January 18th, 2023

Caroline's Picks:

Barbaric Hell to Pay #1 - The Year of Barbaric is here and boy did this week pack a punch! Two new graphic novels were released this week and a new story arc as well, truly we have been blessed by Vault this week. A quick recap for where we last left our squad of misfits: Owen was sent to hell, Soren wields Axe, and Steel is still working on using his new Vampire powers for good, or at least his version. As a perceived group of evil people they’re all each other has. They’re all a little lost without everyone's favorite barbarian around, but they’re doing what they can to keep each other together. So of course the three of them are doing whatever they can to get a lead on Owen and how to save him. Mostly this involves killing lots of Orcs until they get information. But they’re only so strong, and every time Steel turns he gets less and less himself. And one bad fight seems like it could be the end for them, luckily Owen has friends all over the world looking out for him and Axe, he even has a few in hell too.
Invincible Iron Man #2 - I don’t think it’s possible to state how excited I am to see Riri back in the Invincible Iron Man comics, her presence and sass has been dearly missed from the writing. Tony on the other hand might not be so excited to see her again. He’s hitting rock bottom fast and that isn’t something anyone wants their mentee to see. But she’s here and she’s ready to babysit for as long as he needs to rest, sadly that isn’t long. The next day he and Riri are back at it. Once again someone is messing hardcore with his life, pulling the strings to make everything come crashing down around him. Another captured villain is set free, The Living Laser wants his revenge for what Tony supposedly did to him, innocent citizens be damned. A little Ten Rings magic later and Riri seems to have calmed things down between the boys. But Tony is more concerned with just who is really pulling the strings in his life right now.
Night Club #2 - So you’ve just been turned into a vampire after barely escaping death and now you are essentially a superpowered being. What is the first thing you’d do if you were a teenager? Surprise your best friends with said new powers and show off a little. Personally I think his friends react rather appropriately to how he decided to surprise them. After everyone calms down he does what everyone’s expecting: he offers to turn them as well. No since in living this eternal life alone, and think of all the money they could make on Youtube making superpowered videos! Honestly Mark Millar really just hits the nail on the head for me with his writing in this series so far. The humor has been on point and not forces while still showing the daily struggles and annoyances of high school life. They’re kids, well teenagers, and they really just want to have fun and make some money doing it. But throw in some high school bullies post super power-ups and things really get interesting from there.
The Wasp #1 - This was a surprisingly fun read for me this week. Focusing on both Janet and her stepdaughter Nadia, the two Wasps, working together to save the day. Janet is working on rebuilding in this phase of uncertainty for heroes in New York. She's busy with Jarvis making a new exclusive bar for everyone with a secret superhero room for her friends and sometimes partners in taking down crime. But Janet is still stuck reminiscing about the day her father died. It’s never quite sat right with her and though the villain who took his life has been defeated Jan is still feeling this background sense that something isn’t right. But she’s got a lunch date with Nadia and any looming sense of doom can wait, she’s got to make her way across the city without anyone thinking she’s doing hero work. Of course this is a Marvel comic and things are never as easy as the character would like. So instead of something good to eat the Wasp women are busy fighting for their lives. If you can call fighting a B-rate villain Janet has beaten before a fight. And with Nadia’s brain and tech Whirlwind is fast work for the two of them. What’s more important and terrifying for Janet is the information he’s been marked with.

Diarra's Picks:

White Savior #1 - The issue begins in feudal Japan, but we soon realize it’s really present day and we are merely in an old man’s story. You see, Todd Parker has been tasked with keeping an eye on his grandfather while his parents go on vacation, and gramps thinks the legend of The Inoki is just the story Todd needs. Todd is first generation American from a Japanese family and fearing his grandson is detaching from their culture, The Inoki is the perfect story to pass down. In this legend, there is a great white savior that will appear and help win the battle, but turns out this savior exaggerated his qualifications and dies as soon as he enters the battlefield this dooming those who trusted him. Todd has heard this story before, but he is an adult now and doesn’t believe in old wives tales. He heads out to meet a friend for lunch, and while trying to play Good Samaritan he gets mugged on the way. He makes it to lunch and as he regals his friend with this story, Todd realizes one of the muggers is waiting tables at the restaurant. He confronts her and a chase ensues, leading him into an abandoned subway station…that’s when things get weird. Todd races toward darkness and finds himself falling into a battlefield. After getting his getting bearings/ realizing he isn’t dreaming, he finally figures out where he is and it’s the great battle his grandfather was just telling him about. This is all hard to believe, but when he sees ‘the great white dope’ that causes this clan’s demise, Todd knows he has to convince them not to put their trust in him…oh, yeah and he needs to find a way back to his timeline. With only four issues in the series, I can’t wait to see what Todd does next!
Immortal Sergeant #1 - I have been anticipating this issue and it did not disappoint. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again, I’ll read a graphic novel with stick figures if the story is good, so don’t come in looking for “amazing” art, but if you like crime this is a fun one! Jim Sargent is a cop who gives off what I can only describe as “Detective Lassiter from Psych” vibes, and although his retirement is just around the corner, he isn’t excited. Besides the fact he loves being a cop, he has one unsolved case keeping him up at night, and when that cold case gets a new lead Jim is determined to solve this case before he is forced to hang up his badge. Jim has to do all he can in this short window, but then he remembers his son is coming to town for the retirement party. Now with time ticking down, Jim the badass has to solve this case with his anxiety riddled adult son in tow. I’m ready for all the silliness and crime fighting that is about to ensue!
One Bad Day: Bane - These one shots have been awesome so far, and while we were promised a Catwoman story, I don’t even mind the delay! Here we catch up with a Bane who has left Gotham behind, well at least physically because he is using his rep to gather fans to his wrestling matches. Bane spends his days raking in the cash from adoring fans, but when he learns there might be more venom serum produced he knows it must be destroyed. Bane chases clues to the productions lab, but it turns out to be a trap. Don’t freight, even a retired Bane is tough enough to escape, but it’s the road to the lab that we learn interesting information about Bane’s past. With each issue we get a deeper look into out favorite antagonists, and I don’t think you’ll look at Bane the same after this issue!

K's Picks:

Batman One Bad Day: Bane - The mysterious Bane broke the Bat, a moment so iconic it redefined the very idea of Bane. This book is sad, like, really sad. I never really thought I'd get a wee bit teary-eyed reading a book about a roided, masked freak reminiscing about his glory years. Bane is always treated like some idiotic meathead, but any reasonable being hopped-up on a super steroid would probably making your brain go crazy too. Yes, Bane is the big, strong musclehead but from his roots nut he's also one of the smartest characters in DC. He definitely gets huge points for finding the Batcave and Unmasking Bruce, something almost no one had done so far. He's quite literally the Venom or Bane to Batman. In more ways than one, the Bat is a Constant reminder of his endless lust to do what no one did, to break the Bat. He's done it before, but ever since then he could never replicate that feeling. Crushing wrestlers dressed as the Bat, breaking their backs every night, just to get a feeling of something. Bane isn't just a tragic Villain, Bane is a man who regrets that day, the day he broke Batman and in the process, himself. My favorite book this week!
Deadpool #3 - This one was pretty damn funny. There's definitely a lot more hits than misses in the comedy section, at a bit of a risk tho. This Deadpool story first seemed to be building up to something bigger, like the Carnage symbiote coming back and messing stuff up big. After reading these past three issues I really don't think so anymore. I'm sure everyone is aware of Absolute Carnage and how it lead to one of the coolest Villains in marvel history? Well, we already did the Carnage angle and the story is treating the symbiote as some goofy sidekick to Deadpool. If I missed something before I definitely get the idea of a self-contained story now. Valentine Young has ulterior motives. She's testing the symbiote, but I feel like there's more she wants from Pool. I'm not the only one that thinks she's super evil and has some evil plot in mind. Besides all that I loved the humour and Symbpool is pretty damn cute!
Wasp #1 - Pretty good read this week, I love seeing Wasp in action and my only qualm is that I want more! We learn a little about the strong anchors of Janet's resolve -  what really pushed her into the righteous role of an avenger. It was partly to "Avenge" her father. First and foremost, the art is amazing. The anatomy is great and I love how sharp the eyes are, gives you a strong sense of focus from Janet's and Nadia's design. Unfortunately, I couldn't help but giggle a bit at a very serious and intense moment. I can't help but laugh when I see tiny little Ant Man on a desk talking about solving a homicide. Mad respect to the artist using the old comic book grid to give you the vibe that certain events are happening in the past and I need more of stuff like that. Honestly, pretty fun story all around. I love me some good Eldritch horror and it seems our Cosmic Bird Box enemy is going to make waves in issues to come. Check this one out if you love Janet and good art!