By Rob Siebert
Yeesh. Talk about a loaded week. Big finales, big debuts, and some Star Wars backstory we’ve been waiting years for. And of course, with big issues, come big upticks in pricing. Mostly at DC. They actually had the gall to charge $4.99 for the Tom King Batman finale. Oye.
But next week is largely a throwaway week. (Unless you’re Marvel. Kudos to them.) So I’ll be able to play a little catch up. So next week’s batch will include Family Tree #2, Shazam #9, Star Wars: Empire Ascendant, Batman/Superman #5.
But for now, we’ve got a lot to get to…
I was ready to be mad at this issue for giving us stuff we should have gotten in one of the movies. As it turns out, this was benign.
In The Last Jedi, Luke says that after burning down the temple, Ben Solo left with some of his other students. Here, we learn that doesn’t quite mean what it sounds like. We also learn who the Knights of Ren are, which is welcome information.
Not the strongest first issue I’ve ever seen. But the intrigue around what happened to Ben Solo is enough to bring us back for more.
From the beginning, we’ve known this book has been building toward Superman vs. Doctor Manhattan. A symbol of hope against a symbol of cynicism. The implication being that Superman would ultimately get through to Doc, and bring about a change of heart.
We do get a scene like that in this issue. But it’s so brief, and frankly a little contrived, that it was hardly worth the two years of build-up.
That’s right, folks. Doomsday Clock #1 came out in November 2017. It’s taken us more than two years to get here. Really takes the edge off, doesn’t it?
Here we have yet another big finale that ends not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Tom King is a good writer. I believe that. But for whatever reason, this “City of Bane” story went on way too long, and he ended up overstaying his welcome on Batman. The truly sad part? There’s a good story in here if you rifle through it, and maybe rearrange some pieces.
On the upside? Mikel Janin’s work on Batman has been consistently great. As far as I’m concerned, he’s welcome back in Gotham any time.
A 14-year-old Hispanic girl becomes the modern-day Virgin Mary in a story written by the guy who did books like Kick-Ass and Nemesis? Sure. Sounds harmless enough…
Maybe it’s me, but the art in this book seems a little weird. Like the proportions are just a touch off. It’s minor, just just prominent enough to be noticeable.
There’s a lot of intrigue here, given the sensitive topic and Millar’s penchant for the outlandish. While there’s nothing blasphemous in this issue (at least as far as I can see), I figure it’s just a matter of time.
TITLE: Spider-Man #3 (of 5)
AUTHORS: J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams
ARTISTS: Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico (Inking Assistant), Dave Stewart (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Olivier Coipel.
RELEASED: December 18, 2019
Tony Stark pops up in this book, and now our story has an Avengers angle to it. That’s disappointing. This is a story about the legacy of Spider-Man, and the strained relationship between a father and son. So why not keep the lens focused on Spidey’s world, and not open things up to the larger Marvel Universe until later? We need to be focusing on Ben right now. Not some wacky take on Tony Stark as an old man.
On the upside, we get further into who Cadaverous is. Good stuff, with Pichelli’s art on point.
While it lacks the impact and sizzle of a Jim-Lee-drawn debut, this issue has some intrigue to it. We’ve got three mainstays in Deadshot, Harley, and King Shark. But we’ve also got a big group of new characters. They kind of look like what Marv Wolfman and George Perez would produce if asked to produce a modern team of superheroes.
Mind you, some of them are dead when we close the issue. But if even one of them sticks for a decent amount of time, that’s an accomplishment.
TITLE: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #46
AUTHOR: Ryan Parrott
ARTISTS: Daniele Di Nicuolo, Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Katia Ranalli (Color Assistant), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer). Cover by Jamal Campbell.
RELEASED: December 18, 2019
A few little things I noticed that aren’t out of character per se, but perhaps show how these characters are different in this time period…
– Tommy’s more relaxed demeanor now that they’re seemingly no longer Earth’s last line of defense.
– Kimberly stepping up into more of a leadership role with the three new Rangers.
– Trini’s more sarcastic personality. It’s not how I would write the character, as she’s normally more reserved. But we can chalk it up to her gaining confidence through her experiences as a Power Ranger.
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