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.
Writer: Cullen Bunn/Illustrator: Brian Hurtt/Colorist: Bill Crabtree
Letterer: Crank!/Oni Press
In Prohibition-era Chicago, the citizen’s vices are exploited by several crime families. Demon families. Damned follows Eddie, the new owner of a swanky night club and an immortal in that he can’t stay dead for long. When an old “friend” from the past shows up, it causes nothing but trouble. Bunn gives us what looks like a boilerplate noir story, and injects it with that demonic twist to make it something intriguing. The exposition is even-handed enough so you never feel bogged down and the character work is subtle as sin. Hurtt does a fantastic job of giving everything a gritty feel while keeping a cartoonist vibe that enhances rather than detracts from the tone of the story. Crabtree’s efforts are an exercise in conservation, portraying most of the issue in dulled colors that highlight the splashes of red, from dresses to blood. It’s the team that brought you the Sixth Gun giving you a demonic noir story for 99 cents. There’s not really a reason not to pick this up, unless you don’t like your recommendations ending in double negatives.
Writer: Dan Abnett/Artist: Philippe Briones/Colorist: Gabe Eltreb
Letterer: Pat Brosseau/DC Comics
Aquaman and Mera have finally discovered the secret of Dead Water. The only question is whether or not they’ll be able to do anything about it to save their comrades. Abnett escalates the conflict sharply and really drives the tension home. Briones and Eltreb return the title and give us some dark, crisp imagery. This diversion into Aquaman has been entertaining on its own, but I’m not sure if there’s enough to come back for a new arc. We’ll have to see.
Writer: Kelly Thompson/Artist: Michael Walsh/Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino w/ Travis Lanham/Marvel
Kate Bishop and Jessica Jones vs. a dragon. Yep. That happens. Thompson’s script handles this turn fairly well, though Kate’s narration is slipping into the overdone. Walsh and Bellaire handle art duties wonderfully, despite a seemingly bizarre drop in quality in the last page. Still, Hawkeye is still fun.
The Woods #32
Writer: James Tynion IV/Illustrator: Michael Dialynas
Letters: Ed Dukeshire/Boom! Studios
Ahh Woods, even here, so close to the end, you keep on being batshit crazy. Shine on, you crazy diamond.
Batman #22 BOOK OF THE WEEK
Story: Joshua Williamson & Tom King/Script: Joshua Williamson
Pencils & Inks: Jason Fabok/Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Deron Bennett/DC Comics
Hooo boy. Lemme just get my emotions together. Okay. One could argue that the Flashpoint event was a bad thing. It gave us the New 52 after all, a mistake DC is currently trying to fix. However, arguably the best thing Flashpoint ever gave us was Thomas Wayne as Batman. A father who’d lost his wife and son, Thomas was a Batman of deadly brute force and incredible personal tragedy. At the end of Flashpoint, Thomas gives Barry Allen a letter to give to the son he could never watch grow up. Here in this issue, as Thomas’s enemies close in around him, they finally meet. It’s an emotional and tense issue as one would expect, but the Batmen’s conversation goes places you wouldn’t expect and gives us what might be a pivotal moment for both men. Fabok gives us incredible emotional heft to go along with his already stellar choreography and framing. The Button continues to be an incredible crossover.
So what did you pick up this week? Agree or disagree with anything said here? Let us know in the comments.