March 8th, 2022

Caroline's Picks:

Clear #1 - Scott Snyder is one of my favorite writers so I'll give any new series by him a chance. But the fact that he’s doing a sci-fi heavy series instead of a horror comic has me a little extra giddy to see what choices he makes. This story takes place in a tech heavy version of our own world, think cyberpunk but less intense. Veils are the hot tech of choice, install one and you can see the world in an entirely different way, black and white vintage movie, anime style art, zombie apocalypse, the 90s, if you can think of it then a Veil for it exists. Sam Dunes is a detective, a man who refuses to join everyone else in Veiling the world. He wants to see it for exactly what it is, grime and all. He’s seen humanity do the worst to each other, even participated in it himself, so he doesn’t want to pretend the world is anything other than what it is and he’s determined to keep as many black market Veils off the streets as possible. He’s devoted his life to it and had his life threatened over it time and time again. What's going to make this next time any different? A perfectly done last page already has me eager for the next issue to drop!
X-23 Deadly Regenesis #1 - We are finally getting another X-23 series from Marvel and I'm hoping this means she’s going to be a starring member in the future series to come. Laura is attempting to take a well deserved break from, well everything. She’s hardly had any control over her life in the past and now that she’s chosen to leave the X-Men she can finally decide who she wants to be. The only problem is she has absolutely no idea what the ‘real’ version of her is. If nothing else she’s still determined to be a better person, follow Logan’s lead and try to help when it's needed. Even if she isn't interested in being a superhero anymore Laura is definitely still going to be throwing herself into dangerous situations for the sake of others. Unfortunately for her not everyone is going to be so excited to see her praises being heaped on. After all, even she will admit she’s left plenty of damage in her wake.
Static Shadows of Dakota #2 - Things seem to be constantly getting worse for the bang babies. Every day it's the worry of when they’re going to be attacked or rounded up by militia thugs for simply existing. But Virgil’s pops has a plan, a shelter set up to help any and all Bang Babies with whatever they need: homework, a safe place to stay, job application, you name it and someone is there to help out. So Virgil is doing his best to split his time between being Static, a good son, and an even better mentor to Quincy. Virgil is definitely the person that everyone has been relying on, and heavily. He’s got so much weight on his shoulders and only so many people he can really open up to about what's going on. Throw in regular high school drama and stress and it’s a wonder he even has time to be a hero at all. Eventually something is going to have to give, Virgil is going to need to start relying on the other Bang Babies and his friends more than before if he wants to keep Dakota safe. Hopefully it happens before anyone important to him gets hurt, or worse.
How I Became a Shoplifter #2 - To my own surprise I’ve been really enjoying this series. The issues flow really well as single reads or an overarching story and each of the Polaroids before the shorts gives a little hint as to what the focus is going to be. With the format like this I feel like we get to explore more moments that help explain who the characters are, why they make the decisions they do and tie it all together with the timeline on the bottoms of the polaroids. This issue was filled with firsts for Ethan and Phil: first (illegal) tattoos, jobs, and other things. The bond between these two is like what I remember hanging out with my high school friends. The biggest difference being that while these two are constantly looking out for each other they are simultaneously getting each other into big trouble on the reg. But no matter what happens these two always end up laughing and having a good time. Nothing seems to be able to shake them.

Diarra's Picks:

Static: Shadows of Dakota #2 - After last issue’s attack on a Bang Babies rally, Virgil knows a safe place for those affected in the protests is more important than ever. Every day more and more people confide in him they are Bang Babies, not knowing he is Static Shock, even his Big Brother program match. So when his father opened a community center to support Bang Babies, Virgil was not only there to help his community but as a proud son. Things quickly go sideways when the same group that attacked the rally arrives at the center, and Static Shock has to take the reins. Whoever these guys are, they're professionals, because after facing Static in the last fight, they upgraded their armor to be non-conductive polymer. Luckily, Static isn’t the only Bang Baby in the room who's gotten control over their new power, and the attackers retreat but not before snatching a Bang Baby. We get a closer look at where these children are being taken, and it’s your standard, sci-fi white-walled lab for human experimentation. The person overseeing these experiments is after a certain child this time, and it’s Virgil’s kid from the Big Brother program! Could this be a ploy to get to Static or is there more to learn about this kid’s power?
How I Became A Shoplifter #2 - This time we meet up with Ethan and Phil from ages 16-18 and they haven’t changed much. Still chasing chicks and getting into trouble, but it’s the relatability to these characters that speak to an era. At 16, the two get a fake ID to get a tattoo featuring their favorite bands of the time, but their parents bust them half way through. When the two are 17, they get a job bussing tables and while they attempt to steal booze for a party, they somehow make the news as heroes…heroes that finally get the chicks! Now they’re 18 and share a story that only a best friend could appreciate! They are still keeping to the theme of changing up the creative team each year, and it just helps capture the voices of an era. If you want a feel good, funny book look no further!
Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #2 - I dove deeply into the canonical/historical importance of Al Harper when I reviewed issue one, but now that Al is back on Earth he has some questions to answer. It seems forces from across the galaxy have been alerted of his return, from the Silver Surfer to government agencies, but no one is more confused than his family. It was his niece and nephew, Toni and Josh, that summoned Al while searching their new house…the house their parent’s inherited from an assumed dead Al Harper! There is no time for a warm reunion because another searching for Al has arrived. In his time away, Al was given alien nanotech and when it fused with the eternal flame his friend, The Surfer, left on his grave, Al gained the power of The Ghost Light! He and the Surfer thwart this attack, but Al knows who sent these creatures, the same person that has held Al prisoner all these years…The Stranger! The Stranger will stop at nothing to get Al, and the tech inside him, back, but we can’t forget all the other folks headed to the small town of Sweetwater. This series is off to a great start, get in early!

K's Picks:

X-23 Deadly Regenesis #1 - We take a step into the past on the timeline of Laura's journey. After her departure from Utopia, it's only X-23's struggle from here! X-Men has always shined as the super hero team that made the hard decisions. They're the guys who really went through it!  This was heavily reflected through the many journeys a certain animalistic metahuman has gone through. Now it's Laura's journey. We see a nice lapse of time in the many years being Weapon X, to an assassin, to the X-Men. It's all perfectly reflected in just one page. Each transition has been done in such a amazing way, there's this really well done sequence of her reflecting upon her attacks and relating them to her methods of saving a group of people from a burning building. Similar to Logan, she's remorseful for her actions. She's feeling more hurt remembering the many corpses she's walker over. If anything, it feels kinda like she's trying to redeem herself. With her heroic acts she makes news headlines, drawing attention not only from the press, but also the Weapon X foundation. I'm really excited to see where this goes, there's a lot to gather from just this single issue. The pages felt dense but not like a chore to read, I'm more than ready to see what comes up next time!
Bloodline Daughter of Blade #2 - The legacy of the legendary vampire hunter continues! This series has a very promising set up with a lot of cool ideas to really keep in the same ball park as other new-age heroes. The characters are fairly decent and I'm interested in seeing what ideas we can play with when it comes to classic Vampires. Brielle Brooks hasn't really established herself yet, but I'm more than willing to guess she's going to take her pop's role as the Dhampir hero. Last time we saw Brielle facing off against the new transfer student, Whitney. Luckily, Brielle's powers seem to only work when things go bump in the night. A very cool concept and a refreshing weakness for a Dhampir. It really balances out the ability to sunbathe without melting. After a life or death encounter with the new girl, Brielle falls under a more protective eye from her mother. This leads to Brielle relying on her new enemy to help her hunt once again. The issue is pretty damn good, leaves a lot to anticipate and leaves off on a sick cliffhanger!
Gospel #5 - Peak storytelling! From the pacing to the characters and themes, I definitely wouldn't mind seeing more from Matilde and Pitt. I've stated before that this duo, despite not having more apparent characterization, is down right amazing. Matilde's journey of legend isn't as simple as slay the beast and live happily ever after. Pitt's faith in Matilde, despite her wildly naïve nature, is quite endearing and cool. We last left with Matilde's strife in finding the Devil slaying hammer. A realization that it doesn't matter which hammer was used, because the hero Saint Rumpus just used any old hammer. The hammer didn't make Rumpus a Devil slayer, it was his bravery and willingness to protect the fearful. With tensions riding high and little time to spare, we set out on the path to face the Devil. With everything on the line it shouldn't be a surprise that we inevitably come face to face with the Devil -  a being more crazed and unhinged then we could have imagined. Definitely an astounding conclusion to a already masterfully written story, with themes of tales lost to time and a ever-changing history. I can't suggest this series enough!
Adventures Of Superman: Jon Kent #1 - With the Lazarus Planet story pushing the DC universe to new heights, we get to see things in the grand perspective of the Kryptonian. We start things off extremely grim, the death of Clark Kent, one of apparently many! This peaked my interest when we see the perp is none other than Ultraman, the psychotic leader of another world's Justice League. With the multiverse in danger of a universe-hopping Superman, Jon Kent is at the center of it all. Really good read so far, I'm a big fan of Ultraman because he's the version of Superman I think works the best. A full story with Jon at the center is amazing. Give this one a read if you're fan of Jon Kent or Ultraman!