War of the Realms: Week Twelve

This book shouldn’t be this good. It also shouldn’t only be three issues. Every year Marvel does one of these anthology tie-ins for its summer event and they’re usually a hodgepodge of tangential short stories by aspiring writers and artists that add very little to the overall storyline… and are largely forgettable to boot.

But War of the Realms: War Scrolls #3 is the last issue of this excellent mini-series, anchored by Jason Aaron and Andrea Sorrentino’s “The God Without Fear.” Now, Mr. Zdarsky is doing a bang-up job with the new Daredevil series, and I don’t want that wrapping up any time soon… But if Aaron is looking for a solo book to tackle once his Thor opus is done, I really would love to see him take the reins for a lengthy exploration of ol’ Hornhead.

Marvel calls this a must-read companion to War of the Realms, and I tend to agree. Not only do you get more of the Heimdall-Daredevil story, but every story has been very well executed. An essential addition for sure.

And whatever the genre, for whichever publisher, Aaron and Sorrentino need to collaborate on another book. These guys. Jesus. So good.

The two back-up short stories in this book are great too! Christopher Cantwell, one of the creators of Halt and Catch Fire (not the awful other Christopher Cantwell) pens an incredible Doctor Doom tale and award-winning sci-fi novelist Charlie Jane Anders presents a marvelous heart-to-heart between She-Hulk and her boyfriend’s mom, the Allmother Freyja!

Read this book. Read all of Kelly Thompson’s books, actually, but definitely her Captain Marvel and especially when Carmen Carnero returns as the regular series artist. Issue #7 is the conclusion of the little Enchantress-instigated mindswap of Doctor Strange and Carol Danvers and, despite being an editorial-mandated WotR tie-in, this is fantastic. Smart writing, accompanied by wonderfully dynamic art by Annapaola Martello, makes this an essential read.

Yes, the second issue of this book came out just last week, so it’s a bit surprising to see War of the Realms: Spider-Man & The League of Realms #3 on shelves already. But I applaud the effort at maintaining a release schedule, especially considering that Spider-Man is getting pulled all over the ten realms, and all over Midgard, in a variety of books and crossovers. So kudos on getting this little Kurse drama wrapped up. Recommended, because folks should know about the League of Realms and understand how it fits into Aaron’s overall epic.

The conclusion of another two-part tie-in, Iron Man #13 by Gail Simone and Paolo Villanelli isn’t a crucial piece for following the overall story (it actually takes place before War of the Realms #1), but it’s a fun science vs. magic tale pitting the valiant Tony Stark against an evil avaricious dragon. If this had been dragged out to a third or even fourth issue (impossible, you say?), I’d probably advise skipping it, but it’s a solid story and worth a recommended nod.

A stupid tie-in would never go four issues, right? Howsabout FIVE?! This garbage SOMEHOW was greenlit for five fucking issues and each issue has made me progressively more furious. If you read my blurb after issue #4, you know that it even had me questioning the state of popular culture and the demise of intelligent writing. I hope this is an aberration. I hope real writers re-emerge in my favorite medium and remind the world that good stories and good narratives require more than a collection of never-workshopped gags and groan-inducing one-liners. I hate this comic so much. I’m glad War of the Realms: Journey Into Mystery #5 is the last of them, and I won’t be buying any other comics that this clan of podcasters adds to its portfolio. Skip, for the love of comics.

Sorry Deadpool. I’m already not a fan of you, and you have to follow my JiM screed. I’m in a pissy mood now, and your stupid antics won’t do much to improve my demeanor. Your 14th issue is the last of a two-parter in which you fight trolls in Australia? Okay. And you’re a lot better, both in script and art than that five-issue shit parade? Okay, okay. I was kinda curious about who was handling the troll realm, anyway, tbh. And it’s kinda funny that it’s you. Everyone else? I recommend reading this book. Mostly because it’s so much better than you-know-what. And good comics should move the needle over the lousy ones. Let’s send a message.

June 12 | Weekly Buzz | June 26