January 24th, 2024

Rob's Picks:

Ghost Machine #1 - Image Comics has assembled a powerhouse team of creatives to launch a new universe of stories. The 64-page premiere serves as an anthology, with the conceit of a post-apocalyptic campfire tale framing an introductory story for each of Ghost Machines' heroes. There are a few familiar faces like Gieger and Junkyard Joe, along with a host of newcomers who occupy their universe but are scattered across time. From Geoff Johns and Bryan Hitch, there’s Simon Pure; a rakish, witty, and immortal adventurer known as the Redcoat, who has met (and made enemies of) a number of historical notables. Johns also teams up with Jason Fabok for Rook: Exodus. Set in the far future, Rook battles to survive and tame a colony world gone feral, with its wild beasts both a deadly challenge and a powerful tool. Tomasi and Manapul show a more humorous side to this collective with The Rocketfellers, the family of the future stuck in the present. The vignettes are interspersed with character profiles and other expository material, and despite the page count, the book reads fast and leaves me wanting more.

Star Wars: Thrawn - Alliances #1 - The blue bad boy of the Imperial Navy is back for a long-overdue return to comics. Thrawn creator Timothy Zahn has also returned, working with longtime Star Wars comics writer Jody House and artist Pat Olliffe. In the earliest days of the Clone Wars, on a planet at the edge of known space, Anakin Skywalker arrives following the trail of Padme Amidala on yet another desperate mission. Scum and villainy grow thick in the galactic frontier, and every clue says Padme is getting in too deep, so the Jedi accepts the help of a young pilot from a local faction; a baby-faced Thrawn, many years before joining and ascending the Empire's ranks. Years later, at the height of the Empire's war against the rebellion, the Emperor senses a disturbance in the force, some threat connected to that faraway world and whatever unfinished business the unlikely partners left behind. Skywalker is long dead, but Thrawn will have a new partner for this mission; Darth Vader! Palpatine's two most powerful and independent minions are used to doing things their way, and they butt heads like any mismatched pair of investigators, their back and forth providing much of the dialogue for this issue, revealing far more similarities than differences between the two. This book is an easy recommendation for anyone who has been keeping up with the consistently excellent Vader comics of the last few years.

The Resurrection of Magneto #1 - The rapidly accelerating Fall of X is producing some great stories, much needed after the Krakoan era’s wheel-spinning middle third left many X titles in a holding pattern. The Resurrection of Magneto is another big step forward, and while the titular character and his legacy loom over this issue, the story concerns another leader of mutantkind; Ororo Munroe. Magneto was many things to Storm, from an adversary to a mentor to a peer as she rose to be the leader of her own mutant faction on Mars. With more threats to their survival than they have ever faced, the mutants need Magneto, not simply for his power and leadership, but for what he has come to symbolize: defiance in the face of extinction, a man who will fight for his people against any and all, and teach them to fight for themselves. Storm will go to some strange places to find him, even making a visit to the mutant afterlife, but what heaven or hell could contain a man like Magneto, and does he want to come back?

Solomon's Picks:

Resurrection Of Magneto #1  -Resurrection of Magneto was such a fascinating read! Given to us by Al Ewing, Luciano Vecchio, and David Curiel, we follow Storm through the entirety of the issue after she decides that Magneto’s resurrection is necessary for mutantkind's future, as anti-mutant ideals and practices are currently at an all-time high. She makes drastic decisions as she shoots towards her destination, not interested in any mortal or divine intervention that would whisper words of discouragement to her. The art was superb, perfectly matching the dramatic and tense emotion of this issue. As a good chunk of this story takes place in The Waiting Room, Storm is constantly battling a series of conflicting emotions and viewpoints from various eras of her life, making this a wonderful book for long-term fans of Storm/X-Men!

Titans: Beast World #5 - Beast World has been an absolutely insane event to witness, and this latest installment was nothing short of incredible! The death of their friend still fresh in their minds, the Titans are attempting to keep the team's morale up while protecting the billions threatened around the globe from Amanda Waller's horrific plan. Raven and Nightwing have a strong focus in this issue, with Raven battling her internal desire to take Waller’s life with the snap of a finger, and Nightwing taking matters into his own hands, going above the law and having Cyborg hack into the most secure government systems on the planet. My favorite moments in this book would definitely be between Donna and Raven, reflecting on Garfield’s legacy and allowing Raven an intimate moment shared with a friend. With heavy emotions flooding the pages, amazing illustrations, and a twist end that will be sure to leave your jaw dropped, make sure you pick up a copy today so you don’t miss out!

Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances #1 - A visual adaptation of the beloved Thrawn: Alliances book hit the shelves this week, and it was fantastic! Set after Thrawn meets Darth Vader, the book does a careful dance between two eras: The Clone Wars and the Age of The Emperor, as we see the first time Anakin and Thrawn teamed up for a bloody battle as well as when they return to the location (Batuu) they visited years ago, now as the even more sinister duo of Darth Vader and Grand Admiral Thrawn. The art by Pat Olliffe and Andrea Di Vito, along with colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, were excellent choices for this book as they help sell the intimidating aura Vader naturally exudes, as well as expressions of the unmasked cast. Thrawn and Vader butt heads constantly throughout the issue, as Vader grows more and more annoyed at Thrawn seemingly challenging his authority. Pile that on top of the fact that Vader is revisiting a planet that holds unpleasant memories for the pieces of Anakin Skywalker that remain; this story is filled with a snarky Vader barking orders at everyone (More than usual). A fantastic read for any die-hard Star Wars fans, make sure you add this to your pulls, so you aren’t missing out on this excellent story!