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: White Knight Presents - Generation Joker 1
Some comics can feel like mere merchandise, lacking a compelling reason for their existence beyond being another item to purchase. Batman: White Knight Presents – Generation Joker #1 falls into this category, as it expands the moderately popular miniseries Batman: White Knight into an alternate vision of the DC Comics universe that fails to impress at every turn. The story begins with Harley Quinn and Joker’s children caught in an awkward family moment involving their mother and stepdad, Batman. Unfortunately, the family dynamics and individual characters receive little exploration, with the adults quickly falling into absent parent stereotypes and the children reduced to clichéd roles of rebellious teenager and obedient younger child. Consequently, there is little interest in delving deeper into these poorly defined characters. The art style attempts to emulate Sean Gordon Murphy’s distinctive approach but lacks the inking and design elements that made White Knight visually captivating despite its shallowness. Overall, the comic lacks both style and substance, failing to capture readers’ interest beyond the promise of more “White Knight,” which is unnecessary given the unsatisfying content presented here.
BATMAN INCORPORATED 8
After much anticipation, the “Joker Incorporated” arc finally arrives in Batman Incorporated #8, bringing along several other intriguing story elements. As the narrative progresses, the interpersonal dynamics and identity of the team start to be explored, offering a refreshing change from the previous Ghost-Maker-focused arc, although it falls slightly short of expectations. Nevertheless, the issue manages to captivate readers with its flashy and intriguing elements, enhanced by John Timms’ vibrant artwork.
DANGER STREET 6
Danger Street #6 reinforces the notion that this miniseries is best enjoyed as a complete collection, and it would be preferable if it were only published as a 12-issue set. The middle chapters continue to weave together various characters and plot threads, building anticipation for future revelations and conflicts. However, this particular issue lacks the necessary context for the powerful imagery presented. Readers are left relying on their memory of Danger Street #5 to make sense of the trickle of new information, which may only become meaningful in Danger Street #7. While each sequence is well-executed, showcasing Fornes’ immense artistic range, the slim installment primarily consists of interstitial segments that form a well-crafted but unsatisfying chapter of serialized storytelling, lacking the excitement readers crave.
GOTHAM ACADEMY MAPS OF MYSTERY 1
Gotham Academy continues to be an exceptional experiment in superhero comics, and its return in this one-shot issue recaptures the enchantment once again. Bringing together some of Maps’ recent stories from anthology books and Batman backup stories, this collection beautifully showcases the aesthetic and narrative devotion that Brendan Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, and Karl Kerschl have for this world. While it may not introduce many new elements, this reprint collection is a must-have for Gotham Academy fans and anyone seeking a whimsical take on the Batman mythos.
GREEN LANTERN 1
Hal Jordan is back on Earth in Green Lantern #1, and the change of pace has clearly rejuvenated him. The series effectively captures his charisma and fearlessness while also highlighting how these traits can become his greatest weaknesses in an ever-changing world. The new status quo allows Hal Jordan to embody the character that fans have come to love while also presenting opportunities for growth. Furthermore, John Stewart’s ongoing story expands into the vastness of space, adding depth to the narrative. This winning combination sets the stage for a truly outstanding start to Green Lantern’s new era.
MULTIVERSITY HARLEY SCREWS UP THE DCU 3
Harley Screws Up the DCU #3 is slightly weaker compared to its previous installments, primarily due to the overwhelming chaos it attempts to convey. The story involves Harley messing up Kal-El’s arrival on Earth and becoming distracted by Barry Allen before he becomes the Flash. While some chaos is expected in this title, the story becomes overly chaotic, especially when coupled with the hyper-detailed artwork. It’s not necessarily bad, but the abundance of chaos pushes the boundaries, delving further into Harley’s most impulsive tendencies than anticipated.
SANDMAN UNIVERSE NIGHT MARE COUNTRY THE GLASS HOUSE 2
The Glass House #2 masterfully interweaves the new story elements introduced in Nightmare Country with the previous Nightmare Country series and the rich lore of Sandman from decades past. It impressively sets the stage for a series of personal and global horrors, creating a knot of stakes that keeps readers on edge. The issue showcases stunning illustrations of demons, illusions, and atrocities, using simple forms to hint at even more disturbing events. While some familiarity with the metaphysical conflicts is helpful, the immediate dangers and terrors presented in the story are bound to inspire nightmares, regardless of readers’ recognition of specific demons. Additionally, the reintroduction of surviving characters adds a delightful touch of dark humor, reminding readers of the human perspectives and stakes entwined in this war between realms. The chilling direction in which the story is headed is enough to keep readers hooked for months to come.
SPIRIT WORLD 1
Even if readers haven’t followed all the recent events in the various “Lazarus Planet” one-shots, Spirit World #1 is easily accessible and comprehensible. Introducing a new heroic character can be challenging, but including familiar stars like John Constantine and Batgirl helps. Xanthe Zhou possesses the unique ability to travel between the living and spirit worlds. Despite being new, Xanthe proves themselves fully capable of holding their own alongside A-list heroes.
STARGIRL THE LOST CHILDREN 6
Stargirl: The Lost Children is, in many ways, a tribute to the golden age of superheroes. However, at its core, it explores themes of grief, hope, and being forgotten. These weighty themes are skillfully interwoven by writer Geoff Johns into a classic superhero adventure that takes readers on an out-of-this-world journey. The Lost Children #6 is visually stunning, thanks to the artistry of Todd Nauck, colorist Matt Herms, and letterer Rob Leigh. Each turn of the page presents breathtaking moments that tug at the heartstrings. I was captivated by every panel, feeling as though I had embarked on the most thrilling rollercoaster ride of my life. The book concludes with a surprisingly melancholic moment, leaving a lasting impact. I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter of Stargirl: The Lost Children and would gladly read it all over again.
SUPERMAN LOST 3
Superman: Lost #3 does an impressive job of emphasizing the immense scale of the 20-year journey at the core of its premise. Clark’s return journey takes an intriguing detour, introducing the delightful concept of Space Dolphins and offering a more satisfying conclusion compared to issue #2. As he struggles to chart the shortest route home, the narrative captions from his computer companion and the application of scientific knowledge make the problem seem monumental, even for Superman. This approach effectively builds a sense of despair and sets the stage for the daunting journey ahead. The depictions of distant lights and vast darkness take on deeper meaning as the series addresses a sense of despair while staying true to Superman’s character. It presents a unique challenge that pushes the iconic superhero in new and surprising ways, and Superman: Lost #3 effectively outlines the arduous journey and its potential consequences.
WildC.A.T.S is a series that dedicates a significant amount of space to explaining itself to readers. In WildC.A.T.S #7, even as Grifter embarks on a multiverse-hopping adventure through DC dystopias, much of the page real estate is devoted to reiterating events from issue #6 and explaining the intricate science behind his new status quo and other issues. While there are dramatic and interesting moments, particularly when the issue reveals Grifter in a new location, a considerable portion is occupied by walk-and-talk sequences among various characters in suits and powerful cyborgs who don’t showcase their abilities. This raises questions about the relevance of certain characters, such as Maul, who seems to be left standing around taking orders without purpose. The series is densely packed with plot and continuity, making it challenging to fully immerse oneself in the adventure or feel any significant momentum. WildC.A.T.S may not cater to casual readers or those seeking the excitement of the old Wildstorm icons, but it may offer some value to devoted fans.
THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN 25
After over a year of anticipation surrounding the time jump and mysterious setup in Amazing Spider-Man #1, the oversized anniversary issue of Amazing Spider-Man #25 finally unveils what happened to Mary Jane during her time trapped in an alternate dimension and how Peter Parker’s life unraveled. Writer Zeb Wells, accompanied by artists Kaare Andrews and John Romita Jr., delivers a tragically satisfying climax. Andrews beautifully depicts Mary Jane’s life away from Earth, while Romita Jr. captures the events unfolding back on Earth. With only one chapter remaining in this pivotal story, Amazing Spider-Man #25 successfully reframes the narrative and makes it clear why these characters can never return to their previous lives.
CAPTAIN MARVEL 49
The penultimate issue of Captain Marvel is finally here, and it offers a thrilling glimpse of what fans can expect in the 50th issue. Captain Marvel #49 brings the “Revenge of the Brood” storyline to an absurdly epic conclusion, while also bringing Carol and Rogue’s story full circle. The impact on longtime fans cannot be understated, and writer Kelly Thompson deserves praise for expertly weaving their narrative throughout this run. The extended X-Men cast is utilized effectively, adding depth to the story. Artist Sergio Davila, colorist Cecil De La Cruz, inkers Sean Parsons and Roberto Poggi, and letterer Clayton Cowles deliver a bombastic and larger-than-life space battle that matches the high stakes. A particular two-page spread embodies the grandeur, but it’s the poignant moments of friendship and grief that truly anchor the story. Captain Marvel #49 is a spectacular issue, and if issue #50 is as good, the series will conclude in sensational fashion.
COSMIC GHOST RIDER 3
Cosmic Ghost Rider #3 reiterates the already addressed premise and problems of the series, as if readers may have forgotten the mix-up of two Cosmic Ghost Riders due to a mysterious cause. The addition of Valkyrie fails to inject excitement, and the action sequences unfold in a predictable visual format without any surprises or grandeur, with low stakes and shallow character depth. Despite the “good” Cosmic Ghost Rider being named Frank Castle, there is no trace of that character in their presence or in previous appearances. The surrounding characters lack depth and resemble NPCs in a video game, offering minimal characterization. While the plot is competently detailed, the issue fails to give readers a reason to care about the events or characters, making Cosmic Ghost Rider lackluster for all but the most devoted fans of this Marvel Comics fusion.
After the climactic events of previous issues, Daredevil #11 could easily feel like an epilogue as it wraps up various character arcs and conflicts from Zdarsky and Checchetto’s impressive run. However, even as Daredevil returns to New York City and ties up loose ends, it is clear that the story is still cooking and building momentum. The change in Matt Murdock’s perspective becomes apparent as Detective Cole North confronts him one last time, and Daredevil navigates a city he has deeply impacted. The choices made in issue #11 are unimaginable without the intense battles and difficult decisions that preceded them, making these small encounters immensely rewarding. Checchetto’s depiction of violence on the page is realistic and evocative, without glorifying or indulging in gratuitous bloodshed. As Daredevil approaches its conclusion, it is evident that these final moments will be as significant as every event that led up to them.
EXTREME VENOMVERSE 1
Extreme Venomverse attempts to tell multiple Symbiote stories with different versions of Venom, using various parts of Venom’s history as starting points. While this should provide an opportunity to explore new facets of the character and break new ground, it mostly feels like a rehash of familiar territory. The stories largely retread elements we have seen before, which leaves the overall experience feeling unexciting and lacking in fresh perspectives.
GHOST RIDER 14
Ghost Rider #14 races towards the finish line as Percy shifts the focus to Danny Ketch, offering readers a dark and unsettling glimpse into his life over the past few years. Although the story is not as visually dark as previous issues, it delves into psychological thrills that leave you feeling uncomfortable as the narrative unfolds. The backup story by Tsuei, Gyadu, and Reber is generally fine, introducing a terrifying villain for Johnny Blaze and Taegukgi to confront. However, it feels somewhat out of place in the overall context of the issue.
I AM IRON MAN 3
I Am Iron Man #3 may be the most ambitious issue of the series thus far, plunging the Iron Avenger into a shogun-themed adventure that goes beyond surface-level expectations. Whether the issue effectively achieves its goals is another matter. The twists in the story pile up like an unstable Jenga tower, yet miraculously manage to reach the emotional core in the final panels without collapsing. The work brought to life by Murewa Ayodele and Dotun Akande is commendable, but the series as a whole would benefit from a clearer direction even within individual installments.
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN 6
Invincible Iron Man #6 takes a slight detour from its main story as writer Duggan and guest artist Andrea Di Vito transport readers back to the time of the West Coast Avengers. While the overarching plot eventually moves forward by the issue’s end, this particular part of the tale primarily focuses on a standalone story. Marvel enthusiasts with a fondness for the 80s and 90s era may find this read appealing. However, outside of that nostalgic aspect, the narrative and character development don’t progress significantly. On the bright side, Kael Ngu delivers one of the best comic covers of the week on the front page, adding to the visual appeal.
MIRACLE MAN BY GAIMAN & BUCKINGHAM THE SILVER AGE 5
Miracleman: The Silver Age #4 continues Kid Miracleman’s exploration of Miracleman’s utopia as he searches for his place within it. The issue delves into topics that unsettle Dickie Dauntless, who openly criticizes the fetishization of poverty, illness, and nanobot-programmed artwork functioning similarly to AI art. Dickie, having distanced himself from Miracleman due to issues surrounding his sexuality, approaches technology with curiosity, particularly the genetic-level gender-transitioning possibilities. This installment focuses more on moving the plot forward rather than providing groundbreaking revelations, but that is a high standard to meet. Mark Buckingham’s delicate linework and Jordie Bellaire’s humanizing colors enhance the reading experience. Neil Gaiman’s writing adds depth to Miracleman’s world, incorporating subtle background arcs, such as Jason Oakey’s continued growth and the obliviousness of the church of Miracleman to visits from the gods they worship. Miracleman: The Silver Age remains a rich comic book text that lives up to its legacy.
ROGUE & GAMBIT 3
Rogue & Gambit continues to deliver straightforward superheroics in its third issue while adding depth to the tension between the titular characters. Rogue openly addresses the growing distance between her and her husband, gaining insightful guidance from an unexpected source, Rocket Raccoon. This recontextualizes the borderline animosity between the two heroes throughout the series, giving it purpose. The artwork also exhibits more flair compared to previous issues. Carlos Gomez captures expressive characterizations that elevate the emotional moments for both Rogue and Remy, reminiscent of their earlier work on X-Terminators. The issue concludes with a typical cliffhanger ending, pitting the heroes against a random assortment of enemies, while an aside exploring Forge’s moral dilemmas feels somewhat out of place. Overall, Rogue & Gambit #3 offers an enjoyable reading experience, albeit with minor flaws.
Writer Emily Kim presents an engaging premise for the new Silk series, employing a multiverse-style narrative with a twist that relies on a lack of realism. The artwork by IG Guara shines brightest in portraying the dream logic at the heart of the story. While such a concept could easily become overdone and silly, Guara masterfully makes it flow in a way that captures the essence of dreams. By seamlessly blending larger visual shifts within the dream context, Guara and colorist Ian Herring create a world that feels believable until the precise moment it isn’t.
SPIDER-GWEN SHADOW CLONES 3
It’s enjoyable to witness Gwen Stacy interacting with her reformed evil clones. The simple act of them switching places and flirting with a boy could easily carry an entire issue. However, issue #3 also offers some action. Clones have become a familiar element in Spider-Man comics, but Spider-Gwen approaches it from a different angle, incorporating multiverse shenanigans into the mix.
SPIDER MAN 2099 DARK GENESIS 2
The reinventions of characters in the 2099 universe continue to impress. Venom taking on a conflicted Batman-like persona rather than adhering to the traditional Venom archetype is a compelling direction for the character. Additionally, the eccentric portrayal of the new Blade and the captivating performance of Ghost Rider add depth to the narrative. Everything unfolding in the 2099 universe demands attention and is certainly worth following.
STAR WARS DARTH VADER 34
Maintaining the hallucinatory and surreal nature of the previous issue, Darth Vader #34 finds Vader and Sabé at odds regarding their perspectives on achieving peace in the galaxy. The Sith Lord grapples with maintaining control over his Force powers, which takes a toll on his mental well-being and physical abilities. However, it also presents an opportunity for him to unleash even more powerful feats, much to the chagrin of would-be assassins. While we are only two issues into this arc, it harkens back to earlier chapters in Vader’s journey that delve into his psychological torment, showcasing impressive displays of his anger and rage. The story’s direction remains uncertain, and its impact on the original Star Wars trilogy is yet to be revealed. However, by captivating readers with the unfolding events and enthralling storytelling, this book succeeds in engrossing us without solely relying on connections to other corners of the vast Star Wars universe.
STAR WARS THE HIGH REPUBLIC 9
The stakes have been elevated once again in the flagship High Republic series at Marvel, giving Star Wars fans a reason to be excited. This penultimate issue explores various perspectives on the Force and its significance across the galaxy, thoroughly examining different angles and delivering equally thrilling narratives.
Despite the recent gore in Wolverine, this issue unexpectedly ventures into comedy territory by highlighting the presence of multiple power-hungry Beasts instead of just one. Surprisingly, the comedic elements work well, particularly in a written conversation transcript. In terms of the story itself, Beast Prime continues to wreak havoc on the international supply chain while managing his army of Beast clones. Meanwhile, Wolverine, Maverick, and Bannister gradually prepare for an offensive to stop him. This issue is far from skippable, but it feels like there is still a long way to go before the ultimate confrontation between Logan and Beast reaches its climax.
X-MEN RED 11
X-Men Red #11 skillfully balances the aftermath of significant events, including “Sins of Sinister” and Judgment Day, while reestablishing its ongoing story and status quo after a 4-month hiatus. The issue successfully addresses these elements by focusing on two captivating characters, Storm and Sunspot, as they confront the immediate concerns in their own lives. Storm’s long-standing conflict with Professor Xavier takes center stage, brilliantly depicting the flawed foundations of their relationship in a spread that exudes tension. Meanwhile, Sunspot’s storyline brings cosmic charm by incorporating lore from S.W.O.R.D., Guardians of the Galaxy, and more, effectively reshaping the role of Arrako in the cosmic Marvel landscape. Despite its housekeeping nature, the issue remains engaging through its strong characterization and the exploration of fantastic settings and powers. Let’s hope for uninterrupted storytelling and a break from excessive crossovers in the future.
ASSASIN's APPRENTICE 6
Assassin’s Apprentice skillfully builds its world through expressive art and narration, but it reaches new heights when it invites readers to experience the story on a more personal level alongside Fitz. Issue #6 brings closure to the first chapter and showcases some of the series’ most memorable interactions. Writer Jody Houser continues to develop Fitz as an agent without losing sight of the young boy struggling to find his place amidst the training. The issue excels in portraying Fitz’s interactions with Chade, but it truly shines when Molly reenters the picture, elevating the story to another level. A particular moment between the two characters after their reunion leaves a lasting impact, thanks to the contributions of artist Ryan Kelly, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. It’s a scene that beautifully resonates with the reader and Fitz himself. Although Fitz’s return to the chaos of the royal world is jarring, it serves its purpose. Assassin’s Apprentice sets up the second chapter brilliantly, but the excellence displayed throughout the entire first chapter leaves readers eagerly anticipating what’s to come.
BLACK CLOAK 5
Black Cloak #5 follows the trend of not fully reaching its potential. Like previous issues, there are moments intended to be significant but lack the necessary contextual information for readers to fully grasp their impact. The artwork remains stellar, but more ambitious pages, such as a cross-section layout, lack the smooth flow required to follow the characters seamlessly. These issues may be less problematic when the story arc is collected as a whole, as noted in previous reviews. However, when taken as an individual issue, there is a disconnect between the reader and the story, preventing it from delivering the impact it should.
JUNKYARD JOE 6
Junkyard Joe reaches its conclusion, and while it may not be a flawless ending with some aspects of the story feeling underdeveloped and questions left unanswered, there’s still plenty to appreciate. The themes of community coming together for the greater good and the notion that family extends beyond blood ties are strong and provide a satisfying conclusion to a book that could have ended on a melancholic note. Johns effectively emphasizes the significance of community support for veterans, highlighting how Muddy’s neighbors become his new source of strength. The artwork is also superb, making this book an all-around solid read.
Ghost stories can be challenging to execute, but Ghostlore #1 successfully introduces an intriguing approach to the genre. By altering the perspective of the storytellers and incorporating matters of faith in a fresh manner that avoids clichés, this debut issue generates sufficient interest and elevates the genre. It is evident that readers should invest in what happens next, especially with the underlying sense of something darker.
THE GREAT BRITISH BUMP OFF 2
The Great British Bump Off impressively establishes a diverse cast of characters and a list of suspects while simultaneously satirizing The Great British Bake Off and delivering an engaging murder mystery. By the end of issue #2, each baker and all three hosts are well-characterized and recognizable, sparking numerous theories about the true identity of the murderer. The issue provides ample opportunities for humor through character revelations, and Max Sarin’s cartooning is crucial in delivering punchlines, particularly in a panel that turns a judge’s criticism into a moment reminiscent of horror comics. The Great British Bump Off #2 showcases the series’ ability to deliver both jokes and a compelling whodunit without relying on the same formula. I eagerly anticipate delving deeper into this mystery.
Nocterra #14 presents readers with what could be considered the most “high-concept” issue yet. Scott Snyder masterfully delivers a wealth of new information to digest, while Tony Daniel’s artwork, accompanied by Marcelo Maiolo’s colors, takes on a heavier and more trippy tone compared to previous issues. The comic shines with two compelling stories vying for attention—the present-day narrative packed with action, monsters, and Nocterra’s mythological essence, and the character-driven, heartfelt flashbacks that showcase Snyder’s writing prowess. The issue concludes with a gruesome and shocking cliffhanger, ensuring a highly entertaining reading experience, even if the pacing occasionally feels uneven during the transitions between the two distinct plotlines.
KEEPERS OF THE COSMOS 1
It’s hard to miss the clear inspiration from Guardians of the Galaxy in Keepers of the Cosmos, but what sets this comic book apart is its unapologetic approach. This is a book designed for adult readers, featuring mature humor, a touch of debauchery, and surprisingly, a strong sense of humanity, even amidst what can only be described as “cookie porn.” It’s a lot of fun, unafraid to establish flawed heroes from the start, and the art is vibrant, snazzy, and enjoyable. Moreover, the character concepts themselves are riotously entertaining. While not overly sophisticated, it delivers exactly what it intends to be—a fun and entertaining read.
KONG THE GREAT WAR 1
Selling the first issue of a series centered around King Kong without the titular primate making an appearance until the final page is challenging. However, Kong: The Great War manages to captivate with its compelling story leading up to Kong’s arrival, surpassing many other Kong tales. Instead of delving into elaborate backstories with a multitude of characters, the comic thrusts readers directly into the action, emphasizing the horror element associated with this iconic character.
When Monarch #4 focuses on Travon’s battle against his creators and his harrowing journey through a devastated Compton to rescue Daysha, it becomes one of the most captivating and visually stunning books I’ve come across in a while. However, the book introduces a random subplot involving one of Travon’s friends secretly being a sociopathic murderer, unleashed upon the world due to the impending apocalypse. While the intention may be to heighten tension and add a personal human antagonist, the inclusion of a troubled individual with a gun feels out of place and detracts from the overall narrative, especially when compared to the relentless cybernetic alien threat ravaging Earth.
MURDER INC JAGGER ROSE 1
Before even picking up Murder Inc.: Jagger Rose #1, fans of Michael Avon Oeming’s artwork can rest assured that it delivers impeccably on the visual front, with Taki Soma’s colors complementing Oeming’s style perfectly. However, for newcomers to the Murder Inc. franchise, the issue may prove less welcoming. Brian Michael Bendis introduces elements that expand the broader world, but the book lacks substantial hooks beyond its aesthetic appeal. If you’re here for the visual experience, then you’re in for a treat.
SOMETHING EPIC 1
Something Epic #1 presents a thought-provoking concept that imagination is a tangible force, manifesting parallel existences filled with the characters humanity has conceived. Creator Szymon Kudranski delves into the mechanics of this idea but falls short in exploring its deeper meaning and significance. The lead character, a young boy with the ability to see this imaginary world, delivers poetic monologues about the power of imagination, emphasizing the differences between creative individuals and those who lose their youthful imagination. While the book’s purpose remains unclear, Kudranski’s artwork is commendable. The premise allows him to showcase a range of art styles, with homages to different schools and forms, juxtaposed against his familiar grounded and shadowy work. The artwork is accompanied by alternating silent pages and dynamic layouts, encouraging readers to appreciate the stunning visuals. Despite its strong premise and impressive artwork, the narrative is overshadowed by excessive focus on the burden of creativity, resulting in a somewhat nebulous reading experience.