Monday, September 19, 2016

Last Week's Comic Today - 9/20/2016

Not doing a Pick of the Week this week because there's a six (6!) that stood above the rest and I just couldn't pick one I liked better than the others.  They're all so different too...

Honorable Mention
Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1 - I've missed this book.  Olive meets a new student that's a bad influence and they quickly get into misadventures.  After months of Year Book and the Lumberjanes cross-over, it's great to have the creative team back together.  Like a coiled spring, this book is full of potential.  Last week I was talking about Unfollow and Sheriff of Babylon being books that flew under the radar while everyone was complaining about DC.  Gotham Academy was another excellent book during New52 and DCYou.  I think it's gotten more attention than their Vertigo stuff, but now that Rebirth is rolling and everyone thinks DC is great, I hope this gets a bump as well.  It's much deserved.

The Fix #5 - Another last page that flips everything on it's head.  Even if this issue weren't a verbal and visual feast (it is), I would still love it for the shopping cart panel.  heh, that one's going to stick with me for a long time.  Highly recommended for crime fans of humor with their crime.  Kind of an Elmore Leonard vibe.

Black Monday Murders #2 - There was a conversation at the comic shop last week about the double-page title spreads and symbols in this book.  I don't mind them.  In fact, I kinda like 'em.  I said they likely stem from Hickman being a former graphic designer and trying to design a comic as a complete artistic object.  And maybe there's some truth in that, but really, they feel cinematic or like high-end television.  Where the show starts and 15 minutes goes by before you get the opening sequence or go to a commercial break.  It feels like a natural evolution after the "widescreen" years.  Oh, the murder investigation continues and there's plenty of weirdness - financial and otherwise.  I'm hooked.  Side question: What the hell happened to The Dying and the Dead?

Briggs Land #2 - This is stellar.  It should probably be my Pick of the Week but I can't figure out if I only feel that way because it's the last book I read this week - so freshest in my mind - or it legitimately deserves that title.  It probably deserves it, but I've already decided I'm doing like a five-way Honorable Mention split that you've already read above, but I haven't written yet.  So that's a little awkward.  Seriously though, the book is great.  I keep flipping through it between sentences.  There's not a ounce of fat anywhere on this that could have been trimmed or cut.  The book is lean, but rock-solid.  It's dense but without filling the page with massive word balloons (I'm looking at you, All Star Batman).  It's only on the second issue.  Buy it, check it out.  I'd say buy an extra to squirrel away for when it's a massive hit on AMC, but I'm not a speculative asshole.  Just buy it and read it.  You decide what to do with it after that.

Lady Killer 2 #2 - Two men approach Josie with different business propositions this issue.  The first seems worthwhile at the time but more questionable later.  The second sounds intriguing but surrounded by much uncertainty.  What I do know is the art and writing remain top-notch and this book always finds itself one of the first books I read.  Highly recommended if you're looking for something different in a crime title.

Spread #16 - Well!  Given that last page, something is going to need to happen immediately if our cast is going to survive.  And we know at least Hope does, since she's narrating in past tense.  Many decisions made this issue, with at least half of them being poor.  We MAY have learned something about the spread itself, though the backmatter is quick to point out this is simply one character's belief.  I think this is my "The Walking Dead" and once I understand it myself, I may write a piece about why I'll buy every issue of this but stopped reading The Walking Dead.

Everything else
All Star Batman #2 Synder admits this is basically his Long Halloween (I actually think it's more along the lines of Hush, but whatever).  In contrast to his mega-arcs that focused a single villain (or group) during his time on Batman, he's now throwing every possible villain at the hero.  Unfortunately, Romita is drawing the early issues.  It's not exactly that I hate the guy's art, but it definitely takes some getting used to each time I open one of his comics.  The book is... good?  Fun, I guess?  It's over-the-top and ridiculous and being told completely out of order, with some apparently pretty staggering consequences.  While reading I'm forced to wonder if any of this will impact the other bat-titles or if this is supposed to be self-contained.  I'm honestly not sure which I'd prefer.

Birthright #19 - That's another one helluva last page (because I've already written about the Spread, down there, alphabetically).  This issue comes down to two big sequences inter-cutting each other - the men of the Rhodes family vs the mages, and the mages' decision and reasoning to leave Terrenos.  Both are sure to have serious consequences.  Interesting, informative, and action-packed.  Recommended.

DC Comics Bombshells #17 -  The art this issue isn't as good as usual, but the story is still on point.  Everything that's been building in the ghetto goes down and the series continues to add more characters at a surprising pace.  Held back by the art only because it's usually so stellar.

Doom Patrol #1 - The guy at the comic shop described this as "more Killjoys than Umbrella Academy."  I have to agree.  I'll pick up another issue or two to see if this goes somewhere, but thus far, not especially impressed.  Nice art, though.

Hadrian's Wall #1 - An alright first issue, but in this market, that's just not going to cut it.  There's a death in space and our main character is sent to investigate.  The solicit sounded interesting enough to pick up the first issue, but spends a lot of time focused on the characters rather than the investigation... and none of the characters are likable or that interesting.  The art is mostly good, though there's something about it I can't quite put my finger on.  They're sometimes a little stiff, posed, even emotionless.  I wish I could describe it better, but no words seem quite right.  Not recommended.

Lumberjanes Gotham Academy #4 - The plot is moving along, though with a cast this size, it's moving rather slowly as we check in on everyone.  I just couldn't help thinking it might have been better as a four or five issue series rather than six.  Also, legit Gotham Academy is out this week, so my interest is this is waning as it was only a hold-over until the main series returned.

Wonder Woman #6 - Wonder Woman arrives!  ...And it's sad as hell!  Deeply saddening for how true this rings.  It's good, but sad.  I think I like the present storyline in the even numbered issues better.  I didn't really want another origin story, but it was well-written and certainly nice to look at... but now I just want it wrapped up so we can get to more adventures.