IT’S WEDNESDAY! MORE OF THE LATEST COMICS ARE ON THE SHELVES!
There is a lot of events during Labor Day Weekend! Before we go to a couple, we have the newest comic reviews!
DC Comics/Rooster Teeth
Writers: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Mirko Andolfo
Cover Price: $0.99
An established story. A passionate fanbase. Two great creators! This should be a slam dunk! Why isn’t it?!
Marguerite Bennett is a talented writer that often finds nuance in the characters. In this issue, she isn’t showing off any of her skill. The entire issue is without dialogue, so there really isn’t any character building… at all. All of the story is via exposition rocketing through several seasons of RWBY that you could watch on Rooster Teeth’s website. The pace of the comic is very fast, however, when you have very little story, that is a side-effect.
Mirka Andolfo is similarly wasted in this issue. His work in Unnatural is very energetic and expressive. With the aforementioned lack of story, Andolfo is regulated to doing a series of pin-up-style scenes in the story recap. Moreover, some of those panels are used twice. Very obviously. There’s no chance to see how Andolfo would help Bennett in putting a scene together because he is recreating different moments from the RWBY web series.
I work hard to be positive. However, this is an issue that shouldn’t exist. I expected DC to either retell the web series in their style, or continue the story from the latest season. Somehow, they chose neither path and the result is just… dry.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #13
Writers: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist: Jason Masters & Sean Izaakse
Cover Price: $3.99
Sam Wilson is my favorite Captain America… although this one is also VERY good.
Ta-Nehisi Coates has brought some of his literary power from Black Panther and is doing a magical job with Steve Rogers. Most series build and defuse intrigue rather frequently. As of issue 13, the intrigue here only seems to increase as Cap’s enemies are firmly in control. Additionally, Coates is very careful to have the characters’ dialogue be distinct and make their voices unique. There are a couple of slips late in this comic, although you would have to be really critical to find them.
Jason Masters and Sean Izaakse share the art duties and I have a clear favorite of the two. Masters is the first art in the interior and his style is heavy. Heavier than John Romita, Jr. Masters uses thicker outer lines and good detail work. However, he uses a bit too many solid blacks for shadows making some scenes have enough darkness to physically walk through. Also, his action is somewhat stiff, so those scenes drag a little. Meanwhile, Izaakse’s work is much more fluid and makes the combat pop a bit more. He is also more sparing with shadows and gives his visuals room to breathe.
Captain America #12 is a better jumping-on point, although #13 is a wonderful follow-up and view into the status of Steve Rogers and the Daughters of Liberty. Also, if you haven’t done so already, look into the Dryad in this series. That revelation blew my mind!
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: CHOSEN ONES #1
Writers: Mairghread Scott, Celia Lowenthal & Alexa Sharpe
Artist: Ornella Savarese, Celia Lowenthal & Alexa Sharpe
Cover Price: $7.49
This is a large one-shot covering a lot of ground.
This over-sized comic is written by Mairghread Scott, Celia Lowenthal, and Alexa Sharpe. Scott’s story was by far my favorite. She uses dialogue that has a special bite. The interactions between the Native American Slayer and Spainard Watcher are touching and thought-provoking without being preachy. Moreover, the story is relevant and relatable to both its time period (the 1800’s) and modern times. The subsequent stories by Lowenthal and Sharpe don’t have the same punch and thoughtful aspects.
Meanwhile, Savarese’s art meshes well with Scott’s story. There is a sort of wild energy that augments the story. Savarese is light on detail, although her characters are very expressive. Moreover, the combat has an unexpected snap that is refreshing. You cannot overlook the careful color palette by Wesllei Manoel, who manages to keep the frontier darkness in scenes and preserving their atmosphere. Lowenthal and Sharpe drew their own artwork.
This comic builds a lot on the legend of the Slayer. It would be a shame if BOOM! Studios doesn’t capitalize on it.
PICK OF THE WEEK
G.I. JOE – A REAL AMERICAN HERO #266
Writers: Larry Hama
Artist: Robert Atkins
Cover Price: $3.99
I shouldn’t feel as quickly caught up in a comic over 250 issues deep in a series. Meanwhile… here we are.
Larry Hama, the original creator of modern G.I. Joe history, is showing us he can still build one heck of a story. Despite a lack of exposition text, the dialogue is just enough to give us a window into current events and characters. While they can get a hammy, I tend to expect that from G.I. Joe stories. Moreover, there is a number of newer characters that have been well-integrated with classic characters. It gives the story a lot of potential upside assuming the newer characters like Bombstrike and Helix make a good impression with readers.
Meanwhile, Robert Atkins art is good. Firstly, he is one of the artists who uses blacks well. None of the scenes are overburdened with darkness. Moreover, the action, while it can have a bit of a “wire-fu” feel, it is well composed on the page. Atkins has a terrific composition and makes images feel deep. There are a couple of critical complaints in the art. The detail can be missing in certain scenes. Moreover, character faces can be a bit flat. And finally, while the characters have visual depth, the backgrounds mostly don’t. A lot of backgrounds are very sparse.
I cannot get past how well put together this comic is as far as story. This issue feels like a more mature version of the 1980’s cartoon. The costumes are still over-the-top as far as Cobra. The scenes of a spy trying to scrounge enough cash among her squad to make an overbearing papergirl go away is hilarious. In addition, the scenario has long term story potential and a good cliffhanger to entice readers to buy another issue.
It isn’t the flashiest or my favorite issue that was released this week. However, this is the issue that surprised me the most and makes me think about altering my pull list.
What comics would make you alter your pull list? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, we have added a link to the latest episode of our comic book podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!