Keith Giffen & Scott Kolins
Blue Beetle makes me forget that Keith Giffen knows how to write comic books. It also makes me better appreciate the way a Peter David or Brian Bendis can weave episodes of natural-sounding dialogue into a superheroic fantasy. Part of the blame falls on Scott Kolins, of course. The dude seems to enjoy drawing the Beetle costume, but he really phoned it in when it came to everything else, including the layouts. Word balloons are dropped haphazardly and absolutely no thought is given to effective storytelling. Also embarrassed by the half-assed attempt at adding diversity to DC’s superhero stable. – MMDG
“Two chorizos” is not a thing, and this book shouldn’t be either. I liked the smiling ninja men, that’s it. – IP
First collection: Blue Beetle, Vol. 1: The More Things Change (April)
Rob Williams, Jim Lee, & Philip Tan
Why does Katana keep showing up for no reason? I don’t know enough about DC to appreciate the pairing of Flag and Katana, but the fact that she just shows up as his second-in-command without an explanation is frustrating. I don’t like when writers reduce a character to funny accents and catchphrases, but that’s all they seem to do with Harley and Boomerang. Am I supposed to think it’s funny that Croc vomits? I shouldn’t be surprised by the lack of nuance, but here I am bitching about it. Man, I miss King Shark. And Deadshot looks dumb. If the goal is to send villains on heroic suicide missions because no one will care if they die, then mission accomplished: I don’t care. – tyrannoflores
First collection: Suicide Squad Volume 1: The Black Vault Part One (March)
Continue reading Ranking DC’s Rebirth: 29 – 26
Marvel’s 2016-2017 publishing initiative kicked off this week: a new slate of books for a new era, albeit with old branding. I have less of a problem with the re-hashing of the Marvel NOW! label than I do with the name itself. Reminds me too much of a gawdawful series of pop music compilations. “NOW that’s what I call superheroes!” I also don’t mind that we’re starting the new cycle before the end of Civil War II. As we all remember, the same thing happened last year when the first All New All Different Marvel titles debuted before Secret Wars had a chance to wrap. There has been enough foreshadowing, as well as plenty of hints in press releases and solicitations, so that we have a general idea as to what the fallout looks like. Just, you know… let’s try to avoid any overt spoilers, yeah?
Week 1 slaps the NOWness on two new ongoing titles, one mini-series, and two continuing series. Foremost among these releases, with seeming significance for Marvel’s heroic youth movement, is Champions #1 by Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos, and Victor Olazaba. Casual comic book fans unfamiliar with the new Spider-Man, unaware of Kamala Khan, or confused by a Hulk with a faux-hawk, may let this one slip by. And that would be a huge mistake.
Continue reading Marvel NOW! – Week 1
Somewhat overlooked amidst Marvel’s Civil War II blitz and impending Marvel NOW! initiative is the new Doctor Strange, emerging from Aaron and Bachalo’s recent arc as one of the most promising and exciting takes on the character in decades. Obviously we have the new movie to thank for Marvel’s attention, but this rejuvenated Sorcerer Supreme was long overdue regardless. This week’s Doctor Strange #11 serves as an interlude between last month’s conclusion to “The Last Days of Magic” and next month’s multi-title NOW launch. This is no mere filler issue, however, as Jason Aaron formerly introduces us to the new status quo in Marvel’s magical universe. And, in no uncertain terms, the “new face of magic.”
Leonardo Romero provides the art for the present day sequences: a composed, almost minimal counterpoint to the frenetic, hyperactive aesthetic realized by Chris Bachalo, back before Strange & Co. fought off The Empirikul and pushed the reset button on our universe’s magical hard drive. Aaron, like Jonathan Hickman before him, is a Bond villain of the Marvel Universe, successfully razing the world in order to let it grow anew. Unlike Hickman, however, Aaron is still in the driver’s seat, and seems to have big plans for the good Doctor, along with all of his magical friends.
Continue reading All New All Different Marvel – Week 49