The Weekly Round-Up #416 With Black Panther #167, Detective Comics #969, Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil #2, Star Wars #39 & More

Best Comic of the Week:

Black Panther #167 – It’s been plain since he started writing this series that Ta-Nehisi Coates is not really a fan of monarchies, neither the position, nor the kingdoms that they rule.  That is made especially clear in this issue, when T’Challa and Shuri travel to the Djalia to learn about the Originators, the creatures that have been plaguing their world, and about their own gods.  It’s an interesting commentary on creation myths and who controls history.  Also of note in this issue is the return of Thunderball (from the Wrecking Crew), who Coates is determined to redeem as a character and as a scientist.  It’s good, thoughtful stuff.

Quick Takes:

Bank Shot #4 – It’s been a while, but Alex DeCampi and Chriscross’s exciting suspense thriller is back, and it’s a pretty cool comic.  We get a surprise about Marcus’s girlfriend this issue, as Marcus’s nanites are stolen from him, but he still has to fight his way to freedom.  

Copperhead #16 – A lot is revealed in this issue, as we find out just what the real relationship between Clara and her son, Zeke, actually is, as his father comes looking for him.  I really enjoy this book, which reminds me so much of the Firefly TV show.

Dept. H #20 – We finally get Q’s life story in this issue, and it’s a lot darker than I’d expected, being full of murder, piracy, and other illegal activities.  Matt Kindt is getting close to the end of this series, so I expect that ore revelations will be coming our way soon.  I look forward to some resolution here.

Detective Comics #969 – The team is all back together again, as Gotham begins to get concerned about Batman having his own personal army, just as some familiar schemers advance their plans.  The big draw to this issue is that Tim and Stephanie finally get to see each other again, as she returns to the fold, and he is less than honest about his intentions.  James Tynion IV is always taking the long view with this book, which is what makes it so good.

Justice League of America #19 – The fight with Prometheus and Afterthought continues, and while the criminal mastermind is in a bit of a stand-off with Vixen, the rest of the League makes moves against his lackey.  I’m having trouble buying into the supposed scale and weight of this threat, but did like the fact that Steve Orlando made good use of Black Canary in this issue; she often feels a little left out to me.

The Pitiful Human-Lizard #16 – This issue is quite unlike any previous one, as Jason Loo starts his first two-part story (I think) and sends Lucas into space with Mother Wonder to help her face a threat against the Paladins, the Green Lantern Corps-like organization that she is a part of.  Loo lays down a lot of world-building in this issue, and almost completely eschews the slice of life approach he usually takes to this series.  The change is a bit jarring, but this is still an effective and enjoyable issue.

Saucer State #5 – Okay, I think that Paul Cornell has officially lost we with this issue.  I was really enjoying this series when it was more about the politics of getting an alien abductee elected President.  This second miniseries is getting more and more philosophical, and maybe a little phenomenological, and I’m starting to not care all that much.  I’m not sure how Cornell is going to wrap it all up for the next issue – there’s a lot of weird stuff here, and that’s before ISIS showed up.

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #2 – Lucy continues to look for clues as to what might have happened to her father and the other heroes, and continues to look for Sherlock Frankenstein, who she thinks will know where they went.  This issue has her talking to Cthlu-Lou, a former villain.  It’s an odd issue by Jeff Lemire and David Rubín, but an enjoyable one.  I’d still rather be reading a regular issue of Black Hammer though…

Star Wars #39 – Things have really taken a dark turn since Kieron Gillen took over this book.  Luke, Leia, and Han are looking to work with Benthic, who now runs Saw Gerera’s people on Jedha.  Gillen ties this arc very closely to the events of the Rogue One movie, even having Luke talk about Jyn Erso for a bit before having to learn the hard way just how brutal the Empire can be.  This has become a much more serious book, and I like that, although I am starting to find the photorealism of Salvador Larroca’s art a little disturbing, as the three main characters look so much like the actors that portrayed them.

The Unsound #6 – I was really into it when this oddball miniseries by Cullen Bunn and Jack T. Cole started, but by the end, it kind of devolved into standard Vertigo-esque weirdness for weirdness sake.  I’m not sure if this is the conclusion to this series, or if there’s going to be a second volume, but I don’t see myself returning if it does.

Void Trip #1 – I picked up this new series by Ryan O’Sullivan and Plaid Klaus because the preview in Image+ caught my eye, but it turned out to be the best part of the issue.  The story is about a pair of hippies flying around space in a trashed camper high out of their minds, and some armored guy who is hunting them.  It’s kind of fun, but completely predictable and a little dull.  

X-O Manowar #9 – Surprising no one except perhaps himself, Aric learns that it’s hard to be planetary emperor of a planet where the three main cultural groups hate one another.  Too bad he never watched the news while he was living on Earth.  I continue to enjoy the big changes Matt Kindt has brought to Aric’s life, but I’m having a hard time accepting some of his more recent decisions here.  I’m glad that the next arc, which will feature some bounty hunters coming for him, will be drawn by Renato Guedes, as he is preferable to me than Clayton Crain, who drew this arc.

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

All-New Wolverine #27

Astro City #49

Elephantmen #79

Generation X #9

Invincible Iron Man #594

Luke Cage #167

Punisher Platoon #3

Thanos #13

War Stories #25

X-Men Gold #16

Bargain Comics:

Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 – I wasn’t too impressed with the Generations one shots I’d tried, but this one, by Kelly Thompson and Stefano Raffaele was pretty enjoyable.  I liked the mix of Kate and old school Clint, as they use the modern day archer superhero trope of being stuck on a strange island, and have to face off against a large number of marksmen-themed villains.  It was a fun issue.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #2-5 – I thought I’d give Margaret Stohl’s Captain Marvel a second look, but really, I don’t like the way she’s writing this comic.  I find the dialogue exceptionally irritating, and didn’t really follow the story about how Carol is allergic to an element in the blood of Kree people, despite her having been around them for ages.  I am not going to be checking in on this book again.

Old Man Logan #21&22 – Seeing Logan relive many key moments from his life is kind of interesting, especially as some of them are much more reflective of the Logan that I’ve spent most of my life paying attention to.  It almost makes me miss him…

X-Men Blue #5 – I don’t like the fact that Jimmy Hudson has made his way into the mainstream Marvel universe, but I do like the way that Cullen Bunn is handling his appearance.  I kind of wonder if I should have been buying this book all along…