Wow, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve graced the internet with my words of not-so-much wisdom about comic books. We’ve gone through another Civil War, the Inhumans and X-Men were on the verge of wiping each other out, Spider-Man’s clones have come and gone, and here we are still waiting for Captain America’s master plan to come to fruition. Since it’s been literal months since I’ve shared my thoughts each week on one select book, I want to catch everyone up on some of what I’ve been reading, my thoughts on a few of the event books, and how I want to continue writing about comics.
First of all, why haven’t I been writing about comics one of you might ask? Short answer… I’ve been busy. At the end of 2016 I moved into a new place, acclimating to my new surroundings, looking for new comic book stores, and playing an insane amount of video games. Secondly, work got in the way and I couldn’t make time to fit it all in, but now I’m making time to write about the modern myths we all love. Without further posturing about how my life is too crazy (it really isn’t, trust me), let’s talk about some of the hits I’ve read over the past few months.
These past few months I’ve caught up on a little series called, Old Man Logan, which is in the running for one of my favourite series of 2016. Written by Jeff Lemire, art by Andrea Sorrentino and Filipe Andrade, with colors by Jordie Bellaire and Marcelo Maiolo, it’s been a pleasure to read through Logan’s struggles. As masochistic as that may sound, watching Logan come to terms with what he’s done in the past, how it’s affected his feelings towards having a second chance, and how he plans to redeem himself has been the highlight of my obsession with comics this past year. The art and color bring everything together, expressing Logan’s feelings through bold statements of saturated colors and art exploding with bloody detail. If you haven’t begun reading Old Man Logan, do it, it’s 100% worth it.
As much as I’d want to keep talking about Marvel, let’s show DC some appreciation for Batman. I’ve written previously about Tom King’s first issue of his new run on Batman and Dan Jones’ Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1 but out of all the new Batman books this past year, I’ve been insanely impressed with the grit and determination of All-Star Batman. From Batman alum Scott Snyder and an art team including industry veteran John Romita Jr., Danny Miki, and Dean White, we’re taken on a high-stakes roller coaster ride chalked full of Batman’s rogues gallery all looking to take him out. Scott Snyder delivers a great story, backed up by some amazingly vivid art that both exudes the dark brooding tone of Batman and the eccentric nature of Batman’s villains. Not to mention every issue includes an issue of the sub-story, The Cursed Wheel, which is based around Duke Thomas, the newest member of the Bat Family. DC is killing it with their lineup of Batman books right now and I can’t do anything but highly recommend both Batman and especially All-Star Batman for longtime fans and newcomers to the Dark Knight.
I could also talk about a few other DC books or maybe another Marvel book, but with a book like Monstress coming from Image Comics, how can I not talk about it. Written by Majorie Liu with art by Sana Takeda, this has become a book that I now suggest to anyone looking for something new and interesting. Dealing with topics such as systemic racism and the slavery effected by this, it shows a world at war and how it affects the people in it. The writing is spectacular, Majorie Liu creates characters with depth that your average comic heroes and villains don’t have, they have motivations that are forged by the pain and turmoil of the world around them. All complemented beautifully by artist Sana Takeda, who incorporates soft water-colour palettes with varied line work to create a rich fantasy world full of magic draped softly against the harsh reality of a war-torn, broken world. I have to thank the talented staff over at RoguesPortal.com for suggesting this book to me, it’s a fantastic series and a truly must-read book for everyone.
Everybody vs Everybody
Since I last wrote, we also finished up two seperate comic events, civil war II and IvX (Inhumans vs X-Men), both pitting superhero vs superhero in battles of ideology and survival… and boy am I glad both are over! It seems like the last few years, Marvel has done nothing but pit its heroes against each other, starting way back with the original Civil War and hopefully after Marvel’s Secret Empire event, we have some time to grow the current Marvel characters in meaningful ways.
Part of the reason why I’ve chosen the books I have is that they aren’t heavily involved in these title wide events. They stand on their own, tell their own stories that deal with heroes, villains, inner turmoil, and conflict between people than their own team mates.
It’s fun and all to talk about whether Cyclops could beat Black Bolt, or if Tony Stark’s genius could topple Captain Marvel’s cosmic-level power, but after awhile you know who’s going to win in nearly every scenario. It’ll be a relief to not be sitting with all your money around you on the floor in the form of floppy comic issues from heroes you may never buy another book for.
I could go on about all the books I’ve read and the events of the last years, but I’m thinking I should to wrap this up, and to do that I’ll list a few honourable mentions of the other books I liked and I think are worth checking out.
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE?
From here on out, I’ll be aiming to review a new issue every Wednesday night much like I was before, but now instead of focusing on new #1’s I’m going to write about one that deserves being discussed, whether positive of negative. If you follow me on twitter (@DoctorSaius) you’ll know exactly once I’ve posted a new review, so come check it out.