All right folks, we all survived Free Comic Book Day, the Phoenix con, the San Diego Con and the Fourth of July, so we’re back in the business of buying comics. Are you out of money? Too bad! It was a huge week with plenty of great stuff, so let’s dive right in and do this!
(Sorry in advance, but the big books, to me, this week were all Marvels. DC just got boring this week, so deal with it.)
I don’t know the back story on this, just that it’s an unreleased story from Gerber that acts as a sequel to some of the Man-Thing work he did in the 70s. Holy guacamole, this is a bizarre book! An author desperate to create a new story is about to die, and he travels into the swamps to get what he’s looking for. It’s without a doubt one of the strangest books I’ve ever read, but it’s really intriguing and very good. This is the kind of book that people like Phil will absolutely love, but it’s not just for any kind of niche audience. If you like the weird, then this is the book for you.
So this issue has me thinking. Everything is coming to a head, especially with the Mandarin. Do you guys remember that Annual from a couple years ago where Fraction basically rebuilt the Mandarin as a character and it was crazy awesome? Well, it’s effectively been building and building to this point, and I have a feeling it’s all going to wrap up nicely in a neat little bow. Fraction often has problems working superhero comics, but that’s never been the case with his Iron Man run. He’s had some lulls in the process, but it’s been an absolutely fantastic run, and this issue, with more Mandarin wrecking Iron Man goodness, is more of that very good stuff.
Odd strategy. Hype your comic as being a comic with a strong woman character being written by a woman. From there, you ditch everything else and have men do the cover and the interiors. Yay feminism! ANYway, this is by no means a bad comic. In fact, it put together the pieces of how Ms. Marvel is becoming the new captain very well. I really dug the art style (which is completely opposite of the cover), with it’s murky moody coloring. This (technically) origin issue really covers all the bases setting up Carol Danvers as a person, how she’s dealing with the new powers, and her supporting cast. It’s very good stuff and worth checking out as a new #1.
Wow, what a jarring change from Oliver Coipel to Andy Kubert. Sometimes Kubert drops some really neat pages (Red Hulk’s compound fracture), but most of the time it’s an exhibition in mediocrity. This event just keeps moving right along, and the defeat of Sub-Mariner Phoenix is no exception. They’ve spent all this time telling us about the power, then letting them get defeated, then talking more about their power. This event has a serious problem with the concept of ‘show, don’t tell,’ but when you’ve got Brian Michael Bendis putting it all together, you’d expect a whole lot of telling, and that definitely hurts this event.
Samnee gets away with a bit here, several pages are all black or half black, but this Eisner-award-winning book is still probably the best thing that Marvel has out on the stands. I appreciate that the company seems to know that keeping Daredevil away from the mainstream universe is the best bet, and with Waid working his way through Latveria and not even acknowledging AVX, you get an amazing book. Samnee has taken some of the reins in the book since Marcos Martin has gone off to greener pastures of creator-owned work, but how can you not love what Samnee offers here? He’s one of the best artists Marvel has under employ, and it’s great to see him on such a perfect book.
And now some quick hits!
Mars Attacks #2 Writer: John Layman Artist: John McCrea: Good ol’-fashioned stupid fun mixed with aliens replacing humans to make assassinations on important people in the world. A very good book for people who enjoy things like this.
Batwoman #11 Writers: J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman Artist: Trevor McCarthy: Not the best since the artists have changed, but I still enjoy it. It’s a very pretty DC book to look at, and I look forward to each issue.
Hellblazers #293 Writer: Peter Milligan Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli: Still an incredible Vertigo book, and it just keeps getting better. giving Constantine guilt over past transgressions is an interesting take, and I enjoy every issue that comes out of this title.
Fantastic Four #608 Writer: Jonathan Hickman Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli: Hickman is fast approaching the end of his run, and these issues are still incredibly interesting. It foreshadows thing that already happened in AVX, so I’m wondering if there was some kind of delay. Otherwise, good stuff.
Fatima: The Blood Spinners #2 Writer/Artist: Gilbert Hernandez: This whole story is still really good. Don’t listen to my girlfriend or my boss when they try to tell you otherwise...
And that’s the week! Go see Batman, come buy some comics, and I’ll see you again in two weeks.
“The” Dan Jacka