Everything We Read This Week – 07/24/2019

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week.  Sorry that we have been away for a couple of weeks. Lots of summer travel hit us hard this month. 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.

While we were gone, there were some fantastic comics we read. Make sure you go find some.  This week we were able to read some excellent comics by a variety of publishers. Some important series began and we have the reviews for you. Find the comics you like and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Valiant, and AfterShock Comics this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Don’t forget we welcome comments on these and any other comics that you read. Feel free to leave a comment and get the conversation moving.

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:

 


The Amazing Spider-Man #26
Marvel Comics
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Kev Walker
Colors by Laura Martin
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover art by Ryan Ottley & Nathan Fairbairn

This is a quiet issue, as Spider-Man does not appear in costume at all in the present tense, but it is full of quality storytelling. The narrative being told is interesting enough to follow through and the art is conducive to the story. I am more interested in the next issue, but this one does some necessary level setting for all readers.


 

Batgirl #37
DC Comics
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by AndWorld Design
Cover art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith & Jean-Francios Beaulieu

Castellucci on a regular ongoing DC Universe title?!!? We are in for a treat. This inaugural issue of her run is a brilliant starting point. It is a great jumping on issue, but not at all a rehash of events for established readers of the series. There are some very interesting plot points introduced, and the protagonist is challenged in very organic and frightening ways. Di Giandomenico’s visual presentation of the narrative is wonderful. The action sequences sparkle with movement. Jordie Bellaire’s color work in this book is sublime as she moves the readers’ emotional state through the tones of each page. Even the lettering in this book is excellent. Babs is in trouble in the pages of the book, but the series is in good hands.


Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1
DC Comics
Written by Sean Murphy
Art by Sean Murphy
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by AndWorld Designs
Cover art by Murphy & Hollingsworth

Hot #1

This is a solid sequel to last year’s hit mini series Batman: White Knight. There is a bit of expectation in the delivery that the first series has been read, but there is a new plot developing in this series, and it is pretty good. To be honest, this issue intrigued me more than expected. The new story is very captivating and more clearly laid out than the previous volume. Murphy’s art is excellent. His use of perspective and ability to lay out a panel are sometime overlooked, but those skills are highly developed. Hollingsworths subtle tones are the perfect compliment to Murphy’s lines, and you can see the seamlessness of their partnership. We will be continuing to follow this series.


Dark Red #5
AfterShock Comics
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Corin Howell
Colors by Mark Englert
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Cover art by Aaron Campbell

We have come to the conclusion of the first arc of Tim Seeley and Corin Howell’s “Sexy Vampire” story. The way that Seeley brings the arc to conclusion shows his ability to pull threads together and generate a feeling of satisfaction in the the audience. This series is really a terrific read. The fact that it is continuing beyond this first five issues is fantastic. Corin Howell’s depiction of the characters is wonderful. The facial expressions are clear and helpful. If you haven’t read this, you are missing out.


Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish #2
IDW Publishing
Written by B. Dave Walters
Art by Tess Fowler
Colors by Jay Fotos
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Cover art by Fowler & Tamra Bonvillain

The art in this book is fabulous. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and am intrigued to see where it goes. In flipping through the issue a second time, I was struck at how few panels were actually used per page, and yet, the story was rich and full of narrative. There has been a long delay between issues of this book, but it is a fun and exciting story filled with beautiful art. Don’t hold the delays against it. Also, the cover by Fowler and Bonvillain is as gorgeous as it is instructive in the nature of the tale within. Just a beautiful book.


The Flash #75
DC Comics
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Howard Porter, Scott Kolins, & Christian Duce
Colors by Hi-Fi & Luis Guerrero
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover art by Porter & Hi-Fi

The conclusion to “The Flash: Year One” is inspiring as well as satisfying. Williamson and Porter produced an excellent early Barry Allen story. The follow up chapters in this issue introduced a new character and laid the groundwork for future storylines. This was an enjoyable read that fans of the series will find stimulating and satisfying. I would be remiss to not comment on how amazing Hi-Fi’s color work is in this issue. Just stunning.


Grumble #8
Albatross Funnybooks
Written by Rafer Roberts
Art by Mike Norton
Colors by Marissa Louise
Letters by Crank!
Cover art by Norton & Louise

This book is so much fun. Issue after issue, the creative team brings hilarity combined with smart storytelling. There is a serious and well crafted story being told in this series, and in this issue, like all the rest, the plot is advanced in believable ways while being irreverent and raucous. Roberts’ dialogue and individual character voices are fantastic. Norton’s visual pacing and panel layouts are fabulous, and Marissa Louise’s excellent work on the colors continues to get even more amazing, as hard as that is to believe. Truly a wonderful book and a must read.


House of X #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Pepe Larraz
Design by Tom Muller
Colors by Marte Gracia
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover art by Larraz & Gracia

Hot #1

Wow! Well this is the book everyone was waiting for this week. It is Jonathan Hickman’s relaunch of the X-People and mutant-kind in the Marvel Universe. I am going to take two approaches to this review. First, this issue of comic storytelling is fantastic. It is an oversized issue with much-talked about data pages to educate the audience about the current state of affairs. The art is simply divine. Larraz shines in many three and four panel pages that allow him to present powerful imagery filled with incredible detail. Hickman’s dialogue and narrative are wonderful and make for a compelling story. Regardless of you opinion of Hickman’s take, you will be wanting to see what comes next.

The second approach to this review is the analysis of where the mutants of the Marvel Universe are and where they are going. I was disappointed that all of the interesting storytelling that lead from Extinction to the end of the X-Titles last week was going to be tossed out and rebooted. Indeed, that does appear to be the case for the most part. My other disappointment is that the mood and tone of this story is one of defiance and rebellion on the part of mutants. It does not hold the inspirational tone of say, X-Men: Red. While I do have these reservations about the substance and tone of this effort, it is really an excellent comic book, and I am willing to trust Hickman to raise the profile of mutantkind in positive ways. I will be on board this run! Stay tuned!!


Invisible Kingdom #5
Dark Horse / Berger Books
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Christian Ward
Letters by Sal Cipriano
Cover art by Ward

This series is exceptional. The finale to the first adventure is intense and exciting. The underlying themes of acceptance, spirituality, and modernity that littered the first four issues find their places in this issue as well, but Wilson raises another theme of public apathy that really hits home. Christian Ward has gone to town in this series with the freedom of design that he brings to the set and characters of the book. In this issue, he lights the fuse and lets it all explode in glorious lines and colors. We are very much looking for this series to return in October 2019. Be here for our reviews.


Justice League Dark #13
DC Comics
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Mark Buckingham & Daniel Sampre
Inks by Mick Gray & Juan Albarran
Colors by Adriano Lucas
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover art by Guillem March & Arif Prianto

This issue is split into two separate chapters that work on cleaning up loose ends of the previous dozen issues. Some things are left unresolved despite the misleading cover. The chapter with art by Buckingham is wonderful. The art is beautiful and intriguingly laid out. Tynion’s careful and purposeful storytelling is excellently on display in this issue.


Marvels Epilogue #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Alex Ross
Letters by John Roshell & Richard Starkings
Cover art by Ross

This is a wonderful little vignette into the world of an X-Men story from the 70s. Busiek and Ross take the reader off-panel in their fantastically unique way. The book is a joy to behold, from the gorgeously painted visuals to the amazing lettering. The story is short, and the book is filled with behind the scenes interviews and comic making information. This is a great read for all, and any fan of the creators will be thrilled with the quality and content of this book.


Middlewest #9
Image Comics
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Jorge Corona
Colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover art by Corona

The world expansion that is going on in this issue is excellent. This book is, overall, a wonderful story that combines myths with strange science. The mythological supernatural component of the book takes center stage this issue, and it is amazing. Corona delivers some amazingly powerful visuals, and the compelling storytelling that we have come to expect from this series is present throughout the book. Abel in in for some serious stuff in the coming issues. Check it out.


Psi-Lords #2
Valiant Entertainment
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Renato Guedes
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Cover art by David Nakayama

The newly hatched crew continue learning their abilities and fate in this issue, with decidedly mixed results. The story is entertaining, and the character development is on point. Van Lente is able to sprinkle some entertaining humor in the dialogue in this issue. Guedes does an excellent job evoking the powers of the crew and providing a clear visual narrative. Looking forward to next issue.


Star Pig #1
IDW Publishing
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Art by Francesco Gaston
Colors by Sebastian Cheng
Letters by Shawn Lee
Cover art by Sara Richard

Hot #1

Dawson has created an entertaining and interesting story with this debut issue. There is some weird space stuff that happens, but the characters are engaging, and the art is well done. There feels like there is a target demographic for this book that is not me. It feels aimed at a younger generation, but that does not diminish the quality of the storytelling. It is certainly worth checking out with a story that is just getting underway.


Valkyrie #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron & Al Ewing
Art by CAFU
Colors by Jesus Aburtov
Letters by Joe Sabino
Cover art by Mahmud Asrar & Matthew Wilson

Hot #1

This series spills out of the results of War of Realms by Aaron. This is a really well done first issue. It explains what came before in a clear but unobtrusive way. There is a new story revealed with some massive events. Overall a very good comic. CAFU’s art is beautiful. We are very interested in continuing with this series and seeing what the reality of Jane’s current status means.

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