May 10th, 2023
Spirit World #1 - DC Comics has a new mini series out to kick off AAPI month and the first issue really does not disappoint. Focusing on Xanthe and their life after events that altered their life during the Lazarus Planet event we are just right into the mix. They’re still working with Constatine to try and find a way back to the spirit world and save Cassandra, Batgirl, before time runs out. Xanthe has powers based in the Chinese culture of burning paper offering for them to be brought to ‘reality’ in the afterlife. They keep little paper figures of weapons and other random objects on them at all times and seeing their little paper arsenal turn real during a rather epic fight scene was incredible. The magical abilitied characters have always been some of my favorites and Xanthe is a welcome addition to that group. Written and drawn by two Asian American creators this issue is a stunning love letter to their lives and the aspects of their culture they hold dear. I hope after this series ends we get to see more of Xanthe in the main DC comics lines, or perhaps another series focusing on them.
Murder Inc. Jagger Rose #1 - Brian Micael Bendis is back on our shelves with a new historical crime thriller series to add some excitement to your week! Back together with Michael Oeming, his artist on POWERS, they’re ready to bring a unique style and story to the shelves each month. It's gritty and violent and exactly the type of storytelling you'd expect from these two while still being impossible to guess what exactly comes next. This new series is set in a world where 5 major crime families run the country. They've been allowed to run free and essentially create whatever form of society they see fit. The greatest agent of all the families is Jagger Rose, she’s the woman who killed the president. And now the Pope wants to meet her. And if that isn’t shocking enough just wait until you meet them. Of course both she and her newfound partner Valentine are 100% convinced it's a setup. After all, what couple the Pope possibly want from two known murders?
Silk #1 - Silk is finally back on our shelves again! She’s always been my favorite Spider-character of the bunch and this issue was one of the most fun on the shelves this week from Marvel. For those who aren’t familiar with her: Cindy was bitten by the same spider as Peter Parker studied with Ezekil Sims to try and control her powers, but was then locked in a basement bunker to keep her hidden from a monster who was after her. Thirteen years later and she’s the Kimmy Schmidt of Earth-616. Since getting back to reality she’s gotten a job, friends, and even goes to therapy! This issue is like a mix of Black Mirror and Groundhog Day. Cindy is finding herself in unique settings, almost like she’s walked onto an old time film set. And though beautiful things slowly start feeling a little too deja vu. Silk senses that something is off, her spider-powers giving her a bit of a heads up, but how aware is she really? Silk might finally have gotten herself into something she can’t so easily talk her way out of.
Ghostlore #1 - Cullen Bunn is back again with another horror series that looks like it is going to keep us guessing. The series starts off in the middle of a sermon, showing us the small community that still attends the Reverends services and his family sitting in the front row. They’ve got the typical family drama, plus a little extra religious disagreement between Harmony and her dad, meanwhile her brother hasn’t spoken a single word for the last few months. Her dad is desperate for the family to reconnect, to be the unit they once were. Maybe that’ll help the congregation grow again. But on the way home from service a near death experience for Harmony and her father changed everything. When she swerves to avoid hitting a kid in the middle of the road their lives are forever changed. You’ve heard of people seeing things that shouldnt exists or having moments between life and death. This new series is going to explore how one's own reality might be shifted from an event like this. Harmony has been given a gift, of sorts, but she’s going to have to explore her own family's trauma and secrets to save the day with it.
Extreme Venomverse #1 - Extreme Venomverse is a collection of stories and possibilities across the many realities that are Venom! A damn good read and i never considered a Venom interpretation of the Spider-Verse, but it’s more than welcom! We follow a dark timeline where Peter Parker is killed while losing his bond with the Symbiote. The cool part here is that all of Peter’s beliefs and emotions stayed with the symbiote, bonding with Eddie which results in what is not Venom but a new Spider-Man! This Spidey is devoid of the dangerous instincts within Brock. Honestly, one of the coolest ideas to come out of Marvel and probably the strongest start to this new string of possibilities. The other two stories are good but the Eddie Brock story blows the rest out of the water! Give it a shot if you really want some good symbiote storytelling.
Spirit World #1 - The world of the living and the world beyond are merging and only a few heroes can resolve the after effects of the Lazarus! Within the streets of Gotham, a young girl honed in the spiritual arts has teamed up with Constantine, headed to the gates of the sprit world to save Batgirl. I think from what I’ve read the Cassandra aka Batgirl bits were the most interesting part of the issue. The Spirit World has a taste for living flesh and we see Cassandra fight off groups of hungry ghosts at every turn. This was entirely elevated by the fact that we see how both worlds are effecting each other. More than anything, I’m interested in the characters Po Po and Bowen, two individuals I can only assume are just random humans living in the spirit world! I've got a lot of questions that I hope get answered in the next issue, and hopefully we get more on Cassandra’s side of the run.
Gotham Academy Maps of Mysteries #1 - Another strong collection of stories from DC, this time following the tales of the Gotham Academy! Enter a relatively newish character, Mia ‘Maps’ Mizoguchi, a young charismatic girl who’s more than made a name for herself in previous Gotham Academy issues. She's also recently attracted eyes of the Batman. There’s three short stories involved and each are stand alone and act as more supplementary material for the world of Gotham and it’s lesser characters. There’s no way I could not talk about how fluid and captivating the art is. All three stories may have a different feel, but Karl Kerschl knocks them all out the park! A huge selling point is how you can just jump into this issue with no prior knowledge and still enjoy the contents and writing! Definitely give it a read if you’re a fan of Gotham Academy or just want to try something new.
Green Lantern #1 - Hal Jordan returns in a new Green Lantern series written by Jeremy Adams, art by Xermánico. The United Planets have declared Sector 2814 (home to us earthlings) a danger to the galaxy and off limits to even the Lantern Corp, causing Hal Jordan to leave the corp in protest. Now back on Earth, he’s got to pick up the pieces of a life he left behind. His old flame, and new employer, Carol Ferris doesn’t find his overconfidence very charming these days. He’s called back into action when a villain armed with alien tech hits the streets of Coastal City. This issue has appearances from other classic Lanterns, Sinestro lurking in the shadows, and our first look at this series big bad.
The Nasty #2 - This teenage horror comedy from Lees, Kambadais and Cahoon is only getting better. Thumpers idea to shoot his own video nasty has grown to obsession, and he’s dead set on involving everyone he knows, including his supernaturally empowered imaginary friend. He recruits his cast and crew one by one, but none of them are prepared for a gory display of Thumper's new found power. Lees keeps this issue fast and funny, his characters are well defined in a way that makes both the comedic and sincere dialogue feel natural.
Cosmic Ghost Rider #3 - A ton of action as Cosmic Ghost Rider and the other Cosmic Ghost Rider both fight for their lives. Frank castle and his new companion Axelle pick up where they left off last issue, duking it out with bounty hunter Monark Starstalker, while the other Rider battles Valkyrie. Their fights become all the more desperate as the Power Cosmic fails them both at the same moment. This issue raises more questions than it answers, but Phillips and Villanova deliver so much action it's hard to care.