Why have comics been so GOOD lately? I mean, it’s kind of a problem, isn’t it? I would say that’s been one of the biggest issues of 2018 in comics- we definitely have a wealth of riches. So let’s check out some of those comics!
Eternity Girl #1 (DC’s Young Animal)
Magdaline Visaggio and Sonny Liew have both emerged in the comics industry in the last few years as talents to watch. Teaming them up for this supremely weird, yet supremely human series, just clicks.
Caroline Sharp is Chrysalis, a government created superhero battling mental illness. She’s losing her grip on her mental health after a devastating fight with her nemesis, and a subsequent event where she lost control of her powers. She’s in pain, and can’t return to normal. She just wants it to end. And she finds out there’s one way to do it. She needs to destroy the universe.
Maggs really embraces the weird here, and gives it a character driven lens. I don’t know if many writers could pull off a character study with this weird backdrop as well. It’s surreal, unsettling and you really come to feel for Caroline in the length of the issue.
Sonny’s art, with color art by Chris Chuckry, matches the unsettling nature of the story so well. His art is halfway between classic superhero work, and indy style cartooning, which works perfectly here. Chuckry’s colors add a lot of that, using a muted palette that adds to downbeats of the story.
If you’re a fan of older style Vertigo books, this is the book for you.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy
Curse Words #12 (Image Comics)
If anyone was to as me for the best book, pound for pound, for crazy stuff, I would recommend Curse Words without hesitation. Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s fantasy epic continues to be funny, crazy, and just absolutely entertaining.
Wizord and Ruby engage in a pitch magical battle while the different factions in play go their machinations.
It’s funny to make this comparison but this feels like an issue of X-Men in the best way. While a big earth shattering battle is happening, chess pieces are getting moved around the board. The story isn’t about the fight (and what it turns into, one of the best parts of the story), but about what’s going on as it happens.
Browne’s art, with color art by Browne and Addison Duke, is just perfect for the tone of the story. The action looks better than a lot of similar books, and never gets muddled or confusing. The quieter moments remain interesting and dynamic as well. There also is a lot of great odd touches, such as corn cob shot glasses in a bar scene.
It’s just a fun title that you should be reading.
Rating: 8 out of 10
The Verdict: Buy
Rogue & Gambit #3 (Marvel Comics)
Can we admire that cover for a moment before digging into the issue? Each of Kris Anka’s covers so far for this series have been perfect, and this is no exception.
Meanwhile, inside the book, Rogue and Remy are still trying to discover what exactly is going on with the strange retreat they’ve been investigating. They’re continuing to grow closer as they do though, realizing their longtime feels are still intact. The situation twists though as they’re attacked by doubles of themselves as they realize something has happened to their powers.
Kelly Thompson’s story is great. She recently explained on the Battle of the Atom podcast that she was going for an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind vibe, and it works. The superhero caper side of the book is a lot of fun, but the highlight is the relationship writing here. Whether it’s the therapy session, or the physical connection they make when they realized their powers are muted, it excels and sparkles.
Pere Perez and Frank D’Armata make sure this remains one of the best looking books in comics as well. Perez deserves to be lauded on a superstar level, as he does facial expressions and body language as good as any I’ve ever seen in comics. The fight scene is just stellar as well. It’s a full package, with D’Armata’s colors really contributing perfectly to the tone of the book.
This is a comic that everyone should be reading.
Rating: 9 out of 10
The Verdict: Subscribe
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs. the Six Million Dollar Man #1 (IDW Publishing/Dynamite Entertainment)
I was never a kid who watched the weekly adventures of Steve Austin, but GI Joe was my gateway into regular comics readership. When you see this book though, the combination of Austin and the Joes just works. With this creative team- Ryan Ferrier writing and SL Gallant drawing- I had to give the first issue a try.
Steve Austin parachutes deep into Siberia to rescue an American billionaire. He finds himself instead ambushed and kidnapped by Cobra. Meanwhile the Joes launch an operation to escort the leaders of North America into unprecedented peace summit. Naturally the brainwashed Austin attacks Air Force One, bringing them quickly into conflict.
Ferrier writes a story that feels like a lost story of the Larry Hama Marvel Comics era GI Joe. I mean that as an absolute complement. It’s brisk, action packed and exciting. The only thing it’s missing is Hama’s ever present military and sci-fi jargon (come on Ryan, not ONE mention of a brainwave scanner?!).
The art is solid as well. A few places feel a little rushed, with little detail put to the figures, but overall it’s very enjoyable. The mid-air dogfight between the Joes and a jet-pack-wearing Austin is such a highlight.
Though it doesn’t offer much to anyone who isn’t a fan, to an old fan of GI Joe like myself, it’s a fantastic story.
Rating: 7 out of 10
The Verdict: Must-buy if a fan of either property
Detective Comics #976 (DC Comics)
James Tynion begins tying up the loose ends of his Detective Comics run, as the heroes continue to deal with the death of Clayface. While the heroes remaining in Gotham continue to deal with their grief, Batwoman and her team continue their mission forward.
This first chapter of the concluding arc is a lot of place-setting, but Tynion keeps that place setting interesting. We deal with the fallout of what happened to Clayface. We see what Kate Kane and the Colony has been building. We see Tim Drake start to fall apart a bit. It’s all fascinating and captivating, and as the reader you know it’s going to explode in the best way.
Javier Fernandez gives this issue a slightly more sketchy line, but it fits with the darker themes the book is dealing with. He also absolutely nails his character work. The characters all feel so very real. John Kalisz adds a lot with his color art, keeping the colors bright, even with the night time lighting.
This is a book everyone should be reading. It’s just a foregone conclusion.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
The Verdict: Subscribe