A weekly column in which Jake gives
short blurbs about the comics he’s
picked up that week. Reviewed in the order read, which varies but generally by
increasing anticipation. Disclaimer: he
knows very little about art, at least not enough to considerably honor such
tremendous undertakings, so…yeh,
The Woods #14
Writer: James Tynion IV
Illustrator: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Josan Gonzalez
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
A second issue into the new story arc
and we’ve already got a
better grasp of the new status quo after the time skip. The Woods is a series you could not do
without numerous mysteries, but, as with many examples of this type of story,
the real draw is the characters and their relationships to one another. Tynion conjures up some politics of ruling a
group of stranded survivors. This drives
one of the main plots of the book, with Karen’s investigation of last issue’s mysterious symbol being another. But really, the evolving and changed
character dynamics are the main attraction to this book. Despite the timeskip, these characters are so
well-crafted that every line of dialogue, no matter how ambiguously prompted
feels completely natural. On the art
side of things, Dialynaz and Gonzalez get a drug-induced hallucination to flex
their muscles, and, despite all the weirdness inherent in this series, they
make it seem alien and incredible. The
Woods has always been a long game but it’s one with small but worthwhile payoffs. Because of this, the frequent pervasive
mysteries enhance the series, rather than frustrate it.
Darth Vader #7
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Vader investigates the existence and
recent history of his newly revealed son as Gillen guides the Sith Lord into
his seventh issue. Coming off the
emotionally heavy closing moments of the last issue, this one feels more
subdued with the story focusing more on the plot than Vader’s quiet palpable rage. Gillen bounces us to yet another challenge
for Vader to face, which appears to be the M.O. of the series. While it makes sense—working within an established universe with a finite
endpoint—part of me wishes
there was a more immediate overarching plot, rather than just a subletting
hanging one. Larroca maintains his
cinematic approach on the title, though some of his perspective choices in this
issue are a bit more hard to grasp than normal.
All that being said, Darth Vader #7 is a solid issue and a great jumping
on point for new readers.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Erica Henderson
Color Artist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Squirrel Girl and her similarly animal-powered
themed friends go after Ratatoskr, evil Norse squirrel god of trash-talking
(actual a thing…basically). North’s
wit and charm are in full force here, particularly in the cover-suggested
meet-up with the Avengers. Henderson
nails much of the physical comedy in North’s script and absolutely delivers on the expressions. Henderson and Renzi also do a fantastic job
with the design of the aforementioned villain, who is significantly more
terrifying than one would expect. In the
category of fun and funny adventure books, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl certainly
lives up to its adjective.
Writer: Marguerite Bennett & G.
Penciler: Jorge Molina
Inkers: Craig Yueng & Walden
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Tensions rise in Arcadia as Nico Minoru’s mysterious, newfound friend
presents more questions than answers.
Still dealing with the emotional fallout of the previous issue, She-Hulk
struggles with her decisions as leader of A-Force. Bennett and Wilson have a classic team book
on their hands and they use this to full effect. There’s
another big battle sequence halfway through the book, giving several characters
an opportunity to shine. Interesting
tidbit: several of the characters spot almost anti-one liners, lines that
should be some witty perfect thing, but instead appear half-formed or hurried
exclamations. The result is a very
natural, very personal feel to the characters.
The art team depicts this action with aplomb, but where they truly shine
is in the scenes that focus on the mysterious child. As the character never speaks, Molina is
forced to portray her emotions through body language and wondrous facial cues,
an act he ultimately succeeds in as those scenes are a delight to see. Enhancing this effect is Laura Martin’s starry color work on the
character. A-Force’s second outing is almost
stronger than the first and certainly builds more reason to pick up this
Secret Wars #4
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Color Artist: Ive Svorcina
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
The Cabal does battle with the Thors
and Sheriff Strange explains the new world to the heroes of the old in Secret
Wars’ fourth outing. God Doom finally takes note of these new
strangers in his realm and the experience is titanic. Hickman gifts every line with such heft as
Doom meets with both Reed Richards and the Phoenix possessed Cyclops. The art team again deliver panels of mythic
quality and the issues silent closing moments are incredible. Secret Wars continues to be one of the best
events in years.
BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Wicked + The Divine #12
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Kate Brown
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
And the beat goes on. After the climatic and tragic events of last
issue, the first issue of the new arc, Commercial Suicide, opens without
remorse, quickly moving on to the next story.
While the plot still deals with the previous issues events, the choice
of protagonist brings a new colder perspective.
Kate Brown is the first of several guest artists for this new arc and is
an interesting choice. Having perviously
worked with the team on a guest issue of Young Avengers, Brown’s style is a bit more jarring
here to start. McKelvie’s lines have always been noted
for their more…realistic?
sharper? look and Brown’s
style is comparatively more cartoony.
However, by the end of the issue, the shift is hardly a second thought,
so ably does Brown’s style
adapt itself to the world. While it does
help that this issue deals with one of the most “superhero” fights
in the run, her expression work is amazing.
It’s hard to
adequately discuss plot and script dynamics without spoiling the phenomenal
issue 11, but safe to say, WicDiv continues to be a strong contender for book
of the year.
So what did you pick up this week?
Agree or disagree with anything said here?
Let us know in the comments.
Labels: A-Force, Boom Studios, Comics, Darth Vader, Image Comics, Marvel Comics, Secret Wars, Squirrel Girl, the Wicked + the Divine, the Woods