THE LATEST COMICS AND OUR REVIEW OF THEM!
Christmas is coming fast! Which comics are you going to use as stocking stuffers?
GRIMM TALES OF TERROR #9
Writer – Ben Meares
Artist – Jason Muhr
Cover Price – $3.99
Zenescope has a pretty decent horror comic on its hands.
I admit to some skepticism going in on this issue, however, Bean Meares’ writing managed to rise above the limitations of a static storytelling medium. Meares’ adaptation of an urban legend transformed into a sci-fi horror tale has a couple of surprises. In addition, the dialogue moves well without delving far into cliches. While I am not a horror fan, I do think this is a sharp piece of work.
Jason Muhr is similarly a hidden gem. His art style is a mix of thick lines for outlines and thin lines for details. His characters pop well on the page and his characters are very expressive. Their faces are easy to infer emotion form and they are easy to tell apart. Meanwhile, his monsters aren’t the greatest. The design of them is still a bit too human-like in form for me, although that is more of a personal preference.
I know Zenescope for its risque versions of fairy tales characters, however, if they turn out a few more issues like Grimm Tales of Terror, I will add “entertaining horror comics” to my description.
DEAD MAN LOGAN #1
Writer – Ed Brisson
Artist – Mike Henderson
Cover Price – $4.99
With Logan alive again, the question isn’t “What do they do with Old Man Logan.” The question is, “How does he go out?”
Ed Brisson gets to the hard work of tying up Old Man Logan’s story and he is staring with a combination of determination and irony. I would understand if anyone reads this and draws a comparison between it and Fox’s Logan movie, although, Brisson is starting with some nice pathos in Old Man Logan’s mission and a great travelling partner in Clint Barton. The characters are entertaining and the story is focused without being thin. My only problem is that this issue doesn’t tell us quite what we may have missed. When Old Man Logan is found, he is with a beheaded Maestro and one set of his claws are bone. I am sure this is told in other issues, however, a quick primer would have helped.
The art is handled by Mike Henderson. It is usually passable with some thick line work and good work with blacks, though his characters can sometimes be a bit plain or inconsistent. The art can often be light on detail. Moreover, the composition and character positioning can be awkward. In addition, the art is a decent fit for the story. I’m willing to see if things gel a bit more a few issues into this 12-part story.
I prefer Old Man Logan to the usual version of the character. However, if this story gives Old Man Logan a purpose and send-off with the same emotional weight of the film, this will be worth the ride.
WONDER WOMAN #59
Writer – G. Willow Wilson
Artist – Cary Nord
Cover Price – $3.99
The creator of Kamala Khan is writing DC’s biggest superheroine! How is it turning out?
G. Willow Wilson writes characters with a lot of heart. Her depiction of Diana’s conflict over Ares’ apparent new philosophy is strong and well defined, as well as understandable. Wonder Woman’s concern for life is additionally powerful here. Unfortunately, the story is a lot less clear outside of their conflict. The other story in this comic between Steve Trevor and mystical beasts is a mystery throughout. Moreover, this issue would have benefited from the synopsis found on the first page of other comics.
Cary Nord’s art is not a good mesh for this story. His proportions are fine and his action is energetic. Meanwhile, he uses thick lines and his detail is extremely minimal through the comic. These characters lack definition and Wonder Woman’s face can change significantly from panel to panel. These inconsistencies made me look over some pages so long, I was getting yanked from the story.
I can feel the story Wilson is working towards, meanwhile, it hides so deeply under a lack of exposition and the art, I can’t find it. This may be better after reading prior issues, however, this is not a place to jump into this series.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Writer – Eve Ewing
Artist – Kevin Libranda & Luciano Vecchio
Cover Price – $4.99
There is a lot of consternation online about Marvel’s push for diversity in its legacy-carrying heroes. Ironheart was a bold risk. Now, it is paying dividends.
Eve Ewing brought Riri Williams’ strengths and eccentricities to life in this one issue. She presents a character who is smart, awkward, strong, and an over-thinker in vivid detail through exposition and dialogue. As a matter of fact, Ewing’s writing of Ironheart is, in my opinion, the strongest I have seen in Marvel thus far. This is because she gives Riri a terrific stream-of-thought speech pattern and presents us with a couple of mysteries and surprises that made me shout out loud at the end.
The art in this oversized issue is by Kevin Lebranda and Luciano Vecchio. Unfortunately, I don’t know which one did which pages at the time of this review. I noted that one artist was trying to emulate the other. Most of the art has an interesting fusion of anime, comic, and cartoon stylings. The lines stay thin and the detail is minimized, although effective. Characters in this comic are expressive without being overburdened with lines. Meanwhile, objects have more detail and small lines to denote texture and different materials. The other artist has a much more angular style, although he definitely was trying his best to copy the style of the first. Meanwhile, the art fits the tone of this book very well.
Additionally, the action in this issue shows how Riri Williams is set apart from other armor-wearing heroes in Marvel like Tony Stark and James Rhodes; Riri doesn’t out-punch her foes. She spends her time in and out of armor thinking about how to get past her problems by out-maneuvering others. Moreover, she does this to both defeat super villains and to avoid awkward lunch invitations. Finally, her origin story is topical and relatable in today’s America.
Ironheart is a refreshing superhero and a great story of a young woman learning about herself and others as a person and a hero. While second issues are when you know if a comic series has a shot at a consistent run, this first issue already has the elements of a terrific new story. Let’s see if she can earn a place next to Kamala Khan and Laura Kinney as the next young Marvel mainstays.
Which stories would you buy your friends for the holidays? Let us know in the comments below! Meanwhile, here is a link to our comic news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!