A-Force #2 picks up right where issue #1 left readers off, but thankfully takes a huge leap forward and starts to show us that this title is heading towards being the book we all knew and loved during Secret Wars.
Singularity is still on her mission to find her friends (or the friends she remembers from Arcadia) but this issue thankfully makes this a team book readers like myself have been hoping for, and doesn’t rely solely on Singularity and her search for the world she lost, nor does it relegate the other characters to background status.
She-Hulk and Medusa try, very vocally, to get their points across and quickly realize that they alone cannot defeat the Antimatter relentlessly chasing Singularity. Medusa manages to buy them some time while Singularity teleports the three of them to her next ‘friend’ for help…Nico Minoru…in the middle of a family wedding. Suffice it to say, Nico is outraged that her family will never forgive her for the day being ruined; and there is an absolutely fantastic exchange between Medusa looking down at Nico and her “witch powers” and Nico firing right back at the Queen of Attilan that just has to be read. But, Anitmatter does reappear and indeed ruin the day, but a timely call from Captain Marvel does result in a plan being made, as well as her and the final member of the team being found and informed of their part in the plan; none other then Dazzler.
Kelly Thompson and G. Willow Wilson give us a fun, action filled story, teleporting our heroines out of one frying pan right into another. There is a fantastic mix of personalities in this title, from her highness Queen Medusa, who doesn’t let anyone forget it, to Nico and her rebellious runaway attitude. Jorge Molina‘s art pairs perfectly with the story and voices that are given in this book; they feel very much like the characters we all know and love. The panels are bright and the action sequences leave you wanting more.
Overall, this is the A-Force I was hoping for when I heard the title was going to be ongoing after Secret Wars. Yes, issue #1 was a little ‘by the book’ to get things started, but I am so glad it only took until issue #2 for things to fall into place. Action packed visuals and quick witted humor make this a book you cannot miss. Welcome back ladies.
Story: Kelly Thompson and G. Willow Wilson Art: Jorge Molina Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!
We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.
Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.
Top Pick: Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics) – Finally Miles Morales in his own stand alone book in the Prime Universe! Very excited for this one. With Peter Parker as his mentor will the old Parker luck rub off on our hero? Or will he reach new heights? Maybe an internship at Parker Industries awaits? Come and see Web heads!
Action Comics #49 (DC Comics) – Did Clark survive his Kryptonite overdose? Can he stand up to Vandal Savage? Find out here…
Green Lantern #49 (DC Comics) – The race to 50 is on.. is Hal ready for the coming of Parallax?
We are Robin #8 (DC Comics) – More like we are Joker this month. Let’s see how the social media treats a gang of villains rather than the fledgling heroes. One question needs to be asked “Why so serious?”
Top Pick: The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 3(Image Comics) – Initially thought to be a low arc due to the use of guest artists, the “Commercial Suicide” arc ended up being a brilliant and heartbreaking arc that focused more on the other characters we don’t get to see as much of in the bigger scheme of WicDiv. Exploring issues of fate, misogyny, pop stardom, cultural appropriation, and death, this experimental arc demonstrated WicDiv’s staying power.
Batgirl #48 (DC Comics) – There’s only two things I know about this issue. One, Black Canary is back in town and teaming up with Babs. Two, BABS TARR FINALLY GOT TO DRAW A LUCHA BATGIRL. Kalisto is US Champion, Lucha Underground is back, and there is an actual Luchador Batgirl costume now. What a time to be alive.
Captain Marvel #2 (Marvel) – Exhale everyone, Carol is just as lively and hardheaded as ever in the hands of Butters and Fazekas. Not to mention those abs by Anka. While it hasn’t made me cry yet, the series has me intrigued with its new use of Alpha Flight and the mystery reveal of the skeleton crew from the last issue. It’ll be interesting to see just what is in store for Carol at this “desk job.”
Pretty Deadly #8 (Image Comics) – I have a special place in my heart for the Deconnick/Ríos/Bellaire supernatural western, but this arc has been breathtaking both in story and art. Now, we finally get to meet the Reaper of War and maybe figure out just what his deal is.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot #2 (Marvel) – The first run at the Rocket Raccoon comic was an absolutely uproarious affair that made it one of my favorite Marvel titles. Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade seem to be taking a slightly different route this time with Rocket not knowing who he is after his death in Secret Wars, but the humor still seems to be there.
Top Pick: Johnny Red #4 (Titan Comics) – I love this series, and I’ve been counting down the days to each issues release. It is a fantastic World War II era story that highlights the struggles faced in Russia around that time, coupled with some truly stunning visual techniques.
Howard The Duck #4 (Marvel) – If not for Old Man Logan, this would be the only Marvel book I’d be reading, and that’s thanks in a large part to writer Chip Zdarsky’s occasional digs at Marvel’s reboots and events over the past year or so. I’ve been told that this series doesn’t hold up quite as well as Steve Gerber’s first volume, but if you don’t have that basis for comparison (and I don’t, yet) then the current run on Howard The Duck will be highly enjoyable.
Klaus #3 (BOOM! Studios) – Talking about visually stunning, Klaus is fantastic. It may be billed as an origin story for Santa (and it is), but this comic is so much more than that. There’s a warmth here that you really must experience.
Swamp Thing #2 (DC Comics) – When I was initially getting this list ready, it never occurred to me that Swamp Thing #2 would be one of my top five picks this week. But then I saw the comic listed on Previews website a coming out and I got unreasonably excited to read it after I remembered the slower paced, modern feeling with almost classical twist of the first issue. Who’da known?
X-O Manowar #44 (Valiant) – I wasn’t, honestly, all that impressed with the last issue of this series. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as it has been lately. Hopefully it was a slower start to the new arc and not something indicative of a trend. This issue will go a long way to assuaging my fears, so I’m eager to get a chance to read it.
Top Pick: Pretty Deadly #8 (Image) – Pretty Deadly is one of my forever favorites. Emma Ríos’s art is otherworldly, and I’m excited to see where the story goes as they continue to develop the new arc.
Batgirl #48 (DC Comics) – This week’s Batgirl looks especially promising–it has both the return of Black Canary and one of the cutest covers possibly ever.
Paper Girls #5 (Image Comics) – Paper Girls might take an issue or two to really get into–the action starts quickly and doesn’t stop when four girls are attacked on their paper route. However, as with most Brian K. Vaughan stories, it’s worth seeing through.
Shutter #18 (Image Comics) – Shutter is a great subversion of the adventure genre, but the real draw for me was the art. If you haven’t read Shutter, you might recognize Leila Del Duca from the recent and absolutely gorgeous Morrigan-centric issue of The Wicked + The Divine.
Top Pick: A-Force #2 (Marvel) – A-Force is assembling and I’m excited to see them together again. True, it won’t be no holds barred like it was in Secret Wars, but it looks like it’s going to be a fun ride; and I’m really enjoying seeing things from Singularity’s point of view; she wants her friends back and is doing what she can to find them, even with a big bad energy monster on her tail. To paraphrase Iron Man, she’s bringing the party to them!
Scarlet Witch #3 (Marvel) – I’m not all in on this title going into the third issue. Yes, I love Wanda. She is one of my favourite characters. The debut issue was alright, and issue two was less than that. So why is this on my pick of the week list? I’m holding out hope this title picks up, and I do have a soft spot for Wanda. There are some good ideas here, and I hope it gets a little more interesting.
Uncanny Avengers #5 (Marvel) – It’s no secret to many how I feel about this title. So why is it on my list? Gambit is on the cover. That is the only reason I’m looking forward to it this week. I’m curious to see what role he’ll play with the team and with Rogue.
The Vision #4 (Marvel) – Still the surprise hit, for me, from the All New All Different launch. Vision just wanted to live a life with a wife and kids, what could possibly go wrong? The reader is given very grim hints that plenty goes wrong. Not to mention Vision’s own wife and kids have things happen to them, which they keep from him, that show us that they are a lot more like us then people would think. It’s a great read that I highly recommend.
Top Pick: Sheriff of Babylon #3 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – Tom King has had the Midas Touch, as anything he writes turns into liquid comic book gold. This militaristic detective story is a solid read.
Bad Moon Rising #5 (451 Media) – The end is near. Only two issues left in the series. It’s Werewolves versus full automatics and Silver Bullets. I got five to one odds on the Biker Werewolves.
Paper Girls #5 (Image Comics) – I’m just waiting for one of the Paper Girls to be like, “I want my two dollars!!” They deserve a little more, after all that they’ve been through so far.
Unfollow #4 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – Bruce Lee’s Game of Death meets Social Media as the Chosen gather together to thin the herd. Or will they rise above their human faults?
The Walking Dead #151 (Image Comics) – Who cares that I am front running on the Zombie genre. A real war is coming as General Rick builds his army.
Top Pick: Johnny Red #4 (Titan Comics) – This seriously has gotten better and better with each issue and has been filled with action and a lot of touching interaction of the characters. Garth Ennis is knocking it out of the park with this series focused on an English pilot leading a Russian squad in WWII. The story is good, and the art is even more amazing. Some of the two page spreads are just jaw dropping.
Last Man: The Chase (First Second) – Such a fun graphic novel series. I’m excited to see more and more as the world is expanded upon and we learn what’s going on. It’s a hell of a mystery so far with small clues that make you scratch your head.
Nailbiter #20 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite series. This arc has some of the cast in Georgia trying to catch a serial killer who may have ties to Buckaroo. Just a fun comic about serial killers.
Princeless: Raven Pirate Princess #5 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Somehow this spinoff series has surpassed the original it came out of. Raven is one of my favorite new characters of the past few years and the fun flows off the page. Every issue has delivered.
Tomboy #3 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – Princeless for adults? This series has a teenage girl turned vigilante. The first two issues blew me away and I can’t wait to read the third. This is one that was one of my favorite debuts of 2015.
Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.
Heroes Vengeance #3(Titan Comics) The more I read this series the less I seem to like it, but much like the TV show I just can’t turn away. It might get better! Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read…?
Archie #5 (Archie Comics) This is one of those series that’s just fun. There’s no superhero action here what so ever, despite the writer, and it has been a breath of fresh air for me. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics)* is apparently far more polarizing than I expected. After reading Patricks’ review (you’ll find that a bit further on) I felt compelled to pick this issue up. In a time when comics often have numerous art focused scenes it’s nice to get a comic that has a lot of text within it’s pages, reminding me in many ways of both the earlier Swamp Thing comics and how the page layouts looked when I first started reading comics. There’s a bit of a slow build here, with Len Wein really taking his time in setting the story that has echoes of an early era. You’re either going to like this, or you’re really not. I expected this to be at best average, but I was pleasantly surprised. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read (with caution)
The Last Contract #1 (Boom! Studios) Well holy moly. This is great. Dark, gritty, with the promise of something lying just beneath the surface ready to tear you to pieces. This comic is a tour de force that is absolutely worth your time – which is impressive coming from a guy who usually only reads superhero comics. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Gutter Magic #1 (IDW) A stunning mix of steam punk and magic, coupled with some jaw dropping artwork make this first issue worth picking up, and the series something to add to your pull list. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
A-Force #1 (Marvel) – I enjoyed the miniseries this spun off from, but this first issue is a stumble. It’s not exciting, nor has enough to get me excited. It fills like a middling Avengers comic. Overall: 6.4 Recommendation: Pass
Bitch Planet #6 (Image Comics) – It’s been a whole since we’ve seen this series and while I anticipated its return, this issue was a bit of a stumble. A stand alone issue that pulls the curtain back, the story feels more like a sci-fi Law & Order: SVU than the smart commentary we’re usually accustomed to. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass
Black Science #19 (Image Comics) – Wrapping up the current arc in a way, we learn more about Grant and things begin for the next great adventure. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
The Last Contract #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I liked the first issue of a hit man finding out who wants him dead. There’s a solid homage of the genre that it clearly loves. Overall: 7.2 Recommendation: Read
Letter 44 #22 (Oni Press) – That reveal at the end, holy crap. Loving this mashup of politics and sci-fi. It continues to surprise. Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read
Nailbiter #19 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite comics. The search for the George serial killer is fantastic and there’s some great twists here. I seriously have no idea where it’s going. Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read
Rocket Racoon and Groot #1 (Marvel) – An interesting debut, but how this fits in to the other comics that are out featuring these characters makes it have little sense. This is an example of overuse of characters. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass
Spidey #2 (Marvel) – Much improvement over the first issue. There’s a lot of good, but the comic still is just missing something for me. It feels like a mediocre miniseries rehashing the character’s origin, updating it, but giving us little that’s new. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read
Totally Awesome Hulk #2 (Marvel) – I hated the first issue, and this one is an improvement, but not enough to get me to continue reading. The strongest part is it’s mystery of what happened to Bruce. Overall: 6.2 Recommendation: Pass
Detective Comics #48 (DC Comics)*: While I’m still not used to Jim Gordon as the Batman, I do enjoy seeing him struggle to fill Bruce Wayne’s shoes. Watching him make mistakes adds something to the book you don’t get to see with Bruce Wayne… a guy in overhead his head trying his best. And the gimmicky nature of the murders he’s investigating harkens back to classic Batman stories, an interesting bit of nostalgia as everything else about Batman is new. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read.
Injustice: Gods Among Us – Year Five #1 (DC Comics)*: The best comic book based on a video game based on a comic book ever written returns! Following Plastic Man inadvertently releasing all of the prisoners held by Superman’s regime, Superman and his cronies are trying to put everyone back while Batman sets out to create another unholy alliance. You might say you can’t expect it to go very far because it’s only the first issue (of its fifth year), but considering the story really started in the Year Four: Annual maybe some sort of plot development would have been fair. And stop making Hal Jordan a “funny man”. If you want a funny Green (or Yellow, in this case) Lantern, you should have picked Kyle Rayner. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read
Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics)*: This book was admittedly a disappointment. Unless what you have been demanding all this time was to watch Swamp Thing wrestle an alligator. In fact, the most implausible part of this book about a mass of vegetation with human consciousness hanging around a swamp is when two people show up in the swamp to ask said mass for help. As though it were on their list of errands. No, maybe the most implausible was Swamp Thing essentially responding with, “Okay, I have nothing better to do.” Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 (Marvel Comics)*: Put two of the funniest characters in their own series and what to do you have? Two people bemoaning their own potty-humor, actually. Things don’t really need to make sense when Deadpool is involved, but a plot device that put the two together would have helped go a long way, rather than Deadpool hiring someone to pretend to be Dormammu for… actually, I’m not sure how that was supposed to aid Deadpool’s plan to get Spider-Man to work with him. Instead, you side with Spider-Man’s reluctance to have anything to do with the laugh-less title. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass
Star Wars #14 & Star Wars: Darth Vader #15 (Marvel Comics)*: Reviewed together because they came out on the same day, are of the same caliber and conclude the same story, “Vader Down”. The last half of the series really revved up and became increasingly entertaining. These last issues make for the most enjoyable Star Wars you can have, on paper or on the silver screen. If only Hollywood were taking their cues from Marvel. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy (but a collection would be better than title-jumping through your back issues)
Squadron Supreme #2(Marvel Comics)*: Some good moments here and there. Nighthawk stands out as the character to watch, certainly the most intense and interesting of the Squadron. Hopefully the series isn’t suggesting that Hyperion is going to take a job as a truck driver. Squadron Supreme has been looking for its readership for decades and suffering a great many changes and incarnations along the way. Hopefully that balances out and this title holds its own until Marvel decides to cancel all its titles and relaunch everything again. So… give it a year. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read
Uncanny X-Men #1(Marvel Comics)*: What was one of the longest running titles in comic books is relaunched again as a blatant X-Force rip-off. It’s a bit like watching your dad get his ear pierced only to realize, “No… you’ll never be young again”. The cast is interesting, though Sabretooth as a good guy will always be a disappointing sell-out and the presence of the Psylocke/Archangel pairing really highlights the parallels to X-Force. X-Force was great… but Uncanny X-Men is supposed to be a prestigious flagship, not a transparent attempt to recapture the gritty eighties and nineties. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass
Four Eyes: Hearts of Fire #1(Image Comics): Great art, so-so story. Yes, we all agree that dog-fighting is inhumane (most of us do, anyway) and plugging in dragons instead of dogs in a depression-era story… one of these things is not like the others. Someone walking into this without having read the previous work is likely to think it very odd the way dragons are almost a humdrum aspect of the story… and they wouldn’t be wrong. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass
Bitch Planet #6(Image Comics): As always, a well-stylized, entertaining book. The one question, though, is if the read would have been as compelling if not for the disclaimer. The book leads with a warning that it features sexual assault, promising that the events of the sexual assault will be limited to this issue and not revisited later. It prepares the reader for the worst and consequently, the reader races through the book in dread anticipation of the horrific inevitable. In the end, not to marginalize sexual assault, I was left wondering if I missed a page. Considering the exploitive nature of Bitch Planet and the state of graphic content in comic books, the warning seems disconnected from the content. Are the editors really afraid of offending readers despite the gratuity of the book or was it a cheap ploy? Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read (and then tell me if I’m just desensitized).
Ultimates #3 (Marvel) * The team has been successful in further evolving Galactus and has transformed him into a force of giving life..and his first act has been to restore life to the first planet he fed upon. The Shi’ar Imperial Guard discovered this and forwarded the information to Gladiator, who is, surprise surprise, not pleased with Earth for their actions. I wonder why it is the Shi’ar are never happy..I mean Galactus is no longer a devourer of planets, and still Gladiator gets all up in Earths face about it…maybe it’s the mohawk? I digress, now the team want to look into fixing the space/time continuum problem. Yeah, nothing can go wrong there. I do enjoy this team and the banter between them, but I find the scope of their missions a little ‘out there’ traveling through deep space, superflow, neutral zone, blah blah..starting to read like stereo instructions, to paraphrase Beetlejuice. Is this an Avengers team necessary of the time and resources they have been given? That remains to be seen. But the art is beautiful. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) * So the mutant population is facing yet another life changing event; the terrigen cloud making its way around the world is slowly killing the mutant population as well as sterilizing those who survive, ensuring that no new mutants will emerge. This leaves those mutants remaining as easy targets, and that threat needs a response just as threatening; enter the Uncanny X-Men. Magneto has gathered a group of X-Men not afraid to get their hands dirty to protect mutants from those who would take advantage of this current situation, but in this first issue, we see they aren’t going to let other mutants take the easy way out either. I really like the team roster in this book, though have a little issue with Archangel being some mindless ‘drone” being controlled by Psylocke (though I’m sure this will come to blow up in their faces in the upcoming Apocalypse story arc). I was a little let down with Magneto, as I enjoyed him more in his solo book then I did in this first outing in this first issue, but it didn’t ruin the book for me. I also enjoyed the blast from the past at the end of this issue. And Greg Land’s art is exactly what I expected, beautiful as ever. I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next issue. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
The Death Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives #1(Valiant) The story of Shan Mirage and her husband Hwen, is story of heartbreak , loss, redemption , justice and. Undying love, which the first volume of this ongoing series covered well. In the beginning of this new volume, deals with the reality of their lives since his untimely physical death,while they thrust themselves into new adventures.Van Meter Is seemingly getting more personal the more she writes these characters much to the reader’s benefit as the overall story becomes richer. The art by De La Torre is interesting, abstract and very much George Perez in the best way. Overall:10 Recommendation: BUY NOW
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.
Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).
One of my favourite titles from SecretWars is re-forming in the All New All Different Marvel Universe inA-Force#1; but can what made this title great carry over into ‘our’ universe? That remains to be seen.
Singularity has appeared in our world, and quickly realizes it is not her world and remembers the friends she left behind and sets out to find them and bring them all together. She quickly finds Captain Marvel in space and goes to her, only to find the Carol has no idea who Singularity is. At that moment, an energy being Carol is calling Antimatter is attacking the space station she is on and Carol goes to confront it…but Singularity can ‘feel’ the being in her head and Antimatter can feel her as pain. Singularity decides she needs to head to Earth to look for more of her friends to help. On her way, she clips New Attilan and crash lands in New York, with Antimatter quickly following her. She manages to locate She-Hulk, who also has no memory of Singularity, but also leads the big bad to her, and gets Jennifer into the fight. The two come to the conclusion they cannot handle the threat alone, when Medusa arrives on the scene with a battalion of Inhuman soldiers. She chides Singularity for damaging New Attilan, who in turn is very excited to see her friend Medusa…but Medusa promptly shackles Singularity and suggests they give her to Antimatter if she is who he wants.
G. Willow Wilson brings us a very fun story, with enough action and fast pace to keep things moving. I really enjoyed the child like innocence of Singularity, just wanting to find her friends and help them…get back what she knew from her previous life. And I really felt her upset when she found them and they all didn’t remember her…but she didn’t give up. And I really loved Jorge Molina’s art; sure all the characters may have the same nose, but he definitely gives them each their own style and characteristics to make them distinct.
So, is this the same A-Force from Secret Wars? Definitely not. We are no longer on Arcadia and we are not on a world created by Doom where we have disco Dazzler and every woman from the Marvel universe defending an island from flying whales or rogue Thors or traitorous team members. We are seeing the beginnings of a new team being formed, and if any readers coming back were like me, found themselves going “awww come on already!” just wanting to see the band back together. Sadly, this was just like your typical number one issue, laying down the framework and yes, having to wait for all the players to hit the scene. Yes, I enjoyed it; it was fun, and I will definitely come back for the next issue.
Story: G. Willow Wilson Art: Jorge Molina
Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy
Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!
We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.
Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.
Top Pick: X-O Manowar #43 (Valiant) – A new year, and a new story arc. After the last gut punchingly brilliant story, Exodus, I can’t wait to see what’s next for Aric of Dacia. Plus, Ninjak… there’s something special about seeing those two characters interact, so my expectations are pretty high for this issue.
Johnny Red #3 (Titan Comics) – This series swept me off my feet after the first issue, and the love affair has shown no sign of slowing down. I love everything about this series.
Spidey #2 (Marvel) – I enjoyed the last issues look at the earlier days in Spidey’s crime fighting career, because it hearkens back to a time before Parker was a globe trotting playboy with a super powered body guard (that sounds familiar…). That it’s also drawn by Nick Bradshaw? Definitely something I’m keeping my eye on.
Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) – I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of Sabretooth trying to turn hero. I intend to pick up the first issue to see whether the idea is as interesting as I hope it will be.
Top Pick: Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics) – Swamp Thing’s co-creator returns to write this brand new limited series. There’s been solid runs on the character lately, and I’m excited to see what Len Wein does with this series.
Johnny Red #3 (Titan Comics) – I’ve really enjoyed Garth Ennis’ take on this classic character and war comic. Each issue has delivered in every way and a series that has completely caught me off guard in how good it is.
The Last Contract #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I’m a sucker for a story that has a hit-man returning to his profession to get revenge. The first issue is a solid beginning, and it’s a series that could be a lot of fun if you’re in to that sort of story.
Nailbiter #19 (Image Comics) – I love this series. Focusing on a small town that has created a crazy amount of serial killers, the story has shifted to Atlanta, and I’m dying to know how it ties in to the bigger storyline.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #15, Star Wars #14 (Marvel) – The next two parts of Vader Down? Yes please!
Top Pick: Bitch Planet #6 (Image Comics) – It’s the best sci-fi left wing comic of the year. So obviously we buy it.
A-Force #1 (Marvel) – G. Willow Wilson is writing and Nico Minoru isn’t wearing that atrocious outfit anymore.
The Fade Out #12 (Image Comics) – It’s the final issue of the best noir and mystery comic in ages. Of course you’re buying it.
Midnighter #8 (DC Comics) – I have had moments of concern and moments of praise for this comic but think this book is on an upswing and with former Catwoman artist David Messina coming on to the book I think it’s going to be great.
Weirdworld #2 (Marvel) – One of the most promising new titles at Marvel. It delivers on the All New All Different promise in a way very few comics have. Latina teenager (yay!) gets trapped in a far-out world of sword and Sorcery.
Top Pick: Howard the Duck #3 (Marvel) – Zdarsky’s second run of Howard comics definitely improves and builds upon excellent foundations and it wasn’t surprising that my one of my favourite series also had one of my favourite issues of the year by far. Finally Howard and Tara come to face to face (or more accurately Bill, face, muzzle and bill) with Shocket and Linda and I can’t wait to see the interactions between them as they try and shake off the annoying advances of The Wizard and the ever looming threat of The Collector. This title along with Squirrel Girl, which it will soon cross over with, always deliver the prefect mix of humour and heart. Once again the talented Mr Quinones is back to regular art duties after the wonderful single issue by guest artist Veronica Fish last month.
Doctor Strange #4 (Marvel) – Continuing a whole week gorging on All New All Different Marvel is issue four of the Bachalo and Aaron’s run on the Sorcerer Supreme. While last issue felt like somewhat of a re-tread of the first issue in terms of plot it’s still a series I’m enjoying. The slow burn of the whole science versus magic story that the duo have been building over the last three issues, with Strange discovering in the last issue that fellow Sorcerer’s are being killed along with places of magical power. Bachalo’s artwork is gorgeous, in particular the way he presents the astral planes and Strange’s unique view of New York City, teaming with mystical parasites. The washed out planes with splashes of colour are simply striking and hint at even greater artistic flourishes to come.
Rocket Racoon and Groot #1 (Marvel) – Spinning out of the pair’s excellent solo books the gung-ho raccoon and his monosyllabic companion are finally back together in one book, once again written by Skottie Young, also contributing covers for the series. The addition of new artist Filipe Andrade made me sceptical at first after seeing his one off issue from the last volume. The previous two volumes divided art duties between Young and Jake Parker, both of whom did a delightfully adorable Rocket!
It was the only issue I didn’t like, and for me the artwork seemed jarring against the other two artists more cutesy and cartoony take. While a great style in its own right it was just too serious and seemed out of sync with Young’s quick paced, witty script. However I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong and Andrade seems to have tweaked and softened his style slightly for the new series bringing back in some of the cute. The preview pages have definitely renewed my interest in the title. I eagerly look forward to seeing the mix of his art and Young’s comical hijinks as this issue opens with the pair being mourned by their fellow Guardians!
The Vision #3 (Marvel) – King and Walta’s eerie look at the Vision and his new family continues to spiral out of control as they struggle to stick together as a ‘normal family’ despite the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Truly the strangest and most gripping book that Marvel are putting out at the moment, even with the post-secret wars shake up putting the Vision in suburbia to explore humanity and normality is really bold and it completely pays off. Despite the title, the standout character of this series for me is Virginia. While all this is going on she battles with her own identity and place in the world. Haunting and shocking in equal measures.
Top pick: Sheriff of Babylon #2 (Vertigo) – The first issue was a perfect demonstration of establishing a compelling plot and interesting characters. The acclaimed writer of The Omega Men and Grayson explores post-invasion Iraq in this story about the search for justice when no justice system stands.
Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham #6 (Marvel Comics) – Many people probably don’t realize how lucky they are to be living in a world where Miracleman gets to see the light of day. The classic hard-to-find story is nearing the end of its reprint, making the greatest superhero-as-god story ever written available to everyone.
Paper Girls #4 (Image) – Four teenage newspaper-delivery girls struggle through an otherworldly invasion. You don’t even need to be able to read to enjoy this nostalgic sci-fi series. Cliff Chiang’s art makes each page a rich, intoxicating experience.
Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics) – Swamp Thing’s original writer brings botanical terror to readers in this new series. If that isn’t enough for those looking for back-to-roots horror, this story is illustrated by the amazing Kelley Jones (Batman: Red Rain, Venom: The Madness).
Top Pick: A-Force #1 (Marvel) – This was one of my favourite titles during Secret Wars, so I’m very excited to see some of the ladies of the Marvel Universe brought together again in “our” world. It’s going to be fun to see what role Singularity will play in the present universe, and how these heroes will be brought together.
Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) – I’m interested in the team line up in the this book (hoping Psylocke is put to better use after that terrible Vol. 4 stint of X-Force), but I’m definitely getting an X-Force vibe off this book after reading the premise. I hope Magneto is still as compelling in this book as he was in his solo and this offers a lot more then just a lot of scowling, snarling and blood shed.
The Vision #3 (Marvel) – This is the All New All Different title that has been exactly that for me. I wasn’t even going to give this title a shot, but I am so glad I did; what a pleasant surprise! Vision has made himself a family to live a quiet ordinary life…and it has been anything but! The experiment is not going to end well, and I highly recommend picking this title up to see where it all leads.
From the ashes of Battleworld, they rise. A new super team for a new era. Today, Marvel is pleased to present your first look at A-Force #1, the brand new ongoing series and follow up to the smash-hit Secret Wars series. Blockbuster creators G. Willow Wilson and Jorge Molina return from Battleworld in force, but they’re not alone.
Marvel’s newest hero Singularity has returned from the breach, making landfall in the Marvel Universe. Yet much has transpired in the eight months since the end of Secret Wars. To combat the most fearsome threats from across the multiverse, she’ll re-assemble this world’s mightiest group of Avengers to her side: She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Dazzler, Medusa and Nico Minoru – even if they don’t remember her! Together, they are the unstoppable A-Force! And they are A FORCE to be reckoned with!
Don’t miss their explosive debut this January!
A-FORCE #1 (OCT150736)
Written by G. WILLOW WILSON
Art & Cover by JORGE MOLINA
Hip-Hop Variant by ADAM HUGHES (OCT150737)
Variant Cover by VICTOR IBANEZ (OCT150738)
Marvel ’92 Variant by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL (OCT150739)
Cosplay Variant by JAY JUSTICE (OCT150740)
FOC – 12/07/15, On-Sale – 01/06/15
On Sunday, talking heads circle tables and pontificate on television about the hottest topics pressing our nation. We bring that tradition to our site as the Graphic Policy team gives our thoughts in each week’s Sunday Roundtable.
On tap this week?
We’re a little bit over a month into All-New, All-Different Marvel with lots of new series debuting. So far, do you think it’s really all-new and all-different?
Alex: I’ve really only read two or three comics from Marvel’s ANAD phase – Howard The Duck, Hercules and Extraordinary X-Men – and honestly? Howard was as good as it was before, I enjoyed Hercules quite a bit, but Extraordinary felt like a big prologue to the rest of the series. I don’t know if I’ll pick it up next month. From what I’ve read and seen, the reviews have been pretty hit and miss from Marvel the last month or so.
That said, some of the comics coming down the pipeline look very interesting to me (but they’re just relaunches of the series I was already reading…)
Elana: I won’t read Herc on principal. Why would Marvel editorial make one of their only bi characters straight. In Greek myths Hercules has romances with men and women. And in the comics in the past he was written explicitly as bi. Former writer Greg Pak has confirmed that about his run as well. It was a real step backwards from marvel to do this.
Mr. H: So far Amazing Spider-Man is gold! I’m not that taken with Avengers or Invincible Iron Man though. I haven’t read my copy of Extraordinary X-Men yet. I shall soon.
Brett: For what you’ve read so far? Does it feel like it’s all that different? To me, it’s pretty much the same.
Paul: I have read Extraordinary X-Men, The New Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Hercules, Uncanny Inhumans and The Vision. X-Men feels ‘been there, done that’ with mutants facing yet another extinction level threat; it would be nice if something new could be explored instead of falling back on old formulas; new team, same reason for it. The Avengers titles, so far, have really disappointed me. I do not like how a lot of characters are being presented, which is a shame because so many great characters were added to the new line ups. Uncanny has lost its way with the many relaunches so close together, and The New Avengers just feels very juvenile and a waste of so much potential. Inhumans and Vision are the two stand out titles for me so far. Great characters, story and they really grabbed me with their first issues. I agree with Alex, some of the new ones coming up look good, but they are relaunches of what I’ve been enjoying already (hoping I still enjoy them with the new start). Overall, with only a couple exceptions, this does not feel All New or All Different. Sure we have some characters coming over from Secret Wars(Singularity and Old Man Logan, for example) but they are coming into stories and situations that feel rehashed (though A-Force hasn’t dropped yet, not sure of their mission). I’m hopeful, as always, to see what’s coming..but no, this does no feel new or different to me…so far at least. Come on and wow me Marvel!
Mr. H: Other than Amazing Spider-Man it all feels the same to me.
Of course I am going to read Doctor Strange #1 and #2 today and get a mini review up of #2 along with Secret Wars #7.
Brett: How were folks expectations going in? Anyone excited/interested in what was announced?
Mr. H: I was very excited with all new avengers and Extraordinary X-Men but not wowed yet
Alex: Not really, to be honest. I actually picked up an older Eternal Warrior comic today rather than one of the All-New, All-Different comics I could have picked up, which speaks volumes as to my interest level in what has already been released.
Brett: So far I’ve been underwhelmed, with some exceptions (The Vision being the standout). But, I can’t figure out what the new comics are missing for me. I’d outright say there’s some soul missing, but not even sure I know what that means.
What’s missing for you all?
Elana: What’s missing is diverse creative teams.
Paul: Originality is missing for me. From what I’ve read, it all feels familiar. New faces, but same stories/missions. Or in the case of New Avengers, they’ve gone in a really odd direction…feels like a bad kids cartoon show (thinking Avengers: United they Stand). I agree that Vision has been a pleasant surprise, and I really like Uncanny Inhumans. And there is more to still come and too soon for me to call this All-New, All-Different a wash, but so far it’s been ‘meh’.
Alex: Some soul?
I think you nailed it, honestly, Brett. Howard the Duck aside, there seems to be something missing, and soul (which, although an Image comic, is exactly what Limbo has in spades) is a great descriptor.
The All-New, All-Different seems underwhelming so far, but there’s still much more to come.
Brett: Yeah that’s the one word that keeps coming to me. The comics I’ve read are going through motion but missing that spark.
Alex: Yeah – that’s one of the reasons I didn’t pick up All-New Wolverine today, and instead I picked up an older back issue I was looking for.
Brett: I’ve also noticed a lot of the comics riff off of other successful things. All-New Wolverine feels like Orphan Black a bit. X-Men is redone earlier plots. It’s weird.
Alex: It’s almost like they didn’t have a solid idea of where to take some comics.
Elana: Right now I think that Marvel has a lot of good books but very few outstanding ones. I know that the audiences for Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel are huge. I presume that Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaurwill be too. I liked the new issue of Howard the Duck more then the previous ones. But the title that has excited me the most has been All-New Wolverine. That wasn’t even a book I was looking out for! It just came and bowled me over.
Alex: I picked up All-New Wolverine today, largely on your recommendation, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.
Elana: Looking forward to getting your thoughts. I feel like the longer I think about it the more I like it.
Alex: I enjoyed it. Nothing can top Howard for me from the ANAD Marvel offerings, but All-New Wolverine was far better than I expected it to be. I think the best thing about the issue was that it felt like an organic next step for the character (I know very little about her, honestly), with forcing a female Wolverine on us because they could.
My one complaint? Drop the All-New from the title. If she’s Wolverine, title the comic as such. All-New implies that there will be a return of the old Wolverine (and I don’t mean Old Man Logan).
Elana: If Marvel really wanted all new all different they would have diversified their creative teams. Moon Girl is great but the only titles coming with black creators are still a ways off. Black Panther and Luke Cage / Iron Fist are going to be fantastic I’m sure. But it’s still a ways off.
I wasn’t particularly interested in any of the coming X titles but when the X-Plain the X-Men podcast had Dennis Hopeless on they totally sold me on his upcoming All-New X-Men teen roadtrip book. Diverse cast, cool concept.
Alex:Uncanny looks interesting to me because I want to see how they handle Sabretooth, but that’s because I enjoy seeing villains reform (however temporary it may be). Other than that I’ve found I’m more interested by books like Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. As well as the ones I’ll be reading anyway (Moon Knight, Howard).
Brett: And there you have it folks! The Graphic Policy team has weighed in with their thoughts. What are yours? Sound off in the comments.
This February, critically praised artist Michael Cho puts his own stamp on the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe. Marvel has announced a series of stunning variant covers, all illustrated by Cho, coming to your favorite new Marvel launches!
An illustrator and cartoonist, Cho’s unique style breathes life into some of Marvel’s most popular characters. Featuring Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Wolverine, the Inhumans, Daredevil and many more, you won’t want to miss these gorgeous covers, coming in the month of February.
Look for these eye-catching Michael Cho Variants to grace the covers of these Marvel Comics in February: