All You Need to Know: ‘Invincible Iron Man’ #1

Invincible Iron Man #1 Variant Covor
Iron Man needs some work…

I have a love-hate relationship with the comic works of Brian Michael Bendis. Wait, that’s too strong a sentiment; I have a like-meh relationship with his comics.

On one hand, Bendis is a well-respected, intelligent author who has reformed a lot of how comics are being written these days, done a few landmark runs with Marvel characters and has pretty much set the tone for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On the other hand, reading his books gets redundant, feels like you are going nowhere and doing nothing, and is choc-a-bloc with blithe dialogue that feels less like impassioned superhero speech than something overheard by a Starbucks barista. They can be a slog to get through at times, because they rarely feel like there’s going to be a payoff at the end of the storyline. Jonathan Hickman can be a similar slog, but at least by the end of the Fantastic Four run, for example, you’ve seen characters grow, change and come out the other side as new people. Bendis just feels like he puts the pieces back too carefully or breaks them irrevocably.

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Dead Hemingway headbutts an angel in ‘Exodus: The Life After’ preview

Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gabo created one of the past few years’ most interesting and original premises in The Life After, a story set in Purgatory where a man teams up with Ernest Hemingway to fight the divine powers that be.

The revolution continues Nov. 4 in Exodus: The Life After, a new miniseries that once again stars Jude and Ernest Hemingway, as Jude’s “life” is reset in Purgatory. Here’s how Oni Press describes the first issue:

Jude has been sent right back where he started: Purgatory. With no memory of his previous adventures or relationships, Jude’s existence is stark and empty. Yet, just outside his awareness, his friends—including the late, great Ernest Hemingway and a very tenacious preteen girl—struggle to free him. Because in the quest to overthrow God himself, the only person who stands a chance is his son.

Check out a preview of the first issue below. If you missed the first series, it’s been collected and can be found at finer comic shops or on comiXology.

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Landis & friends look back at Superman’s ‘important junctures’ in ‘American Alien’

Check out a preview of the first issue, featuring artwork by Nick Dragotta.

Hollywood screenwriter and Eisner nominee Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra) returns to comics in November with a murderer’s row of artists for Superman: American Alien, a seven-issue miniseries that highlights “important junctures in his development as a person.” Each issue features a different artist working with Landis on done-in-one stories set in Clark Kent’s past.

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‘Crisis’ at 30, Part 11

Tom Bondurant brings his retrospective on the 30-year-old “Crisis on Infinite Earths” to Smash Pages with a look back at the series’ penultimate issue, which featured “emotional impacts just as devastating as any of its cosmic carnage.”

Buy this quilt on Etsy
Buy this quilt on Etsy

The penultimate issue of Crisis On Infinite Earths offers an interlude critical to the series’ success. It demonstrates the real impact of DC’s housecleaning not with antimatter waves or shadow demons, but through the characters who helped build the publisher’s matchless history. Accordingly, Crisis #11 features emotional impacts just as devastating as any of its cosmic carnage.
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