RP’s Rapid Reviews — July 25th, 2018
By Cory Webber
Each week, we here at RP try to deliver as many in-depth comic reviews as we can. Alas, we are only human, and can only do so much. But, we know how much you all love comics, and we want to review as many books as we can for you. I mean, it can be hard to wade trough the multitude of books released each week. So, without further ado, here are some quick-shot reviews of books that our staff did not individually review. I try to stick to #1’s, beginnings and endings of arcs, and one-shot specials, as well as books I’m excited to talk about. They have been sorted by section (Buy It, Wait and See, Skip It).
- Wonder Woman #51 (DC) — Starting with this issue, Steve Orlando has taken over writing duties for Diana until G. Willow Wilson takes over on #58. While I’m excited for Wilson to take over — and you should be, too! — I am impressed with Orlando’s debut issue. He writes Diana with the kind of love, open-mindedness, and compassion that she embodies. Also, it was a stroke of genius to start his story off by following up on part of Shea Fontana’s arc (issues 26-30). As a result, he completely bypassed James Robinson’s run, which was, ummm, not my favorite. Laura Braga on art is another welcome addition to this book. Her lines are thick and well-defined; they reminded me a lot of Joëlle Jones’ work, and that is a great thing! Even though Orlando is a fill-in writer, and he will have a rotating stable of artists, until Wilson arrives, don’t sleep on this title. If his first issue is any indication, then we should expect some solid Diana stories…this may be the best Wonder Woman story ever!
- Aquaman #38 (DC) — This issue marks the end of a story that has been building ever since #1. Abnett has woven a wonderful Game of Thrones-type tale. His characterizations of all the major players have been wonderful. Also, he has introduced some wonderfully fleshed out characters; Dolphin standing out as a wonderful new addition to Atlantean lore. Federici’s art on this arc has been reminiscent of Stjepan Šejić but with his own personal touch. However, the real draw on art for me was Sunny Gho’s colors. Mostly, his use of bright purples, blues and pinks during the climax juxtaposed nicely with the more muted colors elsewhere. Finally, the ending of this book leaves Arthur, and Atlantis, in a new place.
- James Bond Case Files HC Collection (Dynamite) — This hardcover collection collects four previously published one-shot stand-alone stories by some pretty great talent. With writers like Kieron Gillen, Jody Houser, Ibrahim Moustafa and Declan Shalvey, and artists like Antonio Fuso, Jacob Edgar, Moustafa (pulling double duty on his issue), and PJ Holden, you get a great, diverse collection of 007 stories. Since Dynamite relaunched 007 with Warren Ellis, they have consistently put out a great product. This one-shot collection is no exception. Also, the back matter has some cool behind-the-scenes extras, like rough inks, scripts, and commentary. So, if you’ve been following since the relaunch, or just want some good ol’ 007-branded espionage fare, then check this book out.
- Descender #32 (Image) — This is it. The finale of Descender has arrived. The only saving grace is that a sequel, Ascender, which is set ten years after this story, has already been announced. This issue does a splendid job of tying up all the loose ends. Steve Wands’ lettering plays an important role in this issue. From the get-go, I noticed the font being used was different from any I’d seen in this series. The dialogue conveyed is that of someone speaking about things that have happened in the past. This mystery narrator tells how the universe ended — not a spoiler, it’s the actual first line of dialogue in the issue. Lemire does a nice job tying up loose ends with a heart-wrenching conclusion, while leaving us a thread of hope to grab onto. Again, Nguyen’s art matches Lemire, panel for panel, by conveying the proper emotion and scale of the story. I will miss this series, but the setup for Ascender is satisfying and has me pumped for the exciting, new direction this creative team is taking. Early 2019 can’t come soon enough!
- Action Comics #1001 (DC) – Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Action begins here. This issue picks up on the arson story line from Bendis’ Man of Steel limited series and runs with it. We get a closer look at who is behind the fires and what they are doing. I’ve been waiting to see where this particular plot was headed, and this issue doesn’t disappoint. Also, Bendis introduces a new super-villain, and some other shady characters, that may cause some real problems for Superman. Bendis’ witty, curt dialogue, and an evenly paced story, are great here. However, the real strength of this book is bringing Gleason back on art. Gleason, a Supes-fan favorite, recently had stints on Superman, Action Comics. and Super Sons. His lines are soft and thin, and I especially like the way his Clark Kent looks. And, Alejandro Sanchez’s colors complement Gleason’s art, especially in the last few pages involving the antagonists. In particular, the color work on the penultimate page of the villain’s lair, on the outskirts of Metropolis, was breathtaking. It’s early, but this might be my favorite of the two Bendis Superman books.
WAIT AND SEE
- Mera Queen of Atlantis #6 (DC) — While I have been enjoying Abnett’s Aquaman, as well as this Mera-focused tie-in mini-series, I can’t recommend it as a must buy. It was a fun series, and Abnett has written Mera with such poise, strength, and depth. However, it didn’t do too much to add to the story taking place in the main title’s ongoing series. Unless you’re a big fan of Mera, or a self-inflicting completionist, like me, then you are probably okay giving this series a pass. Although, I will say that the final page of [redacted] on a [redacted] was freaking amazing! It’s an image that, more or less, gets a reprise in Aquaman #38, which should be read after this issue, for those that are following along.
- Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride Collection (Dynamite) — What if I were to tell you that this book, based on Halfbrick Studios’ two most popular mobile games, almost made it in to the BUY IT section? Would you believe me? How about if I told you that it is written by an Eisner and Harvey-nominated writer, Nate Cosby? Well, both are true. The one thing that kept this book from being a definite recommend were the Fruit Ninja portions; they were fun and cartoony, but something was lacking in the stories. It was the Jetpack Joyride interludes that had me legitimately chuckling and wholly entertained. Cosby’s writing, as well as Scott Brown’s art, was very reminiscent of both Skottie Young and Ryan North. So, if that’s up you’re alley, then you might just enjoy this 80-page, decently-priced, collection.
- Charlie’s Angels #2 (Dynamite) — Honestly, I’ve flip-flopped between all three sections before ultimately placing it here in the SKIP IT section. I thought Dynamite missed a great opportunity to modernize, and diversify, this property. I’m too young to have watched the original TV series, from which this comic seems to be drawing its inspiration. They do get the look and feel of the 70’s right, but not much else. The action is indiscernible, at times, and the plot is way too straightforward to build any kind of suspense. Unless you’re a fan of the original TV show, go ahead and skip this…and hope Dynamite does an updated version. After all, this book shows the “stealthy” spy ladies talking on ginormous cell phones during an undercover operation. Wait, what?!
Well, that is it for this week. Let us know if you agree or disagree with any of these classifications, either here or on Twitter @RoguesPortal. Also, let us know if there are any books you want us to cover in future segments.