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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 #26 (Comics Review)

Geoff Johns wrapped up his Death of a King arc on Aquaman in November in as royal a manner as possible. If Aquaman could have had the same scope as Green Lantern, then Aquaman #25 could have been better still, but regardless, I’m pretty damn happy with how that arc turned out. Geoff ended his run on the series on a high note, left a few subplots open for future development and evened the playing field for incoming writer Jeff Parker. Reading Jeff’s interviews prior to Aquaman #26 coming out, I was pretty damn excited about his run, especially since I’ve enjoyed his Batman ’66 comics of late.

With the new issue, Jeff Parker goes full out from the get go. Following on from a run as successful as Geoff’s, which really put Aquaman on the map as a serious superhero and not someone to scoff at as a second-stringer, Jeff has a lot to live up to. But with his first issue he is firing on full cylinders and I loved it, for sure. And its great that series regular Paul Pelletier is staying on as the artist, to create that nice bit of visual continuity.

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Aquaman #23.2 by Geoff Johns and Tony Bedard (Comics Review)

Its no secret that I love Geoff Johns’ run on Aquaman in the New 52, which was my first time reading anything directly related to the character. The series really came out of nowhere and it has impressed me month after month as the storytelling and the art keep getting better, with some minor stumbles here and there. For me, this is the series that got me to really like, and even respect, Aquaman as a character, and for that alone, this series rates highly in my list of favourites.

Going into Villain’s Month, the coverage that Aquaman villains get wasn’t all that spectacular, focusing as it did on two characters we’ve already seen a fair bit of in the main series, but I was excited for them nonetheless. Aquaman #23.1 which Black Manta was good, but it fell short of my expectations. With the new issue, it is better, but it still fails to meet those same expectations, and that is largely due to the narrative decisions made by Geoff Johns and Tony Bedard.

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