Tag Archives: superhero comics

Wonder Woman Earth One Volume 3: Triumph Of A (Loving) Philosophy

Whenever there’s an alternate version of an iconic character, writers often try to give them their own unique twist. Most of the time, it’s distinct, but still subtle. They try not to veer too far from the established canon of the character. Unless they’re writing weird fan fiction, writers stick to whatever is most prominent version of the character within the cultural zeitgeist.

However, Grant Morrison is not like most writers.

He doesn’t follow along with the cultural zeitgeist. Instead, he reverses it. When he writes iconic characters, he reshapes and reimagines them in big ways. All the cultural zeitgeist can do is try and keep up.

He did it for Superman in his critically acclaimed run on “All-Star Superman.”

He did it again with “Wonder Woman: Earth One.”

These stories didn’t simply tell new stories with DC Comics’ most iconic characters. They channeled every element from every era to mold a unique narrative. That’s difficult enough for Superman, given his 80-year history. With Wonder Woman, the challenge is even greater.

Before I get too heavy into spoiler territory, I’ll just say this. Morrison successfully rose to the challenge when reimagining Wonder Woman in the first volume of “Wonder Woman: Earth One.” He succeeds even more in completing that story in “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 3.”

It’s challenging because most Wonder Woman fans, including older fans more familiar with her lengthy history, know her mostly as a proud warrior woman. They think Wonder Woman and they see Lynda Carter in the classic 70s show, Gal Gadot in the recent movies, and even the animated version in “Justice League Unlimited” that was voiced by Susan Eisenberg.

These are all great versions of this iconic character. That warrior spirit that makes her one of the fiercest fighters in the DC Universe is a major part of her persona. However, there are other aspects of that persona that have been either retconned or ignored. Morrison makes it a point to embrace those aspects in “Wonder Woman: Earth One.”

Yes, that does include some of the kinkier aspects of Wonder Woman’s origins, which I’ve highlighted before. Namely, it embraces some of the BDSM elements that were woven into the early lore of Wonder Woman by her creator, William Marston.

However, it would be wrong, shallow, and short-sighted to call this aspect of Wonder Woman’s character too crude for modern tastes. These elements aren’t just for sex appeal and titillation. They reflect an important element to Wonder Woman’s philosophy, as defined by Marston.

To use power to dominate over others is inherently cruel and repressive.

To willingly submit with love and compassion is the truth path to peace and justice.

This is the core philosophy that Grant Morrison spends the first two volumes of “Wonder Woman: Earth One” exploring. That philosophy faces its ultimate test in “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 3.” I’ll spoil another detail here. It passes with flying colors and in a way that makes for a satisfying conclusion to such a uniquely wonderful story.

The story isn’t just about Wonder Woman facing the worst elements of domination at the hands of arrogant men and powerful gods. It’s about how this unique philosophy ultimately wins.

Now, contrary to what a bunch of whiny trolls may say, this effort is not about “smashing the patriarchy.” Seriously, don’t give these trolls any attention. They’ll say that about any comic that doesn’t cater exclusively to their narrow tastes, which usually involve Wonder Woman being a glorified warrior/stripper.

The story in “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 3” is more ambitious. It also has an unusual structure, although not too unusual for Morrison. His writing style often takes advantage of different time periods, using future events to give context to the past. It’s what he did in the first volume of “Wonder Woman: Earth One.” He uses it again, but to tell a very different story.

In the past, Wonder Woman is still sharing her philosophy with man’s world. She continues her fight against what she sees as an endless cycle of domination by the powerful. To her, it’s no different than how the old Greek Gods attempted to dominate the Amazons. It just leads to more conflict and suffering for men and women alike.

This ideology of power domination isn’t exclusive to men, either. Early in the story, it’s established there are women who still fall into this trap, namely Artemis. She doesn’t care for Wonder Woman’s more compassionate approach to dealing with men. She sees them as extensions of Hercules, the man who once brutalized her sisters.

It’s a not-so-subtle nod to the more radical elements of feminism that tend to espouse the same hatred as their anti-feminist counterparts. It’s ironic, but one that Wonder Woman confronts with a unique blend of love, understanding, and warrior spirit.

That’s a potent, but critical combination. It’s very much in line with the persona that William Marston created for her in the early years of her story. While she is certainly capable of fighting with the tenacity of an Amazon warrior, she doesn’t approach conflict the same way as her male counterparts.

For her, fighting isn’t about dominating or subduing an opponent. It’s a way of countering and subsequently tempering their misguided passions. Whether it’s Artemis or Ares, she doesn’t win the battle by knocking them out. She wins it by convincing them to willingly submit. When they do, she embraces them with love and compassion.

This works well for Artemis, but the men outside her homeland are a lot harder to persuade. In both the past and the future, we see male characters trying to cling to or re-establish the domination that they once enjoyed.

In the past, it’s Ares trying to continue his war machine with help from the American military. In the future, it’s a member of an extremist faction of angry men who long for the days when they could dominate women. Given the atrocities committed by angry, misguided men in the real world, this struggle is more relevant now than ever before.

I won’t spoil all the details of how that conflict is confronted and resolved. Those simply looking for Wonder Woman to fight her way through the conflict are only going to get half of what they seek. There is plenty of fighting, courtesy of Ares, but the way those fights end don’t follow the same script as your standard superhero slugfest.

There’s always a larger conversation at play.

There’s always an effort by Wonder Woman and those who support her to confront these misguided passions.

It’s never with force, contempt, or scorn. They all listen with compassion, even to those who spew hate. They let angry men and angry gods voice their grievances, even while fighting back. However, they always counter with love. They understand that you can’t counter anger with more anger or hate with more hate.

Again, that’s a very relevant principle. Anyone who has visited 4chan or a Reddit comments thread understands that.

There’s also a larger story about this world’s version of Steve Trevor. He may not look like Chris Pine from the “Wonder Woman” movie, but the role he plays is just as critical. What he does and what he chooses is instrumental in helping Wonder Woman win the day.

Again, winning in this world doesn’t mean blowing up the bad guys or their weapons. It means winning the argument about which philosophy is more just. More than anything else, “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 3” makes the case that a philosophy of loving submission is more palatable than one of angry domination.

Morrison even refines some of Marston ideas from the early Wonder Woman comics. In this world, it’s not men or masculinity that’s the problem. It’s the domineering ideology they’ve embraced and relied on for so long. Letting it go isn’t easy, but convincing men to do so cannot be done with force. That realization must come from within.

In many respects, the philosophy in “Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 3” transcends gender. Whether you’re a warrior woman or just some normal man with a family, there’s something to be gained by these insights. Loving submission offers something that angry domination does not. Embracing it comes with sacrifices, but Wonder Woman demonstrates that they’re worth making.

It makes for a powerful combination to a power story. Morrison really makes the extra effort to flesh out these ideas that Marston first established while artist, Yanick Paquette, crafts a beautifully colorful world that does justice to all its wonders.

It’ll challenge you perceptions while providing plenty of classic Wonder Woman type entertainment. It’ll also present a different kind of Wonder Woman, one that embraces both her modern iterations and the those of her past. The end result is a true wonder that does justice to this iconic character in a very unique way. If, by the end, you aren’t willing to submit to the loving authority of Wonder Woman, then you’re missing the point.

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New Comic Book Day March 24, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

It’s another beautiful day for comics and the world is inherently better because of the awesome they bring. That’s how I feel when I wake up every Wednesday morning. Even when times are tough, waking up on Wednesdays knowing there’s a glut of digital comics waiting for me on my iPad is a wonderful feeling. It makes waking up at 4:00 a.m. feel like a basic reflex.

It’s a reflex that wouldn’t be possible without Comixology. I’m old enough to remember the days when New Comic Book Day was a lot more stressful because you didn’t know if your books would arrive on time in the mail. Most of the time, it was hit or miss. In the days before Twitter spoilers and Reddit, it made waiting to read your favorite comics that much more agonizing.

I never want to go back to those days.

Those who live near a comic shop may be able to enjoy the luxury of just walking to their favorite store every Wednesday to see what’s new, but most of us have to deal with less favorable circumstances. Don’t get me wrong. I still love going to comic shops to pick up actual, tangible books for my collection. There will always be a place for that. I’ve just come to love waking up early and enjoying new comics through Comixology.

The internet, tablets, and Comixology have genuinely made it easier than ever to get into this world. Even if you only know these characters through movies and cartoons, you need only an internet connection and a couple extra bucks to fully immerse yourself in this world. To that end, here’s my pull list and pick of the week. Hopefully, it gets you started. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Action Comics #1029

Amazing Spider-Man #62

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #6

Batman/Superman #16

Cable #9

Detective Comics #1034

Guardians Of The Galaxy #12

Harley Quinn #1

Power Rangers #5

Red Sonja #25

Savage Avengers #19

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #8


My Pick Of The Week
Amazing Spider-Man #62

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New Comic Book Day March 17, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

Top of the morning to ye, my fellow comic book fans. Today is a double holiday, at least for us. For most, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. That’s all well and good. It’s not a major holiday and I doubt many people will get off work for it, especially if they’re teleworking, but it’s an excuse to hang out with friends and get drunk. That’s all you need for a good holiday.

Throw a batch of new comics into the mix and suddenly, any day is better by default, regardless of whether it’s a holiday. I’m not one to make a big deal of St. Patrick’s Day. Most of the time, I celebrate by just hitting up a sports bar, drinking some cold beer, and watching basketball. While last year was a total bust for obvious reasons, I’m ready to make up for it this year.

As it just so happens, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year. Sometimes, things just work out beautifully.

There may not be any St. Patrick’s Day specials, but reading some awesome comics will put you in a festive mood, regardless of the holiday. I’ve always found reading comics with characters I could see myself sharing a beer with works beautifully.

Characters like Wolverine, Lobo, and Red Sonja come to mind. Maybe you’d prefer drinking with other characters. That’s fine. Comics offer no shortage of drinking buddies. Today might be the best possible day to figure out which characters you’d want to get drunk with at a bar in the middle of the day. In that spirit, here’s my pull list and pick for the week. If you can, try to enjoy them with a cold glass of beer. You’ll do plenty to honor the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Black Knight: Curse Of The Ebony Blade #1

Captain America Anniversary Tribute #1

Captain Marvel #27

Catwoman #29

Champions #5

Iron Man #7

Justice League #29

King In Black: Spider-Man #1

S.W.O.R.D. #4

Spider-Woman #10

Superman Red & Blue #1

Thor #13

X-Force #18


My Pick Of The Week
Champions #5

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New Comic Book Day March 10, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

Even in a year not heavily impacted by a global pandemic, this time of year tends to be a real drag. It’s a time devoid of major holidays for which you can get a day off work or school. The weather isn’t always nice. Depending on where you live, it can still be cold, dreary, and miserable for weeks on end. It’s just not an eventful time of year for anyone.

However, if you’re a lifelong comic book fan like me, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. You’re only ever a week away from New Comic Book Day, a weekly holiday that all comic fans cherish. Thanks to the wonders of Comixology, it doesn’t matter how bad the weather is. You’re never more than a few clicks away from new comics. It’s a beautiful thing.

I like to think it has also helped me endure this time of year better than most. For weeks on end, there just seems to be no relief or distraction from the drudgery. A fresh stock of comics gives me something to look forward to every week.

This is also usually the time of year when major publishing companies start teasing their major summer events. It’s like a preview for summer Hollywood blockbusters and it’s often the most exciting time for fans of major crossover events. This year has more than its share and those first steps towards those events are starting now.

March often feels like the longest month of the year. With new comics, it’s that much easier to endure. To help in that effort, here’s my pull list and pick for the week. Enjoy and endure, my fellow comic fans! Enjoy and endure!


My Pull List

Amazing Spider-Man #61

Batman: Urban Legends #1

Children Of The Atom #1

Daredevil #28

Deadpool Nerdy 30 #1

Eternals #3

Grimm Fairy Tales #46

Immortal Hulk #44

The Joker #1

Star Wars #12

Superman #29

Wolverine: Black, White & Blood #4

Wonder Woman #770

X-Factor #8


My Pick Of The Week
Joker #1

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New Comic Book Day March 3, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

I’m ready for the world to get better. By that, I don’t mean I’m ready for it to return to the way it was before a global pandemic hit that sent the entire world into a pit of misery porn for a year. Just going back to how things were when I could go into a movie theater without a mask isn’t enough. I want things to get better.

What exactly does that entail? I don’t know.

Am I ready and willing to do what I must to get there? Yes, I am.

I hope there are some good, meaningful changes that come out of this year-long nightmare that make the world a better place. I really do. However, even as things get better, some things will not change. That includes how I conduct myself on Wednesday mornings for New Comic Book Day. My love of comics transcends any pandemic.

It’s a big part of what has helped me navigate this mess. Even through the worst parts of the spike that occurred late last year, I was still able to enjoy New Comic Book Day. I still had something to look forward to every week. It helped get me out of bed, especially on Wednesday mornings. For that, I’ll always be grateful to the wonderful writers, artists, and editors of my favorite publishers.

Now, as the world emerges from this darkness, I’m ready look ahead towards something better. However, I will always take time on Wednesday mornings to enjoy New Comic Book Day. Here is my pull list and pick for this week. Hopefully, it’s yet another step in the right direction. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Avengers #43

Avengers Mech Strike #2

Batman #106

BRZRKR #1

Crime Syndicate #1

Hellions #10

Infinite Frontier #0

King In Black: Gwenom vs. Carnage #3

King In Black: Captain America #1

Rick and Morty: Worlds Part #2

Star Wars: The High Republic #3

Suicide Squad #1


My Pick Of The Week
BRZRKR #1

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Jack’s Comic Gems: Spider-Gwen Volume 0: Most Wanted?

The following is a video for my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s another entry into my Jack’s Comic Gem series. This time, I traverse the Spider-Verse to highlight a gem from a character whose rise to fame has been like no other. In addition to stealing the show from “Into The Spider-Verse,” Spider-Gwen has done plenty to make herself one of the most popular characters Marvel has created in the past five years. It may have started with a tie-in, but “Spider-Gwen Volume 0: Most Wanted” helped start her amazing journey. This video shows why that journey is worth following. Enjoy!

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New Comic Book Day February 24, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

The end of winter is in sight, people. I suspect that, after the terrible storms that swept over the country last week, everyone is ready for this winter to be over. That, or you’re just ready to jump on the nearest flight to a tropical climate. As someone who has been chipping ice off his car almost every other day, I completely understand that sentiment.

It’s not quite over yet, but we’re getting close. I encourage everyone to hang in there and hold out just a little bit longer. It may mean having to dress in layers for a few more weeks, but we’re past the halfway point for the most part. We just have to take things week-by-week. That’s where New Comic Book Day comes in.

When you build every week around when new comics come out, you come to appreciate taking things week-by-week in general. No matter the season or the weather, New Comic Book Day is like an anchor that helps keep things in perspective as time progresses. That’s especially helpful during times like this.

The weather sucks. There are no major holidays to look forward to. We’re still in the midst of a terrible pandemic. Time tends to drag during periods like this. Having something to look forward to every week, like new comics, helps keep your spirit from getting too broken. At a time like this, we all need that.

This week has plenty to offer for those trying to distract themselves from the weather and the news. Once again, here my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Amazing Spider-Man #60

Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #5

Black Cat #3

Captain Marvel #26

Future State: Batman/Superman #2

Grimm Fairy Tales #45

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #18

Marvel’s Voices: Legacy #1

New Mutants #16

Red Sonja #24

Sensational Wonder Woman #8

Symbiote Spider-Man: King In Black #4

Wolverine #10

X-Men #18


My Pick Of The Week
Captain Marvel #26

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Tales From The Comments Section: When Hypocrisy, Lying, And Trolling Converge

Even the most luxurious palace has a septic system that contains its foulest shit. It’s not just a fact of life. It might as well be a law of physics. In the same way the brightest light still casts a shadow, there’s always a dark underbelly to any world we explore.

The internet is no exception. If anything, the internet has more dark underbellies than most and I’m not just referring to porn sites or nefarious Google searches. Those are all plenty disturbing, but if the internet has an overflowing septic tank, it’s the collective comments section of many sites.

They’re not just the comments section to certain news sites.

They’re not just anonymous image boards like 4chan that pride themselves on excess shit-posting.

Even the comments section of mainstream websites like YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit have comments sections that will give your faith in humanity a hefty gut punch. They come in many forms, but they tend to follow the same patterns.

They’re degrading, insulting, whiny, vulgar, immature, and just plain wrong on multiple levels. I’m not calling for them to be censored or banned, outside the kind of comments that incite violence in the real world. I’m just pointing out that this is the ugly side of the internet and we can’t deny its stench.

I say that as someone who has spent many hours, much of them wasted, in comments sections and message boards over the years. Even during the early days of the internet, complete with dial up and AOL keyword searches, I’ve seen this ugliness firsthand. I also don’t deny that there are times when I’ve contributed to it. That’s something I genuinely regret.

While all toxic comments are different, they often employ similar rhetoric. It really hasn’t changed much from the AOL days. Just the other day, I made the mistake of browsing the comments of a YouTube video. I saw the same whiny, angry ranting that I saw on old message boards in 1999.

The topics may change. The verbiage may differ. Even the arguments made, if there are any, tend to be fairly similar. I could single out plenty of ugly comments I’ve encountered. However, I want to highlight one that I’ve seen a lot more of lately, especially among fans of superhero comics, Star Wars, and Star Trek.

They usually go like this.

“Everybody hates [insert character, show, actor/actress, etc.]!”

“Nobody likes [insert character, show, actor/actress, etc.]!”

It’s a sweeping, generalized statement. It’s usually said out of a mix of hate, resentment, and tribalism. Ironically, it’s often Star Wars fans who say stuff like this when talking about characters like Rey. It’s ironic because Obi-Wan Kanobi himself once said, “only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

It doesn’t help that these kinds of absolutes are total bullshit encased in wishful thinking that’s built entirely around head-canon. Certain fans want to believe that everyone agrees with them and those who don’t aren’t “true” fans.

No true Star Wars fan can like Rey.

No true Marvel fan can like Captain Marvel.

No true Star Trek fan can like “Star Trek Discovery.”

It’s basically the old “no true Scotsman” fallacy, but this one is laced with a mix of lies and hypocrisy. That’s because it’s demonstrably provable that these kinds of sweeping statements are wrong.

Not everyone hates Rey, Captain Marvel, or whoever else is the object of resentment at the moment. For one, Captain Marvel’s movie raked in $1 billion at the box office. Clearly, more than a few people liked her.

The same can be said for Rey. You can go onto Amazon and readily find merchandise featuring her. She may not be on the same level as Luke Skywalker, but that’s not a reasonable bar for a character who has only recently entered the franchise.

I can also attest that Rey has plenty of fans. It’s not just that I’m one of them. I’ve been to comic book conventions. I’ve seen women, young girls, and even a few men dress up as Rey. I’ve seen even more dress up as Captain Marvel. She clearly has plenty of fans.

That makes the whole idea that “nobody likes this character” or “everyone hates this character” demonstrably false. Those who say it aren’t just lying trolls. They’re hypocrites.

Now, I’ve made the mistake of arguing with these people before. I can safely conclude that it’s not a productive use of my time. These people will never be dissuaded. They still want to live in their head-canon where everyone hates exactly who they hate and anyone who thinks otherwise is just part of an evil conspiracy out to get them.

It’s a dangerous, toxic mentality that extends beyond fandoms and into politics. We saw just how bad it could get on January 6th during the Capitol riots. I’m not saying angry Star Wars fans are that bad, but the mentality is the same and it’s just as dangerous.

Again, I freely admit I’ve posted my share of dumb comments. I’ve said dumb things before, as well. Everyone has. We’re only human. We’re not perfect and never will be. I believe in free speech strongly and I understand that this is a byproduct of that. I’m willing to accept that.

I’m also willing to use that same freedom to point out the idiocy and hypocrisy of those kinds of comments. They’re not just a useless waste of bandwidth. They’re a symptom of a much larger problem. For now, the best thing to do is ignore these people and let them live in their fanciful head-canon. It may not fix the problem, but it’ll keep it from getting worse.

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New Comic Book Day February 17, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

Every week brings comic book fans like myself a fresh batch of glorious, colorful wonder. It’s one of the best things about being a comic book fan these days. So long as you have an internet connection, a Comixology account, and an uncracked computer screen, you can enjoy new comics every Wednesday like presents on Christmas morning.

It’s a beautiful thing, indeed. It makes Wednesdays the best days of the week that don’t involve football games.

However, not every New Comic Book Day is the same. Some are more eventful than others. Every week, I have a pretty good idea of what comics I’m most interested in. Some weeks don’t have much to offer. I still usually find something to justify waking up at 4:30 a.m. just to check out the latest books.

For certain weeks, however, are a lot more exciting. There are some books that I’ve been following for months, buying into the hype and embracing all the teasers. Sometimes, publishers try to market their book like the best thing since chocolate fudge. It doesn’t always pan out, but when those books deliver, it’s a beautiful thing. It turns Wednesday into the equivalent of two Christmas mornings and Halloween.

I’m not saying that this week is one of those extra-special New Comic Book Days for everyone. Peoples’ preferences are subjective. Not everyone is going to be excited by the same things. For me, personally, let’s just say I didn’t get much sleep last night, but some kinds of restlessness are worth it.

I hope others share that same joyous sentiment on this most eventful of New Comic Book Days. As always, here is my pull list and pick for the week. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Batman/Catwoman #3

Black Widow #5

Cable #8

Captain America #27

Future State: The Next Batman #4

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2

Iron Man #6

King In Black #4

Marauders #18

Power Rangers #4

Savage Avengers #18

Thor #12

X-Men Legends #1


My Pick Of The Week
X-Men Legends #1

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New Comic Book Day February 10, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

There’s just a few more days until Valentine’s Day. Being a lover of romance and a writer of erotica romance novels, I certainly appreciate a holiday centered around love. At the same time, I have mixed feelings because I’m currently single and have been for quite some time.

It can get lonely on Valentine’s Day. However, even if I am alone, I can still appreciate love and my love of comics certainly help with that. Beyond my fondness for superhero romances, my love of comics helps remind me why love is a feeling worth pursuing.

It’s a beautiful thing. If you’ve found love with someone, then you understand its power. Even if you haven’t, the stories in comics help depict why it’s so powerful for so many characters. Love is a big part of what drives famous heroes like Superman, Spider-Man, and even characters like the Punisher.

It even drives villains. Let’s not forget that in the comics, Thanos was in love with the physical manifestation of death. It’s creepy, but it still counts as love.

I may have to spend another Valentine’s Day alone this year. That’s always disappointing. However, thanks to my love of comics, I never feel too lonely. I hope others can enjoy that same feeling. To assist, here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Amazing Spider-Man #59

Daredevil #27

DC Love Is A Battlefield #1

Eternals #2

Excalibur #18

Fantastic Four #29

Future State: Justice League #2

Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2

Mighty Morphin #4

Morbius: Bond Of Blood #1

S.W.O.R.D. #3

Star Wars: Darth Vader #10

Wolverine: Black, White & Blood #3

X-Force #17


My Pick Of The Week
Morbius: Bond of Blood #1

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