Category Archives: Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September October 11 – 17, 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:

ThreeTwoOne

The best comic I read last week was Mister Miracle #3.

Writer: Tom King

Artists: Mitch Gerads

From structure of story, structure of visuals, structure of characterization, everything about Mister Miracle #3 is perfect… and I cannot even be sure I know exactly what is going on!

The narrative that Tom King and Mitch Gerads are putting together is functioning on an entirely different level than most comics are today… on a miraculous level. With an all-but-perfect synergy on display, Gerads and King are simultaneously honoring and deconstructing one of the greatest and untapped mythos in comics: Jack Kirby’s New Gods.

Others have tried. Others have written great story arcs and produced updated and astonishing visuals.

No one has come close to what King and Gerads are accomplishing here. Not within a mile.

Their story takes place in world at once comfortably recognizable and totally bizarre. Playing within the New Gods concept, Mister Miracle is a rumination on love, family, life, death, the power of art and the importance of self knowledge. It has been called “next level” comics and it surely is.

It is stunning and breathtaking.

Did I refer to it as a “miracle” last month when I selected it?

I should have.

This one will deservedly win all the awards…

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

One

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: September 5 – 12, 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:

OneTwo

 

The best comic I read last week was Batman #30.

Writer: Tom King

Artists: Clay Mann

Another week, another issue of Batman.

While Batman #30 may have been my least favor issue of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” arc, the overall story has been so very good that the least is, well, better than most.

Tom King continues his expanded and slow-paced look at the epic battle between the Joker and the Riddler that keeps Batman and Gotham City hanging in the balance and, while the conflict is showing signs of winding down, King’s story is, in many ways, just gearing up. I have noted before that I am always impressed when comic books can surprise me and King has surprised in this book both with his treatment of his plot and the manner in which he is developing his characters.

Yes, Kite Man is the focus here again.

Kite.
Man.

And I couldn’t be more happy. What King has done with this character is almost worth the cover price of the book.

Clay Mann is more than up to the challenge of this issue and, if we cannot have Michael Janin on each issue, Mann is an apt substitute for sure. His character work is excellent and it well serves the story King is telling.

I cannot wait (and I do not believe that is an overstatement) to read this entire arc in its totality when it is concluded. It lends itself so well to an extended read and I know I will notice all kinds of things escaping me in my every-other-week connection with the book.

Batman rules.

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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: August 30 – September 5, 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:

 

OneTwo

The best comic I read last week was Secret Empire #10.

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artists: Steve McNiven

Last week, it was Secret Empire #9 and I just did not have the heart to leave #10 out this week if only because it’s all over!

And that is a good thing.

Frankly, Secret Empire ends up acquitting itself very nicely. And while it seems, if I am reading between the appropriate lines, that the status quo of the Marvel Universe is largely unchanged at the conclusion of the story line – which we have come to expect from these events – the ride was a good one.

Yes, heroic Cap seems to be back, though he has a lot of explaining to do and no amount of angst to work through. Yes, the heroes have triumphed, but there is much rebuilding to be done – both physically and psychically.

As it turns out, Nick Spencer has delivered a surprisingly self-contained narrative. I read only the tie-ins to which I was already subscribed and feel I got a full scope and sequence of the story. That is a good thing.

And so is returning Steve Rogers to being Steve Rogers. Though some good stories were had with Hydra Cap, it never felt right. This does.

The return of Steve McNiven to finish this off is a good choice and, even though he is not quite at Fantastic Four and Civil War standards, his line work is crisp and his character work more than serviceable. One wishes he was on the full series.

Secret Empire may not be my favorite Marvel-wide crossover, but it is far better than the last few we have received. That, in-and-of-itself, is a noteworthy accomplishment.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 23 – 29, 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:

OneTwo

 

The best comic I read last week was Secret Empire #9.

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artists: Leinil Francis Yu, Rod Reis, Joe Bennett

Okay, perhaps Secret Empire #9 becomes the pick of the week this week because this is the penultimate issue of the series. I may be suffering event fatigue here.

know it is suffering from artist fatigue. The rotating list of pencillers has hurt the series overall. There is no doubt of that in my mind. Had there been one, solid, superstar artist, Secret Empire may have been a tremendous book. As it is, it has been a good one.

The stability provided by the Rod Reis prologues and epilogues has been great. The return this issue of Leinil Francis Yu helps. And Joe Bennett is solid if not uninspiring. A regular artist would have helped.

But Nick Spencer has surely delivered in his writing and the best of what he has done in Secret Empire is on display this issue. This issue is taut, delivers twists and turns and capitalizes (finally?) on the promise of the Hydra-Cap. Though it seems clear where things might resolve, I am enjoying the ride overall and this issue is clearly the best of the bunch.

Spencer understands that he must bring together the heavy-hitters and stars of the Marvel Universe as the series wraps and he does so here: all the plot threads (including the pro/epi-logues) are draw tightly together and the last showdown is foreshadowed for issue 10. I read this issue more than once – always a sign of a good and complex book – and am looking forward to the conclusion.

In a good way.

 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 16 – 22, 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:

OneTwoThree

 

The best comic I read last week was DC Metal #1.

Writers: Scott Snyder

Artists: Greg Capullo

They are back!

And I do not know what the hell is going on… but I like it. A lot!

DC Metal is a universe spanning crossover by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, far and away the most successful creative team from DC’s The New 52. One might contend (I might be the one) that their run on Batman changed the character and comics in very significant ways.

Now they are out to surprise the comic world anew with DC Metal and I am just so thrilled to be along for this particular ride.

And what a ride it is… beginning in medias res in Mongol’s Warworld arena with an epic battle, DC Metal does not break its stride for the full, oversized debut issue. Taking on long dormant concepts while introducing new ones, Capullo and Snyder are telling a story that seems to have no limits in the very best way.

It is crazy. It is full screen.

It is a hell of a lot of fun.

DC Metal #1 is not perfect. There is so much going on that it is hard to keep track of it all, but it is too much of a thrill-ride to quibble. When you see the Justice League fight dinosaurs in a Voltron-like apparatus, why complain?

What makes the story really cook (beyond the stunning rendering by Capullo) is the depth of what is going on. If one has read Snyder, one senses him pulling together many a thread with this book. That is an exciting prospect.

Great art. Great story. Great set pieces.

I cannot wait for issue #2.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 9 – 15, 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:

OneTwo

 

The best comic I read last week was Mister Miracle #1.

Writers: Tom King

Artists: Mitch Gerads

Please go buy this comic. Please make it sell out. Please… so they will make more…

Actually, you do not need to do that. DC Comics will make more. They will make 11 more. Mister Miracle is 12 issue, in continuity mini series (in the good old days, they used to call this a “maxi series”) that reintroduces Mister Miracle, the love of his life Big Barda, Oberon (I think!) and the New Gods to the world of DC Comics Rebirth.

And what a reintroduction it is.

I have loved King on Batman. Please see any of the Best Sequential Art reviews of done over the last year for the proof. I loved the Vision series he did for Marvel.

The litmus test for me in my love of King, however, is the character Mister Miracle. I have always liked this Jack Kirby creation, but never loved him.

Until now.

What King does in one dense and brilliant issue is hook readers, whether they know Scott Free or not, into the story. One of King’s strengths is to get his readers guessing and there are plenty of plot twists and mini-cliff hangers here to propel us all into the next issue. The writing is top notch. Shock follows laugh follows tears follows shock.

What a ride.

Mitch Gerads is a long time partner of King and the two are well suited to each other. King’s writing tends to take crazy concepts and make them realistic and Gerads’ art bends towards a realistic style. That is going to be great fun in this title because, while most of this issue was earth and domestic based, one can bet (from the conclusion of the book at any rate) that it is going to be a far-flung romp before it is all over.

Mister Miracle was heavily hyped and for good reason. It is a terrific book.

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