Comic Reviews 7/20/16

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Spider-Man #6

How is it that Bendis, the mastermind behind Civil War II, is consistently the one doing the least with the concept? Well, there’s one really mean answer to that, but I don’t want to say it because it’s mean, and as of the rest of this issue, inaccurate.

This issue of Spider-Man has Miles, Ganke, and Fabio all talking to each-other about secret identities, and girls and that sort of young man stuff, and it comes together naturally and wonderfully. Those sorts of interactions, and the talk that Miles’ parents have with each-other, present us with some of the best written and most human character moments in comics. And there’s a great pure comedic beat of a certain PI getting caught peeping outside of school, too.

But then it all goes downhill when Iron Man pops up to talk to Miles about Civil War. The dialogue goes from natural to robotic, all momentum ceases, and unlike books like Power Man and Iron Fist, or Sam Wilson, that play-off the profiling angle in an interesting way – this book brings it up and does nothing with it. It’s almost like Bendis has just given up on Civil War II in the same way I really probably should.

 

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Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #8

An uncharacteristically somber issue for this series as Patsy finds out what Civil War II did to her best friend, She-Hulk. The book finds it’s lightness though, whether from a gag of Patsy doing something incredibly cat-like to a glass on a table, or through flashbacks of Patsy and Jenn’s friendship. Overall, a pretty smartly done issue about coping.

 

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Green Arrow #3

Green Arrow picks up a lot with this issue, and a lot of that is due to the new artist, Juan Ferreyra. His illustrations and colors are absolutely gorgeous, some of the best character renderings in comics right now.

It also helps that the book is finally done moping, and is giving Ollie some proper action sequences, and giving us exposition that moves the plot forward. We find out the true nature of The Ninth Circle, and it plays into the larger socio-economic themes the book touched upon in earlier issues. We also are introduced to a new villain with an incredibly cool design. More of this, please!

 

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Superman #3

The bright blue and reds put in a lot of work towards my enjoyment of this book, even if the plot leaves a lot to be desired. Superman and Lois take Jon to the Fortress of Solitude where they find the Eradicator waiting for them. Forming a brief truce, the Eradicator allows Superman to use the fortress to diagnose Jon while the Eradicator explains what how and why he’s there in the first place.

And then one of the weirdest things to happen in a Superman comic in the past decade happens. I don’t want to spoil what, but think Kirby.

 

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Batman #3

Things are getting back in the groove after the previous issue, but as of yet, it doesn’t feel like King is bringing his A-game to Batman in the same way he as in his previous work.

In this issue Batman learns the origin of Gotham and Gotham Girl, but that raises even more questions, for the audience at least. But we are given an explanation as to why Batman trusts them as much as he does. The biggest problem is still that Gotham and Gotham Girl don’t feel like actual characters as much as human-shaped plot points, so it’s hard for us to invest in them and thus the story they’re such a big part of right now.

 

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth #1

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be picking more of this one up. All three characters sound the same, there’s no emotional core, and the art is messy, but not endearingly so.

But, in case you were wondering, The Killing Joke is still canon, and just in time for the animated movie!

 

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Black Hammer #1

A very intriguing first issue, and one that’s right up my alley.

A group of golden-age superheroes, many of which are pastiches on the JLA, have been trapped in a small farm town for ten years following a major crisis. Abe, formerly a Superman-type, has gotten used to farm life and is thankful to be alive at all, while his partners want nothing more than to get back home.

Still too early to tell exactly what kind of story this will be, although solicits suggest a mystery; but there are more than enough shades of Secret Six (one character is even named Gail) to keep me interested. That, and I’m a sucker for Golden Age pastiche.

 

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Snotgirl #1

A new comic by Bryan Lee O’Malley, and it has his favorite tropes: A likable bad-person protagonist who’s plugged into pop-culture and speaks like the kidz do becomes obsessively fixated on a girl. And yes, new characters are introduced with flash-card like boxes.

Our protagonist is 26 year old fashion blogger Lottie, who presents herself online and in public as effortlessly cool and chic, but hides her debilitating allergies and virginity out of shame. She runs into a real effortlessly cool girl while getting coffee, and decides that she’ll replace her old shitty friends with this new person. And then things take quite the extreme turn for the worse.

Very intriguing first issue. I have a feeling I’ll be sticking with it for a while.

 

Clean Room #10 also came out today, but I was unable to pick it up at my local comic book shop. I should be able to pick it up by next week. Next week also happens to be a huge pull for me, so expect at least two parts; one going up as early as I can get it up next Wednesday/Thursday morning, and one going up the day after.

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