DISCLOSURE: The following is a synopsis and reviews of this week’s comic books from multiple publishers. If you like our reviews and would like to purchase these books you can do so by visiting our partners at TFAW.com. If you decide to buy anything through our provided links we get a small commission which helps keep our website alive and running. Thanks for your time.
BATMAN/SUPERMAN: WORLD'S FINEST #19
In the latest installment of Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #19, the concluding chapter of the current flashback arc seems somewhat underwhelming when compared to its predecessors. Nonetheless, it still stands tall as one of the premium offerings from DC Comics in today’s superhero narrative realm. Jax-Ur’s speech, intended to be impactful, unfortunately, doesn’t resonate as expected. However, the dynamic interplay between Batman and Superman continues to be a highlight, brilliantly illuminating the relationship between these iconic figures. Additionally, this conclusion intriguingly hints at an upcoming storyline slated for release next year. This subtle teaser does detract a bit from the gravity of the current story. Though this particular arc might not have met the outstanding standards set by previous chapters, it’s worth noting that those were indeed lofty standards to begin with. Overall, the series upholds its reputation as a gem within the superhero genre.
BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT PRESENTS – GENERATION JOKER #5
In Generation Joker #5, the narrative struggles with its visual presentation. From the outset, as readers witness Harley and Jack’s offspring soaring through the aftermath of a high-octane car chase, it’s challenging to gauge their trajectory or the intensity of their movement. This results in a disorganized sequence of visuals where, while the outcome is evident, the journey there feels muddled. A significant portion of this issue focuses on weaving together various story elements and positioning characters for a climactic conclusion. The sporadic confrontations that arise between rival factions, although intended to build suspense, often fizzle out too quickly, sometimes due to a young character offering a glaringly evident remark. The reliance on flashbacks, references to past White Knight titles, and the introduction of a seemingly unrelated character, make the narrative feel somewhat disconnected and lackluster. Fortunately for readers, this story arc is nearing its culmination in the forthcoming issue.
While the build-up to “The Gotham War” might have felt forced and a tad over-orchestrated, this chapter notably ratchets up the stakes in some compelling ways. Right from its commencement, Tini Howard’s articulate scripting delves deeper into Selina’s psyche, shedding light on her intricate motives amid this unique battle. Such introspection surpasses even the intense action sequences and interpersonal drama scattered throughout. In the visual department, Veronica Gandini’s coloring truly shines, complementing Nico Leon’s sharp and animated illustrations. Collectively, this episode raises expectations for what subsequent chapters of this event might unveil.
For those who haven’t ventured into the narrative realm of Cyborg, you’re certainly missing out on a masterclass of storytelling. In its third issue, Cyborg offers an immersive tale weaving Silas Stone’s historical lineage with avant-garde concepts of technology and transhumanism. The plot takes a chilling turn, plunging the reader into an uncanny alliance between Cyborg and a digital recreation of his deceased father. Together, they navigate the treacherous path of emancipating trapped souls, all the while contending with Markus – a technological savant with an increasingly dark agenda. Morgan Hampton’s storytelling is nothing short of revolutionary. He meticulously crafts both Silas and Cyborg’s characters, striking an equilibrium between their psychological intricacies and tangible challenges. The accompanying artwork amplifies the narrative, consistently impressing throughout. Despite its numerous merits, the only lament one might have is the yearning for even more content in this remarkable issue.
GREEN LANTERN: WAR JOURNAL #1
In the echelons of pop culture, John Stewart proudly stands out as perhaps the most cherished Green Lantern. It’s therefore no surprise that his resurgence in a solo comic series feels both timely and well-deserved. The inaugural issue of ‘War Journal’ bestows upon Stewart an engaging conundrum, set against the backdrop of the radically transformed Green Lantern Corps. As Stewart embarks on a quest of self-discovery, he finds himself pursued and tested by a fresh ring bearer, even as a captivating secondary narrative unfolds amongst the cosmos. This issue not only serves as a refreshing gateway to John Stewart’s world but also introduces a revamped status quo for the Green Lanterns, escalating the stakes for our heroic protagonists.
As we approach the midway point of ‘Hawkgirl’, there’s an increasing sentiment that the series is grappling with its identity. Axelrod infuses the third installment with commendable character-driven segments, yet the overarching storyline feels eerily reminiscent of its preceding issues. The repetitiveness is palpable, and what further exacerbates this is the forced incorporation of some of DC’s leading luminaries. Arguably, the narrative’s true allure emerges when it narrows its focus exclusively on Hawkgirl, letting her intrinsic essence shine through.
Following a lengthier hiatus than many had anticipated, Nightwing #106 heralds the beginning of a fresh story arc under the skilled penmanship of Tom Taylor. This episode introduces Blüdhaven’s renowned vigilante to new adventures and mysteries. Artistically, the baton is passed to Stephen Byrne, who, to the readers’ delight, mirrors a style closely resembling that of the prior artist, Bruno Redondo. In a surprising twist, Taylor revisits elements from the tenure of Nightwing’s former creative ensemble, thrusting erstwhile characters and unresolved narratives back into the limelight. While reverting to these past elements could be seen as a gamble given their perceived stagnation in earlier runs, it’s intriguing to envision the direction this rejuvenated team intends to take them.
With palpable anticipation, the latest narrative chapter, titled “The Chained,” commences in Superman #6 – and it certainly lives up to the hype. Author Joshua Williamson adeptly picks up the storyline following the jaw-dropping culmination of issue #5, leading Superman into uncharted waters. An engaging dynamic that has constantly emerged throughout the Supercorp series is Superman’s ambivalence towards its power, juxtaposed against the undeniable advantages it has been portrayed to offer. This very dichotomy continues to unfold in the current issue, especially emphasizing the evolving bond between Superman and Mercy. As for the antagonist, The Chained, he commands the stage with a formidable presence, laying down a trail of suspense that promises much more to come. While the regular illustrator, Jamal Campbell, steps back this time, the trio of Gleb Melnikov (artist), Alejandro Sanchez (colorist), and Ariana Maher (letterer) seamlessly maintain the essence of the series, infusing their distinctive artistic touches. Their prowess is particularly evident in the somber, tense segments towards the conclusion, effectively portraying The Chained as a genuine menace to Superman. For aficionados of the Man of Steel, this is indeed a golden era, and there’s absolutely no qualm in relishing every bit of it.
With Titans, readers are treated to a narrative that artfully blends grounded superheroic antics with eerie supernatural undertones. Taylor ingeniously spins a tale that dances on the precipice of the arcane, embellishing it with the quintessential superhero motifs to lend it a familiar yet distinctive feel. The menacing Church of Blood, coupled with unsettling instances of body horror, sets the tone for this dark and mystic issue. Amidst this shadowy ambiance, Scott’s illustrations emerge as a beacon, casting luminous highlights that accentuate the narrative’s darker nuances.
WONDER WOMAN #1
Wonder Woman #1 embarks on a path that starkly contrasts with its recent predecessors. Venturing into the intricate terrains of the sociopolitical issues surrounding immigration, the story has an unmissable opportunity to delve deep into the essence of human values and shared experiences. Regrettably, the inaugural issue already reveals some of King’s familiar narrative pitfalls. There’s an over-reliance on narration, which often descends into telling rather than illustrating the story. The rehashing of an earlier controversial storyline and manipulating established characters to fit into a predetermined theme, rather than letting the story naturally evolve from these characters, adds to the concern. The overarching aim seems ambitiously high, but lacks a discernible direction. However, the visual artistry is undeniably stellar, presenting a silver lining. Dedicated King enthusiasts might find Wonder Woman #1 captivating, but for others, it’s somewhat disappointing to witness a titular character like Wonder Woman, curiously missing in action within her own story.
ALPHA FLIGHT #2
Alpha Flight #2 delves deep into the challenges and ethical dilemmas faced by the team amidst a world marred by anti-mutant sentiments. Although I confess to not being particularly fond of most contemporary X-franchise narratives, this issue offers substantial narrative depth. Brisson brilliantly encapsulates the dire straits Alpha Flight is in, torn between societal expectations, governmental mandates, and their inner moral compass on how best to protect their fellow mutants without undermining their own capabilities. While certain segments might feel disjointed or slightly hasty, the emotional intensity and suspense are palpable. An unforeseen narrative twist infuses a sense of curiosity, keeping readers engaged. The overall pacing, however, raises questions about whether the story would resonate better as a consolidated collection rather than being serialized.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #34
In an electrifying turn of events, Spider-Man unleashes a wave of chaos reminiscent of the malevolent Green Goblin psyche, wreaking havoc on both foes and former flames in his path. With Peter Parker stepping into the villain’s shoes temporarily, the narrative spotlight shifts to the array of supporting characters and prevailing antagonists. The likes of Norman Osborn, Kraven, and their cohorts find themselves confronting a truly fearsome iteration of Spider-Man. Patrick Gleason’s ingenious reimagining of Spider-Man’s iconic black attire transforms the typically agile superhero into an imposing figure. Using strategic shadow play and darkened backdrops, Gleason masterfully heightens the tension throughout the issue, crafting an intense ambiance. The story also underscores the evolving roles of vital supporting characters, such as Norman and Mary Jane, accentuating their significance within the storyline. This inventive twist on the legendary “Kraven’s Last Hunt” arc is arguably one of the most refreshing reinterpretations of Spider-Man’s legacy in recent times, elevating even secondary adversaries to compelling narrative positions. If the Amazing Spider-Man series maintains this fervor, it’s poised to etch another landmark chapter in Marvel’s illustrious annals.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #1
Captain America #1 embarks on a fresh narrative journey into the depths of Steve Rogers’ character, making it a potential treasure trove for the superhero’s loyal enthusiasts. However, for it to genuinely stand out and introduce groundbreaking or compelling facets, significant groundwork and narrative finesse are imperative. As of now, the comic seems engrossed in discussing potential plotlines rather than actively spinning an engaging tale.
DARK X-MEN #2
The artistic team behind Dark X-Men commendably interweaves elements of horror into the renowned Marvel superhero canvas. This amalgamation is vividly evident in Jonas Scharf and Frank Martin’s artistic contributions, which are awash with intense shadows, a somber color scheme, and grotesque depictions of body transformations and sinister visuals. Steve Foxe’s storytelling prowess shines through as he utilizes narrative techniques to cultivate a suffocating, eerie ambiance. He also cleverly infuses the dialogue with chilling descriptors like “coppery heat” to evoke the sensations of consuming blood and flesh. While this emphasis on atmospheric creation does decelerate the plot progression, resulting in extended sessions of inter-character disputes and detailed background narratives, it’s a compromise that pays off given the intensely immersive mood that’s masterfully rendered.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #6
Guardians of the Galaxy #6 isn’t merely a pinnacle in the series; it might very well be the crowning jewel among all Marvel releases I’ve encountered this year. The narrative, crafted by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, is an emotional rollercoaster, delivering poignant, heartfelt moments while staying true to the essence of what makes the Guardians an integral chapter in Marvel’s expansive universe. Alex Lins’ illustrations provide a raw, gritty contrast, echoing the narrative’s emotional intensity. This visual spectacle is further enhanced by KJ Diaz’s captivating use of blues and golds, offering a vibrant splash of color. Overall, this installment can only be described as a masterpiece.
One cannot help but lament the conclusion of this captivating Loki miniseries, especially given its impeccable denouement. This concluding issue showcases a riveting confrontation between the notorious God of Mischief and his unexpected nemesis, Bullseye. The script, penned by Dan Watters, artfully navigates the intricacies of their duel with a mix of wit and depth. German Peralta’s illustrations meld the dreamlike and the heroic, producing visuals that are both surreal and compelling. These are further elevated by Mike Spicer’s exquisite color palette. Reflecting upon the miniseries as a whole, it serves as a profound transitional narrative, exploring the evolution of Loki’s character from his past incarnations to the intriguing possibilities of his future role within the Marvel universe.
PREDATOR VS. WOLVERINE #1
The anticipation surrounding this much-awaited crossover battle is palpable, and with renowned Wolverine writer Benjamin Percy at the helm, expectations are high. This inaugural issue witnesses a confluence of artistic talents: Ken Lashley renders one epoch, Greg Land, accompanied by inker Jay Leisten, illustrates another, while Andrea Di Vito animates the third. While Lashley’s brief yet mesmerizing contribution stands out, the majority of the issue is dominated by Greg Land’s artwork, which unfortunately carries some of the characteristic issues that have occasionally marred his previous works. As the narrative unfolds, leaving readers at a tantalizing crossroads, the forthcoming chapters of Predator vs. Wolverine bear great promise. Provided the visual narrative remains consistent and effectively builds upon Lashley’s foundation, this could be another feather in Marvel’s cap.
STRANGE ACADEMY: MOON KNIGHT #1
In this sequel to the Strange Academy crossover, writer Carlos Hernandez masterfully juggles multiple narrative threads. He skillfully expands on the overarching storyline for those unfamiliar with its nuances, propelling the plot forward while ensuring that the eponymous protagonist remains central to the narrative’s progression. While ambitious in its aspirations, the narrative doesn’t always reach the zenith of perfection. However, it’s evident that the objective isn’t a universe-altering mega-event but a light-hearted and engaging tale. The dynamic duo of artist Julian Shaw and colorist Edgar Delgado have their hands full with the action sequences, although occasionally, the artwork’s vibrancy is overshadowed by an abundance of text-filled bubbles.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #2
The most recent entry in the Uncanny Avengers series begins to address the reservations I previously harbored after its inaugural issue, particularly regarding its capability to effectively navigate the aftermath of the Hellfire Gala. While it remains ambiguous whether the series will truly delve into these complexities, it’s becoming evident that the event itself is forming a central narrative thread. Javier Garrón, the series’ esteemed illustrator, grapples with an episode that has noticeably fewer action sequences compared to its predecessor. Nonetheless, Garrón’s artistic prowess, complemented by Morry Hollowell’s vivid color palette, shines even when most panels predominantly depict conversational exchanges between stationary characters. The potential for greatness is palpable, yet a tinge of skepticism lingers.
UNCANNY SPIDER-MAN #1
Launching with Uncanny Spider-Man #1, this series intriguingly positions Nightcrawler as an exemplary fit for Spider-Man’s revered role of a neighborhood guardian. Concurrently, it tackles the prevalent anti-mutant prejudice, which coerces him into concealing his identity. Spurrier’s portrayal of Nightcrawler seamlessly merges affable charisma with relatable introspection, reflecting Spider-Man’s quintessential wit while providing profound commentary on the tumultuous state of mutant relations post the 2023 Hellfire Gala. Lee Garbett’s illustrations vividly portray the frenetic energy of Nightcrawler’s ceaseless teleportation, intertwined with the agile movements of his blade and tail. The proliferation of “BAMF” sound effects throughout adds layers to the visual chaos, accentuating Nightcrawler’s prowess against diverse adversaries. Incorporating digital platforms and ordinary engagements with locals, criminals, and New York’s homeless population offers readers nuanced perspectives on Nightcrawler’s evolving circumstances, especially when confronted by latent prejudice. This inaugural issue of Uncanny Spider-Man serves as a commendable foundation for the infrequent standalone Nightcrawler series, harmonizing the character’s inherent exuberance with the necessary optimism he must maintain in a world riddled with challenges.
Benjamin Percy resumes his intriguingly macabre narrative with Wolverine #37, immersing Logan directly within the tumult of the “Fall of X” episode. Before engaging with this primary plot, Logan must resolve some lingering threads, particularly addressing the escape of three underdeveloped Wolverine clones, products of Beast’s devious experimentations. These clones elude the X-Force’s intervention, propelling Logan on a pursuit to grant them a merciful end. Intriguingly, each clone is magnetically drawn to iconic locations from Logan’s past: his ancestral abode, the enigmatic shores of Japan, and the bustling streets of Madripoor. While this premise could have effortlessly spanned multiple episodes, the creators astutely encapsulate the manifold facets of Wolverine’s extensive solo journey within a singular installment. It’s a thrilling narrative, but readers shouldn’t be misdirected by The Hulk’s promotional presence on the cover – he primarily serves as a fleeting diversion.
Antarctica, when it hits its stride, truly captivates its readers. The handful of central characters we’ve been introduced to thus far are compelling, each carrying a depth of emotion and intrigue that beckons readers deeper into their world. There’s an undeniable tension brewing just beneath the narrative surface, and it’s this tantalizing promise of revelation that keeps readers eagerly flipping pages. However, this mounting excitement is intermittently hampered by a narrative that sometimes meanders, losing clarity on its destination or its critical focal points. With a tad more narrative precision, Antarctica has the potential to ascend to riveting heights.
THE BLACKOUT BOMBSHELL #1
The Blackout Bombshell introduces readers to a gritty pulp detective world where personal chaos meets professional mayhem. Detective Jack Atlas, after emerging from a harrowing bout of blackout drunkenness, finds himself embroiled in a case he can’t recall accepting. To complicate matters, the subject of that very case confronts him with deadly intent. Alongside him is Casper Fitzpatrick, a lawyer entangled in a secretive affair, who appears to serve as the reluctant anchor to Atlas’s erratic, yet endearing, pursuit of justice. Louis Southard’s gripping writing paired with Dean Kotz’s evocative illustrations kickstart this series on a promising note. While the comic revisits familiar hardboiled detective motifs, it provides an entertaining lens to view Atlas’s clumsy navigation through a captivating new mystery.
CHILLING ADVENTURES PRESENTS... MADAM SATAN: HELL ON EARTH #1
As the chilling aura of Halloween descends, Chilling Adventures Presents… Madam Satan: Hell On Earth #1 eagerly embraces the season’s eerie spirit. This inaugural issue thrusts its protagonists into a world rife with sinister entities, ranging from malevolent ghouls and devils to chilling blood rituals. The revelation that the supernatural realm is eerily closer than once thought ensures a rollercoaster of supernatural suspense. For those seeking a spine-tingling read this October, Archie Comics is curating a series that promises to deliver deliciously dark thrills.
In Fishflies, Jeff Lemire crafts a narrative that feels enigmatic and tantalizingly unpredictable. As we reach the climax of the second issue, our murderer undergoes a grotesque metamorphosis into a colossal fishfly, and intriguingly, establishes an oddly endearing bond with Franny, reminiscent of timeless “a girl and her monster” tales. Yet, throughout the narrative, there’s an omnipresent undertone of disquiet. This could be attributed to numerous elements: the prolonged silent panels, the raw sketchbook-style artwork, the surreal dream sequences, or perhaps the quirk of our protagonist’s perpetual runny nose, underscored by her consistent sniffing in dialogue bubbles. These combined elements fashion a tale that, while not as immediately captivating as its first issue, maintains an atmospheric eeriness.
THE FORGED #4
The Forged consistently stands out as a masterclass in storytelling, with Rucka, Trautmann, and Henderson spearheading this ambitious military space saga. While the previous couple of issues might have diverged a bit too much, scattering focus, The Forged #4 sharply centers on Vic. This concentrated attention allows readers an immersive dive into the core of the main protagonist, unraveling the intricate nuances that drive Vic. Even though the creative team invests a commendable effort into extensive world-building through accompanying prose, the comic remains an enthralling voyage into the realms of science fiction.
GARGOYLES: DARK AGES #3
Gargoyles: Dark Ages #3 is a whirlwind of a read, unapologetically bustling with action and energy. Weisman’s script is frenetic, shifting rapidly from one sequence to another, seemingly in a race to condense a vast narrative within the confines of this single issue. This relentless pacing leaves little room for pause, ensnaring readers in a relentless flow of unfolding events. However, this breathless tempo also becomes its Achilles’ heel, as the story starts to feel disjointed and lacks a clear, defined direction. The end result is a comic brimming with potential but struggling to find its true essence.
IMMORTAL SERGEANT #9
After journeying through nearly an entire year of skepticism, Immortal Sergeant #9 doesn’t just succeed, it excels spectacularly. The series, for the most part, portrayed a heart-wrenching tale of a man steeped in misery. But as we delve deeper into this issue, the layers of this man’s torment start to peel away, revealing the root causes of his suffering. While the initial chapters might be challenging to plow through due to their heavy narrative, Immortal Sergeant #9 shines as not just a beacon of hope within the story, but also as a triumphant conclusion to a tale so deeply rooted in human emotion.
IN HELL WE FIGHT #4
In Hell We Fight #4 exhibits an unconventional storytelling technique, frequently oscillating between time periods, showing glimpses of upcoming events—a strategy that becomes problematic in a series already grappling with maintaining intrigue in its direct narrative. As our angelic protagonist takes charge of the narrative through her captions, she offers readers a prelude to impending events using her gift of foresight. However, these overt hints fail to evoke suspense, largely due to the lack of depth in character development. Amidst fierce confrontations with towering demonic adversaries, the narrative is flooded with explanatory dialogues that delve into the intricate details of Hell—details that would have been more impactful had they been introduced earlier in the series. This late exposition drowns out the thrill of the unfolding battles. While there are unexpected turns and suspenseful endings introduced, they get lost in a narrative that aims for comedic relief but often falls short, making it a challenge to remain engaged with In Hell We Fight #4.
JUNIOR BAKER RIGHTEOUS FAKER #1
Junior Baker Righteous Faker is a mind-bending expedition that nudges readers out of their comfort zones, prompting them to introspect about aspects of their lives they often overlook. Much like its captivating narrative, the comic’s artwork is an avant-garde spectacle, challenging traditional comic art norms, making each page a thrilling escapade in its own right. The entire experience serves as a refreshing reminder of how there’s always more to our reality than meets the eye.
Kaya #11 masterfully concludes the second arc, pulling readers into an exhilarating battleground teeming with an array of adversaries: robots, mutants, lizard beings, and fresh magical elements. Anyone familiar with Wes Craig’s unique artistic touch and storytelling in this series would already be salivating at the sheer potential encapsulated in that setup. And true to form, Craig doesn’t disappoint. As these diverse groups clash, Craig expertly crafts a narrative that spirals at breakneck speed, employing intricate multi-layered spreads that capture various viewpoints and actions simultaneously, ensuring the momentum never wanes. This fever-pitched conflict uncovers new facets of the central characters, showcasing their burgeoning courage and evolving abilities. The entirety of “Book Two” brilliantly amplifies the high points of the first arc, offering a crescendo that readers will find hard to shake off. However, echoing the sentiments of “Book One,” this climax provides a poignant reflection on the intricacies of a world where triumphs are transient. The concluding moments of this issue are tender and melancholic, juxtaposing Craig’s flair for capturing raw emotions as effectively as his action sequences, paving the way for forthcoming tales filled with exhilarating adventures and deeply moving dramas.
KLIK KLIK BOOM #4
Klik Klik Boom #4 is a testament to heartfelt storytelling—encompassing warmth, allure, and a profound sense of intimacy. Every accolade imaginable is justly deserved by this narrative. Despite the presence of an eccentric, albeit slightly shallow antagonist, this issue stands out as a masterful demonstration of intricate character development. Wagner and Dabbs synergize brilliantly, taking readers on a profound journey into the psyche of Serena Biggs, painting her world with nuance and depth.
THE LONESOME HUNTERS: THE WOLF CHILD #3
The narrative of The Lonesome Hunters: The Wolf Child #3 progresses at a whirlwind pace. Bar a swift trip down memory lane and a fleeting discussion amongst the covert church operatives-turned-assassins, the story’s heartbeat lies in Howard and Lupe’s frantic efforts to tend to the wounded lupine mother of the story’s namesake child. This emotionally-charged sequence culminates in a heartbreaking climax. Yet, just when you think you’ve grasped the tale’s direction, the narrative throws a visual curveball so astonishing, it seems to be ripped straight from the pages of ancient Norse legends. Detailing this twist here would scarcely do it justice—it’s a spectacle best experienced firsthand.
Monarch #6 gives off the impression that someone high up at Image Comics hastily hit the “Conclusion” switch. The subplot involving Todd, which initially seemed promising, ultimately turns out to be a mere sideshow, failing to offer much significance. The series’ previously posed philosophical questions regarding existence and purpose get overshadowed and seemingly brushed aside. Perhaps the most exasperating aspect is witnessing the reversal of the game-changing events from earlier issues, culminating in a hurriedly presented upbeat ending. While Monarch showcased moments of brilliance throughout its run, it also emitted the aura of being the precursor to a more expansive narrative, leaving readers yearning for more depth.
Wrapping up the “No Brakes” arc, Nocterra #16 delves deep into its characters, offering a somewhat paradoxical start that treads cautiously despite the story’s title. After some initial exposition, the narrative plunges readers back into the grim chaos of its contemporary setting. The transformation is marked by an audacious double-page illustration, showcasing the myriad of captivating elements that Tony Daniel has imbued this series with. As events progress, there’s an almost sacred fervor permeating the concluding segments, giving readers the sense that this chapter—or perhaps this iteration of Nocterra—is drawing to an end. While Scott Snyder hints at the series’ continuation in an epilogue letter, it’s evident that when Nocterra makes its comeback, it’ll bear a refreshed aura. With dynamic artwork adeptly portraying tumultuous scenes, sharp dialogue, and a compelling denouement, the issue does grapple with some rhythm inconsistencies around its midpoint. Nonetheless, “No Brakes” offers a satisfactory conclusion, and fans will undoubtedly be eager to see where this universe ventures next.
RARE FLAVOURS #1
Rare Flavours #1 intricately weaves a tapestry of recollections, encapsulated within the realms of culinary art and the world of cinematography. Rubin embarks on a reflective journey, spanning eons; Mohan’s thoughts drift back to his inaugural and most cherished cinematic venture; whereas Satish clings to his homeland’s memories with every sip of tea. Diverse art forms become the bridge connecting these characters to their histories, unveiling layers of solace and foreboding mysteries. This inaugural issue underscores its dedication to its core theme: food. It paints a vivid picture of culinary delights, evoking poignant memories and a genuine awe for the everyday. As the narrative unfolds, it invokes an evocative culinary journey, reminiscent of flavors that have left an indelible mark on readers’ palates.
RED SONJA #3
In the latest chapter of Red Sonja, the narrative unfurls in a manner that is both intriguing and perplexing, further enriching her journey, albeit with a mix of advantageous and adverse outcomes. The issue grapples with a substantial amount of exposition, which, at times, feels like a burdensome load. However, Torunn Grønbekk’s scripting finds a delicate balance, infusing the narrative with genuine emotion and playful elements that maintain momentum. Walter Geovani’s illustrations exhibit variability in quality, with certain panels outshining others, particularly concerning facial nuances and anatomical representations. Regardless of these inconsistencies, the issue succeeds in sustaining my interest and leaves me anticipating Red Sonja’s subsequent adventures.
Given the unanticipated hiatus following Saga #65, there’s a palpable anticipation that this edition of Saga is leading towards a momentous revelation, especially considering the closure of the storylines surrounding Alanna and The Will in the ongoing narrative arc. As loyal followers of Saga would affirm, the sixth issues of the series have a history of ushering in profound, often heart-wrenching developments. Recognizing this pattern, readers might approach this issue steeped in trepidation, bracing for potential upheavals. Brian K. Vaughan skillfully subverts these assumptions, guiding both the central character and the readers on a serpentine journey that keeps them on their toes. Those exercising restraint, avoiding the temptation to skip ahead, will be gratified with unexpected twists and a closing page that ranks among the most tantalizing in Saga’s legacy. The future utility of the novel concepts introduced in this edition remains uncertain, potentially spanning several narrative arcs. Still, their debut makes a audacious commitment, reminiscent of what first placed Saga in the spotlight, affirming the series has ample captivating tales yet to be told.
Scrapper consistently delivers as a commendable comic; however, the third installment doesn’t resonate as profoundly as its predecessors. Our valiant canine protagonist, Scrapper, now bolstered by allies, delves deeper into comprehending the mechanisms of his collar. However, their subsequent strategy against the formidable SMITE lacks forethought. Instead of a calculated, strategic offensive, they audaciously plunge headfirst into an ill-fated mission. This hasty decision-making coupled with the slightly over-the-top portrayal of the SMITE antagonist, who verges on caricatured villainy, slightly mars the narrative. Nonetheless, the tale retains its allure, and even amidst melancholic events—including a particularly poignant revelation concerning felines—the intrigue persists, beckoning readers to witness if Scrapper ultimately triumphs.
SIRENS OF THE CITY #3
In the third installment of Sirens of the City, the narrative weaves an increasingly intricate tapestry of mystical mysteries. With mounting pressures and external forces gravitating towards Layla, she finds herself on a perilous journey of self-discovery, delving deep into her ancestral lineage and the intricate web of her past. Just as the horizon seems murkier than ever, the entrance of an enigmatic new character injects a fresh dose of intrigue, leaving readers eagerly speculating about Layla’s future path and the broader implications of this newcomer’s role.
SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #33
The palpable tension intensifies in the latest edition of Something is Killing the Children as it teeters on the brink of a much-anticipated confrontation. Issue #33 masterfully orchestrates the chessboard, positioning Cutter and Erica in readiness for what looms as a fierce, cataclysmic face-off. However, James Tynion IV doesn’t merely focus on the impending battle. He thoughtfully carves out narrative space to delve into Gabi’s haunting past and her challenging journey to healing. Concurrently, there are intriguing subplots being woven, particularly around Erica’s Totem, each of which amplifies the prevailing atmosphere of apprehension. With the combined artistry of Werther Dell’Edera, the vivid coloring of Miquel Muerto, and the meticulous lettering of Andworld Design, this chapter promises more than just a dynamic showdown between Erica and Cutter. The intricate detailing surrounding this central conflict sets the stage for a narrative crescendo that’s shaping up to be exceptionally memorable.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #143
As the current narrative thread of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles approaches its zenith, the focus sharpens on the Turtles and their comrades. United by adversity, they start mending their bonds, gearing up to face the eccentric and unpredictable scientist, Jaspar Barlowe, in the shadowy labyrinth of the city’s underground passages. This issue, however, stumbles slightly in its pacing. A significant portion is dedicated to exploring the deep-seated fears and phobias of each character, which, while intriguing, shifts the momentum. The visual portrayal, occasionally rigid, paints a gloomy, oppressive ambiance of the sewers, further intensified by stark lightning illustrations. Yet, the haunting imagery leaves a lasting impression. While Barlowe’s ultimate scheme remains shrouded in ambiguity, anticipation mounts regarding how the Turtles and their allies will confront him and transition into the subsequent phase of their adventure.
TIME BEFORE TIME #27
The 27th issue of Time Before Time gives off the sensation of serving as a mere interlude in the broader narrative. Although it concludes with a tantalizing cliffhanger, the bulk of the content seems rather subdued and, to some extent, filler-like. This marks a deviation from the series’ traditionally gripping content. Nonetheless, there’s an underlying implication that upcoming issues might surge with adrenaline-packed events. Thus, while this issue might have paused in its intensity, it’s premature to dismiss the current plotline’s potential to captivate once again.
WILD'S END #4
The fourth issue of Wild’s End offers readers an artistic masterstroke by INJ Culbard, demonstrating his prowess in deploying varying layouts, panel structures, and visual compositions to evoke specific emotions. For instance, Culbard skillfully employs a trio of elongated panels to illustrate the group’s desperate endeavor to restrain Roddy from risking his life for his hypnotized beloved. These panels predominantly occupy void space, and the actual confrontational event is restricted to their lower segments. This vast empty overhead space not only accentuates the gravity of the moment but also amplifies Roddy’s perceived helplessness. In a contrasting sequence, Culbard showcases the enormity of a wall the team intends to descend, by dwarfing the characters against its vastness. Furthermore, he crafts a series of broad, horizontal panels to manifest the tension encapsulating the team as they covertly navigate through muddy terrains, evading the watchful eyes of Martian sentries. Their partially submerged silhouettes in the mud echo the strain and stealth of the situation. Complementing this artistry, Abnett offers profound insights, particularly through the old skipper’s reflections on crises and their implications for those inadvertently embroiled in historical upheavals. The duo’s harmonious collaboration infuses Wild’s End with its uniquely mesmerizing essence.
THE WITCHER: WILD ANIMALS #1
Dark Horse Comics’ rendition of The Witcher franchise stands out as one of its stellar achievements in recent times. Each fresh release seamlessly mirrors the ambiance and spirit of the original series, crafting novel tales that retain the quintessential elements of intrigue and ethical vagueness, hallmarks of Geralt of Rivia’s exhilarating escapades. In Wild Animals #1, readers encounter Geralt stranded on an insular terrain, a setting that, true to the franchise’s essence, insinuates that true monstrosities might lurk more within human nature than in external wildernesses. Here, Geralt finds himself amidst an island seething with factional discord, poised to upend any preconceived beliefs. The tale launches with a riveting enigma and seamlessly integrates dynamic action sequences characteristic of The Witcher across diverse platforms. As the narrative of The Witcher: Wild Animals progresses, avid readers can rest assured, expecting the signature high-caliber storytelling that defines The Witcher’s comic rendition.