Category Archives: Marvel Comics

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: February 7 – 13, 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:

Untitled

The best comic I read last week was Batman #40

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Joelle Jones

Batman #36 is the best Valentine’s Day comic book I have ever read. No, strike that: it is the best comic about love I have ever read. No kidding.

Joelle Jones’ work is all but perfect and she is comfortable with characters in costume and out. The choices she makes in staging her scenes are ever inventive and compelling. Her figures have scope and scale. They look like she wants them to look and their appearances do not alter panel-to-panel. I would love to see her on a big-team book, a top tier title. She deserves that kind of exposure.

Tom King continues his love letter to Batman and his love letter to, well, love in the “Super Friends” arc. I am so heavily invested in things working out for Batman and Catwoman that I am surprised. He has such a handle on both of them and they speak in distinct voices. One could read his scripts without attribution and know whose dialogue is whose. That is not something one can say of every book on the market. This is impressive.

The storyline itself is compelling, but the themes raise King’s Batman to an entirely different level. If he is not the best writer working in comics today, he is in the top five.

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

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: January 31 – February 6, 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:

 

1.31.0

 

The best comic I read last week was DC Metal #5

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Greg Capullo

The penultimate chapter of DC Metal is just as INSANE as all the issues leading up to it and, man, if I do not love it! Promised to be a rock’n’roll, dinosaur fighting, wild ride through a new understanding of the DC Universe, man do Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder deliver!

I have written about this book month-after-month with good reason: it is fun! And should comics not be fun?

Today, I want to focus on the amazing art of Capullo and collaborators Johnathan Glapion and FCO Plascencia. What these three have done in terms of wide-screen battle is one thing. What they have done in terms of character design in something else all together. I have lost track of the amount of new characters that have crept into the pages of Metal. Forget the simulacrums of the DC heroes (or do not forget them, because they are very cool) and focus on the incredible array of characters here, how they are differently rendered, realized and dressed.

It is really something else.

DC Metal is a tour-de-force. I wish more comics were like it.

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

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: January 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:

 

One

The best comic I read last week was Doomsday Clock #3

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Gary Frank

All comics should feel as weighty. All should be as well drawn. All should take as many risks. All should be as smart. All should have consequences. All should involve readers as readily.

All comics should be as good as Doomsday Clock.

They are not. I read ten comics this week and none of them came close (though Marvel Two-in-One is pretty damned good). Doomsday Clock is expertly illustrated, brilliantly written and constructed in such a taut, engaging fashion that I greeted the news that (released earlier this week) that it is moving to a bi-monthly schedule with an audible “oh, no.”

It is the best comic I have read in a long-long time. And it is a comic I am already excited to read over-and-over again.

While I am having a very hard time placing it within the confines of the current DC Universe (and that is, likely, part of the point) and while I am sure I do not comprehend all the allusions, twists and turns, I am sure of one thing: it is an instant classic.

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, Detective Comics, Doomsday Clock, Geoff Johns, Marvel Comics, Watchmen, Weekly Comic Book Review

Countdown to INFINITY… Thor


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ONE A WEEK UNTIL Avengers Infinity War opens in May!

Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II THOR | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy \ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange |            Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther

Week Five: THOR

Thor Variant

 

Thor is an almost completely delightful movie. Director Kenneth Branagh does a remarkable job weaving together the story of a boastful man-child, petulant heir to a throne whose father realizes (and way too late as Thor’s recklessness costs many, many lives) that his son needs a comeuppance and banishes him from the magical realm of Asgard to the also magical realm of Earth. On Earth, much fun is had as Chris Hemsworth (in a ridiculously winning performance) perfectly embodies a fish-out-of-water with much to learn. Though there are few surprises and we know that Thor will get his hammer and his powers and his life back, the journey is so much fun we do not complain.

But Thor has its weaknesses. While Natalie Portman is very good as Jane Foster, she is also given little more to do than react to things around her and she is forced to play some very painful, eye-batting scenes with Hemsworth. There is, as becomes a Marvel trope, a little too much shoe-horned world building. I love me some Agent Coulson (Son-of-Coul Thor hilariously calls him), but he, too, is window dressing (and do not ask yourself how the Hawkeye scene plays into the plot of this film…).

Come for the fun, stay for Tom Hiddleston’s Loki! Thor is a delightful surprise and far better than it has a right to be.

You can read my full review but the end run is that Thor received FOUR BROKEN COFFEE CUPS out of a possible FIVE.

Entertainment Weekly is also counting down to Avengers: Infinity War. Here is their take on Thor.


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Thor
  • Loki
  • Odin
  • Jane Foster
  • Dr. Erik Selvig
  • Heimdal
  • Lady Sif
  • The Warriors Three
  • Clint Barton/Hawkeye
  • Jasper Sitwell (SHIELD agent who will have a number of appearances in Marvel movies)
  • Asgard

CONNECTION(S) TO INFINITY WAR:

  • The Tesseract is back in the post credit stinger and Loki is there to see it.
  • The stinger sets up Avengers as that movie begins almost immediately where the stinger leaves off.
  • Dr. Selvig (almost) name drops Bruce Banner – “a colleague who worked with gamma radiation.”
  • Hawkeye, in his silly cameo, is an Avenger and, while Hawkeye may not show up in Infinity War, Clint Barton will.
  • The Destroyer, which, well, destroys much SHIELD property and a few SHIELD agents, will be referenced in Avengers.

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Filed under Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios, Thor

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: January 17 – 23, 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:

One

The best comic I read last week was Batman #39

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Joelle Jones 

It is all Tom King all the time around these parts… but let us begin with the beautiful work of Joelle Jones. Her pencils in Batman have been simply breathtaking. She renders an impressive main character and her work on Selina Kyle and guest star Wonder Woman is equally impressive. Also powerful, dynamic and creative are the action scenes she creates and there is plenty of action in this issue.

The issue itself features a new character (Gentle Man – King has a knack for character names) who is involved an what amounts to an eternal struggle against evil and he hopes to tap out for a bit of a break. Wonder Woman and Batman step in for him and face battle-after-battle in his stead.

As it turns out, time in the dimension in which Gentle Man has been striving passes differently than time in ours, so Batman and Wonder Woman have ample opportunity to get to know one another better setting up a most intriguing cliffhanger. This development is played off the night-on-the-town Catwoman treats Gentle Man to and all of it is in service of the Batman and Catwoman getting married story line.

And, as I have come to expect from King and his collaborators, it is all incredibly well done.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: January 10 – 16, 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:

One

 

The best comic I read last week was Titans #19

Writer: Dan Abnett

Artist: Paul Pelletier 

(Okay, the BEST comic book I read was actually Mister Miracle #6, but even I am tired of picking it every month!)

I love the Titans and have since I was a younger – much younger – comic book collector. I have read every incarnation of the book, including those that were published prior to my birth. I am a sucker for the team and the characters who comprise it.

And I have really enjoyed the latest Titans title. Dan Abnett has done a terrific job since he began with the soft-reboot of the characters (and the DC Universe) in Titans Hunt a few years back. Now he is really hitting his stride on the title and #19 is one of the best issues yet.

Abnett takes a fairly tired trope (the team is DISBANDED!) and makes it feel fresh, new and in keeping with what has been happening in the book. The Titans have screwed up in recent adventures and the Justice League have problems with how they have handled their work. Abnett does not let this story – which could be incredibly note-by-note predictable, become cliched. Rather he creates another in a solid line of character studies of the Titans and handles, as he typically does, Nightwing remarkably well.

This is a great read with solid art by the ever-improving Paul Pelletier. His line work evokes the art of Alan Davis and that is surely not a bad thing. Pelletier has been drawing comics for a long time and it seems he is poised to break big.

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

Countdown to INFINITY… Iron Man


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ONE A WEEK UNTIL Avengers Infinity War opens in May!

Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk | Iron Man 2 |Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy \ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange |            Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther

WEEK TWO: Iron Man

Iron Man DVD

 

Though Captain America: The First Avenger is the “first” Marvel movie in terms of the timeline of the Marvel Universe, the first movie released was Iron Man. Perfectly cast, wonderfully written, inventive and fun, Iron Man is almost flawless. And it succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, launching an interlocking series of movies each seemingly more popular than the last.

It can also be blamed for establishing the Marvel “house style” and more than one of the Marvel films has suffered from trying to be Iron Man. They have suffered from villains – like Obidiah Stane – who are too derivative of the hero they face.

But, despite that, Iron Man in-and-of-itself is more enjoyable and more original than most of the other Marvel movies put together. It is, perhaps, the funniest of the Marvel movies (excepting Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor | Ragnarok. As it came out before I began blogging, I do not have a full review, but Iron Man receives FIVE DUMMIES out of a possible FIVE. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Tony Stark/Iron Man
  • Pepper Potts
  • James “Rhodey” Rhodes
  • J.A.R.V.I.S.
  • Nick Fury
  • Agent Colson
  • Stark Industries
  • S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • The Avengers Initiative

CONNECTION(S) TO INFINITY WAR:

  • S.H.I.E.L.D. is a critical connective tissue in many of the Marvel films (not to mention the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show).
  • Without the clever inclusion of Nick Fury and the “Avengers Initiative” scene, one wonders if all that we know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe would even exist.
  • The background, though limited, provided on Howard Stark lays much groundwork for plotlines throughout the films.
  • The Pepper Potts/Tony Stark romance seems as though it may be a very important plot point in Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War is coming…

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Filed under Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios, Robert Downey jr.