THE LATEST COMICS ARE PULLED AND REVIEWED!
Every Wednesday, we receive some of the latest comics and review them for you! Which comic stood above the others this week?
LONE RANGER #2
Writer – Mark Russell
Artist – Bob Q
Cover Price – $3.99
The Lone Ranger used to be one of the most infamous properties in all of pop culture. All it will take to be one again is one good story. This does not appear to be that story.
Mark Russell’s writing was pretty bland. The dialogue didn’t have any standout moments or characters. Meanwhile, the story line did come together, although it came together very slowly. In fact, the pacing of the story was one of the larger problems of this comic for me. There could be long parts of this comic stitched together with smash cut transitions so fast, I thought I missed a page or two somewhere.
The art by Bob Q was also relatively unremarkable. He uses thick lines and minimal detail. Moreover, a lot of his characters had bland faces. Their faces could look so similar, I was glad that a number of them had facial hair to tell them apart. In addition to all of that, Bob’s smiling characters could look close to deranged.
I grew up with stories of the Lone Ranger, however this series is not a good continuation of that legend. This is one of those series that is hard to find any sort of silver lining to.
Writer – Dan Abnett
Artist – Minkyu Jung
Cover Price – $3.99
The first issue of Titans in the post Dark Nights: Metal era was uninspiring and visually trying. This issue is a marked improvement.
Dan Abnett has stripped away a lot of the invincibility and stereotypes of these characters to make them very vulnerable and more like people. Meanwhile, each character handles in-the-moment narration. This comic’s quick pace would be a lesser issue in the hands of most writers, however Abnett balances the story between five characters without any feeling shallow or overlooked.
Minkyu Jung did not do the art in my prior Titans review. I know that because the style is different and much improved. The art isn’t perfect. Jung’s version of “shocked” is to make the irises smaller. Meanwhile, his proportions are on point and his characters are well-defined. The art is minimal in detail although the character’s heads and faces are carefully shaped to give them more individuality. It is an unusual style, but it does work for this comic.
This is a huge rise for these characters and this series overall. If this upswing in quality continues, Titans may prove to be far more interesting than the Justice League. If you don’t think Abnett can do that, he helped make a talking raccoon and tree as popular as Captain America. Go figure.
UNCANNY X-MEN #1
Writer – Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg & Kelly Thompson
Artist – Mahmud Asrar
Cover Price – $7.99
The most infamous X-Men series has returned to the shelves! Is this a worthy return to go with the name?
I’m going to talk about the story overall because three different writers put together this issue. This issue leans heavily on long-standing characters and story lines. Therefore, you would need to be a reader of a few different series and miniseries to have an idea to what’s going on. Meanwhile, this issue is brimming with a number of characters and situations in 30 pages of the main story. While it moves quickly, it can feel like the X-Men are flying between problems in this issue. The dialogue is passable and Brisson, Rosenberg, and Thompson are all good writers, although no character stood out in such limited time.
Mahmud Asrar’s art is on the borderline between cartoon-y and comic book styles. There are times where his style can seem too wide-eyed and a bit unpolished. With that said, Asrar’s work is high on energy and flash. His characters are easily recognizable and his action goes well from panel to panel. With this being a first issue, I am willing to give Asrar time to settle into the roster before making a final decision.
This series is off to a good start, however that only applies if you are already a long-time fan of the X-Men and their affiliates. If you are not, this could easily be a very confusing comic. Meanwhile, the beginnings of a far-reaching story has begun. It will take time to see if the Uncanny X-Men develops well.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #5
Writer – Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist – Leinil Francis Yu
Cover Price – $3.99
This comic is quietly one of Marvel’s best.
Ta-Nehisi Coates began this series with a Captain America that doubts his mission and himself. Five issues in, he has rebuilt Steve Rogers as a man of determination. Coates uses exposition boxes with simple sentences so he does not distract from the story that he has crafted or Yu’s artwork. The dialogue is limited with this comic being mostly action, however, the dialogue is well timed and extremely to-the-point. Moreover, this comic is the epitome of “less is more.”
Leinil Francis Yu has a very hard style of art that is great… mostly. The action is weighty and well done and the characters all have distinct looks. Meanwhile, his detail ranges from very limited to using a lot of lines to detail shadows and gradients. However, there are times this art style falls flat. In this issue, it mostly has to do with the appearance of the Winter Soldier who looks like he just found a cosplay tutorial on mask blending. It is just enough to drag your attention out of the story and question what you are looking at.
Meanwhile, even with that flaw, this issue has shown the lynch pins holding together a new villainous organization. This group, the Power Elite, reaches into happenings in a few series, including the recent Avengers #10, their 700th issue. It creates a web of crossing story lines that I have not seen since the integrated stories of 1990’s Image Comics.
This comic really surprised me with how well done it is, as well as how deeply it connects to happenings in the Avengers and the Immortal Hulk. I think it will have further developments for the rest of Marvel in the future. If you are not buying the single issues, I strongly suggest picking up the eventual trade paperback.
Which issues did you enjoy this week? Let us know in the comments below! Meanwhile, here is a link to our latest comic book news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!