There’ve been some good things coming out of this wretched crossover. Thors is near the top of the list, even if we haven’t been covering it. Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde (see last week) and Spider-Man – Renew Your Vows (see below) are also great. And this? This was one of the best comics Marvel had going before Secret Wars, and continues to be one of Marvel’s best in spite of this insipid event. Beautiful art, incredible writing, this is pretty much must read.
Few comics annoy me as much as this one. Seeing this iteration of the Parker family – Peter, Mary-Jane, and their daughter – makes me salivate for the comics we missed so that Spider-Man could sell his marriage to Satan. The fact that we’re only getting this because of the crossover annoys me more. This is Dan Slott shining bright and fast, giving us the Spider-Man we could have and should have been getting for years. More of this, please. This is awesome.
DC Comics continues with a Game-of-Thrones style crime story that just happens to have Catwoman in it, and now Spoiler, too. Selina has been sharing the Catwoman name with a woman named Eiko, a criminal rival and sometimes lover, the two of them called upon to make emotionally devastating decisions to move forward the agendas of their respective families.Since Batman Eternal, this title has taken on a unique air of menace, and it’s worth getting into.
Hey, did you know we’re doing a podcast/vlog about these comics? We are. This comic has gone along way towards restoring the gravitas and dignity that Vader lost during the prequel trilogy, which is what you get when you let Kieron Gillen write anything. Vader has been going through watchers as he moves between Episodes IV and V, seeking the command and respect of the Emperor that he lost when he lost the Death Star. He’s also discovered he has a son. Things have been interesting until now, but they’re about to explode.
How good has this series been? It’s a bleak mess, a hot emotional essay on the violence of moving from youth to adulthood told in a visceral style that is unlike anything else on the market. A school acts as a front for training assassins, where the faculty is perfectly willing to quietly deal with students as the students deal with one another. Lives spiral out of control as those with little experience and too much skill try to become adults and end up corpses.
We all like to imagine that we can do great things, but sometimes we feel inadequate; like there’s nothing that we do that is especially special, that when destiny chose people to be great that we were skipped over. And that’s who this comic is for – those of us that feel that sense of personal stagnation and need something to shock us out of it. Destiny and life are what we make of it, and sometimes that includes a flying skyship and a crashing flying engine. Read this.
The kids at gotham Academy move onto a study of the Bard, delving into the bloody politics of the Scottish Play. Or MacBeth. It’s one of the two. Gotham Academy being what it is, though, it would appear that something is haunted and that we have a new and suspicious student, and if you think our gang of young explorers isn’t going to be drawn to that like moths to a flame then you clearly haven’t read this comic. Fix that immediately. This is one of DC Comics’ best.
Back before the nu52, Catwoman moved in with Harley and Ivy and they became good friends mostly. It was revealed towards the end that Bruce asked Selina to keep tabs on two people that had a good chance of rehabilitation, and I like to think that worked out rather well. Here, we get the three of them reunited for a cross-country road trip, and given this writing team we’re expecting great things. This might be the most fun you’ll have reading comics this week.
It’s Warren Ellis with Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire. That right there is enough reason to buy this comic. Not willing to rest there, however, this comic deals with the concept of reality and perception, has a mad air of mystery and character that is unlike anything else you’ll ever read, and embraces an epic scope that few writings manage to brush against, never mind explore. This is an example of how good the medium as a whole can be, an intelligent story that deserves study.
There’s often more to any political struggle than is apparent on the surface, because with people are mostly people. Exposing yourself to them allows you to see them as people, and being gifted by those born luckier than you can draw you into their circle – at least some of the time. This comic is a complex study of idealism and real-politick set against a stage that feels like Midgar in Final Fantasy VII – that game without those characters – and it’s bloody gorgeous.
Remember those old ads in the backs of comics that promised to make you a tough guy? Imagine if you sent for one and it worked, and made you mighty. Imagine that screwed up your life beyond repair. And imagine being on a hunt for the originator of those techniques, a man bound because his merest step is an invitation to murder. That’s this comic, a quiet essay on the history and application of killing from rage or expediency, in heartbreaking gory glory.
Are comics based on video games making a comeback? Because I’d murder someone to write a Metroid comic. Mirror’s Edge was a video game that featured a parkour running messenger helping to fight against a corrupt totalitarian government in the future, as opposed to the totalitarian governments we have today. It’s going to be interesting to see if they can carry that same sense of motion onto the printed page while building that mythology. Given the quality of the Tomb Raider comics, we have faith.
Some comics have used the threat of the big dumb crossover event to tell compelling stories using their characters – Silk, Loki, and Magneto all come to mind as the best of the lot – and yet, that list remains incomplete without this title. Kamala has been working with her idol, Captain Marvel, to help keep things calm in the wake of apocalypse, all the while making a mockery of the “hard choice” idiocy that some people pass off as good stories. It’s been beautiful and fun and creative, which is exactly what we’ve come to expect from one of the most creative, well-written, and wondrously drawn comics on the shelves.
Oh, Matt Kindt, why is everything you do so great? A British superspy with a thing for ninja has infiltrated an illegal arms dealer ring, only to discover a deeper conspiracy that ties into his first days as a spy, and we get to see what Matt has been building to since the first issue of this comic. The answer is something chilling and brilliant, a revelation that will make you want the next issue right the hell now, as Ninjak takes its place among Valiant’s best.
I’ve got a soft spot for urban horror, and horror in general. We’ve sung the praises of the horror genre in the past and how scary stories reflect the values of the cultures that create them, and talked about some of the best horror movies of the modern era. Dark Horse wanting to get into the fun is a welcome addition, and this sounds interesting enough: strangers living in an apartment complex are drawn slowly towards an otherworldly evil. Looks like it might be fun, a tale about how much we don’t know about the places we live and the people around us. I’m in.
A lot of people give Teen Titans Go a lot of flack, but things change. Teen Titans is still there; we can still watch it, and Teen Titans Go is harmless enough. I bring up both shows because this comic feels like the Kori from the old Teen Titans cartoon, all grown up and making her way in the world. She’s moved to Florida, started making friends, and gets to battle a sea monster because Aquaman is the one superhero who cares for seventy percent of the planet. Just sayin,’ dude is busy. It’s okay, this comic is full of the joy that’s underlying a lot of DC’s comics lately.
Okay, this sounds interesting: a Vietnam veteran starts investigating the murder of an old comrade and ends up enmeshed in a hard-boiled world of crime and heartbreak and ill-fated romance. The concept is sound and feels like it might lead to something great, but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m usually willing to give new things the benefit of the doubt, though, and I’m getting Criminal-style vibes from this. Nerdcouver will let you know if it’s any good.
We’ve talked before about how Valiant, at their best, approaches old stories from a mature perspective that lends those stories a sense of wonder. Unity brings the most powerful heroes that Valiant has to offer to battle concepts as much as villains, which lends itself to some brilliant storytelling. Here, we have a counterpart to the Eternal Warrior, an immortal woman warrior who loves violence for it’s own sake, and has already proven a match for Unity. They’ll need something new to take her down – or possibly something old.
This is the third Kieron Gillen comic this week and has just as much chance of the others as getting a Top Five spot. When he’s working on a comic you know it’s going to be good – the question becomes how good, and how deep will today’s myth go? This comic is all about mythology and the purpose of Gods, mortals who become deities for two years and then die once every ninety years. This issue focuses on Woden, a god who’s mostly kept to the shadows. Kieron’s going to have reasons for that, and those reasons are about to be revealed. Prepare for the awesome.