This is my first trip to the old comic store since before Christmas, so we will cover 3 Wednesdays in this post: 12/25/19, 1/1/20, and 1/8/20.
Issue Zero 12/31/19
Bettie Page Unbound No 8 by David Avallone and Julius Ohta |Dynamite Comics
This is another good issue from Avallone and Ohta. The cover is by John Royle. This is part three of the “Invasion of the Bettie Snatchers” storyline. Bumblebee aliens have infiltrated the highest levels of government and are planning on taking over the earth and body-swapping humanity! The action this issue is set on a train as Bettie must escape the bee-people that have cornered her, including her doppelganger. She eventually escapes them, but not before killing, reluctantly, her look-alike. Along the way, it is discovered that Bettie might not be entirely human. Perhaps her adventures in alternate dimensions in the first story arc (essentially Bettie vs Cthulhu) gifted her with some secret abilities. Another fun issue mixing one of my favorite models with some pulp adventures!
Criminal No 11 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips |Image Comics
The heist is here! All through the various Criminal comics for the last 13 or so years, there have been references to the death of Teeg Lawless. It looks like this comic may finally reveal that incident. For the entire “Cruel Summer” story arc, we have been following the various people involved with Teeg in the summer of 1988. They’ve been planning a big heist and this issue shows us the heist. They are essentially robbing Summer Slam, a $500,000 haul. All through the job Teeg can’t shake that something is wrong. While the heist works and they get the money, Teeg thinks they were sold out. He shoots the inside man, whom he thinks ratted them out, but there are still doubts. Teeg returns to his place where he gets a shotgun blast. End issue. Is this his death? Looks like it. Issue 12 can’t come fasts enough!
Issue One: 1/1/2020
Star Wars No 1 by Charles Soule and Jesus Saiz |Marvel Comics
Oh Boy! The new year kicks off with the new Star Wars line! Cover by R.B. Silva. Star Wars Vol 2 ended last month after 5 years of story set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. With December 2019 being the culmination of the Skywalker Saga, it seemed a good time to celebrate the five years of Star Wars being back at Marvel with a reboot of the main title. This new volume, No 3, picks up during the final moments of Empire. Luke, Leia, Lando and crew are still on the Millenium Falcon, having just escaped Darth Vader on Bespin. Luke is reeling from the realization that Vader is his father. Leia and Chewie are still fighting their anger at Lando for selling them out to the Empire. The Rebellion is trying to regroup after the Empire breaks their codes, allowing them to be tracked when transmissions are made. We get a space battle, Luke using the force in new ways (for him) and they even bring in Poe Dameron’s parents as series regulars. This was a solid first issue and it bodes well for the post-Empire reboot.
Issue Two 1/8/2020
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren No 2 by Charles Soule and Will Sliney |Marvel Comics
The first issue was a sell out at my local shop and this one was the same. A lonely spot was open on the shelf where these babies were stored. The cover is by Clayton Crain. This issue follows the fall of Ben Solo as he returns to Snoke for guidance. Snoke is still playing somewhat dumb on his true alliances (The First Order exists but is unknown to Ben) and pushes Ben to continue his training in the dark side by seeking out the Knights of Ren. This prompts a flashback to a mission to an ancient Jedi Reliquary on the edges of known space. Luke, Ben, and Lor San Tekka travel to the world and are accosted by Ren and his knights. Luke easily beats, but doesn’t kill them. Ren takes off his helmet and leaves it on the ground. He goads Skywalker by talking about the darkness he senses in young Ben. I’d suspect this was a setup by Snoke, to set up the events of this series. Snoke is already speaking in Ben’s mind, so the corruption has started prior to the flashback. Ren leaves and tells Ben to look them up someday. Back in the present, Ben picks up the hemlet Ren left behind and puts it on. Ren says something to the effect of “Took you long enough to put that helmet on!” and tells him where to find them. Just then, the three survivors of Ben’s attack on the Jedi Temple show up to arrest him. This was another excellent Star Wars comic. Charles Soule has more than proven himself as THE MAN when it comes to these stories. His volume of Darth Vader was outstanding, as was Poe Dameron, Lando, and Obi-Wan and Anakin. This was the right man to choose to usher in this new stage of Star Wars comics.
Next week is looking light, but I’ll be back with Bettie Page Unbound #9 and maybe something else if it catches my eye. Later readers!