The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 6 – 12, 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: Justice League Rebirth #1, Amazing Spider-Man #15, Han Solo #2, Invincible Iron Man #11, Poe Dameron #4, Batman #2, Superman #2 and Rise of the Supermen #6.

The best comic I read last week was Justice League Rebirth #1.

Justice League 1


The DC Universe is better with a well written, well drawn Justice League and the Justice League is better when it stars the biggest of  DC’s heroes. The company has understood this fact in recent years and has kept the Justice League stocked with its most powerful, more epic and, in almost all cases, most recognizable superheroes. This new, Rebirth incarnation of the League is a perfect example of this fact.

With a membership including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman – the so-called Trinity – this Justice League has much of what it needs in place. While the dynamics among the characters has changed – this Superman is a refugee from a different universe, taking the place of a Superman who died, this Batman a younger version of the character with whom readers might be most familiar, this Wonder Woman the God of War and former lover of the deceased Superman – their stature has not. They are the examples by which all other heroes are judged and they are central to the Justice League itself. They are central to comics.

Writer Bryan Hitch, who will be continuing from this title to the newly restarted Justice League, knows this to be true and, though he also plays knowingly with the changed dynamics among his team, he puts together an impressive spin not only on the characters but their roots in Justice League Rebirth #1. Spinning of a typical Justice League origin story, Hitch shows his heroes at the most heroic if not their most unified. This league feels both the same and different from other incarnations of the league. It is the same in the superheroic, wide-screen adventure that Hitch is know for as an artist. It is different in the manner in which the characters are going to relate to one another.

They don’t trust each other. They are not sure they like each other. They are made up of heroes with recognizable names and costumes who do not come with long history. Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz are Green Lanterns. But they are not Hal Jordan or John Stewart or even Guy Gardener. Cyborg is all but a kid and though he’s been ret-conned into the origin of the Justice League, he is as inexperienced at hero-ing as he is at life. This League is younger than we expect, less accomplished than we remember and more fun to watch.

Oh, and as drawn by Hitch in this issue, it’s more fun to look at, too. Hitch the artist does a great job supporting Hitch the writer. The action explodes from the pages and the quiet character moments, especially those shared by Lois Lane, Clark Kent and their son Jon, are equally powerfully rendered. He’s a great artist for this issue, though his speed of composition makes it impossible for him to transition on to the regular book.

This is a terrific re-introduction to the Justice League. It portends great things for the future.


Filed under Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Spider-Man, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

3 responses to “The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 6 – 12, 2016

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