This week, a longtime staffer of the internet’s premiere comic book website, The Beat, became obsessed…obsessed with ‘90s X-Men comics. We tried to take away copies of comics like X-Cutioner’s Song from the staffer — but the efforts of the full staff at the Stately Beat Manor (home of team Comics Beat) proved futile. We were out of ideas…which led us to do the unthinkable…dust off an old Stryfe costume that a certain staffer had used a few decades ago at a comic-con and hand the staffer his personal assignments for review. When we tried to do so…Team Beat learned that the staffer had been blackmailed into running a secret blog for the villain in which he tried to redeem the legacy of the ‘90s character through charting his most “badass” moments. When we learned the truth…we were horrified and decided to contact a Stryfe killing X-pert: Cable. While Cable makes his way over to the Stately Beat Staff Manor, here’s our staff picks for the week:

Alexander J’s Picks:

Star Wars Journey to Force Awakens: Shattered Empire #1

Writer: Greg Rucka Artist: Marco Checchetto and Andres Mossa

Letters: Joe Caramagna Publisher: Marvel 

For the first time in the new Star Wars canon, journey with us into the time after the end of Return of the Jedi! Writer Greg Rucka (PUNISHER, WOLVERINE, Gotham Central) and artist Marco Checchetto (AVENGERS WORLD, PUNISHER) take us past the destruction of the second Death Star into the chaos of a Shattered Empire.

While this comic book may have the longest name ever, it features one of the best covers of the week, and will likely whet the appetite of the legions of Star Wars fan hungry for more content. The publisher (Marvel) has sought out one of the strongest creative teams in recent memory with Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto teaming up for the issue. With so much of the Star Wars material that is currently in continuity tracing back to the past, this is an authentic way to glimpse into the future of a beloved franchise. If the name Greg Rucka doesn’t inspire you to pick up this title, take a look at some of Checchetto’s layouts featured on the preview pages of this comic and you will be a believer.

Bloodshot Reborn Vol. 1: Colorado

Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Mico Suayan Colorist: David Baron 

Publisher: Valiant


Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit – a private contractor trafficking in violence – very well.

Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving head-long into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

Start reading here as visionary creators Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan kick-off a brand-new beginning for the cutting-edge commando called Bloodshot…and plunge him to his darkest, bloodiest, most mind-bending depths yet.

Bloodshot was never a character in the Valiant stable of heroes that made any sense to me. Typically, the character works as a mercenary with no visible hook that makes him stand out to the reader. Making matters worse, he usually functions as a commonplace mercenary akin to the a Punisher clone. When the aforementioned Greg Rucka took on the Punisher, he had the character hide in the shadows — giving the series a visible hook. Lemire had the opportunity to introduce Bloodshot with new quirks and ideas with the use of Bloodsquirt, a character who changed the face and tone of the new series. Giving the hero a brand new angle draped in bleak violence and conversations with interesting subject matter finally allows the hero to live up to prominence that he always deserved.

Dave’s Picks:

Descender Vol 1: Tin Stars

Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Dustin Nguyen Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics



“Your new sci-fi obsession is here, and its name is Descender…” – Entertainment Weekly “Jeff and Dustin are accomplishing something special… ” – Boing Boing “Jeff Lemire has dreamt up an emotional, imaginative new universe, lavishly brought to life by the great Dustin Nguyen. I can’t wait to see where they take TIM-21 next.” – Brian K. Vaughan, Saga Young Robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. Written by award-winning creator, Jeff Lemire, Descender is a rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey. Lemire pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling epic. Collecting issues #1-6 of Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Trillium) and Dustin Nguyen’s (Little Gotham) critically acclaimed, bestselling new science fiction series
Don’t let the modesty of this solicit fool you. Descender is an emotionally ballsy story with scope the size of 10 space football fields. Tim-21 is a brilliant avatar in a world full of wonder, hate, and hope. If you haven’t read Descender you need to pick this up for the low low price of $9.99. Also cheap plug, Descender’s visual creator Dustin Nguyen will be on our cover art panel this weekend at Long Beach Comic Con.

Mirror’s Edge: Exordium #1

Writer: Christofer Emgard Artist: Mattias Haggstrom, Robert Sammelin
Publisher: Dark Horse


Leading up to the events of the highly anticipated new Mirror’s Edge game comes an exhilarating comic prequel that delves into the story of Faith, one of the most celebrated heroines in video games! Dare to enter the fast-paced, high-stakes world of life on the mirror’s edge!
I wasn’t too thrilled from the first Mirror’s Edge game. Sure it was new and unique from a publisher that typically doesn’t do that. But it felt a little unfinished. At E3 we played a slice of next year’s Mirror’s Edge game and it’s got my hopes up. I’m excited to see if the creators from the game’s developer, DICE, can flesh out a story worthy of its awesome heroine.

Alex L.’s Pick

Batman #44

Writer: Scott Snyder & Brian Azzarello Artist: Jock
Publisher: DC Comics
It’s the origin of new villain Mr. Bloom! In a tale from Bruce Wayne’s past, Batman must investigate a vicious crime in the shadowy area of Gotham City known as the Narrows. Don’t miss this special issue illustrated by superstar artist Jock (Wytches, GREEN ARROW YEAR ONE)!
As much as I love regular series artist Greg Capullo’s work on Batman, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Scott Snyder x Jock pairing.  If that sounds at all romantic, that’s because it is.  Their work together on Batman: the Black Mirror was one of the first Batman books I read after I finished devouring the “classics,” and it remains one of my favorite Dark Knight stories to this day.  They’re doing great work together on Wytches, and it’s lovely to watch them come home to Gotham.


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