Published on May 23rd, 2014 | by Brad0
My Week In Comics – 21/05/2014
My week in comics this week was extensive. Nine comics this week, marking my hobby out as an expense I probably shouldn’t justify, but I love it. Rather helpfully, they fall into three distinct categories, each containing three comics, so let’s dig in.
Forever Evil Ends
Forever Evil #7 (of 7)
Written by Geoff Johns. Drawn by David Finch.
After what seems like an age, Forever Evil reaches its conclusion. To be honest, for David Finch, getting a seven-issue miniseries out in nine months isn’t bad. The delay between March’s #6 and now has rather knocked the momentum, and most other comics are well into the aftermath at this point. That said, this gripe can only come if you’re picking up on a monthly basis like me, and as a finale to the first big event of the New 52, Forever Evil #7 is damn good. This is a storyline that will read very well in trade, I think.
Despite its double-length forty pages, this comic is absolutely stuffed to the brim with incident and cool moments. Pushing the villains to the fore has allowed Geoff Johns to get his hands on some of his favourite toys, with Sinestro, Black Adam and Lex Luthor all getting great spotlights here. Finch’s art is spectacular at times, with Black Adam’s attempt at taking down Alexander Luthor and the freeing of the Justice Leagues particularly standing out. If you’ve been following Forever Evil, it’s a cracking ending, but if you’ve not, you’re as well buying the whole thing digitally now, or else hanging fire until September and getting the collected edition. A genuinely enjoyable event, which has shaken up the status quo of the DCU in a big way.
Justice League #30
Written by Geoff Johns. Drawn by Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke.
So in the aftermath of Forever Evil, Lex Luthor joins the Justice League. Just take a moment to consider that. Lex Luthor is on the Justice League. Alongside Batman. That’s one of the biggest, best twists on the formula I’ve seen in an age. The new roster is going to be Lex, Batman, Wonder Woman, Shazam, (formerly Captain Marvel), Aquaman, Cyborg and Captain Cold. These next couple of issues look like they’re going to be following exactly how villains like Lex and Cold got onto the team, as even in spite of the good things they did in the battle against the Crime Syndicate, they’re still ultimately Lex Luthor and Captain Cold. I think it’s very telling that Superman and Flash won’t team up with members of their respective rogues’ galleries.
Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke are Johns’ most frequent collaborators these days, dating back before the New 52 to his seminal Green Lantern era. Their styles complement each other, and the story, just perfectly. This story is something new, an accusation I’ve wanted to level at Johns’ Justice League for a while, so it’s nice to finally be able to. Justice League 30 is a fine jumping on point, and one I’m happy to recommend jumping on at.
Justice League of America #14 (Final Issue)
Written by Matt Kindt. Drawn by Tom Derenick, Eddy Barrows and Diogenes Neves.
JLA has never really had an identity of its own. When it launched, it was a prelude to, then part of, Trinity War. Then it was a tie-in to Forever Evil. Now, in its final issue, it’s both the aftermath of that and a prelude to Justice League United, a comic which regular readers will know is already two issues old. Such is the impact of the massive delay to Forever Evil #7. JLA #14 doesn’t really succeed on any particular level, giving us neither insight into the effects of Forever Evil nor what causes the disparate elements of Justice League United to be in Canada. The art is serviceable enough, albeit nothing spectacular, and there’s a two-page spread at the beginning that makes no sense, as anyone who’s been reading Forever Evil (and why would you buy this comic if you haven’t?) would be able to tell you immediately that the fight scene it’s showing didn’t happen. Justice League of America never stood a chance, and it won’t be missed.
Batman. Batman Everywhere…
Batman Eternal #7
Story by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. Script by Tim Seeley. Consulting writers Ray Fawkes and John Layman. Drawn by Emanuel Simeoni.
The gang war between Penguin and Carmine Falcone returns to the fore this week, whilst Batman renews battle with Professor Pyg in the aftermath of last week’s explosion. Batman’s battle with Pyg and his Dollotrons is the less interesting of the two plots, as it’s mostly Batman fighting his way out of a swarm of people trying to kill him, and as such it’s pretty static. The attack on the Iceberg Casino, however, is pretty damn gripping. Penguin’s base of operations is one of Gotham’s more iconic locations, and seeing the explosive attack on it, led by Road Runner and Tiger Shark, Snyder creations from Black Mirror, is a thrilling, kinetic scene, helped in no small part by the ever-welcome presence of Catwoman.
This is my first experience with the art of Emanuel Simeoni, and it’s a mixed bag. He’s much more at home in the Iceberg Casino with Penguin and Catwoman; as I said, the fight between Batman and the Dollotrons leaves something to be desired, and Batman’s face looks a bit odd in some panels. In all, though, it’s another solid entry to a very fine comic.
Batman Beyond Universe #10
Written by Kyle Higgins and Christos Gage. Drawn by Thony Silas and Dexter Soy.
The attack of the Justice Lords continues apace, as the Batman Beyond (Higgins and Silas) segments deal with Terry McGinnis on the Justice Lords Earth, whilst the Justice League Beyond (Gage and Soy) segments cover the Justice Lord invasion of our world. Probably not a coincidence that this is happening in the Beyond Universe at around the same time that the mainstream DCU has been running a series where the Earth is being invaded by evil doppelgangers of the Justice League. Both storylines are very readable, though, and very well-drawn. If you’re a fan of Bruce Timm and the DCAU, Batman Beyond Universe is very definitely a comic you will enjoy.
Batman ’66 #11
Written by Jeff Parker. Drawn by Jonathan Case.
Always an enjoyable read, this month’s Batman ’66 is the comic’s first stone-cold classic issue. Joker and Catwoman team up to leave all of Gotham in fits of laughter, unable to resist as their valuables are stolen. We get Killing Joke references, Arkham Institute staff Dr Holly Quinn and Professor Hugo, a black man as the mayor of a major American city in the 1960s, Batgirl, great action and top notch art from Case. One of the best individual comics I’ve read all year, this. Check it out.
The New 52: Futures End #3
Written by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens and Jeff Lemire. Drawn by Jurgens and Mark Irwin.
Starting to pick up some momentum, this. We check in on Firestorm, Grifter, Mr Terriffic and Lois Lane, whilst adding Frankenstein to the mix. I think Lemire wrote the Frankenstein bit, it sounds very like his writing the character from Agent of S.H.A.D.E., which I miss even if no one else does. The art’s pretty solid, and I think having Giffen consult on the art across the whole thing is going to create a much more consistent aesthetic than the shifting styles on DC’s other weekly comic, Batman Eternal. This could use a touch of that one’s sense of urgency, mind, but it’s still a worthwhile read.
Wonder Woman #31
Written by Brian Azzarello. Drawn by Goran Sudzuka.
I feel like the end is approaching. Gods are dying, and Wonder Woman and the First Born are rallying their forces. This series is so epic, I don’t want it to end. This month follows Dionysus and Hermes investigating why the spirits of the damned are escaping Hades (the realm, not the God), whilst Diana prepares the Amazons for war with Olympus, and their future beyond that. This is another table-setting issue, preparing the dominoes to fall where they may. Sudzuka’s art is really good this month, to the point where it’s pretty much a nailed-on Cliff Chiang style. Sudzuka will be on again next month, before Chiang returns for what I assume to be the final two issues of this storyline. Every month, Wonder Woman is a must-read, and this is no exception.
American Vampire: Second Cycle #3
Written by Scott Snyder. Drawn by Rafael Albuquerque.
First up, I would like to give a shout-out to the manager of the Forbidden Planet from which I buy my comics. The order was missing a couple of issues this week, and as one of the last people on the list who ordered, I was one of the ones who missed out. Rather than having me wait a week, he sold me his copy off his pull list, and is now waiting for the comic. Classy customer service, I approve.
Not much to really say about this comic. It’s absolutely awesome. American Vampire is destined to go down as one of the all-time great Vertigo comics. There’s a moment where a wound turns into a mouth and suffocates the victim with its tongue. How depraved and brilliant are Messrs Snyder and Albuquerque? Buy this comic, man. So, so worth it.