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Hit-Girl Season II #1 - Image Comics
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Hit-Girl Season II #1 - Image Comics
Image Comics

HIT-GIRL SEASON II #1
Image Comics

Writers: Kevin Smith
Artist:  Pernille Orum
Cover Price:  $3.99

A former fan-favorite anti-hero and an indie-directing darling?  It may sound like a sitcom pilot, however, it is the making of an interesting start.

Kevin Smith has been a polarizing comic book writer since he wrote a story where Batman wet his tights (seriously, find it in here).  In this comic, Smith works towards his strengths as a storyteller because he subverts all of his usual patterns.  This issue has one line of dialogue, total.  Meanwhile, the rest of the issue focuses on an intense action scene in a school and Hit-Girl maneuvering her way past several other situations.  Smith has managed to swerve both his fans and critics while delivering more than he does in his other comics.

Hit-Girl Season II #1 - Image Comics
Hit-Girl Season II #1 – Image Comics

Pernille Orum has worked before on DC SuperHero Girls books.  She is bringing the same youthful energy that has been missing from prior volumes of Hit-Girl.  Her art style is on the edge of manga-like, though still cartoony.  It makes the gory action even more shocking when the vibe of Orum’s art is bright and almost hopeful.  The action is high energy, although I am not entirely sure which direction Hit-Girl is moving all of the time.  There is a bit of a disconnect between panels in these moments.

After a couple of misses with Hit-Girl, Image appears to have the character back on track to be their half-pint hellion.  This can also be the comic that brings filmmaker Kevin Smith back to the forefront of comics.

Wonder Twins #1 - DC Comics
DC Comics

WONDER TWINS #1
DC Comics

Writers: Mark Russell
Artist:  Stephen Byrne
Cover Price:  $3.99

If you think that DC Comics takes itself too seriously, you really need to pick up this comic book.

Mark Russell has taken the cast-offs from the SuperFriends cartoon and now they are both endearing and ridiculous.  Russell has made them into nearly believable teenagers with hormonal problems and foibles.  Meanwhile, they still play an interesting part in the larger DC Universe as Justice League interns.  The dialogue, especially between the Trinity in this issue, is very funny without losing the feel of any character.  The panels where they are discussing the Twins limited abilities is probably echoed in every discussion about them in comic book stores all over the world.

Wonder Twins #1 - DC Comics
Wonder Twins #1 – DC Comics

Stephen Byrne’s art is a terrific compliment to Russell’s writing.  He goes with a minimal detail style, making the characters clean.  Moreover, it echoes the cartoon origins of the Wonder Twins in nearly every panel.  The expressions of the characters can come close to being too over the top. However, it never falls into an unbelievable range.  Although there is no real battle within this comic, there is a high-energy feeling in nearly every image that adds to the reading experience.

Wonder Twins #1 is the comic book equivalent of a very good in-joke.  You know the punchline, but it is still a lot of fun because it’s just that well told.

Avengers: No Road Home #1 - Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1
Marvel Comics

Writers: Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub
Artist:  Paco Medina
Cover Price:  $4.99

The last Avengers event felt like a means to just reshuffle rosters.  This one already feels like high-stakes adventure.

The writing is by three people, Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub.  All three have Avengers experience.  Combined, they have begun a story rooted in mythology that already has high consequences and threat.  Moreover, all three men have written very crisp dialogue through this issue.  Each Avenger has a vastly different voice because their speech patterns are so distinct throughout.  Additionally, this comic is over-sized, but it is fast paced and easy to read.  You will not spend any time bogged down in set-up because it picks up speed directly into the central story before the end of the comic.

Avengers: No Road Home #1 - Marvel Comics
Avengers: No Road Home #1 – Marvel Comics

Paco Medina’s art is one of the reasons this comic is so good.  He uses thicker outer lines and thin line work for details.  He is careful to use enough lines to imply gradients without making details non-distinct.  In addition, he manages to make the Avengers physically very different.  From Hercules’ stacked frame to Vision’s lithe body; from Wanda’s proportions to Voyager’s comic form, it is easy to tell characters apart.  While there is little direct action in this comic, there is a high-energy feeling to the artwork, including the slower moments when Hercules is grieving.  Medina likes his work to have a cinematic touch that comes across.

This isn’t the main roster, although this has a much bigger feel than the main roster’s adventures thus far.  Avengers: No Road Home is the biggest surprise of the week in just being a great start.

The Magic Order #6 - Image Comics
Image Comics

PICK OF THE WEEK
THE MAGIC ORDER #6
Image Comics

Writers: Mark Millar
Artist:  Oliver Copiel
Cover Price:  $3.99

My jaw hit the floor with the end of this volume.

Mark Millar’s story has been a high-octane ride and the sixth issue does not disappoint.  The characters have been steady to their motivations and origins throughout this run and this issue is no exception.  There are a couple of twists in this issue that have a serious wallop all the way to the final surprise.  The characters themselves have good dialogue.  There are times it can have a little too much exposition compared to normal human speech.  However, the comic moves on fast from those moments into the next scene and magical fight.

The Magic Order #6 - Image Comics
The Magic Order #6 – Image Comics

Oliver Copiel is an artist I would beg to meet in person.  His art has brought an unnatural, yet organic atmosphere you won’t find in the majority of comics on the racks.  Scenes in wind or rain are so vibrant, you can practically feel the drips of water in your surroundings.  His action has energy and power that the Justice League or X-Men can often be missing from their own comics.  Moreover, his characters are so expressive that they spring to life in your mind.  If I have to find a fault in his art, it is that he leans on cross-hatching for some of his detail.  It can make things look dirty.  Although, he uses it in the right places to actually make things and people look dirty.

The Magic Order #6 - Image Comics
The Magic Order #6 – Image Comics

There are a few items that are unclear, although that is likely because it has been six months since this volume began and I have read a lot of comics in between.  It is likely that while following Marvel and DC’s continuities, I just didn’t remember some of the details of this story.

As a result of these reviews, I have become a tremendous fan of some offbeat comics that sit on my shelves.  Rat Queens.  Sunstone.  Batman: White Knight.  When the trade paperback for the Magic Order is out, it will set next to them in high regard.

Which comics do you think are must-buys?  Let us know in the comments below!  In the meantime, enjoy a link to our comic book news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!

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