Monday, January 21, 2013

Comic Book of the Week for 1-9-13

This edition of Comic Book of the Week for the week of January 9th, 2013, is dedicated to the God of Thunder, Thor, in the book named, well…Thor: God of Thunder #4. I will admit my initial skepticism towards this title, but the creative team has taken Thor on a wondrous journey and I’m tagging along. Originally, I didn’t think the book would work, not due to the creative team because I am a fan of writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic, but based on the premise. That doubt was alleviated quickly with the work of Aaron, Ribic, colorist Ive Svorcina and letterer Joe Sabino.

Aaron maintains the nice balance between the three Thors in this fourth part of “The Last God in Asgard.” Each Thor receives some quality attention. Young Thor’s appearance is brief compared to the other two, but could be the most significant for some readers due to his interaction with Gorr the God Butcher, who’s making his first appearance. Thor in the present has moved closer to reacquainting himself with Gorr. King Thor, who isn’t exactly spry, has yet to hang up Mjolnir and shows off some of that fight left in him. The deadly Black Berserkers, minions of Gorr, get more action as they mix it up with present-day Thor and King Thor.

Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina’s work looks as good as ever. Thor has a distinctive look in each era. Most notably is King Thor. He’s old and battle-worn in comparison to his younger selves. There’s a good flow from panel to panel. Ribic’s storytelling ability shows well as he moves the story along quite well with his visuals. One of the best aspects of this issue is the appearance of Gorr the God Butcher, who has a cool and unique design.

If you like seeing the Thunder God on epic adventures, this is a book you should check out. Here’s a good creative team telling a story sure to entertain. Marvel has been releasing several good books under the NOW! banner and Thor: God of Thunder is easily near the top of the list.

Comic Book of the Week: New Year Edition

I’ll start by saying yes, this is a bit late, but I still wanted to share my Comic Book of the Week for the first week of 2013. I only picked up a handful of books that week, so there wasn’t much in the way of competition. But it probably wouldn’t have mattered much with All-New X-Men on the shelf. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve no doubt come across my praise for the time traveling mutant book by Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Marte Gracia and Cory Petit. It’s a great book and easily one of my favorite Marvel NOW! books. All-New X-Men #5 keeps that trend going.

This fifth issue introduces a few more elements to an already good story. One of those is Beast’s health issue resulting in a new physical mutation. Another is the manifestation of Jean Grey’s telepathy much sooner than it originally had. We also see the chasm developing between her and Scott. Present-day Scott continues in his role which is something akin to an NCAA football coach recruiting talent around the country. In the place of top talent are young mutants who’ve just discovered their powers. There’s some interaction between young Scott and Logan that’ll make you think about their relationship over the years and from here on out.

The young X-Men have voted and decided to stay in the future to solve the situation. The Icemen have a moment that’ll leave you saying “yeah, that’s Iceman.” Left in the dust is poor Angel who, unlike the rest of the team, has yet to encounter his future self. If you’re curious about that conversation, look no further than issue #6, which is available as of this writing.

I think Stuart Immonen is doing the best work of his career on this title. With Wade Von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia doing the inking and coloring, respectively, they’ve been publishing a beautiful comic. Two artists assist in this issue: Craig Yeung on inks and Jason Keith on colors. The best visual is a two-page spread with young Jean Grey in the center of images she pulls from Beast’s mind showing some of her finest and not so finest, moments with the team. The art team makes the effort to distinguish between the two time periods in the borders as well as in a lighter shade of colors. Good touches on both counts.

All-New X-Men is a great book. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, as an X-fan who questioned this book in the beginning, I’m fully on board with what Bendis is doing. His writing is on point. Combine that with Immonen’s pencils and you have one of the best Marvel NOW! books on the shelf.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Comic Cover of the Week

HAPPY NEW COMIC BOOK DAY! Here's to another great week of comics. Among the books I'll be bringing home is BOOM! Studios' Extermination #8. This is the final issue in a fun, but all too brief series. Another comic you'll no doubt be hearing about is Batgirl #16 by Ed Benes.

Ed Benes. What more can I really say? Well how about he's an amazing artist. One who's quite familiar with Batgirl. There's sort of a light and dark dynamic to this image. With a creepy smile connecting the halves. That and the different eyes really make this a terrifying image. And that represents the overall story quite well.

I had the opportunity to meet the talented artist at San Diego Comic Con 2011. It was his first U.S. appearance as well as my first trip to SDCC. Hopefully, we get to see his name on more books.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this or the artist. Now go out to your comic shop and buy some books.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Comic Cover of the Week

There was some decent competition for Cover of the Week. But the winner is X-Men Legacy #4 by series' cover artist Mike Del Mundo. I must admit I'd chosen another cover until I picked up this book to read it. I couldn't believe how I managed to skip over it. As I held it in my hand, it was an instant winner.

Mike Del Mundo has been producing some good-looking covers for X-Men Legacy and this one is the best. How it relates to the lead character, Legion, is absolutely perfect. If you've been reading this Marvel NOW! title, you know that well. His mental state and how his power works are definitely puzzles. Legion is one of those characters who make for intriguing cover images. An artist can tell a story about a character with the cover image alone. It gets more interesting when the character's mental status is questionable at best.

The puzzle pieces flying around are great touches. The interaction with the X-Men caught up in his "craziness" is brilliant. Legion's eyes and that smirk finish it off well. I bet, given the chance, that Del Mundo could create some unique visuals were he the interior artist.

Stay tuned for reviews of some of this weeks releases. Thanks for looking. Happy reading to all.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Comic Cover of the Week

Welcome to the first entry for Cover of the Week of 2013. Last year was a great year for comics and here's to another amazing 12 months. So let's jump right into it. Take a look at Fathom #8 by Alex Konat and Beth Sotelo.

What made this cover stand above the rest from this week is the watery form of Aspen. Konat's pencils set the stage and Sotelo's colors make it all come alive. The coloring plays in well with the beams coming from her eyes. The only problem I have is there's something weird going on with the feet. But that can't overshadow the overall image which is beautiful.

Happy New Year and happy reading to you all.