This week has been suspiciously quiet. I’m not complaining mine you, after the onslaught of titles recently it’s nice to just kick back and take my time with a few good titles. There’s little that really caught my attention in the indie market this week so I focused on the big two and once again Marvel Comics ended up dominating my picks. With strong series like the All-New All-Different Avengers and the Extraordinary X-Men there is just so much that I need to talk about. However, DC Comics came out swinging this week with a brilliant new Suicide Squad mini-series that might even have a shot at the BearSleuth Pick of The Week.
All images are screen shots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics Apps [Accessed: 28/01/2016]
All-New All-Different Avengers Issue Four by Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar
I love this Avengers team. It’s the perfect combination of old and new faces, different powers and personalities that it’s just a joy to read. Issue Four delivers a fast paced adventure to introduce a new arc with a few fun character moments, including the one on the cover. Waid continues to draw the focus onto character in a way that echo’s Bendis’ New Avengers series from a few years back. The art work throughout, from Mahmud Asrar, is pretty tight although there is a part of me that wishes Alex Ross could work on the entire book instead of just the covers. If you are looking for your Avenger’s fix this is the place to come.
Carnage Issue Four by Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins
I am continually surprised about how cool this series is. Carnage feels like a call back to the super-hard-core nineties aesthetic. However it avoids the failings of its predecessors and manages to create something that manages to play on the subtle undertones of creeping horror while also playing with the troupes of a proper Peter Jackson gore-fest. The plot, by Gerry Conway, feels pretty well constructed with a continual sense of mounting tension as Carnage becomes more and more out of control. Coupled with the fantastic artwork by Mike Perkins, making everything look dark and terrifying, and it’s easy recommend this to any fans of classic monster flicks.
Daredevil Issue Three by Charles Soule and Ron Garney
I want something to really happen now in this series. I love the work that Ron Garney has done to create a world around Daredevil that feels very pulpy and noir but that atmosphere is pointless when the story doesn’t support it. Daredevil should always be trying to unpick a mystery or working within the shades of grey in the American legal system and Charles Soule has moved away from that winning formula. This feels like less of a character piece and more of a kung-fu slug-a-thon, which is fine but it’s not the Daredevil book the fans are looking for. I still recommend picking this series up but this was not the strongest of issues.
Extraordinary X-Men Issue Six by Jeff Lemire and Victor Ibanez
Did we need to go to Weirdworld? This series was going really well, the first arc was fantastic, and then they decided to take the X-Men to Weirdworld. Next week it looks like the Inhuman’s are going to weird world and if you read Black Knight the Avengers are already there. I’m sure Marvel are happy they have been able to revive a concept back from the ‘good old days of comics’ but maybe we can slow down on the Weirdworld stuff. That being said, this is a fantastic book with a great focus on character, as we see the team dealing with the mental stress their situation puts upon them. The artwork is slightly more esoteric when compared to the Marvel standard making the X-Men standout well as something different and individual.
BearSleuth Pick of the Week: Old Man Logan Issue One by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino
This is the book I have been waiting for since the initial release of the All-New All-Different line up. Ever since Mark Millar’s original story the character of Old Man Logan has fascinated me and this feels like the perfect way for him to enter the main Marvel Universe. Personally, I would rather Bendis had taken on this line after the stunning job he did on Secret Wars but Jeff Lemire certainly knows what he is doing with the character. Issue One sees Old Man Logan starting out on a quest to right everything wrong with the universe he came from. It’s dark, gritty and morally grey. My only concern is that the time and effort being put into this book should probably be saved for other Wolverine series as it is the main one but it’s a small worry. The art is beautiful by Andrea Sorrentino and it’s bound to bring a smile to the face of comic fans old and new. This book fully deserves every praise I can afford it, it’s my BearSleuth Pick of the Week and I would recommend it to just about any one.
Spider-Woman Issue Three by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez
I really want to hate is book. I really didn’t like the concept right off the bat and I absolutely slated the first issue but since then it has started to grow on me. Spider-Woman is a very different comic book and there’s very little I can compare it to. The book is almost a comedy of error in which the title character has to deal with pregnancy while surviving the sort of conflict that would normally require the entire roster of the Avengers to solve. Hopeless has worked hard to make the book light hearted while still having some brilliant moments of pathos. The entire art team work overtime on Issue Three as they begin to play with panel design and art direction to create a piece that’s isn’t just entertaining but memorable.
Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana Issue One by Everyone.
This book is odd, I know that it’s basically here to cash in on some of the Suicide Squad fever gripping the world at the moment but past that it seems a weird choice. The piece is broken into two sections, with the ‘A’ story following Deadshot and the ‘B’ story following Katana. I’m hoping the book will see the two anti-heroes cross paths, with their seemingly disconnected stories overlapping at some point, but with the slew of writers working on the project I would deem it highly unlikely. The stories we do get are pretty strong though and well worth your time, they are both fairly good action romps that give a nice bit of insight into the characters. The art work is a little hit and miss, with more hits than misses, so if you’re a fan of either of these characters this piece might be the perfect one for you but I’d say that most readers can give it a miss.
Venom Space Knight Issue Three by Robbie Thompson and Ariel Olivetti
Venom has gone a bit weird recently, there was a time when he was one of the many bas-asses in the Marvel Universe rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Punisher and Deadpool. Now, Venom is a space adventurer and I have to say it’s not the best fit for the character. I know there were several steps that led us to this book and it is does feel like a natural progression for the character but this series concept just isn’t that interesting to me. The early Flash Thomson Venom stuff was a lot of fun as he was still acting as an anti-hero but Robbie Thompson has flipped the switch on the character and turned him into a full blown hero and that just makes Venom fade into the bland hero background. Luckily, there’s a nice twist towards the end of the book that serves to spice things up well. The art, by Olivetti ,is brilliant and keeps me reading though the weaker parts of the book. I recommend this to any fans of Guardians of the Galaxy but not to Venom fans.
…that was this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Review!!! Check back on Monday for another Grr(aphic) Monday!!!