Yes, alright, I missed a week – it was bound to happen eventually. It was a busy week generally, and I read a fair amount of stuff. This week also has a lot out, so let’s take a selection of the last fortnight rather than trying to cover absolutely everything. With Christmas/New Year falling next week, the next batch will also probably be done fortnightly as well – but I’ll get back onto a weekly schedule after that!
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #15
(Marvel / Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Zac Gorman, Michael Cho, Rico Renzi, Travis Lanham)
An issue told from the perspective of Mew the cat. Obviously it’s hilarious as a result, but it’s enjoyably inventive – nicking some of its tricks from that Hawkeye Pizza Dog issue, it’s true, but coming up with plenty of its own and playing really cleverly with panel perspective and dialogue balloons. You’d struggle to recommend this as a standalone to anyone who wasn’t already onboard with the book, but to anyone who is it’s yet another example of why it’s such a joy. (And what the heck kind of idiot isn’t already onboard with Squirrel Girl, anyway?)
Jessica Jones #3
(Marvel / Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, Matt Hollingsworth, Cory Petit)
Jessica gets interrogated while strapped to a chair for an entire issue, and bites The Spot on the arm in the process. And there’s one of those Bendis pages where an entire set of linked speech bubbles run down the entire page. I continue to be amazed – especially given everything the writer in particular has done in the intervening years – at just how perfectly Bendis and Gaydos have made it feel, ten years later, like Alias never went away.
DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1
(DC / Various writers/artists)
Not as good an anthology as that Batman annual the other week, but it’s still nice to see DC reviving one of their most enjoyable traditions. This is obviously a mixed bag by its very nature, but in general the standard is reasonably high throughout. Tim Seeley and Ian Churchill’s Batman/Superman/Robin/Superboy story is especially fun and sweet, while Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte turn in a tremendously stylish Batman/Detective Chimp crossover and the (brief) reappearance of the “proper” Superman costume is almost worth the admission alone. Paul Dini and Elsa Charretier link it all together courtesy of Harley Quinn, and it generally works well. There’s just something about DC’s characters that always seems to suit this type of anthology special, and it’d be nice to see more of this kind of thing.
The Amazing Spider-Man #22
(Marvel / Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Jason Keith, Joe Caramagna)
As if I can be in any way sensible or objective about a comic when it gives over an entire double page spread to recounting the life of Ben Reilly. As I said about the latest issue of Clone Conspiracy, this is so perfectly tuned to my own personal nostalgia channel that I can’t even get annoyed about the controversy. What I will say is that it does do a pretty excellent job of explaining Ben’s motivations after the surprise of last issue. The publishing structure of this story is annoying – you do pretty much have to read the miniseries issues and the ASM issues, you can’t really do the one without the other – but I’m really enjoying it as an event arc so far.
(DC / Tom King, Mikel Janin, June Chung, Clayton Cowles)
“It’s not impossible. It’s Batman.” And that’s how Tom King ends the year in which he definitively established himself as comics’ number one writer right now.
(DC / Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Keith Champagne, Norm Rapmund, Wil Quintana, Rob Leigh)
A much more enjoyable second half of this story, livened up by the appearance of the Bride. As is usually the case with this book there are some nice Clark and Lois character moments, but what really makes this is Doug Mahnke getting to draw Frankenstein (and the Bride) again – while I’ve never had much interest in them as characters, they’re perfectly suited to what Mahnke does best.
(Marvel / Chip Zdarsky, Kris Anka, Matt Wilson, Cory Petit)
I was super excited about this book in advance – I love Chip Zdarsky, and thanks to the Guardians movie I’ll very happily read a Quill book – but notwithstanding how great it is to see Anka on an ongoing, this was a little disappointing compared with how Zdarsky’s Howard the Duck came out of the blocks. It has plenty of nice moments, but nothing that really jumps out as staggeringly interesting or exciting. I’ll stick with it, but I expected slightly more fireworks than we get here.
The Fix #7
(Image / Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill, Ironbark)
WHAT THE HELL SPENCER THE DOG YOU’D BETTER BE KIDDING ME I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS NOT THE DOG FFS.
Out in the next couple of weeks: Detective Comics #947, Spider-Man #11, Saga #41, Batman #14, Superman #14, Wicked + Divine #25, Giant Days #22. Shout up if there’s something you think I should be covering here!