Hi all! It’s a big comic week for me. It’s also a holiday week in the states, so happy Thanksgiving to the celebrators. I’ve been focusing a lot on DC lately, so I figured I’d showcase some of the Marvel books I’m reading, now that Secret Wars is wrapping up and I’m reading Marvel again. Let’s get to it!
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Annie Wu, Andre Szymanowicz w/Jen Vaughn (colors), Jack Morelli (letters)
So yeah, we finally find out what The Lipstick Incident is. Or I guess I should say #TheLipstickIncident, though that implies people were tweeting about it and I don’t get why they would. Small town? Anyway, I won’t go into it so as not to ruin it, but it was better than I was expecting, while not being as good as I’d hoped. For the first time since the relaunch, the classic Archie story in the back actually shows what an improvement the “new” version is though, as I’ve said before, there’s nothing I’ve read so far that is very different from what you may have seen in an Archie comic with the classic art style, a year ago. But if the media blitz and updated art – in this issue it’s from Annie Wu and is absolutely fantastic – is bringing new readers, or returning readers who checked out, back to Archie, that’s great. I think I’m going to check out of it for awhile, until the main plot line isn’t about Veronica and Betty as rivals for Archie’s affection which, despite them passing it off as Betty being “done” with Archie, is exactly how this whole things comes across. Call me when the women aren’t fighting over a boy, and when they’re friends, and I’ll be here for it. Or for some other characters besides the white straight kids to get something to do (besides being mean girls).
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1
Writers: Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder
Artists: Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain (colors), VC’s Travis Lanham (letters), Amy Reeder (cover)
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is finally here! Yay! I’ve been a fan of Montclare & Reeder from way back. I kickstarted Rocket Girl because I loved some Batwoman art Reeder had done, and that book was (us?) an absolute joy. When this book was announced, I was excited! Young black girl! DINOSAUR! Great creative team! And the first issue is good. We get to see inside the mind of Lunella (hee) Lafayette, the eponymous Moon Girl. She’s super smart, super stifled at school, and super misunderstood. Also possibly an Inhuman, I’m not sure. She runs late for school because she’s busy making Kree-detectors, and has to roller skate (!) there in a hurry. She reminds me of me, except for the roller skating part. Also I was never as smart as she is, but I sure did feel the feels she feels. Also there is a DEVIL DINOSAUR, who is a dinosaur! From the past? And he gets sucked to the present! I don’t know, but the art is bright and fun, and Lunella is great, and I’m super happy with this book so far. I wish it were about 5 pages longer, but that’s okay. There’s always next month.
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artists: Stacey Lee, Ian Herring (colors), VC’s Travis Lanham (letters), Helen Chen (cover)
Cindy Moon is back in another one of those inexplicably restarted number count All-New All-Different But Not Really Marvel comic. She did get a shorter hair cut, and has a new job with Black Cat (and a new promotion in her civilian life). There really isn’t much different here in either tone or art, though, which is absolutely fine because it’s the best Spider book on the market. At least, of the Spider books I’ve read in the last year, which include Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, various Spider Verse things and Web Warriors. Also I think I read one of the Peter Parker Spider titles for awhile. And Spider-Man 2099. Annnnyway, there are a lot of Spiders out there right now, and Cindy Moon’s book is the best one. Lee’s art is 100% up my alley, and Thompson writes a superhero who’s as quippy as Peter Parker, with all her own notes. Also Mockingbird is in this, and Silk has the best nickname for her ever. Ever ever.
Angela: Queen of Hel #2
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artists: Kim Jacinto, Israel Silva (colors), Stephanie Hans (backup story, cover), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters)
So look. I loved Asgard’s Assassin. I like Angela. I think Marguerite Bennett is one of the best writers in comics today (related: READ DC’S BOMBSHELLS). I actually think this is one of the best love stories ever told in comics. Like I would put it up there with Lois Lane and Clark Kent or Ollie Queen and Dinah Lance or… I don’t know, what’s a good Marvel love story? Oh, Natasha and Bucky. Wistful sigh. Annnnnyway, while being a fantastic love story, there is also a good action comic. Sera summed it up well: they’re writing a fight song for their love song. Here’s the problem: stupid Marvel says their relationship doesn’t have labels, so readers can decide. DECIDE WHAT? This is one of the most romantic books I’ve ever read. They sleep together. They kiss. They die for each other. I mean. I suppose it’s nice if that’s just a friendship, because it’s one Hel (pun intended) of a friendship. It’s frustrating to turn every page and see something that makes my heart go “KABOOM” and thinking that somewhere out there a reader could say, justifiably, that these two women are just friends. And even though I’m enjoying the book, stuff like that matters because stuff like that hurts.
Well, anyway. There’s plot. This is the plot: Angela realizes (with some exposition from Sera) that the only way to really get Sera back is to become queen of Hel (ah), so she starts the trials required for that. The reason Sera knows what those trials are is because she has help, and that’s an enjoyable reveal on the last page, so I won’t ruin it. There’s another lovely backstory with art from Hans that is both beautiful and makes me annoyed about the “modern” art making Sera skinnier and lighter-skinned. Other than that, actually, I enjoy the art from Jacinto. The action scenes are sharp, and there’s a great fantasy feel to it. I really do love this book. Probably my favorite Marvel book at the moment.
Superman: Lois & Clark #2
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Lee Weeks (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), A Larger World Studios (letters), Brad Anderson (colors)
I suppose my enjoyment of this book is just proof that I don’t need everything to be fresh and new, all though it sort of is. The story of the Superman I grew up with (from an Earth that as destroyed during Convergence) living his life in the new universe, operating under the radar, reacting to things like the revelation of Clark Kent as Superman… that’s new. But it’s an old Superman, written by a writer who was involved in Superman books when I was twelve, and I’m still enjoying it. My only wish is that Lois and Clark’s son was a daughter, because other than Secret Identity, I don’t think that’s been done. But I like that we’re getting a very different Superman and Lois Lane, existing in this world. It sort of touches at the universalities of the characters. Anyway, Intergang is after Lois, Jon (their son) is starting to expect something, and Superman still looks awesome with a beard. That’s it, that’s the plot. Also Hank Henshaw is out there somewhere and, again, as a Superman readers of the early 90s, that’s a big deal to me. I like this book, I like that it exists to tick my nostalgia checkbox, so to speak.