I have finally handed in my dissertation! I know this has no bearing on the world of comic books but it does have some bearing on this site because it means I can finally unveil my secret weapon…the Covert Coot, the second full time writer on this site. We’ll be doing a full announcement about what the Coot has in store for you very soon but now we have to get back to the matter at hand, this week’s comic book releases. It has been a bit of a weird week for comics, I have had to scour the shelfs to put together a bundle, that being said there are some hidden gems out there and, as always, my BearSleuth Pick Of The Week is bringing the thunder!
All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics App [Accessed: 04/03/2016]
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Black Widow Issue One By Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
Pacing is one of the hardest things to master in comics, it requires a thorough understanding of the interaction between the reader and page which is an easily overlooked relation. However, Mark Waid has nailed the pacing throughout Black Widow Issue One. The entire piece reads like the opening to a James Bond film, expect with a relatable protagonist. It’s brilliant to see Widow getting her own run and Waid is one-hundred-percent the right man for the job. Samnee renders the classic hero perfectly here as well, creating some panels that left me in awe, especially the opening credits splash. This is a comic that needs support as Black Widow deserves to right up there with the likes of Captain America and Iron Man. Go. Buy. It. Now.
Darth Vader Issue Seventeen By Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca
It seems the secret to a good piece of Star Wars narrative is simplicity. It’s the reason The Force Awakens succeeded and why the prequel trilogy failed to capture audiences. Marvel seem to be aware of this crucial detail as well. All of their recent Star Wars series have seen very basic stories told extremely well by the best writers and artists in the business. Darth Vader Issue Seventeen is no different. The premise of the Issue is very simple but it hits hard with some fantastic execution on the part of Gillen. I’ve sung the praises of this series many times before and today is no different. If you are a fan of Star Wars and the Vader mythology then this is a must have for sure.
Deadpool Issue Eight By Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli
Considering I often say that I’m not a fan of Deadpool I have given the little bugger a lot of praise but this series deserves every last platitude I can afford it. Deadpool is well thought out, funny and kick ass all at the same time, and if I keep writing things like that I’m going to have start counting myself as a fan of the merc with a mouth. Gerry Duggan is managing to simultaneously give us a story that sounds like the normal fun comic book fair on the surface while also delving deep into the history of Wade Wilson in a way that has never been done with the character before. I’m not the biggest fan of Lolli’s art, it’s pretty average with little to separate it from the wealth of comics on the shelves. If you’re looking for a book to sell you on Deadpool, this is the one.
Invincible Iron Man Issue Seven By Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato
Marvel, if you’re going to put a Civil War II banner on a book please check that the book has at least some hint at the coming events of the Marvel Universe. I love the current Iron Man series, this issue doesn’t change my feelings on that, but if I was reading this book to clue me in on the events of Civil War II I would be sorely disappointed. I know that this arc will eventually pay off in some way towards the upcoming mega event but wait until it does to start putting up banners. Past this problem the rest of the issue is fantastic, well written and up the high stand of Bendis’ writing. Mike Deodato puts his normal dark and gritty spin on the world of Iron Man making the book a great read for any Iron Man fan.
Old Man Logan Issue Three By Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino
This issue came extremely close to becoming my pick of the week. Jeff Lemire seems to be single-handily making the X-Men cooler than the rest of the Marvel Universe. Between Extraordinary X-Men and this series the X-Men are clawing their way to the top of everyone’s pull lists. Old Man Logan is as thought provoking as it is jaw-dropping and I really can’t say much more past that without spoiling. Sorrentino’s artwork is amazing and well worth the price of admission alone. Go out and buy this book, it will not disappoint.
Standoff Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha By Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz
I am not impressed. Standoff is the very first crossover event we’re getting in the All-New All-Different Marvel Universe and the first two issues have both been pretty weak. I have a lot of problems with the basic concepts at play in this issue as it feels like baby’s first Sci-fi mixed with some classic Avengers plots. That being said, while the concepts may be a little silly, the actual narrative and the payoff it’s creating for some of the early arcs of this new wave of Marvel make me want to read on. Nick Spencer has a good handle on character and that seems to be carrying the book through its weaker points. As for the art work by Jesus Saiz, again it doesn’t quite work for me. The art of the book feels all too simplistic and could benefit from a more outstanding artist. This book feels average all round for me, if you’re a fan of any of the series involved in standoff you’ll probably want to read this but everyone else can give it a miss.
The Uncanny Avengers Issue Six By Gerry Duggan and Carlos Pacheco
This is one of the very few Marvel issues in the All-New All-Different that stands nicely on its own. There are a few bits that tie-in to the continuity of the series but I would throw this at anyone looking for a jumping on point. The issue revolves around a basic conflict as a classic villain attacks Avengers Mansion but there’s a few nice twists that take it further. It’s plain to see that Duggan wants to take Deadpool further and this story shows exactly the approach that makes Wade a necessary part of the Avengers. The art is nice by Carlos Pacheco, with some brilliant background concepts that will make classic Avengers fans laugh. If you just want a good Avengers story this is the one for you.
Uncanny X-Men Issue Four By Cullen Bunn and Greg Land
This is another great issue in a fantastic arc that showcasing some of the lesser known bad asses of the Marvel Universe. I just have one problem with it. Greg Land’s artwork needs to go. There are a tonne of fantastic artists out there and the darker side of the X-Men has a great pedigree of strong artists, especially looking back at the X-Force series. The tone of the series is so dark that it matches up badly with Greg Land’s clear cut style. Ideally, I would like Andrea Sorrentino to work on the series alongside his work on Old Man Logan but really any artist with experience handling this sort of book would do. I certainly recommend this book to any fan of the X-Men but only if you can put up with an art style that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the piece.
…That was this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!! Check back on Monday for a new BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!!