REVIEWS OF THIS WEEK’S COMICS!
We have reviews of the latest comics by the Part-Time Henchmen podcast
Writer – Jody Houser
Artist – Andres Genolet
Cover Price – $3.99
With Spider-Geddon taking up a lot of the Spider-Man books, I want to see what is going on off the beaten path, so I picked up the first issue of this spin-off mini-series.
Jody Houser’s story starts a bit later in Spider-Geddon than I have read up to, however, it does flow fairly easily. There is just enough in dialogue and narration exposition to tell you who the characters involved are and their current statuses. Meanwhile, the story requires you to have read parts of the Spider-Verse event to know what the McGuffin in the story is. I’m a bit leary of how much you need to know before hand. The dialogue flows well, though.
The art is by Andres Genolet and he has high points and low points. His art prefers leans toward thicker line work. Genolet’s style has a quaint cartoonish quality that is pretty endearing and the art is clean, although it lacks a lot of detail. My vision is often pulled to how low on detail his characters and backgrounds are. The art is not bland, though it is over-simplified. His action moves well and his Spider-people are dynamic in action.
This is not the best book in the Spider-Geddon event. Meanwhile, I do want to see if it elevates Annie/Spiderling into a bigger player in Marvel’s story lines because am a sucker for a hero coming into their own.
ACTION COMICS #1004
Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Artist – Ryan Sook
Cover Price – $3.99
This issue focuses on Superman’s relationship to his wife… or lack thereof?
Bendis has a talent for redefining existing heroes and finding the layers to make them fully defined people. His dialogue for Superman/Clark is just as disarming and bumpkin-like as you expect from a mild-mannered country boy. Surprisingly, the dialogue becomes muddy when it comes to Lois Lane. She is happy to be married to Superman, unhappy with how marriage affects her work, and speaks like a young girl in love… all in one page. Meanwhile, I’m actually unclear as to the status of their relationship by the end.
Ryan Sook’s art is intricate. His backgrounds have such massive depth to them, they are my favorite part of his work. His character detail is minimalist with a mix of thick and thin line work. Meanwhile, he is an artist that uses solid blacks for color and shadows to great effect. However, The eyes of his characters kept throwing me off. They can be a little to wide from time to time, but I think my main problem is how he portrays irises. Moreover, the color of someone’s eye seems way too large for a person and it pulls me out of the comic.
This could have been a great one-issue story in the middle of this long running-comic series. It missed that mark because it could use a little more narrative clarity to streamline the story. I hope to know if they will or won’t be together soon.
Writer – Robert Kirkman
Artist – Chris Burnham
Cover Price – $3.99
Robert Kirkman is now a legend thanks to the multiple successes of the Walking Dead franchise. Now he has something that is just as violent, but on the opposite end of the storytelling spectrum.
Kirkman’s script is wild with a lot of frantic action and characters willing to do life-altering damage. His characters are definitively a-moral, though they aren’t as stoic as you would believe. Moreover, each character has an emotional range that extremely evident. There is one glaring problem here. That is that just dropping into this issue, I was absolutely confused as to what the overall story was. I see people fighting and everyone has passion and a drive, however, I could not gleam why two characters were fighting in the beginning.
Chris Burnham is a long-time industry artist and his work is in overdrive here. The action he depicts is between a kung-fu movie and a Schwartzenneger gore-fest. He made the two mesh better than you would think in a comic book. The damage characters put upon each other is very visceral and easy to understand. The fight scenes are well laid out while being brutally punishing. This is not a comic for young kids or people sensitive to violence, although this is very good art.
Kirkman and Burnham have created a new brutal story that is very engaging, although not extremely clear. Thankfully, I managed to meet Burnham who laid out the story for me. I want to read the first three issues now. This comic has the potential to be what Kick-Ass was in the prior decade.
PICK OF THE WEEK
JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #2
Writer – Joshua Williamson
Artist – Stjepan Sejic
Cover Price – $3.99
The concept of the Ghost Sector is, in my opinion, the only compelling thing to come out of the Justice League: No Justice mini-series. Although I knew this new Justice League series would be based in it, I didn’t know it would quickly become one of the best series in modern DC publishing.
I’ve read Williamson’s attempts on a few different DC characters. Some work well and others don’t resonate as well. This comic may be Williamson’s best work. He takes the heroes and villain and he does not reinvent them. In fact, Williamson augments their voices and is rounding out their dialogue and characters. Additionally, Williamson has added an intriguing mystery that begs to be explored.
Stjepan Sejic. If you are not aware of his work you should look him up. He did early work for some of Image’s comics including Sunstone and Rat Queens, then started working for DC, most recently on Aquaman. His work has an elegance that you don’t see in a lot of comics. Sejic is responsible for both the art and the color and he has made these characters look unique. Moreover, each one has a tone and color palette that gives them a smooth polished look. His action has a different energy and makes sense on the page. In fact, Sejic is terrific at depicting energy powers. Starfire, Cyborg, and Azrael’s energy/fire has a tangible feeling of heat and life in it.
There is another thing that comes across in this issue. The Ghost Sector already has an interesting story in it. Meanwhile with hundreds of new planets in this section of outer space, there is a multitude of new stories that can come out of this chaotic area of space. This Justice League offshoot has just arrived, and things are already dire. With the first story full of high stakes and a strange mystery, what else can still be out there?
Justice League Odyssey is the kind of book that DC has been missing. It has the potential to redefine several B and C-list heroes into bigger players and elevate them past their reputations. This is a comic I look forward to seeing more of.
Did you read any comics we should review? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, here is a link to our comics news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!