All right folks, we’re back in action. Lots of stuff to talk about so let’s do this!
Chin Music is a really hard book to review. On the one hand, you know exactly what you’re getting with the creators, but on the other hand, you don’t know where it’s going to go. I heard it described as “supernatural mob justice” and that’s about the best description I could put on it. Someone has murdered Al Capone, and Elliot Ness is very suspicious of the circumstances. This issue really gets more into the investigation after the set-up of the first issue, and what makes it worth reading is really Harris’s layouts. I think the book would be a lot more straightforward if it weren’t for the amount of detail Harris puts into every single panel. It’s a beautiful book with a lot of potential.
Speaking of books where you know exactly what you’re getting… this book is just about as bats@#$ insane as you would expect it to be. Mr. Freeze and Penguin have a floating iceberg island that they’re claiming as a territory and Batman and Robin have to work together to foil their plan. Mr. Freeze talks like a stereotypical Russian, and everything wraps up in a nice neat little bow. There’s a back-up story involving Batman fighting a woman who can use her singing voice to seduce any man, and it’s just as goofy as you’d expect it to be. If you’re looking for lighthearted traditional fun, this is the book for you.
Indestructible Hulk #12 Writer: Mark Waid Artist: Matteo Scalera
Waid’s contributions to the Marvel universe are right up there with Hawkeye as some of the best stuff on the market. Daredevil is the clear favorite here, as Waid uses the Surfer for a “one off” issue that still manages to advance the overall plot for Murdock. It’s a strange little issue that works even better as part of the overall story. Samnee’s cartoony style keeps the book on a fun level, and incredibly interesting. On the other hand, Hulk is just balls-to-the-wall action throwing Waid into the Silver Age territory he knows so well. Hulk is traveling through time and runs into all the Marvel western characters. In both books Waid is killing it while making it totally fun. These stand alone stories are some of the best that Marvel is currently producing.
Pandora #3: Writer: Ray Fawkes Artist: Daniel Siempre
Your ‘Trinity War’ update goes in a very strange direction this week. One group is fighting over whatever Pandora has (is it her box? I can’t remember at this point), while another group tracks down Madame Xanadu. Over in Pandora she watches everyone fight while she has to fight the literal seven deadly sins. Justice League Dark is a pretty book, but it just seems to be doing the same thing over and over (corrupt a hero, lose the box, corrupt a hero, etc.) to the point that I’m not sure I care. Pandora was just a very wonky story that did not seem to match up with the events of Dark. This crossover has been passable, but nothing special, and it will be interesting to see if it actually pays off heading into Villains Month.
Avengers #18 Writer: Jonathan Hickman Artist: Leinil Yu
While Avengers is the direct tie-in to Infinity, I liked Thunderbolts better. It seems that the tie ins that are set on Earth will involve how screwy everyone’s plans get when Thanos attacks Earth while no Avengers are around. The Thunderbolts have a plan in place, but it’s hinted at that things are about to get really messed up, and in terms of execution, this issue actually works perfectly. Avengers, on the other hand, goes right to space and watches a lot of people explode. I’ve never been a cosmic guy, and the Skrulls just do nothing for me, so this tie-in was a lot of flashy stuff with no real pay off.
And now some Quick Hits!
X-Factor #261 Writer: Peter David Artist: Neil Edwards: X-Factor has so far given all the characters a satisfying amount of closure, and this issue is no exception. It’ll be a real bummer when this great book is gone.
Superman Unchained #3 Writer: Scott Snyder Artist: Jim Lee: Superman fights a big dude, fights the government, and will have to overcome the odds. Does this sound familiar? Cuz’ Jim Lee drawing it also makes it look like I already read it 15 years ago. Ho hum.
Batman Beyond Universe #1 Writers: Kyle Higgins & Christos Gage Artists: Thony Silas & Iban Coello: A fine new addition to the Batman Beyond comics, under the same format as the previous series with a main Batman story and a backup Justice League tale.
Lobster Johnson: A Scent of Lotus #2 Writer: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi Artist: Sebastian Fiumara: Mignolaverse stories outside of Hellboy and B.P.R.D. are almost always worth checking out, and Lobster Johnson is up there as the best of the bunch.
Adventure Time #19 Writer: Ryan North Artist: Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb: This comic works just like the TV show it comes from. Weird, funny and heartbreaking all at once. So very, very good.
And that’s the week! I’ll see you folks next time.
“The” Dan Jacka