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Major Issues: Thanos Crashes Into the Eternals and Superman Goes to War – CBR – Comic Book Resources

CBR reviews this week’s biggest new comics, including Venom, Eternals, Action Comics, Robin and Batman, and Deadpool: Black, White and Blood.
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!
In the wake of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s character-redefining Venom run, Al Ewing, Ram V, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Alex Sinclair and VC’s Clayton Cowles have the unenviable task of taking Venom into a new era with Venom #1. Fortunately, that impressive roster of creators is mostly up to the task.
This issue splits its focus between Eddie Brock, the cosmic king of the symbiote race, and his son Dylan, the current host of the Venom symbiote on Earth. While the most recent Venom era was defined by world-threatening bombast, this issue offers a slightly more subtle approach to the symbiote heroes, grounded by Hitch’s signature realistic style. Even in this first issue, the creeping horror that defined Ewing’s work on the Immortal Hulk is present here, offering a hopeful hint of the book’s future.
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Through DC’s “Future State” event and Superman’s ongoing titles, the Man of Steel has been on the march to war for months. And with Action Comics #1036, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Daniel Sampere, Adriano Lucas and Dave Sharpe officially kick off “The Warworld Saga” in earnest. This issue finds a weakening Superman, with the newly assembled Authority at his back, traveling to Warworld to face the tyrannical villain Mongul and free his captives.
After such a prolonged preamble, this comic jumps right into the action as Superman finds some ghastly surprises waiting for him on Warworld. Sampere and Lucas deliver vibrant, detailed work that suits the serious, alien tone of the story. This is a solid start to Superman’s latest epic, and it stands as a fairly accessible jumping-on point, too.
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While the Eternals just made the Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, one of the MCU’s most prominent characters, Thanos, is in the midst of establishing his place in their immortal order. As the “Hail Thanos” storyline begins in Kieron Gillen, Esad Ribic, Matthew Wilson and Clayton Cowles’ Eternals #7, most of the Eternals find themselves trying to break out of their old ways while Thanos makes his political aspirations abundantly clear.
Everyone on the creative team continues to be at the top of their game here, delivering Marvel’s most well-executed relaunch since House of X. Gillen has found and created brilliant areas of Eternals’ lore to mine for rich stories, Ribic and Wilson’s art gives the proceedings a grand, timeless quality and Cowles’ brilliantly designed text pages give the book a distinctly modern aesthetic.
While the early days of Batman have been explored ad nauseum, Robin and Batman #1 finds more to mine in the early days of Dick Grayson’s nocturnal activities. This comic by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen and Steve Wands follows Grayson as he gets used to living with Bruce Wayne and starts making his first steps into crime-fighting.
Nguyen’s signature watercolor art is the book’s biggest selling point, and they give this kid-centric story a storybook-like sense of wonder. Sweet but far from saccharine, the script also confronts the logic of sending a teenage vigilante into Gotham City with a refreshing frankness that makes sense of the inherently ridiculous concept.
With Deadpool: Black, White and Blood #4, Marvel’s slate of monochromatic anthologies continues to offer some fascinating stories from across the Marvel Universe, all lettered by Joe Sabino. The comic’s first story, by Christopher Yost, Martin Coccolo and Mattia Iacono, leans into the absurd by pitting Deadpool against a Kool-Aid-Man-esque drink mascot.
Deadpool: Samurai manga creators Sanshirou Kasama and Hikaru Uesugi’s short story offers English audiences their fascinating first official look at Deadpool’s Japanese adventures, in advance of Samurai’s upcoming release. Finally, Michael Allred and Laura Allred pair up Deadpool and Doop of the X-Statix for a well-drawn, trippy tale in advance of that fan-favorite X-Men spinoff series’ upcoming return.
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Tim Webber is a writer, journalist and content creator based out of Atlanta, GA. With over a decade of experience, Tim has written everything from news analysis to cultural criticism about comic books, film, television and music. In addition to his work for CBR, Tim has written for a number of print and digital publications including Creative Loafing and Frequency Magazine. To put his worryingly deep knowledge of comics and superheroes to good use, he also helped design and teach courses based on graphic novels at Emory University, his alma mater. He can usually be found sipping tea, hitting deadlines or trapped under a very large pile of X-Men comics from the 1990s. If he sounds mildly interesting, you can follow Tim on Twitter @MrTimWebber.


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