June delivered a whole month of awesome. DC debuted their new books and Marvel dived head first into SECRET WARS. There was a ton of great books and the staff of Comic Vine picked out some of their favorites from the past month.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jason Fabok
Colors by Brad Anderson
The Darkseid War has begun. War, what is it good for? For Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok, it’s great for kicking off the return of JUSTICE LEAGUE and the beginning of a pretty epic-looking story arc. This first issue feels like this is a comic book “event” yet it’s going to be fully contained within this one series.
When you have a book containing DC’s biggest and most popular characters, you want the stories to be big. You’re not going to gather up Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the others to save a cat stuck in a tree. With the return of Darkseid, the Anti-Monitor, Grail, and who knows what else, this feels big and explosive. I’ve said it before, Fabok’s art (somehow) keeps getting better and better.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Esad Ribic
Colors by Ive Svorcina
We’ve been seeing Battleworld and the ‘god’ ruling over it all along with all the tie-ins showing us the different domains. With this series focusing on the main story, we’re finally seeing what happens next. With the Incursion, we saw two group of survivors try to escape. The “heroes’ of the 616 (and one stowaway from the Ultimate Universe) were revealed and filled in on what’s been going on. This raises some questions as to how this series will affect and lead into the “All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe.” We also got to see Doom’s messed up face for the first time too.
Hickman’s laying out an intriguing story and you can’t tell exactly where it’s going to go. I’m still super-nostalgic for the original Secret Wars and while this is totally different, I almost feel as excited reading it as I did reading the original. Esad Ribic’s art is just top notch. I love seeing a big event book able to have the same artist throughout. And if you’re read issue #4, you know things keep getting crazy.
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Sean Murphy
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
I loved this series and really didn’t like that it was a limited one. But Mark Millar and Sean Murphy told the story they set out to tell. We’ve seen many different time travel stories over the years. They often fall into certain categories or types. Millar practically threw everything out the window to do whatever they wanted. A time travel story where the consequences were shoved to the side added to the unpredictability and intensity of the story.
Murphy’s art is always great to see. I would read anything he draws but the fact that the story involved a favorite topic (time travel) and was fun and exciting, it made it all so enjoyable. Let’s hope this isn’t the last we see of the Chrononauts. I’m so ready for more.
Honorable Mention: BATMAN #41
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jason Fabok
Colors by Brad Anderson
For me, JUSTICE LEAGUE has been back and forth between a decent book and something I pass up every month, up until "The Amazo Virus" came out, which was a blast. I just want a good JLA story. I don't care how it fits into the DCU. I just want some awesomeness.
This issue was action-packed and as cool as that was, I was so happy that Mister Miracle was in here. I love that guy. The Justice League is up against a new threat, and she she can take them down with ease, even Batman.
I finally feel like JUSTICE LEAGUE is telling the stories it needs to tell, which may be a bit quick to judge, but Johns is on point here and Fabok's art is insanely good, especially with Anderson doing some amazing color work. It seems a bit weird for me to pick a super-hero book as my favorite read of the month, but this issue was downright amazing.
Written by James Robinson
Art by Greg Hinkle
AIRBOY was the ultimate "how the sausage is made" book for June. We get this weird, inside look into making comic books that is much more about addiction and debauchery more than anything else.
James Robinson and Greg Hinkle put themselves into the book as their tasked with writing the AIRBOY reboot. We get into Robinson's mind about how he feels about how others view him, as he struggles with addiction. All of this is happening with a hard, comedic edge to it.
Hinkle's artwork really softens the edges of this first issue, and while this book really isn't for kids, it's actually a very frank look into how some people struggle with their lives. It also make you look at James Robinson in a whole new light, even if the exact events of this book didn't happen.
Written by Felipe Smith
Art by Juan Gedeon
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain
It was a tough month when it going through the books I loved because I felt WEIRDWORLD had a better first issue, but all-in-all, I actually enjoyed reading GHOST RACERS #1 a whole lot more.
I love the movie Death Race 2000 and the remake Death Race, so this comic hit all the "fun cylinders" with me. It was easily one of the most fun times I've had reading a comic book in recent memory because the whole issue was just a bunch of Ghost Rider characters, racing each other. The title says it all!
However, there is more to it than that and we see that Arcade is also planning something much larger. It's an issue that grabbed me and got me hooked in for the long run. Smith did an awesome job with the first issue and while there were some times where the art was a bit muddied, overall, I really enjoyed the artwork here as well.
Honorable Mention: RASPUTIN #6
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Jaime Mendoza
Colors by Wil Quintana
When you team up two ultra-powered individuals like Superman and Wonder Woman (literally two of the most hilariously overpowered people in comics), there can be something major lost. That something is often small, intimate moments that are sacrificed to make way for massive, team-up battles. This issue reverses all that, giving us a Superman who's more vulnerable than what we're used to seeing, even in subtle ways like Wonder Woman noticing his phone is ringing while he sleeps right through it. That small moment isn't actually mentioned, nothing is made of it, but it's a very subtle way to show that Supes isn't as powerful as he used to be. It's a very small moment, but it perfectly frames and recasts Diana as we see her in the role of protector and guardian in the relationship as she's protecting one of the least likely people to need it. This is one of the first times that this relationship has felt like an actual relationship and not merely a team-up!
Art by Babs Tarr
Colors by Serge LaPointe
Some of the best superhero books involve superheroes in situations that mirror real-life, but are ridiculously over-the-top. And that's exactly what this issue of BATGIRL gives us. Sure, Jim Gordon is the new, mechanized Batman and Barbara Gordon is Batgirl and neither knows what the other is, at least when the issue begins, but that's played up as a metaphor for the changing dynamic between father and daughter as the latter grows up and comes into her own. We also get some legitimately hilarious father-daughter moments followed by some very intense moments that are wonderfully juxtaposed against what came before. This issue more than any other since the new team took over balances the drama of Batgirl's life with the general whimsy and bombastic colors without short-selling either notion.
Written by Jason Aaron
Penciled by Chris Sprouse
Inked by Karl Story
Colors by Marte Gracia
Police procedurals should be over, right? RIGHT? But they're NOT! Cause here comes THORS #1, and it's a police procedural involving the police of Battleworld, an entire faction of Worthy Thors, trying to solve a mystery. And what a mysterious mystery it is. Beginning with Ultimate Thor and Beta Ray Bill, we begin on one helluva murder with a twist that uses the very foundation of Battleworld as a basis. It's not often an interdimensional serial killer makes its way into a major storyline of Marvel Comics, but the setting of SECRET WARS makes that not only a logical extension, but an actual, natural fit. By the end, we've got new, weird characters established and even further intrigue alongside a shocking death (and so little explanation)! And it all teases out one of the best limited series yet during an event that is filled to the brim with high-quality series!
That's it for the month of June! We'll see you fine folks next month with a new batch of books. Let us know what you loved in the comment section!