Tag Archives: DC Comics

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 28 – July 4, 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 

Secret Empire #5.

Writer: Nick Spencer

Artists: Andrea Sorrentino and Rod Reis 

I have been burned by my own expectations when reading “big, event” comics from Marvel and DC in recent years. These are self-inflicted burns, to be sure. No one forces me to buy these events and no one sets my expectations higher than I.

It was with significant wariness that I approached Secret Empire especially considering that, at the heart of the story was the so-called “Hydra Cap” – the Captain America who believes he has been a Hydra sleeper agent for his entire life. He has taken down the heroes of earth by capturing them, by killing them, by stranding them off planet and he and his Hydra cronies are making their moves at world domination. I saw this description and I thought, eh, I read this before. From DC. When it was called Forever Evil and it was not terrific then.

But I still bought it.

The fifth issue has made me glad I did. It is here that the series has won me over. I am engaged in this story. I am enjoying the twists and turns and I am genuinely curious as to how it will all turn out. Spencer has woven any number of interesting threads into this narrative, and I am very intrigued to see it through to its conclusion. He has me guessing as a read and that is what I want from a comic.

The art in the series has been good, if uneven. I am not sure that Andrea Sorrentino is the right choice for this kind of packed panel, wide screen action. He is a good artist, to be sure, but his style better serves a smaller book, in my opinion.

Rod Reis has a few pages here, too, and they are discordant and set off from the main narrative. The discordance is intentional and Reis’ work is very good, perhaps so good that one wishes the two artists had flipped duties.

I will wait and see what comes out of Secret Empire, if it is the catalyst that shakes up the Marvel Universe or if it all too easily restores the status quo in it.

But, for now, I am interested and this was the book I thought about the most last week.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 21 – 27, 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 #25.

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Michael Janin

Batman has been such a terrific book since the Rebirth initiative at DC Comics and I think I’ve selected it over 10 times since Tom King took over the writing chores. It is high time I stopped referencing the author of the prior run. King has made the book and the character his own.

That is almost an impossible feat. Batman has been in continuous publication for over 75 years. Story-after-story has been written about him and his cast of characters. What new can be said?

As it turns out, plenty, and let us give DC editorial some credit for allowing King to run with his story. Risks have been taken. The status quo has been altered. Quirky narrative has been established. The plots have been decompressed.

And it has all worked.

Just when I believed an apex had been reached, King has succeeded in surpassing it with Batman #25. The first chapter of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” reads like something new and dangerous and something that will, again, change readers’ understanding of Batman. Set in Batman’s past, the first conflict between the Joker and the Riddler begins with such depth and promise that I am itching for the next issue. And is that not what a periodical should do?

Of Michael Janin I will only say what I have said before: can he draw ALL the comics? I simply love his style. His line work is so crisp and clean. His characterizations are consistent and distinct. He does more with expressions than almost any artist working today. He is, far-and-away, my favorite of the rotating Bat Team.

Read this Batman. Read it now.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 14 – 20, 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 

Dark Days: The Forge #1.

Writer: Scott Snyder, James Tynion II

Artist: Jim Lee, John Romita jr., Andy Kubert

Dark Days: The Forge is the prelude issue to what has been billed as a massive crossover event, the seeds for which have been laid in books written by Scott Snyder. Over a long time. Like almost 10 years. This event is called Metal and is reputed to span the entirety of the DC Universe in terms of time and space.

If you’re going to do something like that, you had better set things up very well.

Snyder and co-writer James Tynion II do just that. The story contains genuine shocks and surprises, character moments large and small, epic reveals and emotional arcs. While it centers on Batman and his family, it touches on areas of the DC Universe which have, lately, been sadly unexplored.

No more.

DC was smart enough to recruit top artists to illustrate the book and it looks awesome page-after-page. I love the fact that the company assigned Andy Kubert the Hawkman pages as more than an appropriate homage to the work of his father. Jim Lee’s work is evocative and strong and John Romita jr.’s Batman has really grown on me. These guys know what they are doing and they deliver epic images throughout the book.

If Dark Days: The Forge is any indication, Metal promises to be a wonderfully fun event.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 24 – 30, 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

Wonder Woman #23.

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Liam Sharp

 

It’s Wonder Woman Week so, of course, I was going to select Wonder Woman as the Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week but, look, this comic is so deserving of the selection.

Tying together threads he has woven for the past 23 issues, Greg Rucka delivers the first/final confrontation between Diana and Ares in the only way that makes sense and does justice to the character. I will not spoil the conclusion here, but suffice it to say that Rucka knows how to write Wonder Woman. He knows what makes her such an important, complex and different character than most other superheroes and, somehow, in these 20 plus issues of DC Rebirth, he has positioned her anew for an incredible future.

The writer following Rucka here has very, very big shoes to fill.

And the artist does, too. Liam Sharp has been terrific on this book since he joined it. His Diana is god-like and beautiful but grounded and close to people. His character work and scene setting is consistently good and Sharp does a wonderful job delineating who is whom. You could read this book in black and white and still know who everyone is. Rucka gives him some pretty outlandish things to illustrate and Sharp delivers panel-after-panel.

This is the year of Wonder Woman and this arc will be looked back upon as one of the best the character has ever had. It will be referenced and built upon for years to come.

ON TO THE WONDER WOMAN MOVIE!

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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, Wonder Woman

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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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 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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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 29 – April 4, 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

Infamous Iron Man #6.

 

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Alex Maleev 

 

This is my second week in a row selecting a Brian Michael Bendis penned book and that’s a good thing. Perhaps Bendis is back on his stride after hitting a recent slow patch.

His frequent contributor, Alex Maleev, has never missed a step. Though I wondered if his intricate and realistic line work would be suited for an Iron Man title, I was foolish to be concerned: he’s been a terrific match for this book and his Vincent Cassell based Victor Von Doom is pretty cool.

Yes, Dr. Doom is all new, all different and is wearing a version of the Iron Man armor trying to redeem himself after a life of terrible acts. That’s a compelling set up that Bendis is paying off in this issue.

Given the rumor that the stalwarts of the Marvel Universe are about to return to the comics they used to headline, it’s likely this is all going to wrap up soon, and that’s too bad. Marvel has taken a few risks the last few months and what they’ve done with Iron Man has been my favorite of those risks. I’ll be sorry to see it all end.

If you’re a comic reader, do yourself a favor: buy this book in trade paperback. You won’t regret it, I promise!

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