Everything We Read This Week – 9/19/2018

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 is a big week that is full of plenty of good comics. We have reviews for twenty books that came out this week for you. There were some other books that we didn’t even get to yet. It’s a good time to be reading comics.

DISCLAIMER: 

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:

Aphrodite V #3, Avengers #8, Batman #55, Batman: Damned #1, Coda #5, Crude #6, Death or Glory #5, Dr. Strange #5, Justice League #8, Mata Hari #5, Mister Miracle #11, Multiple Man #4, Nightwing #49, Oh S#!T It’s Kim & Kim #2, Pearl #2, Return of Wolverine #1, Seven to Eternity #11, Summit #9, The Wild Storm #17, X-Men Gold #36

Aphrodite V #3
Image Comics
Written by Bryan Hill
Art by Jeff Spokes
Letters by Troy Peteri
Cover Art by Spokes

This is a very visually dark book. The story becomes more fascinating as it goes along, and the characters continue to grow and become more interesting. Hill and Spokes are a well oiled machine when it comes to this book. The layout and storyline flows very well with the art. While the lack of sunlight can be disconcerting, it is a story that we are looking forward to seeing to resolution.

 

 

 

Avengers #8
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by David Marquez
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover Art by Marquez & Ponsor

The Avengers take a break from their world saving adventure following the first arc of this run. David Marquez does an excellent job displaying the new headquarters Avengers Mountain. Aaron uses this between-the-arcs issue to clean up some unanswered questions and clearly establish the status quo for this team of Avengers. There are interesting developments as well that we can expect will be explored in future issues.

 

 

Batman #55
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Pencils by Tony S. Daniel
Inks by Daniel & Danny Miki
Colors by Tomeu Morey
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Daniel & Morey

Some of the best Batman and Nightwing interaction ever is in this book. There is light hearted banter that belies strong emotional bonds. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments in this issue as King’s command of humor is on full display. Daniel’s adeptness with switching between panel overlaying splash pages and nine panel grids is fantastic. The pacing of this story is just awesome as the original dynamic duo work their way through patrol at the same time that an assassin arrives and makes his way through Gotham. A serious cliffhanger has us eagerly awaiting the next issue.

 

Batman: Damned #1
DC Comics / Black Label
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Lee Bermejo
Letters by Jared K. Fleischer
Cover Art by Bermejo

Well, it is easy to say that this is the most controversial book of the week. The inaugural issue of the DC Black Label “Mature Readers” line certainly has people talking. Let us get out of the way that the imagery is phenomenal, and not because of certain anatomical displays. Bermejo’s painted style is perfectly suited for this heavily supernatural tale. It is important and difficult to remember that the stories in this publishing line are not necessarily current canon. There are hints of infidelity that did not sit well and the germainity to the story for that revelation is not immediately apparent. The tale being told seems to be intriguing and we will continue to see where it goes.

 

 

Coda #5
Boom Studios
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Matias Bergara
Color assists by Michael Doig
Letters by Jim Campbell
Cover art by Bergara & Jordan Boyd

There is quite a lot of revealing going on in this issue of Coda. The alternate post-magical world in which this story takes place is complicated. Spurrier and Bergara do an excellent job of giving more backstory to both the world and the main characters while moving the story forward. The twists that this book takes are very refreshing as it feels like there are lots of place for the creators to go in this realm. This is definitely a book that week look forward to each month.

 

 

 

Crude #6
Image Comics
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Garry Brown
Colors by Lee Loughridge
Letters by Thomas Mauer
Cover Art by Brown & Loughridge

This is the final issue to this story. It is brutal and as full of emotion as it is violence. Make no mistake this series has been full of violence. Orlando and Brown wove a tale that comes to a fitting conclusion here. If you haven’t been following this series, you are missing out. Look for the trade paperback to be out shortly and do yourself a favor and pick up this story.

 

 

 

Death or Glory #5
Image Comics
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Bengal
Letters by Rus Wooton
Cover Art by Bengal

Remender and Bengal are building a heart pounding tale full of near miss chases and harrowing moments. The art is amazing from the lines to the colors. The panel sequencing and facial “acting” only serve to further the frenetic events of the story. This is an exciting ride of comic book. Put on your seatbelt and take it all in.

 

 

 

 

Doctor Strange #5
Marvel Comics
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Jesus Saiz
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover Art by Javier Garron & Dean White

Mark Waid has opened a new toybox for the Sorcerer Supreme in this tale. This is the first issue where Dr. Strange has almost a full complement of his power and personality. There is an interesting conclusion to the problem presented in the previous issue, but the tease for the next issue is certainly shocking. Saiz continues to bring gorgeous art to this series and is a big factor in our continuing to look forward to it.

 

 

 

Justice League #8
DC Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Mikel Janin
Colors by Jeromy Cox
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover Art by Janin

In this issue, the story veres to focus heavily on the villians in the Legion of Doom. There is some interesting revisionist backstory explanations. Mikail Janin’s art is fabulous, as expected, and James Tynion IV is one of the best comic writers today. The problem that has been plaguing this series is pacing. It feels just a little too slow, and that there will be a rush to reveal all the secrets that are being teased.

 

 

 

Mata Hari #5
Dark Horse / Berger Books
Written by Emma Beeby
Art by Ariela Krisantina
Colors by Pat Masiomi
Letters by Sal Cipriano

The finale of this historical biographical comic is truly the best issue in the series. Beeby and Kristantin do a fantastic job of wrapping the story that they have been telling in pieces throughout the series. The art sings. The desperation of the protagonist is tangible. This comic is not for everyone, but it is really good, and I am glad it was made.

 

 

 

Mister Miracle #11
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Art by Mitch Gerads
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Nick Derrington

We are nearing the end of this series. That is the only negative thing that I can say about this book. King and Gerads story is full of suspense, action, humor, and tragedy. It has everything. This issue is particularly intense with little Jacob’s future in jeopardy. The pacing is perfect, and the last pages of this issue set up the finale to be a thrilling event.

 

 

 

Multiple Man #4
Marvel Comics
Written by Matt Rosenberg
Art by Andy MacDonald
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover Art by Marco Martin

Wow. This is a difficult undertaking. Telling a story that involves duplicates and time travel is bound to challenge the creators and the reader to keep everything straight. Kudos to Travis Lanham for doing a great job in keeping the words clearly identifiable to the appropriate dupe. With the crazy chaos that was introduced at the end of the first issue finally explained and cleaned up here, Rosenberg ends with even more crazy chaos. This is a good book, but you might need a drink after reading it. (Or maybe during.)

 

 

Nightwing #49
DC Comics
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Amancay Nahuelpan
Colors by Nick Filardi
Letters by Carlos M. Managual
Cover Art by Mike Perkins & Dave McCaig

This is an acceptable comic. It does the job of telling the story that was developed in the previous issue. The art is nice and understandable. I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. There are characters that show up, and their description and reason for being there is lacking. The actual plot is weird as well. I do not understand how a technological villain is interested in a supernatural prize. Also, one question means one question. Doesn’t it? Hoping for better next month.

 

 

 

Oh S#!T It’s Kim & Kim #2
Black Mask Studios
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Eva Cabrera
Colors by Claudia Aguirre
Letters by Zakk Saam
Cover art by Phillip Sevy

This comic is wonderful. It is full of action during a heist that goes wrong. While that is going on there is some very serious emotional exploration into Kim Q’s past. Visaggio does an excellent job talking about the issues of transitioning in the most natural way. That is not often done as successfully as it is here. The best part about this comic is that the story is clean and clear. Cabrera’s style is perfect and fantastically executed. We absolutely cannot wait for the next issue of this wild book.

 

 

 

Pearl #2
DC Comics / Jinxworld
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Michael Gaydos
Letters by Joshua Reed
Cover Art by Gaydos

The second issue in this series begins to explain more of the vague plot points that were put forth in the first issue. Bendis and Gaydos have stabilized the story and moved the plot forward well. This crime heavy series is intriguing with interesting characters and a sympathetic lead. It feels like a keeper so far.

 

 

 

 

Return of Wolverine #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Charles Soule
Pencils by Steve McNiven
Inks by Jay Leisten
Colors by Laura Martin
Letters by Joe Sabino
Cover Art by McNiven & Martin

Wolverine is back. He is not old or female. It is the original Logan. This issue is beautifully illustrated. The combination of McNiven and Leisten is fantastic and Laura Martin is truly a master at lighting and color palette choices. There is a lot going on in the book that has yet to be explained. It is an enjoyable read and satisfying to look at.

 

 

Seven to Eternity #11
Image Comics
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Jerome Opena
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Rus Wooton
Cover Art by Opena

Remender and Opena’s space opera morality play filled with magic continues in this issue. Opena’s design and artistic execution is phenomenal. The characters are compelling. It is a good story. However as we get deeper, I wonder if the purpose gets lost. The tragedy of Adam Osidis has the audience filled with anxiety about his fate. Regardless, this story is still a quality add to the pull-list.

 

 

 

Summit #9
Lion Forge
Written by Amy Chu
Art by Will Rosado & Marika Cresta
Colors by Sotocolor
Letters by DC Hopkins
Cover art by Valentine De Landro

This underrated comic continues to plow forward with high quality plotlines and excellent art. The characterization in this book is some of Amy Chu’s finest work. The action and developments within this issue, while at times being surprising, keep this long form story moving in the right direction. We find this book surprisingly finds its way to the top portion of the reading pile whenever it comes out.

 

 

 

The Wild Storm #17
DC Comics
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Jon Davis-Hunt
Colors by Brian Buccallato
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover Art by Davis-Hunt

We are more than two-thirds of the way through this story. It is really good. The art is beautiful. The storytelling is entertaining. There are parts of the old Wildstorm Universe being explored in each issue. I am not sure that there is a singular purpose to telling this tale. If it is only to let Warren Ellis play with those characters, that is fine. However, the world being built is worthy of a life of its own. One last thing, we are excited to see the shadowy figures shown in the last panel soon.

 

 

 

X-Men Gold #36
Marvel Comics
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Pere Perez
Colors by Jay David Ramos
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover Art by Phil Noto

In the final issue of this series, Marc Guggenheim created something special. This is the best single issue of the entire run. It is a one and done story that calls to mind the Claremont stories of the early Eighties. The book has really been a Kitty Pryde vehicle and this conclusion is fittingly touches on everything that is great about her. It is heartbreakingly sad, but much of the stories of mutantkind are. However, there is this little glimmer of hope in this that we can make the world a better place that always came with X-Men stories. Let’s hold on to that glimmer and make it shine. Thanks for the ride Marc.

 

 

Well, that is it for this week. We will be at Baltimore Comic Con next week; so, look for a shorter Top Picks column next Sunday. Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think about these books or any books you are reading in the comments.