March 22nd, 2023

Caroline's Picks:

The Neighbors #1 - What happened to Casey Shipton? That underlying question is what runs through this issue and more than like this entire story. New to town the Shipton's are looking to make this new place a home. Oliver and Janet are looking for some type of clean start in a new town where no one is going to judge them or care about their secrets. Their two daughters have two very different opinions about moving to Cunnanock. Izz is too young to really know what's going on, she just wants to play with the old lady next door's cat, but Casey wants nothing to do with this place. She’s already planned her return ‘home’ and she's counting down the days. Her mom is sure they’ll end up loving it here, the neighbors all seem so… welcoming, after all they're neighbors, they work together around here. This series is definitely setting itself up to be the next big hit in the horror genre. Giving us peeks into the lives of the characters while simultaneously unveiling little secrets about the town, the creative team already has me hooked and wanting to know how soon until shit really hits the fan for the Shipton's.
Blue Book #2 - I wonder how long James Tynion had this series in his brain before finally getting to work on it? The timing of this series coming out and the Congressional hearings about UFOs make this even more fun for me to explore. Tynion is really letting the art drive a good portion of the story in this comic. They aren’t relying on long explanations but letting the eeriness of the moment be felt through Oemig's art. Barney and Betty have just experienced something incredible. Something unique, and strange, and completely unexplainable but incredible nonetheless. Of course the first thing Betty is going to do when they get home, hours later than they should have, is call her sister and tell her what happened. Her sister talks some rationality into her and gives her a few things to check before making the call to a larger organization to share the details of what happened. After confirming her suspicions Betty gets started sharing everything they know with the Air Force, well almost everything. But nothing seems to come of it and despite knowing that there are in fact others who've experienced similar situations Betty needs more. She needs to know what really happened and it seems like she’s going to be the major driving force behind any future involvement in UFO chasing.
Torrent #2 - What do you do when you’re a superhero with a secret identity whose house has just exploded, your husband killed, and your son kidnapped? You go to whatever the closest thing to ‘the Avengers’ your universe has: in this case it's ‘The Praetorians’, this world's greatest super heroes, and Crackerjack just happens to be friends with them. Unfortunately for her there are legitimate reasons they can’t just up and storm a businessman's office without more reason than a hunch. Crackerjack on the other hand see’s the facts that her son is missing and her husband is dead thanks to Skeleton and Killsquad as more than enough reason to storm in there and demand her justice, her way. But she’s grieving and that tends to cloud a person’s judgment, if she isn’t careful she could lose everything. The stakes couldn’t be higher for Michelle in this issue and the creative team with this series has done a phenomenal job of making the reader care for her and her family as well as cheering Michelle on in her fight for justice in just a few issues. I can’t wait to see what trial awaits her in the next issue.
Order and Outrage #1 - This is a rather unique telling of a revolution, of scientific development that eventually was used to keep those who have and those who have not separate. Told from three different perspectives on three different timelines. Starting with a death in the cosmos and a rebirth of what looks to be a goddess. We see the early days of Penetralia, the beginnings of the sweepers' attacks, and a civilization that is highly developed with an entire star force dedicated to keeping people off the same planet. A young girl and her mother just trying to survive an oppressive world, a young woman trying to find her place in her community and actually use her skill to make a difference. The jumping between the times can be a little confusing to follow during the first few pages but once you realize the different aesthetic styles of each period it begins to make sense as the story unfolds. We learn about gene manipulation, how it has become the difference between the rich and poor of the universe. The diverse amount of species on this planet has me wanting to know more about the life of the world before things devolved into constant life or death situations. And the woman reborn at the beginning, is she going to be their savior? Or is this already something that has happened, and is going to keep happening time and time again?

K's Picks:

Batman One Bad Day: Ra's Al Ghul - A damn good issue and an amazing run for OBD! I loved the direction this story took, with a bit of shocking writing that had me surprised the whole way through. We start things off following Ra's life as a child. With his village torn to shreds and a murderous conqueror at his back, we see a helpless Ra's alone and terrified. With a blade at his back and his legs shot, we see the only thing that came to his aid was a pack of wolves. Nature saved Ra's and this has left a deep impact on his 700 years on the planet. Time flies and every time he wakes from the Lazarus pit and the world dies more and more. This feeling of an uncertain future scares him and watching nature perish because of man has turned this fear into regret and anger. Naturally, Ra's goes on murder spree. A certain caped detective agrees with this notion. We spend a good portion following Bruce's mindset and his willingness to value life over the betterment of the planet. It's a strong clash of ideals that leads to more than just blades being drawn! Really amazing read and a fantastic story to close things up.
Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe #1 - A fun and campy little collection of Archie horror! I'm no Archie Historian but there's still something to appreciate here for any fan of Riverdale! One thing I can appreciate from a good anthology story is the many different writers and artists that throw in together to make something like this. Mad props to the writers for taking some cool spins on Archie and doing something new! The idea of focusing on the the classic hangout spot and turning it into a whacky slaughter shop owned by a psycho Pops is wild and I can really dig it. Seeing Kevin get some time in the spotlight was a cool change and the batshit crazy Betty story was a more literal take on the "rich eating the poor." There's a lot of nice references and small Easter eggs that I'm sure only the real ones will spot!
Joe Fixit #3 - The king of the casino has returned! Controlled by the Kingpin himself! Joe Fixit is one of the most interesting personalities in Marvel. Brash, cool and a with pretty good hold on his temper; effectively the best Hulk. With the insane things that transpired in issue two, Joe's calm disposition is shattered by a serum created by Kingpin's men. We see things prior to Joe's rage, which isn't all so different from Peter's encounter with Bruce Banner. It's cool seeing Absorbing Man make a unpredictable visit, I always say that we don't get to see him a whole lot and it was hilarious seeing the guy get completely spooked by classic Hulk. Back to the present, we get to see what it's like inside of Banner's mind, which is cold and desolate. We see personal interactions regarding Joe and the relation between Bruce and Joe is genuinely compelling. Hopefully, we get more of that interaction and we see what Kingpin has planned once we save Joe. Presently, we see Joe absolutely crushing Peter and with each failed attempt to reach Joe, we see slowly Bruce surfacing. One thing I really hope to see is how Joe and Hulk relate to each other. Joe is aware that he is a personality deeply rooted in Bruce's trauma, but what are his feelings towards Hulk? I have so many questions and thoughts that I hope that they explore in Issue four!