Everything We Read This Week – 07/31/2019

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 week was a Fifth Wednesday, and therefore DC had a very reduced publication list. The rest of the publishers also had a reduced slate. Despite that, 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, Vault, Abstract Studio, 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:

Avengers #22
Marvel Comics
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Stefano Caselli
Colors by: Jason Keith
Letters by: Cory Petit
Cover Art by: Caselli & Frank Martin

This issue is a solid addition to the Aaron run. The art is clean and well thought out. The action is excellent. Jason Keith’s colors bring a tangible warmth to the book. It looks like Robbie Reyes’s issues are going to take center stage for a while. We are also loving the redesign of a certain spawn of Satan.


Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2
DC Comics
Written by: Scott Snyder
Pencils by: Greg Capullo
Inks by: Jonathan Glapion
Colors by: FCO Plascencia
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Cover Art by: Capullo, Glapion, & Plascencia

This book is bonkers. We are totally enjoying the bizarre dreamscape that Snyder and Capullo are rendering. It is certainly entertaining. The book looks really beautiful. Napolitano’s lettering is top notch, and the color choices by Plascencia are excellent. I have know idea how Batman gets out of this, but we are looking forward to the rest of this story.


Conan the Barbarian #8
Marvel Comics
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Garardo Zaffino & Garry Brown
Colors by: Matthew Wilson
Letters by: Travis Lanham
Cover Art by: Esad Ribic

Aaron does not disappoint with this Conan series. This issue focuses on a threat to the title character as he returns to his homeland. The story is a plague mystery, that is well executed. The best part of this series is that each issue is essentially a one-and-done comic, which is incredibly refreshing. The art is very well done, and the stylistic choice to portray the rough violence in a barbaric setting is perfect. Matt Wilson’s tones are superbly crafted to evoke the perfect mood for the story.


Death’s Head #1
Marvel Comics
Written by: Tini Howard
Art by: Kei Zama
Colors by: Felipe Sobreiro
Letters by: Travis Lanham
Cover Art by: Nick Roche & Sobreiro

Hot #1

OK. Full disclosure. I was hesitant about reading this book. I am not a huge Death’s Head fan. However, Tini Howard knocks it out of the park, and across the street. What a great story concept!? My little spoiler is that this book has the beginning of an very interesting adventure including Death’s Head, Wiccan, and Hulkling. I am totally hooked on this book. The art is great and compliments the narrative perfectly. This book is lots of fun. Go read it.


Five Years #3
Abstract Studio
Written by: Terry Moore
Art by: Terry Moore
Letters by: Terry Moore
Cover Art by: Moore & Steve Hamaker

Terry Moore is a master of the medium. The complex plot that is playing out in this series is so deftly sprinkled through touching and humorous character moments. This issue is fantastic. There is a definite feel of a larger story, but if you only read this episode, you would be fulfilled with all the goodness of life that Moore’s work is known for. Do yourself a favor, and read some Terry Moore comics.


Knights Temporal #1
AfterShock Comics
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Fran Galan
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Cover Art by: Galan

Hot #1

This is the first of three Cullen Bunn books that came out this week. It is a time displaced quest book. We have seen those before. What makes this book really intriguing is the structure of the story. The jumps in time are well designed and interesting. I was thoroughly engaged in the events of this story. The art is excellently done in a way that identifies the time period of each scene. I am very much looking forward to the next issue of this series.


Manor Black #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by: Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt
Art by: Tyler Crook
Cover Art by: Crook

Hot #1

Manor Black is book number two this week from Cullen Bunn. The magical mystery is interesting, and this issue begins to lay out the setting and conflict. Crook’s art, with a watercolor style, is well done and a nice compliment to foreboding nature of the narrative.


Powers of X #1
Marvel Comics
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: R.B. Silva & Adriano Di Benedetto
Colors by: Marte Gracia
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Design by: Tom Muller
Cover Art by: Silva & Gracia

Hot #1

Hickman’s reworking of the mutant mythos of the Marvel Universe continues in this new series. We are still confused, but engaged. The jumps in time that occur in this issue are well crafted. Silva’s art is gorgeous. The character designs are really cool. It is way too early in this series to get a handle on what is happening. That does not stop the book from being a heck of good example of comic book narrative storytelling. To reiterate from last week, I am not incredibly thrilled with the idea of rebuilding the X-Men story and history, but Hickman has me along for the ride anyway with this excellent comic.


Punk Mambo #4
Valiant Entertainment
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Adam Gorham
Colors by: Jose Villarrubia
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Cover Art by: Dan Bereton

Cullen Bunn book number three this week. We continue to enjoy the tale being spun with this Valiant character. It is a vibrant and ambitious story that involved a lot of work. While you can appreciate the effort in the creation of the book, that knowledge is not necessary to enjoy the story. It is beautifully rendered by Gorham and Villarrubia. Definitely a good book.


Runaways #23
Marvel Comics
Written by: Rainbow Rowell
Art by: Andres Genolet & Nico Henrichon
Colors by: Matthew Wilson
Letters by: Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by: Kris Anka

Rainbow Rowell is just amazing on this series. The return of Gert to the Runaways has been amazing and has been handled with class and heartfelt love. This issue spends a lot of time examining the love triangle between her, Chase, and Victor. It is complicated but there is no malice shown from anyone. The struggle that Victor has with his claim to humanity is a second major plotline in this book, and having Nico Henrichon illustrate those pages was a fantastic decision. There is a great satisfaction that you feel when reading each issue of this series about real characters who happen to have super powers.


Test #2
Vault Comics
Written by: Christopher Sebela
Art by: Jen Hickman
Colors by: Harry Saxon
Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

This is by far the most bizarre book that we read this week. However, it is an excellent, if trippy, analysis of modern life and the trajectory of humanity. Sebela’s raw socio-technological commentary is clearly visible, and Hickman’s illustrations are captivating. The journey of the “protagonist” is something that we are looking forward to seeing play out.


Thanos #4
Marvel Comics
Written by: Tini Howard
Art by: Ariel Olivetti
Colors by: Antonio Fabela
Letters by: Joe Caramagna
Cover Art by: Jeff Dekal

Tini Howard’s second book of the week is also excellent. The continued exploration of the parent/child relationship of Thanos and Gamora is illuminating. Howard’s ability to lead the reader down the path of this relationship in ways that make sense for the deeply disturbing psyches involved is one of the strengths of the book. Olivetti’s art is wonderful, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

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