June 2nd, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

The Nice House On the Lake #1 – The #1 horror writer flexes his story chops once more to deliver yet again the next big thing in horror/sci-fi comics. Ryan is a young woman trying to make it as an artist in NYC which is no easy feat. While out with some friends, she meets Walter and the two hit it off by imagining how the world will end. This continues through a series of emails when out of the blue, he invites her to a lake house with a group of friends. He also refers to them each by their vocation (writer, artist, scientist, reporter) and puts a special symbol on each of their doors. This is somehow not a red flag for anyone. While on their vacation, the outside world goes up in flames and the reason for that is something you’ll have to find in betwixt these pages. A truly excellent story that you’d be remiss to miss.
Heroes Reborn #5 – I left this one with the weirdest wish – Jason Aaron needs to write Batman (honestly, he deserves a crack at most any superhero). Marvel’s spin on the DC Universe continues in force, this week with a look at Nighthawk. Congressman Kyle Richmond delivers an impassioned speech at the Capitol for more mental health when he gets a superhero alert that calls him away to the Batcav- I mean, Nightcave. Patients at the Ravencroft Hospital have escaped the Criminally Insane wing and Nighthawk has to stop their leader- the Green Goblin a.k.a. the man who murdered his partner Sam Wilson. This event adds more to the mystery as well, with hints of the Squadron Supreme unsure that they accept this newfound reality as well. This is how you do a summer event because damn, these issues are fun to read.
Crush & Lobo #1 – Crush, daughter of the Main Man, lands her own series this week with Mariko Tamaki at the helm. After fighting some aliens in the mean streets, she goes to her girlfriend Katie’s birthday party. The two have a great time even if Crush is awkward meeting her parents. Unfortunately, Crush tracked in some alien goo which when exposed to the vanilla candles creates a chemical reaction that causes the party to shutdown. Katie breaks up with her as a result and then things get worse: Crush gets a call from Lobo. The best and worst part of this book is Crush’s constant pushing away of everyone in her narration which simulates her aggressive personality well but the meta-ness extends to her directly addressing the reader and it never feels good to be told to stop reading two pages in. None-the-less, it’s definitely worth the read as Crush seems to be as great a character as her dear, old dad.
The Conjuring: The Lover #1 – The movie series has spawned a comic! Like many horror stories before it, this one starts off with a mysterious figure making ritual sacrifices while chanting Latin. Why is it that Latin always summons demons? We then jump to Jessica who is having a hard time adjusting to college life. Her mother isn’t making it any easier by embarrassing her in front of her crush. Something worse is following her in the shadows though…This issue also has a back-up story from Scott Snyder involving someone who ripped off the ferryman of death- never a good idea. While mostly a set-up issue, there are definitely good spooks to be had by all those searching for a grim time.

Diarra's Picks:

Out of Body #1 - Dan Collins awakes in the hospital, and he has no idea how he ended up here. He quickly realizes, although he can hear/see what’s around him, he is unresponsive and unable to move. Dan can hear as doctors remove the hope he’ll awake from his family, but he is a doctor himself and using memory techniques, tries to work out how he arrived here. Meanwhile, across town a teenage medium, can sense Dan presence, but she also knows this isn’t his time. She speaks to spirits in hopes to help them move on, but she knows of another who uses dark magic to steal souls (spoiler: He is totally behind this). Just as Dan’s family can’t hear his cries for help, Dan has no idea the factors that are fighting for his soul. This story couldn’t help but remind me of the true story of Martin Pistorius, an man who was in a vegetative state for 12 years! While his parents thought this medical condition left him brain dead, he was aware and listening the whole time! ...just saying, this isn’t a far fetched storyline. Check out both stories!
Basilisk #1 - The Chimera are five super humans, and although we don’t know how they got their powers, we know it’s been within the last couple years. Still the damage they’ve done since has built them quite the reputation. That’s why Hannah, someone who has seen the horrors they’ve done first hand, has been tracking one of the group that no longer travels with the rest. Her name is Regan, and Hannah actually manages to get the jump on her, but just as the Chimera have made enemies, they have made friends. A cult like group called The Faithful see the Chimera as gods and attempt to free Regan, but unlike the others Regan doesn’t want to rule over anyone. After Regan free’s herself and makes slight work of the cultists, she explains to Hannah, she wants to put an end to the Chimera as well. What they don’t know is a little birdie has already spread the word to the other members, who hope to show Regan the error in her ways.
The Nice House On The Lake #1 - Just like us, this universe just had deal with being quarantined. So when the group get an email from their friend Walter inviting them to a beautiful lake house get away they jump at the opportunity. Seven people of varying levels of friendship (a couple ex’s, the buds you chat up at the bar every Friday, etc.) arrive at the Blake house and it’s everything they were promised. They all been assigned room/roommates and code names based on their personal life, but most of them find it endearing more than odd. As they settle in and relax pool side, Ryan (The Artist), seems to be the only one with cell service and decides to check social media. That’s when she finds out the world outside of their weekend getaway is falling apart. She shares this with the group and in concern for their loved ones they prepare to leave. That’s when Walter explains there is no world left for them to return to, and this slice of life tale turns apocalyptic sci-fi horror fast. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next issue!

Stone's Picks:

Crush and Lobo #1 - Crush fights alien invaders before going to her girlfriend's birthday party where she accidentally causes havoc. Meanwhile, Lobo is receiving therapy at some sort of facility and has invited Crush to come visit him as he believes it will help him in his recovery process. I’m 50/50 on how I feel about this comic. I enjoy Crush and Lobo as characters, but when you read this book it feels very similar to Harley Quinn. Being Lobo’s daughter, she definitely can be somewhat zany, but this is a good opportunity to make her stand out on her own instead of trying to make her similar to someone else.
Everfrost #1 - In a post-apocalyptic world one woman will *almost* be able to fix what she's broken. There’s probably more I could say but there is a lot happening in this book and that provides the overall gist. The book isn’t confusing as it tells you what you need to know when you need to know it, but with the creation of any new world there is the hurdle of not overloading the reader with too much at once. The main character, Van, is interesting out the gate, and a look into her past reveals a horrific event happening that provides some motive for her actions. Also she has an alien monkey sidekick named Eight who can talk. Pretty cool, right?
The Worst Dudes #1 - When you have to slap a warning label on the book you already know it’s going to be a wild read. Sam Sugar is a hard-boiled detective who ends up working a case that has him traveling through the galaxy. He teams up with a prince in search for the illegitimate daughter of the Storm King. Their travels bring them to a large pink talking lion named Cal who has a serious drug problem and is without a doubt my favorite character. Aubrey Sitterson’s writing is hilarious and the art inside perfectly encapsulates the tone of the book. Wacky and wild space madness!