It was an interesting week in the comic world as IDW brings back another old-school hero while Marvel and DC continue to try to spin our old heroes into something new. So let’s just get right to it with this week’s Pullbox!

IDW – Judge Dredd #1 – The year is 2100. Most of the world is a radioactive wasteland aside from a small strip along the North American east coast where all people can do is build upward at this point. The facilities of this last bastion of humanity are mostly automated, but occasionally man’s primal urges to break the law rise to the surface and when this happens, there is only one true form of law. The Judges And the most severe of this militant law-enforcement group is Judge Dredd.

Capitalizing on the fair success of the Dredd movie, this comic is the start of bringing Britain’s most infamous comic book hero ever here to the States in a way that stays true to its dark, dystopian future. This first comic is a joy for any comic reader that is even just vaguely familiar with the character as it throws you in head-first to Judge Dredd’s world without pulling any punches. Pick this up and stick with it folks because it is going to be one hell of a ride from here on out.

DC – Talon #2 – Calvin Rose begins his war against the Court of Owls in earnest in the hopes of finding the women who helped prevent him from succumbing to the same fate as all other Talons. When he looks to hit one of the Court’s primary fund reserves, however, he realizes that he may have bitten off more than he can chew and will need to push his skills as an escape artist to the test if he hopes to live.

Even though this book is only a couple of issues in, and I didn’t even really enjoy the whole ‘Court of Owls’ concept, Talon shows a lot of potential as it is already introducing new and unique characters, and looks to be working hard to give Calvin some nemesis of his own to do battle against. The idea of bringing back Owls from the dead could get old quickly, but it definitely works through a couple of issues and it should be interesting to see how Calvin’s war on the Owls continues in the coming months This is definitely one book to keep an eye on.

Marvel – Astonishing X-Men Annual #1 – In this one-shot story, we again see how being an X-Man affects Northstar and his marriage as The Friends of Humanity terrorist group has started targeting the loved ones of mutants instead of just the mutants themselves. Labeling them gene traitors, Northstar must aide his friends in hunting down the hate mongers before his husband becomes the next casualty.

If you’ve been reading Astonishing X-Men, this Annual issue really helps put a nice little bowtie on the recent events that have happened with Northstar and his wedding and all that. It doesn’t really feature a lot of action, but does a nice job of fleshing out some characters, including Karma, Northstar, and his husband, and feels like it is setting them all up for something big in the future. A solid read, but not a must have unless you’ve been following this series very closely.

DC – Batman, Inc. #5 – Batman claims he’s had a vision of the future where Damian becomes Batman and Gotham gets wiped off the map because of it. Everyone Bruce knows and loves die in the future and so in order to prevent this from happening, Bruce wishes to send Damian back to Talia as a peace offering.

A little confusing at first, as is typical of most of Grant Morrison’s more recent works, it all comes together in the end as this issue has an old-school ‘Elseworlds’ feel to it that I appreciated. Also, having the Joker being the villain the brings about the end of Gotham was a nice touch as any time you can work in the Clown Prince of Crime is a bonus for sure. It would have been nice though if aside from explaining Batman’s insane vision, if this issue has actually done something, like, I don’t know, forward the story, perhaps. Not the best issue of Batman, Inc. in how it relates to the series, but I’ve read worse.

Marvel – Secret Avengers #34 – Captain Britain and Hawkeye are trapped in the Earth-666 parallel universe where all the heroes we know are classic movie monsters (Thor is the Mummy, Wolverine is a vampire, Punisher is a Frankenstein monster, etc.), Venom and Valkyrie are ejected into space, and Hank Pym gets turned into a Deathlok!

This was one of the most difficult issues for me to follow in a while what with so many different stories going on at once. I usually love Rick Remender’s work, but he needs to get a grip on the reigns of this one fast because it feels like an out of control train ready to wreck at any time. And it’s not like I tried jumping into this one cold turkey. I’ve been following this series and still had trouble trying to piece together everything that was supposed to be happening. The whole feel of Secret Avengers seems to have taken a downward turn ever since Hawkeye took it over from Captain America and even though I’ve been with this book since the very beginning, it needs to pick up soon or I’m jumping ship.