There’s a lot to cover on Wednesdays. We should know, as collectively, we read an insane amount of comics. Even with a large review staff, it’s hard to get to everything. With that in mind, we’re back with Wrapping Wednesday, where we look at some of the books we missed in what was another great week of comics.
Let’s get this party started.
”Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths” #3
Written by Joshua Williamson
Penciled by Daniel Sampere
Inked by Daniel Sampere, Daniel Henriques and Danny Miki
Colored by Alejandro Sanchez
Lettered by Tom Napolitano
Reviewed by Alexander Jones
“Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths” has been able to keep up a staggering sense of momentum despite the absence of several key DC heroes. Author Joshua Williamson and artist Daniel Sampere have focused on the next generation of DC’s heroes to protect the Earth. With the Justice League gone for so long, tensions are starting to heat up among the remaining superheroes who are growing tired of fighting back against The Great Darkness. Williamson shows readers all the remaining factions left in the DC Universe. There are several revelations in the issue but Williamson and Sampere do a great job keeping the tone and plotting of the issue intact at all times. Williamson writes just the right amount of angst for the characters and Sampere provides muted, but impactful character expressions.
Daniel Sampere’s art in this issue matches the intense quality from Williamson’s script. The blue tones in the opening scene from Alejandro Sanchez were a great match for the sad writing paired with Sampere’s morose facial expressions. The Hal Jordan sequence in the issue had a beautiful panel composition. I was honestly surprised by how sad the themes from Williamson and Sampere’s writing get in the issue. Sampere was able to keep the tension incredibly high during the scene where Black Adam was negotiating with the new Justice League. There’s a mix of tons of panels scattered throughout the page leading to an intense cathartic feeling at the end of the issue. Sampere and Williamson are a strong creative team.
This issue of the series is littered with conflict, showing multiple generations of heroes having a hard time accommodating to the changing conditions. One of the most exciting parts about this issue is how Williamson finally gives readers the context in Deathstroke that he has been teasing since the issue began. The final moments with Slade Wilson in “Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths” #3 are shocking. Williamson stays true to the darker tone of the issue when a later sequence with Hal Jordan is a good illustration to just how wrong Pariah is about his current goals. Sampere’s art is a moody showcase for this script that is not afraid to get dark.
Final Verdict: 9.0 – The morose script and art of ”Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths” #3 captures the promise of a dark event storyline.
Dead Lucky #1
Written by Melissa Flores
Illustrated by French Carlomagno
Colored by Mattia Iacono
Lettered by Becca Carey
Reviewed by Alexander Manzo
Melissa Flores brings a refreshing new hero into the “Massive-Verse” with “Dead Lucky.” This time around, the protagonist, Bibiana Lopez-Yang, is an older, experienced veteran who has returned from combat and is ready to protect her city. When Flores gives Bibi’s backstory, the audience is unsure of the event’s details, only that she lost a couple of people from her unit. The refreshing aspect of this story is that Bibi’s motivation for protection comes from the corruption of political power, leaving her family defenseless. This story is less of a person who stumbles upon power and tries to figure out how to help; instead, she is looking to make herself stronger and protect those that can’t defend themselves. For a grizzled character, Flores makes her more open to the audience by not giving her thought bubbles but monologuing throughout the issue. It’s done so much that the other characters often ask, making it an inside joke for all. This introduction gives the audience a hero to root for and follow to see if she can gain control over her abilities after accidentally sending her friend to the hospital.Continued below
French Carlomagno’s art style is crisp and dynamic, giving it this futuristic Batman Beyond-like vibe. Most of this issue is about exposition and world-building, and Carlomagno can create this updated version of San Francisco while maintaining the Chinatown identity. A memorable moment is the splash page where the audience gets to see The Salvation Gang in action, and literally, as they were jumping from above onto an innocent person just helps see how little they care. Mattia Iacono brings autumn and futuristic vibes with bright orange and yellows. Iacono can help build the anticipation for the battle sequence as we see the colors become gradually darker for what is to come.
Final Verdict: 8.5 The “Massive-Verse” continues to get filled with excellent characters, and Bibi is no exception to that.
Immortal X-Men #5
Written by Kieron Gillen
Illustrated by Michele Bandini
Colored by David Curiel
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
Reviewed by Quinn Tassin
The blessing of a series like “Immortal X-Men” is you constantly get to step back and say “man what an issue.” The thing is, in a series this strong, it can be hard to articulate just how uniquely great a specific issue is. ‘Immortal X-Men” #5 is one of those extra special comics. Better yet, an ostensible tie-in to a larger Marvel event is used an opportunity to put a spotlight on a character who spends a lot of his time on the sidelines and to explore faith. It’s exactly the type of thing that I’m a sucker for but it’s also a subgenre that’s really worked in each X-book that’s tried it out since Krakoa was founded.
This is an issue that’s light on story but rich in content. The basic plot is simple – the Quiet Council is meeting to discuss the fact that the Eternals are about to attack them, there’s a psychic attack, and Exodus thinks back on what it was like to follow both Apocalypse and Magneto. His constant search for the true messiah of mutantdom has culminated in Hope’s birth and Krakoa starting. Getting into the depths of Exodus’s psyche and his Biblical sense of understanding the world is fascinating. A character who has often felt like an interesting but somewhat two-dimensional mouthpiece for having faith in Krakoa and Hope has now become more full and dynamic. He sees himself as the only true theological warrior of the mutants. This is so intense that the X symbol makes all mutants carriers of the (rotated) cross and when he takes part in a psychic battle, he sees it as fighting a dragon from the Book of Exodus. It’s a fascinating, thought-provoking portrayal of a generally underdeveloped character.
The artwork plays no small role in the success of “Immortal X-Men #5.” While the actual plot of the issue is narrow, its scope is sweeping and the art team helps this story feel appropriately epic. From wandering the desert and coming face to face with the Phoenix to the Uni-Mind attack to the aforementioned dragon standoff, this issue is filled with exciting, gorgeous imagery. There’s a certain tendency in moments of downtime for a frame or two to be static but the ones that count most are absolutely teeming with energy.
Perhaps no moment is as powerful as the issue’s final two pages. After choosing not to fly into the sun, Exodus declares himself both the rock upon which the mutant church is built and the rock in the hand of Cain as he goes flying to punch a giant Eternals monster in the chest with an energy fist. It’s a perfect mix of “it can only happen in comics” imagery and genuinely riveting scripting. A simple, thrilling moment that encapsulates what makes this such a great issue.
Final Verdict: 9.2- A stellar issue smartly takes a deep breath in the midst of a crisis to explore the concept of faith