Published on June 26th, 2014 | by Brad1
My Week in Comics – 25/06/2014
My week in comics this week featured the DC Comics debut of John Romita Jr. Son of legendary Spider-Man artist John Romita Sr., JRJR has been almost exclusively a Marvel talent for more than three decades, as well as drawing the first two volumes of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass. He’s a spectacular talent and a major coup for DC. So, without further ado, how’s his first DC comic?
Written by Geoff Johns. Drawn by John Romita Jr.
The story launches 25 years ago, with a lab accident forcing a couple to launch their infant child into the fourth dimension to give him a chance at life, knowing that he will be an outsider, and may gain strange powers due to how his physiology reacts in the atmosphere. Sound familiar? Back in the present, Superman fights a giant robot gorilla, and Clark gets an offer to re-join the Daily Planet, leading to a little soul-searching, which gets violently interrupted. It’s a pretty bog-standard start on the story level, with the sense that it will get bigger and more exciting as it progresses.
As you might sense, though, the big draw is Romita, and man does he deliver. There’s this constant, frenetic sense of forward motion, making the big action sequences thoroughly thrilling. The new character designs are pretty cool, and this is probably the best I’ve seen Superman’s New 52 costume look. The motion blurs when he’s flying look neat, and there’s an early two-page spread of Superman punching a giant robot gorilla in the face which is just the perfect reminder of why people love Superman, and superhero comics in general. Superman #32 is a good jumping on point for this series, and a great showcase for a top, top artist. Good comic.
Written by Scott Snyder. Drawn by Greg Capullo.
Batman, Jim Gordon and Lucius Fox continue to hunt for the Riddler, as Zero Year hits its penultimate chapter with a bang. Some have found this year-long storyline a little exhausting, but for me, this is the most consistently brilliant comic on the market, and goes from strength to strength. Snyder has run Batman through the ringer this year, building setback upon defeat upon painful lesson. Greg Capullo’s artwork is typically brilliant, with our heroes looking run almost into the ground, whilst the Riddler’s army of drones look extremely cool. Batman is a superb comic, and one that everyone should be reading.
Justice League #31
Written by Geoff Johns. Drawn by Doug Mahnke.
Lex Luthor confronts Bruce Wayne with his secret identity, whilst Shazam and Captain Cold look at their future post-Forever Evil, and Power Ring looks for a new host. The bulk of the issue is devoted to the confrontation between Bruce and Lex, and both men get a fair few badass showcase moments. It’s a bit slow beyond that, but the final page is pretty awesome. Doug Mahnke’s art is a little shaky this month, particularly on some of the faces, but there are some great moments. It’s a mixed bag, overall, but the idea of Lex Luthor as a member of the Justice League is strong enough to keep me reading for a while yet.
The New 52: Futures End #8
Written by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens and Jeff Lemire. Drawn by Scot Eaton.
Not bad. The parts with Grifter and S.H.A.D.E. are a lot of fun, as per usual. In the main, though, this feels like a comic in need of impetus. Something needs to shake things up and spark the storylines into action. The art looks nice, and there are some good character moments, but this comic is burning far too slowly, and is running the risk of being a real disappointment.
Batman Eternal #12
Story by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. Script by Tynion. Consulting writers Ray Fawkes, John Layman and Tim Seeley. Drawn by Mikel Janin.
Jim Gordon’s trial begins whilst Harper Row gives Tim Drake something to think about as Batman Eternal rumbles along. This is a much better weekly comic than Futures End, things are always happening, it’s fast-paced, it’s exciting, and the variety in the art styles constantly keeps things fresh. Mikel Janin is taking the rains for this and the next couple of weeks, which is a delight. I’ve been raving about this guy since I first saw his work on Justice League Dark, back at the beginning of the New 52. Here we get a preview of him playing in the world of Batman, before he and Tim Seeley launch their new Grayson series next month. This comic is pretty much an essential if you’re a Bat-fan.
Batman ’66 #12
First story written by Jeff Parker. Drawn by Dario Brizuela. Second story written by Art Baltazar and Franco. Drawn by Ted Naifeh.
As ever, this is a lot of fun. The first story features Marsha, Queen of Diamonds as the villain, as she plots to steal the Bat-diamond from right out of the Batcave, whilst the second features a villain named Minstrel, inspired by Shakespeare and hell-bent on revenge on the Dynamic Duo for sending him to jail. Both stories zip along with the level of humour and enjoyment one comes to expect from this comic. It’s a little odd reading one that’s not written by Parker, but Art Baltazar and Franco are plenty reliable hands to leave it in. I love this series.