February 1st, 2022

Caroline's Picks:

Almighty #1 - A new type of post apocalypse series from Image set a few decades in the future. America had a terrible environmental disaster that caused them to wall themselves off from the rest of the world and become, essentially, a third world country. Biker gangs run the streets and small cities protected by militias are all the remains of civilization in the States. This series gives off some Mad Max vibes to it with its style and world set up but in this story our ‘heroes’ are a young woman who was kidnapped on the road and Fale, the woman who was hired to bring her home at all costs. Edward Laroche has done a great job making the characters and the stakes of the world feel real with just his first issue. Already we feel for the characters and the struggles they’ve been through and there are enough small details and teases to keep the reader guessing and interested in what’s coming next.
Scarlet Witch #2 - In this issue Wanda is continuing on her quest to be a better person and once again opening her shop to someone with nowhere else to go. Her ‘stepdaughter’ Viv Vision has appeared through the Last Door, there is something or someone plaguing her dreams. Nothing her friends or Vision have done has helped them subside and she’s become desperate, fearing for her own ability to continue on. Nothing one quick sleep therapy session with the Scarlet Witch can’t handle. A quick nightmare fight and Viv is feeling a little more like her old self. Though she still has her pain and trauma Wanda has helped her find a new path forward. (Is it just me or does anyone think we could see a variation on the Vision family with the White Vision still floating around in the MCU??) This issue also has a little bonus story at the end. Wanda and Ororo go on a girls trip of sorts and really tap into their magic. A fun moment between two of the most powerful female characters of the universe, I would happily read more of this.
Children of the Black Sun #2 - After handling their bully at the end of the last issue things seem like they might be looking up for Clem and Matthew. They've got new friends just like them, friends who know more and have lived in the heart of discrimination for everyone else for far longer than them. Now that they know they’re special Clem and Matthew are going to have a busy schedule ahead of them. They’ve got school and home life but now, now they’ve also got power training to add to the list. While the world churns on around them as it always has, afraid and untrusting of the Children of the Black Sun, the children are going to learn the beginning of why this fear isn’t for nothing. Their first lesson is in resonance, a form of mental and emotional control over lesser humans. As Children of the Black Sun they can control their own resonances to influence the ideas and emotions of others. How they use these powers and who they use them on is up to them. Clem is kind, far too kind for how the world has treated her, she just wants to see others smile. But what happens when that happiness comes at the expense of others?
Where Monsters Lie #1 - All gated communities have their pluses and minuses, HOA rules tend to be a nuisance and there’s always at least 1 really nosy neighbor who runs the neighborhood watch. Wilmhurst is just like any other of these communities, its a nice place to lives with a few rules to keep everyone in check and keep the community a safe place for them. The biggest difference however is that every single member of this community is a serial killer. They come here between events to relax and gather supplies and intel for their next outing. A rotating group of people who never stay there too long and always keep their work and home lives separate. Until today. Until the Puzzleman messes up terribly. He kills on his home turf and some of the kids make it out of the house only to be slaughtered by the rest of the community. All but one that is.

Diarra's Picks:

Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #1 - The Brooks family just traded in their fast paced life in the big city for a quiet town in upstate New York, and teen daughter, Toni, is not adjusting well. She misses her old friends and is apprehensive about her new school, where she will probably be the only black student. Her parents are empathic but when Toni’s uncle, Al Harper, left them their new house in his will, they knew they couldn’t turn this opportunity down. It’s uncomfortable finding positives like this in the loss of a family member but what’s especially unsettling is no one really knows what happened to Al, he just disappeared and was later pronounced dead. All this aside, Toni is trying to make the best out of this so when her parents go out for the evening, she and her little brother decide to snoop around the property, including the shed her parents told the kids was off limits. They are underwhelmed when they enter and find regular old shed crap, but that all changes when they accidentally find a secret staircase that leads to an underground laboratory! The kids can’t believe their eyes and begin investigating the high tech wonderland that surrounds them, but with a click of a button they set off a device that unknowingly attracts some unwanted attention…that’s when things get cosmic! This may be Ghost Light number one, but Al Harper first appeared in 1969 in a Silver Surfer story by Stan Lee and John Buscema called “And Who Shall Mourn for Him?”. You see, Harper was one of the first Black characters to appear in Marvel comics and Stan wanted to make a statement with this storyline. Harper is a physicist who ends up sacrificing his life to save the Silver Surfer, and the creators wanted their predominantly White audience to grieve for Al while prosing the question, would you care if a Black man gave his life for yours? Now, 54 years later, John Jennings and Valentine De Landro want to revisit this theme of Civil Rights and racism but in modern day, and I can’t wait to see where this series goes!
Where Monsters Lie #1 - In the middle of nowhere you can find the quaint gated-community called Wilmhurst, but it’s the residents here that make this neighborhood…unique. Turns out when they aren’t lurking around summer camps or hacking and slashing, serial killers need a place to lay their heads and that’s what Wilmhurst is for! HOAs can be scary just on their own, but imagine the folks that are tasked with keeping order in a place full of costumed killers. They have the normal rules, but one thing they are very strict about is not taking their work/victims home with them. That rule was just broken by long time resident Puzzleman, and that’s made clear when a group of teens escape his Saw-esc torture room. The kids run to a nearby house for help but that’s the last thing you’ll find in Wilmhurst. The heads of the town are pissed but his neighbors help clean up his mess, and with all the kids dead they figure no harm to foul…or so they think. Puzzleman doesn’t want to get in more trouble so he decides not to mention one young man got away, plus he figures the kid will be so glad he escaped they’ll never hear from him again. That was a wrong assumption because he goes straight to the cops, and they bring in a special agent who has been tracking these killers for years. Now Swat is at the gates of their secret oasis, but will that be enough to take down a neighborhood full of professional psychos? You don’t want to miss this!
Bloodline: Daughter of Blade #1 - Since her dad passed away when she was young it’s always been Brielle Brooks and her mom as long as she can remember. Losing a parent can be rough but Bri’s mom is awesome, and gives her all the love and support a kid could ask for. Bri is an average teen with good grades, close friends, and she stays out of trouble, despite having teachers that judge her emo style. That’s right, just a normal family…that is until a vampire attacks the two on a walk home and Bri watches in shock as her mom makes slight work of the creature. Bri’s mom can no longer keep this secret and explains that Bri’s dad (which we know is notorious vampire slayer Blade) was a Daywalker, making her half Daywalker, which honestly is a relief to Bri whose powers recently started appearing and she just thought she was going nuts! Bri takes this news shockingly well, but I can’t imagine a goth teen who wouldn’t be super stoked to learn this. She decides to hone her new abilities immediately by sneaking out at night and going to a rumored vamp hideout. She finds someone there but it's just another vampire hunter, and they do the whole “fight each other thinking they are vamps, then realize mid-fight they’re mistaken” thing. When they finally calm down, Bri is more shocked to discover who the person is than finding an actual monster. Looks like there will be more surprises in Bri’s future because even though her mom left back some details about her father, she gave him a call and Bri doesn’t know she is about to meet the half Daywalker dead she thought was dead! If you want more Blade action, Moon Knight #20 features a bonus tale where Blade teams up with another Fist of Khonshu, and it looks like he’ll be in the main Moon Knight story as well!

K's Picks:

Dark Web Finale - The final stage of the Web has been set, how will things conclude in the battlefield of Limbo? Welp...it's done and I'm interested in the other stories to come out of this! Everything about this issue is stirring up some weird feelings. I love the art and color scheme of the issue -  it looks beautiful with simple shades of orange and lots of cool Halloween themed designs. The monster army looked rad as hell and I can't help but appreciate all the pages of all these heroes and villains just duking it out! It's some really cool stuff. This event felt self contained which is good and it leaves the stakes to a minimum. Who knows, maybe Gold Goblin and Hallows Eve will wrap things up even more and introduce something more to the world.
Demon Wars: Down In Flames #1 - The most creative Marvel title is back on the shelves with some cool nods to everyone's favorite superheroes. There's no denying the sheer power and elegance of Momoko's artwork. Every panel works so smoothly with this issue and I see some great improvement in her fight choreography as well. We got to see some really cool Doctor Strange-like panels which is something I need Momoko to invest more in because I desperately need to see her do that in further releases! First and foremost, just as we saw the evil spirit resembling Venom back in Demon Days, we see the clear inspiration in the Chained yokai Teoi-Hebi - a clear reference to the maximum symbiote himself. The references really start to smack you across the face when we see a flaming bird swoop in to stop Mariko from making her choice. I don't know any other Phoenixes except Jean Grey so hopefully Cyclopes or Wolverine are right around the corner! Very good stuff all around even though I really want to know who Momiji is a stand in for because I don't recall what Marvel character she could be?
Bloodline Daughter Of Blade #1 - I was thoroughly surprised in every regard! Brielle Caulder is your average teenage girl, except she's the daughter of Blade the Vampire Hunter (if you couldn't guess from the title). I absolutely adore that her vampire capabilities only really shine at night, it adds more danger and risk to her already less reliable capabilities. Brielle already knew about vampires and her powers. Cutting the long-winded origin stuff out and getting down to business is much preferred. What really caught my attention was the dialogue. I Sometimes see a lot of artists and writers struggle with teenage interactions, but not here. It's not super crazy but I really like the conversations and personality of Brielle's mom. Hopefully we get more interesting characters to fill the cast and hopefully some more cool vampires! Backed!