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.
ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN: JON KENT 3
Superman: Adventures of Jon Kent shifts its focus midway, moving away from earlier themes such as a lethal Ultraman and allies trapped in the Phantom Zone. The story now revolves around introducing the protagonist to the world of “Injustice.” While assuming some reader familiarity with the popular video game and its digital comic book adaptation, it effectively presents the general idea. However, it’s not apparent why this dystopian setting is relevant to Jon. The story banks on reader interest in a crossover between “Injustice” and mainstream DC Comics continuity. The issue fails to address the core conflicts of “Injustice” and instead implies that any deviation from humanity’s dreadful status quo is intolerable. Lacking engagement with its most fascinating subjects, Superman: Adventures of Jon Kent feels uninspired despite its spacious panels and MCU-style humor.
Batman #135 (or Batman #900 in Legacy numbering) is a remarkable issue that serves as both a culmination of Chip Zdasky’s elaborate narrative and a tribute to the many faces of Batman. The story follows Batman as he continues to fight despite losing a hand to Red Mask, showcasing his human side through emotional moments. The Batman in this comic is more relatable than ever, navigating an unfamiliar world and the multiverse. Although some storytelling aspects are weak and the pacing feels rushed, the issue successfully highlights Batman as a multidimensional character. The artwork is exceptional.
BATMAN & THE JOKER: THE DEADLY DUO 7
Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo concludes predictably, despite the premise of a forced Batman/Joker alliance. The series wraps up hastily, relegating the primary antagonist, Amanda Simms, to an afterthought and abbreviating battles and plotlines. The comic is firmly entrenched in a niche style reminiscent of the 1990s, feeling somewhat dated and never reaching its full potential. It isn’t terrible, but it falls short of greatness.
THE FLASH 798
As writer Jeremy Adams prepares for his departure from The Flash, he crafts one last adventure celebrating Wally West’s family and friends. The Flash #798 sets up a fast-paced story with Wade’s kidnapping, prompting Wally and his closest allies to take action. Each character’s appearance adds a layer of excitement for fans of this run, even though the stakes of a missing child are somewhat downplayed by the cheerful atmosphere. The vibrant characters are showcased in their iconic costumes, resulting in memorable splash panels, albeit with a workmanlike presentation. While The Flash #798 may seem like an ordinary adventure, it’s sure to delight readers who appreciate this well-loved take on the Scarlet Speedster.
THE JOKER: THE MAN WHO STOPPED LAUGHING 8
The frantic pace of The Man Who Stopped Laughing doesn’t let up as the main storyline bounces between battles involving various Jokers. The charm lies in witnessing the Clown Prince of Crime confront (and irritate) his adversaries. Matthew Rosenberg’s light-hearted script allows Carmine di Giandomenico’s artwork to bring a dynamic fluidity to the pages. The backup story by Rosenberg and Francesco Francavilla adopts a more nihilistic approach, but its quirky artistry remains a delight to explore.
PEACEMAKER TRIES HARD 1
Peacemaker Tries Hard, while set in the DC Comics universe and featuring characters like Monsieur Mallah and The Brain, aims to capture the tone of HBO’s acclaimed Peacemaker series. It is filled with violence and profanity, showcasing the protagonist’s absurdity. Writer Kyle Starks delivers blunt humor, finding comedy throughout the pages. The debut issue embraces the superhero genre’s absurdity by contrasting everyday tasks with chaos and destruction. Steve Pugh’s art, with its clean lines and vivid characters, makes for an enjoyable read, even though the constant violence and cursing can feel repetitive. Pugh skillfully handles action scenes and mocks the outlandish visuals. Fans of The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker will find much to love in this amusing action-packed series, reflecting the consistently excellent work of Starks and Pugh
POISON IVY 12
Poison Ivy as a series has been enjoyable, and this issue delves deeper into Ivy’s development of a conscience and her efforts to make amends for past actions. However, it’s evident that this issue was meant to be the series’ conclusion before its extension. The pace slows down, and a quiet tone sets in, accompanied by some awkward social commentary that worked better in previous issues. Despite these shortcomings, the issue still boasts a strong concept and introduces Harley towards the end, hinting at a new direction. The exceptional and fantastical art throughout the issue enhances the overall experience.
Shazam! #1 exudes the same charm as Waid and Mora’s previous collaboration on Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, offering a fresh and optimistic take on Silver Age tropes with polished style and storytelling. Although the first issue primarily focuses on establishing the status quo, it effectively presents the compelling concept and ends with an excellent hook. If this is the standard for the series, Shazam! is set to become another exceptional addition to the DC Comics lineup, featuring two of its most accomplished creators.
THE AVENGERS: WAR ACROSS TIME 5
Avengers: War Across Time #5 delivers the most entertaining moments of the series. Writer Paul Levitz and artist Alan Davis brilliantly incorporate nearly every decade of Marvel’s Avengers comics into stunning splash pages. Davis and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg manage to recreate the feel of the classic 1960s tales, even when depicting more recent moments. While the series may not be an essential read in modern comics, its unique style and nostalgic appeal cater to a particular generation of fans seeking comfort in the past.
CARNAGE REIGNS ALPHA 1
The debut issue of “Carnage Reigns” pleasantly surprises by successfully introducing main characters Miles Morales and Cletus Kasady, as well as those close to them. The art skillfully blends superhero action with elements of horror, and the central storyline is easy to follow even for those unfamiliar with Carnage’s recent developments. A series of backup stories help fill in any gaps for readers, enhancing the overall experience.
CARNAGE REIGNS MISERY 1
Despite being up-to-date with Spider-Man and Venom titles, Carnage Reigns: Misery feels misplaced, especially regarding supporting characters like Liz Allen and Normie Osborn. The extended page count mostly focuses on establishing the family dynamics of Harry Osborn’s survivors and the disastrous consequences of symbiote experimentation. However, the series seems to overlook Normie’s own symbiote and fails to link the events to the “Cult of Carnage” narrative, leaving the threat of an upset security guard as the main focus until the next issue. With lackluster action and inconsistencies, it’s challenging to determine this series’ purpose within the larger story. Although the exposition and storytelling are competent, the lack of a clear “why” makes it difficult to recommend Carnage Reigns: Misery, even for dedicated fans of this Marvel Comics segment.
DEMONS WARS SCARLET SIN 1
Peach Momoko’s captivating Demon Wars saga concludes (for now) with this visually stunning one-shot, delivering an exhilarating yet somewhat sparse finale. The issue primarily features a masterfully crafted battle between the franchise’s various characters, which, while not easily accessible to newcomers, remains thrilling. Momoko’s talents as both a writer and artist are undeniable, and anticipation is high for her future projects at Marvel.
EGDE OF SPIDER VERSE 1
Edge of Spider-Verse #1 delivers two distinct stories that are incredibly different but work harmoniously together. The first story introduces Spider-Rex, which is a delightful change of pace. With art reminiscent of the 1990s, the story is infused with humor as Spider-Rex faces off against Venomsaurus, offering a perfect balance of action and comedy. The second story, Spider-Killer, takes a darker, more twisted approach, while maintaining excellent writing. Issues containing short vignettes can be hit-or-miss, but Edge of Spider-Verse #1 succeeds with two expertly crafted stories that excel in their unique styles.
Abnett’s scripting breathes new life into Marvel Cosmic, providing a refreshing touch to the familiar elements of the story. GROOT #1 is more than just an imitation of licensed works; it’s a fantastic introduction to what promises to be an enchanting sci-fi adventure.
IMMORTAL X-MEN 11
The structure of Immortal X-Men, which presents the viewpoint of different members of Krakoa’s Quiet Council in each issue, has been somewhat inconsistent. However, Immortal X-Men #11 picks up after Sins of Sinister, and Kieron Gillen’s writing shines through. Focusing on Storm, who was once hailed as a god, Gillen creates a perfect setup for Lucas Werneck’s outstanding artwork. Werneck captures Storm’s frustration and scorn while employing layouts that allow scenes to speak for themselves. Gillen’s script also challenges Storm’s character, revealing her own involvement in political games. This issue showcases Storm at her best and worst, offering captivating character development. Combined with Werneck’s excellent artwork and layers of intrigue, this installment ranks among the best in the Immortal X-Men series.
JOE FIXIT 5
Joe Fixit concludes in true Spider-Man fashion, featuring the web-slinger’s rogue’s gallery battling each other throughout the two covers. Although the issue occasionally focuses on its titular character, it remains predominantly a Spider-Man story, with Mr. Fixit playing a supporting role. Nonetheless, the finale’s script is entertaining and action-packed, and Çinar excels in the action sequences.
MOON KNIGHT 23
Moon Knight has often been portrayed as a solitary figure, but when he collaborates with other heroes, magic ensues, as demonstrated in Moon Knight #23. The unexpected team-up of Moon Knight and Venom, brought to life by writer Jed MacKay, artist Alessandro Cappuccio, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and letterer Cory Petit, is a remarkable success. Venom blends seamlessly into Moon Knight’s world, with Cappuccio and Rosenberg’s work being truly exceptional. The intriguing partnership between Dylan and Marc is one to watch for in the future. The thrill of witnessing Moon Knight’s prowess never fades, and Venom’s presence only heightens the excitement. A complete triumph.
SCARLET WITCH 5
Scarlet Witch continues to surpass expectations with each issue, and #5 is no exception. The ongoing battle between Wanda and Scythia unfolds in a powerful and action-packed manner, thanks to Steve Orlando’s masterful script. Series cover artist Russell Dauterman transitions to interior illustrations, delivering a beautiful yet grounded touch to both the grand sequences and individual panels. Don’t miss out on this exceptional comic book.
SPIDER MAN 8
Spider-Man’s initial arc has experienced some inconsistency, but as it detaches from the Spider-Verse event constraints, the series starts to exhibit a more captivating identity. “Maxed Out” part one concentrates on a particular aspect of the event to initiate Peter’s next mission. Although it begins like many other Spider-Man stories, writer Dan Slott discovers a novel angle to investigate. Peter’s current role in Osborne’s company adds a fresh yet unmistakably Spider-Man touch to the story. Spider-Boy is already proving valuable, providing natural opportunities for contrasting the two characters and highlighting Spider-Boy’s unique traits. The artistic team, consisting of Mark Bagley, Edgar Delgado, John Dell, Andrew Hennessy, and Joe Caramagna, delivers outstanding work throughout the issue. The central concept, Spider-Boy’s involvement, and the artwork captivated me, making the series’ future seem brighter than ever.
SPIDER MAN 2099: DARK GENESIS 1
Steve Orlando has already shown he possesses a great vision for Miguel O’Hara’s 2099 world, and this latest adventure further confirms he’s the ideal writer for the task. The story presents a perfect fusion of futuristic sci-fi technology and contemporary social politics. The cherry on top is an impeccable take on Carnage and a promising new direction for Venom in upcoming issues.
STAR WARS 34
Luke Skywalker embarks on a quest for a new lightsaber and a kyber crystal, leading him to encounter deadly figures and enigmatic faces, making him question who to trust. With numerous Star Wars titles and a large cast of fascinating characters, it feels unusual to return to a storyline focusing solely on Luke Skywalker. This first chapter in a new narrative requires readers to adjust to an independent adventure with unfamiliar characters. Regardless of the outcome of Luke’s journey, it may provide significant insights into the Jedi Master we encounter in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, making a relatively uneventful issue worth exploring for potential future revelations.
STAR WARS YODA 7
Pursuing a lead from an informant, Yoda sets out on a mission to unravel a Separatist operation that could threaten the Republic. This quest also puts him in direct conflict with General Grievous. Yoda’s impressive lightsaber skills, first showcased in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, are fully utilized in this issue, offering a thrilling experience. While the narrative elements are engaging, the true highlight is the showdown between Yoda and General Grievous, a face-off not seen in the prequel trilogy. The series’ future direction may hold more excitement, and the duel between the two iconic characters serves as an excellent hook. The creative team’s work across seven issues reassures us that we’re in good hands, even though we know how the prequel trilogy’s conflicts unfold.
Hairball progresses at a leisurely pace as Matt Kindt skillfully intertwines elements of horror and suspense. While the therapy session plot device may have become somewhat tiresome, the events outside the room are intriguing. The story features a blend of Stephen King-inspired narrative with Lovecraftian monstrous horror in this slow-burning tale.
I HATE THIS PLACE 8
I Hate This Place #7 left us with a sci-fi twist, and I Hate This Place #8 delivers on that promise in a significant and unexpected way. Discussing the issue’s story without revealing crucial surprises is challenging, but readers will appreciate how the new horror genre elements enrich both the farm’s mysteries and the characters involved. The issue effectively balances ongoing story development while functioning as an independent adventure. The new threats’ brutality is as captivating as the previous events, building anticipation for what lies ahead. I Hate This Place #8 serves as a turning point in the series, providing a clearer direction for the story, and readers won’t want to miss the unfolding horror.