The Weekly Round-Up #412 With Deadly Class #31, Eternity #1, Black Magick #8, Descender #25, Saga #48 & More

Best Comic of the Week:

Deadly Class #31 – Deadly Class has been really slipping in its publication schedule lately, which is a shame as it’s one of my favourite series.  This issue has Marcus and Maria reconnecting with Petra and her meeting her new friends, and sharing an ecstasy fueled evening before mayhem and chaos, in the form of Victor, returns to their lives.  Rick Remender gives these characters so much life, even the weaselly Quan, who has a good chat with Marcus.  I really do love this title, and hate the fact that it begins a four-month hiatus ending on a cliffhanger.

Quick Takes:

Black Magick #8 – I know this came out a few weeks ago, but Diamond sucks, so I only got it this week.  As the police procedural part of the story moves along, Rowan finds that her partner doesn’t quite trust her as he used to, and a new agent arrives in town to bolster the surveillance Rowan is under.  Nicola Scott’s art on this book is just gorgeous, and makes it a highly anticipated read.

Black Panther #166 – I guess it was always inevitable that Klaw would show up in this book, especially since he’s going to be in the upcoming film, but as always happens when the predictable villain appears, I get hit with a bit of ennui.  I do like how Ta-Nehisi Coates made this whole issue about Klaw, and gave him a reason for being such a terrible person.  I also like that he’s been behind so much of what T’Challa’s been facing lately.  Leonard Kirk has joined the book, and while his art is firmly house style, it is still decent.  I think I liked Wilfredo Torres a lot more though…

Bloodshot Salvation #2 – More of this issue is set in the present than the future, which makes me a lot happier, as I hate the recent trend towards having stories with future elements in them.  Ray leaves his family to go hunt Magic’s “Daddy”, who lords over a secessionist religious compound in Ohio.  Jeff Lemire has made a truly boring character interesting, and it’s good to see.  Lewis LaRosa does a great job of making it clear to us just how deranged this Daddy guy is in a few short panels.  Valiant’s really shrunk their line of late, but most of what they put out is consistently excellent.

BPRD The Devil You Know #3 – Most of this issue is given over to a conversation between Liz and Abe Sapien, and it’s very nice to see these characters together again.  That said, I’m not all that invested in this series anymore, and feel like it should have ended a while ago.  There’s not much in the way of plot or problem here, and I think this is going to be my last issue, after supporting the book for years.  I’ll miss it, but it’s not what it once was.

Copperhead #15 – It’s been a while, so it’s great to see Copperhead back, although things aren’t going so well for the Sheriff this month.  Her baby daddy, a dangerous outlaw, shows up, and then Clara goes missing.  Jay Faerber spends much of the issue showing how the regular cast reacts to her absence, as Boo, the new mayor, has to recruit some new law enforcement to track her down.  This book has a great ensemble cast and really compelling writing.

Daredevil #28 – Matt’s adventures in China draw to a close with this issue, as Blindspot’s sense of who he is gets put to the test.  I feel like the China arc largely existed to get Matt out of New York for a good long time, as he has missed an entire mayoral election cycle, which is key to where the Legacy era is taking this character.  I continue to really like what Charles Soule has been doing on this book.

Descender #25 – I missed this last week (thanks Diamond), but it’s all good, as this is another excellent issue of this series.  Jeff Lemire ups the stakes some, as Tim-21 connects with just about every robot in existence, including some he probably shouldn’t be talking to.  All of the various characters are converging on the planet that holds the secrets to the AI that Dr. Quan used, and that means that we are probably going to be getting some big answers soon.  As always, Dustin Nguyen’s watercolours are gorgeous.

Detective Comics #967 – The reunion scenes in this issue make me happy, as a much-loved character returns to his friends just in time to deploy them against his grim and gritty future self.  James Tynion hits all the right notes with this issue, which is nice to see.  This remains one of the best DC titles.

Eternity #1 – Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine return to the characters of the Divinity trilogy.  Now, Abram and Myshka have a child together, and are living a simple life in Russia.  Across the universe, at the source of their powers, a powerful being dies, and this leads to a cult coming to Earth, following Abram’s path.  Kindt and Hairsine work very well together, and keep this book interesting.  I’m glad that Valiant decided to keep this story more self-contained this time around, as the one-shot companion pieces to the last volume irritated me.

Justice League of America #17 – The Microverse storyline is finally over, and for that I’m thankful.  I like this book’s lineup, and want to support it, but I found this storyline, aside from the way that it helped pump up Ryan Choi, to be way too long and dense.  I’m looking forward to the next arc, which features a villain I’ve always enjoyed.

Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #31 – This issue shines the spotlight on Rowland Tusk, who has arrived in town to lead the possessed (do they have a name for themselves yet?).  We get to see all the sides of Rowland – he’s a family man, dedicated to the cause, and kind of vicious if you piss him off.  The entire issue did not prepare me for the last couple of pages, which are a little shocking.  This book flies under the radar a lot, but it is a solid read every month.

Rebels: These Free and Independent States #8 – Brian Wood’s second trip to the era around the American Revolution comes to a close with this one-off story that shows how the Green Mountain Boys, Ethan Allen’s militia, became officially recognized by the Continental Congress.  The story of Allen petitioning John Adams is juxtaposed with scenes of a handful of Green Mountain Boys protecting a fleeing column of soldiers and camp followers as they are chased by British soldiers.  As always with Wood’s historical comics, it’s a nice tidy story that adds depth to the time period.  I hope to see him return to this series again soon.

Renato Jones Season Two: Freelancer #4 – Kaare Andrews’s insane title about the uber-rich is back for another crazy issue, as the new President (who is basically Donald Trump) launches Russian nukes at the estates of the 1% as a way of blackmailing money from them, and it’s left to Renato to try to fix things.  Andrews is, at this point, basically the internet savvy left-wing reincarnation of Frank Miller (and yes, I know that Miller’s not dead).  This is as crazy as Miller’s Holy Terror, although I find the politics a lot more sympathetic.  It’s a fun book.

Saga #48 – Last month this book focused on The Will, and now it’s time to check in on Ghüs, Friendo, Squire, and the reporters.  Really, it’s Ghüs and Squire who benefit most from this issue, as they hunt an invisible creature to stave off starvation.  I still can’t look at Ghüs without thinking about Philippe from Achewood, and so I have a lot of nostalgia for the character.  This book is going on hiatus for a while, and I’m already looking forward to it returning.

Southern Cross #13 – We are finally back on the Southern Cross as the last story arc in this excellent series begins.  Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger are moving towards a resolution, and that means that all of the characters still alive (and some of the dead ones) are converging on the ship.  As always, Belanger’s design sense and exciting layouts make this book.

The Unsound #5 – We finally get an explanation of all that’s been going on in this deeply disturbing mental asylum, and we learn why the main character keeps getting referred to as the Mother of Blades, and what the title refers to.  Cullen Bunn has gone nuts with this horror title, and Jack T. Cole continues to impress with his art.  This a very unique book.

X-O Manowar #8 – Aric and his army square off against the Azure Emperor, the last foe remaining before Aric can unite all the races on the planet he has moved to.  I guess it’s not a surprise that he is betrayed by a character named Bruto – as soon as I saw his name I thought that was inevitable.  Still, this was a solid issue in a very good series.

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

Darth Maul #1 – I’m thankful that Marvel decided to make this one of their free Hallowe’en comics, without the Chris Eliopoulos short that made the original printing an extra dollar more expensive and caused me to ignore the title.  I’ve always liked the way Maul looks, but cared little for his character.  This doesn’t really change that, and it’s set pre-Phantom Menace, so I’m not very inclined to enjoy it, but for what it is, Cullen Bunn does a good job of setting up an interesting story.

Silk #17 & 18 – I’d been enjoying Silk, but feel like the Clone Conspiracy stuff knocked it out of whack a little.  I guess there was only one more issue published after these, and in light of the fact that SHIELD has been shut down in the Legacy era Marvel U, I’m wondering what Cindy might be up to now.  Anyway, this was a good series, and I’m sad to that it’s not around anymore (but then, I never bought it new off the stands, so I guess I’m part of the problem there).

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