NEW COMICS ARE OUT ON HALLOWEEN!
Halloween does not stop the new comic shipments! Which ones deserve to be read?!
JUSTICE LEAGUE/AQUAMAN: DROWNED EARTH #1
Writer – James Tynion IV
Artist – Howard Porter
Cover Price – $4.99
This is another case of DC putting out a one shot tie-in to an ongoing story.
James Tynion IV is the author here and he is trying to balance a number of ongoing story lines and introduce readers to a crossover that feels more like a line-wide event story. Tynion knows the voices of DC’s heroes and is adept at giving them great dialogue. The writing is just dragged down by the four different concurrent stories in this single issue and the breakneck pacing running through them. You have Batman in the Hall of Justice, a worldwide mystical flood, the Flash assisting in global rescues, Aquaman beset by new villains, Mera trying to save Atlantis, and Wonder Woman… Actually, I don’t know what she is doing. This combined with catch-up exposition is just too much.
Howard Porter is the artist and he is not a good fit here. He likes to use high and low angles to try to add a dynamic feel, although his proportion often feels off. Additionally, heads are often too small, faces can look alike with huge eyes, and the action does not have enough weight to it. However, his art is better suited to some of the nightmare-like villains for this issue, although they play a very small part here.
DC should have used this story to continue in the pages of Justice League and Aquaman. Actually, they should have just advertised this event more. The concept is good, however making this a one-shot feels like another cash grab like the Witching Hour one-shot.
TONY STARK – IRON MAN #5
Writer – Dan Slott
Artist – Max Dunbar & Gang Hyuk Lim
Cover Price – $3.99
I often think of Tony Stark as the sloppiest hero in the Marvel Universe. If that is true, his brother may be the nicest villain in it.
Dan Slott has found a new use for the Stark’s brother, Arno, and it is frightening. While both Tony and Arno mean well, Arno performs his tasks/missions with no regard for human costs or ethics. With all of this in mind, Slott has now made a foil for Tony Stark that is on his level and personal without being too much like Tony’s devil-may-care demeanor. Because of this you keep measuring Arno and Tony. This issue pulls at your mind and makes you think.
Max Dunbar has the lion share of the art in this issue, so I am going to focus on him. I think his art is adequate, although it does not excel in any way. His proportions are fine and his his composition is passable. However, he has low detail, thin lines, and low energy action. I see the potential in his work, although I do not think that the art helped this comic.
This comic presents some interesting concepts and characters. Meanwhile, it is not the kind of issue that will bring in casual readers if they start here.
Nancy Drew #05
Writer – Kelly Thompson
Artist – Jenn St-Onge
Cover Price – $3.99
I never read Nancy Drew books or Hardy Boys Mysteries growing up. There isn’t have a good reason why. Since there is a now comic, I should give it a shot.
I have encountered Kelly Thompson’s writing before, and it is usually good. Here, Thompson is at the top of her game. This issue manages to be easy to drop in to and hits you with enough story that you catch up fast despite this being the fifth chapter of the story. Meanwhile, Nancy is not a catch-all character. She is smart without being overpowering physically. Cunning without punching. Moreover, her Hardy Boys have a similar balance of personality, style, and capability. The dialogue and exposition is also direct without losing character.
There is a cartoonish quality in Jenn St-Onge’s art. In the beginning, I didn’t think it was good, however, it grew on me. It’s because there is a sharp character that comes through in the art and the Steven-Universe-like quality of its presentation. There is little by the way of action in this book at all and none of it can be considered fighting. The pacing is also unlike a lot of other comics. These characters rely on wits, not fighting, to solve a problem.
Despite its few flaws, this is a good comic. The characters are believable and the situation is plausible. Combine that with the end-of-issue cliffhanger and this series is probably the type of book young and old readers can enjoy.
PICK OF THE WEEK
HEROES IN CRISIS #2
Writer – Tom King
Artist – Clay Mann & Travis Moore
Cover Price – $3.99
Infinite Crisis. Dark Nights: Metal. No Justice. None of them are as compelling to me as Heroes in Crisis is.
Tom King continues to peel back the layers of characters in his writing to redefine DC’s biggest and well-known characters. However, he is not reinventing the wheel. Moreover, he is adding depth that a lot of other creators gloss over in their work to make these characters more human and relatable. In fact, the moments where you are flashing back to several heroes and villains in sessions of therapy are eye-opening when it comes to some of the cornerstones of the characters and puts them in a new light.
Clay Mann is still a solid artist, however, he does not have any stand out panels like he did in the first issue. His backgrounds have an insane amount of detail by comic book standard. Meanwhile, he is one of the best at portraying textures with a mix of effective shadow and light cross-hatching. A lot of artists lean on one effect or another, although Mann uses both to bring his art to life. His action is well-defined and has a good flow from page to page.
The Harley Quinn vs. DC’s Trinity is worth this comic alone as the trickster is in one of her classic costumes and completely outmaneuvers Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. King and Mann may have succeeded in bringing Harley Quinn to a new level. In fact, she may be a member of DC’s elite warriors.
This is one of the comics that a comic reader should not sleep on. This book has been eye-opening and thoroughly enjoyable without being deep in DC’s lore. Finally, if you have not read the first two issues, do not wait. Buy them now.
Which series do you think 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!