Well as the leaves fall the comics come. Time for more reviews this week!
Recently it was announced that Red Wolf would be getting a brand new ongoing series for Marvel sometime next year and after reading the penultimate issue of the Secret Wars tie-in, you can count me most certainly in to read that.
Admittedly I haven’t read many books involving Red Wolf, I’ve read some here and there, but now I’m excited to read more. In this issue he’s stolen the book and runaway as the standout character. We’re mostly following him on a great one man crusade through Timely to help fully bring down Mayor Fisk’s corrupt hold on the town. Natasha and Dr. Bruce Banner carry out their own mission to help out Red Wolf and his people and as we should all know those don’t go exactly as planned.
The action here keeps consistent for what’s happened and the shoot out among Timely with Red Wolf and Fisk’s cronies is excellently done, but gets kicked up by as you guess from the cover, Iron Man. The Iron Man armor here is pretty damn badass and impressive and leaves one hell of an impression when it shows up. Gerry Duggan keeps having endless fun with this series and it shows. He’s like a kid in a sandbox right now and recess never ends. Where the issue leaves is an obvious set up for what’s to come in the finale, but damn it if I’m not excited to see where that exactly goes.
Once again the art by Nicole Virella is well suited for the tone and feel of the book that it’s perfect. She’s someone I would love to see a lot more of within comic books. Her art can be pretty good for so many stories.
1872 is still exciting and loads of incredible enjoyment. The gritty drama is just great and I still say the best Secret Wars tie-in book. 5/5
Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #4
And thus here we are at the end of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s time as leader of the Carol Corps. Carol Danvers is without a doubt a huge fan favorite and you can more certainly count me among the many of the Carol Corps.
Carol and crew vs. the Thors seems right for the story to end on, especially for the confrontation that goes down between Carol and Kit, who has become a Thor. With their history its gonna get deeply personal and it does. Fists are thrown, but they mostly swing words around with each other and that to me is my personal highlight of the whole issue. The Carol Corps vs. Thor Corps is most certainly exciting and gives an added oomph to the finale here.
That said I do think this was a bad place to end seeing as it just felt like the series was about to really take off with the story that it was telling and get into the nitty-gritty. The great characterization done by DeConnick and Kelly Thompson more than make up for some narrative missteps and make you excited about what you’re reading. Laura Braga’s art certainly helps out as well by perfectly bringing across the exact emotions needed from panel to panel and draw some exhilarating action sequences.
Again I would have liked a little more from this series, but this issue reaffirms what’s great about Kelly Sue DeConnick’s time with Carol Danvers in giving her a whole new identity and redefining the character itself. It leaves you with such joyful glee in her last moments that you’re reminded why Carol Danvers is simply one of the best. I salute you captain! 4/5
We Are Robin #4
We Are Robin takes a drastic turn from the usual proceedings that it’s done over its first three issues to do a centralized focus issue on one of the Robins outside of main character, Duke Thomas. Here we focus on Riko and how the death of Troy from the previous issue is affecting her one week after it’s happened.
We follow Riko around as the Robins are lying low. Riko is a social outcast and Batgirl fanatic. Much of the issue is following the perception of the Robins through a news broadcast and the reactions of people to the movement on social media. It’s a great narrative device that not only helps to serve the story being told in this issue, but also tackle with one of the issues that would arise which is the Robins themselves. A group of young teenagers acting out in rebellion in a good cause, inspired by the original Batman, who do it out of a need to help and protect Gotham City. It is their purpose, but again, these are just kids and it was necessary for Troy to have died last issue to help get that across to them and the readers. It will allow for the team to reevaluate their mission statement and take a good long look at themselves.
Now that it’s more public, their effectiveness could change. That’s dealt with too, with Riko and the situation she finds herself in when patrolling out on her own with a guest appearance by Batgirl herself. The appearance of Batgirl herself is also needed to talk with Riko about what it means and takes to be a hero and that they need to be more careful now. It’s actually a very moving, touching, and slightly funny scene. This issue also allows us to better connect with Riko now that she just isn’t a Robin. She’s a fully fledged character and she’s interesting.
James Harvey comes on to this issue for art and holy hell I love this guy. He gives the book a completely new and great look that just pops right off of the page and makes your eyes move all over the place. His panel layouts and structures are visually outstanding and make the book look and feel unique in how it’s presenting itself. There is also a vibrant retro tone to his art here that just looks gorgeous. The colors and textures are incredible by him and Alex Jaffe. Harvey is someone I never heard of and man can he draw just really anything in this book. I wanna read more books with him drawing them.
Lee Bermejo has created a fresh new book among the Batman line and really in DC itself. We Are Robin is a book that is about outsiders and yet somehow feels like an outsider book itself and revels in that, it shows it off proudly, and is unique unto itself. This is an exciting, adventurous, and fun book. I really want to see this continue, please, BUY THIS BOOK! 5/5
Fight Club 2 #5
I, as much as anybody, was weary of a continuation to the story of Fight Club, even with original author Chuck Palahniuk writing it, but it has turned out to be a bit of a pleasant surprise. Five issues in and the story is still pretty engaging, but not as exciting as the original story. I will say the continuation of seeing where Project Mayhem is in 2015 is pretty interesting and how far Sebastian/Tyler Durden has taken it.
The Sebastian/Tyler conflict in running Project Mayhem and finding Sebastian and Marla’s son is by far the more engaging part of the story than Marla’s right now. Marla started off as Marla is and that was great, but her subplot of going off to see the various clubs Fight Club has spun off still connects to the plot of finding her and Sebastian’s son. I’m just not as engaged as I am with Sebastian’s undercover work at Mayhem. Marla and her support group fan can’t keep interest on their own adventures for long before you want to get back to what Sebastian is up to. Project Mayhem in 2015 is a far larger animal than one could think with its influence reaching much further and wider than one could ever imagine. It’s nicely done and really doesn’t over explain it, it shows you what’s what and it’s up to you to see if you’re still going to be along for the ride of this mini series. That is always going to be a fascinating read and I’m finding that the strongest part of this book next to how incredible Cameron Stewart’s art is.
Stewart does a great mixture of clean lines and dirty, gritty fighting and action. His designs and layouts are honestly fantastic and keeps your eyes engaged. The visuals presented by the book are entertaining and well worth the price of an issue alone. Stewart seems to really get and understand Palahniuk’s sense and style of writing. They are perfectly matched to tell the tale.
Fight Club 2 #5 reaches its halfway point with a full on engaging main plot and a bit of a middling subplot, but full interest and fantastic art. It’s something that does indeed standout among the shelves right now. 4/5
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #19
Man I am a huge Buffy fan. I will talk about Buffy for hours on end and not feel bad about that. The Buffy comics have been interesting. Season 8 was really good, up until a point, Season 9 felt like a return to form and was fun. However I found Angel & Faith a much more fascinating read. Season 10 so far has kept the interest, fun, and horror going very well. As per usual on the Buffy comics, and several other comics, here is a nice quiet issue or two after the conclusion of a story arc and I do love that model and this comic does it well. So this time, while still dealing with the upcoming ramifications left over by the last story, Giles becomes an adult again for a day. Real quick, Giles died and got resurrected as a child, still with the Scooby Gang. All done now!
This issue balances Giles’ adult day out while Buffy and Dawn deal with unreliable dad, Hank. Christos Gage has shown a great and clear understanding of the Buffyverse since writing the first run of Angel & Faith and his Willow miniseries. He’s taken the reins of season 10 himself with some assistance here and there with Xander himself, Nicholas Brendon. They both craft a fine issue here that perfectly balances the two tales going on.
Giles’ day is a fun little jaunt that then does take a turn for the serious when it interconnects with Buffy’s story and make Giles reflect on his own situation. Buffy’s story is actually the more compelling given what entails with the “happy” reunion and how it makes her think of her life as a slayer and for those around her. The issue goes into deep emotional resonance for both featured characters and those that are around for their stories. Gage and Brendon really make the best out of this one-off tale, which still does connect to the next arc, and give us one of the finer Buffyverse stories possible.
Rebekah Isaacs’ art remains on point. She does wonders with the character referencing of the actors and knows how to properly frame them. This plays well with the correct reactions needed within whatever is going on in the panel. Her art might be as detailed as say the kind over at Angel & Faith, but it’s a great fit for the proceedings going on in Buffy.
Great characterization, emotional storytelling, really good art, I just can’t help but love this. This is such a Buffy story it’s just wonderful. 5/5
Bengal comes in to fill in for Babs Tarr on art for this issue and that’s no surprise, Bengal’s built up a great relationship with Team Batgirl over their special issues and annual. He proves to have a terrific dynamic with them that keeps the book on the same fun and exciting path its been on. Plus his style isn’t too different from Babs, but has a distinct look unto itself that you can tell it’s someone else that pencils the issue. So what does Bengal have to draw this time around? Batgirl vs. tigers.
BATGIRL VS. TIGERS! That alone for me is to say this issue is great despite some of its pacing issues. This issue is great, but there are some pacing issues with dialogue delivery.
As much as Barbara is the glue that holds the book together, I mean the book is named after her superhero identity, and the supporting cast is one of the biggest draws of the book. This was the case with any run of Batgirl, but Stewart and Fletcher seem to really have a great emphasis on this considering what a role they’ve played not just in this issue, but the entire run. Their interactions with Barbara as well highlight that perfectly. Batgirl in plenty of ways is starting to feel more like a team book and that could be pretty exciting. The introduction of the new villain Velvet Tiger is a pretty great villain for this issue as she, like many other aspects of this run, feels influenced by the 60s Batman show. Velvet Tiger wouldn’t feel too out-of-place on a show like that. Her climatic fight along with her tigers is pretty damn good.
Stewart and Fletcher again are killing it on this book, but this issue does show a few flaws with its pacing in how some of the more exposition dialogue pops up in the dialogue. It kills some of the better quick moments and while that’s a drag, what they do right is great. Once again, the supporting cast, they know how and when to properly spotlight them within their narrative. All that goes down, they are clearly building to something with intrigue slowly building up thanks to the last few panels of mystery with Frankie and romance with Luke Fox. Admittedly, that felt a bit sudden, but I’m interested in where it can go thanks to the goodwill the book has built up by this point. They do have a nice chemistry among them and it can be fun to see where their romance could take the book. Especially next month since they’re going to Alysia and Jo’s wedding.
Batgirl continues being a highlight at the end of every month. This is a fun, exciting, adventurous, pretty, and enjoyable book. Batgirl really is just always on point, even with some pacing issues and the work of its usual artist. 4/5
That’s all for now, go enjoy the new fall season and I’ll be here with you next week as we’ll be flipping through the pages.