Tag Archives: Comic Book Pick of the Week

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 4 – 10, 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 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 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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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: May 23 – 29, 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 Invincible Iron Man #600.

Untitled

Writers: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Various

When I noted this book was in my weekly subscriptions, I had a feeling it would end up as the Pick of the Week for a number of reasons: the character, the arc and the writer.

Iron Man’s renaissance from the 2008 Marvel Studios film (the one that spawned the cottage industry) seems to know no end. Iron Man has ever been a character I have enjoyed, but Marvel has rightly focused on him and he has become the face of the comic book line in many ways. I have been very happy to follow him.

The 600th issue of Iron Man also serves to conclude a long-running arc. Typically, these issues, unless they are utterly mismanaged, tend to be very good. Iron Man #600 is no exception.

But it is Brian Michael Bendis that puts this book to the top of my pile this week. The long-time Marvel writer has decamped for DC (which is very exciting) and Iron Man #600 marks his last work at his former company. It also marks the end of a long running arc and Bendis ties up all kinds of loose ends in this one. Throughout his career, he has seemed to fall in love with the characters he writes, and Iron Man is no exception. He has added to Tony Stark’s story in important ways, created new characters that will be around Iron Man’s world for years to come and influenced the direction of the entire Marvel line from this title. He has commanded the participation of top artists because of his talent. He has made Iron Man a best seller and a wonderful book.

I will miss him on the character, though I am excited to see what he can do with the relatively obscure DC character he is taking over… what is that guy’s name again?

Oh, yeah. Superman.

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Filed under Comic Book Movies, 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: May 2 – 8, 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 Batman #46.

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Writer: Tom King

Artist: Tony Daniel

The delightful, bizarre and, in this issue, disturbing arc “The Gift” continues in this week’s Batman #46. Tom King has breathed new life into DC Comics’ goofball, man-out-of-time Booster Gold and this particular take on an alternate vision of the Batman is really out there.

And that is great.

A nature versus nurture story, “The Gift” is genuinely surprising. Though these types of stories can be overly concerned with fan service, this one is laser focused on what would happen if Batman’s parents had not died. Would the Dark Knight sacrifice them to become what he once was? Or would he keep a life of leisure and anonymity?

Good question.

The answers from King have been shocking in the best possible way. I will never look at a “meet cute” the same way again.

Tony Daniel has developed as one of the top artists in comics and he does not let down DC’s flagship title here. He is wonderful. His work is vibrant and cutting.

What a great title Batman continues to be.

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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: April 25 – May 1, 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 Avengers #690.

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Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub

Artists: Pepe Larraz

The massive crossover Avengers: No Surrender comes to an end.

I want to say a merciful end and, though I read some complimentary articles about this almost 20-part crossover, I found it standard fare at best, meandering and decompressed (in a bad way) at worst.

The choice the writers made to sideline the majority of big-name Avengers for this team-up may have heightened the stakes (Captain America is not likely to be killed in this kind of event, but Lightening or Voyager? Well, I do not even know those characters so they might bite it) may have been a good one dramatically, but it lessened my interest in the proceedings.

I did not connect with this story, though I read every issue, in the way I would have liked and I thought the writing by Waid, Ewing and Zub (and I am a giant Mark Waid fan) was simply okay.

The star in recent issues was artist Pepe Larraz whose work is reminiscent (in a very good way) of Stuart Immonen’s. He is one to watch.

So how did this end up as the Pick of the Week? First, I am relieved it is over. Second, it has set the stage for a newly rebooted Avengers title that looks compelling. Third, it brought back the Hulk into the Marvel Universe with a pretty interesting twist: the character seems now to be immortal.

This one just did not work for me but clearing the decks for the next round of Avengers incarnations did.

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

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The best comic I read last week was Doomsday Clock #4

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Gary Frank

Here is what I did not expect when Doomsday Clock was announced: I did not expect that it would be a straight-up sequel to the seminal Watchmen. Rather, I thought DC would focus its energies on a crossover of the Watchmen and DC Rebirth universes. While the later is occurring in Doomsday Clock in fits and starts, the former is much more in evidence.

And that is a shockingly good thing. Don’t misunderstand me: I am looking forward to the universes colliding, but this series has been such a testament to what a good writer Geoff Johns is and has been such a terrific sequel to the source material that I can wait a bit on that.

And, at this point I trust it goes without saying, that Gary Frank is spectacular. His work here is career defining. He is not aping original Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons at all and that is a good choice. Rather, his hyper-realism is the perfect match to the subject.

Doomsday Clock is firing on all cylinders. What a terrific book.

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