Jupiter’s Legacy Vol 2 #5 (Image Comics)
I think I’ve admitted in past reviews that I haven’t always been a fan of Mark Millar’s creator owned work. That’s changed quite a bit however, with some of his most recent work. I loved Reborn, and the first volume of Jupiter’s Legacy with Frank Quitely surprised me. Though I haven’t followed the rest of volume 2, this concluding issue was a satisfying payoff, even without the context of the past 4 issues. I know that’s strange to say, but stay with me here.
The plot of the issue is fairly simple. Chloe, Hutch and Jason lead a prison’s worth of supervillains against the fascist superheroes who have taken over the world in a massive final battle, then deal with the aftermath. Instead of going for gore and shock though, the battle is fairly restrained. It’s a testament to both creators how wonderful the battle is done. Even the most shocking moment- when an object is teleported into a character’s skull- is restrained, and shown as the horrifying thing that it is.
In all, it’s a great package, with Millar, Quitely, color artist Sunny Gho and letterer/production designer Peter Doherty all contributing wonderfully to the overall effect. It’s a great conclusion to this phase of the story. The last page teases a sequel in 2019, and two years have never felt further away.
Rating: 9 out of 10
The Verdict: Subscribe… even though it’s the final issue.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor Year 3 #6 (Titan Comics)
A few columns back, I expressed some frustration with an extremely generic Twelfth Doctor story. I have to say this issue is still a generic Doctor Who story… but George Mann, INJ Culbard, and Triona Farrell go a long way to show how a generic plot can sparkle.
The Doctor and his companions, Alice and the Sapling, come across an abandoned spaceship where there shouldn’t be one, and go exploring. Naturally they run into monsters and a secret.
See? Like I said, it’s a generic plot. There was an episode with that plot just a couple months ago. Where Mann succeeds in his story is by infusing it with so much character that it’s impossible not to get excited with Eleven, and want to plunge more and more into their danger. It’s interesting because Mann also wrote the issue I didn’t like that I mentioned a moment ago. It’s a huge and positive difference. Culbard and Farrell on art make this ship strange, exciting and dangerous. The biggest negative in the end is the issue’s monsters- which are suspiciously similar to certain soul-sucking cloaked figures from a certain wizarding world.
In the end, it’s worth giving the issue a try, particularly if you miss Matt Smith’s depiction of the Doctor.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
The Verdict: Buy
The Greatest Adventure #3 (Dynamite Publishing)
For an adventure combining the greatest creations of Edgar Rice Burroughs, unfortunately this is far from the greatest.
Bill Willingham, Cezar Razek and Daniela Miwa tell the story of a group of adventurers who are chasing a group of conquerors into the Lost World, and discover that their enemies are headed for Pelucidar. This group of adventurers happen to include Tarzan, Jane, John Carter and Deijah Thoris. And that’s where the issue falls flat. As an adventure story, it’s interesting and engaging. However, as a story starring these characters, it’s a let-down. The personalities are generic, and no one really stands out. The art doesn’t help, as only Tarzan LOOKS like Tarzan. Everyone else is the very same-same looking. I honestly couldn’t pick John Carter, Deijah Thoris or Jane Porter out of the crowd scenes. Considering one of those three characters aren’t human, that’s even more of a problem.
I had hoped for something more unfortunately, but unfortunately, this issue is a bust.
Rating: 4 out of 10
The Verdict: Pass
Justice League #24 (DC Comics)
Dan Abnett and Ian Churchill step in for a one-off issue tying into Abnett’s ongoing Aquaman story. It’s not just a story for Aquaman fans though, as Abnett proves that Mera is easily DC’s most underrated female character.
A massive oceanic disturbance attracts the League’s attention, and they mobilize to the Atlantic Ocean, where a massive storm in pummelling Atlantis. When the League hurries to defend the East Coast from a tidal wave, they find themselves battling, and losing to Mera. They eventually calm her and promise to help her and Arthur in any way they can, resulting in Mera essentially joining the League.
Abnett makes this story a true standalone. Everything you need to know to enjoy the story is in these 22 pages, but for anyone who’s been reading and enjoying Aquaman, it’s a much richer story. It’s also a great tease to draw in new readers to the Aquaman title. I like the shift Churchill has made recently back into what he’s called his more natural style, less of a Jim Lee knock-off, more cartoony, almost halfway between Lee and Ed McGuiness. After this issue, I’d love to see him do a full arc on the League.
Overall, a great fill-in, which actually will have consequences, while not leaving the reader unsatisfied.
Rating: 7 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy
Spider-Man/Deadpool #19 (Marvel Comics)
I’m genuinely shocked that this team-up book is still running. I had no idea it would not only be a hit, but have staying power past the star creative team it started with. However, Joshua Corin, Will Robson, and color artist Jordan Boyd start their run on the title with this issue, with a promise on the cover of No More Jokes. So how do the two quippiest heroes in the Marvel universe cope?
Spider-Man and Deadpool find themselves working the same job, trying to find film negatives from a roll Peter Parker took during the first battle between Spidey and the Vulture. It turns out that a gangster has hired Slapstick to do the same, resulting in a brawl to find and control the film negatives.
Corin has a lot of fun in this first issue. He quickly gets a good grasp of his leads, and pitting them against Slapstick while they’re trying to stay serious is a perfect fit. He creates some really great emotional stakes too. The negative is that he leans a little too far into the humor, resulting in a few too many dick jokes, and a slightly more zany tone than I think he was going for.
Robson and Boyd pair perfectly with one another, providing pitch perfect visuals for Corin’s script. Robson ends up adding a little too much detail in Spidey’s costume a few times. Boyd’s colors look great, though his lighting effects are a little off. Letterer Joe Sabiano deserves a call out here too. He uses some lettering techniques and sound effects to really compliment the art and story.
In all, not a perfect package, but a lot of fun, and worth picking up.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy