• Columns 

    This Month in Comics: February 2011

    By | February 28th, 2011
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    Since this is my first foray into the mystical world that is “This Month in Comics”, I’m probably gonna indulge a bit. Clickity on down for the best/worst/other of the comics world in the incredibly packed month of February, featuring The Fantastic Four, The Sixth Gun, Filipe Andrade, The Li’l Depressed Boy, Jonathan Hickman, Batman & Robin and more!

    Best Book of the Month:
    Morning Glories #7

    Quite Simply, this book had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. After last issue’s mother of a mindf*ck, Spencer finally decided to give us a few tangible clues as to whats going on on this island in this school…and I can’t wait for more.

    Worst Book of the Month:
    27 #3

    I normally make a point of not reading books I know will disappoint me…somehow, 27 manages to slip through this self-imposed mandate and I’m really not sure why. Shlocky, barely comprehensible story (that had SO much potential based on early solicits) and by the numbers “experimental” art? Should be an immediate pass…yet I keep reading. Joshua Mocle, thou art a sadist.

    Biggest “Meh” Book of the Month: Batman & Robin #20

    Quite simply, I wanted so much more than this book gave me. After Tomasi’s fantastic, innovative work on Green Lantern Corps, combined with his years writing Dick Grayson on Nightwing, this book should have a slam dunk of awesome…instead it was obvious, by the numbers storytelling that read like something I had seen a thousand times before. Not terrible…not great…just meh.

    Best Scene of the Month:
    Annihilus is a Dick (Fantastic Four #588)

    I wasn’t expecting an almost completely silent main story from the final issue of the Fantastic Four, but it ended up being nothing short of breathtaking. The specificity injected into every panel, every image by Hickman and Dragotta was astounding, but none moreso than this scene of Reed Richards confronting a rather youthful looking Annihilus after his wave of evil bugs (allegedly) ripped Johnny Storm apart. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

    Worst Scene of the Month:
    Cletus Kasady? SERIOUSLY?! (Carnage #3)

    The Sentry flying Carnage into space and ripping him in half in New Avengers #2? Badass. The symbiote finding its way back to Earth and possessing a new host and infecting her mind? Totally doable. Cletus Kasady returning to life with half a body after being ripped in half and floating in space for over a year? Oh HELL no.

    Best Writer of the Month: Jonathan Hickman (Fanastic Four #588, SHIELD #6)

    The amazing somber and heart wrenching final issue of the Fantastic Four combined with the jaw dropping conclusion to the first story arc of SHIELD combine to make Jonathan Hickman the writer to beat this month. (Note: I’m woefully behind on Secret Warriors…but I hear he’s kicking ass over there too.) The simple nuance inserted into his books combined with an unwavering desire to make his readers actually THINK about what they are reading never fails to impress me and I can’t wait to see what he has in store.

    Continued below

    Worst Most Disappointing Writer of the Month:
    Peter J. Tomasi (Batman and Robin, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors, Brightest Day)

    I’ll be honest, I couldn’t really name any truly BAD writers this month since, more often than not, I am drawn to books BECAUSE of writers and generally gravitate toward those that I know will entertain me (or at least I did this month.) However, I expected so much more from Tomasi this month. Brightest Day has been mediocre at best from the start and this month’s rushed Aquawar garbage continued that trend (though I do suspect Geoff Johns had more to do with that story…but I cannot confirm.) You can see above for my thoughts on Batman and Robin and even Emerald Warriors, which was his strongest output this month, felt rushed and insubstantial. A year ago, he was one of my “must read” writers…now, I’m less sure.

    Best Artist of the Month:
    Marcos Martin (Amazing Spider-Man #655)

    One of two largely silent issues this month, Martin’s work on the funeral of Marla Jameson and the subsequent Peter Parker dream sequence is nothing short of breathtaking. I’ve been a fan of Martin’s work for quite some time now, but seeing his Kirby-esque style pushing the boundaries of sequential storytelling like the above image shows just elevates him to an entirely new level.

    Worst Artist of the Month:
    Filipe Andrade (Onslaught Unleashed #1)

    Admittedly, I did not have high hopes for this comic in general and really only read it on a while, in the store. What I found was a barely comprehensible story (although MUCH more comprehensible than the atrocious Onslaught Reborn) and an absolute trainwreck of art. Terrible and inconsistent character design, not facial expression to speak of, horrible undetailed backgrounds and generally confusing sequences just make me sad that these are the hands one of the most impressive villains of the modern age is in.

    Best New Book of the Month:
    The Li’l Depressed Boy

    Why this book hadn’t made the jump from web-comic to full blown ongoing series before now is just beyond confusing for me. The wonderful characterization, the very human/true to life situations and the beautifully stylized art combine to make this one a complete, surefire win.

    Most Overlooked Book of the Month:
    The Sixth Gun #9

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again until I run out of breath: this is the very best comic you probably aren’t reading. Intriguing plots, engaging characters and beautifully realized imagery combine to make this one of my absolutely favorite comics and all you Marvel and DC zombies can do yourself a favor by checking this sucker out.

    Most Exciting Announcement of the Month:
    The Return of Alpha Flight!

    Remember that time Ralph and Sue Dibny came back as ghost detectives at the end of an event mini-series and then barely anything was done with them after that, thereby squandering an absolutely amazing concept for an ongoing series? Yeah, me too. I expected that to be the same deal following Alpha Flight’s return at the end of Chaos War. Silly silly me! With Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak, Dale Eagelsham AND Phil Jimenez attached to this sucker, I doubt anyone will be able to shut me up about how much I love this book come its on-shelf date in May.


    //TAGS | This Month In Comics

    Joshua Mocle

    Joshua Mocle is an educator, writer, audio spelunker and general enthusiast of things loud and fast. He is also a devout Canadian. He can often be found thinking about comics too much, pretending to know things about baseball and trying to convince the masses that pop-punk is still a legitimate genre. Stalk him out on twitter and thought grenade.


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