As usual, we get our shipments later than some parts of the world so my “new” comics are always a few weeks late! Also, I’m going to limit my purchases to 3 single issues a week which may delay my reading a bit more.
Rainbow Rowell & David Lafuente
I keep seeing people complaining about the art and story in this issue, and I don’t understand why. Sure, I love Kris Anka and look forward to his return to this series (in issue 15/16 I think). And I especially hope that Matt Wilson will return as a colorist, too, although I have no complaints about Jim Campbell’s work here (I’m just partial to Matt Wilson when it comes to colors.) I also kind of understand that a certain character’s return may be construed as lazy storytelling, although I won’t say that myself – (1), this person being an annoying hateful person who shows up and just starts commanding everyone in the team isn’t really out of character for them, and (2) I’m all for their redemption if it’s at all possible, and if it isn’t, well, I look forward to seeing how this will all play out! And (3), the team – if you can call them a team – are out-of-sync and inefficient, and this may finally change things. The previous issue may still be my favourite issue of this run so far, but I liked this one too.
C.S. Pacat & Johanna The Mad
I love this series, but. It. Is. So. Agonisingly. Slow!
The thing about sports manga is that they’re released on a weekly basis, so I don’t feel the wait as much as I do with Fence. The wait is terrible, but I don’t know if I’d want the pacing to be faster, because I like the story as it is. It’s really difficult for me to recommend, though, because I know that not everyone can stand the wait – the end of the tryouts will only be in issue 13 or so, which will be in a few months! I kind of wish that I waited for the trade, sometimes. In fact, I wish this series was released directly in trade, as it’s the kind of comic that would appeal to the YA readers I know, but many of them don’t normally read comics and aren’t keen to try anything in single issues.
West Coast Avengers #2
Kelly Thompson & Stefano Caselli
I love/hate Quentin most of the time, and I love/hate him even more in this issue. After the giant land sharks in the previous issue, the makeshift new West Coast Avengers now have to face a giant angry Tigra who doesn’t seem to be in control of herself. And M.O.D.O.K. seems to be responsible, except he is now B.R.O.D.O.K.? Basically, this issue is ridiculous and hilarious and probably one of the most entertaining comics I’ve read in awhile.
Ms. Marvel #34
G. Willow Wilson & Nico Leon
Aaand the battle against Shocker continues. I’m not a fan of The Shocker as a villain, but I guess it’s interesting how he may be the absolute worst match for Kamala. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, too. Anyway. Bruno makes more discoveries about how Kamala’s powers work – and where the mass she gains from her embiggenings come from. This part is really interesting, especially when Bruno gets a glimpse of alternate futures for Kamala, showing the version of her currently in Exiles, and the version of her that is President (first shown in All-New Wolverine), and two others where she gets married to Bruno*, and another where she’s superhero-ing with Red Dagger. All in all, a pretty cool issue.
*yay, I guess? I mean I ship her with Bruno, but I also like her with Red Dagger, and Miles Morales, so I’m not as invested as other shippers. I ship their friendship more than them as a couple, anyway.
Batman #54 & #55
#54 – Tom King & Matt Wagner
#55 – Tom King & Tony S. Daniel
Issue #54 is my new favourite in this run. Although that might not mean much, because my last favourite was only a few issues before that, and somehow I feel like in a few issues I may have a new favourite, because this is that kind of series. As with my other favourites, rather than focusing on an enemy or a battle, this issue is about the characters – Batman and Nightwing, specifically. During the Cold Days arc Dick Grayson temporarily became Batman to help Bruce out, and now that it’s over, he isn’t leaving… yet. Wanting to be there for his mentor the way Bruce was there for him as a child, Dick tries to get Bruce to open up more. I love the way the story was mixed with flashbacks to when Bruce was helping Dick through his own difficult past. I’m not very into the art, but others have pointed out that it was to create a more retro feel to the story (because of the flashbacks). I’m still not into it, but I get it, I guess.
Issue #55 begins with KGBeast returning to Gotham? Again, I loved the way it’s written, flipping from Batman and Nightwing to KGBeast going through seemingly mundane things like going through airport security or sitting in a cafe, scribbling on a napkin. Every time the POV changes back and forth, I felt like I was counting down to something I dread, something that will probably be very bad. And even so, I didn’t quite anticipate the ending. The next issue couldn’t come soon enough!
I love, love, LOVE Joëlle Jones. Selina is still trying to figure out who is behind the string of crimes using her M.O., while we are treated to the origin of the person responsible. Also the art is gorgeous and the Artgerm cover is amazing.
The Life of Captain Marvel #3
Margaret Stohl & Carlos Pacheco
THAT REVEAL. I’ve been staying away from spoilers so even though I got my copy late, I was blown away. When this series was announced I wasn’t quite sold on the idea of a light retcon of her past, but so far it’s being done really well. I love this series, and can’t wait for the rest of it, and to promote the trade when it’s out next year!
Mariko Tamaki & Juann Cabal
Laura was too late to save Gabby, but there might still be a chance for Gabby to resist Esme, who had taken over her body. Esme is now convincing the other Cuckoos that Mindy is trouble, while Laura discovers that their experiments might have brought back another dead Cuckoo – perhaps the only Cuckoo to realise that bringing Esme back isn’t the best of ideas. Right now, I’m feeling like I’m safe, story-wise (nothing too bad will happen to Laura and Gabby… right?) while I’m really enjoying the writing, because I love Mariko Tamaki and would read anything by her.
Jim Zub & Sean Izaakse
I’m no longer pulling this series, but I’m reading Saha’s copies. After reading this issue, though, I think I’m placing an order for my own copy, because it is such a great issue. This is really a filler story focusing on Miles/Spider-Man, as a shooting happened at his school while he wasn’t there. There’s survivor’s guilt, and then there’s heroes’ guilt – that part where he was seeing a counselor who told him that he shouldn’t feel guilty because there was nothing he could’ve done, that he wasn’t a superhero… was so painful, because there are so many things in this world that couldn’t be fixed by punching them away. And Kamala (Ms. Marvel) was, of course, the one to get through to him, with a speech that was SO VERY KAMALA, and shows why I love her as a hero in the first place. Sometimes I worry when other writers take on her character (for example she was a little annoying in Secret Warriors), but this issue gets her just right.
Fantastic Four #2
Dan Slott & Sara Pichelli
Well. This issue is basically the story I wanted to read ever since Secret Wars ended. (Secret Wars showed the Richards family going off on what sounded like an amazing adventure, and then never showed that adventure til now?) We see Reed and Sue and the kids and a whole lot of new friends traveling to new universes and exploring them for a bit, which was a lot of fun. But of course someone had to come in and spoil things, and things get bad enough that they had to call for the rest of their family that they left back on earth – which was the signal that Ben & Johnny saw at the end of the first issue.