Adventure Time, Andy Hirsch, Animal Man, Braden Lamb, Brian Azzarello, Chris Samnee, Cliff Chiang, Daredevil, Darth Vader, DC, Eisner Award, Jeff Lemire, kaboom!, Mark Waid, Marvel, Numbercruncher, P.J. Holden, Rafael Albuquerque, Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, Simon Spurrier, Six-Gun Gorilla, Star Wars, Titan, Wonder Woman
Brief highlights from last week:
Wonder Woman #23 (DC): Brian Azzarello wraps up his two-year epic with a bang. And with style – Cliff Chiang handles the art from start to finish. By expanding Diana’s family ties beyond her strictly Amazonian origin, Azzarello and Co. have given her truly mythic proportions.
Animal Man #23 (DC): Jeff Lemire continues to slowly get his mojo back on this book (the anthropomorphic pirates riding a giant narwhal through a sea of blood was particularly fun). The balancing act between the personal, fanciful, and horrific, along with the impending arrival of Rafael Albuquerque on art, are threatening to make this title relevant again.
Numbercruncher #2 (Titan): Along with the superlative Six-Gun Gorilla, this title offers further proof that Si Spurrier is one of the most wildly inventive writers around. Turns out God is nothing but a miserly accountant, keeping track of every tick of the adding machine in the great equation that is the Universe. Against such a soul-numbing backdrop, what chance does true love have? If you’re a genius mathematician, the answer is: pretty good. P.J. Holden provides the appropriately loopy visuals. As unlikely entertaining a confection as you’re likely to find.
Daredevil #30 (Marvel): As an endless array of crossovers (ugh) spill out from the big two (and beyond), Mark Waid and Einser-Award-Winner Chris Samnee show us how it’s done. An unlikely team-up, a self-contained story that nevertheless manages to raise the stakes sky-high, and a nice twist at the end that actually affects the main character – what more could a super hero fan want? Ok, how ’bout this: Samnee drawing DD rocking a surfboard through the streets of Manhattan?
Top Pick – Adventure Time #19 (kaboom!): I’ve come to expect formal innovation from this title (it deserves the accolades it’s been getting); and indeed we get that in Andy Hirsch’s clever back-up story. But what we get in the lead feature (by Ryan North, with art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb) is unexpected depth and heartbreak, as the Ice King further assumes his role as the central, tragic figure of the whole Adventure Time franchise (sort of like what Darth Vader was supposed to be in Star Wars). And all the while, as is often the case with AT, all the silliness and jokes practically dare you to take any of it seriously.
Give it a Miss – X-Men #4 (Marvel): The definition of a filler issue. Some nice (if uncharacteristic) scenes between Jubillee and Wolverine aside, nothing really happens in this book; disappointing, considering Brian Wood’s strong start on this title. And with the Battle of the Atom crossover (again I say, ugh) looming, I may be giving this book a miss for the foreseeable future. Wake me when it’s over!
Yours in Comics,