Tag: Brian K. Vaughan

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    A New Detective Team Shines Bright In A Dark City

    New Comic Book Day is here! This week we take on Zombies, Time-Travel, get interrupted during a vacation, and build a new team. Remember, these are only a few comics that came out 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.

    The Walking Dead #163
    By: Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard

    Man, for 25¢ this was a non-stop pulse-pounding issue. The largest group of Walkers they’ve ever encountered is headed right toward their town. Like everything in this world, the only thing they can do is fight. They send off a few of the crew on horseback to hopefully lead the heard away. While others in the town try a fend off the rest.

    I’ve been reading The Walking Dead on and off for about 5 years now. Full disclosure this is the first issue in a while for me, and it reminded me why I got hooked on this series in the first place. Even though it’s a story, Robert Kirkman has always been able to make this feel real. I know these people and what they’re going through. I don’t want to say goodbye to them anytime soon. Let’s hope the herd isn’t too much for them. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    CATCH UP ON THE WALKING DEAD

    Detective Comics vol 1
    By: James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Al Barrionuevo

    While Batman has always had one of the most extensive networks of supporting characters and partners, he’s always operated like a lone wolf, often to his detriment. Realizing this, Batman is now embracing the importance of operating and training a team of heroes to better protect Gotham City. Lead by Batwoman, the two of them assemble of a team of fan-favorite characters, Red Robin, Spoiler, Orphan, and Clayface, to revolutionize the concept of the Bat-Family.

    James Tynion IV kicks off this series with an explosive punch that shakes an already new team to the core. The depth in which he develops every character in the group in just 7 issues is not only impressive but easily sets this series up as being one of the most important Batman books in years. Eddy Barrows art is certainly to thank for how impactful this is as well. Whether it’s giant cityscape action scenes or fights in a room, this is easily one of the best-looking books on the shelves for superheroes.

    If you’re a Bat Family fan, or just jumping on board DC’s Rebirth, Detective Comics Vol 1 is a must read…especially for what DC has in store. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    CATCH UP ON ALL OF DC COMICS REBIRTH STORIES

    Paper Girls #11
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chang

    Monsters, Time Travel, the 80’s? Why aren’t you reading this book? Holy crap. After the events of the first 10 issues our heroes find themselves hoping they’re back in their own time, on their own planet. It looks to be the case, until Mac finds someone who doesn’t speak any language I’ve seen before, and a beast that’s not of our world.

    If you’ve been urging for Season 2 of Stranger Things, Paper Girls is a great way to spend that in-between seasons time. Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Change, and Matt Wilson have done a tremendous job with this series thus far and Issue 11 is no exception. I can’t wait to see where this goes from here. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE PAPER BRIGADE TODAY

    All New X-Men #1.MU
    By: Jeremy Whitley, Carlo Barberi, Adam Kubert, Ron Lim

    A tie-in to the Monsters Unleashed event currently happening, The team of young X-Men decide to take a vacation to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. While the team goes to see the sights, Wolverine meets up with her old partner Gambit in the swamps. What starts as a team-up investigation, quickly turns into an all-out monster battle, with New Orleans caught in the middle of it.

    While a tie-in, Jeremy Whitley weaves a fun, stand-alone adventure. Even if this weren’t part of a bigger story, this issue could easily stand up as one of the classic weird X-Men books the series is known for featuring from time to time. Carlo Barberi and Ron Lim bring to life all the spectacle of a monster movie, but all the dynamic shots of a superhero comic.

    Whether or not you’re picking up the main Monsters Unleashed title, All-New X-Men #1.MU is worth your time. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    PICK UP ALL OF MONSTERS UNLEASHED

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

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    You Choose The Best Comic Book of 2016

    Best comics of 2016

    A lot of amazing books have come out in 2016. With Marvel revitalizing their line, DC’s Rebirth, to so many independent and creator-owned books dominating the stands, 2016 has certainly been a comic book year to remember.

    With that in mind, the staff at TFAW took a look at sales numbers, fan buzz, and our personal favorites of the year to create a list of the 25 best comics of the year. Now we want you, our awesome customers, to vote on this list to decide definitively what the best books of 2016 are.

    Voting will take place from Jan 1st through Jan 31st, so head on over to our  Facebook page  and cast your vote. Let your voices be heard and recognize all these amazing creators and publishers for all their hard work.

    Superman Vol. 01 Son of Superman
    By: Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, Patrick Gleason
    The New 52 Superman is dead, but hiding among us for years was the original Big Blue. Now, a world without a Superman is in desperate need for Clark to leave the good life on the farm with Lois raising their son. This story simultaneously brings Superman back to formula, but also takes him in a direction he’s never really been before.

    Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma
    Powerful and gut-wrenching, Bitch Planet continues to explore themes of patriarchy and non-compliance. A must read for SJWs, feminists, and people who truly appreciate comics as an artistic medium.

    Wonder Woman TPB Vol. 01 The Lies
    By: Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, Matthew Clark
    Wonder Woman has been interpreted in many ways over her 75 year existence. Instead of trying to hide this, Greg Rucka’s approach is to embrace this to try and get to the real heart of who Wonder Woman is. Not just a great jumping on point for new readers, but a definitive take on the character that will hold true for years to come.

    Black Hammer Vol 1: Secret Origins
    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart
    Black Hammer is another in a long line of grand ideas by one of comics brightest stars, Jeff Lemire. This book has a unique take on superheroes and the art by Dean Ormston & Dave Stewart instantly ensnares the reader.

    Rough Riders Vol. 1
    By: Adam Glass, Pat Oliffe
    History in the making! Teddy Roosevelt, Jack Johnson, Annie Oakley, Harry Houdini and Thomas Edison make up an American dream team engaged in an epic shadowy war! Monsters and Mayhem folks!

    The Mighty Thor Vol 1: Thunder in Her Veins
    By: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman
    Marvel is changing things up by casting Dr. Jane Foster as the new Thor. The goddess of thunder shines in this series as she comes to grips with heroism and her own mortality. Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman are the perfect pairing. Also: Loki.

    Divinity II
    By: Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic
    After Abram came crashing home in Divinity vol 1. Spending his entire life in the depths of space, Divinity II tells the tale of Myshka. Still beliving in the Communist ideal. She intends to play a very real role in the return of Soviet glory

    Old Man Logan Vol 1: Berserker
    By: Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino
    What happens when an older, more gruff version of Wolverine comes to the main Marvel Universe? A whole lot of fighting. He’s on a mission to to prevent a terrible future from happening. Andrea Sorrentino’s art is breathtaking.

    Detective Comics Vol. 01 Rise of the Batmen
    By: James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Al Barrionuevo
    Batman is notorious for being a lone wolf (bat?), but he’s always had his family behind him. Now it’s time to take the Bat-Family to the next level. Lead by Batwoman, Batman puts together a team of Red Robin, Orphan (Cassandra Cain), Spoiler, and Clayface to be ready for whatever threat comes Gotham’s way.

    Vision Vol 1: Little Worse Than Man
    By: Tom King, Kevin Walsh, Mike Del Mundo
    Vision has the perfect family: a wife, two kids, and a dog. Look elsewhere for over-the-top nonstop heroics; this book proves it’s the little moments that matter. Truly impeccable dialogue and top-notch art await!

    March Book 3
    By: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
    The third and final installment in civil rights activist John Lewis’ story in the battle for civil rights in the United States. 1963 was an incredibly turbulent time in America’s history, and John Lewis was not only in the middle of it, but a leader in getting us out of it, long before becoming a congressman. March will remind you there are real heroes in this world.

    Star Wars: Poe Dameron Vol 1: Black Squadron
    By: Charles Soule, Phil Noto
    With crisp and clean art by Phil Noto, Poe Dameron is one of the most beautiful of Marvel’s new Star Wars comics. Charle Soule explores Dameron’s uncanny skills and matching bravado.

    Paper Girls Vol. 2
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang
    Continuing where Vol. 1 left off, the misfit group of paper girls from 1988 find themselves transported to present day. Our main characters are forced to look at who they are, and who they may…or may not become. This superstar team continues to tell one of the craziest sci-fi stories currently on the shelves, while staying focused on the heart of any good story, the characters.

    All New Wolverine Vol. 01 Four Sisters
    By: Tom Taylor, David Lopez, Bengal
    With the death of Logan, clone daughter Laura Kinney (X-23) steps up to be Wolverine and the best she is at what she does. This book is bloody, emotional, hilarious, and beautiful. This is one of those unique books that can present adult subjects in a way that people of all ages can understand. Clone or not, All-New Wolverine definitely has soul.

    Dept. H Vol. 1: Pressure
    By: Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt
    Not your average murder mystery! An in depth(see what I did there) story taking place on a deep sea research station. Family, lies, secrets and creatures make for a spectacular, well-paced adventure.

    Steven Universe & Crystal Gems Vol. 01
    By: Josceline Fenton, Chrystin Garland, Kat Leyh
    They are the Crystal Gems. They always save the day! If you think they can’t. Here is proof that they always find a way!

    Monstress Vol. 1
    By: Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
    A fascinating look at an alternate 1900’s Asia where monsters of god-like power are normal. Witness the journey of one teenage girl struggling to survive while trying to tame her own MONSTER.

    Black Panther Vol. 01 Nation Under Our Feet
    By: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze
    Wakanda under the microscope. On the brink of civil war, treason and terrorist attacks ensue in T’Challa’s homeland. Witness Black Panther fight to save his country from all fronts.

    Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Vol. 01
    By: Kyle Higgins, Jorge Corona, Goni Montes
    “It’s Morphin Time!” This fantastic new series starts after the Green with Evil Saga. Takes us through a different path from the show, one that keeps it at the top of my reading every month. Perfect for fans new and old.

    Saga Vol. 6
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
    Set three years after the end of Vol. 5, our story opens with Hazel in kindergarten. For a story that’s followed a family on the run through space since issue 1, Vol 6 shows them living a domestic and stationary life for the first time…and it doesn’t go too well for them. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples continue to be a dominating power tag team.

    Sheriff Of Babylon Vol. 01 Bang Bang Bang
    By: Tom King, Mitch Gerads, John Paul Leon
    Currently known for his fantastic work on Batman, Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s The Sherriff of Babylon, is a suspenseful crime noir tale set in Bagdad circa 2003. King’s CIA experience in addition to Gerad’s life-like art style gives this series the accolades it deserves.

    Beauty Vol. 01
    By: Jason Hurley, Jeremy Haun
    The first STD that people actually WANT! In this world, The “Beauty”, transforms your body into its most beautiful version. People are literally dying to get it but the public is unaware of the side effects. Detectives Vaughn and Foster are on the case.

    Faith Vol. 01 Hollywood & Vine
    By: Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Jele Kevic-Djurdjevic
    Starting off as a side character in Harbinger back in 2014, we were given a full ongoing series of Faith Herbert this year. Written by the wonderful Jody Houser. This is a series meant for Fan-boys/girls, as Faith herself is as much of a geek as we are.

    Gotham Academy Vol. 03 Yearbook
    By: Brenden Fletcher, Moritat, Mingjue Helen Chen
    Our favorite students go back after their adventures last year, telling tales before everything went to chaos. Gotham Academy is an all-ages series perfectly suited for those wanting to move to Gotham, but are not old enough to drive there.

    Legend of Zelda Legendary Ed GN Vol. 01 Ocarina Time
    By: Akira Himekawa
    Viz does it again. While this is a reprint, if you’ve never read the Manga adaptation of the celebrated N64 game Ocarina of Time, this is a perfect time. Collecting vol 1 and 2, You get the complete tale.

    DON’T FORGET TO VOTE BY THE 31ST

    Honorable Mentions

    2016 had so many amazing titles that it was nearly impossible for us to narrow it down to 25. With that in mind, here are some honorable mentions of books that you should definitely check out. Odds are they made your own personal top 25.

    Batman Vol. 1 I Am Gotham
    By: Tom King, David Finch
    Gotham City has two new heroes, Gotham and Gotham Girl. With these super powered saviors doing what Batman can’t, is he really what Gotham City needs anymore?

    The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 04 Kissed Squirrel Liked It
    By: Ryan North, Erica Henderson
    I an age of dark and gritty superheroes, The Unbeatable Squirrel decides to have fun with the universe it lives in instead. Be prepared to smile.

    Dark Knight: A True Batman Story
    By: Paul Dini, Eduardo Risso
    Legendary Batman writer, Paul Dini, was beaten within an inch of his life. This autobiographical tale shows just how these iconic characters like Batman can get us through the darkest of times.

    Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse
    By: Chris Roberson, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Wes Dzioba, Dan Dos Santos
    Set after the events of the previous series, Leaves on the Wind, No Power in the ‘Verse continues the tale of our favorite Browncoats

    I Am a Hero Omnibus Volume 1
    By: Kengo Hazawa
    A slightly crazy artist, and one of the few people in Japan that actually owns a gun, is neck deep in the zombie apocalypse.

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    Black Friday Deals and Doorbusters

    Our Black Friday Sale is going strong, with over 700 products selling out in the past few days! This is our best sale of the year, so be sure to shop now for the best selection.

    Starting 11/25 at 6:00AM (PST), our 60% discount increases to a 70% discount on remaining items + we’ll be adding the doorbuster deals listed below.

    Quantities are extremely limited. TFAW uses a live inventory, meaning items are not reserved until you complete your order. Items may sell out if another user completes their order first. Savings may differ at Things From Another World retail stores.

    Join us for Black Friday here online at TFAW.com!

    Get amazing deals right from the comfort of your own home! Save 70% off thousands of items during our Black Friday Sale starting (6AM PST) November 25th.

    DEALS START AT 6AM PST BLACK FRIDAY!

    Doorbusters starting at $4.99!

    Witcher Volume 1: House of Glass TPB
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    World of The Witcher HC
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    Witcher 3 Figure: Geralt
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    Retail Price: $29.99
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    Paper Girls TPB Vol. 1
    Retail Price: $9.99
    Doorbuster: $4.99
    Doctor Strange: The Oath HC (LCSD 2016 Exclusive)
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    Legend of Zelda GN Vol. 1 Ocarina Time
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    Doctor Who Travels In Time Coloring Book
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    Flash An Adult Coloring Book TPB
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    Faber-Castell Triangular Colored EcoPencils – 24 CT
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    March GN Book 1
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    Incal HC New Printing
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    Over The Garden Wall TPB Miniseries
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    Star Munchkin Deluxe Edition
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    Action Base Mini (2 pack)
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    SDCC 2016 Exclusive Captain Marvel PVC Figure
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    SDCC 2016 Exclusive Spider-Gwen PVC Figure
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    SDCC 2016 Exclusive Catwoman Noir Vinyl Figure
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    SDCC 2016 Exclusive Dark Knight Returns Bank
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    Limited quantities available on doorbusters so log in early.

    Get your Black Friday savings (6AM PST) November 25th through November 27th!

    SHOP NOW & SAVE 60% ON BLACK FRIDAY DEALS

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    Heroes From Another World

    In the canon of comic book characters there are classic heroes like Superman and Batman, but there are also some off-center heroes that are not exactly the typical tights-wearing dogooders.

    These characters not of this world and ones who have more in common with classic monsters than masked vigilantes. However, their outsider status frequently grants them the ability to comment on humanity differently than their more conventionally human counterparts.

    Let’s start with the tragedy of Dr. Alec Holland, or as he’s better known to readers–Swamp Thing. Holland is a brilliant biologist working on a top-secret bio-restorative formula in the swamps of Louisiana. When a bomb planted in his lab goes off, Holland is splashed with burning chemicals and he runs into the swamp. The muck of the swamp merges with the chemicals and turns Holland into the moss-covered hero he has been ever since.

    Man or Monster?

    swamp-thingOriginally created by comic book legends Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, the original Swamp Thing stories deal in traditional monster tropes. We see Swamp Thing do battle with the mad scientist Arcane and his mutated UnMen, there are angry villagers, giant robots, and even a werewolf. Wein does manage to weave in a story about Holland trying to reclaim his humanity as an undercurrent in the fairly pulpy horror stories.

    Writer Alan Moore brought this undercurrent of humanity to the surface when he took over the book in 1984. Moore reconceived the character as a part monster that had been imbued with memories of Dr. Alec Holland. By inverting the story of a man made into a monster to monster made into a man, Moore created a metaphysical tale of character dichotomy. This change in creative direction brought a whole new audience to DC’s horror tale.

    Swamp Thing has changed creative hands a number of times in his four decades of history. The likes of Mark Millar, Brian K. Vaughn, Grant Morrison, and Scott Snyder have all added to his character development. With the ongoing struggle between man and monster and the trippy mythology gifted to him by Moore, Swamp Thing presents different creators with the chance to tell deeply human and emotional stories in the world of the macabre and the supernatural.

    Defining Deadman and Redemption

    deadmanSwamp Thing is not DC’s only undead superhero. Five years before Alec Holland fell into that swamp, readers were introduced to the aptly named Deadman. Created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino, Deadman is the ghost of acrobat Boston Brand who was murdered during one of his acts. The Hindu god Rama Kushna gives Brand’s spirit the power to possess any living being. With this power and his new superhero identity as Deadman, he sets out to track down the man who killed him, a mysterious figure known only as “The Hook.”

    Much like Swamp Thing, it would be another comic book luminary not involved with the initial creation of the character who would come to define Deadman. Writer/Artist Neal Adams took over creative duties in the second issue and not only brought his legendary high detail art, but a new depth to Boston Brand’s story. In Swamp Thing, Alec Holland is an altruistic scientist trying to better humanity with his experiment. For all intents and purposes, Holland is a straight ahead good guy. Boston Brand on the other hand is not exactly a bad guy but he has cold streak of selfishness. He’s ruthlessly focused on keeping the circus business alive often at the expense of the feelings of his fellow performers.

    By creating a character that in life was not the greatest person, Deadman became a story of redemption. Brand was always seeking revenge on his killer, but he couldn’t resist using his newfound abilities to help people as well. This aspect of the character was made explicitly clear when he was rebooted for DC’s New 52. The creative team of Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang added a new wrinkle to Deadman’s mythology. He must use his powers to help people in order to atone for his selfish life or be forced to spend eternity forever in limbo between life and death. The core of Deadman’s character becomes clear, this is a guy who has been given a second chance. The human urge to rectify one’s past behavior is a palpable and very emotional undercurrent to a story about a superhero who can possess people’s bodies.

    Hellboy Seeks Humanity

    Another otherworldly hero with a slightly different streak of humanity thahellboyn those mentioned before is Dark Horse’s Hellboy. The brainchild of writer/artist Mike Mignola, Hellboy is a half demon, half human who was born in hell. Unlike Swamp Thing or Deadman, Hellboy comes from another world and is brought into ours. As opposed to Alec Holland or Boston Brand trying to reclaim their humanity, Hellboy seeks a humanity that he was not born with. Hellboy though monstrous in appearance combats monsters and other supernatural evil for an organization called the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (or BPRD).

    Hellboy presents a character that rebels against his supposed destiny. He was created by evil to enact evil. His right hand is meant to bring about the end of the world. Hellboy chooses to ignore his destiny and instead lives a blue-collar lifestyle of a cop or a plumber, albeit one who combats demons and monsters for a living.

    Almost everyone has at one point or another in their life wondered about their place in the world or grappled with other people’s intentions for them. Most people probably don’t have apocalyptic prophecies connected to them, but Hellboy is a comic book after all.

    Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in varying degrees of being alive. However, humanity is at the core of all these stories. Whether it’s the struggle to regain humanity or a quest to understand humanity, it becomes clear that being human is not related to physical features. In fact, the most physically monstrous can often have the most emotionally complex and human of stories.

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    All New Wolverine has a Freaky Friday

    New Comic Book Day August 31st 2016

    For New Comic Book Day this week All New Wolverine Snikts her first Annual as does DC Comics Bombshells, war wages on in Saga, and Dark Horse’s first issue of World of Tanks explodes onto the scene. Remember these 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 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.

    DC Comics Bombshells Annual comics at TFAW.com

    DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1
    By: Marguerite Bennett, Elsa Charretier, Terry Dodson

    I have to say, I had the biggest grin on my face after I finished reading the DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1. It’s got everything – new characters, beautiful and artistic poetry, great action, and fun, flirty humor combined with lots of heart that has become the trademark tone of the series. In this extra-long issue, Amanda Waller enlists the brilliant Frankie Charles to find a former Bombshell, long ago disappeared: Batgirl! Waller knows that Batgirl will be invaluable to the Bombshells’ plans, but after a major loss, Babs went down a dark and twisted path and has become something much stranger – and more dangerous than she ever was before. Only Frankie has the guts, smarts, and savvy to carry off what could either be a rescue operation – or a suicide mission.

    This issue introduces new DC characters that will pump you up (I liked them so much that I even forgot for awhile about how I wish they’d bring in Hawkgirl already). Featuring clever, fast-paced writing by Marguerite Bennett that builds the universe up and bonds you even more to the characters and their story. This is definitely one of my favorite issues of this series (we’re 16 issues in as of press date, for those of you who are just joining us). The art, by Elsa Charretier and Terry Dodson is some of the most cohesive and gorgeous the series has had in recent times. The surprising, amazing line on the last page, well, let’s just say it drops like a bombshell. Don’t miss this giant-sized DC Comics Bombshells Annual! [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    All New Wolverine Annual comics at TFAW.com

    All New Wolverine Annual #1
    By: Tom Taylor, Marcio Takara, Cameron Stewart

    It has been a rough year for Laura, the All New Wolverine. She helped her cloned sisters hunt down a group of trained killers, teamed up with Squirrel Girl to take on some baddies, and dove headlong into Fin Fang Foom (like, inside his mouth) to rescue the original 616-Wolverine. On top of that, she’s stepped up to train and raise her clone/sister Gabby – but at least she got a pet wolverine named Jonathan (a gift from Squirrel Girl) out of it all.

    In this truly fun annual issue, you get to see what happens when you cross Wolverine and Spider-Gwen Freaky Friday style. What will happen when Gwen Stacy is thrown into the body of Wolverine, and how will she adapt to the new sets of powers and the loss of her old? How will Laura deal with her new super-strength and being part of a band? Oh, and not to give too much away, but there’s a Wolverine version of Spider-Ham named Wolver-Hampton! I need a book with just him running around with Jonathan the Unstoppable (Laura’s pet wolverine) like they were in a seventies cop drama. All that being said, do yourself a favor and get all covers to All New Wolverine Annual #1, and then read them all, it’s well worth it! [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    World of Tanks comics at TFAW.com

    World of Tanks #1
    By: Garth Ennis, Carlos Ezquerra, Michael Atiyeh, Isaac Hanford

    Garth Ennis being no stranger to comics about war. It’s only fitting that he’s teamed up again with Carlos Ezquerra, to give us another fantastic series surrounding WWII and the battles people faced. World of Tanks #1 reads more like Ennis’ other series Battlefields rather than War Stories. It’s more about the fight they’re in, rather than the characters themselves.

    In this first issue, we get our setup – an untested greenhorn British crew go up against one of the toughest German tanks in history. Will they be able to overtake them? Time will only tell.

    With Carlos at the helm of art, he gave this issue a silver-age war story style, and it fits perfectly. One of the key items that draws you into this book – and really all Garth Ennis war books – is his use of slang. Reading the characters dialgue while they use slag of WWII creates the environment quite well. As a War Stories reader, I was quite thrilled with World of Tanks #1 and am looking forward to the second issue. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Saga comics at TFAW.com

    Saga #37
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    After a three month hiatus, Saga is back! The famous team, Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan beautifully start the new arc for this series. We last left off at Hazel escaping a refugee prison and her parents practically ripping apart their marriage and universe to find her! In this issue, we open up with a napping Hazel and her two adoring parents, Alana and Marko – and end with more questions!

    We get to see what our favorite characters have been up to and how much everyone has grown. This issue slowly opens to a new problem our favorite couple and friends will have to face. Whatever could that be?! Pick up a copy of Saga #37 today to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

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

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    Review: Y The Last Man

    Review of Y the Last man vol 1

    Y The Last Man Deluxe Edition HC coverA few years ago I met a cat and a woman named Sophia. Both played hard-to- get and both demanded my attention. I was cat-sitting for a friend who had left me clear instructions to spend some time with Sophia. To that end, the owner had left a stack of colorful, oversized paperback books with a post-it note that read, “Read these.”

    Well, Sophia wasn’t responding to me, so I decided to check out this graphic novel which Stephen King professed was, “The best graphic novel I’ve ever read.” I was hooked quickly by Brian K. Vaughan’s writing style: crisp and relatable. Minor and major characters had layers of depth very early on, surprising me constantly. The art guided me through a gripping story that, I admit, had me solidly committed during the complicated love story between Yoric, the main character, and Sophia, the girl-from-the-farm.

    When I read books (without graphics) I don’t see the story unfold in my head like a movie. When movie adaptations come out and the Internet buzzes with, “That’s not at all how I pictured her,” I shrug. I am just not that attached to those details, but moreso with the character’s relationships to each other and the world they inhabit. I want to see the big picture direction of it all. I want to understand how they overcome an obstacle, thwarted a plan, or suffered a setback. All this and more guided me through over 1200 pages of Y: The Last Man with joy and delight for this new (to me) medium.

    Honestly, if the first graphic novel I ever picked up was not as well written, I may have written off the genre entirely. With any medium, it’s important to put your best foot forward when introducing yourself to a new reader, and for that I thank my friends and their cat Sophia immensely. That’s not to say that Y: The Last Man was perfect. There is an entire story arc that I just didn’t get, or maybe didn’t get me. I was anxious for the military sections to just go away for a while. They were overbearing, residue of a male dominated old world that no longer existed in the story.

    The main character is a man, the last man, thus the book is flooded with interesting female characters, not restricted by their relationships to Yorick, but rather the other way around, where they push and pull him through a crazy story and a deeply flawed family history. It was a refreshing twist that I think many readers who may not call themselves feminists would easily relish within the story, no questions asked. I love that.

    Since finishing the graphic novel, I played it safe for a while, sticking to other works by Mr. Vaughan such as the graphic short story equivalent Pride of Baghdad and the ongoing Saga series. As I got more comfortable, I ventured into the unknown of Denver Comic Con‘s Artist Valley, with limited success, but was rejuvenated once again by my local library’s collection. I Hate Fairyland had me giddy with fluffin laughter, and Serenity: Leaves on the Wind has brought me back to a world I forgot I missed. To think, it all started with two very important females named Sophia.

    Y: The Last Man, story by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Pia Guerra and J. G. Jones. First published in 2002.

    Review by Mario Lurig.

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    Review: Saga #35

    saga #35Like in most issues of the space opera Saga, the characters and storylines in issue #35 can seem to be scattered and disjointed. And, like in most issues of “Saga,” Brian K. Vaughan manages to keep the reader engaged in the story and invested in the characters throughout the intertwining storylines and character arcs. As always, Fiona Staples draws some of the most unique and expressive characters in the industry, and the way Hazel’s look continues to progress so organically continues to be one of the outstanding aspects of her work.

    Picking up from issue #34, Doff and Upsher are coerced by The Will to find out Robot IV’s probable whereabouts from the less-than-savory nightclub owner Zlote. Robot IV, however, is on board Marko and Alana’s as an unwilling participant in their plan to get to Landfall to rescue Hazel. Meanwhile, Noreen has recovered and plans to help Hazel escape from the Landfallian detention center, but she and Hazel must convince Klara that it is in the girl’s best interest.

    The Will arrives at Robot IV’s hideaway and discovers the prince’s son Squire. As he contemplates what to do with the young Robot, Ghüs shows up to intervene…

    Saga #35, written by Brian K. Vaughn, art by Fiona Staples. Published by Image Comics.

    Review by Robb McKinney.

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for the Fight Club 2 Finale, X-Men ’92, Saga & More

    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.

     	
Fight Club 2 comics at TFAW.com Fight Club 2 #10
    By: Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart, David Mack

    The End. With Tyler seemingly seizing control, Sebastian and all of Tyler’s followers are hunkered down with the world’s most precious art in a salt mine and the world is ending. Tyler won. We start over.

    Not quite. What happens after, is a weird twist/ex-machina, that turns the written world of Fight Club into our own. Seemly putting Palahniuk on the stand for the crime of his own creation. Fans were not liking the way things turn out to force themselves to create “a better” ending.

    It’s a great finish for Fight Club 2, a series that took on a life of its own from fans of the film and book. Chuck gives this an existential twist that really makes you think about not only the original story and what it meant, but the purpose of literature. To be free. To become something else entirely. To escape. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    X-Men ’92 #1
    By: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Alti Firmansyah, David Nakayama

    If you love the classic X-Men with mesmerizing art, then this comic is definitely the one for you! When there’s a big shakeup like the one we just had in the Marvel Universe (Marvel’s Ultimate Universe died), it’s always nice to go back to the classics.

    The series starts off with Hank McCoy’s first day of teaching and he’s already late! He finally arrives and just as he’s about to start teaching he is interrupted by Maverick bursting through the window with a frantic warning to the X-Men. Shortly after, the X-Men are fighting The People’s Protectorate. Omega Red wants top secret information that Maverick has! What information does Maverick possibly have that causes a war outside of the school?! You’ll just have to read X-Men ’92 #1 to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

     	
Aquaman comics at TFAW.com Aquaman #50
    By: Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund

    Let’s play a bit of catch-up before we jump into Aquaman #50: it has been decided that Atlantis should establish an embassy to the surface world to present land dwelling humans with a bridge between cultures, with Mera serving as the perfect public face for Atlantis in her new role as Aquawoman.

    In this issue, Aquaman must face a new mysterious force that is capable of coming through any water like a portal, whether it be a swimming pool on top of a skyscraper, a fountain in the middle of town, a puddle in the road, and this foe comes from a dark new place where we are likely to see more from in the future.

    Of course, Aquaman will do whatever he can to save the day for any threat intent on harming the innocent, and he does so with the moral compass of a great King. He’s not only regal, and willing to protect all life, but he does so without becoming hardened to the darkness of our world. Fantastic story for our hero, and this issue gives me high hopes for the future of the King of Atlantis. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Saga #35
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    In the last issue of Saga, we left off with Marco and Alana finding Prince Robot IV and Ghus (and of course Friendo) and coming up with a crazy plan to go rescue Hazel and Marco’s mother, Klara, from a Landfall prison. Meanwhile, The Will has kidnapped journalists Upsher and Doff to find the whereabouts of the person that killed The Stalk. In the midst of all that, Hazel is caught between her grandmother trying to protect her and her schoolteacher trying to break her out of the prison…

    In this new, exciting issue of Saga, we learn about the plan that Marco, Alana, and Prince Robot make as journey to find Hazel and Klara. Prince Robot wavers between helping them or turning them in to get back his former life as royalty. The Will struggles with working with his new captives get the much-needed information he needs to exact his revenge — oh, and The Stalk (who is still very dead) is egging him on to kill everyone that gets in his way. What is in store for Hazel? Will her teacher get her safely out? Will her parents be able to rescue her? Will their attempts tragically fail? You’ll find out this and much more in this amazing issue of Saga, written by the iconic Brian K. Vaughan and featuring the beautiful, one-of-a-kind art of Fiona Staples. [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

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

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Deadpool, Paper Girls, Detective Comics & Spider-Man

    There are a lot of heroics in this week’s reviews, but also a bit of mystery. We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. This is the fourth of our seven-part series of New Comic Book Day blog articles.

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep as many spoilers under our hats as possible, but a nugget may sneak through to our reviews.

     	
Paper Girls comics at TFAW.com Paper Girls #5
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang

    This issue of Paper Girls is packed with a ton of story that will help to form the next issues and story arcs to come.

    So many questions are answered as we finally find out who Erin’s mysterious teenage saviors are. Are they friends or foes? Will they help Erin back to her fellow paper girls? Who is the mysterious leader behind the adults hunting the younger generation, and why would they go to all these extremes to catch these kids?

    As always, Brian K. Vaughan does it again with an amazing story out of left field that keeps us on the edge of our seats, and the amazing Cliff Chiang knocks it out of the park with his unique art and visual storytelling. [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Spider-Man #1
    By: Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli

    I believe in Miles Morales!

    After facing reality bending events, Miles has to adjust to a whole new world as he joins the 616 Marvel Universe continuity after proving himself in the Ultimate Marvel Universe.

    The balance of school, social life, and superheroics proves difficult for our hero, as it did for underdog Peter Parker, but Miles has come in to the main Marvel universe swinging!

    The art is top notch, and the foundation for a long game story is being set out from the start. While not a great jumping-on point for those with no experience with the character, it is a solid introduction. Plus it gives ample reasoning for going back to check out Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and the Spider-Men crossover event to witness the great hero that is Miles Morales. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Deadpool Mercs for the Money #1
    By: Cullen Bunn, Salva Espin

    From the writer of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe and the artist that gave us Mrs. Deadpool, comes an absolutely wacky filled first issue of Deadpool and the Mercs for Money!

    Deadpool has rounded up a group of the finest misfits to do what he loves and does best: Cracking one-liners while kicking butt and getting paid for it! He leads this misfit group on a simple mission: retain this mysterious box from a research facility and give it to the people that paid them. However, if anyone knows anything about this Merc with the Mouth, it’s that nothing ever seems to go his way exactly. The Mercs with the Money’s curiosity peaks and they just have to see what is in the crate they are transporting.

    What is it??? What makes this so important??? Well, you will be just as shocked as I was. Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin definitely are headed in the right direction with this Deadpool series. I rate it 10/10 chimichangas! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

    Detective Comics #49
    By: Peter J. Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin, Matt Ryan, Chris Sotomayor, Wes Abbott

    We’ve always known Bruce Wayne as Batman, but the recent events we’ve seen in Batman and Detective Comics thrust Jim Gordon into the cape and cowl. Tomasi is striking gold here in a story that puts the new Batman squarely in an existential crisis. Jim’s always worked inside the confines of the law, but when a cold-case from his past comes calling, he begins to question his beliefs and ideals in conjunction with the liberties that come along with the suit.

    Pasarin’s makes great use of space in this issue, and the city really stars as another character in what could otherwise easily turn into a “kick-punch” book full of non-stop action. I’m also really enamored by Chris Sotomayor’s colors on this issue. I think you’ll dig it. [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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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 4 of 5 – Image Comics

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    Now that we’re firmly in the new year, and the effects from the champagne have worn off, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released last year. What follows is the fourth in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ll be posting through January 6. Missed the earlier installments? Check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Superheroes are all well and good, but if you want to dig your teeth into something with a little more meat, creator-owned series are where it’s at. With series for virtually any taste, Image Comics really pushed hard in 2015 to draw us in and captivate us.

    The Best of Image Comics (in no particular order):

    Rat Queens
    By: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Stjepan Šejić, Roc Upchurch

    Looking for a fantasy comic that is different than all the others? Like, WAY different? Good. Pick up Rat Queens. This book has all the classic high-adventure elements you would expect and so much more. Led by a cast of strong female characters, each issue is violent and vulgar but also has more heart than most series on the stands. Similarly, each of the four Rat Queens are fully realized, complex characters. They feel like real people, which is something many series seem to struggle with.

    But who are the Rat Queens? Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty are a raucous, drunken, crass group of mercenaries and your new best friends. They are the Dungeons and Dragons party you wish you had. This book is a fantastic ride that you should hop on as soon as possible to see for yourself! So many people have thanked us for bringing them on board this series. [Jeff B. at Portland TFAW]

    Birthright
    By: Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan

    After their youngest boy Mikey goes missing in the woods, the Rhodes family is torn apart. A year passes and someone shows up that looks like Conan knowing a little too much about the disappearance of little Mikey.

    If you haven’t picked up Birthright by Joshua Williamson (Ghosted, Nailbiter, Illuminati) you are sorely missing out. One of Image’s best series continues this past year as we figure out about what happened to Mikey, and what could happen to our world.

    I don’t read a ton of fantasy comics, but this one got me hooked from issue one. I’ve introduced this book to people who don’t typically read comics and comics fans who don’t really like fantasy series, and they’ve all come back and told me that they can’t stop reading this book. It’s wholly engrossing and transcends genres.

    The first two volumes are available for order, and I can tell you the series has only gotten better with time. I can’t wait to see where Joshua Williamson takes us next. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Bitch Planet comics at TFAW.com Bitch Planet
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV, Cris Peter, Clayton Cowles, Rian Hughes, Lauren McCubbin

    Taking a page from the sexploitation flicks of the ’60s and ’70s and borrowing from the best that the sci-fi genre has to offer, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet is one of the best comic book series on the shelves right now. DeConick knows how to tell a violent, gripping story with gravitas, and is particularly talented when it comes to writing complex characters.

    This series is all about power. The power we give up to others. The internal strength that one can tap in to. Societal power that forces us into different roles. Bitch Planet more than a comic book at this point. The team has expertly created a movement of Non-Compliance, and I can’t wait to see where they lead us. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Fables comics at TFAW.com

    Saga
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    What more can be said of perhaps the best series out there? If the shelf full of awards Saga has won, it’s constant presence bestseller lists, or the series’ amazing reviews hasn’t convinced you to check it, out this blog won’t either. But seriously, go read Saga. Like, right now. We’ll wait… finished it yet? All caught up? Good. It’s awesome right?!

    What other series blends fantasy and science fiction so seamlessly? What other series has such visionary art? What other series possesses the sheer charm of Saga? Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples come together and make a truly unique universe. It’s a crazy one, filled with robot royalty, magic using satyr people, dragons, living spaceships and GHUS! Oh and intergalactic space wrestling. Can’t forget that.

    With all this insanity it’s easy to forget the best part of the series — the characters. This creative team’s real success is how endearing these characters are, even the “villains”. Nearly every issue has an incredibly compelling cliffhanger that has us readers on an emotional rollercoaster. And just like the intergalactic space wrestling, we live and die with these characters every issue. [Dustin K. at Universal TFAW]

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com The Wicked & The Divine
    By: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, ‎Matt Wilson

    Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie sucked me in, and I’ve been waiting with baited breath for each and every issue of The Wicked and The Divine, or WicDiv for short. There’s a huge cast of characters to follow, and Gillen’s world-building ability rivals J.R.R. Tolkein and George R.R. Martin.The series centers around two themes: Death and Fame.

    The twelve (or possibly 13?) Gods are reincarnated on Earth every 90 years to to fight the world’s darkness, but the kicker is that they only have two years–after that, they’re dead. Fame is also a strong theme in the series. These Gods are both famous and infamous. Adored and revered. Hated and envied.Fantastic story aside, I swoon every time I crack open the newest issue.

    McKelvie is a wickedly talented storyteller in his own right, with panel construction and linework that consistently has me taking a moment to think about what I’ve just seen. This series is also evidence that Matt Wilson is one of the best colorists in the industry. I can’t get enough of this series. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting our final Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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    October Product Review Contest Winners Announced!

    Wow! Thanks to everyone who submitted amazing product reviews last month. As part of our monthly Product Review Contest, we’ve picked people who submitted product reviews and are awarding $25 gift certificates to the people who posted them.

    Nate from Longview, WA is the first of this month’s winners. Here’s his review for Saga TPB Vol. 01:

    I’m late to the party, so I picked up the TPB and found out what everybody else has known for months. The characters are amazing and the creativity of the art is stellar! Get on board this book asap !

    Robert from Cartagena, Colombia also wrote a review that caught our eye. His
    review of Rachel Rising: Shadow Of Death TPB Vol. 01 was short, but it got us interested in the book:

    I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. I picked it up based on Terry Moore’s name alone and I don’t regret it for a second. Quirky, humorous, mysterious. The list goes on. This is a series I’ll be following for sure.

    Amber from Hedgesville, WV wrote this review last month of Dark Horse’s Dragon Age: Those Who Speak #2.

    As with the previous comics, the artwork is colorful and vibrant and really brings these characters to life. It was nice to see some development in the character of Isabela, as she had seemed somewhat one-dimensional, shallow and selfish up until now. Can’t wait to see how this story unfolds!

    Thanks so much to everyone to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to read (or not to read) next.

    So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors, and us, sort out the “HOT” from the “NOT”! Who knows, you may be one of next month’s winners.

    HOW TO SUBMIT A PRODUCT REVIEW:
    It’s simple! Just visit any product page and look for this:

    Click on it and our product review form will appear in a popup. Just fill out the pertinent information and submit your review, and you’re done! We’ll take a look at your review and get it up on the product page soon thereafter!

    There’s also a really easy way for you to call up everything you’ve ever ordered from us and review it. Simply log in to your account and go into the Order History Section. Next to each item, you’ll see a “Review it!” link.

    Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

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    Comic Book Reviews: Saga, X-Men Season One, Superboy

    Watch Video Reviews of This Week’s Comics!

    Hope you’re ready for another great edition of our weekly comic book reviews. This week we review Saga #1, Superboy #7, X-Men Season One, and the Star Wars silicone molds.

    Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! We try not to go into too much detail in our reviews, but occasionally a spoiler slips through!

    X-Men Season One

    SEE ALL OF THIS WEEK’S COMICS AND MORE

    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

    Please share this video on Facebook and any other social media outlet of your choosing. What should we review next week? Post your comments below!

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