This Week: Batman Eternal #52, Batwoman Annual #2, Cluster #3, Convergence #0, Cyclops #12, Gotham Academy – Endgame #1, Guardians Team-Up #4, Harley Quinn #16, Kanan – the Last Padawan #1, Lady Killer #4, The Punisher #17, Rick and Morty #1, Rocket Raccoon #10, Spider-Gwen #3, Southern Bastards #8, UFOlogy #1, The Woods #12, X-O Manowar #35[toggle title_open=”So good getting to chat with people. Thank you all.” title_closed=”Emerald City Comic Con was amazing!” 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.
Wrestlemania was good as a stand alone thing, but story-wise? Going in was misery, and coming out we have little faith in the future.
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]
Okay, so the plan was Cluemaster’s, and Lincoln March just rode on his coattails. That’s actually kind of funny. Batman Eternal comes to a close and it should be interesting to see where this goes from here. There’s a lot of changes in this that I love – some of which are quite controversial – but I’m curious. Gotham evolved. Mission accomplished.
A mercy killing that tries to make up for everything since Williams and Blackman left, and just kind of feels flat – especially with the epilogue in Batman Eternal robbing Batwoman of a book that really should be hers. The art fails to be consistent in detail and is drab besides, and the writing is, well, it’s there. It’s sad that I’m hoping this is the end.
Okay, here’s the hook – a number of out-of-work sci-fi actors get sick of being treated like afterthoughts, because of course they do. One of their agents comes up with a way to rob the SDCC. They figure they have nothing left to lose, so they’re all in. The concept is interesting and the art captures their straits, dire or otherwise, perfectly. Fun.
Wow, this comic. A girl with an influential family gets a life sentence and opts out of that to go to war for fifteen years instead. Her father puts pressure on the military to get her out, but while she’s out gallivanting around the galaxy she learns the truth of how corrupt the war and the powers behind it are. The art paints the harshness of this reality, and it’s all a really good time.
Dammit, DC. I don’t want to like this. I really don’t want to like yet another stupid reboot meant to move away from the other stupid reboot and all the other stupid reboots. The problem is that you have some incredibly talented writers on staff, and the writing here is actually quite good, even if you do have Superman punching a neglected child.
I get the feeling I missed something somewhere. I’m not sure what, but this is the problem with all the damn crossovers going on all the time. Who can keep track of all this stuff? What if things happen in a book you don’t read? This is frustrating. Beyond that, this is a perfectly serviceable comic, and has been since Rucka left.
Gotham Academy – Endgame #1 – Top 5 Comics
This is everything I love about Brenden Fletcher and Becky Cloonan. The Joker attacks Gotham, the lights go out, and there are Joker zombies everywhere thanks to gassing. So what do the kids do? Hunker down and tell ghost stories and put on their brave faces, because that’s what kids do, and in Gotham you’d just get used to this sort of thing. The ghost stories themselves are fantastic, and ones I plan on sharing the next time ghost stories become a thing (fairly often around our office, actually). The art continues to be awesome, playing with light and shadow and granting a depth of darkness that is simply lovely. The reveal at the end is also great, and makes me love this all the more.
Cute, really, and I hope the pairing of She-Hulk and Gamora becomes a thing because it’s not easy being green and both of them could use the friendship the other could provide. Especially Gamora. The art is interesting and the clone troopers are a nice touch, but it’s the dialogue that makes this book great. If you enjoy fun this book is worth reading.
How can anyone not like this book? It’s an homage to the character starring the character, a title that knows exactly what it is and revels in the insanity it provides. The art is lush and bright and perfect, the lettering is outstanding and always is, and it’s hard to go longer than a page without grinning like a lunatic. Qualitatively, I wish more of DC was like this.
Kanan – the Last Padawan #1 – Top 5 Comics
Can we all agree that Star Wars: Rebels is awesome? We can? Good. This comic is a prequel to that, following the adventures of Kanan back during the Clone Wars, and showing us what he was like before the Republic crumbled. And this? This is great. One of the things it does is expound on what the differences are between the Jedi and the Sith, and even the Separatists and the Republic. This one thing makes these comics better than the whole of the prequel trilogy; the philosophy and artwork that get explored here, and how it all ties into the present is even better. Seeing the depth and dignity that the Jedi carried themselves with makes this comic great, and the artwork captures every expression perfectly. Well done.
Someone needs to turn this into a Made-for-TV movie. Use this comic as a direct storyboard, hire Katherine Isabelle or Eleanor Calder or someone to star, and get the Soska Sisters to direct it. It’s that sort of comic. I like to imagine this happening at about the same time as Agent Carter, which just makes this better. Good art, clever writing, excellent comic.
The Punisher #17 – Top 5 Comics
Where do I even begin to praise this comic? The art? I’m told I need to do more of that, so here goes: Mitch Gerads and Brent Schoonover create one of the bleakest, moodiest looks at America’s capital outside of House of Cards. The fact that there’s two superheroes fighting within those confines – one of whom represents the best of what America – makes no nevermind. The darkness swallows them both, until Frank changes the rules of the game. And that’s where the writing comes into play, and where Nathan Edmondson shines. Frank is dangerous because he knows he’s limited, because his monomania plays to his training. Choosing to tackle the moral complexities of modern politics terrifies even the Punisher, and that’s where even he needs a hero. Fantastically done, all around.
Let’s get the bad out of the way immediately – the colors feel a bit washed out. It’s not actively bad, not at all, but it does make everything feel a little flat. That’s it. That’s all the bad. Other than that, this comic captures the look and feel of the show perfectly, being perfectly aware of its own structure and savvy as to its own use of tropes.
If you ever wonder what pure imagination looks like, it’s this. The vastness of space as explored by a violent talking raccoon and his tree god bestie. It’s outstanding, the writing and the artwork both – ludicrous small details lurk everywhere, aiding to the main flow of everything while also hinting at the madness of continuities past.
Hard to believe we’re only eight issues in. This feels longer, doesn’t it? It feels like you’ve been walking on this blood-soaked ground forever, as we see exactly how far Eugene Boss is willing to go for the game he loves, and how that obsession made him a monster. The artwork drips heat and atmosphere, and there’s nothing like this narrative anywhere else in comics – a look at small town crime and how obsessions can fester into something so much worse.
Spider-Gwen #3 – Top 5 Comics
I have mixed feelings on the art in this book. Every now and again it feels a little bit too loose, but then it turns around and lends itself to some brilliant bits of atmosphere, echoing itself the same way the writing does. It’s beautiful, extremely well put-together, and works perfectly with the narrative as a whole. And the narrative here shows us an absolutely terrifying Frank Castle, introduces us to a living Ben Parker and what’s left of the Parkers in the wake of Peter’s death. The pain that lingers over the Stacy family as they come to terms with who and where they are and the choice to be better, both of them for the other, is incredible. This is the best Spider-Man book being published today.
You know that feeling you get when you’re reading something and you think, “yeah, okay, this is good, but I know this is going to get mind-breakingly excellent soon?” That’s this comic. We get a series of introductions and a soft exposition dump that implies a lot of information very quickly, and then veers into something related but unexpected. This is going to be a title to watch.
Oh, Karen. You really didn’t. You may have screwed up everything for everyone – because as far as we can tell, Adrian and the woman that nearly got things going before him have all reacted with violence, but not instigated it. In fact, it is their trust that ends up killing them. It’s so sad, but shadowed tragedy is where this book thrives. Awesome stuff.
X-O Manowar #35 – Top 5 Comics
Remember when this comic started? Remember how simple Aric was, and how simple the Vine seemed? How far we’ve all come, Valiant as a whole and this comic in particular. Aric returns to the Vine world to defend it from a horror he inadvertently unleashed when he defeated the last of the Armor Hunters. He does not run, will not let anyone die because of him, will not shrink away from the responsibility of his actions – but there is nothing he can do. Not with all his power, all his might, all he’s learned and grown. How does one stop a force designed to scour the galaxy of life? The scope and scale of what’s at stake here is difficult to comprehend, but the art and small stories in the writing really drive everything home. There’s a reason we call this the best of all comics.