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Entertainment Earth Spotlight: Dorbz: Classic X-Men in November

The super-human mutants are coming as Dorbz!

Collect Storm, Psylocke, and Sabretooth, as well as Cyclops, a founding member of the X-Men who can emit energy blasts from his eyes!

You can also get Dark Phoenix, one of the strongest mutants to ever live, and Emma Frost, who can turn herself into diamond! Keep an eye out for Emma Frost’s diamond chase variant (a 1 in 6 rarity)!

Be sure to look for Cable, available exclusively at Walmart!

Dorbz figures are approximately 3-inches tall and come packaged in a window display box.

Dorbz: Classic X-Men are out in November from Funko.

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Fashion Spotlight: Bomberpool, I Don’t Care, Storm Punk

Ript Apparel has three new designs! Bomberpool, I Don’t Care, and Storm Punk, by melonseta, parin, and greendevil are on sale today only! Get them before they’re gone!

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This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

We Are Storm: Marvel’s Unsung Hero

Storm_1_Ibanez_CoverWithin the comics’ medium, comic book creators are constantly using comic books not only as an instrument of creativity and imagination, but also as a platform for issues plaguing society and through characters like Storm. Although Greg Pak’s solo series only lasted 11 issues, he said more within this limited run, than most writers say in a lifetime. He not only dealt with the ongoing mythology surrounding Ororo Munroe, but also dealt with many political issues, that seem to have seeped into Sam Wilson, Captain America. Pak, has not only proven just how smart of a writer he is, but has proven the one skill, that many comic book writers, are often underestimated to do, the ability to change minds.

What he set out to do and what he accomplished within the series, is paramount to this titular character, as he not only weaved an interesting story to an undervalued icon in marvel’s pantheon, but contemporize her, at times, the series reads like a call to conscience much like Lawrence Fishburne’s character in School Daze, and at other times, coming off like Denzel Washington in the Equalizer.

Storm 2 Storm 3

The fact that the series did not sell while it was still in production, is a bigger issue in and of itself,as the audience determines what it wants to read, and what sales have told Marvel, is that many readers do not want to read about this superpowered African Goddess. It truly is a travesty, as this hero, is one of epic origins and a life’s journey that has seen tragedy, loss, love, loss of love and the power to reinvent yourself no matter what stage of life you are in.

I can honestly say I have never read of a hero, that has gone through as many trials as Storm, and still to come out on top, makes her the very definition of “strength”. Created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, had a twofold purpose in her creation, one, they did not want the X-men to have an all male lineup and two, they wanted to combine the characters of Black Cat and Typhoon.

Storm 4

storm 9To say that Marvel was forward thinking in her creation would be a long shot, as her origins had her mother, N’Dare, marrying an American photojournalist, David Munroe, and the couple moving to Harlem, as with all Black characters of the time, had something to do with Harlem, New York. Not that there is anything wrong with Harlem, in and of itself, as I have been there more than few times, as a Native New Yorker, but speaking as a person of color, black people, come from more places than just Harlem, as the African Diaspora, is wide ranging and we all come from different parts of the world.

This is where her story takes a turn,her family moves to Egypt, and where her parents get killed in an aircraft during the Suez Crisis,soon she finds herself , having to become a thief , in order fro her to survive on the streets of Cairo, a a story well covered in a miniseries by Marc Sumerak. She eventually goes on a search for her mother’s tribe in Kenya, where she finds she belongs to a long line of priestesses, with white hair and blue eyes and where she was worshipped as a goddess because of her powers. Eventually Professor Xavier recruits her into the Xmen and much credit to Chris Claremont’s forward thinking, he molds her to a strong independent character, a huge change in how feminine characters were previously portrayed, case and point, he eventually makes her the leader of the Xmen after Cyclops leaves. He also showed how complex a character she was through the many battles, with the Brood, the Shadow Kin and the Morlocks, both being a hero and a victim, eventually losing her powers because of the Forge. This is of course, a man she fell in love with, but after she found why he took care of her, left him in disgust, before eventually reconciling it ultimately.

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That storyline was the reader’s first glimpse into how fragile a person she is , as love is the one thing, that constantly penetrates her stoic armor, not only with the lovers in her life like Forge and Black Panther, but those she loves unconditionally like Kitty Pryde, is her huge heart. This heart of hers is what allows her to love maternally and unconditionally while at the same time, is what makes her most human, as everyone, for the most part, and has multitudes. This is what makes Storm, a universal character.

Storm 11The best part of her journey which shows just how relatable she is her whole relationship with Black Panther. She has known him since they were teenagers, when she saved young T’Challa, from Andreas De Ruyter and vice versa, thus becoming first loves when both heroes were 12. Fast forward some twenty years later and their bond is still strong, which leads to one of the more major marriages in the Marvel universe, while historically being the first time two Black characters are married at a major publishing house. What was interesting, is how Marvel handled their marriage, showing that it was not without complications, as most real life marriages are, as she gets bored with life as a queen, and decides to devote her time to, first the Fantastic Four, and then to the Xmen. T’Challa, does something similar where decides he needs to find himself without her, and take up the role as the guardian of Hell’s Kitchen, in Daredevil’s absence. Eventually the distance apart from each other and the faceoff they had during the “Avengers vs. Xmen” storyline, lead to the marriage ending.

As I said earlier in this piece, she has been through many a trial, and probably the most unheralded active character in Marvel‘s Universe. I can name 6-8 characters that Marvel, has had since their creation that have 5-6 books including Spiderman, and have an expanding universe, which includes one of favorites, Deadpool and Wolverine. This is why I cannot understand for the life of me, why Marvel has not taken this approach with Storm. It is true that Marvel have taken huge steps toward diversity with Ms. Marvel, the new Hulk being a Chinese American and the new Thor and Wolverine, both being women.

Storm 5As it shows progress, it really is not enough; in fact, it is pretty much a slap in the face, to this character, who has taken up the leadership mantle through various teams in the Marvel Universe. She went against establishment rules and worn-out stereotypes in her introduction and the ways she has been portrayed through the almost 40 years of her existence. She has always provided an example of being the best type of hero, who is of pure heart and possesses both strength and frailty. She is, in my mind, the femininity and sheer power of Pam Grier’s various characters in the 1970s and the fierce intelligence and cold calculation of Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope on Scandal and the fact, that she has no ongoing solo series, is a travesty.

In essence , WE ARE STORM. We are strong, we are vulnerable, we love, we make mistakes,we make good decisions,we fight, we win, WE ARE STORM.

Review: Age of Apocalypse #1

aoa001Secret Wars has been so noteworthy thus far for its ability to incorporate other crossovers into its stories.  While the quality of these tie-ins has varied wildly, it has nonetheless been somewhat comprehensive in its attempt to give some exposure to all the major crossovers from the past.  It would be nearly impossible therefore to leave Age of Apocalypse off of this list.  Although this story occurred in the pages of X-Men related titles, it was nonetheless one of the bigger crossovers that Marvel has seen, as well as being in part responsible for the upcoming sequel to the X-Men movie franchise. As it was told at the time it featured the introduction of the mutant Apocalypse, a mutant of extreme power who undertook a plan for world domination and very nearly succeeded.  In the original story Charles Xavier is removed from the scene early on, and Magneto takes his place as the mutant championing compromise between mutants and humans, while equally being responsible for trying to stop Apocalypse’s tyrannical and genocidal reign where he attempts to wipe out regular humans from existence.

As opposed to other tie-ins which have attempted to re-imagine or recast some of the major aspects of the stories, this one instead seems to be looking for more of a pure retelling.  Apocalypse’s Horsemen are sent to the Savage Land to track down Cypher, although he is defended by a group of core X-Men.  After he is captured he is taken to Apocalypse, who is revealed to be employing several other mutants, many of whom have joined his side.  Standing against them are still Magneto and his mutants, as well as a group of humans led by Carol Danvers.  Apocalypse grows restless to wipe out his opposition, but it will not necessarily be as easy as he planned.

This first issue most sets the conditions for what will follow, and it does so in a meticulous way.  It is a challenging enough task, condensing a huge story arc into a few issues, but at least a proper job is done at this if if this issue ends up being a bit clunky at times.  There is enough action mixed in with establishing the scenario that it doesn’t become too heavy in the dialogue and concept, but it also seems to be leaving a lot of potential for the following issues.  It bodes well for the tie-in, and while this issue is a bit too conceptual to get through at times, it still excuses it for what is bound to come.

Story: Fabian Nicieza  Art: Geraldo Sandoval
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read

 

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Archie2015_01-0Wednesdays 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.

Brett

Top Pick: Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – The excellent series Princeless gets its first spin-off series focused on Raven, the Pirate Princess. The fundamentals are here, this time looking at swashbuckling tales. Raven must seek revenge against her brothers who have stolen her rightful place out from under her.

Archie #1 (Archie Comics) – This is huge! Archie is kicking off a whole new era with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples at the helm. This is one folks will be talking about.

Invader Zim #1 (Oni Press) – Jhonen Vasquez’s creation is back in a new comic. This is one I’ve been waiting for ever since it was announced. It’s kind of hard to not like the cartoon it’s based on, and expect this to be a hit.

Star Wars: Lando #1 (Marvel) – Everyone’s favorite scoundrel is back and in his own mini-series. Marvel has been killing it when its come to their Star Wars comics, and I expect no difference here.

Transference #1 (Black Mask Studios) – This is an interesting time travel series that is a hell of a mind bender in the first issue alone. There’s subtle things throughout the first issue that makes it stand out from the other special teams as time travelers story. A solid first issue.

 

Alex

Top pick: The Fox #4 (Dark Circle Comics) – If you’re not reading The Fox, you’re missing out. Plain and simple, this is one of the best comics on  the rack every month.

Batman #42 (DC Comics) – Although I’m not a big fan (yet) of the Bat-bunny-mech suit, I’ve got more than enough faith to see how Snyder plays this out.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Wonderland #37 (Zenescope) – There has hardly been a misstep in this series since the change of direction under the new creative team.  The series never fails to impress and surprise and that will continue here with a new story.

Archie #1 (Archie Comics) – There is finally a lot of buzz for this publisher, and it comes in the form of a revamped Archie.  No one quite knows what that means yet, but we will know soon.

Bloodstrike #1 (Image Comics) – Rob Liefeld causes a riot any time he works on comics, as he has fans and others who are pretty much the opposite of fans.  This is his best setting though, with nothing to prove and his imagination to fuel him.  How will the new sci-fi series work out for him?

Civil War #1 (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s most contentious crossovers meets the Secret Wars world.  The mix is not an obvious one, but neither have a lot of crossovers that have involved strange mixes thus far.

Gotham Academy #8 (DC Comics) – Olive returns to Gotham’s most interesting school.  A one issue break (plus the break for Convergence) means that she has been gone for a while, and it will be interesting to see what her return means for this series.

 

Elana

Constantine the Hellblazer #2 (DC Comics) – Funny, pretty, creepy, creative and hey everyone— it stars a bisexual character who’s not treated as a joke or fetishized!  More please!

Also props on the diverse creative team behind the comic, which may have something to do with the diversity inside the comic. PS, co-writer Ming Doyle was one of our podcast’s all time best guests. Go listen to her!

Gotham Academy #8 (DC Comics) – This book is one of the most creative things coming from DC. This issue is Olive’s mysterious Mother’s funeral. I’m gonna say it’s all Batman’s fault because he has a terrible track record with people with mental health issues.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – The name says it all. Charming, feminist, racially diverse. The number one book for kids of all ages including kids with mortgages. The new art is stronger then ever!

Storm TPB Vol. 2 (Marvel) – Storm’s first solo series was groundbreaking. If you like Storm at all, or just want to see more comics featuring women of color buy this! The story explores her personality, playing her off against some interesting foes and even more interesting friends. And the Gambit team-up is so much fun it’s criminal!

 

Paul

Top Pick: Age of Apocalypse #1 (Marvel) – I collected every issue of Age of Apocalypse when this storyline came out a million years ago.  This, to me, was one of the best X-Men runs ever released.  And I cannot wait to see the AoA region of Battleworld.  I know it won’t be exactly like the original run…but I am so excited to see these versions of the X-Men again.

Civil War #1 (Marvel) – Another storyline given a region in Battleworld, and I’m looking forward to it.  So much happened in the original run of Civil War, so I’m looking forward to reading a story where the war never ended; see what allegiances were formed, which fell apart…and who survives to see it end.

Runaways #2 (Marvel) – I really enjoyed the first issue of this series.  I’ve always enjoyed books focusing on the younger heroes of the MU (New Warriors, Young Avengers, Runaways), and I liked how this tie-in to Secret Wars took  some of my favourite heroes (Cloak and Dagger especially) and took them back to school, literally, to find their way in this new Battleworld.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Batman #42 – Capullo. Snyder. Every issue in this run has been white hot. I have no reason to believe the train will slow down. I don’t even want to buckle in!

Batman/ Superman #22 (DC Comics) – Gordon vs. Kent round 2. Can these two get on the same page so the World can have a Finest again?

Civil War #1 (Marvel Comics) – Where it all went wrong the first time, I’d like to see how they try to correct their mistakes or are they doomed to repeat themselves?

Spider-Man: Renew your Vows #2 (Marvel Comics) – This is the Spider-Man that I have waited for since the return of Norman Osborn wayyy back in the pages of Spider-Man #75. Last issue was very disappointing. I’m hoping Slott gives Peter the reunion with his daughter he deserves. Give him a happy ending for once!

TMNT Color Classics Series 3 #47 (IDW) – Classic Eastman/ Laird in color? Hell yeah. Loving this trip down memory lane!

 

Pharoah

Star Wars: Lando #1 (Marvel) Definitely had my interest piqued when I saw it in Previews for this month’s solicitations. He is probably one of the coolest characters within the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and now he gets his own graphic treatment, the only thing I can say truly, it is about time!!!

1872 #1 (Marvel) I love the exploration of alternate universes with familiar characters, and this is definitely one to watch out for, as they got the Avengers living in the Wild Wild West

Archie #1 (Archie) – When you have the top talents of Mark Waid of Empire fame and Fiona Staples of Saga fame, working on one of comics’ most iconic characters, it is more than worth a look.

Providence #2 (Avatar)Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, are reviving Lovecraft in the most exciting way possible, as he has made the mythology scary again for all of us. I have not loved a Moore series as much as I loved this one, definitely his best work yet.

Star Trek/Green Lantern #1 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – This team up has been creating a huge amount of buzz since it was first announced and as a fan of both franchises, it reminds me of the Batman/Spawn crossover.

Review: Years of Future Past #2

years002The Secret Wars crossover has perhaps been the unkindest to the X-Men.  Part of the underlying concept behind the huge crossover is to take story arcs and other crossovers from the past and to rework them into the Secret Wars framework.  While this has worked well for some series, for others it has not, and the X-Men versions are perhaps among the most distorted.  This is because the mutants often serve as analogies for what is wrong in society, and with that as a theme, it tends to make a lot of the best X-Men stories into the best of the genre.  In this case Secret Wars hgas grabbed what is one of the best comic book story arcs ever written, so popular in fact that it was chosen as the story line to revive the movie franchise.

This story follows along some basic plot elements from the original series while leaving other important parts behind.  This has been the case with other X-Men tie-ins to Secret Wars where a lot of the characters remain, if not for the baseline being altered in minor, though fundamental ways.  The changes here are thus similar and different as a similar group of characters struggle against the sentinels of the future who have eliminated most mutants already and the few remaining mutants who struggle to maintain their lives and their kind against this threat.  One of the highlights of this issue is a monologue by Colossus which evokes the famous quote by Martin Niemöller about the Holocaust.

That is the case with this issue though.  Although it works well enough as a story, it also is a story which has a few defining moments with other material in between which almost feels like filler.  It is an unconventional format for a story as it moves between moments which are either strong for character development or artistically impressive, but such is the lot of the X-Men tie-ins to Secret Wars.  It is good, but not much else, and more than anything makes the reader want to re-read the original as opposed to continuing with this.

Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Mike Norton
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Thor_8_CoverWednesdays 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.

Brett

Top Pick: Rebels #2 (Dark Horse) – Brian Wood’s series takes us back to the beginnings of the American Revolution. Focusing on two young individuals looking to start their life, Wood not only gives us a touching action story, but also reminds us some of the principles that founded our nation.

Lantern City #1 (Archaia/BOOM! Studios) – A story about castes and a man who just wants a better life for his family.

Rise #2 (Northwest Press) – The series launched after lots of high-profile bullying stories, and while the publisher focuses on LGBT comics, the stories focus on more than just that. These are stories we can all relate to, and after reading you can realize things do get better.

Secret Wars #2 (Marvel) – The first issue threw us head first into a massive action story, taking us right into the thick of battle, and had no problems killing characters off. That only set us up to know anything is possible as Marvel relaunches its comic universe.

Space Riders #2 (Black Mask Studios) – The series’ first issue was a psychedelic space adventure. So, expect more of that… aka more awesome.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Thor #8 (Marvel) – Probably anyone who is even slightly interested in Marvel will be picking this up to find out who the new Thor is

Lady Killer #5 (Dark Horse) – This series sees its end here and we get to find out whether or not Josie is a one hit wonder.

Night Nurse #1 (Marvel) – The Daredevil television series renewed interest in this character, and this collection will give readers some background into who she is.

Silk #4 (Marvel) – There has hardly been a misstep in this Spider-associated book that gets none of the spotlight as its kin.

Wonderland #35 (Zenescope) – Zenescope’s best series continues here with another enticing story arc.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Convergence: Suicide Squad #2 (DC Comics) – Last issue had such a perfect twist by two classic lineup characters and I’m not even talking about the reveal at the end of issue 1. I can’t wait to see what happens next. This book features the REAL Amanda Waller, the most interesting anti-hero in comics and basically the only middle-aged black woman protagonist in super hero comics. When the New 52 made Waller thin & young I was indignant. Read my post “Waller Not Smaller” on why this matters.

I’m so glad to have The Wall back. I know writer Frank Tieri agrees because he told me so on Twitter.

Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #6 (Marvel) –  Sera, Angela’s more worldly and sharp-witted life partner/ bard/ “how awesome is her character design?!?” is the reason I read this book. What a revelation she is! I picked up this book for the creative team but I still stayed for this wonderful new character. And she’s a trans woman with dark skin & a non generic body type. More please. Many many more.

Fangirls Guide to Galaxy Handbook for Girl Geeks HC (Quirk Books) – This is going to be on recommended gift lists from now till the end of time. So why not buy one right away! That way you can read it before you regift it this holiday season. Buy one for all of your geek girl friends and supporters.

Storm #11 (Marvel) –  Why is this series getting cancelled? Are you guys not buying it? This book is super entertaining and it is staring Storm!!! One of my favorite long-lost characters from Generation Hope came back in last issue. I did not like his send off in that miniseries (even though it was a wonderful miniseries) so I’m hoping Kenji gets a more favorable resolution this time.

Thor #8 (Marvel) – Who is Thor? The Big reveal! Brett thought it was Roz Solomon (awesome Jewish environmental scientist of SHIELD), I thought it was Mockingbird. Now we will know for sure.  If you’ve been reading the series or any series that touches on sore at all and clearly you’ve got to be in it for this last issue. I know for a fact that there are lots of people who have only started reading store because they heard about the new female store. I just spoke to a woman was picking up comics for the first time because of the series. This must not be the end.

 

How Old are Comic Book Characters?

How Old Do I Look? is an interesting website where you can upload an image and it’ll guess your age and gender based on that. While it’s fun putting people you know in, it also works in some drawings. So, I decided to put in some comic characters to see what the site says.

As you can see, it’s a bit all over the place, hell it thinks I’m in my mid-50s.

Review: X-Men #26

xmen026The introduction of an all female X-Men caught many fans off guard when it was announced over two years ago.  It is not that the fans were not prepared for an all female team, because the new team was as a response of fan requests, but rather because the all-female team was taking over the mantle of the team’s masculine name which did not accurately respresent their gender.  Regardless the fans got what they wanted even if the fit of the characters to the title was never as strong, as some of them debated over the use of the name in story.  What was noteworthy about this title was how effective the series was, in that while there were occasionally some lighter moments, that the femininity which was displayed was not of the trivial kind but instead allowed all of these powerful characters to interact with one another.  With the advent of Secret Wars, X-Men is due to be canceled.  This might come as a surpirse for a series which has been doing well enough both in sales and in its critical reception, but then again a lot of other series are being canceled to coincide with Secret Wars.

The story here wraps up the last story arc of this series.  After journeying to the desert and finding the semi-intelligent version of Krakoa, the team was trapped underground and forced to struggle for their lives.  Both Storm and Rachel Grey managed a way to the surface and the battle continued, but not before a moment was taken to reflect on the actual meaning of their actions, especially so that their own Krakoa was sick back at the X-Mansion.

The resolution to this story is as good as the series could give, given its feminine focus, but at the same time this story arc marks the end of what was a project that never really was.  Although the quality of this X-Men title was never in doubt, it never really either broke through either.  Most of the stories were interesting and engaging enough, but most also never really rose above what one might consider an average story line from any other comic.  Such was the case here again with this story arc and this issue, and while the run has been strong enough over the past couple of years, it still feels as though more could have been done.

Story: G. Willow Wilson Art: Roland Boschi
Story:  8.3 Art: 8.3  Overall: 8.3  Recommendation: Read

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

RedOne01_CoverWednesdays 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.

Brett

Invisible Republic #1 (Image Comics) – This new series is not what I expected at all. It follows a journalist who’s researching how an empire rose and fell. The story perspective is what really stood out to me, and out of everything I’ve read so far this week, this one beyond exceeded my expectation.

Chrononauts #1 (Image Comics) – Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy do the time travel thing in this latest Millarworld release. The first issue is entertaining, but how it’ll differ from Black Science (an Image comic with a similar premise) will be key.

Frankenstein Underground #1 (Dark Horse) – The latest entry into the Mignolaverse is a fantastic read and welcome addition to one of the strongest comic universes out there.

Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew (Cosmic Times) – When we get stories about giant robots and the folks who control them, it’s always an individual, or a couple of people that get all the glory. Did you know there’s a whole team within the robot that keeps it running? This hilarious series focuses on the individuals who don’t get enough credit.

Transformers #39 (IDW Publishing) – The Combiner Wars have begun, and holy crap is this first issue amazing.

Edward

Top Pick: Red One #1 (Image Comics) – This new series seems to have a lot of potential, combining a talented creative team with an interesting concept.  It seems like Evil Knievel mixed with Black Widow, all of which leads to a double cross.

Batgirl #40 (DC Comics) – The new direction of Batgirl has almost become meta- and aware of itself, but maybe rightfully so after its success.  It will be interesting to see where the creative team can take the character after their success so far.

Princess Leia #2 (Marvel) –  Some were expecting more out of this series after the success of the other new Star Wars series, but one of the Star Wars universe’s more complex but also overlooked characters deserves another look to see what happened before Hoth.

Satellite Sam #12 (Image Comics) – This series never fails to disappoint, with its intricate story and deep characters.  Revelations upon revelations show that the golden age of Hollywood was not what we thought it to be.

Silk #2 (Marvel) – Spider-Gwen gets all the fanfare, but is Silk what it should have really been?  The series is a step above its spider-rival and worth a second look.

Elana

Top Pick: Storm #9 (Marvel) – This Important X-Men Book is entering a new arc and I’m eager to see what it is. This book asks important questions about who we are in the world and how those of us with and without superpowers can empower oppressed people worldwide. It’s a topic I’d like more comics to consider since the premise of superheroes really begs that question.

Black Widow #16 (Marvel) – I have a feeling this issue is going to involve a lot of asskicking, espionage and top notch art. Because it always does. Noto puts the rest to shame. His painterly panels are very approachable for new readers who may be put off by cartoonish-ness elsewhere. The story reads like an action/suspense film right now.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 (Marvel) – It’s really funny. And even if I wasn’t hooked I’d still have to buy it for my husband. I love the narrative device of Doreen owning a set of Deadpool Trading cards that give background on any enemy she faces. North’s secret text below the panels joke is carried over from Adventure Time but this book has a strong sense of character all its own. I love Squirrel Girl’s attitude and I bet it would be great for kids.

Lazarus Vol. 3 Conclave TP (Image Comics) This book rocks in trades. It is the smartest dystopian sci-fi around. A comic that is doing our medium proud and a heroine who looks like she can actually kick your ass.

Loki Agent of Asgard #12 (Marvel)On our podcast we talked about Al Ewing’s writing here and how the book’s tone and Loki’s voice reminds us of his writing on Doctor Who: the 11th Doctor. You should give this comic to our friends who love Matt Smith’s Doctor Who or Hiddleston as Loki. It really is a good gateway drug! I mean comic, sorry, gateway comic (though start from issue 1).

Johnny Dellarocca (Comixstravaganza Live)

Top Pick: Silk #2 (Marvel) – we really enjoyed issue one and the pace and tone of the premiere did a great job of establishing the connection to Peter Parker, but at the same time setting it apart completely.

Avengers – Busiek and Perez Omnibus (Marvel) – FINALLY! The smaller collections have been difficult to find, so this omnibus is a welcome addition to your hardcover library. If you are a fan of “old school” super team adventures than you know Busiek and Perez’s run was legendary. They successfully resurrected this franchise from the brutal death brought in by Leifeld (and Lee’s) “Heroes Reborn” debacle. Also this is in the days when a story arc was 2-3 issues instead of the epic 12 – 24+ issue arcs of Bendis and Hickman. Busiek’s Avengers actually DID something instead of wandering around reacting.

This is the pick of the year

Frankenstein Underground #1 (Dark Horse) – It’s Mignola. It’s Frankenstein on the lamb. Do need anything else?

Princess Leia #2 (Marvel) – I’m really hoping that this continues to be strong. Vader #2 suffered a little bit, but the creative team on this is really strong! What’s great about these canon series is that we potentially see greater depth in the characters and that should enhance our appreciation of the films. So far Marvel has done s great job!

Rocketeer Complete Dave Stevens TPB (IDW Publishing) – IDW is doing a great job of breathing new, authentic life into this character and this month they are reprinting the complete Dave Steven’s series in one collection in paperback. The hardcover collection from Dark Horse us hard to find, so a TPB is welcome!

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