This was a decent week for me, with several titles ending, or at least reaching the end of an arc.
Issue Five 1/18/2020
Star Trek Picard: Countdown No 3 |(W) Mike Johnson and Kirsten Beyer| (A) Angel Hernandez| (CA) Sara Pitre-Durocher |IDW Comics
The final issue of Star Trek Picard: Countdown, releasing one week after the premiere of the new series. This ties up the story of Picard and Raffi trying to save a Romulan colony during the Supernova events of “Star Trek (2009)”. We get to finish the backstory for Laris and Zhaban as they defect from the Tal Shi’ar to help Picard. It ends with Picard winning the day, as he does, and he then invites the Romulans to find refuge at his Chateau. It closes with Picard speaking to Geordi who is stationed on Mars overseeing the construction of the rescue fleet….oh crap. As “Picard” viewers will now know, Mars was destroyed in an attack by Androids right around this time. This puts Laforge on Mars when it was devastated. Please don’t be dead. lol.
Bettie Page Unbound No 10| David Avallone| (A) Julius Ohta| (CA) Scott Chantler |Dynamite Comics
Invasion of the Bettie Snatchers concludes this week as Bettie takes the fight to the Bumblebee aliens! She swims down to their underwater base and frees the humans being kept there (as their doubles impersonate them in the world). They shoot their way out, but the Queen Bee orders the drones back to their spaceship. Seeing that Bettie has outed them, she is just going to nuke them all and take over the planet. Bettie sneaks onto the ship, confronts the Queen and shoots her point blank in the face. This causes all the other aliens, connected to the queen, to die. The threat is stopped and all is well. This was another good finish to a fun story. Avallone is doing some good work here. I can’t help but notice that Bettie is upping the violence as the series goes on. I wonder if this, along with the alternate universe versions of her populating her subconscious, will lead to her real life mental breakdown.
Protector No 1| Simon Roy and Daniel M. Bensen |(A) Artyom Trakhanov | (CA) James Stokoe |Image Comics
1200 years in the future, North America is devastated by past wars and some climate change. A series of tribes live in the Great Lakes region, ruled by the Hudsoni and some sort of god like figures called the Devas. The action takes place mostly in Shikka-Go (Chicago) where a girl activates some sort of robot war machine made for NATO. The Devas warn the tribe that a “Demon” has arisen in Shikka-Go and they must deal with it. The cover art and story hook led me to pick it up, but I wasn’t really feeling it. The art is good, but not as good as the cover. This also commits the sin of throwing a lot of information at the reader in the form of encyclopedia style entries at the end of the book. Show, don’t tell. I’ll pass on issue 2.
The Weather Man (Volume 2) No 6| Jody LeHeup| (A) Nathan Fox| Image Comics
Volume two wraps up as the crew tries to escape Earth and restore Black’s memories into Nathan. They manage to escape and when they try to upload the memories, something goes wrong. A bullet was in the hard disk and it won’t work. As Black’s terrorist group is planning another attack in 10 days, they decide to prep Nathan as best they can, with mind wipe tech, and send him to infiltrate the terrorists. I did not enjoy this volume as much as the first. It was ok, just not great. There will be one more volume to wrap it up, which I will pick up. I think they can turn this around. Probably just me.
Star Wars (Volume 3) No 2| Charles Soule (A) Jesus Saiz (CA) R. B. Silva| Marvel Comics
This issue continues the story of Star Wars after, and during, the events of “The Empire Strikes Back”. We start on the rebel fleet where Luke is struggling with his new reality: No hand and father is Vader. Leia and Chewie are trying to trust Lando, knowing that he’s already betrayed Han. Luke gets his new hand and Lando and Chewie fly off in the Falcon, now setting the action after ESB. For this first mission out, Lando is wearing the Black/White vest that he stole from Han in ESB, which I enjoyed. They travel to Tattooine to check if Boba Fett has sold Han to Jabba yet. He has not, which means there is still a chance to save him. After some Jabba shenanigans, where he promises to sell out the Rebels to the crime lord (frickin Lando man), Lando returns and needs to find a way to get back to Bespin. He convinces Luke that they must go as he knows how to find his lost lightsaber, a particularly rare item. The issue ends with a vision of a cloaked figure (A woman I think) grabbing Luke’s saber as it falls down the shaft at Cloud City. Another solid issue. I am happy that they will be exploring what happened to Luke’s saber. Maz Kanata had to get it somehow.
Criminal No 12 |Ed Brubaker (A) Sean Phillips| Image Comics
“Cruel Summer” wraps up, as does this series, with issue 12. When I heard “Criminal ongoing” I did not realize it would end at 12. There will be more criminal in the future, just bummed that this ended. As promised though, this story did show us the now fabled death of Teeg Lawless. The last issue ended with him Farraday blasting him with a shotgun, so I figured that was it. It wasn’t, the gun was filled with rock salt. Teeg gets up, chases after the detective, who has kidnapped Jane. In the chase, Jane tries to overpower Farraday but the car crashes and the two of them are killed. They take the blame for the heist. The loss of Jane DESTROYS Teeg. He spends weeks walking in a drunken haze, no desire left to live. Ricky, overcome with guilt, tells his father the truth. It is all his fault, that he ratted them out Farraday. Jane is dead because of him. Teeg loses it. He grabs his son by the throat and is going to kill him. Before that can happen, Leo Patterson shoots Teeg in the head to save his friend. This sets in motion the backstory of the original comic. Leo’s dad Tommy takes the blame for the murder and is sent to jail. This was another EXCELLENT series by Brubaker and Phillips. I am one of those people who has a standing “pull anything done by them into my box” order at the local comic shop. These comics get a lot of praise, but they will be looked back on as true gems in the history of the art form.
That is it for this week! Next week we have the first issue of the new “Darth Vader” series as well as “Adler”, a new comic exploring Irene Adler, or as Sherlock Holmes referred to her… The Woman. See you on 2/5!