No idea if this will become a regular feature. It very well may not. Certainly there are numerous potential issues such as “I don’t have time for this sort of thing” and “I don’t always manage to get my comics on a Wednesday making the Thursday position of this a bit dodgy.” But hey, let’s see what we can do. Here’s what I picked up at the shop today, with some arbitrary letter grades tacked onto the end. All titles are links to where you can grab the issues at Comixology if you’re interested in reading.
Think I’m dropping this, actually, which makes it a bit of a sad note to lead on. I started pulling it because it was nominally tied to the rest of the Jonathan Hickman Avengers arc, but Hickman seems to not be writing the book anymore, and I’d be a liar if I said I had any idea what was going on in it. It’s been the thing I leave for last every week it’s come out, and I’m just not feeling it. This time we’re introducing a team of Chinese superheroes, it seems, which has been done before. And one of them is modeled on Su Wukong, because God forbid anyone ever draw on another part of Chinese mythology. Boring. C-
Greg Rucka is a favorite, with a knack for character-driven stories, nice pacing, good dialogue, and books that are generally a good time whether they’re experimental or straightforward. This time it’s a father/son roadtrip through space, with the father apparently hiding a few secrets. Good. Fun. Enjoyable. As of issue #2 it’s still got plenty of cards it’s keeping to its chest, so it’s tough to comment too much, but this seems set to be a fun ride. B+
Iron Man #27
I’ve said elsewhere that Kieron Gillen’s run on Iron Man feels like some squandered potential to me, and this fits the bill. I love bits of it: the left-wing journalist, the Silk Road reference. But I consistently feel like the book would be better if it went more towards its Warren Ellis instincts and less towards its mainstream superhero instincts. The last page reveal is flaccid. It reads well enough, but there’s no spark here. I find myself glad Gillen is off the book soon, not so much because I’m eager to see what someone else does with it as because I’m eager to see him doing something else. B-
Loki: Agent of Asgard #5
First of all, let’s back up and say that Al Ewing is absolutely killing on this book. Given a ludicrous challenge of following Gillen’s absolutely iconic run on the character, he’s been keeping most of what Gillen did well while making the book his own. There’s a lot of nice buildup and payoff here, and I’m eager to see the consequences of the climax play out. Really hoping the book doesn’t lose momentum taking two months off to do a big crossover. A-
Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #2
This is a book that’s very easy to love. Brian Michael Bendis has his flaws as a writer, but on an issue-to-issue level is usually quite good, and it’s really easy to like an African American/Latino Spider-Man who starts off his story in grade school as an idea. Bendis’s tendency towards decompression has always made him a good fit for the soap opera aspects of Spider-Man, and he’s built his little corner of characters up substantially in the decade plus he’s been writing them. All of which said, this isn’t a massively strong issue, with the cliffhanger from last week fizzling and the book feeling a bit water-treading. Still very fun, but neither issue of this particular iteration of “Bendis writes Spider-Man for the Ultimate Universe” has been the thing you’d hand to a newbie to sell them on the book. B
How do you even judge this? At $5 for twenty pages of story, it’s gruesomely overpriced, but equally, it’s an astonishingly beautiful restoration of some absolutely classic comics work. If you’ve never read it… it’s probably reasonable to hold out until Marvel releases an actually affordable collection. If you have read it… well, it’s very, very pretty. Or at least, it is until Alan Davis is replaced by Chuck Austen thirteen pages in, but that’ll only last an issue more, and then it’s John Totleben for the remainder, which is going to be astonishingly beautiful, one suspects. Rating this seems almost pointless. It’s Alan Moore’s Miracleman run. What else do you need?
Moon Knight #4
The momentum of this was sucked out a bit by the knowledge that Ellis is only doing six issues of it, but this one’s an effective horror story. I like Ellis’s style here – he’s always in solid form doing one-shots. There’s more than a bit of Moore-era Swamp Thing going on here, and it’s fun to watch Ellis hop genres monthly. One never knows what to expect save that it’ll be a good yarn. Probably my pick of the week. A
Original Sin #3
Ah, the soft and often flabby middle of a big Marvel crossover. Major character death, check. Event that triggers all sorts of repercussions for the tie-ins, check. Pacing gone to shit with a heavy dose of “OK I’ve been reading this for a month now and I’m ready for payoff instead of things that were spoiled during the hype cycle,” check. Trouble is, very little in this is actually interesting. The answers are more interesting than the mystery, or at least, they’d better be. Thus far, not so much. C