RP’s Rapid Reviews — July 11th, 2018
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. They have been sorted by section (Buy It, Wait And See, and Skip It).
- Coda #3 (Boom! Studios) — Si Spurrier is a master at world building, characterization and plotting, and this issue is no exception. This one ends with an intriguing twist, one that surely changes things. Moreover, Matías Bergara‘s frenetic cartoony art works so well with this story. Plus, there’s a foul-tempered Pentacorn. What’s not to love?!
- The Dead Hand #4 (Image) — Kyle Higgins continues to deliberately reveal the plot surrounding this post-Cold War espionage thriller. Each issue spotlights a different lead character, with this issue giving us a peek at Harriet. Stephen Mooney’s art and Jordie Bellaire’s colors combine to keep the action and suspense taut, especially during an amber-tinged action sequence. This is the best spy book on the shelves today.
- Detective Comics #984 (DC) — Bryan Hill continues to impress on his short stint on Detective — it ends at #987 before James Robinson takes over. The choice to bring in Black Lightning still seems like a good one; however, he doesn’t get much to do in this issue. The pacing here is a little stretched out — not much happens — but, the ending does leave Batman mentally in a state that we haven’t seen him in before. Medonça’s art doesn’t do too much to stand out, but I am invested in Hill’s story, thus far. I’m hoping the pacing in the next issue is a little more crisp.
- Hawkman #2 (DC) — Hawkman went from being a character I didn’t care for —I only knew of him from the tv show Legends of Tomorrow — to being the DC book I look forward to most. How is this even possible? Isn’t he the character whose history DC has messed with the most Crisis after Crisis? Well, Robert Venditti has somehow managed to take all his patchwork past and serve it up as the core mystery that Hawkman sets out to uncover. Venditti plays this as more of an archaeological adventurer, a la Indiana Jones, and it is paying off. This issue deepens the mystery surrounding his pasts, and ends on a cliffhanger that promises some crazy good fun. As always, Bryan Hitch’s hyper-detailed, cinematic art is more than up to the task.
- Mech Cadet Yu #10 (Boom! Studios) — When it comes to stories about a boy and husband robot, I figured Iron Giant would be at the top of my list forever. Well, time to move it down a spot and make room for Mech Cadet Yu. The only negative thing I have to say about this is that it ends after two more issues. Greg Pak continues to impress with each issue. He somehow manages to raise the stakes, deepen the emotional connection between reader and characters and leave you on the edge of your seat with each and every issue. Miyazawa’s art perfectly complements Pak’s script. From human emotion to large-scale action, he is able to hit all the right notes.
- Run Wild HC (Boom! Archaia imprint) — This one was a big surprise for me. First of all, the art in this book is amazing. Vincenzo Balzano’s erratic, scratchy pencils combine with his textured watercolors to create an ethereal, painterly atmosphere. Plus, his use of color plays an integral role in adding to the narrative. This art is some of the best I’ve ever seen in terms of being able to captivate and guide you through the story — it was just so inventive and imaginative. Also, Deron Bennett’s lettering was some of the best I’ve seen. Whether it was black type changing to white or translucent word balloons versus color-coded word balloons, the lettering really kept me engaged and more deeply involved in the story. And last, but not least, K.I. Zachopoulos’ script was full of imagination and wonder. And, the psychological and existential depth pleasantly surprised me.
- She Could Fly #1 (Dark Horse) — Christopher Cantwell’s script is unsettling, thought-provoking, and full of raw emotion and drama. And a lot of the unsettling emotional effect is due to Martín Morazzo’s art. He is the artist over on Image’s chillingly haunting Ice Cream Man. He brings the same sort of genuine, raw emotion to this book, while keeping the more haunting and dramatic emotions just under the surface. However, the thing that really caused this book to affect me deeply was Cantwell’s letter at the back of the book. His personal story, and how it informed and inspired this book, drew me in deeper. As a result, it gave me a more compassionate mindset regarding the characters, who are seen as crazy or otherwise unstable.
- The Seeds #1 (Dark Horse) — Multi-hyphenate Ann Nocenti (writer, filmmaker, teacher, editor & journalist) crafts a unique story that is as much a creepy sci-fi story as it is a commentary on the current global social climate. If you like books with hard-edged journalists, a la Abbott or Invisible Republic, then this story is for you. Also, David Aja’s art is a perfect complement to her narrative. His art is gritty and dynamic. The use of color, or lack thereof, sets a distinct tone. The book’s art composition is done in black and white, with some type of green or gray. (Aside: I honestly see greens and grays different than other people…just ask my wife about our green couch. At any rate, whatever color you see, just know that it works). Now, I will say that a lot is still shrouded in mystery but, with this being a four-part miniseries, things should come more into focus next issue.
- The Flash #50 (DC) — This marks the end of the Flash War storyline, which has been an utter delight. Williamson has crafted a wonderfully compelling and entertaining run on Flash. The buildup for this one has been done from the first issue, and the payoff was well worth it. There are some fun developments that longtime readers will appreciate. And, even though Williamson’s run is where I started, I can’t help but be stoked for his (hopefully) next 50 issues. Also, can we start a petition to get Howard Porter as the permanent Flash artist? If you can’t go back and read his entire run, do yourself a favor and at least check out The Flash War.
WAIT AND SEE
- Elsewhere #8 (Image) — I really wanted to put this in the “Buy It” section. And I would have if not for the surprise letter from Jay Faerber at the end. As it turns out, this is the final issue for the series. (Gahhh!!) The issue starts with Amelia and DB finally having made it home from Korvath. Faerber does a good job tying up the story at the end. Unfortunately, there was so much potential for other historical missing persons to make their debuts here, like Jimmy Hoffa, Joseph Force Carter or The Mary Celeste (look ‘em up!). At any rate, I do suggest checking out the trades. Who knows? Maybe trade sales will bring this fun adventure mystery back from publishing purgatory.
- Isola #4 (Image) — Bear with me here. I know this is a favorite among fans and critics alike, largely due to Kerschl’s art, which is just absolutely gorgeous. Fletcher’s story, which is multi-layered with lots of flashbacks, almost beckons you to read it more than once. Or, maybe, I’m so distracted by the jaw-dropping beauty of Kerschl’s art that I miss little details in the plot. So, while I do love the book, I do think it will read better as a trade.
- Garfield: Homecoming #2 (Boom! Kaboom imprint) — Unless you are a diehard Garfield fan, give this series a pass. I mean, some of the first comics I ever read were those old odd-sized paperbacks, but somehow there’s not enough nostalgia to hook me for good. Scott Nickel’s characterizations are spot on. Also, he does provide a couple genuine laughs among the way. Paroline and Lamb’s art was cute and colorful, but their design of Garfield was abstract enough from the original that I thought I was reading an unlicensed version. However, I just didn’t find enough that stuck out to warrant picking up this issue.
- Transformers Unicron #1 (IDW) — Unless you are up-to-date on IDW’s Transformers, go ahead and skip this for now. While I did enjoy the detailed art and characterizations, I couldn’t quite keep up with the story. I felt lost and confused…turns out this is the beginning of the end of IDW’s current Transformers universe that started back in 2005. So, it is a definite skip for me. However, if you are current on this property, then I feel there was enough to keep you riding this wave until the very end.
Well, that is it for this week. Let us know if you agree or disagree with any of these classifications, either here on the comments section or on Twitter @RoguesPortal. Also, let us know if there are any books you want us to cover in future segments.