Every week, CBR has your guide to navigating Wednesday’s new and latest comic book releases, specials, complete editions and reissues, and we’re committed to helping you choose the ones that are worth your hard earned money. It’s a small selection of CBRs we like to call Big questions.
If you feel so inclined, you can purchase our recommendations directly on comiXology with the links provided. We will even provide links to the books we are not that hot on, just in case you would not take our word for it. Do not forget to tell us what you think about the books this week in the comments! And as always, SPOILERS FORED!
HULK # 1 (MARVEL)
After Immortal Hulk spent years exploring the cosmic horror lurking behind Green Goliath, Donny Cates, Ryan Ottley, Frank Martin and Cory Petits Hulk # 1 finds another form of horror in Bruce Banner, the man behind the monster. In this action-packed debut issue, Banner reveals how he reshaped the latest incarnation of the Hulk, while Marvel’s heroes watch in dismay.
Although the idea that Banner is the Hulk’s real monster is not unheard of, Cates’ manuscript gives the idea a poison and a speed that makes the Hulk feel legally dangerous. Ottley and Martin’s explosive, dynamic art provides a serious blow, where a brutal battle between Iron Man and the Hulk alone is worth the entrance. If this debut is anything to go by, the next era of the Hulk has all the prerequisites for a huge success.
CHECKMAT # 6 (DC)
Over two years after it began, the story of ex-hero Mark Shaw and the Leviathan organization trying to take over one corner of the DC Universe apparently ends in Chess food # 6, by Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Lee Loughridge and Josh Reed. For the most part, the problem plays out like much of the series that went before. The noisy world of spies and shadows leans on the respective strengths of its veteran-creative team, and the climactic battles of history give Maleev and Louridge an action-packed showcase.
But on the last pages, Chess food # 6 triggers one of the most legally shocking revelations outside the left field in recent DC history. In addition to giving a fan-favorite character a major status quo shift, the revelation of a mysterious hero’s true identity ends this miniseries with a fascinating tease asking to be followed up in the future.
BLACK PANTHER # 1 (MARVEL)
After author Ta-Nehisi Coates spent years exploring the cosmic realms of Wakanda’s empire, John Ridley, Juann Cabal, Federico Blee, and Joe Sabino’s Black Panther # 1 bring T’Challa back to Earth in an epic way. While King T’Challa struggles to adapt to a more democratic Wakanda, a brutal attack draws some of his royal secrets into an unpleasant spotlight in this debut issue.
Thanks to the many roles he plays, T’Challa has evolved into one of Marvel’s most psychologically rich characters, and this problem works best when Ridley’s script leans into the complexity of the kingdom. The art team brings the action of the case to life with some particularly striking designs for a new kind of Wakandan warrior. Although this is only a first issue, it already sets up some exciting philosophical conflicts and a solid mystery as the series gets underway.
DC VS VAMPYRE # 2 (DC)
While the title may suggest a simplistic story, DC vs. Vampires # 2, by James Tynion IV, Matthew Rosenberg, Otto Schmidt and Tom Napolitano, is one of the smartest, prettiest versions of the potential end of the world in DC Multiverse. As war with DC’s vampires towers over the horizon, this number sees the Bat family and a few other heroes get ready to fight as one of DC’s icons encounters a brutal end.
With a charming, pitch-perfect encounter between Batman and his partners, this number puts the spotlight on DC’s most human heroes at their hottest and contrasts it with its cold, calculating malice in its vampires. Schmidt continues to deliver typically beautiful work with striking figures and vibrant splashes of color that contradict the darkness at the heart of the story.
X-MEN # 5 (MARVEL)
With X-Men # 5, Gerry Duggan, Javier Pina, Ze Carlos, Erick Arciniega and Clayton Cowles ask some tough questions about Marvel’s most important mutant team, and they come up with some surprising answers. Polaris is at the center as the team faces another group of monsters – a recurring point that the problem explicitly notes – and the cybernetic Reavers.
While the question explores how Polaris was chosen for this team, it throws her and a few X-Men icons in a potentially worrying light as they effortlessly cross ethical boundaries for their own purposes. This idea comes to mind in the final pages as Cyclops is confronted with a complex threat that could reshape mutant cheeks’ place in the Marvel universe. Although these stories threaten to dispel the hero myth that currently surrounds the X-Men, Pina, Carlos, and Arciniega still deliver stylish superhero action throughout the deceptively subversive problem.
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