May 1st, 2024

Rob's Picks:

Blood Hunt #1 - Marvel's newest and bloodiest event hits the ground running with this gloriously gory debut. When an event known as Sundeath shrouds the world in darkness, millions of vampires rise to feast. The Avengers may be Earth’s Mightiest, but they can only be so many places at once and the dead are rising faster than they can be put down. Blade arrives late to the party with some uninvited guests in tow; a new group of mutant vampires fed on super-powered blood. Writer Jed MacKay knows exactly what kind of story he’s telling and wastes no time wading into the blood and guts. The visceral action never stops and rarely slows, the tone is delightfully schlocky. Artist Pepe Larraz is going all out to make this Marvel’s most graphic event since Zombies, especially the extra gory Red Band edition.

Space Ghost #1 - As a character/IP, Space Ghost has followed a unique trajectory. A relatively short-lived Hanna-Barbera cartoon, fondly remembered from years of after school and Saturday morning reruns, repurposed in the 90s and 00s for a series of comedy spoof shows to fill time on the fledgling Cartoon Network. Dynamite Comics is putting their mark on the property with this new book from writer David Pepose (Savage Avengers) and artist Jonathan Lau (Vampirella Strikes). Similar to Daniel Warren Johnson's Transformers reboot, this series retains the recognizable elements we remember, heightening the tone and action for a slightly older audience without sacrificing any of the color or fun. This issue gives us a fresh introduction to the title character while telling the origin of his sidekicks Jan and Jace. The brother and sister live in the space colony Omicron with their father, Dr. Keplar, a scientist engaged in top secret research. Their lives are forever changed when a group of alien mercenaries attack their home. The siblings' attempt to escape Omicron seems hopeless until a hero arrives from the depths of space. This is a tight issue, setting up setting and characters with remarkable brevity, a clear statement of intention for this series going forward; Pepose and Lau are going to tell the best stories possible without rejecting or downplaying any of the things that gave Space Ghost its unique charm.

Savage Sword of Conan #2 - The extra-large, extra-excellent revival of Savage Sword hits even harder on its second outing. Jim Zub pens "Leaving the Garden," a story of gods, monsters, and revenge that finds Conan wounded and left for dead in a shallow grave. Cimmerians don’t die easy, and with his usual defiance, Conan claws his way to freedom. Just days ago he had been enjoying a time of relative peace, brought to a sudden end by a party of diseased raiders. The barbarian licks his wounds and prepares for vengeance against the monstrous raiders, not knowing they are only servants of a greater evil. Richard Pace makes the darkness of this tale very literal with his heavy, impressionistic use of deep black and heavy shading, making the rare spaces of clear white a jarring contrast. Another great standalone story with classic Conan flavor, plus the continuation of Patch Zircher’s Solomon Kane story, "Master of the Hunt."

Solomon's Picks:

Deadpool/Wolverine #1 - The hype train for Deadpool 3 is going strong, and we’ve been hit with a Deadpool/Wolverine Crossover to hold us over in the meantime! From the wonderful creative team Joe Kelly, Adam Kubert, Frank Martin, this was an extremely satisfying read! With bold visuals and unique paneling, immersive dialogue, and a gritty undertone as Wolverine hunts down a super-powered serial killer, this book hooks you in with the first page and doesn’t let up. Throw Deadpool into the mix as he is hunting this same killer for his own personal reasons, and you have a book that is impossible to dislike! Speaking of Deadpool, while this first issue focuses on Wolverine’s perspective for the majority, Deadpool has several shocking moments, especially towards the end of the book! Hilarious back and forths from the duo made this book all the more entertaining, and the “Classic” Wolverine vibes definitely radiate through this book, so definitely give this a read!

Blood Hunt #1 - This was a bold and satisfying introduction to this gruesome new event! Given to us by Jed MacKay, Pepe Larrax, and Marte Gracia, this first issue of Bloodhunt wastes absolutely no time in delivering on its promise of a dark, gory, and intense story. We witness the sun disappear from the sky, and mere seconds after, a highly coordinated and dangerous group of vampires emerge worldwide, leaving a gruesome trail in their wake. The Avengers are doing their best to prevent further damage, but whoever thought this plan up made sure they were thorough. It’s very clear from the first page to the very last- The Avengers, and heroes around the world, will know despair. We see sacrificial plays, betrayal, desperation, and so much more, please don’t sleep on this series! For an even more immersive read, I highly recommend the “Red Band” version. You’ll know which is which by the plastic wrap and gigantic “EXPLICIT WARNING” on the bag. Definitely a great start and I’m looking forward to what this summer has in store for Marvel!

Minor Threats #2 - Another entry to Minor Threats and with it comes: The Action. Not action as in fighting (though there is PLENTY of that in this issue), I mean the unregulated, quick-tempered, crime-fighting juveniles who are attempting to solve Insomniac's murder. We saw a short glimpse of the crew towards the end of the last issue but we finally get to see them in all their glory and this team is equal parts terrifying and equal parts hilarious. They get word that Playtime had something to do with Insomniac's sudden disappearance and take it upon themselves to disrupt her operations in an attempt to get her attention. They make quick work of one of her bases and she is on their trail in no time flat. Her hunt is cut short immediately, however, as Scalpel intercepts her in an epic fight across the city in an attempt to calm her blood-lust. This issue was fantastic and highlighted all the reasons I love this series. It has such a wonderful understanding of the superhero genre and knows how and when to spin it on its head. Please grab this issue and catch up if you haven’t already read the first because this is definitely worth it!