Jace dives deep in X-Tremists #2 as Moneta's true colors begin to show. We also so the possibility of a budding romance between two members of the team. A serious breach of the very intimacy laws they are charged with enforcing. Not only that but the treatment of their prisoner raises serious questions in the mind of Jubilee about the whole basis of their goals and the very rules of the world she lives on. As if that wasn't enough we also see the team deliberately set up a "disaster" so the X-Men can swoop in and save the day and earn their hero status for the masses.
Jace and Manny bring you some spoiler-free thought on our last New Comic Book Day before Christmas. They both choose Dark Nights Death Metal: The Secret Origin #1 as their book of the week. Superb job by a whole host of creators to bring us a Superboy Prime story filled with everything that makes the DCU great. Another highlight for Manny is Ice Cream Man #22 which continues to impress. Jace was also a big fan of Miles to Go from AfterShock, a well executed comic you want to be sure not to miss. We also learn the identity of the new Swamp Thing in this week's Justice League Dark, which along with the Black Adam issue both tie into the Endless Winter event. The finale of that story will be out next week. Speaking of finales we have the final issue of Brian Michael Bendis on Action Comics, the final issue of Mariko Tamaki on Wonder Woman, the Final issue of Red Hood and Peter J. Tomasi and Brad walker finish up their excellent run on Detective Comics. Also if you want to take final issues, Christopher Cantwell figuratively takes Doom to Bedford Falls in the final issue of the Doctor Doom series a perfect ending for that series though we were sad to see it go. All this plus Jace gives a run down on some other titles you might want to be on the look out for.
Jace chats with creator Austin Janowsky about his current Kickstarter campaign Stanley the Snowman. It's all about togetherness and the joy of the holiday season with the commercial and materialistic aspects of the holidays left behind. Something we can all do a better job of keeping in mind. Staring a young female character inspired by Austin's own three daughters, who are now grown, it's got all the makings of a holiday classic. Go check out the campaign for this wonderful ALL-AGES project to get a glimpse at the gorgeous artwork and be sure you don't miss out.
Jace dives deep into Prisoner X #2 as Bishop struggles to find answer in one of the most secure prisons in the Age of X-Man world. It isn't enough that he is fighting to survive against the system that imprisoned him there, he also is responsible for the incarceration of a great many of the prisoners he is now trapped alongside. We see him search for answers as to who left him the mysterious note, but unfortunately the powers that be aren't very fond of Bishops looking for answers. Also he is questioning what is real as he continues to have memories of things that never happened, while supposedly significant events in his live are missing. Bishop has been patient in his search for the truth so far, but we get the sense that is about to change.
Jace takes a look at Apocalypse and the X-Tracts #2. While the followers of En Sabah Nur seem to be buying his act, Jace sure isn't. He speculates the Apocalypse still has the desire for power at hsi core. All the talk of love and community is just that, talk. Once he has found a way for all mutants to throw off the influence of X-Man he will be there to pick up the pieces and enslave the population all over again, this time in service to him.
Jace breaks down Amazing Nightcrawler #2. What are the responsibilities that Nightcrawler has to all the mutants who look up to him as the world's biggest movie star? How does he balance that with the feelings he is fighting that are outlawed in the Age of X-Man world? For that matter why is Nightcrawler the perfect mutant to use in this story about forbidden love, duty and love?
Jace continues to explore the world of the Age of X-Man with Next Gen #2. Glob finally has someone to confide in with his knowledge that the world is not as it should be. Can Armor's leadership help to awaken everyone at the Summers Institute about the true fascist nature of the world? Meanwhile Anole seems predisposed to always rebel and his friends worry that this behavior is leading him down the path of being taken away to never be seen again. The young X-Men are shouldering a lot of responsibility with their knowledge, will they be able to handle it?
Jace takes a look at Dead Day #1 from Ryan Parrott & Evgeny Bornyakov. On special days, known as Dead Day the dead rise and once more and walk among the living. It doesn't happen every year, but it is predictable and it brings many fascinating opportunities. Some loved ones are reunited with family, other dead, especially prisoners who have been executed are violent. A religion known as the Revivalist has sprung up around the concept of Dead Day and even with the proof of the revivals out there for all to see they are looked upon as a cult. This particular story is all about how Dead Day affects one family, especially the mother who has done out on Dead Day to meet a former love, she has gone out to keep a promise made in a previous life, but will the price she pays to keep this promise be hire than she wants to pay?
Jace takes a look at the first issue of a great series from one of our favorite writers Eliot Rahal. How would you react if you had been abducted by aliens for 17 years and returned suddenly? What if you remembered every moment of that abduction and how the aliens experimented on you? Now imagine how your family feels when they had likely assumed you were dead. Let's throw in one more wrinkle, the world itself sees you as the Milk Carton Kid and are about to find out all about your crazy stories of returning from the stars having been kidnapped by extra-terrestrials almost 2 decades ago. Yeah it's about to get real!
The Man Who Effed Up Time is a rollicking good time. In the best tradition of time travel and Sci-Fi stories, it explores many of those ideas with a likeable main character and plenty of humor. Stylish line art from artist Kyle Mostert adds to the aesthetic and the colors from Dee Cunniffe compliment the linework beautifully. The story and scripting from Jonathan Layman is top notch and fans of characters like Archer & Armstrong or the crew from Sliders will love this book.
Jace dives into the first issue of Miles to Go. We meet Amara a former assassin trying to live the life of a normal mom. She's dealing with raising a daughter as a single mother with her divorce on the horizon, but also her past seems to be rearing it's ugly head. Her mentor has recently become a target and you have to wonder if she is next. It's great characterization in this first issue as writer B Clay Moore and artist Stephen Molnar give us subtly clues to who these characters are. It's the perfect sort of character building that almost happens on a subconscious level. Not too mention we get one heck of a cliffhanger ending.
Jace talks about the first issue that mixes two genres we have never seen combined before, it's a heist story against the backdrop of a Kaiju event. If you love heist stories as much as us, stories about giant monsters or maybe even both, then this is the book for you. We are introduced to our gang of thieves in the first issue and there isn't exactly a lot of trust between them, couple that with the fact that one of them isn't even the person they think she is and you have the start of a lot of dramatic tension and a whole lot that can go wrong when it's time for the score to go down. Another intriguing start to a story with a very original premise from AfterShock
Jace gives his thoughts on the first issue of Undone By Blood. It's a dual narrative as our protagonist seems to be drawing inspiration or even mentorship from the old gunslinger in the western novel she carries and reads when time permits. Meanwhile she is on her own search for vengeance in the dusty town where a terrible tragedy occurred over a year ago. Clearly all is not as it seems and we have a feeling this young girl, Ethel, may be far more formidable than she appears at first glance. Set in 1971 with a distinctive feel of the restlessness of that decade, this story is poised to translate well to other media and has already been optioned as a TV show.
Jace reviews the first issue of Disaster Inc. Starting form the premise of extreme tourism, an increasingly popular activity where people pay large sums of money to be guided to some of the most dangerous remote and sometime restricted places on earth. In this first issue we meet Paolo, the president of Disaster Inc and his right hand man Abby. They are leading a group of tourists into the "exclusion zone", an are of Japan that was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster ever. Unbeknownst to them, there are things at work in the zone far more dangerous than simple radiation, but we have only seen a glimpse of what those dangers might be.
Jace takes a look at the #1 issue an espionage story that brings back the tension and intrigue of the Cold War. Russian agents, mysterious power outages, violent attacks, this story has a fast-paced start and an intriguing mystery that is just starting to unfold. Adding to the realism of the story is the fact that it was conceived by an authentic Russian intelligence agents. Take all that and bring some visceral art with fantastic emotion & body language and you have the ingredients for a successful series.
One last holiday tale for Superman as Jace takes a look at an issues from 2001, Warworld has just been built, the big Worlds at War event is about to kick off, though that's is unbeknownst to the heroes of the DCU right now. Also Lex Luthor has been elected president and Clark struggles with acceptance. While he meets with each of his fellow Justice Leaguers he questions them about their thoughts on the election while also giving them their gift for the year. They all get appropriately suitable gifts for the Man of Steel, who for his part has selected the presents so well, you can't tell if they are tongue in cheek gag gifts or gifts given from the heart.
Another great Christmas episode starring Superman. It's a very emotional issue as Kal-El shares with Lois the frustration he some times feels that he cant' help everyone, for all his incredible abilities he is still only one person and there are limits to his powers. We are also reminded that each of us has within us the power to help others in ways that even Superman may be unable to do. Ultimately, Superman is able to help some who are in need during the holiday season including some children who have the chance to meet Santa Claus in person thanks to the efforts of the Man of Steel and Professor Hamilton.
Jace looks back on the first Christmas Superman spent in Metropolis and how he learned a lesson about not trying to do everything alone. The Man of Steel starts off by deciding that he will attempt to prevent all crime in the city as his gift to his new home. However, not even Superman can be everywhere at once. Also many of the citizens of Metropolis take it upon themselves to help out where they can. Whether they are inspired by Superman I can't say, but it is an important message to remember in this holiday season that you are never truly alone if you choose to reach out to others.
In the best tradition of the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life, Superman gets a glimpse of what the future will be like without him. It's a powerful reminder of how impactful Kal-El is ways he doesn't even realize. He must always remain as a symbol of hope for all of us for in doing so he reminds is all of how to strive for the best in ourselves. Taking it even one step further it reminds us to look for the best in each other. A wonderful reminder of how we all may impact and influence others in out own lives without realizing it.
Jace explores the relationship between Superman and Batman which is perfectly displayed in a couple of DC holiday stories. Not only is it a relationship that is built on a foundation of mutual respect and admiration, it is foundational to the relationship of the next generation of heroes. We see so many of the qualities from Clark and Bruce's friendship in the relationship between Jon and Damian. As important as continuity can be, it is important to remember that maintaining it should be in service to story, character and preserving the charm of the DC universe that is a product of the relationships between it's characters. It's a great lesson to remember during the holiday season so that we can all remember not to take the relationships in our own lives for granted.
It's another Superman holiday episode as Clark rings in the New Year back home in Smallville. Unfortunately, it isn't for celebratory reasons, but rather a mistake from the past that he is facing at long last. It is also a reminder to all of us about the responsibility we all have to keep each other safe. It's a good lesson and one that the Kents instilled in Clark at a young age, which makes the mistake Clark made all the more tragic. A classic story from the Triangle Era of the Man of Steel with a good message for us all.
Jace comments on a very relevant Superman story about the spirit of the holidays and what it means to give to your fellow man. This one gets a little preach-y so apologies in advance, but we just want to remind everyone about the needs of so many, especially around the holidays and even beyond them. The problems many people face are brought home in a poignant fashion to the Daily Planet family when they learn that one of their own has been facing very difficult challenges all on her own. There's a lot to love about the message this issue sends, and also a lot to reflect on as we all need to be reminded at times that collectively we need to do more for those that are struggling.
We have reached the end of Warlock as Jace talks about the final issue. It is not the end of the relationship between Thanos and Adam Warlock however, we learn that Thanos has big plans that he has been keeping hidden even from Gamora. However, the galaxies most dangerous female senses that Thanos is withholding from her and even more interesting despite her debt to Thanos, she is beginning to suspect she should be working to stop him rather than help him. Another very interesting aspect to this issue is Starlin revealing the existence of 5 more Infinity Gems. The seeds for all that comes later with the Infinity Gauntlet were planted very far back indeed.
Jace tackles the final chapter of the epic struggle between Adam Warlock and his evil future self the Magus. Can Warlock succeed in vanquishing his much more powerful & evolved self? Will Thanos succeed in his machinations to aid Warlock for the Mad titan's own nefarious purposes? Just how big a price is Warlock willing to pay and how can he win. We get the answers to all this, plus tons of action and some great character moments, especially from Gamora & Pip the Troll.
Jace joins Dark Knight Nation and ComicBoom! to talk all about the future of DC Comics. We've finally seen the solicitations for March and have an idea of what's coming after Future State, so how do the guys feel about it? What do they have to say about the nearly 100% new roster of creators that will be working on the various titles? Also they talk about the potential storylines and whether they might work. Some speculation on what announcements are to come as well as whether the new formats can catch on. It all winds up with some talk about the consequences if this initiative falls flat. There's a lot to digest in this GIANT-SIZED double-length episode!