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Mage - The Hero Denied #15 - Image Comics
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Which comic is the Pick of the Week?

Captain Marvel - Braver & Mightier #1 - Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

CAPTAIN MARVEL – BRAVER & MIGHTIER #1
Marvel Comics

Writers: Jody Houser
Artist:  Simone Buonfantino
Cover Price:  $3.99

With a movie coming in less than two weeks, you know Marvel is going to push Carol Danvers to fans.

In this issue, the writing is by Jody Houser.  She does a fine job of giving us a valorous Captain Marvel.  Meanwhile, the action is broken up by a sub-story involving two high school journalists waiting to ask their allotted question.  The issue moves well, although there isn’t much characterization here.  The comic reinforces Carol’s determination and dogged sense of duty.  It’s just that nothing here reinvents or changes anything.

Captain Marvel - Braver & Mightier #1 - Marvel Comics
Captain Marvel – Braver & Mightier #1 – Marvel Comics

Simone Buonofantino draws this issue.  She has a solid sense of body structure and the characters have a good sense of motion.  Her character expressions are easily recognizable, though they don’t always convey the breadth of emotion I think they are aiming fore.  Moreover, while the art can be called “solid” overall, Buonofantino tends to add gradient to Carol’s costume with large swatches of black.  It isn’t a terrible look, however it seem to make Captain Marvel appear to be in bright light and deep shadow a lot.  It can be distracting.

If you are a Captain Marvel fan already, this is an issue that will make you smile.  If you aren’t a Captain Marvel fan, I do not think this comic will change your mind.

Mage - The Hero Denied #15 - Image Comics
Image Comics

MAGE – THE HERO DENIED #15
Image Comics

Writers: Matt Wagner
Artist:  Matt Wagner
Cover Price:  $3.99

Growing up, I didn’t read Mage comics.  He looks like a Shazam fanboy who got lost.  Now, I regret that assumption.

Matt Wagner’s creation is put through the wringer in this final issue to this story and it has a serious big-fight feel.  Wager does an amazing job of delivering just enough exposition through the dialogue to get you caught up.  Meanwhile, the comic is a bit word-heavy.  You have to do a lot of reading to follow the flow of the story.  However the characters are very natural and interesting.  Even though I came in late, all of the characters have individual voices.  I am impressed.

Mage - The Hero Denied #15 - Image Comics
Mage – The Hero Denied #15 – Image Comics

Wagner also does the art.  This is less my speed.  Wagner’s art can be stiff.  Moreover, it has a rounded, comic-strip feel.  While proportions are good and the action moves in a good way, the art is very light on detail.  Characters that are dirty still look like they came right out of a tub.  The monsters I saw in this issue have the same high and low points.  They are distinct without being dynamic.

Despite not liking the art, the writing has me intrigued.  The issue kept me in the story and entertained.  I will need to go backwards and see more of Mage and find out what I’ve missed.

The Silencer #14 - DC Comics
DC Comics

THE SILENCER #14
DC Comics

Writers: Dan Abnett
Artist:  V. Ken Marion
Cover Price:  $3.99

The Silencer is making noise.

Dan Abnett is fairly busy is working on a few comics for DC lately.  To me, this is some of his best work for the company.  The dialogue is a bit exposition heavy, although it is just enough to explain the current story.  Meanwhile, the characters voices are clear and fairly concise.  The story weaves a bit , however the overall issue is well-paced.  The current story is very strong and compelling.

The Silencer #14 - DC Comics
The Silencer #14 – DC Comics

V. Ken Marion’s art is new to me, although it is noticeably good.  His action is a high point on this issue.  He makes the Silencer a dynamic and efficient killer.  The action moves extremely well.  Meanwhile, his characters are highly detailed and expressive.  There is little here that cannot be understood in a glance.  Even with all of this praise, there are a few things that could use work.  The panels in the Silencer can feel busy with too much flotsam in them.  Additionally, Marion uses multiple small lines for gradients.  It creates a very scratchy look that may be distracting.

Despite its flaws, the Silencer is a gem of a series that is linking to other stories involving Action Comics.  If only more of DC’s New Age of Heroes characters were this good!

Invaders #2 - Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

PICK OF THE WEEK
INVADERS #2
Marvel Comics

Writers: Chip Zdarsky
Artist:  Carlos Magno & Butch Guice
Cover Price:  $3.99

“Whoa.”  This comic made me say, “Whoa.”

Chip Zdarsky is in strong form here.  The Avengers-precursors, for the most part, feel more fleshed out than they have in prior modern miniseries.  Specifically, Namor and Captain America have both the most dialogue and the most obvious character progression.  Zdarsky’s story strikes a careful balance of making both the heroes and villains in this series smart, capable, and devious.  Neither side fails, however, neither side appears weaker at the end.

Invaders #2 - Marvel Comics
Invaders #2 – Marvel Comics

Meanwhile, Carlos Magno handles the art in the present timeline and Butch Guice draws the flashbacks.  Magno’s art feels… I know “chunky” isn’t a word usually associated with art, although it feels appropriate.  It seem over-textured, like Magno spent a lot of time trying to give his art a tactile sensation.  In the meantime, his action is good and his characters are easily recognizable.  Butch’s art in the flashbacks is cleaner with good fine detail and excellent proportion and energy.  Additionally, Butch’s work has a throwback quality to it and it adds authenticity to the various flashback to the Invaders’ World War II days.

Invaders #2 - Marvel Comics
Invaders #2 – Marvel Comics

I do have to add that this issue explains at least part of the massive power up of the Sub-Mariner in the latest volume of Marvel Comics.  He has a power boost due to a classic Spider-Man villain that adds a logical expansion to Namor’s abilities without completely transforming the character.  Moreover, Zdarsky’s writing pays careful attention to Namor’s prior runs and does not lose track of the character overall.

Invaders #2 is far from a perfect comic.  However, it does answer a few questions about the aquatic anti-hero and adds a level of threat without diminishing anyone involved.

Do you have a favorite series?  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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