Another week of a “Magic 40”, though no graphic novels.
This week’s surprise hits were Ivar, Timewalker #1 from Valiant, Mortal Kombat X #4 from DC, and Twilight Zone: Shadow And Substance #1 from Dynamite. The disappointments of the week were Spider-Woman #3 from Dynamite and Spider-Verse #2 and The Amazing Spider-Man #13 from Marvel and Vampirella: Feary Tales #4 from Dynamite. Ongoing greats were Wonder Woman ’77 #3 , The Flash: Season Zero #11 and Supergirl #38 from DC, Black Widow #14 and Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #4 from Marvel, and, Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm War #6 from Zenescope among others.
Getting on a roll again, this week I managed to repeat the “Magic 40” with 2 graphic novels and 38 singles, with many of the latter being absolutely new series, so that was a lot of fun for the most part.
My top picks for the surprise hits of the week would be Archer & Armstrong: One Percent #1 from Valiant Comics, Deep State #1 from Boom Studios, Django/Zorro #1 from Dynamite Entertainment and Vertigo Comics, and The Kitchen #1 from Vertigo Comics also. The most disappointing comics of this week were Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 and Death of Wolverine: Logan Legacy #4 both from Marvel Comics, New 52 – Batman #36 from DC Comics and Grimm Fairy Tales: Cfinderella #1 from Zenescope Entertainment. Other than that, the regularly great titles like Hexed, Fables, New Suicide Squad, Red Sonja and Unity all proved to be immensely fun.
The graphic novels for this week were King Conan: The Hour of The Dragon by Timothy Truman, Tomás Giorello and Jose Villarrubia, and Fables Volume 5 by Bill Willingham, Tony Akins, Jimmy Palmiotti, Daniel Vozzo, Todd Klein, James Jean, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha.
Iron Man has been one of the books from Marvel in their Marvel Now! launch that I’ve largely given a miss in the last couple years. I started off reading the first issue but it didn’t interest me at all. The next issue I read was sometime this year, which dealt with Mandarin’s death and his rings’ search for their next wielder, in Iron Man #23 I recall. However, that storyline didn’t interest me either, after two issues, and I gave up on that too. And then Marvel announced the Avengers NOW! launch for Iron Man, and I was interested in the changes being made to the character.
Superior Iron Man #1 follows in the wake of the recent issues of Avengers & X-Men: AXIS in which the villain Red Skull did some psychic hanky panky and unleashed a Hate Wave across the world that has turned some heroes towards a dark path while some villains have turned towards the path of redemption. It is an interesting mechanic, and Tony too has been changed by this, becoming a more narcissistic and greedy businessman seeking to profit from the misery of other people. But the writing didn’t really work for me in this issue, though the art was passable, from one standpoint.
This was a pretty incredible week, I must say. In addition to all the usual new releases I ended up reading, I also began my re-read/catch-up of DC’s Forever Evil: Blight event. Since I wasn’t reading the Constantine and Pandora titles for this event, I ended up missing out on a fair bit of story, and this catch-up is intended to fix that. Consequently, I read more than I usually do, except when I manage to read trades, if you count it like that. Still, the overall experience was pretty incredible, so there is that.
Thankfully, most of the comics I read this week were excellent, as evidenced by the fact that I picked a top 7 instead of a top 6 this time, on account of all that I read. If you read any of these, let me know!
When Marvel launched its Marvel NOW! reboot in September 2012, I tried to get on board with the new Iron Man. I love the character and I wanted to translate that into reading the comics featuring him. But, I gave up with the first issue itself. The story was incredibly complex and confusing. I understood none of it. And for more than a year and a half, I ignored the series. Then I heard that a new arc was starting soon, and that it was going to be a sort of a major deal, so I decided to ignore my frustrations and see if I could get back into the series or not.
Going by this past week’s Iron Man #23, I have to say that the signs are incredibly discouraging. Kieron Gillen was decent enough on his Young Avengers and his Dark Angel one-shot for Marvel UK’s Revolutionary War event (review) was passable too. But, this issue is nothing of the sort, not by a long mile. The art by Luke Cross and Guru-eFX is decent, but its not particularly noteworthy. All in all, Iron Man #23 is pretty mediocre. Read on to see why.
James Robinson being one of my favourite writers, thanks largely due to his work on DC’s Earth 2 title, All-New Invaders is one of the new series from Marvel that I was really looking forward to, even though I don’t have all that much experience with the characters involved. I’ve read some Captain America stories here and there, and some Winter Soldier stuff, but other than that, I am very unfamiliar with them. Still, it was a chance to jump in on a new superhero team with a new series from a writer I enjoy so that was my sole motivation for this title. Reading the first issue in January, I wasn’t all that impressed, largely because the story happened to be very lore-heavy.
The second issue however, has turned things around. It sums up the events happening both in the past and in the present quite nicely, catching me up to what is really going on. It is a gesture that I appreciate and in this issue James Robinson’s writing skills seemed to be at the fore. He always writes his characters with precision, focusing on their core aspects, and that’s what I got here. The art by Steve Pugh however I still have some reservations about, and that is largely because of how he draws faces.