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 .
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.
Last Fast-Shot Comics Review for comics released in January 2015!
The picks for this week are: Bitch Planet #2, Jungle Book: Fall of The Wild #2, Robyn Hood #6, Wolverines #1-4, Gotham By Midnight #1-3 and Unity #13-14.
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.
The first six weeks of Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman have been pretty darn good. Some classic-style stories with often classic-style art as well is what the title has been all about and I love it for that fact. It is different in a great way from the regular ongoing Wonder Woman series, and that’s the big thing. Last week’s #7 didn’t really work for me, in that it was very heavy-handed in its message and it was just boringly written, decent-enough art aside. With the whole 3 digital issues are a single print issue however, this week’s issue was something I was very interested in.
This week’s issue of Sensation Comics is very different from all the stories that we’ve seen before. This one sees Wonder Woman and Etta Candy teaming up to fight against Ra’s al Ghul and his League of Assassins. And midway, we get to see Deadman aka Boston Brand joining the fight as well. Neil Kleid tells a pretty fun story here, with no bells or whistles or frills and he just keeps the story rolling wherever it goes. It is unhurried and it just takes the time to let the reader have fun. And the art by Dean Haspiel is also great, very cartoony all the way through and simplistic, but fun.
With everything going on right now, I had doubts whether I’d be able to get through many comics this week but it seems that this was indeed the week where I surprised myself in a big way. Not only did I catch up on quite a few new titles, but I also managed to read two graphic novels this week, one of them at almost 300 pages no less!
The surprise hits of this week were Doctor Who: Eleventh Doctor #2 from Titan Comics, Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi-Division #2 from IDW Publishing and Inhuman #5 from Marvel Comics. This week’s surprise flops were Caliban #6 from Avatar Press, Grim Tales of Terror #3 from Zenescope, and Superman Unchained #8 from DC Comics. Of the others, they were mostly great, and I loved that both G.I. Joe Volume 1 and Witchblade Volume 3 are among my absolute favourite graphic novel reads of the year!
As I’ve mentioned previously, Gail Simone is leaving Batgirl for other projects, one of which involves her recently-announced reboot of Secret Six for DC, a Suicide Squad-style supervillain team book but with a different focus and outlook on the characters. Gail’s run on Batgirl made me fall in love with the character and with her leaving, I feel as if it is the passing of an era. On the other hand, Scott Snyderhas been running the showboat for Batman since the New 52 relaunch and he has been killing it, except on the recent Zero Year arc which ended up being nowhere near as good as it started.
Both Batgirl: Future’s End #1 and Batman: Future’s End #1 are really dire stories. In the former, we see how Barbara’s brother James Jr. crashes her wedding party and kills her husband, setting her off on the path of darkness once again. But in all of it, we also see how Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and a young girl named Tiffany take up the fight to maintain the legacy of Batgirl and it is not as bleak as it may sound! In the latter, we see how an aging and troubled Bruce is fighting to maintain his own legacy in his own image, not in the image of young men and women he has inspired over the years, for Gotham must always have a Batman. Ray Fawkes has written this issue instead of Scott, and while I generally don’t like Ray’s writing, this issue was actually quite good in places.
In very short order we have seen three issues of one of DC’s latest digital-first titles come out. Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman has been a great title right off the bat and I love that great creators like Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver got to do the debut of this anthology title. First with their 2-part arc, and then the one-shot with Amanda Diebert and Cat Staggs, this title has shown a great characterization of Wonder Woman, both in terms of the story and the artwork. It is relaxed and fun and compassionate, mirroring the superhero perfectly.
The new digital release sees another one-shot, this time from writer Jason Bischoff and art by David Williams and Wendy Broome and Saida Temofonte. This one goes back to Diana’s origins and covers her from when she was a young Amazon, about to be initiated before Athena herself, and through to her adulthood when she brings Steve Trevor back to the world of man from Themiscyra. Told from the perspective of her mother Hippolyta, the story was emotional and personal and also compassionate. A different side to the warrior I know and love, but just as amazing as anything else.
Getting back into the groove of comics reading I might be, but I’m still struggling with getting around to graphic novels/trade paperback collections, and that’s something I really regret. Every month that pile gets higher and higher with no end in sight and it kind of depresses me. But there’s so much new material to read too!
Anyway, the surprise hits of this week were Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! #3 from IDW Publishing, Sundowners #1 from Dark Horse Comics, Wayward #1 from Image Comics and Star Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I.Zombie from DC Comics. The surprise flops of the week would be Smallville: Continuity #1 from DC and Star Trek: City On The Edge Of Forever #3 from IDW. After having read some of the previous issues in both, I was really surprised by how boring these were, and of course, Savage Hulk #3 was abysmal, but that was to be expected anyway. The others, well they were all a mix of good and bad, as usual.
Last week Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver wrapped up their 2-part arc “Gothamazon” on Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman where they showed how Wonder Woman would tackle Gotham’s various villains and anti-heroes in place of Batman. It was a really fun arc with some of Gail’s best writing that showed off a Wonder Woman who was less about smash-smash-smash and more about turning villains around. Ethan also got in some great artwork, making me wish that he had an ongoing right now with Wonder Woman. But, now it is time for a new team to take to the title and do their own spin on it.
After the opening 2-part arc on the title we are now into single-shot territory as writer Amanda Deibert and artist Cat Staggs come along and tell a self-contained story of Wonder Woman fighting off Circe and her magical villainy. And villainy is right because this issue had a great classic feel to it, very different from the current Wonder Woman print ongoing and I loved it as much as I loved Gail and Ethan’s issues. Amanda seems to get what makes Wonder Woman so special and important on her own, and Cat Staggs art, with John Rauch’s colours is equally amazing.