As always, ranked from least favorite to favorite, with the caveat that I like everything enough to pay money for it.
Why bother launching this on The View if the end result is going to be to spend an issue highlighting how much this is just a continuation of the previous volume of Thor? Why end this with the reveal of the character on the cover? Why have comics not moved beyond the storytelling prowess of 1970s Terry Nation stories? Goddammit.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #3
It’s interesting to see what parts of this book come from what writers. On the evidence, Al Ewing is providing more of the emotional heft, while Rob Williams provides more of the zany and big ideas, this one incorporating a bevy of twists. The result is something that feels more like the generic Doctor Who licensed comics we always get and less like what had been making this book special in the first two issues. Not bad by any measure, but the fact that a noticeable dip in originality and freshness came with the change to the second writer is a sad sign.
Moon Knight #8
I’m still not entirely sold on the turn to arc-based and continuing plotting. This was fine and a good issue of Moon Knight, but the loss of Warren Ellis’s ideological purity is just that: a loss.
I forgot the way this book kicked up a gear in Book Three. V for Vendetta does the same thing, though nobody ever notices because it’s collected in one volume. As should Miracleman be, given that it’s actually not much longer than Watchmen in terms of page count. Instead, as ever, we get $4.99 issues for sixteen pages of story. Bastards.
Silver Surfer #6
At last, the book arrives at its actual premise. And it’s fun, and exactly the sort of “Jack Kirby’s Doctor Who” feel that this book promised over half a year ago. Comics. The medium for people who resent it when things happen in their media. Still, it’s churlish to overly resent this comic because the previous five took too long to get here. This is very fun, and the better of the two Doctor Who comics I bought today. It may share some problems with Thor, but the problems are in past issues, not this one.
Rat Queens #8
No idea what the plot of this book is anymore, but it’s one of those I simply don’t care. It’s fun. Every month. By the time I get to the end of the issue I’m at least enjoying the characters in the issue. Should sit down with this and get into it, as I really enjoyed the first few issues when I shotgunned them. Not working for me as well serialized, but that’s true of a lot of comics.
All comics below that line there are ones I would with a straight face recommend people pick up if their premises sound interesting. Ones above the line may well be interesting series, but the ones below the lines are ones where this issue is worth picking up because it provides a compelling justification for why you would want to read this book in particular.
Gotham Academy #1
Always hard to judge a series on the first issue, but this comic accomplishes its goal of being about Hogwarts for Batman, and if you need more inducement than that to want to read it, I’m not sure I trust you as a human being.
Edge of Spider-Verse #2: Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman
This is a few weeks old, but I grabbed it based on its reputation. Its reputation is right. The best Spider-Man book since the debut of Miles Morales. I adore the compressed storytelling that results in doing something like six issues of Ultimate Spider-Woman in nine panels over two pages. I adore the character. I adore the basic joke of fridging Peter to provide motivation for Gwen. Never mind putting her in Spider-Woman after Spider-Verse, give her a solo book.
Man, this is great. A meticulously constructed one-shot of nuance and tragedy, and Kieron Gillen in rare form in the backing essay as he goes on for three pages in that way that he’s kind of compulsively drawn to do when he knows he’s written a good comic, because you can take writer out of criticism, but you just can’t take the critic out of the writer. Gillen’s continual self-analysis has always been a strength, and between it and his Moorean love of structure he’s really carved out a niche and style for himself that’s nevertheless terribly diverse. Also, is this the first time he’s publicly said that his editor is his wife? Certainly it was news to me. But welcome to the most significant writer-editor creative partnership since Gaiman/Berger, apparently. In any case, this is a really good issue. If you’ve been curious about Uber, which can fairly be described (as Gillen has) as “Miracleman #15 stretched out over sixty issues” or (as Gillen has not) “From Hell, only in World War II and with superheroes to provide the gore instead of Jack the Ripper,” this is an issue to start with.