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 had a lot of interesting books and there were some digital developments. We expanded to include 2 digital only books in the column

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:

Analog #4
Image Comics
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by David O’Sullivan
Colors by Spicer
Letters by Sabino
Cover Art by O’Sullivan

The near future tale being told in this book is continuing to hit all the right notes. O’Sullivan’s sketchy cartoony style is perfect for the tone and grit of the book. The visuals welcome the reader into a story of espionage and danger without being too dark. There is a real sense of anxiety for the reader as the main character makes questionable choices. Choices that put both himself and the world at risk.

 

 

Aphrodite V #1
Image Comics
Written by Bryan Hill
Art by Jeff Spokes
Letters by Troy Peteri
Cover Art by Jeff Spokes

This is a new series from Bryan Hill. A story about the confict with new technology and traditional security methods. The title character, an android, is shrouded in a bit of mystery and the other characters are intriguing as well. Spoke’s dark tones set a “noiresque” style to this futuristic tale.

 

 

 

The Avengers #5
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils by Paco Medina & Ed McGuinness
Inks by Juan Viasco with Mark Morales & Karl Story
Colors by David Curiel
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art by Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales & Jason Keith

The story is all coming together now. The first few pages of Loki monologuing an unknown history are worth the price of this book alone. However, Aaron doesn’t stop there. The cohesion of the various factions of Avengers develops in a well organized way. We are eagerly awaiting the conclusion to the inagural arc on this relaunch.

 

Batman #51
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Art by Lee Weeks
Colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Weeks & Breitweiser

King wastes no time getting back to advancing the story. This issue picks up after the events of last issue, but does not directly deal with what occured. Bruce Wayne stuck in jury duty is masterfully illustrated by Weeks. The sheer fury that he feels is beautifully portrayed, and in particular there is a nine-panel page of Jim Gordon that is phenomenal. The emotional weight that Batman is carrying is perfectly displayed in layout and image.

Crude #4
Image Comics
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Garry Brown
Colors by Lee Loughridge
Letters by Thomas Mauer
Cover Art by Garry Brown and Lee Loughridge

Orlando and Brown’s violent detective story continues with massive revelations in this issue. The primary character Piotr Petrovitch Bibibin finds out important information about his son that shake his entire belief structure. The pacing and camera angles are well done. This is a high quality issue with nuanced themes expertly woven into the fabric of the story.

 

 

Damage #7
DC Comics
Written by Robert Venditti
Pencils by Diogenes Neves & Tom Derenick
Inks by Trever Scott, Sean Parsons & Derenick
Colors by Allen Passalaqua
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover Art by Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki and Tomeu Morey

This particular issue of Damage is notable because it essentially tells the backstory of one of the antagonistic characters. There is plenty of “damage” in the action sequences, but they provide visual breaks from the intent of the issue. While this was not filled with massive revelations or plot twist, it is overall a solid issue. And the cover is beautiful.

 

Euthanauts #1
IDW/Black Crown
Written by Tini Howard
Art by Nick Robles
Letters by Aditya Bidikar
Cover Art by Robles

Ok. We are hooked! Howard and Robles craft the beginning of a tale that is part horror, part mystery, part metaphysical exploration. It is gorgeously illustrated and the scene pacing is seamless. It is a first issue that you don’t want to end. We will definitely be on board for this wild ride.

 

 

 

Future Quest Presents: #12
DC Comics
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Alain Mauricet
Colors by HI-FI
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Art by Alain Mauricet

Jeff Parker in the world of Hanna-Barbera characters always make me smile. This is a terrific adventure story about one of the unsung but critical characters of the original Future Quest story. Buzz is the life of story and his voice in Parker’s stories is perfect. Mauricet does an excellent job on the line work in this issue, and it is a satisfying end to this series.

 

 

Grave Danger #1
Comix AF
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Mike Norton
Colors by Allan Passalaqua
Letters by Crank!
Cover Art by Norton

We chose this as the story to read from the Comixology originals that were release this week. We were not disappointed. The story is entertaining. The art is excellent. We will continue to read this. It is an intriguing tale with a captivating and interesting lead character.

 

 

Infinity Countdown #5
Marvel Comics
Written by Gerry Duggan
Pencils by Aaron Kuder and Mike Hawthorne
Inks by Kuder and Jose Marzan Jr.
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art by Nick Bradshaw and Morry Hollowell

This is the concluding chapter in the leadup story to Infinity Wars. It is satisfying in that it wraps up the various stories that were covered and layed the ground work for the next series. Overall, the story has felt slow and disjointed, but at least this issue gave a sense of completion.

 

 

Jessica Jones #1
Marvel Comics – MDO
Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Mattia De Iulis
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art by Martin Simmonds

This is the first issue in Marvel’s new Marvel Digital Originals line. It is fantastic. Thompson is the perfect choice for Jessica. The story is quick to grab the reader and as is typical for Jessica, it sucks to be her. De Iulis’ are is amazing and so appropriate for the overall tone of the story. While we are not ordinarily digital readers, we will have no choice but to be reading this as soon as it is available.

 

 

Justice League #4
DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jorge Jimenez
Colors by Alejandro Sanchez
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover Art by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

This issue is visually gorgeous. The character and landscape line work is amazing and Sanchez’s colors are sublime. The story gets more challenging for the heroes as the plans that the Legion of Doom set in motion become more apparent.

 

 

Mae #8
Lion Forge
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Gene Ha
Colors by Wes Hartman
Letters by Zander Cannon
Cover Art by Ha!

The second issue of this new Mae arc is excellent. The conflict that is presented to the heroine of the story is well crafted and beautifully drawn. We are looking forward to following Mae’s further adventures in this well developed world.

 

 

Mage: The Hero Denied #10
Image Comics
Written and Art by Matt Wagner
Colors by Brennan Wagner
Letters by Dave Lanphear

The middle aged father portrayl of Kevin Matchstick in this story is rock solid. The challenges that are presented to Mage and his wife are dificult but their solutions are ingenious. This is a fun series told by Wagner on his own terms in his masterful way.

 

 

 

The Magic Order #2
Image Comics
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Olivier Coipel
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Peter Doherty
Cover Art by Olivier Coipel with Dave Stewart

Millar and Coipel have created a compelling story here. While the characters are not always likeable, the conflict is compelling and captivating. The raw reality of humanity combined with unscrupulous magical characters is the heart of this winning issue. As the action increases, we will be waiting to see how it can be resolved.

 

 

The New Challengers #3
DC Comics
Written by Scott Snyder & Aaron Gillespie
Pencils by Andy Kubert & Ken Marion
Inks by Klaus Janson & Sandu Florea
Colors by Brad Anderson & Dinei Ribeiro
Letters by Deron Bennett
Cover Art by Andy Kubert & Brad Anderson

This story is filled with misdirection and surprise. The larger mission is revealed to the reader, but it must be taken lightly because the motives of the revealer are suspect. The unfortunate part of this issue is the disjointed art teams. While they are not bad at all, the jumps in style interferes with the flow of the story.

 

 

Oh S#!T It’s Kim & Kim #1
Black Mask
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Eva Cabrera
Colors by Claudia Aguirre
Letters by Zakk Saam
Cover Art by Eva Cabrera

What a fun crazy romp this is! Visaggio and Cabrera take the reader on a wild adventure that brings the right mix of humor and peril. The visuals are awesome and the dialog is excellent. We can’t wait to see what more trouble the Kims can get in.

 

 

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man 307
Marvel Comics
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Breakdowns by Adam Kubert
Finishes by Juan Frigeri
Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Art by Cully Hamner & Morry Hollowell

While this is not the end of this story, this issue feels like a conclusion to the events that started in the first issue of Zdarsky and Kubert’s run. The emotion, compassion and desparation displayed in this issue are the core to this issue. It is a really good Spider-Man comic book.

 

 

Runaways #11
Marvel Comics
Written by Rainbow Rowell
Art by Kris Anka
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Kris Anka

We love this series. This issue does not disappoint. While there is no battle or massive action, there are plenty of emotions and personal issues that are gently explored. The fascinating peice of this is that the indidual struggles are portrayed to the reader without explicit dialogue. Very well done, and we can’t wait for more.

Summit #7
Lion Forge
Written by Amy Chu
Art by Will Rosado, Federico Dallocchio and Marika Cresta
Colors by Sotocolor
Letters by AW’s David Hopkins
Cover Art by Valentine De Landro

Amy Chu’s smart, sci-fi, super-hero story within a circle of friends tale continues in this issue. More challenges are revealed for Val and her friends. While Fiona continues to steal the show, the characterization and challenges of the individuals get more developed in excellent ways. The art in this book tells a clean and coherent story as usual.

The Wild Storm #15
DC Comics
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Jon Davis-Hunt
Colors by Steve Buccellato, John Kalisz
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover Art Jon Davis-Hunt

This is by far the best horror book being put out by one of the big two right now. Ellis and Davis-Hunt are an outstanding team. The tone and feel of this story is one of intrigue and terror. If you are reading this book, you will not be disappointed by this issue as it stays solidly on course.

X-Men Gold #32
Marvel Comics
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Pere Perez
Colors by Jay David Ramos
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art Phil Noto

Perez’s interiors on this book are phenomenal. The line work is stupendous. Guggenheim is telling a very interesting story here with Rachel at the center, and while the lead up to the failed wedding was not bad, this is better.

X-Men Red #006
Marvel Comics
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Carmen Carnero
Colors by Rain Beredo
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art Travis Charest

Taylor is doing a fantastic job telling this team story. There are small backstory moments with Gentle that move his character forward in important ways. The building conflict gets a shot of adreneline and moves into over drive. The portrayl of Gabby is amazing, and at the center of it all is clearly Jean. This is the best “X” book at the moment and there are some really good “X” books out there.

 

 

Well, that’s it for this week, and remember, 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.