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 10 comics last week: Batman Beyond #1, Justice League #41, Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1, Action Comics #41, Darth Vader #6, All New X-Men #41, Amazing Spider-Man #18.1, Princess Leia #4, Secret Wars #3 and Star Wars #6.
The best comic I read last week was Justice League #41.
I looked back over previous “Best Sequential” offerings of the last few months and I note that Justice League shows up more often than not. That’s likely because I want to love this title (and I do), but it is equally because Geoff Johns, when he’s dialed in as he is more often than not on this book, writes a team superhero narrative as well as anyone in the business. He’s been the cornerstone, not only of this title, but of the entire DC universe. This issue shows why.
Good writing is one thing. Good are is another. And this book has both.
Jason Fabok is kicking in to a new gear in recent issues and he blows it out of the water in Justice League #41. He creates sweeping action combined with character moments in a style that is approaching a combination of George Perez and Jim Lee. That’s a hell of a great combination. His redesign of Mr. Miracle (a truly wonderful B List character) is terrific. I hope the Johns/Fabok tandem is in place for a very long time, indeed.
Johns and Fabok have delivered a stunning (on almost every level) opening chapter of what I hope – and anticipate – will be one of those story lines people look back on and say “Man, everything has to be judged in light of the Darkseid War.”
If it continues at this level, Justice League will remain one of the best books I read in any month.