The Weekly Round-Up #646 With Captain America #0, Black Hammer Reborn #11, Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines #3, Justice League Incarnate #1 – 5 & More!

Columns, News, Top Story

Best Comic of the Week:

Captain America #0 – I’m happy to see that Captain America is returning to the stands, and that it’s happening in two different books – one starring Steve Rogers and the other Sam Wilson.  The three writers of these books teamed up for this introductory issue that has them both going up against Arnim Zola, trying to stop him from launching a missile into the upper atmosphere that would change everyone into dinosaurs.  The plot is not that important, as this is more about how these writers are going to approach these characters.  It’s also about the art, as Mattia De Iulis gives us some very stunning pages that somehow fall somewhere between the styles of Frazier Irving and Alex Ross.  I ended up with the Mark Brooks wraparound cover variant, and it is gorgeous too.  I think there is such a place right now for well-written Captain America books, and I’m hopeful that Tochi Onyebuchi (on the Wilson book) and Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (on the Rogers one) can give us this.

Quick Takes:

Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines #3 – It’s time to learn about Fletcher’s actual mission, and the identity of the Intelligence Agent he’s travelling with.  This sheds more light on how magic works in the Arrowsmith world, and gives us some hints about Fletcher’s connection to magic.  As always, Carlos Pacheco’s art is absolutely fantastic, and Busiek continues to be a master of pacing.  I’m really happy that these creators returned to this title.

Black Hammer Reborn #11 – Last issue ended with Lucy’s family reuniting, so this issue backs up to show us what happened to Rose and Elliot after Colonel Weird shot them with his ray gun.  They ended up in another world, and just happened to come across Abraham Slam.  We learn that he, Tammy, Gail, and Sherlock have been living in the real world, one without superheroes or para-weirdness since the end of the original Black Hammer series.  I like how, before next month’s big finish, Jeff Lemire is getting the original band back together, more or less, but I feel like there’s a lot of ground that will need to be covered in that one issue to wrap up all the strands of this story.

Flash #781 – I got the last issue of Flash, and was pretty impressed with it, so I thought I’d give it another chance.  This issue has Wally and Wallace (Kid Flash) hanging out together, as Wally mentors the youth but also leans on him a bit for emotional support as he tries to juggle a lot of things in his personal life.  It’s a very solid issue that gives me further hope that I should be reading this series.  I guess it’s time to start looking for the start to Jeremy Adams’s run and fill in some gaps.

Nightwing #91 – Dick and Wally go after La Agente Fúnebre, the person behind a secret network of assassins.  It’s another very good issue in this terrific run.  Tom Taylor is doing such a good job of balancing Dick’s life with Nightwing’s, laying out a larger story and then fitting various adventures into it.  I like how he uses Wally’s domestic life as a contrast to Dick’s, and really focuses on the relationships that Dick has with his friends and Barbara.  This is what’s always made Dick a unique character in the Bat-Family, and it’s nice to see his strengths being played to.  This issue is drawn by guest artist Geraldo Borges, and while I like his work, it’s a big difference from this book’s regular artist, Bruno Redondo.  Borges has an odd way of drawing Flash’s costume, so it looks like it doesn’t quite fit him.

Wolverine #20 – This title returns and Logan wants to wrap up unfinished business, namely tracking down the severed arm that was auctioned off earlier in the series.  Sadly, this issue also features Deadpool, who is determined to be welcome on Krakoa, so we get a lot of fourth-wall breaking silliness while Ben Percy also tries to keep Logan’s stuff serious.  It doesn’t exactly work.  Adam Kubert’s art is lovely in this issue, especially the first few pages where he employs a panel design that reminds me of the stuff that Joe Quesada used to do.  I’d kind of hoped for more of a shake-up for this title after X Deaths and X Lives, but it seems we’re back to the status quo.

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

Avengers #55

Bargain Comics:

Justice League Incarnate #1-5 – I recently picked up this miniseries for a pretty low price, correctly guessing that it might be foundational for the upcoming Dark Crisis.  I’ve been enjoying Joshua Williamson’s writing lately, so was curious about this book, which he co-wrote with Dennis Culver.  I’m not a huge fan of the way DC has returned their multiverse, and don’t understand how everyone on the alternate Earths know what Earth they live on.  At the same time, some of the characters in this book are interesting, like Calvin, the Superman of Earth-22 (aka the President Obama Superman) and Doctor Multiverse.  Through this whole series, I felt like I’d walked into the movie halfway through, and maybe that’s because I haven’t read Metal or any of the associated series.  Anyway, this had some moments, and the art was fine.  I’m probably going to pick up Dark Crisis, so I guess we’ll see then if reading this was helpful.

Star Wars: Life Day #1 – I picked this up as a bit of a lark, having no real interest in this attempt to make the Star Wars Christmas Special I’ve never seen part of the canon.  Still, it’s got some cute stories about different times that Han Solo and Chewbacca acted like scoundrels, and it has some nice art.

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