For new releases 3/9/22!
We are BOTH back with your Weekly Round-Up, our top 4 picks of the week! This week was a GOODIE and let me tell you- I (Lauren) had some things to say, but Joe had a TON to say!! I personally can't get enough of his reviews this week, so check them out for yourself below!
#4: X-Men Legends #12
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciller: Scot Eaton
Inker: Lorenzo Ruggiero
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
A Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Lockheed story leading into the original Excalibur?!? YES YES AND YES! The story involving Mystique AND Destiny heavily as well? YASSSSSS! This issue was so fun, particularly nostalgia-wise. It was so fun reading these characters in this time period again, but also weird. Kate, or back then called Kitty, basically being a child in distress? So sooo different from the Kate we all know she’s become. As I said, the nostalgia is nice, but some parts of the story had me confused. At times, Mystique seems to be written heavily out of character (OOC). I’m wondering if this issue was Claremont’s attempt to show how he WANTED Mystique to grow as a character, but it never really happened. Yet, even with confusion with the story and characters, I still enjoyed this. A fun time and the art makes it beyond worth it!
#3: X Deaths of Wolverine #4
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Federico Vicentini
Colorist: Dijjo Lima
Letterer: Cory Petit
THIS series is exactly what I wanted after Inferno. I only hate that this isn’t the “main” book because Benjamin Percy really is doing such a great job continuing Hickman’s storytelling. The emphasis on Moira MacTaggert as a character has become one for the ages. In the coming years, I think she could become one of the most iconic X-Men villains, which is absolutely WILD considering who she was before House of X/Powers of X. This series is the one to read if you’re wondering what will come of Krakoa in the next year or two. THIS kind of story is what makes me most excited about this X-Men Era!
#2: King of Spies #4
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Matteo Scalera
Colorist: Giovanna Niro
Letterer: Clem Robins
This is one of those series that takes the “macho, sexy but doesn’t care about anyone” spy trope and flips it on its head. When I first started it, I had no idea and was pleasantly surprised by it. Now, in this final issue of this mini, I am SHOCKINGLY surprised by that ending. No bars were held! This series could set a new precedent for male-led spy series for the future. I loved that, even as a 20-something-year-old woman myself, I could emphasize with this older man, our main protagonist. I also love how this story flips the father/son tropes not only when you least expect it but flips them HARD. If you’re a parent who has read this series, I’d love to know your thoughts! Another win from Image, Miller, Robins, and ESPECIALLY for Scalera’s GORGEOUS art and Niro’s PHENOMENAL colors!
#1: Trial of The Amazons #1/Nubia and The Amazons #6
Writers for Trial: Stephanie Williams, Vita Ayala, Joëlle Jones, Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Writers for Nubia: Stephanie Williams, Vita Ayala
Artists for Trial: Skylar Patridge, Laura Braga, Elena Casagrande, Joëlle Jones
Artists for Nubia: Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire, Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer for Trial: Pat Brosseau
Letterer for Nubia: Becca Carey
This event RULES! Let me tell you- I’m not the biggest fan of the big 2 events. It’s easy to get drained of them and feel like nothing matters. However, this is the first Wonder/Amazonian event of its kind and it is off to a MAGNIFICENT start! I put Trial and Nubia together because they are part 1 and 2 of the Trial of The Amazons event, and they are both magnificent! I’m stuck in this world whether I like it or not (spoiler alert: I LOVE IT!). It’s amazing to see so many creative teams work together so well! I have to say, though, I think Stephanie Williams is the indirect leader of the Wonder/Amazonian office, much like the character Nubia seems to be becoming the leader of the Wonder/Amazonian side of the DC universe. WOW! The story, art, and that ending? All magnifique. I know I’m being very vague, but that’s on purpose. Can’t go spoiling one of the few events that is worth reading!! Go pick this event up! Even the “tie-ins” are worth it!
You can find Lauren, Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi, at all her links here:
#4: Strange Academy #17
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Every so often there are certain series from the big two that come out, that don't feel much like big two books. Whether it's less of a focus on superheroes, or just a fresh, entertaining concept executed well, this series continues to be a fantastic example of the latter.
It's just so much fun! The characters and their dynamics are so entertaining and such a joy to read, the plotlines are intriguing and exciting to read each and every month, and the art is just perfect. It has a gorgeous, pastel feel to it that makes it feel so youthful and just enjoyable to look at and soak in.
Everything is ramping up with a cliffhanger that makes me desperate for the next issue, as this first volume heads towards its conclusion ahead of a relaunch in the summer!
#3: Batgirls #4
Writer: Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad
Artist: Jorge Corona
Colorist: Sarah Stern
Letterer: Becca Carey
Okay I am loving this series, and I agree with how I've seen some people say it feels like it's finally finding its footing because this might have been the best issue yet. Issues one and two had cliffhangers that meant the first three issues led into each other quite cleanly, so it was good to see an issue stand on its own as it were whilst also effectively contributing to the ongoing story being built up.
As a whole, it has a very chaotic feel to it, but that's honestly what I love about it! It's vibrant, stylized fun, Corona's style works so well with the tone, and Stern's coloring is just gorgeously rich with highlighting both the dynamic action and calmer talking series, both out and about and back at the home base as it were.
The dynamic between Cass and Steph is one of the best and main parts of the book and that continues to be highlighted here. They were characters I'd not read much of before this, apart from something like Tynion's Detective I read a couple of months ago, so it's been great to see them in action over these issues.
Not a whole lot more to say, really enjoying this series and I'm very intrigued to see where it's going to go!
#2: Little Monsters #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art & Colors: Dustin Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands
I've got to be honest, I'm not the kind of person to add a new series to my pull list very far in advance. Normally, even if it looks intriguing, I'll wait for an issue or two to see what it's like. But there came a point about a month ago, where I just decided to go for it. It looked interesting and I'd heard such good things about Lemire's previous work, both with Nguyen and otherwise.
I'm so glad I did because it did not disappoint! It was a very interesting read. The creation of atmosphere in comics is fascinating to me. It feels very similar to What's The Furthest Place From Here, but while that feels more like a cinematic indie passion project, this feels more like an ethereal silent film, but different still from an actual silent comic in Step By Bloody Step.
One thing that particularly struck me was the two different kinds of post-apocalyptic worlds. One in WTPFPH where civilization is intact in some way but just different and unusual to what we have now, and something like here where the world is completely empty. Or so they think.
My point is, the idea of WTPFPH where they still have some sense of organization and responsibility, versus here where there is none of that. The similarity between the idea of having no responsibilities in a now-dead world, and as children not having any responsibilities. Just being able to endlessly play and do whatever, and how that's affected them over the years. Not having any purpose or having to think of things to entertain themselves, not only because the world has seemingly ended, but because they are children and aren't expected to be responsible for anything. I just thought that was an interesting similarity I noticed.
And that's not even mentioning the artwork. Apart from a few splashes of color here and there, it's mostly black and white. But not in a way that necessarily felt bleak to me, just almost empty, like I said. It's very good. I've seen some people say it's just his normal art style without the watercolor effect and that's basically it. It's very clean, the linework is very distinct, but somehow with that, it hasn't lost the ethereal almost enchanting feeling that I've seen in Nguyen's work before.
Overall this was a very promising start for me, an intriguing introduction to the characters and this world, and one where I'm very much looking forward to seeing where it's going to go! I get the feeling this could be something really special depending on how it goes, but we'll see what happens!
#1: Devil's Reign: Moon Knight #1
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Federico Sabbatini
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Cory Petit
I'll be honest, I had absolutely no expectations for this issue. For better or worse it was hard for me not to see it as the issue that was referenced in an editorial note a month before its release, that was finally coming out. But I decided to give it a read anyway. And I'm so glad I did because WOW! I thought this issue was INCREDIBLE! I've heard mixed opinions on it but I personally I just absolutely loved it. That includes the art as well.
"Superhero in prison" has become less and less of an original idea as the years have gone on, with the storyline leading up to this event itself having Daredevil in prison, but I thought this was a really well-done issue just showcasing how brutal Marc can be sometimes, even while not necessarily being in the Moon Knight costume.
I really felt that in the writing, where for one I thought it was paced incredibly well (not always a given for these sorts of one-shots), it was dramatic, tense, effective, and just generally entertaining all the way through. I thought it was a great story just executed wonderfully.
Then finally let's talk about that artwork. I know some people have said it was a bit too bright and not quite the right fit for what a Moon Knight comic should be, and while I can't say I necessarily disagree, I thought for this issue it really worked. I wasn't really a fan of the artist's fill in work on #7, and while I initially thought it was just better here, or a different colorist (which definitely played a part I thought) I looked back through #7 and wondered if it was just because there were less scenes here of Marc in the all white Mr Knight costume himself. It's drawn very jaggedly, without the smooth fluidness it should have.
But Marc in the prison uniform with a just a bag over his head? I thought that genuinely looked epic. So while maybe I agree not the best for a traditional Moon Knight issue, for me it worked really well for this prison storyline here. It was so dynamic, animated, and captured the actions scenes just awesomely. I also did just think it was genuinely tighter and more together than #7, which definitely helped.
Awesome stuff, some of these tie-ins I've really enjoyed and this was another one of them, great read I would say definitely worth a try if you haven't already!
What were your top picks this week? Let us know what we missed! You never know; your recommendation could end up on our lists in the future!
Come find us both on Twitter and let's talk comics and good times :)
You can find Lauren, Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi, at all her links here: beacons.ai/friendlynbhdbi
You can follow JoeLovesComics over onTwitter for (albeit shorter) thoughts on comics he loves.