We’re going to start this installment with a bit of housekeeping for those who, for whatever reason, follow my exploits here on Bleeding Cool. For those not interested, which is completely understandable, you can just start at the list below.
I’ve been working on getting into a schedule–practically since I started on here about 10 months ago. It’s been a bit of a struggle, as I’m bad with time maintenance in general. That’s been a continuously developing situation as my responsibilities and work output have grown on the site. My goal is to have my own review cycle going from Wednesday through Monday of the following week. That’s been difficult to organize, but that’s my goal right now for the benefit of myself, my fellow BC contributors, and the fine folks who follow my work on here. In doing so, hopefully I can keep the schedule of having these posts, the Comic Book Wins and Losses of each week, on Saturday and Comics for Your Pull Box consistently on Sunday. Also, I’m still planning on doing a comparison of the original Watchmen and Doomsday Clock as I mentioned in my Doomdsay Clock #4 review. The release of that is TBD, currently. Also, expect a retrospect on Marvel’s Infinity War comic miniseries from 1992 tomorrow.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s get started with the Wins and Losses of the week!
Win: Exiles #1 Explodes onto the Scene
Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez killed it this week with a fresh and energetic start to their new Exiles series. Blink is a fun lead. The story is interesting. The art is cartoonish and kinetic. Everything about this comic impressed, and it will hopefully continue to excite with its second installment.
Loss: Immortal Men #1 Bores to Tears
Less impressive was the start to James Tynion IV and Jim Lee’s Immortal Men, which is another parable on how random people can magically be a special by simply believing they are a special. While there are some cool ideas in the lore of this new series, the implementation of said ideas left a lot to be desired.
Win: Domino #1 Raises the Stakes
Gail Simone and David Baldeon’s Domino finally released this week, and it was every ounce the exciting and charming action comic for which we could have hoped. Domino is presented as a fun and fast-moving lead, the story is interesting, and Baldeon kills it on the art. This was favorite new series of the week.
Loss: Falcon #7 Shows How Lost the Series Has Become
Unfortunately, this week of Falcon has decended to absurd horror-based action with no sense of humor or any of the social commentary previous issues have displayed. While not entirely unenjoyable, helped by the presence of Blade and Misty Knight and the incredible art of Joshua Cassara and Rachelle Rosenberg, this book has lost all of the promise it once had. I suppose that is appropriate now that it is one issue from a premature end.
Win: Supergirl #20 Brings the Series to a Heartwarming Finale
I made the mistake of not following this Supergirl series very much, and, as I am wont to do, I decided to check out the final issue. While its finale was a little bloated in terms of narrative, it was a truly fun and optimistic finale deserving of the Girl of Tomorrow. I am sad that it ended now, but I will almost certainly be collecting its paperback collections.
Loss: Wonder Woman #44 Almost Ruins a Diana v. Darkseid Fight
While not really a bad book thanks to artists Emanuela Lupaccino, Ray McCarthy, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. as well as the simple presence of a fight between Wonder Woman and Darkseid, Wonder Woman #44 is a truly shallow read with mediore dialogue and unneeded daddy issues being introduced into the story of Diana Prince. I had hoped this issue may impress with simply superhero vs. supervillain fun, but it didn’t deliver.
Win: Thanos #18 Continues to Kick Absolute Ass
“Thanos Wins” reached its ending with a thunderous and visceral battle between young Thanos of our time and the King Thanos of the future. Thanos must kill King Thanos if the latter will join Lady Death, but the Mad Titan is rarely so charitable. We are gifted with another dive into Thanos’ psyche in this deliciously macabre finale to the story.
Loss: Crude #1 Overcomplicates its Script
Despite the interesting premise of a hitman going out and discovering who his son really is while taking vengeance against the boy’s murderers, Crude #1 is a over-complicated mess of vignettes that barely hold together as a coherent narrative. This one disappointed me greatly and is one of the more painful losses of the week.
Win: Captain America #700 Gets tha Landmark Issue Right
Captain America #700 came out at last this past week, and Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson bring “Out of Time” to an impressive conclusion. It is an impressive piece of visual storytelling, and both the main story and the Jack Kirby back-up tale had a lot to enjoy. This creative team gets Steve Rogers, and hopefully the upcoming creators will be able to say the same.
Loss: Eternal Empire #8’s Stiff Art
Eternal Empire #8 showed a fantasy series with some unique elements and some fun to be had, but its failings, chief among which was the incredibly stiff-looking art, dragged this comic into the “loss” category for the past week. Also, their steed dragons are also the dads of the protagonist, and I’m still looking for the proper Freudian/Oedipus joke for that.
Win: The Dead Hand #1 is a Brubakerian Masterpiece
Fans of Captain America and Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker rejoice, as we have another proper successor to the Cold War conspiracy superheroics of those titles in the form of The Dead Hand by Kyle Higgins, Stephen Mooney, and Jordie Bellaire. While it has more than a fair share of unique and interesting ideas all its own, The Dead Hand took me back to Brubaker’s two masterpiece Marvel titles more than once, and I found myself loving every minute of it.
Loss: Ninja-K #6’s Questionable Set-Up
Ninja-K #6 is something of a cautionary tale about mixing your shared universe’s alien invasion politics with real-world geopolitical situations. You can be left with your hero looking like a bit of a stormtrooper jackass while kicking a beleaguered nation in the face to get to the supervillains that happen to be hiding in the outskirts of its capital city. The victim this time was Mexico, and Ninja- K #6 paints it with a fairly cruel brush before getting to the admittedly fun supervillain stuff.
Win: Bloodshot Salvation #8’s Art
Sometimes a just “ok” comic story can be elevated by the artwork, and that was certainly the case with Bloodshot Salvation#8. Renato Guedes’ artwork is absolutely incredible in this installment, and it brings the Deadlands to life in a manner few other artists have been able to accomplish.
Loss: October Faction: Supernatural Dreams #2 is Shockingly Plain
For a comic about a family of magic-wielding demon-hunters, October Faction: Supernatural Dreams #2 disappointed me with an issue that seemed completely on autopilot and with little in the way of characterization or personality. The art by Damian Worm was good, but that’s all the book had going for it.
Win: Robocop: Citizen’s Arrest #1 is Gets the Point of Robocop
Robocop: Citizen’s Arrest #1 by Brian Wood, Jorge Coelho, and Doug Garback presents a world where using an app to report your neighbors to the privatized police force of OCP is financially and socially rewarded. Alex Murphy has been retired and can’t save the day. New Detroit must save itself. With all the same energy and bile for corporatism possessed by the original Robocop , Citizen’s Arrest proves to be a great successor to the film.
Loss: Sonic the Hedgehog is Still an Insufferable Jackass
I still cannot stand this superfast woodland mammal. The new comic series could be outright brilliant if it redesigned his personality and shaved away all the details about resistances and militias from a world of talking cartoon animals and robots. I wasn’t expecting to be reminded of Animosity: Evolution while reading a Sonic the Hedgehog comic.
Win: Gideon Falls #2 is Just as Mysterious and Grabbing
Gideon Falls #2 by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart continues to be impressively grabbing for a comic that is presenting fairly plain narratives surrounding a greater mystery that the comic is keeping especially vague. In other words, I dig the hell out of this one, and everyone should hop on this train before it gets too far from the station.
And with that, we conclude another week of Comic Book Wins and Losses. Check back soon for this week’s Comics for Your Pull Box!