Rapid Reviews: New Comics for the Week of 5/17/23

Welcome to our latest Rapid Reviews column.

This week we have some debut issues and some middle issues to discuss. Both Marvel and DC relaunched major team books this week and we have reviews of both of those as well as some excellent smaller books that we think you should check out.

For all the New Number Ones and Special Issues for May check out our monthly rundowns on Here and Here.

Our reviews are spoiler free and focus on the positive aspects of comic storytelling in each issue. You can find all of these books at your Local Comic Shop now or wherever you get your comics.

Avengers #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Jed MacKay
Art by C.F. Villa
Colors by Federico Blee
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover Art by Stuart Immonen

As the cover indicates, the Avengers are looking up. This reset and new beginning to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is encouraging. The debut issue to this volume is a well crafted jumping on point. It is accessible for new readers and establishes the rollcall through the use of structured flashbacks.

It is clearly a Carol Danvers story, and Jed MacKay has a good handle on the characters in this book. C.F. Villa delivers gorgeous and dynamic visuals and Federico Blee’s work adds an excellent mix of light and shadow that accentuates the important aspects of each page. It is a fun and exciting story that has me eager for the next issue.

Chilling Adventures Presents: Jinx, A Cursed Life #1
Archie Comics
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Craig Cermak
Colors by Ellie Wright
Letters by Jack Morelli
Cover Art by Cermak

This book is a rocking good time. Mags Visaggio crafted a fun one-and-done story with interesting personal dynamics and fun dialogue. Craig Cermak and Ellie Wright created a beautiful and engaging visual narrative. I will second the comments of editor Jamie Lee Rotante from the Letters column in that I love Visaggio writing the Jinx character.

The Gimmick #3
Ahoy Comics
Written by Joanne Starer
Art by Elena Gogou
Colors by Andy Troy
Letters by Rob Steen
Cover Art by Erica Henderson

I am loving this series. It is story about superpowered famous wrestlers, and somehow it has relatable characters that readers can empathize with and root for, and I don’t even like wresting. With each issue, I am more invested in the successes and failures of the characters in this book. Joanne Starer is going to be a star. She is an excellent writer, and Elena Gogou’s art style is the perfect aesthetic for this story. The storytelling in this book is top notch at every turn. Make sure you get in on this great story.

The Seasons Have Teeth #2
Boom! Studios
Written by Dan Watters
Art by Sebastián Carol
Colors by Dan Jackson
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover Art by Qistina Khalidah

I enjoyed Issue One of this series. With this second issue, Watters and Carol really shift this story into another gear. All the ancillary questions about this world fall away, and the themes of compassion, guilt, self-indulgence, glory-seeking, and what defines a legacy take center stage on a beautifully monstrous tapestry. Dan Jackson’s colors add heat to this issue, and Nate Piekos’s lettering is excellent. This is wonderful comic storytelling. Highly recommended.

Titans #1
DC Comics
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Nicola Scott
Colors by Annette Kwok
Letters by Wes Abbott
Cover Art by Scott & Kwok

DC is also re-launching a major team book this week. Titans returns as an ongoing series for the first time since 2019, and the group is situated as the premiere hero team in the DCU. Tom Taylor crafts a compelling story for this first issue and lays the groundwork for multiple future stories. Primarily, this issue establishes the status quo of the team members and their mission.

Nicola Scott and Annette Kwok light up the pages of this book with some gorgeous art. Scott’s page designs are fantastic and her perspective and camera angles enhance this visual experience. This is a great start for the return of the Titans.

Tower #4
A Wave Blue World
Written by Camrus Johnson & Kelsey Barnhart
Art by Loyiso Mkize
Colors by Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by Bernardo Brice
Cover Art by Mkize & Dalhouse

This series is super interesting. The art and writing are high quality. The story of an immersive team combat video game serves as the perfect backdrop for the themes of trust, selfishness, and betrayal that are explored through character interactions. The overarching story that is being revealed at a higher level than the game players are experiencing is also intriguing. The art is excellent, and Loyiso Mkize is consistently delivering outstanding action packed panels. This is a first-rate action comic.