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 got to read some excellent comics by a variety of publishers this week. Quite a few of them are tackling interesting and complex social issues. Find the comics you like and remember, Read More Comics!!
We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Valiant, Boom! Studios, Abstract Studio, Dark Horse, and Image 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.
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:
Assassin Nation #4
Written by Kyle Starks
Art by Erica Henderson
Letters by Deron Bennett
Cover Art by Henderson
The latest issue of this raucous romp keeps the violent hilarity up. Henderson’s style is the perfect match for the tone of this book. Her incredibly expressive character art is key to making this book sing. Starks’ dialogue and self-aware writing is excellent. This book keeps delivering with each installment. Based on the revelations of this issue, the next will be a big one.
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Janin
The art in this book is fascinating. The setting demands simple backgrounds, and the colors by Jordie Bellaire are astonishing. Janin delivers some truly excellent facial expressions in this issue. The story is intriguing. More layers to the motivations of Thomas Wayne are laid bare, and they are surprising. King’s build-up to the City of Bane has been deliberate, and carefully crafted. His ability to deliver high quality individual issues is on display in this issue and is rarely matched in the industry today.
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Pencils by Lalit Kumar Sharma
Inks by Jay Leisten
Colors by Java Tartaglia
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Zdarsky
It is very likely that this is the best book that Marvel publishes on a monthly basis. There is, in every issue, at least one heart stopping moment of emotion that reveals the human condition. Yes, this is a superhero book, although the super hero is missing at the moment, but it is so much more. The character motivations and choices are phenomenally detailed. The art in this book is excellent. The entire team does a great job of delivering an vivid visual narrative.
Written by Brandon Thomas
Art by Khary Randolph
Colors by Emilio Lopez
Letters by Deron Bennett
Cover Art by Randolph
This book is not happy. It is amazing, but not happy. There is a quiet rage that comes through in every panel. The book is telling multiple stories simultaneously, and while the surface story is excellent (You see what I did there?), the most intriguing stories are the sociological, political, and power balance themes that lie beneath. Khary Randolph is fantastic. His art is something that you never truly understand how much you miss it until you see it again. Lopez’s color work is critical to this issue and is top notch. This series is a must read.
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Maria Llovet
Letters by AndWorld Design
Cover Art by Paul Pope with Daniel Semanas
The mixing of sex, magic, and demonology in this book is an outstanding cocktail. There are emotional threads that are inspected and challenged. Llovet’s art has a fragility to it that is intoxicating, much like the rest of the book. This is absolutely for mature readers, but it is graphic tale that is well told and compellingly illustrated.
Five Years #2
Written by Terry Moore
Art by Terry Moore
Letters by Terry Moore
Cover Art by Terry Moore with Steve Hamaker
If you are a fan of Rachel Rising, this is the issue for you. Terry Moore’s ability to create such distinct voices for his characters is one of his gifts. Seeing an artist play with his own toys the way that Moore does in this issue is a joy. The tense story that is the main plot for this series is completely the driving force to this issue, but it is damn fun to read this book.
NOTE: This book came late to our subscription box. I was released last week but we read it this week.
Invisible Kingdom #4
Dark Horse Comics / Berger Books
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Christian Ward
Letters by Sal Cipriano
Cover Art by Ward
The frenetic tense pace of this book belies a carefully crafted narrative. Ward creates some amazing visuals in the action sequences in this issue, but what grabs you is the distinction that Wilson makes between faith and religion. This is a wonderfully complex space epic that is far enough from reality to appreciate the real world challenges that the book explores. With only one installment left in this first arc, we are on pins and needles awaiting the outcome.
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Jorge Corona
Colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover Art by Corona
This series is fantastic. This issue takes on a few interesting plot points from earlier in the series, and characters are challenged with differing results. The art is inviting and on par with the high quality we have come to expect from Corona. The story structure to this issue with three discreet scenes, is interesting, and it works really well to keep the story moving forward while looking back. This is a book that you should be checking out.
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Renato Guedes
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Cover Art by Rod Reis
Fred Van Lente has reimagined Valiant’s Psi-Lords story in an incredibly interesting way. The debut issue of this series is compelling and sublimely instructive. The art by Guedes is intriguing. There are familiar beats to the tale, but we are willing to get on this train to see where it is truly heading.