This week has been a little odd in the world of comic books, we’re still in that nice lull before the spring events kick off so we’re finally getting some nice character driven pieces. Marvel are firing with both barrels again this week as Spider-Man finally hits shelves along with a slew of other big titles. On the DC side of things, it’s a little weaker for me, with only Batman Europa really worth talking about. I did have a look at the independent comics this week but there was little that managed to grab my attention so here are my picks for the week.
All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics app [Accessed: 04/02/2016]
The Amazing Spider-Man Issue Seven by Dan Slott and Matteo Buffagni
I may hate a lot of Dan Slott’s work but I have to admit he’s winning me over on the Amazing Spiderman series. The idea of Peter Parker being a big CEO for a multi-national company feels pretty weak to me but the way Slott is playing with the scenario is pretty entertaining. There’s several different problems across the world that Peter must deal across this series meaning that every issue has a tendency to jump around a little. This works in the context of the book though, as it gives the classic Spider-man feel of Peter fighting threats from every angle. The art work by Matteo Buffagni is incredibly strong and only serves to improve the piece to the point that I would, begrudgingly, recommend it to any Spider-Man fan.
Batman Europa Issue Four by Matteo Casali, Brian Azzarello and Gerald Parel
Now here is a series I have no problem with praising, Batman Europa has been a brilliant piece of graphic fiction from start to finish. Across the course of four books Casali and Azzarello have managed to explore the Joker and Batman’s relationship in a way that hasn’t been done for a least a decade. The exploration of the costumed vigilantes’ experiences of the different cities of Europe has been a lot of fun too. Issue Four is a fitting conclusion to the series with a lot of moments that serve to tie the story together nicely, it doesn’t feel too rushed although I fell that another issue or two wouldn’t have hurt anyone. The last page is oddly reminiscent of the end of the Killing Joke which may annoy some serious fans as Casali and Azzarello could be accused of recycling. The art by Gerald Parel is frankly amazing, with great care taken to make the entire piece feel both epic in scope and impossible to put down. I would recommend this series to any Batman and joker fans out there who want to explore the characters connection to each other.
Deadpool And The Mercs For Money Issue One By Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin
Can we all just agree that Deadpool is great, instead of Marvel continuously force feeding us more Deadpool books? Between Deadpool, Deadpool and Spider-Man, Deadpool: Split-second, Uncanny Avengers and now this series I’m a little surprised that the Merc with a Mouth still has any quips left in him. This book plays out like every other Deadpool book, there’s little character depth but a lot of killing and some pretty solid jokes. If that’s your sort of thing Cullen Bunn is more than happy to oblige but if you want anything more than that you won’t find it here, you might on the main Deadpool series though. I’m hoping this book has been put to allow the main Deadpool series a little more growing room, as the series seems to be doing a lot of interesting things with the character. The art by Salvia Espin is fairly standard but if you’re looking for another Deadpool fix this will probably keep you going.
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Invincible Iron Man Issue Six By Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato
Believe me when I say, the only thing that really happens in this issue is that Stark goes for a cup of coffee with a lover. That’s not a spoiler because there is a little more to it than that, but from this simple scenario we get a fantastic issue filled with character drama and strong dialogue. Bendis breaks out his writing chops once more and shows why he is Marvel’s superstar writer, not for the last time this week. The book has a lot of those cool moments that make comic fans drool, including the beginning of a brilliant sub-arc involving War Machine. The book is a pleasure to read and, when coupled with Mike Deodato’s amazing style, I have no problem saying it’s my pick of the week.
Obi-Wan and Anakin Issue Two By Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto
The prequel films make a big mistake in never really showing the strength of the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin, this made the final battle of Revenge of the Sith feel a lot weaker than it should have. Luckily, where George Lucas failed Charles Soule is ready and waiting to step in. Obi-Wan and Anakin is an almost reminiscent look back on the ‘good old day’ of the two Jedi’s partnership as Soule begins to explore the partnership’s relationship as brothers in arms. The main plot of the story is engaging but it forms as backdrop as the real story comes from Anakin’s own exploration of his morality and his place in the universe. It’s a common struggle which is very relatable and allows Obi-Wan to step in as a mentor for the young Skywalker. Checchetto’s artwork is simply amazing and a high light of the book. I would recommend this book to all Star Wars fans as it’s laying down the groundwork for the entire series better than the prequels ever did.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot Issue Two By Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade
Skottie Young has finally made the transition from writer to artist and I’m not entirely sure which discipline he suits better. In this series it is easy to see that Young is writing for himself as an artist which creates a problem as it feels like Filipe Andrade is simply trying to mimic Young’s style instead of striking out with his own. The overall narrative seems to place an emphasis on visuals over storytelling, creating many memorable panels without managing a particularly memorable story. Young has dialogue down well but he seems to veer towards quirky when some more solemnity is required. There are no pages in this book which don’t have at least one joke on them and that can become tiresome. If you’re a fun of fun and quirky work I’d give this one a try.
Scarlet Witch Issue Three By James Robinson and Steve Dillon
I’m going to be perfectly honest, I am a little disappointed in this issue. The last issue had an art style that transcended the medium, with pages that wouldn’t look out of place in art galleries. The first three quarters of this issue, however, sees us jump back to a very plain art style and panel design. Robinson’s strong dialogue is still present but it is the books only real saving grace until the final quarter where the art team claws it back. I like where this series is heading and I do advise you to stick with it but this was the weakest issue to date. Fingers crossed for next time guys.
Spider-Man Issue One By Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli
The wait is finally over! Miles Morales is finally in the Marvel Universe and my goodness is it great to see a Spiderman swinging through New York and worrying about missing classes. After the shocking liberties that have been take with Peter Parker’s early life in the new Spidey series, it just feels like we’re getting back to the roots of what Spider-Man should be. Once again, I cannot sing Bendis’ praises enough in this book as he has created a piece of fast paced action piece with just enough character moments to stop it from being mindless. This book is the perfect jumping on point for Spider-Man fans and I have to recommend it to all comic book fans
…And that was this week’s Bear Sleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!! Check back on Monday for a new BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!!