Tag Archives: Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: October 8 – 15, 2019

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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 The Powers of X#6

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: R B Silva & Pepe Larraz

Now that the epic roll out for the new status quo for the X-Men told over 12 issues of House of X and Powers of X respectively, is complete, I feel I can begin to try to comment and comprehend. 

Commenting will be easy. Comprehending? That’s something else.

I am thrilled to read Jonathan Hickman playing in this corner of the Marvel Universe. His last opus on Avengers a few years back was gripping and awe-inspiring and I expected much the same from his take on X-Men. As it turns out, i should have expected more. I did not anticipate his playing with the form in the manner he has, both in the inclusion of intricate text pages pulling together (and, sometimes, ripping apart) threads of X-Men history while adapting it to the story he is telling and in the triptych narrative of three timelines converging into a cohesive story. 

Both are risky approaches. Both pay off. 

Hickman has made erased the idea that there are heroes and villains in the X-Men universe. He’s erased the idea that there are rules. He’s erased the tropes of comic book story telling. He’s erased the X-Men.

This is no “hey, here’s a new angle on old characters” take. This is a recreation of the entire concept of the X-Men.

It’s bold.

 It works in these two series and he’s aided and abetted by Pepe Larraz (primary artist on both series) turning in career defining work. The art is terrific and pops and supports the story, but the story here is king.

Whether this approach can be sustained over the long term and under the pressures of the multimedia approach that Marvel is taking to its properties remains to be seen. Whether I ever fully understand the story that’s being told does as well.

But, for now, X-Men is the most fascinating niche of the mainstream comic book world going. 

It’s uncanny.

 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: October 2 – 7, 2019

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 Batman #80

Writer: Tom King

Artist: John Romita, jr

And now John Romita, jr is along for the ride? Are you kidding me?

Batman is already and consistently at the top of my virtual pull list and, as anyone who has even a passing familiarity with this blog knows, has been for well over a year. Tom King’s building crescendo in the title has been ably supported by a series of incredible artists. Now one of the best – one of the legends – joins him for an issue that has everything anyone could want from a Batman story.

And the result is all but perfect.

Batman remains King.

Pun intended.

 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 18 – 24, 2019

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:

CaptureThe Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Detective Comics #1012

Writer: Peter Tomasi

Artist: Doug Mahnke

Lost in the shuffle of just how good Batman is, Detective Comics is all too often left out of the conversation but it should not be. Peter J. Tomasi and a rotating cast of artists and doing very, very good work here. Exceptional, in fact. 

This issue is another master craft in comic book storytelling and I find Tomasi at his best when writing for the criminally underrated Doug Mahnke. A taut tale of super heroics ending with one of the best splash page, cliffhanger moments in recent memory, Detective Comics #1012 continues a great run for Tomasi on this book. If Batman is the book that challenges, deconstructs and changes the legacy of the character, Detective is the book that shows readers who the character ought to be.

Tomasi’s Batman is a fully realized superhero who embraces the role and the work with relish. Scripting capers featuring iconic villains, Tomasi shows in each issue that he knows what makes Batman work. This run should receive a bit more acclaim.

I’ve written before about my love of Doug Mahnke’s art and I remain astounded that he is not spoken of as one of the best artists in the business. He understands action and camera placement and his energy is perfect for Batman. Take a look at the last page and tell me I am wrong.

Detective Comics is a terrific book and not yet receiving the praise it deserves. 

 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 18 – 24, 2019

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 Batman #79

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Tony S. Daniel

In a week where The Legion of Superheroes made a spectacular return to DC Comics, something very special was going to have to happen in another book to enable it to be a better pick than Superman #15…

Leave it to Tom King and Tony S. Daniel to surpass expectations with Batman #79.

Continuing the City of Bane story line, Batman #79 is amazingly free of Bane himself, but is packed with the character work, the flashbacks and the ret-conning of the entire Batman/Catwoman relationship that has subverted expectations and made this latest mini-arc on Batman so special and so wonderful to read.

King cares about these characters and handles Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle as complete personas. All too often, writers of superheroes fall into the trap of suggesting that the alter egos of their characters are separate entities. King does not do this. Rather, he writes them as complete, integrated, fully realized people who know and understand one another and who, in Jerry Macguire fashion, complete one another.

That there is little action and no appearance of the main antagonist of the story and the book is so compelling is testimony to the skill of Daniel and King. They deliver issue-after-issue.

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 11 – 17, 2019

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 Batman Universe #3

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Nick Derington

As regular readers of this feature know, I love what Tom King is doing with Batman in the main Batman title. I love it. And I loved this week’s Batman #78.

But there is an entire flavor of Batman stories with which I grew up that are hard to fit in King’s darker take on the character and Brian Michael Bendis has written them in Batman Universe the only issue with which is the fact that it is not titled Brave and the Bold because I think that is the book the Bendis is paying homage to in this one.

Bendis’ Batman is so unlike the current incarnation of the character in a good and fun way. This Batman is confident, funny and humorous. He doesn’t take any situation too seriously, which is good as the situations in which he finds himself are increasingly ridiculous – and glorious. This Batman is paired with other members of the DC Universe in delightful ways. This Batman is a trip.

Nick Derington is the perfect artist for this book as well, and his work invokes a bit of Darwyn Cooke which is about the highest praise I can give him. He makes Batman’s eyes twinkle even though those eyes are white slits in the bat cowl and his command of the bizarre and over-the-top is spot on for this book.

I am so glad DC is issuing these Walmart books separately and digitally now. The Batman edition of them is special.

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 4 – 10, 2019

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 #11

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Gary Frank

I love the word “penultimate” and am happy to use it here: in the penultimate issue of DC Comics’ Doomsday Clock, the winding narrative and dare I say brilliant homage to the classic Watchmen is almost at an end and writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank have maintained such a high quality narrative that the book can almost be forgiven the lateness in its shipping schedule.

Almost.

The challenge, especially this week, is that comics that were intended to spin out of Doomsday Clock – such as Millennium – have made the stands before the story is concluded and an already confusing DC continuity is all the more jumbled.

However, judged solely on its own merits, Doomsday Clock remains one of the best books of the last two years and, when its final issue is release, will deserve the kind of trade paperback reverence that other books like this receive.

It will also require a review-in-full. And it will get one.

As it still seems poised to re-make the audience’s understanding of the DC Universe, it will deserve one.

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 28 – September 3, 2019

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 Marvel Comics #1000

Writer: Too Many To Name

Artist:  Too Many To Name

Once I got over the fact that I think the entire “Marvel Comics #1000” is simply a rip off of DC’s Action Comics and Detective Comics anniversary issues – earned by actually reaching issues number 1000 – I settled in and enjoyed what Marvel put together in this 1000th issue.

The accomplishment of stringing together 80 years of history in 80 pages with 80 different creative teams is actually astounding and this book provides some of the best one-page stories since DC Comics late, lamented Wednesday Comics.

Al Ewing ties everything together with a very compelling narrative and the art and writing in the rest of the book is top notch.

In the biggest week of comics I have had in a very long time, Marvel Comics 1000 proves to be the best of the bunch.

And, for the record, I am not over the 1000th issue gimmick…

 

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