I’m not a huge fan of wordy comics. I’m excited for Bendis to start Superman but curious how I’ll get on with it.
I’m a fan of wordy comics.
But they have to be the right words in the right order
I thought it was obvious right away who was saying what.
Last year several of you were quite fond of DC’s Batman/ Shadow mini-series. Have any of you been reading Dynamite’s sequel, imaginatively called The Shadow/ Batman?
This six issue mini- series was written by Steve Orlando (on his own this time), with art by Giovanni Timpano. The story pits The Shadow, Batman, and Damien Wayne’s Robin against a centuries old worldwide conspiracy. As you can imagine, given that description, Damien’s maternal family play a fairly big role in proceedings too.
It’s a great read. I think I actually preferred it to the first mini. Orlando is not a writer I particularly enjoy, but this is probably the best thing I’ve read from him. There are a few places where the storytelling gets a little unclear and jumbled, but the plot, characters, and action makes for an enjoyable read overall.
If you liked the first mini series, you should definitely give this one a go too. It’s great.
Just finished #2 a few days ago. Thought that was a good turn with Damien. Two of my favorite characters, couldn’t miss this one!
Picked up Black Magick #11 (from last week or so?) and New Mutants: Demon Bear which was on sale for 99¢. Going to pile these (digitally) with a few others for a nice long read soon.
I’ve had a thousand monkeys chained at a thousand typewriters for a few years now. Let’s see what they’ve come up with:
“It was the best of times, it was the”…blurst of times?
I was tempted to pick it up considering how much I enjoyed the first mini but decided to wait for the trade. Is it worth checking out?
Definitely. If you enjoyed the first, this is more of the same. As I said, I actually preferred this one.
Any picks of today’s new books? I’m sure Gar is going to post that picture of piles of comics any time now.
I’m definitely going to check out Xerxes #1 - feels like the first full new Frank Miller issue in a long time.
Looks like Superman #44 and Marvel 2-in-1 #5 for me with maybe a peak at Isola #1.
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #1: Alright, that’s a long title. But it is without a doubt buh-dass.
I think he was trying to top All-Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder.
Still loving Mister Miracle. Like many of you, I’m relieved Metal is done. I was largely disappointed by the jumbled hopscotching after The Forge and The Casting were so strong and some of the Dark Knight one-shots, but the comment about feeling like he’d missed an issue or two is EXACTLY what I took from this thing, like I’d skipped a bunch of other better books to commit to this series and, after faithfully procuring the entire series, feeling like someone slipped some secret issues behind my back. The battle sequences toward the end tended to get lazy and rushed. I am enjoying Batman: White Knight far more than Metal and I’m about to dig into # 7 of that one.
Aquaman is still a tremendous book, even if the themes are repetitive, the writing and art has been constantly popping. Doomsday Clock is so well-written and I know there’s a bigger picture on the horizon, but I’m waiting for more payoffs. I guess that’s a good thing.
Tom King continues to kill it on Batman. Black Panther has only gotten better. Ta-Nahisi Coates is a beautiful, poetic writer and I’ve enjoyed the majesty he’s brought to Wakanda, particularly the folklore, but now the trigger’s pulled and the book is crushing. Rise of the Black Panther miniseries has been equally great.
I hopped back on board with Amazing Spidey in time for the Red Goblin arc. WOW! I’ll leave it at that. Moon Knight…WOW! The Marvel Two-in-One has surprised me and of course, Thor has been epic and triumphant. I’m just a little pissed that it’s going back to # 1, along with Avengers and some of the others. What’s the point of returning to original sequencing other than to strike the iron of anniversary issues, then pull the # 1 trope yet again. ENOUGH!!!
Let’s see, Moonshine is still ridiculously good. Old Man Logan is still really good, but I wonder how much more we can peddle the waning healing factor plot. With Wolvie coming back in real-time (heh heh, yeah, sure), will OML get canceled? I thought Hawkeye ended well, at least.
Nightwing I’m on the fence with, ditto for WW…Flash is still really good and I’m smirking at what’s to come with Hit Girl after two issues. Regular Supes title, I dunno. Still great writing, but I’m feeling like it’s losing inspiration. Darth Vader is excellent, though the main SW title…I’m waiting before judgment, because I’m not feeling this arc right now. Keiron slayed it on Vader, and I’m hoping that mojo sparks here soon.
K, other than drooling in wait for Action # 1000, that covers me for the time being, lol…
So, there was a few notable first issues out this week.
Brimstone from DC and a couple of Image books, both by reasonably well known creators.
First off though, there’s the small matter of Xerxes by Frank Miller.
I’m a huge fan of Miller, but I have to be honest and say the story doesn’t really interest me much. 300, although a great book, is not something I was bothered about reading much more about and I do wish Miller was doing something else different and new with his time than this.
However, the art is absolutely fucking amazing.
It really is a thing to behold in many panels, in particular his use of blacks and his fantastic layouts and compositions.
It’s hard to explain in a few words but his uniformity in things like the distance between the soldiers or their weapons and same RE the ships almost gives a rythmic feel to the book and the battles and gives a sense of well drilled, disciplined warriors.
This bodes well for Miller’s upcoming work.
I don’t think much of 300 either, but this first issue of Xerxes really engaged me with just how outright bold and action packed it is. So much fun.
Isola # 1
Written by Brendan Fletcher & Karl Kerschl
Art by Karl Kerschl & Msaddyk
Has lovely art and I really love the cover, but there’s no hook here at all for me.
Very little happens and there’s no reason to read on. I’m not sure where the lure is for the reader at all.
It’s the classic approach of dropping the reader into the story and letting them figure it out for themselves, which is fine - but there is very little here that would justify picking up the next issue.
Not even a reveal as a cliffhanger.
I was going to summarise the general premise but I cannae even be arsed.
I’ll keep an eye on this to see what the word of mouth is when the trade comes out but I thought it was a load of pish and in a crowded market place you need to try and do a bit to stand out.
The poor dialogue didn’t help much either.
Superman #44 - I’ll be honest, Bizarro-speak kinda gives me a headache. However, this is was another fun romp from Tomasi and Gleason. I’m going to be sad to see them go.
Marvel 2-in-1 #5 - The announcement of the new Fantastic Four book has taken a bit of the direction and mystery out of this book as I assumed it would always morph into the new FF. It’s still a fun story and a nice trip into an alternate universe.
I was on the fence about Deathstroke but the upcoming war with Batman has me hooked again. This issue lays the foundation for it. The writing is what our expect from a Priest book and the art is top notch.
Xerxes #1: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Persians
(Ok, that’s not its real full title, but it’s about as long.)
It’s weird to think that there’s been a longer gap between Frank Miller’s 300 and this follow-up than there was between the original Dark Knight Returns and its first sequel. There’s nothing like the same departure in style with Xerxes - in fact, it feels like there’s a conscious decision to stick as close as possible to the look and feel of the original (despite Alex Sinclair replacing Lynn Varley as colourist, Miller and Sinclair maintain a fairly similar visual approach to 300 here).
The effect is reassuring: this is Miller, back doing what he does well, and putting out his first long-form work in a long time - without the dilutive effect of the many different creative voices and format limitations that we saw on DKIII.
It’s pleasingly un-showy stuff - good, solid storytelling in the same style as 300, combining a historical overview with the more visceral cut-and-thrust of the individual battles - but it’s executed so well that the effect is still impressive. The writing is rhythmic and blunt in the way you’d expect of Miller, and there’s an enjoyable mix in the artwork of strong figure work (with a great use of solid black areas) and some slightly more impressionistic visuals like the evocative first panel of this page.
I say page, but like 300 each layout takes place across a two-page spread. It works fine in the regular issue format, but (like 300) I have a feeling the definitive version is going to be the collected edition, assuming they go with the same landscape format. Or maybe it’s an argument for buying the singles digitally. Either way, pages like this just work better without the split down the centre.
This is very much the opening act of the story, but by the end of the issue Miller has already managed to tell a good war story, establish some interesting characters, and offer multiple perspectives on both the historical events he’s describing and the more abstract idea of war itself. I hope the rest of the series lives up to it.