Everything We Read This Week – 8/1/2018

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 again had a lot of high-quality books. In getting around to put this post together, there is a bit of reminiscence from the books that I read just a few days ago, and it made me realize that there is some really good comic book work being done these days.

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:

Click a link below if you want to jump to a particular review

Adventures of the Super Sons #1, Animosity #15, Astonishing X-men #14, Batman #52, Captain America #2, Dark Ark #9, Infinity Wars #1, Justice League #5, Leviathan #1, Mister Miracle #10, Nightwing #47, Seeds #1, Seven to Eternity #10, Shade the Changing Woman #6, X-Men Gold #33

Adventures of the Super Sons #1
DC Comics
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Carlo Barberi
Inks by Art Thibert
Colors by Protobunker
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover Art by Dan Mora

The adventures of Damian Wayne and Jon Kent continue in this maxi-series. They are in the capable hands of Peter Tomasi who knows them best. The story takes place in the past of the DC Universe; so, the reader can relax and enjoy this tale outside of what will be going on for the next twelve months of DC proper. The setup for the story is welcoming and engaging. The art is dynamic and well done. This comic calls back to the teenage fun of the original Young Justice book, and we are looking forward to more.

 

Animosity #15
Aftershock Comics
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Artist by Rafael de Latorre
Colors by Rob Schwager with Dee Cunniffe
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Cover Art by de Latorre w/ Marcelo Maiolo

Bennett and de Latorre give the reader a break from the terrible events of this excellent series in this issue. The back-story of Kyle is beautiful and poignant. Considering his current state, Kyle’s memories are even more heartbreaking. The art is, as expected, exquisite in this book.

 

 

Astonishing X-Men #14
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 with D’Armata

The second issue of this arc ramps up the action even more, if that is possible. Rosenberg’s storytelling is extremely well done. The little reveals that are sprinkled throughout the issue keep the readers on their toes. Land’s lines and scene sets are terrific. This group of “not exactly” X-Men are in for a rough ride, and there is still so much to be learned. This is a really solid X-Men book.

 

Batman #52
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Artist by Lee Weeks
Colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Weeks & Breitweiser

Bruce Wayne’s stint in jury duty continues here. King manages to lead the reader on a jury’s view of a mystery, while allowing the subtext to explore Batman’s pain and self-loathing. Enough praise cannot be stated for Lee Weeks and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s visual portrayal of what is a deeply cerebral storyline. Overall, this is a fantastic issue that leaves the reader doubting themself and unsure of where the trial will end.

 

Captain America #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Ta-Nehsi Coates
Pencils by Leinil Francis Yu
Ink by Gerry Alanguilan & Leinil Francis Yu
Colors by Sunny Gho
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Alex Ross

This is beautifully drawn by Leinil Yu. It is a bit of a slow story in which Coates explores the motivations of Steve Rogers. The mood of the series is certainly ominous and feels like it will be character defining for the Captain, but we haven’t gotten there yet.

 

 

Dark Ark #9
Aftershock Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Artist by Juan Doe
Letters by Ryane Hill
Cover Art by Juan Doe

The tension continues to rise on the Dark Ark, and there are some reveals at the end of the issue that have us wanting more. The interesting interlude flashback scenes provide glimpses into the people who were lost to the flood and Shrae’s personal worldview. This complicated biblical tale continues to impress and Juan Doe has built a steady solid feel for this world that is present in every panel of every page of this series.

 

 

Infinity Wars #1
Marvel Comics
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

Well we are in it now! The new Infinity Watch gets together, and the enemy is revealed. There has been quite a lot of “lead up” to this series, and much of it felt like “lead up” work. On its own, this issue is terrific. Mike Deodato is a great choice for a big Marvel Universe event book. The darkness and shadow that he brings to the panels feel right in this story. While there are cosmic events occuring, there is a sense of dread and ominousness that come through wonderfully.

 

 

Justice League #5
DC Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Jaime Mendoza
Colors by Wil Quintana
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover Art by Mahnke, Mendoza, & Quintana

While this issue is an interlude backstory to the events that happened between Justice League: No Justice and Justice League #1, it is fantastic. This illuminates the plans and motivations for Luthor’s Legion of Doom in all the best ways. Tynion is an excellent writer and his mastery of the single issue story is on display here. Mahnke’s layout and facial acting are phenomenal. This is the best issue of this series so far.

 

Leviathan #1
Image Comics
Written by John Layman
Artist by Nick Pitarra
Colors by Michael Garland
Letters by John Layman
Cover Art by Nick Pitarra

John Layman is off to a terrific start with this new series. The events of this issue set up a disaster story with supernatural origins, but the primary character that is introduced is certainly nothing special, which surely will make his challenges even greater. Pittara’s imagery is impressive in scale and beauty. Layman’s ability to turn happenstance into critical plot points is wonderful and has us definitely looking for more from this series.

 

Mister Miracle #10
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Pencils by Mitch Gerads
Ink by Mitch Gerads
Colors by Mitch Gerads
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Nick Derington

Full disclosure: This book is so good that I have already read it twice. It is a joy to read. The little bits of hilarious meta humor are the pieces of the book that snap you back to the reality that you are reading a comic book. It is a comic book. This book is so full of emotional turmoil that you need those breaks. Of course, Gerads continues his master class in nine-panel storytelling. There is a panel of Barda in this issue that will bring you to tears and make you want to hold her. Ok, those are all the words that I can come up with for this issue other than. Wow!

Nightwing #47
DC Comics
Written by Benjamin Percy
Artist by Chris Mooneyham
Ink by Klaus Janson
Colors by Nick Filardi
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Art by Mike Perkins and Dave McCaig

This issue brings the Dark Web storyline to a close. It is well constructed and the story, while not ending, comes to a suitable stopping point. The pair of Percy and Mooneyham have done a good job in finding an appropriate voice and tone for the main character. It will be interesting to see where they take Nightwing from here.

 

 

The Seeds #1
Dark Horse / Berger Books
Written by Ann Nocenti and David Aja
Art and Letters by David Aja

We have been waiting for this series since the Berger Books imprint was first announced. It did not disappoint us. It opens into a near futuristic world that is so believable it is scary. Aja’s lines and shadows are haunting and captivating. Ann Nocenti’s script is fantastic. This opening salvo in this sci-fi horror story hits it mark and then some. Issue #2 can’t come fast enough.

 

 

 

Seven to Eternity #10
Image Comics
Written by Rick Remender
Artist by Jerome Opeña
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Rus Wooton

Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña’s alien magical story finally returns with this issue. The world that Opeña has created in this series is stunning to behold. The descent and resignation of the lead character is palpable, and Remender’s use of the line between guilt and acceptance is exquisitely done. It’s good to have this book back.

 

 

Shade, the Changing Woman #6
DC’s Young Animal
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Artist by Marley Zarcone
Ink by Ande Parks
Colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters by Saiba Temofonte
Cover Art by Becky Cloonan

This is the final issue of one of the trippiest and wonderfly cultivated stories in recent memory. It is a masterpiece. Zarcone’s unique style has been the perfect vessel for Castellucci’s madness filled scripts. Everytime the creative team leads in a direction the reader becomes comfortable with, the story changes and in this excellent conclusion the fluid nature of this story is on display with remarkable success.

 

X-Men Gold #33
Marvel Comics
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Artist by Michele Bandini
Colors by Erick Arciniega
Letters by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art by Phil Noto

The X-Men are dealing with the fallout of Rachel’s possession in this issue and a new challenge is presented to Storm. This is a very good issue. The writing and the art are complementary and the story is well presented.

 

 

 

Scheduling Note: Due to vacations and conventions the next couple of weeks, the next two installments of this column will be trimmed down to a the “Top Five Books We Read” instead of everything. We are looking to go back to the normal format after this short hiatus.

Thanks for reading and sticking with us. Also, as always, feel free to comment on what you thought of the books that we mention or whatever else you read this week.