I don’t want to make the grand reveal too suspenseful, so without further ado I give the week a C+. With only Before Watchmen Minutemen and Hawkeye standing out as pure A list books I think that would be the best grade I can give the week. American Vampire might be in the A class also.
This segment focuses on a fair number of books so I will try to keep it short and sweet.
Robert Place Napton and Cliff Richards is slowly winning me over. It is not a great book by any means but between reading the original material in the back (which looks better then the Dark Horse reprints) and reading the front story (that is using all of the old material while crafting a more modern Roger Drum) I find that the series is entertaining. It is the reverse Tarzan story as the civilized man becomes the jungle king, this issue even had a great reference to Tarzan.
The Victories #3 (of 5) by Michael Avon Oeming is an quirky series. Oeming is not the strongest writer out there and his artist is very stylized. I had questioned hanging onto this book as it was a fair amount of characters to get to know in a short time, but my faith in this book is paying off. The series is gain my inteterest as the story unfolds and develops it focuses on Fautz as the main character. We have some significant mysteries of various things that happened in his past. The rest of the group is just supporting characters in this drama. I hope this is the set-up for a series of mini-series as I’m just getting to know these characters and hope to see more of their stories.
Ex-Sanquine #1 by Tim Seely (co-writer/artist) and co-writer Joshua Scott Edmmonds is yet another vampire story. This vampire tires to live an invisible life but is being drawn into the spotlight by a serial killer. I felt like I was starting in the middle of a longer story and I had missed the first mini-series or something. The back story they hinted about had so much to do with the book that it made the book not read like a first issue at all. By the time I got to the end of the book I was drawn in enough to want to continue the series and a quick internet search let me know that I’m starting at the beginning. I would never have believed that I could enjoy so many vampire laden books.
Walking Dead #103 by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard was another fantastic issue. As good as the beginning of Season 3 was of the TV series the comic still reigns as the best Walking Dead. Rick in this issue has to submit to Negan and we can almost sense the steam rising off Rick as he allows Negan’s men to come and take half of everything. Two minor points, the last line was offensive and I understand why Kirkman went there, just not sure it was needed to make a point he had already made. It was almost shock for shock value effect only. Second is that Negan notices immediately how nice the set up is in this enclave. We will have to see how it unfolds, but given how Negan takes what he wants, not sure why he wouldn’t just take the whole place over.
X-O Manowar # 6 by Robert Venditti, Lee Garbett and Stefano Guardiano was another good issue. This is one long storyline. Each issue feeds into each next one one very well. My one concern is that this story has to have an ending. What will Aric’s life be once the alien menace is dealt with? In the meantime I believe that it is a pretty easy entry for any new reader and Valiant is adding a preamble on the inside front cover to bring people up to date. Ninjak has been made into the co-star of the book and I wonder if he doesn’t fit better as an unlimited series better then X-O Manowar.
Harbinger #5 by Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans and friends was a good ending to the opening arc of the book. Peter has escaped from Harda and now the two will face off against each other over time. The plus of this book is neither Peter of Harda is truly the good guy or bad guy. The negative is that Harda is portrayed as so well funded and powerful I did not buy Peter being able to escape.
Peter Cannon Thunderbolt #2 by Steve Darnall and Alex Ross writers with art by Jonathan Lau was an okay issue. The problem I had with it was it felt like a first issue of a book all over again. The transition to what I read in issue #1 to issue #2 was not there. Instead I got what felt like a second take on an opening issue. I like this portrayal of Peter Cannon and the character certainly should have some staying power, but the story needs to read better issue to issue.
And lastly is Chew #29 by John Layman and Rob Guillory. It was, as always a fun book. The double page spread of Poyo fighting Mecha-Turducken was awesome. I still enjoy the series and look forward to it each month but since we are halfway though the planned 60 issue run, what was fresh and new is now the expected. That is not a criticism, more of an observation. Chew, like many books, becomes taken for granted because the expectation is it will be a good book and when it delivers what you expect it feels a little flat. The lack of surprise and newness is gone.
That ends the long winded week in review. We will all find out together how long this type of format holds together.