I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read a ridiculous 17 comics last week: Convergence #4, New Avengers #33, Superman #40, Avengers #44, Batman #40, Daredevil #15, Justice League #40, Multiversity #2, New Avengers: Ultron Forever #1, Convergence: Action Comics #1, Convergence: Booster Gold #1, Convergence: Crime Syndicate #1, Convergence: Justice Society of America #1, Convergence: Detective Comics #1, Convergence: Infinity Inc. #1 and Princess Leia #3.
The best comic I read last week was Justice League #40
I know, I know. It was a very big week. Batman Endgame wrapped up. Daredevil (terrific as always) came out. There were a bunch of Convergence titles (but as the main mini series is all but unreadable, I can’t see picking a tie-in for it). So why am I picking Justice League as the best thing I read last week?
Because, in terms of a comic that surprised me, that set up a big event (the Darkseid War) in an exciting manner, that deftly blended words and pictures, Justice League #40 gave me all I wanted from a superhero comic book. Geoff Johns seems to know and acknowledge comic book history better than any other writer working for DC Comics right now. Wisely linking this latest challenge for the Justice League to crises (pun intended) past, Johns lets the reader know that the stakes for this story are going to be very high. The set up leads the reader to believe that there may well be significant consequences coming for the Justice League and I will be disappointed if the story line doesn’t deliver.
I think it will.
Johns’ partner on the book is the very solid Jason Fabok. Employing a style somewhere between Neal Adams and Jim Lee, Fabok’s pencils get sharper every issue as does his ability to compose big action. He is also excelling in the smaller moments (although this issue doesn’t give him too many) and shows a growing ability to differentiate among his characters. His Superman looks the same panel-after-panel, his Wonder Woman is recognizable scene-to-scene. If this kind of line work were easy, every artist would be doing it. They aren’t. Fabok is a rising star and a good fit for this title.
I am excited about The Darkseid War, far more excited than I am for DC’s Convergence or Marvel’s Secret Wars. Come on, gentlemen, don’t let me down!