Strange Adventures #8 – Things have been slow in this series from time to time, but now, as the Pykkt invasion of Earth reaches critical levels, we get closer to learning some truths about what happened during the war on Rann. Tom King started suggesting early in this series that Adam Strange might have been lying about that war, and it looks like we might get to see what really happened very soon. Having Mitch Gerads and Evan Shaner trade art duties on this book was a brilliant decision, and I find myself more intrigued by this book than ever.
Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #4 – Earlier in this series, I was worried that I had gotten confused, because there was a character that I thought should be included in the story that wasn’t. It turns out I was right, and now I feel like Jeff Lemire might have made this rather bizarre miniseries the springboard for the next big chapter of the Black Hammer universe. I don’t know that I loved this series, but it was entertaining, and Tyler Crook’s art is always welcome.
Daredevil #26 – Matt is in prison, and Elektra has taken on the mantle of Daredevil and is patrolling Hell’s Kitchen in an effort to get Matt to agree to help her. Typhoid Mary is back working with Kingpin (this makes me very happy), and of course, it’s time to tie things into the King in Black event, which I’m not reading. So, that means that people around all of these characters are being turned into Venoms. Chip Zdarsky manages to integrate the event into the story pretty well, and so we get an enjoyable read.
The Department of Truth #5 – This series has been running on a bit of a slow burn since it started, but this issue feels momentous, as Black Hat, the secretive organization that runs counter to the Department makes contact with Cole, and we maybe learn some things. I say maybe, because there’s not much you can really trust in this excellent series. James Tynion IV is doing great work here, addressing conspiracy theories from the headlines. I’m really glad I took a chance on this book.
Dune: House Atreides #4 – It looks like some plotlines are starting to coalesce in this series, which is nice because we’ve spent too much time getting to know everyone for so little to be happening. I enjoy this series, but I’ve never been more than a casual Dune fan, and feel like I’m overlooking a lot of Easter eggs.
Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 – I am pretty disappointed with what DC is doing with the Legion. When it was first announced that Brian Michael Bendis was bringing this venerable and beloved title back, I was very skeptical. I don’t always trust Bendis, especially on team books, and I expected to hate the whole thing. After a couple of issues, I was happy to admit I was wrong, and as the series continued, I started to really like all the changes Bendis made, and was curious to learn more about the various new takes he had on characters, and wanted to get to know the new characters. And then, DC does this whole Future State thing, and Bendis jumps up a few years, and trashes the future he built. Now, because of the actions of Element Lad, and some other things, the team is disbanded, the United Planets and Earth are trashed, and many of the heroes hate each other. Jo and a few others are trying to bring the team back together, but there’s a lot of resistance. Basically, Bendis is using this two-issue miniseries to do his take on the Five Year Gap Legion, and it doesn’t really work. I like seeing Riley Rossmo on a book like this – he’s very good at drawing dirty environments. I’m not sure if DC is returning to the Legion or not – no new issues have been solicited past the next issue of Future State, and I think it’s a shame that so much was invested into making this property work, and it will be allowed to fizzle out. Maybe the sales weren’t there, but still, this is disappointing.
New Mutants #15 – This is Vita Ayala’s second issue on this title, and I’m starting to wonder if they have much of a plan. It seems like they are setting up a number of different B-plots, but don’t have an A-plot. The original New Mutants are going through life – Doug is married now, Rahne is upset that there are no plans to resurrect her dead child, and Illyana really wants to dance. Among the new generation of mutants, Gabby feels left out, and there is some intrigue involving new characters that I don’t yet care about, because we don’t get to know them. I don’t like that the Shadow King is in this, as he’s terminally overused, and I hate that characters like Anole and Armor are being relegated to kid roles now that they’ve been around so long. This is feeling a bit like a reunion episode that is also trying to argue its continued relevance, kind of like a Degrassi 2.0, and I think it could use a lot more meat. Still, I like Rod Reis’s art, and I like the take Ayala has on a lot of the characters. We just need some plot.
Post Americana #2 – Steve Skroce continues to go for shock value and weirdness in his new series about a post-American America. There’s a cannibal convention, and the supposed legitimate government of the country gets ready to launch a scorched Earth campaign against the surviving populace. Skroce’s art is great here, and I am enjoying the characters.
Sacred Six #6 – Priest ends his first arc on this title, although it immediately rolls into the next one, as Lilith’s interest in Ashthorne is revealed, and the other main characters fight a bunch of vampires. I like this book, but find it harder to follow than Vampirella’s book, as this is completely dependent on that title, but seems a little out of sync with it at times. Still, I’ll always buy a comic by Christopher Priest.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #9 – This book consistently comes close to hitting the mark, but never quite does. Valance is working to save a Rebel cruiser from pirates, but the Rebels don’t trust or believe him, and I don’t really understand the trick he pulls at the end. My ongoing criticism of this book is that writer Ethan Sacks hasn’t really made me care enough about Valance, which is weird because I really liked him in the Target Vader miniseries.
We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #5 – All the secrets of why Paula hates Georges so much comes out as they confront one another on the corpse of a god in deep space. It starts to feel like this series is wrapping up, but there’s more to come, as some unexpected things happen at the end. I’ve been really enjoying Al Ewing’s writing on this book, but often find Simone Di Meo’s art a little hard to follow. This issue is no different, as a couple of key scenes were a bit confusing. Still, this is a very different, very interesting series.
Wolverine #9 – I’m not really feeling this storyline, which has Logan looking for his old teammate Maverick, a character I’ve never much liked. Things seem a little paint-by-numbers here, as Logan goes undercover (as Patch, always a bad idea) and then gets discovered. We’ve been here before.
X-Men #17 – I wonder what the decision making process is like at Marvel sometimes. For some reason, Brett Booth, who is about to launch a 90s nostalgia X-Men thing with Fabian Nicieza, decided to dress Scott and Jean in their 90s X-Factor outfits for this whole issue, and it’s never mentioned in the story. I found that to be very jarring, as Storm and the couple are needed on the Shi’ar homeworld to rescue the new Majestrix from kidnappers. I hate the way Jonathan Hickman has turned Bobby DaCosta into a flakier Tony Stark, and generally found the characterizations in this issue to be off. It’s too bad, because I loved the last issue of this book.
Year Zero Vol. 2 #3 – Ben Percy continues to explore his post-zombie world, and we see some different things, including our first group of marauders (outside the Costco), and our first lion mauling (in Rwanda). I like the global approach this series takes to zombies, and would be down for a third volume.
Comics I Would Have Bought if Comics Weren’t So Expensive:
Other History of the DC Universe #2
Sweet Downfall #1
The Week in Music:
Spiritual Jazz 13 Now! – Modern Sounds for the 21st Century – Parts One & Two – I’ve counted on the Spiritual Jazz series, put out by Jazzman Records, to school me on the history of jazz in a variety of countries for years now. This latest offering is their first to dig into contemporary spiritual jazz. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of the tracks are from albums I already own, but it’s interesting to hear them played alongside each other, as if in conversation. There’s a heavy showing from International Anthem artists (Makaya McCraven, Damon Locks, and Angel Bat Dawid), some of the British scene (Shabaka and the Ancestors), and a number of artists that are new to me, that I now need to start researching and exploring. These compilations are always top shelf quality, and it’s nice to see that continuing.
Rhye – Home – Rhye returns with this new album, that pairs Michael Milosh’s beautiful voice with a lot of lush instrumentation. I always find it a little hard to pay attention to Milosh’s lyrics, but love the sound of his voice, which I first thought belonged to a woman. Over the course of a few albums, Milosh’s sound has evolved into something deeper and more produced, and it’s working.