Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2014

Artwork is copyright 2014 IDW, TMNT and related characters are copyright/trademark Nickelodeon 2014, used under Fair Use
Artwork is copyright 2014 IDW, TMNT and related characters are copyright/trademark Nickelodeon 2014, used under Fair Use

Publisher: IDW
Words: Kevin Eastman/Tom Waltz Art: Kevin Eastman
Rating: 3.7/5

I have a special fondness for this annual. Not just because I love when Kevin Eastman gets to write and draw the Turtles again. Not just because the book goes back to classic gray-scale when the Turtles are transported through time and space. But because this reintroduces a character (Renet) that was originally introduced in the special Turtles/Cerebus issue way back when. And while Cerebus doesn’t make an appearance this time, it does seem as though the great warrior they befriend is wearing Cerebus’ helmet from that story…

Classic Turtles tale. And for anyone that has never read the original series but wants to see what it was like? This annual is the one you want to pick up.

The Wicked + The Divine #3

Artwork is copyright 2014 Jamie McKelvie, used under Fair Use
Artwork is copyright 2014 Jamie McKelvie, used under Fair Use

Publisher: Image
Writer: Kieron Gillen Art: Jamie McKelvie
Rating: 3.7/5

I have a bit of a thing for Gillen and McKelvie. I love what I’ve seen of Gillen’s work and I love McKelvie’s style. Period. So, while I have yet to catch up on Phonogram (I know, I’m a bad boy) I made sure I got on right off the start for The Wicked + The Divine. And while the interaction for roughly the first half of the book was confusing, while still being fitting for two goth gods interacting, the second half brought it up nicely.

And obviously I still love Luci.

The Greatest Thing I’ve Seen Today – Space Plankton

Excerpt to encourage clicking: 

Russian cosmonauts have discovered something remarkable clinging to the outside of the International Space Station: living organisms.

The microscopic creatures appeared during a space walk intended to clean the vessel’s surface, and were allegedly identified — incredibly — as a type of sea plankton. This is big: According to Sploid, Russian scientists are both “shocked by [the] discovery and can’t really explain how [it] is possible.”

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New Avengers #23

Artwork is copyright Marvel 2014, used under Fair Use
Artwork is copyright Marvel 2014, used under Fair Use

Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jonathan Hickman Art: Kev Walker/Frank Martin
Rating: 3.9/5

Anyone that has been keeping up with advanced solicits for the Avengers titles and reading New Avengers knew the last page stinger was coming. But as I keep trying to point out, a well crafted story can (and perhaps should) foreshadow all sorts of story beats without actually ruining the reveal. Because even if we know something is going to happen to these characters, they don’t. And if we can properly connect with them it should impact us when they have to deal with events.

And that’s where Hickman has hit the mark for me. It doesn’t matter if none of this is going to matter in one year, or even one month after he’s off the books. I care now. And I did give a bit of a “oh shit” when I got to that last page stinger.

Multiversity #1

Artwork copyright DC 2014, used under Fair Use
Artwork copyright DC 2014, used under Fair Use

Publisher: DC
Writer: Grant Morrison Art: Ivan Reis/Joe Prado/Neil Ruffino
Rating: 3.4/5

Multiversity is Grant Morrison’s Crisis epic. Much like the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, some awful threat is ripping through the Multiverse and devouring worlds. And it’s fun. He’s getting to set down the road map of the New 52’s multiverse, and naturally is pulling from all kinds of Silver Age stories and characters as well as his own and others. For instance, much of the first issue has to do with music, which was a theme he used with Superman during his Final Crisis story, which itself hearkens back to all realities sharing one physical space while vibrating at different frequencies. Which is what allowed Barry Allen to travel between realities way back when.

So for any kind of serious DC fan, old or new, this is a great book.

That being said. It also falls into the trap that a lot of Geoff Johns more recent work tends to. If you’re not a heavy DC fan, if you don’t know about Flash vibrating between realities or who Captain Carrot is or what Lord Havok’s world is supposed to represent; a lot of this first issue is going to fall on deaf ears. I’m probably a fair weather DC fan at best, but for other reasons tend to know about a lot of the ideas and concepts they’ve used over the years.  But to someone that has only read a single earth DC universe which only had an Anti-Monitor and no Monitors, why does Nix Uotan matter? To someone that doesn’t know the origins of Superboy Prime, how much sense does the young man living on a “normal” Earth devoid of superhumans make?

It’s not impenetrable by any means but I’m just getting to the point in my reading where I like my books to rely less and less on nostalgia.

But that’s just me.