There is 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.
Bitch Planet #2
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Illustrated by Valentine DeLandro
Reviewed by Jess Camacho
I raved about this series’ debut issue last month and “Bitch Planet” #2 backs all of that up. The first issue set everything up very nicely but in this issue we start to get into the nitty gritty of Auxilary Compliance Outpost and why Kamau Kogo is being singled out. Roberto Solanza has a grand plan to help keep the A.C.O. around and funded for a long time and Kamau is the key to it all. Marvel thinks they have something with their Battleworld but DeConnick and De Landro have the REAL Battleworld going on here. Kamau is an interesting character because she’s not as eager to unleash her anger the rest of the women here are. She’s not Marion but she’s definitely not Penny Rolle. She’s nuanced and a bit tougher to read. DeConnick and De Landro have crafted a lead character that won’t easily be forgotten.
More than anything, the way that DeConnick approaches the script is phenomenal. This book is pure feminism and young female angst but it’s laid into the story itself. In a bad script you’d have a character literally speak to the social commentary with little tact. DeConnick has created a situation for the commentary to grow organically and it’s something I think a lot of the more intellectual fans are going to enjoy looking back on later and analyzing.
De Landro’s art is not incredibly detailed but it works. It’s what adds to the very 1970’s exploitation flick vibe of this story. A lot of the appeal of the artwork is in the movement. It’s very cinematic. De Landro, through his art, gives what is the best part of the entire issue with Penny Rolle taking on guards while a crucial conversation is happening in the forefront of the panel. It’s a small addition that adds so much characterization to Penny that wouldn’t have happened in this issue otherwise.
Final Verdict: 8.7 – “Bitch Planet” keeps up the momentum and delivers with an even better second issue.
Death Vigil #6
Written by Stjepan Sejic
Illustrated by Stjepan Sejic
Reviewed by Jess Camacho
For the past couple of weeks, Stjepan Sejic has teased that the “feels train” would be pulling into “Death Vigil” and wow did it ever. It arrived and ran right over me. The vigil is attacked in public by Maria and the Necromancers so they are dispatched to New York City for what ends up being a battle that decides everything. Sejic is a fantastic artist but his writing is equal to it. He’s got a wicked sense of humor and it’s because of this that he’s able to balance humor and drama in “Death Vigil” perfectly without anything feeling situationally inappropriate. He also more than makes up for the delay between issues with a very jam packed book. So much happens here and I actually picked up the book to check that I wasn’t reading two consecutive issues. Other writers should take note of how he paces this issue and packs so much in. Sejic’s art, of course, is spectacular. The monster fights are stellar with how grand they are. He changes the angles on the fights so that we see the full scale of the creatures he’s created. It’s a little showing off by him that I respect tremendously. There’s also no one in the business that draws faces like he does. The close ups are gorgeous and not a single aspect of any character is repeated.
Final Verdict: 9.0 – “Death Vigil” is very quietly the best fantasy book going.
Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Marley Zarcone
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore
Tim Seeley has been on a real kick lately, between “Sundowners,” “Revival,” and his co-writing gigs on the Bat-books – and that kick continues here. The story is simple: a former child actress who played a space cop is now, after a lack of career opportunities and a sex tape, a real cop in her hometown. A murder takes place that she is specifically well suited to help with, and the story unfolds from there.
Zarcone’s art is brilliant here – it is full of life and bounce, even when the characters’ lives are exactly the opposite of that. Without drastically changing her style, he manages to completely shift the tone from the first few pages of the book – which are a scene from Star Cops – and the rest of it, creating a visual palette that manages to work across multiple scenarios.
The last few pages of the book are steeped in weirdness and mystery, and the hook is certainly strong enough to bring me back next month to keep reading. Hopefully, this book can anchor the changing face of DC’s mature, creator owned imprint.
Final Verdict: 8.0 – A strong start that leaves us wanting more.
Uncanny X-Men #30
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by Chris Bachalo
Reviewed by Stephenson Ardern-Sodje
Still reeling in the wake of the events of AXIS, the X-Men are as fractured as ever. Matthew Malloy, the latest, greatest threat from mutant-kind has finally forced SHIELD into action. Standing on the rubble of what was once Devil’s Tower, a cadre of operatives are faced with the potential of a mutant who can reshape reality at will. Bendis continues to push the boundaries of the X-Verse, with this issue in particular making some strong decisions that will ripple through not only the X-Books, but the Marvelverse at large.
Bachalo’s dynamic art continues to stun, especially during scenes that mesh conflict with conversation. Panels with Matthew crackle with literal and metaphorical energy and even more reserved scenes feel laden with a ‘calm-before-the-storm’ kind of tension, especially when the reappearance of an old familiar face threatens to rock the X-boat to tipping point.
Final Verdict 7.2 – A mammoth step for the franchise. Lines will be redrawn right across the map.