What’s Hot?

Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey (2017) #1

From the Publisher – Teenage Jean Grey is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid the fate that befell her predecessor. But when Jean is cast through time and comes face-to-face with the newly possessed Phoenix, will she find the key to saving herself…or learn that her fate is sealed?

My Take – I’m still unsure of how this Marvel’s latest experiment of trying to change the whole landscape of their comics, while ignoring what fans want will shape out, shape out, but I’m willing to give the Legacy/Generations.  I mean, I we kind of have no choice, right? The Hulk Generations issue last week wasn’t as bad as I expected. While the Generations titles sound gimmicky, there is potential for the series’ to shape into something worth reading. The Phoenix has always been one of my favorite comic book novelties, even though it has become used far too often lately, with seemingly half of the Marvel Universe having one time possessing it. I think it’s worth picking up to see where they take the series. Cullen Bunn is a good writer, so possibly it’s be worth the read.

 

Babyteeth #3

From the Publisher – Okay, just what the hell is going on in this book? I mean-right? Assassins? Secret Illuminati groups? Portals to hell? Raccoon monsters? Earthquakes? Demon babies? LASER TAG FIGHTS? What the hell, Cates? Well, look. I promise this is all going to make sense. You just gotta hang in there. This issue is great, though. You’re gonna love it. (Smiley face emoji) From the writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Redneck and the break-out hit God Country comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!

My Take – Babyteeth is another recent Aftershock Comics series that looks to be a gem. The baby Antichrist ties in a lot of fascinating concepts into the series and doesn’t disappoint. While only two issues in so far, this series should be one that maintains it’s interest for years.

 

Old Man Logan (2016-) #27

From the Publisher – LOGAN VS. THE HULK GANG! It’s Old Man LOGAN, face-to-face with the HULK GANG! But they’re not the only familiar faces from Logan’s past (future?) to appear…Brute force isn’t the only weapon to worry about…with MAESTRO applying his intellect to the next devastating step of his plan!

My Take – The fact that Marvel’s taken an active series as far as issue #27 means you know they’ve been doing something right. Even after one of the best writers today, Jeff Lemire, left this project a few issues ago, the quality has yet to fall off with Ed Brisson taking over. The story has begun to pick up as it ties more into the original Old Man Logan story now that he’s taking on the Hulk Gang, who’ve become fascinating to learn more about.

 

Redlands #1

From the Publisher – A brand-new horror book from the minds of Eisner Award-winner JORDIE BELLAIRE (PRETTY DEADLY, Vision, Batman) and critically acclaimed artist VANESA R. DEL REY (ZERO, Scarlet Witch, Constantine) brings you to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida. The police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches plan to take everything from them. This summer, hide your bibles.

My Take – This series definitely has potential. While horror books with similar themes and tones are becoming more commonly released, Redlands looks to be one of the better in the genre. Image has the right creators on board to make this an instant hit. I’d definitely recommend picking up the first book and trying it out.

 

Secret Empire (2017) #8

From the Publisher – UNITED WE STAND – against the SECRET EMPIRE!
My Take – While there’s been pushback from Marvel purists against this series, I’ve actually enjoyed it so far – with it being noted that I’ve given up on Marvel keeping the purity of any of it’s character or storylines. If you can take it for what it is, the series has been fascinating, however may be better off being a long running What If…? series. But the series itself is worth reading, despite most of the tie-in’s being a waste of time, and I fully expect Marvel to announce soon that it will be making this into a movie series. I also expect to be let down when the series finally wraps up, but I’m enjoying the ride while it lasts. 

 

Sacred Creatures #2

From the Publisher – Adrian makes a phone call. Josh gets some answers.

My Take – Wow, that publisher description makes you want to run out and buy it, huh? The first book in the series really hit the mark and the series looks to continue to publish a quality story, one that I recommend getting into early on.

 

What’s Cool?

Edge of Venomverse (2017) #4 (of 5)

From the Publisher – RIDE OF THE WOLVENOM! Logan’s adopted son, Scotty, has been missing for years…but Warren Worthington III, formerly the X-Man called Angel, has found Logan at the bottom of a bottle to bring him a message: Scotty is alive, and Angel knows where he is. A new and original story from Ryan Key, lead singer of Yellowcard, set after the events of the original epic OLD MAN LOGAN!

My Take – Edge of Venomverse looked like to be an instant hit when first announced, especially with the covers that were released prior to the series’ inception. The cover artwork has been fantastic, but the series storyline so far has been gimmicky. Venom sells, and combined with cool covers, they should have an instant winner. But the writing hasn’t held up it’s end of the bargain and it’s reception has been so-so. They are building up to a bigger story-arc, so maybe this is all just the required setup for an eventual payoff. It’s probably worth picking up, but I wouldn’t invest too much into the storyline just yet.

 

Flash (2016) #28

From the Publisher – “NEGATIVE” part one! It’s a bleak new day as the citizens of Central City meet Negative-Flash! He’s got a terrible attitude and volatile powers that leave a wake of destruction wherever he goes. Exactly the kind of person you’d want The Flash to put behind bars. There’s just one problem: he is The Flash! Can Barry Allen get his new powers under control before they kill him?

My Take – Flash begins a new story-arc. The Flash Rebirth series has been excellent so far and this series sounds interesting. It has the feel of the original Amazing Spider-Man – Homecoming! comic series when he’s first bonded with the symbiote. It definitely has a chance to be a lame, “struggling with inner demons” problem that comics often revert to, but I’ve got a hunch this’ll be a quality arc.

 

Unholy Grail #2

From the Publisher – The horrific legend of King Arthur continues to unfold. The demon known as Merlin leaves a trail of carnage and curses as he searches for the boy who would be king. Arthur wages war against those who would oppose his sovereignty. The haunted walls of Camelot are raised. And Arthur meets the woman who will become his dark queen. From writer Cullen Bunn (Uncanny X-Men, Deadpool) and artist Mirko Colak (Punisher) comes a Lovecraftian take on the Arthurian legend that HAD to be told at AfterShock Comics.

My Take – Another new Aftershock Comics series that looks to hit the nail on the head, even only having one issue out prior to this week. With Cullen Bunn as it’s writer, this perspective of the Arthurian tale is one of the best, and darkest, and will undoubtedly be one you’ll want to read more than once.

 

HARBINGER RENEGADE (2017) #6

From the Publisher – A HISTORIC HARBINGER MOMENT! After “MASSACRE”…witness the brutal beginning of the Renegades’ murderous new foe!
At the height of the Dark Ages, one of the world’s first psiots has made a terrible discovery: he is not alone. Lurking in the shadows, a mind as sadistic as it is powerful waits – a predator with a darkness so great, it will consume any rivals that dare reveal themselves. How will the secret of these legendary figures come to bear on the modern day… and how will it shape the catastrophic Harbinger War that is to come?!
“MASSACRE” enters an insidious interlude revealing the origin of the Valiant Universe’s greatest threat, as Harvey Award-nominated writer Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and incendiary artist Juan Jose Ryp (BRITANNIA) plot the next step in the road to HARBINGER WARS 2!

My Take – Valiant Comics often publishes near Hot comics, but there’s often something missing to put them over the top. I’ve liked the Harbinger Renegade so far and the upcoming issue looks to take it to the next step.

 

Titans (2016) #14

From the Publisher – With a traitor in their midst, the Titans reach their breaking point as Nightwing reveals his shocking prime suspect! As tempers flare and distrust spreads, the team is forced to face a new conspiracy-and the Titans must save Manhattan from the nefarious Trident!

My Take – The Titans Rebirth series has quietly been one of DC’s best series. The team has gelled well together and their relationships with one another seem genuine. Now they’re adding a major plot twist that’ll give the series a needed jolt and face them with an unexpected enemy.

 

Grass Kings #6

From the Publisher – New Story Arc! Following the bloody battle between townships, Robert learns that the infamous serial killer from the past might be one of their own people, and begins tearing the Kingdom apart to find them.

My Take – Grass Kings has been solid since it’s inception. While it’s a slower storyline than many current comics, the events that unfold leave you wanting to pick up the next issue as soon as the current issue is completed. The artwork itself is worth the price of the book.

 

Defenders (2017) #4

From the Publisher – The streets of the Marvel Universe have exploded into chaos, and the only thing standing in between the innocent people of New York and that chaos are the Defenders. But can a group of socially maladjusted heroes actually trust each other enough to continue as a team? Can the Defenders partner up with a stranger in a devil costume? And what is Diamondback’s big plan?

My Take – I expected this series to be more hype, a way to push comics and promote the upcoming TV series prior to it’s release in a few weeks. But it has been pretty good so far and it looks to continue a solid storyline. Like many of the Defenders character single series’, the writing has been quality and has meshed the characters and storylines of the TV shows and the original comic characters.

 

Low #19

From the Publisher – END OF STORY ARC ‘OUTER ASPECTS OF INNER ATTITUDES,’ Conclusion Death comes to the drowning city as Tajo and her crew fight to inspire the citizens of Salus to not go gentle into that good night.

My Take – Low was a great read for awhile, but since returning from hiatus, it’s been more miss than hit. However this weeks issue looks to take the step forward we’ve been waiting for. So if you’re a fan of Low, this would be a defining issue as to whether the series has staying power or if it’s off the deep end.

 

What’s Hype?

Venom (2016-) #153

From the Publisher – “THE LAND BEFORE CRIME” CONCLUDES! Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote are having a tough time sticking together, biologically speaking. Fortunately, the fine folks at ALCHEMAX are working on a cure! Eddie just has to find and stop Stegron the Dinosaur Man from turning New York into a raging army of dinosaurs for them! Luckily, MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR are around to help! I wonder if they realize Stegron can control dinosaurs in addition to turning people into them.

My Take – While the recent Venom series started off really well with a new host, Lee Price, who’s been far different from it’s past hosts, he was quickly taken away from the series and replaced with the expected Eddie Brock. Since Brock took over as host again, it’s felt more like the series is going through the motions and now has turned into cheese. His latest adventure finds himself faced with a guy who’s turning bums and vermin into dinosaurs deep underground. Now we have the annoyingly adorable Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur jumping into the series where they don’t belong. Marvel knows Venom will sell regardless of how lame the story is. Thankfully, this miniseries will end and hopefully the next issue will begin something worth reading.

 

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again (2017) #3

From the Publisher – Gwenpool! Moon Knight! Ms. Marvel! The Guardians! Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur! Bad news, buddy – they’re all gonna die in here!

My Take – Marvel sure knows how to overload us on what’s trendy. Comic shelves have been well-stocked with many different Deadpool series since the movie’s release and they’re clearly running out of ideas. This latest series has no direction and the once funny Deadpool is becoming annoying. Hopefully the next title is Deadpool Kills Himself. At least give us some breathing room from him.

 

Captain America: Sam Wilson #25

From the Publisher – TWO HEROES, ONE MANTLE, ZERO QUARTER!

My Take – Most Secret Wars tie-ins have been garbage, and while this one has the appearance of being an instant classic, I would guess it’s closer to all hype, with maybe a page or two of any actual fighting, and by the time the end of the issue is reached, nothing has changed since page 1.

 

Divided States of Hysteria #3

From the Publisher – He’s the most despised man in America…the colossal screw up who doomed New York City. In a last ditch attempt to hold on to his manhood, this cosmic loser assembles a quartet of serial murderers in a pathetic and desperate search for his own redemption. Fat chance.

My Take – Image’s focus has been on hitting political and social issues in their series’ but this once so far has been a bit of a miss. It was hyped as being something that it’s not, which is a conversation starter, something to make you look at things differently. But so far, it has missed it’s mark and sounds more like background noise of someone nonsensically talking politics while you’re watching football. There are same interesting concepts that should be explored, but they’re trying too hard to be controversial and it feels more like an action movie with a lot of explosions and a weak story.

 

Harley Quinn (2016)#25

From the Publisher – It’s an oversize anniversary issue as Harley’s entire cast of crazy characters comes together to celebrate the birthday of cyborg senior citizen Sy Borgman… but is there actually a bigger secret behind this gathering? And in “Harley Loves Joker” part nine, Harley’s spent a fortune building out The Joker Gang’s new hideout, and now they’re gonna have to take drastic measures to pay the bill!

My Take – Harley Quinn has quickly become DC’s Deadpool. What was once a genuinely interesting character has been watered down to the point to where the stories are boring and go nowhere. They know they’ll sell issues regardless of what they put out with her on the cover, so the storylines have suffered and she becomes a caricature of herself. This issue will celebrate it’s 25th issue, which isn’t really an accomplishment, and will likely be a lot happening, but nothing really happens.

 

First Strike #1

From the Publisher – A Hasbro comic book event! As Earth joins the intergalactic community, a massive explosion threatens the peace! A new COBRA-led by the worst villains to ever tangle with G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., and the Transformers-is invading Cybertron and only Scarlett, Optimus Prime, G.I. Joe and the Autobots can save two worlds!’ Bullet points: * The Hasbro comic book event of 2017 is here! * A perfect jumping on point for readers new and old! * An all-new explosive chapter in the Hasbro comic book line! Literally! There are explosions!

My Take – IDW has really pushed the 80’s nostalgic comics and the recent crossover events have failed to meet expectations. This one doesn’t look to be much different. If you’re a fan of all of these franchises, it will likely have an interesting, Secret Wars-type feel to it where you know none of it makes sense, but if you can ignore the nonsense, you may enjoy it. The problem is,that even the solo titles aren’t doing well, so to crossover these series doesn’t make sense.

 

What’s Cold?

Zombies Assemble 2 #1

From the Publisher – The Avengers face a threat even bigger and more menacing than they could have imagined as the desperate race to cure the zombie outbreak shifts into high gear! Caught in a massive explosion, Captain America, Hawkeye and Iron Man wake up in the midst of a city overrun by zombies. Miraculously, they haven’t been turned, and they find themselves face-to-face with a mysterious scientist who claims to have a cure for the virus. But who is he really, and does he actually possess the antivirus that Bruce Banner has been struggling to create? More importantly: Is the Hulk immune to the zombie plague?

My Take – Did we really need a second series of this? No one read the first series and for a reason. The artwork and storyline makes it look like a kids book, but is rated T+. There is no market for this series and it’s not wanted. This is nothing like the original Marvel Zombies series that had quality writing and artwork despite it’s gimmicky theme. This is just bad all around.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Dimension X (2017) #2

From the Publisher – In a world of giant flying fish monsters, only one creature is strong enough to survive—Anemon! Will the Turtles be able to defeat him and bring him to testify at the Trial of Krang?

My Take – Despite the ongoing series maintaining a great run and the TMNT Universe as a quality spinoff, the five-part weekly mini-series is worth picking up if you’re a big TMNT fan, but don’t expect too much. While the concept sounds great, it’s cheesy and the artwork is below average. This series will quickly be forgotten about.

 

Youngblood #4

From the Publisher – ‘REBORN,’ Part Four Danger. Most people run from it. Shaft rides a motorcycle straight at it. When the world’s most extreme bowman goes rogue, it’s up to the new Youngblood to stop him before he ruins everything. Or worse, gets them all killed.

My Take – I wanted to like this series and gave it every chance, but it’s a been a failed return for the series. If you’re a diehard Youngblood fan, you might enjoy the nostalgia, but overall, it’s missed the mark.

 

Inhumans Once Future Kings #1

From the Publisher – SOMEDAY, ALL OF THIS WILL BE YOURS! A king in training. A brother destined for madness. These are the early days of the Boltagon legacy. When the king of the Inhumans is attacked, Black Bolt and Maximus spring into action to save their leader! But when Black Bolt loses control, what are the consequences for his future kingdom – or his own family? Plus: A two-page backup (in every issue!) starring Lockjaw, as told by UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL writer Ryan North and artist supreme Gustavo Duarte!

My Take – Please just stop. Stop with the Inhumans nonsense. Marvel keeps pushing it and fans keep pushing back. No one’s reading it. The TV show looks like it’s going to be garbage. Nobody asked for this, nobody wants this. But then again, that seems to be Marvel’s focus lately, shoving crap down our throats that we don’t want.

 

 

 

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Kyle Hearn

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