Friday, August 19, 2016

Weekly Comic Pull #16: Vision Family Values

Welcome to this week's installment of the WEEKLY COMIC PULL, where we run down the latest in the world of comics. This week is an extra special week, because this week's got a very strong line-up of titles, more than usual by my count. But enough stalling, let's get on with the show, starting with perhaps the best series to come out of DC in a while...

Wonder Woman #4

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Scott

In this issue, Wonder Woman: Year One continues, with the Amazonians having to deal with the implications of a man having crash landed on their Paradise Island. In doing so, they begin a tournament that will be used to select the island's champion to wield the weapons of the gods and to return Trevor to his people. What's so fascinating about this aspect of Amazonian history is that this issue gives us a look at the Amazonian's first encounters with things like guns. Trevor's pistol ends up, in fact, becoming part of one of the most memorable moments of this entire series so far, a moment that shows just how much reverence Greg Rucka has for the character. Nicola Scott helps a lot with that aspect, with the big money shot of the issue being an instantly iconic shot of Wonder Woman in all her glory. The issue sets up a great continuing point for Wonder Woman: Year One, setting up Diana's journey to the world of man. Meanwhile, I'm also very excited for the next chapter of Wonder Woman: The Lies in the next issue.

Score: 8.5/10

The Vision #10

Written by Tom King
Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta


In the letter's page of this issue, before the letters proper, is a blurb by the author, Ton King, where he mentioned that, for most typical superhero comics, if a writer went to his editor and told them that they were going to do an issue where the main character never left his house, that issue would never see publication with that premise. The Vision is not your typical superhero comic. In this issue, in the aftermath of the death of Vin, the Visions have been confined to their house by the Avengers. Most of this issue consists of a tense stillness and a tense moment of grief. After issue after issue of relentless sadness, this issue gives the reader a bit of breathing room. Which it good, because the end of this issue promise that this issue is the point of no return, and that the last two issues will be non-stop drama. This issue is a towering monument to how good of a writer Tom King is. With every line, you feel the grief of these characters, you feel the cracks in their visage of normalcy giving way to the truly damaged individuals underneath, and you sympathize as everything that could've gone wrong for these people does. With this issue, Vision is about to hit its swan song, with #11 and 12 being the series' last, and Tom King's last Marvel work until his exclusivity deal with DC lapses, and while I haven't read much of King's other work, this and his current Batman work fully establishes him at the forefront of today's best and brightest new talents. I look forward to seeing what he does next.

Score: 9.5/10

All-Star Batman #1

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by John Romita Jr. 

Speaking of Batman, Scott Snyder makes his return to the Caped Crusader with John Romita Jr. in tow in their brand new series, All-Star Batman. But don't be fooled, this isn't just Snyder's New 52 Batman all over again. All-Star Batman instantly stands out against the crowd with its vastly different tone than Snyder's other Batman material. In this issue, the Batman has been tasked with escorting Two-Face across the state to a mysterious safehouse. However, Two-Face does not plan to make it easy, as he's put a sizable bounty on the Batman's head that anyone can collect, with the stipulation that, whoever comes to collect, must bring Two-Face back to Gotham. It's the roadtrip from hell for the Batman and Two-Face, and appropriately, it has a far lighter tone than any of Snyder's previous work with the Dark Knight. No joke, Batman actually fist-bumps someone in this issue, and Snyder manages to make it work. Romita's art gives an extra layer of grit and grime on a story that sees the Batman without most of his tools and resources that he's used to having in a mission like this. Easily the most iconic image in the issue is a Batman wielding a chainsaw, an image that brings to mind the Mad Max movies, which Snyder has admitted to have influenced the story. To put it mildly: it's fun as hell. This issue also lets us see Batman taking on some of his sillier and lesser known foes, liek Killer Moth and Firefly, and it's a joy to see Snyder having so much fun with characters like this after spending so much time writing dark, sinister characters like the Joker and the Court of Owls. It's exciting, it's fun, the art is breathtaking, and it's an angle on the Batman that I've rarely seen and didn't know I wanted. In short, it's a dynamite of a debut issue, and undeniably a comic you should not miss.

Score: 9.5/10

Darth Vader #24

Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Salvador Larroca

In this issue, Vader is at his lowest point. His cybernetic body has been deactivated by an ally-turned-traitor, leaving him trapped within his own mind. In this state, we get to see Vader grapple with his inner demons, getting flashes to defining moments in the Dark Lord's life, most notably his battle with Obi-Wan on Mustafar at the end of Episode III. In doing so, this issue becomes less about action and more about the psychology behind Vader. It's a heartfelt look, but it's also a very dark look. If there's anything bad to say about it, it's mainly due to how short this makes the issue. Seeing as the issue depends on a lot of big panels and splash pages, it flies by rather quickly. Fortunately, what the issue lacks in length, it makes up for in quality. Gillen clearly knows what makes this character tick, and Larroca's art brings iconic moments from the film to the comic page. Next issue marks the final issue for Gillen and Larroca's Darth Vader series, with no further issues in the near future for the Dark Lord. With much of the main story wrapped up by the end of this issue, it begs the question what the final chapter of this tale will be. Only time will tell.

Score: 8.5/10

Detective Comics #938

Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Alvaro Martinez

This issue is all about the action, and when you've got Batman, Batwoman, Spoiler, Orphan, Robin, and Clayface, that's not a bad thing. Framed by a flashback of Batwoman's father promising his daughter that she would one day fight beside him. It's an emotional flashbacks, as he makes the promise before the grave of Kate's mother, and it perfectly puts the brawl in the present in a great emotional context. As I said, much of this issue is the fighting, and it's some high quality action at that. Despite all the punching, this issue lets us see how well this team works together, with Batman and Batwoman showing how effectively they can lead a team. Each member gets their time in the spotlight, with each member proving why they've earned their place in the Bat Family. It's even occasionally funny, with Clayface and Spoiler getting some good lines. Alvaro Martinez's dynamic art gives the action some great flow, so that the fighting doesn't get old. The end sets up a showdown between not only the Bat Family and the Colony, but between Batwoman and her father. James Tynion's track record isn't the most consistent, but he's been knocking this new Detective series out of the park so far, and I can't wait to see how this story shakes out.

Score: 9/10

Daredevil #10

Written by Charles Soule
Art by Ron Garney

Charles, you had me worried for a bit, there. After a few issues that were only okay, and an annual that was a massive drop in quality, Charles Soule is back with a Daredevil story with all the intrigue, all the hard-edged action, and the neo-noir leanings that make the character so memorable. In this issue, Daredevil's other half, Matt Murdock, finds himself in trouble at work, having been relegated to night court after bungling the Tenfingers case at the beginning of the run. This grilling from the firm comes at the exact wrong time, as Daredevil and Blindspot find an ominous sign of a new threat to Hell's Kitchen. Not only does Soule's writing return to its regular high quality, but Ron Garney returns to the series as main artist after several issues away, and it's good to be back. Garney's use of shadow and pointillism gives the series a great, pulpy look that makes it stand out from every other comic out there right now. Soule's writing also makes a comeback here, with Matt's internal monologue heightening the mood and atmosphere, especially with all the talk of the city, harkening back to Miller's work on Daredevil and Sin City. The end of this issue throws a huge monkey wrench into Daredevil and Blindspot's plans, and really making me want to see what happens next. For a little bit, I'd almost considered dropping this book since it'd started going down in quality. Soule and Garney pull it right back from the edge. Now, I wouldn't dare miss the next issue.

Score: 9.5/10

Old Man Logan #10

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

In this issue, Logan in the present finds himself at the mercy of the Silent Order, a Japanese ninja order that Logan dealt with in his original timeline. And while this struggle has become increasingly interesting, I'm finding that the thing I find the most interesting is the relationship we keep seeing between Logan and his wife, Marlene. After the second arc, which dealt with Logan trying and deciding against protecting his wife (who at this time is still a child), I expected them to drop the flashbacks with his wife. Instead, though, they've made it the emotional heart of this series. After everything that Logan has gone through in his time, it helps establish why he fights and what he fights for. In this issue, we flashback to Logan and Marlene in their first encounter with the Silent Order, putting his current conflict with them into context. It also shows just how much the Silent Order is underestimating Logan. As always, Andrea Sorrentino turns in some amazing art, especially in the Silent Order's temple. Some of the opening panels are works of art I'd consider worthy of being framed. Lemire has not slacked at all in this entire series, and despite my early fears that this would be one of the first books on the chopping block at Marvel, Lemire has gotten a chance to carve out his own unique piece of the Marvel universe with this book. I can't wait to see more.

Score: 9/10

And that will do it for me for this week. As always, let me know in the comments below what you've been reading. What did you think of All-Star Batman? Are you still reading Daredevil? How great is Wonder Woman? Let me know below, and I'll see you next time!

Make sure to check us out and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for all of our reviews, news, trailers, and much, much more!!!

1 comment: