Wrapping Wednesday: Micro Reviews for the Week of 8/14/13

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.

Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #3
Written by Steve Niles
Illustrated by Dave Wachter
Review by: Sam Lebas

“Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem” #3 explores the tension between hope and strife, allowing readers to understand that one cannot exist in its purest form without the other. In the conclusion of the miniseries from Steve Niles and Dave Wachter, the story of Noah and the people of his village closes beautifully, providing a near-perfect end for this story. Thought-provoking and full of drama, the voice of the narrator remains strong in Nile’s hands. Wachter’s fantastic black and white compositions echo the tenderness of that voice, but deftly capture the violence and chaos of this wartime saga. Articulate and precise, this series offers a well-composed story that plays on emotion without losing its narrative power. Condensing opposing ideas, “Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem” #3 is moving and powerful. Harnessing an unexpected joy; creating a beacon in a dark time, and finding the strength of faith when all seems lost, the hope of this series rises from the muck and mire of an unquestionably terrifying scenario to defend the beauty of the human capacity for resilience and optimism.

Final Verdict: 8.7 – The series is now complete, spend an afternoon catching up. This is a powerful read.

Wolverine and the X-Men #35
Written by Jason Aaron
Illustrated by Nick Bradshaw
Review by: James Johnston

Even though Jason Aaron wowed everyone with “Thor: God of Thunder” it’s a little easy to forget that his other main Marvel series, “Wolverine and the X-Men” is still going strong. The expansion on Iceman’s powers continues in interesting ways, Broo and Quentin Quire continue to be the true stars of the X-Men family of books, and Kade Kilgore’s plans for the Hellfire Club seem to be coming to a close. The book continues to deftly mix seriousness and silliness as usual, thanks to the stellar artwork of Nick Bradshaw. Even though most of The X-Men titles continue to deal with Rebel Cyclops and The First Class Kids, “Wolverine and the X-Men” continues to be arguably the stand-out title of the family with its mix of Claremont eccentricies and modern sensibilities.

Final Verdict: 7.8 – Buy

Justice League of America #7
Written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Doug Mahnke
Review by: Brian Salvatore

‘Trinity War’ continues to do all the things that you’d hope a Justice League crossover would do – have the greatest DC heroes, doing interesting things in interesting combinations. The thing that is hurting this event the most is the presence of solicits for the months that follow. I’m spoiling nothing by saying that September is Villains Month at DC, and so we know that the Secret Society is going to, at least superficially, win. While there is still fun in seeing how that unfolds, it is a less than perfect way to go about reading this event. Johns and Lemire, for the most part, have a good handle on these characters, and Doug Mahnke is one of the best artists out there at drawing large casts doing superheroics. This is about as good as this book could be, given the various agendas, quotas, and the general lack of JL-ness that DC seems to like in its Justice League books nowadays.

Final Verdict: 7.0 – Buy

Demon Knights #23
Written by Robert Venditti
Illustrated by Phil WInslade
Review by: Vince Ostrowski

The strength of “Demon Knights”, whether it was Venditti or Paul Cornell writing them, was their ebbing and flowing nature as a team. There was never any reason for Vandal Savage to be on this team, except for dark comic relief, but he was always an enjoyable addition. The Demon Etrigan, too, was never a stable member either, but that was by nature. And so it was fun to watch this group bound about in medieval times, barely being able to keep it together as they accomplished each unenviable quest. Along the way, relationships formed and grew deeper and there was a real emotional arc to this group. Unfortunately, while the winding plots may get tied up pretty well in its final issue, there aren’t any of the expected emotional payoffs to the more intriguing characters in the book. The usually capable Phil Winslade is also not at his best, favoring expression and mayhem rather than detail. Unfortunately, like so many other canceled books, this one just feels like a phoned-in rush to a conclusion.

Final Verdict: 5.0 – Pass, unless you’ve collected the series.

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