Category Archives: Action Comics

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: October 24 – 30, 2018


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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.

Comics I Read Last Week:

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The best comic I read last week was Action Comics #1004

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Ryan Sook

Brian Michael Bendis’ take on Superman is fresh and new. It is also grounded in a a real world setting that some, I take it from internet traffic, are finding jarring. His treatment of Lois and Clark’s marriage is at the center of this very interesting and, frankly, challenging issue of Action Comics and, like much of what Bendis has done on the character since taking over, I have to say it works for me. The interaction between the couple has verisimilitude and the fact that Bendis makes it the centerpiece of the issue is to be celebrated. Is there another comic that is delving into the challenges of married life while delivering creative and engaging superheroics?

That would be a “no.”

And it is clear that top flight artists want to work with Bendis.

Anyone who can get us a full issue of Ryan Sook interiors should be praised.

Sook’s work here is exactly what we have come to expect from him: expressive, fluid, at once wide screen while respectful of character moments. No one currently working channels Jose Luis Garcia Lopez more than Sook and that is a high compliment, indeed. He is one of the best working and, to see him drop in for a full issue of a monthly is a delight.

Action Comics is as well.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 22 – 28, 2018


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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.

Comics I Read Last Week:

CaptureThe best comic I read last week was Action Comics #1002

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Pat Gleason

I love Brian Michael Bendis, okay? Even when he is not at the absolute top of his game or when he is feeling out a new character. I would argue he is not quite comfortable with Superman just yet, but he is getting close and I am really enjoying the story he is weaving here. He is an incredible talent and the DC flagship character deserves him.

But the real star – so far – of this latest Action Comics run is penciller Pat Gleason. Wow. He has remade his style in Action as if he is aware (and I am sure he is) of how important this particular pairing on this particular title his. Eschewing what was becoming somewhat of a cartoony, though pleasing, take, Gleason has grounded this run of Action in a realism that benefits the character and the story Bendis is telling.

Superman is super in this short run and I hope he continues to be.

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Link’n’Blogs – 7.20.18: Superman’s Record Breaking Feat of Literature?


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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as fun or thought provoking as I have.

It is now official and American literature scholars should pay attention: Comic books are a true form of literature, one of the purest forms of literature born in this country and feature the longest running American fictional character continuously in print. But do not believe me, believe the Guinness Book of World Records. Click the iconic cover to Action Comics #1 below for full details…

Action_Comics_1

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 18 – 24, 2018


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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.

Comics I Read Last Week:

The best comic I read last week was Action Comics #1000.

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Writers: Brian Michael Bendis, Peter J. Tomasi, Paul Dini, Marv Wolfman, Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns, Louise Simonson, Tom King, Scott Snyder and Brad Meltzer

Artists: Dan Jurgens, Jim Lee, Patrick Gleason, Curt Swan, Olivier Coipel, Clay Mann, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, John Cassaday, Jerry Ordway, Tim Sale, Butch Guice, 

It would be all but impossible to choose the best story from Action Comics #1000. This landmark issue, celebrating Superman’s 80th year in continual publication, struck just the perfect balance between nostalgia and forward motion. This star-studded collection of creators each brought her or his A-game to the proceedings and each of the installments in the 80 page giant highlighted a different aspect of the Man of Steel – a different part of the whole that makes him the first and the best superhero of them all.

The best story may well be hard to identify, but my favorite is not. Give “Never Ending Battle” by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason that distinction. Both clever tribute to era-after-era of Superman incarnations and a distillation of what makes the character tick, this story is moving and heroic. Patrick Gleason gives readers Superman after Superman from the original 1930s version to the Super Friends cartoon to the Frank Miller interpretation. “Never Ending Battle” is fascinating and fun.

The whole issue is. If you are a person who does not believe that Superman is an interesting character, think again. The prologue to Brian Michael Bendis’ upcoming run on the character is so full of potential that one can envision Superman on the top of the comic book sales charts.

Where it belongs.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 27 – October 3, 2017


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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.

Comics I Read Last Week:

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The best comic I read last week was Detective Comics #965.

Writer: James Tynion IV

Artist: Eddy Barrows

I love Eddy Barrows’ artwork. There is something about his verisimilitude, the manner of his panel composition, the loving way he renders characters that feels classic and new simultaneously. My assumption is the level of detail he puts in his work paints him into the slower end of artists (pun intended) but that is okay. That makes his pages all the more special.

“Special” is the right word for this issue. Kicking off a story arc entitled “A Lonely Place of Living” (a title which must make long-time Batman fans take notice), ridiculously underrated writer James Tynion IV tells the origin story of ridiculously underrated character Tim Drake – Red Robin. Red Robin has been “off the board” for months, the captive of the mysterious Mr. Oz, and is about to break big.

That the story (along with the latest issues of Action Comics) reveals the identity of Mr. Oz is not what makes the story special, nor is the science fiction heights for which the narrative reaches.

What makes it special is the treatment of Red Robin, the respect paid to the works of Wolfman, Perez and Aparo and the promise of a return that is both important and is woven into the fabric of the rebirthed DC Universe.

I am glad Tim Drake is back and I am glad his return is being handled by these particular creators. Drake, Tynion IV and Barrows are all superstars.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 12 – 18, 2017


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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.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The best comic I read last week was

Wonder Woman #20.

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Bilquis Evely

 

Great sadness this week: writer Greg Rucka is leaving Wonder Woman in a few issues. That is certainly unfortunate as, as I have mentioned on more than one occasion in this The Best Sequential Art feature, Rucka is doing truly great things on this title. His grasp of Diana both in and out of her super hero costume is truly, well, wonderful. The narrative he has tied together in these first 20 issues comparing Wonder Woman’s early adventures to her contemporary ones has been seamless, thematically compelling and strong. Wonder Woman, in her 75th anniversary year, deserved greatness. In Rucka, she has received it.

Bilquis Evely will also be leaving the title and, while I am not familiar with her replacement, it is difficult to think that her successor can achieve anything like she has. I have compared her work to Dave Gibbons’ art in the past and that is intended to be one of the highest comparisons I can draw. Her lines are smooth, her action sequences direct and to-the-point and her character work stunning. She is the kind of artist to follow from book-to-book.

Wonder Woman has been terrific. I am excited to see where Rucka ends these narratives and so sad to see him go.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 8 – 14, 2017


Related Content from And There Came A Day:


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.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The best comic I read last week was Action Comics #975.


Writer: Dan Jurgens

Artist: Doug Mahnke

 

I think I loved this comic because it was clever, fun and had a terrific reveal at its conclusion. One of the mysteries that is the backbone of the DC Rebirth-ed universe is the mystery of Superman and this issue (along with interlocking issues of Superman) goes a long way to solving it.

Dan Jurgens is an underrated writer. He is like the baseball player who hits for average and drills the occasional home run. You forget how good he is because he’s so consistent. His work, especially as he handles two parents who are searching for their lost son, is terrific. I love that he was part of the great Superman stories of the 1990s and is part of great Superman stories now.

I have written before about the terrific talents of artist Doug Mahnke and those talents are on great display in this issue. He treats readers to solid panel work throughout but the real magic of the issue is a series of splash pages of some of Superman’s greatest adversaries. Excellent work.

I am really liking the old/new Superman and this story keeps me guessing in a very satisfying way.

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