April 28th, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

BRZRKR #2 – America’s sweetheart Keanu Reeves gets brutal as hell once more in this month’s BRZRKR. With this new issue, we delve further in the Berserker’s origin as a government scientist tries to glean details from him. 80,000 years ago, the Berserker’s tribe was under attack every season from the surrounding tribes. His mother and father prayed to the gods and their prayers were answered in a way that couldn’t be described. While it can’t be described, it sure can be drawn and Garney does an excellent job visualizing this. Once he is born, the slaughtering begins and the brutal death scenes in this one are truly something to behold. Definitely an insta-scoop for all the action fans out there.
The Marvels #1 – Kurt Busiek does what he does best- marveling at the classic Marvel style and telling a story that feels as classic as its characters. In this way he takes an interesting approach to build the story: incrementally increasing the passage of time in scenes to show how the story grows in the Sin-Cong Province over decades. Lady Lotus is up to no good and shadowy demons seem to be apart of the mix. Once the present day is hit too, Captain America gets some tech upgrades as he makes a cool ass drop from space. Come for the classic Marvel tale, stay for Captain America being called a hipster doofus.
Robin #1 – The best Robin- that’s right, the best Robin- Damian Wayne gets his own book this month and does it with style. The whole Bat-family is on the case to find him as Damian escapes their gaze to travel the world after Alfred’s death. He does what any skilled martial artist would do- join underground fighting rings to increase his rep, skills and cash. After easily crushing Bane’s father, he earns a ticket to Lazarus Island where a martial arts tournament is held every 100 years. The bouts may be fights to the death but you know our boy is down for it. An excellent start with a familiar set-up that’s bound to go places.
Helm Greycastle #1 – An interesting setting makes for a good fantasy read in this swords and sorcery book. Helm Greycastle and his adventuring party manage to secure a powerful magical artifact to resurrect their friend who on an escort mission with the dragon prince before it was raided. Given that set up, there was a lot of exposition for a story just beginning. It’s here where the fantasy elements combine with Aztec mythology as the raiders were jaguar warriors from Montezuma III’s retinue. Montezuma communes with the gods as well, ready to take on the fantasy party. There are some dialogue anachronisms that make the flow slightly uneven but fantasy elements including an elven bard who only speaks in music notes and the Aztecan mythos make this a worthy read for the adventuring types.

Diarra's Picks:

Summoners War: Legacy #1 - Summoner’s War is a mobile game whose newest app, Lost Centuria, launched at midnight the day this issue hit the shelves! Games often start comic series to build their game’s lore, but this issue is captivating even if you don’t play the game! Wannabe summoner, Raiyah, nearly burns down her village’s food supply trying to stop a bug infestation. A more experienced summoner has to come clean up her mess, but he sees potential in young Rai. He invites her to join a school of sorts, for summoners who need guidance, and she accepts. Their first mission is pretty straightforward, collect an artifact. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones looking for this one. During the fight for the artifact, it is activated and releases a giant monster. The other artifact chasers flee, leaving an unexperienced Raiyah and her teacher to clean up this mess.
Robin #1 - The little bird has left the bat cave! Damian is off on a solo adventure, leaving his dad and the bat fam searching for him. He seems to be doing alright so far, and even earned a spot in a super secret fighting tournament on Lazarus Island. Damian thinks his parents are keeping a secret from him, and the answers are on this island. The death match for elite fighters is just a bonus to Damian, but he might’ve underestimated his opponents. Let’s just say, his mouth paid with a check his vital organs couldn’t cash!
Harley Quinn #2 - Gotham is still trying to rebuild after the events during The Joker War. Joker blew up Arkham Asylum and fled, leaving many of his followers loose and riled up. Harley wants to help rehabilitate this former insane clown posse. Being a former member of Joker’s crew and a trained psychologist, Harley knows she’ll be perfect for the job. Unfortunately she isn’t the only “bad guy gone good” in town, and the mayor has someone else looking over the escaped clowns, Doctor Hugo Strange. He will be running a new faculty that will replace Arkham called S.A.F.E., but Harley isn’t buying his good guy routine. Harley knows Hugo is up to no good, now she has to prove it. Coincidentally Hugo needs Harley, the biggest Joker fan there was, to prove his reformation works.

Stone's Picks:

Harley Quinn #2 - Stephanie Phillips continues to do deliver. This issue focuses on the what Harley wants to do which is help straighten out the people who went crazy during the Joker War, so called “clowns”. The only problem is that another doctor wants to help in the rehabilitation of Gotham’s citizens. Hugo Strange has the city’s backing and that ticks Harley off because, as she points out, it seems like Gotham likes to give its criminals second chances -  except her. We’re also introduced to Kevin who committed a crime during the Joker War, and that heinous act follows him to this day. It’s never too crazy or over the top, but somehow finds the perfect balance of humor and heart.
Titans Academy #2 - This issue continues with the students learning at the academy and the fixation on Red X ever present. We get to spend some personal time with the students and that delivers some explanation as to the reasons why certain students are attending the academy. Red X makes an appearance that involves him/her stealing some data before giving Nightwing the slip. Speaking of Nightwing, Dick Grayson has the unfortunate task of quelling the jealous thoughts of Starfire as he explains to her that he will be returning to Blüdhaven, and that Barbra will be there. Him and Kori seem to be closer at the moment, but that could all change depending on what happens in the pages of Nightwing's book.
Robin #1 - One half Mortal Kombat, One half Enter the Dragon. This is Damian's chance to prove he is the best. The plot is a familiar one that fans of martial arts movies will have seen, but it stands apart due to its inclusion of the DC universes best fighters. Punchline seems like she is going to be a great character. The fact that she learned how to fight from the ghosts of some of the greatest warriors who have lived is awesome and a nice opposite to Damian’s proclamation of having been trained by the best living fighters. A solid debut issue with a cliffhanger ending sure to have you picking up issue two.