Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

Okay, so issue twenty-four – this week’s release – is the last issue of the bi-weekly series. But that doesn’t mean you can’t jump right in on writer Judd Winick’s reboot of the classic Justice League International. There will be resolution a-plenty in the issue, but there’ll also be action a-plenty. And if I eat my candy over the issue, there’ll be Good n’ Plenty in it, too. Just kidding. I prefer Mike & Ike’s.

Anyway, the story so far: there’s an evil mind-controlling guy named Maxwell Lord. He used to be a businessman in charge of the Justice League International, a team of also-ran, C-List heroes (and Batman) that was mostly played for laughs. Many years later, Lord turned evil, and shot all around nice-guy Ted Kord (then in the superhero guise of The Blue Beetle) in the head. He also made Superman fight Wonder Woman, and then had his !neck snapped by Wondie… To death!

Read More...

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

Fables should be one of the easier titles we’ve had to cover for the Five-Minute Recap. Sure, Vertigo is releasing its one hundred and third issue this Wednesday, but the central premise is simple to explain: every character from every story ever lived together in a fantastical land, until driven out by the Adversary, a terrifying being who forced them to live in our non-magical world with regular people, (also know as “Mundies.”)

Though this is still true, writer Bill Willingham made a seismic change to the series in issue seventy-five, when the Fables finally beat the Adversary, revealed to be a bitter, angry Geppeto (yup, the carpenter from Pinocchio) and regained control of their Homelands. Rather than end the series here – the original plan – Willingham decided to see what would happen next… Which turned out to be very, very bad for our fantastical friends. With the Adversary out of power, magical items that were previously protected were left without guards, and various beasties got loose.

The worst of these is Mr. Dark, an actual, physical representation of the fear of the dark given life. Mr. Dark sucks the life essence from Mundies, and likes to eat their teeth, which is gross. And though he was beaten in combat by the Fables once before, he wasn’t beaten down for good. Teaming up with the bitter, angry wife of Jack Sprat, Mr. Dark has gone on a journey back to the Homelands to take revenge on the Fables who still live there.

Meanwhile! Jack Sprat’s wife is in New York City, which has been turned into a smoke filled, grey wasteland filled with stumbling zombies who go about their days ignoring each other, doing nothing but their sad little jobs. So in other words: every day in new York. Just kidding! Sort of.

The rest of the Fables are split between two locations. One is The Farm, a secret place upstate for Fables who can’t mingle with human society (Snow White can hang out in Times Square, but the Three Little Pigs might have a problem). The other is Haven, a kingdom in the Homelands where refugee Fables, and goblins who defected from the Adversary’s army live together in harmony, protected by the magic of their king, Flycatcher (long story). Read More...

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

There’s good news and bad news on this one, folks. Locke & Key is an incredibly intricate, twisty horror/mystery series that rewards readers with huge revelations, and great character pay-offs, particularly if you’ve been reading since the beginning. The good news is, though, that writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez’s award winning series – which will soon be a TV show on FOX – is written for the single issue, so you can easily pick up any issue and start there.

That said, this Wednesdays issue, Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #5 is a little bit of an exception, in that it’s the pay-off of a number of storylines, as well as a rare Part 1 of 2 story. No worries though, broheim: the Five Minute Recap is here to help.

The Locke family, hoping to put the horrible murder of their patriarch behind them, traveled to Keyhouse in Lovecraft, Massachussts – which is pretty much the same as the Stabbed family moving into Knifehouse is DeathTown, USA – and soon discovered all was not as it seemed. The house was home to a malevolent spirit who wants something called The Omega Key, a vastly powerful artifact with the power to open something we’ll get to in a second. But first, our major characters!

Oh, actually, before that: Daddy Locke was part of something much bigger, we think, trying to prevent this evil being from getting its hands on the Omega Key. Throughout the house, there’s other keys with fantastic powers, some which aid the enemy, other that can be used to stop it. The Locke Kids are the ones who are engaged in this struggle.

Okay, okay, characters:

Tyler Locke:

The oldest, a high school student who has taken his father’s death the hardest. He constantly works to protect his siblings, often at his own expense.

Kinsey Locke:

Read More...

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

Avengers Academy is probably one of the best new series to pick up, particularly if you’re looking to get into Marvel Comics, and are confused where to start. Like it’s philosophical predecessor Avengers: The Initiative, Academy uses a cast of new, young characters training with veteran characters, as a way of creating an easy in-point on Marvel history both past and present.

Here, the hook is that this class of super-powered teens aren’t necessarily the next Thor, or Captain America – they’re the next Doctor Doom, or Loki. Heavily damaged by Spidey’s arch-nemesis Norman Osborn while he was running the American secret forces (way too long to explain here how that happened), each of the students has the potential to be the next great Avengers villain. Instead of letting that happen, the Avengers set ‘em up with a few teachers who have also walked the dark path, and pushed through. The teachers train the students to use their powers, but also offer object lessons in how to do the right thing.

Problem is, it’s so much more fun to do the wrong thing.

Here’s a rundown of the members of the team, as well as the staff:

Finesse:

Has photographic reflexes, and is kind of a robot. Not literally, she just studies everything that happens and deals with it logically, rather than emotionally. May be the daughter of Avengers villain Taskmaster, which we’ll be dealing with soon. Read More...

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

Normally, I wouldn’t start off one of these assuming you know something, but I’ll try this: I don’t need to explain Harry Potter to you, right? Well, imagine Harry Potter was based on a real kid, and you have Tommy Taylor, the now grown up star of Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ The Unwritten. Tommy has ridden the wave of celebrity brought on by the success of the books for years, never really embracing a life of his own.

However, what Tommy didn’t know is that his father, who wrote the Tommy Taylor novels, was involved in a centuries long struggle with a shadowy group called The Unwritten. These men and women control everything that is committed to the page, knowing that fiction is powerful enough to influence the real world. Tommy is the key to the struggle, as he’s the real world representation of the semi-Christlike fictional Tommy. Now, Tommy is on the run with a few friends, trying to figure out the events that his Father set into motion, while staying alive, and coming into his own as a hero.

The other major characters are:

Read More...

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

Jeff Lemire’s Vertigo series Sweet Tooth takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where most of the world’s population has been killed off by a mysterious virus. At the same time – and perhaps not so coincidentally – any children that were born came out with varying amounts of animal features. Some have antlers, but otherwise look normal. Others are full on animals standing on their hind legs. So far, no one knows how the two are related, or what’s causing any of this, but the key might lie with our main character, Gus; a.k.a. Sweet Tooth, because he loves chocolate.

Why is Gus so important? Because over the course of the past eighteen issues, we’ve found out that not only is he older than any other animal child, but like Kyle XY before him, he has no belly-button, meaning he’s probably been bred in a lab, not born of woman like the other animal children. [Side-Note: Should we have specified that this article contained spoilers for the first season of Kyle XY?]

Gus has no knowledge of this, though, as he was raised in a cabin in the woods by a crazy religious nut that said he was his father, but may turn out to just be the scientist who created him. When his “Dad” died, Gus disobeyed the only directive given to him, to not leave the woods. Once out though, he encountered a man best described as Clint Eastwood on ‘roids (or an older Punisher, who Jeppard was actually based on). His name is Jeppard, and like thousands of old men without a heart in apocalyptic worlds before him, Jeppard is finding that he still has something to believe in, and that’s Gus.

Read More...

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

This week's issue of the Fantastic Four is the big death issue, in case you’ve been living under a rock, and suddenly decided to come out from under that rock, learned to use the Internet, got interested in comics, and decided you wanted to start with the five-hundred and eighty-seventh issue of Fantastic Four. But hey, if all that’s true – good choice! Jonathan Hickman, who currently holds the reigns of the title, is a writer on the rise, and this is his (so far) seminal mainstream story.

The gist of the book (and seriously, if you’re one of those non-rock people, you may want to skip this paragraph): four friends get sent into space, hit with cosmic rays, and gain fabulous powers. Mr. Fantastic can stretch, The Thing is a super-strong rock monster, The Human Torch can set himself on fire, and The Invisible Woman is a metaphor for racism. JK, you guys, she can turn herself and other things invisible, and create invisible objects with her mind.

Just a few short months after the title launched, and here’s where we are: the team has been drawn in very different directions, all facing grave threats from their past that almost definitely is going to kill one of them. Since we already covered who the basic characters are, here’s what they’re facing:

 

Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) is out in space with Galactus, a giant purple world eater. He has threatened to eat either Nu-World, a synthetic world populated by the human race from hundreds of years in the future, or Earth. Mr. Fantastic chose Nu-World, and now – on the planet currently being munched on – is racing Read More...

By Alex Zalben

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

Oh boy, where do we start with Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Tomorrow’s Issue #40 is the final issue of “Season 8,” so there’s a lot of, very, very confusing ground to cover. But we’re up to the task. We think.

Let’s begin at the beginning: Buffy was a regular girl given super strength and other powers in order to battle vampires, and the forces of evil. Over the course of seven seasons of her TV show she fought, loved, lost, and even died twice in order to protect her hometown of Sunnydale from threats that sometimes included her boyfriend, or best friend. At the end of the series, a super-charged Buffy redistributed her power so that every girl who could potentially become the Slayer – the chosen one who takes over when the previous Slayer buys it – did become a Slayer. Girl power to the max, yo.

Additionally, Sunnydale’s Hellmouth – the entrance between our world and the demon world – was closed. In fact, Sunnydale completely collapsed in on itself, and though there were other Hellmouths, for the moment, Buffy was out of a job.

Season eight (we’re onto the comic books now) kicked off with Buffy and company training an all-Slayer army to take the battle global. Forty issues later, and Buffy has fought an increasingly losing battle against – as far as we understand it – a rogue Universe she gave birth to after having super-sex with her vampire boyfriend Angel. Read More...

By Alex Zalben

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

DC Comics has a long history of giving good support to quirky, off the beaten path team books, like Shadowpact, Doom Patrol, or as is our subject here, Secret Six. There’s a lot of ground to cover to get you up to speed on today’s issue – particularly as it’s the second part of a crossover with Action Comics – but don’t worry, we’ll still do it, and under five minutes! Hence the title, you guys.

Way back before the Infinite Crisis crossover, there were a group of villains who banded together to fight every other villain in the DC Universe, mainly because they didn’t want to play follow-the-leader. Turns out, they were being secretly manipulated by Superman’s arch-enemy, Lex Luthor. They broke free, and ended up working for themselves… Or so they thought, because over time, they’ve been manipulated by plenty of other people. That long list includes Amanda Waller, a government operative who recently cleared their criminal records, but not before letting them know they’re on call whenever – and wherever – she wants.

The roster of the Secret Six has changed over time as people, well…. Died. But here’s the current roster: Read More...

By Alex Zalben

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

This week, we’ll be getting you up to speed on Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman’s Hulk. First thing you need to know? This isn’t Bruce Banner, and he’s not green. Don’t worry, the original hulk is still running around, in Greg Pak’s Incredible Hulks series – and in fact is a supporting character in this book – but this is a brand new Hulk for a brand new era. So who is he, and what’s he up to now?

First, the back-story: General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is the father of Betty Ross, Bruce Banner’s sweetheart. He’s also the Hulk’s biggest enemy, having tried to hunt him down and kill him for years. Distraught over the apparent death of his daughter, Ross teamed up with some very, very bad villains, and was shot with something called a Cathexis Ray. The Ray turned him into the gigantic Red Hulk (or “Rulk”). Rulk is super-strong, able to absorb energy, and confusingly, doesn’t have a mustache (like General Ross does). Also? The madder he gets, the hotter he gets. Read More...

By Alex Zalben

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

This week, we’re focusing on Morning Glories, Image’s hot new series written by Nick Spencer (Action Comics, Existence 2.0), with pencils by Joe Eisma. Issue five comes out tomorrow, and though it’s the end of the first arc, we’ll get you up to speed lickety-split.

Six high schoolers from different backgrounds are all sent to the elite prep school, Morning Glory Academy, only to find out nothing is what it seems. They’re unable to call their parents, who we discover have been told to disavow all existence of their children: one set of parents who doesn’t listen meet a rather brutal end. They all have the same birthday. And beyond the ghost-type-thing who is going around the school killing people, there also seems to be some sort of cult running things, and the Teachers have a mysterious agenda we don’t yet know a lot about. Read More...

Top Categories

©2014 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. MTV and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.