Tag: Jason Aaron

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    Mighty Thor Faces a Big Challenge From the Gods

    When the gods are fighting each other, ’tis best to get out of their way. That is Thor’s current predicament in Mighty Thor#16.

    The thunder goddess was previously kidnapped and delivered to the Shi’ar gods Sharra and K’ythri. Wanting to flaunt their dominance over their Norse rival, the pair challenges Thor to a contest. While Thor has no interest in these godly games, the Shi’ar threaten to destroy Earth, leaving the goddess little choice.

    Writer Jason Aaron deftly handles the divine dialogue among the three through a combination of highbrow philosophy with some lowbrow humor thrown in. “So begins the kicking of thine hindquarters,” Thor says at one point. But Aaron’s words break new ground for a comic book series as Mighty Thor wrestles with the nature of being a god.

    The Mighty Thor #17
    Pre-Order The Mighty Thor #17

    Not All Gods are Equal

    The Shi’ar gods have little regard for their worshippers. They are merely pawns in a game. Thor knows about suffering all too well, as her alter ego Jane Foster is dying of cancer. She risks her life to defend the people Sharra and K’ythri put into harm’s way because it’s the right thing to do–even though they don’t pay tribute to her.

    Artist Russell Dauterman and colorist Matthew Wilson make a great tag team. There are magnificent close-up battles from Dauterman. And Wilson clearly delineates the many worlds we visit in this issue, from the pastels of the Shi’ar’s M’Kraan Palace to the earth tones of the Asgardian throne room to the blackness of deep space.

    But it’s the richness of the characters–particularly the female ones in Thor and Sif–that make the story special. Thor’s quest to accept the burden of being a god–and to cure herself–make the series worth following.

    THE CHALLENGE OF THE GODS RAGES ON. PRE-ORDER MIGHTY THOR #17

    Mighty Thor #16, Marvel Comics, Released February 15, 2017, Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Russell Dauterman, Color by Matthew Wilson, Lettering by VC’s Joe Sabino; $3.99.

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    NCBD Gets Loose (Ends) With the Southern Bastards Team

    NCBD Jan 25th 2017

    It’s New Comic Book Day and we’re bringing you some great books from DC, Image, Marvel and Dark Horse! Remember these are just a few of the amazing books 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.

    Loose Ends #1
    By: Jason Latour, Chris Brunner, Rico Renzi

    Similar to Jason Latour and Chris Brunner other series Southern Bastards, this southern based crime mini-series kicks off with intriguing characters. Although not out the gate the what’s going on, by then end of the issue it’s clear what’s happening. I enjoyed the pace of this issue. Set in a practically empty bar on a North Carolina night. Our cast is small, but you get this feeling that you’ve seen these people before and are watching it unfold.

    Only a 4 part series Jason writes in the back of the book that this story has taken him almost a decade to write. Chris Brunner shows us similar line work to Southern Bastards, but Rico Renzi’s colors pop out more in this series. As a lover of crime comics, I’m looking forward to seeing where this Southern Crime Romance goes. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    FIND OUT WHERE THE LOOSE ENDS GO

    Batgirl #7
    By: Hope Larson, Chris Wildgoose, Mat Lopes

    Son of Penguin Part 1 finds Barbara returning to Burnside after her trip through Asia. What she finds though is that her in the wake of her starting up Gordon Clean Energy, the neighborhood has quickly gentrified. Rent has doubled, local shops have been pushed out, and the view of the homeless situation is potentially deadly. At the center of it all, the son of Penguin, Ethan Cobblepot…who’s kinda hot.

    Hope Larson captures the new tone of the Batgirl books perfectly. She makes it feel familiar but also shows she’s not afraid to take us somewhere new. Chris Wildgoose handles the pencils and inks, and his pacing and style mix perfectly with Larson’s. Together they create an intriguing story that is not only fun but makes good social commentary on a lot of modern issues. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    ONCE AGAIN, DC PROVIDES ANOTHER ISSUE THAT’S A PERFECT JUMPING ON POINT FOR NEW READERS.

    Star Wars #27
    By: Jason Aaron, Salvador Larroca, Edgar Delgado, Stuart Immonen

    As teased in the previous issue, this issue is a story that Luke is reading from Obi-Wan’s journal, and not just that, but a story that Yoda told Obi-Wan that he’s now relaying. Yoda is responding to a distress call, only to discover a tribe of children with a very unique stone that is strong in the Force. Yoda, being the great Jedi teacher, is determined to help these kids solve the mystery of the mountain, and ultimately bring balance to the Force on the planet.

    Jason Aaron continues to weave a great Star Wars run. It’s clear that he not only wants to push the lore but also have fun with it at the same time. A strategy that has always been what makes Star Wars great. Salvador Larroca continues to show why he’s one of the consistently best and cleanest artists in the business, with visuals of Yoda that are so striking they almost feel like you’re watching a movie. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    BE ONE WITH THE FORCE AND PICK UP THIS SERIES

    Hellboy comics at TFAW.com

    Hellboy Winter Special 2017
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Scott Allie, Paul Grist, Christopher Mitten, Sebastian Fiumara, Dave Stewart, Bill Crabtree

    Packed with 3 stores from 1891, 1961 and 1979. We see different adventures of the B.P.R.D.’s earliest cases. All in connection to winter. Our first tale “The Great Blizzard” shows us how Eddie and Jewell from Rise of the Black Flame acquired a bracelet that delivers a terrible blizzard when worn. In winter 1961, our heroes are shopping for the holidays and are interrupted by a crazed Santa. Then finally in 1979 Hellboy, Liz and Abe are searching for some missing children. Finding them proves they also found something else as well.

    Hellboy Winter Special 2017 is a good read for those who are avid Hellboy readers. I’m sure there are a ton of nods to other stories that I didn’t catch, but that’s the fun of reading these issues. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    FIND ALL THE LATEST HELLBOY COMICS

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

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    Yield or Die

    Doctor Jane Foster has possibly the most awkward double life in comics. When she wields Mjölnir, Foster is the Goddess of Thunder. She has all the power of Thor. Foster reverts to her human form when she isn’t holding the mystic hammer.

    Complicating Foster’s situation is the cancer that is slowly killing her. Every time Foster transforms into Thor, all toxins are purged from her body. That includes the chemo cocktail that keeps her cancer at bay. Few even suspect the mighty god and the dying cancer patient are one and the same.

    The Asgard/Shi’ar War Story Arc Begins Here

    In The Mighty Thor #15, the gates of Asgard are breeched in spectacular fashion. Gladiator and his Shi’ar henchmen blast through Heimdall to cross Bifrost and set upon the city. The Asgardians are caught off guard by having their immovable sentry so easily dispatched.

    It is up to the Thor and the Thunder Guards to thwart the invasion. In a seemingly impossible development, the gods appear to be at a considerable disadvantage. These alien trespassers are not to be underestimated.

    Jason Aaron’s script is packed with action, but also serves to introduce and develop several characters that will be key in the upcoming arc. This is especially impressive considering that Aaron is pulling double duty here. He is also killing it with The Odinson in Unworthy Thor.

    Russell Dauterman showcases his mastery of angles and perspective in this chapter. His panels and gutters tell a story on their own. You won’t find a standard 9-panel grid anywhere in this book. As the chaos builds, Dauterman gets further and further away from ordered layouts, adding another layer of tension to the story.

    DON’T MISS A MIGHTY THOR MOMENT AND PRE-ORDER ISSUE #16 AND ISSUE #17

    The Mighty Thor #15, Marvel Comics, Released January 11, 2017, Rated T+, Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Russell Dauterman, Color by Matthew Wilson, Letters by VC’s Joe Sabino, $3.99

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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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    Millar & Capullo’s Reborn Is Just What Comics Needed

    New Comic Book Day November 16th

    Mark Millar turns his new series on its head this New Comic Book Day. Nightwing gets help with his nightmares, Doctor Strange starts a new arc, a new team of Renegades forms, and our magical cross country tour makes its first stop in Spell on Wheels. 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.

    Nightwing #9
    By: Tim Seeley, Marcio Takara

    It’s common that after story arcs end, a single story issue provides some transition from one story to the other. It’s rare though that such issues are also character defining. Nightwing provides a bit of unseen backstory on Dick Grayson–namely that he has been haunted by nightmares for some time. In an attempt to help, Superman uses Kryptonian tech to enter Nightwing’s dreams. The adventure this takes us on shows not only how important Nightwing is (as the glue of much of the DC Universe), but also how this new Superman really is the back-to-basics version of the character fans have been craving.

    Tim Seeley continues to prove his love for Nightwing. He captures the fun, but also underlying struggle the character has been having recently. It’s this kind of nuance that has always made Nightwing a compelling character. Marcio Takara’s art adds the layer of grit needed, but without this feeling like a typical dark Gotham book.

    Personally, Nightwing is not anywhere near my favorite Bat-Family character, but with how well this book is, this has consistently been one of my favorite offerings from DC’s Rebirth. The balance of well-written stories with a large helping of heart hits this old comic fan right where it counts. I highly suggest you make this a regular pull. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Reborn #2
    By: Mark Millar, Greg Capullo

    This is it folks. This is where the real journey begins. The glimpse of this realm that we received in the first issue does not prepare you for how fantastical everything is. Mark Millar, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and Fco Placencia really made something special with this issue. At first, you start to see typical tropes from this type of story but then they immediately turn that on its head!

    You get a proper explanation, a good look at the protagonist, a few great mysteries and a great segue into what I am sure will be an epic adventure full of emotion. Read on warriors! [Sean W. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN MARK MILLAR’S REBORN SERIES TODAY

    Doctor Strange #14
    By: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Al Vey, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba, Tim Townsend, Wayne Faucher, Antonio Fabela, Java Tartaglia

    The newest issue of the Doctor Strange comic book lives up to its name–Strange. Get ready to go to “all-new all-different” hell and pal around with Satana, the devil’s daughter.

    Wile the story reads like a quick scene in a larger narrative, I could see people really digging into this. Chris Bachalo’s art is whimsical and frenetic. He really shines when Strange takes on his astral form. Good stuff. Jason Aaron is taking a comical beat this issue and it’s rather fun to experience. I’ve had a lot of fun seeing Strange at his lowest, slowly dragging himself from the muck and rebuilding himself. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    SEE ALL THE NEWEST DOCTOR STRANGE COMICS & MORE

    Harbinger: Renegades #1
    By: Rafer Roberts, Darick Robertson

    A brand new #1 from the team at Valiant Entertainment. Harbinger: Renegades #1 is a new team of heroes. What looks to be fragments of the old Renegades team with some new faces. Like most team-up books, this issue sets up not only who the team will consist of, even if momentarily, but also who the villain is.

    Rafer Roberts’ writing is great; he creates a real world and gives the characters responsibilities and lives that fit within our reality more so than any other book I’ve seen lately. Darick Robertson does an amazing job with facial expressions–you really see the shock and awe in his line work. With the team just starting to come together, I’m anxiously awaiting the next issue. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Spell on Wheels #2
    By: Kate Leth, Megan Levens, Marissa Louise

    When we last left our trio of witches, they were on a road trip to get back their stolen magical items. Their first stop: Massachusetts. This issue of Spell on Wheels picks up with the gang as they meet with an old artist who purchased one of their stolen pieces. Unfortunately the package hasn’t arrived due to, you know, shipping and all. So the girls wait there until the next day for the package to arrive. Little do they know however it’s not quite that simple.

    I love the dialogue in this comic. It feels like I’m talking to a friend. Another thing I really enjoy about how Kate Leth wrote this is how strong these women are with or without magic. Next stop Connecticut! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    CHECK OUT OUR NCBD REVIEW OF SPELL ON WHEELS #1
    JOIN THIS AWESOME NEW SERIES

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

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    Thor Gets His Groove Back

    New Comic Book Day Nov 2nd

    For New Comic Book Day this week, Dark Horse Comics blows up a new issue of World of Tanks, Unworthy Thor begins, and Justice League starts a new arc “OUTBREAK.” It was hard narrowing down this week’s new releases to arrive at this week’s reviews, but that’s the job. 😉 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, folks.

    World of Tanks #2
    By: Garth Ennis, Carlos Ezquerra, Michael Atiyeh, Isaac Hanford

    After the explosive first issue, our WWII tale of a British tank team fighting against their German counterparts gets more intriguing. The comic splits up parts between the two teams, taking viewpoints from both sides. The book does an especially good job at highlighting where each team is and what pressures await on the battlefield.

    When it comes to comics about war you can’t go wrong when Garth Ennis is writing it; this series is no exception. The artist Carlos Ezquerra has worked with Ennis before on Battlefields, so the series in in highly capable hands. With a style full of grit, you can almost feel the dirt and grim on the pages.

    This series, based around the hugely popular MMO World of Tanks, is sure to satisfy you off the screen and drag you into the trenches. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    JUMP INTO THE FIGHT WITH WORLD OF TANKS

    The Unworthy Thor comics at TFAW.com

    The Unworthy Thor #1
    By: Jason Aaron, Olivier Coipel, Matthew Wilson, Russel Dauterman, Joe Sabino

    Though the reason has yet to be revealed, Thor was deemed UNWORTHY in the pages of Original Sin. He has since relinquished the name of Thor and searches for redemption as The Unworthy Thor, and the first issue of the 5-issue miniseries is a fantastic entry–great for new readers and longtime fans of Jason Aaron’s take on the character.

    For my money, there’s no better Thor writer than Jason Aaron. Period. This series is a snapshot of the Odinson at his lowest point. He’s depressed, drinking way too much, and self-loathing. This is the equivalent of a major star getting embroiled in controversy and falling from grace.

    I’m not going to ruin the issue by revealing the events of the last few pages, but I am excited to be along for the ride for what I am calling “Thor Gets His Groove Back.”

    One last thing: I’ve gushed about Aaron’s writing (albeit not as much as I want to), but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Olivier Coipel’s art and Matthew Wilson’s colors are out of this world. I’ve come to expect a lot from these artists, and that’s because they bring it. Every. Single. Issue. Highest marks for this one, true believers. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    VISIT OUR SPECIAL THOR PAGE TODAY!

    Justice League comics at TFAW.com

    Justice League #8
    By: Bryan Hitch, Neil Edwards, Fernando Pasarin

    After the Justice League’s victory over the Kindred, the team has saved the world, and although many were spared, one innocent civilian lost their life. While various members deal with what this means, someone (or something?) hacks into the Watchtower and the Batcave, ultimately putting the entire team — and the world — in danger.

    Told from the point of view of Cyborg, Bryan Hitch does a great job of demonstrating why Victor Stone is one of the most capable and underestimated additions to the League. In a world ruled by connection-based technology, the man who has access to it all could be the greatest hero, but also the most vulnerable to corruption. Neil Edwards’ pencils do a wonderful job of highlighting the somber moments, but hits with a bang in action scenes. He’s an artist who frames shots similar to the way Hitch does in his art, making them a great collaborative team.

    Justice League #8 continues to be a great book featuring the most powerful super team in comics. Be sure to pick up this great jump on point. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE TODAY

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com

    The Wicked and the Divine #23
    By: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Kevin Wada

    Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as teenagers. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.

    The team behind critically acclaimed Young Avengers and Phonogram have taken us on a hell of a ride for the past two years in The Wicked and The Divine, and the series just keeps getting better. We were able to get our hands on a copy of the WicDiv #23, and I’m here to give you the skinny on the issue and lay out the case for why this is the best series on the shelves.

    I couldn’t think of a better case study to attest to Gillen’s talents as a writer. I’ve been a fan of The Wicked and The Divine from day one, but this issue has really amplified my love of the series. I was reminded of Marvel’s Front Line series of the past decade in that this issue gives us a different perspective of characters like The Morrigan, Baal, Amaterasu, Lucifer, and Woden. I like that the team is experimenting with these one-off issues because they make the reading experience unique. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    FIND OUT WHY WICKED AND DIVINE IS BETTER THAN ANY OTHER COMIC BOOK
    BUY WICDIV COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

    Did our review spark your interest in any of these books? Have you read previous issues? Join the conversation and share your experience with us below!

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    Jessica Jones Reopens Alias Investigations

    NCBD Oct 5th

    Every Wednesday, we pick a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd for our ongoing New Comic Book Day blog series. Check out our reviews of some of this week’s best comics below and be sure to comment below or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our reviews!

    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.

    Harley Quinn #5
    By: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, John Timms

    Holy cannoli! Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti never fail to show us a new side of Harley Quinn. This issue kicks off with Harley being robbed of her personal property from Arkham.
    She isn’t the only one being robbed and since the cops can’t (or won’t) catch the perps, it’s up to our lovable wild card to take them down!

    When Harley finds out that the robbers are a part of a punk band, she just has to join in. What does one do when they need to fit in? Makeover! That’s right, Harley Quinn gets a brand new makeover and forms a band of misfits. [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    JOIN HARLEY’S ONGOING ADVENTURES TODAY!

    Jessica Jones comics at TFAW.com

    Jessica Jones #1
    By: Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, David Mack

    After the success of her Netflix series, it was only a matter of time before Jessica Jones made her way back to her own solo book. Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos are back together in this new series with the same tone and grit as their original, Alias. Be warned, Marvel is serious with that parental advisory on the cover. This one’s not an all ages book at all. The language is salty and there is a definite vibe throughout that things will get worse for Jessica long before they get better.

    The art and writing work extremely well to show a very real look at the Marvel Universe from the street level. From the general public not understanding alternate dimensions to the Champions flying overhead. (side note, Champions #1 comes out today and looks amazing, full review coming soon.)

    This is a book loaded with potential. It’s going to be dark and a bit of a downer but the characters, Bendis’ writing and Gaydos’ art this book will hook you instantly. [Dustin M at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    FOLLOW JESSICA JONES’ INVESTIGATIONS
    DISCOVER OTHER NEW MARVEL COMICS SERIES

    Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York comics at TFAW.com

    Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #1
    By: Greg Pak, Daniel Bayliss

    I never thought I’d see the day when two separate characters from John Carpenter’s filmography would come together, let alone characters played by the same person — Kurt Russel. With Boom Studios holding the comic rights to both Big Trouble in Little China and Escape From New York, it was inevitable — and I’m so glad it happened.

    The premise is pretty simple, in the world of Escape From New York, the year 2001, someone uses a magical object to bring “Snake Plisskin” across the country to help aid in a mission. Except it’s misread and instead brings good Ol’ Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China’s universe (and 1987 for that matter).

    I can’t wait to see how the rest of this 6-issue series pans out — because you know Lo Pan is going to try and work his magic to get back at Jack. [Martin M at TFAW.com]

    ORDER BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA/ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK BOOKS

    Doctor Strange #12
    By: Jason Aaron, Leonardo Romero, Kevin Nowlan

    A new story arc spinning out of the aftermath of Doctor Strange’s battle with Empirikul sees that almost all magic on Earth is gone. Because he’s now severely limited in magic power, Strange is left to rely on his massive arsenal of magical items and weapons to combat the mystical threats. Now that he’s at his weakest, Baron Mordo, who still seems to be fully powered, is making his move against Strange, who may or may not have been led to the arms of a very unlikely ally.

    Jason Aaron continues to redefine what it means to be the Sorcerer Supreme, by now recreating the good doctor as more of a magical gadgeteer, showing that he’s more than just a one magic trick pony. Chris Bachalo once again proves himself as one of the most unique pencillers, but ultimately one of the most visionary draftsmen, crafting incredibly complex flowing pages that are surprisingly easy to follow. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    THIS IS A PERFECT TIME TO JOIN DOCTOR STRANGE

    What did you think of these books? Have you been anxiously awaiting the Big Trouble in Little China / Escape From New York crossover as much as we have? Let us know below!

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    Review: Doctor Strange #10 — The Thing in the Cellar

    Review of Doctor Strange #10

    doctor strange #10The latest issue of Doctor Strange finds our hero in dire straits. Most of the magic in the world has been destroyed, leaving Stephen Strange to battle the vengeance-driven Empirikul with little more than a bow and arrow and his wit. Oh yeah, and a monster that Strange has been keeping in the basement of his Greenwich Village Sanctum Santorum for years.

    While facing almost certain death at the Empirikul’s hands, Strange shows an uncommon sense of gallows humor, thanks to Jason Aaron’s writing. “It’s bad enough you’re here to murder me and all my friends,” Strange tells him. “But you don’t have to be such a jerk about it.” It’s this lightheartedness that brings a sense of fun to the character, which in the past has been a bit too dour.

    While the premise of the Last Days of Magic story line pits Strange and other magic users like Brother Voodoo and the Scarlet Witch against the Empirikul, the real battle here is magic vs. science. It’s an interesting premise, with no clear winner at the end of the day.

    Aaron has been building to this moment since the new series began. He reminded us that magic has a price. We thought initially that only Strange had to pay that price. But it turns out he cheated, by transferring his pain and suffering to the monster. Strange must forge an uneasy truce with the thing in his cellar, convincing it that if the Empirikul kills Strange, the monster will never get its revenge.

    It’ll be fascinating to see the monster turn up in the future. And when it does, hopefully the good doctor will keep his sense of humor.

    Doctor Strange #10, Marvel Comics, Released Aug. 3, 2016, Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Chris Bachalo, Color by Chris Bachalo and Rain Beredo, Lettering by VC’s Cory Petit; $3.99.

    Review by Tom Smithyman

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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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    Review: Doctor Strange #8

    Review of Doctor Strange #8

    doctor strange last days of magic #8In case you haven’t been following my reviews of this wonderful comic-book series, let me catch you up… “No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry Humperdink in little less than half an hour” -Inigo Montoya. Heh, okay, so back on track… Writer Jason Aaron has put Doctor Steven Strange and every other magic-using hero on Earth are in a fight for their lives, but more importantly, they are fighting for the very existence of magic on our soon-to-be magicless world! An army called The Empirikul are moving from world to world and are eradicating magic in their wake of destruction of all things mystical.

    No worries, right? We have THE SORCERER SUPREME, Doctor Steven Strange, ready and waiting to defend Earth, and her magic, against all threats. Well, it just ain’t all that simple, now is it folks? No, it most certainly is not. The interdimensional science-based army is more than a force to be reckoned with. Over the span of the first seven issues, The Empirikul have successfully destroyed and/or defeated all of Earth’s greatest masters of magic, not to mention the mystical landmarks of our beloved planet.

    The truth is that there would be almost no one left to continue to fight the good fight (of saving Earth’s magic), if it weren’t for Monako, one of the Marvel Universe’s oldest magic-wielders. [For details, see my review of issue #7]. In short, Monako sacrificed himself in order to save Doctor Strange and several other key magic-users of Earth by teleporting them all away to an inaccessible cavern underground.

    So here we are, smack dab in the middle of the murdering of magic, and Doctor Strange, along with his now non-powered ex-wizards, are scouring the planet looking for shreds and scraps of magic anywhere they might be found. Will they find enough bits and bobs of magic to re-engage in battle against The Empirikul, in hopes of defeating them? “Outlook not so good” says the Magic 8-Ball. After Strange, Scarlet Witch, and Talisman gather a car-trunk-full of mystical artifacts, the consensus is that it is far from enough to even wage war, much less win it.

    Did I mention how exciting and harrowing it has been to watch Doctor Strange, who really is back to being just Steven Strange, using his muscles alone to get out of crises and avoid the ongoing chase of The Empirikul and their hunter-seeker Wolves with laser-beams that now shoot out of their eyes! Without magic, these usually mega-powered heroes and heroines are now just people and they are struggling for their lives. Why don’t they call The Avengers, you ask? Well, to put it simply, this is THEIR fight and no one else could do what needs to be done, plus Strange has an enormous amount of “magical debt” that really only he can repay.

    Even without their magic, our world’s ex-wizards are our best chance at saving magic from extinction, without a doubt. Though the potential of our heroes saving the day is looking more and more grim, issue after issue. It seems that there are no more secrets up his sleeve, and Doctor Strange is almost at wit’s-end. Even with his own teammate’s words of pessimism, he is not giving up.

    Meanwhile, back at Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, librarian Zelma Stanton and Wong, Strange’s monk sidekick, are in harm’s way as The Empirikul are there destroying magic throughout the house, including Strange’s library filled with not just books on magic, but housing books *of* magic on every shelf. Zelma is able to save only one book before Wong helps them escape to Tibet using a staff that allows them to teleport. Can one randomly selected book of magic be enough to help defend Earth?

    Chris Bachalo’s artwork is so perfectly matched to this wild and weird storyline and pushes me, panel after panel, to closely examine each picture speaking to me “a thousand words.” Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that the full-page cliffhanger image of the last page of the book is, well, . . . horrifying, to say the least. Well done, Chris! Now I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight.

    Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic: Part 3, written by Jason Aaron, art by Chris Bachalo. Published May 25, 2016.

    Review by Steve Oatney.

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    Review: Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic, Part 2

    doctor strange, last days of magic #2Doctor Steven Strange has been battling, and losing the battle, against Empirikul who seek to destroy the very existence of magic, everywhere. Earth has more than a few powerful magic-users in the Marvel universe, and even their combined magical-powers are seemingly no match for the science-based and science-powered Imperator and his “army” called Empirikul.

    In this issue, number seven, we are given a bit of the backstory of Empirikul, which, like many other hero and villain backstories, starts with the murders of the parents of the Imperator. On his homeworld, when he was younger, magic-users who worshipped the elder god Shuma-Gorath were killing anyone anyone practicing science there, including the Imperator’s parents.

    The tables have now turned and Empirikul is now doing the reverse in hunting down and killing magic-users. To that end, Empirikul binds Doctor Strange, Scarlett Witch, and other magic-users of Earth to trees and make preparations to burn them all alive, not unlike those accused of witchcraft in our own non-fictional history.

    An old magician named Monako appears in attempt to save the day. Monako is an old magic-user who made his first appearance in Daring Mystery Comics #1 in 1940 and who wears a stereotypical, and awesome, black top hat. While he may not have the power to eliminate the Empirikul threat, he DOES manage to teleport all of Earth’s magicians to safety. Just before doing so, he instructs them all to look for magic in “all the nooks and crannies.” Apparently *some* magic still exists, possibly nearby.

    Doctor Strange and the other magicians safe, at least temporarily, in some sort of subterranean cavern, but they have been left with no magic. Monako, unfortunately, suffers the burning-at-the-stake fate that he helped all of his friends to avoid. The noblest of self-sacrifices.

    Now underground, the remaining magicians, including Magik (Illyana Rasputin, sister of Piotr Rasputin, X-Men’s “Colossus”) have an outlook that is quite grim. With hardly a way to even get out of the cavern, they are pretty well convinced that even gathering up every scrap of magic in the world, as Monako instructed, will not be nearly enough to defeat Empirikul.

    Jason Aaron’s uniquely creative writing of this storyline has been nothing short of superb, up to this point. Furthermore, I expect that it is about to kick into high gear as we follow what intriguing weirdness is happening in Doctor Strange’s home “the Sanctum Sanctorum.” This perfect pairing with Chris Bachalo’s wildly artistic visual storytelling makes for one of the best comics to hit the shelves in years. Not that there haven’t been a lot of good comic-book stories, lately, because there HAVE, but this one is the cream of the crop. See for yourself.

    Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic: Part 2, written by Jason Aaron, art by Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend. Published April 27, 2016.

    Review by Steve Oatney.

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    Review: Doctor Strange #6

    doctor strange comic book #6CAN MAGIC BE KILLED?

    Not if DOCTOR STRANGE has anything to do with it!

    One of THE BEST new comic-book series on the market today is Marvel’s Doctor Strange by writer Jason Aaron with amazing artwork by Chris Bachalo, Kevin Nowlan, Tim Townsend, & team. Is it a must-read? I say emphatically, YES!

    Whether or not you are already familiar with Dr. Stephen Strange, the brilliant surgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme, you will surely love this wildly intriguing storyline helping whet our appetites for the impending film starring Benedict Cumberbatch in November.

    What’s going on in these Doctor Strange comics heading towards issue number seven? Well, a lot. You see [spoiler alert] the realms of magic, themselves, are being threatened by a mysterious force called “Empirikul,” who seek out masters of magic and mystical landmarks and are wiping them out, systematically! These incredibly powerful beings hate all things magical and are more than well equipped to battle and destroy magic wherever they find it… including here on Earth!

    Doctor Strange, arguably the most powerful magic-user on the planet, and likely the galaxy, fights for the very existence of magic with the help of Earth’s other formidable magic-users. Even with the assistance of Doctor Voodoo, Professor Xu, Mahatma Doom, Hellstorm, Koaz, Magik, Shaman, and Scarlet Witch, to name a few, our heroes more than have their work cut out for them.

    What’s that? Are they winning? Will they save magic from extinction? Well, you’ll have to pick up future issues in order to answer that question, but let’s just say [spoiler] that Doctor Strange has to drain the Earth itself of every last bit of magical energy, in the end of issue number six, in hopes of successfully destroying Empirikul. I’ve got my fingers crossed for our good Doctor. Do you?

    Doctor Strange #6 by Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Kevin Nowlan and Tim Townsend. Released March 9, 2016.

    Review by artist and comic book fan Steve Oatney.

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