Avengers: No Road Home #1 (Marvel Comics)
Last year’s Avengers: No Surrender was an entertaining, if a little over long, success for Marvel. Naturally, that means the publisher has set up a sequel with Avengers: No Road Home. But unlike Surrender, this event won’t be taking the place of the main Avengers title during it’s run. Instead, it’ll serve as it’s own series that’ll run alongside the current Avengers title (probably because it’s selling better than when No Surrender came out). However, as good as this opening issue is, I’m not quite sure that the combined forces of Mark Waid, Jim Zub, Al Ewing, and Paco Medina are enough to convince readers to buy another Avengers title. Read the rest of this entry
Iceman #1 (Marvel Comics)
After being canceled last year, many thought that Bobby Drake, also known as the X-Man Iceman, would be back to being relegated to the X-Men books. Luckily for fans of the cool mutant, Bobby is back in a new solo series, with his former writer Sina Grace and artist Nate Stockman. The series focuses on Bobby’s efforts to find out who’s hunting Morlocks for sport in the sewers of New York City. That sounds like a heavy comic, for sure, but surprisingly Grace and Stockman’s Iceman #1 is a really fun and engaging opening issue. Read the rest of this entry
Mister Miracle #6 (DC Comics)
I mentioned in my review of the first issue of Mister Miracle how the Tom King and Mitch Gerads series could do the impossible and give me a solid introduction to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga, but now six issues in (and a few Kirby trades later), I can easily say that was definitely the case. Simply put, this is one of the best series currently on the market. As the final issue of the first arc of the miniseries, Mister Miracle #6 has much of the same charm as you’d expect from King and Gerads by now, but there’s also some pretty major surprises and reveals as well. Read the rest of this entry
Captain America #695 (Marvel Comics)
Cap has a had a rough few years. His reputation has been tarnished in both the Marvel Universe and with comic book fans, so Marvel’s Legacy relaunch event serves as a great way to rehabilitate the character after Secret Empire. Fewer creators have a better pedigree together than Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, and hopes are high that the two can work the same magic on the Sentinel of Liberty as they did with previous series Daredevil and Black Widow. After reading Captain America #695, it’s clear that Samnee and Waid are doing the same witchcraft that made those previous series so compelling. Read the rest of this entry
Avengers #1 (Marvel Comics)
Like with any Marvel relaunch, we’re getting a new Avengers series. With the aftermath of Civil War II (which no, still hasn’t finished), Earth’s Mightiest Heroes needed a roster change, bringing in Hercules, Spider-Man, and Wasp onto the team, as well as new artist Mike Del Mundo. Thankfully Mark Waid has remained on hand to turn his former “All-New All-Different” team into a team of just “Avengers”, and with this being the start of the “Kang Wars”, it seems that we’re into some pretty interesting territory, even though the art doesn’t quite gel with what we’re used to. Read the rest of this entry
Black Widow #5 (Marvel Comics)
It’s no secret by now that Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have the magic touch. From Daredevil to The Rocketeer to now Black Widow, the two have now earned their place in the halls of “great writer and artist pairings” in the Comic Book Hall of Fame. Waid and Samnee’s Black Widow has been a very different book than the one that Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto presented to us before Secret Wars, but in a lot of ways, it’s just as good as that series.
Like in previous issues of Black Widow, we’re still being given little pieces of what exactly Natasha Romanoff has done to get her into so much hot water with S.H.I.E.L.D. If this were any writer other than Mark Waid, I’d start to become very annoyed by this point. However, Waid is able to use this bit of giving out small bits of information masterfully. We get just enough information to help the issue, but not so much that the central mystery is ruined. For example, this issue the only real insight we gain is that whatever Black Widow has done that her enemies are keeping over her is going to piss off her Avengers teammates a lot. And now that they’ve leaked some of the information to Tony Stark, he’s on his way to get some answers from Natasha.
As good as Waid’s script is, this issue is, once again, Chris Samnee’s artistic playground. Samnee does a phenomenal job with this issue, much like every other issue of Black Widow, Daredevil, or literally anything else he draws. Samnee’s panels and layouts are filled with tons of dynamic action. It’s so good that Samnee even pulls off a thrilling car chase in a comic, something that’s practically unheard of.
Marvel’s current output for comics isn’t great (to put it mildly), but Waid and Samnee’s Black Widow is one of the few truly stellar titles that the publisher puts out. It’s a tense, smart spy thriller in the Marvel Universe, and demands all of your time and money. Buy it!
Hellblazer Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
While John Constantine’s previous DC series was a major step in the right direction for the character, moving him out of London and into New York City always felt off. Now with DC’s Rebirth initiative, new creative team Simon Oliver and Moritat have the perfect excuse to return to deeply troubled sometimes Magician to his native London, and possibly even make him act more in line with the character’s early Vertigo days.
Well, the Vertigo days may still be behind him, but the John Constantine in Hellblazer Rebirth is just as much of a conniving charismatic a-hole as he’s ever been. Simon Oliver’s script reveals what sent Constantine packing to New York City, and just how bad it is: the longer John stays in London, the bigger the chance that he’ll die as his soul leaves his body. Returning home with a plan, Constantine is able to conjure a spell that removes the curse, but has it infect the entire population of London. But John’s not going to let the demon kill millions of people, is he?
Simon Oliver’s script does a great job of keeping you guessing, even when it comes to whether or not John Constantine is willing to let a city full of people die to save his hide. Oliver’s Constantine has a lot in common with the classic Vertigo interpretation of the character, but it is a little bit of a bummer to see John’s language get covered up by skulls and crossbones.
Moritat handles the artwork for this issue, and while it’s not very detailed, he does a fantastic job of showing off the various emotions of our main characters. John goes from being the smarmy cad we love to showing some actual regret at certain times in this issue, and Moritat’s depiction of the demon that cursed John is a really cool and visually striking design as well.
Even though he’s not as “mature” as the Vertigo Hellblazer, there’s still a lot to like with this take on John Constantine. More so than the previous run, it seems like this version has more in common with Matt Ryan’s awesome take on the character from the underrated Constantine show. Fans of that show, or even Hellblazer fans who were turned off by moving John Constantine into the DC universe should give this a try. There’s a lot to like here.
Black Widow #1 (Marvel Comics)
After leaving their mark on Daredevil, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee now turn their sights on Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow. By now you know how good Waid and Samnee are together, so I’ll save you the “peanut butter and chocolate creative team” speech. But I will say that it looks like they’ll be spinning the same magic they worked on Matt Murdock with Natasha. Read the rest of this entry
All New All Different Avengers #1 (Marvel Comics)
Arguably the flagship title of the All New All Different Marvel Relaunch, All New All Different Avengers faces a lot of hype. It features two comic legends writing and drawing the title (Mark Waid and Adam Kubert, respectively), and has the most diverse roster that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have ever seen, featuring Sam Wilson’s Captain America, Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel. Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, and Jane Foster’s Thor. With so much hype around it, it would be nearly impossible for ANAD Avengers to live up to the hype, and it doesn’t. But while this opening issue doesn’t exactly blow you away, it sets the stage for some pretty fun things to come. Read the rest of this entry
Daredevil #18 (Marvel Comics)
I’ll be completely honest: I haven’t been the biggest fan of recent issues of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil. For some reason, ever since the character moved back to San Francisco the whole series has felt “off” to me. Despite this, I stayed on the book to see it to this point, the final issue of Waid and Samnee’s tenure on the Man Without Fear. And I’m glad I did, because it ends up being one of the best issues of their entire run. Read the rest of this entry
Archie #2 (Archie Comics)
Two issues in and it’s safe to say, the reboot of Archie works. After a great reintroduction to Archie and the citizens of Riverdale, Mark Waid and Fiona Staples’ second issue puts most of the focus on Betty Cooper, who’s taking her break up with Archie just as well as he is. Read the rest of this entry