Welcome back folks. The upgrade to the website is taking a bit longer than anticipated so were working hard on that front to get that all in order with a new look and lots of new content and hopefully some new contributors to the fold. So in the meantime here are this weeks new comic book reviews with a few catch up ones lost in the SDCC shuffle.
Mister Miracle #10
DC Comics Writer Tom King, Artist & Colorist Mitch Gerads, Letterer Clayton Cowles
Even with the delays with the last few issues of this series, whenever a new issue arrives it’s always cause for a great celebration. What continues to impress and fascinate me with this comic is how there is so much going on in the story but on the surface it’s a simple slice of life melodrama of a married couple and just trying to get through life. King finds a new way each issue to tell a simple story that is both compelling and deep with a bare minimum of surface elements. It’s a story that goes deeper into the human condition and how hard is to deal with both the big and small issue that affect us all. In one way this is an epic superhero battle story where you rarely see it but the repercussions of it are felt in every panel of the story. To think that putting on a birthday party for your one year old could be so complicated but that is why this story is working so well because you as a reader feel every emotion that the charters are going though because in some ways it’s what we all go through in life. The other huge win for this book is Gerads art and color work that brings every little detail to life and every line is carefully crafted to a precise moment in the story. Each panel is filled to the brim with emotions and details that simply touch your soul in a way that few comics ever attain.
Is this book worth your time and money? Sure the delays in a comic are no fun but when you are achieving this level of quality then if it takes extra time then so be it. This is a comic that each issue is perfect but its going to be a story that you will want to go back and reread for many times to come. King and Gerads are showing what mainstream comic books can and should be and have set the quality bar insanely high with each passing issue and this one is no exception. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Image Comics Writer John Layman, Artist Nick Pitarra, Colorist Michael Garland
Leviathan is off to an interesting start that I’m not totally sold on in this first issue but does show promise. This is a book that is a visual feast but is a bit too light on the story side in this first issue. Layman sets up the action pretty quickly here but that is one of the problems is that he didn’t really spend time on the characters for the readers to care about them. We simply learn very little about the main characters other than that they like giant monster movies and are nerds who don’t know how much beer they need for their party. Honestly one of the main characters appears to die at the end of the first issue and there is no connection so you really don’t care that much about it at that point. This is not to say that it was a terrible read because on the whole action side of the story is pretty impressive but that is just window dressing for a story that is a bit on the weak side. The win for the book comes from Pitarra’s artwork on the book that is quite impressive and the level of detail that he puts into each panel is quite impressive. I love is style that has an indy/underground feel to it that adds a big punch to the book and captures the dark humor of the chaos.
Is this book worth your time and money? I really wished that the story was as good as the artwork. While it’s a fun read there is nothing deep or compelling beyond a giant monster destroying the city and while that is all neat and everything there is simply nothing more than that. If you’re looking for a giant monster destroying the city then this is your book but not much else here and that is where it disappoints. I might give the second issue a swing because of Pitarra’s artwork but Layman is really going to have to set up the story from this first issue.
The Seeds #1
Berger Books/Dark Horse Comics Writer Ann Nocenti, Artist and Letterer David Aja
Its been too early to call the Berger Books line so far because there have not been that many series to judge but if The Seeds is any indication of where she is taking the line then this is a great direction. The story starts with a typical dystopian future where we have fucked up the planet and there is the depressing city and a wall around it with the outside world a mystery. On the surface you have read this story a million times but with all of its similar story tropes Nocenti has found a way to make this story both fresh and exciting with some intriguing plot twists. The story in this first chapter is both straight forward and off-balance but in a very good way. She also wisely underplays a lot of the deeper elements so that by the end of this first issue you are both surprised and intrigued as to where the story is going to go. This is a book where the story and artwork have to really work well together and this is where Aja comes in with his moody artwork that sets the tone and subtle elements of the story in a perfect visual feast. One of the most impressive things about his art on this story is limit use of color but uses shading and blacks exceptionally effective to make this world come to life in a very subtle subconscious way that infects your emotions in a perfect way.
Is this book worth your time and money? This comic really knocked my socks off and has me in it for the whole story. Nocenti and Aja have taken a tried and true story and given it a fantastic new spin that both intrigued and impressed. This is a big win for Karen Burger and sets a very high bar for other comics in the line. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Adventures of the Super Sons #1
DC Comics Writer Peter J. Tomasi, Penciler Carlo Barberi, Inker Art Thibert, Colorist Photobunker, Letterer Rob Leigh
While never a regular reader of the first outing of this series, it does however fill a void in the DC superhero line of a book that can appeal to all ages and simply delivers a fun comic. Tomasi keeps things simple here but that is not to say that it’s boring. The reason that the book works is that he plays on the differences with the two boys and while it’s an easy play here that is what makes the book a real charmer. Tomasi also doesn’t try to over play the story he simply hits the mark without over doing it. The artwork by Barberi and Thibert is spot on to the story and keep the book visually fresh and fun and one of their best assets is the wonderful facial expressions that they give the cast. This is another reason that the book works because they take Tomasi’s script and add a grand visual charm that makes it pretty irresistible to not fall for the book.
Is this book worth your time and money? While this may seem like a simple all ages book Tomasi and Barberi fill it to the brim with wit and charm that will satisfy both young and old. While it may be a simple story that is why it works so well because the book doesn’t try and be more than it sets out to do. Sure this book is not going to be for everyone but if you’re looking for a fun break from the dark and brooding superhero comics then this book will surely fit the bill.
The Sentry #2
Marvel Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artists Kim Jacinto & Joshua Cassara, Colorist Rain Beredo, Letterer Travis Lanham
I was very impressed with the first issue of this book and this second outing really seals the deal on it. Lemire hits the ground running with the set up from the first issue and takes the story in a direction that you never expect but is one hell of a ride. What I love that Lemire has done here is take a standard superhero character and really infuse it with great heft that sets is far above the regular Marvel Comics fare for a much deeper reading experience. While there are still a lot of familiar tropes along the way he doesn’t go for the simple story route here but challenges the reader with bold moves in the script and gives you a great reason to care about the characters and the situations. The one thing that Lemire has always been good at is great cliffhangers at the end of each and this one is no exception that you never see coming but make perfect sense when you get there. I love Jacinto and Cassara’s artwork on this book and they bring a great natural feel and tone to the visuals that captures the raw emotions of Lemire’s script. But its the human drama that they capture so well and the emotions of the story that make this such a wonderful read.
Is this book worth your time and money? Lemire and Jacinto are really tearing it up with this book. I wish that more Marvel Comics could be this bold with their storytelling and it might get me to buy more of their books. This is a book that is both exciting and deep and that is pretty rare at Marvel today. The sad thing is that I imagine that this book is not going to see that well because it’s not what most superhero readers want and that is what is sad that they are unwilling to go out of the comfort zone of mediocrity that they have enveloped themselves in. This book shows that the risks are worth it and the reward is worth it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The Quantum Age #2
Dark Horse Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artist Wilfredo Torres, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letter Nate Piekos
I’m a huge fan of Lemire’s Black Hammer Universe but the first issue of The Quantum Age was a little less for me than usual but this second issue turns a lot of that around and improves greatly upon the story and really impressed me. What really struck me in this issue was the back story of Bartali-Teen and the emotions that really run deep and how close to current events make it all that much more of an impact. While the social commentary is present Lemire doesn’t forget the superhero aspect of the story elements that blends together wonderfully. That is what makes these interwoven stories such a great addition to the main Black Hammer story. Sure it’s his take on the Legion of Superheroes but there is so much more than that with this issue and you see that he doesn’t pull any punches with it either. On the surface Torres’s artwork has a simple style but that is why it works so well is that his clean line work fits the story and that is why Lemire choose him for the book. It’s a throwback style from comics in the 1960’s and works really well here.
Is this book worth your time and money? I was a bit worried with the first issue of this mini series because the previous ones really shot out of the gate but with the second issue of this one, I now see where and why Lemire set things up and the direction that he is going with the book and it make more sense now. This is another feather in the Black Hammer cap that continues to be some of the best comics that you can read now.
The Weather Man #2
Image Comics Writer Jody Leheup, Artist Nathan Fox, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Steve Wands
The first issue of this new series was quite impressive but the cliffhanger was pretty bat shit crazy but Leheup delivers a solid follow-up that explains a lot of question left from that cliffhanger. I love that he sets things up in the first issue one way than smashes that all down in the second issue to set up what is really going on and it has worked out really well and is giving a good reason for readers to come back for more. Taking the things are not alway what they seem and does that quite well here but the real win in this second outing is that he doesn’t forget to dive deeper into the characters and that is giving the book some really great depth. While there are many reveals here, there is still a lot that he keeps close to the vest for the story as it goes along. Fox continues to visually bring a style to the book that captures Leheup’s script very well. He gives the book a great visceral style and feel that gives it a nice enough edge that complements the story perfectly and is able to capture both the big and small story elements quite well here.
Is this book worth your time and money? This was a really good build from the first issue and Leheup and Fox give readers plenty of reasons to keep coming back for more. There are some great twist and turn with the story that will surprise and impress you and is well worth picking up.