June 29th, 2022
Obi-Wan #2 - I’ll take any and all Obi-Wan content now that the TV series is over and this second issue of his solo series does not disappoint. This time around we see an Obi-Wan who has aged a little since the child we last saw in the comics. He's a young Padawan, still learning the ways of the force and how to properly reach out and trust it. He believed that the good would always win, no matter what force of darkness he faced he always believed that things would turn for the best in the end, and with Master Qui-Gon at his side how could he ever fail. They’ve been tasked with checking in on a mining colony that sent out a distress signal and has since stopped responding. And though this particular moon is known to be dark there is something extreme about it, when they arrive even their sabers are dimmed in the presence of this unknown force. While OBi-Wan is focused on the riddle of the darkness Qui-Gon tries to remind him of those in need and that they are here to help them. As they find the miners, and the thieves who started this whole mess, and work to save the moon the pieces of his puzzle begin to slowly fit together, both literally and figuratively. What a well timed release of this issue with a little nod to the Obi-Wan season finale as well.
Public Domain #1 - Any series that opens with the local crazy man preaching about the downfall of society is a win in my book, and Chip Zdarsky does love an ominous opening. Living in your sibling and parents' shadows is hard. Even harder when they’re insanely famous and universally loved and you’re just getting by. But Miles was never bitter about his family and their talents, he just wanted to be left to his own devices and ignore their work as much as possible. But now he has to interview the main actor playing the character from his fathers comics when he was a child. Instead of being able to ignore the premier and all the insanity he is thrown right into the ‘Domain’ press junket. And this is probably the worst idea ever, the people involved in the making of the movie don’t even care about the book or its origins, they’re just there to make some money. How well do you think that attitude went over with Miles? This series is both simultaneously poking fun at the MCU and DC comic movies while trying to shine a light on how the creators are treated after these stories become popular and where the rights lie with comic book creation. A must read for any comic book fan.
Mindset #1 - This series feels like a good mix of Silicon Valley meets Department of Truth, taking a look at social media and how it influences the world. Etian, the VC of a major new app was brutally murdered, by his friend and one of the apps founders. But he swears he didn’t do it, at least he wasn’t the one telling himself to do it. Back in their college days, right before the Mindset app was created Ben was about to fail out of college. They had just pitched their idea hoping to get a fully funded post-grad grant, but if one of them fails then the app will never take off. And in a desperate attempt to graduate on time Ben convinces Etian to TA his last project before the night is over. Desperation does breed some of the best inventions, I just don’t think any of them ever expected to discover a working method of mind control in the middle of the night trying to keep their friend from failing out of college. They definitely didn’t expect it to change their lives as drastically as it will in the years to come.
Eight Billion Genies #2 - Now we’re finally starting to see what happens as people spend their wishes. The first eight minutes resulted in the death of almost a billion people, what do you think the first eight hours can bring? Some people have been incredibly smart, like Mr. Williams and his wish to protect the bar, or a father who wishes his children can’t use their wish without his permission after the first spends their wish on tons of toys. Others like the President force their staff to use their wishes to grant immense power and status to the United States, for a boy to like them, or for a ‘Carasaurus’. Mr. Williams was prepared for this kind of nonsense though, he’s one of those doomsday preppers. He has a whole storage shelter of food and supplies locked away in the bar and he’s ready to enjoy the show and wait things out until it's safe to join the world again. But now we’re finally learning the rules and particularities of the Genies. After all, if every country wishes to be the most powerful country, how can any of them really be? If any 2 wishes are in direct opposition then they cancel each other out. This series is constantly showing the best and worst of humanity, giving lessons through how wishes are used and why some people are choosing to wait. Some are choosing selfishness but there are others choosing to protect and care for others. I’m very interested in seeing how this series play out and what other sorts of wild twists are awaiting our bar full of patrons.
The Variants #1 - Jessica Jones is finally beginning to put her time with Zebediah Killgrave, aka The Purple Man, behind her, and now she can focus on happier thoughts, like planning her wedding to Luke Cage! Jessica knows she is a bit out of her depth after meeting with the wedding planner, but she is dead set on making this day perfect for Luke. Our Jess hasn’t changed completely, and still steps in when she see’s a bully. Unfortunately, even with Killgrave locked up and in a coma, he is still messing with Jessica. This time it is via the trial of one of Killgrave’s victims. Jessica knows the “I was being mind-controlled when I murdered my family” defense rarely holds up in court, but as someone who has also done terrible things under Killgrave’s control, she thought she would come offer some moral support. Before sentencing Jessica gets to speak with the defendant (perks of having Matt Murdock for a lawyer) and she warns Jessica that Killgrave might still have a trick up his sleeve. It is well known Killgrave’s mind control powers have limits (i.e. how long it lasts or longevity based on proximity to him), but the woman is convinced 10 years to the day she last saw Killgrave, his voice popped into her head, like a time bomb, and convinced her to kill her family. Jessica has never seen his power do that, but with tomorrow being the 10 year anniversary of her last meeting with him, Jessica can’t help but worry. She figures it won’t hurt to have someone strong nearby and calls her gal pal Jennifer “She-Hulk” Walters over for a sleepover. When Jessica arrives home she finds an intruder…Surprise, it’s another Jessica! Turns out this Jessica doesn’t back down from a fight either and the two start to tussle. That’s when Captain America-Jessica breaks up the fight…yeah, I’m going to need more answers. But I’m loving where this is going!
Public Domain #1 - This series is definitely going to be a good time. Chip Zdarsky makes it clear, reality and fiction are going to blur with Public Domain universe and ours. I don’t think things will get as meta as Donny Cate’s ‘Crossover’, but more like a more light hearted ‘Bad Weekend’ by my fave duo, Philps & Brubaker. Let me explain…In chapter/issue one “Weren’t We The Bad Guys?”, we meet the Dallas family. Two adult sons, Miles (reporter for the National Globe newspaper) and Dave (free spirited, tattoo artist), Dad is a famed golden age comic writer whose now vintage comics just became a mega movie franchise, and Mom just wants to keep all her boys together. Syd Dallas has always had diehard comic book fans, but since the box office success of the films he can’t help but notice most fans of the films couldn’t care less about the source material. But even though no one is rushing to take his picture on the red carpet, Syd goes to every premiere, and loves every second of seeing the characters he created bringing joy to others. His kids have grown out of the glamour of it all, and can’t help but hold a little resentment for the time their father spent on this beloved comic and not with them. Still, when Miles has to interview the lead actor of the films for his paper, he can’t help but call him out for not respecting the source material. That’s because, just like in the real world, many golden age comic creators were rarely properly compensated for their works. But after all this time, Syd might finally get what’s coming to him!
Batman/Catwoman #12 - This issue wraps up another awesome Tom King 12-issue series. Per usual in his works, there is a fair amount of time travel, heck, even within one page of panels you can find Selena and Bruce in three different eras. I know some people find this method “messy”, but where others fail/cause confusion, King manages to deliver character development/growth in a short time. I love reading stories about our heroes when they aren’t in their prime, and here we go from Year One shenanigans of the Bat and Cat, to a world where Bruce Wayne is dead and Selina Kyle a widow. The two retired long ago, but now that Batman is gone, a salt and pepper Selina, who is more of a Cougar-woman these days, has one more job before she can rest…kill Joker! My favorite part of this series is the look at the dualities of all characters, especially Selina who has always cat-walked the ‘protagonist/antagonist’ line. From the early days of Catwoman and Joker sharing eggnog and tales of mischief on Christmas Day to teaming up with Batman to rescue a child Joker kidnapped. Despite Batman’s warnings, Selina always saw Joker as a peer. That is until he does the unthinkable, and the only reason she didn’t kill him then was she knew Bruce would never forgive her. As I said, Bruce is gone so Selina precedes, but their daughter Helena has taken up mantle of The Bat and like her father, she won’t let Catwoman go back to her old tricks. This series was solid telling of this iconic couple and definitely worth the read!
Iron Man & Hellcat #1 - I was thrown for an absolute loop on this one, for sure. A superhero slice-of-life is always cool but Christopher Cantwell really shows a relaxed side to our Marvel heroes. There's a lot to take in here but the gist is Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) proposed and Patsy Walker (aka Hellcat) said no. Now this wouldn't be the coolest point ever if it didn't focus on the terror Patsy feels about her possible future and the demons that follow. That's what I mean with this delivery; it feels genuine. I love how Patsy interacts with her long time best friend Hedy and the conversations feel real. I'm not the most knowledgeable on Hellcat but I hope to know more about this demon-vanquishing hero!
Iron Cat #1 - I'm hooked! We get a nice blend of the present and the past, a good set of action, some awesome pacing, and Black Cat on the move! There's a lot to take away from this one and one of those things is, why haven't I read much Black Cat sooner? To give you the Cliff Notes, Black Cat is up to no good again and this time she's met with a certain iron baddy and it isn't our classic Tony Stark this time. Someone has stolen the Iron Cat armor and is donning it to take revenge. The direction this is taking is excellent and it didn't feel excessive AND we had a nice treat when it comes to Cat's past, a great issue all around!
Thor: Lightning and Lament - Phenomenal feels like a understatement for this version of Thor. Honestly, if you like the mortal to God shtick then you'll thoroughly love Lightning and Lament. It gives me this Shazam feel with Thor being able to switch into his mortal counterpart, Doctor Donald Blake, a reserved surgeon with more uses then other contemporaries. Being able to fight as an Asgardian and heal the weak as a mortal is just so alluring and cool I can't help but get starry-eyed over this concept! Ralph Machio really popped off with this work and what's more, it just makes sense in order to understand mortals, why not walk in there shoes!? Lastly, one up for Todd Nauck on the art because this genuinely feels like a work from older Marvel. Straight thunder and fire!