Tag Archives: Comic Book Review of the Week

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 31 – June 6, 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

Batman #24.

Writer: Tom King

Artist: David Finch

Batman has been a very solid book throughout the New 52 and Rebirth publishing eras. DC has wisely entrusted it primarily to two stellar writers, Scott Snyder and Tom King. When King took over the book, it seemed that he was following a thematic and structural path set out by Snyder but, in recent arcs, King has illustrated a new found deftness and confidence that is distinct from Snyder’s tone and exciting to read.

He’s been paired with a number of amazing artists who have alternated on the arcs of the book. This issue belongs to David Finch and Clay Mann and, while I believe Mann’s work is a better match for the tighter illustrations of Michel Janin than Finch’s, the combination works in this issue with Finch and Mann going back-and-forth on thematic parts of the story.

Finch is one of the top ten pencillers in comics and, while I have found his line work inconsistent in past issues, he delivers for Batman #24. Matching the tone of the writing, Finch layers on detail in quieter panels while shifting into solid action when the story calls for it. Mann has a sleek approach that I really like and his parts of the narrative deal very much with the emotions of the characters which he conveys extremely well. The two deliver artwork up to the impressive and important caliber of the story.

King’s pacing through the his storylines on the book has been extremely drawn out and decompressed. That fact has led to critiques of the book but, when long story threads play out the way they do in Batman #24, I cannot see why anyone would complain. Tying up loose ends from at least three prior arcs, King writes a powerful issue and, if the promise of the last page is realized, one that could actually alter the status quo of Batman for some time to come.

That cannot be said of every Batman story.

King understands his character and has made him a bit more accessible, a bit more human and a bit more… dare I say, fun.

It is interesting to see how the DC Comics Universe in general and this title in particular have tried to follow the company-wide mandate of telling stories about characters which are positive and hopeful. King has done that in Batman while staying true to the gothic roots of the Dark Knight. It’s been impressive to read.

 

 

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

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The best comic I read last week was

Super Sons #4.

Writer: Peter Tomasi

Artist: Jorge Jimenez

This comic book is intended to be a fun read filled with the kinetic energy that teens and preteens have in abundance and the team of Jorge Jimenez and Peter Tomasi are delivering. Of the books I read monthly, this one brings a smile to my face more often than others and is, frankly, the most enjoyable comic I read. It is not overly complex. It does not take itself too seriously. It knows what is it and what it is is joyful.

The dynamic between Robin (Damian Wayne) and Superboy (Jon Kent) is just what it ought to be. Jon is something of a naive do-gooder, always ready to call in the “super dads” to assist the boys while Damian is an arrogant know-it-all, always ready for the boys to go it alone no matter the risks. Essentially, Tomasi as broken down and magnified the traditional relationship between Batman and Superman and is playing it out in broader strokes with the boys.

Tomasi must be a father himself or have spent plenty of time around kids because he nails both the mindset and the dialogue of teenagers. Give this guy Teen Titans when it is looking for a new writer.

Jorge Jimenez’s art is wonderful. His predilection for cartoonish expressions which brim with manga influence is the right match for the tone of the book. Jimenez’s kids look like kids and there is great contrast between them and the adults in the book. I have noted this in prior reviews: drawing children seems to be a difficult task for many artists. Not for Jimenez. One of the things that truly shines in this issue is that Jimenez is able to contrast the fun of the book with the fairly terrible actions of the villain, Kid Amazo. The juxtaposition is powerful.

Super Sons is great. It hearkens back to the comics of my childhood, feeling very World’s Finest in its approach and execution. I loved that book as a kid. I love this one as a kid-like adult.

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

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

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The best comic I read last week was

All Star Batman #10.

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

 

Scott Snyder is not only the master of the modern Batman story, he is also the master of the twist ending. He has a brilliant way of setting up expectation and then changing course at the last possible moment (often the last panel of a book) to alter the readers’ perceptions of his story in often uncomfortable and usually uncompromising ways. Both of these skills are on display in this initial issue of the new arc called “The First Ally.”

This story deals with the relationship (strained in recent issues) between Bruce Wayne and his faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth. While it is clearly a “if you think you know the whole story, think again” kind of scenario, what Snyder is doing works. His brings the reader into the story of his young protagonist through deft, first person narration and a couple of time shifts that keep the reader guessing.

Snyder seems to be looking for a way to underscore and, perhaps, understand the bond between Batman and Alfred. He seems to be going for a definitive look at the relationship.

He’s off to a great start here.

Snyder is joined by his frequent collaborator Rafael Albuquerque and the artwork is excellent. The characters have real emotion, the action is well staged and the atmosphere Albuquerque creates is perfect for the story. I did not follow the artist’s American Vampire work and it is obvious I missed something. He nails Batman and Bruce, for sure, but, critically, he has a take on Alfred that is special.

This book, recently announced to be winding down, has been special. I will be sad to see it go.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 3 – 9, 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

 

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The best comic I read last week was

Champions #8.

Writer: Mark Waid

Artist: Humberto Ramos

 

I am not sure I can think of an artist working monthly currently who is better suited for her or his title than Humberto Ramos is for Champions. The energy he brings to the book is such a spot on match for the teenage characters, for the writing and for the subject matter. Ramos is not a photo-realistic artist by any means and that is just fine. He’s an incredibly talented one.

This book is such fun and has been since its first issue. I hope that it is not swallowed up by whatever inevitable reshuffling follows Secret Empire and Generations. It captures the teenage voice in a way very few books do which is a testament to writer Mark Waid.

I don’t think there is any genre of comic book that Waid cannot write. Champions follows the cloak and dagger Black Widow which followed the high flying Daredevil. All three of these books feature B List characters who operate in very different corners of the Marvel Universe. None of the three characters (or, in the case of Champions groups of characters) are my favorites. I read every issue of each.

That’s the draw of Mark Waid. I would follow him to any character.

This comic book features the most authentic father-daughter relationship I’ve ever seen featured in comics. That it is between two androids is completely beside the point.

Read Champions. It is a great book (and beat out some other very heavy hitters this week!)

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 26 – May 2, 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 #7.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Alex Maleev

It was difficult not to select Flash #21 as I am loving the mystery of “The Button.”

But, as good as Flash was, Infamous Iron Man was better.

I miss the Fantastic Four. I miss them badly. It’s clear that Brian Michael Bendis does as well because, for the last few issues, Infamous Iron Man has read more like a book about Marvel’s First Family than a book set in the Iron Man universe.

This reformed Doctor Doom running around in Iron Man’s armor is a very cool character and he’s made all the more cool when he interacts with other members of the Fantastic Four universe like this issue’s Ben Grimm.

I think I could read these two characters dialogue in novelized form.

Thank you, Brian Michael Bendis, for holding us over until Marvel reboots the FF… that’s coming soon, right?

I’ve written about penciller Alex Maleev extensively in the past. I will say, outside his typical brilliance, his line work on the Thing is truly wonderful. I have rarely seen a more expressive Ben Grimm. Excellent work.

This is a great title. I don’t know how long it is of this world, but it’s been a terrific ride.

 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 19 – 25, 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

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The best comic I read last week was

Batman #21.

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Jason Fabok

 

If jaw dropping in surprise is a desirable reaction to a comic book, color my favorite book of of last week Batman #21.

This issue, superbly illustrated by Jason Fabok who has become something of a superstar with DC comics based on his incredible detail, his panel composition and his clear love of the characters, finally takes on the mystery that started DC Rebirth: namely what is the Comedian’s button doing in the Batcave?

Billed, a bit misleadingly, as a team up of DC’s two greatest detectives (Batman and the Flash), the issue had just enough twists and turns to keep me racing through to the conclusion of the issue in an attempt to find out what the heck was going on. There are genuine surprises and developments I did not anticipate, including the return of a forgotten villain and an emotional destruction of a treasured artifact.

I am really enjoying King’s Batman and having this title take on the mysteries of the Rebirth universe makes a lot of sense. This is a great first chapter to what promises to be a great event.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 12 – 18, 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

Wonder Woman #20.

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Bilquis Evely

 

Great sadness this week: writer Greg Rucka is leaving Wonder Woman in a few issues. That is certainly unfortunate as, as I have mentioned on more than one occasion in this The Best Sequential Art feature, Rucka is doing truly great things on this title. His grasp of Diana both in and out of her super hero costume is truly, well, wonderful. The narrative he has tied together in these first 20 issues comparing Wonder Woman’s early adventures to her contemporary ones has been seamless, thematically compelling and strong. Wonder Woman, in her 75th anniversary year, deserved greatness. In Rucka, she has received it.

Bilquis Evely will also be leaving the title and, while I am not familiar with her replacement, it is difficult to think that her successor can achieve anything like she has. I have compared her work to Dave Gibbons’ art in the past and that is intended to be one of the highest comparisons I can draw. Her lines are smooth, her action sequences direct and to-the-point and her character work stunning. She is the kind of artist to follow from book-to-book.

Wonder Woman has been terrific. I am excited to see where Rucka ends these narratives and so sad to see him go.

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