This week is filled with some great touchstones and some fine examples of graphic story telling. In the DC corner Batman goes “silent,” while Aquaman gets salty in what’s becoming one of the publisher’s strongest titles. And Naomi continues to be a charming and welcomed addition to the already crowded pantheon.
Marvel comes out swinging with a fantastic new Spider-Man book, while its flagship mutant title Uncanny X-Men continues to pick up steam and live up to its namesake. And lest we forget Guardians of Galaxy is shaping up to be a fantastic chase book for anyone looking for more rebellious Groot in their life.
6 Aquaman #46
By Kelly Sue DeConnick, Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Sunny Gho, and Clayton Cowles
Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha’s current run on Aquaman has been less of a superhero story, and more of a mythological fantasy adventure. Arthur Curry has yet to embrace who he really is as he is thrust into a world of elemental gods and monsters.
Aquaman #46 widens the already large scope of the story and leans into the weirder aspects of the world of the King of Atlantis. Rocha’s artwork is gorgeous and DeConnick’s brand of lyrical narration rides and falls beautifully like the peaceful swell and subsequent violent crash of an ocean tide.
5 Batman #67
By Tom King, Lee Weeks, Jorge Fornes, Lovern Kindzierski, and Clayton Cowles
The “Knightmares” story arc continues as Bruce Wayne navigates various isolated scenarios which often don’t feel connected. Writer Tom King loves playing with the format of what a batman comic can be and Batman #67 is no different. This issue is largely devoid of speech bubbles and narration. In fact, the bulk of it is one long chase sequence through Gotham City.
Batman #67 wears its brevity on its sleeve, but what the gorgeous panels by the criminally underrated artist Lee Weeks conveys speaks volumes. “Silent” comics can often feel like a cheap novelty, but this issue is anything but.
4 Naomi #3
By Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, Jamal Campbell, and Wes Abbott
Naomi might be the best comic under the Wonder Comics imprint. While not a lot in terms of action has happened thus far, the titular character and the mystery surrounding her is fascinating. Bendis and Walker’s script is sharp, funny, and thoughtful, and Campell’s artwork is dazzling in Naomi #3.
This cover of this issue touts that secrets will be revealed, and while, yes a lot of dirty laundry is aired out, so to speak, the questions answered may not be the inquiries that have been gnawing at readers, which is a good thing. Three issues in and already, the plot is growing wild, but it’s doing so at a steady pace, which makes each issue more enjoyable than the last.
3 Guardians of the Galaxy #3
By Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Marte Gracia, and VC's Cory Petit
Eros goes full on emo while sitting in a Professor X hover wheelchair, and that’s just the first couple of pages of Guardians of the Galaxy #3. This newest relaunch of everyone’s favorite space misfits has been so much fun. The humor works and never really grates on your nerves and the stakes are serious enough to feel like they actually mean something.
The hunt for Gamora continues this issue, and quote a few fantastic brawls happen along the way. Also, it just feels good to have Beta Ray Bill playing a major role in a comic book series these days. Who doesn’t love that guy?
2 Spider-Man: Life Story #1
By Chip Zdarsky, Mark Bagley, John Dell, Frank D'Armata, and VC's Travis Lanham
Chip Zdarsky and Spidey legend Mark Bagley take Peter Parker back to 1966 in a smart, heartfelt period piece comic that really reinforces the timelessness of the character in Spider-Man: Life Story #1. This book is a bit reminiscent of Ed Piskor’s X-Men Grand Design it terms of capturing the essence of characters and boiling down the reasons why we love them.
This first issue also acts as a solid recap/retelling of the classic Spider-Man story, in case there is anyone on the planet who doesn’t already know it. But the throwback pacing and art are too reminiscent of how stories were told in the Silver Age is charming and well executed to brush off as another origin story.
1 Uncanny X-Men #14
By Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, GURU-eFX, VC's Joe Caramagna, and Rachelle Rosenberg
Cyclops and Wolverine’s hunt to neutralize every mutant threat continues in the Uncanny X-Men #14. The ragtag team gain a new member to their ranks and we get some fun appearances from C-List baddies in the process.
Uncanny X-Men is a title that has really turned the ship around in terms of quality and readability. The ‘X-Men: Disassembled” story was a challenge for many fans to get through, but the payoff is worth it enduring it. Uncanny X-Men #14 continues the hot streak Matthew Rosenberg and Salvador Larroca as they continue honing their creative voice in the book. Also, how cool is that cover?!
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