Champions (2019-) #1
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Bryan Hill’s rendition of Erik is very much rooted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the character, which some people may consider a bad thing. However, Bryan really takes that version of the character and builds and develops on it far more than the Black Panther movie itself did. The plot is thrilling and features some tight action, wherein this issue Erik goes toe-to-toe with Bullseye in a gloriously drawn double-page spread at the start of the book. Killmonger is a very well realised and interesting character, and Ferreyra’s art is excellent, especially when depicting Killmonger’s description of Wakanda and one of Killmonger’s dreams, both of which are absolutely gorgeous to look at. You’re left feeling uncertain of what the plot’s going to throw at Erik next, and indeed, what even Erik’s plans are.
Definitely. A tightly wound thriller featuring backstabs and tense character relationships plenty, all centered around an excellent central anti-hero. This book is definitely worth anyone’s attention, especially those who were fans of MCU Killmonger.
Man Without Fear #1
Tony Stark: Iron Man #7
Writers: Dan Slott with Jeremy Whitley
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Title summary: Having recently awoken from his coma back in Civil War 2, Tony Stark is back at what he does best: New ideas, new technology.
Dan Slott very much feels in his element on this book. The main premise of a highly intelligent man running his own superscience company brings to mind his Amazing Spider-Man run, but it feels like the premise works much better with Tony than I thought it did with Peter. This issue’s plot is centered around the Controller’s attack on the eScape virtual reality environment that Tony has developed, and it’s a pretty well-written techno-thriller befitting of Iron Man. His characterization of all the characters is pretty strong, especially balancing Tony between arrogant and likable, and his writing of the robotic characters and how they process emotions is very fun. Schiti’s art is solid, bringing a nice, clean slightly cartoony aesthetic that really works well with a book about a man in an awesome mechanical suit. Iron Man looks suitably impressive flying through the sky, and the art is pleasant to look at.
Definitely, if you’re generally an Iron Man fan, and if you have interests in slightly Black Mirror-esque technology driven plots, it’s worth your attention.
Winter Soldier #2
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Rod Reis
Title summary: After his official pardon from the US Government for fighting HYDRA during Secret Empire, Bucky Barnes has now set himself up with a new mission: Help criminals who want to escape their lives and the organizations they work for.
A strong action-packed second issue that sees Bucky throw down with a child, who is dressed in Bucky’s old uniform. The fight scenes in this book are incredibly satisfying to read, every blow that lands feels like it has an impact, with Reis’ beautiful painting-style art lending its strength to these sequences. The two central characters, Bucky and the assassin child, are both very well written, with Higgins bringing both Bucky’s combat capabilities and his attitude towards combat right to the surface. It’s a solid second issue for this five-part miniseries, with good pacing and an interesting plot point to end on.
This miniseries is shaping up to be a great action thriller book- well worth a purchase.
Wolverine: The Long Night #1
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Marcio Takara
Title summary: Adapted from the podcast of the same name, The Long Night is a mystery story surrounding a set of deaths in rural Alaska, where a certain man has recently been sighted.
Despite technically being the titular character, Logan himself barely turns up this issue, rather serving as a part of the mystery. The book is actually told from the perspectives of the two detectives investigating the murders, which works very well, making Wolverine the target of an investigation rather than the starring character. It’s a rather slow burn thriller as the detectives’ piece together recent events occurring in the town with the help of local authorities, but while the pacing is slow it never really feels boring and helps build the tension. The characters so far aren’t particularly interesting but they are competently written, and while he doesn’t actually appear in the present time of the book, the description given of Logan very much shows that Percy has his character well realised. Takara’s art is detailed and helps give the book the grounded feel it requires to pull off its sense of tension, but there’s a bit of a lack of especially noteworthy visuals in this issue.
Well worth a look if you’re into slower paced, gritty mysteries. Don’t buy it expecting an action packed Wolverine issue however.
Action Comics (2016-) #1006
Detective Comics (2016-) #995
Heroes In Crisis (2018-) #4
Scarlet (2018-) #5
Justice League Odyssey (2018-) #4
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Philippe Briones
Title summary: Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, Starfire, Azrael, and Cyborg find themselves in the Ghost Sector, a collection of planets previously shrunk by Brainiac, and must uncover the mystery behind each one of them somehow having worshippers there.
This issue is a decent read but it still feels like the book isn’t fully living up to its potential, somehow. The plot here is pretty basic, with Cyborg discovering his own sect of worshippers in the Machine World and having to prove his identity in a one-on-one fight with Azrael. There’s a couple of things that set up future plot points, but it’s an issue where really not much happens. The central fight is written and drawn ok but as a centerpiece action sequence of an issue, it feels like it lacks in dynamism and is just too short. The characterisation is fine for most characters but Williamson writes Azrael in a way that doesn’t feel like the New 52 and Rebirth incarnation of the character at all, he acts much more arrogant and self-important than I can ever remember him being in Batman And Robin Eternal or Tynion’s Detective Comics. The art is good, though I have to admit disappointment that it’s not Sejic since his art was one of the reasons I was looking forward to this book. Jessica’s face always feels a little off but for the most part, the art works just fine.
Maybe. If you’re already reading it’s worth picking up, but overall this book feels a little underwhelming right now. If the premise and cast have your interest, give it a look, but I’ll reserve encouraging it fully as a purchase until I see how later issues pan out.
The Silencer (2018-) #12
Wonder Woman (2016-) #61
AMERICAN GOTHIC PRESS
Writers: Dagen Walker and Joseph Ettinger
Artist: Marc Rene
Title summary: Two men, Kevin and Jose, are given post-assassination clean-up jobs by a mysterious, unseen employer. Meanwhile, the story also follows the activities of an assassin and a corrupt cop falsely claiming her killing of a mysterious home intruder as self-defense.
Nice’s second issue is a very pretty, well written and well-paced crime thriller. This issue splits its narrative mainly between Kevin and Jose framing an assassination as a suicide and the as-of-yet unnamed female assassin fulfill a contract. Both sequences are portrayed alternately and this creates a fun contrast between the bickering of Kevin and Jose and the more dynamic panels of action. It’s a book that keeps you wondering as to the motivations behind events occurring, and who’s in charge of and ordering the hits and clean-ups. Rene’s art with colours by Dennis Calero is a very strong point in this book. There are some fun uses of imagery here, and any panels featuring gunshots especially feel impactful. The colours bring a slightly 80s aesthetic to the book and are varied and vibrant. It’s actually somewhat reminiscent of the video game Hotline Miami as a comic, but it still feels distinct from it.
If you want an interesting and engaging crime thriller, and especially if you enjoy things like Hotline Miami, this is a book that’s shaping up to be worth your time.
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATION
ARCHIE 1941 #4
Giant Days #46
The Empty Man #3
The Whispering Dark #3
Writer: Christopher Ermgård
Artist: Tomás Aira
Title summary: A group of US military soldiers, including protagonist Hannah Vance, find themselves stranded behind enemy lines as a malevolent influence starts to overcome them.
As we hit the third of The Whispering Dark’s four issues, it feels like the book is picking up its stride a little, after the first two issues were mainly based around building tension. Ermgård’s handling of the story and characters is good, with the ostensible protagonist of the series making a particular choice that is completely horrific. There’s nothing revolutionary to horror comics here, but Hannah Vance’s constant internal dialogue is well written and delivered in a way that you can see the psychological transformation occurring within her quite clearly. Aira’s art is good, it doesn’t fill every panel with terror and tension, but it steps up to the plate and solidifies the impact of this issue’s more chilling moments, of which there is a reasonable amount.
If you’re looking for a well written and well-drawn horror comic, especially one with a psychological and Lovecraftian bent, it’s worth your interest.
Errand Boys #4
Writer: D.J. Kirkbride
Artist: Nikos Koutsis
Title summary: Jace, an “errand boy” who takes on dangerous and generally illegal courier missions, is saddled with his half-brother Tawnk when his dad and dad’s second wife died.
The sci-fi world that Kirkbride and Koutsis have developed in this series is creative and energetic, and every page is filled with bright colours and interesting alien designs. The plot here sees Jace on the run from the authorities but, ultimately captured, and he undergoes special sentencing wherein he sleeps for a year and ages ten. There’s a “better life” dream sequence which is reasonably well written, with some artistic visual “glitches” reminiscent of Tom King’s Mister Miracle involved. As a character Jace is generally pretty likable and interesting, feeling like Han Solo if he couldn’t ever get his personal life together. The art is wonderful but on some pages feels a little busy, however, this doesn’t really detract from the overall strength of the art on display here.
A fun sci-fi adventure about a hapless smuggler- if that’s a concept that appeals to you and you like weird, imaginative sci-fi settings, this book is worth your time.
Books Of Magic (2018-) #3