They are trying, bless them. Is winter in the comic book industry just the time when we expect all the artist Eisner-bait to work its way out? I mean we’ve had Captain America White, Superman: American Alien, and now Dark Knight III, all the sort of things that fill the wet dreams of comic book award committees. I can’t complain really. It’s good to see the mainstream industry flexing their creative muscles, but it just makes me a little sad. I guess I wish they could always employ such intelligence and elegance to their series, not just when it’s expected. With that bit of reflection let’s get into why you’re all here, eh? Week Fourteen, I honestly can’t believe it…
All images are taken from the Marvel and DC comics apps [Accessed: 26/11/2015]
All-New Wolverine Issue Two By Tom Taylor and David Lopez
I raved about the first issue of this series. I wrote a whole extended article about it and made it one of my top picks for the week, so I’m feeling a little disappointed that Issue Two just doesn’t feel the same. All-New Wolverine Issue Two is a good book—it’s still got a lot of heart—but I can’t say I’m over the moon with the direction Tom Taylor is taking the book in. We got rid of Weapon X so we didn’t have to put up with all this shadowy military corporation stuff, right? David Lopez is still doing a solid job on the artwork and the piece has good pacing and clarity. I would probably recommend reading the first one and if you like it then, by all means, grab it.
Chewbacca Issue Four By Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto
I’m tempted to do this review as a Wookie…uuuuuggghhhhaghggghghg! For those of you who haven’t been through the enlightening Bable Fish process (let’s see who gets that reference) I’ll give a quick translation. I like the Chewbacca series, Duggan has found a great way to use what is essentially a silent protagonist. Chewbacca says nothing that is readable in the book yet he has a constant presence and it is easy to understand what’s going on in his head. This continues through to art, by Phil Noto, which serves to give Chewbacca a voice in his actions and movements. If you’re a fan of Chewbacca in the films you’ll love him in this series.
Dark Knight III The Master Race Issue One By Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello
This is weird. I honestly didn’t think we would ever see another Dark Knight book after the travesty of the last one but with Batman V Superman taking cues fro mother original it makes complete sense. Issue One does a lot of ground work as Miller shows us why the industry is now dominated by dark and gritty reimaginings, the writing is strong and a lot more streamlined when compared to the other two chapters in the Dark Knight series. I both approve and am disappointed by the art. I entirely understand why Miller isn’t doing his art on the book as it would have doubled the production time and he isn’t as young as he used to be but Azzarello just isn’t the same. It doesn’t quite feel right and that’s disappointing. With an extra mini-issue and some pretty rad writing Dark Knight III is worth picking up, but maybe have a flick through first and see if the art style sells you on it.
Darth Vader Issue Thirteen By Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca
Vader Down is probably one of my favourite comic book cross-overs of the last five years. There is something that fills me with a boyish glee about seeing Vader walking through a wasteland filled with Rebels being a bad ass. The writing is strong and the character designs are spot on so everything just feels right. This issue has a great character moment towards the end were Gillen really messes with the reader and some of the characters. I have to recommend this to all Star Wars fans out there, it’s just a perfect part of the universe.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Issue One By Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder and Natacha Bustos
I don’t like this growing trend in the Marvel Universe, you know the one I mean, the *sigh* ‘quirky’ characters. Squirrel Girl, Howard The Duck and now Moon Girl. I get that super heroes can be quite camp and fun but when it’s taken to its extreme the whole thing becomes unwieldy and just falls flat. I do know some people that love this sort of thing, if that’s you that’s fine. Montclare and Reeder have created a quirky piece that is a lot more readable that the others on the shelves. As for the art, Bustos has managed to capture the feel of the writing well. It’s difficult for me to really comment on this as it isn’t my thing but if it’s yours then go get it and enjoy. Just don’t make me read it.
Silk Issue One By Robbie Thomson and Stacey Lee
I have to admit I was expecting a car crash of an Issue by Silk surprised me. The character of Silk feels a lot like what I want Peter Parker to be, a hero doing what is right and just scraping through. Thomson has created that feeling with several different factions all looking to deal with Silk in their own way. This creates a plot that feels smart and layered, which is normally something lacking in b-list books like this. Stacey Lee throws down some great art as well which really sold me on Silk as a bit of a badass. I would really recommend this book to anyone that isn’t happy with the direction the rest of the Spidey books are going at the moment.
Superman Issue Forty Six By Gene Luen Yang and Howard Porter
Every week I try and cover a wide range from the world of comics. I at least try to get some issues from Marvel, DC and one other publisher in. This week I’ve messed up a little there but that’s fine. The thing is, there is not much to really review in this issue. I can’t really recommend it, because if you haven’t read the last five issues you’re going to be very lost. Gene Luen Yang has had a hand in crafting a new era for the Man Of Tomorrow that is refreshing and his given the character a new lease on life. I like it, I don’t love it but it’s a pretty good story from my perspective. Porter’s art work is very visceral, which is a good match for the current plot. I guess if you happened to pick this bad boy up you could do a lot worse.
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Venom: Space Knight Issue One By Robbie Thompson and Ariel Olivetti
Out of all the big books coming out this week I cannot believe this took my pick of the week, I’m not even a big Venom fan, but Venom: Space Knight Issue One is the closest thing to a perfect first issue that I have ever seen. Robbie Thompson sets everything up perfectly for a very fast paced action adventure that gives us some intrigue and a lot of background on the character. There’s a good story right here that doesn’t require any explanation or set up. However, it is Ariel Olivetti’s artwork that separates this issue from the rest of the pack, the entire piece is a thing of beauty, I had to stop several times to just take in the mind-blowing panels. I have to recommend that anyone with an interest in comics goes out and buys this book!
…and that’s this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle! Check back on Monday for another great Grr(aphic) Mondays!