Category: New Products

Latest stories

  • Beyond Burnside continues, Captain Marvel is torn, we get introduced to a new western comic Kingsway West, Deadstroke goes on a mission through time, and we wipe our noses with Snotgirl.

    NCBD reviews for August 24th 2016

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Batgirl #2
    By: Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque

    Beyond Burnside continues as Batgirl tries to decode the cryptic words in the last issue from the mysterious Fruit Bat. Barbara’s path leads to train in mixed martial arts in an attempt to get over her past. As she takes a beating in the ring, things start heating up between her and Kai, which might be a little more than she, and Kai can handle. What Babs quickly discovers is that even her years of training and experience still can’t prepare her for what’s next.

    Hope Larson delivers another issue that balances the brains and determination Batgirl is known for, with the melodrama that makes her such a great character for all ages. Rafael Albuquerque’s art does a great job balancing each scene by being wide and dynamic during fights, but soft and fun during personal moments. Batgirl brilliantly separates itself nicely from the Earth-saving feats in the other Rebirth titles in exchange for a personal and relatable journey. If you’re looking for a fun story with a resourceful character, Batgirl #2 will treat you well! [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Captain Marvel #8
    By: Ruth Fletcher Gage, Christos Gage, Kris Anka, Andy Owens, Matt Wilson

    Carol Danvers is torn. She wholeheartedly believes that the predictive justice movement is saving lives, but she’s being questioned (by virtually everyone) at every turn. She remains committed to the cause, but the pressure is starting to get to her and the seeds of uncertainty are starting to get to her. This issue of Captain Marvel dovetails in very well with the events that have been unfolding in the pages of Civil War II as Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage prove a strong grasp of Danvers’ motivations.

    You can really feel that we’re getting dangerously close to a boiling point (as if the events in Civil War II #3 hadn’t heated things up enough), and the events that unfold in this issue only add more uncertainty for Carol and the crew. Captain Marvel #8 has some great character moments with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. Looking forward to next issue! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Kingsway West #1
    By: Greg Pak, Mirko Colak, Wil Quinta

    Greg Pak’s latest book opens with an alternate look at the United States. With the West Coast being divided mainly between Mexico and the Chinese. We’re given a bit of information in this world. Where Magic and Monsters exist alongside something called Red Gold – a mystical mineral that lives underneath the surface of the earth much like salt and gold.

    We’re introduced to our protagonist – in the same way most westerns start out – a mysterious man who is being hunted and has his hand forced into doing something he doesn’t want to do. The first issue jumps ahead several years in different spots, which isn’t a problem when setting up the environment of the story. Kingsway West #1 has the promise to be an excellent Western with magic/mystic influence. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Deathstroke comics at TFAW.com

    Deathstroke #1
    By: Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan

    This issue is great for old and new readers of the famous Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. Writer Christopher Priest makes sure to bring every angle of Deathstroke’s personality through time and captivate our interest of what the heck is going on! It seems that Slade’s partner, WinterGreen is stuck in a time loop and the president’s life is in danger. This problem has Deathstroke’s name written all over it, but where is he?! With a mix of action and snarky humor, this is a great start to the new Deathstroke series. [Darcey M. at Univseral Citywalk TFAW]

    Snotgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Snotgirl #2
    By: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung

    Lottie is a very self-obsessive person and Bryan Lee O’Malley does and excellent job showcasing that. He writes her in a way that reads as if we are reading one of her blogs – she writes her blog exactly how she thinks.

    In this second issue, we get a little more information on what is going on in Lottie’s life, from her boyfriend status to what the heck is going on with her stalker?!

    Leslie Hung again does a fantastic job with the art of this book. I really enjoy the sense of style she brings to this series. If you are missing the humor that Bryan Lee O’Malley delivers in books like like Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, then this is a series you should be reading. It’s not all about selfish fashion bloggers, she’s got bigger problems than that. Snotgirl #2 keeps the narrative running even if you try and wipe it away.
    [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • AN INTERSTELLAR COLD WAR LOOMS IN HADRIAN’S WALL

    Review of Hadrians Wall #1

    Hadrian's Wall coverKyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis launch an all-new sci-fi noir tale, set nearly 70 years in an alternate future in which the Cold War was ended through a joint space colonization effort between the U.S. and Russia.

    The story opens with the mysterious death of Edward Madigan, a worker for Antares Interspace, with ties to our protagonist, Simon Moore. Simon’s tasked to investigate this death on the labor ship, Hadrian’s Wall, located in an area with mounting hostilities. The story that begins to take shape has all the hints of intrigue, conspiracy, personal relationships, and seedy characters that are cornerstones of great noir tales.

    The book takes on a tone reminiscent of classic sci-fi films such as Blade Runner and Alien, while also delivering it’s own unique contribution in the form of ship design, fashion, and use of technology. The main character’s life seems to be more sterile and organized, which is at odds with the world around him that’s shown as more gritty and industrial.

    Hadrian's Wall page 1Hadrian's Wall page 2Hadrian's Wall page 3

    Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Batman Beyond) and Alec Siegel (Batman Beyond, C.O.W.L.) work great as a writing team. The dialogue seems to bounce with ease from character to character. The pacing of the panels is done with precision. And most impressively, the quiet moments in space are beautiful, lonely, and terrifying.

    Rod Reis (C.O.W.L.) delivers beautiful visuals that, even when full of blood, darkness, and scope, still feel focused, clean, and easy to follow. The aesthetic, while obviously inspired by sci-fi staples, feels like it’s a fresh take on those classics with interesting choices for fashion and interior design. Unlike a lot of sci-fi that feels like the creator’s idyllic world or worst nightmare, Hadrian’s Wall is more realistic in its depiction of the future.

    Hadrian’s Wall has the unique ability to stand on its own as a noir crime tale with a sci-fi setting, that we don’t often get exposed to. If you’re a fan of either genre, Hadrian’s Wall is something you should definitely check out.

    ORDER HADRIAN’S WALL #1
    DISCOVER OTHER NEW COMIC BOOK SERIES

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  • NCBD: Supergirl and the Suicide Squad Join DC’s Rebirth

    New Comic Book Day 8/17/16

    This week brought a strong group of comics. For New Comic Book Day, we continue catch up with The Punisher and Daredevil as a conflict comes to a head, jump into the new Suicide Squad series, continue reading Jeff Lemire’s incredible Black Hammer series, and check out Supergirl’s Rebirth. Remember, these are only a few of this week’s new releases be sure to check the TFAW website to see even more. We’d love to know what you think of these books too!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Black Hammer comics at TFAW.com

    Black Hammer #16

    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

    We last left Black Hammer with the whole team meeting up to reminisce their past lives with the hero (and their leader): the amazing Black Hammer.

    In this new issue we get to see a glimpse into the background of Gail Gibbons, aka Golden Gail, wherein she was given the gifts of the gods to fight to keep the world safe — or is it a curse? Now Gail, stuck in the body of a nine-year-old, is just trying so hard to get back the powers that she once felt burdened with. We also get to see Walky Talky and The Barbalien trying to get a probe outside the boundaries of the small town that they are trapped in. Also, we get to see a clash with one of their old foes, Doctor Sherlock Frankenstein (best name ever!).

    How will this “family” deal with all the troubles of trying to fit into the small town they’re stuck in, and what steps will they take to find their way home? Are they even in their universe, or are they in a pocket dimension? Could this be an elaborate trap by a villain from their past?

    All that, plus we still don’t know the full story of Black Hammer’s fate. I’m really looking forward to learning more in the next issue of Black Hammer. [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    Daredevil Punisher #4

    By: Charles Soule, Szymon Kudranski, Jim Charalampidis, Clayton Cowles

    Daredevil Punisher #4 completes the “Seventh Circle” story, and it’s been a great ride. DD and Punisher have worked together in the past, but they’re at odds this time over a gangster named Sergey Antonov. D.A. Matt Murdock is transferring Antonov to Texas so he can get a fair trial, but Frank Castle thinks he needs to be punished for his crimes.

    Soule wraps up the Daredevil Punisher miniseries in spectacular form, but I won’t tell you how this one ends, folks. What I will say is that it’s really great seeing how far both Daredevil and Punisher will take things, given their conflicting convictions. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Suicide Squad comics at TFAW.com

    Suicide Squad #1

    By: Rob Williams, Jim Lee

    For anyone who wants to learn more about Suicide Squad after the wonderfully fun movie, you should definitely grab a copy of Suicide Squad #1! The story starts off with Amanda Waller’s inner monologue discussing why she assembled the Suicide Squad — she believes that bad can do good, and she’s . . . well . . . somewhat right!

    The group is sent to retract a cosmic cube in space, and as the group battles motion sickness, Williams provides a flashback of how Deadshot landed right into Amanda Waller’s Task Force X. It’s a great first issue, and I can’t wait to see where this one goes. Pick this issue up before it sells out! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    Supergirl Rebirth #1 by Steve Orlando at TFAW.com

    Supergirl Rebirth #1

    By: Steve Orlando, Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, Michael Atiyeh

    Supergirl Rebirth serves as a slingshot for those unfamiliar with Supergirl’s past and her place in the DC Universe. The issue starts with a flashback that establishes a potential threat (or possibly ally).

    In the new status quo that is the DC Rebirth, Supergirl only recently crash landed on Earth (like, a few months ago recent), and the D.E.O. is trying to make sure she becomes a hero like her cousin, Kal-El. They’ve assigned full-time handlers Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers to show her the ways of this planet and act as “parents” to her alter ego, Kara Danvers.

    I anticipate good things from writer Steve Orlando; we’re already seeing strong elements of a family drama for this series and I’m excited to see how Kara adapts to Earth and comes to understand our ways.

    Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy are already a good pair, and I’m excited to see how they will continue to come together as a team. Their art is similar to that of Terry and Rachel Dodson, and I couldn’t think of higher praise than that. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • NCBD gets scarred, beaten and saved with Black Monday Murders, Harrow County, Batman and Spider-Man

    NCBD review for Aug 10 2016

    This week for New Comic Book Day, Batman and Two-Face take a road trip, we learn about a cult that crashed the stock market, Harrow County’s Emmy finds out she has more family than she knew of, and Dead No More starts to unravel. As always these were only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Amazing Spider-Man comics at TFAW.com

    Amazing Spider-Man #16
    By: Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Alex Ross

    As Dead No More gears up, Amazing Spider-Man #16 lays the groundwork for what could be a pivotal moment in the Parker story. Jameson Sr. lays in a hospital bed with a genetic unknown disease. A scientist from NEW U tells the Parker and Jameson family that there is a new procedure that could work. Jay Jr. is hesitant but Peter wants to try. As Peter goes over NEW U’s research, an explosion pulls Spider-Man to a Parker Industries Plant. Spider-Man saves the day, or so it seems.

    Dan Slott has been doing an excellent job in his Amazing Spider-Man run – along with Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Marte Gracia this issue has a John Romita Sr. style that is very welcoming. As the first issue to captivate us for Dead No More, Amazing Spider-man #16 is a great start!
    [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    All-Star Batman comics at TFAW.com

    All-Star Batman #1
    By: Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr

    In this tale, which I like to consider “Gotham by Midnight (Run),” Batman is taking Two-Face on a road trip in an effort to permanently remove the fractured personality of Harvey Dent. Two-Face, on the acid-scarred hand, has other plans. Which he sets into motion offering to release all the blackmail material gained on everyone in Gotham over the years. Some surprises reveal that this dirt the Deacon of Duality has runs deep and no one is safe.

    The coloring by Dean White in this issue really adds texture and depth to the art, and Snyder’s pacing is as methodical as always. The backup story in this issue is even more compelling to me though. Having Duke (from the excellent We Are Robin) stepping into his new role training with Batman for what appears to be more of an ally than a sidekick role this time around. They set the boundary that he is not going to be Robin, but something else entirely. While also laying out the various training styles and how they resonated differently with each of Batman’s former sidekicks with color coding. Very interesting stuff that enriches the iconic Batman mythology even further.

    All-Star Batman looks to be an exciting new series from Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr, and Dead White. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Black Monday Murders #1
    By: Jonathan Hickman, Tomm Coker

    What if I told you that you could be rich but, you’ll pay in blood. Money, Power, and Magic – it’s all one in the same in The Black Monday Murders.

    Johnathan Hickman’s newest series tells a tale of altered history, where Black Tuesday (the stock market crash of 1929), was set in play because of a debt. We as a whole owed someone or something and it was time to pay. We get jumped into the present as we see a detective getting a new case that’s one of his…

    As a first issue, this really pulls you in giving you a lot of backstory and insight to this world. There are internet forum posts, history book pages, and company/family tree’s added into this oversized issue. It gives just enough information to keep you intrigued.

    I always love Tomm Coker’s art and this series is no exception. Tomm draws out panels and frames them like a cinematographer. It’s amazing.

    The Black Monday Murders is a highly recommended series for those looking for an alt-history series that dabbles in black magic and crime noir. [Sean W. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Harrow County comics at TFAW.com

    Harrow County #15
    By: Cullen Bunn, Tyler Crook

    One of the best horror comics being published today – Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County – continues to weave this terror of magic, resurrection, and fate. In issue #15, Emmy is given a deeper look at her “family.” Given a choice that will not only affect her but her home as well.

    Crook does it again with his beautiful watercolor pages. Even if you don’t care for horror, his landscapes of Harrow County are just gorgeous to look at. Cullen Bunn also has this magnificent way of crafting his story to get you to come back month after month.

    There is a reason Harrow County was nominated for Best New Series at the 2016 Eisner’s and won Best Ongoing Title at the Ghastly awards in 2015. If you haven’t been reading this series, now is a fantastic time as the Syfy channel is adapting it for a series. Pick up Harrow County you won’t be disappointed! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Introducing Valiant Entertainment

    Untitled design (10)

    This August we want to help you start something new – Valiant Entertainment.

    Valiant Entertainment lineup

    Valiant Comics started back in 1989 – with the boom in comics during the early ’90’s Valiant was bought by Acclaim Entertainment – a Video Game developer. In 2004 Acclaim shut down. One year later Valiant Entertainment restarted and since then has gone on to create some of the most original, award-winning titles. Most recently having 50 Nominations in the 2016 Harvey Awards.

    Over most summers, like most superhero publishers, they have a big event. Now when I say “big event”, I’m not talking 30+ issues spanning 9 different titles. No, Valiant doesn’t play that game. When they do big events typically the main series is only 5 issues, and will only spread across a couple of their on-goings. This summer is no exception with their event – 4001 A.D. This series focuses on the future within the Rai comics.

    4001 A.D.
    The most ambitious comics event of 2016 brings war to the 41st century – with Rai leading the charge! One hundred years from today, Father – the benevolent artificial intelligence that governs the island nation of Japan – will gain sentience. To defend its borders, Father will take drastic action by launching Japan into space…where its people will thrive in isolation, away from the overpopulated and resource-deprived planet below.

    One thing is that all of the Valiant characters are connected in some way. Even if they are not currently interacting or on the same team. For example, Armstrong from the Archer & Armstrong series is the middle brother of The Eternal Warrior, and Ivar, the Time Walker. Even currently Faith (one of the best new characters in comics) and Archer are now a couple, having their first date within Archer & Armstrong #5. There are lots of connections within the Valiant Universe.
    Summer of Valiant 4001 A.D.
    Another thing to note about this publisher is that even though they publish “superhero” comics that are all connected, their series range from vigilante-style heroes (Bloodshot) to Sci-Fi adventures (Divinity). Even those who like comedy and wacky adventures like Deadpool will get enjoyment out of Archer & Armstrong.

    What about a story involving a suit of armor? X-O Manowar – After a brutal encounter with a mysterious enemy known as The Vine leaves him a prisoner on an alien world, the only hope Aric has of returning to his family and saving them from slavery is to seize armored suit capable of incalculable destruction and become X-O Manowar! The Vine destroyed Aric’s world. Now he will give them war.

    These and many, many more stories are being released every month. With vol 1 trades starting at $9.99 they’re easy to jump on and get hooked. Amazing creators like Matt Kindt, Jody Houser, Jeff Lemire, Jen Van Meter, Clayton Crain & so many more contribute to these characters. This Summer, take a chance, read a Valiant Entertainment title!


    Valiant Time Capsule
    If you shop with us at any of our Oregon Locations this month, pick any Valiant Entertainment product and you’ll get a raffle ticket for a weekly drawing of Valiant merchandise, including hardcover graphic novels and signed comics. Then come back on the 31st for the opening of the Valiant Time Capsule, where we’ll be raffling off items from it. This promotion is valid

    Still unsure if Valiant Entertainment is right for you? Come on by and ask us what would be up your ally based on your current reads. Valiant has something for everyone.

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  • When Comics Aren’t Enough: DC ICONS

    When Comics Aren't Enough - DC Icons
    DC ICONS Breakdown

    Over the past few years sales of action figures have seen a big surge. Most likely due to nostalgia, but with customers and lets be honest here adults, wanting more from their collectibles, the industry has really gotten better as a whole. Companies like Bandai or Max Factory have made a splash here in the states with figures that have 20+ points of articulation, are highly detailed and come with relevant accessories, like different heads, hands or weapons. This allows the owner to have a lot more fun with posing their figures.

    Mainly we’ve seen more US based companies like Hasbro and NECA to take on the challenge to produce articulated detailed figures. But for a long time it was a struggle to get highly detailed, well articulated figures based on DC Comics Characters. Welcome to the DC ICONS series.

    Wave 3 just recently hit our store shelves and our site and I got a chance to take a look at Harley Quinn, based on her appearance from the Batman arc, No Man’s Land. Also in the series is Superman (THE MAN OF STEEL), Atom (FOREVER EVIL Atomica deluxe set with RAY PALMER & RYAN CHOI), & Aquaman (LEGEND OF AQUAMAN).

    Harley Quinn ICONS Box

    I like that toy manufactures are leaving the days of the clamshell packaging behind them. The shape and design of the ICONS series packaging is neat. This pentagon shape is able to show the buyer everything they need to know, no matter how the store is displaying them. This is also great if you are the type of collector that leaves their toys in the package.

    Harley Quinn comes with 3 extra hands (2 left, 1 right), a comically oversized revolver with a cork in it, and her classic mallet. She is also equipped with over 21 points of articulation. Including double knee and elbow joints, a high waist joint and torso rotation. Ball joints at the shoulders and hip. In addition to the ankle joint, the feet have rotation.

    Harley Quinn ICONS series accessories

    It’s really impressive how far the figures have come in the past 5 years. From figures that only have 5-9 points of articulation, to these beasts that can do almost any pose you want.

    If you’re looking for fun, detailed figures of your favorite DC Heroes and Villains, look no further than the DC ICONS series.

    DC ICONS Breakdown

    With various characters out now and coming out soon, like Batman and Green Arrow, you can expect to see characters you may not recognize right away like Deadman or Staic Shock. Also coming out is ICONS Deluxe series that comes with more accessories, Like the Green Lantern and his various parts for fighting off Sinestro. Coming out though is Batgirl with her Bat-cycle. Based on the Babs Tarr art in Batgirl of Burnside.


    All in all the DC ICONS line is a solid line to figures – both for collecting and playing. I’m happy to see US toy lines step up their game as much as the Japaneese toy market has over the years.

    Pick up one of many DC ICONS characters new and old coming out all year long. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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  • NCBD – Double dose of Harley, a Doctor and The Sheriff of Babylon

    NCBD reviews of Harley Quinn, Doctor Strange, Suicide Squad, and The Sheriff of Babylon

    With Suicide Squad hitting the theaters this weekend, New Comic Book Day Is give you a double dose of crazy with Suicide Squad Rebirth #1, AND Harley Quinn #1! Plus Doctor Strange concludes The Last Days of Magic arc, and we talk about an amazing crime series from The Wire writer Tom King – The Sheriff of Babylon. As always these were only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Suicide Squad comics at TFAW.com

    Suicide Squad Rebirth #1
    By: Rob Williams, Philip Tan

    There is a high profile Suicide Squad movie coming out at the end of this week, and with DC’s Rebirth taking place across their publishing line, now is a hotter time than ever to reintroduce the concept of Task Force X (the Suicide Squad’s official title) and a few of those characters!

    We are given the purpose of the team – and a structure is formed for brand new readers hoping to jump on board. We get right into it, with Philip Tan’s dynamic artwork that screams action from the start.

    Whether you are headed to or from the movie and looking to check out the comic book incarnation, you won’t feel lost at all starting out fresh, right here in this very issue of Suicide Squad Rebirth [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Harley Quinn #1
    By: Amanda Conner, Chad Hardin

    Wowzah! This issue is one for the books! Wacky Harley is back at it again with chaos, a good laugh and…zombies? That’s right folks, you heard me, Zombies!

    Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor are the creative team making this beautiful series and they use every wild card they have! This issue is all what you need to know about Harley Quinn: Her origin, Her triumphs, and that she’s freakin’ crazy! With small references from the ongoing Harley Quinn comic, new readers shouldn’t be too confused.

    Now Back to the zombies, yes…zombies. Harley Quinn and Red Tool run into an unexpected encounter with the undead. Instead of asking questions, they jump straight into action. As blades and hammers are flying and smashing, Red Tool is bitten by one of the undead. Harley, whose not going to lose her friend, chops off his arm to save his life. Then she catapults him in the air! What? Why do you ask? Guess you’ll have to read Harley Quinn #1 to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk]

    Doctor Strange comics at TFAW.com

    Doctor Strange #10
    By: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Kevin Nowlan

    It’s the finale of 6-issue event Last Days of Magic. Stephen is at his end, with no magic left to help him against Imperator – who seeks to destroy all magic and leave science to rule.
    This finale felt like a great conclusion to the fight that Doctor Strange had been engulfed in. With help from fellow Marvel mystics and mages Scarlet Witch, Magik, and others. Jason Arron was able to create a creative, action-packed, arc surrounding the idea of Science vs Magic. The art is hard-edged and painterly, just as I would imagine Doctor Strange’s personality.

    If you’ve been reading The Last Days of Magic arc as I said, this is a great final issue. If you’re just jumping on board, maybe wait until the next issue of Doctor Strange as things may be a little confusing for first-time readers. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    The Sheriff of Babylon #9
    By: Tom King, Mitch Gerads, John Paul Leon

    Things start to collide as the third act starts in the 12 issue story The Sheriff of Babylon. I’ve been on board this series from the start. A crime comic smack dab in the middle of the 2004 Iraq war.

    Written by Tom King (Batman, Vision, and the hit tv series The Wire) this well paced episodic story feels like watching a 12 part tv series. Mitch Gerads (Punisher) has been leading the way in this visually stunning noir.

    I really can’t say enough good about this series. Everything feels real, as the twists come you don’t feel like they are out of left field – as if Tom King has already written out everyone’s lives and motives from the get go. The Sheriff of Babylon is only 3 issues away from finishing – and I’m not sure if I’m excited to read it, or sad that it’ll be over. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Interview: Adam Markiewicz and Ben Fisher, “The Great Divide”

    23067

    the great divideIt’s the future and it’s a pretty miserable place: there’s a plague that makes physical touch lethal. Much of the world’s population has died, and the few survivors left have come up with a variety of adaptations to avoid contact. Is there a cure? Two young thieves think they’ve found a way back to the old world, but not everyone’s enthused about how things were before the plague…

    Learn a lot more abut the story in our exclusive (and funny!) interview with the creators of The Great Divide: writer Ben Fisher and artist Adam Markiewicz.

    TFAW: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

    Adam Markiewicz: When I was 9 years old, my dad bought me a copy of The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #11 and it was loads of fun. The main feature guest starred Iron Man and Black Panther. The back-up story featured Rhino. I immediately went out and bought every Spider-Man comic on the stands. The adjective-less one was my favorite because of the art (this was when Todd McFarlane was drawing it). But I also read X-Men, Superman, Batman, and FF.

    Ben Fisher: I definitely lived and breathed Claremont’s X-Men and I loved Giffen’s run on Justice League Europe. Both of those books were really just different spins on the “outside, looking in” motif, and like so many adolescents, I strongly identified with that.

    TFAW: Can you tell us a little on how you first got into comics and your road to this new series?

    Markiewicz: My first legitimate job in comics was actually with Ben, as the letterer on Smuggling Spirits. From there, I did a bit of freelance but focused mainly on self publishing, including a my webcomic Trench Coat Samurai.

    Fisher: I “broke in” to the industry with Mike Henderson (Nailbiter, Illuminati) when we were lucky enough to win a back-up story competition at Viper Comics. Mike and I followed that up with the Smuggling Spirits graphic novel, which is how I met Adam. Flash forward a few years and a few books, and I pitched my Grumpy Cat editor at Dynamite a very, very different style of comic . . . and here we are!

    Running away from the tab, detail from "The Great Divide"
    Detail #1 from “The Great Divide”

    TFAW: The premise of The Great Divide is that there’s a highly contagious pandemic transmitted by physical touch. Where did you come up with the idea for this particular pandemic?

    Fisher: The concept is that one day, without warning, every human on the planet is simultaneously afflicted with “dermadik” — a condition that results in instant death when any two people make skin contact. I got the idea on a crowded bus, actually. I started wondering how many fundamental aspects of society would change if being in close quarters became a potential death sentence and the story sort of grew from there. It’s probably also a bit related to my own introversion.

    TFAW: There’s no explanation of what happened or why, we’re just dropped into the middle, very similar to The Walking Dead. Are you going to give us backstory as things unfold, or is that another story arc entirely?

    Fisher: Oh, absolutely. The first arc finds our protagonists stumbling onto the possible cause of the Divide, but then forces them to confront the difficult question of what to do with that information. And, of course, solving one puzzle often leads to a whole series of new, even stranger, mysteries …

    TFAW: Love the Roadkill Saloon as a setting for this portion of the story! Any fun back story on that one?

    Fisher: I wish there was — I feel like I should make one up! It’s really just an amalgam of various seedy midwestern biker bars, with a name that would be remembered by the reader (since it’s used to bridge the time between pre- and post-Divide). And I knew from the very first draft that the story needed to open with a “guy goes into a bar” joke.

    TFAW: Adam, I really enjoy your style. What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    Markiewicz: Thank you! My biggest influences have been Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Jaime Hernandez, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Chris Ware, and Shirow Masamune. I still look at their work constantly. When I was a teenager, I was actually more interested in film than comics, so I also take a lot of inspiration from John Carpenter (especially for this series), Stanley Kubrick, The Coen Brothers, David Cronenberg, and Sam Raimi. Recently, I’d say the two artists I look at the most are Mike Henderson (and not just because he’s a friend, but because his work is awesome) and Amy Reeder.

    TFAW: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

    Markiewicz: I started the series old school, but I recently made the switch to a Cintiq. In fact, I went from real old school — with ink pens and brushes — to using markers and brush pens while drawing issue 1, and now I’m entirely digital. I also do the lettering, which was all digital from the beginning.

    TFAW: Right now, the series is planned for a 6-issue run. Do you have ideas for future arcs?

    Fisher: Without question. Adam and I truly love this broken, strange world and the people who inhabit it. We’ve outlined plots for a long stretch, with an opportunity to really expand the scope and stakes — so if readers are interested, there’s plenty of story to tell and more arcs will be coming.

    Detail #2 from The Great Divide
    Detail #2 from “The Great Divide”

    TFAW: What has it been like working with the folks over at Dynamite?

    Markiewicz: Any publisher that allows the amount of freedom we’ve had is top notch in my book. Especially when you consider that it’s a bit of a risk, backing a story with such unusual subject matter. It’s been great.

    Fisher: Dynamite has been an absolutely fantastic teammate throughout the process. Rich Young really championed the book early on in the pitch process and we will always be grateful for that — and to Nick Barrucci for having faith in the type of story we wanted to tell. Keith Davidsen and Anthony Marques have been invaluable keeping everything on track for the big launch in September (I know it’s not easy to corral us). And finally, although he doesn’t work at Dynamite, I’d be remiss to not give a shout out to my story editor, Jon Stark, who has made every script he’s touched better.

    TFAW: Who do you think is going to enjoy this series the most?

    Fisher: Certainly, anyone who enjoys dystopian subject matter like Walking Dead, Mad Max, or Y: The Last Man should have a good time in this world. But the series also focuses on our common fears of intimacy, human connection, and dysfunctional relationships in general, so fans of books like Sex Criminals and Pretty Deadly will also find our story touches on familiar themes in new ways.

    TFAW: What comics are you enjoying right now?

    Markiewicz: Hands down, my favorite comic right now is Rocket Girl. Ben also turned me on to Vision, which is an excellent read. I’d feel bad if I didn’t mention Nailbiter, but Lord knows Mike and Josh don’t need me to tell the world. I’ve been enjoying DKIII quite a bit, and Phil Noto‘s doing excellent work on the Poe Dameron book. Honestly, though, I just don’t get enough time to read comics. I’m too busy making them.

    Fisher: It’s truly a golden age for comics right now — there are so many great books on the shelf. I know I’m going to get in trouble for leaving brilliant titles off the list. But in addition to Adam’s recommendations, I can’t say enough nice things about Goddamned, East of West, Squirrel Girl, Monstress, and Injection. And I’m genuinely mad that I’m not writing Army of Darkness: Furious Road. It just oozes fun.

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  • NCBD – Batgirl, Adventure Time & X-Men ’92

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    With SDCC behind us, it’s back to buiness – and this week for New Comic Book Day we give you a glimpse at Batgirl, Adventure Time Comics, and X-Men ’92! Remember theses are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to like, comment and share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batgirl #1
    By: Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque

    Batgirl has left Burnside. Since Barbara Gordon returned to her post-Oracle role as Batgirl, she was forced to revisit her past a number of times. She has ventured beyond Gotham City, and will have to put the pieces of that past behind her in order to look forward.

    This future appears bright in the hands of writer Hope Larson, who weaves an excellent voice to the series that brought a sense of audio to a medium without it. Batgirl’s international sleuthing is precisely the kind of story that is refreshing in the current age teeming with talent and brave new direction for comics as a whole. Barbra has been revitalized since Burnside and continues on an inspiring path to make an exceptional character evolve further. Progressing from her past, we may be seeing a new fighting spirit – and style – emerge for Barbara Gordon. Count me in on this rebirth of Batgirl! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Adventure Time Comics #1
    By: Tony Millioire, Erin Hunting

    This series is definitely for those who are big Adventure Time fans! It’s a collection of short stories written and illustrated by some well-known names such as Art Baltazar (Itty Bitty Hellboy, Aw Yeah Titans), Katie Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) Kat Leyh (Co-writer and cover artist for Lumberjanes) and Tony Millionaire (Sock Monkey).

    Mini stories include: Finn’s grave problem of running out of toothpaste and meeting the Tooth Paste Fairy, Finn saving a beastly friend in danger, and a fun cameo from Lumpy Space Princess. This comic had me giggling the whole issue with the cute charm every Adventure Time comics must have: Quirkiness! It is a great comic for all ages and I highly recommend Adventure Time Comics to any one who needs a good laugh. [Darcey M. at

    X-Men ’92 #5
    By: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Cory Hamscher, David Nakayama

    With Scott leaving the X-Men in the last issue of X-Men ’92, he and Jean reside in Scott’s hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. While they have a joyous vacation away from all the chaos that is the X-Men, their daughter from the future, Rachel Summers, has used the Phoenix to bring them to the year 3992. In hopes of defeating Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister once again. What I really enjoyed about this issue was that it re-told “The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix” story from 1994.
    X-Men ’92 is always fun to read, especially growing up with the cartoon. Chris Sims’ writing is on par with the original series, utilizing everything that made that cartoon great.

    If you’re missing the X-Men cartoon of the ’90s or wonder what could have been if it wasn’t canceled, X-Men ’92 is here to help! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Interview with Joelle Jones and Preview of Lady Killer 2 #1

    Interview with Joelle Jones

    lady killer 2, #1 coverWhat can be more all-American than a housewife who hosts Tupperware parties, has a hot meal on the table for her busy husband when he comes home, and is always ready with a kind word and plate of hot cookies for her children after a tough day of school? Well, if you’re Josie Schuller, you’ve got one more thing to juggle, because she’s also a killer, running a successful assassination business on the side. I mean, a girl’s gotta have something to break up the monotony, right?

    We first met Josie and the whole Schuller family in writer Joëlle Jones’ Eisner award-nominated Lady Killer series, but for the new storyline, they’ve just moved into a picture-perfect Cocoa Beach, Florida during the early years of the Space Race (the 1960s). Like Desperate Housewives, all the women in Cocoa Beach have lives completely independent of their worker-bee husbands, and while Josie is clearly trying to fit in with her Tupperware party, it’s a catty community of insecure, snotty women and she’s not really someone you want to piss off.

    The bigger problem is that someone else in the family actually knows her side job and doesn’t like it much at all. But would you want to confront the stone-cold killer in your family, or would you try your very best to stay on their good side? Yeah, me too.

    There’s a breezy fun about Jones’ story, a sort of Stepford Wives meets The Long Kiss Goodnight that is eminently readable — I’m definitely ready for the next installment as this first issue ends in a huge cliffhanger! — enhanced by the wonderful artwork of Michelle Madsen. Indeed, Madsen could easily be straight out of a time machine from an ad agency in the 1960’s, so faithfully does she capture technicolor shades of the era and enhances Jones’ art.

    Lady Killer 2 #1 Preview

    We were lucky to catch up with Joëlle to ask her a few questions about the Lady Killer 2 series. Here’s what she shared with us:

    TFAW: What was your original inspiration for the Lady Killer series? I loved the first series, where will you be taking Josie this time around?

    Joëlle Jones: The Schuller family has moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where life carries on as usual. Josie continues to juggle Tupperware parties, her kids, and a few human heads. However, when someone from her past tails her on a hit, she may be in for more than she bargained for.

    lady killer tpbTFAW: You chose a female protagonist with a decidedly dark side, then set it in ’60s America. What appeals to you about the tensions and duality of that era and her “side” job?

    Jones: I’ve always been drawn to stories about people with dual natures…and I thought setting the series in this particular time in American history really highlights that duality.

    TFAW: From the artwork, we figure that Lady Killer 2 takes place concurrent with the Space Race that was such a prominent part of Florida in the ’60s. Is that going to be woven into the story?

    Jones: Yes! Josie and her family move to Cocoa Beach because of her husband’s job. He works for a company that is connected to the aerospace industry..

    TFAW: Really love your style of art in this story too. How do you stay true to the ’60s artistic sensibility while still offering the visual pizazz that modern readers demand?

    Lady Killer 2 #1 PreviewJones: I’m constantly looking at the great illustrators from that mid-century period. I also try to keep up with current comics. So, I suppose those to things merge in my mind and translate to the page.

    TFAW: A family where Mom has a secret identity. Any chance Dad or the rather witchy mother-in-law might have something up their proverbial sleeve?

    Jones: Probably! But I’m not going to tell you about that here. I guess you’ll just have to read and find out!

    TFAW: You’ve brought Michelle Madsen in for the fun this time around. How did she become involved with Lady Killer 2?

    Jones: We only had Laura Allred for the first series and filling her shoes was a daunting task. I’ve always loved Michelle’s work and when we got the opportunity to bring her on to the team I was pleased as punch! She’s a perfect fit for the book. Amazing work!

    TFAW: For those who haven’t discovered Lady Killer yet, what’s your elevator pitch for the series?

    Jones: Ha! I get asked this a lot. “Donna Reed meets Dexter.”

    TFAW: What other projects are you working on right now?

    Jones: I’m going to be very busy for the next two years but I really can’t talk about it. Lots of exciting stuff!

    TFAW: What comic books are you enjoying right now?

    Jones: I just finished reading Harrow County and I loved it! Thought it was fantastic. I’ve been digging some of the DC Rebirth books and I’ve also been going back to some 90’s Punisher books. All great stuff!

    Lady Killer 2, #1, written by Joëlle Jones, art by Jones and Michelle Madsen. he first issue will arrive August 3, 2016, and the first two issues are available for pre-order – and you’ll want to pre-order this one, gang!

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  • NCBD: Old Man Logan, New Super Man, Kong of Skull Island & Star Trek

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    For New Comic Book Day this week – we look at an Old Man, a New Super Man, a Giant Gorilla, and celebrate Star Trek’s 50 years. As always these are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Old Man Logan comics at TFAW.com

    Old Man Logan #8
    By: Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino
    In the last issue of Old Man Logan, we saw Logan defending the people of Killhorn Falls from a crazed group of killers called the Reavers lead by Lady Deathstrike. He will stop at nothing to keep this group from killing the woman who became his wife from his lost timeline. With his back against the wall, Logan succeeds in pushing the threat away from the population and leaves to keep them safe.

    In this much-anticipated issue, we find Logan not too far in the future from the events of the last story arc, living once again with his team and family, the X-Men, with one exception – Jean Grey is alive and wants nothing more than to help out her lifelong friend. We also get to see, through Logan’s memories, the events that lead to the night the heroes fell. We now know what happened at the Xavier School for the Gifted – when the villains used Logan as their killing machine to take down the X-Men (see Old Man Logan by Millar and McNiven) – but we never got to see the fall of New York, or what led to the descent of Hank Pym. By the end of this issue, all will be revealed. And in the conclusion of this amazing book, we get to see a perfect reunion that will hit home with any Wolverine fan – or any comic fan in general.

    I can’t say enough to about how much I’ve loved this book. Jeff Lemire has taken the mantle of this story and used the new and old universes to make this a truly fantastic book, with the beautiful art of Andrea Sorrentino making the characters and action jump right off the page. I cannot wait for what happens next issue of Old Man Logan! [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    New Super Man #1
    By: Gene Luen Yang, Viktor Bogdanovic

    Shanghai, China. Kong Kenan is a bully that justifies his behavior by picking on Lixin, whose father runs an airline. The very same airline who he holds responsible for the death of his mother. Kenan’s father is a mechanic that is part of a “Writers’ Group” which are conspiracy theorists attempting to prove the existence of the Ministry of Self-Reliance.

    These pieces converge when the villain Blue Condor swoops in to abduct Lixin. Kenan instinctively throws a can of soda (which he stole from Lixin) at Blue Condor. This is caught on video and gains the attention of the Ministry of Self-Reliance. Who approaches him to grant him the powers of Superman.

    All that power given to one without the moral compass of our Kryptonian is going to steer us on an interesting course, indeed. Gene Luen Yang’s story and Viktor Bogdanovic’s art are both flashy enough to catch our attention, and keep us watching, as this story evolves. It’s going to be an interesting series seeing this New Super Man go from bully to hero. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Kong of Skull Island #1
    By: James Asmus, Carlos Magno, Felipe Massafera

    First things first, the art of this comic book is gorgeous! I was memorized by Carlos Magno’s clear and very detailed illustrations. This issue opens up to a time before Kongs became extinct. The people believed the gods protected us through the Kongs.

    As the natives travel to expand the islands they rule, they take their protectors with them. When the natives discover Skull Island, they get more than they bargained for. This island has bad written all over it and as the people try to steer clear of it, the ship is attacked by monsters! As the ship starts to sink, one Kong struggles to get back on the sinking ship. As the people are drowning… the only thought you can conjure up is “Save the Kong!!!”. Kong of Skull Island is going to be one heck of a ride! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    Star Trek #59
    By: Mike Johnson, Tony Shasteen

    As we near the 50th anniversary of Star Trek we see the crew of the Starship Enterprise enter a place in space that seems to be a bridge to alternate realities. The crew, for a time, switches minds with their movie and original series counterparts. This comes with some comedic surprises for them.

    Switching back and forth between old and new crew members was cool. Mike Johnson did a good job slightly altering how each Kirk or Spock said the same line, highlighting the differences between the two universes. Since he came aboard, Tony Shasteen has done a fantastic job drawing the series. Each character is easily recognizable, even for casual viewers of the series.

    It will be fun to see how both crews deal with such an anomaly in Star Trek #60![Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • NCBD: Bounty, Justice League Rebirth, Punisher, Batman 66 meets Steed and Mrs. Peel

    NCBD76

    Batman teams up with the Avengers? The creator of Rat Queens takes us to space, The Punisher contnues his path of destruction, and the Justice League go through a Rebirthing-all this week for New Comic Book Day. As always these are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our previous blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Bounty comics at TFAW.com

    Bounty #1
    By: Kurtis Wiebe, Mindy Lee, Leordo Olea

    Sisters Nina and Georgie steal from the rich and give to the poor, and keep some for themselves. Hey, they have to eat, too. From Rat Queens creator Kurtis Wiebe and artist Mindy Lee. Comes this Robin Hood-Esq space tale.

    This 40-page introduction really lays out the landscape for the new series. Kurtis has proven in the past he can write both funny and engaging teams with Rat Queens and this is no exception. I had a ton of fun with the sisters and their teammates. Bounty hits on elements seen in popular series like Firefly and Cowboy Bebop, but dials up the sci-fi, and futurism so that we end up with something unique, but familiar at the same time.

    If you’ve been enjoying Rat Queens this is an instant pick up. If you don’t know what Rat Queens is, well, 1) you’re missing out, and 2), this is an excellent point to blast off with an awesome new series. Don’t be the last one to the loading dock. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Justice League comics at TFAW.com

    Justice League Rebirth #1
    By: Bryan Hitch, Tony S. Daniel

    It’s a brand new day for the Justice League! After the Superman of the New 52 sacrificed his life to protect all human life, there was a void left in the Justice League. Now as they mourn the loss of their friend, they face the task of picking up the pieces.

    A large alien threat attacks, bringing together Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and rookie Green Lanterns – Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz. Our Pre-Flashpoint Superman has made his presence known to few, but he cannot help but see this threat and rush into action to help the heroes of this Earth by stepping into his former role.

    Batman is skeptical of the Kryptonian and wants to keep a close eye on him. Knowing what we do about Superman, it won’t be long until he proves himself to the team. Solid art and a well-paced story give this opening room to grow and establishes a new threat which I am sure we will be seeing more of in the future. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Punisher comics at TFAW.com

    Punisher #3
    By: Becky Cloonan, Steve Dillon, Declan Shalvey

    Previously in Punisher, Frank Castle goes up against Condor, a mob that’s manufacturing a drug called EMC which is making people stronger, faster, and immune to pain. While Punisher takes out all of Condor’s head men, This leaves the DEA to come after Frank. After all, he is killing all their evidence for their case. His next hit is Josiah, one of the makers of EMC. However, Josiah comes with a catch. A little girl strapped with explosives and a father who is ready to hit the detonator as soon as the Punisher shows up.

    I love the intense, on-edge feeling this series has been giving off so far–each issue has a fantastic fight scene. This issue thickens the plot of the story, and each issue has a fantastic fight scene. I am really intrigued to see where Becky Cloonan (writer of Southern Cross and Gotham Academy) takes this series. A definite must read for new and old fans of Punisher! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    Batman 66 Meets Steed & Mrs. Peel comics at TFAW.com

    Batman 66 Meets Steed & Mrs. Peel #1
    By: Ian Edginton, Matthew Dow Smith, Michael Allred

    Last Time on Batman 66….
    Well, I don’t know what happened last time actually, but I can tell you that this is the first time we’ve EVER seen Batman team-up with the Avengers! No, not those Avengers from Marvel, the other ones from across the pond, Boom Studios’ Steed and Mrs. Peel.

    With the Gotham Museum hosting the White Star Diamond from the Royal Family, everything looks to be fine until Catwoman appears, and she’s on the prowl for new accessories. Although Batman and Robin were too late, British Secret Intelligence agents Steed and Mrs. Peel were on the case. But could it be that something more sinister is going on? Was Catwoman behind it all? Will Steed and Peel ever be called The Avengers again? Find out next time, Same bat-time, same bat-channel!

    Overall, this was a fun issue to read for me having some history with Steed and Peel, as my father watched them when I was a kid. Ian Edginton does a good job keeping the Batman 66 series in tone with the show. It felt like watching an episode. Tied with Matthew Dow Smith’s art and Jordie Bellaire’s colors this worked exceptionally well. Great start to this six-issue mini-series. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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