THE NEWEST COMICS ARE REVIEWED BY THE PART-TIME HENCHMEN!
We read and review some of the latest comics! Which comics were plucked off of the shelves?
Writer – Steve Niles
Artists – Marcelo Frusin
Price – $3.99
It feels like so long ago when Dave Lizewski put on the green wet suit and became a street-level superhero. Now we have Patience Lee taking up the name in a new story in another part of the country.
Steve Niles writing may be a bit jarring compared to the original story by Mark Millar. However, this is not a bad thing in any way. Niles’ characters are adults and the writing reflects this different age group very well. In fact, the story here is very easy to understand because Niles drops in just enough exposition to explain most of the characters and storylines happening. Meanwhile, the dilemma the title character has in the comic is easily relatable and creates a situation that is unusually grounded for a comic book.
Marcelo Frusin handles the art in this issue. I have a few reservations about his work. Firstly, Frusin’s art echoes John Romita, Jr.’s work in the first era. The characters are a bit boxy with thick line work. Additionally, Frusin is very good at faces and expressions. His work is strangely lifelike. You can feel frustration, shock, and terror pouring out of his characters from a simple look. Where I have a bit of a problem is in the action in the book. It is good on the panel, although it lacks flow. Sometimes, I need to backtrack to piece together how the faster moments flow and that can bring a hiccough to a reader’s experience.
Kick-Ass’s story is more than enough to overcome its few flaws. Meanwhile, the legend of Kick-Ass is no longer a nervous teen learning to live his comics-inspired dreams and has succeeded in growing up with its readers.
Writer – Jason Aaron
Artist – David Marquez
Price – $3.99
There are times when a comic starts coming into its own after the first story arc. This is definitely one of those comics.
Jason Aaron shows the fallout of the first story arc, the Fallen Host, in a part of Marvel’s Earth that I bet most people don’t generally think about. Meanwhile, Aaron shows that he has a terrific grasp of the Avengers as a group and individually. Their teamwork is smoothing out even as they face a new and driven anti-hero, Namor, The Sub-Mariner. Aaron’s Sub-Mariner is a sad, but vengeance-fueled character and the fight with the Avengers made one thing clear. They are strong, however, he is more than enough to defeat them… when he wants to.
David Marquez can work on any book he pleases. His line work can seem like an updated Kenneth Rocafort. He uses thin lines to extreme effect. Marquez prefers a minimalist approach to detail. Meanwhile, he uses solid blacks for an extreme shadow that can give the undersea realm and those in it a dark and haunted look. Moreover, his action has a fluidity that is close to perfect. When his characters move fast, there is a sense of flow I do not see from a lot of other artists. If he is at a convention I go to, I will be the first in line at his table.
Avengers #9 has made Namor a true threat to the Avengers and it starts with the death of a long-time Avenger. Between that and the new Defenders of the Deep, this comic rewrites the game without rewriting the characters.
Writer – Joelle Jones
Artist – Joelle Jones & Fernando Blanco
Price – $3.99
This is my first Catwoman comic since her sudden breaking of her engagement to Bruce Wayne.
Joelle Jones is a good writer. She is doing a great job of making Selena Kyle more accessible than I have seen in prior comics. A lot of this story is a flashback delving into how Selena affects the life of her sister, Maggie. There are a few narration boxes, although, again, they focus on how Selena views her effect on Maggie. I will not say that the comic is not good. The issue I have is that this issue is obviously mid-story because I do not know who is threatening Maggie’s life. The issue is very good at laying out the details in the issue, however, I don’t know what is happening before or potentially after this comic.
This is another issue where the art is far better than the story in it. Jones handled the art in the current timeline. Her perspective can be a bit off and it can make certain limbs too short. Meanwhile, she draws Selena’s eyes in such a way that she appears to have a lot of mascara on. Fernando Blanco handles the art in the flashbacks and I enjoyed his art more. He captures the noir style well without being dragged into scratchy line work. His detail is a little non-distinct, but with this being a flashback, it can be overlooked.
I do want to know what story I am in the middle of. Someone knows the openings in Selena’s armor, although this issue does not drag you into the story. It is more of a peek at what is going on, and I am not sure if the series is worth investing in yet.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Writer – Sina Grace
Artists – Nathan Stockman
Price – $3.99
Iceman has had a few attempts at leading roles and his own series and mini-series. This one has it right.
Sina Grace is showing a lot of people that he can take long-standing characters and make them more interesting than before. Prior writers usually take Iceman and try to make him more serious when he is featured. Grace does the opposite by no shying away from Iceman’s quipping nature. Moreover, he leans into it and makes a fun character that tries to connect to people with humor while being a superhero. Additionally, with Emma Frost added to this issue, Grace shows substantially more writing ability by writing a self-serious character alongside the more jovial Iceman. Each character plays off each other without losing their own character strengths. Meanwhile, Grace pulls off this feat without any narration boxes.
The art is by Nathan Stockman and it is not my favorite. Stockman’s proportion and body style are very good. His artwork also has an energy that needs to be used with powers as dynamic as Iceman’s. The art can be a bit threadbare. What I mean by that is that there is not much detail throughout the comic. Character faces can be a bit bare. While they are not hard to read, they can lack detail enough to distract you from the rest of the issue. Fortunately, the writing was strong enough to pull you through the rest of the issue.
The Iceman comics are kind of unique in Marvel’s line of series. It has tremendous heart and care for what this LGBTQ character means to long-time and new fans alike. Moreover, this series allows Iceman growth without morphing him into the next Storm, Kitty Pryde, or Cyclops.
While the art is not top tier, this comic is a great way to show people that a non-featured character has a lot to offer than a lot of people guess. I have read a number of series featuring Marvel’s mutants, and I do think this is the best one since Gail Simone’s Domino.
Which comics did you buy? Which one was your Pick of the Week? Let us know in the comments below! Meanwhile, we have added a link to the latest episode of our comic news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!