This is something I've wanted to do for a while, a round-up of the new week's comics, made up of short thoughts and comments rather than any attempts at longer, in-depth analysis (although I'll still try to do that when appropriate). Not full reviews either, so apologies in advance when I don't mention every creator of every comic by name. I'm thinking more along the lines of Hannibal Tabu's "The Buy Pile" column at CBR, where he gives brief comments on a few comics and his general impressions of others. Really, these are the same kind of quick and easy comments I'd shout out on Twitter, but this format gives me a little more space.
If nothing else, this will give you an idea what I'm buying these days: still a lot of Marvel and very little DC (just Batman titles, Justice League, and Aquaman). I try independent, non-superhero books from time to time, such as Monstress and Black Magick, but while I admire the craft, I just can't seem to get into them enough to follow them regularly (although I plan to get the two I mentioned in trade). (I'm all about the capes, I guess.)
My goal is to get this online Thursday morning; I'm trying to schedule my time better, and that includes setting aside time on Wednesdays for reading the week's new comics and writing about them. No promises about how long this will last or how timely it will be, but I hope it's fun while it lasts!
NEW COMICS FOR JANUARY 27, 2016
What order to do these in? I like alphabetical, or by company, but part of me also wants to do my favorite book of the week first. But maybe I should leave it until last? But will people read that far–or will that get them to read that far? (Are you even still reading this? Whew.)
FAVORITE: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4. Practically guaranteed to be my favorite book of the week any week it comes out, Ryan North and Erica Henderson's Squirrel Girl is a delight month after month, and this issue is one of the best yet. What's more, it has almost as much Doctor Doom as it does Squirrel Girl, and I find it very interesting how Doom can be mocked so mercilessly as he is here (and elsewhere) and still remain the most feared and respected supervillain in all of comics. (There's also a cute dig at Old Man Cap–get them in while it lasts, folks!)
Spider-Woman #3. It's such a relief to find a superhero comic these days that's nonstop action; last week it was Captain Marvel #1, and this week it's Carol's bestie Jessica Drew's book. But the exciting plotting and clever dialogue by Dennis Hopeless is outdone this month by the brilliant art from Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, and Rachelle Rosenberg. Not since the days of Kirby and Steranko have I seen such mindblowing layouts as when Jessica is traveling through the intergalactic maternity ward. A feast for the eyes indeed, and a fantastic comic all around.
Daredevil #3. Most of this issue is a battle in which Daredevil, Blindspot, and Tenfingers' gang fights the Hand. (Hey, I've got ten fingers too, but you don't see me making a big deal out of it.) There isn't a lot of character work here until the very end, where a couple quick hints are dropped about Matt's new status quo as well as possible changes to it. Ron Garney's new style for this series remains a joy to behold, but I find the pacing in Charles Soule's approach to the series to be slower than I would like, and I am eager to find out more about Matt's new life aside from his job in the district attorney's office.
All-New All-Different Avengers #4. I find myself underwhelmed by all of Avengers titles since the relaunch, but because this seems to be the "main" Avengers book, I am more disappointed by it than by the rest. (I'm not counting The Ultimates as an Avengers book, and it is incredible. If you're not reading it, fix that right now. Go!) ANADA (really?) has a terrific line-up but seems slow to get off the ground. The team is still finding its feet, building a new headquarters (with very little funds), confronting minor threats–even Jarvis doesn't know what to make of them yet. I don't mind trying out new Avengers concepts in the other books, but I'd like one Avengers book, the main Avengers book, to feature an experienced, confident, and capable version of the team from the get-go. (It has been eight months since Secret Wars ended, after all.) Hopefully this book will get there soon, because the creative team is as impressive as the team of Avengers, and I know they can produce a knockout book. But for the time being, it seems almost as if they're holding back. (At least the kiss on the cover was well played out inside, and Mark Waid and team got a nice jab in at folks who complain about a diverse range of superheroes.)
Grayson #16. We don't see any of the fallout from Robin War in this issue, but we do get a lot of exciting spy work from Agents 37 (Grayson) and 1 (Tiger) while they try to take down Spyral, with the Matron (the New 52 version of Helena Bertinelli) appearing to fight back, including recruiting some interesting new protagonists for our titular hero. Best of all, and most surprising from a book from the reliably dour DC Comics, this book was fun, not only because of the witty dialogue given to Grayson by Tom King, but from the entire approach to the book, plotted by King and Tim Seeley and illustrated by Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox. I think the best word for the this book is "romp"–nothing heavy, just action, humor, and charm. It's not often I smile or laugh while reading a DC book these days, but I certainly did with this book, even more than usual.
Batman & Robin Eternal #17. A much more consistent and tightly-plotted affair than the first weekly Batman title, Batman Eternal, this installment should have been more satisfying, as we finally learned more about Batman's dealings with Mother in the past. It may have given away too much too quickly, though, and was somewhat disappointing because of it; but it seems there are still secrets to be told. While the art in this series has been up and down, this issue was very well drawn and colored, thanks to Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, and Allen Passalaqua.
Aquaman #48. This issue wraps up Cullen Bunn's storyline, and I'm sad to see him go. I have to admit that this storyline didn't excite me, but I like Bunn's work and I stand among those who feel he got a tough break from Aquaman fans and DC. (Who knew there were so many Aquaman fans and that they were so vocal?) As for the story, Aquaman and Mera's reunion was very nicely portrayed, and Bunn ended the arc and the issue with a nod to current global events that I hope his successor Dan Abnett picks up on when he starts his run next month. (Having been a huge Tempest fan before the New 52, I hope Abnett continues to develop Garth's character as well.)
Well, there's my first try at this–we'll see how I do next week with thirteen books as my list compared to this week's seven! If you have any comments or thoughts on these books, or any others I didn't read, be sure to leave them in comments, and I hope to see you here again soon!