Monday, January 28, 2019

What a classic Canadian winter we’re having right now. It was bitterly cold but sunny yesterday so I went for a walk around the boundary of our neighbourhood. I walked out to Bank Street, turned south to go to Alta Vista Drive, turned north-east to go to Heron Road, turned west to go back to Bank Street again and then up Portland Avenue and home. It was very invigorating. More snow is forecast and Ottawa may break its all time record for the amount of snow fallen in January. Thank Thor I don’t have to shovel all of it.

What a great week for outstanding art. My eyes couldn’t believe the work it was relishing with every comic book that I read. I generally choose the comic books that I want to read based on who writes it. When I flip through a new book that has nice art I will give it a try even though I don’t recognise the writer’s name. I do get disappointed when a writer I like is drawn by an artist that doesn’t appeal to me, but I will continue to read the book. But if the story doesn’t appeal to me even with beautiful art, I can’t continue to read that comic. Monstress is a good example. I was surprised many times with the art this week. I haven’t felt this happy after reading a pile of comic books in a long time.

 

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Man Without Fear #4 – Jed MacKay (writer) Paolo Villanelli (art) Andres Mossa (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime and still Mayor of New York City, pays a visit to Matt in the hospital. The biggest point that this issue makes is that Daredevil’s secret identity is intact. When the Kingpin became mayor I thought the idea was ludicrous. Now not so much.

 

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Hardcore #2 – Andy Diggle (writer) Alessandro Vitti (art) Adriano Lucas (colours) Thomas Mauer (letters). This issue of an impossible mission is action-packed. Agent Drake is trapped but good. I love this crazy off the wall stuff.

 

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Superior Spider-Man #2 – Christos Gage (writer) Mike Hawthorne (pencils) Wade von Grawbadger with Victor Olazaba (inks) Jordie Bellaire (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). So why is Terrax terrorizing Earth again? Because he wants to rule the entire planet. Hey, why not. Otto makes a valiant effort to beat the cosmically powered villain but all seems lost until his ex-girlfriend comes to the rescue. I like how Otto uses his brain to augment brawn when he fights bad guys.

 

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The Immortal Hulk #12 – Al Ewing (writer) Joe Bennett (main story pencils) Ruy Jose (main story inks) Eric Nguyen (flashbacks art) Paul Mounts (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). We are introduced to another side of the Hulk while he’s in Hell. When the Hulk first hit the racks, he was just this big monster being pursued by the army. All he wanted was to be left alone but General Ross kept hounding him. Ever since they added multiple personalities to this character, he’s become far more interesting. This story takes a serious look at Satan and what the devil means to mankind. A surprisingly mature theme for a super hero comic book.

 

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Cover #5 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) David Mack (art) Michael Avon Oeming (Owen art) Zu Orzu (colours) Carlos Mangual (letters). A comic book artists traveling around the world attending comic book conventions is an excellent cover for a spy. It’s much more interesting because Max the artist is constantly out of his depth.

 

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The Avante-Guards #1 – Carly Usdin (writer) Noah Hayes (art) Rebecca Nalty (colours) Ed Dukeshire (letters). I liked the art in this when I flipped through it so I pulled it off the rack to read. I’m glad I did. This is a slice-of-life comic book starring Charlene “Charlie” Bravo, a freshman at an arts college. She’s a loner who I took a liking to after reading this first issue. Charlie meets perky go-getter Olivia who is trying to form a basketball team to play against other art colleges. I’m going to stick around to see if this southpaw joins the team. I really like the clever title of this book too.

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – Donny Cates (writer) Geoff Shaw (art) Marte Gracia (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Now see? This here is a new Marvel #1 that’s worthy of being bought off the rack. It’s a sequel to “Infinity Wars”, which didn’t hold my attention, and introduces the new team. Seems like the old team broke up during “Infinity Wars”. If the new team isn’t enough to get you hooked on this 6-issue story, then their first mission will. They have to stop the resurrection of Thanos. Y’see, the Mad Titan was killed in “Infinity Wars”. There’s guest stars galore and the one on the last page is another reason I want to keep reading. And wait until you see how Groot has changed. I haven’t felt this excited after reading a Marvel #1 in some time.

 

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Oliver #1 – Gary Whitta (writer) Darick Robertson (art) Diego Rodriguez (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). It’s been a while since we’ve seen Darick Robertson’s art on the racks. His work on “The Boys” made that series a highlight issue after issue. I think his work in this post apocalyptic story based in London, England is some of his best. Oliver is born into this hell hole but he grows up fast. There’s a genetic mystery that’s got me interested but it’s the art that will keep me reading.

 

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Blossoms 666 #1 – Cullen Bunn (writer) Laura Braga (art) Matt Herms (colours) Jack Morelli (letters). This new Archie Horror book should tide you over while you’re waiting for the next Sabrina book to hit the racks. I know that the new Blossom twins have been recast as villains and this will show you how dark they’ve gotten. If the number of the beast isn’t a hint, wait until you see what Cheryl is up to on the last page.

 

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Naomi #1 – Brian Michael Bendis & David F. Walker (writers) Jamal Campbell (art) Josh Reed (letters). Have you given up on Riri Williams/Ironheart? I haven’t yet, but it’s not the same without Brian Michael Bendis writing her adventures. Well, if you’re looking for a comic book just as cool and eye-popping gorgeous, please give this new DC/Wonder Comics a look see. It’s very difficult to get a brand new character onto the racks that will get me jazzed but Brian has done it here. Superman makes a cameo but this is all about a troubled teen growing up in a small town. I can’t wait to find out more about Naomi’s mysterious past. Jamal Campbell’s pretty art is a huge bonus.

 

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Shazam! #2 – Geoff Johns (writer) Marco Santucci (art) Mike Atiyeh (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). The big surprise at the end of the first issue gets a cursory two page mention before we join the Shazam siblings back in the grand central station of the Magiclands. There are seven lands to explore and Funland seems to be safe. Meanwhile, we get our first look at Mr. Mind and as an added bonus, his origin story. The art in this issue is really nice and we are left with another new character on the last page that makes me want to keep reading. King Kid, ruler of Funland: good or evil?

 

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Avengers #13 – Jason Aaron (writer) Andrea Sorrentino (art) Justin Ponsor & Erick Arciniega (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). This is the origin story of Fan Fei, the very first Iron Fist from one million years BC. She deserves her own mini series by these guys. Andrea Sorrentino’s art impressed me immensely when he did Green Arrow with Jeff Lemire and I think he’s gotten better since. His stuff in here reminded me of Frank Quitely. It sure is pretty.

 

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Batman #63 – Tom King (writer) Mikel Janin (art) Jordie Bellaire (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). Knightmares part 3. Batman is trapped in a dream with Constantine. If the second hand smoke doesn’t drive you crazy, the dream will. This look into Batman’s psyche reminds me of the time he was captured during the Court of Owls story. It was nice to see Tom explore what might have happened if the Cat and the Bat got married.

 

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Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2 – Tom Taylor (writer) Juann Cabal (art) Nolan Woodard (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). This isn’t just friendly, it’s amazing and spectacular. I haven’t felt this much joy reading a Spider-Man/Peter Parker story since Brian Michael Bendis was writing Miles Morales/Spider-Man stories. The scene with the kids and Johnny Storm was cute. I like how Mayor Fisk’s cameo establishes when this story happens. The cherry on top was the last page introducing a new character named The Rumor that made me giggle with glee. I can’t wait to read #3.

 

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