Chris’ Comic Book Corner
Hello comic book fans and fellow geeks, we are now winding down another year, and it honestly in my
opinion has been amazing. Marvel Legacy and DC Rebirth have recharged my interest in comics again and we
have some amazing stories that will continue us into 2018. DC’s Metal and Doomsday Clock have been
amazing and anticipation for Marvel’s Infinity Countdown and Phoenix Resurrection are to a boil. With that
here is my list of the best of 2017:
17. Marvel Legacy one-shot by Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic, Steve McNiven, Chris Samnee, Russell Dauterman,
Alex Maleev, Ed McGuinness, Stuart Immonen, Pepe Larraz, Jim Cheung, Daniel Acuña, Greg Land, Mike
Deodato Jr., and David Marquez. This was the start of the Marvel Legacy era and I was super excited for it as I
was hopefully for the Marvel version of DC’s Rebirth one-shot, and it was good. Nice “zero” issue and from
there you follow the story to see what will happen to the Marvel Universe, worth a reading.
16. Flash #21-27, by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Neil Googe, Ryan Sook,
and Paul Pelletier. This run of stories (The Button, Color of Fear, Running Scared) really got me into Flash
again. It’s been hard to get into Barry Allen since his return way back in Rebirth, but this set of stories took me
back to a much missed era of Flash almost like when I was reading “The Return of Barry Allen.” Weather it
was Howard Porter’s pencils reminding me of JLA or just the villainess of Eboard Thawne but this was a great
reminder of Flash eras past, read these issues.
15. Detective Comics 965-968, by James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Alvaro Martinez, and Raul Fernandez. A
Lonely Place of Living is an amazing Tim Drake story that ties together a lot of great things. We get the return
of Tim, hints at Connor and the Titans of Tomorrow, some great homage covers to the classic story “A Lonely
Place of Dying” which was Tim’s story of how he came into the Bat-family. This was written so well that you
feel for the “villain” of the story and want him to be successful, but the price is just too much. Get the back
issues or next year when the TPB comes out.
14. Superman 37 & 38, Super Sons 11, and Teen Titans 15 by Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Jorge Jimenez,
Ryan Benjamin, Francis Manapul, and Ed Benes. The Super Sons of Tomorrow which continues A Lonely
Place of Living’s future Tim Drake’s quest for a better future. The tease of the return of some major missing
characters in the DCU post rebirth is what makes this saga that much more exciting. So far we have two of the
four parts out, the story will continue in January, so go get the issues and ask your LCS to hold the rest for you.
13. Nightwing #12-35 by Tim Seeley, Marcus To, Minkyu Jung, Javi Fernandez, Michael McMillian, Christian
Duce, Miguel Mendonca, Vicente Cifuentes, Chris Sotomayor, Paul Pelletier, Diana Egea, Scott Eaton, Sam
Humphries, and Bernard Chang. Nightwing is just a great character from the Batman family. We see Dick go
through a lot of changes and coming into his own, post Rebirth. Tim Seeley did a great job with showing the
struggles of friendships, relationships, enemies, and a new town. New writer Sam Humphries takes over with
#35 and I’m looking forward to his stories as I enjoyed his Star Lord and Green Lanterns runs. The best of this
in my opinion was the Nightwing Must Die issues (16-20) and that put Dick through the paces with his
relationship and feelings for Shawn Tsang aka The Defacer along with some Multiverse actions…hit the back
issue bins or TPBs for these gems and read the rest of the series and rebirth issue as well.
12. Marvel Two-In- One #1 by Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung. The Fate of the Four…even the title takes me
back to the Silver age. This was the comic that reminds us what is missing in the MU and it is the F4. Great to
see Ben and Johnny get back together and hopefully start giving us some answers about Reed and Sue. With
the Disney/Fox deal hopefully we will see more and more of the first family of Marvel. Get this Fantastic issue
on the rack at your LCS.
11. Tales of Suspense #100 by Matt Rosenberg and Travel Foreman. Yes Bucky is back!! After the events of
Secret Empire I was starting to worry, but he did get a good moment at the end, but this is huge. Hawkeye is on
the hunt for answers on his ex (Black Widow) who is also the ex of Bucky. So here is a buddy cop book but
with the added element of a shared ex-girlfriend who is maybe dead or alive…put this miniseries on your pull
list and it’ll be a good end to 2017 and start to 2018.
10. Fall and Rise of Captain Atom # 1-6 by Cary Bates, Greg Weisman, Will Conrad, and Carlos D’Anda.
This was a great reunion of writers Cary Bates and Greg Weisman with Captain Atom and a nice into for him
into the DC post rebirth. The story was nice with some mystery suspense and lots of black mailing for sure.
I’ve been a fan of Captain Atom (Nathaniel Adam) since the late 80’s and it was great to see these writers back
in the saddle again. I’m hoping more will be done with Cap as the miniseries did leave off with some plots that
could support another mini or an ongoing book. Trade will be out soon or just get the back issues.
9. Uncanny Avengers #28 by Jim Zub and Sean Izaakse. This issue was great, why? Hank and Simon and
they weren’t depressing! Beast and Wonder Man have been great friends and often great comic relief in the
MU, but since Grant Morrison Beast has been a bit of a downer and Bendis did some character changes on
Simon as well. They had a team up back in A+X #12, but even Hank and Simon had to agree at first they
weren’t the same. This issue had them be fun and a much needed one and done with some super heroics, give it
8. Blue Beetle #5-16 (Again another volume, so Vol 10 and the rebirth issue) by Keith Giffen, Scott Kolins,
J.M. DeMatteis, Christopher Sebela, and Thony Silas. This one hit me straight in the heart as it was the return
of Ted Kord. Yes he did have a heroic death in Countdown to Infinite Crisis and a return/sacrifice in Booster
Gold’s book, but this was him back on the page no strings. I mainly came to this book for Ted, but Keith Giffen
and Scott Kolins got me to care about Jaime Reyes’ world, family, and friends. This book was teased right out
of our DC Universe Rebirth and paid off very quick as we saw a resolution to what was happening with the
Beetle Scarab and how it was tied into magic. We saw Jaime rise up to challenges and we saw Ted become the
“guy in the chair.” Enjoyable run, give it a shot.
7. Spirits of Vengeance # 1-3 by Victor Gischler and David Baldeon. The Bad Ass Super Natural Heroes are
back. This series has been fun and was on my radar because of Johnny Blaze. Glad to see the Rider back on
the beat following a dead angel giving him a silver bullet and a mystery. Johnny is joined by Hellstorm, Satana,
and Blaze. The last two parts will be out next year and I’m hopefully that a new series will spin out of this
miniseries, get on this one.
6. Batman #14-37 and Annual 2 by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, David Finch, Danny Miki, Jason Fabok, Clay
Mann, Mikel Janin, Joelle Jones, Lee Weeks, and Michael Lark. Tom King’s run on Batman Volume 3 has been
amazing; this year we got the storylines of Rooftops, I am Bane, the Button, the Brave and the Mold, Every
Epilogue is a Prelude, War of Jokes and Riddles, Rules of Engagement, Bat and Cat Annual, and Super Friends.
Remember those as they will be classics. If you haven’t been reading this entire volume, annual 1, and the
rebirth issue go back and do so. The humanity Tom puts into Bruce is just amazing, the relationship layers that
he has added to Bruce and Selina will make you fall in love, and the action/drama is just intense. This is also
the first time in a long time that I felt the Annual issues actually counted, so thank you for that Tom and Co.
Tom has added some new beats to the Bat-verse and the art is just amazing…every cover is poster worthy. This
is a must read.
5. Ben Reilly the Scarlet Spider #1-12 by Peter David, Mark Bagley, Will Sliney, and Andre Araujo. This one
is huge for me as I totally thought Ben Reilly was done…when it came to Marvel. Clone Conspiracy had me
hoping and then Dan Slott said no, but did it anyways, which was great. The series starts off trying to find itself
and Ben is a lot of out of character, but when you think about what he has been through; being killed and cloned
27 times. My favorite issue of the bunch was #7; we see how that drama has changed Ben’s soul and honestly
felt like the moment the book really found itself as Ben was face to face with Death and had to make some
choices. It is a very out there pick, but for heroes like Scarlet Spider and the Slingers it is a nice reminder of
some nostalgia from comics past, especially with that beautiful Mark Bagley art!
4. Daredevil #15-596 by Charles Soule, Goran Sudzuka, Ron Garney, Marc Laming, Alec Morgan, and Stefano
Landini. Quite the number jump right? Well after issue 28 the book jumped back to the original numbering as
part of the Marvel Legacy era, which is nice. Mr. Soule has been giving Matt Murdock a new job perspective
as a prosecutor and hero. This year has been very generous to the volume as we have had some more amazing
stories in Seventh Day, a 2-parter that takes course over a shot fired at DD by Bullseye; Purple, in which the
children of the Purple Man help out Matt with his life and the loss of Kristen McDuffie; Supreme, in which Mr.
Murdock takes on the Supreme Court; and Mayor Fisk, ‘nuff said. These stories have pushed Matt and also
given him a new mission that shows how much he wants to fix Hell’s Kitchen and beyond. Next year is going
to be great with the continuation of Mayor Fisk and the march to issue 600. Check out all of volume 5 as well
as the issues mentioned.
3. Defenders #1-8, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2017 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez. This
book has been a gem of Marvel’s. Due to the Netflix Defenders series we got a new comic spinning out of
Secret Empire that features Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Ironfist as the latest team. I remember
reading Bendis’ run on New Avengers and liking the street level heroes that he used, and if you liked that era
then this is a spiritual successor. I love the use of the underground criminal empire, Punisher, Deadpool, Black
Cat, and Diamondback. The art of David Marquez is just amazing, this is an artist that will be going places; his
art is that of legendary stories and the fact that he can produce monthly at that level is amazing. I know Bendis
is leaving for DC, but I hope Marvel finds a way to keep this book going.
2. All New Guardians of the Galaxy #1-12, 146-149, Annual 1, FCBD 2017 by Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder,
Frazer Irving, Chris Samnee, Greg Smallwood, Marcus To, Mike Hawthorne, Roland Boschi, Rod Reis, Chad
Bowers, and Chris Sims. This set of comics recharged the GotG big time. Yes it was nice to see them get some
fame with the movies and each character getting their own book, but they are greater as a whole team. Their
adventures have been amazing since they’ve reunited and the energy of the book after the Marvel Legacy
renumbering has been great. Seeing the GotG be the internal police for the new Nova Corps has been
suspenseful and what they are building towards with next year’s Infinity Countdown is exciting. As a fan of the
DnA run of Guardians it was a treat to see Peter and Rich reunited again…plus infinity stones!
1. Mister Miracle #1-5 by Tom King and Mitch Gerads. Scott Free will cheat death! Or maybe not..? This
book has been a much discussed piece of art. Mister Miracle has been a hero of mine as he is such an odd ball
mix of Jesus Christ and Harry Houdini with a crazy colored costume. Tom and Mitch delivered right off the bat
with issue 1 pages 2 and 3. So far it has been a mysterious journey of weather of not Scott is dead or alive and
what is really happening, then…Darkseid is. What does that mean? This book is heading towards the Eisner’s
for sure, do yourself a favor and get this yesterday. Ask your LCS to hold future issues and I hope you enjoy
this book as much as I have.
Well there it is my top 17 picks for 2017. There has been a lot of amazing comics this year and I’ll admit there
were times I wanted to add more, but I stuck with my limit. Let me know what you think and if you also agreed
with my picks or had different ones. Feel free to contact me on Geek Elite Radio’s Facebook page or on
Twitter as I’m @stuffIshudSay. Happy New Year to you and may 2018 bring you even more in the world of
X-men Hope Trilogy
Messiah Complex – Messiah War – Second Coming
First off, there will be spoilers…in the early 90’s the X-men were their own universe of comics to crossover with; we had a group of books with Uncanny, X-Force, X-Factor, New Mutants, Excalibur and X-men. Sometimes all or most of the books would cross over and we would have some amazing story arcs with: X-tinction Agenda, X-Cutioner’s Song, Fatal Attractions, Age of Apocalypse, Onslaught Saga, and Operation: Zero Tolerance. Things kind of stopped after 2000’s the Twelve and Eve of Destruction as that era of X-men ended and we got Grant Morrison’s run in which the characters were still connected but the books were not. With this change we had seen the X-men go to Hollywood and then a new version would come about, black leather; and some story arcs would return like the love triangle between Scott Summers, Jean Grey-Summers, and Logan, but now a new player had entered Emma Frost, the White Queen.
With Grant Morrison’s run we did see some amazing things, but it almost felt as if these were a different set of X-men and their adventures were well far removed from the Marvel Universe. The Mutants were also getting to be more in numbers so they no longer felt like they were pitted with their backs to the wall, but in New X-men issue 115, that changed as Cassandra Nova destroyed the island of Genosha and a lot of Mutants were killed. So now that the number of Mutants had been scaled back and Grant Morrison left the comic it was time for the X-men to get Astonishing. Joss Whedon started a book called Astonishing X-men as part of the X-men ReLoad revamp. This got the X-men back into costumes, had them interact with more Marvel characters, and be heroic looking again (well worth a read as it is 25 issues, 1—24 and a Giant Size).
That successful relaunch and Brian Bendis’ launch of New Avengers meant a crossover had to happen…House of M. The core 8-issue series starts off with asking what should be done with the Scarlet Witch who was responsible for the Avengers Disassembled story. Was she going crazy like her father, Magneto? Then her family helps her escape to a fantasy world, House of M, where the Mutants were the dominant species and Magneto was the unquestioned ruler. By the end of the limited series the Scarlet Witch was tired of being used by everyone and casted a spell, “No More Mutants.” With that the number of Mutants in the Marvel universe was down to less than 200.
Something had to change for the X-men line of books. They were too separated and it had seemed that there were back on the extinction list…so there was a birth. Hope (literally) had entered the lives of the X-men in the Messiah Complex which united the X-books and had Cyclops lead the X-men in order to prevent the Marauders, Acolytes, Reavers, Purifiers, and Predator X from getting the newly born Mutant. As a fan reading this as it came out, I was super excited as I was reliving the X-men from my younger years and it was a grand story of life, death, and extinction. Of course there were twists and turns, but the big reveal that Bishop would be a bad guy and want to kill a Mutant was intense, then of course there were connections to Jean and the Phoenix, so anything to do with the Summers family has me excited.
After the baby had been secured by the good guys, she was taken into the future by Cable; which was very much reminiscent of Cable’s origins as well. There she was raised to be a soldier and fight on no matter what was happening, and this world was not a better place. Meanwhile whenever they could get a moment it was of course broken by Bishop hunting them down. The Messiah War finally had some reinforcements come by way of the clandestine X-Force team, which was very proactive in their missions. They now had to help out and face off against a horrendous future, Stryfe, and Apocalypse. Stryfe is a clone of Cable and is a tragic villain in the X-men storylines, but it was great to see him return and now knowing how sinister he would be this made the stakes that much higher. For once Apocalypse would be helpful and did something beneficial for Cable and Hope.
Now the time had come for Hope to return, the Second Coming. This story arc was now at a fever pitch…Cyclops, X-Force, Utopia all of it coming to a head and some people weren’t liking the way the X-men were separating themselves and their actions; even some of the X-men too. Hope and Cable had returned and this time they had to face off a coalition of the worst Humankind had to offer: Bastion, Stephen Lang, Bolivar Trask, William Stryker, Graydon Creed, and Cameron Hodge. This was HUGE as these were some of the best and longest running Human villains in the X-men comics and now they were together. This was the “be all, end all” of X-men comics for me. This story took place all over America as we desperately watch Cable and Hope go from the Mansion in Westchester County, NY to Utopia near San Francisco, CA.
The moments between characters was what drew me to this story, Cyclops and his interactions between Nightcrawler and Beast were some of the biggest as we saw their friendship be tested. Faith was a theme constant to this story. I remember going into the comic shop every week to get the newest issue in the story and it was well worth it, Marvel had brought out their best. This is the trilogy that brought the X-men back and on track. You can of course read the trades/hard covers for Messiah Complex, Messiah War, and Second Coming, but I’ve put together a map for you that will give you that experience but also some extra. Get to your favorite reading spot and enjoy a tour de force of a group of heroes that fight to survive in a world that hates and fears them. (NOTE the comics in italics are suggested as they are more of a character profile book)
Messiah Complex Reading Order
1 X-men: Messiah Complex (2007)
X-men: Messiah Complex Mutant Files
2 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 492
3 X-Factor (Vol 3) 25
4 New X-men (Vol 1) 44
5 X-men (Vol 1) 205
6 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 493
7 X-Factor (Vol 3) 26
8 New X-men (Vol 1) 45
9 X-men (Vol 1) 206
10 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 494
11 X-Factor (Vol 3) 27
12 New X-men (Vol 1) 46
13 X-men (Vol 1) 207
Aftermath (suggested readings)
Uncanny X-men 495 to 500, featuring the move to San Francisco, the X-men reforming, and building Cyclops’ vison of mutant paradise.
Cable (Vol 2, 2008) 1 to 5, showing Cable with baby Hope on the run from a vengeance seeking Bishop.
X-Force (Vol 3) 1 to 6, this is the team that was tasked with finding Hope, now they will also be a proactive team to take down threats to the Mutant race, permanently.
X-men the Lives and Times of Lucas Bishop 1 to 3, gives the readers an insight as to why Bishop is not a believer of Hope like the other X-men are.
Cable (Vol 2, 2008) 11 to 12, Wasteland Blues finally shows Hope asking the questions: who am I and why do people want to hurt me?
Messiah War Reading Order
1 X-Force/Cable: Messiah War
X-men Future History Messiah War Sourcebook
2 Cable (Vol 2) 13
3 X-Force (Vol 3) 14
4 Cable (Vol 2) 14
5 X-Force (Vol 3) 15
6 Cable (Vol 2) 15
7 X-Force (Vol 3) 16
Second Coming Reading Order
1 X-men Hope
2 X-men Second Coming Prepare
3 X-men Second Coming 1
4 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 523
5 New Mutants (Vol 3) 12
6 X-men Legacy 235
7 X-Force (Vol 3) 26
8 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 524
9 New Mutants (Vol 3) 13
10 X-men Legacy 236
11 X-Force (Vol 3) 27
12 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 525
13 New Mutants (Vol 3) 14
14 X-men Legacy 237
15 X-Force (Vol 3) 28
16 X-men Second Coming 2
17 Uncanny X-men Heroic Age 1
So make sure to visit Geek Elite Radio’s Facebook page or Twitter and let me know what you think of this trilogy and share your insights, as always…GEEK OUT!
From Pleasant Hill to Secret Empire
the Fall of (Captain) America
By: Christopher Franey
So the Secret Empire has risen and fallen
and a lot of fans are polarized by this Marvel
Comics event, good. Comic book stories are at
their best when fans get to talking about the
material. For me as a fan I love comics that
showcase a hero’s redemption; my first time
seeing this was with Hal Jordan and Emerald
Twilight. I remember going to Wal-greens as a
kid and going to the comic book rack to see what
issues I could find; luckily this place had bared
great fruit before with Superman 75, the famous
death issue. So that New Year’s Eve I went in
and found a copy of Green Lantern issue 48,
which was part one of Emerald Twilight. I knew
something was amiss as the main character looked
very troubled on that cover and that single story
led to ten years of comic storytelling; Parallax,
Zero Hour, Final Night, Day of Judgement, Spectre,
and many more…till finally Green Lantern Rebirth.
Comic books are about heroes and their humanity, in my humble opinion. Why do we
love the comics we love? Is it because of Spider-man or Peter Parker? The answer will always
vary, but if you remember they are both one and the same, it is the character’s journey and their
choices. Before Secret Empire began we were witnessing a Marvel Universe with an aged Steve
Rogers and Sam Wilson as the new Captain America. Of course fans were happy for Sam, but
they didn’t want to see Steve sidelined, so change was about to come. That takes us to the
Pleasant Hill, written by Nick Spencer and this would begin the road to Secret Empire.
What I have done here to help folks with Secret Empire (and even Civil War II for that
matter) is to give them the comic book issues that help to make the stories stronger, but mostly
form a view point of following Steve Rogers. This road map will let you know which issues to
read and they were placed in a release order. With this map you can see how Steve went from
being an old man to a revitalized Captain America, but we now know at what cost. Enjoy the
read and please feel free to ask myself or Geek Elite Radio questions along the way or after. I
can be reached on twitter as @stuffIshuldSay or on Geek Elite Radio’s Facebook page. Two
major things that are great about the ending of this story are when we will see “Stevil” again and
watching Steve Rogers find his path towards redemption.
1. Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill
2. Standoff Alpha
3. Captain America Sam Wilson 7
4. Captain America Sam Wilson 8
5. Standoff Omega
6. Captain America Steve Rogers FCBD 2016
7. Civil War II FCBD 2016
8. Thunderbolts (v3) 1
9. Civil War II 0
10. Captain America Steve Rogers 1
11. Civil War II 1
12. Thunderbolts (v3) 2
13. Civil War II 2
14. Captain America Steve Rogers 2
15. Civil War II 3
16. Thunderbolts (v3) 3
17. Captain America Steve Rogers 3
18. Civil War II 4
19. Civil War II The Accused
20. Civil War II The Fallen
21. Captain America Steve Rogers 4
22. Thunderbolts (v3) 4
23. Civil War II 5
24. Captain America Steve Rogers 5
25. Thunderbolts (v3) 5
26. Thunderbolts (v3) 6
27. Civil War II 6
28. Captain America Steve Rogers 6
29. Captain America Steve Rogers 7
30. Civil War II 7
31. Thunderbolts (v3) 7
32. Captain America Steve Rogers 8
33. Thunderbolts (v3) 8
34. Civil War II 8
35. Captain America Steve Rogers 9
36. Captain America Steve Rogers 10
37. Civil War II The Oath
38. Thunderbolts (v3) 9
39. Captain America Steve Rogers 11
40. Captain America Steve Rogers 12
41. Thunderbolts (v3) 10
42. Captain America Steve Rogers 13
43. Captain America Steve Rogers 14
44. Thunderbolts (v3) 11
45. Captain America Steve Rogers 15
46. Captain America Steve Rogers 16
47. Thunderbolts (v3) 12
48. Secret Empire 0
49. Secret Empire 1
50. Secret Empire FCBD 2017
51. Secret Empire 2
52. Captain America Steve Rogers 17
53. Secret Empire 3
54. Secret Empire 4
55. Captain America Steve Rogers 18
56. Secret Empire 5
57. Secret Empire 6
58. Captain America Steve Rogers 19
59. Secret Empire 7
60. Captain America 25
61. Secret Empire 8
62. Secret Empire 9
63. Secret Empire 10
64. Secret Empire Omega
65. Generations Captain Americas