So Mathew and his family decided to go on vacation for the first two weeks of July and he asked me to cover the comic report this week. So, without further-a-do, here are reviews of all the comics I read this week (not all the ones that came out).
Batman #50 Review
The plot details of the highly anticipated comic may have leaked online before had but that does not change the fact that Batman #50 is some of the best material to ever come from Tom King. On the surface, Batman #50 is predictable. If you’ve been reading the prelude tie-in issues as well as last week’s Batman #49, then the fact that the wedding does not take place should not be a big surprise. However, where predictability was a weakness in the prior issue, it’s a strength here. Batman getting married was never the point of the story. The point was what the possibility of getting married means – not only for the caped crusader, but for his star-crossed lover as well. A visually stunning and emotionally written story, Batman #50 redefines the characters of Catwoman and Batman and sets them both on exciting and uncertain paths. Even if you were spoiled beforehand, you still do not know the whole story.
Rating – 4/5
Man of Steel #6
I have not been the biggest fan of Brian Michael Bendis’ The Man of Steel comic. The first five issues were decent but never struck a chord with me. However, with issue 6, Bendis has constructed a satisfying conclusion to his six-issue run, setting up an intriguing new status quo while the comic as a whole still does not feel particularly awe-inspiring. First, the art by Jason Fabok is, as always, top tier and he clearly has a handle on how to make these characters look visually stunning. The resolution of Rogol Zaar was satisfying enough but it still somehow leaves the door open for more questions to be asked. Additionally, the sheer amount of exposition used to explain where Lois Lane and son Jon have been was exhausting and still by the end, the reveal dragged on to the point where interest was lost. Overall, the issue is fine and better than the ones that came before it but one has to wonder what this series could have been in the hands of someone else.
Rating – 3.5/5
The perfect follow-up to the shattering events of Batman #50, this debut issue is a breathtaking, intriguing start, one that equally works as a standalone story and as a larger part of a greater love story. Joelle Jones’ incredible narrative and art could very easily stand the test of time, and definitely give this iconic DC character the ongoing series she’s always deserved. To an extent, Catwoman’s sense of duality has been a staple in much of her DC Comics tenure, as she crosses the line between hero and villain, and between her civilian and costumed personas. If this issue is any indication, this series will cause Selina to face that duality head-on and I can’t wait to see where the story goes.
Rating – 4.5/5
Captain America #1
Whether or not you enjoyed Captain America’s run as a hydra agent, this new issue featuring the patriotic hero brings him back to his roots and it makes for a terrific comic. Captain America #1 stacks the deck against its titular hero. Each sequence introduces a new villain to be confronted and hints at a grander conspiracy. It is a surprisingly downhearted issue, and one that slowly introduces readers to the hero the fell in love with before recent Marvel events. The issue addresses growing anxieties found in Americans today and seamlessly blends them with the current era of Marvel Comics. Any struggle mentioned in the pages is implicit as it is seeded in its foundations. It tackles what it truly means to be a superhero, on every level and that alone makes this comic an ambitious and exciting project for Marvel.
Rating – 4/5
Astonishing X-Men #13
This is a comic that I have become more invested in, simply because the X-Men are my personal favourite comic characters. That being said, I thought issue 13 of the series was fine. It was not great but it definitely had its moments. The issue introduces a new cast and creative team to the series and it should be a fun change of pace, but Matthew Rosenberg’s writing and Greg Land’s artwork has yet to mesh well together. With Rosenberg attempting to portray Havok as a hero, down on his luck, Land’s over-referenced style of drawing does not suit the more serious story trying to be told. I hold my right to reserve full judgement, but for now, I maintain that this issue was just… okay.
Rating – 3/5
Hunt for Wolverine Weapon Lost #3
I love this comic. Weapon Lost is truly a fantastic comic and issue 3 is no different. The detective noir story that circles around the hunt is some of writer Charles Soule’s strongest work to date. The idea of turning Wolverine into the object of a chase, rather than a character himself, is already a fantastic aspect, and the way it is woven into this story is superb. With a couple of great twists and callbacks to classic Marvel Comics, this issue is ranks atop my favourites of the week.
Rating – 4.5/5
Quantum Age from the World of Black Hammer #1
JJ would kill me if I did not review an issue by Jeff Lemire so here you go bud, a short review of Quantum Age #1. Truthfully, I do not usually stray from DC and Marvel comics but this was a pleasant surprise. Lemire’s writing is sharp and always on point and while the story may seem somewhat generic, Wilfredo Torres’ art is just so mesmerising and combined with vibrant colours from Dave Stewart, Quantum Age is a welcome addition to the Black Hammer universe. I am also a sucker for dystopian future stories so maybe there is a slight bias here but if you are looking for something new and exciting to read, Quantum Age is here for you.
Rating – 3.5/5
Star Wars #50 – After successfully inspiring a rebellion on Mon Cala, the Rebels regroup to prepare for their next mission. Unfortunately, the celebration is short-lived when the Rebels realize the Empire is making a move against them, which includes Vader overseeing the assault and relishing in all their fear. In this issue, the rebellion is finally written and drawn at the peak of their fight and Salvador Larocca’s depiction of the full-fledged rebellion is beautiful. The issue plays to the artist’s strengths, allowing him to create impressive illustrations of the Rebel’s vast armada.
Immortal Hulk #2 – As Immortal Hulk settles in for a longer run the perspective changes and there is a greater emphasis on his human counterpart, Bruce Banner. He explains his current quandary and catches any new readers up to speed in a monologue that is long, but never mind-numbing. Concepts of Jungian psychology and other elements are used to frame the Hulk’s existence in addition to making sense of this new status quo. With a twist straight out of classic horror features, it will leave readers on the edge of their seats with eyes half outside of their skulls.
Harley Quinn #45 – The best Harley Quinn comics are the ones in which the crazy character gets to be herself. Harley Quinn #45 absolutely delivers on this notion as Harley is sent to the dreaded planet Apokalips. Because seriously, how much crazier can a Harley comic realistically become? Building upon the theme that Harley is completely worn out from her crimefighting efforts and in need of some self-care, the story sends Harley on the vacation of a lifetime courtesy of Granny Goodness. It injects fresh energy to the title, something that’s been sorely lacking for some time.
When Mathew returns next week, expect a much more in-depth comic report. For now, enjoy this, more or less, lite version that still covers quite a bit.