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.
Planet Hulk #1
Writer: Sam Humphries (Greg Pak)
Artist: Marc Laming (Takeshi Miyazawa)
Colors: Jordan Boyd (Rachelle Rosenburg)
Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham
This is where the fun of Battleworld comes into play for herein lies a story of a gladiator Steve Rogers, a red Tyrannosaurus Rex named Devil Dinosaur, and a planet full of Hulks. Well, not so much a planet as much as a district of Battleworld called Greenland (because heh), but you get my drift. Humphries weaves a tale that actually a surprisingly familiar one for Captain America, but the trappings are different enough that it feels fresh. For the most part, the story is told from the mind of Conan America as he is given a suicidal mission into Greenland at the behest of Doom. While Steve the Barbarian’s narration can be somewhat tediously, yet understandably, dour, the appearance of a new player in the issue’s closing moments promises to add a bit more liveliness to the story. Laming and Rosenburg shine when the script allows them to, as we’ve not yet witnessed the full savagery of Greenland. As an opener, this issue teases us with the possibility of the wonder and madcap to come and it does so quiet effectively. There’s also a back-up tale by the parenthetical team listed above that shows how Greenland’s original world came to be. While it reads well and is enjoyable enough, it ultimately feels a bit superfluous as I’m not sure Greenland’s origin was completely necessary to the audience’s understanding of the main story. Still, Planet Hulk holds much promise going into its second issue with a strong concept and effective set-up.
Story: Scott Snyder
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Clem Robins
Well this is it: the end of Wytches’s first arc as well as my subscription to this book. As a whole, the story is good and Snyder does some deft character work, particularly in the case of the main character. However, the conclusion goes on about one page too long and ends with a bit of fourth-wall breaking that’s a bit too on the nose as it takes the reader out of the preceding heartfelt narration. The art is a bit of a mixed bag as well. Jock does some great work, particularly with the series’ eponymous monsters who are equal parts uncanny and terrifying. It is Hollingsworth’s colors, or rather color effects, that kill the experience for me, though its arguably a decision of the collective creative team. The effects done by Hollingsworth, whose work I have significantly enjoyed on other titles, are not particularly conducive to my digital medium of choice, in my opinion. Wytches is a good story, and its change of scenery from arc to arc is almost enough to pique my interest. But it just comes down to a numbers game, and I really can’t afford to keep picking up a book I don’t wholeheartedly enjoy
Moon Knight #15
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: German Peralta
Color Art: Dan Brown
Letterer: Travis Lanham
After the last outing with the Lunar Legionnaire left a bitter taste in my mouth, I was a bit nervous to continue the series. But this? This is the Moon Knight I like. Marc Spector fighting a literal boogeyman that preys on children honestly sounds a bit ridiculous, but Bunn and the art team manage to tell a tale that is incredibly engrossing and feels like a return to form. Harkening back to my personal favorite MK run of Huston and Benson, Marc Spector is as much at conflict with his deific benefactor, Khonshu, as he is with the issue’s titular monster. Bunn gives the art team some space to work, and Peralta and Brown excel particularly during the rage of Khonshu as well as Moon Knight’s climatic confrontation with the villain. The final page leaves what is perhaps a promise of continuation of the story in this book, much like the last arc. If so, I’m all for it as this was one of the strongest stories of the volume yet.
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Andre Araujo (Steven Sanders)
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg (Jim Campbell)
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
The web-warriors from the recent Spider-Verse event get their own title as they are shunted into Battleworld. While the formation of Battleworld was supposed to erase the memories of the old universes, the web that binds the spiders causes them to have flashbacks of who they once were which sets up a grave conflict with Doom’s regime represented by long-time spider-foe, Norman Osborn. Costa, who headed up the Scarlet Spiders tie-in to the previous event, does an excellent job of capturing the voices of the characters involved, particularly Pavitr Prabhakar (Spider-Man: India) and Spider-Gwen. Araujo’s action sequences are fantastic, ably capturing the agile acrobatics of the spiders. His faces, however, cause something of a quibble as many of them appear off. The back up story, depicting the misadventures of the ever enjoyable Spider-Ham are a delight. Sanders and Campbell are able to bring out the humor in Costa’s script, no small feat when your main character is a anthropomorphic pig in Spider-man cosplay. Spider-Verse is an interesting series in that, while on the surface a self-contained tie-in, has enough traction in its undercurrent to seemingly tie in to the larger story of Secret Wars. That, and the strong voices of the characters, makes Spider-Verse a title worth picking up.
Writers: Marguerite Bennett & G. Willow Wilson
Penciler: Jorge Molina
Inkers: Jorge Molina & Craig Yeung
Colorists: Laura Martin & Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
10/10 would read again. Oh, what you want more about the book? Well, there’s an utopic island zone of Battleworld called Arcadia and its protected by A-Force, which is made up of the Mighty Women of the Marvel U. More? Well, it’s lead by She-Hulk, with Nico Minoru of the Runaways and Medusa of the Inhumans featuring heavily. The characters are well handled and the plot contains just the right amount of joy, mystery and drama. The art team splendidly captures the wonders of Arcadia and the emotional fallout from the books conflict. Still more? Well, America Chavez punches a giant shark in the face and then throws it halfway across the world. ‘Nuff said.
Loki: Agent of Asgard #14
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Lee Garbett
Colori Artists: Antonio Fabela w/Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
With the doom (heh) of the world fast approaching, Asgardia does what it always does when faced with such crises: prepare for war with the other
eight nine realms. Some things are cyclical like that. This is very much a calm-before-the-storm issue, though there’s nothing calm about it as Odin and Freyja try to rally Asgard’s forces, Old Loki hatches a desperately devilish scheme, and Verity Willis deals with who the hell this new-new young Loki is (it all makes sense, in a Doctor Who sorta way). Ewing moves all of his pieces into play as the final battle draws near but still makes time for humor, mostly black humor from Old Loki who chews scenery from cover to cover. Garbett’s pencils assist greatly in this regard, with every slick smile from the Trickster equal parts entertaining and sinister. Fabela and Mossa’s colors help keep a pervading sense of desperation and doom throughout the issue, the scenes in Hel standing out. Another Ragnarok is upon us and the stage is set for worlds and realms to collide in one final, explosive story. But what is the newly-christened God of Stories’s play in all this? An answer eagerly anticipated in the next issue.
So what did you pick up this week? Agree or disagree with anything said here? Let us know in the comments.