DISCLOSURE: The following is a synopsis and reviews of this week’s comic books from multiple publishers. If you like our reviews and would like to purchase these books you can do so by visiting our partners at TFAW.com. If you decide to buy anything through our provided links we get a small commission which helps keep our website alive and running. Thanks for your time.
BATMAN/SUPERMAN: WORLD'S FINEST #18
World’s Finest is straight fire, the legit gold standard at DC Comics. Mark Waid is totally on point, with mad understanding of what makes the comic book line’s biggest heroes and villains pop. For real, if you’re vibing with these characters and looking for a fresh twist that doesn’t get all messy with continuity, this is the issue for you. World’s Finest be serving the DC Universe for all the newbies out there. We’ve peeped Batman and Superman linking up loads of times, but this meetup? This might be the most lit yet.
BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT PRESENTS – GENERATION JOKER #4
Yo, Generation Joker #4 is setting the stage for that big finish, with Joker’s hard drive getting swiped again and everyone dashing to the next spot. But real talk, some of these story beats feel like they’re on a loop. Harley’s back at it again, regretting she didn’t spill the beans to the kiddos about their pops. And those kids? They keep dipping from their protectors without catching the vibes of danger, even after getting into it again and again. A few of the White Knight crew pop in, just to keep it 100 that they’re still around. Feels like this chunk of the miniseries is just filling up space until they hit that 6-issue mark. Squad’s all bickering, going in circles, with the FBI about to bust in. But with all the chit-chat, that countdown feels like it’s lost in the sauce. With the chase being kinda meh, it’s like: Are we there yet, or what?
HARLEY QUINN: BLACK + WHITE + REDDER #2
Harley Quinn: Black + White + Redder #2 is straight fire, no cap. The three tales in this issue break down Harley from others’ POV – mostly the first and third, but all are bomb. Kelly Thompson’s “Origin Stories for Dummies” and Ryan Parrott’s “Coffee and Pie, Oh My” deep dive into the drama of Harley’s link-up with the Joker and how some peeps are straight sleeping on her real vibe. Both tales are deep cuts into Harley and the shady ways peeps label women based on the dudes they roll with. But if you’re here for the LOLs, Brandt and Stein’s “Great Petspectations” is where it’s at with wild visual jokes. This issue? Total banger – makes you think and looks hella good doing it.
In the pages of Hawkgirl #2, the reader is granted a rare and intimate journey into the quieter moments of superhero life, those that exist in the shadows of world-saving exploits. Axelrod’s script masterfully navigates the delicate balance between these smaller moments and the grandeur of heroic action, even as he chooses to give other characters significant page time instead of solely focusing on Hawkgirl. This is a testament to Axelrod’s commitment to detailed and rich storytelling, which showcases an intricate understanding of his characters and their nuanced world. The depth of character development and interaction within this issue surpasses mere plot progression, transforming it into an evocative narrative experience.
ICON VS. HARDWARE #4
The dramatic tension of Icon vs. Hardware intensifies in its fourth installment, promising grander stakes and unexpected alliances. While the core conflict rages on, the narrative finds itself occasionally veering into familiar territory, relying on certain overused tropes that somewhat dim its shine. The artwork, while capturing the mood in several standout sequences, falters at times in capturing the finer subtleties of the characters’ emotions and the world they inhabit. However, the overall direction of the series, interspersed with its moments of brilliance, signals a refreshing creative vision. This leaves readers invested in the storyline, curious to see the directions the forthcoming issues will take.
KNIGHT TERRORS: CATWOMAN #2
Knight Terrors: Catwoman presents a compelling crescendo in its narrative arc, harmonizing suspense, emotion, and depth. As Selina Kyle confronts the haunting specter of Joker’s reign of terror over a Gotham that feels both familiar yet twisted, she also embarks on an internal journey, wrestling with the duality of her identity. Tini Howard intricately uses this dichotomy to foreshadow and lay the groundwork for the upcoming “The Gotham War.” In the realm of visuals, Leila Leiz’s artistry sings with detail and emotion, framing each moment with deliberate intent. The synergy of her artwork with Marissa Louise’s pulsating and vivid color palette further accentuates the storytelling. This issue doesn’t just excel; it establishes itself as a pinnacle chapter in the “Knight Terrors” saga.
KNIGHT TERRORS: NIGHTWING #2
In the haunting realm of “Knight Terrors: Nightwing”, readers are thrust into a surreal tableau, walking a fine line between the twisted labyrinth of a nightmare and the disorienting haze of a fever dream. This deliberate chaos can sometimes undermine the narrative coherence, reflecting the overarching framework of this tie-in event. Cloonan attempts to weave intricate metaphors about the abstract nature of fear, but the execution seems slightly superficial. The story, rich in its aspirations, feels constrained by its length, leaving several intriguing avenues unexplored and leaving readers yearning for more depth in the midst of its chaotic splendor.
KNIGHT TERRORS: PUNCHLINE #2
“Knight Terrors: Punchline” in its second installment, profoundly underscores Punchline’s indispensable presence in the “Knight Terrors” arc. As Alexis is plunged deeper into the chaotic maze of the digital realm, her identity as a digital-age nemesis undergoes a striking metamorphosis. This narrative challenges not only her role in the virtual villainous world but also teases her evolving trajectory within the vast expanse of the DC Universe. Danny Lore’s pen crafts an intricate tapestry, dotted with unexpected narrative twists, while Lucas Meyer’s artistic prowess paints a visually captivating tale. This chapter isn’t just an addition to the “Knight Terrors” saga; it’s an essential, compelling read.
KNIGHT TERRORS: SUPERMAN #2
“Knight Terrors: Superman” unfurls as a grand testament to Superman’s legacy, interweaving the fates of his closest comrades, Supergirl and Lois Lane. Together, they journey through Insomnia’s eerie dream realms, confronting their innermost fears and apprehensions. Tom Reilly’s artistic genius manifests these fears in a myriad of imaginative forms – from the macabre dance of zombies to the looming dread of gargantuan creatures, and even to subtler representations of everyday anxieties. This issue beautifully captures the mercurial essence of dreams, allowing our beloved heroes to navigate and reshape these dreamscapes with their innate sense of hope and valor. While the main narrative simultaneously casts light on an external story that connects them to Atlantean champions, the final confrontation with Insomnia remains tantalizingly on the horizon. However, Superman’s ardent quest to liberate himself and his cherished allies from the oppressive weight of these nightmares concludes in an elegantly crafted climax, standing as a testament to hope in the face of overwhelming darkness.
KNIGHT TERRORS: WONDER WOMAN #2
“Knight Terrors: Wonder Woman #2” treads on familiar ground, echoing narratives that have become almost ritualistic in the chronicles of Wonder Woman. It seems as though the narrative is trapped in a perpetual loop where Diana’s trials—be it nightmares, challenges, or adversaries—are perpetually centered on her self-acceptance and confrontation with her innermost vulnerabilities. This repetitive theme, unfortunately, is presented here with the grace of over-simplified, generic motivational memes, stripping the story of any semblance of depth or nuance. The only consolation this issue offers is its unwavering focus on Diana, which lends it some direction. However, the narrative’s integration within the broader “Knight Terrors” event feels ambiguous at best, leaving readers questioning its genuine relevance to the overarching plot.
TALES OF THE TITANS #2
With the latest installment of “Tales of the Titans”, the spotlight shines on the enigmatic Raven. Entrusted to Tini Howard, this chapter emerges as a poignant reflection on the dualities of hope and sorrow that have always defined Raven’s existence in the DC universe. This metaphorical passing-of-the-torch, featuring the mystic maven of DC, is executed with both sensitivity and panache. The narrative juxtaposition of optimism with the heart-wrenching truths of Raven’s life is its defining strength. Complementing this is Carlini’s dynamic lineart, which infuses the storyline with a tangible momentum, propelling readers through a whirlwind of emotions and revelations.
THE VIGIL #4
The fourth chapter of “The Vigil” stands as a testament to the power of a well-placed narrative twist. While a significant portion of the issue treads the familiar terrain of black ops missions, characterized by their ambiguous motives and shadowy figures, the climax promises a resurgence of intrigue and definition. The narrative skillfully entwines elements from the broader DC universe, subtly hinting at clandestine connections to some of Superman’s formidable adversaries. In the face of a fresh adversary, The Vigil team is pushed to the brink, resulting in intense sequences that brilliantly showcase artist Devmalya Pramanik’s knack for dramatic pacing. What’s most impressive isn’t the explicit violence but the evocative aftermath and the chilling implications of each confrontation. While the initial stages of “The Vigil #4” might feel like a recapitulation of its predecessors, the concluding moments ensure readers that a climactic revelation lies just around the corner—a tantalizing promise of what’s to come.
ALPHA FLIGHT #1
Navigating the intricate web of Marvel’s “X” universe can be daunting for any reader, especially if one hasn’t been diligently keeping up. That’s why “Alpha Flight #1” is commendable in its effort to onboard even the uninitiated. While there’s initial confusion, the story gradually unfolds, revealing a narrative rife with themes of prejudice, governmental overstepping, and the stirrings of revolt. Brisson orchestrates the plot with finesse, maintaining a rhythm that crescendos to the issue’s climax. While discerning readers might anticipate the big revelation early on, it doesn’t detract from the overall impact. The artwork evokes nostalgia with its vintage flair, adding another layer to the reading experience. Overall, “Alpha Flight #1” sets the stage with a palpable promise of what’s to come.
The culmination of Zdarsky and Checchetto’s laborious and passionate journey on Daredevil is a magnum opus that seamlessly interlaces into the comic’s illustrious lineage. This epilogue, set against the backdrop of Matthew Murdock’s tragic demise, is an introspective dive into the lives he influenced during his latest adventures. Rather than a naive, rose-tinted optimism, the issue underscores the authentic responses of individuals to societal imperfections. Amidst grand cosmic plots and infernal battles, true valor lies in saving a single soul or uplifting a handful. The narrative’s pivot back to its grassroots essence reinforces its emotional depth. Checchetto’s artwork beautifully captures the essence of urban communities and the complexities of human emotions. “Daredevil #14” serves as a poignant reminder that heroism isn’t solely about superhuman feats but also about the relentless pursuit of justice in the face of adversity, delivering a fresh, grounded take on the superhero genre.
DARK X-MEN #1
Launching in the ominous wake of the “X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023” special, “Dark X-Men #1” couldn’t have chosen a more opportune moment. The artistic duo, Scharf and Martin, captures the essence of this bleak era, with visual motifs that evoke memories of Dedoato Jr. and Beredo’s iconic work on the “Thunderbolts” series during the Civil War arc. Amidst the tumult of mutantkind teetering on the edge, Foxe masterfully weaves a narrative around Havok and the Goblin Queen, embodying divergent ideologies—while Alex aspires for conciliation, Maddie is hell-bent on vengeance. What adds to the intrigue is the ensemble of largely unexplored characters, who even the safe haven of Krakoa found hard to accept. The impending trajectory of the series seems primed to confront moral quandaries, particularly the lengths one might go to in the face of authoritarianism and the looming threat of annihilation. Tackling both evident and subtle themes, “Dark X-Men #1” caters to a diverse readership, making it an exhilarating ride for aficionados of the genre’s murkier undertones.
GHOST RIDER #17
The intricate tapestry of the “Weapons of Vengeance” mini-event unfolds another riveting chapter with “Ghost Rider #17.” While many tie-ins often struggle to harmonize with their main narratives, Percy masterfully interweaves the essence of Ghost Rider with the grit and gore of Wolverine, creating an exhilarating blend of horror and action. The issue, awash with dark tones and an unrelenting pace, intensifies the gravitas of the Ghost Rider/Wolverine alliance, setting it apart as one of the landmark team-ups in contemporary comics. The synergy between the two characters, both tormented souls in their own right, gives this comic the edge it needs, making it a must-read not just for fans of the series but for anyone seeking raw, undiluted storytelling.
The curtain draws on the latest Groot mini-series, but not without leaving an indelible mark. While Groot’s name graces the title, the narrative offers more—a cosmic odyssey that allows Abnett to showcase his storytelling prowess. By weaving a narrative that is redolent of the Silver Age’s iconic space tales, this series feels like a lovingly crafted tribute to Marvel’s rich cosmic heritage. Despite the somewhat accelerated pacing of the finale, which felt like an attempt to tie all loose ends, it remains a testament to classic comic storytelling, making it a joy for both new readers and seasoned aficionados.
THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN ANNUAL #1
“Annual” issues often serve as a gateway for fans to reconnect with beloved characters. However, Marvel’s “Contest of Chaos” iteration might leave readers with more questions than satisfaction. While the coupling of Iron Man and Storm presents an unusual yet tantalizing duo, their potential gets submerged beneath a barrage of miscommunications. One can’t help but feel that the rifts and conflicts within the issue could’ve been easily sidestepped with a simple dialogue between these seasoned heroes. The title’s lack of clarity concerning its place within the ongoing event exacerbates the reader’s bewilderment. While the issue might appeal to those invested in the larger “Contest of Chaos” narrative, casual readers might find it bereft of the expected zest and excitement that usually accompanies an “Annual” release.
Loki’s third issue reaffirms the strength of this miniseries. The narrative is enriched by a seemingly innocuous meeting between Loki, Wiccan, and Hulkling that spirals into an intricate reparation of a cosmic mishap. This intricate dance of characters and lore becomes even more engrossing as Loki confronts an unforeseen adversary, hinting at an electrifying conclusion in the upcoming issue. Dan Watters continues to craft a tale that strikes a balance between depth and accessibility, demonstrating the intricate connections within the Marvel universe. German Peralta’s artwork is nothing short of breathtaking, encapsulating the characters and their emotions in lavish detail. It’s a bittersweet feeling to acknowledge the impending end of this Loki series, but if this issue is any indication, readers are in for a magnificent closure.
MARVEL'S VOICES: X-MEN #1
The “Marvel’s Voices” series provides a platform for emerging talents to imprint their mark on the iconic Marvel universe. With this issue gravitating towards the X-Men, readers are treated to a mosaic of stories that range from whimsical to profoundly reflective. While deeply rooted in key moments from the X-Men’s storied past, newcomers might feel slightly adrift due to recent developments concerning Krakoa and Arakko. However, the strength of “Voices” lies in its ability to spotlight poignant, often overlooked narratives that might have been eclipsed in the primary titles. This edition, punctuated by heartfelt storytelling, makes it a delightful interlude for fans seeking a more intimate exploration of Marvel’s Mutant lore.
The Spider-Boy phenomenon is not just a fleeting cameo; he has solidified his place in Spider-Man’s narrative and the readers’ hearts. What began as a gleaming subplot has metamorphosed into the series’ luminescent core. Dan Slott, in this issue, delves deeper into the tapestry of Spider-Boy’s origin, unravelling his association with Spider-Man—an association Peter Parker remains oblivious to, which adds layers of intrigue to the tale. The dynamics between Peter and his erstwhile sidekick unfurl a poignant introspection on Peter’s evolution—highlighting the duality of growth, the good and the questionable. Luciano Vecchio’s illustrations, married to Edgar Delgado’s vibrant colors, encapsulate the nostalgic ambiance of Spider-Man, accentuating the tale’s temporal nuances and Spider-Boy’s effervescence. The culmination of this issue leaves readers yearning for more Spider-Boy adventures, a testament to the character’s infectious charm.
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #37
The malevolent grip of the Scourge is tightening its hold over the Galactic Empire, turning the once-unified dominion into a playground of chaos. This issue of Star Wars: Darth Vader offers a panoramic view of the fallout from this nefarious takeover. The quintessential Sith Lord, Vader, is presented as the antidote to the Scourge infection, introducing a thrilling possibility: can the pure, undiluted might of the Dark Side vanquish this uprising? The allure of this narrative stems not from any lingering impact on the Star Wars continuum—because we know its lack of permanence—but from the sheer spectacle of Vader possibly decimating an army of rebellious droids. Although the overarching “Dark Droids” event remains a puzzle, Vader’s introspection into his Jedi past, as a counterbalance to enhance his Sith prowess, piques our curiosity. This introspective journey teases at Vader’s evolving allegiance, potentially hinting at cracks in his unwavering loyalty to Emperor Palpatine. The narrative leaves us contemplating the larger implications for the iconic galaxy.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #1
Garrón’s artistry in Uncanny Avengers #1 emerges as an undeniable visual tour de force, with colorist Morry Hollowell infusing life and depth to each panel. Navigating through the inaugural issue’s expository phase, the readers are treated to a cornucopia of settings—each radiating a distinctive mood, yet bound by a seamless artistic vision. Whether it’s the intense combat sequences set amidst rain and towering infernos or the clandestine rendezvous in the eerie enclaves of Krakoa, Garrón’s versatility and Hollowell’s colors ensure that each locale tells its own story while maintaining visual coherence. It’s a masterclass in comic artistry that dances through moods and environments with grace and consistency.
WHAT IF...? DARK: MOON KNIGHT #1
Alternative realities can be precarious terrains to traverse, often oscillating between genius and generic. Yet, What If…? Dark: Moon Knight #1 emerges as a masterstroke, reshaping the well-trodden paths of Moon Knight lore. Anchored to a pivotal moment from Marc Spector: Moon Knight #3, Erica Schultz introduces a riveting deviation that cascades into a realm of unforeseen consequences. Despite the story’s altered trajectory, the characters remain remarkably true to their essences, an ode to Schultz’s understanding of their cores. Marlene, traditionally on the periphery, takes center stage in this reimagining—a refreshing shift spotlighting a previously underexplored character. Schultz’s narrative is perfectly complemented by Edgar Salazar’s meticulous artwork and Arif Prianto’s nuanced color palette, especially when Marlene dominates the scene. Her redesigned costume exudes an aura of strength and elegance. Although not tethered to ongoing story arcs, this issue serves as a delightful treat for aficionados eager to experience a familiar world through a new lens.
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST – DOOMSDAY #2
The narrative tapestry of the X-Men has seen many tales woven and re-woven, but Guggenheim and Garcia have breathed life anew into the familiar with “Days of Future Past – Doomsday.” The second installment is an eerily resonant echo of current events, turning the comic into a harrowing mirror reflecting our own world’s turmoil. This rendition removes the familiar trappings of lighthearted interplay among mutants and, in its stead, plunges us into a nightmarish dystopia where the stakes are viscerally palpable. Every page, every panel, is fraught with the life-or-death struggle of mutants; it’s raw and relentless. This adaptation isn’t merely an homage to the original, but a masterful reimagination that manages to honor the essence of its predecessor.
X-MEN: RED #14
“X-Men: Red #14” delves deep into the heart of cataclysmic upheavals. As Storm’s dominion within the Great Ring grapples with the shockwaves from Genesis’ resurgence and Orchis’ offensive, Mars transforms into a volatile chessboard, teetering on the brink of internecine warfare and an external onslaught. This issue acts as a fulcrum, transitioning from the explosive events of its precursors to craft a nuanced geopolitical landscape. The narrative’s intricacy is occasionally mired by data-laden pages chronicling the war’s evolution. Yet, the spotlight on the theatres of conflict and the Machiavellian manoeuvrings of mutant leadership offers readers a panoramic view of the impending confrontation. By the close, characters—both noble and nefarious—are firmly entrenched, setting the groundwork for a titanic clash that will determine Arrako’s destiny. The ambiance pulsates with anticipation, hinting at a kaleidoscope of narrative possibilities where new, dynamic characters wrestle to script the annals of X-history.
Simon Birks masterfully steers “Antarctica,” a genre-blending extravaganza of science fiction and espionage, through a labyrinth of complexity without losing readers in its winding paths. The tale’s allure isn’t just its grandeur but the measured pacing that drip-feeds the enigmatic elements. While the narrative hints at vast, multidimensional tapestries, it resists the temptation to plunge headlong into its depths, ensuring the reader remains anchored and intrigued. “Antarctica” stands as a testament to storytelling balance—fluctuating between exhilarating thrills and methodical exposition, it crafts an atmosphere of tantalizing suspense, making certain that readers remain on tenterhooks, eager for the saga’s evolution.
CHILLING ADVENTURES PRESENTS... STRANGE SCIENCE #1
Venturing beyond the ordinary, “Chilling Adventures Presents… Strange Science” spirals into its inaugural issue, treading an intricate, labyrinthine path that realigns Riverdale’s familiar visage. As its denizens grapple with the surrealism of being transplanted into a sci-fi epic, the narrative weaves a tantalizing tapestry, one that’s vibrantly accentuated by a prismatic color spectrum. This narrative is not just a refreshing detour from the quintessential Archie storylines but an audacious reimagining that ensnares its readers with every turn. By the issue’s culmination, there’s an insatiable yearning for what’s next, cementing its position as a captivating extension of the Archie multiverse.
THE CULL #1
In “The Cull,” Thompson delivers an introductory narrative that meticulously sets the chessboard, priming readers for the galactic odyssey that looms ahead. While the first issue predominantly navigates through narrative expositions, it remains masterful in sketching out the contours of its key characters, ensuring readers find an anchor to tether their intrigue. Mattia De Iulis’ artwork, which is steeped in hyperrealism, might seem like an acquired taste at first. Yet, as the issue unravels, the artist’s choice becomes discernibly deliberate, promising to juxtapose the very real characters against the ethereal landscapes that are hinted at for future explorations. The allure of what’s on the horizon is palpable and magnetic.
GODZILLA: WAR FOR HUMANITY #1
“Godzilla: War for Humanity #1” is a masterclass in redefining a legacy. What many might expect from a Godzilla narrative is turned on its head, not by upending the foundational ethos but by providing a novel lens through which to view the kaiju pantheon. The story draws inspiration from illustrious predecessors like “Half-Century War,” yet carves its own niche by weaving a tale that’s both familiar and refreshingly avant-garde. Jake Smith’s artistry serves as the pivotal game-changer—his brush strokes breathe life into these behemoth creatures with a dynamism that is both audacious and evocative. The anticipation isn’t merely about what ensues, but also about how this unique artistic lens will reshape subsequent episodes.
I HATE FAIRYLAND #8
This week, “I Hate Fairyland #8” sends readers on a whirlwind tour of alternate realities with a gripping “Gert vs. Gert” showdown that’s as chaotic as it sounds. As the fabric of the multiverse ripples and intertwines, the issue sheds light on intriguing facets of each Gert, unveiling quirks and eccentricities that had been hidden in the shadows. The series, true to its idiosyncratic style, brings forth a gallery of unforeseen casualties, each demise artfully exaggerated and just as colorfully depicted. This issue teeters on the edge of madness but offers a vivid carnival of Gert-centric antics, making it a memorable entry into the series.
IN HELL WE FIGHT #3
“In Hell We Fight #3” delves deep into the underworld, painting it with a palette of demonic adversaries, each designed to instill dread and simultaneously captivate readers. The initial sequences coupled with a heart-stopping cliffhanger signal an avalanche of challenges that our young protagonists are yet to face. Every adversary is unique, not just in their menacing appearance but also in their potential danger and, occasionally, their wicked wit. The real gem of this issue is the introduction of Woody—a cunning ventriloquist’s doll whose swap shop is as mysterious as its owner. While the main cast continues to tread a repetitive narrative arc, Woody adds a fresh layer of unpredictability and strategic gameplay. Regrettably, the storyline at times feels disjointed, with events coincidentally falling into place. Jok’s artistic prowess shines, especially in his meticulously detailed renditions of Hell’s metropolis, a testament to his signature dense, layered linework. The issue, with its newly introduced antagonists and enriched settings, promises more of Jok’s brilliance in forthcoming chapters.
THE LONESOME HUNTERS: THE WOLF CHILD #2
“The Lonesome Hunters: The Wolf Child” returns with an issue that is atmospheric, ensnaring readers in the eerie quiet of its secluded town. However, the narrative seems to be pacing itself, perhaps too cautiously. The enigmatic wolf child, although central to the story, remains largely an enigma. The ominous church members, although foreshadowed as impending threats, are yet to leap into the fray. While the ambiance is undeniably tense and palpable, the story inches forward with only subtle nudges to the overarching plot. Interspersed are scenes that strategically move key characters, akin to pieces on a chessboard, but the game is yet to see its grand opening. This issue, though beautifully atmospheric, leaves readers yearning for a more pronounced stride in the narrative.
SECOND COMING: TRINITY #5
In the fifth installment of “Second Coming: Trinity,” readers are treated to an intricately layered narrative that serves as both a reflection and critique of organized religion. As it delves into the nuances of faith, change, and the contradictions inherent in religious dogma, the storyline takes a poignant turn, focusing on Sunstar’s personal quandary—specifically, the increasing concerns about Jordan. Here, the comic treads a delicate balance, highlighting the moral complexities a hero faces when personal stakes are at play. The crescendo of the issue hints at a colossal complication that promises to further meld societal commentary with thrilling storytelling. The marriage of introspection with high-octane drama in this issue underscores the series’ genius—making it nothing short of a masterpiece.
SIRENS OF THE CITY #2
“Sirens of the City” continues its thrilling journey with a cascade of revelations that are both heart-stopping and gorgeously illustrated. As our leading lady navigates the intricacies of New York, a darker shadow emerges from her past—a secret linked to her unborn child. The gravity of this revelation is intensified by the sinister forces conspiring against her, marking her—and her unborn child—as targets. This narrative thread seamlessly intertwines personal stakes with a larger, more ominous threat, ensuring that every page turned is loaded with suspense and anticipation.
SOMETHING EPIC #4
“Something Epic #4” revels in its indulgence of familiar tropes, sometimes to its detriment. The issue presents a lamentation of creativity’s supposed death, embodied in the character Danny Dillon. As the narrative unfolds, Alter emerges, guiding Danny through a landscape reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s “Dreaming,” albeit lacking its depth and richness. Instead, this world feels like a superficial homage, driven by a limited pop-culture perspective. Furthermore, the unabashed praise heaped upon the Image Comics founders—while downplaying the contributions of historical giants like Michelangelo—is jarring, risking the alienation of discerning readers. Artistically, Szymon Kudranski’s talents seem stifled, especially in sections where the visual narrative is forsaken for walls of text. The issue comes across as an overly ambitious endeavor that unfortunately misses the mark, sacrificing storytelling quality on the altar of self-celebration.
SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #32
In the latest issue of “Something is Killing the Children,” while Erica Slaughter remains an undeniably magnetic force, it’s refreshing to see other characters in the ensemble claim their moment under the sun. The issue masterfully pivots its attention to the intricacies between Erica and Cecilia. Their history, riddled with past scars and entwined destinies, is unfurled with an astute balance of suspense and revelation. The dynamics between the two characters and their shared connection with Erica’s mentor, Jessica, only further underscores the tangled web of relationships that enriches the narrative. Artistically, the creative team of Dell’Edera, Muerto, and Andworld Design make a conscious deviation from the monstrous and grotesque to channel a poignant emotional narrative, reinforcing that true horror can often be rooted in raw human emotions. With issue #32, Tynion and his team have truly crafted a magnum opus that stands tall in an already acclaimed series.
“Starsigns” maintains its astral trajectory, offering consistent doses of its signature charm. Despite treading familiar territory, the series shows no sign of waning in its impact. Ahmed’s nuanced writing adeptly navigates a chorus of characters, each voice distinct and harmoniously integrated into the overarching narrative. The visuals by Levens and Fitzpatrick are sprinkled with delightful whimsical elements, elevating the story’s fantastical ambience. While there might be an itch for a deeper dive into the core concept of “Starsigns,” the anticipation of what lies ahead remains palpable, underlining the series’ magnetic pull.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #142
The latest installment in the TMNT saga thrusts readers into an emotional tempest. Post the Armageddon Game, the undercurrents of tension within the Hamato Clan and its allies come to a head, igniting a narrative powder keg. Campbell’s writing effortlessly maintains an air of ambiguity—will this be the breaking point for the turtles or just another hurdle in their journey? The interpersonal conflicts are depicted with nuance, rendering each character’s viewpoint with empathy, ensuring readers can resonate with their dilemmas. Visually, Smith’s and Pattison’s combined efforts encapsulate the story’s brooding ambiance. However, a few panels fall short in capturing the subtleties of character emotions, especially during pivotal moments. Nonetheless, this issue remains a testament to TMNT’s ability to blend action with deep emotional introspection, ensuring fans remain on tenterhooks for the next chapter.
VOID RIVALS #3
“Void Rivals” comfortably settles into its sci-fi niche, intriguingly juxtaposed against the colossal backdrop of the Transformers and G.I. Joes’ universe. In this issue, readers follow Darak and Solila’s nerve-wracking escape from the clutches of a relentless bounty hunter, a sequence rife with tension. As they navigate the ship, they are introduced to a motley crew of peculiar creatures, each with their own tales of capture. There’s an intriguing nod towards the Transformers universe with a robot scorpion; however, its significance remains enigmatic due to its absence of any transformative abilities. The narrative maintains a fierce independence, charting its own course rather than leaning heavily on the established mythos of its parent universe. This comic’s essence is reminiscent of classic sci-fi tales, echoing the audacious spirit Image has brought into its licensed comics segment.
WILD'S END #3
“Wild’s End” is a masterclass in the art of slow-burn storytelling. With its third issue, the series retains its magnetic pull, mesmerizing readers with the same narrative elegance that characterized its predecessors. As the group of survivors welcomes a new member, the dialogue’s subtleties shine through. Eddie’s recuperative conversation with the new entrant underscores the evolving dynamics within this makeshift family. The camaraderie among the survivors, cemented by shared adversities, forms the narrative’s emotional core. The group’s introspection on their diverse vulnerabilities—ranging from epilepsy to the infirmities of age—is a poignant moment. However, it remains to be seen if Abnett and Culbard are exploring this as a deeper thematic element or if it’s a strategic plot tool. Culbard’s visuals eloquently capture the rustic charm of the English landscapes, which starkly juxtaposes the alien terror that lurks within. Abnett’s writing resonates through minimalistic dialogue, eschewing captioned narration, allowing the narrative to breathe and for actions to convey sentiments. “Wild’s End” exemplifies storytelling finesse that many comics aspire to achieve.