With the last week of new comics for 2016 bring the year to a close there has been a both good and bad releases this year. While there have been many ups and downs this year there was always the comfort of new comic book each and every week. Thankfully the year ends on a really high note.
COMIC BOOK OF THE WEEK!
Love is Love
IDW/DC Comics Writers and Artist Various, Project organized by Marc Andreyko, Edited by Sarah Gaydos and Jamie S. Rich
The tragedy that inspired this book was devastating to the entire world and it’s sad that this book has to actually be made is a sad commentary on the troubled times that we live in. The 49 lives that were lost in Orlando on June 12th, 2016 shook me to my core and it’s still hard to imagine that hate and bigotry seems to rear it’s head far too often. Andreyko organized this powerful, heartbreaking and yet inspiring anthology that hundreds of writers, artists, colorist, and letterers donated their talent to this book. Reading though the stories will draw on every emotion from heartbreak to heartwarming. There is really no way to actually review a book like this but the one thing that I was really take a back after I finished it was simply HOPE. While there were a lot of tears shed while reading it but there is a sense that maybe we can learn from this horrible event and take a stand to change things. While the world at times can seem hopeless, we can and need to learn to simply love one another. The one nice thing about the book is that good number of the stories are very upbeat and there were a few times where I actually smiled. Not only do you get a treasure trove of talent on the book, all of the proceeds are going to the victims and their families via Equality Florida (www.eqfl.org). What is most impressive about the book is that no story is longer than two pages and the majority are only one page. I really have to give the talent on the book huge props for delivering on each and every story in the book in such a limited amount of space. I dare not single any of the beautiful stories out because they all simply deliver the highest quality period.
Is this book worth your time and money. First let me say that this book is the bargain of the year. clocking in at a massive 144 pages and is only $9.99. The lineup of talent is staggering and it’s a book that you will want to read many times because the first time it took me many hours just to get through because of the deep emotional impact that these stories deliver. The book would not be possible if it wasn’t for the courage and tenacity of Andreyko who is simply a hero for doing this book. This is also a great book for most ages I would say about 10 and up just because of the tragic nature might be too difficult for younger readers but I highly suggest parent read this book and see if it’s age appropriate for them. Reading a book like this makes me proud to be a comic book reader. While the job of the vast majority of comics is to entertain they can also be powerful and enlightening. This book is a very rare example of making a difference to end hate in this world. I wish that everyone on the planet could read this book. If there is one thing that you could do is simply buy copies and give them as gifts or donate them to libraries or organizations to help spread hope and love. This is a must read book that we need now more than ever. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
A.D. After Death #2
Image Comics Writer Scott Snyder, Artist Jeff Lemire, Letterer Steve Wands
This book is a bold departure from the normal comic book format and if you loved the first issue as much as I did then the really good news is that it’s was only the beginning. This second chapter Snyder goes deeper with the story. There is a lot to take in with this book because of the way Snyder is writing the book that gives you a story that you simply can’t put down. The story has a lot of meat on the bone to get through and yet as dense as the story is it’s a real page turner. I love how Snyder is giving the story a nice pace that reveals things as much as it keep you not quite sure of where the story is ultimately land. And while there is a lot of prose story it’s Lemire’s beautiful artwork that really brings this book together. It’s really amazing that a simple spot illustration over text can deliver such a powerful impact while reading and that is exactly what Lemire excels at on this book.
Is this book worth your time and money? I love how Snyder and Lemire mix the novel and the comic world together in this book. While there is a lot of reading involved more so than a regular comic, it’s quite refreshing and satisfying to read. They have crafted a gripping story that is thrilling as it is thought-provoking. I simply can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the final chapter. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Supergirl Being Super #1
DC Comics Writer Mariko Tamaki, Penciller Joelle Jones, Inker Sandu Florea, Colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick, Letterer Saida Temofonte
DC has been challenged recently with Supergirl while the CW television series has been a huge success its comic book counterpart has struggled to satisfy both new and regular comic book readers. Thankfully Tamaki has found the sweet spot for the two worlds in this new mini series. What I love about this book is that Tamaki’s script is simple and yet captures both the teenage and the superhero world and blended them into a compelling story that captures the essence of what Supergirl is. While reading the first issue the thing that impressed me the most is how relatable and down to earth the story feels. Tamaki never overplays the script and wisely keeps thing simple and focused. This is one of those rare stories that is not only great for female readers but works just as well for any gender. Jones and Florea’s artwork is simply delightful. It’s fresh and original and gives the book a charm that captures the emotions of the script wonderfully. It’s a hard feat for an artist to capture all of the subtle dramatic elements in a story like this and Jones and Florea do it with such ease that make this book a real pleasure to read.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is simply one of the best Supergirl stories that I have read in ages. Tamaki and Jones have delivered one of the most definitive Supergirl stories that was a delightful read that is simple and sweet. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Mother Panic #2
DC’s Young Animal Writer Jody Houser, Artist Tommy Lee Edwards, Letterer John Workman
Mother Panic is one of those books that has a lot of potential but doesn’t quite get off the ground as much as you would like. Houser script has a lot of good ideas but the story suffers from a disjointed structure that is keeping the book from working. This could be one of those books that is really good but struggles as a monthly comic. When the book works it works but there are times where the story seems to drift off and the subplots stumble into the story and throws off the pacing. On the plus side Edwards artwork on the book helps keeps things together and his gritty style give the book the visual look that gives Gotham a bit of a different spin on city.
Is this book worth your time and money? I do like the book but it just doesn’t quite flow together well. There are some good ideas to the book and while I’m not giving up on the book yet, it will need to pull it together by the end of the first story arc. Houser and Edwards have set up some good ideas here and I hope that they pull it off and still worth looking at.
Harley’s Little Black Book #5
DC Comics Writers Amanda Conners & Jimmy Palmiotti, Artist Neal Adams, Colorist Paul Mounts, Letterer Dave Sharpe
This issue is an homage/remixing of the classic Superman/Muhammad Ali treasury comic from the 1970’s that take that story and gives it the Harley Quinn spin that made a fun little read. If your familiar with the original story then this re-imagined version will work a lot better. I am not so sure if it will work for those readers who have not read the Superman/Muhammad Ali version. This story places Harley into the Ali role of the story and it’s safe to say that chaos ensues. Conners and Palmiotti wisely keep the same structure as the original from the O’Neal script and then add the usual smart ass Quinn zaniness that makes the Superman side of the story quite fun. What made is work so well was having Superman be the straight guy against Harley’s comedy. Getting Adams to draw this was simply a no brainer. He drew the original and you can very much tell that he is having a good time revisiting it and having fun with it. While his style has changes a little over the years he still delivers top-notch artwork that shows he is still a master illustrator.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you are a fan of the original Superman/Muhammad Ali comic then you will get a kick out of this re-imagined version of the story. If you have never read it and want to pick up this book then I highly recommend reading that first before you read this version. Conner, Palmiotti and Adams have a lot of fun with this book and in the end it’s simply charming and fun.
Vertigo Comics Writer Joshua Williamson, Artist Jason Shawn Alexander, Colorist Luis NCT, Letterer Steve Wands
Frostbite continues to be a great little character driven story that takes a lot of tried and true story elements and weaves them into a fresh and interesting take. Williamson’s script continues to deliver a gripping story that has great twist and turns that is keeping readers on their toes. While on the surface there is not a lot of action but that is what is making this book so good is that he puts characters first and then that is allowing the story to flow so well. I find that while this issue was a quick read there was a lot of great depth that Williamson delivers in the story that made it a satisfying read. He also throws in a nice curve ball at the end of the issue that was a nice little surprise. Alexander continues to deliver some wonderful artwork on the book. It’s hard to deliver a dramatic story and convey all of the needed emotions from the script but Alexander simply nails it with this book. While I’m a stickler for backgrounds here he uses the theory of out in the middle of nowhere to give many panels a stark and empty look that I was very impressed with and is done on purpose.
Is this book worth your time and money? I am really enjoying this series and while there are some familiar story topes here, Williamson and Alexander are giving it a nice spin and making for a fun little read. I’m in to see where they are going to take the story.
Future Quest #8
DC Comics Writer Jeff Parker, Artist Ariel Olivetti, Letterer Dave Lanphear
While the book has had its ups and downs with the schedule, focus and the rotating artist on the book, Parker has really hit his stride with the story. While some readers are struggling with the long story arc that the book has taken, I love that Parker has decided to go that route. The reason is that there are a ton of characters and to get them all together at once would have made this book crash and burn. While I can understand people being frustrated with that I love the epic nature of the story. Parker seems to be heading to the finish line with the direction of the story with this issue. All of the characters are in place and the threat of the Omnikron is bringing the cast together. While I am disappointed that Evan Shaner has not been able to keep up with the artwork duties on the book, if they could get Olivetti to do the artwork on the book I would be thrilled. This is a gorgeous looking issue and his painted artwork is able to capture the original animation style and yet it is his own at the same time. Olivetti’s artwork simply knocked my socks off.
Is this book worth your time and money? While I still struggle with this book overall the past couple of issues have really gotten the book back on track. The real win for this issue is Olivetti’s beautiful artwork that next to Steve Rude has been the best looking so far. Hopefully he will be able to come back and do the book more. I’m still a fan of this book and it will read great when it fully finished.