Review

Week In Comics: 16th November 2016

19th November 2016 | by | No Comments

DC’s twice-weekly schedule on their Rebirth books is really starting to take a toll. I’m enjoying several of the books, but they do seem to come along a bit too quickly at the moment, and it’s reducing the opportunity to go and check out other things. Still, “DC have got too many good books” – even when I’m not reading all the ones other people are praising – is an improvement on the last few years, so it’s hard to complain too much.

Batman #11

(DC / Tom King, Mikel Janin, Hugo Petrus, June Chung, Clayton Cowles)
You know how Grant Morrison’s Batman run started with an entertaining, but fairly by-the-numbers arc before he then did that batshit mental Joker/clowns issue? This arc feels rather like Tom King’s batshit mental Joker/clowns issue. Which means I can’t wait to see what his equivalent of RIP will be like. There will be fans of Catwoman very unhappy with what’s going on here, but I’m willing to trust that not everything’s as it seems. This is not a comic that’s letting you rest on any kind of laurels as a reader.

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye #2

(DC Young Animal / Gerard Way, Jon Rivera, Michael Avon Oeming, Nick Filardi, Clem Robins)
Not quite as immediately captivating as the first issue, meaning that this series does now lag behind Shade the Changing Girl as the strongest of the Young Animal launches so far. It’s a little bit more oblique than the first issue was, and it’s largely the appearance of Wild Dog in the second half that livens it up. Oeming gets to cut loose with a bit more action (and no small amount of body horror in the early scenes) in a way we didn’t always get to see on Powers or US Murder Inc, and that’s nice to see.

Green Arrow #11

(DC / Benjamin Percy, Juan Ferreyra, Nate Piekos)
Oh, man, DC. You should not have slated a comic to come out the week after the election that featured Hillary as President. It’s not that it feels like tempting fate (although it does, a bit) – more that it’s just an unnecessary kick in the gut. Otherwise, this continues to have nice moments and lovely art (even when fill-ins), but what characterised the Grell GA (the standard to which I hold any subsequent run) to me was gripping plot and character intrigue, and this just doesn’t have that on an issue-to-issue basis at the moment. I want to like it more, but at two issues per month it needs to do a bit more to avoid the drop.

Jessica Jones #2

(Marvel / Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, Matt Hollingsworth, Cory Petit)
Given how the character’s been treated (or, rather mistreated) in the last decade or so, this feels far more like an immediate sequel to Alias than it has any right to. While this issue doesn’t advance the intriguing premise from the debut (that is, the fallout of merged universes) any further, it does contain lots of lovely character moments, including a nice nod to Carol Danvers’ changed status between the original series and now; and a family reunion scene that somewhat tugged on my heartstrings probably because I have a child of that age too. But really, it’s just nice to have the real Jessica back.

Kill or Be Killed #4

(Image / Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser)
Brubaker and Phillips end the first arc of their latest new offering with a clear call to arms that this is very definitely an ongoing rather than a finite story. More than any previous issue so far, this comes off like an odd blend of their own Criminal and Kick-Ass, but what’s impressive is that this is turning out to be paced better for the monthly than most of the things Brubaker usually writes, which tend to be better off waiting for the trade.

Superman #11

(DC / Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, Mark Morales, Christian Alamy, John Kalisz, Rob Leigh)
Oh, this is so much fun. I think I said that about issue #10, too, but even moreso with this one. It’s hard to even complain about it being a shameless setup for the upcoming Super-Sons series, because it’s setting up the dynamic between Jon and Damian so well that it’s succeeding in selling me on that book – although whoever’s writing it will have to work hard to get their personalities as well as Tomasi does. This is just really strong, entertaining, character-driven superhero stuff, with fantastic art once again from Gleason. My favourite superhero comic right now.
EDIT: Thanks to Nick Bryan for pointing out that Tomasi has recently been announced as the writer of Super Sons! This is of course excellent news.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #14

(DC / Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, Travis Lanham, Clayton Cowles)
The Canada/Enigmo/Ant-Man story has, to put it bluntly, not been one of Squirrel Girl‘s strongest. But even Squirrel Girl on slightly less than 100% form is still more relentlessly enjoyable than almost anything else out there. The second half of the issue, in which the plot actually has to happen, is where it falters; but for the first half, where it’s the usual constant barrage of gags (the Toronto billboards! The “heist” montage! Dawn being surprised by compliments!), it’s as tremendous as usual.