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.
Written by Matt Fraction
Illustrated and Colored by Terry Dodson
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
Designed by Leonardo Olea
Reviewed by Quinn Tassin
“Adventureman” #7, like every issue of this delightful series, absolutely whips. In this issue, though, that becomes much more literal, as we’re introduced to a 5th generation Black Brooklyn cowboy. While the focus of the series has been firmly on the large and easy to love Connell family, this month we get to learn a bit about a descendant of Champion Strong, as well. The shift brings a nice feeling to the issue, reminiscent of Kurt Busiek’s ” Astro City.” Here, we get to see a bystander’s view of the world and it’s cool! Then he becomes, uh, very much not a bystander, and it rules. Oh, also, there’s ghosts!
Of course, we get great Connell family content, too. Aside from all the good hero work being done, simply being in a room with this family is great. There’s warmth and love leaping off of the page thanks to artist Terry Dodson and Matt Fraction does great work at making the family feel very real. Seeing them struggle with developers trying to buy up the block of the Connell mother’s house is extremely compelling. The tension between the kids who are clearly open to it and their father who literally burns the letter offering to buy the store is really interesting and brings up some genuine questions as to what’s right.
Dodson, as per usual, is excellent on art. “Adventureman” is notable in its fundamental senses of timelessness and boundless potential and a lot of that is thanks to Dodson. There’s such life in this comic, particularly in the ways that each setting feels distinct and real and that each character exudes energy, that it seems like anything can happen at any time. When we follow a carriage ride through a city, it feels just as exciting as discovering a literal ghost town under City Hall. There’s also a whimsy to everything that feels attributable to the perfect melding of Fraction’s writing and Dodson’s artwork. When a cowboy bursts into a house and shoots a ghost, things are inherently silly and fun and this comic gets that.
Final Verdict: 8.0- “Adventureman” #7 is yet another solid entry in an incredibly confident, fun series.
Teen Titans Academy #9
Written by Tim Sheridan
Illustrated by Mike Norton
Colored by Hi-Fi
Lettered by Rob Leigh
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore
“Teen Titans Academy” is a book that is both exciting and frustrating, and often for the same reasons. The title has such a large cast, that it is often hard to squeeze even half of them into meaningful roles in one issue. Over the course of nine installments, we’ve had multi-part stories about Gorilla Greg and the Bat Pack, plus the series-long mystery about Red X, and a spin-off series about Billy Batson and Dane. And so, by adding three classic Titans to the title – Wally West, Roy Harper, and Garth – it is both great to see the characters back together, and frustrating because this is less time spent with some of the other new recruits, or the criminally underused ‘middle’ team between staff and student.
That said, this book is simply brimming with life, fun, and danger. It’s refreshing to see a creative team go for broke each and every month, and not worry about all the spillage that comes from so much being worked into the 20 pages. This month, Mike Norton is on art detail, and his tight but playful style really bolsters the pages. Norton is a master at making is characters emote, and these pages are full of terror, relief, guilt, and joy. Norton’s storytelling does a lot of the heavy lifting when the script doesn’t get enough time to delve deeper into certain emotions. The Wally/Roy reunion, as well as its immediate aftermath, does so much to further their collective story, but features only a few words spoken. The body language and facial expressions tell us all we need to know.Continued below
This story appears to be winding down, at least under the pen of Tim Sheridan, and that’s such a shame, because there are enough threads here that could be picked up to last the book another year, at least, and that’s without the culmination of the Red X story, the Psimon fallout, the Shazam dangling threads, and the return of Roy.
Final Verdict: 7.6 – Comics should leave you wanting more, but maybe not this much more.
Wastelanders: Wolverine #1
Written by Steven S. DeKnight
Illustrated by Ibrahim Moustafa
Colored by Neeraj Menon
Lettered by VC’s Cory Petit
Reviewed by Alexander Manzo
If a reader ever wondered what an episode of The Mandalorian with Marvel characters would look like, it’s “Wastelanders: Wolverine #1.” This one-shot stems from the aftermath of what happened in the Old Man Logan storyline with Wolverine and a baby of Bruce Banner. Steven S. DeKnight continues with this version of Logan trying to do the right thing and avoid violence but is constantly put in situations he doesn’t want to be a part of. Although DeKnight puts a few action scenes in this reasonably short one-shot, there is a lot of heart to it as well. Wolverine’s feelings are in thought bubbles because he’s alone, other than the baby, and the audience gets deeper insights into his views on the world and what has been happening. Whether the reader is familiar with the original storyline or not, this could be a great hook into this world.
Ibrahim Moustafa brings this strong Western vibe to the story by utilizing the shadows and beaming sun on Wolverine throughout the story. Despite it being an apocalyptic-like world, Moustafa creates this sense of destroyed and lost humanity. This atmosphere, combined with Wolverine’s guilt for his past sins, instantly throws the reader into this wasteland. However, it wouldn’t be a Wolverine story without some carnage, and the readers get some decapitations and loss of limbs to a group of wannabe Ghost Riders. There’s also a gnarly scene where the baby grabs a severed arm and starts to nibble on it like a turkey leg with blood still dripping off the side.
Neeraj Menon’s color choices are also a critical factor in this issue. During the scene with Wolverine and Bruce Banner, the different colors to show off the machine part of his head/armor create this eerie feeling that the audience is familiar with is long gone as his face begins to change color into the green that now symbolizes a different kind of psychotic monster rather than just a physical one.
Final Verdict8.5 If you’re in need of an old Wolverine story, this is the one to grab off the shelf.
Wonder Girl #6
Written by Joelle Jones
Illustrated by Leila Del Duca
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
Reviewed by Alexander Jones
“Wonder Girl” #6 is a fascinating issue bridging readers closer to the status quo seen in “Future State: Wonder Woman.” Writer Joelle Jones and artist Leila Del Duca are carrying “Wonder Girl” forward with a great sense of momentum. Previously Yara Flor offended Hera by refusing her elixir. Flor is now stranded in Tartarus fighting through the demons. “Wonder Girl” #6 is drawn by the excellent Leila Del Duca instead of Jones. Duca follows suit from previous artists and uses Jordie Bellaire’s colors to keep the style and art consistent but not derivative. “Wonder Girl” #6 is another great chapter of the series that expands on the sense of horror that the title can offer at times. Flor is battling sinister villains in dark spaces.
Duca’s art in the issue captures the scary setting of Tartarus with lots of personalities for the demons lying below. Duca utilizes complicated page layouts to evoke a sense of dread masterfully. When all the panels on the page are crooked readers can tell something is wrong. The only criticism to offer here is a lack of detail in some of the backgrounds. There are quite a few blank backgrounds that could have housed some interesting details. Duca draws intriguing monsters and villains that sport really interesting contorted facial expressions. The body language and acting from Yara Flor here is vivid and lifelike. The sequence with Flor and Eros is a normal comic book squabble but is enhanced visually with Eros darting glances at an angry Flor. Duca gives the duo chemistry in their body language and actions that could help sell a potential romance between the duo much better.
Jones has started to balance a few subplots in “Wonder Girl” that is now starting to pay off. Artemis and Cassandra Sandsmark are closing in on Yara Flor! The Olympian Gods are also utilized in a clever way. This small arc has been able to establish a personal connection to Flor thanks to the training sequences from the previous chapter. The chaotic nature of the “Wonder Girl” is balanced carefully and presented with incredible execution. “Wonder Girl” #6 is a spooky issue with vivid artwork that uses the momentum from previous issues to stay engaging from cover to cover.
Final Verdict: 8.3 – “Wonder Girl” #6 charts an important moment in Yara Flor’s development.