So many comics this week! So many that I initially forgot to write an intro and just hopped right into it. Oops!
Did you see Thor: The Dark World yet? Did you read our Chit Chat about it? What’d you think (of either one)? Speaking of Mr. Thunderpants, God of Thunder‘s latest issue is out this week and, as you may know, I’m a fan.
Alright, there’s a lot to get through this week, so let’s go for it.
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artists: Doug Braithwaite, Brian Reber (colors)
The description of this book said it’s Valiant’s first team up, and a good place to hop into their universe. I’m a sucker for a team book these days, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I’m not sure how good a jump-in point it is. All these characters seem to know each other and have backstory. While that’s okay for hopping into something like X-Men or Justice League, where at least a few of the characters are already known to the reader, it doesn’t work as well for Unity. The only name I vaguely recognize is X-O Manowar, who’s the bad guy. Also they keep calling people savages, which seems really strange for a modern day team in a modern day comic book.
Anyway, X-O Manowar, whose name is actually Aric, escaped from the aliens who captured him 1600 years ago, freed his Visigoth brethren, then attempted to take back their ancestral homeland of Romania. Russia doesn’t like that. Apparently there have been a bunch of fights before this issue, and it’s not going well because Aric’s Manowar armor basically makes him omnipotent. Or so it seems. So this guy named Harada, who I’m apparently supposed to know, puts together a team of powered people to take him on. And also hired a guy whose name is Ninjak. I think I’m supposed to know him, too.
I’d probably give this book more leeway if it had worked for me on another level, but there was nothing spectacular about it.
Writer: Anthony Johntson
Artists: Christopher Mitten, John Rauch (colors), Thomas Mauer (letters)
I’m glad I picked this book up. I was wavering, but decided to go for it because it looked a bit like a dark fairy tale story. It’s more of a dark fantasy story, in a completely original world, but either way it works. I haven’t read Wasteland, a post-apocalyptic series created by Johnston and Mitten, but now I want to. Umbral is about a young thief girl in a fantasy realm, who stumbles into something pretty terrifying. There’s magic and royalty and shadows that talk and have razor sharp teeth. I like it a lot. If you’re into dark fantasy, I think it’ll definitely be up your alley. The writing is snappy, and the art is perfect for the tone and mood.
Rocket Girl #2
Writer: Brandon Montclare
Artist: Amy Reeder
I didn’t talk about Rocket Girl last month because I was waiting to pick up my Kickstarter backer issue at NYCC. But I read it and enjoyed it, and the fun continues in issue two. The reason that I kickstarted it in the first place was Amy Reeder’s art; she did a cover/portrait of Batwoman that is probably my single favorite piece of Batwoman art ever. So Dayoung, the teen cop (because adults in the “future” of alternate 2013 can’t be trusted) is still making trouble in the “present” of 1986, trying to stop her own timeline from even existing. It makes me smile just to think about that plot. Time-bending! I get a lot of joy out of this book, and it’s so pretty to look at. It has a cast of characters that I’m rooting for (or against) already, and both issues have been jam packed with fun dialogue and cool-looking action. Definitely one of my favorite books out there right now.
Writer: Victor Gischler
Artists: Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov (colors), Rob Steen (letters), Ardian Syaf (cover)
This book is billed as a prelude to Miss Fury, which is a book I’m not read. What sold me on giving this a shot was a preview page of MIss Fury holding Lamont Cranston’s girlfriend (who I will always assume is the version of Margo Lane played by Penelope Ann Miller) at gunpoint, and said girlfriend making a snarky comment about Lamont knowing her. Hah! Also the heroine’s costume looks like a lady version of Bucky’s costume. Super awesome.
Said heroine, it turns out, is actually a thief called the Black Sparrow. She recently stole a thing that was then stolen from her, so she goes to the Shadow to ask for help. Then there are Templars and Native American legends, and basically someone sat down and wrote a list of things that could make me interested in a comic book. At the end of the issue, Miss Fury shows up. She looks sort of like Catwoman. So there’s some witty banter and some flirting, and bit where the Black Sparrow is lounging around in her underwear and boots that somehow manages to not feel gratuitous. Maybe I give more leeway to stories like this, because there are tropes I expect? I don’t know. I do know I’m definitely going to check out issue two.
Superman/Wonder Woman #2
Writer: Charles Soule
Artists: Tony S. Daniel (pencils), Batt & Sandu Florea (inks), Tomeu Morey (colors), Carlos M. Mangual (letters)
Hey, remember when Diana was fighting Doomsday last month? Well, that sort of ends anti-climactically, but it lets Clark know that the barriers to the Phantom Zone are breaking down. Which basically means only one thing/person in this book’s future, if you ask me. Should be fun! Meanwhile, Clark meets Diana’s family. They’re kind of jerks. At least Apollo and Strife are. I’m not reading Wonder Woman’s solo book, but this is definitely a version of Apollo I’m not used to. Anyway, the god of the sun taunts Superman and things get physical. It’s actually, from the point of view of a Superman fan, sort of satisfying. I like the Clark who lets loose when he knows he can. I wish he’d let loose more often; bottling all that emotion up can’t be healthy. Also I just watched Man of Steel last night, and I really like when Henry Cavill screams primally.
Anywho, I like this pairing, both romantically and professionally, and I like this book. I like the cliffhanger at the end, and I want to see where the story goes. Daniels’ art isn’t my favorite, but when you have iconic characters I think you can get away with more. Also I’m spoiled by Rocafort.
Worlds’ Finest #17
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artists: Scott McDaniel (breakdowns), RB Silva (pencils), Joe Weems & Ryan Winn (inks), Jason Wright (colors), Carlos M. Mangual (letters), Emanuella Luppachino (cover)
You probably already know by now how much I love this book. A lot! This issue continues the Huntress’… uh… hunt of the firebug burning pretty people, and Power Girl’s continued issues with her… uh… power! So Karen goes for a ride up by the sun, and Helena goes on a chase through New York. The art is a lot better than when this title started, and there’s a beautiful full-page spread of Karen flying in Earth’s orbit. Meanwhile, these are still two of my favorite heroes, especially when they’re heroing together and saving each other and otherwise being adorable lifemates. Platonic or otherwise.
Fearless Defenders #11
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artists: Will Sliney, Veronica Gandini (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters), Mark Brooks (cover)
Hey, here’s another book that you know I love. This book is ending next month with issue twelve (I’m going to be writing a Goodbye post that may or may not make me a bit misty-eyed, pun intended) but for now we’ve got ourselves an Amazon party. Also a little romance. I personally feel like Ren was brought in to give Annabelle someone to make out with, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s why Arizona Robbins was created on Grey’s Anatomy (for Callie), and she’s one of my all-time favorite characters ever. Ren also happens to be awesome and dancey and butt kicky, and I kind of like the idea that Valkyrie is involves in this relationship as well, since she’s aware of what’s happening all the time. I wish she were a little bit older, but maybe I’m getting a little bit older so age differences feel different to me when they involve a 21 year old. How old is Annabelle? She’s got a PhD, so I assume late twenties? This is me over thinking things.
This issue isn’t just a party though! There’s also action and plot development! It’s a little bittersweet, since the plot isn’t going to go much farther, but hey. Oh, also Magma! I love Magma!
Book of the week: Umbral #1
Also reading: Superboy #25 (continuation of “The Return of Krypton”), Thor: God of Thunder #15, Coffin Hill #2