In this column, we make a quick trip through this weeks pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.
This week, Wednesday was on the Fourth of July, and many people were lucky enough to get to their LCS on the holiday. There were a lot of new significant books this week. Some ended stories, some were beginnings, and others were turning points. We tried to bring as many as we could here to give you our take on this weeks slate.
There is a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously as everyone gets their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, its not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.
The rating system is as follows:
And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:
This is the final chapter to the Assassinistas run. It has been and fun and trippy ride with the conclusion being no exception to the rule. Beto Hernandez’s style fits so well with Tini Howard’s matter-of-fact tone to the all around craziness that takes place in this story. We are kind of sad to see this story end and hope a volume two is coming in the future.
An all new arc for this series starts here with a new creative team. Matthew Rosenberg is definitely finding some strong legs to stand on as an X-Men writer and brings an exciting tone to the start of this story. Havok and Beast are the primary characters in this issue but we are also looking forward to the rest of the team. Land and Leisten do a fine job on the line work and the story flow is top notch.
Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils by Paco Medina & Ed McGuiness
Inks by Juan Vlasco & Mark Morales
Colors by David Curiel
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover art by McGuiness, Morales, & Jason Keith
So, we are now four issues into this new Avengers story and the battle still rages. We have not seen the group together yet, but that is ok. Aaron has the reader slingshotting all over the globe to deal with the various threats posed by the Final Host. Along with the new “Ancient Avengers” backstory it makes for an interesting story. The consistency of the artwork by primarily McGuiness and Morales adds to the solid storytelling in this arc.
Well this was certainly the most anticipated and controversial book of the week. Despite the spoiling of the content by the New York Times, King and Janin deliver a stunning turning point issue in King’s long-form Batman story. The duo hit the reader with dramatic and heartfelt beats along the way. The layout of the story is different with dual narrative voices on opposing pages for most of the issue. The gallery style pinups by top artists interspersed in the story is worth the price of admission to this event. Read it. It is really good.
This inaugural issue to Coates’s run is a very good launch point for reading Captain America. There is some expectation that the reader knows what happened in Secret Empire, but it essentially picks up from there and shows a Cap trying to find his place and roll in the world again. There is a conflict that is being set up away from the action with Cap that has us intrigued. Yu shows why he is a top artist in the business with fantastic camera angles and facial acting.
Joelle Jones begins a new series for Selina Kyle in the aftermath of Batman #50. The story is engaging and the art is beautiful. Allred’s purple heavy color pallet compliments the heavy black lines in Jones’ storytelling. This is definitely a story we are looking forward to seeing through.
This biblical horror tale by Bunn and Doe is one of the most underrated monthly books out there. The visual storytelling is perfect for the tone of Bunn’s writing. The character designs are fantastic. The colors that Doe uses establish an otherworldly dimension to this book. The story is getting more intense as deals for the lives of the characters are made for self serving reasons. We can’t wait to see what happens next.
This book is a good read. Cates, Olivetti, et al. put together a very nice book. It includes some Inhuman backstory for the newer reader and begins a tale that is not bad. That being said, we are not sure why this series is necessary. Marvel’s Death of X story in 2016 has left a bad taste of “Death for Relaunch” in our literary pallet. We are hoping that Marvel will figure out what to do with the Inhumans and stick to it.
Remender and Bengal are really killing it on this story. This issue gives the reader a lot of previously unknown backstory to the protagonist and furthers the perilous adventure she is partaking in. Glory Owen is a force and you find yourself rooting for her at every turn. Bengal has put his stamp all over this and it works so well.
Steven Strange continues his extra-terrestrial quest for magic in this latest issue. Ending up on outlying world the “magician” find himself against the Super-Skrull. Waid’s handle of the title character is getting stronger with each issue. Saiz’s visuals are stunning. This is a solid chapter in a good comic story.
We really liked this issue. At the same time it left us a little unsettled. The story and the art are both excellent. The issue that bothered us slightly is that there are big changes for the Champions team that occur in this event side story. I suppose if those who are reading only the Infinity Countdown event would be enticed to pick up the main Champions title, but if the Champions readers did not get the event spin-off, they will certainly be surprised next issue. Also a nitpicky observation is that the credits on the front cover are not the names of anyone in the inside credits.
This is definitely the best issue of the Snyder relaunch of Justice League. Some questions are being answered and some new events are being teased. The art is this book is top notch. The panel layouts with overlays are well crafted. The one thing that bothered me was Batman calling Superman “Clark” on an open com line.
The final issue of Bendis’ introduction to Superman was a satisfying read. While the conclusion to the battle storyline was somewhat anti-climactic with a deus ex-machina wrap-up, the family crisis storyline was heartfelt and moving. There is little else to say about Jason Fabok’s art in this book other than that it is stellar. Bendis set up enough story threads to follow into the two main Superman books going forward.
Written by Benjamin Percy
Pencils by Chris Mooneyham & Lalit Sharma
Inks by Klaus Janson & Scott Hanna
Colors by Nick Filardi
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual
Cover art by Mike Perkins & Dave McCaig
Benjamin Percy’s “Bleeding Edge” arc is moving along well in the pages of Nightwing. The abject techno fear that is stoked in the larger story feels a little more tempered and appropriately focused in this issue, which serves the story better. The art is well done despite the multiple different hands.
Gail Simone’s mash-up of these legendary warriors continues to be an entertaining read. The story does not disappoint and is getting more complex in the most interesting way. Geovani’s line work is excellent and complements the tone and pace of the story.
Shade: The Changing Woman #5
DC Comics / Young Animal
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Art by Marley Zarcone
Inks by Ande Parks
Colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters by Saida Temofonte
Cover art by Becky Cloonan
If you have been reading this book, you will be happy with this penultimate issue in the story. Castellucci’s partnership with Zarcone on this out-of-this-world madness infused journey has been truly amazing. The characters have been fleshed out in the most subtle ways that as you think you read nonsense, you soon find yourself caring for what happens next. As a reader of the entire Young Animal run of Shade, we are excited to see where it ends up.
Another of the books that spin-off from the DC Dark Nights: Metal event, The Unexpected is forging new characters within the DC Universe. Orlando and Nord’s storytelling of these new characters and their challenges is well done overall. There are enough nuggets of mystery to keep the reader intrigued and coming back for more.
The follow-up to the big “wedding” issue of this series is certainly a winner. Personally we found the resolution to Peter and Kitty’s status to hit all the right notes. The new crisis that is on display here is setting up to be quite a mental roller-coaster. Perez got to play with some interesting character designs and did an excellent job with them. Overall a very good issue.
Well that is it for this week. This is not inclusive of all the great books out there. Go find what you like and read it and talk about it. Comments are always welcome.