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 week is a short list. We took the top seven books that we were most eager to read from our pull list and present them to you here. It is a good cross section of publishers and genres, with a a couple of New Number Ones thrown in.
We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Abstract Studios, AfterShock, and Action Lab 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.
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:
And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin & Jorge Fornes
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Andy Kubert & Alex Sinclair
Batman has broken free from the nightmare machine, and he is pissed. The narrative of this story it told through Batman’s words and his fists as he makes his way through a gauntlet of rogues. There is an undeniable change in Batman and the level of subtlety that King uses is not an easy task. The audience must know that there is something more to the Batman’s rage. It is really well done. The bookend framing of Maxie Zeus quoting the Divine Comedy is a very nice touch.
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Guadiano, & James Harren
Colors by Rain Beredo
Letters by Saida Temofonte
Cover art by Greg Capullo & FCO Plascenia
This six-issue series is DC’s attempt to tell a contagion story. It is pretty clearly out of mainstream continuity. It has an ambitious plot. Unfortunately, it feels a bit undeveloped. The art is nicely drawn, but the characters seem oddly designed at times. We are willing to give this a second try and hope that the battle for the cure is worth the effort. Considering the out of continuity nature, I would probably have prefered this as a complete graphic novel.
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Evgeniy Bornyakov
Colors by Lauren Affe
Letters by Troy Peteri
Cover art by Juan Doe
This book has been highly anticipated since we heard the writer talk about it at C2E2. It has lived up to expectations. The visual layout is perfect for this book. The pacing and visual character designs fit perfectly into the narrative. It is engrossing and captivating. We are hooked. Phillips is crafting a fantastic tale of intrigue and mystery. Bring it on.
Five Years #1
Written by Terry Moore
Art by Moore
Letters by Moore
Cover art by Moore
Terry Moore is a genius. This first issue of this book was everything I could hope for. It follows the latest Strangers in Paradise series, but gives enough backstory to get the plot going. It is tenderly and beautifully drawn. The story is terrifying, sweet, funny and stressful. I hope Moore takes his time in letting these five years play out. I cannot get enough time with the amazing characters he has created.
Written by Rafer Roberts
Art by Mike Norton
Colors by Marissa Louise
Letters by Crank!
Cover art by Norton & Louise
Roberts, Norton, and the rest of the team kick off the second arc of this series in spectacular fashion. The main characters, still on the run, make there way to New Jersey, and several new plot lines open up. Norton continues his fantastic visual storytelling and hides plenty of jokes and Easter eggs in the background. Marissa Louise continues her stellar work on this book. It was an absolute joy to read this. This is the book that you throw down when you are finished reading it and say, “That is a damn good comic.”
Spencer & Locke 2 #1
Action Lab Danger Zone
Written by David Pepose
Art by Jorge Santiago Jr.
Colors by Jasen Smith
Letters by Colin Bell
Cover art by Santiago Jr. & Smith
I have been waiting to talk about this book for months. We were given a pre-release copy as part of our preparation for the interview that we did with the creators. It is wonderful. This book is a worthy successor to the Ringo award nominated first volume, and perhaps better. Santiago’s art is phenomenal. His ability to create three distinct styles while maintaining his signature identity is a commendable feat. Pepose is taking the story in new and audacious directions, and the flow is perfect. This new volume is off to a great start.
Uncanny X-Men #17
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Carlos Gomez
Colors by Guru-eFX
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover art by Whilce Portacio & Erick Arciniega
This is a really good comic book. Gomez’s camera angles stand out as a major highlight of the visual narrative. The story is rough and raw and heartbreaking. Rosenberg has done a very good job of telling a coherent story since taking over on this book, and this issue continues that trend.
NOTE: There is a scene in this issue that can be triggering to those familiar with trans-panic violence. There has been some anger and hurt expressed by readers online. The creative team has apologized and made clear that there was no intent to be insensitive. We are providing this information as a disclaimer, but we did enjoy the issue, and we believe we read the scene in question with the writer’s intent.
Young Justice #5
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by John Timms, Kris Anka, & Evan “Doc” Shaner
Colors by Gabe Eltaeb
Letters by Wes Abbott
Cover art by Patrick Gleason & Alejandro Sanchez
This book is fun. That is what you hope to say when reading a Young Justice story. Bendis has hit his stride with this story. The art is well done. The backstory given is important and continues to raise more questions, but we are buckled into this roller coaster seat and ready for more. You can never get enough Bart Allen.