There haven’t been any “Comics Picks of the Week” articles for a while, and the major reason for that is because I’ve just been too caught up with other stuff and I just can’t be… well bothered. It just takes too much out of my time to keep these titles going, especially when Wednesdays also see me trying to get through two TV shows and doing reviews for them. Though, that situation has kind of abated now.
Anyway, this week’s surprise hits were Batman: Arkham Knight #2 and Gotham Central Book 1 from DC. It was a relatively small week for me since I didn’t read all that many new titles and most of those were middling. Ongoing greats were Django/Zorro #4, John Carter: Warlord of Mars #4, Fantastic Four #643 , Inhuman #12, Aquaman #39 , Catwoman #39 , and He-Man: The Eternity War #3 among others .
It isn’t without reason that one of DC’s newest books, Gotham Academy, has found such success among the glut of superhero comics everywhere. A story set in Gotham that focuses on kids in a school environment with some inbuilt horror and thrills, Gotham Academy has quickly become one of my favourite comics to read every month. The writing on this is excellent, and so is the art. Plus I just adore the characters, and the whole mystery with what happened to the protagonist over the summer, something related to Batman no less, well, that’s a great hook too, I think.
In Gotham Academy #4 from last week, we see more of what is happening at the boarding school. With all the (light) supernatural things going on, it has been a pretty rough time for Olive and we are finally beginning to get some answers about the whole thing, not to mention that we are slightly closer to understanding what happened to the protagonist over the summer. More mysteries, more thrills, some answers, more questions, there’s a hell of a lot here to unpack and the new issue was just as good as the previous issues, if not better.
A third straight week this time without me hitting my magic 40 number, which I really regret since a ton of comics have been coming out these last two weeks, but no matter.
Anyway, My top picks for the surprise hits of the week would be Battlestar Galactica: The Death of Apollo #1 from Dynamite Entertainment, Dredd Uprise #1 from 200AD, and Swamp Thing #35-37 from DC Comics. The most disappointing comics of this week were Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1 and Hulk #9 from Marvel Comics. Comics which continued on with a good run yet again were Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #3 , Aliens: Fire and Stone #3, Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm War #5 , Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #3, Inhuman #9, Gotham Academy #3 and Vampirella v2 #7 among others.
No graphic novels this past week unfortunately.
One of DC’s latest series, Gotham Academy has had a pretty good and strong start with its first two issues. The series has introduced us to lots of new readers, almost all of them high-school aged, and the unrepentant fun of the series has definitely pulled me in hook, line and sinker. Olive Silverlock and her friends and frenemies have provided lots of mysteries to sink my teeth into and the whole story developing around these characters is something that I find very compelling, especially since the story itself is of a very personal nature.
In this past week’s Gotham Academy #3, we see a bit more of the larger story as Olive and Pomeline finally hash out their differences and agree to team-up, for now. That creates an interesting mechanic between Olive and the school bully, which I find really compelling and this issue is also largely about Olive basically cutting deals with people she doesn’t really get around with. Which is great. And the art? The art is superb and spectacular as always. I can’t get over the art, ever. There’s so much damn vitality to it!
While the many Bat-books over the last 75 years or so have done much to explore the younger generation of Gotham, we haven’t really seen the more… civilian side of things. The normal kids of Gotham who get caught up in the various mysteries of this city. That’s where last month’s debut Gotham Academy comes in. Written by Brenden Fletcher and Becky Cloonan, this new series looks at a young female lead at a (possibly) haunted boarding school in Gotham, and the slivers of mystery and character offered up in the first issue were good enough for me to come back for more this month.
Gotham Academy #2 continues to explore who Olive Silverlock is and what happened to her in the summer that caused her to forget it all and even led to her having strained relationships with her boyfriend Kyle and his sister Maps. Not to mention the hazing she gets at the school from some of the other characters. This is quite a wonderful teen-oriented book, with actual teen characters no less, and it offers up some interesting stuff about life at the so-called Gotham Academy. The writing is good, if not really excellent, but the art definitely takes the top marks.
After two straight weeks of reading 38 singles and 2 graphic novels, this week saw me lagging behind, with only 36 singles read and no graphic novels at all. Makes me kind of sad since there were comics that I was really looking forward to reading in GN format, but I just couldn’t get the time, and I’m seriously behind on my novel reading as well.
The surprise hits of this week were Brides of Helheim #1 from Oni Press, The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood #1 from Dynamite Entertainment and Gotham Academy #1 from DC Comics. The disappointing comics of this week were Fantastic Four Annual #1 from Marvel Comics and Green Arrow #35 and Green Lantern & New Gods: Godhead #1 both from DC Comics. Titles like Death from Wolverine #3 from Marvel, Angel & Faith Season 10 #7 from Dark Horse Comics, and Grayson #3 from DC comics continued to rock it.
October is going to be a really huge month this year. Aside from all the new comics that DC is launching this month, there are also big status quo changes in various books, such as over in Batgirl where there is a new creative team and a brand-new arc that is almost like a soft reboot of the title. Back around in June/July, DC announced a bunch of new titles when the details of Future’s End month were finally revealed, and one of the interesting changes to the publisher’s line-up was the YA-oriented title Gotham Academy, a title that I initially had no interest in.
Released today, Gotham Academy #1 explores the life of academy-girl Olive as a new school year starts and she gets to meet with her ex-boyfriend’s younger sister who is just starting her first year, and we also get introduced to lots of mysteries and thrills. Formerly an artist all the way, Becky Cloonan has teamed up with Brenden Fletcher for writing credits on this title, with Karl Kerschl doing the artwork. As a fresh new series, Gotham Academy holds a ton of promises and the YA-orientation of it is also something that is nice to see among a line of books that are 99.99% grimdark/adult-oriented.
I remember seeing the first trailers and gameplay footage of Assassin’s Creed back in 2007, in my Video Game Production class back in college. It was a rather surreal moment and the game had my complete attention. I’ve never been a “get the game at release!” kind of gamer and so I didn’t get a chance to play Assassin’s Creed until much later. And I was hooked. Its been ages now and I remember little of the game, but what I do remember is how much fun it was to explore the cities and carry out all the assassin-related hijinks with Altair.
I’ve largely fallen off the gaming scene in recent years, preferring to focus instead on my fiction writing and reviewing, so I’m not current on much of what is happening in the industry.
But then I heard about a new Assassin’s Creed graphic novel, and suddenly I wanted to play the game once more.