Welcome to the second half of 2015. Crazy, right? I hope the first half of the year has been pleasant for everyone. And if it hasn’t, here’s to your second half kicking the other half in the ol’ ass. We’ve reached yet another comic book Wednesday. I feel as though this is my last ‘hefty’ week of comics for a while. As I started before, I’m cutting down on my weekly reads for financial and cognitive purposes.

I read a lot of weekly titles. The pile is enough to where I must sometimes snag the previous issue of a new weekly book in order to remember what happened previously. I have a backload of books (Moon Knight, Bitch Planet, SW Spider-Verse, SW Armor Wars, Warren Ellis’ Injection) I need to read on top of the 10-15 books I pick up on Wednesdays. Despite a few of titles waiting in the wings being mini-series, I realize that maybe I need to purchase my creator-owned titles in collections as apposed to picking them up monthly. We’ll see how it goes.

All that said, I managed to read almost all of the books I picked up last week. The Secret Wars material continues to impress me. Guardians of Knowhere is the next of the key books coming out of Marvel’s big summer event. The reason I say this is because in all of these ‘key’ books a character knows more beyond the fact that Dr. Doom created the world in which they currently inhabit. In Knowhere, Gamora knows of Thanos. The specifics are yet to be laid out by Brian Michael Bendis, but I can’t image she doesn’t mean the same Thanos with The Cabal and Reed Richards-“The Maker.” One thing Secret Wars has shown me is the fact that there are multiple versions of Thanos as well. I only thought there were the two from Earth-616 and Earth-1610. I’m pretty sure I’ve now seen more than two. Either way, they were all obliterated but one.

Planet Hulk is another awesome tie-in. Hulk Plants, Sea Hulks, and Jungle Hulks. I’m telling you, Greenland is no joke on Battleworld. This doesn’t feel like a gimmicked-up Hulk book i.e. World War Hulks. The key element to this book is Doc Green. He is the ‘all=knowing’ character here. Doc is also what I guess Marvel considers to be the current Hulk in the continuity leading into Secret Wars. Steve Rogers-Captain American-Kalidor (Red Sonja) is another badass element. His relationship with Devil Dinosaur reminds me of a “boy and his dog” story. Sam Humphries is knocking it out of the park with this miniseries. I hope he gets the chance to write more Hulk comics in the future.

Do you remember the character Nomad/Jack Monroe? No? There was this character back in the day who was basically another “Bucky.” I think Marvel really wanted to build this guy up, but it didn’t work. I’m pretty sure they killed off Jack Monroe. Anyway, Rick Remender created a new “Nomad” in Leopold Zola, son of Captain America’s dreaded foe, Arnim Zola. Anyway, during Remender’s run, Cap raises baby Ian on Dimension Z–created by Arnim Zola–while Cap’s stranded in the strange dimension of freaks and weird tech. In the Secret Wars tie-in Hail Hydra, we discover that the 616-Ian escaped an explosion using the Infinite Elevator before Earth-616 collided with Earth-1610. Ian arrives in The Hydra Empire, a corner of Battleworld where Hydra has fully taken over. After failing to save an innocent life, Ian comes face to face with The Hydra Empire’s version of ‘Leopold,’ or “Captain Hydra,” if you will. I like where this series is headed.

The best cover from last week came from Years of Future Past #3. One of my favorite comic book artists ever is Art Adams. His X-Men stuff from the late 80s is a main source of imagery that pops into my brain when certain characters come to mind. In Years #2, it was revealed that Lockheed survived the future. But in the latest issue, we find out radiation caused Lockheed to grow dragon-sized, and lose a lot of his vision. Poor guy. I read an interview with Chris Claremont in which he said Lockheed was created to be a manifestation of Claremont. Looking back, Lockheed was always the observer with something to say. The Kitty Pryde-Lockheed relationship is similar to that of C-3PO and R2-D2’s. I love that. There is also a very “Luke and Leia” tone to this book, but that involves other characters. You guys will just have to read it to see what I am talking about.

And if the gushing over Secret Wars tie-ins isn’t ending soon enough, I apologize. Where Monsters Dwell is in my top-3 books of this entire event. I’ve been reading Garth Ennis’ Preacher and when it was announced Ennis was getting his own miniseries for Secret Wars, I was all in. Dinosaurs, Amazons, a damsel (not in) distress, slavery, castration–this is not your typical Marvel title. Post-WWI fun.

Now let’s talk about Justice League #42. Geoff Johns shows his Batman chops in this issue. The closing moments of the issue have been well documented in the past week. No, Johns didn’t give away Joker’s real name, but Batman’s selfish act in the midst of a dire situation for the League was a typical ‘Batman move.’ It’s been a while since I’ve read a story where Bruce has total disregard for the safety of the team in order to better serve himself. Batman referring to himself as a “God” at the end of the issue was a bit much, but a fun time nonetheless. This is a positive move forward for the series. How long will “Bat-Metron” last?

Speaking of moving forward, let’s take a look at what’s on deck for Wednesday, July 22. 

My list for 7/22/2015











Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde is the first book this week that catches my attention. Sam Humphries has been crushing it (as I mentioned above) on all his books. I have no doubt this book is going to kick a lot of ass. Recently it was revealed that Kitty is taking over the helm of ‘Star-Lord’ in the upcoming relaunch of Guardians of the Galaxy. One thing a friend pondered at my school’s last “Comic Book Club Conclave” was wondering what moniker Kitty will use. ‘Lady Star-Lord’ was my creation. That got a few laughs. Will they go with ‘Star-Lordess?’ ‘Shadow-Lord?’ Who knows? Bendis always delivers.

The rest of the Secret Wars books are all new chapters in current miniseries. Two ‘prime cuts’ are Weirdworld, which follows the adventures of Arkon struggling in a world of magic and science which bows at the feet of one Baron Morgan le Fey–one of my personal favorite Marvel villains. E Is For Extinction takes a look at a version of Earth where everyone wants to be Mutants as opposed to hating and fearing what Marvel’s homo sapiens don’t understand.

Anyone read C.O.W.L.? The series is quite brilliant. Sadly the book is ending this week with issue 11. I find that a bit strange. Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis have really blown me away with the overall presentation of this comic. Here recently the city of Chicago renounces C.O.W.L.’s law-enforcing privileges after the team cleaned up Chicago enough to render the C.P.D. obsolete. The city forces C.O.W.L.’s director to act out of desperation and work with an arch-nemesis to co-create a new batch of villains for his team to squash. Something tells me this isn’t going to end well for either side. I’ve never been to Chicago, but I would like to visit some time in the near future. Don’t fret, fans of C.O.W.L. This trio has hooked back up and will be bringing us a new series from Image Comics entitled Hadrian’s Wall later this year. I’ve read that the book is “a love letter to Blade Runner” as well as “a murder/mystery aboard the Nostromo.” I’m looking forward to this series.

Wait, what is this I see? Uncanny X-Men #35 is finally being released? There was a period where people thought there wouldn’t be an issue 35. The end of the particular volume of Uncanny has been extremely confusing. The last issue came out in May, but I feel like it’s been months since a new issue of Uncanny dropped. The much-delayed Uncanny #600 will be released after Secret Wars wraps up, although #600 takes place before Secret Wars. Marvel can say they care about the X-Men but they certainly have a funny way of showing it. Anyway, I think it’s still the Dazzler revenge story likely wrapping up. In the beginning of this volume, Mystique uses Dazzler for some shady business. It changes Dazzler forever.

And then there is Star Wars: Kanan #4, formerly known as ‘Kanan: The Last Padawan.’ I’m guessing a few more Padawans pop up in the latest issue, hence the name change. But in all seriousness, I’m unfamiliar with Star Wars Rebels, so I have not seen young Caleb as “Kanan.” Despite that, this book–much like all the Marvel Star Wars comics–is very entertaining.

It’s needless to say I’m stoked up for today’s stack. But I just did anyway. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how good Ant-Man is–it’s good. I highly suggest checking that film out in the theaters. I don’t think seeing it in 3D is pertinent, but the film is definitely best served in a theater setting. Don’t miss out.

Enough blogging, let’s get to reading. Have a fun Wednesday, gang. New podcast episode this Friday!

FullSizeRender-2Matt de Simone is a student, blogger, podcaster, and believes one day he will have all of the world’s comics at his disposal. It’s an unrealistic goal, but with enough hard work, he believes it can be achieved. Bribery and other unlawful acts would more than likely have to come into play in order to skirt the legal issues. That’s usually what happens to people trying to achieve unrealistic goals. Being able to afford weekly comics is enough for now. No need to resort to acts of super-villainy.

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