It’s another Thursday which means yesterday was new comic book day! I apologize for missing last week, especially given how many great books came out. Between my two year old pooping in the bathtub and developing a sudden peanut allergy that took us to the pediatrician, it was a pretty hectic week but we’re back! This week we’ve got the double header of Batman from DC, the second to last Cap book from Chris Samnee, the scatterbrained but hopefully evolving Snagglepuss and finally, another #1 from Jeff Lemire and Image Comics. I did my best to keep this spoiler free this week but if you haven’t picked up your books yet, what’re you doing?! Go pick up your comics, read them, then come back and yell at me in the comments.
This is a great week for comics and I was really excited to dig into my pull for the week, so let’s check it out!
Tom King and Mikel Janin
I’ve never been a big fan of Poison Ivy. The character never did anything for me and I always thought she was kind of a bore, but this Everyone Loves Ivy arc has changed that. When we left off, Batman and Catwoman had realized that they were the only people on the planet not affected by Ivy’s grasp. In this issue we find out that members of the Justice League aren’t immune either. I’m trying not to spoil this issue because it really exceeded my expectations, but at this point I don’t even know what to expect from King. I’ve said it a hundred times but he’s easily the most humanizing writer of Batman and the wide array of villains he’s worked with during his run. This run has been extremely emotional and so very rich with character development that you almost feel bad for the antagonist and I think that’s King’s mission. Like most of his issues focusing on the Bat/Cat relationship, it’s full of little jabs between characters and it showcases their off but endearing relationship. I really enjoyed this issue and I’m excited to see where this arc goes because I think it has a lot of potential to be one of the best in this already incredible run.
Captain America #699
Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
This issue is bittersweet because I know the next issue of Captain America will be Chris Samnee’s last and he’s been an integral part of bringing back the Cap a lot of people know and love. After the landmark 700th issue, Leonardo Romero will take over and while I think he’s a very capable and adequate replacement, I’ll definitely miss Samnee on this title. The last few issues of this have really strayed away from the initial one and done stories they were doing when they took over. I like to think that those issues were a way to show the hesitant readers like myself, that Cap had gone back to his roots. This new story arc shows Cap once again frozen for a shorter period of time than before and when he wakes up he learns that the US government has been overthrown by the villain group that he was on the verge of defeating a few issues back. He formed a ragtag militia in the previous issue and has taken them into action while running into some old favorites, the Hulk and the Thing. We can only assume that the Thing being in this issue is ramping up some kind of Fantastic 4 relaunch but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I loved this issue because it’s still just a solid story with fantastic art and plenty of feel good speeches from Steve Rogers. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this arc but like I said before, it’ll be sad to see Samnee leave the story.
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #3
Mark Russell and Mike Feehan
I’m still on the fence about this comic. I love the writer and I like the subject matter, but I’m just waiting for this book to stop walking in circles and start doing something interesting. I understand it’s only the third issue and there’s a lot of groundwork to be laid out but it’s starting to get repetitive and uninteresting. I love the MacCarthy emphasis that’s slowly creeping in the background but I feel like it’s being overshadowed by a poor attempt at making the characters seem deeper than they really are. I’ve been excited about this book for months but I think I had higher expectations than what could be delivered. It’s hard to follow up on that amazing Flintstones run but I’m hoping this turns around eventually and is just as good as if not better.
Batman: White Knight #6
It’s no secret that Sean Murphy has a soft spot for the seminole Batman: the Animated Series and it really shows in this storyline. Bringing back the original Harley Quinn from the Batman Adventures comic to his resurrection of the undeniably awesome Batmobile, this comic seems like one big homage to the groundbreaking cartoon series. The last few issues have been littered with inner turmoil between characters and the never ending questions of Jack Napier’s real intentions. There’s so much going on between characters coming back, new characters being formed from old ones, alliances being broken, and the quest for justice against Batman that I think everyone can find something to rave about in this comic. Murphy understands the character of Bruce Wayne and does him justice by not separating him from the cowl but making the two one in the same. I love that he’s diving into the Wayne family too because I feel like that’s an untapped resource that a lot of writers ignore. We never know much more about his parents outside of their defining moment, so it’s nice to see their story get some elaboration because it really shows their connection to Gotham and justifies Bruce’s obsession with protecting it. I say this every time but I love Sean Murphy’s art and I think it perfectly captures the landscape of Gotham City. When I think of Gotham or Batman, I see a rustic skyline full of dark buildings and sketch alleyways and that’s exactly what you get in the chaotic beauty that Murphy lays out. This is probably my favorite issue of this series and that last panel is the standout of this issue. There’s only two more to go so I’m looking forward to seeing how this is going to wrap up. Hopefully at the end of it, we’ll see Murphy working on more DC properties or maybe he’ll go back to his creator owned work (crossing my fingers for more Tokyo Ghost).
Gideon Falls #1
Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino
I don’t know where Jeff Lemire finds the time to eat, sleep, or write 30 comics a month but he somehow does it and never neglects any of his titles. This is the first issue of his independent collaboration with Andrea Sorrentino. The pair have worked together on Green Arrow and more recently finished a run on the newly revamped Old Man Logan from last year. I’m a huge fan of Lemire and to see him working with Sorrentino again was all I needed to pre-order this book the second the news came out that it was happening. Lemire is a brilliant storyteller but it’s hard to find a creative team that just clicks like him and Sorrentino. Their work on Old Man Logan was by far the best thing coming out of Marvel Comics at the time and I expect nothing less of Gideon Falls. Even in its first issue, it leaves you wanting more and commands you to immediately reread it so you can soak it all in. I don’t want to give too much away since it’s a first issue, but it starts out slow with the telling of two separate stories but ultimately it all comes together towards the end and leaves us with an incredible cliffhanger. Lemire is setting up something really interesting here but the content is so vague that it intrigues the reader into pining for that follow up issue. Sorrentino’s art does an amazing job of laying out the two stories and having them find their way to one another at the end. I’ve always said his art style is a mixture of Mitch Gerads and Sean Murphy. There’s a chaotic, scratchy beauty to the odd ways he lays his pages out and it really adds an unseen depth to the characters and settings. I cannot wait to see where they head with this and I’m even more excited knowing that it’s a creator owned project so i’m sure we’ll see Lemire and Sorrentino take some really cool chances with this story.
That’s it for this week! Come back next Thursday for more. Also, make sure to check out a new thing I’m doing called TPB Sundays where I review volume 1’s of various trades I’ve been reading, Two weeks ago was BITCH PLANET and this upcoming week will cover the first volume of Brian Wood’s Briggs Land.
Mister Miracle #7