RP’s Rapid Reviews — September 19th, 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. I mean, it can be hard to wade through 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-shots, with the occasional book I’m excited about. I have sorted them sorted by section: Buy It, Wait and See, and Skip It.
- Skyward #6 (Image) — Skyward might be the most surprising series to debut this year. The opening arc of this unique, high-concept tale recently concluded, and on quite an emotional note. This whole series has been one unexpected development after another. So, it should come as no surprise that the first issue in this new arc raises the stakes in a completely unexpected way. Seriously, don’t waste your time trying to guess what comes. And not to be outdone, Lee Garbett is taking all of Henderson’s crazy, unique ideas and drawing the heck out of them. Furthermore, his thick lines and distinct facial expressions augment the human element of this story. Antonio Fabela’s colors pop when they need to, but for the most part they create a gritty, real-world look and feel. And Simon Bowland, who seems to be lettering everything these days, does an amazing job of guiding you through this zany, emotional, and surprising yarn. All this to pretty much say, this creative team is firing on all cylinders. Skyward is definitely a book you should be following.
- Aquaman #40 (DC) — This issue caps off the “Sink Atlantis!” storyline that has been crossing over with Suicide Squad. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this story after reading Dan Abnett’s Game of Thrones-type saga that took place prior. However, the whole premise of Task Force X invading Atlantis at the behest of Amanda Waller was actually a fun read. They have created some fun moments, some entertaining team ups and character interactions. Now, this story isn’t lighting the world on fire, but it did create a spark where I figured the oxygen would be too sparse to ignite at all. Abnett and Robbie Williams (Suicide Squad) seem to have had a blast getting to write each other’s characters. My biggest nitpick is that the art seemed a bit rushed throughout much of this story. Overall, you would all do good to pick this up in trade, but maybe during a ComiXology sale. Also, you may want to jump on now as Aquaman is about to crossover with the Justice League book.
- Coda #5 (Boom!) — I’ve raved about this book before here and here. Now that the first volume is collected (issues 1-4), I thought I’d gush a little more as we begin a new volume. Most surprising this time is that there is no cursing pentacorn in this issue, and I still enjoyed it. Now, Bergara’s art would most likely have turned me off if this story was my first introduction to it. There is just something about his line work, which oscillates from loose to tight without any warning. This sort of chaotic yet controlled art plays well with Spurrier’s plot, which flows in a similar “chaotically kinetic” way. That makes sense in my head, so just roll with it. I also want to highlight Jim Campbell’s lettering. I’ve never seen letters quite like he does them here. Mainly, the way he tones up, or conversely dials down, the letters by using different colors, font sizes and levels of boldness. All in all, this book is a great example of a creative team coming together and gelling very well.
- Crude #6 (Image) — Steve Orlando’s and Garry Brown’s revenge story comes to an end with this issue. But it’s about more than just revenge. It’s also about lost opportunities, forgiveness, closure, violence, relationships, and did I say violence? There is something cathartic about the father, mourning the gay son he never truly knew, and the way he gives the villain, who exploits the LGBTQ+ community, his comeuppance. Let me put it this way. If you want to see someone who says, “there is nothing to be done with a son that acts like a daughter,” get what he deserves, then, this book, cathartically speaking, is right up your alley. If you can stomach the excessive violence, that is. Overall, the way Orlando weaves the story’s various themes throughout this violent revenge story is very well done.
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (Marvel) — In this annual, Saladin Ahmed tells an untold tale in the history of Spider-Man and the symbiote. For most people, that should be enough to warrant buying it. In case you don’t fall in that category, here’s what else you can expect. First of all, Lee Loughridge’s colors brought this story to life. Now, I’m particularly prone to purple, so I really dug his use of it during nighttime exterior panels. The story takes place in Spidey’s early days, and Garry Brown’s art feels very reminiscent of it. So, it helps that Loughridge’s bright colors helped give the book a more contemporary feel. As for the story, Ahmed taps into the symbiote’s point-of-view to provide a unique perspective on their relationship with their new host. If you are a Spidey fan, then this is a must-buy.
- Harley Quinn #50 (DC) — I like Harley Quinn…in small doses; she’s funny, she’s crazy, but she’s a little too omnipresent. However, I thought I’d give this extra-sized issue a shot. Hypocritical, I know, but I saw the solicit for it and it intrigued me. And Sam Humphries delivers a continuity-bending, universe-altering romp. It all starts when Harley finds a copy of this very issue, which leads to some retconning that erases her mom from her timeline. This turns it into a personal quest for Harley to find her mom and set the timeline right. She bounds through multiple universes with some fun spins, like Batman and Superman as high-seas pirates, or one where they are actually dinosaurs. As for the art, a smorgasbord of artists contributed here, and they all seemed to have fun doing it. Most interestingly, the story doesn’t end with this issue. They seem to be just getting started. And, to the delight of long-time DC fans, Humphries has brought back a very obscure, golden age hero. Call me crazy, but I think I’m going to start reading Harley Quinn, well, at least for this story arc.
WAIT AND SEE & SKIP IT
Nothing to see here this week.
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.