The Week in Comics: April 23rd 2014
Marvel. Waid, Samnee, Rodriguez.
A stronger, more all round fun issue than the debut last month, this time around we get a wider view of Matt Murdock’s new status quo, as well as a few more players on the board. A shameless yet hilariously tongue-in-cheek rip-off of DC’s Caped Crusader in new enemy The Shroud – one created purely to silence Daredevil’s (admittedly dwindling) critics who have drawn one too many comparisons between Horn-head and Bats in years gone by. Then there’s the mystery surrounding Foggy Nelson – what is going on there?! Well written, superbly drawn, worth your time and money.
Fantastic Four #3
Marvel. Robinson, Kirk, Kesel, Arburtov.
Wow. This was surprisingly enjoyable, mainly for its sheer volume of referencing. With more than one eye firmly in the FF history books, James Robinson is really creating a run that feels like it matters. More than that, because of the stunning level of detail in not only back-story but character development, it feels like he’s building on a richly established world. Which, ok, everyone is when they pay in the Marvel sandbox, but with the constant renumbering and strong focus on ‘new readers’, it’s refreshing and very rewarding to find a book that’s not shying away from acknowledging the full lives these characters have had, and how that influences their future. Really great stuff.
Valiant. Dysart, Henry, Reber.
The story I’ve been dreading for a while has begun, and we inch ever closer to the Death of a Renegade…gulp! Click here for my full review on IndieAltRepeat.
Letter 44 #6
ONI Press. Soule, Alberquerque, Jackson.
The first arc is over, and concludes with the same high quality as I’ve come to know and love from this series. Conversations are had both on Earth and in space that bring satisfying payoffs as well as setting up stories to come. Head to Rhymes With Geek for my full review.
Original Sin #0
Marvel. Waid, Cheung, Morales, Ponsor
My personal favourite book of the week, and I really wasn’t expecting to say that. What easily could have been a throwaway issue (seeing as it’s going to sell no matter what) was a touching, fun, emotional look at the origin of the Watcher, and the growing relationship between him and Sam Alexander, the new Nova. See my full review over at Rhymes With Geek.
Uncanny Avengers #19
Marvel. Remender, Acuna.
It’s always a good week when my favourite Avengers title (and may well be my favourite title on Marvel’s current roster) brings out its next issue. The story is tight, frantic, with high-stakes and impossible odds – Kang’s timey-wimey shenanigans are slowly revealing themselves, even if his real motives remain hidden. His motley crew are awesome and I can’t wait to see where this story goes. I desperately look forward to the Uncanny Avengers Omnibus sitting on my shelf in a year or two.
24: Underground #1
IDW. Brisson, Gaydos, Burcham.
This was pretty fun. As a fan of the series since day one it was great to read a book that felt like it captured the pace and spirit of the show. Michael Gaydos on art is always a good thing and, much like the Buffy book out this week, the voice and actions of your favourite characters need to be spot on, and it’s safe to say Jack is definitely back. Filling in the gap between the end of series 8 and the start of Live Another Day, the only thing that will make this better is if it’s something that gets mentioned or referenced in the show, to really cement it in canon.
Batman Eternal #3
DC. Snyder, Tynion IV, Fawkes, Layman, Seeley, Fabok.
Another week, another chapter. This one wasn’t as fast paced or revelatory as the previous two, with a feeling that a lot of pieces are being moved into place. Following on from the surprise return at the end of issue 2 the rats are scrambling on both sides of the law to bolster their positions. Interesting more for what’s to come rather than what’s actually in the issue.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #2
Dark Horse. Gage, Isaacs, Whedon.
Still storming ahead in a brand new direction, this issue requires a bit more foreknowledge of the events of season 9 (of both the Buffy title and the Angel & Faith) than the last issue did which, as someone who dropped off at the end of season 8 I was a little confused. Still, it’s not rocket science, and the important thing is the characters all still feel familiar. The transition to a new writing team has not only been smooth but breathed new life into the franchise.
Conan the Avenger #1
Dark Horse. Van Lente, Ching.
Having not read much in the way of Conan before, in comics anyway, I went in to this as more of a Fred Van Lente fan. On that level, or any other in fact, it didn’t disappoint. It didn’t blow me away but it was a fun romp. With Conan being drunk for the first half of the book and angry for the second, events just kind of went on around him you know? But there’re enough supporting characters to keep you busy, and it moved along at a brisk pace.
Marvel. Blackman, Del Mundo.
An unusual one this, and one I desperately wanted to love. Having been treated to so many amazing All-New ongoings from Marvel, I assumed this would be more of the same. The art certainly seemed to lean that way in previews, and while the art is gorgeous it’s not enough to lift the story. Much like how a lot of people seemed to see last week’s Iron Fist The Living Weapon (although I personally found that to be superior), Elektra #1 is just a bit boring really. I’ll stick with it for the beautiful interiors, but even they can’t hold me for a third issue on their own.
Eternal Warrior #8
Valiant. Pak, Gill, Major.
A satisfying end to the series that has gone from Ancient Mesopotamia to 4001AD all while keeping the focus on Immortal champion Gilad Anni-Padda. With a strong theme of family running from start to finish, this is a series that will read well in trade. Take a click towards IndieAltRepeat for a more in-depth review.
Evil Empire #2
BOOM! Studios. Bemis, Getty.
A much better issue than the debut, this took the setup and final cliff-hanger it was given and ran with it in a very promising way. Wittier, smarter, more complex; I wasn’t expecting to be drawn into this series but I’ll definitely keep coming back if this is the kind of thing we’re in for.
Image. Johnston, Greenwood, Chankhamma, Brisson.
As hard boiled a detective drama as you’re likely to get in a comic, it’s Fuse #3. Heavy on the procedural, light on the Sci-Fi, this is more Law and Order than Star Trek, and all the better for it. The space elements are subtle and unobtrusive, and the ‘crime of the week’ mixed with engaging detectives makes this an easy read for those who love police dramas. The plot ramps up as Ristovych and Dietrich get closure to the truth of debut mystery ‘The Russia Shift’. It even has a crime novel title.
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Marvel. Bendis, Bradshaw, Wong, Ponsor.
Not just a nod to the past and more like a slap in the face, this anniversary issue brings the old Guardians out of the toy chest, dusts them off and throws them back into the fight in an effortlessly easy way, thanks to their already established dalliances with the timeline. The current line-up get plenty to do as well; although the main story is fairly Star-lord-centric, there’s a subplot involving Drax and Venom (yeah he’s already part of the team. You’ll need to get the Free Comic Book Day issue to find out exactly how he came to be with them), as well as a back up story shedding light on Groot’s childhood. It’s awesome to see Nick Bradshaw joining the team, and with 3 stories packed in between the covers this is a solid anniversary issue.
Secret Origins #1
DC. Pak, Higgins, Bedard, Weeks, Mahnke, Siqueira.
Do we really need another retelling of DC superheroes origins? Well, if they keep rebooting the universe then I guess the answer is yes? This anthology format at least spares us countless miniseries when they’re not needed, and they’re not when you can cover everything you need to cover in a third of an issue. I preferred the Dick Grayson and Supergirl origins over the Superman one, purely because Superman’s story has been done over and over in much better ways than this, whereas the other two I (as a non-DC fan) wasn’t as familiar with.
Image. Orlando, Trakhanov, Mauer.
Not as enjoyable to me as the previous two issues, this nevertheless delves deeper (no pun intended) into the politics of Atlantis, as well as bringing the surface-world crew face-to-face with The Amphibian. Head to Rhymes With Geek for my full review.
So that’s it for another week! A few stand outs and a lot of good-not-great issues, with only one giving me a distinctly ‘meh’ feeling. Not the strongest of weeks but still some gold if you know where to look. But enough about me, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @MattLune, and I’ll see you next week for return of The Amazing Spider-Man, and the debut of the Southern Bastards.
Until next time,