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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: Justice League #46, Darth Vader Annual #1, Batgirl #46, Amazing Spider-Man #1.1, Star Trek: Academy #1, We Are Robin #7, Batman Europa #2, Superman: American Alien #2, Ultimate End #5, and Batman and Robin Eternal #11.
The best comic I read last week was Justice League #46.
There are major, major happenings going on in Justice League. I love the characters in Justice League. The writer of Justice League is one of my favorite writers. And, though this issue feature a fill in artist, the fill in artist is one of my favorite artists. All of this adds up to me really enjoying the latest installment of The Darkseid War that’s been playing out in the book for the better part of the last year.
Writer Geoff Johns, who also happens to be a vice president of DC Comics, has introduced very high stakes in this story line, so high that they seem as though they should be playing out across a line-wide story as opposed to a self contained one. But that’s okay, provided there are some real repercussions following the conclusion of the war. The story sets up to affect the Justice League for the foreseeable future and it looks as though it will shake up their status quo.
One of the greatest villains in the DC Universe has died and the League is dealing with the fallout of God-like power that’s been unleashed. In fact, many of them are dealing with it as they have inherited some amazing new abilities themselves.
This is powerful story telling and Francis Manapul’s art, while seeming a bit rushed here, is primarily up to the task of matching Johns’ script.
If there has been one problem with this story line, it’s found in its length. This arc has been playing out for so long and in such detail that I am sure that it will read better and more cohesively when it is concluded. This one begs for a collected edition.
Regardless, that’s a minor quibble. Justice League remains THE BEST team title out there and it takes a pretty sizable effort from one of my other monthly reads to knock it out of my Pick of the Week post every month.