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Welcome to this week in comic book reviews! The staff have come together to read and review nearly everything that released today. It isn’t totally comprehensive, but it includes just about everything from DC and Marvel with the important books from the likes of Image, Boom, IDW, Scout, Aftershock, and more.

The review blurbs you’ll find contained herein are typically supplemented in part by longform individual reviews for significant issues. This week that includes Moon Knight #1, Superman and the Authority #1, and Dark Blood #1.

Also, in case you were curious, our ratings are simple: we give a whole number out of five; that’s it! If you’d like to check out our previous reviews, they are all available here.

DC #1

Comic Reviews - Superman and the Authority #1
(Photo: DC Entertainment)

Blue & Gold is a new limited series that reunites the popular duo of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold for another adventure that mixes shameless fame-seeking and genuine superheroes. Written by Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens and excellently illustrated by Ryan Sook, the book feels very much like a “back to basics” approach that frames the two heroes in familiar roles. Booster is back to being obnoxious and seemingly more concerned about fame than actually helping people, while Beetle is depicted as a somewhat cash-strapped super-genius who places friendship over acknowledgement. While the opening issue doesn’t break any new ground with characterization, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These two heroes have had such a…weird time of things over the past 15 or so years, I’m perfectly content with this being a “replay the hits” sort of comic as long as we get some a quality superhero arc. This is a fun opening chapter to what should be a solid superhero series. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 4 out of 5

Selina’s ongoing crusade to protect Villa Hermosa hits an interesting—and meaningful—escalation in this issue. With the help of her ragtag group of wards, as well as an array of other DC Comics baddies that are too surprising to spoil here, Catwoman attempts to navigate a new status quo, just as Father Valley returns to cause problems in a major way. Ram V balances an ensemble that’s surprisingly dense in an interesting way, and if anything, the only problem is that I want to see a few of the issue’s characters be further utilized by him. Fernando Blanco’s art keeps things as kinetic and stylish as always, and grounds everything in some meaningful ways. This arc has the potential to be a really, really great one. — Jenna Anderson


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

With Wally West now in the driver’s seat as Barry explores the multiverse, it seems as if DC has taken a mulligan and taken us back to the era of Wally prior to the New 52 era, family and all. Most of the issue is devoted to Wally attempting to get a new gig, unable to simply be the Flash 24/7 and while its an interesting idea, it is solved in a way that is just a tad too quick and unsatisfactory with a superhero assist. Wally’s new status quo as the Flash is an interesting one, but the Scarlet Speedster could definitely work on slowing down. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 3 out of 5

“United Order” has been a bit of a mixed bag, and while it’s not as captivating as the previous arc so far, but there are elements that I’ve truly enjoyed. Synmar and this overall threat just isn’t doing it for me, but the interactions between the team as they attempt to take Synmar down are just as delightful as ever, including some stellar points between Batman and Aquaman, Hawkgirl and everybody, the Wonder Twins (yes, the Wonder Twins!), and Green Arrow and Black Canary, though the latter are on their own adventure elsewhere. The highlight of the issue though is Naomi interacting with the Justice League Dark, and frankly I would’ve read a whole issue of that based on that one page alone. Speaking of JL Dark, I was captivated throughout every page of “The Eternal Knight” part two, and Elnara and Batman continue to be one of my favorite new pairings. The twists are compelling, the action is frenetic, the artwork is stellar, and that last page is pure gold, and I cannot wait to see what the next chapter holds. There are elements of Justice League that lift everything else, but JL Dark is worth the price of admission all on its own. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

After a few issues of in-your-face, rough-and-tumble action, all that takes the back burner in favor of a familial drama. Though it does put a damper on all the steam the story had been picking up over the past few months, Nightwing #82 has the needed exposition that ties up the loose ends after last issue’s massive cliffhanger. Things are still moving forward, just much more slowly here than in issues past. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a change of pace that will help keep this book fresh. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4 out of 5

The events of Infinite Frontier have left Billy Batson without the ability to turn into Shazam, and it’s causing the rest of his life to crumble around him. Shazam #1 is a fun little opening issue, even if you’re not caught up on Teen Titans Academy or the bigger ongoing DC events. Tim Sheridan has a solid voice for Batson, managing to capture his frustration without making him seem like a whiny preteen. Plus Miguel Montez from the outstanding Dial H for Hero series is back and hilarious as ever. — Connor Casey

Rating: 4 out of 5

There is going to be a lot of praise for Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #2, and when it comes to Bilquis Evely’s art—and perhaps even moreso Matheus Lopes’ colors—it’s fair praise. This issue is stunning to look at with beautiful details and a life to it that tells a story that words simply can’t. In terms of the story as written by Tom King, there’s some lovely writing there as well. The issue sees Supergirl and Ruthye travel by what is essentially a space bus, presumably as part of their pursuit of Krem and King has done a masterful job of creating a unique voice for Ruthye. However, the issue is very much weighed down by it in a strange sort of expository bit of storytelling about smelly aliens, bad hygiene, and a long journey as Ruthye sort of elegantly “gee whiz” retells her adventures with the Maid of Might. Very little really happens in this issue, though we do seem to get an answer as to Krypto’s fate. For as well as King has developed and understands Ruthye, one can’t help but feel like he doesn’t know Kara at all which ultimately leads to this issue being a strange collision of flawless art and less outstanding words. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Superman and The Authority ultimately serves as abstract and introduction for the dissertation to come, and it sets expectations reasonably high. Morrison is well positioned to comment on both the unfulfilled promises of Western comics and Western politics, and he frames these topics in a compelling fashion throughout this first issue. They, along with an already impressive artistic team delivering some of their best work to date, transform a longform conversation on themes weaving these concepts together into excellent comics and superhero drama. It is a fine introduction, but succeeds only insofar as it sets itself up to deliver a meaningful conclusion. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

Looking at collections like Red and Blue, it would be enough for a single 8-page story in one issue to bring its reader to tears, so it’s quite an accomplishment when an issue does so multiple times. “Fetch” is a story about dogs and, although it devotes some dialogue to explaining what’s already obvious, captures the sheer joy of a boy meeting his dog for the first time in some truly joyous panels. “De-Escalation” is the sort of small stakes story that sticks with you much longer than a brawl with Mongul or Metallo; smart, thoughtful, and beautifully illustrated. “Your Favorite” is bound to leave a smile on readers’ faces, and captures Jimmy Olsen’s charm perfectly. “Red Son… Blue Dot” is a familiar re-telling, but one that unleashes Mark Buckingham’s full creativity in a collection of three outstanding spreads. However, it’s the final story “Generations” by Daniel Warren Johnson that provides comics readers and Superman fans alike a genuine masterpiece. A brief introduction is followed by a pattern of words and panels that create meaning in repetition and recognition of images. Johnson trusts readers to see how immense the concepts he’s detailing on the page are because words are simply not enough to capture the endless complexities of selfless love—yet that’s exactly what Warren’s artwork does across 8 magnificent, sometimes understated, pages. It’s the sort of comics that make you, as a reader, simply want to say, thank you. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Marvel #1

Aliens #5 fills readers in on the Cruz family’s past tragedies and how Gabriel’s allegiance to Weyland-Yutani is responsible for their slow suffering and sacrifice; it’s an ugly issue in more ways than one. Whereas prior issues have struggled to make their protagonist seem sympathetic, the penultimate chapter in this introductory arc accepts the staggering crimes committed by the patriarch and his employer. Several details are horrific enough to cross into the realm of being misery porn. While that may be consistent with the Aliens franchise, here it is presented with very little intention or context as though simply suffering is the point. Aliens #5 even undermines the franchise-wide critique of corporate callousness and capitalist carnage by suggesting that any group, regardless of ideology or politics, would engage in the same sorts of evil when in possession of a xenomorph. It is the sort of nihilism that only seems original or noteworthy when encountering Camus for the first time in secondary school. What’s somehow worse is the appearance of every xenomorph on the page as Salvador Larroca doesn’t stop at undermining Geiger’s terrifying design with poorly considered tracing techniques, but begins to add excessive horns and textures that make the xenomorphs comedic entities. All of the problems that were evident in Aliens #1 have not only proven to be substantial flaws, but have continued to worsen throughout this story—it’s difficult to find any elements to even deem salvageable in these pages. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 1 out of 5

It’s been a wild ride for Carol Danvers lately, but after a spin in the world of magic it’s time for the “Strange Magic” finale, and thankfully it absolutely nails the landing. Kelly Thompson weaves in the threads from Captain Marvel’s time in the future and brings the weight Carol feels in preventing that future to the forefront. Not only does it move the story forward in regards to Ove but we also see meaningful resolution in Carol and Rhodey’s relationship, as well as ripple effects from Carol’s journey with Doctor Strange. Ample payoff is paired with blockbuster artwork by Jacopo Camagni and colorist Espen Grundetjern, and that’s in addition to an inspiring and touching team-up between Ms. Marvel and Cap by Jamie McKelvie that might have hit me right in the feels. Okay, it totally did. “Strange Magic” was truly a delight, and the future looks brighter than ever for our favorite Captain. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

Extreme Carnage: Phage continues the “Extreme Carnage” event, this time focusing on Phage, another one of the Life Foundation Symbiotes originally introduced in the early 1990s. Phage quickly falls under Carnage’s sway and makes a violent beeline towards Andi Benton. There are a lot of moving parts in this comic due to the nature of the event, and I can’t say that I was a fan of that. There’s also a rather shocking and violent last page that might upset some fans of the symbiotes. Generally speaking, I’m a fan of Geraldo Sandoval’s art – he gives all the symbiotes a sort of cartoon-y violent dynamic that reminds me a bit of Carlos Pacheco’s work. Still, there seemed to be a disconnect between the artwork and the narration at times, which made trying to understand what was going on in the comic a bit of a slog. Fans of Venom and Carnage will still enjoy this comic, but I feel like others might wait for a collection so they can get the whole story at once. — Christian Hoffer

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

This issue of Gamma Flight is excellent. It does a really fantastic job of moving the story along in a meaningful way and integrating great character moments all against the backdrop of a battle sequence. This is the type of storytelling that fans have come to expect from The Immortal Hulk, so to see that Gamma Flight isn’t skipping a beat despite being a spin-off is great to see. Moving forward, I continue to be excited by what could be coming in the future of this series due to some reveals in the final pages. Seriously, add Gamma Flight to your pull list if you haven’t done so already. — Logan Moore

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

“The Last Annihilation” starts here, setting up the endgame for Al Ewing’s multi-title master plan for the past year or so. The debut itself promises a bright event, incorporating contrasting parts of the Marvel universe to make a story that’s as inviting as it is fresh. Like other Guardians issues as of late, there’s a tremendous number of characters the story has to devote time to, and not everyone gets the time they need. Ewing’s been excellent about spreading that out from issue to issue, however, so if that keeps up, “The Last Annihilation” could be something special. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4 out of 5

This month’s Marauders dips into the past and reveals some long-hidden secrets, specifically regarding two key characters, but one is clearly more effective than the other. While Gerry Duggan frames much of the issue around Emma Frost, it’s actually the Stepford Cuckoos that steal the spotlight as they attempt to “help” Wilhelmina Kensington discover what is truly troubling her. The banter between them is one of the best parts of the issue, and Duggan creates a sense of empathy around her that hooks you into her story and quest for justice. On the other side is Sebastian Shaw, and while I will always love a good verbal sparring session between Frost and Shaw, that same level of empathy is clearly not there for Shaw, and as a result, it doesn’t feel like we’ve moved much forward. That could change in future issues if that thread is pulled more, but for now, it just didn’t have much of an impact on me other than reiterating that Shaw is a terrible person, but we knew that already. It’s a solid issue of Marauders, and while not my favorite issue of the run, it still held my attention. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 3 out of 5

Saladin Ahmed’s new version of “The Clone Saga” comes to a rollicking conclusion, making sure to never repeat what was done in the 1990s version of the storyline while also keeping the future of Miles open to a unique path. Artist Carmen Carnero does great work with the final fight between Miles and his evil twin, but the closing pages with a surprising splash at issue’s end is the real thing that will have readers’ hearts swelling. In the end, this was a strong enough arc that didn’t need familiarity branding from Marvel to sell it; it also might be better than the original “Clone Saga” because it didn’t overstay its welcome. — Spencer Perry

Rating: 4 out of 5

It’s Jed MacKay and Allesandro Cappuccio’s turn at the helm and, after reading Moon Knight #1, I can safely say that not only is the character in great hands, but this series has all of the ingredients necessary for an absolutely brilliant Moon Knight run. Moon Knight #1 captures the essence of the character and all the elements that make him stand out from his peers while expanding the character’s mythos and supporting cast in exciting new ways, and it does so with flair and wit to spare. If that weren’t enough, the stunning artwork from Cappuccio and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg demands your attention with every page. If you are only going to buy one comic book this week, please make it Moon Knight #1. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Marvel #2

Comic Reviews - Moon Knight #1 2021
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

New Mutants continues to be the X-Men series doing the most to examine what life is like for the mutants of Krakoa, especially those who aren’t able to come and go from the human world as easily as others and yet face more specific forms of discrimination even in the new mutant paradise. Alex Lins’ artwork is sharper than regular artist Rod Reis’ more painterly style, but their energetic, expressive depictions do well by these youthful characters. Vita Ayala’s writing is as nuanced and character-focused as ever, drawing the audience into these characters’ relatable struggles with minimal melodrama. The issue ends a bit clumsily with an awkward but heartfelt, ad hoc eulogy and an abrupt cliffhanger. Still, otherwise, it’s another wonderful installment of what may be the X-line’s most underappreciated series. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Reptil continues to surprise me with every issue, and there’s quite a bit to love about issue #3 as well. Again, the engine that makes this book go is the friendship between Beto, Eva, and Julian, and this book doesn’t work without all three together, so if we get more Reptil in the future they better be part of the package. Writer Terry Blas does a magnificent job of dealing with meaningful subjects of identity and family with a soft touch that never feels forced. Meanwhile, we also get some needed movement on the villain, and they do feel much more of a threat after this issue as the stakes get even higher for Beto’s family. The book continues to shine thanks to the art team of Enid Balam and Victor Olazaba, who fill each sequence with bursts of color and an energy that feels in keeping with the enthusiasm of its cast, and the creativity in regards to all of the Dinosaur forms makes each transformation feel fresh. Reptil is an absolute delight through and through, and I can’t wait to see how this all plays out. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

Savage Avengers #22 is but a few tweaks away from becoming the perfect comic book—perfectly insane. Conan continues to serve as the primary protagonist for this story, but Duggan blows the lid off the toybox here as he gets to play with most of Marvel’s mystical goodies. Johnny Blaze continues to have a presence as does Nightmare, Doctor Strange, and even Shuma-Gorath. Because of Nightmare’s involvement with this story, the script’s pacing can be jarring at times, but it’s otherwise a delightful read. Combined with something seriously killer art from Pat Zircher, and Savage Avengers #22 is a stellar return to form for this title. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Shifting gears from Vader slightly, this issue focuses on Administrator Moore and her attempts to defeat the Sith Lord, revealing her connections to IG-88 and its assassination attempts on Vader, as well as revealing Moore’s allies. While she crafts a plan to take down Vader, it’s possible that this plan could ultimately be exactly what he wants, setting the stage for an unexpected rendezvous. Serving as a slight deviation from the core Darth Vader narrative and “War of the Bounty Hunters” crossover event, this book feels more like a supplemental adventure to contextualize some of the previous reveals in the book as well as offer glimpses at what’s to come. It’s undoubtedly entertaining, but with it unfolding in a series named after Darth Vader, it feels a bit underwhelming that it has strayed off course. Given the strength of previous issues and the potential of the “War of the Bounty Hunters” event, on the other hand, this is likely only a chance instance of any narrative momentum stalling and will likely prove to be an important part of the overall story being told. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 3 out of 5

Deva Lompop is proving to be an integral cog of the “War of the Bounty Hunters” narrative, with this book shedding light into her exploits with Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt, both in the past and in the present. As it stands, her past exploits don’t serve a major purpose in the current event, instead offering us a standalone experience that establishes the tension felt between her, Fett, and Jabba, which will likely factor into the future of the narrative. This issue is entertaining enough, without question, though it feels more like a spin-off experience rather than something that factors directly into War of the Bounty Hunters, which brings with it some inherent disappointment. Still, the book is playful, colorful, and features engaging action, almost making us wish this was the first issue in an all-new series focusing solely on Deva Lompop. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 3 out of 5

Get Aaron Kuder on Thor as soon as possible. As writer and artist (accompanied by inker Cam Smith), Kuder develops 2021’s Thor Annual #1 in the spirit of classic Marvel annuals with a self-contained tale filled with guest appearances, delicious settings, and new baddies. The story centers upon a celebration in Alfheim and Kuder fills his pages with detailed depictions of life amongst the elves with nearly every early panel filling its backgrounds with life. Kuder also reminds readers he possesses a keen sense of humor with multiple laugh out loud moments during both frivolity and action—many well-focused on Hawkeye. What’s more is that, although the conflict only consumes a single issue, the stakes are very real. Thor’s understanding of the road not taken and his immense responsibilities are all made clear through the action at hand. Readers can admire the hero without being told to do so as his presence is embodied in the events on the page. Thor Annual #1 proves to be one of the better, recent Thor stories providing readers with a vibrant look at the Nine Realms and a compelling Thor epic that won’t break the bank. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

The latest story in X-Men: Legends brings back writer Peter David to tell a tale set between issues #75 and #76 of his run on X-Factor in the 1990s. Though artist Larry Stroman helped define that run, he’s paired here with artist Todd Nauck, who doesn’t try to imitate Stroman’s style but does employ some rough lines and hatching to give the book an appropriately 90s style. The story sees X-Factor in court to explain their intervention when mutants took hostages at the Latverian embassy. While not dour, the issue doesn’t feature much of the humor for which the run was known. Instead, it takes a more serious tone as David tackles the idea of using insurgent violence to overthrow a tyrannical government. Without knowing how the story ends, it’s hard to say where David’s story will fall on the subject. In the meantime, it is interesting to see David, through Quicksilver’s testimony, throw the Avengers and Fantastic Four under the bus, casting them as political entities willing to use bureaucracy to avoid weighing in on a controversial topic. As with the rest of X-Men: Legends to date, the premise doesn’t feel strong enough to justify the trip back through time, but the execution is stellar enough that diehard fans and those nostalgic for the era should find it enjoyable. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Other Publishers #1

While Apex Legends: Overtime debuted with the moody Crypto and Revenant with Mirage serving as the comic relief, the second issue finds a much more dynamic team of Lifeline, Octane, Pathfinder, and Bloodhound. It does well to explore situations that are not only new encounters impossible to recreate in the game but also ones that lean heavily into the best parts of the characters beyond their in-game abilities. Some deliveries of catchphrases and Legend-to-Legend conversations still feel a bit clunky, but Overtime is shaping up to feel like quite the authentic Apex Legends story. — Tanner Dedmon

Rating: 4 out of 5

The penultimate issue of the Ascender series, issue #17 pulls out all the stops. A magic fight between Mother and Tim on Dirishu-6 ensues while Andy, Effie and their allies head there as well. In fact, all roads (or skies) lead to Dirishu-6 with the makings for a final showdown. There is a lot that goes on in this issue as each faction races frenetically toward the ending, but what is perhaps most intriguing here is that the issue finally starts to pay off on some of the clues about Mila being more than meets the eye that have been laid along the way. The issue is a high-stakes ride and everything here reflects that, which is still lovely as it has been throughout the whole series but has an energy to it that’s new. The issue also leaves off on a surprising cliffhanger which should make for a very interesting final issue. Overall, it’s a solid penultimate issue. Bring on the end. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 4 out of 5

This first issue of Bermuda didn’t do a whole lot to grab my interest. For the most part, the book just establishes the primary characters that will be involved while also introducing the main problem that said characters find themselves in. What’s here isn’t necessarily bad, but I can’t help but feel like more could have been done from the get-go to help pull me into this world. Bermuda could have potential moving forward depending on how its story develops, but for now, this first installment hasn’t done much to convince me that it will be anything special. — Logan Moore

Rating: 2 out of 5

Lemire, Yarsky, and company are slowly pushing this title to a massive Black Hammer event. Because of the simmering plot that continues to heat up, the tension in Reborn #2 is especially palpable. As the cover reveals, Skulldigger returns here in the most surprising of ways, and it’s more than simply a cameo—it looks like the character’s going to have a prominent role in the story as it moves forward. The script of this book falls in line with Lemire’s more traditional writings, with a plot that spans multiple timelines, jumping back and forth at will. Something big is about to happen—it’s just a matter of when. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4 out of 5

Chu #6 is equal parts suave and sleazy depending on who’s in the spotlight. Saffron does most of the heavy-lifting for the former while pretty much everyone around her takes care of the rest, but how she deals with situations balances out what could easily tip over into a grotesque story. The new Chu chapter with its exaggerated expressions and softened violence is as good a reintroduction to the character as one could hope for and a fresh jumping-on point for what’s to come next. — Tanner Dedmon

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Compass #2 maintains its tone of archaeological adventure in a setting rife with largely unexplored ideas and cultures. The introduction of Druids (admittedly fictionalized based upon minimal historical evidence) and expansion on the invading Mongols here leaves the world surrounding Shahidah filled with possibilities. There’s little call for readers to bring knowledge of Wales and this era of antiquity either as beliefs, conflicts, and other important factors of the day (e.g. leprosy) are naturally outlined in dialogue and action with little need to explicit exposition. This in turn provides ample space for Greenwood to sprawl out with action sequences that pull readers’ eyes across the page. There’s rarely a misstep in an issue that continues to expand on its characters, enrich its setting, and provide plenty of mystery and murder for readers to ponder. Compass is a thrilling adventure and, if what follows is as good as the start, could become one of the best new Image series in 2021. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

Dark Blood, the newest series from Boom! Studios, gets off to a very fast start. I find it somewhat rare for any new comic to pull me in from the get-go. Most of the time I think this is because writers take too long to arrive at the crux of their story and would instead prefer to layer the narrative behind layers of mysteries. And while there are still questions to be had after the first issue of Dark Blood, writer Latoya Morgan doesn’t waste any time in setting the stage for what this series will become. — Logan Moore

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wes Craig’s art and Lee Loughridge’s colors take center stage in a drug-fueled issue of Deadly Class that sees whatever happened to Saya after the last time we saw her. It isn’t a pretty story, as most in this book aren’t, and it seems about halfway through the issue that there’s only one or two ways it can go. The story throws us for a loop with a final-page reveal that seems to set the stage for what Saya will find herself doing at the turn of the new millennium. — Russ Burlingame

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Other Publishers #2

Firefly: Brand New ‘Verse continues to slowly drag the old Serenity crew back together in an increasingly contrived or coincidental fashion. This issue focuses on a reunion with River Tam, who, for reasons unexplained, is living on some asteroid space station with a child. The issue’s opening attempts to create an isolationist sci-fi/horror story atmosphere, but the washed coloring undercuts the vibe. Elsewhere, the series again turns up the sci-fi for some creative torture while Emma, faced with losing the only family she has, finally decides to show some signs of growing up. The plot beats are all pretty basic, and they’re executed competently. Attempts to think outside of the box with a few page layout don’t overly impress, but neither do they muddy the storytelling. It’s a mostly fine issue for those invested in the series. — Jamie Lovett

Rating: 3 out of 5

The latest issue from Anta and Wieszczyk continues the strange tale of Juan and Gladys, as he continues to discover the super powers he has hidden within him. In this issue, we see Juan learn more about his father while also introducing new super powered individuals to boot, but it feels as if the issue is spinning its wheels. Specifically, the villains are given far too much panel time here for what is essentially two dimensional federal agents, and that’s something that could have been rectified by giving them a little more character. Home feels a bit too long in the tooth and is the definition of a mixed-bag. –Evan Valentine

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Home Sick Pilots shifts its focus yet again as its attention is torn between two very different status quos, both filled with punk rockers and their otherworldly companions. In much the same way that issue #6 laid out a new foundation for some of the series’ characters, issue #7 does the same, turning to two characters seemingly left for dead. It manages to summarize and build upon everything readers learned about the pair across 5 issues in a much more succinct re-introduction that streamlines their motives and trajectories in a helpful fashion. While the elements of repetition (or the very odd imagining of how trains work in the 21st century) seem regressive at points, there’s no denying that this comic takes what was best from the start of Home Sick Pilots and drops what was confusing, unnecessary, or simply baffling. It’s an excellent second issue for new readers, but only an above adequate reset for those who made it past the first story arc. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Killadelphia #15 continues the same format we’ve seen for the past several issues, with a three track story that follows the Sangsters (along with Adams) dealing with a threat literally on their doorstep, SeeSaw on a spiritual quest in the underworld, and Thomas Jefferson as he makes preparations for his own power play for the fate of America. It’s well done, though it does require that the reader pay close attention. What stands out this issue, however, is the Jefferson narrative, one that brings a lot of attention to our own current state of the world. Barnes does an absolutely incredible job of telling our real story while still staying true to the narrative the series has been working with all along. Killadelphia is, at its best, an outstanding and often difficult series. This is definitely one its best. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 5 out of 5

Lunar Ladies soars forward with a sci-fi story filled with love and betrayal. As readers are introduced to an all-female utopia in the moon, things go wonky as two ideologies clash. The results leave a princess stranded while a crazed scientist does her best to wield the moon under her rule. And thanks to this issue’s heartfelt narration, fans will be happy to join along in this otherworldly ride. — Megan Peters

Rating: 3 out of 5

I loved M.O.M.: Mother of Madness so much that I immediately read the first issue twice in one sitting. The issue dives into the sweeping origin story of Maya, a single mom who utilizes her unconventional superpowers to become a vigilante. To say anything more beyond that would be a disservice to the plot that Emilia Clarke and Marguerite Bennett have created, which will find ways to surprise you both in terms of witty dialogue and narrative spectacle. Leila Leiz’s art and Triona Ferrell’s color work make the series even more beautiful to behold, adding a colorful and cinematic quality to even the most mundane of sequences. M.O.M.: Mother of Madness is one of the most fun, feminist, and compelling comics I’ve read as of late, and I could not be more excited to see where it goes next. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 5 out of 5

Only one issue remains of The Many Deaths of Laila Starr and while every issue thus far has been absolutely brilliant, issue #4 somehow manages to raise the bar again. This penultimate issue sees the inevitable confrontation between Laila and Darius, but it doesn’t go quite as the out of work god might have hoped. Over previous issues we’ve seen Laila get glimpses of what it means to live, to die, and to be human, all as guided by non-human or inanimate objects. This issue, those lessons come to a head with Laila confronted by not only her own selfishness, but the impact every facet of living has. It is a beautiful bit of development, but it also serves to spark the story in one more fascinating and unexpected direction as we head into the finale. Ram V is at his finest in this issue. This is a masterpiece. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 5 out of 5

Garth Ennis’ new series has nearly worn out its welcome after three issues and its escalating levels of debauchery that add little to the narrative. Though that’s typically par for the course with his work, the lack of real human drama makes this one continue to feel inert as it trudges along. Artist Goran Sudžuka continues to do good work with the task at hand but frankly you can only see so many of the same juvenile gags in this one before the lack of appear elsewhere makes it all seem tedious and stupid. — Spencer Perry

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

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Other Publishers #3

At its core, the idea of combining My Little Pony and Transformers is inherently ridiculous—something that, luckily, this final issue of the latest miniseries leans into with flying colors. The first story, “The Mightiest Dinobot,” sees Spike and Smolder finding unlikely friends in a group of Dinobots, a colorful and almost stupidly charming story that proves how well the mashup concept can work. The issue’s second story, appropriately titled “Finale”, brings Transformers and ponies alike in the fight against Sombra, and while it is almost the antithesis of the delightful and tightly-round story that proceeds it, it still is filled with moments that fans of both franchises will find rewarding. Overall, this finale proves there are still ways to take the absurdity of My Little Pony/Transformers up a not—and hopefully, this isn’t the last time we’ll see it in action. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Rule of thumb: If you hurt Yale, my lid is flipped immediately. It’s just a statement of fact, though the fact that Yale’s character has become so beloved is a testament to the team behind Power Rangers. Ryan Parrott’s work on Trini and Jason has been stellar throughout this run, but this issue is all about Zack, and the growth in this happy-go-lucky character has been immense over the past issue or two, and it all comes to a head here. It’s wonderful to see the character expand like this, though Trini and even Drakkon also continue to evolve. Meanwhile, Francesco Mortarino and Moises Hidalgo combine to create lovely set pieces while Raul Angulo and Jose Enrique Fernandez fill them with a lush and vibrant palette that pops off the page. Throw in a compelling hook for next issue and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 4 out of 5

The fifth issue of the series starts out with some confusing opening pages, the kind that make you wonder if you missed an issue, but writer Alex Child and Grant Morrison mostly cours-correct by the halfway mark and bring it in for a fine landing (even if the plot clearly takes its cues from Stephen King’s IT in an even more obvious way). Artist Naomi Franquiz sticks the landing the best though, making the visuals of the series’ monsters and its adorable protagonists the most memorable thing about the entire piece. Proctor Valley Road will stand out as a unique piece of Morrison’s bibliography. — Spencer Perry

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Orlando and Piazzalunga deliver another solid entry in this Super-Man tale turned on its head, with the faux-Doomsday coming back to Earth and having the pilots of Patron having to think outside of the box to stop it. Project Patron remains one of Aftershock’s strongest superhero stories to date, easily competing with the other books that are out there from the Big Two and it will be interesting to see how the concept is pushed in the future. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 4 out of 5

Radiant Black has made a habit of subverting expectations, and that could not describe the issue any better. In fact, this just might be my favorite issue of the series yet, and the book’s lead character is nowhere to be found. Kyle Higgins and Cherish Chen pull the curtain back on Radiant Red, and while she’s been rather villainized up to this point, prepare to love her by issue’s end. Throughout the issue, we get to see how Satomi first encountered the Radiant and why she used it to steal, and while you obviously know that she shouldn’t be trying to rob banks, you can’t help but empathize with her situation. Not just from a financial stake mind you but also from a personal one, as the rollercoaster ride of her relationship feels all too real despite the more surreal moments. By the way, Darko Lafuente and Miquel Muerto knock this issue out of the park on every level, bringing the impact with every piece of dialogue and letting it all go when things get superpowers. I can’t say enough good things about Radiant Black #6, and honestly, I’d be fine just following Radiant Red from here on out. — Matthew Aguilar

Rating: 5 out of 5

I continue to be impressed with how spot-on the writing in Rick and Morty: Rick’s New Hat is when compared to the TV series. That being said, I’m also starting to think that this same writing is a better fit for the television medium. Even though there are still some funny moments in this second issue, the fast-paced witty banter of this franchise is harder to follow along in the written format. As such, this comic can feel quite jarring to read at times as it will very quickly jump around. Still, if you’re a huge fan of Rick and Morty and Season 5’s new episodes aren’t satiating your desire for more, this series should definitely do the trick. — Logan Moore

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Other Publishers #4

Save Yourself steps forward with a second issue this week filled with magical science, a few meet-cutes, and a devastating look at grief. As our heroes learn more about Earth’s place in a galactic ambush, fans will find themselves falling for our heroine as she puts her life back together. But when Shawn ends up being taken by the idols she once held so dear, fans will be left on pins waiting for more. — Megan Peters

Rating: 4 out of 5

One of the main aspects of Second Coming: Only Begotten Son is its sharp social commentary. That continues in issue #3 and so does the exploration of where capitalism and religion intersect. Having had a disastrous experience at a religious-based theme park last issue (and having had to flee as a result), the issue finds Jesus now having gone viral for his experiences there. It leads the theme park owner to see a cash grab opportunity. As this unfolds, a story from the Middle Ages plays out as well, one that shows that humanity and greed have never been far from faith, not so subtly asking the reader to consider the authenticity of what they put their faith—and their coin—behind. While there is plenty of satire in this book and it is something that could come across as too heavy handed at any given time, Mark Russell has managed yet again to be more thought-provoking than preachy. This is a fantastic issue. — Nicole Drum

Rating: 5 out of 5

Now that Seven Swords is no longer trying to mask its gimmick of bringing famous literary swashbucklers together the real fun can begin. Seven Swords has a few fun action scenes tied together with snappy dialogued the revelation of a villainous scheme that’s positively bonkers. It’s a ton of fun. — Connor Casey

Rating: 4 out of 5

Zadie and her mom’s attempts to get Ricky back forces them both to show immense power with their shadecraft abilities, along with immense restraint, unlocking things within themselves they never thought they were capable of. They aren’t alone in this battle, as Ricky must overcome his own challenges in hopes of reuniting with his family. The conclusion of this narrative brings with it a fulfilling ending of this part of the journey, leaving things on a satisfying enough resolution that wouldn’t necessarily need to be continued, yet also offering glimpses at the further explains of the family, which is what you want from the final issue of any narrative. This issue, and the arc as a whole, is dark, spooky, hopeful, and charming, with Zadie sure to earn throngs of fans desperate for more Shadecraft. –– Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 4 out of 5

This issue of Silver City largely feels like an interlude for what’s to come, as the backstories of the characters and other bits of lore begin to fly by at a breakneck speed. While the experience of it all veers dangerously close to being overwhelming, especially since we’ve just started to get acquainted with the series’ weird world, there’s a sense of style and passion that makes it all worthwhile. Olivia Cuartero-Briggs’ narrative is energetic and emotional, even in its clunkier moments and Luca Merli’s art and colors make even the seediest underbelly of the series compelling. While feels a little too disjointed compared to its previous installments, I’m still undoubtedly excited to see where the story goes next. — Jenna Anderson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Sonic the Hedgehog has been really enjoying its multi-faceted collection of villains as events and connections introduced in the Bad Guys miniseries come into play here. With both the Deadly Six and Starline preparing big plans and causing all sorts of havoc, Sonic the Hedgehog #42 is an issue that’s primarily focused on setting up dominoes. There are still a handful of brief action sequences and plenty of humorous spotlights, but it’s clear that the biggest moments in this month’s installment are preparing for what comes next—that includes a continuing interest in Belle, the series’ most interesting new character by far since arriving at IDW. It’s always a pleasure to check in with the folks around Emerald Hills, even when it’s in a waiting game to see what awaits this idyllic setting. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The world of vampires spends the latest issue from Byrne and Fantini does a significantly better job of giving us insight into our lead heroine’s character, but remains draped in a vampire world that simply doesn’t distinguish itself from the countless others out there. At this point, I think the series would fundamentally benefit if it would choose between a black and white story or full color, because the blending of the two, expressed often times at random, simply doesn’t work as well as it could. Stake could be more than it is, but at present, it feels like its spinning its wheels. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 2 out of 5

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Other Publishers #5

Comic Reviews - Dark Blood #1
(Photo: Boom Studios)

This sixth issue doesn’t just start a new story arc, it begins a journey with characters who weren’t central to the first tale. Older and the IDW team are really utilizing the “Adventures” part of their title and that’s wonderful news. The Star Wars universe is vast, and the more we can learn about the various characters and stories of the High Republic era, the better. — Charlie Ridgely

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Syphon is a new one-shot from Image that gives us a story that has shades of comics we’ve seen before, but it pulls itself away from other examples thanks to its art by Jeff Edwards and John Kalisz. There is a lot going on in this first issue, perhaps too much, but its a breathtaking issue to look at, not just with the colors and the line work, but with the overall direction when it comes to how space is used here. Syphon is worth checking out if you’re looking to see how comics can be their own style of unique art work. — Evan Valentine

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Emmy’s departure from Harrow County left behind some damage, with Bernice revealing the lengths she went to protect the town and Emmy herself. However, the past has a way of catching up with the present in Harrow County, resulting in Bernice making a startling discovery about the Fair Folk. Far less ominous than other entries in the Harrow County franchise, this book leaned into the emotional toll Emmy’s battles with darkness took on the town, specifically Bernice, and explored how those scars are some of the hardest to recover from. While it might not be as macabre as other titles, the charm and atmosphere of the title still remain, making for a fresh perspective on the spooky series. — Patrick Cavanaugh

Rating: 4 out of 5

This is a slower issue of Time Before Time, but it’s also quite heavy on characterization. Despite the climactic ending of this book, most of the story centers around further fleshing out many of the main players involved with this series so far and the motivations that they have for their actions. These newfound details further flesh out the narrative in a vital way and make me more invested in these characters and where they’re heading in the future. I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the next chapter of Time Before Time, but I very much continuing to enjoy this series so far and continue to suggest that you put it on your radar. — Logan Moore

Rating: 4 out of 5

If last month’s Undiscovered Country wasn’t a big enough indicator, this issue makes it known—this title has gone full-on meta, and it’s an absolute delight. Even though that meta-ness has a certain level of “Deadpool-ness” to it, there’s still a tight story in tow involving the benefits and dnagers of an imagination. Snyder and Soule team up for a script that dives into your imagination and how it can both help and hurt you, and the end result is a cautionary tale that makes you think and reassess your own personal beliefs. On that front, one might say Undiscovered Country is the perfect piece of art—it makes you feel and examine your own oneself. The artwork continues to be stellar, and Snyder and Soule are firing on all cylinders here. — Adam Barnhardt

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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I’ve never considered Usagi Yojimbo to be much of a hangout comic, but as the wayward rabbit wanders down the road with a new companion that’s the vibe they provide; it absolutely works. Issue #21 follows up Usagi and Yamamoto’s encounter with foolhardy sword students by introducing their master, a notable swordsman now holding a grudge. His arrival and the slow build to a samurai duel play primarily as a distraction from discoveries and delights found upon the road, though. Yamamoto plays as an excellent foil for Usagi as he presents similar attitudes less Usagi’s hard won wisdom. Together, they present a calm, capable, and consistently good presence in the world—even when it’s clear that trouble will find them, regardless. It’s easy to imagine reading a dozen issues of the pair stumbling from one encounter to the next because in Sakai’s hands they make for enjoyable reading companions as well and bring a world filled with rich historical settings and plenty of excitement. I suspect the journey will end sooner than that, but will gladly follow for as long as it continues. — Chase Magnett

Rating: 4 out of 5

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