Things are starting to settle down a little this week as we hit the flow of main event publication. Rebirth is chugging along nicely as the leaders of Superman and Batman from last week give way to the second stringers such as Flash, Aquaman and Wonder Woman this week. Meanwhile, Marvel is playing a very conservative game with Civil War II, keeping the number of tie-ins well below the usual number for a cross over event of this magnitude. This week we aren’t looking at the main events but rather the side books, the fringe of the mainstream, where anything can happen and everything is possible.
All Images are Screenshots from the Marvel Comics and DC Comics Apps [Accessed: 24/06/2016]
Aquaman Issue One By Dan Abnett And Brad Walker
For the last few years it seems there has been a constant debate about what role Arthur Curry should play in the DC Universe. In his New Fifty Two series he went from a joke on the surface but a mighty warrior in the ocean to a great king to an outcast on the run within the span of a few years. In the John’s Justice League Arthur was a stalwart badass, almost as powerful as the heaviest hitters in the right scenario. Dan Abnett has taken a new approach to the character, making him a diplomat akin to Black Panther from the Marvel Universe, with Curry playing as the bridge between two worlds. It’s an interesting turn for the character and with Abnett’s new storyline it works well to show the complexities of Arthur’s world. The art by Brad Walker is a little weak in this issue but he manages to pull in back in a grand fight scene towards the end of the book that is sure to make any fan boys day. If you want more Aquaman in your life pick up this book, it’s not the strongest on the shelves this week but it’s an all-round good read and a lot of fun.
Civil War II Choosing Sides Issue One By A Hoary Host Of Writers And Artists
Many of the Civil War II tie-ins have played with the idea of working along the same themes as the main event book without closely tying-in to the action. With Choosing Sides I thought that might change but instead we get three stories each looking at some more of the themes of the central conflict with none of the protagonists really choosing a side one way or another. Each storyline is surprisingly well written but the two shorter pieces feel more like vague concepts than fully fleshed out pieces. If you are looking for more events from Civil War II involving the whole cast of characters you may end up feeling a little disappointed but I think what there is here is a lot of interesting perspective and discussion which we need to form an interesting debate around the main issue. If you are interested in the debate at the core of Civil War II this is the book for you.
Flash Issue One By Joshua Williamson And Carmine De Giandomenico
We all knew that with Rebirth would come a big Flash story. The original Flash: Rebirth redefined the character, making him one of the biggest forces in the DC Universe. In this issue we see a quick retelling of the Flash’s origin story, with little changes compared to most other retellings and then we are immediately thrown into a much larger plot looking at Barry’s life. The major plot points are pretty similar to that of the New 52 Flash run however the presentation from Williamson is fantastic right here and it will leave any Flash fan happy. Special mention should go to Carmine De Giandomenico’s artwork which serves to capture the Flash perfectly. For anyone looking for a jumping on point with the Flash this is the perfect place to start.
Justice League Issue Fifty Two By Dan Jurgens And Tom Grummett
Lex Luther is quickly becoming one of my favourite members of the Justice League. It’s interesting to see a reformed super villain rubbing shoulders with the paragons of justice. I don’t think I am alone on this train of thought either as Jurgens seems to spend the majority of this issue searching Lex’s soul for the heart of a hero. It’s interesting to see how Lex reasons with himself and how he makes the choices he has made in the past make sense in line with his slightly warped sense of righteousness. The art from Tom Grummett is really strong throughout this book, making it one of the strongest offerings from the blue corner this week. If you want to jump inside the mind of Lex Luther, look no further.
Rocket Raccoon And Groot Issue Six By Skottie Young And Brett Bean
I’ll be honest, I just threw this book in to the mix this week because it was fun, flat out balls to the wall fun. There is nothing that brings me more joy and laughter in the world of comic books that Skottie Young’s unique approach to writing and art composition. Between Young and Bean a new approach to the Marvel Universe has come about that is fresh and full of life. This is the complete opposite to the work of the grim-dark nighties, this is a colourful, fast paced romp through Young’s mind that leaves you laughing after almost every single panel. Comedy rarely works consistently in the world of comic books, this is due to far too many reasons than I can get into in this segment, but it is nothing short of a miracle that Young is able to keep this pace. If you want something fun and easy going from your comic pulls this week, look no further.
BearSleuth Pick Of The Week: Sam Wilson Captain America Issue Ten By Nick Spencer And Angel Unzueta
Funerals are difficult in any medium, for the most part they tend to be set around the death of a background player allowing the viewer of reader to see how death effects a main character. However, this week we are witness to the funeral of one of the great super heroes, one of the Avengers (I will try not to spoil it but I’m pretty sure we all know who it is). Nick Spencer writes a brilliant piece here as he looks at what it means to be a black super hero, both in the world of Marvel and in the wider context of the real world. There is also the introduction of a new storyline here which looks interesting and will certainly build over the coming weeks. This is going to be a memorable issue and I have no doubt that the cover work with go down as some of the greatest from this era. You need this book in your collection.
The Totally Awesome Hulk Issue Seven By Greg Pak And Alan Davis
After a fairly mediocre start to the Totally Awesome Hulk series we are finally at the meat of the matter as all things Hulk related must always come back to Bruce Banner. Without going into too much detail we finally see where Banner has been while Amadeus has been running around as everyone’s favourite green skin. There are a few nice dialogues between Banner and various members of his circle that give some level of closure to Banner’s arc as a character, whilst showing how far he still has to go. Greg Pak writes masterfully here and while I am not entirely sold on Davis’ art style I am happy to recommend this book to all Hulk fans.
Wonder Woman Issue One By Greg Rucka And Liam Sharp
I am a pretty big Wonder Woman fan, always have been, Diana simply represents everything that makes an absolute badass, no matter what gender or race. After Azzarello’s amazing series, in which he completely redefined the character, I would have said it’d be impossible to top but I would have been wrong. This is the Wonder Woman I have always wanted to see, with subtle and limited dialogue working alongside beautiful visuals from Liam Sharp. There is little else to say about this book than it is the perfect start to a new Wonder Woman series and you really should pick it up if you have any interest in the character.
…That was this week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!! Check back at 6pm tonight for a new piece from OpinionatedDavid.