22 I&N 22, aftershock comics, Andrea Sorrentino, antonio fabela, babyteeth, Batman, bruce wayne, Dark Horse Comics, Dave Stewart, david rubín, DC Comics, Donny Cates, Elizabeth Breitweiser, ether the copper golems, evolution, Garry Brown, gideon falls, Heart of Darkness, ice cream man, Image Comics, Images and Nerds, in demand, Jeff Lemire, joe henderson, Lee Garbett, Lee Weeks, mage: the hero denied, Matt Kindt, mr. freeze, pearl, previews, reviews, rihanna, skyward, slayer, the gravediggers union, the weatherman, the wild storm, Tom King, volition
I know, I know: you want to know which comics are worth your time and money this week. I mean, that is why you’re here, right? Don’t worry–I’ve got you covered. Without further ado, uh, don’t read too quickly–or you’ll miss the good stuff. I mean, that’s why you’re here. Right?
- Evolution #9 (Image)
- Gideon Falls #6 (Image): I&N Demand Five Five Five Five Five–what a fucking ride. Jeff Lemire plants more and more seeds, revealing further the investment the characters have in the still-burgeoning mystery of the Black Barn; and, in the end, he opens the door to those characters’–and to our–greatest fears; and those fears, friends, are red. Blood. Red. And the pace, the pulse, the arrhythmic beat that drives the blood, is set by the heart of the book: Andrea Sorrentino’s stunningly disorienting layouts, which, along with Dave Stewart’s palpitating palette, bring the reader into that psychotic space–into the madness, the anxiety, and, yes, into the aforementioned fear–not unlike how, in Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad exploits his overwrought prose to take his reader on a necessarily arduous journey of self-reflection; and, as we hold #6, we’ll be holding hands with the creators, with the characters–and together, we’ll head into the red.
- The Gravediggers Union #9 (Image)
- Ice Cream Man #6 (Image)
- Mage: The Hero Denied #11 (Image)
- Skyward #5 (Image): I&N Demand Look! Up in the sky! It’s a girl–and she can fly! While another comic’s she could fly, this one can, kinda, thanks to the gravity fail that befell the planet. Four issues in Joe Henderson’s shown a propensity for using the requisite twenty-two in a measured manner, keeping himself grounded in his high-sky “Low-G” world. It’s a smart approach, his pushing Willa forward, staying tethered to Willa; doing so sustains the relationship we have with her and amplifies the issue-focused–and issue-to-issue–tension, as, in this case, she continues to navigate her relationship with her father–not unlike her making her way through the city like some angelic aerialist–in the face of her accidentally selling him out. Lee Garbett’s artwork–with colors by Antonio Fabela–sells well the weightlessness of the characters yet doesn’t undermine the gravity of the situation. The best evidence: the dangerous yet beautiful double-page spread and the final page turn. Enough to take your breath away.
- The Weatherman #3 (Image)
- The Wicked & The Divine #38 (Image)
- Ether: The Copper Golems #4 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand I can’t get enough of what Matt Kindt and David Rubín are doing with Ether: The Copper Golems. It’s a gift is what it is: it’s Kindt coaxing the very best out of a game Rubín in order to emphatically express his confidence in humanity. Every page–the meticulous and magical arrangement of joyful words and vibrant colors–exudes love; each issue is a clarion call to us readers–us lucky readers–to aspire to be more because inherently we are more. There’s a legacy–it’s literary, it’s artistic, it’s philosophical, it’s spiritual–that is our burden and our destiny. I see it: it’s “sweetness and light”–and it’s beautiful. I certainly loved #3 enough to make it the subject of my inaugural 22 I&N 22. Something–wait, no, it’s someone–more: someones–certainly Kindt and Rubín, their story resonating still–are telling me that I’m going to love this one, too.
- Batman #53 (DC): I&N Demand At this point, there’s very little to say as to why Batman is I&N Demand. “Tom King’s at the top of his game.” “Tom King is in complete control of blah blah blah.” “Tom is the King of yada yada.” It’s all been said. For the love of all that’s holy, he’s got nothing left to prove. Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, has something to prove–he said as much at the end of #52; and I can’t wait to hear it. (To be fair, I’ll reserve my judgment until after reading; but I am inclined to believe whatever he says. I’ve been conditioned.) I can’t wait to see it, either: Lee Weeks’ work is stunning–with Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colors, it’s iceconic–with intricate panel work–that Bat vs. Freeze through the various Ice Ages is fire; and Bat’s ground and pound is bloody cold, man, reminiscent of Mark “The Hammer” Coleman–and massive splashes, each a frozen tableau that takes the temperature down, down, down, deep into the cold black of Bruce’s guilt. (Oh, those blacks tho.) So, as I initially insisted: it’s just another week in King’s run–I&N Demand, in perpetuity.
- Pearl #1 (DC)
- The Wild Storm #16 (DC)
- Babyteeth #12 (Aftershock): I&N Demand Raining blood. Raining. Goddamned. Blood. That’s so fucking metal! But right in the middle of that shit, Sadie and Clark, under an “umbrella-ella-ella ay ay ay.” Pop! Yup: that was a vessel in my brain bursting from the strain of having to reconcile this blasphemous–and pretty fucking funny–genrerational mash-up! Great, great Garry Brown cover. It shows that a mother will protect her child from the nastiest weather; and Sadie, well, she wants her baby back, baby back, baby back–and she’ll go through hell to get him. Donny Cates continues to craft Babyteeth as a fiery epic that flashes its horns and stealthily smirks at the true believers who flash ’em back in a sign of Satanic solidarity. I am “awaiting the hour of reprisal” with my horns held high. Babyteeth “shall [no doubt] reign in blood.”
- Volition #1 (Aftershock)
What are you looking forward to this week?