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 Wolverine #4
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: David Lopez & David Navarrot
Color Art: Nathan Fairbairn
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Wolverine and Clones encounter the mystical side of the Marvel Universe when they go to Doctor Strange for aid in solving the clones’ premature dying. Taylor never bogs down the pace despite it being one of the more dialogue heavy issues so far. Dr. Strange and Laura’s conversation about salvation and who deserves it is well-weighted (despite being a little too meta at a point) and benefits from some excellent facial work by the Davids. While they don’t get to play with as much weird-ass magic as one would like from a Doctor Strange feature, what they do get to interact with is pretty cool. As always, the choreography is superb and much of the issue’s humor is thanks in large part to the art’s excellent framing. Taylor is effectively using the clone plot to explore both the Marvel Universe and Laura’s new place in it. It’s an excellent set-up and one that makes for a great read.
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Tana Ford
Color Artist: Ian Herring
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Silk has a bit of a chat-fight with her former…partner(?) Spider-Man and gathers intel on the Goblin Nation with Black Cat’s number one flunky Killer Shrike. Thompson’s script hits all the right beats, ably showing us every aspect of Cindy’s life. His dialogue is great, which is a shame because it’s marred once again by Tana Ford on art. That’s a bit harsh because there seems to be less laughable expressions this time around. Or maybe I’ve just grown accustomed to indigestion-face. It’s doubly a shame because Ford’s action sequences are top notch and her double page spread of Killer Shrike and Silk journeying to the Nation’s base is wonderful. So pretty much the same finishing line as last time: script and action=great, facial expression=not great.
Secret Wars #9
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Color Artist: Ive Svorcina
Letter: Clayton Cowles
At last, we reach the end of the story and the beginning of a new one. I’m not really going to say much about it as, if you haven’t been reading already, you probably won’t start now. But safe to say that Secret Wars’s ending feels right. Every note is correct and harmonious with the others and it all culminates into something special. There are some excellent moments in the aftermath as every gets their just rewards. The art remains some of the most consistently stellar, particularly for a big crossover event. Secret Wars might have run a bit long in terms of scheduling, but in terms of story it feels pretty damn good.
BOOK OF THE WEEK
Superman: American Alien #3
Writer: Max Landis
Illustrator: Joelle Jones (Mark Buckingham)
Colorist: Rico Renzi (Jose Villarrubia)
Letterer: John Workman
Clark Kent’s second outing away from Smallville doesn’t go nearly as planned and he winds up in a plane crash and pretending to be Bruce Wayne at Bruce Wayne’s twenty-first birthday party. It’s a ridiculous scenario, but it’s one whose ridiculousness Landis doesn’t shy away from, instead embracing it headlong and thereby utilizing it to examine the growth of Clark Kent as a person into the man he was meant to be. In every sense of the word, it’s a treat. From the many easter eggs to Clark’s uninhibited joy of being someone else while discovering himself, it’s a great experience. Of note, pay special attention to the female lead and what that means and how that fits it. Once you realize all that, give yourself and Landis some applause. Joelle Jones is fantastic for the issue. Her facial expression work is so critical to the issue and lands every single time. This, along with her excellent pacing and framing, lends itself well to the issue’s more comedic moments. Renzi’s neon-esque colors enhance the party nature of the story while also allowing for the warmness of the the issue’s softer moments to come through. The issue’s back-up page is a wonderful bit of mind-fuckery, and, if these don’t play directly into future issues, it’s the best one yet thanks to Landis’s excellent monologuing and great visuals from Buckingham and Villarrubia. Superman: American Alien has only increased in quality as the series has gone on, soaring higher and higher like its titular character.
So what did you pick up this week? Agree or disagree with anything said here? Let us know in the comments.