PREVIEWS: "Civil War II," "Punisher" & More Marvel Comics on Sale June 1, 2016
I first discovered the joy of comics in 1980 when some girls on my school bus brought in their father's copies of Wendy and Richard Pini's "Elfquest" and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, I've written freelance interviews and articles for "Wizard" (going all the way back to the first issue), headed up the Small Press Expo and the Ignatz Awards, served as an Eisner judge and written reviews regularly since 1999 (first for iComics.com, then moving to my own site Read About Comics).
I moved to the Washington DC area in 1974 and have yet to leave. I design and develop training for the Federal government during the day, and I've had both fiction and non-fiction professionally published. In my spare time I train for marathons and triathlons. I've promised my friends one of these days I'll run a race dressed as the Flash.
FIRST COMIC: "Elfquest" #5
FAVORITE CHARACTER: Fone Bone, Captain Britain, Rachel Summers Grey
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With the Owls vanquished, "Batman" #12 lets Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan and Andy Clarke shift to a satisfying story that focuses on a supporting character from an earlier issue.
China Mieville and Mateus Santolouco's "Dial H" continues to come up with big crazy ideas involving Nullomancers and other dimensions, even as the pair carefully weave together part of a larger tapestry.
Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic show us what happens when "Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe," but it turns out that scenario lacks any real spark.
The "Rotworld" crossover between "Animal Man" and "Swamp Thing" begins with a large chunk of exposition courtesy Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder and Steve Pugh, but gets moving nicely afterwards.
Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry revive "Archer & Armstrong," and while it's not up to the Barry Windsor-Smith levels of greatness, it's still good enough to sit up and take notice.
Grant Morrison, Rags Morales and a back-up cast of thousands wrap up the first year of "Action Comics" with a slightly flat conclusion to Superman's new secret identity and the mysterious Neo Sapiens.
Peter David and Leonard Kirk kick off their status quo-changing storyline in "X-Factor" #241, and for an opening chapter, it feels on track.
Christos Gage and Tom Grummett kick off "Final Exam" in "Avengers Academy" #34, and for an "everything changes" storyline, this opening chapter appears to deliver.
Jeff Lemire, Cully Hamner and Derec Donovan revive an old character in "National Comics: Eternity" and it's easily the best revamp formerly-Kid Eternity's had in ages.
"Resident Alien" #3 brings Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse's first mini-series to a conclusion, but with more scheduled for later this year there isn't a sense of finality present.
Two issues into the updated creative team of Gregg Hurwitz and David Finch, "Batman: The Dark Knight" #11's story of the Scarecrow's latest experiment is turning out to be a hit.
"Wolverine & the X-Men" #14 lets Jason Aaron and Jorge Molina show us a side-story of "Avengers vs. X-Men" as Colossus and Shadowcat go on a date -- and unsurprisingly, disaster ensues.
"FF" #20 is now more than ever an overflow title for "Fantastic Four," its apparent purpose being to help Jonathan Hickman wrap up storylines like the Inhumans' status in the Marvel Universe.
"B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Exorcism" #2 brings Mike Mignola and Cameron Stewart's story of a long term possession to an attractive-looking but slightly predictable conclusion.
"DC Universe Presents" #11 wraps up James Robinson and Bernard Chang's story about Vandal Savage and his daughter Kass, but it feels a little too simple to be truly satisfying.
"The Infernal Man-Thing" is ill-served by its new format, but is a good (if unintentional) swan song for the late Steve Gerber, as well as a showcase for Kevin Nowlan.
"B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil's Engine" wraps up Devon and Fenix's train-ride of terror in a satisfying way, even as the next mini-series is prepped for its debut around the corner.
"Glory" #28 plunges Glory and Riley into a hideous battle, even as more questions are raised about which side is "right."
"X-Men" #32 continues Brian Wood and David Lopez's story about proto-mutants -- and for a comic set mostly on a plane it's quite gripping.
"Justice League" #11's overall ideas involving the ghosts of loved ones aren't bad, but this chapter in particular feels like everyone's vamping for time before the big conclusion.