August 19th, 2020

J.R.'s Picks:

Dark Nights Death Metal Guidebook #1 – The secrets of the world of Death Metal revealed! A Becky Cloonan short story!!! Some definite doozys in here. The issue starts off with an exposition short by Snyder as to how this world came to be. Turns out it’s the main world in DC continuity and the efforts to save it from Batmen (a phrase uttered so many times in his exposition it should be criminal) will be continued in the next Justice League issue. The standouts for this were magnificent though: Chip Zdardky and Khary Randolph team up to tell the tale of how wasteland Harley Quinn met her giant hyena. Becky Cloonan scribes and draws the sad story of Aquaman and the umibozu. The character driven stories were fantastic within this one so hopefully we get more of the same in the future.

Maestro #1 – Peter David returns to the green goliath and boy does it feel damn good. The origins of the Maestro all come to light and man, are they dark. Hulk awakes within a chamber beneath L.A. after escaping a Matrix-like simulation of a happy life. Lucky for him, an incredibly old M.O.D.O.K. arrives on scene to give him the skinny: humanity did what humanity does best and started WW3. After nuclear bombs wiped out most of the human race, a crazy death cult wiped out even more of it. The Hulk instantly becomes disillusioned since the love he knew was fabricated and the humans brought it on themselves. This one is going to ramp up fast so get in on the ground floor!

Decorum #4 – The most esoteric Hickman can get (which is saying something) and by god is it good. The Church, an assembly of evil rock people, have tracked down the latest efforts of an egg creation to the planet Bidur Faul and use their armada to strip it of all life. As the Church reeks utter havoc, the mothers with their crystalline home feverishly try to save their incubating messiah and escape at the last second. Once removed from the now barren planet, they realize they must change their ways. The only way though seems pretty dang dangerous but damn if I’m not excited to see how this puzzle piece fits into the story at large. Scoop up this modern classic ASAP.

Wolverine DX #4 – An entertaining issue of Wolverine by way of Tarantino. Logan gets chastised by the Council after defeating the Lady in White, mostly because he got Magneto drunk and stole his helmet. He also apparently pissed in it which…I mean OK. Just mean. He goes through a secret portal to Canada to a dive bar called the Red Tavern where he goes to “relax”. The winds and storm kick up though so no one in this shady bar can leave. What transpires reminded me heavily of The Hateful Eight in the best of ways. It’s a really grounded issue where Wolvie faces the sins of his past so buckle up your constitution for this one.

Diarra's Picks:

Shadow Service #1 - Gina is a struggling private investigator, who just landed a new case. Unfortunately desperate times have Gina working for some pretty shady characters. She hunts people down and hands them over no questions asked, but Gina is used to keeping secrets. At a young age she developed supernatural powers, and it tore her family apart. Now Gina hides her true identity, but these abilities make her great at her job. There were a few complications, but she caught her guy relatively easily and got her pay day. That’s when she notices she is being followed, and this case might be a trap.

Drakkon: New Dawn #1 - From Pink Ranger to Ranger Slayer to Queen, Kim’s really moving up in the world. As new leader, she wants to prove to everyone Drakkon’s reign of terror is over. She thinks destroying his former jail/torture chambers is a good start. While releasing prisoners, they come across a secret holding cell with a metal clad Ranger in chains. Years of torture have effected his memory, and he doesn’t believe he can trust the new Queen. So they just knock him out and figure they’ll question him back at their base of operations. He doesn’t remember much when he comes to, but he freaks when he realizes he has been moved. The Queen Ranger Slayer meant to release prisoners, but might have unleashed hell instead.

Wolverine #4 - Mutants have found a safe place to call home in Krakoa. Unlike the others, Wolverine has been fighting for a long time and is having trouble letting his guard down. There’s a middle of nowhere bar with gate access where he likes to blow off steam. He becomes a bit of a regular, but his past comes back to haunt him. Non-mutants from his past heard he was there and came for revenge. Our boy almost got out smarted by a couple hicks, when an unlikely savior comes to his rescue. Unfortunately, it turns out Wolverine was better off with the bar gang.

Stone's Picks:

Maestro #1 – The Origin of the Hulk's greatest enemy is here! Following the events of a Nuclear War, the earth is decimated. The Hulk awakens in an underground facility unsure of where he is or what's going on. After making his way through the facility and discovering he's not the only one down there, he climbs to the surface to figure out what is happening. Hulk discovers the horror of a Nuclear Apocalypse. The beginning of the Hulk's transformation into the dangerous Maestro has begun.

Batman #97 – While still suffering from the toxin used on him, Batman is thrown into a fight involving the reanimated bodies of victims that he couldn't save throughout his career. While Batman deals with his failures, the Joker is enjoying the high life. Punchline would rather deal with the problem of Batman sooner than later, but the Joker informs her of how his and Batman’s dynamic works. With all the Chaos happening in the city, new vigilantes are springing up, and they don’t follow the Bat's code. Is that what the Joker was hoping for?

Avengers #35 – The age of Khonshu continues. The island of Manhattan has been converted to New Thebes City and is the base of Khonshu and his acolytes. The fortification of Earth is going slower than anticipated due to resistance groups fighting back. Khonshu has seen the hell that is to be released on Earth. He seeks the power of the Starbrand, the Phoenix, and the Black Panther if he is going to stop what is coming. While Khonshu is preparing defenses, Moon Knight, endowed with the powers of the spirit of vengeance hunts down Iron Man and Captain Marvel who are trying to keep the Starbrand away from Khonshu'.