Batman is taken to the depths of darkness, and what those depths hold, only writer Gregg Hurwitz knows, as he and artist Szymon Kudranski continue a tale of madness featuring the Mad Hatter and his wily plan to lay waste to Gotham.
After a massively debilitating scene, Gotham is left reeling, dead bodies left in the wake of Hatter’s nefarious scheme, his Krazy Hat’s company causing death and mayhem on Gotham’s citizenry. Pushed to the brink, Batman is determined to stop the mad killer, while still grappling with the implications of his relationship with pianist Natalya. But when the Mad Hatter decides that she might be his new “Alice”, a shocking turn of events just might drive Batman to both rage and madness he has never experienced before.
I have been enjoying the road Hurwitz has traveled with the Mad Hatter in Batman in this fun, exciting, character examining story arc in The Dark Knight. Examining Batman’s ability to grapple with his dual life and his own humanity is important to the mythology of the character, and this is exhibited no better than in this issue. It also begs the question how far can a man be pushed before he goes over the edge, and gives in to a furor that might consume both him and the ideal he has committed himself to. Hurwitz does a sublime job exploring this, and I for one can’t wait to see where the story goes next. Batman: The Dark Knight twenty is available now on comic stands and on comixology, and if you are tired of the mire of all the Bat-related books on the shelves, definitely give this one a whirl, as it examines the darker aspects of the Bat universe.
The MAX-terpiece rendition of Wolverine by writer Jason Starr and artist Felix Ruiz continues on a gory, seedy path as Wolverine continues his futile quest for peace in California… and, true to form, finds only death, violence, and sin in Los Angeles.
The murder of his companion, Dog. The mysterious redheaded stranger Candy. A ruthless porn producer named Franky. And, his connections to a Mexican drug cartel are just some of the obstacles facing Wolverine, who has changed his name to Jake Douglas. Getting involved in a fight is one thing, getting involved with a woman with these kinds of acquaintances is something completely different, and Wolverine may have just bit off more than he can chew when he bring claws to a gunfight.
Taking on a really cool crime thriller motif, and coupling it with a fan favorite character going in a totally mature direction, writer Jason Starr has really cut a swath with his MAX vision of Wolverine. Interweaving themes of peace and violence, padding it with great inner dialogue, and giving Wolverine a real street level, realistic, mature appearance thanks to art of Ruiz, Wolverine’s journey in L.A. is something pretty awesome to behold. Wolverine MAX seven is available now on comixology, and at comic shops. If you want to see the mature badassery that is true to character, this is for you. Check it out.
As it comes down the wire… Writer Chris Roberson and artist Dennis Calero pit pulp’s greatest heroes against the corruption of the Justice party in the blistering penultimate chapter of one should be considered a neo-pulp classic for the ages.
With the people of New York rallying in uprising behind the Spider and Zorro, the Shadow, Black Terror, and Kato continue their rescue attempt of the captured Green Hornet, Miss Fury, and Green Lama. What is revealed is a nefarious plot to take over the country, as the head of the Justice party is revealed for the first time. What will the ultimate result be, and will the combined efforts of pulps most heroic be enough to stop a plan that will surely spell doom if enacted on America?
Masks has all the charm, all the action, and all the wonderful, colorful characters that Dynamite is making in to a powerhouse stable capable of superhero stardom. Roberson’s characterization and well-timed action cuts razor-sharp, and Dennis Calero’s sumptuous interior art work as done the series a great service across the six issues he has done thus far, fleshing out both character and city scape in an awe-inspiring manner of excellence. Masks seven is an action masterpiece featuring some of comics’ finest characters, and, with it wrapping up next month, you should check out issue seven this week, May 22, at comic shops and on comixology. Masks is definitely stacking up as a probable contender for most innovative cross over this year.
Capitalizing on what has been an absolutely deadly mix of ancient fiction and modern sci-fi excellence in the comics medium, the saga of Aric of Dacia and Planet Death rages on in X-O Manowar thirteen, as writer Robert Venditti and artist Cary Nord play Nero’s fiddle while Loam burns… its embers sparking hope and revolt among the slaves who believe Aric has come to liberate them.
Trapped without the Shanhara armor, Aric has been hidden by the slave Saana and Dalgan, a Vine warrior. Believed to the chosen one, the Vine will stop at nothing to protect the armor that has been returned to them. Aric, has other plans, however, and when he see his people burning, the memories of old return, and his steadfast resolve leads to an action packed climax in the penultimate chapter of Planet Death.
It’s all about big battles, bigger plans, and the biggest fight the Planet Loam has ever seen. X-O Manowar has surpassed my expectations of what a modern science fiction comic epic can be. Venditti really understands how to cast a deep drama with a combination of mood, spectacle, and and perfectly executed action. Cary Nord provides only his best, and colorist Moose Baumann brings it all together with a stunning spectrum of depth and hue. It’s completely beautiful to look at, a pleasure to experience the written drama, and another merit badge for Valiant Comics, who are scouting for the golden ring with some of the best creators the business has to offer. You simply must check out X-O Manowar issue thirteen, available on comixology and at comic shops. I am happy to award it my PICK OF THE WEEK for MAY 15.
After a shocking cliff hanger that had fans reeling, writer Brandon Thomas and N. Steven Harris conclude the “Ten Lions” epic that has done nothing short of re-establishing Voltron as an 80′s property that still resonates beyond the decade from whence it came.
All the truth comes to light in the unexpected, shocking, twisty conclusion to Ten Lions. The team seems shattered by Sven’s death, an apparent “suicide”, but the truth is more shocking than the sum of its parts. With Hunk wanting off the Voltron Force, his wife pregnant, what lengths has Keith gone to keep him on the team. What justice will Lotor serve upon Merla after her rampage on her own people? Lotor’s plan goes deeper than you know, and you’ll see some awesome fan service in this issue when his true intentions are revealed. By the conclusion, you won’t believe your eyes, and will surely want the series to go in the natural direction Thomas’ story has taken it.
An adult-oriented take on Voltron has been a real centerpiece of this series, and fans will not be disappointed with the dramatic and shocking conclusion that Voltron issue twelve will provide. Brandon Thomas has taken the time to re-imagine Voltron and the Voltron Force as a group with real problems, real drama, and genuine consequence while still holding true to the classic property we knew as kids. But, that’s not to say new fans won’t dig this masterpiece in kind. It’s a grand salute to my favorite 1980′s property, and issue twelve is quite the send off. Check out Voltron this week, May 15, at comic shops everywhere and on comixology. Trust me, it’s as good as hearkening back to your childhood when you smashed die-cast robot lions together in your basement.
Cobra’s billions are on the line, as it is a race to capture what is sure to fund either Cobra’s terrorist plot, or line the Baroness‘ pockets. Will Scarlet and Mainframe be able to utilize all the skills of the Special Missions team to stop Cobra from this wild salvage operation? Can the Baroness rely on the cut throat crew to make it possible? Creators Chuck Dixon and Paul Gulacy know the answer in their companion piece to Fred Van Lente’s ongoing G.I. Joe series.
It’s really, when distilled to its core, classic G.I. Joe action from the 80′s. Special Missions takes the characters fans want to see, in my opinion, shakes up the bag, and tosses them out in to high risk missions that tie into the IDW G.I. Joe continuity perfectly. Dixon and Gulacy perfectly complement the other series with their trademark brand of action, character, and classic property carte blanche that make Special Missions a nice addition to the IDW comics line. Latest ish is out this week, May fifteenth, and you would do well to check it out if you are enjoying Van Lente and Costa’s books. It doesn’t miss a beat since IDW rebooted the franchise, and neither do Dixon or Gulacy. Comic shops and Comixology, my friends. Check it out.