Everything We Read This Week – 01/02/2019

Welcome to our first review column of the new year.  This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

There are a lot of good books out this week. We reviewed a bunch of them below. We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Boom!, and Aftershock. Make sure you go find some comics to read.  Hopefully, you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics.

Marvel Comics tribute covers to Stan Lee continue this week. DC also added a tribute to Stan on the last page of their books starting this week.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. You will see books that we were looking forward to with the designation Hot #1 by them. There are a few of them out this week and they are really good.

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, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.

The rating system is as follows:

Great

 Good

 OK

 Not Good

Also look for the book we deemed Favorite Book of the Week. It is the comic that we like the most this week. The criteria are difficult to pin down, but suffice to say it is a book that moved us.

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Action Comics #1006, Animosity #18, Books of Magic #3, Champions #1, Coda #8, Conan: The Barbarian #1, Detective Comics #995, Heroes in Crisis #4, Hex Wives #3, Marvel Knights #5, Runaways #17, Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #4, Uncanny X-Men #8, Winter Soldier #2

Action Comics #1006
DC Comics
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Ryan Sook
Colors by Brad Anderson
Letters by Josh Reed
Cover Art by Sook

The mix of page time between Clark Kent and Superman in this issue is one of the best features of it. Bendis captures the tone and soul of the man in either of his personae to a fantastic degree. Ryan Sook’s ability to portray a quiet strength is formidable. The mystery in the story that they are telling is becoming more clear. This is a very good comic book.

 


Animosity #18
Aftershock Comics
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Layouts by Rafael De Latorre
Finishes by Elton Thomasi
Colors by Rob Schwager
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Cover Art by De Latorre & Marcelo Maiolo

All out war explodes in this issue. The art takes center stage in the storytelling as a lot of the written words in this issue are parts of a song lyric. The battle waged in a rain storm is masterfully done. Bennett has done an excellent job of moving this story forward and now is taking it to a new place.

 

 


Books of Magic #3
Sandman Universe / DC Comics
Written by Kat Howard
Art by Tom Fowler
Colors by Jordan Boyd
Letters by Todd Klein
Cover Art by Kat Carpenter

Tom Fowler does a wonderful job illustrating the story in this comic. It is clear and easily read but nuanced in important ways to add depth to the characters. Kat Howard’s story continues to be engaging. The exploration of magic that Tim Hunter is practicing is fun and interesting. There is a very real feeling of trepidation by the audience for what will happen next to young Tim. A quality comic by all involved.

 

 


Champions #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Jim Zub
Art by Steven Cummings
Colors by Marcio Menzy with Erick Arciniega
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Kim Jacinto & Rain Beredo

 Hot #1

The Champions are back. Marvel’s young heroes are in a new number one issue. We are not sure why there was any need to restart the numbering of this series. The issue itself is still the same quality storytelling that we expect from Jim Zub with these characters, and Cummings art is very good. The tale that is being introduced looks to be pretty important, and we will look forward to where it goes.

 

 


Coda #8
Boom! Studios
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Matias Bergara
Colors by Michael Doig
Letters by Jim Campbell
Cover Art by Matias Bergara

Fans of this series must have noticed an undercurrent of anxiety in the main character. In this issue, that undercurrent becomes a fully grown tidal wave of desperation that floods every page of this comic. This is a turning point issue. Spurrier turns the storytelling on its head by having a different narrator, and the climax is game changing for the characters. Bergara’s art sings in this issue. His usual excellent work in visually describing this amazing world is turbocharged with the massive emotions that are unleashed in this issue. This is an excellent series and an excellent issue.

 


Conan: The Barbarian #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mahmud Asrar
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover Art by Esad Ribic

 Hot #1

Conan returns to Marvel with this issue. It is visually gorgeous. The gory battle scenes are wonderfully rendered. The extra sized story is expertly told by Aaron. There is just enough back story explanation to help those unfamiliar with non-Schwarzenegger Conan, without turning off long-time comic fans. Aaron’s first Conan story is interesting as he puts the hero directly in harm’s way right off the bat. This looks to be the start of something good.

 

 


Detective Comics #995
DC Comics
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Jaime Mendoza
Colors by David Baron
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover Art by Mahnke, Mendoza & Baron

Pete Tomasi and Doug Mahnke are a phenomenal team. Tomasi is crafting some seriously excellent story points, and the dialogue is strong and gripping. Mahnke brings the emotional points all the way home with the panel layouts and facial acting in this issue. Beyond the fantastic work of the creative talent on this issue, there is at least one very serious consequence that will impact Batman moving forward.

 

 


Heroes in Crisis #4
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Art by Clay Mann
Colors by Tomeu Morey
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Trevor Hairsine & Rain Beredo

 Favorite Book of the Week

This is the first “Favorite Book of the Week” here at Everything We Read. We have enjoyed this series all along, and in this issue the storytelling is the best yet. The scenes and events that the audience is allowed to witness are coherent and understandable without giving the secrets away. The scene in the Batcave involving the “Trinity” is incredibly powerful story crafting. The “Sanctuary Videos” that are shown are heartbreaking. There are some outstanding pages in terms of Clay Mann’s art. Just stunningly beautiful. There has been some hubbub on the interwebs about some of the art choices in this issue. We have not taken offense at any of it. There is a very serious emotional story being told here. There are very strong female characters playing lead roles in this story. We don’t see the female exploitation that has been asserted elsewhere. This is our Favorite Book of the Week.


Hex Wives #3
Vertigo / DC Comics
Written by Ben Blacker
Art by Mirka Andolfo
Colors by Marisaa Louise
Letters by Josh Reed
Cover Art by Mingiue Helen Chen

The premise of this story leads the reader to expect a certain outcome. The antagonists in this story are trying to change a centuries old pattern of their failure. What makes this a good series is that getting to the expected end is being told in an exciting and intriguing way. This issue raises the stakes for the antagonists and the witches feel a little closer to enlightenment. The way that Blacker keeps the coven in a state of confusion is an excellent bit of writing, and Mirka Andolfo’s images are wonderful in this issue.

 


Marvel Knights #5
Marvel Comics
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Niko Henrichon
Colors by Laurent Grossat
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover Art by Geoff Shaw & Rain Beredo

Matt Rosenberg and Niko Henrichon made a very nice comic book for this tag team series. The pressure is rising as the amnesiatic heroes are getting closer to clarity. The twist to the end of this issue was truly surprising. Henrichon’s layout and execution of the panels, especially the fight scenes, in this issue are excellent.

 

 


Runaways #17
Marvel Comics
Written by Rainbow Rowell
Art by Kris Anka
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Anka

This is a very fun, tense, crazy comic book. The intensity gets higher as the deadline the family has been dreading comes due. It is a very “Runaways” story, and that is a good thing. Kris Anka and Matthew Wilson both do an excellent job in capturing the emotions that the group are dealing with. The last page is a shocker, and we will be waiting to see how that turns out.

 


Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #4
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Gerard Way
Art by Gabriel Ba
Colors by Nick Filardi
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover Art by Ba

This comic issue is filled with advancing storylines. Throughout this series, the Academy members have been scattered and unaware of each other’s actions. While each individual story has been intriguing on its own, it appears as they are about to come together. The story telling is strong in this issue both literally and visually.

 

 


Uncanny X-Men #8
Marvel Comics
Written by Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson & Ed Brisson
Pencil by R.B. Silva
Ink by Adriano Di Benedetto
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Roberto Poggi & Guru-eFX

For a weekly series, the plot keeps moving a nice pace. This issue picks up back in the main universe after last week’s interlude in the Age of Apocalypse, and there are some serious events that take place. R.B. Silva does a good job with in portraying the action that takes place in this issue. The three writers are certainly keeping readers on their toes.

 


Winter Soldier #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Rod Reis
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Reis

This is an excellent comic. The quiet way that the madness and violence are portrayed at times is a fantastic technique. Reis’ painted style is perfect for this book. The violence that is committed here is muted but not diminished by the more abstract style. Higgins is telling a hell of a story, and we are captivated by it.

 

 

 

 

Well, that is it for this week. Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think about these books or any books you are reading in the comments.

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