Power Rangers: Shattered Grid
Reprints Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #24-30, 2018 Annual, Free Comic Book Day Special, Go Go Power Rangers #8-12, and Shattered Grid finale
Written by Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott (with Anthony Burch, Caleb Goellner, Adam Cesare, Becca Barnes, and Alwyn Dale)
Art by Jonas Scharf, Dan Mora, Marcus To, Dylan Burnett, Patrick Mulholland, Hyeonjin Kim, Simone Di Meo, Daniele Di Nicuolo, and Diego Galindo
Power Rangers has seen twenty-six different versions of the original premise from the first Mighty Morphin variety to the current Ninja Steel just launched Beast Morphers. I came of age just a bit too old to be a fan, but due to younger siblings in the house, I ended up watch much of the first season of the Fox Kids series. I know of the original group of teenagers and the evil of Rita Repulsa. After that era, I go blank. Boom Comics acquired the license to make comics based on Power Rangers a couple of years ago, and this reimagining came from writer Kyle Higgins. The books are a little more involved, fleshing out the families of the Rangers and making the city of Angel Grove feel a little bigger. With Shattered Grid, Higgins does the impossible and brings together the two dozen versions of the Rangers in one epic tale.
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Written by Brian & Mark Gunn
Directed by David Yarovesky
The premise “What if Superman was evil?” is nothing new to the world of comic books. Over Superman’s eighty year history we’ve had characters like Bizarro, Ultraman, and Cyborg Superman who explore those darker aspects to a being like Superman. There have been books like Marvelman and Irredeemable that also examine these themes with even more detail. So, for comic nerds like myself, Brightburn isn’t bringing anything new to the table. However, I acknowledge that general audiences haven’t seen anything like this before, and if you are someone tired of the same old superhero origin tropes, this does offer a different take.
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Upgrade Soul (2018)
Written & Illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels
Hank and Molly Nonnar have been married for 45 years when they agree to undergo an experimental to give themselves new bodies and a second lifetime. However, as these things so often go, there are complications, and the couple’s bodies and souls undergo something life-shattering. As the two are led through the recovery process by the unethical scientists and researchers at the institute, they begin to uncover truths about themselves and their relationship. Molly makes breakthroughs in her research and sees her typical day to day needs fading away. Hank finds intimacy in an unexpected relationship and begins to imagine a future beyond the walls of their hospital. But as more is discovered about their conditions the bleaker the outcome appears to be.
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Gideon Falls: The Black Barn (2018)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Father Wilfred has been reassigned to a new parish after issues with drinking. His new home will be the rural town of Gideon Falls, where their last priest went missing and is presumed dead. His first night in the priest’s quarters of the church leads to an encounter with the absent father and the corpse of Mrs. Tremblay; the church secretary/housekeeper found bled out in a cornfield. Wilfred swears he saw a black barn in that field, but the police find no traces of it and suspect Wilfred was involved in the murder. Meanwhile, in a city far away a paranoid schizophrenic man named Norton scours the back alleys and dumpsters for fragments of charred wood and rusted nails. Norton believes the city is revealing a larger cosmic truth to him, that all of these pieces when assembled will make a construct that answers questions he has repressed. The stories of these two men living great distances from each other slowly become entangled and promise to lead to genuinely dark places.
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Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil
Reprints Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1-4
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by David Rubin
Taking a step back from the events of Black Hammer: The Event, we get to read the story of how Lucy Weber investigated the disappearance of her superhero father. Using her position as a reporter for the Global Planet, Lucy begins uncovering details about what happened the day Anti-God invaded Spiral City. This leads her to an asylum on the edges of town where the name “Sherlock Frankenstein” is given to her by an inmate. Frankenstein is a notorious supervillain who was seen being quite active the day of Anti-God’s invasion. Lucy becomes convinced that this mastermind is behind the vanishing and possible death of her dad. However, a shadowy conspiracy seems intent on blocking Lucy’s further prying.
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Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event
Reprints Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual, Black Hammer #7 – 13
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Deam Ormston, Nate Powell, Matt Kindt, Dustin Nguyen, Ray Fawkes, Emi Lenox, and Michael Allred
Lucy Weber, the daughter of Black Hammer, has arrived in the pocket universe that her father’s allies have been trapped inside of. Her memories of how she got to this strange small town have been muddled, but she doesn’t have much time to contemplate this when she has to deal with the grief of her father’s death. Her arrival also signals a sudden change in the behaviors of the stranded heroes, particularly in Madame Dragonfly and Colonel Weird. Through stories told by the heroes and flashbacks, the audience learns more specifics surrounding the event that caused all of this tragedy, the battle with Anti-God. Very quickly all the heroes find the once quaint yet eerie small town they have been living in becoming darker and more sinister, signaling that this phase in their lives is coming to an end and something new is being born.
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PTSD Radio Volumes 1-6 (2018)
Written & Illustrated by Masaaki Nakayama
Urban landscapes are profoundly haunted. Cities are built on the ruins of villages and small towns, turning those who lived there previously into ghosts that linger in the corners. PTSD Radio begins as a series of disconnected horror stories, an anthology centered around tormented spirits, but then patterns start to emerge. The presence of hair and dark figures tugging at the scalps of sleeping victims are recurring motifs. Slowly but surely we uncover a story about a rural village where cultural changes led to the destruction of a primitive idol. This, in turn, unleashes a quiet evil that permeates the lives of the people who grew up in this village, following them into adulthood.
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