Suicide Squad #1 will be awfully familiar to anyone who has seen the recent film version of the team. It's familiar because it's pretty much the exact same roster and features almost the same opening act. This kind of corporate synergy could be derided, I suppose, but I'm used to comics making boneheaded decisions like launching a Guardians of the Galaxy comic right after a successful movie, and then immediately cluttering up the team with additional characters that aren't in the movie all these possible new readers just loved. So, a little synergy isn't always a bad thing.
With a tie-in like Civil War II - The Accused #1, the success or failure of the issue can sometimes be tied to whether the event from which it springs is working or not. Personally, I have thought Civil War II to be, simply put, a hot mess. So I wasn't exactly thrilled to crack open The Accused and start reading. But, aside from the intrinsic flaws that are transported to this book from the main title, I found that writer Marc Guggenheim succeeded in making the story work surprisingly well.
Action Comics #961 is a solid issue that sees a classic version of the Man of Steel face off against the version of Doomsday that was responsible for Superman's one-time death, all while the mysterious Mr. Oz secretly observes the goings on, which also include the presence of a Clark Kent who is not Superman. Yep, it's a solid issue overall. The problem is that it was solid the previous two issues too.
Amazing Spider-Man #16 acts as the first chapter of the "Before Dead No More" arc. That's right, we live in an age where the event to come will be heralded by a four-part prologue to said event. I don't really have a problem with that, though I can't help but think back in the day they would have just threaded the prologue material into the ongoing narrative the book a little less obviously. Someone should talk to Roger Stern about how to build developments and intrigue over time.
Black Science #23 is proof that this series, which started off very strong, keeps getting better and better. It also sees the creative team of Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera growing bolder and more confident than ever before. The result is a completely satisfying instalment that sees the series moving into new directions without losing sight of the personal journey at its heart.
One of the best things you can say about Justice League #2 is that writer Bryan Hitch has a crystal clear idea on what the stakes should be in a Justice League story. Nothing short of cataclysm, end of the world global calamity. Hitch has proven surprisingly skilled at setting up threats that only the Justice League would able to handle, and his ability to ratchet up the danger is a big part of what makes this issue successful.
Wow. So, yeah. That was weird. Moon Knight #5 sees the series complete its first arc (I think? Probably?) as Marc Spector literally confronts himself and the force behind his current descent into either madness or some kind alternate nightmare reality.
"Whose Side Are You On?" asks the marketing material for Civil War II. Well, after reading Civil War II #3, my answer is, "No one's, because who be on any of these idiots' sides?"
Conan the Slayer #1 is the latest comic book series to star Robert E Howard's black-haired barbarian. I wonder if Howard could have realized back in 1932 when the first Conan story, The Phoenix on the Sword, was published, that his creation would still be going strong 84 years later. There have been many adaptations of Conan over the years. There have been films both good and bad, a pretty lousy TV series, too. But perhaps where the Cimmerian has found the greatest success outside of the short stories and novels was in comics.
In Horizon #1, we learn an invasion is coming. The planet Valius is under threat from aliens from another planet. These aliens have destroyed their own planet through pollution and waste, and now they're coming to Valius. The planet's only hope is to stop the invasion before it happens, and so they send soldiers on a desperate undercover mission on their aggressor's planet. The invading planet's name? Earth.