Hey everyone! I’ve got five books I’m reading this week, which is pretty big for me. I wish I could read all the books all the time, but sadly I have a budget. I even had to drop a book this week to make it in under that budget. Superman: Unchained costing $5 doesn’t help, but I can’t miss the first issue in this, the Month of Steel.
Anyway, I dropped The Crow: Curare. I was interested because I’m a fan of The Crow, and because this incarnation of the titular character is a little girl. But as Anika reminded me, I can always buy it later when it drops in price. There’s still plenty to talk about this week, so let’s get started!
Image (Top Cow)
Aphrodite IX v2 #2
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artists: Stjepan Sejic, Troy Peteri (letters)
Well. I’m glad I read this one first. I’m also a little sad I dropped The Crow instead of this book in order to make my budget. But after the Free Comic Book Day issue, I wanted to give it at least one more shot to improve.
It didn’t really. I still like the art and kind of like the concept – it’s a little heavy-handed, this tech enhanced human vs. gene enhanced human storyline – but the character of Aphrodite IX spends less time kicking ass and more time trying to seduce that guy whose lap she fell into in the last issue. And getting taken over in “slave” mode by her handler, who basically sees her as a killer sex doll. At one point she’s wearing what I can only assume is the dystopian future version of a school girl’s outfit, while telling the main male character that she understands that men can’t be with only one woman at a time.
So on the upside, I won’t have to worry about getting this book next month.
Avengers Assemble #16
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artists: Matteo Buffagni, Jordie Bellaire & Matthew Wilson (colors),VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters), Joe Quinones (cover)
This issue continues the Enemy Within storyline/event that started with last month’s one-shot Avengers: The Enemy Within, which is basically a continuation of what’s been happening in Captain Marvel. So basically, all Carol Danvers all the time. I love Carol Danvers, so I’m totally on board with it. I also love the Avengers, as written by Kelly Sue DeConnick. It comes as no surprise, then, that I love this issue.
Where The Enemy Within was a lot of catch up for people who aren’t reading Captain Marvel (even though everyone should be), this issue was a lot of Avengers Being Avengers while, oh yeah, the bad guy does his thing. Each Avengers got their moment. I don’t read any of the other Avengers books (mainly for budget reasons), but this book consistently feels like “hey, if the comic book Avengers had a movie this would be the comicization of that movie.” If that makes sense. These are the Avengers I’d love to see on the big screen.
Anyway, the book is part two of five, so it’s hard to comment a lot on the story. The pacing is better in this than the last part, and I really like Buffagni’s almost cartoonish style. At points it felt like I was watching Avengers: The Animated Series. That’s totally a compliment.
Superman Unchained #1
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen (backup feature), Scott Williams (inks), Alex Sinclair (colors), Sal Cipriano (letters), John Kalisz (backup feature colors)
Okay. I’ve been pretty vocal, particularly on twitter, about my love for Superman, my dislike of Jim Lee’s art, and my lack of a budget. So a $5 Superman book with art by Jim Lee was a tough sell for me. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m hoping to get a physical copy of this book for the Dan Jurgens variant cover, to (cheaply) frame and hang next to my Dan Jurgens signed Funeral for a Friend poster. Because Dan Jurgens’ run on Superman was pretty important to my adolescent, comic-reading self.
But anyway, Superman Unchained. See, that’s the thing. I don’t really get why this book exists, because it doesn’t add anything special to what’s happening with Superman in the other books right now. I guess it’s the “more visibility” thing, which is probably why Batman has a hundred books. In that sense, I’m happy for more Superman because I like the character (yeah, even in the new 52), and Snyder certainly does right by him so far. But I really like Superman (the title), and nothing about Unchained makes me think I need to add another $5 to my comic pull list when I already enjoy Superman (the title) and Justice League. I still don’t like Jim Lee’s art, and I can just find out the answers to the mystery by purchasing when the price drops or by checking wikipedia… if twitter or tumblr don’t inform me first.
I don’t hate this book, but the first issue didn’t do anything mindblowingly amazing. We’ll see how I feel next month, when the next one’s out.
World’s Finest #13
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artists: Robson Rocha (pencils), Wayne Faucher (inks), Jason Wright (colors), Emanuela Lupacchino (cover)
Not a newsflash: I love World’s Finest. This issue starts an arc involving the character DeSaad, who’s kind of a jerk and is after Power Girl (so therefore also Huntress). He sends mutated dogs and people after them, apparently to test their strength. And PG may be losing her, so… drama! We got a teeny, tiny glimpse of Helena and Karen being domestic, in between fights, and it was adorable. I love them.
I think World’s Finest is an under-appreciated book. I may sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s female-led, the writing allows the characters to be smart, witty and kick ass, and the art keeps improving. I look forward to World’s Finest every month.
Thumbprint #1 (of 3)
Writers: Joe Hill (novela), Jason Ciaramella
Artist: Vic Malhotra
And now for something completely different. Thumbprint is a miniseries based on a novela by Joe Hill. I had never heard of it. I also haven’t read Locke & Key, even though I absolutely know I should. I won’t lie, I picked this book based on the cover and the description, because the main character is a female ex-Army soldier who was stationed at Abu Ghraib. That sounds interesting.
Mallory Grennan is back home from Iraq and living in the shadow of her dead, Vietnam War vet dad, whom everybody loved/still loves. She’s working at a bar where a coworker (I think) is trying to sleep with her, and she keeps thinking she’s a pretty horrible person because of the things she did in Iraq. And then she gets a weird note dropped in her mailbox: a single thumbprint. That leads to a flashback of some torture, as she tries to figure out why the thumbprint is familiar.
This is a dark book. It’s got foul language, torture, sexual assault, homophobic slurs, and death. It’s about a woman whose job it was to torture people, so I guess that’s to be expected. I will absolutely finish this series, because I want to know her story, but I won’t recommend this book if you aren’t interested in some pretty heavy ideas.
Book of the week: Avengers Assemble #16 (World’s Finest was close, though.)