The Longbox Short-List - Week of July 8, 2015

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Welcome back to Critical Blast’s weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!

Comics Shipping This Week

Quite a few books I want to talk about this week!

ARCHIE #1 - The big Archie relaunch starts here. Regular readers of my work will know that I have been talking about this relaunch for a while. This is the book I am most hyped about this week, if just for the creative team of Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. All that said, it is VERY weird to see Archie looking so different after all these years.

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #11 - I actually had no idea this series was still going. It sort of got lost in the shuffle with all the announcements about JUSTICE LEAGUE and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. I thought JLU got off to a bit of a slow start, but I loved the second arc featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes. The solicitation for this issue makes it sound almost like SECRET DEFENDERS - Now, Alanna Strange, Stargirl and Equinox must assemble brand-new and wildly untraditional teams of heroes and villains to work together and stop another cosmic catastrophe before it happens. In this issue: Mera, Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing and Etrigan! - All right, I am definitely curious about this one! Count me in.

VAMPIRELLA/ARMY OF DARKNESS #1 - Pretty bummed out by the news that Nancy Collins will be leaving VAMPIRELLA pretty soon. I only recently got into VAMPIRELLA, and it was pretty much entirely because of how well Nancy Collins writes the character. It was enough to get me to go out and buy the VAMPIRELLA ARCHIVE collections, which I've also enjoyed. And this issue brings together Vampirella with Ash Williams. Sounds like a weird and fun combination!

STAR TREK/GREEN LANTERN #1 - Speaking of unusual combinations... IDW has done a real good job with their comics devoted to the "new" STAR TREK universe. I have no idea how good a fit it will be with Green Lantern, but I always love crossovers. 

BLOODSTRIKE #1 - I used to love BLOODSTRIKE back in the 90's. It started as a spin-off of BRIGADE, which was pretty much my favorite comic at the time. So, while I am glad to see it back, at the same time it kind of bothers me. Image did a big relaunch of a lot of their Extreme titles a few years ago, including BLOODSTRIKE. I was enjoying these relaunches, especially YOUNGBLOOD. But they were pretty much all cancelled without warning. So bringing back BLOODSTRIKE again, I can't help but wonder if it will stick around this time. And what ever happened to the BRIGADE series that Liefeld had going on Kickstarter? I'm still waiting on that too...


STAR WARS: LANDO #1 - Lando finally gets his own comic series! Marvel has done a great job with the Star Wars license, and I am real curious about this book. It's been great to see Lando in STAR WARS: REBELS. I really hope that Billy Dee Williams returns for some capacity for the new Star Wars movies!

STARFIRE #2 - I really enjoyed the first issue of this series. Definitely lived up to the potential of the preview issue. A very funny series, and a much better representation of Starfire than we had see in New-52 before now.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #274 - The WORLDS UNITE crossover has finally started to pick up steam. Last issue teased the inclusion of more Capcom characters as Sticks seemed to run into Chun-Li. I can't wait to see more Capcom and Sega characters enter the fray. The weirder the crossover, the happier I am as a reader.

EARTH 2 SOCIETY #2 - I am not going to lie, I don't remember the first issue at all. That is never a good sign. But, I keep waiting for the JUSTICE SOCIETY to be formed, so I will keep picking up this book and hoping for the best. But I don't know how much longer I can keep playing that thread out. Personally, I would rather that the JUSTICE SOCIETY and INFINITY INC we saw during CONVERGENCE show up. 

SECRET WARS - Marvel keeps putting out more and more SECRET WARS tie-ins. For the most part, I've really enjoyed most of the ones that I've read, but my wallet can't take much more of this. In terms of new series, I am curious about 1872, AGE OF APOCALYPSE, and SPIDER-VERSE. MASTER OF KUNG FU has been my favorite tie-in basically since it launched. SPIDER-VERSE, GHOST RACERS, and INFERNO have worked really well too. My wife really enjoyed MRS DEADPOOL AND THE HOWLING COMMANDOS. I am still not sold on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS. I love seeing Spider-Man as a family man, but the first issue was just so much darker than I was expecting. I was really hoping it would skew more like SPIDER-GIRL.

MAXX MAXXIMIZED #21 - I will admit the second "act" of MAXX is nowhere as good as the first act, but I still really enjoyed the time jump and the beauty ending to the story. This actually is a really good jumping on point for the series (the first issue of MAXX I read back in the day was issue 21 in fact). 


SWORDS OF SORROW #3 - Still my favorite summer crossover! The all-female cast has been terrific, and I hope that we get an ongoing series that keeps many of these characters teaming up. As much I have enjoyed A-FORCE, SWORDS OF SORROW does it far better.

BLOODSHOT REBORN #4 - I can't say this enough: ever since BLOODSHOT relaunched, it has quickly become one of my tp three Valiant books. Granted, some of that is because QUANTUM AND WOODY and ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG are on hiatus, but that doesn't take away from how much I've enjoyed this series. It is a very different take on Bloodshot, and gives us a very fresh perspective of how badly Project Rising Spirit messed with his life.