Perfectly serviceable cop-horror story, and competently executed, but painfully by the numbers. The main character sells his soul to demons, which is a perfectly good hook, but it’s all executed so quickly that there’s no room to make him interesting before that, and Sebela is stuck establishing him entirely in terms of cliches. The big turning point when a demon shows up to offer him a deal on page thirteen should probably have been the cliffhanger. Still, if demons and cops is a genre setup you like, this’ll probably satisfy.
The Ultimates #10
As with the last issue, a bit of a mess between the brilliant art of Kenneth Rocafort and the bland and lumpy faces of the guest artist who does half the work on this issue. And it’s a bit of a mess with Civil War II. But Ms. America kicks ass and takes names, Black Panther gets a genuinely hilarious moment, and Al Ewing remains entertaining. Still, this is not a great stretch of this book, I fear.
Deathstroke Rebirth #1
Came out last week, and paid for by a reader. Nice to see that Priest’s still got it after frankly too many years out of the game due to his (entirely reasonable) desire to be offered something other than books about black people. His inclination towards non-chronological storytelling doesn’t quite do him any favors here, though, and the occasional muddy plotting his work can suffer from is alas in full swing. Still, this is smart and well-characterized, and probably the best book of DC Rebirth so far. I’ll probably check out another issue or two.
The Black Monday Murders #1
Also from last week, and not at all sure how I missed it. It’s a Hickman #1, so massively long on promise, absolutely pregnant with insinuation and ideas, and clearly with the potential to be one of the most briliant things ever. One expects, being a Hickman series, that it will instead either go completely off the rails or simply stop coming out entirely after three issues, but this left my brain absolutely fizzing after reading it, and I intend to enjoy the hell out of the ride while it’s still quasi-functional.
The Wicked + The Divine #22
Well I think we all expected the end of Rising Action to be mind-blowing, but it also turns out to be heart-stopping and gut-wrenching. And the other panels are brilliant too. I’m starting to regret the enthusiasm I showed for the early issues, because I’m not sure I left room for my critical assessment of this comic to grow and emcompass the range of what it can and does do. Fun game: immediately after reading the final panel of this issue, go back and look at Laura’s first appearance in #1. Then try to wrap your head around the fact that we’re only at about the halfway point of the series, and there’s presumably just as much character development to go. Meanwhile, the next arc looks set to tackle big ideas I’m massively invested in. Fuck yeah.
Looks like we’ve got an issue of Deathstroke to try out, Chew, Snotgirl, an Image #1 in Lake of Fire, and, over at Marvel, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, New Avengers, Nighthawk, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat, and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. So that’s a big week.