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Black Widow #1 - Marvel Comics
... Subtle...

AFTER A SHORT BREAK, WE ARE BACK WITH NEW COMIC REVIEWS!

While a DVS team is at PAX, we’re still here with reviews of the latest comics!  What did we pull off the racks?  Well…

Outpost Zero #6 - Skybound Comics/Image Comics
Skybound Comics/Image Comics

OUTPOST ZERO #6
Skybound Comics/Image Comics

Writer:  Sean Kelley McKeever
Artist:  Alexandre Tefenkgi
Cover Price:  $3.99

Rarely am I this confused by a comic I really want to like.

Sean Kelley McKeever is a heck of a writer.  There are a lot of characters who aren’t at their most energetic.  Meanwhile, a lot of their individual voices came through very clearly.  Most of the story appears to center around some teens in a dystopia within a mining culture.  I do understand a bit of what they are going through, however, this issue doesn’t go into depth on what came before.  This is a difficult place to jump into the story.

Outpost Zero #6 - Skybound Comics/Image Comics
Outpost Zero #6 – Skybound Comics/Image Comics

Alexandre Tefenkgi’s art fits the story extremely well.  He uses thick outer lines with sparing detail work. While his characters are fairly defined, Tefenkgi spends a lot of time making his backgrounds distinct.  This gives characters a clean look in a dingy world.  I believe this is intentional, because it makes the characters stick out in their strange situation.  The art can fall a bit flat when it comes to expression, though.  There is very little on-panel action, so I will not spend time reviewing it.

I admit to being lost as to a lot of what happens in this issue.  With that said, these characters have enough personality that I am very curious about the rest of the story.  In the end, that helps drive readership.

Black Widow #1 - Black Widow
Marvel Comics

BLACK WIDOW #1
Marvel Comics

Writers:  Jen & Sylvia Soska
Artist:  Flaviano
Cover Price:  $3.99

Natasha Romanoff has returned from the grave.  Does her current adventure measure up to her resurrection?

Twin sisters, Jen and Sylvia, have been given carte blanche to make an interesting tale, and they are certainly off to an interesting start.  Their writing touches on a lot of the Black Widow’s recent history, including her death in the Secret Empire and subsequent revival.  Moreover, their version of the Widow is very eager to use the darker parts of her persona without influence from anyone, including the Avengers.  The Soskas have reforged Romanoff as a headstrong and direct character with some interesting Wolverine homages in between.

Black Widow #1 - Black Widow
Black Widow #1 – Black Widow

Flaviano’s art does not entirely help the story.  For a very “John Woo” script, the art is inconsistent in flavor and leans into more cartoon-y territory.  Additionally, characters’ faces are over-large to enhance emotion.  It may work for some, although it enters an “uncanny valley” part of my mind, making them not seem human enough.  Additionally, Flaviano makes characters squint a lot.  It can be hard to infer what he is going for sometimes.  Meanwhile, the action has a good visual pop and sense of motion.

This comic is not a perfect start, although it is enough to keep my curiosity rolling and wonder what else the Soskas are going to put the Black Widow through.

Red Hood - Outlaw #30 - DC Comics
DC Comics

RED HOOD – OUTLAW #30
DC Comics

Writers:  Scott Lobdell
Artist:  Pete Woods
Cover Price:  $3.99

The Red Hood is out from under Batman’s influence and wants to protect America’s Heartland?  For such a tepid premise, this is a strong comic.

Scott Lobdell has a tremendous jump-in point here.  His writing touches on a lot of DC’s current storytelling without needing much time to let you know what is happening.  Meanwhile, the overall story moved quickly through 22 pages.  While not every aspect of the story is immediately understandable, it explains itself well, and I found myself pulled in.  Jason Todd is also at his most likable (in my opinion) in this book, and possibly, his most relatable and human.

Red Hood - Outlaw #30 - DC Comics
Red Hood – Outlaw #30 – DC Comics

Pete Woods is not my kind of artist.  His characters are angular.  His motion is a bit stiff.  There are times that the expressions are too exaggerated for the emotion Woods is conveying.  Meanwhile, the art meshes with the story well and creates an atmosphere that pulls you in.   The energy in the fighting is strong, even though there isn’t much action in this comic.

In the end, this issue isn’t pretty, although it definitely gets the job done and is a great place to get into the story.

Ironheart#2 - Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

PICK OF THE WEEK
IRONHEART #2
Marvel Comics

Writers:  Eve Ewing
Artist:  Luciano Vecchio
Cover Price:  $3.99

I try very hard not to have the same comic in the Pick of the Week every month.  However… I just can’t ignore this series!

Eve Ewing has Riri firing on all cylinders!  She is strong, sympathetic, awkward, and fearful.  Moreover, all of the characters in Ewing’s writing are multi-faceted and complex.  In fact, the dialogue for nearly everyone was believable.  Honestly, there was no real drag in pace and this comic flowed from point to point with a vibrant energy.

Ironheart#2 - Marvel Comics
Ironheart#2 – Marvel Comics

Meanwhile, Luciano Vecchio’s art fuses with the story and enhances it.  He is a bit light on fine detail, although that adds to the youthful vibe and energy.  Most of the line work is thick without overpowering the image.  The faces sit in a delicate place between anime and comics without falling apart.  Additionally, Vecchio effectively uses blacks without overusing them.  Finally, there is subtle detail work in the black areas to keep them from being absolute voids.

Ironheart#2 - Marvel Comics
Ironheart#2 – Marvel Comics

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a comic with a more grounded superhero, this is the one.  Ironheart is dealing with overbearing landlords, street crime, and PTSD while still having to deal with mysterious organizations that seem to want to take over sections of the world.

I don’t know how else to say it.  This series is amazing.  It has taken a strong character and added even more to her character than her original appearances.  Ironheart is quickly approach Kamala Khan-levels of relatability and likability.

Which series should we look out for in the future?  Let us know in the comments below!  Meanwhile, here is a link to our comic book news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!

COMIC REVIEWS FOR 1/2/19

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