Comics Reviews (December 30th, 2015)

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A surprising Marvel-free week.

Lazarus #31

Frustrating; I enjoyed most of this issue, which was a well-done play on fog of war in which we see a fight play out from the perspective of the boots on the ground and the people in the ops room, each with limited perspectives on the action. Great stuff. But the cliffhanger is 100% pure inscrutability for me. Is there a time jump? If so, why does this two page time jump serve as a cliffhanger and not the seemingly much more gripping events of the previous few scenes? Who is “her” in the immediately prior scene? I can find no setup for any of this in the issue. Perhaps it’s in some prior issue long buried in my stacks of comics, but yeah. Frustrating.

James Bond: Vargr #3

Ellis is in “make most of the book an action sequence” mode, which is not my favorite Ellis mode, and the action sequence in question - a fairly straightforward shootout in a warehouse - hardly merits the attention lavished within a book in which not a ton actually happens for the nominal protagonist even as things shift around him. Fine and entertaining, but not a particularly memorable issue.

Black Magick #3

I’m intrigued by the worldbuilding here, which is inclined to hold off on much in the way of explanations of how the book’s view of magic works. Broadly speaking the answer seems to be “Wicca only with more explosions,” which is fine, but it sits on a weird cusp between not needing to be explained and being mysterious. Still, this was a great deal of fun. Nicola Scott turns out reliably gorgeous art, and Rucka writes excellent cops. I wish this would put more cards on the table of one sort or another, but I’m enjoying it a lot.

Mercury Heat #6

The first arc of this ends, and at this point what it’s doing feels properly clear and exciting. Not entirely sure I like the ending, more as a “how this sets up interesting things for the future” than in terms of effectiveness on its own; Luiza’s final decision is interesting and in character, but also one of those things that delays rather than advances the plot. But on the whole, a funny and smart book. Love the themes of colonialism introduced this issue. Good stuff, and I’m glad Gillen fits weird Avatar work like this into his schedule.

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