August 2nd, 2023

Caroline's Picks:

The Sacrificers #1 - Rick Remender is back with a new epic fantasy story that is set to unravel in an intentional and methodical format. He wants every reader to have their own experience and understanding, allowing for everyone to come out with their own interpretation and how it felt to them. The story follows the paths of two very different families, and specifically the children that are set to take on those burdens. What would you sacrifice to save your family? When it came down to it, who would you choose to bear those burdens? This first issue is told mostly through the art, limited speech bubbles are used but this does not detract from the story at all. Instead we are allowed to fill the spaces with out own moments and memories that help us connect to the characters a bit more. The most impactful moment of this story comes when we finally learn why one of these families seems to have outcast their own, immediately making the reader curious as to why this world requires these sacrifices at all.
Dark Droids #1 - This is the next MASSIVE event for Star Wars fans. It seems that everyone we know is Star Wars has their own droid companion, they are one of the most consistent aspects across the Star Wars universe. Which also means there's a piece of the story taking place across all of the ongoing comic series. This event imagines a Star Wars version of Robots vs Humans, drawing inspiration from classic horror movies. We see a very dangerous version of what could really go wrong when digital life becomes independent. It is hungry, and it is determined to feed. It starts with one, that's all it needs to gain access and with that access it commits war crimes so bad even Chopper might be horrified. This new enemy is able to take down thousands in a matter of minutes and before long it seems to have access to most of the galaxy's secrets. But it does not care for Jedi, Sith, or the Rebellion. It is simply hungry, and it wants more. The biggest question it has to answer is who next?
Strage Academy Miles Morales #1 - It might be summer break but there’s a few students sticking around the Academy campus to spend extra time working on their magical studies, and working on building their friendships as well. The kids have been working on something big for the past few weeks, but once that’s done they’ve still got plenty of time left to kill before the next semester starts. How about a trip to NY to battle other interdimensional students in the Multiversal Math Bowl! Our good friend Miles Morales is there to give a quick welcome speech and introduce a rather unique character to everyone. Dr. Erasmus aka Equation is here to introduce the next generation to ‘Enchantimathics’ - the math behind the unknown used to defeat that which cannot be explained. But of course with this many heroes in one place a little chaos is bound to ensue. With any luck the math will work out just right for everyone involved…
Black Cloak #6 - If you aren’t reading this series by not WHAT ARE YOU DOING? The final issue of the first arc packs so many punches while simultaneously wrapping up and trying together everyone's major arcs. Things have only managed to go from bad to worse for our dead Detective Essex Phaedra, from the start she knew this case involved her in far too intimate a way to ever be free from it. Now she and her partner has discovered the worst secret this city has to hide and they’re face with an incredibly burdensome decision: destroy the worst thing they’ve ever seen and possibly the last city in the known world, or turn a blind eye and let those in power sacrifice the lives of the most innocent members of society for the greater good. Intention emotion runs through this issue and culminates in an explosive finale that has me already itching to tear into the next arc. If you’ve been a fan of Saga or Once Upon a Time at the End of the World then I highly recommend you grab these issues while you still can.

Rob's Picks:

Magneto #1 - Writer J.M. DeMatteis examines one of Marvel’s most complex characters in this new series. Magneto has been many things over his long life; survivor, villain, terrorist, elder-statesman. This story flashes back to a time when the X-men’s reformed arch-nemesis was headmaster of the Xavier Academy, and mentor to the New Mutants. He’s led and inspired many mutants as leader of the Brotherhood, but this new role is still an awkward fit. Teaching his young students to wield their powers and to be proud of what they are is nothing new, but Magneto can’t help looking, and feeling, like something of a hypocrite in trying to preach the ideals of Charles Xavier. How can the man who once chose to embody all mankind's worst fears about mutants tell his charges to protect the world that so often rejects them? He hasn’t found an answer to that question, but in his search for one we get a new perspective on how the man views himself.
Conan #1 - Return to the Hyborian Age! Conan the Cimmerian rides again in this masterful throwback to the golden era of sword and sorcery comics. This new story finds the mighty barbarian many years into his career as a wandering adventurer. He’s closer to his homeland of Cimmeria than he has been in a long time, and with his employment as a mercenary coming to a sudden and violent end he considers returning to his people. His ruminations are interrupted by the arrival of a stranger with evil tidings, closely followed by a horrific and deadly force. This new threat gives dire urgency to Conan’s homecoming, and he sets out with a new companion to the harsh land of his birth. This book is a feast for fans of Savage Sword era Conan comics. Writer Jim Zub captures the blunt pulpy prose of Robert E. Howard, but most impressive is the work of artist Rob De La Torre. He faithfully recreates the style of John Buscema’s iconic run on Marvel’s Conan title of the 70’s and 80’s to a degree that is uncanny. This doesn’t feel like an imitation of a great artist but a tribute to a master, and to the bygone era of fantasy comics he helped define.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957 #1 - Hellboy and friends return, filling another gap in his early days. The year is 1957, and even though he’s already fully grown and an active field agent for the Bureau he’s still learning his trade as a paranormal investigator and monster-puncher. He was only “born” in 1945 after all. Dispatched to investigate a supposedly haunted sawmill, Hellboy is joined by his father figure Professor Bruttenholm, and Archie Muraro, one of the working stiffs who handles the B.P.R.D.’s unglamorous grunt work. The two men have very different motivations and philosophies regarding their work, both of which have their influence on the young Hellboy and can be seen in his adventures as a more mature character. The professor is driven by curiosity and idealism. For Muraro, finding and fighting monsters is just another job. He’s no more excited by the prospect of encountering the supernatural than a plumber would be about a clogged drain. The blue-collar, matter of fact attitude Hellboy has about his career of heroism is one the defining features of the character and part of the unique tone of the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. stories. Here we see that trait beginning to form. The morality he learned from the professor drives his commitment to the job, but guys like Archie taught him how to do it. With all that said, this issue is no character study and comes complete with a classic Mignola-style two-fisted monster mash.

Solomon's Picks:

Death Of The Venomverse #1 - Death of The Venomverse opened up with an interesting first issue. Carnage has a vendetta against all of the symbiotes, going down a warpath through the multiverse. He’s murdering the hosts and absorbing the symbiotes to increase his power. If he decides they aren't strong enough, he simply kills them and moves on. This issue shows Carnage toying with the other symbiotes as they hop from dimension to dimension to stop him, only arriving in time to see he already defeated that universe's symbiote. This was a fast paced, action-heavy issue, as Carnage doesn't spend much time talking with his opponents. The issue ends promising a fight between him and the ‘Symbiote-Six’ and I can't wait to see that. Death of The Venomverse is extremely interesting so far, and I can't wait to see Carnage take on Eddie Brock! If you're a big fan of Venom, Carnage, or have been keeping up with the Venomverse stuff, you'll love this!
Magneto #1 - This was an incredible issue out of the new Magneto story. It looks back on many of Magneto's iconic moments, offers insight to many of his more personal moments, and sets up a new villain. It opens up with the new X-men in a simulated battle against the original Brotherhood of Mutants. After the battle, Max lectures his students for boasting and not having compassion for fellow mutants. This only upsets them as they storm off, angry that the former super-villain could lecture them about such a thing. This issue had some extremely hard-hitting moments for me, and I love the pages where he reflects on not only his past, but his current life as well. It shows how wise and how aware of his actions he is. He calls out his own hypocrisies, and stands firm in many of his beliefs. It makes for a fascinating character, and an extremely enjoyable story. The new villain, Irae, seems to be attempting to revert him back to his old ways with her new Sisterhood and I can't wait to see where this story will go!
The Sacrificers #1 - The Sacrificers was a phenomenal first issue. An incredible story by Rick Remender, amazing art from Max Fiumara, and wonderful characters all-around. This promises to be an amazing project. This first issue did a fantastic job at holding my attention from start to finish and I wouldn't be surprised if this quickly becomes a fan favorite. It is well-written and you quickly understand how the world works and will walk away with enough questions to ensure you come back for the next issue. It does a fantastic job at not spoon-feeding you the story but showing and providing enough details to help you infer what's happening. I’m going to be eagerly awaiting the following issues of this story and highly recommend it to everyone!