August 4th, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

X-Men #2 – Duggan’s run on the main X-title continues with more otherworldly threats being tossed at Earth. Literally. Cordyceps Jones, a giant talking mushroom feeding off the body of a dead astronaut, continues to place bets on the destruction of Earth inside of his casino that exists outside of time and space. The alien race Numari step up to the plate and unleash the waves of Annihilation from a certain memorable Marvel mash-up called, uh, Annihilation. It’s up to the X-Men to stop its destructive path in Kansas! Larraz’s artwork carries this story hard but a decisively interesting path is being carved for the X-books. Catch it now before Inferno ramps up!
Deadpool Black White and Blood #1 – At this point we’re well-acquainted with my love of jam books and lucky for me the merc-with-a-mouth just got his own! Like the Wolverine series before it, this one is only in white, black and red but that’s all Phil Noto, Whilce Portacio and motherfukin’ James Stokoe need to craft some excellent action pages. Tom Taylor’s story features Wade teaming up with Honey Badger to stop zombie zebras while Brisson’s involves a hilarious search and rescue mission of an old Bea Arthur movie. Once again though, Stokoe takes the cake with Deadpool getting in the crossfire of Omega Red and Ursa Major waging a war in Canada. Hilarious and thoughtful, just the way Deadpool should be!
The Nice House On The Lake #3 – We can all agree that this one is the book of the year but I’m still going to go off about how great it is. This month’s entry into the story centers on Sam, the intrepid reporter who like everyone else saw Walter as a truly great friend and not an alien genocider. While the others are trying to make the best of the situation, Sam is actively trying to understand their prison environment and plan for the future. His frustrations are extremely valid in the face of his friends’ apathy and his husband Arturo going along with it. Nevertheless, he ventures off into the woods to map out their enclosure. Extremely tense and including the best characterization you can imagine, this book still reigns on top.
Not All Robots #1 – If the crushing weight of our slowly crumbling society is getting you down, then you should pick up the biting wit on every page of this comic courtesy of Mark Russell. In a not-too-distant future, humanity has collapsed all semblance of climate it once had and is forced to live in environmental bubbles. To get around the harsh climates, robots were introduced to carry out all tasks previously done by humans. With a bot in every home, society continued on as it had with robots going to work every day to earn their keep for their families. Unfortunately, the rigorous work schedule of 9-5 even eats away at artificial intelligence and this society they’ve built is on the brink of collapse-this time from a robot uprising! Sardonic and funny as all hell, Russell does a fantastic job of warning us of our failings once again.

Diarra's Picks:

Lucky Devil #1 - They say you’re more susceptible to evil when you’re down on your luck. When you hear Stanley’s story, you’ll know exactly why the demon, Zedirex, chose him. Stanley has been a total doormat his whole life, but Zed turns him into a murder machine. When Zed is tuckered out, Stanley is left to self-loathe the awful things he’s done. Fed up Stanley goes to see an exorcist, and the process is a success…we’ll sort of. Zed is purged from Stanley’s body, but he is left with all his mystic powers! Zed and his underworld friends are set on getting his powers back, and Stanley is assembling a crew of his own to fight back!
The Me You Love In The Dark #1 - Ro Meadows is looking for a new place to rent, somewhere she can really focus on her art. After seeing one uninspiring apartment after the next, an old house catches her eye. Her realtor tries to sway her away from this creepy house, but Ro loves it. Besides, she only needs it for studio space and she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Weeks go by, but Ro’s “painter’s block” won’t budge. She has a gallery show soon and time is running out. In drunken sarcasm she asks the ghost for help, and finally it answers! Ro can’t believe this is actually happening, but at this point, she’ll take all the help she can get!
Spirit Rider #1 - Spirit Rider, Kushala, has been making the best of her time trapped in present day after being brought here by Doctor Strange. Strange traveled all over time and space to find sorcerers, and now he is asking for Kushala’s help once again. This time it’s for her fellow Rider, Johnny Blaze! There is a demon inside Ghost Rider so while Doctor Strange stands guard while Kushala enter’s Johnny’s body, and it only gets weirder from here. Johnny gets lost in his memories, but Kushala manages to defeat the demon by making peace with herself. Now Spirit Rider has all the tools she need to return to the 1800s, and I can’t wait to see what the next issue has in store.

Stone's Picks:

Suicide Squad Get Joker #1 - Azzarello and Maleev have created another hit for DC’s Black Label imprint. Jason Todd is locked up behind bars. His chance for early release comes in the form of Amanda Waller who will let him carry the reigns of Task Force X in pursuit of the man who killed him. Let’s face it though, Amanda Waller is Amanda Waller and there is always more to the story when she’s involved. If you’ve read any of Azzarello's work them you know what you will be getting into. I really enjoy that Jason Todd is leading the team cause it seems like such a natural placement for him to be in the Suicide Squad whether as its leader or a member of the team. The combination of blood-soaked imagery with dark humor makes this book worth the read, and the ending will have you coming back for the next issue.
We Don’t Kill Spiders #1 - it was mere months ago when I was binging the show Vikings. In that time I learned a lot about Vikings and came to love their customs and ideology. Upon flipping through this book,  noticed it had a heavy Viking presence. Because of that fact alone, I had to give it a read. My best description for this book; A side quest within Skyrim that has you playing the role of private investigator to a Jarl in which you try to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of various families. Joseph Schmalke delivers a Norse fueled crime noir that I wasn’t expecting to read this week, but am glad that I did.
Spirit Rider # 1 - Half Sorceress Supreme, Half Demon Rider, Total Badass. Kushala, the host for the Spirit of Vengeance in the 1800’s must travel into Johnny Blaze's soul to save him from himself. This new entity inside Johnny is making him lose control and cause trouble. There may be a connection between this new threat and Kushala, but she will have to be careful with her investigation as Johnny Blaze's soul is a dark place of despair. This was a solid one-shot that does a lot to expand upon Kushala as a character, and also sets up for her return in a possible solo series. Couple that great story with the fantastic art and coloring that Dan Brown provided and you have yourself a must read for any fan of Ghost Rider.