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 we read a bunch great comics. We encourage you to go out and find the comics you like, and remember, Read More Comics!!
We reviewed books from DC Comics, AfterShock Comics, Boom! Studios, Mad Cave Studios, Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics this week. There were plenty more good books out there this week but this list is all we have gotten through so far.
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.
Some of the books on this list are also on our New Number Ones for the month of November. You can see them noted with the New Number One tag and can check out the solicitation for the series on our previous article.
And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:
Action Comics #1036
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by Daniel Sampere
Colors by Adriano Lucas
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Cover Art by Sampere & Alex Sinclair
Phillip Kennedy Johnson has been waiting for this point in his run with Superman for a while. This is where he shifts the vehicle into high gear and puts the pedal to the floor. Superman taking the fight for justice to the evil Mongul is the story that he wants to be telling. You can feel it in each panel. With Daniel Sampere’s line art and the colors from Ardriano Lucas, the beginning an epic story filled with gravitas unfolds in this issue. I want to call special attention to the three page prologue to this issue. It is beautifully drawn and colored, and the storytelling engulfs the reader with astonishment and curiosity. It is impossible not to turn the next page and find out what this is story is all about. We are all in on this Warworld saga.
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Lemire
Colors by Lemire
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover Art by Lemire
This book from master storyteller Jeff Lemire is filled with heart wrenching sadness. It is lovingly depicted in a minimal toned color palette that aids significantly in setting the mood of the piece. Lemire loosens his already normally loose pencils in a way that illustrates the protagonist Will’s tenuous hold on both reality and hope. While there is a deep melancholy that permeates this story, it is nonetheless compelling, and Lemire inspires investment by the reader in the outcome of Will’s quest. This was a great issue.
My Date With Monsters #1
Written by Paul Tobin
Art by Andy MacDonald
Colors by DJ Chavis
Letters by Taylor Esposito
Cover Art by MacDonald & Chavis
We have seen stories where monsters dwell among humans. It is a setting that we have expectations for, but what makes a story set in that kind of universe successful is quality character development and interesting wrinkles in the plot that engender uniqueness to the story. This book has both of those elements. Paul Tobin and Andy MacDonald present a visually interesting narrative with satisfying plot construction. Letterer Taylor Esposito does a fantastic job developing an understandable method of presenting a complex plot structure. Without his execution, the overall product might be hurt. Everyone on this book worked to deliver a really fun and interesting first issue for this series. We will definitely be looking for more.
Nightmare in Savannah OGN
Mad Cave Studios
Written by Lela Gwenn
Art by Rowan MacColl
Colors by MacColl
Letters by Micah Myers
Cover Art by MacColl
We don’t normally review original graphic novels (OGN) in this space, but we had to make an exception for this one. This book snuck up on us literally and figuratively. There hasn’t been enough hype for it, and it is the type of book that takes you by surprise. As you read about the protagonist and her new friends, Lela Gwenn and Rowan MacColl make you comfortable with the quirky out of place aesthetic with which many comic readers are familiar. However, in short order, the story takes on an urgency and passion that enthralls the audience and carries through to the finish. MacColl’s use of color to highlight emotion and Micah Myers’ excellent lettering round out a compelling script from Gwenn. This book should immediately go on a short list for all comic shops when someone comes in looking for spooky teenage drama. It is just a lovely book in all ways.
No One Left to Fight II #2
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Aubrey Sitterson
Art by Fico Ossio
Colors by Raciel Avila
Letters by Taylor Esposito
Cover Art by Ossio
If you are looking for over-the-top action, bright and beautiful images with inviting camera angles, and a fun story with just a touch of melodrama, this is the book for you. We have been fans of this story since the first volume, and in this second volume, Aubrey Sitterson is expanding the world in unique, yet organic ways. The new characters serve to enrich the world that houses the love triangle at the center of the story. Fico Ossio is absolutely killing it on the action in this book. Raciel Avila lights up the page with the neon hues that permeate this issue. Again, Taylor Esposito is the perfect letterer for this book. The sound effects he injects combined with his creative use of bubble designs and colors bring this book to another level. We look forward to the next issue of this pulse pounding story.
Orphan and the Five Beasts #3
Dark Horse Comics
Written by James Stokoe
Art by Stokoe
Colors by Stokoe
Letters by Stokoe
Cover Art by Stokoe
James Stokoe is a virtuoso. There I said it. This book is creepy and lovely and compelling. Stokoe builds on the first two issues and introduces another terrifying beast in this issue. The intricate linework and simple colors combined with clean lettering serve to deliver a stellar comic book. This one has a bit of cliffhanger, and we will be hanging on with baited breath until the next issue.
Phenom X #1
Written by John Leguizamo, Aram Rappaport, Joe Miciak, Damian Slattery
Art by Chris Batista
Inks by Sabrina Cintron
Colors by Christopher Sotomayor
Letters by AndWorld Design
Cover Art by Jim Muniz
The plot of this book is interesting. The visual story telling as executed by Chris Batista, Sabrina Cintron, and Christopher Sotomayor is fantastic. It is very much a super hero story but the darker lines and shadows accentuate the corrupt underbelly of the world that the story takes place in. AndWorld Design was challenged to deliver a smooth lettering assignment and met the challenge head on. Overall this highly anticipated book achieved the goal of introducing the reader to a world where shades of grey rule the day and exploitation is the default operating instructions for those in power. This is a solid introduction to the world of Phenom X.
Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body #1
Written by Christopher Cantwell
Art by Luca Casalanguida
Colors by Giada Marchisio
Letters by AndWorld Design
Cover Art by Cassalanguida
In light of the public’s macabre current fascination with conspiracy theories, perhaps it makes the most sense to explore the conspiratorial event that is at the foundations of this phenomenon. And if that makes sense, I would be hard pressed to find someone better than Christopher Cantwell to do it. This comic is absolutely a recruit the players issue, but it is done with such care and precision that the reader is left to eagerly anticipate how this motley crew will function when the pressure is on. Luca Casalanguida does a masterful job at illustrating this heist comic. The entire team delivered a quality first issue for this interesting series.
What’s the Furthest Place from Here #1
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Tyler Boss
Colors by Boss
Letters by Hassan Ostmane-Elhaou
Cover Art by Boss
I really enjoyed this book. It is super sized and has a lot going on in it. Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss are a fantastic team of storytellers, which they have already proven. This book evokes feelings of comics and other pieces of fiction from earlier times while staying true to the story it is trying to tell. Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou is one of the best comic letterers in the business and the minimalistic style that he uses in this book is perfectly executed. This book evokes plenty of deep emotions and it is not light in any way, but I highly recommend that anyone who likes comics reads this book. You won’t be disappointed.
We use a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously. Everyone has 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: