A trio of Justice League members get some shine this week from DC Comics. Tom King and Mikel Janin take the Dark Knight on an odyssey he’ll never forget, the King of Atlantis comes face to face with his past, and The Man of Steel gets a new origin by a pair of industry legends.
Marvel Comics is knocking out of the park this week, too, with the massive finale of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw’s first story arc of their wild space opera in Guardians of the Galaxy. We also get to see the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen grapple with retirement, and the every growing deck stacked against Scott Summers might finally be toppling over and crushing his team in the process.
6 Aquaman #49
By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, Daniel Henriques, Ryan Winn, Sunny Gho, Clayton Cowles, and Alex Sinclair
Ever since Kelly Sue DeConnick took over writing duties on Aquaman, the series has turned a lot of its attention to the aquatic mythology surrounding the titular superhero, and it has been fantastic. Aquaman #49 continues the story arc “Mother Shark” and focuses on an amnestic Arthur Curry remembering why a certain red-headed woman is so important to him.
This issue doesn’t do a lot in expanding the larger world of Aquaman beyond what we’ve already learned, but it looks inward and really gives us a glimpse of DeConnick’s take of the King of Atlantis. Victor Bogdonovic continues generating stellar art work for this series to boot this issue, making it a must read for anyone who has been following along.
5 Batman #73
By: Tom King, Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles
It’s always a joy to see a writer’s long game finally begin to come to fruition. Tom King’s run on Batman has seen its ups and downs, but the connective tissue between seemingly disjointed stories become more apparent in hindsight. Batman #73 is another exploration of some of that connective tissue as Thomas Wayne drags his son across the dessert.
With gorgeous art by Mikel Janin, Batman #73 moves the chess pieces across the board in very deliberate turns. This is a surprisingly tame issue, but the emotional resonance between our lead characters is brilliant and beautiful. Yet, the questions still lingers: how far down the abyss of madness that Bane created has Batman fallen? And more importantly, can he brought back?
4 Superman: Year One #1
By: Frank Miller, John Romita Jr., Danny Miki, and Alex Sinclair
Take a dive back into the world of The Dark Knight Returns and Batman Year One (also referred to as Earth-31) if you dare with Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s reimagining of the Man of Steel mythos in Superman: Year One #1. DC Comics’ Black Label has generated some rather unique takes on their pantheon of heroes and villains, but this is the first time it’s claimed to give readers a new definitive origin of Superman.
And while Frank Miller is a bit of a complicated figure in the industry, seeing his name on the cover of a comic will pique most fans’ interest, especially when his name is accompanied by legendary artists, John Romita Jr.
3 Daredevil #7
By: Chip Zdarsky, Lalit Kumar Sharma, Jay Leisten, Java Tartaglia, and VC's Clayton Cowles
Matt Murdock is done with the superhero game... or so he says. But for now, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen has hung up his horns and batons and has returned to law full-time in Chip Zdarsky and Latit Kumar Sharma’s Daredevil #7, the second installment in the “Daredevil-less” story arc, “No Devils, Only God.”
This issue is fantastic in terms of building tension for our titular hero and his supporting case. We get just as much focus on Wilson Fisk and his reshuffling of his criminal empire as we do on Matt and Foggy. This issue is great in terms of weaving multiple plot lines together organically, and we cannot wait to see where things go from here.
2 Guardians of the Galaxy #6
By: Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, David Curiel, VC's Cory Petit, David Marquez, and Dean White
Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw bring their storyline “The Final Gauntlet” to a close in Guardians of the Galaxy #6. Thanos has transferred his consciousness into Eros, and now the ever-expanding roster of Guardians converge to stop the return of The Mad Titan.
This series has been a blast from the get-go, and Guardians of the Galaxy #6 is no different. This issue delivers on the promise the previous issues made, giving us roaring action, character pathos, and a story worthy of the word “Gauntlet” in its title. It’s a knock-down-drag-out fight for the fate of the cosmos filled with murder, mayhem, and a solid dose of humor.
1 Uncanny X-Men #20
By: Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, VC's Joe Caramagna, Whilce Portacio, and Erick Arciniega
If the cover of Uncanny X-Men #20 by Whilce Portacio and Erick Arciniega doesn’t grab your attention from the shelf, we’re not sure what will. Thankfully, what’s inside is pretty darn great, too. The ranks of Cyclops’ X-Men have dwindled and also includes some rather dubious members.
Uncanny X-Men #20 is an undeniable example of Matt Rosenberg and Salvador Larroca clearly having fun with certain characters either being on the team or at least in close proximity. They understand these characters are storytelling land mines for drama, betrayals, and sudden and shocking acts of violence. The worlds’ greatest superhero soap opera continues to up the stakes and it’s glorious.
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