Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins (Dark Horse)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Dean Ormston
It’s been ten years since the heroes of Spiral City was pulled from their reality and deposited in a small town that they cannot escape from. Abraham Slam. Golden Gail. Colonel Weird. Madame Dragonfly. Barbalien. They all live in hiding to one degree or another, trying to suss where exactly they are and how they get back home. After a decade its become somewhat normal and worn some of them down. Golden Gail was a woman in her fifties but, like a reverse Shazam, is trapped in her child form until they can escape. Colonel Weird seems to be a living ghost fading between the small town and a tangle of time where he visits his past and future selves. Barbalien, already an exile from his homeworld of Mars, struggles to deal with the feelings he has developed for the town’s preacher. But across the cosmos, a stranger in Spiral City nears closer and closer to finding these lost heroes.
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My Favorite Books and Comic Books of 2017
Click the book cover for my full review of each book.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
Written and Directed by Luc Besson
Major Valerian and his partner, Sergeant Laureline are sent on a mission to recover an essential piece of technology and return it to the former International Space Station, now Alpha (the titular City of a Thousand Planets). Valerian has a sense he is connected to this artifact and that the police force onboard Alpha is being less than honest about the nature of this thing. He and Laureline become embroiled in an increasingly complex and byzantine plot aboard the melting pot called Alpha.
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New Super-Man Volume 1: Made in China
Written by Gene Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic
Kong Kenan is a high school bully in Shanghai, China when through a chance encounter he accidentally drives off notorious super-villain Blue Condor. This draws the attention of spunky young reporter Laney Lan and Dr. Omen, the director of the Ministry of Self-Reliance. Kenan is imbued with part of the life essence of the New 52 Superman and becomes China’s answer to the Man of Steel. He’s paired up with the Bat-Man and Wonder Woman of China who find Kenan to be an incredibly immature brat with very unreliable powers. Kenan’s father, Kong Zhongdan is an aging political activist who comes at odds with his son’s new direction in life.
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Batman Beyond Vol.1: Escaping the Grave
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Bernard Chang, Ryan Sook, Pete Woods
After a year-long absence, Terry McGinnis returns to take on the identity of Batman in a futuristic neo-noir Gotham City. This time an entire borough of the city has fallen into the hands of The Jokerz, a cult that worships the deceased villain. Another enemy, Terminal, has taken advantage of this religious fervor and is using the cult for a mysterious purpose. Without Bruce Wayne to guide him any longer, Terry must strike out on his own and prove his worth to continue the legacy of Batman.
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Deathstroke Vol.1: The Professional
Written by Christopher Priest
Art by Joe Bennett & Carlo Pagulayan
Some call him a mercenary. Some call him an antihero. But as his partner Wintergreen states in this collection, Slade Wilson is always going to be a villain. And he is a villain with a complicated history. He was once married with two sons, Grant and Joseph. His life as the assassin Deathstroke led to an enemies list that stretches for miles and one of these enemies targeted his family. Around the same time, he learned of a daughter he had with a Hmong sex worker and headed off to Southeast Asia to find her. In the present day, Slade reels from losing one son, having one son near murdered, the collapse of his marriage, and the fractured relationship with his estranged daughter Rose. Rose is a pretty tough character in her own right, a clairvoyant killer called Ravager. Slade decides he wants to bond with his kid and what better way than to investigate who put a hit out on her?
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017, dir. James Gunn)
The Guardians have made a name for themselves and now act as heroes for hire. They finish up their latest job, protecting the energy source of The Sovereign, a genetically engineered “perfect race” but run into trouble on the way out. This leads to Peter Quill meeting his father for the first time, a strange man named Ego. Meanwhile, Yondu and his Ravagers are hired by a party disgruntled with The Guardians and wanting revenge. Gamora is also dealing with family issues (her vengeful sister Nebula), and everyone else seems to have their own interesting arcs as well.
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