From worst to blah blah blah blah
An arc ends. It’s reasonably good. The next issue of this will be after I’ve moved and switched to digital instead of supporting the comic shop where I’ve been buying comics since third grade. I can’t imagine I won’t be trade-waiting this at that point.
Sex Criminals #15
There’s a moment, most of the way into this basically good issue, where a bunch of characters meet, many for the first time. Most of these characters were introduced months and years ago, this not always being the speediest of books. And Fraction and Zdarsky drop to four panels of all text, white on black, beginning “imagine now a scene where everyone is introduced to everyone else and their roles within both our story and the lives of the characters are hastily, dutifully, yet exhaustingly rendered.” Before, of course, skipping that scene to get on with the plot. And that moment, right there, where Matt Fraction basically told me to go fuck myself if I didn’t remember all of the characters and relationships of his sporadically published sex book, is where I dropped this book out of sheer fury. This book needs to stop disappearing up its own ass and actually tell a fucking story in a coherent manner again.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #6
The first arc ends with some good emotional beats nicked from the other iterations of Marvel’s “new teenage sueprhero book” style in recent memory. As usual, they work well filtered through Reeder and Montclare’s exuberant madness, and the cliffhanger into arc two is wonderful and sad and touching, and sets up loads of interesting stuff. Still, I can’t help but feel like six issues was a bit long for this arc, and I need something more than “yep, quite well done” to jolt my excitement about it.
An answer to how we’re winding down the Fletcher-Stewart-Tarr era, namely with a two-parter by Fletcher with a bevy of artists (Eleonora Carlini, Minkyu Jung, and Roger Robinson – they’re quite good). I’m relatively excited about post-Rebirth Batgirl – it’s one of two titles I’m likely to buy – but man, the setup here where the book is basically a team book among a bunch of second and third-tier minority Bat characters that occasionally crosses into things like Gotham Academy is tough to say goodbye to. I know the “weird like Batgirl” DC You lauinch was a flop, but this really is the most functional and long-term stable a DC book has felt since… what, Infinite Crisis-era? Ouch.
Silk #7 and Spider-Woman #6
Missed Silk last week, so ended up with these two parts of Spider-Women together. This is really good stuff – a vintage Marvel crossover that moves forward every issue, has actual character beats, and feels coherent from issue to issue while still showcasing its individual characters. These were my first two issues of their respective series, and while I can’t see myself picking up Silk (who, as a protagonist, is a little too on the nose – a created-in-a-vat heroine finding her place in a Marvel Universe that will no doubt fridge her within the decade), Spider-Woman‘s genuinely compelling and funny.
The Ultimates #6
Ewing takes on a guest artist in the form of Christian Ward, who’s doing all aspects of the art here. Ward’s fantastic – typically on Ody-C at Image, spinning out weird cosmic stuff, and Ewing unsurprisingly knows exactly what to do with him, turning in a typically fun romp through Marvel’s cosmic toybox. Highlights include Galactus literally punching Order in the face. Or possibly metaphorically doing it. The script is charming on this point. With Ward doing the best Marvel cosmic psychedelia since Starlin, this is a joy of an issue.
Ms. Marvel #6
Wilson sets the ridiculousness to eleven, then de-escelates it with some brilliant character scenes, including a great Civil War II is coming gag, the nickname “Patriot Pants,” and an enormously touching hug between Iron Man and Ms. Marvel. Then it ends at an equally touching wedding. Once again, a reminder of why this is just flat-out the best thing Marvel has done in recent memory.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7
Ryan North does a choose-your-own-adventure comic. Featuring Koi-Boi and a bee-based supervillain. Impressively, it doesn’t even require rereading to fully appreciate how it’s structured. Which is a heck of an accomplishment, but not a hugely surprising one from Ryan North, who has always excelled at this sort of structural gameplaying. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of comics structure.
This is becoming one of those comics that just sort of defaults to my top slot in a week, confidently pushing my buttons and making me laugh. This doesn’t have the outrageous high points of the previous issue, but it’s still Warren Ellis firmly in his groove and doing the sort of thing I love reading him do. I’m not sure it can honestly be called one of the best books coming out right now, but it’s one of the best books if you’re me.