It was a bunch of punching: Heroes Return roundtable, the big finale

Lo! There shall be an ending!

This is it! The moment you’ve all been waiting for! The final chapter in Marvel Comics’ spectacular summer event, Heroes Reborn comes to a close in Heroes Return #1.

Tom Bondurant, Shane Bailey, Carla Hoffman and the jovial JK Parkin bask in the final faceoff between the Squadron Supreme of America and the remnants of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for the answers to all our questions! Who will win? Who changed reality? What was Mephisto’s secret purpose? And why were these books $4.99??

Grab your copy of the finale and read on!

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I wish Johnny Quick would put on a shirt: Heroes Reborn roundtable, week 7

Carla, Tom, Shane and JK continue to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event and its tie-in one-shots.

The Smash Pages team is back this week for our penultimate Heroes Reborn roundtable, where we break down the latest Marvel crossover issue by issue. This week Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I talk about Heroes Reborn #7, as well as the final tie-in issue, Weapon X & Final Flight.

You can read part one of our roundtable discussions here, part two here, part three here, part four here, part five here and part six here.

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‘Fantastic Four’ #33 provides ‘the greatest reaction page in the history of comics (this week)’

Carla Hoffman offers a quick review of the second chapter of Doctor Doom’s wedding.

So I love superhero weddings almost as much as I love pro wrestling weddings, and the two genres have a lot in common.

After all, none of us are coming to the nuptials to see love triumph or watch people slow dance at the reception; we want to see the carnage. If there’s a big cake, we want someone to go through it. If the officiant asks for anyone to “speak now or forever hold your peace,” there should be at least five people jumping to their feet to object. 

It’s drama, it’s fashion, it’s a comic book wedding for Fantastic Four #33.

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Stellar motorcycle shots: Heroes Reborn roundtable, week 6

Carla, Tom, Shane and JK continue to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event and its tie-in one-shots.

The Smash Pages team is back this week for our sixth Heroes Reborn roundtable, where we break down the latest Marvel crossover issue by issue. This week Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I talk about Heroes Reborn #6, as well as two tie-in issues: Night-Gwen and Squadron Savage.

You can read part one of our roundtable discussions here, part two here, part three here, part four here and part five here.

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‘Batman: Earth One’ Vol. 3 ‘reframes a number of classic elements in an entertaining way’

Tom Bondurant reviews the latest in DC’s line of Earth One graphic novels, the long-awaited third part of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Batman trilogy.

This week I read a lot of Batman, which sounds stereotypical, but it’s kind of unavoidable. The new issue of Detective came out this week, along with the third issue of Batman: The Detective; and both featured Bruce Wayne battling overmuscled man-mountains with handlebar mustaches and crazy glints in their eyes. There was also issue #3 of The Batman/Scooby-Doo Mysteries, plus a decent amount of the Darknight Detective in issue #2 of Justice League: Last Ride. And I’m still in the middle of a New 52 Batman re-read, getting into the “Zero Year” epic.

All that said, I’m going to talk about Batman: Earth One Volume Three, written by Geoff Johns, pencilled by Gary Frank, inked by Jon Sibal and colored by Brad Anderson.

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Sunday with ‘Sandman’ | Looking back at the earliest issues of the beloved series

Shane Bailey cracks open ‘Sandman: The Deluxe Edition V1,’ journeying back to the late 1980s for a look at the influential series.

Last week I decided to start a massive reread of the Neil Gaiman-written Sandman family of books, starting with the Deluxe Edition v1, and honestly I forgot how great these books are. Over the years I’ve come to take them for granted, but they are really top of the class in terms of subject and craft.

Reading these books again I see how heavily it leans into horror, which I had forgotten. It has that creeping horror feel down, the kind that starts the hairs on the back of your neck to signal that something isn’t quite right, rather than in-your-face shock horror.

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Hawkarang-in-the-eye: Heroes Reborn roundtable, week 5

Same Hawk-time, same Hawk-channel: Carla, Tom, Shane and JK continue to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event.

We are back this week for our fifth Heroes Reborn roundtable, where we break down the latest Marvel crossover issue by issue. This week Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I talk about Heroes Reborn #5, as well as two tie-in issues: American Knight and Marvel Double Action. It’s Bat-week! Three out of four bloggers would probably agree it’s also the best week of the event thus far.

You can read part one of our roundtable discussions here, part two here, part three here and part four here.

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Guns that shoot stars: The Heroes Reborn roundtable, week 4

Carla, Tom, Shane and JK assemble once again to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event.

We are back this week for our fourth Heroes Reborn roundtable, where we break down the latest Marvel crossover issue by issue. This week Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I talk about Heroes Reborn #4, which puts the spotlight on the very unlikable Doctor Spectrum, as well as three tie-in issues: Magneto and the Mutant Force, Siege Society and Young Squadron.

You can read part one of our roundtable discussions here, part two here and part three here.

So let’s jump right in …

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How many TVs was that again? The Heroes Reborn roundtable, week 3

Carla, Tom, Shane and JK assemble once again to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event.

Time for round three of our Heroes Reborn roundtable, where we break down the latest Marvel crossover issue by issue. This week Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I talk about Heroes Reborn #3, which puts the spotlight on the super-speedster, Blur, and the more mystical elements of the Marvel Universe.

You can read part one of our roundtable discussions here and part two here.

So grab your copies and let’s jump in …

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Earth’s Mightiest Megastar: The Heroes Reborn roundtable, week two

Carla, Tom, Shane and JK assemble to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event.

We’re back with our second installment of the Heroes Reborn roundtable, where we break down the latest Marvel crossover issue by issue. This week Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I talk about Heroes Reborn #2, as well as the two tie-ins from last week, Peter Parker, The Amazing Shutterbug and Hyperion and the Imperial Guard.

You can read part one here.

So grab your copies and let’s jump in …

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Magpies and rats: The Heroes Reborn roundtable, week one

Carla, Tom, Shane and JK assemble to discuss Marvel’s latest comics event.

Marvel kicked off a new Heroes Reborn miniseries/event last Wednesday, the first of eight issues (and several tie-ins) that tell the story of a Marvel Universe where the Avengers never assembled. Instead, the Squadron Supreme, which takes its direction from a Phil Coulson who is much more menacing than Clark Gregg ever was, is now the MU’s primary super team.

With the first issue by Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and Matthew Wilson now out in the wild, Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and I thought we’d discuss the event each week, roundtable style, like we did with Future State earlier this year.

So grab your copy of the first issue and let’s get to it …

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Bendis and Marquez jump-start the Justice League

A new era begins in ‘Justice League’ #59, which ‘includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.’

[Note: This post contains spoilers for the lead story in Justice League #59. The issue also includes a Justice League Dark installment, which was creepy and suspenseful, but won’t be discussed here.]

Last year’s trip through the Justice League’s 60-year history got as far as the start of the “Snyder Era.” (No, not that Snyder — Scott Snyder.) Because some of us still have a slight Death Metal hangover, a post on those years is still TBA. Regardless, the “Bendis Era” began this week with May 2021’s Justice League #59. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by David Marquez and colored by Tamra Bonvillain, it includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.

Chief among them is the notion that the Leaguers have lives outside this book. At the risk of being redundant, the point of an all-star team is the interaction of characters who can each carry their own features. Sure, you can craft a perfectly entertaining adventure by dropping a handful of heroes into a standalone story, but the best League runs have incorporated larger DC continuity to one degree or another. (Somewhat ironically, the Bendis Era begins just as DC has decided to have free-range continuity.)

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