Three to go.
Good, competent stuff. I’m still not sure the non-chronological storytelling has a point as opposed to just being a thing Priest likes to do, but it’s at least a better way to introduce an important “old friend” character than many approaches in comics. Unless Wintergreen’s a longstanding supporting character; it’s not like I know Deathstroke’s supporting cast well. But still, Priest is working to introduce him, and the non-chronological story helps with that, even as it leaves the actual status quo of this book a bit muddy. This hasn’t grabbed me yet as such, but I’ll persist for an arc or so.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #10
A frustratingly unfocused issue that sutures two half-issues together without much in the way of payoff or connection. Still good, as this book always is, but an obviously lesser issue that ends up feeling like it’s wasting a Ms. Marvel guest-slot, which, as I think about it, is probably the thing that’s most knocking this down towards the bottom of the list this week.
Has the typical second issue problems of a modern comic, which is to say that it’s mainly tasked with fixing the problems that crafting a coherent and catchy first issue has created for the overall arc, which typically means going “right, so instead of paying off that cliffhanger we’re going to take a step back and fill in details.” And complaints that the book is mean-spirited about fashion blogging have a few more teeth after this one than they did after the first, although I still have a good amount of faith in O’Malley such that I’m willing to assume loving satire. Still, this is good, interesting stuff that I’m going to at least read a full arc of.
New Avengers #15
Al Ewing in his finest form, paying off scads of earlier stuff in inventive and unexpected ways while remaining funny and full of good character moments in the present. This is the sort of book that makes sure if it’s going to randomly bring in Warlock for a guest spot then Warlock is going to get to appear in a heartbreaking scene and also get to do a Warlockified “do you feel lucky punk” at the book’s opener. This is not a book invested in offering particularly deep pleasures, but it remains the book that most feels like my idea of what reading Marvel comics is meant to feel like, and that’s always welcome.
Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #9
There’s a delightful slowness to the structure of this book – a willingness to spend time on the human moments just being goofy before getting to the nominal plot. So much of this consists of the characters converging at a karaoke night, and it’s scintillating. Eventually the plot shows up and is also good, in part because Leth is focused enough to make sure that the long setup actually feeds into the plot and keeps all her plates spinning, avoiding a Bendis-esque “and now for the one panel in which the thing we put on the cover shows up” bit of bullshit. The result is a book you reach the end of and think “man, that was fun.”
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11
A comic in which Squirrel Girl beats up a variety of dream-versions of supervillains using basic computer science concepts and occasional basic knowledge of the Marvel Universe. As fun as that sounds.
Lake of Fire #1
Sharp medieval horror that uses an expanded first issue to get away with the sort of slow and steady characterization that’s hard to do in comics these days. Clear and effective art and a good mix of stock tropes (or at least Game of Thrones tropes) and unexpected swerves. Another win for my “try Image #1s” policy – really looking forward to seeing where this goes.
This book is attempting some fascinating stuff, dealing very seriously with urban violence and revolutionary themes while also being long on meta-textual humor and a giddy luridness. It’s selling something ridiculously crap like 13k an issue (admittedly better than Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat), so it’s clearly not long for this world and going to be completely forgotten, but man, it’s got that weird and pathological energy that just makes a comic spark in a given era. Seriously, enjoy this thing while you can, because the world’s going to be a sadder place when it’s gone.
Going to pass on an Image #1 as it appears to be a crossover series from some previous Top Cow stuff, which leaves Lazarus and Ms. Marvel. One suspects the ranking next week is going to be guessable.