August 11th, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

Defenders #1 – YES! Marvel’s greatest superhero team (according to me) has been forced to assemble once again! The Masked Raider manages to infiltrate Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Santorum but is unable to subdue him after some quick spells. After the typical “I don’t know you so we have to fight” fight, the pair discuss what brought the Masked Raider there. It turns out a sorcerer the Raider was tracking someone dabbling in time magic created by Sise-Neg which instantly sends Strange into panic mode. Pulling out his tarot cards, he once again summons compatriots from across the cosmos with disastrous results. Brilliant visuals by Rodriguez and engaging plot hooks by Ewing make this one a stand-out cape book.
Pennyworth #1 – Hot off the heels of starring in his own action show, this comic follows Alfred through is illustrious spy career. Unfortunately, I have not seen the show quite yet which is a bummer because it seems most of the exposition is centered on characters and events from it. Nevertheless, the story is still quite thrilling as there are many vignettes of Alfred’s life including dangling a spy from the Eiffel Tower, growing up with Shirley who would later work as a spy with him and encountering super soldiers with guns for arms in Soviet Russia. If you ever craved seeing Alfred Pennyworth doing bad ass spy shit, now’s your chance for sure!
Batman ‘89 #1 - The Burtonverse comes together once more! Sam Hamm and Joe Quinones tackle Keaton’s dark knight but the majority of this first issue is about Billy Dee William’s Harvey Dent. Some Joker gang members still hanging around after their boss’s demise crash a swanky party Dent happened to be attending. Batman saves the day once more (with a giant penny that gets placed in his cave) but not without some dangerous collateral damage. This sets off Harvey Dent who is now on a one-man crusade to stop vigilante justice. Failing to get Bruce Wayne on his side, the district attorney seeks other ways. A really cool look back on this movie verse that’s going to be going places, what with Dent flipping coins nonstop in this issue and whatnot…
Campisi: The Dragon Incident #1 – Let’s just start this review off with a PSA: don’t double-cross dragons. They’re flying, immortal WMDs. That’s exactly how this book opens though…Long ago, there were a huge number of dragons who a made an oath with the local kingdom for their nesting grounds. With the death of their king, one knight named Sir Luthermore took it upon himself to declare their oath null and void so his troops could slaughter the dragon nests. Centuries later, Campisi is a mob enforcer in a town called Green Village who sees the arrival of a dragon. The dragon says the town must deliver Luthermore’s descendant to him or the entire place goes down in flames-unless Campisi has something to say about it. An interesting starting point for sure with crisp line art and a super entertaining narrator in Campisi himself.

Diarra's Picks:

Campisi #1 - Wow, this book wasn’t on my radar, but I’m so glad I picked it up! The story opens with a tale from long ago about a war between humans and dragons. Then we flash forward to present day where we meet Sonny Campisi, who works for a local “mobster”, Mr. Rossi. Unlike the rest of Rossi’s crew, Sonny really cares about his neighbor and just wants to help. Once you get to know Sonny you’ll wonder how he even got involved with Rossi. Sonny is doing his usual rounds, when a dragon flies over head and decides to park at a abandoned construction site. No one seems to be bothered by it’s presence. Although many in town have never seen a dragon, they figure it is just passing through. But that dragon is here to find someone in their town, and Sonny’s job just got more complicated.
Hardware: Season One #1 - As someone who didn’t read the original Hardware run, I was excited for this Milestone relaunch! We get a glimpse into Curtis Metcalf’s youth, but the real action is happening present day. Curtis worked and basically grew up in Alva Industries, but all these years he mistook their attention for affection. When Curtis tried to use his technology to help others, he is framed and made public enemy number one. After barely escaping the law, Curtis confronts an unapologetic Mr. Alva. Although he has the opportunity, Curtis decides hurting Mr. Alva physically won’t hurt as much as tearing down what he built on the backs of others. Hardware’s suit has all the bells and whistles, and I’m excited to see what else it can do in the next issue.
Mamo #2 - This Y.A. series is off to an awesome start. Orla is the granddaughter of Mamo, the local witch, who recently passed away. Mamo taught Orla everything she knows, but after growing tired of Mamo’s cruelty, Orla went off on her on. Now Orla has returned and found the mess Mamo left. A local girl, Jo, comes seeking magical help and Orla realizes the mess Mamo left this town in. Jo and Orla decide to work together to help the human and magical creatures around town, and Mamo is still stirring up trouble beyond the grave. If you are loving books like Wynd, this series is right up your alley!

Stone's Picks:

Defenders #1 - The Master of Magic is tempting fate when the Masked Raider shows up talking about a man named Carlo Zota who used time magic. Time magic allows for the altering of history and is one of the most dangerous Magics that exist. With little time to assemble a crew, Strange uses his powers to unwillingly summon heroes to join in a fight that will have them traversing both time and the cosmos. Ewing and Rodriguez put on an exemplary showing with this first issue. The story was strong and the art was incredible. There were two pages in particular that really showed off Rodriguez's skill and made the interaction between Strange and Masked Raider all the more whimsical. A colorful, magical, time spanning heck of a read!
Ordinary Gods #2 - Christopher awakens to find himself in the reclamation center. While struggling with the shock of losing his mother and father, he is having memories of a Russian winter. We also learn about “stewards” and what their role is when it comes to the reincarnation process. This comic is so good. The secret world that Higgins has created is filled with such wonder it can’t help but be interesting. We even get to see more of what became of the realm that housed these gods after the battle against the one true king. Slowly but surely we are digging into the past of that world and these characters. After the reveal of who Christopher was in a past life I’m excited to see who else from history was secretly not themselves.
Batman ‘89 #1 - the continuation of the Tim burton Batman universe in comic form! Harvey Dent is the main focus with him taking a tough stance on the use of vigilantism to keep the streets safe. As such, he turns to Bruce Wayne to help him in his push to out Commissioner Gordon as the head of the Gotham police department. This was a good intro back into this universe and it made me immediately want to rewatch the old Micheal Keaton films. I always wanted a continuation of those films and I believe this comic is going to be a great substitute. The story was solid, and the comic representations of these characters is spot on.