Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

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

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: 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


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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 #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

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 22 – 28, 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

The best comic I read last week was Invincible Iron Man #5.

 

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Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Stefano Casselli

Stefano Casselli is a great artist for this new (and who knows how long this “new” version will last?) Iron Man, who really isn’t a man at all. Iron Man is really Iron Heart – 15-year-old Riri Williams, who built her own armor and has taken the place of Tony Stark. Casselli is a terrific artist overall, but he is really firing on all cylinders with this title. I respect artists whose teenagers and children look like teenagers and children. And Casselli’s do. His Riri Williams looks appropriately youthful while his adults look like adults. One wouldn’t think this would be hard for professional artists to accomplish, but it sure seems to be. Casselli is a good fit for this book – perhaps not quite as good as Sara Pichelli, but close.

Bendis remains one of the best writers in comics today and, while there is not as much heat around this book as I thought there might be, it’s more than a good read. It is a great one. Bendis has an ability to balance superheroics with taking on issues of import, topical and timely ones, and he does so organically. While topical, the issues Bendis takes on spring from character and that is good writing.

Riri Williams is a great lead character and the pairing of her with a tremendous supporting cast including Riri’s mom, Tony Stark’s A.I. consciousness, his birth mother, Mary Jane Watson and Pepper Potts (pitting them against a female antagonist I might add) tells you something important about this book: it’s not comic writing as usual by any means.

I like Riri Williams and I like where this story is going. While the two coming Marvel events (Secret Empire and Generations) seem to suggest the return of Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and the tall, blonde Thor, I hope Riri is still around when the dust settles. Comics needs more characters like her.

 

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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

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 7 – 13, 2016


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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.

I read 7 comics last week: Avengers #2, Champions #3, Spider-Man Clone Conspiracy #3, Batman #12, Superman #12, Justice League #10 and Nightwing #10.

The best comic I read last week was Batman #12.

batman-12

 

It’s hard to not like a comic book that takes a significant risk. Batman #12 does this. It toys with the backstory of Batman’s origins in a very risky manner and the alteration not only pays off, it significantly changes the character.

It is also shockingly depressing. Without revealing too much, I’ll say that the revelation relates to the “I Am Suicide” title of this arc and does not only relate to Batman.

Mikel Janin is some kind of artist. His line work in this issue is simply tremendous. The action sequences are deftly and excitingly staged and his character work is solid, too. There are moments where no words are needed to convey what’s occurring in the characters’ heads, and that’s a testament to Janin. I loved his Nightwing. His Batman is even better. Paired with David Finch in alternating arcs, Janin has proven himself to be a worthy counterpart to his more well known partner.

Tom King had an almost impossible task following up Scott Snyder’s run on Batman and, though I have enjoyed what he’s been doing, this issue may well mark something of a turning point. This issue is so engrossing and drive by deep character work that it is the defining issue of his run. While it remains to be seen what he is able to from here, this issue clearly illustrates why DC felt comfortable putting him on the book.

Beyond the origin twisting revelation of the issue, Batman #12 also features a probing look at the “Bat” and “Cat” relationship between Batman and Catwoman. I am not familiar with the events that have been referenced here – that Catwoman has killed some 237 people – but my lack of familiarity with that plot point doesn’t hinder my enjoyment of the manner in which King handles their relationship. This look into them is very well done.

The entire issue is. It’s the pick of the week in what was a strong week of books (Champions #3 almost took the award this week and, if you’re not reading this book, do yourself a favor and pick it up!).

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Filed under Avengers, Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Nightwing, Spider-Man, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 30 – December 6, 2016


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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.

I read 5 comics last week: Batman Annual #1, Superman Annual #1, Star Wars Annual #2, Black Widow #8 and JLA #10.

The best comic I read last week was Batman Annual #1.

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Reading comic book annuals, and enjoying them, is a tricky proposition. There was a time when annuals told chapters of ongoing comic narratives and they were episodes of stories that could not be missed. Then there were the years when annuals, especially as published by DC Comics, were interlocking chapters of broader events (J.L.Ape, anyone?). Sometimes annuals have been new talent showcases. Most often now, though, they tell stories that take place somewhere to the left of continuity, outside the ongoing narrative of a character and can be missed.

Refreshing, then, that this week I read 3 annuals that were excellent. And, while Star Wars Annual #2 and Superman Annual #1 were both wonderful, Batman Annual #1, was truly outstanding. It was also something of a throw back in that it harkened to a time when comics published Christmas themed issues. Featuring a collection of Batman Christmas stories written and illustrated by tremendous Bat-Talent (Dini!, Adams!, Snyder!, Shalvey! and more!), Batman Annual #1 was well worth the increased cover cost if only for one installment: “Good Boy” by Tom King and David Finch.

The premise doesn’t do the story justice (Alfred gives Batman a Christmas gift) but to say more about it might ruin much of the fun. Suffice it to say that I smiled throughout the narrative. Broadly. Well written by King, very well drawn by Finch, the story is the centerpiece of a collection of Christmas tales that are a cut above typical monthly fare, not to mention typical annual fare.

I loved the issue and plan to visit it again before Christmas.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 23 – 29, 2016


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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.

I read comics last week: Detective Comics #945, Action Comics #968, Titans #5, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, Star Wars #25, Wonder Woman#11, Civil War II #7 and Han Solo #5.

The best comic I read last week was Detective Comics #945.

detective-comics-945

 

When DC relaunched their comic book universe with Rebirth, the did something very cool with Detective and Action Comics: they returned both books to their original numbering. So, while the majority of DC books are in double digits (and likely to be renumbered prior to them ever reaching even issue 100), Detective and Action Comics are approaching 1000 issues. Impressive. The decision to renumber pays homage to DC’s vast and sustained publishing history and to the staying power of Batman and Superman who have been the headliners for the overwhelming majority of Detective and Action Comics respectively.

The new story arc James Tynion IV is crafting in Detective is called “The Victim Syndicate” and it is both clever and involving. The set up (surprisingly similar to the current set up on the CW’s Arrow, by-the-way) is that there has been collateral damage created in Batman’s war on crime and those victims of Batman’s initial villains have found powers of their own and have banded together to suggest that the real enemy is not Batman’s rogues gallery, but Batman himself.

While it remains to be seen if the villains themselves will have any staying power in the overall Batman mythos, the conceit is engaging. It is made all the more pertinent in the context of what Tynion has done with Detective Comics since its relaunch. He’s populated the book with Batman’s sidekicks being trained by Batwoman to fight the war on crime. They believe they’ve already lost Red Robin to the cause – they haven’t but that’s some good dramatic irony – and now the Victim Syndicate suggests to the trainees (especially to Spoiler) that the root of the issues that plague Gotham City may well be Batman himself. Nice twist.

The rotating art is a bit uneven from issue-to-issue and its particularly challenging here. Though Al Barrionuevo and Carmen Carnero do fine, their styles don’t seamlessly blend and the combination of the two is a bit off putting. They are both good, but the quality of the work is not entirely on par with the drafting of Eddy Barrows who handles many issues of the title. The inks and colors of Scott Hanna and Adriano Lucas lend some consistency, but things seem a bit off.

So it’s all the more a testament to the great story Tynion is telling that this was my favorite book of the week. And who wouldn’t like a book with actual dialogue on its cover! I’ve not see that in years!

 

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Filed under Action Comics, Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Detective Comics, Han Solo, Spider-Man, Star Trek Discovery, Titans, Weekly Comic Book Review, Wonder Woman