RP’s Rapid Reviews — 08.15 NCBD Releases
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, with the occasional book I’m excited to talk about. They have been sorted by section (Buy It, Wait and See, Skip It).
- Analog #5 (Image) — Gerry Duggan’s excellent espionage tale comes to too quick of an end. The ending promises a return, but a quick Google search shows that #6 hasn’t been solicited yet. At any rate, Duggan has done a superb job of weaving a multi-layered, modern-day cautionary tale. Our anti-hero, Jack McGinnis, has a sense of humor unique to someone so neurotic and life-weary as he is. Duggan’s dialogue is witty and sharp, and his pacing his impeccable. O’Sullivan’s art has grown on me over the course of this series. His lines have great movement, and his facial expressions go a long way in conveying the emotion of Duggan’s script. This issue leaves the series wide open for plenty of story left to tell — good thing since a movie has been optioned. However, even with its unanswered questions, this arc wraps up nicely and leaves Jack a changed, and challenged, man. I can’t wait for this series to pick back up again.
- Aquaman #39 (DC-) — I have been loving Dan Abeett’s run on Aquaman. However, when I saw he was transitioning from his Game of Thrones-type saga to a Suicide Squad crossover, I was a little concerned. Alas, my fears were unwarranted. While it is a slight change of pace, this story picks up nicely after recent events. And, the reason the Suicide Squad is sent to Atlantis is a good one, one with Waller’s seeming ulterior motive (of course!). Also, Arthur’s plan to counteract them is exciting and fun. I’m looking forward to see where this goes. Furthermore, having Joe Bennett (Immortal Hulk) on pencils is a most welcoming addition.
- Terminator: Sector War #1 (Dark Horse) — This story takes place during the same time as the original 1984 movie. It follows another T-800 that is sent to New York to hunt down Lucy Castro, a rookie cop assigned to one of the worst sections of the city. But, really, all you need to know is that Brian Wood (Moon Knight, Rebels) is writing the Terminator. His pacing is very consistent, and the reveal as to why Castro is being targeted was handled very well and was quite emotionally impactful. Moreover, Jeff Stokely’s (Gotham Academy, The Spire) line work is wonderfully rendered. It is smooth and clean in the more personal, emotional moments, then a little more chaotic and frenzied during the action sequences. After all that, it really was Triona Farrell’s colors that really stood out to me. I was expecting a more drab, sullen tone throughout with this being a Terminator story, after all. However, her colors were bright and sharp. Overall, Wood and Stokely’s setup and execution were pretty spot on for a premiere issue that acts as a tangential story to the original movie.
- Cable & Deadpool Annual #1 (Marvel) — David F. Walker writes this over-sized stand-alone issue with a slew of artists. Normally, that would be worrisome, but the nature of the story benefits from having so many contributors. Walker has had too many of his great series cut short like with Power Man & Iron Fist, Nighthawk, Occupy Avengers. So, it is good to see him at least writing this annual. And, after immensely enjoying this (I’m not even the biggest Deadpool and Cable fan — sorry!), I hope to see him writing more for Marvel. He has a knack for infusing hot button social issues without coming across heavy handed. Herein, he takes a jab that the #MeToo movement would cheer on. Walker writes these characters so well, especially Deadpool. The dialogue, chiefly Wade’s fourth wall breaking, was witty and clever. I particularly liked a three-page sequence in which he strictly talks to the reader about how comics and movies are different, and how comics essentially work. This issue is far more enjoyable than it has the right to be.
- Batwoman #18 (DC) — This issue marks the end of Marguerite Bennet’s run on Batwoman. If you haven’t been reading along, do yourself a favor and rectify that. The action, emotion, and drama rivals that of any Batman series. My first introduction to Kate Kane was in James Tynion IV’s Detective Comics, of which this book is a spinoff. Now, I find myself searching “Best Batwoman Comics to Read” in my free time. This finale ties up the second half of this two-parter, and will no doubt please longtime fans. For me, the concluding message was an inspiring one of hope, love and optimism…something that is always good to see in a comic book. While I’m sure there will be another Batwoman series soon (what with the her joining the Arrowverse on CW), I will miss Bennet writing her. Lest I forget, Fernando Blanco’s art was superb, especially some of the layouts that depicted the passing of time and/or memories and flashbacks. Also, John Rauch’s colors were perfect, most notably on the last page — I need this print on my wall, stat!
- Crude #5 (Image) — This is a series that has gotten better with each issue. Steve Orlando has been meticulously revealing this story bit by bit. As a result, the payoff in this issue was very satisfying both in terms of intense action and emotionally poignant moments. To be honest, it was the emotional moments of a self-reflecting father that hit me the hardest. Also, without giving anything away, this story is seemingly a violently cathartic tale for those who are part of, or otherwise support, the LGBTQ+ community. Furthermore, Garry Brown’s art is kinetic and wild during action scenes, and moody and emotional during the quieter moments. This book just gets better and better with each subsequent issue.
- Coda #4 (Boom! Studios) — Si Spurrier’s quirky fantasy adventure continues to surprise me. More than anything, Matías Bergara’s art caught me off guard. The book opens with a flashback sequence that caused me to double check that he was still on art duties. I’m sure his and Michael Doig’s more bleak colors had something to do with it, but this looked like something more out of a Jock horror book. Moreover, Spurrier’s plot continues to unfold at a wonderful pace. Most importantly, the relationships between Hum and the little girl, and, now, Hum and Serka really anchor this story. Also, the humor continues to be a strong point, especially from the foul-mouthed, angry pentacorn. Seriously, this is another book that keeps getting better each month. While I’m glad we have eight more issues, I kind of wish this could go on much longer.
- Ruinworld #2 (Kaboom!) — Ruinworld #2 picks up where the last one left off and hits the ground running! I am in love with this adorable fantasy adventure that is for ALL AGES! I enjoy it as much as my five-year-old does — there is something for both of us. Writer/artist Derek Laufman’s character and setting designs aren’t super charming yet with a slight edge to them. He introduces us to some fun new characters, as he perfectly paces this story along, and leaves our fox and pig friend in some precarious situations. Again, Warren Montgomery’s letters continue to be as fun, and integral, to the storytelling as any other part of this production. I mean, this might be favorite lettering in any current book on shelves today. Please don’t let the all-ages category deter you from reading this. With only three more issues left, jump in before it’s too late.
WAIT AND SEE & SKIP IT
Fortunately, all the books I read for review, for this NCBD, I was able to firmly place in the Buy It section.
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.