Transitioning to a new life is always difficult for anyone who has been accustomed certain comforts. I remember one of the more trivial things I had to get used to once I got out the military was figuring out what to wear to work every day. The transition for most can be difficult. Civilian life is not like what we left. And what we are coming back to is something different. This not only true for the military but also those leaving prison.
In the new television show The Last OG, Tracy Morgan portrays an ex-convict who finds himself at odds with changing his course and not falling back into his old life. This is a tamer version of what happens as the transition is tougher than most would ever hope to acknowledge. What transitioning for both the military and the prisoners do have in common is the pursuit of normality. In the brilliant drama The Divine, we meet two such veterans who must work as contractors in a country torn by civil war.
Mark and Jason are two old military friends who find it difficult to translate their skills into civilian life. Mark is newlywed with a baby on the way. His job prospects are not what he hoped for. Jason offers him a prospect of working for the same government contractor who has a job in a country called Quanlum, one where there are armed hostiles throughout. Before long Mark is back in the mix in a foreign country. Jason left out a few important details that make Mark regret his decision. Everything is not as it seems in. By book’s end, Mark has been changed once again by his exploits. It gives him a whole new understanding of the fragility of life.
Overall, an action packed and emotional rollercoaster that leaves readers almost breathless but ultimately grateful. The story by Boaz Lavie is suspense filled, well developed, and fervently mooring. The art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka is stunning, expressive, and tethers to the story well. Altogether, a story that is very much of its time. It leaves readers to ruminate on what is most important
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.
The Divine (First Second) – This graphic novel written by Boaz Lavie and art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka is based on real guerrilla freedom fighters, who just so happen to be kids. They were believed to have magical powers and able to summon spirits. The graphic novel is magical look at this odd history, but with an emphasis on the magical aspect in the second half of the graphic novel.
Black Canary #2 (DC Comics) – Lets rock and roll! The first issue knocked it out of the park with not only a punk rock vibe in the writing, but also with the art. There’s an interesting mix of genres so far, and I fully expect the second issue to be top notch.
Book of Death #1 (Valiant) – This is the future of the Valiant universe as their summer event kicks off!
Letter 44 #18 (Oni Press) – President Blades commits his coalition forces to a take-no-prisoners drive across Europe. It’s science fiction at its best. Consistently one of my favorite comics.
Skullkickers #33 (Image Comics) – One of the most entertaining and funniest comics on the market. Jim Zub’s off the rails fantasy adventure never disappoints.
Top Pick: Moon Knight #17 (Marvel) – I’ve been loving the new Moon Knight series right from the get go; the combination of standalone single issue stories (for the most part), and the striking way the colourists simply don’t colour the white on Moon Knight’s costume.
Top Pick: Justice League #42 (DC Comics) – This epic story has been nothing short of fantastic thus far, but then again it is the Justice League versus Darkseid vs. the Anti-Monitor, so what would you expect? More big developments are sure to follow in this next chapter.
Doomed #2 (DC Comics) – Probably the biggest surprise of the DC You relaunch, featuring an approachable main characters and a strong group of supporting characters.
Dr. Fate #2 (DC Comics) – Another impressive DC You title, with a character focused story to try to put this character back into the mainstream.
Grimm Fairy Tales 10th Anniversary Special Alice (Zenescope) – The two Grimm Fairy Tales 10th anniversary specials thus far have been really fun. Mix that with its best property, Wonderland, and this should promise to be pretty amazing.
Guardians of Knowhere #1 (Marvel) – Secret Wars gets its chance at taking on the Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in which looks to be pretty fun.
Top Pick: Island Magazine #1 (Image Comics) – 116 pages a month of genre defying, artist driven comics and writing. This is Brandon Graham’s (“Multiple Warheads” King City” “8House”) creator-owned comics magazine and every month will be something new. Imagine if Heavy Metal Magazine (the sci-fi and comics magazine full of Crepax and Moebius, not a magazine about Megadeath) was debuting in 2015. This would be that. It’s not like anything else you have. This month’s has a comic about skateboarding by Ludroe. Kelly Sue Deconnick writing about writing. Lovely Emma Rios art. There’s just a whole lot here and it’s not like anything else.
Black Canary #2 (DC Comics) – Black Canary’s in a rock band touring the U.S. And fighting space ninjas before they kidnap her band’s adorable kid guitarist. Do you like rock? Do you like comics? You need this.
Lumberjanes #16 (BOOM! Studios) – “For the love of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, please” by this comic! It won an Eisner. It is warm and funny and creative and educational (it turns the names of important Women In History into exclamations). It has queer kids experiencing their first crushes. It’s the comic you wish you had when you were a kid. So make a kid’s day and buy this comic to share.
Secret Six #4 (DC Comics) – Last issue featured a now rightfully legendary “who had weird sex on the couch last night?!?” cover. It was a simple joke but it was damn funny and do you know what? I think this book is finally getting in the swing of things. In fact, it’s quite literally going to a strange and alien local. It’s going to The Suburbs where few anti-heroes/villains have gone before.
Johnny “Big Daddy Cool” Dellarocca
Top Pick:Ant-Man Annual #1 (Marvel) – I am a die hard fan of hank Pym. Without apology. So, to see him return as a feature star yet again in an Ant man book has given me hope about the future of the character, and suggests that his final fate in Rage of Ultron is not in continuity and is at best an alternate future “What if?” Hank Pym fans unite!
Hail Hydra #1 (Marvel) – Everyone knows the bad guys are the coolest characters, right? This, and the Red Skull Secret Wars spin off should give everyone their does of Marvel’s evil goodness for a while! Plus, it is a Remender book. How can you go wrong, really?
Mistry PI #1 (Graphic India PTE. Ltd) – I have a feeling based on the publisher that this one is going to be hard to find on shelves, but it has all the stuff that intrigues me so I’m going to hunt it down or at least find it on digital. “There are things that exist in the shadows that ordinary people know nothing of. Another world that lies underneath our very own; a world of demons, monsters, djinns, mummies, werewolves, vampires and demi-gods. It’s in this world that Darius Mistry and his friend, Amos Golem, operate as Paranormal Investigators for hire.” What else can you ask for? I mean, really?
Where Monsters Dwell #3 (Marvel) – I’ve got to admit that the I wanted to love this book. The Dieselpunk in me, was so excited about a serial style adventure pitting the Phantom Eagle against dinosaurs in the sky. BUT, when the first issue went in a completely different direction, I was less than trilled. HOWEVER, Issue #2 came along and the series started to grow on me. The final panel of issue #2 had me hooked and now I can’t wait to see what issue #3 hold in store for our heroes! Mr. H
Top Pick: Justice League #42 (DC Comics) – Darkseid! The Antimonitor! The all powerful newcomer Grail! Sounds like the ultimate cosmic battle royale. So get your tickets. As good ol J.R. would say “It’s gonna be a sloberknocker!!” Oh yeah and those Justice League guys? They’ll be there too.
Green Lantern: The Lost Army #2 (DC Comics) – Here’s to new rings and ramifications! The mythos expands let’s see where it goes!
Red Sonja #1973 (Dynamite Entertainment) – A anniversary anthology of the sexiest woman to ever brandish a blade, blood and guts, leather and chain mail bikinis, how can it miss! Looking forward to a sterling celebration where hopefully it makes the Red Wedding look like a spilled glass.
Siege #1 (Marvel Comics) – Zombie hordes, death machines and Annihilation waves. Count me in. In Doom we trust
Superman/Wonder Woman #19 (DC Comics) – The former man of steel and amazing Amazon battle the Suicide Squad deep in the fields of Smallville! This title has been a sleeper as of late. Here’s to it fully waking me up.
Top Pick: Justice League #42 (DC Comics) – The start of Darkseid War in the last issue was a wonderful and epic culmination of the entire Johns run on Justice League, and I can’t wait for it to continue.
Ant-Man Annual #1 (Marvel) – The Ant-Man movie coming up has me and I’m sure others craving some Ant-Man action in comics; surely this annual will hit the spot.
Hawkeye #22 (Marvel) – Matt Fraction’s critically-acclaimed, soon-to-be-classic run on Hawkeye will finally come to an end this Wednesday.
Planet Hulk #3 (Marvel) – I’ll admit that I’m an issue behind on this book, but I can’t help but be excited for another issue of this ridiculous spirital successor to Planet Hulk, a comic I truly love.
Silver Surfer #13 (Marvel) – This issue’s solicited promise of offering a story important to the state of the cosmic Marvel Universe as well as another story focused on just the two leads of this great series means that there is something special to look forward to here.
Top Pick: Siege #1 (Marvel) – This title promises to show us The SHIELD, which protects most of Battleworld for the more violent, monstrous elements of this new world. Anyone who breaks the law from any region in Battleworld is sent to The SHIELD to defend it, so I’m very curious to see which band of characters we’ll be following. Plus, it has Abigail Brand, so I am looking forward to this one.
Captain Britain and The Mighty Defenders #1 (Marvel) – I was a fan of the Mighty Avengers title, and this book spins off from that, so I’m interested to see how that concept plays out in Battleworld. This is a shorter series, only looks like it will be 2 issues, so I hope the story gets across in that time, and doesn’t feel rushed.
Secret Wars: Battleworld #3 (Marvel) – I’ve enjoyed this title, as well as Secret Wars Journal, giving us shorter stories from areas of Battleworld not focused on in the main books. This shows us other versions of some of our favourite characters…and this one gives us a story of a Wolverine who has found peace and a non violent life, who is confronted with other, more ferocious versions of himself. Could be a fun read.
Years of Future Past #3 (Marvel) – This Secret Wars tie in consistently keeps me engaged and enjoying the story of this area of Battleworld and the mutants fighting for their survival. Also, Lockheed is a big ass dragon breathing fire at sentinels..so yeah, I’m in.