January 3rd, 2024

Rob's Picks:

Fall of the House of X #1 - Mutantkind has crashed down from the heights of the Krakoan era. Orchis has succeeded in turning the world against them, forcing most into exile on other worlds, and the rest into hiding. The issue centers on the trial of Cyclops, prosecuted for all the supposed crimes of Krakoa. Cutting between the courtroom proceedings, an attempted rescue by Wolverine and Colossus, and the marshaling forces of X, writer Gerry Duggan (Deadpool, Savage Avengers) makes this 'beginning of the end' issue feel fast and fun without losing its serious tone or diminishing the stakes. The final confrontation being set up here is looking to be truly epic as a huge number of sidelined characters across the galaxy are brought back into the action. It has been a long and sometimes uneven road getting here through so many titles over so much time. If you are one of the readers who fell off along the way, this book is the perfect one to get up to speed on the state of the world and set you up for a spectacular conclusion.

Pine & Merrimac #1 - A charming new detective story from writer Kyle Starks (Peacemaker Tries Hard, Marvel Unleashed) and artist Fran Galan (Dune: House Harkonnen, Werewolf by Night). Linnea Kent left behind the life of a big city homicide detective to open shop as a PI in her small (but incredibly wealthy) hometown of Jamesport. In addition to her skills as a sleuth, she’s brought her loving husband, retired MMA fighter Parker. The two have a dynamic that is caring and playful even under duress, very much like the husband/wife detective team of Nick and Nora Charles. Similarly, this daylight noir has a breezy and often light tone that masks the underlying cynicism. The usual business of investigating cheating spouses is interrupted by a mother and father desperate to find their missing daughter. The memory of a lost sister drives Linnea to take the case, setting her and Parker on the trail of a dark secret at the heart of Jamesport. Superb illustration and coloring teamed with deft writing made this first issue a delightful read, a great reminder that crime fiction doesn’t have to be dark and dour.

Birds of Prey #5 - Kelly Thompson keeps the streak alive as Birds of Prey continues to be DC's best-written book. The BoP are still fighting their way across the island of the Amazons. With Megaera on the loose and trying to lay claim to Sin, the fight has become even more desperate. An unexpected motivational speech from Harley Quinn pushes Dinah to take the fight to Megaera. The great dialogue and tight pacing are this series' strengths, but they also leave me wishing we had more time to just watch Thompson's versions of these characters play out their group dynamics.

Solomon's Picks:

Spider-Man 2099 #1: Last year's blockbuster film ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ created a new wave of love for one of the best Spider variants: Miguel O’Hara. Finally, he has a new run that sees him swinging through Nueva York and solving the mystery of where these ‘zeros’ are coming from. Given to us by Steve Orlando, Devmalya Pramanik, and Raúl Angulo, this issue is filled with jaw-dropping moments and personality that left me grinning through every page. The remarkable illustrations give a very dramatic feeling and style that only heightens the experience and engages the reader. There were plenty of epic action moments and exhilarating confrontations that will definitely stick with you. Also, Blade makes an appearance to help fight off the undead! This book is awesome and there has been an outstanding cry for more Miguel stories, so grab a copy before they’re all gone!

Spider-Woman #2: Gang War has escalated, and so has Jess’ desperation to find her son! This issue shows Spider-Woman utilizing more of her skill set she developed as a spy and goes undercover to research a Hydra facility. She had a very brash attitude upon confronting Hydra agents and Viper herself (Madame Hydra), which I absolutely adored. The few action scenes within this issue were excellent, and I absolutely loved the panel layouts for the fight scenes. The designs that Carola Borelli cooks up for the cast are wonderful and definitely noteworthy. I’m especially a fan of how Diamondback has been drawn so far! Everything coming out of Gang War up to now has been enjoyable, and I recommend jumping into the storyline now as only a few issues have been released so far. Can’t wait for issue #3 to hit shelves, but until then, come grab a copy of number two right now!

Marvel Meow #1: The hit comic from Marvel Unlimited has finally been printed—introducing ‘Marvel Meow’! A collection of shorts by Nao Fuji, Marvel Meow is an adorable comic about our favorite characters' pets. With a wonderful art style and simple storyline, this book is a great read for everyone, regardless of age, as it doesn’t require too much reading and only really asks you to pay attention to the illustrations. Fuji is an excellent artist, and his takes on Marvel’s illustrious cast make this book all the more enjoyable. I loved seeing Doom-Cats, Cy-Cat, and Jeff! Just about everyone you can think of makes an appearance in this book, as well as their furry friends, so it’s a good time all around, and I highly recommend picking it up for some fun, light-hearted reading to start the new year!