A quieter week – which in some senses is a blessing! I wanted to try out Lemire and Snyder’s A.D – After Death, but haven’t yet had the chance to read it; depending on how busy next week is, I may have a go at it then. In the meantime…
(Image / John Layman, Rob Guillory, Taylor Wells)
Although the final arc had generally gone quite well, I was concerned about whether Chew would pull off its actual ending; it’s had its ups and down across these sixty issues, particularly in a second half that’s often felt a bit over-padded (and over-reliant on Poyo). Thankfully, this is very much the ending that the earlier part of the series – when it could do no wrong, and was a relentlessly inventive and striking comedy drama – promised. Although pitched (even by its opening caption) as an epilogue, there’s more plot in here than you’d think; and while much of it simply ticks over in the future setting, the final few pages are applause-worthy. The odd lag notwithstanding, Chew has been an outstanding comic, and although I feel satisfied by its ending, I will definitely miss it.
(DC / James Tynion IV, Al Barrionuevo, Carmen Carnero, Scott Hanna, Adriano Lucas, Marilyn Patrizio)
This is such a great series right now. Tynion continues to write extremely strong character material for a bunch of characters I absolutely love reading about – hell, he’s even got Jean-Paul Valley in there. I’m fascinated by the Victim Syndicate and the effect they could have on Batman, and I also have a bit of a left-field guess for who the First Victim is, come to that. This issue’s not harmed by fill-in art, either – Barrionuevo’s style, particularly, is a good substitute for the fine work Eddy Barrows has been doing lately. Simply put, if you’re a Bat-family fan, you should not avoid reading this book.
(DC / Joshua Williamson, Davide Gianfelice, Ivan Plascencia, Steve Wands)
Okay, I’m a little more encouraged by where this is going, now, as it makes clearer exactly what’s going on with the Shade. And it is the Shade that I know and love – although, no disrespect to Williamson, but how nice would it be to have Robinson writing him again? Anyway, I’m also pleased by the prospect of Hope being in the next issue. The biggest problem, really, is that aside from his previous association with the Shade there’s seemingly little to no reason for this all to be in a Flash comic – Barry simply doesn’t make his mark on the issue at all, although at least the Wally material is a bit more interesting this time.
(DC / Benjamin Percy, Diogenes Neves, Ruy Jose, Sean Parsons, Jim Charalampidis, John Kalisz, Corey Breen)
Back when Damian was killed off in the pages of Batman Inc, I would have been appalled at the idea of bringing him back, as being contrary to the story Grant Morrison had planned out for him from the beginning. But I have to admit, it’s a lot more fun still having him around; first with Peter Tomasi’s work on Superman (and, soon, Super-Sons) and with what Ben Percy is doing with him as the leader of a reluctant new Teen Titans group here. He’s just inherently a really good character to set alongside other heroes, and the dynamic of this book is growing and growing. Still not sure how it’ll sit long-term, but for now it’s good fun.
Next Week: Superman Annual, Batman Annual, Saga #40 and a belated A.D. After Death #1.