Winter is coming to an end, and with it, several comics. With Spring just around the corner, let’s see what the best of February had to offer, and what made them so great.
Best Issue: “The Silencer” #2
In January, the first issue of “The Silencer” was an unexpectedly good introduction to a new character, one that I hoped would be able to maintain its momentum to the next month. February’s issue proved equally satisfactory, filled with dynamic action, solid artwork, and great character work. Dan Abnett is a writer with a history of very enjoyable work, and this proves to be no exception, and while I’m not always a fan of Romita’s artwork, he and Sandra Hope do a great job keeping the action looking good and maintaining a great flow across the issue.
The story of the retired badass called back into duty is one as old as time. We know all the usual beats; they just want to live a normal life and raise a family, initially refusing the call, then something happens to force them into action, and so on and so forth. What makes “The Silencer” work is how it brings this story into the DC Universe, with Talia Al Ghul’s organization Leviathan, and the clever use of Honor’s zone of silence powers, as well as the fast pacing that lets it hit all the familiar beats at a great speed. Everything gets set up and carries out well; we’re never bored, whether Hope is setting up the clandestine meeting or taking her son to brush his teeth, and the narration keeps the readers from missing any details while assisting with the story flow.
“The Silencer” has proven to be an unexpectedly good addition to the DC universe, so let’s hope future issues can keep up the quality that this one has lead us to expect.
Best Writer: Jason Aaron
Jason Aaron has been crafting an amazing story of Jane Foster as Thor, and this month saw it take one step closer to an epic finale. There’s been drama, loss, conflict, and sacrifice, leading up to this issue and a fatal decision. In Jason Aaron’s hands, Jane became a Thor who will not be forgotten any time soon, and the emotions run high in this issue as she makes her final decision.
February’s “The Mighty Thor” alternates between flashbacks to Jane’s life, Odinson’s battle, and even a great moment with Loki and Freyja. Each moment, whether heart-wrenching or heart-pounding, is written with all the expertise of an author that’s become one of Marvel’s best.
But we also get brief moments of levity, thanks to his inclusion of the hellhound Thori, who’s under strict orders to murder all hammers. Thori is a very good boy.
As I’ve stated before, Jason Aaron could write the instruction manual for toothpicks and I’d still read it.
Best Artist: Esad Ribic
Sometimes you open a comic, look at the first page, and just whisper “Wow.” That was my reaction when I looked at the first issue of “Vs.” Ivan Brandon’s tale of televised gladiators would be entertaining on its own, but it’s the artwork from Esad Ribic and Nic Klein’s colors that bring it to life.
The scenery is amazing. The character designs are all clear and impressive, rippling with both personality and muscle alike. Esad’s artwork keep the story flowing at a great pace, building tension and kicking off action like nothing else. The details, the designs, the futuristic weaponry and equipment the gladiators bear, they all look simply fantastic.
But the worldbuilding made possible through Esad’s artwork alone is particularly impressive. Each scene contains something truly imaginative, but with enough familiar connotations that we can understand everything without needing anything spelled out for us. The amazing scenery that dominates so many pages is a sight to behold, and sets up a world that’s both alien and familiar.
Fondest Farewell: “The Unbelievable Gwenpool”
When I first picked up an issue of “Gwenpool,” I had no idea how quickly it would become one of my favorite comics. Yet here we are, with fond memories of a pink-clad girl from our world and all the hijinks she got up to in the world of comics. Her run was filled with great character development, clever humor, and clearly a lot of love for the Marvel universe.Continued below
As such, it was sad to see the comic come to an end, but it wrapped up wonderfully. The way Christopher Hastings plays with the comic medium, cutting through time and between panels while maintaining Gwen’s sense of continuity is very clever, and through Gwen we’re reminded that comics continue to tell stories and reach people whenever they’re read, regardless of when they came out. At the same time, it provides closure to all of “Gwenpool”‘s loose ends, and shows us, the readers, that she can become a hero and do good even if her comic won’t continue.
Although Gwen and the readers alike have been dreading the end of the comic, it’s still an end filled with hope and love for the material, a fine conclusion to Gwenpool’s arc.
That said, I really do hope we get more Gwenpool in the future.
Goodest Dog: Tie! Lockjaw and Thori
Dogs are so very, very good. As such, it only stands to reason that comic book dogs are also good, and therefore make for good comics. My logic here is flawless, don’t even try to argue.
However, can we really choose a goodest of all the good dogs? As “We Rate Dogs” once famously stated, “They’re all good dogs.” So with that in mind, two of the most good of the good dogs are Lockjaw, who began his own solo run this month, and Thori, who graced the pages of “The Mighty Thor.”
Whether they teleport around the world and get a retired D-list hero back into action or murder all hammers but still tearjerkingly ask “Why you… murder self?” These two dogs deserve lots of treats and tummy rubs.