The Weekly Round-Up #374 With Planetoid: Praxis #1, Invincible #132, Star Wars #28, The Walking Dead #163 & More

Best Comic of the Week:

Planetoid: Praxis #1 – I really enjoyed Ken Garing’s first Planetoid series, four years ago, and am pleased that he’s returned to this world.  Time has passed, and the colony of humans on this strange electro-magnetically challenging world, has started sliding towards collapse.  The arrival of a stranger from a race that they have had problems with in the past forces the community towards a brutal act, which may have long-reaching consequences, both for everyone in terms of their safety, and for the relationship between a mother and daughter.  Garing is an amazing artist, and gives this book a really unique look.  I hope that the schedule for this miniseries works better than the one for the last one though.

Quick Takes:

Batman #16 – Tom King’s Batman has had a great run of late, but that groans to a halt as soon as David Finch returns to handle the art duties.  In a scene where Bruce has lunch with his various Robins at a Batman-themed fast food joint, I honestly wasn’t sure who each character was across multiple panels.  His Damian does not look like Damian at all, and I thought that Dick was maybe Tim, since he looked younger than Jason Todd.  The story is a little creaky too, as Batman prepares to have Bane come after him, and starts to evacuate his closest allies.  King is a great writer, but he needs to be paired with more expressive and versatile artists than Finch.

Deadly Class #26 – There was not a single thing that happened in this issue that I expected to see happen.  Rick Remender revisits a character or two that we haven’t seen in a little while, and I think it changes my expectations for where this book is headed.  As always, Remender and artist Wes Craig don’t disappoint, although I am left wondering how a certain character was able to gain access to a certain toilet before the story started; that should have been addressed.  Still, this is an issue that is going to leave every long-time Deadly Class fan happy.

Invincible #132 – Mark’s confrontation with the Viltrumites is expectedly brutal, as people are killed and/or torn apart in another bloody issue of this book.  There are only twelve issues left, but now that Cory Walker is done with his six issue run, and Ryan Ottley is returning, hopefully they will come out on time, as I expect Robert Kirkman to build up a lot of momentum in this storyline.

Karnak #6 – Warren Ellis’s latest super-late book finally comes to an end, and I think that it was not really worth the wait.  It’s also why I’m going to be trade-waiting his Wildstorm; I’ll read it when it’s done in a few years.

Midnighter and Apollo #5 – Midnighter’s big fight with Neron happens this issue, but is he prepared enough?  Steve Orlando continues to do good work with these characters.

Moon Knight #11 – As Jeff Lemire positions this story to lead to MK’s confrontation with Khonshu, we also continue the updated and retconned backstory of the character, as Marc Spector joins and is discharged from the US Marines in Iraq.  This has been a very strong run, and one I intend to stick with for as long as Lemire and Greg Smallwood are on it.

Nightwing #14 – Dick’s first adventure in Blüdhaven wraps up, and while it’s a decent story, I feel like the cracks are showing a little too much in this comic.  It’s rare for me to sustain interest in Nightwing for very long, and I don’t see this supporting cast being enough to make me want to stick with the book for much longer.  I guess this comic is “on notice” with me for now…

Old Man Logan #17 – The time-hopping weirdness gets a little weirder, as Logan is both searching for Kang back in his wasteland future, and fighting the Brood with Puck in a space station at the exact same time.  Andrea Sorrentino keeps what could be a very confusing comic on track, and makes it all look wonderful.

Paper Girls #11 – I’m happy to see Paper Girls return, as the girls have to figure out when they are (hint: the answer is not in the newspaper’s comics pages), and a new character gets tossed into the mix.  As always, this book is gorgeous, thanks to Cliff Chiang, and full of great character development, thanks to Brian K. Vaughan.

Star Wars #28 – Why is this issue out one week after the last one?  I hate when Marvel does things like that, especially since this arc, which is heavily focused on Luke reading about one of Yoda’s adventures with a Force-weird mountain, is the least impressive of the run.  

The Walking Dead #163 – Alexandria is about to be beset upon by a herd of many thousands of walkers, and it’s time to see if all of their preparations and training are going to be enough to save everyone.  It’s a very exciting issue, and did I mention that it only cost $0.25?  This is a must-buy this week.

The Woods #29 – This arc is as concerned with the parents of the missing Bayside kids as it is with what’s going on on the alien planet.  It’s impossible to discuss what happens on Earth without spoiling a pretty big moment from the last issue, so instead I’ll just say that James Tynion IV continues to exceed my expectations with this comic, and takes it into new and interesting territory.  This is one of the best comics being produced each month.  If you like his Detective Comics, you should be reading this.

Comics I Would Have Bought if Comics Weren’t So Expensive:

All-New X-Men #18

Avengers #4

Baltimore: The Red Kingdom #1

Bullseye #1

Champions #5

Darth Maul #1

Green Arrow #16

Hawkeye #3

Nova #3

Superman #16

Bargain Comics:

Daredevil/Punisher: Seventh Circle #1-4 – Charles Soule is a great writer, and I like that he gave Blindspot a little more play in this story, but I’m not sure that four oversized issues were needed to tell this story of DD and Castle disagreeing over whether or not they should kill a killer who is headed for a capital punishment trial anyway, and is likely to be found guilty.  Still, this story does a decent job of studying DD’s motivations, and looks nice.

The Week in Graphic Novels:

Iron Empires: Faith Conquers – I recently picked up this trade because I’ve always liked Chris Moeller’s artwork.  It’s the first of three stories he wrote and painted set in his Iron Empires (sometimes called Shadow Empires) world, which reminds me a lot of Dune, with it’s highly structured feudalistic society, and its complicated use of new vocabulary and odd weapons.  I liked this book, but never really found that the story had enough room to breathe, as new concepts were almost constantly being trotted out, and it was hard to keep track of some story elements.  Still, it’s pretty.

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