September 8th, 2021

J.R.'s Picks:

Mazebook #1 – Good god, Jeff Lemire. I will never truly understand how this man can make watercolors and words so hauntingly beautiful that they follow you long after you turn the page. Goddamn, he’s done it again though. Mazebook follows the story of William Warren, a building inspector who’s suffering through the monotony of life. 10 years ago his eleven year old daughter Wendy passed away and the grief haunts him through his eternal schedule. As one of the more memorable lines says, “Repetition is a kind of death in itself.” Things take a turn for the eerie though when Will starts receiving phone calls at 3:15 AM – from a voice that sounds like his daughter’s. Definitely a series that’s going to be going toe-to-toe with Nice House on the Lake for book of the year.
Nice House on the Lake #4 – Speak of the devil and he appears! The book of the year contender returns with another issue that yet again throws more twists into the ever-winding narrative of alien captivity that’s been the series so far. The comedian friend amongst the group becomes a sort of mailman for the rest after Walter sets up a sort of overnight Amazon for literally anything the group could ask for. It’s among his daily sojourns over a month to drop things off for people that the comedian starts asking an obvious question that no one can answer: how did they all get here? After a dark discovery that further cements their entrapment, this books heats up in a way that’s going to ruin everyone’s vacation from the apocalypse.
Defenders #2 – Galactus’s mom has got it going on! After Dr. Strange’s Defenders get time-warped from one of his spells gone awry, they are greeted by Taaia who is none other than Galactus’s mother! She’s in the midst of fighting a different devourer of worlds, Omnimax the judgement of the Sixth Cosmos. They retreat to her interdimensional science lab where Silver Surfer comes face-to-face with baby Galactus. After a tense exchange with the Masked Raider over whether the Surfer will kill the baby, Surfer proves why he’s the most contemplative and wise character in all of Marvel. Rodriguez does an absolutely fantastic job of navigating through Kirby-ian cosmic scenes that are truly spectacular with their color variety. Not one to miss for anyone missing the 70’s cosmic flair of old Marvel books.
Blue and Gold #2 – DC’s best duo (I said what I said) return once more with spandex hilarity abound! After rescuing Booster in epic fashion involving a truck flying off a cliff and exploding, Ted is chastised by Booster for not turning on the cameras so his followers could see. Frustrated, Ted keeps driving them to a small band of armed thugs in the Adirondacks. After dispatching them, Booster comes up with the idea to copy the greatest duo in all of comics and essentially start their own Heroes for Hire. Beetle is into the idea but when he brings in up at a Kord Industries meeting to get funding, he is fired by the board because of his superheroing. Unluckily for Ted, Booster just happens to announce their service starting up unaware that his rich friend is not going to be able to foot the bill anymore. Comedic gold from DC’s best tag team.

Diarra's Picks:

Mazebook #1 - Everyday is the same for Will. After the death of his daughter he finds himself just going through the motions of life. Not a day goes by he doesn’t think about her, but with the passing of time the details get more hazy. Will can’t help but feel guilt for forgetting, and the shared guilt all parents who out live their children feel. One day he steps out of this comfort zone, leading him to answer a call from an unknown number (a thing most of us don’t do). When he does, it’s his daughter telling him to come find her! After 11 years how could this be? Could Will really save his daughter or is grief playing tricks on him?
Deadbox #1 - While we are all familiar with the movie rental service, Redbox, I’d like to introduce you to Deadbox! Penny’s dad brought it into their grocery store, from who knows where, and it’s been a big hit. You won’t find any mainstream films, in fact Penny hasn’t been able to find any of these films anywhere else. She doesn’t have time to focus on a strange vending machine. Her father is extremely ill, and having to stay home and care for him, instead of following her dreams, has her torn. You get the vibe these movies/The Deadbox might be causing these problems. I’m not sure if it’s a “The Ring” situation, but I know Penny frequently views the movies and is fine. Hopefully, Penny can figure out the relationship between the two before her dad vanishes before her eyes!
Nice House On The Lake #4 - This story just keeps getting better. If you haven’t been keeping up with the story (first, why?), ten friends are stuck in a gorgeous lake house while the world burns around them. They’d probably feel lucky if they weren’t tricked into safety by their host, Walter. My favorite feature of each issue is the telling of each housemates relationship with Walter. Some resent him and others are embracing their new life. This issue focuses on two housemates, The Comedian and The Accountant, that are having completely opposite reactions to their situation. Walter sends them whatever they ask for, but one item The Accountant keeps ordering never arrives. The Comedian makes the request instead, and they realize another special feature of their new life. They share this huge game changer with the group, but there is no forgetting Walter is still the one in charge!

Stone's Picks:

Search for Hu #1 - This was so cheesy. It was like someone took a bunch of bad movies that I’ve seen before (that at this moment names escape me) and put it on paper. A guy who fought a war comes home to his family only to learn that his family isn’t who they really are. Yeah that's the story more or less. The part that really got me was when his parents get gunned down outside the bar, but miraculously survive. Then the main character shows little to no emotion over the fact that his parents were nearly killed. I’m honestly not sure who to recommend this comic to.
Barbaric #3 - This comic is just so cool. The conclusion to the first arc of our journey with the coolest barbarian around, Owen, and his talking axe. While the action continues to be the standout of the book, this issue delivers on building the connections between our characters. We learn more about why Owen does what he does, and Soren opens up more to Owen about her appreciation towards him. Those that've been enjoying this series will be delighted to know that there are some hints at the end to show the direction the story will be heading. The second part of the journey begins sometime in 2022, and I can’t wait!
Defenders #2 - Al Ewing is a great writer but the real draw of this book is the art by Javier Rodriguez. The splashes of color and the way things are drawn make me feel like I shouldn’t be reading this sober. Best parts of this issue were the inner monologue Silver Surfer was having when he came into contact with baby Galactus, and Silver Surfer imitating Frieza with that golden form he had. I’m not sure what that means in terms of his power but I wouldn’t mind if he kept rocking this gold look. My one complaint is I hate how when Taaia talks there is a lot of quotation which makes me feel like when she speaks she is doing air quotes like Dr. Evil trying to explain what a laser is. Get this book!