WHILE BIG EVENTS HAPPEN, COMICS ARE STILL BEING RELEASED!
While E3 is in full force in Los Angeles, we still take a few minutes to read the latest comics!
STAR TREK: THE Q CONFLICT #5
Writers: Scott Tipton & David Tipton
Artist: David Messina
Cover Price: $3.99
We came in late to this mini-series crossing the various Star Trek TV series. Is it worthy of its pedigree?
The story by Scott and David Tipton is surprisingly accessible in this issue. Although I have some early confusion, the exposition-via-dialogue is just enough information to get me up to date on what is happening. As the issue progresses, we are similarly caught up to a lot of the positioning of Trek’s more famous characters. Meanwhile, the dialogue of these characters is fitting, although uninspired. There does not seem to be any chances taken to build on the mythos of the sci-fi series. Moreover, a lot of easter eggs aren’t just implanted in the story, they are outright presented to the reader.
In addition, the art by David Messina is similarly challenging. While each character is easily recognizable, there is no emotion or energy in the art. There is no visual flow. No action or character is especially dynamic. The comic has an overall look that reminds me of several actor head shots photoshopped together to make a single image. I can’t tell you any single image in this issue that sticks out in my mind.
This issue is fairly well written, though it is not visually appealing. I do plan to read the entire mini series, although I would need a mid-volume break with some Rat Queens or another energy-filled series.
THE FLASH #72
Writers: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
Cover Price: $3.99
The Flash is getting a Year One origin! Is this issue as inspiring as this kind of story has been for Batman or Superman?
Joshua Williamson is on my list as one of the writers that can craft a good story. This story isn’t that. While a hero that is learning his powers can make for compelling character work, a lot of that is swapped out for Barry Allen picking up powers fast and getting lucky. Moreover, his enemy in this issue, the Turtle, is able to slow down those around him. However, he moves at normal speed while talking excruciatingly slow. The disparity in speed, action, and speech makes this issue frustrating in pace. The character dialogue is also full of cliche puns and items that may matter to long-time Flash fans. Although, those same items can feel like a series of dad jokes.
Howard Porter’s art is very busy. He uses a lot of deep lines for details combined with blacks that give everything a hard, edgy, and scratchy feel. Except, because of this style, the art fits the story extremely well. the action has the right energy and visual effect to tell the story well. While Porter’s expressions can use some refinement, they are easy to infer emotions from. The body proportions are better than average and the character placement is great.
The Flash #72 is visually interesting, although the writing can feel like a not-too-interesting episode of the CW show. With that said, I do see the potential here.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #23
Writers: Nick Spencer
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Cover Price: $3.99
When you deal with Kraven, you deal with a “hunt.” Although this issue is more.
Even though this issue is one long epilogue, Nick Spencer does not skimp on the story. This issue is slightly bigger than the average issue, although it doesn’t end any particular story. In fact, it advances quite a few stories and characters and leaves tantalizing clues to Spider-Man’s future and foes to come. Additionally, this issue deals with a panicked Spider-Man. It humanizes the character more than usual as he attempts to rescue those close to him. Even the final few pages has a reveal that is both familiar and profound.
Ryan Ottley handles the art. His style uses a lot of thick line work and some moderate detail, both light and dark. He has come a long way in the last few months. (I used to describe his laughing characters as drunkenly burping.) Although his characters can still be blocky and his faces can be strangely square. Meanwhile, his expressions are easier to read. The action is easy to follow and has a kinetic spirit. Additionally, the characters in anguish are in palpable pain and it pulls you in further in those moments.
This comic is the jump-in point a lot of series pine for. You are yanked into the story and given multiple items to look forward to in the future.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Writers: Tini Howard
Artist: Hannah Templer
Cover Price: $3.99
This comic reminds me so much of the Netflix show… it is GREAT!
Tini Howard has captured so much of the spirit of the Netflix show and the actors, I don’t think they’ve skipped a beat from the live action. The characters have retained their quirky voices in the dialogue. Meanwhile, they are put in a situation that promises to push them to the limits of their capabilities. This story could easily be a third season for the show with minor alterations. The interaction between characters feels organic and logical. Additionally, everything is kept so simple, it is easy to figure out everyone’s motivations.
The art by Hannah Templer could be more detailed. She uses just enough lines to make the characters recognizable. outside, that, there is no detail at all in the characters. Moreover, there is minimal detail in the clothes. If it wasn’t for smart application of colors, these people could look so alike as to bring this issue down. With that said, there is a lot of life in the images. Everything appears upbeat and the emotions on display are easy to discern. The art has a slight manwha quality mixed with classic Archie Comics.
As both a fan of the show and someone that has spent a little bit of time in a wrestling ring, the story really hit home with me. It focuses on the differences between the GLOW wrestlers and the Star Primas, a group of more physical performers who do not see GLOW as in the same business. Moreover, it shows how hard it is for some people to see eye-to-eye, despite their similarities.
Although you need a decent knowledge of the show to understand some of the character interactions, this comic does a great job of advancing the stories of a lot of them. I was hoping for a bit more Marc Maron in it, but, realistically, it isn’t his story.
Which comics did you read this week? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, here is a link to the latest episode of our comic book podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!