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 WORLDS FINEST 17
Waid and Mora seamlessly conclude the intriguing Metamorpho-themed mystery saga by escalating the conflict against Newmazo, the latest danger looming over the DC Universe. Consistent with the series’ trend, the creative duo skillfully enhances the quintessential elements of DC Comics, adeptly refurbishing and shining up the Silver Age notions. World’s Finest epitomizes the grandeur of its heroes and villains, and the conclusion of this narrative thread reaffirms the series’ reputation as the finest DC superhero comic currently available. Although handling a multitude of characters can be daunting, Waid and Mora make it seem effortless, demonstrating their command over the DC universe.
BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT PRESENTS GENERATION JOKER 3
The Joker’s gang, taking refuge in Axis Chemicals, may not infuse a lot of novelty into this miniseries, but it does serve as a springboard for some exhilarating action sequences. Mirka Andolfo skillfully illustrates the chaotic aftermath when things inevitably spiral out of control, forcing the children to escape and marking the dramatic entry of a hammer-wielding Harley. This part of the narrative includes sprinkles of humor amidst the tension. While the subplot’s development may not contribute much to the current installment, it holds potential to intrigue fans of Batman: White Knight and its sequels about what might be in store. Despite its shortcomings, Generation Joker #3 presents the series’ finest action so far and moves at a pace that prevents its flaws from becoming too obvious.
HARLEY QUINN BLACK WHITE AND REDDER 1
Even though the influx of Harley Quinn narratives at DC may seem overwhelming, approaching saturation point—reaching a frequency comparable to Batman and not necessarily for the better given the uneven quality of Harley’s stories—Harley Quinn: Black + White + Redder #1 proves to be an exception. This anthology-style book delivers varied perspectives on Harley’s adventures in different settings. The exploration of the character, despite the third story’s slight misinterpretation of Harley, remains engaging throughout. A notable highlight is Williams’ portrayal of teenage Harley struggling with her gymnast aspirations. The issue offers an intriguing exploration of this multifaceted character.
Axelrod digs deep into the character of Kendra, exploring her existential uncertainties beyond her superhero existence. Though some may view it as character deconstruction, Axelrod presents it as an enriching exploration. Readers are taken on an insightful journey into the superhero’s psyche. Even though this isn’t a novel concept, the narrative remains refreshing. The debut issue bravely lets go of pre-established perceptions about the character, a bold move that significantly pays off, leading to an engaging and dynamic reinterpretation of Hawkgirl.
KNIGHT TERRORS CATWOMAN 1
This chapter of “Knight Terrors” may arguably be the most gripping one yet, constructing a narrative that is as representative of the peculiar position Selina finds herself in as it is downright entertaining. Tini Howard’s script thrusts Selina into a whirlwind of introspection about her faith, her familial ties, and her romantic history with Bruce. The artistic collaboration between Leila Leiz and Marissa Louise beautifully complements the story, adding vibrant pops of color and a touch of cartooniness to an otherwise potentially somber visual aesthetic. If the subsequent issue is just as captivating, Knight Terrors: Catwoman has the potential to leave a lasting impact.
KNIGHT TERRORS NIGHTWING 1
Compared to the ongoing Nightwing series, this “Knight Terrors” spinoff feels rather predictable and disordered. Despite the involvement of renowned writers such as Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad, the issue’s script is puzzlingly paced and confusing. Although the chaotic storyline aligns with the overarching narrative, the structure feels shaky under the burden of conforming to a pre-ordained plot.
KNIGHT TERRORS PUNCHLINE 1
Punchline, on paper, perfectly fits the audacious horror aesthetic of DC’s “Knight Terrors” event, but this first issue only begins to distinguish itself from the rest gradually. As Punchline’s latest mission is thwarted by the Batfamily and transformed into something more eerie due to the newly-released sleeping toxin, we get tantalizing glimpses of her character and her ambiguous role within the Batman universe. Lucas Meyer’s beautifully eerie visuals add to the potential of this issue, despite some heavy-handed dialogue.
KNIGHT TERRORS WONDER WOMAN 1
Knight Terrors: Wonder Woman #1 delivers a mixed bag of content. As a standalone, it narrates an engaging story of Wonder Woman, Detective Chimp, and Constantine embarking on a dark journey, a refreshing change from some recent less than stellar Wonder Woman narratives. However, the issue isn’t entirely separate—it’s a part of a larger event and as such, it somewhat falters in aligning with the established nightmare world. This deviation, along with occasionally clumsy writing and unclear focus on characters, results in an inconsistent pace. The art, however, is intriguing and well-executed, making this issue an average addition to an event that itself has been mediocre so far.
STATIC SHADOWS OF DAKOTA 5
This issue sees Virgil grappling with the loss of a dear friend, a casualty of Ebon’s relentless pursuit of his missing brother. In the narrative balance of this issue, the poignant exploration of survivor’s guilt intertwines beautifully with the broader narrative. Where the first miniseries of Static may have indulged in prolonged emotional reflection, this issue handles such profound conversations with finesse, interlacing it with Ebon’s violence, which brings a cohesive narrative harmony. This superbly crafted issue builds up the anticipation for a climactic finale in the forthcoming chapter.
TALES OF TITANS 1
The inaugural issue of Tales of the Titans spotlighting Starfire is an absolute delight. With a narrative reminiscent of a Saturday morning cartoon, writers Shannon and Dean Hale offer a narrative that is both light-hearted and introspective, allowing readers an intimate glimpse into Kory’s character. Coupled with the vivacious artwork of Javier Rodriguez, this comic is an absolute gem brimming with humor and vivacity.
THE VIGIL 1
In its third installment, The Vigil explores intriguing concepts as the team ventures into a dream-induced reality and one member embarks on a disturbing covert mission. While these concepts spark interest and tension, the series struggles to establish a clear purpose, with the third issue resembling yet another introduction. The characters’ motivations remain vague, and while it’s evident that the Doctor harbors a dark secret, this has been hinted since the first issue without much development. The Vigil’s potential is evident in its diverse cast of characters and the unique realms they are willing to venture into. However, halfway through its run, it still lacks a clear directive, which may leave the reader wondering about its ultimate aim.
The continuity in the settings of this new Alien series remains a challenge, often leaving the readers disoriented with the spatial relation between various locations. Despite the geographical confusions, the writer Declan Shalvey successfully introduces two major plot twists in this issue, catching the readers off guard. Andrea Broccardo’s artwork continues to be impressive, although the repetitive representation of a hissing alien may soon lose its intended dramatic effect.
BLACK PANTHER 2
Eve Ewing’s portrayal of Black Panther unveils an intriguing narrative in the world of Marvel. With vivid illustrations of the lesser-known neighborhoods of Wakanda, the depiction of T’Challa’s nation is enriched. The character of T’Challa himself is presented with complexity, and every supporting character that appears unravels another layer of his personality. Only two issues in, this series is already shaping up to be a captivating read.
The first issue of this new iteration of Blade presents promising signs of a successful series. Featuring intense action sequences, gruesome monster designs, and Blade’s enduring coolness, the aesthetics appeal to both superhero and horror comic fans alike. A terrifying big bad is summoned in this issue with numerous minions to engage Blade. The conclusion of Blade #1 hints at unexpected surprises, promising an enthralling series that could have readers hooked for a long time.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 4
The fourth installment of this series is a truly immersive experience. With the intricate narrative involving Rocket Raccoon finally unraveling, the result is an emotional rollercoaster. The collaborative work of Colin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing demonstrates their deep understanding of these characters. Kev Walker’s artwork is stunning, seamlessly blending emotional storytelling with captivating visuals. This series is a must-read for any comic book aficionado.
MOON KNIGHT CITY OF THE DEAD 1
The reinvigoration of Moon Knight continues with Moon Knight: City of the Dead #1. This issue sets itself apart from the mainline series by exploring different facets of Moon Knight’s universe, aptly symbolized by levels. This unique environment offers a platform for Spector to exhibit a blend of guilt, compassion, and vengeance. The creative team brilliantly portrays this layered character against the backdrop of the City of the Dead. The incorporation of ancient Gods and locales lends a distinctive appeal to City of the Dead, making it a captivating addition to the Moon Knight saga.
NEW MUTANTS LETHAL LEGION 5
The concluding issue of New Mutants: Lethal Legion maintains its characteristic blend of therapeutic dialogue and humorous banter. The narrative occasionally falters due to overcrowded scenes and lack of clarity in storytelling. The series introduces Escapade as an intriguing character who adds much-needed diversity to the Marvel Universe. However, for her character to thrive, she will need more compelling storytelling than that demonstrated in the often frustrating Lethal Legion miniseries.
SPIDER GWEN SHADOW CLONES 5
The concluding issue of Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones ends on a note familiar to fans of the multiverse heroine. The superhero formula is delivered with enough style to be entertaining, especially when it comes to Gwen’s Sinister Six-inspired clones. However, it is evident that the narrative is heavily driven by the plot, often to the detriment of internal logic. While the familiar elements function adequately, it’s unlikely to attract new readers to the character or the miniseries collection.
X-MEN RED 13
In the climactic issue #13 of X-Men: Red, the grand stage is set in The Great Ring of Arrako, providing an intense preamble as the narrative gravitates towards the “Fall of X,” with the grand spectacle of X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 looming over the horizon. As with previous council meetings, this issue continues to alter the landscape of X-Men lore, but could be perplexing for readers unfamiliar with The Heralds of Apocalypse one-shot. A cleverly placed dash of humor keeps the tense dialogue and mounting anticipation from engulfing the narrative, although the issue does not provide a tangible release of action. Instead, the story serves as a well-crafted scaffold for the impending saga, with meticulous explanations of the various motives at play, conveyed through well-written text pages. The issue emphasizes the centrality of Arrako to the upcoming narrative. After months of hinting at an impending event, the time has come for the celebration and the subsequent fall.
ALL EIGHT EYES 4
All Eight Eyes #4 concludes the series with an anticipated wave of gore, delivering a final fight that, while satisfying, ends all too quickly. The narrative loops back to its roots, revisiting the conspiratorial tone that dominated the opening issue but took a backseat in the subsequent installments. Despite Steve Foxe seemingly barely scraping the surface of a larger idea, the series offers ample enjoyment for those seeking to delve into the relatively untouched territory of the “Giant Spider” sub-genre.
ARCADE KINGS 3
The third issue of Arcade Kings offers a refreshing change of pace, shifting focus to the struggles of an adult Ken to prevent his father’s tyrannical grip over his cherished arcade district. The character design and quieter moments reflect inspirations from the iconic series Cowboy Bebop. The issue notably scales back on action, but when it eventually erupts, the violence is unexpectedly intense compared to the previous issues. Arcade Kings continues to craft a vividly realized world, inciting hopes that it remains a marathon series.
DEAD ROMANS 5
Creators Kennedy and Marinkovich deliver the most potent issue of Dead Romans yet, aided by the emotionally intense demise of a character and evocative artwork that encapsulates the grim reality of the Roman Empire. The first couple of pages stand out, creating an unsettling atmosphere that commands the readers’ attention. The issue is punctuated by several striking visuals, and with the series approaching its conclusion, one hopes that the final chapter will conclude this brutal journey through history with aplomb. Despite its fluctuating course, Dead Romans as a mini-series offers more to commend than criticize.
I HATE FAIRYLAND 7
As the multiverse converges in I Hate Fairyland, the latest issue initiates a mission fraught with peril. Gert’s adversaries within Fairyland are out for vengeance, assembling a motley crew of Gert’s despot duplicates from across the multiverse. A mélange of bloodshed, chaos, and jovial cartoonish elements make this issue a quintessential example of the series’ unique appeal, bound to satisfy its devoted fanbase.
IMPACT WINTER ROOK 1
Creating a gripping comic inspired by an audio drama might seem an arduous task, but writer Travis Beacham and artist Andrea Milana manage to bridge the gap between the two mediums, engaging both neophytes and veteran listeners. Milana’s distinct visual style, capable of infusing freshness into every scene, even in similar locations, is one of the comic’s greatest strengths. Their ability to weave engaging narratives within caves and forests bears testimony to their storytelling abilities. The comic’s effectiveness is best illustrated by its ability to stir interest in the audio series that inspired it.
MISS TRUESDALE AND THE FALL OF HYPERBOREA #3
Mike Mignola continues to enrich the Hellboy lore with this series, blending intriguing new elements without compromising accessibility for new readers. Jesse Lonergan’s unique artistic style shines through, delicately balancing critical moments from the overarching mythology with the series’ narrative aspirations. Lonergan’s artistic prowess ensures this chapter will hold a special place in Hellboy’s annals.
RADIANT BLACK #25
Radiant Black #25 taps into the core essence of the characters amidst rising stakes. As writers Kyle Higgins and Joe Clark set the stage for the “Catalyst War,” the narrative subtly transitions to explore the past, enriching the characters’ present circumstances. The issue revolves around the crucial decision of the Radiant Black’s identity, with flashbacks providing valuable insights into Nathan and Marshall’s friendship. The stellar team of artists and colorists bring these emotionally charged moments to life, juxtaposing intimate discussions with revelations about the ancient Colossals. The narrative hinges on a raw and vulnerable conversation between old friends, further highlighting Radiant Black’s strength in character development amidst soaring adventures.
RED SONJA #1
Red Sonja #1 encapsulates the quintessence of its heroine while its creative team elevates it beyond its familiar territory. This inaugural issue rises above the clamor of gimmicky narratives, offering a welcoming gateway for fresh or returning readers. If this issue is a sign of things to come, Red Sonja’s future looks promising indeed.
Scrapper #1 invites readers into its engrossing dystopian world with a distinct offering of vigilantism led by man’s best friend. The overarching narrative exudes a compelling blend of humanistic undertones enveloped in a neon-soaked atmosphere reminiscent of our own reality. The comic’s creative minds, Bleszinski and de Campi, masterfully orchestrate an amalgamation of elements from a Batman-esque justice quest within a corrupted city while embedding layers of complexity to Scrapper’s character. The revelation of Scrapper’s connection to the injustice he fervently battles against adds a riveting twist. Sandy Jarrell’s striking illustrations elevate the narrative, imbuing each scene with a vibrancy that matches the meticulously paced, beautifully scripted storyline.
SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #31
Even in a series as relentlessly grim as Something Is Killing The Children, issue #31 packs an emotional wallop that reignites our perception of its harsh realities. The creative team, consisting of James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera, Miquel Muerto, and Andworld Design, masterfully manipulates the emotional intensity. Issue #31 ignites a flurry of empathetic vulnerability, viciousness, and heartbreak, swirling around the characters like an emotionally charged tempest. With the terrifying efficiency and lethality of Cutter, a nemesis worthy of Erica, the story continues to cement its place as one of the most potent narratives in contemporary comics.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE LAST RONIN – LOST DAY SPECIAL #1
Despite its voluminous page count, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin — Lost Day Special serves more as an enriching interlude, offering a closer glimpse at the inhabitants of The Last Ronin’s New York City. This issue explores the unique traits of the young Ninja Turtles through April’s surface adventures, thereby elaborating their personalities beyond what The Lost Years miniseries provided. With flashbacks tracing the final days of the war between the Hamato Clan and the Foot Clan, the story vividly recollects the past through April’s eyes. However, the issue is marked by an arguably misplaced post-9/11 nostalgia. The assembly of artists pulls their weight, crafting captivating pages where Kevin Eastman’s inks are layered over Freddie E. Williams II’s linework. While its plot may seem inconsequential, the issue offers a pleasant read, hinting at what’s to come.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES VS. STREET FIGHTER #2
While the series initially proposed a fight tournament, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. Street Fighter diverges mid-second issue, veering towards a team-up against M. Bison & Baxter Stockman. While this shift might slightly deviate from the initial allure, the joint combat against a sea of minions retains a certain level of thrill. The intriguing subplot of Bison’s attempt to unearth a hidden aspect of Raphael adds a promising layer to the narrative.
TIME BEFORE TIME #25
The twenty-fifth issue of Time Before Time functions as a stepping stone, outlining the contours of the series’ forthcoming arc. This issue primarily provides a snapshot of the current state of all major characters without introducing any significant plot advancements. The artistic transition in this issue, with Geoffo taking over, is somewhat disconcerting due to the dramatic shift in the visual presentation of familiar characters. Despite some initial disappointment, the love for Time Before Time prevails, but there is hope for a more palatable artistic adaptation in future issues.
WILD'S END #2
The second chapter in the latest Wild’s End series adheres to narrative conventions, presenting characters whose predictable choices lead them into precarious situations. This pattern paves the way for Abnett and Culbard to demonstrate the gruesome facets of Wild’s End, a stark contrast to its quaint and homely veneer. The issue also introduces fresh elements to the alien invasion, leading to a chilling scene where Culbard illustrates that a group of motionless individuals can evoke as much dread as a lurking alien. The balance between the brutal and the beautiful keeps the readers hooked, continuing the stellar narrative journey initiated by the series.