February 10th, 2020

J.R.'s Picks:

Critical Role Vox Machina Origins III #1 – The party has returned! As with most grand adventures, this one starts in a tavern. Vox Machina has just returned from a triumphant battle for a somewhat shady source but their contact pays out super well. They commence celebrating in a lengthy montage of hedonism which dries up their funds all but good. While plotting in the tavern on ways to increase their wealth, Grog gets into a bar fight with another patron, destroying the entire tavern in the process. An underground battle scout is impressed with the group’s skills and offers to sponsor them in an upcoming match with a big payout. Cue the training montage! A superb fantasy adventure in one small package as always.
  
Future State Superman/Wonder Woman #2 – Another great installment in a somewhat hopeful future. After the events of last issue, Superman is feeling drained from the red sun energy of Solaris and wakes up from an unwanted nap in his dad’s old Fortress. What he finds is Yara trying to wrestle the god of the moon’s steed into place. Turns out the god of the Sun wasn’t too happy about a fake alien Sun coming into his turf. To stoke his ego, Wonder Woman has agreed to challenge him to a race and reclaim his glory. Extenuating circumstances call for a switch though, with Superman taking her place! A great issue to end this look into the future on along with Brazilian mythology goodness.
  
Radiant Black #1 – A struggling writer with crushing, debilitating debt hanging over his head? I can relate. That’s the story of Nathan Burnett at least as he leaves the overpriced fare of L.A. and moves back in with his parents in the town of Lockport. Luckily, his friend from high school Marshall wants to show him that it’s not all doom and gloom. The two of them get riotously drunk and stumble upon what looks like a mini black hole hovering over some railroad tracks. Once Nathan’s hands break its surface, a black and blue suit covers his body complete with what seems like gravity powers. This man is stressed as all hell still so hopefully in the coming issues he can solve the mystery of this power suit and get his life on track.
  
Eternals #2 – This one starts out with a battle for the ages or rather through the ages. After discovering Thanos when searching for Zuras’s killer, Ikaris goes full tilt. The robotic sentry of the Eternals makes it so the two fling through portals throughout time and travel endlessly locked in combat over the heads of history. When they land, Sprite is able to trick Thanos and help Ikaris to escape. The robotic sentry then tells a small tale of Ikaris unknowingly ruining the life of a mortal as gods tend to do as a way of displaying Ikaris’s thick-headedness. Good thing, as the rest of the issue involves the remaining Eternals discussing further strategy which does not penetrate Ikaris’s skull. Gillen is really swingin’ for the fences with this one and I think they have something special in their hands.

Diarra's Picks:

Radiant Black #1 - Nathan’s life isn’t going the way he expected. He moved to the city optimistic, and ready to pursue a career as a writer. Crippled by self doubt, all Nathan has managed to get was thousands of dollars in debt. Now, in his 30s, Nathan is forced to move back to his home town and in with his parents. Before he can even unpack and wallow in self pity, a childhood friend comes by to take him out for a night on the town. They go to a local bar and Nathan fills his pal in on the troubles he is facing. Nathan doesn’t feel much better after leaving, but their depressing evening is interrupted by a strange object in the distance. They get closer to investigate, and find a glowing orb floating midair. Nathan touches it and, full Ranger style, is instantly covered in a “super suit”. They quickly realize that great power also comes with the suit, and Nathan believes this suit has given him a higher purpose. What Nathan doesn’t know, is that he isn’t the only one with a suit! Image produces superhero stories all the time, but this series might be the beginning of something huge!
  
Casual Fling #1 - Reality based stories are always my thing, so when I heard about this mini series I had to put it on my pull. You quickly get an idea of the stress Jennifer is under being a wife, mother, and business woman. On the other hand, you see her loving husband who stays home with the kids, their beautiful Manhattan home, and her fulfilling career, and can’t help but think she has everything. While at a work party, Jennifer meets Alex and they instantly hit it off. They chat for hours, but Jennifer turns down his offer to meet again. By chance or devious planning, Jennifer runs into Alex at a coffee shop by her office. He invited her for a drink since it’s his last night in town, but she again declined. She returns to work, but after getting reprimanded by her boss, she decides to go have that drink with Alex. That ends with them sleeping together and like most people who have affairs, instant regret for Jennifer. She doesn’t know yet, how much she’ll regret that evening because Alex wants something more than just a one night stand. Between this series and Bad Mother, Upshot publishing is giving me the true-crime realness I love! 
  
Orcs #1 - Who doesn’t like a good adventure? Our band of Orcs have set off to find treasure and nothing will stop them...that is until they realize the treasure is deep in the Elf forest. This gang has made it out of worse jams, and push on. The elves on guard don’t seem to be bothered by the stranger’s presence, mostly because the trespassers have landed in Squirrel Glen. Rick and Morty fans know a lesson our adventurers are about to learn, “Don’t fuck with squirrels!” They have a plan, but what other dangers will this forest hold? My 11 year old son and I had a great time reading this book aloud and practicing our best Orc accents. Definitely a series we are both excited to continue!

Stone's Picks:

Superman and Wonder Woman Future State #2 - After his engagement with Solaris, Superman was weakened to the point of falling out of the sky mid-flight. He wakes in the Fortress of Solitude and finds Wonder Woman explaining what happened to him. Supes is severely weakened by the effects of Solaris’ red sun but has no time to rest before he has to face him once more. At the same time, Wonder Woman is called upon by Kuat to compete in a race to prove how great of a sun god he is. Both Wonder Woman and Superman are outmatched against their opponents, but were they to switch places how would the Heroes fair?
  
Robin Eternal Future State #2 - After a neck-breaking conclusion to the last issue, Robin was bathed in the Lazarus resin and fought his way back to life. Feeling stronger than ever, he easily dispatches bad guys while Spoiler and Darcy investigate what the side effects of Tim’s exposure will be. They discover it's incompatible with human emotions and will result in Tim’s death. Before he dies, Tim is determined to make sure the supply of the resin doesn’t reach Gotham. While all this is happening the serum is making Tim hallucinate a shadowy version of Batman who criticizes Tim for his failures as Robin.
  
Teen Titans Future State #2 - The most confusing Future State storyline continues. Red X has been released by Dick Grayson and the two of them along with the other Titans prepare to face off against the Four Riders of the Apocalypse. Raven uses her magic to transport them to where the riders are and the two groups engage each other. The only way to stop the riders are for them to be imprisoned in the Rock of Eternity. For this to happen, Billy Batson will have to stay in his superhero form and stand guard to the riders forever. As Raven gathers the necessary energy required to tether the riders to the Rock, Red X makes an all or nothing play to by her enough time.