I might have to get rid of the “Weekly” from the title of these posts at some point, but hey ho; here’s another roundup of some Interesting Stuff I’ve Read Recently.
Also, as a bit of housekeeping: one of the things that’s slowed me down doing these reviews has been typing out creator credits, because I feel like if you list credits you should include all inkers, colourists and letterers as well as just the writer(s) and penciller(s). But that takes almost as long to go and get from each issue (because online solicitation copy is often wrong) as it does to write the reviews in the first place. So in the interests of actually getting these things done, I’m not doing that any more. What I will do from now on is provide a Comixology link to each issue, so that you can either buy it yourself and/or view who actually worked on it.
Action Comics #975
Since the start of DC Rebirth, Action Comics – while never actually bad as such – has generally been the poorer cousin of a superior Superman relaunch. But here, as the two books crossover with one-another as part of the Superman Reborn storyline, Dan Jurgens ups his game and turns in a very strong issue that feels like a consistent continuation of Tomasi’s style from the other book – although the presence of Doug Mahnke on art certainly helps, not least when getting to draw the classic Superman villain who returns for this issue. And I’m now going to spoiler the issue’s reveal, as if comics news sites hadn’t already been allowed to do it in advance of publication, so turn away now if you still don’t know…
… but the revelation that Mr Mxzyptlk is behind the “fake Clark Kent” is not only a good twist, but it brings about this issue’s real selling point – a fantastically metatextual backup story by Paul Dini and Ian Churchill, which runs through the character’s history across the various eras (and different media iterations) of Superman, planting him in the process as a childhood imaginary friend of Jon Kent. This is a continuation of the sort of “It’s all true” thing Grant Morrison was doing in Batman, and before that with his and Mark Waid’s “Hypertime” concept. Increasingly, it seems that the main way Rebirth is set up in opposition to the New 52 is that DC seem to be embracing their long and convoluted history of multiple continuities – and that’s something I can fully get behind. [Buy this issue]
Jessica Jones #6
There have been two main storylines running through Jessica Jones so far, and unfortunately this issue deals almost entirely with the weaker of them. There’s a certain amount of satisfaction in how the scene with Carol plays out, but it also acts like its big twist is in any way surprising rather than completely in line with everything we would expect from Jessica. Simply put, you’d have to have never read another comic with Jessica in it to believe that she’d actually have turned the wrong way. But now that it’s done, I’m really hoping we can get back to the meta-narrative about Marvel’s erasing of timelines (coincidentally, not dissimilar to what DC are doing over in Superman Reborn) because that’s where this book has shone. [Buy this issue]
The Wicked + The Divine #27
I am always up for Kieron and Jamie having a bit of a play with form, and the main portion of this issue (it’s bookended by a handful of more conventional pages) is a deliberate challenge – a series of individual vignettes that link together in some ways and stay separate in others, presented in a variety of different panel layouts – always across an eight-panel grid, but occupying different portions of the spread: six panels across two pages here, two in the corner of one there, that kind of thing. It’s not so much an issue that’s about following one linear narrative, as it is giving you a concentrated blast of a bunch of different things that are going on. In the immediate term, it’s striking for that alone, but it’s one that I suspect will stand up to re-readings to see how the different sections relate to and overlap with one-another. [Buy this issue]
Giant Days #24
I don’t want to just keep going on boringly about how every issue of Giant Days is the best comic of its particular month, but… man. This one (actually from last week, but let’s catch up) takes the series into exploring an unexpected thing it hadn’t previously: death. The surprise passing of a supporting character (one who, you’d suspected, there would have been more plot about to come from the way they’d been gradually built up) is handled with touching sensitivity, and one particular moment at the funeral is one of Allison’s most outstanding pieces of writing yet. All of this, and Susan’s dad. What a series, guys. [Buy this issue]