Hello again my fellow comic nerds. Come along with me as we journey through lands of secrets, fears, and what-ifs. Nothing is as it seems this week. Hidden tales and knowledge will come to light. Maybe not all will be revealed, but we’ll certainly know more than we do now after reading new comics from August 16, 2023.
[This week’s comics are provided by Warp Zone Comics and Collectibles. Warning my reviews of this week’s comics contain some spoilers, read at your own risk ]
DC: Batman Superman: World’s Finest #18
From DC, written by Mark Waid with art from Travis Moore. You may think you know how Batman and Superman first met and how they ended up working together. But you don’t know the half of it. In issue #18 of Batman Superman: World’s Finest, Waid offers us the never-before-revealed, true story of this duo’s partnership beginnings, and how close they came to never working together at all!
So the really awesome thing about this issue is that it’s an interlude between story arcs and because it’s a backstory, you don’t have to have read any of the previous issues to enjoy it! It’s the perfect issue for jumping into Waid’s version of the Batman/Superman relationship.
I also really like how it skips over all the macho posturing and ego trips that have come between Superman and Batman in many modern interpretations. Is there perfect trust between them? No, but there is a stable working relationship and level of respect that allows them to cooperate and get the job done. A great outing for these two powerhouse characters!
DC: Knight Terrors: Catwoman #2
From DC, with Tini Howard writing and art by Leila Leiz. In the conclusion of Catwoman’s nightmare, her sister Maggie is the hero of Gotham, the Joker is even weirder than in real life, and Batman isn’t Batman yet. Can Catwoman work with her sister to save the city, or is it already lost?
This issue is a little bit of a slow burn with things slowly building to the ending that isn’t quite as dramatic as all the tension suggested it would be. Not a terrible ending but certainly not as good as hoped for.
DC: Knight Terrors: Nightwing #2
Written by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, and featuring the art of Daniele Di Nicuolo, Knight Terrors: Nightwing #1 opened with Nightwing locked up in Arkham with no memory of how he got there. With the help of his cellmates Scarecrow and Two-Face, Nightwing escapes to prove his innocence. But now he’s having flashbacks to the events that landed him in Arkham. Turns out he hurt someone. And not just anyone, but someone he loves very much. The “truth” of what happened might just prove to be too much for Nightwing to bear.
As a stand-alone story about Nightwing and his fear, this issue is pretty good. We get a real look at the psychology of Dick and what he fears most, which is what a nightmare should do. While it doesn’t really tie into the overall Knight Terrors event very strongly, it is a solid and engaging story worth picking up.
Marvel: Spider-Man #11
From Marvel, written by Dan Slott with the art of Luciano Vecchio. The Spider-Verse is finally safe but that doesn’t mean the Web of Life and Destiny are done dishing up surprises. A brand new Spider-Boy is on the scene. But who is he and what exactly is his connection to the Amazing Spider-Man?
Spider-Boy has been being teased for a while but Slott finally gives his character some real life. We get a whole lot of backstory and interaction with Spider-Boy in this issue. It’s nice to finally get some solid information on this character and how he fits into Spider-Man’s world. Hopefully, he’ll continue to stick around!
Marvel: Uncanny Avengers #1
From Marvel, written by Jonathan Hickman and Gerry Duggan featuring art from both Garron and Javier. It’s time once again for mutants and humans to team up. Both sides are being attacked by a new villain calling himself Captain Krakoa. Captain America, Rogue, Deadpool, Quicksilver, Psylocke, and Monet decide to team up to unmask this new baddie and put an end to his plans before he can start World War III.
Issue #1 of Uncanny Avengers offers up the best of both comic worlds. There is plenty of action, enough to make any adrenaline junkie’s day. But there is also plenty of character-driven plot. It was a really great opening issue that will hopefully continue this nice balance.
Marvel: What If… Dark: Moon Knight #1
From Marvel, written by Erica Schultz with art by Edgar Salazar. This What if…? starts with an interesting premise, what if Marc Spector’s Moon Knight didn’t survive his battle with Bushman? Khonshu is an ancient god and having his avatar die is nothing new to him, he would just pick a new champion. But who will rise? That makes all the difference in this What if…?.
Marlene Alrune, usually an unremarkable side character who supports Marc in his heroics gets the nod. But not from Khonshu. Interestingly, she becomes the avatar for Ra, the sun god. Her power burns very bright and it might just be too much for her in the end.
The overall story is a very interesting concept, but it might have fared better as an actual story arc instead of a one-shot. The situation and Marlene’s choices are really too complicated to be shoved into a single issue. Still, a fun and titillating adventure.
Zenescope: Oz: Kingdom of The Lost #1
From Zenescope Entertainment Inc, written by David Wohl and featuring the art of Guillermo Fajardo and Eduardo Garcia. The Tin Man has gone missing, so Dorothy and her friends set out to find him. The ancient secrets they discover along the way will change everything they think they know about their home.
Oz: Kingdom of The Lost is part of the larger Oz world that Zenescope has set up that spans multiple series. The nice thing about this series is that Dorothy isn’t fighting a witch for a change. It’s nice to have some new life injected into the story by changing up something as simple as the type of villain our hero is facing. Hopefully, Wohl can keep it interesting for the duration of the run (it’s only three issues, so it shouldn’t be hard).
And that’s some of the new comics releasing August 16, 2023
So there we are, from the true beginnings of the Batman/Superman team up, to the secret fears of our favorite characters, to the heart of darkness hidden under Oz’s shiny green exterior, we learned a lot this week. Check back next week to see if more secrets are uncovered in the next comic spotlight.
If you want to pick up physical copies of any of these comic books but you’re not sure where a shop is near you, try checking on ComicShopLocator.com. What are your favorite comics right now? Let us know on social media such as Twitter or The Cosmic Circus Discord!