Marvel are planing a tactical nuclear strike on my wallet, I am sure of it. This week they have produced more titles in the All-New All-Different, the beginnings of a huge Star Wars crossover and more of the freaking Secret Wars (yes it’s still going on). Throw in DC Comics finally pulling Batman Europa out of their hats and Mark Millar kicking out Huck with Image comics and my wallet has being cleaned out. But yours doesn’t have to be! This week I delve into the madness that is the world of comic books and name my BearSleuth pick of the week, and with the calibre of stories on the shelves this week it’s going to be a tough fight.
All images, unless otherwise sourced, are screen shots from the Marvel and DC comics apps [Accessed: 19/11/2015]
Batman Europa Issue One by Matteo Casali, Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee
I don’t get the fuss. I’m sorry but I really don’t understand why people are freaking out over this book, I know it’s been promised for the best part of the last decade but so was Duke Nukem and we all know how that turned out. Casali and Azzarello have thrown together a perfectly serviceable plot right here, with a focus around Europe with which is nice but it just doesn’t grab me. Jim Lee’s pencils save the piece, as he manages to recreate many famous monuments in stunning detail with the help of an all-star art team. Without the build up surrounding this storyline I would be happier with it but either way unless you are a huge Batman fan you could probably survive giving this a miss.
Huck Issue One by Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque
Picture Source: http://nerdist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Huck-Featured.jpg [Accessed: 20/11/2015]
Right I’m raising the bar this week, we have so many big creators putting books out that I’m going to have to throw down an extra layer of criticism. In any other week, Huck would probably take my pick of the week but there’s so much good stuff out there. Millar has pulled off another fantastic concept but due to the lack of dialog in the issue and the fast pacing it feels over before it starts. Albuquerque’s art really sell the piece and the mood that Millar seems to be aiming for although it lacks detail at moments. The paneling is nice but carries you through a little too quickly for my liking. If you’re a fan of non-super hero yet super powered storylines give this one a go.
I Hate Fairyland Issue Two by Skottie Young
Picture Source: http://36.media.tumblr.com/03b52b1dd2ce83474744e7b1ae3ec784/tumblr_ntasrn3Kou1qes700o1_1280.jpg [Accessed: 2011/2015]
GO BUY I HATE FAIRYLAND! Even if you hate comic books and you have just ended up reading this piece because I have left it on a computer in an Apple Store ( I do that a lot) you need to read this book. Skottie Young has created a warped and messed up version of every kid’s fairytale and fantasy land. Issue Two takes the story and begins to outline the general direction we’re heading through the maddening abyss that is Young’s mind. The artwork, also by Young, is amazing and packs every single panel full of detail, you can literally spend hours pouring over every page looking for fun references and sight gags. I cannot help but recommend this to all readers.
BearSlueth Pick Of The Week: Secret Wars Too Issue One by EVERYONE!
I agonised over this choice. In other weeks almost any of these title (minus Batman Europa) could have taken the pick of the week but Secret Wars Too is the only comic that has made me audibly laugh out loud and for that, along with some extremely clever writing, I have to give it the pick. Also it’s a one-off so, unlike the others, it won’t get another chance to get the pick. Secret Wars Too feels like an apology from Marvel after the frankly shameful handling of the Secret Wars event this summer. It’s a big jam session issue filled with hilarious short comedy strips about everything from Hickman’s performance anxiety to Galactus’ food blog. Every short just hit me perfectly causing a belly full of laughs. If you are a Marvel comics fan this is an absolute must!
Star Wars Issue Twelve by Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen
My feelings towards this series keep changing, Jason Aaron feels very hit and miss at the moment however this week he is certainly a hit (considering three of the comics I’m reviewing come from him and I have little bad to say about any of them). In Star Wars Issue Twelve Aaron works hard to tie-up all the loose treads of the ‘Showdown On The Smugglers Moon’ storyline before we hit ‘Vader Down’ and it works. There is a lot going one but it feels well written and streamlined into a fitting conclusion to the story arc. Immonen’s art is superb, making the issue a delight for any Star Wars fans. I would recommend this series to anyone who is counting down the days to The Force Awakens, not long now guys.
The Mighty Thor Issue One by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman
I’m going to level with you, this is my first real encounter with the Jane Foster Thor and I love her. Aaron has created a twist on the classic character to give her even greater depth and a sense of strength that comes from her character. It’s both refreshing and extremely positive to see a female protagonist like this on the pages of comics and, along with several other female heroes getting new titles, it’s doing a lot to deal with a problem Marvel have had for sometime now. The piece is really strong and Dauterman’s artwork makes Thor feel like the goddess she is, it’s far more impressive than I imagined and I would recommend it to any Thor fans out there!
Vader Down Issue One by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato
This is the big one, eh Aaron? Darth Vader unleashed on a moon with a huge rebel force at his heels and Luke within his grasp (no that’s not a spoiler, if you have seen any of the promotional material you would know about all this already). It’s every Star Wars fans dream and Aaron makes sure to indulge in it. Normally I would complain about a writer using more that one double page spread in an issue, as it can make a book feel cheap, but the whole piece has this epic feel to it that affords it a few concessions from me. If you have no interest in Star Wars at all this issue will not sell you on it but if you have ever fanaticised about being Darth Vader then this book may just blow you mind!
Extraordinary X-Men Issue Two Jeff Lamire and Humberto Ramos
‘This may be the best series in the All-New All-Different line up’, that’s what I would be saying if Marvel had assigned a half-decent artist to this book. I love Lamires writing, he has created a huge new X-Men plot and drip fed us enough information that I already know I will follow his entire run on the book, but Marvel screwed him over. Humberto Ramos belongs on a book with a light tone, Howard the Duck or Squirrel Girl, his style just falls flat right here. Many of the character redesigns look dumb and the ones that don’t just look like they would look better drawn by any other artist. I have a theory that this was an deliberate choice on the part of Marvel to sabotage the X-Men and I have to implore you to help me fight them. Go out and buy the book, show that no matter what we need the X-Men in the Marvel Universe. Still Hated. Still Feared. Still Standing.
…that’s this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle! Check back on Monday for another Grr(aphic) Mondays!