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.
Bob’s Burgers #2
Written by Justin Hook, Jeff Drake, Chad Brewster, Mike Olsen, Rachel Hastings
Illustrated by Frank Forte, Tyler Garrison, Tony Gennaro, Hector Reynoso, Derek Schroeder, Robin Brigstocke, Steven Theis
Reviewed by Jess Camacho
Bob’s Burgers is probably my favorite animated show on television right now. Comics would seem like a perfect fit for the show and its characters but sadly the second issue of this series falls very flat. Like the first issue, the story is broken up into smaller stories that focus on each character. Erotic fan fiction with Tina, a list of Bob’s potential puntastic hamburgers, a crazy misadventure with Louise, a silly letter written by Linda and a musical adventure with Gene. The problem is that this format doesn’t allow for the creators to get into each character the way the show does. It also slights Linda and Bob who are fantastic characters in their own right.
The humor is fine at times but in the case of Tina, it’d be a bit more humorous to see her in the ‘real’ world and not within her fan fiction. Despite a few chuckles though, it still falls flat. Particularly with Gene. He’s not as absurd as he could be.The art team is huge but they do a very serviceable job. Each page looks like possible concept art for episodes so what they do is very in line with what the show looks like. There’s still a lot of potential for greatness here but as of now it’s just not doing enough to grab this Bob’s Burgers fan.
Final Verdict: 6.0 – Needs a format change and a shot of irreverent humor.
G.I. Joe #1
Written by Karen Traviss
Illustrated by Steve Kurth
Review by Vince Ostrowski
The “GI Joe” #1 relaunch was a frustrating read that I ultimately came out of with positive feelings for. The last “GI Joe” #1 (written by Fred Van Lente) dialed up an action packed debut that ultimately petered out a bit. Karen Traviss’ effort here takes the opposite approach, definitely favoring build-up and political intrigue in lieu of anything in the way of an action set piece. It was actually a bold move for IDW to come out of the gates with a first issue that has absolutely zero “Yo Joe!” rough and tumble. Traviss wants you to know that there is going to be a solid foundation of political dealings, cold war-esque paranoia, and an aesthetic approach that favors a near-future realism over anything resembling the wackier aspects of Larry Hama’s classic stories.
That’s a valid approach to “Joe”, but it doesn’t produce an immediately recognizable “GI Joe” book, nor does it imbue you with the nostalgic feeling that the property is normally so good for. That’s why reading this issue was frustrating. The talkiness of the issue was not the problem – Traviss clearly understands how to make dialogue interesting and get a lot of potentially complicated information out in a clear and engaging manner. Perhaps it’s that, in the world of “GI Joe”, this stuff is normally treated as an afterthought in favor of grander schemes, power moves, and wacky psuedo-science fiction. A realistic and slow-paced “GI Joe” is valid, but it never felt like it had that “GI Joe” spirit that goes beyond the superficial. But the issue was a positive experience, on the whole, because all the chess pieces are moving toward striking a better balance of intrigue and action by the end of the issue – it just doesn’t quite make it there yet. And Traviss clearly has the chops to write engaging near-future war stories.
Steve Kurth, who previously worked on the Van Lente relaunch, is back on art but with some subtle differences. Kurth has been in the business a while, but he appears to continue to improve as a cartoonist, having added stylistic flourishes to his art. It’s a looser style, but a very sleek, attractive and anatomically strong one. The last page of Van Lente’s “GI Joe” got flack for the look of its final page reveal of The Baroness. There are no such problems or inconsistencies here. Kurth’s work looks better than ever. Kito Young’s muted color choices are a huge boon to the look and feel of the book, as well. “GI Joe” #1 is not a particularly colorful book, which matches its desire to be more realistic. But that’s what the color choices are: naturalistic and attractive.Continued below
Final Verdict: 6.5 – “GI Joe” #1 doesn’t blow the doors down, but it promises strong characterization, an engaging voice for a potentially complicated and dry plot, and some of the best Steve Kurth art ever put on the page. That’s enough to earn a few more months goodwill. Hopefully it actually starts to feel more like “Joe” soon.
New Avengers #24
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Illustrated by Valerio Schitti
Reviewed by James Johnston
I really have no idea why so many comics these days are doing flash forwards on their stories but if they’re anything like “New Avengers” #24, I wouldn’t mind this trend sticking around. “Avengers” #35 showed us the dystopian world we’re only months away and “New Avengers” #24 shows us just a little hint of how we get there, namely by focusing on the new Cabal. This issue, for the most part, is framed by a dinner scene between Doom and Namor and Valerio Schitti excels at illustrating the tension between these two kings, just as he crafts some truly horrific moments when The Cabal are performing their inhuman duties. And with the return of doom, all the pieces of Hickman’s massive Avengers story are finally falling into place. His Avengers Saga is a story I’ve held onto since the beginning, so it feels massively rewarding to see it pay off so well here.
Final Verdict: 7.8 – It’s Hickman’s Doom. It’s going to be great.
Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Jim Terry
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore
Tim Seeley and Jim Terry have combined their talents to make one of the most unique and fun books Dark Horse is currently publishing. I love me a good “just because you’re paranoid” story, and that is exactly what we have here – we have people, call them “real life superheroes,” or mentally ill, or cosplayers, or whatever you like, who are clearly a bit unhinged, but they are seeing things that everyone else is missing, perhaps because of a special gift, or perhaps because of they are more open, because of their delusions, to be seeing these things. This issue really doubles down on their problems, removing all sheen from the characters.
Which is another reason why Terry is the perfect artist for this book – he manages to give the characters dignity while still showing just how sad they really are. There is nothing in the book that romanticizes these people, but that doesn’t mean they are devoid of value, and Terry’s art perfectly captures that value. Seeley’s script, similarly, does a great job of creating fully formed characters without relying on excessive exposition – this is a tight, well-crafted book.
Final Verdict: 8.7 – Everything about this book leads me to believe that this is going to be a huge series. Get in on the ground floor now.
Superman: Doomed #2
Written by Greg Pak and Charles Soule
Illustrated by Various
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore
Even without that final page, this has been an event that has surprised in great ways. This feels, in many ways, like a classic Justice League story, where there is true affinity and respect between the characters, where people aren’t afraid to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, and where everyone is pulling together to make sure innocents are saved. How sad is the state of DC that this all seems odd and refreshing?
The art here is inconsistent, but holds together better than a book with 9 credited artists should. Pak and Soule write a pretty great Brainiac, and their Lois and Lana are head and shoulders above anything the New 52 has done with just about any female character. The complexities of not just their personalities, but their histories with Clark, and their potential futures are all present, and really form the heart of this story.
Final Verdict: 7.7 – A fitting conclusion to a surprisingly good crossover.