The Weekly Round-Up #618 With A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance #1, Eternals: Celestia #1, The Swamp Thing #8 & More Plus The Week In Music!

The Best Comic of the Week:

A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance #1 – This is a very strong first issue.  An unnamed man makes his way across Vancouver on an intermittently rainy day via public transportation, destined to go to a suburban home for reasons that are never made clear to us.  He discovers something pretty grisly there, which he was not expecting.  That’s basically the issue, which moves with a languid pace.  Rick Remender doesn’t explain anything, but manages to tease out a sense of the man’s personality. André Lima Araújo is the real star of this book.  He keeps the mostly silent pages flowing nicely, and gives this book a clear feel for both character and place.  I’m coming away from this first issue with a dozen questions, and am excited and ready to see how the answers play out.  This is off to a great start.

Quick Takes:

Defenders #3 – Something about this series is just not working for me.  Al Ewing has this latest set of Defenders moving through the various realities that came before the present one, and is giving many of them their own issue to narrate, which is interesting, but it’s just not clicking.  I kind of don’t care about the story.  On the positive side, Javier Rodríguez is making this book look great, and designing some cool characters.

Eternals: Celestia #1 – Setting up an upcoming arc in the main Eternals book, Kieron Gillen focuses this one-off on Ajak and Makkari, who are priests of the Celestials.  Ajak is having a hard time with the fact that the gods no longer speak to her, and that the Avengers are living inside of the corpse of one.  It’s an interesting enough issue, marred by my hatred of the Avengers of one million BCE.  Kei Zama is a new artist to me, and their work looks really good here.  They would be a good fill-in for regular series artist Esad Ribic if that’s ever needed.

Fire Power #16 – Once again, Robert Kirkman and Chris Samnee fill this with so much action that the issue just flies by.  The snakes attack the temple, and Owen rushes to the rescue.  I like the way Kirkman always makes you think that his titles are about one interesting idea, and then pulls the camera back to reveal a bigger and more complex story.  This series is really good.

Hellions #16 – It’s starting to feel like Zeb Wells might be winding down this book.  The secrets that Sinister was keeping have all been revealed, and now Kwannon is set to leave Krakoa, Alex is burdened, Manuel is hunted, and the loose cohesion the team was feeling is ruined.  The last subplot remaining has to do with Nanny and the Right, and they come after her.  I’ve enjoyed this book, but never expected it to last even this long.  It’s still solicited through December, but I can’t see the book being here much longer than that, unless Wells comes up with a reason for the band to get back together.

The Lot #4 – Marguerite Bennett and Renato Guedes wrap up their photorealistic Hollywood horror story in a satisfying way.  This Bad Idea has really stood out for its production values, and while the story was confusing at times, it worked.  I like the Tankers backup story included here as well.

New Mutants #22 – The original NM crew is in a debate with the Shadow King, while the kids of the title decide to confront him over his manipulative ways.  I am liking this book more with each issue, and am enjoying the way that artist Rod Reis pays homage to Bill Sienkiewicz’s groundbreaking run on the title.  This book has some flaws, but it’s improving.

Pyrate Queen #2 – This Bad Idea book is pretty delightful.  Monday sets herself on a life of revenge, hunting for the officer that killed her husband and lied to her.  Adam Pollina’s art is wonderful, and a treat to see again.  Peter Milligan is following familiar formulae with this book, but it still feels pretty fresh.  I did question how one pirate crew would be characterized as punks and anarchists, but I let that slide…

The Swamp Thing #8 – I’ll be surprised if this book doesn’t get renewed or relaunched after this ten-issue run ends.  Ram V is doing some very good work here, setting up this new Swamp Thing as an interesting and conflicted character.  I also think he writes the Suicide Squad better than their current writer, and I’d be interested in seeing him take that book on.  Mike Perkins’s art is predictably terrific, as he has Levi go up against Parasite in a big fight.  This book has been a pleasant surprise.

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

Batman: Curse of the White Knight TP

Dark Ages #2

Last Flight Out #2

Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

The Week in Music:

Flying Lotus – Yasuke (Soundtrack) – I enjoyed the Yasuke anime series on Netflix last spring, and am pleased to get ahold of the soundtrack for the show, which was made by series producer Flying Lotus.  FlyLo experiments with a lot of synthesizers here, crafting short and immersive soundscapes that take me back to Blade Runner era Vangelis, with a more modern twist.  Thundercat shows up for the theme song, and plays bass on various tracks.  This is a good addition to the collection.

Jordan Rakei – What We Call Life – I don’t spend a lot of time with poppy alternative r’n’b music goes, this new Jordan Rakei album builds on artists like The Weeknd and James Blake, and gives the multi-instrumentalist a lot of space to explore his sound.  The opening cut is the strongest, but this album is pretty nice.

Sault – Nine – Sault has become one of the most talked-about and cherished musical groups in the UK, keeping their membership behind a screen of secrecy (unless you check the Spotify credits for their songs).  Inflo has become one of my favourite producers in the last year, making wonderful music with Cleo Sol and Little Simz, and shepherding Sault.  This album showcases their usual meander through r’n’b, soul, and hiphop, all with a political edge to it.  Unlike some of their earlier albums, this one feels a little more cohesive to me, and has some very good high points.  It looks like the album has disappeared from streaming sites, so I’m happy to finally have a physical copy in my hands.

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