Doomsday Clock returns with a massive showdown between Doctor Manhattan and…well, everyone, and Darth Vader fights a Kaiju in another great week of comics. DC’s showing is a bit light this week, but they make it count with stories ranging from world-shattering to quietly intimate. Marvel Comics has more to offer on its plate, but the offerings aren’t quite as appetizing.
But don’t count Marvel out, the books that are strong are mostly continuations of great stories, and of course a pretty awesome Star Wars comic with Darth Vader on horseback taking down an alien shark. Seriously. It's the kind of Vader moment that almost makes us forget the infamous "Nooooo!" at the end of Revenge of the Sith ever happened... almost.
6 Batman #66
By Tom King, Jorge Fornes, Dave Stewart, Clayton Cowles, and Mikel Janin
Some of the best issues of Tom King’s current run on Batman are the isolated one where the story only tangentially touches the larger happens on either side of it. Batman #66 is told in a confessional as Selina Kyle recounts her relationship with Batman to the Question. Despite what the cover of this issue may be trying to sell you, there is very little Batman versus Rogues Gallery action.
Yes, Tom King has been down this road with these characters before, but he travels it with grace and warmth. Jorge Fornes’ artwork capture the noir feel of this issue perfectly. For fans of Batman comics feeling like crime stories (or at least meditations on crime and justice), this is an issue for you.
5 Doomsday Clock #9
By Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, and Brad Anderson
Doomsday Clock is back after a three month break, and this issue was worth the wait. In the wake of a disaster involving Firestorm in which innocent bystanders lost their lives, the DC Pantheon rallies to face off against a force none of them are ready for: Doctor Manhattan.
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank deliver an action-packed installment in their outlandish sequel to the seminal work in graphic storytelling Watchmen, in Doomsday Clock #9 as the series dives into its third act. This issue is able to balance the series’ social commentary aspects and classic superhero storytelling with ease, giving readers a comic that exemplifies Doomsday Clock’s biggest strengths.
4 Young Justice #3
By Brian Michael Bendis, Patrick Gleason, Victork Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, Alejandro Sanchez, Christ Sotomayor, Hi-Fi, Carlos M. Mangual, and Josh Reed
Several of the comics Brian Michael Bendis has penned since his move to DC have shown the writer still has a heap of tricks up his sleeve and can shower readers new, compelling stories, but few feel as youthful and exciting as Young Justice.
With stellar art from Patrick Gleason and Viktor Bogdanovic, Young Justice #3 covers quite a bit of ground in one issue. We finally discover where Conner Kent has been all this time and how his current status may impact his friends, family, and the life he currently has. This series has been rather strong from the beginning and it keeps picking up steam.
3 Immortal Hulk #14
By Al Ewing, Kyle Hotz, Paul Mounts, VC's Cory Petit, and Alex Ross
The sense of dread each issue of Immortal Hulk exudes is palpable. Very rarely do superhero comics cross into the horror genre as well as this. So far, the series has been close to par with other heroic horror comics like The Saga of Swamp Thing.
The bulk of this story is from the focuses on Betty Ross, who is dealing with the most recent death of her father, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, and the tumultuous relationship he had with literally everyone around him. This series never ceases to flip the script at the moment’s notice, making it consistently one of the best offerings Marvel has in its current lineup.
2 Star Wars: Vader - Dark Visions #1
By Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum, Paolo Villanelli, Arif Prianto, VC's Joe Caramagna, and Greg Smallwood.
The best Star Wars comics coming from Marvel are all about Darth Vader. From Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca’s run from 2015 to the recently completed story from Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli, the stand alone Vader books have been nothing short of amazing.
Instead of erasing the whiny version of Anakin Skywalker from the Prequel Trilogy, they contextualize his behavior, and bridge the massive rifts between films. Dark Visions #1 continues this trend by having the Sith Lord fight a giant, alien shark on horseback, and yes it is as cool as it sounds.
1 Uncanny X-Men #13
By Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, VC's Joe Caramanga, and Roachelle Rosenberg.
With the vast majority of the X-Men spirited away in the sideways universe of "Age of X-Man", the few who still remain now have a goal in mind. On the run and without proper resources, Wolverine and Cyclops’ merry band of mutants lay the ground work for what could potentially be their final mission.
Uncanny X-Men #13 really does set the stage for the next year or so of X-Men books (or at least until we get our other heroes back to the 616 Universe), and it does so with a healthy dose of classic X-Men action and some very familiar costumes.
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