The Weekly Round-Up #620 With Superman: Son Of Kal-El #4, The United States Of Captain America #5, Dune: House Atreides #11 & More Plus The Week In Music!

Best Comic of the Week:

Superman: Son of Kal-El #4 – I’ve been liking this book a lot, but now that Tom Taylor has also brought in a couple of characters from his excellent Suicide Squad run, I’m even more interested than I was before.  Jon has to deal with an attack on his family’s farm, and the knowledge that Henry Bendix is making a move against him.  We learn some new things about his friend Jay (and, according to the internet, that becomes a big deal next month), and get a cameo by the Justice League as well.  It’s a very solid issue, in what is shaping up to be a very solid run.

Quick Takes:

Dune: House Atreides #11 – The penultimate issue of this series focuses on Duke Leto’s impending trial, as people scheme to help him survive, after he’s able to leverage some information.  This issue is much closer to what I was expecting from this book from the beginning, and was pretty entertaining.  I’m curious to see how things wrap up in the next issue, and I’m very much in the mood to go see Dune in the theatres now.  This prequel served its purpose in that respect.

Nightwing #85 – Batgirl narrates this issue, which continues the Fear State tie-in.  It’s a solid issue, and I like the way Tom Taylor writes Barbara.  It’s kind of like he’s admitting that this isn’t really Dick’s book at the moment, as they go after the person that’s hacked the Oracle network.  I’m looking forward to things going back to normal here, but at the same time, as I’ve not been reading any Bat-books, it was nice to see Steph and Cass in action.

Shazam! #4 – Tim Sheridan and Clayton Henry wrap up their Shazam miniseries, setting up some future Teen Titans Academy stories along the way, and incorporating material from the Future State series.  I hate the degree to which DC writers now feel beholden to those stories, but I have enjoyed the way that Sheridan writes Billy Batson, who usually leaves me cold.

Suicide Squad #8 – I keep finding myself annoyed with this book, because things move a little too quickly, and the characterizations, especially of Amanda Waller, feel so off from what I’m used to.  At the same time, I have to admire the boldness of what Robbie Thompson is doing with this book, and am increasingly interested in seeing what Rick Flag is up to.  Waller’s portrayal is wrong though, and I’d be much happier if she was more like the way the character was originally portrayed.

Thor #18 – Thor goes to Throg for help in finding the missing Mjolnir, and that means that the Pet Avengers are needed, and in a mainstream book.  I’m not sure how I feel about that, because I don’t usually go for animal silliness in comics, but Cates seems to be pulling it off, at least so far.  It’s always nice to see some new Pasqual Ferry art – he really doesn’t do enough these days.

The United States of Captain America #5 – In the end, this series was a disappointment.  I like the idea of there being characters inspired by Cap and his allies across the country, but the execution of this book just didn’t really work all that well.  I think using Sin, or Superior, or whatever she’s called now, so soon after she leveled up in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s run, as another villain’s lackey was a mistake, and past the first issue, I never really felt like Chris Cantwell used Steve Rogers effectively.  It’s kind of odd that there is no monthly Cap book now (there is a Cap/Iron Man mini launching soon), but I hope that’s because they’re going to wait for someone with a really good idea to come along.  This character should have a lot to say in this day and age, but it often rings hollow.

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #3 – I loved Leah Williams’s X-Factor, but I feel like the weight of this series is maybe getting away from her a little, as things start to fall apart a little.  Massive kaijus attack Krakoa, while the X-Men and Avengers try to deal with Wanda’s apparent resurrection, although the Wanda they see has no memories since the late 80s.  There are too many things happening too quickly, without the space for it all to make sense.  I also find it weird just how interested Captain America is in hanging out with Kyle, Northstar’s husband.  It feels forced.

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

Catwoman: Lonely City #1

Clans of Belari #4

Death of Doctor Strange #2

Destroy All Monsters: A Reckless Book

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #5

Phoenix Song: Echo #1

The Week in Music:

Lazerbeak – Cameron – Lazerbeak appears to be one of only two still working members of the beloved Doomtree collective.  This is the third album in a trilogy he’s released, named after his children.  Beak has been exploring meditation and New Age soundscapes, but approaches them from both a house and instrumental hip hop perspective.  This short album sees Beak moving back towards his “lava bangers” style, as if he’s found what he’s been looking for in his search, and is incorporating new lessons into his older approach.  There are places on this album that are quiet and contemplative, but there are other places where I could imagine the rest of the crew laying down some lyrics.

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