In this column, we make a quick trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.
This week had a lot of quality books come out. Overall the haul was good with a few greats thrown in.
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:
Click a link below if you want to jump to a particular review
Action Comics 1001, Amazing Spider-Man 2, American Gods: My Ainsel 5, Barbarella 8, Charlie’s Angels 2, Detective Comics 985, Doomsday Clock 6, Flash 51, Infinity Wars Prime, Justice League Dark 1, The Long Con 1, Marvel 2 in One 8, Multiple Man 2, Punks Not Dead 6, The Terrifics 6, X-23 2
Action Comics #1001
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Patrick Gleason
Colors by Alejandro Sanchez
Letters by Josh Reed
Cover Art by Gleason & Brad Anderson
This is a great Superman comic book. There is a sense of immensely restrained power that is portrayed by Gleason here. His work throughout the issue is fantastic. Sanchez’s “lighting” is beautiful. The balance of humor and seriousness from Bendis is just right. Bendis pushes the conflict forward at a well measured pace and introduces surprises that have you begging for more. There is a sense of comfort in reading this, and at the same time concern for the man of steel that we haven’t felt in a while.
The Amazing Spider-Man #2
Written by Nick Spencer
Pencils by Ryan Ottley
Inks by Cliff Rathburn
Colors by Laura Martin
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Ottley & Martin
Spencer and Ottley are showing why they are a great choice for this book. The tone of this book is perfect for a Spider-Man story. The visuals are the right mix of cartoonish and wild super-hero style. The MJ and Peter scenes are incredibly heartwarming. The next issue has a lot of explaining to do based on the final page reveal. We will be eagerly awaiting that.
American Gods: My Ainsel #5
Dark Horse Comics
Story and Words by Neil Gaiman
Script and Layout by P. Craig Russel
Art by Scott Hampton & Mark Buckingham
Colors by Jennifer T. Lange, Scott Hampton & Chris Blythe
Letters by Rick Parker
Cover Art by Glenn Fabry with Adam Brown
While this is an adaptation of prose work, it is a wonderful comic book. Full disclosure, we have not read the source material. This issue includes only four pages of the overarching story and a seventeen page back story with art by the great Mark Buckingham. It is a truly beautifully done piece of storytelling.
Written by Mike Carey
Artist by Donny Hadiwidjaja
Colors by Mohan
Letters by Crank!
Cover art by Johnny Desjardins & Mohan
Mike Carey is doing fantastic work on this series. The unfettered peace that guides Barbarella’s life is refreshing. Carey does a sublime job of turning a story of blatant physical wantonness into a sweet comment on emotional satisfaction. This is an excellent example of how a “one and done” comic can be accomplished today. The art in this story is masterfully done by Hadiwidjaja. The word “Mature” on the cover is appropriate in every way as this is a comic for grown ups.
Charlie’s Angels #2
Written by John Layman
Art by Joe Eisma
Colors by Celeste Woods
Letters by Taylor Esposito
Cover art by Stephane Roux
For a comic based on and in the universe of a four decade old television series, Layman and Eisma bring an engaging and interesting tale to readers regardless of their experience with the source material. This is a book full of fun and excitement. It is fantastically illustrated by Joe Eisma. The story is smart and clear, and it continues to build from the last issue. The tone of the visuals serve to enhance the mood of the story in strong ways.
Detective Comics #985
Written by Bryan Hill
Artist by Philippe Briones
Colors by Adriano Lucas
Letters by Sal Cipriano
Cover art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira & Lucas
Bryan Hill’s arc involving the newly created villain Karma continues to be developed in the issue. There is quite a bit of revelation and building tension. Briones does an excellent job of making this clearly a Batman book. His clean lines and panel layouts are important to the tone of the story.
Doomsday Clock #6
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank
Colors by Brad Anderson
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover art by Frank & Anderson
Everyone has their own tastes, but I can never get enough of Gary Frank art in front of me. This issue does not disappoint in that respect. The origin story of newly created and terrifying characters Mime and Marrionette is sad and poignant. The story of the search for Dr. Manhattan and the Supermen Theory are explored outside the backstory, and while there are some interesting developments, the pace remains slow. The fact that this is issue 6 of 12 is what causes a sense of anxiety regarding the story development speed. It is however a captivating story, so here’s hoping the second half of the series is as satisfying as the first.
Written by Joshua Williamson
Artist by Scott Kolins
Colors by Luis Guerrero
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover art by Howard Porter & Hi-Fi
This issue of Williamson’s Flash Opus serves two purposes. First, it cleans up the wreckage of the “Flash War” arc. Second, it acts as a prelude to the Heroes in Crisis series that starts in September. Kolins’ line work is superb as expected. The redheaded Wally West’s pain and struggle are the primary focus of this very fine Flash book.
Infinity Wars Prime #1
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Mike Deodato Jr.
Colors by Frank Martin
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover art by Deodato Jr. & Martin
It appears that this is the final issue before we really get into the Infinity Wars event that starts next month. This issue is beautifully laid out and drawn by Mike Deodato Jr. and contains some truly surprising events. The landscape and conflict of the coming war is beginning to take shape in this book.
Justice League Dark #1
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils: Alvaro Martinez Bueno
Inks by Raul Fernandez
Colors by Brad Anderson
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover art by Martinez Bueno, Fernandez, & Anderson
It is difficult to say enough good things about this book. Tynion has taken the massively cataclysmic events from the end of Metal and No Justice and carved out a clear objective for the team that Wonder Woman is trying to build. He is right at home in this corner of the DC Universe. The voice of each character is well crafted, and the tone of the story is appropriately terrifying. Martinez Bueno’s imagery is stunning and invites you even further into the page. This is easily one of the best books of the week if not the month.
The Long Con #1
Written by Dylan Meconis & Ben Coleman
Art by Ea Denich
Colors by M. Victoria Robado
Letters by Aditya Didikar
Cover art by Denich with Robado
This debut issue from Oni has us intrigued. Denich’s style is cartoony which is appropriate for the ridiculous premise of the story. The book is funny and interesting. The story is set up to be explored in many ways. This is a solid first issue.
Marvel 2 in One #8
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Artist by Ramon K. Perez
Colors by Federico Blee
Letters by VC’S Joe Caramagna
Cover art by Jay Anacleto and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
We really enjoyed this issue of Marvel 2 in 1. There is no superhero action in this comic, but it is not missed. The strained emotional states of Johnny and Ben are explored. Zdarsky does an excellent job of putting everything on the table for the travelling heroes. A well done interlude in this multiversal adventure story.
Multiple Man #2
Written by Matt Rosenberg
Artist by Andy MacDonald
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover art by Marcos Martin
Jamie is just a trouble magnet. Rosenberg keeps the action going in this issue. Maddrox’s mistakes haunt him as he tries to make things right, and over the top craziness ensues. The inherent landmines of time-travel and Jamie Maddrox are difficult to navigate, and so far, this series seems to be doing a fine job of doing that while telling an intriguing story. MacDonald’s style is perfect for this chaotic tale, and he is doing a great job bringing the crazy.
Punks Not Dead #6
Black Crown / IDW
Written by David Barnett
Artist by Martin Simmonds
Letters by Aditya Bidikar
Cover art by Martin Simmonds
Let’s take a moment to applaud Shelly Bond and Black Crown Pub. Quality comic publications continue to pour from the tap of this imprint’s keg. This issue really brings the story forward and explains a lot of the motivations for the series. Simmonds art is continually excellent in this series. Barnett has a masterful grasp over these characters and he even managed to change our opinion of some for the better with this issue. We look forward to this book as always.
The Terrifics #6
Written by Jeff Lemire
Pencils by Joe Bennett
Inks by Sandra Hope and Matt Santorelli
Colors by HI-FI
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover art by Dale Eaglesham & MIke Atiyeh
The Terrifics is a classic superhero comic on a monthly basis. It doesn’t try to be too much, but brings a good dose of action, adventure, and conflict. Bennett’s characterization continues to be inventive and thrilling. It feels like the team will soon be in some of the most trouble that they have been in since they have been stuck with each other.
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Artist by Juann Cabal
Colors by Nolan Woodard
Letters by VC’S Cory Petit
Cover art by Mike Choi & Jesus Aburtov
This is quickly becoming one of the top books out there. Tamaki and Cabal are building an exciting mystery story, while maintaining the hilarious and loving nuances of the Laura/Gabby relationship. This issue raises the stakes for Laura and has us eagerly waiting for the next issue.
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.