September 7th, 2022

Caroline's Picks:

Dark Knights of Steel Tales from the Three Kingdoms #1 - Dark Knights of Steel is probably the best thing DC is publishing right now. And the hiatus between arcs is too long! But this one shot is here to give us a little something to tide us over until the next issue drops. Our favorite heroes are young, just teenagers living their lives and still trying to find their place in this world. Bruce is still broody and violent as ever, Kal-El wants nothing more than to help others, always looking towards a better future and home for everyone, and Zara is still tagging along behind her older brother trying to prove herself as strong and brave despite her age. These short vignettes serve as a great way to expand upon the history and lore of this universe while showing us small events that have shaped the main characters as they’ve gone through their lives to become the people we meet in the main story. We get development on how certain things have developed into the events currently happening in the main story as well as more hints into how things went from so seemingly well in the kingdom to a great rift taking place and war about to begin. And the introduction of a ton of heroes, sidekicks, and villains from the main storylines is always fun to see. I think the introduction of ‘The Robins’ might be my favorite story out of the pack.
X-Men and Moon Girl #1 - Marvel is playing the long game with all the Moon Girl team-up stories they've been releasing. The Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur animated series is slated to release on Disney+ sometime in 2023, hopefully we get an update at D23 on it, and they definitely want to start driving interest her way now so they can get as many people watching it when it drops. For now though I will happily keep reading all her comics. This issue follows up where her Avengers team-up ended. Our super smart 9 year old is currently in a sass battle between her and Logan and she is cruising it. This entire issue is just them having little back-and-forths about their ages and how smart each of them is. Havok is just there to try and reign in Logan when he gets a little too off track. Some expert level cosplay is their next step to saving Devil Dinosaur and getting back Wolverine's blood before the High Evolutionary can create his race of ‘New Men’. Now they’ve got to work together to stop him, too bad he’s rather good at splitting the party and leading them right where he wants them. They might be in more trouble than they thought.
Antioch #1 - It looks like Image is slowly but surely building their series with shared universities. This series is set in the same world as the Frontiersman comic, even references the characters in the first few pages to cement the reader into a universe they might already know and give some context clues before the series even starts. While ‘the Captain’ and his crew are out landing attacks left and right the titular hero from the Frontiersman series is awaiting his trial in prison. The Captain is essentially the Poison Ivy type for this series: he’s an environmental terrorist. He’s going to do whatever it takes to stop Corporations from destroying the earth and oceans. By whatever means necessary, as long as he doesn’t cause more damage to the world, then he’s winning in his book. The authors waste no time getting right to the violence, fight after fight they deal with real world problems and have intense conversations. All while the fists are flying. But Antioch is ready to handle them all. Like I said, he’s willing to do whatever it takes. And what it takes might just surprise us all.
Golden Rage #2 - Another Golden Girls quote on the back cover and I’m convinced yet again to keep going with this series. The Red Hats are after Jay, one of their own has come to warn the helpful grannies protecting her. The Red Hats are gathering in number and getting ready to head over, heavily armed and all. Guess it’s time to visit ‘The Witch’. The ladies have a good walk ahead of them to get to her and on the way there we get some lore expansion on both the world and our leading ladies as well. The ‘lady talk’ about menopause and aging past usefulness in society is also 10/10 Golden Girls themed humor. And we get quite the tease about who Jay was before she was sent to the island. They developed their own little communities and respect for each other but things took a turn for the worse once the first of the Reds landed. Ever since most of the women have been living in fear, or killed immediately after landing. And Jay being so you have definitely garnered their interest in a manner that doesn’t seem like it's going to end well for her or her new friends.

Diarra's Picks:

Alien #1 - Marvel is serving up another Alien series, and they are nailing keeping the universes connected. This series looks like it’s going to highlight the Synthetics! This race of artificially intelligent beings have been around since the first Alien film, but after being treated more like tools than teammates, they’ve chosen to hide from humanity’s cruelty. Five Synthetics have been living in peace until they notice military forces on their island. They make slight work of the humans but everyone knows you have to leave one survivor for questioning, and that lucky duck was Lieutenant General George March. March knew they wouldn’t be greeted with a warm welcome, but he needs their help once again. He explains after a recent nuclear reactor exploded on a farming planet, millions of lives could be lost and if these crops are contaminated it will be even more devastating. The Synthetics known as Steel Team aren’t just mercenaries anymore, they are a family, but when they are offered citizenship amongst humans (oppose to being public enemy number one) they reconsider. With a motto like “Nothing organic ever tangled with us and walked away” you can sense they aren’t scared of the fight, and when they learn they have to visit the abandoned Weyland-Yutani to retrieve data from radiation experiment, it all seems like a breeze…of course this experiment was on Xenomorph embryos, and I can’t wait to see how this face off ends!!
Shock Shop #1 - As spooky season approaches, we’re going to see more horror comics hit the shelves, but this series is flipping things up…literally! Each issue will deliver two tales that require you to flip the book over and start a new tale. One illustrated by Leila Leiz, who recently creeped us out with ‘Last Book You’ll Ever Read’, and the other drawn by Danny Luckert, who brought us one of my favorite plot twisting horrors from last year ‘Red Mother’. While these are two separate stories, we get an over all theme of haunted families. In ‘Familiars’, we meet a divorced dad who thinks his new magical house will be the perfect fun to win over his kids when they come for visitation, but while the house is serving ‘jump in the line, Beetlejuice’ realness, something is off. ‘Something In The Woods In The Dark’ starts with a group of couples on a camping trip, but for one rocky couple this is more of a make or break trip to fix their marriage, and the other couples can feel the tension. People split all the time, but there might be a dark reason behind one partner’s odd behavior…like face eating odd. This issue’s delivery was a nice surprise and I can’t wait for the next issue!
Poison Ivy #4 - Ivy continues on her ‘kill humanity world tour’ and while her eco friendly energy always resonated with me, this one hit home. In order to spread spores more efficiently, Ivy get a job and an Amazon-esc warehouse, leaving spores on every package she touches. I’ve boycotted Amazon awhile ago, but they really highlight the exploitive/wasteful practices companies like this use in the real world. In the game to destroy humanity, she gets a side quest when she notices the floor manager getting a bit handsy with some ladies on the line, but what pushes her over the edge is the “that’s just how it is” energy the staff have. Ivy exterminates that issue and one of the ladies in the warehouse takes Ivy home to show her some appreciation, sexy style. As disconnected from humanity as Ivy has become, she still misses physical embrace, and can’t help but miss Harley in this moment. She can’t dwell for long because Swamp Thing delivers a message of disapproval. Ivy knew this would happen eventually, but she has something in store for The Green!

K's Picks:

Flashpoint Beyond #5 - There's no way to predict what's going to happen next in this run. I've given up all hope trying to anticipate what's to come and I'm leaving it all up to the writers to conclude this story because I'm down right floored! By no means is that a bad thing; the story keeps you on your toes at all times, with references to Dark Crisis, to the back and forth through time, and did I mention Martha Wayne is back? Yeah she's back to her usual Joker shenanigans with the added bonus of her having knowledge of Joker's identity with a cool nod to Joker's life as a failed comedian. With all these things coming together it's finally time for the decisive/grim choice to save Bruce Wayne at the cost of the universe! Honestly, I'm so deep into this story that I have to see what comes out of this. Where else can we go with this? I'm interested to see what everyone's thoughts are on how this ties into the Crisis Event!
Batman Knightwatch #1 - This was surprisingly a lot more campy and goofy then I thought it'd be! Batman has always been our tough as nails vigilante but I really enjoy when the world is a lot more light hearted and just fun. This all-ages Bat comic shows how casual the bat-family are, as if it's just a day to day job. The basic premise is there's an increase in crime and stolen goods around Gotham. With all leads turning cold, we're left with no choice but to create a neighborhood watch of sorts...a Knightwatch! Super casual dialog from Nightwing, Batman, and Batgirl. They even reference Robin's catchphrase and use it as a funny plot point. Knightwatch is honestly like the best Saturday morning cartoon with its approach.
Dark Crisis #4 - This has been the most hopeless story arc I have ever seen. If things could get worse, I would very much put my money on it. It has been a losing situation for the heroes at literally every corner. Hal Jordan failed tp restore Jon Stewart's earth from containment. Black Adam has given up entirely on the Justice League and sought help from the Legion of Doom, and this great darkness is not letting up. There's so much to unravel but to get to some lighter things, Barry is back from his weird dream prison and came in at the last second to save Hal's butt with a line that should have been saved for Batman. We got Punchline and other cool villains popping in for the villains encounter - a fight that seems nearly impossible. Will the heroes come out on top? I'm not sure but I'm betting on Barry and Hal to come up with some way to save everyone!