Tag Archives: Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 26 – August 1, 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 #10

Writers: Brian Michael Bendis

Artists: Alex Maleev

The story of Victor Von Doom trying to reform himself and to make up for a lifetime of terrible deeds has been complex and compelling. The latest issue of Infamous Iron Man is, perhaps, the best yet.

Brian Michael Bendis has, somehow, slipped from top-line status at Marvel Comics and I don’t understand why. He’s handling terrific books in this one, Invincible Iron Man and Spider-Man and he is telling stories in each that are unlike much else on the market. Perhaps one can only be on top of the heap for so long, but if there is some kind of negative reaction to Bendis that is keeping people away from Infamous Iron Man, that is really unfortunate.

This is a terrific book and one that makes me believe that Marvel intends to keep Victor Von Doom squarely in the hero column.

They should. Doctor Doom has never been as compelling as he is here. This issue has some heartbreaking moments, some heartwarming moments, some confusing moments and a cliffhanger that really cooks.

It goes without saying that Alex Maleev, Bendis’ frequent collaborator, is a special artist. While I was not sure that his style was a perfect match for this book, the moodiness with which he renders his characters works very well here. I have found myself loving it more-and-more with each issue.

Infamous Iron Man is a terrific read. I only hope, as I mentioned last time I picked it, that it is not overwritten by the Generations soft re-boot of the Marvel universe.

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

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 12 – July 18, 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 Casting.

Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion II

Artists: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita, jr

DC Metal is setting up to be a very exciting, late summer event.

A few weeks back, I selected Dark Days: The Forge as my pick of the week so it did not surprise me at all that, after reading through my books this past seven days, the next chapter in the Dark Days prelude rose to the top of the stack. The same creative team is back: Scott Snyder and James Tynion II writing and Jim Lee, Andy Kubert and John Romita, jr pencilling.

The result is a rollicking good time that takes readers deeper into the mystery surrounding the metal in the DC Universe. This issue also lays out new questions (can the Joker really be on the side of the angels this time?) and a stunning cliffhanger. Snyder has said that he wants this book to be a celebration of all things good with DC in particular and comics in general.

He is off to a great start.

Though frequent Snyder collaborator (and major talent) Greg Capullo will take over the pencils when the Metal series debuts next month, there is something cool about Kubert and Romita, two long-time comic artists whose fathers helped create the industry, handling these early chapters. Not only are they at the tops of their respective games, they are legacy artists and it is special that their work is featured here.

Metal is shaping up to the a special event in-and-of-itself. These first preludes have only served to whet the appetite!

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 5 – July 11, 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 #26.

Writer: Tom King

Artists: Michael Janin

Perhaps I simply should link to my review of two weeks ago when I selected Batman #25 as the best comic I read… all that I said in that review holds true for this issue.

This second chapter of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” is as compelling as the first. It is as well structured. It is as well drawn. Frankly, the first two issues of this arc are something of a master class in how to write well known characters in well known dynamics and keep surprise in play.

If anything, this second issue is better than the first. It propels the story forward. It shocks and it engages.

Janin and King know what they have in Batman: an immense responsibility to one of the most popular characters in all comics. They are not squandering it.

At all.

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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: June 28 – July 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 

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 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 31 – June 6, 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 #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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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 31 – June 6, 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 Annual #1.

Writer: Greg Rucka (and others)

Artist: Nicola Scott (and others)

After seeing the terrific movie, I am clearly not over my Wonder Woman fever, but I believe that I would be selecting this book whether I had WW on my mind this week or not.

Annuals are tricky business. Are they in continuity? Do they continue a story being told already in the main book? Are they a special event in-and-of-themselves?

This one is special for two reasons. One, there are some terrific back up stories written and drawn by some great talents. Each has its own spin and its own bent and each is very solid, telling a story of Wonder Woman from a number of various perspectives. Two, the main story is brilliantly positioned between panels of a previous issue in the main series. Written by Greg Rucka, the story details the first time Diana met Clark and Bruce and, though I believe I have enjoyed the DC cinematic universe more than most, I will note that this story exudes the kind of charm, hopefulness and optimism that is not in abundant display on film (at least until last week’s triumph). It also captures the essence of each character. Brilliantly.

Oh, and there was a third reason: the return of Nicola Scott to the character. Scott is an amazing artist, with command of composition and action. Her Diana is beautiful and bold and, for my money, the best rendering of the character since the halcyon days of George Perez. Scott is a perfect fit for the book and the character and I cannot believe DC has not locked her on the title for years to come. She’s also a great follow on twitter…

Wonder Woman has been the unsung hero of the Rebirth line up. Perhaps, with the success of the movie, this book will be unsung no more!

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