Top of the Pile – Week of April 25th 2018


Last was a big week for Superman with Action Comics #1000 and Superman #45. This week I’m pretty excited about a ‘new’ book from Titan comics, something pretty ‘Terrific’, something blue, and something green. Let’s get right to it.

X-men Blue #26 – Cry Havok part 4



Writer  – Cullen Bunn
Penciler – R.B. Silva
Inker – Adriano Di Denedetto
Color Artist – Rain Beredo
Letter – VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor  – Darren Shan
X-men Group Editor – Jordan D. White

Over the last few weeks I have being getting caught up on X-men Gold and Blue. I have enjoyed both series so much that I picked up the Jean Grey Resurrection mini-series and the first couple issues of X-men Red. All of these books have been fun. I’ve pretty much always enjoyed reading X-men comics but they were never really “my” comics. When I was young I read my brother’s Uncanny X-men, New Mutants and Alpha Flight comics. In college I read the X titles my girlfriend was getting. When Gold and Blue were launched in 2017 I read a couple good reviews and decided to check them out. They were a good time so I’ve stuck with them.

I think I like them as much as I do because they lean heavily towards the older characters that I am familiar with, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, etc. I’m not someone who was so heavily invested in what came before that thinks anything published now is garbage. I can appreciate the nods to the past while telling new stories.

In the current X-men Blue story, Cry Havok, the original five; Jean Grey, Cyclops, Angel, Beast , and Ice Man, are lost in space. See the “Venomized” miniseries. On Earth; Magneto, Polaris, Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm are dealing with Havok, the White Queen, Ms. Sinister, and Bastion who are trying to release a mutant growth hormone into the world that will turn people into mutants and enhance existing mutant powers. This is all being done to make mutants the dominant race on the planet. Magento opposes this because of the side effects to existing mutants. Havok, the White Queen, and the rest of mutants responsible for this hormone cannot understand why Magneto won’t join them. They believe they have the same goal he always did when he was fighting for mutant domination.

I’ve been digging the conflict between Magento and Havok in this story and I am looking forward to see what happens in this issue.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #43 – Darkstar Rising prelude part 2



Writer – Robert Venditti
Penciller – Rafa Sandoval
Inker – Jordi Tarragona
Colorist – Tomeu Moery
Letter – Dave Sharpe
Assistant Editor – Andrew Marino
Edit – Brian Cunningham

Despite Hal Jordan being listed in the title, this book is really a Green Lantern Corps book. Sure Jordan gets a lot of the focus, but John Stewart, Kyle Ryner, and Guy Gardner all get their moments in the spotlight. It is really a team book and Venditti does a nice job spreading the wealth around.

Issue 42 wrapped up the Zod story-line nicely with the Guardians, who are running the Corps again, deciding to let Zod and the planet he is ruling be left alone for the time being. Now the Controllers are back, they showed up in a previous arc, with new toys. They have resurrected the Darkstar armor and it is a problem. I’m not familiar with the Darkstars but it seems to be a cross between the original Manhunters and the Green Lantern rings.

Venditti is really building on things that he has written about previously which is nice. It gives the stories a cohesiveness that is enjoyable if you’ve been reading the series all along. At the same time though each arc has enough backstory explained that if you were just getting on board you don’t have to have read the previous 41 issues to be able to follow it. There is a fine line here and Venditti has done a good job with it.

I get the feeling this Darkstar story is going to be a big one so this issue should be fun.

The Terrifics #3 – War Wheel of Doom



Storytellers  – Joe Bennett & Jeff Lemire
Inks – Sandra Hope, Jamie Mendoza, Art Thibert
Colors – Marcelo Maiolo
Assistant editor – Andrew Marino
Editor  – Paul Kaminski
Group Editor – Marie Javins

The Terrifics is easily the New Age of Heroes book I was looking forward to the most and so far it is also the one I have enjoyed the most. It has Jeff Lemire writing. If you’ve looked at previous installments of the top of the pile you’ll know that he is one of my favorite writers currently. The comic has Mr. Terrific, Plastic-Man and Metamorpho. As much as I enjoy DC Comics in recent years one thing that has been missing is the Justice Society and related characters. In general there has been a severe lack of silver and bronze characters in DC books. Earth-2 was decent, but it didn’t cut it. I have nothing against Harley Quinn, I know she sells, but I think that there could be a little less Harley Quinn and a lot more Plastic Man in the DCU.

This issue has the War Wheel on the cover with Plastic Man and Metamorpho trying to stop it. The War Wheel dates back to Blackhawk 56 from 1952. I’m sure I must have read something with the War Wheel, maybe an issue of All Star Squadron or DC Comics presents, because I knew exactly what it was when I saw the cover. The series is still in the early stages of introducing the characters and the team and it has been fun and exciting, no doubt this issue will be as well.

Plastic Man! The War Wheel! YES! Get some!

The Prisoner #1 – The Uncertainty Machine



Writer  – Peter Milligan
Artist – Colin Lorimer
Colorist – Joana LaFluente
Letterer – Simon Bowland
Editor and Original Plot – David Leach

Created by Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein

Cover Artist – Jack Kirby
Inks – Mike Ryer
Colors – Mike Allred

The Prisoner was a TV show from the 1960’s that I believe was a bit of science fiction crossed with psychedelic drama. I cannot say for sure because I have never seen it. I did however read the four issue mini series that DC published in the eighties, which I did not understand. Despite all that I remain very interested in the Prisoner.

This comic is supposed to be based on and incorporate a unreleased Prisoner comic that Jack Kirby and Gil Kane worked on but was never released.

There is not really much for me to say about this story since I know so little about it, but I am very curious to see what it is.

Last Week’s Picks Revisited

Future Quest Presents #9 The Herculoids part 1 – This issue was exciting and action packed. The writing and art were great and it looks like it will be a fun story.

Mister Miracle #8 – Another fantastic story. I still say something big is going to happen and that we are being presented with might not really be happening, despite being shown how the war is going. That was something that strongly led me to the thinking that we not be getting the full story.

Action comics #1000 – This was a good time. There were a lot of fun stories and great art. Supergirl shows up in the Bendis teaser so that could be fun.

I’ll close with an honorable mention from last week, Superman #45. This was a fantastic cap to the Tomasi / Gleason run. These guys really proved that you can still write comics today that do not have to have a fight in every issue and there can still be good stories told in a single issue of a comic. The issue features quote from the Robert Frost poem, “Nothing Gold can Stay”. Very fitting.



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