February 7th, 2024

Rob's Picks:

Red Hood: The Hill #0 - The first issue of Red Hood's new series is right around the corner, but this double-length preview will catch readers up on where we last left Jason Todd. Collecting the final two issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws from writer Shawn Martinbrough, who returns to the character for The Hill, this story is set in the aftermath of the Joker War. With how many years and DC event arcs that have passed, it’s a much-needed refresher as it seems Martinbrough will be picking things up more or less where he left them. Jason Todd has returned to Gotham, catching up with some old friends in the up-and-coming neighborhood called the Hill. Gotham hasn’t changed while he’s been out of town; another would-be gangster is making a play for power, turning the Hill into a battlefield. Red Hood enters the fray, meeting some new masked vigilantes and crossing paths with a very dapper Killer Croc. This self-contained story of street-level crime fighting is quite refreshing following a year crowded with world-shaking tie-in events, and hopefully, a good indicator of what we’ll be seeing in issue #1 and beyond.

Wolverine: Madripoor Knights #1 - Chris Claremont does it again, bringing together Logan, Natasha Romanoff, and Steve Rogers in the island nation of Madripoor. In his signature white tux and eyepatch, Wolverine joins Natasha, Jubilee, and Betsy Braddock for a night on the town. Their night of celebration becomes business as usual when Captain America makes his entrance, already mid-fight with a squad of ninjas. Taking out the Hand's assassins is nothing new for Logan and the gang, but some mysterious force is interfering with their mutant powers, making the fight far more desperate. The Amazonian warriors of the Bacchae intervene, looking to recruit one of our heroes for a secretive mission. We’re in good hands with Claremont as always. Most of this issue's page count is dedicated to a single epic fight scene, yet does a masterful job setting the stage, introducing a tangled web of friends, foes, and factions at play without slowing down or sidelining any characters.

Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees #3 - Writer/artist Patrick Horvath's Beneath the Trees took only two issues to become one of the most surprising hit series in recent memory. It’s a rare work, balancing the sinister tone and cutesy aesthetics, doing artistic service to both in a way that allows the one to enhance the other rather than the contrast existing solely as an ironic juxtaposition. Two shocking murders have turned life in the quiet town of Woodbrook upside down. Suspicion is in the air; no one walks the street alone, everyone wondering which of their neighbors is the killer, hiding in plain sight. Discreet serial killer Sam is still investigating the identity of the brazen murderer, and recent clues have put her sights on Melody, the town butcher. Everyone has secrets to keep, the life they live behind the locked doors of their home, who they are when no one is watching. Trying to keep secrets in a small town is hard enough when you’re not a prolific mass murderer, and Sam’s investigation risks revealing her own secrets. If you enjoyed issues #1 and 2, and if you read them you probably did, all I can say is this book continues to exceed expectations. If you haven’t gotten on board with this title, this is so good it’s worth starting late.

Solomon's Picks:

Mace Windu #1 - Mace Windu has his own thrilling story with Mace Windu #1 in stores now! By Marc Bernardin and Georges Jeanty, this issue was such an enjoyable read, as Windu is a character who I’ve always felt was underutilized but had loads of untapped stories/potential. He is tasked with tracking down Azita Cruuz in order to retrieve a specialized Coaxium Formula that could challenge the order that the Republic has fought hard to maintain. We see Mace Windu take on many trials and tribulations in this first issue alone, fighting his way through mercenaries and various unruly characters. His actions and mannerisms match perfectly with what we’ve been shown before, and I absolutely love the energy he gives off throughout this whole issue. We see his special approach to the Force and his unique way of following the Jedi Code in action several different times, and even if you know nothing about Star Wars, this issue would definitely catch your attention. Come grab a copy now!

Ultimate Black Panther #1 - The New Ultimate Universe has delivered another banger, this time with Ultimate Black Panther! Created by Bryan Hill, Stefano Caselli, and David Curiel, this debut issue was an excellent read with plenty of fan favorites getting time to shine (Killmonger fans will love the pages he’s present, along with a special guest). While there was more buildup than I would have hoped, everything else about this issue is fantastic, from the internal debates that happen due to the forthcoming war Wakanda is soon to be locked into, the highlighting of Suri’s unmatched intellect, wonderful illustrations, and excellent pacing. This issue has me beyond hyped for where this new version of Black Panther’s story will end up! Seems like the Ultimate Universe titles fly off the shelves quickly, so be sure to add this to your pulls to guarantee a copy for yourself!

Thundercats #1 - A surprise that I wasn’t expecting going into 2024 is the return of Thundercats! Given to us by Declan Shalvey and Drew Moss, this first issue was an electrifying return to the series that I’m sure long-time fans will love! It was a quick read that wastes no time with a long and dramatic monologue on the backstory of the group (for the fifth time), instead it offers about two pages of exposition and immediately throws you into the story. It feels very true to the characters I remember from my childhood, and the art is absolutely incredible! An epic battle takes place towards the end of the book featuring the full cast, and a shocking ending will be sure to catch your eye. This reminds me a lot of the Saturday morning cartoon I grew up with, so I'll be sure to keep an eye on this series and recommend you do the same!