August 9th, 2023

Rob's Picks:

Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance #1 - Two of Marvel’s greatest lone-wolf antiheroes are teaming up! It starts with a familiar story: a desperate caretaker arrives on Charles Xavier's doorstop with an outcast child, possessing strange and dangerous powers. This child is certainly special, but he is no mutant. Something dark hangs over the boy, and though Professor X can’t take him in, he can dispatch Logan to watch over the child until help can be found. Following the sulfurous trail leads Wolverine to cross paths with Johnny Blaze, on the hunt for a supernatural killer. The trail goes cold until over a decade later when the grizzly killings begin again. Writer Benjamin Percy is the perfect writer for this crossover series; his current run on Ghost Rider has been long overdue return to form, putting the title back in its proper place straddling the line between horror and superheroics. As for Wolverine, Percy captures the voice of the half-feral Berzerker Logan of the 80’s and 90’s.
Knight Terrors #3 - From indies to the big two, horror comics are having a great year, and DC’s Knight Terrors event might be the biggest surprise. Major crisis events crossing over multiple titles can feel like a chore when poorly executed, but the quality of content from art to story has been high and remarkably consistent across all the involved books. The series main title is ratcheting up the speed this week as our heroes close in on the Nightmare Stone and an endgame begins to take shape. Dead Man and undead consulting detective Sandman are cornered by the Sleepless Knights, putting their quest to wake the world in jeopardy. Lucky for them Damien Wayne comes in off the top rope with a much needed assist. It's taking all the mental fortitude he learned from grandpa Ras to stay awake, and he's not too pleased to find Deadman possessing his dad. Series antagonist Insomnia can't find the Nightmare Stone in the land of dreams or the waking world. The only place left to look is somewhere between dreams and death. This issue continues the tight pacing and phantasmagoric art that has made this event such a fun ride.
Guardians of the Galaxy #5 - The whole band (minus Groot of course) is finally back together. Well they're all in the same place, but the lines that have come to divide them remain. Peter Quill pushes them to fight on to save the Innocents of the manifold territories and maybe, just maybe, Groot. It's no easy feat; each member of the team has given up in one way or another, resigned to their own particular brand of fatalism. Starlord remains determined to save the day or die trying. Dying seems more likely as the many warring factions of the territories converge for a final battle as a swarm of Grootfalls descends. It's an issue heavy on emotion and action setting us up for an epic finale.

Solomon's Picks:

Mech Cadets #1 - Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa return to the sci-fi adventure, Mech Cadets, with a fantastic first issue of the sequel series. This issue continues a year after the last one left off, and wastes no time moving the story forward. They receive reports to protect a store from looters, however, on arrival they find out that the looters are simply civilians who've been ignored by their government. Their city had been flooded for weeks and supplies and power was running out. After helping this group of civilians, Olivia is relieved of her title as Commander for disobeying direct orders (again) and we see the crew adjust to the change, as well as reassure Olivia of their trust in her leadership as well as their friendship. We also see that they have taken on much more responsibilities which opens the door for them to reevaluate what their personal goals are with joining the Sky Force. The team is later tasked with going on a recon mission to search for a missing team, one that Francis’ cousin is a part of. We also find out that Francis named Thunderwrecker after his cousin's Robo of the same name, with Francis saying “You'll understand why when you meet him, he's so awesome”. The issue ends off on a cliffhanger, as the crew stumbled upon Sharg and had a brief, but wonderfully illustrated fight. This series has always done a fantastic job with character interactions, and that hasn't stopped as this new issue reintroduces all of the characters in a familiar way, while providing quick bits of backstory and room for new characters to shine. The art of Mech Cadets has always been incredible, and this issue in particular had amazing shading and fantastic sense of scale when the Robos were shown. I can't wait for the show dropping on Netflix later this month, and I can't wait to see how this new run progresses in the future!
Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons Of Vengeance #1 - This was an incredible issue! The art done by Geoff Shaw and Rain Beredo is reason enough to pick up this book because words can't describe how wonderfully drawn this is. The story shows a young orphaned boy named Bram, who unfortunately has a demon residing within him. He has an extremely difficult time finding a family because of this, with everyone returning or rejecting him due to the strange occurrences that seem to happen around him. We go through a bit of the young man's life and see that his caseworker had reason to believe he was a mutant, and brought him to Charles Xavier at one point, where he also had a brief interaction with Wolverine who said that the boy “Stunk like a steaming pile of sulfur”. When Xavier rejects the boy, on account of him not being a mutant, he's returned to the orphanage where later that night he vanishes. He leaves a gruesome sight of the other children there, who never made him feel welcomed or appreciated. There's so much packed in this story that I don't want to spoil it, but I wanted to highlight that this demon is strong enough to go toe to toe with the mutants at Charles’ school and walk away unscathed. The fights inside of this issue are drawn so well, especially the encounter between Ghostrider and Wolverine. The writing was phenomenal so each encounter definitely feels much more intense and well-deserved, even when they only last a few panels. As Benjamin Percy writes many of the ongoing series involving Ghostrider and Wolverine, it definitely was a treat watching him bring these two characters together and creating a story and threat that feels unique to them. Again, this issue was incredible and I would highly recommend it to everyone!
World’s Finest: Teen Titans #2 - Issue two of the latest Teen Titans run was wonderful! The Teen Titans have to help a young woman named Dalisay, with the power of a psychic, who has unknowingly projected something of a pocket reality around an abandoned building. The issue's central theme is about common issues you struggle with as a teenager- lack of confidence, isolation, bullying, etc. It shows Speedy and Robin butting heads, Aqualad struggling with parts of his and Wonder Girl's picture perfect relationship, and just so many more great character moments. What I've especially enjoyed with this run (as well as The ongoing Dawn Of DC: Titans) is that this group have been perfect examples that not every story needs to be a high stakes event and there's still plenty of appreciation for simple and clean storylines where the characters' personality is the main focus. If you didn't pick up the first issue just know the charm and style of this run is so refreshing, packed with a callback-style and incredible lettering done throughout the story. The vibe you pickup when reading through this story is great and I can't get enough of it. I can't wait for the next issue where the Teen Titans celebrate ’TitanCon’-yes!