June 16th, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

Demon Days Mariko #1 – Y’all, Peach Momoko is a treasure and you got to stop asking for covers from her so she can do a series full time. Spinning out of the historical context that Demon Days X-Men gave us, this issue follows Mariko as she deals with her anger issues at her high school and strange dreams of onis. Luckily for her, she has a good support system at home with her grandmother and their maid, Kuriko (who wears a Black Widow symbol in her hair for SOME reason). None of these characters are who they seem to be though as grand revelations are made to Mariko and connections from the previous issue are established. With the best watercolors on paper and mutants made from oni blood, you are not gonna want to miss this one even if you aren’t up to date on all things Marvel.
Heroes Reborn #7 – The Squadron Supreme now knows about those meddlin’ Avengers in this week’s Heroes Reborn. After duking it out with Thor last issue, Power Princess convenes the Squaddies in order to understand who they’re up against. A global hunt begins to find evidence of these so-called Avengers as flashbacks of slightly twisted versions of old Marvel events are shown to establish relationships between all the Squaddies. This was really well done and created cool connections between characters with only a few panels. Eventually, all roads lead the Squaddies to one place: Wakanda. I’m loving this event and you guys are definitely going to want to come back to see our heroes return in, uh, Heroes Return #1!
Static: Season One #1 – The creative team of Vita Ayala, Chriscross and Nikolas Draper-Ivey have seriously done something special with Static’s triumphant return to his own series. Virgil Hawkins is dealing with a lot after becoming a Bang Baby, one of those given powers after police violently attacked a protest with unknown chemical agents. He’d taken some off of school after almost electrocuting a bully who gained flame powers and now doesn’t know what to do with his pent-up anger. This whole issue was gorgeous but one particular well-crafter and illustrated scene involved showing the family dynamic for two pages before Virgil got his powers and then the same paneling on the next two pages to show how the family dynamic changed after he got shock powers. Absolutely brilliant. Get on the ground floor of this one because this series with this creative team is going to do incredible things.
Space Pirate Captain Harlock #1 – The classic anime hero returns with a new series and his original creator Leiji Matsumoto along with him! After a mysterious black sphere crash lands in one of the major cities of Earth, the world governments tried to cover up what could potentially be alien life. When scientists studied the sphere and were about to bring information forward about a coming invasion, Queen Mazon of the invading alien forces killed them to cover up her scheme. One of those killed was Captain Harlock’s father and now he cruises space as an outlaw with the knowledge of the impending doom coming that no one will accept. An interesting new direction for the character with Earth becoming cold for some mysterious reason and beautiful illustrations by Jerome Alquie that perfectly mirror the original series make this a must read for anima nostalgia.

Diarra's Picks:

Save Yourself #1 - Gigi has been pretty reclusive lately, but her friends drag/trick her into a night out. She is actually beginning to have fun when they get alerted a monster fight is near by. This is where normal people run and hide, but they head towards the fight. Not to see the monsters, but the heroes fighting them…The Lovely Trio! They are beloved heroes, who have the merchandise sales to prove it. So what Gigi sees a member of the Trio do comes as a total shock. Even more shocking, Gigi knows the monster the Trio are fighting (and has a little crush on her too). The monsters save Gigi then get her off the battle field and she returns the favor by providing a place for them to hide out. The Lovely Trio aren’t shaping up to be the heroes we thought, and they plan on keeping Gigi quiet at any cost!
Demon Days: Mariko - I always pick up a Peach Momoko cover when I see it and now I can’t wait to pick up more of her stories! Since Dawn of X, we’ve had all the X books we could ever want, but you’ve never seen them like this! Mariko Yashida’s having a tough time at school, and the horrific night terrors aren’t helping. She opens up to her grandmother who decides it’s time to share a secret she’s been keeping from Mariko for years. Turns out she isn’t Mariko’s real grandmother, but a woman who came across Mariko’s dead mother in the woods! She decided to take Mariko in, and kept this secret mostly because Mariko’s mother was an Oni (monster of Japanese folklore). But now the cats out of the bag and her grandmother isn’t the only one in the house keeping secrets. Her grandmother doesn’t have many answers, but she knows who does. Mariko will do anything to learn about her past…even walk right into a trap!
Static: Season One #1 - This was an awesome start to the new Milestone series. Virgil Hawkins’ powers are still new to him, and fighting bad guys is the last thing on his mind. He wishes he could go back to a simpler time. When asking out a classmate was his biggest worry, but after he lost control of his powers in front of her, he thinks that’s a lost cause. Virgil might not be thinking about bad guys, but one comes knocking at his front door. Static is about to get his first lesson in herodom : anonymity keeps those close to you safe!

Stone's Picks:

Static Shock #1 - Its been 20+ years but Vergil Hawkins is back in a new solo series written by Vita Ayala. It’s a solid start with the introduction of how Virgil got his powers and what his home life is like after his parents discover his newfound abilities. I will say that you should read the Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition #0 as this is the continuation of what happens in that comic, but if you choose not to there is still a good amount of explanation as to what happened there. I think the art is ok. Nothing too special, but when the fighting starts I enjoy the way the characters look, and how their powers are displayed. There’s also a nice little read in the back honoring the memory of John Paul Leon, an artist for the original Static Shock comic.
Alien #4 - Following the last issue, Cruz has been reunited with Bishop and the two continue on Cruz’s journey to find his son. They make their way into an Alien hive when things take a terrible turn. The story continues to be solid, but what is the true star here is the art by Salvador Larroca. His depictions of the Xenomorph are stunning, and truly display the grim beauty that these creatures possess. You get the first real glimpse of the Alpha and it is terrifying. There are similarities to the matriarch, but this thing has its on unique look that would surely be nightmare fuel for any kids who happen to read this book. Marvel hasn’t slipped up yet with their handling of the property, and I don’t imagine it will happen anytime soon.
Legends of the Dark Knight #2 - Batman and Joker have been poisoned by the same toxin Joker planned to use against Gotham. They are stranded on a garbage raft in the middle of freezing waters with only one vial left of anti-toxin. Will Batman save Joker or finally let him die? This issue was good, and also introduced a new villain for the Dark Knight. The new villain seems interesting and I’m excited to see how she’ll fit into Batman’s repertoire of villains. Hopefully the story can expand upon Batman more instead of asking the same questions that people already know the answer to.