If tea tastes better with a biscuit then the BearSleuth Bundle is more awesome when it stars Mr. Biscuits! (Thank you to that one Martian Manhunter fan who laughed at that). This week has been insane in the worlds of Marvel and DC, with some beautiful Secret Wars titles and epic new instalments in the Justice League and Star Wars series. Looks like it’s time for another BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!
All pictures are screen shots taken from the DC Comics and Marvel Comics app [Accessed: 20/08/2015]
1872 Issue Two by Gerry Duggan and Nik Virella
We start this week with something truly unique. 1872 so far has given us a glimpse into a Wild West version of the Marvel Universe populated with twists on classic Marvel characters. The thing I love about this storyline is that there are no heroes, the only hero is Steve but his crusade for justice can only end badly. Tony Stark, Bruce Banner and the other ‘heroes’ are all heavily flawed versions of themselves. This issue gives us some much needed action after last issues set up, Gerry Duggan manages the pacing very well and throws in some abrupt and unexpected twists that make the piece feel bold and dynamic. Nik Virella’s artwork is gritty and jagged, making every scenario feel harsh and unforgiving. If your a fan of gritty action and old westerns this might be the one for you!
Guardians of Knowhere Issue Three by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato
Bendis is Bendis, almost anything he puts together has a beautiful blend of humour, self reference and action. Unfortunately, for the quality I expect from him this is only an average attempt. That’s not to say it’s not a great book, Guardians of Knowhere may be one of the best issues out this week, but I know what Bendis is capable of and this isn’t Ultimate Spider-Man or New Avengers. I think the problem is that Guardians is a stand alone store and so there is little continuity for the writer to play with. What makes his previous piece so great are the little character moments where two heroes meet and we see what they think of each other, but when the heroes have only existed for three issues those moment carry little weight. Mike Deodate is on point throughout this issue and his art alone makes for a pretty epic book. I don’t want you to think this is a bad book but if you are struggling to choose out of the titles in this list you could put this one back on the shelf.
House of M Issue One by Dennis Hopeless and Marco Failla
I want to be Magneto, in truth I think we all do at one time or another. It’s tough to love in the face of hate and sometimes when we feel like someone is oppressing or hating us it’s great fantasise about bringing a building down on them. Dennis Hopeless gives us a chance to get inside Magneto’s head in House of M Issue One. Although it’s never said at any point in the book there is a feeling in the book that Magneto is adrift because he has won, his life was about the fight for mutant rights and now the fight is over. The issue sets up the world well and brings in a lot of aspects from the original House of M event without the comic feeling exposition heavy. Marco Failla’s art style works well in the issue, although it falls a little short when it comes to small detail, like facial features. I would recommend this book to Magneto fans everywhere.
Inferno Issue Four by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Garrón
There wasn’t much build up for this issue, when I’ve talked to other Marvel Secret Wars fans I’ve heard very few mention Inferno. Well it deserves your attention, imagine X-Men crossed with Devil May Cry with a bit of the Exorcist thrown in for good measure. Inferno Issue Four is a great piece by Dennis Hopeless as everything begins to come to a head in a dramatic fight for control of the domain. Javier Garrón makes the piece with some great demonic designs and some truly stunning battle scenes. If the piece has a weakness it might feel a little rushed towards the end as Hopeless tries to pull everything together ready for the next issue. I highly recommend this piece to any fans of the X-Men or Demonic fiction.
Justice League Issue Forty Three by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok
Justice League Issue Forty Three gets away with something that I’d normally get pretty angry about, it turns Batman into a plot device. See when a hero reaches a certain level of power they become a force of nature and not a character, Superman is a great example of this, which is why almost every Superman story is about making him weak enough to get away from this. If you couldn’t work out from the cover, Batman gets a power up in this issue, this power up turns him into Mr. Exposition and leads to him basically explaining everything that’s going on to the Justice League. But like I say, it gets away with it because Geoff Johns finds a way to turn the power up into a part of the plot that feels believable and puts Batman’s character into some new territory. The rest of the issue is fantastic by the way, with both Wonder Woman and Superman’s subplots heading into some really intriguing places. Fabok’s art works overtime to sell the multiple realities and epic battles in the issue, I really recommend this issue as well as the entire run to any Justice League fans.
Martian Manhunter Issue Three by Rob Williams and Eddy Barrows
I have wanted a Martian Manhunter comic series for years, he is a complex character who is a living mystery. If I’m being honest, I wanted to see what Manhunter did when he wasn’t helping out the Justice League, I kind of wanted him to have a sleazy apartment and mountains of food as he can never gain weight because he’s a shape shifter. That being said, I really like the direction Rob Williams has taken the character in. Manhunter is another one of those character who is essentially a force of nature and Williams uses that to his advantage, focusing on a titanic battle between Manhunter and other beings of equal power. I have to warn you it is a little hard to follow at points and may require several rereadings to fully understand. I recommend this to fans of sci-fi stories and Martian Manhunter.
Star Wars Issue Eight by Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen
I must confess, after reading Issue Seven of Star Wars I went out of my way to buy every issue of Marvel’s new Star Wars universe, it’s all pretty great but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Star Wars Issue Eight is pretty good but it might be one of the weaker additions to the series, this mostly due to it attempting to bridge the gap between the first story arc while also setting up the next one. There’s a quite a bit of exposition but it does work in the issue favour at some points, Aaron’s characterisation is spot on and so a lot of the set up still feels fun. Immonen manages to perfectly recreate all the great Star Wars characters, although some of the new characters for this story arc look a little featureless in comparison as they aren’t based on real life actors. I still recommend this book, if your not following the Star Wars series yet it really is time to get on board, but I can’t give it the pick of the week.
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: The Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows Issue Four by Dan Slott and Andy Kubert
This series breaks my heart. Way back when the One More Day Spider-Man arc was released I began to drift away from Spider-Man, the idea of Peter Parker with less responsibility just felt like the character was losing the forward progression the Amazing Spider-Man run had become know for. With Renew Your Vows we get a window into a world where things had gone the other way and Peter Parker had progressed further in his relationship with Mary Jane and dealt with the death of Aunt May and it’s fantastic. I am not a Dan Slott fan but he is pulling out all the stops on this book, creating a piece that rewards Spider-Man fans from all eras and is jam packed full of ‘God damn that was cool’ moments which is all we could ever ask for from a Spider-Man book. In this issue Slott throws in a lot of great scenes between key Spider-Man allies that make the piece feel richer and a lot more fun. Andy Kubert has created a nice ascetic to the world that makes it feel slightly futuristic. I highly recommend this series to any comic book fans, especially fans of the wall crawler.
…and that’s the second BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle! Check back on Monday for another Grr(aphic) Monday!