This week $31 disappeared from my wallet. Where did it go? To comic books of course! Most of my titles were pretty decent but Fables #99 absolutely takes the cake for best book. I picked up Batman Beyond #5, Chaos War #2, Daredevil #511, Fables #99, Guardians of the Globe #2, Haunt #10, Hulk #26, New Ultimates #4, and the Ragman One Shot.
Batman Beyond #5
Story: Adam Beechen
Art: Ryan Benjamin
Honestly, I haven’t really been feeling this limited run. I started picking it up because I sincerely enjoyed the animated television show when I was younger, but these books just don’t seem to have the same heart. I think the fundamental reason I don’t like this series as much as I might is because if I don’t want old Batman villains. I want cool new villains, hyper futuristic locales, sweet technology, and I want more Terry. This issue he spent most of his time bleeding in an alley. C’mon team! Branch out and tell us an actual Batman Beyond story, don’t just try to fill the book with as many legacy Batman characters as you can! We need more than that.
Chaos War #2
Story: Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente
Pencils: Khoi Pham
I was sorry to see Hercules go at the end of the “Assault on New Olympus” story arc but I knew it was only a matter of time before the Lion of Olympus returned. Now he’s back and more powerful than ever. This series has got me very psyched. I loved Khoi Pham’s work on the first few issues of The Incredible Hercules and the dynamite team of Pak and Van Lente rocking words? Recipe for awesome. Hopefully Herc won’t let this whole “end of the world” situation and his transformation into a Skyfather kill his sense of humor because that’s what keeps me coming back for more.
Story: Andy Diggle
Pencils: Roberto Pascual De La Torre
For me Daredevil works best as a gritty street vigilante. Sure, every once in a while mystical Daredevil stuff happens and it’s fine, but for some reason I think Shadowland’s lost something in the translation. I’ve found myself more interested in what’s happening to Hell’s Kitchen as The Beast’s evil spreads through the city than what’s happening to Matt Murdock and co. De La Torre’s art has a very Alex Maleev feel that enhances the dark and dingy happenings in the Kitchen. I’m really glad Diggle’s focusing, at least part of the time, on Dakota North. I’ve never really paid attention to her character before but ever since she’s been forced to prove herself as the city tears itself apart, she continues to impress.
Story: Bill Willingham
Art: Inaki Miranda
Fables isone of the few comics that I am consistently psyched to read every single month and #99 keeps the series true to form. With Willingham at the helm this book can do no wrong and the addition of Inaki Miranda on pencils makes everything that much more beautiful. Mark Buckingham did wonderful work with the book but I love the extra detail Miranda adds to the pages. Story-wise, the dialogue between the North Wind and Dr. Dark was the focus and highlight of this issue. It revealed a little more insight into the devious monster that’s taken over the remains of Fabletown, information I found myself desperately wanting. With a story this good, it’s a crying shame it only comes out once a month!
Guardians of the Globe #2
Story: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ransom Getty
For some reason I’m a sucker for any comic book character that fights using tricked out boomerangs. I don’t know why… Anyway, I definitely enjoyed this months issue of GotG. Getty’s pencils remind me a lot of Ryan Ottley. I wonder if that was a conscious decision by Kirkman, you know, to keep the pencils on his Invincible universe books similar. This issue has the team battling it out with Octoboss, a renegade Invincible villain in the underwater empire of Atlantis. Strange how the heroes seem to be able to fight underwater just as well as on land… that looked weird. Regardless, I think this book’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m excited to get to know these new Guardians.
Story: Robert Kirkman
Pencils: Greg Capullo
I think I’m motivated by habit to pick up this book more than anything else. I like Capullo’s work though sometimes his anatomy and posing can look a little wonky and I suppose Kirkman’s writing is fine. I honestly can’t complain too much about this book but I find myself more entertained by the interplay between Cobra, the main villains butt ugly assassin who sadly resembles his namesake, and his smoking hot wife Jenna who seems to be more attracted to him the more freakish looking he becomes. Don’t know if I’ll keep picking this one up.
Story: Jeff Parker
Art: Gabriel Hardman
It’s Hulk vs. Thor in the rematch you’ve been dying to see. Sort of. The Thaddeus Ross Red Hulk is an interesting character but does he have any real staying power? It seems to me that since his reveal as the crimson giant Ross has been running more on irony than anything else. You know, man becomes the thing he hates and fears most? Hardman’s art is sick but the writing itself isn’t exactly gripping. Basically it seems like Marvel’s trying to cement the Red Hulk’s place in their universe by putting him into play with their biggest heroes. Will it work? That remains to be seen. The Rick Jones back up is alright, I wish Robinson would bulk up A-Bomb a little bit but otherwise it’s perfectly fine filler material.
New Ultimates #4
Story: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Frank Cho
After everything that’s happened in the Ultimate Universe thanks to Jeph Loeb, I don’t really know why I pick up these books anymore. I loved the Ultimate Thor character. He was intelligent, worldly, and often times he spoke with an uncanny reason that seemed out of place inside the Ultimates. His recent transformation into something much akin to a berserker is much less appealing. Frank Cho’s art is still rock solid though. That man can draw.
Ragman One Shot
Story: Christos Gage
Art: Stephen Segovia
Ever since I read the Day of Vengeance tpb, part of Countdown to Infinite Crisis, I’ve been been a fan of Rory Regan. I like his origin, I like the subtle religious undertones that seem central to the Ragman character, and I like his powers. The art in this one shot is great (reminiscent of Lenil Francis Yu) and the story helps shed a little more light on the Ragman mythos. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the Ragman in the near future on one condition: he can’t look like Moon Knight with a pallet swap!