introduced to Red and Dave, two anthropomorphic animals on a quest through the woods. Dave, who can manifest ice cream like my dream persona, is following a begrudging Red who is clearly on a hunt for revenge, vengeance, and violence. All the V's. What we learn is that she lost a loved one to the big, bad wolf and is now very ready to take that huffin' and puffin' butthead down. But our traveling twosome are thwarted by a rapscallion gang of d-bags, led by perhaps the meanest of the three-not-so-little pigs.
This book is weird, and creative, and engaging, and cute, and gruesome - when you take a ton of concepts that have all been done a lot, and make it into something I don't think I've seen done at all, I find myself very impressed.
End After End #1 (w: David Andry & Tim Daniel, a: Sunando C)
Publisher: Vault Comics
People have long theorized what happens after we die; do we go on to reincarnate into a snail or a goat or something? Do we go to an ice cream-filled heaven or a consistently-sunburnt-forever hell? Do we simply go back into the earth and become one with the trees? Well, according to this book, we don't actually die at all. A fascinating spin on the afterlife, for our protag, getting hit by a train doesn't mean getting met with the sweet release of death, it means waking up in some strange, foreign fantasy land with fairies and dwarfs and a beautiful princess... queen... ruler... unclear. Anyway, they are perpetually in battle, and apparently, when we die in our world, we go immediately to their world until we die there, too. Then it's lights out. But you do get this strange, not-quite-limbo, battle-beaten middle life that I think has a ton of potential. Not a whole lot happens in the first issue to be fair, but the concept is so intriguing I'm willing to give issue two a go just to know more.
Twins. In. SPAAAAACEEEE!
Weekly Pull Highlights: April 20, 2022
Please disregard the innevitable lawnmower noises in the background - we couldn't evade them, and now neither can you! But that didn't stop us from covering some very excellent space-age books this week.
Honorable Mention Highlights: November 2021
The Dark Knights of Steel #1
Remember when you were a kid playing make-believe and you'd merge together very different IPs to the point where suddenly Optimus Prime is driving Mario to the next castle? This is kind of like that. Suddenly you're in a fantasy setting, but still watching the same DC characters you'd expect in a big crossover. I think is most surprising is how well it works - well done, team, I definitely care about the princes after all.
A Thing Called Truth #1
Relatable, fun characters embroiled in a tale of misogyny and betrayal. This book is delightfully developed and honestly is a story unlike a lot of what's out there. It's realistic and grounded while building to an exciting thrust.
What if Batman was a pervy jerk, got accidentally killed by a random loser, and then replaced by said random loser at the behest of "Alfred" (who absolutely hates Batman to begin with)? If that premise isn't enough to delight you, then just know that this book is incredibly clever and wonderfully cheeky. Sure, it's another "what if popular super hero but different" story, but it's got some fun twists and turns.
My Date with Monsters #1
What a fascinating concept for a book. Bad science leads to real nightmares, and the only way to avoid the apocalypse is for a very single mom to fall in love and build a stable family. Has it already built in some pretty predictable plot points? Yeah, but that doesn't take away from my investment in the very likeable characters. I'm excited to see how it all plays out.
Provenance of Secrets #1
Another day, another noir - but this time, our gumshoe is investigating a theater cult (that as a former theater kid, seems completely believable). Boldly black and white, with a swiftly unraveling mystery, this one has set up to be a very interesting read.
Good Boy #1
If you had told me I would one day read a comic book adaptation of John Wick where the dog lives and the person dies but it still turns into a bullet blasting blood bath, I would have told you to seek help. And yet, here we are. This book shines mainly for the novelty of the concept, but does have some fun art and tongue-in-cheek moments within to earn a mention.
Turkey Day One Shot
The perfect story for the holidays! It's got it all! Community. Family. History. Alien-possessed murder turkeys. If you like B-level horror movies, this book will be a fun ride for you. In the mix is also a nice bit of cheeky commentary on the problematic nature of the Thanksgiving story and the treatment of indigenous people in modern society. Oh, and also gore. Lots of gore.
Honorable Mention Highlights: October 2021
Soul Plumber #1
Goodness, this is an ugly book. If you are looking for a polite, clean, puritan reflection on the soul, run very, very far away. Soul Plumber is shockingly relatable beneath the layer of filth, and I'm rooting for the lead.
Chicken Devil #1
Oh my goodness, this book I just one big fiasco and I love. Hot chicken magnate gets involved in crimes because the world around him deems it. Why not? This is the least character driven book I've read, but I kind of love just watching this dude on a log flume of misery and guns. Also, they have a restaurant menu in the back and it looks damn tasty.
Marvel Legends: Black Panther #1
Not much more to say aside from this is a cool look at young Tchalla earning his stripes (do panthers have stripes?) and showing his mobility in the face of a unaccepting world. This book handles heavy topics like racism and capitalism in a delicate way but still delivers a solid message. A great book for young readers.
Batman: The Imposter #1
A prequel/sequel to the new Batman movie? Hard to tell really, as it feels fairly originy but also seems to also reference movie things? Weird flex releasing a sequel to a movie that does not yet exist, but hey, that's DC. They flex more than an insecure, pre-workout addled Chad on a busy day at muscle beach. Still, I like the angle that they are taking with this Batman and this left me kinda jazzed for the movie. Not really a super new story, but still a nice level of grit.
What do you do when the veil between two realities is lifting and demons are co-mingling with humans on a regular basis? You create a new police force, obvi. Our main character is pretty predictable, but the world building keeps me intrigued enough to want to read more in issue #2. And that's really all it takes, isn't it?
DC vs Vampires #1
Well, hot damn Tynion, you're aiming for a Cover B fan club name, aren't you? The cheesiest of names gives way into an excellent, thought provoking book that not only makes sense in the given DC universe, but made me gasp unexpectedly at twists. I am definitely looking forward to the next issue of this one.
Pop Star Assassin #1
When I saw the title, this was NOT the book I was expecting to read. An Elvis impersonator, a waitress, and a psychic vagrant escape from a bar - be sure to stop me if you've heard this one. Oh, you haven't? I'm not surprised. This book is bonkers, but has a lot of potential if you like fast-paced, off-the-wall chaos.
Cross to Bear #1
...Are they Templars? Are they Masons? Is it a brand new cult we've never heard of? What is their real mission? What are they protecting... or who? I love a good secret society, and I love even more when our supposed protag is more fallible than forgivable. Who doesn't love some character depth, amiright?
Winchester Mystery House #1
You've heard the legends. You've probably even seen the movie. But there's something so eerie about the Winchester House that I'm glad it's being given a chance in the comic format. The ability to come from different perspectives, show more intimate details of the house's machinations - there's a lot that can be done here, and I'm very excited to see it go down.
Honorable Mention Highlights: September 2021
What happens when everyone passes out and then immediately wakes up being able to read each other's thoughts? Sounds pretty awful, doesn't it? Well, Straczinsky has taken on exactly this concept. Not a ton happens in issue number one, mostly just covering the finer details of "why" and "how," but with there being nothing more personal than your own inner-most thoughts, I could definitely see this book getting into some nitty gritty of what it means to have personal space.
Dark Ages #1
Oh look, Marvel has some sort of event going on. Been a minute since they've had one of those...
That said, this event is actually kind of neat so far. It's an interesting concept: how would superheroes function in a world of no electricity. It really only works for Marvel too, seeing as how so much of the Marvel heroism is based in science and technology. In a word full of Marvel cash ins, I'm actually pretty stoked for this one.
Search for Hu #1
Kind of like Pearl from Bendis, but set it inside a martial arts movie. There's some clichés, some "why did you never tell me" moments, some special military behind-closed-doors knowledge to be had - not a bad time, but not an exceptionally special one, either. It has potential, though, especially if you love a good "chosen-one" story.
Nine Stones #1
I like the characters of this book. The premise isn't entirely new. The narrative plays out fairly predictably. But the writing of the characters is what really shines. They just feel cute and realistic, and I find myself wanting to see their love blossom. And in general it's nice to have an LGBTQ story that just feels natural and not forced.
I have high hopes for Maw, but dang did the first issue not deliver. I get the message it's trying to say, but it's handling of that message is done with heavy hands. Like, filled with lead hands. That said, I dig the creepy atmosphere built around the self-help group/ cult, and the promise of body horror will always get me hooked.
Man, you know I love a good steampunk story. This one has that distinct "Victorian-era but MACHINES" vibe, which can be done so well in comics. What's cool about this one is that the main focus is on fashion, which just makes so much sense in a steampunk environment. The characters are well developed, the story is very familiar and engaging (I see you, Beauty and the Beast) and the twist is just twisty-enough. I'm only sad it's a one-shot, because this title sucked me in for sure.
10 Years to Death (One Shot)
This is another of those big, beautiful one-shot titles from Aftershock that we've been talking about a lot. This one is a horror title, but less gruesome than some of the others, and reads a little more like a supernatural thriller. The tale is told from the perspective of a now-grown man, retelling an experience he had as a kid with his uncle. It's well paced, spooky, and feels just grounded in reality enough to keep you sucked in the whole way through. Definitely worth picking up.
Impossible Jones #1
She was a criminal, in it for herself and the score. Now, she finds herself with powers she didn't earn, and a nagging feeling of responsibility to be on the right side of the law. Sounds impossible? Nah, just Impossible Jones. Cute, colorful, creative use of some superhero tropes - I think this is going to be a super fun titles to follow moving forward.
I'm a sucker for a good "group of ragtag, brash yahoos out in space on some sort of dangerous mission for a corporation and/or to save the earth in a mundane way" kinda scifi story. If you feel the same, are a fan of the alien franchise, or just looking for some interesting sci-fi that is more of the "this spaceship runs on diesel" type, then this is a good choice. Unborn doesn't try too hard to break the mold, but instead chooses to tell a story about interpersonal relationships and coping with the past against a backdrop of clunky space mechanisms and regenerative alien bugs.
Turbo Kid: Apple's Lost Adventure #1
This is apparently a prequel to a movie. If the movie is anywhere as balls-out bonkers as this book, I need to watch it. Turbo Kid appears to be one part Mega Man, one part Tank Girl, and if I need to say more than that then you just don't understand joy.
Human Remains #1
So, the whole "emotions are bad" thing has been done before, but usually under the umbrella of government control. Here we have some sort of mysterious entities that teleport in and obliterate anyone feeling to strongly a certain way. Cool premise that I can't help but feel like is based on something. The entity attacks people playing outside, people at weddings, people congregating at church, people gathering for concerts and parties, people blowing off steam at a bar. Where we come in, everyone is pretty much forced inside and all the revelry of the social world is gone. Where have I seen that before?
I love a good superhero book with scruples. Frontiersman was not what I expected. After Image's recent tangles with the superhero being a bit lame (looking at you, Mr. Radiant Black), I expected this to be another run of the mill super story. What I got instead was a very natural feeling character in a slowly built world struggling with concepts like relevancy, climate change and the nature of social media martyrdom. It was a moderately paced, chill kinda read with some nice world building. I'm rooting for you, Frontiersman.
Honorable Mention Highlights: June 2021
Crush & Lobo #1
Crush is a fun character. Lobo is also a fun character. While this comic is steeped in a bit of recent history, it seems like it's gonna be a fun ride. Also, we might find out more about Crush along the way, which would be a cool edition to the DC mythos overall.
Out of Body #1
A weird and funky world of astral projection that follows one man's simultaneous journey of self discovery and a desperate fight for his life. This book had some shaky points, but overall is a very nifty concept with just enough magical elements to add some spice.
Freak Snow #1
What? What is happening? This book is absolutely b-a-n-a-n-a-YES. We follow a crazy man in the snow. That's about it. We don't know why there is snow. We don't really know who he is. But he's crazy and there is snow. It's a trippy, cold world with splashes of color and I truly, truly love it.
Compass: The Cauldron of Eternal Life #1
A delightful bit of historical fiction that blends multiple cultures into a tale of treasure hunting and treachery. This book reads like a modern adventure book but feels like a old-school pulp serial. It's refreshingly straightforward in it's plot set up and ha a unique cast of characters.
Batman Reptilian #1
Garth Ennis's Batman is weirdly passive aggressive and incredibly meta. He understands that people know the "rules" of Batman and uses that to his advantage. This book is easily set up to be a new entry in the Batman Dark Works of Art Hall of Fame alongside titles like Arkham Asylum or Long Halloween. Liam Sharps painted pages are profoundly peculiar, overflowing with the dark and gruesome world of Gotham like it's rarely been seen.
I love Vinyl. Hands down. I love the Suicide Squad of weird serial killers that is being advertised. I love the cult shit. I love that it starts smack in the middle but fully includes the ready in events that happened elsewhere. I love Walter, so much. This book is gory good fun and should be on everyone's list (check out Plastic, too - another fun serial killer romp).
United States of Captain America #1
A bit of a clunky start to the premise, but a fun idea. Cap and Falcon suiting up on a meet-and-greet-and-protect-from-assassins road trip is a cool idea, and this will be a great book to introduce more characters that people can feel represent them - more than many other heroes can. If you like to spec, might be a book to look into to, as any of these characters have major TV or possibly even movie potential.
This book is going to make you feel some kind of way - maybe sad, maybe fascinated, maybe concerned - but you will definitely feel it. Taken from the author's real pain about a brother he lost to drugs, and put to page like street art in a cover, you definitely know it's the 80's and that things just aren't going to end well for anyone involved.
It's not at all what you're expecting, and that's what makes it fantastic. A drinking, debaucherous barbarian is cursed to only do good - which is a lot less fun than his original plan. Plus, when you have a bloodthirsty talking axe coming along for the ride, everything gets a lot more metal. It's a good time, for sure.
Look, sometimes we DO get rendered speechless...
What a strange week for comics, you guys. Some interesting new titles, but also some just... strange stuff. But hey, if you've been looking for a way to break into Firefly, that happened! So... good?
Honorable Mention Highlights: January 27, 2021
Dead End Kids #1
Get ready for some feels, fam. We're finally far enough away from 9/11 that we can start reading stories, not of the tragedy itself, but of the aftermath left behind. Following three teens all affected by the consequences of the awful event in very different ways, we see something fascinating... What happens when life keeps moving, and crazy stuff keeps going down entirely unrelated to this originally life-altering experience? I'm incredibly excited about this book because it really feels like a very new, very necessary story about people just trying to keep on going.
The Eighth Immortal #1
I want to like this book, I really truly do. It's got really cool somewhat manga-esque art and an interesting use of color. The premise is right in line with the types of stories I enjoy, being all about a race of immortals who are barred from ever reproducing because there can only ever be 7 of them. Lots of myth, lots of prophecy and the like. And yet, it's hard getting past the elephant in this book that is how ABSOLUTELY HORNY THIS BOOK IS. I am by no means a prude, but goddamn, there is sex on like every third page of this book. Wowsers.
"but Chris, you said you were sick of Vampires!" I know, okay, look.... This book was cool, it had interesting art and enough uniqueness in it's world building to stand apart. It was basically "what if Faith from Buffy became a Twitch streamer?" I liked it, okay. There. I liked a Vampire book.
So, now, I know it seems weird to have a mid-series book in here, but I think this is a GREAT jumping on point for folks who love Firefly and want more of it. We just finished the Serenity crew (and friends and associates) bailing on the fight and making a life for themselves in Haven... Except, years later, looks like all of THAT has gone sideways. New characters, the loss of old ones, and KayLee taking on the captain's mantle, I am MORE than excited to see what the sam-heck happened during that flash-forward we didn't get to see!
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.