Saturday, January 16, 2021

SWEET AS: DC Comics' Top 5 for April 2021

When we Kiwis find something we like, we say it's 'Sweet as'. When I look at all of DC Comics April 2021 solicitations, these five make the 'Sweet As' grade:

Forget Bats and Robin, Green Arrow and Black Canary are the Justice League's true dynamic duo.
ONE) This anthology series has been long overdue for all of us who feel Gotham's best are actually found in Batman's supporting cast. In BATMAN URBAN LEGENDS #2 separate tales tell of The Outsiders in Japan, Barbara Gordon breaking bad - not as Batgirl - but Oracle, Red Hood taking on the Dark Knight, and Cole Cash continuing to re-establish his Grifter-self in the DCU, crossing a certain other hotshot-in-a-red-mask in the process!

Julian Totino Tedesco's inspirational Superman cover for Action Comics #1030.
2) ACTION COMICS #1030 shows no signs of letting off the gas DC applied to Clark Kent's 'Future State' Warworld adventures. Here as his powers enter a state of flux, Mongul launches his biggest attack on Kal-El's adopted homeworld yet. Speaking of big, in the backup story, Midnighter needs to figure out how to swap his 2021 self back, as part of the ultimate armageddon response force, The Authority (40pgs).

3) The Green Lantern Corps was on fire at DC, until Grant Morrison's run came along and focused almost solely around Hal Jordan only again. Now with GREEN LANTERN #1, the best cosmic police force in pop culture looks set to get back on track, with a new beginning that has everyone from Teen Lantern to John Stewart in the mix (40pgs)!

4) Thank the New Gods Black Canary is back in the JLA. Seriously, the team just doesn't feel right without this woman in the mix. In further proving they're an equal opportunities employer, JUSTICE LEAGUE #60 sees Naomi and Wonder Woman's mum Hippolyta bring a better gender balance to 'earth's greatest heroes'. Then, in the backup story, the League meets Justice League Dark as they decide their new leader, while Batman and Erigan clash over the group's plans going forward (40pgs).

5) One of the newbies that I hope puts down roots with fans, is the new ongoing horror series for one of the DC's biggest icons from the 80s. THE SWAMP THING #2 sees Levi Kamei continue to overcome his fears and plant his feet into being the new protector of the green, while the Pale Wanderer racks up a horrific body count in his absence. (32pgs)

Read DC's full April 2020 solicitations here.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

SWEET AS: DC Comics' Top 5 March 2020 Solicitations

When we Kiwis find something we like, we say it's 'Sweet as'. When I look at all of DC Comics March 2020 solicitations (here), these five picks make the 'Sweet As' grade:

Jeremy Roberts' Aquaman - when your movie does better than 'Iron Man' you get covers like this.

ONE) I am so excited for STRANGE ADVENTURES #1 (of 12), it's hard not to rename this site after Adam Strange - my ultimate jetpack-wearing, ray-gun-blasting, sci-fi hero. The creative team behind Mister Miracle (Tom King and Mitch Gerads), pick up artist Evan “Doc” Shaner, to tell the tale of Adam and Alana, as they return to earth after helping the planet of Rann to victory in a planetary war - only to find trouble has followed them home!

Artist Jae Lee masters Wonder Woman subliminally auditioning for the X-Men.
2) Also in March, DC offers a whole bunch of key Justice League #1 reprints, from the team's 60-year history. While this list even includes JLA #1, the ultimate issue to hurdle your nana for - is JLA: YEAR ONE #1 by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Barry Kitson. It's got aliens, Black Canary, Hal Jordan and Aquaman - and if there was any actual justice, it would be the team's only #1 you would ever need to keep in mind.

3) Does anyone care that Hawkman had his 80th anniversary, with no acknowledgement at all? Just to rub salt in the wound, one of DC's other heroic bird dudes gets the ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR, with the publisher emptying their rolodex onto the book's creative team. Each Boy Wonder gets his own feature, with writers including Marv Wolfman, Chuck Dixon and Tom King, backed up by Tom Grummett (YES!), Scott McDaniel, Andy Kubert and more on art.

4) I can't write the above and not give a prop to HAWKMAN #22. Here, Hawkwoman (yes, she's back), Atom and Adam Strange try sending the murderous past-life the Batman Who Laughs has brought out in Hawkman, back to the end of the queue. With Carter Hall reincarnating endlessly until he's atoned for all the lives he took in his past, can the team stop Sky Tyrant from sending the tally in the opposite direction?

5) You know the book is going to be good, when the plot's one of those 'why hasn't anyone thought of this before' kind of moments. In BATMAN/SUPERMAN #8, writer Joshua Williamson has General Zod seek to resurrect his fellow Kryptonians in the Bottle City of Kandor, by using the Lazarus Pits of Ra’s al Ghul! Only Ra's isn't in the sharing mood. Not only does he have a league of assassins at his side, but the World's Finest also have to stop their super-foe-feud AND face a horde of Kandorian zombies. I mean how can you turn this stuff down?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

SWEET AS: Marvel Comics' Top 5 January 2020 Solicitations

When we Kiwis find something we like, we say it's 'Sweet as'. When I look at all of Marvel Comics' January 2019 solicitations (here), these five picks make the 'Sweet As' grade:

ONE) If there's a Marvel book you should be reading (outside Immortal Hulk and the X-relaunch), it's Daredevil. Kingpin is starting to realise as Mayor his rage still can't be denied, and Matt is realising he can't walk away from the Devil either. The woman helping him navigate the road to Hell('s Kitchen) paved with good intentions? Elektra. Even including Spider-Man to Punisher, Chip Zdarsky's work here has been criminal, DAREDEVIL #16 being exhibit 'A' in January.

2) THE Iron Man event of the year launches in January. When Arno Stark first appeared as Iron Man 2020 in Machine Man in 1984, he seemed very futuristic - evil, but futuristic. Now 2020 has rolled round, he's just evil, and the only Iron Man around.. or is he? IRON MAN 2020 #1 (of 6) sees the war for robot rights ignite!

3) Hulk, Namor, Dr Strange and Silver Surfer - the original Defenders are all riding high right now, so when is Marvel going to bite the bullet and give the original non-team their own book back? In January, TAROT #1 (of 4) from writer/variant cover artist Alan Davis debuts, with The Avengers mixing it up with the Defenders of old, over Namor's recovered memories from WWII. 40pgs.

4) At the end of House of X / Power of X, it was revealed Mystique's hopes of bringing Destiny back from the dead were being falsely cultivated in return for her services because a reborn Destiny would poke holes in the new cover story mutantkind is presenting to the world. How long will it take for Mystique to figure things out? Bookies favour January's X-MEN #6.

5) It's official. WTF is now WTH - as in 'What The Hulk?!' Writer Al Ewing and artist Joe Bennett have made this series one of "I didn't see that coming" moments, horror, hope and Joe Fixit - who was always of the best personalities leftover in the fractured psyche of Bruce Banner. In January's IMMORTAL HULK #29, Kirby-esque monsters are ravaging Phoenix, Arizona. Without a hero to call their own, they're about to find a friend in a 'monster' of their own. HULK SMASH!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

MAKE NO SUDDEN MOVES: Force Works Part of Iron Man 2020 Event

U.S.Agent, the Julia Carpenter Spider-Woman, Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man better get ready. According to a breakdown in the spin-off titles involved in next year’s Iron Man 2020 limited series, one of them is Force Works. 

Iron Man 2020 is a Marvel event launching in January 2020, where Arno Stark dons Iron Man armour and in fitting with his legacy, becomes a corrosive force against freedom.

One of my favourite runs as a comic collector, was Avengers West Coast (oddly enough, my first issue of which included Iron Man 2020), through into the team’s decision to step to the side and cast their own shadow as the Iron Man-funded, proactive global defence force; Force Works.

Thanks to the Scarlet Witch’s hex magic, the team was able to maximise Iron Man’s technological resources to predict chaos across the globe and intervene before the crisis started. Plus, as effectively the 'X-Force' of the Avengers world, this mighty militia had the best ‘almost members’ too, such as Hawkeye, Black Widow and War Machine.

True, it might be a revival in name only, however, from Agent and Cybermancer to Dreamguard and Century, the original team aren't exactly booked up at the moment, and they have the added plus of having already helped stave off one evil Tony Stark (cough) The Crossing (end cough).

While no creative teams have yet been announced, it wouldn’t be out of the question for original writers, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning to return, post making Guardians of the Galaxy a movie ready comic-book. Force Works 2020 #1 and Machine Man 2020 #1 are due out in Feb. Watch this space.