It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. I have been buying comics but with dissertation and job opportunities cropping up I’ve had to cut down on this format because it just takes so long to put together. However, I couldn’t resist talking about the new books on the shelves this week. The All-New All-Different line-up is in full swing and seems to be heading towards its first big event! Meanwhile, DC is keeping the entire world guessing with the new Dark Knight series. It’s a great week in the world of comics!
One last bit of admin, I just want you (my valiant readers) to know that I’m trying hard to give you regular content so please be patient and bear with me, pun fully intended. I also want to give a quick shout out to Huck last week by Mark Millar, it would have got a pick of the week and I loved it.
All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics app [Accessed: 27/02/2016]
All-New All-Different Avengers Issue Six by Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar
Here we are. The end of the first All-New All-Different Avengers arc and I’m pretty impressed with the new take that Waid has brought to earth’s mightiest heroes. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first half of the arc but the inter-personal relationships that Waid has introduced towards the end of the plot really caught my interest. There is a distinct theme of the old guard meeting the new which is a lot of fun to play with as it shows the best of both sides. Waid’s on to a winner here and with Asrar’s light but detailed artwork this is a series that will continue to please for years to come.
Daredevil Issue Four by Charles Soule and Ron Garney
The new Daredevil series plays host to its first cross over as Matt invites Steve Rodgers round for a chat about morality. As a fan of Daredevil for the last decade this issue has made me so happy, it’s a great thing to see a man who ponders the law like Matt does turning to a moral paragon like Steve. Soule captures the meeting perfectly, choosing to show Matt’s insecurities around a man he looks up to. Paired with the art work from Ron Garney, which gives the whole thing a pulp noire feel, and there is little to complain about in this issue. If it has one flaw, it’s in pacing as the final pages with Blindspot feel a little slow and boring but the rest of the piece makes up for it.
Dark Knight Three: The Master Race by Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello and Andy Kubert
I’m just not excited by this book. It does nothing for me. I know I’m not the only one as well, the sales on this title are dropping fast than Robin fighting Superman. I won’t spoil the storyline but its one we’ve seen before and I’m pretty sure I know how it’s going to go. When all your villains are allergic to a lump of green rock they really aren’t that much of a threat. I strongly doubt that Miller wanted to do this book and Azzarello’s heart just doesn’t seem in it. Andy Kubert’s art is a loving tribute to Miller’s original work but it’s a little too clean to give the same impact as Miller’s work on the original Dark Knight Returns series.
Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat Issue Three by Kate Leth and Brittney L. Williams
This book is becoming such a guilty pleasure of mine. I love it and I’m not sure why, it kind of reminds me of a few different sit-coms out there at the moment that I enjoy, but with Marvel super heroes. The book is well written and balances it’s more quirky elements, which would normally drive me insane, with some good character development and plotting. Kate Leth has a really good handle on characters, talented people unable to hold down jobs, reminiscent of current university graduates. The art by Williams is very cutesy but I find myself getting excited to see well-known Marvel characters recreated in her unique way. The art adds a depth to the book that makes it a must read.
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Hercules Issue Four by Dan Abnett and Luke Ross
Hercules used to suck as a series, it just about muddled through on some comedy value and a small devoted fan base, but no more. Hercules is now one of the books I cannot wait to take home and read as soon as I see it on the shelves at the comic book store. The series is going in a really interesting direction as a new pantheon of gods is beginning to appear to represent the modern age of man. This is giving Abnett a lot of room to criticise society as a whole whilst also keeping a tight focus on Hercules and his meta-goal of becoming a more serious hero. Hercules himself wants to be taken more seriously and it doesn’t take long before you want him to be taken more seriously as well. Abnett has us on his side. Luke Ross has a very unique art style which brings Hercules to life in a new way that really piques my interest. You need to support this book, I know it’s figures are slowly creeping up and I truly believe it’s going to be a cult classic.
Justice League Issue Forty Eight by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok
If Johns isn’t remembered as the single greatest writer on Justice League it will be a travesty. In ‘The Darkseid War’ Geoff has created one of the most epic conflicts in Justice League history and the most remarkable element of the piece is that it feels like the entirety of the New 52 has been leading up to it. There are elements harkening back to the very first issue of the Justice League series and hinting at events from every corner of the DC Universe. It’s the sort of thing that makes fan boys weak at the knees and I have to say that it is consistently impressing me. I would have given it the pick of the week but it doesn’t need my support. This book is a must read for every comic book reader. Go pick it up.
Karnak Issue Two by Warren Ellis and Gerardo Zaffino
This book has been in development hell for the last few months, as it has been consistently pushed back to make room for other titles. I am happy to say it’s worth the wait though. Karnak is a masterclass in writing from Warren Ellis as the esteemed writer brings his esoteric style to one of Marvel’s d-list characters. There is a large silent section in this book, normally considered an extremely challenging thing to pull off, but Ellis manages it with a skill that is a joy to read. Zaffino and the rest of the art department work overtime to bring Ellis’ vision to life. This is another niche book that I want to encourage you to support, although I would say that Hercules does offer a little more to a reader.
All-New X-Men Issue Five by Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley
There’s a lot going on here. Hopeless has created the ultimate mutant road trip storyline, as the original X-men and a few of their new allies scour the world, each looking for answers and new beginnings of their own. It’s a fun idea well executed but it feels a little too teenage. It’s like watching an episode of skins every issue and after a while I just get a little sick of Iceman angsting about his sexuality or Cyclops worrying about his future. If you like that sort of plot then this book is probably the best of that genre you’ll find on the shelves but it’s really not for me.
…That was this weeks BearSleuth Spoiler-Free Comic Book Bundle! Check back on Monday for a new BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!!