Major Issues: Star Trek Goes to War and Spider-Man Uncovers Revelations
CBR reviews some of this week’s biggest comics, including Infinite Frontier, Amazing Spider-Man, Black Manta, Defenders and Star Trek: The Mirror War.
Each week, CBR has your guide to navigating Wednesday’s new and recent comic releases, specials, collected editions and reissues, and we’re committed to helping you choose those that are worth your hard-earned cash. It’s a little slice of CBR we like to call Major Issues.
If you feel so inclined, you can buy our recommendations directly on comiXology with the links provided. We’ll even supply links to the books we’re not so hot on, just in case you don’t want to take our word for it. Don’t forget to let us know what you think of the books this week in the comments! And as always, SPOILERS AHEAD!
INFINITE FRONTIER #6 (DC)
While most superhero crossovers are built around marquee characters, Infinite Frontier put several more relatively obscure characters at the forefront of the DC Multiverse. And as Joshua Williamson, Xermanico, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Tom Napolitano prove in Infinite Frontier #6, that can be a winning formula. This issue sees Alan Scott’s Green Lantern and the young heroes of the Justice Society team up with the heroes of the DC Multiverse for a final battle against Darkseid that sets up several Crisis-level storylines.
With such a focus on setting things up for the future, this issue ultimately feels like a preamble to what’s next than a complete thought of its own. But with strong character voices, dynamic action and several intriguing teases built on DC lore, this issue is still a satisfying read.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #73 (MARVEL)
The mysterious masked villain Kindred has been giving Spider-Man trouble since 2018. Since then, Marvel has revealed several major details about the villain, but none as major as the revelations of Amazing Spider-Man #73 by Nick Spencer, Ze Carlos, Carlos Gomex, Marcelo Ferreira, Alex Sinclair and Joe Caramagna.
With Spencer’s penultimate issue as Amazing Spider-Man writer, this issue puts a long-absent, surprising face under Kindred’s mask and adds a twisted new dimension to Harry Osborn’s schemes. The end result is a convoluted scheme that wipes away one of the most controversial Spider-Man stories ever published in an effective way. While the art – especially Sinclair’s color – is strong throughout the issue, this comic ultimately seems more interested in rearranging Spider-Man history than standing on its own.
BLACK MANTA #1 (DC)
Since Aquaman doesn’t have an ongoing solo title right now, it might seem like an odd time for a miniseries about his rival Black Manta. However, Chuck Brown, Valentine de Landro, Marissa Louise and Clayton Cowles’s Black Manta #1 delivers an outstanding solo debut for the longtime DC villain. This issue is an engrossing tale of piracy on the high seas as Manta and a new rival villain vie for the same powerful prize.
Brown’s script turns Manta into a compelling lead who believably skirts the line between villainy and heroism and surrounds him with a strong cast of supporting characters. Despite the fantastic nature of the concepts involved and a tropical color palette, the gritty art grounds the comic with a realistic weight. Black Manta may still be a supporting player in the DCEU, but this comic proves that he is ready for a starring role.
DEFENDERS #2 (MARVEL)
Traditionally, the Defenders have taken on challenges that were a little too strange for the Avengers and Marvel’s other marquee heroes. And in Defenders #2, Al Ewing, Javier Rodriguez and Joe Caramagna keep that spirit of bold adventure alive with an odd assortment of heroes. After Doctor Strange and his team fell into a previous incarnation of the Marvel Universe, they team up with the superhero mother of Galactus to stop a world-eating villain.
Having carved out an open spot in Marvel history, this comic adds some interesting wrinkles to Marvel lore and gives the Silver Surfer a fascinating encounter with a young Galactus. However, the real stand-out of this comic is the art, which is built around eye-popping compositions, inventive layouts and vibrant colors that make this one of Marvel’s best-looking books.
STAR TREK: THE MIRROR WAR #0 (IDW PUBLISHING)
While the evil counterparts of the Mirror Universe have been a big part of some Star Trek shows, it never played a huge role in Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, IDW Publishing has remedied that with several TNG Mirror Universe miniseries. With Star Trek: The Mirror War #0, Scott and David Tipton, Carlos Nieto, DC Alonso and Neil Uyetake return to the Mirror Universe for another engaging tale starring dark reflections Captain Picard, Commander Riker and the Enterprise crew.
This debut issue largely deals with the aftermath of Mirror Universe Reginald Barclay replacing his main universe counterpart. Despite that, this issue is a fairly decent starting point and spells out what readers need to know well. Nieto and Alonso’s stylized art suits the epic, more action-oriented scope of the story well, and this issue does a nice job of setting up the main event.
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