The Weekly Round-Up #637 With A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance #5, What’s the Furthest Place From Here #4, X Lives Of Wolverine #3, Star Wars: Crimson Reign #2 & More!

Best Comic of the Week:

A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance #5 – This new series by Rick Remender and André Lima Araújo is getting more vicious with each issue.  Our unnamed protagonist has been working to help protect people from a dark web assassination site, and has run with a woman and her child.  His plan involves getting her a fake passport and out of the country, but now that the killers are on to him, he’s improvising, and he’s not very good at it. This is another bloody issue, with moments of violence that are actually shocking and unpredictable.  This is a great series.

Quick Takes:

Alien #9 – I like the way that Phillip Kennedy Johnson is playing around with a lot of the standard Alien tropes (strong female lead, untrustworthy synthetic, untrustworthy corporation) with this arc, but is setting it in a very religious community that views the coming of the aliens to their terraforming colony differently than most would.  The story is pretty interesting, the characters are strong, and Salvador Larocca is a great artistic choice.  This is a good series.

Aquaman: The Becoming #6 – This final issue of Jackson Hyde’s miniseries sets up the new Aquamen series, which looks like it’s going to be shared between Jackson and Arthur, the traditional Aquaman.  I always have a soft spot for a good legacy title, so I’m looking forward to it.  This miniseries did a good job of introducing me to Jackson, and getting interested in his story.  I do wish the art had been consistent, as I think something like 37 artists ended up working on these six issues…

Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #2 – Elektra faces off against Kraven the Hunter in this issue, and in a lot of ways, it felt like Chip Zdarsky was stretching the story a little (the old acquaintance that Elektra ran into last issue ends up being a hostage, and I could not remember who he was).  I did expect more from this. 

Nightwing #89 – Tom Taylor leads his two titles, this one and Superman: Son of Kal-El into a crossover that starts here, and I’m thankful that I read both books, as otherwise, this one would have made no sense.  Jon Kent is struggling with the outcomes of his recent confrontation with a giant sea creatures, so Kelex, Superman’s robot, summons Dick Grayson to help out.  Visiting Metropolis anyway, Dick and Jon are alerted to the murder of a superhuman, and Taylor inches his ‘The Rising’ storyline forward.  This is a good issue, but I checked a couple of times to make sure it was an issue of Nightwing – Jon Kent is the star here.

Primordial #6 – Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino gave us this odd little story about the animals that were fired into space by the Russians and Americans as part of their space race.  It turns out these creatures survived their trip, due to the generosity of some unseen aliens, and now they are finally returning to Earth, although it’s much changed.  This is a quiet and heartwarming story that is not like the usual Lemire/Sorrentino collaboration, except for who innovative some page layouts are.  I enjoyed it.

The Silver Coin #9 – Vita Ayala writes this latest issue, which has a lot to do with the Bronx in the 70s and 80s, and the string of fires set there by landlords looking to profit off insurance schemes.  As always with this book, it’s a pretty solid read.  I like the way different writers use the conceit of the cursed (or possessed?) coin to tell their own brand of horror story.

Star Wars: Crimson Reign #2 – Ochi and Deathstick get the focus in this issue, as Q’ira explains to her closest advisors what motivates her assassins.  Ochi is tasked with some high profile killings on Coruscant, while Deathstick is sent to retrieve Cadeliah, a minor character in the Bounty Hunters series.  I’m enjoying the way the different Star Wars titles are playing off one another these days.

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #8 – Tom King and Bilquis Evely have taken Supergirl and her friend Ruthye all across the galaxy hunting one man, and now, Ruthye is ready to avenge her father while Kara is fighting the space brigands.  This series has always been about Ruthye, and it’s interesting to see how she acts once she finally has her desire before her.  I’ve enjoyed this book a lot – it’s much denser than most modern comics, and has shown a strong focus on good character writing.  I’d wondered before if this book was in continuity, and the ending makes it pretty clear that it probably isn’t, but it still works as a nice character study.  Evely’s art is gorgeous, and I look forward to seeing what she does next.

Thor #22 – This issue is more consequential than I expected, as Thor faces off against Mjolnir, which has fused with Mangog and has slaughtered its way across the Nine Worlds.  A pretty major character meets their end in this issue, as a collection of big name heroes respond to the crisis and try to help Thor out.  Nic Klein is drawing the hell out of this story.

What’s the Furthest Place From Here #4 – The kids of the Academy are taken to the Carnival, where all the families are hanging out and planning on meeting to discuss them.  Prufock thinks he spots Sid, the girl they’ve been wandering around looking for, while Alabama tries to cut a deal to protect her family.  This series, by Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss, is a very strange one, with a unique vision of a post-Apocalyptic future, and it is spectacular.  Boss’s art is so good, as is his sense of design, and Rosenberg’s strangely paced storyline is very compelling.  

X Lives of Wolverine #3 – Logan continues to face off against Omega Red at different points in his past, while writer Benjamin Percy tries to build momentum in his story while flitting through various time periods.  In some ways, I feel like he’s going for a Christopher Priest-style plot construction, but it doesn’t quite work in the same way.  Still, I’m enjoying this series more than before, and images like Omega Red possessing a whale are pretty cool.

X-Men #8 – The X-Men respond when MODOK turns a cruise ship into his own personal testing ground for a new designer virus that makes people go wild and become violent.  The focus this issue is on Synch, who has been one of the most interesting members of this cast.  He’s the only person who remembers the centuries he spent living in the Vault with Wolverine, and he’s starting to recognize that his knowledge of her isn’t fair to her, since she has no memory of it.  I wasn’t sure, at first, that Gerry Duggan was the right writer for this title, but with issues like this one, he’s starting to feel comfortable and effective on this book.

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

Batman: The Knight #2

Iron Head #1

The Week in Graphic Novels:

Frogcatchers – I’m a big fan of Jeff Lemire, and especially his creator-owned books where he is the sole cartoonist.  That said, I was disappointed by Frogcatchers.  Lemire leans a little too heavily on his standard arsenal here, and it came off feeling a little underdeveloped to me.  A man wakes up in an abandoned hotel next to open water, and can’t figure out how he got there.  He eventually finds a child hiding out in the basement, and learns from him that he shouldn’t enter the hotel room with a dead frog pinned to the door (the book starts with images of a child catching frogs).  We also learn that the Frog King is going to send agents after the two.  Lemire keeps things very Surrealistic and dream-like, although it’s not hard to figure out what’s really going on.  His art is always lovely in its unique way, but I was just not all that drawn into this story. The more recent Mazebook touches on similar themes, but does it with a lot more depth and emotional resonance.