December has finally rocked up on our door steps with a whole new crop of comics from the industry. This is a weird month in the industry as it normally starts with a bang and ends with a whisper as releases slow to a crawl over Christmas. This week we are very much in the ‘bang’ portion however, and, once again, Marvel have come out guns ablaze. In the bundle this week there are six Issue Ones from the comic book Titan, leaving DC to scramble with the likes of the Robin War and Harley’s Little Black Book. I picked up a few independent issues this week but there’s too much going on in the mainstream for me to get to them now (hopefully I’ll get a little time over Christmas to do a big ol’ independent review). I think that covers everything for now, so that only leaves one question, what will get my BearSleuth Pick Of The Week?
All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel Comics and DC Comics app [Accessed: 2/12/2015].
All-New Inhumans Issue One By Charles Soule and Stefano Caselli
I don’t like issues with an A and B-story, it just feels sloppy to me. Like the writers can’t decide what they want to do with the main story so they only write half an issue’s worth and then fill the rest with something fluffy or character focused. It can work well, but unfortunately neither Soule’s A-story or the B in All-New Inhumans grabs me. The main story is slow and simply seems to echo the All-New Inhumans with even less recognisable characters. When Gorgon is your big-name character in an issue, things are getting desperate. The second story just shows how the Inhumans and some mutants are cooperating, but it’s just disappointing to the point of despair. I don’t like this book and even the half-decent art by Caselli does little to help it. There are better books on the shelves this week; you can leave this one where it is.
All-New X-Men Issue One By Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley
I’ve been wrestling with my thoughts on the past X-Men for a while but in All-New X-Men I have to say that it really works well. Dennis Hopeless has created a storyline that has grabbed me as the young Scott Summers wrestles with his future self, who has essentially become a martyr for mutants everywhere. It’s an interesting concept with an emotional through-line that makes for very easy reading. The artwork throughout is fairly standard from Bagley but there is little that jumps out at me. I would recommend this issue to anyone who is interested in the roots of the X-Men.
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Daredevil Issue One By Charles Soule and Ron Garney
I’m a sucker for Daredevil. I always have been—I can’t help it! Bendis’ Daredevil series is what got me into writing in the first place and ever since I cannot resist old Horn-head’s charms. Charles Soule’s first issue is no different. I love the idea of Matt Murdock working as a prosecutor, as he and his alter ego have taken on a more intimidating and aggressive visage. But it is not the writing in this book that makes it stand out this week—no, that would be the art. Ron Garney is an artist I have never encountered to my knowledge yet he is perfect on this book, with a winning combination of pulp stylings and heavy ink work that blows my mind while fitting the plot nicely. You need to get this book and if you enjoyed the Daredevil Netflix series you need this book right now.
Guardians Of Infinity Issue One By Dan Abnett, Jason Latour and Carlo Barberi
Y’know how I was saying that B-stories can sometimes do character stuff that really work? Well, Guardians of Infinity Issue One pulls its B-story off beautifully. However, Dan Abnett’s A-story is weak, short, and lacking in content. I will admit that I am unfamiliar with the Guardians Of The Galaxy 3000, but I don’t think knowing the characters any better would have helped really. It just doesn’t work for me. That being said, you need to buy this book for Jason Latour’s B-story that focuses on Rocket Raccoon and Ben Grimm. I believe that if Marvel get the rights back to the Fantastic Four, something like this story could be what makes the Thing relevant. If you have a bit of spare change this week you should scoop up this book.
Harley’s Little Black Book Issue One By Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have worked hard to reinvent Harley Quinn over the last few years. They have taken a psychotic killer with a wacky bent and turned her into a ‘hilarious’ ditsy self-parody. If you can’t tell, I’m not a fan. I don’t like this new bend in comics of ridiculous, social media obsessed wacky characters that are all clamouring to be Deadpool so hard their balls hurt. It makes me sick. Harley’s Little Black Book goes one step further however as it drags Wonder Woman into this cavalcade of millennial horrors that is known as the new Harley Quinn style. For god’s sake, get her and Joker back together so she can go on a few more murdering sprees, please! If this is your sort of thing you are welcome to go buy it but I’ll not be recommending it on this site. God, I sound like my dad…
Robin War Issue One By Tom King and a horde of artists
Meanwhile, in the sane part of the DC Comics office, Tom King has something brilliant brewing. There are few times that a writer works out a new idea for a large scale crossover that really works. The last one I can think of was probably either Siege or Civil War. The secret is to look for a common issue that effects all the heroes involved and Tom King has found just that. The piece is one huge jam session with a tonne of different artists chipping in, which gives the book a style that is rich and textured. I really recommend this book to comic fans everywhere!
Spidey Issue One By Robbie Thompson and Nick Bradshaw
Since we’re getting a teenage Spider-Man, the Wizards over at the head of Marvel have decided that we need a teenage Spider-Man book. Good idea. Showing that someone else can write on Spider-Man apart from Dan Slott gives me hope for the future—but this is not what anyone wants, is it? Who is sitting at their desk and decides that what Spider-Man needs is more selfies?! Not more interesting villains or character development but instead more selfies. Can I just ask what the time difference is meant to be between young and old Peter? The whole ‘hashtag’ thing has been around maybe five years, at least in the mainstream, so every Spider-Man story is meant to take place in that gap? No, Thompson and Bradshaw have made a decent attempt here but it falls just short. If you really need more Spidey, pick up this book. Otherwise steer clear.
The Totally Awesome Hulk By Greg Pak and Frank Cho
As much as I am trying to resist the new ‘wacky’ side of Marvel I have to admit I like this book. Greg Pak has zeroed in on something I, and a lot of people can relate to, by examining how the Hulk power set reacts to teenage angst. Now that both Banner and Cho seem to be in relative control of their green counterparts there is more of a human dilemma as they both struggle to contain the Hulk aspect of their psyches. Couple the writing with Frank Cho’s artwork and the final product is a book I can recommend to any fans of the Hulk.
…that’s this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle! Check back on Monday for another Grr(aphic) Monday!