Top Comics to Buy for October 23, 2019: Immortal Hulk, Criminal, and more!

By Zack Quaintance — This week really made me take stock of this year, featuring as it does two of the major highlights in comics for 2019: Criminal and Immortal Hulk. It’s really, in many ways, been a very solid year for comics, albeit not an overly flashy one. We’ve gotten some really stellar self-contained superhero stories, thinking here specifically of Immortal Hulk as well as the Superman epic that unfurled at DC and ultimately delivered the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

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Comic of the Week: Once and Future #3 and why Dan Mora should be a household name

By d. emerson eddy — Dan Mora should be a household name. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating. He has an incredible style that gives you hints of artists like Greg Capullo and Sean Gordon Murphy, an attention to iconic shapes similar to Mike Mignola, Bruce Timm, and Alex Toth, and an approach to shading that reminds me a bit of Gil Kane and Joe Kubert, resulting in a look that is unmistakably his own. A mix of clean-lined iconic characters and a bit of dirt and grit that makes it work for both ordinary humans as well as more fantastical horrors and monsters. This has consistently made him a boon for other BOOM! Studios titles like Klaus, Hexed, Go Go Power Rangers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and now it’s happening again in Once & Future #3. 

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INTERVIEW: Lonnie Nadler, Jenna Cha talk new Vault Comic, BLACK STARS ABOVE

By Zack Quaintance — I recently had a chance to read a new series from Vault Comics (always a treat) called Black Stars Above, which is written by Lonnie Nadler, illustrated by Jenna Cha, colored by Brad Simpson, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. It’s a dense and immersive comic, one that blends elements of both cosmic horror and historical fiction into a dark existential cocktail that feels a bit like Twin Peaks set in the icy Canadian frontier.

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REVIEW: Cult Classic Creature Feature #1 presents a polished vision of dark nostalgia

By Zack Quaintance — I remember when I first heard about Vault Comics’ shared Cult Classic Universe. It must have been 2017 or so. I was aware of Vault, having read (and loved) Heathen, as well as some of their other early titles, specifically Alien Bounty Hunter, Zojaqan, and Spiritus. It was billed (if I remember correctly) as a shared universe of horror-tinged stories set in the same small town and owing a bit to ‘80s teen genre films (although I can’t remember if that last part is just me projecting).

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REVIEW: X-Men #1 has some fun in the House of X that Hickman built

By Zack Quaintance — Since Jonathan Hickman launched a new era of X-Men comics back in late July with House of X #1, there have been quite a few surprises in store for fans of Marvel’s mutants. Chief among these surprises is the entire concept of the new era, wherein guided by the lessons learned through Moira McTaggert’s reincarnations (she too is a mutant), Professor X, Magneto, Apocalypse and everyone else (pretty much) have unified, creating a separate mutant state on the living island of Krakoa, where they have also figured out how to revive any mutants that are killed….there is some tension between the newly-empowered mutants and humanity, however, and it is played out through the ongoing development of AI and robots. Phew.

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Top Comics to Buy for October 16, 2019: Superman Smashes the Klan, X-Men, and more!

By Zack Quaintance — This is somewhat of a lighter week for my individual tastes, although if I look to the New #1s and One Shots section of our Top Comics to Buy for October 16, 2019, I do find some capital B Big books dropping. In fact, while this column generally doesn’t put #1s in our Top 5, there were so many strong debuts this week that we had to make some exceptions.

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Comic of the Week: The Batman’s Grave #1, long-form ambition meets single-issue crunch

By d. emerson eddy — It pretty much goes without saying that DC Comics, that is “Detective Comics Comics”, publishes a lot of Batman comics. Just this week alone there's something like 16 Batman, Batman-related, and Batman-adjacent titles. It makes sense, Batman is a draw and continues to sell comics. He's one of those characters that lends himself to just about any type of story from action/adventure right on through to zombie horror, and it usually works. I tend to adhere to the belief that it's very hard not to make at the least a good, enjoyable Batman story and that there are many out there that are simply great. In some cases, even the best that the industry can offer. Granted, I am biased. It may not always seem as such, but Batman, like Swamp Thing, was one of the things that cemented my readership in comics. 

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TRADE RATING: Zdarsky, Checchetto’s Dardevil Vol. 1 is ‘unlike anything we’ve seen from this character’

By Hussein Wasiti —  To be frank, I was surprised when Chip Zdarsky was announced late last year as the writer who would take ol’ hornhead in a brand new direction as the writer of Marvel Comics’ Daredevil. Joining him on this book, is artist Marco Checchetto, who made a name for himself with The Punisher and Old Man Hawkeye, both dynamic and action-oriented comics. It all seems like an unlikely creative mashup, but it works beautifully. 

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A Love Letter to These Savage Shores: A brilliant creative team with a unique cultural perspective

By Jarred A. Luján — If you’ve been anywhere near me for the past year (or, really, most other folks in comics), you’ve probably heard ranting and raving about a book called These Savage Shores, and now…it’s ending. Yes, the final issue of this great series — These Savage Shores #5 — arrived yesterday, and I think this is the most emotional reaction I’ve ever had to a book finishing up...a strange blend of complete excitement to read it and utter dread knowing there isn’t a #6. I received a review copy in the service of writing this very article and still had to kind of hype myself up to read and finish it. I am, however, glad I did, because it’s a perfect ending, by the way. 

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Why are HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X two series?

By Garrett Rooney — House of X and Powers of X, the recently-concluded series that launched a new era of X-Men comics, are a complicated pair of interconnected stories. While they are clearly telling one larger story, Jonathan Hickman has chosen to tell us that story by breaking it into two separate six-issue mini-series that are mostly released on alternating weeks. This is somewhat unusual, because you really can’t appreciate either of these series alone. In fact, in the back of each issue of HoXPoX (for brevity I will be referring to the overall work as HoXPoX going forward, and the individual books as HoX or PoX), you’ll find a reading order that makes it very clear that you are intended to read the issues in a particular intertwined order, “two series that are one” as it says.

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