Welcome to The Week in Comics!
P.s – if you’re looking for my reviews of Black Science #6 and Amazing Spider-Man #1 they can be found on Rhymes with Geek, and as usual my Valiant reviews – Rai #1 and Shadow-Man: End Times #1 can be found on IndieAltRepeat! Enjoy!
All New X-Men #26
Marvel. Bendis, Immonen, von Grawbadger, Gracia.
The inevitable conversation between Old Scott and Young Jean happens and…it’s just as weird as you’d imagine. Luckily Scott manages to come out of it with his self respect intact so it’s all good. X-23 has had enough too – it seems like the clone of Wolverine has a thing for young Scott and – you know what? This is all getting weird again. Bendis does what he does best when it comes to big relationship-style conversations, and there’s a final page splash that I didn’t expect, regardless of the solicits.
Marvel. Hickman, Larroca, Martin.
Much like the incursions in the story, the worlds of Avengers and New Avengers are starting to collide, and it’s Bruce Banner who’s connecting the dots. It’s always fun to see Tony Stark squirm, and in this issue he has to face the decisions he’s made. I’ve heard very convincing arguments online regarding Tony and how ever since Civil War he’s only ever been a hair’s breadth from becoming a super villain. In the run up to Captain America’s Original Sin revelations (hint: Tony Stark had his mind wiped yo) I get the feeling big changes are coming for Tony’s status quo…. A fun issue this, plus the Adaptoid’s prove they’re bigger players in all of this than we first realised.
Batman: Eternal #4
DC. Snyder, Tynion IV, Layman, Fawkes, Seeley, Nguyen, Fridolfs.
You can really feel all the various plot threads start to form in this issue, and it makes Gotham feel more alive than ever. Always a fan of the GCPD focused stories; this issue continues its focus on the new commissioner’s twisted motives. Throw in Batgirl’s reaction to Jim Gordon’s ever worsening situation and Stephanie Brown’s subplot developing nicely and you’ve got yourself one happy reader. It’s not a masterpiece and sure to have its haters, but I’m enjoying where this book is taking me.
Silver Surfer #2
Marvel. Slott, Allred, Allred.
Every time I read this I expect to have something negative to say (“he’s ripping off Dr. Who!” etc), and every time (OK, there’s only been two but I’m also counting the point one mini story) I finish the book with a smile. Yes, it’s very much influenced by everyone’s favourite Timelord, but that’s a good thing in this case. If nothing else it brings a sense of fun and limitless whimsy not seen in a cosmic Marvel book since Stan and Jack’s FF. Greatly assisted by the Allred’s on art, Dan Slott has made me care about a Silver Surfer book.
Southern Bastards #1
Image. Aaron, Latour.
Man I love this book. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour make a formidable team, tackling something very close to both of them – the American south. What they’ve created in this first issue is a world thick with atmosphere on every page, and filled with rich, deep, un–likeable characters. Earl Tubb returns to a home he’s not seen in 40 years, and steps not only back in time but right into a whole mess of trouble. At one point you can see the conflict on his face: does he walk away and leave this hellhole behind for good, or does he do the right thing and turn back around? It actually pains him to do the right thing, and from that moment on I knew this was going to be something special.
Avengers World #5
Marvel. Hickman, Spencer, Caselli, Mossa.
After the last few months focusing on Shang-Chi, Starbrand, and Smasher, it’s Manifold’s turn to take the spotlight. There are some cool concepts here – the Dreamtime, the incursions being responsible for both his and Captain Universe’s powers going on the fritz – but ultimately too much lofty AIM talk (more annoying now they’re all smart) lost my attention. Bruce Banner still has a great voice in this book though; he’s way funnier than anywhere else he shows up in. You can tell Nick Spencer is channelling his inner Whedon with the core cast, but this book has been better.
Marvel. Waid, Bagley, Hennessy, Keith.
Hulk is a deceivingly difficult character to get right. Being a Marvel fan for as long as I have you get used to this fact. Iron Man is the same to a certain extent. It’s a shame when amazing writers can’t seem to grasp what it takes to make the character really shine, and unfortunately Mark Waid isn’t ‘wowwing’ me so far. The trouble is when writers focus on Bruce Banner instead of Hulk, I tend to lose interest. I’ll stick with it though for a couple more issues, because it is Mark Waid, and I always enjoy Bagley’s art.
New Avengers #17
Marvel. Hickman, Morales, Martin.
I’ve never been as big a fan of this book as I have been of the main Avengers title. It’s only held my interest because I know how Hickman works, and I know that eventually all of this will be crucial to the overarching storyline, but that’s not a great reason to be reading a book really. There’s some fun action with the Justice League that aren’t quite the Justice League, and more lengthy conversations between T’Challa and Namor and – hey, anyone remember when Namor used to ride tidal waves into battle, and T’Challa stood side-by-side with Cap on the classic Avengers roster, fighting everything Roy Thomas could throw at them? Yeah these aren’t those days anymore.
Uncanny Avengers Annual #1
Marvel. Remender, Renaud.
Being self referential and admitting within the narrative that the story you are telling is completely pointless and derivative, doesn’t make it any less so Rick Remender. Self reference seems to be the only thing this issue does right, however. A premise that is too busy nodding and winking to be considered meta, wrapped around a weak plot and bland villain. I wanted to love this. I love both Rick Remender and the Uncanny Avengers book, but I didn’t love this.
Star Wars: Rebel Heist #1
Dark Horse. Kindt, Castiello, Parsons.
I don’t often read Star Wars comics, but a Han Solo centric first issue, written by Matt Kindt? That’s got to be worth a look, and thankfully it paid off. It started to trail off in the back half but the setup (newbie to the rebel cause gets picked up by Solo) treats us to a random Joe-Public opinion of the rock star of the rebellion. Not really a viewpoint I’ve seen before, and seeing the rescue and escape from his perspective really highlighted just how mental life with Han Solo would truly be. Fun stuff.
So that’s it for another week! My personal highlights were definitely Southern Bastards, Rai and Black Science, although I have missed Peter Parker…
Until next time,