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Comics Report: 23/05/2018

Black Panther #1 Review

One for the first titles in Marvel’s fresh start initiative brings back 2018’s favorite superhero in a new ongoing series, one that takes the Black Panther to places unexpected.  Ta-Nehisi Coates and new artistic collaborator Daniel Acuna guide the character into the intergalactic empire of Wakanda, and this first installment in what already sees like a classic in the making does not disappoint.  Coates crafts a riveting tale of how Wakanda’s lofty ideals can be corrupted into something tyrannical and rebuilds the series’ main protagonist from the ground up.  This science fiction story also begins the new arc with an intriguing mystery: why does T’Challa not remember his past?  This immediately grabs the readers attention, and gives the story a sense of tension.  Black Panther’s outer space adventure  is brought to life by Daniel Acuna, whose design work for the new elements introduced in this issue are striking and help engage the reader in these new alien worlds.  The book’s coloring and Acuna’s excellent line work bring energy and movement to the well-paced fight sequences.  Black Panther #1 is a well written and illustrated issue that takes the character to promising new places and builds excitement for the duration of this new story-line.

Rating: 5/5

Love and Rockets #5 Review

The iconic indie series has returned after a long hiatus after the fourth issue, and frankly the wait was worth it.  Jamie Hernandez’s continues the Locas story that began in the free comic book day issue and brings it to a satisfying conclusion.  He also contributes a story from Maggie’s past, evoking the older Love and Rockets stories, and a short story inter-cut with Gilbert’s contribution to the magazine.  The main Locas story was focused on how the main cast has grown and changed with the times, so it’s nice and thematically effective to see shorter stories set earlier in the series’ timeline.  Gilbert’s story is amazingly well-written, and makes for a deep, engaging read.  The ending of his section of the comic is especially haunting and all to accurate of the world in which we live.

Rating: 5/5

Iron Man #600 Review

Bendis’ Ironman run was never perfect and faltered in the later issues, but the comics legend manages to wrap up both this series – and his Marvel tenure – with a bang.  The issue opens with the A.I Tony Stark giving a rather long monologue (ah Bendis, wordy as ever), which is a great way to start his last Ironman story.  It allows Tony to reflect on what’s happened over the course of the run and how he’s changed, but the frequency to which Bendis uses this as an interlude between scenes starts to feel like too much at a certain point.  The intention is good, but it kills any momentum that the story tries to build up.  As for the story itself, Bendis manages to tie up all the loose ends of his time on the title, as well as another Marvel series of his before making his grand exit.  It’s a goof form of closure than opens the character up for the next creative team to take-over, and Bendis manages to craft a script with quite a bit of emotional weight.  He does all this with a large cast of gifted artists from throughout his run on the title (in it’s various forms), each beautifully rendering their given scenes.  The only other criticism besides the over the over-use of A.I Tony is the scattered nature of the story.  It almost feels like a clip show as Stark makes his way through the supporting cast to bring finality to the lingering story threads.

Rating: 3/5

Flash #47 Review

This issue marks the beginning of ‘Flash War’ and it’s a decent start to a promising storyline.  In terms of plot this story manages to place the main cast in position for Zoom’s larger plans, and for the most part properly establishes each one’s motivation.  One can already see that this new Flash epic will test the currently tenuous bonds these characters share, as the Flash family is already starting to come apart in the arc’s first issue.  The references to pre-flashpoint continuity and the larger mysteries behind Rebirth are also intriguing.  Howard Porter’s art is incredible, especially for the action sequences and when the various speedsters use their abilities.  Over-all a well a well-drawn comic that seems to be the start of a promising new arc of the Flash series.

Rating: 4/5

 

Recommended Reading:

X-O Manowar #15:

Matt Kindt’s take on the character is one of the best superhero comics being published, and this is the first part of an arc the delves into the character’s past.   A riveting sword and sandals story with beautiful art and smart writing.

Black Hammer Age of Doom #2:

The second installment of the relaunched Black Hammer, this story delves deeper into the mythology of the world and begins to form connections with the spin-off titles.  Deeply moving with strong artwork, a must read for this week.

Barrier #4 (of 5):

Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin’s digital collaboration is being printed in five parts, each released weekly.  Relevant, well drawn and featuring well developed characters – it’s a work to rival even Saga.

Justice League: No Justice #3 (OF 4)

The weekly series leading up to DC’s Justice League relaunch continues to expands the universe our heroes live in, leading to cosmic battles of epic proportions.  Each character despite the large has their own voice and each issue has one of DC’s best artists applying their talents.

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