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.
ACTION COMICS #1059
Action Comics #1059 presents a mixed experience across its three stories. The primary story, “New Worlds” part three, stands out with a compelling showdown between the Super Family and Blue Earth. It skillfully explores the theme of how extremism can be manipulated in public perception. A notable twist is the revelation of Norah’s true identity, cleverly unraveled by Lois, which dramatically shifts the narrative, leaving readers on a major cliffhanger. This story hints at setting up a larger, more intricate plot. The second story, “Secret Identity” part two, showcases Gene Luen Yang’s creative prowess but feels somewhat incomplete. The narrative surrounding Keenan Kong includes confusing elements that could benefit from further development, leaving a sense of an undercooked story. Lastly, “A Heart In Metropolis” seems like a weak rehash of concepts from Superman: The Movie, focused on Jon and Jay. The artwork in this segment doesn’t particularly impress, contributing to a declining quality as the issue progresses. Overall, Action Comics #1059 is a mixed bag with varying levels of engagement and quality across its stories.
ALAN SCOTT: THE GREEN LANTERN #2
Just two issues in, “Alan Scott: The Green Lantern” has quickly established itself as a bold and somewhat ambitious reimagining of the character. Tim Sheridan’s script is a blend of grand narrative sweeps and deep personal moments, providing a rich exploration of Alan’s history, current challenges, and potential future. Cian Tormey’s artwork beautifully complements the storytelling, fitting within a certain house style, though some visuals might require a second look to fully appreciate their intricacy. This series successfully accomplishes its goals, offering fans a fresh take on Alan Scott that is both respectful of his legacy and innovative in its approach. The balance between honoring the past and charting a new course for the character makes this series a standout.
AMAZONS ATTACK #2
Amazons Attack #2 excels as a companion book, rivaling the strength of its main series. The issue does a commendable job in developing its four lead characters, each getting adequate time to evolve and establish their unique identities. This careful character development creates a well-balanced core ensemble that drives the narrative effectively. Additionally, the series incorporates social commentary that resonates well with the ongoing storyline, striking a harmonious balance between entertainment and meaningful discourse. The book’s ability to maintain this equilibrium while delivering a compelling story is a testament to its quality, making it a standout in its genre.
BATMAN '89: ECHOES #1
In “Batman ’89: Echoes #1,” writer Sam Hamm, artist Joe Quinones, and colorist Leonardo Ito revisit the universe of Tim Burton’s Batman films with a fresh perspective. The narrative picks up from last year’s Batman ’89 series, highlighting a Gotham City still reeling from Batman’s absence. The city’s landscape is dotted with Batman’s copycats who, intriguingly, become targets of intense public anger. This issue introduces several key characters, including Barbara Gordon, whose transformation into Batgirl is subtly hinted at through visual elements, like the yellow trim of her coat resembling a cape. Another character of interest is Dr. Harleen Quinzel, depicted as a fame-seeking psychiatrist. This version of Harley Quinn diverges from her more familiar antihero role, aligning more with Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s original vision of a character who pursued psychiatry for fame, using her looks rather than her skills. A noteworthy aspect of Hamm’s storytelling is the introduction of a professional rivalry between Dr. Quinzel and Dr. Jonathan Crane, who later becomes the Scarecrow. This rivalry adds depth to their characters and explores an aspect of the Batman universe that has been largely unexamined. The issue is also visually striking, with Quinones’ precise linework and framing alongside Ito’s moody blue-purple color palette, effectively capturing the gothic aesthetic of Tim Burton’s films. The unexpected ending makes “Batman ’89: Echoes #1” a captivating return to a beloved era of Batman’s history.
BATMAN BEYOND: NEO-GOTHIC #5
“Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #5” transcends its roots as a mere continuation of the Batman Beyond story, evolving into a tale of two distinct parts of Gotham fighting for survival. This narrative shift has added a layer of complexity and fascination to the series. In this issue, the focus is on the broader conflict overtaking Gotham, a transition that has been skillfully handled by writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing. The inclusion of elements like The Green and John Constantine could have easily overcomplicated the story, but Kelly and Lanzing manage to keep the narrative coherent and focused. Artist Max Dunbar and colorist Rain Beredo bring these elements to life with dynamic battle sequences, especially those involving Constantine. The series has consistently delivered, maintaining its quality and narrative coherence, and this issue is no exception. The anticipation for how the story concludes is high, but given its track record, “Neo-Gothic” is likely to meet, if not exceed, expectations.
BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #7
The latest issue of “Batman: The Brave and The Bold” offers a mixed bag of stories, each with its unique strengths and weaknesses. The A-story, “Pygmalion,” starts with an intriguing premise of a memory-less Batman but quickly shifts to a more conventional plot, leaving readers to wonder about the necessity of the initial setup. “Wild Dog: Here Comes Trouble” stands out as the issue’s highlight, brilliantly blending a portrayal of midwestern quirks, understated humor, and impressive action sequences. It shines as a well-crafted story within the anthology. “Aquaman: Communion” caters to fans of sci-fi with Gabriel Hardman’s vivid depictions of aliens and sentient Earth creatures. However, the plot itself lacks a compelling hook, making it less engaging. The final story featuring The Demon showcases Matteo Scalera’s artistry in scenes filled with shadows and fire but falls short in delivering a satisfying conclusion. Overall, while the anthology features exceptional comics talent, most of the stories feel like secondary offerings, with the notable exception of “Wild Dog: Here Comes Trouble.” The issue highlights the challenge of creating an anthology where the sum is as impressive as its individual parts.
CITY BOY #6
The finale of “City Boy” offers a fitting conclusion to its central character’s journey, albeit with some understated moments. Cameron’s mastery over his powers, and the potential danger they pose to the DC Universe, reaches a climax in a visually stunning display of chaos. Writer Greg Pak’s script balances heart and nuance effectively, even though some aspects of the story feel hurried. Artist Minkyu Jung excels in depicting the chaotic scenes, injecting vibrancy and dynamism into the artwork. However, the art seems less impactful during the quieter moments of the issue. The conclusion leaves Cameron’s future open-ended, suggesting potential further developments for City Boy. Despite some narrative and artistic inconsistencies, the storyline manages to achieve a mostly satisfying resolution.
In “Cyborg #5,” the Titans make a guest appearance, effectively playing supporting roles that allow Cyborg to remain the focal point of his own series. The issue features additional art from Travis Mercer, whose style is notably more appealing for this narrative than Tom Raney’s, fitting the characters and the tone of the story better. The character Solace emerges as a formidable adversary for Cyborg, adding depth and intrigue to the plot. The dynamics between Cyborg and Solace hint at a lasting impact on the series, raising expectations for future developments as the series progresses.
DETECTIVE COMICS #1078
“Detective Comics #1078” ramps up the intensity with Catwoman’s rescue mission to save Batman from a public execution. The issue showcases a coordinated effort from Gotham’s heroes and villains to undermine the Orghams’ hold over the city. However, the narrative leaves some ambiguity regarding what has shifted the balance since Batman was previously outmaneuvered by the Orghams. Questions arise about whether the change is due to new strategies, better preparation, or simply plot convenience. This issue is engaging and keeps the reader invested, particularly with a one-page reveal early on that hints at further complications and chaos. The storyline skillfully weaves together action and intrigue, maintaining a suspenseful atmosphere that keeps the reader guessing about the outcomes.
THE FLASH #3
“The Flash #3” deepens the enigma surrounding the Speed Force, adding layers of eldritch horrors and perplexing physics that enhance the series’ allure. The issue pairs Wally West with Max Mercury, and their investigation, coupled with Mr. Terrific’s insights, uncovers new dimensions to the Speed Force that promise rich narrative potential for the foreseeable future. This installment stands out for its ability to establish high stakes without the need for a traditional supervillain. Instead, the sheer unknown and the terrifying possibilities it presents are more than enough to engage the reader. Deodato’s artistic layouts are pivotal in translating the novel concept of space-time within the superhero genre. The visual metaphors, such as the manipulation and unfolding of space, are rendered with such clarity and creativity that they significantly enhance the storytelling. “The Flash” demonstrates a compelling blend of style, story, and craftsmanship, making its mystery an intriguing journey for readers to follow.
GREEN ARROW #6
“Green Arrow #6” brings the first storyline of the new series to a close with a blend of reunions and surprises. The transition between artists across different storylines is handled smoothly, with Sean Izaakse’s work standing out for its impact. The series consistently includes emotive, splash page-like illustrations that resonate with readers, and this issue is no exception. Amanda Waller’s presence in the narrative is significant, and her storyline seems to be just beginning, hinting at more complex developments ahead. The issue balances emotional depth with narrative progress, setting the stage for future story arcs.
HARLEY QUINN #34
In “Harley Quinn #34,” the series continues its trend of embracing the weird and unconventional. This issue focuses on Harley standing up for herself, providing a satisfying character moment amidst the chaos. A key highlight is the quiet reunion between Harley and Ivy, offering a necessary emotional anchor in the midst of numerous puns and visual gags. The introduction of Harley AI adds another layer of oddity to the story, maintaining the run’s unique tone. While the direction of the storyline may still raise questions, this issue manages to be both entertaining and visually appealing. It strikes a balance between fun and chaos, showcasing the distinct flavor that has characterized this run of Harley Quinn.
THE PENGUIN #4
“The Penguin #4” teases the beginning of the main story arc for the next issue, setting a somewhat lukewarm stage for the series. The addition of an ex-flame and advisor enriches the ‘getting the band back together’ theme but doesn’t necessarily elevate the narrative significantly. This issue frames the plot as a collective team effort, yet this approach inadvertently highlights the borderline incompetence of each team member, including Oswald and The Help. The narrative structure feels overly contrived, raising several questions that seem unlikely to be addressed. Despite these shortcomings, the issue introduces elements of romantic tension and a partnership dynamic where Penguin is not the sole dominant figure, hinting at potential character development. Artist de Latorre’s skill in visualizing a complex plan is evident, though the story itself lacks a compelling hook. However, there’s an underlying sense of promise that the series may yet capitalize on its potential in upcoming issues, particularly with the development of Penguin’s character and team dynamics.
POWER GIRL #3
In “Power Girl #3,” the character of Paige stands out as a remarkably well-crafted protagonist. Her complexity, emotional depth, and relatability resonate strongly, making her a captivating figure in the narrative. The series excels in its character study, delving into Paige’s frustrations, vulnerabilities, and the messy realities of her life, mirroring the complexities of real people. The attention to detail in developing Paige’s character is commendable, positioning this Power Girl series as one of DC’s standout character-focused narratives. The storytelling is engaging and immersive, inviting readers to invest deeply in Paige’s journey.
STATIC: SHADOWS OF DAKOTA #7
The finale of “Static: Shadows of Dakota” culminates in a showdown involving Static, Ebon, and Dr. Lennox, who has been conducting experiments on various Bang Babies. While the climactic battle set in a sterile lab environment somewhat detracts from the intensity, the issue remains solid overall. The story skillfully ties back to an earlier tragedy involving a young, gifted child, adding emotional depth to the conflict. The miniseries has consistently showcased heart and character depth, with Nikolas Draper-Ivey’s art style being a particular highlight, especially when compared to the previous issue. This installment of “Static” marks a significant improvement over previous series and bodes well for the future of Milestone. The narrative demonstrates thoughtful storytelling and artistic talent, setting a high bar for future entries in the series.
“Steelworks #6” concludes the series with a strong affirmation of John Henry Irons’ significance in the DC Universe. While the series had its struggles, particularly in the portrayal of its villains, it offered enough compelling content to attract both Superman enthusiasts and general DC Comics fans. The series explored unique perspectives on how Irons aimed to safeguard Metropolis, distinct from the approaches of the Super Family. The final issue delivers some standout moments, showcasing the heroism of Metropolis’ defenders. “Steelworks” not only honors John Henry Irons as a character but also sets a foundation for future stories. The series hints at untapped potential and rich storylines that could be explored if DC opts to revisit this character in an ongoing series.
TITANS: BEAST WORLD #1
“Titans: Beast World #1” emerges as a refreshing entry in the world of comic book crossovers, delivering a narrative that feels distinct in an industry often saturated with large-scale crossover events. Taylor and Reis both excel in their respective roles, bringing their best to this installment. The issue is especially appealing to fans of the Titans and DC’s legacy characters, offering a narrative that adeptly combines relatable, grounded storytelling with the larger-than-life presence of DC’s heroes. This crossover strikes an ideal balance, capturing the essence of the Titans and setting the stage for what promises to be an exceptional series. The portrayal of the Titans as a blend of human-scale narratives and godlike heroes is particularly effective, suggesting a crossover event that will highlight these characters in a significant way.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN GANG WAR: FIRST STRIKE #1
“The Amazing Spider-Man Gang War: First Strike #1” faces the challenging task of being an introductory issue to a major event, balancing the need to update readers on recent developments while setting the stage for the core series and numerous tie-ins. Despite the complexity of this task, the creative team successfully delivers an engaging and exposition-rich introduction. The issue effectively establishes the current status quo of “Amazing Spider-Man” and prepares for a crossover that revisits some of the series’ most iconic elements. The narrative features a plethora of street-level heroes and villains engaged in conflict across New York, creating a dynamic and chaotic setting. While there is a heavy reliance on expository dialogue and occasional abrupt shifts between characters, the story offers substantial depth. Significant plot twists and shifts in power dynamics within the gang war keep readers engaged and intrigued. The portrayal of numerous factions and vigilantes is impressively executed, making “First Strike” a captivating read both for newcomers and longtime followers of “Amazing Spider-Man.” The issue successfully navigates the fine line between providing necessary background information and adding exciting new elements to the storyline.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #3
“Captain America #3” is an issue that attempts to juggle numerous ambitious ideas simultaneously, but this approach results in a somewhat disorganized narrative. The series seems to be overflowing with concepts that individually could lead to compelling stories about Captain America, but their amalgamation creates confusion. Among the scattered plotlines, a few pages stand out, dedicated to boldly criticizing Nazis. This sequence is powerful and effectively conveys a strong anti-Nazi sentiment, which is indeed a highlight. However, this segment alone isn’t enough to cohesively hold together the entire issue, leaving the rest of the comic feeling disjointed and less enjoyable.
HOWARD THE DUCK #1
Celebrating Howard the Duck’s 50th anniversary, “Howard the Duck #1” is a one-shot issue that brings back the dynamic duo of Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones, renowned for their 2015 Howard the Duck series. Zdarsky and Quinones contribute a frame story to this anthology, which stands out as the most engaging part of the book. Quinones’s artwork is characterized by crisp linework and lively, expressive characters, while Zdarsky’s humor remains as sharp as ever, perfectly capturing the essence of Howard the Duck. The inclusion of a recurring sad Spider-Man gag from their previous run adds a nostalgic and humorous touch. One of the anthology’s highlights is the story by Dan Kibblesmith and Annie Wu, which imagines an alternate reality where Howard the Duck wins the presidential election in the 1970s. Wu’s art, complemented by Ian Herring’s coloring, strikes a balance between ’70s aesthetics and modern styles. Kibblesmith’s narrative cleverly critiques the sanitization and streamlining of niche intellectual properties for mass appeal, using an alien invasion as a metaphor. Despite being a subtle critique from within Marvel itself, the story is well-constructed and features an unexpected cameo from another of Gerber’s creations. Other stories in the issue explore Howard’s integration into traditional Marvel teams like the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy. While the X-Men story offers thematic parallels, it primarily serves as a vehicle for Howard to interact with popular characters. The Guardians of the Galaxy story ties back to plots from the Zdarsky/Quinones run and delves into deeper aspects of Gerber’s work. Overall, the issue is a fitting homage to Marvel’s uniquely cynical character.
MARVEL ZOMBIES: BLACK, WHITE & BLOOD #2
“Marvel Zombies: Black, White & Blood #2” diverges from the original line’s darker tone, offering a mix of classic zombie tropes and unique narratives. The issue explores familiar scenarios like a hero undertaking a final mission despite a zombie bite (Warpath & the X-Force) and a twisted tale of survival (Mr. Fantastic). Amidst these darker stories, there’s an unexpectedly optimistic narrative that provides a brief respite from the grim tone of the series. This installment may not possess the same harsh edge as the original Marvel Zombies, but it effectively taps into a variety of themes from other Marvel horror books and zombie media. For fans of the Marvel Zombies genre, this series continues to deliver engaging content, blending familiar elements with fresh takes on the zombie apocalypse theme.
MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #12
In “Miles Morales: Spider-Man #12,” Miles concludes his exciting vampire hunting adventure with Blade and Brielle, a storyline that showcases him in a fresh context, away from the usual Spider-Man milieu. His collaboration with Blade, especially while donning a Blade-inspired vampire hunting costume, adds a supernatural twist to his character, differing from his typical urban adventures. The issue successfully blends Miles’ unique style with the darker, supernatural elements of vampire lore, highlighting his versatility as a character. These team-ups with characters outside of the Spider-Man regulars not only diversify Miles’ experiences but also offer readers a glimpse into different aspects of his heroism. The story sets the stage for Miles’ involvement in the upcoming “Gang War” crossover event, indicating a seamless transition from supernatural threats to street-level conflicts.
MOON KNIGHT #29
“Moon Knight #29” is a standout issue that highlights Moon Knight’s resilience and determination, despite the looming threat to his existence. The artistic team, comprising Federico Sabbatini and Rachelle Rosenberg, deserves commendation for their portrayal of the gritty and intense battle scenes, particularly against Black Spectre. Their artwork effectively captures the brutality and rawness of the conflict, adding depth to the narrative. This issue also shines a spotlight on Moon Knight’s supporting characters, such as Reese and Zodiac, giving them moments to shine and develop. Writer Jed MacKay skillfully incorporates twists and turns, keeping readers engaged and on edge, including a cleverly executed fake-out that adds to the suspense. While the arc’s title might hint at the story’s direction, the anticipation for the next issue’s revelations is high. “Moon Knight #29” stands as a strong individual installment, setting high expectations for the subsequent issue and the unfolding storyline.
MS. MARVEL: THE NEW MUTANT #4
“Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #4” brings a dynamic conclusion to Ms. Marvel’s exploration of mutantdom. The script by Iman Vellani and Sabir Pirzada is brisk and spirited, capturing the essence of Kamala Khan’s character with a blend of humor and depth. The writing remains true to Kamala’s personality, emphasizing her youthful energy and her journey of self-discovery. The art by Carlos Gomez and Adam Gorham, particularly in the visually grand moments of the issue, complements the narrative’s vitality. The illustrations carry the story’s energy, effectively translating the script’s vibrancy into visual form. This miniseries concludes on a high note, successfully balancing action, emotion, and character development. It sets a promising tone for Kamala Khan’s future in Marvel Comics, showcasing her growth as a character and her potential for more diverse and exciting adventures.
PREDATOR VS. WOLVERINE #3
In “Predator vs. Wolverine #3,” writer Benjamin Percy presents a story that not only innovatively alters Wolverine’s history but also embodies the kind of imaginative and bold ideas unique to comic books. The issue features the work of three artists, each leaving their distinct mark on the narrative. Ken Lashley and Kei Zama contribute segments that stand out for their quality, with Zama’s work being particularly noteworthy for its excellence. However, a significant portion of the issue is illustrated by Hayden Sherman, whose style contrasts noticeably with Lashley and Zama’s. While Sherman’s pages might not match the impact of the other two artists, he successfully brings Percy’s ambitious concept to life, effectively capturing the essence of the story. This series continues to be a strong offering in the crossover genre, with Percy solidifying his reputation as a leading contemporary writer for Wolverine.
REALM OF X #4
“Realm of X #4” marks a high point in the series, delivering an engaging and action-filled climax. The issue allows the characters’ stories to converge in meaningful ways, providing satisfying resolutions and setting the stage for future developments. The narrative comes full circle, offering closure to the arcs introduced in the first three issues while also creating a foundation for these characters to re-enter the main X-Men continuity. This installment manages to balance the complexities of the ongoing storyline with character development, making it a pivotal issue that successfully propels the characters into their next adventures within the X-Men universe.
The debut issue of the new “Spider-Woman” series introduces a fresh creative team that skillfully weaves together elements from the current Spider-Man storyline with aspects of Jessica Drew’s previous character arcs. This synthesis results in a narrative that is both novel and familiar, striking a balance between innovation and continuity. “Spider-Woman #1” establishes clear and significant stakes for Jessica Drew, both in her role as a superhero and in her personal life. The issue sets a strong foundation for the series, promising an exciting and evolving journey for the character. The new creative direction promises to bring a refreshing perspective to Spider-Woman’s adventures, making this a promising start for fans and newcomers alike.
STAR WARS: OBI-WAN KENOBI #3
In “Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi #3,” Obi-Wan, after successfully rescuing Leia, is now tasked with reuniting her with Bail Organa. Their journey through the galaxy, however, attracts unwanted attention, including from the formidable Lord Vader. This chapter offers a subtler narrative progression, focusing more on character development than action-packed sequences. The artwork in this issue complements this approach by creating a moody and introspective atmosphere, reflecting the characters’ emotional states. A key moment in this issue is Obi-Wan’s first encounter with his former apprentice, Vader, since their last duel. This encounter is crucial, as it contrasts sharply with their previous confrontation where Obi-Wan emerged victorious. Here, Obi-Wan faces a more demoralizing experience, emphasizing the shift in their dynamic. The artwork skillfully portrays the characters’ emotions, particularly during this pivotal confrontation, although it falls slightly short of replicating the impact of the live-action series. Despite this, the compelling artwork and the focus on character dynamics make the issue a significant addition to the series.
X-MEN BLUE: ORIGINS #1
“X-Men Blue: Origins #1” addresses a long-standing retcon in the X-Men universe regarding Nightcrawler’s lineage. Writer Simon Spurrier takes this opportunity not only to revise continuity but also to craft a story that is engaging on its own merits. Utilizing Nightcrawler’s Bamf as a narrator, the issue cleverly incorporates meta-humor and an adorable narrative perspective. The artistic team excels in depicting action sequences and various settings through flashbacks. Grand castles and intense action scenes bring life to the story, capturing the essence of previous comics while focusing on the better aspects of those narratives. The issue is visually captivating, effectively balancing action with storytelling. At its core, this retcon addresses the emotional truth of Nightcrawler’s character, reconceptualizing past narratives in a way that honors his essence. The resolution of the story, both literal and metaphorical, reaffirms what makes Nightcrawler an inspiring character. This issue demonstrates the unique ability of comic books to transform controversial or unpopular plot points into compelling storytelling, showcasing the creative potential within Marvel Comics’ history.
BRZRKR: FALLEN EMPIRE #1
“BRZRKR: Fallen Empire #1” stands out as a remarkable addition to the BRZRKR series. Told not from the perspective of the protagonist B, but through Asana, an elderly woman and the last of her people, the story takes on a poignant tone. Asana approaches a group of monks to record the tragic history of her people, which involves B and unfolds into an epic tale of kingdom politics, manipulation, love, and betrayal. The storytelling is elegant and matches the sophisticated art style that doesn’t hesitate to depict the series’ signature brutal violence. The narrative structure and art together create a rich, immersive experience. The issue concludes with an unexpected twist, adding a layer of intrigue and depth to the story. The success of “BRZRKR: Fallen Empire #1” lies in its ability to weave a complex, emotionally resonant tale that expands the BRZRKR universe, promising that future stories in this series will be just as captivating.
“Crave #1” is an intriguing mix of sensuality and tension, presenting a coming-of-age narrative with an edge that appeals to a mature audience. The comic prioritizes its storyline, which leads to characters who, while not fully fleshed out in this initial issue, are sufficient for the narrative’s needs. This approach by creator Llovet proves to be a successful gamble in this premiere, as the strength of the story’s other elements compensates for the somewhat underdeveloped characters. However, the premise of “Crave #1” is not entirely novel, and there’s a risk of it being too similar to other stories in the genre. The challenge for the series moving forward will be to distinguish itself from these precedents and to develop its unique identity while maintaining the engaging elements that make this first issue stand out.
In “Edenwood #2,” creator Tony S. Daniel’s commitment to building a thoroughly detailed world is evident. The series continues to showcase its extensively thought-out universe, which, while impressive, can be overwhelming and complex for readers to fully comprehend. The narrative is rich but packed with details that may not always provide enough context for easy understanding. The artwork, penciled by Daniel and colored by Leonardo Paciarotti, is a highlight, featuring distinctive character designs and a visual style unlike anything else in the genre. The unique aesthetic is a key selling point, drawing readers into the world of Edenwood. However, the dense and somewhat inaccessible narrative can feel like a barrier, making it challenging for readers to fully engage with the story. The series offers a visually stunning experience but struggles to invite readers into its intricately designed world.
“Grim #15” continues to escalate the series’ stakes, intertwining various realms like hell, Earth, and the afterlife into a complex and enthralling narrative. The issue begins compellingly with a scene involving a priest and the three fates, setting the tone for the ensuing chaos. The story excels in bringing together all the protagonists in an unexpected setting – a random diner – creating a moment of unity amidst the turmoil. This setup is intriguing and adds to the anticipation of what comes next. The prospect of Jessica assembling an army to counter the emerging threats is particularly exciting, suggesting that future issues will delve deeper into the series’ mythology and character dynamics. “Grim #15” successfully maintains the momentum of the series, keeping readers eagerly waiting for the next developments in this increasingly complex and engaging storyline.
“Kaya #13” marks a return to the central quest of the series, plunging readers directly into the midst of the action. The issue introduces a new companion as Kaya and Jin navigate a pirate’s dungeon, an adventure that is sure to captivate Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts. The opening sequence is a vibrant showcase of the series’ strengths, featuring inventive traps and diverse threats that the characters confront with a mix of ingenuity and humor. This band of eclectic and endearing heroes brings life to the story, engaging readers with their dynamic interactions. Most of the issue focuses on this initial action-packed sequence, effectively fulfilling the reader’s desires for wonder, suspense, and excitement. The latter part of the issue provides essential exposition, setting up the narrative for the third arc, which promises to include pirates, princesses, and daunting challenges. This installment demonstrates that “Kaya” maintains its momentum and excitement, indicating that the series is nowhere near losing its appeal or creativity.
LOCAL MAN #7
“Local Man #7” continues the excellence of the series, finding new and inventive ways to push the boundaries of storytelling. In this issue, Jack’s journey takes him down a path that is simultaneously psychedelic, grotesque, and captivating. Writers Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs experiment with the comic form in innovative ways, showcasing the versatility and potential of superhero comics. The series stands as a prime example of the creative possibilities within the superhero genre, demonstrating how traditional conventions can be deconstructed and reimagined. “Local Man” remains one of the most compelling and inventive superhero comics, continually surprising and engaging its readers with each new issue.
SAVAGE RED SONJA #2
Two issues into “Savage Red Sonja,” the series presents a narrative that feels both straightforward and yet somewhat convoluted. The plot begins to hint at the implications of Sonja’s latest challenges, but it doesn’t fully delve into the depths of what these predicaments could entail. There is a sense that the series is still finding its footing, offering more of an overall atmosphere than a concrete direction. Alessio Petillo’s artwork in “Savage Red Sonja” compensates for some of the narrative shortcomings, providing visually engaging and uniquely executed illustrations. The art adds an appealing aesthetic dimension to the story, enhancing the overall reading experience. While the series hasn’t fully realized its potential yet, there is hope that future issues will explore deeper plot elements and character development. “Savage Red Sonja” shows promise, but it needs to develop its narrative more comprehensively to truly captivate its audience.
THE SCHLUB #4
“The Schlub #4” truly comes into its own, presenting a crucial chapter in the series’ intriguing body-swapping narrative. Writers Ryan Stegman and Kenny Porter skillfully balance significant plot revelations with an underlying exploration of themes like identity and the pressures of parental expectations. This blend of meaningful storytelling and character development adds depth to the comic. Tyrell Cannon’s artwork complements the narrative superbly, infusing the visuals with a vibrant 90s vibe in both character designs and panel layouts. The art not only enhances the storytelling but also adds a dynamic energy to the reading experience. This issue suggests that “The Schlub” is on an upward trajectory, promising even greater developments and storytelling in future issues.
SLOW BURN #2
“Slow Burn #2” lives up to its name with a deliberately paced narrative that might pose a challenge given the series’ five-issue span. The issue thoughtfully focuses on the character Patti, delving into the history of the abandoned town and her personal traumas and ghosts. This exploration adds layers to the story, enriching the narrative with depth and emotion. The issue also advances Roxane’s storyline, introducing a significant revelation that has the potential to dramatically alter the course of the narrative. While the pacing is leisurely, the storytelling remains compelling and engaging. The artwork, particularly in the flashback sequences, is hauntingly beautiful, reflecting the town’s dark past. The color choices in these segments enhance the eerie atmosphere, contributing to the overall impact of the issue. Despite concerns about the pacing relative to the series’ length, “Slow Burn #2” is a strong installment that sets the stage for potentially impactful developments.
SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #35
“Something Is Killing the Children #35” is a standout issue, exemplifying exceptional storytelling. It delivers a gratifying conclusion to the current arc while simultaneously setting the stage for future conflicts. The issue functions like a season finale, wrapping up major plot points and introducing new elements for Erica Slaughter’s ongoing journey. The development of characters like Gabi is a highlight, showcasing writer James Tynion IV’s skill in evolving the cast in a gradual yet impactful manner. When characters like Gabi take center stage, they captivate the reader with their presence and depth. The artistic team, including Werther Dell’Edera, Miquel Muerto, and Andworld Design, deliver outstanding work, adeptly portraying intense action and poignant moments of sacrifice. Their artistry adds a significant dimension to the narrative, making the issue visually stunning and emotionally resonant. “Something Is Killing the Children #35” stands as not only one of the best series in comics but also as an immensely rewarding reading experience. Its blend of compelling storytelling, character development, and exceptional artistry make it highly recommendable.
WHAT'S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE? #16
“What’s the Furthest Place From Here? #16” offers an immersive and thought-provoking narrative focused on Sid and her experiences in The City. The revelation that the gods worshiped in this world are actually mundane pop culture items like albums and songs adds a layer of surrealism and commentary on idolatry. Sidney’s discovery of her pregnancy and the implications it holds for her future adds a personal and emotional dimension to the story. The way The City protects the kids is another intriguing aspect, raising questions about society, guardianship, and community. The overarching narrative serves as a larger metaphor for the real world, exploring themes such as societal collapse, accountability, and the role individuals play in the downfall of civilizations. This issue skillfully blends a personal journey with broader societal commentary, making it a compelling read that could easily be expanded into its own series.
WILD'S END #6
“Wild’s End #6” is a testament to the power of simplicity in storytelling. Writers Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard have crafted a narrative that is both calm and steady, leading to a climax that feels both earned and impactful. The alien invasion story, while understated, builds tension and anticipation effectively throughout the series. The artistic choice to portray the climactic moments from a distance allows for a striking visual contrast, with bright yellow lights against subtle blue backgrounds creating memorable scenes. This approach also enables the use of narrative techniques like misdirection, leading readers to believe characters are in one location when they are actually elsewhere. Such techniques enhance the storytelling, revealing the broader context of the struggle as a part of a larger war. “Wild’s End #6” is a story about sacrifice, reason, and unity in the face of overwhelming odds. It highlights the importance of community and the resilience of people from different backgrounds coming together. The hopeful hint at the end of the story suggests the possibility of more tales in this universe, a prospect made all the more enticing by the series’ confident and refined storytelling.