Category Archives: Marvel Comics

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 11 – 17, 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 Amazing Spider-Man #1

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artist: Ryan Ottley

Do not misunderstand this choice: Superman #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis is a really, really good book. It is creative and inventive and charts a new course for the Man of Steel.

But Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley’s Amazing Spider-Man #1 (#802) is a simply perfect first issue of a new era for the Web-Spinner.

Following Dan Slott’s epic run is no enviable task, but Spencer and Ottley sure seem up to it. They have crafted a prologue that is engaging, that established a new status quo (in a brilliant manner) and that paves the way for years of story lines to come. I hope Spencer – who can tend to the controversial, quick burn (“Hail Hyrda,” anyone?) is in this for the long term. He has both Spider-Man and Peter Parker’s voices down and manages to put Peter in the best place for the character – as a lovable loser. But he also gives the perfect, Parker twist to the proceedings.

I know of Ryan Ottley only from his Invincible reputation – no pun intended. Though his art skews a bit to the cartoonish for my typical tastes, it is perfect for the subject matter and once I settled in to his interpretations, I let go and enjoyed the work, which is solid. He is a great fit for Spider-Man.

It is no mean feat to follow a master but this is an auspicious beginning. Tonally different from Slott’s run, but perfectly Spidey, Amazing Spider-Man #1 puts the book to the top of the read pile every month.

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

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 4 – 10, 2018


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 Batman #50.

 

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mikel Janin and Various

In a week where Ta-Nehisi Coates’ and Leinil Francis Yu’s Captain America debut hit the stands, something very special was going to have to beat it as the best pick of the week. Batman #50 did just that.

I was not entirely surprised.

Tom King’s run on Batman, as I have mentioned time-and-again, has been utterly unexpected, exhilarating, emotional and breath-taking. This 50th issue was no exception. The final issue and culminating chapter of the story of the wedding of Batman and Catwoman, Batman #50 goes places that most comic books do not have the courage to go. Beyond the fact that it is a beautiful book – ace artist Mikel Janin is joined by some of the greatest artists of this (and past) generations who supply a series of full-page spreads – and is perfect on almost every technical level with twists and turns that amaze and delight, Batman #50 does something readers have come to expect from King, it wallops them emotionally.

In a series of scenes leading up to the nuptials, readers are presented with distillations of two of the most critical relationships in Bruce Wayne’s life: with Selina Kyle and with Alfred Pennyworth. It is pointless to rank which is the more affecting. Both are poignant. Both are heartwarming. One is affirming, the other shocking.

The total effect of Batman #50  and this arc overall is to redefine the character and set him up for the next series of issues and this is brilliantly accomplished.

I have read that many anticipate a darker, more sinister Batman to be the result of the events of this story. I, for one, do not believe that King would go anywhere so obvious.

He has not done so on this run at all.

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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: June 27 – July 3, 2018


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:

 

The best comic I read last week was Man of Steel #5.

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Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Adam Hughes

Adam Hughes in one tremendous artist. Among those artists who have trusted themselves enough to allow their styles to adapt over time and to specific content and characters, Hughes is the exemplar. His work in 2018 looks hardly similar to when he burst into the industry decades ago. He was always good but there is depth and gravitas in his approach that is impressive and most fitting Superman. GREAT to see his work  between the covers of a monthly.

Brian Michael Bendis has brought his unique, decompressed style to DC Comics and to Superman and I, for one, am loving it. He has created a story in Man of Steel that has high stakes, stakes that have been played out to almost genocidal effect already in the story. He is setting up a fascinating Metropolis, an intriguing family dynamic and an exciting Superman. There is more to be said about the character and Bendis is finding new areas to mine.

I am thankful for that and as impressed about Superman as I have been for a long time. Given that he has been handled by a series of talented creators recently, this is saying something.

Superman and Batman are recharged by their creators. Give them both a try. It is a great time to read the flagship characters!

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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: June 20 – 26, 2018


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 Justice League #2.

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Jorge Jimenez

Close, close, close week. And that’s a good thing. I really only want to read good comics (or bad comics I think are good!). This week, the virtual hold slot is brimming with good comics and it came down to a close race among Batman #49, Man of Steel (why are people hating on this?) #4 and Justice League #2.

Justice League #2 won out because it is simply too wild, too wide screen, too good to ignore.

If you are looking for a comic book that is beautifully drawn, look no further. If you are looking for a comic book with an A-List line up, here’s your title. If you are looking for a comic book that is creative, challenging and compelling, pick up Justice League.

What a remarkable book this is. Scott Snyder deserved the keys to the kingdom and he is already adding elements to the JLA myth that will be around for years to come. His influence and the manner in which he is writing the characters is not unlike Geoff Johns or, perhaps, Grant Morrison. This is a powerful league. This is a powerful book.

And how can one go wrong with the rotating art team of Jimmy Cheung and Jorge Jimenez? Jimenez shines this issue and has deserved a spotlight like this one for a very, very long time.

All cylinders. That is what this book is clicking on. Each and every one of them.

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Scott Snyder, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 13 – 19, 2018


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 Mister Miracle #9.

 

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mitch Gerads

Mitch Gerads is a New God.

Period.

His work is a perfect blend between the spectacular and the mundane. And that is a compliment. He is the perfect fit for Mister Miracle.

And I know.

It is Tom King. Again.

I know, I know.

But YOU know if you are reading his books.

I may not fully understand Mister Miracle. I may not have given it the time it deserves. But, man, it sticks with me after I have read it.

I have decidedly – arbitrarily – that I will not re-read it until the series concludes. Then I will block out the requisite time, sit down and re-read this epic all over again.

I cannot wait.

This is a team I will follow to any company, any book, any character.

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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: June 6 – 12, 2018


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 Batman #48.

THIS WAS A HARD WEEK TO PICK! SO MANY GREAT BOOKS –

ALL OF THEM, IN FACT!

 

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mikel Janin

While I am running out of original things to say about Tom King’s Batman run, he is – fortunately – not running out of new twists and turns. Each issue and arc seems to add something new, something different and something fascinating to the Batman mythos. This is not hyperbole. It is as if, we he pitched for the job, he told the powers the be at DC Comics that he would write status quo changing moments in story-after-story.

With Batman #48, he continues this run.

As the build up to the wedding of Batman and Catwoman continues (and I believe this is the first issue wherein I understood that the marriage is decidedly of the costumed not secret identities of the characters), the Joker is becoming more-and-more unhinged at the thought of losing his best adversary (or… is Batman something more to the Clown Prince of Crime?) to someone else. This issue features the Joker at a wedding, executing guests and participants alike to draw Batman out and draw him out he does.

The ensuring action and dialogue is fascinating and is one of the best scenes between the two characters. Ever. What is equally interesting to this Catholic in particular are the overtones, both overt and covert, of the Joker’s thoughts on religion.

Daring, scary and powerful stuff, Mr. King.

I have written of Mikel Janin’s line work before. He is a crisp as Kevin Maguire, as detailed as Neal Adams and as brutal as Steve Dillon. He is a master and so very well suited to this book.

Batman remains, by any measure, one of the best books on the market. As long as King reigns, it will be a top-of-the-pile, must-read every time it is published.

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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: May 30 – June 5, 2018


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:

The best comic I read last week was Doomsday Clock #5.

 

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Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Gary Frank

This is the first week in a long time that every comic could have been selected as the best of the week – as my favorite read. Momentous issues like Man of Steel #1 and No Justice #4 were excellent and anniversary issue Amazing Spider-Man #800 was spectacular.

None wowed me like Doomsday Clock #5. This is the issue I have been waiting for – the one that clearly weaves the narratives of the Watchmen universe and the DC Rebirth universe together, and the wait was worth it.

Gary Frank continues to amaze and, though I wish he was a bit quicker at the art board so that Doomsday Clock could be monthly (and I do worry about the disruption to the DC line that the delays here will cause) his work is a perfect successor and tribute to Dave Gibbons’ original draftsmanship on Watchmen. He is an artist to follow on any title.

I have written about Geoff Johns frequently in this feature, so I will not repeat myself praising him. What I will say is there is something exciting and liberating about reading an adult-pitched (in tone, plot and language) DC story by Johns. He is so good at Golden Age superheroics that is is something to see him embrace a modern tone so completely.

This is a terrific book and one that will be amazing when collected in trade.

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