Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by Brad1
My Week In Comics – 02/07/2014
My week in comics this week is being typed up at 12.15 in the am and I’m eager to get to bed. In keeping with the excellent news out of DC this week, from now on I’ll be giving inkers and colourists equal cover credit too. Let’s get started.
Superman Unchained #7 (of 9)
Written by Scott Snyder. Drawn by Jim Lee. Inked by Scott Williams. Coloured by Alex Sinclair.
When it’s come out, Superman Unchained has been damn good. Jim Lee’s super-stylish, hyper-detailed artwork brings Scott Snyder’s awesome story to life in a way that just bursts off the page in joyous fashion. This is a Superman who’s smart, powerful and capable of rising to any challenge. In Wraith, the mysterious first superman, the comic has a great villain to play off our hero, and by bringing Batman and Wonder Woman in where necessary, we get the first real showpiece for the Trinity in the New 52, elevating them above the Justice League in the way that they should be. There’s not much of Superman Unchained left, but its horrendous release schedule, with multiple delays typical of a Jim Lee comic, means that every time an issue does come out, it feels like an event. Between this and Johns/Romita on the main Superman comic, it’s not a bad time to be a fan of the Man of Steel.
Green Arrow #33
Written by Jeff Lemire. Drawn by Andrea Sorrentino. Coloured by Marcelo Maiolo.
If ever there was a comic on the shelves which justified DC’s commendable decision to give cover credit to colourists, Marcelo Maiolo’s work on Green Arrow is the one. The stark insets, the hazy-looking flashbacks, the disorienting colour shifts when things explode… married with Andrea Sorrentino’s inventive, brilliant artwork, Green Arrow continues to be arguably the best-looking superhero comic on the market. Jeff Lemire’s storyline continues to build, putting Olly ever-further through the wringer. Wherever this goes, you get the sense that this is everything Lemire has been building to since The Kill Machine started, way back in the spring of 2013. Superhero comics’ finest bowman (!) continues to be a must-read.
Swamp Thing #33
Written by Charles Soule. Drawn by Javier Pina. Coloured by Matthew Wilson.
Swamp Thing moves its focus this month, as supporting antagonists The Wolf and Lady Weeds take centre stage, expositing their plot to bring down Alec and take his power for themselves. It’s a very elaborate plan which seems doomed to failure from the off, but it allows a few epic moments for Alec, and showcases what an excellent supporting cast Charles Soule has crafted around our hero. Javier Pina takes over art duties for this, the first of a two-parter, and he apes Jesus Saiz’ look for the comic extremely well, whilst adding some nice flourishes, like the Swamp Thing body disintegrating into leaves as Alec prepares to transport himself. Swamp Thing is just consistently good, and you really ought to check it out.
Batman Eternal #13
Story by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. Script by Tynion. Consulting writers Ray Fawkes, John Layman and Tim Seeley. Drawn by Mikel Janin. Coloured by Jeromy Cox.
Framed around a conversation between James Gordon and his psychopathic son, James Jr, this week’s Batman Eternal is largely a Jason Bard comic. Having made his New 52 debut 3 months ago in #1, it’s nice to see him get to strut his stuff here. Pre-Flashpoint, he was the kind of supporting character who made the Bat-universe all the richer, and I hope to see much more of him once Eternal runs its course. He’s been partnered up with Vicki Vale for much of this storyline, and their interplay has been great. The comic checks in on a few other threads, but the real draw is of course the meeting of Jim Gordon and James Jr. James Jr is everything which scares Jim about Gotham, and about himself, and it’s a wonderfully tense exchange. Mikel Janin’s art is, as ever, superb. There’s almost nothing else to say about him, the guy’s one of my favourite artists in comics right now.
Of course, given that this was such a Jim Gordon-centric issue, it would be remiss of me not to mention the passing this week of Bob Hastings at the age of 89. A fine American character actor, Hastings was best known to we of geekdom for his role as Commissioner Gordon on Batman: The Animated Series and its various spinoffs, videogames and what have you. A great performance in pretty much my favourite cartoon of all time. Thank you, Mr Hastings.
The New 52: Futures End #9
Written by Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen. Drawn by Patrick Zircher. Coloured by Hi-Fi.
Picking up the pace a little, stories finally begin to intersect and create a larger picture. There’s action, there’s humour, there are a few nice character moments, and there’s no mopey Firestorm. This comic has taken a while to find its feet, but it’s getting there.
Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #2 (of 6)
Written by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman. Drawn by Ty Templeton. Coloured by Tony Avina.
Holy consistency of quality, Batman! This comic is ace. It really captures the wide-eyed sense of wonder and excitement the Batman TV series used to give me as a kid, whilst keeping that great campy humour intact. Ty Templeton’s art is great, and all involved just have the pitch of this thing spot on. Tune in next month – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!