April 3rd, 2024

Rob's Picks:

Rook: Exodus #1 - The Ghost Machine universe made a big entrance this week with three #1 issues. While all the titles presented in the Ghost Machine preview anthology put their best foot forward, no one story came away as a clear standout. With the full book in front of us, it’s clear that the preview's short format couldn’t do justice to this epic sci-fi adventure. Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok (Batman: Three Jokers) reunite to present the story of Rook, a man who left earth for a better life on the planet Exodus, only for that world to turn upside down. Exodus was an unnatural paradise of lush forests teeming with life, all created by man and tightly controlled by the planet's Wardens. When their control failed, that unnatural order turned into chaos, and all who could abandoned the colonies, leaving behind an unlucky few. Rook fights nature and other stranded colonists for survival while searching for the means of escape. Johns and Fabok are a hell of a team on this one. Johns packs this story with information without overburdening the reader with excessive lore, with plenty of action to carry the plot forward. The art by Fabok sells the beauty and brutality of this paradise gone wrong. If you weren’t one hundred percent on board with Ghost Machine, check this one out first.

Deadpool #1 - The merc with the mouth rides again…Again! It’s been a minute since his last self-titled stand-alone series, rather than being a teamed-up or versus or -verse book. In his recent appearances in titles like X-Force, Wade Wilson has been wisely used as a seasoning rather than a main ingredient. The character's most entertaining traits can easily undercut the drama of any story meant to have stakes, but with the pathos of the X books at an all-time high thanks to the fall of Krakoa, we are overdue for an irreverent jackass to cut the tension. We catch up with Wade and his symbiote/dog/child Princess (a lot has happened, where have you been?) doing what they do best: killing some guys for money. Cody Zigler (Miles Morales: Spider-man) is a perfect writer for the job; Deadpool fires off as many quips as bullets during an incredible chase scene, cleverly rendered by Rogê Antônio in a way that uses the medium to its fullest. Like the #1 issue for the (absolutely amazing) current run of Blade, this one hits the reader with a great example of exactly what they expect from this character, ending with the promise of an all-new big bad unlike any who have challenged him before.

Akogun: Brutalizer of Gods #1 - Recent years have seen so many epic fantasy titles that looked like great books but didn’t have the secret sauce that makes a story not just fantastic, but epic. For every Sacrificers there’s a Hunger at Dusk, Unnatural Order, etc. Akogun has what those titles lacked and a whole lot more. This new dark fantasy comes from the creative team behind Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood, writer Murewa Ayodele and artist Adedotun Akande. The continent of Alkebulan, man walks beside gods and monsters, and there is little difference between the two. One man was fated to battle the spawn of the drunken creator-god Obatala. That man is Akogun. Cut from the same cloth as Conan the Barbarian, Akogun is a mighty warrior, a man of few words with an iron will, hardened by survival in an inhospitable land. The writing weaves the grandiosity of mythology and the pulpy prose of Robert E. Howard, and Akande excels at the epically scaled monster battles. If you dig the artistry of Sacrificers and the hard-boiled action of The Savage Sword of Conan, give this one a shot, it will hook you from panel one

Solomon's Picks:

Spider-Man: Shadow Of The Green Goblin #1 - A spectacular new Spider-Man story provided by J.M. DeMatteis, Michael Sta. Maria, and Chris Sotomayor is Spider-Man: Shadow Of The Green Goblin! A story that takes place about one month into Peter Parker’s transformation into Spider-Man, I absolutely loved the grounded tone this issue offered. We see a young Peter Parker struggling to help his aunt with bills in any way he can while also trying to control his newfound spider strength. We get glimpses of what Harry and Gwen were up to before they met Peter, as well as a villain who served as a guinea pig for the goblin serum (hence the title). The absolutely shocking twist ending has me curious about where this story is going to lead and could potentially offer new storylines for Spider-Titles in the future. This story surprised me, as I thought a flashback story would be a miss as we’ve explored a good chunk of Peter’s past already, but I loved this issue and will definitely keep reading the follow-up stories, and I encourage you to do the same!

Deadpool #1 - Deadpool is back, and this first issue was something you won’t want to miss out on! Wade has been through a lot lately, and in an attempt to clear his head, he has been taking on various jobs, with his symbiote dog at his hip. This issue provided a wonderful blend of action, comedy, wonderfully illustrated pages (credit to Rogè António), and an interesting new villain who has a fascination with death and will serve as the primary antagonist for this new entry into the Deadpool saga. Deadpool is a character that, in the right hands, has very memorable stories, and with Cody Ziglar as the writer, this first issue already gives me high hopes for the rest of the series. Any new, old, or aspiring fans of the character will definitely want to grab this issue as the quality is phenomenal and will not disappoint!

Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down #1 - Minor Threats has returned this week with The Fastest Way Down, and this issue was incredible! By Patton Oswalt, Jordan Blum, Scott Hepburn, and Ian Herring, this team has not only matched the energy of the previous entries but managed to create a captivating storyline that I am eager to watch play out. Following the death of the former hero “Insomniac,” Frankie has to learn to control her impulses and manage her new empire in a “corporate” sense. We watch her make shady business deals while also doing her best to tackle the issues plaguing her city. This issue does a good job of juggling the two sides of her character: the woman who loves her city and wants to see it blossom and the cold-blooded vigilante who wants to send a clear message to the criminals who plague Redport. This is definitely a story you will want on your pulls, so grab a copy today!