October 25th, 2023
Gone #1 - Back in September, creator owned studio DSTLRY gave us our first taste of this new series in their one-shot anthology The Devils Cut. Written and illustrated by Jock (Batman: the Black Mirror, The Losers), Gone is a sci-fi thriller with a visual style and a focus on class that give this book the feeling of a Neill Blomkamp film put to print. On a planet where starships only stop to refuel, Abi lives in a shanty town surrounding an interplanetary gas station. The most she and her friends can hope for is scratching out a meager living servicing the ships that come and go. As we say in the Devils Cut prelude story “The Stowaway,” Abi has learned to be quick and quiet, stealing what she can from passing ships to fend off hunger for another night or two. Her friends convince her to join them in a plan to escape to the stars, and this desperate act of hope lands Abi into more danger than she ever imagined. A beautiful debut issue, the larger magazine format lets the finer details of Jocks art stand out, expansive panels of sleek starships and ramshackle sprawl contrasting with tight closeups to give this story both scale and intimacy.
The Immortal Thor #3 - In the last issue, Thor was asked if he would trust in Loki, as a sibling, a subject, and even as an enemy. The king of Asgard chose to trust the former god of mischief, now the god of stories, revealing in this installment how much the reformed trickster has and hasn’t changed. Using the All-Power in his first battle with Toranos has put Thor into a sleep that not even a god can resist. He awakens, bearded and well rested, on a strange world, unable to escape. This place is not a trap, but a test, a riddle that Thor must solve in order to return to the battle for Midgard. Thor does a lot of thinking in this issue, introspecting on the duties of kingship, brotherhood, and puzzling the strange ways of gods and their magic. This installment puts character front and center as Thor thinks his way through Loki’s scheme, showing how much the two, and their relationship, have evolved.
Slow Burn #1 - Writer Ollie Masters (Snow Blind, The Kitchen) along with artists Minotti and Santoro, present the aptly titled Slow Burn. This deliberately paced noir hands out atmosphere by the ton and and answers by the drop. Roxanne drives on a lonely highway, taking bumps to stay awake and praying her gutshot friend in the next seat can live long enough to get help, while an old man chainsmokes in the back seat. They stop in what looks like a ghost town. This former coal town went bust when the local mine caught fire, and the whole place has been burning ever since, but there are still a few residents left, creating a new headache for Roxanne. Whatever they’ve done, the people they did it to are on their tail, and with every passing minute the consequences pile up. This is a promising book for anyone who is a fan of crime fiction or noir cinema.
Captain Marvel #1 - Brought to us by Alyssa Wong, Jan Bazaldua, and Bryan Valenza is a new Captain Marvel run and it’s an incredibly solid start! Wasting no time at all, we see Carol stopping a disaster from striking New York City and fighting the (supposed) big bad of this run all within a few seconds of flipping the book open. This story arrives at the perfect time, just ahead of the upcoming ‘The Marvels’ movie as it serves as a reintroduction of the Nega-Bands; An ancient Kree relic causing Carol and a woman named Yuna, to form a mental connection that also causes them to switch places, forcing the story into a careful dance between the two characters and their plots in an easily digestible manner. The introduction of Yuna was perfect, as her internal monologues were quite humorous and her overall attitude bounced off of Carol’s naturally. The quick pacing, close focus on action, and enjoyable exchanges between the three characters make this an excellent read this week!
Slow Burn #1 - From Ollie Masters and Pierluigi Minotti comes Slow Burn! A strong first issue into the series, Slow Burn features a junkie, her dying partner, and her partner's grandfather on the run for a heist gone wrong. We find our characters in a tricky spot as an already complex situation gets further muddied due to the revelation of the merchandise they were stealing and the hostage they were forced to capture which causes them to rethink their initial approach. As this is a noir story, the book can be very obscure in the ways it chooses to deliver information, however it’s a pleasantly satisfying read nonetheless. This first issue has a particular focus on the main character and her point of view, however every character introduced feels unique with enough traits that make them all the more valuable to the story. I can see this series taking these characters in dozens of different directions as this first issue sets the stage wonderfully!
Tales Of The Titans #4 - Tales of The Titans has been an enjoyable series so far and we have reached the conclusion with Beast Boy’s entry into the story by Andrew Constant. This has definitely been one of my personal favorites out of the bunch as it handles Garfield’s character extremely well and offers insight into what drives him the most. The story takes place during Dark Crisis, and shows Beast Boy’s struggle with a werewolf as he also deals with intense psychological torment from being shot in the head by Deathstroke. The art given to us by Ted Brandt and Ro Stein was wonderful and I loved their designs for the characters who made an appearance in this book. Like the other “Tales Of The Titans”, the story in itself wasn’t field to the brim with extremely compelling and groundbreaking content, however the deep dive into Gar’s brain and the many things that haunt him made this issue extremely enjoyable. I highly recommend you pick this issue up, as well as the other Tales Of The Titans if you haven’t already!