On time this week.
Looks like the following for me today.
Action Comics #1002
I’ll probably give Cullen Bunn’s new Image series COLD SPOTS a try. Other than that, just HIT GIRL #7 for me.
After much deliberation I’ve managed to eat this week’s pull down to 4 comics.
I reckon about 2-3 months ago it would have been about 12.
Pretty much all the Marvel books I’ll either read on Unlimited or not at all. Although I’ll keep picking up Hulk. I’ll maybe get the Sentry in trade and keep a general eye on the trades thread for reviews.
A few of the DC books this week I’m happy to pick up in the sales at some point in future, including The Terrifics and Batman Kings of Fear which I want for Jones art, but IF I’m buying a book for the art I should really get it in print anyway.
I feel a little bit liberated and I’m not saying it will last forever, there will be bigger weeks. But my wallet and my time will feel the benefit. I don’t think there’s anything else I really MUST read on release date that’s out this week.
Even 2 of the books below I’m trying out; giving Rosenburg another go on The Punisher, I won’t hold my breath, but I really miss picking up a Punisher book.
And I’m baffled at the appeal of Cullen Bunn so I’m thinking maybe his horror work is where he turns in his best stuff, and the mainstream stuff is just phoned in, so I’ll give Cold Spots a try.
Action Comics 1002
Cold spots 1
Justice league dark 2
The Punisher 1
Last night I re-read the first issue of Justice League Dark and read the second issue right after. A few different (very good) writers have taken a swing at this property since New 52, and it’s never quite clicked. What do you do if you’re DC? You bring in James Tynion IV, arguably the best old-school, no-bullshit superhero writer working right now, and unquestionably the best at team books. Within two issues each character has a voice and motivation, and their relationships are clear. The central plot balances horror, DC lore, and action nicely, and while it’s presented as a mystery when I’d prefer an adventure (a byproduct of having Detective Chimp one of the principles), this is a cracking book. A great mix of characters and nice, interesting asides such as Constantine making a one-page appearance in each book and little background stories, and patient storytelling. Is it dense by today’s standards? Yes. Is there a lot of exposition? Yes. This is a book that takes 15 minutes to read each issue if you take it slow, digest the story, and savor the art. That’s what we used to call value for your money.
I recommend a great new comic called Gallant and Amos - Issue 1
Great review Robert - although I have only read the first issue I completely agree with what you’ve said about the start to the series and also Tynion
I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are on The Punisher. I’m considering picking it up.
No problem, I’ll maybe get a chance to read it tonight - if I do I’ll post and let you know what I thought
I’m glad it made sense…I wrote that while getting a grumpy three-year-old ready for school.
I’ll keep this short.
I never even finished reading it. I found it passionless and bland comics by numbers. No real great ideas, mediocre execution, a writer going through the motions - the art wasn’t much better.
I can handle plots that are not immediately attention grabbing, but if there’s zero characterisation or the comic is not written in a way I find interesting then you’ve lost me; the dialogue was drab and there’s links to the whole secret empire thing, so not even a fresh start on the book.
Your mileage may vary however, but I’ll wait until the next relaunch before picking up the Punisher again, I’m sure there will be one in about a year anyway.
Still haven’t read Justice League Dark. I really should remedy that. But, there’s this little voice in my head whispering to me “you’ll only be disappointed; it’ll never be as good as Detective Comics, so why upset yourself?” My expectations are sky high here. I have to get a grip on those first, I think.
It’s not as good as Detective Comics (so far). That’s a pretty high bar though.
Action Comics #1002 - Like I said before, I think I’m enjoying this series more than the Bendis’s other Superman book. It oddly feels a bit like the 90’s Jurgens era of Superman but with something extra. I really love Patrick Gleason’s art. It’s kind of crazy how different it is from the work he did on the character just a few months ago. I hope he and Bendis have more lined up after this book as I think this is his last issue. Still very interested in this book.
Hit-Girl #7 - The action in this book is amazing. I love how there are just pages that are mostly silent as Hit-Girl takes down the goons. @Mark_Millar has really picked some great talent here to pass the baton along to.
If you are trying to persuade any lapsed superman fans to read the new superman comics, just show them the first page of this issue and I’m sure it will be enough to grab them.
There’s a sense of fun here, reminiscent of the blackboard of clues in 52; only, this uses post it notes round Clarke’s monitor in the daily planet office.
There’s nods to what has been going on in other DC books (buy Batman a wedding gift, there’s a new ruler in Atlantis), possible future story points (checkmate, the superman theory), some meta jokes (call Byrne, remind Bendis eye appt) as well as just fun references (Kara and krytpo are fine).
Then the recaps emphasises the tone of the book and for a guy who has been criticised for decompressed storytelling in the past, it hits home that there’s a lot of good story and mystery going on, with the fires, Lois and Jon travellig the Galaxy uncontacable , daily planet struggling.
Lots going on.
And there’s more as this issue goes on.
This is just a good superman comic. I’ve already forgot about jurgens and Thomasi moving on - neither of whom I wanted to leave their books.
It’s written in a fun, accessible way. With great art and nice bright colours that should be associated with a superman book.
When I read this I feel like I’m reading comics as teenager again. There’s clearly so much genuine goodwill and passion involved that it can’t not be reflected on the page.
And an experienced comic book writer at the top of his game. Brilliant.
Nothing but positives to give. I don’t have many superman graphic novels on my shelves, but If the quality keeps up on these books I can see that changing soon.
Yeah his art is great. This change in style, I see a bit of Immonen in there, what do you think?
Also, I never mentioned in my comments, there’s a return of a superman character who I have a lot of good nostalgia for. Just because of the superman comics I was reading back when I was 10 or 11. And I’ve always loved his costume. I got a massive buzz when I saw him.
Bendis makes fantastic use of a wide supporting cast.
I really need to read some comics this weekend! Too much good stuff sitting in my drawer unread.
justice league dark 2
I don’t know if I can add much more than reiterate Roberts earlier post.
Vik, nothing is going to be his detective run, but this is carving a nice little niche for itself in a different way, - but with the same amount of love.
I felt Orlando’s JLA was a great way to showcase some of DCs rich stock of brilliant C and D list characters, only let down by its execution as Orlando is more an ideas guy than a writer.
Tynion, is doing similar with this magical side of the DCU. Only he is a writer. A real stroryteller who excels in team books that make you care about the cast. And it’s a great cast; I don’t care much for Wonder Woman, I initially felt she’d been added to try and entice some more readers (more on this later), but Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Detective Chimp, Dr Fate, Man-Bat - all characters I enjoy reading, who probably can’t quite justify their own ongoing, so stick them all in one book and we get a compromise that works well for everyone.
I’ve said umpteen times that I’m not keen on wordy books where the writer is just filling bubbles and boxes on auto pilot, which is rife in comics today.
But when you have a writer you uses the comic book tools only to further a story, create atmosphere or develop character, or just generally enrich the reading experiences then it’s a different matter.
Now I’m not saying that Tynion is Neil Gaiman, but as far as mainstream comics go, there’s very few who can hold a candle to him at the moment.
He’s emerged as a talent in the last few years, I just hope DC can keep hold of him for a long time to come.
The rather unique thing about this team book that you are not going to get with The Avengers or Justice League is that this is the main cannon storytelling vessel for most of these characters. The likes of Swamp Thing and Zatanna are not having their stories told elsewhere. So the book feels like it matters in the bigger picture.
Back to a comment I made earlier. I loved Azzarellos run (although much of that was down to character design and supporting cast) and I liked what Rucka did (although it was enchanced by Sharp and Scott on art) but Wonder Woman just doesn’t interest me as a character.
Tynion’s Wonder Woman flashback pages in this book however completely engrossed me and also worked within the concept of the book. Worked really well in fact and gave a slightly different angle on the character. It as actually pretty creepy.
The horror gets dialled up a notch. If you’ve read Memetic, you’ll know that Tynion has that string to his bow. And Martinez Beuno is up to it, easily flitting from superheroes to magic to horror, with a wide variety of layouts and storytelling techiques, all in the space of 20 pages. His art is clean and clear and Tynion must have been delighted when he got the pages through for this issue.
I read cold spots #1 in 5 mins. Possibly not much more than it took Bunn to write it. It didn’t grab me at all. What was particular irritating was the amount of times the characters mentioned how cold it was, just in case we didn’t get that from the title, or the first few times or the characters breath visibly condensatinf in the cold air…