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Comics Picks of The Week 29.01.2014

Not as busy a week as the last but fairly busy nonetheless. The new creative teams on various ongoing titles continue to go strong, particularly Justice League Dark and Witchblade while some of the newer titles like Black Science continue to be exception, so that’s one thing that I really liked about this past week. January in particular has been a really excellent month of comics what with Marvel’s full-on All-New Marvel NOW! launch and some really good issues for DC’s Forever Evil event.

Just one graphic novel again this week, the Lee/Buscema magnificence that is Silver Surfer: Judgement. I was meaning to read at least one more, but time wasn’t on my side and I missed out. Hopefully the new month gets off to a good start.

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Inhumanity #2 (Comics Review)

Spinning out of the recent Infinity crossover event is Inhumans, which was originally supposed to be written by Matt Fraction but will now be written by Charles Soule. Consequently there has been a delay in the series being released, and in the wake of that there has been some rejuggling of issues. Most notably this past week’s Inhumanity #2 which was originally solicited as Inhumanity: Medusa #1, a one-shot. I liked Fraction and Coipel’s Inhumanity #1 well enough. It was a really interesting story, the art was good, and I had fun. I’d wondered if there’d be a follow-up, and now it is here.

Knowing next to nothing about the Inhumans, aside from what I read in Infinity and Inhumanity #1, I felt distinctly lost in several places here because there are callbacks to characters I have no knowledge of, and this issue pretty much gets into things from the get go. It also doesn’t help that there are two pencillers on this issue with no less than four inkers in all and two colourists as well. So the issue is a hotchpotch in terms of the art. I liked the story, but it was also disappointing at the same time.

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Infinity: Heist #2 by Frank Tieri (Comics Review)

Event tie-in comics are often hobbled by the fact that at some point, no matter how separated their story is from the main narrative, they do have to refer to that, and this can be a challenge in how well it is executed. A lot of things in fiction come down to the execution and comics are no different. Infinity: Heist is a 4-issue mini-series that ties into the ongoing Infinity event, where the galaxy is faced with a really big threat and the great majority of Earth’s heroes have left the planet to deal with that threat, leaving behind the villains and the supervillains. And these guys aren’t sitting quiet.

The first issue of this mini-series was really good. Despite being a tie-in, it felt like its own self-contained story and it focused on characters that I’d never read of or knew of before, so it all felt really fresh, especially since I’ve avoided reading the main event after the second issue, preferring to read it all collectively. The second issue however has a few significant connections with the main story, and since I’m not reading the main story, I felt a bit cut off from what’s going on.

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Infinity: Heist #1 by Frank Tieri (Comics Review)

Infinity: Heist #1 makes a 3/3 for Frank Tieri, in terms of how good his three latest releases are. While this one is a tie-in mini-series for an ongoing Marvel event, his other two issues, Batman #23.3: Penguin and Detective Comics #23.4: Man-Bat, are tie-ins to DC’s ongoing Forever Evil event. All three comics are really good, so good in fact that they’ve made Frank a new favourite writer of mine. And if this issue is any indication, then Frank has lots of great things in store for future issues.

The larger story of the Infinity event is that there’s a huge cosmic threat and pretty much most of Earth’s heroes have gone on to battle that threat, leaving Earth largely defenseless. With Thanos also threatening the planet and the Mighty Avengers busy with him there really is no one around to keep all the crooks in line. And this is exactly where Infinity: Heist comes in.

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