Everything We Read This Week – 01/16/2019

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week.  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 new comic books out this week. There are some new series and some ending of story arcs that make it a pretty mixed bag. At first, when I began this column, I wasn’t super thrilled about the crop of new releases, but there really are some high quality comic books out this week. Check down below and you’ll see.  We say this often, but seriously, GO OUT AND FIND SOME COMICS TO READ!! They are good for you.

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, Black Crown, Titan Comics, Aftershock, and Ahoy Comics. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics.

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:

 

The Amazing Spider-Man #13, Black Widow #1, Breakneck #2, Captain Ginger #4, Conan the Barbarian #2, Dark Ark #13, Detective Comics #996, Electric Warriors #3, Fantastic Four #6, Invaders #1, Justice League Dark #7, Lodger #3, Middlewest #3, Outpost Zero #6, Summit #12, Supergirl #26, Superman #7,
Titans #33, Uncanny X-Men #10, Wonder Woman #62


The Amazing Spider-Man #13
Marvel Comics
Written by Nick Spencer
Pencils by Ryan Ottley
Inks by Cliff Rathburn
Colors by Laura Martin and Andrew Crossley
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Ottley & Martin

In this issue of Amazing, there is quite a lot going on. The origin of the previous conflict is revealed; there is some clean up, and a new conflict is introduced. All of the plot and characterization is understandable and recognizable. Ryan Ottley’s work here is really well done. The panel sizes and camera angles along with the zoom ratio of the shots are all excellent. We were hoping for a bit more UMPH in the resolution to the previous primary conflict, but you can’t win them all. The next plot arc that is introduced at the end of the issue looks intriguing.


Black Widow #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Jen & Sylvia Soska
Art by Flaviano
Colors by Veronica Gandini
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Clayton Crain

 Hot #1

The Soska Sisters make a transition from film to comic books with this new series. The issue itself is good. The opening half of the book is a bit clunky, but the second half really picks up steam. The mission presented and the locations used feel much more comfortable to use with the character in the second part of the book. The art is nicely done. The action sequences and background work are particularly impressive. With the way the book ends, there is enough a spark of interest to see what happens next.

 


Breakneck #2
Titan Books
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Simone Guglielmini & Raffaele Semeraro
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Jimmy Betancourt

 Favorite Book of the Week

This is a really fun book. It is fast paced with a smart dialogue and some amazing art work. I don’t know if I like any of the characters in this book people, but it doesn’t matter. I am invested in their mission, and am rooting for the “good guys” to prevent disaster. The art by Guglielmini, Semeraro, and Chuckry is damn near cinematic. The landscape and background setting is perfect. The colors evoke an accurate portrayal of South East Pennsylvania in winter to the point that you might need a sweater to read this comic. This is our Favorite Book of the Week.

 


Captain Ginger #4
Ahoy Comics
Written by Stuart Moore
Pencils by June Brigman
Inks by Roy Robinson
Colors by Veronica Gandini
Letters by Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
Cover Art by Brigman, Robinson & Gandiani

The finale to the first arc of this crazy space cat adventure story is well done. There is not quite as much chaotic action in this as in the previous issues, but the narrative is very smooth, and this issue goes a long way in developing the baselines for the story’s setting. June Brigman’s cats are just wonderful. Let’s be honest, we could see June Brigman draw anything, and it would be fantastic. We are happy with the way this arc ended and will be looking forward to Captain Ginger’s return.

 


Conan the Barbarian #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mahmud Asar
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover Art by Esad Ribic

Jason Aaron delivers an excellent story in this issue. Asrar’s visuals are in lock step with the story development. The conflict presented to Conan is compelling, and there are interesting choices that he must make that go a long way to developing character traits. The shadowy nature of the art brings a somberness that melds with the tone of the story. This type of vignette issue that contains just a hint to the larger conflict introduced in the last issue is a great choice for a second issue. This is a really well produced comic in both art and story.

 


Dark Ark #13
AfterShock Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Juan Doe
Letters by Ryane Hill
Cover Art by Doe

Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe’s biblical-era epic has ventured forth into a new realm, both literally and figuratively. With the voyage to land complete, the residents of the Ark are challenged to explore their new surroundings. The rise of a new conflict is adeptly portrayed with a heightened sense of danger that jumps off the pages. Doe’s color palette continues to be a great asset in setting the tone to each issue and a valuable storytelling tool. This series does not to appear to be over by a long shot, and that is a very good thing.

 

 


Detective Comics #996
DC Comics
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Jamie Mendoza & Mark Irwin
Colors by David Baron
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover by Mahnke, Mednoza & Baron

Peter Tomasi’s run on Detective Comics keeps rolling along at a frenetic pace with this issue. Mahnke’s ability to visually realize the bizarre monster antagonist is truly exceptional. This book has action, emotional impact, and a creative plot design. The setup for the next issue is intriguing as well.

 

 


Electric Warriors #3
DC Comics
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Travel Foreman
Colors by HI-FI
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover Art by Foreman & HI-FI

This book is intriguing. Visually, Foreman and HiFi execute a dynamic and colorful futurescape that is wonderful to behold. Orlando’s narrative is a challenging tale filled with morally questionable characters. The establishment of an atavistic solution to complex socio-political conflicts is quite the metaphor for the state of humanity. There is a serious dilemma brewing for the remaining characters in the rest of this post-“Great Disaster” tale.

 


Fantastic Four #6
Marvel Comics
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Aaron Kuder
Colors by Marte Garacia & Erick Arciniega
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Esad Ribic

Aaron Kuder delivers some cosmic level art in this issue. Dan Slott’s narrative is a very “Fantastic Four”-like story. There are massive world-threatening challenges that are methodically addressed in interesting ways. There are also a few humorous moments that serve to lighten the mood at important times. Massive revelations regarding Dr. Doom’s plans are expected in the next issue.

 


Invaders #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Chip Zdarski
Art by Carlos Magno with Butch Guice
Colors by Alex Guimaraes
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover Art by Guice & Romulo Fajardo Jr

 Hot #1

Man, Zdarsky can write! This is a very good comic book. It has the feel of the start of an excellent story. The transitions in storytelling from past to present are masterfully done. The use of different artists for different time periods is an inspired decision. The characterization for well known characters is spot-on. Interpersonal interaction is at the forefront of this comic that seems to be setting up a global conflict in the background. This is a great start to this series.

 


Justice League Dark #7
DC Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Alvaro Martinez Bueno
Inks by Raul Fernandez
Colors by Brad Anderson
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover Art by Martinez Bueno, Fernandez, & Anderson

What an interesting comic book! This issue tells a complete tale in the guise of a horror anthology that evokes memories of Creepy and Weird Fantasy. The short stories are horrifying on their own, but combined into the growing threat facing the world that the heroes are defending against, this issue should not be read while alone at night. Martinez Bueno captures the mind of James Tynion IV in the most terrifying way, and they combine to put out one of the scariest comics in some time.

 


Lodger #3
IDW / Black Crown
Written by David & Maria Lapham
Art by David Lapham
Cover Art by David Lapham

This book is not colored, and the page layouts are mostly eight equally sized rectangular panels. These are conventions long abandoned by modern comics, but it works so well in this issue and, really, in the series as a whole. The subject matter is positively creepy. There is a violent infectious madness on display that is extremely disconcerting. This is the kind of book that even though you might want to put it down, you just can’t because you NEED to know what happens next.

 

 


Middlewest #3
Image Comics
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Jorge Corona
Colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters by Nate Pekos of Blambot
Cover Art by Mike Huddleston

Skottie Young is building a hell of an engaging and exciting story in this series. The main character is immensely likeable and sympathetic. The ambient threats to his well-being make this a compelling story. This plot of this issue does a great job of advancing the journey of the protagonists while returning to previous plot points in order to bring them current. Jorge Corona’s visual description of the world of Middlewest is lovely. The character designs are attractively done. This series is definitely one of our favorites right now.

 


Outpost Zero #6
Image Comics
Written by Sean Kelley McKeever
Art by Alexandre Tefenkgi
Colors by Jean-Francosi Beaulieu
Letters by Ariana Maher

Sean McKeever’s outer space teen mystery series returns with its second arc in this issue. It is very well done. The character development has been a strong point of this series, and in this issue, McKeever takes it to another level. Tefenkgi delivers fantastic visuals to illuminate the emotional interaction of the characters. The plot revolves around an escalation of enveloping danger to the outpost and its secrets. Overall, this is a fantastic issue that results in intensifying everything that had been happening in the series so far.

 


Summit #12
Lion Forge Comics
Written by Amy Chu
Illustrated by Markia Cresta
Colors by Jessica Kholinne & Snakebite Cortez
Letters by DC Hopkins
Cover Art by Jess Taylor

If you are not reading this series, you are missing out. I have seen the pubic sales order data, and that is a lot of you out there who are missing out. Seriously, Amy Chu is doing fine work on this book. The cross country chase with the depowered hero is compelling and exciting. The child genius who flouts authority for the sake of those she loves is just a treasure. You must love Fiona. Marika Cresta’s art is stunning in this book. The facial acting and camera angles are just a couple of highlights. This book both displays and evokes emotion, and what more could you ask for?

 


Supergirl #26
DC Comics
Written by Marc Andreyko
Pencils by Kevin Maguire
Inks by Sean Parsons, Scott Hanna & Wade Van Grawbadger
Colors by FCO Plascencia & Chris Sotomayor
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover Art by Yanick Paquette with Nathan Fairbairn

Kevin Maguire returns to Marc Andreyko’s Supergirl odyssey, and it is wonderful. Andreyko dug into the vaults of DC villains to bring back Harry Hokum to pit against Kara’s team-up with the Omega Men. Well done. The on-point character development that we have come to expect in this series is on display again in this issue. Kevin Maguire’s panel layouts and pencils are nothing short of beautiful. This entertaining series continues to deliver month in and month out.

 


Superman #7
DC Comics
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Ivan Reis, Brandon Peterson & Jason Fabok
Ink by Oclair Albert
Colors by Alex Sinclair
Letters by Josh Reed & Carlos M Mangual
Cover Art by Reis, Prado, & Sinclair

Jon Kent has returned from space and time?!?! Bendis, Reis, and Peterson do a fantastic job in crafting an exciting and captivating comic. There are interesting personal challenges on display here, and the resolution of those challenges will go a long way toward resolving the “problem” of Jon Kent. There is a bit of Bendis telegraphing the play in DC Comics lately. With the return of Kon-El in Young Justice and now presenting a seventeen year old Jon Kent, it is obvious that they both can’t stay as Superboy.  Most of fandom believes that one will eventually end up in the returned Legion of Super-Heroes (finally, hopefully). Despite the future plans, this book is a good story with plenty of humor and action. We look forward to reading more about it.


Titans #33
DC Comics
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Bruno Redondo
Colors by HI-FI
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Cover Art by Mico Suayan & Blono

Dan Abnett seems like he had a lot of fun writing this issue. There are at least three Tolkien puns and lots of other jocularity. There is an invasion mission into a newly real dimension that has some pretty serious ramifications, and the humor doesn’t lessen the story. It cuts the super serious tension in the right way. Well done. I must mention Dave Sharpe’s lettering in this book. Wow! Fantastic! It was really important to the tone of the book and helped tell the story in important ways.

 


Uncanny X-Men #10
Marvel Comics
Written by Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson & Ed Brisson
Art by Pere Perez
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Roberto Poggi & Jason Keith

Well. The ten-week event is over. Visually it is a well done issue. Pere Perez did a great job on the art in in this issue. We don’t usually reveal content, but I am making an exception. All the X-Men are dead. Ok, now what? Oh, buy four other mini-series to see what happened while a new Uncanny continues next month. Sure.

 

 


Wonder Woman #62
DC Comics
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Xermanico
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters by Pat Brosseau
Cover Art by Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson

The end of G. Willow Wilson’s first arc on Wonder Woman is a very satisfying read. There are some real emotional character driven decisions in the plot of this issue that resolve the conflict in interesting ways. The art by Xermanico is excellent, and while it is not an action packed issue, it is certainly full of important story crafting. Kudos to the creative and editorial teams for bringing this series back to a high level.

 

 

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.