August 25th, 2021
Echolands #1 – I love J.H. Williams III. His run with Rucka on Batwoman is absolutely legendary and his art from Desolation Jones has a special place in my heart. So when I heard he was doing his own book I was on it in a heartbeat and it delivers big time. Little is known about the vast world he’s building right now (thank you for no exposition overload) but goddamn it’s gorgeous. We find Hope, a little red riding hood look-a-like, being chased through the streets of a crowded city populated by all kinds of different characters with vastly different art styles. After running into Cor, a friend of hers, the two make their stand against these odd dudes who claim Hope stole a diamond from the wizard boss. It’s then that Hope unleashes some wicked magic of her own. Williams’s patented panel play is on full display here as a building becomes a sequence, stonework becomes panels and characters move in the margins. It’s an incredible feat that he did all the pencils for this book and it’s something you have to see to believe.
Superman Vs Lobo #1 – The Main Man takes on the Man of Steel featuring some absolutely choice artwork from Mirka Andolfo. With word from Martian Manhunter, Supes responds to an SOS on a near space station working our wormholes. Meanwhile, Lobo is relaxing on a resort planet which is suddenly attacked by a giant tardigrade. After saving the space station, Supes hears about the tardigrade attack and decides to try out their new wormhole tech to get there. Just as Lobo is about to save the resort planet and earn more vacation, Superman flies in and takes all the credit. Obviously, Lobo hates this and thus starts the “Vs” part of the title. The real treat here is Andolfo’s artwork which features Lobo wearing booty shorts that read, “Bite Me, Fanboy”. All fans of aliens that are the last of their species should check this out!
Superman Son of Kal-El #2 – What Tom Taylor did for Nightwing is now what he’s doing for Jon Kent as he continues his excellent start on Superman. Jon wants to start his own secret identity like his papa so he dons a blond wig and drives a beater jeep to a high school to try and be the new kid. Unfortunately, before he even gets in the door he encounters a school shooter who has carved thoughts and prayers into his bullets, telling the kids “It’s too soon to politicize this!” Jon stops the kid before he does any harm but loses his secret identity. Forlorn, he goes to the moon to have a pep talk with his dad where he gains even more responsibility. This down-to-earth version of Supes is exactly what we need so I hope Taylor keeps killing it on this book.
Wonder Woman Black and Gold #3 – Love me a collection of shorts as this endearing look at what makes Wonder Woman great continues. The first story by Janet Harvey and Megan Levens details Diana’s time with Steve Trevor and the impact this mortal had on an immortal. Steve Epting absolutely kills it with stunning art showing WW’s time as a spy. The stand-out for me would Nnedi Okorafor’s story where Diana meets Vixen in space to take on tardigrades (water-bear heavy week!) and learns the important lesson of not punching first. This series excels in spotlighting phenomenal artists and this issue is no exception. Scoop this one, the two before it and you won’t be disappointed.
Marvel Voices: Identity #1 - Another jam packed Marvel Voices Issue, this one highlights Asian heroes. First we get a little “What If” action with Shang-Chi. Then Jubilee remembers her parents, and teaches us about grave sweeping. We get some classic crime noir with a sci-fi twist with Jimmy Woo 1959. Ms. Marvel has a little identity shock growing up in the US and feeling like an outside in her homeland of Pakistan. A Filipino friend of mine was so excited when I showed her the panel of Wave talking about making Sinigang (a traditional Philippines dish) for X-Men’s Bishop. Despite the amazing things Janelle Chord can do as a hero, it’s her normal life as a person with a disability while trying to date that is stressing her out. A chill ferry ride with Silk and Hulkling turns into a team up. There is even a very adorable trip to Krakoa. I’ve said it a million times, but representation is important and even more important, highlighting creators who know how these heroes feel!
Icon & Rocket: Season One #2 - The first issue showed us how Icon and Rocket met and now we get to see what they can do! In just a short time they have made a name for themselves in the neighborhood. The cops consider them vigilantes who need to be stopped, but they are clearly jealous the duo is doing their job better. Drug dealers are pissed they are being stopped, but the neighborhood is excited to have someone looking out for them. All this press is drawing attention to Icon and people want to know his story. One person in particular has known Icon since he worked on a plantation and liberated his fellow slaves (beheading Jefferson Davis was a nice touch). But this man from the past wasn’t a friend and has stakes in keeping Icon’s community oppressed.
Superman vs. Lobo #1 - This is definitely going to be fun one, and I can’t wait to pick up the final two of this 3 issue series! Clark is dealing with Superman’s bad press that is being spread by Lex Luthor’s new app. It’s even spread to the Daily Planet, but Superman has bigger fish to fry…or bigger tardigrades? A giant tardigrade is causing havoc at a space spa, and who is in attendance but Lobo. Lobo is just pissed his vacation is being ruined so while Superman comforts the beast, Lobo destroys it. Superman makes Lobo pay for that, and when Lobo awakes, Superman is getting praise for saving the day. Lobo gets a little jealous and decides to ruin Superman’s public image. Superman hunts him down but before they can fight, the tardigrade shows up (I mean they are amazingly resilient). The giant tardigrade knows what it’s like to be the last of your kind and decides to gift Superman and Lobo with the ability to return to their home planets…but he gets a few things wrong. Now Lobo is on Krypton and Superman on Czarnia and I’m excited to see if they get a warm welcome!
Alien #6 - Bishop is able to subdue Iris. Gabriel and Bishop have to come to a decision regarding Gabriel’s son but not before having to deal with separating their raft from the station manually. This results in a face to face confrontation between Gabriel and a Matriarch Xenomorph. The most unbelievable thing to me in this issue was that Gabriel was able to fight and hold off a creature that required Ripley to use a power loader. Gabriel is holding his own with a wrench as if his spirit animal was Ratchet. The ending was predictable but there is still some mystery left. Like what’s up with that cat? All-in-all these first six issues were really solid and as long as they keep doing what they are doing I’m sure the next six will be just as good.
Cable: Reloaded #1 - Space problems, a new X-team, and enough arm based puns to shake a planet-sized super-gun at. Cable leads a team to the Breakworld with a plan created by Rocket Raccoon. The team ends up having to do battle with a transformer and a team member is willing to sacrifice themselves for the mission. I haven’t been reading the new X-men, and I know I should be, but I can tell there is a lot happening in the world of mutants just from reading this one issue. I like to read other comics and to me X-Men is it’s own beast that needs its proper attention. Upon reaching the end of this book I realized that it was merely a tie-In. Probably no need to read it if you aren’t following the event, but for the X fans out there I’m sure you will want to keep up to date with the ever evolving Mutants.
Superman Son of Kal-El #2 - When you are more or less a God it can be relaxing to pretend to be something lesser. To experience a normal life that doesn’t have the weight of the world literally bearing down on your shoulders. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem possible for Jon Kent. He’s the son of Superman and whether he likes it or not the world needs him to be all he can be. Tom Taylor just knows how to make a character feel real. He is likable because he is so unsure of himself as a hero. Just because he can fly and is super strong doesn’t mean he’s ready to take on the world's problem. Taylor has been killing it with Nightwing, and though it’s only been two issues I can tell that Jon Kent is in good hands!