Best Comics of the Week
This article contains SPOILERS.
Maybe the best Rebirth issue I’ve read so far, Batman #30 hits the nail on the head with an emotional rollercoaster that followed Chuck “Charlie” Brown, aka Kite Man. One of the worst Batman villains of all time, Chuck’s return in Rebirth has given him more creditability as a tragic figure.
Issue #30 followed Kite Man as he fights alongside the Jokers clan in the War of Jokes and Riddles. He’s a joke. That is what follows Chuck around throughout the issue, whether it’s another villain beating him down, or his remembered exchange between him and his deceased son, who repeatedly asks him if his father is a joke. Each time he pulls himself up and pushes himself further, something few could handle. Then the last page was the darkest, as the Riddler berates Brown, mocking him for being the one to kill his son and still get whatever information he wanted from him about the Joker because Brown is a joke, all while Batman stands in the background.
The issue also briefly touches on #29’s cliffhanger over which side of the war he would support; the Riddlers.
The value on this is still at or below cover price, but it’s a great issue to have in your collection.
Star Wars: Captain Phasma #1
This miniseries follows Captain Phasma after we see her last in The Force Awakens as she escapes the doomed Starkiller Base. Her calmness as the base around her falls, as she is intent on killing Lieutenant Rivas demonstrates what a badass she is. I was disappointed she wasn’t more involved in the movie and wondered what happened to her after she was forced into a garbage chute. I love that this series allows us to learn more about the character as the movie can only allow for so much screen time for each character. This is a definite must-read for anyone who watched The Force Awakens.
Even if you didn’t watch or care for The Force Awakens, the artwork by Marco Checchetto and coloring by Andres Mossa is worth the price of the book. They’ve worked on past Star Wars series, and most recently, the Gamora series.
What to Read
Generations: Iron Man & Ironheart #1
Generations: Iron Man/Ironheart took Riri Williams to the far-flung future to meet Old Man Tony Stark, Sorcerer Supreme. The book was gorgeously drawn and colored, almost hypnotizing at times through the use of three pencilers, four inkers, and three colorists. The story itself was more information based than past Generations issues, there was a minor conflict in which Riri was a mere bystander. It also takes place in the far-flung future, while past issues have been Legacy characters going into the past to learn from their predecessors. This issue meanwhile saw Riri going into the future with tidbits of what’s to come in her future and the future of the Avengers and the world they live in.
The issue was more like watching C-Span instead of watching an action movie, but there’s plenty of important information about Riri and the future that this book should be read by Marvel fans.
Made Men #1
Made Men immediately opens with a graphic scene of Jutte Shelley, Detroit Special Ops officer, and five of her fellow officers responding to a call, where, one by one, they are gunned down by a team of assassins. Despite the massive injuries she occurs, Shelley survives and walks away from the scene.
We soon discover that she is an ancestor of the Frankenstein family and has been drinking a health potion created by her grandmother (Dr. Frankenstein’s sister). The issue ends with a great cliffhanger of the Made Men, who include a man with a human body with a lion’s head. While the cliffhanger is intriguing, a lot of information that was skipped to get to the cliffhanger. It’s hard to tell if these gaps are teases to be filled in later, or rushed writing/poor editing. I’m definitely giving this series two to three more issues. If they continue to leave huge gaps without filing them in, they’ll lose me.
Scales & Scoundrels #1
I debated putting this in the missed category. The first issue was a solid, fun story, but there was a lot of cliché writing and the artwork is too cartoony. The opening scene is of the main character, Luvander, in a tavern playing a wagered game against a few others. When she wins, the big guy who lost all of his money flips the table, calls her a cheat, and then threatens to beat her for cheating. This scene has been done so many times in books and movies that its lack of imagination discouraged me. However, the story improves from there. Her powers are briefly revealed and sets in the intrigue regarding her origins. The issue is finished off with her joining a band of likely heroes that could be of interest in future issues.
This book is great for any kid old enough to read it. It’s better than most of the series available to readers at a younger age. It’s not bad for adults either, but if you’re looking for a typical Image Comics series, this may not be the series for you.
Astonishing X-Men #3
The latest issue in Astonishing X-Men is primarily focused on Old Man Logan, who’s trapped on the astral plane, but this time he’s on his own. Logan begins the issue with Xavier narrating Logan’s internal struggles with the constant memories of killing the X-Men in his past. He meets up with Charles Xavier who Logan continues to question Xavier’s reality, believing it’s the Shadow King tricking him. The final panel reveals Logan out of the astral plane, seemingly under the control of Farouk, killing a London Ministry of Defense agent, who agreed to trade places with Angel as they sort things out with Psylocke.
Writer Charles Soule continues to write a butt-clenching series with emotion and danger coming at the X-Men from different angles. And as we see at the end of this issue, every time we breathe a sigh of relief for the X-Men, a bigger threat falls to their feet.
Penciler Ed McGuinness also continues drawing an amazing series. The March of Progress cover of Logan is also really cool.
Iron Fist #7
The first story arc of Iron Fist was really good. Ed Brisson is a great comic writer and Mike Perkins is the right artist for this series. Danny was supposed to be on to K’un-Lun after the events in the first arc, but instead he randomly ended up in Vancouver and he and his friend, Shang-Chi, were stopped by a Canadian cult called the Lineage. Shang-Chi was hypnotized into fighting Danny, and pretty much this entire issue was those two fighting each other, verbally and physically. In the end, Shang-Chi regained consciousness and they walked away as if it never happened.
Both the writing and artwork were subpar in this story arc and it seemed rushed. It felt as if Brisson quickly through together this story arc as a filler issue. Meanwhile, the art lacked depth, with background scenes and details replaced with vague coloring.
I’d expect the series to improve and return to the quality of the first story arc, especially with Sabretooth joining the series. However, I do hope they continue with the quest to K’un-Lun as they were supposed to after issue #5.
X-Men: Gold #11
All I asked for out of this issue was a cool fight scene with Omega Red and solid artwork … and we got it! However, this issue is a miss. The story arc was very bland, predictable, and there were so many scenese that if you pay attention to, make no sense. To sum up this issue, Colossus’ uncle betrayed him. Half the team fights Omega Red while Colossus and Nightcrawler (who doesn’t actually do anything) save Illyana. Colossus gets his metal back just in time. Omega Red dies (maybe) from one hit by Logan. Bad guys die or go to jail, good guys go home un-hurt, and Colossus and Kity are back on as a couple.
X-Men: Gold continues to be like a dog chasing his tail for me. It just looks so tasty with nostalgia and great artwork. But then once catch it, it hurts because of how poor the stories are. I’ll still continue to endure the abuse of this series as I hope it turns around, but some changes are needed soon wit this series.
This could easily go into the ‘What to Read’ category, as the issue was fun with some cool scenes and decent artwork. However, the story was small and gimmicky. There’s many secondary characters whose roles haven’t been developed, rather, they serve narrators to the new world of symbiotes and Poison creatures, while looking cool in their venom-form. Cullen Bunn’s a great writer, so this issue may be a mere setup to quality series, but the first issue was a slight miss.