This Week: All-New X-Men #39, Batgirl #40, Batgirl: Endgame #1, Batman Eternal #50, Batwoman #40, Black Widow #16, Divinity #2, Guardians Team-Up #2, Ivar, Timewalker #3, Loki – Agent of Asgard #12, Magneto #16, Moon Knight #13, The Punisher #16, Secret Six #3, Silk #2, Solar – Man of the Atom #10, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #44
[toggle title_open=”On NXT. Duh.” title_closed=”Where is the excitement?” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]We are Living Myth Magazine, and we are here to read comic books! Every week, we go and feed our addiction (single issues mostly online, trades mostly from conventions or Big Pete’s). Then every Wednesday we respect Woden, the God of Comics, and we speak of the stories that he, in his greatness, has brought us. We speak of it on twitter. That’s a preview, though, and there are times we don’t pick up the things we were looking for or end up picking up things we didn’t talk about.
So, here’s are the comics we got this week and what we think about ‘em after the reading. We rate these things on a five symbol scale. The first two symbols are for art, the second two for story, and the last is based on whether we think this is a gateway comic – is this something we would lend to friends to get them into this series? This last one is a tricky thing, but if we think it is, then the comic gets this symbol:
Symbols can be broken down into quarters and look like this from quarter to whole: , , , and . Two symbols is a good comic, three symbols is worth taking the time to hunt down and look at. Anything at four or more symbols is of the highest possible quality.
If you click on a comic’s title it’ll take you to where you can buy that title on Amazon (at least until Big Pete starts selling comics online, after which it’ll take you to Big Pete’s), unless it’s not on Amazon at the time when this article is published. Non-title links will open new tabs and take you to places I think are either informative or funny, depending upon whim.
We’ll give you a very brief overview of what we thought of each comic, and whether we think you should buy it or not. We’ll go a little more in-depth when it comes to our top five comics of the week, and make sure that you can tell them apart from all the rest.
Seriously, Wrestlemania looks bland as hell this year. Does no one working at the WWE know how to book? I mean, I’m still gonna watch it, but probably on fast forward… or at least speeded up enough that I don’t have to listen to the inane commentary.
Lastly, Aaron Golden or anyone else writing this review is not the God of Comics. That would be absurd. Comics come out on Wednesday, which was a day named for the Norse God, Woden. Also called Odin and a whole host of other things. He’s a god of many things, and we sorta think he’d dig comics, so, you know, he’s the God of Comics. Because of course he is.
Okay. Savvy? Everyone with us so far? Cool. Onwards goes us.[/toggle]
I love everyone involved in this crossover, but I’m not digging the crossover itself. This is convoluted and weirdly paced, which is unusual for a Brian Michael Bendis comic – dude likes his slow and methodical pacing, but always makes the journey worth it. This is just… off. The art carries a lot of weight here, and there’s some lovely moments. I’m about done with this crossover.
Batgirl #40 – Top 5 Comics
Had DC Comics approached the reboot using this sort of storytelling as a watchword instead of the grimdark bullshit that was the nu52, we would be looking at a very different comics landscape. This is the very best we can expect from a non-Steph Brown Batgirl comic, an interesting look into the psyche and hopes of an intelligent young woman who is repairing the damage she’s suffered and defining herself. It’s inspiring, really, with an art style that is charming, expressive, and compact. The end result is a comic that feels longer than it is without overstaying it’s welcome, like you’re getting more than you paid for. Anyone who likes fun should be reading this.
Way back when, Marvel was pressed for time on a GI Joe comic and someone did a silent short story about Snake Eyes infiltrating a Storm Shadow led compound to rescue Scarlet, who, being Scarlet, rescued herself. It was awesome. Every now and again, someone tries to capture that magic. This is the closest I’ve seen anyone come. Simple, direct, very human, and well-plotted.
Spoiler Alert – The Cluemaster? THE FUCKING CLUEMASTER?!? Okay, there’s surprising writing like in Hush, where the Riddler is revealed to be behind the whole thing, and that worked. The Riddler has a storied career, and that just returned him to prominence. The Cluemaster has always been a joke. I’m hoping this is false reveal. Otherwise, quite good.
Backpedal faster, DC Comics. Go ahead. Try to undo the damage you’ve done by changing your subplot. As a desperate attempt to fix a broken story, this almost works – but the hamfisted exposition utterly murders it. Look, we all like vampires. Vampires and the Bat-family work. I even dig Alice here, but this reeks of damage control.
Black Widow #16 – Top 5 Comics
We tend to view chaos as a negative, thinking that systematic order is what allows us to form society. We demonize chaos, but we’re currently living in a world based on drab corrupt order and it’s falling apart. Addressing this in a comic, stating for certain that entropy as a force isn’t bad but merely is? That takes a lot of philosophical fortitude. Explaining to someone like Natasha why this is while also showing why that sentiment would appeal to her? Goddamn. The artwork catches every small detail from grace to horror, and makes this impossible to look away from. This single issue, as a microcosm of the series thus far, is a remarkable achievement.
Divinity #2 – Top 5 Comics
Oh my gods. Where do I even begin to extol the virtues of this title? We’ll start simple: the art is gorgeous. This is a Valiant comic, and they tend to pay attention to art and have a strong drive towards excelling there, so that’s not surprising. What is surprising is the depth of this story, of a man who doesn’t believe in god becoming god and returning to earth long after the world forget he even existed. A man who comes to give the world and everyone in it exactly what they need to be better, and how even those sent to stop him know that they are on the side of wrong. There’s some heady stuff here, from transhumanism to altruism to solipsism, disguised as comics simplicity.
I. Er. Huh. Okay, we get a look at the Kree from the view of Ronan the Accuser, who everyone knows from the movie and the rest of us know as an unspeakable hardass. He goes against the Kree here, looking into the Black Vortex to gain more power and saving the day, for which he is banished. Perfectly acceptable comics.
Temporal physics have always been of interest to me. There’s something to be said for stories that explore the idea of time travel; this is Valiant’s effort to out-Doctor the Doctor, and it comes very, very close. This focuses on the fact that Ivar is more smart than good or trustworthy, which the female lead finally figures out. This is intelligent and interesting.
Loki – Agent of Asgard #12 – Top 5 Comics
I was wrong. This didn’t go how I thought it was going to – it went a much simpler route and then did more with it, keeping Loki and Loki as one being but from alternate timelines, with one of them skipping through the gutters (the white spaces in between panels in comics) to jump through time and mess with Thor. He’s doing it because, even though he won – even though he became the hero no one thought he could be – no one would ever recognize him as anything other than the God of Lies. This comic touches on a lot of things, from the stupidity of ethical excuses to the idiocy of big dumb crossover events, but nothing more important than this: if you’re going to change, do not expect anyone else to notice.
Okay, wow. Erik sets up SHIELD, gets a new country, and appears to have softened on the whole “kill-all-humans” thing to the point where he’s taken one as a lover. This actually works perfectly, given the set-up we’ve gotten going into this. Someone has decided to haunt Erik with Nazi imagery, which should go over powerfully wrong for them.
The art is quite good here, but falls flat when compared to previous issues. It’s the coloring that fails, which is not to say that the coloring is bad. It’s just that this comic works because of the ethereal presence created by Mr. Knight, and that’s sorely lacking here. The story is setting, gearing us up for whatever is to come and laying groundwork. Cool.
The Punisher #16 – Top 5 Comics
Here’s a bit of modern weirdness: we know our politicians are corrupt and lying to us. We know that they do not have our best interests at heart, and often act against not only those interests, but also the continued survival of every living thing on the planet. It’s a joke, a failed punchline that everyone sees coming, and it’s going to kill us all. Nathan Edmondson takes that simple truth and applies Punisher Logic to it – if our politicians are committing worse crimes than any of the people he kills, doesn’t that make them criminals? Less obvious, maybe, but criminals nonetheless? It does. One of them tries to frame Frank for his crimes. This is going to end very, very badly.
I want this to be a top five comic. I really do. I enjoy the hell out of this – I love everything about it, from the story to the art to where I think it’s going. I love the character and the shadowy figures and, well, everything. This and Spider-Gwen are the two best Spider-person comics being published today. It’s just this week has some insanely good stuff, and this is just getting started. Silk is going to be a top five comic sooner rather than later, and it probably won’t leave once it hits that mark. It’s so good I’m give it the length of a top five comic. Seriously, pick this up.
Alright, so, daddy invents superpowers based around math and physics – he can move atoms around by solving equations, and it makes him god. Okay, cool. His daughter, an artist, can do the same thing by being an artist. Now the son has powers from being corporate I guess? The art is really good. The story feels like it’s missing steps.
Spoiler Alert – they motherfucking killed Donatello. Bebop and Rocksteady have been portrayed as violent unstoppable psychopaths to perfection, and here we get to see that they’re nothing to laugh at. They’re terrifying. Yes, the heroes kinda won and Krang has been taken down, but Baxter Stockman has allied with Shredder and they motherfucking killed Donatello. I’m glad this is the last review this week. I need to go sit down.