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.
All-New All-Different Wolverine #2
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: David Lopez & David Navarrot
Color Art: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
A light week, a normal price tag, and an easy-jumping on point (thanks to the always nifty recap page) allows Wolverine to make her way onto the Pull List. That’s right: her. Laura Kinney aka X-23, the genetically enhanced clone of Wolverine, has assumed Logan’s mantle and has set off on her own adventure. Alchemax, vaguely malevolent corporation of Spider-Man 2099 fame (fingers crossed for a cross-over), obtained several inferior clones of X-23 and allegedly tried to turn them into a peacekeeping and protection unit. Allegedly, the clones went rogue and blew up a facility and now it’s Laura’s job to bring them in. Note the allegedlys, because things are not often as they seem when one deals with nascent mega-corporations. Tom Taylor, of Injustice: Gods Among Us fame, handles the dialogue with aplomb and paints Laura as a fully-fleshed out person rather than as a cold killing machine that she has often been portrayed as. There’s quite a bit of talking in the issue (primarily as set up) and the art keeps things fresh with excellent framing and expression. When the action does ramp up, the choreography is flawless, simultaneously realistic and beautiful. Perhaps the greatest compliment to be paid to the issue is that it feels like a classic Wolverine story, regardless of the person under the pointy cowl.
The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl #2
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Erica Henderson
Color Artist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Time travel shenanigans abound as Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl enters its second issue. While most time travel comics have a somewhat dour approach to the affair, USG makes it a fun romp (did you honestly expect any different). North splits the issue in two between Doreen trapped in the past and her best friend Nancy in the present trying to figure out how to save her. All of the comedy bits hit their mark and the art nails most of the expressions. Nancy’s attempt to meet with Tony Stark is a highlight of the issue. More of the same means Unbeatable Squirrel Girl remains as such: Unbeatable.
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Stacey Lee
Color Artist: Ian Herring
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Picking up where the last volume left off, Silk has found her long-lost brother, a burned-out former member of the Goblin Nation gang. Seeing as he lacks any memory of what happened to their parents, Cindy resolves to take down her brother’s former compatriots to get some answers, but, do that, she’ll have break bad and team-up with the still-villainous Black Cat. Thompson pulls some clever plotting and inverts the usual Spider-man trope: where Pete was assumed to be a menace, Cindy can’t get people to think she’s a villain. This makes for several humorous scenarios, particularly one involving a guest character who I hope becomes a mainstay of the book. However, a few of Cindy’s lines and references, while intentionally cornball, fall a bit flatter than intended. Still, when the dialogue needs to be genuine and heartfelt, it works like gangbusters. Lee and Herring’s return to the art means only good things for the book. Every panel looks gorgeous, and, while the fights are certainly enjoyable, it’s in the details and the quieter moments where the book really excels. Cindy has excellent taste in collectable figurines. Despite the gap in publishing and the new status quo, Silk has lost none of its luster as it makes its welcome return.
BOOK OF THE WEEK
Angela: Queen of Hel #2
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Kim Jacinto w/Stephanie Hans
Colorist: Israel Silva
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
In order to rescue Sera from the pits of Hel, Angela must undergo three trials, the first of which is facing her greatest and only fear. Angela: Queen of Hel #2 is a marked improvement over the first issue, and though there is a substory in the middle of the narrative, it works much better than last week and doesn’t derail the plot. Bennett again nails the dialogue between Angela and Sera and also deals with a heavy and obvious issue: they’ve been separated from each other for so long, are they really the same people they were when they fell in love? She also excels at the Draugr’s monologue, making it foreboding and dreadful, with Cowles contributing some appropriate font and balloon variation. The art is pretty much the same as the first issue. While Jacinto and Silva are incredible at fight scenes and character designs (the details of Corival Angela and the Draugr are fantastic) the facial expressions are a bit lacking. Some of the yelling looks a bit ridiculous and Sera’s pupils sometimes vanish when she’s not doing magic. Meanwhile, Hans deals out another great substory, albeit one a bit more traditional than usual in terms of paneling and framing though the final page is the typical dose of wonderfulness. With a more streamlined plotting and the inclusion of a surprise guest character (one that had me audibly reacting in surprise and excitement when they stepped on the page), Angela: Queen of Hel is shaping up to be another amazing chapter in the life of the erstwhile angel.
So what did you pick up this week? Agree or disagree with anything said here? Let us know in the comments.