November 29th, 2023

Rob's Picks:

Titans: Beast World #1 - The Dawn of DC put the Titans front and center, then took its time setting the stage for their first major event (Knight Terrors aside.) The crisis finally arrives in spectacular fashion, giving Beast Boy the chance to show how much he's grown as a hero. We begin with the enigmatic Brother Eternity evangelizing while his followers awaken a long dormant evil, the Necrostar. Imprisoned long ago by the Tamarans, the tentacled horror descends on earth, seizing control of bystanders and superheroes alike. Gar steps up with a plan to save the world, but he'll have to stretch his powers to their limit to pull it off. All the strengths of the current Titans run are on display here, particularly the attention given to these characters' relationships and internal struggles. The battle with the Necrostar includes some truly epic superheroics, and the shadowy plans of  Amanda Waller begin to take shape.

Luke Cage: Gang War #1 - Luke Cage has had one hell of a career, from street level crime fighter, to hero for hire, to mayor of NYC. Trying to do things by the book and meet the responsibilities and expectations of his office has Luke missing the more direct, if legally dubious, methods of the superhero. Thanks to the Vigilante Act, a parting gift from the outgoing Wilson Fisk, prevents him or any other “civilian” from interfering with criminal acts, but an escalation in high profile crimes has Power Man going back to old habits. It felt like Marvel lost interest in street level stories, preferring the cosmic or the multiversal, so I was cautiously optimistic about the Gang War event. This book has me feeling some genuine hype. The upcoming Deadly Hands of Kung Fu gets teased and there is the potential for a new squad of Heroes For Hire, plus the reveal of one of this event's villains.

Predator Versus Wolverine #3 - The awesomeness continues. We've seen Logan battle the predator in the American frontier, the jungles of South America, and this installment takes the fight from the home of Weapon X to the corridors of a Yuatja starship, only to leave us in Japan. The aliens who have hunted Wolverine like an animal finally meet him at his most animalistic when they awaken him from his sleep in the Weapon Plus labs. The ensuing fights are the gnarliest yet for this title and the feral Logan nearly has his adamantium skull added to the predator’s wall. Another time jump takes us to Logans time in Japan, setting the stage for the next issue's final confrontation. It’s been a bloody, schlocky good time reading through this limited series and I’ll be sad to see it end.

Solomon's Picks:

Spider-Woman: Gang War #1 -  Marvel’s Gang War is currently underway and has strung my favorite hero, Spider-Woman, along for the ride! Jessica Drew has had an eventful time as of late, having been removed from the Web of Destiny, but she’s back and ready for business! Given to us by Steve Foxe, Carola Borelli, and Arif Prianto, this book delivers on the hype fans had for Jessica’s new solo story and then some. I found Gang War to be the perfect setting for Spider-Woman as it allows us to see every aspect of her character in a natural way: the strong-armed crime fighter, the street-smart detective, the never-yielding hero, etc. This current event, mixed in with Jessica trying to piece together information on where her son could have vanished, makes for a spectacular read. The art provided is exceptional, and the characterization of the entire cast was phenomenal. I can’t wait to see how this series unfolds!

Luke Cage: Gang War #1 - Gang War has also given another favorite of mine a new solo run: Luke Cage! This issue by Rodney Barnes, Ramon F. Bachs, and Andrew Dalhouse was outstanding and definitely not one to miss out on! We see Luke struggling in his role as mayor amidst this new crime wave as heroes have been outlawed by Wilson Fisk. Refusing to sit by and allow New York to crumble, though, Luke Cage does everything he can to reduce casualties—even if it means breaking a few laws as mayor. We see him sporting a brand new costume and recruiting a pair of iconic heroes in hopes of reclaiming the city. The tone and pacing were especially satisfying in this book, with us constantly watching as his thoughts and actions are interrupted as his duties as a bureaucrat come first and foremost. I’m loving how Gang War has been set up with these first couple of issues, and I hope this energy is matched with the rest of the entries going forward!

Crave #1 - Maria Llovet has delivered a clever, abstract take on modern-day temptation, desire, addiction, and more with the fitting title of Crave! If it wasn’t obvious by the cover, this book is definitely Not Safe for Work; however, don’t let that deter you from the intriguing plot that it offers (That’s what they all say, I know). ‘Crave’ is a mysterious “Dating” app mysteriously installed on everyone’s phone one day with the strange ability to affect the world and people’s emotions. You see relationships spark and crumble with every page turn, and we’re offered intriguing critiques on temptation and addiction through the characters. The book touches on the buying and selling of personal data and how companies manipulate consumers into taking actions they most likely never would. An odd blend of erotica and horror, this first issue is definitely a trip, but I can almost guarantee you’ll be invested in the world before long, so grab a copy today!