May 12th, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

Magic the Gathering #2 – This new MTG series continues strong with this month’s newest issue. After traveling to Zendikar to ensure their safety and privacy, the three guildmasters discuss why so many assassins were trying to kill them. Jace may have been taken out but they conclude he was not the main target. Worried for their friend’s safety, the planeswalkers travel back to Ravnica to check on him. They find him in a guild neutral hospital being tended to by healers and healthy but in a comatose state. Unfortunately, they also find more assassins hidden in the ranks of the healers as well. Another action packed issue with rich lore showcasing the innerworkings of Ravnican guilds- a must read for Magic and fantasy fans for sure.
Heroes Reborn #2 – Jason Aaron continues to do work with Marvel’s latest event, this time jumping into the mind of Hyperion. Being Marvel’s stand-in for Superman, Hyperion is extremely powerful which is showcased at the start of this issue by him flying through Galactus’s brain. When he’s not spouting Republican talking points, Hyperion is living out his secret identity by teaching 9th grade history which seems like A LOT to juggle as the world’s most powerful hero. This is illustrated by him being called in by this world’s Reed Richards. After throwing Dr. Juggernaut into the Negative Zone, many other of the world’s greatest villains managed to escape meaning Hypes has to hunt them down. Another entertaining issue as the breadcrumbs for the mystery of this world continue to drop.
Time Before Time #1 – Shalvey and McConville flew their creative muscles hard with this sci-fi crime tale. Tatsuo is a low-level time pilot working for a criminal organization simply known as the Syndicate. After taking huge lump sums of money, the Syndicate ferries people backwards and forwards in time to escape the terrible present that humanity has wrought for itself. Tatsuo’s had it though after the Syndicate increases his debt to keep him under their thumb. He and his friend Oskar decide to steal a time pod after they finish their last jobs. Unfortunately, Oskar runs into a lot of trouble which steels Tatsuo to escape the Syndicate even more. A fantastic sci-fi story with some fantastic story threads that I can’t wait to see pulled.
Justice League Last Ride #1 – Chip Zdarsky is a powerhouse for writing interesting dialogue which is on full display here with his take on the Justice League. Set after a series of big events that we haven’t seen; this issue sees the Justice League disbanded as we wade through the aftershocks. Superman is taking on the weight of the world himself and is somewhat thankful to receive a beacon to head to the JL’s tower. Jon Stewart, Killowog and Jessica Cruz have managed to capture the man responsible for killing all of the New Gods and need the JL’s help to make sure he sees trial. They see this as a way to prove to the United Planets that Earth can be the new Oa and home to all Green Lanterns. Batman outright refuses so it’s up to the man he now hates most in the world to convince him: Superman. Definitely an interesting beginning which leaves a lot of unanswered questions that’ll have me coming back for more.

Diarra's Picks:

Silver City #1 - Silver City is where you go when you die, well, one of the places. After a tragic plane crash, Silver City is booming with new residents. Ru is one of this bunch, but she can’t remember what happened to send her here or even where here is. That’s when long-time dead, locals, Victor and Mick, come to her rescue and offer to show her the ropes. Whether there motive is kindness or the fact their roommate just moved out, Ru needs some guidance so she takes them up on their offer. Once settled in, they school her on the things she won’t learn at tomorrow’s orientation, and it appears the afterlife has more than the obvious mysteries. Ru’s more concerned about finding her friend after being split up upon arrival in Silver City. Victor and Mark may be good tour guides, but Ru looks like she can take care of herself.
Time Before Time #1 - Get in some serious trouble or just plain sick of your timeline? No problem, The Syndicate can relocate you and your family to a new time line (for loads of money, of course). The Syndicate may be life savers for their customers, but their employees are miserable, working off debts they can never repay. That’s when Tatsuo decides he is going to use one of these pods to escape his contract. He even recruits a friend and fellow Syndicate agent, Oscar, to run with him, but a recent mission leaves Oscar unable to jump. Tatsuo knows it’s now or never, and goes ahead with the plan. Turns out he isn’t the only one who wants to steal that pod, and now his carefree new life has turned to a hostage situation!
Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1 - DC’s newest 100 page super spectacular does not disappoint! Eleven unique stories and bonus art, all highlighting their Asian heroes. Although most of these stories are self contained, some tie into current DC titles (i.e. more info on Cheshire from the current Catwoman run). This issue is an awesome read from seeing Katana, Cyborg, and Blue Beetle enjoying roti (a traditional Indian/Caribbean dish) to watching Mammoth ruin Grace Choi and Anissa Pierce’s date night/family dinner with Black Lightning! Representation is important. Whether it’s race, sexuality, or culture, seeing someone who looks like you and speaks your language (metaphorically and literally) being the hero is often taken for granted. In Jeff Young’s moving intro to the issue, he explains what that meant to him, and his hand in increasing, not only Asian heroes, but support of Asian creators. Highly recommend you pick this on up!

Stone's Picks:

Justice League Last Ride #1 - Just when I was looking to cut back on some series, Chip Zdarsky delivers an amazing Justice League story that had me instantly adding it to my pull. The story is similar to most stories that include the Justice League, but Zdarsky manages to make it feel fresh. Superman and Batman are at each other’s throats over a decision made in the past that resulted in a member of the league dying. All the while, they are tasked with protecting Lobo as he awaits trial for murdering the New Gods. Don’t miss out on this one folks!
Batman Detective #2 - The hunt for Equilibrium continues as Batman makes his way from the United Kingdom to France. Along the way he meets an unexpected ally that is both a adversary and teacher of Bruce’s. Writer Tom Taylor delivers a throwback to a character that only seasoned readers of Batman might recall. The threat of Equilibrium is great, and their actions thus far have proven that they are just as dangerous as most other groups Bruce has fought. With Taylor seemingly reaching into the past of Batman and bringing characters back who haven’t been seen in ages, I’m very excited to see what else is up his sleeve
Peter Parker The Amazing Shutterbug #1 - “You don’t have to have great power to do great things”. Even in a topsy-turvy world such as this, you can leave it to uncle Ben to spit out some words of wisdom. In a world where Peter Parker never received the spider bite that made him into a hero, he instead becomes the marvel equivalent of DC’s Jimmy Olsen. Working at the Daily Bugle with his photograph drones, Parker is the lens through which all of Hyperion's deeds are captured. I couldn’t imagine getting paid off the photographs that boost the reputation of the man responsible for killing a member of my family. This is not the Peter we are use to seeing, but In the end he is still at his core, Spider-Man.