Everything We Read This Week – 04/03/2019

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 great week for comic books, although it is a little weird that there is no Batman or Superman main title released this week. There are a couple great new series that started this week.  There are a few of the independent books that are ending arcs and will be picking up after a break. 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, IDW, Ahoy, AfterShock, Dark Horse, Dynamite, and Lion Forge Comics 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:

Bronze Age Boogie #1, Champions #4, Conan the Barbarian #5, Dead Kings #4, DIE #5, Domino: Hotshots #2, The Dreaming #8, Female Furies #3, The Girl In The Bay #3, The Green Lantern #6, Lodger #4, Red Sonja #3, Redlands #12, Summit #14, Uncanny X-Men #15, War Of The Realms #1, Young Justice #4

 

Bronze Age Boogie #1
Ahoy Comics
Written by Stuart Moore
Art by Alberto Ponticelli
Colors by Giulia Brusco
Letters by Rob Steen
Cover art by Ponticelli

Hot #1

The first book of the second wave of Ahoy Comics comes crashing in with nostalgic comic goodness. The main story by Moore and Ponticelli is intriguing. It has the 70’s feel that they were going for, but there is something unique and charming about the architecture of the narrative. Ponticelli’s art is outstanding and Brusco’s colors are fantastic. The backup story Tyrone Finch and Mauricet is also some nicely done comic storytelling. Welcome back Ahoy!!


Champions #4
Marvel Comics
Written by Jim Zub
Art by Steven Cummings
Colors by Marcio Menyz
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Kim Jacinto

This is a fantastic team superhero book. Zub has everyone’s voice down. Cummings deftness at placing many different characters in panels from different camera angles is superb. The pace and scene cuts are well organized and have an organic feeling. The scene between Miles and Kamala is particularly heartfelt, and Menyz does a masterful job of setting the right tone with the colors. Excellent job all around.


Conan the Barbarian #5
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mahmud Asrar
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover art by Esad Ribic

We are now five issues into Jason Aaron’s Conan story. It is a treat. This issue is full of danger, death, and solitude. No theme is dismissed. There is a lot of story in this tale of a pirate ship filled with death, but it is all treated with respect. Asrar’s art captures the power and savagery of the barbarian exquisitely. Each of these vignette issues are building to a larger tale, but they are each so good that Aaron can take his time for all we care.


Dead Kings #4
AfterShock Comics
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Matthew Dow Smith
Colors by Lauren Affe
Letters by Thomas Mauer
Cover art by Matthew Dow Smith

This issue of Dead Kings really brings the story together. There are important character moments, and the story approaches a climax. Smith’s horizontal panel layouts with a tight camera zoom enhances the storytelling in fantastic ways. The story is nearing conclusion, and we are excited to see where this tale of familial connection and sacrifice ends up.


DIE #5
Image Comics
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Stephanie Hans
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Hans

Favorite Book of the Week

We look forward to every issue of this book, and at the end, we are exhausted. It is a brilliant comic that has multiple viewing angles. This issue has a strong forward facing plot that results in some significant events in the overall story. However, Gillen has layered it with moral questions and multi-faceted emotional gems that raise the level of storytelling to greater heights. Hans’s art is breathtaking and perfectly suited to this story, as always. This is the end of the first arc, and the creative team and the audience can take a breath for a couple of months. When Die returns this summer, we will be waiting.


Domino: Hotshots #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Gail Simone
Art by David Baldeon
Colors by Jim Charalampidis
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by R.B. Silva & Frank D’Armata

One of the most fulfilling things about reading a Gail Simone comic is being completely engrossed in the story that she is telling, and then finding yourself laughing out loud at a silly joke. Her ability to thread the needle between dramatic tension and humor are on full display in this issue. It is a very good action-packed story filled with themes of distrust and duty to mankind. Baldeon has become a perfect partner for Simone during her Domino run, and his panel layouts are awesome. Charalampidis’ color work stands out in his ability to maintain the right tones in an issue that takes place entirely at night.


The Dreaming #8
DC / Vertigo Comics
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Abigail Larson
Colors by Quinton Winter
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover art by Tiffany Turrell

The second part of the “Love” story takes place in this issue. We are finally witness to what Dream has been upto and what has been happening to him. The use of the vast tapestry of characters in the Sandman universe by the current crop of storytellers has been interesting. On its own, this story is ominous and heartbreaking. The art is well suited to the story that is being told here. We are really enjoying this main book in the “Sandman Universe” from Vertigo.


Female Furies #3
DC Comics
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Art by Adriana Melo
Colors by Hi-Fi
Letters by Sal Cipriano
Cover art by Nicola Scott & Romulo Fajardo Jr.

This book is infuriating and tragic. There is very little hidden to the even remotely aware reader. Castellucci’s themes are “in your face”, but that does not diminish the quality of this book. Rather, it enhances the story, because she is able to bring the plotlines to natural steps without sacrificing story for substance. There is plenty of both in this book. Melo does a phenomenal job in this issue recalling a memory of Kirby, but with her own very distinct style. Her panel designs are particularly impressive on some important pages. This is a fantastic comic series that has shifted dramatically from issue to issue. We look forward to what comes next.


The Girl In The Bay #3
Dark Horse Comics / Berger Books
Written by J.M DeMatteis
Art by Corin Howell
Colors by James Devlin
Letters by Clem Robins
Cover art by Howell

First things first. Corin Howell’s art in this book is gorgeous. Her design and execution of the monsters in this book are truly terrifying. The camera angles that she chooses are perfect and a joy to look at. The story crafted in this book is creepy and compelling. DeMatteis’ incorporation of multiple threads to weave into a cohesive tale is masterful. As this story rushes to its conclusion in the next issue, we will be eagerly awaiting its arrival.


The Green Lantern #6
DC Comics
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Liam Sharp
Colors by Steve Oliff
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover art by Sharp & Oliff

Morrison and Sharp continue their excellent Green Lantern story in this issue. The natural decisions that are made by the characters are all carefully placed to lead to a singular event. The complexity of the storytelling that results in a fairly straightforward tale is impressive. Sharp is consistently delivering high quality images in this series, and the current issue continues that trend. We appear to be about halfway through the initial run promised by Morrison, and it has been an enjoyable ride so far.


Lodger #4
IDW Publishing / Black Crown
Written by Maria and David Lapham
Art by David Lapham
Cover art by David Lapham

This black and white comic is full of suspense and terror in a way comic books have not been for a long time. There is an amazing ability in this book to portray hot, cold, and fear with just lines on the page. This surreal tale has been twisting and turning, and this issue brings many threads together for a dramatic confrontation. We are looking forward to see what the conclusion to Lodger holds in the next and final issue.

 


Red Sonja #3
Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Mirko Colak & Bob Q
Colors by Dearbhla Kelly & Bob Q
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover art by Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts

There is a regalness to the Red Sonja that Mark Russell is exhibiting in this series. She has embraced the unexpected rule of her kingdom with a firm but wise hand. Russell’s use of flashbacks, that are wonderfully illustrated by Bob Q, to illustrate that our past experience influences our current decisions is smartly done. Colak’s main sequences are beautifully drawn and laid out. This rich story is filled with conflict and deception, and there is plenty of battle if that is what you are looking for. “Do not underestimate this woman” should be the tagline to this book.


Redlands #12
Image Comics
Written by Jordie Bellaire
Art by Vanesa Del Rey
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Del Rey

This issue focuses on the origins of the main characters in this series. It is an end to the arc, and the series will take a bit of a break, but it is indicative of the series as a whole. Bellaire’s use of narration to tell a story where the speaker is not really aware how much they are revealing is wonderful. The words, expertly laid down by Cowles, are floating on the pools of darkness that Del Rey illuminates ever so slightly. Del Rey’s shadowy and terrifying figures are a major highlight of this book. It is as if they are carved from the gloom itself. We hope the creative team enjoys their break and hurries back to bring more of this wonderful series.


Summit #14
Lion Forge Comics
Written by Amy Chu
Art by Mirka Cresta
Colors by Bryan Valenza
Letters by DC Hopkins
Cover art by Jess Taylor

This might just be the most eventful issue in this series so far. There are some major status quo changes that happen, and Amy Chu expertly weaves them into a cohesive and engaging comic. Cresta’s art is beautiful and dynamic. This series feels like the accelerator is being pressed harder, but the creative team has a steady hand on the wheel, and we are enjoying the ride.


Uncanny X-Men #15
Marvel Comics
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Salvador Larroca
Colors by GURU-eFX
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover art by Larroca & Rachelle Rosenberg

Matt Rosenberg is taking the remaining X-Men down an interesting path. This issue is filled with conflict between mutants and society as well as mutants versus mutants. We have learned to be somewhat skeptical of Rosenberg’s solutions, and there are events in this issue that, while they seem good, we expect to backfire. However, that is part of the fun of reading comics. You get to find out if you guessed right. Larroca’s line art is a wonderful compliment to the written narrative.


War Of The Realms #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Russell Dauterman
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Joe Sabino
Cover art by Arthur Adams & Wilson

Hot #1

This is it. This begins the culmination of Jason Aaron’s Thor story that has been developing for years. The next big Marvel event has arrived with much fanfare. This oversized debut does a good job of laying out the conflict and brining the threat to the entire Marvel universe. There are some important and surprising events that happen. Translation: People Die! The art is very well done. As a major event, we are interested in seeing this story through.

Important note: There are mini-series and specials that are spinning out of this event, and we will only cover books that we currently read for this event besides this main series.


Young Justice #4
DC / Wonder Comics
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Patrick Gleason & John Timms
Colors by Alejandro Sanchez & Alex Sinclair
Letters by Wes Abbott
Cover art by Gleason & Sanchez

Our patience is beginning to be rewarded. While we have been confused by the previous three issues of this book, the story really is starting to take shape in this issue. There is some important backstory about Amethyst that is carefully woven into current action and brings clarity. However, Bart steals the show in this book. Bendis and the artists work together well in raising the tension while delivering a satisfying comic. We are looking forward to more of this.

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