It’s my turn to give you all the breakdown on the best and worst from the world of comics this month, and I can safely say it was a great month in comics. When trying to figure out what the “worst” books and moments were, it was pretty difficult. That is not something I can say very easily. No less, click through if you want to see the breakdown for the month.
I reviewed this last week, so it should be absolutely no surprise that this is my choice for best book of the month. Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham have done absolutely nothing to show that this is not going to be a historic run on one of the flagship titles in Marvel history, as they have already made Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch a distant memory with just two issues. With an issue filled with Infinity Gauntlets, Galactus battles and Celestials, this is the Fantastic Four at their cosmic best.
Runner Up: Giant-Size Old Man Logan, The Unwritten #5, Scalped #31
While it was a very strong month that did not feature a lot of weak titles, I can safely say I strongly disliked the wrap up of the Dark X-Men saga…or whatever you want to call it. While I disliked the entirety of the exercise, the finale combined lazy writing (plot threads left hanging, bizarre conclusions, out of character actions, you name it) and jarring art (two highly disparate artists shared artistic duties) into one big waste of money. Not only that, but it came in at the raised rate of $3.99, so I effectively paid $1 more for a worse than usual comic. Yay?
Runner Up: Wednesday Comics
This page…I just stared at this page for a while. Everything that happens on this page is gold, from the team of Reed’s using weird ass weapons on the Silver Surfer’s and the Galactus, to the sheer detail Eaglesham jammed in there, to the fact that you look at it and think “Wow! I can’t believe Hickman even came up with this.” The fact it worked perfectly into a stunning issue is even better, but even as a standalone page it blows me away.
Runner Up: Bruce Banner’s rather bad stomach ache (Giant-Size Old Man Logan)
X-Team Editorial Meeting:
Fraction: Okay guys, so we’re going to have Bullseye/Hawkeye and Archangel fight in this issue.
Editorial: Wow! That sounds intense. Won’t Archangel kill him really easily?
Fraction: Well, I have an idea.
Editorial: And that is?
Fraction: I’m going to show the beginning of the fight and then never show the rest of it. They’ll both appear later with minor cuts and bruises.
Editorial: Hmmm. Fraction…you’re a genius! That’s so crazy it just might work!
Fraction thought bubble: Wow. I made that up right then and there and it was maybe my worst idea ever. I really need to stop writing Uncanny X-Men…this is getting bad…
Runner Up: Open a page of Exodus. That’s the runner up.
The dude is writing maybe my two favorite Marvel Universe books right now in Secret Warriors and Fantastic Four. They are both uniformly good, and he is providing superhero comics a spark generated from a really natural and classic place that I haven’t seen in a long time. To say I’m blown away by him is understating it, immensely.Continued below
Runner Up: Joe Kelly, Jason Aaron, Andy Diggle
I love Fraction…don’t get me wrong. Even this month, his work on two (TWO!) issues of Invincible Iron Man was fantastic. But someone has to go here and if it isn’t apparent yet, I hated Exodus. It was incredibly bad.
Runner Up: Can I stress that I really did not like Exodus?
My idea: we rename this the JH Williams III award and stop running it. Until JH Williams III is no longer putting together the art for Detective Comics, it’s his award to lose. The work he is putting in is groundbreaking and completely out of this world awesome. It’s the on book on the market that I say is worth it to pick up solely for the art.
Runner Up: R.M. Guera (Scalped), Ivan Reis (Blackest Night), Francis Manapul (Adventure Comics)
Mighty Avengers is a very well written book that harkens back to the golden years of the Avengers. When everything wasn’t snarky and pop culture driven, but driven by true heroism and amusing hijinks. However, it also harkens back to the golden years of the Avengers in that the art is simply awful. Why can they not toss Khoi Pham out and replace him with the incredibly underrated Rafael Albquerque or Timothy Green III? It would put this title up with the best Marvel is releasing in just one move.
Also, I do want to note: I like Tan’s art, just not on Batman & Robin. Bad fit.
Runner Up: Phillip Tan (Batman & Robin)
I was going to put 28 Days Later here until I realized it had just sold out its first printing in the first week of release for the second issue. So North 40 goes here, as it is an extremely underrated title that literally no one else I know is reading. Filled with a The Stand like tale of good and evil written by Aaron Williams and loaded with high quality art by Fiona Staples, this book should be fitting nicely into the stacks of those who are into slightly edgier faire. As of yet, it isn’t but the good news is we’re just 3 issues in and it’s not too late to pick up the back issues. Now get on it!
Runner Up: 28 Days Later, Runaways