GeekMom: Comic Book Corner–TMNT, Harley Quinn, Teen Titans, The X-Files, and Pirates!

TMNT #36 Cover  Image courtesy of IDW Publishing
TMNT #36 Cover Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week Harley Quinn heads to San Diego Comic-Con, the Turtles meet a new foe, The X-Files jump into their zero year issue, and an orphan turns pirate in Anne Bonnie.

Dakster Sullivan — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #36 by Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, and art by Mateus Santolouco

Preview from TMNT #36  Image courtesy of IDW Publishing
Preview from TMNT #36 Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

As we hit issue #36 in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I’m really excited about everything that has happened so far. From the mess with the Purple Dragons, to April and Cassy, to witnessing what Leonardo went through as a member of the Footclan, and watching his brothers fighting to get him back, this series has been a crazy ride. In this issue, we see a little more of the pain that Leonardo is experiencing after breaking free of the Footclan and the relationship he has with his father.

While on a father/son walk around the sewers, Leo and Splinter have their first run in with the Rat King, a villain known for his ability to control rats. I’m familiar with the Rat King from various TMNT animated series, and I noticed a big change in the power he possesses. I’m a little confused by this revelation, but none the less it offers up endless possibilities for him in future issues. I enjoyed the character in the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Animated Series on Nickelodeon, and I’m expecting nothing less out of him in the comic book.

This title is recommended for ages 10 and up. 

Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.

Corrina —

Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International: San Diego #1 written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, various artists including Paul Pope and Conner. 

Everyone’s favorite not-quite-a-villain goes to Comic-Con. Mayhem ensues. Go. Buy. Read. Laugh.

This title is recommended for ages 14 and up.

Robin Rises: Omega #1 written by Peter Tomasi, art by Andy Kubert, inked by Jonathan Glapion

This is the beginning of the storyline that will lead to the return of the late Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul. I’d expected the beginning of a story but what I got was the end of a storyline in which Batman was hunting for Damian’s stolen corpse.

There is a nice recap of the history of Batman and Talia’s relationship and Damian’s too-short life, and then the issue jumps right into Batman and R’as Al Ghul against an army from Apokolips. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on but it all looks great, thanks to the art team. I’m glad Damian will be back. It seemed cruel to kill the little assassin/hero but this story seems way too over-the-top to fit into Batman’s more realistic world.

This title is recommended for ages 12 and up. 

Teen Titans #1 written by Will Pfeifer, art by Kenneth Rocafort.

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Cover to Teen Titans #1, copyright DC Comics

Criticism of this cover of the Titans’ relaunch eventually led to rape threats against the writer of the article, which was a bad way for this much-needed reboot to begin. It looks a bit different. There are square boxes around each of the Titans’ faces and it looks like a search page.

It’s not much of an improvement.

The story is an improvement over what was possibly the worst Teen Titans comic ever, the previous series, but that is not saying much. This issue doesn’t waste time recapping the origins of the team and gets right to the action, allowing each Titan to show off their special skills. That’s a good thing. Not so good: the way Wonder Girl’s breasts even in the interior art seem bigger than her head, and that these young superheroes greet the deaths of their opponents with a “shrug, hey, what can you do?” One would hope young heroes would be a bit less callous, even though the deaths are not their fault.

Teen Titans was once as popular as the X-Men series from Marvel but their stories have been of dubious quality for about ten years now, and while this series is better, it’s not great.

That makes me sad.

This title is recommended for ages 12 and up. 

Lisa Tate — Anne Bonnie, written and drawn by Tim Yates (Blue Juice Comics)

This lively pirate epic, from the publishers behind the time-traveling adventure, The Accelerators, is set in a steampunk-tinged fantasy world.  Magical creatures, rock monsters,  moody ghost ships and pirates abound.

Anne Bonnie, “The Pirate Queen,” is currently thought dead, though many wish she were alive to keep the pirate attacks on civilians in check.

It’s in this world that we meet the orphan Ariana, whose fiery personality matches her ginger appearance. The closest thing she has to a family, her “Uncle” Ken, entrusts her with a copy of a mysterious key before heading out to sea. Jump ahead a few years, where Ariana is a self-proclaimed treasure hunter, with the key still in her possession. When she finds the lock the key fits, her real adventure begins.

This type of comic is a joy to read, with plenty of fun background characters and shenanigans to draw readers into this otherworldly high seas tale. Ariana is refreshing as well. She’s energetic, but not annoyingly perky, realistically clumsy, but not ditzy, and best of all, not over-sexualized.

Ariana is independent, strong and driven; a great read for girls and boys alike. Yates’ storytelling and art are perfect for younger readers, with an exciting, easy-to-follow tale and clean, colorful illustrations. Issue #1 was released in March with #2 following it up in late June. No news yet on the next issue, so there is still an opportunity of readers to jump on board and catch up with Ariana on her journey.

Recommended for all ages. 

Sophie Brown The X-Files: Year Zero #1 by Karl Kesel and art by Vic Malhotra and Greg Scott

The X-Files: Year Zero is a five issue mini-series set partly in Joe Harris’ ongoing Season 10 and partly in the 1940s. The series sets up the back story of the entire X-Files division and introduces Mulder and Scully’s predecessors; Special Agent Bing Ellinson and Special Employee Millie Ohio.

The X-Files Zero Year  Cover: © IDW/Carlos Valenzuela
The X-Files Zero Year Cover: © IDW/Carlos Valenzuela

As a die-hard fan, I’m always wary of people messing with my beloved show’s history by adding new characters retroactively into the canon. This was my greatest concern regarding Ellinson and Ohio but it needn’t have been. I fell in love them both within pages of their first appearances. While the character parallels to Mulder and Scully are anything but subtle (Ellinson is even referred to as “The FBI’s most unwanted”–a title Mulder gave himself in the show’s pilot) there’s enough here to separate them rather than making this effectively a 1940s X-Files AU. The rapport between the pair is instant yet believable with both halves of this new partnership keen to prove themselves to the other, much the same as in a certain pilot episode that aired in 1993. And yes I totally ship it already.

In the modern-day, Year Zero handles Mulder and Scully perfectly, giving them some of their best comic pages so far. Karl Kesel captures their relationship exactly the way I love to see. It’s affectionate, sarcastic, and funny in equal measure, creating that brilliant banter that epitomizes why I love the show so much. It’s also great to see them physically working together on an investigation, something that has been sadly lacking in Season 10 where all too often they are separated and tackling their own areas apart.

The issue ends with a classic in-the-car-exposition scene as Mulder reveals to Scully a little more about the mysterious Mr. Xero/Zero who is at the center of both their own current investigation and that of Ellinson and Ohio many decades before. There’s an attention to detail evident here that makes the fan girl in me very excited to see how this story plays out. Roll on August 20th and issue two.

Recommended for ages 15 and up. 

Disclaimer: GeekMom received a review copy. 

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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Batman A Celebration Of 75 Years HC
Batman Eternal #15
Batwoman #33
Birds Of Prey Vol. 4 The Cruelest Cut TP
Damian Son Of Batman Deluxe Edition HC
Django Unchained TP
Fables #142
Green Lantern New Guardians #33
Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International San Diego #1 (One Shot) GeekMom Recommended
Infinite Crisis Fight For The Multiverse #1 New Series
Joker A Celebration Of 75 Years HC
New 52 Futures End #11
Red Hood And The Outlaws #33
Robin Rises Omega #1 (One Shot)
Scribblenauts Unmasked A Crisis Of Imagination #7 Kid Friendly
Supergirl #33
Supergirl Vol. 4 Out Of The Past TP
Tales Of The Batman J.H. Williams III HC
Teen Titans #1 New Series
Teen Titans Vol. 4 Light And Dark TP
100th Anniversary Special X-Men #1
All-New X-Factor #11
Avengers World #9
Black Widow #6
Black Widow Vol. 1 The Finely Woven Thread TP
Captain America #22 75th Anniversary Poster By Alex Ross
Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #2 (Of 7)
Elektra #4 New Series
Guardians Of The Galaxy #15 GeekMom Recommended
Inhuman #1 New Series
Loki Agent Of Asgard #5
Magneto #7
Marvel Masterworks The Avengers Vol. 14 HC
Miles Morales The Ultimate Spider-Man #2 New Series
Moon Knight #4 New Series
Ms. Marvel #6
Nova #19 GeekMom Recommended
Original Sin #3.2
Original Sin #6 (Of 8)
Savage Hulk #2 New Series
Savage Wolverine #21
Secret Avengers #5
She-Hulk #6
Silver Surfer #4 New Series
Thunderbolts #28
Ultimate FF #4 New Series
Uncanny X-Men #23
X-Men #16
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24 #4 New Series
Borderlands The Fall Of Fyrestone #1 New Series
Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #1 (Of 6) New Kid Friendly Series 
Doberman #1
Gate-Way Vol. 1 A New World TP
Judge Dredd #21
Last Fall #1 (Of 5) New Mini Series
Littlest Pet Shop #3 (Of 5) Kid Friendly
Lust TP
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #21 Kid Friendly
Powerpuff Girls Classics Vol. 4 Picture Perfect TP Kid Friendly
Squidder #1 (Of 4) New Series
Star Trek Special Flesh And Stone #1 New Series
Steranko Nick Fury Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition HC
Tarzan The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Vol. 3 1971-1974 HC
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #36 GeekMom 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Animated Vol. 4 Mutagen Mayhem HC Kid Friendly
V-Wars #2 New Series
X-Files Classics Vol. 4 HC
X-Files Year Zero #1 (Of 5) New Mini-Series
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth #121
Brain Boy The Men From G.E.S.T.A.L.T. #3 (Of 4)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike Into The Light HC
Eye Of Newt #2 (Of 4)
Ghost #6
Grindhouse Doors Open At Midnight Double Feature Vol. 1 TP
Pictures That Tick Vol. 2 HC (Limited Edition)
Pictures That Tick Vol. 2 TP
Star Wars Darth Maul Son Of Dathomir #3 (Of 4)
Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 28 Red Scorpion HC (Limited Edition)
Witcher #5 (Of 5) Last Issue
Witchfinder The Mysteries Of Unland #2 (Of 5)

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback

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Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.