From worst to best, with everything being something I like enough to pay for.
Gotham Academy #3
I admit, I’m thinking of dropping this. Three issues in, and each one I’ve wanted to enjoy more than I do. The characters aren’t standing out for me, the plots aren’t grabbing me, and this is settling in as a book I like the idea of rather more than I actually like paying for. One or two more, and I may sit down and reread them as a chunk to see if the characters get better defined for me before I do, but I’m finding disappointment growing here.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #5
It’s a very good week to put this second from bottom, let me say. Interesting, good character work here. Good stuff here, and a story that really did benefit from the extra issue to breathe. And I’m really curious about the rapidly inflating TARDIS crew, not least because the book remains so focused on Alice Obiefune as the secondary lead, making Arc and Jones odd sort of side characters. Is this the best Doctor Who comic ever? I think it might be.
This came in strong this week. After playing at a mass of ugly deaths last week, this one goes in a surprising direction, with a kind of beautifully shocking last page twist that feels, to me, exactly as mean as it should be. I’m really finding myself to be into this book at the moment, which is quite nice.
A bit of a slow issue for Uber. The rapidly spiralling sense of world in Uber occasionally makes for tough going, and this is, for me, an example. Much of this issue consists of events that were made basically inevitable by past issues, so that it feels slightly glacial. Gillen knows how to mash the “disturbing as fuck” button hard enough to cover the gaps, and the use of Mengele is very, very savvy. And then the end is smart and clever and interesting. I love this book, even on the off months.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1
So, Kieron Gillen does an Asgardian take on Iain M. Banks’s Use of Weapons. I was a bit leery of this one, simply because it’s such an odd property to put Gillen on, and the co-author vaguely suggests that this could be one of those “have a major writer half-involved in the first arc and then wander off” books that Marvel pulls occasionally. The structure here is really sharp and interesting, though, with Gillen writing the present-day section, and Marguerite Bennett doing the flashback in the middle. Good first issue. Worth checking out.
Crossed +One Hundred #1
A deliciously slow, methodical start to this comic, of the sort that every writer wishes they could do, but really only Alan Moore working for Avatar could get away with. It does the thing that many annoying first issues do of simply introducing the book’s premise. But this is Alan Moore, and the book’s premise is a beautifully layered slab of theme. Moore has said that Steve Moore’s death galvanized him into doing more work, and one suspects this is the sort of thing that comes from that. It’s using a lot of the tricks of classic 2000 AD – a sci-fi future that’s not just visibly but overly rooted in the present (the characters use an idiosyncratic and invented dialogue in which phrases like AFAWK and “answer your ask”), but with the freedom of both pacing and content that Avatar offers. It’s far too early to know if this is a Major Work of Moore’s or not, but it’s genuinely thrilling to have twenty-four pages of new Alan Moore out, especially with the knowledge that there’s more coming next month.