Everything We Read This Week – 02/20/2019

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.

This was a big week for comic books. There were a lot of quality books out there for all types of readers. There were some great new series that started. We try to read as much as we can to bring you recommendations on what good stuff is being produced. Unfortunately, we can’t read all the comics. So, remember to find what you like, GO OUT AND FIND SOME COMICS TO READ!! They are good for you.

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, Aftershock, Dynamite, Valiant, Titan Comics, Boom! Studios, and Albatross Funny Books this week. 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:

 

Aquaman #45, Avengers #15, Avengers: No Road Home #2, Batman #65, Bitter Root #4, Black Widow #2, Breakneck #3, Coda #9, Exorsisters #5, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3, Grumble #4, Guardians of the Galaxy #2, High Level #1, Incursion #1, Justice League #18, The Lone Ranger #5, Middlewest #4, Naomi #2, Outpost Zero #7, Return of Wolverine #5, Stronghold #1, Uncanny X-Men #12, The Wild Storm #20


Aquaman #45
DC Comics
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Pencils by Robson Rocha
Inks by Daniel Henriquers
Colors by Sunny Gho
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Rocha, Henriques, & Brad Anderson

DeConnick’s mystery story just got mythological in a major way. The dual narratives that weave their way through this issue are on there own compelling. However, the flashback mythological story gives some interesting clarity to the challenge that Aquaman is facing. The art in this issue is just stunning. The panel layouts are smartly designed. Gho’s colors keep this story with a bit of a somber tone as the conflict continues to escalate. We are very much invested in the story that Kelly Sue is telling here.


Avengers #15
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by David Marquez
Colors by Erick Arciniega
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Marquez & Justin Ponsor

The civil war within the vampire community rages on and Jason Aaron escalates the stakes in interesting ways. The four to five full-width horizontal panels per page layout structure really works to focus the reader’s attention and increase the tension. The storytelling puts the Ghost Rider in the center of the conflict, and we are loving the examination and expansion of the character.


Avengers: No Road Home #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Al Ewing, Jim Zub, & Mark Waid
Pencils by Paco Medina
Inks by Juan Vlasco
Colors by Jesus Aburtov
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover Art by Yasmine Putri

The storytelling in this book makes use of a reminiscent off-panel narrator. The simple narration is an interesting story, but the way that it fits in with the visual story being told enhances the whole issue. We have mentioned our reservations about this weekly, money-grabbing story. However, this conflict is a compelling tale and the characterization is well done. We are on-board. The art in this issue is excellent, and we hope that it will hold up as the rapid fire issues keep coming.


Batman #65
DC Comics
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Guillem March
Colors by Tomeu Morey
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover Art by Chris Burnham & Nathan Fairbairn

This is another weekly story being told across the pages of Batman and The Flash. The penultimate installment of this crossover is full of action and emotion. March’s marvelous dynamic action sequences are enhanced by the excellent facial acting on display. Williamson has the audience on fast paced thrill ride with a crazed Gotham Girl at the controls. It will all wrap up next issue, and we are excited to see where it ends.


Bitter Root #4
Image Comics
Written by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, & Sanford Greene
Art by Greene
Colors by Greene & Rico Renzi
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Greene & Jarreau Wimberly

The creative team has done a tremendous job in this series of continuing to raise the tension while keeping the insanity from boiling over into incredulousness. This issue is full of high stakes action, and there are some very powerful scenes that do an excellent job with character development. The colors in this book really set the tone for the emotional state of each scene. This is a really high quality book from a great series.


Black Widow #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Jen & Sylvia Soska
Art by Flaviano
Colors by Veronica Gandini
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Clayton Crain

Favorite Book of the Week

Whoa! This book… Wow. The Soska sisters started Issue #1 off with some classic superhero action and intrigue. In this issue, they blow it all up and dive deep into the horrors of sex-trafficking and abuse. It is an uncomfortable comic to read. The fury and commitment to justice of Natasha is powerful. The art is superb. Caramagna’s lettering is spectacular. This is a fantastic book and our Favorite Book of the Week


Breakneck #3
Titan Books
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Simone Gugliemini & Raffaele Semeraro
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Jimmy Betancourt
Cover Art by Alex Ronald

The brisk pace of this book that has a countdown to destruction feel makes this comic very exciting. The aptitude Swierczynski has for delivering character enhancing moments through the chase scenes of this story without it feeling forced is exceptional. The lineart and coloring of this book continues to enhance the story and deliver a cinematic quality to it.


Coda #9
BOOM! Studios
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Matias Bergara
Colors by Michael Doig
Letters by Jim Campbell
Cover Art by Bergara

This underrated series continues to deliver one quality issue after another. The latest installment is heartbreaking as it explores Hum’s sorrow and guilt for his actions in the previous issue. It is emotionally devastating. Through the malaise of Hum’s reluctant acceptance of his role in his current state of affairs, Spurrier moves the story forward with dramatic developments. The work that Bergara does in this series is gorgeous. The style does not fit in most comic stories, but it is deceptively beautiful and perfect for this book.


Exorsisters #5
Image Comics
Written by Ian Boothby
Art by Giséle Lagacé
Colors by Pete Pantazis
Letters by Taylor Esposito
Cover Art by Lagace & Pantazis

Boothby and Lagacé’s little supernatural story just got biblical is a big way. This scope of this tale has expanded to include the origin of creation, and it is wonderful. The adorable “twin” sisters in this book are compelling heroes. The dialogue and plot development are top notch, and Lagacé’s art is gorgeous. This has been such a fun series, and this issue continues that tradition.


Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3
Marvel Comics
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Juann Cabal
Colors by Nolan Woodward
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover Art by Andrew C. Robinson

This book is visually spectacular. Cabal delivers some fantastically detailed images and wonderful panel layouts. Woodward’s use of color to enhance the storytelling is phenomenal. On top of the wonderful art on display in this comic, Taylor’s story is suspenseful, exciting, and humorous all at once. This is a very good comic and we are looking forward to more in this story arc.


Grumble #4
Albatross Funnybooks
Written by Rafer Roberts
Art by Mike Norton
Colors by Marissa Louise
Letters by Crank!
Cover Art by Norton & Louise

There are quite a few comics out this week that feature a prominent chase sequence. This book has the best of them, by far. The camera angles that Norton uses are fantastic. It is the perfect blend of tight and wide angle lenses. Marissa Louise’s color choices to depict the magical energy used in this book are inspired. Roberts’ dialogue is terrific, and Norton’s background, humorous, easter eggs are a must see. The larger tale being told in this series is excellent, and we can’t wait to see where it goes.


Guardians of the Galaxy #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Geoff Shaw
Colors by Marte Gracia
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover Art by David Marquez & Dean White

We are loving this series. The first issue achieved Favorite Book of the Week status, and this one is fantastic as well. There are chaotic action scenes, and they are tempered with quiet emotional moments. Cates’ pacing for this story is excellent, and Shaw’s visuals compliment that wonderfully. This book is shaping up to be a top of the pile book in a hurry.


High Level #1
DC / Vertigo Comics
Written by Rob Sheridan
Art by Barnaby Bagenda
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover Art by Guillaume Ospital

Hot #1

The debut issue to this Vertigo series is excellent. The premise is easily understandable. The world that this takes place in is defined well without too much exposition. The characters are nicely defined. Bagenda’s art is exquisite. It is visual treat, and we are definitely on-board to see what comes next from this series.


Incursion #1
Valiant Entertainment
Written by Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel
Art by Doug Braithwaite
Colors by Jose Villarrubia & Diego Rodriguez
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Cover Art by Braithwaite & Rodriguez

Hot #1

This new offering from Valiant is brilliant. Diggle and Paknadel deliver an interesting and exciting story in this first issue. They are able to develop a intriguing villain in a very short time, which helps to draw in the audience. We are immediately invested in the plight of the characters that are introduced. Braithwaite’s character designs are wonderful. The art in this book is magnificent. A great comic book.


Justice League #18
DC Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Pasqual Ferry
Colors by HI-FI
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover Art by Francis Manapul

The grand scope of the story that Scott Snyder and James Tynion have been telling in this series is ambitious. This issue is a redefinition of the history of both Vandal Savage and Lionel Luthor. It is a bit heady, but the objective is met. The logic works, but it feels like it was concocted to make it work. This is a fine comic, and it delivers important information to build the larger narrative.


The Lone Ranger #5
Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Bob Q
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Art by John Cassaday & Jose Villarrubia

The finale to this series is a wonderful conclusion to a great story. The heroes’ ability to navigate the perils they face is inspiring. The consequences for the villains of the story are satisfying. Though it is a story about greedy cattle ranchers, it is easily extrapolated to a larger view of class differences and the attitudes of the “people of means”. Bob Q illustrates this tale in a way that is pleasing to the eye of the average comic reader, but also incorporates the facial acting that alludes to the subtext in fantastic ways. We loved this series, and this is an excellent ending.


Middlewest #4
Image Comics
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Jorge Corona
Colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover Art by Mike Huddleston

This series keeps getting better. New and interesting characters are introduced in this issue as the protagonist explores new places in the Middlewest. This is an entertaining issue. The art is phenomenal and the primary method of storytelling. The dialogue is well written, but also only used when necessary which improves the immersion factor of the book. Skottie Young and Jorge Corona are crafting a fantastic tale in this series.


Naomi #2
DC Comics
Written by Brian Michael Bendis & David F. Walker
Art by Jamal Campbell
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Art by Campbell

Naomi is a gloriously intriguing story. The mysterious nature of this tale combined with the frustrations of the main character are truly captivating. Campbell uses some amazing techniques to bring the visual aspects of this story to life. His thin lines and light sources make the characters pop in a wonderful way. We are hooked by this series.


Outpost Zero #7
Image Comics
Written by Sean Kelley McKeever
Art by Alexandre Tefenkgi
Colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters by Ariana Maher

This is one of the books that we consistently look forward to. The characters that McKeever has developed have depth, and we are invested in their success. This issue has some interesting revelatory scenes. The complexity of the world that this story takes place in continues to increase, and we are thankful for it. This is a great series that you should be reading.


Return of Wolverine #5
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 & Sunny Gho

While the story being told in this series is a bit anticlimactic since Wolverine is currently running around in Uncanny X-Men, this issue is still a good story. The plot is brought to a satisfying conclusion, and certain things are explained. The real strength of this book is the art. The camera choices and tight line art are both excellent. Laura Martin shows why she is one of the best colorists in the business with her work in this book. Truly phenomenal.


Stronghold #1
AfterShock Comics
Written by Phil Hester
Art by Ryan Kelly
Colors by Dee Cunniffe
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover Art by Kelly & Cunniffe

Hot #1

We have been anticipating this book since it was solicited, and it did not disappoint. Hester immediately exposes the audience to an array of interesting characters. There is definitely a sense that the reader may be mistaken in their original assumptions about the characters, but that is what is intriguing about this book. It certainly feels that Hester is using sleight of hand here, and we are fine with that. Kelly’s artwork is excellent and the character designs are clearly defined. Issue #2 can’t get here fast enough.


Uncanny X-Men #12
Marvel Comics
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Salvador Larroca
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by Larroca & Rosenberg

This issue of the new direction for the X-Men is a little bit of a “get the band back together” issue. Rosenberg starts to pull on some threads that he left dangling in other “X” books and is developing an interesting team of X-Men. While the “Age of X-Man” stories go on, we will be here with this title and loving it.

 


The Wild Storm #20
DC Comics
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Jon Davis-Hunt
Colors by Steve Buccalleto
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover Art by Davis-Hunt

As Ellis’ reinvention of the Wildstorm universe rockets toward a conclusion, this issue fills in two major pieces. Apollo and Midnighter are center stage here, and it is glorious. Davis-Hunt has done a masterful job all throughout this series, and in this issue, he brings everything he’s got. The thin panel layouts are amazing. The line are is beautiful. Buccalletto’s coloring of Apollo’s power is stunning. This is a fantastic comic book.

 

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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