In the interest of helping the mainstream comics industry by both promoting their best stuff and ignoring their less successful attempts, Dean Trippe takes time out of his busy schedule to inform you about the best of the best put out by the Big Two. Here are his picks for the last few weeks.
Amazing Spider-Man #578 by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, and Javier Rodriguez. Following New Ways To Die, I’m jumping on Spidey arcs that feature teams I like. Waid and Martin here are two of my favorite comics creators, so I had to nab this one. I keep finding myself feeling skeptical about the possibility of enjoying Amazing right now, Post-One-More-Day and all, but the creative teams are pretty dang great for the most part, and guys like Waid aren’t gonna let you down when it comes to writing Pete. In this unbelievably gorgeous issue, Spidey nabs a fortuitous Metro pass on a rainy day and stumbles into a dangerous subway situation. I miss MJ as much as the next guy, but gosh it’s great to be enjoying Spider-Man again.
1985 #6 by Mark Millar and Tommy Lee Edwards. I’ve loved this miniseries from the begining, and its final issue is no exception. There’s crazy/fun battles, nerd trivia, and meta-solutions to life-and-death problems. And sharing the above moment with the lead character was probably worth the price of admission anyway. 1985 was a love letter to the 80’s Marvel U., comic book fans, and good-hearted but not-quite-respectable dads. If you missed it, keep an eye out for the trade.
Ghost Rider #29 by Jason Aaron, Tan Eng Huat, and Jose Villarrubia. I’ve never been a Ghost Rider fan. I guess I’ve always thought he looked pretty badass for a cover image, but I just couldn’t find a good place to enter into his mythos. Aaron’s run on the title is that entrance, and I keep hearing from more folks that’ve just gotten interested in GR, and this is why: Aaron is utilizing his broad understanding of the character’s history to create a large but welcoming cast of supporting characters as he builds up the character rather than tearing him down or locking him in a box where he can’t grow and change. Also his dialogue is killer. Recently, former Ghost Rider Danny Ketch has resurfaced, leading a “Ghost Rider Assassination League” (as coined by CBR columnist Tim Callahan) and lead an assault on the Caretaker’s home, which housed a museum of Ghost Rider history. Aaron’s revealed that there are more Ghost Riders in the world than just our familiar American one, and he’s got Danny on a mission to “free” them of that burden. It’s a cohesive but broad mythos Aaron is bringing together, as he introduces new elements, including the growing threat of villainous angel Zadriel and even a new Caretaker! Huat’s art is expressive and kinetic, and Villarrubia’s colors rock.
JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman by Alex Ross. This special isn’t super integral to the ongoing Kingdom Come storyline going on over in JSA right now, but it’s pretty enjoyable, especially visually. Here, Ross reveals quite a few more details concerning the death of Kingdom Come’s Lois Lane and sheds some light on the concerns of the KC Superman, who’s recently found himself in our time and joined ranks with his pals in Justice Society. I really like the colors-over-pencils style Ross uses for most of the issue and I enjoyed his portrayal of both Loises.
Superman #682 by James Robinson and Renato Guedes. So New Krypton rocks. Suddenly having thousands of Kryptonians on Earth is exciting and terrifying, and I think the Action Comics, Superman, and Supergirl teams have all done a swell job of providing both of those feelings. Over in Superman, Robinson’s back on his game following his poorly received and decompressed first arc, and Guedes is really shining, especially cloaked in the magical hues of new colorist David Curiel. I’m not usually one who enjoys multiple title crossovers, but Johns, Robinson, and Gates are all doing such a good job here. This issue’s got Kryptonian military police, lots of classic Superman villains, and a setup for some more awesomeness next issue. I’d rather the new Kryptonians had to spend some time on Earth before developing their powers (ala Morrison’s take on Clark’s power development) rather than instantly being adapted to Super-Life (ala Donner’s Kryptonian villains in Superman 2). Besides that quibble, this story’s a blast.