November 1st, 2023

Rob's Picks:

Unnatural Order #1 - The year is 54 B.C. and the Roman empire's reach extends as far as Britain. History as we know it. Octavius, a roman soldier, searches these newly conquered lands for one of the last of a soon to be extinct group, the Druid. This is where history as we know it comes to an end. The Druid is something more than a man, unleashing dark forces that change the order of nature and the course of history. Now Octavius and a band of brave companions fight to restore the natural order. This book does a whole lot in 32 pages, masterfully paced to set the stage for an epic adventure without the need to frontload the series with lore. Writer Christopher Yost uses his strengths as a writer and the strengths of the medium. The reader is invested in this story through the entertaining group dynamics of our ragtag heroes and the arresting fantasy style of artist/colorist team Val Rodrigues and Dearbhla Kelly. It shouldn’t be too surprising that the writer of Thor: Ragnarok is able to blend light hearted character driven humor, epic stakes, thrilling action, and otherworldly imagery.
Canary #1 - Scott Snyder's weird western finally sees print. It’s 1891 in the mining country of Colorado, where towns have shorter lifespans than their inhabitants, built and abandoned as quickly as the mines are dug and depleted. The west is growing less wild by the year, though the violence of the frontier still echoes. Marshall Will Holt has seen and done plenty of it in his time, a western gunfighter as jaded as they come, and even he grows disturbed as a series of gruesome murders are committed by seemingly ordinary and innocent people. The marshal is teamed with a scientist from back east with a theory that connects the killings to the Canary mine, leading Holt back to the scene of his most infamous shoot-out. A suspenseful slow burn punctuated by sudden violence. Art by Dan Panosian gives the book a grounded grittiness while still suggesting something unearthly below the surface.
Spider-Boy #1 - Dan Slott’s newest contribution to the spider-verse gets his own series. After so many earth shattering events and universes colliding, this light and fun street level story is a breath of fresh air. Spider-boy is still adjusting to the fact that no one knows who the hell he is, but he’s already making an impression. Unfortunately it’s for the time he “monstered-out” on camera. Many a spider-person has had the “he’s a menace” treatment from the media, and our boy is no exception. A pun filled battle with a bowling themed villain finally gets Spider-boy some positive attention from the media, which puts a villain from his now erased past on his tail. This book has a fun, relatively low stakes story that sheds a lot more light on the origins and history of Spider-boy.


Solomon's Picks:

Supergirl Special #1 - The new Supergirl Special is out now and it was a blast to read. Given to us by Mariko Tamaki, Skylar Patridge, and Marissa Louise, this special sees Kara in a much more vulnerable and reckless light. She's processing her time on Krypton as well as her desire for perfection that always seems to blow up in her face. The Super-Family try their best to comfort her, commenting several times on how spaced out she seems and making it known they will always be in her corner. My favorite moments in this issue would definitely be between Kara and Paige (Powergirl's new alias) as theirs felt like a genuine sibling relationship in the way they would bicker and banter. Speaking of Powergirl, if you’ve read the Powergirl special or have been keeping an eye on her latest series, the theme of this issue is very reminiscent of those. The art was incredible and was further complimented by Marissa Louise’s exceptional eye for colors and lighting. All in all, this special was wonderful and fans of Kara and the Super-Family in general are sure to enjoy this one-shot!
Spider-Boy #1 - After months of waiting, Spider-Boy #1 by Dan Slott is finally here! Honestly, I was very put off by this issue, as Spider-People have been in an odd spot lately and this character, in my opinion, felt forced. But...something told me I should give this book a chance and I’m happy I did. If you have been itching for a much more grounded and “Street Level'' story from a Spider-Person, this series is one you will want to keep an eye on. With amazing art, provided by Paco Medina and the lettering by Joe Caramanga, the look and tone of this book reminded me a lot of one of the (good) Spider-Man runs from the 90’s-early 2000’s. It was packed with several moments that make you appreciate Bailey’s character and the numerous things that drive him. Madame Monstrosity appears to be the big bad of this run, and this works so well for several different reasons, all of which you will see in this first issue alone. Dan Slott has been hyping this new character and this run in particular for a while and I was extremely skeptical, however with such a solid first issue I’m admittedly excited to see where this run ends up and where the future takes Spider-Boy!
Ultimate Universe #1 - From Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli, and David Curiel comes a one-shot that sets up the New Ultimate Universe. After the events of Ultimate Invasion, the Ultimate Universe (Formerly 1610, now 6160) officially made a comeback with this one-shot and I was thoroughly impressed. Hickman has a way of subverting expectations and figuring out ways to hold your attention and this issue had plenty to focus on. You have a deeply shamed, disgruntled, and menacing Thor who serves as the highlight of this issue as Doom and Iron Lad attempt to break him out of a royal Asgardian prison. We are also given several Easter eggs hinting at future series/events releasing under this New Ultimate Universe. A certain Spider trapped in a vial, or a brooding panther-like figure, maybe? This one-shot definitely left me with a better feeling for the future Ultimate Universe than Ultimate Invasion did, but that may just be that all the pieces are finally in place so it feels much more real. There is also a jaw dropping ending that will be sure to leave a permanent stain on the Stark family's name in this universe. Reading Ultimate Invasion before this issue is a must, however, if you’ve done that you will be sure to enjoy this!