Every week, CBR has your guide to navigating new and recent Wednesday comic book releases, specials, Collected Editions, and re-releases, and we’re committed to helping you choose which ones are worth your hard-earned cash. It’s a little slice of CBR we like to call Major issues.
If you feel like it, you can buy our recommendations directly on comiXology with the links provided. We’ll even provide links to the books we’re not so hot on, just in case you don’t want to take our word for it. Don’t forget to let us know what you think of this week’s books in the comments! And as always, SPOILERS AHEAD!
GODZILLA VS POWER RANGERS #1 (IDW PUBLISHING/BOOM!)
Thanks to their mutual focus on giant monsters, the worlds of Godzilla and Power Rangers have never been too far apart. And in Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1, Cullen Bunn, Freddie Williams II, Andrew Dalhouse, and Johanna Nattalie officially bring these two franchises together for some serious kaiju battling action. This issue sees the Green Ranger and some of the Rangers’ worst enemies transported to the world of Godzilla, where they get a first-hand look at Godzilla’s atomic might.
Godzilla vs. Power Rangers delivers on its title promise with a spectacular opening fight between Godzilla and the Green Ranger’s Dragonzord. While Bunn’s storyline deftly finds a natural intersection between these two franchises, the art team perfectly captures the bombshell of Godzilla and Power Rangers with pages filled with crackling energy and city-wide battles.
VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR #1 (MARVEL)
With titles like X-Men Legends and Ben Reilly: Spider-Man, Marvel has spent the last few months reuniting veteran creators with the characters they helped define. And in Venom: Deadly Protector #1, Venom co-creator David Michelinie looks back on Marvel’s most famous symbiote alongside Ivan Fiorelli, Bryan Valenza and Travis Lanham. This flashback tale looks back at Venom’s early days as an anti-hero, as Eddie Brock and his symbiote face off against forgotten villains as the Life Foundation plots against him.
After recent stories turned Venom into an Avenger and a cosmic-level force, Venom: Deadly Protector #1 is a refreshing reminder of the Marvel star’s relatively deep roots. While the dialogue sometimes feels a little dated and overly explanatory, the comic book action and subtle dark humor generally work well together. With Fiorelli’s strong portrayal of a classic Venom, this comic reads like a lost issue from the early ’90s adventures of Venom.
HUMAN TARGET #6 (DC)
With The human target #6, Tom King, Greg Smallwood and Clayton Cowles end the first half of their critically acclaimed DC Black Label series with some truly shocking moments. As Detective Christopher Chance continues to investigate the heroes of Justice League International, a terrifying act of violence raises the stakes dramatically for the convicted investigator and his closest ally.
As one of the finest comics produced today, The human target continues to serve as a showcase for Smallwood’s exceptional artistry, particularly his masterful use of color. With inventive Cowles lettering, The human target has a vibrant mid-century aesthetic that’s perfect for the sun-baked mystery that drives it. While this issue’s brutal subversion of a classic Justice League dynamic is a visceral departure from what came before, it gives the first half of The human target an exciting end point.
GHOST CAGE #1 (IMAGE)
In ghost cage #1 Nick Dragotta, Caleb Goellner, and Rus Wooton deliver a jaw-dropping dystopian vision in one of Image Comics’ most impressive new series of the year. This black-and-white issue follows Doyle, an engineer at the energy mega-corporation Ohm, and Sam, a seemingly sentient energy source, as they come to terms with other energy sources, which are personified by the giant kaiju.
Although it may seem like an ambitious premise, Dragotta’s propulsive art moves ghost cage as well as vibrant energy and striking creature designs. The book’s black-and-white palette amplifies the manga influence on Dragotta’s work, with panels reminiscent of everything from the horrors of Akira’s Junji Ito and Katsuhiro Otomo to Dragon Ball’s Akira Toriyama. Between Ohm’s exaggerated founder, Mister Karloff, and Doyle’s obsessive obedience, ghost cage the anti-corporate satire isn’t subtle, but it suits the book’s intriguing, over-the-top worldview perfectly.
X DEATH OF WOLVERINE #5 (MARVEL)
In the wake of the X-Men game changer Hell Event, X Wolverine Deaths turned Moira MacTaggart’s quest for revenge against the X-Men into a high-speed pursuit in the mutant world of Marvel. And in X Wolverine Deaths #5, Benjamin Percy, Federico Vicentini, Dijjo Lima, and Cory Petit bring this adventure to an end as Logan takes on a future Wolverine controlled by Phalanx.
As a bridge between two great eras of the X-Men, X Wolverine Deaths ends with a satisfying but largely unsurprising conclusion. While this finale offers only a few tantalizing hints at the body count implied by its title, Vicentini and Lima still deliver energetic fight scenes, and Percy’s storyline ends with a thoughtful reflection on Wolverine’s place in the X-Men. With some compelling threats and dark omens of possible futures, X Wolverine Deaths is ultimately a solid Wolverine story that offers some interesting ideas for the next Destiny of X era.
ROGUES #1 (DC)
While the DC Universe is full of stories about former superheroes coming out of retirement, Rogues #1 brilliantly twists that formula by sending the Flash’s aging foes on one final heist. In this DC Black Label series, Joshua Williamson, Leomacs, Matheus Lopes and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou catch up with an older Captain Cold as he assembles several of the speedster’s villains into his ambitious end plan.
Having led one of The Flash’s definitive modern races, Williamson takes a perfect take on these characters and lays them down in a clever and compelling premise. The sharp, detailed artistry of Leomacs and the faded, washed-out palette of Lopes give The thieves world a distinct lived feeling that sets it apart from other DC futures. While this first issue is mainly about re-enacting the gang, Rascals gets off to a good start with a bleak vision for the future of the DC Universe.
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