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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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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Comic of the Week: Nomen Omen #1 is delivers something unique and challenging

By d. emerson eddy — We're living in a time where there is a veritable embarrassment of riches when it comes to choice and quality for comics. If you don't particularly like superheroes, that's all right, because there's a huge selection out there. Publishers like Image, Dark Horse, BOOM!, Vault, IDW, Valiant, and more have you covered. Aside from arguably westerns and romance, you're not for want of reading material, high quality reading material, in just about any genre (including superheroes). So, on that landscape, it always surprises me when something raises itself above, strives to do something different, and delivers something unique, something challenging, from seemingly out of nowhere. Nomen Omen #1 is one of those books.

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Comic of the Week: The New Mutants - War Children #1, two legendary talents bring their A games

By d. emerson eddy — Marvel's celebration of its 80th anniversary has been a bit strange. There have been a number of resurrected titles as one shot anthologies along a theme, other specials featuring reunited creative teams from luminary runs, the Avengers: No Road Home arc, etc. Also, both the Invaders and Marvel Comics Presents series could be seen as a celebration of history, and then there was the chronicling of Marvel's history outright in The History of the Marvel Universe, and, of course, the Marvel Comics #1000 special. It's all added up to a very...eclectic year with some interesting material. Without it, however, we never would have seen a reunion of two creators who crafted one of the publisher’s best remembered and most cherished stories in the New Mutant's Demon Bear Saga — Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz.

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Comic of the Week: Black Ghost #1 is a compelling, modern story steeped in the spirit of the pulps

By d. emerson eddy — I'm a sucker for pulp heroes. While the bygone pulp adventures are known for their heights of space and jungle adventures (as well as for having racially insensitive and sometimes worse villains), they also at times dealt with the type of crime that happens right outside our doors in the real world. The Shadow, The Black Bat, The Phantom, and The Spider were just as likely to be embroiled in a war with street thugs and crime bosses as they were intergalactic jewel thieves, and it lent the heroes a certain authenticity. When dealing with ordinary crime, it made a regular guy in a tuxedo, cape, and domino mask feel more like a possibility. More real, of the ordinary person going to extreme lengths to actually do something to clean up their part of the world.

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Comic of the Week: King Thor #1, ‘the end has never looked so good’

By d. emerson eddy — It's been a big year for Thor, both the character and the franchise. The threat that has been building and building under Malekith's hand for years finally came to a head in The War of the Realms, arguably one of the best superhero event series and tie-ins in recent years. He found the inner strength to become worthy again, both of his mantle and of the pride of his father, Odin. The Asgardian side of Marvel has also become a larger viable franchise again, both creatively and financially, with the recent launches of Loki and Valkyrie. And we're coming full circle to end of Jason Aaron's seven years guiding Thor as he reunites with the Thor: God of Thunder team that (nearly*) started it all of Esad Ribić, Ive Svorcina, and Joe Sabino. 

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COMIC OF THE WEEK: Legion of Super-Heroes Millenium is a unique bridge through DC Universe time

By d. emerson eddy — There were a couple forms of the Legion Super-Heroes that were around at the beginning of DC's New 52 reboot back in 2011, all of which kind of continued on from what had been happening with the team before the reboot. These included one team, Legion Lost, that was thrown back to the present, where they started dealing with the strange time anomalies from Flashpoint in rather oblique ways, never really directly referencing the change. Neither series lasted long, and the franchise virtually disappeared two years into the New 52. After the publisher relaunched its superhero properties in 2016 with Rebirth, writers and artists have dropped some Easter eggs and other hints within the DC Universe, but it's still been almost six years since we've seen a proper Legion of Super-Heroes comic.

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Comic of the Week: Mountainhead #1 is another strong addition to IDW's growing creator-owned catalog

By d. emerson eddy — This year, in between the licensed material and burgeoning Marvel Action line of friendly all ages superhero tales, IDW has gone back to one of the things that established them in the industry some 20 years ago: idiosyncratic creator-owned supernatural, fantasy, and horror stories. IDW’s creator-owned comics this year have shown an impressive inventiveness and a captivating personal quality. They are stories that seemingly could only be told by these creators, who are often newer voices to the industry. A number of them have been English language editions of series also published by Glénat Editions, but some of my favorites have been IDW originals like Canto, Road of Bones, Night Moves, and Ghost Tree. Mountainhead is the latest comic to join the latter group.

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Comic of the Week: Daredevil #10, ‘comics don’t often get as good as this’

By d. emerson eddy — The current volume of Daredevil could be considered a masterpiece. Every issue has delved deep into Matt Murdock's soul and lain it bare, while getting to the very heart of the complicated relationship between vigilantism, the police, duty, responsibility, and morality. I don't believe there's been a sheer force of nature driving this series since Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's “Born Again” arc back in 1986. Every single creator who has been working on this volume of Daredevil has been integral to delivering this story and elevating the heights of this series.

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Comic of the Week: Conan the Barbarian Exodus #1 is a stunning tale of Conan’s past

By d. emerson eddy — Since Marvel regained the Conan license last year, they have done wonders with it. Month in and month out, there are fantastic stories of sword and sorcery being told in comics like Conan the Barbarian, Savage Sword of Conan, Age of Conan, and Savage Avengers, all of which expand on the lore and adventures of Robert E. Howard's barbarian son. The creators have woven tales throughout Conan's history, showing new and old aspects, while also fleshing out many of his well-known supporting characters. Conan the Barbarian: Exodus #1 continues all of this, delving into the previously untold tale of Conan's first time leaving Cimmeria.

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