X-Force Takes a Brutal Turn and Batman Finds an Imposter

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CBR reviews this week’s biggest comics, including Clear, Batman: The Imposter, Star Trek: The Mirror War, X-Force and Superman and the Authority.

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!


CLEAR #1 (BEST JACKETT PRESS)

Clear feature

COMIXOLOGY

With Clear #1, Scott Snyder teams up with Francis Manapul and Andworld Design for a futuristic murder mystery. In this digital-first series, most of the residents of a dark cyberpunk future use Veils to mask the world as it really is with personal digital facades that overlay the real world with whatever they desire. Against this backdrop, Sam Dunes is drawn into a potential murder mystery that hits very close to home.

While this comic wears its cyberpunk influences on its sleeve, the novel technology of the world and Manapul’s neon-noir art separate this from its genre contemporaries. Throughout the book, flashes of individual Veils cut into page layouts, making for brilliant almost hallucinogenic collages. While most of this issue is ultimately dedicated to introducing Clear’s world, it’s a world that’s well worth diving into.

X-FORCE #24 (MARVEL)

X-Force Colossus

COMIXOLOGY

While X-Force hasn’t been light on action, the central narrative of the mutant espionage title has been something of a slow burn. However, Benjamin Percy, Martin Coccolo, Guru-eFX and Joe Caramagna bring some long-simmering storylines to a boil in X-Force #24.

While this issue continues the title’s exploration of Beast’s moral rot, Colossus takes center stage for much of this issue, which twists his idyllic life into heartbreaking contortions. While he’s been largely absent from the last few major X-Men stories, this issue drags him back into the spotlight through a clever, thoughtful mechanism that makes good use of the X-Line’s ubiquitous text pieces. Coccolo and Guru-eFX deliver strong work that matches the creeping horror of the story well and help set the stage for dark revelations to come.

RELATED: Marvel, Penguin Classics Debut Prestige Spider-Man, Black Panther Collections

BATMAN: THE IMPOSTER #1 (DC)

Batman The Imposter

COMIXOLOGY

In DC’s latest Black Label series, The Batman screenwriter Mattson Tomlin teams up with Andrea Sorrentino and Jordie Bellaire throw the Dark Knight into a gritty Gotham City mystery in Batman: The Imposter. Through the eyes of Batman ally Dr. Leslie Thompkins and a Gotham City detective, this debut follows a young Batman as he deals with a fake Dark Knight killing in his name.

With a decidedly grounded approach, The Imposter comes across like a Batman movie without any apparent marquee villains. Sorrentino and Bellaire’s inky art captures the grime of Gotham City and the weariness of its residents perfectly before letting loose on stunning splash pages. Even if Robert Pattinson’s Batman won’t swing into theaters this year, this debut bodes well for the Dark Knight’s cinematic future.

RELATED: Nightwing Returns to a Fan-Favorite Costume in 2022

STAR TREK: THE MIRROR WAR #1 (IDW PUBLISHING)

Star Trek The Mirror War feature

COMIXOLOGY

While the Enterprise crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation never quite made it to the Mirror Universe in live-action, IDW Publishing has more than made up for that with its ongoing TNG Mirror Universe saga. In Scott and David Tipton, Gavin Smith, Charlie Kirchoff and Neil Uyetake’s Star Trek: The Mirror War #1 kicks off in earnest as the evil Enterprise crew sets off on their latest mission.

With two previous entries having introduced the Mirror Universe counterparts of the main TNG cast, this issue follows the MU Enterprise crew as it takes steps to restore the Terran Empire to full power. While the introduction of this world’s Miles O’Brien and Guinan adds some novelty to the proceedings, this story still feels like a standard Mirror Universe adventure in its early going. Still, Smith’s art strikes the right balance between cartoony abstraction and capturing the likenesses of TNG’s cast, and fans of the series will probably find something to like here.

SUPERMAN AND THE AUTHORITY #4 (DC)

Old Superman and the Authority

COMIXOLOGY

While Superman and the Authority #4 may be the end of a miniseries and the last DC work of Grant Morrison’s career, this comic is more of a forward-looking turning-of-the-page than a true ending. In this issue, Morrison, Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire and Tom Napolitano finally assemble the aging Superman’s full Authority team as they deal with some classic Superman villains before heading to the far corners of the DCU.

With a seasoned, humanistic Superman at its core, Morrison’s story is packed with an expert deployment of deep-cut continuity and ingenious character pairings. Janin and Bellaire’s sleek art give the proceedings a distinctly modern look and sensational character designs. With an eye towards setting up future plotlines for DC’s mainline Superman titles, Superman and the Authority reads as a generational passing of the torch that reasserts Superman as the Man of Tomorrow.

We hope you like the items we recommend! Comic Book Resources has affiliate partnerships, and as such, we receive a share of the revenue from your purchase. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.

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