I’m going to try cranking these out earlier so you have a better idea of what books to buy and how to spend your hard earned cash. And with that, I welcome you to the book review for the week of May 29, 2013! In this, we outline a few of the latest comics to give you a grasp what you should be reading or may want to avoid…
Justice League of America #4:
I have to admit that since I wasn’t well versed with DC Comics prior to New 52, I was somewhat afraid to go into new characters. Thank goodness Geoff Johns is there to hold our hands and guide us into the New 52 Justice League of America (“JLA”). Adding to the authority of the title is David Finch on art detail, who’s dark lines and gritty demeanor makes characters pop-out and look incredibly intimidating, for example Martian Manhunter in issue #1 looking scary as f**k!
It’s always fun to see competing company characters and personalities match alignments almost equally, and in this book series we see DC Comics’ Green Arrow on par with Marvel’s Hawkeye: arrogant, confident, and annoying but useful. At the end of issue #4, your mind will be blown… literally.
Avenging Spider-Man #21:
The first few issues of Avenging Spider-Man (“AvSM”) promised Robot Chicken’s Zeb Wells as writer and artist Joe Madureira, for stories of incredible unlikely team ups of Spider-Man with folks throughout the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately like every single book Joe Mad touches, he was a ghost within a three issues. Zeb Wells also departed a few after that but I’ve met him in person and he’s an incredibly nice guy, and I’m sure the writing detail on recurring animated television scripts is more intense than a monthly comic book.
Christopher Yost came on as writer about the time Dr. Octopus destroyed Peter Parker and took on his body, and AvSM has changed ever since; every team up with Spidey now consists of Dr. Octopus’ sarcastic heroics with the Marvel team up subject being left confused and suspicious. If you like Superior Spider-Man, the Avenging Spider-Man is a great companion for laughs and adventure! We see some great Avengers cameos in this 2nd part of a 2-issue arc, including Hulk in the above photo.
Also, Zeb Wells and Joe Mad are returning for another stint on the Savage Wolverine title… but don’t expect that beautiful artwork to last longer than the life of a common housefly.
Mind the Gap #10:
This is my secret independent book that I recommend to a lot of people who aren’t into comics. No superheroes, just an old fashioned thick plot and mystery. Mind the Gap is the story of a survivor from an attempted murder, whom is in a coma, trying to come back to life while piecing together her broken memory of what happened. Yes I said “her”, meaning the main character is a female. There’s a lot of that going on lately amongst independent titles, and it is incredible. READ. THIS. BOOK.
When a #1 issue of a book is released by a well known writer, it’s always a good idea to pick it up. I say this because sometimes in the long run the series outgrows it’s intention and the value of earlier issues can earn you a nice vacation if you choose to sell. From this week we have another huge independent title (although it’s on DC Comics’ Vertigo line) is Wake by Batman writer Scott Snyder. The story does have brief flashbacks of the past and future which add to the mystery of what is going on. The artwork is very detailed but colored loosely, which adds to the feel of the book. I absolutely cannot wait to read more of this.
Wolverine and the X-Men #30:
Jason Aaron is an incredible writer, as we’ve seen in the last few years on his other prominent titles. He was in town this week to hang out and answer a few of your questions (which we’ll have up in a separate section soon). With that said, this is one of the strongest X-title books out there. Wolverine and the X-Men is a great standalone with it’s own story infused but reflects changes from the other X-titles as well. With Wolverine dealing with the X-Men of the past hanging out at his school, Cyclops’ new X-Men gang trying to recruit his own students, and now the Hellfire Club emerging to also damage the reputation, we see the lengths Wolverine and Beast have to go to in order to keep the children safe and strengthen the beliefs Professor Xavier left in them.
Like I said above, always pick up #1 issues of books. I didn’t pick up this book expecting too much, all I saw was “All female X-Men book!” plastered everywhere so I figured why not… we see the solid return of Jubilee for the first time in a while, and she’s brought a surprise. Here’s a hint: it needs to be fed and have it’s diapers changed frequently. It was a decent entry on the Marvel NOW lineup, not the strongest but it has potential. We’ll see how it goes with this first story arc but it’s worth a look if you’re into X-Men mutants in general.
Uncanny X-Men #6:
I believe this book came out last week but it was in my stack for this week’s stuff. Brian Michael Bendis is one of my favorite writers. His work on All-New X-men is spectacular and chains my soul from first page to last. This book, Uncanny X-men, is meant to be the direct companion to All-New, but alas just does not perform as strongly. It must be the weak new mutant characters being introduced but hopefully this book has a better reason to stay in the future. It does give an incredible insight to what Cyclops and his bandits are thinking and we can see the bluffs in this book that look like threats in the other titles.
Frazer Irving is the current artist and he did the remarkable art work on Batman and Robin (pre-New 52), but unfortunately his style burns a reminder in your head so even though this is an X-Men title, I’m expecting to turn the page and see Robin hitting Joker’s face with a crowbar. This latest issue was a drag on from the previous one, so you’re not missing much if you’re late.
I really have no idea why I’m torturing myself by staying with this book. Two years ago, this comic started out incredibly strong by writer Rick Remender and The Walking Dead co-creator artist Tony Moore. At the same time Rick Remender was handling Uncanny X-Force and Secret Avengers, and prepping for Marvel NOW’s headliner of Uncanny Avengers, so it was sad to see him leave the title but it was for the sake of the bigger opportunity. As of right now, writer Cullen Bunn is doing who-the-hell-knows with our beloved symbiote, and it’s painful to see impossible things occurring in this book, like Eddie Brock who vowed to never be a symbiote’s slave again be willing to wear the Toxin symbiote and team up with Venom. In case we forgot out not too long ago comic book history, Eddie Brock became Anti-Venom and used his new healing powers to overcome evil. We know Eddie Brock gave up that benefit to save New York in Spider-Island, but wouldn’t Anti-Venom still be in his DNA coding since it was his white blood cells?
The latest art for this story arc is also very dull, basic and almost always expressionless. With Venom being a well known, top-tier character in the Marvel Universe, you would think they would toss a few extra coins to put a better artist on the work detail? Nope…
I guess in total honesty what I really expected out of this title was eventually Venom and Spider-Man to learn each others’ secret identities as Flash Thompson and Peter Parker, but with Doctor Octopus taking over Peter’s life I may not get a chance to see that happen. Thankfully Superior Spider-Man is one of the best titles in Marvel NOW’s lineup so that should make up heavily for the loss of Venom.
Books for the week of June 5th, 2013 include: All-New X-Men, Superior Spider-Man, Action Comics, Thanos Rising, Detective Comics, the last issue of Daredevil: End of Days, and the first issue of Daredevil: Dark Nights!