by Aaron Einhorn
Every week Aaron goes to The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio and spends far more money than his wife would prefer. He then comes back here and writes about the comics he reads that he thought were noteworthy. This isn’t everything he picks up, just the things that he feels merit discussion – either for being really good, or for having something really wrong with them.
Batman and Robin 5
The face-off between Batman and Robin and the Red Hood and Scarlett continues as the Flamingo makes his way into town. I’ll say up-front that I’m not a huge fan of Tan’s pencils on this book – things are a little too muddy much of the time, and it took changing Jason Todd’s hair to being red for me to feel like there would have been enough of a visual difference between him and Dick. Still, I am enjoying the story, and I like seeing how both Jason and Dick are having issues controlling their sidekicks. My only significant complaint is that for being a trained killer, Damian gets his butt kicked an awful lot.
Matt Murdock has assumed control of The Hand, and has been forced to kill an innocent to do it. Foggy and Dakota are blaming themselves for the mess. And the Kingpin (who is now considered to be a non-threat to most of the city) is still deeply allied with Lady Bullseye. Although the storytelling is still top notch here, it’s also obvious that the sharp characterization and sense of drama that Brubaker brought to the book isn’t quite matched by Diggle’s scripts. Still, there is a lot of potential for the new direction with Daredevil, and I’m likely to stick around for it.
Doctor Voodoo 1
The concept of Jericho Drumm being both the Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth Dimension and the Houngon Supreme was awesome, and I enjoyed the story in New Avengers where it played out. This issue, however, left me feeling cold. Drumm was too dismissive of Strange’s advice, and either it’s going to come back and bite him, or they dealt a low blow to a character who has been beloved in Marvel comics for decades. Palo’s art – while suited to the mysticism and the monsters, and doing a nice job with Drumm himself – made Strange look very old. I didn’t care for it, and with Doctor Voodoo being a title Marvel has priced at $3.99, I doubt very much that I’m going to stick with it.
Justice League: Cry For Justice 4
This book… surprised me. I was very critical of the first two issues of Cry For Justice (as you can see here and here. But with this issue, James Robinson is bringing me around. Finally Oliver Queen and some of the others involved have realized that what is driving Hal and the Atom isn’t a drive for Justice, but a cry for Vengeance. There were some incredibly solid storytelling and character moments here where Mikhail, Ollie, and most significantly, Freddy Freeman (as Shazam – which I guess is his official name now) drive that point home, and as Hal faces the rest of the League at the end of the issue, it is shown that Hal will have to answer for what he has been doing. I don’t have a problem with stories where our heroes go too far in their quest to fight evil – so long as they’re forced to face that fact. Mauro Cascioli’s artwork is, as always, gorgeous, rivaling the best paintings produced by Alex Ross, and the series is doing a great job of making Prometheus the terrifying anti-Batman he was meant to be, but quickly was neutered as. And the budding romance between Freddy and Kara is awfully cute. I never thought that I’d be saying this about this title, but Justice League: Cry For Justice 4 is the best book that I read this week – which is especially impressive considering the company it is keeping.
Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man 3
A very solid issue from Bendis as Peter continues to face off against Mysterio – the man who killed the Kingpin and who intends to control New York City. Solid characterization as the mystery deepens about what broke Peter and MJ up, and how Peter began dating Gwen. It’s also nice to see that Johnny Storm and the FF may make some appearances here while their own Ultimate title remains on hiatus. Overall, very solid issue, and anything written by Bendis is better than half the stuff on the comic book racks, but only an average issue in my opinion.
Vengeance of the Moon Knight 2
What is it this week with fallen heroes redeeming themselves? I was one of the fans of the reboot on Moon Knight when it began, but felt like it went too far with the whole “Dark and Gritty” thing. But for a book with the word Vengeance in the title, this is shaping up nicely as we see Marc Spector reinventing himself. His face-off with the Sentry was perfect, with Marc showing an amazing degree of confidence in his newfound heroism, and the scenes where Osborn and and the Hood try to figure out how best to deal with him are classic. While I’m not digging the new “The Dark Knight”-inspired look of the Moon Knight body armor, I really found myself liking this issue. Serious kudos to Gregg Hurwitz on the script, and nice artwork from Jerome Opena, plus being one of the few $2.99 books left in Marvel’s stable (I kid – mostly) make this a strong contender for book of the week.
Thoughts? Disagreements? Want to offer up ideas on what books you’re reading this week? Let us know in the comments!