Every week, comic fandom is gifted with a slew of fantastic stories from a slew of fantastic creators. These days there’s just so much good stuff out there that it can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re new to comics. Thus AiPT! presents to you, Fantastic Five! A weekly column where we pick five fantastic books released during the week and tell you why you should take a chance on them via a snippet from our reviews.
Enjoy, and happy reading!
Gwenpool Strikes Back #3
Written by Leah Williams. Art by David Baldeon.
This issue opens with Gwenpool jumping into the gutters of the comic with Deadpool, scaring the artist David Baldeon, and delivering some truths via flowchart. It’s a wild first few pages that must have taken a lot of work but it pays off. Gwenpool continues to be erratic and out of this world bonkers while laying down Marvel truths. That includes some deft commentary on She-Hulk, Captain America, and sales in general. It all rounds out to the best comic about superhero comics there is and it does not disappoint. Even the cover gets a reference similar to the last issue as Williams continues to point out truths of the industry. (9.5/10)
— David Brooke
Powers of X #6
Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by R.B. Silva.
This issue of Powers of X is significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the final issue of both House of X and Powers of X, bringing the first segment of Hickman’s tenure on the X-Men to a close. While the line will continue, and Hickman will continue writing X-Men beyond this series, this issue marks a conclusion to a story, and all the implications that brings. In addition, this issue is marked red on the reading order for House of X and Powers of X. The only other issues marked red were the issues of House of X that revealed Moira’s mutation and revealed the immortality of the mutants. This final issue’s red marking implies a massive game-changing reveal on the level of those past two, and Hickman is able to deliver a less bombastic but just as impactful final issue to meet all of these expectations. (9.5/10)
— Vishal Gullapalli
Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #1
Written by Kami Garcia. Art by Mico Suayan & Mike Mayhew.
The book opens with Harley thinking about apex predators told via captions. Garcia draws you into Harley’s intensity and professional right out of the gate as she goes over a recent murder. The murder includes realistic looking photographs of the damage done to an innocent person and Harley doesn’t wince. This is her work and as the story progresses you’ll believe she’s the best at what she does. As Harley juggles cases and her job as a professor we learn she’s fascinated by the Joker. His incredible intelligence is what keeps him from being caught and you get a sense a game of cat and mouse may be in the works. (9.5/10)
— David Brooke
Journey to Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker – Allegiance #1
Written by Ethan Sacks. Art by Luke Ross.
Much of the narrative follows Leia who is attempting to empower the Resistance. Familiar characters pop up, including Rey who has a fun action scene involving an alien threat. Similar to The Last Jedi, other Resistance characters like Poe and Finn are on a mission of their own attempting to grow their resources. It’s a delicate time for the Resistance and it’s pretty clear this segue to the film is building their powers up enough to have a fighting chance in the next film. (9/10)
— David Brooke
Joker: Year of the Villain #1
Written by John Carpenter & Anthony Burch. Art by Philip Tan.
The overall theme and psychological exploration of Joker in this issue is quite sound. Anthony Burch co-writes with Carpenter as they explore Joker via a team up with a gang member calling himself the Six of Hearts. Joker dubs him “Of” for short and he just so happens to be standing near Joker when he breaks out of jail. The story follows the two as Joker learns about Of’s previous battered life sending them on an adventure that features a confrontation with Condiment King, Joker and Of wearing Batman and Robin costumes, and an inevitable confrontation with Of’s past. As the story progresses we come to understand Of as a person, who is a bit crazy. He himself is aware of this and in a strong statement made by the end of the issue we learn Of may be crazy, but he is not evil. Joker, on the other hand, is evil and very sane. It’s a good distinction. (9/10)
— David Brooke
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