March 31st, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

Beta Ray Bill #1 – Daniel Warren Johnson knocks it out of the park once more with this one about everyone’s favorite horse-headed alien. Bill is prepping himself and the interim leader of Asgard’s army in Thor’s absence as Knull’s forces pound at their gates. Knull’s forces turn out to be one singular force: a symbiote-infected Fin Fang Foom. Beta Ray gets batted around for quite some time but once he starts to get the upper hand, the cavalry arrives in the form of a certain thunder god. Thor’s arrival isn’t met with the same gusto from Bill as it is from the rest of Asgard and the truth is only revealed at the afterparty with Lady Sif. The action is superb, the scripting tight and the SFX perfectly unique. Get this quick and you won’t be disappointed.
Crossover #5 – Every comic ever continues to collide in Cates’s Crossover. After bringing in what they think is a supe to their secret underground base, the government detainers are troubled to find it was regular person stitched with a bomb, Dark Knight-style. All the supers held in captivity are released back onto the world, some a lot different thanks to the horrible deeds done to them in the facility. Madman is holding the line to help Elle get Ava into the Denver bubble but with the supers and the army coming, they have their hands full. There’s A LOT going on in this one, including having to intimately know the story arc of Cates’s other work God Country, but the references are solid and the hook enough to keep you coming back for more.
Witchblood #1 – A fun, colorful comic from Erman and Sterle that follows through with some quality dark comedy. Yonna is a witch motorcyclin’ cross-country with her crow named Bhu. When they’re run off the road by a beat-up truck, her bike takes the hit leaving Yonna wheelless. She makes her way slowly to the one-horse town ahead and finds the mechanic she needs. She also finds the beat-up truck that hit her at the local dive bar, Unfortunately for Yonna, the truck’s owner happens to be a hex hunter. Unfortunately for the both of them, a motorcycle gang of vampires is on its way into town. The campy fluorescent style and comedic timing of this one really make it shine as a gem of a book.
Giga #3 – The complexities of this society built beneath inanimate giant mechs continues to deepen the mysteries abound in this book. A duster seeking revenge for the execution of those outside the city commits a horrible terrorist act on one of the dead mechs killing many citizens. The theocracy then employs strict restrictions on the city’s denizens hoping to curb any further violence. Evan is suspicious though, especially as he doesn’t believe the executed dusters were the reason the mechs had stopped. When he brings these suspicions to his officer friend though, they’re mostly shrugged but Evan convinces him the two of them should take a look at the destroyed mech. What they find may change the entire structure of the city’s government. A great sci-fi story for those looking for a bit of mystery as well. Some threads are coming together in this one and you don’t want to miss out!

Diarra's Picks:

Witchblood #1 - The title says horror, but the sorceress in this tale has chosen a different path. Yonna (with a talking crow in tow) is off to see, Esmeralda, the witch who gave her powers. She has done her fair share of meddling in human affairs, but these days she scams humans the old fashioned way. While making a pit stop, Yonna is almost run off the road. She tracks down the driver in hopes to get reimbursed for the damages, but the driver could care less. It isn’t until Yonna mentions she’s a witch that the driver seems to care. Turns out the driver’s a Hex Hunter staking out a group of vampires that have been sucking the town dry, but she couldn’t give up the opportunity to kill a witch. Their fight is paused when the bloodsuckers arrive, and the magic hunter knows vampires AND a witch is a losing battle. She bails leaving Yonna to hear the head of the vampire gang’s “evil plan before I murder you speech”. Yonna manages to escape, but the vampires’ plan hit too close to home. She knows she has to stop them, whatever it takes!
Beta Ray Bill #1 - If you’ve been reading Thor, you know Beta Ray has been on the thrown of Asgard while Thor...sorts out some stuff with himself. Asgard isn’t spared from the King in Black’s fury, and a Knullified Foom is attacking. Beta Ray leads his new army into battle, but he hasn’t been 100% since his hammer was destroyed. Things get a bit hairy, but Thor shows up mid battle and makes slight work of the great Foom. Asgardians are overjoyed the beast is slain and more so to see the odinson once again. Beta Ray can’t help, but feel pathetic. Things only get worse when Lady Sif asks him to switch into human form for some hanky-panky and he can’t. Besides awesome lightning powers, his hammer was the only way he could switch his thing of nightmares horse skull face out for a human one. Feeling defeated Beta Ray decides to leave Asgard to do some soul searching, and Odin searching! He won’t stop until he gets Odin to make him a new hammer!
Destiny, NY #1 - The school of magic, Destiny University, is just the back drop for an awesome story about human relationships and a satire on our roles in society. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a ton of magic. See at Destiny University all the students have a specific prophecy so besides calculus and political science, the students also learn how to accomplish their preordained missions. Logan attends DU, but doesn’t even know why she is still there. While most magic user’s fates are figured out later in life, Logan was just a girl when she fulfilled her destiny. Besides watching her peers figure out her calling, she has her ex-fiancé’s new engagement on her mind. While walking through the streets of New York and wallowing, she has to deal with a “you should smile more” guy who doesn’t take no for an answer. That’s when a very hot, very badass innocent bystander decides to put that jerk in his place. Logan had too much on her mind to even acknowledge how hot her rescuer was, but when she shows up at the coffee shop where Logan works, she thinks it’s fate! She introduces herself to Lilith and they hit it off immediately. It’s like everything Logan had been so down about didn’t matter as much, but Lilith’s appearance might not have been a coincidence. Logan might have accomplished her destined path, but one of her peers might have something to say about this relationship (hope they aren’t jealous).

Stone's Picks:

Silk #1 - Cindy Moon swings into her new solo series. If you're not familiar with Cindy, she was bitten by the exact same spider that bit Peter Parker. She was bestowed with the ability to shoot webs from her finger tips and has her own spider-sense. Just like Peter, she is quick to throw out some quips when dishing out justice and that is evident in this story. Along with seeing her kick butt you get to witness her personal life as a journalist under none other than J. Jonah Jameson. If you're a fan of Spider-Man then you're sure to enjoy this. A great jumping on point for the character.
Black Cat #4 - Following the King in Black, Black Cat can finally catch her breath. This is definitely a break from all the craziness that we've seen during the King In Black storyline. This story is much more grounded. It centers on Felicia in an intimate fashion where we see her continue to try to push herself in her journey to become a better person. It’s not all character development though as you still get some action near the end of the issue, but nothing compared to what’s been happening as of late. This issue also has a great Women’s Day variant cover that portrays Black Cat stunningly.
Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 - This may be an Avengers story, but it's the Man-Thing that takes center stage. This story takes a look at the monstrous origins of the Man-Thing, and does a good job at creating a horrific atmosphere for the character. Opposite of the Man-Thing is the newest villain on the block, Harrower. She combines magic with science, and is doing her best to tarnish the reputation of Man-Thing. She reminds me a lot of Poison Ivy. The coloring and art in the book really plays to the strength of making the characters feel alive. One of the most obscure characters in the Marvel U gets his time to shine. This could be the beginning of one of the best Man-Thing stories ever.