May 30th had a lot of major releases between Amazing Spider-Man #800, the beginning of Batman’s “The Wedding” arc, Kong of Skull Island’s 2018 Special, and three Annuals between the Big Two. Some were great. Others tripped over themselves. Check out the best and the worst below.
Brian Michael Bendis’ short entry at the end of Action Comics #1000 as well as the one from DC Nation #0 had me worried about his upcoming Superman stories. Thankfully, Man of Steel #1 is a lighthearted, sincere, and funny opening to this new era of Superman. I thoroughly enjoyed this comic, and I’m hoping this is the beginning of another good Superman era, as Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Dan Jurgens all deserve a good follow-up to their excellent work.
Some of my BC peers were pretty harsh on this comic. I loved it. I’m a sucker for tight and character-centric one-off tales like this. Tom Taylor defines who this new Jean Grey is, and I dug Pascal Alixe’s photorealistic art style. It was endearing and enjoyable, and this new Jean Grey seems awesome.
Sometimes writing a comic that’s fun is all it takes to make this list, and Green Arrow Annual #2 was a ton of fun. Julie and Shauna Benson delivered with a fast-moving, funny, and charming Oliver Queen story. Plus, Carmen Carnero nailed it on the visuals.
Harrow County delivered a Hell of a penultimate issue to the series this past week. Emmy was forced to face some tough realities about her identity and her possible futures. Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook have constructed a horror classic with this series, and I can’t wait to see how it ends,
The underrated John Carpenter’s Tales of Fiction: Vortex concluded the current miniseries this week. The tale, crafted by Mike Sizemore, Dave Kennedy, and Pete Kennedy, was a tight and climactic conclusion that left a good amount of mystery for the reader.
This story wasn’t bad. In fact, I gave it a 7/10. However, regardless of the length, a 7/10 is not enough to justify purchasing a $9.99 comic. I can’t in good conscience recommend that, and that’s before we even discuss how dubious in quality the first half of the book was. I had hopes for ASM sticking the landing with its 800th issue. Unfortunately, this wasn’t quite the case.
4. Barrier #5
I didn’t quite hate this one either, but Barrier #5 was an ending that vastly under-delivered on the potential of its prior issues. Taking an easy way out of its primary conflict and ending the book on a joke that undermines some of the themes while nearing tastelessness, Barrier deserved a better final issue than this.
I struggle getting mad at this one, but it was definitely a low point of the week. Valiant High #1 had some solid jokes, but the overall comic wallows in high school dramady cliches. It’s just so very bland, and this concept could have been something genuinely special.
2. Abbott #5
I gotta abuse Abbott one more time, and, hopefully, Saladin Ahmed won’t think I have a grudge against him (I love Black Bolt and Exiles, Mr. Ahmed). That said, Abbott is a miniseries with so many promising ideas that tripped over themselves in execution. The ending was no different, making some baffling missteps on its way to an unsatisfying conclusion and a too-little-too-late decent epilogue.
And, at the bottom, we have this past week’s issue of Sheena. Despite the talent of Marguerite Bennett and Christine Trujillo behind it, Sheena #9 was incredibly bland. Having little to deliver in narrative or art, this book was like reading the template of a Sheena story with little personality, character or visual, to offer.
That closes out this week of releases. Over the next few days, I will ideally be writing up some reviews of next week’s comics, some titles from the indies and smaller publishers, and Comics for Your Pull Box. See you then.