The Best Comic of the Week:
Days of Hate #1 – After his series Material was put on indefinite hiatus, and I found I really didn’t like his Wolf, I kind of put writer Ales Kot on hiatus himself. I questioned if that was the right thing to do when Generation Gone started coming out, as it looked interesting, but I decided to trade-wait it (which, I realize, I also didn’t do, since it’s out now). Anyway, this title sounded interesting, and then I saw that it was being drawn by Danijel Zezelj, who is one of my absolute favourite artists. Needless to say, I’m all in on this title. It’s 2022, and things in America have been on a steady downward spiral. A man and woman investigate the scene of a firebombing where a room full of queer partiers were killed, and later exact revenge on a neo-Nazi bar, which the woman has been infiltrating in a disguise. A different woman, connected to the first, is picked up by an investigator in an anti-domestic terrorism unit, and asked about her ex-wife, who became radicalized after losing her job. I’m really interested in seeing how these two sets of characters connect, and where this is all headed. Zezelj’s art is lovely, and really conveys the sense that things are not good or normal in this America. I feel like we’re going to be seeing a lot more stories like this in the years ahead, but because of the quicker lead time on comics than on film or TV, some of the best of the mid-Trump dystopian stories are going to be comics. It is my hope that this twelve-parter is going to be one of them.
Batman #39 – Tom King has Batman and Wonder Woman agree to give an eternal warrior a bit of a break, so they take his place, leaving Catwoman to show the tired hero around. This is an odd issue. There are some great things about it – Joëlle Jones’s art being the main thing, as well as the exploration of how Bruce and Diana work together, but there are some weird things that don’t quite work too. I’m not sure I like the way King has Diana speaking with an accent; it makes sense, but it works against how she’s usually portrayed. I also have some timeline issues here, although that might have more to do with my lack of understanding of how long the Justice League has been operating in the Rebirth universe. Still, this was an enjoyable book with an interesting twist at the end.
Copperhead #18 – The third story arc, which deals with Clara’s son’s father, comes to a close, and while I was worried that the series might also be ending with this issue, instead sets up the next story arc, which will focus on the corrupt businessman who has been pulling the strings in Copperhead. This is a fun series that any fans of the TV show Firefly would love. Jay Faerber is doing a wonderful job of building on Clara’s character.
Justice League #37 – I am so happy that Priest is writing this book! He’s exploring the role of masked superheroes in a civil society as an obsessed fan makes moves to rid the League of its political enemies by adopting their identities. As always, Priest’s work is meticulously plotted, quite clever, and takes a few shots at the comics industry (I love his comments on the Care Bears approach to colour-based lanterns). I never thought I’d be reading this title, let alone enjoying it so much. I hope he’s on board for the long haul.
Kill or Be Killed #15 – This book is back for another arc, and Ed Brubaker tosses the reader, and Dylan, into a new situation, as we learn that he’s now spending time in a mental hospital. The story then backs up and shows us just what led to that turn of events, as we see that the demon might be a hallucination, but might also be a family curse. Brubaker tosses another curve right at the end that I wasn’t expecting. This series is always a great read, and a truly masterful example of what comics has to offer in terms of storytelling.
Mage: The Hero Denied #5 – It’s been over a year since the last issue, in story-time, and now the Matchstick family has relocated and is setting down roots, trying to stay away from the weirdness that tends to follow them. Matt Wagner brings back a couple of characters from the earlier runs, one in flashback and the other in actuality. I regret not having reread the earlier Mage comics before embarking on this one, as I’m sure there’s some subtle stuff I’m totally missing. Still, I’m very happy to see this book back.
Rumble #2 – This new Rumble series is a lot darker than the last one, with Rathraq becoming an angry force of vengeance, and Bobby and Del’s friendship hitting the rocks. David Rubín is a good addition on the art, and John Arcudi is typically great. This is a very unconventional fantasy series, and I’m enjoying it.
Star Wars #42 – Kieron Gillen’s Jedha story is pretty enjoyable, aside from frequent forced references to the Rogue One movie and crew. This issue has our usual heroes making their move against the Leviathan drilling apparatus that threatens to destroy the planet, and Han is forced to recognize his leadership skills. It’s another good issue, although I’m glad to see that we’re approaching the end of this arc. I’m interested in seeing what else Gillen has up his sleeve.
Super Sons #12 – The Super Sons of Tomorrow crossover comes to an end with a strengthening of bonds between Damian and Jonathan, and a few touching moments. I wish Peter Tomasi was also writing the Teen Titans – I would totally buy that series. This has been an enjoyable little event, and has helped move this title from a charming, slightly childish one to a more firm position in the DCU.
Comics I Would Have Bought if Comics Weren’t So Expensive:
All-New Wolverine #29
Doctor Strange #384
Generation X #86
Mighty Thor #703
Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #299
Shadows on the Grave HC
Weapon X #13
X-Men Gold #20
Old Man Logan #23&24 – These two issues mark the end of Jeff Lemire’s run with Logan, and while I like the fact that Lemire used his final arc to revisit various moments from Logan’s life, and to give him some kind of closure with his family, I would hope that it’s also the last word in visits to the Wastelands, and Logan’s brooding over the way he ruined his future. I mean, I doubt it’s the kind of thing that people would get over, but at the same time, it started turning him too much into a one-note character. Even Spider-Man doesn’t talk about Uncle Ben every single issue.
The Week in Graphic Novels:
Charley’s War IV: Blue’s Story – In an interesting departure from previous volumes, this one has Charley getting involved in helping a deserter from the French Foreign Legion, a Brit nicknamed Blue. Blue’s story makes up most of this book, as he talks about his ordeals in the trenches, and how truly horrible the siege of Verdun was. This book contains some of the most powerful of the Charley’s War strips that I’ve read so far. It gives Pat Mills the chance to tell some very different war stories, while also illustrate the extent to which able-bodied men were seen with suspicion in London during the war. It’s a really terrific series.
Tags: The Weekly Round-Up