BATMAN BEYOND #4
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Rran Benjamin & John Stanisci
This is it! The mystery killer is unmasked! The secret of the new Catwoman is revealed! Gotham City is under siege! Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne are at odds! And Batman is torn between duty, doubt, and a vengeance-crazed super-villain!
Kirk: While I have some grave concerns about the portrayal of Bruce and Terry's relationship in the last issue (Bruce threatens to shut down Terry's suit mid fight simply because he didn't respond immediately plus other general forced drama between the two), I've otherwise been enjoying the book. Good mix of action, mystery, reintroduction to the Beyond universe and even time for some new characters.
BIRDS OF PREY #5
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Alvin Lee
Join writer Gail Simone and guest artist Alvin Lee as two Birds track down a missing team member in Thailand...where someone is hunting them to make sure they never return! Plus, the shocking events of BRIGHTEST DAY continue to rock Hawk and Dove, the newest recruits to Oracle's organization!
Ryan: After the shocking promise of a potential team-up between Black Canary and White Canary at the end of last issue, it will be interesting to see where Gail Simone takes this issue. I’m sure wherever it is, it’ll be awesome, provided that too much of the Brightest Day fallout doesn’t influence the issue—I’d really hate for my enjoyment of this awesome series to be spoiled by the fact that I’m not reading that series and won’t know exactly what’s going on with Hawk and Dove.
GI JOE: COBRA #8
Written by Mike Costa and Christos N. Gage
Art by Sergio Carrera
Delve inside COBRA's brutal, punishing training methods as we learn what it takes to become a Range Viper under the supervision of the apex predator known as Skull Buster. If you fail your final exam, there are no make-ups...only a shallow grave. And if you pass...well, that just might be worse.
Ryan: While I love the revealing look into Cobra’s operations that this series provides, I’ve been pretty disappointed with the current storyarc, mostly due to the less-than-stellar art of Sergio Carrera. There are some great concepts, but when its painful to look at, its hard to get into the issue to appreciate them. I hate to drop a well-written series because of subpar art, but there are plenty of other books out there that might be more worth the cash.
GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD WARRIORS #2
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin
Don't miss this BRIGHTEST DAY tie-in as Guy Gardner continues his secret mission for Atrocitus! Just as he discovers the Red Lantern energy still has him in its grip, Guy must deal with Red Lantern Bleez as a new teammate, which only leads to dangerous agitation. Can Kilowog, Arisia and the others save Guy – or will they turn on him when they learn the secret of his sinister mission?
Ryan: The first issue of this series offered up some interesting setup, but there wasn’t enough meat for me to sink my teeth into. I’m hoping that will change with Guy Gardner and Bleez teaming up—especially if we finally learn what his mysterious mission is. Plus any issue featuring Kilowog and Arisia written by Peter Tomasi is a win in my book!
Kirk: First issue of this didn't blow me away like I thought it would. It was good, but I was expecting amazing from Tomasi. It felt like an average issue of his former Green Lantern Corps title, which is fine and all, but left me wondering why he needed to move to a new title to tell this story. I hope we get some plot development on what exactly Ganthet and Guy and Atrocitus are up to. It was barely even addressed last issue.
INCREDIBLE HULKS #613
Written by Greg Pak and Scott Reed
Art by Tom Raney and Brian Chin
SO MANY HULKS, ONE BOOK A MONTH WASN'T ENOUGH TO HOLD THEM! Bruce Banner is the Hulk once again, and far from being left alone, he's got a whole family of gamma-charged allies at his side. Son Skaar, daughter Lyra, cousin She-Hulk, friends A-Bomb and Korg, and wife Red She-Hulk--or is that EX-wife? Meanwhile, a universe away, Hiro-Kala, the mysterious DARK SON of Hulk, rises to power on the planet K'ai. He has a plan for his long lost family members, and it involves a bigger smash than his father has ever made.
Ryan: I picked up the last issue of Incredible Hulks after a lengthy absence from the Hulk books in hopes that it would be a good jumping on point. While it was very accessible to new readers, I’m really not sure if the new status quo—Banner surrounded a bevy of Hulk-esque heroes and on an inevitable collision course with yet another angry child—is enough to keep me on board for more than a few issues.
MORNING GLORIES #2
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Joe Eisma
"It's the Glories' first day of school, and they've already landed themselves in detention! Now, anywhere else that might just mean the start of a bad year, but they're about to find out when you're enrolled at Morning Glory Academy, corporal punishment takes on a whole new—and deadly—meaning!
Ryan: Morning Glories really burst onto the scene last month with one of the more interesting and enigmatic debut issues that I’ve seen in quite some time. The book has generated quite a buzz since that issue dropped, even if no one seems quite sure just what this book is going to be about. I know that I was really impressed with the work of Spencer and Eisma and I look forward to seeing if the second issue can keep the buzz alive.
SHADOWLAND: POWER MAN #2
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Mahmud Asrar
The war for New York's soul escalates big time when Luke Cage and Iron Fist take on the all-new, all-different Power Man! Who is the kid that can mop the floor with them both? And if that wasn't bad enough, the worst villains from Luke and Danny's past are crawling out of the woodwork en masse to take them on: Cockroach Hamilton! Comanche! Specs! Se�or Muerte! Discuss! Stiletto! Why has this flash mob of colorful criminality suddenly swarmed against our heroes -- and what role does it play in the long-term schemes of The Hand?
Kirk: New Power Man (or is it Power Boy? Power Lad?) takes the classic Hero for Hire M.O. of Luke Cage and updates it for the modern times with Craigslist listings and other digital ways of selling his services. While we could argue the ease at which his identity could be tracked down with IP addresses and the like, I still like the concept and there's some hidden backstory with Luke Cage and the new Power Man's father to be revealed.
THOR: FIRST THUNDER #1
Written by Bryan J.L. Glass
Art by Tan Eng Huat
Revealed for a new generation: the origin—and first year on Earth—of the God of Thunder! Who is the enigmatic Doctor Donald Blake? What is the secret that drives him to travel the world, seeking its challenges, and how does it connect him to the banished Prince of Asgard? Why has Thor been exiled to walk amongst mankind—and battle threats from beyond the stars? And before the entire saga is over, how will he react when confronted by the likes of Tony Stark, Reed Richards...and his devious brother Loki? Witness the legend reborn with a modern touch by Harvey Award-winning writer Bryan J.L. Glass (The Mice Templar) and acclaimed Eisner-winning artist Tan Eng Huat (SILVER SURFER: IN THY NAME)!
Ryan: I’m always torn on updates of origin stories as they are rarely necessary and rarely add anything to the characters or their mythos. Usually it takes a strong creative team to get me to purchase a miniseries like this (like Geoff Johns and Gary Frank on the recently completed Superman: Secret Origin). That being said, there is absolutely no way I was going to miss this book when I heard that Bryan J.L. Glass would be writing. Being the world’s biggest fan of his Mice Templar series, I am incredibly excited for this series. I can’t wait to see what Glass brings to the table in this retelling.
THOR: FOR ASGARD #2
Written by Rob Rodi
Art by Simone Bianchi
Beginning an epic adventure showcasing the God of Thunder as you've never seen him before! The vassals of Asgard are in armed revolt...Odin is missing...Balder is dead...and the entire continent is battered by a years-long winter. How can Thor put the empire back together - especially with his mighty hammer Mjolnir mysteriously denied him?
Kirk: First issue was excellent. Rodi has always impressed me with his Thor work and Bianchi's art was some of his best on the first issue. Looking for more of the same from this out of continuity story about the last days of Asgard leading up to Ragnarok.
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Kev Walker
The Thunderbolts crossover with Shadowland begins here! Luke Cage heads into Hell's Kitchen to pull his old friend back from the brink of madness. And if swarming ninjas aren't enough, he's become aware of other forces that will make his task even harder. Going against the Warden and the government itself, Cage sends the T-Bolts in to level the playing field. But without his direct guidance, will this squad of killers and criminals make the situation even worse? Find out in the book IGN.com calls "Impressive...not to be missed."
Kirk: Thunderbolts has been one of the best titles in this new Heroic Age. Feels like a mix between classic Thunderbolts with villains working towards redemption (or at least some of them) and Warren Ellis's time on the title. Not sure how they'll play into the Shadowland crossover though. Should be interesting to see how this works.
TIME BOMB #2
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by Paul Gulacy
After the Omega Bomb of Nazi Germany is accidentally launched, giving the human race 72 hours to live, four soldiers are sent back in time to prevent the disaster. Unfortunately, instead of getting sent back two days, our heroes find themselves 67 years in the past, landing right in the middle of a German POW camp. As the four, time-displaced, heroes hurry to ground zero, they take careful steps not to alter the past. However, their presence has alerted a sinister and evil enemy to their mission, and not even four soldiers from 2012 will stand in the way of the creator of the Omega Bomb himself – Axel Von Metzger, The Butcher!
Ryan: With one of the coolest time-travel premises I’ve read in the last few years plus and incredibly strong creative team, Time Bomb from Radical Comics really blew me away in its first issue (no pun intended). Since it dropped, I’ve been clamoring at the bit for more, so I’m super pumped about this next issue. This issue really starts the meat of this miniseries and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it (that time the pun was intended).
Written by Marjorie Liu
Art by Will Conrad
After the events of Second Coming and the stunning conclusion to X-Force, X-23 strikes out on her own in this all-new ongoing series, written by best-selling author MARJORIE LIU, spinning out of the events of Wolverine #1! X-23 has never had an easy relationship with the rest of the X-Men, but when she learns someone has taken down Wolverine, she must step up to fill his shoes.
Ryan: I’m a HUGE fan of X-23 and I’ve wanted an ongoing series for the character ever since her first solo miniseries a few years back. I don’t think we could ask for a better writer to helm it than Marjorie Liu, whose work continually impresses me. I’m not terribly familiar with Will Conrad, but my excitement over the character and the writer are more than enough for me to purchase this book. This should be good.
Kirk: Enjoyed Daken last week and looking forward to more Marjorie Liu work on X-23 this week. Previews look solid for it as well with an interesting art style from Conrad.
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Chad Hardin
Zatanna and her cousin Zachary might have their differences – okay, they drive each other crazy – but if they don't stick together, they'll be taken to the cleaners by one of Hell's most powerful demons! He's betting it all on a chance to claim Zatanna's soul, and in Vegas, the house always wins!
Ryan: While I wish that this issue was drawn by Stephane Roux, I’m still really looking forward to where Paul Dini and Chad Hardin take the second part of this story, especially if we see more interaction from Zatanna and Zachary. Their fleeting interaction in the last issue was a lot of fun, so their team-up to take down a trio of demons should be pretty cool.