September 1st, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

Dark Ages #1 – Marvel’s new event kicks off in a big way with this stellar opening issue. The heroes of the world are alerted in a variety of different ways to some in coming danger, causing the greatest minds of the MU including Reed Richards, Lunella Lafayette and Dr. Strange to congregate. It’s there that Uatu the Watcher shows up which is never a good sign. He tells the heroes of the Unmaker, a living robot in the center of the Earth bent on the destruction of everything. The heroes race off to save the world as they always do but here’s where the grim twists start: most of them don’t make it. Now the world has survived for 7 years without power of any kind and the world that survived is strange indeed. Powerful start from Tom Taylor to a story that’s definitely going in a big direction.
Batman: Fear State: Alpha #1 – Wowza, this one should’ve been called Batman: Fear State: Exposition #1. Seemingly a recap for everything that’s happened in every Batbook for the past two years, this book is walls and walls of text which thankfully is it’s only shortcoming. Scarecrow has enacted a plan of scaring the entire city of Gotham to a point where they’re forced to reckon with what they’ve become. He’s already infected Batman and Peacekeeper-01 in hopes they’ll hurt innocents in their fear state (not why it’s called that). Meanwhile, Harley finally finds Ivy! Unfortunately for her and us, it’s Queen Ivy who’s personality has been split between multiple bodies…This is just a primer for the event so get stoked for Scarecrow to scare Gotham straight!
Demon Days Cursed Web #1 – Peach Momoko’s yonder through the Marvel Universe continues her own beautiful take on iconic characters. Mariko, now armed with the knowledge of her hidden past, makes her way up Mt Kirisaki to confront the mysterious Ogin. Her path is blocked however by Ocho and Toraji (Mystique and Sabretooth respectively). Their tasked with bringing Mariko to Ogin alive but are surprised when Mariko channels power of the past that she too was unaware of. Mariko is saved by a newfound friend Reina (Ghost Spider) who herself is seeking vengeance against Ocho for killing her family. Gorgeous artwork and interesting divergence the original characters make this a must-snag for any Marvel fan.
The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulking #1 – Seems like every event Marvel does now comes with a Wiccan and Hulkling one-shot tie-in and I’m super here for it. Dormammu has assumed control over Ego and is swathing a path of destruction in hopes to take out planets under Emperor Hulkling’s control. Unfortunately, Teddy’s sword has been shattered and his husband is stuck on another planet. In betwixt the galactic action, the story of how Teddy and Billy fell in love over the years is interspersed in a truly lovely way. Not to mention the two of them pull a major trick on Dormammu using only their wedding rings. You’ll have to read to believe but dude, it’s such a cool twist!!!

Diarra's Picks:

Almost American #1 - Here’s the true story of Janosh and Victorya Neumann, married couple and Russian spies! We get a glimpse into their time working for the FSB (Federal Security Service), but mostly this issue is about their defection to the US. As you can imagine, it wasn’t an easy process, filled with doubt and fear of retaliation. I love a true story, and can’t wait to read about their former roles and hear all the tea they spill! Like the true crime junkie I am, I did some digging into the Neumann’s and I’m even more excited for the rest of this series. This is a modern tale and the couple appear heavily involved in the process of creating this series, and if what I researched is true, I hope they hold nothing back!
The Lot #3 - Comics from Bad Idea have been a hot commodity, but we still have earlier issues so you can catch up! The series focuses around a movie lot that has been closed for 50 years. Aviva is an upcoming producer, and she believes finding away to utilize this abandoned space will give her an edge. Accidents become so frequent, Aviva reaches out to the former tenants who are now well known stars and producers. Turns out they bought their fame through a series of sacrifices, and now the lot has reopened the sacrifices must begin again. Aviva can’t believe how easily they were able to let loved ones die for fame, and plans to out them all. But will anyone believe a story like this?
Harley Quinn Annual: 2021 - Between the awesome art and Harley’s new lease on life, I’m loving this series! Harley spent the first arc helping to rehabilitate former clown posse members (Joker henchman, not Faygo drinkers) and kicking Hugo Strange’s butt. But as always in Gotham, once one big bad falls, another rises. Unlike, Hugo who wanted to drug Harley into the perfect citizen, this person wants Harley to go back to her old ways while standing by his side. Harley gets kidnapped and it’s up the her pal Kevin to find her. We watch Kevin visit villain after villain in Gotham, in hopes to find his friend and as you can imagine, they aren’t all friendly. He finally get help from Mr. Freeze, but it comes at a price!

Stone's Picks:

Dark Ages #1 - Another Tom Taylor book to sink your teeth into. An ordinary day turns haywire when the center of Earth is revealed to be the prison of a living machine capable of unmaking anything. Desperation leads to a full-frontal assault on the menace for the fate of the world. First issue was solid but I find the name of the villain comical. I mean come on, The Unmaker. There could been some more jazz there. Maybe something like Ruin. Also, I can’t wait to see who and how other characters will kick the bucket. Next issue should have us introduced to the antagonist of the story and that looks to be a treat.
Aquaman 80th Anniversary Special - A celebration of DC’s most clowned on hero. You get stories from Geoff Johns, Jeff Parker, Brandon Thomas, Margurite Bennett, and more. There were some stories I enjoyed like “Fathers Day” written by Geoff Johns that explores the relationship between Aqualad and Black Manta. Others like “The Rhine-Maidens” I enjoyed because it was set in the style of DC bombshells. There’s some decent stuff here for the king of the seas, but let’s face it - it’s still Aquaman, even though these stories make him pretty cool.
Batman Fear State: Alpha - The start of Fear State is here! Although I guess that’s not true looking at the checklist at the end of this issue. This issue is basically a recap of what’s been happening the past couple months in the Batman universe. There is a little progression in the beginning for the overall bigger story but the rest of the time is just you hearing about how it got to this point. Exposition upon exposition. If you have been reading Batman then this might be a hard sell since you will already know everything that this book is going to tell you. However, if you haven’t and were worried you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the new event without prior knowledge then this book is for you.