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MARCH 27 Comic Book Reviews

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.

ALAN SCOTT: THE GREEN LANTERN #5

This miniseries, celebrating Alan Scott’s rich legacy, has progressively deepened our understanding of the character, and issue #5 elevates this exploration, hinting at being the penultimate crescendo. Tim Sheridan’s narrative prowess is on full display, blending expected epic elements with unforeseen emotional depth and dramatic twists that resonate with fans and newcomers alike. Cian Tormey’s artistic rendition is a spectacle, with each panel narrating its own saga of battle and resilience. The artistry not only complements Sheridan’s storytelling but elevates it, making each scene a visual feast. The anticipation for Alan Scott’s next chapter reaches new heights with this installment, promising a culmination worthy of the Green Lantern’s legacy.

BATMAN: DARK AGE #1

Batman: Dark Age reimagines the caped crusader’s genesis in a refreshing manner, presenting a Bruce Wayne adrift and haunted not by the past but by a foreboding future. This iteration draws parallels to the vulnerable Bruce seen in Batman Origins, yet diverges with a unique twist on his motivations. The narrative dares to toy with the foundational elements of Batman’s origin story, weaving in humor and innovation. While it stands on familiar ground, the series shows potential to carve its own niche within the vast tapestry of Batman lore. Its early stages are promising, offering a blend of intrigue and creativity that could distinguish it from the myriad of origin stories that have come before.

BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #11

The concluding saga of Batman: The Brave and The Bold #11, “The Crown of Twelve Tails,” rescues the anthology from mediocrity, delivering a masterclass in gothic horror. Utilizing the dark and eerie landscapes of Gotham, this tale embarks on a monochromatic journey through graveyards and engages in sinister rituals, weaving a narrative that’s both rich and accessible. Thompson’s narration, imbued with a romantic and poetic flair, is crucial in threading these elements together into a cohesive and engaging mystery. While the anthology’s earlier tales range from uninspiring to forgettable, with narratives that seem derivative or overly simplistic, “The Crown of Twelve Tails” stands out as a testament to the potential of storytelling within the Batman universe. This story alone makes the anthology a discovery worth pursuing, showcasing the depth and versatility of Gotham’s narrative landscape.

DETECTIVE COMICS #1083

In this issue, Batman’s grueling journey through a metaphorical and somewhat literal desert culminates in a profound introspection, as he faces off against his darkest inner demons and the tangible threat of the Orghams. This confrontation is more than just a battle; it’s a deep dive into the essence of Batman’s character, reaffirming his relentless pursuit of justice as not just a choice but his very reason for being. Although the narrative feels slightly overstretched at times, particularly with Dr. Hurt’s involvement appearing as an eleventh-hour twist, Ram V skillfully ties up the complex threads into a coherent and satisfying finale. The portrayal of Batman’s resilience—surviving explosions, near executions, and psychological warfare—serves not just as a testament to his physical endurance, but more importantly, to his indomitable spirit. This mini-arc, while not revolutionary, reinforces the core principles that define Batman, even as it navigates through its slightly prolonged narrative journey.

THE FLASH #7

Issue #7 of The Flash series is a pivotal entry that could significantly influence reader investment, as it delves headfirst into its sci-fi narrative, balancing complex science with a liberal dose of humor. This approach, while potentially divisive, is crafted to enhance the storytelling, inviting readers to engage with the narrative’s intricacies and enjoy the playful subversion of superhero conventions. The issue is particularly notable for its deep dive into the characters of Max and Bart, offering a compelling narrative that explores their identities and challenges their perspectives in meaningful ways. Meanwhile, Barry and Wally’s storylines progress the overarching narrative, delivering moments that are as surprising as they are awe-inspiring. Ramón Pérez joins the creative team as the volume’s first guest artist, blending his unique artistic flair with the established visual language of the series to great effect. His artwork adeptly captures the emotional stakes of the story, from the unsettling nuances of a conversation with Linda to the dynamic energy of the action sequences, despite a somewhat lackluster opening splash page. The Flash #7 stands as a testament to the series’ commitment to embracing its sci-fi roots, offering a rich, layered story that rewards readers willing to immerse themselves in its unique blend of science, humor, and superhero drama.

GREEN ARROW #10

The latest installment in the Green Arrow series continues to deliver the heartfelt moments and character reunions that have become a hallmark of the relaunch. While the series indulges in these feel-good encounters, possibly to the point of repetition, it also makes significant strides by reintroducing several characters who have been sidelined for years. This issue not only brings these characters back into the fold but also provides insightful retrospectives on their histories and motivations, enriching the narrative tapestry of the Green Arrow universe. The series’ commitment to blending nostalgia with fresh storytelling makes each issue a rewarding experience for both long-time fans and new readers alike. Green Arrow #10, with its mix of character-driven narratives and action-packed sequences, underscores the series’ status as one of the most engaging and enjoyable offerings in DC’s current lineup, skillfully balancing fan service with meaningful character development.

HARLEY QUINN #38

Harley Quinn #38 marks a return to form for the series, capturing the essence of Harley in a narrative that feels both fresh and true to her roots. This issue is a celebration of Harley’s complex identity as it delves deep into her psyche, showcasing her growth and ongoing journey to find her place outside the traditional hero-villain dichotomy. On her birthday, a day that prompts introspection and self-reflection, Harley embarks on a quest to rediscover her passions, specifically her keen analytical mind, leading her through a series of events that blend humor, action, and personal growth. This exploration sets the stage for a delightful caper, culminating in the introduction of a significant Gotham adversary, adding depth and anticipation to the story arc. The artwork in this issue complements the narrative beautifully, with dynamic illustrations that capture the vibrant energy and emotional nuances of Harley’s world. Overall, Harley Quinn #38 is a standout issue that balances character development with engaging storytelling, solidifying its place as a highlight of the series.

THE PENGUIN #8

In The Penguin #8, the narrative intricately weaves between Oswald Cobblepot’s grand return to Gotham and strategic glimpses into the future, creating a layered storytelling experience. The majority of the issue focuses on Penguin’s reestablishment within Gotham’s elite through a series of encounters, each underscored by Oswald’s calculating and relentless nature. The internal monologues accompanying these encounters offer insight into his ruthless efficiency, though they occasionally distract from the visual storytelling. However, it’s the opening and concluding segments that elevate the issue, knitting together a narrative filled with tension and anticipation. These bookends hint at significant developments and establish a suspenseful groundwork for future stories, effectively spotlighting key players and setting the stage for an enthralling narrative arc. The artwork stylishly captures the essence of Penguin’s world, from the opulence of Gotham’s high society to the darker corners of its underworld. The issue stands out for its ability to balance style with substance, offering a compelling look into Penguin’s complex character while setting an intriguing course for the series.

POWER GIRL #7

Leah Williams brings a breath of fresh air to the pages of Power Girl #7, reminding readers of the joy and adventure that comics can provide. By taking Power Girl and Supergirl on an escapade into a fantastically realized world, Williams masterfully blends whimsy with depth, crafting a narrative rich in lore and mythos that’s both accessible and captivating. This issue stands as a testament to the potential of comics to transport readers, offering a well-executed detour from the often grim and serious tones prevalent in the genre. The story unfolds with a sense of wonder and excitement, embracing the fantastical elements of its setting while grounding the adventure in the strong character dynamics of its protagonists. The artwork complements the storytelling, with vivid depictions of this new world and its inhabitants that immerse readers in its unique mythology. Power Girl #7 is a standout issue, embodying the essence of what makes comic storytelling so engaging and leaving readers yearning for more adventures in this enchanting setting.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #46

In “The Amazing Spider-Man #46,” the series taps into the essence of classic Spider-Man storytelling, blending a thrilling one-and-done adventure with deeper character explorations that distinguish this era from its predecessors. The narrative pivots around a high-stakes prison break, spurred by the ominous threat of the Sinister Six’s reunion, and reintroduces characters ranging from Aunt Anna to the original Electro, Maxwell Dillon. However, it’s the portrayal of Sandman, with his complex emotions and moral dilemmas, that stands out, adding depth to the high-flying action and humor that define Spider-Man’s adventures. This issue also introduces a twist that enriches the plot significantly, making it a compelling read from start to finish. Guest artist Carmen Carnero’s work shines brightly, capturing the iconic vibrancy of the characters’ costumes and delivering dynamic action sequences with a distinctive flair that aligns seamlessly with the series’ visual legacy. Carnero’s artistry, combined with the thoughtful narrative, signals a promising direction for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” marking it as a highlight in the series’ recent journey.

CABLE #3

“Cable #3” finds its stride when it delves into the intricate and shared history between the younger and older versions of Cable, presenting a narrative that is as entertaining as it is character-driven. However, the comic occasionally loses focus, opting to introduce a plethora of popular X-characters that, while exciting, can clutter the storyline and detract from the central narrative. Despite these moments of congestion, the issue manages to end on a high note with a cliffhanger that intrigues and promises further developments worth sticking around for. This blend of character exploration and the series’ tendency to feature a wide array of X-Men lore encapsulates the double-edged sword of its storytelling approach, offering both challenges and charms within its pages.

DAREDEVIL #7

“Daredevil #7” starts off with a promising concept, integrating Wolverine into the narrative as the embodiment of Wrath, one of the Seven Deadly Sins—a choice that initially seems fitting given Wolverine’s character. However, the storyline takes an unexpected turn as Daredevil (Matt Murdock) discovers that the real sin at play is not Wrath but Lust. This revelation shifts the focus from what could have been a deep dive into Matt’s complex personal life and relationships to his internal struggle with violence and the moral repercussions of his actions as Daredevil. Although this pivot maintains the series’ thematic focus on Matt’s Catholic guilt and the philosophical conflict between his vigilante justice and personal ethics, it misses an opportunity to explore more nuanced aspects of his character. Nevertheless, the issue is partially redeemed by a well-executed fight scene that showcases the physical and emotional stakes of Daredevil’s dual life. This mix of high expectations and slight disappointments encapsulates the issue’s approach to character development and thematic exploration.

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #2

“Edge of Spider-Verse #2” weaves together two compelling narratives, each enriching the Spider-Verse with unique and imaginative takes on the Spider-Man mythos. The first story introduces Spooky-Man, a fascinating new character who brings a haunting twist to the familiar Spider-Man formula. This tale stands out for its engaging rhythm in dialogue and a creative redesign of the notorious Sinister Six, injecting a fresh, eerie vibe into the Spider-Verse. The second story brings back the beloved Cyborg Spider-Man, offering fans a nostalgic yet fresh look at the character. This segment is particularly notable for its visually striking artwork, which successfully merges the cybernetic aesthetics of Cyborg Spider-Man with a cyborg-infused Sinister Six, creating a visually cohesive and exciting narrative. Both stories showcase the versatility of the Spider-Verse, proving that it’s a fertile ground for innovative storytelling and artistic exploration.

G.O.D.S. #6

“G.O.D.S. #6” continues Jonathan Hickman’s tradition of intricate storytelling, marked by a sophisticated layering of themes, grandiose ideas, and a meticulous worldbuilding approach that feels like a magic trick unfolding. The issue takes readers on a journey with Aiko as she boldly steps into realms beyond her understanding, challenging the cosmic status quo. Hickman’s narrative constructs a universe where the marvel of cosmic power balances and the philosophical underpinnings of existence coalesce into a compelling tapestry of mystery and intrigue. As Aiko navigates through this labyrinth of divine and narrative complexities, her journey exemplifies the series’ strengths in creating a world that’s both vast and introspective. However, the pacing and the slow revelation of the central conflict may leave readers craving more substantive plot developments. By the time Aiko confronts the consequences of her actions and engages with Wyn, the storyline hints at a deeper, more engaging narrative potentially on the horizon. Yet, with the series approaching its conclusion, the question remains whether “G.O.D.S.” will fully unfold its rich narrative potential within the remaining issues, or if it will serve as a foundation for future explorations in Hickman’s expansive cosmic vision.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK #10

“The Incredible Hulk #10” dives into the rich vein of supernatural and folkloric storytelling, echoing the atmospheric depth of titles like “Hellboy” and Eric Powell’s “Hillbilly.” Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, the story masterfully harnesses the city’s vibrant history and its association with the supernatural to create a narrative that’s both compelling and visually immersive. The artwork plays a crucial role in this immersion, with each panel exuding the eerie and grotesque ambiance that New Orleans is famed for. This issue stands as a testament to the boundless possibilities of superhero narratives, breaking conventional boundaries and exploring rich, untapped lore. “The Incredible Hulk” not only reminds readers of the genre’s capacity for diverse storytelling but also enriches the Hulk’s legacy by placing him within a context that’s as layered and complex as the character himself. Through its exploration of supernatural themes, the series redefines what superhero stories can be, offering a fresh and intriguing perspective on the Hulk’s adventures.

MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #18

Celebrating its 300th issue, “Miles Morales: Spider-Man #18” delivers a poignant and exhilarating journey that seamlessly blends intimate character moments with high-stakes superhero action. This issue dives deep into the dynamics of Miles’ relationships with key figures in his life, including allies like Scorpion and Prowler, and adversaries such as Agent Gao and Rabble, enriching the narrative with emotional depth and complexity. The story masterfully balances these personal interactions with thrilling action sequences, maintaining the essence of what makes a Spider-Man story captivating. As the plot unfolds, readers are treated to a series of events that escalate towards a climactic tease, promising significant changes for Miles Morales. The anticipation of this transformative moment for Miles adds a layer of excitement and suspense, making the celebratory issue a landmark in his journey as Spider-Man.

PREDATOR: THE LAST HUNT #2

Following its compelling debut, “Predator: The Last Hunt #2” shifts gears into strategic setup mode, preparing the chessboard for an impending showdown between Theta and the formidable Nightmare Hunter. This issue cleverly reveals the Predator’s tactical prowess, drawing a direct lineage to the franchise’s roots by incorporating elements from the original film and the earliest Predator comics through the character of John Schaefer, a nod to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character’s brother. Despite its brisk pace, the issue serves as a crucial narrative bridge, enhancing anticipation for the impending conflict. The homage to the series’ legacy enriches the storyline, offering longtime fans a blend of nostalgia and novelty. However, the swift progression of the plot leaves readers eager for more, setting the stage for a confrontation that promises to be both epic and innovative.

RISE OF THE POWERS OF X #3

In “Rise of the Powers of X #3,” the narrative momentarily treads water, utilizing this pause to delve deeper into character developments rooted in the Krakoa era while elaborating on the storyline through extensive exposition. This approach, heavy on data pages, might dampen the pacing, creating a sense of narrative inertia. The intricate time-travel plot, aiming to untangle complex story threads, struggles to fully engage, leaving the execution feeling more obligatory than inspired. Despite these challenges, the issue highlights some notable segments, particularly the storyline involving Rasputin IV, offering glimpses of brilliance amidst a backdrop of convoluted sci-fi elements. Unfortunately, the ambition of weaving a coherent post-Krakoa tapestry sometimes detracts from the story’s immediacy and emotional impact. The comparison invoked by the title raises expectations that the current narrative arc strives to meet, yet the overall experience can feel laborious, underscoring the difficulty of balancing ambitious world-building with compelling storytelling.

SPIDER-PUNK: ARMS RACE #2

“Spider-Punk: ARMS RACE #2” gradually builds momentum, blossoming into a vibrant showcase of superhero dynamics and action. Cody Ziglar’s scripting talents are most apparent in the lively exchanges between Hobie and his allies, bringing a spirited energy to the group’s dynamics that truly comes alive during the issue’s central battle. Justin Mason’s artwork vibrantly captures the essence of Spider-Punk’s world, employing a dynamic and fluid style that injects energy into every scene, from high-octane battles to quieter moments. Morry Hollowell’s color work complements Mason’s art, adding depth and vibrancy to the visual storytelling. This issue reflects the ongoing evolution of the Spider-Punk character and his universe, with the creative team skillfully navigating the challenges of establishing this new iteration. Despite some growing pains, the journey is filled with enough excitement and potential to keep readers engaged and looking forward to what comes next.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #5

The fifth issue of “Superior Spider-Man” struggles with its identity, oscillating between various narrative threads without a clear sense of coherence or purpose. The narrative pace is brisk, but the rapid shifting between storylines creates a disjointed reading experience. There’s a sense that the overarching story knows its destination, yet the characters themselves seem adrift, lacking depth and clear motivation, which hampers the reader’s ability to connect with them on a meaningful level. This lack of character direction is particularly glaring in a series that traditionally delves into the complexities of identity and heroism. The issue stands as a reflection of the series’ current state: uncertain of its direction, with its characters caught in a narrative limbo, undermining the potential richness of the Superior Spider-Man concept.

THUNDERBOLTS #4

“Thunderbolts #4” presents a curious conclusion to a brief but ambitious miniseries. The finale crams an action-packed invasion of Latveria and a showdown with the Red Skull into a densely plotted sequence, expanding the Thunderbolts roster for a grand finale. The inclusion of a countdown to Doctor Doom’s arrival adds a layer of suspense that elevates the stakes of the confrontation. However, amidst the high-octane action, the issue attempts to weave in deeper narratives and character relationships that feel underdeveloped due to the series’ short duration. The dialogue sometimes stumbles, trying to hint at complexities and bonds that the limited series format hasn’t had the space to fully explore. The ending, which aims to encapsulate the spirit of a long-standing team, paradoxically highlights the series’ brevity and the challenge of establishing enduring themes and relationships within such a condensed framework. Despite these narrative ambitions, “Thunderbolts #4” delivers a mix of excitement and nostalgia, offering a finale that is both bewildering and somehow satisfying, serving as a testament to the potential of the Thunderbolts concept, even in a rapidly concluded narrative.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3

Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto’s iteration of “Ultimate Spider-Man” continues to hit all the right notes in its third issue, proving the creative team’s prowess in redefining the iconic character for a new era. Hickman’s storytelling brings a fresh perspective to the Spider-Man saga, weaving a narrative that is both innovative and respectful of the character’s rich history. The highlight of the issue is an expertly choreographed action sequence by Checchetto, featuring two characters hilariously out of their depth, which not only injects humor and excitement into the storyline but also culminates in a satisfying resolution. This issue underscores the potential for reimagining superhero origins in ways that feel contemporary and relevant, without being anchored by the weight of extensive lore. “Ultimate Spider-Man” stands as a testament to the creative team’s ability to balance novelty with nostalgia, offering a compelling and accessible entry point into the Spider-Man universe.

WOLVERINE #46

“Wolverine #46” revitalizes the “Sabretooth War” arc, escalating the conflict with a narrative that blends psychological depth with high-octane action. Following the shocking revelation that Sabretooth has manipulated Wolverine’s memories, this issue deepens the emotional stakes. The narrative technique of constantly reminding the reader of the ongoing deception adds layers of tension and poignancy to the story. Particularly striking are the heart-wrenching panels featuring the Exiles’ doomed rescue attempt, amplifying the sense of despair. With the narrative poised at its darkest moment and only a few issues left, the sense of urgency and impending doom is palpable. This chapter skillfully sets the stage for a climactic showdown, highlighting the series’ ability to maintain suspense and emotional investment.

X-FORCE #50

“X-Force #50” culminates the ambitious narrative arc initiated at the dawn of the Krakoa era, positioning Beast as the central figure in a morally complex storyline. The series finale unfolds with a blend of inevitability and freshness, adhering to superhero conventions while still delivering emotional and narrative satisfaction. The introduction of younger versions of Beast and Wonder Man injects a dynamic energy into the conclusion, suggesting a future that transcends the immediate story. The issue invites readers to reflect on Beast’s controversial actions and legacy, indicative of “X-Force’s” role in sparking debate and reflection within the X-Men community. The ensemble cast’s final gathering highlights the transformative journey of these characters, underscoring the series’ significant impact over its run. Achieving 50 issues is a notable accomplishment in the modern comic landscape, and “X-Force” celebrates this milestone by affirming its complex, dark, and enduring legacy within the expansive X-Men mythology.

X-MEN '97 #1

“X-Men ’97 #1” taps into the nostalgic vein of the beloved animated series, artfully brought back to life by writer Steve Foxe and artist Salva Espín. Foxe’s storytelling resonates with the essence of the original show while steering the characters into new territories, capturing a balance between homage and innovation. Espín’s artistry, coupled with Matt Milla’s vibrant colors, authentically recreates the aesthetic of the animated series, enriching the narrative with visual nostalgia and dynamism. This issue adeptly incorporates elements teased in the cartoon’s revival, promising an evolution of the X-Men universe familiar to fans. However, the comic’s fidelity to the source material’s tone and structure also means it embraces a level of simplicity and predictability characteristic of tie-in media. While this approach solidifies its appeal to longtime fans, it leaves little room for groundbreaking storytelling. Despite this, “X-Men ’97 #1” serves as a comforting and entertaining bridge between the past and present of X-Men lore, encapsulating the enduring charm of the animated heroes.

BLACK HAMMER: THE END #6

“Black Hammer: The End #6” offers a masterful conclusion to Jeff Lemire and Malachi Ward’s exploration of the superhero genre, marking a poignant moment in an eight-year journey. Lemire’s narrative delves into metafictional depths, layering story within story to reflect on the essence of superhero tales and the medium of comics itself. This issue is not just a narrative feat; it’s a reflective piece that invites readers to ponder the impact of stories on our lives, blending entertainment with introspection. The artistry of Malachi Ward complements Lemire’s vision, capturing the emotional and conceptual nuances of the story with striking visuals. As the series hints at a future return, this “temporary” finale stands as a testament to “Black Hammer’s” innovative and reflective storytelling, offering both closure and a commentary on the cyclical nature of comic book narratives.

CEMETERY KIDS DON'T DIE #2

In “Cemetery Kids Don’t Die #2,” the narrative deepens the mystery and danger surrounding the Nightmare Cemetery game, as the protagonists grapple with the disappearance of their friend Pik. The art by Irizarri takes center stage, brilliantly contrasting the stark realities of the “real world” with the eerie, immersive environment of the game world. Writer Thompson excels in character development, particularly with the leads, Pik and Birdie, though the broader cast could benefit from further exploration to deepen the reader’s connection to the story. This issue builds tension and intrigue, positioning “Cemetery Kids Don’t Die” as a standout in the horror comic genre. The unsettling climax of this installment amplifies anticipation for the series’ direction, showcasing the potential for a memorable and chilling narrative arc.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #9

“Conan the Barbarian #9” captures the quintessential spirit of the character’s sword and sorcery saga, delivering an issue that feels both timeless and energetically fresh. Jim Zub dives deep into the lore and essence of Conan, blending the raw, visceral action and the mystique of exotic locales that fans have cherished for decades. The issue is a visual feast, with art that brings the Hyborian Age to life in vibrant detail, anchored by a Conan who embodies the resilience and indomitable will of the legendary Cimmerian. Zub’s storytelling prowess shines as he crafts new adventures that resonate with the character’s storied past while pushing him into uncharted territories. This installment is a testament to the enduring appeal of Conan, demonstrating that, with the right creative vision, classic heroes can continue to captivate and thrill audiences in modern storytelling.

THE DEAD LUCKY #12

“The Dead Lucky #12” concludes Bibi’s journey with a narrative arc that is both fulfilling and transformative. Melissa Flores masterfully guides Bibi through a series of challenges that not only test her resolve but also catalyze her growth, leading her to emerge from her self-imposed isolation. The story arc comes full circle, offering a resolution that feels both natural and rewarding, setting a promising foundation for Bibi’s future endeavors. The dynamic artwork of French Carlomagno, enhanced by Matt Iacono’s color work, vividly captures the intensity and emotion of Bibi’s powered confrontations, adding a spectacular visual dimension to her evolution. This finale solidifies “The Dead Lucky” as a standout narrative within the Massive-Verse, leaving readers eagerly anticipating Bibi’s return and the next chapter in her adventures.

DUKE #4

“Duke #4” delivers an action-packed episode of escape and evasion, yet it seems to dance around the anticipated convergence with the broader Transformers universe. While the series tantalizingly hints at this grand crossover, it instead veers into familiar territory with the continued introduction of COBRA characters. This choice, while entertaining, leaves readers longing for the groundbreaking mashup with the Decepticons that has been teased. The narrative’s reluctance to fully embrace this crossover opportunity feels like a missed chance to explore new ground, opting instead for nostalgia over innovation. The allure of seeing iconic G.I. Joe adversaries is undeniable, but the promise of integrating Transformers into the storyline offers a compelling dynamic that remains largely unexplored. As “Duke” progresses, the hope remains that it will pivot towards delivering the epic encounters that fans of both franchises are eagerly awaiting.

FERAL #1

“FERAL #1” marks a thrilling departure from the team behind the acclaimed “Stray Dogs,” offering a new narrative that retains the essence of their previous work while exploring new terrains. Tony Fleecs’ storytelling prowess, combined with the artistic talents of Trish Forster, Tone Rodriguez, colorist Brad Simpson, and Sara Richard, crafts a world where survival hinges on facing a distinctly different kind of threat. This shift in premise injects fresh dynamics into the story, promising a journey filled with mystery and unique challenges for its characters. The creative team’s ability to blend high-stakes tension with captivating artwork—a hallmark of their previous series—ensures that “FERAL” stands out as a must-read. With its intriguing setup and familiar yet distinct approach, “FERAL” is poised to capture the imaginations of “Stray Dogs” fans and newcomers alike, proving once again the team’s knack for engaging and suspenseful storytelling.

THE GOON: THEM THAT DON'T STAY DEAD #1

Eric Powell’s “The Goon: Them That Don’t Stay Dead #1” celebrates the 25th anniversary of the beloved character with a return to Dark Horse Comics, encapsulating the enduring appeal of The Goon’s world. This issue serves both long-time fans and newcomers, distilling the essence of The Goon’s adventures against a backdrop of supernatural threats with a mix of horror and humor that has defined the series. While the narrative might not break new ground, it offers a comforting return to the familiar, enhanced by Powell’s evolved cartooning style, which brings Lonely Street and its inhabitants to life with more finesse than ever. The issue reaffirms The Goon’s place in comic book lore, showcasing the charm and wit that have made the series a staple, and demonstrating Powell’s consistent ability to entertain and engage readers with his unique blend of storytelling and artistry.

KILLADELPHIA #34

“KILLADELPHIA #34” continues to push the boundaries of its narrative universe, intriguingly integrating iconic Image characters into its dark, vampiric saga. This issue’s standout moment—introducing Blacula into the fold—not only adds a layer of cool but also injects a fascinating new dynamic into the storyline. The series excels in weaving the personal struggles and emotions of its characters into the fabric of its supernatural conflicts, lending depth and resonance to the unfolding drama. This focus on the human (and inhuman) heart of the story amplifies the impact of the battles, highlighting the saga’s strength in exploring the emotional landscapes of its characters. The addition of Blacula is a bold move that pays off, enriching the narrative tapestry of “KILLADELPHIA” and underlining its status as a compelling, character-driven horror epic that continues to surprise and captivate its audience.

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #118

“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #118” encapsulates the intensity and suspense of a season’s climactic finale, masterfully executed by writer Melissa Flores. This issue adeptly balances the thrill of revelation with the promise of epic conflicts yet to unfold, striking the perfect chord between despair and hope. The narrative introduces a pivotal moment with Mistress Vile, whose journey has emerged as a standout character arc, intricately woven into the broader storyline. Her developments, especially when intertwined with Zedd’s narrative, add layers of complexity and intrigue to the saga. The diverse cast of Rangers, with their varied personalities and motivations, are brought to life through dynamic interactions and battles. Artists Simona Di Gianfelice and Marco Renna, along with colorists Raul Angulo and Jose Enrique Fernandez, and letterer Ed Dukeshire, excel in depicting these moments. Their portrayal of characters such as Ranger Slayer, Lord Zedd, Kimberly, and Tommy, especially in scenes involving Mistress Vile, showcases their ability to capture the essence of the Power Rangers universe. The “Darkest Hour” storyline not only meets but exceeds expectations, setting a high bar for the narrative journey ahead and ensuring readers are eagerly anticipating what comes next in this enthralling series.

MONSTRESS #50

“Monstress #50” is a testament to the intricate world-building and sophisticated storytelling that has characterized the series. This landmark issue delves deep into the lore, pushing the narrative forward with significant developments for key characters like Zinn and Maika. The complex machinations and revelations presented in this issue enrich the already dense tapestry of the Monstress universe, hinting at deception and schemes that challenge previously established truths. While traditional action may take a backseat, the issue thrives on its potent storytelling and character evolution, particularly highlighting the strategic roles of the cats within the unfolding drama. The narrative complexity and the layered reveals demand attentive reading, rewarding fans with a richly woven plot that hints at monumental events on the horizon. The storytelling prowess of the creative team shines, maintaining a suspenseful atmosphere that promises a climactic buildup in the series’ progression. “Monstress #50” stands as a pivotal issue, embodying the series’ hallmark of delivering epic fantasy storytelling with a depth and nuance that invites readers to immerse themselves fully in its darkly beautiful world.

NEWBURN #16

“Newburn #16” elegantly crafts an epilogue that seamlessly continues the narrative momentum from its explosive predecessor. This issue strategically advances the storyline, showcasing Emily’s transition into her newfound role with a prowess that affirms Newburn’s initial intuition. The narrative, while presenting a final mystery, prioritizes the resolution of character arcs and thematic closure over the unraveling of new enigmas. Jacob Phillips’ artistry adds a visual depth to the tale, capturing the essence of the characters’ environments and the subtle nuances of their interactions, often articulated through minimal dialogue. The epilogue’s strength lies in its ability to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the series, weaving together the loose ends of the plot with a masterful touch that reflects the complex moral landscape the characters navigate. “Newburn” solidifies its place as a distinguished addition to Image Comics’ repertoire, celebrated for its nuanced exploration of crime fiction and its memorable departure from conventional storytelling.

NIGHTS #6

“Nights #6” emerges as the most consequential issue in the series thus far, challenging readers with its dense narrative and complex themes. While the story ambitiously attempts to cover substantial ground, it occasionally risks overloading its audience, packing intricate developments into tight spaces and leaving readers to navigate the intricate web of connections on their own. Despite these narrative hurdles, the characters stand out with remarkable strength, anchoring the story’s momentum and ensuring that the core of the narrative remains engaging. Their resilience and depth are key to moving the plot forward, even when the storytelling becomes labyrinthine. This blend of ambitious storytelling and compelling character work makes “Nights” a fascinating, if occasionally bewildering, read, indicative of a series that isn’t afraid to challenge its audience and push the boundaries of its genre.

SAM AND TWITCH: CASE FILES #1

“Sam and Twitch: Case Files #1” struggles to recapture the intrigue that defines the duo within the expansive Spawn universe. Todd McFarlane, alongside Jon Goff, sets the stage with a narrative approach that, for the most part, meanders through its opening, leaving readers searching for a hook to draw them deeper into the world of these iconic detectives. Szymon Kudranski’s art brings a visually distinct element to the story, playing with the uncanny valley to create an atmosphere that is as unsettling as it is captivating, culminating in a visually stunning final spread that showcases the potential of what the series could be. However, the lettering choice starkly detracts from the overall presentation, giving the impression of a rushed job rather than a deliberate stylistic decision. This initial issue presents a series of missteps that obscure the potential of Sam and Twitch’s narrative, leaving fans hoping for a turnaround that will align the series with the characters’ storied legacy in the Spawn saga.

THE SIX FINGERS #2

“The Six Fingers #2” continues to delve into the psyche of its protagonist, Johannes, exploring his inner turmoil and the enigmatic legacy of his father with a precision that mirrors the protagonist’s own controlled demeanor. The series maintains its cool, calculated approach, juxtaposing Johannes’ methodical nature against the backdrop of a narrative that is both tense and introspective. The artwork complements the story’s tone perfectly, translating Johannes’ internal conflicts into a visual language that is both clean and expressive. The dialogue and character interactions skillfully humanize Johannes, navigating the complex territory of portraying a character who is both a killer and the lens through which the story is experienced. However, the issue’s plot progression feels somewhat stagnant, retracing steps from the first issue without significantly advancing the overarching mystery. This repetition may risk alienating readers eager for the narrative to evolve. Despite this, the intrigue of the central mystery and the quality of the storytelling offer hope that “The Six Fingers” will find its footing, expanding upon its compelling foundation in subsequent issues.

SOMNA #3

“SOMNA #3” stands out as a pinnacle of horror storytelling in 2024, blending historical atrocities with supernatural dread in a way that deeply resonates. This final issue masterfully intertwines the witch trials’ grim history with the personal trauma of its protagonist, Ingrid, whose ordeal becomes a poignant exploration of fear, betrayal, and societal cruelty. Becky Cloonan’s precise linework, coupled with Tula Lotay’s ethereal depiction of dreamscapes and the ominous dark man, crafts a visual narrative that immerses readers into Ingrid’s turbulent psyche. The narrative’s strength lies in its ability to make the supernatural elements a metaphor for the real horrors of human nature, particularly through the lens of Ingrid’s deteriorating relationships and her disillusionment with her community. The artistic collaboration reaches its zenith in this issue, presenting innovative layouts and seamless transitions that heighten the emotional and psychological impact of the story. “SOMNA” transcends its genre, offering a rich tapestry of historical fiction and romantic horror that not only captivates but also lingers in the minds of its readers, marking it as a haunting and memorable contribution to the horror comic landscape.

UNDER YORK #1

“Under York #1” attempts to carve a niche within the urban fantasy genre by unveiling a hidden magical society beneath the bustling streets of New York City. The narrative follows Allison Walker, a character caught between her aspirations above ground and her familial obligations in the mystical undercity. While the premise suggests a rich, layered world teeming with magic and intrigue, the execution struggles with exposition-heavy dialogue and a lack of narrative clarity. The artistic depiction of characters, bathed in a soft glow, contrasts sharply with the darker undertones of the story, creating a visual dissonance that mirrors the narrative’s tonal inconsistencies. The dialogue often oscillates between mundane expository delivery and dramatic declarations that fail to resonate due to the absence of contextual grounding for the readers. This initial foray into the “Under York” universe echoes elements of Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere,” yet it diverges into territory that might remind readers of supernatural teen dramas, albeit without successfully capturing the depth or charm that might appeal to fans of those genres. The challenge for “Under York” lies in balancing its ambitious world-building with compelling character development and a coherent narrative that can engage and captivate without resorting to clichés or overly convoluted plot mechanisms.

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