Everything We Read This Week – 04/17/2019

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.

We are back this week with a full column. There are still some series that we are behind on due to travel last month, and we will do our best to get fully caught up in the near future. There are a coupleof New Number ones in the list and a bunch of other really good books.  This was a great week for new comics. Make sure you go and find the ones that move you.

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, AfterShock, Dynamite, and Dark Horse 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

 

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

American Gods: The Moment of the Storm #1, Aquaman #47, Assassin Nation #2, Batman #69, Calamity Kate #2, Daredevil #4, Guardians of the Galaxy #4, Incursion #3, Justice League #22, Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter #1, Morning in America #2, Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #4, Stronghold #3,
Uncanny X-Men #16, War Of The Realms #2


American Gods: The Moment of the Storm #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Neil Gaiman
Script by P. Craig Russell
Art by Scott Hampton
Colors by Hampton & Jennifer T. Lange
Letters by Rick Parker
Cover art by Glenn Fabry with Adam Brown

The next volume of this adaptation starts with a solid issue. This comic is wonderful. The story of American Gods is thrilling and compelling no matter what medium the story is told in. Russell and Hampton translate this story into a clear and interesting comic tale. A truly entertaining read.


Aquaman #47
DC Comics
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Pencils by Robson Rocha
Inks by Daniel Henriques
Colors by Sunny Gho
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Rocha, Henriques, & Alex Sinclair

The conclusion to the first Aquaman arc by Kelly Sue DeConnick is fabulous. It is big, bold, and beautiful. The heroic turns taken by multiple characters are strong choices. The dialogue is smart and natural. The imagery in this book is glorious. We are certainly looking forward to what the next adventure will be.


Assassin Nation #2
Image Comics
Written by Kyle Starks
Art by Erica Henderson
Letters by Derron Bennet
Cover art by Henderson

This book is a hit. The storytelling is fantastic. The nuanced dialogue draws the audience in to an intriguing mystery. Erica Henderson’s ability to transition between benign dialogue scenes and massively gory execution tableaus is genius. This book leaves you wanting more, and there is really nothing better to say about a comic.

 


Batman #69
DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Art by Yanick Paquette
Colors by Nathan Fairbairn
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Paquette & Fairbairn

The finale to the “Knightmares” arc has come. King and Paquette weave a dreamscape that follows some experiencial logic. We have all had the dream that we feel like we become aware mid-dream that it is a dream, and we begin to control it. This comic is able to convey that in a much more elegant and beautiful way than I did in the last sentence. The changing imagery is a wonderful touch because it distracts just enough to foster the audience’s experience of dream and the inability to remain completely focused. There are some interesting setups for future events revealed in this issue. It really is a must read!


Calamity Kate #2
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Corin Howell
Colors by Valentina Pinto
Letters by Zakk Saam
Cover art by James Stokoe

The title character continues her all-out obsessive self-interest in this issue. It is filled with themes of envy and perseverance. Howell’s art is wonderful. Highlights of her work include the characters’ facial expressions and the monster designs. This book is full of interesting plot points, and the story remains interesting. We look forward to seeing where it goes.


Daredevil #4
Marvel Comics
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Art by Marco Checchetto
Colors by Sunny Gho
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Julian Totino Tedesco

Zdarsky is writing some seriously good stuff here. The story’s plot points are exciting and masterfully executed. Checchetto’s rough style lends to the gritty nature of the story. What makes this book really sing is that it is not gritty for its own sake. It is a story of an extraordinary person who is beset by difficult decisions because of the choices he has made. This is what high quality comic story telling looks like.


Guardians of the Galaxy #4
Marvel Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Geoff Shaw
Colors by David Curiel
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover art by David Marquez & Dean White

Donny Cates has complete mastery over the feel of this Guardians book. Personally, this is the best Guardians story since the lead up to the “War of Kings”. The chaotic nature of a rag-tag group of people who are thrown together is the underlying rhythm to this comic. The vast powers of the characters are treated like characteristics similar to eye color. The book is about doing what is right because it is the right thing to do. Shaw continues to be a star with his rendering of dynamic action scenes and hitting the right notes in the small moments. Great job.


Incursion #3
Valiant Entertainment
Story by Alex Paknadel and Andy Diggle
Script by Alex Paknadel
Art by Doug Braithwaite
Colors by Diego Rodriguez
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Cover Art by Braithwaite

Check out our review in our preview review column here.

 

 


Justice League #22
DC Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Francis Manapul
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Cover art by Manapul

This is a beautifully and intricately illustrated story. Manapul’s work is tremendous. Tynion delivers a terrific narrative that clarifies the current take on the history of the DC Comics’ “Omniverse”. The intent of the reality threatening storyline that has run through twenty-two issues now is clear. The danger is exposed and its history revealed. The storytelling is well done all around in this issue.

 


Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter #1
AfterShock Comics
Written by Adam Glass & Olivia Cuartero-Briggs
Art by Hayden Sherman
Letters by Sal Cipriano
Cover art by Sherman

As avowed fans of the historical figure of Mary Shelley, we were eager to see what this book was about. It is a creepy fantasy story with lots of potential. The art is not super-realistic and has a limited color palette. Both of those characteristics are positives for this story. For an opening salvo, it definitely hits the mark, and we will be back next month to see what comes next.

 


Morning in America #2
Oni Press
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Claudia Aguirre
Letters by Zakk Saam
Cover art by Aquirre

This book about a mystery set in the 80’s is full of compelling characters. Visaggio does a great job fleshing each one with unique and interesting traits. There is a alien abduction story going on which is wonderfully thought out and executed, but the “Sick Sisters” are a quartet of characters that we want to keep coming back for. Aquirre’s work here is gorgeous. The visual narrative is crystal clear. The panel layouts are smartly done, and the color work is stunning.

 


Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #4
Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Caspar Wijngaard
Colors by Mary Safro
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover art by Kris Anka

Kieron Gillen is writing up a fantastic storm these days. Along with Die, this series is one of the most daring and consistently on target books with every issue. Without, Wijngaard’s phenomenal chameleon act this issue does not succeed. Both writer and artist challenge themselves to deliver something spectacular, and they pull it off. The story is just incredible, and the dimension visited by the protagonist in this issue makes it unforgettable. You need to be reading this series!


Stronghold #3
AfterShock Comics
Written by Phil Hester
Art by Ryan Kelly
Colors by Dee Cunniffe
Letters by Simon Bowland
Cover art by Kelly & Cunniffe

A lot happens in this issue. That is a compliment. The creative talent is able to nimbly shift from scene to scene and get things accomplished in satisfying fashion. Hester is weaving an heck of an intriguing story. We knew to expect surprises by the way the series started off, but the lines are becoming greyer by the page. Kelly’s visuals are cleverly designed and well executed. Cunniffe’s colors bring an extra level to this book. It is a very entertaining read.


Uncanny X-Men #16
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 writing a really good X-Men story. Some of the best adult Cyclops storytelling in a long while. Larroca’s art is well done. The fight scenes and dialogue in this issue are excellent. It is a really good issue. The final panel is stunning and heartbreaking. It is worth the price of admission for this book.


War Of The Realms #2
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Russell Dautermann
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Joe Sabino
Cover art by Arthur Adams & Wilson

Jason Aaron’s massive mash-up conclusion to an epic Thor run is well underway in this issue. While it is technically well planned and executed, it is also interesting and exciting. Aaron does a good job of following his own rules. By this, we mean that his logic follows the guidelines that he delivered in the narrative. Despite it being a mythological story about gods, monsters, and super-heroes, it makes sense. It is also dramatic with a massive tragedy that personally hits home for us. We are enjoying this series so far.