A weekly column in which Jake gives short blurbs about the comics he’s picked up that week. Reviewed in the order read, which varies but generally by increasing anticipation. Disclaimer: he knows very little about art, at least not enough to considerably honor such tremendous undertakings, so…yeh, there’s that.
Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier #7
Writer: Ales Kot
Penciler: Langdon Foss
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenburg
So, this is a first for this column: I’m dropping this book. Once again, I think it’s still a good book, but it’s just not for me. Bucky Barnes as a covert ops agent in space was a fun trip for awhile, but the crazy science and…I don’t know, metaphysics have become a bit much for me. In this issue, we learn about the identity of Crossbones, the masked murderer whose been stalking the Winter Soldier and Daisy Johnson on Mer-Z-Bow. Foss fills in for regular series artist Marco Rudy and does an admirable job of portraying Crossbones’s origins. Foss’s style is less painterly and experimental than Rudy’s and provides a good companion style to the main action. Winter Soldier is still a good book but it’s one I won’t be continuing.
Spider-man 2099 #11
Writer: Peter David
Art: Will Sliney
Color Artist: Antonio Fabela
Reaching it’s penultimate issue, Spider-man 2099 continues to be a fun book despite it’s recent dips into grimmer territory. David’s trademark charm is on full display here as he deftly portrays two awkward interactions between Miguel and his potential love interest Tempest that could have gone much worse morally under another writer’s gaze. The art, on the other hand, is a bit hit or miss. Sliney and Fabela do a great job with character interaction, but sometimes the fights feel a bit stilted, which is a noticeable thing when your main character is known for his aerial acrobatics. Still, the positives outweigh the negatives and while the latest adventures of time-displaced Spidey might be ending soon, the ride has definitely been worthwhile.
All-New Hawkeye #2
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Ramón Pérez
Colors: Ian Herring with Ramón Pérez
The newest volume rolls into it’s second issue (the previous volume still has yet to finish…), and it proves to be incredibly strong as the two Hawkeyes, Clint and Kate, infiltrate Hydra’s Project Communion, while we witness the past adventures of Clint and his brother Barney’s first encounter with the traveling circus. Lemire has a lovely knack for voices and the transitions from past to present never feel jarring. However, it is Pérez who is the standout attraction of this book. The present adventures have enough in common stylistically with the previous volume to make it feel familiar, but the young Bartons’ exploits are painted in such a wonderful style and colored so fantastically that it’s hard to believe it’s the same artist. I’m not quite sure who is doing the coloring in each sections, but it really doesn’t matter as both are expertly crafted. When Clint’s hearing aids get knocked out, the normally red-tinged walls of the Hydra base go stark white, which is a great way of showing how Clint’s environment has changed. All-New Hawkeye seems geared to focus more on traditional superheroics and flashbacks than the previous volume, but under the direction of the new team, that is far from a bad thing.
Writer: Greg Pak
Pencilers: Victor Ibáñez with Al Barrionuevo and Neil Edwards
Inkers: Victor Ibáñez with Ed Tadeo
Colors: Ruth Redmond
Storm’s solo title continues to move forward, telling shorter stories than a normal comic with little necessary backtracking. While this has generally made each issue a good jumping on point, it also has made the book seem…disjointed or incomplete at times with the lack of an overarching thread. For instance, the return of Kenji Uedo aka Zero, a once-hero turned villian from the gone-too-soon favorite Generation Hope, feels like something that should have been set-up earlier in the run, teased out over multiple issue, and then finally coming to a climatic head, instead of all being done in one issue like it is here. As it is, it feels a bit rushed. However, Pak’s no neophyte, and, as this story is to be continued, I’ve got great faith in where it is going. Pak also does a great job in capturing Zero’s somewhat tricky voice, which is equal parts nihilistic cynicism and artistic wonder. Speaking of tricky, despite the fact that three separate artists are listed in the credits page, the book certainly never feels like it. All of the characters and cameos look sharp and Zero’s horribly revolting powers have look amazing. Nearly a year in, Storm’s solo adventures continue to be excellent stories and definitely worth the purchase price.
Darth Vader #4
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larocca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
The disgraced Sith Lord and his chatty companions head to the now-barren Geonosis to find a droid army to serve as Vader’s secret forces. The fourth outing of the new title continues to be every bit as cinematic as the last, as evidenced by the particularly riveting action sequence at the climax of the issue. Doctor Aphra and the sadistic Triple Zero remain the highlights of the book, the former being quippy and surprisingly heartfelt while the latter is gleefully, yet cordially, insane. Vader himself is a towering presence, saying as much with a single word or gesture or look as others would have to do with significantly more action. Gillen and Larocca and the rest of the team continue to perform well in Marvel’s newest property launch.
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Pencils and Colors: Javier Rodriguez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
The new and improved Jessica Drew continues to dive deeper into the mystery surrounding the kidnapped loved ones of D-List supervillains. Okay, that sentence doesn’t sound to exciting, but Spider-Woman is a great book in the veins of Hawkeye and Daredevil. Hopeless has crafted a grounded conspiracy featuring costumed people, with Jessica Drew’s trademark wit in full force. Rodriguez puts on a clinic of facial features and expressive colors. Spider-Woman’s new direction continues to prove that change is good and rolls forward on all cylinders.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Ramon Rosanas
Color Artist: Jordan Boyd
Look at that freaking cover and you’ll have all you need to know about Ant-man. It’s irreverent and hilarious, thanks to the snappy dialogue and plotting of Spencer. Scott Lang and his newest employee, ex-supervillain Grizzly, are in a race against time to save Scott’s daughter from long-time Lang-foe Cross Industries. But to do that, they’re going to need a little outside help. Despite the pressing circumstances, Spencer keeps the tone relatively light, which might be something that hurts the book overall. Lang’s internal monologue can be rambling at times and seems to clash with rather than punctuate the dire conditions. Still, overall the tone works well for the book. Rosanas continues to excel at showing off the humor in Spencer’s script. Occasionally, when Lang and Grizzly are talking, Rosanas positions the shot so it looks like Ant-Man is chatting with a talking bear. Overall, Ant-Man is a solid comedic offering, while also having the right amount of heart (read the issue to get the joke).
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #5
Writer: Kieron Gillen w/ Marguerite Bennett
Penciler: Phil Jimenez
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Things are coming to a head as the wayward angel Angela comes home to Heven to cleanse Odin and Freya’s baby of Surtur’s essence, bringing the Guardians of the Galaxy with her, armies of Asgard on her heels lead by the enraged Odinson. Yeh, safe to say that things get crazy. This book has gone from full-on fantasy to sci-fi fantasy, as a space battle is waged between the angelic armies and viking gods. Jimenez plays with perspectives, having the shot roll with the infiltrating ship for example. He, as well as the inkers and colorist, do a great job in every facet of the main story. Equally epic is the long-awaited battle between the Odinson née Thor and his formerly lost sister Angela. Hans, who draws the substory that’s actually a part of the main story, has crafted something of a masterpiece. Accompanied by Gillen and Bennett’s song captions, the total effect is staggering and worthy of someone putting it to music. As the first arc appears to draw to a close, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin remains an impressive adventure.
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Scott Godlewski
Colorist: Ron Riley
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
After a brief, yet seemingly long, hiatus, the space western cop series returns with the kick-off of a new arc. We get a glimpses into the wider workings of the town and the home life of Deputy Boo, and more Boo is always a good thing. Faerber does a good job setting up new plot threads as well as fleshing out even more depth to the already well-depicted characters. Godlewski and Riley have some amazing work on the pages, with intricately woven backgrounds and facial expressions. A small quibble arises at the onset of a flashback scene halfway through the book. The page preceding it ended with what seemed like its set-up but as it turns out the flashback was tied to the next scene, which lead to a bit of confusion. However, beyond this, the future looks bright for this excellent book.
Rat Queens #10
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art and Colors: Stjepan Sejic
END OF SECOND ARC!!
My review can be found in this video
Big week! Good week! Thanks for reading!