Everything We Read This Week – 7/4/2018

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:

  • Great
  • Good
  • OK
  • Not Good

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Assassinistas #6
IDW Entertainment/Black Crown
Written by Tini Howard
Art by Gilbert Hernandez
Colors by Rob Davis
Letters by Aditya Bidikar
Cover art by Hernandez

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.

 

Astonishing X-Men #13
Marvel Comics
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Pencils by Greg Land
Inks by Jay Leisten
Colors by Frank D’Armata
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Land & D’Armata

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.

Avengers #4
Marvel Comics
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.

Batman #50
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin & Others
Colors by June Chung
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Janin

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.

Captain America #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Ta-Nahisi Coates
Pencils by Leinil Francis Yu
Inks by Gerry Alanguilan
Colors by Sunny Cho
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover art by Alex Ross

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.

Catwoman #1
DC Comics
Written by Joelle Jones
Art by Joelle Jones
Colors by Laura Allred
Letters by Josh Reed
Cover art by Jones & Allred

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.

 

Dark Ark #8
Aftershock Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Juan Doe
Letters by Ryane Hill
Cover art by Doe

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.

 

Death of the Inhumans #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Donnie Cates
Art by Ariel Olivetti
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Kaare Andrews

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.

 

Death or Glory #3
Image Comics
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Bengal
Letters by Rus Wooten
Cover art by Bengal

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.

 

 

Doctor Strange #3
Marvel Comics
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Jesus Saiz
Letters by VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover art by Saiz

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.

 

 

Infinity Countdown: Champions #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Jim Zub
Art by Emilio Laiso
Colors by Andy Troy
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Clayton Crain

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.

Justice League #3
DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jorge Jimenez
Colors by Alejandro Sanchez
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover art by Jimenez & Sanchez

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.

 

Man of Steel #6
DC Comics
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Jason Fabok
Colors by Alex Sinclair
Letters by Josh Reed
Cover art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, & Sinclair

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.

 

Nightwing #46
DC Comics
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.

 

Red Sonja/Tarzan #3
Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Walter Geovani
Colors by Adriano Augusto
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover art by Aaron Lopresti

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.

The Unexpected #2
DC Comics
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils by Cary Nord
Inks by Wade von Grawbadger
Colors by Jeromy Cox
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual
Cover art by Ryan Sook

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.

X-Men: Gold #31
Marvel Comics
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Pere Perez
Colors by Jay David Ramos & Matt Milla
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover art by Phil Noto

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.