Category Archives: Iron Man

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 26 – August 1, 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 Infamous Iron Man #10

Writers: Brian Michael Bendis

Artists: Alex Maleev

The story of Victor Von Doom trying to reform himself and to make up for a lifetime of terrible deeds has been complex and compelling. The latest issue of Infamous Iron Man is, perhaps, the best yet.

Brian Michael Bendis has, somehow, slipped from top-line status at Marvel Comics and I don’t understand why. He’s handling terrific books in this one, Invincible Iron Man and Spider-Man and he is telling stories in each that are unlike much else on the market. Perhaps one can only be on top of the heap for so long, but if there is some kind of negative reaction to Bendis that is keeping people away from Infamous Iron Man, that is really unfortunate.

This is a terrific book and one that makes me believe that Marvel intends to keep Victor Von Doom squarely in the hero column.

They should. Doctor Doom has never been as compelling as he is here. This issue has some heartbreaking moments, some heartwarming moments, some confusing moments and a cliffhanger that really cooks.

It goes without saying that Alex Maleev, Bendis’ frequent collaborator, is a special artist. While I was not sure that his style was a perfect match for this book, the moodiness with which he renders his characters works very well here. I have found myself loving it more-and-more with each issue.

Infamous Iron Man is a terrific read. I only hope, as I mentioned last time I picked it, that it is not overwritten by the Generations soft re-boot of the Marvel universe.

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Doctor Doom, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 29 – April 4, 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

Infamous Iron Man #6.

 

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Alex Maleev 

 

This is my second week in a row selecting a Brian Michael Bendis penned book and that’s a good thing. Perhaps Bendis is back on his stride after hitting a recent slow patch.

His frequent contributor, Alex Maleev, has never missed a step. Though I wondered if his intricate and realistic line work would be suited for an Iron Man title, I was foolish to be concerned: he’s been a terrific match for this book and his Vincent Cassell based Victor Von Doom is pretty cool.

Yes, Dr. Doom is all new, all different and is wearing a version of the Iron Man armor trying to redeem himself after a life of terrible acts. That’s a compelling set up that Bendis is paying off in this issue.

Given the rumor that the stalwarts of the Marvel Universe are about to return to the comics they used to headline, it’s likely this is all going to wrap up soon, and that’s too bad. Marvel has taken a few risks the last few months and what they’ve done with Iron Man has been my favorite of those risks. I’ll be sorry to see it all end.

If you’re a comic reader, do yourself a favor: buy this book in trade paperback. You won’t regret it, I promise!

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

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

The best comic I read last week was Invincible Iron Man #5.

 

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Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Stefano Casselli

Stefano Casselli is a great artist for this new (and who knows how long this “new” version will last?) Iron Man, who really isn’t a man at all. Iron Man is really Iron Heart – 15-year-old Riri Williams, who built her own armor and has taken the place of Tony Stark. Casselli is a terrific artist overall, but he is really firing on all cylinders with this title. I respect artists whose teenagers and children look like teenagers and children. And Casselli’s do. His Riri Williams looks appropriately youthful while his adults look like adults. One wouldn’t think this would be hard for professional artists to accomplish, but it sure seems to be. Casselli is a good fit for this book – perhaps not quite as good as Sara Pichelli, but close.

Bendis remains one of the best writers in comics today and, while there is not as much heat around this book as I thought there might be, it’s more than a good read. It is a great one. Bendis has an ability to balance superheroics with taking on issues of import, topical and timely ones, and he does so organically. While topical, the issues Bendis takes on spring from character and that is good writing.

Riri Williams is a great lead character and the pairing of her with a tremendous supporting cast including Riri’s mom, Tony Stark’s A.I. consciousness, his birth mother, Mary Jane Watson and Pepper Potts (pitting them against a female antagonist I might add) tells you something important about this book: it’s not comic writing as usual by any means.

I like Riri Williams and I like where this story is going. While the two coming Marvel events (Secret Empire and Generations) seem to suggest the return of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and the tall, blonde Thor, I hope Riri is still around when the dust settles. Comics needs more characters like her.

 

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 21 – 27, 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 11 comics last week: Amazing Spider-Man #22, Invincible Iron Man #2, Batman #11, Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds # 1, Superman #13, Doctor Strange #15, Trinity #4 Justice League/Suicide Squad #2, Justice League #11, Avengers #2.1,  and Nightwing #11.

The best comic I read last week was Invincible Iron Man #2.

 

invincible-iron-man-2
If the only good thing to come out of Marvel’s interminable and overwrought Civil War II (which I think started in 2012) is this new volume of Invincible Iron Man, it may all have been worth it.

Tony Stark is back (was he ever gone?) but he’s not the star of this book. The star is 15 year-old Riri Williams. She is a “super genius” who built her own working Iron Man armor and has now taken over the superheroic duties of said Tony Stark. While he’s back, he’s not really back.

It’s a shame, actually, that I began this review even mentioning Stark. The star of this book is Iron Heart – the name Riri Williams uses in the armor – and she is someone worth watching. Brian Michael Bendis is back in peak form here (he’s never, in my opinion, very far away from it) as he involves the readers in Riri’s story. And her story is very poignant in the best way. Her background is discussed as the comic effortlessly weaves narrative flashbacks in with current action. Bendis, as he has shown consistently in his work on X-Men and Spider-Man, has a real flair for writing teenagers. That shows here. He also creates good dynamics between parents and their children and that, too, is front-and-center in this book.

Stefano Caselli and Marte Garcia are on point as the art team. Though I would like the flashbacks to be a little more differentiated from the main story, that’s a small quibble. Their characters are discernible, their action well drawn and they wring just enough emotion from the proceedings to support Bendis’ script.

Though I remain skeptical about the “loss” of Tony Stark, I am all-in on the addition of Riri Williams. Invincible Iron Man goes back to the top of the virtual reading stack for me!

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 16 – 22, 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 11 comics last week: Superman # 11, Trinity #3, Nightwing #9, Spider-Man #9, Batman #11, Star Trek: Waypoint #2, Justice League #9, Amazing Spider-Man #21, Infamous Iron Man #2, Black Panther #8 and Doctor Strange #14.

The best comic I read last week was Trinity #3.

trinity-three

 

The magic continues…

Over the course of the last months, I’ve paid attention to fandom bickering about the dark DC Universe of the Zach Snyder movies and the hopeful DC Universe emerging in recent comics. As someone who has enjoyed the Snyder films and likes the direction they have taken the DC Cinematic Universe, I’ve been a bit taken aback by the vitriol aimed at them and their tone. I’ve simply seen them as a different interpretation of classic characters and the interpretation worked for me.

However, when reading Francis Manapul’s Trinity, I admit I can see validity in the critiques of the dark DC. Manapul has crafted an initial arc in Trinity which will serve to redefine the dynamic between the top three heroes of the DC Universe in the most hopeful and heroic of manners: by connecting them all the more intimately with one another. Through story machinations I won’t spoil here, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are forced to revisit the events which made them heroes – their origin stories – and they are forced to do this together. The friendship and compassion they show each other is, clearly, far more important than whatever adversary they are facing and that compassion serves to bring the three together and will likewise serve to reestablish them as the core of the DC Universe.

Remember, this Superman is an outsider – a newcomer to the Rebirth Universe – and an easy story out would be for Batman to continue his paranoid mistrust of the character and for Wonder Woman to pine for the deceased Superman of this universe – a man who was her lover. Manapul doesn’t do easy. Rather he writes a story with rich emotional resonance. It is also a reflection on what it means to be a hero, and can only be read as an intentional rebuke of the darkness that can invade comics and has invaded the DC films. Again, I like the DC films, but books like this make me realize how much more I like my heroes, well, wholly heroic.

The issue suffers a bit from fill-in artist Clay Mann’s work as opposed to Manapul’s art. Dont’ get me wrong: Mann is terrific and does a great job keeping the visual style of Manapul front-and-center in the issue, but Manapul is Manapul. However, if having as capable and artist as Mann on hand to keep Trinity shipping regularly, readers could do a lot worse. Mann is more than capable and shows some real dynamism in his work.

I said this last month – let Manapul do ALL the comics. He’s that good.

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Filed under Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, Black Panther, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Detective Comics, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Nightwing, Spider-Man, Star Trek, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review, Wonder Woman

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: October 19 – 25, 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 12 comics last week: Star Trek: Boldly Go #1, Infamous Iron Man # 1, Amazing Spider-Man #20, Black Widow #7, Doctor Strange #13, Batman #9, Justice League #7, Nightwing #7, Dark Knight III #6, Black Panther #7, Superman #9 and Trinity #2.

The best comic I read last week was Trinity #2.

 

trinity-two

I have said this before, but it bears repeating: I’d like Francis Manapul to write and draw ALL the comics. Not only does he create beautiful art (which he pencils, inks and colors), he writes what can only be described as beautiful stories.

Manapul’s stories from Flash to this title illustrate an incredible amount of hopefulness and of heart. I am not one to rail against the DC Cinematic Universe. Frankly, I have enjoyed all 3 films so far. I haven’t been offended by their darker bent. However, I will note that the very brightness and energy of Manapul’s work here visually and thematically is an incredible draw.

His story in the first two issue of Trinity is about friendship, about fatherhood and about opportunities lost… and found. The best comics read with the themes of great literature and, while Trinity may not be that yet, just give it time.

This is shaping up to be a book that, when it’s collected, comic readers will be handing to their non-comic reading friends. It’s simply that good.

Stay on this title forever, Mr. Manapul. Comic readers, do yourselves a favor and buy this one.

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Filed under Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, Comic Book Movies, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Nightwing, Star Trek, Wonder Woman

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 7 – 13, 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 9 comics last week: Batman #6, Nightwing #4, Justice League #4, Superman #6, Cyborg #1, Doctor Strange #11, Avengers #14, Poe Dameron #6  and Invincible Iron Man #13.

The best comic I read last week was Superman #6.

 

superman-6There are many good, good things going on with DC Rebirth and one of them is surely Superman. I was a bit skeptical about merging the myriad incarnations of DC Universe characters running around when Rebirth was announced and further dubious when the “Death of Superman” (the New 52 Superman) was rolled out. However, what has resulted is the welcome inclusion the Pre New 52 Superman, Lois Land and, most pleasingly, the young Jon Kent – their son. This Superman had his family have been in the New 52 universe since the Convergence crossover and have now, with the events of Rebirth, become the First Family. This Superman is THE Superman in the DC Universe now.  And the DC Universe is all the better of r it.

Superman, of course, is a character that appearances across DC Comics ‘ titles and he has been written consistently in all of them. Also, he all of them, he’s been used to create conflict with other heroes. This is a Superman whose priorities have changed. He has a wife and child. he’s been trying to lead a quiet and private life. He’s back in the spotlieght and he has things to do. This is a very nice addition to the DC Universe, perhaps the best addition in Rebirth.

Peter Tomasi, the writer of the title, has a great feel for this character from the heroic, “I am Superman” standpoint and the standpoint of this superman being a husband and father. He balances these two perspectives deftly and, most importantly for me as a reader, in a very interesting manner. Tomasi is a talented writer – pulled years ago from the editorial ranks and DC – and he is perfectly suited for this version of Superman.

Likewise, his co-creator Patrick Gleason who handles the penciling chores, is equally in his element here. Having come off a series starring Damian Wayne, the young son of Batman, he’s perfectly in his element illustrating this one. His Superman is big and powerful. His Superboy looks like a kid, not a small adult, and that’s refreshing.

This one ended on a cliffhanger of sorts, and I look forward to the resolution in two weeks!

 

 

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Filed under Avengers, Batman, DC Comics, Iron Man, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Nightwing, Star Wars, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review