April 20th, 2022

Caroline's Picks:

The Secret History of the War on Weed #1 - A perfectly timed release for the 4/20 highest holiday. The writers decided to do a half parody half satire story on how pointless the war on weed is and give it a lighthearted take that's easy to consume. The authors definitely took some… liberties with the original true story (lizard people AND a female president!!) but definitely keeping in line with the heart of how Americans and the Presidential administrations reacted when weed first began gaining mainstream popularity. A terminator like government asset is determined to take down whatever enemy he is presented with, even if it's a plant. This one shot is a lighthearted look that will have you giggling even without the help of the holiday while also giving you the tiniest whiff of education.
Dark Beach #1 - In this somewhat near future scientists have found a way to move the Earth, the entire planet, from its current location to one near another Sun. Now all of humanity resides inside of a safety net of sorts, a world with limited technology and power that is protected as the planet traverses the universe. Gordo is kind of like a detective, he’s been tipped off about a young woman who was murdered while using a VR program and he has just enough time to get a few photos of the crime scene before the cops show up. He clocks a specific tattoo on her wrist and ‘accidentally’ steals some evidence from the scene. His next stop is an old bar so bright it's like the sun, and those that frequent it tend to worship the old light. Is that enough reason to kill someone though?
The Collector Unit 731 #1 - Michael Smith is the Collector, a man who is ageless and has lived many lives throughout American history. He has been collecting many things: items, artifacts, friends, memories and even some enemies. Thus begins our journey looking back into his life, reaching back to find memories of a distant time: 1941. Michael and his friend John had been trying to escape the war in England via Tokyo, but instead of finding safety they are taken to an internment camp. They are going to be experimented upon by the Doctor Sadao, looking to start a new form a weaponized pneumonia plague the men are going to be infected and watched as well as being subjected to incredibly harsh living and ‘working’ conditions and being put through rigorous physical events just for the sadistic pleasure of the doctor. This is just the beginning of the time Michael spent there and the enemy he has made in Doctor Sadao.
Batman Superman World’s Finest #2 - Superman has minutes to live, the Doom Patrol and Batman are going to have to work together and trust each other to save him, and the rest of the world as well. After Negative Man does the impossible Superman snaps back into action to join the others. Many of their fellow heroes (and some innocents as well) are being attacked all over the world. What happened to Batman and Superman wasn’t an isolated incident and it's time they got to the bottom of it. I feel like something that is rarely used in the comics is Superman's weakness to Magic as well as Kryptonite so to see that and how he and Batman have to work around a magical villain in this issue made me rather happy. Now if only things were so easy for Supergirl and Robin to handle, pro tip don’t time (and space) travel into another era while holding the weapon of that hero's arch enemy they might not think you have the best of intentions.

Diarra's Picks:

Captain America #0 - Watch out, there are two Captain Americas in town! This is your classic tale of Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson being the best of patriotic buddies. Arnim Zola, The Bio-Fanatic/space terrorist, feels differently about the inhabitants of Earth and thinks a forced evolution is in order, but our spang-ly duo aren’t having it. Zola tries to get in their heads all Lovecraft style, reminding both Captains of the lies and exploitation the people they’ve sworn to protect have hurt them with, and he basically calls Sam an Uncle Tom. But if there is anything this team comprised of the oldest white man in a leotard and a young black man with robot wings can teach us, is that you have to be the change you want to see in the world. Of course we could brain wash everyone into being super cool about stuff, but what about free will? Some people say jet noise, but clanging vibranium…that is the true sound of freedom. All jokes aside, I probably won’t continue this series. TBH until the senseless taking of innocent life, I find terrorists usually bring up some pretty solid points.
Canceled #1 - Black Caravan has made a reputation in the indie world of really taking things to the extreme, so I can’t wait to see what they’ll unveil under their new ‘Black Caravan Premiere’ line. This break-out issue starts with a Mister Rogers-esc kids TV host, Learning Larry, finding out he is being replaced, and not taking it very well. Insult to injury they replace him with the nightmare fuel everyone loves exposing children to…a clown. Larry starts his new found retirement by drinking away his sorrows, but those feelings quickly turned to anger. He decides to get pay back by destroying the TV station’s broadcast tower, but drunk electrical work never goes smoothly and Larry gets sucked into the air waves. Chaos ensues from there, but as children’s entertainment evolves so does Larry’s methods. He goes from only performing for kids on their couches during allotted TV time, to now modern technology like tablets allowing anywhere access to children. I especially dig when writers use different artist to convey a change in the same story. So yeah, buy this book.
The Secret History of the War On Weed - This one shot is top notch amusement. I will admit, after reading the preview weeks ago, I was gullible enough to believe this was going to be a true story. You don’t get through with the first panel before you know it totally is not. It’s more Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story than Walk The Line: The Johnny Cash story, if that makes sense. The War on Drugs was a very real government initiative with the purpose of disparaging the minority community, and in many ways, is just as insane as this story about that Wacky Tobacky. Image chose to celebrate 4/20 with the tale of Scotch McTiernan, the government’s most loyal soldier, who serves his country, no questions asked. His next mission: destroying a cannabis farm in Humbolt County, California. Scotch parachutes in delivering a shower of bullets and hot puns, but the farmers aren’t giving up without a fight. During a patriotic and self righteous speech, the farmers are able to get the jump on Scotch. Once they have him subdued they know there is only one way to change his mind…just blazin’ one. Finally Scotch relieves the truth. Marijuana is pretty fucking cool, and all the things the government told him about it was a lie. He gives the military a big fuck you and decides to work on the farm, he wants to learn more from them and he knows the government will send someone new to finish the job! This book is a wild ride that you don’t want to miss!


Stone's Picks:

Hulk #6 - The smashing conclusion to the first story arc of Donny Cates wild Hulk tale. A lot has happened since those first few issues and the little synopsis In the beginning of what happened in those three issues I missed was a lot to process. Everything just kept escalating until we got this new form of Hulk, designated Titan. Supposedly the Hulk's Hulk. This confuses me though because the Hulk has a Hulk already called Kluh. Retcon or Donny was unaware? The world may never know. In whole a bombastic issue with heavy action. What you'd expect from a Hulk comic!
The Secret History Of The War On Weed #1 - just in time for the 4/20 "holiday", The Secret History Of The War On Weed is a hilariously outrageous take of an alternate 1980s America even including a riff on action heroes of the time like Schwarzenegger. Even the dialogue is nostalgic with zippy punchlines and puns galore. There’s also an activities page which includes one of the craziest mazes I’ve ever come across. Totally tubular!
Robins #6 - I never wanted this story because I found it completely absurd to introduce a character claiming that they were the first Robin. It just felt like it was a desperate attempt to grab readership with a shocking revelation that Dick Grayson wasn’t the first. It just wasn’t needed in my opinion. I’ll give the story credit though as it does Delve into the problems of having kids be manipulated by an adult and the effects that can have. Beyond this though I don’t care.