Sadly 2000AD’s website seems to be suffering tech difficulties, or to quote one of there tweets “Our website has a Thrillsucker infestation, Earthlets. DO NOT PANIC! Droids are now sweeping the server sub-basement with electro-whips.”
Marvel starts Avengers vs X-Men proper this week, but I’m still not getting drawn in. Hopefully I can avoid it all being spoiled too much.
I’ve cut back hugely on the New 52 comics, possibly too harshly, but that’s how it is going to be. I’m not looking forward to making decisions about next week’s releases though, but I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.
Justice League International
Hawk & Dove
Men Of War
Animal Man #8
Written by Jeff Lemire
Pencilled by Steve Pugh & Travel Foreman
Inked by Jeff Huet & Steve Pugh
Cover Color by Loverne Kindzierski
Lettered by Jared K FletcherIt’s not often I swear on here so understand the level of weirded out I am when I say fuck me sideways with a fish knife but the body horror returns in the most horrific of manners this month. Also bear in mind I don’t shock easy. I for one am glad the art is no more detailed than it is. You’ve been warned folks.
Surrounded by creatures of the Rot it’s time for Barry to make some hard decisions. The strong feeling of family comes to the fore once again as Buddy does what he can to protect his family, weight Ellen’s fear against Maxine’s increasing powers.
Animal Man is really looking like the best horror title out there at the moment. It is also far more than that. The heart of the book really emphasise the strain of the crazy world of superheroes has on a person and their family, especially the current nastiness. It something not seen often enough and serves to ground a book, and give depth that would perhaps otherwise be lacking.
Justice League International #8
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencilled by Aaron Lopresti
Inked by Matthew Ryan
Cover Color by Jeromy N. Cox
Lettered by Travis LanhamI’m on the fence about JLI. But at least I’m not going from pillar to post about them like Batman is if Justice League is to be believed.
The drastic reduction in the roster following last month’s bombing means the characters still on their feet get a bit more time to grow this issue.
Booster Gold is aided by Batwing as he faces off against Lightweaver. But it is only part of the problems the JLI face. A far more switched on villain than most Lightweaver is prepared to retreat and meet up with foes that could be considerably worse for the team to face.
The U.N. is determined to wash its hands of the JLI and puts its political weight behind doing so by any means nessesary.
There is another cameo this month, aside from Batwing, that I’m really disappointed in.
The writing is good but the tone of the series is still hard to decipher. After a bit of humour in the opening arc things seem to have turned considerably grimdark over the last few issues.
Written by Paul Jenkins
Pencilled by Daniel Horn & Ignacio Calero
Inked by Sean Parsons & Daniel Horn
Cover Color by Alex Sinclair
Lettered by Rob Leigh“Boys can like boys, it doesn’t matter”. Damned right. Jenny Quantum won’t replace Jenny Sparks, but she does talk sense, and awesome.
Midnighter stepping around the subject seems possibly out of character though. Maybe he just shelters kids more than I’d imagine. Although that’s unlikely given the way things turn out. Anyway…
The dysfunctional team dynamics remains at the centre of the series this month, as the Engineer steps into her leadership role and tries to get answers about the Gravity Miners. This provides the reader with a nicely compacted info dump without it feeling out of place or overwhelming. This also sheds more lights on the Daemonites, who do seem to be involved across the Wildsotrm elements of the New 52.
For the record I remain in favour of diminutive names for any evil alien creature humans have to interact with when the sensible option would be killing them. Manipulation is always a good fall back though.
The writing gets in a few jokes, which is good because it almost makes a name like Gravity Miners seem believable. Swinging back around to the quote at the start f things there’s more relationship related dialogue than you’d expect. There’s also a nice weight of science babble, which founded in reality or not gives a sense of depth and solidity to the plot.
This issue really knocks it out the park. And for a two issue arc that’s damned good going. Saying that the issue would stand alone perfectly well, and works very well, cramming a huge amount in without any loss of quality.
Swamp Thing #8
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencilled by Yanick Paquette & Marco Rudy
Inked by Yanick Paquette & Marco Rudy
Cover Color by Nathan Fairbairn
Lettered by John HillWell it’s been worth the build up. Swamp Thing looks brilliant.
This issue has some really lovely panel and caption layouts throughout, starting as we see the havoc being wrought across the country as the Rot takes hold.
I sort of wish they’d not put him on the cover as it undercuts the deft reveal done in the issue. (I know there is a cover version out there with him blanked out, but it seems a shame for people to miss out on the actual art, seeing as it exists) An almost angelic looking and kingly Swamp Thing makes an impressive entrance, and is monstrous in battle. Old hallmarks of the original design remain, not least the distinctive facial features.
This is a very different Swamp Thing from the creature of old, as there is still Alec Holland at the centre rather than the ghost of his memories.
Despite being action heavy the character is the real star here, and the writing really brings that out. The plotting and pace so far has been brilliant, and this continues to be the case with the issue coming naturally to a fantastic end that leaves me longing for next month.
Hawk & Dove
Men Of War
Pub: BOOM! Studios
Written by Grace Randolh
Art by Russel Dauterman
Colour by Gabriel Cassata
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover by Peter V. NguyenThe series continues in great style, with the politicking and plots continuing between the housewives, house husbands, hangers on, and children of the Meta Legion.
Eve continues to make waves, big and small as the newest member of the community with her husband Robert coming home injured. The relationship between Night Fox and Agent Twilight continues to cause tension at various levels. Media coverage and sinister manipulations set wheels in motion as the team head off to a big encounter.
The cast continues to be well served, despite the short panel time some get. No one feels second string as everything gets interlaced. The machinations behind the scenes are subtle in execution, but far reaching in influence which fits nicely in the setting.
I realise my perception of this is clouded my the very narrow perspective my thinned out choices has produced, but this has been a bloody good week. The only exception is JLI which feels weak in comparison. I’m not going to rank the four other comics reviewed above. Go out and buy them all. They’re all very different, and all very good. If have to give to give any sort of recommendation it’s to read Stormwatch first.