After weeks of pretty relaxed comic book releases, this week saw the entire comic book industry go absolutely insane. In the red corner of Marvel we saw big changes for Captain America, a huge finale for Anakin and Obi-Wan and an awesome moment over in the pages of Extraordinary X-Men. In the blue corner of DC the whole Universe is heading into the soft reboot of Rebirth with an amazing bumper issue running alongside Geoff Johns final Justice League book. Meanwhile Image is jumping in with Tokyo Ghost. It’s a brilliant week in the world of comics and in any other week any of these books could be a pick of the week making this one of the toughest weeks in the history of this feature!
All images are screen shots taken from the Marvel and DC Comics app [Accessed 27/05/2015]
Steve Rogers: Captain America Issue One By Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz
On Wednesday the Internet exploded for the first time connected to comics since Secret Wars hit around this time last year. In all my time as a member of the comic book community I have never seen such a wild and violent reaction to a characters storyline. As I steer clear of spoilers on here I’m simply going to say that I understand why Spencer has taken that particular character in that direction and I think it’s going to produce a very interesting storyline. The rest of the book is fantastically well written, with a particularly good scene set around the heads of Shield’s reaction to the unemployment crisis. Nick Spencer is underwire at the moment but I belief he has written a brilliant piece that will go down in history as a strong Captain America story. Jesus Saiz works well here and pulls out every stop to make the book look as good as it reads. This is one issue you are going to want in your collection as it is a piece of comic book history.
DC Universe Rebirth Issue One By Geoff Johns and a Horde of Awesome Artists
Going from one piece of comic book history to another, Rebirth marks the start of a big change for DC Comics as they soft reboot their universe. In this issue it is revealed that a new character is at work in the DC Universe, again I won’t spoil who but suffice to say this is going to split fans right down the middle. Geoff Johns does everything in this book to create an issue jam-packed with great content and all those little scenes we crave between even the smallest heroes and background characters. If you have followed any of the New 52 this is a loving tribute and it’s certainly worth a read. The artists working on this book each put in their best work with some seriously career defining work. With the lower cost and super-sized page count, this is another book you really need in your collection but it just falls out of the pick of the week.
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Doctor Strange Issue Eight By Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo
Every mystical Marvel character coming together for a super summer slam fighting against one of the biggest enemies any of them have ever tackled, this is what geeks live for. Jason Aaron has assembled one of the most interesting and, most importantly, fun storylines I have ever seen in a Doctor Strange book. When working with magic it can be so hard to create a real threat but this series has managed it. Every line of dialogue hits well and creates a constant feeling of threat married well with pulse pounding action. Chris Bachalo’s art forms a perfect partnership with the Aaron’s writing to create a book you need to be reading. Jump on this while it’s hot and you won’t regret it.
Extraordinary X-Men Issue Ten By Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos
Not so long ago me and the rest of the comic book readership were complaining that Marvel hated the X-Men and we’re starting to push them to the side lines. However, putting Jeff Lemire onto X-Men was the greatest thing Marvel have ever done for the team. Lemire has that rare talent where he is able to work with multiple characters at once whilst also creating a tight and cohesive story that manages to do without excess. The Apocalypse War still doesn’t seem to have found its feet but every issue is already feeling fun and interesting. The final reveal of this book is amazing and it promises that next issue will be one to read. I would recommend this to any and all X-Men fans out there.
Justice League Issue Fifty By Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok
The last fifty issues of Justice League have taken us on a whirlwind tour throughout the history of the team in, what has proven to be, one of the greatest meta-arcs in the history of the team. This run is Geoff Johns magnum opus and it’s plain to see in how it has all finally come together for this issue. There is little more to say here in the plot and writing department except that it is plain to see that Johns is having fun on this book as he creates some of the greatest work of his career. Fabok’s artwork is amazing as well here, capturing the majesty and power of each superhero in turn perfectly. This is an amazing piece from start to finish and it really deserves as much time and praise as I can give it.
Obi-Wan and Anakin Issue Five By Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto
There is so much that could be said about this series, in a lot of ways it manages to fix one of the major problems with the prequel trilogy of films. For the first time, I believe that Obi-Wan and Anakin saw each other as friends and brothers. This book builds that relationship nicely, with a climax that pays of the friendship without feeling sickly or over-egged. Soule has created another brilliant piece of fiction for the Star Wars universe and I can’t wait to see what he decides to work on next. Checchetto has done at great job in the artwork on this book, although I will say that some panels feel extremely cluttered at points. As this is the final issue there is little point in an individual recommendation but it is easy to say that this entire series is worth your time and money, especially if you want to examine the friendship between these classic characters.
Scooby Apocalypse Issue One By Keith Giffen, Jim Lee and Howard Porter
No one was more sceptical than me folks I promise, so when I say this might be the greatest thing to ever happen to Scooby Doo and the gang please believe me. We all saw those headline grabbing concept pieces from Jim Lee way back and now that those characters have hit the page it’s a joy to see how Keith Giffen has evolved the mystery machine crew. The story is pretty interesting, as it gives a good reason for the crew to be fighting some of their classic monsters in an apocalyptic scenario. The relationships between the characters are better defined as well, making this a piece that feels a lot more believable for an older audience. There is some loss of the old charm though, the team do feel like they are being pushed to be extreme and tubular, like a super hero team in trapped in the nineties. I think this is going to be a marmite series, everyone should give the first book a try but I wouldn’t be surprised if many don’t continue while a cult following grows.
Tokyo Ghost Issue Seven By Rick Remender and Sean Murphy
For me this was the after dinner mint of the week, after so much heavy continuity changing books this was the one I felt I could just slide into and relax. Then I remembered that this is Tokyo Ghost and nothing is ever that simple. It’s rare for comics to make me feel sad but this week’s issue really hits hard emotionally. Rick Remender has created a small cast of original and interesting characters that feel fun and relatable, even in his far-flung future. In this book Remender pushes those characters further than ever before and it makes for some great story moments. Sean Murphy is doing great work again here, packing every scene full of great details that make the story really work for me. I would recommend this book to anyone interested on comics that make a statement or contain political commentary as its all right here.
…That’s this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!! Check back tomorrow for an interview with the one and only Lee Sullivan!!!