SUICIDE SQUAD #20: I bought this almost entirely on Dan at Gammasquad’s recommendation, and I was not disappointed in the least. I read the first few issues of the rebooted Suicide Squad, and between the cheesecake art and the “my vagina is a clown car” joke it felt like it was a riff on 70s exploitation movies by someone who didn’t quite get why they were ridiculous.
This issue was a different beast all together (starting with Harley Quinn in pants). It was an intro issue–Ales Kot, the new writer, and Patrick Zircher, the new artist, were introducing a new member to the team, and Amanda Waller and the new team member, serial killer James Gordon Jr. took their time to break down each existing member and put the team back together. We got a good look at what makes every one of them tick, and they were all interesting takes on largely familiar characters. Zircher does a great job with the limited action, but shines when focusing on Harley, and Kot’s writing coupled with Zircher’s framing of every shot add up to a really, really creepy portrayal. I’ll definitely be hanging around for this.
STAR WARS #5: This is a remarkably busy comic following at least 3 different threads–Leia, continuing to be the ass-kicker we always secretly knew her to be; Luke still with the fleet; Vader deciding to hunt down Luke; and Han being chased by Boba Fett through the lower levels of Coruscant. Carlos D’Anda does an absolutely amazing job of drawing the variety of situations, and he keeps drawing kick-ass Star Wars tech that absolutely nobody I know has ever obsessed over for the better part of 20 years, and Brian Wood is shining the spotlight on probably the most underutilized of the major characters from the OT in Leia and showing just how amazing she can be. I’m still loving this book.
BATMAN #20: A perfectly fine issue that felt a LITTLE like wheel-spinning in advance of the big Zero Year story starting next month. Snyder skates really close to the point where comic book conventions reveal their ridiculousness, though–secret identities just exist, and shouldn’t really require a ton of justification, although his explanation for how Bruce doesn’t get discovered is only slightly more serious than “Pa Kent in a girdle.”
BATMAN & ROBIN #20: Or “Batman & Red Hood,” the second in Tomasi and Gleason’s five stages of grief arc which is apparently Bruce being a dick to Jason. The Carrie Kelly stuff is getting to be really distracting, but it was still a solid issue because the creative team is so good at showing the breadth of Bruce’s pain. I’ll be honest, Red Hood as a character doesn’t mean anything to me, and mining his resurrection for anything is a lot like every time Marvel goes back to the One More Day well only with less me punching my
monitor comic book that I totally purchased at a store.
UBER #0: I dropped the extra dollar for the expanded edition, with some character sketches and interviews with Canaan White and Kieron Gillen, and it was worth it. What starts out as a fairly mundane “how would powers change WW2″ story, with the added context from White and Gillen reads to be more interesting take–almost a scientific look at it, set as a horror story. And I’ll be quite honest, the idea of Gillen writing angry has a great deal of appeal to me.
THUNDERBOLTS #9: Phil Noto’s art is amazing, and there are brief flashes of the Daniel Way who wrote such a great Deadpool, but this series is absolutely crawling. Charles Soule (lately of Swamp Thing fame) is “taking over” starting with issue 11, so I’m going to give him a shot, but it sounds like he’s a fill in. I’d be more confident of the book if it seemed like he was more confident of his time on it.
WONDER WOMAN #20: The slow build towards the Wonder Woman Gang’s (because again, that’s what the book should be called going forward, because this isn’t so much a book about her as it is about her weird ass Greek pantheon family) confrontation with the First Born speeds up a little as we get what’s basically a fight issue here. The editors (Chris Conroy and Matt Idelson) deserve a lot of credit here for putting together a team of artists with similar styles and abilities. Cliff Chiang is a superstar, but the book barely misses a step when Tony Akins or Goran Sudzuka (who handled some fill in pages on this issue) have to step in to assist. That’s solid work from the folks behind the scenes who work to make sure that the book succeeds.
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