This week has been absolutely amazing in the world of mainstream comic books. We’ve got new DC Comics titles including a fantastic Superman story and a slightly haunting Batman tale as well as some of the fan favourite Secret Wars titles such as Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows and Civil War. On top of that onslaught from the DC and Marvel Universes there’s some amazing things coming in from the left field of the Marvel Star Wars Universe with a new Darth Vader story and the first piece of fiction set after Return Of The Jedi in Shattered Empires. With all these amazing pieces on the cards I’ve been working hard to read everything and now it’s time for me to separate the good from the bad in the Bear Sleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle Week 5.
All images are screen shots taken from the Marvel Comics and DC Comics apps [Accessed: 11/09/2015]
Action Comics Issue 44 By Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder
The most recent run of Action Comics has been taking Superman in a brand new direction which I won’t spoiler but I know it has created a divide in the fanbase. Action Comics Issue 44 brings the storyline to a close with a final boss fight that opens the series up to a larger plot that will be continued across the next few issues. The actual narrative by Greg Pak is a little weak right here but if you’ve been reading the Superman arc then it’s passable as there are a lot of fun and enjoyable moments that, while non-essential, really bring the story to life. Aaron Kuder does well to bring the final boss to life with some interesting art that feels thematically relatable with the more out-there Romita Jr. art of the other Superman series. I highly recommend this series and this book to fans of Superman.
Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows Issue 5 By Dan Slott and Adam Kubert
Amazing Spider-Man has felt not like the love letter to spidey fans that Dan Slott promised but more like an apology for every crime against the character Slott has committed throughout his run on Spider-Man. In the final issue of Renew Your Vows, Slott continues to allow fans to see what would have happened is Spiderman had continued to gain both more power and responsibility. The finale includes a battle that allows us to see the sort of face off that could have become a regular part of the Spider-Man series if the One More Day arc hadn’t happened. It’s fun and well written but there is a little sadness with a ‘what could have been’ vibe. I highly recommend picking this up if you have been a long time Spider-Man fan.
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Batman Issue 44 By Scott Snyder and Brian Azzarello
For 43 issues Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo has created a series of interesting new additions to the Batman mythos including the fan favourite Court Of The Owls. In this issue Batman changes up a gear as Snyder revisits the world of Zero Year in a tale that’s both engaging and well written. I really cannot get past how well written this particular issue is as its a standalone story that looks at what it really is to be Batman. Snyder does some soul searching on the part of the dark knight that should earn him a place in the writing pantheon of comic book gods. However, this piece wouldn’t take the pick of the week if it wasn’t for Brian Azzarello’s fantastic artwork that reflects both the story and Batman’s inner monologue really well. This issue is both a great treat for long term fans and a great short story for anyone who wants some Batman action with no knowledge of continuity. I highly recommend this to comic book fans everywhere!
Civil War Issue 4 By Charles Soule and Lenil Francis Yu
I have to admit that I was a little hurt by the events of this issue. Soule has created an amazing piece with the Civil War Secret Wars arc, but in this new issue he brings in another story arc from around the same era that seems to slightly lower the tone of the book. The thing is the original Civil War was amazing but unfortunately some of the other event books from the same era where weaker for one reason and another. I would rather the surprise twist of the book had been linked to another one of the multiple aspects from the Civil War tie-ins. Yu has managed to continue his artistic standard and the final couple of panels could be some of the most stunning coming out of the world of comics this week. I still recommend this series to any Civil War fans out there but I urge you to manage your expectations.
Darth Vader Issue 9 By Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca
Writing comic books is tough, there’s both a written and artistic aspect to consider, throw in the added challenge of trying to add a new chunk of story to an existing, well loved, cannon and you have created a near-Herculean task. However, somehow Kieron Gillen has managed not only to achieve his goal of creating a Darth Vader story but also Gillen has managed to create one of the most interesting and engaging Star Wars stories of all time. In this epic tale we don’t just follow Vader but we feel his struggles and emotions. All this strong writing mixed with Larroca’s innovative artwork creates an piece I can recommend to any Star Wars fan.
Little Marvel A vs X Issue 4 By Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
While Batman might be the best comic on the shelves this week but Little Marvel A vs X Issue Four is the funniest. Young has taken aspects of some of the most successful Marvel series from the last decade and blended them together into a delightful cocktail of humour and reference that will make any Marvel fans day. Skottie Young is an amazing artist and his work serves not only to make classic Marvel characters look a little goofy but also to dig to the real heart of what those characters represent and what can make them funny. If you want a super hero themed chuckle give this one a read.
Planet Hulk Issue 5 By Sam Humphries and Marc Laming
Planet Hulk has been a balls out action romp in the style of Gladiator or the 300 so it ending in a few prolonged scenes of dialog and relatively little action kinda disappoints me. After last week’s surprise reveal I almost feel like maybe this series went on a little too long as Humphries uses the last issue mostly to fumble around in a desperate attempt to find some actual closure which is pretty sad considering the quality of the rest of the series. Laming’s artwork is sufficient, it’s not good or bad it’s just standard and understandable with some nice off-beat memory sequences which form one of the best scenes in the entire issue. If there is one issue you can skip this week, it’s probably this one.
Star Wars: Shattered Empire Issue 1 By Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto
There have been a lot of issues out this week with great expectations surround them, but none more so that Star Wars: Shattered Empire, as the first piece of canon Star Wars fiction post Return Of The Jedi. Unfortunately, under all this pressure Greg Rucks starts off by playing it safe with a plot made up of logical deductions and that form a series of deleted scenes from the end of Return Of The Jedi. This lack of plot does however give Rucka the chance to create a few nice character moments and a two new protagonists that seem interesting enough to carry the miniseries. Checchetto creates some amazing artwork that gives the piece a unique epic quality. I highly recommend this to anyone excited about Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
…and that’s another BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle! Please like, share, subscribe, follow and everything else that the social network peoples do. Check back on Monday for another Grr(aphic) Mondays.