December 30th, 2020

J.R.'s Picks:

The Department of Truth #4 – Hands down, the best new series of the year. Tynion continues to wow with tight scripting and a narrative that’s set to tear a new one in the face of conservative fabrication. This month’s issue shows Cole Turner, newly christened agent of the department, getting coffee for the head honcho. The chief and his top hacker are gathered around surveillance footage of a Washington Post reporter telling his editor about mysterious drops of information he’s been getting. The drops allege everything from the New World Order, the Obama birther conspiracy, and that the Kennedys were an American experiment. Then things take a drastic turn that cements Agent Turner in the ranks of the Department forever. Grab up this whole series and READ. IT. NOW.
Batman Annual #5 – Two Tynion books? This man maybe on fire but the real star of the show for this book is James Stokoe. Top of the line sequential comic goodness you won’t find anywhere else. This issue follows Dr. Leslie Thompkins as she helps out another vigilante in need: the Clownhunter. At the advice of Batman, Clownhunter meets up with Dr. Thompkins after a bad gash from killing clowns. Bao relays how he picked up his bat-bat to the good doc after the Joker killed his parents. What then transpires is an interesting discussion about the efficacy of violence in a city such as Gotham. Come for the action, stay for the crisp characterization of this new clown-smashing anti-hero.
Monstress Talk-Stories #2 – The second part to this quiet interstitial series has arrived! Kippa won’t get out of bed to help herself because she feels responsible for what the witches did at the end of the battle. Luckily, Maika put on her empathetic hat and asks Kippa to help her cut her hair owing to her injuries. Maika then does something super rare: tells a happy story of her childhood. Just before to the Federation military school, her and her friend snuck off to go on a sailing adventure. Unfortunately, she met up with lightning squids and had to be saved by a tiger pirate queen. It’s true! Read it for yourself and enjoy this quiet tale before the series kicks back in full.
Sea of Sorrows #2 – Douek continues to thrill and chill in the newest installment of underwater horror. Now that they’ve found the wreckage with the gold, the crew has to secure the wreck down below so salvage will be easier. On first go down though, a diver is ripped away in a mass of blood so quick, they couldn’t see what did it. There’s gold though, so no one seems to bat an eye about their general safety. Well, not until a crewman goes mad after being rejected by the only woman on board and tries to follow a death siren into the water…Things are ramping up for a helluva bloody time so be sure to check this one out if you’re looking for a scare.

Diarra's Picks:

Dark Interlude #2 - A writer’s stories have taken a life of their own. While locked up and checked out, a creator (Henry) fights for his life. Estranged family rallies, each with good and bad intentions. The fourth wall is broken and even makes a hospital visit, muse shows up too! Henry is clinging to life while more of his story unfolds...and plots! I’m getting Sandman energy from this series, and I’m excited to see where it goes!
Batman Annual - I’ll read anything Stokoe draws, so I had to pick up this issue! Who knew his short in the Joker War one shot would lead to this! Both stories are about the Clownhunter, but this issue gives us an origin story. Like Bruce, Gotham took Clownhunter’s family too soon, but back then he was just Bao. Bao had what young Bruce didn’t, a Batman to look up to. Joker killed Bao’s parent’s and everyday he watched the news, hoping Batman would stop Joker once and for all. The events of The Joker War were the last straw, and Bao is tired of The Bat’s code. As the Clownhunter, Bao is a merciless vigilante (although recent events may have soften him up). Here Bao meets a new friend/ally through Batman, and they have a couple words of advice.
Scarenthood #3 - The gang is getting a little freaked out by Cormac’s behavior. Inconsistencies in facts about his home life have the group questioning the experience they all shared. They decide to confront him, and make some pretty serious accusations. Cormac finally comes clean, and it’s not at all what they thought. He also shares his new lead on the strange events surrounding their children’s school. He introduces them to a priest who knows exactly what they are up against. Now the question is...can they defeat it?

Stones' Picks:

Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance #1 - In the deepest parts of Hell a security unit of Demons guard the bleakest souls and darkest hearts.
The newest addition to these flame ridden depths is Michael Badilino, a former Ghost Rider. Under the command of a demon named R’ack he is forced to fight against other demons for the entertainment of the guards. During one of these bouts, the demon he is fighting convinces Michael he has a plan to get out of Hell, and that it will take the both of them to accomplish such a task. Now the two race across Hell with demons at every turn as they search for a passageway to lead them from their torment.
Sea of Sorrows #2 - The gold the crew seeks is stranded on a wreck that teeters on an ocean shelf. This makes the retrieval extremely dangerous as the slightest shift of weight could cause the entire ship to plummet further into the crushing depths. When a small team goes to assess the situation, one of them is mysteriously killed, and the presumable culprit is a shark. This doesn’t stop the determination of the others to acquire the gold, and they return to finish finding a way to safely extract the gold. But In the waters, something far more terrifying than sharks lurk.
Transformers Escape #1 - With a Decepticon attack leaving the region of Iacon vulnerable, the Autobots scramble to try to save as many civilians as they can. The Decepticons have teamed up with the Insecticons to cause mass chaos, and the Autobots are failing to defend Iacon. As Megatron's gang close in on the remaining Autobots, is there anyone left with the will and capacity to help fight back against them? Just below the surface, a warrior from the past is preparing to awaken to once again defend those in distress!