Comics Reviews (10/23/14)
And at long last, we’re back. As ever, in ranked order, best of the week at the end, with the caveat that I liked everything enough to pay money for it. And I just trimmed my pull account by 25%, so that means I like everything that little bit more. Or that it’s nearly finished. Would have picked up AXIS #3, but ended up not actually picking my own books up today, and forgot to ask Jill to grab it from the rack. I bet I wouldn’t have liked it, though. I didn’t like the first two.
The Amazing Spider-Man #8
I’ve not been loving this title since it came back, and it almost got cut, but I’ll give it at least through Spider-Verse. So, six more issues, apparently. This at least has Ms. Marvel in it, which improves anything.
The Unwritten Apocalypse #10
As I have often said, I am sure this will all ready very nicely as a collected edition, much like the same team’s run on Lucifer did. There too, I bought the comic for years after I no longer had the faintest clue what the fuck was going on, but read it all in the end and enjoyed it. Here, I even sort of can remember the plot issue to issue, so it must be even better, right?
The Multiversity: The Just #1
The long-awaited return of Bloodwynd. Past that, this is a fun little romp through a particular corner of DC’s history, but I admit, I found myself looking forward to the ending – this felt like it moved rather slowly. More broadly, Multiversity isn’t quite fitting together for me yet. Though at this stage, neither was Seven Soldiers, so the jury’s still out. But thus far… this feels a bit flat.
Not a ton of movement in this one – we spend most of it rejecting what is, to my mind, a fairly uninspiring theory anyway, namely that of European soccer hooliganism coming to America. I like the cross-team rivalry PI dynamic, though, and I trust Rucka. A slow second issue isn’t a major problem. And even when slow, this book is a lot of fun.
An issue of characterization between major plot swings, held up somewhat by the fact that Malcolm is playing his cards so close to the chest that it’s impossible to actually know what’s going on. We’re in a passive role watching puzzle pieces slot into place, which is fine, but I doubt can be sustained over an entire arc. We’ll see, I suppose, bot whether Rucka tries to, and whether it works.
So, we know this is building to Secret Wars, which is almost disappointing, inasmuch as it means it’s not building towards the end of a story. But two months into this timejump, Hickman is spinning the plates well. The inherent mystery about what goes in the gap between these books and the present-day of Marvel works well. I like the twist with Sue Storm. All in all, this is quite solid. Much like Lazarus, it’s an exercise in watching puzzle pieces slot into place. Unlike Lazarus, there’s punching.
The Wicked + The Divine #5
There’s a lot to be written here. But I’m strangely tempted not to write any of it. There’s a twist-here.
It’s a good one, and not what I expected, but clearly better than what I expected. Gillen takes the less obvious route, and it’s surely going to be more interesting for it.
Much of what this book is and how it means to be has been held back for this issue. It’s very much a first act, and not just a first arc. Or, to fit more in the book’s milieu, the opening song at a concert. As a song, it started very strong, it’s ending very strong, and the middle’s kicked some ass too.
So with this, we finally start to see what sort of book this is going to be. And the answer is… well. Hm. It has, I think, the most interesting conception of the devil I’ve seen in some time. It has something very interesting to say about what it means to make art, and it’s holding off on saying it in a way that’s genuinely suspenseful. It has beautiful characterization.
I’m being terribly vague. I should give at least one spoiler. Here:
“I’m the Devil herself. I never expected forgiveness” is, I suspect, the most beautiful lie that Lucifer has ever told.
The first five issues of this are out in trade paperback next month. $10. Called The Faust Act.
You should buy it. If you like “the sort of stuff we like here,” you should really buy it. It’s a major comics work. It’s important It’s very good. I’m very, very in love.
October 23, 2014 @ 12:26 am
I've no idea if it was a direct influence on WicDiv or not, but someone, and by someone I probably mean you, really needs to write an essay on the impact of Game Of Thrones on serial storytelling: it's EVERYWHERE, and I have only the barest knowledge of it. And a lot of it is the liberating effect of – hard to say this without spoilers – surprising major developments for characters you weren't expecting them to happen to.
Anyway, yes. Love it.
Re. Secret Wars – I wish I didn't know that's what it was leading up to, too. I feel cheated out of the simple but very real geeky buzz of the "OMG of COURSE it's the Beyonder" moment, as the clues have been there (assuming, of course, it IS him).
October 23, 2014 @ 1:49 am
Ah, you have said the critical magical words in regards to WicDiv: "trade paperback." Consider my attention now fully gotten.
October 23, 2014 @ 8:38 pm
part of the problem with stumptown is that, essentially ,is that its going to be written for the trades. which is not wrong, just a problem with the single issues. i loves me some rucka, but the writing and the art come up against a format issue that is not going to go away.
October 23, 2014 @ 8:50 pm
Multiversity also seemed a bit flat to me, as well. Not bad, but… it did too good a job of recreating the hollowness of the magazines the cover was riffing on? (Insert obligatory claim that I only ever look at that sort of magazine in my dentist's waiting room here.)
WicDev was amazing once again, of course. I think it may have played the "put the title of the issue on the last page" trick better than any other comic I've ever read… and I've read a lot of comics.