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.
Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Greg Capullo and Rafael Albuquerque
Review by: Walt Richardson
Since the first arc closed, Scott Snyder’s “Batman” work has been very safe — not the kind of comic that will be lauded a decade from now, but a comic that you will enjoy if you love Batman. Aside from some great Alfred dialogue about midway through, #22 is more entertaining than it is notable, continuing the book’s trend of coasting along. The issue does take one risk, and would get points for that were that risk not pretty horribly botched (though this isn’t necessarily Snyder’s fault). Artistically, Jonathan Glapion’s presence is sorely missed on this book; Danny Miki does an adequate job as inker, but doesn’t quite bring the same touch to Greg Capullo’s line work. As such, the artwork in this issue lacks the feeling of depth that the first year of “Batman” had — a severe problem to have when dealing with an artist such as Capullo, who tends to favor style over substance. If you’re going to tell us yet another tale about Bruce Wayne’s first return to Gotham, you have to make it stand out, and Snyder and Co. haven’t quite accomplished that yet. Like the previous issue, though, the back-up by Tynion and Albuquerque is the better portion of the book, a tightly-wrapped quick read that looks gorgeous.
Final Verdict: 6.5 – Browse or buy, depending on how Batman you are
Batman ’66 #2
Written by Jeff Parker
Illustrated by Jonathan Case
Review by: Zach Wilkerson
The second issue of this digital only series continues to offer a fun, nostalgic story not found in DC’s mainstream output. This issue sees our dynamic duo digging into the Riddler’s cryptic message from the end of last issue, leading to an encounter with another fan favorite villain. While Parker has a terrific grasp on the era-specific voices of Batman and Robin, his interpretation of villains like the Riddler are enjoyably complex by today’s standards as well. Jonathan Case’s art carries the same pop-sensibility of the original television series, with Ben-Day dots littering the page. Case makes fantastic use of the “Marvel Infinity”-esque page transitions, using color changes, perspective shifts, and the series iconic “pows” to tell an exceptionally dynamic story. At only $0.99, “Batman ’66” offers a surprisingly full package that is, unsurprisingly, a whole lot of fun.
Final Verdict: 9.3 – Buy
Written by John Layman
Illustrated by Rob Guillory
Review by: David Harper
The funny thing about books like Chew is they suffer to the metronome effect, in that their own consistency makes it easy to say “ho hum, another great issue of Chew.” Which is a damn shame, because there may not be a more consistently great book out there. This week, though, with the veritable Easter Egg hunt and silent, subtle (and not so subtle) humor from Guillory and the major plot points and the power of Savoy’s capture (and Colby’s turn to the light side from the…sort of darkish/lightish side) from Layman, Chew really, really stands out. This was one hell of an end to an arc, setting up a lot of questions but tightening the focus quite a bit in a single issue. Chew is undoubtedly one of the best comics being released today, and it’s sad it takes an “aha!” moment with a toe and a pumpkin house to make us stand up and realize how great it is.
But that’s the price to pay when you’re so damn good. Suggestion to the team: totally bomb one issue an arc, that way we’ll have something to easier scale the awesome to. If you do, please dedicate each of those issues to me.Continued below
Final Verdict: 9.0 – YOLO Swaggins
Fearless Defenders #6
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Will Sliney
Review by: David Henderson
There’s something to be said about a series with an excellent concept, but with an execution that does it no favours. For a book about a team-up between at least a dozen big name female Marvel characters, Cullen Bunn’s continued focus on only a select few feels like he’s limiting the scope of the book more than anything. Not to mention the shock death of one of the few truly original characters to show up in a Big Two book in a while felt like a lazy way to close out the story arc. Neither Bunn’s writing or Sliney’s art, which still lacks the weight that a mega team-up like this should carry, are bad, they just feel suited for a completely different book.
Final Verdict: 6.0
Great Pacific #8
Written by Joe Harris
Illustrated by Martin Morazzo
Review by: David Harper
In the sea of awesome Image books today, it’s easy to lose touch of some of them and the amazing storytelling they bring to the table each month. Great Pacific from Harris and Morazzo is certainly one of them, as it is one of the best books they’re releasing yet it has 1/10 the buzz of many of the others. It’s a shame, because Harris is building an absolutely fascinating story of political and environmental intrigue, with one of the most likably asshole-ish characters in comics today (as well as some of the most mysterious sort of villains), and Morazzo has truly built a world in New Texas. His storytelling – particularly in the scene between Chas and Little Chief – is some of the best in the industry, effectively conveying the frustration on Chas’ part and awareness of LC just with his work. It’s a stunning, engrossing read, and one that is getting closer to the top of my buy pile each month.
Final Verdict: 8.0 – In Yalafath we trust
Green Lantern Corps #22
Written by Robert Venditti and Van Jensen
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
Review by: Brian Salvatore
For the second straight issue, “Green Lantern Corps” was a really fun comic. Jensen and Venditti are telling a Stewart story that is different than anything he’s really been featured in before, drawing on the various aspects of his history in subtle and rewarding ways. The book is seemingly co-anchored by Star Sapphire Fatality, and that is a good thing. It also allows Marcelo Maiolo to add some stunning neon colors to the book, enhancing Chang’s already vibrant artwork. This book looks and feels unlike any other DC book, partly because it escapes their house style in a really satisfactory and, dare I say, fun way. This book, visually, resembles the best part of the Green Lantern Animated Series, and would be a great book for a new Lantern fan to pick up. This is what a new creative team really working looks like.
Final Verdict: 8.0 – Buy
Justice League #22
Written by Geoff Johns
Illustrated by Ivan Reis
Review by: Brian Salvatore
I’m going to try to keep this spoiler-free and to the point: this is a mess of good, bad and just weird choices. Some of the good include the incorporation of Shazam and his clan into the DCU proper, as well as the pages where Ivan Reis is allowed to go nuts. Some of the bad includes a lot of weird expository writing and the pacing that never pauses for two seconds. Some of the weird choices: the role given to Doctor Light, the article on The Question’s wall titled, and I quote, “No No No No No No No,” and the incorporation of another “Flashpoint” character into the melee. Look, I am glad that this isn’t “Age of Ultron,” with 2 issues worth of content spread across 10, but this is 2 issues worth of content shoved into one with a lot of weirdness to boot. This isn’t a terrible comic, it’s just a bit of a mess.Continued below
Final Verdict: 5.8 – This could lead somewhere great, or it could be a clusterfuck of enormous proportions.
Star Wars #7
Written by Brian Wood
Illustrated by Ryan Kelly
Review by: Vince Ostrowski
Brian Wood continues to capture the heart in the core and the banter that made the original Star Wars trilogy so much better than the prequel installments. The characters on the page are the same ones from the original film, and it shows in the way Wood gets the voices down pat. Unexpected new additions to the cast are a gamble that pays off and adds even more heart to the affair. But the real newsworthy bit here is the addition of Ryan Kelly on art, who turns in some really detailed work. Just like Brian Wood, he captures the feel of the Star Wars world in a befitting visual manner. The characters, however, look something like “Mad Magazine” caricatures of the actors playing them. It adds a level of playfulness to the proceedings, but doesn’t entirely work in his first outing on the book.
Final Verdict: 8.1 – A book that accomplishes more than it needs to to please Star Wars fans.