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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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Aquaman #27 (Comics Review)

In December Jeff Parker took over writing duties on Aquaman from Geoff Johns. After more than two years of Geoff’s excellent run on the title, which saw the title become one of DC’s best-selling titles in the New 52, we are finally getting a fresh perspective on things and based on #26 and #27 both, I have to say that some really exciting times are ahead for the readers. The previous issue was almost perfect. It met my expectations and it has some great story and art both.

This past week’s #27 proved to be another good installment of the series. It wraps up the plot with the Atlantean mythological sea-monster that was terrorising Reykjavik, Iceland and at the same time it furthers the subplot involving the political tensions in Arthur’s advisory council while also giving us more information on Triton Base, a hidden underwater research base created to investigate future potential threats from the underwater kingdom and Aquaman’s relationship to it, among other things. And the art was also good, although the switch at the end with the pencillers created a bit of a WTF moment.

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Aquaman Annual 2013 by John Ostrander (Comics Review)

Following the recent news that Aquaman scribe Geoff Johns is stepping off the title, starting with issue #25 next month, I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that this issue has been wr itten by (thus far) guest writer John Ostrander, who previously penned issue #20. Much as with that issue, this too is a story about The Others, the team of heroes that Aquaman used to be a part of before he stuck in with the Justice League. And once again, this issue is one that lacks excitement and a certain finality, unlike all the issues penned by Johns himself.

This issue introduces a new foe for Aquaman and The Others, someone who has been a part of the DC universe for a long time, and its great to see her make her New 52 debut. Least, I’m assuming its her debut since I’m haven’t seen her in any of the books I’ve read or seen her name come up anywhere, not even in Paul Cornell’s Demon Knights Volume 1. But the issue isn’t just about her of course, its about The Others themselves, the team that Aquaman brought together years ago, and the one that he still nominally leads.

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Justice League #23.1 by Greg Pak (Comics Review)

Darkseid is one my all-time favourite supervillains in the DC Universe. My love for the character, or rather I should say my hate-love for the character began from the days of Superman: The Animated Series and continued through to the Justice League animated series. He’s just such a great villain. Which is why I didn’t really care much for how he was portrayed in Season 10 of Smallville, which I think, was a really bad portrayal. He is such an iconic villain and he got a… less-than-cameo.

And then came the first arc of the relaunched Justice League for the New 52 and we got to see some great action with the big bad himself. It was less than what I wanted, mainly because Geoff Johns told a very condensed story, but I was still delighted to see Darkseid in comics again. So when DC announced a Darkseid one-shot for Villain’s Month, I got all kinds of excited, until I saw that it was being written by Greg Pak, a writer I’ve barely been impressed by. His Silver Surfer: Devolution was so-so, but his first three issues of Batman/Superman have been rather boring.

I was really anxious going in, and it seems that Greg Pak justified all my fears with this origin story.

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