Hello fellow comic readers and welcome back to another article on the Top 5 Comics of the month! We’re already looking at April’s books if you can believe it and this month we saw some thrilling books such as the beginning of Marvel’s War of the Realms event as well as the start of Detective Comics‘ Arkham Knight story. So, let’s take a look at the comics that stood out the most! Just a warning, there may be some spoilers, so be careful if you haven’t read these issues yet.
War of the Realms #1
After roughly seven years of build up, Jason Aaron’s epic Thor story arrives with War of the Realms this month. Malekith the Accursed has waged war across the ten realms, slowly conquering each and every one of them except one: Midgard. War of the Realms is the invasion of our world by the forces of Malekith and the dark elves, trolls, fire goblins of Muspelheim, frost giants from Jotunheim, and the angels of Heven. It’s an all-out, sword & sorcery epic as we see the heroes of the Marvel universe engage in fierce battles against the mythical and fantastical creatures of Malekith’s forces. Meanwhile, they’ve lost their best defender in Thor as he was lured and trapped in Jotunheim. Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson handle the artwork in the book and the visuals are an absolute spectacle to behold. The fierce battles are exhilarating and breathtaking and Wilson’s colors make the action pop. Visually speaking, this is one of the best-looking comics on the shelf and it’s clear this creative team is going all out on this epic in the making. Aaron provides a captivating story that’s both accessible to new readers as well as inviting to those who have followed along with this story in the pages of Thor. I highly recommend readers to jump on this book for an event unlike any other right now and witness the exciting final chapter of Jason Aaron’s groundbreaking and historic Thor run.
Detective Comics #1001
Peter Tomasi has been building up a great run on Detective Comics so far and with #1001 we are now introduced to the new Arkham Knight. Tomasi is joined by Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, and Nathan Fairbairn on art duties and this creative team are clearly putting their best work in. For those of you who may not be familiar with the character, the Arkham Knight was an original character in Rocksteady’s 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight, a character who turned out to be a reimagined Jason Todd. While the Arkham Knight is making his comic debut in this arc, we can probably rule out the possibility of this being Jason Todd. However, it only makes his true identity more intriguing now, especially since the Arkham Knight seems to clearly know who Batman may be. Detective Comics has been one of the best books being published by DC lately and this current arc started off with a bang! Detective Comics #1001 is a perfect jumping on point for new readers as well. I was very thrilled to hear that Brad Walker was joining the book as I’ve been a big fan of his work including Aquaman and Guardians of the Galaxy, whose style lends itself perfectly for the explosive action we see in the series. With this creative team, Detective Comics is on its way to becoming a must-read title for all DC fans, if it’s not there already.
Guardians of the Galaxy #4
After four issues I think I can confirm that Guardians of the Galaxy is not only one of my favorite titles right now, but it’s easily my favorite team book I’m reading. Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw are crafting an exciting tale featuring some of the most interesting and unique cosmic characters from Marvel. It’s incredible to see how expansive their run really is already by the plots they’ve set up and the characters they’ve introduced. One of the highlights of this run for me has been the inclusion of not only some of the familiar “MCU” Guardians but classic cosmic characters like Gladiator, Starfox, Moondragon, as well as bringing back fan favorites like the Black Order. The scope of this book is enormous but it never feels directionless or too bloated. In this issue, the Dark Guardians, a team led by Thanos’ brother Eros, are hunting down Gamora, believing her to be the new host of Thanos’ consciousness. The new Guardians team made up of Star-Lord, Groot, Phyla-Vell, Moondragon, and Beta Ray Bill are off to find Gamora and protect her from the hit squad. Along the way, they are joined by Richard Rider, a.k.a. Nova, who is also keen on protecting Gamora. While the exciting battle sequences of the book are thrilling, Cates excels at writing heartfelt and meaningful moments between characters such as Gamora and Peter, who are still trying to come to grips with their feelings after Gamora had “killed” Peter in Infinity Wars. This book offers all of the drama, high stakes, and thrilling action you could want in a book. Do yourself a favor and get on this book because it really is one of the best books being published.
The beginning of the sequel science fiction series to Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s brilliant Descender from Image Comics hits shelves this month. Now, this is a book I’ve been looking forward to for a long time since Descender is one of my favorite comic series ever. While fans will instantly be drawn back into the long-awaited sequel series, they’ll find that it’s vastly different from what they’ve come to expect with Descender. This series takes place ten years after the devastating attack by the machines known as the Harvesters. Ascender is all about new beginnings as the universe has to learn how to live without machines and technology. While Descender was an expansive science fiction book, Lemire and Nguyen have decided to change the genre a bit, making it more of a fantasy series now. In place of technology, we have magic, witches, and vampires. No longer do spaceships float above the clouds, but instead we have giant…turtles? Anyway, the point is that things have changed in this universe. In place of all the robots and technology, a witch known as “Mother” has taken power (think Sauron) and who I can only assume will become the main threat of the title. The book focuses on Mila, the daughter of Andy and Effie from Descender, a young girl who dreams of leaving her sheltered life in the mountains and to join “The Saved”, those who have accepted Mother’s power, but Andy forbids her to. Lemire and Nguyen have given us a fantastic start to their new series and while the changes might take time to get used to, it also breathes new life into this saga that they’re crafting.
The finale to Unspoken Water hit this month and man are things starting to build up here! It’s the sea gods versus Namma in an all-out, action-packed issue as Aquaman and his new allies fight to protect the oceans from Mother Salt, a.k.a. Namma. For those of you who haven’t been checking out this story, Aquaman lost his memories when he arrived in the mysterious village of Unspoken Water, where he met a group of strange individuals inside the village. Going by the name of “Andy,” Aquaman was promised his memories back if they would deliver Namma’s daughter back to her. Needless to say, Namma wasn’t too thrilled to see the sea gods return with the help of Aquaman. This issue served as a great conclusion to the Unspoken Water arc and promises answers to the many questions that readers and Aquaman have. I’ve been genuinely enjoying this new direction for Aquaman. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s script is exciting and intriguing while the artwork by Robson Rocha, Sunny Gho, and Daniel Henriques is astounding and visually invigorating. I’m so excited to see where this creative team takes Aquaman next now that the first arc is concluded and hopefully we’re able to see the Aquaman we know soon enough.