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 #9
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Marcio Takara
Color Art: Mat Lopes
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Wolverine must save Wolverine by diving headlong into the belly of the beast, literally. It’s another fun issue for Laura Kinney as she and a few friends do battle with Fin Fang Foom. Taylor’s script is light and humorous and his dialogue is impeccable, particularly in the case of Laura’s younger clone Gabby. Takara’s lines deliver every scene with the appropriate emotion and the image of Laura with an almost legless Logan on her back is played perfectly. Mat Lopes steps in as colorist this issue but the art doesn’t miss a beat as Lopes seamlessly integrates his own palette into the series. Again, that Road to Civil War II hangs over this title somewhat like a guillotine; it hasn’t dropped yet, but let’s hope the series doesn’t lose its head when it finally does, because it’s damn fun so far.
Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1
Writers: Geoff Johns & Sam Humphries
Art: Ethan Van Sciver & Ed Benes
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Travis Lanham
The first kickoff series of DC Rebirth begins with a mysterious Guardian feeling with precious cargo that will likely affect the two newest Green Lanterns of Earth: Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. Johns & Humphries script does a great job of introducing readers to both characters, portraying all of their histories and hangups rather neatly. Baz and Cruz have something of a stereotypical first meeting, but the scene leaves off with the hope slightly deviating from that norm. Van Sciver and Benes split art duties this issue and both provide excellently detailed work ably covered by Wright’s colors. While Hal Jordan may have his own series at the ends of space, Earth and Sector 2814 appear to be in good hands with the two new Green Lanterns.
Spider-Women Omega #1
Story: Dennis Hopeless, Jason Latour, & Robbie Thompson
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Nico Leon
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenburg
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
It all comes down to this: the Spider-Women vs. Silk-65. No holds barred, no holding back. Omega presents an extremely satisfying conclusion to the Spider-Women event. The drama is excellent and the laughs spread throughout are fantastic, easily the highlight of the book. Every moment is wonderfully nailed by Nico Leon, whose soft and animated lines are a perfect fit for the issue. Coupled with Rosenburg’s colors, the art of Omega is near flawless and makes me want more of it. Despite a somewhat odd pacing to the story and shaky start, Spider-Women is definitely a successful event, one that entertains the readers and advances the characters involved. You’d be remiss not to pick it up.
BOOK OF THE WEEK
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Penciller and Color Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Fresh of the heels of Spider-Women, Spider-WOMAN returns for what is both an excellent jumping on point for new readers and one of the strongest single issues in recent memory. Hopeless’s script has Jessica duking it out with Tiger Shark in a fight that last almost the whole issue while peppering in some excellent character development as well as some wonderful Roger/Baby Gerry shenanigans. As is to be expected, Hopeless has Spider-Woman down pat and every step of her fight and thought process comes as naturally as breathing. Spider-Woman alum Javier Rodriguez returns to lines and colors and what a glory it is. Rodriguez command of the page is masterful and his choreography and ability to convey multiple actions in a panel are second to none. Spider-Woman has long been a somewhat undiscovered gem. This issue shows exactly why it shines so damn much.
The Woods #23
Writer: James Tynion IV
Illustrator: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Josan Gonzalez
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Calder and Sander have found where the Horde has taken their schoolmates. The problem is getting them out. It’s another exemplary issue for The Woods, thanks to Tynion’s tight scripting and deft character work. Calder and Sander, former rivals for Karen’s affections, working together is something of a delight and the flashback scene featuring the two of them is both wonderful and tragic. Dialynas and Gonzalez traffic once again in excellent emotional work, with the character’s faces and the framing of the scenes keeping the conversation-heavy script vivacious. The end of the issue presents what could be a tragic turn for one of the characters. While it’ll be extremely disheartening, at least we can take comfort in the fact that it’ll be portrayed to perfection by The Woods team.
Batman: Rebirth #1
Writers: Scott Snyder & Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janín
Colors: June Chung
Letters: Deron Bennett
Setting up a new status quo for the Dark Knight, Batman: Rebirth portrays Batman and new ward (not Robin!) Duke Thomas against a revamped Calendar Man. Snyder and King set-up an action-packed plot, but one that feels a bit bare bones. Ostensibly concerned more with style than substance, the book may leave readers looking for the “start” of a series disappointed. Instead, Batman: Rebirth serves as more of a primer for that series. This is made more palatable by the incredible art from Janín, whose detailed pages are a wonder to behold and the inlays on the splash pages are frankly incredible. While Batman: Rebirth is an excellent snapshot of the coming series, for those who are looking for more than that, it’s probably a pass. However, if you want a fast-paced, gorgeous one-and-done, Batman: Rebirth is the comic for you.
Moon Knight #3
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letter: VC’s Cory Petit
Escaping from the Ammut-run Asylum, Moon Knight and Co. find themselves in the tombs below squaring off with a cadre of mummies. At least, that’s what Mr. Knight believes he is seeing. There’s so many good things happening in this issue. Lemire’s script perfectly walks the line between gritty fight-comic and surrealist acid trip. Marc and Khonshu’s conversation about following the madness is one of the best and most chilling exchanges the Moon Knight character has ever had. And every step of the way, Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire are killing it on art. The moments the tombs turn into subways and, a few pages later, back again are incredible feats of atmosphere and cohesion. The Othervoid scenes are simply gorgeous and wonderfully trippy. This new volume of Moon Knight continues to shine and looks only to get better from here.
But wait, there’s more!
CharlieDanger82 is helping out this week to cover some the new titles for DC Rebirth. Think of it like a backup story in your favorite book, just with less talented writing.
Superman: Rebirth #1
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Artist: Doug Mahnke & Jaime Mendoza
Color Artist: Wil Quintana
Letter: Rob Leigh
The Superman of the New 52 has died. The dude on the cover? He’s the Superman from the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, y’know, the guy who got killed by THE DOOMSDAY and came back. The RFD, in wrestling parlance, if you will. He came from his own universe/reality/dimension along with his wife, Lois, and his son, John (guess Brody was wrong about the shotgun thing in Mallrats?) to help the New 52 Superman defeat a really powerful enemy. Well, as you could tell by the start of the review, things didn’t go well for N52 Superman. This intro to the new series involves a Superman from another universe/reality/dimension meeting a Lana Lang from the N52 at the tomb of the fallen hero, both having drastically different agendas and reasons for being there. As a set up story, it works very well. Classic Superman tropes are explored & DAROS is retold, showing that DC is truly bringing back the classic superman back. I think the series shows a lot of promise and I look forward to the family dynamic being explored in future issues.
Green Arrow: Rebirth #1
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Otto Schmidt
Color Artist: Otto Schmidt
Letter: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT
This could have been terrible. If Percy decided to go the CW route, (y’know, trying to make Ollie into Batman cause they can’t do a Batman show and making the character into a dark and brooding character brings in all the edgy emo kids) it would have been awful. Instead, he took everything that worked in the N52 and everything that worked in classic Green Arrow books and wove them together. In this intro story, we see a younger Green Arrow teaming up for the first time with a younger Black Canary to uncover why the homeless of Seattle are disappearing at an alarming rate. Ollie is not only tough but he’s also dashing, kind and fun. He’s back to how he used to be pre-Longbow Hunters. He’s the man in the ivory tower who becomes the defender of the streets at night without all the angst of Batman and that’s AWESOME. Conversely, they took the Drifter/Rocker Black Canary from the N52 to be version Ollie is paired up with. The ideals and mindsets of the two are something they have to overcome to work together and it just works as a story of the classic couple. Oh, and on a personal note, seeing DINAH Lance as opposed to this Diane or Laurel or whatever the hell they call her on the show made me extraordinarily happy. I will Definitely be picking this book up.
So what did you pick up this week?
Agree or disagree with anything said here?
Let us know in the comments.