Geeklings, a very Happy New Comic Book Day to you all! It is Thanksgiving Eve, all the cranberries are ready to be sauced, the green beans are on the cusp of being casseroled, all the turkeys that failed to migrate to where ever turkeys migrate to avoid the purging are ready to be stuffed, and all the new comic books for the week are hitting the shelves. Today. And here we sit, on New Comic Book Day, ready to give thanks.
I hope everyone is doing well on the cusp of the holiday season. I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving, I actually think it’s my favorite holiday now, and I’ve been prepping for tomorrow all week. But outside of food, Thanksgiving is a time to sit back and reflect and to express your gratitude to what’s important in your life. Personally, I’ve got a bunch to be thankful for, and if you’ll let me be a bit cheesy for a minute I’d like to say thank you to you guys.
Coming here every Wednesday is often the highlight of my writing week as I get to write about comic books with people who are interested in reading about comic books! It’s one of the great joys in life. So in short, thanks for stopping in every week to talk comics with yours truly. It really means a great deal and I hope I can bring a little joy with each column. It’s the little things Geeklings.
Now that all that mushy stuff is out of the way let’s turn our attention to more rugged things. Like men in women in tights punching people in the face. Yeah! That’s the stuff. There are a bunch of really awesome books out this week, and it’s time we started discussing.
Batman #59– Tom King has been building something incredible when it comes to his Batman run, and Batman #59 only enforces that. I’ve really enjoyed how Bane has systematically broken Batman in a way that we couldn’t possibly expect… by praying on his emotions. The severing of his relationship with Selina, the Mr. Freeze jury duty, the shooting of Nightwing, are all actions that have fractured the mental state of Batman. When Bane first encountered Batman he physically broke his back, but this time around Bane has slowly and methodically broken the Bat mentally, and the greatest part for him is the fact that Batman may not understand that he’s already broken. This is an excellent issue that perfectly mirrors the “I Am Suicide/I Am Bane” arcs from earlier in the run, and Mikel Janin’s art is tremendous. He creates such tense and atmospheric moments, that by issue end you’re left exhausted but wanting more. I’ve got a feeling that this issue will have some serious ramifications on Batman’s future. It’s no longer a matter of how long before he breaks, but will he ever be able to pick up the pieces.
Injustice 2 Annual #2– I’m not shy about saying that I’m not the biggest Superman fan in the world, and that was part of my draw to Tom Taylor’s Injustice series. I loved the idea of Superman as a villain. Loved it, and Injustice did not disappoint. What easily could have been a throwaway series to a video game quickly became one of my favorite books that were filled with outstanding character work and a deep dive into what drives the DC Universe. I’ve missed Injustice since it wrapped a few months ago, and if the Injustice 2 Annual is the last issue of the series… then it’s a wonderful farewell. Taylor has openly expressed how much he admires Superman and this issue reads like an open love letter to Superman, Batman, and the bond they share. Not going to lie, I got emotional a few times throughout the book, and was sad to see it end. Taylor brings it all together with a story that isn’t short on heart and brings all the feels. There is some awesome artwork in here too from long-running Injustice artist, Bruno Redondo. There’s one panel that stands out as a tribute to the Dark Knight Returns and its crazy cool! I hope this isn’t the end of Injustice but if so there’s no better way for it to say goodbye.
Middlewest #1-If you’ve been missing Skottie Young comics since I Hate Fairyland wrapped, I’ve got good news for you! Middlewest is the start of a brand new Young series, with Jorge Corona on art, which has all the makings of a fantasy epic. I haven’t had a chance to read this one, yet, but I’m kind of getting this Never Ending Story coming of age quest epic from the solicits. Young has a knack for excellent universe building and writing characters that are easy to invest in. If it’s a Skottie Young book expect the humor but stay for the stories. They’re always captivating and I expect no less from Middlewest.
Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1– Donny Cates’s monthly Venom series has helped redefine the character of Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote in ways we didn’t even know we wanted. This series has provided a brand new history to the Venom character that enhances the character and expands on what we know about the symbiote. With that kind of success, it would make sense that Cates would have his go at bringing back Carnage. Carnage is one of those strange characters who had an excellent run during the ’90s (Maximum Carnage) and then kind of fell off. I want to say that one of the last times we saw poor Carnage he was in space getting ripped in half by the Sentry. Ugh. The Carnage symbiote has turned up from time to time, most recently attaching itself to Norman Osborne to create the Red Goblin, but it’s time we got the OG Cletus Kasady back, and who better to tackle this task than Donny Cates?
Archie #700- The Avengers isn’t the only one to hit the seven hundred issue mark, as Archie reaches that milestone today with a brand new creative team spearheaded by Nick Spencer. I’ve been a really big fan of this more modern telling of the Archie universe and thought Mark Waid did a superb job making these characters not only feel new but allowing their stories to resonate on such a high emotional level. I have a lot of faith in Nick Spencer, who is killing it on Amazing Spider-Man currently, in picking up the ball and running with it. Spencer knows how to tap into great character work with emotion, see Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and he has the right voice for this universe. Looking forward to what comes next as Archie takes its first step to another seven hundred issues.
Honorable Mentions- Marvel Knights #2 & Justice League #12
There you have it Geeklings, all the best books to grab on this Thanksgiving Eve. As always if you feel like I’ve left anything off be sure to let me know in the comments. If you’d like to talk more comics with yours truly you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32. In the meantime, put your pants with the elastic on, bring an appetite, a side of comics for in-between football games, and be sure to have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving! Much love to you all. Happy reading and many huzzahs!
Images from Marvel, DC, Image, and Archie comics