The end of year is always an odd one in the world of comic books. Companies know that almost no one is going to go out to the comic book stores this time of year (expect for your favourite neighbourhood comic book reviewer) and there’s going to be all sorts of hell with the delivery schedules. I had a lot of trouble picking up comics this week, which is why this review is a day late, and the few there were to pick up gave me a very limited choice to review. There’s a few pieces here that I wouldn’t normally pick to talk about but I have to say that even in the bleak midwinter there’s some brilliant highlights on the comic shelves.
All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics app [Accessed: 01/01/2016]
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Batman Europa Issue Three By Matteo Casali, Brian Azzarello and Diego Latorre
I wanted to go for something a little less predictable with my pick of he week but the team just pulled together and brought it on this book. The third issue of this series revolves around Paris, that’s not a spoiler you can tell by the cover, and both the story and the art reflects the city well. Casali and Azzarello begin to look at the impact the Joker and Batman have upon each other and how close their goals and motives can be at times. This examination creates a lot of interesting dialogue and some scenes that may even find their way into the pages of comic book history. The art work is simply stunning, both within the context of the plot and when examined by itself. The art is different from anything I’ve seen before and so immediately places it’s self high in my estimations. I have to recommend that all Batman fans go out and buy this series, you will not regret it.
Captain America White Issue Five By Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
This book has been a little odd to me. I when into the series with incredibly high hopes, being a fan of the previous ‘colours’ by Loeb and Sale, but the last couple of issues felt a little thin. Captain America has a lot of depth but, for me at least, that comes from his reaction to the modern world not his reflection on World War Two. Regardless, Jeph Loeb managed to pull the series out of its nose dive for the final issue. The piece reaches a fitting conclusion with each plot string tied up nicely by the end. Tim Sale is still a little hit and miss in the book but the hits far outweigh the misses. If your a big fan of the war-time era of Captain America then pick this series up, anyone else feel free to give it a miss.
Carnage Issue Three By Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins
Marvel have a fascinating history with horror comic books. A long time ago the genre formed a cornerstone of their line up so it’s nice to see a return to form in Carnage. I know it’s still a book set in the world of super heroes but Gerry Conway is playing it smart. Carnage is a horror book that sneaks up on you. It hunts you in the shadows as you think you are reading a simple cape book and I love it. The sucker punch of Conway’s scripting combine with the unique illustration from Perkins makes for a strong thematic cocktail. I recommend this to anyone whose likes a bit of horror and wants something different from the normal comics outs there.
Chewbacca Issue Five By Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto
I really debated over giving this book the pick of the week. Chewbacca is a brilliant piece, it’s funny, smart and dramatic but it also pulls over something even the films have struggled with. It makes Chewbacca understood. See, Gerry Duggan and Phill Noto were faced with he problem of an unspoken protagonist in this piece and they went about solving it in two distinct ways. Duggan wrote in a secondary protagonist who can somewhat translate to the audience what Chewbacca is saying which works well. This translator is then implied to have a growing bond with Chewbacca which is played upon throughout to create the emotional through line of the piece. Meanwhile, Phil Noto made Chewbacca emote. The Wookies emotive gestures make the piece extremely visually orientated and for pulling that off I have to give it a high recommendation. If you want another Star Wars fix, there’s one right here.
Deadpool and Cable Split Second Issue One By Fabian Nicieza and Reilly Brown
If the Marvel universe had a dynamic duo it would be Cable and Deadpool and the would kick Batman and Robin’s asses all over Gotham. Split Second is basically an excuse by Fabian Nicieza to have Cable and Deadpool run around the time stream and I cannot think of anything I want to see more. The entire issue had me rolling with laughter at Deadpool while smirking at all the cool lines coming from Cable. Reilly Brown’s artwork helps seal the deal as it hardens back to the early days of Cable and Deadpool from awhile back. If you want another little something to get you pumped up for Deadpool next year Split Second is here to bring the hype.
Drax Issue Two By CM Punk and Scott Hepburn
Who knew that C M Punk could write? I mean he is a bloody strong writer. I know he’s had some help from the guys and gals over at Marvel but I honestly thought this book was just going to be a C M Punk fan fiction with some Drax wallpaper. Needless to say, Issue Two continues the fairly high standard that issue one set and goes on to tell a solid story about everyone’s favourite space brawler. The piece is fun, if you’re any form of a fan of Drax you’ll probably enjoy it as Scott Hepburn’s art work serves the character well, making him look bad ass in every scene. I recommend this book to anyone who chuckles every time Drax speaks in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Justice League Issue Forty Seven By Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok
This book is becoming something of modern mythology. It’s climbing the rungs of the ladder of epic and it’s about to reach the top. Gods, super heroes, space, personal drama, continuity, brilliant villains. It’s all here and it really feels like this is the story Geoff Johns has been winding up for the last four years. This is the big one and everyone needs to have a read of it. You want to see what would happen if the Justice League were even more powerful and still had a relative threat? Johns has you covered. The art is simply breath-taking and manages to capture all the action in the way that only Fabok can. This is one you just have to go out and buy.
Wolverine Issue Three By Tom Taylor and David Lopez
We end on a high note with Wolverine. I really like this book, it has a fantastic sense of pace as Wolverine streaks though vast metropolis fighting assassins and nefarious villains from both her own and her predecessors rogues gallery. It’s a pretty good book and this issue maintains the standard as we see how Laura deals with one of the stronger close combatants in the Marvel Universe. I find the art style lacking in parts. Fabok isn’t a bad artist but his work always feels a little generic, he does little to break break out of the genre conventions, at least not in this issue. I would recommend this book to any Wolverine fans looking for some high speed action.
…and that’s this week’s, somewhat belated, BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle! Check back on Monday for a new Grr(aphic) Mondays!