Who saw Infinity War?? How fucking sick was that movie?! Okay okay, no spoilers here, just always excited for a rad comic movie to hit theatres. I highly encourage y’all to see it. Anyway, here’s a bunch of comics that have nothing to do with that! Couple big issue releases here, we’ve got the end of Damnation and the last issue of The Mighty Thor before the Fresh Start (although there will be a one-shot about Jane Foster in Valhalla). See all that and more, right now!
Detective Comics #979
Ulysses’s wacky plan continues as nanomachine suits take over Colony soldiers and Red Robin. A chunk of this issue takes place in Tim’s head as Ulysses explains that his goal is to transform this Tim into the crazy evil future Tim from a previous arc I didn’t read. To do this, he plans to subject Tim’s brain to the traumas that set his alternate self down the path of controlling everyone. A little weird and high concept as far as evil plans go, but it gets points for some originality. Ulysses, who has dubbed himself The General, believes the only way to prevent large scale death of the Batfamily is to have robot controlled soldiers be judge jury and executioner of all of Gotham. So that’s an interesting angle as well. All in all, I especially like the idea of testing Batman’s faith in Tim; after all, the connection and cooperation between the core Batfam members is what makes it all work. Playing with that dynamic and examining the limits is the theme of this run, with Batwoman killing Clayface, Azrael and Batwing joining her, and now Tim going off his rocker. The art does a few notable things in this issue, I had to briefly turn it sideways for a trippy sequence which was rad. The arc title/logo treatment is well done too since it’s called “Batmen Eternal”, it plays off the old weekly Batman Eternal book design. Definitely enjoying this, and since we’re around a year from Detective Comics #1000 it feels like a good time to shake things up and look at the Batfamily a little differently leading up to that.
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #4
This issue is a bit of a whirlwind. Raven’s mom shows up at the funeral they’re holding for Raven’s friend’s mom and announces she’s taking her home. A whole crowd of the faceless girls attack. The weird dude in the magic house is still being weird and cryptic. We also get a direct look into Raven’s mom’s past as Raven gets fed up with asking for answers and just reads her mind. It feels like a lot is going on but nothing really happens, it’s a strange issue. Which I guess is to be expected in part four of twelve. There is some important setup here, with a big fuck off cliffhanger at the end. I also like that there is some character focus, with Raven talking to her mom about why she wants to stay on Earth and how she feels about her family. It’s easy to forget Raven is a confused 16 year old who was raised in Hell and is now trying to figure out normal life. It feels like her character hasn’t been popping up in DC books as often recently, so getting a whole miniseries to delve into her place in the new order of the DCU is great (even if her place so far hasn’t connected with anything else). Art remains awesome, and despite being largely confused I am still very much sucked into the magic of it all.
Doctor Strange: Damnation #4
Remember a while back when I complimented this event for having a good pace of main issues? And then it dropped off the fucking Earth to the point I thought I missed it. That’s what I get for not putting the money out for tie-ins I guess. Regardless, this issue was a cool wrap up. Had one of those wonderful plot twist moments where the villain gloats and realizes what a fuck up he is partway through. It’s a little cheesy, but I love those “I had a bigger plan running in the background and outsmarted you,” hero wins. It’s why I love Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency so fucking much. Anyway, all the weird characters that showed up served a purpose and it was pretty cool to see a focus on the supernatural side of things. Doc Strange himself also had a REALLY badass fight sequence in there that reminded me how cool mage type characters can be. I really liked this event, although like I said I skipped all the tie-ins so maybe those were shit.
It also leaves room for another storyline going down this road which I like, even if I still haven’t gotten the successor to Spirits of Vengeance that I want. For the moment this line of magic based Marvel stuff will have to do until a Constantine book gets a decent run again. I’m a little sad to see Damnation go, but if it spins off into anything cool you’ll see it in a future CWPB!
The Mighty Thor #706
This is it, the final issue of The Mighty Thor. I don’t know what I expected, but I guess comics are how they are. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m fairly let down by this. I wanted the move back to Odinson as Thor to be meaningful, and this issue cheapens a lot of it. There’s an argument to be made for the role Jane plays being important, but I don’t like the way this is handled. I really don’t want to delve into this because it’s a pretty big plot point going on here. As it stands, I wish The Mighty Thor had ended last issue.
Moon Knight #194
This one’s also pretty out there, but it’s a really fucking good issue once it ties together. Moon Knight’s multiple personalities have always been at the core of his character; however, that hasn’t always been super well handled. I haven’t followed all the Moon Knight books, but there have been times his mental health has been retconned or adjusted or just sort of offensive in general. The current run has leaned into Marc’s multiple personalities, and although it comes off a little weird sometimes it’s all in all it’s not too bad. This issue delves into the childhood event that really jump started the trauma and the way his brain started handling it. Especially important is the fact that he has to talk to his daughter and help her to understand it. It’s not a long conversation, but it’s important and poignant all the same. I’m not going to claim the character or even this run has always been properly sensitive to dealing with Marc’s DID, but addressing it in such a human way is a really good step. It’s still a little stereotypical, attributing his mental break to one single event, but it’s still a good examination of the character. When I saw this was going to be an “origin story” my expectations were really low, but this actually added something.
God damn did Titan fucking get this right. The comic has moved forward, out of the comfort of the game, into new environments. Still, all the core ideas from the game remain in place. There are a lot of small nods to details of the lore that take a little digging into, which I absolutely love. I don’t know if the writer is a fan, if he read The Paleblood Hunt, or if Bandai/FromSoft gave him some sort of lore guide to work within. Regardless, it works well within the story. Despite Paleblood being so central to much of the lore, it’s a little nebulous within the game itself. Even looking at the Bloodborne wiki doesn’t help much, although the director of the game has some suggested interpretations. In the comic, we see another possibility of what it could mean in this child that literally has pale white blood. That child begins to play a role in this comic, now speaking and contributing, instead of just being a thing that needs escorting. While I don’t expect any huge new lore reveals in comic form, I do like exploring some of the mysteries in a different context. I’ll also probably bring it up often, but I love that the hunter has dialogue and a personality. The way the Chosen Undead/Hunter in the Soulsborne games act is really important to the feel and structure of the game, but seeing a hunter with a little more defined character is great. The NPC hunters in the game give a bit of insight, and now this character does too. There’s still time for a quality dive, but the next issue is supposed to be the last so we’ll see how it goes. Stay tuned!
That’s it for this round up! Next week’s article may or may not end up a little delayed due to the huge Free Comic Book Day celebration my store is hosting on Saturday. If any of y’all live near a comic store, I definitely recommend checking it out and grabbing some cool freebies. If you wanna talk about any of these books, why I’m fucking mad about Thor, or about fucking Infinity War definitely come to Discord! We have a spoiler-friendly channel or you can just message me individually to talk about the film.
Comic Wolf Post-Credit
Hey everyone and welcome to the place where nonsense lives! Now that the Superman specials are over we’re back to having post-credits. This week is a pretty light on, there was a cute free comic that came out so I grabbed one.
Marvel Rising #0
This is a cute little comic leading into some all-ages stuff Marvel is working on. Looks like they’ve got a couple cartoon shorts/movies planned and a few limited comic series focusing on some of the superheroes that tend to click with kids. It’s a really rad and diverse cast and the art is adorable, so it caught my eye. This one is a mini story about a field trip for STEM students to NYC. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, who is a computer science student (like yours truly) volunteers to be the chaperone. The class also happens to include Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan. Baddies show up and our two heroes jump into action. It’s silly and fun and charming, everything you’d expect from an all-ages book. It’s no secret that I really dig cute stuff, and a lot of the comics I read could be considered all-ages or at least be accessible to a slightly younger audience. This had all the fun goofiness and wasn’t overly dumb and childish, which I consider a win. I was a little sad that only two characters showed up when the cover features so many; I was really hoping for Spider Gwen, America Chavez, or Captain Marvel to show up. Still, I’m interested to check out the Marvel Rising label in whatever form it takes so the comic did its job.
That’s all folks! As I mentioned above next week might be a little late, but by way of apology I’ll try to review some of the Free Comic Book Day exclusive biz. Additionally, I’ve picked up a few new graphic novels that I’ll try to work into post-credits soon!