New launches, and some old favourites returning, makes for a busy week. Again, I’ve left out some of the things that are in my regular rotation in favour of picking out particular things of note. An expensive week, but a very enjoyable one!
(DC / Peter J. Tomasi, Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez, Rob Leigh)
A lot of anticipation around this one, and thankfully it doesn’t disappoint. Tomasi successfully brings the Damian and Jon dynamic he’s been establishing in recent Superman issues (basically: Damian is a cynical know-it-all, Jon is an open-hearted optimist, and they have a competitive but increasingly endearing friendship) into its own book, and the result is a hugely fun and engaging read. Jimenez’s cartoony, punchy style is a good fit, and there are some neat little storytelling moments here and there (particularly liked one panel of Jon standing there with spitballs bouncing off him, reminiscent of the classic Superman-and-bullets pose). There’s a lovely Superman-family moment – Tomasi’s bread-and-butter – and the cliffhanger at the end of the issue promises a lot of fun next time out, too. Just lovely, on every level.
(DC / Tom King, David Finch, Danny Miki, Jordie Bellaire, John Workman)
Three things that struck me from this one: firstly, delighted that Tom King has put the super-dense Fortress key from All Star Superman into regular continuity. Secondly, even more delighted that he’s brought back Bird, Trogg and Zombie, Bane’s henchmen who I don’t think have been seen since Knightfall. And thirdly, while I’m not a big fan of his art generally, David Finch draws a really good Superman, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him do it more.
Green Arrow #17
(DC / Benjamin Percy, Otto Schmidt, Nate Piekos)
This book is revealing Otto Schmidt as a bona fide superstar – his work is so, so good. Vibrant, modern, distinctive, kinetic, beautifully coloured and – dammit – sexy (on both the male and female side, refreshingly). Meantime, a new ally gets introduced for Oliver, and hopefully this one will survive a little bit longer than the one in the last issue did – she certainly promises a new dynamic in a book that’s been consistently driven by character.
Sex Criminals #16
(Image / Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky)
There’s some nice “nature of relationships” stuff in this, but I do worry with Sex Criminals that the “how” is far more significant than the “what”. In other words, I’m almost entirely uninvested in what’s actually happening, but I’m still enjoying the ways the book is telling it. But it’s a concern that the best bit of this issue is the several-pages recap of what happened before the publication gap – just as the only thing I can remember about those couple of issues before the break was the Fraction/Zdarsky phone call rather than anything in the story. There’s an implication that the story will really start to pick up again as of next month – let’s hope so.
Batwoman: Rebirth #1
(DC / Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV, Steve Epting, Jeromy Cox, Deron Bennett)
It’s funny how JH Williams III’s panel style has become a signature feature for this character, so even artists who wouldn’t usually play with that kind of thing do so when they’re working with her. Steve Epting does it better than most, as well as just being a terrific fit for this kind of thing generally off the back of Velvet. The flashback stuff with Kate’s earlier life is really good here – I tend to prefer that stuff than I do stuff with her in the present day – so I hope there’s more of that in the series proper, and I like the intriguing hints of things to come. This is definitely a promising sell for a series I would generally have been on the fence for.
The Wild Storm #1
(DC / Warren Ellis, Jon Davis Hunt, Ivan Plascencia, Simon Bowland)
Warren Ellis, doing a new spin on his old Stormwatch and Authority stuff, at DC, in 2017. We live in strange times. Anyway, this is really strong – a comic that’s been very deliberately put together as an artefact from the cover downwards, and it feels like a very post-Tom King book (an odd thing to say about a writer who’s not been around that long, but such is the impact I feel he’s having on certain ways of storytelling). The start is a little slow, but it really kicks in the moment Angela Spica does something – and from then on, I’m drawn into one of those classic Warren Ellis style webs of conspiracy. Ellis’ brand of futurism is something that’s tended to date quite quickly, so coming back to all of this nearly 20 years later risks coming off as out of touch – but this manages to be a pleasing blend of “classic Ellis” nostalgia and something that feels genuinely modern. Up for more of it, certainly.