What I’m Reading Wednesday(ish): 11/20/2014

Hey all! I took the day off yesterday to play Dragon Age: Inquisition, a game I’ve been waiting for since early 2013. It released Tuesday night, and I wanted to put some serious time in, since apparently it has about 100 hours of content in it, give or take. That game is pretty epic already. It’s the third game in a series, and I highly recommend the entire series to fans of fantasy and roleplaying games, but you can hop on with Inquisition if you want.

But I’m back today, and there are comics to be read! I’m excited for some new books and new creators on books I enjoy. So let’s get reading.

Marvel Comics

Spider-Woman #1
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artists: Greg Land (pencils), Jay Leisten (inks), Frank D’Armata (colors), Travis Lanham (letters), Land w/Morry Hollowell (cover)

Ah, here we are, the new Spider-Woman ongoing. I was really excited when they announced this, because Jess Drew is one of my favorite Marvel characters. Then they announced Greg Land on the art, and I was a bit less excited. I managed, somehow, to forget about Land until this very morning, when I opened the issue. Sigh. It’s Greg Land art, so. There wasn’t a ton of action, but it looks about how you’d expect. Honestly, I’m more disappointed in the story, maybe because I had higher expectations. Don’t get me wrong, Hopeless writes a great Jess Drew. But this book isn’t actually a Spider-Woman book. It’s a Jess-focused Spider-Verse tie-in. I made the decision not to follow Spider-Verse, because I just can’t afford it and, honestly, I’d rather read it all in one big chunk once it’s out in trade/collection. So Jess and Silk are universe-hopping. The action starts out with the Spider-Man Noir, and we get a cameo from main universe Spidey, Anya Corazon, and Spider-Gwen.  Oh how I wish this were a Spider-Ladies team up book. They’re universe hopping because the Spider Vampires (not kidding) eating all the Spiders of all the universes (not kidding) are after Silk specifically, and Jess is protecting her.

I really hope this book continues after Spider-Verse (maybe with a new artist?). I’m going to keep buying in the vain hope that my digital purchases matter. But I’m starting to get cynical with this kind of thing, and half expect Marvel to cancel it in 6 months citing poor sales. If you love Jess Drew, it’s certainly a fine read, as long as you don’t mind broader Spider-Verse stuff or Land’s art (which, tbh, I was able to mostly ignore after the 4th O-face).

Favorite panel:

spiderwoman1120

BOOM! Studios

Sleepy Hollow #2
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artists: Jorge Coelho, Tamra Bonvillain (colors), Jim Campbell (letters)

Back up feature: Noelle Stevenson

In this issue, Ichabod gets taken over by a crazy German dude whose soul is trapped in a puzzle box. Also Abby and Jenny are pretty great. Even Katrina showed up, though in her first-season role of “explaining how to solve this week’s mystery while remaining trapped in limbo.” But that’s okay, better than getting kidnapped and impregnated by demons, amirite? I’ve been on the fence about the second season for a lot of reasons, but the comic, maybe by virtue of being set in it, retains a lot of the feel of the first season.  Also I love Coelho’s art. I think this is a great book for any Sleepy Hollow fan.

Favorite panel:

sleepy1120

DC Comics

Supergirl #36
Writers: K. Perkins & Mike Johnson
Artists: Emanuela Lupacchino (pencils), Ray McCarthy (inks), HiFi (colors), Dezi Sienty (letters), Lupacchino w/Dan Brown (cover)

I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with Supergirl over the past three years. I like the character a lot, and have really enjoyed a lot of the twists they’ve done on her history and personality for the new52. She was a Red Lantern recently, and as much as I liked that idea, I didn’t feel like following two books to keep up with her story. But they announced a new creative team and a new direction for the book and, not gonna lie, Space Academy for Super Teens is basically right up my alley. Though they’re more like twenty-somethings? Not sure, the point is, let’s do this. In this issue, Kara is trying to live amongst humans, working as a barista and doing human things like laundry. Clark goes to visit her and they have a tense talk, and Clark’s beard is glorious, as it has been since he came back from the SuperDoomsday thing. I appreciate that Clark’s having a crisis of Superfaith, but boy can he be preachy about it. Maybe Kara’s fine, dude! Sure, she tore up a lot of the galaxy, but not everyone has your Superangst! Anywho, she gets abducted up into space, where her full Kryptonian armor kicks in and, boy, is it a way cooler costume than her normal one. But whatever. She passes some tests regarding her powers, then is offered a spot in the Crucible Academy for Gifted Students.

Favorite panel:

supergirl1120

Superman/Wonder Woman #13
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Doug Mahnke (pencils), Jamie Mendoza (inks), Don HO (inks pp. 14-15), Tomeu Morey (colors), Calos M. Mangual (letters)

Um. So here’s the thing. I’ve really enjoyed this book. I’ve never been against their relationship, preferring to keep an open mind and accept some of the changes that happen after seventy-five years of comic writing. Personal opinion on that last one, I understand the criticisms of the book but, once I read it, I really felt that it was a great, solid entry into the Clark and Diana lore (both separately and as a couple). Soule was a great writer for the two of them, and managed to capture these iconic characters in a way that I thought enriched them without skimping on the superheroics necessary for a Big Two book. I thought I’d stick through on the creative change, because I like to give new teams a shot. It’s worked out really well on things like Action Comics and Batwoman, so.

No such luck here. This is the most unlikeable Diana I have ever read. Is she infected by some sort of Jerk Virus? She’s mad at Clark for pretty much everything ever in this, she doesn’t like giving cabs away to people (including an old woman?!), and if this were the Marvel universe I would seriously think she’s a Skrull. Are they making her terrible so Clark looks better? But why? I don’t get it. And to be honest, I’m so turned off by it that I don’t care to read the next issue and find out.

Favorite panel:

supesww1120

Batwoman #36
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artists: Georges Jeanty (pencils), Karl Story (inks), Guy Major (colors), Todd Klein (letters), Rafael Albuquerque (cover)

Hey, speaking of books that ended up doing alright despite a creative change! It’s Batwoman! Remember last month, when I expressed annoyance with the in media res Batwoman and the Outsiders story? But that I hoped for something good, considering Andreyko? Well, here we are. Kate is prowling the streets of Gotham, being sort of weird and deathy, and it turns out that’s a blackout and she’s been having blackouts lately. Coincidentally, she’s dating Natalie Miternacht who, you may remember, is a vampire called Nocturna and sort of a bad guy. Also, let me point out that Kate has never had better pigment than now, while she’s being slowly drained/turned by her vampire girlfriend. I don’t know if that’s intentional, but it’s really nice to see Kate not looking like an alabaster statue. Meanwhile, Jason Blood is a doctor in Gotham who gets some sort of memory import from a dying cult guy, then Etrigan shows up at his door. Also Maggie is still mad at Kate. Fair! I still wish Batwoman were a longer book. It always feels too short. But I really like this creative team, and I’m looking forward to the formation of the Outsiders.

Favorite panel:

batwoman1120

Also on my radar: Lumberjanes #8, Storm #5

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