June 23rd, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

Marvel Voices Pride #1 – Marvel’s comic anthology for Pride month features great LGBTQ+ characters from terrific LGBTQ+ creators that you don’t wanna miss. Straight out of the gate, the introduction by Lucian Vecchio is fantastic but the standout is the one page by Jim Cheung are the vows Hulkling and Wiccan said to each other late last year. Absolutely beautiful. Black Cat meets an imposter and possibly a suitor thanks to Leah Williams. Kieron Gillen’s story features Prodigy telling his boyfriend Speed about his earlier crush on Colossus. Steve Orlando, Claudia Aguierre and Luciano Vecchio features an exciting new character named Somnus who was Daken’s first love. I love an anthology and this is a very well put-together one that you need to check out.
Wonder Woman Black and Gold #1 – I told you I like comic anthologies and I LOVE them when they feature art from Ming Doyle and one of my favorite artists ever, Becky Cloonan. AJ Mendez and Doyle tell a cute story about Diana connecting with her mom. Nadia Shammas and Morgan Beem tell a tale about Wonder Woman fighting Circe and y’all, I really hope to see more of Beem’s work because it’s GORGEOUS. This also goes for Amy Reeder who kills it with a throwback Diana stopping a bank robbery. By and large the best for me though was Becky Cloonan weaving a story of how Diana created her Lasso of Truth and the dark power it potentially has. These black and white collections have been fantastic from both of the Big 2 and this book continues their trend of excellence for sure.
Batman Reptilian #1 – Garth Ennis flexes his writing chops for a gritty, world-weary Batman in this new Black Label series. Edgar Licchario, a world heavyweight boxer and rapist, hold a press conference on the steps of city hall after he gets off on a legal technicality. Tired of these slips of justice, Batman walks up the steps and berates him as a coward who will never outrun his crimes even if he can’t be locked up. This would be a powerful scene in itself, but all this is followed up by the brutal murders of multiple criminals of Batman’s rogues gallery. The story is thrilling but man, Liam Sharp’s painted artwork is gorgeous and steals the show. Pick this one up, it’s most definitely headed into becoming a classic.
Robin #3 – Honestly, this series has been the best kind of surprise and this issue definitely has blessedly more of that. Robin is dealing with the whole “being in a death tournament” and luckily he has Ravager to show him the ropes. Ravager realizes Damian has absolutely no chill so she takes him to the beach where all the combatants party at night without the threat of fighting. Robin instantly impresses with his knife skills but the conversation quickly becomes all about his dad which causes him to leave the party. Luckily there’s someone up the beach meditating and avoiding conversations about his dad too: Conner Hawke. Another fantastic issue that knows how to do action and balance it with characterization. The reveal at the end is going to cause waves across the DCU too so don’t miss it!

Diarra's Picks:

Vinyl #1 - This is the tale of Victor (a psychotic serial killer) and Dennis (the FBI agent assigned to catch him). Whatever dissociative thing Victor has going on, causes him to believe Dennis is his best friend, so they decide to meet up for some brunch/interrogation. You see Dennis believes Victor killed someone as recently as two weeks ago! Before Dennis can get any answers, he is kidnapped by a cult. Now it’s up to Victor to save his best friend! He finds Dennis’ location and does what he does best. There is still a labyrinth between Victor and Dennis, but hopefully Victor can hold it together a little longer.

Good Luck #1 - We all feel like our luck has run out sometimes, but for a group called The Unfortunates, it’s true. It all started after the gods of luck (good and bad) decided to stop dishing out luck situationally, and make it an “either you have it or you don’t” situation. While the lucky live carefree lives, the unlucky can’t catch a break. Despite his destiny, Artemis remains optimistic. He is apart of a group of teenagers with no luck who have a mission that might fix all this, or at least get answers. No one with luck could ever get this close to danger, and that’s were our band of misfits comes in!

Batman: Reptilian #1 - After a total jerk slips through Gotham’s legal system Batman is pretty pissed. As if this day could get any worse, he hears a 911 call about a total blood bath, and the victims are some of Bat’s acquaintances. Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, and Penguin are found together, brutally mutilated. Not even Batman can make sense of this crime scene, so that’s when he decides to take a henchman/witness for some good ol’ roof top intimidation. Unfortunately, the answers he gets just lead to more questions! Each panel flows into the next, like the pages are dipped in oil! I’m excited to see where Garth Ennis takes this dark story line, but it’s Liam Sharp’s art that will keep me buying these issues.

Stone's Picks:

Spawn’s Universe #1 - This was a lot to take in for someone unfamiliar with Spawn. They reference things from Spawn #100 so I was easily confused when it came to lore and knowing characters. The art was perfect for each of the different stories, and is by far my favorite part of the book. Todd McFarlane is of course writing, and while at times I enjoy it, there are other moments where I felt like I needed an Advil. Some might wonder if this is a good jumping on point for the series, but I honestly couldn’t answer that. That question is best left for an avid reader of Spawn. I can say thought that if you like cool art, have no problem with limited information, and are a fan of cyborg gorillas then you should at least give it a try!
Robin #3 - It's time to sit back and relax. Fighting in a death tournament comes with all sorts of stress, so it’s important to unwind and decompress. Ravager takes Robin to a beach party in an attempt to meet friends, so he doesn’t have an island full of enemies. We know Damian though, and he’s not the easiest kid to get along with. This issue added some more depth to side characters on the island so they don’t just feel like extras standing on a set. The most important part of the issue is at the end after Damian and Conner throw down, and oh man things are about to get interesting on Lazarus Island.
Gamma Flight #1 - If you’ve been reading Immortal Hulk you will enjoy this book. For those who have been keeping up with Immortal Hulk, you already know who Gamma Flight are, but this is a good introduction to those unfamiliar. There is not much action as this issue gets more into the team as characters instead of a huge gamma-fueled fight showcasing their powers. Besides this, there wasn’t much more happening. That is until the last page where I was filled with questions, and anticipation for what will happen next! Al Ewing has been killing it with Immortal Hulk, and now with Gamma Flight he’s going to expand upon that story in new and exciting ways.