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 BEYOND: NEO-GOTHIC #1
The revered Batman Beyond narrative continues its march into the future with its latest endeavor, Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #1, possibly one of its most impactful storylines yet. The creative ensemble of writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, artist Max Dunbar, colorist Sebastian Cheng, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou have all left a distinctive mark on this masterpiece, making it an ideal starting point for neophytes and simultaneously satisfying loyal followers. The narrative commences post Terry’s triumph over the living Gotham, with the city retaining its distinctiveness despite not being sentient anymore. The city’s luminous upper region and enigmatic underground both exude their own personalities through breathtaking visuals and intriguing characters. Our protagonist, Terry, is portrayed with an unprecedented complexity, masterfully pushed into uncharted territories by Kyle. If you’re an ardent fan or someone exploring new realms in the world of comics, Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic #1 comes with my highest recommendation.
BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #3
In Batman: The Brave and The Bold #3, writer Dennis Culver and artist Otto Schmidt introduce us to a brand new feature, “Mr. Baseball”. The narrative unfolds at a swift pace, introducing a brand-new antagonist inspired by the villains of the Silver Age. Amidst a compelling mystery, the readers also get to delve into the vast conspiracy behind “Down With the Kings”, which features some particularly gruesome action sequences. Readers will especially appreciate Javier Rodríguez’s take on the climax in “Order of the Black Lamp”. Although the final note might seem somewhat incomplete, the rest of the narrative sufficiently compensates. The closing story, an urban fantasy vision of Gotham by Jorge Molina, seems tailor-made for an Elseworlds miniseries. The Brave and The Bold continues to showcase a stellar array of talent, sure to satiate any Batman fan’s appetite.
KNIGHT TERRORS #2
Knight Terrors #2 appears to be grappling with its own premise and direction, with a plot that appears stretched thin and littered with gaps that seem to amplify with every turn of the page. It attempts to add depth and context to the Nightmare Stone—though the concept itself seems to lack substance and rationale. The narrative disrupts its own flow, constantly shifting between flashback and dream sequences, and somehow tries to tie it all back to Deadman’s peculiar narrative. The issue tries to strike a balance between humor, horror, depth, and thrills, but unfortunately, it fails to deliver on all fronts.
KNIGHT TERRORS: ACTION COMICS #1
Despite the lack of consistency among the tie-ins for Knight Terrors, Knight Terrors: Action Comics #1 stands out as a spectacular piece, potentially the best of the event so far. It consists of two stories. The first, by Leah Williams, focuses on Power Girl and provides yet more evidence of Williams’ exceptional understanding of the character. The narrative explores various facets of Power Girl’s life and preys on her deepest insecurities. The second story, by Philip Kennedy Johnson, is a bit slower and focuses on Superboy and Steel, using a horror movie as a narrative device. Both stories are brilliantly structured and deliver a perfectly unsettling tone, complemented by top-tier artwork.
KNIGHT TERRORS: ANGEL BREAKER #1
Knight Terrors: Angel Breaker #1 encapsulates the essence of the overarching event masterfully, bringing to the spotlight one of DC’s freshest antiheroes in a horrifying spectacle. In her latest mission, Angel Breaker is forced to face the shadows of her own past, effectively portrayed through Tim Seeley’s script. The artwork by Acky Bright combines elements of the whimsical and horrifying to deliver a consistently riveting issue.
KNIGHT TERRORS: DETECTIVE COMICS #1
Knight Terrors: Detective Comics features Jim Gordon’s nightmare involving a ghastly semblance of Batman wreaking havoc in Gotham. The issue showcases some stunning artwork by Riccardo Federici, which exhibits resemblances to JH Williams III’s work infused with some elements of HR Giger. His work is truly a feast for the eyes and proves that Federici is in dire need of a high-profile comic project.
KNIGHT TERRORS: HARLEY QUINN #1
Knight Terrors: Harley Quinn #1 diverges from the general rules of the “Knight Terrors” series. Owing to Harley’s already complex psyche, the narrative takes an alternate route, having her meddle with the multiverse instead of facing her nightmares. This narrative choice, however, seems to undermine the overarching theme of exploring fear and self. The backup story seems rather convoluted, and the overall artwork is disappointingly inadequate. This issue further underscores the lack of clarity in the portrayal of Harley.
KNIGHT TERRORS: TITANS #1
The “Knight Terrors” series adds an intriguing angle to the DC Universe, offering readers a glimpse into the worst nightmares of its heroes and villains. This latest issue featuring the Titans falls in the middle of the spectrum. Given the sheer number of heroes in the Titans team, the issue could not delve deeper into each character’s terror, particularly Starfire and Donna Troy. However, Beast Boy’s nightmare stands out as the most distressing. Unfortunately, the climax’s impact gets diluted as it’s used for the cover of the issue. For Titans fans, this issue might provide a deeper exploration into their psyches, but for casual “Knight Terrors” readers, it might be a missable tie-in.
POISON IVY: UNCOVERED #1
Breaking down Poison Ivy: Uncovered #1’s a bit tough, you know? ‘Cause it’s a bomb collection of alternate covers from the first year of the fresh series, peppered with some decent yakking from Pam (with a feature from Harley Quinn) that guides the readers through the ride up until now. It’s like a chill guide to the covers, keeping things popping in what is basically a swanky art collection that showcases diverse approaches to Poison Ivy and the series to date. Nothing earth-shattering here, but as far as these collections roll, this one’s pretty dope and well-done.
SUPERMAN: THE LAST DAYS OF LEX LUTHOR #1
Superman: The Last Days of Lex Luthor #1 cements Hitch’s spot in the comic world and it’s worth a peek, mainly to witness his portrayal of epic Superman shenanigans. But the premise isn’t as solid as it first looks on the cover. Superman’s approach to this pickle only paints a world where he and Luthor are the big players, while it showcases a massive globe full of folks in Hitch’s signature style. It brushes over the messy nature of this premise, rushing forward without tackling the clashes and interests that might pique readers’ curiosity more than the destiny of a fictional bad guy.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #30
Don’t sweat the number in this review’s title; one of the rad things about reading Amazing Spider-Man is witnessing one of superhero comics’ longest sagas keep on rolling. The Amazing Spider-Man #30 shows how legacies can power up these serials and pave way for fresh tales building on the past, and it does this in a super fun way. The ending, featuring three of Spidey’s biggest enemies (four if you’re counting Ock’s old arms separately) makes it clear that they’ve all leveled up—nearly all turned over a new leaf—and that makes for a more engaging story. The good guys, including the likes of J. Jonah Jameson and Norman Osborn, show empathy and new outlooks that make them seem more relevant than the hundredth iteration of their well-known tales. They also portray Doctor Octopus in a more sympathetic light as his own path to reform was snatched from him, even though it sets the stage for an off-the-wall showdown. The arm wrestling between Spidey and Ock lights up pages with explosive action that Ed McGuinness delivers with mad style. The thoughtful feelings and character growth are noticeable throughout the issue, but only switch to a more grounded vibe in the last few pages (to excellent effect). Building on classic tales ranging from Green Goblin’s earliest wins through Superior Spider-Man, it’s clear this vision of Amazing Spider-Man is creating a wicked future for the series and character.
THE AVENGERS #3
Crafting a baddie worthy of a squad as boss as The Avengers can be tough, but Jed MacKay, C.F. Villa, Federico Blue, and Cory Petit are killing it so far. The focus is dead on this new threat in Avengers #3, as fans get to know the Ashen Combine and the extent of their mad skills. Avengers #1 caught those classic team gathering vibes and elements, and issue #3 keeps the momentum with what feels like a traditional Avengers set piece, loaded with high stakes, potent enemies, and the surge of hope and safety when an Avenger takes the threat head-on. This is only amplified by the wicked work of Villa and Blee, who bring a unique energy and menace to each member of The Ashen Combine. The villains were clearly designed with the Avengers’ abilities in mind, but that’s what makes their inevitable clash and the hint of more to come so satisfying. MacKay is leveraging the team’s varied skills while also probing the personal and leadership dynamics that come with leading a squad of leaders, kings, and heavy hitters. The exchanges between Carol and T’Challa are especially tight, and while a few lines of dialogue try a bit too hard, it’s a minor blip in an otherwise epic issue, and I can’t wait to see these larger than life battles play out when Avengers #4 drops.
COSMIC GHOST RIDER #5
The fifth issue of Cosmic Ghost Rider adds a dimension of unpredictability to our cherished celestial annihilator. A long-awaited revelation comes to light – we discover the reason why a throng of riders have been relentlessly pursuing Frank. As it turns out, Frank himself is the missing jigsaw piece that completes their puzzle. Frank’s goal, as the Cosmic Ghost Rider, has always been centered around settling his own scores, and this issue concludes with a significant scene: he seems to be passing his formidable mantle onto someone else, thus preparing for an intriguing future narrative.
CULT OF CARNAGE: MISERY #3
The third issue of Cult of Carnage: Misery continues its video game-like rationale that is characteristic of symbiote-focused comics. Symbiotes, morphed into a murky mass resembling various characters, persistently reshape themselves amidst dynamic action sequences. The newly introduced villain, Madness, is more amusing than menacing, with an array of colorful symbiote faces constituting protrusions on his chest. As Madness engages Liz Allan, the protagonist of the series appears to have been sidelined in her own narrative, donned in her psychedelic suit, largely subjected to external events. The splashes of color on the page lack depth and appear to be peculiarly flat. However, the advent of a new type of symbiotic villain indicates a potential for a less chaotic future, raising hopes for an improved next issue.
DANNY KETCH: GHOST RIDER #3
The third chapter of Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider symbolizes a point in the narrative where nostalgia’s charm starts to lose its luster. Although the series thus far has been packed with enjoyable throwbacks and nods to classic stories, the plot has hit a plateau. While the issue pays a grand tribute to its predecessors, it fails to infuse fresh energy into the story or develop its characters, causing the momentum to stutter.
DAREDEVIL & ECHO #3
The third installation of Daredevil & Echo cranks up the action, yet it struggles to develop an engaging role for its contemporary characters. Despite the inclusion of characters like Ghost Rider, Demogoblin, and a group of possessed children, the artwork remains stiff. The lack of fluidity in the depiction of fights involving any of the characters is quite apparent, to the extent that Demogoblin gets taken down in a single page as the story demands. The book’s essence appears to lean towards the ancestors of Daredevil and Echo, yet it feels tethered by the direct involvement of Matt Murdock and Maya Lopez, hindering its potential take-off.
Deadpool #9 lands an emotional blow that resonates deeply with the readers. Ever since Alyssa Wong launched her Deadpool series, it seemed as though she was preparing Wade for another painful heartbreak with Valentine Vuong. However, this issue unveils all her hidden intentions, disclosing her ties and loathing for the Horned Emperor. Deadpool’s confrontation with this enigmatic figure comes at a steep price, setting the stage for what’s likely to be a highly emotional finale in the next issue.
GHOST RIDER #16
The sixteenth issue of Ghost Rider evokes the ambience of a spooky tale recounted around a campfire, with a storyteller unfolding the narrative of an enigmatic hitchhiker who encounters all three of Marvel’s most renowned Ghost Riders. This concept lends itself to a captivating standalone story, with the tightly woven trio of tales providing ample material to sketch the broader aspects of this new villain’s origin. The revelation of the hitchhiker’s true nature and objectives is a chilling twist that brings in elements of horror, yet the art fails to do justice to these sequences. Gruesome details like dismemberment and exposed muscles fall short of the expectations and dampen the impact of the horrifying revelations about the antagonist’s character. Readers are left awaiting the hitchhiker’s return, making the forthcoming crossover with Wolverine all the more enticing.
HALLOWS' EVE #5
The fifth installment of Hallows’ Eve not only concludes the titular character’s first standalone journey but also foreshadows her imminent return in an upcoming annual and one-shot. Hallows’ Eve’s climactic encounter with Maxine Danger’s goons showcases the maximum potential of her vibrant, magical arsenal. The plot might appear familiar, but it is executed well, with unexpected turns towards the end. The narrative space provided to the minor characters, including Janine’s first victim from the initial issue, adds depth and complexity to their roles and impacts Janine’s evolution. Her transition from a villain to an antihero is well earned, indicating that writer Erica Schultz has much more exhilarating adventures in store.
Hellcat’s final issue presents a meaningful and peculiar resolution befitting the unique character of Patsy Walker. As she morphs back into the Demonic Hellcat, the truths she uncovers about the murder mystery and herself are game-changers. The ending is as surprising as it is profound, showcasing Christopher Cantwell’s exceptional skill in bringing her to life. Alex Lins’ surreal yet moving art adds another layer of excellence to the story. While the conclusion of Hellcat’s journey is bittersweet, it has been a remarkable ride.
I AM IRON MAN #5
The finale of I Am Iron Man is among the most gripping of the series, narrating a tale of invention, thrill, and Tony Stark’s overconfidence. Murewa Ayodele’s script successfully integrates witty dialogues and chilling revelations about Tony’s tech. Dotun Akande’s art skillfully portrays emotion and drama, making this a memorable concluding issue. If you have yet to embark on the I Am Iron Man journey, this issue alone would be a worthy reason to do so.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #2
The Incredible Hulk #2 continues to deliver an exceptional narrative under the combined efforts of Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Nic Klein. The issue delves further into the southern horror and religious elements teased in the first issue, while presenting a deeply fascinating characterization of Banner. Banner’s evolving relationship with Hulk shows clever inspiration from Eddie Brock and Venom. This issue, although featuring Hulk only in the last page, manages to maintain the thrill and anticipation typically expected from a Marvel comic.
THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #8
Duggan and Frigeri continue to explore new depths of despair for Tony Stark. Eight issues in, Tony has plunged beyond his personal hell, with a disastrous end looming over him. With a masterful narrative pace, Invincible Iron Man #8 integrates seamlessly into Marvel’s current storylines without compromising its own plot. This issue is essential reading for any Iron Man enthusiast.
Predator #5 wraps up the latest arc of Marvel’s series with a swift yet satisfying conclusion. Writer Ed Brisson ties up the plot expediently while maintaining suspense. The artwork by Netho Diaz, in collaboration with Belardino Brabo and Erick Arciniega, offers a gruesome spectacle that is sure to please Predator fans.
She-Hulk’s finale delivers a compelling culmination of the series’ narrative threads. The final showdown with Scoundrel ties in every aspect of She-Hulk’s life, allowing the narrative to unfold across an array of genres – humor, drama, action, and romance. The introduction of a new antagonist effectively broadens the narrative scope, even if the visual depiction of the implied action falls short. The love triangle’s resolution provides a heartwarming end to the plot, leaving a lasting impression on the readers.
The latest issue of Silk successfully combines real-world antics with dream-like elements. The artists manage to stretch the familiar aesthetics associated with Silk into new territories as they venture into a pirate-themed dream. The writers introduce plot devices that initially seem too convenient, but they ultimately lead to a more exciting conclusion than the previous issues.
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER – BLACK, WHITE & RED #4
The final issue of Star Wars: Darth Vader – Black, White & Red marks the end of Jason Aaron’s much-acclaimed return to Star Wars. The issue features three different stories with Vader at the helm, each showcasing different aspects of his character. While the first two narratives offer compelling plot twists and stunning artwork, the last story – Vader’s encounter with a group of wampas – although entertaining, fails to utilize the full potential of the series’ premise. Despite this, the issue remains engaging and intimidating, providing a somewhat satisfying end to the series.
STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN SEASON TWO #2
In his quest to find other Mandalorians, Din Djarin consents to carry a female passenger across the vastness of the galaxy. His goal is to reunite her with her husband and thereby offer her eggs a chance to survive. True to the nature of the franchise, the task proves more difficult than it seems, with an unexpected encounter with The New Republic forcing an unplanned landing on a freezing planet – a complication that pales in comparison to the challenge of hatching eggs. Compared to the live-action version, the “Frog Lady” doesn’t quite carry the same level of charm when portrayed through illustrations. However, her unique appearance and the chilling locale they visit do lend to the overall aesthetic of this chapter in Din Djarin’s saga. With many episodes and series frequently set in dusty and arid environments, the artistic depiction of this chapter offers a refreshing contrast, successfully driving home the primary narrative points within this Disney+ adaptation.
There’s a distinct effort to be appreciated in the creators’ attempt to recapture the 1980s era of X-Men in Storm, but it appears to fall somewhat short of expectations. Known for its unique blend of melodrama, the X-Men in this rendition seem embroiled in unusually petty conflicts. Professor X comes across as overly pedantic, and other characters seem to portray less mature versions of themselves. A large chunk of the narrative focuses on a poolside disagreement, detracting from other aspects of the story. However, the vibrant artwork and intriguing mystery villain infuse the plot with much-needed emotion. Although the calibration seems a bit off, Storm continues to outshine most Marvel rewind narratives.
ULTIMATE INVASION #2
Ultimate Invasion #2 provides an expansive insight into Maker’s grand schemes for the parallel Marvel universe. The blend of visual collage and informative data page reveal the extent of Maker’s accomplishments, painting a startling image. However, despite bringing readers up to speed, Maker’s ultimate plan remains shrouded in mystery. Recreations of scenes from Ultimates make for delightful easter eggs, yet the connection between this miniseries and its source material remains ambiguous. Still, the explosive events that unfold towards the end of the issue offer enough entertainment value, even as the purpose of this event narrative remains elusive. A myriad of alternate Marvel heroes and villains are drawn into a high-stakes sci-fi spectacle, with violent sequences harkening back to why Ultimates was such a success. The promise of more answers in the upcoming pages is tantalizing.
Venom #23 seems to offer a return to the conventional Venom story, replete with echoes of Todd McFarlane’s influence. While this might appeal to some fans, the interruption to Al Ewing’s broader sci-fi narrative arc on Venom feels somewhat jarring. The issue, penned by Torunn Grønbekk, is well-written but feels out of sync with the preceding narrative. Artistic duties are commendably performed by Ken Lashley and Ramón F. Bachs, whose visual panache is a standout feature of the issue. Their clear passion for the aesthetics of Venom and his world is beautifully showcased, with colorist Frank D’Armata deserving special mention for adding an extra layer of depth to the artwork.
WHAT IF...? DARK: SPIDER-GWEN #1
Marvel’s What If…? series forges ahead with a particularly poignant question this week. How does one cope with the weight of their darkest day? We’ve seen how Peter Parker responded to Gwen’s demise, but Dark: Spider-Gwen flips the scenario, exploring a universe where Peter dies at the hands of the Green Goblin. Dealing with unimaginable grief, Gwen quickly steps into the shoes of a hero, providing protection to Queens in the absence of Peter. This iteration of the What If…? series invites us to explore this new universe and watch as Gwen emerges as a hero in her own right.
Concluding the “Weapons of X” arc with a resounding crescendo, Wolverine #35 sees the full X-Force team engaging in an epic battle against Beast’s gargantuan fortress. While it doesn’t entirely resolve Beast’s antagonistic shift (Wolverine’s characteristic reticence precludes a verbal takedown of Beast’s monologues), the issue offers plenty of thrills. Deadpool’s moment in the spotlight always adds a touch of amusement. The ending hints at Wolverine’s departure from Krakoa, potentially marking the character’s last hurrah in this expansive X-Men saga.
THE X-CELLENT #5
The X-Cellent #5 comes with its fair share of highlights, including a handful of amusing jokes and some exceptionally grotesque Allred artwork following a member’s departure. Despite these bright spots, the issue struggles to form a coherent chapter, instead serving as a loose finale. Zeitgeist’s divine power is explored in a psychedelic sequence but culminates as a vague power source that barely amounts to anything before being quickly resolved through a different deus ex machina. This narrative is curiously disconnected from the social media critique that this miniseries has been revolving around. The surviving team members receive little closure or follow-up, which can be disappointing considering the unclear future of the X-Statix narrative. While readers may not be left disappointed by this finale, they may not recall it with the same fondness as they do X-Statix, if at all.
X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA 2023 #1
With a diverse array of artists working in unison to create a seamless blend of extravagant costumes and explosive events, the story unfolds competently. The narrative captions succinctly summarize the horrific events of the massacre, providing readers with a clear understanding of the brutality. However, the skillful execution can’t salvage X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 as a compelling comic; it fails to invoke the emotions of a tragedy. Instead, it wallows in the relentless suffering imposed on Marvel’s mutants, underscoring that this will remain their status quo. Four years after the House of X and Powers of X rejuvenated the entire X-line, Hellfire Gala 2023 has snuffed out my lingering interest in what has become a grim saga.
007: FOR KING AND COUNTRY #4
In 007: King and Country #4, James Bond finds himself grappling with trust issues, questioning his faith in those around him. While there are no easy answers, the plot moves swiftly into fast-paced action when it arrives. The art, stylish and retro, seems inspired by Darwyn Cooke’s Parker adaptations, with color schemes seamlessly transitioning to suit different moods. Even for readers new to the Bond canon, King and Country manages to balance aesthetics and narrative energy to create an engaging reading experience.
THE BONE ORCHARD MYTHOS: TENEMENT #2
The Tenement #2 shines when it embraces the bizarre, allowing artist Andrew Sorrentino to experiment with paneling design and transition the characters’ ordinary surroundings into something utterly strange and nightmarish. However, the recent issue struggles with its journey to this climax, with some odd sequencing during the early, normal stages of the narrative. Now that the plot has reached an intriguing junction, the upcoming edition promises more excitement. Yet, we are already at the midpoint of the story with only two issues remaining, and the narrative direction remains unclear.
BRZRKR: POETRY OF MADNESS #1
BRZRKR: Poetry of Madness seeks to uncover the hidden aspects of Unute’s past—a pursuit that has yielded mixed results. From an artistic perspective, this one-off special follows a similar trajectory as its predecessor series, vividly brutal without being excessively gory. Its strength lies in the integration of fantasy and mythological elements which enrich the narrative. However, the storyline feels underdeveloped, with attempts to blend an Atlantis narrative with a Cthulu tale while providing an outsider’s perspective on Unute. The numerous intersecting elements fail to mesh seamlessly, and the narrative overplays contemporary undertones in a tale set in ancient times. Overall, this book will satisfy BRZRKR fans, but it may not resonate with new readers.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1
Titan’s premiere edition of Conan the Barbarian may not reach the pinnacle of Conan’s adventures over the years, but it certainly doesn’t fall to the character’s lows either. This solid yet slightly inconsistent first issue plants the seeds for exciting journeys to come.
THE DEAD LUCKY #7
The storyline of Dead Lucky #7 intricately complicates Bibi’s life, making it more engaging for the readers. The thrill of watching Bibi in her element is palpable, with artist French Carlomagno and colorist Matt Iacono amplifying the action scenes with bold colors. Writer Melissa Flores balances these set pieces by exploring the emotional toll of peace, grief, and regret on even the most powerful characters like Bibi. A dialogue between Bibi and Maria deepens the plot, piquing curiosity about Bibi’s character development. Her gruff persona shines against the backdrop of others’ observations, leading to an enticing revelation that leaves the audience eager for the next issue.
THE EXPANSE: DRAGON TOOTH #4
The Expanse: Dragon Tooth brings the main conflict to the forefront, revealing the enigmatic “Dragon Tooth” and its potential to disrupt a recently peaceful solar system. However, the comics medium struggles to capture the science-driven, space battle aesthetic that was excellently portrayed on television. The vastness of space is difficult to encapsulate in a comic format, reducing much of the space battle to verbal descriptions. While the outcomes are clear, the path to them lacks the thrill on the page. Yet the unfolding political tensions and the clarity of the larger narrative are intriguing enough to keep fans of the television series engaged.
KLIK KLIK BOOM #2
Klik Klik Boom #2 brilliantly progresses Sprout’s story, with the comic shaping into one of the most creative narratives of the year. Wagner’s dual-timeline script provides a fascinating balance of storytelling possibilities, letting readers explore the protagonist across time within a single issue. Dabb’s linework, usually stronger during action scenes, comes into play in an extended gunfight sequence that leaves a significant impact within just a few pages.
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #110
“Darkest Hour” seems ready to live up to its ominous title in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #110. Writer Melissa Flores drives the narrative forward, establishing a challenging scenario for the Rangers from the get-go. The transformation of Mistress Vile is awe-inspiring, creating a sense of lethal danger that threatens to overpower the Rangers. The epic scale of the narrative is brought to life by artist Simona Di Gianfelice and colorists Raul Angulo and Jose Enrique Fernandez, conveying a rising sense of dread as the situation worsens. Particularly, the sequences involving Mistress Vile stand out, showcasing her powers in a stunning visual display. The issue propels “Darkest Hour” into a thrilling start, promising Power Rangers fans a riveting ride ahead.
Monstress #46 is a complex issue where various narrative strands converge, suggesting a significant turning point in the unfolding drama on Golga. Ren’s realization that they are key to everyone’s safe escape, escalating tensions among the Monstra, and Maika’s game-changing discovery promise to transform the status quo. While the series consistently offers excellent writing and artwork, this issue stands out for its pacing and the strategic assembly of the narrative puzzle pieces, delivering suspense and intrigue that have been missing for a while.
THE NEIGHBORS #5
The fifth and final issue of The Neighbors ends rather abruptly, revealing the supernatural entity haunting the family and culminating in a tragic finale common to many horror narratives. However, the implications of the plot remain unclear. Serious themes of prejudice, transphobia, racism, divorce, and newfound families introduced earlier in the series are overshadowed by the supernatural twist. For a narrative that aspired to tackle profound issues, its concluding issue surprisingly offers little commentary.
Emerging from a yearlong hiatus, Newburn makes an exceptional comeback with an issue that effectively resets for old readers and seamlessly accommodates the new ones. Newburn #9 upholds the series’ signature forte of spinning a riveting, menacing mystery set against the backdrop of New York City’s organized crime. The unfolding of the mystery serves to underline existing frictions within Newburn and between him and his apprentice, Emily. With the introduction of a journalist, revelations from Emily’s diary, and a conclusive turning point, the story stakes are propelled higher in a series known for its unflinching narrative. Paired with the series’ most remarkable back-up story till date by Nick Dragotta and David Brothers, the readers are treated to a compelling issue of crime comics promising even more thrilling encounters. The anticipation is palpable.
OLD DOG #6
In this issue, the most significant piece of Old Dog’s puzzle finally falls into place, providing a sense of clarity that’s as exhilarating as it is ingenious. As Jack confronts some unsolicited visitors, both we and Retriever are privy to the truth behind his predicament, interspersed with riveting action and potent dialogue. Declan Shalvey’s consistent exceptional work on this series makes the prospect of Old Dog charging headfirst into the upcoming events utterly exciting.
PATHFINDER: WAKE THE DEAD #2
Pathfinder: Wake the Dead continues to delve into the horrifying aspects of Nex, as the recently assembled party endeavors to escape from a grisly city teeming with the undead. The comic masterfully depicts the lethal threat Nex poses to the living, while further developing the characters within the party. However, the overabundance of quips from characters undercuts the intended horror at times. Humor, a coping mechanism in nightmarish situations, seems excessive here, robbing the narrative of its horrific atmosphere.
PURR EVIL #1
Launching a new series under Image, Purr Evil invites cat lovers to perceive their beloved felines in a novel, darker light. The series fearlessly delves into gore as a mother-daughter team grapples with a diverse array of adversities ranging from homicide to cat demons and astral projections. When an innocent boy is unintentionally involved in the chaos, it falls upon our formidable mother to rescue the pair from their self-inflicted predicament.
RICK AND MORTY #7
Aimed at being a new starting point for Rick and Morty fans, this issue brings the anticipated wildness to the table without truly revolutionizing the narrative. Both the primary and backup stories lead to severe and bizarre consequences for the Smith/Sanchez family, a surprising character reappearance, and a carefree attitude that might become tiresome for some. The artwork by Fred C. Stresing and Suzi Blake is satisfactory, except for some delightfully unhinged character designs. It might not sway non-fans, but the issue has its moments.
THE SEASONS HAVE TEETH #4
If you seek a conclusive end with thorough explanations, The Seasons Have Teeth #4 might not deliver. But that’s perfectly fine, because the series has always been about complex themes like grief, regret, and hubris, which seldom offer clear-cut resolutions. The series finale isn’t as nuanced or thrilling as previous installments, yet it lingers in your thoughts.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES/USAGI YOJIMBO: WHEREWHEN #5
Stan Sakai exhibits restraint in the conclusion of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen. Instead of a full-issue battle between WhereWhen’s robotic minions and the combined forces of the Turtles and Usagi Yojimbo’s allies, Sakai keeps the combat concise and simple, focusing on the sacrifice required to defeat WhereWhen over the spectacle of the conflict. Sakai’s mastery of depicting swordplay is evident in this issue, and his concentrated approach to each panel gives them significance, making this a robust conclusion to an enjoyable crossover.
W0rldTr33 remains my preferred horror comic of the year, with an issue packed with compelling character development, chilling terror, and significant revelations for characters striving to survive the murkiest corners of the internet. The concept of the “Undernet” is captivating, and Tynion and Blaco brilliantly capture the horror of experiencing this “otherworldly internet.” The diverse story elements are beginning to amalgamate, helping to deepen readers’ emotional investment in the characters and their potential grim fates. W0rldTr33 refines an intriguingly terrifying concept to perfection.