Captain Canuck #3
This book still remains unapproachable to readers who don’t have a familiarity with the Canuck mythos. Unimpactful back up stories and blown-by references do little to alleviate this. While its approachability could have been handled better the story itself is beginning to solidify. The writing has gotten stronger with each issue and covert op, Tom Clancy feel gives the book a personality to call its own.
Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #3
Writer Cullen Bunn knows the secret ingredient to writing a great Deadpool story. Rather than bloating the story with pancake jokes and pop culture references, Bunn orbits the character’s inane humor around emotional story beats and effective character moments. By building a subtle emotional core, the story becomes less disposable. Deadpool’s humor has contrast and he is allowed to function as a hero rather than a jester.
Sex Criminals #11
Centering around three different couples all experiencing a similar sexual adventure, Sex Criminals #11 explores the differing processes that people use to digest love, affection and insecurities. This issue continues the series' tradition of exploring sex’s correspondence with love and identity, swirled together with esoteric humor. This issue also sees the expansion of the book’s ever opening mythos with the introduction of a character that looks to be the McGuffin of the story's next arch.
Southern Bastards #10
This issue continues this series’ piecemeal telling of the story of a small corrupt southern town via a rotating cast of narrators. The narrator of this issue, a simpleton thug named Esaw, is by far the least interesting mouth piece that has presented us with. Rather than engaging the reader with a nuanced character as we tour their traumas and vices like previous iterations of the comic, issue ten asks us to revel in the psychopathic temper tanturms of a one note hooligan. What is here is well executed, its just doesn’t have the complexity that we have come to expect from the series.
Star Wars #7
The exploration of Obi-Wan’s lost years is an untold story that fans didn’t even know they wanted. And while it is fun to feel like you are uncovering a coveted artifact, what is here doesn’t add much to the lore of Obi-Wan. The narrative serves to frame an action scene, Obi-Wan’s arch is lacking in growth, and the pondering exposition is mostly airy. It never transcends simply being a novelty and ends up feeling like this lost chapter could have been filled with something more enlightening.
The Tithe #4
As a series The Tithe has been lousy with well thought out commentary on things like organized religion, redemption and activism. Those ideas and themes are still present, however the tight and paced narrative that ran along with them has disappeared. Issue four had originally been meant to close the series. However writer/creator Matt Hawkins decided to shift it to an ongoing part way through writing it and the change feel uncompensated for. The resolution to this arch’s treads and themes feels hasty and that causes the emotional beats not to land. The set up for the rest of the series that we are left with is fine and full of potential but what came before it feels under-cared for and discarded.
Mythic feels like a book more concerned with ratcheting up its own weirdness than telling a story. It rifles characters and monsters at the reader with rapid fervor, unconcerned about developing them or giving them a place in the plot. It ends up feeling like a collection of deviantart with a dash of tone deaf humor rather than a story.
This issue is primarily composed of set up. Spending its early pages simmering a slow to blossom subplot before expanding of social dynamics and historical tensions that had previously only existed in innuendo. While the action is limited, what is built up is thrilling and serves as a bit of brilliant pacing after several action focused issues.
Invisible Republic #5
Arthur McBride has spent the last two issues absent from the tangible plot. He has been growing in the folklore of the book’s world and in this issue he explodes back into the narrative. The build up to his return feels hidden and the punch it is going for definitely lands. The events of this book rewrite the norm the story operates from, giving an already great book more fun toys to play with.
Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #2
Manhattans Projects seems to want to be a book that can do everything. The Sun Beyond the Stars sees the series mutate from B movie horror chimeraed together with historical fiction and introspection, into a swashbuckling space adventure with a Guardians of the Galaxy flavor. It works for the most part, but its popcornee attitude can sometimes feel out of place under its title.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4
This book continues to feel shocking and horrific in the most satisfying of ways. But there are moments in issue four where focus is lacking. The cameos of characters from Archie Comics are so awkward and brushed by that they feel like the disheartened fulfillment of an editorial mandate and there inclusions gunks up the flow of the story.
The transition into Low’s second arch has not been terribly fluid. An unrelated issue with the tone of an annual is now followed by a directionless foray into another crumbling, aquatic city. While the narrative lacks agency, the character work and back story are meaty, propping up the book and giving the next arch some fountain to launch from.
Lois and Clark’s conflict over Lois’ processing of the true identity of Superman creates a delicious conflict between the characters. Both sides of the argument have their valid and relatable points and the prequel quality of the story adds a dire sense of momentum as things tumble down to the events of Action Comics.
The inclusion of the new Batman in the Batgirl book did not feel tonally compatible with me at first. However the way Gordon’s Batman subverts his law enforcement masters while aiding a hero he has no idea is his daughter is creative and saturated with irony and potential.
God Hates Astronauts #10
God Hates Astronauts’ over caffeinated story continues to bounce off the walls of comic book story conventions to tell the dumbest and funniest tales the medium.
MODOK Assassin #3
The juxtaposing of MODOK’s middle school style crush on Angela and his gleeful execution of Marvel villains and antiheroes builds on the book’s innocent yet blood soaked personality. This issue has no fat. Just jokes and action. While it won’t stick to your ribs in does deliver the satisfying yet fleeting joy of eating a potato chip.