AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #39 (Marvel)
I love Marvel Annuals. Well, I love Classic Marvel Annuals, you know, the ones like Atlantis Attacks, Evolutionary War, Rookies and such. Marvel Annuals used to be the place you could get one fun story, a few back-ups with other characters and a selection of pin-up pages. Something for everyone. These days, Marvel Annuals are nothing more than a one-shot. Most times I feel like I got screwed after reading them. This year’s ASM Annual is nothing more than a one-shot, but Brian Reed and Lee Garbett have put together a really fun and unique story that takes place, somewhere, in continuity. While working on another time related experiment with Grady at Horizon, Peter ends up being erased from existence! What makes it unique it, for once, the world is a better place without Spider-Man! through the story, he meets with people he knows but don’t remember him, at first. People begin to slowly remember him as time sets itself right. The most impactful person here is Ben Parker, aka Uncle Ben. Thing is, I can’t really get into the issue as a whole, it was fantastic and fun from beginning to end, because those two pages towards the end, where Peter and Ben talk and hug, just blew me away. After everything he’s gone through, the words and hug of his Uncle should go a long way in helping him. I hope. -Skott Jimenez
BLOODSTRIK #28 (Image)
Bloodstrike #28 picks up three hours after the events of issue #27 which saw our undead hero Cabbot duking it out with some rather strange mummy foes way up in the Afghan mountains. Wasting little time, issue #28 explores the repercussions of Quantum’s death at the hands of the newly resurrected Bloodstrike team. We start off with a brief introduction to a group of new foes that call themselves The Quanta and a flashback on the events in the previous issue, touching on Cabbot’s lack of faith issues. From there, this issue jumps right into the action. Moments after recovering from his previous ordeal, Cabbot was thrust into battle once again, this time against his brother Battlestone. As you can probably guess, this family reunion was far from pleasant. In fact, it was downright brutal. Having resurfaced after many years, Battlestone had one thing on his mind; and no it was not catching up on old times. Battlestone, under the assumption that Cabbot was the one that killed dear old dad, was as angry as ever. He broke into the Bloodstrike command center for one reason and one reason alone, to beat his brother to a bloody pulp. Of course things didn’t go as planned. He faced some pretty lethal opposition from the Bloodstrike team. Though the confrontation was brief, it still managed to be entertaining. Overall, this was a pretty solid issue. It succeeded in offering a brutal slugfest between two brothers while most importantly setting the stage for some interesting conflicts ahead in the comic’s future. -Christian Johnson
NEW MUTANTS #43 (Marvel)
Exiled Concludes! I have to admit, while I figured I would enjoy at least the JiM part of this story, and I love all the writers involved, I still had reservations about the New Mutants parts. I’m glad to say that even the NM parts were fun! This is how a crossover between two books should be. It didn’t feel forced or fake at all. In the concluding issue, we finally get some closure for the cursed Disir as they finally figure out a way to escape their curse: either marry or kill Sigurd, the Asgardian who basically cased them to be cursed, or somehow convince Bor to free them of the curse he placed on them. What we have is one of the more entertaining weddings in Marvel history. It has everything including a hell-pup in a bow! But even being a New Mutants book it’s obvious that, once again, Loki steals the show. This character has really come a long way over the years and has finally hit a stride that continues to make him one of my favorite Marvel characters, something I never would have said just 5 years ago. Where do we go from here? Well, the Disir are free and are now Hela’s Death Valkyries, thanks to Loki who was able to, shall we say, “persuade” Bor to free them of their curse without getting married. But, because of this, Mephisto is now very upset with Loki and marks him as an enemy. It seems that the more Loki tries to fix things, the deeper in it he gets. Anyway, my hat goes off to the creative team on this story, thank you all for making this a highly entertaining story from top to bottom! -Skott Jimenez
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #10 (IDW Publishing)
Well, kids, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for: SHREDDER! Splinter comes face-to-face with his long time enemy, who he instantly recognizes, and has to fight for his life as Shredder wants the rat to join the Foot! Meanwhile, the Turtles try to find a new base of operations, and thanks to April they do, and make plans to save their father.
All the pieces are coming together and this series is still shaping up nicely. I’m still loving the art, a nice throwback to the 90′s indie comics scene, and the story does a great job of meshing up the different versions of the Turtles over the decades. I still can’t believe I’m sticking with this book. I fully expected to drop it around issue 6 and maybe start grabbing the trades but it’s highly entertaining and it’s very new reader friendly, someone like me who’s always been a passing fan of the Turtles can fully enjoy this without having to know everything about them.
There really isn’t much more you can say about this series other than it captures all the fun and entertainment, as well as building a new world and story for our MUTANT Turtle friends that showcases the best of all the different versions of the Turtles. I’ve been reading this book for nearly a year and it’s just getting better! -Skott Jimenez
THE WALKING DEAD #98 (Skybound/Image)
Something To Fear, Part 2: Normally, when a series nears a milestone issue like #100, the writer tends to do more lead in and filler keeping the status quo changing events for the big issue. Long time readers will know that Robert Kirkman doesn’t follow the rules with this book. Indeed, the series itself doesn’t follow the rules of comics in general: a black and white, non-super hero series featuring zombies where main characters can, and do, die nearing its 100th issue. Breaks every standard we’ve come to know.
Right from the start, this issue, once again, reminds us how fast things can go pear-shaped. Negan’s men followed Rick and the others back to the Community and someone doesn’t survive the meeting. We lose another long time cast member and almost lose another as things between Rick and Negan escalate fast and bad! With all this going on it’s easy to overlook the fact that Carl walked in on Andrea… in bed with Rick! This is all set up for the big issue which makes me wonder…if this is the set up, what’s the pay off going to be like and who is going to survive! -Skott Jimenez