Category: New Products

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    X-O is Back!

    For our NCBD Reviews this week, we look at two Jeff Lemire books, and Valiant break out a must read #1 with X-O Manowar. Remember to check out all of this week’s new releases and take a look at 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.

    X-O Manowar comics at TFAW.com

    X-O Manowar #1
    By: Matt Kindt, Tomas Giorello, Lewis LaRosa

    One thing I hear daily around the office is that “You need to start reading Valiant, they are doing some amazing things.” I figure there is no better time to jump into the world of Valiant than with X-O Manowar #1, a book that kicks off a brand new story focused on Valiant’s top hero.

    I was immediately blown away the minute I opened the book thanks to the art by Tomas Giorello. Luckily, the art is matched by a gripping story by the renowned Matt Kindt. Even though the last X-O Manowar story I read was in the ‘90s, Kindt makes it easy to follow the story even if you don’t know anything about X-O Manowar.

    Aric, wanting to escape the warfare and carnage on Earth, has fled to another planet to live a peaceful life. However, he ends up conscripted by the local military force and is forced to fight once again. It’s a gritty, engaging tale that is a far cry from what I read in 1992 and it is fantastic.

    Like all good comics, X-O Manowar #1 ends on a perfect cliffhanger with a moment that will make you pine for issue #2 the minute you see the panel. I know I’ll definitely put X-O Manowar on my pull list after this fantastic issue and start paying closer attention to Valiant in the future. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    YOU’LL DEFINITELY WANT TO CHECK THIS BOOK OUT TOO — ORDER X-O MANOWAR #1 TODAY!

    Black Hammer #7
    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

    Did you read superhero comic when you were young? Remember all those Jack Kirby Cosmos adventures? Black Hammer will fit right in! This is one hell of a comic series. With crazy superheroes like Whiptara, and Colonel Weird, fighting the Anti-God. This is great throwback to a superhero era long gone. What really great about this series though is, it’s really more about characters and their lives then about defeating the bad guy by the end of the issue.

    Jeff Lamire proves time and time again how amazing he is at character driven narratives. Along side him in Black Hammer is Dean Ormston doing a fantastic job at spinning the Jack Kirby style. Who can forget Dave Stewart’s colors? I know I’m saying this a lot but, the books screams Jack Kirby and I love it! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    CATCH UP ON BLACK HAMMER AND PRE-ORDER VOLUME 1

    Extraordinary X-Men #20
    By: Jeff Lemire, Eric Koda, David Yardin

    Extraordinary X-Men #20 is the end of an era and the start of a Resurrxion. With the Terrigen Mists now completely eradicated across the globe, the X-Men are free to leave Limbo and rejoin the rest of the world.

    As you’d expect after the frantic action of Inhumans Vs. X-Men, Extraordinary X-Men #20 slows things down considerably. While there is some action, the X-Men themselves are never in any true danger and the action itself is just a means to tie up a loose end. Which is a lot of what this issue does: The comic ties up loose ends and provides a fitting conclusion to the team. It’s been rare in the last few years that we get to see the X-Men relax and enjoy themselves, and the last few pages of this comic put a smile on my face as they did just that.

    The future for the X-Men is looking up – as Storm herself puts it, “it feels like the end of a chapter… a particularly dark chapter at that.” While Jeff Lemire did a fantastic job on Extraordinary X-Men and is is an excellent sendoff, it’s the future of mutant-kind that has me excited. While this book isn’t necessary reading for those planning on diving into the X-Books with Resurrxion, it serves as a great lead-in to X-Men Prime #1. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    FINISH THE EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN SERIES TODAY WITH THIS EXCELLENT ISSUE.

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

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    SECRET EMPIRE BEGINS

    secret empire

    When Marvel first announced that Captain America was a Hydra sleeper agent, I, like many of my fellow comic book fans, was a bit shaken. It seemed like another tactic to quickly boost sales for yet another big crossover event that would “change the face of Marvel as we know it.” How many times did we hear that in 2016? Too many.

    But as writer Nick Spencer started laying the foundation for Secret Empire in Captain America: Steve Rogers, I began to get more comfortable with this bold new idea. Spencer wrote Cap’s new status in a believable way and watching Cap’s plans come together was fascinating. The buildup to the event was a slow burn and was akin to watching Rogers play chess on a global scale, as pieces were slowly sliding into place right under the noses of our favorite Marvel heroes. After a few months, I found myself enthralled in the tale that Spencer was telling, gobbling up every issue the minute they hit the comic shop.

    “Cap simultaneously at his best and his worst.”

    After a solid year of buildup, Cap’s plan is finally coming to fruition in Secret Empire #0. While most event books start with a bang, this one sees Cap remain calm and collected throughout the entire book. In Secret Empire #0, we see Cap take swathes of Marvel heroes off the playing field group by group as each of his three plans come together. As the book itself tells us, Cap has always been a master strategist; now no longer shackled by morals, this is Cap simultaneously at his best and his worst. I can’t wait to see how far he will go when he needs to get his hands dirty and handle the heroes personally.

    The art by Daniel Acuna is as excellent as Spencer’s writing. Each character’s face conveys a broad range of emotion, which is fantastic since there is a lot of emotion on display in this issue. You can feel the fear and despair dripping off the faces of every Marvel hero as they realize the grim reality that awaits them.

    Issue #0 is a must-read comic if you’re planning on reading Secret Empire. Even if you haven’t read any of the issues that precede this event, this still serves as an excellent starting point and quickly gets new readers up to speed. If every issue in this event can match the writing and art of this one, Secret Empire as a whole will end up as one of Marvel’s best events.

    After nearly everyone called this storyline the worst thing to ever happen to Captain America, it just might end up being the best thing to happen to the Marvel Universe in years.

    PRE-ORDER SECRET EMPIRE AND SAVE!

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    The Revolution Continues in Rebels

    Rebels: A Well Regulated Militia was released in 2015 to tell the story of Seth and Mercy Abbott. Set in 1775 colonial America, the series followed the newlyweds through the War of Independence. Seth was a volunteer in the militia who helped birth a nation.

    Rebels: These Free and Independent States
    Rebels: These Free and Independent States

    Rebels: These Free and Independent States #1 picks up the story in 1794. Seth and Mercy’s son, John, has come of age. The boy is a savant who knows everything there is to know about ships and seafaring. He can readily identify any ship by silhouette alone, but has difficulty with social situations.

    Barbary Pirates, George III, Birth of the US Navy

    This is a historical period that saw danger to the fledgling Union from the Barbary Coast, Britain, and political infighting. In the midst of all this uncertainty, the Abbotts must decide what will be best for their odd son.

    Writer Brian Wood (Aliens: Defiance, The Massive, Northlanders) transitions easily from the end of the first season into the beginning of season two. However, readers who haven’t read Militia won’t have any trouble jumping in with Independent States.

    Wood’s script brings emotion and realism to stories that most people have at least a conceptual knowledge of. It can often be difficult to envision history as actual events with living humans who have feelings and relationships. While Wood makes it clear in his disclaimer that his characters never actually existed, they fit beautifully into historical context and give faces to an important era in American history.

    You don’t have to be a history buff in order to enjoy Rebels. While the period details will appeal to history buffs, there is plenty of meat on the bone for action adventure fans.

    FOLLOW JOHN ABBOTT’S HISTORIC ADVENTURE AND PRE-ORDER REBELS: THESE FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES #2

    Rebels: These Free and Independent States #1 (of 5), Dark Horse Comics, Release Date March 22, 2017, Written by Brian Wood, Art by Andrea Mutti, Colors by Lauren Affe, Letters by Jared K. Fletcher, Cover by Matt Taylor, $3.99

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    Aqua-Mystery

    It’s been a tough few months for the King of Atlantis. He’s dealt with an invasion of his home. He’s been involved in a potential war with the United States. And his followers are questioning the woman he married. But things are looking up.

    Aquaman #19 (Variant Cover)
    Aquaman #19 (Variant Cover)

    Aquaman has received a request to help his former enemies–The Aquamarines. This group is a  paramilitary unit with DNA that has been spliced with sea creatures. As a result, they have the ability to shift between human and sea life form. They need the assistance of Aquaman to investigate the sudden radio silence of a naval base. Arthur agrees to help the team. The silence may be connected to a mysterious substance known as Strange Water. And Aquaman has  encountered it before.

    Aquaman’s Expertise is Needed

    Aquaman #19 is an unusual story line for an Aquaman adventure. Typically Aquaman is leading armies of sea creatures against supervillains. Or he’s debating diplomatic strategy as the leader of Atlantis. However, this story casts Aquaman in the role of detective. It emphasizes a slow sense of creeping dread as Aquaman and the Aquamarines investigate the island base.

    Writer Dan Abnett uses the opportunity to pick up on some characters and story threads he started on the New 52 Aquaman. It’s a refreshing change of pace for one of DC Rebirth’s strongest titles. This is definitely painted as a horror story. And it and delivers a villain that even Aquaman may be unable to defeat.

    This issue shows the creepy tale of terrifying sea life. But it also continues to develop the relationship between Aquaman and his fiancé Mera. Their relationship is really at the center of this whole series.  And seeing her fearlessly back Arthur up further solidifies their strength as a couple.

    SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN H2.0 AND PRE-ORDER AQUAMAN #20

    Aquaman #19, DC Comics, Released March 15, 2017, Written by Dan Abnett, Art by Philippe Briones, Cover by Brad Walker, $2.99

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    A World of Things Left Behind

    What remains of a fallen civilization? That’s the question at the center of Aftershock’s newest science fiction comic, World Reader. The new book focuses on an astronaut with a psychic ability to connect to the spirits of dead alien races.

    World Reader
    World Reader

    In World Reader #1 our main character is Sarah. She’s a member of a crew of space explorers investigating uninhabited planets. Sarah has deep connections to the lost citizens of these dead civilizations. It’s her driving force. But it becomes apparent this not the primary focus of the crew’s mission.

    Sarah frequently bumps up against the captain, who’s set on collecting soil samples and investigating the scientific structure planets. He scoffs at Sarah’s supernatural and existential ability. The battle between the science-minded crew members and those open to more ethereal answers will be a major aspect of this story.

    Secrets are killing the universe

    There’s also a strong mystery at the heart of this book. Sarah is used to connecting to dead cultures, but there’s something more unsettling about this planet. The spirits are unusually quiet and Sarah finds it difficult to form a connection. As she digs deeper a sinister answer begins to appear. And Sarah finds that what’s happened here is beyond anyone’s imagination.

    At its core, World Reader is about pure empathy. But it’s also a detective story with an existentialist bent. Writer Jeff Loveness throws us into a sci-fi world without weighing the story down with needless details. He’s building a world, but trusts the reader to follow the events without holding their hand.

    The art by Juan Doe gives the book a colorful and dreamy look that perfectly fits the trippy alien nature of the setting and story. It’s a richly designed world that begs to be discovered further.

    In addition, it’s great to see a science fiction tale focused on the humanity of its characters, rather than epic battle sequences. As a result, conflict arises, but there’s a deeper philosophical tale that connects this comic to the classics of sci-fi literature.

    SEE IF SARAH CAN SOLVE A UNIVERSAL CRIME AND PRE-ORDER WORLD READER #2

    World Reader #1, Aftershock Comics, Release date April 19, 2017, Written by Jeff Loveness, Art by Juan Doe, $3.99

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    Find out the truth in Daredevil #18

    Every week we review a select few comics for New Comic Book Day. There are so many that come out each week it’s hard to choose. This week we take a gander at Batwoman, Punisher and Daredevil. 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.

    Batwoman #1
    By: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV, Steve Epting

    Finally, Batwoman is back in her own solo comic! I’ve immensely enjoyed James Tynion IV’s work with Batwoman and the voice he has given her in Detective Comics, but I’ve longed for Kate Kane to be the star of the show instead of a member of an ensemble. Batwoman #1 is everything I hoped a Batwoman comic would be and more.

    It fully fleshes out Batwoman, giving her a base of operations, a method of transportation, and even her own Pennyworth butler. However, the writing duo of Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV have made sure Batwoman isn’t just a female Batman. Part of that is due to her unique voice and globe-spanning mission while the remaining part is due to her unique past that the issue starts to touch on. There are many layers to Kate Kane, and the issue starts to peel them back one-by-one. Complementing the story is the beautiful art by Steve Epting.

    Not only is the issue a great jumping on point for new fans, but it also serves as an excellent book for longtime Batwoman readers. Batwoman #1 is highly recommended and is one series to keep an eye on in the future.

    GET CAUGHT UP WITH KATE KANE (AKA BATWOMAN) IN DETECTIVE COMICS

    Punisher #10
    By: Becky Cloonan, Matt Horak, Declan Shalvey

    Punisher’s one-man war on Condor continues in Punisher #10. Becky Cloonan continues to delight as she writes a Frank Castle that is tough-as-nails, resourceful, and leaves a trail of bodies in his wake. This comic has never been shy about showing violence, but what Punisher does with a bear trap takes this comic to a whole new level. Punisher #10 lives up to its parental advisory notice.

    As the story starts racing to its conclusion, this is turning into one Punisher tale you don’t want to miss. Due to the unfortunate passing of Steve Dillon, artist Matt Horak fills in for art duties. He captures Dillon’s style almost perfectly and allows the book to fit in stylistically with the previous issues. If you’ve yet to check out this series, you’ll want to make some room on your pull list as it’s worth reading. Punisher #10 is an excellent read and shows that Marvel can still pump out mature titles that are on par with the rest of the industry.

    FIND ALL OF BECKY CLOONAN’S AMAZING WORK.

    Daredevil #18
    By: Charles Soule, Ron Garney, Matt Milla

    One of the burning questions since the beginning of Charles Soule’s Daredevil run has been “How did Matt get his secret identity back?” After over a year, Charles Soule is finally ready to answer that question. Daredevil #17 was told entirely by flashbacks and bridged the previous series to the current one, and Daredevil #18 picks up right where #17 left off.

    Soule introduces readers to The Purple Man, who promptly gives us a display of his powers in a downright horrifying fashion. In fact, the story ends up being more about him and his offspring than about Daredevil. The twist at the end brings about more questions, and we’ll see more than a few fan theories as a result of this issue. I’m excited to see how Charles Soule ties it all together.

    If you’ve yet to check out Charles Soule’s Daredevil, #17 and #18 are a fantastic place to start. I know I’m planning on checking out the previous issues of this series; if the writing is as good as this issue, I’m in for a treat.

    PICK UP ALL THINGS DAREDEVIL

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

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    American Gods Gets the Comic Book Treatment

    Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods is based on the idea that where believers exist, their gods also exist. Immigrants to the United States bring versions of their gods with them. As long as believers hold their faith, the gods flourish.

    The more believers in one place and the stronger their belief, the bigger and more powerful a deity. When a belief system breaks down, the forgotten gods lose their power and eventually disappear. Old gods are constantly fighting to keep their foothold in a society where new gods are constantly popping up. Ever wonder why the Old Testament God was so adamant about graven images?

    American Gods: Shadows #1
    American Gods: Shadows #1

    American Gods: Shadows #1 introduces Shadow Moon, a convict who is released from prison a few days early to grieve. His wife was killed in an auto accident the week before Shadow’s scheduled release. On his flight home, Shadow has an uncomfortable meeting with Mr. Wednesday.

    The grizzled old man offers Shadow a job after demonstrating impossible knowledge of Shadow’s past and present. Taking Wednesday for a grifter, Shadow declines and the two part ways. Unbeknownst to him, this isn’t the last time Shadow will encounter Mr. Wednesday. Shadow likewise has no idea how thin his perception of reality is about to stretch.

    A Superstar Lineup. Neil Gaiman! P. Craig Russell! Scott Hampton!

    P. Craig Russell is no stranger to adapting Gaiman works. Russell provided art for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, Coraline, and the Graveyard Book. This time he takes the reigns, writing the script with Gaiman available as a consultant.

    Neil Gaiman has been involved throughout the adaptation process and is pleased with the comic series. “I’ve been watching P. Craig Russell breaking down the book into comic form, watching Scott Hampton painting the pages, watching Glenn Fabry create the covers, and grinning to myself with delight, because the American Gods comic is going to be an astonishing, faithful, and beautiful adaptation.”

    American Gods: Shadows will appeal to fans of the source novel, action-adventure, fantasy, horror, Americana, and mythology.

    SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SHADOW GETS OUT OF JAIL AND PRE-ORDER AMERICAN GODS: SHADOWS #2

    American Gods: Shadows #1, Dark Horse Comics, Release date March 15, 2017, Rated Mature, Story and Words by Neil Gaiman, Script and Layouts by P. Craig Russell, Art by Scott Hampton, Letters by Rick Parker, Cover by Glenn Fabry with Adam Brown, $3.99

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    Cap’s New Past as a Hydra Double Agent Continues

    Steve Rogers shocked the world back in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, May 2016. While hurling his friend and ally to his presumed death, he uttered two words that nobody ever believed would come out of Captain America’s mouth. “Hail Hydra.”

    It has since been revealed that Red Skull used Kobik to turn Roger’s memory inside out. In his new recollection of events, Cap remembers learning Hydra’s ideals as a child in a special school. He also remembers befriending a young Helmut Zemo.

    Captain America Steve Rogers
    Captain America Steve Rogers

    In his head, Rogers returned to the United States and then became the first Super Soldier. It was perfect cover for Hydra’s ultimate spy.

    Baron Zemo Steals The Show

    Captain America: Steve Rogers #13 spends most of the chapter developing Baron Zemo’s character. In the buildup to Secret Empire, Nick Spencer delivers a fuller picture of just how highly Cap regards his friendship with Baron Zemo. Rogers will go so far as to stand between Bucky and Zemo in the middle of a firefight to keep them both alive.

    The flashback sequence teases a bigger conflict between Barnes and Zemo in the upcoming Secret Empire. A forced decision with mortal consequences between his two best friends could be the trigger that snaps Cap out of the fugue he’s been living in. We can hope, anyway.

    While this chapter is heavy on exposition, there are a few dynamic action scenes. The artwork is fantastic throughout. Baron Zemo’s arrogant indifference is telegraphed brilliantly, despite being a masked character.

    It’s hard to tell where the pencils of Ro Stein leave off and Ted Brandt’s begin. There is one sequence in particular that has four pages, sixteen panels, and zero dialogue. The artwork tells the entire story, and the reader has no difficulty following along.

    PRE-ORDER CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS #14 AND FIND OUT WHO’S BEEN PULLING ALL THE STRINGS

    Captain America Steve Rogers #13, Marvel Comics, Released March 8, 2017, Written by Nick Spencer, Art by Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, Color by Rachelle Rosenberg, Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna, Cover by Arthur Adams and Jason Keith, $3.99

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    Kings of Grass

    Comics are often about building new worlds. These fictional societies have their own sets of rules and order. And they don’t always have to be fantastical. Sometimes they’re a slice of a world that’s under-exposed. Such is the case in Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins new comic Grass Kings.

    Grass Kings
    Grass Kings

    In Grass Kings #1 we are introduced to the Grass Kingdom, a small patch of land that does not recognize the authority or rules of the United States. Grass Kingdom has a longstanding feud with neighboring town Cargill. The citizens of Grass Kingdom are viewed as squatters illegally possessing the land.

    The Promised Land?

    The central conflict of the book revolves around Cargill’s sheriff and the two brothers who run Grass Kingdom. Bruce and Robert inherited the kingdom from their family who’s possessed the land since World War I. Robert is the king and Bruce is the sheriff in charge of protecting the land from Cargill.

    The relationship between Robert and Bruce is a tenuous one at best. Robert lost his daughter and has fallen into alcoholism to deal with his grief. This puts pressure on Bruce to look out for the well being of the town and his brother.

    Kindt’s script generates a lot of conflict right from the start. This is a book with a great deal of narrative setup at work. It’s a family drama and a crime story. But it’s also a mystery.

    Kindt’s writing pairs extremely well with Jenkin’s exceptional artwork. The hazy water colored images strike a beautiful balance between detailed and dreamlike. This is especially true as the book shifts into flashback scenes.

    Overall, this a strong first issue that does a great job of establishing setting and characters. It also leaves enough threads for readers to continue to pick up future issues.

    SEE WHAT’S NEXT IN GRASS KINGDOM AND PRE-ORDER GRASS KINGS #2

    Grass Kings #1, Boom! Studios, Released March 8, 2017, Written by Matt Kindt, Art by Tyler Jenkins, $3.99

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    Crime, Action, Berzerk – This NCBD is intense!

    This week, like every week we’re talking a look a few releases from this week. 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.

    Action Comics #975
    By: Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Patrick Gleason

    Since Rebirth first launched, the mystery that captured my attention was Mr. Oz telling Superman “You and your family are not what you believe you are.” Adding on to that mystery was the sudden appearance of Clark Kent, Superman’s previous alter ego. For months, DC has promised that their Superman: Reborn event will start unraveling the mysteries surrounding the Man of Steel, and Action Comics #975 does just that.

    While Superman #18 was light in both action and plot, Action Comics #975 wastes no time blowing your mind. After many beautiful splash pages by Stephen Segovia, we learn that the identity of Clark Kent is actually [REDACTED]. I never saw this coming; however, thanks to the backup story written by Paul Dini, it makes perfect sense. In addition to having a huge repercussion on Superman’s life, the reveal promises to progress the overall plot of Rebirth in a significant way.

    If you’re keeping up with DC’s Rebirth event, this book is a must-read along with Superman #18. The reveal of Clark Kent’s identity is something that is going to have comic fans talking for years. If this is only the second issue of this event, I can’t wait to see where Superman: Reborn goes from here. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    PICK UP ALL OF SUPERMAN: REBORN

    All-New Wolverine #18
    By: Tom Taylor, Nik Virella, Michael Garland, Djibril Morissette-Phan, David Lopez

    Wow, what an end. Not to say that All-New Wolverine is over. That’s hardly the case. It’s the end of, well, you’ll have to read it to find out. All I can say is this was an exciting issue to read on March 8th!

    It’s been a fantastic ride following Laura Kinney on her way to becoming Wolverine. Tom Taylor has written a great storyline along with the fantastic art from Nik Virella and Michael Garland.

    If you haven’t been reading All-New Wolverine, you really should. This series gives us an amazing strong character with a complex and interesting background. It’s been a heck of a ride for her. I for one, will be staying on this roller coaster. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    GET TO KNOW THE ALL-NEW WOLVERINE

    Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1954 – Ghost Moon #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Brian Churilla, Dave Stewart, Mike Huddleston

    Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954 sees Hellboy and company in unfamiliar territory: Hong Kong, China. In a brand new story from Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. are investigating a paranormal disturbance that takes them deep into the heart of Kowloon. While the story is exposition heavy in the first half, the action comes fast and frantic in the latter half of this comic. As Hellboy finds himself fighting against mythological Chinese creatures, the remainder of his team unearths a far greater threat.

    Handling the art duties is Brian Churilla, a newcomer to Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. comic. Churilla knocks it out of the park with some fantastic artwork on every page – the last page is especially stunning. Not only is this issue a must-own for Hellboy fans, but it’s also an excellent jumping on point for someone new to the franchise. Make sure to grab this one! [Josh P. at TFAW.com]
    PICK UP AND CATCH UP ON THE MIGNOLA-VERSE

    Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys #1
    By: Anthony Del Col, Werther Dell’Edera, Fay Dalton

    I love pulp. No, not the stuff that’s in orange juice, well maybe that too. I mean pulp fiction. As a genre, it’s one of those things that you can get really right, or really cheesy. Both Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys separately are great resources for Pulpy goodness and Anthony Del Col delivered.

    It’s a simple setup. Cops think Joe and Frank Hardy killed their father. Nancy Drew, however, thinks differently. The three team up to prove it. It’s the twists and turns that keep this story going. If you loved movies like Chinatown or tv shows like Veronica Mars (also where is THAT comic?), or if you read the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew novels as a kid this will be right up your ally. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    FIND ALL OUR CRIME COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

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

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    Tommy Can You Hear Me?

    Taking on a tale as complex as the new Royal City could spell disaster. But Jeff Lemire makes it look easy in Royal City #1. He has a practiced hand telling such complicated stories as Sweet Tooth, Essex County and Moon Knight. And he makes this new undertaking seem effortless.

    Royal City #1 (Variant Cover)
    Royal City #1 (Variant Cover)

    Taking on double duty in writing and illustrating, Lemire methodically introduces us to the Pike family. There’s the elderly Peter and Patti, who are having marital issues. Author Pat who is having trouble batting out his next novel. Daughter Tara, who is struggling to reshape the titular city–and make a fortune in the process. And Richard, who finds solace from life at the bottom of a bottle.

    Then There’s Tommy

    Tommy, the youngest son, appears in different forms–a young boy, a drinking buddy, a long-forgotten voice on the radio. He is whatever his family needs him to be. While it’s easy to guess Tommy’s real fate, the revelation is no less of a gut punch.

    Royal City itself is a character. And plays a significant role in the book. Royal City is a sleepy town of 45,000. Many of the characters are looking to escape the town. Or at least they think they are. More than likely, we’ll eventually learn they are trying to escape their own poor life choices. Lemire hasn’t taken us there yet. But when he does, we’ll be waiting.

    With his other acclaimed projects like Descender and A.D., Lemire is clearly at the top of his game. Between his colored pencils and his even more colorful words, Royal City is already among his best works.

    SEE WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE BLACK-SHEEP OF THE PIKE FAMILY. PRE-ORDER ROYAL CITY #2

    Royal City #1, Image Comics, Released March 1, 2017, Written and Art by Jeff Lemire, Lettering by Steve Wands; $4.99.

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    Miss America

    America Chavez has been a standout member of the Young Avengers and The Ultimates. Now she’s taking center stage in her first solo ongoing series–America. Fans will not be disappointed as she retains all the attitude and strength that made her so popular.

    America #1 kicks things off with The Ultimates in battle before the teen hero heads off for her first day at college. She’s a super-powered Avenger from another reality, but she still needs to get an education.

    America
    America

    America is enrolled at Sotomayor University. But this campus is a little different. There are Magic/Mutant Power Test Zones and a department devoted to Radical Women and Intergalactic Indigenous Peoples. At school, America reunites with former Young Avenger, Prodigy. And she also runs afoul of Professor Douglas, who teaches “Intergalactic Revolutionaries and You.”

    Digging into America

    America #1 is a lot of fun. There’s a lot of story potential seeing America in a normal college environment. This gives writer Gabby Rivera the opportunity to dig deeper in America’s character. Separated from a group dynamic, America’s relationship problems and her struggle to overcome the death of her mother are highlighted. She’s also been separated from her best friend Kate Bishop, who’s off in LA solving crimes in her own book–Hawkeye.

    This series continues Marvel’s recent move of focusing on younger female characters. Although the story is fun and fast-paced, it’s also a coming of age tale. America has much to learn about being a superhero.

    Marvel readers, both new and old, are sure to enjoy America’s journey. Plus, there’s a twist in the final pages that promises exciting things for future issues.

    SEE HOW AMERICA HANDLES HOMEWORK AND MONSTERS. PRE-ORDER AMERICA #2

    America #1, Marvel Comics, Released March 1, 2017, Written by Gabby Rivera, Art Joe Quinones, $3.99

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