The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: February 3 – February 9, 2016


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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 8 comics last week: Spider-Man #1, Amazing Spider-Man #7, Batgirl #48, Batman: Europra #4, Doctor Strange #5, Detective Comics #49, Invincible Iron Man #6 and Batman and Robin Eternal #18.

The best comic I read last week was Spider-Man #1.

Spider-Man 1

 

I have many, many reservations about how Marvel’s last universe-wide crossover event (Secret Wars) played out. While I selected issues of it as my Best Sequential Art of the Week, it became chronically delayed and stories that featured major ramifications from Secret Wars have appeared before its conclusion. The potential power of the series was significantly undercut by these facts.

However, if the only result of Secret Wars was to relaunch Miles Morales in his own title as a teenage Spider-Man, then all (well, almost all) is forgiven. Much has been written and said about Miles Morales. In fact, many main-stream media outlets ran stories last week declaring the arrival of the new, African American/Hispanic Spider-Man missing the point that Miles doesn’t replace Peter Parker, who is still very much around in the Marvel Universe as Spider-Man, but exists alongside him.

Regardless, the news that Miles is black is not why I love this character (who has been in comics for over five years, by-the-way). I love this character because his creator Brian Michael Bendis knows what he’s doing with Spider-Man. Bendis writes a good Peter Parker. He writes a great Miles Morales and this first issue, with art by frequent Bendis collaborator Sarah Pichelli (who is really talented and has taken it upon herself to refine her style a bit in this book – which is a cool thing to do in its own right), is a great jumping on point to the Miles Morales story.

This issue changes a few things in Miles’ status quo in the wake of Secret Wars, but those changes (most notably resurrecting Miles’ mother) are all to the good.

Bendis writes teenagers very, very well and it’s fun to see a Spider-Man who is in high school, a Spider-Man who struggles in his personal life and a Spider-Man who doesn’t have it all figured out. I like Peter Parker very much and writer Dan Slott is doing a great job with him. But, if I was forced to pick one Spider-Man title to read a month, I think I would go with Spider-Man and the adventures of Miles Morales. That’s how strong this issue was.

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Filed under Action Comics, Amazing Spider-Man, Batgirl, Batman, Batman and Robin Eternal, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Detective Comics, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Spider-Man, Weekly Comic Book Review

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