Greetings out there from the Internet space, our loyal congregation! After some amazing coverage out of E3 (that you should definitely read right here at GodHatesGeeks), we’re back with a Super-Sized Sunday Morning Stash for you.
There’s a lot of titles coming out for us to look at: Some with old faces, some with new faces, and some with old faces in new roles.
Find out which ones are worth your time, money, eyesight!
There’s a new sheriff in town, and it carries a rather big hammer! Or hammers, in Thors #1’s case. From the mind of all things Valhalla, Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder), with fantastic pencils courtesy of Chris Sprouse (Who’s Who in the DC Universe), this is one of the more exciting new titles sorting out through the end of the Marvel Universe as we understood it. We are in the full swing of Secret Wars, and on Battleworld, the Thors keep the peace by the grace of Doom. Aaron does something interesting and different with this first issue; it’s still a Thor comic, but by combining it with the pacing and minutiae of a cop procedural, it lands square on this Traveling Nerd’s top picks for the week. Plus, throw in a baker’s dozen of some the most interesting and popular Hammer wielders in the multiverse, and you have an excellent book that keeps those pages turning.
A crime has happened in Battleworld, one so heinous only the Thors can handle it, and if it cannot be solved they, may lose their hammers for good! Taking on the case is “Ultimate Thor” and Stormbreaker Ray (who resembles Beta Ray Bill), and the rest of the team includes one of the Traveling Nerd’s favorites: Stormborn or “Storm”, Throg “Thor frog” and Groot Thor. Yeah. You read it: Groot Thor! Sprouse, along with colors by Marte Gracia (X-Men) do this Thor laden project justice with distinctive expressions, and headgear to hammer that does each of the Thors justice. 4.5 (out of 5) Thor Frogs agree!
For the casual Batman and Robin fan looking for a fun story, this may or may not be the book for you. Written and drawn by Patrick Gleason (Green Lantern Corps, Brightest Day) — who has a long and storied history writing for the Dynamic Duo — he manages the story of a new Robin trying to find his way, while drawing on and referencing tons of Batman lore from years past. Tons and tons of callbacks.
Young Damian Wayne is out to right past wrongs and make a name for himself in this continuation of a story that began in the New 52. However, this is a title that seems to draw too much on past storylines and references, and seems to read a bit like a mixtape of plot points and events. It might be a bit too difficult for readers unfamiliar with the most recent stories to be able to follow without feeling like we’re missing out. The artist’s style is familiar and on display in this book, bringing the Batman and Robin feel to R:SoB. The content and callbacks, however, turn it into a book that is more welcoming to readers of past series. New readers beware! 1.5/5 Batcows.
The mystic arts of today have been relegated to Ouija boards and Magic 8 Balls, to which all signs point to “meh”. Same goes for Dr. Fate #1. Resurrecting his power through the infamous helmet, the ancient Mesopotamian deity Nabu searches for the next Chosen One to protect Earth from the forces of evil. And here we were thinking he only held a seat on the Galactic Senate.
…newcomer Khalid — an Egyptian-American med student — gets the backhand of fate to become the new Doctor (TARDIS not included). The story is your basic set-up for a battle of biblical proportions, complete with flooding, probably plagues and some talking animals, why not? You know, the usual. Likewise, the artwork by Sonny Liew (My Faith In Frankie) and Lee Loughridge (Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, 100% Marvel) is tonally consistent with the basic plot devices used by writer Paul Levitz (All Star Comics, World’s Finest) keeping the overall work in the “average zone”. Somebody call Kenny Loggins! Somebody call Kenny Loggins. However, your humble Reverend will extend kudos to the creative team for keeping the material on the same plane as the source mythology, which hopefully means more excitement in future issues. For example: If Anubis goes all Day of the Jackal, Fate’s intervention may get a little help from his friends – Batman and Ramses. 2.75/5 Magic helmets.
Want to know something? Martian Manhunter #1 is pretty cool. Straight up. It’s heartfelt, layered and also has a very fun amount of Men In Black influence to it. Plus, we get to see Superman in a Superman T-shirt. Basically, Martian Manhunter is back from the moon — because this is a comic book and moon men can be, and totally are a thing — and he is here to help the people of Earth.
However, not to spoil it, but some mysteriousness happens at the end of the book that leads us to believe that not all is right in the world of killing aliens. Now who would’ve thought?! It’ll be nice to see this storyline fleshed out over the next few issues, and artists Eddy Barrows (Birds of Prey, Action Comics), Eber Ferreira (Aquaman, Superman), along with writer Rob Williams (Adventures of Superman, Batman), make the anticipation of the next few issues palpable. 3.75/5 Bibles.
We Are Robin is that “Be The Batman” Arkham Knight ad-campaign in comic book form. Not literally, of course, but the spirit of using the endorphine rush of surviving and fighting back like a drug is all here. WAR takes place post Batman: Endgame, in a Gotham that’s been — once again — hit hard by the Joker; so it must be a Tuesday, right? Now the city has lost most of its population to homelessness through weaponized mental instability.
We see all this through the lens of Duke Thomas, a child who’s been missing his parents since the events of Endgame and has been in and out of the foster system, juvie, and several street brawls. Duke is the perfect audience surrogate for anyone who’s reading this site, read: he’s a geek who will reference Lord of the Rings while shitting on Yu-Gi-Oh and Hearthstone. He’s also refreshingly diverse, without that being the sole point of his existence. We Are Robin scribe Lee Bermejo’s (Before Watchmen: Rorschach, Joker) take on Duke’s narration is witty enough to be entertaining and unobtrusive while being deep enough to be interesting. He’s specific, yet relatable. When Duke gets himself into trouble again, he catches the eye of another group of kids that seem to be just like him in that they know exactly what he’s going to do, like he’s one of their family…
The art by Jorge Corona (Teen Titans), Rob Haynes (DC Comics Presents: Harley Quinn), and Khary Randolph (Starborn, Hellboy) perfectly complements the stylistic slant of Lee Bermejo’s tastefully contemporary story. When all of Team Robin is revealed, it’s hard not to unironically think: swag. As far as who Team Robin is, and how much the Bat has to do with their operation, is yet to be revealed, but it seems like they have enough street smarts to go it on their own anyway. “You’ve hung with The Bat… Represent!” 4.25/5 Bibles.
Howdy congregates, “The Divine One” here, and when I first decided to review this book, I didn’t think the first words to describe it would be: What The Hell Is Going On Here?! But in a good way.
I admit, I haven’t read the prior Marvel Zombies titles, and maybe I honestly should’ve put two and two together. But reading a book that has Bullseye, Mole Man, and Sabretooth chasing Feral because they want to eat her? Awesome! Artist Steve Pugh (Hellblazer, Judge Dredd) makes some deliciously gross and evil looking zombies. Whole sections of insides are missing, accompanied with ugly mangled faces to enhance some of our favorite sinister villains. So much fun! Then Ultron shows up and ruins it by blasting them all.
Well, damn it all…
It was over much, much too soon, and right when the fun was really about to begin, only to shift focus on Ultron, and the zombies just sort of disappear. Meh. The stroryline dealing with Ultron, and defeating Earth’s Heroes, was fine, but one would think a comic with the word “zombies” in it would feature more of those things. But in the end the last pages held out some hope with not only a couple of zombies, but showing that not ALL of our Heroes were quite dead. While a great set-up for what seems like a whole lot of good n’ crazy action, this #1 unfortunately does little more than set up the plot as well… (Sigh) Guess we’ll just have to wait for the next issue. 3.25/5 Bibles.
Before anyone attacks, let’s make this nice and sparkly clear: I really like Harley Quinn as a character. She’s a smart, manipulative, gymnastic-style badass with some funny one-liners thrown in the mix. As an acrobatic villain terrorizing Gotham, she’s fantastic…but this version of Harley is a far cry from literally everything likeable about her. Her one-liners are ramped up to a thousand, and her goofy personality is starting to– no, has almost completely overshadowed her intelligence. Every “Ho’lee thingareeno!” she spouts outta her “blab-holez’es” like some kinda “parody’a whatshee yoo’sta be!!!”
She does has a doctorate degree, you all know that, right?
Her acrobatics are a thing of the past as she fumbles around with Power Girl, wielding overpowered weapon after overpowered weapon just to keep up. These days, it seems like DC is throwing Dr. Quinzel at everything they can think of, and hoping she sticks somewhere. Harley’s literally in space, guys. As for the comic, it’s busy as hell. I like the Vartox call-back to the pre-New-52 universe. (For those of you new DC readers, yes, the giant metal head, and the Vartox guy are not new; pick up “Power Girl: Power Trip” by Geoff Johns, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. It’s a fun read). But that level of nonsense mixed with Harley’s level of nonsense is all a bit too much silly for one story. I hope they ground Harl’ just a little more in the future, cuz as of right now, this feels more like a MAD Magazine than a DC Comic, and for a psychiatrist, she deserves a bit more. 2/5 Jumped Sharks.
It’s been a while since I’ve really cared about an X-Men title. The characters are always coming and going, and crossing over and disappearing or returning or whatever… so when I heard that another another X-Men crossover type title was coming out this week, I had absolutely no interest to read it. But I’m glad I did. Within the first two pages I understood that this was going to be a brutally raw, anything goes story.
We see Professor X briefly, then shifting more on the elder Magneto (which I forever read in Sir Ian McCellan’s voice,so there’s that) who leads the new class of X-Men via the Xavier Memorial. Magneto’s main crusade of Homo sapien vs Homo Superior is starting to diminish since almost all the sperm in this world has some hint of the mutant gene. So what’s killing Magneto’s time these days? Oh, just what’s left of the Phoenix force in the form of an egg, locked away in the school basement while he finds psychic parents for it. Obviously the egg needs a father so Magneto has recruited his not so disappointment of a faux son, also his protégée, Quentin Quire into his plan along with mother figure Esma.
Even though there’s a new class of mutant students, Scott Summer and Emma Frost, drawn wonderfully old and gross by Villalobos, must find out WHAT’S IN THE EGG??!! Cyclops and the White Queen recruit Wolverine and his fading healing powers to join them in what I’ve dubbed as “Logan and Scott’s Most Eggcellent Adventure”. While the main story has a lot of action going on, the side love story with Emma helping Scott to use his optics to manipulate almost anything, is certainly an interesting one too.
Chris Burnham’s (Batman Incorporated) issue one reads like a Claremont saga that I didn’t want to end, and the artwork is on point. I’ve never seen Emma or Scott drawn so unappealingly. The art itself isn’t ugly, yet the art team of Ramon Villalobos (Original Sins, Ivar Timewalker) and Ian Herring (Ms. Marvel) does a fantastic job portraying just how much time has passed since these “classic” mutants were prime time. There are a few pages of the story that I could have snoozed over but for the most part the comic was really well done and exceeded my expectations. 4/5 Old Man Logans.