Comics of the Week
This article contains SPOILERS.
Dark Ark #1
The first issue of Dark Ark lived up to expectations. The story is set up like a Seth Grahame-Smith book (notably Unholy Night). The issue opens up with the world underwater from the famous biblical flood and a view of Noah’s ark. The narrative is then directed to a second ark filled with mythical and dangerous creatures, as well as the boat’s captain named Shrae and his family. Also on board are several humans chained under board who are kept as food for the creatures. The cliffhanger reveals the dangers of the creatures on the boat and Shrae’s clearly not fully committed to the mission could direct the story in a number of different ways.
Batman: The Red Death #1
This series continues to impress me. The fast-paced Batman: the Red Death is no exception, which features the origin of the demon/nightmare Flash version of Batman.
This issue starts out with the Flash speaking to Batman as if his marbles were still intact. Once they bond and create Red Death, the character goes on a dark and beautifully illustrated rampage by artist, Carmine Di Giandomenico. DC is not holding back in this series and it’s a true work of art.
What to Read
Nightwing #29 (A Metal tie-in)
Nightwing picks up where the Teen Titans #12 Metal tie-in left off, with Damian Wayne, Green Arrow, Killer Croc, and Harley Quinn fighting the Batman/Joker nightmare and Nightwing joining the assault. Mister Freeze is released from his cell by the Batman/Joker nightmare and he fights the team as they explore the whereabouts of Batman. The rest of the Teen Titans and Suicide Squad pop up in the issue too and fight alongside one another.
Much like with the Riddler last week, it seems as if these tie-ins will all be a continuing series with one of Batman’s villains individually attacking the team as they make their way through the maze. Next week will be Poison Ivy’s crack at it.
This issue wasn’t the best of the series so far, but it is still worth the read. Most of Nightwing’s presence in the book was through a narrative of his memories with Batman and the story never tied together.
“The War of Jokes and Riddles” continues as Batman and the Riddler confront the Joker head-on. The issue could easily be considered a ‘filler’ issue if not given much thought. The greatness of the issue comes with one mind game after another from each of the main characters, which is required in war between three of the cleverest characters in the Bat-verse, as well as one unexpected character out-smarting his biggest enemy as revenge.
I was unsure of this series prior to picking it, but its description convinced me to give it a try.
Gasolina takes place in a much different setting than readers are used to, which adds to the intrigue of a sci-fi thriller comic. The main characters struggles and their villains are brought to the forefront throughout the issue, which wasn’t a huge surprise, until the end when a whole new challenge faces them.
The series may eventually reveal to be a letdown, but for now, I want more of it.
Bloodshot: Salvation #1
The latest Bloodshot series is off to a good start. Both the writing and artwork are outstanding and allow new readers to easily jump right in, unlike many Marvel and DC series where you need decades of knowledge of the characters to understand what’s happening.
The issue sandwiches the current story of Bloodshot, who’s now the human Ray, with his wife and new baby, in between 8 years in the future when Bloodshot is no longer in the picture and his wife and daughter are on the run from men hunting them down.
The issue leaves a lot of intrigue as to what happened in between the two time lines and what’s to happen going forward.
Invincible Iron Man #11
The prologue to one of the biggest Iron Man stories in modern history! The biggest Iron Man stories in modern history better be better than this. Invincible Iron Man #11 was a waste of time. The issue is made up of Mary Jane’s and Riri’s first memories of meeting Tony Stark, which both lacked intrigue. Then his A.I. helper, Friday, revealed that Tony likes to hold babies in private, and then the “shocking ending” wasn’t that shocking. The artwork was bad and the writing was worse. If you want to get into the “biggest Iron Man stories in modern history,” you can hold off reading this issue because it revealed nothing of substance.
X-Men: Gold #12
I’ve fallen hard on this series, which had such promise early on. X-Men: Gold, despite some good ideas of bringing back former beloved villains and storylines, have done so half-assed and don’t even seem to be trying anymore.
Issue #12 was centered around the origin of Kologoth, a random member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who grew up on a foreign planet. He led a near mirror-imaged copy of the Nazi party, which seemingly is the new cool for every comic series lately. Worst of all, the entire issue is plain boring. There are no consequences, it doesn’t progress any storyline, and the artwork is poor.
Next issue, readers get to revisit the zany Mojo storyline.