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.
Secret Wars Journal #1
Writers: Pru Shen, Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Ramon Bachs, Luca Pizzari
Color Artists: Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Rain Beredo
Letterers: VC’s Cory Petit
Every comic event generally comes with one or two side books that are just there to tell side-stories that don’t really contribute to the overall event but often show the impact of such an event or explore glimpses of the event’s setting. Secret Wars Journal is one such book. The first story takes place in the 1602-verse created by Neil Gaiman and tells the story of that universes’s Kate Bishop, Billy Kaplan, and Teddy Altman aka Hawkeye, Wiccan, and Hulkling aka some of the Young Avengers. The story is pretty much a throwaway, lacking in any emotional or character-driven impact. It’s an okay set-up for the larger mini-series The Shield, but other than that, there’s not much to mention. The second story fares a bit better, portraying the tale of the subjugated X-Men living in Egyptia as slaves to the god Khonshu. Okay, maybe I’m biased because of the Moon Knight aspects, but the story is pretty cool with some good lines and a gritty style by Pizzari that is complemented well by Beredo’s colors. But honestly, unless you’re a big fan of the characters involved or the creators, Secret Wars Journal #1 is a pass.
Uncanny Avengers: Ultron Forever #1 (Part 3 of 3)
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Travis Lanham
The three part mini-epic comes to a close as the time-displaced Avengers battle the newly converted army of Doom. Ewing manages to keep a tight reign on the story and characters, despite its potential to spiral out of control. Alan Davis and Mark Farmer steal the show however, gloriously depicting the final battle between the two forces. Travis Lanham also deserves a special mention, as an obstacle in the story forces him to make reverse duplicates of several word balloons and he does so without making the panels feel crowded despite the traffic. Ultron Forever was never more than it seemed: an entertaining side-story that had no real impact on the main line. However, that’s not a bad thing as it allowed Ewing and the art team to get imaginative and tell a fun, yet dramatic story.
All-New Hawkeye #3
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Ramon Perez
Colors: Ian Herring with Ramon Perez
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Hawkeye and Hawkeye deal with the fallout of Project Communion as All-New Hawkeye rockets into its third strong issue in a row. The action is a bit lighter this issue, though there is a glorious gridbased fight between Kate Bishop and a squad of enemies, but Lemire captivates the audiences attention with some great dialogue and character work all the same. Perez and Herring continue to amaze, readily so in the aforementioned fight sequence, but they also manage to make the subjects of Project Communion grotesque yet endearing (read the issue and understand). One small nitpick is that the wonderful flashback stories, which took place in small, full page bursts in previous issues, are relegated to a single panel at the bottom of each page. This cause the story to lose some of its effect comparably as, aside from a few moments of nice synching, the panels can almost be disregarded until the last few. Still, that aside, All-New Hawkeye is a great book for both old fans and new.