Comics Reviews (August 10th, 2016)

(8 comments)

Avatarex #1

Released last week, but I missed it, so here we are. There's a fundamental perversity to Grant Morrison's Graphic India work - a company focused on breaking comics out in India whose marketing talks about how "India is home to some of the most creative talent in the world" and then proceeds to hire people like Stan Lee and Grant Morrison to do their comics. And one gets the distinct sense they're paying out the nose for it too. Morrison has never seemed particularly connected to Hindu mythology - he did one three-issue Vertigo series that tried to be Kirbyesque Hindu mythology and was deeply forgettable, and he talks about it whenever he's doing press for Graphic India, but this feels like a phoned in version of stuff Morrison has done before, and miles from any sort of organic attempt at Indian comics. 

Black Panther #5

A stronger-than-usual issue of this, I suspect elevated by the fact that Chris Sprouse is a better artist than Brian Stelfreeze, but also by the fact that Coates keeps a better focus on the story, can be bothered with repeating exposition, and has a clear sense of what this specific issue is doing, as opposed to just focusing on his arc in general. Which means that the bits he's always done well - the broad thematics and the monologues about kings and power - actually have a solid platform upon which to rest and can shine. Hopefully this book has turned a corner. 

Animosity #1

Another one from last week, grabbed becaue I've been meaning to try some of Marguerite Bennett's indie stuff. Good and unsettling stuff - I really enjoy the wide variety of different perspectives that occur when animals attain sentience, and the core one of "dog loves its human girl" is at once sweet and mildly terrifying in the larger context of an animal world that has (understandably) decided that it's going to try to kill humanity. This ends up being a "set up the premise" issue rather than a "show what the book will be doing" one, but it's a damn good hook, and I'll be following this with interest.

Darth Vader #24

Gillen, having flirted with it before, dives with glee at the third rail of Star Wars and sets about on an issue heavily reconciling the original and prequel trilogies, then offers a mammoth cliffhanger to kick us into the finale (albeit one where it's hard not to think "oh, Aphra, I see why that looked good on paper, but..."). It's an issue that it's just terribly easy to respect the ambition of - more than anything since the "I have a son" scene it offers something that feels substantive and fills a real gap in the story. 

Providence #10

Loads of stuff one could fairly have assumed wouldn't happen until issue #12 instead explodes in ways that make it hard to imagine what Moore is going to do for two more issues. Personally, I have a hard time not being excited about it being totally unclear what Moore is going to do for two issues. 

Next Week

WicDiv, Ultimates, and Demonic

Comments

Roberto Teixeira 9 months, 2 weeks ago

First of all, let me tell you I'm a long time reader, first time commenter. I love your reviews and I look forward to them every Wednesday.

Now for the reason I decided to comment here: it's a rant and I just wanted to share it with someone. This is the week I took a stand. There I was picking up my comics as usual when I see the cover price for All-Star Batman #1.

Five dollars!?

That's enough. I had dropped Marvel already but now DC comes with this BS? It's just too much. Especially with the number of spreads they've been throwing in all their books lately. I've had enough and I left the store with not a single book this week.

I'll be sticking with my Image books as they seem to still respect their readers. But DC and Marvel lost me today.

Ok, I'm done now. All better :)

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Seb Patrick 9 months, 2 weeks ago

ASB was always pushed all along as a "premium" book, though, no? It's got a higher page count - the main story is normal length and then there's a backup story too.

Given that all the other DC Rebirth stuff so far has been $2.99 for every issue, I think they're doing alright price-wise (I mean, within the confines of what's considered acceptable pricing for comics at the moment, which is generally too high anyway, especially on digital).

Also, while I'm here, question for Phil: didn't you say you were trying all new Image #1s? In which case, whither Kill or Be Killed?

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Comment deleted 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Robert 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Any interest in doing Christopher Priest's DEATHSTROKE? I don't know what your opinions are on Priest in general, but the first issue has already staked out some fascinating territory (linking Deathstroke's employment as a mercenary to his being a horrible father)

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Phil Sandifer 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought about it; I loved Priest's Black Panther and am happy he's finally getting work that meets his entirely reasonable stipulation of "you know I don't have to just write black characters, right?" But I'm just so utterly jaded on DC right now; I mean, I dropped Rucka's Wonder Woman. That doesn't augur well for anything else from the company.

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Robert 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Sorry, spur of the moment I had Paypalled you money to cover DEATHSTROKE: REBIRTH before I saw your response. Feel free to review that or use the $ to cover something else you are curious in.

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Phil Sandifer 9 months, 2 weeks ago

No, no, that's totally fine - I will have a look at it. I'm certainly interested enough to spend free money on it. :)

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Eric Gimlin 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh, good. You saved me having to do it.

I felt the first issue of Deathstroke was a little hard to get a grip on, given only 20 pages. And, of course, Priest was in his classic "Pulp Fiction on Rewind" storytelling mode. But it certainly makes me want to read more; and the very concept of an ongoing book by Priest makes me extremely happy.

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