May 31st, 2023

Caroline's Picks:

DC Pride 2023 #1 - DC is kicking off Pride month with the next iteration of their annual one shot filled with short anthology stories of some of our favorite LGBTQ+ characters. Surprising no one, the Harley and Ivy romantic island getaway story was my favorite. Their holiday is crashed, literally, by Crush after she gets a little too distracted while flying home. A close second was the one starring Constatine. He makes a bat, against Jon Kent, and defying all odds he actually wins. But he’s always got a trick up his sleeve and seeing these two have a little bonding moment was shockingly sweet, but absolutely in character for them. But the one that surprised me the most was the story between Tim and Connor. Both are two characters who I don’t know that much about but the story really did a good job showing who they are to each other and why their stories are so important and intertwined. A very cute story of two bro’s just wanting what's best for each other. Each story was really well written, it doesn’t feel like the creative teams were pandering or searching for ways to make these characters identities shine, and the art on each really helped to build into the tone of the story. All around this was definitely the most fun Pride issue DC has put out yet. Hopefully we get to keep seeing much more of these characters in their own series.
The North Valley Grimpire #1 - This new series is a little bit Warehouse-13 mixed with James Bond. Agent Malek was once a young child of a Russian billionaire, now he works for the Father Division, a Black Ops CIA unit that specializes in the retrieval of Magick artifacts and hunting those who use Magick illegally. He’s essentially a super spy where instead of fancy weapons he gets items imbued with hexes and spells to aid him on his missions. This time around he’s been tasked with retrieving some ‘merchandise’ from one of the most well known Magical Black Market dealers. Things went, well a little more than sideways, and he ended up burning the entire building down… not his best work. And he didn’t even end up with the thing he came there for. It ‘poofed’ away, right before his eyes the second he tried to open it. A spell like that is going to leave behind a few traces, so locating it should be too hard for him, or anyone else looking for that matter. Now he’s got to track it down, and fast, before it falls into the hands of another Magick abuser, or even worse: someone who doesn’t even know what Magick is, or that power that book holds. Fingers crossed his boss's investigation into him ends soon.
W0rldtr33 #2 - Things are seemingly going from bad to worse for everyone involved in this series. Fausta can’t seem to let the podcast thing go, she’s determined to get her big break and she thinks her boyfriend's now dead serial killer brother is the way to go. So she’s breaking into their house to look for clues, anything he left behind that could lead her to why he did what he did. All the while he is being interviewed by government agents looking for the same answers. The only problem is our naked cop-killing lady is already a step ahead of her, or I guess technically behind her as she’s stalked around the house. While Fausta’s out here doing everything she can to expose the truth the original W0rldtr33 team is finally back together, doing everything they can to shut it down before anyone else gets hurt. Tynoin is continuing to do a fabulous job of weaving all the different members of the story together while keeping them, and us, in the dark. Each issue ends with the perfect cliffhanger to keep me curious as to just how bad things can get in the next issue.
Power Girl Special #1 - Power Girl is back on the shelves with this one-shot special issue and boy does it pack a punch. Paige has been feeling more than lost for a very long time. She was sent from a world she barely knew as a baby to somehow survive on her own And sure she’s found the Super-family and the other Kryptonians but she’s never really felt like one of them, she was late to joining the party and since then Paige has always felt just a little bit more than distant to everyone. And this space is exactly what creates the perfect opening for Johnny Sorrow to enter her mind. The issue follows a dance of sorts between Johnny and Paige. Johnny is pushing her to run, join him and she will have a home and a place she belongs, but Paige knows that this is all just a reflection of Johnny’s own self image. He is alone, always has been, and in a weak attempt to find some sort of companionship he tries to convince others they’re alone as well. Paige knows she has family, friends, and others that depend on her. She knows she's valued and important to people, it just takes a little reminding, and some astral punching, for her to finally to figure it out. The emotion in this issue is felt the entire way through, Leah Williams writes such strong emotional dialogue without it feeling pandering or whiney. If you weren’t already a fan of Power Girl I'd expect this one shot could change that for you.

Rob's Picks:

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 - This week's trip to the far corners of the Spider-verse gives us two fantasy inspired stories. The first is a Disney fairytale starring Spintress. She’s just arrived home from her multiversal adventure, and all is not well in her magic kingdom. The queen can’t wake up and everyone thinks Spinstress is to blame. Even though Kraven the huntsman is after her head there is still plenty of time for musical numbers from predator and prey alike. Our second story tells the origin of an all new variant, Sky-spider. It’s a darker tale of curses and barbarians, with some truly fantastic art by Marika Cresta.
Venom: Lethal Protector #3 - The plot accelerates as Eddie Brock and Silver Sable go on the offensive against Vanguard. We learn a lot more about the mysterious organization, who have a plan to put Venom on the sidelines. Unfortunately for them, Eddie is still in play. Elsewhere, Doctor Doom has to finish the job Vulture started. David Michelinie continues to out-do himself issue after issue. This one is nearly all action while still delivering tons of plot. Lethal Protector has the potential to be the best of Marvels current slate of symbiote titles.
Power Girl Special #1 - An engaging mind bender from writer Leah Williams and artist Marguerite Sauvage. Power Girl is still learning to live with her new psychic powers, acquired from her exposure to the Lazarus Rain. In a world that is not her own and estranged from the super-family, she feels more alone than ever. Johnny Sorrow arrives as a stalker from the astral plane, offering to end her loneliness, or trap the world in his mad dream. With the help of fellow psychic Omen, Kara fights her way through dreams and memories. This one-shot packs some heavy emotional punches, taking on grief, isolation, and our desire for connection.